Harvest Moon Esbat Cakes

My new favorite kitchen tool:  the mini muffin tin.  I rarely want or need a full size cake or even a cupcake for Cakes & Ale.  Enter the mini muffin tin.  A perfect size for making ritual cakes, I constantly find new and creative ways to honor the seasons of the moon using this simple device.  This month?

harvest moon cakes 5

I usually provide a link to the recipe and focus on the ritual meaning of ingredients in my kitchen witch posts.  But one came about of my own experimentation and tinkering, so I’ll dish (I know, I’m full of cheesy kitchen jokes this time of year).

The Harvest Moon and the fall season in general signify a time to acknowledge our deceased loved ones’ memories (especially those who have passed on during the last year), give thanks for the abundance of the harvest and enjoy the company of those we hold most dear.

The baking process fills your space with the scent and spirit of the autumn season.

Sharing harvest moon cakes with a coven, friends or family solidifies bonds and honors our relationships with our communities.

Make your ritual cakes for the Cakes & Ale portion of your moon ritual to lend power to your spell work.  The focus and concentration of choosing ingredients especially for the occasion raises the vibrations in your home.

This recipe makes 24 mini cakes, but you can half it pretty easily.

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extrac
t
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup milk

Any combination of the following (I just eyeballed it):

*A whole bunch of ground ginger
*A whole bunch of ground cinnamon
*A whole bunch of ground allspice
*A little less ground nutmeg

For the frosting:

1/2 cup butter (softened)
8 oz.  cream cheese (softened)
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
splash of vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2.  Sift together flour, baking powder and ground spices.

3.  Blend butter and sugar.

4.  Combine dry ingredients and add eggs and vanilla extract.

5.  Grease your muffin tin(s) well or use cupcake liners.

6.  Spoon mixture into tins and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7.  While the cakes are baking, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract to make frosting.

8.  Allow cakes to cool for at least 30 minutes before icing them.

9.  Optional:  garnish with soft-bake ginger snap cookies.

Enjoy at your harvest moon ritual or leave some on the altar as an offering.  They freeze well, so you can bake a big batch and use them throughout the fall during the Esbat.

harvest moon cakes 2

All the spices included in these cakes are traditional to the harvest season in the Wiccan religion, as well as many neopagan traditions in general.  Cinnamon in particular has many spiritual properties.

harvest moon cakes 1

harvest moon cakes 3

If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy this post about yule cookies, in which I go into more detail about the meaning of the harvest season ingredients.

Feel free to leave your own harvest moon recipes in the comments or share your experience with this one!

Blessed full moon!

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Full Moon Scavenger Hunt Spell Box

I love spell boxes.  Whether yours look artistic, expressive and beautiful or more like a 3rd grader’s craft project, spell boxes are easy to personalize for your purpose.

This full moon, start a spell box, but don’t finish it until the next full moon.

full moon box spell

Start by picking a (realistic) goal.  Something you can reasonably accomplish in one moon cycle.   Modest weight loss, new job, starting a new hobby or deepening a skill you already have.    Whatever.

Get a box.  I’m a fan of the small wooden ones available at most craft stores for about $1.   Like this one.

IMG_0184

But you don’t even need to go that far.  A shoe box will do.

Decorate the box.  Don’t be shy, now.  Really abuse it.  Carve symbols in it.  Scar it with a wood-burning tool.  Glitter, paint, stencils, super-glued seashells.  Pick stuff suited to your endgame.  Choose appropriate color(s) and symbols.

Bless that bad boy.  Nothing fancy.  A little sprinkling of spring water and some salt will do.

Spend the next month searching.  For herbs, stones, words, and symbols to add to your box.  You can either start with a list of things to look for or simply improvise.  You’ll be amazed when an idea strikes you.  Here’s a sample list for a success spell.

*allspice
*dollar bill
*mint leaves
*blank check
*high john
*patchouli
*10 of Pentacles tarot card
*cinnamon stick

Remember it is a work in progress.  The joy is in the journey, and all that.  Take your time.  If not this moon cycle, than the next.  Make it part of your Esbats until you get what you want.

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How to Make Moon Water

It’s a (hopefully lazy) Saturday, and it’s a full moon!  A perfect time to make up a batch of moon water.

How to Make Moon Water

But first, what is moon water?

Moon water is a simple, all-purpose blessing water you can use in almost any ritual.  It’s extremely versatile.  You can use for:

*Cleansing ritual tools.
*Blessing spell components.
*Anointing yourself.
*In ritual baths for purification.
*In baby blessings.
*During Wiccaning ceremonies.
*During marital and handfasting rites.

Keep a bottle close!

