True Beauty Spell

True Beauty Spell

 

You need:

A dish full of earth (good soil, not dry, dusty dirt) A yellow candle A full-sized mirror Olive, patchouli, jasmine, or cinnamon essential oil A small flower pot A flower or plant seed

Anoint the candle with the essential oil you have chosen. Place it in the center of the dish of earth. Light it and sit down with it between you and a mirror.

Look deeply into the mirror, concentrate on your reflection. Without being vain, consider the things you find most beautiful about yourself — not just physically but mentally. What is your inner beauty, what is your outer beauty? It’s important that you never think of what you feel must be “changed”, be as positive about the beauty that you have already.

Perform this ritual 3 nights in a row.

Once the entire candle has burnt down, remove the wax from the dish. Place the earth from the dish inside a small flower pot and plant a seed inside it.

Water it and care for it so that it grows properly.

Spell to Reverse Negative Psychic Energy

Spell to Reverse Negative Psychic Energy

 

This spell is done on Tuesday nights, right before you retire. Do for at least nine Tuesdays in a row. You can also make it a weekly ritual.

Supplies:

  • 1 large red votive candle
  • Run Devil Run incense
  • Reversible oil
  • A saucer or plate, plain white, reserved for this use only.

 

Procedure:

Anoint the red candle from middle to top then middle to bottom, concentrate on reversing all negative psychic messages sent to you, back to their senders. (Try not to visualize anyone, just the negativity being reversed away from you.) Light the incense. You can also carve that desire into the candle with an awl or knife. Take the wick out of the candle, remove it from the metal weight at the bottom. Now turn it around and replace back into the candle. Reversing the wick. Place it on the white plate.

Light the candle and continue the visualization for 7 minutes. Let candle burn itself out while you sleep. Make sure your candle is in a safe place. In the morning you can scry in the wax to find out who is sending you the negativity. Or you can just toss it! Who really wants to know anyway?

Bothersome Neighbors Go Away Spell

Bothersome Neighbors Go Away Spell

 

There’s often one family in every neighborhood that simply causes trouble for others, no matter how people try to get along with them. Perhaps they have loud parties almost every night or children who torment neighborhood pets or bully other children. When you’ve honestly tried everything else, here’s a spell to help them find a better place to live: a place away from you where they will be happier with their neighborhood.

Find a green candle, one large enough to burn 30 minutes a day for at least a week. Make up a short chant something like this:

Bothersome neighbors go away, find a much better place to stay. A place where you will be happy, I will be happy, and all around you will be happy. An affordable place, a nice place, A much better place to stay So long as it is far from me and mine. Bothersome neighbors go away.

It’d be better to make up your own, especially if you can personalize it to the people in question. Just make it positive and upbeat. The idea here is that you are helping these folks find something better than they have now and helping yourself to peace and quiet at the same time.

You’ll also need paper and colored pencils/pens/crayons/whatever.

Each night light your candle (cast a circle first if you want one), imagining the flame as a spark in their mind which will lead them to a new home. Then sit down an stare into the flame for 5-10 minutes concentrating on your desire that they find a new, better place to live where they will be happy and annoy no one.

Then take up your pen and paper and draw while chanting your chant. Stick figure art is okay if that is the best you can do. The first night draw your neighbor’s (current) house with them doing the annoying types of things they do. Make it complete even if it’s simple art.  Put in the trees, windows, and the like. When you are done, wait for the end of the 30 minutes, concentrating on the candle flame and your goal. Fold the paper up and tear it to small shreds. Put out your candle (and close your circle if you created one. Save the torn scraps of paper.

On each night for the rest of the week, repeat the ritual, but the art will change. On the second day, draw them excited and happy in front of their current house — because they’ve found a better one. For the rest of the week, draw them carrying various stuff out of their current house (as if they were moving). The key thing here is only show there current house. You don’t want to limit possibilities by drawing a new house for them.

After you’ve done this a week, put all of the scraps of paper and some of the tail end of the candle in an envelope and bury it or hide it on the property line between their place and yours. If you’ve used large sheets of paper, you only need to include a portion from each if you need to keep the envelope small.

Note that a spell like this can take a while to take effect. Most people do not pack up and move overnight.

