Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Twas the Night before Yule

Yule is fast approaching. Between crafting gifts, holiday shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating the home, and holiday parties, everyone is quite busy I'm sure. I know I am. But it is nice to slow down and really embrace Yule. 

My son loves a story at bedtime. It's a habit we've started when I first became pregnant with him. Yule is no exception to this tradition. The stories just focus more on the spirit of giving and love. I have a couple that I read to him each year. This year I am sharing one of our favorites with you.

'Twas the Night before Yule

'Twas the night before Yule, and all through the Coven,
The cookies were baked and removed from the oven.
The bayberry candles were lit on the table,
The altar was wrapped in a new cloth of sable.

The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Yuletime danced in their heads.
Their stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some presents soon would be there!

With Rocker in his new robe, and I in mine,
We were asking our Goddess her blessing divine.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our Circle to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, tripping over my sash,
My eyes were a-glamoured with a bright silver flash.
The moon on the breasts of the Goddess and God
Drew my eyes to behold the blessed Circle they trod.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the manifestations of all those we hold Dear.
The physical forms of those whom we pray to,
Even Saint Nick, and his miniature sleigh, too!

Jehovah, Mohammet, Shiva, Hera and Thor.
Zeus, Freya, Brahma, and many, many more.
All the Spiritual Entities who'd ever been mentioned.
Even some, like dear Loki, who sowed seeds of dissension.

They greeted eah other with smile, warm and sweet.
Then, forming a Circle, they all took a seat.
With multiple Voices all joined as One,
The Corners were Called. And, when that was done.

The Chalice was passed from Hand to Hand.
Then, a blanket of silence enfolded the land.
A crystal clear Voice began to hold sway.
Which Deity spoke? I could not say.

But, clearly, I heard all the love in that Voice.
It caused my tired heart to take flight and rejoice.
"Our Children, it seems, have missed the whole point.
"We now join together, their hearts to anoint.

"Pour all of Our love O'er their hearts of stone.
"Let them see that together they're never alone!
"Show them it matters not which of Us that they choose.
"Their sad hate and mistrust cause each of Us to lose!"

As I stood there transfixed, I could suddenly see
If we all stand as one, what a world this could be!
Put ALL of our differences well behind us.
Let the love of the Gods enfold and remind us.

We ARE all the same,though varied our skins.
We all dream the same dreams, we all sin the same sins.
With a look of enlightenment etched on my face,
I beheld all the Gods in Their glory and grace!

They all bowed Their heads then said"So mote it be!"
They all smiled at each Other bestowing winks on me.
One by One they disappeared from my sight.
Just the Goddess and God were left in the light.

As slowly They twinkled, fading by degree,
"Happy Yuletide to all!!
Blessed be times three!"

~Written by Mary, a.k.a. Wandering Poet, a.k.a.littlebit~

~ K. Michele

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


When I think of Samhain I think of Hecate. But who is she? 

Hecate is a pre-Olympian Greek goddess who ruled over the realms of earth and fertility issues. She was a goddess of childbirth and was often invoked for rites of puberty. Over time she would become a goddess of magic and socery, a mother goddess and a goddess of ghosts and the spirit world. 

Hecate is a goddess of the crossroads and is often symbolized by a spinning wheel. She is often portrayed wearing the keys to the spirit world on her belt, accompanied by a three headed dog and surrounded by torches. 

Today many Pagans and Wiccans honor Hecate in her dark goddess form, though it would be incorrect to refer to her as a crone due to her associations with childbirth and maindenhood. Her role as a dark goddess probably derives from her connection to the spirit world, ghosts, the dark of the moon and magic. She is known as a goddess who should not be invoked frivilously or without intent. 


Colors: Black, White and Purple

Stones: Black stones such as jet, onyx, black obsidian, Moonstone, black tourmaline, hematite and smoky quartz

Herbs/Plants: belladonna/nightshade, garlic, mints, mandrake, sandalwood, cypress, myrrh, patchouli, hemlock, wolfbane, azalea, lavender, monkshood, dandelion, Almond, Willow, and funerary trees, especially the yew, alder, and poplar (the yew is associated with immortality).

Hecate is good to invoke for divination, justice, protection, prophecy and self reflection. 

