Summer Solstice | what is a modern witch to do?

Summer Soltice for a modern witch | Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog

I’m currently sitting in my quiet home. It’s June 20th, tonight is a Full Moon and it is also the Summer Solstice.

What does this all mean? It means that today is a special day for many reasons, but to witches, it’s an excitedly anticipated magical day charged with oodles of extra magic and energy. The Full Moon doesn’t often coincide with the Summer Solstice, the celebration that marks the longest day and welcomes to us the baking hot, sun drenched season that is known to us as Summer. Actually I read somewhere that this particular event hasn’t happened since 1986 and won’t happen again until 2062! { ok, I haven’t fact checked that, but if that’s true, how fabulous is that?! } Which kinda means the energy from both the long day of sun charging will be greeted by an equally powerful charge with the moon rays once evening falls.

It all sounds kinda special and like all witches should be out and about preforming any and all rituals they can on this particular day, doesn’t it?

But what if you don’t follow any set of rules, what if you don’t own crystals to charge or tarots to read? What if you have preexisting plans to huddle in a friends house and catch up on the last two episodes of Game of Thrones?

Summer Solstice for a modern witch | Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog Summer Solstice for a modern witch | Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog

It doesn’t make you any less of a witch to not have anything special planned for such a monumental day. Instead what I recommend if you just don’t have the time to get any of your witch shit together is do this: enjoy your day. Reflect on things you would like to accomplish in the coming months. Let the sun kiss your skin, even if for just a few minutes. Let yourself feel at peace while you soak in the suns rays and feel appreciative for the bounty the Earth gives. If you have the chance, write down a few intentions on a scrape of paper, tie it up with some ribbon or a wax seal, or hell, fold it up and give it a kiss; it doesn’t have to be fancy! Place it in a special spot or somewhere where your gaze may fall upon it somewhat regularly to remind you of your intentions and hopes. And tonight, if the sky is clear, take a step outside into the cool evening and take a gander at the Moon in all her glory. Breathe in and out and take in the evening smells.

If you have ritual pieces, feel free to charge them as you see fit, if you want to make moon water, place some fresh water in a chalice or jug and leave it out overnight for future uses. But don’t feel bad if you don’t think you’re being witchy enough. Witches do not have to subscribe to any set of rules, we worship by our emotions and what works for us. And sometimes that means squeezing in small moments of appreciation in between socializing, work and anything else that may be in our busy schedules.

Summer Solstice for a modern witch | Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blogSummer Solstice for a modern witch | Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog Summer Solstice for a modern witch | Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog

Today, I made sure I gave some extra snuggles to my aging cat, who I’m beginning to worry about. I made her, her comfort and companionship a priority. I’m enjoying some quiet in my home today and since I am fortunate to work from home, I’m able to put off a bit of work to just let myself be at peace. Soon, I’m going to turn some music on that moves my soul and I’ll take a beverage out into my back garden and enjoy the gentle breeze. Tonight, on my walk home from my friends, the Full Moon should be high up in the sky, I’ll walk home, arm in arm with my Love and gaze up at the Moon’s pale, silvery glory. I may even partake in some halfling leaf on that walk, or I may wait until I’m home and I can stand outside in my yard by myself to get high and think some deep, appreciative thoughts.

Happy Summer Solstice to you all! I will have you all in my heart and thoughts.

~Margot

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How to Make Eggshell Candles for Ostara / Spring Equinox / Easter

Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

Ostara is such a pretty word, but I find I struggle with using it. It’s a new term to me, something that I’m positive I’ve heard before, but never stuck. For me growing up, this time of year was heralded in my house simply as Spring Equinox and as much as I love the magic that surrounds the word Ostara, { I keep italicizing it because It’s pretty and makes it look more magical, it’s working right? right?! } I still find myself comfortable in thinking of this day, or Sabbath if you’re jiggy with it, as Equinox; either way, it is the time of year that officially marks an equilibrium between day light hours and night time darkness.

