Eight Yule Season Celebration Ideas

Yule Season Celebration Ideas

While Samhain is the New Year for Wiccans, Yule is the New Year in the Druid tradition. My partner is Druid, and the solar new year works well for me, so we celebrate Yule as the last Sabbat in the Wheel of the Year. Below you will find a list of ideas for solitaries, partners, covens, and witch families that I hope will add a little variety to your Yule celebrations. Remember that Yule is a six week long season, not just one day! Please feel free to post suggestions in the comments, and have a beautiful Yuletide, friends.

1. DIY Garlands: Decking the halls with garlands is a fun way to decorate for the Yule season without spending a lot of money. Garlands that are made with food items can be placed outside after Yule as offerings, as well as for animals. Outdoor food offerings in winter are just as important as outdoor water offerings are in summer (I’m looking at my fellow Floridian witches). Make garlands out of cranberries, popcorn, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Garlands made from fresh ingredients should be checked for mold, but shouldn’t attract critters unless you make a chocolate bonbon garland.

2. Enchanted Ornaments: There’s a craft that I’ve been wanting to do for years that I never get around to, and it’s making witchy ornaments. This year, it’s finally happening. Specifically, I got clear plastic ball ornaments (because I will drop them) and before our coven’s Yule ritual we are going to fill them with various herbs and crystals with specific correspondences. These would make awesome coven gifts, too, and could be tailored to the recipients by addings names, symbols, or sigils with paint markers. These fillable ornaments are widely available online, and are available in many sizes as well. Update: My directions are available on the site now.

3. Handmade Snow Globes: A fun Yule craft is making your own snow globes; this craft can be done with witchlings too, provided they are old enough and/or responsible enough. All you need are jars, fillers (small plastic toys, tumbled crystals, or anything that’s small and won’t dissolve in water), glitter or fake snow, aquarium glue or E6000, and water. Using waterproof glue, affix items to the inside of the lid of the jar – that will be the bottom of your snow globe – to form a scene, and let dry completely. Add glitter, fake snow, snowflake confetti, or whatever you want floating around, to the bottom of the jar, and fill partially with water. Test with the lid to see how much water your items displace, then glue the lid to the jar with waterproof glue and let dry. Once it’s dry, flip the jar over, and you have a beautiful, handmade snowglobe. You can even write the year on it and make it an annual tradition in your household.

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Eight More Samhain Season Celebration Ideas

It’s that time in the Wheel of the Year again, Samhain, an easy favorite amongst witches. Last year I posted my list of Eight Samhain Sabbat Celebration Ideas and this year I’m back with eight more. There are ideas for solitaries, pairs, families, and covens, as well as many that would work with multiple configurations. Some require a little preparation or shopping, so I wanted to post them early enough that you can incorporate them into your Samhain preparation. Remember, though, Samhain is a six week long season and not just one day! I must confess that the season gets cut off Thanksgiving week for me, so I start my Samhain celebration a bit early.

1. Pagan Pumpkins: I saw the pumpkin craft idea pictured above (by Terri Foss) about a year ago, and instantly I wanted to make one of my own. You can easily reproduce this craft with a natural or artificial white pumpkin, and a fine-tipped permanent marker. Decoration ideas include sigils, astrological symbols, moons and stars (like above), pentacles, or other Samhain-themed art. Black pumpkins are available at craft stores and can be decorated with a silver marker, which would also look great. If you use an artificial pumpkin this could end up part of your permanent Samhain decoration stash. This would be a really cool way to decorate a LED candle, too.

2. Tarot Reading: I recommended doing divination last year, but I found the tarot spread to the left (click to view larger) that utilizes the theme of ‘as above, so below’. This is especially important on Samhain when the veil between worlds thins. The website, Fox and Feather Tarot, is defunct, but they have an Etsy store. If you’re looking for a more involved tarot reading to do on Samhain this one works well.

A variation of this tarot spread that I would use is: 1. Release, 2. Embrace, 3. Weaknesses, 4. Strengths, 5. Path Forward. You could do this as a general advice reading, or for something more specific.

