S2E2 Chatting With Christopher Penczak
Author/Teacher/Healer/co-founder of The Temple of Witchcraft
Christopher Penczak is a Witch, teacher, writer and healing practitioner. His practice draws upon the foundation of both modern and traditional Witchcraft blended with the wisdom of mystical traditions from across the globe as a practitioner and teacher of shamanism, tarot, Reiki healing, herbalism, astrology and Qabalah.
He is the founder of the Temple of Witchcraft tradition and system of magickal training based upon the material of his books and classes. He is an ordained minister primarily serving the New Hampshire and Massachusetts pagan and metaphysical communities through public rituals, private counsel and teaching, though he travels extensively teaching throughout the United States.
DailyCast 9 12/7/2020
YULE LOG CAKE RECIPE
YULE LOG CAKE
This classic Yule Log
Cake is a tender chocolate sponge cake filled with mascarpone whipped cream and covered with whipped chocolate ganache! It’s delicious, festive and made completely from scratch!
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Cook Time: 12 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes Yield: 8-10 servings 1x Category: Dessert Method: Oven Cuisine: American
3/4 cup (98g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (38g) Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs, divided
3/4 cup (155g) granulated sugar
5 tbsp (72g) sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
MASCARPONE WHIPPED CREAM FILLING
1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
3/4 cups (86g) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz (226g) mascarpone cheese, softened but still chilled*
WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 17×12 inch jelly roll sheet pan with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper sticks up at least an inch above the sides of the pan on all sides. You’ll use the parchment paper later to lift the cake out of the pan and roll it up.
2. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk together until well combined.
4. Add the sour cream, melted butter and vanilla extract and whisk together until well combined.
5. Add the dry ingredients and gently whisk together until well combined, then set aside.
6. Add the egg whites to a large mixer bowl and whip of high speed until stiff peaks form.
7. Gently fold about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen up the batter.
8. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold together until well combined.
9. Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when toughed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
10. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper and place it on the counter.
11. While the cake is hot, use the parchment paper the cake was baked in and start at the shorter end of the cake to slowly roll the cake up. Set the cake aside to cool completely.
12. When the cake has cooled and is ready to be filled, make the filling. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
13. Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly.
14. Unroll the cake roll very carefully, looking out for areas where it may be sticking to release it. You can use an offset spatula or something similar and run it along the parchment paper as you unroll the cake to help release it as it unrolls.
15. Spread the filling evenly onto the unrolled cake, then roll it back up without the parchment paper.
16. Wrap it up in plastic wrap with the seam side down and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.
17. When you’re read to decorate the cake, make the chocolate ganache. Add the chocolate to a medium sized bowl and set aside. Heat the cream in the microwave just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate.
18. Allow the chocolate and cream to sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let the ganache cool to about room temperature, then transfer to a large mixer bowl.
19. Whip on high speed until lightened in color and thick enough to spread.
20. To decorate the cake, use a large serrated knife to gently cut off a piece of the log about 3 inches in length. Make the cut with a slight diagonal.
21. Use some of the chocolate ganache to attache the small log to the side of the larger log.
22. Spread the remaining chocolate ganache all over the cake, then use a fork to create bark-like lines all over it. Decorate with sugared cranberries and rosemary (instructions in notes), if desired.
23. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
EP14 / PENDULUMS
The Magickal uses of pendulums
In this, the 14th episode, I cover one of my favorite topics...Pendulums.
From finding lost items, to clearing chakras, from seeking guidance from Spirit and Higher Self...Pendulums have many uses and this episode covers lots.
I also have a Magickal Spice of the week, a brew recipe using said spice, your weekly Magickal Lunar Forecast, and much much more!!!
So grab your headset, earbuds, smart speaker...whatever you use, and enjoy the show.
How to Use the Pendulum
to Balance Chakras
When you are ready to embark on your healing work, pendulums are excellent at balancing the chakras.
