21 December, 2010

Blessed Yule to One and All


Blessed Yule to all of my readers and their families. May the light of the full moon shine upon you and bring you the forgiveness and love of the season. 


I shared my family's two Yule trees with you at the end of November but I have not shared my favorite decoration in the house.  My Yule altar.  


Yes, it's a fireplace.  The mantel, however, acts as my altar.  As I do currently live with my parents, I have to tolerate their gas fireplace.  My new house has a wood-burning fireplace.  I won't be able to perform my ritual until my parents fall asleep.  Despite being "out of the broom closet" with my mother, my father isn't too keen on my partaking in the craft.  It will be brief and quiet and will most likely end outside under the light of the full moon.  I hope to get some great pictures to post on the blog either tonight or tomorrow.

I've always felt that the winter months brought a time of deep reflection and forgiveness, especially since most of our time is spent indoors, sheltered from the cold.  The fireplace/altar in my parent's home is a place where my family gathers together.  It is a place where we can sit and read or watch television together.  We may not utter a word to one another, but our physical being of sitting together brings us closer.  It's especially a place that I can feel some closeness with my father as he and I, although both very alike, constantly butt heads.  We're both very stubborn individuals and we are both strong in our beliefs.  Neither of us can agree to disagree.  However, in front of the fire, we can be at peace. 

 I hope wherever your place of comfort is in your home, you can find some peace, forgiveness, and relaxation.   Enjoy the light of the full moon and embrace this rare occasion.  Use her light to wash yourself of the negative energy in your life.  I know I need to.

Blessed Yule.  Blessed Solstice.  Blessed be.

20 December, 2010

Meowy Yule

He looks so pleased with his Mommy for doing this to him.  Say, "Merry Yule," Frankie! MEOW! (help me!)

19 December, 2010

Yule is almost here . . .

So, I've been a slacker with the blog.  Again.  Who knew buying a house would take away all my time?  I've been trying to put together so ideas before Yule on Tuesday.  I've been ripping apart the house for my favorite Winter desert: Red Velvet cake.  Guess what?  I own 20+ cookbooks and not one of them has a recipe for Red Velvet Cake in it!  The one I used to use was from a Southern Living December issue a couple of years ago (my mother keeps them all).  Now, it's missing in action.  I think the fae took it.  They always do this!

The picture is from another issue of Southern Living, but it isn't the same recipe.  This one is much too dense.  If only I could find it!

28 November, 2010

Second Yule Tree

This one is my favorite, mainly because of the 5-pointed star on top.  It will most likely follow me to my new house and I'll be purchasing a pre-lit one for my mom to replace this one.  The fake tree branches cut apart my mother's hands so a pre-lit one will help prevent some of the pain.  I'll probably come over and help her spread the branches so all she'll have to do is decorate it.

Normally we have three trees in my parent's house but this year we'll be sticking with two.  Basically no one wanted to go fish the third out of the storage container.  Oh well!

Yule is coming!  I can't wait!  Now if only it would snow . . .

The Yule Tree

Bringing Nature inside our homes during the winter months reminds us that although the outer world is bleary and sleeping, our Mother is still alive underneath.  There is no bigger representation of the rebirth of light during the Winter Solstice than the Yule Tree.  It is the time of year when we say good-bye to the Holly King and welcome the birth of the Oak King again. 

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, my family drags the holiday decorations out of the attic and starts putting them up.  However, for the past few years, the task of putting up our three trees (Christmas trees to them, Yule Tree to me), has fallen on my shoulders.  I'm not sure why it's happened but it seems like I'm the only one that gets giddy with the merry feelings of the season.  I'd like to share with you some of items from my Grimore that I do during Yule besides putting up three trees.

Yule Ideas
  • Keep a bowl of warm water with cranberries and orange zest on your hearth.  
  • Keep Holly for the Goddess and Mistletoe for the God on your altar
  • Meditate starting on the first of December, picturing the light coming back into our lives.  Using incense scented with bayberry, frankincense, myrrh or cinnamon always helps me focus.
  • Share stories/myths about the Solstice with family and/or friends.
  • Decorate your home with loved ones - don't be like me, doing it alone.
I'll post more Yule items throughout the month.  I was thinking of doing a monthly series on it.  What do you think?  

