Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch
It’s finally done! 3 years in the making and I’m proud to announce it’s available as an e-book. It’s absolutely stunning in print as it’s large and plenty of full colored photographs. Either way – it’s something that everyone has been emailing me about how to get started with Wicca & Witchcraft. Well this is it – a guide for you to personally enjoy and learn even more than just the basics! ~ Aldora
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Author Archives: Aldora
Want answers about life direction, hardships, advice, counseling, & spirituality? As a Solitary Elder and Wise Woman – I have 22 years of experience of holistic counseling, a Medic by profession & a Herbal Practitioner. I provide integrated wellness and achievable life strategies.
I have moved off grid and WiFi access is not as easily accessible as it used to be. I still get so many emails daily asking for advice on personal matters and I simply cannot answer all of you. Spending time online when you are off grid is very costly. I can only make the time for subscribed customers through my “Wise Woman Counseling”. For direct contact and info you can email me at AldoraWiseWoman at yahoo.com (I think you can figure that one out – trying to avoid the robots from emailing me!)
I spent all Spring, Summer & Autumn foraging in the wilderness for wild herbs. I’ve been lucky enough to have dried a full Winter’s stock of collected herbs for tea infusions. I ordered some self loading tea bags, and presto, ready to go! I can make all my own combinations and I know exactly what is in my tea, and that’s really important to me. I get to regulate yet another food item I can control to give me peace of mind. My favorite this year is the wild mint that grows along our lake shore, it’s amazing! I dried rhubarb, diced orange & lemon slices, ginger and wild strawberries to go additionally into the herb teas. Should be a cozy winter, I’m ready… bring on the snow!
So many of us wonder why we see the same animal pop up wherever we go. It just may be that the animal in question is your Spirit/Totem Guide. Some people see them as angels or guardians. If you know you have a connection to a certain animal and it often shows itself to you and acts as a guide, just remember it is just that – a guide. It’s not something that you have to worship and give yourself to. Usually the guide that frequently reveals itself to you has a similar personification that you share. Individuals also feel they could be Ancestral Guides, such as a dear relative that has passed on which they believe to be reincarnated as the animal that shows up as a guide when you are questioning or contemplating life in general. If it’s an animal that is affecting you negatively – then this is not a spirit guide.
I have had several in my life – but I find as I’ve become older and wiser, the Owl has followed me and showed up more in my life now than ever before. Could you deny sitting by a lake in the remote wilderness all by yourself and watching the sunrise and the clouds dance and form perfect shapes of owl’s faces? (In the picture below – there were 2 owls faces side by side, but by the time I ran for my camera there was only one and a half there). It seemed the universe was putting a show on just for me – because no one else in the world could see the clouds form these shapes like I could. (I literally live at a fly-in only remote location in the middle of the wilderness). So the Owl it is…and a very honorable one at that. The Owl represents determination, independence, protection, patience, balance, intuition, wisdom, instinct, clarity, action & power. All the traits I’ve needed to do what I’ve just done with my life, sell everything and move out to the middle of nowhere – off grid. The Owl and I share being able to see what is hidden to most. We can see beyond deceit and illusion, giving us the ability to see things for what they are. The Owl inspires and guides with full inspiration necessary to fully explore the unknown and magic of life. Together we can navigate any darkness in our life. The owl is a strong spirit guide for discernment and making decisions based solid foundations.
If you have an owl as a totem or spirit animal you probably like to explore the unknown. The mysteries of life are a fascinating field of interest. As the owl guides your steps, you are likely to develop an appreciation for life’s magic.
When the owl shows up in your life, look and listen for the subtle signs that are around you and pay attention to the winds of change. Night time is particularly auspicious for your creativity, so take the time to focus your creative energy then. Perhaps you are about to leave some old habits, a situation that no longer serve you or to bring something new in your life – maybe important changes are taking place or about to happen. Your animal spirit guide is a great helper to be attentive to what usually goes below your radar, but is now of particular importance.
For more info on Spirit Animals or Totem Animals go here – I do a feature on them in my new book.
Many families have one. A person within a family unit that has been labelled as the “trouble maker”, “problem child”, the one who rebels and doesn’t fit in with the rest.
