Tag Archives: incense

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

Rainy days and cinnamon toast…..

   

  Merry Meet friends!  Hope that you are all well.  Things are very busy in my house these days as Thanksgiving is at my house this year and my granddaughter Lily’s 2nd birthday party is the Sunday after!  The Fall decorations are down and I’m ready to put up the Yule/Christmas decorations.  There is much more going on I won’t go into here but it has been a bit stressful and chaotic at times..which I don’t like at all!  I like things calm and peaceful.

     Today we had rain all day long..and it was wonderful!  We have been in very bad need of  a day like this, we haven’t had a good rain in months.  It was dreary and cold and rainy.  I spent the day at my daughter’s and granddaughter’s house..had a very nice time.  When I got home and puttered in the house for a bit, I decided to get a little something to eat and to have some green tea.  Humm, what to have…of course, a true comfort food for me…cinnamon toast!  You know what I mean, the kind your mom or grandma used to make on a cold winter morning with some hot chocolate?  I love cinnamon toast.  So thats what I had.  While I was eating it I was reminded of a few things I have read about the spice..cinnamon… and thought I’d write about it a bit.

     Cinnamon is the 2nd most used spice in American kitchens.  Cinnamon is the dried bark of Asian evergreens that belong to the laurel family. Sri Lanka is the major source of cinnamon and Portuguese who settled there did so to exploit the rich resource of cinnamon. The British followed the Portuguese to continue the exploitation started by the Portuguese. The tree is indigenous to the island and its bark is harvested twice a year during the rainy season. The inner bark is bruised, slit and then carefully peeled off to dry; it then curls forming the sticks as we know it.  It of course can be bought ground as well.  Cassia is another name for Cinnamon..depending on where the cinnamon comes from.   

     Cinnamon is mentioned in Chinese writing going back 2800 years.    In the Bible, cinnamon is mentioned several times and referred to as  an ancient spice. Cinnamon was among the Queen of Sheba’s gifts to King Solomon, and Emperor Nero was chastised for burning a year’s supply in his wife’s funeral pyre. Cinnamon was also used for embalming in Egypt. 

     Witches and Pagans use Cinnamon for many reasons as well.  Besides using it in cooking, we may add it to other herbs and spices to make a loose incense..(smells delicious with sage and rosemary) and we may use it in spells.  The Magickal Properties of Cinnamon are Spirituality, Healing, and Psychic Powers. You can also use Cinnamon for Protection, Love and Knowledge.   Cinnamon is masculine and is ruled by the Sun. Its element is fire. Its magical properties are used to help in spiritual quests, augmenting power, love,  success, psychic work, healing and cleansing. It is used in incense for healing, clairvoyance and high spiritual vibrations.  Use it in prosperity charms. It is an excellent aromatic and makes a good anointing oil for any magical working.  I love to use Cinnamon alot at my altar…especially in my loose incense recipes. Here’s a great recipe for loose incense I love….smells delicious!

1/4 oz Benzoin
1 oz Lavender
1/2 oz Cinnamon
1 oz Rose petals
1/4 oz Patchouli
1/4 oz Sandalwood

     Cinnamon has many medicinal uses also.  In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is used for colds,  nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. It’s also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation. Cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds also.  For diabetes it has been shown that 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp per day,  lowers the blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides.  It’s a common ingredient in chai tea, and it is believed to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products.  It also  has  antibacterial and antifungal properties.  It has lots of great uses!

     So some ideas on how to use cinnamon…of course mix it with sugar and put it on your toast,  grapefruit, warmed apples, applesauce,  hot or cold cereal, in your coffee or tea.  Of course it is used in baking pies, custards, breads and rolls, granola, cookies, cakes and pastries.  With the holidays here, I thought I’d post a delicious Wassail Recipe…for adults by the way!

Ingredients:
1 gallon apple  cider
8 sticks cinnamon
1 lemon, washed and sliced
1 orange, washed and sliced
1 Tblsp. whole cloves
1 Tblsp. allspice
1 gallon white wine
cups  rum
Directions:
Simmer the nonalcoholic ingredients together for 1-2 hours, then add the wine and rum about 10 minutes before serving  hot.  Great to keep in a slow cooker all day long! 
    