To Bind An Abusive Person or Bully

To Bind An Abusive Person or Bully

You Will Need:
3 black candles
Black thread
Black pen
Piece of paper
An empty glass jar

This spell will not hurt your bully, it will just make them leave you alone.
Do this spell at midnight on a Saturday of a waning moon (a period of time between a full moon and a new moon, the light is decreasing)

Set the candles in a big triangle shape, big enough so that you can sit in the middle.
Light the candles.
Write the bully’s name on the paper, and draw an “X” over it.
Fold it three times. Say:

“I bind you (say their name)
so that you cannot hurt me anymore,
both physically, and emotionally.
Get out of my life, leave me alone.
I bind you (say name) I bind you.”

Then tie the thread around the folded paper, and pop it in the jar.
Screw on the lid.
Allow the candles to burn out.
The next day, bury the jar away from your property.

Modern Female Rite Of Passage

Modern Female Rite Of Passage

Note: East – Air; South – Fire, West – Water, North – Earth

Early Preparations

Candles for the ritual will be made that day. Celebrant will make two white candles. Candles will be herbal and scented, and inscribed appropriately. Celebrant and mother will also bring something that symbolically (to them) symbolizes the rite of passage.

Ritual baths will be taken prior to ceremony, with Celebrant’s bath being drawn for her. Salt, herbs and scents appropriate to the occasion will be added to the bath, and it will be blessed prior to use. Mother will help Celebrant to the bath, where she will light a candle and incense, give words of love and comfort and instruction to the Celebrant, and then withdraw to assist in Circle Preparation.

Circle Preparation

Circle area will be cleansed and Circle constructed and consecrated in the usual manner. Altar will sit just West of Center of Circle to symbolize both the emotional aspects of the ritual, as well as the death/ rebirth aspects.

Added to altar arrangement will be the Celebrant’s two white candles. Also on the altar will be a mirror sitting behind and between the two white candles. Symbolic gifts will be placed beside the altar – the mother’s to the North symbolizing steadfastness, grounding, caution, and wisdom of the elder. The Celebrant’s will be to the South of the altar, symbolizing the fire, passion and impetuosity of youth.

Invocations

Guardian of the East Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Air! Blow soft around us this night That the restrictions and pains of childhood Will be but memories in the mind of the adult.

Guardian of the South

Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Fire! Lend to us this night your passion and strength Envelope us in your warmth, That the fires of youth may be tempered within thee.

Guardian of the West

Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Water! Wash over us with thy loving embrace That the sorrows of days long past Can give way to new understanding.

Guardians of the North

Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Earth! Stand firm with us in our purpose this night, That from the youth shall grow the adult Full of purpose and wisdom.

Invocation to the Lady

Blessed Lady of a Thousand Names, You who art Maiden, Mother and Crone. Grant that this night the bindings of childhood will be broken And the bond between mother and daughter be strengthened. For the two, as so reflected throughout all creation, Are but images of thee in thy divine Trinity. Blessed Be. In honor of thee do I pour this toast, and drink this wine.

Invocation to the Lord

Great Lord, Ancient one of the fields and Consort to our Lady, We ask that thou wouldst give a measure of your love and protection to she who will soon join the battles of this life. Fill her with the knowledge of thee as sanctuary And grant that peace may follow her always. In honor of thee do I pour this toast, and drink this wine.

Chalice is then passed to each of the coveners to share in the toast.

Drawing Down the Moon

Priestess/Mother stands facing the moon with hands upraised and palms turned upwards, cupwise. Drinking in the Lady’s essence, she says,

Come to me and fill me with thy light Enter me, shine in me your fullness That I may use your power for my good, And for the good of All.

When appropriate, she blesses all within the Circle, and the rite that is about to be performed. Then, nodding to the Father of the Celebrant, says:

Bring forth your daughter, that she might, this night, cross the threshold of adulthood.

Father brings the Celebrant to the Eastern Gate.

Mthr:

Is this the daughter I bore so many years before? Nay, it cannot be, for she was but a child when last I held her.

Dtr:

Mother, I am your child. Now grown and ready to throw away the things of childhood. Years it has been since my moonflow began and I became a woman. Now it is time that this is recognized.

