January is Mental Wellness month, and it couldn’t be more timely.
In fact, the third Monday in January has been dubbed “Blue Monday” by some, as it is considered the most depressing day of the year for many. And why wouldn’t it be? All the tell-tale signs are there. We have just survived a hectic holiday season. While the holidays can be a beautiful time, the pressures of coordinating events, gifts, travel, and funding all of the above take their toll.
Burnout around this time of year is an issue for many. We’ve just spent the previous weeks riding upon high spirits, only to crash into reality as soon as the celebration subsides. Despite this sounding ominous, this is not a hopeless time. This is simply a time when we need to spend more time resting and recharging. This is when it’s of utmost importance to listen to our bodies and to take the time to check in with and connect with ourselves.
One way to uplift ourselves during these times is to lean into our spirituality. That said, it’s perfectly normal to be exhausted and unable to swing an elaborate ritual between work and resuming responsibilities on a Tuesday. The good news is there are low-effort ways to tap into your personal power throughout the day. All it takes is a bit of extra intentionality to merge the mundane with the magickal.
As such, I want to address very ordinary and practical ways that you can bring your spirituality into your everyday life.
Moon water is a straightforward practice of setting out water in a clear container to absorb lunar energies. This can be completed during any moon phase but is often done at the full and new moons.
As a person who can be lunar sensitive, I often find the most effortless ritual to be sitting out a jar of water on my window sill. This jar can range from one of my handmade etched jars, a simple mason jar, or even a bottle of Evian. What apparatus I chose is entirely contingent upon the amount of the will to live I have that day.
This simple practice allows me to capture the energy of the particular phase and sign for later use—regardless of my personal energy levels. And as someone whose energy fluctuates alongside the lunar cycle, this is superb news. You don’t have to choose between utilizing the lunar energy and honoring your need to rest. You can do both.
Much like moon water, teas and coffees can be simple rituals. In fact, moon water can be used in the creation of both of these simple potions if you desire.
Teas are one of my favorite low-maintenance ways to practice magic. Each herb included in the creation of teas has a particular correspondence and often medicinal benefits as well. Teas assist us in crafting a beverage packed full of intentions and possibly antioxidants, as well. If you’re looking for a few recipes, you can find some of my favorites in this article, “Winter Witchery: 5 Teas for the Season.”
This brings me to coffee: Often, many of us start our days off with a cup of coffee, which makes this an ideal morning ritual that fits seamlessly into our schedules. Coffee itself has correspondences such as protection, motivation, and creativity. However, we can kick this up a notch by brewing our coffees with moon water or being intentional with stirring. Stirring our beverages clockwise is typically used to draw in our intentions, whereas stirring counterclockwise is to banish. While mixing, we might also wish to recite incantations.
If you feel called to do so, try enchanting your magic beans or brewed herbs with words of affirmation before starting your day. Worst case scenario, you’re hydrated, and you’ve given yourself a solid morning pep talk. It’s a win, win.
Similar to beverages, we also need sustenance to survive. The herbs in our kitchen have correspondences and can upgrade an ordinary meal into an extraordinary meal with little additional effort. We can elevate our everyday meals to magickal ones by being intentional with our cooking choices. Much like the stirring of our teas and coffees, we can also stir in intentions as we prepare our meals.
I include a few common items below that you can find in most kitchens. While the pepper listed references black pepper, in general, peppers are helpful for protection work. So, if you’re like me, with an unwavering vendetta against your bowels, add as much hot sauce as you would like to your next dish for a quick protection ritual. On the other hand, if you have more of a sweet tooth, items like sugar and honey help draw forth love.
- Salt: Purification
- Pepper: Protection
- Sugar: Love
- Lemon: Clarity
- Basil: Prosperity
- Cinnamon: Love
- Parsley: Wisdom
These are just a few ideas you can form by rummaging through your spice rack. Please note, these are not the only correspondences of these items, but rather a jumping-off point for stirring up some magick in the kitchen.
If you’d like to learn more, there are several valuable books on herb and food correspondences. Some of my favorites are Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs and Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen, both by Scott Cunningham, Plant Witchery by Juliet Diaz, The Modern Guide to Magical Herbs by Judy Ann Nock, and House Witch by Arin-Murphy Hiscock.
Despite the glorious videos of decadent dressed candles on social media, simply lighting a candle can be an efficient form of magic. While a more elaborate candle ritual is beautiful, so is lighting a candle with a specific purpose in mind.
Most often, what this looks like for me is buying oversized black tobacco candles for home protection and lighting them as needed. This is one of many small rituals that can be achieved with minimal energy.
If you want to take it up a notch, consider carving a sigil, word, or symbol into the wax to set your intention for the candle further.
In my home, you would be hard-pressed to find a mystery drawer that doesn’t include some form of incense, be it sticks, cones, or loose incense. I keep these “strategically” placed around my abode whenever I feel the need to clear the air.
Incense is a beautiful tool for purifying your space. Like the herbs in this article’s “Cooking” section, most incenses have their own properties. I’ve included a list of some of the most common ones below.
- Jasmine: Love
- Dragons Blood: Banishing
- Sandalwood: Success
- Lemongrass: Balance
- Frankincense: Protection
- Eucalyptus: Healing
- Rose: Confidence
- Patchouli: Prosperity
- Lavender: Peace
Another thing we should be doing with regular frequency is showering or bathing. As such, this makes this a perfect combination for low-energy magic by taking something we’re already doing and converting it into an intentional act.
While baths are most often thought of as cleansing rituals, the shower accomplishes much of the same with less water. Have you ever taken a shower and your mood immediately improved?
There are a few reasons for this.
One, the warm water soothes our muscles, and the water washes away the physical grime. However, it’s also cleansing on a spiritual level. Water is an element of purification. So, if you need a mood boost to lighten your spiritual load, hop into a cleansing shower for a reset.
It’s a surefire way to both feel and smell better.
I recently wrote an article, “A Journey through the Dark Months,” to address the need for rest during winter. This time of year can be taxing, and resting is a crucial step in healing.
To refill ourselves, we must rest to allow ourselves time to recharge. When we rest, we step back into our power—fully charged—unlike our aging smartphones.
Rest can look different for everyone. One way to rest is by meditating. Meditation is an excellent practice for creating peace within ourselves. The process allows us to declutter our minds and relax into ourselves, producing a much-needed restful state.
There are several ways to rest. What’s most important in periods of low energy is finding ways to create space for yourself just to be and learning to lean into what replenishes your soul.