To be a Dirt-Heart Witch means to see God in the compost pile.
To hear the voice of Spirit in the sound of a coyote’s bark.
To consume the body of the Beloved with every meal.
Being a Dirt-Heart Witch means less concern with the Big Ones and more concern with the Small Ones: the life-force of this Patchouli plant, this seething mass of Worms, this Spring.
It’s being deeply conscious of and conscientious about the cycles of rising and falling and how we participate in those cycles. Being inspired by birth and fed by death. Watching death bring new life.
Dirt-Heart Witchcraft is very DIY
Since beginning to walk this path, I’ve learned how to turn a fleece into thread. I’ve learned to sew and make cheese, built chicken coops and cabinets. Brewed soda, wine, and beer. I have slaughtered rabbits and chickens (even helped with a pig). I can grow nearly everything I want to eat (except junky snacks…come on, sometimes I even eat at Burger King to keep myself humble).
Those are all skills, but what makes that Witchcraft? Lots of people do that stuff…it’s called homesteading, urban or otherwise.
To me, the difference is in the relationship.
Lots of people spin fiber; I want to attune with the sheep or llama, to enjoy the animal smell of their fleece, to tease out the workable parts, and meditate on the process of chaos becoming order.
Lots of folks make cheese or wine or bread or beer; I want to connect with the yeast and the bacteria and hear their story of transformation, to become a part of their coming alive in a new way. And of course, I recognize that, when eating or drinking, I’m taking these tiny lives into me. They become me.
When I raise animals for our meat, I am then truly looking into the reality of our existence: we are all always giving and taking from each other. There is no me without you. There is no existence without ending. Even while growing and harvesting vegetables, I am destroying colonies of insects and microbes that had their own lives.
Seeing the Sacred in the Soil
The land I live on is inhabited by many beings. Some are human, some seem humanoid (in my mind…it’s all your mind, did you hear?), others walk on more legs, or have wings. There are tame creatures here: dogs, cats, chickens; and wild ones: coyotes and bobcats and gophers.
There are spirits here, too, of course. Tame and wild. Or maybe not ‘tame’ as much as ‘amenable to human contact’. Others want nothing to do with us and only go their own way. As they should. This is their home too.
This land has been lived-on for a long, long time. We’re in an area that has been inhabited by the Amah Mutsun tribe for centuries. Their spirits may walk here as well, though I’ve never seen them.
In the 50s, the place was a goat dairy (we lived in the barn ourselves for over 3 years) and in the 70s, owned by a “eco-feminist artist” name of Rose Buffalo. Rose planted many, many roses here and held rituals on the hillsides. My husband found a Virgen de Guadalupe statue buried in the dirt, as well as other artifacts of a holy life.
Do you have to be a Farmer to be a Dirt-Heart Witch?
I met someone at a convention who said to me, “The only Witches near me always want to talk about this Goddess and that Goddess. I do Native Animal Rescue and I find all the magick I need in the eyes of a baby bird.”
I was like: YOU’VE GOT IT!
This path is not *about* Goddesses, though it may include them. It’s not about trying to reconstruct old ways of practice, unless it’s figuring out how to build a still out of copper pipes.
I’m not really interested in mythology but I like looking at the stars and knowing which constellation is Casseopeia. I don’t really care how they did ritual in Ancient Egypt, but I am interested in their beer recipes.
We don’t live fancy, but we are very okay with visiting fancy. We don’t stand on ceremony: no performing arcane gestures unless you want to. There is very little memorization, but we do like singing. Few recipes, but we do like cooking. Few limitations, but we do encourage thoughtfulness.
You might be an avid hiker, or a backyard bird-watcher, or tend a thriving apartment-balcony garden. You might just grow one basil plant on your windowsill, or wish you had time to grow something, anything!
You may think you have never grown a thing in your life. If this is the case, I beg to differ. I don’t even know you and I already know that you have grown many things. Everything can be a garden, an orchard, a field of wildflowers.
And it is our participation in this great circle, even in our fallow periods, that makes us truly belong.
And maybe makes *you* a Dirt-Heart Witch.
What is being grown by your hands and heart?
How are you enriched by the fertile place you live?
Who is tending you while you grow?
Where do you plant your best seeds?
When is the season of your personal harvest?