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I’ve always been fascinated with animal spirits, guides and totems. It occurred to me that certain seasons seem to be associated with certain animals that reflect attributes of the season.

In North America we see lots of representations of one of our indigenous creatures, the turkey, during the autumn, especially the month of November.

I decided to research the meaning of the turkey as a spirit animal. It’s hard to know if what is written about the turkey spirit animal is just a reflection of the qualities of the Thanksgiving holiday that were just later assigned to the turkey.

Studying an animal’s habits in the earth plane can give insight as to the meaning associated to the animal as a spirit guide.

It turns out that turkeys are very communal animals and are said to represent community. The female turkeys are even known to lay their eggs in a communal nest! Think: Thanksgiving family gatherings.

Turkeys also represent abundance. They feast on nuts and seeds which they sometimes steal from squirrels. Maybe turkeys can represent being sneaky? Or maybe they’re just enterprising? Take your pick! Abundance makes me think of the feasts we share this time of year in some households.

Turkey, however, is about balance and being deeply connected to Earth. He reminds us to honor what you have and be thankful. Acquiring things on the physical plane just for the sake of “having more” is a pointless endeavor. So being thankful at Thanksgiving is an apt association for this seasonal spirit animal.

Are you a community oriented individual with a strong connection to the earth? Then maybe turkey is your personal spirit animal guide or totem! Let me know in the comments if you can make any other connections to the turkey spirit.

Autumn Blessings! 🌽🦃

Sarina

You’ve probably heard a lot about routinely cleansing yourself and your home to remove low vibrations and negativity. But warding and protecting your home can be just as important to keep away the astral nasties and low-vibe negativity! Why not make your cleansings easier by not accumulating so much bad energy to begin with?

There are many ways to ward your home using everyday household items or things from the natural environment. Today I’m posting a video on my YouTube channel to show you one enjoyable way to create a charming enchanted apple wreath. I hope you enjoy watching it. Let me know how your wreath turned out! Click the following link to visit The Magickal Cottage on YouTube: Kitchen Witch Magickal Apple Wreath and while you’re there why not subscribe to my channel? 🌝

Just for your witchy information here’s what Witchipedia has to say about the Magickal Apple:

Apples are sacred to many Goddesses including Aphrodite, Iduna, Freya, Pomona, Eris and through various folklore, Apples are associated with love, fidelity, fertility, marriage, beauty, vanity, wisdom, the soul, the afterlife and immortality. Apples are arguably the most magical and symbolism-laden of fruits.

Love those little pentagrams in the center of the apple. Talk about protection!

Kitchen Witch Blessings,

SARINA 🍎💫

I couldn’t let this rare full moon go by without mentioning a great way to capture some of that amazing moon energy.

Witch’s knots have been used for ages to capture the energy of the environment to be used at a later date in spell work.

Here is a short how-to to get you started on your blue moon witch’s knot:

Under the light of the full moon start with a length of ribbon, yarn or cord about the length of your forearm or longer. Tie a knot in one end. I used blue to correspond to the blue moon.
Cross the ribbon like you are tying a knot.
Start to pull the ribbon through the hole but don’t pull in all the way through.
Pull the loop of ribbon so it’s taut. You have created a slip knot.
Tie two more to total 3 slip knots. You might want to practice tying some knots before you do the actual spell under the full moon.

Here are the words to chant as you tie each of the knots:

knot of one, light reflects the Sun,

knot of two, with shinning Moon that’s Blue!

knot of three, encaptured Samhain’s magic be!!!


Blessed knots now tied and true

Charged, now, through and through!

So mote it be!

-Chant composed by Iriss Firebird

When you want to release the energy stored in your knots in spell work or for those times when you might need some of that Samhain blue moon energy, just pull on the end without the regular knot and do so with intent! And so it is! The energy is released!

Back where you started!

I hope you use this opportunity to harness the moon’s energy to enhance your magick. I also plan to charge up some more full moon water. This spell should actually be good for the next couple of nights after Samhain as long as the moon is full.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you are able to take some time to enjoy a blessed Samhain blue moon!

