Your Daily Horoscope for Saturday, December 15

Your Daily Horoscope for Saturday, December 15

Kelli Fox, Astrologer

 

Aries

March 21- April 19

Turn your attention toward other people today. You’re in an unusually soft-hearted mood now. You genuinely want to help someone in need. And with your energy, you can really make a difference. So if an opportunity to be of service presents itself, take it. Helping someone in need is an emotionally fulfilling experience. It also helps you realise how well off you truly are. And that, dear Aries, is priceless.

Taurus

April 20-May 20

Take it easy today. You’re a diligent, hardworking type, but you also appreciate the value of rest and relaxation. And this is the perfect day for it. Put on a good movie or CD, or relax on the couch with a book. Indulge in a nap or a bath. And get to bed early tonight. Your energy may not be quite as strong as usual, so extra sleep helps you conserve your strength.

Gemini

May 21-June 21

It’s difficult to make a decision today. How are you supposed to be decisive when the world looks fuzzy at best? The particulars of a situation just aren’t clear to you right now. Don’t try too hard to clarify them. Just wait things out. Your mind will sharpen again soon. If you have to make a decision, first consult someone you trust — a friend or an expert who can offer you perspective.

Cancer

June 22-July 22

Today is perfect for connecting with others at the heart level. Reach out to long-distance loved ones via phone calls, letters or emails. Let them know you’re thinking of them. And if you’re lucky enough to be near your favourite people, gather them together for a visit or a home-cooked meal. Many people need this kind of nurturing today. They’ll be especially grateful that you reached out to them.

Leo

July 23-August 22

Allow yourself to move slowly today. Don’t push yourself to achieve something big and amazing, or to be bold when you don’t feel very courageous at all. Instead, pamper yourself. Treat yourself with the sensitivity you’d show to a good friend who was having a hard day. Take a nap or a warm bath. Make yourself something nice to eat. These small indulgences will make you feel better.

Virgo

August 23-September 22

Accept images, impressions and emotions as they come today. You’re in a dreamy state of mind, which is unusual for you. Normally you analyse your thoughts rigorously, seeking some kind of pattern or logical meaning that simply may not be there today. Letting your mind wander may not be second nature to you, but that’s exactly why you should embrace this feeling state. Challenging yourself is always a smart idea.

Libra

September 23-October 22

You’re always soft-hearted, but today it’s as if you’re made out of gooey caramel. You’re soft, sweet and easily dented! The best way to use the current energy might be connecting with your loved ones or getting lost in a silly movie. Otherwise, you might overreact to someone’s offhand comment and get your feelings hurt — but bottle up your unhappiness instead of talking it out. Be tactful but direct, gentle Libra.

Scorpio

October 23 – November 22

You can have a calming effect on others today, because you’re feeling so emotionally centred yourself. This is a great skill and gift now, when many people around you might be feeling melancholy or insecure. Bolster their spirits with kind words, a smile or a warm hug. This is the nurturing side of your personality coming out. It feels good to express such caring for others.

Sagittarius

November 23-December 20

Disorganisation could get the better of you today, if you don’t battle against it directly and aggressively. But since details aren’t your strong point, this could be a tall order. You may end up feeling overwhelmed by the items on your task list, or just the tide of clutter threatening to engulf your desk! To get through this confusing, scattered day, focus on this simple mantra: ‘One step at a time.’

Capricorn

December 21-January 19

Kindness is especially important today, and much appreciated by everyone. Of course, you possess a naturally well-developed sense of common courtesy, whether that means holding the door for an elderly person or listening attentively when a friend is speaking. But now, make an extra effort to exercise these values. You can make people feel wonderful simply by treating them with genuine warmth and respect.

Aquarius

January 20-February 18

It’s okay if you feel like withdrawing from the hubbub of life today. This is a good day for laying low and gathering your strength. Spending time with people you love and trust feels restorative, as if you’re repairing your soul. Taking a nap or getting to bed early is also a good idea. Think of this as a brief respite before the pace of life picks up once again.

Pisces

February 19-March 20

You might spend much of today lost in fantasy. Reading books and watching movies are good activities now. They stimulate your mind as well as indulging that escapist part of your soul that wants to explore imaginative realms. Creating your own imaginative realm through writing or music is also a wonderful way to spend your time. Above all, let your thoughts wander where they will. The true adventure is in your head.

 

—The Sydney Morning Herald

 

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Your Weekend Love Horoscopes for December 15th & 16th

Pisces Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Don’t let insecurity create a barrier to heartfelt emotional disclosure. You might mistakenly believe that releasing thoughts or feelings might result in someone close believing it’s all a bit too much, too soon, or will put them in an uncomfortable position emotionally. Fortunately, by applying some of your signature imagination and compassion, you can convey yourself in a way that makes the object of your affections feel special and puts them at ease with understanding what you feel.

Pisces tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

There is much cosmic support on offer where affairs of the heart are concerned. However, to truly benefit from this, you’ll need to dial back any inclination to be determined to get your way or force situations that need you to work with them, not against them. Even if it appears someone is calling the shots, don’t get drawn into any tense exchanges fueled by self-pride. You can play an integral part in bringing balance to one close relationship, even if someone seems determined to bring chaos.

Capricorn Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Your normally-reserved and patient qualities could be overridden by a desire to talk. That’s fine and undoubtedly sexy, but unbridled enthusiasm could get the better of you, causing you to make any exchanges a bit too one-sided. You know how to summon discipline at the drop of a hat when needed. Sometimes, your lighthearted and gregarious side needs releasing. Do your best to balance it with your more disciplined, restrained side.

Capricorn tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Work or career matters could be a bone of contention in your emotional world, especially from a loved one’s point of view. You could be putting considerable focus on professional pursuits and as supportive as someone close wants to be. They probably have limited interest in what’s transpiring in your work life. Even if you’re not burning candles at both ends, you could be prone to talking too much about work-related matters and developments. How much more of a turn-off could that be? Think about it.

