Holiday Simmer Pot

There is no better time of the year for simmering up some magic – and some great scents – on the stove.

This holiday simmer pot not only smells heavenly, but is chock full of all kinds of good stuff that you want to draw in at this time of year (or any time of year, really).

As always, keep safety in mind and don’t let your simmer pot go unattended or let the water get too low.

You can get creative with what you use in your simmer pot, depending on what you’re trying to manifest.

Here is what I used for this pot:

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Orange – Used for drawing and attracting, it’s also a symbol of abundance. I cut up a whole orange for this pot.

Cranberries – The quintessential American holiday fruit, cranberry doesn’t have a huge history of magical properties, but as a water fruit, it’s considered to have some of the same feminine properties of assisting with communication and emotions. It’s also considered protective. I tossed in a handful of fresh cranberries.

Cloves – Since I made this pot right after a thorough space clearing, I tossed in some cloves for not only banishing negativity but attracting what I want to bring in. It’s got a bit of protection, too, so that’s always good.

Rosemary – I added a sprig of fresh rosemary from my garden for remembrance, as a reminder of those who aren’t with me at the holidays anymore.

Cinnamon – Since I’m looking for a bit of luck and prosperity, I tossed in a stick of cinnamon. Cinnamon is also activating, helping all the other fruits and herbs to do their jobs.

Vanilla – I always add a glug of my homemade vanilla extract to a simmer pot, because I like having something that I made myself as a part of the spell. Plus, it smells yummy.

Sea Salt – This is another usual ingredient in my magical simmer pots, adding a grounding element.

25 Traditional Holiday Songs for Pagans

Nothing quite gets me in the holiday spirit the way music does. And while I love and support pagan musicians, around this time of year I really want to hear those traditional songs of my youth.

Unfortunately, traditional “Christmas music” is just chock full of Emmanuels and hallelujahs and other things that – as a pagan – kind of skeev me out. Even lists of “secular” holiday songs tend to center heavily on Christmas itself.

So the last couple of seasons, I’ve been looking for recognizable, fun and memorable songs for the Yule season that don’t feel so Jesus- or Christmas-focused, and there are more than you think!

Here’s a handy list of 25 songs I’ve found to help you build your own Yuletide playlist.

Secular Classics
There are plenty of songs, particularly from the 40s and 50s, that are very familiar as holiday songs, but have no mention of Christmas at all. 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sleigh Ride

Let it Snow

Deck the Halls

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bell Rock

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Happy Holiday

Fun Songs

These songs don’t take Yule too seriously. Though still pretty agnostic, the last three refer to Christmas or take place Christmas Eve, so you’ll have to decide how much Christmas reference you can handle!

Frosty the Snowman

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Because nothing says “the holidays” like spiders in your soul…

Santa Baby

Santa never sounded so sexy…

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake

Instrumental Pieces
Some songs may have Christian lyrics, but are just as recognizable – or more so – in their instrumental form.

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo (The Carol of the Bells)

While I can’t recommend The Carol of the Bells with lyrics for a pagan household, the instrumental versions are classic and none more so than this striking rock version by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Fur Elise

If you grew up with Charlie Brown, this Beethoven classic just screams “the holidays.”

The Nutcracker March

 

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies

Honorable Mention

 Here are a few that are on the cusp, mostly because they either reference  Christmas or God, have Christian undertones (though with pagan messages) or they’re just a little unusual. Still, these make the cut for my Yule playlist, and might for yours, too.

Good King Wenceslas 

There’re a lot saints here, true, but the message of compassion and kindness is pretty universal.

Here We Come a Wassailing

This old carol does ask God to bless you, but otherwise it’s very pagan. I personally adore Kate Rusby, and think she does this one better than anyone.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Just one mention of Christmas in this one!

Louisiana Christmas Day

Now, this Aaron Neville song may not be all that familiar to some of you, but as a Louisiana girl far from home, it’s a perennial favorite of mine, so I thought I’d include it.

Such a Night

Another not-particularly-Christmasy Christmas song from Aaron Neville.

And last but not least…
Dar Williams’ anthem to tolerance should be on every pagan’s Yuletime playlist.

The Christians and the Pagans

If you download all of these songs, you’ll have over an hour of Jesus-free holiday tunes!

Note: If you have Amazon prime music, nearly all of these are free. (I think I paid about $3 total for the whole list.

Do you have a favorite that should be here? Let me know!

 

An Interesting Samhain Message

Sitting in the dark before the Samhain altar, I let my pendulum hang still over the board, inscribed with letters and numbers. I felt safe and at peace, so I asked if the spirits had any message for me.

The pendulum began to swing, circling over letters to spell out words.

Out of here.

I had no idea what that referred to, and it was a little alarming, so I asked for clarification. The pendulum spelled out clearly and concisely:

Everyone is not good.”

After confirming that the pendulum was referring to spirits being drawn to me, I quickly reinforced my wards, said words of banishment and called on my deities for protection.

A good reminder that even in the spirit world, you have to be cautious who you invite in…

The Importance of Pre-Spellwork Divination

This was a very bad week.

On Monday, I found out that someone at my work reported me to HR, and they were opening an investigation. This was pretty devastating, as you could imagine, even though I knew what it was about…and that I wasn’t at fault.

But still, an open HR investigation is never a good thing.

Monday was pretty much a loss. I couldn’t concentrate; I couldn’t eat. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became, because it was so unfair. The incident in question was actually the other person being very aggressive and combative to me, because I wouldn’t help him do something that was his responsibility (maybe because he was being a jerkface). I like my job, dammit, and the thought of this person ruining it out of spite was pretty overwhelming.

So, before I came home I stocked up on some supplies, and had every intention of doing some serious hoodoo: lemon to sour his life, cayenne pepper to burn his lying tongue, etc., etc.

Fortunately, I had a chance to cool down in a long bath before starting the work (I usually bathe or at least wash my hands before doing anything magickal). When I came out of the bath ready to do the working, I decided to do some divination first.

To be honest, I can’t remember which tarot cards I pulled (I didn’t think to write them down), but the first reading – based on the question of what would happen if I did this work against him – was pretty awful: for him and me.

So, I asked what would happen if I just did some protection work…maybe a freezing spell to just freeze him out of my life. Much better results.

What came up over and over in the cards was that I need to have compassion … for both him and myself.

It did take me a little time and meditation to get into a better state of mind and find my compassion. Then I did a simple name paper and wrapped it in foil (shiny side inward), stating my intention not to hurt anyone, but simply to stop any negativity he was sending my way and freeze it in its tracks.

I then submerged the packet in vinegar, put it in the freezer and walked away.

That was Monday night. On Tuesday, I had my interview with HR, and almost as soon as I’d told my story, the HR rep told me he believed me, and found me much more credible than my accuser. He said my story matched a witness’ and his did not. I had a meeting afterwards with my boss who made me feel like he had my back and that it would all work out.

Today, HR called to tell me that they were closing the case and no action would be taken against me.

It was really the best outcome, and I wonder what would have happened if I’d done the more negative working I had planned instead of approaching the whole situation with an air of compassion and acceptance.

So my advice? Always, always check your plans with divination – either yourself or with someone else. This is especially important if you’re emotional or upset, so that you don’t make a hasty magickal decision you might regret.

And remember: a little restraint – and a little compassion – goes a long way.