Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Try A New Taste – Chicken Barley Stew with Herbs & Irish Soda Bread

Chicken Barley Stew With Herbs
From University of North Carolina Recipes

Comment: This is originally an Anglo-Saxon recipe. The original calls for rabbit, but chicken is just as good.


  • 2-3 LB chicken breasts on the bone
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 LB leeks (3-4 large ones, 4-5 little ones) thickly cut. May substitute onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 6 oz barley
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 3/4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon dried sage

In a large Dutch Oven, melt the butter, then fry the leeks and garlic in the butter. Add the chicken and brown. Add remaining ingredients, reserving the sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Remove meat from bones and add back to the pot. Add sage. Stir well and serve. Leftovers freeze well.
Serves 8.

Irish Soda Bread (Cuz stew needs biscuts!)
From The Website of


  • 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour -- unbleached, enriched
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole wheat flour -- stone-ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups Buttermilk

Set the baking rack in the center of the oven and place a baking stone (if available) on the rack. Preheat the oven to 375. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix to incorporate. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk. Mix quickly to incorporate the milk evenly. It may be easier to mix with the hands than with a spoon. Form the dough into a loaf shape and place in a nonstick 8 1/2-x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2" loaf pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, until well browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove from the oven and the baking pan. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Make A - May Basket

May Baskets
Found at
Gingerbread Grandma’s Cauldron


  • Paper doily or other paper cut in a 9" circle
  • Stapler or glue
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Small fresh cut flowers with stems about 4" long
  • Paper towel
  • A piece of aluminum foil or plastic wrap

Cut a slit in the paper from one edge to the center of the circle. Overlap the cut edges and twist the paper so that a cone is formed. Staple or glue the edge to hold the cone shape. Punch holes on opposite sides of the top of the cone. Form hooks on both ends of the pipe cleaner and put the ends through the punched holes to form a handle. Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner around so that they stay in the holes. Dampen the paper towel and squeeze out most of the extra water. Wrap the ends of the flower stems with the paper towel, then wrap with the aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Slide the wrapped flowers into the cone.

On Beltane morning, hang the May basket on the doorknob of friends or neighbors. Ring the doorbell and hide to watch your friend's reaction to the flowers. : )

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Something – Graveyard Symbols

The link I had for the base of this now defunct, sorry. If you wrote part of this, and you aren’t credited, and you have a page, please let me know & I’ll put it up :) Anything I have the source for is linked.

The annals of ghost lore contain a number of stories about burial markers that may possibly be more frightening than the tales of the cemeteries where these stones reside! Grave markers and simple tombstones can play host to a surprising number of stories and legends. There are stones across America that people claim to have been not only cursed, but literally move on their own! Is the supernatural at work, or the darker devices of man’s own imagination? Gravestones and markers have a myriad of meanings and symbolize both comfort and grief... but are they all what they appear to be?

From Beyond The Grave

Acorn – Symbolic of a baby or young child.

Alpha and Omega – This symbol represents the beginning & the end.

Apple – Apples can represent salvation. Contradictorily they can also represent sin…

Angels - Agents of God guarding the dead. Also, angels were seen as the emissaries between this world and the next. In some cases they appeared as mourners and in others as an offer of comfort for those who are left behind

Archway: Because death is thought of as the gateway to heaven the use of an archway symbolizes the passage through which the soul will travel. Sometime it is simply the stone itself that is carved like an arch or it may be carved into the stone itself. Sometimes the stone may be adorned with pillars, draperies or other such devices used to indicate an archway

Arrows or Darts: Arrows or darts were often used in gravestone carvings and it has been suggested that these represented the "dart of death," referring to the threat of attack by Indians. Also symbolic of death or mortality, (and not that the interred lingered at pubs).

Beehive – Beehives are frequently used by Freemasons, and are said to stand for faith, education & domestic virtue.

Bell -  A bell is often symbolic of the church bell and therefore symbolizes religion.

Bible or Opened Book - A bible opened to a page of scripture or an opened book was used to represent the word through which one gains revelation. Often used on the gravestones of ministers or clergymen. Books may also represent a person's good deeds and accomplishments being recorded in the book of life.

Broken Column: A broken column indicates the loss of the Head of the Family.

Broken Ring – A broken ring indicates a family circle severed.

Bugles – A bugle (or bugles) is symbolic of resurrection or of the military.

Butterfly – Based on its evolution from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, it represents the soul, transformation and rebirth, the creation of life from apparent death. To the Chinese, the butterfly symbolizes immortality. The Japanese view it as a symbol of fickleness because of its flighty behavior, although a pair of butterflies represents marital
happiness and a white butterfly signifies the spirit of the dead. In Christianity, the butterfly can be a symbol of resurrection but is sometimes viewed also as symbolic of transience because of its short lifespan. Alternately it can be symbolic of vanity.

Candle – In Christianity, candles represent the divine light of Christ and faith. In Catholic funeral rites, candles signify the light of heaven. When lighted by worshippers and placed before shrines, candles signify the souls of the departed or a request for illumination by prayer. When on opposite sides of a cross on an altar, the two candles represent the dual nature of Christ, human and divine. Many religions and cultures use the burning candle as a symbol of light, life, spirituality, truth and eternal life. A candle snuffed represents time & mortality.

Celtic Cross – In pagan times, this cross, with its axis enclosed by a circle, was a symbol of fertility and life, the cross representing male potency and the circle, female power. Prevalent in Ireland, it is now primarily a Christian symbol signifying the unity of heaven and earth. Can also be symbolic of someone of Irish ancestry.

Chalice - Honoring the sacraments.

Circle – Eternity

Clasped Hands – Farewell to earthly existence. Also unity. On a sidenote, in the Native American culture clasped hands represent a Delaware grave.

Clock / Watch - Represents the transitory nature of human existence. In psychoanalysis it signifies human emotions, not that your hour is up. It also can represent new beginnings and opportunities.

Coat of Arms - High social status and family lineage.

Cocks and Peacocks - Because Saint Peter was awakened from his fall from grace by the crowing of the cock (Bible Luke 22:34) the cock or peacock was used to symbolize both the fall from grace and repentance.

Coffins and Urns - Coffins and urns are used to symbolize the death of the flesh and are usually used in conjunction with a body or soul effigy. Coffins were also often carved on 17th and 18th century New England gravestones to signify mortality.

Corn - Ripe Old Age.

Cornucopia - Also known as the "Horn of Plenty." Symbolizes an abundant, fruitful life. Also a symbol of the harvest, which in turn symbolizes the end of life.

Cribs & Beds – Usually found marking the graves of children, they are most often empty, symbolizing that these little ones are gone forever.

Crossed Swords - High-ranking military person. When inverted they signify death in battle.

Crowns – Crowns represent the crown of righteousness used to proclaim the victorious soul arisen to heaven through Christ. Commonly used on 18th century New England headstones. They also represent heavenly reward, and indicate a faithful Christian.

