Thursday This is Your Spell – Rose Spell For The Fey

May 20, 2010 at 9:20 am (Fae, Faery, Fairies, Fairy, Flowers, Litha, Love, Magic, Midsummer, pagan, Plants, Spell, Thursday, Witch)

Rose Spell For The Fey
Said to be from a 17th century work

Midsummer is a time when the Fey are out and about, so it seems like it would be a good time to try to attract some to your garden – if you want to. Roses attract the Faery to a garden. Their sweet scent will lure elemental spirits to take up residence close by. Roses can be used in Faery love spells. When performing the spell, sprinkle rose petals under your feet and dance softly upon them while asking the Faery for their blessing on your magic. Roses are loved by the fey so you can plant Roses in your garden to attract fairies. Wild Roses are best for this purpose and you need to say the following spell as you plant your baby Rose bush:

"I ask a fairy from the wild,
To come and tend this wee rose-child.
A babe of air she thrives today,
Root her soul in the Goddesses’ good clay.
Fairies make this twig your bower,
By your magic shall time see her flower!"

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Wednesday Whatever – Summer Solstice: Ura, the Night of the Heather

May 19, 2010 at 9:02 am (Ancestors, Associations, Fae, Faery, Fairies, Fairy, Flowers, Folklore, Heather, Herbs, History, Lore, Magic, pagan, Wednesday, Wisdom, Witch)

Summer Solstice: Ura, the Night of the Heather
by Sarah the SwampWitch,
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

The moon is perhaps humankind’s oldest form of marking time. According to some scholars, the Celts used a Lunar Calendar that consisted of 13 months, each 28 days in length. Each month of the Celtic Lunar calendar bears the name of a tree, which also stands for one of the consonants in the Celtic ‘tree alphabet’. There are basically two different versions of this Lunar calendar: the Beth-Luis-Nion (which begins on the Winter Solstice) and the Beth-Luis-Fearn (which begins on Samhain). I work with the Beth-Luis-Nion simply because it seems to work the best for my style of Witchcraft.

Beth-Luis-Nion version of The Celtic Tree calendar

  • B – Beth, the Birch Month (December 24th – January 20th)
  • L – Luis, the Rowan Month (January 21st – February 17th)
  • N – Nion, the Ash month (February 18th – March 17th)
  • F – Fearn, the Alder Month (March 18th – April 14th)
  • S – Saille, the Willow Month (April 15th – May 12th)
  • H – Huath, the Hawthorn Month (May 13th – June 9th)
  • D – Duir, the Oak Month (Jun 10th – July 7th)
  • T – Tinne, the Holly Month (July 8th – August 4th)
  • C – Coll, the Hazel Month (August 5th – September 1st)
  • M – Muin, the Vine Month (September 2nd – September 29th)
  • G – Gort, the Ivy Month (September 30th – October 27th
  • Ng – Ngetal, the Reed Month (October 28th – November 24th)
  • R – Ruis, the Elder Month (November 25th – December 23rd)

The five vowels I, A, O, U, and E have corresponding tree names to the nights of the solstices and equinoxes:

  • I – Idho, the Night of the Yew, Winter Solstice Eve
  • A – Ailm, the Night of the Silver Fir, Winter Solstice
  • – Herb too sacred to have a Celtic name, the Night of Mistletoe, Day after Winter Solstice
  • O – Onn, the Night of the Gorse Bush, Spring Equinox
  • U – Ura, the Night of the Heather, Summer Solstice
  • E – Eadha, the Night of the White Poplar, Alban Elfed or Autumnal Equinox

Here Is Lore On The Tree Of The Summer Solstice – Heather:

  • Latin name: Calluna vulgaris
  • Celtic name: Ura (pronounced: Oor’ uh)
  • Folk or Common Names: Common Heather, Ling, Scottish Heather
  • Parts used: herb, flowering shoots.
  • Herbal usage: Heather’s flowering shoots are used to treat insomnia, stomach aches, coughs and skin problems. The plant, used fresh or dried, strengthens the heart and raises blood pressure. It is slightly diuretic and a Heather Tea is often prescribed in cases of urinary infections. Heather is sometimes used in conjunction with corn silk and cowberries.
  • Magickal History & Associations: Heather is associated with the sun, and with the planet of Venus. Its color is resin colored and its element is water. Heather’s bird is the lark, and its animal association is the honey bee. In ancient times the Danes brewed a powerful beer made from honey and Heather. And for centuries the heather flowers have also been a special beverage to the bee, who in return creates delightful Heather honey! Its stones are amethyst, peridot, and amertine – and it is a feminine herb.

The herb is sacred to many Goddesses: Isis, Venus-Erycina, Uroica, Garbh Ogh, Cybele, Osiris, Venus, Guinevere, and Butes among them. White Heather was considered unlucky by Scottish loyalists because of its connection with the banishment of Bonny Prince Charles. Haether is the home to a type of Fey called Heather Pixies. Like other Pixies, the Heather Pixies have clear or golden auras and delicate, translucent wings. But these faeries are attracted specifically to the moors and to the Heather which covers them. They are not averse to human contact, but they don’t seek them out. They have a pranksterish nature.

Magickal Usage: Heather is sacred to the Summer Solstice. Heather is used for magick involving maturity, consummation, general luck, love, ritual power, conjuring ghosts, healing, protection, rain-making and water magick.

Charms made with Heather can be worn or carried as protection against danger, rape and other violent crimes. This flower represents good fortune and Heather can also be carried as a lucky charm. It was believed that wearing the blossom associated with your month of birth would bring exceptionally good luck – therefore people born in the month of Heather (August) should carry White Heather, for even better luck throughout the year.

Legend has it that a gift of white Heather brings luck to both the giver and the receiver, whereas red Heather is said to have been colored by heathens killed in battle by Christians, so is less lucky. Heather is associated with secrets from the Otherworld.

A sprig of white Heather placed in a special place of silence and meditation has the power to conjure ghosts, ‘haints’ or spirits. After picking a piece of white Heather at midnight, place it in a glass of river water in the darkest corner of your home. Sit and think of a departed loved one and it is said that the loved one’s shadow will visit you. Heather is said to ignite faery passions and open portals between their world and our own. Heather represents solitude because it thrives in wide open spaces, and Faeries who enjoy living in such undisturbed places are said to feast on the tender stalks of Heather.

The Fey of this flower are drawn to humans who are shy. Heather is useful for Solitary healing work (going within). Heather, if used along with Mistletoe, creates powerful healing medicine in both spiritual and physical aspects.

Heather can be used at Midsummer to promote love – carry red Heather for passion or white Heather for cooling the passion of unwanted suitors. If you give someone a gift of Heather it means: ‘Admiration’. A charm bag filled with Heather can be carried for decreasing egotism or self-involvement. As a water herb, Heather is very useful in weather magick. When burned outdoors with Fern, the herbal smoke of Heather attracts rain. Bouquets of Heather and Fern can also be dipped in water to call rain.

***Document Copyright © 99, 00, 01,02 by Sarah Nunn (Sarah the SwampWitch). This document can be re-published and shared only as long as no information is lost or changed, credit is given to the author, and it is provided or used without cost to others. Other uses of this document must be approved in writing by Sarah Nunn.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Thursday This Is Your Spell – A Midsummer’s Eve Honey Spell For Beauty

May 13, 2010 at 7:46 am (Beauty, Cosmetics, Fae, Faery, Honey, Litha, Magic, Midsummer, pagan, Self-image, Spell, Thursday, Witch)

A Midsummer’s Eve Honey Spell For Beauty
From Dancing with the Sun: Celebrating the Seasons of Life by Yasmine Galenorn

Summer is a time of beauty and honey is a food connected with beauty, both inner and outer. This is a simple spell to perform on Midsummer’s Eve and you can enchant enough honey to last through the year until next summer! You can double or triple the ingredients depending on how much you’ll be using.

