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Upcoming Video: Mabon Celebration

One of the upcoming Sabbats–Mabon–is a social celebration of 2nd Harvest. With the way the U.S. is currently, social celebrations are a bit of a taboo. What I am offering is this: If you live in LA County, Orange County, or Riverside/San Bernardino County and you would like to participate in a socially distance gift exchange, please sound off!

The items I bring you may or may not be videos from my channel–you’ll have to guess! But, I would like to film the deliveries (not required for participation). All I ask is that you hand-make something to trade. The deliveries will be made Sunday, September 20, 2020. Please comment here or message me directly (or pop into the Discord channel and tag me) if you’d like to be a part of this Mabon Celebration!

P.S.: You do not have to celebrate Mabon. I don’t, personally. But, some of the goodies I have planned are too good NOT to share!

Featured

Live Video Classes

Hello, my Witchlets!

We’re under some pretty heavy restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19. In fact, the Society for Creative Anachranism has basically cleared the calendars for the remainder of the month of March. We don’t know how long the quarantine will go, so I, along with other artisans and scientists, will be conducting video classes and demos in the upcoming days and weeks. I will start my classes on Wednesday, March 18, at 3:00pm via my Facebook Page. I will do another class on Friday, and then we’ll see if I do two videos a week or three. I will still be filming and posting kitchen witchery, fear not! But, we’re going to include some stuff that is directly related to the Plague, sanitization, and general cleanliness. All of it will be rooted in history; some of it will also be modern. We have to stick together and spread knowledge and facts.

We will get through this. We will survive. If you need to reach out and contact me, please feel free to do so. I also have a Discord server that is primarily for my Patreons, but in this time, it is open to anyone. Please consider joining to chat with me and others. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Samhain Ritual for Solo or Group

…I am so directionally challenged, it’s amazing I can cast a circle.

One-shot video. Usually never my best ideas, but it’s what happens when I try to do rituals for videos. And yes, this is my Sally dress. I thought it was appropriate for a ritual to honor the dead.

For this ritual, you will need a black chord/ribbon/string/yarn/etc, a white chord/ribbon/string/yarn/etc, and a red chord/ribbon/string/yarn/etc in a length comfortable for you and your timing for performing the ritual.

If you do not know how to cast a circle, or you are looking for a Sabbat-specific circle cast, the following is something you could do:

North: The North is a place of cold,
And the earth is silent and dark.
Spirits of the Earth, we welcome you,
Knowing you will envelope us in death.

East: The East is a land of new beginnings,
The place where breath begins.
Spirits of air, we call upon you,
Knowing you will be with us as we depart life.

South: The South is a land of sunlight and fire,
And your flames guide us through the cycles of life.
Spirits of fire, we welcome you,
Knowing you will transform us in death.

West: The West is a place of underground rivers,
And the sea is a never-ending, rolling tide.
Spirits of water, we welcome you,
Knowing you will carry us through the ebbs and flows of our life.

I linked the ritual in the first paragraph above. This isn’t my ritual; I chose this one first for a Halloween Party I was asked to “Shepherd” during and decided it was a very appropriate and simple ritual I could do indoors. There are many different rituals and invocations, prayers, etc, that you can do for Samhain. I, personally, shy away from rituals that would require me to have a “spotter” because that just means I have to get mean with entities and firmly enforce my boundaries. Sure, I can channel and communicate with the deceased, that doesn’t mean I want them popping into my body whenever they feel like it. The same goes for deities and such. My body, my rules. You can’t just shove my spirit to the side and take over, yo! This is something that has happened to me in the recent past and I was actually sick for two days from it. So, no thank you and good day.

Anyway! Samhain is also one of the best times for divination work. Whatever method of divination you prefer, cast your circle for added protection, drink your tea, and mediate into your headspace to begin your work. I don’t normally seek out divinations, personally, but this year–since I’m stuck at home–I may try some dousing or maybe even try my hand at scrying or Tarot. We’ll see. I may make a blog post about for my Patreons. If you enjoy these blogs and videos, please consider supporting me over there! There’s some Patron-only content that you may find interesting! Even just $1/mo helps me produce these videos and blog posts. Plus, you’ll get instant access to my Discord server and you can play with my Helios cat-bot who can do divinations and such for you!

But, for now, please have a blessed and safe, socially distant Samhain. We’ll be back next week with some more videos and start talking about Yuletide a bit later into November. Blessed be!

Soul Cakes for Samhain

Trust me, I’m the Doctor.

This is a shining example of Recipes Gone Wrong! When I looked over the recipe, I really felt like something was missing, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think there either needs to be a “Put dough in fridge for 30 minutes” step or a “Use half a stick of butter” step.

