Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed.
The NEW MOON always rises at sunrise
And the FIRST QUARTER at noon.
The FULL MOON always rises at sunset
And the LAST QUARTER at midnight.
~The New Orleans Mistic
Dark Moon -- Time to Rest New Moon -- Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction Waxing Moon -- Time to Grow; Increase Full Moon -- Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance Waning Moon -- Time to Banish; Decrease Last Sliver of Moon -- Time to Die; Letting Go Dark Moon -- Time to Rest Again
Light A Candle Today!
In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.
Goddess Month of Astrea begins 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Calendar: Ruis (Elder) November 25 to December 22
Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon:
Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days Symbolic of growth, manifestation,attainment, gravidity (heavy with child – both philosophical and literal).
Goddess Aspect: Maiden
Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona
Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom.
Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck Or Health.) Symbolic of growth, manifestation, attainment, gravidity (heavy with child – both philosophical and literal).
Honoring the Goddess Every Day at GoddessSchool.com
So mote it be!!
Each And Every Day A Feast Day!
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The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women
GrannyMoon is Founder and Mother High Priestess of GoddessSchool, Sisters of the Burning Branch, dedicated to the Feminine Divine. Living in the Washington, DC suburbs, she attended LDS Seminary, Former staff member and student of the Esoteric Theological Seminary, is an ordained Metaphysical Interfaith minister with doctoral degrees in Theology and Divinity, since 1999. She is a current board member of the Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day, charter member and former counsel and board member of The Order of the White Moon. A scholar of ancient mysteries, Doula, Reiki Master, Herbalist and Lifetime Member of Herbal Healer Academy, Inc. and former VA State Representative A.R.E.N. Alternative Religions Educational Network. She has dedicated her life to the study and teaching of the Esoteric.
Face to Face classes at Sticks and Stones – 11037 Lee Highway · Fairfax, VA
I teach classes on Saturdays 12-2, and on the last Saturday of the month hosts the Most Excellent Order of the Black Hat – open to all – a group of solitaires who celebrate the wheel of the year. 7:15 – 9:00PM
GrannyMoon’s Herbal Witches Cauldron – Every last Saturday of the month. Explore a new herb or two and work on a hands-on project with us. 4-6PM
January – SpellCrafting – Face to Face Classes
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Moon Day Hail Luna! Hail Mani! Energy: Female Ruler: The Moon Magicks involving the subconscious, healing, emotions, love, spirituality, healing wounds, children, small animals, women’s mysteries,mothers, sisters, female partners, wives, instincts
Today’s Magickal Influences: Agriculture, Domestic, Long Life, Medicine,
Travels, Visions, Theft
Today’s Goddesses: Luna, Selene, Diana, Re, Gaeleach, Ida, Artemis [Whom The
Greeks Associated With Bast], The Witches, Yemaya, Erzulie, Bast
Perfumes: White Poppy, White Rose, Wallflower
Monday – Wear pearl, moonstone, or crystal. Use an emerald for amulets.
Color of The Day: Silver, Grey, White
Colors for Tomorrow: Red
Cooking on Monday will improve magics for creativity, insight, maternal
nature, and Goddess-related efforts. ~Quote from Magickal Martha
Hail Tyr! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Tyr’s or Tiu’s Day Day of Mars, Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw (from whom it is named), Tuisco,. Magickal influences are: Passion, courage, aggression and protection, vitality, passion, ambition and raw, unabashed power. Mars energy makes the mind acute.It is lucky to meet a left-handed person on any day except Tuesday – then it’s an ill omen. A superstition from areas of England that were ruled by the Danelaw, because the day is named for Norse God Týr who sacrificed his right hand to bind the Fenris Wolf. #FolkloreThursday
Tuesday – Wear a ruby, star sapphire, or emerald. Use topaz for amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Destination, War, Courage, Surgery, Physical Strength
Be cautious-especially while traveling.
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Soorejnaree, Pingalla, Anna, Aine, Danu,
Yngona, Bellona, Aida Wedo, Sun Woman
Perfumes: Hellebore, Carnation, Patchouli
Incense: Lignum Aloes, Plantain
Color of The Day: Red
Colors for Tomorrow: Yellow
Lucky Sign: Tuesday Is The Lucky Day For Aries
On Tuesday, cooking up a hearty meal featuring carrots, peppers, and garlic (all Mars foods and spices) to empower yourself for victory and success!
Hail Odin! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Woden’s or Odin’s Day
Energy: Male Ruler: Mercury – Rules healings, the mind – Use for magick
involving mental issues, learning, higher education, addictions,
communications, travel, young people, messages, perception, self-expression,
artists, poets, and writers
Wednesday – Wear amethyst, star ruby, or lodestone. Use turquoise in amulets.
Today’s Magickal Influences: Conjurations, Predictions, Knowledge, Writing,Eloquence
Incense: Cinnamon, Cinquefoil
Perfumes: Sweetpea, Lavender, Mastic, Frankincense, Cloves
Color of The Day: Yellow, Grey
Colors for Tomorrow: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Lucky Sign: Wednesday Is The Lucky Day For Gemini And Virgo
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Demeter, Ceres, Spider Woman, Bona Dea, Oya,
Devi-Kali, Hella, Rhiannon, Coatlique, Maman Brigette, Sekhmet, Hathor
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Thor’s Day Hail Thor!
attracting more of what you have.
