We celebrate the fact that one becomes two. We celebrate the success of finding a mate. Yes, we do, even though most feminists might flinch at this. She did good, they’ll say, eye-balling the future husband, holding him up to their personal measuring stick. But this is not only the celebration of a coupling, it’s celebrating the creation of a new family. As the future bride opens her pretty packaged gifts, this will be evident amongst all the shiny new pots and pans, the toaster, and the coffee-maker. This young woman and her fiance will be setting up house, preparing for a lifetime together to build memories, to raise children, to grow old together. In our modern world, as progressive and feminist as we’d like to think we are, we’re still chasing Prince Charming and Happy-Ever-After endings.
Creating the Home = Creating Sacred Space
For most families, this is the center of the home, the hearthfire, where the group gathers for sustinance, for company, for recreation, for connection. I don’t know about everyone else, but anything that goes down in our house goes down in the kitchen. Our large kitchen table doubles as my office, the classroom, the dining table, the game board, card table, and craft table. Things are written, sculpted, painted, eaten, played, and produced– all at The Kitchen Table.
The kitchen is the hub, and shower gifts for this room, this special space, are prolific and fun to buy and give. I’ve been married five times and I’ve never had a wedding shower, so I’m living vicariously here in this section, remembering (with a wee bit of envy, I admit) all of the cool things new brides can receive to set up their hearthfire. But there’s one big difference here, we’re going to look at all of these gifts from a magickal and spiritual perspective. We’re going to wallow in Bridal Mania and Goddess Energy.
1. Herbs…one of the coolest gifts I’ve seen was a huge beautiful wooden shelf full of bottles and bottles of herbs, large glass bottles. The Green Witch in me was twitching! The wooden cubby-holed rack was dark cherry wood, and the whole frame swiveled, so you could turn it, looking at four sides full of glass bottles full of wonderful magickal plants and spices. However, as grand and glorioso as this was, this wonderful gift does not have to break our piggy bank. Herbs are expensive, and they are so uniquely necessary, both mundanely and magickally, for cooking and witchy revelry.
If everyone is counting their pennies, but you still want the New Bride to start out with a well-stocked herb cabinet, each guest can bring one designated herb. Coordinate this so that each individual knows exactly what to purchase– Aunt Lacey is in charge of Parsely; Cousin Edie is going to be responsible for Rosemary; Grandma Betty is bringing Cardamom, etc., etc.
O’ Green Witch rejoice!
2. Pots and Pans…Oh my, this sounds so dreary, bringing to mind the skullery maid chained to the kitchen peeling potatoes, wiping sweat from her brow with her brown work-worn paw…Screeeech! (The tape rewinds)
Pots and pans, think about it…drum roll…The Cauldron!
This is where all our magick brews, it is the myth of the witch, it is Shakespearian and dramatic, highly visual, slightly daunting to the uninitiated individuals, and highly gratifying to the Witches Extrordinaire.
Mundane Pots & Pans: You know, those teflon pots are nice for a while, but it’s really a drag when the teflon gets scratched and then begins to peel and flake; and if you’re like I am, having come from a humble background, you don’t just toss it out when the first few worn marks and flaws show up. If you’re anything like me, you use it until it is disgusting and two or three kids have attempted to throw it out and finally hidden it so deeply within the depths of the trash that you won’t find it. So, if money is an issue, but not that much of an issue, my suggestion would be stainless steel. Stainless steel pots and pans will last forever.
Magickal Pots & Pans: This part is much more fun. I’m thinking…special pots for specific magickal workings. I’m thinking color-coordinated cooking pots, those pretty bright enamel (and usually teflon lined) pots. I know, this is an irony, but this is special! It’s for magickal workings, energy building and moving and shaking. It’s all about getting things done.
A green pot for health and healing, for simmering teas and making infusions, all the while tossing in the energy to fix whatever is wrong with our physcial, emotional, and mental selves (You have to look at it from all those perspectives, it’s all wrapped up into us.). You can use this pot to mix and heat magickal oils as well, but one word of caution here. If you’re going to be using these pots for teas and such that you ingest, don’t use them for other magickal creations that would contain anything poisonous or dangerous.
The rest is easy. A red pot for love and lust and passion; blue for dreams and visions, psychism, and divination; yellow for creativity and communication; and if you think you might venture into deeper waters and work with darker energies, or anything that is stronger and not meant to be ingested, why don’t you get a small silver or black pot for this.
