As I've blogged about before, I live a busy life and one of the challenges that I face is how to live as a Witch in this world, this modern one, this one full of conference calls, deadlines for briefs, emails to answer, investment accounts to manage, a home and garden to attend. One of the things that I often find myself missing is time for what I think of as the "routine duties of a priestess," -- time to grind incense, oil candles, harvest herbs, make smudge sticks.
This week, having met a major deadline at work, I'm taking a some time off to stay at home and get things in order before the "next big push." Back in March, when the unheard-of February snowstorms melted, I cut back an armload of dead branches from the German Mountain Sage and the French Thyme in the herb bed. And those dried-out branches have been sitting on my altar, ever since, waiting for me to turn them into smudge sticks.
I use smudge sticks a lot in my workings, often using them to smudge the boundaries of my property, the edges of my home, the liminal space between where things are stuck and where they can change. And, so today, I sat down to make smudge sticks, just like any old hedge witch, minor crone, witch of "this" place. It felt so good.
I love the homonym of "thyme" and "time" and use smudge sticks of thyme when I need to move between time. Sage is the more traditional, more grounded, use of smudge, although smudge is v much an element of Air. I use cotton embroidery thread, which burns well, in colors that represent Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. I ground, cast a circle, enter sacred space, bind the herbs, and call upon the Goddesses to make my intention manifest.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."