Mthr:

Very well, lead the child into the center of the Circle. There to have her sit in silence.

Father leads Celebrant to the center of the Circle, while mother re-closes the Circle. She then joins her daughter in the Circle’s center, saying:

Mthr:

You sit now in the Center of the Circle; that which is known as the Cauldron of Hecate; the point of transformation; the mother’s womb, where beginnings end and endings re-begin. I have heard your words, and weep for them; Tears of both joy and sorrow. It was my body that cried out in pain and joy as you were born. It was my mind that went in circles to provide for us. It was my heart that broke when that which you wanted I could not give you. But always did you have my love…and always shall you carry that love with you. Behold in me the Three-Fold Goddess She who is One in Three – Maid, Mother, and Crone One in Three, as she is in you and all women, And as you and they are in her. Look upon her and know her, That you, too, may be whole. So I ask thee truly, art thou ready to face the woman within thee? To see within thee the light and dark, and fear no more the dark? To accept that which you are, and strive for that which you can become? To leave behind the things of childhood, But to continue to love and nurture the child which lives in all adults?

{Celebrant has answered accordingly to each of the questions, at which time the Mother now exhorts the Celebrant to stand and face the altar.}

Mthr:

Daughter, I ask you now to look deep within the mirror. See yourself reflected there. Look into your eyes and know yourself. Repeat after me: “I come to commune with my Soul.”

Dtr:

I come to commune with my Soul.

Mthr:

Look into the reflection of your eyes, and name one thing about yourself that you love.

{Celebrant and Mother will continue this, alternating between what the Celebrant thinks is both good and bad within her…}

After the last question, the Mother then says:

Mthr:

Daughter, within thee is both light and dark. Know always your shadow side. If something is there which offends thee horrible, give it up. For others to love you as an adult, you must love yourself first. And loving yourself means giving up any self- hatred you’ve carried over from young years. Now is the time to cut these things from thy life. They are the bonds of childhood which have held you limited. Free yourself from them, and know that thy spirit flies free.

Now look again into the mirror. Look at yourself with love. See the Goddess shining within thee. She is strong; no man has dominion over her. She knows herself and loves herself. She will give herself to those who are worthy of her affections, and turn from those who try to debase her. Let the Goddess within thee shine through thee, that the nobility and strength of woman is clear for all to see.

Now, come with me.

Mother embraces daughter and leads her to each of the four quarters. After each challenge, the Celebrant must answer as she sees fit, and asks the Guardian’s Blessing. The Covener at each gate will then bless the Celebrant, and offer a gift for adulthood, such as strength, courage, etc…or a physical gift pertinent to the rite and Gate.

Covener at Eastern Gate:

Hold! I am the wild wind and fury of the storm! That which buffets thee without shelter. How will you survive?

Covener at Southern Gate

Hold! I am fire and passion That which will consume thee with lust. How will you survive?

Covener at Western Gate

Hold! I am floods and weeping and gnashing of teeth. I am loneliness and frustration. How will thee survive?

Covener at Northern Gate

Hold! I am chaos and turmoil Plans gone wrong and dreams that die. How will thee survive?

Mother faces daughter (Priestess mode ON here)…

I am the Lady, thy Mother… I shall be with thee no matter how far thou shalt roam. And when loneliness besets thee, Thou needs only gaze upon the moon, To see my face and my love reflected there to you.

Father approaches daughter and turns her to face him…

I am he who is father to thee now. I shall stand behind and beside thee always. And when loneliness besets thee, Thou needs only to step out into sunlight To feel my warmth and love within thee.

Mother takes daughter by hand and returns to the altar. Daughter picks up her gift of childhood and presents it to the mother, saying…

This I do give you as a symbol of childhood now behind me. Hold it and cherish it as you remember me.

Mother picks up her gift of adulthood and presents it the Celebrant, saying…

This I do give you as a symbol of your adulthood, and my recognition of it. Hold it and cherish it as you remember me.

Draw a pentagram above the celebrant, with an affirmation at each of the five points:

Point one:

In the name of Inanna, Queen of Heaven

Point two:

In the name of Athena, warrior Goddess, but also of Peace

Point three:

In the name of Astarte, warrior Goddess, and protector of young females

Point four:

In the name of Diana, she of the bow and arrow, Goddess of Light

Point five:

Do I bless thee, and call thee “Woman”. May their strength and independence, their love and virtue, be thine all the days of thy life. I recognize the child no more, but she the child who lives in all of us.

