Tribe is Tribe

Foundations

M

iracles, tribe

I was in an import store shopping for my best friend’s birthday a few weeks ago. I had found a piece of jewelry that I knew she would love and as the store owner was ringing me up I was explaining to her that my bestie is originally from Iran and that while this piece is not from her home country she would still love and appreciate it.

The store owner interrupted me though and simply said, “She’ll love it because tribe is tribe.” Tribe is tribe. She said it with all of the confidence and clarity of a woman who has spent that majority of her life among and within tribes.

Tribe is tribe.

I know that in our never-resting news cycle the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio that occurred at the beginning of the month are old news for most of us. They have left, as all mass shootings have since 2011, their fingerprints all over me though and are still fresh.

As I fielded emails from people asking if I was alright and checked on my own set of family and friends with El Paso connections, I kept hearing that woman’s voice in my head – tribe is tribe.

And I wasn’t sure why but I knew it was important. Then I took a walk down one of my favorite streets where an Acequia was full of water and running at force and I remembered. What I remembered was a psych class I took about a hundred years ago.

We were studying mental health in indigenous populations and I learned that one of the indigenous populations found in New Mexico and Arizona – the Navajo People – have a very specific way of looking at mental illness (and many physical afflictions too). The understanding is that while one person in the tribe may show symptoms of illness, be it mental or physical, the entire tribe is actually afflicted and that any healing that is worth a damn will address not just the individual who is obviously ill but the entire tribe.

I have been marked by every mass shooting since 2011 because that is the year I had my first baby. And that is the year when I found myself worrying about everything: leaving out a tiny piece of something that the baby could choke on, losing him to SIDS, speeding cars, and falling shelves, and…going into a public place where my child could be shot and killed, or I could be shot and killed leaving my baby without a mother or my husband could be shot and killed leaving my baby without a father. 2011 is when I started taking it personally.

Every time I packed lunch for my little one to take to school I would lay down a prayer that my baby and every baby child would be protected from a bullet, that today would not be a day a mass shooter came to a school, a place of worship, a place of work, or a place of fun. Now that I no longer make his lunch I pray that prayer every morning.

And because my babies are beautiful, blond-haired, blue-eyed, boys, I also pray that they are never the ones holding a gun aimed at someone else’s baby – because the statistics indicate that my boys fall into the category of the ones most likely to commit a mass shooting as well as most likely to commit suicide with a gun.

I don’t go into politics in my work or my writing. I remember sitting in hard-backed pews at the Baptist church and resenting the hell out of a preacher who had the audacity to tell me who to vote for. Dressing up that unique kind of tyranny in the “New Age” trappings of incense and crystals don’t make me feel any better. I believe our founders knew what they were about when they separated church and state.

However, for better or for worse, I am a spiritual teacher and writer and as such, I have a community of people who look to me for moral guidance. When the bullets start to fly I am asked to give words of comfort, clarity, and wisdom. To be clear: this is a task that I in no way feel adequate to, but it is also one that has been laid on my shoulders by nature of my work. So this is what I say: Tribe is Tribe.

And the killings and the killers are part of our tribe. There are many people in our tribe who are ill, who are hurting, and who are sick, but at the end of the day, all that really means is that our whole tribe is hurting, is ill, and is sick. Any remedy that further separates us from each other is no remedy at all and any attempt to bring some of the tribe together while leaving others out in the cold has failed before it even begins.

In 2011 I joined a special club, a tribe within a tribe, of parents who send their children to school every day praying that today won’t be the day that their child’s classroom door bursts open and guns begin shooting. We pray that today won’t be the day our babies are shot, today won’t be the day our babies are killed.

But this is not just my club, my tribe, or my problem. Tribe is tribe. This is everyone’s problem. The fact that bulletproof backpack sales have gone up 300% before the 2019-2020 school year begins is not my problem or the problem of my other parent friends, it is also my Republican uncle’s problem, my Progressive mother-in-law’s problem, and it is your problem too. Because tribe is tribe.

Every baby that dies and every person who thinks they can solve their problems with a gun pointed at someone else is everyone’s problem, the only way to address it is together, most especially together with the very ones you don’t want to deal with. You know, the difficult members of the tribe who look different and talk different, the ones that make you uncomfortable, the ones you’d rather not talk to.

