Daily Archives: December 17, 2011

2 Winter Solstice Projects

2 Winter Solstice Projects

  • Cait Johnson

Each solstice falls upon the ecliptic midway between the equinoxes, when the sun reaches that midway point, generally about June 21 and December 21. Winter Solstice on December 21 is the shortest day of the year. After Winter Solstice each day becomes longer until the longest day of the year arrives around June 21st. The solstices have been observed and celebrated by cultures throughout the world.

A central aspect of the winter solstice rites observed by many Native American tribes includes the making and planting of prayer sticks. Prayer sticks are made by everyone in a family for four days before the solstice. On the day named as the solstice, the prayer sticks are planted – at least one by each person – in small holes dug by the head of the household. Each prayer stick is named for an ancestor or deity.Here’s how to make a prayer stick; they are usually:

  • Made out of cedar and are forked;
  • Are equivalent to the measurement from the maker’s elbow to the tips of
    their fingers; and
  • Are taken from a tree that the maker feels connected to.
  • Tobacco is offered to the largest tree of the same species in the area and
    permission is asked to take a part of its relative.
  • The bark can be stripped.
  • The bark can be carved on the stick.
  • One feather should be added to the prayer stick; traditionally this is a
    wild turkey feather.
  • A bit of tobacco is placed in a red cloth and tied onto one of the forks.
  • Fur or bone from an animal that the maker wishes to honor is tied onto the
    stick.
  • Metal or stones should not be tied to the stick.
  • It is also customary to say prayers silently as one makes the prayer stick.

Winter Solstice Project II: Discover Stones

All matter whirls at incredible speed, atoms in constant, breathtaking motion. But the rock people are seemingly still. We are all of us surrounded by the stillness of stone; if you dig in any patch of earth, you are likely to find bits and pieces that are unimaginably old and likely to outlast us by countless lifetimes.

Just as trees may be intuited to have individual spirits and personalities, so the humble rocks beneath our feet may be known and their energies felt in ways that have much to teach us.

Children are inveterate rock collectors, often seeing unique power and beauty in a rock that looks plain and nondescript to us. By seeing with the open inner eyes of our children, we can share their fascination for the magic of stone. And when we surround ourselves with rocks that are special to us, when we take time to hold one in our hands or stroke its weighty smoothness or striation, we make a bodily connection with the oldest matter on this planet and with the element of winter.

Particularly at this often harried time, building a relationship with rocks–allowing them to permeate our consciousness in quiet and stillness–is a great gift of peace for the entire family.

 

First, find some. This shouldn’t be hard to do, but you may be surprised at the variety of rocks you and your children can come up with, and you may notice that particularly varieties attract some children more than others. Take small trowels or large spoons outdoors with you to help pry things loose. After al of you have brought your finds inside and thawed your numbed fingers, you may want to wash the rocks in warm water to remove loose dirt and bring hem to room temperature.

Now spread them out so everyone can look at them. Pick them up one at a time and really examine them, turning them slowly to savor the complexity or simplicity of their shape and color. Do any rocks remind you of something else? Are there shapes hidden in the stone?

Try this simple exercise: Ask your children to close their eyes and choose a rock at random, and then hold it in their hands without looking. Allow them to sense the rock–does it feel light? dark? heavy? Does it make you feel anything in your body? tingly or slow? energetic or relaxed? Then put the rock aside; choose another and repeat the process, making sure to notice any similarities or differences. Then ask the children to open their eyes. Look at the two rocks and compare them.

Rocks that make your children feel a particular way may be utilized to help relax and ground them, or to energize them when needed. A rock that your child experiences as slow and soothing may be placed near her or his bed to be held before sleep. A small bright-energy stone may be worn in a pouch or carried in a pocket to school.

We have found that keeping special rocks all around the home is a wonderful way to stay balanced and grounded: simply seeing the stones becomes an inner reminder of stillness and serenity.

The stone project is an excerpt from Celebrating the Great Mother, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.

About these ads
Categories: Daily Posts, Pagan Craft Making, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin-Praline Pie

Pumpkin-Praline Pie

1 3/4 Cups (397 grams) Cooked and Mashed Pumpkin (about 1 medium pumpkin) or
1 (16 ounce [450 gram]) Can of Pumpkin
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups (360 milliliters) Evaporated Milk
2/3 Cup (151 grams) Packed Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 1/4 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
2 Large Eggs
9 Inch (23 centimeters) Frozen Piecrust
Whipped Cream

With a sharp knife, cut a circular top out of the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean. Cut the pumpkin into pieces and peel it like a potato, using either a peeler or a knife. Boil the pieces like you would potatoes for mashing. When soft, drain and mash the pumpkin.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). Beat the pumpkin, salt, milk, brown sugar, sugar, and spices together until smooth, using the low speed on a hand mixer or using a wire whisk. Beat the eggs separately, then add them to the mixture. If you can’t get the mixture to blend smoothly by whisk or mixer, pour the ingredients into a blender and puree’ for 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into the piecrust. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Bake for 35 minutes longer.

