Crystals, Herbs, and Other Magical Treasures

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S3E11 TRANSCRIPT:----more----

Yucca: Welcome back to the Wonder Science-based Paganism. I'm your host Yucca. And this week we're talking about crystals, herbs. Other magical treasures.

Mark: Right. Yeah. These are things that are very important in the practices of many pagans. We have a different take on what that means from maybe the mainstream pagan view. So it will be talking about. But also about what we can do to create aesthetic objects and materials that help us to get into the right mind space, to do effective ritual work and and how we can best equip ourselves with all those kinds of things.

Yucca: Right. And also not just in the ritual space, but in our everyday mundane life and environments that we create.

Mark: Sure because they work as talismans. And we did do a, an episode on talismans a long, long time ago. The, they, they, you can carry an object with you or wear a piece of jewelry or anoint yourself with a particular scent, any of those things. And if it has a strong association for you, it will remind you of that characteristic or quality.

And then you have that with you in your ordinary life. And that can be really great, really empowering and and supportive of success.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: So for a minute, let's, let's just talk in the big picture about all of This What do we think about magic crystals?

Yucca: This will probably not be a surprise to our long-term listeners, but my take and I'm guessing this is the as well Mark, is that they aren't inherently magical. They don't have super special powers. They're not supernatural. They're natural, just like everything else. Some of them are really. Some of them are beautiful.

Their stories are amazing in terms of how they were made and the interaction between the biosphere and the geosphere and all of that is just incredible. But there's a lot of big claims about crystals that I don't buy.

Mark: Yeah.

me neither. There, although we might aesthetically appreciate a quartz crystal more than we aesthetically appreciate A lump of granite, there's no special quality that makes the crystal any more special than the lump of granite. The lump of granite has an amazing story behind it, too.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: But that being said, and we're going to talk about the provenance of these things in a while, presuming that you have something that was, was brought to you in an ethical manner, there's nothing wrong with having beautiful stones on your, on your focus, your altar, or, you know, carrying it with you.

Yucca: of jewelry

Mark: jewelry One thing that I will tell you though, not to do, which is something that I saw a photo of on the internet that really terrified me. Someone had taken a whole, whole bunch of sacred stones and crystals and had hot glued them to the center of their steering wheel,

Yucca: oh, yes, don't do that.

Mark: where their airbag is,

Yucca: Yes. I've seen. People do that with their dashboards too, but the airbag is even a

Mark: Yeah. I mean, that turns the thing into a Claymore mine. It's just, it's terrifying to think about the damage that that airbag would do if it deployed. So don't do that.

Yucca: Yeah to a lesser degree. That's why I, when I did have long hair, I haven't in years, but I never liked using like the chopsticks or the clippies or anything like that because I always thought, oh, what if I fall backwards? But an airbag that's a lot more intense.

Mark: Yes. I have been on the receiving end of a face full of airbag. And I was really glad it was there, but it happens very, very fast and it hits you hard. So please don't put anything hard between you and it

Yucca: yeah. Yeah. So that's,

Mark: kind of a special case,

Yucca: let's say you have in common.

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: that the stones that you have are on the gyms that you have are not the mind in a way that is with slave labor and all of that. And that they're not, it did, it came to you in an ethical way that great, right.

Mark: Which is a steeper standard than you might expect. Mineral specimens and particularly crystal specimens are mined in extremely environmentally destructive and unsustainable ways often by people living in slave like, or in, in truly enslaved conditions, including children. In many places in the world. Many places in south America, for example, Brazil places in Asia as well and there and South Africa. There are there beautiful stones and it's lovely to have them, but to be honest, my take is if I didn't find it myself, I'm not going to buy it.

I, at this point I will buy fossils. If they have good provenance, but when it comes to just mineral specimens, I just don't do it anymore. I have a few that I acquired over the years and that's enough.

Yucca: Yeah. So this is something that, that if you really enjoy crystals, that we would encourage you to look into and do some research on. Because there certainly are ways to, to acquire them that aren't based on those things that we just talked about, but it's really, but it's, if you're just getting a random one, it's really hard to know what that history is.

And there's a good chance that, that it really does come, is supporting the system that is so exploitative on just every level.

