Thursday, November 26, 2009

So....You're a Jew AND a Witch**???

So often I come back to this blog and wonder why I have it. I have even considered taking it down, but I won't let myself. It is my magic(k)al blog and sometimes I do not feel so magical. I struggle more often than not to find my magic. But taking down this blog, that was birthed out of a deep pain and desperate need to express myself freely, without judgment, would be admitting defeat and perhaps even a death to my magic. Even though I may struggle with finding my own inner magic, it brings me so much joy (not to mention fun). To be quite honest, my magic is also what has prevented me from becoming an atheist. Magic has very much helped me keep what little faith (if any) that I had after the bombs of a year and a half ago went off.

But truth be told, being an orthodox Jew and a witch is no easy task. And yes, I am very much in the closet, only known to my family and wise women who enter my home and know, "Ah this is a witchy house!" ::One day a friend came to visit me and noticed a broom that I have hanging on the wall right as you enter my home, and said 'wow did you know that is a powerful G-ddess broom?' HA! I smiled and said, 'Really?' I did not mention that I was the one who made it. ::

Magic has a long history in Judaism, and yes, yes, I know all the verses about witchcraft in the TaNaKH/Bible. I also know about all the wonderful spells the rabbis and kabbalists in the past have done (still do?). The golem is our own Jewish Frankenstein. How about the verse in the gemara that tells you how to discover demons? This involves a not so kind treatment of a black cat. (Mine is very safe, I assure you, I have no interest whatsoever in seeing demons... ) Regardless, there is magic in Judaism. Avraham, Moses, and many others all practiced and knew very high magic.

This is not what I do, I am a simple herbalist/garden/ kitchen/cottage/witch. All that is involved in hearth and home that is where I am and hold. No high magic or ceremonial robes for me. My apron is my robe and my home grown lavender my athame, if you will. Most everything I know is self taught and learned from books and research, which I realize is not the best option, but you have to start somewhere. I think the most wonderful thing that I have discovered is that my mother, grandmothers, were all witches in their own way**. Oh, they certainly would not have called themselves such, (well, mommy might have °Ü°) but not my grandmother. Oh no, brujeria would be very bad, but that does not explain her insistence on having my pregnant aunt cut my hair under a full moon so that it would grow. HA!!

So this is why I keep this blog and why I will write here. I need an outlet for my magical thoughts and endeavors. So what if I am in in the closet. My life remains peaceful this way and I can quietly do my craft without hurting anyone, especially me. 'Harm none', you know, includes yourself and even though I am not Wiccan, (every Wiccan is a witch but not every witch is Wiccan), this saying works right along with Hillel's, "Do not do to other's that which is hateful to you." And hurting others is not my thing, so being hurt isn't either. Listen, I figure the wise woman of past times lived in their homes on the edge of town, and folks went to them for their remedies. Everyone knew what they did but no one talked about it and everyone benefited.

**witch: I prefer to use the term "Wise Woman". Truth is, if this was back in the day most of us would have been burned, hung or whatever cruelty or form of torture done to the. Anyone, particularly females, who knew the times or herbs was suspect to witchcraft. According to Wikipedia the word witch derives from the Old English nouns wicca /ˈwɪttʃɑ/ (masc.) "sorcerer, wizard" and wicce /ˈwɪttʃe/ (fem.) "sorceress, witch". The word's further origins in Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European are unclear. The Oline etymology dictionary has this quote: "At this day it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, 'she is a witch,' or 'she is a wise woman.' " [Reginald Scot, "The Discoverie of Witchcraft," 1584]

Early Morning Medicine

I have felt quite stuck at my latest Medicine Woman lesson. The place that has me stuck, I have come to realize, is a place that I MUST overcome if I am to become who I am meant to be. It is a place that is so pertinent to my life right now and may very well help me to finally begin to discover and allow myself to truly bloom. I came to this realization upon waking up this morning. It is amazing how this 'tween time is my most inspirational. I woke up thinking about the Medicine Woman, and then my mother and then my struggle with weight gain. I began to think about when I had my last major weight loss and how at that time I realized the excessive amount of weight I had put on were because of the emotional and spiritual pain I was in. As I began to shed my protective cover, I began to realize so much of this and release it. I kept it off for several years, but with the passing of my mother, (and a few other bombs that threw me for a loop right before her loss) a year and a half ago, I began to put back on weight. Slowly at first to be sure.

I began my Medicine Woman studies soon after her passing and have found myself struggling and struggling even more with the weight. Could it be depression? Probably a big part, depression and a loss of stability. But even so, why do I struggle so at this particular lesson. This lesson is the one regarding the archetype of the medicine woman and who she really is. Who she is in me, and who I am. As my eyes physically opened today, I felt my spiritual eyes open too and my inner voice say to me, "You are eating to hide her. You are afraid of your own power and what that will mean." Oh my, could this be true? I believe it is. I believe it because I began to feel a relief as the words sank in. I also believe it because as soon as the realization began to seep into my heart, I purposed to write this blog. I got up, in spite of the fact that this is a day off of work, and made sure to journal this moment and to get to work writing it all down. That is the trick, you know, with having a spark of inspiration, you must begin to breathe life on it or it will go out as fast as it came.

So here I am. Now that I have come to this realization, what do I do with it? I believe that my physical waking up is simply a symbolic representation of my spiritually waking up. I am waking up and now that I realize I am stifling myself and realize my fears I shall be able to eat more consciously. I shall reteach myself to pause, make a blessing, and eat and drink with consciousness and purpose. I shall not be afraid of my own power and valiantly walk the path I am called to. Where that will lead, I know not, but courageous I shall endeavor to be.

The early morning mist, off the dock in Maine.