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Showing posts from December, 2008

Bamboo- Going Green for Sex

No, I'm not kidding. I just found an article in one of my favorite green websites that touts the benefits of bamboo fiber bedsheets. According to the article, they're silky and soft, but have the power to absorb sweat.

They're available at Bed, Bath and Beyond HERE. While I choked at the price of sheets for my king sized bed ($99!!!!) I might just have to splurge on a set in my favorite shade of blue.

The bamboo fiber bath towels at $25 a pop are still pricey, but for an experiment in going green I wouldn't mind splurging for one or two of the linen colored ones for the master bath.

I must say I do enjoy my bamboo cutting board! I got it for a housewarming gift last year, and I used it almost daily.

Bamboo is very sustainable. I have some at the back of my property, and unless we get out there several times a year to cut it all back, it would take over the yard. I love going green with bamboo.

Lena

A Winter Solstice Podcast

This guy is so good, I refuse to embellish.

http://www.theseanachai.com/2008/12/20/a-podcast-for-the-winter-solstice/

His sense of humor is amusing.

Lena

Reading with my Grown Kids

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Seems an odd choice for a pagan blog, right? Well, if you haven't learned by now from all my previous posts that being pagan is all-pervasive in one's life, I'm sorely disappointed. Okay, I'll explain for the new guys.

At this time of year, most of us are shut inside, and many of us pick up some sort of hand craft, needlework, or project to do. Some, if not all, of us do this in front of the television. We may enjoy a movie, a favorite tv show, or worst of all just use it for subliminal background noise. Even I caught myself humming mindlessly to ad jingles the other day while I sorted out my needlework silks for an upcoming project. (shudder)

My kids are mostly grown and gone, but one or two return to visit or even stay on a temporary basis. However, even over the phone one of our favorite activities is "storytime." Two of us are published authors, two are book reviewers, and all of us love to share what we read. Three of us are famous for "storytime&quo…

Sorry for the delay

I'm having surgery on January 2. Busier than a flea at a dog show getting ready. Bear with me.

Lena

Cloven Fruit and Pagan Ornaments

If you've never made cloven fruit, now's the time to make this fun, fragrant and easy decorative fruit.

You'll need:

1 nail (large is better)
1 bottle of whole cloves
1 orange
1 wire hanger to disassemble and use for a wire hanger. (Wire cutters may be necessary)
Ribbon for decoration
Powdered cinnamon (optional) in a deep bowl. (A small souffle dish is what I use.)

Use the nail to punch a hole in the orange's skin. Stick one clove, stem down, into the hole. Repeat all over the orange as desired. The more, the better. Some cloves will break. Just set them aside for use in a potpourri or wassail. Once the orange is covered to your satisfaction, you may roll it in the cinnamon, if desired. I rarely bother, but it does increase the fragrance.

Straighten the wire and shove it through the orange from the stem to blossom end. Use the wire cutters to bend the end at the bottom to secure the wire. Bend the top to form a hook to hang the cloven fruit where you wish, be it on the tree or…

Cutting the Evergreen Tree

There are many traditions associated with the evergreen tree in the house for the holiday. Most, you've heard since childhood.

I like the pickle ornament for the tree tradition. The kid who finds the pickle ornament on the tree on Christmas morning gets a special goodie. A smart parent makes sure it's a minimal reward that is best shared, like first pick of the morning cinnamon buns or something.

I loved the wearing of Morris Bells. The ankle bracelet of bells and dancing around is so happy, very few can remain in a bad mood.

When the time comes to cut the tree, cut a Circle in the earth around it with your athame and conscecrate it with salt and water. Then stand within the Circle facing the tree and explain to its spirit:

O sacred tree
Tree of rebirth
Symbol of the Child of Promise
I require of you
Your uppermost branches
That they may be adorned and honored
This Winter Solstice.

Tap on the uypper part of the tree trunk three times with a wand or athame to drive the spirit of the tree …

Okay, so it isn't pagan...Who cares? It's Wolverine

Flames in the Snow -- Candles

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Flames in the Snow
Flickering votive candles are staples of holiday decorating, but they don't have to be plain. Dress up painted terra-cotta pots by coating them in glittering "snow," and add wax snow (made by whipping melted wax) to top off the candles. My blessed mother-in-law is a wonderful and truly Christian woman. She is the mother of six and grandmother of more than I can count, so you know she relishes frugality and practicality. She also believes in the old expression: "A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings food to the pantry and money to the pocket." Every Christmas Eve, my dear husband follows this family tradition. Dante and I smile and add our own wishes for prosperity to this lovely old act. We do believe that burning bayberry candles both at Yule and Christmas are lovely charms. The fact that we secretly annoint the candles in magnetic oil and inscribe them with prosperity runes are simply our way of melding old traditions with no harm don…

The Yule Fire-- Ashes in a Bottle

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace or outdoor burning of the Yule Log, don't forget to gather the ashes and save an unburned portion as a powerful amulet of protection.

I personally don't hold with this "a sacred fire should never be put out" nonsense. Sorry, but when the outdoor sabbat is over, it is polite to ensure there won't be a forest fire later. Douse that thing! Your fireplace flame depends a great deal on your personal comfort levels. I had a woodburning stove that served well as my fireplace for many years, and I was quite content to let the fire burn down of its own accord overnight, knowing very little could go wrong.

However, I would not do so with a big old fireplace. I'd bank the logs and ashes thriftily and safely. All it takes is one pop and I'd have a house fire to worry about. The fire elementals had to deal with my controls.

I bottled my Yulefire ashes and sealed the top. Old glass spice bottles with glass stoppers from the …

The Yule Log

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This excellent article does a good job of explaining the Yule log. Why re-invent the wheel? Above is a picture of the cake version.

http://www.noelnoelnoel.com/trad/yulelog.html Perhaps I'm weird, but I like a third alternative of turning a log of wood into a candleabra able to hold three taper candles. I simply use a spade bit of the appropriate size for my candles on a drill, and in a few minutes I have a Yule Log to "burn" with reasonable care. No, I don't let the tapers burn down into the socket I've made and set the log alight! I'm not that stupid. However, this does give me the opportunity to decorate the log with burnable decorations such as sprigs of evergreen and holly. Trust me on this, don't use silk or plastic. The smell will run you right out of the area if you ever do burn your Yule Log. Oh, and I highly recommend finding a copy of "Wheel of the Year" by Pauline and Dan Campanelli. They have a lovely bit of ritual suitable for the b…

Evergreen and Holly Decor-- The Wreath

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Wreath Basics


Wreath making is one of the easiest ways to begin working with flowers, since it usually starts with a pre-made structure. Wreath bases come in many forms, including straw, grapevine, evergreen, foam and wire. Wreaths can be round, square, or a freeform shape; no matter what the shape, they are basically built decorated in the same way.

To attach decorations to your wreath, you will need floral wire, or a glue gun and glue sticks. For floral wire, use any color or size of paddle wire with which you are comfortable. Use wire cutters rather than scissors, since wire may dull or chip a scissor blade. Low temp glue can be used on wreaths that will not be placed outside exposed to the elements. Heavier decorations, such as fruit, should be both wired and glued in place. The goal, whether gluing or wiring, is to attach the decorations without allowing the method of attachment to show.

When wiring in decorations, it is best to run the wire through the wreath, not just wrap it arou…

Towers of Sweets

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Towers of Sweets
Hard-to-resist dessert pedestals are really metal candlesticks topped with clear glass plates. Fill them with chocolates, candies, cookies, or ornaments to enhance the mood. I urge you to spend a bit of money and buy clear glass items either at craft stores or thrift stores and decorate them to suit each Sabbat and Esbat. Nothing puts you in the correct frame of mind than having a matched set of altar accoutrements "purposed" for the task at hand. In fact, even your Sabbat altar and matching Cakes and Ale dinnerware can fit the mood and the season. What harm is it if the Yule offering plate has a picture of Santa (the epitome of the Holly King) or a lovely Yule tree, or in the depths of winter if the Imbolg plate has snowflakes painted on it? Or if you find a plate and cup with Easter bunnies on them, those too are symbols of our own holiday of Ostara/Eostar. Use what you have, and make what you need. In this way, we embrace the pagan philosophy of going gree…

Mistletoe Magic

Let us consider the mistletoe, long held sacred by the Druids of old. The tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe has an ancient past, because mistletoe is a symbol of fertility. The next time you kiss someone beneath those lovely dark leaves and white berries, remember to focus your will to tell the fertility magic where to go. Fertility of the mind? Fertility of the body? Or perhaps a bit of fertility of the wallet instead? LOL!

A sprig of mistletoe or a small pouch containing leaves and twigs of mistletoe can be hung over your headboard of your bed as an amulet if you want that kind of fertility, or simply hang a sprig or two over a doorway to invite fertility into your home.

Don't forget to wear a little mistletoe in your hair as you cast your circle on Yule to welcome the God back, whether you choose to welcome the Sun God, the Oak King, or any other version of reborn God you choose.

Please feel free to make a misteltoe kissing ball if you like. They're simple to do! Purc…

The Kitchen Witch at Yuletide

I'm assuming you've been following my blogs, both my new one here and my old one at this old address: http://thirdinifinity.blogspot.com long enough to figure out I'm a kitchen witch.

I wish I lived in a cute little white-washed cottage with a thatched roof and a big old fireplace, but instead I live happily with modern plumbing and a furnace. A stove does me just fine for my witchery, or the grill outside when I feel it's important. The interior ceiling of my laundry room is occasionally festooned with bunches of herbs and braids of onions and garlic in their seasons.

Still, I am a kitchen witch. I am content to stir my pot in a sunwise direction and use herbs, salts, and spices to create my magicks. My wand stays happily on my altar and I'll stir my dishes with an olive wood or bamboo spoon, thank you.

Magick goes in every dish I make because I remember that each ingredient brings its own energies to the meal. Salt cleanses and heals. The herbs and seasonings not on…

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