Mark: And you just don't want to be part of increasing the suffering in the world. Right? I mean, that's, that's a pretty simple standard. It's like,

Yucca: There's enough of that

Mark: Yeah. don't, don't make things worse. It's it's it's not too much to ask. That said getting a good Providence. Mineral specimen from an ethical source also lets you know that the mineral itself hasn't been monkeyed with because one thing that happens in mineral specimens a lot is that they get cooked. They're heated to high temperatures to change their color. And so you may not even be sure exactly what you're getting. This happens with quartz a lot. There are lots of different colors of quartz because of trace elements that are included in the quartz as the crystals form. But if you bake

Yucca: that's what a Ruby is, right? It's just a little bit of chromium in it isn't it?

Mark: No Ruby is corundum which is the second hardest naturally occurring mineral. After diamond corundum is a, a mineral of its own. It's the same mineral as Sapphire rubies and sapphires. And then there's also, what's called common corundum, which is used in making specialty sand papers and things like that. This is, this is one where I learned this at my daddy, the geophysicists ne so, yeah, corundum is number nine on the most hardness scale. And then diamond is 10. But there are pink quartz is in and even red quartz is that I, pink quartz is their natural. I've never seen a natural red quartz.

It may exist, but I've never seen one.

Yucca: Mm. Okay. Yeah, just looking up just a real quick, it looks like that chromium is in a.

Mark: Is it.

Yucca: yes.

Mark: I, Yeah,

I'm I'm sure because corundum corundum is a particular molecular structure, but then the color comes from whatever associated trace minerals. I would imagine that it's probably cobalt or copper. That's the trace for sapphires.

Yucca: yeah, yeah. We'd have to look into that.

Yeah, just little bits of just a few little bits of different elements. Completely changes the whole look of it.

Mark: That's the wonder of chemistry, right? You take oxygen, which is a colorless, tasteless, transparent gas and hydrogen, which is a colorless odorless, tasteless gas. You bond them together and you get water, which is none of those things.

Yucca: Yeah.

Okay, I'm going to go down a rabbit hole. I've got to stop looking at

Mark: Yeah. yeah.

I invite You to do it cause it's really cool, but maybe not during the recording.

Yucca: yeah.

Mark: So

Yucca: were talking about cooking, right? That sometimes they will be

Mark: they they will be heated and modified in the lab. And it's also very common for example, to take mineral specimens and to grind a point onto them so that they look like a crew of quartz. The natural cleavage pattern of a court's crystal actually does lead to those beautiful faceted points that we're familiar with, but people will take like a piece of Topaz or a piece of Aqua Marine and they will grind a point onto it so that it looks more like what people think of as a crystal.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: So. you want something that reflects the, the amazing nature of the natural world as it assembles these cool crystal instructures. You want something that hasn't been too? What's the word I'm looking for? Compromised by those artificial processes to try to make it look a particular way so that you'll buy it.

Yucca: Yeah. Well, I mean, it depends on what your, what your goal is though, right? If you're buying it, just because you like the way it looks, but it might not really matter to you what the history of that is. But if it's something that's, it looks, if it's important to you, that it be a specific. Mineral that it'd be the specific history.

Then you might not be getting that unless, you know, unless you trust who you're buying it from and the process that it was produced under.

Mark: Right. And speaking of rabbit holes, if you really get into crystallography and you start looking at All.

the different geometric forms that different chemicals will take when they form crystals, that is. That is this unbelievable, cool world. I mean, when you think about it, water creates crystals in six sided, highly intricate crystal forms that we call snowflakes.

Right. He light, which is salt forms in cubes. Sometimes the cubes are kind of skewed like a parallelogram, but they're still basically just, you know, six sided figures. So one of the things that can be really very wonderful about exploring the world of rocks and minerals is actually. You know, digging into the geology itself, you know, the stories of how these rocks came to us, you know, the ones that formed in in pockets of, of air that were filled with hot liquid.

Supercharged with minerals and then crystallized, and then the water drained away leaving these geocodes inside filled with crystals cracks that had hot fluid injected into them and then grew crystals out so that they created veins. Which is the way that many metals and metal ores are laid down.

Geology is very fascinating. Set of topics. And if, if you really get into the rock world, you can have a really good time there.

