🥳 Weekly Witchy CHALLENGE- Holiday Cheer

You have been busy indeed, @Silverbear- and I’m so grateful for all of your hard witchy work, these videos are always a delight! Thanks for spreading the cheer (and those amazing holiday smells!) :drooling_face::two_hearts:

Can’t wait to see what your brilliant mind comes up with, @MeganB! :heart:

That’s so sweet, @Siofra :two_hearts: Good luck with the holiday crafting and have fun baking the Yule log! Can’t wait to hear how it all goes :blush:

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I will definitely let everyone know. My daughter says that it is, “so easy to bake, she can do it,” so it looks like I will be helping her.

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Hopefully I can get it done before we have to pack everything up :sweat_smile:

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Have fun cooking the Yule log with your daughter, @Siofra! Share pics when it’s done- I can’t wait to see your lovely cake! :yum:

I’ve got my fingers crossed for you, @MeganB- wishing you all the best of luck with the big move! It will be wonderful to start the new year in a safe new place :house_with_garden::two_hearts:

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Thanks :hugs: I’m hoping to do something special, without too many people knowing, on our walkthrough Monday :sun_behind_large_cloud: The solstice is seeming to be symbolic for me this year :sweat_smile:

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To make sure I don’t forget to respond to this later, here are my plans for Winter Solstice and Yule. Today I watched the Newgrange Winter Solstice lighting online. (I mentioned it twice elsewhere already, sorry.)

I live in town so a bonfire at the start of winter might draw attention. :sweat_smile: (No Yule log yet, but I might still buy some swiss cake rolls.) Instead, I plan on pretending a shelf on my wall alter is a birthday cake. :open_mouth: :rofl: Not really, but from the picture you’ll see why I really need to watch my candles tomorrow.

While I celebrated Samhain :jack_o_lantern: as my new year, I think this will be a great opportunity to do some candle magic. (And let’s be honest, Advent is a giant :candle: magic festival. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)

The candles I am using are:
Brown - Grounding
Green - Prosperity in the New Year
Purple - Spiritual Growth
Blue - Connecting with my Water Sign, :cancer:, for Peace in the Chaos
Black - Remove the Negative Energy
White - Heal My Mind and Body
Silver - Honor My Goddess

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I’ve been in a pain flare for 2 days, so we weren’t able to make the Yule Log Cake. I did put together a simmer pot with help My Weekend Simmer Pot

I’m hoping for some of dislocations to ease tomorrow. Today it’s been my ribs & right shoulder, so I’ve been on the couch today.

I also haven’t received my wooden spoons for my Yule charms yet. Now they won’t be here until Wednesday afternoon. They were supposed to be here yesterday!

I did make the witch’s ball & pinecone


I decorated my door with another, more festive set of Witch’s Bells

Tomorrow I have a couple of appointments & I think I’m going to embrace my blankets for the day :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I love :blue_heart: the witch’s ball, @krissie117 . :slightly_smiling_face: Hope you have less pain tomorrow.

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Nice altar @praecog29! Candle magic is definitely a favourite of mine!

And Tarot spells too:

Wow @Siofra those look really neat!

Did you remember to do the Prayer for Shipped Packages :laughing:!?

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Since this is our first Yule we decided to celebrate a bit differently than in years past. Usually our family celebrate the 12 days of Christmas but this year my husband made me a Yule log and hand crafted candles. We did solitary Yule celebration and meditated on being thankful for all the wonderful gifts we have received all year long.

I also did a very large salt bowl.

I incorporated all this in our traditional Christmas decor as you can see in the background. :slight_smile: My daughter earlier was thinking of a dear friend who was murdered on Christmas eve and I helped her get over her depression by having her help me decorate while explaining that I also feel down a bit because this is my mother’s favorite season. She died in 1996 and Christmas is very hard for me as well. But I have an ancestor altar that I did for November All Souls day to remember her and to not forget she is in a better place like my daughter’s friend. She perked up and is feeling much better tonight. We will be heading out tomorrow to celebrate Winter Solstice with my son and his fiance (plus family) tomorrow. Very different than last year.

