The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Restore or Earth” As Pagans and/or Witches it is our duty to help clean up, plant new life, etc. for the Earth Goddess (Whatever name you may caller by). We are conservationists working at ground level to restore and keep the Earth Goddess clean. This way she can continue providing us with all living things that we make our shelter from the weather from, the clothes we wear, and the food we eat.
Remember to pick up after your dog as their scat has E.coli in it which if enough of it seeps into the ground our water and food sources could be come contaminated. Making our water undrinkable and our food inedible.
We thank you (insert the Earth Goddess’ name you use) for nourishing all living things that help to protect and nourish our physical bodies.
May we always strive to make you a beautiful and healthy in our every day lives.
These are our words to offer our help. This is our will to make our word rings true.
So Mote It Be ( Use whatever words you end your spellcasting and/or prayers with.)
Do you like free stuff? Actual quality free stuff…
My name is Charlene, merry meet. If you have been browsing Eupterra’s pages for a while, you have probably discovered that I am a fan of organic, all-natural, raw/paleo food, medicine, and personal care orientated items. (I do hope you have enjoyed many of my articles)
What you may not know is, I am also a hunter and a sucker for freebies, too 🙂
Since I have been doing this for a while and apparently have gotten rather successful at it (from $20 Android Turbo smartphones to free Abercrombie sweaters), by popular demand I have put together a list of some hard-to-find, but really great quality freebie offers centered around something useful in the green/all-natural department and a couple of fan-favorite deals. Let’s just say I have found this to be a way to try something out that is new, get something real cheap (if not free!) that I like for a while, or just buy gifts for people (you didn’t hear me say that). Check them out, and read below if you want to hear my thoughts on the “system”:
This one is popularly liked for clear reason; Disney movies have a tendency to be good, but expensive and over-priced. But Disney is known as a leader in hospitality 🙂 If you click the picture above and its link, you can join the Disney Movie Club to get 4 movies for just $1! Simply pick your movies, join the club, and build your library. That is all it takes, enjoy!
Kiwi.com is becoming a pretty big deal. It allows travelers to find and book the cheapest flights possible. With an extensive database of low-cost flights and traditional airlines, interactive maps, and guaranteed arrival, you can more easily fly with less stress. Due to its success and rapid growth, Kiwi has actually been featured by Business Insider, The New York Times, USA Today. Want to see nature’s wonders? Now, you might get to Hawaii on the cheap! Just click above.
A good wrinkle reducing cream? Yes, they are out there, and they do actually work to a certain extent. Here is one good one that provides a free trial, and promotes natural cellular regeneration. Called Naturacel, I find this great as a gift and as a product.
Grocery gift cards, aren’t they nice? No matter how good you are at homesteading, urban gardening, or foraging through the woods, you inevitably have to go to the store, right? Well, here is a chance to get some of those necessities covered. Check it out, one of my faves!
Here is another one. Upon taking a survey, you can potentially win a gift card for $1,500 for groceries. Wouldn’t that be a lot! Also, it is mobile friendly.
The logic behind my success, and why consumerism is not a bad thing
To explain how I got to be so good at hunting for freebies, especially ones that are truly good quality, here are my thoughts on how I developed a mindset in what to look for and some thoughts on how our culture of consumerism isn’t as self-destructive as it appears made out to be:
Most of us live in a capitalist system, or are connected to it by respective countries. After the advent of mass production technologies, the largest and pre-dominant corporations among us have as you may have noticed encouraged the development of a consumerism-centric culture to market and employ all sorts of snagging techniques to get you, the consumer, to buy something from them. Let’s face it, you may have realized this by now, it’s rather hard to resist (Superbowl ads and their cult following, Amazon – how easy is Prime, Walmart – nuff said, Chipotle – gosh, I’m hungry, Coca-Cola – even 3rd world countries in Africa have billboards advertising Coke seriously, etc.).
Now some of this has been really good for us (let’s not forget Ford Motors and the Model T car making automobile ownership accessible to many Americans), but sometimes it kind of feels like we are being taken advantage of – being pressured to buy all the time! Rather than debate ethically how “bad” this might be, I think it wise to point out the bright side of this bombardment of sell, sell, sell tactics…
These companies have deep-pockets. Deep enough that they have no qualms about giving away a lot of “free samples” to get you to buy. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT!
Think about this…how many times have you gone to the grocery store and purposely hit up all the “free sample” stations? Uh-huh, you can be shameless here. The point is, even your local farmer, rancher, winery, deli counter, (insert producer here) is doing it. And the reason why…Marketing. They want to market new, or refresh your memory of their product.
So, to take advantage of this online, you can search for almost any high quality deal out there and get a sample of what they have to offer. The question is knowing the best places to look, and that is the hard part; hence, my above compiled list. Sometimes, it is a matter of timing – like AT&T stores will sometimes host big giveaways if you just know to keep tabs on when. Most of the time, it just boils down to a huge amount of digging.