Yucca: Yeah. And there's a new field, which is geo biology, which looks at the overlap between mineralogy and biology and how those two things we like to separate them into these two different, totally different categories, but they're not, there's this wonderful overlap and, and On earth when we compare it to what we know about the other terrestrial planets, we have far more in terms of order of magnitude more mineral species than our sister planets too, even though we're made from the same starting material, because we've got life, that's mucking around with the chemistry here.

And so there's just so there's so much that happens in both directions. So that's a, that's a whole new field. It's only started in the last, you know, 10, 20 max years.

Mark: Yeah.

Well, when you think about it limestone, for example, or chalk, that is entirely deposition of the skeletons of living creatures compressed down into sedimentary layers. It's nothing but that that's all that it is. So you're talking about rock that has been constructed by the biosphere.

Yucca: Yeah. And all of those types of minerals that can only form in high oxygen environments or things that can only form and specifically acidic environments, all sorts of things.

Mark: Yeah, so I'm kind of a tangent, but geology. Cool.

Yucca: Yes.

Mark: it out.

Yucca: Yes. Very much. So.

Mark: So that's crystals and what we have to say about it. And I guess I'd like to click out a couple of layers now, before we move on to other things like herbs and tools and bones and feathers and all the wonderful things that we like to use in our ritual practices, because they create a particular.

Ambiance a particular aesthetic feeling. And that's to talk about consumerism,

Yucca: Right.

Mark: which is an issue in the broader pagan community.

Yucca: Well, not just the bacon community, but that's one of the, the, the struggle, the challenges of our modern society today.

Mark: Right. The commodification of everything, including spirituality, where it's like in order to be really a, a good pagan, you have to dress a particular way or one of a small set of particular ways. And you have to have particular kinds of ritual tools and. Not all of that is rooted in the, I must have ethos of capitalism,

Yucca: Great.

Mark: you know, and not, not only I must have, but if I can afford it, I deserve to have,

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: I mean, we never even asked ourselves the question, you know, should, should this product even exist?

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Not talking specifically about like your here's. Here's a good example in my mind, Botox, should this product even exist? It is used as a treatment. For a non-problem that culture tells mostly women that they have, which is they are aging, which is natural and normal. And then it is sold at considerable expense.

It's derived from a poison and then sold at considerable expense. it wears off. So you have to use it again and all this kind of stuff, but nobody ever really asked the question, should this product exist? It was just assumed that if people would pay money for it, then the product should exist. And. I go back to a very wise thing that morning glory Zelle once said to me, she was a friend of mine, a lover of mine and just a dear, dear, dear person in my life.

And I'm so sorry she's gone. But she once said to me, if you can't do it with a stick, you picked up on the way to the circle. You can't do it at all. And to me that just speaks volumes about how you don't need expensive trappings. You don't need 4,000 tarot decks. You don't need exotic feathers from south America.

And You know, crystals from all over the world and all the many, many, many things that we tend to accumulate around ourselves as pagans, because we want to be able to create that, that feeling and then to carry it out with us into our ordinary lives. So I just encourage you think about it. Think about. You know, it's one thing. If you're buying something from an artist whose, you know, whose individual living is being made better by they're assembling something that looks very beautiful and they're doing it from materials that are not unethically sourced, that's one thing fine, you know, support that person.

That's Great.

But it's another, if you're just kind of. You know, ordering stuff from Amazon because you feel like you're supposed to have it.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: You're you're not supposed to have it. You don't have to have it. I have four ones, none of them was made by a person. One of them came from a Redwood tree. One of them came from an Oak tree, you know, and these are fallen branches, Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: From dead. One of them is an extruded piece of kelp that's dried into a rod shape. And the final one here, I'm going to peer over and look at it. Now is a bone is a deer bone. And all of those have very powerful associations for me. And I use them in different ways when I do rituals, but I didn't have to buy any of them.

And no nothing was harmed.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: You know, no carbon was made transporting stuff from one part of the world to another part of the world in order to bring me this thing. And more and more as I get older, I think that doing no harm is the very, the very least we can do. I mean, doing, you know, making things better, obviously.

Before us on the table. That's that's the work, but at the very least we can reduce the harm that we do.

Yucca: Yeah, I think that's, that's very well said. And, and to, to build on that, I want to say that none of this is to try to make somebody feel guilty about what they have or about, you know, wanting to have the beautiful thing or something like that. But to encourage you that, to think about, you know, whether you need it.

