Sunday, December 30, 2012

Have an Enchanting New Year

Hello,

I hope you all have enjoyed the past few weeks of festivities with your friends, coven and families. As 2012 comes to a close, I wish you all a new year full of good health, success, love, and magick.



Here is a spell of mine that was first published in the Spell-a-day Almanac in 2007 for New Years eve. I thought you would all enjoy it!


December 31st (New Years Eve)
At midnight on New Years Eve stand at your threshold and repeat this spell to welcome in the year. This New Year’s Eve spell calls for prosperity, health and happiness. It also reaffirms your vows as a Witch to “Harm none.”  A few minutes before midnight, light a white candle, to symbolize the new year. Then set it in a prominent place and move to your front door. Open the door wide and repeat the spell as the new year is born.

*As the clock strikes twelve, so begins a new calendar year,
Now ring in prosperity, health, happiness, and good cheer.
I welcome this magickal year with hope and open arms,
May I keep my vows to help, to heal, and to cause no harm.
By the powers of hearth and home this spell is spun,
                                             As I will it so shall it be, and let it harm none.

 *Copyrighted material- This spell was written by Ellen Dugan and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from author.

Have an Enchanting New Year!
Blessed be, Ellen

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Embrace the Light: A Yuletide Spell!

Good Morning,
The Winter Holidays are fast upon us, and no matter what holiday you celebrate, Light and the return of the light is the common theme. As the autumn months come to a close and winter gets ready to officially begin, take a moment and be thankful for the blessings that are in your life.
On the morning of December 21st at 6:12 am EST the sun enters the astrological sign of Capricorn, signaling the Winter Solstice our longest night time hours , and the shortest daytime hours of the year.

To the left is a striking photo of sunrise at the winter solstice at Stonehenge.Photos like this always inspire me and remind me that simple celebrations are often the best. Take a moment to reflect and celebrate the rebirth of the sun in your own way.

Now, since a trip to Stonehenge is not an option for many of us, you can still note the position of the sun no matter where you live-- if you pay attention to the daytime sky over the next week or so.
On the day of the winter solstice and for a few days after, the sun's path and its zenith (the sun's highest point in the sky) will look to be about the same for a few days. Which started the "sun standing still" moniker. Around the 24th of December, you will begin to notice that the sun is indeed traveling higher in the sky the daylight hours have lengthened, and even though the days will be cold, and winter has officially begun, remember that the season of winter is all about introspection. It is a time to prepare, to gather together, and to rest up for new beginnings in the coming spring.

Here is a spell I wrote that was originally published in the 2006 Llewellyn Witches Datebook for Yule. I thought it would be fun to share it with you all.

"On the day of the Winter Solstice, celebrate the birth of the Sun God in simple ways. Tuck fresh sprigs of berried holly around the house for protection and good luck. (If you have little ones make sure the berries are well out of reach.) 
Burn red, cinnamon scented candles to honor the Sun King’s birth, and green, bayberry scented candles for prosperity and good fortune. 
Drape some pine roping over your doorways to ward your home, and to encourage good health and joy. Rumor has it that by doing this you are inviting the faeries of winter into your home so they can have a warm place to celebrate the Yuletide festivities."
The charm is just below. Please remember that this is all copyrighted material and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author- which would be me. 
"When a Witch decks the halls with boughs of holly.  
Expect that the Yuletide feast will be jolly.  
Now add a touch of magick and a pinch of glee, 
Welcome renewal in Yuletide’s season of peace." -Ellen Dugan Copyrighted material

 Now go bake some cookies, bring in a few sprigs of fresh holly, boxwood, rosemary and pine and enjoy the coming holidays with your friends and family.
For more ideas on decorating, my family's gingerbread cookie recipe and plenty of magick to inspire you throughout the holidays check out the Yuletide/ Winter Solstice chapter of my new book Seasons of Witchery.

Learn more about the wild hunt and it's ties to Yule, celebrate the holiday season in magickal style and embrace the light. After all the Solstice is the reason for the season!

I wish all a you a Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year!
Yuletide Blessings,
Ellen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yule is just aournd the corner....

Good Morning,

Today I have to finish up some Yule shopping, (hopefully) and I am looking forward to getting out of the house for a few hours. Either something I ate on Saturday night at the restaurant did not agree with me or I have a touch of a bug. Blah. I am starting to feel better and besides being stiff from either being at my desk or crashed on the couch, I am on the mend.