When I was younger, we would go out to a friend of my moms and we would walk around a medicine wheel and celebrate with a huge potluck of yummy food and bask in the sun. But as I grew up and went out into the world on my own, I found I never did much celebrating. I would always acknowledge the day, and I’d have a little pep in my step, but I never exactly shared why with anyone. But with the birth of this blog and a solid friendship formed with Michelle, I decided I would do something fun this year, I would do something magical to welcome Spring to the world again!

This winter, I took up candle making as a hobby, actually I started last winter, but I REALLY got into it this year with sourcing out the best place to get soy wax locally and non lead wicks and learning the difference between pillar soy wax and regular soy wax and, well, I went balls deep! { I also got into making bath bombs, lip balms, mustache wax, massage bars and more, I found most of the supplies at the same store, so as I said, I went balls deep! } Since I may had gone a little over board, I still have plenty of supplies, which is awesome for when the creative spark fans into flame and I have the proper supplies to get into it all nitty gritty.

So when an idea came across my tumblr dash of fun easy ways to celebrate Ostara, I was struck with this adorable idea, making candles in eggshells! Ostara/Spring/Easter are all heavy symbolized by bunnies and eggs, you know, fertility things! Now, If you are like me and you wanna run to the hills when fertility is mentioned because , no, no babies for me please, have no fear!! I like to think more of fertility of the soil. It’s time for life to be breathed into this grey dreary planet again! So I wanna make it clear, if you are wanting to dabble in this, don’t worry about it making you an automatic baby making factory… unless that is what you want!

I chose to keep it simple. The only spell that would be placed on my specific candles were that of prosperity and hope for a lovely Spring. I didn’t chant, or write anything down, I just thought loving thoughts and hummed to myself as I made these candles and I felt calm, centered and felt, I dunno, right as I made them.

Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & SabbathsBubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

What you’ll need for Eggshell Candles for Ostara / Spring Equinox / Easter:

  • Soy Wax & bees wax.
  • crush dried rose petals
  • dried lavender
  • fresh sage
  • eggs shells, carefully cracked so just the tops are removed.
  • wicks, I chose string wax dipped wicks this time, as I think wood wicks would be too large.
  • 2 pots, one large filled with water, one smaller for your wax
  • chop stick or stirring stick that you don’t care will be ruined by wax

Of course I’m terrible and didn’t measure or weigh my wax, but I filled my wax pot with a ratio of 1 part bees wax to 10 parts soy wax approximately. And then I placed my wax pot into a pot with water I already had heating on the on the stove top. Make sure the water is hot, but not a t a boil, but slightly and gently bubbling or moving is purrfect! The reason you are essentially using a double boiler is to not scorch your wax and discolour it. I also threw some dried lavender in with the wax in hopes that it might infuse it with a bit of it’s perfume and it looked pretty.

As I let my wax melt down I got to setting up my eggs. For the eggs, you can use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors to make them a little more even, though I kind of liked the rustic edges on mine  I had already cleaned them out and peeled out the membrane and let them dry a few days in advance. Basically I just collected the shells as I cooked throughout the week. Waste not, want not, right?!

Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & SabbathsBubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

I placed my eggs in an egg carton I rescued from my recycling bin so I had a nice sturdy place to stand them up and commenced with placing the wicks in each one and then I sprinkled dried lavender in them from my pantry, crushed and dried rose petals from a bouquet I had elected to dry and turn most of into a garland { oh, I really need to take photos of that! Its super purdy! } and then I placed two fresh sage leaves in each cup from my my garden.

I chose these ingredients as lavender is really good for cleansing, attracting good luck, healing and fertility. Rose petals are fantastic for attracting beauty, more good luck empowering yourself and divination. Lastly, sage is kind of a staple in most witches pantries or gardens, it’s perfect for purification, healing cleansing and acquiring wisdom. Plus the combo smells dreamy! I also chose to add the beeswax to my candle mix more for sending out some love and protection for the bees, more than for the wax composition.

