Monthly Archives: December 2010

To Welcome 2011~!…….

Merry Meet my wonderful friends!  So here we are at the end of the year…saying good bye to 2010 and welcoming in 2011!  For me, 2011 brings a new grandchild..boy or girl? we’ll know in about 10 days! 🙂  Either way we welcome this child into our family with great love and open arms.  This child is blessed to have the my daughter and her husband as parents and many sets of grandparents and great grandparents who would do anything for them. 

My wishes for myself for 2011 is probably the same as all of you.  Blessings of good health, prosperity, abundance, joy, fun, growth in knowledge and spirituality, Love….with no sign of sorrow, sickness, strife, drama, hurt or troubles.  I wish for all of you the same thing! 

“Here’s a toast to the future, a toast to the past, and a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant, the past a bright dream; may our friends remain faithful and dear.” –Anonymous

May you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year with those you love…whether you are partying or spending quiet time in reflection and repast!  Ponder on good things and the Goddess will bless you!

With much love, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Goddess, New Year, Quote

Saying good-bye to 2010……

Merry Meet my friends.  I hope that you all had a fabulous holiday and that Santa was good to you all!  I had a very nice holiday myself and my family was very generous and thoughtful this year…there were many “witchy” presents under our tree, for my daughters and myself.  My hubby got me the camera I had been wanting as well..can’t wait to play with the powerful zoom lens! 🙂  

If you’re like me, pretty quick after the last present is open and the feast is over and everything put away…it’s time to think about taking down the decorations! LOL!  For me this starts immediately.  All of the sudden I feel the need to clear out all the clutter that I find so beautiful and charming when the holiday season starts.  I want to put it all away, de-clutter, organize, clean.  As a witch, I also start thinking about clearing the house of the stale air and any negative energy.  I start thinking of projects I can work on during the long winter ahead.

I have blogged about how to do a house cleansing here before so I wont’ go into it again.  But I will be doing a thorough cleaning this week.  New Year’s eve I will do a thorough cleansing.  I will also at midnight throw open the doors and invite in positive, healthy energy and send out the old, negative energy! Grab your broom and sweep out all the things, both physical and mental, that no longer serve you well.  Do  a good smudging and a quick chant…that should do the trick!  I will also spend some time at my altar which will be set up just simply…holding only my elemental reps,  My god and goddess candles, some crystals, and my working tools.  As I think about what I want to come my way in the new year, I will place sympathy items there to represent those hopes…such as coins for prosperity,  a red heart stone for love,  a band aid for good health, food and drink for abundance, a 4 leaf clover charm for good luck, etc. Think about what you would like to have come your way and place items on your altar as well.  Ask god and goddess to bless you in the new year to come..you know they are listening! 🙂

We are heading for the New Moon as well soon.  Want to start a new project for winter?  The New Moon is the perfect time for that as all witches know!  I am going to tackle my attic to get rid of junk, turn a never used sewing room into a room for my grandkids, make a quilt for my granddaughter’s big girl room, and work on my Book of Shadows…seriously work on that!  I will catch up on reading as I will have more time to do that and will start working on making some herbal remedies I’m in need of as well.

I know alot of people don’t love Winter, but I say it’s an opportunity to both relax and reflect, and  a time to get your home organized and cleaned out for the coming spring.  Winter gives you time to work on those projects that you always want to do but don’t seem to have the time to do.  What will you do this winter?  What would you like to accomplish?  Find something to look forward to, don’t let the blues or the “I’m so bored” take over!  Think about spring coming..maybe you’d like to peruse gardening books and plan your garden.  Paint a room a pretty spring color like yellow or green or lilac.  Work on your BOS or make up some lotions and potions.  All of these things will make winter go faster and be more enjoyable and you’ll feel so good and so accomplished!

