Despite the many years I have been on this Earth, this is one of the most prevalent sayings that rings true in my life.  When Mama would say this as I was standing in the middle of the work area where all physical movement from counter to refrigerator to stove would occur, it was an indication to M-O-V-E and wait in another less populated area of the kitchen, maybe even the dining room. Better yet, go outside and play. ‘Find something to DO!’ she’d say. The kitchen, heart of the house and where all nurturing comes from in the form of food as an expression of love, would hustle and bustle every evening and on weekends, churning out home style meals, baked goods, pickles, chow-chow and jams in summer, fruitcakes in winter. To stand by the stove and peer over the rims of the Revereware stainless steel pots and pans, top of the line in their time, would slow down the process of “getting out of the kitchen because it was getting too hot to handle” as Mama’s baby hair would curl on her nape as it loosened itself from the confines of the ponytail meant to keep her cool as she worked. She was a natural cook, not one who could read and follow a recipe from the weekly magazines at the checkout. She was more creative than that, taking items in the refrigerator and making rib-sticking meals that came from the country. No Baked Alaska or Chicken a la King for her.

As you think of it, the notion of ‘waiting for the pot to boil’ is akin to some experiences in hoodoo and conjure. We are now an existence where time is something we do not have enough of (or so it seems) and with the onset of inventions that can speed up whatever it is we are waiting for, we have developed less and less tolerance for waiting. I have had many clients sigh in frustration because I would say that I will get them a detailed e-mail to them with spiritual considerations to choose from. It was as if they wanted me to cancel the next appointment after theirs and stop everything to meditate to give them their best option, because their target or victim was not allowing instantaneous satisfaction for them. When I state that I will give a report to them in a day or so, it is because I need quiet time in a long stretch without interruption in order to give them the attention their case needs. I could be flippant like Mama, who would tell me to go make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I would complain of being hungry an hour before dinner was ready, but to give a client an off-hand remark would really not be doing them any good to help them in their spiritual process of the reason they called me., now wouldn’t it?



“A watched pot doesn’t boil” also can be applied to those individuals who want to micromanage hoodoo or candle services. There souls sit by their candles for the entire length of the burn and ask advice for each and every nuance that occurred. While there are traditionally held meanings of candle ‘behavior’, to sit and watch the candle throughout the entire process means there are trust and maybe even control issues with the Petitioner. They cannot write a solid petition and light the candle and LEAVE to let the candle (and spiritual) process bring the solution that is BEST for the Petitioner in their situation. When you apply these techniques to something like a candle burning service for love, it is that you are trusting the Heavens, Saints, Guardian Angels, and more that the right person will be drawn to you to compliment you and your life and not Willie from around the way, who has three children from two different women and can’t make a commitment to either one of them.  I don’t wish that on anyone but you can bet I have heard others wish that on themselves more than I’d like to admit in my 30 + years of spiritual consultations. You are better than to attract “a Willie”,  but you have to understand that and wait for “something better” to come along.

Now that you can see that yet again the sayings of the Elders, albeit as irritating as some of their advice can be, can bring truth and enlightenment to those who want to listen and heed their wise counsel contained within them. Otherwise, your pot might eventually boil (or boil over) and you might get scalded in the process of trying to put the fire out!


Mama said ‘A watched pot don’t boil’ to someone who was standing or “hovering” over an item, event, or situation that needed time to reveal or manifest the outcome desired, and that no amount of watching it or “micromanaging it” was going to affect the outcome. This was said to a person that needed to apply their time to other things and get the “watched pot” situaion off of their mind for a while.




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