Mother stands with a space between her and her daughter and presents the new adult to the coven.

Feasting (and in our case, a birthday celebration) follow.

Quarter Guardians are thanked, and blessings are asked of the Lord and Lady upon the group, as well as the Celebrant.

Blessed Be
 
 
Ritual by:
* Lady Shyra *

Make Beeswax Votives to Manifest Your Desires

Make Beeswax Votives to Manifest Your Desires

by Sylvana

When I first began in the Craft, you couldn’t just go down to Larry’s Market or Fred Meyer’s and buy spell candles, as you can now. Neither could you find witchy stores like Edge of the Circle, Travelers or Odyssey Books. In those days, we made our own spell candles, oils, incenses and tools, or we had things handed down to us and given to us as gifts by our high priest and priestess or coven mates. We also sometimes converted everyday items to our magickal purpose, like the silver dinner bell I still use in ritual today and my antique trivets that serve as wards for our covenstead.

Sometimes, I am glad to have the luxury of purchasing ready-made seven-day candles, like the green “Money Drawing” or “Protection” or the blue and white “Harmonious Home.” But I fondly remember the days when all of us witches made our own candles. This time of year is traditional for the making and blessing of candles, and my coven still gets together at Imbolc for celebration, feasting and to make and bless candles for our coven and personal use. Making them yourself imbues them with your own energy and purpose, as well as making them a more powerful tool for your magick — besides, it’s fun!

If you’d like to create your very own spell candles and don’t have a coven or group to make candles with, this article will tell you how, with a little effort, you can construct and bless your very own magickal spell candles. The instructions following discuss making short spell votives, but you can easily adapt the approach for bigger candles.

You will need:

*      A sharp knife or craft knife

*      A metal-edged ruler or straight edge

*      Small pieces of paper in various colors

*      Pens, colored pencils or crayons

*      Beeswax sheets in various colors

*      Wicking

*      Herbs and flowers

*      Oils

*      Small tokens, coins or stones

*      Wax paper

*      Cutting board

*      Scissors

You can purchase the beeswax in craft stores or candle supply shops; it generally comes in 6-x-9-inch sheets. Look for colors that correspond to your magickal purpose:

*      Red: Lust, passion, health, animal vitality, courage, strength

*      Pink: Love, affection, friendship, kindness

*      Orange: Sexual energy, earth energy, adaptability, stimulation

*      Brown: Earth energy, animals

*      Yellow: Intellect, mental energy, concentration

*      Green: Finances, money, prosperity, fertility, growth

*      Blue: Calm, healing, patience, peace, clairvoyance

*      Purple: Spirituality, the fey, meditation, divination

*      Black: Waning moon, release, banishing, absorbing and destroying negativity, healing

*      White: Waxing or full moon, protection, purification, peace, awareness; good for most workings

One sheet of each color wax that you want to use should be enough to begin with, as it will make about four votive-size candles. Fresh beeswax should have a distinctive scent and be soft and pliable, not brittle. Fairly thick cotton (not lead) wick is preferable as beeswax burns fairly fast. Ask the store for recommendations if you’re unsure what exactly to get.

Assemble all of your ingredients and tools, with plenty of room to work. Choose a sheet of beeswax and some herbs or flowers and maybe an oil that are all in accordance with your purpose. To learn more about the associations for herbs, flowers and oils, check tables of correspondence such as are found in many basic books on the Craft. You’ll need only tiny amounts of the herbs and flowers, because if you add too much, your candle will turn into a torch! Also, if you like select an appropriate token or write the candle’s purpose on a tiny piece of paper to add to the candle.

To create a candle, lay a sheet of beeswax onto a sheet of slightly larger wax paper on top of your cutting board. Measure in 2-inch increments down from the top of the beeswax sheet along the edge of the long side, and make a mark on both sides of the wax  (see Figure 1). Lay the straight edge along both marks, and cut so that you have about four wax pieces, each about 2 by 6 inches. This will be enough to create at least four votives per sheet of wax, depending on how large the sheet is and how small you cut the pieces. Next, cut a piece of wick about 2&fraq12; inches long, and lay it onto the beeswax along the edge of one side (see figure 2) so that the wick is flush with what will be the bottom of the candle and is protruding from the top by a bit.

