Cottage Magic and Gratitude

In my 24 years of magical study, a topic that I feel is often cursorily addressed or neglected altogether is that of gratitude.  You can find a great deal of information about how to raise power, what correspondences to use for timing and charging a spell, the “right” words to say, which way to walk in a circle, and whether you should use a wand or athame but very little on gratitude.  In my personal practice, I found that when I began to not only include but focus on gratitude and infusing my work with gratitude, power raised naturally on its own and more of my life became magical outside of the circle.

Cultivating gratitude is such a refreshing way to interact with the world and your magical practice.  Cottage and Kitchen witches work with energies that are in and of the natural world.  We use what the earth produces, the air carries, the water holds, and the fire consumes.  Without the natural world, our magic doesn’t exist.  Nor do our lives.  Just the acknowledgement of that is a form of gratitude.

Gratitude includes three things acknowledgement, appreciation, and a return of kindness.  Including these aspects in your magic will deepen your practice and open a connection to yourself and the energy around and within you that strengthens with use.

Acknowledgement begins with simply taking notice.  Look around you when you are snipping herbs and flowers.  Take a deep breath of the autumn air while you collect branches for a hearth fire, let your hands feel the cold snow when you scoop some to melt and charge for spell work.  You will be surprised what the world greets you with if you take time to notice it.

Spend some time reflecting on the things you noticed.  The things you heard, saw, smelled, and felt.  Journal about it in your book of shadows, write a haiku, draw a sketch, or talk about it with someone who also appreciates the world they live in.  Appreciation takes noticing and adds the element of expression.  Use your talents and creativity to express the beauty, mystery, healing, love, etc. you found when you paused and spent a moment being with the natural world.

Finally, gratitude includes returning kindness.  There are as many ways to show kindness as there are people on the earth.  Let your kindness come from the moment and your spirit.  Sometimes I show kindness-gratitude to the earth by baking my neighbor a pie, giving food to the food bank, planting new trees, finding another way to reduce, recycle, and reuse in my daily life, teaching something new to others, and adopting abandoned pets (we have a bunch of those divine creatures in our home).  The important thing is that when we are showing kindness-gratitude we aren’t focusing on our ability or talents.  We aren’t looking for praise or ego-driven feedback.  We are looking to put back into the world what we are getting from it.  Daily gratitude and gratitude in your spell-work is the single most effective way to enhance your magic, to raise and store power, and to find peace in your life.

Go be grateful right now.  Take a walk and listen.  Open your eyes and your awareness.  Breathe in the beauty of this world and breathe out your thanks for being alive right now and in relationship with it.

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