Here’s what you’ll need:

*a full moon.
*piece of moonstone.  Clear quartz is an okay substitute.
*lavender flower.
*cinnamon stick.
*glass corked bottle.
*funnel.
*cast iron boiling pot or cauldron.
*strainer
*a white floating candle

1.  On the night of the full moon, gather your ingredients.  If you want to be super witchy and mysterious, you can always build a bonfire and do up traditional with the pot on the flames.  Personally, I just use my stove.

2.  Bring the water to boil with the herbs.  If you want to spare yourself the trouble of straining them later, you can always just put them in a cheese cloth or tie them off in coffee filter.  Your call.

3.  Let the whole shebang simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  Or whatever.

4.  Allow the pot to cool and strain the herbs into the bowl.

5.  Around midnight, take it outside.  If possible, place it somewhere where the moonlight reflects in it.

6.  Place the moonstone in the center of the bowl.

7.  Light the floating candle and send it adrift in your water.  You can sit there for a few moments of contemplative reflection and extinguish it.  Or, if you feel it’s safe, you can allow it to burn itself out.  It is in water, after all.  But for goodness sake, use your own best judgement.  Either way, leave it out over night.

8.  In the morning, pluck out the cold wax from the candle.

9.  Funnel the water into the bottle and cork it up.  It’s ready for use.  Enjoy!

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Spring Moon Ritual

Spring is (finally!) upon us.  The danger of frost has passed for most of the US, and warmer temperatures are on the horizon.

It’s time to knock the dust of your outdoor altar, pack a basket and head into the night for what might be your first outdoor ritual of the season.

Spring Moon Ritual Pinterest

You will need:

*Flower petals.  Freshly picked are best, but store bought will do, or even some dried flowers from an old bouquet.

*Some natural altar decorations.  Take the time to gather some spring greens from the forest.  Moss or bright new leaves are nice.

*Dew gathered from the morning.  Gathering dew is a lovely precursor to a night moon ritual, but I realize this isn’t always convenient, so spring or blessed water is fine.

*Dried chamomile.  Or some other light floral.

*Cauldron or fire safe bowl.

*Charcoal disk.

*Lighter or matches.

*Altar candle.

Set up your altar.  Decorate it with your spring greens and place the altar candle in the middle.

Begin by marking your circle with the flower petals.  Walk in a clockwise fashion.

Light the altar candle.

If you have any flower petals left, ring the bottom of the candle with them.

Light your charcoal disk.  Blow on it to get a good burn.  You know the drill.

While it smolders, take your spring water or dew and anoint your Third Eye.  Close your eyes and feel the fresh purity of the water.  Imagine the newness of it radiating throughout your whole body, cleansing you of winter aches and old emotional wounds.

Place a pinch of chamomile on the charcoal dish, and picture the smoke carrying off winter, the past, and old pain.  Stay there as long as you like.  Don’t rush.

Extinguish everything, close the circle and welcome the fullest part of the spring season!

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Cauldron Banishing Ritual

Now that Samhain has passed, and the moon is waning, it’s a nice time to clear out unwanted people or energies from your life.  This simple all-purpose banishing ritual is quick and easy.

You will need:

*cauldron or fire safe dish
*matches or lighter
*dried rosemary
*piece of paper (parchment is nice)
*pen
*bottle of spring water

samhain cauldron smaller

Because this will produce a lot of smoke, I definitely recommend going outside.

Gather your ingredients in a basket or bag and head out to find a nice, quiet spot under the waning moon.

1.  In this season, dead, dried leaves aren’t hard to come by.  Gather some of them, along with some twigs or other items to create a small cauldron fire.  Using the warmth of a cauldron fire in this season of cooler weather brings a nice touch to any ritual.

2.  Write down a symbol that represents what you want to banish, or simply write the word.  If this is a person, a photograph makes a nice substitute, but their name/birthdate/zodiac sign also works.  If it is a thing, you might also use something non-toxic to burn.  Trying to banish unhealthy eating habits?  A paper wrapper from your favorite candy might be just the thing.  Trying to kick smoking?  Burn your last pack of cigarettes to start yourself on the (long, but worthwhile) road of quitting.

3.  Think carefully about why you want this person or thing out of your life and write this down too, either in word or symbol form.  Personally, I prefer symbols.  Be creative!  Is your relationship toxic?  The poison control symbol might adequately represent this.

4.  Start a small cauldron fire with the leaves and sticks you gathered.  Take care to note anything flammable that could catch before you do!  Hanging branches are particularly hazardous.

5.  Once it gets going, light the paper and throw it in.

6.  Sprinkle the dried rosemary on top.

7.  Allow your hands to pass through the smoke.  Imagine it purifying you as it rises into sky, carrying away the negative energy from your life.