You know Miracles, the inverse is also true. If one person commits to healing, to betterment, to living a life of integrity and justice and kindness then the tribe as a whole is blessed by that too. One of my favorite stories to illustrate this comes from the Jewish tradition.

It is the tale of the Tzadikim-Nistarim – the hidden righteous ones. They are 13 people who, through consistent right action, uphold the entire world and make life possible for all. My favorite part of this story is that these righteous ones are hidden even from themselves.

Meaning that it could be you, it could be me, it could be any of us. Because what one of us does touches all of us. Because tribe is tribe. And because there is nowhere else to go, nowhere else to be, but right here, with everyone else.

Here is a version of the prayer that I pray over my babies on a daily basis, feel free to work with it in your own life if it speaks to you.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol. 7: Refusing to Bounce Back

Lunar Letter

M

iracles,

Blessed and beautiful New Moon in va-va-voom Virgo! Here is a blessing I wrote for the occasion. It honors our hands – literal, metaphorical, and everything in between. Y’all know I love Virgos – my momma and my BFF are both Virgos and my Venus is in Virgo – so yes, planners, labels, and the Container Store are all catnip to me.

I sat down to write this letter and could not believe that a month has passed since sending a missive out to you all. So much happens for families with school age children those last weeks of August and first weeks of September.We have to get ready for BACK TO SCHOOL with the parent meetings and the parent-teacher meetings, and the parent-teacher-child meetings. I always do a blessing for J whenever he heads back to the classroom and this year I incorporated this delightful oil into the ceremony. I am happy to report on behalf of my precious one that “First grade is awesome, I love it.”

On a more somber note, I have heard from so many of you over the course of the year that you would like to have some instructions or how-to on creating a ritual to protect your school age children in this crazy time when the simple act of going to school can feel so very unsafe. I hear the requests. I see the need. I am on it. When I have it finished, I will make it available here and obviously it will be free.

Amid all of the back to school action, Heath, turned two months and soon he will be three months old – I can hardly believe it, y’all. He is already starting to teethe, which is crazy to my mind, but there you go. He talks and smiles and is ridiculously cute, fun, and cuddly. He teaches me every day, reminding me to be fully present right here and right now.

One of his greatest teachings to me is how to be flexible. For instance, I have a daily journaling practice that I am committed to. Usually I journal first thing in the morning, but for the past few weeks that wasn’t working so well because the morning time is busy with getting J ready for school and then taking care of Heath and all of our creatures. By the time I got to the journaling part, I felt like I had no time, so my entries were rushed and crammed. I decided to switch it up and the relief I felt (and the expansiveness of the entries) was immediate. Babies teach you to pay attention to where you are and to calibrate and re-calibrate as much as you need to: assume nothing!

In the midst of life happening with the boys, two other amazing things happened. Spinning Gold was launched and I am stunned yet again at the gorgeous community of souls that has gathered around this work of my heart. One of my alumni students told me that this course and the practices in it are her spiritual anchors – how humbled I was to hear that! Another, new student, told me a story about how she had wanted to take this course four years ago when I first offered it and every year was not the right time, and finally, finally, this year WAS. I love stories like that. (If you are interested btw, you can still register here as I always do a soft close for this program).

We also just launched the 2019 Book of Hours – yes, because some of us really do start planning for next year in the fine month of September, and I created the Astro RX 2019 page where you can find a bunch of essential astro dates and the questions to consider during them.

And in the middle of all of that, I finished my work for my book! Yes!!! I am happy to announce that Making Magic has come through her micro-editing process and is now off to the copy editors. My editor Amy has been just a joy to work with. I feel very blessed on this count because I have heard many HORROR stories about editors and writers and book editing and that has not been my experience at all.

We authors are the ones with our names on the book cover, but believe me, a book is just like a child in the sense that it truly does take a village. Making Magic has been touched by so many gracious and gentle hands and I am deeply grateful for it. (Psst: to see some of Amy’s brilliant editing in play check out this wonderful book by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann).

Because we are running ahead of schedule with my book, I will get the copy-edited version to review in the last days of October which strikes me as perfect timing given the fact that it will be deep Ancestor season and so my Beloved Dead can assist me with the copy-editing process by looking over my shoulder (hopefully in approval!) Even more kismet – the day the book actually goes to print will be on my husband’s birthday, and believe when when I say that there would be no book without his editorial hawkishness, brilliant mind, and deeply loving heart.

