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Yule Tides

Merry meet all,

DECORATING THE YULE LOG

I found a suitable piece of wood from a fallen tree outside. I sawed it and returned home and set it aside. I brought it in when it got close to the Yule date and let it dry. I decorated the log last night for Yule.

I used a hot glue gun to glue the holly, pine and ivy to the log. I glued the long ivy branch to the log first followed by the holly and pine. I also glued a cinnamon stick and two pine cones to the log. It was surprisingly easy to glue the items to the log. I glued the painted pine cones to the log. The log is beautiful.

Holly is toxic to cats. I am careful about that. I covered my yule log and decorations with a towel last night. I am sad in a way to burn the log tomorrow because it is so pretty. It is a Norwegian tradition and I intend to follow through with it tomorrow morning.

I have posted pictures of the log on Facebook. I am happy to get to continue an ancient tradition founded by my ancestors. I hope the weather is clear tomorrow but it’s happening anyway.

I shall post the Rit details tomorrow.

Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Yule Magick

Winter Enchantments

Merry meet all,

Yule is a magical time of year. Trees adorn our homes and shimmering snowflakes drift by the windows. The chilly nights force us indoors, when families and friends share in festive fun. This article will show you how to make Yule crafts for gift ideas and decorations.

Yule Incense

Here is a Yule incense recipe to share with friends. You can feel free to adapt it to your needs.

Mix together the following ingredients: Juniper berries, cedar, pine resin and needles, mugwort, cinnamon, rosemary, and laurel leaves. Blend them together, stirring deosil, (clockwise) and send positive vibrations into the incense. Decide whether you want the incense mixture to be made into sticks and cones, or as loose incense. Fill a shallow pot with water and add your herbs to the water. The herbal simmering potpourri will make your home smell beautiful.

As you blend the ingredients, focus on your intent. The scent evokes aromas of a cold December night. You can use it during a ritual or to purify your space prior to the ritual. Measure carefully and store the incense in a sealed and dry glass jar. Never store herbs in a damp jar or the herbs will mold. Label and date the jar. Keep out of sunlight. Store in a clean jar and tie a ribbon or raffia around the lid. *Other ingredients to add are: dried orange peel, cloves, allspice, elder berries, holly, or lemon zest.

Yule Cones

Pinecones make great ornaments. Go on a nature walk to find some pinecones and acorns. Clean the cones and acorns, remembering to thank the trees for sharing their seeds. Rinse the pinecones under cold running water and put them on a baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees for twenty minutes. The pinecones open up and the bacteria die. The sap dries and leaves a pretty sheen on the pinecones.

Last year at Yule, I painted a pinecone with silver paint and sprinkled the cone with silver glitter. The pinecone looked beautiful. Alternatively, you can put pinecones once coated with paint or clear glue, and silver glitter, into a Ziploc bag and shake the cones. Allow the cones to dry, tie a ribbon onto the pinecones, and place on your tree or a mantle to grace your home with rustic beauty and fragrance.

Cinnamon Stick Bundles

Bundle a few cinnamon sticks with a pretty ribbon or twine. Tie a bow and a loop at the top. Glue on pine or dried flowers, and sprigs of holly. Tuck the stems under the holly and use as a tree ornament.

Yule Sachets

Use a four-inch square of festive fabric. In the center, put a tablespoon of a scented herbal mixture. See the incense recipe above for inspiration. Bring the ends of the fabric together. Tie the ends with ribbon or twine, making a pouch with the herb mixture inside. Tuck a sprig of holly or a cinnamon stick into the twine or ribbon. Yule Epsom salts mix The holidays can be stressful with relatives visiting and shopping. The best gift for a friend is one that relieves stress. Here is an Epsom salts mix to reduce the stress of the season.

You will need the following: a large clean stainless steel bowl, a spoon, a measuring cup, a jar, a ribbon, cardstock (for label tags), sea salts, peppermint essential oil, and a candy cane, Epsom salts, and glycerin.

