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.
So many soaps… Been a bit busy catching up from our move. Many settling-in interruptions and despite all that managed to make a few soaps. Here is the list of soaps to be available on Friday, November 10, 2017.
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.
On occasion I receive messages asking how to mix soap dough colors.
Ideally it is preferable to make the soap dough with the color mixed into the oils before lye-water is added. I use soap stable micas; some from TKB Trading, Nurture Soap Supply and a few other places.
First try making the basic colors, or primary colors – red, blue and yellow. With these prime colorsthe secondary and tertiary colors can be made. Having white soap dough will give tints of any of these colors.
Here is a video sharing when soap dough has not been made properly and what it looks like when it has been made properly.
There are times while doing anything that doubts creep 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 in, even offered it coffee.
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. This 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 his odd grin off 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?” You ask.
“Ready to welcome his highness.” He replies as he sets your glass heirloom back on the table.
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.
“His Highness.” He says as he settles his bottom deeper into your sofa.
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?
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I want to tell you a story. Not outright a soap story, but if you can trust me a bit, know I won’t waste your time, you might see what I saw.
As some of you might know, we moved into our Hobbit home with great delight and anticipation of new beginnings. We call it our hobbit home because it’s not a large home, but suits our compact sizes perfectly.
Every cupboard, drawer and under cabinet was dirty. I spent a good couple of hours cleaning everything before we could move in and place our things inside. I did not have hardship in my heart, disappointment that this type of person to leave things in such disarray had occupied my new dwelling, but no malice floated in my chest. I set to the work, and blessed each area I touched.
There have been some issues with out hobbit home. Before the moving date, we’d taken possession and were at the house one evening doing laundry, trying things out to ensure all was in proper condition. J walked down the hall and asked, “Why is there a river in the hall?” The water flooded the new bath, down the hall, closet, and even the new carpet in the master bedroom all the way out onto the porch.
The water feed on the new commode hadn’t been screwed correctly and it popped off when used.
After the big move-in day we soon discovered many things that had been neglected like broken drawers, a kitchen faucet that didn’t work properly, broken verticals, broken microwave, mouldy and missing grout in the second bath and the one and only smoke detector didn’t function, just to name a few things. The most disconcerting was the new bathroom remodel was missing a commode paper holder and all towel racks missing, so it wasn’t a surprise the drawer that should work couldn’t be pulled out. This was a remodel that was incomplete. My warning bells went off. This was the level of “job complete.”
I used to be an electrical contractor, for those who don’t know. If we had a punch list (incomplete things after a remodel like switch plates, receptacles, lamps – light bulbs- that needed to be installed) we would notify the tenant/new home owner and make an appointment without excuse and complete the job. I would calmly explain the process and end with, “we will make it right, no worries”.
With all this said, after waiting to be called by the handyman, making calls to follow-up and much ridiculousness, I finally got in touch with the handyman. I mentioned that the remodel wasn’t complete and that’s when he yelled at me. So much so J could hear it across the room. When someone is that out of control and they cannot hear you, it’s best to end the call. Let’s call him Sam. I said, “Sam, Sam… I have another call and really need to take it.” He made a sardonic laugh and continued to yell. I interrupted his tirade and he accused me of not listening, so when I tried to explain he interrupted me… This went on for awhile until I finally insisted I needed to get off the phone and was fully prepared to hang up.
I’ve learned a lot from construction. When pointing out someone’s low quality work – in a polite way or less than polite way – the only reaction they can give is anger. They do not hold themselves accountable and are therefore not responsible to others. Their only way to deal is to attack, with words or otherwise. I should have known.
My guy handled what he saw as his part – he is a great and honorable protector – and ensured that this man would not be allowed into our home. I was comforted and relieved.
A new maintenance man was sent. He immediately did something similar where I could not complete a sentence, but he wanted to be heard. I pointed out that he wanted me to listen to him but he couldn’t let me complete a sentence. The tension was so high my dear, sweet dog sensitive to me, lay in front of the door not happy with this man’s comings and goings.
This same man had to come back the next day. It still felt uncomfortable, but he was doing all that was asked. He wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t easy. He was in the back room doing his work; I in the kitchen when I saw my burning bowl and felt compelled to light it. As I was burning the protection, thinking all honorable and good things are allowed in my home now, and if he doesn’t resonate he will depart easily. When he came in the kitchen, he didn’t ask or bat an eye, but continued his work. He asked me to check his work and explained the drawer wasn’t going to work properly.
I said, “not your fault at all. You couldn’t have done better. It should have been done properly before.”
As our conversation began to bloom it turned out he had the same experience with the first maintenance man as I did.
We exchanged information and I learned he came to the US at 17, moved out here a few years ago from a place I had history with and sent money to his poor (literally) parents. He also told me he knows someone else who makes soap. As it turned out, he and I knew that very same person. He also knew how cruel that person was and the bullying ways. He had history with this mean-spirited person. I had parted ways with that person because of the vindictive behavior of trying to run me down publicly after I told this person not to use my property without permission. I pointed out the dishonorable behavior and once again, with no where else to go the attack happened.
How did I not learn the first hundred times I experienced this lesson?
As I helped the second maintenance man with his tools to his truck, he stopped and held up his fingers close together. “The world is this small.”
I am so pleased, that if ever I need to have this maintenance man in my home I can now do it with a glad heart.