airwolf

~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

Administrator | Last logged in at

Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess.
I am a retired MSW, Psychotherapist/Hypnotherapist, and a Dr of Ministries. I provide individual and family counseling.

The Symbolic Meaning of Feathers

Perspectives:

In addition to representing the actual feathers from angels’ wings, the spiritual symbolic meaning of feathers can be seen in many different cultures, each referring to spiritual communication, and ascension to the higher realms.

The Egyptians believed feathers to be a symbol of Ma’at, the goddess of truth, justice, and order. Native American Chiefs wore feathers in their head-dresses to represent their communication with the spirit world, and believed finding feathers was a sign of new beginnings and rebirth from spirit. Celtic Druids wore ornately feathered robes to transcend the physical plane and gain celestial knowledge from the realms of spirit. In the Bible, feathers metaphorically represent loving care and protection and as a common dream symbol, feathers signify the ability to freely move throughout life. Feathers can also represent a fresh start in a spiritual sense, as well as truth, speed, love, lightness, and flight.

Feathers clearly have a strong connection to the spiritual realms.

There is quite a bit of information out there about white feathers, but really angels will use feathers of all shapes, colors and sizes to get your attention. The cool thing about finding feathers, is the angels will align them on your path at just the right time to offer validation, comfort, or clue to in as to the answer of a question you’ve asked, or encourage you that you’re on the right path.

For me, feathers are a beautiful reminder to pay attention. When you find a feather and increase your awareness, it’s usually pretty easy to tune into the knowing of what it means. You may find it right when you’re thinking about making a change, worrying about something, or you may simply associate the feather with something when you find it.

Feathers can also be a simple reminder that your angels are near, and they want you to know it, and ask for their help. Angels are always near, but as I mentioned earlier, they’re easy to overlook, and they deeply honor your free will and will not interfere unless asked. So ask for help when you need it! There is no request too big or too small, and you can’t ask for help too often. As long as your request is in alignment with Divine will, and for the highest and greatest good of all involved, the angels will work behind the scenes to help.

Next time you find a feather, use it as a reminder that your angels are with you. If you’re not finding feathers, don’t worry your angels may prefer another sign… Just pay attention. Want to find feathers?

Just think or say: “Angels I’d love a sign of your presence. Would you help me to find a feather?”

 

 

Have you wondered about what it might mean when you find a feather? Feathers are ways that Spirit (of different forms) sends us signs. 

For a start, feathers (and other items such as coins, and creatures such as birds, butterflies) and dragonflies), can be signs from the angels, guides, or loved ones in that they are near - that they hear you, guide you and are supporting you.  It can be an acknowledgement of you or your thoughts or it is their way of saying hello.

Finding a feather is often a magical moment. I have had many beautiful feather experiences and have watched one fall down from the sky onto my daughter's lap while we had a picnic in our backyard! In my children are often sign-bearers, delivering me feathers from their playtime travels.

Feathers represent flight and freedom, soaring above, looking from a higher perspective, and moving beyond boundaries and limitations. Different colours and colour combinations can also add extra meaning. (see further below about various colour meanings).

 

Interpreting the Meaning of the Feather Sign

 Whenever you observe a sign, take note of what you were thinking just before it happened, or what is going on in your life at that moment. 

​What could the sign be telling you? Don't stress yourself about finding a meaning. Even if you do not understand the meaning of the sign at the time, it could become clearer later, or you may be absorbing it in at a sub-conscious level. Just trust that it is a sign and let go of any doubts. Enjoy the way that Spirit works, and embrace the fact you are intermingling with it and paying attention.

 

Asking for Feather (& other) Signs

 You can ask for feather (or other) signs to come to you. And you can be specific.
​ I once asked for confirmation that I had a male guide watching over me (which is what I was feeling and just wanted the magical validation). I asked that if it were true I be shown in the form of a blue feather. I picked blue because it was rarer and unusual, and I saw it as an obviously male colour. 

​Exactly one week later I went to work and as I approached some steps outside there were bright blue feathers everywhere! They were fake ones but it didn't matter. It was another of those magical moments.

 

It is just a matter of believing, letting go, and staying aware. Signs often remind us to be at peace and relax into the nature and flow of life. The meanings can at times be profound, and at other times quite simple. The best advice when signs happen is to not put any pressure on yourself to understand it. Take it as an opportunity to connect, take notice of and thank the ever-present Spirit. If your sign is an item such as a feather, you can keep it in a special place whether that be by your bedside, on your dresser, or added to your sacred space / spiritual altar. Or you can gently release it back to nature or where you found it.

 

How do you know for sure your feather is a sign?

It is especially a sign if it comes in a magical way or you find it in an odd place. Feather signs often appear on your path in front of you, or at your doorstep. Once a feather appeared in my bag, and on my bedroom floor.

This article by Natalia Kuna was published in the magazine "Alive, So Make it Count!"

 

 

So, what does it truly mean when:

You see a feather falling from the sky?

You are being asked to stop and take notice of your surroundings and what kind of energy and people you are surrounding yourself with.

Many times in our lives we look towards the heavens to ask for guidance and help and the symbolism of a feather falling towards you is a strong

reminder that you have no control over a situation OTHER than being true to yourself and the greater good of all involved.

Are you truly being the best person you can be right now? Is there a situation you are involving yourself in that you have been asking for guidance with?

Go through this guide to find the Colours of Feathers, to find the one that you have noticed.

Then ask yourself these questions:

Am I ready to accept guidance and divine intervention for a question I have wanted answers too?

Am I allowing myself to feel pure love from the Universe that I can then give to myself?

Am I ready to accept healing, guidance and financial abundance from the Universe by truly believing in the sign-posts and messages I am receiving?

Find a Feather lands on you?

Heaven is literally reaching out and touching you. A guidance and answer to your prayers is happening. A loved one that has passed is right beside you. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Allow any feelings and thoughts to come to you right at that moment.

Are you being guided to rest?

Are you being guided to forgive others, as well as to forgive yourself?

Is there a word, phrase, name that continues to be present in your mind?

What colour is the feather? Your loved one is healing you, raising your vibration to one of health, not fear. Raising your energy to one of happiness not loss and loneliness.

Be still and know that you are loved.

Find a Feather in your house?

A spiritual visitation has taken place.

Be aware of the colour of the feather that has presented itself (see Colours of Feathers etc,. for the meaning), and on what side (left, or right) of the room it was found in.

If the feather was:

Just inside the front door: A new cleansing has taken place. Happiness, joy and laughter are surrounding all those that reside in the house. Using a smudge stick/incense of your choice (I prefer Nag Champa) cleanse your front door by using the Tune in and Tune out guide.

In the lounge room: Comfort and peace-filled energy are coming to you. Communication will flow more fluidly; heated arguments will dissipate. A calm, loving space is being created.

In the kitchen: A body detox/cleanse is taking place. Take notice of what you are nurturing and feeding your body. You may go through a healing/health clearing within the next 7 days. Drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon throughout the day to help your body eliminate toxins. A letting go of old, chipped glassware and containers is needed.

Clean your kitchen out to clean your body. Archangel Raphael is near.

In the bedroom: Take notice and be aware of your dreams. You are being visited while you sleep, and given the answers to questions you can’t bring yourself to speak out loud. Ask for Archangel Michael to cut the ties of insomnia and worry, stress and mistrust. A loved one is visiting. Is there a recent anniversary of someone’s passing coming? This visitation is filled with pure love, pure bliss. Know that you are loved. Know that you are guided.

Just outside the back door: A visitation has occurred, a clearing of the past has happened. Have you moved furniture lately? Resolved issues? This visitation symbolizes a renewal of healthy, happy energy. A letting go of the past. An old grudge let go of.

Take notice of the colour and become aware of which area of your body and life this is a direct symbol for. Take a broom, and with the energy of the colour and visitation, ‘sweep’ away any residual energy that may be lurking.

 

 

What Different Feather Colours Mean

 


The Native American people had a great spiritual understanding about feathers, their colours and their meaning. They would take the utmost care of any feathers that came their way as they saw it as a sacred gift, or a powerful talisman in battle.

When considering feather colours, firstly I always recommend seeking the answer within yourself first. Do you have any particular personal association with the colour? What does the colour make you think of or feel? What are the universal meanings of that colour to your knowledge? Does the feather you found act as an answer to a question or some kind of acknowledgement. Always go with your gut and the first impressions you get, and trust. I recommend noting it down and keeping a journal of signs and synchronicities. You might see more in connection to this sign, so stay alert and enjoy the mystery of the process. 

Below is a brief rundown of the possible colour meanings of feathers (though trust your own heart and use this as a general guide - you can experiment with this!):

WHITE - purification, spirituality, hope, trust, faith, protection, peace, Heaven, angels, and also act as blessings and wisdom connected with moon.

RED - the root chakra (money, possessions, security, career), physical vitality/energy/life force/action, good fortune, passion, emotions, courage.

BLUE - throat chakra (communication, acceptance, speaking your truth) peace, inspiration, mental abilities/knowledge, connection with spirits, spiritual protection and psychic awareness.

YELLOW - solar plexus chakra (gut intuition, happiness), blessings and wisdom connected with powerful sun energy, intelligence, playfulness, joy, cheerfulness, mental alertness, vision.

GREEN - (heart chakra - love, emotions, relationships, forgiveness), health, healing, nature, environment, nature spirits, plant spirits, animal spirits, growth, fertility, harmony, unity, money, prosperity, success.

ORANGE (sacral chakra - sex/physical relationships, love, appetitive, attraction), energy, change, optimism, and ambition, success, new ideas, will power, creativity, physical love, new ideas, will power, independence.

PINK - unconditional love,  romance, feelings, friendship, caring, compassion, harmony, service, empathy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, honour, inspiration. 

GREY - peace and neutrality (as it is in the middle of black and white), authenticness, flexibility.

PURPLE - (crown chakra - universal consciousness, spiritual connection), heightened spiritual growth and experiences, higher thought.

BROWN - earth, stability, grounding, endurance, home, friendship, respect. 

BLACK - protection, warning, repelling or warning of negative energy, death (as in a closed chapter), mystical wisdom - a sign that you are undergoing a spiritual initiation, growth or increased wisdom. When the feathers are iridescent, or represents high mystical insight (especially if there is a shiny iridescence).

COLOUR COMBINATIONS:

Black and white mixed feathers can represent protection, or the sense of union.

Black mixed with purple represents a very deep spirituality. i would take it as a feely mystical sign.

Black, white, and blue mixed feathers denote change on the horizon.

Brown and black striped pattern (like a pheasant/s feather) - balance between the physical and the spiritual.

Brown and white - happiness, and you will go under the radar from psychic or other harm.

Feathers with red and green in them or together would denote that you are being assisted financially. I would take it as a very lucky sign.

Grey and white symbolize hope. 

 

 

FROM A NATIVE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE

Meaning of Feathers
The Meaning of Feathers plays an important role in the belief system of Native American Indians. Their beliefs are based on Animism which embodies the spiritual idea that all natural things within the universe, including birds, have souls or spirits.  Animists believe that souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in birds, their feathers and in animals, plants, rocks and natural phenomena. The doctrine of animism is that everything is alive, and possesses an inherent virtue, power and wisdom.

The Meaning of Feathers
The generalized meaning of feathers signified honor & connected the owner with the Creator and the bird the feathers came from. Native Indian warriors were awarded a feather when they took coup or were particularly brave in battle. When a feather falls to earth, the Native Americans believe it carries all of the energy of its former attachment on a bird to a living being. Feathers are perceived as gifts from the sky, the sea and the trees. Feathers arrive unexpectedly, but not without purpose.

[Smudge Feather]

Meaning of Feathers and Birds
Birds were revered as bringers of messages and symbols of change and often symbolized light-hearted freedom and their feathers have many spiritual, ceremonial & ritual uses. Decorated feathers were sometimes attached to sacred pipes or prayer sticks. In the ancient culture and traditions of Native Americans the meaning of feathers is inextricably tied to the belief that birds, as spirit guides, walk through different stages of life with a person, teaching and guiding them, and in some instances protecting them.

The Meaning of Headdress Feathers
The image of the Feather Headdress and War Bonnet are instantly associated with the culture of Native Indians. The different types of headdress feathers worn by Native American Indians all had specific meanings and symbolism. The way a feather was cut or colored had great significance and represented the history and deeds of a warrior. For additional facts refer to the Meaning of Headdress Feathers.

Native American Meaning of Feathers Chart
The meaning of birds and their feathers are of great significance as they are believed to possess supernatural powers that can embody, attach and influence a person empowering them with the powerful traits, attributes and characteristics of the bird. The following chart describes the meanings of feathers providing information of the significance of each bird together with its meaning, attributes, characteristics and symbolism.

Meaning of Feathers Chart


Names of Birds


Meaning of Feathers
 


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Bluebird
 

A feather from a bluebird symbolizes happiness and fulfilment


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Crow
 

A feather from a crow symbolizes balance, release from
past beliefs, skill and cunning


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Dove
 

A feather from a dove symbolizes love, gentleness and kindness


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Eagle
 

A feather from an eagle symbolizes great strength, courage leadership and prestige. The bald eagle and the golden eagle were considered sacred birds


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Falcon
 

A feather from a falcon symbolizes soul healing, speed and movement


Names of Feathers


Meaning of Feathers
 

 

Native American Meaning of Feathers Chart
The following chart describes the meanings of Feathers providing information of the significance of each of the birds together with its meaning, attributes, characteristics and symbolism.

Meaning of Feathers Chart


Names of Birds


Meaning of Feathers
 


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Hawk
 

A feather from a hawk symbolizes guardianship, strength
and far-sightedness


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Heron
 

A feather from a heron symbolizes patience, grace and confidence


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Hummingbird
 

A feather from the hummingbird symbolizes love, beauty, intelligence - A Spirit Messenger and Stopper of Time


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Kingfisher
 

A feather from a kingfisher symbolizes luck, patience, speed and agility


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Owl
 

A feather from an owl symbolizes wisdom, the ability to see things normally, a creature of the night - silent and swift,


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Raven
 

A feather from a raven symbolizes creation & knowledge - the Bringer of the Light


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Swallow
 

A feather from a Swallow symbolizes peace and love


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Turkey
 

A feather from a turkey symbolizes abundance, pride
and fertility


Meaning of the Feather of the:
Woodpecker
 

A feather from a Woodpecker symbolizes self-discovery


Meaning of Feathers of the:
Wren
 

A feather from a Wren symbolizes protection

~ElderAirwolf~

Beltane Fire Pit Ritual

Bonfire for Beltane!

Although bonfires tend to be popular in all ancient pagan practices, Beltane is the time of year when it seems the most fitting!  There are many ways to incorporate a Bonfire into your ritual – and it doesn’t even have to be large.  Sure, if you have the space and a nice fire pit, a big Beltane fire is idea – but if not, there are other ways to still bring the feel of a Bonfire into your celebration!

Portable Bonfires

These can be great if you have no permanent fire pit in your backyard or if you want to be able to travel with your fire pit.  They can range in price from under $20 all the way up to over $300 – so there is an option to fit any budget.  You can purchase these at any home improvement store or even make your own! This blog tells you step by step how to make one out of a flower pot!: Create a Fire pit out of Flower Pot!

Please remember that no matter what you decide to do, be safe! Here are some fire tips from a former firefighter to help you have a fun and safe experience: Fire pit safety tips

Indoor Cauldron Fire

If your only option is to be indoors, you can still have the fire experience with an indoor cauldron fire!  You will need the following items

Cast-Iron Cauldron – mine is quite small, about 4″ in diameter
Epsom Salts – easy to find at the supermarket or pharmacy
Rubbing Alcohol – 70% isopropyl (safer) or 90% isopropyl (hotter)
Fire-Proof surface, preferably not heat conductive
Long Wooden Matches

It is best to use a cast-iron cauldron, since one won’t be too hard to get and it can withstand the heat. Don’t use aluminum, since it sometimes melts or can even catch on fire. Never make an indoor fire in a cauldron that is painted, since burning or even very hot paint will produce dangerous fumes.

Use half (by volume, not weight) alcohol and epsom salts.  Always put the cauldron on a fireproof surface (such as a hearth, other tile surface, metal, etc.) and make sure that the only nearby objects are reasonably heat-resistant. Taper candles, if placed too close, will bend or even melt. Votives in glass holders work better.

Always keep a bucket of water nearby in case things somehow get out of hand. A big box of baking soda also works well. Let the cauldron burn out by itself (how long this takes depends on the size of the cauldron and how much fuel you have put into it), wait till it is cool, and then soak the inside in water to loosen the grayish mass of salts that’s been fused together by the fire. After letting it soak overnight it’s not too hard to clean.

If it’s necessary to put the cauldron out suddenly, covering it with a fireproof lid is the easiest and least-messy method, but be careful not to burn yourself while putting the lid on. One of those big leather work gloves might be good to keep around.

Now that you have a fire, what can you do?

Once you have your fire pit – there are many different ways to incorporate this into your ritual!

– Use herbs – you can burn any herbs in your fire pit.  If you are using an indoor fire pit be sure to only burn a very small amount at a time so that you don’t have an out of control fire.
– Burn small pieces of Parchment: You can write messages or spells on parchment and burn those as part of your ritual.
– Fires can symbolize messages moving up to the universe to to deity – they can also symbolize the cleansing or banishing of bad things and bad energies.
– Fires can make the start a new phase in life – can be used at the start of a project, symbolizing burning down the old to pave the way for the new.

 

What are the Nine Sacred Woods?

The nine sacred woods – or nine sacred woods of the bonfire are part of a traditional Celtic ceremony.  They represented the first nine tress in the Celtic calendar and are generally listed in the long version of the Wiccan Rede by Doreen Valiente.  Over the years, this has been changed to a Nine Sacred Herbs incense, which you can make yourself or purchase from us here: Nine Sacred Woods Incense.  This blend is a nice way to add a Celtic touch to any bonfire celebration!

Preparation & Set Up

This Ritual shall be performed at whatever time of day or night you prefer. The corresponding time would be midmorning, as dawn represents Springtime, and noon does Summertime. Sweep area, starting in the North and moving deosil, with your magickal broom to cleanse the Circle area and "sweep away" any lingering negative energies. Set up the Quarter candles (North-Green, East-Yellow, South-Red, West-Blue) and/or other items symbolizing the elements at the Four Quarters. Set up your altar as desired, and face it to the North, covering it with a white or dark green altar cloth. For this ceremony, decorate the altar with seasonal flowers of any color of the rainbow spectrum (silk are acceptable), along with whatever else feels right. In addition to your usual tools and props, upon the altar should be:

White or Dark Green Altar Cloth
Symbol or Statue to represent your Household Guardian
Small Cauldron with a Dark Green Candle inside
A Bell
Wood Chips from Birch, Oak, Rowan (Ash), Willow, Hawthorne, Hazel, Apple, Vine and Fir (to burn in the cauldron)
(Note: it is not absolutely necessary to get all of these different woods, but do the best you can.)
Athame (for Great Rite Ceremony)
Chalice (for Great Rite Ceremony)
Incense - Any of the following either alone or mixed together:
Lilac, Jasmine, Frankincense, Myrrh, Dragon's Blood, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sage, Strawberry, Orange Peel, and Rose Petals
(and charcoal if using powdered or granulated incense)

When all is set up, take a shower or bath for purification and don your Ritual Robe or other Ritual attire. Be sure to wear your Magickal jewelry, if you have any. Sit quietly and meditate for a little while - to ground and center. When you feel ready to begin, play some quiet peaceful music for the Ritual.

The Ritual

Cast the Circle... begin the Beltane Sabbat Ceremony by sitting quietly for a few moments, then say these words aloud:
"Blessed be this day of Beltane, Wedding day of the Goddess and the God. Holy day of Sacred Marriage, Holy night of Sacred Union. The fertile Goddess of Summer walks through the land With the Great Horned God of the Forest, And the dark time of Winter is behind me.

Ring the bell seven times, then continue, saying:
"The animals breed and the plants pollinate, As the May Queen and Green Man bestow Their blessings upon the Earth and Earth's creatures. I, (magickal name) who am Their child, rejoice with Them and ask that Their happy union become the example for all humanity to live in love and harmony."

Light the candle in the cauldron and say:
"The dark days are cleared away so that the May Day can now begin!"

As you drop the wood chips one by one into the flame in the cauldron, state the properties of each, as follows... (be careful, and use a small cauldron that can be covered with a snuffer or lid in case things get out of hand --- you don't need to use a lot of chips, just a little for the symbology). Say:
"I burn thee Birch to honor the Goddess; and now add thee Oak to honor the God. Thou Rowan I add for a magickal life; and add thee Willow to celebrate death. Thou Hawthorne I burn for fairies near me; thou Hazel I burn for wisdom you bring. I add thee good Apple to bring me love; and thou Vine whose fruit is the symbol of joy. Fir you are added as the symbol of rebirth; your sweet scent reminds me of my immortality. My blessings I give to all of thee, and thy blessings I call from thee upon me. So as I will, So Mote It Be!"

At this point, you will perform the Great Rite (symbolically). Some Wiccan Traditions insist that a Pagan working solitary cannot properly perform this act. Since the act is a symbolic one, there is no reason you cannot make it a part of your ceremony alone. Take your athame in your right hand, and your chalice in your left, and hold them in front of you. See them as the Earthly vessels of deity. Now say these words:
"I greet the time of unions and give honor to the Lord and the Lady for Their fruitfulness! Tonight (today) I witness the marriage of my Goddess and God. May Their union be fertile and productive!"

Slowly lower the athame blade into the chalice and feel the union of the deities. Say:
"As They are one, They become one. As They become one, They are one. And I am also one with Them."

Raise the athame and chalice, still united, to your forehead to honor this union of the three of you. Place them back upon the altar. Now dance or at least march around the altar, beginning in the North, and moving deosil. Pause to greet each Elemetal quarter with outstretched arms. Move back in front of the altar when you are finished. Now pick up the symbol of your house Guardian, concentrate on these words, as you say aloud:
"Lovely Lady and Great Horned Lord, I present to You the Guardian of this house which is my home. I have invited this Special Spirit into my home as my protector and helper in all things. I honor this Spirit in this symbol of its being. Great Ones, bless this Guardian of this Home. And to Your blessings, I add my thanks. Blessed be!"

You should now lightly anoint the Guardian symbol or statue with some appropriate oil. If the symbol is such that it cannot be oiled, at least swing the smoking incense burner around it.

When you have finished and you are ready, the time is now here to perform any works of magick or spells, follow then by the Cakes & Ale Ceremony, and finally, Releasing the Circle.

Blessed Beltan!

ElderAirwolf

Hecate

 

The Worship of Hekate.
Those of us who are dedicated to the service of the Great Goddess Hekate, are actively involved in Her worship. To help facilitate this we create alters in honer of our Goddess. An alter is an expression of spiritual devotion that is influenced by those who create the alter. The pentagram is the holy symbol of the Wiccan religion, and as such it is often placed at the center of the alter. This symbol is also sacred to Hekate, and as such the pentagram may also be placed at the center of an alter to honer Hekate. Some may choose to use the Wheel of Hekate as the center piece of the alter.
– Alter of Hekate
The alter cloth is the first tool that is placed upon the alter. Here is a way to add color to the alter.Many choose to use a white, red, or black alter cloth as these are the classic colors of Hekate. Many see the colors black and white as good colors as they can be used within any spell or ritual. The color that you choose can be a way to align the alter to the spell or ritual that you are preforming. Symbols can be embroidered into and/or painted onto the alter cloth. These can include the Triple Moon sign, the Horns Up Crescent Moon, the Pentagram, the Triangle, an equal arm Cross or a Y can be added to represent the crossroads, an Ankh – the Key of Life, and the Wheel of Hekate.
Next the symbols of the five sacred Elements are added to the alter, for these five forces are the foundation of our magick. For the Element of Earth place a dish of salt, an alter pentagram, and some common Earth stones from your local area. For the Element of Air place incense with a heat safe censer, the athame, and a freely shed feather or a folding fan. For the Element of Fire place a red candle with a steady holder, the wand, and a box of wooden matches. For the Element of Water place a Chalice of Water and sea shells. For the Element of Spirit place a white candle with a steady holder and a large clear quartz crystal. Other tools that can be place on or near the alter include : the staff, the broom / besom, and the cauldron. The Book of Shadows is placed at the front of the alter as it is used in all parts of our rituals.
To attune the alter to the worship of Hekate you should add tools that are sacred to Her. Some of the images of Hekate show Her in triple form, while others show Her in singular form. Each of us must choose the image that resonates most strongly with us. Next you should place an old fashion skeleton key, in honer of the key that Hekate carries. Cords, that honer our connection to the Great Goddess Hekate are placed upon the alter. One can either use three cords ( White / Red / Black ) and/or a single cord of Her three sacred colors. Some images of Hekate show Her with a scourge, and thus this tool can be included if you choose to include it. A crystal ball to symbolize the various spheres of Hekate’s influence. A black candle to symbolize the torch of Hekate. In this way there are three candles upon the alter that are Hekate’s sacred colors. A small bowl or jar of soil from a crossroads. An offering bowl that will serve as a vessel to hold the food offerings and libations that are given to Hekate.

Aspects of Hekate 2
Triple Goddess (continued)
While we all can benefit from working with Hekate as She who is Maiden, Mother, and Crone within one Great and Eternal Goddess, at times we should also work with each of these aspects. Regardless of what stage of life that we may find ourselves at, we all can learn sacred lessons from the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.
– The Maiden
Here is S
he who brings the power of renewal, as She reminds us that every stop is but a place to start anew, and every end is but a place of new beginnings. Here is She who guides souls through the Gates of Rebirth, thusly the Maiden is the manifestation of the sacred Promise of Rebirth. We see the Maiden within the waxing moon and the season of spring. Here is She who inspires us to walk the path/road that is right for us. Here is She who teaches us the importance of standing on our own two feet and meeting our own needs/desires, for the Maiden is the embodiment of independence.
We can invoke Hekate in Her Maiden aspect as…
– Hekate Parthenia, She who is the sacred Maiden
– Hekate Nemorenis, She who is the Maiden of the Greenwood
– Hekate Britomartes, She who is the sweet Maiden
– Hekate Atalos, She who is the tender one
– Hekate Skiala, She who is the Warrioress/Amazon
– Hekate Renovatio, She who brings renewal and rebirth
– Hekate Angelos, She who is the sacred messenger

As we transition between the Maiden and the Mother, we can encounter the Great Goddess Hekate as the sacred Lover. In this aspect we can invoke Hekate as…
– Hekate Kourtrophos, She who is the Giver of Love / She who draws the affections of love and sexual passions
– Hekate Nymphe, She who is the sacred lover (bride)
– Hekate Phoinikopeza, She who is the Ruddy Footed Goddess (this is a reference to the practice of painting the feet with henna as a sign of beauty)

– The Mother
Here is She who is the Giver of Life and the Great Mother of all of Creation. Here is she who manifests fertility, without which none would be. Here is the strength that helps us to move through any challenge. Here is She who inspires us to create that which we need and desire. We see the Mother within the round full moon and during the season of summer as well as the early part of fall.
We can invoke Hekate in Her Mother aspect as…
– Hekate Prothyraia, She who is Goddess of Hearth and Home
– Hekate Abundatia, She who is Goddess of Plenty and Abundance
– Hekate Galenaia, She who calms and brings peace
– Hekate Genetrix, She who brings fertility / She who protects the sacred union (hanfasting)
– Hekate Phyrne, She who is Giver of Fertility
– Hekate Chloaia, She who is the flowering Green Goddess
– Hekate Evolusia, She who is Goddess of the Harvest
– Hekate Kalliste, She who is the Most Lovely One
– Hekate Atimite, She who is Goddess of the Forest/Wild

As we transition between the Mother and the Crone, we can encounter the Great Goddess Hekate as the wise Teacher. In this aspect we can invoke Hekate as…
– Hekate Dea Mystica, She who is Goddess of sacred mystery that calls all who walk the paths of wisdom
– Hekate Sophia,She who is Goddess of Wisdom

-The Crone
Here is She who is elderly and yet at the same time ageless. Here is She who is the Keeper of all Wisdom, as all things have passed before Her eyes. Here is the lorekeeper who teaches us that which we need as well as desire to know. Here is She who shows us that we can face our fears, and become stronger for the experience. Where the Maiden guides souls through the Gates of Rebirth, the Crone guides souls through the Gates of Death.
We can invoke Hekate in Her Crone aspect as…
– Hekate Kourtrophos, She who is the deliverer of the soul /the Sacred Midwife
– Hekate Nekuia, She who is the guardian of the grave
– Hekate Melaina, She who grieves and understands loss
– Hekate Evolusia, She who is Goddess of the Soul
– Hekate Vendicti, She who avenges those who have been wronged
– Hekate Anassa Eneioi, She who is Queen of those below (the dead)
– Hekate Thesmophoras, She who is Keeper of Sacred Law and Giver of Justice
– Hekate Pytania, She who is Queen of Ghosts and Spirits

By these names can we honer, celebrate, and worship the Great Goddess Hekate. May all who are called to Her service find that which they seek.

Witchy Foods~mile-high meatless lasagna pie

This layered beauty is stacked with fresh vegetables, baby greens, aromatic herbs, three kinds of Italian cheeses, and a rich, hearty tomato-basil sauce. It's ideal for a special-occasion dinner.

Ingredients16Count
Nutrition260Calories
Total Time105Minutes

 

Ingredients

14 dried lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots (3 medium)
2 cups finely chopped zucchini (1 medium)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (8 ounces)
2 6-ounce package prewashed baby spinach
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 26-ounce jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce (2-1/2 cups)
2 cups shredded Italian Fontina or mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
Rosemary sprigs (optional)

 

directions

1. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain again; set aside.

2. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, zucchini, and half of the garlic. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Transfer vegetable mixture to a bowl. Add the remaining oil to the same skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and remaining garlic. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Gradually add spinach. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer spinach-mushroom mixture from skillet to a bowl. Stir basil into spinach-mushroom mixture; set aside.

3. 

In a small bowl, stir together egg, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

4. 

To assemble pie, in the bottom of a 9x3-inch spring form pan, spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce. Arrange three to four of the cooked noodles over the sauce, trimming and overlapping as necessary to cover sauce with one layer. Top with half of the spinach-mushroom mixture. Spoon half of the ricotta cheese mixture over spinach mixture. Top with another layer of noodles. Spread with half of the remaining pasta sauce. Top with all of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with half the Fontina cheese. Top with another layer of noodles. Layer with remaining spinach-mushroom mixture and remaining ricotta cheese mixture. Top with another layer of noodles (may have extra noodles) and remaining sauce. Gently press down pie with the back of a spatula.

5. 

Place springform pan on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Fontina cheese; bake about 15 minutes more or until heated through. Cover and let stand on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. Carefully remove side of pan. To serve, cut into wedges. If desired, garnish with rosemary sprigs. Makes 10 servings.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 450, Fat, total (g) 23, chol. (mg) 82, sat. fat (g) 12, carb. (g) 37, fiber (g) 6, pro. (g) 26, sodium (mg) 966, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

 

Composting Your Organics

 

All you need to know about how to make a compost pile.

 

So you're ready to take the plunge and start composting. You've made the space, and put aside time to figure it out: this is the year. Two deep breaths. Now, how do you do it? Don't worry! We've got you covered.

We Like This: Countertop Fresh Air Compost Bin

Here’s What You Need

1. Carbon-rich “brown” materials, such as fall leaves, straw, dead flowers from your garden, and shredded newspaper. Blood meal and bone meal helps to start the decomposition.

2. Nitrogen-rich “green” materials, such as grass clippings, plant-based kitchen waste (vegetable peelings and fruit rinds, but no meat scraps), or barnyard animal manure (even though its color is usually brown, manure is full of nitrogen like the other “green” stuff). Do not use manure from carnivores, such as cats or dogs.

3. A shovelful or two of garden soil.

4. A site that’s at least 3 feet long by 3 feet wide.

Related: Compost Wisdom Only An Organic Farmer Knows

Here’s What to Do

1. Start by spreading a layer that is several inches thick of coarse, dry brown stuff, like straw or cornstalks or leaves, where you want to build the pile.

2. Top that with several inches of green stuff.

3. Add a thin layer of soil.

4. Add a layer of brown stuff.

5. Moisten the three layers.

Related: Understanding Earthworms

Continue layering green stuff and brown stuff with a little soil mixed in until the pile is 3 feet high. Try to add stuff in a ratio of three parts brown to one part green. (If it takes a while before you have enough material to build the pile that high, don't worry. Just keep adding to the pile until it gets to at least 3 feet high.)

Every couple of weeks, use a garden fork or shovel to turn the pile, moving the stuff at the center of the pile to the outside and working the stuff on the outside to the center of the pile. Keep the pile moist, but not soggy. When you first turn the pile, you may see steam rising from it. This is a sign that the pile is heating up as a result of the materials in it decomposing. If you turn the pile every couple of weeks and keep it moist, you will begin to see earthworms throughout the pile and the center of the pile will turn into black, crumbly, sweet-smelling “black gold.” When you have enough finished compost in the pile to use in your garden, shovel out the finished compost and start your next pile with any material that hadn’t fully decomposed in the previous one.

Related: 7 Solutions To Common Compost Problems

You don’t need a compost bin to make compost. You simply need a pile that is at least 3 by 3 by 3 feet. A pile this size will have enough mass to decompose without a bin. Many gardeners buy or build compost bins, however, because they keep the pile neat. Some are designed to make turning the compost easier or protect it from soaking rains.

 

What Is Trench Composting:

Composting [1] converts organic material, such as yard waste and kitchen scraps [2], into nutrient-rich material that improves the soil and fertilizes plants. Although you can use an expensive, high-tech composting system, a simple pit or trench is highly effective.

What is Trench Composting?

Trench composting is nothing new. In fact, the Pilgrims learned how to put the theory into action in a very practical way when Native Americans taught them to bury fish heads and scraps in the soil before planting corn. To this day, trench composting methods may be slightly more sophisticated, but the basic idea remains unchanged.

Creating a compost pit at home not only benefits the garden; it also reduces the amount of material that usually goes to waste in municipal landfills, thus reducing the expense involved in waste collecting, handling and transportation.

How to Compost in a Pit or Trench

Creating a compost pit at home requires burying kitchen or soft yard waste, such as chopped leaves or grass clippings, in a simple pit or trench. After a few weeks, earthworms [3] and microorganisms in the soil [4] convert the organic matter into usable compost.

Some gardeners use an organized trench composting system in which the trench and the planting area are alternated every other year, providing a full year for the material to break down. Others implement an even more involved, three-part system that includes a trench, a walking path, and a planting area with bark mulch spread on the path to prevent muddiness. The three-year cycle allows even more time for decomposition of organic matter.

Although organized systems are effective, you can simply use a shovel or post hole digger to dig a hole with a depth of at least 8 to 12 inches. Place the pits strategically according to your garden plan or create small compost pockets in random areas of your yard or garden. Fill the hole about half full with kitchen scraps and yard waste.

To speed the process of decomposition, sprinkle a handful of blood meal [5] over the top of the waste before filling the hole with soil, then water deeply. Wait at least six weeks for the scraps to decompose, and then plant an ornamental plant or a vegetable plant, such as a tomato [6], directly above the compost. For a large trench, till the compost evenly into the pit.

f you live in a place where digging holes in the ground is no big deal, you can make a pit compost. The following info helps you add anaerobic composting to your repertoire. Good choices for your pit compost include areas where you want to add a future garden bed or between rows of existing garden beds. Avoid marshy areas or low spots with wet soil or poor drainage.

Stay away from existing root systems when digging composting holes. Tree and shrub roots easily expand to twice the diameter of their aboveground canopy! Slicing through roots with a shovel creates easy wounds for pests and diseases to enter, ultimately weakening and possibly killing your plant. If you're unsure how far roots may have spread, stick to digging compost trenches in garden beds.

Depending upon what you want to achieve, you can employ several different methods of pit or trench composting, such as digging random holes, filling trench rows in garden beds, or rotating trenches over a three-year period to improve an expanded planting area. Use the basic anaerobic trench compost recipe that follows for whichever method you choose.

How deep and wide to dig depends on how much organic matter you have to compost, what kind of material it is (landscape waste versus kitchen waste), how easy it is to dig, and whether digging pests might be an issue.

Follow these steps to create a pit compost.

Dig the hole or trench, reserving the soil that you remove.
Start with browns on the bottom, alternate layers of brown and green materials, moistening as you build.

Spread a 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) layer of your reserved soil between layers of browns and greens.

Cover with 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of soil. If you plan to retrieve the compost later, mark the area with a stone or other reminder.

If you grow flowers, herbs, or vegetables in straight rows with plenty of space between them, dig and fill composting trenches between the rows. As the organic matter in the trenches decomposes, nutrients become available for nearby plants. Dig trenches early in the planting season before vigorous roots expand into the area. Alternatively, dig trenches at the end of your growing season, so material is decomposed by the next planting season.

Certain plants really thrive on soil that's rich in organic matter and water-holding material, particularly sweet peas, runner beans, zucchini, pumpkins, and squash.

Six to eight months before planting, dig a trench or pit where you plan to grow these crops, 18 inches (45 centimeters) deep. Fill with kitchen waste, newspaper, manure, and other retentive materials, then top with a 6-inch (15-centimeter) layer of soil, heaping it up to form a mound. By the time your planting season rolls around, the site will have settled and will be ready for seeds or transplants

So why let others profit from your organics you paid and cared for?  Recycle the organic matter into perfect fertilizer and grow again from its nutrients!

ElderAirwolf

~*~In the Stars for April 19th, 2016~*~

The next few days until the Scorpio Full Moon Friday 22nd April 2016

There's going to be a lot of sudden changes to everyone's lives

 

I will tell you the truth that sometimes when I predict "change" and predict events happening - I become panicky when things don't happen - because I see the planets defining specific things about to change in all your lives and when nothing happens - I become puzzled.

 

The problem is not the planets - the problem is often defined by DELAYED reactions and people blocking the flow of energies. However, there are times when the astrological charts that define destined changes are so strong that NO-ONE can block anything. The next few days - leading to the Full Moon define - nothing or no-one can block or delay anything - as these are going to be STRONG days ahead.

 

If you're a psychic, gipsy or astrologer - then it's going to be your BEST week - all you have to say to people who ask you anything - is by Saturday 23rd April 2016 - you can guarantee with 100% assurance that EVERYONE's lives will be changing. There's something STRONG and DESTINED for everyone.

 

And for many people - especially negative people who like to block things for others, grumpy or lazy people who do nothing for others and whom nothing normally happens in their boring lives - then this week - it will be changing for them in a BIG week. That's because as soon as Sun enters Taurus on Tuesday - it will UNLOCK movement - leading to the Scorpio Full Moon will make the most stubborn blockages vanish.

 

You see - Sun in Aries [Fire Sign] working with Venus in Aries [Fire Sign] Mars in Sagittarius [Fire Sign] Saturn in Sagittarius [Fire Sign] and Uranus in Aries [Fire Sign] - BUT on Tuesday as soon as Sun enters Taurus [Earth Sign] - the SWITCH OVER immediately comes to everything that's been neglected in the past 3 months - as Sun enters Taurus [Earth Sign] energizes Mercury in Taurus [Earth Sign] Jupiter in Virgo [Earth Sign] Neptune in Pisces [Water Sign] Pluto in Capricorn [Earth Sign].

 

The remarkable facet is that Jupiter in Virgo [Earth Sign] and Pluto in Capricorn [Earth Sign] are both in RETROGRADE - which means - everything that should have already been - everything that's been blocked and delayed as far back as September 2015 - will now happen. It will be a BIG SHOCK for some people - because of how much will suddenly happen - so quickly. And due to Jupiter going direct on 9th May in Virgo [Earth Sign] - means that NOW - this is the beginning of the turnaround - you've been waiting for.

 

The Full Moon problem for all of us - will be realizing a truthful clarity and then being forced or enticed to doing whatever it is that destiny wants you to do. The heading of "your dreams coming true" - for me - is easy to write - because I can guarantee change for everyone. The only problem will be realizing the difference between your realistic dreams and your illusions.

 

You see realization of the TRUTH is a best healing facet of Sun in Taurus - because that's when you'll stop wasting time on nonsense or anything that's got no future to it - and then you will focus on the TRUTH - the destined truth that gives you - your own life. Yes - that's right - the Scorpio Full Moon will finally END an END to an ENDING - which will simultaneously set-you-free to your destined truthful future.

 

The question you should have in your head for the next few days is whatever "it" is you are doing, attached to or want in your life - is it your destiny - OR - is it not your destiny. The unexpected surprises will be due to Mars in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius and Pluto in Capricorn - all 4 planets of which are in RETROGRADE - which will define - all your answers are in your "past". Things you should have done and people you already know.

 

Indeed as I explain on Week's astrology with 4 planets - Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto in retrograde - means the PRESSURE that's been forcing changes will be off - that doesn't mean there won't be any changes - to the contrary people will be feeling FREED and LIBERATED as RETROGRADES - means the PRESSURE is off.

 

You see some people can't function properly or make good decisions when they're under PRESSURE - and hence as you will soon see -Sun entering Taurus on Tuesday - leading immediately to a Full Moon on Friday 22nd April 2016 means - MOVEMENT and CHANGES for everyone.

 

Tuesday 19th April 2016 - Sun enters Taurus & Moon enters Libra

Movement and changes - even if you don't want to change or move ...

 

Sun enters Taurus & Moon in Libra on Tuesday 19th April 2016 will make it a BIG day of cusps - everything will be both unlocked and magnified - both good and bad - 100% clarity for every star sign - and this day of cusps will be stronger than normal because the Moon almost on Full strength.

 

You see - Sun on the cusp - of Aries / Taurus - unlocks it all for all star signs - so if nothing has happened in your life for the past 30 days - then today unlocks it to happen. And it's not just for people who've had nothing happening - as Sun in Taurus UNLOCKS the energies of Jupiter in Virgo.

 

You see - we all need a Jupiter in our lives - but during Sun in Aries - Jupiter wasn't making any strong aspects - so whilst it was there but weak. From the moment Moon entered Virgo on Sunday 17th April you've begun to feel more optimistic about the future - but it will be Sun in Taurus that you will feel it's presence in your life - manifesting something REAL in REAL LIFE - and I should add - something STRONG and REAL in REAL LIFE.

 

For many of you - you will not have felt Jupiter since January 2016 when Sun was in Capricorn - that's because Jupiter in Virgo needs the right combination to work and to do defined something. Sun in Taurus & Jupiter in Virgo as earth star signs defines movement and changes in REAL life.

 

And - and this is an important AND - the Moon enters Libra. You see the Moon is the only planet in communicative Air star sign - and this is the reason why some of you haven't had the energy to communicate. Moon in Libra - with a Moon on almost Full power - and being illuminated by Sun on the cusp of Aries/Taurus means it will unlock the power of communication.

 

Now I should add that emailing and internet communication is NOT astrological communication - talking and speaking with your voice is the communication Moon in Libra is referring to. You communicate because your emotions will make you talk.

 

The astrological combination of Sun in Taurus & Moon in Libra is neither positive or negative - it merely communicates the TRUTH - the destined TRUTH which needs to be communicated - however, the emotional power of Moon in Libra - means you'll have a lot more power in asking for your destiny and getting it in a positive way. But you'll see many people using Moon in Libra to be argumentative to get what they want by being "loud" - unfortunately for them if they're shouting and screaming to get something that's not their destiny then no-one will listen to them as Sun in Taurus has the power to IGNORE nonsense, lies and anything that's not right.

 

Tuesday 19th April 2016 - Sun enters Taurus - life's on-the-move - "day of cusps"

Moon enters Libra - 12:30noon UK - 1:30pm Europe - 7:30am USA EST

5pm India - 10:30pm Sydney, Australia

 

Sun enters Taurus - 4:30pm UK - 5:30pm Europe - 11:30am USA EST

9pm India - [Wednesday 2:30am Sydney, Australia]

 

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Moon 8° Libra sextiles Mars [retrograde] 8° Sagittarius

Moon 15° Libra sextiles Saturn [retrograde] 15° Sagittarius

Moon 17° Libra squares Pluto [retrograde] 17° Capricorn

Moon 18° Libra opposes Venus 18° Aries

 

Thursday 21st April 2016

Moon 21° Libra opposes Uranus 21° Aries

 

Friday 22nd April 2016 - "suddenly very sharp and life-changing for everyone"

Moon enters Scorpio - 1am UK - 2am Europe - 5:30am India

[Thursday 8pm USA EST] - 10am Sydney, Australia

 

Full Moon 2° Scorpio at 6:25am UK - 7:25am Europe - 1:25am USA EST

10:55am India - 4:25pm Sydney, Australia

 

All the planets that have created stress and problems are overruled at the Full Moon

Hence all the worries created by Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus will be solved by the Full Moon

Free Horoscopes by Astrodienst

 

I explained on Months Astrology that Sun in Taurus [Earth Sign] - the BIG SWITCH OVER - A BIG SWITCH ON - COMES IMMEDIATELY to everything that's been neglected in the past 3 months - as Sun in Taurus [Earth Sign] energizes Jupiter in Virgo [Earth Sign] - and Mercury in Taurus, Pluto in Capricorn & Neptune in Pisces too - most importantly it awakens everything that's been a PROBLEM, blocked and making you worried in the past 30 days - Sun in Taurus will either make it vanish, get it solved and move it forward.

 

You see - depending on your personality - are you someone who resonates to your emotions more than you resonate to logic - hence you've either loved or hated the past 30 days of Sun in Aries. So if you've hated Sun in Aries - you're going to love Sun in Taurus as now Sun in Taurus will begins your astrological zodiac year as Sun in Aries did nothing for you. And if you've loved Sun in Aries because you're zodiac year has already begun - you're now going to be ready to move-on forward to the 2nd stage.

 

Sun in Taurus & Moon in Libra will be unusually STRONG - and that's because - the current lunar cycle began as New Moon in Arieswhich expects to end it's journey as Full Moon in Libra - but due to the fact Sun entered Taurus - the opposition, the challenge and the stress will vanish - and hence any problems you've had and been worried about will now be solved during Moon in Libra - and will be solved by destiny.

 

 

Wednesday 20th & Thursday 21st April 2016 - Sun in Taurus & Moon in Libra

Whatever you're worried about is solved ... sorted out and cleared

Moon in Libra on Wednesday and Thursday will be creating UNEXPECTED SURPRISES for EVERYONE.

 

Many of you will wake-up on Wednesday morning and feel positively liberated from anything that's been disturbing or worrying you. Sun in Taurus with Moon in Libra will calm your aura - and ensure that YOU are YOU - without being connected to anything or anyone that isn't the real you.

 

Indeed, I always say that the Moon has powerful healing qualities - as it cleanses our aura's from anything that is BAD for us. It does this by creating CLARITY and TRUTH - a clarity and truth that is specific to you. So it talks to you and defines everything that destiny wants you to be attached to - simultaneously it detaches you from anything that destiny wants you to be detached from. It does this by giving you GOOD vibes and BAD vibes. All you have to do is listen to your feelings - follow the GOOD vibes and dump the BAD vibes.

 

Due to the power of the astrological charts and even though there are 4 outer planets in retrograde - you will see life is going to be moving everyone forwards, you're being moved-away from anything bad and moved-towards something good for you. And most importantly whatever you've become stressed-out about or worried about is solved during Moon in Libra - so that you will be liberated and smiling at the Full Moon on 22nd April 2016.

 

The reason Moon in Libra on Wednesday and Thursday will be creating UNEXPECTED SURPRISES for EVERYONE is that - the opposition that was expected if Sun would have been in Aries vanishes because Sun is now in Taurus - hence it's 100% predictable to say - these will be 2 days of totally unexpected surprises. WORLDWIDE and for EVERYONE. Creating destined events that you never thought possible - proving that when destiny decides changes need to happen - then changes happen.

Herb of the Day~Lavender

Oh my Goddess do I ever love lavender. I use to live near a huge organic lavender farm a few years back and could roll around in the fields late at night. I was there to during the processing season for essential oils extracting process and gather fresh lavender. Beltane reminds me so much of love and lavender and the rich taste and aromas of baking it, bathing in it, or using it for rituals. Here I have put together some facts and uses for lavender.

Common Names
Lavender
Botanical Name
Lavandula spp
Syn. Lavandula angustifolia, L. officinalis
Family
LAMIACEAE

Medicinal Uses: * Acne * Anxiety * Aromatherapy * Beauty * Burns * Candida/yeast * Children * Colds * Culinary/Kitchen * Cuts & Wounds * Depression * Ear * Facial Care * Fibromyalgia * Headache/Migraine * Herbal Steam * Hypertension * IBS * Insect Repellent * Insect/flea Bites * Lice * Lupus* Nausea * Pet * Pregnancy/Childbirth * Skin Care * Sleep/Insomnia 
Properties: * Analgesic * AntiCancer * Antidepressant * Antifungal * Antioxidant * Antirheumatic * AntiViral * Aromatic * Cholagogue * Cicatrisant * Cordial * Diaphoretic/sudorific * Diuretic * Emmenagogue * Hypotensive * Insect repellents * Muscle Relaxant * Nervine * Parturient * Sedative * Splenic * Vulnerary
Parts Used: Flowers, leaves and stems
Constituents: volatile oil (up to 1.5%, containing linabol, linalyl acetate, lavendulyl acetate, terpinenol, cineole, camphor, borneol, pinene, limonene), tannins, coumarins (coumarin, umbelliferone, hemiarin), flavonoids, triterpenoids, rosmarinic acid

In the evening lavender comes into its own, the relaxing and sedative aroma of lavender has an almost immediate effect as soon as it hits the sensitive membranes inside your nose. (Duke, 138-139 ) Soaking in a lavender scented bath relaxes away mild depressionand anxiety and may even lower high blood pressure and improve circulation.Lavender is approved for use by the German Commission E for use internally for insomnia, restlessness and nervous stomach irritations and for external use in baths for the treatment of functional circulatory disorders. Commission E Oil of lavender is sometimes effective in bringing back circulation to feet that have lost feeling. Regular lavender baths are can be enjoyed throughout a woman's pregnancy. ( Gladstar,36) Lavender is a wonderful sleep aid. Combine with valerian, or chamomile for a relaxing tea, diffuse in an aroma lamp for restful sleep, use it in your evening bath, sprinkle a few drops of lavender on sheets and pillowcases, and add dried lavender flowers to sleep pillow mixtures.

Lavender for Pain: Quite a number of clinical trials confirm the conventional wisdom that lavender relaxes the body in the presence of pain, most likely by reducing anxiety levels. A calm mental state makes pain more bearable, lessening it's impact by reducing the perception of pain. pubmedHowever you don't need to depend on lab studies to gauge the effects; Lavender is so easy and safe to use, it is quite easy to judge the effects yourself as they are immediate and quite apparent. For headaches apply a few drops of lavender oil neat to the temples. Massage with lavender oil at tender trigger points reduces the pain and tension of fibromyalgia in long term sufferers.(Weed,51) Lavender combines well with the analgesic power of rosemary to relieve all types of pain: arthritis, sore muscles, and nerve pain. Lavender can also be used in a massage oil to relieve the pain and arthritic stiffness older dogs, (but not cats). (Worwood, 173 )

Lavender for Skin Care: Lavender is well regarded for it's skin healing properties as well. It's effectiveness in treating burns was first discovered by French biochemist René Gattefossé when he cooled his hand in a handy vat of lavender after burning it in a lab accident. This storied burn healed so quickly, and without scarring, that it is often cited as a seminal event in the birth a modern aromatherapy. (Balch, 89) To make a all purpose remedy for scalds, burns, and sunburns: apply a cloth wet with witch hazel, then apply a few drops of lavender essential oil directly to the burn. To treat skin abrasions first clean the affected area with warm water with 5 drops of lavender diluted in a bowl. Apply one neat drop of lavender and leave to heal. Acne responds to gentle herbal oil treatments that are much lighter and less harsh than over-the-counter chemicals. Lavender skin care products are ideal for oily and combination skin. Dot essential oils of lavender, tea treeand lemon on blemishes to kill bacteria. You can also blend these essential oils with light, astringent facial oils like almond and grapeseed, or make a facial wash with lavender herbal tea. Lavender oil is an effective antiseptic. A lavender massage on the chest and lymph nodes is relaxing and helps kill germs. Lavender flower water, or a few drops of lavender essential oil make a good balancing and sweet smelling perfume.

Use lavender sachet bags to protect clothes against moths. Also flies and mosquitoes dislike the fragrance, use the oil in insect sprays, or add the cut flowers to flower vases. Lavender is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. A tea made from the fresh or dried flowers can be applied as a skin wash for both pets and people to relieve itching due to flea bites and rashes, or the essential oil can be used.

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Lavender tea can be made from the fresh or dried flowers. Lavender essential oil should only be used externally, and can be used in massage oils, baths and aroma lamps.

Lavender Remedies

 

Lavender : Essential Oil Profile

Lavender essential oil is steam distilled from the flowering tops of the plant. It is clear or pale yellow in color and has a distinct floral and herbaceous aroma that is sweet and clean. Lavender essential oil is amazing in its extensive positive benefits on mind, spirit, and body. Lavender is the first oil in any collection for aromatherapy and is one of the few essential oils that is gentle enough to apply directly on the skin.

In the Kitchen: Lavender adds a unique flavor to foods, and lavender sugar can be used to decorate baked goods, but use a light hand, too much lavender can overwhelm a dish. It plays better as part of a choir of tastes, combining nicely with citrus, mint, berries, ginger, figs and vanilla, or other strong Mediterranean herbs such as marjoram, oregano and fennel.

Lavender Side Effects: The volatile oils in lavender can be very hard on the liver and kidneys of cats and dogs so no internal use of the herb is suggested for our animal friends.

Lavender is a small shrub that grows 2 to 3 feet high with evergreen leaves and lovely violet-blue spiking flowers. It is a perennial favorite in my garden. Lavender leaves and flowers are very aromatic and can be used in herbal baths, potpourris, sleep pillows and sachet bags to protect clothes against moths. Fresh lavender makes a wonderful, aromatic bouquet, and discourages insects from invading your home. Lavender flowers can be dried, and infused in oil, and made into lavender flower water.

Regional Traditions :European *

How to Grow Lavender

The lavender genus contains 21 aromatic, evergreen perennials that are a diverse mix of habit, variants, foliage and flower color. Lavender has been under cultivation for so long that garden lavenders have become hard to identify mix of cultivars and hybrids. (Brown, pp148-149)

Related Species Spike lavender, L. latifolia , contains an oil rich in cineole and camphor and is used as an insect and moth repellent. 
Lavandula angustifolia - English lavender

History and Traditions & Folklore

It is plentiful in Spain and Portugal and it is used as a rule for strewing the floors of churches and houses on festive occasions, or to make bonfires on St. Johns Day, when evil spirits are supposed to be abroad. (Grieve) Growing lavender in your garden is said to bring good luck and has long believed to be a fairy favorite due to it's incredible scent. Traditionally fragrant bundles of lavender were placed in the hands of women during childbirth to bring courage and strength. (Gladstar) .

Lavender is by far one of my favorite herbs. Not only is it beautiful, but it has hundreds of uses. It is a fragrant aromatic, a relaxing herb, and it can be used in baking, lotion making, gourmet cooking, tea making, tinctures and much more.

Benefits of Lavender

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

“It has been thought for centuries to enflame passions as an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world. The German Commission E commended lavender for treating insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists it as a treatment for flatulence, colic, and depressive headaches, and many modern herbal practitioners use the herb to treat migraines in menopause. In Spain, it is added to teas to treat diabetes and insulin resistance.”

Lavender is known for it’s scent but also for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, expectorant, stree-relieving, antiseptic and analgesic properties.

Lavender has a long history of use in natural remedies and as a natural scent and perfume. It’s calming scent makes it soothing to the respiratory system and it is often suggested to be diffused to calm coughs and colds. It’s natural antibacterial properties may also make it useful in protecting against airborne viruses and bacteria when diffused.

 

Many massage and beauty products use lavender for its scent and its supposed ability to promote relaxation and stress relief, though this has not been well studied. In alternative medicine, use of lavender essential oil or lavender salves is sometimes recommended for muscle pain or aches or to promote restful sleep.

Uses for Lavender

I use it often in many different forms:

As a dried herb to make a relaxing herbal tea (I often add Chamomile too) by steeping in hot (not boiling water) for a few minutes and adding honey
In a tincture to help promote relaxation and sleep
Adding the dried herb to homemade buckwheat pillows or sleep masks to help promote relaxing sleep
To sooth sunburns or other burns, I add a few drops of the essential oil to a bottle of cool water and spray on burns to offer relief. The dried herb can also be brewed in to a strong tea and sprayed on instead.
A strong tea can be cooled and used as a scalp rinse to remedy dandruff
Adding a few drops of the essential oil or a cup of strong brewed tea and a cup of epsom salts to a bath helps relax sore muscles.
I sew the dried flowers into small satchels and use them in place of dryer sheets in the dryer
For headaches, smelling lavender and peppermint oils or rubbing into into the temples often helps
I often infuse the dried flowers into vinegars for use in cooking or as a skin toner (diluted)
The essential oil or lavender infused oil in homemade lotion bars, lotions, whipped body butter and more
The essential oil can be used topically to help with acne or skin irritations
Simmering dried lavender herb in a pot of water with some citrus peels for a natural air freshener

Precautions:

I personally do not use Lavender Essential Oil (or any other essential oil) internally (here’s why). There is some evidence that long term regular use of concentrated lavender can cause hormone imbalance in males, so I generally avoid it in things I am making for my husband or sons. Due to its relaxing properties, I would not use in conjunction with any medication that also causes relaxation or sleepiness. I don’t use even the dried or fresh herb internally when pregnant.

Goddess & God of the Day

 

Aphrodite
Goddess of Love and Beauty

Aphrodite ("foam-arisen"), goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the Venus. She was said to have been born when Cronus severed Uranus' genitals and threw them into the sea. Her festival, Aphrodisia, was celebrated across Greece.

--~--

Pantheon: Greek
Abode: Mount Olympus
Animals: Dolphin, Dove, Sparrow, Swan, Goose, Partridge
Colours: Yellow, Gold, Pink, Red, Copper, Sea Green
Consort: Hephaestus, Dionysus, Ares, Adonis
Crystal: Copper, Rose Quartz, Aventurine
Day: Friday
Element: Water
Offerings: Apples, Pomegranates, Frankincense, Myrrh, Perfume, Chocolates, Roses, Myrtle, Honey, Wine
Planet: Venus, The Sun
Plant/Tree: Rose, Myrtle, Apples, Lime Tree
Symbols: Scallop Shell, Girdle, Mirror, 6
Tarot Card: The Lovers
Time: Summer Solstice.

Veles
God of cattle, commerce, music, divination and the underworld

Veles (Volos) is a God of the earth, waters and the underworld, associated with dragons, cattle, magic, musicians, wealth and trickery. He is said to punish oath-breakers with diseases. He is the opponent of the thunder god, Perun, from whom he steals Perun's son, wife or, usually, cattle. Veles was seen as a huge serpent coiling around the roots of the world tree where he ruled the world of dead.

--~--

Pantheon: Slavic
Abode: World Tree
Animals: Serpent, Cattle, Bear, Wolf, Dragons
Colours: Green, Black, Blue, Red
Consort: Luna Diana
Crystal: Obsidian, Jet, Onyx, Jasper, Garnet, Bloodstone
Day: Sunday
Direction: North, West
Element: Earth, Water
Incense: Cedar, Wormwood, Clove, Ginger
Offerings: Wine, Wheat
Planet: Mercury
Plant/Tree: Cedar, Oak, Pine, Hawthorn, Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe
Symbols: Wool, Serpents, Cattle, Horns
Tarot Card: Cups, Pentacles
Time: Veija Noc, Ostara, Veles Feast Day - 12th February

Beltane & Lavender~The Benefits

Oh my Goddess do I ever love lavender. I use to live near a huge organic lavender farm a few years back and could roll around in the fields late at night. I was there to during the processing season for essential oils extracting process and gather fresh lavender. Beltane reinds me so uch of love and lavender and the rich tast and aromas of baking it, bathing in it, or using it for rituals. Here I have put together some facts and uses for lavender.

Common Names
Lavender
Botanical Name
Lavandula spp
Syn. Lavandula angustifolia, L. officinalis
Family
LAMIACEAE

Medicinal Uses: * Acne * Anxiety * Aromatherapy * Beauty * Burns * Candida/yeast * Children * Colds * Culinary/Kitchen * Cuts & Wounds * Depression * Ear * Facial Care * Fibromyalgia * Headache/Migraine * Herbal Steam * Hypertension * IBS * Insect Repellent * Insect/flea Bites * Lice * Lupus* Nausea * Pet * Pregnancy/Childbirth * Skin Care * Sleep/Insomnia 
Properties: * Analgesic * AntiCancer * Antidepressant * Antifungal * Antioxidant * Antirheumatic * AntiViral * Aromatic * Cholagogue * Cicatrisant * Cordial * Diaphoretic/sudorific * Diuretic * Emmenagogue * Hypotensive * Insect repellents * Muscle Relaxant * Nervine * Parturient * Sedative * Splenic * Vulnerary
Parts Used: Flowers, leaves and stems
Constituents: volatile oil (up to 1.5%, containing linabol, linalyl acetate, lavendulyl acetate, terpinenol, cineole, camphor, borneol, pinene, limonene), tannins, coumarins (coumarin, umbelliferone, hemiarin), flavonoids, triterpenoids, rosmarinic acid

In the evening lavender comes into its own, the relaxing and sedative aroma of lavender has an almost immediate effect as soon as it hits the sensitive membranes inside your nose. (Duke, 138-139 ) Soaking in a lavender scented bath relaxes away mild depressionand anxiety and may even lower high blood pressure and improve circulation.Lavender is approved for use by the German Commission E for use internally for insomnia, restlessness and nervous stomach irritations and for external use in baths for the treatment of functional circulatory disorders. Commission E Oil of lavender is sometimes effective in bringing back circulation to feet that have lost feeling. Regular lavender baths are can be enjoyed throughout a woman's pregnancy. ( Gladstar,36) Lavender is a wonderful sleep aid. Combine with valerian, or chamomile for a relaxing tea, diffuse in an aroma lamp for restful sleep, use it in your evening bath, sprinkle a few drops of lavender on sheets and pillowcases, and add dried lavender flowers to sleep pillow mixtures.

Lavender for Pain: Quite a number of clinical trials confirm the conventional wisdom that lavender relaxes the body in the presence of pain, most likely by reducing anxiety levels. A calm mental state makes pain more bearable, lessening it's impact by reducing the perception of pain. pubmedHowever you don't need to depend on lab studies to gauge the effects; Lavender is so easy and safe to use, it is quite easy to judge the effects yourself as they are immediate and quite apparent. For headaches apply a few drops of lavender oil neat to the temples. Massage with lavender oil at tender trigger points reduces the pain and tension of fibromyalgia in long term sufferers.(Weed,51) Lavender combines well with the analgesic power of rosemary to relieve all types of pain: arthritis, sore muscles, and nerve pain. Lavender can also be used in a massage oil to relieve the pain and arthritic stiffness older dogs, (but not cats). (Worwood, 173 )

Lavender for Skin Care: Lavender is well regarded for it's skin healing properties as well. It's effectiveness in treating burns was first discovered by French biochemist René Gattefossé when he cooled his hand in a handy vat of lavender after burning it in a lab accident. This storied burn healed so quickly, and without scarring, that it is often cited as a seminal event in the birth a modern aromatherapy. (Balch, 89) To make a all purpose remedy for scalds, burns, and sunburns: apply a cloth wet with witch hazel, then apply a few drops of lavender essential oil directly to the burn. To treat skin abrasions first clean the affected area with warm water with 5 drops of lavender diluted in a bowl. Apply one neat drop of lavender and leave to heal. Acne responds to gentle herbal oil treatments that are much lighter and less harsh than over-the-counter chemicals. Lavender skin care products are ideal for oily and combination skin. Dot essential oils of lavender, tea treeand lemon on blemishes to kill bacteria. You can also blend these essential oils with light, astringent facial oils like almond and grapeseed, or make a facial wash with lavender herbal tea. Lavender oil is an effective antiseptic. A lavender massage on the chest and lymph nodes is relaxing and helps kill germs. Lavender flower water, or a few drops of lavender essential oil make a good balancing and sweet smelling perfume.

Use lavender sachet bags to protect clothes against moths. Also flies and mosquitoes dislike the fragrance, use the oil in insect sprays, or add the cut flowers to flower vases. Lavender is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. A tea made from the fresh or dried flowers can be applied as a skin wash for both pets and people to relieve itching due to flea bites and rashes, or the essential oil can be used.

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Lavender tea can be made from the fresh or dried flowers. Lavender essential oil should only be used externally, and can be used in massage oils, baths and aroma lamps.

Lavender Remedies

 

Lavender : Essential Oil Profile

Lavender essential oil is steam distilled from the flowering tops of the plant. It is clear or pale yellow in color and has a distinct floral and herbaceous aroma that is sweet and clean. Lavender essential oil is amazing in its extensive positive benefits on mind, spirit, and body. Lavender is the first oil in any collection for aromatherapy and is one of the few essential oils that is gentle enough to apply directly on the skin.

In the Kitchen: Lavender adds a unique flavor to foods, and lavender sugar can be used to decorate baked goods, but use a light hand, too much lavender can overwhelm a dish. It plays better as part of a choir of tastes, combining nicely with citrus, mint, berries, ginger, figs and vanilla, or other strong Mediterranean herbs such as marjoram, oregano and fennel.

Lavender Side Effects: The volatile oils in lavender can be very hard on the liver and kidneys of cats and dogs so no internal use of the herb is suggested for our animal friends.

Lavender is a small shrub that grows 2 to 3 feet high with evergreen leaves and lovely violet-blue spiking flowers. It is a perennial favorite in my garden. Lavender leaves and flowers are very aromatic and can be used in herbal baths, potpourris, sleep pillows and sachet bags to protect clothes against moths. Fresh lavender makes a wonderful, aromatic bouquet, and discourages insects from invading your home. Lavender flowers can be dried, and infused in oil, and made into lavender flower water.

Regional Traditions :European *

How to Grow Lavender

The lavender genus contains 21 aromatic, evergreen perennials that are a diverse mix of habit, variants, foliage and flower color. Lavender has been under cultivation for so long that garden lavenders have become hard to identify mix of cultivars and hybrids. (Brown, pp148-149)

Related Species Spike lavender, L. latifolia , contains an oil rich in cineole and camphor and is used as an insect and moth repellent. 
Lavandula angustifolia - English lavender

History and Traditions & Folklore

It is plentiful in Spain and Portugal and it is used as a rule for strewing the floors of churches and houses on festive occasions, or to make bonfires on St. Johns Day, when evil spirits are supposed to be abroad. (Grieve) Growing lavender in your garden is said to bring good luck and has long believed to be a fairy favorite due to it's incredible scent. Traditionally fragrant bundles of lavender were placed in the hands of women during childbirth to bring courage and strength. (Gladstar) .

Lavender is by far one of my favorite herbs. Not only is it beautiful, but it has hundreds of uses. It is a fragrant aromatic, a relaxing herb, and it can be used in baking, lotion making, gourmet cooking, tea making, tinctures and much more.

Benefits of Lavender

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

“It has been thought for centuries to enflame passions as an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world. The German Commission E commended lavender for treating insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists it as a treatment for flatulence, colic, and depressive headaches, and many modern herbal practitioners use the herb to treat migraines in menopause. In Spain, it is added to teas to treat diabetes and insulin resistance.”

Lavender is known for it’s scent but also for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, expectorant, stree-relieving, antiseptic and analgesic properties.

Lavender has a long history of use in natural remedies and as a natural scent and perfume. It’s calming scent makes it soothing to the respiratory system and it is often suggested to be diffused to calm coughs and colds. It’s natural antibacterial properties may also make it useful in protecting against airborne viruses and bacteria when diffused.

 

Many massage and beauty products use lavender for its scent and its supposed ability to promote relaxation and stress relief, though this has not been well studied. In alternative medicine, use of lavender essential oil or lavender salves is sometimes recommended for muscle pain or aches or to promote restful sleep.

Uses for Lavender

I use it often in many different forms:

As a dried herb to make a relaxing herbal tea (I often add Chamomile too) by steeping in hot (not boiling water) for a few minutes and adding honey
In a tincture to help promote relaxation and sleep
Adding the dried herb to homemade buckwheat pillows or sleep masks to help promote relaxing sleep
To sooth sunburns or other burns, I add a few drops of the essential oil to a bottle of cool water and spray on burns to offer relief. The dried herb can also be brewed in to a strong tea and sprayed on instead.
A strong tea can be cooled and used as a scalp rinse to remedy dandruff
Adding a few drops of the essential oil or a cup of strong brewed tea and a cup of epsom salts to a bath helps relax sore muscles.
I sew the dried flowers into small satchels and use them in place of dryer sheets in the dryer
For headaches, smelling lavender and peppermint oils or rubbing into into the temples often helps
I often infuse the dried flowers into vinegars for use in cooking or as a skin toner (diluted)
The essential oil or lavender infused oil in homemade lotion bars, lotions, whipped body butter and more
The essential oil can be used topically to help with acne or skin irritations
Simmering dried lavender herb in a pot of water with some citrus peels for a natural air freshener

Precautions:

I personally do not use Lavender Essential Oil (or any other essential oil) internally (here’s why). There is some evidence that long term regular use of concentrated lavender can cause hormone imbalance in males, so I generally avoid it in things I am making for my husband or sons. Due to its relaxing properties, I would not use in conjunction with any medication that also causes relaxation or sleepiness. I don’t use even the dried or fresh herb internally when pregnant.

 Lovely Lavender Recipes:

Lavender is best known for its fragrant, delicate Provencal appearance in soaps, sachets, essential oil and other body care products.  At least in the U.S., using culinary lavender to enhance a recipe with a Mediterranean sway is a road less traveled.  Lavender use has broadened over the past years with recipes showcasing the aromatic herb in everything from desserts to cocktails with savory dishes in between.  I personally keep culinary lavender in my spice pantry and enjoy incorporating it in everything from salads to a simple favorite Roasted Lavender Potatoes dish that is a hit in my home.

When cooking with lavender it is key to ensure using culinary/edible lavender and not lavender prepared for things like potpourri which can be treated with chemicals.  Culinary lavender may be purchased at well stocked grocery stores, herb/spice stores or apothecaries, as well a grown in a pot or home garden for picking anytime.  With a small amount added to many recipes, a ho-hum dish can be elevated to having international flair!

Being particularly compatible with the flavors of honey and lemon, lavender is a perfect summertime herb to brighten seasonal foods.  I wanted to share some of my own favorite recipes as well as other mouthwatering recipes I found on the internet to whet your appetite to try some lavender in your own kitchen this summer.  These recipes are made with simple, whole ingredients, bursting with flavor to perk up grilling, salads, dessert, libations and more.  Naturally gluten-free too!

Lavender Herb Bread

1 pk Active dry yeast 
1/4 cup Warm water 
1 cup Low-fat cottage cheese 
1/4 cup Honey 
2 TB sweet Butter 
1 Ts Dried lavender buds 
1 TB Fresh lemon thyme 
1/2 TB Fresh basil; finely chopped 
1/4 Ts Baking soda 
2 Eggs 
2 1/2 cup Unbleached flour 
Softened Sweet Butter (for top)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a larger bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, honey, butter, herbs, baking soda and eggs. Stir in the yeast mixture. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough, beating well after each addition. Cover and let rise about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Stir the dough down with a spoon. Place in a well-greased 1 1/2 or 2 qt. casserole or ten 4" individual pie tins. Let rise 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350 F. for one hour for a large loaf, 20 to 30 minutes for small loaves. When done, turn onto a rack, brush top(s) with soft butter, and let cool.

Yield: 1 large round loaf or 10 individual dinner rolls.


Lavender Roasted Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

This simple roast potato recipe is transporting with the flavor or lavender conjuring flavors of Provence. It's sure to freshen up any meal.

I have varied the oven temperature up to 400 degrees to allow the potatoes to cook at the same time as a chicken roasting. When doing so, I check more often to ensure browning is happening evenly and they do not overcook. Cooking time is reduced at a higher temperature so keep checking!

Ingredients

2-2 ½ pounds (about 4 large) thin skinned Potatoes (New, Red, etc)
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 ½ tablespoon dried Lavender designated for culinary use
Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Report this ad

Preheat oven to 350 degrees*.
Scrub potatoes, cut out any bad spots and cut into bite-sized pieces. Do not peel.
Toss in a bowl with olive oil. When coated with the olive oil, add lavender, salt and pepper.
Spread into a single layer in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring part way through to ensure even browning. Potatoes are done then soft inside to the bite.

 Lavender Marmalade

7 large; or up to 9 small Seville Oranges, as I found the sizes vary per Orange harvest season ...
1 Myers Lemon if possible or regular Lemon
9 cups of sugar
2 Tablespoons dried Sweet Lavender flowers
Optional: Touch of brandy to top up each jar as you cap! (or Scotch says Michael!)

Day 1: Quarter Oranges & Lemon, set aside the seeds. Slice fruits thinly, pith & all and place in large stainless pot. Add 12 cups of water & let sit over night to soften. Place seeds in a cup; barely covering with water, these will create a gel that is the secret to real English Marmalade ... Sieve the naturally forming pectin gel from the soaking seeds into your Marmalade as you begin Day 2 cooking.

Day 2: Bring oranges, with lemon to a boil. Lower to a strong simmer & time one hour. Then add sugar plus Lavender...Bring to a rolling boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place clean jam jars in a 200°F oven to sterilize for 20 minutes. Place inner sealer lids in a small pot with water & bring to a boil to soften seal. Keep lids & jars hot. Lower Marmalade to a gentle boil. Cook up to 30 minutes more MAX. To gel testing; place a saucer in the freezer to chill. Test gel of Marmalade by placing half a teaspoon on the cold saucer to check how runny your Marmalade is. Saucer sample should thicken & "wrinkle" when tipped to test consistency...Remove Marmalade pot from heat 5 minutes before pouring into hot jars. Place a teaspoon of brandy on top of each filled jar, stir with a chopstick & cap & screw on rings. Let completely cool before wiping any sticky jars. Let age a couple of weeks to mature with brandy, keeping one jar to use at Breakfast~ tomorrow! Makes a dozen 250ml jars.

Easy Lavender Cookies


    This recipe will make 1 1/2 dozen Lavender cookies depending on the size of the cookie cutter you use. You will need to prepare a cookie sheet either by lightly spraying / buttering it or by using parchment paper to bake the cookies on.
Ingredients: 
 

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1/4 cup sugar (regular or superfine)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon Lavender flower extract
2 tablespoons of sugar for dusting the cookie tops (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh or 1 tablespoon dried Lavender flower buds finely chopped


Please use a true Lavender variety to avoid any hint of camphor taste. 


Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the flour, Lavender flower buds, vanilla and then form a ball with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes. 

When ready to make cookies preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out cookies with a cutter. Heart shaped cookies are nice. Place the Lavender cookies onto the baking sheet dust with sugar for Lavender sugar cookies(optional - you could frost them too!) and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. 

Remove the sheet from the oven and let the cookies sit for a few minutes to set up before cooling on a wire rack. Store cookies up to a week in an airtight container but I bet they wont last that long as they will be eaten up quickly! 

How to make Lavender Dog Treats


     Homemade dog treats with Lavender will calm dogs that are excitable or stressed such as those afraid of thunderstorms. You will learn how to make homemade dog treats with Ingredients: 


1/2 Cup Organic Peanut Butter
1 Cup of Flour
3 Packets Non-flavored Instant Oatmeal
1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Honey or Molasses
1/2 Cup Fresh Lavender or 1/3 Cup dried Lavender buds
 

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or use a stand mixer and mix until a smooth dough ball forms. 


2. Knead to form a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for a few hours. 

3. Preheat your oven to 350 F while you are rolling out the dough. Use a cookie cutter to make cute cutouts or make quarter sized mini treats by rolling little balls with your hands. 

[Cutout Homemade Lavender Dog Treats]

4. Bake the homemade dog biscuits for 10 -20 minutes depending on the size of the treats. They should be lightly golden in color. Allow to cool completely before bagging in plastic bags or placing in an airtight container to maintain the crunchy crispness. 

[Lavender Peanut Butter Dog Treats]

    Homemade dog treats with Peanut Butter and Lavender are a delicious reward for your canine and the Lavender helps to calm dogs naturally. Lavender.

Dried Lavender flowers or fresh may be used in this Lavender Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe. Fresh Lavender flowers may be collected shortly before use or when out of season use dried culinary Lavender.

Easy Lavender Cake


    This recipe will make one bundt style Lavender cake. You will need to grease and flour an 8 inch ring pan or two 8 inch cake pans to make a layer cake.
Ingredients: 

3/4 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon fresh or dried Lavender buds finely chopped


Please use a true Lavender flower variety to avoid any hint of camphor taste. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Fold in the flour, Lavender flower buds, vanilla and milk. 

Pour the mixture into your waiting ring pan or the 2 cake pans.  Bake for 1 hour for the ring pan until toothpick or skewer come out clean. Adjust the time accordingly for the two cake pans.  Let sit for 5-8 minutes then un-mold onto a wire rack an allow to cool. 

Try drizzling Lemon Lavender Icing over the top and sprinkling on a few freshLavender flower blossoms for a lovely presentation.

Enjoy and may the goddess shine on your lavender too!

~Elder Airwolf~

Pagan Seasons of the Year in North & Southern Hemisphere Sabbat Dates

 

 

Imbolc

Also called: Candlemas, Oimelc, Brigid's Day; merged with Lupercalia/Valentine’s Day
dates: February 2, early February
colors: white, red
tools: candles, seeds, Brigid wheel, milk
energy: conception, initiation, inspiration
goddesses: Brigid, Maiden
gods: Groundhog, other creatures emerging from hibernation; young Sun
rituals: creative inspiration, purification, initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings
customs: lighting candles, seeking omens of Spring, cleaning house, welcoming Brigid

 

 

Spring Equinox

Also called:
Ostara, St. Patrick's Day, Easter
dates: around March 21
colors: green, yellow
tools: eggs, basket, green clothes
energy: birthing, sprouting, greening
goddesses: Ostara, Kore, Maiden
gods: Hare, Green Man
rituals: breakthrough, new growth, new projects, seed blessings
customs: wearing green, egg games, new clothes, egg baskets

 

 

Beltane

Also called: May Eve, May Day, Walspurgis Night
dates: April 30, early May
colors: rainbow spectrum, blue, green, pastels, all colors
tools: Maypole & ribbons, flower crowns, fires, bowers, fields
energy: youthful play, exuberance, sensuality, pleasure
goddesses: May Queen, Flora
gods: May King, Jack in the Green
rituals: love, romance, fertility, crop blessings, creativity endeavors
customs: dancing Maypole, jumping fire, mating, flower baskets

 


Summer Solstice

Also called: Midsummer, Litha, St. John's Day
dates: around June 21
colors: yellow, gold, rainbow colors
tools: bonfires, Sun wheel, Earth circles of stone energy: partnership
goddesses: Mother Earth, Mother Nature
gods: Father Sun/Sky, Oak King
rituals: community, career, relationships, Nature Spirit communion, planetary wellness
customs: bonfires, processions, all-night vigil, singing, feasting, celebrating with others

 


Lammas

Also called: Lughnassad
dates: August 2, early August
colors: orange, yellow, brown, green
tools: sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires
energy: fruitfulness, reaping prosperity
goddesses: Demeter, Ceres, Corn Mother
gods: Grain God, Lugh, John Barleycorn
rituals: prosperity, generosity, continued success
customs: offering of first fruits/grains, games, country fairs

 


Fall Equinox

Also called: Mabon, Michaelmas
dates: around September 21
colors: orange, red, brown, purple, blue
tools: cornucopia, corn, harvested crops
energy: appreciation & harvest
goddesses: Bona Dea, Land Mother
gods: Mabon, Sky Father
rituals: thanksgiving, harvest, introspection
customs: offerings to land, preparing for cold weather, bringing in harvest

 


Samhain

Also called: Halloween, All Hallows Eve, All Saints & All Souls, Day of the Dead
dates: October 31, early November
colors: black, orange, indigo
tools: votive candles, magic mirror, cauldron, pumpkins, divination tools
energy: death & transformation; Wiccan new year
goddesses: Crone, Hecate
gods: Horned Hunter, Cernunnos, Anubis
rituals: honoring ancestors, releasing old, foreseeing future, understanding death and rebirth
customs: jack O’ lanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, divination, costumes

 


Winter Solstice

Also called: Yule, Jul, Saturnalia, Christmas, solar/secular New Year
dates: around December 21 colors: red, green, white
tools: mistletoe, evergreen wreath, lights, gifts, holly, Yule log, Yule tree
energy: regeneration & renewal
goddesses: Great Mother, Isis, Mary, Tonazin, Lucina, Bona Dea
gods: Sun Child, Horus, Jesus, Mithras, Santa/Odin, Saturn, Holly King
rituals: personal renewal, world peace, honoring family & friends
customs: wreaths, lights, gift-giving, singing, feasting, resolutions

 

 

Table 1. Travel Intervals

Angle Event/ArcDays0° Vernal Equinox0° to 

45°45.8845° Beltane Cross Quarter45° to 90°

46.8890° Summer Solstice90° to135°

47.13135° Lughnasad CQ135° to

 180°46.51180° Autumnal Equinox180° to

 225°45.38225° Samhain CQ225° to

 270°44.45270° Winter Solstice270° to

 315°44.20315° Imbolc CQ315° to 

0°44.820° Vernal Equinox circuit 0° to 360°365.25

 

[Wheel of the Year]

The Wheel of the Year

The Four Seasons are known as Solar Festivals, in that they mark a seasonal change caused by the Sun. The cross quarter days are marked by Fire Festivals and are usually celebrated as significant agricultural festivals. Together the Solar Festivals and the Fire Festivals make up the Wheel of the Year. The Wheel of the Year, is often broken into eight festivals, whether they are the eight Asatru Blots, Seasonal Festivals or Celtic Sabbats, and the observance of Solar energies at the solstices and equinoxes and the Fire energies on the cross quarter days, is a common theme throughout the world.

The Festivals of the Wheel Of The Year also represent the active and dormant states of nature, man and agriculture. Each of the festival days was ruled by a governing deity, whether a God or Goddess, with each region having its own associated deity. From planting to reaping to winter to summer... the seasons were of great importance to our ancestors, for their very existence depended upon good harvests, mild winters, enough rainfall.

The Four Fire Festivals

Imbolc - Feb 2nd
Disablot/Imbolc/Candlemas. 
This holiday is also known as Candlemas, or Brigid's (pronounced BREED) Day.

Beltane - May 1 April 30th/May 1st
May Eve/Valpurgis/Cetsamhain/Roodmas/Shenn do Boaldyn/May Day
(Beltane derived from the Irish Gaelic "Bealtaine" or the Scottish Gaelic "Bealtuinn", meaning "Bel-fire", the fire of the Celtic god of light (Bel, Beli or Belinus).)

Lughnasa - August 2, July 31st/Aug 1st
Frey Fest/Lughnasa/Lugnasad/Lammas

Samhain - October 31
Winter Nights/Samhain/Feile Moingfinne/Halloween
(*Note: Samhain is pronounced sowen, soween, saw-win, saw-vane or sahven, not sam-hayne)

The Four Solar Festivals

Winter Solstice - Yule - Dec 21st/22nd
(Yule from the Anglo-Saxon 'Yula', meaning 'wheel' of the year.)

Spring Equinox - Ostara - Mar 21st/22nd

Summer Solstice - Litha - Midsummers Eve - June 21st/22nd
(Midsummer, Gathering Day, Summer Solstice, Alban Heffyn, Feill-Sheathain)

Autumn Equinox - Harvest - Mabon - Sept 21st/22nd 
Gwyl canol Hydref or Mabon: (pronounced Ma-bon. Also known as Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Fall Equinox, Autumn Equinox etc.)

 

Solstice and Equinox Traditions

Observing holidays is a tradition intertwined with spirituality. The depth of humanity's need for holy days and the biological connection to the earth's yearly cycles are subjects that have not been satisfactorily researched.

Here are some astronomical events that have been used to mark holy days in many different religions for thousands of years. Celebrating these events recognizes both the continuity of humanity over thousands of years and how much we have progressed from the simple agrarians who depended upon astronomical sitings for their survival. For further reading on these topics see here.

Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, with the sun at its lowest and weakest. In the Northern Hemisphere it usually occurs around December 21st.

In pagan Scandinavia the winter festival was the Yule, celebrated by burning the hearth fires of the magically significant Yule log. In the Celtic Druid culture, the Winter Solstice was celebrated by hanging sacred mistletoe over a doorway or in a room to offer goodwill to visitors. Germanic tribes decorated a pine or fir tree with candles and tokens. The Inca held midwinter ceremonies at temples that served as astronomical observatories like Machu Pichu.

Romans celebrated this event with Saturnalia, a festival of merrymaking, and decorating their homes and temples with holly and evergreens. Also popular was the exchange of small gifts thought to bring luck on the recipient.

In the fourth century AD, Christian authorities in Rome attempted to eliminate the pagan festivities by adopting December 25th as Christ's birthday. The effort was never completely successful, and eventually many Winter Solstice customs were incorporated into Christmas observances.

Since so many of these traditions have persisted for thousands of years despite extensive efforts to eliminate them, we think it best to celebrate the Winter Solstice with these ancient customs, recognizing our links to the rest of humanity, past and present.

Spring Equinox

Spring or Vernal Equinox, also known as Ostara, Easter, and St. Patrick's Day, occurs in the middle of March in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the beginning of Spring and the time when days and nights are of equal length.

Megalithic people on Europes Atlantic fringe calculated the date of the Spring Equinox using circular monuments constructed of huge stones. Germanic tribes associated it with the fertility goddess Ostara. The Mayans of Central America still gather at the pyramid at Chichen Itza which was designed to produce a "serpent" shadow on the Spring Equinox. The Ancient Saxons held a feast day for their version of the fertility goddess, Eostre, on the full moon following the Vernal Equinox. Eostre is associated with the symbols of decorated eggs and hares.

Ancient influences from the worship of the goddess Ostara or Eostre have persisted in the form of fertility symbols of Easter eggs and the hare or rabbit. By the use of these symbols of spring, rebirth, and fertility we reinforce our connection to humanity's past.

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice, sometimes known as Midsummer, Litha, or St. John's Day, occurs around June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a celebration of the longest day of the year and the beginning of Summer.

The first (or only) full moon in June is called the Honey Moon. Tradition holds that this is the best time to harvest honey from the hives and was a popular time to get married because of the events association with fertility gods and godesses. Harvests of St. Johns Wort were used in potions and woven into garlands to decorate and protect houses and domestic animals. Slav and Celt tribes celebrated with huge bonfires and people would jump over the embers for luck. In Scandinavia women and girls ceremonially bathed in rivers.

In Portugal, people say that St. John's Eve water possesses great healing power. Before dawn both cattle and young children bathed in rivers or dew, to ensure health and strength. In Russia, the summer solstice celebration is called Kupalo. Kupalo comes from the verb kupati, to bathe, and mass baths were taken on Midsummer morning.

Celebrating the Summer Solstice with bonfires and ceremonial bathing recognizes and strengthens our connections to nature and humanity.

Fall Equinox

In the Northern Hemisphere the Autumnal Equinox, occurs around September 23rd or 24th. It is also known as Michaelmas, Mabon, and Harvest Home.

Traditionally, the Japanese marked the spring and fall Equinox with higan, a seven day period in which they remember their ancestors by visiting the family grave, cleaning the tombstone, offering flowers and food, burning incense sticks, and praying.

The Polish Feast of Greenery involves bringing bouquets and foods for blessing by a priest, then using them for medicine or keeping them until the following years harvest. The Roman celebration of the Fall Equinox was dedicated to Pomona, goddess of fruits and growing things.

A feast was celebrated with a traditional well fattened goose which had fed well on the stubble of the fields after the harvest. Another tradition of of the Autumnal Equinox is the use of ginger. All manner of foods seasoned with ginger are part of the day's menu from gingerbread to ginger beer.

In England, the last sheaf of corn harvested represented the `spirit of the field' and was made into a doll. Corn dolls were drenched with water representing rain or burned to represent the death of the grain spirit. Large wickerwork figures were also constructed to represent a vegetation spirit and burnt in mock sacrifice. Farmers and merchants gathered at fairs. Often a large glove was suspended above the fair, symbolizing the handshake of promises and openhandedness and generosity.

The tradition of celebrating the end of summer with a 'burning man' has been enthusiastically revived in the US as a festival of performance art and creativity. Participating in your own burning man celebration is a powerful way to connect with humanity, past and present.

By offering an easy online ordination process our Church seeks to enable anyone to become an ordained minister and facilitate the celebration of these ancient religious traditions.

Table of Solstice and Equinox Dates

Year

Month

Day

Hour

Minute

Month

Day

Hour

Minute

2008

Solstice

 

 

 

 

December

21

12

4

2009

Equinoxes

March

20

11

44

September

22

21

18

Solstices

June

21

5

45

December

21

17

47

2010

Equinoxes

March

20

17

32

September

23

3

9

Solstices

June

21

11

28

December

21

23

38

2011

Equinoxes

March

20

23

21

September

23

9

4

Solstices

June

21

17

16

December

22

5

30

2012

Equinoxes

March

20

5

14

September

22

14

49

Solstices

June

20

23

9

December

21

11

11

2013

Equinoxes

March

20

11

2

September

22

20

44

Solstices

June

21

5

4

December

21

17

11

 

All times are in Universal Time, Coordinated (UTC) Remember to account for Daylight Savings Time, where applicable.
To obtain
Eastern Daylight Time subtract 4 hours from UTC
Eastern Standard Time subtract 5 hours from UTC
Central Daylight Time subtract 5 hours from UTC
Central Standard Time subtract 6 hours from UTC
Mountain Daylight Time subtract 6 hours from UTC
Mountain Standard Time subtract 7 hours from UTC
Pacific Daylight Time subtract 7 hours from UTC
Pacific Standard Time subtract 8 hours from UTC
Alaska Daylight Time subtract 8 hours from UTC
Alaska Standard Time subtract 9 hours from UTC
Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time subtract 9 hours from UTC
Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time subtract 10 hours from UTC

When converting zone time to or from UTC, dates must be properly taken into account. For example, 10 March at 02:00 UTC is the same as 9 March at 21:00 EST.

 © 2016 Church of Spiritual Humanism

 

Southern Hemisphere Sabbat Dates

All times are Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) - add 1 hour for Daylight Savings Time when applicable.

Traditional Dates

'Exact' Times & Dates **

Lughnasadh/Lammas

February 2

February 4, 2016 7:30PM

Mabon (Autumnal Equinox)

March 21

March 20, 2016 2:30PM

Samhain

April 30/May 1

May 5, 2016 11:34AM

Yule (Winter Solstice)

June 21

June 21, 2016 8:34AM

Imbolc

August 1

August 7, 2016 11:54AM

Ostara (Vernal/Spring Equinox)

September 21

September 23, 2016 12:21AM

Beltaine

October 31

November 8, 2016 9:42AM

Litha (Summer Solstice)

December 21

December 21, 2016 8:44PM

** Exact dates and times are from http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2016.html - Equinox and Solstice data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington DC. Cross-Quarter moments are interpolated as the midway points between the Solstices and Equinoxes measured in degrees along the ecliptic. Former NASA scientist Rollin Gillespie uses this spatial method rather than simply splitting in half the time interval between a Solstice and an Equinox.)

The Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is a Pagan metaphor and calendar for the cycle of the seasons. It consists of eight festivals, known as sabbats, spaced at approximately even intervals throughout the year.

In many forms of Paganism, the passing of time is seen as cyclical, and is represented by a circle or wheel. The progression of birth, life, decline and death, as experienced in human lives, is echoed in the progression of the seasons. Many Pagans also see this cycle as echoing the life, death and rebirth of the God and the fertility of the Goddess.

As the Wheel originates in the Northern Hemisphere (see Introduction to the Sabbats), in the Southern Hemisphere most Pagans advance these dates six months so as to coincide with the natural seasons as they occur in their local climates. For instance, an Australian Pagan may celebrate Beltane on the 1st of November, when a Canadian Pagan is celebrating Samhain.

The Southern Wheel of the Year

Samhain

Yule

Imbolc

Ostara

Beltane

Litha

Lammas

Mabon

The Pagan Wheel of the Year turns through many significant dates and festivals. The highlights are the eight seasonal Sabbats, and the thirteen Esbats which we celebrate each Full Moon.

The Sabbats are divided into two groups. The Greater Sabbats; Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas, fall on dates that represent high energy in the season. The Lesser Sabbats; Yule, Ostara, Litha and Mabon, fall on the equinoxes and solstices, the dates of which vary slightly from year to year, and they mark the changes of the four seasons. The Greater Sabbats are also known as the "cross-quarter" days as they mark the point between the solstice and the equinox.

This seasonal cycle is one of the key ways in which we see the processes of birth, growth, death, and rebirth play themselves out, and the myth of the Wheel of the Year was created to illustrate this cycle.

There are many variations of the myth throughout the different Pagan Traditions but the underlying theme is the same, and the rituals of the Sabbats are derived from this myth. A simplified version is given below:

In midwinter, the Goddess gives birth to a son, the God, who grows to adolescence by spring. In spring, the Goddess appears to the God in a youthful form. She falls pregnant to him and grows in beauty through summer and autumn. Over the same time, the God ages and slowly dies, symbolizing winter. In the darkest time, when the days are at their shortest, the Goddess gives birth to her son, the God, whom she will again take as a lover in spring, continuing the life cycle or spiral.

In this myth the Triple Goddess goes through the changing aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The God brings forth the force of projective energy, the Spark of Life, and also the withdrawing and destructive energy of Death. The Goddess absorbs, reflects and transforms these energies. The Goddess and God are viewed as immortal and imperishable; they are the Duality of the Divine. Their different aspects are a symbolic shifting of cycles, ones we discover within ourselves, our World and throughout our own lives. This is the process that produces balance; within and without, above and below.

In spite of modern lifestyles and insulation from the natural world, we are still dependent upon the forces of nature, and contemporary Witches observe the Sabbats to establish and maintain a balance with nature. Sabbats are also a time for the Witch to look within, to reassess the life-path taken so far, and to reaffirm the directions she or he wishes to take in the future.

(There are many good books and websites which go into the different versions of the myth, meanings, symbolism and correspondences of the Sabbats in far more detail than they are presented here. This is just a brief overview of some of the main points.)

Samhain
April 30/May 1

Northern Hemisphere Date: October 31st
Also known as All Hallow's Eve, Halloween.

The Pagan year begins (and ends) with Samhain. It is a time of reflection, of looking back over the last year. This is the time when the boundary is thinnest between the worlds of living and dead; the powers of divination, the Sight, and supernatural communication are strengthened on Samhain night, and it is considered a powerful but dangerous time to communicate with lost loved ones. Pagans celebrate Samhain as an acknowledgment that without death, there can be no rebirth. At Samhain, the darkness increases and the Goddess reigns in her powerful aspect of the Crone. The God passes into the underworld to become reborn of the Goddess again at Yule. It is a time to honour those who have gone before us and it is a poignant co-incidence that Australia and New Zealand's day of Remembrance for their fallen in war, ANZAC Day on April 25, should be so close to the southern Samhain.

Find out more about Samhain from Wikipedia and All Hallow's Eve.

June 20-23

Northern Hemisphere Date: December (20-23)

Winter solstice or Yule is the shortest day, and also the longest night of the year. It marks the return of the Sun's warmth and light, and the promise once again of a productive Earth. Pagans celebrate these aspects with candles, fire, greenery and feasting. At this time, Yule logs are burned. The Yule log must traditionally be the root of a hardwood tree, and in Australia mallee roots are ideal for this purpose, as are Tasmanian oaks and all types of Eucalyptus. The Yule log is burned down until nothing but a small piece remains, which is saved and kept to be used as a lighter for the following year's Yule fire. A Yule tree is placed within the traditional Wiccan home, with a pentagram (five pointed star) at the top, symbolizing the five elements. Presents are exchanged and many Witches stay up all night to welcome the sun. This is symbolic of the Goddess giving birth to the God and then resting after her ordeal.

Find out more about Yule from Wikipedia and Midwinter's Eve: Yule.

July 31/August 1

Northern Hemisphere Date: February 2nd 
Also known as Imbolg, Candlemas, Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia and Brigid's Day.

Imbolc is the time of the beginning of beginnings, the time to consider carefully what you will do with the year stretching before you. Imbolc brings the awakening of the life force when the first green shoots of bulbs appear. Life is stirring again and this marks the Goddess recovering after giving birth while the newborn God is depicted as a small child nursing from his mother. The God is growing, spreading sunshine all around causing things to grow. It is a time to honour the feminine and get ready for spring. At lmbolc, the Australian forests are bright with the colour yellow, the Acacia trees coming into full flower. Until fairly recently, the 1st of August was "Wattle day" in Australia (it has now been moved to the 1st of September).

Find out more about Imbolc from Wikipedia and Candlemas: The Light Returns.

Ostara (Spring/Vernal Equinox)
Sept 20-23

Northern Hemisphere Date: March (20-23)
Also known as Eostre.

The Equinoxes are the balancing points in the cycle of the seasons, when the day and night are of equal length, reminding us of the harmony of the whole. Buds of flowers and leaf, all manner of eggs and just-born life are celebrated in decorations and imagery as Pagans rejoice in the Earth's reawakening. The urge of spring is to do, create and bring in the new. Here light overcomes darkness with lengthening days bringing the magic of new growth. Ostara is associated with childhood and new life, and the God and Goddess are perceived as children, personifying youth and innocence before their entry into adulthood. The Goddess, as the Maiden, covers the earth with flowers and love while the God grows to maturity. This is a time to honour the masculine and to celebrate everything that is great about being alive.

Find out more about Ostara from Wikipedia and Lady Day: The Vernal Equinox.

Beltane
Oct 31

Northern Hemisphere Date: May 1st
Also known as Bealtaine, Walpurgisnacht, May Day, (Northern Hemisphere) & Novey Eve (in Southern Hemisphere).

Beltane, the beginning of the summer months is at the November cross-quarter. This is the festival of the Great Rite - of sexual union between Goddess and God. Beltane is the spring fertility festival and there is feasting and celebration - a great festival for lovers! Beltane is the most popular time for Witches to be handfasted. This is the time when the brilliant red flowers of the Flame Trees highlight Australian forests and gardens. Our famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup, is happily coincident with southern Beltane, being run on the first Tuesday in November and taken as an unofficial holiday across Australia.

Find out more about Beltane from Wikipedia and A Celebration of May Day.

Litha (Summer Solstice)
Dec 20-23

Northern Hemisphere Date: June (20-23)
Also known as Midsummer.

This is the longest day of the year, and a time of joy and strength for the light. It is a time when the powers of nature are at their fullest. In the past this was often marked with bonfires and celebrants staying awake through the short night. To leap over the bonfire was to assure a good crop; some said the grain would grow as tall as the leapers could jump. Due to fire restrictions in Australia throughout summer, celebrations for this Sabbat tend to be quite different from those throughout the rest of the year. No candles can be lit, no cauldrons burned, and no open flames are allowed outside throughout much of the country. Litha falls in the dry stifling heat of summer in the southern part of our land, but in the north, Litha falls in the hot, wet season, and represents fruitfulness. In Australia the Sturt Desert Pea is a sacred flower of this time. This is a time of ascendancy of the God, at his most powerful now, while the burgeoning Goddess brings forth the bounty of the Earth.

Find out more about Litha from Wikipedia and A Midsummer's Celebration.

Lammas
Feb 2

Northern Hemisphere Date: August 1st 
Also known as Lughnasadh or Lunasa.

Lammas is the "cross-quarter" day marking the first harvest of early grain, where the first loaf of the bread from the harvest is broken and shared in the name of the Goddess. All crops associated with grain and of the season are sacred to this time. Much festivity is coincident with Lammas in Australia, with Australia Day being marked on January 26. It is a time to reflect on the successes of the year and to reward yourself for jobs well done. Lammas magic can be magic of facing up to change. The God gives his energy to the crops to ensure life while the Goddess, as Mother, prepares to transform into her aspect as the Crone. The God loses his strength as the days grow shorter.

Find out more about Lammas from Wikipedia.
Find out more about Lughnasadh from Wikipedia, and about both from Lammas: The First Harvest

Mabon (Autumn Equinox)
March 20-23

Northern Hemisphere Date: September (20-23)
Also known as Madron.

Mabon is a balancing point in the light and dark of the year, the day when the sun has equal hours in and out of the sky. It is also the second harvest. At this time food is prepared for storage, jams and pickles are made, and fruits are candied and preserved for the coming winter. Pagans celebrate this as a rite of Thanksgiving, a celebration of harvest abundance, an appreciation of hearth, home, and family. It is a time to reflect on what it means to be a Witch and re-affirm your commitment to the Craft. This is the time when the Goddess is mourning the God even though she carries him within her, to be born again at Yule.