Cypress Tree - Deep mourning

Dog - Loyalty, Vigilance, Courage. As a symbol of faithfulness, dogs often appear at the feet of women on medieval tomb engravings. In Christianity, the dog guards and guides the flock, and so becomes an allegory of the priest. The dog is also a companion of the dead on their crossing. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks believed it followed its master into the afterlife. Many cultures believed that dogs were mediators with the realm of the dead: the Egyptian god Anubis who oversees embalming and weighs the heart of the dead is jackal-headed, Cerburus the guardian of the entrance to the Greek underworld is a three-headed dog with a serpent's tail, the dog Garmr guards the Norse underworld. The Celts and Greeks believed dogs possessed healing powers. In some African cultures, the dog is the father of civilization and the bringer of fire. In the eleventh sign of the Chinese zodiac, the dog symbolizes idealism. In Chinese tradition, the dog can signify both catastrophe and protection. Among Jews and Moslems, the dog possesses negative attributes. It is unclean and, when black, signifies the Devil.

The Dove or the Bird - The dove or the bird is used as the symbol of Christian constancy or devotion. A dove as the only figure indicating a deeply devoted Christian. Also symbolic of the Holy Spirit or peace.

Eagle - The eagle is a symbol of courage, also indicative of military service. Eagles are often seen on gravestones of Civil War veterans.

Fern – The fern represents grief, humility and sincerity.

Flames Arising from the Top of an Urn - The flame represents the soul arising out of the ashes of death.

Flowers - Since the time of Christ, flowers have represented the life of Man, symbolizing the brevity and the beauty of his life. A cut flower hanging upside-down symbolizes life being cut down in death. Sometime it is seen with a scythe cutting down the flower but it is usually seen broken in half. Buds are symbolic of the morning of life or renewal of life.

Gourds - The gourd was poplar in the seventeenth and eighteenth century and was used to symbolize the coming to be and the passing away of earthly life. Sometimes gourds were used under soul effigies in fruit columns and are nearly indistinguishable from women's breasts.

Grapevines or Vines - Churches are said to be the vineyards and the congregations are said to be the vines. The grapevine is the emblem of Christ.Sometime we see soul effigies sucking the ends of grapevines, partaking of wine was a major Puritan symbol representing the covenant between God and man through the death of Christ. A bird sitting on a vine eating grapes may mean the soul is partaking celestial food.

Harp – A harp is an indication of praise given to God.

The Heart - The heart is the symbol of the soul in heavenly bliss, the heart is always used in opposition to some symbol of death such as the urn.

The Heart in the Mouth of a Death's-Head - This symbolizes the triumphant soul emerging from death.

Heavenly Bodies - the Sun, the Moon, Stars and Sun - They may simply represent heavenly bodies or be used to symbolize the rising of the soul to heaven. They can also signify that heaven is the abode of the stars and the planets. The half sun symbolizes the setting or end of earthly life and the rising or beginning of heavenly life.

Hourglass - Sometimes the hourglass is seen with wings and represents the swift passage of time.

I.H.S. - Jesus Hominom Saluator - Jesus Saviour of Men

The Imps of Death - The imps are used to represent the triumph of death. They are sometimes armed with arrows of death or are lowering the coffin into the grave.

Lamb – The lamb is a symbol of innocence.

Laurel – The laurel has long been a symbol of victory and/or peace.

Lily- This flower symbolizes chastity, purity, or innocence.

Lion – A lion is seen to be eternally watching over the grave; it also could represent the courage of the diseased or signify resurrection.

Menorah: Symbolic of a person who practiced Judaism

Obelisk – An obelisk is symbolic of eternal life.

Palm – Palms indicate the triumph of a martyr over death

Phoenix – The phoenix found in this setting has the same meaning as when found elsewhere – resurrection.

Pointing Hands – Pointing hands are said to be showing the path to heaven.

Portraits - Sometimes it's a facial portrait and sometimes its a portrait borne upward with wings. These may be considered a form of the soul effigy in some cases or the deceased persons station in life.

Praying Hands – Indicates praying for eternal life

Rose – A rose is indicative that the person was sinless.

Scallop Shell - This is considered the traditional symbol of the pilgrim's crusade and of man’s earthly pilgrimage.

Scythe - This symbol is usually seen in the hands of father time and is used to represent the cutting short of a mans life.

Shepherd’s Crooks – Shepherd’s crooks, usually found on graves of Independent Order of Odd Fellows members (a fraternal organization). Symbolizes the opening of earth to the heavens.

Snake – The snake has always had positive pagan associations, and in this setting symbolizes eternity.

Star of David – A Star if David is symbolic of a person practicing Judaism.

Station-in Life Symbol - These symbols would be used to represent the rank or occupation of the deceased. They could be the family coats of arms, military insignia, ships, tools, musical instruments or in the case of preachers – collars.

Sun – The Sun symbolizes a renewed life.

Sundial – A sundial shows the passage of time.

Symbols of the Cause of Death - These stone have carvings actually showing how the person died.

Sword: Sheathed – Symbolic of temperance during conflict.

Sword: Inverted – This is seen to represent victory.

Tree – A tree symbolizes knowledge. A tree also stood for human life and the fact that man, like a tree, must reach for the heavens.

Tree of Life - The tree of life was popular during the 1700's and was used in poetic imagery or used to symbolize earthly or heavenly spiritual life.

Triangle – The triangle was used to represent the Holy Trinity.

Trumpeting Figures - These figures are often found carrying a banner with the words "arise ye dead."

Urns and Mermaids - Mermaids were thought of as symbolizing a dual nature. This may possibly be used to symbolize the duality of Christ as Man and the son of God. They are sometimes seen carrying urns of the deceased's remains which symbolizes the last step of our earthly journey.

Wine, the Divine Fluid - Sacramental tankards and chalices were used to represent the souls partaking of heavenly bliss and are usually only found on stones of deacons of the church.


Grave Addiction
Make My Family Tree
At Home With Irish Tinker

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Form A Circle – Full Moon/Cleansing Rite

Full Moon / Cleansing Rite
I have no source info on this :(

Special tools:

  • Cauldron filled with salt water

Altar Devotion.
Cast the circle.
Invocation of the Goddess:

I greet the Lady and call upon thee
Mighty Mother of us all, bringer of all fruitfulness.
I ask you, Mother, to descend upon my circle
And reside within me, thy priest/ess.

Invocation of the God:

I call upon thee O Great Father,
Sun and Consort of the Mother,
Who brings her light and warmth.
Come forth Mighty Horned One.
Live now within the body of this thy priest/ess.

Anoint forehead with salt water

"I cleanse my thoughts
That they might be pure and honest -
Grant that they always be pleasing
o the God and Goddess."

Anoint throat

"I cleanse my voice
That all that I say
Might be for good
And naught for ill or harm."

Anoint heart

I cleanse my heart that it might be open,
Giving and full of light.
Grant that I might give freely
Of my love and care to others."

Anoint hands

"I cleanse my hands
That I might use them
For workings of good,
To help and never to harm."

Anoint feet

"I cleanse my feet
That they might take me far in life,
That my journeys may be
Filled with love, light, peace
And the joy of the Goddess and God."

Meditation for a time.
Cakes and Wine (eating bread and drinking wine or juice to restore energies spent during ritual). Release the circle, thank the God and Goddess.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday This Is Your Spell – To End Poverty

To End Poverty
Dark Moon Mysteries by Timothy Roderick

In this working you will clear away the psychic dead wood of the past, such as poverty and ill luck, to foster a new cycle of growth and prosperity. It clears away the psychic dross that keeps you from taking the actions needed to create a prosperous life. Remember, abundance flows from the Goddess and God. They are abundance. Connecting with the Gods in their aspect of abundance is connecting with that same part of yourself. When you yield to nature, to the Gods, nature will yield its bounty to you.
Moon Phase: 4th quarter, last night of the dark moon.
Purpose: to end a cycle of lack.

