5 More Ways to Celebrate Imbolc (Without Spending a Dime)


It's almost Imbolc! And you know what that means—it's time for the purge.

Now hold up. Put down the bat. I'm not talking about The Purge. No, no. It's still illegal to clobber your annoying neighbor. I'm talking about purging as in purification.

...I'm so disappointed that movie was basically just a typical horror flick because that concept could have been so interesting if they truly explored it. Where do the lines of morality vs legality overlap? How far would the average person go if there were no legal consequences? It'd be a very interesting narrative. 

But admittedly a little heavy for a blog, so let's get back to Imbolc. =D

Imbolc is a time of purification and cleansing, a period where we release the heavy emotions churned up during our Yuletide reflections.

Don't panic if you didn't reflect over the Yule season. I'm not going to quiz you or anything. I'm not that teacher. You know the one. That wet blanket that assigns a massive project over the holiday break that's due the moment you return to class. I'm pretty sure every student experiences one of those in their lifetime.

If you'd like to learn more about Imbolc, check out this post here (where you can also discover 5 MORE ways to celebrate without spending a dime!). But if you're ready to hear five fun ways to celebrate without breaking out the AmEx, scroll on, my friend!

Toss Your Cares Away
Cleanse your troubles by releasing them to nature. Standing beside a stream or river, hold a small river rock in your hands and visualize your problem floating down the stream, away from your life. When the image is clear in your mind, toss the rock into the water and watch it carry away your burden.

This ritual is a variation of a water spell shared with me by my lovely friend Gea, so shout out to Gea! ♥

Clean House (of your old crap)
Most of us have been meaning to clean out at least one closet that physically assaults you every time you open the door. Purify your home by clearing out old clothes and household goods and donating them to charity. Not only will this remove blockages that can stagnate your home's energy, but you'll also be helping the less fortunate. The Universe is kind of fond of that! ;)

Some Plants Are Worth Melting For
Snowed in? Take some snow inside and allow it to melt (by the fire is extra special!). Then take the melted snow (sometimes referred to as water) and use it to water indoor plants or cut flowers. This symbolizes The Wheel turning as winter slowly transitions into spring. 

Plus snow just seems extra cleansing compared to regular tap water. Maybe I'm just biased? But then again I've never heard Lorelai Gilmore proclaim, "I smell tap water!"

Take a Ritual Soak
Using herbs such as rosemary, lavender, or chamomile, draw yourself a soothing hot bath to soak away the stresses of chilly winter! When you're ready (but before you get out), envision the weight of your problems being washed away by the water as you emerge, leaving them behind in the tub. As you towel off, visualize a bright white light radiating from your freshly cleansed skin. Savor the buoyant feeling of release! You are now cleansed of any negative energy (which remains in the tub). Let the water drain and picture your concerns rushing down the pipes with the bathwater. You are now physically and energetically oh-so-squeaky clean!

I would advise you use a muslin bag or tea ball to contain your herbs. Otherwise, use essential oils. Trust me, you don't want to end a relaxing bath with a soggy mess of herbs.

....Not that I know this from experience or anything. *Closely examines nails* I mean, I haven't had to pick lavender out of the bathtub bud by bud or anything.  

Try Your Hand at Fire Divination
Considered the Festival of Light, fire is often incorporated with Imbolc rituals. Use this time to try fire divination! While it sounds somewhat complicated, all you really need to do is meditate while looking into the flames, allow your mind to slow and thoughts to clear, and see what information presents itself to you. This may come as a personal revelation or a foretelling. Don't try to force the process; just relax into it. =D

You may find larger fires, such as camp or bonfires, are easier to work with than candles. But if you're a fire sign, this may come to you very easily! 


So remember, while we can't resort to The Purge to rectify our problems, we can purge many nuisances from our life without the hassle of bloodstained carpets.

Too dark? Sorry, my humor is still in winter mode. =/


Have you ever tried fire divination? What's your favorite way to honor Imbolc?

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NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

The Witch's Guide to Yule


Between the holly jolly music and the endless sweets, Yule is a pretty awesome time of year! For me, it's a time to relax, restore, and most definitely indulge. I work hard in October and November to make sure I have a little extra time in December for reading novels, crocheting, and baking.

You know, things 80-year-olds like to do.

Just as nature hibernates in the cold dark months of winter, Yule (the Winter Solstice) is a time for restoration and reflection. It's the shortest day of the year, generally falling between the 20-22. As the days progress from here on out, light will extend by roughly a minute each day, showing us that even in our darkest hours there is hope for a new dawn. 

Representing the God, the sun is reborn during the solstice. Having proverbially died on Samhain, the God's death cycle has now ended and life is restored, which is why Yule is often called The Renewal. 

