If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.
Some days I lose the plot. The plot not just for soap but for life.
Lately I haven’t felt exactly happy. My actions have been motivated to cause happiness. Each time I do something I ask, “will this make me happy?” All these gyrations have produced many things, but not happiness. Life has been a grind.
The other day I asked myself, “what if happiness is no longer the goal?” That’s when I got to the work of of work. That’s when I began to be more productive, and therefore, more satisfied. I became lost in my tasks, deep down the time warp; that creative place where time loses meaning and all that is left is the craft, the task, the doing of the imagined… Life.
Today, as I grabbed my camera, walked outside and stood patiently waiting for the hummingbirds at their feeder, I realized I was happy. I had a master batch of oils and butters in the crock pot, laundry in the washer and dryer and was taking pleasure in the moody weather, I took a moment to take photos. Photography, like soap, is an odd endeavor. Both require doing, action. I’m photographing some obscurer image, editing images, weighting oils, molding soap, even doing soap dishes. For some reason I forgot. I forgot about the doing. I began to think of all these things hindering my path to happiness. And therefore had lost the plot.
This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this idea that happiness isn’t the goal of life. I believe life is a series of spirals, and if I’m aware, I can learn more each turn of the spiral, each revisiting of similar events. As I grow older I see less and less that is new, but if I watch I can see things from a new perspective.
I want to touch base with you, my Soap Sister-Witches!
I’ve been a little below the radar lately and I’ve figured some things out.
While I’ve been rather quite I’ve been making soap (shocker) and working on the next Sorcery book. This one, “Soap Dough Magic, The Complete Guide To Soap Dough” is much more comprehensive with step-by-steps, favorite soap dough (and bar soap) recipes, mica recipes and more peculiar soap ideas. This takes a LOT of focus and time, but there is much I want to share about the wonders of soap dough.
As you may, or may not, know I spend most of my time making soap. Not just any soap, but Sorcery Soap. With each soap I want to you to feel as if it’s the most amazing soap you’ve ever seen. I want you to experience shock at a Buttered Popcorn Soap, or delight in a sweet little bunny hugging a carrot or curiosity at a newly hatched Baby Soap Dragon. A tall order. I have set the bar so high for myself I might not full achieve this goal in my life time, but I keep trying.
I find delight to be exactly next to beauty but not out-done by curiosity. All three are personal moments of a sincere connection to the artist’s creation. I think the world could always use more delight and most certainly more beauty and curiosity leads to many great adventures.
I also discovered we all have our form of connection that works for us. Mine is writing. Although I do make videos, and am getting better at presenting information in this format, I love writing. Continuing to work on the next soap dough book has brought some thoughts to the surface. I’m going to offer this book as an audio book as well. I like it when I’m read to, so I figured you might too.
My other form of connection is photography. I love telling stories with pictures. I just had my favorite camera lens repaired. Gosh, that lens has traveled all over with me, hanging off my shoulder in huge pastures of horses, back country round-ups, getting mud-splattered at rodeos and taking soap photos. I didn’t realize it wasn’t functioning correctly and probably hasn’t been for some time. When it finally failed I took it in. What a big difference.
Bring YOUR Light
Bring the best of yourself to the table. Only you know what the very best means. If you keep your light from the world it will have a hole in it the size of your soul. Our world needs more light, your light, exactly as you are. If you have no idea of your purpose, (which is a very big concept) reduce it to this… Do your level best with every single task. Every. Single. Task. Bring your profound energy and attention to washing your soap dishes in equal measure to making your soaps. If you have any doubts, just do this for a year, a month, a week, or just a day. And see what happens.
I will leave you (for now) with this idea. I have found that moving into new levels of creativity has shown me more shadow in myself, at first, than light, but ohhh… The light!
I was thinking about you (yup, all of you) in the shower today. Seriously, I do some of my best thinking in the shower.
The easier thing is to talk of negatives. It’s like a human being’s default. Even when I lose my sense of humor I strive to see the “better” of people. I also strive to live in a fact-based reality. This can be a tricky path. How to remain hopeful and grounded in the present? I’ve found it to be more challenging than simply default of grousing with now insight.