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Jeannie
Blessed be

Blessed be

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I love ur decorations Krissie looks really good! Looks like you have the spirit! I love all of them!
Jeannie

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A very symbolic solstice indeed, @MeganB! I hope the walkthrough goes well and wishing you all the best- a new home is a great way to celebrate the return of the sun! :sun_with_face::house_with_garden::two_hearts:

Go for those swiss cake rolls, @praecog29! :joy::+1: Your candle set-up looks beautiful- you’ve prepared such a wonderful collection! It sounds like your Yuletide celebrations are already off to a wonderful start. Enjoy, and may your holiday be full of light and happiness :candle::heart:

Your simmer pot looked lovely, @Siofra- I hope it helped to ease your pain! Shame about the spoons. I know the post is a bit of a nightmare these days, so I second Fransciso’s suggestion- @Berta’s lovely Prayer for Shipped Packages is perfect for that! :package: At least you have the other crafts to do- and they are stunning! Really well done, Krissie. Thanks for sharing your treasures! :two_hearts:

Absolutely lovely, @Magdelina! I hope you and your husband had a lovely meditation. Your decorations are beautiful- thank you so much for sharing! Enjoy your happy solstice celebrations with your loved ones :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Hooray, @Jeannie1! Everything looks very festive and so nice- well done! Hope you are having a wonderful Yule :sparkling_heart:

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The holidays bring a lot of joy but also a hectic haze! :laughing: I’ve been bustling around getting things ready for my Yule celebrations and Christmas festivities with my partner.

The tree is here and ready :christmas_tree: , and I got some lovely mistletoe to decorate the apartment with:

It looks like I was in tune with @Berta, who has shared some lovely information about mistletoe’s lore, history, and important role in Yule: Why we kiss under the mistletoe :kiss: and Mistletoe and Butterflies :butterfly:.

I blessed the mistletoe under the light of the moon for one night before hanging- soaking up that Waxing Moon energy :waxing_gibbous_moon: and getting ready for the return of the sun after the solstice :sun_with_face:

I also came up with a little Green Witch home blessing to say while decorating:

Seasonal spirits of joy and wealth
Ward off the darkness, bring us good health.
Evergreen tree and mistletoe-
The seed of next year will soon start to grow!

The decorations are a combo for the solstice/Yule, Christmas, and New Years’ celebrations- so I’ve got 3-in-1 covered! :partying_face:

And what would a holiday be without a little baking? :woman_cook:


(A close-up shot because I’ve already eaten 3/4 of it :rofl:)

A seasonal crisp with apples, pears, cranberries, and ginger :apple::pear::red_circle::orange_heart:. Plus a hearty helping of some of the other warming holiday spices talked about in the Fiery Brew Group Ritual a few weeks back.

Still got lots to do, but everything is slowly coming into place! I’ll be cooking up a special Yuletide meal tonight and doing a Solstice meditation to welcome in the light again :relieved::sun_with_face:

Wishing a very Happy Yule to all! :hugs::heart:

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And it’s time for a friendly reminder that this challenge closes:

:grey_exclamation: TOMORROW: Dec 22nd, at 7:00 AM CET (Central European Time)

If haven’t posted yet and you’ve got some fun holiday preparations done, we’d love to see them! Feel free to post about your magickal holiday cheer by the deadline.

Blessed be! :sparkling_heart:

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Love everyone’s beautiful pictures. I feel like I have just had a “Holiday Tour of Homes”
Nice bundle of Mistletoe @TheTravelWitch. I wish I had your recipe for that yummy crisp you made. I have never added pear and cranberry - that is a healthy twist.

@Jeannie1 I Love your beautiful bells and I love the way you decorated your Yule Log. :heart_eyes:

@Magdelina your hubby did a great job on your Yule Log AND HANDCRAFTED CANDLES!!! That is truly the pioneer spirit at work. You’ll appreciate that Emily (my daughter in Wyoming) cut a small tree to decorate her table, (avoiding the dogs tail). The ornaments I sent her this year were too heavy for the branches! Made me think of Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

@Siofra I love your ornament with the inspiration tag and your pinecones (a favorite I had to add to the old BOS). I have to ask if you made your bells. They are stunning!!! :heart_eyes:

@praecog29 Thanks for your candle array! I love candles (when they don’t blow up) and that is a lovely way to celebrate solstice. To be honest, it never crossed my mind to use a bit of candle magic…like two favorite in one - as long as I am burning candles why not add purpose. Perfect!.