Now that my book has gone off to its next layer of polishing, and I have survived the Back to School craze as well as the re-entry after being away from Texas for a month, I am settling back into my routine. I started spinning again (you know, the crazy exercise routine on a stationary bike) which felt SO good after being away for basically 5 months. My goal the first day was just to stay on the bike because it had been awhile and giving birth is a transformative experience for our physical bodies. I would not say that I have experienced it as physically traumatic (although I know many women do) but  definitely physically altering.

There is so much pressure to “bounce back”, by which people usually mean, fit into your old, pre-pregnancy pair of jeans. This, to my way of thinking, is nuts. It reminds me of what I tell clients who are seeking out magical help to heal a broken relationship. In many cases reconciliation CAN happen, but you aren’t going to go back to the relationship you had before – that’s done with. Having a child is the same. You may be able to fit into those pre-pregnancy jeans and you may not; but even if you can, it doesn’t mean for a second that you have “returned to normal” – as if being pregnant isn’t normal and staying the same jean size your whole life is…seriously, who comes up with these ideas?

The pressure to “bounce back” is not limited to pregnancy and birth by the way. I have had women tell me they heard it from friends and family after undergoing major surgeries, in some cases losing their ability to have children, losing a job or partner, or experiencing some other kind of deep grief. I don’t hear it from my male clients and students at all. Instead I hear from them that they are not allowed to show any change of vulnerability in the first place – in other words, they don’t need to “bounce back” because they are never to be knocked off track in the first place. So here is your PSA if you are dealing with any change, any grief, any hard time: You are not made of teflon, you are flesh, blood, bone, and breath. You are not made to bounce, period. (Unless you are in a trampoline in which case, bounce away friends). Refuse to bounce back – it is a revolutionary stance!

So, now that I am back into the new/old/new routine I also have time to start writing again! I had this moment earlier in the week when I remembered: I am a writer. Which means my work is to write. Which means I need to schedule time in my work day, everyday, to write. I know that probably sounds pretty obvious, but when you have a thriving Sacred Arts business as I do, two little children, a bevy of beautiful students, and you also make magic on behalf of yourself and others – fitting in something else can be tricky. Realizing that writing is an essential (and growing) part of my daily work was the shift in perspective that needed to occur. And it allows me to leave you with a teaser that I’ll be sharing some thoughts on the witch trend that is happening right now as well as the power of discomfort.

I also have plans to be more present at Canto – I have several product reviews I want to share with you all, and I am opening up the comments there so that all of you have a place to express yourselves and ask questions that is not owned by some technocratic monopoly. In fact, if you want to comment on this letter you can do so right here.

In the meantime I am reading this and this and enjoying both of them very much, and I just finished this and it was delightful.

Much love and Happy New Moon magic-making!

What are you refusing to bounce back from?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Magical Missives: A Ceremony for Healing

Alchemy and Magic

M

iracles,

When I asked my Sacred Artists community earlier this week what magic they were really yearning for right now the answer was clear: healing.

Healing of course takes many different forms. There is healing of the body and then there is healing of the heart. There is healing that occurs internally, healing that is external, and healing that is both.

In fact, sometimes when we start thinking about healing we become confused about what the term even means. One answer lies in the sister words that are linguistically related to the word “heal”; when we look at the words root we realize that to “heal” is to become whole and holy once more. Another way to look at healing is this: to heal is to be strong enough to remain tender.

Much magic is devoted to healing. In fact, magic and medicine are sister arts that grew up together, each study informing the other.

Faerie and so-called witch doctors, cunning men and women, root workers, shamans, and sorcerers all were called upon to assist in healing on all levels and many had prodigious skill.

On the flip side, not that long ago, doctors, midwives, and those with medical gifts were regarded as suspicious, eerie, and uncanny for their abilities to mend bones and soothe troubled minds. Once upon a time, not so very far from our time here and now, the serious practice of medicine – especially when taken up by women – was seen as just another form of heresy.

And in a way this makes sense, for healing, when done correctly IS radical. When we heal for real, we heal deeply, the medicine goes all the way down to the root.

So for those of you who are in need of healing of any kind; who are looking for the ways to continue to be strong AND soft in what can feel like an ever-hardening world, here is a ceremony just for you. It is a specific form of a spiritual bath. For more on spiritual bathing and spiritual cleansing, please see this very comprehensive article.