Yesterday I took the pile of gifts that had been stacked up in my office and had a marathon gift wrapping session in the kitchen. Now I can see the floor of my office again. I am typically a very tidy person so Having a pile of shopping bags all lined up on the office floor was starting to make me twitchy.

Today is going to be cold again, but I am going to bundle up and head out to the historic section of town anyway, I need the fresh air and the walk on Main Street will do me good. I have to pick up a few gifts that I ordered,  and figure out what I want to purchase to finish up the kid's gifts.

 This coming weekend my husband and I are going to cook a turkey and have all of our adult kids over for supper. After enduring two dried out turkeys on Thanksgiving, undercooked casseroles and vegetables at various relatives houses I want a good turkey and all of the trimmings that we like.
The Hubs got a turkey from work, so this week I will start to organize the trimmings and get it ready to go. I think I will make a red velvet cake the day before the dinner, just for fun. They are so festive. Or if I can find a Yule log cake at a local bakery I might just do that instead.

This year our holidays are going to be different. Typically we have our adult kids over for a quiet dinner and to relax after the craziness of seeing all the relatives on the 24 and 25th, but this year, since my oldest son Kraig, just bought his first house a few months ago... we will be going to Kraig's house for dinner on the 25th. So a new tradition for my brood and I am looking forward to it.

Yeah, I am still doing most of the cooking. But either I rush home from the relatives, and set everything up here... or I go to his house and set everything up ahead of time. I am thinking of doing pulled pork in a crock pot, and I need to figure out the logistics of hauling food and dessert across town. Kraig and Kyle can handle the drinks, chips, dips and cheese trays.

Besides his house is seriously great and he is excited to share his home with the family at the holidays. He and his brother Kyle used to share an apartment now Kyle is his room mate at the house. Last week I went over to help them decorate and that's when we kicked around the idea of him hosting the dinner on the 25th. So as I helped him put up his little 4 foot tree in his living room, the lit pine garland in the kitchen, and the table top Cardinals Baseball tree that is his brother's- which ended up in their kitchen on top of the big kitchen table, which looks great there... we hatched our current plans.

It took everything I had NOT to go crazy and run out and get more holiday decorations. What he has was great for an apartment, but now that he has a house- the holiday trimmings need a bit more oomph. However, I did restrain myself. I am a floral designer and I will decorate any surface in front of me.... so I reminded myself that its not my house and if the boys want more decorations they would ask me for help.Oh and if you are wondering, yes they did and still do roll their eyes at me.

So, Yule is just around the corner, I am finishing up the shopping and soon cookie baking will begin. Today I want to listen to some holiday music, enjoy the chilly day and relax. If you want more ideas for celebrating Yule- and getting in a holiday spirit, check out the Yule chapter in my new book, Seasons of Witchery. 
Blessed be, Ellen


Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Witches Discussion Group!

Good Morning,

In a few days, Saturday- December 8th,  my friend Charlynn and I will host the first (of what I hope will be many) St. Louis area Witches discussion group. The two of us have been kicking around for a while a way to have a friendly way to allow other Witches, Pagans and magickal minded folks a way to network, meet and to exchange ideas.

This first Discussion group will meet at a public library, and I am tickled to be able to find a space that is FREE. I am also curious to see how many folks show up. I know that most of my coven sisters, and recent students are coming to show support, so that will be fun. I have not seen some of my favorite witchy people since our big Halloween party.

Charlynn and I have a few other ideas we have been working on as well, and we will see how those unfold in the next calendar year.

After I finish up book #15 I will start to work on a year long Witchcraft class. Something where the students will gather together for lessons but also celebrate the Sabbats together for an entire year. This is still in the planning phase and I will be sure to keep you all posted. For now however, That contracted book is my priority. Once that is off my desk in the spring, then I can focus on the new year long classes.

Here is the information for the Witches Discussion Group. Saturday, December 8 2:00-3:30pm. 
I hope to see many of the St. Louis area Witches there! It is FREE, and it is a fun way to get out and meet and greet with other magickal minded folks. Plus I will have some door prizes to give away!

Topic for December: Yule - A Witch;'s Guide to Surviving the Holidays.

Witches Discussion Group
Hosted by Ellen Dugan and Charlynn Walls
Date: December 8th 2012
Time: 2:00- 3:30 pm.
Place: Kathryn Linnemann Library (Meeting Room)
2323 Elm Street
Saint Charles, MO. 63301
Library Phone Number 636-346-6294
Ages 18 and up are welcome.
FREE!