On the Full moon before Midsummer’s Eve, gather the following:

  • 1 Lb honey
  • 1 sliced vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 inch sliced gingerroot
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • fifth of Apricoy Brandy
  • mirror
  • your hairbrush

In a heavy pan, stir together all the ingredients. Stir over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Strain into a pretty jar with a tight fitting lid. Store until Midsummer’s Eve. Near dusk on Midsummer’s Eve, take your honey, a fifth of apricot brandy, a hand mirror, and your hairbrush outside (if it’s raining you can perform this at your Litha altar). Set up the mirror on a tree stump or rock so you can see yourself in it. Place the honey jar, the brandy and the brush on the rock with the mirror on it. Cast a circle and invoke the elements. Say:

"Queen Mab, Queen of faerie, Your blessing I ask
Reflect your beauty in my looking glass."

Look in the mirror and see your unique beauty, Say:

"Like honey my words will both charm and enchant
Stirring memories of wine and the labyrinth dance."

Eat a teaspoon of honey and hear the sweet sounds of your voice. Say:

"Like brandy my presence bewitches and glows
With elegance strength and the power of poise."

Drink a teaspoon of the brandy and feel your carriage shift, your posture straighten and your demeanor take on an otherworldly refinement. Say:

"Be it shorter or, I find in my hair
The power of beauty, my looks they are fair."

Take up the brush and brush your hair, feeling the strength of your beauty ripple from your inner core to radiate through your body and in your face. Meditate on your individual and unique beauty, comparing yourself to no one and then close the spell saying:

"Queen Mab, Queen of Faerie, bless my mirror and my brush,
To my lips bring bright crimson, to my cheeks, a fair blush,
To the honey bring charm and the power of song,
To the brandy bring strength for the winter so long,
To my heart bring both courage and the power to see
The beauty and glamour belonging only to me.
Blessed be."

Devoke the elements and open the circle. Take the honey and brandy and keep them on your personal altar or vanity table with your brush and mirror. Each evening eat a spoonful of the honey and drink a spoonful of the brandy.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Wednesday Whatever – The Twilight of the Celtic Gods for St Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2010 at 9:05 am (Ancestors, Fae, Faery, Fairies, Folklore, History, Lore, Magic, Ostara, pagan, Wednesday, Wisdom, Witch)

The Twilight of the Celtic Gods
by John Patrick Parle

The Milesians, according to myth, were the first Celts to settle in Ireland. This group was named after the eight sons of Mil (some texts say King Milesius); these Gaelic peoples, the myths report, came to Ireland from Spain. Ironically, the first phase of the diminishment of power of the Celtic gods came with the arrival of the Milesian Celts themselves. And, as might be expected, the second phase came with the arrival of St. Patrick. But elements of the Gods and Goddesses still remain in the Celtic mind as part of a folk-culture that bids many to dare not offend the fairies of the mounds or be outwitted by a cornered Leprechaun.
Ancestors of the Gaels
According to the Lebor Gabala in the Book of Leinster, there were 36 generations stretching from the Biblical Adam (via Seth) to Mil, and after, to the Milesian Celts. (The abundant influence of the Irish monks, working as scribes, can be clearly seen in this genealogy.) The bard-author of this myth states firmly that these earlier generations were "our ancestors." They were the Gaedels (sometimes spelled Goidils), or as we say, the Gaelic Celts.

The Gaels trace their mythic lineage to one Fenius Farsaid, a sort of king of Scythia, a territory in what is now southern Russia, near the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. According to the monk-inspired twist in the myth, Fenius was descended from Noah, through Japeth. And Fenius was active in helping build the Tower of Babel. When the dispersal of the 72 world languages occurred, Fenius was quick to found a great school of these languages in Scythia. (An ironic bend to this myth is that some historians believe that the Indo-European family of languages, of which Irish Gaelic is one, came originally from this region of the world.)

Pharaoh in Egypt was deeply enthused about learning all the languages, so he bid Fenius Farsaid and his son Nel to settle in the land of the Nile. Nel fell in love with pharaoh’s daughter, Scota, they married, and had a son named Gaedel Glas, whose chief role in Celtic mythology is having invented the Irish Gaelic language. The author of the myth also makes it clear that the armor and vesture of Gaedel Glas were all green in color.

The generations passed until Eber Scot, the great grandson of Gaedel Glas, got into difficulty in Egypt, was forced to leave, and thus his people began a period of travels lasting three hundred years. The mythic ancestors of the Gaels first went back to Scythia, but things did not work out there over the long run. Then a druid named Caicher had a vision. He announced: "Rise, we shall not rest until we reach Ireland." But the Gaels had never heard of a place named Ireland. Caicher assured them that it was very far away, and that it would be found only by their descendants.

According to the myths, the Gaels resided a long while in their boats in a place called the Macotic Marshes. (Speculation: what may really be meant here is an area around the Maeotic Sea, an ancient name for the region in the northern part of the Black Sea, adjacent to what was once Scythia.) This dark period was not to last forever.

Brath, a descendant of Eber Scot, urged his fellow Gaels to move on and explore. They left the Black Sea region, entered the Mediterranean, and landed for a while in Crete, and then for a while in Sicily. Finally, under Brath’s leadership they travelled westward until they reached Spain, where they wished to form a colony. Through a series of mythic battles, these Celtic Gaels gained control of Spain from the Iberians, and set the stage for fulfillment of the druid Caicher’s prophecy.

So the legendary story of the Gaelic Celts involved many generations, including the direct line of Fenius Farsaid, Nel (husband of the Egyptian Scota), Gaedel Glas, Eber Scot, and Brath (and many members in between). As the story proceeds, the myths tell us that Brath had a son named Breagon, who built an enormous watchtower on the northern coast of Spain (in a town he called Braganza or Brigantia, depending on what text you consult). Many feel that this tower was in the Galicia region of northern Spain, where Celtic culture still thrives today.

King Breagon, as some call him, had two sons: Ith and Bile; Bile had a son named Mil (or King Milesius, for whom the Celtic Milesians were named). Mil had eight sons, including Eber, Eremon, and Amergin the White Knee, a bard with druidic powers. It is these last three generations that in quick succession bring forward the story of conflict between the Celts and the Tuatha Dé Danann, the gods and goddesses of Ireland.
Milesians versus the Gods

One winter evening, Ith the son of Breagon stood on the watchtower and looked across the seas from Spain. He saw a land that sparked his curiosity. Ith wished to give the territory closer examination. He set off with thrice thirty warriors to this new land, which was Ireland.

The rulers of Ireland were now the Tuatha Dé Danann deities who had wrested control of the Isle from the Fir Bolg peoples and the Fomor giants. The tripartite kingship of the gods was now in the hands of Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht, and Mac Greine–these were sons of the god Ogma, and grandsons of the Dagda. When Ith arrived with his warriors, he spoke of Ireland in glowing terms, full of praises of the new land. The three kings of the gods considered this as a sign that the newcomer might try to possess the island, so they had Ith killed.
When news of Ith’s murder reached the Gaels in Spain, his nephew Mil rose up in anger and spoke his determination to even the score. So, the sons of Mil gathered a force of three score and five ships and sailed to Ireland,landing on the day before Beltaine, on the 17th day of the moon, in the year 3500 of the world. Amergin was the first to step off the ship, and plant his right foot on the Irish soil. Immediately he burst into an exposition of poetry, saying: "What land is better than this island of the setting sun?" The Celtic Milesians concurred that this would be their new home. But first they needed to contend with the Tuatha Dé Danann.

So the Milesians marched towards Tara, the seat of power of the gods. On their way, they met Eriu, one the deity queens, the wife of Mac Greine. She welcomed the warriors, and prophesied that Ireland would become theirs and that their race would be "the most perfect the world has ever seen." She then asked the Milesians to name the island after her, and Amergin consented to do this. Hence, Ireland’s name in the genitive Gaelic form is to this day "Erinn."
Once the Milesians reached Tara, the gods complained that the Celtic warriors had taken them by surprise. Amergin agreed to be fair and honorable, and concurred with a plan where the Milesians would embark on their ships once again and go a distance of nine waves from the shore. Upon returning to the land, the gods would then be ready for battle. This the Milesians did, but the gods raised up a powerful druidic wind, preventing the Milesians from reaching the shore.

