Chop Wood - Carry Water
This post was originally began in October 2018. Life happened. You’re getting it now.
A friend posted recently about "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." And it got me thinking. The original quote refers to being in the moment and that even if we're spiritual/religious people - there are still mundane chores that need to be done. We don't have the luxury of eschewing the rent being paid, or the electric, or the water bill. While we are inherently spiritual beings, the majority of our time is taken up by mundane activities. For me: it's grading. So many papers. And creating lesson plans and assignments. And while I wouldn't trade my calling for anything, it does take up a lot of time. There is a way to make this work to our advantage.
As much as the drudgery of our normal lives can intrude - we can't have that wonderful personal home ritual if there is gross garbage sitting 2 feet away. These acts don't have to always be solely mundane. If we are able to see the larger picture and infuse the magick/intention into the necessary act that will contribute to our larger goal - we’re able to “feed two birds with one loaf”. (Originally it’s kill two birds with one stone, but I’m trying to be a bit more positive - work with me here).
Using Chores as a Propellant (Vehicle) to Spell Work
I was always taught, well I say taught, but I kinda taught myself. (It was then validated when I took Courtney Weber’s Spell Craft course in early 2013.) That a successful spell needs three main components to be successful: 1) Intent 2) Vehicle 3) Energy. I'm not that good at meditation and it makes me antsy to sit around for long periods of time waiting and doing “nothing”.
So when I was growing up, I'd incorporate my chores/homework/other things teens need to do into my spell work. This became my Energy. My Vehicle would typically be a sometimes dressed (depending on what I had on hand) and carved candle. I’d take a minute to focus on the candle and say something to the effect of the candle burning was my magick and all energy that I put toward it doing (whatever task needed to be done) would be the Energy. Then I’d get to work. This had a positive effect on what I was doing (I wasn't going to half ass clean my room, because then, if I did, I wasn't lending enough energy to whatever teenage spell I was doing). So in the current parlance - system #hack.
That kind of basic, but effective work is what I’ve carried with me today. I respect and pay attention to the phases of the Moon, and to the Planets and Signs, but ultimately - if I need something that I want to acquire through magick, depending on what it is, I’m not going to wait to do it. I know how to manipulate and work with the Energy to accomplish my goals. I didn’t start out there. Many of us have had spells that went kerflewy. The point is to RECORD RECORD RECORD and to KEEP TRYING.
Why do we record our magickal work? In order to verify and refer to later. We're fallible. We forget things. If you've written it down, then you have a record to change and adapt - especially if something went right - then you'll know what to use/how to use it for next time.
Take what works for you and use it. Continue to do your Work. Try different methods and different variations of “ceremony” or “down ’n dirty”. They all have their validity and they all work for all kinds of different reasons. Experiment and find out what works for you.
By Parantaja at Finnish Wikipedia - Transferred from to Commons., Public Domain, Link