Tag Archives: home

The Wheel Turns to the Winter Solstice 2016……

 

Chill December brings the sleet, Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

Sara Coleridge

 

Merry Meetcandlehands_1500 dear friends!  It’s Sun day evening.  I’m in my jammies by a roaring fire with some coffee and Bailey’s next to me, some soft holiday music playing, and I felt the muse come over me …… so here I am writing in my blog 🙂

Winter is here!  I would swear that I heard the actual “click” of that old Wheel turning into place.  We had such a warm, long Autumn season and it was really lovely.  But Winter is here in all her glory!  It’s flurried snow a few times now but still no real accumulation.  But it’s very cold, brisk, breezy, dark…all the things I love about this time of Year.  My boots, sweaters, hats, coats and gloves are getting good use.  Jammies go on as soon as it’s dark..and yes…that’s quite early lol.  Candles are burning late into the nights and the woodsmoke hovers over the yard scenting my outdoor Moon-viewing jaunts so wonderfully!  Something is almost always stewing on the stove or slow-cooker.  Warm drinks are at hand always and I have to say that my Yule shopping and preparations are nearly done…..except for wrapping of course.  I did my Yule cards as well and they’ll go out in the next day or two.  Do you still do cards?  I know so many don’t anymore.  I get why, it’s a job, not that cheap, and many don’t reciprocate or send out at all.  But for me, there’s something about doing them that just feels right.

I do want to say a word before going on about my beloved Smoky Mountains.  You all who read here or know me, know how much those mountains mean to me.  They are my heart and soul…my home away from home….and watching the horrific fires tearing through them just broke my heart.  The loss of of nature, human and animal lives and the loss of homes and businesses was just so overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying.  Too many lost loved ones.  I’m just going to say that the damage could have been even worse as bad as it was already.  I am heartened to see that many acres were not burnt and I know that Mother Earth heals Herself and the mountains will recover.  Please think of donating to Dolly Parton’s My People Fund, or to the Friends of the Smoky Mountains.  and Pray and light candles for those who lost so much.  Thank you…..

Yule or Winter Solstice is coming fast and I relish it arriving.  While the holidays are all about the hustle and bustle, Yule is a quiet time for me.  And I always relish it and usually really need it!  In recent years, my holiday shopping has been scaled down and I focus on a few quality things for each person in my family.  But I DO have three wonderful grandchildren and have so much fun buying for them.  But we do our best to focus on being together and appreciating those Hygge moments.  Hygge….a Danish concept of coziness, joy, family, food and a complete sense of comfort and wellbeing.  That is what my Yule is all about!  It’s searching inward for that sense of joy and peace and comfort in the midst of what can be chaotic..Christmas.  It’s looking back on your year and deciding what is kept or thrown out.  Of what can be made better, or what can be cut out, what can be better done, and what didn’t get done at all that should have!  It’s connecting with Mother Earth, Goddess and/or God.  Of being still and listening.  Very Hygge.

 

15391047_1266783343365072_3325135559657479964_n

 

If you aren’t familiar with the word Hygge. (pronounced Hoo gah) ..you should look it up and read about it.  I did for a very good reason, as I had never seen or heard the word before!  I recently had my DNA done and discovered to my great surprise that I’m very Scandinavian!  I truly had no idea!  40% Scandinavian at that!  The 39% British/Scottish/Irish I knew about and the 21% Southern Europe was a little surprising , but I really had NO IDEA I had so much Scandanavian blood in me.  Who knew…I’m  a Viking! lol.  So of course, being me, I now have lots to learn.  I have immediately ordered books from History, Lifestyle, Cooking and even Christmas books.  While researching books I came across the word Hygge, looked it up and thought “well now, THAT explains my need to nest, be cozy, keep my home warm and pleasant and comfortable.”  Apparantly it’s in my DNA! 🙂  I’ll talk more about this in future posts I’m sure.  For now,  Back to Yule…..

15232337_1260364157340324_6936803243927277837_n

 

I love to walk in the Winter.  Bundling up against the cold, putting on my winter boots and mittens and off I go.  Wish I could get more walks in but again, we make our choices and one of mine is to make time to do this more often!  I love the bare, stark trees, the sounds of the birds and watching the ground critters digging for and burying food away for the Winter.  I like to collect things along the way…..bits of greenery, pine cones, feathers, rocks etc etc.  I have a big wooden bowl that holds my treasures when I get back home.  Then coming home to a warm home, warm blankets, warm fire and warm drink…well it’s just Bliss!