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Luck, Religion, Healing, Trade And Employment,Treasure, Honors, Riches, Legal Matters,
Use Growth, Expansion, Prosperity, Money, Business, Attracting More
Thors Day – Wear sapphire, cat’s eye, or carnelian. Use sapphire in rituals.
Today’s Goddesses: Juno, Hera, Kwan Yin, Mary, Cybele, Tara, Mawu, Mlaba
Mwana Waresa, Ishtar, Nuit
Perfumes: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes
Incense: Nutmeg, Henbane
Color of The Day: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Colors for Tomorrow: Light Blue, Pale Green
Lucky Sign: Thursday Is The Lucky Day For Sagittarius And Pisces
Hail Freya! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Freya’s Day
Energy: Female Ruler: Venus – Rules lovers and pleasure, affairs of the
heart – Use for magick involving love, peace, beauty, gentleness, women’s
problems, healing, protection, lovers, ease, pleasure, affairs. Resolve
Friday – Cast love spells on Fridays. Wear blue robes and use turquoise, ruby, emerald or cat’s eye.
Today’s Magickal Influences: All Love Matters, Friendships, Affection,
Partnerships, Money, Sex
Today’s Goddesses: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wedo, Eve, Venus,
Freya, Frigg, Diana, Aset [Isis], The Witch Of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique
Incense: Saffron, Verbena
Perfumes: Stephanotis, Apple Blossom, Musk, Ambergris
Color of The Day: Light Blue, Pale Green
Colors for Tomorrow: Black
Lucky Sign: Friday Is The Lucky Day For Taurus And Libra
Saint Jegudiel represents Friday
Hail Loki! GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Saturn and Loki’s Day
Day of Seatere, Seater, and Saturn and of Loki, the Norse god of tricks and
revelry. Saturday is ruled by Saturn, whose Magickal influences are:
longevity, endings, and homes. Saturday comes under the influence of Saturn.
Saturn’s influence directs our attention toward routine chores, customs, and
conventional traditions. Saturday is a good day for furthering our ambitions
through perseverance, patience, responsible action, and a sense of purpose .
Saturday – Wear turquoise, labradorite, or diamond. Use amethyst.
Saturday is a good day of the week to perform spells and rituals involving
spirit communication, meditation, psychic self-defense, binding, and
locating lost things or missing persons.
Today’s Goddesses: Ops, Rhea, Tellus Mater, Gaia, Eartha, Ge, Tonantzin,
Asherah, Anath, The Shekinah, The Matronit, Mary, Gula, Herodias, Oddudua,
Today’s Magickal Influences: Duties, Responsibilities, Finding Families,
Works Of Magic, Buildings, Meditation, Life, Doctrines
Today’s Energies: Female – Rules obstacles, overcoming blockages – Use for
magick involving overcoming limitations, the elderly, endings, deaths,
blocks, constrictions, and those restricting you.
Incense: Pepperwort, Assodilious, Black Poppy Seeds, Henbane, Lodestone,
Perfumes: Hyacinth, Pansy
Color of The Day: Black
Colors for Tomorrow: Orange, Gold and Yellow
Lucky Sign: Saturday Is The Lucky Day For Capricorn And Aquarius
Hail Sunna and Sol! GrannyMoon Says Today is: Sun Day
Ruler: The Sun
Rule health, prosperity, leadership, joy, and protection – Use for magick involving happiness, prosperity, joy, healing, protection, power,
leadership, ego, authority figures, fathers, husbands
Today’s Goddesses: Sunne, Frau Sonne, Aditi, Igaehindvo, Amaterasu, Arinna,
Sunday’s Magickal Influences: Health, Healing, Confidence And Hope, Prosperity
Incense: Mastic, Palaginia
Perfumes: Heliotrope, Orange Blossom, Cloves, Frankincense, Ambergris, Musk,Myrrh
Sunday – wear topaz, sunstone, or diamond. Use pearl in crafting talismans.
Color of The Day: Orange, Gold
Colors for Tomorrow: Silver, Gray, White
Lucky Sign: Sunday Is The Lucky Day For Leo
Llewellyn’s Spell a Day
Five of Wands Spell for Holiday Conflict Resolution
Spell Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The holiday season is here and along with it are the requisite gatherings. Shall we be honest about what we are all thinking? We may not always get along well with all of those people, and the forced interaction with conflicting personalities can be uncomfortable and can often result in conflict. Here is a spell to not only help you keep your own zen but hopefully also keep that of others at your gatherings.
Take an image of the Five of Wands card from the tarot and lay it on your altar on a cloth. The scene on the card is pretty accurate to how some of these gatherings can feel if conflicts ensue. Light a tealight candle and sprinkle some lavender buds over the image while reciting this:
“Light of candle, illuminate wisdom divine
Upon me and mine.
Lavender bud, sweet and soothing,
May peace and calm be smoothly moving.
As we gather may it be so,
A happy holiday we shall know!”
This post was written by Blake Octavian Blair on December 11, 2018
Send Me a Message
Spell Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Wednesdays are ruled by the planet Mercury, the messenger of the gods. If you have something you have been puzzling about, or you aren’t sure what choice to make or in what direction to go, then today, turn your indecision, confusion, and lack of clarity over to the gods and goddesses and ask Mercury to bring you a message. State your situation, identify your confusion, and ask the divine powers to send a message regarding which way to turn and what decision to make. Because Mercury oversees daily communication, listen for answers, suggestions, and wisdom in ordinary conversations. Say something like this:
“Universal wisdom, guide me. I’m
confused and need your help. Should
I buy a new car now or wait until
the old car dies and leaves me
stranded? Send me a message.”