Amergin’s voice then grew powerful. He proceeded to invoke the Land of Ireland itself, a charm higher then the gods. He bellowed: "I invoke the land of Eriu! The shining, shining sea! The fertile, fertile hill! The wooded vale! The river abundant, abundant in the water! The fishful, fishful lake! I implore that we regain the land of Eriu, we who have come over the lofty waves…" The incantation worked, and the Land of Ireland forced the druidic wind to die down. The Milesians landed and defeated the gods in two battles, the last in an area south of the present Tralee. The three kings of the gods were killed, and the Celtic Milesians gained control of Ireland. This is only partially true though, for the Tuatha Dé Danann retreated below the earth, continued to exert a strong influence, thus becoming the gods and goddesses of the Celtic Irish.

The New Order
The notion of a people defeating their own gods in battle, and reigning victorious in some way over them, is not a regular theme that one sees in the mythologies of the world. Why it happened this way in Ireland, or why the Celtic myths of Wales show humans leading successful raids to the Underworld, is not altogether clear. In the case of Ireland, though, it was not a complete victory.
The deities selected the god Dagda to be their new king, and he set about the task of giving each member of the Tuatha Dé Danann a fairy mound of their own, places where there would be "inexhaustible splendor and delight." In these sidh fairy mounds, the Celtic deities would engage in perpetual feasting, and never would a cauldron or drinking horn be dry. The Dagda chose the most elaborate mound for himself, at Newgrange (sometimes called the Brugh-na-Boyne; even so, his son Angus in a bit of chicanery tricked the Dagda, and took occupancy of the Newgrange sidh for his own).

The Milesian Celts, though now governors of Ireland, came to believe that the assistance of the gods and goddesses was necessary for living on the Isle. Charles Squire quotes an ancient tract from the Book of Leinster to this effect:

"Great was the power of the Dagda over the sons of Mil, even after the conquest of Ireland; for his subjects destroyed their corn and milk, so that they must needs make a treaty of peace with the Dagda. Not until then, and thanks to his good-will, were they able to harvest corn and drink the milk of their cows."

Hence the Celtic gods found their place within the Irish surroundings, and had a honorific role, even if their abode was below the ground.

Though the myths report that most of the gods remained in Ireland after the Milesian conquests, some gods left for the Otherworld of the West, the vast uncharted expanses of the Atlantic Ocean. Chief among these expatriate gods was Manannan, son of Lir the sea god. The Otherworld territories across the ocean had a number of names in myth: the Land of Promise (Tir Tairngire in Gaelic), the Plain of Happiness (Mag Mell), the Land of the Young (Tir-non-og), the Isle of the Women (Tir inna mBan), and others. In one myth, Bran the son of Febal (not to be confused with the Welsh Brân the Blessed) takes a voyage to the Otherworld of the West and meets Manannan, who extols the paradisiac quality of his adopted lands in the Atlantic. In another legend, an Irish king named Breasal voyages across the Atlantic and founds an island of magic that is visible only once every seven years. This legend spread around Europe, and medieval cartographers began placing the island on the western edges of their maps, calling the isle Hy-Brasil (a variant of the Gaelic words). One account is that when European explorers, who were well-familiar with these maps, reached South America they named the area Brazil, thinking they had reached Breasal’s Island.

The Annalists
With the coming of the Milesians a new form of Celtic myth arose. Oral legends of the new kings and their successors became standard practice, and the monk-scribes later wrote down these chronicles, the work of what became known as the annalists. To begin, there was the story of the first Milesian king of Ireland. Eber and Eremon, sons of Mil, divided Ireland between them after the conquest, Eber ruling over the south, and Eremon over the north. But quarrels soon began, battles commenced, and Eber was killed. Eremon then became the first Milesian Celtic king of all Ireland.

These kings of the annalists are quasi-historical, and more emphasis in the annals is placed on heroic humans and their feats. Although these myths show the humans interacting with the gods on occasion, the Celtic deities assumed roles that became smaller and smaller in the texts of the new stories.  Some kings merit mention. Tigernmas reigned about a century after Eremon, and legends say he was the first on Ireland to make ornaments of gold and to dye clothing. According to the stories, Tigernmas disappeared with the majority of Irishmen while worshiping a god named Cromm Cruaich. Conchobar was said to have lived about the time of Christ and was well known in myth; his rule in Ulster was the centerpiece of that cycle of legends. Conn of the Hundred Battles has high king sometime around 180 A.D., and his grandson was the illustrious King Cormac the Magnificent. The great grandson of Conn was Cairbre, who was said to have lived in about 280 A.D.

Another descendant of Conn was perhaps the first truly historical king of the lot: Niall of the Nine Hostages (379-404). He began the famous Ui Neill dynasty. Also, during Niall of the Nine Hostage’s reign, an event bearing a great impact on Celtic mythology happened: a Christian boy named Patrick was captured in a raid on Britain, and brought back as a slave to Ireland. The boy was to become a saint.

Saintly Legends and Pious Stories
The stories of Ireland in the fifth century are full of miraculous ordeals between St. Patrick and the druids; spiritual trials abound. Then there are the legends of Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland, and explaining the Christian Trinity by way of a shamrock. A clever tale has St. Patrick raising the Celtic hero Cuchulainn from the dead, who then attests to the truth of Christianity while standing before high king Laogaire the Second. The once skeptical Irish monarch immediately converts.

In another story, the Fenian hero Ossian returns to Ireland after staying in the Atlantic Otherworld for three hundred years. Having been at the Land of the Young during this sojourn, he has not aged a bit. But everywhere Ossian looks in Ireland, things have changed. It is now the age of St. Patrick. Men no longer look heroic, and when he asks about Finn and the Fenians, people tell him that these were folks who lived long ago. Upon stepping off his fairy horse and touching the ground of Ireland, the years return to Ossian, and he becomes a haggard old man. St. Patrick takes Ossian to his house and tries to convert him. But Ossian wants no part of an eternal life where there is no hunting, no wooing of women, no enjoying the tales of the Celtic bards.

A different story has the four children of the god Lir returning to Ireland after their centuries of journey as swans. Everyone they once knew is gone. St. Caemhoc greets them, and converts them to the new faith. As soon as holy water is sprinkled on them, they changed back from swans into real people. But they are very old, and St. Caemhoc gives them a Christian burial when they pass on.

The stories of the Christian saints are full of legends, like the one where St. Columba was the first person to have seen the Loch Ness monster. And although every honest Irishman knows for certain that Irish monks were the first Europeans to have ventured to America, the modern mind is apt to quarrel with the story of St. Brendan.

According to Proinsias Mac Cana, the "Navigatio Brendani" (Voyages of St. Brendan) became Ireland’s "greatest single contribution to medieval European literature." This ninth century work took its form in Latin and in numerous vernacular translations, and spread across Europe, such that there are about a hundred old manuscripts of the Voyages of St. Brendan still in existence. The story goes that St. Brendan (circas 484-578) was born in Tralee, Ireland, and presided over a monastery at Clonfert in County Galway. He and his monks got into their coracle boats and crossed the Atlantic to discover a marvelous land in the Western world. Medieval map-makers placed Brendan’s Isle in this area, and Mac Cana suggests that this may have influenced explorers like Columbus to risk the Atlantic journey. An example of how myth may have influenced reality! Slán agat. Go n-éiri an bóthar leat!

Sources And References:

 

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Wednesday Whatever – You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara

March 10, 2010 at 10:53 am (Ancestors, Associations, Children, Eggs, Eostre, Fae, Fertility, Flowers, Folklore, History, Kids, Lore, Magic, Ostara, pagan, Wednesday, Witch, Witchlets)

You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara
by Peg Aloi Originally published on Witchvox

Try this sometime with your children or a young niece, nephew or cousin: on the day of the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox, just a few moments before the exact moment of the equinox, go outside with a raw egg. Find a reasonably level place on the sidewalk or driveway. For a few moments just before and just after the equinox, you can balance the egg upright (wider end down) by simply setting it down on the ground. No kidding! It will stand up all by itself. Kids love this, and most adults are amazed and delighted, too. This little "trick" brings together two of the most potent aspects of this holiday: the balancing of the earth’s gravity midway between the extremes of light and dark at Winter and Summer Solstice; and the symbolism of the egg.

