Lammas with a Kitchen Witch: Blackberry Bruschetta

Not a fan of baking the lammas bread from scratch?  There are still lots of creative ways to honor the holiday in your kitchen.

Lammas traditionally celebrates the grain harvest.   Any bread-based meal captures this spirit nicely.

This year, my favorite idea is blackberry bruschetta.

lammas with a kitchen witch

It’s pretty simple.

Start with a nice, crusty loaf of french bread.

I like to get my french bread from a local bakery or the farmer’s market.

french bread

While you’re at the farmer’s market, pick up some big, juicy blackberries (or, even better, find a “pick your own” farm and gather them yourself!)

Because it ripens on the vine pretty close to Lammas in many growing regions in North America, blackberries associate with the holiday quite naturally.

More generally, use them in kitchen spells for prosperity and abundance—-the many tiny seeds on berries symbolize future growth.

blackberries

I smashed one berry per slice a bread and rubbed it on the surface to go under the cheese, kind of like the same concept as pizza sauce.  I enjoyed getting my hands sticky and making a mess like a little kid lol.

(Be warned:  you will stain everything you touch.  But for this reason, blackberries make a nice natural dye.)

blackberry bruschetta smash

smashed blackberries on bruschetta

You might not imagine blackberries work well in savory dishes, but the acidity blends nicely with Italian cheeses and herbs.  Lucky for me, this time of year, my garden bursts with lush green, fresh herbs, so went out to grab some.

(Even the oppressive humidity in the part of the country comes with an upside—-gorgeous summer herbs!).

green witch 2

In particular, my basil came up nice this year.

basil 2

Basil embodies some interesting symbolism in folklore around the world, but I especially adore Italy’s antiquitous custom of leaving a pot of fresh basil on the windowsill to signify the occupant’s “openness to romance.”

Dried basil often finds its way into traditional Lammas incense blends and makes a nice stand-in for fresh flowers on the altar.  If you buy it at the market, put the left over stalks in the vase to fill the room with its fragrant, sunny aura.

I layered fresh graded cheese and garnished with a half blackberry per slice, popped it in the oven to broil lightly, and then finished it off with the basil leaves.

blackberry bruschetta 1

Yum.

Hope this gives you some inspiration for your own Lammas kitchen witch creations!

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10 Ways to Use Wildflowers in Witchcraft

use wildflowers in wicca

Freeze them in ice cubes.  Pluck flower heads and place them in an ice cube tray.  Fill the tray with water and freeze for some “summer energy” during the darker, colder winter rituals or to use when the flowers aren’t in season.

Leave a bouquet of wildflowers at the crossroads as an offering to the goddess Hecate when you are facing a difficult decision or major life change.

Make flower crowns for summer rituals.  Weaving flower crowns from local wildflowers you gathered by hand the morning of the event lends power and meaning to any ritual.  And you can make them any time of year.  I posted instructions for a winter version here, but the same basic technique applies.

quinceanera

Make a blessing jar.  Get a vase or mason jar, place some meaningful gemstones in the bottom, fill with water and create wildflower arrangement that includes herbs & flowers chosen for their intent.  Place it near a window to bless your home, or give it away to a friend.

Plant them in your garden.  While many wildflowers tend to be invasive in the regions where they grow, that also makes them almost impossible to kill if your thumb isn’t so green.  Many produce seeds that can be gathered, but some you can just pull up by the root and transplant to a pot.

Add them to cupcakes for the Cakes & Ale portion of a ritual.  Hopefully, it goes without saying that you need to check to make sure the flowers are actually edible, and especially to make sure they aren’t poisonous.  Lots options exist within those boundaries.  For inspiration, check out this example of fairy cakes made with candied violets.

beltane faerie cakes

Press them in your Book of Shadows.  If you have a specific spell that requires a flower which grows seasonally in your area, gather a few during the growing season and press them into the pages where you wrote the spell.  That way, when you go to cast, your key ingredient remains conveniently nestled in the pages with it.

Mark the circle.  Go on a nature walk before your ritual and gather enough flowers to ring your casting circle.  This makes an  especially lovely bonding experience for coven rituals.

Create seasonal smudge wands.  Nothing adds a delicate touch to the ritual like fresh, local foliage.  If you know your local flowers and their associations, making smudge wands puts put that knowledge to use in visually pleasing way.  And if you don’t know your alchemic way around queen anne’s lace or black-eyed susans, you can always I’ll be happy to make one for you .  🙂

large floral smudgesmaller

Roll them into candles.  Gently heat a pillar candle in the oven until it’s just beginning to melt on the outside, then roll it on dried flowers.  Looks gorgeous on the altar.

Make salves and tonics to treat mild ailments.  If you’re well-versed in the medicinal or magical properties of your local herbs, take this time in the season to make a store of home remedies for cold & flu season.