Now pay attention to what is said to you and around you today. You may be surprised to receive divine guidance thanks to Mercury.
This post was written by Dallas Jennifer Cobb on December 12, 2018
A Prophetic Dream Spell
Spell Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018
Perform this spell on a crisp, clear night when the starlight is brilliant. For this spell you’ll call upon Asteria, the ancient Greek goddess of shooting stars and prophetic dreams.
On your altar, light one white candle. Decorate your altar with star shapes of your choice. For example, you could use star-shaped holiday ornaments or star-shaped glitter, available at craft stores. Sit in front of the candle and meditate on the prophetic dream you wish to have and the question you want answered. Then call on Asteria:
“Asteria, goddess of prophetic dreams,
Bring to me the perfect dream
So that my future can be seen.”
Extinguish the candle. To put you in the proper frame of mind to receive a prophetic dream, anoint your forehead with rose water before bed. Or you can mist your pillow with your favorite herbal dream spray. Relax and drift off to sleep. Record any messages you receive in a dream journal.
This post was written by James Kambos on December 13, 2018
Offerings to the Hogboon
Spell Date: Friday, December 14, 2018
My Scottish family lore includes tales of the Hogboon: mound-dwelling fairy folk who lived in Scotland and were particularly active around farmsteads. Like any fae, Hogboons could be mischievous and, if disrespected or displeased, potentially dangerous— or at least rowdy. Conversely, if appeased and honored, they became strong allies, protecting their (and your) home turf against unwelcome visitors and favoring good fortune.
The legends suggest putting out bits of cloth (natural fibers!) and food. A small plate of goodies was shared from every feast meal, and bits of butter, porridge, or cream were left out on non-holidays. Occasionally, a bright red or shiny trinket would be offered.
To work with your own fairy folk, nature spirits, or other local dwellers, leave small offerings, always in the same place and at or near the same times. As you do, speak aloud to the folk and thank them for their role in keeping your grounds safe and secure.
This post was written by Susan Pesznecker on December 14, 2018
An Inner Look
Spell Date: Saturday, December 15, 2018
The longest night of the year is almost here, and introspection is the theme of the season. At night, in a comfortable location, prepare yourself for a deep meditation. You will need a blue candle, some frankincense incense, and some tarot or other oracle cards you like to work with.
Set up your space by lighting the incense and candle, getting comfortable, and setting your intention for internal work. Lay the cards out before you, face down. Let your gaze wash over the cards until you find the one that calls to you. This is the card that you need to meditate on. It is talking to you about your inner self. What story does it tell you? What do you need to appreciate about yourself? What do you need to work on? Between the card you choose and your meditation, you should be able to find the answers.
This post was written by Kerri Connor on December 15, 2018
The Color of Love
Spell Date: Sunday, December 16, 2018
At this time of year, the shops are full of poinsettias. They’re a seasonal favorite, but why? Their red and white colors make them very appropriate for seasonal decoration, but the correlation goes much deeper than that.
Poinsettias have long been associated with joy, holiness, and motherhood. That ties them into the Christian Christmas story very well indeed. In fact, there is a legend about a penniless child who had no gifts to bring, so he picked some weeds. As he entered the church, the weeds burst into the bright colors of the poinsettia plants.
With a little care and attention, poinsettias can brighten up your holiday home. Enjoy their color, and bear in mind that when you welcome a poinsettia, you’re inviting hope, love, and joy into your life.
This post was written by Charlie Rainbow Wolf on December 16, 2018
By Tasha Halpert
The Expectations of Christmas Time
I remember a few of the Christmas gifts I received as a child. My favorite was a large brown teddy bear around two and a half feet tall I called Bruin. He became the head of my teddy bear family of five. Another was a wood burning set from my Great Aunt Alice. I never could figure out how to use it. One of my most memorable was a gift from my Uncle Oliver, also the giver of the bear: a large balloon in the shape of a Zeppelin tied with a big red ribbon. For whatever reason, instead of placing it under the tree, he set it on the radiator in the front hall. In the middle of dinner there was a loud bang. We ran into the hall. What remained was an empty red ribbon bow and piece of burst rubber. My expectations were dashed. The teddy bear he gave me on another Christmas later may have been his way of apologizing. I don't remember having expectations as to what I might receive. Most of my gifts were practical. The Holiday time carries a big burden of expectations. People are expected to be nicer, to be kinder to one another, perhaps even more forgiving of errors and mishaps. "It's Christmas," people say, and that is supposed to be a reason to behave in ways one might not otherwise. I'm not saying that this is a bad reason; it is good to be thinking kindly at this time of year. However, we don't need to make it a given or to be critical of those who are not. Another set of expectations revolves around the giving of gifts. To whom do we owe a larger gift and to whom a token? Is a card enough or need we send or give an actual physical present? Even the difference between an online card and an actual one might be a consideration. Our expectations of what is appropriate, what we "ought" to do may govern our actions and present a need for decisions about what to do, as well as stress us out. Perhaps most of all, however, it is our expectations of ourselves that are the most difficult to deal with. There is much to be done and it all must fit into the time we have, regardless of the fact that life does not come to a halt at Christmas time. In addition to the holiday activities we still need to do the cooking, working, shopping and so on that we do anyway. It's enough to take the fun out of the celebration. We often feel guilty if we can't manage to do it all with grace and good humor. Yet we and others might better benefit if we take some time for ourselves. If we use a gift bag instead of wrapping paper, send a card instead of an actual gift or even offer to take friends out for a treat at a later date or offer to baby sit their children, we downsize the stress. Less stress means more holiday spirit, and diminished expectations mean less guilt. We need to remember that what we really celebrate now is the coming of a child of Light, or the Light itself, into a world that needs it. Expectations aside, we can remember the true meaning of this season is about the gift of joy to all of us, from all of us.
