May, 2011

Merry May!!!

May, 2011

A wonderful and safe holiday to you all.  I hope you had good travels around your maypoles!!!

In this issue we have:

A review of Kami McBride’s The herbal kitchen

This month’s herb is the wonderful Dandelion which is in abundance this time of year!

Plus all of your favorite columns, advice, correspondences, and recipes.

We hope you enjoy this issue!!

GlitteryBlessingsandLove

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Wiccan Basics

May, 2011

Smudging

Smudging is the burning of certain herbs to create a cleansing smoke, which is used to purify people, ceremonial and ritual space, and ceremonial tools and objects. There are different ceremonies and rituals that can be done.

The burning of herbs or incense is a practice held sacred by many indigenous cultures. It is a ritual for cleansing, purifying and protecting the physical and spiritual bodies. The effect of the smoke is to banish negative energies.

Many differing cultures and peoples have their own methods and herbal mixtures for this purpose. Smudging, done correctly, can bring physical, spiritual and emotional balance.

The term Smudging originated in the Native American culture. Native American Indians use a variety of smudging mixtures. In olden times, the end of the smudge stick or braid was lit from the central or cooking fire.

Not everyone views the practice of smudging in the same way and different herbs may be used for different purposes.

You can use a censor with powdered herb, cone or stick incense.

Blessing until next Month

S.Dunham

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The Kitchen Witch

May, 2011

The Kitchen Altar

The kitchen in most houses is the centre of the home, a place of power.

Having an altar in your kitchen gives you a focal point to connect with, it is a reminder that your kitchen is a sacred and powerful place.  It says that you have an ability to nourish yourself, your family and also connects you to the divine.

And I never need an excuse to create a new altar in my house!

Each and every altar will be different and will be tailored to your own personality and the space and money you have available.  It doesn’t need to be large, costly or grand.  Have fun with it, make it your own, allow your inner child to come out and play with it.

So what do you put on it?

Well, a good starting place is a statue or representation of a goddess or god, one that connects as a kitchen deity would work well.   If no one particular kitchen deity springs to mind, do some research or meditation and see what comes up.  Your kitchen will become a place to honour that deity and they in turn will honour you and your kitchen creations!

Once you decide upon the deity, find a statue or something that represents her/him.  It can be a likeness or you could make your own if you are handy with clay or papier mache, or even something created out of natural items – twigs or fabric.  The other alternative is to find a picture on the internet and print it off, although you might like to laminate it to keep it clean or pop it in a photo frame.

It also doesn’t have to be a human representation, it could be  a dragon or an animal, the choice is yours!

Placement of your altar is up to you, but will ultimately be where you have the space and a safe place away from direct flames, and where it won’t be knocked over or bumped into.

My own kitchen altar is a small green man that has a flat top making it into a small shelf so he hangs on the wall above the sink.  I have representations of the four elements on it and a tiny vase that I put fresh flowers in.

The other items you put on it are your choice, I chose to represent the elements but it is entirely up to you.  It could include items that represent you, it can also have seasonal decorations, pentacles, herbs and pictures.

Candles are good, they represent air and reminds us of the hearth.  Food works too, I sometimes put a couple of nuts on my altar for prosperity, if you use perishable items remember to replace them regularly.   Items from nature work too – shells for water, pebbles for earth, crystals (I have a piece of goldstone to represent fire).  Seasonal flowers and herbs also look good.

To keep with the kitchen witch theme you could also put a tiny cauldron on your altar, and even tiny household utensils, dolls house furniture is excellent for this.

I have an incense holder in my kitchen that not only works to put me in a particular mood but also works as an air freshener after I have been cooking.

Don’t forget to bless and consecrate your items as you place them on the altar, to add to sacred space you have created.

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An Oak’s Dream

May, 2011

when walking in the park

i stooped to pick an acorn from the grass

and knew that, there, within my hand

i held the souls of every oak

which ever lived.