What you will need:

A quiet place where you can bathe undisturbed – it may be a shower, bathtub, or natural body of water.

Answers to the following questions:
What am I ready to wash away?
What am I ready to restore?

Kosher salt/Sea salt
Rose Water or Orange Flower Water (I recommend culinary grade waters used in cooking and drink mixes, usually you can find them at a good, higher-end grocery store. Rosewater is used in Indian, Middle Eastern, Persian, and some African cuisines so you might also be able to find it in the “ethnic” or “exotic” food aisles).
Water to drink
Honey or the sweetener of your choice
Clean clothes to put on after you bathe
Any other ritual items you might desire, like candles, incense, or a talisman

Ceremony:
Make the potion: On the day that you decide to take your healing bath or the day before, prepare a bottle of water to drink after the bathing ceremony is completed by adding a splash of rosewater or orange flower water and some honey/sweetener of your choice. This is a potion that you will drink AFTER you take your spiritual bath.

Make sure that your clean clothes are accessible to you after you bathe.
Cultivate Calmness

Take a moment to become aware of and connect to the earth beneath your feet, as you do so, breathe in the deep, green, energy of the earth and breathe out in gratitude – thank you.

Take a moment to become aware of and connect to the celestial skies above your head, as you do so, breathe in the high, bright, energy of the stars and breathe out in gratitude – thank you.

Take a third moment to become aware of and connected to your physical body and all that it does for you and breathe our in gratitude – thank you.

Cupping the salt in your hand, breathe over it and then state out loud what you are ready to wash away.

Bathe yourself and use the salt to scrub your body gently in long strokes starting at the neck and shoulders and then going all the way down your body (do not scrub back and forth, rather continue the stroked starting near the top of your body and then moving them down towards your feet.

Take a moment to really address your feet, starting at the ankle and then with the salt scrubbing down to the toes.Once you have finished bathing, say out loud the things you have washed away like this:

“Thank you water for removing my sadness, may it be carried forward by your depths and transformed into something that is of good use.“
Follow this style for every thing you wish to wash away.
Once you have finished, come out of your water and allow yourself to air dry naturally.
Put on your clean clothes.
Then, taking your bottle of potion, breathe over it and say out loud what you are ready to restore.
Drink it down and once you have done so affirm, it is done.

Final act:
Healing is, in most cases, a gradual experience and one that often occurs in phases. Be patient and also track your progress. Spiritual bathing is an act that can be repeated several times a month or every single time you take a bath.

For those who are interested in internal healing and cleansing, there is no better first step than to drink more water. Simple and effective as much good magic usually is.

The above image is one of many gorgeous artworks created by Brian Froud. Learn more about his work with faeries here and here.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

When Hope has Left: Practical Medicines for Challenging Times

Ceremony and Ritual

A

s I have been talking to some of the soulful seekers in my community over the past month I have observed a pattern. The election, the year, the last five, or ten years, the wars, the injustices…it has all just become too much to bear.

So they have become, in their own words: paralyzed, unable to move, lazy, unproductive, not writing, not talking, not making love, music, or beauty of any kind, apathetic, numbed out, and hopeless.

Some people actively advise that we give up hope in the face of it all, understanding (incorrectly) hope to be a frail and passive thing, a kind of butterfly with broken wings.

In reality, hope is related to another word, the funny word “hop”. Hop, yes, just like a bunny rabbit through a springtime field.

No thank you, we say, the days of rabbits and springtime fields are long over.

Except we know better.

We know that life and death are in an eternal dance with each other, we know that rabbits are ancient creatures long honored not only for fertility and gentleness but also for their ability to guide the dead in the underworld and turn into magical women running free under the full moon.

This is the stuff of hope and there is nothing passive, fragile, or boring about it. Don’t give it up. Instead, call your deepest strength back and restore it.

I have written about the importance of keeping your tenderness alive during times that seem to call for only the hard and tough, and I have written too about the ever-unbroken deepest part of your self. Today I want to share with you the very practical medicines I have been encouraging my community members to apply to themselves whenever they find that hope has left and they are in a state of being turned to stone because they looked at the monster a bit too long. People are seeing results with them, and it is my expectation that you will too.