GrannyMoon’s Healing Arts and Pagan Studies Courses!
Join Me! Natural WItchcraft will take 13 weeks of study and hands-on practice. But it should be fun for you too!
The more you write, the more you will “reclaim and remember.” We start with the basics!
We learn from Our Mother…the Earth, the Moon, the weather, from the elements, the animals, the stones, the seasons, the trees and all manner of living and breathing things, as well as the inanimate. They have much to tell us, much to share. We learn the language of the Earth and her inhabitants, but we must resonate with them to understand. This is a fun 13 week E-Course, with hands-on projects that you will love!
The Herbalism series, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.
There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs, herbal terminology and herbal history. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental, as well as the many alternative healing modalities of herbs! The Doctrine of Signatures and making plant medicine.
Herbalism 303: The last series of classes teaches about the entire body, one system at a time. You’ll learn a lot about how the body functions and what health problems are related to which body system. You’ll also learn about natural health remedies for many health problems.
There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace, however, I do suggest sending in one lesson a week to get the most out of the course.
The Reiki Master course is a $150.00 value, yours free for purchasing all three of the Herbalism courses at once.
However, it is a wonderful beginning with hands-on projects that my students seem to enjoy!
I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do too or will learn to!
A Prayer to the Earth at Yule
by Patti Wigington
Cold and dark, this time of year, the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return of the sun, and with it, life. Far beneath the frozen surface, a heartbeat waits, until the moment is right, to spring.
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Yule Sunrise Prayer
When the sun first rises on Yule, on or around December 21 (it’s around June 21 if you’re one of our readers below the equator), it’s time to recognize that the days will gradually begin to lengthen. The nights get shorter, and it’s a reminder that even when it’s cold, warmth is returning. If you’re hosting a winter solstice gathering, try to time things so your family and friends can greet the sun with this prayer as it first appears over the horizon.
Yule Sunrise Prayer
The sun returns! The light returns! The earth begins to warm once more! The time of darkness has passed, and a path of light begins the new day. Welcome, welcome, the heat of the sun, blessing us all with its rays.
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Prayer to the Winter Goddess
Welcome the ice and snow of winter with a prayer to the goddess of your tradition. Image by Hugh Whitaker/Cultura/Getty Images
Despite the fact that some people hate cold weather, it does have its advantages. After all, a good cold day gives us an opportunity to cuddle up indoors with the people we love the most. If your magical tradition honors a seasonal goddess, offer up this prayer in her honor at Yule.
Prayer to the Winter Goddess
O! Mighty goddess, in silvery ice, watching over us as we sleep, a layer of shining white, covering the earth each night, frost on the world and in the soul, we thank you for visiting us. Because of you, we seek warmth in the comfort of our homes and hearths
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Yule Prayer to Count Your Blessings
Yule should be a time of joy and happiness, but for many people it can be stressful. This is a season to take a moment and be thankful for the blessings you have, and to take a moment to remember those less fortunate.
Yule Prayer to Count Your Blessings
I am grateful for that which I have. I am not sorrowful for that which I do not. I have more than others, less than some, but regardless, I am blessed with what is mine.
If you have a set of Pagan Prayer Beads, or a Witch’s Ladder, you can use these to enumerate your blessings. Count off each bead or knot, and consider the things you are thankful for, like so:
First, I am thankful for my health. Second, I am thankful for my family. Third, I am thankful for my warm home. Fourth, I am thankful for the abundance in my life.
Continue counting off your blessings, until you have thought about all of the things that enrich your life, and the lives of those around you.
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Prayer for the Beginning of Winter
In early winter, we can see the skies becoming overcast, and smell fresh snow in the air. Take a few minutes to think about the fact that even if the skies are cold and dark, it’s only temporary, because the sun will return to us, beginning on the winter solstice.
Prayer for the Beginning of Winter
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way for the bright sun soon to come. See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way, for the world to awake once more. See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way for the longest night of the year. See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way for the sun to finally return, bringing with it light and warmth.
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Yule Sunset Prayer
Celebrate when the sun sets on the longest night of the year.
The night before the winter solstice is the longest night of the year. In the morning, with the return of the sun, the days will begin to grow longer. As much as we enjoy the light, though, there is a lot to be said for acknowledging the darkness. Welcome it, as the sun sets in the sky.
Yule Sunset Prayer
The longest night has come once more, the sun has set, and darkness fallen. The trees are bare, the earth asleep, and the skies are cold and black. Yet tonight we rejoice, in this longest night, embracing the darkness that enfolds us. We welcome the night and all that it holds, as the light of the stars shines down.
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A Nordic Yule Prayer
Yule is a time to set aside animosity between yourself and people who would normally antagonize you. The Norsemen had a tradition that enemies who met under a bough of mistletoe were obligated to lay down their arms. Set aside your differences, and think about that as you ponder this devotional. Keep in mind this is not an ancient Norse prayer, but a modern one inspired by Norse legend and history.
