Category Archives: Esbats & Sabbats

Merry Beltane: DIY May Day Flower Crown & Redesigning My Altar

I was recently invited to participate in the annual May Day Magic Crowning Ritual created by Mookychick, an awesome alternative-feminist website which promotes all-inclusivity and features unique lifestyles such as modern witchcraft.

On May 1st anyone who would like to participate, will join others from across the world in gifting one another with a May Day crown which is a symbol of empowerment and good spirit. The ritual steps are simple yet very powerful in uniting us together as one.

Their site offers a basic outline of the ritual and various ideas on how to make it your own.

 As for me- I’m busting out my glue gun and crafting my own May Day flower crown.

I kept myself on a tight budget and hit up my local dollar store’s floral section, where I bought four small bouquets of artificial flowers and a vine garland.

May Day Crown

The steps for crafting a flower crown were surprisingly simple.

DIY Flower Crown

  1. Measure the vine garland in a circle to fit your head & secure the measure with a string.
  2. Glue the ends down to secure the fit.
  3. Pop off the flower buds and decide where you’d like to place them.
  4. Once you’ve decided, dot the back of the flower with a hot glue gun and carefully press it onto the vine.
  5. Fill in any empty space with leaves from the bouquets.
  6. If the crown fits too loosely, wrap some twine around the back end of the crown and use bobby pins to loop through the twine and secure the crown to your hair.

Flower Crown

BOOM- you got yo’self a crown!

May Day, or Beltane- is  a wonderful day to celebrate sensuality and the union between the God & the Goddess. It’s also a great day to work prosperity, fertility and any type of fire magick.

I really connect with the wild nature of Beltane and I like to reflect that kind of animalistic flair with big, wavy wild hair and a sensual form-fitting slip dress. My eye makeup will be smoky with rich chocolatey, earthy browns partnered with a soft, natural nude lip.

I’ve redesigned my altar for Beltane, removing my Ostara nest and replacing it with my lovely May Day crown  & a piece of antler to represent the Divine Masculine. I interlay the two on top of each other to symbolize their union.

As for my ritual- it will take place within my Astral Realm, which is where I will meet the other witches who are participating in the May Day Crowning and celebrate with them around a sacred bonfire.

Music is a big part of my practice and if I find a song that I can really connect with- a song that can transport me into a visceral spiritual state- I’ll add it to my ritual. For me, Fever Ray’s The Wolf – featured in the Red Riding Hood film during the fire festival scene, portrays the raw primitive heat of sensuality, passion and fire. The beat, the horns, the erotic primal movements of the villagers as they dance to the music- it practically screams Beltane.

What are your Beltane plans? Would you like to take part in the May Day Crowning Ritual? If so, let me know. Leave me a reply or join the conversation on Twitter by following @MayDayMagick and use the hashtag #MayDayMagic to share ideas & photos at any time before and after the ritual.

Wishing you all a Merry Beltane!

Blessed Be.

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

Blessed Ostara: Hello Spring!

Last December, on the third night of Yule- I looked ahead to the third month of 2017- March. In honor of Ostara, I asked myself a few questions about growth.

Now that Ostara has arrived, I’ve finally found the answers I was looking for and they all conclude that this is the time of my new beginning.

Things in my life are changing, evolving- growing into something truly special. In order to manifest my best life, I had to let go of the fear that I wasn’t good enough to deserve it.

And so I planted a little seed in my mind that everything I’ve ever wanted is within my grasp. That seed grew some roots which made its way down to my heart.

In February, I worked on loving myself more and battled my Shadow who had put the self-doubt within me. It wasn’t an easy feat but I’ve become stronger than my Shadow, like my own little cheerleader.

And once my seed grounded itself within my heart, its life-force began to take over. Its essence healed my broken spirit and made it stronger. Finally, I believe in myself and I know I deserve everything I desire.

My dreams were simply waiting for me to wake up.

In celebration of this renewed sense of life, I’m celebrating Ostara with these fun Spring activities.

Decorating my Spring Altar

The bird’s nest is a symbol of the home and the egg symbolizes growth & new beginnings. For a self-proclaimed hermit, the home is very important to me. I treat it as my creative sanctuary, representing freedom, safety and comfort. My living arrangements will be changing very soon and so the symbolism of the bird’s nest means a lot to my current transition. This little beauty will be sitting prominently on my colorful altar throughout Spring.

