Candlelight Spells: The Modern Witch's Book of Spellcasting, Feasting, and Natural Healing

Candlelight Spells: The Modern Witch's Book of Spellcasting, Feasting, and Natural Healing

by Gerina Dunwich

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The Modern Witch’s Book of Spellcasting, Feasting and Natural Healing
An essential resource for the Wiccan lifestyle, CANDLELIGHT SPELLS provides recipes, spells, and guides for herbs and candle crafting, as well as a “Lexicon of Witchcraft.” The modern witch will find recipes for the traditional Sabbat feasts of the witch’s year, including Fertility Bread, Sabbat Cakes, and Samhain Cider. For new moon gatherings, there are recipes for Madrake Wine, Nettle Ale, Acorn Cookies, and more. Practitioners of the Old Religion will also find detailed spells, counterspells, ceremonies, and rituals for maintaining every aspect of your Wiccan integrity. This is an indispensable guide for those truly interested nurturing the Craft of the Wise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806539508
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 11/27/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 188
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Gerina Dunwich is the author of over two-dozen books on witchcraft and the occult. Her articles, poetry and interviews have appeared in numerous publications, including Playgirl, American Woman, Moving Words, and in Llewellyn's calendars and datebooks. She lives in Upstate New York.

Read an Excerpt


Sabbat Feasts


Candlemas — February 2
Beltane — May 1
Lammas — August 1
Samhain — October 31


Vernal Equinox Summer Solstice Autumnal Equinox Winter Solstice/Yule

Candlemas: The Feast of Lights February 2nd

Candlemas, also known as Imbolc, is a fire festival celebrating the Goddess of Fertility.

The "sweeping out of the old" is symbolized by the sweeping of the magick circle with a besom, or witches' broom. This is done by the priestess of the coven who wears a brilliant crown of 13 candles on top of her head.

A traditional feast follows the Candlemas ceremony. Food and drink served include: potlatch stew, leeks, gypsy tea, fertility bread, poppy seed cake, and sage wine.


3 lbs. of beef stew meat (or beef kabob)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
5 potatoes
4 medium carrots
3 medium onions
3 medium turnips
4 celery stalks
6–8 cups beef broth
½ cup barley
7 chickweed leaves
¼ cup young tops of stinging or great nettle salt and pepper
1 teaspoon thyme

Remove fat from beef and cut meat into small square pieces. Heat oil in large skillet. Add the meat and brown over medium heat. Remove from skillet and put meat into a large stew pot. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips and celery stalks. Add the vegetables to the stew pot. Next, add the beef broth, barley, chickweed, nettle, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir together well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot and let it simmer 2–2½ hours, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender.


3 bunches of thinly sliced leeks
3 cups chopped celery
3 onions, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cooked wild rice
¼ cup finely chopped chives salt and pepper

Carefully wash the white part of the leeks, discarding the coarse green stalks. Split the leeks lengthwise and rinse out the sand between the layers. Put the leeks, celery, onions and mushrooms in a large saucepan with one cup of broth. Bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat. Cover; reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15–20 minutes. Stir in the cooked wild rice, chopped chives and some salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


2 oranges
3 lemons
13 cloves
1 tablespoon ground allspice
½ cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons black tea
2 quarts boiling water
1¼ cup sugar

Squeeze juice from oranges and lemons; set juice aside. Remove rinds and put in a large container. Add cloves, allspice, cinnamon stick and tea. Pour boiling water over the tea mixture and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Strain and then return liquid to container. Stir in the orange juice, lemon juice and sugar. (Gypsy tea may be served either hot or over crushed ice.)