Begin rolling the candle by folding the very edge of the wax over the wick and pressing down gently to stick the wax in place (see figure 3)

Then begin to roll the wax firmly around the wick so that it creates a tight roll; once you have one layer of wax around the wick, stop. Sprinkle a tiny amount of herbs or flowers evenly down the length of wax next to the wick roll (figure 4). Place your paper or token inside the candle, near the bottom. Then roll some more, sprinkle some more, brush a tiny bit of oil on at about the middle of the roll and continue until the candle is completely rolled and is about the size of a regular votive candle (figure 5). Seal the wax edge by pressing it down firmly against the candle, while not smashing the candle.

Once you have finished all of your spell candles, do a ritual and raise energy to bless and consecrate them to your purpose. I like the simple blessing following.

A Candle Blessing

Set up an altar with your usual tools, where you can easily move around it. Place your candles on the altar, along with a small amount of wine or juice and a few cookies or pieces of bread. Cast your circle in your customary way. Call whatever elements, gods, quarters and so on that you normally call. When you are ready, raise your athamé or wand to the eastern sky, draw it down in an arc to point toward your pile of candles and say the following:

“Element of air, imbue these candles with magick! Let them carry my intention on the winds and back to me. Infuse them with inspiration and the strength of my will. Thank you for your presence! So mote it be!”

Draw the athamé to the southern sky and down toward the candles, saying:

“Element of fire, energize these candles to my purpose! Bring your warmth and light to me. Let your heat turn reality to my will. Thank you for your presence! So mote it be!”

Turn now to the western sky, and draw the athamé down toward your candles, saying:

“Element of sacred waters, heal my magick. Make my purpose clean, and let my magick flow free. Cleanse all for the best; heal all I touch. Let your healing power flow. Thank you for your presence! So mote it be!”

Turn finally to the northern sky, and draw the athamé toward your candles, saying:

“Element of earth, bring my magick into being. Bless these candles, and let them burn true. Bring grounding and practicality to me. With your deep power please imbue them. Thank you for your presence!  So mote it be!”

Ask the god and goddess of your choice (and any other beings that you work with) for their blessings.

Then chant the following, slowly and softly at first, then picking up energy as you go:

“Candles burn oh so bright, bring my desires every night and day. Candles light my magick spell, now draw success my way.”

When the energy has reached its peak, direct it into the candles. Ground out any excess energy. Have cakes and wine, and offer a libation to the elements and gods for their participation. Then close your circle.

Now your magickal spell votives are ready for you to use for your spells or whenever you need them. Have fun, and may all of your magick be wondrous!

Caution: When burning candles, make sure to always place them on something nonflammable and do not ever leave one of these candles burning alone, even for a second, as they sometimes flare up or fall over and can easily ignite anything in range. Be careful also of wearing flammable clothing around these candles!

When Darkness Falls: Cooking and Heating in Winter as Our Forebears Did

When Darkness Falls: Cooking and Heating in Winter as Our Forebears Did

by Catherine Harper

As I write this, we are in the midst of the false spring that is so often January’s mercurial gift to the Pacific Northwest coast. Around the borders of the garden daffodil bulbs are sending up small green teeth. The days are sunny and mild, and my over-wintering broccoli has started to form heads. Is it just coincidence that just as the season tries to so mislead us the seed catalogs begin to arrive? The sunset through the trees beyond my study window has painted the sky the color of salmon, and it is not yet wholly dark, though it would have been at this time only a few weeks before. It’s an easy time to think of Imbolc ahead.

Imbolc is a celebration of first stirrings, new beginnings, gradual lengthening of days and return of the light. In this green country by the sea, where winter’s sleep is never much more than a nap, it might almost be redundant, the transition from grey, rain and green to more of the same with swelling buds. We prune the apple orchards and light a candle (the more faithfully because Imbolc is also my brother’s birthday). It is a restless season, a gradually accelerating rising toward the lighter portion of the year, and as such it can be a difficult time for reflection. And yet reflection sometimes finds us, though we did not look for it.

