I make this every year and everyone loves it. There may have been a bit too much Brandy in it a couple years back, my Aunt’s first sip came straight out of her nose. LOL! Anyways, I’m looking forward to making it again this year, it makes the house smell yummy. If you get a chance to make it, let me know how it turns out.
Cook Time: 2-4 hours
Approxamitely 12 bottles of Woodchuck Hard Cider (1 gallon)
2 C. cranberry juice
1/2 C honey
1/2 C sugar
1 apple, peeled and diced
3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
1/2 C – 1 C brandy (optional)
Set your crockpot to low, pour in apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar, mix carefully. While it heats up, stir so the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot. Add the diced apple, allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste — a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add.
Cover and simmer 2 – 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy, if desired.
Tip: For people with cinnamon allergies, add an extra 1 1/2 tbsp of both allspice and nutmeg! (Thanks to Natalie Pagan!)
The temple, founded by Graell Corsini and 18 others, will open under a full moon on the spring equinox, the women say.
It will enshrine the great goddess mother of ancient times, working in equal partnership with the “sacred masculine” God to “celebrate the divinity in everything,” Corsini said.
The women say the goddess path honors and supports all faiths, includes both genders and provides a space for ceremonies of the solstice and equinox, weddings, births, dance, music, meditation, counseling, classes in sacred subjects and alternative healing using reiki, cranial-sacral therapy and other modalities. Read full story from mailtribune.com
Mummified head is skull of Henri IV, say historians
A gash above the lip, a beauty spot and a pierced ear were among key features that helped identify the well-preserved head as that of the “Gallant Green” king, stabbed to death by a Catholic fundamentalist in 1610.
Jean-Pierre Babelon, France’s leading Henri IV scholar told The Daily Telegraph he and the other experts were “99 per cent sure” of their findings.
He will be alongside the 19-man team of international experts when it details its historic discovery in Paris’ Grand Palais after two years of painstaking research.
The experts, led by the renowned pathologist Philippe Charlier, used a “whole range of methods” to cross check their discovery. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
Man in cemetery IDed
PICAYUNE — The man photographed naked in a local cemetery says he didn’t mean anything crazy by it, he was trying to capture pictures of spirits, or do orb photography.
The man, 47 year-old Robert T. Hurst, of 208 Mitchell St., said he was in the cemetery conducting his year-long hobby, orb photography, which is capturing circles of light at night, some of which appear to be faces. As for why he was naked the night he was caught by a game camera set up by cemetery staff, he said skin can be the best canvas for such photography. Read full story from picayuneitem.com
Pompeii skeletons reveal secrets of Roman family life
The remains of the Roman town of Pompeii destroyed by a volcanic eruption in AD79 continue to provide intriguing and unexpected insights into Roman life – from diet and health care to the gap between rich and poor.
The basement storeroom under a large agricultural depot in the little suburb of Oplontis was full of pomegranates. To many of the Pompeiians trying to find shelter from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, it must have seemed strong and safe. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
Storm in Israel uncovers ancient statue Jerusalem (CNN) — A huge storm that collapsed part of a cliff on Israel’s central coast led to the discovery of a statue dating back to the Roman period, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Tuesday. Read full story from cnn.com
The Film That Brought Down Youtube in Indonesia
Geert Wilders, a Dutch parliamentarian leading the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, caught the attention of the world when he released a short film on his views on Islam in 2008, titled Fitna. The 15 minute film juxtaposes several passages from the Q’uran with images of Islamic. Of course, the film was to be a controversial bombshell, so to speak. But the response that ensued was not merely limited to the expected hordes of Muslims chanting ‘Death to Wilders’ on the streets of Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan. Read full story from ISSA
The campaign to take Indian lands led some Native people to seek answers and hope from spirital sources. In the winter of 1889, shortly after President Benjamin Harrison took office, a Paiute man named Wovoka, from the Walker River Indian Reservatio in Nevada, had a vision of being “taken up into the spirit world.” Wovoka later told enthnographer James Mooney that while in the spirit world he saw “God and the dead of his nation, happily alive in a beautiful land abundant with game.” When Wovoka returned from his experience, he told the Paitue people to “work hard, and to live in peace with the Whites and that eventually they would be reunited with the dead in a world without death or sickness or old age.” Read full story from nmai.si.edu
Celebrate the start of winter at Stonehenge