27 November, 2010

A Magical Birthday

I walked into a princess parade.  Everyone told me happy birthday (it helped that I was wearing a pin that read, "Happy Birthday!").  There were no lines on any rides.  But best of all, the park was lit up and decorated for Winter.  I stood on the bridge across from Cinderella's palace and cried tears of joy at the beautiful sight.  The only thing that could have made this birthday better is if my husband could have been there to share it with me.  But alas, with buying the new house, I could only afford to send myself to the NCTE conference and, thankfully, my school district will be paying for most of the bill (minus the park ticket, of course).



 

Photo: My view from the bridge, 11/18/10

12 November, 2010

Witchy Library

What books do you think should be in every witches' library?  I'm looking to expand mine but because I've just bought a house, spending money is out of the question.  So, I wanted to share my "Wish List" with all of you and see what you all felt was essential for every witch to have in their library.

Willow's Wish List
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant
The Witches' God by Janet and Stewart Farrar
The Witches' Goddess by Janet and Stewart Farrar
Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner
Real Magic by P.E.I. Bonewits
The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions by Pauline Campanelli
Aradia: The Gospel of Witches. by Charles Leland (Translation by Mario and Dina Pazzaglini)
An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present by Doreen Valiente
Cunningham's Encylopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Dictionary of Ancient Deities by Patricia Turner and Charles Russell Coulter
The Grandmother of Time by Z. Budapest
Wheel of the Year by Pauline Campanelli
The White Goddess by Robert Graves

I know there are a few books on here that I really should own by now.  I just haven't gotten around to buying them as I've been busy reading some of the more obscure authors out there as well as the blogs of my fellow readers.  This list comes from a book called Dedicant: A Witch's Circle of Fire by Thuri Calafia.  I'm a little beyond the material covered in the book but its interesting to look at a beginners book that takes a different persepective on the path.  I'm enjoying the read but I wanted to here from others out there.  So, what do you think of this list?  What should I already have/must have on my shelf?  Have you read any of these books?  What did you think of the ones you've read?

11 November, 2010

Thank you!

I wanted to thank everyone who sent their congratulations to us on the purchase of our first home. It meant a great deal to my husband and me. The retaining wall is in fact ours and we will be going by today to see how damaged it is. Hopefully it isn't too bad and the current owners will agree to drop the price a little bit for the repairs. Thank the Goddess and the God that my father was a landscape architect. Again, all my love and blessings to those who wished us well and had us in their thoughts. I do not think that getting this house would have been possible without you.

07 November, 2010

Woah.

Our offer was accepted on the house!!!

I don't want to completely jump for joy because no papers have been signed yet.  However, I did want to thank everyone who sent their good wishes and karma our way.  I think it really helped things go positively for us.

Blessings all!
) O (

Fur Baby with his Grandpa

For a man who claims to hate animals, animals sure love him!  Sorry Dad!
Frankie loves his Grandpa!  My father's face clearly expresses his feelings towards his grandson . . .

This little witch needs a house!

So, today may be the day I finally get my own little house.  I will continue to dream that it looks like Sally Owen's home from Practical Magic but finding a beautiful Victorian like that here on Long Island requires a lot more cash than this little witchy teacher will ever come by.

We made our first offer at 5:30PM yesterday and our 2nd just a few moments ago.  The hubby is off at the Italian Grocery getting meats for my mom and I'm sitting here bubbling with excitement.  I'm not sure if I should light candles, keep praying to the Goddess and the God or both or just let things ride on their natural flows.  I think the part that excites me most, is that once all of the concrete is ripped up from the backyard, I'll have room for a garden! 

Keep me in your thoughts readers and send some good wishes my way! 

31 October, 2010

Samhain Blessings

I know I've been an absent blogger in the month of October.  Work has been quite stressful and I'm hoping the stress will subside this week.  I did want to pop on and wish everyone a Blessed Samhain and a Happy Witch's New Year. 

I miss you readers!

04 October, 2010

And the winner is . . .

I'm so sorry for the delayed posting about the giveaway winner.  I didn't expect to be so busy this weekend!

So, I put all the names into my magic caldron
and closed the lid to shake up the teenie strips of paper with my wand.
And the magic caldron revealed our winner!
The winner is Penny from Palaver from Pellie & Ghengis Khat!  Congratulations!  Please e-mail me at greenwillowofthewoods AT gmail DOT com with your name and mailing information.  Thank you so much to everyone who entered!  I look forward to the next giveaway with all of you.  If any of you have a shop online (or in the real world) that you would like to promote, please feel free to e-mail me at the address above with your information and the item you'd like to give away.