Find out more about Mabon from Wikipedia and Harvest Home.

 

Quarter Days and Cross-Quarter Days

 

Ever wonder how Groundhog Day got started, why weddings were traditionally in June, or why we hold elections in the fall? The timing of present-day rituals and holidays may be based on the calendars of the ancient Celts and other cultures!

The year was divided into four major sections, called quarter days. Then, each section was divided in half, creating four cross-quarter days. Together, these made an eight-part year that reflected the natural procession of the seasons.

The Quarter Days

The days that marked the four major divisions of the year were called Quarter Days; they originally marked the solstices and equinoxes, fitting readily into the rhythm of the ways people farmed. As the 12-month Roman calendar was adopted for both civil and religious purposes, all of the Celtic days began to conform more closely with the liturgical year of the Christian church and became identified with major religious festivals.

[Editors’ note: Historians are divided as to whether the ancient Celts observed the solstices and equinoxes (what we call quarter days). Some believe that the Celts divided the year into just four major sections: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh (what we call cross-quarter days). For this article, we will assume that the ancient Celts observed all eight divisions of the year.]

March 25, Lady Day

Around the time of the spring equinox, Lady Day became the traditional day for hiring farm laborers for the planting and harvesting seasons ahead. (In the church calendar, this day became the feast of the Angel Gabriel’s annunciation to the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Christ.)

June 24, Midsummer Day

Around the time of the summer solstice, this day was the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvest. (The English church later celebrated this day as the birthday of John the Baptist, who foretold the birth of Jesus exactly six months later.)

September 29, Michaelmas

Around the time of the fall equinox, the harvest commenced on this day, and there were great fairs and festivals. This started the custom of early autumnal elections, because it was a convenient time for people to gather. Elections came to be shifted to November in the American climate, where the harvest season was more stretched out.

December 25, Christmas

This observance originated as a winter solstice festival and celebrated a time of resting and gathering fertility for a new round of sowing and reaping. The Celtic rituals merged easily with the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. Farm workers were usually paid for their year’s labor at Christmas, giving them reason to celebrate and three months’ rest before the next season.

The Cross-Quarter Days

These days marked the midpoint between a solstice and equinox. For the ancient Celts, these marked the beginning of each season, with the major two divisions being winter (Samhain), starting the dark half of the year, and summer (Beltane), starting the light half of the year.

February 2, Candlemas

Candlemas acquired its English name from the candles lit that day in churches to celebrate the presentation of the Christ Child in the temple of Jerusalem.

Originally, this day was called Imbolc (lambs’ milk) because the lambing season began. It was also called Brigantia for the Celtic female deity of light, calling attention to the Sun’s being halfway on its advance from the winter solstice to the spring equinox.

Weather and Planting

Much of this day is grounded in the seasons—estimating how soon spring-like weather will come and when to plant the crops. 

It was not held as a good omen if the day itself was bright and sunny, for that betokened snow and frost to continue to the hiring of the laborers 6 weeks later on Lady Day.
If it was cloudy and dark, warmth and rain would thaw out the fields and have them ready for planting.

Our Groundhog Day is a remote survivor of that belief. Though we recognize animal behavior isn’t always the way to judge planting dates, the tradition continues, often with a wink and a smile.

May 1, May Day

May Day, or Beltane, was the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, and marked the beginning of summer for the ancient Celts. It was a day for dance and song to hail the sown fields starting to sprout.

Beltane was a time for the pairing of young couples, though not yet their wedding, which would not come until the next Cross-Quarter Day, after three months of seeing how they suited each other.

Today’s June weddings came from this tradition; given impatience of the couple, the waiting period came to be shortened to a six-week span.

August 1, Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh was the wedding of the Sun god Lugh to the Earth goddess, causing the ripening of crops.

The church transformed it into an offering from the first fruits of the land; the first loaves baked from the new wheat were offered at the Loaf Mass, which became corrupted in pronunciation to Lammas.

October 31, Samhain

Samhain (“summer’s end”), or Halloween, marked the beginning of winter for the ancient Celts, and many historians believe that it served as the start of the new year in the Celtic calendar. It was the day when the cattle were brought in from pasture; those needed for the winter’s supply of meat would be slaughtered. Since Samhain was the death-night of the old year, it came to be associated with ghosts and graveyards. It has happier associations too, such as apple bobbing, which was a form of telling fortunes for the new year.

 

We hope you found this history interesting! It’s amazing how today’s holidays reflect the rich fabric of our past.

Source: 

The 1993 Old Farmer's Almanac (with updates)

 

BELTANE HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER & BACON DOG TREATS

YIELD: Makes 15-20 treats

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon honey

1 large egg

1/2 cup water

1 carrot, shredded

2-3 pieces cooked bacon, chopped

1 cup  oat flour or 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, processed until floury

1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven  to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, honey, egg, water, carrot and bacon and stir until well blended. Add both flours to wet mixture to form dough.

Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or lightly floured work surface to 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out with a dog bone shaped cookie cutter, or your desired shape. Place treats 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking  sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in a sealed container  or re-sealable plastic bag for up to one week, or freeze.

Enjoy!

Planetary Hours

Planetary Hours

Sunrise

Hour of Day Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1st Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
2nd Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
3rd Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
4th Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
5th Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
6th Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
7th Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
8th Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
9th Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
10th Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
11th Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
12th Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus

Sunset
Hour Of Night Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1st Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
2nd Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
3rd Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
4th Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
5th Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
6th Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
7th Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
8th Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
9th Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
10th Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
11th Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
12th Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars

 

Herbal Substitutions


Herbal Substitutions
Finding the right herb for a particular spell can be hard, but finding a substitute can be easy. Belladonna can be hard to find but Tobacco is readily available. Please check the chart below for alternative herbs that can be substituted.

I supply herbs in my store at:http://stores.clevercronescauldron.com/

ACACIA= Gum Arabic
ACACIA GUM= Gum Arabic
ACONITE= Tobacco
ARABIC GUM= Frankincense, Gum Mastic, Gum Tragacanth
(for binding wet ingredients, not for incense)
AMMONIAC GUM= Asafetida
ASAFOETIDA= Tobacco; Valerian
BALM OF GILEAD= Rose buds, Gum Mastic
BDELLIUM , GUM= Copal; Pine resin; Dragons Blood
BELLADONNA= Tobacco
BENZOIN= Gum Arabic; Gum Mastic
CACHANA= Angelica Root
CARNATION= Rose petals anointed with a few drops of clove oil
CASSIA= Cinnamon
CASTOR BEAN= A few drops of Castor Oil
CEDAR= Sandalwood
CINQUEFOIL= Clover; Trefoil
CITRON= Equal parts of Orange Peel & Lemon Peel
CLOVE= Mace, Nutmeg
CLOVER= Cinquefoil
COPAL= Frankincense; Cedar
COWBANE= Tobacco
CYPRESS= Juniper; Pine needles
DEERSTONGUE= Tonka Bean (not for internal use); Woodruff; Vanilla

DITTANY OF CRETE= Gum Mastic
DRAGONS BLOOD= Equal Parts of Red Sandalwood and Frankincense
EUCALYPTUS OIL= Camphor oil; Lavender Oil
EUPHORBIUM = Tobacco
FRANKINCENSE= Copal; Pine resin
GALANGAL= Ginger Root
GRAINS OF PARADISE= Black Pepper
GUM AMMONIAC= Asafetida
GUM BDELLIUM= Copal; Pine resin; Dragons Blood

HELLEBORE= Tobacco; Nettle
HEMLOCK = Tobacco
HEMP= Nutmeg; Damiana; Star Anise; Bay
HENBANE= Tobacco
HYSSOP= Lavender

IVY= Cinquefoil

JASMINE= Rose

JUNIPER= Pine
LAVENDER= Rose
LEMONGRASS= Lemon Peel
LEMON PEEL= Lemongrass;
LEMON VERBENA= Lemongrass; Lemon peel
MACE= Nutmeg
MANDRAKE= Tobacco
MASTIC GUM= Gum Arabic; Frankincense
MINT(any sort) = Sage
MISTLETOE= Mint; Sage
MUGWORT= Wormwood
NEROLI OIL= Orange Oil
NIGHTSHADE= Tobacco
NUTMEG= Mace; Cinnamon
OAKMOSS= Patchouli
ORANGE= Tangerine Peel
ORANGE FLOWERS= Orange Peel
PATCHOULI= Oakmoss
PEPPERMINT= Spearmint
PEPPERWORT = Rue; Grains of Paradise; Black Pepper
PINE= Juniper
PINE RESIN= Frankincense; Copal
RED SANDALWOOD= Sandalwood mixed with a pinch of Dragons Blood
ROSE= Yarrow
ROSE GERANIUM = Rose
RUE= Rosemary mixed with a pinch of black pepper
SAFFRON= Orange Peel
SANDALWOOD = Cedar
SARSAPARILLA= Sassafras
SASSAFRAS= Sarsaparilla
SPEARMINT = Peppermint
SULFUR = Tobacco; Club Moss; Asafetida
THYME = Rosemary
TOBACCO= Bay
TONKA BEAN= Vanilla
TREFOIL= Cinquefoil
VALERIAN= Asafetida
VANILLA= Woodruff; Deerstongue; Tonka Bean
VETIVERT= Calamus
WOLFSBANE = Tobacco
WOOD ALOE= Sandalwood Sprinkled with Ambergris Oil
WOODRUFF= Deerstongue; Vanilla
WORMWOOD= Mugwort
YEW = Tobacco

Remove Nasty Neighbors Spells

Bad neighbors can be a serious drain on your energy and make you wish you lived somewhere else. Using a bad neighbor spell can help encourage your neighbor to move away. I suggest you try a spell to change your neighbor's specific bad behaviors first, but if all your attempts at diplomacy have failed, a bad neighbor banishing spell is likely the only solution.

Nasty neighbours 1

Get rid of them with urine, used in many magical recipes as a cleansing agent. Clean them right out of there with:

1 pint urine
2 tablespoons salt
3 black peppercorns
3 teaspoons powdered garlic
silver filings (file a silver dime or old spoon)
1 pint May water

Reduce this to one pint. On the night of the new moon, at midnight,sprinkle this on the neighbours front doorstep. They will move soon.

If anyone tries this on your and you know what they are up to, you can wash your own doorsteps morning and night, twice a week for several weeks.

To Be Rid of Pesky Neighbours 2

(1) Take a black candle and incise the person's name on it three times, starting from the bottom so that the name "goes away" from you. Dress the candle with water, sugar or honey. Burn for 30 minutes on each of three consecutive mornings.

(2) Take a small jar. Write your neighbour's name nine times on a piece of paper and put this in the jar. Fill the jar with Four Thieves Vinegar and throw it into a river.

Another variation

Take some new salt and mix well with Four Thieves Vinegar Mix and set aside until mixture is dry. On nine different days throw some of the salt behind the "enemy" as he/she walks by. This is said to cause the party to leave the neighbourhood.

Bad Neighbours Spell 3

We have some really irritating neighbours...don't we all? Anyway, they have been hassling us a bit and just generally sending some negativity over the fence. So I wrote this spell and chanted it while I walked our property and scattered nettles along the edges:

"All evil thought, all evil done,
Go from here, be on the run.
The house is mine, both hill and glen,
And what is mine, I will defend.
Herbs of power, herbs of strength,
Aid me now, a fence of length."

Pretty simple and, so far, pretty effective. I write my spells in rhyme because one; it's "traditional" and two: it helps me remember them! And the less distracted you are by reading & remembering your place, the more focused you can be on sending your energy where you need it!

I've gone over this in here before, but one common recipie for getting jerks to move away or vacate a certain place is Hot Foot powder. This is very easily made with equal parts kosher salt, sulphur, and cayenne, which is its basic recipie. There are "meaner" ways of making this (for example the addition of rust, among other ingredients,) but just the three ingredients I'd mentioned are all you NEED.

Now, people don't seem too confused on the making of Hot Foot powder, but how in the eff it is properly used seems to sort of baffle some people, so let's go over a few easy ways you might employ this powder to get someone to move out:

1.) Sprinkled beneath dust mat outside of target's front door - using nine "sprinkles," sprinkle the powder in an equal armed X shape while saying "(Name of Target) leave this property forever!" (or something similar,) nine times. If your target is an entire family use the family name instead of the individual names of the targets - for example, "Smith family, leave this property immediately!" or "John Q Smith and family, move from this property immediately!"

2.) Sprinkled where the target(s) will walk over it (ie in the target's path.) To do this, one should make "wavy lines" (I personally just more or less spinkle the powder and it makes wavy-ish lines,) in an odd number in a spot where the target must walk - a common place for this is actually in front of the driver's side of the wouldbe-target's car - and say the command 9 times (ie "John Q Smith, move far from this place immediately," etc.)

3.) Dusted lightly on an area the target will touch. This is generally sprinkled on door knobs, handles, or other surfaces you can reasonably assume the target must come in contact with, and as you sprinkle it, of course, say the command, for example "John Q Smith, leave this place immediately!"

Another "Get the hell away from me" recipie that is both common and useful is Four Theives Vinegar, which is generally red wine vinegar (about the size of the vinegar jar you buy is fine,) 3 or so garlic cloves mashed up...and here is where recipies differ. I know some people use salt, peppercorns, etc... My personal recipie (or at least that passed down to me,) is red wine vinegar, about 3 garlic cloves mashed up, and then some rosemary, sage, and optional, but good, some rue. People get very hung up on the "how much do I add," thing...while I actually don't use a measure, it looks like about 2 tbsp of each herb.

2 ways to use Four Theives:

1.) Wash down your front doorstep with this mixture if you don't want company. One word of advice, though, it smells like salad dressing, so if you don't want your porch to smell like a pasta salad for a little bit, then this might not be what you're looking for.

2.) Write your target's name on a slip of paper, place this into a small vial, fill with four theives vinegar and throw into a river to make your enemy leave you be. Generally, you say the command while you fill the vial with vinegar, (for example, "John Q Smith, move far far away from this place now," and sometimes cussing is added, so for example "John Q Smith, you horrible jackass, get the f*** out of this place, and move far far away forever!") and then when you throw the vial into the river, you also call the command out after it.

I have also known people to burn a hot foot candle (get a seven day red candle, poke 5 holes into the top part where the wax is exposed, and then pour a few drops of hot foot oil - mineral oil + hot foot powder ingredients - into the holes) on a name paper made out with the target's name written nine times (check the Questions You've Asked Me Archives for how to write out a name paper,) with the command "Move away now," written across their name, and have taken the name paper, placed this in a jar/bottle and filled with four theives vinegar, which is then thrown into moving water like a river. :) Wow, that was one loooong run on sentence for you to ingest.