PSA: YEW IS LETHALLY TOXIC. DO NOT BURN.

A message to witches/pagans/lumberjacks out there: As Christmas/Yuletide comes around I know you’re going to want to burn Yew for both its ceremonial properties and it’s slow burn, but please remember that it is a HIGHLY TOXIC tree with VERY toxic smoke. Fatalities in livestock, children, and even some adults have occurred for CENTURIES because of the handling and burning of this wood. I mean, death due to this stuff dates back to the Roman times and further! I would avoid it in the fires as much as I could.

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Non-Alcoholic  Mulled Wine for Yule

Y u l e is a time of great symbolism and power. It marks the return of the sun, when the days finally begin to get a little longer. Enjoy this hot heavenly drink with traditional Yule spices & help yourself to the delicious fruity remnants!


For the base I used hibiscus tea. If you want to substitute it, you can use various types of juice (apple, cherry, grape, pomegranate,  chokeberry, blackcurrant, etc) but make sure the juice is not too sweet. 

Ingredients:
- Hibiscus Tea: 500 ml
- Water: 500 ml
- 1 Orange
- 5 teaspoons of honey

Spices:
- 1  cinnamon stick
- 6-8 whole cloves 
- Anise Star -2 stars
Optional: nutmeg, ginger, or/and vanilla pods for extra sweetness in next year. 

If possible, try using cinnamon sticks, anise stars etc, rather then milled spices, if you don’t wan the ‘wine’ to look muddy.

Boil water in the kettle (I boiled 1 litre at once). Separate into two pots. I had hibiscus tea in tesbags, and i used four of them. Let the tea brew. Meanwhile, put another pot on the stove and add spices; let them have a nice one minute bath in the boiling water.

 Cut the orange, add it to the water with spices; pour in the tea. Add honey and stir until it is dissolved. 

Best served hot, with gingerbread.

cheap, easy ways to decorate your altar for the sabbats
  • Imbolc/Candlemas: seeds or bulbs, candles, red and white
  • Ostara: flowers, eggs, milk, honey
  • Beltane: flowers, ribbons, acorns
  • Litha: oak leaves, sun symbols, sunflowers
  • Lammas: bread, wheat, beer, honey, corn dolls, iron
  • Mabon: fall leaves, cornstalks, grapes and grape vines, pomegranates, apples
  • Samhain: tarot cards, mirror, food offerings, mulled wine, dark bread
  • Yule: holly, pine cones, mistletoe, fruits, nuts, bells
Winter Witchcraft

❄ Gather pine cones

❄ Collect feathers from winter fowl. Do not collect feathers if you live in the     US!

❄ Collect snow and melt it. Charge the water under the December full moon to     create a powerful snow water to use in your winter spells. Use snow water to     protect your house and hearth, to charge your magick tools, and to purify         your amulets. Snow water possesses healing powers.

❄ Have a winter bonfire to celebrate winter solstice.

❄ Set yourself goals for the new year.

❄ Take a walk under the full moon when the snow is reflecting its light. This is        a time for reflection and visions. Record you experience and any important        thoughts or visions you receive. 

❄Stand outside in a blizzard and feel your energy restoring. 

❄  Brew yourself a cider. Add herbs and fruits with certain correspondences for      December such as joy, peace, family happiness, etc.

❄ December is a time for reflection of the passing year.

❄ Do Yule baking and incorporate kitchen witchcraft. 

❄ Weave a wreath with holly and plants that correspond with protection and         yule.

❄ Burn incense of cinnamon, patchouli, frankincense, orange, and myrrh.  

❄ December is a time for hearth and home magick.

❄ Burn candles throughout your home to invite positive energies, coziness,           and peace. 

❄ Collect evergreen, holly, cedar and pine clippings.

❄ Forage for rose hips.

❄ Tie up any loose ends you have in your life.

❄ Finish this years grimoire and add any last minute touch ups.

❄ Collect dried leaves. Define their properties and put them in your herbal             grimoire.

❄ Brew yourself new tea combinations to start off the new year with.

❄ Make witch balls and other magickal decorations to hang on your yule tree       and decorate your house with. 

❄ Make winter solstice lanterns.

❄ Throw a sprig of holly into a yule fire to burn away your troubles from the            past year.  A large amount or if thrown into an indoor fireplace may be      poisonous, use with caution!  

❄ Make a yule log. 

❄  Throw a ritual or celebration to welcome back the sun.

❄  Use elements from nature to decorate your home.

❄  At the end of the month do a deep house cleansing to remove all negative        energy and to give the new year a fresh start. 

Have a happy Yule! 

==Moonlight Mystics==

The Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, observed by many modern Pagans. It consists of either four or eight festivals: either the solstices and equinoxes, known as the “quarter days”, or the four midpoints between, known as the “cross quarter days”.

The festivals celebrated by differing sects of modern Paganism can vary considerably in name and date. Observing the cycle of the seasons has been important to many people, both ancient and modern, and many contemporary Pagan festivals are based to varying degrees on folk traditions.

In many traditions of modern Pagan cosmology, all things are considered to be cyclical, with time as a perpetual cycle of growth and retreat tied to the Sun’s annual death and rebirth.

Yule/Winter Solstice: a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later undergoing Christian reformulation resulting in the now better-known Christmastide. A celebration the beginning of longer days, as this is the shortest day of the year in terms of sunlight. 

Imbolc: the first cross-quarter day following Midwinter this day falls on the first of February and traditionally marks the first stirrings of spring. It is time for purification and spring cleaning in anticipation of the year’s new life. 

For Celtic pagans, the festival is dedicated to the goddess Brigid, daughter of The Dagda and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Among witches reclaiming tradition, this is the  time for pledges and dedications for the coming year.

Ostara/Spring Equinox: from this point on, days are longer than the nights. Many mythologies, regard this as the time of rebirth or return for vegetation gods and celebrate the spring equinox as a time of great fertility.

Germanic pagans dedicate the holiday to their fertility goddess, Ostara. She is notably associated with the symbols of the hare and egg. Her Teutonic name may be etymological ancestor of the words east and Easter.

Beltrane: traditionally the first day of summer in Ireland, in Rome the earliest celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. 

Since the Christianization of Europe, a more secular version of the festival has continued in Europe and America. In this form, it is well known for maypole dancing and the crowning of the Queen of the May.

Litha/Summer Solstice: one of the four solar holidays, and is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.

Luchnassad/Lammas: It is marked the holiday by baking a figure of the god in bread and eating it, to symbolize the sanctity and importance of the harvest. Celebrations vary, as not all Pagans are Wiccans.  

The name Lammas (contraction of loaf mass) implies it is an agrarian-based festival and feast of thanksgiving for grain and bread, which symbolizes the first fruits of the harvest. Christian festivals may incorporate elements from the Pagan Ritual.

Mabon/Autumn Equinox: a Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months. The name Mabon was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three Pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas / Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.

Samhain: considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the festival of Beltane, which is celebrated as a festival of light and fertility.

The Wheel of the Year

Imbolc: Hell yeah it’s almost spring

Ostara: Hell yeah it’s spring 

Beltane: Hell yeah it’s summer 

Midsummer: Hell yeah it’s the middle of the summer

Lughnasadh: Hell yeah it’s the first harvest 

Mabon: Hell yeah it’s the second harvest 

Samhain: Hell yeah it’s the last harvest

Yule: Hell yeah it’s winter