Thursday, 6 November 2014
We bake cakes for our rituals and our workshops and started to get asked for the recipes...now we do have our blog www.thekitchenwitchcauldron.blogspot.co.uk but we have been asked for our cake recipes...so we put them in a book.
Sounds easy...but it turned out to be harder than we thought. Firstly we had to test and double test the recipes to make sure they were spot on...then we had to eat them...product testing is a hard job but we are a dedicated team...
Then we had to photograph them...which turned out to be more difficult than we thought. You have to have none fuzzy, bright, in focus, appealing photos and David Bailey we ain't. We also had a very strict Graphic Designer with very high standards (Rachel's husband).
So after an incredible amount of baking (and eating...ahem...we mean testing) and a lot of photography then a lot of proof reading and graphicking (not sure that is actually a word)...the book is here...
We, Rachel (Tansy) and Tracey (Sunchylde) would like to thank both of our husbands, Simon for his recipe assistance and silly book title suggestions and Pete who did all the graphic design and actually putting the book together ♥
The book is available direct from our website shop www.kitchenwitchhearth.net and also via Amazon in paperback and also via Amazon as a Kindle download.
We will also have copies at the Wandering Witches fair on Sunday 16th November - free cake with every copy purchased!
Monday, 3 November 2014
A lovely write up about the goddess Rhiannon from one of our very own Kitchen Witch students RowanOak:
Most of the information we have about her is from the legends in the Mabinogion where she decides to marry a mortal man called Prince Pwyll, against the wishes of her parents. Her spurned fairy suitor, who she turned into a badger, follows her into her new life with the Prince and eventually kidnaps her infant son. The nurses who were supposed to be caring for him are so concerned about their punishment for negligence that they frame Rhiannon, making it look like she has killed and consumed her child. Her punishment is to carry visitors on her back from the castle gates to the castle, whilst wearing a heavy horse collar. She bears her penance with courage and dignity until after four years a couple with a young boy arrive at the gates having heard her story. It's clear that the boy with them is her son, which the couple found dumped in the forest as a baby. Rhiannon is pardoned and returns to the palace to be with her husband, who she forgives unconditionally.
Rhiannon also has a darker side - in Slavic countries she is the goddess of death and rebirth, known as Marzanna, More or Morena. There is a custom associated with this winter goddess where school children drown an effigy of her on the first day of spring to 'kill' the dark days of winter. She is also linked to the Germanic horse goddess, Mora who is the embodiment of the word 'Nightmare' and even the Hindu goddess Mara / Queen Maya who is a female Grim Reaper.
You would call on Rhiannon on Mondays ( moon day), during moon rituals and perhaps on a day connected with her sacred number 7. She is associated with the Celtic tree moons of Willow ( April 15th - May 12th) and Ivy ( Sept 30th - Oct 27th).
Rhiannon can be called upon to help with courage in adversity, overcoming enemies, enhancing patience, protection, moon rituals, dream work, comfort in times of crisis and loss, having courage in our convictions / maintaining integrity, fertility magick and magick to bring about change.
Correspondences for Rhiannon -
Attributes - Movement and change, integrity, perseverance and remaining steadfast in our own truths despite the opinions of others, shamanic journeying to the other realms, fertility, death and rebirth, moon rituals and women's magick.
Element - Earth
Season - Spring ( or winter in her dark aspect, Morena )
Colours - Gold, Silver, Charcoal Grey, Rich Brown, Maroon, Dark Green
Herbs and Plants - Narcissus and daffodils, leeks, pansies, forsythia,
cedar and pine trees, bayberry, sage, and rosemary. Also any white flowers.
Perfumes / Scents - Sandalwood, neroli, bergamot, lavender, narcissus, and geranium.
Stones - Rose Quartz, Moonstone, Ruby, Garnet, Bloodstone, Amethyst
Animals - White mare / Horses of any kind, badger, songbirds, dragons, dogs, especially puppies and frogs
Symbols - Moon, Horses, Horseshoe, Songbirds
Image is Rhiannon by Alan Lee
Friday, 17 October 2014
Fire is a male energy associated with the South, noon and Summer. Fire rules over the will, energy, passion, sex, heat, flame, life, purification, destruction and healing. It’s tools are volcanoes, eruptions, explosions, fires of all kinds, candles, deserts, blood, spirit and the Sun. The colors are red, orange, crimson, gold and white (for the sun at noon).
The animals associated with fire are the lion and the horse. The crystals are fire opal, rubies, and garnets. The tarot suit is wands, to symbolize creation. Herbs associated with fire are red peppers (anything hot really, think of habanero, capsicum, etc.), chili, mustard, nettle, garlic and onion. The tree is the almond tree in flower.