      Another thing I love to do with cinnamon is to make a stove top potpourri that simmers all day long to make your house smell wonderful!  I just slice down an orange and a lemon and put in a small saucepan.  Add a few sticks of cinnamon, some cloves, some allspice, and anise stars. cover with water and simmer all day long.  Add water as needed.  I have added apple cider to this as well.  It makes your house smell like you’ve been baking all day!
     So you can see what a great spice Cinnamon is..keep plenty of sticks and powdered in your home and use it often both for taste, healing and magick!
Now, I’m off to finish my tea and toast, curled up in front of the fire.  Enjoy your evening!
Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Loose incense recipe, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spice

Blessed Water and House cleansing…….

Merry Meet again friends.  We are having such beautiful weather here in Ohio.  It’s going to be in the 70’s the next few days!  Quite warm for this time of year.  Windows were open and fresh air allowed to blow in and clean out the stagnant air that builds up when the house is all shut up and the heat is on all the time.  I thought I would take advantage of this and do a thorough house cleansing and blessing before the house is shut up all winter long.

During a Full Moon, I always make up a batch of Moon water or Blessed Water.  For Moon Water, I just mix sea salt and spring water in a bowl and set it out all night in the light of the full moon.  I then consecrate it and bless it and bottle it.  My Blessed Water is actually a ritual I found  from Silver Ravenwolf years ago.  I really like making it this way.  I feel the water is truly blessed and it smells great too!  Here is the ritual to make it…..

Gather these supplies…..

1 tsp of Rose Water
3 tbsp sea salt
1 small bowl of spring water
1 clean glass container
1 storage bottle (small)

Time: Midnight during a Full Moon phase.
Place: Out of doors under the moon, or near a window that will reflect the light of the moon.
Set out your work cloth and all ingredients upon it.
Take five or six deep breaths to relieve the stress of the day.
Cast your Magick circle if you wish to do so…

When you are ready  Say:

“In the cloak of the midnight hour
I call upon the Ancient Power
I seek the presence of the Lady and Lord
To bless this water that I will pour.”

Add the rose water to the spring water. Pick up the bowl of water, hold it toward the light of the moon, and say:

 “In my hands I hold the essence of the Gods.

I hereby cleanse and consecrate this water to Divinity,

 that it may be used for positive acts only,

 and may aid me in my Magickal work.”

Imagine a silver light from the Moon Goddess coming from above into the bowl of water and giving it Her energy.

 Set the water down and pick up the salt.   Say: 

“In my hands I hold the essence of Earth Mother;

She whose bounty sustains all living creatures.

 I hereby consecrate this salt to Divinity,

 that it may be used for positive acts only,

 and may aid me in my Magickal work.”

As with the water, imagine the energy of the Moon Goddess empowering the salt.
 Pour a little into the bowl of water, and stir clockwise three times. Repeat this process twice more.
With both hands raise the bowl towards the moon to reflect the light of the moon into the bowl. After a few moments say:

 “This liquid is now pure and dedicated to the Lord and Lady.

It is free from all negativity in any time and any space.”

Set down the bowl and hold out both of your hands, palms down, over the bowl, about one inch above the water.
Take a moment to feel the energy from your body and send it into the water..giving it your power as well the power from the Moon Goddess….imagine a bright light coming from the water showing it has received the energy and power.  Then say:                                                                       

“As I will
So mote it be
With the free will of all
And harm to none 
 This formula is done!”

 You may ground your energy in two ways. Either place your hands physically upon the ground and feel the energy drain into Earth Mother, or imagine your energy as a force field around you, and quietly step back out of the skeleton of energy and watch it collapse in upon itself and melt into the ground.

Transfer the water to your storage container and store it away until you are ready to cleanse and consecrate your sacred space.

I just love this simple beautiful ritual.  I have a lovely colored glass bottle I keep my Blessed Water in..and I make a new batch every full moon or every other.  Now for a simple house cleansing.  First you make sure your house is physically clean.  Yes, this is the part most of us don’t love..but it doesn’t make sense to cleanse and bless a house magickally if it isn’t clean physically.  It just won’t work!  Declutter and dust, sweep, mop…light candles and put on nice music..really make your home sparkle and smell great!