3. Homemade Treats: There’s nothing quite as special as handmade treats, with candied apples being particularly fun for the sabbat. I’ve seen people make very creepy candied apples with grape Jolly Ranchers or food coloring, but caramel also works. A simple candied apple recipe can be found here. Just be sure to use a candy thermometer since molten sugar will seriously burn you. Making candy is for badasses only! I would not let even the most responsible child near this activity, so involve little goblins at your own rick. For an extra Samhain bump, set one non-candied apple outside as an offering.

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New Moon October 19th 2017 in Libra

The October 2017 New Moon in Libra occurs at 3:12 PM EST on Thursday, October 19th, which is when the Moon also goes void-of-course (thanks, Moon). The Moon then enters Scorpio at 9:41 PM that same day. The good news is that the Moon is in Libra all day Wednesday October 18th, and it enters Libra at 1:35 PM on Tuesday October 17th. This information is also detailed in my Cosmic Concerns: October 2017 post if you’d like to see this information as a list.

That means you can do your New Moon ritual after 1:35 PM on the 17th, any time on the 18th, or before 3:12 PM on the 19th. For charging, you can leave items out on the night or either the 17th or the 18th, but if you wait until the night of the 19th they will be charged with Scorpio energy, rather than Libra energy.

The two week manifestation point for this New Moon is on Saturday, November 4th with the New Moon in Taurus. The six month manifestation point is on Sunday, March 31st 2018 with the Full Moon in Libra. The March 2018 Full Moon in Libra will actually be a Blue Moon, which is the name for the second Full Moon in a calendar month.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to New Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

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A Witch’s Guide to New Moon Magick

This post is meant to be used as a companion to my New Moon posts. Additionally, I wrote a Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick post. Hopefully, with these posts combined, you’ll have the tools you need to conduct your esbats. Witchcraft is very personal, so pick and choose things that you like to do, test it out, change it, and find something that works for your Craft.

What is New Moon Magick?

A New Moon, in the literal sense, is the phase in the moon’s orbit around the Earth wherein the moon is ‘invisible’ to us here on the planet. This is because the Earth is blocking the light from the Sun from reflecting off of the Moon as it normally does. The moon will appear dark during the New Moon, which occurs every 28 days.

Magickally speaking, New Moons are used for setting intentions with a manifestation point at the next Full Moon which happens about two weeks later. Also, and way more importantly, there is a second, larger manifestation at the Full Moon that happens around six months (six lunations) later in the same sign. For example, if the New Moon is in Scorpio, there will be a Full Moon in two weeks in a different sign, and six months later there will be a Full Moon in Scorpio that completes the lunar cycle.

The New Moons is an opportunity to set intentions and put into action things that really matter, and that you truly feel are beneficial to you as a person. Also, since the cycle won’t be complete for six months, I believe it’s important to do a little divination as well.

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Full Moon October 5th 2017 in Aries

October’s Full Moon is on Thursday, October 5th at 2:40 PM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on March 27th 2017 with the New Moon in Aries. The Moon moves into Aries at 4:40 PM on Wednesday October 4th, and exits Aries at 6:38 PM on Friday October 6th. This information is also available in list form in my Cosmic Concerns: October 2017 post.

I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual any time between October 4th at 4:40 PM  and October 6th at 6:38 PM to work with that Aries energy. To charge items, they should sit out on either the night of the 4th or the 5th.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

About October’s Full Moon

There are many names for October’s Full Moon, but the most common is the Hunter’s Moon. Other names are the Travel Moon, Blood Moon, and Dying Moon. Hunter’s Moon is the Native American name for this Moon, since it is a time for hunting game in preparation for winter. In the pagan tradition it’s called a Blood Moon because this was the traditional time of year that animals would be slaughtered before the winter comes (specifically Samhain, the third harvest festival). That’s because people used to have to choose which animals would stay inside with them during the winter, and there was no way to bring the whole flock inside. Luckily this is a thing of the past!

The October 2017 Full Moon is also a Harvest Moon; a lot of a great information on the Harvest Moon can be found on the Farmer’s Almanac site. The message of this Full Moon is that it’s time to turn inward and start your preparations for winter.

