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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.
  • Bottle of Champagne, a glass, and a corkscrew.
Get centered, and sit down with your pen and paper and make a list of all the things you would want but which seem impossible. This includes anything that you find yourself repeatedly asking for. Think of "once in a lifetime," or "once in a blue moon," or "that couldn't possibly happen to me," things. The longer the list is, the better.

Now, look at each thing on your list and really think about it. Is this something you really want? If it showed up at your front door tomorrow morning would you really accept it? Are you sure this is for you? Cross off any items that you can't say YES to with enthusiasm.

Pick your top thirteen "geez I wish I could have that" items from your list. Cut your paper into thirteen moon shapes and write one wish on each one. Write it in a positive, affirmative way, such as: "I win millions of dollars in the lottery." or  "I get an all expenses paid month long vacation in Fiji with the person I love."

Open up the square of cloth or paper, and pin the 13 wishes to it with safety pins. (The safety pins insure safety and security for you as your wishes unfold.). Now fold the cloth into a neat little bundle and tie it with the gold ribbon or cord.

Take the champagne, the glass, corkscrew, and your bundle outside under the full moon. Hold the bundle up and say the following:

Please grant me these wishes
With harm to none
And bring me a life filled
With love and with fun.

I give you permission
on this special night
To unbind whatever
I may have closed tight 
to slip past the blocks
to move through whatever might
stop you from granting
these wishes tonight.

By the grace of the Goddess
By the grace of the God
As I say
It is done
So mote it be.

Now, uncork the champagne, and pour it into the glass. Hold up the glass of champagne and make a toast (say a heartfelt blessing) to the moon, and pour a small amount on the ground. Then make a toast to the Goddess and the God (a blessing and a thank-you), and pour a small amount on the ground. Then toast to yourself (something loving and kind), and drink the rest of the champagne in the glass.

Put the bundle in a place where things get worked on regularly, such as desk drawer, office cabinet, or tool box. On New Year's Eve of the following year, make a list of all the wonderful and amazing things that happened since this spell, then toss the bundle (unopened) into a fire with thanks and gratitude.

~Madame Fortuna

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

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

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.
No heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
Take joy!
And so at this Christmastime, I greet you,
With the prayer that for you, now, and forever,
The day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

~Italian 16th Century benison

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'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


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

Saturday, December 19, 2009

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 Saluation with their own variations. However, the flow presented below covers core steps used in most styles.

For the series below, a single round consists of two complete sequences: one for the right side of the body and the other for the left.

Even on days when you think you have no time for yoga, try and do at least one or two rounds of the Sun Salutation. You'll feel the difference.

1. Mountain:
Begin by standing in Mountain pose, feet about hip width apart, hands either by your sides or in prayer position. Take several deep breaths.

2. Hands up:
On your next inhale, in one sweeping movement, raise your arms up overhead and gently arch back as far as feels comfortable and safe.

3. Head to knees:
As you exhale, bend forward, bending the knees if necessary, and bring your hands to rest beside your feet.

4. Lunge:
Inhale and step the right leg back

5. Plank
Exhale and step the left leg back into plank position. Hold the position and inhale.

6. Stick
Exhale and lower yourself as if coming down from a pushup. Only your hands and feet should touch the floor.

7. Upward Dog

Inhale and stretch forward and up, bending at the waist. Use your arms to lift your torso, but only bend back as far as feels comfortable and safe. Lift your legs up so that only the tops of your feet and your ahnds touch the floor. It's okay to keep your arms bent at the elbow.

8. Downward dog
Exhale, lift from the hips and push back and up.

9. Lunge
Inhale and step the right foot forward.

10. Head to knees
Exhale, bring the left foot forward and step into head-to-knee position.

11. Hands up
Inhale and rise slowly while keeping arms extended .

12. Mountain

Exhale, and in a slow, sweeping motion, lower your arms to the sides. End by bringing your hands up into prayer position. Repeat the sequence, stepping with the left leg.


If the stick figures are not quite "doing" it for you, here's a video:

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

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.
  • Put into a suitably large bowl (the more ornate the better).
  • Toast several slices of bread, if you have fruit cake you can use pieces of that instead.
  • Now, with a few friends, go out to the tree or trees (see note below).
  • Dip pieces of toasted bread into the brew and place in the branches of the tree. Hang pieces of bread and cake from the higher twigs to encourage robins (guardian spirits of the trees). Bend the lower branches down and dip their ends in the brew.
  • Wet the roots liberally with the brew. Pass the rest around and when everyone is thoroughly warmed up, sing a wassailing song.
  • Lift your glasses to the tree and shout "Huzzah!" three times as loudly as you can.
Note: These don't have to be apple trees, since any tree will benefit from a well-intentioned blessing, but it is traditional to wassail fruit-bearing trees.  You can wassail the trees in your yard, near your home, or trees in some previously selected area.

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.

For the Wassail:
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg, grated (for luck)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 2 teaspoons ginger (to prevent arguments)
  • 6 whole cloves (to influence people in high places, and for luck)
  • 1 stick cinnamon (same as cloves)
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 1 dozen eggs, separated
  • 4 bottles sherry
  • 2 cups brandy
Combine first eight ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Fold whites into yolks. Strain spice mixture into egg mixture and stir. Combine sherry and brandy and bring almost to a boil. Gradually add liquor to spice and egg mixture, stirring rapidly as you do so. Before serving, add baked apples to foaming liquid. Serve in a large cauldron.

source: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition

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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