My goal is to share with you my version of the world. In order to invite you into my world, like my home, I must tidy an already clean house. There you have it, I’m inviting you into my world, my mind and more than that, into my experiences. I will keep it as tidy as possible.
What started this line of thinking was using a bar of Tangled Soap, which is scented with Jade fragrance oil. This is from Bramble Berry. I haven’t used all of Bramble Berry’s products, but those I have used I’m in love with… Not kidding. I love the idea that Anne-Marie has chosen each product. True or not, I like this idea.
You Might Not Know
What you might not know is, I am not paid to tell you any of this – relevant or not – I wanted you to know. It matters to me if someone is paid to say something or not, it speaks to their motives. I realized many might not know that what I write about a soap supply companies is not coerced nor paid for – its my experience of the product.
It takes hours to discover these things I observe: hours of writing, experimentation, contemplation (my favorite part), researching products, ordering, etc. All this takes time. Not a complaint but a fact – stuff takes time.
After using this bar of soap scented with Jade fragrance oil (do pop over to Bramble Berry to read the description because this is a simultaneously authentic and mysterious scent) I realized a few things. (This could be, in part by being lathered by Sorcery and in part by being inspired by the fragrance, hard to say.)
I’m also using Bramble Berry’s Orange and Coffee Butters on my person – on my hands, body and hair. Both are marvelous! How have I lived this long without knowing about these butters? Easily absorbed, smells amazing and helps my hands heal after washing exactly one bazillion times each day. (I mold soap most days and this requires much hand washing.)
Another company on my radar is Nurture Soap Supply. I’m just now digging into the vast array of micas and fragrance oils. Learning about a company takes time: time to order, utilize the product and see how I experience it in my world. My latest fragrance oil love is Comfort and Joy. I can’t get enough of this surprising scent. I love apples, apple anything! Most apple fragrance oils I’ve tried have fallen short, but this… Behaved perfectly and held the scent. No discoloration either. When I want to continue to smell a fragrance… That is the true sign for me. This scent causes me delight.
Growing with a company requires observation: how do they treat their own mistakes? Do they care if the client is satisfied? Do they want to make a fair trade, money for product?
Honor and Integrity
I don’t disconnect from any one or any company for a mistake, one or many. Mistakes are part of existence. If I trip and fall I don’t stop walking. My limit, when I do disconnect, is when, or if, someone or company refuses to take responsibility, lack of integrity repeatedly. (Yes, I’ve done this with acquaintances. But what is the point? I don’t want to deceive myself, or you.) If I witness lies repeatedly or a false reality – I will not set my version of reality aside for someone else’s – I don’t expect someone else to do that for me. If something I write or say, or my behaviors help, by all means, adopt them and incorporate them into your reality. I do not see this as a requirement of relationship or friendship. I do see there needs to be a baseline of honor… SOMEWHERE. If we cannot agree to this, there is no hope for business, humans or anything. Humans have been playing this “lying” game for far too long. What if we just got present to what IS verses the words that came out of some people’s face holes? How is it so many think they have something to say they are buried in their phones? I’d rather someone say, “I’ve been an asshole”, than try to lie to me. Oh, and I did mean “try”.
Truth can be a matter of interpretation, some say… I use facts to support my understanding of this world.
It All Comes Out In The Wash
I get the feeling from Nurture Soap / Carrie and Bramble Berry / Anne-Marie that they both care about the soap community. These two companies know we all talk, they know we share information about fine details and our customer service experience. Fear never creates honor, but the desire to do well, pride in one’s work and having a personal honor code. These two heads of Soap State have a personal honor codes.
Both Nurture Soap and Bramble Berry make money. Thank the gods! I want them to stay in business. I read posts on both of these companies and see them as big contributors to the soap making community. Cripes, Anne-Marie taught me how to make cold process soap along with a crap-ton of other things. I was in awe that she offered all her YouTube videos for FREE! WHAT? Who does that?
Carrie, this Mica Maven, from Nurture Soap investigates her micas, glitter and fragrance oils like nobody’s business, she’s helpful and knowledgable on aspects of micas and glitters and now offering bio, vegan and cruelty free glitters. Carrie even has a Facebook group where we can dice it up about our products, experiences and post results. That’s trust!