Sagittarius Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Just when you thought all was calm and copacetic in your emotional world or one special; connection, you could end up dealing with a potentially intense, emotionally-charged situation. Miscommunication that arises from a misunderstanding could be at the root of this, too. If you raise your defensive barrier, then you can be certain someone close will do the same and you have a perfect climate for confrontation. Rise above this issue and encourage openness to put it to rest. There’s no need for this to escalate in ways it can.

Sagittarius tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Where your personal needs are concerned, nobody is more finely tuned in to them than you are, so listen to your inner voice and allow it to steer you in the right direction romantically – and intimately. It could be by putting your needs first briefly that something looks set to ‘click’ and progress between you and a special person in a very sensual and memorable way.

Scorpio Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

You might not be able to explain a need for freedom in your emotional world or a special connection. If you’re in a committed relationship, then you may have to deal with a loved one’s emotions, especially if they don’t understand why you need space or to distance yourself in some way. You might need to remind someone close that you’re not selfishly pursuing your own interests. Being the best you can be requires you to indulge in some ‘you time’ or self-care. It’s not a tall order.

Scorpio tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

If your romantic or sensual needs have taken a back seat or become less of a priority recently, then that needs to be addressed – and pronto! Sure, you could come up with umpteen reasons why love and intimacy need to be treated with caution or are likely to bring more complications than solutions to your world. However, don’t push away someone who genuinely has your best interests at heart and could prove this in delightful ways!

Libra Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Certain facts that emerge could cause you to reconsider a romantic or relationship plan that seemed impervious to change. This offers an ideal opportunity to step back briefly from any relationship chaos or upheaval and take time to assess what your heart feels – and needs. Before you can take the bold step you want to take, you need a few more facts to arrive. When they do, what’s volatile or confusing will appear less so.

Libra tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Something in your emotional world or a love partnership could be revived in a heartbeat if you want it to be. Sure, you can’t recreate a great thing, but where you might have resigned yourself to having missed the romantic boat or chalked a recent event up to experience and put it behind you, you could be offered a second bite of the proverbial cherry. The choice, however, is entirely yours.

Virgo Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Even if you’re crystal clear about what you want from your love life, you might not be sure about a strategy to achieve it. If you’re an attached Virgo, then a partner could demand answers regarding your vision of the future that you don’t feel able to provide now. Whether single or attached, an open mind toward affairs of the heart is your strongest asset. It’s essential with helping what’s vague or ill-defined to become clearer.

Virgo tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

A situation or arrangement within an existing or budding love relationship might require you to understand it better before you can commit yourself in a way you’re expected to. You might be encouraged to take it at face value, but your instincts could urge you to dig a bit deeper to gain a better understanding of what’s involved. If you sense you need more time to explore or weigh up options, then you’d be wise to take it!

Leo Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

If a loved one comes to you for advice, then you might not feel prepared for the drama that arises from a simple exchange. Do your bit to keep things calm and civil while offering a sensible solution that can resolve the issue quickly. Being seen to encourage teamwork or putting your heads together to solve a problem can help a loved one to see their issue rationally.

Leo tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Lucky Jupiter’s influence with all things romantic can help you to be in the right place at the right time to meet the right person if you’re a single Leo. But regardless of your relationship status, the cosmos appears keen to bring more than a simple stroke of luck to your emotional world now. This will take the form of a heartwarming and memorable development. Lucky you!

Cancer Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

A loved one or potential partner might not be supportive of something close to your heart. Whether it’s a favor you ask of them or their time to assist you in a particular way, you could discover they have little or no interest in whatever-it-is. However, there might be certain complications you’ve overlooked that someone close doesn’t feel are necessary to spell out. If you can spot these, then the object of your affections might not be as uncooperative as they appeared to be.

Cancer tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Venus continues to influence all things loved-up and romantic. With such fantastic cosmic support to make real, heartwarming progress in your love life, it’s important to believe that you could dazzle and delight a particular person now. When it comes to expressing words of love, Venus is again able to help the right words to flow in a way that would make any poet jealous. The more creative you are with using the sensual energy you’re blessed with now, the more delightful the results will be.

Gemini Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

It would mean the world to a loved one or someone special if you offered even a modicum of praise or recognition of their efforts in some way. You might have delightful romantic thoughts constantly, but your need for certain levels of freedom could prevent you from allowing these to emerge. Your sweetheart might be confused or not understand your desire for space. It’s possible that the biggest mistake you could make where affairs of the heart are concerned is believing a loved one knows what you think or feel without you uttering a single word.

Gemini tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

You might ask yourself if you’re aiming your romantic sights too high or perhaps should be a bit less ‘romantically ambitious.’ But words like ‘ambitious’ don’t really have a place in affairs of the heart. ‘Ambitious’ sounds like you view someone as a trophy or status symbol – and you’re a Gemini, not a Capricorn! Just kidding. Where love and romance are concerned now, resist being too methodical or competitive, for that matter. Both are far from sexy.

Taurus Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

If you sense a loved one or potential partner is keen to remove you from a certain comfort zone, then the decision to cooperate or resist is entirely yours. However, if you feel someone’s efforts to shake up your world are more about their needs than yours, then they might need reminding of where certain physical and emotional boundaries exist. Don’t allow someone else’s impatience or impetuousness bring chaos to an equilibrium you’re happy with as it is.

Taurus tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

It’s as if the cosmos is asking you to state what you want from relationships and how you would like to see your emotional world change or progress. You might discover that your list of wants is shorter than your list of ‘don’t wants,’ but that’s fine. Experience is likely playing a part where influencing the direction of your love life is concerned. Knowing what you don’t want helps enormously with steering it in a direction you want it to go in.

Aries Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

If you sense opening up to a loved one will be a catalyst for complications in your relationship, then you could choose to say nothing and opt to keep the peace. This might seem sensible in more than one way but bottling up passionate thoughts and feelings is unhelpful in many ways at any time but especially now. Express sensitively what you think and feel because someone close is probably more receptive to you doing so than you realize.

