A bright good day to you!
Patrick Donmoyer created one of my favorite books — “Powwowing in Pennsylvania – Braucherei and the Ritual of Everyday Life”. This text is overflowing with information and excellent research. Mr. Donmoyer opens the way for the understanding of the healing practices of the Pennsylvania Dutch (and others of the area) through their European folk beliefs brought to North America.
Braucherei is a “use what you have” system that embraces human ingenuity and the science of everyday life. During this time of quarantine, what better study than this?
Today’s Challenge — Ritual of the Windowsill — according to Mr. Donmoyer, “rituals of the windowsill utilize a liminal domestic as a convenient location for a specific type of traditional transaction that brings together the inner realm of the house and home and the outside world.”(1) A liminal space is a time between the ‘what was’ and ‘what follows. ‘ It is a place of transition, pregnancy, and unfoldment. It is believed by many that liminal space is where all transformation happens. The windowsill, then, is considered a place between the worlds where energies, wishes, and thoughts can pass from the material world to the spiritual one and back again.
In Braucherei, on special days (such as New Year’s or other traditional days) the family would collect three objects that they felt represented needed energies that would help the family thrive in the coming year. These three things are then placed on the outside windowsill of the home. “The samples represented three substances that would be blessed so that the household would have an abundance of these three things, and would not run out of them over the course of the next year… In many rituals of blessing, a portion of something becomes emblematic of the whole, and capable of distributing the blessing throughout.” (2) The objects do not have to be literal — they can be a representation impregnated with your intent. A red paper heart, for example, symbolizing love.
In today’s challenge, we are going to ask family members what they feel your family needs now and in the coming year. Although this isn’t a “special” day like New Year’s or Yule, times are difficult for many with a plethora of uncertainties. Gloom and doom slink, sail, and march throughout many homes — creating mental muck in their wake. This is a perfect time to look toward a positive future with such an easy and fun project!
Ask your family members to find or make a representation of what they think the family needs that can be placed on the sill. In our ritual, you can choose either three or nine things. We are operating in a 1st Quarter Aries Moon — so beginnings of this type sit well with the stars. I set up my windowsill display on the inside for two reasons: (1) It is pouring outside; (2) I don’t have an outside windowsill wide enough to accommodate the head of a pin. If you feel outside right next to the house is best, place your objects on a tray on a porch step, cement stoop, or other areas that butt up against the house.
Clearly imprint each item with its association before placing it on the sill or tray. For example: “This acorn represents long life, strength, and good health for all family members.” “I place this bread upon the tray. May we never hunger. May we never thirst.” “These coins ensure we will always have enough money to meet our obligations and still live comfortably and happily.” Once all the objects are placed, hold hands, close your eyes, and see the spirits of the things rise to the heavens. Silver threads reach out into the cosmos to create a pathway so that those things needed will easily find your family. Leave the objects on the windowsill for at least 24 hours. If you use a candle or oil lamp, remember to take fire-safe precautions such as keeping curtains tied back, or removing straw mats from the doorway where the tray is to be placed. Consider if you would like to use this technique for future magicks. Perhaps the upcoming May Day holiday by imprinting ribbons as wishes?
Your Comments — Yesterday someone wrote about having difficulty in closing a wound from a recent surgery. I use two easy magicks for quick and smooth healing. I did answer her comment; but, I thought I would share the information here as well.
Wound Closure Using Cloth, Needle, and Thread — Gather two pieces of old clothing that have been worn over the wound that have not been washed. If you can’t cut up the clothing, wear two pieces of cloth over the dressing for 24 hours. Rub the pieces of cloth with your favorite healing herb. For this example, I used the speedwell I wildcrafted the other day.
Stitch the two pieces of cloth together. You can use regular sewing stitches, or you can be more creative, stitching runes to create the closure. As you stitch, recite the following chant: “Bind, knit, heal. Turn the Wheel. Turn the Wheel.” The first three words are self-explanatory. Turn the Wheel has more than one meaning: That the healing will be done in 30 days; and, stands for the Wheel of Power — the Magick Mill.
You can chant the entire time you are stitching, or 3 times when you start, 3 times when you are halfway through, or 3 times when you have finished. Wear the cloth over the medical dressing, or as close to it as possible. If the Binding Cloth is for you, repeat the chant 9 times three times a day while holding your hand over the cloth. If the cloth gets dirty, it is okay to wash it for medical reasons.
Knitted Binding Cloths — Homemade dishrags/washcloths were often used in Braucherei and Folk Magick for a variety of purposes from taking negativity off an individual to bindings for healing and romantic purposes. Write on a slip of paper what the knitting is for, and keep the paper on the work until completed.
This washcloth, when finished, can be imprinted in ritual, then given to the patient along with a bar of spiritual cleansing soap. Every time they wash with the cloth, healing energy from the making is released. If the cloth were for romantic reasons, gift with patchouli, rose, or other love-associated soap.
Summary – 41 Stars
Give or Throw one thing away today. Earn 1 Star.
Create a windowsill altar. Earn 25 stars!
Did you remember to do your rattle bath today?
Do 3 three-minute dashes – Earn 15 stars!
Peace with the Gods
Peace with Nature
(1) Donmoyer, Patrick J. – “Powwowing in Pennsylvania – Braucherei and the Ritual of Everyday Life” pages 264 and 265 www.kutztown.edu/pgchc for more information