I have had communication with both of these power-house women over the years. Both have treated me with honor, kindness and integrity. My heart is always full when I see an email from either. I will always support those who are kind to me. It doesn’t hurt me at all, and feels good on both sides.
The other part, why I write about companies I like, is to share with you those products I love, and some times, those that don’t go so well, but I steer clear of that non-sense. I’d rather talk about those things that bring me joy, delight me or I’ve found useful. Because if you were in my soapery, I’d tell you, the good and the bad, although let’s focus on soap magic for now.
Let’s say you didn’t have to work, ever. No more: cleaning your home, shopping, vacuuming, laundry, taking the trash out, appointments for car repair, getting ready for work, going to work, working, driving home, making dinner, let’s just say… All of it was over. What would you do with your days? What would your day look like?
I know what I would do… I’d make soap. That might sound silly, even pedestrian, to some, but for me… It’s the bulk of my waking moments, and some times my dreams. I find a rock to sit on along with my trusty sidekick I lay down and let the images of the next soap come to me. What do I smell? The desert doesn’t have a scent most days, but after the rains it brilliant with scents that are hidden the other 360 days. What do I hear? Coyotes calling to each others. Woodpeckers yelling to all who listen where their territory boundaries are. Quail calling to their little broods, their flock to stick together.
How did this love come to be?
We met over Fight Club. Not even kidding, but then my number one love (my man) suggested I make soap.
The seed was planted.
Now, I cannot love making soap enough. My only other goal is to invite those who have the same inclinations into this magical place, where shock is the precursor to joy when someone discovers your creation is actually soap, and not just soap, but amazing soap.
The reason I write and offer stories, related obviously or indirectly, about soap is to stimulate imagination. We can never know what are imagination will cling to. It is my hope that you find some of what I offer useful.
The other part of soap making that I love, which I had no idea would turn out this way, is you. I love our Sorcery Creation group on Facebook, reading your questions, thoughts and seeing your soap creations. I do not exaggerate this comment, as I see love as more then mere sentiment, but action. I show my love and appreciation by offing the most thoughtful responses as possible and strive to never dismiss a thoughtful question. I see how this energy is reciprocated by your support, words of encouragement and the act of offering your very own creations.
Here is a little video of some of the soaps being let-go tomorrow. Along with a ton of Sorcery Soap Dough, which is available now, however, if you want soaps wait until tomorrow after 4 AM AZ / 7 AM EST.
This makes me laugh every time I read this divisive propaganda. We dance any where we want, but in gardens? Please. Well, not any more. It’s not as if we need to be secretive about our identities. That was in the old days before the government realized they were wasting a commodity. It’s all about money. Most Witches I know don’t care; the recognition is affirming, but not useful. I rather liked not being recognized. It was so much more fun!
The heady herb smell is pouring into the rest of the room and wrapping its arms around me, which is a great sign its working. This is my favorite part. You know that part when the whole house if filled with the sparkly feeling of magic riding on the smell of dandelion, mint, basil and just a touch of lizard? This is the part where it begins to take shape. I can feel tingling all over my skin, sort of like sitting in a tub of soda water. Not that I’ve done that, but I did make a tub of Jell-o for my ex-boyfriend once. Never mind, not the point…
I have been asked to make a Soup of Influence for the banquet tonight. The mayor wants this for his meeting with some county officials. They should have included the description of the soup course in the RSVP. I’d want to know, wouldn’t you? There aren’t any regulations on this appetizer yet. After all, it’s not as if we are serving arsenic any longer.
What are your views on using food spells without the guest’s knowledge? I know in the old days it just made for an interesting evening. Remember that party when you served Kindness Caviar? Who would have thought it would lead to a night like that? Truly shocking! To see people dancing (and doing other things) that would not say hello in passing. That reminds me… Do you remember how to make Consommé au Congeniality? If you have the recipe, could you email it? Not your private recipe, just the one you shared a few years ago that smooths the edges.