Fire is my element. I almost always have candles going in my house. We light them for breakfast and dinner, I light them when I work in the morning (like right now), I love to make them and mix them with herbs, and I am a big fan of fireplaces. I love the soft light that a candle flame puts out, it is soothing to me.
Working with fire is useful if you want to ignite a change or you need to spark some energy around something. One of the first things we do when casting a circle is light a candle. It is the flame of creation. It is the spark of creating. It gives us energy, confidence and drive. In Witch’s work Fire represents “To will”.
Salamanders are not the lizards we see running around, they are found in the flames of a fire. They are darting, dancing and ever changing. Salamanders are associated with all things that have to do with heat and fire. Salamanders are Elementals to be respected and possibly even feared. Think of how temperamental fire is: It erupts and destroys, it rages, it ravages. You do not want to be in the path of a rampaging Salamander! But, like the phoenix, this destruction brings rebirth. It allows us to start again. Salamanders purify by banishing the old and allowing the new to come to light, using the flame of the Sun to nurture growth.
The detoxification shows up in our bodies as well. When we are sick and run a fever, that is the Salamander energy burning off toxins. Salamander elementals also oversee the heat in our bodies, aka our metabolism. They set the regulator for how we ‘burn’ calories. Low fire means low energy, a slow metabolism and sluggishness. Without fire in our bodies we feel fatigue, lethargy, a lack of creativity, we lose the ability to concentrate and lose interest in sex (again, a creating energy).
As witches we will use a flame to signify burning negative energies and then we bury the ashes in the earth, cast them to the wind or run them under water – but it is the fire that destroys.
There are some essential oils and incenses that can help us conjure up the heat energy, my favorite is dragon’s blood, but you can use frankincense, patchouli, mugwork, heliochrysum, and of course sage. Herbs that help are cinnamon, peppermint, ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, and of course, pepper.
When we are healthy and the Salamander energy is flowing we feel confident, we are assertive, and vital. Too much Salamander and we get aggressive, rageful, arrogant and vain. To counteract this use herbs that ground or dampen (see Earth and Water).
According to elementalmagic.com the King of the Fire Element is called Djinn. King Djinn is of average height with a very muscular build. He has tanned brown skin and a bald head. His armour is ornate and has the characteristics of dragons or salamanders. Armoured plates arranged in two offset rows begin on the crown of his head and continue along the length of the spine (similar to those seen on a stegosaurus). He has garnet eyes and a stern expression. Both his face and body are covered with light scars contrasting his brown skin. Of particular note are what appear to be thin, winding burn scars on his hands and wrists. These are not accidental but an artistic form of branding or scarification making an ornate flame design. He wears worn, but well cared for, plate armour with no shoes and carries a sword in each hand. King Djin typically appears surrounded by fire and speaks loudly and very directly and will not hesitate to challenge you if he feels you lack the proper magical authority or are not showing proper respect. Ensure you have good self control and are very clear on your will before summoning this King. King Djinn should be the last of these rulers called.
Djinn governs such things as energy, vitality and life, transformation, courage, inner strength and spiritual conviction.
The female energy is Corona. Corona appears as a nude woman whose body is completely made of fire. Her hair is at the same time long and short, as it changes with the flickering of the flames. Her body is constantly moving but her actual movements are fewer than other spirits. Her sigil is:
Archangel Michael is the first Archangel. He is a warrior and an angel of death. He is also an angel of protection and courage. His colors are red and variants of red (such as orange and violet) or silver and gold.
Michael can help with motivation, energy, ambition and achievement. He represents truth and integrity, courage and protection. One could call on him for power, leadership, ambition, and success or victory. He would also be appropriate for growth, change and transformation, enlightenment, healing, confidence and vitality.
Michael’s cards are the Sun and Strength.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Air is a masculine element associated with intellect, thought, the mind, knowledge, learning, theory and all things mental. It is associated with the east, dawn and Spring. Air encompasses wind, towers, peaks, and breath. The colors associated with Air are white and bright yellow.
The animals associated with air are birds, especially ravens, crows, bats and owls. The gem is topaz. Incense used with air include acacia, benzoin, lavender, gum, mastic, honeysuckle, frankincense, myrrh, yarrow and vervain. Its tree is the Aspen. The tarot suit for Air is swords or rods depending on your deck. We see the feather, athame, incense and the censor as elements of air that we use on our altar.
When I think of air I always think of it around my face and head. Perhaps that is because when I am out walking my head is always uncovered, whereas the rest of me, especially in the fall and winter is covered and can’t feel the wind. Of course it could also be that Air is associated with the mental aspect of our lives.