01 October, 2010

The Countdown to Samhain

Thank the Goddess and the God for October!  September seemed to take forever and I'm happy that the days are closer and closer to Samhain and Hallowe'n - my favorite time of year!  My friends and I have each and every weekend packed with fun fall activities and tomorrow is no exception.  We'll be heading to the Headless Horseman in Ulster County, NY.  I've never been to this particular attraction before, so I'm really looking forward to it.

And . . . tomorrow is the last day to enter my first giveaway!  Get your entries in now!  There are multiple ways to put in extra entires so if you've already put your name in once, put your name in a few more times!

Plus, remember to stop by Mrs. B's Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom for the 31 Days of Halloween.

26 September, 2010

Wandering Around House Shopping

The hubby and I looked at 8 houses around Long Island today and both of our heads are spinning.  I'm hoping to be out of my parent's house by my birthday in November.  We saw some houses that have potential and then some that just needed a bulldozer.  Part of me feels like I'm going to be stuck with my parents forever and I'm growing more and more resentful of their meddling nature. 

Here's my main issue: I hate the town I grew up in.  I'm tolerating this place while I live with my parents and the hubby and I save for our own home.  I'm grateful that my parents are doing us this huge favor.  I know I have it real easy right now, especially since we do not have to pay any rent.  However, my parents don't understand my utter loathing of this town and my need to escape it as fast as possible.  It's caused quite a few fights in the past few days and now my father and I are not even speaking.  They've basically backed my husband and I into a corner and are pushing this, excuse my French, shithole house onto us.  It's a great deal but you need another $150K to fix it up and make it liveable.  Let's just say animals have dug through the roof and there is black mold in the upstairs.  It's awful.  But they keep repeating over and over, "It's a great deal.  It's going for $100-200K less than other houses in the town. Blah blah blah."  No matter how many times I tell them, "I hate it here and I never want to live here/raise a family here," they keep pushing.  I understand the great school district (my husband works for them).  I understand.  I get it.  It's not what I want.  It's everything I don't want

But in other news, I'm getting a lot of great feedback/comments about the giveaway!  However, I wanted everyone to know that The Fairy Apothecary is not my shop!  I wish it were but I cannot take credit for the wonderful work my friend Kristin does.  I do help her out from time to time at craft shows but all of the work is done in her Fairy Den in Upstate New York.  Also, if I could make your screens scratch and sniff I would!  All of her soaps smell amazing!  My personal favorite is Love Spell.  I've used all of her products, so feel free to ask me about any of them.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

25 September, 2010

A Fur Baby and the Hubby

Look how cuddly they're being!   
My hubby doesn't look to pleased about me taking his photo . . .

My first giveaway, featuring The Fairy Apothecary

It's finally here!  I was originally going to wait until I had 100 followers but The Fairy Apothecary had too many great things for fall to pass this up.  Plus, this giveaway is in honor of Sally's Bath Product Shop for The Practical Magic Blog Party.

So, who/what is The Fairy Apothecary?  She is also known as the Bath Fairy and she creates amazing hand make soaps, lotions and other bath enchantments out of her basement studio in Upstate New York.  The Bath Fairy draws her inspiration from the colors, sights and smells of the natural world and, of course, that wonderful feeling people get during and after a wonderfully relaxing or invigorating bath or shower experience.  All of her soaps and lotions are made from all natural materials, including goat's milk and shea butter (which is organic and fair trade).

The Fairy Apothecary and I are giving away fall scented, leaf shaped soaps.  They are infused with the spicy scents of fall and just having them in my house makes me long for Samhain and Halloween.

So, how do I enter?

Giveaway Requirements
  •  Have an blog accessible through your user name or leave an email address with each entry.
  • Have a mailing address within the United States, United Kingdom or Canada
  • Visit The Fairy Apothecary's Etsy store , come back here and leave a comment about your favorite item.
  • All entries must be submitted by midnight on October 2nd












  

Extra Chances to Win! (You must leave a separate comment for each extra entry)

Special Notes:
  • If your blogger profile is set to private, I will be unable to find your blog or email via your profile.  If there is no email address in your comments, and your blogger profile is private, your entries DO NOT count.
  • Entries submitted in one comment posting will only count as one entry
  • If you're reading these Special Notes, enter a comment with simply the word "soap" for an extra chance to win!
  • Spam or comments with links unrelated to the giveaway will not be counted as an entry
  • Please submit all entries in English

24 September, 2010

Woah.

