Winter Solstice with a Kitchen Witch: Spiced Pears Poached in Red Wine

As the hearth heats up for the coming Winter Solstice, kitchen witches everywhere get ready to boil their cauldrons for ritual, gatherings and family meals.

Rich, decadent, sophisticated & colorful, this magickal recipe blends classic Yule spell ingredients, including fresh orange zest, red wine, perfect pears and star anise.

winter solstice with a kitchen witch

Oh, I’m really excited to share this one with you!  I made this for the first time a few days ago, and frankly, it turned out way better than I expected it to.

If you want to serve something magical, delicious and super chic this Yule, this dish adorns the table with a touch of class.

As with all my kitchen witch recipes, I like to share with you the magical properties of each key ingredient, and suggest a few ways to infuse your efforts in the kitchen with the magic and whimsy of cauldron spellcraft.

But feel free to scroll to the end if you just want the recipe.  🙂

We begin with the humble-yet-mighty winter pear.

pear

While you may not regard the pear with any particular passion, this fabled fruit shares a sacredness with the Greek goddesses Aphrodite & Hera, as well as Pomona, the Italian goddess of gardens & harvest.   (Source: Deaf Pagan Crossroads.)

In addition, because the pear tree enjoys a lengthy lifespan, the ancient Chinese regarded the pear as a manifestation of immortality.  (Source:  Myth Encyclopaedia.)

Its association with marital satisfaction, long life, pleasure, family & romance enchant the pear with characteristics that make it an especially appropriate addition to a holiday meal shared with family and friends.

In this recipe, we combine this with the attributes of a few customary yule spices.

orange peel and star anise

We include the orange rind in this spell to warm the hearts of those gathered around the table, as well as to inspire fond memories and lively conversation.  (I encourage you to explore the many ways to use oranges in witchcraft.)

Adding star anise to our brew, we clear the air of any lingering family grudges, inspire forgiveness, and symbolize the unbroken hope of the North Star during the winter months.

Finally, we choose a decadent, beautiful wine for our sauce base.  I recommend never cooking with wine you wouldn’t drink!

In this case, I chose this bottle of Cashmere Black Magic (available here) for its warm, spicy notes of plum and black pepper.

Also, it has the words Black Magic in the name😉

For more information on the role of wine in ritual, check out this link.

Okay, okay!  Now on to the recipe.

You Will Need:
*2 cups red wine
*1/4 cup sugar
*3 pieces star anise
*2 whole cinnamon sticks
*2-3 generous strips of orange peel|
*1/2 cup orange juice
*4 (just barely) ripe pears

1.  In a saucepan large enough to accommodate all your pears, combine the first 6 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 4-6 minutes.

2.  While your other ingredients are on the stove, peel the pears, leaving the stems intact.  Slice the bottom off each pear to create a flat bottom.

3.  Place the pears in your brew on the stove, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Be sure to turn the pears occasionally throughout to ensure even color and coating.

4.  Remove from heat and set to cool uncovered.

5.  Once cool, place the entire saucepan in the refrigerator for several hours, turning occasional to avoid blotchy color.  For softer pears or pears that were less ripe, allow them to marinate for up to 24 hours.

6.  Gently remove pears and place the remaining liquid back on the stove.  Bring to boil and reduce liquid until it thickens to the consistency of a light syrup.

7.  Drizzle syrup on plate.  If you want to get fancy, put some in a pointy tip squeeze bottle and draw magical symbols on the plates.

8.  Plate pears, drizzle remaining sauce, and serve.  Delicious!

magical poached pears

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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!

20 Experiences to Add to Your Witchy Bucket List

I love bucket lists.  Who doesn’t?  They inspire us to dream bigger, travel more, try new things and imagine all the possibilities.

But what about our spiritual lives?  What lies ahead in our path remains a mystery, but if you could make a few roadside stops, where would they be?

Sometimes called “The Witch’s New Year,” Samhain marks the beginning of a new cycle of the Wheel of the Year.  Celebrate by setting new goals for yourself!

designing your witchy bucket lsit

Try this: sit down with a pen and paper (yes, a real pen and some real paper), set a timer for 15 minutes and brainstorm all the things you would do in your pagan life if your resources and time were unlimited.

Here are 20 ideas to get you started.  As I do them (or have done them), I will leave a link to a post about the experience.