Working with Air in magic is good for communication, creativity, the written or spoken word, business endeavors, poetry, and problem solving. When I first started working with the tarot decks I was amazed at how dark many of the swords cards are. This is where a lot of the despair, destruction, and devastation cards are. I have come to interpret this as saying if you only live your life through your head, you are destined for a bleak existence. Air has an alluring call. It is all too easy to be in our head all the time trying to figure out how to get by and what to do next. So much of our society is based on what we do and what we have. For most people those questions are answered from the space of Air. But if you look at the people like Thich Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Lama, they are centered in Water that is well balanced with Air and Earth and Fire. It is the balance that is required to have a full and rich life.
If we are out of balance and weigh to heavily with air we can come across as cold, calculating and uncaring. If our thoughts are disorganized we may be known as an airhead. One way of balancing ourselves with Air is to focus on our breath. I know that all I have to do to calm and center myself is to focus on long, slow, deep breaths and I am instantly calm. This is how I enter meditation and how I work with the not infrequent bouts of insomnia. Fighting air with air. If I am too much in my head, I transform that into prana yama.
In Witch’s work, Air represents “To Know.”
The Sylphs are probably the closest to what we as children considered to be fairies (as opposed to the Fae). They are generally thought of as light, svelte, and able to flitter and fly. Sylphs are said to live in the clouds or on the tops of mountains.
The Sylphs are likely the embodiment of what the Greeks referred to as the muses. They bring inspiration for art and poetry and beauty. The Sylphs also help us with reasoning and logic. They can help Botticelli create amazing art and Einstein create amazing science.
We interpret our life through our thoughts. Given this you could say that Sylphs can aid us if we get to negative or critical in our interpretation. They can also help balance us if we are too dreamy, in other words our head is in the clouds. An overdose of Air may leave us feeling flighty, scattered, paranoid, or hyper-sensitive. Since incense is an element that works with Air we can use clary sage, lemon, lavender or chamomile to calm us. Without air we may be dull or have no creativity, curiosity or imagination. Rosemary, peppermint, parsley, geranium and ylang-ylang can help stimulate our minds.
I now live near the base of Tiger Mountain. It is a significant hike to the top, about a 2200 foot elevation gain and 5K each way. But on top you can see the forest reaching out and you can feel the breeze flow up the canyons and around the crowns of the trees. You feel the boundless space of the air and the sky surrounding you. I expect to become fairly well acquainted with the air up there as well as the earth leading to it.
King – Peralda
According to elementalmagic.com Paralda has appeared both as a quick and youthful man and as a wise and elderly scholar. His eyes are blue flecked with yellow. As a young man his hair is wavy and blond, cut just above the shoulders. As an elder, his hair appears longer, whiter and he also has a beard. The King of Air is tall and pale, with lean muscles built for agility, rather than strength. He wears a white, floor-length toga fastened with a simple cord and sandals. He carries a wand or staff with him, and wears a circlet of light yellow metal. His expression is often pensive, and has a feeling of deep understanding about him. He also has a distinct air of joyfulness about him, and his elderly face bears quite a few laughter lines. Paralda often speaks in riddles and layers, with many of his statements having multiple potential interpretations.
His office is over things such as intellect, raw knowledge, direct communication, gnosis, wind and dust storms. The energy is unemotional, direct, flighty, and playful.
Queen Vayu is tall and thin with long legs and arms and pale skin. Her long, blond hair seems to float weightlessly behind her as she moves. She wears a thin circlet of white metal and carries book without markings in her hand. Her sigil is below.
Archangel – Raphael
Raphael works with magical intention in the areas of business, commerce, communication, and mental ability. His day is Wednesday, which is also associated with inspiration, writers, poets and the written and spoken word. Raphael has domain over study, learning and teaching. As such, if we want to learn about ourselves or improve ourselves, Raphael would be a good Archangel to ask for guidance from.
Raphael’s card is the Magician. The Magician works with knowledge for prophecy whereas the High Priestess works with feelings. An interesting contrast with Archangel Gabriel. Raphael’s symbol is the Seal of Mercury. Mercury is associated with communication and travel, so I can see the resonance there.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Water is also considered a female element. It rules the emotions, feelings, intuition, divination and the unconscious. It is associated with west, twilight and autumn. Water encompasses the ocean, tides, waterfalls, lakes, pools, streams, rivers, springs, and rain. The colors of Water are blue, green, gray and indigo.
Animals associated with Water are serpents, dolphins, porpoises, whales, fish, seals and sea mammals, water-dwelling snakes, frogs and sea birds. It’s gems include peridot, emeralds, aquamarine, pearls, mother of pearl and shells. The tarot suit is cups/chalice. Herbs that accentuate the power of Water are ferns, lotus, mosses, rushes, seaweed, water lillies, and all water plants. Its tree is the willow.
