I suspect that most of us feel that we should make a lot more time in our lives for spiritual practice, chiding ourselves that we really must put aside that thirty minutes for daily meditation, or that evening for ritual, then struggling to fit it in and just being left with a feeling of guilt and failure. But this approach is a reflection of a culture that sees the spiritual and physical as separate. Traditional Pagan societies have always recognised that the spiritual and the physical are indivisible and that one is a reflection of the other. Instead of thinking of sacred practice as something we have to make a big effort to do, when we begin to recognise that the whole world is sacred, we can find the sacred in the mundane, and it in our everyday acts.
I consider my house to be a sacred place, a temple of the Gods where I live, work and worship. As I make a fire in the hearth or light a candle, I honour the living goddess of the hearth fire and her presence in my home. On the shelves beside my hearth is a shrine to my household gods, and as I clean and tidy, I think of it as honouring them. With intent, a physical cleansing can become a psychic cleansing, sweeping away negative energies. I as prepare food, I try to do it with intent – to make my body healthy, to thank Mother Earth for her bounty, and to share it with love. Each ingredient is honoured for its individual life force and its inherent physical and spiritual properties. All the vegetable peelings and scraps go on to the compost heap which will nourish my garden plants, and I think that recycling and composting are much more powerful ways of honouring Mother Earth than muttering a few words in a ritual now and again; the hearth witch not only believes that the earth is sacred, but she also treats it as such.
We can find the sacred within the physical, the magical in the mundane, and use this knowledge to incorporate spiritual practice into everyday life. When we bring our attention and intent into cooking a meal, lighting a candle, or just being aware of our feet meeting the earth as we walk, it becomes a spiritual practice and opens up a deeper reality, the great matrix of Nature connected in a unified, sacred whole. When this realisation dawns, all space becomes sacred space, all time becomes sacred time, and all acts become sacred acts.
Consider your home as a sacred place, a temple of the Gods where you worship.
As you make a fire in the hearth or light a candle, honour the living goddess of the flame and her presence in your home.
Make a shrine to your household gods, the indwelling or ancestral spirits that protect it.
As you clean and tidy your house, think of it as honouring the household gods.
With intent, a physical cleansing can become a psychic cleansing, sweeping away negative energies.
As you prepare food, do it with intent – to make your body healthy, to thank Mother Earth for her bounty, and to share it with love.
Honour each food ingredient for its individual life force and its inherent physical and spiritual properties.
When you make your morning tea or coffee, inhale the fragrance and acknowledge the gift of the beans or leaves, their growth, harvest and journey to you, and their effects on your body.
As you take your bath or shower, view it as a ritual act of purification, cleansing you physically, emotionally and spiritually, releasing all you wish to be rid of.
Follow the changing seasons and decorate your home to reflect them with seasonal plants, wreaths, statues and ornaments.
Plant a garden – this will teach you more about the magic of nature than any book, and if you can’t manage this, grow a few houseplants and herbs in pots. Don’t buy them ready grown but plant the seeds yourself.
Learn to understand how each plant grows and what it needs, and how to work with it.
Recycling and composting are much more powerful ways of honouring Mother Earth than muttering a few words in a ritual now and again. The Hearth Witch not only believes that the earth is sacred, she treats it as such.
Gather herbs and plants from the wild, season by season, and put them to use in some of the ways outlined in this book.
As you walk to work or stroll in the park, feel your feet connecting with the earth, feel it supporting you, nurturing you.
Observe the effects of the time of year and weather as you walk.
Honour the phases of the moon. Start new home and garden projects at the new moon, celebrate with friends at full moon, and do your clearing out and weeding at the waning moon.
Spinning, weaving, sewing and knitting can become extended acts of meditation or incorporate acts of magic as you weave in your intent with each stitch or thread. You can accompany them with chants.
© Anna Franklin, 2023