Part of what I mean when I say “tiny witchcraft” is the act of infusing everyday, seemingly-small activities with magic and purpose. As disabled and neurodivergent (ND) witches, we often struggle with our day-to-day taskload as it is. Our magical practice should be something we draw energy from, not something that drains us even more. So rather than trying to fit giant, elaborate rituals into our spoon budget, why not find ways to ritualize what we’re already doing?
That’s what I love about this tea/coffee intention spell. Many of us already start the day off with an invigorating beverage of some sort. Whether it’s hot or iced, tea or coffee, black or full of sugar and cream, this tiny spell takes what we’re already doing and adds a sprinkle of magic to it.
The only supplies you’ll absolutely need are your drink fixings of choice. These could include:
- Coffee beans or grounds
- Tea (bags or loose leaf)
- Coffee machine or kettle
- Milk or creamer
- Sugar or honey
And of course, you’ll need a spoon for stirring, and a mug or thermos to hold your beverage in.
If you’re so inclined, you can add a bit more ceremony to it. For instance, you could designate a special mug or thermos for this morning ritual. This could be as involved as ordering a new mug/thermos and consecrating it under moonlight. (If you go this route, I suggest consecrating under a New Moon, for the magic of new beginnings and intention-setting). You could even do this consecration monthly, if you want to get really fancy! Or it could be as simple as setting aside a mug/thermos you already have and only using it for your magical morning brew from now on.
You could do the same thing by choosing a certain type or flavor of coffee or tea, setting it aside and reserving it for your first cup in the morning. But again, these are all bonus frills and they’re not at all mandatory! All you really need is a vessel, a beverage, and yourself.
Before you begin, set yourself up with whatever you need for maximum focus. For some folks, this could mean perfect silence and solitude. But that may not work well for you–I concentrate much better with some quiet instrumental music on in the background, for instance. Or silence and solitude might not even be feasible, if you live with others or if you need assistance to make your morning drink. So if you need music or ambient noise, turn that on! If you have roommates or companions, clue them into what you’re up to–maybe they’d like to be part of the ritual! But even if they don’t want to participate, you can make them aware that you’re doing something that requires your attention for a few minutes.
First of all, take a moment to create sacred space for yourself. There’s any number of ways to do this. If you work with deities or spirits, you might offer them a greeting, an invitation to participate, or just a silent word of thanks. If you feel connected to the magic of the elements, you might welcome their energy into the alchemy that you are about to create. Or you might simply say a few words of opening (aloud or to yourself), such as, “Blessings on this moment and this place, where I set my intention for the day ahead.”
Start up your coffee machine, your tea kettle, or whatever you’re using to make your beverage today. As your drink brews, steeps, warms, etc., take a moment to decide what, exactly, your intention for today is. This could be a tangible goal you set for the day, something you know you want to work on or get done.
- I’m going to do 10 minutes of stretching today.
- I want to respond to at least three emails.
- Today I’d like to call my grandfather to catch up with him.
Your intention could also be something more abstract, like a feeling you want to invite into your day or a manner of communication you want to foster.
An intention like this might be:
- Let me treat myself with kindness.
- I will bring compassion into my conversations today.
- I hope to be gentle with myself and others.
If I feel up to it, I like to try a soft meditation while I’m waiting for my tea to steep. Sometimes I focus on my intention. Other times I’ll choose a mantra or short prayer to repeat to myself. Recently I’ve been using a mantra I borrowed and adjusted from Monk and Robot, a series by my favorite author Becky Chambers. I’ve changed the deity’s name–in the book the god is Allalae, the god of small comforts. But that feels close enough to my own patron goddess Hestia, deity of the home and hearth, that subbing in her name for his just clicks. Plus it’s a really satisfying loop to repeat to yourself: “Hestia holds, Hestia warms, Hestia soothes and Hestia charms.”
If meditation or sustained focus don’t feel doable, though, use this steeping/brewing time to do something small to begin your morning. I don’t mean mindlessly scrolling through social media (though I am absolutely guilty of that, and will be again). I mean doing a stretch or two to wake up your body, or sending a text message to a loved one to say good morning, or even just popping outside for a moment to breathe in the fresh air. The activity you choose could be anything, just make sure you do it purposefully and with intention.
And speaking of intention, once your tea or coffee is ready, take a moment to focus on the intention you chose for your day. You may speak it out loud if you like, or simply hold it in your mind. Imagine that you are infusing your beverage with the goals and ideas you have for the day ahead. By drinking this magically-infused brew, you infuse yourself with the magic you’ve created.
You may remain in this sacred space for as long as you like. If I have a lot of time and focus, I’ll try to leave my phone off to one side and focus on the music I’m listening to as I drink. Often, though, this is too much to ask for my brain. So whenever I’m ready, I’ll say a quick thank you to Hestia to seal the spell. You can end with “blessed be,” or “so mote it be” if you want to be fancy. Or you can even just close the spell by letting go of the thread of focus and letting yourself move on to whatever’s next.
It may seem like a very low-key spell, all told, but that’s the point. I’d love to be the kind of person who could do a sun salutation yoga session and a full meditation every morning, and occasionally I am…but I’m usually not. What I am is someone who has tea every morning unless I am DEEP in the flareup trenches. So by attaching a bit of ritual to something I already do, I get a spiritual start to my morning, without adding much extra work to the process.
I hope that this tiny spell provides the same small spiritual start for you! I’d love to hear how it felt for you, or if you added any other accommodations that made it work better.