Items Needed:
The following dried herbs and resins:

  • powdered sandalwood
  • pine needles
  • rosemary
  • copal
  • fresh rose petals.
  • Optional: saltpetre.
  • White parchment paper.
  • A box of crayons, colored pencils, or markers.
  • An incense burner, chafing dish, or cauldron.
  • A self-igniting charcoal (Three Kings brand is a choice).
  • The usual tools for constructing a magic circle.

On the last night of the dark moon gather your herbs, combine them in a mortar, and grind them together. Make as much as you like, but you will only use about one tablespoon of the dried mixture total. After mixing, set it aside for a moment. Next create a circle on the floor using the fresh rose petals. Bring all of your ingredients and tools into the rose petal circle and cast a dark moon circle, using the petals as the boundary of the sacred space. Once the circle is cast, set aside all of your tools and sit in the circle's center. Do the following meditation before continuing with the magical work.

Ending Poverty Meditation: There is a place deep inside of you where poverty lives. Close your eyes and take a few slow, relaxing breaths. Imagine that you are traveling inside your body to that place where poverty lives. Take note of where that place is inside of you. Also take note of what this entity, poverty, looks like. What is it’s shape and color? What does it say to you? When you have taken note of all this, return to waking consciousness and continue with the magical working.

Using the crayons, markers, or colored pencils, draw the image of poverty you saw on the white parchment paper. Underneath that image, make a list of the effects of lack on your life. How does poverty manifest in your life? The next step is a little more difficult, but on that same page make a list of the things you do to help keep poverty alive. What is your part in perpetuating poverty? When you are done, sprinkle the herb mixture into the center of the parchment paper. If you choose to use saltpetre, sprinkle in a half teaspoon now. Twist the whole bundle shut, so that the parchment makes a little pouch containing the herb mix. Light the charcoal and set the paper pouch on the charcoal. Soon this will smolder. As it does, imagine that the spirit of poverty is leaving your body. Imagine that you cut off all life support to poverty, imagine how you will not cooperate with it any longer. When the herbs are completely burned, the spell is done. If any paper remains, light that on fire. Be certain tat nothing but ashes remain. Banish your circle and bury the ashes in a spot that you are not likely to tread upon. The magic is complete.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Whatever – Dream Magic From Different Cultures

Author: Bia' Aletheia
Posted: January 11th. 2009

Dream Magic not only encompasses dream interpretation but it helps the dreamer to understand his or her personal symbols and messages that are being revealed to them in an altered state. It has been argued by many scientists, philosophers and people from various cultural perspectives that dreams are indeed messages from the Gods or spirit guides. These gods or guides are trying to reveal a much-needed path that should be taken, or things we may need to change to achieve spiritual growth. Often ‘journeying or astral travel’ occurs in the realm of dreams.

Dream Magic is the ability to manipulate our dreaming in order to fulfill some specific goal or intent. It is much like that of performing a magic/ spell, which has to have a goal in mind. Dream Magic can be used for many purposes, to achieve certain goals like prophecy, predict the future or communicate with the Gods and/or spirit guides.

Dream Magic can be used to communicate with loved ones passed on or help us become more in tune with our ‘inner desires’, referred to as our shadows. It is another method of seeking answers to specific questions we may have. Dream Magic can be used for healing and transformation. Because dreams can reveal so much to us, learning how to interpret them is very important.

Actual dream interpretations dates back to 3000-4000 B.C., where they were documented in clay

tablets. It is said that people in primal societies were unable to distinguish between the dream world and reality. They not only saw the dream world as an extension of reality, but the dream realm was a more powerful world.

Back in the Greek and Roman era, dream interpreters accompanied military leaders into battle. Dreams were extremely significant and often seen as messages from the gods. They were seen in a religious context and in Egypt, priests also acted as dream interpreters. The Egyptians recorded their dreams in hieroglyphics. People with particularly vivid and significant dreams were believed to be blessed and were considered special. People who had the power to interpret dreams were looked up to and seen as divinely gifted. In the bible, there are over seven hundred mentions of dreams. Tracing back to these ancient cultures, people had always had an inclination to interpret dreams.

Dreams were also seen as prophetic. People often looked to their dreams for signs of warning and advice. It was an oracle or omen from outside spirits, whether it was a message from a deity, from the dead or even the works of a demon. Dreams often dictated the actions of political and military leaders and aided in diagnosis for the medicine men. Dreams were a vital clue for healers in what was wrong with the dreamer and they used them to make a diagnosis. People in ancient Greece and ancient China looked to their dreams for their next course of action [1].
Dreaming can be seen as an actual place that your spirit and soul leaves every night to go and visit. The Chinese believed that the soul leaves the body to go into this world. However, if they should be suddenly awakened, their soul may fail to return to the body. For this reason, some Chinese today, are wary of alarm clocks.

Some Native American tribes and Mexican civilizations share this same notion of a distinct dream dimension. They believed that their ancestors lived in their dreams and take on non-human forms like plants. They see that dreams are a way of visiting and having contact with their ancestors. Dreams also helped to point their mission or role in life.

In the early 19th century, dreams were dismissed as stemming from anxiety, a household noise or even indigestion. Hence there was really no meaning to it. Later on in the 19th century, Sigmund Freud revived the importance of dreams and its significance and need for interpretation. He revolutionized the study of dreams. Dreams have long exercised a fascination over the human imaginations. So what are dreams? And more importantly what significance, if any, do they have for the dreamer [2].

As early as the fourth century B.C. Chuang-tzu, a Chinese philosopher, raised the following point regarding dream significance:

“While men are dreaming, they do not perceive that it is a dream. Some will have a dream in a dream, and only when they awake they know it was all a dream. And so, when the Great Awakening comes upon us, shall we know this life to be a great dream. Fools believe themselves to be awake now.
Once upon a time, I Chuang-tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a butterfly. Suddenly I was awakened, and there I lay myself again. Now I do not know whether I was a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am a butterfly now dreaming I am a man”.

This brings up the interesting notion that perhaps the world as we ordinarily experience it is no more real than a dream.

Dreams often seem to be experiences of a confused parallel world. Reflecting on this experience, we may speculate that during dreams we travel to a real, alternate realm. It has been suggested that one of the principle sources of this idea - a spiritual world distinct from the physical - is a dream. If this hypothesis is true, even partially then dreams contribute to one of the basic notions of religion. It has also been hypothesized that dreams may be linked to the idea of a soul distinct from the body. During dreams, we have the experience of traveling to other realms, interacting with people, and doing various things - simultaneously, the physical body remains confined to our beds. While the dream realm is shadowy and even surreal, it nevertheless feels like a real place. Because the experience is so real, it easy to speculate that during dreams the conscious self somehow separates from the body. If we add to this the common experience of meeting departed friends and relatives in dreams, it is no great step to conclude that the same “soul” that separates from the body during dreams also survives the death of the body.