And, and if you don't being okay with that, right. It's okay to not have the incredible velvet robes and the, this and the, that, and the like, like you were saying, Mark. Yeah. You've got a branch from a tree that meant something to you or a bone from an animal that meant something to you. And that, that works.

Right. And that can be, that can be just as if not far more meaningful than the thing that was purchased and the thing that was just part of the commodity chain.

Mark: Right. Because when something is delivered to you as a part of the commodity chain, you have no story associated with it. Right? The story is I gave them money. They gave me.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: when you make something for yourself or you find something or you buy something from a person, or it was a gift.

you buy something from an individual person whose work you appreciate and you know something about them.

Then it brings the story. And the association of a story with an object is core to what we think of as charging a magical idea. Right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Cause that's what it is. It tells you a story when you see it or when you hold it in your hand, it says, I come from, I come from this Seychelles islands and I am a piece of volcanic rock that has sharp edges on it.

And Lay on a beach for many years, you know, having those sharp edges rounded down so that now all these little pores make this wonderful sort of sponge like a piece of stone. I just made that up. I don't have a piece of rock from the Seychelles, but anyway,

Yucca: but it's unbelievable. Right? It sounded like you were describing, you were looking at a particular rock and describing it.

Mark: Sure. And if I did have a rock from the Seychelles and I had been to the Seychelles, then it. would tell me stories about all of my experiences in that place and why it was magic to be there. And, you know, remind me of of people that I knew that were there and,

Yucca: Or the relationship with the person who went there and brought it back to you and keep it to you over the coffee that you had or whatever.

Mark: Right. Right. so long story short, we just really encourage our listeners as we do ourselves to interrogate our capitalist assumptions because they're there they're soaked into us. We can't have. You know, we were, we were raised in this particular over culture, which we've talked about before and asking questions and challenging assumptions is the way that we start to become more free. And it's not just about undermining a system, which is destroying the earth and causing a tremendous amount of suffering. It's also about becoming more liberated ourselves becoming more free and that we want that for you and for ourselves. It's something we want for the world is for people to be more liberated and feel like they have more choices about what they do

Yucca: Right. And to be, have that. Richer more colorful life. That isn't because of what you have, but because of what you do and experience,

Mark: and the relationships, you know,

Yucca: right.

Mark: Yes. Yeah. Including with the world itself, with the biosphere and the, all the various creatures that, that are a part of it. So that, that it's w it wasn't really a tangent, but it was sort of a long sojourn.

Yucca: Yeah. Well, that's the framework that we're going into talking about the rest of these items with,

Mark: Yes. That's true. Yeah.

So let's talk about herbs, which are somewhat different because many herbs do actually have medicinal qualities. Also many herbs are claimed to have medicinal qualities that don't really.

Yucca: Well, so many herbs are sprayed with a lot of stuff that you probably don't want to actually be eating and a may have been grown in a monoculture, you know, there's, there's a lot of levels to it. So just like, just like we were talking about with the crystals, you want to be really mindful and aware of the story of what it is that your.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: using

Mark: The good news about herbs is that you can grow your.

own. And then you know, what condition they were grown in. And you have a personal relationship with the plant because you fostered it, you helped for it to grow. I don't find that I use a lot of different herbs in my work. I've got, you know, the reliable ones, the Rosemary and the time and the Sage and the sweet grass, which doesn't actually grow locally where I am, but it smells so beautiful when it burns.

And I mostly use them in the manner of an incense because I but the other thing that you can do rather than burning them is just a heat. And then we'll still make this beautiful scent as the, the essential oils in the earth evaporate and go into the, into the air column.

Yucca: Right. And some of them, you can, you can simmer and water and do like the like put it on the stove top and you'll get that beautiful smell. Some of them that does not work out for. So you got to kind of experiment with that.

Mark: Don't do that with pepper. I have bad experience in system cooking things with a lot of chili flakes or a lot of black pepper.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: you, you basically create tear gas. It's not very good.

Yucca: So once again, common sense, right?

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: A little bit of common sense in there, but.

Mark: but.

there is something very wonderful about having bundles of dried herbs hanging around your kitchen. There's something about it. That's evocative of that. Archetypal hovel of the wise woman in the woods you know, who has a plant for everything, Right.

Who, who knows the lore of the plants and. Not thoroughly versed lore of the plants kind of person, but I know people who are in our community and I think that's a wonderful path to pursue.