I am the black sheep – the oldest – head strong and threatening. My parents were stricter with me than they were with my siblings. My mistakes were blown out of proportion and punished disproportionately. I always felt like I didn’t fit in, and was constantly tattled on by siblings of anything I did and punished for it, therefore I didn’t develop strong connections with them. Instead I was mocked, ridiculed and scapegoated, often being blamed for things other siblings did. Black sheep experience many problems within a family unit. Parents and siblings will often dislike anyone you date or have a relationship with. If you get too headstrong, confident and happier, your family seems intent on bringing you down or convincing you that you are still and will always be viewed as the family problem. If they have ever had to help or support you in any way they want constant acknowledgement that you never would have made it to where you are if they didn’t have to lend a helping hand. Usually they don’t recall how thankful you were for their generosity, only how ungrateful you have become. Therefore pushing you further away from ever asking anything of your family again – actually you will avoid this at all cost even if you are struggling.
You may be an Atheist in a family of Christians, a party animal that didn’t stay in school or had a high school pregnancy. As an adult – you may have experienced abusive marriages, financial collapse or job complications all in the twisted upbringing that brainwashed you into always trying to do better to please your parents so you could fit in with their docile herd of sheep they call a family. Funny enough you’re the one they will talk about at family gatherings, because you are rude, obnoxious, or make poor choices and they wonder where they went wrong. If you are the oldest child you are head-strong and threatening. Younger black sheep sibling tends to be naive and abusable. Either way your contrasting behaviour, personality and likes pasted a bulls eye to your back and you were targeted throughout your life. They may fear you because you are outspoken and bold, having no fear in standing up for what you believe in.
Usually you are outnumbered as the other white sheep will conform and stick together in need for emotional/monetary family support and stability. Your past will follow you into your future and you will always be viewed by any mistakes you have made no matter how much effort you put in trying to correct them. Often families go to great measures to keep the member of the family they’ve unconsciously chosen to be the black sheep that way, otherwise they are forced to face their own inadequacies. So if you’re stuck in a pull-tug relationship with your family where they treat you like crap, but cry and mope when you back away wishing you could all just get along, this is why. Even though you have put your problems behind you, they are still airing them out as dirty laundry.
I was always civil because I’m a good person, but there comes a time in your life when you are still being pushed beyond your own limitations and you snap. Shit happens. Get over it and move forward. It’s not your job to make everyone happy, not everyone is going to like you. So be it. Eventually, you may have cut away from this destructive family dynamic. You are not the cause of your family dysfunction. When a person or group of people need to subconsciously elect someone else to personify their own pain and distress, someone to point the finger at and pin their problems on … these are very unhappy people indeed. They haven’t yet learnt how to consciously handle their feelings of guilt, of insignificance, of embarrassment or disappointment with themselves and their lives.
Because of the black sheep trait – I have excelled in many things, explored many life’s opportunities and are constantly looking for ways in which I can achieve more and continually striving to become a better person – I’m surrounded by amazing supportive friends and a wonderful husband (yes, he’s a black sheep too!) We’ve gone through the best of times and the worst of times and in the end, we are always there for each other. Climbing to the top almost becomes an addiction but somewhere along the way you learn that when you are that determined you can do anything. It’s not all about getting to the top anymore – it’s how you get there that counts. You learn to accept who you are, love yourself and free your mind of the guilt placed on you your entire life. As you become an adult – you can choose who gets to be in your circle. You don’t need to justify your lifestyle to your family. I have many dear friends from relationships decades old who know the “real me” quirks and all and love me for exactly who I am. They are the ones that make me strong, confident and I feel at ease when I’m around them – that’s what I call family.
I get many emails all over the world on a daily basis of people with “black sheep” traits asking for help with their families who don’t understand them and they feel they don’t “fit in”. I hope you take from this article what you need to help you do what’s right for you. Whatever your life holds for you, it is your journey…you are the one in the drivers seat! Your first steps are to recognize your problems – secondly strategize a solution. Most importantly forgive yourself, forgive your family and move on – life is too short.
Let’s face it, food prices are only going to rise indefinitely! There are things you can do to ease the pinch of being able to feed your family a healthy meal.
Be choosey about products, read labels, check freshness and expiry dates. You want to get the best quality for your hard earned money. The fresher it is, the longer it will last. Make sure you have a grocery list and only buy the things you need and are out of.
Keep food simple, don’t buy prepackaged sauces that are laden with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Invest in a large selection of spices and make some easy homemade sauces if need be.