Just make sure that you really want the things you ask her for, because she will not hold back. :)


Monday, October 25, 2010

Samhain/Full moon Celebrations

We did an early Samhain ritual because Samhain is my wedding anniversary, we also honored the full moon and all her glory.
Dinner table

Another view

Samhain Altar

Friday, October 22, 2010

Story of Samhain

Fionah Fae and the Tale of Samhain

Once upon a fall morning, a leaf fell from a tree. It was an old oak
tree, and the tree itself was a home to many forest creatures. The
tree itself was home to one special person, if the truth be told. It
was the home to the small, curious faerie who oft went by the name
Fionah Fae. The leaf that had fallen startled the young faerie by
landing, plop, right on top of her head. A giggle shattered the
silence of the forest, and Fionah Fae pulled the leaf over her tiny
body. She had been in deep conversation with one of the squirrels who
lived in the same tree as herself, and the leaf had certainty
disturbed the conversation!

"I suppose this means Samhain is coming soon," the squirrel stated to
the young girl.

Now, for those of you who know Fionah Fae, the next question was an
obvious one. "What is Samhain?"

"Well," the squirrel thought for a moment. "It means the end of
summer is here, and winter will be starting soon. This is the time of
year we prepare for the cold season ahead. And the time of year when
I should be getting as many nuts and acorns as I can!" With that last
remark the squirrel scampered away, calling over her shoulder only to
add that the young faerie should seek out the Goddess to find out

Fionah sat under the leaf for a minute longer, thinking to herself.
She'd sought out the God and Goddess before to find out about Imbolc,
and Summer Solstice, and even Yule. Each trip had been long, but in
the end she had learned a lot, and had even had fun. And besides,
Squirrel hadn't finished explaining just what Samhain was. So Fionah
fetched her warm fall jacket, and her warm scarf, and set off,
properly dressed for the weather, to find the Goddess and learn more
about Samhain.

Fionah Fae set off through the forest, looking for the Goddess so she
could find an answer to her questions. She played in the falling
leaves, and danced over the tops of mushrooms. She stopped for tea
with a badger, and then continued her journey. After spending hours
searching for the Goddess, she came across a pumpkin patch, and
gently flew higher, until she could see the whole of the patch. And
there, standing in the middle, was a tall, beautiful woman. Her skin
was a deeply tanned brown, and her hair fell in waves of yellow,
orange, red, and brown. The young faerie didn't need to ask who the
woman in the field was, knowing right away that it was the Goddess
she had been searching for.

A smile lit the young girls lips as she hurried across the field to
stand next to the Goddess. "Mother Goddess," Fionah smiled up at the
woman. "I've come to ask you some questions if I may?" After so many
times of speaking to the Gods, Fionah Fae found she wasn't quite so
shy with them anymore, and came right to the point.

The Goddess laughed softly, and nodded. "Of course you may, Fionah."
They made a place amongst the pumpkins to sit down, and the Goddess
smiled gently. "Judging by the time of year, I will assume you're
here to ask me about Samhain. Am I correct little one?"

"You are! Squirrel said it was the end of summer, and a time for her
to gather food for winter, but she said you could tell me more."

"She was right, Fionah. Samhain is a celebration of the harvest. The
harvest being the food we gather for winter. But that is not the
whole of the celebration, little one. Samhain is also a time when we
honour our family that has passed on. Perhaps a grandparent, or a
parent, even a sister or brother, or even a loved pet. Anyone in our
family that has passed on we honour at this time. We can also try to
speak with them, and ask for their help with things in our life, or
for advice. Some people call this night Halloween, and dress up in
costumes. We do this to scare away bad energy, or bad creatures. But
this is one celebration we usually celebrate with a feast, and with
fun and games."

Fionah Fae nodded her little head and thought about all of the
information that the Goddess had just told her. There was a lot of
it! "So, how do we celebrate it then?"

The Goddess laughed, and gently kissed the top of Fionah's
head. "Well, for starters, we get dressed up as whatever we want, be
it a princess or a monster. We can play games, or some people 'trick-
or-treat'. That is when they go house to house asking for treats.
Then we have a large feast, and invite the spirits of our ancestors
to join us." There was a small pause as the Goddess looked at
Fionah. "Would you like to join me in a small celebration?"

"Oh yes, Goddess!" the young faerie smiled, happy to be invited to
join in.

"Well then, child, we shall set the feast out." With that, the
Goddess spread a large picnic blanket out, and set three places,
filling each places plate with a large amount of food, and each cup
with a fruit punch.