When I feel water I feel peace and calm. I get a sense of the flow of life and how regardless of what feels so important at the time, ‘this too shall pass.’ Water can take its time, but it’s slow easy way will create lasting impressions, such as through canyons, or seeping up through the earth. Of course the power of water when mixed with wind is awesome! Hurricanes are amazing. The resulting storm surge and large waves are not very subtle at all. I am always in awe when I go to the shore and settle my thoughts and think that the waves I am seeing crashing on the shore originated thousands of miles away.
For me, Water is the element I have the most challenges with. I often get stuck in my head (air) and have to make a concerted effort to drop into my heart and emotions. In my younger years I did not have much control over my emotions, they ran rampant over me. This caused me to make emotional decisions, become easily infatuated and led to many years of depression. Over time I have dulled the edge of those youthful emotion binges. But, the cost is that I don’t feel as intensely as I did when I was younger. I am not consumed by emotions, but I am a little removed from them as well.
Water is the element I fear most. I suspect I drowned in a previous life because the thought of going under in the ocean and down into the dark, deep depths where you can’t see or breath and slowly asphyxiating is really quite terrifying for me to think about. I remember times when I was growing up that we would go to the beach and I would body surf. There were a number of times when I just got thrashed by the waves on the sand and held under and was absolutely powerless to do anything about it. I learned a lot of respect and a healthy fear of the ocean that way. I also learned that really, the ocean doesn’t care. If you drowned, the ocean doesn’t have any feelings about it whatsoever. There is no bargaining.
Working with Water in magic is good for dream work, intuition and divination (interesting how I am drawn to the gift of the element I am most challenged with). It is good for healing work as well. Think of the water element in our bodies (blood) and how it flows throughout bringing the toxins and waste through our liver and kidneys to be cleansed. In the Witch’s work we use Water to represent the compassion needed to do good magical work. It brings the feelings and emotions we need to build the personal power behind a spell.
When we don’t have enough Water energy in our lives we can become uncaring or depressed. Too much and we can become overly emotional and overwhelmed by our emotions. When we don’t have enough water in our bodies we become ill. It is the right balance of water that keeps everything flowing optimally.
Undines dwell wherever there is water, be it lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls or oceans. They can help us with empathy, healing, dreaming and expanding our psychic bodies. Undines can help us to assimilate and understand our life experiences. As in the example above they help us to see the flow of our life (like a river) and how our experiences contribute to that flow as well as help us know that regardless of what is happening now, we will continue to move down stream.
Because Undines rule emotion they can also help us develop compassion and empathy. They can help us develop more intuition and divinatory prowess. When we are unbalanced emotionally, and self-absorbed, wondering if we are worthy, or liked, we can work with the Water elementals to connect to our own self-love and remember that our journey down the river is our own, no one else’s.
The gift of the Undines is emotional balance - compassion and empathy without being overwhelmed or shut down. They can help us develop a steady even hand on our emotional tiller. As we master the domain of emotions we can ask them to work with us to focus our emotions into our magic to make it more potent.
It is said that the Undines are friendly and are willing to work with humans. They are passionate about beautifying the planet and love to work with plants (especially water plants) as much as the Gnomes.
In my new living quarters we are about 15K from an amazing waterfall called Snoqualmie Falls. I have been there several times. The power you feel being near all that water is beyond words. I plan on going there often, especially when I need to call on water energy to help me get into the right flow and let go of some of the air or fire that frequently consumes me. Check out the picture on the next page.
Niksa/Nixa/Nichsa – Water Elemental King
According to elementalmagic.com King Nichsa is of above-average height and is of a muscular and strong but not bulky build. His skin is pale, almost translucent with a blue hue that reveals his inner energy as it moves within his body. He has Long hair that falls just below his shoulders with the colours of silver, black and blue-green all present. He carries a scepter in his hands and wears an ornate crown made of coral and shells.
Nichsa's personality is more passive than the other Kings and Queens and he has a sincere and emotionally involved way of speaking. He has a feeling of relaxation and calmness about him that makes one feel at ease.
Queen Tritone appears as a beautiful, slender woman with cream coloured skin. Her long, wavy hair is black and flows around her in the swirls of water. Her eyes are icy blue, and she has an enticing smile. In her left hand she carries a cup with a conch shell bowl.
Things start to get a little inconsistent when we bring in the Archangels. For example, I have read that Gabriel is associated with the South rather than the West. Other associations are more consistent, for example, his color is blue and his stones are aquamarine, clear quartz and moonstone. That all makes sense. Gabriel’s card is the High Priestess, which also makes sense as the Priestess is the great diviner. Interestingly, his script is Theban. As you will see I am doing my extra-curricular work on magical alphabets.
As the Archangel of Water, Gabriel’s domain is the flow of magical power, women, hearth and home. His day is Monday (Moon-Day). He works with energy for healing, psychic development and prophetic dreaming. He can help with boosting psychic abilities, astral travel, intuition, secrets, emotional issues, voyages, dreams and fertility.