Yet another broad area of agreement among world cultures is that of communicating between this world and the other world - between gods and mortals, or between the living and the dead - is possible. Prophets, as well as the founders of new religious sects, often claim to receive privileged communications from the gods. If dreams constitute experiences with the realm of the spirit, then one possible model for divine - human communication is the dream state.

The New Age movement, which began in the late 1950’s, has also delved onto several aspects of dreams in contemporary culture. For example, new dream dictionaries, containing interpretations of specific dream images and symbols have been composed to aid in dream meaning exploration. Dream tools have also been developed or fine tuned with this emergence, to assist in transformation and healing. More specifically with a growing interest of lucid dreaming, the practice of becoming conscious during one’s dreams and learning to control their directions is viewed as a potential tool for healing and self-transformation.

Before we delve into the specifics on how to use Dream Magic it is pretty significant to discuss some cultural perspectives of dream lore so we may examine how Dream Magic evolved cross-culturally [3].

Babylonians: The Babylonians divided dreams into two categories. They believed the Gods sent good dreams. Bad dreams were sent by Demons. Their Goddess of dreams was Mamu.

Assyrians: The Assyrians believed in dreams as omens. For example, if a person flew in their dreams it indicated all would be lost.

Egyptians: The Egyptians believed that the Gods showed themselves in dreams. The Egyptians believed dreams were based on real things. The recording of dreams in Egypt may be traced back to 2000 B.C., where the Egyptians wrote their dreams on papyrus. They believed there were three main types of dreams. Those that happened as a result of ritual, dreams that contained warnings or dreams that were the Gods were demanding some type of action.

Greeks: When a person was sick a Priest would interpret the dream and then give advice on healing. They believed the Gods sent dreams. The Gods also sent prophecies to those who slept at shrines. The Greeks thought that the people in their dreams lived near the underworld.

Romans: The Romans had strong views on dreams. They believed dreams were messages from the Gods. Emperor Augustus ruled that anyone who had a dream about the state must proclaim it in the market place.

Hebrews: Hebrews believed their dreams were the voice of only one God; however bad dreams were the work of Demons. The Hebrews incubated dreams in order to receive divine revelation.

Hindus: The time when a prophetic dream occurred indicated when the event would take place.

Japanese: The Emperor’s palace contained a dream hall with an incubation bed. Japanese Emperors also incubated their dreams at a Shinto Temple at Usa on the southern island of Kyushu.

Muslims: In Mohammed’s sacred book a distinction is made between true dreams from God and false dreams. Rituals were used to create good dreams. Later on dream interpretation became associated with astrology.

Many Indian Tribes believed that dreams revealed the hidden wishes of the soul. I have included in this section, since we are discussing ‘Dream Lore’ culturally, different Tribes beliefs’ on Dreams for those who how are also interested in Shamanism [4].

The Cree: They regard dreams as a source of creative inspiration and spiritual guidance and it serves to connect with ordinary daily activities. For example, to dream of meeting a stranger of the opposite sex actually is a metaphor for what will occur during a hunt for a game animal.

The Hopi: Hopi society conveys much of its religious and recreational experience through a rich imagery derived from dramatic rituals that are frequently translated in dreams. Dreams are viewed as an attempt by the self to make statements about the individual’s present situation. The Hopi believe good dreams have to be held in the heart and can be told only after they are fulfilled, however, bad dreams need to be discussed because reporting them eliminates them.

The Iroquois: They believe that human souls have desires that are inborn and concealed and come from the depths of the soul. The soul makes these natural desires known by means of dreams. The Iroquois often rely on a ‘dream specialist’ to help interpret their dreams. A dream can reveal not only the wishes of the dreamer but also the desires of supernatural beings. The frustration of these desires may be dangerous, in that they can cause death of the dreamer or bring disaster.

The Navajo: Dreams to them are not discussed openly; they are regarded as warnings. Dream specialists are also consulted by them to discuss the cause of the dream. The diagnostician, often in a trance state, not only will discover the cause of the dream but will also reveal the dreamer’s sickness. Praying at sunrise is a ritual used to dispel bad dreams. If a Navajo dreams that he is dead, he interprets the meaning as he has just visited the spirit world of the dead. If the dreamer shakes hands with the dead it is believed to be an omen of death to the dreamer…

View the rest of the article here on Witchvox


Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Try A New Taste - Beltane Bounty of The Earth Casserole Veggies Only

Beltane Bounty of The Earth Casserole
-Source Unknown


  • Bulgar Wheat about 1 1/4 cups
  • Sweet Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Onion
  • Tofu
  • Soy Sauce about 1/4 cup
  • Water to cover all ingredients about 2 1/2 - 3 cups

Wash, peel, and thinly slice veggies. Slice block of tofu. Layer veggies, bulgar wheat, and tofu in a large casserole dish making at least 2 layers of each item. Mix soy sauce with water and pour over all ingredients. Use water and soy sauce combo until all layers are covered. Cover casserole dish and bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour until veggies are tender. Do not allow to dry out. Add more water as needed.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Make A – Beltane Crafts for Kids

Some Ideas for Beltane Kids Crafts
posted by Meredith

Braiding & Wreaths - Make a wreath either as house decoration, or as a crown for your head. You could also braid your hair or your children's hair.

Make a May Bowl or Wine - For the kids, make strawberry kool-aid & add some strawberries to their punch. Or for a special addition, add strawberry ice cream! Drink a toast to the glory of May.

Bless Water - Bless a nearby water source, such as a river, spring, lake or ocean. This can be as simple as tossing your Beltane wreath of flowers in the water after a ritual & giving appropriate thanks. Get as elaborate as you wish. Kids ought to love throwing flowers in water!

Personal Decoration - Paint your body with sun signs or signs of spring. Wear jewelry that signifies spring. On the first of May, wear your most colorful clothes or dress all in green (the color of the fairies). Consider wearing a flower in your hair. This would be a great time to wear your loudest family heirloom jewelry that's just a bit too much for regular wear. Children might enjoy dressing in this spirit of nature, all in green, on May Day, or even dressing their dolls and soft toys in green and white costume.

Gifts - Gather flowers with special messages for friends and relatives. Make up your own explanation of the meaning of each flower and give it along with the bouquet. For friends at a distance, send pressed flowers or May Day cards or packets of flower seeds. Some other appropriate gifts might be; perfume, incense, candied flower petals, herbs, sachets and artificial flowers. Or you could run around, under cover of darkness, leaving May baskets of flowers on doorsteps. Prepare a May basket by filling it with flowers and goodwill and then give it to someone in need of healing and caring, such as a shut-in or elderly friend.

Make a Greenman - You can make your own Green Man figure, He might be a topiary, completely covered with green vine, in the shape of a man. Or he could be a figure, like the scarecrow, a system of 2"X 4" planks screwed together in a human shape, then dressed all in green; with a growing planted pot for a head, rusted pronged spades for hands, and a piece of garden hose for a belt

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Form A Circle - Solitary Sabbat Spring Equinox Ritual

De-Anna Alba's Solitary Sabbat Spring Equinox Ritual
Written by De-Anna Alba from
Pagans Online – but the link is dead – well not dead it takes you to a search engine now…

A Pace-Egging Ritual

The use of eggs in Spring Equinox rituals is a centuries-old custom. Our Pagan ancestors first used eggs in Spring fertility rituals in a variety of ways. With the coming of Christianity, the use of eggs was transferred to the celebration of Easter. The Greek Orthodox church uses red colored eggs to this day. They say the red color represents the blood of Christ shed for us in anticipation of the resurrection. (I feel there is a much older, more accurate, and certainly more Pagan explanation. It symbolizes the blood of birth that happens all over the animal kingdom at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. And by extension, represents the whole cyclical theme of death and rebirth, with an obvious emphasis on the rebirth part of the cycle.)