3. The Stove…this is the modern version of The Hearthfire, use your imagination for the crackling flames and the dancing shadows on the wall. I also have a wonderful gift idea for the new bride and her stove. Think of the flame (the burners) as a you would a flame in a cauldron. When you’ve finished your magickal workings, you generally dismiss the quarters and the elements. To put the magick to rest, you can have a set of those round metal burner covers made and decorated with the symbols for the elements– Earth, Air, Water, Fire. The symbolsism and the artistry that could go into them are endless, whether you want to keep it simple and just use the correct color symbol for that element, or really go to town…birds and flying creature on the cover for Air; the sea, sea creatures, and sea shells on the cover for Water…You get the point.
Think of gifts geared for relaxation, for reading, for communication, as this is often a lounging and gathering place for family members. Think of things to write with; board games; books; big soft pillows and pretty small blankets for the couch or easy chair; candy dishes for the end tables or coffee table; a tea set that comes with a serving tray. I can see all of these delightful things in my mind, and I can see the space that they’re meant for being cozy and inviting, where you feel comfortable and relaxed.
The idea of communication and creativity come to me when I think of a living room space, which steers me towards CDs, books, DVDs (movies! Yay!)…something to watch, listen to, or read.
The living room, think serenity and peace, think communication and connection.
The element: Water
The main intent and purpose in this room: Cleansing!
Did you ever wonder why, in so many bathrooms you see, people just naturally tend to decorate with sea themes, sea and water creatures, sea shells and other things of the ocean, or water related? I really believe it’s some ingrained instinct, not fashionable decorating fads, that leads them to these water based interior designs for the bathroom.
So, we got the water creatures and stuff down pat, but there’s other things to think about that would make incredible and magickal shower gifts for the bathroom:
Large glass bowls or lidded containers filled with herbs aligned to the element of water– belladonna, catnip, calamus cardamom, henbane, valerian, raspberry, rose, myrrh, passion flower, and on and on it goes (pick up Scott Cunningham’s book, “Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs”). And while we’re at it, what about live potted plants for the bathroom? I’d love live plants for shower gifts, and I’m betting other women would too– roses, jasmine, gardenias, or african violets, all connected with the element of Water.
Candles, so obvious! When you fill the tub with nice hot water, topping it off with a handful of herbs and pinch of this or that with a dollop of bubbly stuff, you’re going to light candles to set the mood for your bathing experience. *Ding*…that was the lightbulb going off in my head! It’s saying, “Time to shop!” How fun to look for candles and candle holders for someone’s bathroom; and it might be a good idea to play heavily on the personal likes and tastes of the new little bride you’re buying these magickal gifts for. Candle holders will add so much to the personal aspect of it, holders in different styles, colors, and shapes (animals, leaves, and such). Have fun! Shop till you drop, then go home and run yourself a nice full tub of water and prepare to relax.
Oh my, this is the supreme sacred space, especially for the newly-wed couple; and I don’t care if they’ve been sleeping together for years. The wedding night is going to be so magickal, this is extremely special. This space will seem somehow newly sanctified to them through a committment ceremony. It will be sealed. It will be celebrated.
The elements? The energy?
This space is a bit conflicted on this point. There’s actually two elements that will apply to this room and two very different types of energy. We’ll look at both of them.
1. Fire: passion, lust, romantic love, all of which implies lots of energy; lots of physicality; lots of motion and a sharing of energies. This can be wonderful, but also exhausting.
2. Water: peace, dreams, visions, of course. This is where you sleep, where your body renews itself, where your mind relaxes, where your sub-consious can take over and you can soar in your dreams.
What a wonderful, yet complicated, space to create. Depending upon the couple and their circumstances, you might want magickal gifts geared to fertility and sex. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll want gifts that add to the experience of relaxation and peace. I know, this room is an oxymoron, and it can get even more confusing if the energies of the two individuals who are inhabiting this space are conflicting, or even polar opposites.
For the wedding shower, offer up a bit of magickal energy and a touch of the goddess through crystals and stones; salt lamps; candles; herbs; mojo bags for protection, fertility, cleansing; statuary that inspires, inspirational CD/DVDs that will add a certain ambiance to the atmosphere.
This blog post is an excerpt from my book,
The Spiritual Feminist
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