“Stepping back to a simpler life is not a step back”
I grew up in a home in the suburbs outside of Toronto. One of my favourite games to play as a child was pretending to be Pioneers. Me and my youngest sister would play in the backyard (or in the Winter months, in the basement) pretending we lived like the characters from Little House on The Prairie. Our backyard fence faced neighbouring yards and some of their gardens spilled over the fence to our place and I’d pick snap peas to use in pretend soups we’d mix in a bucket with mud and leaves; soup to keep us nourished through the harsh Winters on the Great Plains. Something about a return to simplicity always attracted me and much later in life, I’m still here, dreaming about living on a piece of land where I will grow a year-round garden of fresh produce, bake bread and wake up to birdsong.
Being a Witch came naturally and aligns with my belief that no matter where you live, a slow paced life is best for mind and heart. These are some of the ways I practice an Olde Way of life while living in a major city (for now).
Observing The Seasons: The Wheel of The Year
Observing the Wheel of The Year is a wonderful way to align oneself to the environment around us. In my practice of the Craft this means celebrating the Soltices and Equinoxes, creating altars to honour the current season and rearranging our diet to align with what our bodies need to best adapt to the weather outside.
Making My Own Home Cleaning Products and Clothing Detergent
One way to live mindfully and save money, is to make your own cleaning products (on making your own cleaning products HERE.) Our ancestors didn’t readily have shops to purchase mundane things like house cleaning supplies, they made their own with everyday ingredients found in their kitchens and pantries like vinegars and baking soda. I like knowing how to make things we use daily. I make soaps, dish soap, kitchen and bathroom cleaning sprays and detergent re-using bottles that I wash and re-fill. Skills like these are important in a time when most don’t appreciate them. What would you do if something happened and your shops were suddenly empty for a long period of time?
Daily Worship of The Gods & Meditation
I’m an Eclectic Witch and include many pieces from different belief systems in my practice. The image of Buddha brings me a sense of serenity so sitting in front of my Buddha statue, candles lit is a way I immerse myself in a daily practice. I invite the Mother Goddess and Horned God to my circle, along with the Archangels and my Father who is a spirit guide in the afterlife. Whatever your belief system is whether it be meditating or praying, a daily worship is a wonderful way to feel grounded and to start and end your day feeling the embrace of and feeling a part of something bigger than us.
The Art of Pantry-ing and Eating Seasonally
It’s difficult to eat seasonally when we so readily have any out -of -season fruit and vegetable at our disposal at the grocery store. Close to home we have an urban farm that hosts a market every week. Farmers markets are a great way to eating seasonally as you can only buy what they’re able to grow. It can be a challenge to eat seasonally but the reward is fresh food with full flavour; who wants sour strawberries in December anyway. Preserving food in the pantry allows you to extend the growing season and enjoy foods that were harvested during their prime; berries, vegetables. Tasting the sweetness of the Summer sun in ripe blackberry preserve in the middle of November while it storms outside. It’s time to begin planting the Spring Garden. Here are some veggies that are in season now and that will be the freshest at your local grocer:
Wholesome Media: Books and Movies For A Happy Mind
It seems almost impossible in this day and age to not be bombarded by violence or consumerism in the media. Turn on the TV and any show you watch is interrupted by a stream of commercials, “Influencers” on social media pushing you to consume goods you don’t really need and the opinions of new “experts” spewing their views on everything from politics to personal health choices, stating them as facts.
Call me old school but I prefer a good book any day. I keep a library at home of books that remind me to slow down, keep a peaceful home, learn to work with my hands and be less wasteful. Wholesome media isn’t hard to find, you just have to look; I promise it’s worth it if only to vacate one’s mind for a short period from the darkness surrounding the state of the world. These are some books and shows I recommend if you’re looking for simple, happy entertainment.
Movies and Shows
– Alone in the Wilderness – Dick Proeneke (documentary)
– Alaska The Last Frontier (Show on History Channel)
– The Good Witch Movies and Series (On Hallmark Channel)
– You’ve Got mail (Movie)
– The Secret Garden (1993 Movie)
– Little Woman (1994 Movie)
– A Guide to Natural Housekeeping – Christina Strutt
– Joie De Vivre – Robert Arbor
– Diary Of A Wilderness Dweller – Chris Czajkowski
My hope with this entry is to bring you a sense of peace and a desire to move slowly and live mindfully.
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