Well for those that celebrate, today is Beltane. Well actually from sunset April 30th-sunset May 1st is what we consider the celebration of Beltane. Beltane is the celebration of life/fertility. As it is half way between Spring and Summer it represents the peak of Spring and the beginnings of Summer. This is a time when the earth energies are at the highest with new life bursting throughout. It's a time of fertility for the earth and life.
Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word 'Beltane' originates from the Celtic God 'Bel', meaning 'the bright one' and the Gaelic word 'teine' meaning fire. Together they make 'Bright Fire', or 'Goodly Fire' and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun's light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community. (source www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/beltane)
Otherwise known as May Day to many. The May Pole is one part of the celebrations you may be familiar with. The Maypole is a popular and familiar image of May Day and Beltane. A phallic pole, often made from birch, was inserted into the Earth representing the potency of the God. The ring of flowers at the top of the Maypole represents the fertile Goddess. Its many coloured ribbons and the ensuing weaving dance symbolise the spiral of Life and the union of the Goddess and God, the union between Earth and Sky. (source www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/beltane)
For me I celebrated by planting a tree sapling in our yard to represent new fertility in our little peace of earth. For you it may be attending a May Day celebration or holding a fire this evening as I am planning to do myself as well. I hope you enjoyed this tidbit of info on Beltane. Blessing to All. Blessed Beltane.
Welcome Spring. As a Wiccan I recognize the Spring Equinox as the celebration of Ostara. We celebrate the change in season and what Mother Earth will soon uncover. With longer days, increased warmth of the sun, blooming trees and flowers, forest creatures awaken from a long winters nap we welcome the change.
Though it hasn't been a rough winter here in the Northeast, I am still ready for Spring. I can't wait to get out in the gardens to plant my vegetables and herbs. I enjoy the longer days of light as we are able to spend more time outdoors enjoying all mother earth provides. So take a minute today to step outside, breath in the fresh Spring air, bath in the warmth of the sun and be grateful for the changing season. Blessings to All.
For those not familiar with the celebration of Ostara here is some basic information.
The spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere falls on Friday March 20 this year, marking the time when the sun passes over the celestial equator. Wiccans and other neopagans observe the day as Ostara, a festival that celebrates the season’s change from dark winter to brightening spring.
Ostara is one of 8 neopagan sabbats, or holidays, that make up the Wheel of the Year.
Ostara, or Eostra, is an Anglo-Saxon goddess who represents dawn. As a spring goddess she oversees the budding plants and burgeoning fertility of the earth. The Horned God, sometimes envisioned as the god Pan, symbolizes the festive enjoyment of nature through hunting and dancing.
Symbols of fertility and new life play a prominent role in many Ostara celebrations.
Similar to those observed at Easter, symbols for Ostara include eggs, rabbits, flowers and seeds. Many neopagans believe these symbols to represent the fecundity of spring and incorporate them into rituals, altars and celebratory feasts.
source: Huffington Post
Our pets are as much our family members as our children. In most cases they are our children for many. So we want to give them the best of everything we can. From providing them with good quality food to treating their aliments with safe products. One such way is to provide all natural remedies for some of the most common issues. Fleas are the biggest one pet owners deal with. Below are a few natural alternatives. Of course, as always please seek the advise of your veterinarian prior to use of any products. These are just suggestions on alternatives you can try if you are looking for a more natural solution.
Natural Flea Remedies:
Using a few drops each of the following essential oils: Eucalyptus, Peppermint & Cedarwood, mix together in a bowl, now add a touch (1 tsp) of olive oil as a carrier oil. Take a damp (not wet) bandanna and pour the mixture on the bandanna very lightly. Take the bandanna and work the oils in with your hands thoroughly. Shake out the bandanna and then roll up and tie lightly to the neck of your dog. These essential oils naturally repel fleas and your dog smells good too. (no one is going to complain about a good smelling dog..:) )
Another great natural solution is Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 1 tsp to 1 quart of their drinking water, per 40 pound dog. These not only helps repels fleas, but it will help improve your dogs skin and coat. Again another bonus.
Natural Paw Salve:
You know with all your dog does, those paws get a work out. From cold and ice to, heat and hot tar. Your dogs paws are sensitive to the heat and cold and this can cause issues with their pads over time. A natural solution is a healing paw salve you can place on their paw for protection from the elements. We make one ourselves and it's 100% natural and includes healing herbs/oils such as calendula and beeswax. It provides a barrier and helps heal at the same time. Try out our Happy Paws for yourself and let us know what you think.