I then carefully and slowly poured my wax into each egg cup. This is very tricky as the opening is so small, so I was extra appreciative of having a specific wax pot for pouring! It helps HEAPS! I usually set the wicks straight with a chopstick brace along the top, but since these little guys were fragile and uneven, I elected to let them stay as they were. If I noticed them drooping, I’d make sure to grab the wick out quickly, let it cool for a second and straighten it out before placing back in.


Bubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & SabbathsBubble & Brew - a beginner witch blog | How to make eggshell candles for holidays & Sabbaths

I ended up having extra melted wax, so I made a larger candle in a mason jar and filled it with all the same goodies and loving intentions. Once everything was poured I placed a box over the set up. One, to avoid an accidental knock over and two this helps the wax to cool at an even temperature and avoid and uneven top of your candle or those little sink holes you may have gotten around your wicks before. It’s a handy trick passed to me from my local candle supply making man! { does that make him a candlestick maker?!! }

BOOM! An hour later and everything was cooled and set, I was able to move my egg candles to my alter, where I displayed them in a mix of little silver port glasses and tiny tea cups!

Have you ever tried your hand at candle making before? or do you have a Spring time tradition that you hold dear? Let us know in the comments as we would LOVE to hear! 

 

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Ostara Approaches

Ostara is such an uplifting sabbat. I suppose they all are, of course, but Ostara is all about the beginning of new life linked with the Spring Equinox. It’s a time for blossoming, birthing and beginnings. I just love it. I think this sabbat as a special place for me because it it so perfectly made to share with children (not unlike Yule). Here’s a little Ostara trivia for you: did you know if you take a raw egg outside on the equinox and place it wide end down onto the sidewalk it should stand upright for a few moments? True story! Did you also know that pagans have been celebrating Ostara (or some version of it) from as far back as 200 B.C.? Yep.

Last year was my first year celebrating all the sabbats and esabbats. When Ostara came around I was not exactly surprised by it’s uncanny similarities to Easter, but I found myself dwelling on it a bit. I live in a predominately Christian area (as most are in the U.S.) and when I tried to have conversations with “friendly” Christians about remarkable similarities between the two celebrations, or how Ostara had been celebrated long before Easter, I was not met with smiles and wonder. No, it was decidedly a bitter and doubtful reception. Sad as this was, I was not surprised; and lucky for me I write a blog. So I can talk about whatever I want with you all, right?

Ours is a distinctly beautiful tradition. rich in history & lore. I’m going to abstain from turning this into “a history of ostara” or a rant about how our holidays were hijacked by the church. Nope, not going to do that. Let’s keep it positive shall we? Yes, let’s! We know most, though not all, of our readers are fairly new to their witchy ways, and honestly so are we in the grand scope of things. With that in mind, let’s chat about Ostara traditions that we can fold into our modern witchy lives. I think we can break them down into food, crafts & kid stuff and of course, magic.

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Food

Mmmmmmm, food. Being the Kitchen Witch I am, most sabbats are spent largely in the kitchen. Imbuing delicious and nourishing meals for my family with my own love & intention is an everyday magic I practice. On a day like Ostara, however, I like to punch it up a bit. I like to start by washing everything washable in the kitchen (maybe even wiping things down with a cloth soaked in moon water if it’s handy), then burn a large bundle of sage to purify the space, followed by burning Palo Santo as a blessing. Again, if you’re a Kitchen Witch, this is your sacred space & should be treated as such.

Once the space is cleansed & blessed, it’s time to get to work. As one might expect, eggs and carrots are associated with the day; but there’s much more. Seeds and sprouts are wonderful additions to your meals on Ostara, as they represent the burgeoning new life all around us. Butter, cream, etc…are all excellent options, too; as they come from mother’s of newly birthed offspring (why do you think it’s called offspring? Because that’s when life blooms!) I wish I had time right now to go cook up a feast, take beautiful photos, and then edit & post them here for you. Sadly, I do not have that kind of time. So I am going to share with you some wonderful finds instead.

Here's a wonderful recipe for Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots

 

A wonderful recipe for these yummy scones can be found here.

A wonderful recipe for these yummy scones can be found here.

