Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rituals & Routine In Everyday Life

There once was a time when everything about home life was filled with spirituality and magic. Hearth and home were the center, the power. The caretaker of the home directed it, fed it, nurtured it, so that it surrounded everything and everyone in the home. It was in the smell of the food as it was cooked. It was in the love and care taken to clean, mend, and tend to the household belongings. It was in the blood and guts and the energy needed to work a farm or grow a garden. It was in the rituals of togetherness that brought homes, people, communities together.

But now, we refer to these mundane tasks as "daily life maintenance", the endless check list of the things we need to do.  When we get away on vacation we refer to going home as "getting back to the grind". We view everything as if we are stuck on "Ground Hog Day", endlessly repeating the same activities each day. Fast food, frozen foods, boxed foods have taken away any of the real smells, real textures, real ownership we had over our meals.  Our relationship with the things and events in our lives have become "must-do's" instead of sources of comfort, energy and life. And then we are surprised when our relationships with the people in our home, life, community , feel so status quo.

I admit it. I grate against the routines in my life constantly. I don't want to wake up every morning at 6am. Work 9-2 Monday through Friday, with me going back again 5 to 9p on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Driving my daughter to school, or getting her ready for school, homework, baths, Wednesday ballet, Thursday religion class, Friday tap and jazz, Saturday acupuncture appointments, Sunday guitar lessons. Is lunch made? Are there clean clothes for the morning? What snacks are in house? Do we need to go food shopping? When are we going to take down the Christmas decorations? Did I sent out the birthday cards for February? When are we buying the birthday gifts for the party next week? I need time to invite my friends over. Oh I drank too much at the bar last night, but I still need to get up to go to see Mary Poppins at the 2pm Matinee. Did we call Grandma this week?

I think you get the picture.

Just reading that gives me a headache. A million voices in my head with a million lists of things to do. A million roles to play and responsibilities involved with each.

But what if......

What if I were to let the magic back in? What if I embraced the power which is inherently mine?

I am the homemaker.

We have sure let that title fall to the bottom of the totem pole over the years.  I want to re-establish the power of that role. Open the windows, let the air in, bring colors back to life.

I cook because I want to feed my family, to make them happy and healthy and strong. I clean to bring positive energy into my home, to sweep away negativity, sickness, darkness away. I grow things in a garden to be creative instead of destructive, to nurture and care and show my daughter that the feminine power of bringing life into the world is everywhere. Our strength of forging connections is just as powerful as the masculine forces in the world and just as necessary. They are not lowly, and annoying tasks that get in the way of living. They are life. Friendships, parties, gifts, gestures all generate, forge, build the strongest ties that bind families, friends, communities together.

So tomorrow when I wake up I want to look at the world with new eyes. Instead of cringing at the alarm, I want to thank it for waking me to start a brand new day.

I think it really wouldn't take too much of an attitude adjustment to rearrange how I view my daily routines.  The rituals are there. The magic and spirituality never left. We just have left it untended like a wild garden, full of new and interesting things we never noticed before.


  1. Well put, Sher...and you've just described what it is to be a so-called "Kitchen Witch". Check out this website:


    Ms. Dugan an author and Witch who specializes in the Craft in and around the home and hearth. I read her book COTTAGE WITCHERY awhile back. The concept is remarkable similar to the Celtic-tinged (good word) idea of finding the Sacred in our everyday, "mundane" tasks; those very tasks which collectively are LIFE, as you so aptly labled them.

    I've still got the book somewhere if you'd like to peruse it.


  2. Definitely interested in the book. One of the others you gave me was about Household Magic. Very interesting and creative.