Aries tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Emotional mist might be clearing, allowing you to take realistic stock of a relationship matter that might still be in a state of flux, despite you believing it has been resolved. You’re aware of what hasn’t ‘worked’ in the past and are well placed now to put a new romantic or relationship plan into action that can increase support and cooperation on both sides. This is a time to meet someone halfway. Share a responsibility.

Aquarius Daily Love Horoscope

Saturday 15th of December 2018

The way you express yourself romantically probably couldn’t be more authentic, but you might need to account for miscommunication or a loved one’s need for time to understand what you say or convey. However, don’t let that stop you from sharing thoughts or feelings. Even if you’re unsure of what your actions might bring, there’s something undeniably sexy about shaking a love connection with some heartfelt openness.

Aquarius tomorrow love horoscope:

Sunday 16th of December 2018

You could feel a need to take stock of whether something in your emotional world is ‘going to plan.’ However, this can be one big source of frustration if you believe whatever needs more time to manifest properly has had enough already. Don’t dilute magic on offer by being focused too intently on your idea of how something should progress. If a seed of love has been planted, then resist demanding it hurries up and grows. Leave it alone to do so.

ARE YOU READY TO WRAP UP 2018? THESE POWERFUL CRYSTALS WILL HELP

ARE YOU READY TO WRAP UP 2018? THESE POWERFUL CRYSTALS WILL HELP

OLIVIA PEPPER

Our monthly Crystalscopes pair each zodiac sign with a crystal whose energies can support us through the coming month’s transits.

Read these for your sun, moon, and rising signs to learn what you should wear, carry, or place on an altar to help boost your specific astrology for the month.

But, first thing’s first: What’s up this month?

This December may have a disorienting vibe. We all need to beware of getting bogged down in disempowering ideas about not being able to break free from negative cycles. Consider instead that one never steps twice in the same river, and that even when it feels like it is the same damn thing over and over, it is always subtly different. And, remember: there is always opportunity to utilize free will.

Mercury retrograde ingresses into Scorpio early in the morning of December 1. Communication, already blurry under the governance of Mercury retrograde, becomes even more riddled with potential pitfalls under Scorpio’s glowering influence.

To add insult to injury, Venus ingresses to Scorpio the very next day, joining the messenger in the cauldron of transformation on December 2.

This is shaping up to be a season primed for dissolving toxic patterns and habit-breaking, and the new moon in Sagittarius on December 6 will be a great day to make a plan or formally conduct an intention spell around whatever you’d like to permanently release.

Mercury goes direct December 7, lightening things up a bit, and races toward lofty, fun-loving, and philosophical Sagittarius (ingress on December 12).

Mid-month, it is time to ground and get serious, when the sun enters Capricorn on December 21 and winter solstice is upon us. A full moon in Cancer rises and dredges up nostalgic tears on December 22; family is often in focus this time of year but this full moon and recent retrograde cycles will ensure that we’re focused on healing our family lines and properly processing our ancestral karma.

Read on for the crystals that may be able to support you the most in this work this month!

 

DECEMBER 2018 CRYSTALSCOPES

 

ARIES

HEMATITE-INCLUDED QUARTZ

Aries may feel a little hot under the collar: over-eager, edgy or restless – Uranus is back in your sign and giving off sparks. Patience is not known to be the virtue of the ram, and with the slightly repetitive vibe of December, Aries can struggle with wound-tight tempers and impulse control. This is especially evident when the Capricorn and Cancer influences come in a little later in the month and create squares to Aries, but Venus’ last meanderings through Libra (in opposition to Aries) is no picnic either.

Best to focus on cooling, calming and cultivating patience with oneself and others. Aries loathes being a doormat, and hematite-included quartz is just the ticket to ensure that no one will take advantage – but there’s no need to be a jerk to prevent such a thing from happening. Hematite is of iron, the metal associated with Aries, and enclosed in quartz it amplifies and stabilizes the energy, helping Aries to create constructive boundaries and cultivate kindness. Try carrying a piece in your pocket and squeezing it for comfort instead of snapping at your relatives.

 

TAURUS

GREEN TOURMALINE

The dizzying actions of Mercury and Venus in Scorpio can feel almost aggressive to Taurus, marauding through Taurus’ personal life, and this unearthing may set the bulls back emotionally at the beginning of the month. The amount of busy energy and go-go-go vibe of Sagittarius season can also feel a bit overwhelming, especially on top of so much emotional processing. Taurus will need a touchstone to keep calm and carry on, and green tourmaline is where it’s at.

This lovely and luminous conductor of heart energy can help Taurus be open to change and not go too hard on the holiday indulgences. This is also a fantastic stone for calling in abundance, something Taurus may feel deprived of. Best worn on the body, especially as earrings or close to the throat.

GEMINI

PINK KUNZITE

With Gemini’s ruling planet traversing the Scorpio underworld (backwards, no less!) and then bouncing back into a companionably mutable sign, Gemini probably has LOTS to talk about but may have trouble settling on an ideal outcome or choosing the right words – especially where it comes to love and romance and clarifying one’s needs.

With all the internal back-and-forth, pink kunzite can be a helpful ally in choosing diplomacy, gentleness and love. Placing a piece under your pillow can be a great way to find restful sleep and peaceful dreams, and to help direct all of Gemini’s excess intellectual energy (especially lit this month) toward a singular goal.

 

CANCER

SODALITE

Oh baby, this moon is gonna be a big old deal for you. The moon is exalted when in Cancer, and it is full on the first day of the light’s returning, but Capricorn season is usually a bit of a bind for crab natives. This may feel like a month when things are good, even great, but there is just too much to hold – a kind of awe or overwhelm may dominate Cancer’s emotional experience of the holidays.

Major renovations are taking place in Cancer’s hopes and dreams sector, and maintaining an environment of peace and stability is crucial this month. Sodalite, especially when carried as a talisman or kept out in the main area of a home, promotes a vibe of peace love and understanding – just what Cancer is going to need to come through the eye of this particular needle.

 

LEO

ROSE QUARTZ

With everything that is unfolding in December, it is important for Leo to remember to stop and smell the roses – or stop and caress the rose quartz. The pacing of the month will feel demanding to every member of the zodiac, but Leo can more than most feel overworked, overlooked, dejected and disappointed.