New Year’s resolutions?  Do you do them?  I have done them in the past and of course, like everybody else, start out with good intentions and work hard to do them, but they soon fall to the wayside.  I quit doing them many years ago.  This year however, I have a few things that I would like to resolve to do..to improve my life.  These I hope are very doable for me 🙂

*Be kind and speak softly

*Open myself up to receive love from others and to give love in return

*Practice witchcraft somehow, everyday

*Continue to learn and grow in my path..becoming stagnant is to lose my magick

*To be the best I can be

*To live in the moment

*To honor the Goddess and the Earth everyday in all I do

*Practice random acts of kindness

I hope these are things I can “do” everyday…hopefully without even giving it a thought..that it just comes naturally.  Have you thought about resolutions?  Things you’d like to bring into your life, that you want to change about your life?  Now is the time! 

Love and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Book of Shadows, Discussion, Goddess, New Moons, Winter

Christmas Joy to you and yours…..

Merry Meet my wonderful readers!  It is after 5pm Christmas eve.  I am settled in by the fire with husband and daughter at my side.  A Mickey Mouse Christmas is on tv, a glass of spiced wine is in my hand.  My hubby is trying to secretly wrap the gifts he chose for me, my daughter is dozing, and I am feeling warm and happy and accomplished! 🙂  Wrapping is done, gifts are bought, the fridge is full and the candles and fire are lit.  Tomorrow and the next day will be busy and festive and fun.

Tomorrow the entire family gathers here in the evening for the usual ham dinner with all the fixings and our gift exchange which is a game..I’m sure you know of it.  Everybody picks a number out of a hat.  #1 goes first, of course, and picks from a pile of presents and opens it.  #2 goes next…they can pick a present from the pile or steal the gift from person #1!…and so it goes!  Often very funny and the gifts are great!  Can go on for hours! LOL

On Sunday, my daughter, her hubby and my granddaughter will be here for our family gift exchange and a brunch.  We started celebrating a different day when our beautiful granddaughter came along.  So they could be home in the morning with her and her gifts from Father Christmas.  Changing things up was necessary and a surprising positive thing.  We are much more relaxed and less rushed and it’s always a peaceful, relaxing, fun day.

As I said in a previous post, Christmas for us has always been a secular holiday..we do not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  But we don’t mind being told Merry Christmas either.  We are open to all religions and their celebrations.  So be it Yule, Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa…however you celebrate it, it is a magickal time of year. 

What would be really wonderful, is if everyone could keep the way they feel this time of the year, in their heart and minds all year long.  The love that is shared with your family and friends, should be shared all year long.  Feeling the thrill of christmas morn like a child, the warmth and comfort of a fire or a lit candle, the feeling you have when you see the faces of your children and grandchildren opening their gifts, the swelling heart you feel when your loved ones are gathered around the table, the smell of food cooking and the tree and greens that adorn your home, and the peacefulness of a dark room with lit tree and fire….all those feelings should be there all year long!  Try to record these feelings in your memory and recall them all year long!

“[I]t is the one season of the year when we can lay aside all gnawing worry, indulge in sentiment without censure, assume the carefree faith of childhood, and just plain “have fun.”  Whether they call it Yuletide, Noel, Weinachten, or Christmas, people around the earth thirst for its refreshment as the desert traveller for the oasis. ” ~D.D. Monroe

I wish you all a joyous Yuletide season…However you celebrate it.  May your next year find you and yours healthy, happy, prosperous, and content with the life you are living.  I am appreciative of all of you who come here to visit, and to my sisters in spirit, and my facebook friends who have helped me grow so much in my path, my experience, and my lessons in life!  I am most Goddess Blessed indeed.  Love to my family who support and love me and whom I love more than life itself. 

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Quote, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Yule Altar…………..

Merry Meet my friends!  Yule is just two sleeps away and I am so excited.  This year is even more magickal with the Long Night’s Full Moon, the lunar eclipse and a meteor shower thrown in for good measure!  The energy, beauty and magick will be amazing!  Today I got my altar all ready to go and I’m really happy with it. 