Know somebody who wants to lose weight in your family healthfully?
All these and more can all be gotten for a heck of a deal, and you know what, you should not feel bad about it. Not. One. Cent.
Because consumerism is built to take advantage of you, the consumer, by employing such a plethora of marketing and advertising techniques that somehow, someway you will eventually be convinced to buy from them. It is just a matter of time and your specific individual desires and needs. Those companies/producers know eventually they will get a return for their samples and efforts – aka profit.
This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, nor does it mean that you can’t take control of yourself. In fact, this gives us, the consumer, a democratic voice. Yes, that is right, capitalism and democracy go hand-in-hand on the free market for this one – what you choose eventually determines the next course headed in by profit chasing corporations. That is, we – together – can be the ultimate influence on our environment…
Here me out on this one. When one chooses to buy, let’s say a new flatscreen TV or a new grass-fed beef to grill, the “producer” or company earns a profit. They want profits. So, if they notice you buying only the cheapest, most likely to break item without care or concern for the sweat-shop labor that probably produced it, then they will respond as “the consumer wants more of these” and produce more of the same kind. However, what if people chose something different? What if you chose to buy quality, long-lasting, hand-made, sustainable/fair trade goods that inevitably had a positive impact on the world in terms of: jobs had, bio-degradable/less landfill space occupying, more effective medicines/less side-effects, healthier for you food, less disease causing pollution/pathogen methods, and more humane practices for animals.
Maybe even a boost to your local economy?
The companies would respond in kind, right? They would respond by producing what you the consumer wants: a better world.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some natural examples, as I am so fond to do, of this principle in action. What did Darwin call it – survival of the fittest!
Ex. A – Bees & Flowers
Bees and a large variety of other insects select flowers to collect pollen and drink nectar on. What flowers they choose end up propagating more seeds (plants can’t easily propagate themselves). Those plants go on to dominate the next generation in terms of numbers of offspring. Thus, if one plant produces extra large amounts of nectar or really beautiful attractive flowers, the bees will come en masse to those ones and perhaps not pay as much attention to the rest. A choice? The bees have as consumers in essence directed what flowers the flowering plants will produce more of over time.
Perhaps this explains why we have such a wide-selection of wonderful flowers everywhere…they are all trying to advertise and market to us!
Ex. B – Seeds & Beaks
In one of Darwin’s famous examples of presenting evolution through natural selection, he provided the case study of the Galapagos Island finch. Or should I say, finches. Although the Galapagos Island bird population started as just one species, in order to get access to all the different kinds of seeds more easily across the islands, the bird’s beaks adapted to the shape best fit for each seed. Thus, the birds became many different kinds of finches, albeit rather related to one another. Thus, the choice of specializing as consumers of seeds produced caused a change in the species itself.
What kind of conclusion may we be drawing from this? Could we say that nature is…
…a consumerism-centric system?
Well, maybe nature is not consumerist in the sense that capitalism is, but there is definitely a relationship between consumers and producers. The same relationship we see in human civilization today. The difference is, unlike our animal counterparts, we are actually sentient. We can make choices much more thought-out then our furry, feathered, scaly, slimy, buzzy brethren friends.
If we choose to make our world a better place today by employing conscientious consumerism that takes into account the ethics, methods, and long-lasting effects of the goods and services we desire on top of the quality of those same things that we need, can you imagine 7 billion people choosing for society to change for the healthier and more sustainable way?
We can do this everyday 🙂
Capitalism and consumerism need not be mankind’s destructive legacy. We do not have to suffer in thought of a bleak future caused by our ignorant actions to rape our planet, drain our resources, pollute ourselves to disease and misery, and replace our jobs in every single way. We can in fact use it to our greatest advantage, a weapon that would be our greatest strength.
The choice is yours, I only encourage you to choose sustainably~
The story of “hallucinogenic honey” starts in Turkey. It is a dark, reddish honey, known as deli bal in Turkey. It contains an ingredient from rhododendron nectar called grayanotoxin, which is a natural neurotoxin. In small quantities, it brings on light-headedness and sometimes, hallucinations.
In the 1700s, the Black Sea region traded this potent produce with Europe, where the honey was infused with drinks to give boozers a greater high than alcohol could deliver. Wow!
Remember Absinthe and its famous wormwood infused properties…
When over-imbibed, however, the honey can cause low blood pressure and irregularities in the heartbeat that bring on nausea, numbness, blurred vision, fainting, potent hallucinations, seizures, and even death, in rare cases.
Nowadays, cases of mad honey poisoning crop up every few years—oftentimes in travelers who have visited Turkey.
If there are rhododendrons everywhere, why is mad honey found only in Turkey?