The use of eggs was also transferred to the "childish" celebration of Easter, including the Easter egg hunt, the Easter bunny (another fertility symbol), and various other sensuous treats like chocolate kisses, cream-filled eggs and jelly beans. (In other words, the fun and fertility were taken out of the original celebration and given to the children, while the adults concentrated on sin, suffering and getting their mortal souls saved via the crucifixion and resurrection of one divine sacrifice.

Modern Wiccans and Pagans have been reclaiming the fertility symbolism of the egg in their Spring Equinox rites for some time now. It usually takes the form of garden/seed planting rituals for those born with, or encouraging, a green thumb. Or, the use of colored or decorated eggs to encourage fertility to happen in their lives in one form or another--fertility of mind, body, spirit, whatever. This ritual is a variation on this last theme.

The ritual is to take place on, or near the Spring Equinox. If you are not able to do this on the actual day of the Equinox, or would prefer to do it on a weekend, I'd suggest you do it the weekend before the Equinox instead of after it. Part of the intention behind celebrating the Sabbats of the Wiccan year is to participate in and encourage the actual turning of the Wheel of the Year - to make sacred the cycle itself. If you wait until after the holiday, you've lost the opportunity to participate in the sacred turning (although you can still honor this after the fact).

Depending on your time, inclination, and perhaps your physical capabilities, you can do this ritual in one of two ways. It's intended to be a ritual that includes some walking and/or driving around. If this seems too much for you for whatever reason, you can simply eat the eggs over a period of days. Read on to see what I mean. The purpose of this ritual is to seed things you would like to have come into your life during the upcoming season of birth, growth, maturity and harvest. You will decorate one egg for each of the things you wish to have bloom or bring to fruition in your life. Take some time during the week before the ritual to decide what those things will be. If you're like me you'll need to write them down so you don't forget. Think about any colors, symbols or designs you might associate with each thing you want to manifest in your life. Write them down as well if you need to.

Conveniently enough, Easter is coming soon, so you'll be able to go out and buy egg dying kits. Just be sure the kit you choose includes one of those wax crayons for drawing on the eggs. You know, the kind that writes in invisible wax on the egg and then the writing (or drawing) magically appears on the egg when it is placed in the coloring medium. If you're planning on doing the pace-egging part of the ritual, you'll need to locate a small digging trowel or trench-shovel as well. The object here is to symbolically decorate each egg and then take it to a place associated with the things you'd like to bring into your life and plant it there. For example, if you want to bring more psychic ability into yourself, you might want to take an appropriately decorated egg to a body of water and drop it into it. Water is associated with things psychic. If you need to slow down the pace of your life, you might want to bury an egg dedicated to that purpose at the base of a slow growing tree, like an Oak If you want to bring love into your life, trying burying the appropriate egg in a spot beneath the intertwining branches of two trees. You get the idea

On the day of the ritual, hard boil your eggs. That night, gather together all the things you will need to create the number of eggs you'll need. Set it all up in your ritual space. (On a practical note, you may wish to turn your kitchen table into your altar for the night so that you'll have plenty of space in which to work and access to other things you might need from the kitchen that you may not have anticipated, like water, spoons, towels, etc.) Have your usual altar accoutrements there as well. Once your altar/work area is set up, take a few minutes to mentally / physically prepare yourself for ritual. (Ritual bath, meditation, smudging, whatever you usually do.)

Cast your circle, call the quarters and invoke Goddess (or do whatever it is you do to create sacred space and call on/up the divine). Now begin creating your eggs. Be sure to concentrate on/visualize what you want to have happen as you create them. Repeat affirmations to yourself about each one if you find that Magically useful. When you are done with all of them, place them in a basket or cauldron and say a spell over them that summarizes all the actions/things you'd like to have manifest. Dismiss your circle, etc.

Now take your basket of eggs, your trowel, and anything else you think you'll need, and "plant" each seed/egg where you think it Magically belongs, thinking about the egg's intent as you "plant" each one. This could take place within the space of a couple of hours or over the space of a couple of days, depending on your own preferences. If, for whatever reason, you are unwilling or unable to take your eggs out and "plant" them, simply put them in a basket and place them in the refrigerator. Then eat one each day for breakfast until they are gone, visualizing the Magic of each egg being planted within you and beginning to take root and grow at once.

That's it! If you have children you can have them make eggs with their own wishes for themselves on them. Then you can hide them as in the traditional Easter egg hunt, and have them find them. Be sure to tell them that the finding and eating of each egg will be the trigger that releases the spell on each egg to begin coming true in their lives.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday This Is Your Spell - A Spell of Attraction to Sell A House

A Spell of Attraction to Sell A House

As with any magical working, the first step is to do the mundane work:
List the house with a good agent, clean it from top to bottom, put a sign out front and an ad in the paper, and tell everyone you know that you're selling it. Assuming that's done, begin your ritual by obtaining a green candle.Green was a traditional color for prosperity spells long before they decided to make U.S. currency that color: It symbolizes a green and fruitful harvest. Now, go outside your house to some spot where you can see the house but not be disturbed (i.e. standing in the middle of the road is not recommended). It's best to do his at a time when the street is relatively quiet. If
possible, face the house from the same side that a prospective buyer would when seeing it for the first time. Sit or stand comfortably, holding the candle. Close your eyes, relax and take a few minutes to begin breathing regularly and establish your concentration. (If you've ever done regular meditation or prayer, establish that same frame of mind.) Now visualize the house through a  stranger's eyes. In your mind, envision brilliant sunlight, whether it's there in real life or not. Mentally walk from the driveway to the  front door (or whatever entrance is closest), then into the house As you do this, envision the house as the most beautiful it can be. If the paint is clean and white, envision it positively gleaming. If there are plants in the yard, envision them not just thriving, but seeming to beckon the passer-by, reaching their little green selves up into that same brilliant light. In your mind's eye, walk through the entire house with the eyes of a stranger, dwelling on every good point it has. Do not let thoughts of its flaws disrupt your concentration (this is the tough part). That same brilliant sunlight pours through every window and door. See it fill up each room as you enter When you have been through the entire house, go back the way you came. Envision the light from each room pouring into your mind, through your body, and out through your hands into the candle. Like a battery, the candle will absorb this light energy. Take a few moments in each room to let this happen. (There's a lot of light; it won't diminish in the room when it pours into you.) Now mentally go out through the same door and stand in the driveway, seeing the house covered with brilliant light. Again, feel the light that surrounds the house pour into you, and from you into the candle. When you're done, continue to sit or stand for a few moments with your eyes shut,and let any excess energy that remains in your body flow naturally into the ground. Then open your eyes. Light the candle at an appropriate time - the night before a showing might be good. A Witch would probably wait for the full moon (a time of bounty) or the first quarter moon (a time for new beginnings). An astrological magician might do so on a Monday (the day of the moon) or a Thursday (the day of Jupiter, the Bestower). As you light the candle, intone the words of the spell:

"Fill my home with energy,
that it may bring me prosperity.
Light and beauty fill my home,
That its new owners soon may come."

