Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Yule!

Welcome back the sun - the Oak King is victorious over the Holly King!
The Holly King
Represents: Withdrawal, lessons, life, rest

Gods: Saturn (Roman agricultural god)

Cronos (Greek god, also known as Father Time)

Father Ice/Grandfather Frost (Russian winter god)

Odin/Wotan (Scandinavian/Teutonic All-Father who rides the sky on an eight-legged horse)
The Tomte (a Norse Land Spirit known for giving gifts to children at this time of year)
Thor (Norse sky god who rides the sky in a chariot drawn by goats)
Color: Black, Red, Green, Gold
Plant: Holly
Bird: Wren
Associated myths: Santa Claus in all his variations, the Green Knight from Arthurian legend, Mordred (who struck down King Arthur), St. John, Corn King, Bran the Blessed

The Oak King
Represents: Growth, Expansion

Gods: Jupiter (Roman god of light and sky)

Janus (Roman god of planting, marriage, birth, and other types of beginnings)
Dagda (Irish-Celtic god of the earth)
Frey (Norse fertility god)
Pan (Greek god of fertility, unbridled male sexuality and carnal desire)
Colors: Red, green, yellow, purple
Plant: Oak, mistletoe
Bird: Robin
Associated myths: Robin Hood, King Arthur, Gawain (when he meets the Green Knight), Jesus, Balder, Green Man

OK, I know this post is way late, but I have been working like crazy since Black Friday (the retail one, not a Wiccan sabbat).  Here is how I celebrated - and my resolution is to prepare for Sabbats EARLY this year!
Music: All Things Pagan radio at
Merriment: Yule Goose and Wassail (I actually cooked a chicken, goose being a scarce commodity at my grocery store).
Yule Goose
1 whole goose (or fowl of choice)
1 sweet onion, peeled and quartered
2 lemons, 1 quartered, 1 for zest and juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
lemon pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Rinse bird and pat dry. Prick skin but not meat. Place quartered onion and lemon inside bird.  Zest remaining lemon into small bowl, then juice it into same bowl.  Add olive oil, sage, thyme and salt.  Stir and brush onto bird, sprinkle with lemon pepper.  Place on rack in roasting pan and cook for 15-20 minutes per pound, basting every half hour.  Remove from oven, discard onion and lemon, let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
·        1 Gallon apple cider
·        2 C. cranberry juice
·        1/2 C honey
·        1/2 C sugar
·        2 oranges
·        Whole cloves
·        1 apple, peeled and diced
·        Allspice
·        Ginger
·        Nutmeg
·        3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
·        1/2 C - 1 C brandy (optional)

Preparation: Set your crockpot to its lower setting, and pour apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in, mixing carefully. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot (they'll float). Add the diced apple. Add allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste - usually a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Finally, snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add those as well.  Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 - 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it.
Yule bonfire (I just learned that you can put dryer lint in egg carton cups, place it under your kindling, and get a fire started pretty easily!)

Prayer I wrote for my meditation/ritual
To Winter
Moonlight, starlight, glittering snow
Candles shine as darkness grows.
Cold and lonely, winter rules
In this time we know as Yule.
Salamanders of fire, we call on thee,
Your warmth and light guide us
So mote it be!

Hope your celebration was wonderful and your winter is merry and bright!  Happy New Year and Blessed Be!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse

Today is the full moon and a total lunar eclipse.  The moon's magick is at her strongest.  May you be blessed in all you think and do!  This month's moon is called the Long Nights Moon.  From

The last moon phase of the year is the Long Nights Moon in December, also called the Cold Moon or Big Winter Moon.
Correspondences:Colors: White, red, and black
Gemstones: Obsidian, ruby, serpentine
Trees: Pine, holly
Gods: Minerva, Osiris, Athena, Persephone and Hades
Herbs: Ivy, mistletoe, holly and berries, cinnamon
Element: Fire
As the days get shorter and Yule approaches with the longest night of the year, we force ourselves to get through the darkness because eventually we will see the sunlight and warmth again. Think about the things in your life that you've had to endure. Sometimes, a part of us must die in order to be reborn. Now is the perfect time for spiritual alchemy -- time to evaluate your life, and know that you'll survive the dark times.
If you've already put the darkness behind you, take your good fortune and share it with others. When it's cold outside, open your heart and home to friends and family. Reach out to people who might be suffering from the chill of winter, either spiritually or physically.