This is how I’ll spend my Winter Solstice night.  Quiet, peaceful, contemplative and cozy.  I’ll relish the longest night of the Year….and I’ll look forward to the return of the Sun and knowing the days will lengthen again.  But not yet…we have lots of Winter to go…and for that I’m grateful!!

I’ll be back soon with recipes and more. I suggest you enjoy the holidays..all parts of it you may celebrate.  Keep it simple, happy, peaceful.  It doesn’t have to be materialistic, chaotic, or even dare we say…awful!  LOL.  Make good choices, change things up, re-evaluate what traditions you love and discard those you don’t.  And I will say, I know many families face challenges this time of year…. especially THIS year.  The presidential election has been especially polarizing.  I have seen friends and families torn apart by their differences.  If this is the case..make the decision that you will embrace the differences and love them anyway OR keep your distance this year until things calm down.  Perhaps a rule…no talk of politics when you’re together ?  🙂  Whatever works for you to stay positive and joyful is OKAY!

Have a fabulous week and remember to take time for yourself!

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man
the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!”
–  Charles Dickens 

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Bits of Magick, Christmas, Goddess, Hygge, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, quotes, Smoky Mountains, Uncategorized, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

The Wheel Turns to Imbolc 2016……

“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.” 
–  Stanley Crawford

 

imagesMerry Meet!  I hope this writing finds you doing well.  There has been some crazy weather everywhere.  Big snowstorms, flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes..you name it..it’s been out there.  We’ve had none of that lol.  As a matter of fact, we’ve had very little snow, still, which is unusual for Ohio and we are warming up into the 50’s for the next few days.  But, still, I know Imbolc comes.  If you truly watch nature..the rising and setting of Moon and Sun, the habits of birds and critters, the trees and plants…you know.

I have been a very busy Witch preparing for Imbolc.  It’s been all about a serious purging of un-wanted and un-needed items from this house.  It feels so good to have less things taking up space in drawers, closets and cupboards. Even knick knacks, things hanging on the walls, and old throw rugs and blankets are going.  I can’t recommend this enough.  I’ve talked about it before, and I’ve done it many times.  But this is the MOST I’ve ever done.  I truly believe I could become almost a minimalist lol.  It’s a great way to cleanse and clean to prepare for Imbolc and well…just Spring cleaning if you prefer.

images1

I’m unfortunately having that surgery Monday, so I’ll be celebrating Imbolc on Sunday. Imbolc by the way is February 2.  There will be a fire, lots of candles, a feast, and offerings.  I do honor Brighid for this, Her Sabbat, and will do both altar work and another ritual I’ve talked about before.  Before midnight I turn off all the lights in the house and have lots of candles going throughout.  At midnight, I throw open the doors, invite Brighid to come in and bring all the good things that She does…protection, craftsmanship, prosperity, inspiration, healing, growth, renewal and light.  She is always welcome on my Path and in my home.  I then use my broom to sweep out all the negative, old, stale energy from my home and turn on lights as I go along to each room.  It’s such a lovely ritual, gives me a sense of peace and joy. I will often read a bit of poetry, be sure to wear my silver jewelry, and send out healing energy to those I love in need.  Brighid is an amazing Goddess.  If you aren’t familiar with Her, you might want to be.  I’m reading the book “Tending Brighid’s Flame” by Lunea Weatherstone and highly recommend it! You’ll learn a LOT!

The foods that represent Imbolc are seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, flax, sesame. Also raisins, dairy foods, spicy foods, pork, lamb, spiced wines, breads, cakes, muffins, pancakes, scones etc. I would add anything made with milk as Imbolc means “ewe’s milk.”   I’ve posted lots of recipes for all the Sabbats, including Imbolc.  To find them, just use the search box on the right side of this page and type in Imbolc recipes or Imbolc.   I thought I’d share a few more here.

 

wheat-muffins-ck-1142029-x

 

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400*. In a small bowl, combine oats and buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar and oil; stir in oat mixture. Combine the dry ingredients; stir into batter just until moistened. Fold in raisins.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen.

 

mulledwine_84959_16x9

Slow Cooked Hot Spiced Wine

2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
3 whole cloves
2 bottles (750 milliliters each) dry red wine
3 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place cinnamon sticks and cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners of cloth to enclose seasonings; tie securely with string.