Start a mind/body workout regimen.   In a couple of months, everyone begins the predictable process of making resolute, well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions to be more fit and lose weight.  Rather than joining the (sometimes unhealthy) crowds in a crash diet stampede to the local gym, consider taking a more spiritual workout approach.

Participate in a paranormal investigation.  No matter what they say in public, most people feel something a little compelling about ghost chasing.  With the veil between worlds at its thinnest, the time before and after Samhain presents an amazing opportunity to try this out!

Visit Salem, Massachusetts.  Contrary to popular belief, no witches every actually stood trial or were put to death in Salem.  The victims of the Salem Witch Trials were very likely Christians accused of witchcraft falsely by their community.  However, this hasn’t stopped the pagan/Wiccan/modern witchcraft culture from making the trip to Salem a kind of unofficial pilgrimage.  Salem embraces this designation, especially during the month of October, when the many occult shops and practitioners put on events. 

Discover your pagan roots.  Everyone alive today in the world carries the genes of pagan ancestors.  Whether you people hail from Ireland or Botswana, discover and learn about where you came from for deeper meaning in your practice.  (I recently got my DNA tested and found out I descend partly from India and partly from Romania—-both historical and current pagan cultures that interested me greatly from the beginning.)

Create a mini shrine.  Already committed to a pagan path?  Express yourself creatively by designing a mini shrine that suites your specific approach to the Craft.

Get to know your tarot deck.   Refuse to let your tarot deck intimidate you anymore!  Break away from your dependency on the little booklet that came with your deck and become fluent in the language of tarot.

Gather fresh flowers for every Sabbat.  Nothing brings the spirit of the season into your home like a fresh bouquet of local herbs and flowers.  Be creative!  An arrangement of pinecones or winter vegetables makes a lovely centerpiece during the less garden-y months.

Try a weekly nature walk.  If you spend more time in front of a screen than surrounded by green, take some time out for yourself and commune with nature.  The effect of fresh air and the time spent un-cluttering your busy mind refreshes even the most frazzled witch.

Read every book on this list.   Or feel free to compile your own! Amazon lets you create lists if you constantly come across books you mean to read but never get around to.  It helps to refer to one for those trips to the library or when your friends/family start asking what you want for yule.

Celebrate every full moon for one year.  We all skip Esbats occasionally, but committing to a full year of planning them out and following through cultivates self-discipline, lending to power to you magick.

Visit New OrleansFamed for its rich spiritual traditons (like hoodoo and voodoo) and swarming with ghost stories, a stay in New Orleans enriches any pagan’s bucket list!

Try fasting for spiritual insight.  Fasting gifted me one of my more interesting spiritual experiences this past year.

Learn to write your own spells.  Learning to write your own spells puts the power (and responsibility) of your magick in your hands—-exactly where it belongs.  Get creative and express yourself!

Write down your dreams every night for a full moon cycle.   It’ll blow your mind.  You very likely experience reoccurring themes in your dreams that play out completely subconsciously.  Bringing them to the surface with a dream journal provides special insight into both your dreamning and waking life.

Do something special for the Blue MoonIt’s coming up on January 31st, 2018.

Take a belly dance class.  If you’re looking to discover your inner goddess this turn of the Wheel of the Year, a belly dance class makes the ideal introduction.  Explore your femininity, celebrate your mystique and draw out your unique allure.

Go to a lantern festival.   I haven’t yet done this, but it looks amazing!

Experiment with dark moon divination We tend to place a lot of emphasis on the full moon in witchcraft, but the dark moon calls to our sense of mystery and intuition.  Try a new form of divination this Wheel and commit to practicing every month during this sensitive period.

Commit to living closer to the earth.    All of us can do better.  And little changes make a big difference.  No need to go crazy, just pick one or two new habits to work on at a time.  Then notice the little ways Gaia thanks you for your contribution to protecting the natural world we love so much.

Learn to live with less.  If it’s been a while since you’ve de-cluttered, experiencing the spiritual rejuvenation of weeding out unnecessary clutter.  You’ll literally breath easier.  I promise.