FERTILITY BREAD (recipe for two 9 × 5-inch loaves)

½ cup lukewarm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups goat's milk
½ cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon dried yarrow
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 cups regular rolled oats
4½ cups flour

Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast and sugar over it. Let it stand for three minutes and then stir well. Set in a warm place for 20–30 minutes, until the mixture doubles in size. Combine the milk, molasses, yarrow, two tablespoons of butter and the salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbles start to appear around the edges of the pan. Pour the milk mixture into a deep bowl and set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Add yeast, sunflower seeds and oats to the milk mixture and stir together. Add three cups of the flour, one cup at a time, and continue stirring until the dough can be gathered into a medium-soft ball. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead, pushing the dough down with the heels of your hands, pressing it forward and folding it back on itself. As you knead, sprinkle by the tablespoonful up to two cups more flour over the ball. Continue kneading for about 15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Reshape it into a ball. With a pastry brush, spread two tablespoons of softened butter evenly inside a deep mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it around to butter the entire surface of the dough.

Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place it in a draft-free area for about 1½ hours or until the dough doubles in size. Brush the remaining two tablespoons of softened butter over the bottoms and sides of two 9 × 5-inch loaf pans. Punch the dough down with a single blow of your fist and divide it in half. Shape each half into a loaf. Place in the pans and brush the top of each loaf with melted butter. Once again cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaves for 40–45 minutes or until they are light brown. Turn out on wire racks and cool before serving.


1 cup cooking oil
1 cup honey
3 eggs
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup poppy seeds
3½ teaspoons baking soda
1½ cups buttermilk
½ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40–45 minutes or until done.


1 cup fresh sage
½ cup claret or Burgundy wine

Put the fresh sage and the wine into an electric blender and run it on high speed for a few minutes until the sage leaves are pulverized. Return the wine to its original bottle and chill well before drinking.

Beltane: May Day

Beltane, also known as Walpurgisnacht, is an ancient Druid fire festival that celebrates the return of the Goddess by exuberant dancing around a maypole and the intertwining of bright colored ribbons to symbolize the union of male and female. Beltane Eve is celebrated by the traditional lighting of huge bonfires on hillsides to light the way for summer.

May Day is a time to joyously celebrate creation, reproduction and the beginning of the breeding season for both wild and domestic animals.

The traditional Beltane feasts include: Beltane barley casserole, salmagundi pentagram, spring salad, witches' honey bread, May Day pudding and merry May punch.


½ cup butter
2 cups barley
½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 chopped onions
½ cup peas
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup pine nuts

Melt butter in a skillet and saute the barley, stirring frequently until golden. Turn into a greased three-quart casserole. Stir in the mushrooms, onions and peas and three cups of the chicken broth. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. Stir in the pine nuts and the remaining cup of broth. Cover and bake for another 1½ hours.


1 large head lettuce
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
25–30 raw onion rings
13 chopped hard-boiled eggs salt and pepper crushed rosemary herb salad dressing (see following page)
3 lbs. chopped cooked beef

Wash and place the lettuce leaves on a large circular dish. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. (Other grated cheeses may be substituted, if desired.) Arrange the onion rings over the lettuce to form a circle around the inside edges of the plate. Place bits of chopped hard boiled eggs in the middle of each onion ring. Season lightly with salt and pepper and crushed rosemary. Next, arrange the beef in the center of the plate to form a star symbol with all five points touching the circle of onion rings. (You may arrange the beef to form other magickal or astrological symbols, if you prefer.) Chill and serve with herb salad dressing.


2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon tarragon
1 cup safflower oil

Put egg yolks, vinegar, salt and herbs in a small bowl and beat until well blended. Add the oil one teaspoon at a time, beating vigorously after each addition until all of the oil has been used. (If the dressing should separate, beat in slowly and thoroughly either one egg yolk, one tablespoon of cold water or a bit of mayonnaise.) Cover and store in the refrigerator.


Cattails (young stems)
Tomatoes Cucumbers Radishes Chives Pigweed leaves Water cress Comfrey leaves (young and tender)
Dandelion leaves Wild mustard leaves Sorrel Marigold flowers and stems Sunflower seeds

Cut cattail stems 10–12 inches from the root and peel off the outer skin. (Save the roots for stew!) Chop into small pieces. Wash and cut tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and chives into small chunks. Tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Place all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss lightly and serve with an herbal dressing.


