Today we will talk about the witchiness of homesteading and why what seems so strange to some is simply living.

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Main topic of the Show: Which Witch is Which

Imagine hundreds of years ago if one of your family members was truly ill and some lady who kept to herself mostly gave you some tea for the sick person — and they got better. Or if you sprained your ankle and the swelling went down quickly.

Add to that layers of superstition like which phase of the moon is best for planting, ceremonies involving burnt hair that reveal your true love’s face, and that sort of thing.

The final twist could be that the lone lady with that tea lives to be quite old and there we have it. A witch.

Yesterday, a friend stopped by who I had not seen in a long time and he joked on the way in the door that I reminded him of country women he remembers as a kid growing up who seemed kind of like witches. He did not mean it in a bad way — he was just pointing out that I live an alternative lifestyle to the norm.

And it is true: If there is a natural or herbal remedy to something, I will try it first. If I have  a bad headache, I go to bed. 

I have some odd world views:

  • Natural cycles of the earth and solar system impact climate, weather and, ultimately growing cycles
  • We evolved here, therefore remedies to our ills evolved with us
  • Just because it cannot be proven scientifically does not prove it false
  • Humans are energy and as such, ignoring energy as part of whole health is a mistake

Some of these views make me witchy I suppose. In college, I used to make this brew of ginger root, bitter root, peppermint and hot peppers and honey every time I got a cold. Why? Because it helped. The bitter root soothed my throat, the ginger opened the capillaries in my sinuses, capsasis is an immune system boost, and the peppermint and honey make it drinkable — not taste good — drinkable. When I did this I just knew it helped, not the why. But over the years I have learned more about the why, down to peppermint helping with breathing and honey being an antibacterial agent.

And even back then, people thought me crazy. They wondered why I did not simply pop a decongestant and go on with life?

Moving to the homestead has brought my witchiness to a whole new level. I mean, here I am, living in what looks like isolation, growing a ton of herbs, wildcrafting other herbs, with a good collection of sharp knives around, hair down to my rear end, talking to animals and trees, and not a worry about current events.

Well maybe that is not entirely true – I sometimes worry about current events. But life on the homestead is not exactly the picture they paint when they talk about the American Dream is it?

It may be my American Dream, but it is a bit of a witchy one.

After my friend pointed this out, I realized that he was right. I live a rather witchy life. If you look around right now, as in this week, at my homestead, here are some of the witchy things that happened:

  • Drying herbs (Garlic, bundles of sage, etc)
  • Varied nutritional regimes for the neighbors (Bone broth and ferments to cultivate gut health, fruit to reset the metabolism, goats milk to ease my dogs health issues)
  • Mortar and pestle sitting out with a strange concoction (for bee stings as a matter of fact)
  • Wild plants as tall as I growing near the house: goldenrod, echinacea, garlic, plantain, comfrey, bee balm, lemon balm, day lilies, roses, mint, parsley, and unfortunately perilla and burdock
  • Everything is from scratch: We grind wheat when we need it, make stocks and broth by hand, age cheese, can pickled and other pickled treats, make mayonnaise, gravy by hand, cure bacon and other meats, hang biltong and get our winter veggies from jars (resulting in commercial food tasting bad)
  • Mindset=build your own reality
  • Smell of roses and the scent of things in general
  • Smudging does happen when energy is off, as does meditation, seeking to tap into the spirit of the land around us, and connecting with the earth to heal.

Yep, as I think about it, look at the browns of jars of dried herbs here for healing, get ready to age our first cheddar of this season, and watch people come through here with shared values, learning to take control of their personal outcomes no matter what happens — I can see that homesteading looks pretty witchy to the outside world.

But to me, it is something different. This lifestyle is not something to be feared or looked askance at – but rather an acknowledgement that nature is at the core of us all. And when we work with nature, we get better outcomes.

Now sure, you may not be a person willing to get dirty and buggy on a homestead to tap into natural cycles. You may prefer your city condo – perhaps with a few pots of herbs. And that is fine. You do you as they like to say.

And I don’t even mind when people look down their noses at my witchy life here.

But there is a history of the state forcing people who live like I do into “modern” life in order to protect them. I mean, I do live near a giant Army Corpse project that flushed country folks from their family farms under the guise of progress that may or may not have actually helped (I am looking at you Nashville flood on 2010).

And that progress merely served to lock people in poverty and increase external controls on their lives.

So I was thinking this: Let’s embrace our witchiness and scare the pants off them — maybe then they will leave us to work with nature as God intended.

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Make it a great week!

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GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

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