I mean, they’re still edible.

In the video, I read what the Llewellyn’s Essentials writer says about soul cakes. But, obviously, there’s more information than just that tiny blurb in an overview book! So, to the internets I travelled–and I was not disappointed!

First, there was this site which offers a few other recipes for soul cakes–recipes I wish I had thought to look up before I did the one straight out of the book! NPR had a great little article, as well; and, blessed be, Holidappy put the recipe at the top of the post (they must have the same mindset as me: Recipe first, life story later–in my case, video first, life story after).

Second, it seems that Soulmas is the name that came from the idea of making soul cakes to offer to beggars and poor who came seeking food in exchange for prayers for the dead. According to another site, the soul cakes were originally a form of lottery during Druidic rituals, pre-8th Century Ireland/England. You draw the burnt cake, you have been selected as the human sacrifice to ward off the evil spirits and bring a prosperous new year. Around the 8th Century, Christianity (as it often did) engulfed the holiday and tried to Christianize it, which is when the cakes started being seen as “alms” for helping to buy souls out of Purgatory. The cakes were then set out, along with a glass of wine (or other libation), for the dead. Children would also go “Souling” (ritually begging for cakes door to door) on either Hallow’s Eve (Halloween/October 31), All Saint’s Day (November 1), or All Soul’s Day (November 2).

Like many Pagan-turned-Christian holidays, Samhain has become commercialized and only bears mild resemblances to its original intent and spirit (see what I did there!? Spirit! Samhain! I slay me!). Trick-or-Treat is the modern “souling” for children; the costumes are more fun and light-hearted instead of intentionally grotesque.

Perhaps a way we can start reclaiming the true spirit of Samhain, we can bake batches of soul cakes and take them to local homeless and women’s shelters and offer prayers with those who choose to for remembrance of their loved ones and for prosperous new years.

If you enjoy these videos and blogs, please consider supporting me via Patreon. For as little as $5/mo, you can get access to Patreon-only content which includes blog posts, giveaways, and videos! If you can’t afford $5/mo, but still want to support, consider the $1/mo option! Regardless, I thank you for your support in reading this blog and watching the videos. Blessed be, my Witchlettes!

Homemade Grenadine

P-p-p-POMEGRANATES!

I love pomegranates! I also love friends who allow me to come pick pomegranates from their trees! I think we brought home about 10lbs of pomegranates and about 5lbs of persimmons. I may make persimmon bread; we’ll see.

This video, though, is for how to peel and juice a pomegranate and how to make grenadine syrup. I used two different recipes, so you can make one or both and decide which you like better for yourself! I think it depends on what you’re trying to do, I think. I also realized after the fact, I’d made the Shirley Temples wrong. It’s okay…the Italian Sodas were actually better for tasting the grenadine. Shirley Temples are made with ginger ale, not club soda. OH WELL.

In the evening, I had a Russian Kiss which is 2oz of grenadine and 1.5oz of vodka shaken together with ice; stained into a cocktail glass and topped off with soda water. I drank two of those with the lemon juice grenadine and that was about half a drink too many (so sweet). However, I added about 2tsp of the orange flower water grenadine to about 3-ish oz of tequila and that was actually fairly tasty.

I also began steeping some compound gins this week–in fact, they should be ready today! One is a very traditional gin flavor palate (juniper berries, cardamom, black pepper, allspice, coriander, fennel seeds, orange peel); the other, I just sorta made up. It’s very floral, featuring juniper, rosemary, calendula, lavender, pomegranate, and cardamom. We’ll see how they turn out, I suppose!

If you’d like to see more videos that involve making liqueurs and various mixers from scratch, head over to my Patreon and for only $5/mo, you can have access to the exclusive content available from yours truly! Who knows–maybe you’ll get to see the role of Kitchen Witch Kryssie played by Cameraman Ken!

Pumpkin Shortbread

I really like this shirt…

Remember when we made pumpkin bisque and made our own pumpkin purée for that? Well, I ended up with an extra 1-1/2 cups of purée that I need to figure out what to do with! So, I started with the pumpkin shortbread because, I love shortbread!