May you be happy and healthy as you prepare for Yule! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bewitching Gingerbread Latte

Take your favorite freshly ground coffee, brewed with pumpkin pie spice.  Add a shot of Domaine de Canton French ginger liqueur and a splash of milk.  Stir deosil (clockwise) while making a wish.  Blessed be!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kitchen Coffee Witchery

Make your own pumpkin spice coffee by adding pumpkin pie spice to the grounds before brewing.  You can make your own spice:
4 T. cinnamon
4 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 tsp. ground ginger
3 tsp. ground allspice
Stir all spices together and keep in an airtight jar (re-use an empty spice jar).

Experiment and come up with your own combination, maybe adding cloves or chili powder or cocoa - whatever you like!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mourning Moon

This month's full moon is called the Mourning Moon.  Here is a bit of info from the pagan/wicca site on

It's a little chillier each day, the skies are a bit grayer, and it's the time of year we call the Mourning Moon. This post-Samhain season is often considered a fallow time, a period in which we rest and rejuvenate. It's also the beginning of a new year for most Pagans and Wiccans - why not use this month to plan your new beginnings for the coming year?

Correspondences this month include colors that match the changing skies -- grays and blues and silvers. Gemstones for this month continue the theme with topaz and lapis lazuli. Take the time this month to honor deities of the dark season like
Isis, Bastet and Hecate. This is a time to wash away your old bad habits and baggage -- get a fresh start for the new year. Dump those toxic relationships that are dragging you down with negativity, and work on strengthening your connection to the Divine and to Self.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dinner to brighten longer nights

Daylight savings time is over.  I'm spending what time I get outside raking leaves, pulling the last (hopefully) of the weeds, trimming back bushes and laying down mulch.  Colder nights mean time to break out the crockpot again!  I think of it as a modern day cauldron.

Tonight I'm making pulled pork:
3.5 lb boneless pork shoulder
1 large chopped sweet onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
(I leave out the onion and garlic for digestive reasons and the pork is still the best I've ever had!)
1 12 oz bottle chili sauce
2 T. packed brown sugar
2 T. cider vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

For easy cleanup, use a liner in the slow cooker.  Place pork, onion & garlic in slow cooker.  In medium bowl, combine all other ingredients.  Pour over pork.
Set cooker on high for 5-6 hours or low for 10-11 hours.
Remove pork to large plate or serving dish, reserving juices in cooker.  Using 2 forks, shred pork, discarding any fat.  Skim fat from top of juices.  Pour enough juice over pork to moisten it.  Recipe makes approximately 6 cups.  Leftovers can be divided into 2 cup portions and kept in airtight containers for other recipes.  Refrigerate for 3 days or freeze up to 3 months. 

For dessert - blondies. 

The recipe (and a video) can be found here:

In older times, the beginning of winter meant fresh meat (so the livestock would not have to be fed through the lean times ahead) and the wine and beer that had been fermenting since the harvest were ready to drink.  Celebrate that fine tradition: eat, drink and be merry!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Autumn Blessings

First of all, it's snowing, so water for the plants! My baby oak trees are a year old and dropping acorns like crazy. I was wondering what to do with them when the blue jays swooped in and solved the problem for me. Nature is pretty amazing!
Between the shorter days and cold wind, I've been preferring my couch to a walk around the park. Then I discovered all the workout dvds you can find at the library. So far I think this is my favorite:
It has great music and incorporates other moves into the walk so you don't get bored. It can all be done in a very small space in your living room and is a lot of fun. Plus the instructor is so nice and upbeat - the time flies by and I really enjoyed working out while watching the snow fly!
Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Night

If you have not yet performed your Samhain ritual, follow the link to a very cool one I found at  It basically involves invoking the Goddess and God and asking them to watch over you and your ancestors as the year dies and the new year is reborn.  It allows you to let go of the past and consider what you'd like to accomplish in the coming year as well as reflecting on your family and loved ones who have passed on.  Even if you can't gather all the items and prepare the altar, it's worth reading just for reflection and awareness.  (If you can do the candles, though, it's pretty cool to watch them almost go out and then flare back up again!)
Thanks to Cyndi for the eerily cool tree photo!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Diwali!