A Nordic Yule Prayer
Beneath the tree of light and life, a blessing at this season of Jul! To all that sit at my hearth, today we are brothers, we are family, and I drink to your health! Today we do not fight, We bear no one ill will. Today is a day to offer hospitality to all that cross my threshold in the name of the season.
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Snow Prayer for Yule
Snow is symbolic of purity and inspiration.
Depending on where you live, you may be seeing snowfall long before Yule arrives. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty and its magic, both as it falls and once it covers the ground.
Snow Prayer for Yule
From the reaches of the north, a place of cold blue beauty, comes to us the first winter storm. Wind whipping, flakes flying, the snow has fallen upon the earth, keeping us close, keeping us together, wrapped up as everything sleeps beneath a blanket of white.
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Yule Prayer to the Old Gods
In many Pagan traditions, both contemporary and ancient, the old gods are honored at the time of the winter solstice. Take a moment to pay them tribute , and call upon them during the Yule season.
Yule Prayer to the Old Gods
The Holly King is gone, and the Oak King reigns - Yule is the time of the old winter gods! Hail to Baldur! To Saturn! To Odin! Hail to Amaterasu! To Demeter! Hail to Ra! To Horus! Hail to Frigga, Minerva Sulis and Cailleach Bheur! It is their season, and high in the heavens, may they grant us their blessings this winter day.
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A Celtic Yule Blessing
Winters in the Celtic lands were harsh, and the people knew the significance of the solstice.
The Celtic people knew the importance of the solstice. Although the Yule season marks the middle of winter, colder times were still to come. It was important to put aside staple foods for the coming months, because it would be many months before anything fresh grew again. Consider, as you think on this devotional, what your family has put aside — both material goods and things on the spiritual plane.
Keep in mind that this is not an ancient Celtic prayer, but a modern one inspired by Celtic myth and folklore.
A Celtic Yule Blessing
The food is put away for the winter, the crops are set aside to feed us, the cattle are come down from their fields, and the sheep are in from the pasture. The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray. The nights are dark, but we have our family, kin and clan around the hearth, staying warm in the midst of darkness, our spirit and love a flame a beacon burning brightly in the night.
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Elemental Prayer for Yule
In the middle of winter, it’s hard to remember sometimes that light is coming back to earth. However, despite the gray, cloudy days, we know that soon, the sun will return. Keep this in mind during those dreary days when it seems winter will never end, by invoking the four classical elements.
Elemental Prayer for Yule
As the earth grows colder, the winds blow faster, the fire dwindles smaller, and the rains fall harder, let the light of the sun find its way home.
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Yule Prayer to the Sun Gods
Many ancient cultures and religions honored various solar deities at the time of the winter solstice. Whether you honor Ra, Mithras, Helios, or some other sun deity, now is a good time to welcome them back.
Yule Prayer to the Sun Gods
Great sun, wheel of fire, sun god in your glory, hear me as I honor you on this, the shortest day of the year. Summer has gone, passed us by, the fields are dead and cold, all of earth sleeps in your absence. Even in the darkest times, you light the way for those who would need a beacon, of hope, of brightness, shining in the night. Winter is here, and colder days coming, the fields are bare and the livestock thin. We light these candles in your honor, that you might gather your strength and bring life back to the world. O mighty sun above us, we ask you to return, to bring back to us the light and the warmth of your fire. Bring life back to earth, Bring light back to earth. Hail the sun!
The practice of meditation is used to focus, contemplate, and connect with your life force. A variety of meditation techniques are used in accordance with your needs and ability.
Prayer of Protection
The light of Goddess surrounds us.
The love of the Goddess enfolds us.
The power of Goddess protects us.
The presence of the Goddess watches over us.
Wherever we are, the Goddess is, and all is well.
I believe this one was written as a Spring renewal exorcise but it can be used anytime…
While standing or sitting, lengthen your spine without holding it rigidly. Consider your head a balloon held to Earth by a string. It gently rises upwards as far as it can without strain. The neck lengthens. The upper back is also a balloon, gently yearning upwards.
Gently, turn your head to the right. Turn it back to center. Then to the left. And back to center. Do this again, and see a line of light drawn and reinforced by the turning of your head.
What color is this light?
See it gleaming in front of your face, giving your face energy. How does this energy interact with your Brow Chakra–the energy vortex at the level of your forehead?
Gently massage the base of your skull, your jaw, temples, sinus areas, over your eyebrows. Rub your hands and cup them over your eyes. Slowly, circle your head first one way then the other. Do not strain, particularly when you revolve your head backwards. Now do this again, seeing a circle of light–what color?– circling your head, giving your head energy. [For now, simply learn this technique. In the future, you can pre-determine the color and quality of energy you’d like to envision and absorb.]
Extend your arms in front of you. Spread your fingers upward. Hold them tense, feeling the stretch in your palms. Release the fingers downward. Do this a few more times, then release your arms. Cup your palms and bring them towards each other, slowly moving them outward again, then inward, feeling a build-up of energy.
What image do you see in your palms? What are you creating? Raise first one hand and then the other in the air above your head as if you were plucking fruit from a tree. Or perhaps there is something else for which you reach. Use breath to help you gently increase your stretch.
Do a few shoulder shrugs and rolls. Inhale as you raise your shoulders to your ears. Exhale as you drop your shoulders into place. Do this a few more times. Using your right hand, gently rub your left shoulder. Rub your right shoulder with your left hand. See the tension dissolving and being flushed away. Roll your shoulders forward and backward, loosening tension. Rub your neck.