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine remaining ingredients. Add spice bag. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until heated through. Discard spice bag. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 servings

 

exps3614_CX1407C49D

Honey Wheat Sunflower Bread

2 cups warm water (120° to 130°)
2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup unsalted sunflower kernels

In a bowl, combine the water, 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, yeast and sugar. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. (Mixture will be spongy.)
Stir in the whole wheat flour, oats, milk powder, butter, honey and salt; mix well. Stir in sunflower kernels and as much of the remaining all-purpose or bread flour as you can with a spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
Punch down and divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into two loaves; place in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Cover with foil; bake 15 minutes longer. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

My recommendation…make soup with the breads!  Especially nice on a snowy day, or your Imbolc cleaning day or even just for the day itself.  For some great soup recipes, you’ll find them in that search I talked about for Imbolc 🙂 There is nothing better than the scent of soup and warm baked bread on a Winter day…truly.

I wish you all a very blessed Imbolc for you and your loved ones.  May the rest of Winter be kind to you, may you find peace and joy in the quiet times, and know that Spring isn’t too far away.

 

“I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.
There was not other creature
That saw what I could see,
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.”
– Sara Teasdale, February Twilight

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Books, Books I'm reading, Cleaning & Organizing, Correspondence, Goddess, Holiday, Imbolc, Mother Earth, Nature, Pagan, Protection, Quote, quotes, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Ritual, Sabbat, Seasons, Uncategorized, Winter, Witch

Home Protection…..

Greetings my friends!  I hope this Wolf Full Moon time has been magickal for you and that She continues to shine her energy on you.  I have not been able to see Her unfortunately…we have had heavy cloud cover, fog and about 5-6 inches of snow so far today.  The snow is beautiful but has made for some slippery roads, busy grocery stores, sore backs from shoveling and smoke coming out of many chimneys.  I stepped outside earlier for a moment and the smell was incredible from the wood smoke and the sharp cold.  A beautiful snowy night despite the fact the Full Moon Goddess is hidden from my sight.  Though I can’t see Her I can feel Her incredible energy and after having a tough couple of days, her magick is most appreciated by me!

On my facebook page today I asked the question..Do you have protection established around your home to protect you and your loved ones.  As per usual, my wonderful, amazing, smart and funny friends came through with many responses.  In general they DO have protection set up.  Everything from rosemary in their garden…to a broom over their doorway….to a witches bottle buried at their front door.  I learned about cutting an apple so the natural pentacle shows and burying them in your garden beds.  I learned about something called bindrunes which I’ve never heard of and am waitingly anxiously to hear about them.  I had friends who of course smudge , place crystals and/or salt in the corners of their house or property, have a pentacle on their front door, and use blessing oil on their doorways and windowsills.  

Putting protection spells on our homes is easy and smart. There are spells to protect from intruders and storms.  We can also protect ourselves from negative vibes sent our way, those who may put a dark spell on us, psychic vampires and the like.  There are many simple spells and rituals that can be done so I thought I’d post a few of my favorites for you. 

This first one is so easy and basic.  Choose your item carefully!

Home Protection Talisman Spell

  Make or buy an item to display in your home that you can charge with protective energy. This could be a wreath, ornamental plaque, a painting or statue.. anything you can display. Before you hang it or put it in view, place the item in a circle of salt. Sprinkle the salt clockwise as you say:

 Salt of earth, Guard this home,

While I’m here, or when I roam

Keep it safe, and all within

For good of all, this bond begins

By my will, with harm to none

By Earth power, this spell is done!

 *Not sure where I got this but it’s very possible it’s from Ellen Dugan…the charm sounds much like her. 🙂

Think about what you would want to use.  A statue, a piece of china or pottery, a painting, a candle holder.  I can picture using a statue of a faery, a dragon, a large crystal point.  You could use something from nature like a river rock, a large bird’s feather, a sea shell.  Use something that you will love to display.

Another talisman spell I like to use is making up a charm bag that you will literally hang over a doorway.  I think this one is really fun because of all the things you can gather for it.  Use what has meaning for you…what item means protection to YOU!

 Home Protection Talisman For When You’re Away From Home.

To make this talisman, choose at least 3 of the following dried herbs and place them in a charm bag that is white or gold.

Nettles                         Oak Bark                   Bay

    Anise                           Basil                           Linden

   Pennyroyal                 Valerian                      Wormwood

        Broom                         Angelica                      Yarrow

       Calamus                       Hazel                          Hawthorn

      Mistletoe                      Myrrh                         Thistle

      Meadowsweet             Garlic                          Flax

      Clove                           Cumin                          Frankincense

       Cinquefoil                    Black Pepper

Then add any amount of any of these stones….

Gold Pyrite                Malachite                     Cat’s Eye

   Tiger’s Eye                 Topaz                          Amber

    Mica                            Quartz Crystal            Red Zircon

      Flint                            Beryl                          Bloodstone

    Tie up the bag and with a permanent marker, make 3 large X figures and place the talisman over a main entry point of your home.  Then spell it with the following words of power! 