Astronomical calculator? Sacred burial ground? Landing spot for UFOs? Altar for human sacrifice? Whatever the wild theories about Stonehenge, it’s clear that the monument is an awe-inspiring work of vast antiquity, which comes into its own at the solstice celebrations. Read full story from hellomagazine.com
NEPAL: Witch Tag Only on Dalits, Minorities
KATHMANDU, Dec 23 (IPS) – Just 40 kms away from the capital Kathmandu, in Thasingtole, Lalitpur District, Kalli Kumari B.K., 46, a local Dalit woman, was mercilessly beaten up. She was accused of being a ‘witch’, imprisoned in a shed and forced to eat her own excreta. Read full story from ipsnews.net
Magick and Ritual
Even for the secular minded, Magick and Ritual can still have meaning and significance. Although astrology and other esoteric disciplines are often lumped into the category of religion ” and are instantly rejected by secular minded, scholars, scientists and religious critics, Magick and ritual can only enhance one`s life. This article will explain how Magick and ritual should be seen as “in the least “a social science, and not as pseudo-science “. Read full story from thesop.org
Christmas 2009: Oh Come All Ye Faithless
The main war on Christmas – we’ll call it the conventional war – has been well-documented, and it goes on, with victories and defeats for both sides. In Loudoun County, Va. on Dec. 1, the Board of Supervisors reversed a ban on religious holiday displays on the courthouse lawn. (The one supervisor who voted “no” said, “I am concerned that this motion would turn the courthouse grounds into a public circus.”) Meanwhile, in Arizona, public school children remain unable to use Christmas themes when decorating ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree. Read full story from charlotteconservative.com
Created and embellished Everyone knows America’s Christmas traditions: A decorated tree at home. Stockings hung from the mantle. Santa Claus coming down the chimney Christmas Eve. Special music and programs at church. Read full story from decaturdaily.com
‘Prophet’ found guilty of stalking
NORRISTOWN — A self-proclaimed prophet who spouted biblical passages to rail against a Lower Pottsgrove couple showed no emotion as a jury determined her conduct caused emotional distress for the couple. Read full story from thereporteronline.com
Army still threatens sacred site FORT SILL, Okla. – The Comanche Nation and the U.S. Army have been battling over a proposed training/service center for the Fort Sill complex that was to be built on Medicine Bluff, a sacred site of not just the Comanche, but also the Kiowas, the Wichitas and the Apaches. Read full story from Indiancountrytoday.com
Winter Solstice celebrations: a.k.a. Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, the Long Night, etc.
Religious folk worldwide observe many seasonal days of celebration during the month of December. Most are religious holy days, and are linked in some way to the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. On that day, due to the earth’s tilt on its axis, the daytime hours are at a minimum in the Northern hemisphere, and night time is at a maximum. (In the southern hemisphere, the summer solstice is celebrated in December, when the night time is at a minimum and the daytime is at a maximum. We will assume that the reader lives in the Northern hemisphere for the rest of this essay.) Read full story from religioustolerance.org
Elemental altar for Pagan kids
Altars can be as simple or complex as their creator desires. For those just starting out in the Craft, whether children or adults, simple is generally a wise approach. Creating an elemental altar offers young Pagans an easy way to have personal sacred space. Read full story from examiner.com
Wiccan to sit out two Christmas songs
Fifteen-year-old Katarina Keen won’t sing along to “Silent Night” or “Listen to the Stars,” two Christian songs planned for her choir’s upcoming Christmas concert at Borger High School. But she will sing “Jingle Bells” and “A Carol in Winter.” Read full story from amarillo.com
Glitzy, fun – but soulful too
I grew up singing “Deck the halls with boughs of holly” but never actually stopped to think why we were decking the halls at all. Each year we take the time to decorate our homes during the festive season, hanging baubles on the Christmas tree and placing holly and ivy around the house but how many of us stop to wonder why we participate in such traditions? Read full story from ft.com
Christopher Hitchens: Merry Christmas. Now, about that public display … A reported scheme for a “nonreligious” celebration of Christmas in the Obama White House was over before it began, long before it could become part of that old seasonal favorite, “the war on Christmas.” I never believed the original reports anyway: The president has no need to incite those who already think that he is a closet Communist or stealth Muslim. Read full story from startribune.com
“Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season” Billboard
I saw a billboard here in San Diego (on University in Hillcrest), which reads “Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season,” apparantly sponsored by two businessmen. To paraphrase Jeff Dunham’s Achmed the Dead Terrorist: “Don’t say Merry Christmas, it only irritates the other infidels.”. That is a very profound statement. Read full story from sandiegoreader.com
Happy Holidays to you, Jay!