To do the cleansing there are different ways to do it.  One simple way is; Starting at your front door and moving clockwise..sprinkle the Blessed Water ..which is salt and water…or the elements of Earth and Water….all around the outside edges and around the doors and windows of your home.   Then you can light incense…which is Fire and Air….and use the incense smoke and do the same thing you did with the water.  You can also use a smudge stick instead of incense. This is a simple and easy way to do.  Keep in mind that while you are doing this…you are putting your intention out to the universe that you are clearing your home of all things negative and making room for positive energy in your home.  Another way to cleanse the house that I love is this ritual that I use often!

Light a white candle in the main room of your home.  With your Blessed Water, sprinkle it all around the doors and windows of your home.   Make certain you get each and every one. Next, choose the room that has the strongest negative feel to it.  In a cauldron, light a piece of charcoal. 

Then add:                                                                                                        

1 tablespoon powdered garlic

1 tablespoon peppermint

 1 tablespoon ground clove

 1 tablespoon dried/powdered thistle

handful or two of sweetgrass, sage or dried oak leaves

  Carefully light the mixture so that it smolders, giving off an aromatic smoke. Leaving the candle lit, carry the cauldron in to each room and repeat the following:

“With Lord and Lady and elements of Earth, Water, Fire and Air

 I clear this space of the darkness I cannot bear
                                           

  I consecrate this space with salt and herb’s scent

Bring in joy and love with my consent

May these rooms be cleansed of negativity

As I will it, so mote it be!”

  When you have done each room, return to the first, set the bowl beside the candle and wait for the remaining mixture to burn out. Take the ash outside and sprinkle it over the grass/flowerbed/etc, thereby returning it to the Mother.

You should feel a huge difference in the energy of your home after doing this.  The New Moon is a great time to cleanse your home very month too.  I do it during that time often.  Also, the house cleansing loose incense can be made up anytime and kept in a jar just for this purpose!  You want to do this excellent cleansing before your house looks like this! 🙂

So how is your home feeling…a little stagnant?  You feel tired or lethargic?  Maybe appliances are breaking down?  Your pets and kids are acting crazy?  Well try cleansing your home.  I bet it’ll help alot!  I wish you all a home filled with love, joy, health, and good positive energy! When you are done with all this hard work, you can enjoy the beautiful weather…or if your weather is cold and getting snowy, go sit by the fire with a cup of something warm, your kitty, and a good book!

Blessings to you all, Autumn

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Filed under Loose incense recipe, Ritual, Spells

Samhain incense recipe……

Merry Meet friends…thought I’d post a quick post on a Samhain loose incense recipe and a “how to” make loose incense.  I really enjoy making and using loose incense.  I feel so witchy choosing my herbs, grinding them using my stone mortar & pestle,  lighting the charcoal and placing it red hot in my cauldron, and carefully  placing the incense on the charcoal, a bit at a time,  and watching it smoke.  The smell is incredible..more potent then the sticks or cones.  Its great for smudging your home, blessing your altar, or for meditation and time spent at your altar.

First the recipe….

2 parts Cinnamon

1 part ground cloves

1 part Dragon’s Blood resin

1 part Hyssop

1 part Patchouli

2 parts Rosemary

1 part Sage

A dash of sea salt

Loose incense recipes are most often written as parts…parts can be a tsp, a Tb, a 1/4 cup…just depends on how much you want to make.  When I’m trying a new recipe I will just use a tsp..enough to see how it smells, see if I like it or want to make adjustments, such as more of one herb, or leaving one out totally, or adding something different.  This recipe is just a guide..you most certainly can adjust this to your liking..you are the maker..make it as you like it!!   Once I get the recipe the way I like it..I may make up the 1/4 cup size and store it in a tightly closed jar..well labeled. 

Now for the how to….

—You want to find the best ingredients to use in your incense. Start with scents you find intriguing on their own to use in your incense. The best mixtures make use of either a wood or resin as a base.  Herbs alone  will  burn way too fast  and smoke a bit too much.

—To make the best smelling incense, use fresh ingredients and  grind them yourself with your mortar and pestle.   You can buy ground herbs and powdered resins if you wish of course.   Woods and resins are take some elbow grease to grind.  Some witches use electric coffee grinders to do this…if you do, I would have a coffee grinder just for this purpose..you don’t want the scent of coffee in your incense or pathouli in your coffee! 🙂  I worry the grinding this way can release some of the scent..but it does save on alot of work.  If you have an antique coffee grinder..hand cranked..that would be an even better way to go! 