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Faerie Cakes with Candied Violets

Spending Beltane in the kitchen this year?  Make it magical with these charming little faerie cakes.

beltane candied violet faerie cakes

Whimsical yet elegant, candied violets make a striking addition to love spells, wishing magic and faerie rituals.

Use candied violets in faerie cakes for a spring ritual, a “dressed up” cakes and ale or to serve at any spring gathering — especially Beltane!

beltane faerie cake

The best part is, they’re practically free!  If you’re in the Eastern US and you haven’t put down pesticide this year on your lawn, there’s a good chance your yard or a nearby one has wild violets in abundance.

violets

Go spend some time outdoors, bring a basket and gather those little beauties up for a Beltane with a splash of purple.

wild violet

Gather a clean, washed, dry paintbrush with a fine tip, an egg white, and some sugar.

eggs, paintbrush, sugar

Start by gently washing the violet blooms.  A spray bottle and a strainer work well for this, but be careful!  Even for flowers, wild violets are delicate!

washing violets

Allow them to dry on a paper towel.

wild violets

Dip the paintbrush in egg whites, and paint each blossom.

candied violets

Then sprinkle sugar on the violets.  Most recipes call for powdered sugar, but I use granulated because it reminds me of late frost.

sugar on violets

Finally, bake some cupcakes!

Any vanilla cupcake recipe will do, but make it from scratch.  The more you put into your ritual food, the more “fragrant” the magic of it.  Be connected to the process.

Bonus points for making the vanilla extract yourself.  Vanilla inspires passion in kitchen spells.   Here, we use it to wink and nod at Beltane’s celebration of “spring romance.”

Pipe on some cream cheese frosting and arrange violets in tiny “bouquets.”

beltane faerie cakes

beltane faerie cake

Serve and enjoy!

beltane cupcakes

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What’s New at Moody Moons?

Check out the latest handmade items from Moody Moons.  Click on the picture to go to the product page for a full description.

Get ready for Beltane!

Hand-rolled in herbs, flowers and oils chosen for their sacredness to the holiday of Beltane, this gorgeous pair of ritual candles makes an elegant edition to any Beltane altar or spring ritual.


Also available, Moody Moons signature Beltane incense is back in stock.

 

 

 

Introducing Moody Moons goddess line.

Gorgeous drop earrings with goddess pendants!  Perfect to wear for ritual, festivals, or every day adornment.

Fresh from the workshop!  Goddess candles.


And for all you early planners, Moody Moons already has Litha/Summer Solstice items in stock.  Get yours before they are gone.  Pre-order now and forget about it!

Summer Solstice Incense

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10 Spring Crafts for Wiccans

With just a few more weeks of winter ahead, the earth already begins to warm and wake up, pushing up delicate baby green grass and soft, pastel-colored bulbs.

Spring is almost here!

Here are a few activities to get you inspired for the coming season.

For fall project ideas, check out this article, 11 Fall Projects for the Crafty Witch.

For winter project ideas, take a look at 10 Winter Crafts for Wiccans.

spring-crafts-for-wiccans

1.  Try a bird feeder wishing spell.   Choose a spring fruit and hollow it out (grapefruits are nice).  Fill it with appropriate herbs and stones and close it up, securing it with a ribbon or string.  Carve symbols in the flesh.  Cover with peanut butter and bird seeds and hang it somewhere it your yard under the full moon.  Every time a bird comes, imagine it is carrying your wish to the heavens.

2.  Decorate eggs naturally for Ostara.  Rather than using the dye kits to decorate your Ostara eggs, try using natural dyes like tea, blueberries and other naturally occurring pigments.

3.  Make an “enchanted” flower bouquet.   This one is particularly fun if you’re knowledgeable about the local flowers and plants.  Choose a theme, like “love and attraction” or “home blessing.”  Go on a nature walk and pick out local flowers, herbs and plants that you associate with this theme.  Leave it in your kitchen to bless your home with the energy.

flowers

4.  Head to the farmer’s market to cast your first kitchen witch spell of the season.    Living close to the earth starts in your kitchen!    Search the farmer’s market for the freshest natural, sustainable spell ingredients and design a ritual around what you find.

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5.  Make an outdoor pillow with a twist.  Pick up some outdoor fabric (available at most fabric stores during the warmer months).  Throw in a pinch of lavender, mint or dried lemon rind and leave it in your coziest outdoor living space to bless the garden.

6.  Make your own bath magical products.  If you enjoy whipping up your own bath band beauty products from natural, wholesome ingredients, try making them with magic in mind.  Spring is prime time for beauty spells, so get cracking before the season slips away!

lavender rub

7.  Make some new ritual wear.  Good with a needle and thread?  Try making your own ritual robe.  Choose a flattering pattern, select a pattern or color for your robe that speaks to you and go to town!  Get creative.  You can even add beading or buttons with moons or other symbols.