25 Ways to Honor the Full Moon

25 ways to honor the full moon

Do you always mean to do something for the full moon, but it passes you by unrecognized?  Or you do celebrate, but you’re tired of the same old “full moon chores”?  The following list of 25 Ways to Honor & Connect with the Full Moon includes some fresh, inspiring ideas to energize your creativity and zap the life back into your Esbat experience.

Set your intention for the month.  A full moon cycle is plenty of time to take your whole life in another direction!   Set your goal the night of the full moon.  As the moon wanes, clear away obstacles that stand between you and success, and as it waxes, focus on nurturing your efforts until they bear fruition.

Try dream magick.   If you’ve never dropped down the rabbit hole of dream magick, doooooo it!  Experiment with dream work by trying this personal experiment with your dreams, which you may begin either during the dark moon and continue to the full moon or begin on the full moon and continue to the next full moon for a full cycle of warping your dream/waking life.  You will have insights—guaranteed.

Gather graveyard dirt—if you dare.   An experience a teen witch might appreciate.  At my age, being caught in a graveyard in the middle of the night would definitely solidify my already emerging neighborhood reputation for eccentricity.  But if you’re a kid, it can be fun.  Even the most grounded among us feels a little jolt of adrenaline at the thought of wandering into a cemetery at night..  Gathering dirt under the moon in this mood charges it with the power of your bravery.

Go out for Cakes & Ale.  Instead of holding cakes and ale at the ritual site, go out to a pub or brewery.  We went to a German restaurant for cakes & ale once, it was fabulous!

Make a batch of moon water.  Versatile and infinitely useful in ritual, I try to keep a supply of moon water in my cabinet of supplies.  I frequently scold myself for forgetting when I run low and letting the esbat pass, but the full moon makes the best opportunity to craft a bottle.

Boil your cauldron.  Put a large pot on the stove, fill with water and bring to boil.  Add any combination of the following dried herbs: mugwort, wormwood, lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, chamomile.  Let your potion boil for 30 minutes to bless home or clear old energies.

Rework your altar.  If you have a working altar, it very likely needs a clean sweep at least once a month.  The full moon makes an ideal time to spruce up the mojo.  Wipe off incense ashes, polish your stones and smudge.  Or, go for a total makeover.  Paint the table or shelf where your altar sits or finally bust out your compass app to figure out once and for all which way north is.

Make a spell box.  A spell box is exactly what it sounds like.  Choose a box, simple or beautiful, and fill it with your spell ingredients.  Bless and leave on the altar for a full moon cycle.  This scavenger hunt spell box makes a great, easy-to-customize box spell.

Take a ritual bath.  Draw a hot bath, turn out the lights and use candles.  Add natural bath salts, essential oil and/or a muslin bag of herbs to the bath water.  Soak and use the time to meditate quietly or bless yourself.

Make moon cakes.  If you’re “kitchen oriented,” the internet abounds with recipes for moon cakes.  This one is especially lovely, and makes an elegant evening project—with your kitchen window open to the full moon, of course.

Try fasting.  If you’re in good health and you’ve never tried fasting for spiritual reasons, it’s an amazing experience for many people. +

Begin a long fast on the full moon, or simply do a 24-hour fast to honor the Esbat or in place of an offering.

Smoke out your house.  Using smudge or loose incense in a fire-safe dish, burn herbs and blow the smoke into all the corners and around the doors and windows.  Be sure to pay special attention to rooms where family arguments happened over the last month, as well as the bedrooms of anyone who was sick.

Bond with your familiars.  Animals tend to be connected their most primal energies during the full moon.  Pay careful attention for a glance through that window into their souls.

Practice yoga under the moonlight.  Sublimely calming, moonlit yoga soothes frayed nerves and invites quiet contemplation.  This article on how to make your mind/body practice more spiritual lists some ideas to get you in the mood.

Go for the skyclad experience.   If this is your thing, by all means, have at it while the weather’s warm.  I’m told it’s “the only way to fly.”

Try the Free Will of Fate tarot spread.  Wondering where the next month is going?  Try this tarot spread for insight into where you’re headed and how to navigate the road in front of you.

Write a list of regrets and burn it.  Don’t dismiss the power of this simple ritual.  We often torment ourselves with what we should have/could have/would have done instead.  But mistakes are essential to the learning process.  Without mistakes, there can be no progress.  If the heaviness of regret weighs you down, write it on paper.  Be brutal.  Write down all the cruel things you say to yourself and then really reflect on them.  Ask yourself if you’d talk to another person the way you talk to yourself.  If the answer is no, set that bad boy on fire and let the smoke carry away your grief.  Promise to leave it in the goddess’ hands and walk away without looking back—-literally.