Blessings,

Sarina 🌝

The Samhain of 2020 will occur around the time of a full moon, and not only will it be a full moon, but a blue moon! Well, ya know we are living in crazy times, but what could be more appropriate?

A blue moon, in case you didn’t know, is the second full moon in a calendar month. It’s kind of rare for there to be a full moon at Samhain. It happens about every 19 1/2 years. But when it occurs it is always a blue moon. Blue moons carry some extra powerful full moon magick!

I wanted to sweeten things up for this special Witches’ New Year, so I brewed up some Pumpkin Full Moon Cakes to serve for the ritual cakes and ale. This is a one bowl recipe that is easy to mix up. I made them vegan because I’m that kind of kitchen witch. You can make them gluten free by substituting your favorite gluten free baking mix (it should say on the package if you can substitute it one for one with all purpose flour).

You can be creative with these little cakes and add seeds, nuts, raisins, eye of newt, etc. if you like. I hope you enjoy them as you toast to the god and goddess at this special time!

To bake these little moon cakes you will need:

1/2 cup vegan butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 TB ground flax seed that you have soaked a few minutes in 3 Tb warm water

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a bowl cream the vegan butter and both sugars until they are well combined.

Add that flax seed and water mixture and combine well.

Then add the pumpkin purée and mix well.

Next, add the spices, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well to combine.

Now add the flour and combine all the ingredients until you have a lovely fluffy dough. If you want to add anything like nuts or raisins now is the time to fold those in. Start with 1/2 cup of those bits and add more to your taste if needed.

You will be using a regular ice cream scoop to measure each cake. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup if you don’t have a scoop.

Place each cake on the cookie sheet and leave plenty of room for them to expand as they bake.

Bake them and check to see if they are set after 15 mins. Baking time is 15-18 mins. If you choose to make these cookie sized then check them at 12 minutes.

I mixed a little granulated sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkled it on the cakes after they came out of the oven. This makes about 10 moon cakes.

May you enjoy the blessings of Samhain with your near and dear. And let me know how these Pumpkin Full Moon Cakes turned out for you!

Samhain Blessings,

Sarina 🎃

#Samhain #vegankitchenwitch #pumpkinfullmooncakes

Ah, the witches’ mirror! Such a wonderful mysterious tool! Mirrors have been used in magick across all cultures for millennia. Especially valued for scrying and divination, mirrors can also be charged for warding, increasing prosperity, glamours, healing and…pretty much you name it!

I could write a book about magick mirrors but, hey, that’s already been done! I highly recommend Mickie Mueller’s book, The Witch’s Mirror: The Craft, Lore & Magick of the Looking Glass Available on Amazon

I have been wanting to create a black mirror for scrying ever since I experienced the magickal depths of the black mirror created by my friend, Firebird. I finally gathered the supplies I needed the other day and crafted my mirror! I can’t wait to use it for divination at the upcoming dark moon.

I filmed a YouTube video showing how I created my mirror which you can view here: DIY Black Mirror

Now I need to charge my mirror and I plan to use a fluid condenser to help in the enchantment. I will gather the following supplies:

1/4 c vodka or everclear; 1/2 c dried mugwort (I’m using a combo of native mugwort and artemesia vulgaris ; 1 cup water (remember that moon water from my last post?) 😉
You will also need 9 drops of colloidal silver

Also have on hand a small enamel or glass pot with a lid for cooking (no metal) and a dark colored bottle for storing your fluid condenser.

Place your mugwort and water on the stove in your pot and bring to a boil. Let it simmer away at a low boil for 20 mins. As you watch the brew, visualize the power of the energies of the contents in your cooking pot magnifying.

Place the lid on your pot and remove it from the heat. DONT lift the lid! No peeking!

Once the brew is cool, strain the contents of the pot into a jar or cup using a coffee filter or cheesecloth. You are saving the liquid.