I chose a black altar cloth as it is the longest night and all the gold, red, green and white decorations look fabulous against it.  My Yule log is the centerpiece of course.  This is not one I will burn but one I made specifically for my alter.  Its is a small white birch log with white pine greens and holly from my own yard.  Pinecones, cinnamon sticks, gold star tinsel and a big red bow finish it off.  The red candle is for the Holly King, the green candle for the Oak King, and the gold candle for the Return of the Sun King.  I anointed it with Yule oil a lovely witch sister made for me.  (Thanks Mossy) 

Also on my altar is my cauldron to burn my loose Winter’s Solstice incense.  I have scattered gold glittery stars, pine cones, a beautiful stag statue, orange pomanders, a cardinal, a rosemary tree, the elemental reps, and my working tools.  A beautiful silver chalice to hold mulled wine and later I will add my “cakes” to enjoy during my ritual.  There is also crystals of Garnet, tiger’s eye, Aventurine..red & green of course… and a picture of the Oak King and Holly King I printed out from the internet.  and of course lots of candles!!

I have so much fun setting up my altars and put alot of time and thought into them.  When I sit down to work at it I want it to have all the magick I can muster from the “things” on it, and to feel that the elements are working with me, in sync, to accomplish whatever spell or ritual I am performing.  I always bless and consecrate it as well.  Whether your altar is a whole room, a shelf on the wall, a dresser or table you set up then put away, or you take it all outside, setting it up for each Sabbat is a ritual in itself.  Put your own magick and your intention into each item you place on it.  Take pics and save them in your BOS to remember in the future what you did in the past.  Or you can start a blog and talk about it there..LOL.

As I don’t think I will be back on my blog between now and Tuesday I want to wish all my friends in the Southern Hemisphere a very Blessed Litha..may your Summer Solstice bring you Love and Light!…and I wish all the rest of you a very Blessed Yule.  May the long night be full of love, magick, time with loved ones, may your candles burn brightly, and may your heart be filled knowing that the Sun returns again! 🙂  Thank you all for sharing this season with me!

Much Love Light and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Full Moons, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Thank you so much…..

Merry Meet readers!  I just had to post a quick thank you!  I have had over 3,000 hits on my blog and now have 44 subscribers!  I am sooo appreciative to all of you who come to read my blog and especially to my subscribers who comment and give me feedback.  I really enjoy writing it..and I am learning more about my craft and myself because of writing it.  If you have a blog yourself that I’ve missed or don’t have posted on my blogroll..let me know. I like to subscribe and read other blogs as well!

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to come for a visit.  Blessed Be! Autumn

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A Yule Poem and Solstice celebration…..

Merry Meet my lovely friends.  How is your Yule/Christmas preparations going?  If you’re like me, you’re as busy as can be..running everywhere…shopping, wrapping, baking, visiting and feeling a bit run down, tired and stressed. This time of year can be very hectic but because we are witches we know how to fix that don’t we?  Be sure to take quiet time every day.  Meditation, altar work, ritual baths, moon gazing, fire gazing, candle spells, scented oils and incense and grounding and centering are all ways for us to relax, regroup, and to re-energize our minds and bodies so that we feel better and don’t get so stressed out and tired that we don’t enjoy this time of year.

For us christmas day is about spending time with family, feasting, opening gifts and having a fun filled day.  Yule or Winter Solstice is something quite different.  It’s more about quiet peace, the glow of candles, a yule log burning, a simple meal and reflecting on the past year and what you hope to manifest in the next.  There are many things you can do as a family to celebrate the solstice that will be rewarding and memorable and make the day lovely and relaxing at the same time. 

