Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism, for the Novice to the Crone

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December Cider (a.k.a. Festive Drink)

With this recipe, we toast the Yule and each other.

Copyright © 2004 by Ashleen O’Gaea

Start with one 12-ounce can of frozen apple juice concentrate and one 12-ounce can of frozen cranberry-apple juice concentrate, thawed, and combine them in a 4-quart kettle with six 12-ounce cans—that’s 9 cups—of water. Stir in a 6-ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed first), and add five sticks of cinnamon, a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and seven whole cloves.

Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and the cloves. It’s optional to stir in 1/3 cup of rum or cinnamon schnapps—Canyondancer makes two batches, and spikes one. Be sure, he cautions, to let the brew cool below 100 degrees before adding alcohol. Serve this drink warm—and if you serve it in mugs instead of punch cups, you can put a fresh cinnamon stick in each mug. Each batch makes about 3 quarts, which is approximately 12 servings—of about 153 calories each (less without the alcohol), if you’re counting.


It’s with this that, once at the Groaning Board (a reference to the times when dining tables were just planks set up on sawhorses or barrels, and the feast dishes were so many and heavy that the plank, or board, groaned with the weight), we toast the Yule and each other. And by the way, a collection of everyone’s favorite Yule recipes makes a wonderful booklet, usually not too expensive to have copied at a local shop, for the coven to add to their individual Books of Shadows.


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This Informative “Wicca How-To,” plus much more, can be found in:


Celebrating the Seasons of Life - Samhain to Ostara

by Ashleen O'Gaea

Unique among books about the Wiccan Sabbats, Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara takes a different approach to explaining the holidays by taking an in-depth look at half of the Wheel of the Year. Rather than dissecting each holiday, Ashleen's goal is to take a broader look at them, explaining how and why we celebrate each, along with how the celebration of one leads to the next.


The first of two new titles from Ashleen offers a vision of the holidays we celebrate from October to March. This book covers each holiday by first giving us its history and original customs, then explaining its place in modern life. Stories are shared for each Sabbat to reconnect us with our lore and bring new meaning to current practice. Ashleen includes ideas for rituals that are ideal for practicing solitaries, covens, or Wiccan families, with special sections on what children of various ages are ready to learn about these holidays.