1½ cups buttermilk
1 cup honey
¼ cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup white flour
½ cup raisins

Mix together the buttermilk, honey, molasses, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the whole-wheat and white flour and add to the buttermilk mixture. Stir in the raisins and pour the batter into a greased 9 × 5-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread for one hour in a 350 degree oven. Turn the loaf out, inverted, on a wire rack to cool.


1 teaspoon and 4 tablespoons softened butter
2 eggs
6 cups milk
1½ teaspoon tansy
4 finely chopped sweet cicely leaves
½ cup dark molasses
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow corn meal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a pastry brush, spread one teaspoon of butter over the bottom and sides of a two-quart baking dish. Set aside. In a four to five quart saucepan, beat the eggs with a wire whisk until they are well mixed. Stirring constantly with the whisk, add four cups of the milk, tansy, sweet cicely leaves, molasses, sugar, baking soda and salt. Simmer over medium heat, stirring until the molasses and sugar dissolve. Pour in the corn meal very slowly, stirring constantly to keep the mixture smooth. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pudding is thick. Beat in the four tablespoons of butter and remove from heat. Pour in the remaining two cups of milk, beating constantly. Pour the pudding into the buttered baking dish and bake for one hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and continue to bake for about four more hours until the May Day pudding is firm.


2 cups sweet woodruff (leaves and blossoms)
1 quart sweet wine
1 pint wild strawberries
½ cup sugar Grated peel and juice of 1 lime

Steep the sweet woodruff leaves and blossoms in the wine for three hours on low heat. Cool. Wash and hull the strawberries. Crush and combine them with the wine, sugar, grated lime peel and lime juice. Cover and chill for several hours. Strain liquid and discard the pulp. Fill a large punch bowl with crushed ice and pour the punch over the ice. Add some more sweet woodruff blossoms to the punch just before serving.

Lammas: August Eve

Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is a sabbat celebrated by the ancient Druids to pay homage to Lugh, the Celtic sun god.

It is a joyous festival consisting of singing, dancing, ancient Pagan games, and the lighting of sacred yellow candles to honor the death and the rebirth of the god.

A traditional Lammas feast consists of: baked squirrels, mumbo gumbo, erbe salade, cranberry muffins, Sabat cakes, nectar of the gods and Salem brown bread.


13 skinned and washed squirrels
2½ cups flour
2½ cups yellow cattail pollen
6 tablespoons butter
4 cups beef broth
6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 minced onions
3 minced cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves salt and pepper

Dredge squirrels in flour mixed with the yellow pollen of cattails collected in early or midsummer. Melt butter in roasting pan and add squirrels. Brown the meat well on all sides. Add the remaining ingredients. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until squirrels are nice and tender.


3 ounces lean salt pork, diced into ¼ inch bits with the rind removed
5 onions, peeled and chopped
1 minced green pepper
1½ cups okra
2 cups corn kernels
4 peeled and diced potatoes salt and pepper (to taste)
2 cups water
½ cup marigold flowers
3 finely chopped rue leaves
1 cup milk
1 cup light cream

In a heavy three-to-four quart casserole, fry the salt pork over medium heat, turning the bits frequently with a spoon until they are crisp and brown. Transfer the pork bits to paper towels to drain thoroughly. Add the onions, green pepper and okra to the fat remaining in the casserole and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Stir in the corn kernels, diced potatoes, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered until the potatoes are soft but still intact. Next, add the reserved pork bits, marigold flowers, rue leaves, milk and cream and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve hot.