*Instead of buying gifts, make some together on Yule Day. My daughters, sister and I love to knit and crochet. There are so many things you can make with that skill for loved ones.  Or make something and donate it to a charity such as chemo caps, preemie caps, and blankets for hospice patients. Or you can make homemade decorations for your Yule tree, wreath,  or Yule log.  Cinnamon or Salt dough ornaments shaped like stars, moons, pentacles, apples etc would be a fun family project!

*Go on a nature walk in a nearby woods or nature preserve or on a beach.  Look for a Yule Log for the fireplace or a smaller one simply to decorate the home. Look for natural decorations such as ivy, mistletoe, and pinecones, taking care to only pick what has already fallen. If its snowing, take bird seed, dried corn or shelled peanuts to put out for the birds and furry creatures.  Make snow angels.  Catch snowflakes on your tongue. Sing carols outloud. 

*Collect evergreens to make a Yule Wreath or to put on your Yule log…the scent when you burn the log will be delicious! 

*While sitting around the burning Yule Log, share the stories of Winter Solstice. Each member of the family throws some dried holly sprigs into the fire, saying a farewell to the old year. Talk about your past year together and what you’d like to have happen in your next year.  Perhaps everyone has a favorite memory that could be recorded in a journal or blog.

*Have a Solstice Meal.  Make it as big or as simple as you wish.  Make a cake for the return of the Sun King…maybe put a sunburst on the cake with icing.  Each person can light a candle on the cake and make a wish for the coming year.

*Have the family do a ritual together to wish the Holly King a pleasant journey til he comes back again. 

*Stay up all night and watch the sunrise and toast the Sun King’s return with fresh orange juice or mimosa..then have a nice breakfast and take a long winter’s nap!

Can you think of a tradition you would like to start with your family?  I know you can…you may have some in place already!  One thing I do too..is for myself, I take time at my altar..or outside with the Moon Goddess…to give thanks for the blessings in my life.  I value my time to reflect and be with the Goddess anytime I can.

I found this poem this evening and just loved it…thought I would share it here with you. 

“So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
…They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!”
– Susan Cooper, The Shortest Dayj
I don’t know who Susan Cooper is but I salute her writing!  She captured Yule perfectly in her beautiful words.  So my dear friends, look for ways to find calm in the raging busyness of the season.  Embrace some time for solitude to regroup and reconnect with the Goddess and your soul.  Have a glass of wine or eggnog in the evening by a fire or a lit candle.  Put your jammies on early and watch a holiday movie.  Kiss under the mistletoe with your honey.  Call old friends you haven’t talked to for awhile…just reconnect with loved ones.  It’s going to be a long winter but each day the sun shines a bit longer and spring will come soon and Mother Earth will wake up and it WILL be green again! 🙂
Yuletide Blessings to you and yours, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Goddess, Mother Earth, Nature, Poem, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Yule Recipes for Altar and Kitchen……..

Merry Meet my lovely friends. It is a chilly night..I’m sitting in jammies by the fire, sipping on egg nog and focusing on the upcoming Winter Solstice.   Yule is less then 2 weeks away and Christmas just a few days later.   I am about done shopping and my thoughts are turning to my kitchen and my altar.  I love cooking yummy, great smelling foods for my family to enjoy and I love “cooking” up sweet smelling oils and incenses for my use at my altar…. to anoint candles or myself,  for spells and ritual.  So thought I’d post some recipes for fun!  Some of these I have made and some I am looking forward to trying for the first time!

First some recipes for magickal workings.

Winter’s Night Yule Incense

2 parts Juniper berries

2 parts mugwort

1 part cedar

1 part pine resin

1 part laurel leaves

1 part chopped sweetgrass

½ part rosemary

This is one I have not tried yet..but look forward to making in a few days!  Can’t you just smell the pine, rosemary and cedar..must smell like a Yule tree farm!

