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I am currently in the process of migrating the content shared here to a series of new websites hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com.

As you explore this site, you may find links to a "page not found" instead of something cool and magickal. For this I apologize. I am very working hard behind the scenes to restore those pages along with a link to their homes on my new website where they can be viewed in full.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once In A Blue Moon Spell

Here's a great spell to utilize the magical properties of the Blue Moon. You will need the following:
  • A square of blue cloth or sturdy blue Christmas wrapping paper. Ideally, the cloth or paper will have moons and stars printed on it, alternatively you can decorate it yourself with glitter glue, stickers, etc.
  • 13 safety pins.
  • Paper and a pen.
  • Length of gold cord or ribbon...
... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows, and can be found in its entirety here: Once In A Blue Moon Spell

Full Moon Luck and Joy Spell


This is a very simple spell. You will need two candles, a white one for you and a blue one for friends and family. As the full moon is rising, light the candles and say:

"I light these candles for luck for me,
and for my friends and family,
So they will burn by day and night....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows, and can be found in its entirety here: Full Moon Luck and Joy Spell

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Blue Moon

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. It's a full moon, and it's a Blue Moon. What does that mean?

IN MODERN times, the term "blue moon" is defined as the second full moon occurring within a single month. By a somewhat older definition, it's the third full moon in a season that has four — instead of the normal three — full moons. Either way, it's an out-of-the-ordinary phenomenon occurring only once every few years. Hence the phrase, "once in a blue moon....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: Blue Moon Magick and Lore

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snapdragon - A Wishing Game

Here is an old old spell you can use as a way to say farewell to the Solstice and make a wish for the coming twelve months. It's less dangerous than it seems, though care should always be taken.
Fill a shallow dish with raisins and pour a few spoonfuls of brandy over them. As you pour the brandy, say the following:

You shall receive whatever gift you may name,
as far as wind dries, rain wets, sun revolves;
as far as sea encircless and earth extends....


I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) and can be found in its entirety here: Snapdragon - A Wishing Game

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bath for Protection and Purification

Place one teaspoon of dried basil in a cup of boiling water. Leave for five minutes, and then strain.

Add the liquid to your bath water to bring a protective and cleansing influence. This herbal bath is particularly useful to rid oneself of the negative feelings left by contact with those who are controlling.

source
Many more bath recipes and ideas can be found at my new website, The Magickal Apothecary.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Frau Holle


Frau Holle also called Hulda is in old German Mythology the goddess of the dead. She plays a prominent part in German folk-lore and superstition. In stormy nights she can be often heard flying through the air, accompanied by weird spirits and witches...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, The Powers that Be. It can be found here: Hulda - Mother Holle

A Christmas Salutation

I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not.
But there is much, that while I cannot give,
you can take....

... I am so sorry but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, and can be found in its entirety here: A Christmas Salutation

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Invoking the Holly King


Today we do bid Hail to our beloved Holly King
With these ancient carols, we do again sing
He who is called Father Christmas is returning yet again
As the Solstice's longest night has finally begun...

... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, and can be found in its entirety here: Invoking The Holly King

'Twas the night before Yule


'Twas the night before Yule, and all through the Coven,
The cookies were baked and removed from the oven.
The bayberry candles were lit on the table,
The altar was wrapped in a new cloth of sable.

The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Yuletime danced in their heads....

I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) and can be found in its entirety here: 'Twas the night before Yule


A Winter Solstice Story For Children

A group of little Faeries huddled in their home deep under the roots of a giant oak tree. They were safe and snug in their tiny underground cave lined with dandelion fluff, bird feathers, and dried moss.

Outside, the wind blew cold and the snow fell softly down to cover the ground. "I saw the Sun King today," the faerie named Rose said as she pulled her mossy cloak tighter about her. "He looked so old and tired as he walked off through the forest. What is wrong with him?

"The great oak said he's dying" answered Daffodil.

