What a difference a year can make!

Out of the Broomcloset illustration photo by Leon Califiore

Out of the Broomcloset

I must admit, as we approach Pride Week and the Summer Solstice, peculiar sensations have been bubbling up; they may seem peculiar because, let’s be honest, they are upwellings from deeper reservoirs of emotion, ones that many of us thought we would no longer have a reason to access. Dare we admit it? We may actually allow ourselves to, once again, maneuver under the beneficent rays of optimism.

Yes, this can be allowed amidst far too many ill, far too many dying still, for, “Now is the winter of our discontent made sunny summer by” …well, just about everything, except Republican-controlled state legislatures, whose partisans seem intent on throttling any new golden age of medicine, because that reality hurts their feelings. It is frankly stunning how they can find, simultaneously, that medicine with a capital M can be so entirely wrong (COVID-19 deniers) and monstrously omniscient (reproductive health, appropriate care to the trans members of our family).

Frankly, my dears, you are welcome to dwell in the pit of despair that you seem to so enjoy, but don’t make it mandatory for all of the rest of us to cram in there; personal choice, personal freedoms, and all that, yeah?

But let’s return to optimism, offering a few magical workings which will aid in generating it, increasing it, carrying it around on your person.

The first Craft project to hand involves the numerical square of the Sun. You can draw this on nice paper or just clip out the image provided here. If you’re drawing it, use a nice gold or yellow ink or paint, and fill in the numbers in numerical order, from 1 to 36, concentrating on the increase, success, even fame, should you so desire. (If you already have a fortune to run through, engrave it on a gold square).

The next offering is from the Key of Solomon, one of the Pentacles of the Sun, which aids in bending the will of those rascally solar spirits, the better to lend you their aid, when in your possession; you could consider it the original solar panel. These should be made on a Sunday or at least a sunny day.

To round things off, here’s the recipe for a wash that embodies all that solar goodness that you might want to gather around yourself this season. You may either simmer a handful of dried marigold flowers or chamomile in three cups of water or put the same in a jar with the lid and leave it out in the sun, letting its rays do the extraction work. Let cool, strain out the plant material, then boil down about 1/2, cool, add an equal volume of grain alcohol (like vodka), add one-drop of gold chloride, bottle, keep in a dark place. A dab on either of the above-mentioned talismans would be a nice addition, or you can rinse your hands with it before engaging in a new enterprise (we’ve certainly gotten better about frequent handwashing, haven’t we).

That’s all for now. May all bright and wonderful things come to you and yours this season of Pride.