The Witch's Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2018
One way to honor the seasonal shift is by taking time to do a craft. Light a candle, burn some incense, put on appropriate music that helps you get into the headspace, and reach out for the energy of the season that approaches or has arrived to help you synchronize your own energy with it.
Seasonal Bauble Craft
Making enormous seasonal decorations or going all out and decorating your entire home for a season isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Here’s a smaller seasonal craft you can do annually to mark the arrival of a new season, and it won’t take up a lot of room. As the years pass, you will end up with a collection of little baubles you can hang in windows or pile in a bowl. This craft is specifically designed for Yuletide, but you can adapt it for other seasons as well.
Note: If you intend to use fresh material in your baubles, you will either need to wait till the material has dried before putting the ball in storage, or remove the organic material and dispose of it. The bauble won’t be airtight even when you close it, so air will circulate. Try leaving it open for a few days to get some of the humidity out before you snap it together to close it.
What You Need:
♦ Hollow plastic craft ball (the kind that opens into two halves; your choice of size)
♦ Tiny pine cones
♦ Glitter (optional)
♦ Short lengths of white, red, green ribbons, 3"—5" (for inside)
♦ Narrow ribbon, 1'—2' (for hanging)
What to Do:
1. Open the craft ball and lay it on your work surface. Arrange the holly, ivy, mistletoe, tiny pine cones, snips of ribbon, and the glitter (if using) in one half, then close the ball and gently move it until the hanging loop is at the top. The contents will shift slightly.
2. Run narrow ribbon through the hanging loop and hang your bauble in your desired spot, or place it on a dish or in a bowl to display it.
Winter Ice Lanterns
These create magical lanterns of ice to shimmer outside. If you want to use them inside, make them smaller and place them in a bowl large enough to hold the melted water. (A silver-tone bowl in stainless steel is a good choice.)
If the outside temperature doesn’t go low enough to freeze water, make room in your freezer and choose your container sizes accordingly. Make sure the containers you use are not only waterproof but will withstand freezing. Remember, water expands when it freezes.
What You Need:
♦ Pebbles, marbles, or other weights
♦ Small waterproof container
♦ A larger waterproof container the size of your desired ice lantern
♦ Tea light candles
What to Do:
1. Place some of your weights inside the small container. Set the small container inside the larger container and begin pouring water into the larger container in the space between the walls of the large and small containers.
2. Watch to see if the smaller container moves. You want it to float a bit so that there will be a sturdy layer of ice at the bottom but be held down enough to make a well for your candle to rest in. Add or remove weights to adjust the position of the inner container. Add water to the larger container to bring the water level up to where you want the height of the ice lantern to be.
3. Set the container outside or in your freezer to freeze overnight.
4. When you are ready to set up the ice lantern, bring it inside and set it in the sink to warm up a bit. Remove the weights from the inside of the smaller container, then pour warm water into the smaller container to help loosen it. Lift the inner container out. Carefully invert the larger container to slide the ice lantern out.
5. If you are planning to use the ice lantern outside, place it there and put a tea light into the middle. If you are using it inside, place it in the silver bowl, set it where you want it, and put the candle inside. Enjoy the magical effect of the fire dancing inside the ice! How long the ice lantern will last will depend on the temperature of your room.
There’s nothing like walking through a park or woodland during autumn, when the light has that golden quality and you can smell the fallen leaves. This is a free-form craft that allows you to add and arrange things as you like.
What You Need:
♦ Fall leaves (select as few or as many as you like; consider the size of your vase)
♦ 2 light tea towels
♦ Waxed paper
♦ Large glass vase
♦ Twigs and small branches of shrubs (such as dogwood, burning bush, and so on)
♦ Small apples
♦ Pine cones
♦ Walnuts or other unshelled mixed nuts
What to Do:
1. Collect fall leaves. Go for a variety of colors and shapes!
2. Lay a tea towel down on the surface you will be ironing on. Lay a similarly sized sheet of wax paper on top. Lay the leaves on top of that, followed by another sheet of wax paper and the second tea towel. Preheat the iron to medium-low (no steam!) and iron the stack gently to help preserve them. Allow the stack to cool, then gently peel the paper away from the leaves.
3. Assemble your supplies. Start layering the decorations in the bottom of the vase. Place some of the leaves along the outside edge of the vase as you stack.
4. As you go, start inserting the branches of shrubs in the stacked fall harvest. Place apples and pine cones around them to keep them upright and in place. Add the nuts where you like.
5. Place the arrangement near your spiritual workplace or a cozy corner, or use it as a centerpiece for a table or room.