Place the liquid back in the pot and boil it again until it measures about 1/4 cup. Don’t let it boil dry. Let this liquid cool, pour it into your bottle and add your alcohol and colloidal silver. Cap the bottle, label it and you are good to go!

Your fluid condenser should keep a long time. I’m talking probably years. Happy enchanting! You can use this stuff on all your magickal tools and in spells.

I will personally be using this magickal solution to cleanse the surface of my mirror as I intend for the mirror to be charged to bring me helpful visions and messages for my highest good. As I cleanse the mirrored surface with my solution and soft cloth, I might say, “May this black mirror be charged, May the insights flow, For the highest good may my wisdom grow. SO MOTE IT BE! Or you can come up with your own charm. Personalizing is always best, IMO.

At the dark moon I plan to cast a circle. Check out my video to see how to do this: Casting a Circle. Then, I will try the technique mentioned in Mickie’s book of placing my non dominant hand in front of the mirror and my other hand in back of it with palms facing the mirror. I will move my hands in a clockwise motion nine times to open the portal of the mirror. Then say, “This portal is open! SO MOTE IT BE!”

Candles and incense and a quiet place where you can scry without distraction would be a good addition to the scene, I might add. Soften your gaze as you look into the depths of your black mirror. You may have psychic visions, but be open to receiving messages through your other psychic senses as well. Maybe you will get a feeling about a question you have, a sense of knowing, or a phrase or name might pop into your head. Divination takes practice so relax and let it happen at its own pace. You might want to have a divination journal nearby to record any insights you are given.

When you are finished with your scrying close the portal on your mirror by placing your hands around the mirror as before and circle them counter clockwise. Say, “The portal is closed! SO MOTE IT BE!”Then release your circle as shown in the video.

Every so often you might have an urge to recharge your mirror. Use your fluid condenser and charge it as you did before. Trust yourself to know when it feels like the mirror needs recharging.

Many people choose to keep a black mirror covered while it is not being used. A black cloth or even a storage box or bag would work well. A rule of thumb is to not expose your black mirror to sunlight.

I hope you enjoy exploring the world of the witch’s mirror. May this enchanting tool guide you further along your spiritual path and open a world of new magickal possibilities!

Divine Blessings,

Sarina 🌛🌝🌜

There’s a full moon coming up and this will be a great time to charge up a fresh supply of full moon water!

Full moon water can be used in many wonderful magickal ways! But, instead of writing about this subject, I’ve decided to share a couple of videos with you. The first video is from Mickie Mueller’s YouTube channel. I’m sure you will find Mickie to be informative as week as very entertaining as she discusses the subject of charging full moon water.

https://youtu.be/IuAM7npPolY

The second video, at The Magickal Cottage YouTube channel, shows how you can decorate an enchanting moon water bottle like the one pictured above.

https://youtu.be/YZti9skqG4I

Enjoy! And have a blessed full moon!

SARINA 💚

2020 will be a year that will go down in history as a time when humanity was challenged with a pandemic that tested our skills to bring out the best in ourselves and each other.

This year our Lughnassadh ritual brought out a mix of emotions as we struggled to honor the blessings of the past year. We have been connecting with each other in our coven via the internet for rituals since last spring when social distancing became the norm, and even though we are grateful for Zoom and Skype, it has been obvious that circling online just isn’t the same as it is in person.

Normally we hold hands and hug a lot in our coven. We also gather for ritual out in nature where we can hear the sounds of the leaves rustling and animal cries. Staring at each other on a computer screen reminds us of our separation. Chanting, singing and raising energy have been a real challenge through this format. If we try to join our voices all at once, all we hear is a cacophony of disjointed sounds. So we have learned to adapt. That is what we are being called to do.

For our Lughnassadh ritual we were asked to have present something to illustrate that which we considered to represent our harvest this year. And since we were also celebrating the full moon, our “Claim Time Moon”, we were to bring something to represent that which we wish to claim or manifest for the coming year.

For Lughnassadh we generally craft some corn dollies. To my delight I came across an unopened package of corn husks in my pantry! I still have my flying witch dolly from last year. Looking at her reminded me of the fun we had sitting around the table in the magickal kitchen crafting our dollies amid the laughter and conversation. Thinking about that time seems bitter sweet.