The egg is one of the most notable symbols of Easter, but, as someone who was raised Catholic and who was never told exactly why we colored eggs at Easter, or why there was a bunny who delivered candy to us, or why it was traditional to buy new clothes to wear for church on Easter Sunday, I always wondered about this holiday. As with many of the seemingly unrelated secular symbols and traditions of Christmas (what do evergreen trees, mistletoe, reindeer and lights have to do with the birth of Christ? You might wanna read "You Call It Christmas, We Call It Yule" for an exploration of these connections), Easter too has adapted many ancient pagan symbols and customs in its observance.

Easter gets its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose name is spelled Oestre or Eastre (the origin of the word "east" comes from various Germanic, Austro-Hungarian words for dawn that share the root for the word "aurora" which means " to shine"). Modern pagans have generally accepted the spelling "Ostara" which honors this goddess as our word for the Vernal Equinox. The 1974 edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary defines Easter thus:

"orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church; Eastre, dawn goddess; 1. An annual Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21.

"The Vernal Equinox usually falls somewhere between March 19th and 22nd (note that the dictionary only mentions March 21st, as opposed to the date of the actual Equinox), and depending! upon when the first full moon on or after the Equinox occurs, Easter falls sometime between late-March and mid-April.

Because the Equinox and Easter are so close, many Catholics and others who celebrate Easter often see this holiday (which observes Christ’s resurrection from the dead after his death on Good Friday) as being synonymous with rebirth and rejuvenation: the symbolic resurrection of Christ is echoed in the awakening of the plant and animal life around us. But if we look more closely at some of these Easter customs, we will see that the origins are surprisingly, well, pagan! Eggs, bunnies, candy, Easter baskets, new clothes, all these "traditions" have their origin in practices which may have little or nothing to do with the Christian holiday.

For example, the traditional coloring and giving of eggs at Easter has very pagan associations. For eggs are clearly one of the most potent symbols of fertility, and spring is the season when animals begin to mate and flowers and trees pollinate and reproduce. In England and Northern Europe, eggs were often employed in folk magic when women wanted to be blessed with children. There is a great scene in the film The Wicker Man where a woman sits upon a tombstone in the cemetery, holding a child against her bared breasts with one hand, and holding up an egg in the other, rocking back and forth as she stares at the scandalized (and very uptight!) Sargent Howie.

Many cultures have a strong tradition of egg coloring; among Greeks, eggs are traditionally dyed dark red and given as gifts. As for the Easter egg hunt, a fun game for kids, I have heard at least one pagan teacher say that there is a rather scary history to this. As with many elements of our "ancient history," there is little or no factual documentation to back this up. But the story goes like this: Eggs were decorated and offered as gifts and to bring blessings of prosperity and abundance in the coming year; this was common in Old Europe. As Christianity rose and the ways of the "Old Religion" were shunned, people took to hiding the eggs and having children make a game out of finding them. This would take place with all the children of the village looking at the same time in everyone’s gardens and beneath fences and other spots. It is said, however, that those people who sought to seek out heathens and heretics would bribe children with coins or threats, and once those children uncovered eggs on someone’s property, that person was then accused of practicing the old ways. I have never read any historical account of this, so I cannot offer a source for this story (though I assume the person who first told me found it somewhere); when I find one, I will let you know! When I first heard it, I was eerily reminded of the way my own family conducted such egg hunts: our parents hid money inside colorful plastic eggs that could be opened and closed up again; some eggs contained pennies, some quarters and dimes and nickels, and some lucky kids would find a fifty-cent piece or silver dollar! In our mad scramble for pocket change, were my siblings and cousins and I mimicking the treacherous activities of children so long ago?

Traditional foods play a part in this holiday, as with so many others. Ham is the traditional main course served in many families on Easter Sunday, and the reason for this probably has to do with the agricultural way of life in old Europe. In late fall, usually in October, also known as the month of the Blood Moon, because it referred to the last time animals were slaughtered before winter, meats were salted and cured so they would last through the winter. Poorer people, who subsisted on farming and hunting, would often eat very sparingly in winter to assure their food supply would last. With the arrival of spring, there was less worry, and to celebrate the arrival of spring and of renewed abundance, they would serve the tastiest remaining cured meats, including hams. This also marked a seasonal end to eating cured foods and a return to eating fresh game (as animals emerged from hibernation looking for food), and no longer relying on stored root vegetables, but eating the young green plants so full of the vitamins and minerals that all living beings need to replenish their bodies in spring. Modern pagans can observe these same customs by eating the fresh greens and early vegetables abundant now: dandelion greens, nettles, asparagus, and the like.

There are some Witches who believe that fasting at the Equinox is very healthy and magical: it clears away all the toxins stored over winter, when we eat heavier foods to keep warm, and can create an altered state of consciousness for doing Equinox magic. By eliminating all the "poisons" from our diets for a few days (including sugar, caffeine, alcohol, red meats, dairy products, refined foods), and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, we not only can shed a few pounds and improve the appearance of our hair and skin, but also improve our health over the long term. The overall benefit to health from an occasional cleansing fast helps strengthen our immune system, making our bodies more resistant to illness, and help us feel more alert and energetic. Try it! Be sure to "break" your fast slowly,! reintroducing your normal foods one at a time, instead of going from several days of fruits, grains and herbal tea to a feast of steak, potatoes and chocolate cake! The breaking of the fast can be incorporated into the cakes and wine portion of your ritual, or at the feast many Witches have afterwards.

Speaking of food, another favorite part of Easter for kids, no doubt, is that basket of treats! Nestled in plastic "grass" colored pink or green, we’d find foil wrapped candy eggs, hollow chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow chicks (in pink, yellow or lavender!), fancy peanut butter or coconut eggs from Russell Stover, and of course our Mom always included one of the beautiful ceramic eggs she painted by hand. Like that other holiday where children are inundated with sugar (Hallowe’en), no one seems to know precisely where, when or how this custom began. And why are the baskets supposedly brought by a bunny???

There are some modern Witches and pagans who follow traditions that integrate the faery lore of the Celtic countries. It is customary to leave food and drink out for the fairies on the nights of our festivals, and it is believed that if the fairies are not honored with gifts at these times, they will work mischief in our lives. Certain holidays call for particular "fairy favorites." At Imbolc/Oimelc (February 2nd), for example, we leave gifts of dairy origin, like cheese, butter or fresh cream. At Lammas/Lughnasa (August 1st) we leave fresh grains or newly-baked bread. At Samhain, nuts and apples are traditional. And at Ostara, it is customary to leave something sweet (honey, or mead, or candy) – could this be connected to the Easter basket tradition? Perhaps a gift of sweets corresponds to the sweet nectar gathering in new spring flowers?

To refer again to The Wicker Man, the post office/candy shop where May Morrison works (she is the mother of Rowan Morrison, the young girl who is supposedly missing and who Sargent Howie has come to Summerisle to find) offers a large selection of candies shaped like animals. When Sargent Howie says "I like your rabbits" Mrs. Morrison scolds him saying "Those are hares! Lovely March hares, not silly old rabbits!" And when Howie goes to dig up the grave of Rowan Morrison (who it turns out is neither dead nor missing) he finds the carcass of a hare, and Lord Summerisle tries to convince him that Rowan was transformed into a hare upon her death. Clearly this is an illustration of the powerful association with animals that many ancient cultures have (Summerisle being a place where time has seemingly stood still and where the pagan pursuit of pleasure and simple agricultural ways define the way of life).

