A few Rambling Thoughts upon the Arts of Witchcraft and Cooking


If I were being traditional in writing a blog post involving food and a recipe, I would start 80 something years ago with my father’s childhood on the Oregon coast and work my way forwards through time and primary characters and points of view and then only after roughly 180 pages of text and ads THEN finish with the recipe and a couple of lines of instructions.  I hope you will not be offended if I get the food & recipe out of the way early and then get into the body, or perhaps I should say meat, of our brief discussion?

My bear and I are in the habit lately of starting our days with a few strong cups of coffee and perhaps some snack.  Then later in the day, we have the sudden shocking realization that man does not live by snack and dehydration juice alone! 

(Many thanks to Mr Devin Hunter for that delightful term for ones caffeinated morning beverage of choice…)

Last week there was exactly such a day and late in the afternoon I realized I was hangry.  I checked in with the fabulous Jonathan, and he was much the same.  I poked around the fridge, freezer, and pantry and came up with the following…

Sausage & Onions #1
2 fresh Onions, slivered.
1pkg frozen Three Peppers blend, thawed.
4 generous pats of Irish Butter.
A dash of Adobo Seasoning.
2 Turkey Kielbasas, sliced.


  1. Take the Onions, peel them, cut them in half, then cut each of the halves into thin crescent shaped slivers.  Add to a pan over medium to high heat with some butter.
  2. Quick thaw the frozen 3 peppers blend, in the package, under some hot water.  Then drain excess liquid and add to the pan.
  3. Stir this mixture occasionally as it simmers, add a few dashes of Adobo seasoning.  PRO-TIP: oftentimes in listings of ingredients the first ingredient listed is the one that forms the majority of the product in question… Adobo brand seasoning lists Salt as it’s first and likely primary ingredient, so given we both have High Blood Pressure and are on meds for such, I tried for a light hand with the seasoning.  Especially as the meat for the kielbasa, like many sausages, has a good amount of salt and other seasonings in it already.
  4. While the mixture simmers, slice the kielbasa.
  5. Once the onions are softened but not yet translucent and the liquid has simmered down a little, add the kielbasa.
  6. Simmer a few more minutes until the kielbasa slices plump a little bit and the onions are fully translucent, then serve and enjoy!

If I had it to do over again, I might start by frying up the heat and serve kielbasa to brown the slices a bit and bring some of the meat juices into the mix from the start.  But it was delicious regardless of aesthetics.  As the mixture was simmering, I started thinking about the similarities between cooking and Witchcraft and how one’s journey within each of these arts is quite similar.

In both cases your learning starts with recipes and (hopefully) detailed instructions.  As you practice you start learning more in depth about the different techniques and ingredients that contribute to a successful outcome.  Each of these arts takes time to learn, and practice, and perseverance, and a willingness to mess up spectacularly at some point in your journey from newbie to proficiency or even expertise.  Witchcraft is more like regular cooking you can pull together a good meal, like the one I mention above, with a few simple techniques and whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Ceremonial Magick on the other hand, is a bit more like baking.  In baking you need very specific measurements and need to be very careful with the balance of your ingredients and process or you may craft a total mess rather than a delightful treat.

Another similarity I have noticed is that folks are often in a rush when they are starting to learn either Witchcraft or Cooking.  Everyone wants to start by making an amazing soup or stew, or some big Holiday meal worthy dish when the most they have done before is maybe making Ramen.  Which is where recipes and recipe books come in.  You start with some recipes and detailed notes or examples of various techniques and what herbs or seasonings add to a dish and even what flavors go well with one another.

Now in our extended, but hopefully not tortured, metaphor you may think that spells are a one for one substitution for recipes in our narrative.  They are not.  The thing is part of the ingredients that go into successful magick include things like particular ideas or cosmological concepts or symbols or references or specific phrases or words with purpose or meaning, most especially magick involves using one’s mind and emotions and the imagery and imagination.  This is part of why Witches and Pagans are often referred to as People of the Library.