"Dying? Oh, what will we do now?", Little Meadow Grass started to cry, "If the Sun King dies, our little plant friends will not grow. The Birds will not come and sing again. Everything will be winter for ever!" Lilac, Dandelion and Elder Blossom tried to comfort their friend, but they were all very sad. As they huddled together, there was a knock on the tiny door....

I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) and can be found in its entirety here: A Winter Solstice Story For Children


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yuletide Holiday Svaijko

Here's a recipe for a delicious Yuletide holiday svaijko. It is a freely adapted modern version of a very old, traditional Romany holiday recipe.

For the dough:
  • 25 grams of yeast
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 2.5 deciliters of water
  • 0.5 deciliters of sugar
  • 1 liter of flour...
... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, Gypsy Magick and Lore, and can be found in its entirety here: Yuletide Holday Savaijko

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rebirth


In lighting the fires, in stringing the lights, we do more than stave off the darkness, even more than honor the sun. We also stand with fierce courage to say to the darkness, "You may come this far but no further!" We have given the darkness its due, we have watched it leach the light from our lives for as long as we had to; now the long night is over, we can tentatively bring our own lights back from hiding, and let the new days begin...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, and can be found in its entirety here: There Is Always Rebirth

The Winter Solstice


At the Winter Solstice we celebrate by bringing warmth, light and cheerfulness into this dark time of the year. Holidays such as this have their origins as "holy days". They are the way human beings mark the sacred times in the yearly cycle of life. On this shortest day of the year, the sun is at its lowest and weakest, a pivot point from which the light will grow stronger and brighter. This is the pivot point of the year. The Romans called it Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.

A simple way to celebrate this day is with a small candle lighting ceremony. The purpose being to celebrate this time of renewal in our lives, to give thanksgiving for the past and the present and to offer a blessing for the year to come....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found here: The Winter Solstice

I am the Holly King


I am the Holly King, the dying Sun and King of the Old Year
Like the Phoenix who rises anew from its ashes
I too shall return, born anew
As the Child, the New Sun and King
I hold in my arms
He is my son and my heir...

... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, and can be found in its entirety here: I Am The Holly King

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hymn To The Sun

Shamash was the Sun God of ancient Babylon. The prayer that follows is one of the longest and most beautiful of the hymns that have come down to us in cuneiform. I think this would make an awesome invocation, prayer, or meditation to greet the Sun as morning dawns after the longest night of the year (The Winter Solstice).


Hail Shamash

You climb to the mountains surveying the earth,
You suspend from the heavens the circle of the lands.
You care for all the peoples of the lands,
And everything that Ea, king of the counsellors, had created is entrusted to you.
Whatever has breath you shepherd without exception,
You are their keeper in upper and lower regions....


... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, and can be found in its entirety here: Hymn To The Sun

The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun


Soon it will be Yule, Christmas, the Winter Solstice. Another name for this special time is The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, or Dies Natalis Invicti Solis. One really great way to honor the Sun (and yourself) is with a series of body positions called Sun Salutations. An excellent time to begin this ritual is on the morning of the Winter Solstice just as the sun is rising, (facing east). If a sunrise Sun Salutation isn't possible, but you want to include this in your morning routine, pick a time before breakfast, and that will be fine.

The Sun Salutation, (Surya Namaskar), is a series of 12 yoga postures performed in a single, graceful flow. Each movement is coordinated with the breath. Inhale as you extend or stretch, and exhale as you fold or contract. The Sun Salutation builds strength and increases flexibility. Different styles of yoga perform the Sun Salutation with their own variations. However, the flow presented below covers core steps used in most styles....