Recently, our house was without power for several days, and many of our plans were put on hold for that stretch. I was given ample opportunity to think of the passing of the darkest time — even as winter is still with us — and time to think of the small ways in which the light returns to us. Now, we are well set up for such occurrences, and it is not uncommon for us to heat the house and cook our dinner with the wood-burning brick oven. Similarly, we often eat by candlelight. But to fire the oven every day, banking the coals each night and then stirring them to light the fire the next morning, is something else, as it is to read and work out and clean the garage only by the light of candles and oil lamps or the short hours of daylight. What has been at most ritual, and at least conceit, becomes both drudgery and discipline.

By the third day, the eyestrain from the dimmer light even of many candles was feeling ingrained. I had learned to take a hot water bottle to bed with me every night because, while the oven could heat most of the house, the master bedroom is too far, and the bed itself bitterly cold when I first entered it. We swept and washed dishes as much as possible while we still had daylight to see our work by, and brought in wood before going to bed so that it would be there to start the morning fire. Beyond the work itself, which wasn’t excessive, the routine was exhausting — some combination of the cold and the dark and the tedium of normally simple tasks leaving me stumbling with fatigue each night. And yet, in its way, it was deeply satisfying.

In my magical work in and beyond the kitchen, much of what I do is creating a web of connections. I buy the food that is in season to make another link between myself and the turning of the year. I buy from local farmers to strengthen my connection to the land, and from people I know to strengthen my connection with the community. But we all live in and amongst many such webs, if not all of them so deliberately chosen. The pieces of our world — every aspect of our lives — is vastly interdependent, and the electrical networks are one such tangible example of the ways in which we are connected.

If there is something to be learned from building and choosing to put our energy into certain connections and so reinforce them, so is there something very basic and primal about stepping aside from some of the default connections in our lives. The break from my routine, the rhythm of tending the house and heating and lighting it by our own labors, became an opportunity to step back and consider the interconnections of our lives and the routines we had taken for granted. And, of course, a chance to consider a little the lives we might be living had we been given fewer technological blessings. I think for those who are plunged into darkness less frequently by the vagaries of the weather and the electric companies, spending the occasional stretch of time without power, perhaps the length of a meal, can still be a useful exercise.

It is generally assumed that those who are in the magickal community are well equipped with candles, but our uses of them do not necessarily emphasize the efficiency of lighting, so here are a few suggestions:

Most people know that a candle backed by a mirror or other reflector will shed more light. A candle near a white wall will also reflect its light better than one near a dark surface.

Candles much more than two inches in diameter will tend to use up the wax at the center of the candle without melting the wax on the outside, so gradually the wick and flame will drop down below the level of the outer rim of wax. This is pretty and atmospheric, but does not provide especially efficient light. On the other hand, candles of much less than one inch in diameter will burn down quite quickly, which can be useful in spell work, but is annoying for lighting purposes.

Most grocery stores carry large boxes (usually of 72 candles) of Shabbos candles in their Kosher food section. These are plain white four-inch candles that are usually quite cheap, and they are less likely to be sold out during power outages.

I have often seen candle jars used in outdoor rituals, but seldom seen them used indoors in the manner in which we employ them. These are versatile lanterns that can be comfortably carried or set down, provide light in all directions and are fairly kid and cat safe because they can be tipped over without ill effect. To make one, wash and remove the label from a large spaghetti sauce jar or other large glass jar. (Hot water will soften the glue that holds on the label.) Find two candles that are not taller than the jar. Light one candle, pour a few drops of its hot wax into the jar and then quickly stick the bottom of the other candle to the jar bottom with the hot wax. The jar, being glass, allows light to shine all around, and is far enough from the flame that it doesn’t get hot enough to burn your hands when carried.

Oil lamps are a convenient light source, but only the lamps with properly ventilated chimneys are able to provide especially bright light. In my experience the lamps burn best when the wick is at least occasionally trimmed, and the end of the wick is roughened or frayed a bit by rubbing a knife-edge across it. Oil lamps also provide much better light when their reservoirs are full than when they are near empty.