 

Personally, I am not a fan of eating lamb, but it's an Ostara staple. If you're interested, here's a lovely and fairly simple recipe.

Personally, I am not a fan of eating lamb, but it’s an Ostara staple. If you’re interested, here’s a lovely and fairly simple recipe.

 

Here's my own recipe for a delicious and simple quick bread.

Here’s my own recipe for a delicious and simple quick bread.

 

Of course there are many, many dishes that are perfect for Ostara’s celebratory vibe. Just cook what feels right to you. However, if you’re stumped for ideas or not usually a cook, just pop over to Pinterest and type in “Ostara recipes” and go nuts!

 

Hocus-Pocus-I-Smell-Children

Crafts & Kid Stuff

This can really be whatever feels like fun for you and your family. You could make Ostara baskets, dye eggs, go feed the wild animals in your area (this is something we do every sabbat and esabbat), garden, make candles, etc… Anything goes, although I would highly recommend working with natural materials as much as possible.

This is a fantastic post on how to dye eggs with natural ingredients. So fun!

This is a fantastic post on how to dye eggs with natural ingredients. So fun!

 

Why not start some windowsill gardening? This is pretty simple & straightforward.

Why not start some windowsill gardening? This is pretty simple & straightforward.

 

Seed bombs are always amazing. But making beautiful seed bombs to give as Ostara gifts is amazing! Go here to learn how.

Seed bombs are always amazing. But making beautiful seed bombs to give as Ostara gifts is amazing! Go here to learn how.

 

Why not make your kids their very own custom Ostara coloring book? Just search out images on internet, print, and bind. Voilà! Instant joy!

Why not make your kids their very own custom Ostara coloring book? Just search out images on internet, print, and bind. Voilà! Instant joy!

 

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Magic

Here’s the good stuff. The special stuff. The stuff that you came here for. Magic. As with all magic, in my opinion, it is more important here to be authentic and intentional that it is to be fancy & pretty. That said, I’m going to use some pretty pictures to illustrate some ideas for you.

Speaking of intention, this is such a wonderful way to go about it. Just write your aspirations, hopes, goals, etc...on an egg, bury it on Ostara, & plant on top of it. As the plant fourishes, so should your dreams. (sidenote: I do not know where this original image is from, sorry)

Speaking of intention, this is such a wonderful way to go about it. Just write your aspirations, hopes, goals, etc…on an egg, bury it on Ostara, & plant on top of it. As the plant fourishes, so should your dreams. (sidenote: I do not know where this original image is from, sorry)

 

Even if you (like me) do not typically have a formal altar, this is a great day to pour some creative energy in & stir up some magic. This is just one example of something you might enjoy creating.

Even if you (like me) do not typically have a formal altar, this is a great day to pour some creative energy in & stir up some magic. This is just one example of something you might enjoy creating.

Ostara is perfect day for fertility magic. I found this while searching, but feel free to make up your own too.

Ostara is perfect day for fertility magic. I found this while searching, but feel free to make up your own too.

 

Honor the bunny (a long standing friend of Ostara) by incorporating it into your magic. Here's a great article about the history of the bunny & Ostara and some great ritual ideas, too.

Honor the bunny (a long standing friend of Ostara) by incorporating it into your magic. Here’s a great article about the history of the bunny & Ostara and some great ritual ideas, too.

 

And, as in all magic, dancing is very powerful. Image source here.

And, as in all magic, dancing is very powerful. Image source here.

 

These are just some starter ideas for your Ostara. Remember, always trust your instincts & trust your intuition. If you have a great Ostara tradition please share with us. We love learning from other witches.

 

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Which Type of Witch Are You?

Who doesn’t love to take little quizzes, right?

Nobody.

Because these suckers are always fun and sometimes (just sometimes) really do tell us a little about ourselves. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I take one and I identify with the outcome, I feel…seen. If that makes sense. Maybe less alone in the world? I don’t know…I could be babbling here.

Anywho, we’ve made this little quiz for you to take. Honestly, it’s just a silly thing to do for fun. However, with that being said, we know a lot of you are new to your witchy life; you  might just find something here that resonates with you. If so, that’s wonderful! If not, hey, what can we say? At least it was fun, right?