Almond flour is a good 1-to-1 substitute for a shortbread recipe. Of course, so is gluten-free all purpose flour. Once I’m not meticulously counting carbs and trying to stay under 20g of net carbs per day (something I’ve been failing, recently), I’ll probably go back to my standard flours. I’m still going to be super carb conscious because–and this is the bizarre part–of the three of us kids, I’m the one with the most health issues. My body just really doesn’t like me, so it’s making my life complicated. I’d like to lose another 5lbs. Maybe 10lbs. Between 5 and 10. We’ll call that 7lbs. I’d like to lose another 7lbs. That will put me snuggly between 140 and 145lbs, which is where I’d like to be. I’m not unhappy with my current 150lbs; I would just like to have a little more wiggle room on weight gains which happen with new medications and flares and New Symptoms(TM) that end up being new disorders. To continue on the health trend, though, Cameraman Ken and I have discussed transitioning to a Mediterranean style diet. I need to do oodles of research on that and it’s not likely I’ll give up my chaffles or fathead dough, but it would be nice to bake with something other than almond or coconut flours.

Regardless, these shortbread cookies are actually really good and got better after they completely cooled. The texture wasn’t as bad as what was shown in the video. Overall, this was an okay attempt for my first time making it. I don’t think I got enough moisture out of the purée, which meant I had to add more flour which is what contributed to the texture issue.

Still, do make sure to try it for yourself! Also, make sure to head over to Patreon and consider supporting me. The public blog posts there are the same as they are here; however, there is some Patron-only content and announcements that go to my Patrons first before releasing to the rest of the world!

Samhain Bath Salts

“To everything, turn! Turn! Turn!”

Here we are with another bath salts video! This craft comes from the Llewellyn’s Essentials book, Samhain. This is not my original recipe. Mostly because I don’t like Vetiver and am really unsure why I even own Vetiver–and yet I have TWO BOTTLES of it in my collection! D:

Anyway.

I think if I were going to make a bath salts for the season, I would use cinnamon, clove, ginger, and orange; though, I do like the camphor in this. But, as we did with the divination potion, let’s break down the essential oils used in this blend to understand their purpose for existing (including Vetiver. It has a purpose…it has to).

Basil. Basil is good for brining harmony and balance. It was considered a romantic herb in Italy and, therefore, used as a component of love spells and charms. It also is a mood lifter, which is appropriate as we head into the Darkness of the Winter months when many people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). It also is one of the herbs or essential oil fragrances used awakening your higher awareness and opening up your understanding, clearing the mind, allowing contact to spirits and spirit beings–definitely a boon to your Samhain or Beltane practices! The veil is thin between this life and the afterlife.

Camphor. Camphor, too, is an uplifting scent, assisting with lightening and brightening a low mood. It also causes a sense of liberation or freedom and is a noted ingredient in things like Vick’s Vapor Rub. Spiritually speaking, camphor has been used as a soul cleanser or purifier; it is the guardian of rebirth and offers spiritual protection–also a very good thing during the time of thinning veils!

Vetiver. I give vetiver a hard time. Because it smells like alfalfa to me and I have bad memories associated with that scent, so it smells terrible to me. This is my personal feeling about vetiver. It really does have some excellent benefits, however. It’s actually good for combating some of the symptoms of ADHD and anxiety; it is an anti-inflammatory; can be used to cool and sooth sunburn (though, I have found better oils for this, personally); and can help in the healing of acne and scarring–including stretchmarks! So, it really is useful. Because I don’t like the scent, however, I have found a number of other essential oils that smell better and have the same functions and properties. It, too, has grounding properties and offers protection from negativity. Also, it’s a mood-lifter.

So, this entire bath salts package is meant to be an uplifting and relaxing salt soak. If I wanted to keep this bath salts intact, but swap out vetiver, I would use a few drops of Helichrysum, which offers awareness, calm, and inspires creativity and intuitive processes. Also, it’s an anti-inflammatory and has an earthy aroma (Vetiver is an earthy aroma, but smells more exotic and grassy and very strong; Helichrysum is a sweeter and lighter aroma).

So, that’s it! That’s my post for the Samhain Salt Bath! I know there’s one for Yule, as well. I made it last year and it was glorious! I can’t wait to share that one with you in December!

Don’t forget to pop over to my Patreon and consider supporting me in making these videos and blog posts for you every week! Especially check out and respond to this post about Halloween!

Blessed be, my Witchlettes!

Applepaloosa!

Well, maybe not *every* single little syllable…

Merry meet, my Witchlettes! Today’s video is two apple recipes for your Fall and Samhain season! The first is simply baked apples, which can be done in a microwave or in the oven, depending on what you have available to you; the other is an overnight apple curry soup that is about the same consistency as applesauce, but, like, a thousand times more delicious.

Baked Apples. You’ll need 1T of raisins, 1T of Maple Syrup, and 1tsp of spice per apple you’re making. If you’re going to use an oven, pre-heat it to 350F and get a baking dish to put your apple(s) in. If you’re using the microwave, get a microwave safe ramekin and plop your apple in there.