—Grind the woods, then the herbs, and lastly, the resins.   The resins are sticky and will absorb the woods and herbs from the mortar. Grind each ingredient separately and place in a bowl for mixing. 

                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

—Once everything has been well ground, you can start to mix everything together. Mix the dry ingredients together (woods and herbs)  and the resins together if you are using more than one.  After both are well mixed, you can add the dry ingredients to the resin

—Now for the fun part..burning your incense!   To evenly distibute and disperse the heat, fill your incense burner with sand.  I know some who do this and some who don’t..your choice.  Then light your charcoal.  To light it, you may need to hold it with tweezers til it is well lit.  I actually use a pair of cheap scissors…works just as well.  Light it and hold it with the scissors/tweezers until the brick is well lit and turns blue.   After it is lit well, place in your cauldron or fireproof dish.  Then,  simply sprinkle your incense on top. Put about a tsp at a time on the charcoal..don’t put all of it at once on the charcoal…it’ll smoke nice that way and last longer!

—Storage for loose incense is best done in a glass jar with a tight-fitting  lid.  Store it in a dark, cool, dry place.  Label it well!

Making loose incense is easy, really.  It takes a bit more time than just lighting a cone or stick.  But the rewards are well worth it.  Play around with recipes….find a list of woods, resins, herbs in your witchy books or online…choose something from each list..then add more herbs..and you have a mix!  Do you love spicy scents like clove and cinnamon?  Woodsy like pine and cedar, Earthy like patchouli and sandalwood, Floral?  Sweet?  ..so many choices and 100’s of mixtures!

I hope you’ll give it a try if you don’t already make your own….you won’t be sorry.  I grow my own herbs which make it even more fun.  Planting, growing, harvesting, and grinding my own homegrown herbs….makes for a very happy Witch!

Blessings and good scents to you all, Autumn

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Filed under How to make loose incense, Samhain

My Samhain Altar………

Merry Meet my witchy friends!  Today I finally got my Samhain Altar ready…my favorite altar I think for my favorite time of year!  I had so much fun choosing the fabric for the altar cloth..and I found the perfect one.  It is in indigo, black and orange..the colors representative of Samhain…it has Jack O’Lanterns, witches hats and witches brooms…just cheerful and fun.

My Samhain altar is about fun and seriousness at the same time.  The fun stuff is the owl, the pumpkin and raven, black roses, skulls etc.  The serious stuff…the pics of my ancestors who have gone on before and I will be calling on on Samhain night!  The witchy stuff..an orange Goddess candle to represent the last harvest festival, and the black God candle, to represent him dieing and waiting to be reborn in the spring.  Other harvest reps are the pumpkins, indian corn, acorns and leaves.  Crystals are jet, obsidian, black tourmeline, red river carnelian, orange carnelian and orange jasper.  There is a large piece of obsidian that could be used for scrying..as diviniation is very powerful at Samhain.  I have the reps for the quarters as always, one change is my cauldron is representing Air as I  will be burning loose incense rather than a cone or stick.  My atheme and wand are always on my altar of course.

My ancestors pictures are precious to me…these are mostly pics taken when they were young.  My maternal grandfather, both grandmothers, both sets of great grandparents and a great great grandmother.  An aunt who died when she was 2 years old..all mean much to me.  I call on them often and I can’t wait to visit with them again on Samhain night!  There is also pics of my two chihuahuas..Pepper and Charlie…my girls are in the pics too..but thank Goddess they are still with me!!  The thinning of the veil is a very magickal mystical night for all witches.  Who would you like to hear from that night? 

I just had to post this pic too..this is my male cat Jasper…1/2 of my familiars…coming to bless and approve my altar.  He does this everytime..the minute I’m done setting up…here he comes..he jumps up..sniffs around..bats the crystals around..plays with my wand and then jumps down.  He is a very witchy cat and I love him!

I mentioned that I would be burning a loose incense recipe on Samhain night…my next post will be about that..the recipe and the how to’s….I’ll post in the next day or so.

Merry Part until then..Samhain Blessings to each of you, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Samhain