12 Nights of Yule- December 28th

The year is coming very close to an end and on the ninth night of Yule, I continue to set my intentions for 2017 by looking ahead to September & Mabon.

Mabon is one of my favorite Sabbats because it celebrates one of my favorite seasons- autumn.

mabon-autumn-leaves-closeup

I live in south Texas, so summer lasts a bit longer than I’d like but that doesn’t stop me from decorating my home in beautiful fall colors, buying pumpkin-scented candles and drinking as much hot chocolate as I can stomach.

Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, is known as the Witches Thanksgiving. I plan on doing a lot of kitchen witchery with my Mabon recipes and am looking forward to making my very first pie!

It might turn out delicious. It might turn out tragic. Regardless, I’m excited.

Just like the traditional Thanksgiving, Mabon is about being grateful and taking time to cherish what the Universe has blessed us with. The second harvest reminds us of a time when the survival of the community throughout the winter depended on the success of the crops.

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There was a time in my life when money for food was scarce and I had to learn how to stretch my dollar to survive till the next paycheck. It’s times like those when I think of my Mexican-American ancestors; farmers and vaqueros who were paid very little and found a way to stretch their food to ensure their families were fed.

In Mexican cuisine, the whole animal is used from its cheeks and tongue to its intestines and stomach lining. Our dishes are commonly served with rice and beans because they’re cheap and feeds a lot of people at once.

But I can’t think of a better way to eat big on a tiny budget, than homemade tortillas- which has saved me from growing hungry too many times to count.

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Tortillas are great for fajita tacos, breakfast tacos, burritos and quesadillas. You can have them with a bowl of fideo, menudo, caldo- you name it.

I mean, ask a Mexican about tortillas with butter and you’ll get the same response- “Mmmm”.

The point of this tortilla rant is gratitude.

If my culture has taught me anything, it’s the importance of perseverance and family. Hard times are sometimes unavoidable but Mabon teaches us to harvest what we have- no matter how little, turn it into something delicious and share it with the ones we love.

Blessed Be!

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

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12 Nights of Yule- December 27th

On the eighth night of Yule, I look ahead to the eighth month of the year.

In August we celebrate Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, which marks the beginning of autumn and the first harvest of the season. It’s customary to celebrate with grain & gratitude by baking Lammas bread and sharing it with the ones you love.

On this quiet day, I sit outside amongst the buzzing bees and chirping birds, enjoying my own version of cakes & ale with nature. My cakes are these cute little whole grain cookies from Dick & Jane Baking Co. They have pictures imprinted on them with both their English and Spanish translations.

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I chose three cookies- snow to signify myself, corn to symbolize Lammas and money to represent what I’d like to harvest this year. My ale was a warm chai tea latte fragrant with cinnamon, ginger and clove- all wonderful prosperity spices.

Lammas is the time to consider what else I’d like to harvest in my life. After all, to harvest is to reap the benefits of the work we’ve done during the spring and summer, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.

What knowledge can I harvest?

What new things have I learned this year and how can I start utilizing it?

What skill of mine still needs ripening?

What emotional growth can I celebrate?

What spiritual and magickal workings have culminated into fruition?

In what ways can I share my abundance?

 The wheel of the year is already turning forward towards spring and the opportunity for all kinds of growth is abundant. Eight months from now when it’s time for your spiritual reaping, what would you like to see yourself harvesting?

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule- December 26th

On the seventh night of Yule, I dreamt up my plans for July and listed them in a journal I had received from an awesome friend who knows I’m basically a list-freak.

It’s called The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration by Moorea Seal. The book’s sections are broken down by season and it’s filled with list prompts to help put dreams into actions.

summer-book

July is the time for summer vacations and relaxation. It also happens to be the month of my birthday so I usually end up planning a relaxing vacation anyway.

This year I created a Summer Bucket List. Here’s a little bit of my list so far:

Make my own Raspa Bar. Most people know them as snow cones or shaved ice, but in south Texas we call them raspas and top them with everything from fresh fruit to gummy bears to Mexican candy.

Spend the day antiquing and thrift-hunting for hidden treasures.

Swimming, Sunbathing & Sandwiches. When I was a kid, my siblings & I would spend our entire summer swimming in my tia’s pool with my cousins. And for some reason my favorite part was when we’d all come back inside for lunch, wrapped in towels and munching on sandwiches watching Grease for the hundredth time.

Go to an Amusement Park.

Sonic Dates. In our last apartment, the electricity would randomly go out usually in the middle of July- the hottest time of the year. So our only solace was to take a trip to our nearest Sonic Drive-In and cool down with ice cold slushes or their famous Sonic Blast ice cream combos. After a while, it just became a summer tradition.

Slumber Parties. Simply lugging the mattress into the living room and piling it high with pillows and blankets- takes an otherwise dull night into an adult slumber party.

Movie Night with Big Red Floats. Most Texans drink their Big Red with a couple of barbacoa tacos every Sunday morning but in the summer I like to pair it with vanilla ice cream and slurp the pink fizzy-goodness with a straw.

What are your favorite things to do in the summer?

Let a witch know! 😉

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule- December 25th

As my family and I celebrate Christmas on the sixth night of Yule, I quietly set my intentions for June and Litha- the Summer Solstice.

To be honest, I don’t usually take the time to plan a Litha celebration but this year I’d like to change that by doing some of the following Litha activities:

 Do a Summer Solstice Tarot Spread to reveal what’s to come in the remainder of the year.

Meditate on the Sun Tarot Card while asking for its energy of confidence, happiness and growth.

Honor Aphrodite or other sea goddesses by decorating your altar with beautiful sea shells, self-love crystals and strands of pearls.

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Fae Magick. Midsummer’s Eve is another great time to honor faeries by spending time in nature and leaving small offerings like faery treats, clay sun medallions and tiny seashells.

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year so I plan on enjoying all sorts of outdoor activities in the sun, whether it’s a simple breakfast on the patio, barbecuing with my family or enjoying a beach vacation, Litha is all about honoring the sun from sunrise to sunset.

And as the sun finally goes down, I’ll find a quiet spot to sit down within nature and think about all the abundance in my life.

As the midpoint of the year, June is the month to evaluate my yearly goals and the achievements I’ve reached so far. This is also the time to reassess new goals and adjust any behaviors or habits to attain the goals I haven’t accomplished yet.

What do you do to celebrate the Summer Solstice? Let me know and I’ll try to add it to my Litha plans.

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule- December 24th

On the fifth night of Yule, I set my intentions for May.

The month starts off with Beltane, the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. This is the magickal time of year when we focus on the divine union between the Lord and the Lady.

Beltane bonfires are lit, maypoles and ribbon wands are crafted and flower crowns are donned to honor the fertile Earth.

Beltane is a time to consider your relationships- particularly romantic partnerships; as well as sexuality, love, fertility and passion. I personally, adore the imagery of the Horned God embracing the fertile Maiden Goddess amidst their Sacred Marriage.

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I associate this Sabbat with the Lovers card and like to place at on my Beltane altar to connect with its energy as I meditate on the idea of romantic love.

What does love mean to me?

How do I show my love and passion toward my partner?

How do I like to receive love and passion from my partner?

How can I celebrate my own sensuality?

Because the veil between our world and the faery world is the thinnest at Beltane, it is a great time to honor them with adorable faery gardens and offerings such as faerie cakes or a simple dish of milk and honey.

When working with the Fae, I like to remind myself of my own childlike wonder. As little girls we believed in faeries, no question asked. Some of us were even able to see through the veil and interact with them on occasion. All we had to do was believe.

As an adult you tend to forget that world of enchantment, focusing too much on your day-to-day obligations like bills, finances, career, etc. It can be hard to shift our minds out of the grownup-realm and into the more whimsical mindset of children.

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On a night like Christmas Eve, it’s easier to remember the splendor of being a child where the magic of Christmas lives everywhere. Preserving that kind of magic all year long takes a bit more effort, so I like to do little things that keep the child within me giggling with glee.

Read childhood stories like Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Watch cartoons I loved as a child.

Sing my favorite Disney songs.

Play make-believe and imagine I’m a faerie. What kind of faerie would I be? What color wings would I have? What would my faerie dwelling look like?

Write my life as a fairy tale, beginning with Once Upon a Time…

How do you plan on celebrating Beltane this May?

Leave me a reply and share your Beltane traditions.

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule- December 23rd

It’s the fourth night of Yule and today I’m taking the time to honor April, the fourth month, which is known for being a great time to do a lot of spring cleaning around the house. Kitchens and bathrooms get scrubbed down. Bedrooms and closets are reorganized. All drapes, linens and sheets are thrown into the washing machine.

Even nature gets a good washing from all the cleansing April rain showers.

I want to take spring cleaning a step further and focus on detoxing my mind, body and soul. This April I will be creating my own 30 day Spiritual Detox Challenge and invite anyone who’s in need of a good soul-scrubbing to join in.