"Why is there three plates when there is only the two of us?" Fionah
Fae asked.

"That last place is for our ancestors, whom we invite to join us
tonight." was the kind answer Fionah recieved. The young girl nodded
to show she understood, then seated herself next to the Goddess.

"We give thanks for the harvest we have had this summer, and welcome
the coming winter. We give thanks and blessings to those who have
gone before so we could be here today." The Goddess and faerie spoke
together, smiling. "We ask for our ancestors to join us if they wish
to, to give us their blessings in the years to come. The old has
died, but new birth will come. As the days will become shorter, and
the nights become longer, we pray for peace and happiness for friends
and loved ones." As the last words died away the two ate their feast,
and laughed.

When they were done Fionah Fae smiled, and took some of the juice and
food to share with the nature spirits, by pouring some of the juice
under a tree, and gently placing the food she had taken on the ground.

"Thank you, Goddess, for teaching me about Samhain." the young faerie
smiled, and the Goddess smiled in return.

The End

(c) Laureen C. Guldbrandsen.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mabon Swap Roundup

Hi ladies (and Wulf) !
Thanks for making this blog active! At a point I thought I might be the only one posting and there you have, 8 posts, and this is my first!

I didn't participate in last swap, for some baby goodness, but here's my personal "best of" last WWP swap (round 18? I think?). So let's have some second harvest festival goodies!

(note that I favored single photographed items!)

Poem from Hawkeye_Girl to Abberroad

handmade leather running journal from Abby to HG

Amesthist necklace from Moonie to Wulf

Handmade Drum from our favorite Guy to Moonie

Clothespin Fairy from K.MichelleCraftyfea to SecretAgentStarchild

Felted Dragon from SAS to K.Michelle

Perfect Altar Salt bowl Superhooker from to Saturn

Tons of stones from StrawberryH to karmamomma

Wand from HolisticKnitter to Morgan Le Faye

Talisman from Saturn to SuperHooker

That's it for now! Hope you enjoyed and that no one's feeling is hurt not to see their favorite!

Next, Samhain! we're heading for a BIG swap (25+)!

I'll be looking for cool craft tutorial to show you (you can do the same!)
I invite you to post your favorite recipe, as well as any spell or chant or whatever you feel relative!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mabon Altar & Table

We did our Mabon Rite last night and took some pics of our altar.

And Meal Table

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mabon Altars

If you google Mabon Altars, you will receive numerous pictures of gorgeous altars. 

~K. Michele~ Tonight I did a bit of cleaning and set my altar up. Of course it's expanded onto my herb shelf that my little altar box sits on and into the window sill. But being that it's our family altar, I'm ok with that. Once the leaves start to turn, the kiddo and I will collect some to add to the altar.

K. Michele's Mabon Altar

Close up of K. Michele's Altar

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mabon Bread and Mabon Apples ~ K. Michele

This is a couple of the recipes for Mabon found in the book Circle Round.

Mabon Bread

This golden bread combines pumpkin and corn. It's still sweet enough for children to love, but not too sweet for adults to enjoy. The richness comes from condensed yogurt.

4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup cooked and pureed pumpkin (or one 15 oz can pumpkin), drained
1 cup condensed plain yogurt (nonfat or lowfat is fine)
2 tablespoon frozen orange juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the eggs and sugar. Add the pumpkin, condensed yogurt, and orange juice.
~ Sift the cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour together. Add the cornmeal. Incorporate this slowly into the wet mixture.
~ Grease two loaf pans. Divide the batter between the pans and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour. Test for doneness by inserting a knife or skewer into the center. It should come out clean and dry. Let the loaves cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely.
~ This batter also bakes well as muffins, with the baking time of about 40 mintues.

~ To make condensed yogurt, place 2 cups of plain yogurt in a colander lined with cheesecloth or a sturdy paper towel. Let the yogurt drain for six hours or over night. You'll be left with 1 cup of condensed yogurt.

Mabon Apples

Apples are the fruit that carries us through winter. These simple backed apples can be embellished with your family's favorite fillings.