Harvest herbs.  The full moon makes the best time to go looking for ritual herbs.  Even if you don’t tend a garden and it’s the dead of winter, there’s almost always something available in the wastelands around you to snatch up.  In the coldest climates, evergreens and hardwoods harvest year-round, and many other climates have a 12-month growing season.

Open a bottle of wine.  If you like wine, the full moon offers you a lovely excuse to pop a cork.  Make it magical by pairing your wine appropriately with the ritual and season.

Find a public ritual.  Many occult shops, local pagan groups and Unitarian Universalist churches offer public moon rituals that welcome anyone who wants to attend.  Particularly if you are new to paganism, these events provide a wonderful local resource to learn and grow.

Have a moonlit picnic.  While I don’t recommend public parks at night, even a candlelit meal on your balcony sets a beautiful mood.  Share with a like-minded friend and consider setting aside a portion of the meal as an offering if you’re tradition calls for it.

Host a “moon dance” for the kids.  Is everyone in your coven struggling through the Mother phase and hard up for babysitters when the full moon rolls around?  Tell them to bring the kids!  I always struggle to think of ways for children to participate that aren’t overly formal or serious, and a moon dance is neither!  All you need is a backyard or (even better) a safely fenced-in rooftop terrace.  Encourage everyone to bring percussion instruments or just load your phone with esbat-friendly music.   

Visit or call a friend in need.  Odds are, you know someone who needs you.  Maybe your neighbor raising three kids on her own will let you watch the little ones while she takes her first hot bath in a decade.  Maybe your grandmother hasn’t had anyone besides solicitors ring her doorbell in weeks.  Or, maybe you have wicked math skillz to teach a disadvantaged child at your local youth center.  Absolutely nothing on this list will make you feel better than doing something for someone else, which is the essence of spiritual gratitude.  Give yourself the gift of giving.

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Moody Moons Now Offering Wholesale

So excited to announce that the following handmade items will be available for wholesale!

Click on the photo to be taken to a full product description.  Prices in the listing are for individual sale.

Please message me for wholesale discounts on quantities of 10 or more at:

magicalmoodymoons@gmail.com

First up, Moody Moon’s brand new Rose & Cinnamon Cedar Smudge.

This cedar smudge wand was wildcrafted and hand-rolled with natural twine, rose buds, local Virginia Juniper and cinnamon sticks.

Virginia Juniper is traditionally used in native US tribes and is growing in popularity with the pagan, wiccan and witchcraft communities.

Juniper is more than sustainable—-it’s actually an invasive species in Northern Virginia, so harvesting it in the wild helps tame the tide.

This gorgeous smudge wand was handmade with love using rose, organic essential oils and wildcrafted juniper berries and evergreens.

Best of all, it smells amazing!

Smudge is approximately 8″ and rolled fat!

Ritual Black Salts

Made with authentic, 100% natural ingredients, black salt is sacred in the hoodoo and voodoo traditional.

This hand-ground black salt contains the fire ash of cedar and oak trees on the historic, notoriously haunted Manassas Battlefields.

Sustainably gathered under the dark moon and combined with natural sea salts.

Coarsely ground carbon chunks throughout. Beautiful stuff.

PLEASE DO NOT EAT BLACK SALT–This item is not for culinary use.

Jar is approximately 3″ x 1″ diameter.

Hekate Incense

Hand-blended incense crafted with natural spices, resins and 100% organic essential oils chosen for their sacredness to Hecate.

Warm and spicy, this gorgeous blend will fill your sacred space with the alluring scent of ancient divinity.

Often symbolized by her association with witchcraft, herbal mastery, ghostly spirits, and the threshold between worlds, Hekate (or “Hecate”) is a goddess of magic and otherworldly matters.

Hekate has been noted for her many cultural parallels, including the Egyptian goddess, Isis.

For many, she embodies the Triple Goddess aspect of Wicca.

Jar approximately 2.5″ x 2.5″

Mabon Incense

Both fragrant and beautiful, this spicy, exotic-smelling Mabon incense calls to mind the essence of the early autumn.