1.    Limit your exposure. If it is possible for you to get away from a situation, person, or place that saps you of vitality and strength then please do. If it is not possible then exercise extra sharp discernment about the quality of information you are receiving, the mediums through which you receive your information, and the amount of time during each day that you spend with this information. When we are called to be in witness of something hard we do not turn away, but we also do not let it take over the entirety of our lives, we cannot if we wish to bring blessing and healing back. Practically speaking limiting your exposure means gauging how much time and energy you spend on social media networks and in conversations (virtual and otherwise) that do not have a definite goal or end point.

2.    Rest and nourish your body. Ask any doctor, First Responder, or therapist. When we witness an event or a series of events that are traumatic we enter with a surge of adrenaline, then we often freeze, and from that point life slowly seeps out of us. The way out is most often not force or brute will, it is rest. Let yourself rest. Drink more water and less coffee, eat clean food. Soulful seekers need to realize that when they take in images, stories, information they take it in not just intellectually or emotionally, they take it in energetically and managing that energy tuckers you out. Lay your head down and let yourself cry some good tears. Your well has been emptied out and this is the first step to filling it back up again.

3.    Get oriented. In Spinning Gold I teach a ritual called the North Star rite. Everyone creates their own and everyone has a different one; but the one thing we all agree to is that this is the thing we do every single day, sometimes several times a day, to orient ourselves anew. Just as the North Star is a fixed point called upon for navigation, the ritual you choose is a fixed point that reminds you: this is who you are, this is where you stand, this is what (and who) you stand for; it roots you in your sovereignty. The North Star rite is something my students practice at least once a day, but when recovering from trauma or when knee-deep in it, the North Star rite is something you can do several times a day, calling yourself back to yourself morning, noon, and night.

4.    Stand in beauty. Once you have regained a sense of self and orientation it is time to fill the well back up. The best way I know is through beauty. Traumatic events happen and the winds of Fortune will blow this way and then the opposite direction. In orienting yourself you fix yourself to the immovable point in the spoke of the wheel. Standing in and for beauty, you call back to mind, body, and soul that there is wonder, and vastness, and more beauty in this world that is bigger and longer lasting than whatever horror has recently visited with you. Standing in and for beauty is not saying the horror did not, is not, happening; it is saying that it did, but that it isn’t the whole of your story, not ever.

5.    Bring the blessing. I call you all Miracles for the simple reason that you are. And you can choose to bring blessings in the ways that you live and the choices that you make every single day. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously said, “In Selma, Alabama, I learned to pray with my feet.” Yes to that and also:

Pray with your life, bring the blessing by the way that you live and the work that you do. Click to Tweet

It matters more now so move the obstacles out of the way, break out of the stone and the ice, call movement and life back in, and take care of yourself so that you can do the good work that only you can do.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Blessing for the Ever-Unbroken ~ New Moon in Sagittarius

Lunar Letter

M

iracles,

On Tuesday 11/29 the New Moon dances through Sagittarius, the archer, the wounded healer, the wise teacher, the free spirit.

This is the first New Moon, or monthly new beginning, that we have had since the Presidential Election in the US. To say that emotions have been running hot and high would be a grave understatement.

And then there are the holidays, and the pressure to buy more and be more places. My son’s teacher pulled out a Gumby figure and stretched it in different directions to show how they would have to be from now until Winter break – flexible like Gumby, going with the flow, allowing their normal routine (they are five year olds) to be interrupted. When she told me that, I thought: hey, I need that lesson too! As do we all.

Join me in considering: where do I find freedom? I have one of many answers for you:

We find freedom in the ever-unbroken. Click to Tweet

Students of yoga, pilates and other rigorous exercise regimes know that what allows us to stretch out and stretch farther is developing a solid center or strong core. In the realm of soulful seeking, one of the hindrances to freedom of movement – what clouds our perception, limits our understanding of real alternatives – is a subtle and debilitating anxiety that freezes heart and mind alike.  In Spinning Gold – my class that teaches magic and the sacred arts through fairy tales and old stories – we are working with the Baba Yaga in her older-than-old first forest. What we find there is fear but/and also the deepest part of self that is solid, and that remains ever intact, whole, holy, and healthy.  What follows is a prayer for that place.

A Blessing for the Ever Un-Broken

Blessed ones in whom we live and move and have our being, today we ask for aid in remembering the ever-unbroken within us.