My very first tip/suggestion is this: Mix the raisins and the spices together. Dampen the raisins with a little water, then mix them with the spices so that the spices adhere to the raisins. You’ll need to core your apple (but not peel it), then place it in the ramekin or baking dish and stuff the raisins into the core. Pour your maple syrup over that mixture and pop into the oven for 10-13min or pop into the microwave for 2min.

I used a mix of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in equal amounts. I don’t recommend that. I wouldn’t use so much ground clove when I do this again; the cloves really sets your tongue to “Numb” mode!

Apple Curry Soup. This one, as well, was quite easy! I made my own sweet curry powder (because I couldn’t find it in the store and Penzey’s is a bit of a drive), that was the most difficult part. Well, peeling and cutting the apples wasn’t the easiest thing, either–or so I hear Cameraman Ken say. You just dump everything into your crock pot (or your Instant Pot you’re using as a crock pot) and set it only low “overnight” (I figured 10-12 hours was enough). When you get up, puree the apples, return them to the crock, and set it back to low for 1 hour. If you have an Instant Pot you’re using for the crock, just leave it on “Keep Warm,” and do what I did–use an immersion blender, then serve it up!

Both of these are absolutely delicious and the curry does have a bit of a kick! Since it’s about the consistency of applesauce, I would be tempted to use it on pancakes or toast for a hearty breakfast.

If you’re enjoying this content, please consider becoming a patron and visit my Patreon for patron-only blog posts and videos, patron-only merchandise, and more!

Have a blessed Samhain season!

Samhain Relaxing Potion

Fun with herbs…

This potion is for helping you to relax and clear your mind to prepare for doing divination work. I, personally, do not use potions or anything like that, so to me, this is just a super bitter tea that requires liquid stevia to be drinkable. That is your warning.

Let’s talk about the ingredients, though. We have Kava Root, Mugwort, Meadowsweat, and dried orange peel, plus your boiling water for steeping. Each of these ingredients have various spiritual properties as well as health properties.

Mugwort. Mugwort is one of the most popular herbs from the Witch’s Garden. It does have a very long history and is most commonly known for providing the bitterness to medieval beers (called gruit beers). Mugwort was also used, medicinally, to help aid with sleep, the immune system, digestion, and stress reduction. For its spiritual (or magickal, if you prefer) properties, it amplifies psychic vision and could cause prophetic dreams. It’s representative of the Goddess as Crone, encouraging wisdom and foresight or observation–especially useful during divination when confronting difficult truths. It’s not exactly psychoactive, but if you’re sensitive to thujone, which is the main component, then you’re gonna have some fun, I suppose. This is what makes the tea bitter.

Meadowsweet. Meadowsweet was the precursor to asprin because this herb contains salicylic acid (reportedly, this was discovered in 1835). Therefore, Meadowsweet is a good anti-inflammatory and pain reducer, especially for rheumatism, arthritis, and such. It also helps control hyperacidity and heartburn along with peptic ulcers, gastritis, and vomiting. Spiritually, this herb is used for protection from evil influences and promotes love, balance, and harmony. It has mild sedative properties, which are useful if you trance out when doing divination work.

Kava Root. Kava root comes from the South Pacific Islands and is a relative of the pepper family. Even in ancient times, the kava root was used in religious ceremonies as an ingredient in a drink. When consumed in excess, it has a similar effect as drinking alcohol. The natives realized the root had calming effects, so they began using it as a mind and muscle relaxer, relieving symptoms of anxiety, relieving aches and pains, and preventing nervous tension. Spiritual properties are actually similar to medicinal properties as one should be relaxed and clear-minded when conducting divination or spellwork.

Dried Orange Peel. Orange, in relation to health, is well known to have healing and preventative properties–such as being an excellent source of Vitamin C. Spiritual properties of orange include love and happiness, purification, clarity, and energy. By adding this into your potion, you’re purifying your mind and allowing clarity to rule while consulting your Tarot or Oracle cards (or whatever divination tool you prefer) or when you’re casting.

Again, I’m not a fan of bitter teas. The stevia did help to balance everything and you don’t really need a lot. If I’m going to drink a potion (or 3) to aid my clarity for divination, I want to enjoy it! But, please, do remember to consume this potion responsibly by not consuming more than 3 in an evening and not driving or operating machinery for at least an hour after your last one.

Let me know if you make this and how it works for you!

Pumpkin Time!

BEHOLD! MY PUMPKINS!

It’s pumpkin time!