And with that, Witches, let’s get to quizzing! Just click the link below.

http://uquiz.com/i44k3y

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Handmade Yule Candles Tutorial

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Helloooooooo to you all, and welcome to our little corner of the blogsphere! There will be a post forthcoming to explain who we are and what this is all about. Today, however, we are talking about making candles for Yule. When it comes to gift giving, I truly believe that (when possible) handmade is the way to go. Not only are handmade gifts more personal, but as we are so fond of saying here there’s magic in the making.

You can apply this tutorial to making any kind of candle, but keep in mind that these are specifically for Yule. So of you are making them for another Sabbat, or just because, you might want to alter your ingredients. Here’s what I assembled for these ones.

Supplies

A bit of information on why I chose these enhancers:

In all honesty, these scents just make me think of Yule, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one. So when I was gathering my ingredients, I put a lot of thought into them. Cinnamon is often tied to prosperity  and protection. When I think about what Yulemas must have been like hundreds and hundreds of years ago, I think those particular traits would have been welcome blessings. I love the scent of clove so much (in fact it even inspired a short smoking phase of my life in my angsty  20s). It is used to keep good friends close, bring luck, and they’re also linked with prosperity. Oranges draw abundance and happiness. I’m pretty sure anyone who’s ever inhaled while an orange is being peeled would agree with me. It is the scent of joy. As for the Orange Mint, I had an abundance in my garden, and there is strong magic in anything grown by a witch. Lastly, we have the Star Anise. This one is so closely tied to Yule. Not only is beautiful but it brings with it an increase in physic connection and amplifies power. All combined, these are powerful carriers of my intentions of love, luck & abundance.

 

Onto the How to:

Step 1: Melt your wax

melting wax

This part is pretty simple. I bought my wax melty container at Micheal’s and find it really handy, but I think you could use anything that heats evenly. Initially I had it straight on the burner, but it was taking forever, and I risked scorching the wax. So I added a shallow pan filled halfway with water, effectively making the Broke Ass Witch equivalent of a double boiler. Note: do not boil the wax! You want it to be at about 185 degrees, technically speaking, but I just eyeball it. When it’s clear & all liquefied, it should be good to go.

Step 2: Prepare your jars

Jar Prep

While your wax is busy getting it’s melt on, you can get your jars ready to go. I bought these canning jars, but if you (like me) recycle your glass jars, just use those. Way cheaper!  Firstly, you’ll want to put your wick into the jar. I tried out a wax adhesive designed to keep your wick set in the bottom center of the far. To tell you truth, it’s a giant pain in ass, but it was helpful. They I plopped in some stem from the orange mint, half a cinnamon stick and one star anise. Your jars are now ready to be poured into.

Step 3: Scent you wax

20 drops of Clove Bud(2)

I used Aura Cacia oils because I had them handy, and they are far less costly than other oils. If you have the means to use Doterra, Young Living, or even some small business made oils, all the better!

Step 4: Get ready to pour

Slow Pouring

I highly advise you to place some newspaper or other disposable covering over your workspace while you pour. I failed to do so, and am still trying to get wax out from the tile grout.

As I poured the wax into the containers I was mindful of my intentions. After all, the magic’s in the making, right? I also added in the remaining bits of herbs & spices as I poured, letting my instinct guide me.

Lastly, you’re going to need to keep those wicks straight. I used some pens I had nearby. If you want, you can buy a centering tool from a craft store, but I chose to save my $4.00. You can also see I used two wooden wicks, simply because I had them already. I LOVE wooden wicks.They are super easy to used, require no supports, and make an awesome crackling sound as they burn.

You’ll need to wait overnight before you try to light the flame on one of these babies.

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The way I see it, that’s a pretty thrift bit of generosity & magic. We hope you have fun making yourself some of these bad boys this Yule time. As for these particular candles,  they’re about to be blessed, wrapped, and sent of to four of my favorite witches as gifts.

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