This is some of what April will look like for me:

Journaling. Writing in my journal has helped me release those melodramatic thoughts that can cause a full-on mental breakdown if left unchecked. Sometimes I go back to reread what I’ve written and make funny little notes to myself like, “Whoa girl- you had some feelings ‘bout that, huh?” It’s funny how an emotion that seemed so intense and definitive in the moment can appear so trivial once the dust has settled.

Smudging. Burning a bundle of white sage is very common in rituals and spell-crafting but it’s also very useful for regular purification maintenance. It releases negative ions which helps neutralize the excess of positive ions in the air. Science has proved that too many positive ions can cause damage to cells within the human body and causes feelings of anxiety, lethargy and depression. Negative ions assist in uplifting your energy and even help clear the air of mold spores, dander, bacteria, etc.

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Meditation. I’m the kind of person who has a hard time meditating. My mind can bounce around like a basketball, especially when I try to still it. But I’ve found that certain nature sounds help me achieve a state of deep relaxation and eases me into a meditative state. My favorites are the sounds of a crackling fire, crashing ocean waves, the wind blowing through leaves and soft thunderstorms. If I can’t experience the real life sounds, I have a full playlist on YouTube to choose from.

Crystal Chakra Healing. The vibrations of crystals like selenite and amethyst are incredibly healing and purifying. Simply holding them during meditation and connecting with their vibrations leaves me feeling more clear-headed and cleansed. But to take it a step further, I want to start Chakra Healing with crystals, choosing specific ones for the various chakra points on my body.

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Ritual Baths. Baths are always soothing but a ritual bath elevates the experience by shifting your mindset into a more spiritual state. Make a warm mug of green tea and honey. Light candles. Sprinkle Epsom salts into the tub to detoxify the body. Craft magickal bath sachets of lavender, rose petals and marjoram. Try crafting your own soap or supporting your local artisanal soap maker. I enjoy Inunctus Artisan Spa Treasures Lemongrass Bar which contains antioxidant-rich Matcha powder, purifying sea salt & tea tree and gorgeous hydrators like shea butter and hemp seed oil. When unplugging the bath, visualize the water pulling all the released negativite energy down the drain.

How do you like to detox? Leave me a reply and let me know!

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch

12 Nights of Yule- December 22nd

I hope everyone enjoyed the Winter Solstice yesterday. I know I did. My Yule candle dressed in my Self Love Herbal Blend, burned beautifully. I love how candles spark as the flame hits the essential oils and dried herbs. It’s absolutely captivating.

Tonight is the third night of Yule and today I’m honoring the third month of the new year- March. Anytime I think of March, I think of Ostara and have found a lot of adorable Pinterest ideas for Ostara crafting that I can’t wait to create this coming Spring Equinox.

I’m spending the day setting my intentions for March and which seeds I’d like to plant. March is wonderful time to get dirty and dig up that soil for all kinds of new growth.

I like to ask myself:

What new growth do I need in my life?

What figurative seeds need planting?

What part of my life needs tending?

What part of my life needs pruning?

Another Ostara staple I love are eggs. The egg represents new life and the Divine Womb from which all life is created. In my culture, the huevo is used in a Limpia to cleanse and remove illnesses or negativity from the mind, body and spirit. My grandmother- a curandera, has performed these egg cleansings on my family and I ever since I can remember- to bless us, to heal us, to remove mal de ojo, etc.

Needless to say, eggs hold a lot of power, which is why I use it often in my kitchen witchery. My breakfast today was extra special and filled with magickal intentions. I made the classic Egg on Toast- simple, yet charged with all kinds of blessings for the New Year.

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My ingredients are slices of French bread, dried chives, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes and of course, the ever-incredible egg.

I can’t help but think of the returning Sun as I crack open an egg and reveal the perfect circle of bright yellow yolk inside. In today’s kitchen magick this egg represents the year ahead.

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My slices of bread represent the abundance and prosperity I will harvest. As I light the fire on my stovetop to heat the bread and cook the egg, I envision the fire within myself coming alive this year. All my passions, my creative endeavors, my goals are ignited with its flame.

As the bread is being grilled, I sprinkle the other side with the dried parsley and crushed red pepper flakes, invoking their protection and security.

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As my egg cooks, I sprinkle the dried chives on top of the yolk to heal the heartbreaks of last year and help me move past them as I enter the New Year.

I layer the green-flecked egg on top of the herbed grilled toast sealing my intentions for a bright year of abundance, creativity, healing and protection.

And let me just say, if 2017 turns out half as good as this meal tastes- I think I am in for one hell of a year!

Blessed be!

xoxo

The Snow Orchid Witch