Buy in bulk, compare online flyers and shop where the sales are. Coupons are available in flyers and online. Find a cool place in the house to store your bulk potatoes, onions, carrots etc – like a cold storage cellar. Buy meat in bulk and portion it at home. Prepping crock pot meals with meat, spices and veggies all in one saves time and storage. You will alleviate pressure trying to juggle work and family meals when prepping ahead of time.
Forage for food in the wild when you can. Learn how to properly find safe wild mushrooms and edibles like fiddleheads, herbs & more. Hunt for your own food if you are able. It’s the safest most fresh meat you will get on the planet. Get your fishing license – go fishing and bring home dinner. Learn to dry & can foods for storage if you have limited freezer space.
Grow your own food. Do you have a beautiful manicured front lawn but no garden? Why?? In this day and age a lawn is redundant – dig it up and put a garden in! If it’s off season, try container gardening right in your home. We all need to try to do our best to be more self sustainable.
Eat at home as often as you can. Restaurants are laden with processed foods. Shop for the less expensive vegetables even if they are not a regular household staple for your family. Try new recipes, who knows…you might surprise everyone with a new family favorite.
Re-invent your leftovers, make stew, soup or whatever you can to use everything up and not be wasteful – you shouldn’t be throwing anything away as what you don’t use you can usually compost (for that garden you are putting in!) Most fruit can be frozen, so if those bananas are turning brown – freeze them for later use in banana bread. Or make a smoothie out of any frozen fruit.
The Krampus, where did it come from? Where did it originate? I can tell you he’s very much alive in Austria & Croatia! Associated within the Germanic belief systems with St.Nikolaus, same origin of the North American Santa Claus. I haven’t been able to find any information attaching such a creature to Pagan roots. For such a thing to be connected to Christmas & Saint Nicholas, by dragging the bad children to Hell – would foretell Christian roots. They have the Devil, so it wouldn’t be far off to scare the children with Krampus, now would it? I think people often overlook just how creative Christians can be. Christian ideas about the appearance of devils and demons most certainly played a role in the iconography of the Krampus, and why not? Christians love the Devil even if they don’t like to admit it, that’s why he’s been such a huge figure in art and literature for the past 700 years. Krampus picked up pagan attributes because demons were generally depicted that way. Pagans don’t believe in demons or a place called Hell – so as far as I’m concerned this new movie coming out just before Christmas is going to pull a dark curtain over our beautiful Pagan ways. It’s frustrating that once again, people are being misled by the movie industry as so many will believe it as a Pagan legend for it is being mis-represented that way. Krampus doesn’t resemble Pan or Cernunnos, nor does he act like them. Krampus is simply a deterrent against bad behavior, and is really no different than the far creepier Elf on a Shelf. In folklore the Krampus serves a couple of different roles. In many instances he’s an assistant to St. Nicholas. It’s Krampus who carries the toys and serves as St. Nick’s driver.
Cara from Austria writes…
I grew up in the Alps of Austria and know Krampus well. I have never ever heard of him as companion of the Christkindl. Only of St. Nikolaus. We celebrate the Saint on Dec. 6, whereas the day of Krampus is the 5th of December. Usually they come together in order to give sweets to the children (and call them by their evil-doings, as you described so well). We have Kramperllauf (runnings of Krampus) through the alpine towns from end of November until the weekend of St. Nikolaus. There are up to 900 Kramperl (many with hand-carved wooden masks, as shown in the pics, which are very heavy btw) running through the streets, with fire, drums and so on. There has always – always – to be at least one Saint Nicholas in those runnings, he leads the procession in order to keep the hell’s spirits at bay. Krampus is always under control of the Saint and (sometimes) his two or three fragile angels beside the Saint. Krampus traditionally wears chains and is – in his chains – bound by St. Nikolaus. That is the reason, why we do not have to fear Krampus at all. And that is the reason, why parents allow Krampus to show up to their children. Children are told, that they do not have to fear, thanks to our Lord, or – more figuratively for younger children – St. Nikolaus as he is authorized by the Lord.
