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Housewife Hoodoo - Dishwater Divination

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An Ongoing Series

Part One:

“There are nasty things in the bottom of dishwater.” ~Wisdom from anyone who has ever done dishes.

You’re trying to grab the last stray fork and your hand touches something slimy and – Yuck!

What can you do with those nasty bits, and what can they do for you? Dishwater Divination!

Yes, I said dishwater divination. Some of you may not know what dishwater is, if you’ve never washed dishes by hand. I have only had a dishwasher for the last couple of years, and let me tell you, its my friend. But washing dishes by hand was always relaxing to me. It was a time when I could just look out the kitchen window and watch the birds and bunnies, or the rain or the snow, or the wind blowing through the trees and the sunshine. A time when I was off the hook for having to do anything else besides what I was doing right then. Nowhere else I was supposed to be, and nothing else I was supposed to be doing at that moment. Nothing that couldn’t wait, anyway.

So, how does this fit in with Hoodoo? It’s something that our grannies and great grannies did every day. There wasn’t always indoor plumbing, but there has always been dish-washing.

I guess you could call it Granny magic, and I suppose many have done magic with dishwater. It’s just not something you hear a lot about. In fact, I had never heard about it until the day before my 42nd birthday, when my great granny felt like starting to share some of her secrets with me. Yes, she’s long dead. And no, I’m not crazy. She’s been watching over me for at least a couple of years now, that I’m aware of. It might have something to do with my finally having found and acquired her deck of playing cards she used for divination. I’ve been wanting them for a long time, and my Mom was always fiercely afraid of them and packed them away in a safe place. I found that safe place, along with a lot of other things after my Mom passed away a little over a year after my Dad passed.

So, my great granny (who does not wish for me to use her name – she is very adamant about this), has a very strong personality, and has been watching over me and talking to me a lot lately. And by a lot, I mean a LOT. I never had the privilege of meeting her in life. But I’m listening and learning a lot from her. Although it has taken me by surprise. Why she has decided to begin teaching me more now, I don’t know. But I’ve been aware of her presence for a couple of years now, and have heard her a few times on occasion, always loud and clear and firm. Not mean, though. She first appeared to me in a dream about Santa Marta, and then to someone else who felt the need to tell me about the dream and ask who this woman is. The similarities of the dreams left me with no doubt of the reality of the message as well as the identity of the messenger. (Psst! By the way, she says there is a whole lot of Hoodoo in my candles. And suggests giving Santa Marta blue flowers.)

So… Dishwater Divination, huh, Granny? You sure about this? Yes. Of course, you are.

I’ve been searching and searching and have found very little reference to dishwater online or in books pertaining to Hoodoo, or even Appalachian or Ozark Mountain magic. Well, I probably wouldn’t, would I? It’s a very personal practice that witches back in the day, in the country/rural areas or mountains didn’t want folks to know about. A secret. Well, I’m meant to share a portion of this secret. Not all of it, of course, just what you need to know that can help you. Some things were lost in the generations and need to be passed down to someone.

Here we go!

In the country, particularly here in the south, if you leave my house hungry, it’s your own fault. That’s just the way it is. If you come over, you’re going to be offered food. And friends, family, and neighbors are welcome to anything I have. Unless you disrespect, then you’ll be told to sit down and shut up or leave. Yes, I’ve said that to a woman who was mouthy at my husband, and her boyfriend got her out of my kitchen and off my property tout de suite!

So, anyway, we feed everyone around here. It’s a southern hospitality and just plain good manners. Plus we love company. I love to cook, and I love to eat.

How can you use cooking in Hoodoo? Well, that’s a whole ‘nother subject for another time. But right now we’re going to talk about ways you can use Hoodoo after your family or guests finish eating. Divination, in particular.

First, I’m going to explain by saying that most country folk at one time or another have used some form of divination. Whether it was water witching, egg reading, reading playing cards, reading persimmon seeds to determine if it will be a hard winter, and many countless other forms. Would they consider it witchcraft or Hoodoo? Probably not. Just a simple way of life. Like they were taught by their parents before them, their grandparents, and so on. Country folks grow up learning superstitions, old wives’ tales, and helpful hints that add up to everyday magic. Not that they always consider it magic, like I said. It’s just a way of life, and very commonplace to them. Nothing out of the ordinary or spectacular about it.

Now, we’re not going to get into the psychological aspects of why folks eat a certain way, why they leave this or that on their plate, or why they don’t like broccoli, etc.

What’s important in this discussion is the plate they leave behind when they’re done.

Let’s say this is one of your guests’ plates. And let’s say you’ve had the Taylor’s and McLure’s over for dinner. And let’s say you want to know something about what they’re up to, just out of curiosity. And a sneaking suspicion.

Keep your own dishes set aside for a while. Don’t wash them up all together. Wash your guests’ plates first. If you’re wanting to know something about just them.

Wash their dishes as normal. Nothing unusual about that.

And let the water out of the sink.

Now what?

Some techniques as far as a grid or a guide of how to perform divination (whether casting bones, or runes, or using a pendulum) were passed down between generations. Some where learned along the way or self-taught. There’s no right or wrong, necessarily.

What would make sense to a housewife, who wants to know something about her neighbors? Well, a general map of the important places in the immediate area, that are pertinent to her life, right? Right.

Now this isn’t to say that this is something she would have written down. It’s something she already knows. This is just for your reference.

So, in our housewife’s mind, this is how the sink looks, if she is looking at it as if it is the neighborhood she lives in, the folks who surround her, the places or things that are pertinent in her life.