...If you want to be extraordinarily technical, the sun (God) returns the day after the Winter Solstice, since the solstice itself is the shortest day of the year (with the days following gradually giving in to the returning sunlight). This is why some celebrations begin on the solstice and party hard into the wee hours of the following morning. With my time of all-nighters behind me, I (like most others) celebrate on the solstice itself. Surely our ancestors weren't rigid in their celebration schedule since they didn't have NASA doing the math for them. Plus this sabbat is a time of rest, so there's no need to overcomplicate the darn thing. In case you haven't noticed, I do my best to keep it simple.

=D

You'll notice in the dormant nature around you the Goddess (nature) is resting after giving birth to the God (Don't overthink the familial ties here. It's proverbial). Now is the time to regroup and revitalize as The Wheel slowly turns toward spring. 

If you're looking for foods to help celebrate the return of the sun, think hot and warm! Ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon are all wonderful additions to baking this time of year, honoring the return of the sun. Red/green, gold/silver celebrate the God and Goddess respectively, which is why we so commonly see decorations in these joyful hues. Pine, cedar, and spruce are popular in Yuletide celebrations, representing the eternal nature of our souls. Need some altar inspiration? Check out my simple Yule altar that will brighten your home with the beauty of nature!




If you're in a giving mood but not in a get-trampled-for-a-good-sale kind of mood, I've got you covered! Here are 20 witchy gifts for under $20, all perused from the comfort of your couch! (which means pants are totally optional).







If your credit card is curled up in the corner, whimpering and shaking from being overworked, check out these posts on making Yuletide memorable without spending a dime





Above all, remember this isn't a season of stress and overspending but a time we should stop to regroup and replenish. Find peace in the cycles of nature and honor the seasons. Take a few extra moments to indulge in something restorative to the soul, such as meditation or yoga. Find healing in the stillness by disconnecting from electronics. Relish the moments with your family...even if those aren't so quiet. Winter, and Yule specifically, is a time to nourish our bodies and minds, because nothing in nature moves nonstop—not even with a peppermint macchiato!

Wishing you a magical, restorative Yule and a New Year brimming with health and happiness!


Do you take extra downtime during the Yuletide season? What's your favorite part of Yule?


By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Simple Little Abundance Spell


When I worked in the veterinary field, I washed my hands constantly. Like, cooooonstantly. 

You wash your hands when a patient (the woof-woof kind) enters a room so the owner knows you're not a dirty mo-fo.

You wash your hands before leaving a room, because you just got drooled on (not that I'm complaining!).

You wash your hands before using the restroom (because animal germs and hoo-has are not a good combination).

You wash your hands before leaving the restroom (because if you don't then you are a dirty mo-fo). 

You wash your hands after an owner brings in a stool sample. And after touching ANYTHING near the dreaded fecal counter (a designated counter that exists in every clinic used solely for running fecal samples and, according to this blogger, is among the most germ-infested areas in the country and should really be considered a level 4 hot zone).

....Seriously, if I even looked at the fecal counter I washed my hands. Have you seen other human beings? I don't trust that everyone wiped down the station when they were done running a fecal test. In fact, I witnessed lackadaisical disinfectant practices on many occasions.

You know what? Just to be safe I may burn this laptop and start this post on another computer. I'm fairly certain this is now contaminated from just talking about stool.

Okay, where was I? Poop. Magick. Humans are dirty....oh, right! Handwashing!

Clean People wash their hands quite a bit. Maybe not as often as someone in a healthcare field, but at least several times a day. Why not take that moment of sudsing and rinsing to cast a quick little spell? Think about the power manifesting in your spell if you gave it a mere fifteen seconds of focus several times a day! That's a lot of conjuring juju!

Despite sounding like someone who goes through three gallons of hand soap daily, I assure you I do not have a hand-washing problem. 

Other problems? Certainly. But not hand washing. This I can assure you.

But this spell did come to me while washing my hands one day. I enjoy watching the cleansing water cascade over my hands, especially if said hands are cold and I'm savoring a quick warm-up under the hot tap. As the suds flowed out of my palms, the visualization of money popped into my head and this spell was born! Hope you enjoy it almost as much as I enjoy never having to run a stool sample test ever again. =D

Yay for no poo! 

What You'll Need:

A sink
Soap
Your hands
15 seconds

How to Conjure:

Wash your hands like a decent human being who should do their level best not to spread Ebola.

As you suds up, imagine the bubbles are dollar bills multiplying in your hands, becoming so numerous they overflow, collecting in a large pile in the sink.

As you rinse your hands, imagine the water filling your palms is actually coins, filling up your cupped hands with shiny, sparkly coins so numerous you can't contain them all. (Of course, abundance isn't just money. If you're in need of something else—friendship, health, inspiration— alter this visualization to suit your needs. Get creative!)

