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

One of the most magical experiences I had on Yule happened a few years ago when I was about twenty-eight. At the time, my husband and I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, just a few miles from a gorgeous protected piece of desert called White Tank Mountains. In the blue hues of a chilly pre-dawn Yule, we drove through the silent desert to hike one of our favorite trails, the towering saguaro cacti acting as sentries in the stillness of the sacred morning. To the soundtrack of coyotes yapping, we hiked to a precipice that allowed us to overlook The Valley of the Sun. In the distance the twinkling lights of a groggy city stretched across the horizon, but before us was the untouched splendor of the Sonoran desert. The woodsy scent of creosote bushes kissed the chilled December air as we stood atop the overlook, watching in wonder as the cool milky colors of twilight warmed with the nearing dawn.

Quietly, with a cup of hot coffee held between mitten-clad hands (the true desert—not the concrete-laden city—can actually get quite cold), we stood in awe as the mountains across the valley birthed a blessed Yule sun. It was the first time I ever really made it a point to appreciate the sunrise, and I was left breathless by it's ethereal beauty. It genuinely looked like a birth, the fiery blaze of sun slowly materializing from the red dirt mountains in a transcendent progression akin to life emerging from the womb. 

Too early and brisk for most hikers, we were alone with nature, the elegant mule deer and chatty coyotes left to their own devices, thus far undisturbed by the influx of city-dwellers hungry for nature. It was in that moment, as I watched the proverbial birth of the God beside my husband, that I felt the sacred hum of the earth, the beat to which we all live, and the sheer magnitude of life. As physical beings, humans are quite small in relation to the world, and yet we are powerful, gifted with a divine connection to that which makes life worth living. 

I think of that significant morning every Yuletide season, hoping to relive that moment as I once again bundle up to watch the sunrise. For now, nothing has compared to the first time I ever really gave the sunrise true appreciation. But like an adult forever chasing the magic of Santa, I still believe. I still chase. I still experience that gentle vibration of essence as the morning breaks on a chilly Yule day. Like much of life, it's rare to eclipse the first time something truly magical happens, but that doesn't take away from each breathtaking time we try.

As with any sabbat, I encourage you to go outside and simply be. We don't get enough of that in our hectic modern era, and you certainly shouldn't wait until you're twenty-eight to fully appreciate a sunrise. 

...I blame it on the fact that I am not a morning person. It's an unspoken rule in our house that if you speak to me within thirty minutes of waking you'll receive nothing more than a closed-mouth murmuring as a reply. 

If you're in the mood for a more festive approach to Yule, here are five ways you can capture the joy of the winter solstice without spending a dime!  And if you'd like to discover more information about this restful sabbat, check out this post for more details

Make ginger tea
For most people, December is a cold month. Warm up with a hot mug of tea and honor the God by making that bad boy ginger tea. Curl up by the fire and relax. After all, Yule is a sabbat of respite and restoration. Take some time to chill!

Meditate during the sunrise
Too cold to go outside? Meditate in the warmth of your home during the sunrise! Before our phones pinged with constant alerts and we were expected to conquer the world, winter was seen as a time of deep restoration and reflection, particularly during Yule. Take this morning to honor that ritual and do a little self-reflection through meditation. If you're not very comfortable with meditating, you can find many guided meditations on Youtube. 

Leave an offering
Remember those pine cone bird feeders you made as a kid? Whip up one of those peanut butter creations and hang it from an evergreen. Or decorate an outside tree with edible gifts such as apple or orange slices, whole peanut or cranberry garlands, and nourishing suet cut into festive shapes with cookie cutters! The winter birds will thank you! 

Craft with nature
Take a nature walk and collect fallen evergreen bows for a handmade wreath. Or gather up those pine cones for a Yule altar. Honor the sabbat and lift your spirits by bringing a little bit of nature inside during this otherwise barren season. 

Take a few moments on this quite December morning to reflect on the year past. What lessons did you learn? What challenges did you overcome? What accomplishments are you proud of? What heartaches would you like to release? Don't get overwhelmed or feel like you need to start a to-do list. Now is not the time to begin a New Year's resolution pamphlet (which no one on the planet has ever actually adhered to) Simply reflect. Over a warm mug of tea and a sugar cookie, of course!

Bonus: Celebrate!
Don't forget to make merry! Crank those holiday tunes. Watch your favorite movies (Christmas Vacation is one of my favorites!). Indulge in cookies and eggnog. Savor a hearty sabbat meal. Raise your vibrations for those long winter nights, because we all know it's easy to start feeling a little bit The Shinning by the time February rolls around! ;)

Keep it simple or make it grand, just as long as you feel merry and bright, my friends! Hope you have a wonderful Yule! 🎄

How do you celebrate 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.