Burn during ritual or simply to fill your house with the scent of the fall festival season.

Jar is approximately 2″ x 2″

 

Harvest Smudge

This artisan quality, handmade smudge stick is rolled with herbs, resins, oils and barks sacred to the harvest festivals Lammas, Mabon & Samhain.

As the copper colors of the late summer and early Fall sun begin to cool, it is time to turn our attention to the splendors of the harvest season.

Include this gorgeous, detailed smudge stick in your harvest rituals this year to add a touch of elegance.

Lovely for use in autumn handfastings or baby showers as well. Smells amazing!

Bound with 100% natural twine.

This giant 13″ smudge stick is perfect for group rituals, outdoor rituals and even handfasting ceremonies.

Anointed with 100% organic essential oils chosen for their ritual potency.

Made of Eastern Red Cedar (sometimes called “Virginia Juniper”), this herb is still used in authentic Native American ceremonies today in tribes all over the north east.

The wood from Eastern Red Cedar was also used by native tribes to mark hunting territories and is the origin of the name Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Store this in your closet—as an added bonus, it repels moths!


This huge, artisan quality, handmade floral smudge stick weaves local wildflowers with Eastern Red Cedar and 100% pure, organic essential oils.

A stunning addition to any handfasting ceremony, wiccan baby shower, Sabbat or spring/summer ritual.

About 12”.

Please note: Because this smudge is crafted locally, flowers vary according to season.

This item ships FREE.

More wholesale items will be offered soon!  As always, if you have a wholesale request, please message me or leave it in the comments.

Blessed Be!

 

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Quiz: What Kind of Witch Are You?

This quiz takes a unique approach to helping you find your particular path in the Craft.

No one fits perfectly into any one of the following profiles, and this list of profiles is not meant to be exhaustive. 

You may find you fall into more than one category—or even see parts of yourself in all of them.  Rather than trying to pigeonhole yourself into any one specific category, think of this quiz as a general guide to help you figure out which aspects of the Craft resonate with you the most.  At the end, I listed some suggestions for further exploration depending on your answers.

quiz what kind of witch are you

There’s no need to click on your answers.  Simply read through the questions and get a gist for the number you get most often (mostly 1s, mostly 2s, ect).  Then scroll to the bottom to view your results.

The goal is not to typecast yourself, but to draw out and explore different aspects of the Craft in you.

(All the images in this post are my work. If you are interested in learning more about my photography, please checkout my photography website.  Also, be sure to check out my handmade witchcraft items.)

Okay, here we go!

Question 1:  Which collection of images most appeals to you?

1.  are you a sea witch crop

2.  are you a green witch crop

3.  are you a mind body witch crop

4.  are you an urban witch crop

5.  are you a shadow witch crop

6.are you a solar powered witch cropped

Question 2:  My favorite part of ritual is:

1.  Generating energy during the power raising.  Building powerful emotion is intensely spiritual for me.
2.  Burning the incense or ritual herbs.  I always blend my own!
3.  Grounding & centering.  I find it easy to move from one frame of mind to another smoothly.
4.  Spending time alone.  Sometimes, I feel overstimulated by my rushed life.
5.  Working outdoors at night or with the lights out.  There’s a sacred quiet in darkness for me.
6.  Lighting the candles.  I find natural light soothing and meditative.

Question 3:  My ideal vacation involves:

1.  A beach.
2.  Camping equipment.
3.  Finding a yoga class close to my hotel.
4.  Looking up the local occult shops before I go.
5.  A ghost tour.
6.  The desert.

Question 4:  As far as the kitchen goes

1.  I love making seafood or sushi.
2.  I especially like cooking things I grew myself.
3.  I enjoy kneading bread.
4.  I haven’t turned the oven on since I moved into this apartment.  I’m not even 100% sure it works—and I don’t care.
5.  I enjoy making rich desserts that some people call “sinful.”  Wink.
6.  I love to barbecue outside.

Question 5:  On my altar, you are most likely to find:

1.  A jar of ocean water.
2.  Seasonal herbs from my garden.
3.  Meditation balls.
4.  A very few select items.  I have a small space, so my altar is tiny, but meaningful.
5. An offering to Hekate.
6.  Fresh cut flowers.

