Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Scents of the Season

If you are like me, you love to surround yourself with scents of Winter. It helps to conjure up images of childhood Yuletide joy  and the excitement of the season! I have learned through experience that certain scents seem to be "out of place" during particular times of the year. We do not think of  coconut scents as much in the fall and winter as we do in the warmer spring and summer. So keep in mind what you would consider a warm scent...dragons blood, cinnamon, apple, fir, pumpkin, mint and even vanilla.
My typical rule of thumb is "less is best". You can mix or layer scents but don't go overboard. It can be distressing to your family and friends as well as those fur babies! We have so many herbs, roots, flowers and fruits to choose from for magickal properties so play around a bit to find that perfect mix for your home, ritual or work.

Don't forget the magickal properties of what you use!! Some good herbs to use during Yule are:

allspice ( a mix of jamaica pepper & pimento )-  determination, healing & spell power

apple- (a natural pentagram when cut in the center) fertility, fae magick, relieves depression, health, longevity, wisdom, happiness & divination

bay- purification, renewal, strength, wishes & wisdom

bayberry- luck, peaceful home & prosperity

cedar- healing, protection, gain, prosperity, success & wealth

cinnamon- happiness, luck, healing, moving things forward & spirituality

cloves- courage, house blessing, peace, prosperity, protection & luck

dragons blood- power, protection, verility & strength

frankincense- dream work, inspiration, consecration, spirituality, protection, wisdom, success & grounding

holly- baby blessing, circle casting, freezing situations, protection & purification

mint- healing, luck, protection, prosperity & travel

mistletoe- ***Poisonous*** (Do not let it touch the ground when harvesting) protection, wisdom, renewal, fertility & health

myrrh: happiness, healing, health, spell power & protection

nutmeg- prosperity, love, banishing negative energy & divination

oak- power, protection, wealth (acorns), balance, virility, potency & fertility

orange- immortality, happiness, love, peace, purification & success

pine- divination, happiness, healing, strength & prosperity

sandalwood- heightens spiritual vibrations, protection, clairvoyance & heals

Monday, December 1, 2014

Yule vs Christmas Family Celebrations...No Need to Stress! Pt 1

It's that time of year again....Samhain has passed. We purged what was no longer useful and embraced a time of rest as we prepare for next year. The Turkey had its big day as well and the holiday season is in full gear! Parades, shopping, creating or making gifts, cooking, parties and more; whew, it's exhausting!! But to be honest, this is my favorite time of year. There is just something so special about the Winter Solstice and the Christians' Christmas time. The energy is crisp and buzzing around in the universe. People seem to actually care for each other during this season. We worry about our neighbors and the focus on the impoverished becomes center stage. We work to make sure that many are warm and fed and have a bountiful Christmas. The universal One Love is at its peak! 

For many of us, this time of year brings family celebrations and when you follow a different path, this can be a little tricky. I think that the holiday can be stressful enough with all of the hustle and bustle so why make things harder for yourself? I have a certain philosophy that I follow with my non-Pagan family...let it be! 
This is the time of year for you to enjoy the company of your loved ones. My Granny Green used to tell me that there is a time and a place for everything and trying to convert or force your beliefs upon your non-Pagan family at Christmas is NOT the time or place...trust me!That discussion is best left for another time. I do believe it is best to pick and choose your battles. With that being said, err...written, you do not have to leave your Pagan beliefs in the dark this year just to keep the peace. In fact, its just the opposite! 

Most Pagans believe in magick. We believe in the possibility of most any thing. Do you remember as a child, the excitement you would feel on Christmas Eve as you waited for the "BIG" guy in the red suit to bring you your Christmas goodies? I do. I loved the feeling of exuberance  that would come over me. I would try to stay awake all night to catch a glimpse of him, to no avail, and when I was older, I realized that it was not so much the gifts that excited me but more so the opportunity to see HIM! It was his presence that created such a buzz in the air. With that in mind, I am able to embrace the Santa Claus aspect of Christmas. I can acknowledge the Christians belief in Christ but I can truly embrace the idea of a magickal man bringing happiness and joy as well as presents to millions of children around the world, all in one night while being pulled in a sleigh by reindeer. How fabulous of an idea is that? It makes me smile just thinking about it. And the joy that I will experience spending a stress-free time with my family and friends while there is so much energy in the atmosphere while feeling child-like at the thought of the jolly old man.....now THAT is true magick.........

The Crooked Broom News

The Crooked Broom (TCB) is starting a new feature....daily tips and ideas! We will cover topics from oil and herbs to spells and cooking! We are so excited to bring this new feature into use and hope that you all enjoy it as well.Feel free to shoot us ideas for future topics. Blessed Be~