Ostara Nest

Faery Gardens

I love honoring the Fae, especially this time of year. Their playful curious energy is felt as the flowers begin to bloom and the animals enjoy the returning warmth. Recently I created a little Faery Garden with my nieces and nephew. There’s nothing more infectious than the enthusiasm of a child. We enjoyed foraging the yard for dead leaves, grass & bits of weeds to decorate with. I taught them how to honor Mother Nature by asking for permission before taking what they wanted to use. And together we sat outside in the fresh air, crafting a magickal little sanctuary for our faery friends.

fairy garden 2

Birdseed Ornaments

This past Imbolc, I made a ton of Birdseed Ornaments which have been enjoyed by the neighborhood birds and squirrels. On Ostara, I also like to pay reverence to our furry and feathered friends who are chirping the songs of Spring & reminding us of the fertility of the Earth, humans and animals alike.

Ostara Ornament & Nest

How are you enjoying Ostara? What seeds are you planting on this beautiful day?

Leave me a reply & let me know.

Blessed Be, lovelies.

May your Spring be filled with love & magick.

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

Plan with a Witch: Imbolc

Of all the Sabbats, I relate to Imbolc on a very spiritual and meaningful level. I connect with the imagery of a slumbering land, hiding beneath the winter snow on the cusp of awakening and renewal.

imbolc-page

My name Snow Orchid, reveals this story of my soul- a fairy tale of tragedy, courage and love.

Snow- both beautiful and delicate can also be relentless and unyielding. In the cold, dark winter months snow symbolizes this virtue of inner-strength.

The ever-present snow that lingers within my heart tells of the hardships I’ve endured, the tears I’ve cried and the battles I have fought. Yet deep beneath the blanket of white, life stirs and waits to be reborn. The orchid- delicate and elegant in stature rises tall from the dark moist soil symbolizing love, reverence and grace.

I chose this name long ago to remind myself not to let the snow ice my heart. But instead, let it be a reminder of all that I’ve gone through, the strength it’s given me and the importance of living, loving and surviving with honor and integrity.

“The orchids grow in the woods and they let out their fragrance even if there is no one around to appreciate it. Likewise, men of noble character will not let poverty deter their will to be guided by high principles and morals.” –Confucius

imbolc-planning-layout-2

Today I’m planning out my Imbolc celebration, designing my ritual and the ways I want to honor the Maiden Goddess and coming of the Spring.

Goat’s Milk

As Spring approaches we celebrate the milk which has begun to flow within the animals.Goat’s milk candles can be made by melting beeswax in a double broiler, stir in the goat’s milk until combined and following the process of candle-dipping until at least ½ an inch thick. Or you could visit your local farmer’s market and support the candle-makers of your community, which is probably what I will be doing. Goat’s milk soap smells delicious and can be used in your purification bath before ritual. I recommend honey almond oatmeal goat’s milk bars- they’re divine.

Blessing Tools

 The time for action is near and Spring signifies the work of planting and sowing the seeds we want to see grow successfully. At this time, planting tools are blessed to ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest. If you’re not much of a gardener, consider blessing the tools of your trade. As a writer and photographer, I will be blessing my books, pens, laptop and camera.

Braided Bread

An Estonian Kringle is a rich buttery cinnamon bread which is rolled, split in half and braided to form a beautiful circle of deliciousness. The braided bread symbolizes Brigid, weaving her two roles as the maiden goddess of fertility and the hearth.

Bird Seed Ornaments

To treat our feathery friends who have endured the winter, birdfeeders can be crafted into cute snowflake or star ornaments and hung outside for them to enjoy.

Imbolc Cappuccino

Every time I make myself a cappuccino, I think of Imbolc.  The warm brown coffee lying beneath a topping of whipped frothy cream- it’s no wonder why it’s my favorite way to enjoy coffee. I’ll be sipping a nice big cup of it on Imbolc morning as I greet the rising sun and welcome the longer days to come.

imbolc-coffee-closeup

How do you plan on celebrating Imbolc?

Leave a reply and let me know!

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

Preparing for Wolf Moon Magick

January’s Esbat celebrates the virtue of perseverance as we struggle to endure the remainder of these cold winter months before spring.

That is, unless you live in the south and are enjoying sunny days with temperatures in the mid-70’s. I swear, our weather has been so chaotic. Last week we had an arctic blast. This week I’m rocking my cut-off shorts.

