The other morning, I was doing some dishes at the kitchen sink. As I was washing some cups & utensils, I noticed that the offering cups on the windowsill altar needed washing out as well. The offerings had evaporated/concentrated & were on the edge of getting nasty. So, I took them down, rinsed & washed them with the everyday cups. While things air dried, I disassembled my altar, cleaned everything off, took a mental stock of whether each item was still appropriate for the altar, then reassembled my altar.
I also found myself musing over the concepts of the sacred & profane.
connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.
pro·fane~from our friends at Google and Oxford Languages…
relating or devoted to that which is not sacred or biblical; secular rather than religious.
“a talk that tackled topics both sacred and profane”
(of a person or their behavior) not respectful of orthodox religious practice; irreverent.
“desecration of the temple by profane adolescents”
As I washed the offering cups & cleaned off my windowsill & the various blessed tchotchkes from the altar, I thought about how some folks would be simply horrified that I was mixing the cleaning of my mundane dishes & my offering cups & magical/religious items. There was a time when many of the texts for new practitioners discussed the importance of maintaining the sacredness or ritual purity of one’s magical tools & ritual items. Some texts or quite full of bits of superstition or folklore presented with little context. Admittedly this can be very useful at the beginning of one’s journey into the New Aquarian Frontier as we gain understanding & perception. At a certain point however, at least to my experience & observation, practicality takes precedence as we seek to continue our Work & grow in our understanding & Practice, & our relationships with the many Holy Powers of the world.
I found myself musing over how we live in an over-culture strongly influenced by Monotheism & an accompanying This or That dualism. Actions, entities, & ideologies that are seen as either Good or Evil, Right or Wrong, Either/Or. At the same time many of the philosophies & practices within Witchcraft, Paganism, & Occultism can lead one to a pluralistic both/and framework for life & reality. I found myself contemplating the metaphor of The Crooked Path and how the simplistic either/or world of childhood & of the early days of my practice as a Witch have given way to a more complex understanding of myself and of my world that encompasses a lot more both/and understandings of myself and my world.
When I make my offerings, it is admittedly sometimes it is a simple pour & a few “Hail to The Holy Powers” maybe some incense and a few moments contemplation then off to the races of my day. At other times it is much more formal. Raising the empty offering cup high, slowly lowering it as I speak my prayers of welcome, of invitation into my rites & works & life, of offerings, of prayers of gratitude, & in the cases of the Dead & the Spirits of healthy boundaries. In these formal times I am inviting the Holy Powers into my life, my every day…
Honestly, I am STILL contemplating these ideas, stirred in a moment of practicality, of self-care, & of devotion. I am not sure if I would say there is no such thing as the profane, that everything is sacred; I might say that everything partakes of the sacred? That in my life & Craft I seek to celebrate what a dear friend liked to refer to as The All That Is.
For the moment though I am not sure what else to say about this moment of kitchen sink gnosis, except to wish you all…
Bliss & Blessed Be,
Pax / Geoffrey