The forming of candy into the shape of rabbits or chicks is a way to acknowledge them as symbols; by eating them, we take on their characteristics, and enhance our own fertility, growth and vitality. For clearly the association of rabbits with Easter has something to do with fertility magic. Anyone who has kept rabbits as pets or knows anything about their biology has no question about the origin of the phrase "f**like a bunny." These cute furry creatures reproduce rapidly, and often! Same with chicks, who emerge wobbly and slimy from their eggs only to become fluffy, yellow and cute within a few hours. The Easter Bunny may well have its origin in the honoring of rabbits in spring as an animal sacred to the goddess Eastre, much as horses are sacred to the Celtic Epona, and the crow is sacred to the Morrigan. As a goddess of spring, she presides over the realm of the conception and birth of babies, both animal and human, and of the pollination, flowering and ripening of fruits in the plant kingdom.

Sexual activity is the root of all of life: to honor this activity is to honor our most direct connection to nature. At Beltane (April 31st-May 1st), pagans and Witches honor the sexual union of the god and goddess amid the flowers and fruits that have begun to cover the land; but prior to that, at Ostara, we welcome the return of the spring goddess from her long season of dormant sleep. The sap begins to flow, the trees are budding, the ground softens, ice melts, and everywhere the fragrance and color of spring slowly awakens and rejuvenates our own life force. I have always thought this had a lot to do with the tradition of wearing newly-bought or made clothes at Easter, in pastel spring colors.

Wearing such colors we echo the flowering plants, crocus, lilac, forsythia, bluebells, violets and new clothes allow us to feel we are renewing our persona. How many of us feel sort of "blah" after winter ends? Along with the fasting practice mentioned earlier, this is a time for many of us to create new beginnings in our lives: this can apply to jobs, relationships, living situations, lifestyle choices. But since the Equinox is such a potent time magically, and often falls in the period when Mercury is Retrograde, starting a new endeavor at this time can be problematic if we do not take care. One good way to avoid catastrophe is to engage in small, personally-oriented rites or activities: a new haircut, a new clothing style or make-up, a new exercise program, the grand old tradition of spring cleaning, a new course of study: all of these are relatively "safe" ways to begin anew without risking the weirdness and unpredictability of Mercury Retrograde. This is a very powerful time to do magic, not only because of the balancing of the earth’s energies, but because of the way our own beings echo the earth’s changes. We are literally reborn as we emerge from our winter sleep, ready to partake of all the pleasures of the earth, and to meet the challenges we will face as the world changes around us daily. As we greet and celebrate with our pagans brothers and sisters of the Southern Hemisphere (for whom the Vernal Equinox more closely resembles the beginning of autumn, in physical terms!), we remember that Spring is not only a season; it is a state of mind.

Blessed Be in the Season of Spring! Go Forth and Flower!

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Wednesday What Herb is This – Fairy Dream Pillow

June 17, 2009 at 10:59 am (Associations, Dreams, Fae, Faery, Fairies, Fairy, Garden, Herbs, Litha, Magic, Midsummer, pagan, Plants, Wednesday, Witch)

Rose Petals
Sacred to Aphrodite, Venus, Cupid, and Bacchus. Used in rituals to honor the Goddess. Represented joy to the Romans. Rose flower tea induces prophetic dreams if you drink it at bedtime. Rose petal and hips are used in healing spells and mixtures. Rose petals sprinkled around the house calm personal stress and household upheavals.

Primroses
Generates positive energy and dispels negative energies. Used as a tea it is a useful magical tonic. Aids those afraid of the dark, prevents nightmares, and protects against the evils of the night. Sew into a sleep pillow for these purposes. Carried to attract love. Protects soldiers in battle. Scattered about the home it brings happiness.

Bay Leaves
Sacred to Apollo. Leaves can be used as amulets or in amulet bags for protection. Protection, purification, exorcism, prophetic dreams, strength, protects against poltergeists and lightning. Attracts love.

Lavender
Love, protection, healing, sleep, chastity, purification, and peace. The oil is worn to attract the opposite sex. The flowers are put in sleep pillows, purification and peace incenses. Used in healing mixtures. When combined with rosemary it was believed to preserve chastity.

Milkweed
Sacred to Bacchus, Indra, Soma. For rituals to increase creativity or to ensure a long life, this herb is indispensable.

 

Faery Dream Pillow
Created by Moon ©1998-Y2k

Needed:

  • Velvet, velveteen or satin fabric
  • White or silver thread
  • Rose Petals
  • Primroses
  • Fresh bay leaves
  • Lavender
  • Milkweed pod – silky tassels

Cut out two squares of fabric approximately 6 inches square. Sew around three sides of the squares with the thread.

Mix in a bowl:

  • Rose Petals (two parts)
  • Primroses (one part)
  • Bay leaves, fresh (one part)
  • Lavender (one part )
  • Milkweed pod silky tassels (two parts)

Turn the pillow inside out so that the seams don’t show, stuff the pillow with your herb mixture. While you are stuffing it, say something like:

Milkweed, milkweed
Flying to and fro,
Secret Faery pod,
Where wishes grow & grow.
Whisper and chant
Our happy magic charm,
Hung in the garden,
Keep us safe from harm.

Sew up the end so that the herbs stay in the pillow. You can then decorate the pillow if you want with lace or silk, or embroider with designs, etc. Take this pillow to bed with you at night and put it under your pillow. This not only smells great but will help you to have dreams of the fey.

Note: After six months these pillows may lose their "fresh" scent. You can reuse them by emptying out the old contents and refilling them with new herbs.

Magical Associations from Full Moon Herbs 

 

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Permalink 2 Comments

Monday Make A – Faery House

June 15, 2009 at 11:16 am (Crafts, Decoration, Fae, Faery, Fairies, Fairy, Garden, Home, Litha, Magic, Midsummer, Monday, pagan, Witch)

Making A Faery House
from Lady Domnu

Needed:

  • Craft glue or hot glue
  • Flat piece of wood
  • Shale, flat stones or river stones in proper scale to size you want
  • Pebble
  • Acorns
  • Pinecones
  • A crystal
  • Twigs
  • Moss

Pick out the flat stones to make the sides of the house. Using the flat wood as a base, glue the stones on the wood. Be sure to leave a door opening for the Faery to enter. I like to leave a good inch or so border of wood base showing. When you have the sides of your house done put on your roof. I like to use twigs then place moss on top of that. After you get this done start decorating the house and wood base with the acorns, pinecones, pebbles, etc. in a pleasing manner. You can place some items inside the house if you like. These I don’t glue down. I attach the crystal above the door. You can use glue but I like to use floral wire wrapped around a section and then use that to attach it to one of the roof twigs. Give the house a day or two for the glue to set up. Do Not use paint on the house!!!!! Sometimes I will even place a trinket (Faery love bright and shining things) in the house. Don’t use iron or nickel as these repel Faery. When ready, place the little Faery home somewhere in your garden or flowerbeds. Call out and let the Faery know that this is a place for them. I like to place some milk or honeycakes near the home. Don’t do this if you’re concerned about attracting animals.

Now you have a special place for your Faery friends to visit. You can put as many of these around as you like. I usually keep two or three around.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Tuesday Try A New Taste – Midsummer Feast

June 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm (Breads, Chicken, Cooking, Dips, Fae, Faery, Fairies, Fairy, Herbs, Honey, Litha, Magic, Midsummer, Mushrooms, pagan, Recipe, Tuesday, Witch)

As I did for Beltane, I now do for Midsummer – but further in the future, so if you see something you like, you actually have time to make it…LOL I am going to do a non-vegetarian meal today, and a vegetarian menu next Tuesday.

So…Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

misc~tag2w~michele~eye4expression

Easy Mead
from Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar 2000; written by Breid Foxsong

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart dry cider (hard or alcohol-free)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sliced citrus fruits
  • 3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

Combine in a container just large enough to hold everything. Seal and refrigerate, shaking or stirring daily for five days. Strain before drinking.

 

 

Old Fashioned Root Beer
From Excellent Recipes for Baking Raised Bread, from the Fleishman Company,
1912.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cake, compressed yeast
  • 5 lbs, sugar
  • 2 oz, sassafras root
  • 1 oz, hops or ginger root
  • 2 oz, juniper berries
  • 4 gallons, water
  • 1 oz, dandelion root
  • 2 oz, wintergreen

Wash roots well in cold water. Add juniper berries (crushed) and hops. Pour 8 quarts boiling water over root mixture and boil slowly 20 minutes. Strain through flannel bag. Add sugar and remaining 8 quarts water. Allow to stand until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in a little cool water. Add to root liquid. Stir well. Let settle then strain again and bottle. Cork tightly. Keep in a warm room 5 to 6 hours, then store in a cool place. Put on ice as required for use.