Now don’t let the word Library fool you!

In our time, ones Library can include Books, TV shows and Movies, Music, Youtube playlists, saved images on Instagram, bookmarked Tweets, favorited Tiktoks, Podcasts, and online links and resources of all sorts.  Also do not think that all these need to relate specifically to Occultism or Paganism or Witchcraft.  We end up in our Craft journeys researching poetry and history and science and so many topics that interweave with our Craft and our relationships with the Holy Dead, the Holy Spirits, and the Holy Gods.

I am not sure what else to say except dinner that night was quite delicious.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this exercise in metaphor and rambling and let me know your thoughts in the comments?

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

Little Witchcrafts Everywhere All The Time


My own practice has been moving in the direction of lots of little bits of ritual and magick and connection all through out the day for a while now. (as mentioned previously here and here….)

In a delightful moment of synchronicity or perhaps a cledon, this was highlighted for me by Storm Faerywolf‘s recent column over at The Wild Hunt Blog. His column, Bite Sized Witchcraft, details ways of deepening ones practice by engaging in ones magickal and spiritual/religious practices on the daily, interspersing these throughout other activities and by interweaving magick and practice with ones daily routines and chores and such.

Now in his article Storm mentions the idea of scheduling specific times or moments for ones Witchcraft. While this is a good idea, as one blessed with the challenge of ADHD, this can sometimes end up derailing me… If I don’t have time one morning to do my grounding and centering or devotional work for example, I can spiral into shame and doubt quickly. For me at least

So lately I have been getting back into working on the latest edition of my grimoire, a slow process interrupted by demands from work and my ADHD, but a process I am finally engaging with in what I hope is a sustainable manner. I am working on a section about Grounding, fine-tuning the wording before moving to sections on Centering and then a section on work with my Chakra’s (1) before moving into lore and notes and spells. As part of working on this section on grounding, I have been trying to do it more often and both partake in and observe the process. Trying to find the right balance between the two and also the right balance in the wording and writing between enough for me to me moved and inspired by this section of my grimoire relating to things I do regularly (when I am on my path and not distracted from it) while also detailing the practice enough to be a signpost for others should I be called to teach another in the future.

One of the things that has been highlighted for me has been the way in which grounding and bite-sized bits of magick and practice help to keep one grounded and centered in ones Craft practices.

Last night, for example, I was having trouble getting to sleep and my brain was turning many worries over and over into woes. Finally I quietly got out of bed and slipped into my pajamas and went to the kitchen. I made a cup of hot chocolate, turned on New World Witchery podcast. I set my phone down, lit a stick of Dragon’s Blood incense as an offering/opening and then did some dishes as a devotional act and to work out some of my nervous energy. This devotional chores approach has lately been one of the ways I incorporate time with The Holy Powers into my regular routine; while also doing a sort of body doubling technique that helps manage my ADHD to let me get things done that I need to do.

Another example is from earlier this morning. I was waiting in line at the bank to deposit a check. I was also feeling unsettled and a bit out of sorts. I took a breath, and quietly Grounded, and Centered, and breathed energy up through my Chakras, ending with a few silent repetitions of the phrase/charm that I use in my Calling the Crossroads rite.

What about your path? Are you a daily, regular, scheduled practices kind of Witch or Pagan? Or do you dance with the inspiration and needs of the moment? Or is it a mix?

Bliss and Blessed Be,



As I start to write this, the scent of an offering of Dragons Blood incense wafts through the house.  My family is safe and well, or at least as well as we were before the storm, and our home is mostly intact.  My larger family of choice are also safe and at least as sound as they were before the storm for this and for many other things, I am grateful.