Now I stop at the point where we start talking about the energies of plants that are magically going to influence something or other that are going to bring luck or money or relationships or those kinds of things, because I don't believe that stuff, but. Certainly, you know, elderberry, cough syrup works pretty well when you've got a cough and Rosemary or mint or a combination of the two, if you steam them and breathe the steam, when you're all congested, your nose will clear up.

These are compounds that really work

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: and you know, they smell beautiful. The plants have. Fascinating histories of how they've been used or transported or transplanted around the world. So. That's that's kinda my take on, on the herbal thing. I can't speak to whether a particular plant has a medicinal power or not, because I'm not an expert in that way.

But we're, we're talking about things now from the standpoint of their, their ritual qualities or their so-called magical qualities rather than their, their literal qualities. And just, just the aesthetic presence of those bundles of herbs, you know, it, it really can make a big difference. I mean, in the Southwest, you see people with chili peppers

Yucca: Okay. Yeah,

Mark: around the kitchen,

Yucca: there's some outside our door. Yup. We're almost out though, because you're actually supposed to be eating. Most of those people hang it for decoration, but there's drive so that you can break it off and you can put it in with your food. But yeah,

Mark: So, are you going to make it to the next harvest?

Yucca: No, we will not. Nope, we're out almost. But maybe we're in the new house now, so, and this'll be our full year, so we'll be growing a lot more of around stuff this year.

But but we do, you know, with, we have a lot of herbs in the house and it's a lot of them are more just based on smell and associates. Right. I know that there's, that there are medicinal properties of certain things, but a lot of them, I think, you know, there's probably something in Campbellsville and lavender, which chemically interacts with our bodies in a certain way.

But I just associate that with calm down. Relax just, oh, this is wonderful. Have the warm cup of tea or the smell or the, and because we use them that way intentionally, then it immediately brings us back to that since I.

Mark: Yeah.

And, and. I, I agree with you about cam and particularly because I have a very strong association of camomile as being very calming as well. And I don't know how much of that is just sort of the reputation and how much of it is an actual chemical interaction with my body. And how much of it is it just the flavor of camomile is so subtle. It's like, it's, it's not like. Beer or wine or, you know, something that really just makes a huge explosion in your mouth, right? It's this very, very subtle flavors. So you kind of have to slow down and pay attention, or it'll just seem like hot water

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: in order to taste it. It forces you to slow down, which is part of what's lovely about the Arab. So, yes, I'm sorry. I saw you stutter there? for a second as well. So I think we lost connection for a second. So by all means, you know, explore the world of plants. It's, it's a fascinating world. And

Yucca: Especially if you can grow some, even if it's just. And sometimes this is wonderful, but it, if there's just as a south facing or north, if you're in the Southern hemisphere, a sun facing window and just a few little pots.

Mark: Yeah, just, just a couple little pots And you can grow, you know, you can grow your, your time. You know, there's nothing like fresh time. It really, it, it doesn't dry. Well, honestly, I mean, however, freshly you get your dry time, fresh time is just so much more powerful. And it there's

Yucca: Bazell

Mark: in Bazell

Yucca: we can. Yeah. There's just something about, about fresh Bazell and it's so expensive if you buy it, it's

Mark: if you buy it by the bundle. Oh,

Yucca: Well, if you want, if you buy fresh Bazell I mean, I know you can get like the, the dried stuff, but if you go to the grocery store and you buy like a few little sprigs, I mean, you're paying at least where I am like five bucks for something that's like the length of your hand and that's it.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: So,

Mark: yeah.

We definitely have our basal plant in the kitchen and. One of the things that's really lovely about that is that the minute that you start picking leaves off of a plant and throwing them into a cooking pot, you're doing Witchery you absolutely are. There's just, there's something about it.

You know, about drawing from the wild and, and putting. Drawing from, from the biosphere, from life and mixing something into your, your pot of food. There's just something that's very magical about it. And you can do it with intention and then you're adding that layer into your cooking. So.

