A Tea Charming: A Yuletide Musing on Tea + Magick
A repost from a guest blog + giveaway I took part in last Yule. Enjoy!
I have spent much of my life in coastal cities where the rhythm of the day is broken up between fading light on the water, ships sliding between waves and the shifting landscape of fog over the idle cliff sides and curving slopes. For me, the Yule season is an incredibly rich time of year when Moist Mother Earth slumbers and the Bone Crone gnashes Her teeth, rattling the edges of our winter shelters. I recognize the fog that steadily creeps and retreats to and from the shore as the thick veils of the Bone Crone and Her sister the Sea Hag who are meeting at the edge, exchanging bones of earth for bones of saltwater. I see the fog as the same mist that hides the sacred Isle of Apples, confusing the unwary, pulling the careless down below. I know the fog as a softening of boundaries pulling our visions towards the darkness where we can better learn of our own depths, uncertainty and expansive joy.
It is in the fog-laden retreat of Yule that I pay attention to reflecting the quieting world around me within my own body. I move slower, I stretch more and do activities that are slow in nature, such as reading, knitting and making tea. My dear, tea-drinkers and magick-makers, I make a lot of tea this time of year for myself and my loved ones. As an herbologist and Witch I am keen to mystery and the articulation of ritual gestures for everyday doings. Rituals of daily doing, such as brewing a cup of tea, is good practice for the grander acts of transformative change we pass through each season.
Tea is a wonderful ally in daily ritual practice and hot tea is especially welcome during the cold months. The act of brewing a cup of tea involves five elements of many modern Pagan traditions: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Spirit. For Earth we have the tea leaves themselves. Grumbling roots, tumbling berries, sturdy bark, glowing leaves and delicate flowers are the gifts of Moist Mother Earth – let us honor them as we put them in our teapot. It is through the vessel of Water, the life-blood of our home planet and a sustaining fluid of our home bodies, that we extract the medicinal and magickal qualities of the tea. Blessed Water helps us to recognize our teapots for what they really are – charmed cauldrons, holy chalices and the womb-like receptacles of wisdom. The Water is heated by the element of Fire and during the darkening season of Yule our respect for Fire and the light and heat it brings comes from knowing that the fire from our hearths reflects the deeper Fire of the Earth’s core which keeps warm the seeds of promising spring during winter’s slumber. Air is found in the fragrant steam drifting up from our brewing tea and scent is a sure way to ignite the curiosity of our Spirit who then draws closer and pushes out from the depths of our being.
I approach making tea with magickal mindfulness as I am ever seeking to strengthen my skills in magick which I feel is, as Dion Fortune says, “…the art of changing consciousness at will.” So, I offer to you, my Witchen Kin, a small Tea Charming that I sometimes sing when making a pot of tea. Say it if you like with loved ones, little ones, at your altar, in the kitchen or in a very comfy chair, but mostly I hope that your tea-making during the Yule season brings you respite and contentment.