A new discussion group for the Witches, Wiccans and Pagans of the St. Louis area.
Topic for December: Yule- A Witch's Guide to Surviving the Holidays
We will be meeting monthly to discuss magickal topics of interest. This will be a friendly exchange of ideas, magick and the discussion group will allow for attendees to have the chance to network and meet other magickal folks from the area. Ages 18 and up are welcome. The discussion group is free.

Please note: Due to work on the Blanchette Bridge, please consider taking 370 or the Page Extension to come to Saint Charles. We look forward to seeing you there!
Blessed be, Ellen

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Yuletide...

Good Morning,
Last night the Hubs and I took in the sights and sounds of the Holiday happenings of historic Saint Charles. The weather was lovely and in the low 50's high 40's. The warm temperatures brought folks out in droves. Here is a link if you want to check it out. http://stcharleschristmas.com/

They have been doing this Holiday festival for years and it gets bigger and better every year. Here is a picture of the Civil War Santa- from their website- and one of the first Santas we saw this year.Oh and yes, we saw Julinesse again, as well as Frontier Santa, Pere Noel, Jack Frost, (he always is so cranky and argues with everyone. It's funny and the kids and teens love it). Ah lets see... we also saw Clara from the nutcracker, the town crier, an Angel and of course the Sugar Plum faerie.

As I wrote about in my book, Seasons of Witchery, taking a walk along the cobblestones of Main Street and enjoying the lights (I think there were even more lights this year- it was gorgeous) and seeing all of the characters always help to put me in a Holiday mood. So the Hubs and I walked around for a couple of hours, grabbed a hot chocolate and a cookie from "Grandmas Cookies", listened to the Drum and Fife Corp and of course I ended up stopping at Main Street Books, to order a few things. Here is a link to the store- check it out! mainstreetbooks.net
I did an author event for Seasons of Witchery and Witches Tarot, there this fall, and I always support my local independent book store! That and hello, a writer shopping in a book store? What are the odds?

Since the weather is so warm this weekend the holiday lights are going up on the house- today. No more excuses from the Hubs... I mean jeez, we have orange lights all over the house for Samhain/ Halloween, it feels funny to be one of the last folks in the neighborhood to put up their winter holiday lights. I know its only the first of December but, wow. I feel like a slacker. There is one house in our neighborhood a block over that is really something, and holy crap you could signal passing planes with the light display. Its a little tiny ranch style house, but I would imagine he has an extra breaker box. That's a LOT of lights, its a toss up between over the top obnoxious and jaw droppingly cute.

I really wanted to switch over to outdoor LED lights this year, but after dropping several hundred dollars on computer repair and sewer line clean outs the week of Thanksgiving, our white icicle lights will have to do. Besides we could not agree on new LED lights anyway. He wanted the old 1950's vintage looking big colored bulbs and I preferred the faceted looking large bulbs in the nifty new colors.

When we drove home from Main Street last night he even pointed out to me all of the houses that have those old school types of lights. Yeah they did look nice, when they wrapped them in a garland. So we agree to disagree and are putting back up the icicle lights along the roof line of the house. Half of them are only 1 year old anyway, We had to replace them last year as they blew out while we were hanging them up!

A week from today is the first Witches Discussion Group. My friend Charlynn and I will be hosting this. Here is all of the information for that- I hope to see many of the St. Louis area Witches there! It is FREE, and it is a fun way to get out and meet and greet with other magickal minded folks. Topic for December: Yule - A Witch;'s Guide to Surviving the Holidays.

Witches Discussion Group
Hosted by Ellen Dugan and Charlynn Walls
Date: December 8th 2012
Time: 2:00- 3:30 pm.
Place: Kathryn Linnemann Library (Meeting Room)
2323 Elm Street
Saint Charles, MO. 63301
Library Phone Number 636-346-6294
Ages 18 and up are welcome.
FREE!

A new discussion group for the Witches, Wiccans and Pagans of the St. Louis area.
Topic for December: Yule- A Witch's Guide to Surviving the Holidays
We will be meeting monthly to discuss magickal topics of interest. This will be a friendly exchange of ideas, magick and the discussion group will allow for attendees to have the chance to network and meet other magickal folks from the area. Ages 18 and up are welcome. The discussion group is free.

Please note: Due to work on the Blanchette Bridge, please consider taking 370 or the Page Extension to come to Saint Charles. We look forward to seeing you there!

Blessed be, Ellen