With my corn husks soaking in water, I decided to create dollies to represent both what I was harvesting and what I was claiming. My harvest I represented with a Mother Goddess figure.

I made her to look as if she is cradling her unborn child. At times this year I felt like that child. I got very sick and I recovered thanks to my wonderful family who “mothered” me.

I also took on the role as I “mothered” a large garden. I planted herbs, vegetables, flowers and fruit trees. The garden promises to produce much abundance in the coming years if I continue to play my part and care for it.

The Magickal Orchard
Eggplants are such beautiful veggies!
The bounty of cherry tomatoes!
Of course, lots of lavender

Above all, I have felt the presence of the mother goddess especially during these trying times we’ve been experiencing. When things looked bleak a new baby was born into the family and reminded us of the miracle of new life. When people were acting in fear, others were performing selfless acts of kindness. The mother has been with us.

What I decided to “claim” for the coming year during the Claim Time Moon was the simple ability to be able to join hands and circle in the Oak and Willow Grove as we have done in the past.

Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again….
Hoof and horn, hoof and horn, all that dies shall be reborn….

I have to admit, crafting these corn dollies this year felt like a magickal act in itself. The focus on my intent put me into a meditative state unlike those times in the past when I created dollies with a group. So there was yet another blessing: remembering the magick in crafting an object for magickal purposes!

What have you harvested this year? And what do you wish to claim for yourself in the coming year?

May the blessings of Lughnassadh shine on you at this harvest time and in the months to come!

💚 Sarina

Midsomer Altar

At the summer solstice, Litha, or “Midsomer” as I like to call it, I like to harvest herbs I plan to use in the coming year for magickal and healing purposes. The sun is at its peak on this day and the plant world is lush and abundant in its growth.

Some people might wonder, “Why the name Midsomer?“Isn’t this the beginning of summer? It depends on which calendar you use. In the old Celtic calendar summer starts at Bealtaine around the first of May, so the solstice falls midway between the beginning of summer and harvest, near the beginning of August. Makes sense if you live in an agrarian society in ancient Britain!

This year I decided to harvest flowering herbs for my Midsomer Altar, and fragrant herbs for a large smudge stick that would combine the powerful solar energies of this day.

Roses must always be in my bouquets if they are available. Their high vibrational energy is one of the most powerful in the plant kingdom.

Then I filled out the arrangement with solar type flowers (those with ray like petals like the sun ). Sun colored flowers were the next addition. Then there was lavender. I love its shape and scent in a bouquet! And lavender is so healing – perfect for this healing time of year.

Rudbeckia
Lions Tail
Feverfew
Finished altar bouquet

Next, I started gathering my herbs for my special smudge stick. I wanted a really big and fat one! I cut native white sage, 2 kinds of native blue sage, sagebrush, rosemary and lavender.

Rosemary
Lavender
Native sage

I bundled up all my fragrant herbs and I added some red roses as well.

I tied cotton string around the bunch and wound it around and around, up and down several times. Then I tied off the string, trimmed the herb bunch and I will hang the smudge stick to dry before burning it. Any time I need to add a little extra solar like power to an area I will use this smudge. Can’t wait to experience that yummy smell!

Finished smudge stick

Being a green witch, many of my sabbat activities revolve around the plant world. The fae have been good to me this year and I’ve been blessed with an abundance of color and fragrance in my little corner of the planet.

May your blessings be many at Midsomer and throughout the rest of the year!

Sarina

So how’s your balance? Not your equilibrium necessarily, but your sense of well-being?

There are two times during the year when we experience an equal number of daylight and nighttime hours. Those times are the vernal or spring equinox, and the autumnal or fall equinox. In the springtime people celebrate Ostara and in the fall they celebrate Mabon. Though each sabbat has a different theme, one thing they do have in common is that they are a time of balance. So exploring your own state of balance and the health of the world around you might be worth some meditation.