For we know and have heard, we have told the stories of the many sacred scars received throughout our journey and how those scars, many of them, are much more than skin-deep.

And we know and have heard about the many aspects of self and psyche; the functions and the dysfunctions, the pathologies and the anomalies too.

Let there be deeper remembering illuminated by wisdom, led by love.

Let there be deeper remembering that returns us to first self, true self, the fixed point at center around which the stars of our life revolve.

Let there be deeper remembering that returns us to core self, original self, fully intact self, where there are no marks or scars, no impressions or wounds.

Let there be deeper remembering that returns us to deepest soul self that has been and will be and holds within it all of our lineage as well as our legacy.

So that when we are hurt we can remember that there is a place over and above, underneath and beyond the wound.

So that when the wheel of fortune seems to spin faster and faster we can remember that there is a fixed and solid point upon which to stand.

So that when we feel our most broken we can remember that there is vast territory within each of us that is ever-unbroken, and that it is in that place that we make our stand and in that place that we make our home.

May it be so.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Purify, Protect, and Bless: How (and why) to make a Salt Jar

Ceremony and Ritual

T

he salt jar is a simple homemade sacred vessel, the purpose of which is to purify, protect and bless not only the spaces you inhabit, but also your aspirations and intentions. This is one of the illuminations we are working with in this month’s Spinning Gold coursework and I decided it would useful to share here as well.

Cleansing and blessing are two fundamental acts we find across the broad spectrum of the sacred arts; they are essential skills. The salt jar is a specific version of cleansing and blessing – one that is portable and that has a long history starting out (as did honey and sugar jars) as a special type of Jewish bowl blessing. Just as creating a sugar jar for yourself can bring sweetness into your life in accordance with the sympathetic magical traits associated with sugar, creating a salt jar can create an opportunity for purification, protection and blessing.

Salt is one of the oldest magical substances, entire books have been written about this ingredient alone. It has long been seen to have protective and preserving qualities and is used as a food preservative even today. Salt is also deeply associated with cleansing as the many cleansing and baptism rites calling for either the use of ocean water or water to which salt has been added attest to. The substance is understood to both remove and absorb negative influences or damage caused by the evil eye. As such it is also a blessing ingredient and I take this part quite literally, for without the right amount of salt in our bodies we would die.

A few years ago I began making salt jars on behalf of some of my clients, we have found them to be extremely effective at dealing with the following:

  • hitting a magical “reset” button for relationships that have been recently plagues by illness, fighting, distrust, or heavy stress
  • supporting and encouraging individuals who are breaking the chains of addictive behaviors, thoughts, actions, or emotions that keep holding them back
  • protecting and blessing new babies and families who have been blessed with new children
  • removing streaks of bad luck and difficult times
  • recovering from illness and/or trauma either chronic or acute in nature
  • cleansing an individual who is undergoing or about to undergo an initiatory experience
  • protecting pregnant women
  • protecting and blessing elderly family members
  • restoring peace to fraught relationships
  • to avert jealousy and ill wishes away from an individual and their family

 

Making the Jar

1. Choose a glass vessel. Vessels can be plain and simple as a little mason jar or elaborate as a colorful blown glass. If you use colors, be aware that traditional colors for this kind of work would be blue or red. Whatever you choose, keep in mind you will need to be able to shake it.

2. Salt – Kosher salt is recommended as it has been blessed.

3. Create a petition and place petition in jar. (See below for instructions)

4. Fill jar with salt, giving the jar a little space at the top.

5. Breathe into and the cap and seal the jar.

6. Hold it your hands. Bless it in whatever way you want.

 

Writing the Petition

You will need a pen and a piece of paper the size of a post-it note. Use whatever quality of paper you wish. Write your full legal name on paper three times. Turn the paper 90 degrees clockwise. Write the following over your name:

“May I be cleansed, purified and protected, today, yesterday and all of my days.” Finish by writing “Amen”, “May it be so” or “It is done”.

Fold paper, or roll it up and place in jar or bottle.