Let the candle burn all the way down. (I hope you didn't get one of those 15-hour ones!) What this visualization does is to fill the house with positive energy. Buyers respond to this energy whether they're aware of it or not. By dwelling on all your home's good points, you've filled those places in the house with special energy so they won't be overlooked. Also: Before each showing, subtly scent the house with cinnamon - incense, potpourri, maybe one of those lamp rings. Besides being a prosperity herb, cinnamon's aroma makes
people think of home cooking, which will make them want to settle down there.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Whatever – More Dream Stuffs

I remembered, this week!

Colors In Dreams
Experts believe that almost everyone dreams in color. If a major portion of your dream reflects a consistent color theme, this could have some type of meaning in interpreting that dream. Below are the major colors and what they could mean.

Black symbolizes the unknown, unconscious, danger, mystery, darkness, death, mourning, hate or malice. If the feeling in the dream is one of joy, blackness could imply hidden spirituality and divine qualities.

To dream in black and white, suggests that you need to be more objective in formulating your decisions. You may be a little too unyielding in your thought process and thus need to find some sort of balance between two opposing views. Consider the views and opinions of others. Alternatively, black and white dreams are signs of depression or sadness. You may feel that there is not enough excitement in your life

Blue represents truth, wisdom, heaven, eternity, devotion, tranquility, loyalty and openness. The presence of this color in your dream, may symbolize your spiritual guide and your optimism of the future. You have clarity of mind.

Depending on the context of your dream, the color blue may also be a metaphor of "being blue" and feeling sad

Brown denotes worldliness, practicality, domestic and physical comfort, conservatism, and a materialistic character. Brown also represents the ground and earth

The golden color reflects your spiritual rewards, richness, refinement and enhancement of your surroundings.

Green signifies a positive change, good health, growth, healing, hope, vigor, vitality, peace, and serenity. Green is also symbolic of your strive to gain recognition and establish your independence. Money, wealth and jealousy are often associated with this color. Dark green indicates materialism, cheating, deceit, and/or difficulties with sharing. You need to balance between your masculine and feminine attributes.

Gray indicates fear, fright, depression, ill health, ambivalence and confusion. You may feel emotionally distant or detached.

Orange denotes friendliness, courtesy, lively, sociability, and an out-going nature. You may want to expand your horizons and look into new interests.

Pink represents love, joy, sweetness, happiness, affection, kindness. Being in love or healing through love is also implied with this color.

Purple is indicative of devotion, healing abilities, loving, kindness, and compassion. It is also the color of royalty, high rank, and dignity.

Red is an indication of raw energy, force, vigor, intense passion, aggression, power, courage and passion. The color red has deep emotional and spiritual connotations. Red is also the color of danger, shame, sexual impulses and urges. Perhaps you need to stop and think about your actions.

White represents purity, perfection, peace, innocence, dignity, cleanliness, awareness, and new beginnings. You may be experiencing a reawakening or have a fresh outlook on life. However, in Eastern cultures, white is associated with death and mourning

The color yellow has both positive and negative connotations. If the dream is a pleasant one, then the color yellow is symbolic of intellect, energy, agility, happiness, harmony, and wisdom. 
On the other hand, if the dream is an unpleasant one, then the color represents cowardice and sickness. You may have a fear or an inability to make a decision or take action. As a result, you are experiencing many setbacks

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Try A New Taste – Corn Beef & Cabbage & Paddy’s Day Info

I’m not sure of the original source for this, if I had to guess I’d say Wikipedia. My source was Jodi (I am the now “the other Jodi” LOL) on one of the pagan lists I am on. She is a tireless, apparently unlimited source of information – and we found we experienced some ironic similarities when first she came to the list ! That being said, this is Tuesday, Try A new Taste. In honor of this day of celebration for the Irish folk, I am also including a recipe for Traditional Corn Beef & Cabbage.
The recipe is at the bottom of the post….

On with the show!


In Ireland
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in towns and cities right across the globe, but it's probably fair to say that nowhere can the festivities match the excitement and atmosphere of St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is more of a religious holiday similar to Christmas and Easter. Many Irish people start the day by going to mass and offering prayers for the Saint and missionaries all over the world. After that people flock to their local village or town to see the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade, and this is where the real celebrations begin! With grand parades, community feasts, charity show, the mass, St Patrick's Day is celebrated in Ireland with great gusto. The parades, shamrocks, and green beer are provided primarily for tourists. In fact, it has turned out to be one of the most celebrated events in Ireland and a major tourist attraction.
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by the Irish people and increasingly by many of non-Irish descent (usually in Australia, North America, and Ireland), hence the phrase, "Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day." Celebrations are generally themed around all things green and Irish; both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green or orange, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (usually Guinness), and attending parades.

Saint Patrick's Day parades in Ireland date from the late 19th century, originating in the growing sense of Irish nationalism. The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five-day festival; over 500,000 people attended the 2006 parade. With bands, music, dance, shamrock, leprechauns, green colored clothing and loads of power packed performance, the Irish parade on Saint Patrick's Day is a sight to behold!
Almost everything in Ireland is closed on Saint Patrick's Day with the exception of pubs and restaurants. Many Irish people wear a bunch of shamrocks ("three-leaf clover") on their lapels or caps on this day or green, white, and orange badges (after the colors of the Irish flag). Girls and boys wear green in their hair. Artists draw shamrock designs on people's cheeks, including American tourists, as a cultural sign.

The biggest celebrations on the island of Ireland outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, where Saint Patrick was buried following his death on 17 March, 461. In 2004, according to Down District Council, the week-long St. Patrick's Festival had over 2000 participants and 82 floats, bands, and performers, and was watched by over 30,000 people.

The day is celebrated by the Church of Ireland as a Christian festival. Saint Patrick's Day as a celebration of Irish culture was rarely acknowledged by Northern Irish loyalists, who consider it a festival of the Irish Republicans. The Belfast City Council recently agreed to give public funds to its parade for the first time; previously the parade was funded privately. The Belfast parade is based on equality and only the flag of St. Patrick is supposed to be used as a symbol of the day, to prevent it being seen as a time which is exclusively for Republicans and Nationalists. This allowed both Unionists and Nationalists to celebrate the day together. The Unionists (orangemen) wear orange instead of green on St. Patrick's Day; both colors are in the Irish flag (although this flag is not an official flag in Northern Ireland, it being part of the United Kingdom), and orange often, but not always, represents the Protestants of Northern Ireland.

Outside Ireland

In the United Kingdom
The largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the UK is held in Birmingham over a two mile route through the city centre. The organizers describe it as the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York. Other Saint Patrick's Day parades take place around the country including in London where the largest minority community is Irish. The Lanarkshire town of Coatbridge where the majority of the town's population are of Irish descent also has a day of celebration and parades in the town centre. In Birmingham, St. Patrick's Festival is one of the city's premier community events, with the Irish community numbering around 140,000 people.