8.  Plant a magical garden.  You’ve always meant to do it.  This is the season!   If you’re intimidated by the green arts, start small.  A simple window box will do.  Choose herbs that are easy to grow and magically useful.  The possibilities are endless.  Bury gemstones in it, choose garden ornaments and symbols with meaning to your practice or create a space for your moon rituals.

9.  Create a spring altar piece.  The craft stores are full of items perfect for making an altar piece for the spring season.  I craft these little boxes last year, and they were a hit on my retail site.

ostara altar box with nest

10.  Craft your own dandelion wine for libation or cakes/ale.  I love the potent spiritual power of making my own wine for libation.  I also enjoy getting creative with the cakes/ale portion of a ritual.  Dandelion wine makes an excellent spring-themed substitute for Ostara and spring moon rituals.

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The Role of Fire in Witchcraft

Inspired by the success of my post, The Role of Water in Witchcraft last summer, I decided to continue it as a series for each element.

creative-ways-to-use-fire-in-witchcraft

One of my earliest memories takes the form of my mother allowing me into the kitchen to watch her make dinner.   Sternly, she instructed me “Not to touch that stove, little one.”

Naturally, the moment she turned, I place my hand unflinchingly on the hot surface, giving myself a ripe little burn and a lifelong lesson about fire:

You really shouldn’t touch it.

Like all the elements, fire bears both creative and destructive force.   Simultaneously dangerous and beautiful, our respect for fire usually begins the first time it burns us!

And yes, I got a nasty burn that day.  But my mother used it to create a hot meal for us.

Same flame, same day.

I chose fire for this season because I strongly associate it with winter.  In the darkest, coldest months, fire provides warmth and light.

Let’s go over different kinds of fire and some creative ways to use it in spell craft.

Candle flame.  Easily the most convenient, common fire tool in ritual, candles are an ideal, all-purpose source of fire perfect for altars.

candles-web

Bonfires encourage groups to gather around it, making it an extremely effective focal point for group rituals and coven meetings.  Ideal for “going big” in rituals evoke empowerment or for burning spell elements in banishing rituals.

Hearth fires warm the home and create a cozy, holiday feel.  Perfect for enjoying a winter Sabbat like Imbolc or Yule.  Or, get creative and charge it with passion herbs for a date night at home.

Sparklers.  Remember how magical it was to hold one in your hands as a child, making streaks of light across the summer night.  Use sparklers to bring that same feeling to a moon ritual or night spell.

moon-ritual-with-sparklers

sparklers

Torches (as in the sticks with fire on the end of them, not flashlights) look a feel very ceremonial.  These are ideal for rite-of-passage type ceremonies, particularly involving the transition to manhood, or the ascension to a clergy position.

Lanterns work nicely for spring and midsummer festivals, anything involving faeries or woodland spirits, and garden blessings.

Flash paper is available at theatrical supply stores.  It’s usually used for stage magic, but it’s also great fun in spell casting!  Write spells or symbols on them and up it goes–in a flash!

Hope some of these ideas inspire you to use fire in more creative and fun ways during your rituals.  Blessed be!

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What’s New at Moody Moons?

Check out what’s new for spring at the Moody Moon’s workshop!

Click on the photo to be redirected to the product page for full details and description.

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(Above)  Goddess oil combines organic essential oils associated with the moon and goddess magic.

Comes in a lovely corked bottle hand-painted with the color of lavenders to represent higher awareness. Tied off neatly with a goddess charm.

Perfect for use in binding spells between sisters or coven members, to honor the moon cycle or for celebrations involving female rites of passage.  Anoint candles, bless yourself or others, consecrate altar tools or pour it in a ritual bath to charge the water.

 

ostara-incense-web(Above) Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, is among the eight sacred sabbats on the Wheel of the Year. The light begins to overtake the darkness of winter, yielding newly born wildlife and soft colors. As the earth begins to thaw and awaken, pushing up early spring bulbs and bright green grass, it is time to embrace new beginnings and fresh perspectives.

Moody Moon’s Ostara Casting Blend is light, loose incense of delicate flowers and herbs chosen for their association with the magical day of the Spring Equinox.

 

sea-witch-spoon-wand
(Above)  Limited edition sea witch spoon wand.

Hand painted with acrylic in aquamarine colors and decorated with natural moss and a sea shell.  Adorned with a mermaid charm symbolizing the mythological ocean.  Turquoise ribbon grip.

 

spoon-wand-tight(Above)  Looking to add a little magic in the kitchen?

Perfect for gentle use in kitchen rituals and embellished with rich symbolism, this spoon wand makes a lovely gift to the kitchen witch in your life (especially if that’s you!).

Painted white and adorned with ribbon, a glittery heart and pentacle charm.

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