Your upper back and shoulders are an expanse of soft fabric. An angel slowly and gently smooths this fabric outward from the middle. See all the bunches and wrinkles in the fabric smoothing out. Experience the expansion of your upper back.
Release any tension in your upper back and shoulders. See it gently flowing away. Your upper back and shoulders are now available for energy. What is the nature of the energy that now flows through these areas? Do a few waist-twists, preferably standing. Loosen up the spine by twisting the torso side to side. Inhale. Twist to right. Exhale. Return to center. Inhale. Twist to left. Exhale. Return to center. Repeat this sequence a few more times.
Bring your attention to your breathing. Locate your breathing. Where is it in the body? Observe its rhythm. What is it telling you? Do not judge. Simply observe and listen. Inflate and deflate the balloon of your breathing. How much air can you expel comfortably? How much air can you take in comfortably?
Standing, bring attention to your center of gravity, low in the body. Standing with legs about 1-1/2 feet apart, let your knees bend slightly, spongy knees, not locked in place. Feel the full weight of your body resting on the secure base formed by your feet. Rock gently side to side atop this secure base, then come to center. Be aware of the potential for aliveness and comfort in your body atop this secure base.
Receive energy rising from the earth below you. Draw it up through both feet at once or through the left foot, circling it through the body and then down through the right foot to return to the Earth. What is the nature of this energy? What is its color, speed of flow, temperature, texture, feeling quality?
Now close your eyes; become aware of your breath. Notice your inhale and exhale. If any thoughts come up, let them walk right on through you. Feel your body melting into the table or chair. Keep your attention on your inhale and exhale, breathing deeply in, and completely out. Follow the rise and fall of your torso, riding the wave of your breathing, becoming more comfortable within.
Take time now to relax and reflect. Find a sense of groundedness. What does it take to help you feel grounded?
Whenever you do this renewal meditation, remember to journal your images and insights as your body and Expanded Self take this opportunity to speak to you.
As we go around the circle…I will ask each of you to reflect on your blockages and any perceived negativeness that you have found during this meditation. Take all you find and roll them into a ball…larger and larger…layer after layer…rolling…rolling…adding negative thoughts and negative actions that you have encountered this week. Rolling…rolling…rolling…
Now…release!!!! Into the air…watch as they go up up up into the air…and disperse…into nothing…ness.
Now allow yourself to feel gratitude for the process you’re going through. And thank your body for being with you all these years.
Creating A Sacred Space
Making a sacred space of your own, whether it be an alter, meditation space, area for your crystal treasures or just room for you to breath, can be a fun and exciting choice.
- First, find a space to use on a regular basis for “your” space. Doing this,conditions your mind to become familiar and therefore feel relaxed once you are in the space, as it allows you to ascend. In time, just sitting in your space will immediately relax you.
Your space can be a small area in your home where you can sit with your eyes closed for at least a few minutes each day. Choose a clean, quiet place away from all distractions where you can sit on a chair or on the floor. If you use a chair, choose one that allows you to keep your back as straight as possible. If you sit on the floor, you may want to lean your back against something so that you can keep it straight.
- Whatever area you choose to use, you first want to cleanse/clear that space.
Space clearing can be done on a physical level by decluttering your surroundings. It can also be done on a metaphysical level with such tools as herbs, salts, crystals, incense, oils and yes, intention.
The power of (halite crystal) sea salt is a safe and effective way to clear and cleanse any space of negative energy. Sea salt is obtained by evaporating seawater. Energy in itself, is the vital source, which radiates from everything and everyone around us. When we are ill, emotionally upset, angered or imbalanced, our moods and of course, our energy is altered. Coming in contact with energy that is negative can often be sensed, even felt. The result is often a feeling of uneasiness, confusion or an opposed feeling to our current state of mind. Cleansing with sea salt or rock salt is preferred over iodized, processed table salt.
Cleansing a room with salt can be done by placing salt in small bowls and placing them in the 4 corners for 24 hours. Take two teaspoons of sea salt and dissolve it into some warm water. Pour it into a mister or spray bottle and spray it wherever you need cleansing.
Adding herbs or essential oils to sea salt can give an added bonus to cleansing. Herbs such as lavender, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme, and rosemary are all good compliments. When using herbs, place them in the salt and shake the salt in a closed container. This bruises the herbs and allows its essential oils to incorporate into the salt matrix. When using essential oils, add a few drops to salt and then stir or shake the salt in order to mix them well. Misting yourself for an overall clearing can do cleansing of negative vibes. Draw a bath. As the hot water is filling the tube, add two or more tablespoons of sea salt to the running water and stir it so it dissolves in the tube. Relax in your bath for 15-20 minutes.
- For a few days just sit quietly in your space for five to ten minutes. This will help establish your energy.
- Before you sit, consider using the following “tools” to help increase your intention for the space.
a.) You may light a candle or some incense, if you like. Eventually, lighting the candle or incense will signal your brain that it’s time for “sacred time”.
b.) Place in your space only items you absolutely love unconditionally. Do not place it there just because you think it belongs there. These “tools” should be items that empower you, give you strength, energy and allow you to feel good.
c.) Add your most special crystals into your space. You can create a border with them or design an area or “cluster” just for them.
d.) Remember, this is a living breathing space, so any items that served you this day, may not serve you tomorrow. So feel free to bring into your space different items (or crystals) that work for your that day.
e.) Now, sprinkle with intention. Intention is a tool that can be used to bring about change. With clear intent, we formulate a greater deliberateness in order to achieve the end result.