4 large apples (Golden Delicious bake best)
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 to 1 cup apple cider or juice
Optional: cream (whipped or plain), vanilla ice cream

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a grapefruit knife, an apple corer, or a melon baller, core the apples, leaving the bottoms intact. Peel the skin off the top inch of the cored apple.
~ Place the apples in a pan that just holds them. Put 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into each apple hole, plus a pinch of cinnamon. Pour apple cider into the pan until it reaches the depth of 1/2 inch.
~ Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting the apples with the juice from the pain every 15 minutes.
~ Serve still warm, with cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

~ You can try filling the apple cavities with honey or maple syrup, granola, or raisins and nuts sweetened with honey or maple syrup.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Story of Mabon ~ K. Michele

There are many different versions of the Story of Mabon. I thought I'd share a short version. This is the verison that we read to our 5 year old. It's short which is perfect for his short attention span. When he gets bigger, we'll upgrade to one of the longer versions, but for now this is the one we read at home.

Modrone is one of elder gods.  She is so ancient, that her son Mabon is known as "Son, son of the Mother."  By the time King Aurthur was learning to ride, Mabon was already so old few remembered Him.

Of those who do remember, it is known that Mabon was kidnapped while sleeping next to his mother when he was only three days old.  He had been imprisoned until a young knight named Kyllwch fell in love.
The girl, Olwen, was the daughter of a giant named Yspadaden.  The giant was cursed to die if ever his daughter wed, so the giant would send potential suiters on quests that would surely cost them their lives.  Before Kyllwch, no suitor had ever returned.

Kyllwch had heard the tales, but did not care.  The great beauty of the girl had captured his heart.  Kyllwch  went to meet Olwen by the river one day and they fell madly in love. Kyllwch would have none but her.  He begged her to marry him. 

"I cannot my love, for I will not see you killed.  My heart could not bear it."  Olwen wept openly.

"I would rather die then live another moment without you, Olwen.  I know of your father and his curse.  I do not care what perils he puts before me.  I know my love for you is pure and true, therefore I will have the power of the Gods to protect me."  He hugged Olwen and left.  He gathered everything he might need and set off for the castle of the giant.

Upon arriving at the castle, young Kyllwch wastes no time in telling Yspadaden of his desire to wed his daughter.  To his surprise the giant sighed and grumbled.

"Not another one!  How many wretched men must I send to their deaths before you leave me in peace?"

"I fear no death.  I love Olwen and know I am worthy.  I will succeed where others have failed."

The giant snorted and laughed, "Really?  Very well.  If you complete all of the tasks I set before you.  You many have my daughter."  The giant then listed hundreds of tasks, all of which were so dangerous most hero's would not dare to attempt them.

Kyllwch took the list without hesitation and through the help of the gods completed all, save one.  He had to save Mabon, son of Modrone in order to gain the ceremonial set with a brush, comb and razor for Spaded.  
Knowing that he alone could not free the imprisoned god alone, Kyllwch went to King Aurthur's court and enlisted the help of Eidoel, Author's foster brother and kinsmen to Mabon.

Eidoel asks for the help of five sacred animals; the Raven, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle and the the Salmon.

The Raven knows all tales from the beginning of time.  The Raven leads them to the Stag, who is far older than the Raven.  The Stag guides them through a dense forest to the wise Owl, told them of the Eagle who knew of a place where a Salmon had mentioned a strange prison tower.  The two men followed the Eagle to a river neither man had seen before. It's water was so clear and so calm, that the surface looked like a sheen mirror.  The water was so cold no man, could drink it without freezing.  The Eagle called out for the Salmon and shortly a fish, appeared on the surface.

This Salmon was larger than the largest fish, older than all other fish, and stronger than any other. "I know of the place you seek. I will guide you."

The Salmon led them up the river and over a mystical tide to a tall stone tower.  The two men heard the eternal cries of a child.  The first light of Yule broke over the hillside, the siege of the tower ended, freeing the child, they discovered it truly was the lost child of Modrone. 

Mabon showered the hero's with many thanks and gladly slew the legendary boar for Kyllwch.  Kyllwch and his new friends all returned to the giants home. The giant stuttered in protest upon seeing the party, declaring that it could not be and it must be a trick.

The next day a huge wedding celebrated the union of Olwen to Kyllwch.  After the feast, Kyllwch and his friends cut the head off the giant allowing Olwen and Kyllwch to live long and fruitful lives.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mabon Craft - Shrines!!

I am supposed to be posting pictures from Yule to Mabon, but it just doesn't seem right to post stockings and holly right now especially after RippledWater's lovely tribute to the season. So I decided to look for more appropriate crafts and found the WWP swap from September 2009 - it was a tribute to shrines! I hope these pictures will bring back memories for some of you.

