As the year reaches it’s end and towards it’s final day of darkness, the sun’s cycle is renewed and we experience a moment of rebirth as we return towards the light! As we edge closer to the end of the year, frost blooms on dead leaves, light flurries fill the icy air and many lights are lit to bring joy where it’s dark and cold. The solstice is a time to welcome this heavy season approaching with honoring life, togetherness, friendship and love through generosity. As the harvest season is gone and we are left with what we have reaped, we share our goods with our very close loved ones in the spirit of togetherness and to express our love and unity through generosity. Plants like holly, mistletoe, evergreen and other pines are cherished for their abilities to heal and to resist cold and prosper through winter. Songs are sang to promote unity and bonding with loved ones. It’s a time of sharing and there are many traditions across the northern hemisphere that share these similar practices with Winter Solstice and often have a feast with the family.
Yule - Winter Solstice
December 21st (2016)
Crimson red for life, vitality, bonding
Evergreen for life as well, but nature wise and prosperity through winter
Pearly White for winter
Gold I use gold in every sabbat though so I’m unsure if this even counts but here it can represent the sun’s rebirth
Clear Quartz to help amplify the good energy
Angel Aura Quartz to help lift everyone’s spirits
Red Tourmaline harmony, love, balance
Flourite balancing, grounding and harmonizing
Herbs and Plants:
Mice (Especially White ones)
silvery or golden leaves especially if misted with frost
Instruments & Music:
Bells I mean any holiday music with jingling bells becomes very seasonally cheerful.
Fragrance & Incense:
Cedar and Cinnamon (together smells like a Yule tree!)
For Vegetables I like to use Kale and Potatoes as that dominates my seasonal winter cuisine anyway. Mashed Potatoes always has it’s place in the Yule feast. I like to use winter squashes like Banana and butternut squash especially when making stews butternut really comes through.
For fruits I heavily associate cranberry and pomegranate with Yule. Maybe because pomegranate is what’s in stores seasonally by me and every year my mom brings a massive pack from costco. (Also there is lore with this seed and having to do with the darker parts of the year) It’s beautifully red and makes great decorations as well and it’s seeds can be used to decorate cheese and other desserts or be put in salads. Same with cranberry, and the combination of cranberry and ginger (which ginger helps elevate colds and warms the body) can make very festive tasting sparkling drinks or hot toddies. I like to use pear too for poached pears in red wine.
For the main dish traditionally my family always stuck to a roast like roast beef so roast beef has always been connected to this holiday for me.
I sometimes feel like fighting people when they ask me what a Yule Log is. Like How dare you??? (I am just kidding I know not everyone has had the same childhood christmases as me but the Yule Log was my favorite part of the dinner and I would fight my siblings over the meringue mushrooms on there). Anyway ALL Yule feasts deserve the most EXTRAVAGANT and BEEAUTIFUL Yule logs with all the gorgeous softly powdered meringue mushrooms and green chocolate holly leaves and over the top wintery naturesque decorations as possible on the most naturey cake ever. Yule logs are so important to the Yule Feast it needs its own bullet.
Also for dessert there is the classic puddings, rum cakes and red velvet is a very American dessert that has stuck with me but red velvet cakes or cookies is a must. I mentioned poached pears before but like the candied apples of the fall celebrations, the poached pears is the treat for the Winter Solstice. Also hot cinnamon rolls with nice creamy icing get me in the spirit.
For sweets there are sugar cookies especially the ones decorated with icing. Other great cookie flavors would be gingerbread and red velvet and cinnamon sugar ones like the snickerdoodles. Candy canes are very wintery to me even though they are said to have a christian origin. If you don’t want anything too christian in your Yule celebration for the fact that you are not christian, then maybe make peppermint wands instead of candy canes or just avoid the candy all together. There are other peppermint red and white candies anyway you can slip into gifts or use as dessert toppers. Chocolate, caramel and toffee are classic sweets but what I associate with this sabbat are peppermint toads that I make every year for friends. Probably because Christmas was such a big deal in Harry Potter, but also since I bought the frog chocolate molds you can be creative with your chocolate creations and make different chocolate frogs (like white chocolate oreo, milk chocolate peanut butter, white chocolate peppermint etc etc) and drop them into warm steamed glasses of milk to make hot chocolate creations. It makes for sweet creative little gifts.
For Drinks there is Eggnog of course. Mulled wine is a great option to have but what I really would love to try to do is the German classic Feuerzangenbowle where you have a flaming chunk of sugar over a cauldron of wine that makes it look like you are serving spiced liquor from a goblet of fire to your heathen guests. There is also always hot toddies and for non alcoholic options there is cranberry juice and ginger cider.
Just a random question, completely out of the blue and related to nothing that recently appeared on your blog - why do you love yule logs?