The Map of Intention
When you break down the process of what true intention really is, you will find a process that unfolds before you. By applying this process, you create your intention. Here is how you map out your intentions:
- Have purpose : Your reason behind your intention is purpose. Having a purpose infers a more determined path.
- Design your intent : This suggests a more careful, laid out and calculated plan of action. What, when, why where, how.
- Improve your aim : By improving your aim, you add to your implications or target effort directed toward attaining your intention.
- Gain your objective : Create a clear objective by aiming for something tangible and immediately attainable.
- Reach your goal : The goal is the result of your intention, put into action and attaining it by thought out effort and un-waiving focus.
You have now created your sacred space. Bring to it what you want. Use it for what it is and allow it to remain sacred.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
Crystals for Sagittarius
The Archer is brilliant at public relations. They tend toward the excessive, expressing it as carefree, adventurous and searching. With their expansive nature, they are freedom loving and fortunate because of this attitude, yet very judgmental of others. They enjoy traveling and exploration, because their minds are constantly open to new dimensions of thought. They are basically ambitious and optimistic, and continue to be so even when their hopes are dashed. Their strongly idealistic natures can also suffer many disappointments without being affected.
Crystals for Sagittarius
Choose a stone that will help bring balance
This Sagittarius birthstone stone is especially helpful for all travels. It is useful for alignment with our higher self, creative expression, writing, focusing on your path. An empathetic stone. Gives out a warm glow quite readily. They promote understanding, compassion, kindness and empathy. They open and heal the hearts of those who have closed them while also protecting the open-hearted from too much pain.
A Sagittarius birthstone, this stone helps to reveal your aspirations and the ability to share them with others. A powerful thought-amplifier and is helpful in aligning all the elements of the body and mind. Can increase psychic abilities and will open the third eye. Can guide you in the direction of mental and spiritual purity. It should be worn as close to the throat as possible or at least above the diaphragm so that the energy of the wearer is drawn upward. Helps yo u to find a partner to share your life’s adventures with.
This stone is most famous as an amazing over all healer for illnesses in the physical body and mental/emotional issues. Turquoise is known as a stone of protection and communication on every level. Use turquoise at the Throat Chakra, to encouraging communication between heart and mind as well as expressing your desires and dreams. It opens the Throat Chakra, for clear communication, creativity, serenity, spiritual bonding and uplifting through verbal expression.
Aventurine protects the heart, enhances creativity and working with spirit guides. Green is the color of healing and Aventurine, as a member of the quartz family, has a concentrated ability to dissolve emotional blockage. It’s a particularly effective crystal for emotional healing and is especially helpful when worn for this purpose or placed on the heart center during Chakra balancing. It helps to balance the emotions, and is one of the best stones to wear or carry during stressful times.
This stone is for pursuing your goals of self discovery. Helpful for overcoming emotional blockages. This is a strong grounding stone and is known as “the protector”. It is said to “mirror one’s soul. This stone brings about objectivity, dis-attachment and is grounding. It reduce s fantasy and escapism. Absorbs and dissolves anger, criticism, fear, and therefore is protective. This unusual black stone absorbs darkness and converts it to white light energy. It is a warm and friendly stone, which is used at the Root Chakra, encouraging ones survival instincts and is grounding.
This stone is The stone of spirituality and dream recall. Used for contentment and meditation. Provides common sense and flexibility in decisions. Strengthens and enhances psychic abilities, imagery and mind quieting. Wear when sleeping or when awake to reduce anger, impatience, and nightmares. Most effective on the Brow and Crown Chakra. It helps you to trust your instincts. Helps with finding your highest purpose.
This stone works with the Heart Chakra. It is a soft, gentle, soothing stone that warms the heart center. Its value as a nurturing friend cannot be overstated. Neither can it’s soothing influence. Helps diffuse negative stimuli and uncomfortable memories. Helps us discover the ability to love ourselves and makes us more open to other people. It is of particular value in helping us to forgive ourselves, hastening self-acceptance.
This stone is most recognized for healing, meditation and wisdom. This a good stone for general communication for self and writing. It is used for expressing logic and ideas due to its connection with the Throat Chakra. It is also used at the Brow Chakradue to the fact that it can access fine levels of intuitive information and promote the understanding of these concepts. It is also known to enhance community relationships. Considered a stone that is still evolving, sodalite can strongly affect changes in your attitude about yourself.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
A Tree Called Twinkles
The forest of evergreen trees grew on the side of the mountain. Some were so tall they could look over the heads of the other trees and see far beyond the borders of the forest. Others, like Twinkles, were smaller by far. Growing in the shade of the taller trees, Twinkles was not very tall at all. At about twelve inches tall, he was probably the youngest tree in the forest.
Twinkles was a baby fir tree. He had very small delicate green buds on his branches. They were so small that you could hardly see them even if you looked very hard. Though some of the trees around him were indeed very tall, there were others that were not, and it was these that Twinkles envied. It would be nice, he thought to himself not to feel so small and insignificant. Though he might not expect to grow as tall as those who could see above the forest, at least he might be as tall as those around him.
Twinkles thought that if he were at least a little bigger, then maybe some of the trees around him might pay him some attention and be a little nicer and share. He felt rather lonely, because when they didn’t ignore him, they treated him badly. Sadly for him they would look down on him and snicker and say hurtful things, sneering about his small trunk and spindly branches. It made him feel so sad, yet he didn’t know what to do.