Mad honey is most common in the region fringing the Black Sea — the biggest honey-producing region in Turkey. Yet, it is produced from rhododendrons, and these plants grow in vast areas, all over the world!
Though, there are more than 700 different species of rhododendron in the world, only two or three include grayanotoxin in their nectars. (says Dr. Süleyman Turedi, who studies deli bal’s effects, doctor at the Karadeniz Technical University School of Medicine in Trabzon, Turkey.): Rhododendron ponticum and Rhododendron luteum.
The mountains around the Black Sea provide the perfect habitat for these flowers to grow in monocrop-like swaths. Bees arrive in these fields, where there are no other flowers, so no other nectar gets mixed in. It results a pure, potent honey.
Why are the Turks producing it?
Because they are using it as medicine.
Hallucinogenic or “mad” honey is used in the indigenous Black Sea area to treat hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some different stomach diseases. And, some people use deli balto improve their sexual performance.”
The honey is taken in small amounts, sometimes boiled in milk, and consumed just before breakfast. This means it is considered medicine and taken likewise, not on toast or with tea.
Is it legal?
It is legal in Turkey. And we can also find it over the internet. Hallucinogenic honey is expensive and hard to be sure it’s the real thing. The beekeepers who produce it typically only sell it in a closed circle.
After how much mad honey are we poisoned?
If anybody eats more than 1 spoonful of hallucinogenic honey including grayanotoxin, is at risk of mad honey poisoning! And if we refer to fresh honey, than we should eat even less than 1 teaspoon.
“Many plants of the Ericaceae family, Rhododendron, Pieris, Agarista and Kalmia, contain diterpene grayanotoxins. Consuming the honey made from these plats may result in intoxication specifically characterized by dizziness, hypotension and atrial-ventricular block.
Symptoms are caused by an inability to inactivate neural sodium ion channels resulting in continuous increased vagal tone.
Grayanotoxin containing products are currently sold online, which may pose an increasing risk. In humans, intoxication is rarely lethal, in contrast to cattle and pet poisoning cases.
Scientific evidence for the medicinal properties of grayanotoxin containing preparations, such as honey or herbal preparation in use in folk medicine, is scarce, and such use may even be harmful.” (according to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
You are what you eat as the old saying goes. Now, in almost any circumstance, I would entirely agree with this statement; however, there is one additional point I like to bring up as a side-note to this and that is applying that old adage little by little every day.
Nutrition – is a hallmark of humanity. Without good nutrition, we are nothing without our health. We cannot grow, live, or be ourselves among each other unless we are functioning well on a basic level. If you are sick all the time, are you living well? Nutrition can play a vast role in this, among many things. In addition, it can affect not just your physical but your mental health. I personally favor eating a more raw natural diet and will speak on this much, but there will be some discussion as to classically cooked meals as well.
Beauty – speaking of mental, here is one aspect that affects any one of us (and I am not just looking at teenagers here). How we see ourselves, and how we at least think we are seen by others plays a subtle or sometimes prominent factor in our everyday lives. We like to express who we are, and if what we wish to “say” isn’t “showing” as we desire, it causes anguish, doesn’t it? We wish to look ourselves as much as be ourselves, no matter what gender or race. Am I right 🙂
Nutrition & Beauty go hand-in-hand on so many things, so much so I thought to dedicate an entire primary page to this foundational topic. Feel free to comment in any one of the articles below on your thoughts concerning these all natural suggestions. And remember, it is wisest to figure out what works best for you (food-wise and beauty-wise) and then do that little by little everyday. I think you will be amazed at that simple work and its results.
Feel confused as to what is good for you per say? Read on, the best tip is to think, try, and learn!
Listed are informational articles on all natural nutrition, raw diet, personal care, beauty techniques and tips, herbal lore, and favorite recipes on foods. Many of these are inspired by ethnic cultures from around the globe.
Visit Eupterra for this list.
Do you have allergies and desire allergy relief? Are you interested in healthy eating, weight loss, weight loss teas, herbal teas, herbalism, or recipes to try out that are based on what you can grow or get from your area? Or are you after reviews on beauty products, beautiful perfumes, easy and effective personal care, and looking naturally radiant all the time?
All of these can be found among our list of articles here. Also, for more on raw foodism, read up here.
Ayurveda recommends foods for people according to their primary body type. The reason this is done is because it is believed foods can be both healing and the source of imbalance and difficulties. By eating foods according to our Ayurvedic body type, the belief is that we will accumulate less Ama, or waste, in the body.
In Ayurveda, people are classified according to three principles: vata, kapha, and pitta. It’s important to understand that although we may be dominant in one principle, we actually have all three present in our body. The others are in a smaller ration. Most people will actually be a combination of two of these principles, with the third only playing a minor role. But because we all contain the three, any of them can get out of balance.