It's been a long two weeks.  Last week was Open House and I'm running the clock and scoreboards for both the JV and Freshman boys soccer teams as well as going to Graduate school Tuesday nights.  Friday night was the hubby's cousin's wedding, Saturday was the family brunch and then we were off to Windham Mountain for the Warrior Dash on Sunday.  This week, was more timing on top of my wonderful sinus infection.  I finally broke down yesterday and went to the doctor.  I was also an insane person and I worked out for an hour after going to the doctor.  Part of me was hoping to sweat the illness out of me.  The Z-pack has kicked in a little bit but my ears are still popping like crazy and I feel the ickiness in my head swishing around.

I'm still a little upset that I was too sick to doing anything for Mabon or the Harvest moon on the blog or even personally.  Tomorow is the Practical Magic Blog Party and I'm going to infuse it with Mabon/Fall goodies, including . . .

My very first give-a-way!

Look for more information tomorrow afternoon.

Photo located here.

21 September, 2010

While I fight off this awful cold

If you've been following the Facebook page for my blog, you may have heard about the Green Witch's adventures at the Warrior Dash this past weekend.  I wanted to share the end of the race with you.

The Last Obstacle: The Mud Moat 

- photo by the hubby

Me (on left) and my muddy friends
- photo by the hubby

I'm feeling a little better this evening.  I will (hopefully) be posting some Mabon activities, prayers and rituals later tonight and/or tomorrow. 

I've been sick

It's that time again.  I always catch a cold during the first few weeks of school as it is a petri dish of germs.  I'll be back to posting within the next few days.  Thanks for your patience! 

Image found here

13 September, 2010

Monday Mutterings: Personal Poetry

I wrote this this past winter about the man I thought I was going to marry.  I ended up with a wonderful husband who is worth my worship and praise.

“Worshiping the Boy”

Holding onto
                       frivolous
promises made
                                               love
       underneath the
       gaze of the
                                         m o o n l i g h t
                drawn
                to her
                                        mind less banter
       for the child
       who is
                                       name less worry
                 for the girl
                 who lost her
                                                         self
worth less in the
              
eyes of the
                boy who
                              raped her
senses with
flippant oaths
                written
                      on
                          the
                              m o o n s t o n e.

12 September, 2010

Fellow New Yorkers . . .

Did you see the blue lights yesterday?
 Image from here

This is what I saw coming over the Tappan Zee Bridge last night.  This is my skyline.  I fell in love with its splendor and majesty when I looked at it from across the river visiting my future college home, St. John's University.  I watched it change from across that river from the roof of my dorm room.  I didn't watch it on television.  I watched it live and in person.  I cried and I dialed the cell phone numbers of friends who lived a block away at NYU and Pace University.  One week into my freshman year of college and my world was shattering around me.

I don't watch the memorial on television.  I avoid it on purpose.  It's not that I don't want to remember.  It's not that I want to forget either.  The problem is I do remember and the images wake me in the night sometimes.  I didn't watch it from the streets like my friend's did but I watched helplessly in the borough next door.  I couldn't help them.  My campus shut down and wouldn't allow anyone to leave.  I couldn't run to help them.

Two months later, while coming home from visiting my friend at Pace, I walked down the streets to the nearest ACE subway.  Maybe it's because it was 4AM.  Maybe it's because I wanted to believe it was a dream.  Maybe I had become numb to the smell of death and burnt out steel.  I came to a barricade.  At that moment, I didn't understand why it was there.  I looked beyond it and saw the rubble.  Another image I cannot erase.

I will not forget.  I will remember.  I will always be haunted.  I hope you feel the same.

Post-Script: I know that non-New Yorkers feel the void, too.  I just live in the shadow of that great big city and those lights carried me home last night.  They haunt me and I need to vent.

10 September, 2010

A Sun Worshiping Fur Child

Marty will worship that last little strip of sunlight!

09 September, 2010

I Feel it Coming

I woke up this morning and I could feel the change.  It's been lurking around me for the past week or so but now I felt the movement and the winds changing direction.  The humidity has left Long Island and the coolness of fall is finally here.  I went looking into my old notebooks after I woke up and found another Keats poem that I'd long forgotten about.  I thought it would be fitting to go with the seasonal changes I felt this morning. 

So, my readers, have you felt the changes yet?  Have you felt the slowing movements of our mother under your feet?  I feel her getting sleepy and ready for her winter's rest.  I feel the God growing inside of her.  I feel the final harvest coming.  I smell the beauty of fall surrounding me and I'm coming back to life.  I am a child of autumn.  I can't wait.