Cooking

I should have known when we bought a house already equipped with a fireplace, woodstove and the built-in barbeque that was later converted into my brick oven that we lived in an area where power supply could be a bit uncertain. Instead, to my surprise, six weeks later we were treated to three days in the dark with a woodstove I hadn’t entirely made friends with and a foot of icy slush on the roads. But the corollary to our frequent outages is that we are well set up to deal with them, with wood stove and brick ovens, lamps, sconces and chandeliers. Most houses, and apartments even more so, are not so well prepared.

Now, I assume people who already have woodstoves, brick ovens, grills, barbeques, masonry cookers and other such relatively expensive fixtures are already fairly well acquainted with their use, but a few tips anyway: If you haven’t cooked over your woodstove, it’s good to keep in mind that most of them that are not built specifically for cooking will provide only the equivalent of low heat from a standard burner unless you fire them very hot. You’ll have better luck simmering a stew than frying an egg on them, and you might want to put a pot of water on top right off so you don’t have to wait later on for it to warm. Barbeques and grills can be used year round in our mild climate, but they should be used outside if you are fond of breathing. (Though one can often use a hibachi or other small grill in one’s fireplace, assuming that the fireplace is large enough to accommodate it and that the draw is strong enough.)

Luckily, the lack of such amenities doesn’t put you out of the running. If you would like to cook over flame, don’t have wood-burning appliances and don’t want to invest in expensive equipment, there are a number of low-cost options. The simplest is the tried-and-true can of Sterno or similar canned heat product. These are readily available at grocery stores and fairly safe for indoor use, unlike most camping stoves, which need a lot of ventilation and should only be used outside. For a few bucks more you can buy a collapsible Sterno “stove” from your local army surplus or camping supplies store, which will shelter the flame and support a cooking pot.

The collapsible Sterno “stoves” or other similar trivets can also be used above tea lights (which are good for warming tinned soup, if less good for more serious cooking, though you can do a bit when you use more than one at a time), alcohol burners or other simple flames. We have been using our fondue burner, which is essentially a small adjustable alcohol burner with a heavy iron trivet, as a general-purpose stove, and it boils water quite readily. Fondue burners can be found at culinary stores, and other types of alcohol burners can be purchased through chemistry supply companies.

Most of these improvised burners will not give you as evenly distributed heat as will most stoves, so you must either use them with thick-bottomed pots that distribute heat well on their own or make soups, sauces and other largely liquid things that will not mind the uneven heat so much. Another good standby is couscous. You can add one part couscous to two parts boiling water and then cover it and let it cook away from the flame entirely (this also makes for fairly fuel-efficient food, which is why couscous is a backpacking favorite).

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace, more options are available to you (though if you have attempted to cook over a fireplace without appropriate equipment you already know that other than hotdogs and marshmallows, your options can be rather limited). An open fire is romantic, but to cook over it effectively requires some preparation. First of all, for most things it is much more effective to cook over hot coals than open flame. So you’re often best off building a fairly large, hot fire and letting it burn down before you attempt to cook over it. (For a similar effect you can use charcoal briquettes in your fireplace or add them to your wood fire.)

Next, of course, you need some way of supporting your food over the fire. A spit can be improvised, but is often fairly difficult to manage, especially in modern fireplaces. For the least expensive route, one can rely on the camper’s favorite of wrapping food in tinfoil and setting it among the coals and ashes (not directly in the hottest part of the fire) to cook. “Hobo stew” is a combination of meat and vegetables cooked by this method, a bit of a chancy proposition, but fun, simple, and potentially tasty. Or, most camping supplies stores sell inexpensive lightweight collapsible grills that can fit in your fireplace. These can hold pots and pans as well as grill meat and vegetables.

Of course, if you want to get at all serious about cooking in your fireplace, you should at least look at what is often considered the most flexible of fireside cooking tools, the Dutch oven. It has been claimed, and to a great extent demonstrated, that pretty much any dish from the Western European tradition, and a great many others from elsewhere, can be made in a Dutch oven. The Dutch oven is a heavy cast iron pot with feet that will hold it above burning coals and a rimmed lid that will allow you to place additional coals on top of it. They come in a variety of sizes, and can be used to make anything from wedding cakes to stews to omlettes. Dutch oven cooking is a subject one could write a book about, and indeed many people have.

In the end, there is the eating. Almost by definition it is a dinner by candlelight, but it need not be a formal one. We hand out one bowl, spoon, and fork apiece, because bowls are harder to spill food from and more amenable to being held in one’s lap while you sit in front of the fire or curl up with a blanket in the living room. Fewer dishes are a blessing when light and hot water are limited, too. Like the food we make camping, a meal cooked at home over fire is fully realized in its simplicity. Even tinned soup and crackers becomes delicious as our labors give us a more intimate connection to the food and its preparation. Fire, food and hunger are primal things.

Ritual for Growth, Healing, and Renewal

Gypsy Comments & Graphics


Ritual for Growth, Healing, and Renewal

 

Tools

  • Black candle
  • White candle
  • Athame
  • Goblet filled with water

Note: this is best performed skyclad, but the same effect can be obtained while fully clothed.

Diety

Ereshkigal, Assyro-Babylonian goddess of the Underworld, known for the ability to shed dead skin to grow and the deep power of renewal.

Setup

Facing north, place the black candle on the altar at south, the white candle at north, and the goblet in the middle.

Cast the Circle

Invocation

Light the black candle.

“Oh, great goddess Ereshkigal, join me in this sacred place. Help me to grow and leave behind the petty ways of the world. Assist me in healing the scars that I have been inflicted with through other’s cruelty. Teach me to respond with love and kindness.”

Passing your athame three times through the fire of the black candle, say:

“Great goddess of the Underworld, as this black candle burns, help me to also burn away the blackness in myself.”

Feel and envision yourself burning away the blackness that you carry with you. Blow out the candle.

Take a drink of water from the goblet. Say:

“With this drink of purity, help me to flush away the cinders left by the burning, so that I may be completely free from maliciousness.”

Take a drop of water from the goblet and place it on the wick of the black candle.

Light the White candle.

Reflect on the purity of the color and the healing power of the light. Say:

“Ereshkigal, assist me in this time of renewal. Help me to heal from the scars that the world has left on me and to rejuvenate myself. Through this renewal, I will be better able to act with compassion and patience towards those that seek to hurt me.”

Take time to reflect on this renewal proccess. Feel every part of your body become stronger, healthier, and more pure. Say:

“Oh, Great goddess Ereshkigal, help me to carry this growth and renewal with me in daily life.”

Extinguish the white candle.

Open the Circle

Reference:

Ritual written by Amy D. Guthrie

The Pagan Library

7 Day Luck Spell

The 7 Day Luck Spell

Items You Will Need:

Black 7 day candle

Water

Saucer

Paper

 

 

The Spell:

Fill your saucer slightly with some water. On a piece of paper write the things you most desire, (like love, money, a job..) Fold that up and put it on the saucer (in the water). Now put your 7 day candle on top of the paper and light it. Each night before you go to sleep visualize your desires being obtained. On the seventh day, snuff out the candle and dispose of it by getting it away from your property. This spell can be customized by using different colored candles, pink or red for love, purple for spirituality and so on. The black candle is used for “breaking through” those obstacles that are preventing you from your desires.

 

More Dream Catcher Comments

Your Daily Feng Shui For December 31st – ‘Lore for New Year’s Eve’

Let’s ring in the best New Year ever! That’s right, why not make it hot in the old town tonight? You can do exactly that if you burn seven candles anytime after sunset. These candles will bring unlimited amounts of fortune and luck on this night and the next 365 to follow, especially if that intention is attached. Or, a few minutes before the clock strikes twelve, open every door and window in the house and allow the old and stale to exit and be replaced by the fresh and fabulous. Throw some cash into the house while standing immediately outside the entryway door and you can expect more of the same as the year unfolds. If at midnight you wash your face with pure spring or rainwater and look into a mirror by candlelight that mirror will declare you the fairest of them all for all of the next year! Finally, make sure that the very first words that anyone speaks to you in this New Year are symbolic or representative of how you want your year to be. Happy New Year will do it, but happy, healthy, loving and prosperous New Year says it even better. That’s my New Year’s wish for you, from my house to yours!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com