OK, so let’s take another look at the sink, at some of the patterns that might be important. There’s some small cluster of food left in the upper left area. But that seems secondarily important at the moment. What seems most obvious to our housewife is the trail seemingly to be left around her house, to or from the backside of McLure’s house (lower left) up around the Taylor’s house (upper right).What does this trail mean?

Could be one of several things.

In our housewife’s situation, she’s might suspect that they’ve been going behind her back about something or plotting against her. If so, this would confirm it.

Alternately another possible scenario: Has she been suspecting that one of the men has been sneaking around seeing the other’s wife or visa-versa? Well, that’s not very likely in this situation. So, she discards that option.

So, what about the little cluster in the upper left hand corner that we noticed? It could mean that someone from the Burke house has been spreading rumors to others.

So, where does the problem originate?

See the small particle of food to the left of the drain (the center of the sink represents her house), and also the small particle to the left of the area that represents the Taylor’s house? They seem to say “notice me!” Both of these small particles represent something of significance and are to the left of each of their respective invisible property markers. Which represents the past (left).So, something that occurred in the past at her own house, as well as the Taylor’s house started this bullshit. Which is hard to pinpoint, since they all gather at each others’ houses in a neighborly way for meals and visiting. So, whatever the root cause originated with someone in the Taylor household. Our housewife decides this because the trail encircles that particle in question. And it involves something that has already happened in the past, concerning her and her household.

Suddenly, all the cylinders fall into place and it clicks! She realizes that there is jealousy over a piece of property and the folks involved are trying to figure out a way to take advantage of an unfortunate situation she and her husband are in financially at the moment. At the cost of her land. A neighborly offer to buy it from them to help them out of their situation. Seems tempting, right?

What about the tongue wagging elsewhere? What is the gist of that gossip? Well, she’s heard that there’s been talk about these other parties wanting to build a pub in the neighborhood. Well, she and her husband won’t stand for that, so now they realize there’s no way they’re going to sell their land and accept the offer that was extended, supposedly out of the neighborly “goodness of their hearts”.

Let’s take another look at the color photo of the sink, also. There’s a piece of food a little further away to the left. I’ve circled it in red, along with a little food particle near the pond. There’s also a secondary issue at play here. That appears to involve property near the pond. Our housewife and her husband are in the process of making a business transaction with someone regarding some property on the pond. And oh boy are they excited about it. It would be their little place to escape some of the stress they’ve been under. Something to look forward to. However, the little food particle to the bottom left seems to be saying “Hey, notice me! ”What our housewife’s gut feeling, along with what she knows about her divination methods and techniques, tells her is that these folks are also trying to figure out a way to acquire that property instead of her  and her husband. Even though she and her husband are already in the middle of a business deal involving that land. What a sneaky underhanded trick! And a plausible explanation for the run of bad luck our housewife and her husband seem to have been having lately. It seems that one problem after another has been cropping up and it seemed as though they had been hexed. Now it makes sense. Negative energy and even hexes can come from jealousy, selfishness, someone’s single-minded focus on their own self-serving purposes, or someone wishing us ill-will strongly enough that it actually manifests into a hex/curse. This is an explanation in a nutshell. I will talk more about this in a later blog post.

So, now we’ve gained some insight from a little bit of leftover food in a sink. Dishwater Divination.

So, now that we know this, what else can we do with Dishwater Divination?

If it were up to me, or our housewife, another reading would be a good idea. Card reading? Definitely. Maybe another dishwater reading? Possibly a good idea too. After all, we’ve still got her and her husband’s plates left to wash.

Are there other grids/guides to use with dishwater divination other than just the lay of the land, and overview of the neighborhood? Yes, absolutely!

Some folks use just a simple North, East, South, West chart and assigned meanings for each. There’s no once certain right or wrong way, just however feels right to you. It’s all about personal technique and method.

You can also make your own.

Or use more than one, at different times, as it seems appropriate.

Here’s another one that is a little more detailed. It divides into four specific quadrants, each one having a separate meaning. The top portion represents spiritual or non-physical things, things you can only feel. The bottom portion represents the physical world, things you can see and touch and events. The left portion represents the past, and the right portion represents the future.

How far out the significant portion of food in question is from the origin point signifies how far in the past or future it was/will be.

The grid that I use is much more detailed than this, but this is a good general starting place for teaching and learning purposes.

And don’t discount the option of making your own. Your own energy and magick is a very powerful thing. Let your intuition and spirit be your guide, it won’t steer you wrong.

What about things going on in your own house? You don’t have to be an architect, just draw out a simple layout of your house! This can help you find out what is going on with the kids’ lives, help find a lost object, pinpoint where negative energy is coming from, etc.

These are just some examples of guides/grids/charts for general divination. These can apply to bone casting, rune casting, pendulum divination, dice casting, and candle divination. I’ll teach a little more about these in a separate blog later on.

So, what else can you do with Dishwater Divination? Can you affect change using a person’s plate or food? Yes! Can you determine how that change will manifest (if it will, and if so how and when?)Yes!

When we (everyone) are eating, this is one of the times when we are most exposed, vulnerable and open to others’ energies (good or bad), being read, being affected by spiritual energies, magick, etc. That is something very important to know. And it plays a huge role in Dishwater Divination, as well.

More to come in the near future!

*Disclaimer: This example with our Hypothetical Housewife, like the examples in my Plate Petitions blog, is purely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual circumstances or people are coincidental.

Photos, Diagrams, Charts, Graphics, term Dishwater Divination (TM), all intellectual property and all information contained herein Copyright Sherry Scott. Please share links to my blog including this post, but please do not copy information or photos/graphics.

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