When I studied pathology we defined homeostasis as a balance in the systems of the body that produces health. The vernal equinox signals a new growing season as light increases until the summer solstice. There is a natural balance in the cycles of nature.

This year of 2020 seems to be signaling to us Earth dwellers that something is definitely awry. I agree with many that we have mistreated the planet and those living beings we share it with. That this Covid 19 virus that threatens us originated in a meat market in the midst of horrid filth is not surprising. But dwelling on the cause is pointless unless it helps to change future behavior.

As many of our lives have been changed dramatically over the past few weeks (and probably will be for some time to come), we will be forced to consider what we will need to do to adapt and survive: to return to a state of balance. Sadly, some people will hoard food and other necessities, while others will cooperate and share and care.

We won’t be gathering physically for an Ostara ritual this year in my coven. Those that can will connect via the internet. But as a solitary act of ritual observance I would like to suggest the following:

Hold a white jar candle between your hands and visualize the world in a state of balance. This would include the climate and other plant and animal beings which you see in a healthy state of balance. Feel these thoughts and their energy pass through your hands and enter the candle. Light the candle and allow it to burn down in a safe place.

Take a walk in nature. Plant some seeds or bulbs you have brought with you and return over the next few weeks to observe their growth. Of course, if you tend a garden go outside and refresh your spirit there. As they say, “Who plants a garden, plants hope.”

If you are confined to your home, set a daily schedule and stick to it. Plan time for meditation and divination and talk to the god and goddess. Cleanse and feng shui your dwelling place as you bless and ward against negative energy. Do some kitchen witchery and practice other witchy crafts. If you are there with children structure their day and teach them your magickal ways! Celebrate life and growth. Spiral dance with them and sing songs to the Goddess.

Basically do as much as you can that is positive and will help you to remain positive. Like attracts like and your thoughts are things. That is the basic premise of magick.

And one last thing to remember: you have great strength and the power to overcome. There have been some times in my life when I started to give in to feelings of helplessness. Believe it or not, at those times what helped me most was to look at myself in the mirror and say, “Snap out of it! You’re a witch! You’re a child of the Goddess and you have great power!”

May you stay safe and find balance during this time of change. The only thing that doesn’t change is the fact that things change. But don’t forget that we are magickal, and magick is all about change!

Blessings of Balance,

Sarina ☀️🌈🌧

Need a little magickal grounding with some comfort food? I love potatoes; baked, mashed, fried…in just about every form potatoes are comfort food to me!

It makes sense that potatoes are so grounding. After all, they grow under the ground! There’s that sympathetic magick working for ya. In the case of our celtic culinary creation, colcannon, add a little green in the form of cabbage and you add some growth and prosperity to the mix.

In my vegan version I skip the dairy and use plant based milk and butter. To my way of thinking, the plant based dairy brings more grounding and better karma to boot!

So here is the simple recipe for this savory dish. Feel free to experiment with different types of potatoes and greens (kale works well) and add some herbs if you like.

Colcannon

You will need:

5 lbs of Yukon gold potatoes cut into cubes (I leave the peels on since they are thin and I like the texture)

Half a cabbage cut into thin slices

A stick (1/2 cup) of plant based butter (I like Earth Balance)

Plant based milk such as almond milk ( others can be used but make sure they are unsweetened) to be added if you want a thinner potato mixture.

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cover the potatoes with water and boil them until they fall apart when stuck with a fork. Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Mash them vigorously with a hand held potato masher as the remaining steam evaporates. If you need to turn the burner on low to get rid of the remaining steam do so with care. Add the vegan butter that has been cut into pieces and continue mashing. At this point decide if you want to add a little non dairy milk to make the potatoes fluffier. Just add a little at a time so the potatoes don’t get mushy. Now fold in the cabbage and cook the mixture on low for a few minutes to cook the cabbage through. The cabbage should get tender. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.

And there you have it! Let’s celebrate the grounding and bounty of nature. Take a walk on the greening land, and return to a hot bowl of tasty colcannon!

Springtime Blessings,

Sarina

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