Christkindl is actually on the one hand our Lord himself. We celebrate his birth 24th of Dec. evening. There is no Santa Claus in our country around 24th of December. This is all about Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the cradle, ox and sheep and shepherds and 3 kings. We do not understand Santa Claus on the birth of Jesus, but have him adopted in the last years (the Coca Cola version) in our shops and christmas-lightings. But we really do not understand him on that date. As to bringing the gifts, we imagine an angel (adult and with wings) as the servant of Baby Jesus. That angel is functioning under the name Christkindl as well. Santa Claus (American version, 25 th/Dec) seems to stem from northern Europe traditions. We do not fully understand that. And the Reindeers we do not understand as well, but like it.
We can all embrace Yuletide, or Christmas with our own traditions even if we are not religious or Christian. You can be without religion and still want to celebrate our earth and the changing of the seasons. Some still don’t understand that with the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas. I try to separate myself from the commercialism and marketing of the holiday in order to reflect on ancient more practical traditions that represent what this time of year is all about. In Germanic Pagan history, Yule was a time when Odin (a white bearded magical man, ruler of Asgard) led a hunting party, known as the Wild Hunt, in the sky with an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir on the eve of the Winter solstice. Children would leave their boots by the chimney filled with carrots and hay to feed Sleipnir. Legend has it that whenever Odin flew by he would leave gifts by their boots. Whatever magical history you want to put your faith into – make it a joyous occasion and give everyone the freedom to embrace their own culture. Afterall it’s the time of year to recognize peace and compassion for others.
The Winter Solstice & Yuletide: Although winter is the season of dormancy, darkness and cold, the December Solstice marks the “turning of the Sun” and the days slowly get longer. Celebrations of the lighter days to come and nature’s continuing cycle, we celebrate the birth of the “true light of the world” in synchronization with the December solstice. Bonfire’s are lit and toasts of spiked apple cider are made with family & friends as we celebrate the return of the light and rebirth of the year. Kids eagerly anticipate the coming of Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule (or the Christian Santa). Evergreen boughs are brought into the home to represent the eternal Divine and mistletoe hung as a symbol of her seed. Holly is used as a constant invitation of good luck and fortune for all that visit the home. A Yule log made of Ash that is burned to bring light to the hearth at Solstice. It’s a time to reflect on plans for the future. It’s the beginning of December and this is the time to spend those long dark evenings crafting for loved ones that you intend on gift giving. It could be as simple as a batch of home baked cookies or fine jams wrapped in a decorative box with a big ribbon. We all have different talents – find yours and use it to gift to your loved ones at this time of year.
Autumn is precisely the time to find some of nature’s most wonderful things. Rosehips for one – they are plentiful where I live as wild roses grow everywhere. They are the fruit of the rose plant and typically are orange to red in color. Rose hips are used for Herbal Teas, Jam, Jelly, Syrup, Rosehip soup, beverages, pies, bread, wine & marmalade. They can also be eaten raw, like a berry, if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit. Dried rose hips are also sold for primitive crafts and home fragrance purposes. Rose hips are particularly high in Vitamin C content, they contain 50% more vitamin C than oranges. A single tablespoon of the pulp gives an adult more than the recommended daily allowance of 60 mg. They can be eaten raw, after being put through a blender, or soaked in water overnight and then cooked in the water for about half an hour. Rose hip extracts are used to reduce arthritis pain. Rose hip tea is a mild diuretic and laxative. It is used to improve, and relieve the symptoms of kidney disorders, or to help in the case of mild constipation. The astringent qualities of rose hip oil makes it a valuable addition in cosmetic preparations. It has the ability to help regenerate new skin cells. This can be used to treat scars, acne and burns. While it is an astringent, it does not dry out the skin; actually it helps to rehydrate it, keeping the moisture in. Drinking rose hip tea daily will also benefit your skin. Rose hips have a high vitamin A content. Vitamin A is commonly referred to as the “skin vitamin”. The vitamin A is also beneficial to the immune system. It can help to prevent infections from both bacteria and viruses. It helps the immune system to fight off any infections that do occur too, also known as a good cancer preventative. Make sure you harvest Rose hips that have not been sprayed by pesticides.
What a perfect time of year to get out and explore what’s around you. Vacations are costly so think about making day trips in each direction from where you live every chance you get. It doesn’t matter if you are in the city or country, explore and see the place you live in a way you never have before. Instead of spending big dollars on a tropical destination, support local B&B’s, do some fall camping, wilderness foraging, or a simple picnic in a park. Be sure to take some time out of your work week to enjoy life how it was meant to be enjoyed. Beauty is surrounding you, take the time now – to stop and open your eyes.