Rose quartz to the rescue! One of our most common crystal allies in self-care, rose quartz reminds us that we are always loved and always worthy, and that we ought to care for ourselves before assisting others. Whether worn or carried, rose quartz can be Leo’s buddy all season long, reminding the lions to keep a light heart and make room for pleasure.

 

VIRGO

SELENITE

While expressing love through acts of service is arguably the norm for Virgo, December calls this sign into even more significant levels of selflessness and a myriad of opportunities to provide advice and assistance. While saying no to doing too much is also important, it seems that some level of overwork may be inevitable.

Enter selenite! Named for the goddess of the moon, this fragile white mineral often used for clearing spaces and auric fields is also a natural fiberoptic – it transmits wavelengths of visible light with ease and luminous grace. Virgo can benefit from some soothing meditations with selenite this month, to balance out the extraordinary amount of selfless service and surrender they’ll be called to offer – just a few minutes a day with a selenite palm stone will work wonders for the zodiac’s resident wonder-workers.

 

LIBRA

JET

Jet is traditionally associated with periods of mourning and grief. This lightweight pseudo-mineral can poetically be described as carbon on its way to becoming a diamond, and that description may match the amount of pressure Libra has been feeling the past couple of months. Venus retrograde may have been particularly jarring and has probably upended the scales a bit, bringing emotions to the surface – and they are up for continued processing, especially now that Uranus the disruptor smolders in retrograde opposition in the sign of Aries.

In order to gracefully and thoroughly comprehend everything that has come to light, rather than slip into distraction or denial, Libra needs something to anchor them to their emotions – to relate to difficult feelings without identifying with them. Wearing a jet bead or carrying a small pocket stone can help create the sense of authentic stability Libra may crave this month.

 

SCORPIO

MUSCOVITE/MICA

Through a glass darkly! As Venus and Mercury emerge from their journeys, Scorpio will likely find themselves utterly transformed. Whether engaged in deliberate practices or not, Scorpio has likely felt some type of shamanic work or soul retrieval work being undertaken, as a profound shift in consciousness is possible for Scorpio at this time. Thin sheets of muscovite or mica were once used as windows before human beings could master glasswork, and this mineral can be Scorpio’s guide toward new horizons.

If you can find a thin sheet of this delicate mineral, all the better, but even some small oft-overlooked flakes of mica on your altar (or in your mineral makeup) will do the trick. This mineral was once associated with legends of phoenixes, the most exalted form of Scorpio symbolism. You’ve been reborn, Scorpio! Celebrate your transformation and power.

 

SAGITTARIUS

GOLDEN CALCITE

Happy birthday to our December centaurs! The awkward beginning of the month may have Sagittarius a little flummoxed or set back by irritating details, but once Mercury returns to your sign and the moon wanes to newness and potential it is time to pull that bowstring taut and seize the day no matter what seems to stand in your way.

Golden calcite is a great party aid all the time, enhancing conviviality and bringing in an abundance of good cheer, and especially since it is Sagittarius’ time to shine this month, golden calcite makes a wonderful addition to an altar or centerpiece. Use the willpower-enhancing qualities of this stone to know what to say yes to; use its peacekeeping power to know what to say no to.

 

CAPRICORN

EMERALD

December has the possibility of amping up Capricorn’s receptivity to romantic energy, and emerald can stoke that fire. Historically, emerald is the stone of the adoring heart – this famous green stone has more of a classical association with love and fidelity than diamonds do. And whether partnered or single, Capricorn is in the limelight when it comes to love energy this month.

Wearing one (especially an antique or heirloom piece, or a gift from a friend or lover) can boost the love signal even further and aid Capricorn in keeping open eyes and an open heart, to receive the gift of love wherever they may find it.

 

AQUARIUS

MOTHER-OF-PEARL

A certain lightness can permeate Aquarius’ energetic field this month, sometimes tipping into an almost disembodied or manic quality. While the ideas, conversation topics and philosophical solutions to the world’s problems may be coming in hot, and the excitement may be scintillating, it is good to stay connected to simplicity too in order to avoid burnout.

Mother-of-pearl or shell invites in a balance by cooling things just a little when the flame burns white-hot, so that Aquarius can facilitate serenity and stillness amidst the hustle and bustle of so much brilliance and intellect. Shell beads or bracelets are especially suitable, but a shell on an altar works suitably as well, and does double duty by calling in the element of water.

 

PISCES

RUBY ZOISITE

Pisces, like fellow mutable sign Virgo, will be called into action by the Sagittarius energy setting up exciting but possibly challenging squares to the sign of the fishes. The type of action Pisces is called into, however, is the emotionally murky, conflict-resolution kind, and may well involve the mysteries of love.

Whether your own drama or somebody else’s, December is likely to see Pisces pulled into at least one sticky social situation that will require more than a fair share of grace to navigate. While appropriately festive in color, red-and-green gemstone combo ruby and zoisite does more than just look pretty – when worn or carried, it is said to help connect the heart with the mind and aid them in acting harmoniously to find ideal solutions.

Published on Astrology.com

Your Daily Cosmic Calendar for Sunday, December 16th

While the moon energizing Aries can be an asset when it comes to augmenting your leadership credentials, it is wise to emphasize conservative attitudes concerning business matters as the sun forms a frictional, 45-degree link to Venus (6:09am) and then Venus contacts Saturn via a constructive, 60-degree tie (6:28am). If you break loose from apparent restraints during a euphoria-igniting lunar trine to optimism-recharging Jupiter (9:14am), don’t be too surprised if a couple of hurdles suddenly arrive to test your stamina during a square between the moon and Saturn (11:22am). Favorite sports and exercise routines receive stellar treatment later on when Mars in Pisces makes a supportive, 60-degree alliance with Pluto in Capricorn (10:58pm).

[Note to readers: All times are calculated as Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

Copyright 2017 Mark Lerner & Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. 

Astrology.com

Your Daily Cosmic Calendar for Saturday, December 15th

onsider this to be a fun-oriented R & R 24-hour time-period rather than a day dedicated to a bunch of hard work. The reasons are many as a 13 hour void lunar limbo cycle begins at 3:50am during a challenging first quarter sun-moon phase activating 24 degrees of Sagittarius and Pisces, and lasting until fiery Aries moon begins at 4:45pm. Quarter moon cycles have the capacity to force you into dealing with a crisis — whether large or small as the solar and lunar orbs are in a tension-creating 90-degree interaction. Meanwhile, usually hard-to-decipher far-out planets Uranus in Aries and Neptune in Pisces make their fourth of five caustic, 45-degrees skirmishes at 3:13am. This discordant aspect began on August 11, 2017 and will conclude in a fifth confrontation on May 1, 2019. Adding to this day’s psychic bombardment are the monthly moon union with healing-emissary Chiron (12:40pm) followed by a not-as-friendly lunar parallel to feisty Mars (1:06pm). Turn to metaphysical studies for guidance later on as the moon and Mercury trine in fire signs (10:49pm).

[Note to readers: All times are calculated as Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

Copyright 2018 Mark Lerner & Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd.

Witches of the Craft’s Mini Prequel To Litha

Five Day to Litha

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Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice

An Ancient Solar Celebration
Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date – usually around June 21 or 22 (or December 21/22 in the southern hemisphere) – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded. Stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.

Traveling the Heavens
Although few primary sources are available detailing the practices of the ancient Celts, some information can be found in the chronicles kept by early Christian monks. Some of these writings, combined with surviving folklore, indicate that Midsummer was celebrated with hilltop bonfires and that it was a time to honor the space between earth and the heavens.

Angela at A Silver Voice says, “Midsummer, or St. John’s Eve (Oiche Fheile Eoin) was traditionally celebrated in Ireland by the lighting of bonfires. (The word ‘bonfire’, according to my Etymology dictionary is a word from the 1550s meaning a fire in the open air in which bones were burned). This custom is rooted in ancient history when the Celts lit fires in honour of the Celtic goddess Queen of Munster Áine. Festivals in her honour took place in the village of Knockainey, County Limerick (Cnoc Aine = Hill of Aine ). Áine was the Celtic equivalent of Aphrodite and Venus and as is often the case, the festival was ‘christianised’ and continued to be celebrated down the ages. It was the custom for the cinders from the fires to be thrown on fields as an ‘offering’ to protect the crops.”

Fire and Water
In addition to the polarity between land and sky, Litha is a time to find a balance between fire and water. According to Ceisiwr Serith, in his book The Pagan Family, European traditions celebrated this time of year by setting large wheels on fire and then rolling them down a hill into a body of water. He suggests that this may be because this is when the sun is at its strongest yet also the day at which it begins to weaken. Another possibility is that the water mitigates the heat of the sun, and subordinating the sun wheel to water may prevent drought.

Jason Mankey says, over at Patheos, “Christians have chronicled the rolling of flaming (solar) wheels since the Fourth Century of the Common Era. By the 1400’s the custom was specifically associated with the Summer Solstice, and there it has resided ever since (and most likely long before)… The custom was apparently common throughout Northern Europe and was practiced in many places until the beginning of the Twentieth Century.”

Saxon Traditions
When they arrived in the British Isles, the Saxon invaders brought with them the tradition of calling the month of June. They marked Midsummer with huge bonfires that celebrated the power of the sun over darkness. For people in Scandinavian countries and in the farther reaches of the Southern hemisphere, Midsummer was very important. The nearly endless hours of light in June are a happy contrast to the constant darkness found six months later in the middle of winter.

Midsummer for Modern Pagans
Litha has often been a source of contention among modern Pagan and Wiccan groups, because there’s always been a question about whether or not Midsummer was truly celebrated by the ancients. While there’s scholarly evidence to indicate that it was indeed observed, there were suggestions made by Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, that the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many modern Wiccans and other Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June(Northern Hemisphere) and in December (Southern Hemisphere).

In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of December, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King.

This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. Crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life.

For contemporary Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. Find yourself a quiet spot and meditate on the darkness and the light both in the world and in your personal life. Celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year with fire and water, night and day, and other symbols of the opposition of light and dark.

Litha is a great time to celebrate outdoors if you have children. Take them swimming or just turn on the sprinkler to run through, and then have a bonfire or barbecue at the end of the day. Let them stay up late to say goodnight to the sun, and celebrate nightfall with sparklers, storytelling, and music. This is also an ideal Sabbat to do some love magic or celebrate a handfasting.

Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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Litha Legends and Lore

Myths and Mysteries of the Midsummer Solstice

Litha, or Midsummer, is a celebration that has been observed for centuries, in one form or another. It is no surprise, then, that there are plenty of myths and legends associated with this time of year. Let’s take a look at some of the best known summer solstice folklore.

Anna Franklin says in her book Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice, that in England, rural villagers built a big bonfire on Midsummer’s Eve. This was called “setting the watch,” and it was known that the fire would keep evil spirits out of the town. Some farmers would light a fire on their land, and people would wander about, holding torches and lanterns, from one bonfire to another. If you jumped over a bonfire, presumably without lighting your pants on fire, you were guaranteed to have good luck for the coming year. Franklin says that “Men and women danced around the fires, and often jumped through them for good luck; to be blackened by the fire was considered very fortuitous indeed.”

After your Litha fire has burned out and the ashes gone cold, use them to make a protective amulet. You can do this by carrying them in a small pouch, or kneading them into some soft clay and forming a talisman. In some traditions of Wicca, it is believed that the Midsummer ashes will protect you from misfortune. You can also sow the ashes from your bonfire into your garden, and your crops will be bountiful for the rest of the summer growing season.

It is believed in parts of England that if you stay up all night on Midsummer’s Eve, sitting in the middle of a stone circle, you will see the Fae. But be careful… carry a bit of rue in your pocket to keep them from harassing you, or turn your jacket inside out to confuse them. If you have to escape the Fae, follow a ley line, and it will lead you to safety.

Residents of some areas of Ireland say that if you have something you wish to happen, you “give it to the pebble.” Carry a stone in your hand as you circle the Litha bonfire, and whisper your request to the stone. Say things like “heal my mother” or “help me be more courageous,” for example. After your third turn around the fire, toss the stone into the flames.

Astrologically, the sun is entering Cancer, which is a water sign. Midsummer is not only a time of fire magic, but of water as well. Now is a good time to work magic involving sacred streams and holy wells. If you visit one, be sure to go just before sunrise on Litha, and approach the water from the east, with the rising sun. Circle the well or spring three times, walking deosil–clockwise–and then make an offering of silver coins or pins.

Sunwheels were used to celebrate Midsummer in some early European Pagan cultures. A wheel, or sometimes a really big ball of straw, was lit on fire and rolled down a hill into a river. The burned remnants were taken to the local temple and put on display. In Wales, it was believed that if the fire went out before the wheel hit the water, a good crop was guaranteed for the season.

WyrdDesigns at Patheos says,

“Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology describes the traditional folk practices for Midsummer celebrations in the areas where the Norse Gods were once (and in some cases still are) honored is to set a sunwheel (or a wagon wheel) on fire. In some cases the wheel was simply lit locally and incorporated into the Midsummer bonfire. In other cases people trekked out into the countryside, found a hill, set the sunwheel on fire, and let it roll down the hill as they chased after it, people watching and cheering as they watched it roll along it’s fiery way, as vegetation caught fire.”

In Egypt, the Midsummer season was associated with the flooding of the Nile River delta. In South America, paper boats are filled with flowers, and then set on fire. They are then sailed down the river, carrying prayers to the gods. In some traditions of modern Paganism, you can get rid of problems by writing them on a piece of paper and dropping them into a moving body of water on Litha.

William Shakespeare associated Midsummer with witchcraft in at least three of his plays. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and The Tempest all contain references to magic on the night of the summer solstice.

Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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Litha Craft Project – Sunflower Candle Ring

This sunflower candle ring is an easy craft project to make, and you can use it on your summer Sabbat altars, or simply as a tabletop decoration around the house. Another great option? Instead of laying it flat on a table, place a loop of wire on the back and hang it on your front door as a welcoming wreath for your guests.

Sunflowers are often associated with truth, loyalty, and honesty. If you want to know the truth about something, sleep with a sunflower under your pillow – and the next day, before the sun goes down, the truth should be revealed to you. The sunflower is considered a flower of loyalty because day after day, it follows the sun, from east to west. In some folk magic traditions, it is believed that slipping a bit of sunflower oil or seeds into someones food or drink will cause them to be loyal to you.

Youll need the following items:

Grapevine wreath (the one in the photos is a 12 diameter)
Sunflowers
Mini-LED lights with battery pack, available in craft store floral departments
Candles
Hot glue gun
Start by determining where you’d like the sunflowers to go. You can use a whole bunch, or a smaller amount – the candle ring in the photo uses just five sunflowers, one for each point on the pentacle. Don’t glue the sunflowers in place yet – just have a general idea of their positioning.

Wrap the LED light string around the grapevine wreath, tucking it into nooks and crannies, and weaving it among the vine branches. Be sure you leave yourself a small spot to tuck the battery pack into place so that it will not come loose later. Also, its a good idea to check to make sure the batteries on your LED lights work BEFORE you start this project.

Once your LED lights are in place, go ahead and hot glue your sunflowers into their assigned positions. Be careful not to get hot glue on the LED lights or the electrical strands – this can damage the system and cause light failure.

Place your wreath on your altar, with candles in the center, and enjoy as a summer centerpiece for ritual.

Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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Summer Solstice Delight – Mead

Ingredients
List to purchase from the Supermarket:

1 Gallon of Spring Water (room temperature, do not get refrigerated)
3 pounds of honey – pure unprocessed
1 bag of balloons big enough to stretch over the mouth of the spring water jug
1 package of Fleishmann’s Yeast
1 box of raisins
1 Orange

Here are some suggestions for variations in this recipe

If you can’t get Fleishmann’s Yeast here are some perfectly suitable alternates: Narbonne Yeast (Lalvin 71B-1122), Lalvin D-47, or Montpelier Lalvin (K1V-1116)

If you would like to add a bit of spice to this recipe you could add 1 or 2 cloves. But be careful, they are very strong so don’t put more than 2.

How to make the Mead
Pour about half of the water into a clean container then slice up your orange into eighth’s and put the slices, honey, twenty-five raisins, and the yeast into the jug. Pour some water back into the jug so the level is a couple of inches from the top then put the cap on it and shake it up well. If you can, you should shake it for a good five minutes. This will aerate the mixture. The yeast really needs lots of oxygen to grow vigorously.
Now poke a pinhole in the top of the balloon, remove the cap from your jug and put the balloon right over the mouth of the jug. Stretch the open end of the balloon right over the jug so that as the gases form inside the jug they will inflate the balloon. Put a rubber band or tape around the neck to keep it firmly in place -if it feels like it might come off. Leave it out on a counter for the first day so you can monitor it.

(Note: The balloon can age and oxidize over time so you should inspect it regularly to make sure it doesn’t break down and develop cracks. If it seems like it is breaking down replace it with a new balloon! – My thanks to Tim for submitting this tip)

What will happen next?
Somewhere between an hour and twenty-four hours later the balloon will start to inflate. This is a great sign and it means that your yeast is transforming the contents of the jug into wine. Gases are forming inside the jug and are escaping through the pinhole. This setup insures gases escape but no contaminants get into your brew. If the balloon is getting big you may need to poke another hole or two in it. You don’t want it to burst. It would leave your mead open to contamination. Once you are satisfied that the gases are escaping and the balloon is not under unusual stress you can set the jug in a cool dry place like a kitchen cabinet or closet shelf. Check on it every day if you can just to make sure it is ok and the balloon hasn’t popped off.

After two to three weeks the major portion of the ferment will be done and the balloon will be limp. At this point you can taste a little bit to see how it is coming along but it isn’t really a tasty wine at this point. It will need another couple of months to start to get delicious. Over time, as you check on it you will notice that the cloudiness disappears and it slowly clarifies and transforms into wine.

The Orange and the raisins can stay in the mixture for the whole duration but if you want to make the mead a little milder and help it clarify faster you can transfer the liquid into another gallon jug and place the balloon on that one. This would be after the two to three week ferment period has completed. This process is called racking and it will move your mead along nicely.

Some Tips
You can make the honey easier to pour by letting it stand in a sink or bowl of warm water. And you can experiment with the flavor a bit by adding a cinnamon stick or a pinch of nutmeg to the batch when you add the orange. Don’t leave out the raisins. They are not there for taste. They are a necessary food for the yeast because honey is a bit low in the nutrients that yeast like. If the honey is a bit expensive you can cut this down to two pounds. Any quantity between two and three and a half pounds will work well and the more honey you put the sweeter the mead will be. But, the more honey you put the longer it will take to mature.

Finally
Be patient and taste your mead every few weeks. It should be really clear and delicious after a few months. It will continue to age and improve over a long period of time so the longer you wait the better it will get. If you are struggling with this then you should probably make another batch! Try to wait six months if you can!

Storm Castle Mead Making

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The End

Witches of the Craft’s Mini Prequel To Yule

Six Days to Yule

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History of Yule

The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day, an amazing thing happens in the sky above us. The earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane.

Did You Know?
Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to the Norse people, who called this festival Jul.

The Romans celebrated Saturnalia beginning on Dec. 17, a week-long festival in honor of the god Saturn, that involved sacrifices, gift-giving, and feasting.

In ancient Egypt, the return of Ra, the sun god, was celebrated, as a way of thanking him for warming the land and the crops.

Many cultures around the world have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there’s Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light — candles, bonfires, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the history behind this celebration, and the many customs and traditions that have emerged at the time of the winter solstice, all around the globe.

European Origins of Yule
In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice has been celebrated for millennia. The Norse peoples, who called it Jul, viewed it as a time for much feasting and merrymaking. In addition, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, this was a time of sacrifice as well. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins.

The Celts of the British Isles celebrated midwinter as well. Although little is known today about the specifics of what they did, many traditions persist. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, this is the time of year in which Druid priests sacrificed a white bull and gathered mistletoe in celebration.

The editors over at Huffington Post remind us that:

“Until the 16th century, the winter months were a time of famine in northern Europe. Most cattle were slaughtered so that they wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter, making the solstice a time when fresh meat was plentiful. Most celebrations of the winter solstice in Europe involved merriment and feasting. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log.”

Roman Saturnalia
Few cultures knew how to party like the Romans. Saturnalia, which fell on December 17, was a festival of general merrymaking and debauchery held around the time of the winter solstice. This week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn and involved sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves, and a lot of feasting. Although this holiday was partly about giving presents, more importantly, it was to honor an agricultural god.

A typical Saturnalia gift might be something like a writing tablet or tool, cups and spoons, clothing items, or food. Citizens decked their halls with boughs of greenery, and even hung small tin ornaments on bushes and trees. Bands of naked revelers often roamed the streets, singing and carousing — a sort of naughty precursor to today’s Christmas caroling tradition.

Welcoming the Sun Through the Ages
Four thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians took the time to celebrate the daily rebirth of Ra, the god of the Sun. As their culture flourished and spread throughout Mesopotamia, other civilizations decided to get in on the sun-welcoming action. They found that things went really well… until the weather got cooler, and crops began to die. Each year, this cycle of birth, death, and rebirth took place, and they began to realize that every year after a period of cold and darkness, the Sun did indeed return.

Winter festivals were also common in Greece and Rome, as well as in the British Isles. When a new religion called Christianity popped up, the new hierarchy had trouble converting the Pagans, and as such, folks didn’t want to give up their old holidays. Christian churches were built on old Pagan worship sites, and Pagan symbols were incorporated into the symbolism of Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians had everyone worshiping a new holiday celebrated on December 25, although scholars believe it is more likely that Jesus was born around April rather than in the winter.

In some traditions of Wicca and Paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. Re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals.

–Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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The Legend of the Holly King and the Oak King

In many Celtic-based traditions of neopaganism, there is the enduring legend of the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the Wheel of the Year turns each season. At the Winter Solstice, or Yule, the Oak King conquers the Holly King, and then reigns until Midsummer, or Litha. Once the Summer Solstice arrives, the Holly King returns to do battle with the old king, and defeats him. In the legends of some belief systems, the dates of these events are shifted; the battle takes place at the Equinoxes, so that the Oak King is at his strongest during Midsummer, or Litha, and the Holly King is dominant during Yule. From a folkloric and agricultural standpoint, this interpretation seems to make more sense.

In some Wiccan traditions, the Oak King and the Holly King are seen as dual aspects of the Horned God. Each of these twin aspects rules for half the year, battles for the favor of the Goddess, and then retires to nurse his wounds for the next six months, until it is time for him to reign once more.

Franco over at WitchVox says that the Oak and Holly Kings represent the light and the darkness throughout the year. At the winter solstice we mark “the rebirth of the Sun or the Oak King. On this day the light is reborn and we celebrate the renewal of the light of the year. Oops! Are we not forgetting someone? Why do we deck the halls with boughs of Holly? This day is the Holly King’s day – the Dark Lord reigns. He is the god of transformation and one who brings us to birth new ways. Why do you think we make “New Year’s Resolutions”? We want to shed our old ways and give way to the new!”

Often, these two entities are portrayed in familiar ways – the Holly King frequently appears as a woodsy version of Santa Claus. He dresses in red, wears a sprig of holly in his tangled hair, and is sometimes depicted driving a team of eight stags. The Oak King is portrayed as a fertility god, and occasionally appears as the Green Man or other lord of the forest.

Holly vs. Ivy
The symbolism of the holly and the ivy is something that has appeared for centuries; in particular, their roles as representations of opposite seasons has been recognized for a long time. In Green Groweth the Holly, King Henry VIII of England wrote:

Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high, green groweth the holly.
As the holly groweth green and never changeth hue,
So I am, ever hath been, unto my lady true.
As the holly groweth green with ivy all alone
When flowers cannot be seen and greenwood leaves be gone

Of course, The Holly and the Ivy is one of the best known Christmas carols, which states, “The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown, of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.”

The Battle of Two Kings in Myth and Folklore
Both Robert Graves and Sir James George Frazer wrote about this battle. Graves said in his work The White Goddess that the conflict between the Oak and Holly Kings echoes that of a number of other archetypical pairings. For instance, the fights between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and between Lugh and Balor in Celtic legend, are similar in type, in which one figure must die for the other to triumph.

Frazer wrote, in The Golden Bough, of the killing of the King of the Wood, or the tree spirit. He says, “His life must therefore have been held very precious by his worshippers, and was probably hedged in by a system of elaborate precautions or taboos like those by which, in so many places, the life of the man-god has been guarded against the malignant influence of demons and sorcerers. But we have seen that the very value attached to the life of the man-god necessitates his violent death as the only means of preserving it from the inevitable decay of age. The same reasoning would apply to the King of the Wood; he, too, had to be killed in order that the divine spirit, incarnate in him, might be transferred in its integrity to his successor. The rule that he held office till a stronger should slay him might be supposed to secure both the preservation of his divine life in full vigour and its transference to a suitable successor as soon as that vigour began to be impaired. For so long as he could maintain his position by the strong hand, it might be inferred that his natural force was not abated; whereas his defeat and death at the hands of another proved that his strength was beginning to fail and that it was time his divine life should be lodged in a less dilapidated tabernacle.”

Ultimately, while these two beings do battle all year long, they are two essential parts of a whole. Despite being enemies, without one, the other would no longer exist.

–Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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Yule Craft Project for the Winter Solstice – Yule Smudge Sticks

When Yule rolls around — December if you’re in the northern hemisphere, or in June for our readers below the equator — one of the most notable aspects of the season is that of the scents and smells. There’s something about our olfactory system triggering certain memories and recollections, and the Yule season is no exception. Aromas like pine needles, cinnamon, mulled spices, frankincense – all of these are reminders of the winter holidays for many of us.

Smudging is a great way to cleanse a sacred space, and most people use smudge sticks made of sweetgrass or sage for this purpose, but why not use more seasonally appropriate plants at Yule?

Some types of plants definitely work better than others. For instance, certain members of the fir family begin to drop their needles as soon as they begin to dry, which means you’ll end up with needles all over your floor, and not in your smudge stick if you use them. On the other hand, the trees with the longer, softer needles seem to work really well, and lend themselves nicely to a project like this.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Scissors or garden clippers
Cotton string

Seasonal plants such as evergreens (pine, fir, juniper, balsam, and cedar), as well as other scents you find appealing – try using rosemary in addition to the pine, fir, and juniper.

Trim your clippings down to a manageable length, between six and ten inches, but if you’d like to make shorter smudge sticks, go right ahead. Cut a length of string about five feet long. Put several branches together, and wind the string tightly around the stems of the bundle, leaving two inches of loose string where you began. Tie a knot when you get to the end, and leave a loop so you can hang them for drying. Depending on how fresh your branches are – and how much sap is in them – it can take a few weeks to dry them out. Once they’re done, burn them in Yule rituals and ceremonies, or use them for cleansing a sacred space.

Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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Yule Foods & Recipes – Yule Wassail

Basic Wassail Recipe

Wassail was originally a word that meant to greet or salute someone—groups would go out wassailing on cold evenings, and when they approached a door would be offered a mug of warm cider or ale. Over the years, the tradition evolved to include mixing eggs with alcohol and asperging the crops to ensure fertility. While this recipe doesn’t include eggs, it sure is good, and it makes your house smell beautiful for Yule!

Ingredients

1 Gallon apple cider
2 C. cranberry juice
1/2 C honey
1/2 C sugar
2 oranges
Whole cloves
1 apple, peeled and diced
Allspice
Ginger
Nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
1/2 C – 1 C brandy (optional)

Directions

Set your crockpot to its lower setting, and pour apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in, mixing carefully. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot (they’ll float). Add the diced apple. Add allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste—usually a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Finally, snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add those as well.

Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 – 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it.

–Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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Yule Craft Ideas – Magical Gingerbread Poppets

As Yule rolls around, many of us get into crafting mode – and that is as good a time as any to work a little holiday magic. Why not take the holiday tradition of gingerbread men, and turn it into a practical poppet working?

A poppet is essentially a magical doll, designed to represent a person – traditionally, they’re made from cloth or some other sort of fabric. Because we’re not going to eat these, we’ll simply be making them from felt and other craft materials, and stuffing them with magical ingredients.

Then you can give them as gifts, hang them on your holiday tree, or put them around your house.

Here are just a few ideas for magical gingerbread poppets that are appropriate for the holiday season:

Love poppet: Make a poppet to represent the object of your affection — remember that in some magical traditions it’s frowned upon to make a specific person the target of your working. If you are simply trying to attract love to yourself, but you don’t have a specific person in mind, focus on all the desirable qualities you want to see in a potential lover. Stuff your poppet with small bits of rose quartz, rose petals, parsley and peppermint.

Prosperity poppet: The holiday season is a good time to focus on prosperity. Fill the poppet with a bit of cinnamon, orange, or ginger, and maybe even a small coin to get the message across.

Healing poppet: When you make this poppet, be sure to indicate what – and whom – you are trying to heal. Focus all of your energy on the ailment in question. Fill with lemon balm, feverfew, ivy, and pine, as well as bits of turquoise and bloodstone.

Protection poppet: Create poppets that represent each member of the family, blending herbs and stones into the clay. Use hematite and amethyst, as well as basil, patchouli, and coffee for filling.

Finally, decorate your gingerbread poppet with craft paint, fabric scraps, buttons, or other embellishments. Stitch a loop of ribbon into the head so you can hang him or her on your Yule tree – or give it to a friend!

–Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

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