I now have that recipe for Sorcery Soap perfected. You know me with my spells, I strive to employ Occam’s razor as often as possible, except when it comes to my secret soap recipe… And, no, you cannot have it. It’s all yours when I walk through the veil, my Enchanted Soap Recipes, my crystal ball, and even my Recipe Book of Light and Shadow, but don’t get any clever ideas before that time or I’ll send my ravens after you!
Truly interesting that we’ve been practicing this form of sorcery for hundreds of years, infusing our soaps and our soups, but only recently has the public at large allowed us to tell our truth. How do we educate that sorcery is contingent on the user? Much like someone using a torch or a flashlight. The creator of the flashlight cannot guarantee what the user will see. Oh, that is just such a big thought, let’s leave that for another time, dear sister.
I should have started this soup sooner, I’ll never make it to the sound studio in time. They are so tolerant, but I hate being late to anything. You know how I am.
Have I told you about the podcast? It’s been so long since we talked… Anyway I’m a celebrity, of sorts, around here. Witches have been asked to preform this public service, well not that it’s politically correct to call us Witches any longer, although a witch is a witch. All registered Gifted have been asked to give PPA’s or “Psychic Public Announcements”. Are you doing that in your area? To think, just fifty years ago a few gifted women were thrown in jail for giving Tarot readings within the San Diego city limits. Ha! Now we’re called Specially Sighted, Gifted and Seer’s by the ERA. I don’t mind Seer at all, but I always prefer what the ancestors were called, witches.
I really goofed last month, Lizzie. You won’t believe it! Some crazed man burst into the sound studio, while we were recording, shouting “I’m gonna kill that Witch! WHERE IS SHE?” all the while waving a shotgun. I had no idea what the consequences would be when I announced a vague description of a possible pregnancy. I figured more than one woman would have a birth mark on her left hip, but well… I was wrong. Or actually I was right, but let’s not split hairs. This guy thought I was talking about his wife, unfortunately he had a vasectomy years ago and she was pregnant. How is that my fault? Obviously, it all turned out fine, I’m still here in this dimension, in physical form so no foul, no harm.
I did have a dream about a car accident last week on highway 280 in front of the car dealership, and turned to be a great public service. I announced it on the podcast. I couldn’t quiet make out those involved, but after I announced the caution warning there weren’t any accidents all day on that stretch of highway. So, vague impression still help.
The soup’s finished! I have to run. I’ll write again soon, but you already knew that!
Observation of seemingly obvious tasks can offer insights.
I master-batch my soap dough. I use a dedicated crock pot to melt hard oils and butters; 76 degree fahrenheit coconut oil, Shea butter and cocoa butter are semi-hard before melting. In order to combine them with liquid oils this requires changing their temporary nature.
I use a dedicated crock pot for a simple reason – I was taught while studying meditation we sit in the same position, wear the same meditation shawl and sit on the same mediation pillow all made of simple cloth. I asked my teachers repeatedly, “why?” The over-riding answer was, because it helps to achieve a deeper level of meditation. I cannot speak to those slightly superstitious and less scientific answers like “your energy is infused into the objects,” all of which I listened to with a large dose of skepticism. How are these people, who dedicate their lives to a peaceful existence, not grounded in fact?
I have come to understand we operate on many levels – conscious, unconscious, sub-conscious and automatic, just to name a few. We do things based on prompts and routine like brushing one’s teeth. After so many years of doing a task, we have reflex behaviors like Pavlov’s dog, and no longer think of the task.
We can also create muscle memory. Those who participate in sports understand this type of memory that is built into the very fibers, tendons, connective tissue of the muscles change, alter and adapt to the skill; this muscle memory can grow talent; this is an application of an idea to the very tissues of a human being. Sit with that concept for a moment.
Do you see how magnificent and alchemical this process is, at its core? This could be renamed, simply, magic.
To have a dedicated crock pot is not to propose that the structure of the crock pot changes, but my response to the object changes. It is now a prompt of creation. A doorway into unknown worlds. A tool I use to open up ideas inside myself, or open myself up to the ideas in another dimension and pull them into our reality, our dimension.
My crock pot is now part of my ritual; part of my process, to opening that door only I can see. It is no longer the object I create over-cooked chicken, or a lazy dinner, but incites action in my mind/body that help me see the door to the room filled with ideas.