... I am so sorry, but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, it can be found here: The Birth of the Unconquered Sun

Friday, December 18, 2009

Incense for Yule

Frankincense
Symbolizing: Sun, Purification, Consecration, Protection, Spiritual Illumination
Forms: incense, oils
Divinities: Sun Gods, Ra at Dawn, Bel

Myrrh
Symbolizing: Healing, Death and Afterlife, Purification, Inner Peace
Forms: incense, oils
Divinities: Isis, Ra at Midday

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Magickal Apothecary, and can be found in its entirety here: Scents and Incense for Yule

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Yule Log


On the winter solstice, on the longest night of the year, people would place and set afire an entire tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony. The largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room! The log would be lit from the remains of the previous year's log which had been carefully stored away and slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: The Yule Log

Yule Log

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, yokes and whites separated
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/ cup white granulated sugar(Yes, I know sugar is listed twice...)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (or peppermint extract, almond extract...)
  • 2/3 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (the dry powered, not the blocks)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate icing (Homemade or store bought)

Directions
Using a wire whip or hand held electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until thick and very close to the color of lemon peels. Gradually add in the 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside. Using extremely clean beaters, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Peaks will form but will quickly "slump" over. (Note: oils and fats on the beater or in the bowl will prevent the egg white from whipping correctly.) Gradually add in 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. They will hold the peaks very well at this point. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolks. Try not to beat it up too bad, this cake raises mostly because of the air you've just incorporated into the eggs.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Gently mix or fold into the egg mixture.

Spread batter evenly into a well greased and floured jelly roll pan (15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" pan). Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

When done, a tooth pick inserted into the center will come out clean.

Immediately loosen the sides and turn the cake out onto a lint-free towel that has been sprinkled with flour or powdered sugar. Starting at the narrow edge, roll the cake and the towel up together. When cool, unroll and remove the towel. Completely cover the upper surface with the whipped cream. We like to add shreds of chocolate, but this is optional.

Re-roll the cake. Now you have a brown and white spiraled "log". Place it on the serving tray or plate to ice it because you won't be able to move it to another server once it has been iced. Spread the chocolate icing over the surface of the cake, don't worry about it being even.

After the surface is covered, take a fork to make short,wavy patterns coming the entire surface to give a log like texture.

If you want, garnish the center with small pine trimmings or cones (clean ones...)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Solstice Potpourri

Here's a recipe for a nice potpourri for the upcoming Winter Solstice. It makes a great gift for your favorite magickal friends.
  • 20 drops musk oil
  • 25 drops pine oil
  • 1 cup oak moss
  • 2 cups dried mistletoe...
... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Magickal Apothecary, and can be found in its entirety here: Winter Solstice Potpourri

A Wassail Ceremony

Here is a simple wassail ceremony.

  • Heat a large container of ale or beer - about 3 or 4 pints.
  • Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup mixed spices (cinnamon sticks and whole cloves are also excellent)
  • Cut up 2 or 3 small sweet apples and add those.
  • Add 1 1/4 cup of pineapple juice and the same of orange.
  • Squeeze 2 lemons into the brew.
  • Place over a slow flame; then, before it begins to boil, take off the heat and whip up some cream. Let this float on top of the brew like foam....
... I am so sorry, but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found here: Ves Heill - Be Healthy

Wassail For Kids

    • 6 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 tsp. ground allspice
    • 12 oz frozen apple juice
    • 2 cups cranberry juice
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 16 whole cloves
    Tie spices together in a cheesecloth bag. Combine juices, sugar, and bitters. Simmer together for ten minutes and remove spice bag. Serve hot, but not too hot for the little ones.

    Ves Heill - Be Healthy

    The wassail—a centuries old tradition from Great Britain—is a joy-filled party celebrating the Winter Solstice, Christmastime and happy tidings. Indeed, many of the traditions of this likeable event are the originators of well-known seasonal classics (like caroling, for one).


    The word wassail itself comes from the old Norse "ves heill," which literally means "be healthy." It is a toast of goodwill and is at the heart of what wassailing is all about....

    ... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: Ves Heill - Be Healthy

    Wassail Recipe for Yule


    For the Wassail's Baked Apples:
    • 1 dozen cooking apples
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
    • butter or margarine
    • 3/4 cup boiling water
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    Core apples and place in an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon, fill apples with mixture, dot tops with butter. Add boiling water and sugar to pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes....

    ... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: Traditional Wassail Recipe for Yule

    Yule Correspondences

    Trees for Yule:
    • Oak : Endurance, Strength, Triumph, Protection.
    • Yew : Last Day of Solar Year; Death
    • Silver Fir: Winter Solstice Day; Birth.
    • Birch: Month following Winter Solstice; Beginnings.
    Colors of Yule
    • Red,
    • Green...
    ... I am so sorry to do this to you,  but this post has been moved to my new website, Magickal Ingredients, and can be found in its entirety here: Correspondences For Yule

    Twelfth Night Wassail Celebration

    Wassailing the trees occurred on old "twelfth night", the 12th night after Christmas eve, or January 17th on the old calendar. Obviously traditions varied, but in Devonshire, Herefordshire and in other parts of the West Country of England (as well as elsewhere no doubt) families would hold a feast with cakes, cider and in some areas beer and ale too. After a time of eating and drinking everyone trooped out to the orchard to wassail the trees, and wake them up from winter for the coming season as well as scare off any bad energy, spirits or demons .

    Ale, beer or cider soaked toast, in some areas special cakes, would be placed in the tree branches or in a fork of the tree, and then be splashed with more cider. Trees might be beaten with sticks...

    I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) and can be found in its entirety here: Twelfth Night Wassail Celebration


    Wednesday, December 09, 2009

    A Pagan Christmas Tree

    The Christian tradition of a Christmas tree has its origins in the Pagan Yule celebration. Pagan families would bring a live tree into the home so the wood spirits would have a place to keep warm during the cold winter months. Bells were hung in the limbs so you could tell when a spirit was present.

    Food and treats were hung on the branches for the spirits to eat and a five-pointed star, symbol of the five elements, was placed atop the tree.

    Sunday, December 06, 2009

    Snow Spells

    Bury a piece of paper in the snow with a wish for something you want to hold or freeze in place...

    Also, use snow to melt down a hard heart. Write the name of someone who is angry with you or cold...

    I'm so sorry to do this to you but these two spells have been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com and can be found in their entirety here: Melt a Heart Spell and Freeze in Place Spell


    Ice and Snow magic


    The primary purpose of ice magic is transformation. Ice is a combination of water and air. Once frozen, if fire is added, the ice melts.

    Floating candles in a bowl of water and ice may seem like a simple type of spell, but it calls for a natural balance to take place....

    I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com), and can be found in their entirety here: Ice and Snow Magic

    Thursday, December 03, 2009

    Yule Traditions and Symbols


    Kissing Under The Misteletoe - Kissing under the mistletoe was first associated with the Greek celebration of Saturnalia and because it was believed to have the power of bestowing fertility, it became associated with marriage rites. In some parts of England, the Christmas mistletoe is burned on the Twelfth Night because it was believed that if it were not burned, all those who had kissed beneath it would never marry. And did you know that originally the custom was that a man should pluck one berry from the mistletoe each time he kisses a woman under the mistletoe, and when the last berry is gone, there should be no more kissing! (Information from Sara Williams)

    Leaving Cookies for Santa - The ancient Celtic peoples left offerings of seeds, oats and oatcakes for the "wee people" and for the Gods or Goddesses of the different tribes. This practice evolved into the modern practice of leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus....

    I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) it has been combined with more information, and can be found here: Yule


    Winter Solstice Chant

    Geese and standing stones and mist,
    Baying hounds and hooting owl,
    Sparkling stars, snow is crisp
    Herne is here. Bring forth the Bowl.


    I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) and can be found in its entirety here: Winter Solstice Chant


    Wednesday, December 02, 2009

    Big Winter Moon

    The last moon phase of the year is the Big Winter Moon in December, also called Long Nights Moon, or the Cold 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...

    I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) and can be found in its entirety here: Big Winter Moon


    Tuesday, December 01, 2009

    December Moon Names

    What follows is a list (in alphabetical order) of the names given to the December moon. Also listed is the tradition and/or origin of that moon name:


    Aerra Geola ~other
    Ashes Fire Moon ~San Juan
    Before Yule Moon ~Cherokee
    Big Bear’s Moon ~Winnebago...

    I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar (hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com) and can be found in its entirety here: December Moon Names


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