I’d like to know, what’s wrong with saying “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” anyway? Isn’t the Christmas spirit about being welcoming, loving and peaceful to all? Don’t you think when certain Religious Right groups make such a fuss over this every year, claiming there is some sort of “war on Christmas,” that they are the ones breaking that peace? Read full story from beliefnet.com
David Robson: The origins of the yule log
Yule logs are more associated with the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Fires were burned to provide light, ward off evil spirits and provide warmth. Choosing the largest piece of wood lying around meant more heat and more light. Read full story from sj-r.com
Ashland OR school removes holiday tree
ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — The principal of an elementary school in Ashland, Ore., has removed a holiday giving tree from the school after several families complained it was a religious symbol. Read full story from kgw.com
Kaleidoscope of religions
Every five years a gathering known as the Parliament of the World’s Religions draws people from all over the world. It’s happening now, this time in Melbourne, Australia. For seven days, a jam-packed schedule of events ranges from the ultimate and urgent to the personal and pragmatic. There’s culture, politics, meditation, exhibitions, bells and, yes, some whistles. Monks mingle with Catholic priests, Hindu swamis with Zoroastrians and Sikhs. Atheists and pagans have their place. Just walking through the crowd gives a vivid portrait of humanity. And a sea of cameras capture the extraordinary scene. Read full story from newsweek.washingtonpost.com
Happy Re-Birthday: Celebrating the Light’s Return at Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice marks the shift of the seasons from harvesting crops to rejuvenating the Earth.
In 2009, this longest night of the year falls on December 21. While the notion of winter usually evokes images of warm coats, mittens and boots, in ancient times Winter Solstice was honored as the turning point when the sun begins warming the Earth a little bit longer every day. Read full story from visionmagazine.com
Midwinter revels and holidays of light
“Go Christmas, go Hanukkah, go Kwanzaa, go Solstice!” So shout the brightly clad young models of a current TV commercial, as they leap about the screen like cheerleaders in their stripy sweaters and knitted gloves. Yet another seasonal advertisement by a multinational garment-selling conglomerate. But wait. What are the holidays mentioned in the ad again? Do they really finish their cheer with Solstice? Read full story from mountainx.com
Satanic activity in the Forest of Dean sounds strangely familiar
Fans of Dennis Wheatley and Hammer horror will know that British rural life has long been synonymous with the occult. The apartment-block Satanism of Rosemary’s Baby is simply not for us: we feel goats’ skulls, naked virgins and wicker men look better in a forest or field than on Clapham High Street. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
Winter solstice is a time of renewal, reconnection with the Earth
Throughout the ages, a variety of cultures have viewed the winter solstice as a time for celebration and renewal. The tilt of the earth’s axis makes the winter solstice the shortest day — and longest night — of the year. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the word solstice comes from the roots “sol,” which means sun, and “stit,” which means stand. In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice usually falls on Dec. 21 or 22. Read full story from poughkeepsiefournal.com
Climate research e-mail controversy simmers
The scientific conduct of climate researchers has come under increasing heat in a sprawling online debate over leaked e-mails that, critics say, raise questions about the arguments that global warming threatens the world. Read full story from usatoday.com