I have always believed in all kinds of magick.
There's big magick and nature magick and love magick and everything in between. But there's also the teeny, tiny magick of everyday -- when a cup of tea comes out just right, when there's the perfect amount of lines on a notepad for all the things on your list, when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds just as you step outside. I think that kind of magick exists in our rituals -- not just our Full Moons or Samhains, but in the things we repeat every single day. Without awareness, these things become rote chores -- but with intention and a little magick, they become something else entirely. They become ritual, and ritual has power.
One of those daily rituals for me is skin care. I honor the divinity of my vessel by caring for it as best as I can, and I'm also taking a moment to meditate and think about how I'm feeling that day. Are there darker circles under my eyes than usual from lack of sleep? Do I have a few more red spots along my chin from stress? Am I caring for myself as best as I possibly can?
I've long held an interest in all-organic, cruelty-free products that aided this daily ritual. That's why I was so intent on having an apothecary piece of Black Cat Clothiers from the very beginning. When I finally had enough of a grasp on the rest of the business to began to really think about how exactly that would happen, things seem to fall into place all on their own -- or, perhaps, it's better to say that I had manifested them.
You see, years ago, my mom came home from a craft fair with a brown paper bag full of the most gorgeous, luscious soaps. They had interesting, witchy scents and felt like silk on my skin -- and they lasted forever. The brand was called Tilted Haggis and I relished their product down to the last sud. I even ordered a few bars from their website. But then life moved on and I forgot the name of the soap I had enjoyed so much.
"I honor the divinity of my vessel by caring for it as best I can."
Less than a year ago, I had moved to a new neighborhood in Philadelphia and was busy with starting Black Cat. One July afternoon, I stopped by a local farmers market I frequently vend my own vintage at, and was shocked and delighted to see Tilted Haggis' tent in the distance. I instantly remembered her soaps and rushed over. Within a few moments of speaking with the owner, Donna, I think we both felt as though we had met before, though we certainly hadn't -- not in this life, at least. It became clear we wanted to work together, so I gave her my business card and left with another paper bag full of soap.
And just like that, Tilted Haggis soap was part of my daily ritual again. I cared for my body with these bars of soap; I scrubbed away the heat of summer and nourished the dry skin of winter with Tilted Haggis. Suddenly, these bars of soap had become sacred in their own way.
I reached out to Donna soon after re-discovering her work and before I knew it, I had launched my apothecary section featuring her gorgeous, handmade soap. And then we were collaborating on another project -- our Juju Sprays, which I absolutely love and can't believe I had a tiny hand in creating. I use those in my practice, too, the Altar Spray in particular, which sets the tone for meditation and helps me focus.
These apothecary goodies bring so much joy to my life, so much intention, whether it's Donna's work or the works of other similar companies that I love: Cattail Apothecary, Sukin Organics, Light of Anjou, Moon Goddess Magick Apothecary, ZoliaVera and so many more that I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Their handcrafted products -- and you can feel the magick and the power and the life in each one of them -- add so much to my daily ritual. They add meaning, they add intention. They ask me to stop, to think, to breathe. I guess that's the most magickal thing about being a witch -- everything, if we allow it, if we ask it, has power. We just have to do the rituals, no matter how small, to set it free.