@Siofra and @SilverBear I love the simmer pots. One of my favorite holiday memories was drinking homemade Wassail after Christmas Caroling. I miss the smell and taste of that spicy drink. You inspire me to see if I can make a small batch at home. (Wonder where Dad stashed the Rum)… :roll_eyes: If I can’t find all the ingredients I know I can at least use your simmer pot idea and make the house smell festive and protected.

@Francisco thank you for adding your lovely tarot spread. Something must have happened in a past life that has me jumpy around those cards. I haven’t been able to figure out my anxiety about them. It is NOT rational. My heart pounds, my hands shake and I would define my emotion as ‘fear’. It is a real love/hate relationship I have with them. So strange. I admire anyone who has the gift to work with Tarot. I find the images beautiful and intriguing. It truly frustrates me.

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Love your crafts @Siofra! I’m sorry you weren’t up to baking. Hopefully today you’ll feel better. Good luck with your appointments!

What a gorgeous Yule Log @Magdelina! That looks awesome!

And your log @Jeannie1 looks great as well, I’m sad I can’t make it out to the forest to find one now.

You know I’ve never seen Mistletoe around here, not even in the shops when I was young? Holly, sure, but not misletoe. Go figure. Sounds like you have a wonderfully festive day planned out today @TheTravelWitch! Hope you have a good one!

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solstice

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

–Susan Cooper, The Shortest Day

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This was a bit of a challenge to set up since I have an active spell on my altar and didn’t want to disturb it too much. Here is my yule log I made from a branch that fell from our birch tree last fall. Pretty simple compared to all of your beautiful creations. I set out my Yule memory box. The Witch bells are always on my bedroom door but I love their sound this time of year. I also have had a permanent small jingle bell wreath in the shape of a star that is always up. :slight_smile: It just means more to me at Yule. I continue my Mother’s tradition of changing out the large wreath on the front of the house. Right now it is pine boughs and pinecones, lights and red ribbon.

Bells on the doors sound sweet and so clear
Holly and mistletoe herald the year
Love and light enter all hearts on this day
Peace and protection we beg you to stay
Friends and family held dear in our hearts
Our spirits hold tightly and never apart
God Yule to you -everyone -Welcome the sun
May warmth, love and peace be yours - darkness is done!

-Berta

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When Jupiter and Saturn—the two biggest planets in our solar system—meet, it’s termed the “Great Conjunction.” What’s even more special is that it’s happening on night of the winter solstice.

WREATHS

Wreaths are part of many ancient traditions dating back to the earliest civilizations. The circle is a symbol of immortality; throughout history, wreaths have been associated with life, rejuvenation, and renewal. Originally, wreaths were worn around the head, neck, or waist.

The Greeks awarded laurel wreaths to their triumphant athletes, in the Persian Empire they were worn on the head as a symbol of importance, and ancient Romans wore them like crowns. In Sweden, candles were incorporated in the wreaths to celebrate the return of light after the winter solstice. Nowadays we use them in a window or on a door as a sign of welcome during the holidays.They can be used flat on a table for decoration or as an advent wreath, which also has candles, one for each Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

YULE LOVE THIS WREATH

Need: a circular frame - (a wire frame can be a wire coat hanger into a circle)
Floral wire
Side cutters for cutting the wire
Pruners for cutting the greens
Ribbon
Misc. greens, herbs, nature finds… etc.
IMAGINATION and CREATIVITY

There are no hard and fast rules for wreath-making. Whatever pleases you is a success!

Every wreath starts with a base of some sort; it can be wire, straw, vine, or wood. Stalks of woody herbs like rosemary, lemon verbena, artemisia, or summer savory can be wrapped into a circle to make a fragrant base. Attach the wire to the base by winding it three times round and securing. Gather small bundles of bunches of evergreens together and wire them to the base. Continue making similar bundles of greens. Overlap the bunches to hide the stems. Tuck small bunches of herbs and other interesting greens into the base using more wire to hold them if necessary. Using greens of different colors and textures will give your wreath its richness. Add cones, dried flowers, berries, and fruit for accents. Don’t forget the bow!

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