Once the desired outcome is clearly shaped in your mind, simply say:


So Mote It Be!

That's it! Now you can dry your hands, change out of your bathroom socks and into your living room socks so you don't track around bathroom germs, and you're done!

Just kidding. Everyone knows bathroom socks need to be bleached and incinerated before exiting the bathroom.

...
.....
........

I bet you really are beginning to wonder if I'm insane. Guess you'll never know. Muahahaha!

Now if you'll please excuse me, there are some nice people here who say they just want to help. I wonder what kind of detergent they use to keep their white jackets so clean...

Do you practice a daily visualization?

The Witch's Guide to Samhain


As the cool air swaddles nature, welcoming the fall with a crisp autumnal embrace, the scent of magick permeates the atmosphere. We sense it in the trees, the way their orange leaves sway upon the branches one last time before taking flight, fluttering to the ground in a ritualistic dance of fall-painted beauty. We can feel it on our skin as the weather turns dry and nature softly exhales, hinting at the impending winter with sacred, frost-laced breath. Above all, we feel it in our souls, the way The Wheel churns around us, humming with life as the veil thins and the world brims with magick just before its winter slumber.

Autumn is undoubtedly a special time of year. It's a cozy cluster of days celebrated with the comfy aspects of life—luscious slices of gooey apple pie, soft woolen blankets clutched across our shoulders on dreary October nights, pumpkin bread and cinnamon coffee and hay rides and corn mazes and haunted houses!

Whew, getting a bit winded over here. Just so darn pumped!

If you're new to Paganism or simply need a brush-up, let's sit down together over a mug of London fog tea and a slice of banana bread while we discuss The Witch's Guide to Samhain!

Samhain (pronounced sow-in) is a cross-quarter sabbat that is celebrated on October 31st. On this sabbat we honor the death of the God, acknowledge death as a necessary stage in the cycle of life, and celebrate our ancestors and those loved ones who have transcended before us. Just as The Wheel turns, demonstrating that nothing in this realm is constant, our lives too will eventually cease, though our souls remain eternal. We acknowledge this unconditional truth on Samhain and address our own discomfort that often accompanies our mortality.  

As Samhain nears, the veil between our plane and then next thins to near transparency, granting us easier communication with those beyond. Now is the time to honor your loved ones, letting them know their life on this earth may have ended but your love for them has not. This post has five meaningful (and cost-free!) ways you can honor your ancestors on this sacred night. In an altar kind of mood? Check out my Natural Samhain Altar and let nature guide you! Or make a super simple Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice.






Although we are honoring the proverbial death of the God (who will be reborn on Yule, the Winter Solstice), we are also aware every ending is a new beginning. Thus, Samhain is often referred to as the Witches' New Year. And because the veil is thin, gifting us with heightened energies from the other side, Samhain is commonly seen as a time for divination and foretelling. Cast runes, try your hand at scrying, or break out your tarot deck to see what the coming year holds. Looking for some inspiration? Take a peek at the Autumn Moon Pumpkin Tarot Spread!



Just as we observe in nature, life is about balance, which is why this somber sabbat doesn't have to be all melancholia and sorrow. Decorate your home in red, orange, and yellow hues (representing the sun, which represents the God) as well as black and brown, which signifies death and our return to the earth. Seasonal vegetables such as pumpkins, winter squashes, apples, pears, and cranberries are all appropriate treats for your Samhain feast. Feeling sentimental? Treat yourself to the tart red flesh of a pomegranate, which is a Greek mythological symbol for the underworld. Legend says leaving a pomegranate outside your door on Samhain night protects your home and family from evil in the coming year.

If the fresh scents of autumn put you in the mood to conjure, whip up a batch of Samhain Protection Salt, a spell that keeps giving all year long!  And it's pretty. See:



Lastly, I just wouldn't be the Penniless Pagan if I didn't give you a few good tips on how to celebrate without spending a dime. And since I like you, I'll do you one better! Here's ten ways to celebrate without spending a dime!




If you simply can't get your fill of Samhain, make merry with meaning and simplicity by picking up a copy of Samhain Traditions: 13 Simple & Affordable Halloween Spells & Rituals for the Witches' New Year. Available in e-book and paperback! Every sale helps keep the blog stocked-up on free material, so thank you for your support! ♥



Whether you choose to spend your Samhain with candied apples and rowdy children, or you settle in for a quiet evening of deeply spiritual ritual, I hope you have a wonderfully magickal Samhain eve!

Happy Samhain, everyone! 


How do you celebrate Samhain: fun and gleeful, sweet and somber, or a little of both?


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NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

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