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A Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick

I’ve been writing Full and New Moon rituals for witches for over a year, but I have also been wanting to change how I write them for just as long. A lot of Full Moon and New Moon rituals that I write have a lot of the same components to them and, because of that, I’ve decided to take the framework I use and make a basic Full Moon Esbat that can be used any time. Witchcraft is very personal, so pick and choose things that you like to do, test it out, change it, and find something that works for your Craft.

What is Full Moon Magick?

A Full Moon ends a lunar cycle that last roughly six months (aka lunations) long. A New Moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle and each New Moon occurs in a specific sign of the zodiac. Two weeks after that New Moon there is a Full Moon in a different sign, but six lunations (months) after that there is a Full Moon in the same sign as the original New Moon. That Full Moon is the end of that lunar cycle. While New Moons are used for setting intentions, Full Moon are manifestation points. Full Moons are an excellent time for cleansing, charging, reflection, and spell work, all of which will be explained in more detail below.

Be aware that a lot of people do Moon work without being witches at all. Ezzie Spencer’s Lunar Abundance practice has nothing to do with witchcraft and is closer to The Secret. This guide, and all of my Moon Magick posts, are based on my own practice of witchcraft; while they can probably be used by anyone, they are designed specifically for witches. Hopefully, this guide can be used by any denomination of witch, but if anything feels like I’m excluding anyone, please leave a comment and I will do my best to remedy it.

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New Moon July 23rd 2017 in Leo

The July 2017 New Moon in Leo occurs at 5:46 AM EST on Sunday July 23rd, and your New Moon ritual can be done anytime after 5:46 AM on the 23rd and all day Monday the 24th.

On Sunday the 25th the Moon goes void-of-course at 2:44 PM then enters Leo at 6:06 PM, but your New Moon ritual should be performed before then, ideally. A lot of other planets are in Cancer for this Moon as well, so expect a big wave a Cancer energy coming.

New Moons are used for setting intentions with a manifestation point at the next Full Moon which happens in about two weeks, August 7th for this New Moon. Also, and way more importantly, there is a second, larger manifestation at the Full Moon that happens around six months later in the same sign. For this New Moon its six month Full Moon will happen on January 31st 2018.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to New Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

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Full Moon July 9th 2017 in Capricorn

July 2017’s Full Moon in Capricorn has several times at which you can observe it. However, since it occurs at 12:07 AM EST on July 9th, it means that it may be technically on the 8th for some readers. Personally, I recommend doing your Full Moon charge on the night of the 8th because of this. The Moon enters Capricorn at 1:45 PM EST on July 7th, then stays in Capricorn until 10:12 PM on the 9th when it goes void-of-course. In short, your charge can be done on the night of the 7th or the 8th of July, but not the 9th.

This Full Moon ends the cycle that began with the New Moon in Capricorn on December 29th 2016.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

About July’s Full Moon

There are multiple names for July’s Full Moon, but the most common is the Thunder Moon. Other names are the Blessing Moon and Full Buck Moon. Thunder Moon comes from the prevalence of thunderstorms this time of year, which is absolutely accurate to me. Full Buck Moon is from the antlers which are now growing on male deer. Blessing Moon is part of the pagan tradition, this is the Moon before Lammas, the first of three harvest festivals. The message of this Full Moon is one of reflecting on what has gone well this year, ‘counting your blessings’ so to speak, and preparing for the harvest ahead.

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Witchcraft Basics: How to Cleanse a Space

Woman Surrounded by Smoke

This guide covers a witchcraft basic: how to cleanse the energy in a space. I created this because a lot of witchcraft writers, myself included, will say “cleanse your space” as though everyone knows exactly what that means. The truth of the matter is that, when you’re a new witch, you have no idea what that looks like! Intermediate and advanced witches will likely not find this guide helpful, but there are a lot of witches who are just starting out who I hope will benefit.

This is my own advice based on my own experiences and practice of witchcraft. There are three basic types of cleansing magick that I cover here: smoke, smokeless, and tool cleansing. I recommend cleansing the home or living space once every lunar cycle on the Full Moon. Cleansing can also be used after a negative energy event, like a fight or illness, or just when you feel that the energy could use a scrub.