Question 6:  Of the following Sabbats, the best one for me is

1.  Mabon.  The summer crowds are gone, but the beach is still warm!
2.  Ostara.  The anticipation of gardening season jolts me out of my winter blues.
3.  Imbolc.  The candles burning everywhere make me feel serene and peaceful.
4.  Yule.  All the lights and parties lift my spirit.
5.  Samhain.  If you knew me, this would be obvious.
8.  Litha.  The sun in its full glory revitalizes me.

Question 7:  My clothing style is best described as

1.  Light I like easy, flowing clothing that’s both pretty and comfortable.
2.  Natural.  I favor wholesome clothes like hemp & 100% cotton.
3.  Stretchy.  I have, like, ten pairs of yoga pants.
4.  Edgy.  I don’t mind pushing the boundaries with clothes that make a statement.
5.  Dark.  If I’m looking for a specific shirt, I can never find it because almost everything is black.
6.  Bright.  I like reflective accessories and shimmering fabrics.

Question 8:  My favorite moon phase is:

1.  Full Moon.  I love the effect it has on the tides.
2.  New Moon.  I like to nurture things from the beginning.
3.  First Quarter/Last Quarter.  I like the balance & symmetry of equal halves of dark and light.
4.  Full Moon.  The full moon infuses the nightlife with so much energy!
5.  Dark Moon.  I enjoy the deeper night sky.
6.  Actually, I usually do my ritual during the day and use the sun’s energy as my guide.

Question 9:  If I had to pick a divination system to try, it would definitely be:

1.  Cloud scrying.  I have difficultly enjoying rainy days, and this is a nice way to spend them.
2.  Reading tea leaves.  I feel a deep connection to herbs and the messages they contain.
3.  The I Ching.  I appreciate the orderly nature of numbers in fortune telling.
4.  Scying mirrors.  I love the peering into “the abyss” to see what secrets and mysteries there are waiting to be discovered.
5.  Bone Reading.  I see intrinsic beauty in studying natural artifacts with a past.
8.  Runes.  I love the historical ties of this system to ancient sun worship.

Question 10:  My friendships are:

1.  Intensely emotional, but sometimes unstable.
2. 
Grounded and down-to-earth, but sometimes boring.
3.  Intelligent, but sometimes cold.
4.  Exciting, but sometimes lack depth.
5.  Private, but sometimes lonely.
6.  Open and honest, but sometimes leave me feeling exposed.

The Sea Witch (Mostly 1’s)

are you a sea witch

You feel a magnetic pull to the ocean and the Element of Water.

Though staying afloat in the rough waters of your life sometimes means riding strong currents, your spiritual world brims with intense, profoundly insightful revelations that you often keep to yourself.

Try keeping a paper Book of Shadows to record the “changing tides” of your inner world.

Consider visiting the ocean during the off season for a more private beach experience and better opportunity to conduct rituals away from prying eyes.

Maintain a sea witch altar to harness the power of the ocean and bring it indoors.

Play sounds of the ocean during your meditations or rituals to get your “beach fix,” especially if you live far away from the nearest shore.

For ideas and visual inspiration, check out this Pinterest board curated especially for the sea witch.

Hedge Witches make lovely companions for the Sea Witch as they tend to usher in a sense of grounded-ness and stability.

Hedge Witch/Green Witch (Mostly 2’s)

are you a green witch

Everyone knows you were born with a “green thumb.”  You feel a special connection to the Element of Earth and take particular satisfaction in making things grow—-in the garden, and in life.

You feel silly admitting it, but your efforts in the garden are so heartfelt, you sometimes experience a twinging sense of loss if a treasured  plant doesn’t make it through the growing seasons.  You may even design an elaborate garden blessing ritual to welcome good vibes into your planting beds.

Your realistic approach to magick makes you solidly grounded in reality, and your like-minded friends respect you for it.

The winter months are the hardest for you, especially if the weather forces you to skip your otherwise regular nature walks.

To nourish your earthy vibes during the colder months, try working with your stock of dried herbs to make herbal cold remedies or combine your knowledge of witchcraft with your knowledge of plants to create magically-infused homemade bath and body products.

If travel interests you, and you’re looking for a destination, check out The Green Witch’s Guide to Costa Rica.

Also, this Pinterest board was curated especially with you in mind.

The Solar Powered Witch makes a great match for you in friendship.

The Mind/Body Witch (Mostly 3s)

are you a mind body witch

With a well-worn yoga mat and a bookshelf groaning under the weight your vast personal library, you intuitively sense the inseparable link of mind and body.

Your friends describe you as a “thinker,” and you often engage them in thoughtful conversations about spirituality.  You have a special ability to debate ideas without offending or alienating people who disagree with you.

Whether perfecting your downward dog or learning strong breath control, mastering the physical plane as it relates to realm of the mind makes up a big part of your journey.

You may have tried fasting for spiritual reasons or made natural childbirth a goal during pregnancy.

Expand on your special gift for uniting (or, more accurately reuniting) the mind, body & soul.  Try a dance form that encourages spiritual expression (see Belly Dance for Pagans) or join a meditation group and use your strong cerebral awareness to connect with others.

Consider using your special gift to align body and mind by getting licensed as a midwife or try exploring hypnotherapy.

For other ideas and visual inspiration, check out this Pinterest board.

The Urban Witch (Mostly 4s)

are you an urban witch2

Whether or not you call a major metropolitan home, bustling cities get your blood pumping—which, for you, works its own kind of magick.

In your coven or community, you are the most likely to have stepped “out of the broom closet” to publicly acknowledge you practice the metaphysical arts.

And why not?  After all, you tend to surround yourself with people who are quirky and open-minded.  Your own esoteric interests sometimes even seem vanilla by comparison.

The challenges of practicing a nature-centered religion in a major city sometimes frustrate you, but you work around them with simple adaptations, like creating a window garden to cultivate herbs or taking advantage of the abundant temples and diversity around you.

For inspiration on apartment-dwelling witchery, check out this Pinterest board.

The Shadow Witch (Mostly 5’s)

are you a shadow witch

While others misinterpret your tendency to retreat to the shadows in contemplation as moody, those who know you best appreciate your intrinsic sense of mystery.

You understand that darkness has a place in spiritual life.  Rather than fearing it, you embrace it and recognize that without it, light has no contrast.

Your natural curiosity and fearlessness draw you to exploring spiritual matters that other, less bold witches shy away from.  While you respect the risks of experimentation, ghost hunting, the Ouiji board and other related subjects appeal to your adventurous tendencies.

Consider exploring spiritualism to nurture your curiosity about the afterlife with people who understand this instinct.

Like to travel?  Check out The Modern Witch’s Guide to the Magic of New Orleans.  At once edgy and traditional, this alluring  mystique of this enchanted city will appeal to your daring nature.

For visual inspiration, take a peek at this Pinterest board for witches with a dark side.

With their accepting nature and extreme open-mindedness, the Urban Witch makes an excellent match in friendship for the Shadow Witch.

are you a solar powered witch.jpg

Your luminous optimism brightens any room you walk into.  The  light that shines out of you draws others in and encourages them to gather around you like a bonfire.

You often find yourself in leadership roles because you appear transparent to those around you and that inspires trust.   Your gift for bringing people together is best used to organize them for a good cause.

This powerful combination of ambition and the ability meet the minds of even deeply divided people uniquely qualifies you for public service in your spiritual community—–but only if you can stay humble and keep your ego in check.

Magickally, you’ve never quite been satisfied with the heavy emphasis of modern witchcraft, the moon and the seemingly lopsided role of solar energy in ritual.  Try exploring sun magick.  You may find it more satisfying.

Particularly, your “sunny” optimism makes you well-suited to the art of joy spells and spells to banish depression.

For ritual ideas and visual inspiration, check out this Pinterest board.

You often feel tempted to rely only on your own judgement, but your powers are fullest when you keep the wise counsel of others.  The Mind/Body Witch makes a wonderful companion for you in business and charity work.

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40 Ideas for Your Handfasting

Planning a handfasting?

Don’t want it to look like a cross between a goth convention and a renaissance fair?

Or maybe you’d like to include a few subtle pagan touches to your traditional wedding that your pagan friends will understand, and your other guests will probably miss entirely?

Here are some modern ideas for the chic witch.

40 elegant ideas for your pagan handfasting

Consider a candlelight-only ceremony.   Nothing creates an ethereal, “elevated” atmosphere like candlelight.  Consider cutting electric lights and using lanterns and candles alone to light your ritual.