Empty the Epsom salts into the mixing bowl. Add the sea salts. Stir in the glycerin and six drops of the essential oil. Focus on your intent as you mix the ingredients. As you stir deosil, add your energies to the mixture. Stir until blended. Add the salts to the jars carefully. Create a tag for the jar and attach to the jars. Tie a ribbon around the jar and tie on a candy cane. Peppermint is zesty and invigorating, and evokes memories of Christmas in the woods. You can also put some sea salts into a separate bowl and add food coloring. As you put the Epsom salts and sea salts in to the jar, alternate between the Epsom salts and the sea salts to add color to the mixture.

These crafts are easy to do and affordable. I hope you enjoy these crafts and that you have a merry Yule season. Heddy Johannesen is a freelance writer with several published magazine articles, a book of poetry, two anthologies and Ezines to her credit. You can follow her on Twitter: magicka66, and at her blog: http://heddyjohannesen.wordpress.com.

My article was published in the winter issue of Essential Herbal magazine. 

Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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A Horror Tale: The Grimm Pumpkin

Spooky Samhain Poetry

Merry meet all,

A group on Facebook is holding a horror story contest. The limit is 500 words. I couldn’t resist entering. So I wrote a story. I thought what relates to Halloween and is harmless? Something ordinary that no one suspects. A pumpkin, right? But to a child, a child is the character in the story, everything seems alive. So here is my story. By the way, if you are on Facebook and a member of the group Horror Writers Net, please drop by to vote for my story! There are a few days left. 

The Grimm Pumpkin 

          On the night of October 31st, a Giant pumpkin watched Tommy, Brian and Johnny throw toilet paper and eggs at peoples’ homes. Two evil eyes scowled at the costumed children with hate. The tiny nose arched between the eyes. Blood oozed down the face. The flesh curved back from the mouth, revealing smelly stringy pulp. The mouth curved back on both sides, displaying two rows of chiseled fangs. The green root lay motionless on the porch. 

            Tommy eyed the moldy glowing thing. His small hand caressed the eggs. He stared at the pumpkin in terror. He swallowed hard and glanced to see if his friends had caught up with him. They tossed toilet paper and eggs at someone’s house. Their Converse sneakers shuffled on the damp autumn leaves.

            “Hey guys, check this out. Egg it or what?” Tommy said. His best friends, Brian and Johnny, both in the same class as him, came to a dead stop.

            “Does anyone live there? Who carved the freaky pumpkin? Looks like no one’s home,” Johnny said. He peered in the bleak windows.

            “Who cares?” Tommy said. Fire flickered off of the pumpkin as Tommy approached it. He wound the toilet paper in his hand and drew his other arm back to throw the eggs. The pumpkin grimaced at the boys, as if daring them.

            “Does anyone know what happened to Michael last Halloween?” Brian asked.

            “He went missing.” Johnny said and shrugged.

            Tommy threw the eggs. They landed with a sickening splat and dripped down the house. He threw the toilet paper next. He tossed his head back and laughed. The others joined him.

            “Look at that pumpkin. It’s cool,” Brian said. Wind blew the crisp leaves on the porch. The bare tree boughs creaked. Crows cawed at the full moon.

            Brian waved his hand in front of Tommy but Tommy’s gaze remained fixed on the pumpkin. Tommy sauntered up the steps. A spider crawled down the slimy pumpkin’s face.

            “Tommy?” Johnny said, coming to stand by his side. “Earth to Tommy.” Brian and Johnny glanced at each other.

            “Let’s get out of here,” Johnny said. “We might get caught.”

            Brian checked over his shoulder and waved his hand. “Tommy? C’mon, bud.”

            Tommy was unable to tear his gaze away. Tendrils of the slimy pulp tugged on his arms and legs. The pumpkin’s maw widened. The root snatched Tommy’s leg and wound around his ankles. Tommy screamed. Brian grabbed Tommy by the arm.

            “Help him, Brian,” Johnny yelled. His eyes widened in fear.

            The pumpkin devoured Tommy whole. A horrible gurgling sound roared in the night. A terrible scream was heard from the pumpkin’s bowels.

            Johnny ran for his life. Brian stood on the sidewalk, crying. He had one last egg. He dodged the root’s vicious grasp. Brian fired. The egg cracked and spread on the pumpkin. He glanced at it one last time and ran home. Tommy was never seen again.

 

THE END

I hope you enjoy reading it. Samhain is 6 days away! Keep an eye for more posts about Samhain. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

 

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