In Native American culture tonight’s moon is known as the Wolf Moon representing the hungry wolf prowling through the cold forest, howling at the glistening sky.

The Wolf Moon offers blessings of inner-strength, protection and survival, reminding us of the wolf’s strength during times of winter hardship.

wolf-moon-edited-wolf

Tonight I’ll be using that energy to enhance my first magickal working in 2017.

The focus for my magick will be protection & prosperity and I’ll be using two elements known for their powers of manifestation- fire and earth.

Earth is great for rituals involving growth, material gain and money, while Fire is often used in workings involving success, strength and protection.

But before I perform any ritual or spell, I like to cleanse and consecrate my tools and ingredients with the Elements.

Representing the element of Spirit, I keep a soapstone pentacle on my working altar as a beacon of my spirituality and the faith I have in my magick.

For the remaining four I choose to combine my elements into groups of two. Fire and Air become one with my cinnamon incense, which I chose for its protective and abundance properties. Earth and Water unite to make a holy water of pine and lavender- both lovely purifying herbs.

wolf-moon-edited-consecrating-water

To cleanse the items, I stir my herbal holy water with a pine wand I had clipped from my Pine Harvesting and sprinkle each tool and ingredient with it. As I do so, I visualize all negativity being washed away.

To consecrate my ingredients, I set my intentions for their magickal purposes by holding them over and through the incense smoke, while visualizing my desired end result.

Once that’s done I can begin on preparing my spell items for tonight’s ritual.

I have made a candle dressing of money-drawing basil and obstacle-removing lemongrass for my oil base, mixing it with pine for prosperity and adding catnip to attract and draw those blessings of abundance into my life.

It took me a while to grind the catnip and pine with my mortar and pestle before I added them to the oils. The catnip crushed beautifully but the pine didn’t break up so easily. You could use a coffee grinder if you’d like, in fact many witches do for heartier herbs. But I like to put a lil’ elbow grease in my mixtures. I feel like the harder I grind the more time I have to set my intentions and put my personal power into it. 

wolf-moon-closeup-candle-dressing

Once mixed, I massage the herbs onto the candle, pulling their energies from both ends of the candle and bringing them towards the middle. Admittedly, this is a messy process but that’s all part of the fun of being a witch.

Normally, I would mix the essential oils with some sort of base oil but I am fresh out at the moment. So I will be extra careful in lighting my candle tonight, as essential oils can be extremely flammable.  

 With that being said, I confess to being a bit of a pyromaniac. One of my absolute favorite ways to witch is burning petitions. I did so with my family on New Year’s and I enjoy doing it on special nights like tonight.

wolf-moon-edited-spell-candle

Using my flickering dressed candle to light the petitions, I will watch them burn safely in my fireproof cauldron while sitting under the Wolf Moon next to my crystals and tarot cards, absorbing her glorious energy and feeling an abundance of gratitude for the blessings already granted and those yet to come.

Merry Esbat!

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule- December 31st

At this point we’ve been contemplating our New Year goals since Samhain, began newer healthier habits in November and have finalized our annual plans throughout December.

Now that the planning is done, it’s time to relax, enjoy good food and ring in the New Year with the people in my life who matter the most.

My family and I said hello to 2017 with a couple of fun New Year’s Eve customs for good luck.

december-maranito-closeup

Pigs are symbols of prosperity across the world. In Germany, it is customary to eat little marzipan pigs for good fortune.

We set our intentions for a prosperous year with some delicious marranitos, which are molasses gingerbread cookies in the shape of pigs.

december-petitions

We also wrote out our New Year’s wishes on small pieces of paper, folded them up and tossed them into the bonfire.

Fire represents change and transformation, which makes it the perfect element to work with at this time of year. In fact, the act of burning wishes is a type of fire magick that provides the quickest results.

2016 was a year of awakenings. One could argue it was a year of rude awakenings.

I found myself at my lowest- physically, emotionally, mentally- and it has taken a lot of strength, courage and perseverance to pick myself back up again.

I’m calling 2017 My Year of Magick.

This year I choose to live mindfully with intention and a fierce determination to manifest the kind of life I deserve.

Happy New Year & Blessed Be!

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule- December 30th

Witches celebrate Thanksgiving on Mabon in September but in November we celebrate with the rest of the country.