Summer Salsa
Source Unknown

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 small Serrano peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 small purple onion, diced small
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped small

Stir together the thyme, marjoram, basil, and olive oil. Stir in the lemon and lime juice. Remove the seeds from the Serrano peppers, and mince the remainder. Stir in the minced Serrano peppers, purple onion, red pepper, and cilantro. Allow to sit for at least half an hour before serving to blend flavors.

Chilled Cucumber Soup
by Anna Franklin and Sue Phillips
found at White Wicca

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pt plain yogurt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Chopped fresh mint
  • Dash olive oil

Place the cucumber and yogurt in a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Add the oil and seasoning and blend a little more. Chill in the fridge. Garnish with the fresh mint to serve.

Green Nations Herb Bread
Source Unknown

Ingredients:

  • 1 c white or wheat flour
  • 2-2 1/2 cups assorted grain flours of your choice (or more white/wheat flour if you wish)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup assorted herbs
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/4 oz yeast (1 pkg.)
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

In a large bowl combine 1 c flour, sugar, salt and yeast and set aside. In small saucepan heat milk and vegetable oil until lukewarm. Be careful not to get your milk and oil too hot or it will kill the yeast. Add egg and warm liquid to flour mixture and mix well. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. With wooden spoon stir in herbs and remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if needed. Dough should be elastic without being overly sticky or stiff. Place dough in warm greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, 45-60 min. Punch down dough, knead and place on a pizza pan or cookie sheet, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise again to double it’s size. If you feel fancy sprinkle sesame, poppy or dill seed on top before baking. Heat oven to 400 ° and bake for 35-40 minutes or until done. Serve this bread warm with butter and honey.

What herbs you use depends totally on your personal tastes. Some suggestions: powdered rosemary, parsley, basil, cumin, coarse cracked black pepper, fennel, dill, dried and powdered radish tops, flaked dried carrot tops, nettle greens, calendula petals, finely ground dandelion greens, and thyme.

Orange Honey Butter
Found at Pagan Poet

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Orange Rind
  • 3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Combine the orange rind, powdered sugar, butter and honey in a small bowl and blend until well mixed. Chill slightly and serve with Green Nations Herb Bread, scones or biscuits.

Herb Roast Chicken
From Red Deer & Elenya @ University of North Carolina

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Dry white wine
  • 1 Lemon (juice of)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • 4 pounds Chicken, quartered
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Tomato sauce
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 1 Green pepper, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin

In a shallow dish combine wine, lemon juice, garlic, 1 /4 teaspoon oregano and pinch of salt. Add chicken, turning to coat well and marinate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a saucepan combine remaining ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon oregano and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Put chicken in a baking dish and top with sauce. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until done.

 

 

Litha Mushrooms in Cream
Source Unknown

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Mushrooms
  • 2 T. Butter, melted
  • 1 C. Cream
  • Fresh thyme, parsley, garlic, rosemary, or other herbs of your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Clean but do not peel the mushrooms. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place them in a single layer in a buttered baking dish and dribble the melted butter over them. Bake at 400° until soft (about three minutes). Pour the cream over the mushrooms and turn the oven to 250° so the cream does not boil. Sprinkle with your choice of fresh, chopped herbs and a dash of salt and pepper before serving,
S
erves 4.

The sudden appearance of wild mushrooms and their rapid growth were once believed to be a sign of magic. Campestri Agaricus (meadow mushrooms, those white caps commonly purchased in the produce section of the grocery store) growing in a circle were thought to be faerie circles where those wonderful, immortal creatures danced. Mortals were warned not to enter such a place or to fall asleep in a faerie circle because they were believed to be gateways to Faerie. Mushrooms in Cream honors the Fey Folk. Unless you are an experienced mushroom hunter, it is best to use mushrooms purchased through your green grocer. I like to use crimini mushrooms, who are in reality,  portabellos picked before they reach mature growth stage, large cap size. When picking through the mushroom bin on the produce aisle, always look at the under side of the caps and choose mushrooms whose gills have not yet opened.

Frosty Strawberry Pie
Submitted to All Recipes by: Jill D

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3-oz) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1-1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • whipped cream
  • walnut halves (optional)

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and gradually add ice cream, stirring until melted.Note:If pie is to be chilled 3-4 hours before serving, increase to 1-1/2 cups water. Chill until thick but NOT set (15-25 minutes), and then fold in strawberries and pour into pie crust. Chill until firm; garnish with whipped cream and walnut halves. A very yummy summer treat….and you can substitute sugar-free gelatin. Be sure to keep it refrigerated! Garnish with whipped cream and walnut halves.
Makes 1 – 8 or 9 inch pie.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Wednesday What Herb Is This – Makes An Appearance!!!! Fairy Flora

May 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm (Associations, Fae, Faery, Fairies, Fairy, Flowers, Folklore, Garden, Herbs, History, Litha, Lore, Magic, Midsummer, pagan, Plants, Wednesday, Wisdom, Witch)

Fairy Flora
by Eileen Holland, © Eileen Holland, Open Sesame

Alder – Alder is a charm against malevolent fairies. Water sprites are said to protect alder trees, so be cautious of cutting one down. Clethrad is an alder fairy known to us from mythology.

Apple – Fragrant apple bark can be added to incense that is burned as an offering to the fae on Midsummer Eve. The fruit or bark of apple trees can be used in fairy magic, especially for love spells. Apples are suitable offerings to the fae.

Ash – Ash trees are believed to provide protection from fairies, who are said to be unable to harm anyone standing in the shadow of an ash tree. Placing ash berries in a cradle is said prevent fairies from taking the baby and trading a changeling for it. (Also see Hawthorn)

Birch – Ghillie Dhu, a Scottish fairy who wears moss and leaves, is said to live in birch thickets. According to the Hanes Taliesin, from the 13th century Red Book of Hergest: "On a switch of birch was written the first Ogham inscription in Ireland, namely seven B’s, as a warning to Lug son of Ethliu, to wit, ‘Thy wife will be seven times carried away from you into fairyland or elsewhere, unless birch be her overseer."

Blackberry – It was taboo to eat blackberries in Celtic countries – a cause des feés – because of the fairies.

Blackthorn – Blackthorn trees and shrubs are said to be held sacred by fairies. The Luantishees are blackthorn fairies, who guard the trees. November 11 is their festival.

Bluebell – Some consider bluebells the most potent plant for fairy magic. Fields of bluebells are said to be so dangerously enchanted by fairies that a child who wanders into one may be held captive there by the fae. Adults who enter bluebell patches may become so enchanted that they are unable to leave until other humans come to lead them out. Plant bluebells to attract fairies to your garden. They are said to be called to their midnight revels by the sound of bluebells chiming. If you hear a bluebell ringing, this indicates the presence of a malicious fairy.

Clover – Fields of clover are believed to attract fairies. A four-leaf clover is said to provide protection against the fae, and to be able to break fairy spells and glamours. Wearing a four-leaf clover in your hat supposedly grants you the power to see invisible fairies, as does anointing yourself with an ointment made from four-leaf clover, or carrying a charm made of seven grains of wheat and a four-leaf clover.

Cowslip – Cowslip blossoms are said to be loved by fairies, who use them for umbrellas, and protect the plants. Shakespeare had a fairy say of cowslips:

"And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To draw her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be,
In their gold coats spots you see:
Those be rubies, fairy favors:
In those freckles live their savors.
I must go to seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslips’ ear."

"That they do dwell within the cowslips hollow is truth for I have seen them fly out in intoxicated abandon."

Edmund Canterbell

Cowslips are used in fairy magic. They are considered helpful in finding fairy treasures, and keys to unlocking the secret location of hidden fairy gold.