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Enchanting Eats

May, 2011

Beltane, or May Day, is the time to release your inner Pan. Cut loose! Revel in your innocent gaiety. Take pleasure in the senses. Fertility and the Great Rite are the focus here. The God and Goddess join together, as well as many of our animal brothers and sisters.

We can honor this union through foods that resemble the phallus and vulva. Try items such as bread and pretzel sticks, bagels, doughnuts, rigatoni, tortellini, etc. Cookies, breads, and crackers can be shaped into representations as realistic as you deem appropriate, although simple ovals and rectangles will suffice.

Nature also provides symbols through bananas, peaches, asparagus, oysters, walnut halves, zucchini, and cucumbers. Foods known to be aphrodisiacs are also appropriate, including avocado, figs, pineapple, and chocolate. Of course, fertility foods, especially milk, eggs, and honey, are a great addition.

The recipe I’d like to share today combines a nod to the tradition of leaping over the Beltane fire as well as the male genitalia, while using foods that honor procreation. Last year I heard a wonderful joke, which shared a wise proverb for the men: Never leap over the bale fire sky-clad…unless you want roasted nuts.

Roasted Beltane Nuts

1.             Preheat oven to 325.

2.             In a large bowl, combine 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.

3.             Smash 1 garlic clove and heat over medium in a skillet along with ¼ cup honey. Stir in ¾ tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot!). Remove garlic clove.

4.             Stir in 4 cups roasted, unsalted nuts. Any nuts will do; pick your favorite. Or use almonds, pine nuts, and/or walnuts for a double wammy. Toss well to coat.

5.             Spread nuts in a single layer on a sprayed sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

6.             Let cool slightly. Toss with sugar and salt mixture. Let cool completely before eating.

Notes: If avoiding nuts, swap in chickpeas! Just drain, rinse, and pat dry. Roast at 350 for about 45 minutes or until crunchy. Jiggle the pan every few minutes so they brown evenly and do not burn. Then follow the steps above.

Enjoy & Blessed Be!

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Aramid’s Cauldron

May, 2011

While everyone is busy working to use more holistic recipes into their family’s diets, a lot of times we forget about our four legged friends. Here is just one of the recipes I personally feed my dogs, and their vet says it has really done wonders for them.

Turkey Special Recipe

Ingredients

•1 lb. ground turkey

•6 c. water

•2 c. brown rice

•1/2 c. of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflowers.

•1 t. dried rosemary

Place the water, ground turkey, rice, and rosemary into a large saucepan. Stir until the turkey is broken up and evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes, before adding the frozen vegetables and cooking for an additional 5 minutes.

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Stones Corner

May, 2011

Bronze

An alloy of copper and tin which has its own identity.  A deep impact on the bones, blood and cell level is felt as imbalance  reduced.  Its graceful shine promotes the inner rhythms necessary for healing and alignment.  Works on all the chakras. 

Calcite

Lime green: tranquility, soothes spiritual heart; helps us learn from lessons in each situation and new options.  Clarifies visions, imagery. Astral travel and recall.  Helps us replace fears, old ways with healthier ones.  Cleans toxins and fumes from body.  Needs cleansing if sticky.  Yellow: Spine , bones. Detoxification of kidneys, pancreas spleen.  Decalcifying joints,.  Clear: Clearer vision and communication, wellness, general cleaning.  Blue eases pain especially back.  Orange uplifting, joy, happiness,humor.  Clear used for contemplation during meditation.  Pink for calming, centering  and grounding used in love rituals.  Blue is for healing or purification.  green draws money and prosperity to household.  Orange is protective and lends energy to the body when held.  With white energy and thought is amplified.  It improves memory and augments astral travel. 

Cape Amethyst

Inner alignment.  This seems to balance the inner bodies emotional, spiritual, etc… as well as provide more energy.  Also good for arthritis wrap strands around aching joint.