Fun fact that was in my queue and I have zero recollection of putting that there or tagging it with “ask me why”
Which is extra fun because I really have no idea what my answer was gonna be
Actually, I’m thinking about it a little bit and I think it’s because it’s one of those ancient goofy old recipes that for SOME reason is still taught and like, respected in the world of pastry. Like people are still making them and they’re total bonkers kitsch but you take a pastry class and you’re gonna be making meringue mushrooms and shit for your Yule log
Beltane/Spring CrossQuarter Personal Correspondances
This sabbat for me falls in the middle-end of spring. Blossoms on trees are starting to fall on the ground, yet vines and bushes of flowers of early summer are blooming such as hydrangeas and roses. It’s a very flowery period of the year. Beltane is a fertility festival but I see it mostly as representing the fertility of the earth and the time to grow things again. This would be a great time to begin working in your garden, and placing the sprouting plants you grew in your eggshells for Ostara into a bigger flower pot. If you don’t have a garden and have mostly house plants its a fantastic time to repot house plants with fresh soil. It’s also a powerful time for magic and fairy activity which can cause mischief. I associate fairies with spring, trees blooming and especially Beltane so I like to decorate with butterflies and fairies and leave sweet offerings in the corner of my garden where the tulips and roses grow. Sometimes I like to make edibles with marijuana in the form of sweet earthy floral fairy cakes for my friends in my circle and I call it ‘fairy food’.
Magenta The color of many local flowers, scenery and vegetables in season. It’s also probably because I’m surrounded by a lot of magnolia trees.
Pink, Indigo, Periwinkle, Lavender-Blue, Purple color spectrum represents flowers that bloom around me at this time of year like magnolia and dark plum blossoms. Any colors that range from pink, purple and blues are great like the colors of hydrangea, bluebells, magnolia, plum blossoms, violets etc
Leaf Green The soft green color of the first leaves sprouting from trees after the petals fall.
Anything to attract love or create a sensual or an alluring power such as:
Herbs and Plants:
Butterflies Beltane is a time of transformation and maturity and also it’s midspring when Butterflies start to appear.
Earthworms They help churn the soil and are friends to the garden.
Swans Same as Butterflies as they represent transformation, maturity and sensuality along with love.
Fairies It’s their time of the year
flower pots Also make great may baskets since they’re practical to use after you give gifts in them.
huge ribbon garland or even a Maypole
think enchanted spring garden party
In season there are a variety of foods that are delicious and colorful and even pink and magenta (another reason why I associate these colors with this sabbat) such as red beets, red cabbage and radishes.
There are also Endives and flowery looking foods like asparagus, white asparagus, ferns and artichokes.
Also to celebrate the blossoming trees you could make cauliflower or make pink/purple cauliflower. I believe naturally pink and purple cauliflower might only be in season in the later summer, so you can make it though steaming cauliflower with beet juice to get a bright pink version.
Also this sabbat celebrates the fertility of the earth and the beginning of the growing season or gardening so earthy flavors like green tea, matcha, spinach are welcomed.
For desserts flavors for cream cookies, macarons (I’m sure make great offering to fairies), whipped cream cakes and more, you can stick to floral flavors in season like lavender, violet, rose, (if you can find it) cherry blossom, jasmine. There are other edible flowers like dandelions, lilac and pansies that you could experiment with.
I also love the idea of having flower pot cakes with cookie crumble on top to represent the soil. For something more floral/creamy and less chocolatey/nutty you can make a floral jello cake that is light and refreshing.
I also have a list of snacks and candy treats I like to give to friends or serve at gatherings. To celebrate the blooming trees I like to fairy floss. Also pixie sticks are fun and you can call it fairy dust. Also since earth worms help the soil for growth you can serve gummy worms. Also if you like the sex fertility aspect this sabbat, worms are pretty phallic but if you are uninterested in that aspect, you can just celebrate the fertility/growth of the earth and garden. I like to think of this as an enchanted garden party before a sex festival. I’m also going to try to make meringue mushrooms this year.
Instruments/Music: Harps captures the sounds of enchantment, falling petals and graciousness
Prompt! First Christmas with Leverage crew and Bucky! I've always loved the Christmas!Leverage eps so anything in that vein would be /amazing/, thank you so much for opening prompts!
(This is an add-on to The Cyborg Arm Job, where Bucky ends up living and working with Parker, Hardison, and Eliot post-series. Also kind of a fill for another Anon who requested the crew steal Black Friday – not the same holiday, but a similar concept!)
The first Christmas that Bucky spent as part of Leverage was unsettling for him. He was still putting his memory back together, and as far as he was concerned the last Christmas he remembered was sometime in his teen years in Brooklyn, at the height of the Depression.
So on the one hand, way fewer people dying of exposure and starvation. On the other, “I’m Dreaming of a Wet Christmas” was the best that could be said about Portland. Snow was off the program.
“What was Christmas like?” Parker asked, tossing her head back and forth to make the bells on her antlers jingle.
“Cold,” Bucky replied. He was sitting at the kitchen island, eating pie with one hand while Hardison rummaged in his arm with a soldering iron.
“Did you get an orange in your stocking?” Parker continued. “Did you sell matches?”
“Did you sell your hair to buy Captain America a watch chain?” Hardison asked, not looking up from his work.
My sister and I spent yesterday making this Buche de Noel - a traditional Yule log. There are a lot of recipes online and we pulled from a few to come up with a flourless chocolate cake, bourbon whipped cream filling, chocolate buttercream frosting, and edible meringue mushrooms.
Happy Holidays to you and yours! Stay safe and warm.