"Ode to Autumn" by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,---
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

05 September, 2010

Oh no!

The kiddies come back to school on Tuesday.  I had my Superintendent's Conference day this past Thursday.  I'm still in shock that summer is over, hence my absence on the blog.  Plus, I've been helping my brother move into his new apartment in Hoboken, NJ.  It's a nice place when you get past the six flight walk-up!  I don't think I need to go to the gym anymore.  I just need to take the hour drive to visit my brother and climb his stairs!

Since I'm a little lost for ideas (my brain is only seeing ninth graders and summer reading essays!) I'm asking you my blog readers.  What would you like to see me post about?  More Mabon?  Full moon ritual ideas?  Tell me because my brain isn't ready to work!

31 August, 2010

Help End Our Dependence on Fossil Fuels


 Please sign the Solar Bill of Rights.  The entire world needs to depend more on renewable energy sources and the sun is one of our greatest resources.  Don't let big oil ruin the earth any further.  Click on the link below to sign and call your local representatives.  Petitions do a lot but you need to let Congress and the Senate here your voice too.  Please encourage your non-Pagan neighbors to do the same.  It's not just our responsibility as Pagans to do our part.  Humanity needs to do it together.

Solar Bill of Rights

Mabon Feast Recipe Swap

 Mabon
The witch's thanksgiving.  The second harvest.  The celebration of the vine.  The time of balance.  The return of the Lord of Shadows.  The time of thanks.  The time of remembrance.

As witches, Mabon is the time of year when we gather to give thanks for what we have been blessed with during the harvest.  It is a time when we prepare for long winter ahead and for the final harvest at Samhain.  One of the many ways we celebrate and give thanks to our Gods is through the feast.  Mabon begins my favorite time in the Wheel of the Year as it is time for all my favorite harvest/fall foods.  And what is a fall feast without cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes!

Cranberry-Orange Sauce
2 cups fresh/frozen cranberries
1 Tbs grated orange zest
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute (add more if you'd like a sweeter sauce)

Place all cranberries, zest, cinnamon and water into a medium sized saucepan over medium heat; stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until berries have popped and sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and add sugar/sugar substitute.  Serve at room temperature.

Sauce can be made up to one week before Mabon and refrigerated (NOT FROZEN!) in a covered container.

Cider Roasted Sweet Potatoes
3lbs of Sweet Potatoes, sliced into wedges
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup apple cider

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss together potato slices, oil, cinnamon, salt/pepper in a large bowl.  Transfer to a baking dish and drizzle with cider.  Roast until browned and cooked through (30 min).


Once you're done cooking and the table is set, say some form of prayer/thanks (see below for my personal favorite) for the harvest and remember those who may have to go without.  I always make it a point to go through my closets, especially my winter items, and give them away to local charities as well as making my donation to Island Harvest (a Long Island version of City Harvest).  You can also donate your time to a local soup kitchen and help feed those less fortunate than ourselves.  I always try to get my students to remember that people are hungry all the time, not just during the holidays and making charitable contributions throughout the year is important. 


Equal hours of light and darkness
we celebrate the balance of Mabon,
and ask the gods to bless us.
For all that is bad, there is good.
For that which is despair, there is hope.
For the moments of pain, there are moments of love.
For all that falls, there is the chance to rise again.
May we find balance in our lives
as we find it in our hearts.


What are your favorite Mabon recipes?  What do you plan on cooking this year?  Share your recipes with the Linky tool below or in the comments section!

29 August, 2010

Sunday Nature Musings

 From hiking in the Catskills

"Faery Songs" by John Keats


I.
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! oh, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core.
Dry your eyes! oh, dry your eyes!
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies,--
Shed no tear.

Overhead! look overhead!
'Mong the blossoms white and red--
Look up, look up! I flutter now
On this fresh pomegranate bough.
See me! 'tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man's ill.
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Adieu, adieu -- I fly -- adieu!
I vanish in the heaven’s blue,--
Adieu, adieu!

II.
Ah! woe is me! poor silver-wing!
That I must chant thy lady's dirge,
And death to this fair haunt of spring,
Of melody, and streams of flowery verge,--
Poor silver-wing! ah! woe is me!
That I must see
These blossoms snow upon thy lady's pall!
Go, pretty page! and in her ear
Whisper that the hour is near!
Softly tell her not to fear
Such calm favonian burial!
Go, pretty page! and soothly tell,--
The blossoms hang by a melting spell,
And fall they must, ere a star wink thrice
Upon her closed eyes,
That now in vain are weeping their last tears,
At sweet life leaving, and these arbours green,--
Rich dowry from the Spirit of the Spheres,
Alas! poor Queen!