Daffodil – Daffodils are useful for evoking fairies and elves.

Dogwood – Pixy Pears is one name for the tree’s fruit.

Daisy – Daisies are used in fairy magic, for working with elves or fairies. Putting a daisy chain on a child is said to prevent fairies from beguiling the child and carrying her or him away.

Elecampane – Elfwort and Elf Dock are folk names for elecampane, an herb whose roots are used in fairy magic. Scattering the root about is said to attract fairies to your home, and growing elecampane is said to attract them to your garden.

Elder – Elder trees and bushes are said to protect fairies, especially at night, from negative energy and from people and entities who would do them harm. It was a British belief that placing a child in an elder wood cradle could cause it to be pinched black and blue by fairies. Elderberry wine is considered fairy wine. Drinking it is said to enable you to see fairies. Add dried elderberries to an incense mixture that you burn to attract fairies to a gathering.

Fairy Wand – Fairy Wands (Dierama pulcherrima) are associated with Titania, Shakespeare’s fairy queen. They are used magically to call upon the fae for help.

Fern – Ferns are favored by pixies, who are said to sometimes be found near them.

Fig Tree – The Apsaras, also called Sky Dancers, are fig tree fairies (devas) ho are known to us from Hindu mythology. They bless humans at important stages of our lives. They also sometimes seduce scholars and scientists, and sexually exhaust them so that they will not discover things which are better left alone. Evoke the Apsaras for blessings, sex magic, and for good luck and protection for gamblers.

Flax – Purging Flax (Linum catharticum) is also called Fairy Flax.

Forget-Me-Not – Forget-Me-Not flowers provide protection from fairies. They are said to help to unlock the secrets of the fae, and pave the way to fairy treasures.

Foxglove (*Poison) – Folk names for foxglove include Fairy Thimbles, Fairy Glove, Little Folks’ Glove, Fairy Fingers, Fairy Petticoats, Fairy’s Cap, and Fairy Weed.. Foxglove is strongly associated with fairies, who are said to wear the tiny flowers as hats and gloves, and to leave their fingerprints upon the flowers. Foxglove is used in fairy magic, and for the evocation of elves or earth elementals. The leaves are said to grant release from fairy enchantment. Planting foxglove is an invitation to fairies to enter your garden. Wearing foxglove is a charm to attract fairy energy. The juice of the plant is said to be effective in breaking fairy enchantments.

Grass – Small fairies are said to ride bundles of grass as horses.

Hawthorn– Hawthorn, also called Whitethorn and Fairy Thorn, is the thorn in Oak, Ash, and Thorn. A grove comprised of those three trees was believed to be the perfect habitat for fairies, and an excellent place to catch sight of them. Pixie Pears is another name for hawthorn berries.

Heather– Heather stalks are said to provide food for fairies. A field of heather may contain a portal to the Fairy Kingdom.

Holly – Holly berries are said to be a fairy favorite.

Hollyhock – Fairies are said to love hollyhocks, especially pink ones.

Lavender – Elf Leaf is another name for lavender, which is used in elfin magic.

Lilac – The scent of lilacs is said to attract fairies to a garden.

Mistletoe – Adding mistletoe to a fairy spell on Midsummer Night’s Eve makes the spell more powerful.

Morning Glory – Plant morning glories in your garden to keep away hostile fairies, especially nocturnal ones.

Mushrooms & Toadstools – Mushrooms and toadstools with knobbed caps are said to be used as stools and umbrellas by small fairies. Some of the folk names for various types of fungi reflect this belief: Fairy Club, Elf Cap, Pixie Hood, Dryad’s Saddle, Elf’s Stool, etc. A circle of mushrooms on a lawn is called a Fairy Ring, Fairy Circle, Fairy Dance, or Fairy Court. Fairy rings were believed to be places of dangerous enchantment that formed where fairies danced.

Nut Trees – Nut trees provide homes for the Caryatids, who are nut tree nymphs or fairies.

Oak – In British folklore ancient, hollow oak trees that stood in old sacred groves were often believed to be the homes of elves or fairies. Such trees were called bull oaks in England, and bell oaks in Scotland and Ireland. You were supposed to turn your coat or cloak inside out to neutralize their magic:

"Turn your clokes
For fairy folks
Are in old oaks."

Any oak tree may provide a home to fairies, elves, or other such beings. Dryads are oak tree nymphs. (Also see Hawthorn)

Orchid – Hammarbya paludosa is called Green Fairy Orchid.

Pansy – Plant pansies to attract fairies to your garden. Oberon, the fairy king, used pansies in his love potion

"Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell.
It fell upon a little western flower;
Before, milk-white; now purple with love’s wound-
And maidens call it Love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower, the herb I showed thee once.
The juice of it, on sleeping eyelids laid,
Will make a man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees."

"A Midsummer Night’s Dream"

 

Peach – Some consider peaches to be fairy fruit.

Pear – Japanese pears were called Fairies’ Fire in the old Language of Flowers.

Pearlwort – Placing a spring of pearlwort above the front door is said to prevent fairies from stealing any member of the household away.

Peony – Peonies are a charm to bring dreams of fairies.

Primrose – Primroses were considered fairy flowers in Ireland and Wales, where they were believed to grant fairies the power of invisibility. Eating primroses is supposed to enable you to see fairies. Hanging a spray of primroses on your door is said to be an invitation to the fae to enter your home, and to draw fairy blessings; but scattering primroses outside your door is said to keep fairies away by making a barrier that they cannot cross. Touching a fairy rock with a primrose posy that contains the right number of blossoms (try five) is said to open the way to Fairyland and fairy gifts. Be cautious though, for using a bouquet with the wrong number of flowers is said to bring certain doom. Use primroses for fairy magic. Plant primroses in your garden to attract fairies to it. Be sure to take good care of them though, for allowing primroses to languish or die is said to earn you the enmity of fairies.

Ragwort – Ragwort stems are said to be used as horses by tiny fairies.

Rose – Cultivate roses to attract fairies to your garden. Rose petals can be used in fairy magic, especially for love spells.

Rosemary – Grow rosemary, or place fresh sprigs of it about, to keep malicious fairies away. Burn dried rosemary as incense to attract the fae.

Rowan – The presence of a rowan tree in the yard or garden is said to provide the home and family with fairy blessings, and the protection of the fae. Rowan is also believed to provide protection from fairy spells. Rowan was once used as a charm to prevent fairies from spoiling butter as it was churned. In Scotland, the smoke from fires kindled of rowan wood was used to protect cattle from malicious fairies.

St. John’s Wort – St. John’s Wort is said to offer protection from the fae, and from fairy spells.

Thistles – Thistles are also called Pixies’ Gloves, because the fae are said to use the tiny flowers as gloves.

Thorn Trees – All thorny trees, such as blackthorn and hawthorn, are said to serve as meeting places for fairies. Kindling a fire of thornwood atop a fairy mound is said to force the fae to return a stolen child.

Thyme – Thyme is associated with fairies. Wearing a sprig of wild thyme, or essential oil of thyme, is said to help one to see fairies. If you place springs of thyme on your closed eyes and sleep upon a fairy mound, this will supposedly guarantee your seeing fairies. Dried, powdered thyme, sprinkled on doorsteps and windowsills, is an invitation to the fae into your home. Wild thyme, gathered from the side of a fairy mound, is especially potent for use in fairy magic.

Violet – Violets are sacred to the Fairy Queen, and may be used in fairy spells.

Willow – The wind in the willows is said to be the whisperings of a fairy in the ear of a poet. Heliconian is a willow fairy who is known to us from mythology.

Wood Sorrel – Wood sorrel is used in fairy magic, and for the evocation of elves.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Saturday Something – Midsummer Hail and Farewell

May 23, 2009 at 11:33 am (Ancestors, Associations, Fae, Faery, Fairies, Fairy, Folklore, History, Litha, Lore, Magic, Midsummer, Mysteries, pagan, Saturday, Witch)

Midsummer Hail and Farewell
by Ahneke Greystone, Midsummer 2000;
excerpt from:
Cauldrons & Broomsticks

A newsletter for and by the Pagan/Wiccan Internet Community,

 

That I am mortal I know and do confess my span of day:
B
ut when I gaze upon the thousandfold circling gyre of the stars,
No longer do I walk on earth, but rise
T
he peer of God himself
To take my fill a
t the ambrosial banquet of the undying.

