Star Made Witch: Goddesses, Mountains, and Potions

Star Made Witch: Goddesses, Mountains, and Potions December 12, 2016

[Author’s Note: I usually write a witchy essay or pagan book review for this column, but I have been writing exposition constantly, so today I thought a magical diary entry might be more fun. We could get to know each other better if you also tell me about your day in the comments.]

Dear Agora,

Last night I declared my intentions for the next day and fell asleep after doing a relaxation meditation with my cat curled up on my lap. I woke up before my alarm and dozed a little between visualizing which potion supplies I needed to pack for a visit to a student apprentice’s house and where the supplies were put away. Once I had it all mapped out, I’d bought myself half an hour more sleep because I wouldn’t have to search.

I got up, dressed, put away laundry, and made a short devotion at my spirit altar. I made breakfast and packed lunch. Then I gathered all the herbs, spices, my fairy wooden spoon, wine, a glass jug and an airlock for setting my student’s new kitchen potions lab in the afternoon. Next I was off to my morning coven meeting.

a view of mount saint helens, an active volcano, from a commercial airliner
Mt. St. Helens / CwolfsheepCC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Driving North the sky was too cloudy to see my beloved fire keeper, Mt. St. Helens. I’ve been thinking a lot about the landscape because of how important this place I’ve lived my whole life is to my animism and witchcraft.

a red-haired woman wearing a green robe
An altar to Brighid / Photo by the Author

At coven, Amy, Erin and I caught up on all our personal news. Then we planned the Yule ritual celebration and talked about the sacred painting of Brighid we would create for our flame tending order Nigheanan Brìghde.

My coven sisters are part of my spiritual family and it revives my spirits through hard times to connect with them and they inspire me to work on important projects. Speaking of which, I had to return Amy’s basket she’d lent me so I could take ten pounds of persimmons last week. I really must get a batch of wine started with those!

We talked a lot about the spirits of local landscape that we work with: the mountains, rivers and sea and how fairy faith people worked with the landscape in Ireland. My favorite local mountain Mt. St. Helens is known by the regional Native American peoples to be the spirit of a beautiful woman who is an ancient firekeeper Loowit.

an old woman flying in the air
Cailleach at Carrowmore / Photograph by the Author

We told stories about the old hag Cailleach who spilled boulders from her apron as she flew across Ireland and Scotland carrying them. There was a drawing comical of her at An Cheathrú Mhór when I visited Ireland. The old lady winter shaped the land with her movements.

Queen Maeve is buried in a mountain standing up at Cnoc na Riabh. I think that story might mean that the mountain used to be a goddess version of Maeve and the story evolved into a war drama. I’d visited these places last year, but Erin has a better memory for Gaeilge names and places. Her reminders were very helpful for linking together loose ideas.

Onto my student’s house, I cuddled her cat until she got back from church. She is one of my patrons on Patreon, so I came by to teach her in person. I used up the last sprigs of my wormwood so we could make a bitter and visionary mulled wine.

a green herb growing in a pot
Wormwood / Photo by the author

Luckily, as I was leaving, I noticed a big wormwood bush growing by her front door–a sure sign of a witch! She hadn’t known it was wormwood, so I showed her how bitter it was by tasting the leaves. We offered some of the mulled wine to Artemis of the Artemisia and the Green Fairy of the absinthium and I took one bunch of sprigs so I can make more wines until my plant gets new leaves in the spring.

Back home my neighbors were having a holiday party. I stopped in for free food and homebrewed wine. I browsed their books on local Native American legends for tales about nearby landscape features. After talking to the hosts for a little and eating dessert, I escaped back home to write you this tale.

So I guess now you know I’m an opportunist and how my days have magical themes. Today it was: local landscape, wormwood and wine.

P.S.

Did your day have any magic themes? What is most special to you about your landscape?


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