Sunday, October 30, 2016

About Being A Modern Witch

The Unexpected Hallowe'en Post


When I was younger, I wasn't, weirdly enough, a substitute teacher. I belonged to a school where I worked for five years. I then took my pupils to England every spring. As I had all kinds of natural remedies to help them whenever they didn't feel well (teachers are forbidden to give chemical medicines to pupils), they gave me the nickname "Miss Witch". They meant it in a good way and to me it was really a spot on compliment.


Quand j'étais plus jeune, je n'étais pas, bizarrement, remplaçante. J'avais un poste fixe et j'emmenais mes élèves en Angleterre un an sur deux. Éloignés de leur famille parfois pour la première fois, ils souffraient toujours de toutes sortes de maux et j'avais toute une batterie de remèdes naturels à leur proposer puisque les professeurs n'ont pas le droit de donner de médicaments. Les élèves m'avaient donc surnommée "Madame Sorcière". Cela se voulait affectueux et effectivement, je l'ai pris comme un compliment qui me correspondait tout à fait.

But the modern witch I am has little to do with the funny witches you see around for Hallowe'en. So what is it about?


Je suis une sorte de sorcière moderne qui n'a que peu de rapport avec les drôles de sorcières pleines de verrues que l'on voit dans les films de Disney. Mais, alors, être une sorcière moderne, en quoi cela consiste ?

 
1. Reconnecting with nature
If traditionnal witches were connected to the supernatural, I'm only trying to reconnect with nature's rhythm. I have a feeling that my generation grew up very far away from nature. We didn't question ready made food then and we were used to find any kind of vegetable or fruit all year round in supermarkets. As I get older, I'm more and more aware of how far from nature humans have become. I would feel stupid to turn my back on civilisation (or running hot water), but you won't see me eat strawberries in winter!


1. Renouer avec la nature.
Quand on pense aux sorcières historiques, on imagine toujours des femmes vivant dans les bois et liées au surnaturel. Je m'en tiens au naturel... Je fais partie d'une génération qui a grandi assez loin de la nature. A cette époque, on ne lisait jamais les ingrédients des paquets de biscuits et l'on trouvait normal d'avoir sur les étals des supermarchés tous les fruits et légumes tout au long de l'année. Je ne suis pas prête à renoncer au confort moderne (j'adore l'eau courante chaude), mais je tente de plus respecter les cycles de la nature et vous ne me verrez pas manger de fraises en hiver !

2. Acquiering knowledge
In fiction, witches have inherited supernatural powers. Modern witches don't inherit any knowledge, they have to study hard! I've always been interested in natural remedies, which helped me a lot when I travelled with my pupils. But this past year, I have greatly improved what I know about plants, spices, vegetables and fruits thanks to reading different books and many websites (by the way, thanks to all the people who share what they know and to medicine students who share their lessons on the Internet). Once you've learned things, the job part isn't over, you need to make your own opinion by testing them.


2. Acquérir des connaissances. 
Dans les fictions, les sorcières héritent à la naissance de pouvoirs surnaturels. Ce n'est évidemment pas le cas pour la pauvre sorcière moderne que je suis. A la place, je dois étudier de longues heures. J'ai toujours été intéressée par les remèdes naturels, ce qui m'a beaucoup aidée lors des voyages scolaires. Mais depuis l'année dernière, j'ai bien amélioré mes connaissances sur les plantes, les épices, les fruits et les légumes grâce à la lecture de quelques livres et de nombreux sites Internet. Un grand merci, d'ailleurs, à tous ceux qui mettent ainsi leur savoir à la portée de tout le monde... et aux étudiants en médecine qui mettent leurs cours en ligne ;) 

3. Being powerful
I can't fly on a broom, but knowledge makes people powerful and free. That's why school was invented... or why women weren't educated in the past. Obviously studies from my youth ensured me a job, which makes me independant and free. My more recent studies helped me regain power over my body when doctors found apparently nothing to help me.


3. Avoir le pouvoir.
Non, non, je ne peux pas voler sur un balai... Mais la connaissance rend les gens puissants et libres. C'est pour cette raison que l'on a inventé l'école... et pour cette raison que les femmes n'étaient pas éduquées dans le passé. Les études entreprises dans ma jeunesse m'ont permis d'avoir un travail grâce auquel je suis indépendante et libre. Mes recherches actuelles m'ont permis de retrouver un semblant de contrôle sur mon corps quand les médecins ne trouvaient rien.

