We all want to be happy. I think it’s safe to say that we all want to be appreciated and accepted. Finally I believe we all want some form of outlet that lets us experience that emotional and metaphysical ‘high’ that comes with doing something we love and enjoy. Therefore it’s safe to say that we all want to learn how to either make or make better metaphysical cookies.
For those of you that have yet to start your recipe perhaps these musings will be of help. At least they will get you thinking of what kind of cookies you want and what it will take to get to the point of making them. Remember they don’t have to be large or fancy or grandiose. They only have to feed your soul; no one else’s.
One of my ingredients is wood. I have worked with wood all my life from the time my grandfather, father, and uncle started me fetching nails and tools to repair rot damage to our garage in Manchester, New Hampshire. I was probably three and don’t remember much about that except there were ants everywhere. Dad said it was the ants that got into the wood and destroyed the garage structure. Since we had been in that house only 5 years the ants probably got a better start on the garage than we did but that’s their story not mine.
From there I build anything I could. I had a three room tree house that was actually on the ground when I was in grade school. There weren’t any trees large enough to build on so I just started with some pallets and the thing grew. We were living in Chester, NH in the summer and I got scrap wood from a dump up the road. After that it was High School and shop and then College and a chain saw in the summer where I would log with some friends.
After college and between Army gigs I built houses and logged in upstate NH around Freedom, which became Carter Falls in my novels. They were cold days in the woods but the work was fun and the wood always talked to me. Yes wood does talk. Not like Ents in the Tolkien novels but wood talks to you nonetheless. The wood will tell you what it wants to be or what it won’t be. Those that have every tried to make something and found that the wood fought you at every turn will understand what I’m saying. However I digress; which will happen often.
I’ve been a witch almost 45 years; this is not a digression. I don’t know if I come by it naturally or not. I’d like to think my grandfather was a witch although he would call himself a northern Baptist. He taught me herbs, and shrubs, and trees, and how to care for them. He revered the Earth and that made him a witch to me. I miss my grandfather on a daily basis when I have a plant question but that is another blog too.
Lately I’ve gotten back to wood. First it was large hardwood boxes that I made and sold and bought more tools with the money. Then a little while ago I purchased a lathe and began making wands. That was the first ingredient to my cookies. I have found that the wood on a lathe is most vocal. You may think you have a design in mind but you really are at the mercy of the particular Genus and species you are working with. And that’s how the newest book was born.
I also write. I try to write two books a year; one fiction and one reference. Last year I got lucky and published two fiction and this year I have already published a reference book titled Steampunk Magic: Magic on the Airship. It’s from Weiser publishing and is pretty good but then again I’m biased. However others have said it’s pretty good too so I’m not going to argue. The Steampunk book has allowed me access to a world of professional publishing and the new book: A Witches Guide to Wands will be another Reference book next year and hopefully also from Weiser.
Let me wrap this up. Sooooo when I want to make cookies and feed my soul I have the opportunity to go to the shop and turn wands. The by product is that other people enjoy the wands and they buy them but that’s not the reason I turn wands. I turn wands because I can. And when you need to feed souls ‘I can’ is the best reason there is, right?