Smoke Cleansing

Smoke cleansing is typically referred to as ‘smudging’, though that term has fallen out of favor as it references a specific Native American ritual. That’s a whole debate, however, with some saying that anyone is welcome to smudge who respects to practice, and others saying no do not call it smudging ever. I like to err on the side of caution and call it ‘smoke cleansing’ to be respectful.

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New Moon June 23rd 2017 in Cancer

June’s New Moon in Cancer occurs at 10:31 PM EST on Friday the 23rd, and you can do your New Moon ritual on either the night of Thursday the 22nd, Friday the 23rd, or Saturday the 24th at any time. Compared to other New Moons this year, we have a ton of time this go round. On Sunday the 25th the Moon goes void-of-course at 2:44 PM then enters Leo at 6:06 PM, but your New Moon ritual should be performed before then, ideally. A lot of other planets are in Cancer for this Moon as well, so expect a big wave a Cancer energy coming. All of this information is available in list form in my June 2017 Cosmic Concerns post. The manifestation point for this New Moon is on January 2nd 2018.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to New Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

New Moon in Cancer

Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiac, a cardinal sign, a Water sign, and ruled by the Moon. Cancer is very centered in the home and on family. Being ruled by the Moon it’s not surprising that Cancer is a very emotional sign and they are very open emotionally; they can also hold on to slights because of this or retreat into themselves. As a cardinal sign, Cancer is good at getting stuff moving. A Cancer can be moody, and would often rather go around than through, but they are also affectionate and loving. They tend to be homebodies, but are attracted to big personalities.

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Full Moon June 9th 2017 in Sagittarius

June’s Full Moon in Sagittarius is giving us a break from the 2017 Moon times roller coaster with an entirely convenient range of times in which to observe it. The Full Moon occurs at 9:10 AM EST on Friday, June 9th, but you can also do your ritual on the evening of the 8th since the Moon is in Sagittarius all day. The Moon stays in Sagittarius until 2:20 AM on the 10th, so if you are charging your crystals you should do so on the night of the 8th.

I highly recommend doing your Full Moon ritual either on the evening of Thursday the 8th or Friday the 9th while the Moon is in Sagittarius, the correct sign to end this six month cycle that started with the New Moon in Sagittarius on November 29th 2016. If you charge items overnight on the 9th the Moon will go void-of-course at 2:20 AM only to move into Capricorn at 7:36 AM. For charging the evening of the 8th works best, and that’s when I’m doing my full ritual, just to keep things simple. If you charge on the 8th but want to wait until the evening of the 9th, after Jupiter has gone direct, that works as well considering that Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter. Do what works best for you and your schedule.

About June’s Full Moon

There are multiple names for May’s Full Moon, but the most common is the Strawberry Moon. Other names are the Rose Moon, Hot Moon, Honey Moon, and Strong Sun Moon. Strawberry Moon comes from Algonquin tribes because it’s a time to gather strawberries. The Rose Moon has similar origins, though modern flowers have been altered to bloom at many times, traditionally roses bloom in late May to early July. Honey Moon is where honeymoon originates from, this is because June was considered a traditional month to wed. In the Pagan tradition, the Beltane season belong to the Lord and Lady of May and represents the cosmic marriage that brings about life; because of this it is traditional to marry once the Beltane season ends out of respect. Strong Sun Moon and Hot Moon make total sense, especially since I live in Florida, where we are being steam cooked every time we leave the house by a combination of heat and humidity. The message of this Full Moon is one of fertility and coaxing your projects into bloom.

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Eight Beltane Season Celebration Ideas

The Beltane season is upon us! Whether you celebrate on May Day Eve (April 30th) or May Day (May 1st) the light half of the year has officially begun. Beltane is generally treated as a fertility festival with a heavy emphasis on sexuality. That’s not my interest in this Sabbat, however. In fact, fertility in the traditional sense is about the last thing that this Pagan couple wants. Additionally, I wanted to come up with a list that works for families with kids and LGBTQ folks who (must) feel excluded from traditionally hetero/Wiccan celebrations, especially Beltane. Witchcraft and paganism is for everyone folks, not just heterosexuals. I know a lot of people celebrate Beltane without the kids, as well, but we try to include them in some type of seasonal activity for every Sabbat.

