Monday, December 30, 2013

Behind Being Psychic

We've all heard the speculation that we only actually use 10% of our brains for daily functioning. Can this be true? And what powers are we really capable of if we use ALL our brainpower?

The 10% theory has been around for a long time - since the 1800's, and is the result of a whole lot of misinterpretation. Modern science has indeed verified that we use the vast majority of our brainpower, although they do admit that on a daily basis we are probably not using as much as we could. There is no evidence whatsoever to support the theory that large portions of our brains are going unused. Indeed, over time, we probably use the entire brain, just as we eventually use all our muscles to some extent - however infrequent that use is. Even small injuries to different parts of the brain are known to cause devastating disabilities, such as we see in stroke victims. Modern technology has proven that over the course of the day and depending on the complexity of our activities, most, if not all of the brain is used.

So what does all this mean? Can we "exercise" our brains to reach desired goals, such as enhancing psychic powers? The answer appears to be yes, though because of our unique individuality and preconceptions, this may work better in some than in others.


Next time you get a chance, take a look at a small child playing. Little kids don't have the restrictions and pre-conceived notions that we have as adults. They therefore play with imaginary friends, see colors around people, and in general take in all sorts of data that we miss entirely as adults. Just as we exercise to tone our bodies, we can exercise the mind to become more open to the input that we usually ignore. There's a theory that every voice, every sound and every action is trapped in the universe to be replayed over and over - and training the mind to be receptive to this - in essence discarding preconceived notions about such things - is the first step to becoming more psychically aware.

- The Crafty Witch

Friday, December 27, 2013

Guide To Meditation

Meditation has been used for centuries for it's proven benefits as far as stress relief, relaxation, personal insight, wisdom, and health benefits. Religion and even science embrace the concept because of the known beneficial mental and physiological changes that occur as a result of regular meditation. Most of us have meditated in some form during our lifetimes, even though we may not have been conscious that we were doing it - maybe before a doctor's appointment, before a big meeting at work, or during some other kind of stressful event.

Modern life is fraught with so much external data input that most of us feel literally overwhelmed at some point or another - or all the time. The paths we should take are unclear, and the prospect of making a wrong decision is frightening. We don't know where to turn for the answers, but ask anyone who is familiar with meditation, and they will immediately give you the answer. "Look within yourself."

Those three words are the essence of meditation.

In this vein, though meditation is not exactly a supernatural phenomena, it absolutely can lead to more awareness and thus, increased psychic abilities. Theoretically, we have everything we need within ourselves, and meditation is just a vehicle with which to bring it out in usable form through our own inner strength and wisdom.

Meditating can be as simple or as complicated as a person wishes to make it. In general, simple is better. If you choose a regimen that takes too much time or becomes a hassle, obviously you won't be inclined to meditate on a regular basis. Don't wait until a more convenient time to start. Do it NOW! Then follow-up every day or even twice a day for the most benefit. Don't worry about whether you are doing it right. Instructions will follow on these pages very soon, but basically sit down in a comfortable position, close your eyes, breathe deeply, concentrate on that breathing, and let your worries leave you every time you exhale.  You will be surprised at how rejuvenating this can be after only a short period of time. 


-The Crafty Witch

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas / The Legend of Frau Holle

In some Scandinavian traditions, Frau Holle is known as the feminine spirit of the woods and plants, and was honored as the sacred embodiment of the earth and land itself. She is associated with many of the evergreen plants that appear during the Yule season, especially mistletoe and holly, and is sometimes seen as an aspect of Frigga, wife of Odin. In this theme, she is associated with fertility and rebirth. Typically, she is seen as a goddess of hearth and home, although in different areas she has clearly different purposes.

Interestingly, Frau Holle is mentioned in the story of Goldmary and Pitchmary, as compiled by the Grimm brothers. In this context -- that of a Germanic Cinderella-type tale -- she appears as an old woman who rewards an industrious girl with gold, and offers the girl's lazy sister an equally appropriate compensation. Legends in some parts of Germany portray her as a toothless hag who appears in the winter, much like the Cailleach of Scotland.

In the Norse Eddas, she is described as Hlodyn, and she gives gifts to women at the time of the Winter Solstice, or Jul. She is sometimes associated with winter snowfall as well -- it is said that when Frau Holle shakes out her mattresses, white feathers fall to the earth. A feast is held in her honor each winter by many people in the Germanic countries.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas everyone!