Salad burnet leaves
3 chopped rue leaves Borage stalks, peeled and cut into chunks Chopped chives Good King Henry leaves Lovage stalks
5 tomatoes, cut into small pieces Herb-seasoned croutons
3 cups pitted and chopped green olives Herbal salad dressing

Rinse all leaves, stalks and vegetables under cold running water; drain in colander. After drying, transfer to a large salad bowl. Tear leaves into small bite-size pieces. Add the croutons and mix together well. Pour the herbal dressing over the salad and toss lightly.


4 tablespoons softened butter
1 cup fresh cranberries
2¾ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 lightly beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and sift into a deep mixing bowl. Stirring constantly with a big spoon, pour in the milk. Stir in the egg and butter. Add the cranberries and continue to stir until all of the ingredients are well combined. Ladle batter into buttered muffin-tin cups, filling each about ? full. Bake for 30 minutes or until the muffins are brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


1½ cups rolled oats
1½ cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch bits
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4–6 tablespoons cold water

Combine the oats, flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a deep mixing bowl and stir until well mixed. Drop in the butter bits and stir the oat and flour mixture together with the butter until it looks like flakes of coarse meal. Pour the vanilla extract and four tablespoons of cold water over the mixture, toss together lightly and gather the dough into a ball. (Add up to two more tablespoons of cold water, drop by drop, if the dough begins to crumble.) Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a rough rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick. With a stick and a sharp knife, cut the dough into two-inch triangles. Arrange the sabbat cakes about an inch apart on a large buttered baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown and firm. Cool on wire racks before serving. This recipe makes 40 two-inch triangular cakes.


2 cups apricot nectar
1½ cups fruit salad
1 cup sliced bananas
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup chopped pineapple
½ cup maraschino cherry juice
2 ounces rum

Mix all ingredients together in a large punch bowl. Chill for several hours and add crushed ice just before serving.


2 cups buttermilk
¾ cup dark molasses
1 cup raisins
1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon softened butter

In a deep bowl, beat the buttermilk and molasses together vigorously with a spoon. Stir in the raisins. Combine the rye flour, whole wheat flour, corn meal, baking soda and salt and sift them into the buttermilk mixture one cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Butter the bottom and sides of two 2½ cup tin cans. Pour the batter into the cans, dividing it evenly between them. The batter should fill each can to within about one inch of the top. Cover each can loosely with a circle of buttered wax paper and then with a larger circle of aluminum foil. The foil should be puffed like the top of a French chef's hat, allowing an inch of space above the top edge of the cans so the batter can rise as it is steamed. Tie the wax paper and foil in place with string. Stand the cans on a rack in a large pot and pour in enough boiling water to come about ¾ of the way up the sides of the cans. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot tightly and reduce the heat. Steam the bread for two hours and 15 minutes. Remove the foil and paper from the cans at once, and turn the bread out.

Samhain: October 31

Samhain, also known as Halloween, is the Druid new year and the most important of all the four sabbats. It is the sacred festival that marks the end of the goddessruled summer and welcomes the beginning of the godruled winter.

Samhain Eve is the night when spirits of dead friends and loved ones return to rejoice, briefly, with the living. It is also the time to celebrate the gathering of the year's harvest and to give thanks.

The carving of Halloween pumpkins, or jack-o'-lanterns is a very old custom dating to the days of the ancient Druids to mark the arrival of winter. It was also believed that the jack-o'-lanterns, with their grotesque and eerie candle-lit faces, possessed the power to scare away the malevolent spirits of bad witches who would return to haunt the living on Samhain night.

Traditional foods and drink served at the Samhain feast include: partridge casserole, baked hominy (country witch style), marsh marigolds with mushroom sauce, wild berry bread, magick pumpkin squares and Samhain cider.


Excerpted from "Candlelight Spells"
by .
Copyright © 1988 Gerina Dunwich.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Old Religion,
1. Sabbat Feasts,
2. The Esbat and Miscellaneous Witch Recipes,
3. Candle Crafting,
4. Herbs,
5. Spellcasting,
6. Lexicon of Witchcraft,

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