Topping

1/3 Cup (76 grams) Packed Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup (76 grams) Chopped Pecans
1 Tablespoon (1/8 stick/15 grams) Butter or Margarine, at Room Temperature

To make the topping, mix the ingredients together. Sprinkle over the pie, leaving a circle in the center bare. Bake for another 10 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. In order to avoid spilling, bake this pie by placing the pie pan on a preheated baking sheet. Refrigerate for 4 hours, until chilled. Garnish the center of the pie with a mound of whipped cream. Refrigerate any leftovers immediately after serving.

Categories: Daily Posts, Edibles Magickal/NonMagickal, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baked Butternut Squash

Baked Butternut Squash

1 Medium Butternut or Acorn Squash
2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick/30 gramd) Butter or Margarine, at Room Temperature
1/2 Cup (120 milliliters) Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (or juice from concentrate)
Dash of Ground Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds, scraping clean. Place the squash in a shallow baking dish. Dot each half with butter or margarine. Drizzle the orange juice and sprinkle the cinnamon over the squash. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until you can easily put a fork in the squash. Slice each half into 3 equal portions and serve warm.

Categories: Daily Posts, Edibles Magickal/NonMagickal, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apple Scones

Apple Scones

1 Medium-Sized Apple
2 Cups (280 grams) Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons Vegetable Shortening
1/2 Cup (112 grams) Raisins
1/4 Cup (60 milliliters) Apple Juice

Peel, core, and mince the apple. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening. Stir in the apples and raisins. Add the apple juice to stiffen the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeter) thickness. Cut into triangles or into shapes with cookie cutter. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10 minutes or until light brown.

Categories: Daily Posts, Edibles Magickal/NonMagickal, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hot Ginger Tea

Hot Ginger Tea

1 Large Knob Fresh Ginger, Sliced
1 Stick Cinnamon
Several Lemon Slices
Several Whole Cloves, Inserted into the Lemon Slices
4 Cups (1 liter) Water
3/4 Cup (170 grams) Firmly Packed Brown Sugar or Honey (180 milliliters)

In a saucepan, combine the ginger, cinnamon, lemon slices with cloves, and water. Bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Sweeten with brown sugar or honey, to taste. Strain and serve hot.

Categories: Daily Posts, Edibles Magickal/NonMagickal, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hot Wassail

Hot Wassail
4 cups Unsweetened apple juice
3 cups Unsweetened pineapple juice
2 cups Cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Whole cloves
Lemon slices

Combine all the ingredients in a large kettle and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Categories: Daily Posts, Edibles Magickal/NonMagickal, The Sabbats | Leave a comment

Hot Cranberry Wassail

Hot Cranberry Wassail
­ 2 1/2 qts. cranberry juice
1 qt. grape juice
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum
1/4 cup orange liqueur
orange slices

Heat juices, water and sugar to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in rum and liqueur and garnish with oranges. Serve hot to keep friends and relatives warm this holiday!

Categories: Daily Posts, Edibles Magickal/NonMagickal, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yule Stollen

Yule Stollen
 
1 1/2 c Milk; scald/cool to lukewarm
3 1/2 Yeast; dry/envelopes
3/4 cup Water; lukewarm
3 cups Flour; sifted
1/2 cup Eggs; yolks/lightly beaten
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter; softened
Flour; 10-11 cups, as needed
5 cups currants
1 1/2 c Almonds; chopped or slivered
1 cup Citron; chopped
1/2 Lemon; rind only/grated
2 teaspoons Rum
 
Milk should be cooled to about 100 degrees. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and add 1/4 cup of the
cooled milk and 3 cups sifted flour. Cover the sponge with a cloth and let it ripen until bubbles appear on the
surface and it is about to drop in the center. Pour the remaining milk over the sponge. Add the egg yolks, sugar
and salt and beat until the ingredients are well blended. Add 1 cup flour and beat well. Blend in the butter.
Add more flour gradually to make a smooth dough, or until 10 to 11 cups have been added. Some flours
absorb more liquid than others. Knead in the currants, almonds, and citron, along with the lemon rind which
should be mixed with the rum. Knead the dough until the fruits and nuts are dispersed well through it and it is
smooth. Dust the top lightly with flour and let it rise in a warm place about 45 minutes.
 
Punch it down and let stand for 20 minutes. Divide the dough in half and knead the pieces until smooth. Let them
stand for 10 minutes longer. Place one ball of dough on a lightly floured board, and with a rolling pin, press down
the center of the ball, and roll the pin to and fro 4 to 5 times, pressing all the time to make an elliptical shape 6
inches long and 3 1/2″ wide.
 
The center rolled part should be 1/8″ thick and 4 inches long. Both ends should remain untouched, resembling
rather thick lips. Place this rolled out piece of dough on a buttered baking sheet and brush the center part with
melted butter. Fold one lip toward the other and on the top of it. Press the fingertips down near and below the
lips, pulling somewhat apart. Give a pull away from each end, pointing them toward the lips. The shape should
resemble a waning moon.
 
Repeat the process with the second piece of dough. Let the Stollen rise, covered in a warm place until they double
in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake them in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees) for 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake
them. Cool them on racks. Brush them with butter and cover with vanilla sugar.
Categories: Daily Posts, Edibles Magickal/NonMagickal, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,809 other followers