-The Crafty Witch

Monday, December 23, 2013

25 Best Movies of the Holidays - 24-25 of 25

In the last week of the 25 Best Movies of the Holidays I present to you the two top voted movies which also happen to be my favorite movies of the holidays, I can watch and rewatch them without getting bored. I hope you enjoy and have a happy holidays!


How The Grinch Stole Christmas
 Length: 104 min           Year: 2000

 
Cast: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor

Movie Description

Big budget remake of the classic cartoon about a creature intent on stealing Christmas. Based on the book by the famous Dr. Seuss. Inside a snowflake exists the magical land of Whoville. In Whoville, live the Whos, an almost mutated sort of munchkinlike people. All the Whos love Christmas, yet just outside of their beloved Whoville lives the Grinch. The Grinch is a nasty creature that hates Christmas, and plots to steal it away from the Whos which he equally abhors. Yet a small child, Cindy Lou Who, decides to try befriend the Grinch.
 
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Christmas with the Kranks

Length: 99 mins.               Year: 2004

Cast: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd

Movie Description


With their daughter away, her parents decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holidays at the last minute. Luther Krank is fed up with the commerciality of Christmas; he decides to skip the holiday and go on a vacation with his wife instead. But when his daughter decides at the last minute to come home, he must put together a holiday celebration.
 
 
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-The Crafty Witch
 

 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Celtic Tree Month Of Birch Begins

The Birch Moon is a time of rebirth and regeneration. As the Solstice passes, it is time to look towards the light once more. When a forested area burns, Birch is the first tree to grow back. The Celtic name for this month is Beth, pronounced beh. Workings done in this month add momentum and a bit of extra "oomph" to new endeavors. The Birch is also associated with magic done for creativity and fertility, as well as healing and protection. Tie a red ribbon around the trunk of a Birch tree to ward off negative energy. Hang Birch twigs over a cradle to protect a newborn from psychic harm. Use Birch bark as magical parchment to keep writings safe.

-The Crafty Witch

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Solstice - Dec 21!

For people of nearly any religious background, the time of the winter solstice is a time when we gather with family and loved ones. For Pagans and Wiccans, it's often celebrated as Yule, but there are literally dozens of ways you can enjoy the season.


Rituals and Ceremonies
Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate the Solstice season. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying -- and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

Yule Magic
The Yule season is full of magic, much of it focusing on rebirth and renewal, as the sun makes its way back to the earth. Focus on this time of new beginnings with your magical workings!


Traditions and Trends
Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind contemporary holiday celebrations? Find out why mistletoe is so special, and which ancient revelers went caroling naked in the streets!


Family and Friends
Nothing says holiday celebration quite like getting together with the people you love. Learn about gifts, decorating, money-saving, and why it's perfectly okay for Wiccans to have a big green tree full of lights!


Feasting and Food
Wiccans and Pagans will have a potluck at the drop of a pointy hat, so Yule is as good a time as any to plan a big feast. Spread the table out with your favorite holiday dishes, lots and lots of candles, and some of these delicious seasonal recipes.


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From my family to yours, Happy Solstice

- The Crafty Witch

Monday, December 16, 2013

Long Nights Moon - Tomorrow

The last moon phase of the year is the Long Nights Moon in December, also called the Cold Moon or Big Winter Moon.



 Correspondences:


Colors: Red, White

Gemstones: Obsidian, ruby, serpentine

Trees: Pine, holly
Gods: Minerva, Osiris, Athena, Persephone and Hades
Herbs: Ivy, mistletoe, holly and berries, cinnamon
Element: Fire

As the days get shorter and Yule approaches with the longest night of the year, we force ourselves to get through the darkness because eventually we will see the sunlight and warmth again. Think about the things in your life that you've had to endure. Sometimes, a part of us must die in order to be reborn. Now is the perfect time for spiritual alchemy -- time to evaluate your life, and know that you'll survive the dark times.

If you've already put the darkness behind you, take your good fortune and share it with others. When it's cold outside, open your heart and home to friends and family. Reach out to people who might be suffering from the chill of winter, either spiritually or physically.

Also Known As: Cold Moon, Big Winter Moon

Saturday, December 14, 2013

25 Best Movies of the Holidays - 21-23 Of 25

This weeks best movies of the holidays features Christmas movies that need you to "Believe" all three movies are about the protagonist that lost their way or lost the true meaning of Christmas and need to just believe in the sprit that is Christmas. Love all three of these movies, get the popcorn and tissues ready because they are tearjerkers!