Other additions to the jar

There are some traditional ingredients that are often added to these jars and many of them live in your kitchen, they include:

  • Rue – the Greek word for this Mediterranean herb means “to be set free” and the leaves of the herb are shaped like little eyes. It has long been an additive in rites and ceremonies designed to address and remove negative influences caused by envy, jealousy, bitterness, and the “evil eye”.
  • Gold – a small bit of jewelry or even a broken gold chain will work just fine. Gold is added to a salt jar when one especially desires to protect their wealth and/or good fortune. It may also be added for salt jars made on behalf of expectant mothers or newborn children to ensure that they prosper in all ways.
  • Rosemary – another Mediterranean herb like rue, rosemary has long been associated with blessing and keeping the peace in a home and family.
  • Cloves – these pungent spices are worked with in numerous folk magic traditions to restore clarity and open the road for reconciliation in relationships that have been damaged.
  • Garlic – perhaps the best known protective herb, five single garlic cloves when tied together and placed into a bag or a salt jar are considered symbolic of the blessed “hand of Solomon” the wises man to have ever lived. Adding garlic ensures stronger protection and increased clarity and wisdom.
  • Sugar – for couples or families that are having a rough time I like suggesting that they make a combination sacred vessel working with both salt and sugar – the sugar keeps things and people sweet while the salt confers the benefits mentioned above.
  • Onion/wild onion – this is one of my personal favorite additions as it grows naturally where I live in both spring and autumn. Onions are worked with in both sweetening rites and as absorbing forces for harm and negativity.

Working with your salt jar

Like sugar jars, salt jars can be worked with in several different ways. Provided you use a vessel with a fireproof lid you can burn a candle on the top of the salt jar and pay attention to how the candle burns. You can use the jar much like you would a ritual rattle – shaking it rhythmically while singing or praying and also shaking it over people, places, or objects that are in need of cleansing, protection, and blessing.

Finally, for the plant people among my readers, you may have noticed that many of the additions I recommend are edible. You can indeed make a salt jar filled with delicious herbs like garlic and rosemary and then use it to season your foods. This has the extra step of allowing you to take the blessing of the salt jar directly into your body. NOTE: rue is NOT edible.

What I love best about the salt jar is what I love best about folk magic traditions world – over, the profoundly transformative is so often found in the every day – enjoy!

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Why do we resist rest?

Lunar Letter

D

ear Miracles, August is upon us. And I find that for many this is one of those points in the year when there are lots of decisions to be made.

Go on vacation or save money?

Get back to school supplies early and avoid the crowds or wait for the sales and better selection?

Grow our businesses, our lives, our relationships in this way or in that way?

 

How about a third option? Let yourself rest.

Truth be told, allowing ourselves to rest is easier said than done.

Filling our breathing space with empty activities happens more commonly than we care to admit. It happens almost as soon as we say to ourselves, “today I will just rest, and be, and do nothing.” As soon as those words are uttered many of us begin to scramble looking for exactly what we said we wouldn’t…something to do.

Rest, genuine revitalizing rest, is hard. Being busy and staying busy is easy, encouraged by our surrounding culture, and rewarded in a number of subtle and not so subtle ways. For many of us it actually feels good to be busy. Often it is not until we are told by our doctors that we need to reduce our “stress”, not until we find out we are good candidates for heart disease or stroke due to our frenetic lifestyle, that we pause, look around, and ask if maybe the tasty treats of busy-ness we’ve been enjoying have an edge of poison to them.

They do.

None of us get to be frenetically busy without some cost to body and soul, even, and sometimes especially, those of us who really love our work. Rest is not the same as sleep, and it is not the same as so-called passive activities like watching TV or surfing the net.

Rest is allowing for calmness, quiet, and stillness as an internal, not necessarily external state. When we rest we allow ourselves to see with our inner eyes, to hear with our inner ears, to observe and understand with our inner knowing. When we rest we create space to listen to our dreams, peer into our desires, and come to know ourselves a bit better.

Rest is especially important to those of us who are seekers, who are doing the hard work of looking into our broken places and shadows and not turning away from, but engaging directly, with what we find. It is essential to all who are interested in bringing the sacred into their daily lives, for if we are constantly exhausted, worn out, and all used up, our channels get blocked and our connection to our sources of vitality becomes polluted with so much noise and activity.

As each of you hold the many obligations, desires, and decisions that we all experience in the business of just living life, it is my hope that right now, for today, for a week, for maybe even an entire lunar cycle, you will create a little more room for real, revitalizing rest.

 

What are your favorite ways to rest?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.