28 August, 2010

Fur Baby Friday (a little late - sorry!)

Frankie (the Siamese) gets most of the attention of these Fur Baby posts.  I'll have to work harder to catch Marty in acts of cuteness.  It's just difficult when all the little one does is sleep!

Frankie plays with Marty's favorite toy - the carrot!

26 August, 2010

Thank You!








to Dancing with a Spatula Wand for bestowing me with the Versatile Blogger Award.
I don't tend to do the blog awards for a couple of reasons 1) for a while I was getting too many to keep up with 2) I love too many blogs to give to only a few!  So, thank you Dancing with a Spatula Wand!  I'm going to cheat (as usual) and award this to all the blogs I follow.  I can't pick only a few of you since all of you have helped shaped this blog into what it is today.

25 August, 2010

I'm not very crafty . . .

Scarf I'm currently working on for the hubby

In fact, I can only knit (see above) and I'm not very good at it.  I keep trying though.  I would like to be more crafty.  I look at all the wonderful things that many of you post on your own blogs and I'm very jealous of your talents.  I hope that once I'm done with Graduate school this fall I'll have more time for crafty things.   I'm actually looking for suggestions for crafts I can do.  I'm a beginner, so nothing too complex.  I'm open for anything.

24 August, 2010

Elementals: Earth

From hiking Slide Mountain - highest mountain in the Catskills
 Earth
Direction: North
Time of Day: Midnight
Colors: Green/Brown
Represents: the Goddess, old age, strength, stability, wisdom, business, money, career, wealth, physical form
Sabbat: Yule
Herbal Correspondences: cedar, clove, fern, honeysuckle, jasmine, mandrake, patchouli, pine, sage, slippery elm
Zodiac Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Tarot Suit: Pentacles
Used for: material matters, fertility rituals, strengthening oneself, prosperity spells

One of my favorite meditations to use to connect with the Earth is the Tree Blending Meditation in Ann Moura's Grimoire for the Green Witch.  It's one of the few pre-written meditations that I use and have  done so several times.  I wanted to use it on our camping trip but I didn't get a chance to.  There's always next time.  It's a lengthy meditation and it's great to use on the night of a full moon or a new moon.  I tend to do meditations of the new moon as it's a more reflective time for me.  There's one tree that I tend to talk to the most in my yard, a Japanese Maple.  I love the way she looks in winter best.


There's just something about those little trees that I love dearly.  I'll often sit in our pool (which is to the right of the tree - not pictured), gaze at it and talk to it quietly.  I helped plant her in 1995 with my Dad and ever since then I've had a very keen connection with the tree.  I'll even admit to hugging her, which I feel is one of the best ways to connect with the earth.  Hug her.  Hug a tree.  Hug a beloved pet.  Lay on the ground with your face towards the earth and just feel her beneath you.  You'll be amazed by the warmth and love you feel back.

23 August, 2010

I am a Hurricane!

For those of you who don't know, I use my Craft Name (Willow) as my blog identity.  However, the name my parents gave me is Danielle and I am also a hurricane!

Elementals: Fire


Campfire from camping trip to the Catskills, NY


 Fire
Direction: South
Time of Day: Noon
Colors: Red/Orange
Represents: youth, energy, drive, passion, ambition, career, creativity, healing, protection, will, divine within, male fertility, the God
Sabbat: Litha
Herbal Correspondences: alder, basil, bay laurel, carnation, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, garlic, holly, hyssop, marigold, pepper, primrose, rosemary, rowan, rue, saffron, St. Johnswort
Zodiac Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Tarot Suit: Wands
Used for: to heal and/or harm, creation and/or destruction, purification, bring new life, end the life of the worn out and old

One of the many ways I love to work with fire is through cooking.  And what better place?  The kitchen holds the hearth of the home and, of course, plenty of fire energy.  There's something that comes alive within me while I'm cooking and the energy that builds in the house when my fellow witches cook together is amazing.  I cannot wait to make something for the Full Moon tomorrow.  This is a recipe I tried recently and loved.