Regardless of how you choose to observe the Sabbats, below are eight ideas for Beltane celebrations to add to your seasonal activities, be they solitary, in pairs, with kids, in a coven, or conducted from inside the “broom closet.” Remember that Beltane is a season and not just one day; these activities can be done any time in the six weeks between Beltane and Midsummer.

1. Ancestor Work: When you think of ancestor work you are probably going to think of Samhain. However, in the southern hemisphere, Beltane is Samhain. The veil is just as thin on Beltane as it is on Samhain, and each kicks off their respective halves of the year (Beltane for light and Samhain for dark). Because of this you can still communicate with the departed, ask for their blessing, or give them an offering. It’s a nice time to check in and update your ancestors on how you’ve been doing over the last six months. One way to do this is to write them a letter, address the envelope with their name(s), and then burn it in your cauldron or a fire safe container. Offerings to the deceased are traditionally burned as burning items releases it into the ether.

2. Aromatherapy: When you live in a place where the seasons don’t change much, using seasonal fragrances can make it feel like the Wheel of the Year is still turning. We aren’t super strict about it, but generally lavender is a spring/Imbolc scent whereas patchouli is used in the fall/Samhain season. Some suggested scents for Beltane include gardenia, honeysuckle, jasmine, lilac, lily, rose, and any other floral that you enjoy.

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Full Moon May 10th 2017 in Scorpio

Many of the Full and New Moon dates for 2017 are tricky this year, with a lot of them occurring very early or late at night, and switching signs by the following evening. May’s Full Moon is one of those. While a lot of people will surely report that it’s on the 10th, which it technically is, by the evening of the 10th it’s in another sign.

I highly recommend doing your Full Moon ritual either on the evening of Tuesday the 9th or before sunset on Wednesday the 10th while the Moon is in Scorpio, the correct sign to end this six month cycle that started with the New Moon in Scorpio on October 30th 2016. The Full Moon is technically at 5:42 PM EST on the 10th, but the Moon goes void-of-course at precisely the same time and stays void until 12:59 PM EST on the 11th when it moves into Sagittarius. If you wait until the evening of the 11th to charge your items and/or perform your ritual you will have Sagittarius energy and if you wait until after sunset on the 10th you’ll have void energy. The evening of Tuesday May 9th will work because the Moon has moved into Scorpio by that point. Basically, you can do May 2017’s Full Moon either on the evening of Tuesday the 9th or before 5:42 PM EST on Wednesday the 10th.

About May’s Full Moon

There are multiple names for May’s Full Moon, but the most common by far is the Flower Moon. Other names are the Corn Planting Moon and Milk Moon. The Flower Moon has fairly obvious origins; after all, April showers bring May flowers! May is the season of flowers and it only makes sense that May’s Moon would bear that name. Additionally, May is the month of Beltane, the pagan Sabbat honoring the goddess Flora. It was also called the Milk Moon as this was the time that cows would be giving milk. The message of this Full Moon is one of fertility and coaxing your projects into bloom.

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Full Moon April 10th 2017 in Libra

Many of the Full and New Moon dates for 2017 are tricky this year, with a lot of them occurring very late at night, and switching signs by the following evening. April’s Full Moon is one of those. While a lot of people will surely report that it’s on the 11th, which it technically is, by the evening of the 11th it’s in another sign.

I highly recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on the night of Monday the 10th while the Moon is in Libra, the correct sign to end this six month cycle that started with the New Moon in Libra on October 1st 2016. The Full Moon is technically at 2:08 AM EST on the 11th, but I’ll be in bed by then. Are you a night owl? Go for it. The Moon then goes void-of-course at 2:19 PM EST on the 11th and stays void until 6:42 PM EST when it moves into Scorpio. Different energy alert! If you wait until the evening of the 11th to charge your items and/or perform your ritual you will have Scorpio energy and miss out on the balanced energy of Libra, which is so important during Ostara’s season.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

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Full Moon January 12th 2017 in Cancer/Leo

Okay, so it’s 2017 and I’m dropping the ball already. My first Full Moon Magick post of the year is late! I already got up on my soapbox to talk about this, but here goes again: A lot of people are posting that this Full Moon on the night of the 12th is in Cancer and it’s not, it’s in Leo … but it’s also not in Leo. What’s happening? Allow me to explain.