To have a truly smooth soap, be it bar or soap dough, the melted oils and butters need to be in a certain state; to marry to the liquid oils, to unify them into a temporary nature. If not joined in this ideal state the results will not be smooth, on so many levels. The same can be said for relationships, eating, health… all things.
I observe my nature must be patient, as calm as morning lake, undisturbed with the process if I wishto be invitedthrough the doorway into the room of creativity where my nature will changed, temporarily.
There are times while doing anything that doubt creeps in – business might be slow, negative comments come your way or simply, you ask yourself, is this what I should be doing?
This doubt has a way into your home. Did you know? It’s true, you may have unwittingly invited this one into your home and worse, into your soap endeavors.
There is a knock on your door and you, being the curious and welcoming-being that you are, answer.
This creature pushes past you, walks right in and makes itself comfortable on your sofa, then asks if there is coffee brewing. The guest asks in that manipulative way some beings have of slithering into another’s graciousness, knowing just by asking that what they ask for will be produced.
Not wanting to appear rude, you make a pot of coffee.
While you are making coffee for your new guest he asks, “what are you doing today?”
You answer from the the kitchen, “preparing to make soap this afternoon,” matter-of-fact yet still friendly.
While the coffee brews you sit with your guest and see a sneer creep across his face.
You shrug off his odd grin as just his way, and ask, “what is your name, my mysterious guest?”
“Oh, I’m here to see if you are ready, my dear.” He answers, picking up a baubble from your coffee table, examining it like an antique expert.
“Ready for what?”
“Ready to welcome his highness.” He replies as he sets your glass heirloom back on the table and settles his bottom deeper into your sofa.
Your heart catches, and now you are truly curious, which is the response your guest wants. He can feel your curiosity and that, my dear reader, is what he was after all along.
That is the moment it dawns on you who this creature truly is, as if a veil is lifted, you see his green face. A memory of the grasshopper landing on your hand the night before surfaces along with the enticement to eat one more cupcake, as if it wouldn’t matter; the feeling to drive just a bit faster and sneak through the yellow light taking up time from those waiting their turns; the idea to take a spoon to your last soap to make it just a bit better but only to muddy the bright colors.
You realize this is the Ambassador of Soap Chaos, and Chaos comes with many faces.
This Chaos comes as Loki, the Wild Crouch, the Trickster. Many cultures, many people have known this Reckless Wrecker who have been enticed, enchanted to do just a bit more, ignoring their own internal guidance. Forgetting about the Fates who always have a hand in creations.
We in the soap world know this creature, his highness the Reckless Wrecker as the Soap Gremlin. That mysterious thing that knocks that bucket of oil held securely by your deft and skilled hands to the floor; that being that whispers it won’t matter if your measurements are off just a tick; that being that coaxes you to take a chopstick to the beautiful natural soap tops the Muses have gifted you.
All this time you had no idea you invited this gremlin’s ambassador to chaos into your home, you dear gracious hostess.
Now you do!
The next time you think “just a bit more” while you make soap, hesitate and ask, what or who is guiding me?
To read more Sorcery Soap Stories, get news, discounts and be the first to know of new soaps being released, sign up for this blog!
Welcome to the Hobbit Home Where the Soap Witch Lives
Sorcery Soap has moved! Thank you to all those who helped us move with your orders, well wishes and good luck spells this past month. Although some spells need a touch of work. Keep reading and you’ll understand.
I’m happy to report no more stairs! Our new home is a one story. Truman-dog seems pleased to walk out the door into the yard. This home is more than we allowed ourselves to dream. It is not large, which I love, but roomy enough to give us breathing space. Happy to report all fragrance oils made it safely to their new home where light cannot reach their delicate little souls.
Our neighbors are lovely, we’ve met both on either side and they are older and quiet; a single woman on one side and a couple on the other and both, on first few meetings, are pleasant.
The main living area has been dedicated to our work, blogging, research and, of course, soap making. Our home is not set-up traditionally, we dedicate our living and dining room to what we like and utilize our spare room for our movie nights. No worries, if you stop by we have a comfy lounge area lit up with fairy lights.