Fire Spice Pork Chops
You will need:
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to mix herbs and garlic into a paste) - Approx. 2 Tbs.
4 center rib pork chops, about 1/2" thick
4 lemon wedges
1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper

  1. In a small bowl, combine herbs, garlic and pepper.  Add olive oil and work into a paste.  Press spice mixture onto both sides of each pork chop.
  2. Coat a grill or grill pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-high.
  3. Grill pork until there is no pink inside (6-8 minutes per side)
  4. Divide and serve with lemon wedges.

20 August, 2010

Fur Baby Fridays

Even my cat is a book nut!  He wants to be one with Barnes and Noble bag.

19 August, 2010

Elementals: Air


Video taken by Willow in Western New York

 Air
Direction: East
Time of Day: Sunrise
Colors: Yellow/White
Represents: The God, childhood, intellect, thought, mind, victory, power, conflict, conscious mind
Sabbat: Ostara
Herbal Correspondences: broom, elder, eucalyptus, hazel, lavender, lemon, verbena, marjoram, mistletoe, mugwort, nutmeg, peppermint, sandalwood, spearmint, thyme, wormwood
Zodiac Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Tarot Suit: Swords
Used for: communication, wisdom or the powers of the mind, carries away troubles, blows away strife, and carries positive thoughts

Air is the element I feel least connected with.  Perhaps it's because I'm deeply a water sign in so many ways.  I fall into every Scorpio stereotype imaginable.  I'm in love with being in water, snow, ice, etc.  However, air and its powers escape me.  I'm horrid with conflict.  I'm a bigger dreamer than living in reality.  I'm smart but I'm not always aware of it.  In fact, I'm humble.  I drown myself with guilt.  I surround myself with my troubles.  I brew in my mistakes.  I could use the power of air often but I have not found balance with this element yet.  I hope to work with my coven on expanding my abilities with Air.  I think it would make a much happier and calmer person. 

When I return from camping this weekend I hope to have some great videos for earth and fire.  I'm not sure what I'll do for spirit yet, but I'll think of something.  My school district gave the laptop program teachers - a group of 200 teachers trained on MacBooks and we use them in our daily lessons - Flip Cameras.  I took the 2 videos I've posted with my Flip Camera and edited them on my Macbook.  It's all practice for eventually using it in my classroom and I'm having an awesome time using it for my witchy things.

Elementals: Water



Video taken by Willow at Niagara Falls

Water
Direction: West
Time of Day: Sunset
Colors: Blue/Gray
Represents: The Goddess, maturity, emotion, psychic ability, intuition, love, subconscious mind
Sabbat: Mabon
Herbal Correspondences: apple, ash, burdock, catnip, chamomile, cypress, elecampane, geranium, henbane, hyacinth, ivy, meadowsweet, myrrh, orris root, poppy, rose, star anise, willow and yarrow
Zodiac Signs: Cancer,  Scorpio, Pisces
Tarot Suit: Cups
Used for: healing, cleansing, and purification

Water has always been a source of power for me.  This past weekend the hubby and I visited Niagara Falls and I cannot begin to tell you how much I felt the power of the place within me.  I stood watching the water fall in front of me, mezmorized by its beauty.  If we didn't have an 8 hour drive in front of us, I would of stayed there until the park closed.  I cannot wait to go back so I can see it lit up at night as well as from the Canadian side (we forgot our passports at home).

I'm currently working on a water meditation.  As soon as it is finished I will share it with all of you.  I think I'll complete it on our camping trip this weekend.  I'm going to be making a few posts today to make up for the ones I'll be missing while we're away.  I know it seems like I've been away a lot lately but I'm trying to make up for some lost (fun) time.  I spent almost all of my summer doing work for my Graduate class.  I only have 3 more weeks left before the school year begins and I start writing my thesis.  This little witch needs some Nature time!

17 August, 2010

While I edit photos

I thought everyone could enjoy this as much as I have been enjoying it.  I haven't bought a copy of Rolling Stone in years, but I'm sure getting this one!  Team Eric! <3

13 August, 2010

A Patriotic Fur Baby


Hail to the chief, who in triumph advances,
Honored and bless'd be the evergreen pine!
Long may the tree in his banner that glances,
Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line.
 
My posts may or may not happen this weekend as the hubby and I are headed to Buffalo, NY for a wedding.  Hooray for 8 hour+ car rides!  I'm going to be taking tons of pictures of the beautiful landscape while we're away and since water is my power element, I plan on making the trip to Niagara Falls before we come home on Sunday.  I'll be bring my laptop with me, so I will attempt to post.  I don't want to fall back into lazy habits.