No, not pumpkin spice. I mean, pumpkin spice is fine and dandy and if that’s your deal, you go! I prefer the Gingerbread Lattes to Pumpkin Spice, but I just love pumpkin! So, I bought 3 sugar pumpkins (the kind you use for pumpkin pies) to make various things. One of them got heat damaged from being next to one of my burners, so I decided to roast that right on up and make pumpkin puree! The pumpkin weighed about 2lbs and yielded ~2.5 cups of puree.

A note on the puree: If you decide to use a blender, you will need to cut the large chunks down. You will also need to gauge the water that you add. You don’t want to make it too liquidy, but you need enough liquid to keep the blades from seizing. Pumpkin is notorious for bulking up when you blend/puree it.

The recipe is from the Samhain book from Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials library. The entire series is a great resource for each of the Sabbats, honestly. It’s where I get a good number of my ideas for videos. I celebrate very differently from many of the traditions, but if you’re just starting out on your path, these books are a really good overview of everything. I especially use them for the Sabbats I don’t personally celebrate so I can help others celebrate those sabbats!

Samhain is one of my sabbats, if you hadn’t guessed. This entire month, I’ll be featuring recipes and crafts/rituals/etc for the sabbat. I may see if I can live-stream something on Samhain eve/Halloween for everyone, since… we have to be socially distant. Maybe I’ll host a Zoom event. Would that be of interest? I’ll post information, obviously, for the event! Video/audio is not required, unless you want to.

Anyway! Make sure you’re subscribed to the YouTube channel for the video updates and make sure you’re subscribed to the blog for other updates and while you’re subscribing, considering popping over to Patreon and subscribing there so you can be notified of special events and such (and, maybe even get early access to stuff)!

Blessed be!

No Video

No video today. Cameraman Ken has been back for a week and we had some major house cleaning to do, because…

My burlesque endeavor is about to take off. We had to make a space for a photography shoot (Tuesday), and I’ve had to gather the last things I needed for the video shoot (Saturday). My debut show will be virtual on November 12. If you decide to purchase tickets, use the code LAVINIA to save $5 and kick me some cash from the show.

That’s it for today. I’m trying to keep my spoons manageable. I have a single edit to make in my dissertation proposal, but it’s causing me stress; the burlesque stuff is causing me stress; my brain weasels are having a field day. I hope to be able to record stuff for Thursday this week. I have videos planned, but time and energy are the two factors that are holding me back, currently.

Portable Altar & How to Cast a Magic Circle

It’s been a busy week…

First of all, apologies that this video is late. It’s been a busy week! Another gig I have going on is for burlesque and I just found out that I’ll be debuting on November 12 (if you buy tickets, use the code LAVINIA for a $5 discount)! I’ve been frantically trying to find a space to rent to record my act and find a videographer!

But, anyway!

Portable altars are super awesome. I especially take them with me when I travel–you never know when you’ll need one! I purchased a set of tins from Amazon, then used acrylic paint on them. As you can see, the paint chips pretty easily, but, it’s fine for me. You can decorate these with anything you’d like. You can even just use an empty Altoids tin, if you’d like.

You’ll want to include some sort of representation of the directions/elements. I, personally, use a crystal for earth, sea shells for water, incense cones (but, I’m switching to feathers) for air, and a tea light for fire. I also keep a mini Bic lighter and a small bell in there. There are a bunch of things you can put into it, including a swatch of cloth for an altar cloth, if you’re so inclined.

When you set up your altar for casting your magic circle, don’t do what I did and flip North and South. North is where you place Earth, not fire. South is where you place Fire, not earth. East is Air; West is Water. In the grander scheme, I’m sure it doesn’t matter. The Guardians still came, but it does explain why they were snickering. Regardless, there are many ways to cast a Magic Circle, and many reasons. I cast one when I want to be protected from other entities because I am, among other things, a medium. Spirits talk to me frequently, sometimes even through me–and sometimes without consent because they don’t know any better! So, a Magic Circle offers me some protection against outside forces. The Circle can be as big or as small as you need it. When I deal with banishments, I tend to extend the circle to the entire house and grounds; simple spell work is usually just the room where it happens, and sometimes, not at all. I don’t tend to cast Circles for when I’m cooking. I just focus intent; Hestia’s personal altar is in my kitchen, so I don’t really have to do too much. She’s already there.

As we move toward the New Year (Samhain), I will start doing a few more videos for Sabbat-specific rituals, crafts, etc. If there is anything specific you’d like to see or have me write about, please feel free to leave a comment–here or on the video! Also consider checking out my Patreon and supporting me in my endeavors to entertain and educate!

…now, back to rehearsing for a karaoke sing-through of Hamilton tonight, and for my burlesque act!

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