-Claudius Ptolemaeus,
Greek-Egyptian, 2nd Century

Such a wonder, this season of paradox! A vibrant moment of existence, warm caresses from the Sun, long days to share with family and friends. It is a time for first harvest and second sowing. For some there is more to do than a day’s time allows; for others it is a time of sweet pause and respite. We are poised between increase and decline. Balanced on the Mystery.

Gathered around the fires of Midsummer Eve, we reflect on the turn of the Wheel and the symbolism of fire as a sign of our consciousness. The awakening we experience, as did the God, when times of frivolity and independence turn to times of responsibility and community. It is a time of maturity and reflection. On Midsummer Day our focus will be on celebration; a time for living in the moment and making merry. A Dance of Life, with our minds and bodies attuned to the awesome possibility and promise of existence. Tonight we are comforted knowing that as fire burns it cleanses and purifies, clearing the land and our psyche for the time of repose ahead. Providing the fertile source from which the cycle turns again in Winter.

This holiday transcends all time and culture. The heritage of the celebration is sometimes unacknowledged, and sometimes celebrated much as it has been for hundreds of years. Modern pagans recognize several names; it was called Litha or Vestalia in ancient Rome, Gathering Day in Wales, Feill-Sheathain in Scotland, Alban Heflin in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, Thing-Tideln in Scandinavia and All Couple’s Day in Greece, and it is the Celtic Feast of Epona. It was and often still is celebrated throughout Russia, Europe, the East,  Africa and the Americas, and other places throughout the world honoring the season of ripeness and the advent of the harvesting.

In ancient times Midsummer was as well a time for celebration and reflection. Rites were ecstatic, celebrating fecundity and harvest, placating the gods for gentle rather than destructive weather. We knew that Divine whim could destroy the crops we needed to harvest in order for human and animal to survive the upcoming Winter. This was the most powerful fire festival of our solar holidays.

Summer was a time of war, a time of invasion and defense. Our ancient family connected the death of their compatriots with the peak and passing of Summer. The symbolism of the burgeoning land, cut into harvest, and the strong men who died in war was a powerful and integral part of the holiday. Even in ancient times, the paradox prevailed. Life and death.

The wedding month of June traces to our pagan roots. Courting traditionally began at the Winter Solstice, when days were not as filled with tasks, and there was time to focus on familial matters. Towards Spring, pregnancies became obvious. Marrying in May was considered unlucky, as that was the time of the Sacred Marriage. Thus, marriage became common after Beltane. Mead was traditionally drunk for the month following the bonding to guarantee fertility and the health of children conceived. The Full Moon in June is known as the Mead Moon, and we honor this today in our reference to a wedding holiday as a honeymoon.

Midsummer, especially the Eve, is a time when the Fairie become visible to our human eyes. The boundaries between the worlds are thin. Even those of us who rarely experience fey moments can be caught up in the mischief and mayhem brought to us this evening. We will be reminded that our world is a quixotic one. If we have become too staid, that will be remedied this evening! The fairies delight in revealing our human foibles and turning our world on end.

Midsummer in some traditions was the time the Ivy King was seen as battling and overcoming the Oak King. He ruled for the next six months, until the Winter Solstice when the fated battle began again, with the Oak King then victor. In other traditions, the Sun King was seen as born on the Winter Solstice, reaching his peak at Midsummer, to decline and pass either into the Underworld as reigning King there or into repose until his rebirth in Winter. The myth of Demeter and Persephone gave inspiration to a yearly cycle of the Feminine Divine, who at Midsummer is seen as the Daughter who has just begun her journey to the Underworld and the Mother who has not yet realized that her beloved daughter has gone. She will shortly understand this, and she will send the Earth into decline and mourning.

The Goddess at Midsummer is the Lover-Mother. She is pregnant and aware of the life within. This is a bittersweet time. The mature God is her husband and the father of her child. He is more her partner at this time than at any other. Emotionally and intellectually they are equals. She is enjoying this time of mundane connection. It is as though her tasks are done and she finds the time to relax and enjoy life. She who always leads and inspires can briefly lay her head upon the shoulder of her consort and let someone else take charge. Shadowing her joy is the knowledge of what will come. Her lover will pass over and she will evolve once again separate from him. The child within is her connection to this Earthly time and the wonders of physical existence. It is also her connection to Eternity. What agony she will suffer, though, to see all that she loves pass. Even as her wiser self knows the purpose.

Goddesses for Midsummer include Earth Mothers and Goddesses of beauty and mature sexuality, fire goddesses and goddesses of the animals and the hunt. They include: Aine, Ameaterasu, Anahita, Aphrodite, Artemis, Asherah, Brighid, Cardea, Coaltique, Corn Mother, Danu, Erzulie, Esmeralda, Freya, Flora, Gaia, Hera, Hestia, Iamanja, Inanna, Ishtar, Li, Litha, Mawu, Oraea, Oshun, Oya, Pele, Rhea, Rhiannon, Spider Woman, The Corn Mothers, Tiamat, Tonantzin, Vesta, Yellow Land Earth Queen, Yemaya.

The God has matured from the free and independent young man to the wise elder, the King who has learned of commitment and responsibility to his Queen, his family and his community. He is the counselor and the person others turn to for leadership and guidance. The Lord of the Greenwood is now the Sun King. He wears his crown with dignity and with some sorrow. For he remembers how at Beltane he envisioned the blood upon the corn. He knows his time is about to end. He reflects on a life of joy and abandon, of peace and contentment, of accomplishment and triumph. It is the time when he looks back on his life, rather than forward. The time remaining is short. With age and maturity comes the wisdom in him that accepts his life, is aware of  the contributions he has made and acknowledges his fate. He looks to the end with peace now, fearless and aware of his role in the theater of life.

The Gods of Midsummer are the Gods of the hunt, Gods of the Sun, Father Gods and the Gods of the Arts. They include: Apollo, Arthur, Balder, Balin, Cernunnos, Faunus, Gwynn ap Nudd, Hades, Heimdul, Helios, Herne, Hugh, Lugh, Pan, Perkunis, Phol, Ra, Taliesin, Woden.

Midsummer Correspondences-

  • Verdant and growing shades, colors of light and fire – gold, green, hazel, orange, peridot, pink, red, yellow.
  • Trees: The most powerful being the oak, ivy and mistletoe, but also including evergreen and fruit-bearing trees – fir, holly, mistletoe, pine, hawthorne, maple, oak, peach, palm, rowan.
  • Crystals/Stones: Amber, carnelian, cat’s eye, citrine, clear quartz crystal, copper, emerald, garnet, peridot, ruby, sulfur, yellow topaz.
  • Flowers: Red flowers, carnations (red), honeysuckle, iris, lily, marigolds, nasturtiums, rose, sunflowers, trefoil, wisteria, witches’ broom.
  • Creatures: Cardinal, dove, lizard, magpie, parrot.
  • Herbs: Basil, chive, chervil, dragon’s blood, fennel, lavender, mint, parsley, Rosemary, rue, sage, St. John’s Wort, tarragon, thyme, vervain, violet.
  • Incense: Carnation, cedar, cinnamon, copal, fir, frangipani, frankincense, myrrh, pine, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, tangerine, thyme, vervain, violet, wisteria.
  • Oils: Carnation, citronella, geranium, lime, musk, orange, tangerine, ylang-ylang.
  • Foods: Hot and spicy foods, corn, dark breads, tomato and red vegetable juices.

And now it is Midsummer! May you cherish the special moments of your life, honoring them as Divine gifts. May the love you have for family and community be paramount today, and may you see in the eyes of your mates, children, family and friends that spark of eternity that is a part of each of us. Celebrate!

Blessings of the Sun King and the Queen of Summer to you!
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.

-William Bourdillon

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »