Every year, I try to do something inspired and kitchen witchy for this most decidedly food-friendly holiday.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the concept of naturally dyed Easter eggs floating around Pinterest the last few years.
I thought this made for a perfect Ostara activity.
I tried tumeric, spinach and cabbage.
Spinach was a dud. I boiled and boiled, but the dye wasn’t strong enough.
Tumeric worked okay, but it stained everything! I can see why they use this in India to dye cloth!
But the humble cabbage, at 79 cents, proved to be both the cheapest and most effective option.
The idea is pretty basic. Start with a base for extraction. In this case, we have our head of red cabbage.
Shred it and place it in a pot with a 1 to 1 ratio of water. I did 4 cups shredded cabbage with 4 cups of water.
Meanwhile, make your hard boiled eggs. Some recipes call for boiling the eggs with the dye, but I like my eggs cooked a certain way, so I did them separately. (Place eggs in pot with cold water, bring to boil, turn off heat, let them sit for 10 minutes in a covered pot, then rinse with cold water—perfect every time!)
Once your dye is done, allow it to cool and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar per cup of liquid dye.
Then submerge the eggs in the dye for 24-28 hours in the refrigerator.
But before you do that, there are some creative options that I didn’t try. The internet rumor is that if you write or draw on the eggs with crayon, it won’t dye there. You can imagine all the possibilities for spell work there!
I wanted to keep my eggs as natural as possible, so I skipped this, but I might try using beeswax in the future for a similar effect.
I really loved the way the dye turned out. It felt so earthy and wholesome. I see myself using this for a lot of things, maybe even cloth.
And there you have it! Charming, naturally dyed eggs for your Ostara ritual. Use them on the altar as an offering, or for your Ostara meal as a beautiful table decoration.
With eggs on sale at my market for 28 cents a dozen, my total cost for this project was a mere $1.08.
I decided to whip up a little something in honor of the upcoming Imbolc/Candlemas holiday.
In the past, I generally neglected Imbolc. Maybe because by February, I was over-holidayed, or maybe because unlike Mabon, Samhain, Yule and Ostara, there aren’t really any corresponding mainstream holidays.
But now, Imbolc is one of my favorites. I love that while every else considers the winter holidays to be over, we have one more to look forward to, and it’s the coziest of the year.
I chose a poppy seed cupcake for this Sabbat. The key ingredients represent some of the classic, deep-winter symbols of Candlemas.
For reference, I used this recipe.
Because of Imbolc’s strong association with seed blessing, I wanted something that features seeds. Poppy seeds in particular symbolize deep meditative states and spiritual insight.
In this context, powdered ingredients like sugar and flour represent the lightly falling snow of the season.
Known sometimes as the “Festival of Lights,” Candlemas celebrates the return of the sun and the waxing of the light after the Winter Solstice. Lemon symbolizes solar energy and light.
Imbolc celebrates animal husbandry and dairy farming in particular. For this reason, I am adding a cream cheese frosting in addition to the light lemon glaze in the recipe.
The inclusion of butter also compliments this theme.
I kind of imagine the time in the oven as “when the magic happens” in baking. So for a ritual meal, I like to say a blessing before it goes in.
And like magic, out they come!
Make a batch of sun cakes. If you’re a kitchen-y witch, celebrate this Sabbat by baking! Sun cakes are perfect for the “cakes and ale” portion of a Litha ritual if you celebrate with a coven, or you can use them for offering.
Make herbal candle rings with your fresh herbs. For the green witch: with your herb garden in full swing, it’s time to make some creative use of it.
Try cloud scrying. Find a warm, grassy spot and look up to see what messages the sky might have for you.
Go on an extended nature walk. Pack a picnic or scout out a local natural swimming hole and dive fully into the Mother’s splendor.
Plan a camping trip. If you’re feeling adventurous, pack up some gear and spend a night under the stars.
Attend a summer festival. Litha is the week for pagan festivals. Find one. Attend it. You’ll have a blast, I promise.
Go wildflower hunting. Identify and harvest some wildflowers to use in your summer spell work. Press them in your Book of Shadows if you have one.
Leave an offering of honey cakes outside. Preferably somewhere away from your house, as they will attract insects and even wildlife. Litha is said to be one of the two times of year when the “Veil Between Worlds” is the thinnest (the other being Samhain.) According to legend, the fairies and forest spirits are especially active on the night of the summer solstice, and honey is favorite treat.
Speaking of honey, visit a honey farm! If you’re not allergic to bees (or deathly afraid of them!) this is a nice activity. Be sure to stock up while you’re there.
Read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Or better yet, go see a local production of it. Full of traditional pagan folklore, Shakespeare’s classic comedy is one of my favorites and a common production for local theater companies this time of year.