Living in Florida means that one of the necessary observances on my own personal Wheel of The Year is Hurricane Season.  Traditionally observed from June 1st through November 30th, although climate change may end up playing with these boundaries, Hurricane Season is the period when weather conditions are most favorable to the development of Tornadoes, Tropical Storms, and Hurricanes.   I remember years ago before moving to Florida when I would mention my impending move many people responded with some variation of “But they have Hurricanes and alligators?!” I would have to chuckle as I, until the move a life-long Alaskan, responded with a cheerful “Yes, but we have earthquakes and grizzly bears?!”

On one level to live in Florida is to try always being low-key prepared.  We are lucky to live near the center of the peninsula, 50 to 80 miles inland depending on the coast in question, so even when a storm is likely to impact Orlando it will usually have downgraded several degrees by the time it reaches us.  Even so, I have plenty of emergency medical supplies set aside, our pantry is well stocked with several shelf stable items, we have a camp stove and pop-up and a variety of camping supplies in case of extended power outages.

We are almost too well informed thanks to the efforts of many local news sources who cover the weather in state and out to the Gulf and the Caribbean and the Tropics and Atlantic.  Having grown up in the earthquake country of Alaska, I sometimes find the breathless disaster foreplay style of storm coverage a bit fear inducing rather than informative.  I have found, however, that if you dig into the County-by-County impacts and review the City and County advisories it can help allay panic when EVERY BIT of news coverage of an approaching storm invokes the word “catastrophic”.

Somehow this year though things were off my personal radar.  Luckily, I had a couple days off before the storm and was able to do some much-needed running around for bottled water and other items to prepare as best I could.

I worked the evening Ian made landfall; the motel was full of a mix of regular guests and refugees from the Coast.  Rooms had been set aside for employees to have available for a few days, not an uncommon practice in the hotel industry, not only as a kindness to the employees but this helps ensure the hotel (if it Is not under an evacuation order) has staff on site to remain operational.

The rains and winds came in waves as the storm bands slowly swirled by above us.  I got off around 11pm and made ready to drive home.  Jon and I had opted to ride out the storm at the house, it was projected to be down to a Tropical Storm by the time it was passing over Orlando and since his stroke my darling is even more of a homebody than ever!   I drove home in wind and rain, through some epic puddles at some points.  The radio informed me that Ian had downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane and then as I was listening, a Category 1, winds were down to 70 to 80 mph gusts and heavy steady rains as the storm slowly flowed over Orlando and Central Florida.  There were a couple of points where I got worried the car might swamp out in deeper water, but I made it through and got home safe, something was dragging under the car, but at that point I was more concerned with getting inside and I could investigate that in the morning.  I checked in with Jonathan and double checked our supplies.

Then as now I lit some Dragons blood incense sticks.  I poured some liqueurs and wines into the offering cups of the Dead and the Spirits and the Gods.  I spoke some simple and very heartfelt prayers for protection and safety in the face of elemental fury.  I stood at my kitchen sink and before my windowsill altar listening to the rushing winds and the persistent misting rain.  The power was still on, but for the moment I was more focused on the flickering of a candles flame and the scent of incense, the sensation of the ground beneath my feet and the calming of my breath and heartbeat, a mingled sense of fear and hope, a mingled sense of empowerment and surrender.

Close up photo of a windowsill above a kitchen sink.  A Candle and a bottle in the center, flanked on either side by a total of four cups filled with wne.  A forked stick, a key, a winescrew, a feather, and a bowl of dirt with a partialy burnt stick of paolo santo wood and the remnants of an incense stick.
The Altar the next day

We went to bed early for us that night.  The emergency alert system notifications blared from our phones a few times in the night, flash flooding warnings in Orlando, but we were both exhausted and there was a hurricane going on.

I woke up in the morning and the power was still on.  I started some coffee checked around the house.  We had had a roof/window leak in one room, not overwhelming but water leaked in and all over the floor.  I threw down some towels and then threw them directly into the dryer as we were going to need to sop up more water and I had used all the towels already.  I sipped my coffee and then stepped out onto my front porch for a cigarette.

