Even Nature Takes Some R & R!

As the winter solstice approaches, nature reminds us it is important to take time to rest and restore. I invite you to do the same as 2018 comes to an end. Nourish your body, allow your mind to daydream, and revitalize the spirit with family, friends, and loads of natural beauty! I'll be doing the same for the remainder of the year, so comment approval and email replies will be delayed. I appreciate your patience as I take time to replenish the 'ol creative wells (because I've been busy working on MANY new and exciting things coming your way in 2019, so get ready!).

Wishing you all a comfy and cozy, fuzzy-sock-wearing, soul-healing, snowman-building, chocolate-covered kind of Yuletide season! Love and blessings to each and every one of you! 🎄

♥ Michaela

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?


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.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase a product I make a small percentage that helps keep this blog running (but does NOT affect your cost). Thank you for your support!

Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice



Oh, Samhain! How I love thee!

What isn't there to love about this magical time of year? Pumpkin bread and spiced apple cider. Crimson and gold foliage. Apple picking. Farmers' markets. Craft fairs. Blankets and bonfires and s'mores! You can honor your departed loved ones with sacred ritual and a few minutes later find yourself giggling on the couch with a bowl of buttered popcorn and a Halloween flick. It's just flipping fantastic!

With so many wonderful festivities, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when planning a Samhain ritual. But there's no need to over complicate it! If you're looking for a sentimental yet simple way to honor the sabbat, Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice is for you!

Legend says the souls of the departed walk the earth on Samhain night, taking advantage of the thinned veil to find their loved ones. Leaving a snack for departed souls to nosh on during their journey on this plane is a simple tradition I embrace every year. It’s also believed by many to be the origins of trick-or-treating. 

Of course, if you’re looking for supreme simplicity, you can leave a plate with a few veggies outside and return to your Halloween festivities. But since this is arguably the most important sabbat of the year, why not take a few extra minutes to add some beauty to this honored ritual?

What You’ll Need:
Miniature pumpkin
Food for sacrifice*
Knife/spoon for carving

*If you choose to leave your sacrifice outside or have pets in your home, PLEASE avoid foods considered poisonous to many animals, in particular dogs and cats. You can find a complete list on the ASPCA website, but the most common offenders are raisins, chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, coffee, alcohol, and anything containing artificial sweeteners (especially aspartame and xylitol).
Note: Dried cranberries are depicted in the photo above, not raisins.

How to Conjure: 
Carefully cut a circle around the stem of your pumpkin and remove the seeds and innards. Set seeds aside for a delectable batch of Samhain Seed Spell (which can be found in Samhain Traditions).

Select your desired foods for the sacrifice and arrange inside the hollowed-out pumpkin. I like to use season fruits and vegetables because it’s festive and is generally incorporated into my Samhain meal, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Just please ensure it is safe for pets and wildlife if you intend to leave your pumpkin outside! 

Here is a list of generally safe, recommended items:

Seeded apples**
Seeded pears**
Celery
Carrots
Cranberries (pictured above)

**Apple and pear seeds are considered poisonous to dogs and should therefore be removed.

Place your Souls' Feast Pumpkin on an interior windowsill or altar as a symbol of your sacrifice. If you choose to leave this sacrifice outside, I recommend placing it away from your home since it may attract critters. 

Once your pumpkin is situated, stand before your sacrifice and say the following simple incantation:


In honor of your life, I offer you a sacrifice on this Samhain night.

Leave your Souls' Feast Pumpkin for a few hours (or overnight) before respectfully disposing of it.

Disposing of your pumpkin in a field or wooded area is a great way to honor the night while nourishing Mother Nature. Burying or composting is another suitable option, as this will breakdown in the ground and feed insects. Lastly, you can simply eat the food yourself! While it is true sacrifices generally remove any benefit to ourselves, this isn’t always the case. In this situation, the sacrifice is symbolic. It’s not offensive to eat the food, thus putting the sacrifice to use; it’s offensive to throw the food in the trash and be wasteful. =/ So grab some dip and enjoy those carrot sticks, my snacky friend!

Wishing you all a blessed, magickal Samhain!

Looking for more ways to celebrate Samhain? Check out Samhain Traditions: 13 Simple & Affordable Halloween Spells & Rituals for the Witches' New Year! Every purchase helps keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied with tons of free material, so thank you! ♥

Do you offer a sacrifice on Samhain? What's your favorite way to honor your ancestors?



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.