10 (More) Witchy Gifts for under $20

Pour yourself some eggnog, curl up by the fire, and turn on the holiday music because we're about to take a Pagan-inspired shopping trip from the comfort of your couch! That's right, Yule is almost here, the sabbat of light that celebrates the return of the sun (representing the God). After today, the daylight hours will begin to extend by roughly one minute per day and The Wheel slowly progresses through winter, promising the return of warmth and life.

Er, but that return doesn't come with a deadline guarantee, so don't put away your wool sweaters just yet. I'm looking at you, Northerners! ;) 

If you're looking for free ways to celebrate or want to learn more about this deeply meaningful sabbat, head on over to 5 Ways to Celebrate Yule. 

If you came here looking for ways to save a little scratch yet still want a beautifully-wrapped treasure tucked beneath your Yule tree, you've come to the right place! While I can't help you with the wrapping (but totally would if I were standing there beside you. I'm like Buddy the elf when it comes to a love of wrapping gifts), I can assist you in finding the perfect gift without going broke. And if you need more ideas, make sure to check out last year's 10 Witchy Gifts for more suggestions! There's a link below, so no need to abandon this Yule train just yet. ;)

Indigo Wild Zum Mist Aromatherapy Spray— $10

Quell those winter blues with the fresh, natural scent of Indigo Wild Zum Mist. Made with essential oils, you can rest assured your loved one won't be pummeled by hormone-disrupting chemicals. With scents like lavender lemon and sea salt, you can easily find the perfect scent for under $10! Know someone prone to colds? Try the eucalyptus! Eucalyptus essential oil is excellent for chest/sinus congestion, headaches, and even arthritis!  

Himalayan Salt Tea Light Holder— $15

It's not really a secret that I adore Himalayan salt lamps. I even recommended them in last year's Witchy Gifts. Then last year, as this bleary-eyed blogger sat with her husband beside the woodsy-scented pine tree, opening gifts to the melodic crooning of Andy Williams, I was gifted a Himalayan salt votive holder. It sits on my desk as we speak, and I use it daily as I write. 

But the reason I recommend the tea light over the votive is that tea lights are self-contained in those little metal cups whereas votive candles aren't, which means they drip as the candle melts. I keep mine on a plate and the world continues to turn, but if you're not wanting to deal with the extra step, go with the tea light. Either way, I recommend these wonderful holders for your spiritual kinfolk! 

Color and Conjure: Rituals & Magic Spells to Color— $15

I met Natalie Zaman through Twitter. With her sense of humor and love for Gifs, we quickly became blogger friends. She's written several books, including Magical Destinations of the Northeast (which I reviewed here.) On Color and Conjure she teamed up with a talented illustrator named Wendy Martin to create a—well, creative!— spell book that combines magic and coloring. What I enjoyed most about this book is the encouragement of creativity. I think imagination is too often hampered in childhood, and I feel people should really embrace and reinvigorate their imagination if they feel disconnected from this important quality. It's in there. Trust me. You just need to nurture it! ♥

While Color and Conjure is great for any age, it would make a FANTASTIC gift for a younger witch, especially teens. As I flipped through its pages, thirteen-year-old Michaela was all over it! Mostly because it wasn't all that different from my introduction to Paganism. To this day I will still draw pictures if I feel that's the best medium for a spell, so Natalie and Wendy have simply given you a hand with that aspect! 

Natalie, who wrote the spells, is adept at weaving information and visualization, crafting (pun intended) a vivid yet insightful prose that will educate and entertain, which is a practical way to absorb information. I've got to say, it's good she takes this approach because there is a LOT of information in each spell. That's just her thing. She's kinda brainy like that. ;)

If, like me, you get too excited to read the damn directions at the beginning of the book, you may find yourself saying, "Where the hell are the page numbers?!" as you look for the coloring page that correlates to the spell. Let me help you out here so you don't look like a dork yours truly as I clumsily flipped through the pages, all man-like in my refusal to read the directions.

...They say that's a man thing, but my husband is all about directions and I bull-in-china-shop my way through life. So, I'm pretty sure they're wrong about that one. 

Llewellyn (the publisher) shrewdly tucked the page numbers away close to the binding so they wouldn't be on your spell once you tore the perforated page out of the book! Very astute, but this occasionally obtuse Pagan took a moment to get with the coloring program! In my defense, once I saw the page numbers were on the other side of the perforation I realized why they did that BEFORE reading the directions. So there. I don't need no stinking directions! Oh, it may take me three minutes longer to than it could have, but I eventually get there!