A photo of Water rippling over the corner of a red concrete front porch, looking out onto a driveway and street that are flooded.  debris bumping against a car that has water just touching the bottom of the car body about half-way up the tires.
A hell of a sight to wake up to

Our street had become a River in the night, the neighborhood storm drains overwhelmed by a 1 in 1000 year rainfall event that drenched an average of 17 inches of water over Orlando.  The front porch was now a dock.  The water was to the edge of the top of the front porch, wind driven waves of it lapped over the corner of the porch as I stood there.

I texted my managers at work with pictures from my porch and apologized that I was not going to be able to make it in that night.  They understood, and once again offered us a room when we could make it there.  That was the first time I lost my composure, I took a moment to regain it and not break down sobbing over the phone with work, and thanked them and said we might be taking a few nights at the motel once we were able to make it there.

I called the non-emergency sheriff’s number to report the flooding and from their direction called the 311 number (central number for assistance and local government services) and let the operator know and she promised that emergency work crews would be informed.  She urged me to call 911 if the water started getting inside the house and we needed help evacuating.  I thanked her and then did a group call with members of my friends circle and family of choice checking in on folks.  Then I double checked the house and cleaned up the minor leak from above the window in the fabulous Jonathan’s office.  I threw a bunch of wet towels directly into the dryer and put out some more.  Ran around checking the battery powered lights and kept checking the porch.  This was when the power finally decided to give out.

Trapped by flood waters, no power, no way out.  Gusts of wind and bands of rain still passing overhead.  I stood for a few moments before my altar again and crafted a second altar from a couple of gifts from a dear friend.  I took a breath and sought stability and calm.

Photo of a glass top stove with a stone sculpted and painted with yellow and purple flowers and inscribed with the word Hope.  To the right a small scented jar candle with a red label with black printing and the word "Positivity".  To the left a tall white novena candle.  Both candles lit.
Hope and Positivity, I was desperately in need of both!

Needing to do *something* with my nervous energy and fear, I swept off and cleaned up the front porch, wiped things out there down as the rain had drifted away for a time, and lit some frankincense and myrrh incense cones both as offerings to the spirits of sky and sea and to invite blessings and to set a peaceful and calm energy to the porch.  I sat out there for a while watching the flood waters dance with the wind.  Achingly slowly, the waters began to recede.  Once I was certain that the waters were in fact receding and as the weather calmed a bit as Ian flowed further away from us, I started wrapping my mind around what would need to be done in the days and weeks to come.

It took many hours for the flood waters to recede, soaking into the ground and into the overwhelmed storm drains.  Lots of hours with minimal distractions from the circumstances.  Time to ground, to center, to contemplate, and to process a whole lot of fear.

We did end up spending a couple of nights at the motel.  We went in the next day before my shift and I ended up working a double, sleeping in the morning, and working an evening shift the next day.  After work I went and checked on the house, power had reestablished, so we slept at the motel that night and returned the next morning.

All in all a very frightening episode, and we were incredibly lucky that the house did not flood out.  In the days since I have been slowly catching up on a lot of things that have been needing to be done for a long time now.  I am also looking to the future and what we can do to try and make sure we are in a better situation for the next time storms come through.

In the end that all any of us can do, though, isn’t it?

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

PS- This took a few days to put together, partly because life and work and the many chores that have needed doing, and partly because I needed to approach and retreat from these memories a few times before I could exercise them onto the screen.

Ian update: I’m still here!!!

Hello Friends,

A quick update to let you know I am still here. If you follow me elsewhere you’ve seen some of the pictures of my Hurricane adventures. I am writing a post about it in between clean up and several long delayed projects around the house and yard, and work, and… and…and..

*takes a breath*

Ok, so there’s a lot going on, but I am here and I am getting things taken care of for my home and my family.

Bliss and Blessed Be,