Yucca: And then as you take the bite, let's say you're doing basal right? When you take that bite, you can, if you can remember that intention each time you take that bite, right? So you did it as you were cooking and then as it was going into your body,

Mark: Right. And over time that will build an association between that taste and a particular feeling, a feeling of being well-nourished and taken care of at home. For example and those are powerful things because if you really need that, if you're far from home in a sterile hotel room going to a conference and you suddenly feel like you're. Ungrounded and wondering why the hell you went to this thing and how you're going to manage to do your presentation tomorrow. If you brought a little bottle of Bazell leaves with you and you can take a nice sniff of that, maybe that brings you back home, maybe that maybe that reestablishes, that sense of solidity inside yourself.

Yucca: Right. Or if you needed to be at the hospital for some reason, right? That's the time that you really want to be just present and grounded and in your, because you're probably why ever you're at the hospital, unless maybe it's for a birth. Right. But in most other cases it's a tricky time. Like you're usually not very happy to be there.

Mark: right,

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah.

So. I mean, we're, we're talking about these things in the context of how you can use them in your so-called spicy psychology. You know, the what said no, we'll called a little red adding a little razzle-dazzle to the. The things that you do in life so that you can be more effective, you can be happy Or you can be more focused.

You can be more calm push away, anxiety rise up from depression, all of those things. And those are real effects. You know, we've been talking a lot this episode about how crystals don't really have magical properties and so forth, but the effects that we're talking about when we talk about ritual work are real effects.

They, they affect your consciousness and that means that they affect your life. So we were. Finish by talking about some ways that you can go about charging magical stuff. So let's say you got yourself a beautiful rock specimen. Doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be a crystal. It could be I don't know, one of those lumps of native copper, beautiful things, there, all these strange sort of configurations of, of copper that you find them in the desert sometimes.

Whatever it is, what

Yucca: your business.

Mark: oh,

Yucca: seen those. Those are yet.

Mark: really cool. Yeah. I have a couple of them.

Yucca: Yeah. So first of all, Again, our take is that you're not actually taking some sort of magical power and storing it inside of that object. But what you're working on is your relationship with that object, your S you are immediate association that association, that relationship that's underneath that thinking part.

The thing that you're going to experience instantly, right.

Mark: Right. Which when you think about it is kind of like charging something it's like, it's like storing it's like storing a particular quality, like a battery so that when you take that object out or you hold it or you put it in your pocket or whatever it is, you can feel some of that quality leaking out metaphorically speaking, and instilling you with that.

Right. I won't say who this is, but I have a friend who has a stone sex toy that she has lots and lots of very pleasurable associations with.

Yucca: Sure.

Mark: Yeah.

Because that's what it's for. And so she brings that with her to conferences. Not because she's going to use it, but because it just kind of brings happiness.

Yucca: Hmm.

Mark: just, you know, I'm putting happiness in my suitcase, so I'm going to tote it along and it's going to keep me happy. So I think that's very cool

Yucca: So that would've been something. It was just kind of built naturally, right. That

Mark: over time. Yeah.

Yucca: But, you can also do that very intentionally in ritual. You can, you can plan a ritual, you can sit down or go into your sacred space or whatever. However, you're going to structure that and. And try to bring whatever that is with you, right?

If this is going to be something that say you're working on the feeling of comfort and relaxation, right? So do a bunch of things. That's going to get you into that state.

Mark: Right.

Yucca: Do you know, are there songs that get you there really quickly or certain smells or, you know, did she want to put on your, your fluffy slippers in your bathrobe or whatever it is, right.

And have that object with you. Right. And start to, you know, if you're a word, see person, then, you know, maybe talk to it or, you know, what are the things, can you think of Mark?

Mark: Well, in terms of talking to it to start with, I mean, you can literally say to it, I am now putting comfort into you. I am pouring that cuddly feeling of being on a winter's morning, under enough blankets, where everything feels warm right down to the tip of your toes. And that is going into this stone.

It's going into it and it stays. And that's, what's going to be there every time I pick up this stone, I'm going to feel cozy and safe and taken care of. Say you have an issue with consistency that you, and you know, this is a thing for folks like me who have ADHD. It can be very, very difficult to be consistent.

And it's taken me a long time to develop The kinds of systems that I need for constantly reminding myself of things so that I can do what I've said. I'm going to do. One way you can do that is if you have a daily practice, incorporate the charging of this object into your daily practice so that you are being consistent, inputting this consistency into your object.

Right. So if it's,

Yucca: The stubble helpful then. Right? Cause you've practiced the consistency. And then you have the thing that associate you associate with consistency.

