Welcome to the Urban Pagan Homestead!

Welcome to the Urban Pagan Homestead! June 25, 2014

A Ginger Beer for You!

So glad you stopped by!  Come in and take a seat and let’s talk about cool things we’ve made and food we’ve cooked and spirits we know.  Let’s converse about our kinship with all creatures and everything, everything!, earthly and unearthly:  chickens and microflora, stars and music and each other.  Let’s feel how we fit into the cycles of the land, the rising and falling of all things within and without.  Let’s explore the deep satisfaction of making our own ways.

The homestead to me is the place where we take responsibility for our deeds, consider carefully where our paths are leading us, and never forget that we are here not only to Serve, but to be in Joy.  We gain the skills we need to become more self-sufficient:  fixing broken things, gathering our resources, the tricks of making. For me, this is an integral part of Witchy magicks.  The spirits that share my home and land remind me daily that our lives are intertwined, and as I go, so they go, and vice versa.  I consider my actions and how they will affect those who are yet to come.  I try to always remember that I can never repay all the gifts that have been given to me by the Sun and the Moon and the River and I pray to remain grateful.

This philosophy has led me to a lifestyle which is filled with elements of nostalgia:  clotheslines, and egg baskets, and knowing the farmer’s name.  We ferment and bake and dye and spin and dehydrate and freeze and can.  We keep chickens for eggs and have recently added meat birds to our flock.  For years, we kept rabbits, but since our kids are grown and mostly moved out, there was only one person in the house interested in eating lapin and it was too much work for that small benefit.

I like being responsive to changing conditions.  That’s part of resiliency.  People change, the environment changes; we can make different choices and free up space for the next right thing.  For my place, I’m leaning towards turkeys and maybe even a couple of dwarf goats!

Many Allies live here

My Practice is rooted in the dirt of my home in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  It’s fed by the river that runs back behind us.  Is this urban?  Suburban?  I don’t think much of labels, and I’m not sure it’s that important to draw a line between those things.  I will probably write on some subjects that have no appeal to you no matter where you live!  And hopefully there will also be some stuff that you will find helpful.

We live on a quarter acre zoned ‘Residential’ and only small family animals are allowed.  It’s a decent amount of space, but with lots of big trees around us, so we don’t get much sun for green growing things.  Also, we’re in a drought here in California, with who-knows-what waiting on the horizon for us, meteorologically.  So there are constraints.  But there are always constraints!  Whether it’s neighbors, or landlords, or flora, or climate, there is always something that will make you have to sort out how you’re going to do a thing and the exact answer will be different for everyone.  That’s the exciting part!

3 week old chicks! So cute!

I think of it like this:  I have a way of making chicken gravy.  It’s come down from my family.  It’s a particular process.  You have rosemary in your yard and she is one of your plant allies.  Add her to the mix!  You’re feeling the need for some cleansing today?  Add sage!  The point is that, while there are certain immutable physical and magickal rules, once you understand how it works, there are infinite ways to make gravy. And magick.

I want to share some of my juju and show you how I do it, how I’m learning to do it, how you might choose to do it, if it is your will to make your gravy-magick like mine.  We are learning from the past but not getting stuck there.  If we have no personal past to learn from (meaning that we are not trying to follow in our parent’s or grandparent’s footsteps) there are still lots of places we can gain the knowledge we seek:  books, videos, the intertubez, county fairs and animal shows, the reskilling events that are becoming so popular in so many places.   We can figure out how to do the things we want to do.  That’s part of the craft.

I know a little something about a few little things:  small gods, ginger beer, hoodoo spells, butchering animals, prayers and rituals, spinning fiber.  My recipe for stock is home-made.  I’ve paid attention to those who know more than me and I mostly just use what’s at hand.  My religious practice is the same.  I look forward to hearing your recipes and tips and tricks to help us all along on this fascinating adventure called Life!

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