This dwelling is never empty,

Though I be not at home;

I leave behind a talisman

to protect it while I roam.

No intruder great or small

May gain entry past this line;

Protected, sealed, and warded,

     By my will, safety be mine

   I finish this charm with harm to none;

    By herb and stone, this spell is done!

 

 

Some other things that you can use for protection is a protection oil…you can use it to anoint your doorways and windowsills.  I like to draw a pentagram with it!

 

Protection Oil

 4 drops Patchouli

 3 drops Lavender

 1 drop Mugwort

  1 drop Hyssop

*You will add this to 1/8 cup of a base oil like olive, almond, jojoba..whatever you like.

Another simple way to protect your home is to put salt around the outside of your house, lay it in your windowsills, place it inside your house in the outside corners.  Now if you are a very picky house keeper, you might want to keep it outside.  Also a word of warning here…be sure that anything you have laying around is safe for your pets…you don’t want them to get sick from eating salt or some herb they shouldn’t.  That would not be good.

For me the ultimate protection is the Witches Bottle…. this is also one of the most fun things to do!  Remember in the movie Practical Magic when Sally (Sandra Bullock) goes around and collects her magickal items needed for her perfect love?  Gathering the items for your witches bottle?  Yes, it feels like that! 🙂  I feel very “witchy” doing it LOL..but it IS serious business too.  You really want to be sure, each step of the way, to put your full intention into the items and the ritual.  I put my bottle together on a Full Moon night for the added strength and I renew it at least once a year…

 

 Witch’s Protection Bottle

You will be burying this bottle in the ground at your front door.

Gather items needed:                                                   

-A Sturdy, clean, wide-mouthed bottle or jar with a tight lid.
-Soil or sand from the area surrounding your home.
-Something sparkly or shining like small tumbled crystals, beads, sea glass

-A rusty bent nail.
-A piece of broken glass
-Dried herbs

*Mint, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme
-A new penny or other coin
-Some loose hair from any pets in your home
-A piece of hair from every person in the home

-A magickal spell candle
   

Find the appropriate spot in your yard to bury the bottle. Work on the night of a Full Moon at the height of the Full Moon,  or on the Full Moon right before Summer Solstice. Have all your items with you and a shovel. Use salt to purify the space.

 Cast a circle around your working area.  Light your working candle while you do your work. Dig the hole in the earth, try to keep the top sod in good shape to replace over the hole. Sprinkle with salt. Ground and Center.   When ready, say these words:

With the Goddess and God working for and through me
according to free will and for the good of all.
I now fill this bottle.

As you say the next part, actually add the items that you are naming as you go.  Take your time putting your intention into each item you place.

 

 
 

Earth anchors this magick in the ground.
This rusty nail, bent, now repels anything and anyone negative or life-denying.
The sparkling, shiny small pieces of crystals hold the light for me and my deities.
A broken piece of glass to deflect harm to anyone it is intended for.
These herbs infuse the bottle with their living properties…

 

 Mint for money and protection
Parsley for protection
Sage for wisdom and protection
Rosemary for love, healing, and health
Thyme for health, love, and courage.
This new penny manifests abundance in my home.
 Hair from my beloved pets to protect them.
Hair from my loved ones who dwell here, to protect and draw away negativity.

 

This home is divinely protected and effectively safe.
Nothing and no one can enter without my permission
Only those people and beings through whom the Goddess and God work
Can stay here, can visit, can touch this place.
 

Only Positive Magick lives in this place
In safety, protection, abundance, love, and joy
According to free will and for the good of all!

Start to bury the bottle, and replace the sod you dug up before hand and then say:

 

I now bury this bottle
It is invisible to all but me
And its magick continues
And so mote it be!

     By the time you have finished this spell, the bottle should be buried. Cover with leaves or something appropriate to make it truly invisible. Under the ground, it will continue to work until you choose to remove it. If you leave that area, it is best to dig up the bottle. Then perform this again at your next residence.

If you’re like me, your home is your sanctuary, your blessed space, where the people and fur babies you love the most of all, dwell.  You are the most comfortable, the most loved, the most ..YOU…when you are there.  Of course you want to do all you can to protect it and those who live there with you.  I wish for all of you a safe 2011 and all the Blessings that Goddess can bestow!

Blessed Be, Autumn

19 Comments

Filed under Full Moons, Goddess, Herbs, Oil Blend Recipe, Protection, Ritual, Spells