Christmas Incense

3 parts Frankincense

2 parts Myrrh

2 part Cassia

2 part Mace

1/2 part clove buds

*from Pagan Christmas

If you don’t know how to make or burn loose incense…there is a post here on my blog about how to do it.   I love the loose incense..the smell is richer and lasts longer…and I feel very “witchy” when making it and burning it! 🙂

Winter Solstice Oil Blend

 4 drops Pine

  2 drops Orange

  2 drops Cedar

 2 drops Juniper

 2-3 lumps finely ground Frankincense

This I have made and it is wonderful!  I like to mix it with olive oil to give it a green look!  The smell of orange and pine is just luscious…for extra special scent..add a bit of ground clove too…smells like an orange pomander sitting on a bed of evergreens! 🙂

Ok..now lets head to the kitchen for some favorite Yuletide season recipes!  This is the time of year to NOT be on a diet! LOL!  Women (and men) have gathered in their kitchens for hundreds of years, cooking up feasts for their loved ones.  From ham to pie, from wassail to sides…the kitchen is full of delicious smells, the warmth from the oven and hearth, and the laughter of the family and friends who have gathered there.  This is the REAL reason for this season…..the love shared at this time of year.  In my family, my daughters learned to bake at an early age and my granddaughter Lily is learning already!   Giving a plate of homemade yummy goodness makes the receiver and the giver feel great!  So here is a few favorites to enjoy with your family!

GINGERBREAD CAKE 
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 c. boiling water
1 3/4 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. molasses
1/2 c. shorteningMix all dry ingredients, cream sugar, shortening, add molasses, blend all together.Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan, bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until center springs back. Cool in pan, cut into squares.  I love making gingerbread cake and serving it warm with Lemon Sauce or Caramel Sauce..you can also make this into loaves to give away as gifts!LEMON SAUCE1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
3 tbsp. lemon juice

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in rest of ingredients. Serve over gingerbread.

Now that you have your delicious cake you might want something hot and warm to go with it to drink.  Hot spicy drinks are the perfect thing for this time of year…to sip, to make you feel warm and cozy inside!  Here’s a couple that might just fill that order!

 

 HOT BUTTERED RUM
 1 c. softened butter
1 1/3 c. light brown sugar
6 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanillaMix all together. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, place 2 heaping tablespoons in each mug of hot apple cider and add rum to taste.  For even more great taste..add a spiced rum like Captain Morgans…Yum-O!! 🙂

HOLIDAY HOT WASSAIL
 4 c. apple juice
3 c. pineapple juice
2 c. cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
Lemon slicesCombine all ingredients in a large kettle and simmer.  Serve hot.  You might need to double this if it’s for a holiday party…and of course you can add brandy or spiced rum to this delicious holiday punch as well!One more recipe…and I confess I haven’t made this one though I’ve made something like it.  I think this would make a wonderful gift to give to neighbors, co-workers, your paper boy or mailman or UPS guy..(I know mine by first name! LOL).  I also think it would be delicious to have on Yule morning or Christmas morning while opening gifts!

CHERRY EGGNOG BREAD2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 c. eggnog
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. nuts, chopped
1/2 c. cherries, cut upMix dry ingredients. Add eggnog, egg and oil. Mix well. Pour into greased bread pans. One large or two small.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.  I think this is a recipe that will be doubled or tripled right off the bat!  Wrap it in red or green plastic wrap, tie a silver or gold bow around it and it will make a beautiful gift.I hope you all will try and enjoy these recipes.  Money is tight for everyone this year and there may be some feelings of discontent or sadness in so many who have lost their jobs or can’t celebrate the season like they want to.  Serving delicious food and making cakes, breads, cookies etc  will put the cheer back in your heart and the skip in your step.  Make each meal a celebration of love and joy and savor the taste and the time with family and friends! 

May Peace and Plenty be the first to lift the latch of your door

and Happiness be guided to your home by the candle of Yule

-An Old Irish Blessing

 

Wishing you warm wishes for a joyful Yule season!  Autumn

 

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Filed under Family, Loose incense recipe, Oil Blend Recipe, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spice, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas