Odin the Wanderer
We can all embrace Yuletide, or Christmas with our own traditions even if we are not religious or Christian. You can be without religion and still want to celebrate our earth and the changing of the seasons. Some still don’t understand that with the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas. I try to separate myself from the commercialism and marketing of the holiday in order to reflect on ancient more practical traditions that represent what this time of year is all about. In Germanic Pagan history, Yule was a time when Odin (a white bearded magical man, ruler of Asgard) led a hunting party, known as the Wild Hunt, in the sky with an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir on the eve of the Winter solstice. Children would leave their boots by the chimney filled with carrots and hay to feed Sleipnir. Legend has it that whenever Odin flew by he would leave gifts by their boots. Whatever magical history you want to put your faith into – make it a joyous occasion and give everyone the freedom to embrace their own culture. Afterall it’s the time of year to recognize peace and compassion for others.
The Winter Solstice & Yuletide: Although winter is the season of dormancy, darkness and cold, the December Solstice marks the “turning of the Sun” and the days slowly get longer. Celebrations of the lighter days to come and nature’s continuing cycle, we celebrate the birth of the “true light of the world” in synchronization with the December solstice. Bonfire’s are lit and toasts of spiked apple cider are made with family & friends as we celebrate the return of the light and rebirth of the year. Kids eagerly anticipate the coming of Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule (or the Christian Santa). Evergreen boughs are brought into the home to represent the eternal Divine and mistletoe hung as a symbol of her seed. Holly is used as a constant invitation of good luck and fortune for all that visit the home. A Yule log made of Ash that is burned to bring light to the hearth at Solstice. It’s a time to reflect on plans for the future. It’s the beginning of December and this is the time to spend those long dark evenings crafting for loved ones that you intend on gift giving. It could be as simple as a batch of home baked cookies or fine jams wrapped in a decorative box with a big ribbon. We all have different talents – find yours and use it to gift to your loved ones at this time of year.
Autumn is precisely the time to find some of nature’s most wonderful things. Rosehips for one – they are plentiful where I live as wild roses grow everywhere. They are the fruit of the rose plant and typically are orange to red in color. Rose hips are used for Herbal Teas, Jam, Jelly, Syrup, Rosehip soup, beverages, pies, bread, wine & marmalade. They can also be eaten raw, like a berry, if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit. Dried rose hips are also sold for primitive crafts and home fragrance purposes. Rose hips are particularly high in Vitamin C content, they contain 50% more vitamin C than oranges. A single tablespoon of the pulp gives an adult more than the recommended daily allowance of 60 mg. They can be eaten raw, after being put through a blender, or soaked in water overnight and then cooked in the water for about half an hour. Rose hip extracts are used to reduce arthritis pain. Rose hip tea is a mild diuretic and laxative. It is used to improve, and relieve the symptoms of kidney disorders, or to help in the case of mild constipation. The astringent qualities of rose hip oil makes it a valuable addition in cosmetic preparations. It has the ability to help regenerate new skin cells. This can be used to treat scars, acne and burns. While it is an astringent, it does not dry out the skin; actually it helps to rehydrate it, keeping the moisture in. Drinking rose hip tea daily will also benefit your skin. Rose hips have a high vitamin A content. Vitamin A is commonly referred to as the “skin vitamin”. The vitamin A is also beneficial to the immune system. It can help to prevent infections from both bacteria and viruses. It helps the immune system to fight off any infections that do occur too, also known as a good cancer preventative. Make sure you harvest Rose hips that have not been sprayed by pesticides.
What a perfect time of year to get out and explore what’s around you. Vacations are costly so think about making day trips in each direction from where you live every chance you get. It doesn’t matter if you are in the city or country, explore and see the place you live in a way you never have before. Instead of spending big dollars on a tropical destination, support local B&B’s, do some fall camping, wilderness foraging, or a simple picnic in a park. Be sure to take some time out of your work week to enjoy life how it was meant to be enjoyed. Beauty is surrounding you, take the time now – to stop and open your eyes.
October is here, just after the full Harvest (blood) moon – and a lunar eclipse at that! Hope you charged a lot of full moon water replenishing your energies. For Pagans this month is about the abundance of food and celebration with wine, beer, spirits & ciders. We reflect on all the hard work of the Summer months and share with those less fortunate than ourselves. Giving homemade gifts of baked apple pies, sharing preserves, or a bottle of homemade cider. Whatever your talent is, make sure you share it with someone that would appreciate a kind offering of something you put so much love into making or creating. Although it is nice to receive things – I find the greatest feeling of all is being the giver. Before you know it Samhain will be here…
(Sept 21-23) There are quite a few terms Pagans like to use instead of Mabon – what term do you prefer? For me it’s a very important time of the year. The “harvesting & gathering” season. I’m hunting like the goddesses Artemis and Diana, filling my freezer with natural wild protein. Foraging for mushrooms in the wilderness, and late harvest wild herbs & rosehips. Getting the last of the Summer’s garden in and canned or frozen for the long Winter ahead. Cutting wood to keep our houses warm all Winter. There is so much to do this time of year but my absolute favorite thing about late September, is the bright beautiful sun and the chill in the air that keeps my nose cold as I work outside. I feel healthy and invigorated when this time of year comes around. I absolutely love the temperature! You can wear hoodies and your favorite fall Jackets with Jeans or Yoga pants, lol! Whatever you do this Autumn – make sure it’s the Prepper in you that’s in high gear for the long dark days ahead. Celebrate with your families & friends and give thanks to the earth for all it’s bounties it’s brought this year as it begins it’s slow descent into the darkness.
Want insight to a question or situation? Sit down with me personally for a reading. I use all natural beeswax candles and allow it to drip into rainwater that has been charged by the full moon, and powered by gemstones & crystals. From there we read the wax formations together, (30-60 min on Skype) and I later send a detailed list to you by email of our reading for you to keep. Contact me today for a reading!
It’s finally done! 3 years in the making and I’m proud to announce it’s available as an e-book. It’s absolutely stunning in print as it’s large and plenty of full colored photographs. Either way – it’s something that everyone has been emailing me about how to get started with Wicca & Witchcraft. Well this is it – a guide for you to personally enjoy and learn even more than just the basics! ~ Aldora
Click on this book to get the large hard copy of “Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch”.
An incredible email from David, and like many others I get everyday. I am always very touched with kind words from my readers. My main goal is to help you all have incredible lives with many paths and that you understand all the signs that may greet you on your journeys. – Aldora
Good Morning Aldora,
I have never commented on any articles or websites till now. You are incredibly gifted and knowledgeable in your field. Just reading your website (and the comments listed) has given me a few more of the puzzle pieces I need for my journey. After the passing of my sister who was Wiccan and head of a small Covern for over 13 years, I became interested in her beliefs (which she did not openly talk about). As other people mentioned in the comments section, I began to see similarities and “gifts” that coincided with certain spiritual types.
I would like to submit a suggestion to those still researching Paganism, Wicca, and other Earth based spiritual religions. Go way back. Look for the oldest books and articles on your particular interests. Then research the authors to see what influenced them. This will provide a foundation and history of what you believe and will help “weed” out the fame seekers.
There’s no time like, now – to get your pantry stocked for the Flu season!
You may refine it a bit and add your own favorite herbal cold & flu remedies. I used what I had on hand and created my own recipe. Bring to a boil 1.5 cups of spring water with 1/2 cup demerara brown sugar, 1/3 cup of honey, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt, 3 tbsp fresh finely ground ginger (frozen grates easier), 1/2 tsp ground cloves, juice of 1/2 a lemon and 8 drops of peppermint oil.
On med-high heat stir frequently until thick – about 15 minutes. If you don’t have a candy thermometer do the ice water test. When you drip the syrup into a cup of ice cold water a hard ball forms. Drop by tsp small dabs (nickel size) on parchment paper. Allow to cool and sprinkle with icing sugar so they don’t stick together. Store in a cool, dry place or container. I loved the consistency of the ground ginger in the lozenges, mmm good! You can also add 2 lozenges to a hot cup of water with a wedge of lemon – dissolve for a drink before bedtime to soothe your cold and tuck yourself into bed 🙂