8.  Bury the ashes somewhere where you aren’t likely to return any time soon.

9.  Bless yourself with the spring water.  Sprinkle it lightly and imagine yourself cleansed of this influence in your life.

10.  Walk away and don’t look back.  Literally, do not turn around, but keep moving forward on to wherever you’re going.

11.  Follow through!  Take steps in your life to make certain you keep your distance from this negative influence.

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Blue Moon Wishing Spell

Another blue moon.  A rare event, and a unique opportunity for the practicing witch.

It’s here!  Well, it’s three days away.  But you need time to plan for it.  Especially since Lammas is the very next day after.

It’s a busy week in the Wheel of the Year.

For the uninitiated: because the lunar cycle is 28 days, and most calendar months are either 30 days or 31 days, sometimes, there is a second moon in the same calendar month.

This second moon is called a Blue Moon.

For the spell worker, a second moon is sometimes called The Wishing Moon.   It is the ideal time to focus your energy on a loftier goal.

This month, we are presented with just such an opportunity.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to harness this power, you’ve come to right place.  Today, I’m going to show you a simple wishing spell that is easily adjustable to your specifications.

blue moon

You Will Need

*A bottle. of bubbles  Yes, that’s right.  The same ones children blow about on a summer day.  Any variety will do.  You can even make your own.

*A gemstone that corresponds to your particular wish.  There are lots of websites to help you find one if you don’t know what works, but some of the common ones include:

-Rose Quartz:  love, friendship, healing

-Amethyst:  prophetic dreams, heightened spiritual awareness

-Jade:  financial and job related goals

-Tiger’s eye: protection

-Blue Lace Agate:  inner peace and calm

-Malachite:  success, the “traveler’s stone”

-Orange Calcite:  happiness, emotional well-being

-Clear Quartz: all purpose

*A candle in a color that corresponds to your wish.  Again, there are many resources to help you figure out what color magic is all about, but here are some basics.  And remember, the best color is ultimately the one that seems right to you.

-Red:  love, passion, confidence

-Yellow:  creativity, happiness, joy

-Orange

-Green:  career, finance, “earthy” goals, fertility

-Blue:  peace, quiet, calm

-Purple:  spiritual gifts and talents, insight, introspection, self-awareness

-Black: protection, banishing

-White:  purity, soul cleansing

-Lavender: beauty, glamour, enchantment

-Silver: feminine mysteries

-Gold: masculine mysteries

-A chant, poem or piece of writing that expresses your intention.  If you’re not big on writing and you can’t find anything appropriate, just sum up your wish in one word, then say it over and over.  The important thing is that it’s simple enough for you to memorize completely.

Blue Moon Wishing Spell

Basic Procedure (adjust to your preferences)
1.  Go outside.  Find a quiet space where you will be comfortable and remain undisturbed and have a seat.

2.  Drop the gemstone in the bottle of bubbles.  Shake it gently, then place it in front of you.

3.  Light the candle, and stare at the flame.  Remain focused.  Don’t look away.  Remember when I told you to memorize your chant?  This is why.

4.   Chant your chant.  Say it over and over until you fall into a kind of hypnotic rhythm.  When you feel “mesmerized,” take the bubbles, and walk in a full circle around your candle nine times, blowing the bubbles outward as you go.

5.  When you have completed your 9th turn of the circle, stand in the center and say, “As I will it, so shall it be.”

Hope you enjoyed this spell outline.  Have fun this Blue Moon and make the most of it!.

For more full moon ritual ideas, check out this link.

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Power Raising with Firecrackers

If you’re in the US, firecracker stands dot every scenic highway this time of year.

Driving past one of them, I had an idea:  why not use them in a ritual?

With 12 (or 13!) Esbats a year, thinking of unique ways to raise power creates novelty and excitement.

Here are some fun ways to include fireworks in the upcoming full moon ritual.

Wiccan Spells with Firecrackers

*Please note:  Never forget you are dealing with explosives, which are extremely dangerous.   Please take all necessary precautions, and try these at your own risk!

Sparklers:  This a great way to include the kids!  Give one to each of them and tell them to “draw” a wish in the air.  Encourage them to be energetic or twirl in circles.

Smoke Bombs:  Choose a color that has meaning for your ritual.  Light the smoke bomb and place it in a large, firesafe cauldron in the center of the circle.  Just make sure it’s a big circle!

Snakes:  Use in rituals that feature serpent energies.

Poppers:  Write your intention in sidewalk chalk on the concrete and set them off on top of your incantation.

I can think of some more super fun ways to use explosives, but I don’t anyone to blow off a finger!  Be safe!

Power Raising in Witchcraft

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