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Polar Express

 Length: 100 mins               Year: 2004

Cast: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter, Leslie Zemeckis

Movie Description

On Christmas Eve, a doubting boy boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home.This is the story of a young hero boy on Christmas Eve who boards on a powerful magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home. What unfolds is an an adventure which follows a doubting boy, who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole; during this ride, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery which shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.


 
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Arthur Christmas

  Length: 97 mins.               Year: 2011

Cast: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy

Movie Description

On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission. Arthur Christmas reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: 'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?' The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the center of the film is a story about a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns.

 
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Rise of the Guardians


Length: 97 mins.               Year: 2012

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher

Movie Description

When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imaginations of children all over the world.






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-The Crafty Witch

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Adorable Holiday Finds (part 3 of 3)

We are always rushing around for the holidays whether its to see family, partake in festive activities or to get that last minute shopping in. Oh did I even mention the decorations, and the supplies you need to make your home the biggest with "holiday cheer" - one thing on everyone's mind is "How much is this all going to cost me?" Well what if I told you that you could get adorable holiday finds for a fraction of the cost - what if you could get these holiday finds for $1! Im here to save you some money during the holiday, because lets be honest, we could all use the extra dough. All these holiday finds can be found at your local Dollar Tree for yeah you guessed it, $1.

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Christmas Scene Glittery Wooden Yard Signs, 24"

Show off your Christmas cheer and let neighbors know that reindeers will be passing through with festive, glittery wooden yard signs. Each sign measures 8½x24"H. Case includes 36 – 24" Christmas Scene Glittery Wooden Yard Signs and assorted among the 3 designs shown.

 



 
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Candy-Themed Glittery Wooden Christmas Sentiment Signs, 15"

Greet your guests with merry greetings on these wooden wall signs! With bright colors and glitter embellishments, these festive signs are ideal for decorating, gifts, centerpieces, and so much more. Each sign measures approximately 15x6"H. Case includes 36 – 15½" Candy-Themed Glittery Wooden Christmas Sentiment Signs with ribbon hangers assorted among the 4 styles shown.

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Felt Christmas Character Stockings with Pom-Pom Embellishments, 18"

This collection of lovely stockings is sure to have something for everyone. Decorated with different Christmas characters and symbols, these stockings also have the added touch of small pom-poms that dangle from the jagged cuff. A beautiful addition to any holiday décor. Case includes 24 – 18" Felt Christmas Stockings with Pom-Pom Embellishments assorted among the 5 styles shown.

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-The Crafty Witch

Monday, December 9, 2013

25 Best Movies of the Holidays - 17-20 Of 25

In this weeks installment of the 25 Best Movies of the Holidays I bring you "Christmas Comedies" - All the funny movies of the holidays that have a touching backstory but all are very comical throughout.
 
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Trading Places
 


Length: 116 mins.     Year: 1983

 
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche

Movie Description

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires. Louis Winthorpe is a businessman who works for commodities brokerage firm of Duke and Duke owned by the brothers Mortimer and Randolph Duke. Now they bicker over the most trivial of matters and what they are bickering about is whether it's a person's environment or heredity that determines how well they will do in life. When Winthorpe bumps into Billy Ray Valentine, a street hustler and assumes he is trying to rob him, he has him arrested. Upon seeing how different the two men are, the brothers decide to make a wager as to what would happen if Winthorpe loses his job, his home and is shunned by everyone he knows and if Valentine was given Winthorpe's job. So they proceed to have Winthorpe arrested and to be placed in a compromising position in front of his girlfriend. So all he has to rely on is the hooker who was hired to ruin him.


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Christmas Vacation

Length: 97 mins.               Year: 1989
Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki 

Movie Description
 
The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster. It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.

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Elf

Length: 97 mins.               Year: 2003

Cast: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel

Movie Description


After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity. Buddy was a baby in an orphanage who stowed away in Santa's sack and ended up at the North Pole. Later, as an adult human who happened to be raised by elves, Santa allows him to go to New York City to find his birth father, Walter Hobbs. Hobbs, on Santa's naughty list for being a heartless jerk, had no idea that Buddy was even born. Buddy, meanwhile, experiences the delights of New York City (and human culture) as only an elf can. When Walter's relationship with Buddy interferes with his job, he is forced to reevaluate his priorities.

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Fred Claus

Length: 116 mins.               Year: 2007

Cast: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell 

Movie Description
 

Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole. During childhood, Fred Claus suffered his younger brother Nick's saintliness. Jump ahead: Fred is a fast-talking, genial but self-centered guy in Chicago looking for $50,000 to open an off-track-betting shop. When one scam goes awry, he calls Nick at the North Pole for a loan: Nick will give him the money only if Fred comes up to help a few days with the Christmas rush. After his girlfriend dumps him, Fred heads north. Santa's facing an audit from an efficiency expert, and it's not pleasant. Fred's job is to review charts and determine who's naughty and who's nice. Is there any fraternal feeling left, can either learn from the other, and what about Santa getting fired?

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- The Crafty Witch
 
 

 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Krampusnacht!

December 6 is the day in which parts of Germany and Bavaria celebrate Krampusnacht, which is a throwback to a pre-Christian tradition. The word Krampus means "claw", and apparently certain Alpine villiages have big parties featuring a scary clawed incubus who hangs around with Santa Claus. The Krampus costume also includes sheepskin, horns, and a switch that the incubus uses to swat children and unsuspecting young ladies. The Krampus' job is to punish those who have been bad, while Santa rewards the people on his "nice" list. There's been a resurgence in interest in Krampus over the past century or so, but it seems as though the custom goes back hundreds of years.


While the men parade around dressed as creepy demons, the women get to have some fun too, wearing masks and representing Frau Perchta, who was a Nordic goddess, who may have been an aspect of Freyja, the fertility goddess. Interestingly, in the Pennsylvania Dutch community, there's a character called Pelsnickel or Belznickel who is an awful lot like Krampus, so it appears that the tradition migrated across the water when Germans settled in America.

Krampus.com, which calls itself the official home of "Krampus, the holiday devil," calls Krampus a "dark counterpart of Saint Nicholas, the traditional European gift-bringer who visits on his holy day of December 6th... The bishop-garbed St. Nicholas rewards good kids with gifts and treats; unlike the archetypal Santa, however, St. Nicholas never punishes naughty children, parceling out this task to a ghastly helper from below."

-The Crafty Witch

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Adorable Holiday Finds (part 2 of 3)

We are always rushing around for the holidays whether its to see family, partake in festive activities or to get that last minute shopping in. Oh did I even mention the decorations, and the supplies you need to make your home the biggest with "holiday cheer" - one thing on everyone's mind is "How much is this all going to cost me?" Well what if I told you that you could get adorable holiday finds for a fraction of the cost - what if you could get these holiday finds for $1! Im here to save you some money during the holiday, because lets be honest, we could all use the extra dough. All these holiday finds can be found at your local Dollar Tree for yeah you guessed it, $1.


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Christmas Plush Candy Jars

A cute way to deliver sweet treats! Soft felt Santas, reindeer and snowmen top these little plastic jars perfect for jelly beans, candied nuts or other treats! Standing 7" tall, these are excellent stocking stuffers, party favors or at party place settings. Also great for resale in gift shops and toy stores. Case includes 36 Christmas plush and plastic candy jars assorted among snowman, reindeer and Santa styles.



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Christmas House Tinsel Snowman & Santa Wall Decor, 12"


Merry little snowmen and Santas add a jolly sparkle to all your holiday décor! Metal frames are covered in colorful tinsel for simple decorations that make a big statement — a cheery greeting for your front door, walls, office doors, or store entrances. Also great for resale in holiday and gift shops. Case includes 48 Christmas House® 12" tinsel wall decorations assorted between snowmen and Santas.

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Felt Elf Hats with Ears, 13¾"


Play the part of Santa's helper with these fun felt elf hats with ears! Great for putting a smile on the faces of others, these felt hats come in green with a red bottom stripe and star, and red with a green bottom stripe and star, and all have 2 elf ears attached to the sides. A nice departure from the traditional Santa hats. These are fun for holiday parties, Christmas plays, and anyone trying to spread a little Christmas cheer. Case includes 24 – 13½" felt elf hats with ears assorted evenly among the 2 styles shown.

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-The Crafty Witch

Monday, December 2, 2013

25 Best Movies of the Holidays - 14-16 Of 25

In this weeks installment of the 25 Best Movies of the Holidays I bring you I holiday classic (well at least it is in my household) The Santa Clause trilogy featuring the always funny Tim Allen. This weeks category is, as you guessed it Tim Allen!

