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This morning I woke up in a pissy mood. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s something to do with Mercury retrograde, or it’s maybe the constant dull headache that’s been plaguing me. At any rate, I realized that any good witch would NOT sit around boo-hooing about things, but rather find a way to take charge! Then I remembered my plant ally, lemons. The color lemon yellow is associated with the solar plexus chakra. This is the chakra where we feel happiness and joy, but also where we store our anger.

Lemons are great at cleansing an area of stuck and murky energy. Squeeze some lemon juice in your bucket with your mop water. Wipe your counters with lemon juice. Boil lemon peel in your kitchen cauldron to cleanse the air and breath in the citrusy scent to cleanse your own energy. Throw the used lemons in your garbage disposal and grind them up to cleanse the drain as well.

Today I put several drops of bergamot essential oil in my difuser for an uplifting effect. I think of bergamot oil as “the happy oil”, and as fate would have it, the bergamot plant is a citrus that is a cross between a type of lemon and orange. Some people call it sweet lemon. Bergamot is also what’s added to tea to make Earl Grey tea. A cup of Earl Grey sounds good right now…I feel better already!

Lemony Blessings,

Sarina

Now, some of what I’m going to talk about in this post might get a little personal for some of you. You may feel like clicking on past me when you find out what I’m into, but hear me out.

Ok. Here goes. I’m a vegan kitchen witch. I don’t eat animals (meat) or any of their by products (dairy, eggs, etc.) I eat “nothing with a face or a mother”, as my vegan daughter would say. What I DON’T plan to do in this post is to preach at my readers. We all make the decision to go vegan or even to cut back on animal products on our own. There are definite health benefits to a plant based diet, but as a pagan with a nature based spirituality, the fact is that eating a plant based diet is healthier for the planet. And at this moment in time the health of Mama Gaia takes on even more importance than ever.

If you want to know more about the vegan lifestyle, then I can recommend some excellent resources:

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret: https://www.cowspiracy.com/

What the Health (on Netflix)

Game Changers (on Netflix)

And an excellent website with loads of information: https://nutritionfacts.org/

What this vegan kitchen witch DOES plan to do from now on is to post delicious vegan recipes and cooking tips that EVERYONE can enjoy along with the magickal energies that these plant based dishes contain. Stay tuned!

Yummy Plant Based Blessings,

Sarina

Since I am hosting Imbolc this year at Sycamore Hill, I decided that for our “cakes and ale” part of the ritual to make bannocks, which are a traditional oat cake served at this time of year. These yummy, magickal bannocks will contain minced fresh rosemary and grated orange zest. Rosemary is sacred to Brighid or Brighde as we like to call her, and Imbolc is about honoring Brighde.

In kitchen witchery it’s nice to consider the magickal properties of ingredients in your food. After all, cooking is a form of alchemy! You transform ingredients into something entirely different. Magick!

In these bannocks I figure that the oats are for grounding and stability, the rosemary could be for protection, the orange zest for strength and a positive attitude and then the small bit of sugar adds some sweetness and love!

So here is the recipe:

Rosemary Bannocks

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet or large iron skillet.

Ingredients:

1cup of oat flour (You can make your own by grinding rolled oats in a food processor.)

1cup of old fashioned rolled oats

1/4 tsp salt

3Tb sugar

2Tb minced rosemary

Grated zest of a medium orange

6Tb cold Earth Balance or other plant based butter

1/2 cup of soy milk

1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

2. Cut the Earth Balance into smaller chunks and then mix them into the dry mixture with a pastry blender.

3. Then add the soy milk.

4. Mix the ingredients until you have a dough. Turn the dough onto a surface that has been sprinkled with more oat flour and knead the dough for just about a minute. If the dough seems sticky add more oat flour.

5. You can form the dough into small cakes or divide the dough in half and make two medium sized cakes that you cut into quarters. The idea is to expose enough edges to make a brown and crispy cake.

6. Brush the tops of the bannocks with melted Earth Balance and sprinkle them with sugar.

7. Place the cakes on a greased baking sheet and bake them in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are brown and crispy.

So there you have it! And as an added bonus, these bannocks are vegan and gluten free!
Enjoy!
Savory Blessings
Sarina

Imbolc is the time in our coven when we welcome new dedicants to the priesthood. This sabbat is a time when we honor the lady Brighid who is the goddess of poetry, smith-work and midwifery. It is a time of new beginnings as represented by the goddess as midwife, and so it is appropriate to start the journey of a year and a day at this time.

Imbolc wall sconce by Mickie Mueller on Etsy

This year we are welcoming a new dedicant and hopefully at this time next year he will be elevated to first degree priest. It’s always exciting to welcome a new person to the priesthood path!

I like to set up an altar to honor Brighid with symbols that represent her. New born animals, the milk that feeds those babies, hence, the milk maids and cow cream pitcher. My fellow priestess and I decided that since red and white are the colors of Imbolc, and since Brighid is a goddess of the hearth and the hearth is the heart of the home where she lights her magick flame, the hearts we see at this time of the year are perfectly fine in our displays. How’s that for witchy logic??

