Everyday Sacred; Making Tea
(all images in this post are sourced from Google Images, and come from Pinterest and Tumblr. My searches included witch tea and pagan tea, in case you want to find them yourself)
As a pantheistic witch, my faith views are that everything is sacred, from my fellow human beings to the things we create, to every rock, tree, and blade of grass. I believe in balance, and that everyday, mundane activities can be made sacred simply by the intention we put behind it. Of my favorite things to do everyday that feels sacred is to make tea. Whether it's my morning cup of Earl Grey to help me wake up, or a fancy loose leaf tea that I make to sip on during meditation or ritual, or a pot that I will share with friends, tea is something that I make constantly throughout the day, and that in my opinion, greatly improves the mood and energy, just by being there.
Tea can do so much for me. I drink it as a stimulant in the morning, the heat and the taste feel like they are bringing me to life (not to mention the caffeine kick it gives me!) and it makes me feel cozy and warm when I drink it as I look out rainy or cold weather. Tea can be calming for me when I'm upset, the process of slowly sipping it and feeling the heat reach deep down inside me is grounding and soothing. Tea comforts me when I drink it, depending on the type, like drinking Chai teas in the fall and winter matching the season, or juicy fruit teas in the summer making me feel in touch with the solar energy. Tea is an integral part of my practice as a witch.
Tea feels sacred to me for another reason too, and that's because I am ingesting a bit of Mother Earth. Tea comes from plants, and plants have grown in the earth and been imbibed with all the elements; they need the sunlight to grow, and take in air and water to make their own food. When I drink tea I am using water and heat (fire) to make it, and the steam that rises from my hot cups is mixing with the air, so I'm inhaling small amounts of it too. Making a cup of tea is one more way for me to connect with the four elements, and I am reminded of that every time I make a cup.
I am not alone in viewing the act of making and drinking a cup of tea as a sacred act. All over the world there are cultures that incorporate tea into their divine practice, or as a cultural experience, and unlike coffee, which is seen as a very modern, popular culture kind of beverage, tea is seen somehow as a beverage that is a little more cultured, a little more refined.
Another "witchy" thing that I love about tea is the way it can be adapted to suit the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Many books on witchcraft and sabbats include recipes for making teas for ritual and celebration, and when I decided to drink a sabbat-themed tea instead of an alcoholic drink, I use it as an offering to the god and goddess. When I throw away the dregs of my teapot or tea cups (on those rare occasions when I don't finish it) they get poured into my potted plants or into my garden, the herbal infusions adding to the nutrients of the soil, and enriching it.
I have always thought that tea and witches went together like bread and butter, and as the years go on, my connection with the two only gets stronger. Do you have an everyday sacred beverage or food that you consume? Do you have a substance that you incorporate into your magickal or spiritual practice? Please share with me in the comments below!