 
4. Sharing
Whenever I can, I like to help my family and friends... Sometimes I volunteer information, but most of the time, they have questions for me. There's nothing comparable to the feeling you get when you were able to relieve someone. So I only help because I'm selfish ;)


4. Partager.
Quand je le peux, j'utilise mes connaissances pour aider ma famille et mes amis... Parfois je prends les devants, mais le plus souvent, ce sont eux qui me posent des questions. J'aime pouvoir soulager quelqu'un... J'aide donc de façon égoïste ;)


I took the opportunity Hallowe'en gave me to write this post, but this is, of course, a year long "philosophy". It has little to do with decoration, but everything to do with the way I live at Cottage.


J'ai saisi l'occasion que me donnait Hallowe'en pour écrire cet article, mais il s'agit, bien sûr, d'une "philosophie" valable toute l'année. Cela a peu de rapport avec la décoration, mais dirige la vie telle qu'elle est menée au Cottage.

See you next time,

A la prochaine fois,


 PS 1 : The pictures were taken this Saturday afternoon as I was walking in Cottage's neighbourhood. I couldn't not show you what's on the chemist's sign of my town this week...


PS 1 : Les photos ont été prises ce samedi après-midi lors d'une promenade dans les alentours de Cottage. Je ne pouvais pas ne pas vous montrer ce qui défile cette semaine sur l'enseigne de la pharmacie de ma ville...


PS2: I'm sharing this post with...

36 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this post so much. I try to live more "naturally" but my knowledge of nature isn't as advanced as yours. Strawberries in winter are fine with me. Of course, living in Florida strawberry season is February and March. Your photos are so beautiful - portraits of a place in time. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. Fruits are in season at different times of the year depending on where we live. In Brittany, February is usually the coldest month!

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  2. I so believe what you are saying; to help others is one step toward an even more important healing in our minds that can transfer to our bodies! A good attitude works wonders. When my mother was dying of cancer, her attitude eased MY PAIN of watching her suffer silently. I wish you so much health and happiness, Magali!

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  3. Etre une sorcière nouvelle génération a bien des avantages, on oublie le balais pour le 2.0 c'est plus pratique, plus simple de chercher une recette ou une "potion"... oméopathie, aromathérapie, les produits naturels sont préférables aux produits élaborés par des laboratoires pharmaceutiques qui ne pensent qu'à créer des poisons destinés à la population de masse et surement pas à les guérir.
    Mes enfants ont toujours été soignés par des produits naturels tandis que les vaccins et autres traitements lourds étaient systématiquement éloignés du foyer, ça a toujours bien fonctionné
    J'envie cet esprit de découverte que tu as développé, peut être lié à ton métier d'enseignante
    un joli métier qui n'est pas facile dans notre société actuelle
    Belle journée et bon week end

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  4. I love those colorful trees :) they're like rainbows!

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  5. My great great grandmother was a midwife, and I would give anything to have her book of natural cures with all her notes. In modern society we have lost so many natural cures that were used for centuries, and we seem to be getting sicker for it. You won't see me eating strawberries in winter either. We try to eat all organic as well.

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  6. I love nature and try to learn about herbs and do use them for healing since my grandma was a herbalist at heart and did teach me a few things. However my knowledge is very small. Very pretty photos Magali.

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  7. Tes photos sont superbes ! L'automne breton a bien du charme même si les jours sont de plus en plus courts. Oui, tu as raison, il faut essayer de vivre au plus proche de la nature et oublier tout ce qui est chimique. Bon courage pour la reprise qui approche ! Bises

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  8. Hello Magali, the photos of Autumn is good enough for me, beautiful! Ahhh, so you're a good witch, guess I'll start calling you Glenda;). Knowledge is power and seeing that your doctors cannot help you, but I'm a bit befuddled as in why they cannot. Certainty I agree with you about losing touch of nature, it can be soothing and beneficial in healing our body and soul.
    Happy Halloween! Kathleen in Az

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    1. Glenda is fine by me if I don't need to wear a poofy pink dress ;)

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  9. All that you've written is so positive - knowledge is always feared but so, so valuable. Happy Halloween!

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  10. I agree with you 100%. And it is hard to recapture all that knowledge we have lost since families are fractured and not much of it is passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. We have to remember the medicine of today is only about 100 years old---that's why they call their business "medical practice." And I liked the picture of your "familiar." :-)

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    1. Modern medicine can make miracles, really, but I don't understand why it turns its back to traditional remedies.