The lighting in the main area is quite interesting and varied with two large windows and a patio slider. There is a built-in book shelf that holds most of our books, however, my mate stacked them to all fit, not to find. There is no dewey decimal system here! I like the randomness of it. I have already run across books I’d like to read again.
On the outside, a private yard runs the length of the house with a covered veranda.
Before we moved we had a few days so the family came over to do laundry, hang out and see how the house felt. The second night we were waiting for the laundry to finish when J walked into the hall and said, “why is there water on the floor?” The coupling for the cammode came loose and was running. Water poured onto the floor creating a small river. (Ok, that was dramatic.) It truly was everywhere! The hall was flooded, into the living room, soaked the newly remodeled bedroom closet carpet and even outside on to porch. Which was probably to the good. We jumped-to and utilized all available towels to sop up the water, not having a mop. It was cleaned up – no harm, no foul.
Two days after we moved in there was a storm. The winds were dramatic and we had a bit of rain, oddly only on one part of the yard. It was high contrast from the static hot weather we generally have in this part of the desert.
The old apartment still had to be cleaned. The next day, we opened the gate and to our astonishment there was a tree on my car. Ok, it wasn’t a whole tree but a huge branch.
We quickly discovered Palo Verde Tree’s have thorns. The car could not be moved without attending to the tree that was loving my car too hard. J made short work of that tree with his handy saw. He went into the house to get a towel to better grab the tree without getting further torn up, as we didn’t have gloves. I continued to cut the tree up and cut through a large branch the entire tree was resting on. I attempted to save my side mirror with no idea the weight of the branch was supported not by my mirror, but the very branch I cut through. Once it fell on me I had no choice but muscle the main tree branch off.
With a dent on the roof of my car and a scratched window, a few thorns in our skin and some scratches on my mate, all was well. We finished the job of cleaning our old apartment, removing our energy and setting our sights on the high levels of creativity floating about in our new hobbit home where this soap witch now lives.
We have moved on from the mischievous goblin and gremlin shenanigans, and discovered I’ll need a bit of refinement for my protection spells. It all could have been much worse, so difficult to say how much they worked. 😉 There is no accounting for the ridiculousness of naughty faeries and troublesome goblins and gremlins. It seems these beings float in on streams of creativity, so I’ll take it all!
I can taste Sorcery in the air. This Soap Witch can feel it growing and tickling to manifest, so new Sorcery soaps are on their way to being in this world from the other world.
In order to properly thank you I’d like to offer you this coupon for 28% off your next order. Use “SorceryThankYou28” at check out for this discount on your next order. It will become invisible (expire) at the end of this month. (9/30/2017)
What does is say for our self worth, to agree with the idea that natural is superior to man-made? This is a tag line, propaganda, an under current, a reductive idea that has been promoted for too many years. I wonder what the motive is… To say man made is less than, not nature, unnatural, and all we touch is inferior. Are humans not natural to anywhere or just our planet?
I find it a mistake to think only plants have intelligence, and that intelligence of form (remember, we do not instruct a plant, it has it’s own agenda) is lost once we reconstruct that form into another form. Aren’t we, after all, reconstructed form from an egg and a spermatozoa into our shapes? Don’t our bodies replace all cells every seven years? Do only our cells have some form of intelligence? What of other beings, other substances… ?
It has been my mistake to think humans are not natural and all things that are “natural” are superior to human influence or humans at all.
Granted many people who instruct the form-based world are not honorable alchemist. That doesn’t diminish the idea that if something is heated, treated or altered by humans mean that the intelligence is gone entirely. What if, instead of “create your reality,” the truer truth is work with your creations and honor the intelligence in all things, regardless if one understands fully?
What if the ancients understood far better than we do by honoring the earth in celebration, by blessing objects of importance, making offerings to an idea, asking the world and all that is for aid in survival?
What if natural is not superior, and man-made is not inferior?
Would you have more self-respect and self-honor?
Would you see yourself as part of the natural world? How would your interactions change?
What if you stop believing the company line, which is fact-less and groundless once examined; what if you forget the idea that man-made is inferior and that anything man touches is ruined and inferior to what nature produces.
How does entertaining the idea that you are part of nature change how you see yourself?