Mark: And what you've done is you've proved to yourself that you can be consistent and it doesn't have to be a hundred percent, you know, that's, that's, that's not how things work. You know, it's

Yucca: Yeah,

Mark: the, I, the idea of perfection is like the idea of virginity. They don't exist. they're made up they're made up ideas.

Yucca: they're made up to shame people into, into behaving or obeying.

Mark: into obedience. Exactly. That that's not a real thing. A real thing is. Being more consistent, Right.

Being more consistent than you were otherwise. If you miss a day of your daily practice, go back to it the next day. That's fine. But you do that for two weeks and now you have an object which has a, a story before.

I did this ritual for two weeks, you know, where I was putting consistency of, of action into this object, into you know, whatever it is, a feather wand or a, a stone or a bundle of herbs that you might want to burn. So that at a time when you really need to be consistent and. demonstrated that you can be consistent in the course of doing that.

So think creatively about how these rituals can go, you know, the best way to develop an association between an object and an experience is to have that object with you while you're doing the experience.

Yucca: Right

Mark: So, whatever it is you're looking for, if you're looking to goose up your love life, well, you know, have that on your bedside table.

If you're looking to increase your capacity for focus maybe on your work desk or someplace where you really have to pay close attention.

Yucca: Right for gratitude on the table or, you know

Mark: Great one. yeah.

Great one. Yeah. So I, I guess sort of to summarize what I would say is, we're not saying that there aren't magical things. But what we mean by a magical thing is different than what a lot of people in the broader pagan community, me, we don't, we don't mean that there is some inferior quality radiating out from a particular kind of crystal that causes your liver to work better or something like that.

What we mean is you can come to associate an object and pick the object that you think is a fitting. One Right.

when it comes to being focused and precise, a really sharp edged. Perfect. Court's crystal might be the Right.

object for you to use for that because it has its own kind of precision and perfection.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So we can come to ritually imbue. These objects with a kind of a power to speak to us, a narrative to speak to us and in doing so we can enhance our lives. We can enhance our ritual practices and we can be happier, more effective people, which of course is, as we say so often, That's the goal happier, more effective, make a better world.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So, do we have anything else? Yucca.

Yucca: No, I think that this is a good place to wrap up.

Mark: Okay. Good. All right.

Yucca: I think that we covered quite a bit here and really, you know, covered the points that we wanted to about starting with talking a little bit about the consumerism part of it. You know, what's really the function of these and what is it mean for it to actually be magical in those relationships?

And so we've, we've gone through quite a bit, actually with a few tangents here and there, little branches growing

Mark: Rocks. Check them out.

Yucca: Yes, Go down, go down that, that a Wikipedia rabbit hole. So,


Mark: great. Yeah. thank you, so much, Yucca. It's been a pleasure as always. And boy, we are sure. Getting close to century retreat it's

Yucca: yes.

Mark: six weeks away, seven weeks away, something like That

Yucca: That is yep. It's just around the corner. It really is. I mean, I don't know how it is for you, but the last couple of days has been pretending to be spring here. It, we will get a few more freezes, but it's just making it seem like, oh, well this retreats happening in the spring, right. It's spring. So is it now, can we go yet?

Can we go?

Mark: We just had all the wisteria growing on our back fence bloom and it's so it's beautiful and it smells so good.

Yucca: I love that

Mark: spring is really happening here. The trees are leafing out and it's just really, really going on. Yeah. So happy spring to all of our listeners, except the ones south of the equator.

Yucca: yes then happy.

Mark: in which case, happy fall. Happy autumn.

Yucca: Oh, one more thing. My daughter came up with a holiday and it's Snake Celebration day, and so we need to draw pictures of snakes or make little models of them. And when we see the first snake out, that gets to be snake celebration day,

Mark: Okay.

Yucca: but we have to, we have to prepare ahead of time, have everything ready to put up so that, you know, because we don't know which day it's going to

Mark: so you draw the pictures and make the models in advance.

Yucca: And then we can put them up the day. That is snakes celebration day.

Mark: That sounds like a great holiday.

Yucca: Yes. So, all right. I'll let you know when it happens

Mark: All right. Cool. Please do well. A pleasure as always

Yucca: thanks Mark.

Mark: have a great week, everybody.

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