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  11. Magali me encanto leer tu blog.hoy y te dire que siempre me encanta lo recibo con alegria las fotos estan muy bonitas y muy bien tomadas, que pena que en Florida no se puede apreciar el otono como en otras partes. gracias y besitos a los gatitos ;) nelly

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    1. Florida tiene otros puntos buenos, así que disfruta del sol mientras voy a tomar fotos de caída para usted.

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  12. Your words, philosophy and state of mind are so very positive Magali, which doesn't surprise me one bit.

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  13. Hi....i'm really glad you're doing better..i'm a firm believer in food as a healing tool..that photo of shadow has me thinking he's thinking enough already..and what's written on that tag he's wearing.? Beautiful autumn day over there for a walk an picture taking..love the chemist sign..it's been unseasonably warm here where i am..our kids went trick or treating last night..now it's on to Thanksgiving..then decorating for Christmas..hope you had a spectacular weekend and have a wonderful work week..

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  14. Such a powerful and positive post - I really enjoyed it.
    Your photo's were all so lovely to see too.

    Thank you so much.

    All the best Jan

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  15. Your points make perfect sense! Nice photos too ♥

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  16. A cottage life indeed Magali. It is meant for us to turn to the plants of our environment to heal us that is for sure. Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  17. A beautiful Halloween post, Magali! I love your philosophy, and enjoyed seeing some photos from around your neighborhood.

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  18. A lovely post, Magali! Nature has so much to teach us, if we would only listen......you are a 'good witch' and so caring. Wonderful scenery on your walk! xo Karen

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    1. You know, before I read the comments on this post, I never thought of good versus bad witches. I guess it's the same knowledge and it changes on depending how you use it.

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  19. As you know, I'm into natural health and healing, too and I firmly believe that knowledge is power. I have been doing a ton of reading lately on the "gut" and how the gut pretty much is the second brain of the body. It pretty much holds the key to our overall health. Most diseases, especially autoimmune ones, center in the gut. Our food supply here in the US is so tainted...so many pesticides and GMO's; artificial sweeteners and lots of junk food. That's why I try to eat as "clean" as possible and buy organic whenever I can.

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  20. Magali - I love this post and I try to adhere with most of these principles... watermelon is to be eaten in July...the best apples are in Autumn....natural fabrics whenever possible...drink water always. :)

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    1. You're right, apples are just delicious this time of year!

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  21. Chère Magali, thank you for visiting my blog post! We are both so busy with school, but it's nice to take a break and blog, isn't it?

    Enjoy a peaceful, Breton fall.

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  22. Very intriguing, Magali, both the information and the photos of your autumn!

    I, too, have grown more and more aware of what we eat, from living in Crete. Like you, we never eat strawberries in winter because we don't HAVE them in the supermarkets! That goes for everything that is not in season. Yes, the gut is responsible for so many of the daily operations that take place in our body, and that's why what we put into it is so important.

    Poppy

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  23. Good for you dear Magali for paying attention to nature and your body and things around us. Also love your beautiful fall pictures. Enjoy your pretty autumn leaves. We don't really have any here yet in Texas-still pretty warm.

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  24. I often think of the witches that were burnt at the stake all those years ago, and probably all they were doing was getting the latest cold remedy. People are going back to the old remedies now with natural ingredients and aromatherapy. I for one would have probably been burned at the stake myself. xx

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  25. il y a une vingtaine d'années, nous étions des extraterrestres nous qui vivions au plus près de la nature (les tisanes connues de nos grands-mères, les jardins garnis de plantes locales, le petit commerçant ou la moyenne surface au lieu des hyper) mais vous le constatez également autour de vous, cet art de vivre touche de plus en plus de personnes... quel espoir !!!
    bon week-end - cordialement - monique59

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  26. I've done lots of research into natural remedies myself after I suffered adverse reactions to prescription drugs. It's hard to stay on track with eating healthy, but the reward of feeling good is well worth the try.

    Your photos are beautiful!

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  27. C'est un bel article plein de sagesse.
    Bises. Babette

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  28. Hello my dear friend Magali, I had seen that your blog was not updating on the listing of blogs I follow and wanted to inquire if you were alright. I know the holidays are your busiest time of year as a teacher. I hope you are well my friend and know that I am thinking of you.

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