Today is Diwali, the Festival of Lights celebrating the Hindu New Year.  It is a time to laugh, enjoy life, and be grateful for the abundance of the Earth.  Along with Ganesha, Lakshmi is honored today.  She is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. She is said to bring good luck, and is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.  May she shine on you!  It is the new moon today and also a time for divination and introspection.  As the days grow colder and darker use your down time to grow your inner garden - plant thoughts and dreams you would like to cultivate during the fall and winter months ahead.  Blessed be!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Countdown to Samhain

Just posted my first quilted project on Etsy.  It's a Hallowe'en themed candlemat and it was so fun to make!  I definitely want to do more quilting in the future.  I would love to make a quilted robe to wear for outdoor rituals, with appliques of various pagan symbols.  Have a happy day, my darlings, and here is a blessing I have found calming and inspirational.  I incorporate it into my daily ritual right after invoking the Goddess and God:
Bless me, my Lord and Lady, for I am your child.
Bless my mind that I may know your truth and wisdom.
Bless my voice that I may speak with kindness.
Bless my heart that I may know your love and let your light shine through.
Bless my womb that I may be aware of all life.
Bless my knees that kneel at your sacred altar.
Bless my feet that they may tread the path of rightness and reverence.
Bless my hands that they may be instruments of creation and healing.
Bless me, my Lord and Lady, for I am your child.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Thanks to my son, Jarrod, for turning me on to Live365, free web radio.  My favorite station is Dryad radio.  They play a lot of Celtic music but they also have Wiccan specific music.  Two that I liked enough to download are both by Elaine Silver from Faerie Goddess: "By the Earth" is especially good to listen to for circle casting and "Burning Times" is just a moving song.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Moon

Today is the new moon, a time for reflection, introspection and awareness of psychic energy.  Use today to rest, relax, regroup and regenerate. You may find your interest drawn to past lives, divination, magical study or meditation.  Whatever your focus, it's a great time to discover your own truth as your energy becomes more focused and turned inward.  Be kind to yourself and compassionate toward all.  Blessed be!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday dinner

While looking up ideas for the leftover pumpkin from my harvest cake, I ran across this recipe for Curried Pumpkin Soup:

Printed from COOKS.COM


Read more about it at,161,153185-253202,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
2 c. canned chicken broth
2 tsp. curry powder
Dash turmeric
Dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 c. sour cream and some for garnish
Seasoned croutons for garnish
1. Mix pumpkin and chicken broth in medium saucepan and stir over medium heat. 2. Add spices and sour cream. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
3. Garnish with dollops of sour cream and a few croutons per cup serving.

Since I had slightly less than half a can of pumpkin left over, I cut the recipe in half.  I also substituted milk for the sour cream.

And here are the herbs I cut ready to bring inside for fall - mint, rosemary and lemon thyme. 

I will be using the lemon thyme in this potato soup recipe, substituting it for regular thyme.
Potato, Artichoke and Leek Soup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups cleaned and chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 (13 3/4-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed baking potatoes
  • 2 small thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon Original TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley
Melt butter in a medium saucepan; add onion and leeks and cook, covered, about 10 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and cook until leeks are very soft, about 5 minutes, adding garlic at last minute.

Add broth, artichokes, potatoes and thyme and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add milk and TABASCO® Sauce and simmer 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and discard thyme.

In a food processor or blender, purée soup until very smooth. Serve hot or cold, garnished with parsley.

From THE TABASCO® COOKBOOK 1993 by Paul McIlhenny with Barbara Hunter. Used with permission from Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

To work off all those calories, I've been getting into Kundalini yoga.  I enjoy the metaphysical aspect and it really puts you in a great place for meditation or spell work.  I found this dvd at the library but there are plenty of videos on youtube as well.