Because I only recommend products I genuinely enjoy, I can honestly say Color and Conjure is a kick-ass gift. But if you have a youngblood in your midst, this is an incredible present that will teach them highly useful information they can forever apply to their Craft. 

"Exhale" by Iris and Owl Paintings— $15
(Photo from OwlandIris)

I'm very particular about art. I only buy stuff I have to have, and I know the moment I look at it whether it's going to get comfy on my walls or stay with its creator. "Exhale" had me at hello.

Stephanie is a supremely talented artist who is just as adorable as her work. Seriously. She looks like a Disney princess come to life. With an almost steampunk fantasy feel, Stephanie paints beautiful works of art that invoke a sense of dark whimsy. "Lucy" is one of my absolute favorites, but it's "Exhale" that I have hanging on the wall beside me. At $15 shipped, this artist prices her prints at extremely affordable prices. If you've ever bought a print, you may know the quality can sometimes waver significantly from the original. That isn't the case here. In a conversation with the artist (she's very friendly!), she told me she did a lot of research before settling on a printer. Well, her work was worth the effort because it yields a crisp, true-to-color print.

She had loads of fantastic work, so check her out! But "Exhale" specifically really struck a chord with me. The darkness surrounding this beautiful woman who has all the beauty of nature trapped inside her resonated viscerally with me. Because I think art is deeply personal, I don't want to influence your takeaway from this piece. But as nature lovers, I think this breathtaking piece would be cherished by Pagans.

Live the Life You've Imagined Journal—$12

I love Katie Daisy. Her designs are bright and colorful, and her quotes are very applicable to a Pagan's path. I have her 2018 "Love This Life" day planner, which I adore.

Yup, I'm that person that gets excited over office supplies. Tom Hanks can send me a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils any day!

The "Live the Life You've Imagined" Journal is cute, compact, and a wonderful gift for any writers in your life. And at just $12, you can snag yourself a pack of pencils and create your own freshly sharpened bouquet to accompany it! 

...You've Got Mail anyone?!

The Celtic Tree Oracle—$20

I learned of this beautiful deck from the wonderful Emara from Runaloire.com. I don't actually have this deck, but I covet it. I hope Santa leaves it under the tree. Or in a stocking. Or on my front lawn. The drop-off location really doesn't matter...

Being of Irish descent, the Celtic Ogham (the tree alphabet) is something that always fascinated me, and I would love to learn more about it. Plus I cherish trees, mostly because they're leafy (#PhoebeBuffay). For the tree lovers in your life, this is an oracle deck that would make one lovely Yule gift! 

Marble Pestle and Mortar—$10

No witch should be without a pestle and mortar. They come in very handy for crushing herbs or resins and for making spells, like Protection Salt. I suggest having a separate one for kitchen use vs spell crafting, because resins (like dragon's blood) shouldn't be ingested. This bad boy is a beautiful gray marble, which would make a stunning gift for any kitchen witches in your coven! 

Best Witches Keychains—$7
(Photo from FairyFountainGifts)

I love shopping on Etsy because I get to support a small business and the hardworking creative minds behind them. Plus you get the pleasure of gifting a really unique item for an affordable price! 

If you're besties with a witch, this is an adorable gift to honor your spiritual connection. And for a few dollars more, you can personalize this present with an initial charm.

Soapstone Elephant Essential Oil Diffuser—$15

Did you know elephants actually mourn lost herd members? Elephants are highly intelligent creatures that represent deep spiritual messages, including wisdom, strength, compassion, and leadership. 

If you know an elephant fan (you're looking at one!), this beautiful soapstone diffuser would make a meaningful gift. Toss in a small bottle of essential oil (pine would make a great seasonal touch) and you'll have a thoughtful, gorgeous present that will be the envy of any white elephant gift exchange!

Too punny? See, I felt it, but just didn't rope it in...

Aside from the beautiful carvings, this diffuser's bowl actually comes off, which makes for easy cleanup! Pretty swanky, my friends!

Penniless Pagan Paperbacks—$12

Last Yule By the Light of the Moon was only available in e-book, and I got a lot of requests for paperback. At the time I wasn't sure how to get an affordable paperback to you, but I figured it out! And for just $12! 

2018 will boast not one but TWO blue moons. Holy magical year, Batman! Whether you have a moon lover on your gift list or you dance beneath those luminescent beams yourself, this is a great opportunity to support the blog AND give the gift of magick! And since this spell book has thirteen full moon spells, you'll be all set for the lunar wonders of 2018— no repeats!

Every purchase helps keep this blog loaded with free material for readers, so thank you for your support! ♥

There you have it, my Pagan companions. Ten gifts under $20 to imbue the magick of the season to you and yours. Treat yourself to a gingerbread man (very appropriate for Yule!), wrap your hands around a hot mug of coffee, and shop in your reindeer pajama pants. Because everything is better in reindeer pajama pants!

Happy Yule, everyone! 🎄

Looking for even more witchy gifts for under $20? Check out this post!

Do you have an affordable witchy gift suggestion? Leave a comment below!

*Prices may change. Please note all items were under $20 at the time of writing this post. Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

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 Ways to Weave Green Magick in an Apartment (Guest Post by Sarah Fawn Empey)

Hello, my fine Pagan kinfolk! Hopefully you can sense my gusto through your computer, because that was quite emphatic. Strange, really, because I haven't even had caffeine today. Guess hot water and lemon does a body good?
*awkward silence*
ANYWAY, I'd like to introduce a wonderful blogger, tarot reader, and witch named Sarah. She's the fantastic mind behind SarahFawnEmpey.com. If you haven't checked her out, you shoooould! She's wonderfully grounded, practical, and insightful! She also runs a lovely Etsy store where she offers some beautiful items that'll make you the envy of the coven. 
Take it away, Sarah!
Hey there! I suppose I best introduce myself before I just launch into writing :)
My name is Sarah and I am a witchy blogger over at sarahfawnempey.com, and I am simply delighted to be visiting the Penniless Pagan as a guest author today.
Green witching in apartments is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. This is quite possibly because I live in one. :D
An apartment is a home just as much as a house is. So it can be woven with just as much hearth magick.
Still, when you live up in the sky and just want to dig your hands into the soil, it can be challenging too. That doesn't mean it's impossible though ;) Even though you might not be able to garden directly in the earth you can still weave green magick with potting mix and some nifty window sill or balcony pots!
In this post, I’ve included a few of my favourite ways to green witch in an apartment as well as some tips on how to dry and store your magickal herbs when you have limited storage space.
Indoor Green Witching - Apartment Style
Depending on your apartment you may or may not have a balcony.
If you have a balcony, this presents a perfect opportunity for creating a mini green space. In warmer weather, you can line your balcony with planters or pots and plant to your heart’s content.
This past spring we moved to an apartment with a balcony and I found that basil, sage, green onions and rosemary all thrived quite well - despite being 15 stories up!
In magickal terms that means I grew:
  • protection (basil)
  • an energy cleanser (sage)
  • kitchen witchery (green onions)
  • hearthy goodness and protection (rosemary)
If you don’t have a balcony don’t sweat it. The previous home we lived in was a cosy basement apartment with minimal natural lighting and we still managed to grow magickal green babies.
You can find plants that will thrive just about anywhere. Snake plants, for instance, do quite well in minimal lighting - though they do need some lighting so don't go popping them in a room without any windows.
Now that the season has begun to cool and the plants can't stay outdoors anymore I've brought all my magickal green babies indoors. To maximise light for them and still have space we placed a side table in a corner by the balcony where they can soak up plenty of rays. Then, we put the smaller green babies in window sills.
If your window sills are packed Pinterest has some pretty cool hacks for indoor gardening or green witching ;) Think small stepping ladders converted into tiered gardens or potted plants hung from pieces of driftwood attached to the wall. I don't know about you but I think that those would be delightful projects to check out.
Not sure which herbs to plant? Follow your intuition. Consider which magickal energies call to you. Then do a dash of research to find which plants will thrive in the lighting in your home.
Drying Herbs
When your plants are ready to harvest or prune, you can easily dry them in your home. Then you can store them for magickal workings later.
For the basil, rosemary and sage I used a bit of twine wrapped around their stems and hung them upside down on an artsy sort of stick arrangement we have in our home.
If you happen to have some twigs lying around in your witchy closet arrange them in a vase and then hang your herbs on them for a similar effect.
For the green onions a different approach was needed so for these I prune back as needed. After a rinse to wash off any dust I use scissors to cut them into 1cm sections and lay these out on a plate in the kitchen to dry for a day or two.
Storing Magickal Herbs
When your herbs are all dried out then it's time to store them.
Have a spice rack? This can easily convert into a witchy storage space for your magickal herbs.
Then, uniquely shaped glass bottles from a craft shop like Michael's are another fun way to store your magickal herbs. These bottles also come in a variety of enchanting colours and are perfect for infusing a witchy cupboard with colour magick.
If you don't have a spice rack or space for glass bottles - place your herbs, once fully dry, in small plastic baggies from the dollar store. Then store all the wee bags of your herbs in a drawer or transparent plastic container. This is especially handy if you’re running short on space in your kitchen.
I personally use a combination of all of the above to store my herbs :)
No matter which herbs you choose to plant, with love and care you will soon be weaving green magick throughout your home )O(

Do you keep a magickal garden? What are your favorite magickal plants?

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.

Cleanse Your Tarot Cards, Ya Filthy Animal!

It's happened to all of us. We get a little bored sometimes. Same route to work. Same daily routine. Laundry on Sundays. Dishes... well, those are flipping non-stop. Sure, taco night really spiced up the ol' schedule...a year ago. Now not even mango salsa can brighten your mood.

So you do what every Pagan has done, you peruse Amazon or Etsy until you find that special something-something deck that makes your heart flutter. Yes, this is the tarot deck of serious witches. This is the deck that will reveal those secret numbers that will win me the jackpot and get me the hell out of suburbia.

Okay, that might be a little embellished for theatrical effect.

A few weeks ago I was feeling the ho-hum of relentless desert sun (allow me to duck while you northerns throw rotten fruit at the screen.) The summer had yet to break from those 90* days...in late October... and I was going a bit stir crazy. So I did what any self-respecting witch would do: I decided to treat myself to a new tarot deck. 

I actually got the idea from a blog reader (Hello, Angel!) who said she rotates decks depending on the season. This never occurred to me, but makes perfect sense! After all, I feel introspective in the fall, enlivened in spring, and homicidal restless in the blistering summer. If my vibrations are changing, does my connection to a specific deck also adapt?

Evidently the answer is yes, because I treated myself to the Everyday Witch Tarot deck by Deborah Blake, and boy did my readings perk right up! But as I tore the cellophane off my new treasure, I got to thinking about something I hadn't pondered in a while: how to cleanse a new deck.

It's something that should be done periodically, especially if you perform readings for others. But as someone who royally sucks at reading tarot for other people (I finally discovered why this is the case after reading the book included with the deck. Not a pamphlet, a downright book!), I'd gotten lazy with keeping my previous deck clean and tidy.

Yes, I get lazy. I'm human, okay? Half the time I just ball up my kitchen towels and shove them in a drawer. No one sees in there anyway. And if they do, they should probably stay the hell out of my kitchen drawers. What kind of person does that?!


Below you will find three easy ways to cleanse your tarot with items you probably already have on hand. And you can trust they're easy-peasey because, well, I'm lazy. 

Break out the sage
When you open a new deck of tarot cards, each minor and major arcana crisp and untouched, the smell of fresh ink permeating the air, the last thing you want to do is wait to use them. Smudging your cards is a great way to get an immediate and thorough cleaning while familiarizing yourself with a new deck.

I like to keep a bowl beside me when smudging tarot so I can tap off the ash without damaging the cards or my carpet.

...Yes, I'm 32 and still sit on the floor like a toddler. I'm sort of an overgrown child with bills and an acerbic sense of humor. Not sure what to tell you.

Anyway, grab yourself a bowl and a smudge stick. Then simply waft the smoldering sage bundle over each individual card—front and back— allowing the smoke to cleanse the deck. This will take anywhere from fifteen minutes to a half hour, during which time you can visually explore your new deck and note any impressions or intuitive feelings you experience upon first look. It's a great way to bond with your deck while cleansing. 

Crystal cleansing
This method is similar to the smudging except you'll use a crystal as your medium. I recommend clear quartz, which is excellent for cleansing and purifying. Amethyst or rose quartz are also useful. These will not only cleanse your tarot but help you connect with your new deck through your crown and heart chakra, respectively.

Using a stone that has been purified from previous use, touch the crystal to your card and drag the stone across the front and back of each card. When you're done, place the stone in the sunlight to cleanse and recharge for your next use. Many tarot readers choose to keep a gemstone or two with their decks when not in use to help amplify their psychic connection.  Any of the above suggestions as well as moonstone, labradorite, and azurite are all wonderful options.

Random tip: keep your gemstones in a bowl of dirt or sand on a windowsill so they are always ready for use!

Sun and Moon
If you're looking for the easiest way to charge your cards, cleansing in the sun and moonlight is the way to go! The sun will purify with it's strong, masculine energy while the soft luminescence of the moon will balance your deck with feminine energy as well as heighten intuition. 

Lay your cards on a windowsill, taking care to ensure a portion of each card is exposed to the light. Allow the cards to sit for a full 24 hours, and you're ready to read! I would recommend doing this on a full moon night, but any night is fine, though I would advise against doing so on a new moon. There's nothing disastrous about doing so, I just personally feel you'll get a deeper cleansing when at least part of the moon is visible. 

There you have it, my friends! Three simple ways to get your decks cleansed, charged, and ready for some insightful readings. If you're looking for a little indulgence, I highly recommend the Everyday Witch Tarot deck. I find the deck to be very intuitive, due in large part to the talented Elisabeth Alba's breathtaking illustrations. See?

Alba did such a remarkable job of painting the cards that it's quite easy to decipher their meanings without even opening the book. But I suggest you do, because Blake has a lot of helpful information in the 250 page book included with the deck. 

Now if only I could divine those darn Powerball numbers!

Do you keep crystals with your tarot cards? What's your favorite deck?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
I was NOT asked to review this deck. I am recommending this product simply because I enjoy it and hope you do too!
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!

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

Isn't Samhain the most wonderful time of The Wheel? Nutmeg-dusted pumpkin pie. Sweet apple cider. Sweatshirts. Cute boots. A warm mug of pumpkin-spiced latte. That crisp aroma of promise dancing through the trees, rattling the colorful leaves from their perch high upon a swaying branch.

Are you one of those people that kicks their way through a leaf pile like a leggy Rockette dancing her way down 5th Avenue? Best part of autumn, if you ask me—all those magical, wonderfully crunchy leaves skittering across pavement, each step releasing that blissful plume of sweet woodsy fragrance.

*sigh* I'm there...

As Samhain draws near and the veil between our world and the next thins to near transparency, celebration is probably on your mind. 

Well, celebration and miniature chocolate bars. Who doesn't love stuffing a whole minature Milky Way into their mouth?

If you're looking for the basics of Samhain, such as meaning, appropriate colors, and symbolic foods, head on over here. But if you're looking for 5 (more) ways to celebrate Samhain without spending a dime, you've come to the right place! Grab a mug of cinnamon tea, kick up those fuzzy-socked feet, snack on a slice of Pumpkin Pie Money Spell, and let's look at all the ways we can honor our departed loved ones as well as the cycle of life!

Carve a pumpkin
She's kidding, right? As if I don't already know carving a pumpkin on Samhain is like, well, carving a flipping pumpkin on Samhain!

Nope, I'm not kidding. Instead of your typical toothy jack-o-lantern, take a few extra moments to carve a loved one's initial into a pumpkin and honor them on this sacred Sabbat. 

Here's mine from last year. Now, please understand I had no intentions of sharing this photo, so it's not my best camera work. But I enjoyed this tribute so much that I decided I had to share it with you fine individuals. I will most definitely be including another memorial pumpkin in my Samhain rituals this year.

I didn't use a template; I simply drew out what I wanted and started hacking away, making sure enough of the "B" remained attached so it wouldn't break off during carving. Barley's beautiful soul walked this planet on four legs, hence the (albeit awkwardly carved) paw print. Feel free to get creative! If your grandfather loved fishing, center the letter in a fish cutout. Maybe use a maple leaf for a nature-loving friend. If you decide to carve a sentimental jack-o-lantern, please send me a photo! I'd love to see it!

Paper Pumpkin Cutouts
Whether you make pumpkin shapes from construction paper or buy some pre-designed pumpkin cutouts at the store, take a few moments to write your departed loved one's names on the decorations and tape them in a window. On this night of the thinned veil, legend says the departed spirits walk the earth, looking for their loved ones. Let them know they are remembered and missed. Feeling extra attuned with the season? Use fallen leaves instead!

Eat your feelings
Listen, we've all done it—eaten junk food to squelch our emotions. Plus it's Halloween and, you know, sugar.

If you're baking cookies for Samhain or any time during October, use a toothpick or butter knife to write your transcended loved ones' names into the cookies before baking. When you're ready to snack, take a moment to remember their life and what contributions they made to yours. Before digging in, simply say, "You are remembered."

Raise your vibrations by raising the roof
You know how shitty you feel after a loved one dies? That swampy-pile-of-regurgitated-doo-doo-sitting-in-the-summer-heat feeling of despair that only great loss can bring about? That makes it really difficult for spirits to communicate with us because our vibrational signature is churning at an extraordinarily low frequency. Like, Brad Garrett levels of low. 

If you're feeling the raw burn of a recent loss, nothing is going to shake you from that grief, and it's important to let yourself experience those painful emotions so you can heal. But if you're feeling just a touch blue because of the meaning of the Sabbat, now is the time to take a deep breath, think of a funny memory, and celebrate life. Their life. Your life. All life. 

Watch a funny Halloween movie (Hocus Pocus is a favorite!). Sing loudly to a goofy Halloween song ("Monster Mash" is routinely sung in my home during the month of October.). Dance. Take a walk. Call a friend. Whatever you need to do to embrace the beauty of life, take the time to do so. Because while sadness is a normal response, swimming in those dark waters too long can be very damaging—to your health, to your mind, to your spirit. Throw a bonfire. Host a movie marathon. Plan a costume party. Find something that makes you happy and chase it. Because the best way to honor the dead is by embracing life! 

Use a sigil
Carved into a candle, hidden in the soft inner flesh of a jack-o-lantern, or written on the bottom of a stone to be left on your doorstep, a sigil is a simple symbol used to cast...well, anything!

While you can find designated sigils on the internet, such as runes, I highly recommend creating your own, which is much easier than you may think! Simply combine the letters of your wish to form one cohesive symbol, as seen in the (messy) example below.
If you're feeling particularly jaded by the news inspired to spread the love, write a blessing sigil, such as "peace" or "health" in chalk on your front step or the sidewalk in front of your house to bless all those who walk over it! 

Personalized sigils are extraordinarily useful! I plan on writing an entire post dedicated to these hardworking little emblems, so keep an eye out! 

There you have it! Five simple ways to honor the Sabbat and you haven't even finished your mug of tea. Didn't I promise you simple?! Hope you have an apple-bobbing, wood-fire-scented, cozy-sweater-wearing, pumpkin-spiced-flavored kind of Samhain! 

Happy Samhain, everyone! 

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! ♥

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!

Samhain Protection Salt

If you haven't heard, Samhain Traditions is now available in e-book and paperback!

...And if you have somehow managed to not hear me sqwak about it, I'm kind of sad. I mean, it's sort of all I'm talking about at the moment, so you must be avoiding me. Which makes the halls of the internet awakward as we pass each other on the way to bio class. Was it something I said? Is it because Jimmy claims we went to second base at Make-out Point down past the old soda shop? Because Jimmy's a goddamn liar. And we're not in the 1950's. So I'm not sure why I can't come up with a better make-out location than an empty cliff.

I've had a lot of tea this morning and it's a mere three weeks before Samhain. You'll have to forgive me if I'm unusually, ehh, feisty. We'll say feisty. So much more socially acceptable than certifiably insane.

ANYWHO! Samhain Traditions is out and all the cool kids are doing it. But, like the creepy twenty-year-old who still hangs out by the high school cafeteria, mourning his golden years and skeeving out the freshmen, I'm here to give you a free sample. Letcha see why all the cool kids are doing it.

...I think this kitschy scenerio got away from me somewhere. Should probably just get back to the facts before this gets any weirder.

Samhain Protection Salt is one of thirteen simple and affordable spells from Samhain Traditions. Well, actually one of fourteen. Because there's a simple BONUS spell. It's kind of my thing to toss in bonus spells, the way it's kind of Jimmy's thing to spread rumors.

Damn it, James!

If you're looking for a meaninful way to honor Samhain that will last throughout the year, Samhain Protection Salt is the ritual for you. But rather than talking about it—and leading us down a weird Stephen King-esque reminiscence of a decade of which I was not even alive— let's get straight to the spell!

Samhain Protection Salt
Approximate Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Whether it’s the scent of pumpkin bread and apple crisp, or the crimson leaves dancing in the October wind, or the warm embrace of a woolen sweater plucked from the depths of your closet, there’s something cozy and indulgent about autumn that brings out the domesticity in all of us. This is ever present in the magickal enchantment of Samhain.

Samhain Protection Salt is a ritual that provides strong protection all year long. Utilizing shielding herbs and the energy of your ancestors, this salt is a potent safeguard against negativity of all kinds. Sprinkle some in a sachet to banish nightmares. Use some around the exterior of your home to ward away those with ill intent. Add a sprinkle to a good-luck bauble to dispel unwanted vibrations. This herbal-infused salt literally has endless uses in your Craft to encourage protection, safety, and to disrupt negativity.

What You’ll Need:
Pen and paper
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons dried rosemary (or several springs)
2 Tablespoons dried sage leaves (or several springs)
1 Tablespoon dried dill
Clean dry jar for storage

How to Conjure:
★ In bold letters on a small slip of paper, simply write:


★ Roll up the slip of paper and place it at the bottom of a cauldron or burning receptacle. Place the dried herbs on top. 

★ Standing in front of your cauldron with your palms facing the herbs, envision your ancestors standing beside you. Feel their energy, their love and blessings. Allow the peace of their presence to settle over you before lighting the herbs. When you are ready, ignite the paper and let the herbs burn to complete ash. You may need to reignite if the fire burns out. That’s okay! Be patient and enjoy the ritual.

★ Once your herbs are fully burned, grind them into powder by using a spoon, or pestle and mortar if you have one. It doesn’t need to be a perfect dust, just as fine as you can get it. No need to stress.

★ In a bowl, combine the salts and ash. Mix thoroughly. 

★ Take the bowl in your hands and say the following, all the while envisioning your ancestors standing beside you:

For protection, for safety, to banish negativity;
With my ancestors’ spirits united beside me.
To encourage the positive and dispel the rest,
I consecrate these salts, this spell is now blessed.

★ Pour the salts into a clean jar and store in a cool, dry place. If your salts clump, don’t fret! Simply stir before using.

Note: This salt is NOT suitable for ingestion! This salt is for spell use only!
Due to the ash, these salts can stain fabric, so please exercise caution.

See, I told you it'd be simple yet meaningful. I may go haywire on fictional boyfriends, but I'm a straight shooter when it comes to magick!

I hope you enjoyed this free spell from Samhain Traditions! If you're looking for more spells and rituals to help you celebrate Samhain year after year, grab yourself a copy today—available in e-book AND paperback! 

Get your copy today!
Amazon (US) -Ebook & paperback
Amazon (UK) -Ebook & paperback
Amazon (CA) -Ebook & paperback

Happy Samhain season, everyone!

What's your favorite Samhain tradition?

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!

It's Here! Samhain Traditions is Now on Sale!!!

A few weeks ago I promised you I wouldn't start talking about Samhain in August...but I didn't say anything about late September!

I'm a peacock witch, you gotta let me fly!

I am SO flipping excited to share with you my newest book, Samhain Traditions: 13 Simple & Affordable Halloween Spells & Rituals for the Witches’ New Year

Not going to lie, it was a touch intimidating writing a book for THE Sabbat of the Pagan year. But it was also a lot of fun to blend the macabre merriment of Halloween with the somber, deeply spiritual aspects of Samhain. So whether you're looking to party hard or have a quiet ritual, there is something for everyone in Samhain Traditions!

Hell, why don't I just show you? ;)

Mind's Eye Divination Tea 
(The hippie chick icon is NOT on photos in the book. Icon for web security only.)

Spells Include:

New Year Blessings Light Catcher
Aura-Cleansing Spirit Spray
Candle in the Window Ritual
Lost Souls Lighted Garland
Samhain Seed Spell*
Samhain Blessing Log
Spiced Hot Chocolate Money Spell
Sacred Souls Altar
Paper Pumpkins*
Tumbled Tarot Stones
Mind's Eye Divination Tea & 4 Elements Spread
Light of Their Soul Pumpkin
Samhain Protection Salt
BONUS: Samhain Sunset Ritual

*These spells offer three variations to suit your casting needs!

All spells can be completed in less than an hour, most in under 20 minutes! And if Samhain tends to be a hectic night for you, don't fret! I've got you covered with a BONUS 14th spell! The Samhain Sunset Ritual is a beautiful way to honor your ancestors in just five minutes. After all, just because you're spiritual doesn't mean you're not busy. 

*Channels inner info-mercial voice* But wait! There's more! ;)

Paper Pumpkins
(The hippie chick icon is NOT on photos in the book. Icon for web security only.)

Samhain Traditions also includes:

-Autumnal-scented essential oil blends to imbue your home with magickal aromas! 

-A simple guide to understanding Samhain

-A letter to readers

-Simple ways to honor your transcended loved ones

-A guide to finding your own personal brand of magick

-Notes on successful casting

-What to do with offerings once a sacrifice is complete

-Autumn-themed herbal substitution guide in case you don't have a prescribed herb on hand

-Color Me Magickal color guide

If you're looking to create meaningful Samhain traditions to enjoy year after year, or you're seeking a fun spell that inspires the spooky whimsy of Halloween, treat yourself to a copy of Samhain Traditions available in e-book AND paperback!

Oh, that's right! I learned my lesson with By the Light of the Moon.  No more waiting for paperbacks, my tangible-loving friends! ;)

Samhain Protection Salt
(The hippie chick icon is NOT on photos in the book. Icon for web security only.)

Before you fly off to get your Samhain on, I'd just like to take a moment to thank you for your readership. Every purchase helps keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied with FREE content for you wonderful folks. Thank you so very much for allowing me into your lives and granting me the opportunity to write about spirituality and magick. I can't tell you how much I deeply appreciate your support!

Now grab your cauldrons and get to casting! ♥ 🎃

Get your copy today!
Amazon (US) -Ebook & paperback
Amazon (UK) -Ebook & paperback
Amazon (CA) -Ebook & paperback

What's your favorite thing about Samhain? 

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!