The idea of taking a year and a day to study for each degree in the priesthood is partly so that the entire wheel of the year can be observed and experienced on the pagan spiritual path. There are facts to be learned, experiences to be had, and activities to participate in throughout the seasons that will transform the dedicant over the course of the year to become a priest or priestess of the God and Goddess.

It has occurred to me that even though we say that the year is like a wheel, it is really not like a circle. Certainly there are cycles that repeat throughout the year, but every year is different. There is growth and change but nothing stays the same. Once the priestess reaches the level of high priestess and clergy does she then just stop learning and growing? I hope not.

To me the year is more like a rotation in a spiral. We strive for an upward spiral to increase in spiritual knowledge and wisdom, but that spiral should never end. Every Imbolc I plan to rededicate to this pagan path as I start yet another year and a day.

Will you take some time during your Imbolc ritual to dedicate yourself to another turn on this spiral path?

As I address the Lady I may say:

Lady Brighid of the Healing Flame,

Bright and shining one, please show the way,

as I continue to walk this spiral path for another year and a day.

May I progress in becoming ever more like You!

So Mote it Be!

Blessed Imbolc,

Sarina ❤️

Deck the halls! Yuletide approaches! I love the greenery that adorns our homes and stores at this time of year. The Yule tree is symbolic of the green new life that returns with the light of the sun at the solstice.

The song, Deck the Halls, is actually an old Welsh song that was originally sung at New Year. The falalalala warms my pagan heart. What lovelier practice could there be than hanging some magickal greenery about at Midwinter?

Pine is perhaps the most commonly seen greenery at Yule. It can be protective, as well as attract abundance. It’s fresh scent feels cleansing. When you think about the cold wintry weather and how vulnerable we are at this time to the elements and disease, plants that bring abundance and protection would seem magickally useful.

Holly, with its prickly leaves, seems obviously protective. In sympathetic magick the physical qualities of a plant relate to the magickal properties. Those blood red berries not only hint at a warning , but also attract the health and vitality needed to make it through until spring.

Mistletoe is perhaps best known for its use in kissing balls. It is useful in love magick, but once again, protection is one of its key functions in magick. Kissing under the mistletoe, in fact, is supposed to protect a love relationship. Incidentally, mistletoe is quite toxic, so be careful how you use it in spells.

Lastly, one of my favorite Yule herbs is bayberry…as in a real bayberry candle. Be sure you pay for the real thing and not bayberry scented candles if you want to stir up some magick! If you can find pure bayberry essential oil that could serve for annointing a candle, but I found it easier to find the candles. An old colonial charm states:

A bayberry candle when burned to the socket,

Brings health to the home,

And puts money in the pocket!

On Yule I will light my bayberry candle and allow it to burn down in a safe place (my fireplace 😉).

Abundance and protection: these most appreciated gifts of our Yuletide green allies surround us with their blessings! Do you use any other plants at Yule for their magickal energy? If so, please mention them in the comments below.

Let’s deck the halls and drink a toast to the return of the sunlight at Winter Solstice!

Yuletide Blessings,

Sarina

Ah… the veil is thin at Samhain! Time to commune with the spirits!

Our coven will often celebrate Samhain by casting a permeable circle at the start of our ritual. With a permeable circle spirits and the living alike can enter and leave the circle as they like. At Samhain we invite in the ancestors and call the quarters, being careful to stipulate that only helpful spirits may enter who are there for our highest good. At our Samhain ritual the other night we cast such a circle around the whole property so that we could enter the house from our outdoor circle area in the Oak and Willow Glen to go and eat our dumb supper.

A permeable circle is also a nice way to leave up the enchantment of a sacred space for the spirits to commune for a time past the ritual conducted by the living. At Samhain the idea of leaving up the circle until dawn seems like a cool idea. When hosting a sabbat ritual some of us have been known to go back to the ritual area after all our coven mates have left to further enjoy the enchantment of the circle.

Why not try casting a permeable circle of sacred space to invite in the spirits this Samhain? The idea is to cast a circle as usual but state that the circle is permeable, as well as what time it is to be released.

Here are the words we used to cast our permeable circle:

“Cast a permeable circle
Around I go,
To focus the energy
And help it grow.
To make protection 
Sure and true,
To guard us now in all we do.
And when the sun rises 
This enchantment will cease.
And then at that time
Will the circle release.
Three times around the wheel I go.
And as above,
So below
THE CIRCLE IS CAST!”

When you have finished your ritual be sure to thank all the deities and other spirits you have called in and remind them that they may come and go as they please until the circle is released at dawn.

Need a refresher in casting a circle? Watch our YouTube video:

Casting a Circle to Create Sacred Space

May your Samhain be blessed with a harvest of inspiration and messages from the divine!

Blessed Be!

Sarina

Happy October! As promised, I have chosen 5 winners at random from the followers of The Magickal Cottage to receive a free 3 question tarot reading. Congratulations to:

Kazbaby @urkazpatton

rogue ronan @rogueronan

J Alaine @mooondust888

Heidi Brantzeg @brantzeg

Stephanie Corax @coraxsteph

If your name is listed among the winners above, please email me at mobilepsychicfair@gmail.com with your 3 questions. In the subject line please write Free Reading for (your name). Thank you for following The Magickal Cottage!

Blessings,

Sarina

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