So, let’s see what body type are you!
Characteristics of Pitta dominant body types
passionate about many things
Ayurveda’s Pitta constitution is calmed by cooling foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Bitter green vegetables like watercress, parsley, collards, and most greens suit pitta. Fruits that suit pitta body types include sweet berries, sweet apples and apricots, coconut, figs, mango, sweet oranges and pineapples, plums, watermelon, pomegranates, and prunes.
Other cooling foods include most dairy products, though sour cream, hard cheeses, and yoghurt don’t really suit pitta due to their being too high in fat, salt, or sourness. But dairy that suits pitta includes milk, cottage cheese, soft cheeses, and ice cream.
Grains that suit pitta body types include barley, basmati rice, and wheat (unless you are allergic or gluten sensitive).
Pitta body types generally like a lot of protein, and they probably need a little more than the other Ayurvedic body types. Spices that are cooling in nature are also important. These include coriander, cumin, mint, parsley, dill, and fennel. Garlic should be avoided though as it is too heating.
In terms of sweets, Pitta body types should use maple syrup, barley malt, brown rice syrup, and honey that is 6 months or less old, preferably raw.
Things that can imbalance Pitta body types:
excess heat, hot climates, and hot times of day
vacations and times when there is increased mobility
excess oil in the diet
too many hot foods, including spicy foods. But this can also mean too many cooked meals
excess caffeine, salt, red meat and alcohol
Characteristics of people with a dominant Vata body type:
always on the go – mentally and physically
Dietary choices that support vata aim at grounding this energy-in-motion. Routine is also very helpful, though not naturally something vata body type people will create. Vata people benefit from meditation, warmth, soothing music, taking breaks, and resting (again, not a natural vata inclination!).
With regards to food, vata body types should include warming spices, including ginger and cloves, anise, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, horseradish, caraway, mint, mustard seeds, parsley, cooked onion, paprika, rose water, vanilla, tarragon, thyme, and rosemary.
People with the vata body type should minimize raw food, including salad, though salads should not be eliminated completely as they provide valuable nutrients. Vata should ground the salad with a dressing made from oil and vinegar, and be aware of the weather at the time of eating it. Being more sensitive to cold, vata’s should have salads on warmer days.
Icy cold drinks are not balancing for vata – in fact quite the opposite. Sugar also throws vata types off balance, though vata are lucky in that they can enjoy other sweets.
Vata generally love fruit, and it suits their ayurvedic constitution. The exceptions are apples, pears, cranberries, watermelon, and dried fruit. Vata types should go for sweet and moist fruit, like mangoes, nectarines, bananas, coconut, fresh figs, peaches, and strawberries.
Cooked grains like oatmeal, basmati rice, and brown rice, are very grounding for the vata ayurvedic constitution. Beans (legumes), on the other hand, are not! Beans are cold, dry, and heavy – not the attributes that support vata.
Things that can imbalance vata dominant body types include:
a lot of travel, especially by plane
drugs, sugar, and alcohol
cold climates (especially extremely cold ones) and cold food
frozen and dried food
Characteristics of people with a kapha dominant body type:
Kapha body types are not suited to a high protein diet like the Atkins diet. Not only should they avoid too much fat, but also, excessive heavy protein. The kapha quality is already heavy, and although this doesn’t sound great, it is what provides Kapha body types with a wonderful stability and strength.
Kapha should have light and low fat protein. Beans, with the exception of soy and soy products, are great for kapha. Soy milk is preferable to dairy though, for kapha. Beans help move kapha’s energy, and digestive system, a bit. Barley is also excellent. In terms of meat, chicken and turkey suit kapha.
Kapha body types should have plenty of vegetables, including bitter vegetables, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, eggplant, lettuce, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, corn cobs, peas, beets, and celery.
Dairy is heavy and cooling, and it does not suit the Kapha ayurvedic body type. Light and crispy food, like corn tortillas and popcorn, suit kapha. Kapha people should make sure they have variety in their diet, as kapha body types have a danger of falling into a rut more than others.
Asian and Latin American style meals are great for kapha. They are spicy and light, free of dairy, and have plenty of vegetables in them.
Things that can imbalance Kapha body types:
too much fat in the diet, including oil we cook with!
not enough stimulation and challenge
not enough variety
not enough exercise
too much bread, iced foods and drinks, and sweets
Understanding one’s self can have a major impact on the quality of your health and life.
For more on body types and Ayurveda or Ayurveda cook books, click here.
Ever been not a fan of the taste of some medicines? Well, nature has a reply to that!
Medicinal syrups, herbal style~
Follow below for a step-by-step guide to making herbal medicinal syrups you can enjoy and heal yourself with. For more information on this, visit Eupterra Foundation!