Choose your color schemes with magic in mind.  It need not be as obvious as “red for love.”  Perhaps you choose deep purple because you feel a psychic bond with your partner, or emerald green because your connection feels “earthy” and honest, or a deep yellow because you share an air sign.

Fill cauldrons with fresh wildflowers and floating candles to use as centerpieces or table decor.  It doesn’t have to be a super-witchy, Halloween-inspired affair.  Dutch ovens in french country blue are lovely for a rustic theme, for example.

wildflowers and floating candles

Carry a bouquet of herbs.   Botanical herbs make gorgeous bouquets and they smell amazing,  Choose local, in-season herbs with meaning for marriage, like rosemary for love, life-everlasting for longevity, or dill for marital passion.

If your ceremony is seated, leave scrolls with a prayer or chant on the chairs for your guests to repeat at some point during the ritual.  The united voices of all your loved ones blessing your relationship adds a powerful emotional and spiritual element to the ceremony.  (Better for full-on handfasting where all the guests are comfortable with full rituals).

Speaking of seating, try a spiral seating arrangement.  Aside from very unique advantage of letting everyone have a front row seat to the aisle march, the spiral subtly symbolizes the feminine divine as well as the lifelong inward journey of relationship commitment. 

Mark your circle with something beautiful.  Wherever you plan to stand for the ceremony, make a fuss about marking the border of where your clergy will cast the circle.   Be creative.  Here are some examples:

-For a spring or summer handfasting, ring the circle with fresh wildflowers.

handfasting circle

circle of flowers 4

circle of flowers

-For a fall handfasting, use autumn leaves, acorns and harvest fruits.

-For a winter handfasting, play with evergreens, pine cones, and molded ice create a wonderland feel.

-For a seaside handfasting, arrange seashells, hurricane lanterns, or nautical rope.

-For vineyard weddings, use grapes or grapevine.

Choose a dress with a connection to your ancestry.   Was your mother born in Mykonos?   Pay homage to her homeland with a drape-y Grecian gown.   Irish roots?  Try a delicate dress of intricate lace.

Give your handmaidens something inspired by your tradition as gifts (especially if many of them are also in your coven).  Here are some ideas:

-Gift certificates for a tarot reading.  Most tarot readers will be happy to creative gift certificates for bridesmaids or handmaidens even if they don’t normally offer them.

-A sachet of herbs blended for friendship and sisterhood.

-Rose quartz earrings or necklaces (symbolizes love in friendship).

-A bottle of herbs steeped in high-quality olive oil.  Choose herbs for friendship, loyalty or bonding.

-Personalized spell kits (baby blessing for the pregnant handmaiden, home blessing for the new home owner, passion spell for the newlywed in your circle, ect)

Give out mini smudge sticks to your guests as wedding favors or to use during your send-off. 
Floral ones like these are especially lovely for handfastings.

floral smudge 2

floral smudge

handfasting smudge

Feature the Elements.   Be creative.  If you think about the setting and mood, a few obvious options will likely leap to mind.  Consider the following examples:

-Hang wind chimes from tents (Element of Air)

-Use elegantly potted herbs as centerpieces at garden handfasting (Element of Earth),

-Have a fire pit at the reception of a backyard handfasting (Element of Fire)

-Use floating candles in your centerpieces (Element of Water and Air)

-Release butterflies during the ceremony (Element of Air)

-Feature exotic seashells in the bouquets of a beach wedding (Element of Water).

-Give your guests bubbles to blow for your send-off (Element of Air).

-Give your guests sparklers for your send-off (Element of Fire).

Begin your reception with a traditional cakes and ale.  Instead of serving cake at the end, start your reception with dessert.  Serve mini cakes with ale during the toasts.

Tie cloth napkins with love herbs or spices.  Rosemary or thyme are both nice, subtle  love symbols for spring and summer months, or cinnamon sticks for winter and fall.

handfasting place setting

Serve seasonal, local food.  Farm-to-table catering provides earthy, delicious food that is connected to land around you.  I can’t think of anything more pagan than that.

Let your handmaidens/bridesmaids wear flower crowns instead of carrying bouquets.

Make lavender-filled sachets for your send-off (or let me make them for you!).  You will never forget running through a cloud of lavender.  This classic love herb smells amazing!

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