Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G: Green Witch, well what the heck is it?

What's a Green Witch? What's a Grey Witch? Or Kitchen Witch or Cottage Witch? There are so many different types of Witches out there and some are so similar that's it's easy to get confused. Worse, there are a lot of differing opinions about what this type is or that type. A lot of the time I feel that we are limited in books and even when it comes to the Internet for even as much information as there is out there, there is twice as much confusion, and frankly, crap. Being that I am still searching for answers myself, since I still consider myself fairly new to being a Witch (a journey that isn't traveled and won overnight, and I am still narrowing down which path I feel matches me), I can only do my best in wading through the information like everyone else and finding the consistencies.

So, what is a Green Witch? Everything or everyone I have read can agree that a Green Witch is a witch who practices and or specializes in earth/nature based magic. Okay, so what does that mean? It means that Green Witches acknowledge magic and use it with the natural forces of our world to accomplish a goal. They do blessings, healings, and protection spells/wards and are generally pretty knowledgeable in herbalism. They draw on folklore and folk magic of the ancient cultures while connecting to world or forests. They generally grow their own herbs and consult plants, trees, flowers, and herbs for their medicinal and magical values. Depending on the Witch, belief in deities varies and many Green Witches acknowledge an earth mother or a series of nature spirits. Some times the Fae or the dead -the human and animal variety- will play a part in their traditions as well. Which ever, they meet the spirits or gods with mutual respect and equality.

A Green Witch doesn't fear nature or the woods and finds a sense of connectivity and belonging with the earth and universe. You can often find them in the fields or forests. Some will even leave their urban homes to find a comfortable place in nature or sometimes a they can find places in the park.

Someone I read wrote that the tools of a Green Witch are often home made. Well, I think that goes for more than just Green Witches. I have seen a lot of people make their own tools. Some would even say that it is better to make your own, you're putting your own energy into it.

Green Witches and Kitchen Witches are similar for all intents and purposes. However, Kitchen Witchery, as I understand it, seems almost entirely centered in the kitchen, hearth, and home from cooking, to herbal teas and remedies, wards, healings and protections and so forth where as Green Witchery is a lot of the same but is more out in nature rather than inside. I could argue that you could do anything in the kitchen outside but perhaps I am wrong.

Urban Dictionary

Green Witch

What Witchcraft is: Green Witch

Sunday, April 6, 2014

F: Familiars: Friends, companions, what they mean for me

A ruffled Yoda (my familiar) in the snow
 I have been having so much trouble writing this particular post. So, I think instead of giving you the history of familiars and what is popular thought or opinion, I will just give you what a familiar means to me. At the bottom, as I usually try to do, I've included a couple of links where you can see for yourself and so forth, and you are more than welcome to go do so. Both links have similar and differing opinions. 

For me a familiar is a friend, a companion, and a member of the family, and in some special cases even a soul mate. Not in the sense of lovers mind you, but in every way apart from that. 

When I was a little girl I had a cat named Cesar. He was my everything. I used to play under the kitchen table and sometimes smack my head and he'd be upstairs in my bedroom. The funny thing was, Cesar would beat my Mom, who was often in the living room, to the kitchen when I'd cry. Sometimes, Cesar was the only friend I had, and he was best. 

One day my Aunt called and told us that her cat had kittens. My Mom wanted one, Dad said no. You should have seen the way she managed to get one, it was fantastic! We came home with a
Yoda sleeping on my pillow/face
little ball of fur named Yoda (Dad named him that because when he got sleepy his ears drooped and his face scrunched up like Master Yoda from Starwars). Cesar kind of became Papa kitty to him. But not too long after that, Cesar fell ill. 

My parents took Cesar and our other cat, Pandora, to the vet on the same day. Cesar had a UTI and had already undergone surgery, our vet didn't think he'd survive another, and he wasn't getting better. Pandora was very old and my Dad thought she was looking for a place to die. In one day I lost my childhood friends. Yoda lost his playmates, his friends, the two older kitties who helped show him what being a cat was like. Yoda used to search the house meowing for them.

In the time after Cesar and Pandora's passing, Yoda and I spent a lot of time together. He decided that I was his and he was mine. We've played together, he's teased me with naps while I've tried to do homework, and he's kicked me off my pillow despite the fact that he has his own. If that isn't enough, he likes to sleep on me, or rather, he sleeps on my head and face.  

Taken with my crappy phone, Yoda resting on my chest.
He talks to me, tells me when it's time to go to bed, when it's time to eat (he's kind of bossy). I'm serious, we have full conversations. He's even chewed me out, mostly because I'm teasing him or if I have been gone too long. Yoda doesn't like it when I stay the night at a friend's house for one night much less more. (When my girlfriend and I were getting ready to take a trip to Seattle, Yoda sat on my desk and meowed at a wall sculpture we have of Herne. I don't know what he was telling Herne but he didn't sound very happy.) He also calls for me if I am in another room and he wants me to come see him. 

Through all of the silly antics, the bossiness, him stealing my pillow, my seat when I get up, bothering me while I've done homework, the licking of my eyelids to wake me up in the morning; Yoda has always been here for me. He knows when I am sad, when I am hurting, and when everything is fine or I am happy. He's let me know when someone isn't right or when someone was a bad dude. He's seen me at my worst and given me so much comfort and I've done the same in return. (He recently became really sick and we learned that not only can cats get diabetes, he's developed it. It was all those treats he so cutely conned me out of.) He is always near me and more and more, as he gets older and a little more frail, I find myself sticking a little closer to home to be here for him. 

I know one day he's going pass on. As much as it hurts, as much as I know it will feel like I'll be
Yoda and his pretty blue eyes
losing a huge piece of myself, my life, I know it's the way of things. 

Yoda embodies everything that I feel makes a true familiar. He is not a tool for me to use or draw from. He is not my servant. He is family, my friend, my little furry soul mate, and I love him so very much. But when it comes to my magical workings and practices, he is always welcome but not required or expected. For me it seems a crime to take that which isn't given freely or to make someone an unwilling participant or servant.     

What is an Animal Familiar

What is an Animal Familiar- about.com