On January 11th 2017 the Moon was in Cancer, and it stayed in Cancer until January 12th at 6:34 AM EST when it went void-of-course. That means it’s not in any sign. That was also the precise moment that the Moon became Full. The Moon stayed v/c until 7:08 PM when it entered Leo, which it will stay in until 10:17 AM EST on Saturday the 14th. Anyone saying the Moon is in Cancer on the evening of the 12th is mistaken because, if you do your ritual on the night of the 12th, the Moon is in Leo. Unless you did your Moon ritual a day early (before it’s even full) or very early in the morning on the 12th (the astrologically best option), you’re on the wrong side of the cycle. The New Moon in Cancer on July 4, 2016 was the beginning of the Moon cycle that ended at this Full Moon. You cannot have a Moon cycle start in one sign and end in another, ever. So yes, the Full Moon was technically in Cancer on the morning of the 12th … but if you waited until the evening (which everyone does) it’s in Leo.

Arg! What a fun way to start the new year, right?

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Full Moon December 13th 2016 in Gemini

Gemini Constellation

Tuesday, December 13th 2016 is the Full Moon in Gemini, which the Moon enters at 7:06 PM EST that evening. The Moon leaves Gemini at 12:58 AM EST on Wednesday the 14th, so you should do your Full Moon charging on the evening of the 13th for that twinning energy. (That’s that I’m doing.) On Wednesday morning the Moon then enters Cancer at 7:09 AM, so if you charge on Wednesday night, you’re not getting Gemini energy, you’re getting Cancer energy.

To put it simply, do your Full Moon ritual after 7:06 PM EST the night of Tuesday the 13th, but before midnight. December’s Full Moon is the final of three supermoons in 2016, where the Moon appears to be both brighter and larger. 

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

About December’s Moon

There are many names for December’s Full Moon, but the two most common are the Long Nights Moon and the Cold Moon. Native Americans called it the Cold Moon for obvious reasons; the December Full Moon shines down on some frosty weather. Additionally, some Native American tribes called it the Long Nights Moon because it’s the time of the year when the night is the longest.  Regardless of what you call it, the meaning of the December Moon is clear: winter is here, and we must endure it.

With winter in full force this is a time of rest for many people, staying indoors with family to escape the snow, being snowed in and missing school, I hear that snow tires are a thing … curious. In Florida, where I live, the skies get gray is murky, and occasionally it gets down to around 50 degrees F and we all turn on our heaters.

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Muggle-Friendly Holiday Cards for Witches and Pagans

Yule is one of the Sabbats that blends almost seamlessly with its Christian holiday equivalent: Christmas. Christians have appropriated so many pagan things from Yule, but left them so relatively unchanged that even your Catholic mother-in-law won’t suspect a thing. The noticeable exceptions to this rule are the date (Yule is the 21st, four days before Christmas) and holiday cards.

This year I really wanted to send out Yule cards, so I went on a quest. My first stop was Barnes & Noble. There I found an amazing selection of cards, one of which had a great image of the Holly King (I mean, SANTA CLAUS) on the cover. Unfortunately, on the inside it erroneously declared: “Merry Christmas!” Whut? Why is the Holly King celebrating Christmas? I digress … I then turned to the internet for help; here’s what I found.

Winner! The Yuletide Blessings card from Amber Lotus Publishing. A set of 12 is available on their website for $13.99 (I paid more than that on Amazon, but it ships free, so do your research). Inside it reads, “Warm wishes for this Winter Solstice.” They have a lot of other cards which means that I will be able to buy Yule cards from them for years before I have to find a replacement. Amber Lotus has cards for many different denominations as well and they range from serious to humorous. I think the card I selected works even if you’re in the broom closet, but they have some good, vaguely-pagan holidays cards that are even less suspect than this one.

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Full Moon November 14th 2016 in Taurus

Taurus Constellation

Monday, November 14th 2016 is the Full Moon in Taurus, which the Moon entered on Saturday evening. The Moon technically leaves Taurus at 8:52 AM EST on the 14th, so you may choose to do your Full Moon charging on the evening of the 13th (Sunday) for that bullish energy. That’s that I’m doing! On Monday night the moon then enters Gemini at 8:23 PM having spent the day in a state called “void-of-course,” so if you charge on Monday night, you’re not getting Taurus, you’re getting Gemini.