Although I don’t agree with the history behind the American Thanksgiving, I do appreciate any extra time I get to spend with my family.

On the eleventh night of Yule, I pay tribute to the second Thanksgiving.

My Thanksgiving begins with a turkey “dinner” at my tia’s house at around noon, followed by lots of red wine and some LOUD conversations, growing louder the more we drink. In the evening it’s round two of the festivities with my in-laws which lasts until about midnight. It’s an all day affair of good food, good drinks and great stories.

I made glazed carrots this past Thanksgiving and they were a hit! So I’ll definitely be repeating that recipe next year, probably tripling the quantities and adding chopped pecans for their added touch of prosperity. Not to mention, we Texans love our pecans!

Another Tex-ican Thanksgiving must- are tamales.

tamales

If you’re Hispanic, you know the tamales are the first to go. Their not only delicious, they’re coveted! Some people camp outside a tamale restaurant hours before they open to be sure they get their precious foil bundles of the cornhusk goodness.

There’s an entire ritual to tamale-making- usually involving a hot kitchen and a huge table surrounded by women elbow-deep in corn masa. There’s a feminine energy that fills the room and echoes the traditions of ancient Aztec and Mayan ancestors dating back to 5000 BC.

tamale-open-bright

All the work, time and attention to detail it requires to cook tamales makes this its own special type of kitchen witchery.

Especially if you remember the magickal properties of corn, representing Mother Earth and her bountiful abundance, which provides blessings of luck, prosperity and protection to the recipe and all those who consume it.

tamale-bright-closeup

Next year I’d like to gather the women in my family for some primordial feminine bonding as we cook tamales together in honor of our ancestors.

With the addition of a few bottles of wine, of course. 😉

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule-December 29th

It’s the tenth night of Yule and today I’m envisioning my favorite month of the year- October!

While everyone else is out boozing it up at Halloween parties, witches usually spend the night holding a Dumb Supper and honoring the dead. Dumb is the Old English word for mute which is why it is customary in a Dumb Supper to dine with the dead in silence.

Afterwards, candles are lit on the Samhain altar, which is decorated with symbols of death like skulls, pomegranates- the fruit of the underworld, and dark colors representing the darker nights to come.

Ancestral tributes are created, offering the dead all the things they loved in life- much like the ofrendas you’d see for Dia de los Muertos.

Also known as the Witches New Year, tarot spreads divining the year ahead are crystal clear on Samhain. This is the time to ask yourself:

What will be my theme for the New Year?

How will I be renewed in the New Year?

What do I need to let go of and put to rest?

What relationships or habits am I saying goodbye to?

What are my ancestors trying to tell me?

On a night known for partying, this type of celebration may seem boring to most but Samhain is a more solemn Sabbat. We’re mourning the death of the Sun- the tone should be be dark and somber.

Besides, Samhain officially begins at sunset and ends at sundown November 1st. Although Halloween, at least for me- begins October 1st and ends the sunset of October 31st.

Just like my Summer Bucket List, I will be celebrating Halloween all month long with my own 31 Days of Halloween Bucket List.

  1. Buy my favorite HEB Halloween Pumpkin Face Cookies
  2. Dress Witchy Chic all month long
  3. Shop for Halloween décor
  4. Listen to my Halloween playlist on Spotify
  5. Watch Hocus Pocus
  6. Decorate my house in Halloween décor
  7. Paint my nails white on the right hand and black on my left hand
  8. Watch Practical Magic
  9. Read Edgar Allen Poe stories
  10. Watch the Simpson’s Treehouse of Horrors
  11. Make candy corn popcorn
  12. Have a Horror Movie Marathon
  13. Tell ghost stories
  14. Have a Dead Files Marathon
  15. Craft protective witch balls
  16. String up orange and purple twinkly lights
  17. Make a protective crystal grid for my home
  18. Watch ABC’s 13 Nights of Halloween
  19. Carve a Jack-o’-lantern
  20. Watch AMC’s Fear Fest
  21. Netflix American Horror Story- Coven
  22. Watch Food Networks Halloween Wars
  23. Have a Harry Potter marathon
  24. Craft salt dough skulls
  25. Watch Halloween-themed Hallmark movies
  26. Try pumpkin beer
  27. Rock gothic makeup
  28. Brew hot apple cider
  29. Make sugar skulls
  30. Bake Pan de Muertos
  31. Build my ancestor altar

Blessed Be!

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch