Sunday, 10 September 2017

Imbolc Activities, Crafts, Decor(ations)



read celtic myths about Brigid

colour pictures of springtime

feed the snow birds

play in the snow and enjoy the last of winter

bless your animals

start some seeds indoors


Imbolc is celebrated with symbolic new beginnings and sweeping out of the old. Many like to have self-dedication rituals and reinitiations at this time. Traditional activities are making candles, lighting a candle in a window and burning it until morning, using candles in magic and divination, doing a "spring cleaning" of the house, blessing seeds that are hoped to produce good plants for food and other things, re-stocking the magickal cabinet, and going out looking for signs of spring, collecting pebbles and other natural trinkets. Some people like to put a wheel symbol on their altar at this time of the year.

During this time of growth and renewal, some rituals or activities you may want to take part in include nature walks to view the first buds of spring, even if snow is beneath your feet. Lighting a bonfire or candle to symbolize the fire aspect of Brigid is another way to celebrate. Yellow, orange and red are all luminous colors that should surround you at this time, either in your home, clothing, or general surroundings. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or any other seed that tickles your taste buds are the perfect snack for Imbolc. Dairy products are an obvious food for this Sabbat, either in a glass of milk to accompany your Poppy seed cake or muffin, or for those with less of a sweet tooth, in cheeses.

If you used real pine for the Yule wreath, burn them to send winter on its way.
On Imbolg eve, leave buttered bread indoors somewhere for the fairies who traveled with the Lady of the Greenwood. Next day place it outside.
Place 3 ears of corn on the door (like the corn in the Fall) to represent the triple Goddess. Leave until Ostara.
Cleanse the altar and all its equipment.
Make dream pillows


Cook some Pudding

A really easy dish to cook up with children, though, is pudding. If your child is very young, you can even use the instant no-cook puddings available in the supermarket. Just have your child whisk in the milk.

To make an extra light pudding treat, decrease the milk by half. When the pudding sets, fold in whippped cream. You can spoon it into fancy glasses with layers of jam or macerated fruit, or you can slice fruit into a graham cracker crust and top it with the pudding filling for a pie.

I personally like a lemon pudding with raspberries, or a white chocolate pudding with strawberries. Slice bananas into a pie crust and top it with vanilla pudding for a delicious banana cream pie (drizzle some melted chocolate on top of it). Pistachio pudding also goes lovely in a cup with diced bananas. There are so many different flavors, you can come up with great combinations that can become part of your traditional holiday meal.

If you're going to a ritual with a potluck, pudding pies are always a hit.


Decorate Candles

Decorating candles is always an appropriate activity for a Pagan holiday, but it is especially meaningful on Imbolc, also known as the 'Feast of Waxing Light'. It's the time of the year when the light that has been growing since Yule is becoming noticeably longer each day. One way some Pagans celebrate that is to light all the lights and candles they can to really brighten the house-- even if only for a few minutes. If you have Pagan friends or family, you might even wish to decorate and bless that candles at your own altar, then give them away as little Imbolc gifts.

Either way, a beautiful, seasonally decorated candle on your altar is a lovely sight on the eve of the Sabbat.

Glass pillar candles are safe and easy to decorate. Have children use glitter glue or paint pens on the outside of the glass to draw sun or fire signs, blessing symbols or whatever decorations they prefer.

Another way to decorate a glass pillar candle is to cut and glue colorful wrapping tissue paper with Elmer's glue to the outside of the glass.

You can paint directly on candle wax with acrylic craft paints or glitter glue, or you can use a butter knife or old pen that's out of ink to scratch symbols directly into the wax.

Finally, another option is to brush a candle (not in glass- directly on the wax) with glue and roll it in dried herbs and spices. Not only do these look very rustic and grungy, but they smell so good when you burn them.

Just remember-- supervise children when decorating and when burning candles!


Make Ice Candles

Use ice and wax to make ice candles for Imbolc.

Ice candles are a lot of fun and easy to make during the winter months. Since February is traditionally a snow-filled time, at least in the northern hemisphere, why not make some ice candles to celebrate Imbolc, which is a day of candles and light?

You'll need the following:

·      Ice

·      Paraffin wax

·      Color and scent (optional)

·      A taper candle

·      A cardboard container, like a milk carton

·      A double boiler, or two pans

Melt the paraffin wax in the double boiler.

Make sure that the wax is never placed directly over the heat, or you could end up with a fire. While the wax is melting, you can prepare your candle mold. If you want to add color or scent to your candle, this is the time to add it to the melted wax.

Place the taper candle into the center of the cardboard carton. Fill the carton with ice, packing them loosely in around the taper candle. Use small chunks of ice—if they're too large, your candle will be nothing but big holes.

Once the wax has melted completely, pour it into the container carefully, making sure that it goes around the ice evenly. As the hot wax pours in, it will melt the ice, leaving small holes in the candle. Allow the candle to cool, and then poke a hole in the bottom of the cardboard carton so the melted water can drain out (it's a good idea to do this over a sink). Let the candle sit overnight so the wax can harden completely, and in the morning, peel back all of the cardboard container. You'll have a complete ice candle, which you can use in ritual or for decoration.


Make Soap

This sabbat is traditionally associated with cleansing and purification. What could be more in line with cleansing and purification than soap?

Home-made soap is easier to make than you think. You don't have to make soap from scratch. You can grate a bar of pure soap (like Ivory, or Castile soap) in a glass bowl in the microwave. Just put it in at 30 second intervals. After each interval, stir. You'll know it's done when it's melted and chunk-free-- but don't over-heat it.

Stir in your own additives to the soap. You can even bless and charge the additives if you wish, first, to give them an extra boost.

If you want to make the soap exfoliating, add some oatmeal or ground almonds. If you have shea butter or cocoa butter, add a spoonful for moisturizer. Add ground herbs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary, rose hips or raspberry leaves. If you wish, you can scent it and lend it additional energies with a few drops of essential oils.

Once you're finished, pour the soap into molds. You can use store-bought plastic molds, but I really like to recycle my old tuna cans. I spread petroleum jelly in the can to prevent sticking, and pour the soap into it. The finished product comes out nice and round.

It can take a couple of days for the soap to fully harden, and it may take a few more days to fully cure the soap depending on how thick you make it. But it's a wonderful treat to wake up to Imbolc morning and purify yourself with your own Imbolc soap-- and that soap will remind you of the holiday and its blessing for as long as you use it. And, once again, if you're looking for Imbolc gifts for loved ones, this is a great option.

I like this a lot better than using store-bought soaps, because it's made to be melted and repoured it's much smoother. I also like it better than the glycerine-based melt-and-pour soap bases; much more natural and creamy feeling.


Make Your Own Fire Starters


Brighid is a goddess of fire, but let's face it—sometimes getting a fire lit on a chilly, windy winter evening can be tricky. Put together a batch of simple fire starters to keep on hand, and you'll be able to get a blaze going at any time!

·      A cardboard egg carton

·      Drier lint

·      Paraffin wax

Heat the paraffin wax in a double boiler. While it is melting, roll the drier lint into balls and stuff it into the cups of the cardboard egg carton. Squash it down so that you still have cardboard above the top of the lint ball. Pour the melted paraffin wax over the top of the lint-filled cardboard pockets. Allow to cool and harden. Cut the egg carton into separate cups, giving you twelve fire starters. When it's time to start your fire, simply light one corner of a cardboard cup. The paraffin and lint will catch fire, and burn long enough to get your kindling going.

For another popular method - one that will seem familiar if you've had a kid involved in scouting - use a flat, short can, like a tuna can.

Take a long strip of cardboard about an inch wide, and roll it into a spiral and then place it inside the can. Pour melted paraffin over it, and once it cools and hardens, you've got an easy-to-transport fire starter that you can take with you anywhere.


Bless the Hearth

Imbolc is a fire festival, and the hearth has long been the focus of the season. If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, you may wish to make a small altar on the mantle or above the fireplace dedicated to your hearth Goddess or household guardian spirits that oversee domestic issues. If you don't have a fireplace, consider your stove a modern form of a hearth. It saves the same purpose.

Make a mixture of olive oil and other essential oils and use it to bless and consecrate the hearth. Dip your fingers into it and draw symbols of blessing on the hearth stone or oven.

You may also wish to make a charm or talisman to bring blessings to your home and hang it above the stove, or place it on your mantle. It doesn't have to be large, and it doesn't even have to be conspicuous if you're trying to protect your beliefs from nosy neighbors or judgmental family members. A refrigerator magnet with a Sun image-- the ultimate fire symbol-- would serve the purpose, and no one would be the wiser as to the Pagan meaning behind it.

Traditionally this time of year was to honor the Celtic Goddess Brighid, a Goddess of fire and poetry. If you have a St. Brighid's cross, you might bless it and hang it over the heart. It's a good time to honor any hearth Goddess, though, such as Hestia or Vesta.If you have or want to make a small plaque in their honor to hang above the stove or place on a nearby shelf, do so. An easy way to do this is to buy chip wood figures at the craft store and paint them.


a popular tradition in modern Paganism is to light a candle at the hearth (this can just be the kitchen!) and carry it all throughout the home, blessing the space as you go. This can be done with incense or an LED candle as well if your children aren’t quite big enough to be carrying a lit candle about. Welcome in the Goddess Brighid or whatever hearth or family deity you honor to give your family strength and protection in the coming year.


Smudge your home
If Imbolc is a time of renewal and cleansing, then now is the time to smoke out any funky energy left over from the holidays. That fight Uncle Earl started over the last piece of pumpkin pie? Your drunk sister deciding New Year's Eve was the time for a vodka-fueled emotional breakdown? That can all be washed away with a little sage and some fire.

Burn your Yule tree
Every year my husband and I save our Yule tree and burn it on Imbolc. Being in the desert, that bad boy dries out quickly and burns FAST. So PLEASE make sure to exercise caution! Keep a water hose nearby, and burn your tree in small batches. Because trust me, you'll understand why firefighters warn people about dry trees once you see O Tannenbaum turn to ash in 30 seconds flat.

Having a camp or bonfire is quite traditional for Imbolc, but using your Yule tree feels extra special. It symbolizes the ever-turning Wheel of Life, and also uses what you have. Why push your poor evergreen to the curb if you can use him a few weeks later?

Yes, him. You didn't know evergreens are predominately male? Don't Google that fact. Just trust me....Evergreens are boys. Cats are girls. Dogs are also boys. And all ships are female. It's just what is. Ask any six-year-old.

Make snow spells
For you snow-bound folks, don't feel left out quite yet! If it's too cold or snowy to have a fire outside, use all that powder to your advantage! Write words or symbols in the snow for your desires in the coming year, and know that as they melt away their energies are drifting off into the Universe, helping to manifest your desires.

Just don't use yellow snow. Though that just may be an excellent option if you're looking to banish something. ;)

Burn your worries
I talk about burning your anxiety here. Being a time of release, use Imbolc to LET THAT SHIT GO. If you can't control it (which generally you can't, hence the anxiety), burn that bitch! Release your worries to the Universe. Ground yourself. Take a deep breath. Wipe the tears from your cheeks. And trust that it will work out. Things usually have a way of doing just that. You made it this far in life, my friend. You're doing well. Don't let anxiety ruin your day. I speak from experience. It does nothing except cost you time. And in the words of one of my favorite Hanson songs, "Time is a price you can't afford."

Have a Fiesta
Living in the Southwest, I've come to adore Mexican food. So flavorful. So spicy. So cheesy. If you're suffering from the winter blues and are looking for a pick-me-up, plan an Imbolc fiesta night! The spicy food will not only honor the sun, but will release endorphins in your body that will aid in lifting your spirits. Plus who doesn't love having a party? Even if it's just a small party with you and your significant other. Take the time to make it festive. Any excuse is a good excuse to celebrate.



Making a Brighid’s Cross – this ever-popular Imbolc craft is great for older kids and younger ones with parent help. It can be done with reeds, straw, or pipe cleaners; whatever you have on hand!

The Brighid's Cross

The cross has long been a symbol of Brighid, the Irish goddess who presides over hearth and home. In some legends, the girl who became St. Bridget wove the first of these crosses as she explained Christianity to her father, a Pictish chieftain. In other stories, the cross is not a cross at all, but a wheel of fire, which explains why it's a bit off-center in appearance. In parts of Ireland, Brighid is known as a goddess of the crossroads, and this symbol represents the place where two worlds meet, and the year is at a crossroads between light and dark.

In Ireland, homes traditionally had a hearth in the center of the house. This was where much of the household activity took place—cooking, washing, socializing—because it was a source of both light and warmth. A Brighid's Cross was hung over the hearth as a way of honoring Brighid at Imbolc. Most people today have multiple sources of heat and light, but because Brighid is a domestic sort of goddess, you may want to hang your Brighid's Cross over the stove in your kitchen. A Brighid's Cross hung over a hearth traditionally protected a home from disasters such as lightning, storms, or floods, as well as keeping family members safe from illness.

While these can be purchased in many Irish craft shops or at festivals, it's actually pretty easy to make your own. You can incorporate the creation of your Brighid's Cross into your Imbolc rituals, use it as a meditative exercise, or just put one together with your kids as a fun craft activity.

To make your Brighid's Cross, you'll need straw, reeds, or construction paper—if you're using plant material like straw or reeds, you'll want to soak it overnight so it's pliable when you go to make your Cross. Your end result will be about the length of one piece of your material—in other words, a bundle of 12" reeds will yield a Brighid's Cross just slightly longer than 12". For a super-easy, kid-friendly edition of this project, use pipe cleaners.

Once you've completed your cross, it's ready to hang up anywhere in your home, to welcome Brighid into your life.


Rowan and Red Thread – up until the last century, making charms of protection on Imbolc was a very important Scottish custom. If you don’t have a rowan tree handy, any wood associated with protection will do – oak is much easier for those of us in the midwest! We usually do a simple God’s eye style weaving of red and white yarn for both protection and purification around the sticks.


Decorating and Welcoming The Brideog – an old Gaelic tradition involves the decoration of a little white doll. If you’re feeling extra creative, this can be made from straw as well, but I usually sew up a white dress for one of my children’s dolls and we decorate it with fabric markers, beads, and found objects. After she’s well decorated, the children will parade her around the outside of the house, and then formally welcome her in. Though traditionally she is given a special bed by the fire, we let her sleep in our children’s room.


Brighid’s Wand – in the Carmina Gadelica, it is said that Brighid ushers in the spring with her white wand. Traditionally, one would be placed beside the Brighid doll as she slept. Take a walk around the neighborhood looking for fallen branches – birch and ash will be the whitest, but color isn’t as important as the wand itself. Peeling the bark will take some assistance for younger children, but they can decorate the wand all on their own!


How To Make a Priapic Wand

Use acorns and a branch to make a Priapic wand. Image by Chris Stein/Digital Vision/Getty Images

By Patti Wigington

Priapus was a god of fertility, and was always depicted with an erect phallus. In some traditions of Paganism and Wicca, a Priapic wand -- phallus-like in appearance -- is made, and used in ritual to bring forth the new growth of spring. You can easily make one out of a few outside supplies and some bells. This is a simple project for children as well, and they can go outside at Imbolc and shake the bells at the ground and the trees, calling for spring's return.

First, you'll need the following items:

·         A stick

·         An acorn

·         Craft glue (hot glue works fine as well)

·         Ribbons or yarn in brown, green, yellow, and gold

·         Small bells (get little jingle bells at your local craft store)

Strip the bark from the stick, and create a small notch on one end. Glue the acorn to the end of the stick.

When the glue is dry, wrap the stick in the ribbons or yarn beginning at the acorn -- leave extra ribbon at the end to hang down like streamers. Tie the bells on to the end of the streamers.

Use the wand by going outside around the time of Imbolc. Explain to children that the wand symbolizes the god of the forest, or whatever fertility god exists in your tradition. Show them how to shake the bells, pointing the wand at the ground and trees, in order to wake the sleeping plants within the earth. If you like, they can say an incantation as they do so, like:

Wake, wake, plants in the earth,
spring is a time of light and rebirth.
Hear, hear this magical sound,
and grow, grow, out of the ground.


How To Make a Brighid's Crown

By Patti Wigington

Brighid is the goddess who reminds us that spring is around the corner. She watches over hearth and home, and this craft project combines her position as firekeeper with that of fertility goddess. Make this crown as an altar decoration, or leave off the candles and hang it on your door for Imbolc.

You'll need the following supplies:

·         A circular wreath frame, either of straw or grapevine

·         Winter evergreens, such as pine, fir or holly

·         Spring flowers, such as forsythia, dandelions, crocus, snowbulbs

·         Red, silver and white ribbons

·         Optional: Candles at least 4" long -- tapers are perfect for this - or battery operated lights

·         A hot glue gun

Place the wreath form on a flat surface. Using the hot glue gun, attach the candles around the circle.

Next, attach a mixture of winter greenery and spring flowers to the wreath. Blend them together to represent the transition between winter and spring. Make it as thick and lush as you can, weaving in and around the candles.

Wrap the ribbons around the wreath, weaving between the candles. Leave some excess ribbons hanging off, if you plan to hang this on your door or a wall, and then braid it or tie in a bow. If you're using it on an altar, light the candles during rituals to honor Brighid.

Safety Tip: If you're going to wear this on your head, don't use candles - pick up a set of battery operated tea lights instead, or use a string of battery powered twinkle lights.


Make a Brighid Corn Doll

Make a corn husk doll to honor Brighid. Image by Doug Menuez/Stockbyte/Getty Images

In one of her many aspects, Brighid is known as the bride. She is a symbol of fertility and good fortune, and is seen as yet one more step in the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Traditionally, the Brighid doll is made of woven grain such as oats or wheat. This version, however, uses corn husks.

If you make a doll at Lughnasadh, you can re-use it in six months, dressing it up in spring colors for Imbolc. This way, the Harvest Mother becomes the Spring Bride. Some traditions, however, prefer not to re-use their harvest doll, and instead choose to start fresh and new in the spring. Either way is fine.

To make this simple doll, you'll need some corn husks—and clearly, in January or February, you probably won't be able to find a lot of those growing outside. Check your grocery store's produce section to get husks. If you're using dried-out husks, soak them for a couple of hours to soften them up (fresh husks need no special preparation). You'll also need some yarn or ribbon, and a few cotton balls.

Take a strip of the husk, and fold it in half. Place two or three cotton balls in the middle, and then twist the husk, tying it with string to make a head. Leave a bit of husk in the front and back, below the head, to create a torso. Make a pair of arms for your doll by folding a couple of husks in half, and then tying it at the ends to make hands. Slip the arms between the husks that form the torso, and tie off at the waist. If you like your dolls plump, slide an extra cotton ball or two in there to give your Brighid a bit of shape.

Arrange a few more husks, upside down, around the doll's waist. Overlap them slightly, and then tie them in place with yarn—it should look like she has her skirt up over her face. After you've tied the waist, carefully fold the husks down, so now her skirt comes downwards, towards where her feet would be. Trim the hem of the skirt so it's even, and let your doll completely dry.

Once your doll has dried, you can leave her plain or give her a face and some hair (use soft yarn). Some people go all out decorating their bride doll—you can add clothing, an apron, beadwork, whatever your imagination can create.

Place your Brighid in a place of honor in your home for Imbolc, near your hearth or in the kitchen if possible. By inviting her into your home, you are welcoming Brighid and all the fertility and abundance she may bring with her.


Brighid's Bed

Place Brighid in a place of honor near your hearth. Image by Catherine Bridgman/Moment Open/Getty Images

One of the things many people find most appealing about modern Paganism is that the deities are not distant entities who never interact those who honor them. Instead, they drop in on us regularly, and Brighid is no exception. To show hospitality to her on Imbolc, her day of honor, you can make a bed for Brighid to lie in. Place it in a position of comfort, as you would for any visitor. Near your hearthfire is a good spot—if you don't have a fire burning, in the kitchen near the stove is equally welcoming.

The Brighid's bed is simple to make—you'll need a small box or basket. If you want to keep things basic, just line it with a towel or a folded blanket (receiving blankets are perfect for this). If you want to put a little more effort in, stitch up a "mattress" by sewing two rectangles of fabric together, and stuffing them with down or fiberfill. Place this in the basket, and make a pillow in the same manner. Finally, place a warm blanket over the top, and put the bed near your hearth fire.

If you've made a Brighid doll, even better! Place her in the bed before you go to sleep at night. If you don't have a Brighid doll and don't wish to make one, you can use a broom or besom to represent Brighid instead. After all, the broom is an old symbol of female power and the fertility that Brighid represents.

If you want to bring fertility and abundance into your home this year, make sure Brighid doesn't get lonely in her bed. Place a Priapic wand in there with her to represent the god of your tradition. Remember, fertility doesn't just mean sexuality. It also applies for financial gain and other abundance.

Once Brighid is in her bed, you can gather around the hearth fire with your family, and welcome your guest with the traditional greeting, spoken three times:

Brighid is come, Brighid is welcome!

Leave candles burning beside Brighid throughout the night - place them in a dish of sand or dirt for safety considerations. If you need inspiration in a matter, or wish to work some divinatory magic, stay up throughout the night and meditate, asking Brighid for guidance.

If you're trying to conceive a child, place the wand across Brighid in an X shape. This forms the rune "gifu," which means "gift." Another option is to place nuts and seeds in the Brighid's bed as well.


Brew a Batch of Imbolc Oil

Blend a batch of Imbolc oil for your late winter rituals and ceremonies.

This oil blend combines Ginger, Clove, and Rosemary, representing the elements of fire, with Cypress, associated with the astrological sign of Aquarius. To make Imbolc Oil, use 1/8 Cup base oil of your choice. Add the following:

·      3 drops Ginger

·      2 drops Clove

·      1 drop Rosemary (you can, alternatively, use a sprig of fresh rosemary instead)

·      1 drop Cypress

As you blend the oils, visualize what the Imbolc season means to you, and take in the aroma of the oils. Know that this oil is sacred and magical. Label, date, and store in a cool, dark place.


Make an Imbolc Wand

Imbolc comes at a time that often seems the coldest and wettest of the year. Yet deep in the ground, Mother Earth is stirring in her sleep and preparing to wake. The plants in your garden may look dead but many of them too are merely sleeping. You may want to help them wake up and here’s a way that you can do this:

Take a straight, slender stick from the yard and break it so that it is about the length from the tip of your middle finger to your elbow. Paint the stick with white glue and roll it in glitter. Let that dry. Then dip the end in glue so about ½ an inch of the tip is covered.

Did you save any tinsel out from Yule? I hope so - because now you will want to glue the ends of the tinsel to the tip of the stick so that the shiny strands are dangling off the end. When that dries, dab some more glue (yes, More!) onto the tip and tie thin green and gold ribbons there so that their ends hang down about the same length as the tinsel. (The ribbons will help hold the tinsel on and the extra glue will help keep the ribbons from slipping off.)

Then tie little jingle bells to the ends of the ribbon. If you want, you can paint more ribbon with glue and wind it in a spiral up the length of your stick.

You now have a Magic Wand to wake up your garden with! Go around the yard and gently shake your wand at any plants that need to waken. The jingling of the bells and reflecting light off of the tinsel will perk up even the sleepiest flowers – and if you can make a little song to sing to the plants at the same time, that will be even better! After that, be patient and watchful. In a few weeks, you will start seeing the first green buds of Spring.


Candlemas Candle Wheel

Samhain She can hold a broom and wear a black veil. Her husband is dead, but she is pregnant with her next future husband.


  Craft wreath

  8 white candles

  Ivy leaves or vines

  Glue gun


Either drill thick holes into the wreath so that candles can be placed inside, or just secure them with screw-bottom candleholders or glue gun glue. Place the ivy leaves around in a decorative fashion.

Ritual Use:

The eight candles are symbolic of the eight spokes of the year, and spinning the circle into motion at Imbolc is important. In ritual, the eight candles can be solemnly lit with a cauldron or bowl placed in the middle of the candle will. The cauldron or bowl can have the Wish Tree in the middle of it, with water around it, and have new pennies thrown into it while cementing the wishes. Also the tree and candle will can be toasted.


Pentacle Candle Wheel (for the older kids)

Molding Clay, Pencil, Ruler, 13- 4" White Stick Candles (1/4" diameter), Paints (optional). This Pentacle Candle Wheel is the perfect accessory to any Imbolc altar. Use enough clay to roll out flat with a rolling pin and cut out a circle 18" in diameter and 1/2" thick. Roll excess clay into rope, 1/4" in diameter and long enough to boarder the wheel base. Wet the clay rope enough to stick to base. This will contain any wax that drips from the burning candles. Score the image of the pentacle into the wheel base with the pencil, using the ruler to make straight lines. The Pentacle's points should be approx. 1/2" away from the border. Take one of the white candles and press bottom slightly (approx. 1/4" ) into each Pentacle point, each cross point (inner angles of the Pentacle) and three depressions in a pyramid shape in the top Pentacle triangle ray. Now allow the clay to dry and harden. The Pentacle Candle Wheel can be painted if desired after dried. Place candles in each of the depressions and place in the center of the Imbolc altar. Remember that the Candle Wheel is the symbol of the light that ensues from the union of the Bride and her consort, the Lord of the Forest.


Make homemade butter. Pour heavy cream and a sprinkling of salt into clean babyfood jars. Put the lid on tight. Shake and shake and shake. Keep skaking. It will become butter.


Bride's Bouquet Sachets

Imbolic Potpourri, 1 Yard White Netting Material, Yellow and Pink 1/8" width Ribbon, Scissors. These sachets can be put in the children's clothing drawers or in rooms of the house that you'd like to smell of Imbolc even after the Sabbat is over. Potpourri is made with 1/2 cup dried basil, 1/2 cup dried chopped bay leaves, 1 cup dried Heather flowers, 1 cup dried Violets, 1 cup dried white or pink rose buds. Blend together in non-metal bowl. Cut netting material into 4"x4" squares. Lay out squares on a flat surface. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of potpourri in the middle of each square. Pull up all the corners to the middle of the potpourri and gather the excess material until potpourri is caught in a "bag". Give bag on twist to the right and tie off with yellow or pink ribbon. Use enough ribbon to make a small bow in the front of the sachet. Tell children how these sachets were exchanged as symbols of good luck and fertility.


Make a toilet paper roll candle. Have your child paint or cover a toilet paper roll in construction paper. Have them cut a large flame from orange, then a smaller one from yellow, and and even smaller one from red. Layer them, and glue together. Staple, tape or glue the "flame" to the toilet paper roll.

Have a Spring Cleaning party with your child. Give them child size brooms, mops, and dustpans. Children love to dust too. Have them go through their clothes and toys to help you decide what they've outgrown and can donate to charity.

Give your child seed catalogs and women's magazines when you're done reading them. Have them search for flowers and signs of Spring. They can cut out the pictures and glue them in a Spring collage.

Let your child draw an outline of a lamb on paper. Give them cotton balls and let them glue them all over the lamb.

There are many candle making kits for sale at craft stores. Keep in mind the age of your child, and select an appropriate kit to make candles. I love the beeswax candles.

Plant seeds with your child. Seed starter mixture is the best to use. Peat pots can be plated directly into the ground.

Have everyone in the family make a prediction about whether the ground hog will see his shadow or not.

For much older children, the book "Spell Crafts, Creating Magical Objects" by Scott Cunningham and David Harrington, has detailed instructions for making parrafin candles on page 89. They call them "Tapers of Power."

Make jeweled candle holders. First make the clay: Put 2 cups of salt and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan. Heat and stir for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup water. Mix thoroughly. Het more if it needs to be thickened. This recipe takes a strong stirring arm. Let cool a bit, then store in airtight container until you're ready to use. Second: shape into a candle holder. Put the candle in to make the hole, then take out to dry. I found "jewels" in the local discount store's crafts section. Put those on the candle holder. Let dry. You may have to glue the jewels back on after the clay is dry. This can also be painted and covered in shellac if you wish.

Little Lamb Song
(sung to the tune of London Bridges)
Little lambs go
baa, baa, baa
baa, baa, baa,
baa, baa, baa.
Little lambs go
baa, baa, baa,
In the Springtime.

Candlemas Song
(to the tune of "Have you ever seen a Lassie,")
Red Candles,
Pink Candles,
Brown candles too.
Will you light the candles?
Please, please do.
Red candles,
Pink Candles,
Brown candles too.
All shine at Candlemas
For me and for you.

Yule Activities, Crafts, Decor(ations)


·         Tree of the traditional seasonal type

·         Decorative materials: Popcorn strings, tinsel, wooden stars, ornaments of any sort, fake snowflakes . . . use your imagination!


Simply decorate the tree however you desire. One fun activity is using popcorn strings, which can be created by stringing them together with a needle and thread. (Make sure you get unsalted, unbuttered popcorn!) Little brooms, apples, or stars, and any other symbols of Yule you like, can be placed at strategic intervals all over the greenery.

Ritual use:

Candles or lights can be added to the tree and solemnly lit at a family or solitary ceremony. Gifts can be stored under the tree and joyously given on Yule.


Altar-Sized Yule Log

  Small altar-sized log

  3 candles (1 white, 1 red, 1 black)

  Bits of artificial holly to decorate with

  Red and green ribbon to be tied in a decorative bow

  Glue gun



The candles can be short squat ones or longer ones if your willing to drill holes in the

log and insert them.

Just gluing them is fine. The white candle represents the innocent phase of life: it

goes first. The red represents the childbearing phase: it goes in the middle. The black

candle represents maturity and wisdom; it goes last. Arrange the holly around them

show that drill holes or glue gun marks do not show. Tie a bow with the ribbon and

stick on the front.

Ritual Use:

Burn the candles during ritual or any times the Yule darkness threatens to over




Shaving Cream Snow Painting

The materials required for this activity are foam shaving cream, white glue, construction paper, paint brushes, small bowls and food coloring (optional). Mix even amounts of glue and shaving cream (if you want colour, mix a couple drops of coloring into the glue first). Place each color of snow into individual bowls. Allow children to paint a picture on construction paper. Let the painting dry. When dry the picture will be puffy just like real snow.


Homemade Snow Globes

Materials that are needed are: baby food jars with lids, glue gun, small ornaments or trinkets that will fit in the jar, water, glitter and ribbon, if wanted. On the jar lid glue the trinkets onto it. Allow it to dry. While drying fill the jar with water and add glitter into the snow globe. Place lid on jar, and glue around the outside of the lid to seal it. If you want, tie the ribbon around the outside of the jar.


Beaded Snowflakes

These beautiful snowflakes can be used to decorate the home. Materials needed are pipe cleaners, beads (make sure the opening is wide enough to thread a pipe cleaner through) and narrow ribbon. Use three six inch long pipe cleaners. Twist the pipe cleaners together to create six arms of the snowflake. Bead the pipe cleaners with the beads however you would like. Finish by wrapping pipe cleaner under last bead and through the next to last bead to keep beads from falling off. Tie ribbon through one arm for hanging the snowflake.


Make paper snowflakes. Have the children fold up white sheets of paper. Then have them cut small pieces out all along the edges. Unfold . hang up in windows.

Make snow pictures using cotton balls, glue, glitter, and crayons. Children can color any scene they want, then glue down cotton balls to make the snow. They can glue glitter onto the cotton balls to make the snow sparkle.

Have your child draw a snowman on a heavy piece of paper. Have them paint glue on the snowman. Then they can sprinkle coconut over the glue. Shake off excess coconut.

Make tissue paper wreaths. Take a paper plate and cut out the middle. Give your child small squares of green tissue paper. Then have them ball up the tissue paper and glue it onto the plate. Then they can decorate it with other colors of tissue paper and a big bow.

Make Ivory Soap Flakes pictures. Mix 1 cup of Ivory Snow Powder (in the laundry section,) with 1/2 cup warm water. Have the child use a craft stick to "paint" it on paper to look like snow.

Make a reindeer hat. First make a construction paper band to fit around the child's head. Staple it together. Then trace the childs hands on brown construction paper. Cut out the hands, and staple to the head band as antlers.

Make paper plate suns. Have the children paint a paper plate yellow. Have them tape strips of yellow streamers all around the edges on the back. You can have a parade around the house or yard carrying the suns.

Have the children make a wreath. Trace around their hands on green construction paper. Cut several of these hands out. Glue together in a circle. add a red bow.

Make apple candle holders. Core apples. Carve whatever symbols or designs you want. Dip in lemon juice. Put in candle. These will only last a day. You may also add some cloves if you wish.



Red and green (God and Goddess respectively) are the colors of Yule, as are gold and silver (God/Goddess). Hot foods representing the return of the sun are very much appropriate, like ginger (gingerbread), cinnamon, cloves, and—out here in the Southwest—hot peppers! Of course pine, cedar, and evergreens are an important incorporation of the Sabbat, representing the eternal soul.


For prosperity in the coming year, burn Ash Wood.


Watch the sunrise

It was amazing and magickal. Watching the sun breech the horizon is truly like watching a birth. It's innate and raw and deeply spiritual. Wherever you choose to watch the sunrise, you won't be disappointed!


Light a Yule candle

Nothing says Yule like a Yule log. Traditionally, carving wishes and spells into a Yule log and then burning it is a meaningful and simple way to cast and celebrate Yule.

Carve in your wishes for the New Year and light that bad boy up! If you're super in-tuned with fire, you may even try your hand at divination!


Bake gingerbread

We all know gingerbread men are a huge part of Christmas. And without getting into a big debate, that tradition stems from Yule. The reason they're gingerbread men is because they are representing the God.


So whether you bake some men or get creative and make gingerbread suns, anything incorporating ginger and cinnamon is most definitely a Yuletide-appropriate treat! Make your home smell amazing, make your belly happy, and treat yourself to some holiday music while you bake!


Listen to the silence

Winter is a pretty quiet time in nature. Most animals have migrated or are hibernating. Even people seem to stay inside after dark. One of the ways I love to relish the winter solitude is to simply go outside and listen to the silence, especially at night. There's a magickal quality to the quiet, a certain hum of energy that can't be felt any other time of year. Maybe it's the impending renewal. Maybe it's the promise of possibility. Whatever it is, it's tranquil and serene.

Bundle up, bring some tea, and sit outside for a few minutes in the silence. Star gaze. Watch the snow fall. Take the cool night air deep into your lungs. Enjoy the quiet whisper of the wind cutting through the trees. Breathe in the season. Winter, after all, is a magickal one!


Many people have a Yule tree, a Yule log, or both. The Yule Tree is often lit up with candles on Yule, and the log is decorated and later burned. It is customary to exchange Yule gifts and to make wreaths, and to hang mistletoe over doorways. The altar and other areas of the house can be decorated with holly, mistletoe, evergreen, pine cones, ivy, berries, and ribbons. Also, holly and mistletoe represent different things: Holly is representative of the "holly king," the king of the waning or old year, and the mistletoe is representative of the "oak king," the king of the waxing or new year.


Make a Yule Log

Since the celebrating and parties would last for as long as the log burned, people would choose the biggest log they could find. Sometimes the log would be so large that it required a team of horses to drag it home! Then the families would decorate it, pour wine over it and sing songs around it. The Yule log represents Good Luck in the coming year.

Decorating the log is so much fun and there are so many ways you can do it!

Tie pine and holly to it with a bright red ribbon. Glue on Pine Cones, berries and even dried flowers. Color and cut out little paper suns and glue them to ribbons that can dangle down. Sprinkle the whole log with glitter from a craft store. Each member of the family can even write little wishes for the coming year on bits of paper then roll the paper up like scrolls and tuck them under the ribbons.

If you don’t have a fireplace you can just "glue" a candle on the top of the log with a bit of melted wax!


For Yule Blessings
Hang a Yule wreath on the front door, yhang mistletoe indoors, make food and clothing donations, place bird seed outdoors for the birds that stay near your home ion the winter, ring bells on the Solctice morning to greet it, and perform magick for a peaceful planet.



Colors: Red and green are the classic colors of life in deep midwinter, as combined in holly berries and leaves. White and silver stand for snow, purity, and daylight. Deep blue is the color of midnight. Gold represents the sun and abundance.
Plants: Greenery is more apt for the season than flowers; evergreen boughs are ubiquitous. Holly and ivy are also used to make wreaths and garlands. Mistletoe is tied in small bunches to hang. Pinecones may be hung as ornaments or stacked in bowls. Most of these are masculine symbols. The poinsettia and Christmas cactus are more feminine; bright red ones can stand for the fire of the sun, while white ones represent the purity of the Goddess.
Incense: Frankincense and myrrh give an intense, spicy fragrance with a long tradition. Cinnamon, clove, and orange are popular fruity-spicy choices. Pine and bayberry are more resinous and woodsy. Consider the woodsy-musky oakmoss if you’re honoring the Oak King.
Music: The primary music of Yule is vocal, so collect some Yule carols for people to sing. Favorite holiday instruments include bells, flute, harp, lute, and piano or synthesizer keyboard. Play some seasonal music such as Firedance: Songs for Winter Solstice, Yule, and Beautiful Darkness: Celebrating the Winter Solstice.
Altar Tools: Candles, candle holders, and candle snuffers appear in most Yule rituals. You may also want a mirror or other shiny things, sun symbols, animals to honor the deities, divine icons, etc. Cakes and ale are often presented on elaborate dishware: a platter of gold or silver metal or glass, or ceramic made to resemble an evergreen tree or poinsettia flower; and a chalice of silver, gold, or crystal. (You can get these things on sale for a few dollars between Christmas and New Year.)
Yule Log: This comes in at least four types. The traditional Yule log is a giant hunk of wood left burning in a fireplace for a whole festival lasting several days. A modern variation is a small log sliced flat on the bottom and drilled for several candleholders on top. Then of course there is the Yule log cake.
Bells: A rope or strap of bells, either round sleigh bells or trumpet bells, is a traditional holiday decoration. Bells produce a cheerful sound that lifts the spirits and drives away malicious influences.
Snow: Decorate with artificial snowflakes, glitter, or other materials that mimic snow. If there is snow on the ground, you may wish to build snow gods and goddesses, or snow lanterns.
Lights: Holiday lights are a modern alternative to open flames. They come in all colors so you can choose them to match your theme. The new LED lights use much less energy and are very beautiful.


Decorating Yule Tree, Gifts in Memory of Deceased, Storytelling

Decorate a yule tree. For ornaments use natural items such as pine cones, acrons, string popcorn or berries, or suns and cresent moons.
String popcorn or cranberries for outdoor trees.
Decorate pine cones with glue and glitter as symbols of the fairies and put them on the Yule tree.
Hang little bells on the Yule tree to call good spirits.
Remove the caps from acrons, insert the middle of a long string, glue the cap back on, and, after it has dried, hang on the Yule tree.

Have the children make a paper chain loop to decorate the tree.


Dough Art Decorations

4 cups flour, 2 cups water, 1 cup salt, Cookie Cutters, Wire Ornament Hangers, Acrylic Paints.

Combine flour, salt, and water in a large bowl. Dough should kneed easily but not be sticky, if so, add more flour. On a flat surface, lay down some waxed paper. Take a handful of the dough and roll out with a rolling pin. Cut dough into shapes with the cookie cutters. Make a hole in top of "cookie" for wire hanger. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and put in oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until *slightly* brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly. Paint with acrylic paints. Allow to dry, place hanger in hole and adorn tree, packages, or hang in windows. (Allow children to make-up Yule stories to go along with each decoration they are making.)


Salt Dough Ornaments


Use salt dough and cookie cutters to make your own Yule ornaments.

Salt dough is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and you can create just about anything from it. Use it with cookie cutters to make your own Sabbat ornaments.

You'll need:

·      4 Cups flour

·      1 Cup salt

·      1 ½ Cups hot water

·      1 tsp vegetable oil

Combine the salt and flour, then add the water until the dough becomes elastic. Add the oil at this time and knead the dough (if it's too sticky, add more flour). Once it's a good consistency, make your decorations with cookie cutters. Bake ornaments at 200* until hard (about 20 - 30 minutes). Once they've cooled, paint them with designs and symbols, and seal with clear varnish.

If you're planning to hang them, poke a hole through the ornament BEFORE baking them. Then, after you've varnished them, run a ribbon or thread through the hole.


Scented Ornaments:
1 cup cinnamon,
3/4 cup applesauce,
1/4 cup white school glue
Mix ingredients together, roll out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out with cookie cutters. Punch a hole in the top of each oramnet with a drinking straw. Dry for at least 48 hours. Tie a string or a ribbon through the hole, and hang on the tree. Do not eat!


Cinnamon Stick Garland
Thread some dental floss or embroider floss, or quilting thread onto a needle. String cinnamon sticks through the long hole in the middle of the stick onto the thread. You can add whatever else you want in between the cinnamon sticks (cranberries, popcorn, etc.)


Yule Log
When Yule comes around, celebrate by creating a Yule log. Take a walk in the park or near your home if you live in a rural area. Look for the perfect log to burn in your fireplace. Remember to try and choose a log that has already fallen instead of cutting one from a living tree. Driftwood is also good to use. Collect items to decorate your log with. These can be:

holly leaves and/or berries
oak leaves
winter flowers
pine cones
pine needles
corn or corn husks
evergreen sprigs
gold string or bows
apple cider

Decorate the Yule log in the fireplace before starting the fire. Traditionally, the Yule log was supposed to burn for 12 days. Today, however, few people are able to have a fireplace or log to size. Save a piece of the log to use to light the next year's log.


Cinnamon Stick Bundles - Bundle a few short cinnamon sticks together using a bit of slender ribbon and tie a bow and a loop at the top. Then glue on little sprigs of holly, pine or dried flowers like rose buds, marigolds or baby’s breath, tucking the stems under the bow.


Bay Balls - Take some Bay leaves. Fresh is best but if all you have is dried, then soak them overnight in warm water to make them pliable (that means you can bend them more easily without breaking them). The next morning, pat them dry. Next, take a Styrofoam ball and use Tacky Glue to cover it with bay leaves. Start at the bottom of the ball and work your way toward the top so they overlap a bit. Some of the leaves you may have to hold in place while the glue dries so they don’t pop up. Cloves or rosebuds stuck through the leaves into the ball will help hold the leaves in place and look pretty besides. A very pretty effect is to “dust” your finished ball with a light spray of gold paint. Pin a pretty loop of ribbon or gold cording to the top to hang it by.


Pinecone Ornaments - If you have pine trees in your area, collect the fallen cones. If not, you can buy the cones in a craft store. Cover the very edges of the pinecone with glue and sprinkle glitter over the glue. It will look like the cones are tipped with frost – very pretty! You can also simply spray paint the cones gold or silver and then immediately sprinkle them all over with iridescent glitter.
Pinecones are light enough to just tuck into the tree’s branches or you can glue on a ribbon loop to hang it with or twist a loop of wire around the base.


Cinnamon Stick Pentagrams – (this project uses hot glue, so parents might wish to help younger children) Soak 5 cinnamon sticks (each about the same length) overnight in warm water. In the morning, pat them dry and form them into a pentagram. The soaking will make them pliable so that as you overlap them, they will bend more easily. Hot glue the ends together and then wrap the ends also with twine or raffia and tie it off. Use extra raffia to create a loop at the top for hanging.


Yule Sachets - Take about a 4 inch square of lace or fabric (if you’re going for a very “organic”, natural look for your tree, then burlap works well) In the center, put a tablespoon of Yule sachet mixture, bring the ends of the fabric up and tie ribbon or twine around the top making a little pouch with the herbal mixture inside. Tuck a sprig of holly, mistletoe or little birch pinecones into the ribbon. If you can find a rubber stamp at the craft store with a sun, star or moon on it, you can stamp the outside of the fabric with a picture before adding your herbs.


Yule Sachet Mixture - 2 parts fragrant pine leaves, 1 part rosemary, 1 part cinnamon, 1 part cloves, 1 part dried orange peel broken into little pieces. Add a bit of cinnamon oil; stir it up good and let it sit for a few days in a closed jar.


Pomanders - Tie a loop in a length of ribbon leaving the ends long enough to wrap around a small orange, lime or lemon. Wrap it around the fruit and then tie it at the bottom. If you want you can cut the ends off, let them dangle or even add a tassel.
Then, poke large cloves all over into the fruit. You can use a nail, wooden skewer or even an old crochet hook to get the holes started if you want. Completely cover the fruit with the cloves or create a pattern with some of the fruit showing through.


Gilded Acorns - Often, when you find acorns on the ground, their little caps have come off. If that’s the case, then collect both caps and bases. If not, then remove the caps yourself when you get home. Paint both halves with spray paint or craft paint using either gold or silver. Then cut a slender ribbon about 3 inches long and glue each end to the inside of the cap so that it forms a loop. Then glue the cap back on to the base of the acorn. When it’s done, you can paint the cap with watered down white glue and dust it with glitter.

Cinnamon Ornaments – Put about a cup of applesauce in a strainer and let it sit & drip for a few hours. Then combine1 cup cinnamon with one tablespoon each of cloves and nutmeg. Add 2 tablespoons of white glue and ¾ cup of drained applesauce.
For a more intense fragrance, you can add about ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and/or apple oil. Mix it all up with your hands until its a smooth ball, all mixed up. (be careful to wash your hands after handling the oils. You don’t want to accidentally get any in your mouth or eyes)
Roll it out about ¼ inch thick and either cut shapes out with cookie cutters or use the templates below. Use a straw to poke a hole in the top. Let them sit out to dry for a few days, turning them over once or twice a day so they don’t curl up. Then, poke a ribbon through the hole to hang them with.


Yule Spell Ornament


As Yule approaches, the opportunities for spellwork are seemingly endless. If you have a holiday tree this year, why not use ornaments as a way of directing your magical energies? Make a spell ornament to bring prosperity, love, health, or creativity into your life.

You'll need the following:

·      Clear plastic fillable ornament

·      Filler material associated with your purpose: herbs, small stones, colored paper or glitter, etc.

·      Colored ribbon

·      Fill the plastic halves of the ornament with items that are associated with your purpose. Try a couple of the following, or come up with your own combinations:

·      For a money spell, add shredded bits of play money, Bay leaf, basil, chamomile, clover, cinquefoil, tonka bean, Buckeye, pennyroyal; stones such as turquoise and amethyst; bits of green, silver or gold glitter.

·      For love magic, use Allspice, apple blossom, bleeding heart, catnip, lavender, periwinkle, peppermint, tulip, violet, daffodil; crystals such as rose quartz or emerald, coral; small heart-shaped cutouts, bits of pink or red glitter.

·      For workings related to creativity and inspiration, add feathers, sage, tobacco leaf, hazelwood or birch, symbols of artistry such as paintbrush tips, crayons, or colored thread. Add diamonds, quartz crystals, also consider colors like yellow and gold.

·      If you're doing healing magic, use Apple blossom, lavender, barley, comfrey, eucalyptus, fennel, chamomile, allspice, olive, rosemary, rue, sandalwood, wintergreen, peppermint.

As you're filling your ornament, focus on your intent. Think about what your purpose is in creating such a working. For some people, it helps to chant a small incantation while they work - if you're one of those folks, you might want to try something like this:

Magic shall come as I order today,
bringing prosperity blessings my way.
Magic to hang on a green Yule tree;
as I will, so it shall be.

Once you've filled your ornament, place the two halves together. Tie a colored ribbonaround the center to keep the halves from separating (you may need to add a dab of craft glue for stability) and then hang your ornament in a place where you can see it during the Yule season.

Gift-giving tip: Make a whole box of these with different purposes, and share them with your friends at the holidays!


Easy Pipecleaner Pentacle Ornaments

Use chenille stems in your favorite color to create one of these. They're easy, and your kids can do it once you show them how to bend the stems. You'll need three pipe cleaners, or chenille stems, for each pentacle.

Bend the first stem into a circle, and overlap the ends by about an inch, so you can twist them closed.

Take the second stem, and create three arms of the star inside the circle. Be sure to twist it around the circle as you make the points, because this will keep it from sliding apart.Take the last stem and create the final two arms of the star. Use the remaining length of stem (don't snip it off) to twist into a loop so you can hang your ornament.


Cinnamon Spell Ornaments


Will you be decorating a tree this year for your Yule celebrations? There are all kinds of things you can hang on it! Try making a batch of cinnamon spell ornaments as a fun and magical holiday project.

For starters, let’s be clear about one thing – these ornaments may be made with cinnamon, but they are NOT edible, so make sure you hang them out of reach of hungry pets or roaming bands of feral toddlers.

Let’s talk a little bit about cinnamon. It smells good, sure, and it tastes delicious… but what else is it good for? Cinnamon has been used in a variety of ways for thousands of years. The Romans burned it in funeral ceremonies, believing that the aroma was sacred and pleasing to the gods. Because it was hard to come by, during the Middle Ages, wealthy Europeans made sure to serve cinnamon at feasts so their guests would know that no expense had been spared. Now, fortunately for us, you can buy powdered cinnamon in bulk just about anywhere.

Here’s what you’ll need:

·      1 Cup cinnamon

·      ¾ Cup applesauce

·      1 Tbs. nutmeg

·      1 Tbs. ground cloves

·      1 Tbs. allspice

·      2 Tbs. plain white glue

This recipe makes about a dozen ornaments, depending on the size of your cutouts.

Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl. You can start out stirring them with a fork or spoon, but as the mixture gets thick and dough-like, just give in and use your hands to mush it all together. Squash it around until you can form a nice big sticky ball of dough – if it seems like it may be too dry, you can always add a little more applesauce, or a teaspoon of water.

As you’re blending the dough together with your hands, think about your intent. What is the purpose of the ornaments you’re about to craft? Are they for protection? To bring well-being and health? For financial prosperity and abundance? Think about the goal, and send those intentions through your hands into the dough as you mix it.

Sprinkle a clean surface – if you have a baker’s mat for rolling, use it – with cinnamon, and roll out the dough until it’s about ¼” thick, and use your favorite magical cookie cutters to cut out the dough. You can choose random holiday shapes, or drag out those old gingerbread man cookie cutters to make little people for your ornaments. Cut out house shapes for ornaments that focus on security and family stability. Use hearts for love, and so forth.

Make a hole in the top of each ornament – use a toothpick or skewer –so you can hang it up after it’s been baked.

Now, here’s where you get to make some additional magic. Remember how you focused your intent into the dough as you blended it? We’re also going to add magical symbols to it. On each ornament, use a toothpick or small paring knife to inscribe a symbol of your intent. You can use any kind of symbol at all that’s meaningful to you, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

·      Financial prosperity: dollar signs

·      Protection: an ankh, a horseshoe, a gate

·      Security and stability: pentacles, earth symbols

·      Passion and love: hearts, fire symbols

·      Wisdom and intuition: moons, yin-yangs

Once you’ve inscribed your ornaments with symbols, place them on a baking sheet in the oven. Leave them in there on a low temperature, around 200, for several hours – the goal is not to bake them so much as just dry them out completely. Once they’re dry, let them cool all the way down.

Finally, thin a little bit of white glue with some water, and brush a light layer over the top surface of each ornament, to give it a nice glaze. Once the glaze has dried completely, thread a string or ribbon through the hole, and hang it on your holiday tree – or give it as a gift to someone you care about!

Tip: Another option, rather than inscribing the ornaments with a symbol, is to use icing piped into place. Use your favorite decorative piping tip to create sigils on your ornament AFTER you’ve dried and cooled them. Once your icing has dried completely, apply the coating of thinned glue for a glaze.


Scented Pine Cone Ornaments

If you want to keep an earth-friendly theme to your Yule decorating, one way to do so is to use the elements found in nature as part of your decor. This is a project that you may have made before if you have a Girl Scout -- simple things such as seeds, acorns, feathers, and other found items are easy to make into ornaments and other decorations.

For this simple project, you'll need the following:

·      Pinecones, of any shape or size

·      Equal amounts ginger, nutmeg and allspice, blended

·      A 1:1 mixture of water and craft glue

·      Glitter

·      Ribbon

·      A small paintbrush

To prepare the pinecones, rinse them under running water and then spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake at 250 for about 20 minutes -- this will make them open up, and also get rid of any trace amounts of bacteria that might remain on them. Don't worry if there's sap on them - it will harden into a shiny glaze and look pretty. If you bought your pinecones from a craft store, they're probably open already, so you can skip the rinsing altogether.

Once the pinecones have cooled, use the small paintbrush to apply the glue to the cones (I'd recommend spreading out some newspaper ahead of time). You can either cover the entire cone, or just the outer tips of the petals for a more "frosted" look.

Add the spices and glitter to a zip-loc bag. Drop the pine cones in, and shake until coated with spices and glitter. Allow to dry thoroughly, and then tie a ribbon around the end so you can hang it up.

Add a few springs of greenery if you like. Use it on a holiday tree, or place them in a bowl to scent your room.