Our pets are part of our family and they deserve the best. So think of a natural alternative when treating common issues. It's better for them overall and makes you happy to.
Blessings to All.
This week we've been working on a new candle wax base. We've been making our herbal, soy candles for a while now but was looking for a change. So we worked on a special blend of organic beeswax and coconut oil. After a few tries we have a nice blend. This really burns nice and clean. The scent throw is great. So overall a great test.
So my thought going forward with our candles with be Aromatherapy Candles. We all know the effects aromatherapy can have on your mind, body and spirit. So I will be working on special blends of essential oils to provide a variety of aromatherapy benefits with our candles when you burn them. Such as Calming, Energizing, Spiritual Balance, Cleansing and so on. Our new brand will be Luna's Healing Aromatherapy Candles.
Though we may be changing over our candle brand, the one thing that will not change is the purity of our candles. They will still be 100% natural, with essential oils, herbs and now beeswax/coconut oil base.
Look for our update candles in March. In the meantime, our currently candles are all marked down 50%.
So hop on over to the Candle Clearance and grab yours while we still have them.
Enjoy your weekend.
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Hello everyone. We are back in the kitchen today to talk about infusing oils with herbs. I do this regularly with a variety of herbs to use in our apothecary products. There are a couple methods you can use to infuse your herbs in oils which we will discuss. But first why infuse herbs in oil? Well the biggest reason is for the medicinal benefits of the herb infused in oil. By allowing the "carrier oil" to soak up the dried herbs, you now have a useful oil that can be added to a variety of products. For us we use this infused oil in our products to provide holistic healing properties. Carrier oils include: jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil to list a few. We use extra virgin olive oil as a our carrier oil for the herbs. It has a longer shelf life as does jobjoba oil. So great if making a larger batch.
The first method of infusing oils is the "Folk Method" or "Solar Method" which is using the sun to infuse your herbs into the oil. This is the method we use for our infusions. Simply use a glass canning jar, fill up with your mix of herbs about 1/2 way and then add your carrier oil to about 1" above the dried herbs. Be sure to leave about 1/2" from the top of the jar for expansion. Cover and place in a sunny window sill for about 3-4 weeks. It is also helpful to place a label on the jar with the name of the herbs used and the date. Once they have fully infused, then strain the oil through a cheese cloth or wire/metal strainer to remove all the herbs. Place strained oil in an dark colored jar and place in your pantry for future use.
The second method is through heat. This is a quicker way to infuse your oils. Place your herbs in a crock pot or double boiler and cover with your carrier oil. Now you need to be very careful when using this method not to fry your herbs. You need to use low heat for 1-5 hours. You will notice the oils start to take on the coloring and scent of the herbs. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled strain with cheese cloth or wire/metal strainer and store in a dark colored glass jar. Be sure to pay attention closely while using this method. Be sure to label and date your jar as well.
So as you can see it's a very simply process to infuse oils with herbs. The benefits from doing so is so worth while. We have a variety of herbs that we infuse regularly to use in our apothecary products. Our favorites include calendula, lavender and peppermint. So give it a try yourself and let us know what herbs you used and for what purpose.
Keep it simple and natural.
Blessing from the Kitchen Witch
Good afternoon my friends. What are we brewing up in the kitchen this week? Well we'll be working on some new recipes for our Natural Solid Perfumes. I love to wear something with a earthy, soft scent myself. For years I've not been able to wear traditional perfume. The scents are too overpowering and usually cause some kind of sinus reaction. So I've been using all natural body spray for a long time. But a couple of weeks ago I realize I wanted more than just a spray so this led to me playing around with my essential oils to come up with a few different scents in a solid perfume style.
I've put together a couple blends of natural solid perfume so far. We have our Patchouli and Orange blend and now working on our cedarwood, rosemary and grapefruit blend. These are made with very basic natural ingredients including beeswax, jojoba oil and essential oil blends. Simple and Natural is always the best way in my book. So this week that's just what we are doing working on the newest blend for our Natural Solid Perfumes. Each one is hand-poured in 2 oz. tins. So great to throw in a bag and take with you. The scent is strong enough, without being overpowering and last several hours.
So if you are looking for something different this may be just for you.
Thanks for reading and we'll be back next week with what's brewing in the Kitchen.
Blessing from the Kitchen Witch
With the redesign of the website, we also have decided to change our blog over. Our blog will be based on herbal, natural remedies for common issues. There will be some short videos on how to make some great herbal remedies, along with great info on herbs that can help you with a variety of aliments. Follow me, The Kitchen Witch, in the kitchen each week for something new brewing. You never know what great creations we'll have going each week.
See You All Soon