I suppose if I was supposed to be any bigger than I am then I would be, Twinkles told himself in a brave voice. Just because I’m not as tall and big and bushy as they are doesn’t mean that I’m not as good as they are in other ways. Try as he could he couldn’t exactly come up with those other ways, but he knew they were there and that one day he’d get them figured out. After all, he would tell himself, we’re all made the same and it’s just that their branches are bigger than mine. Maybe I just need to grow more.
One day there was a great rumbling and commotion. Twinkles knew that something was coming up the mountain.
But he was too small to see what it was. And as luck might have it whoever they were couldn’t see Twinkles either. Men came and walked among the trees tying orange strips to many of them.
One of the trees preened himself. “Look at these beautiful orange strips we now wear,” one of the trees said. “And of course those with the orange strips should be looked to with envy and appreciation by those less fortunate.” One of his branches swiped Twinkles’ trunk hard enough to make him bend over.
Then all the trees with orange strips flapped their branches and sang songs dating back to the early festivals of the trees.
That night it began to snow. As the frosty flakes descended, the orange strips glowed even brighter and the trees around Twinkles flourished their branches, shaking their snow all over Twinkles and those other, smaller trees they considered to be less fortunate.
One day the thunderous rumble was heard again, but this time there was machinery to go with the large convoy of trucks. They parked near the trees and Twinkles didn’t like the look of the machinery they carried. He could see the trucks had letters on them:
Though he could not read the words, they said “Christmas Trees”
Still Twinkles had a sad feeling. He could sense what was about to happen. Even though they had been so mean to him Twinkles tried to cry out to the other trees, “Oh, I am so sorry.”
Then Twinkles heard the terrible sound of chainsaws and someone called out, “just the ones with the orange bands.” What had once been happy singing suddenly changed to cries of desperation and panic. The trees around him tried to crouch away from the painful electric saws but to no avail.
“Leave us alone,” Twinkles tried to cry. “Don’t you know how valuable trees are to the good health of the planet?”
The men finished their work and loaded the fallen trees on their trucks. Once they had driven away there was an amazing stillness all around him. Twinkles had never been so alone. He was one of few smaller trees left standing.
“Look,” came the slight chirp of a bird. “Here’s one; how lucky we are, we can sleep warm in the shelter of the little branches.
“Yes,” agreed her mate. “And we can have a safe place to one day make our nest.” And as the snow fell and the wind howled Twinkles could only smile and feel the warmth of the love of the little bird family nestled into in his fir branches.
From far above him he heard a sighing sound. It was one of the tallest trees. These had been spared as being too tall. “Oh little tree because the trees around you have been taken away now you will grow to be big like us. One day you will have many birds in your branches, as we do. Grow well, little brother, grow well.”
1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries 1 cup sugar 6 green onions, chopped 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened Assorted crackers or tortilla chips
Pulse cranberries and sugar in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Stir together with onions, cilantro and jalapeno. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. To serve, place cream cheese on a serving plate. Drain salsa; spoon over cream cheese. Serve with crackers or chips.
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
1 serving: 146 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 71mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 2g fiber), 1g protein.
Originally published as Holiday Salsa in Simple & Delicious December/January 2013
From Servant of Hestia
With the Festive Season ahead of us, both pagans, Christians, and other religious groups are busy celebrating a beautiful winter season. My holyday of Longest Night (also Yule or Winter Solstice) is a wonderful way to celebrate…..and prepare a traditional English drink. I love Wassail! It’s super easy to throw together, and you can choose to either make in on the stove or in a crockpot.
Are you ready to prepare this amazing drink?
You will need:
1 gallon apple cider
6 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tart apples (Granny Smith come to mind)
Put all the ingredients into a pot (or crockpot) and simmer until the apples burst from their skins. So tasty!!!
Blessings From The Hearth.
Cranberry Orange Rosemary Cocktail
1 1/2 cups water 1 sprig fresh rosemary (5 to 6 inches long) 2 cups cranberry juice 1 cup Triple Sec 1 750 milliliter bottle Prosecco, chilled
Heat water to boiling in microwave. Add rosemary sprig to water and let steep 10 minutes. Discard rosemary sprig. In a 1-quart freezer container, combine cranberry juice, rosemary water, and Triple Sec. Cover and freeze 8 hours or until ready to use. To serve, scoop frozen cranberry mixture into champagne flutes, filling about 1/2 full. Top with Prosecco and garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Nutrition Facts (Cranberry Orange Rosemary Cocktail)
Per serving: 97 kcal , 0 g fat (0 g sat. fat , 0 g polyunsaturated fat , 0 g monounsaturated fat ), 0 mg chol. , 12 mg sodium , 10 g carb. , 0 g fiber , 8 g sugar , 0 g pro.
Candy Cane Martini
Kim Haasarud December 2009
Recipe By Coastal Living
Makes 1 cocktail
We dare you– look at this cocktail and try not to fall in love. Raise a glass and toast friends and family this holiday season.
1 1/4 ounces vanilla vodka 1 1/4 ounces white crème de cacao 3/4 ounce peppermint schnapps Garnish: peppermint candy
How to Make It
Combine vanilla vodka, white creme de cacao, and peppermint schnapps in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with peppermint candy.
Reprinted with permission from 101 Martinis (Wiley & Sons, 2006) by Kim Haasarud
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“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.
Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again!”