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The Santa Clause


Length: 97 mins.     Year: 1994

Cast: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd

Movie Description

When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place. Divorcee Scott Calvin is disgusted to learn that his ex and her husband have tried - and failed - to break it easy to their 6-year-old son Charlie that Santa isn't real. On Christmas Eve, Scott reads The Night Before Christmas... then receives an unexpected visitor on his roof. When he's startled by Scott's calling out and falls, the Santa impersonator disappears, leaving only an 8-reindeer sleigh and a suit with instructions to put it on if he's involved in an accident. Scott does, and is transported around the town dropping gifts through chimneys until he's taken to the North Pole and informed by a group who claim they're elves that he is now Santa. Charlie is proud of his dad's new job, though Scott's convinced it's a dream. Until his hair turns white, his beard refuses to stay shaved, he gains weight inexplicably, even for his sudden love of junk food... Now he's accepted it, there's just one problem: how to keep it secret from his disbelieving family?

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The Santa Clause 2

Length: 104 mins.               Year: 2002

Cast: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell 

Movie Description


Scott Calvin has been a humble Santa Claus for nearly ten years, but it might come to an end if he doesn't find a Mrs. Claus. Scott Calvin has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever. But Santa's got problems (he's even mysteriously losing weight) and things quickly go south when he finds out that his son, Charlie, has landed on this year's "naughty" list. Desperate to help his son, Scott heads back home, leaving a substitute Claus to watch over things at the Pole. But when the substitute institutes some strange redefinition of naughty and nice, putting Christmas at risk, it's up to Scott to return with a new bag of magic to try to save Christmas.

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The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Rating: NR           Length: 83 mins.               Year: 2006

Cast: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd

Movie Description


Now that Santa/Scott Calvin and Mrs. Claus/Carol Calvin have the North Pole running smoothly, the Counsel of Legendary Figures has called an emergency meeting on Christmas Eve! The evil Jack Frost has been making trouble, looking to take over the holiday! So he launches a plan to sabotage the toy factory and compel Scott to invoke the little-known Escape Clause and wish he'd never become Santa! The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is a 2006 American fantasy comedy film directed by Michael Lembeck. It is the third and final installment in The Santa Clause trilogy

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-The Crafty Witch

Friday, November 29, 2013

Festival of Hecate Trivia

Hecate (sometimes spelled Hekate) was originally a Thracian, and pre-Olympian Greek goddess, and ruled over the realms of earth and fertility rituals. As a goddess of childbirth, she was often invoked for rites of puberty, and in some cases watched over maidens who were beginning to menstruate. Eventually, Hecate evolved to become a goddess of magic and sorcery. She was venerated as a mother goddess, and during the Ptolemaic period in Alexandria was elevated to her position as goddess of ghosts and the spirit world.

Much like the Celtic hearth goddess Brighid, Hecate is a guardian of crossroads, and often symbolized by a spinning wheel. In addition to her connection to Brighid, she is associated with Diana Lucifera, who is the Roman Diana in her aspect as light-bearer. Hecate is often portrayed wearing the keys to the spirit world at her belt, accompanied by a three-headed hound, and surrounded by lit torches.

The epic poet Hesiod tells us Hecate was the only child of Asteria, a star goddess who was the aunt of Apollo and Artemis. The event of Hecate's birth was tied to the reappearance of Phoebe, a lunar goddess, who appeared during the darkest phase of the moon.

Today, many contemporary Pagans and Wiccans honor Hecate in her guise as a Dark Goddess, although it would be incorrect to refer to her as an aspect of the Crone, because of her connection to childbirth and maidenhood. It's more likely that her role as "dark goddess" comes from her connection to the spirit world, ghosts, the dark moon, and magic. She is known as a goddess who is not to be invoked lightly, or by those who are calling upon her frivolously. She is honored on November 30, the night of Hecate Trivia, the night of the crossroads.

*arthur unknown

-The Crafty Witch

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Tomorrow

So as many of you know tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and instead of boring you with a post about the history or traditions of Thanksgiving I just wanna write to you and remind you to enjoy this day with your family, put down your phone, you don't need to update facebook or twitter every minute and goodness sake we do not need to see your food on instagram. Spend some time with those who matter.

From the Crafty Witch family to yours - Happy Thanksgiving

-The Crafty Witch

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Celtic Tree Month of Elder Begins -- YESTERDAY

Let me just start off by saying "sorry" I was super busy yesterday getting everything in order for Thanksgiving that I honestly forgot to post yesterday - my apologies!
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The winter solstice will pass, and the Elder moon is a time of endings. Although the Elder can be damaged easily, it recovers quickly and springs back to life, corresponding to the approaching New Year. Called Ruish by the Celts (pronounced roo-esh), the month of Elder is a good time for workings related to creativity and renewal. It is a time of beginnings and endings, births and deaths, and rejuvenation. Elder is also said to protect against demons and other negative entities. Use in magic connected to Faeries and other nature spirits.



-The Crafty Witch