Herbal syrups are a great way to administer not so pleasant tasting herbs to young ones and bothered adults alike, or a great way to let your favorite herbs come to life in beverages and food dishes. Finding a nice combination of herbs can leave you with a tasty concoction perfect for many occasions and recipes! Herbal syrups make great additions to teas, desserts, bubbly beverages and cocktails, or all on their own by the spoonful.
Syrups can be prepared with sugar or honey. If prepared with honey, my preferred method, herbal syrup can be soothing and coating to the digestive tract membranes it comes into contact with, such as the throat. Besides being absolutely great for you, who doesn’t love a good honey coat when it’s cold outside? For proper preservation and a shelf stable syrup, it is recommended to use a ratio of 1:1 (tea to honey). However, you can cut back to 2:1 or 3:1. If you use less sweetener to tea parts, you will need to keep your syrup refrigerated and use quickly. You can also add some tincture to help preserve your syrup longer, as well as give an extra boost.
The best thing about syrups is that like tea or tinctures, you can formulate with any combination of herbs to create a preparation for your needs. While elderberry syrup is the most popular, I also love to have individual or combinations of ginger, thyme, elecampane, chamomile, peppermint, marshmallow root, schisandra berry, echinacea root, elder flower, hawthorn berry, holy basil, and hop flower syrups around!
How to Make Herbal Syrups
These two ingredients are good for helping with the mild mood changes we all experience from time to time. This syrup goes great drizzled on top of dessert, spooned into tea or hot toddies, or taken by the spoonful throughout the day.
First make a very strong decoction, using 1 oz of herb per 16 oz of water. Warm over low heat, bring to a simmer, cover partially, and reduce the liquid down to half the original volume.
When you have 8 oz of liquid, add 8 oz of honey.
Warm the mixture over low heat, stirring well. *Do not heat above 110 degrees.*
Optional: Add 1 part tincture or brandy to 3 parts syrup for a boost and longer shelf life.
Pour syrup into bottles and label. Store in the refrigerator, where it will last for up to six months.
In our busy lives, it can be at times too much to think about and figure out what we can grab as a quick “to-go” snacks/drinks/something to fidget with. To help with this, here is a list of 6 powders and potions (drink mixtures) that can be added to your diet real quick and cheap that will seriously benefit your health: diet, allergies, energy-levels, immune system, and many other things.
6 Simple (but Powerful) Potions and Powders You Need to Add to your diet NOW
Let us not converge under false pretenses here: There are more powerful powders and potions on the market than anyone can keep up with. In one way, this is great: there are quick, chockablock sources of all the targeted vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and so on we are all after.
However, it can be a bit overwhelming, too. Do we actually need all these powders and potions? Are they natural? Overly processed? Is one enough? Should it be a concentrated source of one superfood or a milled mixture? It seems one’s entire life could become consumed with which health craze to consume.
In order to narrow this discussion though, let’s assume we aren’t using these to replace meals or a healthy, plant-based, whole food diet. Let’s say we are simply after natural, nonchalant boosts to incorporate into our good habits, and let’s consider simple foods rather than complicated products.
These powerful powders and potions are perfect for sliding into our daily routines and providing something a bit beyond what a balanced diet does.
Apple Cider Vinegar is old school, like back to Hippocrates, and has been used to promote good health for millennia. The important thing to remember is that its raw, organic ACV that gets the job done best, stuff with debris floating around in it rather than the more processed clear versions. It cleans up and balances your systems inside and out. Use it everyday on beans, salads, sandwiches and sauces, or you can make a tonic by mixing it with water.
Kombucha, also used for thousands of years, is a fermented tea, which can be a bit of an acquired taste but equally a very beneficial drink to sip with lunch. Again, we are after kombucha that is raw, not pasteurized, as the process nullifies all the benefits it can provide. It provides important probiotics, helping with detoxification, digestion and other bodily functions. It’s as easy as a glass a day.
You can buy a SCOBY, the mother bacteria, for next to nothing and start making your own.
Green Tea is nothing new either and has been used for thousands of years as a medicine. Here we should look for organic, fair trade varieties to keep things clean and ethical. The boost provided from a three times a day habit means a healthier heart, a stronger brain and less disease. And, green tea can be counted towards your daily dosage of water.
To boost the magic of green tea, be sure to squeeze a bit of citrus into it as the vitamin C gives the antioxidants staying power.
Turmeric has been used — you guessed it — for centuries upon centuries as a powerful dietary addition, especially in Ayurvedic practices. It turns out science has found curcumin, a compound in turmeric, has major anti-inflammatory and antioxidant attributes. It protects the brain, shields the heart, prevents cancer and helps the body do all the things a healthy body needs to do. Put it on fatty foods and combine it with black pepper.
Ideally, you can find fresh turmeric to make your own powder, but there is quality organic turmeric powder available.
Cacao has been used since for many years throughout history as an important health-promoting powder, even to the point of being given divine powers.It’s healthiest at its organic and raw state, remember. So raw cacao powder (versus heated cocoa) provides possibly the highest amount of antioxidants (and magnesium) of any food, in addition to a rich combination of nutrients.
Another great thing about cacao powder is that it makes for fantastic raw desserts with loads of other great nutrients.
Moringa is the last of our proven potions and powder and has also been cultivated as a medicinal, highly nutritious food for ages. Moringa is rich in antioxidants, nutrients, minerals and vitamins, so much so that it’s currently being revitalized as a crop to battle malnutrition. What’s more is that most of the benefits are multiplied in its powdered form.
Moringa is widely available as a powder, but it’s an easy growing tree that can be harvested from year-round.
This, by no means, is a comprehensive list. After all, food is medicine, and as is evident by these short profiles, this has been the case for thousands and thousands of years all over the world. So, by all means, feel free to comment below with your favorites.
These cookies can be made on Samhain Eve. They can be shaped like people (use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to achieve this easily) and the herb rosemary is added to the dough as a symbol of remembrance. Some of the cookies are eaten while telling stories or attributes of special ancestors, reminding us that we still have access to their strengths–or perhaps a predisposition to their weaknesses. The rest of the cookies are left outside by a bonfire or by window next to a black candle as an offering. This can be a solemn ritual, but it need not be.
Ingredients for the cookies:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh rosemary (substitute dry)
Please note: Small – t – = TEASPOON, big -T- = TABLESPOON
Heat oven 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and rosemary until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture. Beat until dough forms and refrigerate for three hours. Divide dough into halves. Roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface. Cut out with gingerbread women or men cutters and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting with second portion of dough. Bake for 5-7 minutes. You can also punch a hole in top of each cookie with a wooden skewer (BEFORE baking) and thread black ribbon through, these can be hung for decorations, or top gifts.
Cut both cabbages into 6 wedges, wash well and leave to dry for a half-hour. Wash and dry baby carrots. Julianne slice baby carrots-eyeball it for how much you want in finished salad. Grate both cabbages into a large bowl. Add baby carrots, mayonnaise/salad dressing, ranch and french salad dressings (you can use less if you do not like you Cole Slaw real creamy). Mix very well. Cover and chill at least two hours before serving. Mix well again before serving. Serves about 12-14 adults.
All Souls Night, Feast of the Dead, Festival of Remembrance, Feast of Apples, New Year…
Samhain is one of the major festivals of the Wheel of the Year, for many Pagans the most important festival of all. It is the third and final harvest festival of nuts and berries and a fire festival. All the harvest is in, all is complete, it is the end of the cycle of birth and growth, it is the point of death. The seeds of the harvest have fallen deep into the dark earth, they are unseen, dormant, and thus apparently lifeless.
The God, as Sun King is sacrificed back to the land with the seed until the Winter Solstice, and the Goddess, now as Crone, mourns Him until His rebirth at Yule. He travels the Underworld learning its wisdom. This is the time of the descent into darkness, of pre-conception, out of which new life, new ideas, will eventually emerge.
Traditionally the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest now. Boundaries dissolve and all is laid bare. It is time to honour and offer hospitality to, our ancestors.
At Samhain the dark half of the year commences. It is a truly magical time. Death is always followed by rebirth and while this is the end of the old year, it is the beginning of the new year. For the Celts the day did not begin at dawn, it began at sunset, it began with darkness. Light is always born out of darkness, they are inseparable, interdependent, and necessary. Darkness is fertile with ‘all potential’. With the beginning of this dark phase comes the opportunity to rest and reflect on the past and to dream of new beginnings. The seed now hidden in the earth will germinate in its season. Look for the seeds in yourself!
Honouring The Ancestors
Honouring your ancestors is a very special thing to do at this time and can be done in many simple ways. Think about all those departed souls from your life, both family and friends, children may wish to remember pets even – place photographs of them on your altar. Offer them your hospitality, welcome their presence into your home. At your Samhain feast, consider laying an extra place for them to join you at the table – cook and eat their favourite dishes, talk about them – re-member them, bring them closer. You and your children can make an offering for departed pets by leaving some dog food outside on Halloween night, many night creatures appreciate this offering. Be careful what you put outside – we used to put out bread and milk but are dismayed to find that this is fatal to hedgehogs – and we lovehedgehogs!
Candle Ceremony for The Ancestors
This is a wonderfully simple ritual which can be shared with both friends and family, or worked alone. You can include children in it – it begins in darkness and ends full of light.
It’s a great balance to trick or treating!
You will need a supply of small candles, either black or white, or a supply of night lights. You need a heat proof container or tray of sand or earth to put them in. Place one in the centre of the container from which all the others will be lit. Switch off all the lights and sit gently in thedarkness. Allow the darkness to enfold you. Ask for the presence of your ancestors to come to you. When you are ready, light the central candle saying “We welcome our departed loved ones into this home and honour your presence amongst us”. Allow each person in the circle to spontaneously remember someone who has passed to the Summerlands and remember something about them and light a candle for each person from the central candle: ‘I remember Great Aunt Sheila and her generosity of heart….’. Allow this to continue for as long as it takes to complete the re-membering. You will end with a tray full of radiant candles. When all is complete, give thanks, and allow the candles to burn to completion.
Seed Scattering Charm for the Ancestors
This simple charm is designed to honour the Spirit of those who have passed onto the Summerland. The seeds you scatter will grow in memory, a gift of remembrance to the Earth.
You will need:
A packet of seeds of your choice
A small dish
A small white candle in a suitable holder
A pouch or bag for your seeds
The night before your Seed Scattering Charm, pop the seeds into the dish and light the candle. Think about the person or people you wish to honour and remember, and as you do so say ‘gone from sight but not from the heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.’ Or you can use your own words. Leave the seeds in the dish overnight and let the candle burn down completely – always taking safety precautions. When you are ready place the seeds in your pouch and hold the pouch in your right hand on the way to a place of your choosing. On arrival take the seeds and scatter them, saying ‘You are remembered and held in my heart’. Repeat three times.
Where to do this? You can go to a favourite special place of your choice, a place that holds fond memories of the people you are honouring, or even your own garden – the idea of watching the seeds germinating and growing in honour of people you love is very special. The charm works just as well if you plant the seeds in a small pot.
This charm works very well as an offering of thanks to Spirit of Place. The instructions are exactly the same, except that when you prepare the seeds the night before the words are ‘ I give thanks for your beauty, it warms my heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.’
Charm donated with generous heart by the Counter Enchantress.
The Isle of Avalon, Isle of Apples, Isle of the Dead.
Glastonbury, where we are based, is also known as the Sacred Isle of Avalon, or Isle of Apples, and also the Isle of the Dead.
In mythology, here the entrance to the Underworld is found, ruled by Morgan, Queen of the Dead. There are many apple games played at Samhain which grew out of the belief in the Apple as a sacred and magical fruit. The Apple is a symbol of life and immortality. In Celtic tradition, apples were buried at Samhain as food for those souls who are waiting to be reborn.
The Apple, cut crosswise, reveals the five pointed star, or pentacle at its core, a symbol of the Goddess.
Symbols of Samhain
Pumpkins are very much an American tradition which has been successfully marketed in the UK and Europe. Everyone loves them, especially of course, children. If you consider that the Celts regarded the human head as the Seat of the Soul, the concept of the carved pumpkin with a candle inside it as the Light shining from the Soul, it becomes just about acceptable……..
The Cauldron or Holy Grail is closely associated with Samhain. It is feminine, and is the cosmic container for all life and death, of transformation and rebirth.
The Besom Broom
The besom is used as this time both practically and symbolically. It sweeps away the last of the Autumn leaves, but is also used ritually to sweep out the old, to clean and clear away old energy, creating space for the new. Traditionally besoms are made from birch twigs – the birch is associated with purification and renewal.
You can make a besom at this time of year by gathering a large bundle of birch twigs tied together. Drive a broom handle into the middle of the bundle – ideally hazel or ash.
The Acorn is the seed of the great Oak, representing wisdom, longevity, rebirth – a promise of strength to come. An acorn in your pocket is an amulet of good fortune to come. All nuts from our indigenous trees – walnuts, hazelnuts, conkers and so on – are pure potential and carry the attributes of the mother tree.
Colours of Samhain
Black for death and endings, orange for the vitality of life within death, purple for wisdom, insight and inspiration.
The Samhain Altar
A cauldron. Apples, nuts and berries. Black candles to honour the passage to the Summerland and the Ancestors. Photographs of deceased family and friends.
Buttermilk Bread Charm for Samhain.
You will need:
3 mugs of strong white flour
500 ml of Buttermilk (available from the supermarket)
I teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda
Samhain ribbon in black or purple.
A handful of rye flour
A scattering of oats
twig of rosemary for remembrance
Place the flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough feels springy. If it feels too sloppy just add a little more flour. Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Our picture shows the bread scored five times to make a pentacle.
Place onto a greased baking tray and pop your buttermilk bread into a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep and eye on it. When the bread is ready it will change colour and it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, place the rosemary on top and tie it with Samhain ribbon.
Take time to concentrate on the bread you have created and turn the loaf three times saying
“From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Samhain Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”
Now take your bread and share it with your family and friends and pass on the generous blessings of this festival of completion and beginning. Eat it fresh, as soon as it is made if you can.
Recipe donated by the Counter Enchantress. Adapted by the Boss Lady with permission.
The Counter Enchantress is discovering that you can add almost anything appropriate to this simple bread recipe and it STILL WORKS beautifully. You can decide for yourself what the appropriate additions are for a particular festival, in this case rye flour. oats and rosemary, and just do it. There is much kitchen magic in working with one recipe through the Wheel of the Year just changing it a little as the wheel turns…..
Honour the ancestors, have fun and enjoy………..
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Any information displayed on our web site(s) or other printed matter from the shop is not regarded to be authoritative or certified as the best practice and is only considered to be useful supplementary advice to other certified codes of practice. All information on our web site is updated regularly. From: http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/samhain
Core apples and place in an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon, fill apples with mixture, dot tops with butter. Add boiling water and sugar to pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes.
For the Wassail:
1 cup water
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon nutmeg, grated (for luck)
1/2 teaspoon mace
2 teaspoons ginger (to prevent arguments)
6 whole cloves (to influence people in high places, and for luck)
1 stick cinnamon (same as cloves)
6 whole allspice
1 dozen eggs, separated
4 bottles sherry
2 cups brandy
Combine first eight ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Fold whites into yolks. Strain spice mixture into egg mixture and stir. Combine sherry and brandy and bring almost to a boil. Gradually add liquor to spice and egg mixture, stirring rapidly as you do so. Before serving, add baked apples to foaming liquid. Serve in a large cauldron.
(The above recipe for “Pagan Wassail” in directly quoted from Laurie Cabot’s book: “Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition”, pages 71-72, a Delta book, published by Dell Publishing, 1994.)
After carving up those pumpkins, don’t just throw the seeds away or eat them all. In each little pumpkin seed lies a large store of natural energy. Save seeds to bring magick to your life year-round. They’re great for increasing strength, promoting prosperity, encouraging health, and enhancing growth and expansion. Grind them to include in incense and magickal powders, carry one in your pock for a good luck talisman, or tie a few inside a small square of fabric to make a charm to promote peace and balance in the home. You can even use pumpkin seeds to create your own set of biodegradable runes—just use a pen and some natural ink to make the glyphs.
The following comprises a few ideas as to what foods and seasonings may be incorporated into meals to accomplish your goals. As you expand upon this list—and you will–just one note of caution: Some herbs are poisonous! With that in mind, please check a reliable herbal before incorporating any substance with which you’re unfamiliar.
Basil: Season foods with this herb to loosen a partner’s hold on the money and force him or her to spend some on you.
Bread braid: As it’s pulled apart and consumed, bread baked in this form can be used to separate lovers and break up relationships.
Cayenne pepper: Commonly known as the “hot food powder of the culinary world,” this little gem works wonders when it comes to getting your way. Be sure to apply it liberally.
Cinnamon: Fold and mix this into recipes to induce and secure love. (Pies, rolls, cakes, cookies, and wine are good options.) Sprinkle it on top of beverages to obtain money.
Clove: Long known for its powers of seduction, add ground or powdered clove to hot beverages and desserts to induce lust. (Once you’ve got the target in the position desired, add it to massage oil to really liven things up!)
Ginger: Add this to foods to increase sexual endurance and stamina.
Kava-Kava root: This peppery-tasting substance induces a natural state of euphoria and relaxes the judgment centers, making them open to suggestion. The key, though, is that it must be fresh or freshly dried. And since it’s most effective when added to a butter or milk base, it’s the perfect addition to egg nog, cream sauces, or gravies.
Mint: Incorporate to cool anger and force your target to chill out—even if you’re the one at fault.
Nuts: Want to plant the seeds of your desires in the target’s head and make them think it was their idea? Just add any type of nut to the food you’re serving. Nuts may also be used to plant seeds of doubt.
Potato: It a target is standing in the way of what you want, carve his or her initials in a potato, then cut it into small pieces before cooking and serving. (It’s also useful to add a dollar sign to the carving if your target is being stingy with money.)
Saltpeter: A pinch of this added to any food will definitely keep any lover from straying. It’s important to note, however, that while your lover won’t stray, he or she won’t be able to perform with you either.
Sesame seeds; Because these are sacred to both Ganesha and Hecate, they are excellent additions when used to remove obstacles and get what you want.
Curses, Hexes or Other Unsavory Notions
This recipe is a proper replacement for traditional almond crescent cakes in the cake and ale ceremonies. This bread relates closely to earth and is a good grounding aid.
1/3 cup butter
2 1/4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup creamed corn
1/8 teaspoon each parsley, oregano, thyme, basil and garlic powder
Melt the butter in a 13 x 9-inch pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir in the milk, corn and spices. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into crescent shapes and place in the melted butter, turning so that each side is coated in butter. Cook at 450 degrees for 18 minutes. Serve warm.