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Me,Myself and I, Notes from a Solitary Practitioner

May, 2011

When things are going well in life it seems somehow easier to forget the practice’s we follow.  For the past few year’s I have tried to be thankful on a daily basis and have used a ritual from The Craft Companion by Dorothy Morrison:

Light a white candle and incense and say the following:

I give you thanks for all you do

For obstacles and smooth roads too

For challenges that make me grow

And all the pleasant things that show

That you are looking aftr me

I thank you Ancients Blessed Be!

Then a few months ago I decided to write and implement my own Thanksgiving ritual also:

Wise all knowing God and Goddess

I try to walk the path just as I should

And as I come to you when things are bad

I come now when things are good

I give to you my hertfelt thanks

That things in life are going right

And I also come to ask you

Keep me in your protective light

Now things are falling into place, and even some ahead

But the swiftness with which the bad can come

Is the change I truly dread

I thank you for the joy life brings

And it’s beauty every day

I’m asking in this circle now

For things to stay this way

So please surround and shield us all

From the harm of negativity

As always I’m your Wiccan child

Tis my will so mote it be

The awesome thing about a thanksgiving ritual is that it keeps us focused on the positive, and that set’s us up to continue to attract the positive.  As time has passed since I started using these the negative seems to visit far less often and the little things that remind me of whats good are so much easier to see!

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WitchCrafts

May, 2011

At this time of year with Earth Day having just passed, and Beltane being here our thoughts turn to our gardens and the Earth Mother.  In that spirit I would like to share this with all of you.

The Great Sunflower project is an organization that I first heard about and began following 3 years ago.  Due to the colony collapse of the honey bee, and the resulting damage to crops from the loss of pollinators, this is a project that’s not only fun it serves an awesome purpose.

For 2011 they have started the “Add a yard to your yard” campaign.  The way it works is you set aside a 36″x36″  section to make a pollinator garden.  It has to be a sunny spot with a water source nearby.  They state that you should use Lemon Queen sunflowers and the other plants they recommend by name are California Poppies, Tropical Sunset Echinacea, Bee Balm, Cosmos, Cornflowers, and White Borage.  They also used carrots and radishes that they let go to seed.  Group similar plants together because pollinators are attracted to clusters.

In my past attempts to attract pollinators I have found that the boxes of wildflower mix that you pick up for a couple of bucks work really well, especially hummingbird and butterfly blends.  Butterflies will congregate around pie pans , or other shallow containers, with sand and a little water in the bottom to drink from.  I have also had great results with petunia’s and morning glories.

This is a project that can’t go wrong.  The end result is beautification and a closer relationship with the earth and thats never a bad thing.  For more info check out their web site greatsunflower.org, they have links to sites for seeds, native pollinators, etc.  I have been a big fan of these guys for a while now and I hope that now they will pick up a few more!!  Have a blessed Beltane!!!!!

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Interweavings

May, 2011

Mother’s Day for the Great Mother

May is full of flowers and the promise of  growth and abundance. How fitting that we honor mothers during this month. No matter your relationship with your earthly mother, it is a time to honor and celebrate the Divine Mother.

The energy and movement of spring cleaning is the perfect start to the growth cycle we are moving toward. Goodness knows the domestic queens in print and on television are on us to sweep the winter out of our homes. And it is exactly that visualization we on the eclectic path can use.

As we use our tools of choice, be they handmade brooms or dust busters,  we stir up the dormant energy that settles in our homes as well as our bodies. Moving the energy and touching the items in our homes we love brings gratitude into the labor. Now we are blessing our surroundings and inviting the Divine to fill every corner. Now we are ready for Mother’s Day!

Fill the space with the new growth of plants. Pots of herbs and flowers as well as cut flowers are bright and cheery and fitting for the Divine Mother. How easily we can create an altar with dyed eggs and bunnies as well as festive food. In our southern neighborhood we fit right in with the friends who celebrate Easter.

Food, friends and family are the blessings of our Divive Mother. How lovely to celebrate together in the newness of life!

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