Tribute to Bridget from EdelC to DanniQuee
Shrines are excellent pagan craft as they allow for the expression of gratitude toward a particular season, god, goddess, animal, totem, or any other personal entity - whatever inspires you!

Start with a center piece - something that represents what you are paying tribute to. While this may be the focus of your shrine, it does not have to be the literal center location. Asymetry can add character and interest. You can gather items from your yard to accent your focal point. Be creative!

Mother Earth, Father Sky from DanniQuee to EdelC

Small items such as altoid tins or matchboxes make great vessles for shrines, but don't be afraid to think beyond the box. Non-traditional shapes and materials make intriguing shrines that make an impression!

Green Man Shrine from ellemir to Phizzychick

Above all have fun. Celebrate yourself and your tribute of choice. Let the inspiration flow. Don't worry about it being perfect, glue can be unstuck.

Happy crafting for a happy harvest!

Tribute to Beauty phnxreign99 to altered mommy

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mabon~By RippledWater

The cycle of the year has turned once again and is drawing to a close. Mabon is the last sabbat on the wheel before Samhain, which has long represented the new year to many of the ancient agricultural societies. Mabon is a sabbat all about balance, reflection, change, and giving thanks. It's a time for honoring the Earth for all of its sacrifices and for providing us with the harvest that will lead us through the winter, ensuring our survival. This is also a sabbat of balance both celestial and within ourselves. Light and Dark equally enjoy each others company during this special moment of the year. Once this moment passes, light gives way to the dark and the days grow shorter and colder. On this sabbat we should see the balance within ourselves as well. We are not just physical beings, nor are we just spiritual. We should strive to be a combination of both and to make sure neither plane overtakes the other within our lives. It's a hard battle we fight everyday. To balance time with friends, family, members of our spiritual community, and to balance time with our crafting, work, other hobbies or necessities, and everything else life throws our way along with balancing who we are as a person is a near impossible task. But on the equinox, the universe is showing us that it is possible, even for one day a year, for anyone to be able to strike this balance. Mabon is also about change. It brings about the season of crisp, cool air and leaves turning colors. And we begin to look within ourselves and reflect upon what we have sown within our own souls, what has taken root within us. This is the time for letting go and for making these changes we want and need so bad. The leaves on the trees are shaken off and taken away on the winds. This leaves the trees burden free and allows them a clean slate to start over with in the spring. There can be no room for new growth in the future if we do not let go of what has already served its purpose and is no longer needed.

Mabon is a favorite time of year for me. It's not yet freezing and it's no longer scorching hot. I like to sit outside somewhere and just listen to and watch the changes around me. The leaves are turning colors, the flowers are dying away, and the birds are busier than ever preparing for their winter flights. There is something liberating about an Autumn wind. It's kind of like the Earth is sighing, almost to say "Ah, made it through another year." I think its safe to say that we all have problems in life. And we get so consumed by them that we let the negativity just take hold of us. I know that I definitely feel that way. So, when I sit outside, during anytime of year really, I just let the wind blow through me and take with it everything negative that I've been hoarding or that has latched onto me. And as it takes away the leaves and rustles them around I imagine it taking away my troubles. Mabon is pretty special for me this year. I consider it an anniversary. This Mabon will serve as one year that I have been out and active in my local pagan community. So it signified a huge change for me last year. I went from not knowing any other pagans and feeling completely alone, to getting to know some amazing people and even being able to call them friends. And I've begun to balance my Pagan life and my non-Pagan life into one nice little life together. This Mabon, like last year, I will be attending a Pagan Pride/Mabon/Harvest Moon festival (don't you love how we celebrate everything on the same day around here? lol). There's workshops, an open ritual, and no event around here is ever finished without a drum circle. It's going to be an amazing day and will lead me to have a perfect ending to this year. On the home front, I have already started to work on a few changes in my life as of this week. As Mabon rolls around I'm sure I will have much more I want to work on and let go of. My personal ritual at home will most certainly consist of purging (which in my case always involves lighting something on fire!) and reflecting on the past year. So much has happened since last Mabon and I have so much to look back on and be thankful for!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First there was...

Welcome to Craftster Coven!

please post suggestions and ideas about how this blog should be run....