12 August, 2010

For Isaac


We wish you all the love
and happiness we may.
We will never forget you.
Do not you forget us.
Whenever we meet here,
you are always welcome.
So mote it be.

- from Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft

Some setbacks

I made my usual mistake of weighing/measuring myself when I went to the gym today.  I thought that I'd gained some weight during the summer and I was right.  I was also wrong.  It wasn't some weight.  It was a lot of weight.  Almost all of the weight I've lost, in fact, has come back.  This is where my laziness has gotten me.  I've spent too many days merely sitting on the computer when I should have been doing laps in the pool.  And now I must attend a wedding this weekend in a dress that will be too tight on me.  I'm more than disappointed in myself.  I lashed out at my husband in the middle of Macy's and screamed at my mother when we got home.  I don't like the person I become when I'm depressed.  I wish I knew a better way to handle these kind of setbacks in my life but I just get downright bitchy.

So, it's back to South Beach as I think Weight Watchers is a load of crap.  I'm sorry to those of you who use it - I don't agree with their plan.  I agree with portion control but I don't like that you have to pay them for their weight loss advice.  They (finally) started selling their cookbook in bookstores but even after flipping through it, I'd rather stick with South Beach.  This is also another big motivator to purchase my own house soon.  I love that my parents are doing my husband and I a HUGE favor by letting us live here rent free but I cannot control the menu and it's driving me bonkers.  What my Mom views as healthy cooking/eating is basically cutting out bread or just not eating until dinner.  I need to have my own kitchen back.  I miss cooking for myself all the time.

Since I haven't been following the South Beach exclusively for over a year, I need to start back in phase one.  Starting tomorrow and for the next two weeks I cannot eat anything on the list below.  It's going to be hard but I've done it before and I can do it again.  Here's to a new start and better luck this time.  I've got 55lbs to lose and I'm not giving up.  I will look the way I used to.  Magick is the power of words as well as power in faith.  Look over me Lord and Lady.  Help me not fail this time.

Foods NOT Allowed and to be Avoided in Phase 1
VEGETABLES
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Potatoes, white
  • Potatoes, sweet
  • Yams
BEEF
  • Brisket
  • Liver
  • Other fatty cuts
  • Rib steaks
POULTRY
  • Chicken, wings and legs
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Poultry products, processed
PORK
  • Honey-baked ham
VEAL
  • Breast
FRUIT
Avoid ALL fruits and fruit juices in Phase 1, including:
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapefruit
  • Peaches
  • Pears
CHEESE
  • Brie
  • Edam
  • Non-reduced fat
DAIRY
  • 1/2 cup of plain fat-free yogurt (once per day max.)
  • Fat Free 1/2 & 1/2, Nonfat milk, 1% milk,
  • Soy milk allowed with coffee. Otherwise avoid all other dairy products (unless listed under protein choices or sweet treats).
  • Limit to < 2 TBS per cup of coffee. Otherwise, avoid all milk products in Phase 1, including:
  • Yogurt, cup-style and frozen
  • Ice cream
  • Milk, low-fat, fat-free, whole
  • Milk, soy
STARCHES AND CARBS
Avoid ALL starchy food in Phase 1, including:
  • Bread, all types
  • Cereal
  • Croutons, all types
  • Matzo
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice, all types
  • Pasta, all types
  • Pastry and baked goods, all types
MISCELLANEOUS
  • Alcohol of any kind, including beer and wine
  • No regular ketchup or cocktail sauce
  • No pork rinds - too high in saturated fat
  • No jerky - too high in sugar content
  • Limit Caffeine-Containing Beverages to 1-2 servings per day 







11 August, 2010

Today is a special day

Today marks my 100th blog post!  I'm sorry I've been out of the loop since Friday.  My final paper for my Shakespeare Grad class was due by midnight last night.  I, as per usual, waiting until the last possible moment to hand in the paper.  For some reason I can only work well under pressure.  I've been checking throughout the day to see if my grade has been posted, but alas, nothing.  I'm afraid that I can't claim that the paper was my best work either.  Too many things going on all at once!

I also have a bunch of pictures from my backyard that I wanted to share.  It's not my garden, so I can't take credit for all the work that goes into it.  However, I do help my Mom out when I can and I always put the used coffee grinds and tea leafs into the tomato soil (a good gardening tip for those of you who don't already do so).

So, here is where the Green Witch plays!







Related Posts with Thumbnails