Manchester hosts a two week Irish festival in the weeks prior to St Patrick's Day, not surprising given that the city claims the largest Irish population in Great Britain outside of London. The festival includes an Irish Market based at the city's town hall which flies the Irish tricolor opposite the Union Flag, a large parade (claiming to be the biggest outside of Dublin and New York based on entrant and float numbers) as well as a large number of cultural and learning events throughout the two-week period. The festival promotes itself as the largest in the UK.

Florence, Italy
Around St. Patrick's Day, the city hosts 'Festa Irlandese' - ten days of live music, food and drink. The event takes place in a huge tent and attracts thousands of visitors who avidly consume the Italian interpretation of Irish food and drink, including potato soup, beef in Guinness, smoked salmon and gallons of stout.

Oslo, Norway
The Irish community in Oslo celebrates with a lively parade through the city. Nearly a thousand people join in the fun as the parade steps off through shopping streets, past Oslo cathedral, on to Town Hall Square for some entertainment. Accompanying the pipe band are St Patrick, driven by a red-bearded chauffer in a horse and cart, and a host of other colorful Irish characters.

In Germany
Munich is the only German city holding a St. Patrick's Day parade owing to the considerably large Irish community. The parade is organized by the German-Irish Society of Bavaria and has been held every year since 1996. Meanwhile it has evolved into the largest in continental Europe and features not only Irish/Scots/English, but also German clubs and societies. Following the 2 km parade, which usually takes place the Sunday preceding 17 March, is an open air party with live music and dance performances.

In Denmark
The St. Patrick’s Day 3 Legged Charity Race started in Copenhagen in 2001. The race is organized by the Irish expert community and is sponsored by the Carlsberg brewery and the Irish pub owners of Copenhagen. In 2007, the event raised 26,000 DKK (3,500 euro). All proceeds were donated to a Danish charity for children with cancer. All proceeds from the 2008 race will be donated to the Neonatal Department at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.

In Montserrat
The tiny island of Montserrat, known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean" due to its foundation by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis, is the only place in the world apart from the Republic of Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador in which St Patrick's Day is a public holiday. The holiday commemorates a failed slave uprising that occurred on 17 March 1798.

In Russia
On March 15, 1992, thousands of Muscovites lined the Novy Arbat to witness the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Russian capital's history. Yuri Luzhkov - now the current Mayor of Moscow - and Aer Rianta Chief Executive Derek Keogh were on the reviewing stand as a police escort led the way for Russian marching bands, Cossack horsemen, and fifteen floats representing many Russian companies. The parade, which was the brainchild of Derek Keogh, was a big success, and ensured a repeat performance the following year.

Each year the floats have become more numerous and sophisticated and the range of international and Russian participants and sponsors more wide-ranging such as Pepsi and Guinness. The local Irish bars of Moscow contribute their own floats and Muscovites reveal their own homegrown Irish Wolfhounds, which are nearly as big as the floats themselves.
The Moscow parade continued to be an annual event until 1998. The economic collapse of August 1998 meant that the 1999 parade was canceled. In 2000 the St Patrick's Society of Russia managed to re-establish the St Patrick's Day parade with the co-operation of the Moscow city government, the Moscow police, various government bodies, the Irish embassy and the Irish community in Moscow.

In South Korea
In Seoul, members of the expatriate community congregate on Daehakro (Taehongno), and a small parade goes up the street and then down again. Parade members include local expat sports teams, the Irish Community, and several Korean marching bands. In 2007, the Marronier park near Daehakro was filled with partygoers sampling Irish Stew and Guinness.

Tokyo, Japan
The tradition of holding parades is also upheld in Tokyo and every year you can watch and participate in the parade on Omote Sando. The Tokyo parade is organized by the Irish Network Japan (INJ) and was first held in 1992 with the support of the then Irish Ambassador to Japan, Mr. James Sharkey. Various dignitaries from many countries participate in the parade including the deputy prime minister of Ireland Mary Hearney in 2001.

About 2,000 participants march down fashionable Omotesando Avenue, lined for the occasion by Irish and Japanese flags, cheered on by as many as 7,000 spectators. The Japanese love a good party and they are particularly fond of all things Irish - including Guinness at about $7.00 a pint! There are a growing number of Irish pubs that send attractive young ladies to the parade for the sole purpose of handing out free beer vouchers. Not surprisingly, the 'voucher girls' are a parade highlight!

In the United States
The early Irish immigrants like the English, Dutch, German, French and the likes, brought their traditions to the United States. But it was not until 1737 that the immigrants really celebrated the day. Irish colonists brought Saint Patrick's Day to what is now the United States of America. During the first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in the 13 colonies, which took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737, The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized what was the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies on 17 March 1737.

The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756, and New York's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. Held since 1762, the New York City parade on St Patrick's Day now draws more than one million spectators each year. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March. This event became known as The St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780. Today, Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike.

In the US, Americans celebrate the holiday by wearing green clothing. Many people, regardless of ethnic background, wear green-colored clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched. Alcohol is the center of many American celebrations.

Some cities paint the traffic stripe of their parade routes green. Chicago even dyes its river green. Savannah dyes its downtown city fountains green. Indianapolis dyes its Central Canal green (Woohoo! We got a mention! And our canal IS greentoday!)University of Missouri Rolla - St. Pat's Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks Kelly green with mops before the annual parade.

Although the baseball season is still in the spring training phase when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, some teams celebrate by wearing St. Patrick's Day themed uniforms. The Cincinnati Reds were the first team to ever wear St. Patrick's Day hats in 1978. The Boston Red Sox were the second team to start wearing St. Patrick's Day hats in 1990. In 2004 the Red Sox were the first team to wear jerseys specially designed for St. Patrick's day. Since then it has become a tradition of many sports teams to also wear special uniforms to celebrate the holiday.

The Los Angeles Dodgers also have a history with the Irish-American community. With the O'Malley family owning the team and now Frank McCourt, the Dodgers have had team celebrations or worn green jerseys on St. Patrick's Day. Other teams celebrate by wearing Kelly green hats these teams include: the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals. Nearly all major league baseball teams now produce St. Patrick's day merchandise, including Kelly green hats, jerseys, and t-shirts.

In the United States, many people have also made the holiday a celebration of the color green. These people, besides wearing green on that day, may also stage dinner parties featuring all green foods. An example of such a menu would be chicken with rice and lima beans with sliced green maraschino cherries in coconut sauce colored with green food coloring, a green salad including greens, avocados and sliced green apples, split pea soup, green tinted bread spiced with sage, Lime Jell-O, iced limeade and/or a green-beer, and lime pudding, key lime pie, or lime sherbet for dessert. Corned beef and cabbage is the most common meal eaten in the United States for St. Patrick's Day, even though historically, corned beef and cabbage is an American (rather than a traditionally Irish) meal.

Perhaps the smallest notable parade, World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade is said to take place in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the United States. Annually held on the historic Bridge Street the parade became famous in the 1940s when Ripley’s Believe It or Not designated it “The Shortest Street in the World.”But Boulder, Colorado claims to have the shortest parade, which is also less than a single city block.

In Philadelphia
The Philadelphia St. Patrick's Parade is the 2nd oldest Parade in the Country, topped only by the New York City Parade. The first documented St. Patrick's Day Celebration Parade in Philadelphia was held in 1771, marking over 230 continuous years of celebrations.

In Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, GA, boasts the unofficial record of having the largest attendance in its St. Patrick's Day parade with the crowd count being declared as a staggering 750,000 in 2006. Unlike other cities, the parade in Savannah takes place on the actual day of Saint Patrick's Day; even if that day is during the work week. However for 2008, the parade will take place on Friday, March 14th, to honor Holy week in the Catholic faith.

The parade starts at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Cathedral on Abercorn Street. The actual parade route changes from year to year but usually travels through Savannah's Historic Park District and Bay Street. Usual participants in the parade include the local Armed Forces Units, Cadets from Benedictine Military School, and other local organizations, officials, and establishments. In 2006, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland was featured in the parade.

Since the parade travels through Savannah's Historic Park District, one tradition that has developed has been the official "dyeing of the fountains" which happens several days before the parade. It has also become tradition for women spectators to kiss the Armed Forces Units and other military organization's male members.

The parade is not Savannah's only St. Patrick's day attraction. The Savannah Waterfront Association has an annual celebration on Historic River Street that is reminiscent of Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street. There is no cover charge to access River Street, but a $5 wristband is required if one chooses to drink there. Savannah does not have an open container law so there is a proliferation of alcohol on River Street, Bay Street and in City Market.

In Mexico
On this day, and on September 12, the Saint Patrick's Battalion (Batallion de San Patricio) is memorialized. It fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848, and was composed of several hundred Irish, Germans, Swiss, Scots and other Roman Catholics of European descent.

Although it's not a popular holiday in Mexico, sometimes school children hit, punch or slap anyone who is not wearing green in their clothes.

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has a parade that is strongly influenced by Mardi Gras. Unlike most parades, where the participants staidly walk the parade route - with, perhaps, an occasional display of Irish dancing, the parade at New Orleans features floats, jazz bands and colorful costumed characters, with float riders throwing spectators strings of beads, cabbages, and potatoes.

Syracuse, New York
The city of Syracuse, NY has a parade that culminates with the delivery of green beer to Coleman's Irish Pub in the Tipperary Hill section of the city and the painting of a shamrock in front of the pub. Tipperary Hill is home to the World famous "Green-on-Top" Traffic Light - it is the Irish section in Syracuse Historically. Syracuse boasts the largest St. Patrick's day celebration per-capita in the United States.

New York City
The New York parade has become the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the world. In 2006 more than 150,000 marchers participated in it, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs, and it was watched by close to 2 million spectators lining the streets. The parade marches up 5th Avenue in Manhattan and is always led by the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. It is the only New York City parade in which the marchers head uptown instead of downtown.

New York politicians - or those running for office - are always found prominently marching in the parade. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once proclaimed himself "Ed O'Koch" for the day, and he continues to don an Irish sweater and march every year, even though he is no longer in office. In a similar fashion, new New York state governor Eliot Spitzer marched in and even visited the morning Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral for the 2007 parade.

The parade is organized and run by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. For many years, the St. Patrick's Day Parade was the primary public function of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. On occasion the order has appointed controversial Irish republican figures (some of whom were barred from the U.S.) to be its Grand Marshal.

While it is a popular misconception that the St. Patrick's Day Parade bans 'lesbians and gays, the fact is, that essentially all politically motivated groups, including pro-life groups, are banned from the Parade in an effort to keep politics out of a festive community celebration. Gays and lesbians are welcome to be in the Parade as members of any of the groups allowed.

The New York parade is moved to the previous Saturday (16 March) in years where 17 March is a Sunday. The event is also moved on the rare occasions when, due to Easter falling on a very early date, 17 March would land in Holy Week. This scenario arose in 2008, when Easter fell on 23 March. In many other American cities (such as San Francisco), the parade is always held on the Sunday before 17 March, regardless of the liturgical calendar.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle celebrates St Patrick's Day in grand style, with a full week of activities. Festivities kick off with the proclamation of Irish Week. Due to Seattle's northern state climates, like Ireland, the city received many Irish immigrants. So many that Seattle and Galway are sister cities. Every year on St. Patrick's Day, there's a mini-parade to prepare the parade route with the ceremonial painting of a green stripe down the center of 4th Avenue.

The day of the parade begins with a Catholic Mass for peace. The Seattle Parade starts at 4th Avenue and Jefferson and goes to the Reviewing Stand at Westlake Park, ending officially at the Seattle Center. The annual Irish Week Festival is enormous, including Irish step dancing, food, historical and modern exhibitions, and Irish lessons. This is all celebrated on March 14. And may be carried on till the 15, 16, and 17 of March.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The Southern Nevada, (formerly Las Vegas) Sons of Erin has put on a parade since 1966. It was formerly held on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, later moved to 4th street. Since 2005, the parade has been held in downtown Henderson. It is one of the biggest parades in the state of Nevada. It also consists of a three day festival, carnival and classic car show in Old Town Henderson.

In Canada
In Canada, Saint Patrick's Day is an official holiday only in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Some groups, notably Guinness, have lobbied to make Saint Patrick's Day a federal (national) holiday.

The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parade in Canada occurs each year in Montreal, Quebec. The parades have been held in continuity since 1824; however, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France.

The Toronto St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of the largest in North America. Since it began in 1988, the parade has grown to include 100 organizations, 32 Irish county associations, 2,000 marchers, 30 floats, 14 bands as well as an assortment of wolfhounds, leprechauns and talking shamrocks. In the Province of Manitoba, the Irish Association of Manitoba runs an annual three day festival of music and culture based around St Patrick's Day.

In Argentina
In Argentina, and specifically in Buenos Aires, all-night long parties are celebrated in designated streets, since the weather is comfortably warm in March. People dance and drink only beer throughout the night, until seven or eight in the morning, and although the tradition of mocking those who do not does not exist, most people would wear something green. In Buenos Aires, the party is held in downtown street Reconquista, where there are several Celtic bars; in 2006, there were 50,000 people in this street and the pubs nearby.

Despite all these varieties, the festivities all over the world are driven by the same spirit. And why not? After all, everybody is Irish on St. Paddy's Day! While it reminds us about St Patrick, the day is also a celebration for being Irish and enjoying everything Irish. So make an attempt to have the real fun of being Irish. Adorn yourself in green clothing, pin on the shamrocks, hunt for the leprechaun (well, not really), cook and feast the Irish way, laugh away all worries with Irish jokes and dance to the tunes of the Irish bands. Top o' the morning to ye!

Traditional corned beef and cabbage is the ultimate in comfort food and a boon for budget conscious families. Slowly simmered with spices, then served with mustard and cabbage, this traditional Irish dish is perfect for those who want a tasty, comforting no-hassle meal. From The Canadian Press…

Corned Beef and Cabbage

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) corned beef brisket
  • Water, to cover meat
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) pickling spice
  • 30 ml (3 tbsp) salt
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) peppercorns
  • 1 head cabbage

In a large stockpot, place corned beef with all the seasonings. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 2 hours. If not tender after 2 hours, keep checking at 15 minute intervals. Remove corned beef (save broth for cabbage). Cut cabbage into wedges, place in a large pan, cover with broth from the beef and simmer until tender. Keep cabbage warm in broth until needed. Serve corned beef with mustard and cabbage.
Makes 4 servings.

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