Until you get below the surface of astrology, you won’t hear the term “void-of-course,” marked “v/c” on astrologically-minded calendars. When the Moon is “void-of-course,” that means it has exited the last major aspect of the previous sign, but is not yet in the first solid aspect of the next sign. Sometimes the process takes minutes, other times it takes hours; in the case of the Moon moving from Taurus to Gemini it’s a 12 hour gap.

To put it simply, this energy is a bit wonky, so I highly recommend observing the Full Moon on the evening of November 13th. If you wait until the evening of the 14th, the Moon isn’t even in Taurus anymore, it’s in Gemini, so keep that in mind. If you want to work with the Full Moon in Taurus at it’s peak, you will be working with it on the 14th at 8:52 AM EST. That’s also the exact moment it goes void, so get everything done before that time, if you’re the early-morning-moon-ritual type.

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Eight Samhain Season Celebration Ideas

Samhain's Magic Circle Print by Poison Apple Print Shop

Samhain (also known as Halloween) is often a favorite in the pagan community with many witches using it to mark the end of the year. You may choose to celebrate Samhain on October 30th, 31st, or on the closest New Moon. The veil between the material and ethereal worlds thinning on a New Moon is too beautiful for many to pass up.

Regardless of when you choose to observe the Sabbat, below are eight ideas for Samhain celebrations to add to your ritual or observance, be it solitary, in pairs, in a coven, or conducted from inside the “broom closet.” Eight More Samhain Ideas can be found here! Please feel free to post suggestions in the comments, have a beautiful Samhain, and blessed be.

1. Ancestor Work: One of the biggest aspects of Samhain’s energy is the increased ability to communicate with ancestors who have passed to the other side. Bringing photos of ancestors to the ritual or to your altar is a beautiful was to observe this connection. You can also tell stories about ancestors, research your own lineage, or send them messages. One of the best ways to send messages to the other side, in my opinion, is to write what you want to say on a piece of parchment paper (remember to address it) and burn it in your cauldron, thus sending it to the other side. In the Chinese tradition, burning Joss paper (also called Hell Money) is a way to send literal currency into the afterlife.

2. Candles: No witch is a stranger to burning candles, as they are an integral part of so many sabbats, rituals, and spells. Fitting colors and their correspondences for Samhain would be: black (banishing negative energy and acknowledging the dark half of the year, death, etc.), orange (heightened creativity and energy), purple (increased psychic awareness, can be used in conjunction with divination), and silver (you can substitute with white; representing lunar energy). For those who have issues with smoke, LED candle are just as effective.

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Self-Love and Acceptance Spell

Casting this spell during a New Moon is ideal since it is about releasing negativity and setting new, positive intentions. Remember, when using fire always be cautious. You will be burning only a few small pieces of parchment paper, but if the fire gets out of control, place the lid on the cauldron so the fire will go out. Safety first, always.

Self-Love and Acceptance Spell

Ingredients:

  • Black candle (substitute silver)
  • Book of Shadows/magickal journal (optional)
  • Cauldron or fire-safe container with a lid
  • Lighter or matches
  • Parchment or paper, cut or torn into small pieces
  • Rose oil (substitute preferred scent)
  • Rose quartz (optional)
  • Writing utensil
  • Yellow candle (substitute white)

Directions:

To begin, cleanse, ground, and cast a circle to keep unwanted energy away. Using your small pieces of paper or parchment write things about yourself that you do not like and would like to release. Use one piece per release. If you have a long list it might be best to perform the spell several times over the course of a few months and release different things each month.

Be careful about your wording; this is a release of negative emotion. Don’t write “I’m ugly,” write “My negative self-image.” Write “Feeling shy around others,” but avoid “Boys/girls don’t like me.” Using the rose oil anoint your black candle from the top down to diminish negative energy. Take each piece of parchment and read it aloud saying, “I release: [text written on the paper],” then light it using the black candle and drop the paper into your cauldron to burn away.

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