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Hearthwork

Before my kid was born, I was the kind of person more interested in mysticism than the mundane, and my practice reflected that – lots of meditation and direct interactions with spirits, lots of hands-on magic and astral travel and hours and hours in the library and the whole life-eating nine yards.

But there was a point when I realized that that way led disordered thinking and unhealthy relationships, and I had to move away from a lot of those things. (Also, I’m too old to go without sleep for days anymore.) Then I spent years stripping layer after layer like paint from a Craigslist dresser. I’m still not sure there is hardwood underneath. I may be all paint and the memory of drawers. But I have gone far enough down and it’s time to build up again.

Once I stripped all of the things that no longer worked for me away, I found that I had a pile of good stuff left over, raw materials and things to upcycle with no rhyme or rhythm to them. I had a few practices, and a few spirits I loved, whose presence in my life brings me joy. I had trinkets that make my heart sing to touch them, and some habits and gestures that keep me grounded and happy.

I worked on simple, daily practices, trying different things. I learned a lot, chief of which was that I don’t want the kind of daily practice I started with. I began with the assumption that anything worth doing had to wait until after Bug was tucked into bed and I was alone, not going to be disturbed. What I realized when I was actually doing it is that doing that takes the fun out of evenings spent with Bug, because I’m distracted waiting for her to fall asleep.

Even if I wanted to go full force back into mysticism again, I couldn’t. Parenthood has taught me more about living in the moment than my flailing attempts at meditation ever did.

I realized I need a faith for a household. Something I can offer my child, and something that brings me that joy even when I don’t have time for complicated daily practice. I need something with a solid foundation, with practical benefits, and one project at a time, I think I’ll get there.

Most of the deities I work with have a hearth or home aspect to them. Mara has many faces, but she's largely been a goddess of the home and the family for me. Hekate's monthly attention involves housecleaning. Even Loki can be a hearthfire when she wants to.

I've struggled pretty much all my life with organization in particular, and habits in general. I managed, using what I realize now was the obviously-ADHD cycle of distraction, panic and hyperfocus, until I couldn't manage that way anymore. I thought I was just lazy, and couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.

I am pretty sure I come by my neuroatypicalities honestly and at least partially genetically. My dad was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a few years ago. When I was in high school, he was laid off, so he kept busy around the house. I used to come home from school to find the kitchen smelled so strongly of bleach than I couldn’t eat in it. He would rake the leaves in the wooded areas of our property. And there was never any making him happy. I could spend an hour or two or four cleaning my room, but it wasn’t ever clean enough and I never had enough space to put everything away to his satisfaction. I did all my chores and never heard about it unless I messed something up or did it wrong, which was often.

But I learned I can’t honor anything with my housework if I don’t see and appreciate it for the work it is. I need to be more cognizant of the fact that I do it. I need to make sure I’m doing it well if I’m worried I’m not, or be satisfied that I'm doing my best if I can't. I'd rather enjoy the feeling of a clean house, rather than seeing housework as something I do merely to avoid the nagging feeling that I should go straighten up the living room in the middle of the night.

Magical Sewing

some projects I've done and what I learned

Secondhand Pagan

reuse, recycle, religion

Metaphysical Konmari

ask if your practice brings you joy

Chopping, Carrying

learning to appreciate the little things

A House Full of Bells

settling into practical magic

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