Place the pendulum over the chakra center (3rd eye for instance would be over the center of the forehead whereas the 2nd chakra would be at the center of the body just below the navel). Wait for the pendulum to begin moving on its own to show you the size and direction this wheel of energy is moving. Start at the root or crown and one by one, make your way through each chakra simply gathering information at first.
Ideally you should notice the direction and size of each chakra to be the same. An erratic swing of the pendulum will show you where someone is off balance. If no movement is detected, there is a block in the energy field and it will need to be addressed. Once you’ve checked all the fields, go back and invite each one to come into harmony.
Harmony is the natural frequency of the universe and needs to be restored gently.
You are not making anything happen, you are simply asking the wisdom of the body to correct itself.
If working on another person, you may ask them to invite this harmony while talking with them about the colors and functions of each center. This empowers others to know they can heal themselves and need not rely on a healer to “fix” them. The chakra pendulum is a tool for diagnosis but the healing will occur by simply asking the body to realign itself. When you have addressed all the kinks, go back and ensure the chakras are all moving in the same direction and are about the same size.
We are wise beyond our remembrance at times and come to rely on tools and others to make us better. The beauty of a pendulum for chakra balancing is that is so accessible. It is an easy tool of self care and one that requires little investment and minimal effort.
EP 12 Baba Yaga
In this episode, I get back to the original format. The Samhain Special was so much fun, but it's time to get back to the witchy.
This episode gives you some big announcements, a magickal herb/spice of the week, what's Flicking My Wand & Boiling My Cauldron, and the topic of the week...Baba Yaga!
Vasilisa the Beautiful
“[…] In the evening the girl laid the table and began waiting for Baba-Yaga. It grew dark. The black horseman swept by and it was night. The skulls’ eyes began to shine. The trees creaked, the dead leaves crunched, the earth trembled, and there was Baba-Yaga…”
-Vasilisa the Beautiful
Vasilisa the Beautiful is the name of a popular Russian fairy tale. In this story, the eponymous heroine is pitted against Baba Yaga, one of the best-known characters from Slavic folklore. The latter is an ambiguous supernatural being. In some fairy tales, Baba Yaga is portrayed as a benevolent being, though in others, she plays the role of the antagonist. Still, in other tales, it may be said that her character does not fit perfectly into either category of ‘good’ or ‘evil’.
One version of the tale of Vasilisa the Beautiful is in a collection of Russian folktales known as Народные Русские Сказки , which may be translated as Russian Fairy Tales or Russian Folk Tales . The stories in this collection were compiled during the 19th century by Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev, who has been considered the Russian equivalent of the Grimm Brothers. This is because in his lifetime, Afanasyev published almost 600 Russian folktales and fairy tales. Afanasyev’s first collection of tales was published in 1855 and consisted of 74 stories. Over the years, more tales were added, and the entire collection, which was completed in 1863, became known as Народные Русские Сказки .
The Tale of Vasilisa the Beautiful
The tale of Vasilisa the Beautiful begins by introducing the character of Vasilisa, whose mother dies when she was still young. Like the story of Cinderella, Vasilisa’s widowed father marries another woman, who has two daughters of her own. Vasilisa’s step-mother and step-sisters mistreat her by giving her lots of work to do. Fortunately, whilst on her deathbed, Vasilisa’s mother gives her daughter a magical doll, who helps the maiden to accomplish these tasks. One day, however, Vasilisa’s father had to go to a faraway place and was not expected to be back for some time. Vasilisa’s stepmother took this opportunity to send Vasilisa into the forest which their house was beside.
The purpose of this was to obtain some light from the Baba Yaga, who lived in the forest, as their light had gone out. No doubt Vasilisa was terrified, as Baba Yaga is rumored to eat people. Nevertheless, with some encouragement from her magical doll, Vasilisa embarked on her journey into the forest. When she arrived at Baba Yaga’s hut, Vasilisa asked the old hag for some fire. In this story, Baba Yaga is not depicted as a benevolent character, and she said she would only give the fire to Vasilisa if she managed to complete several tasks.
Vasilisa’s Helpful Magic Doll
These tasks, however, were impossible for any normal human being to accomplish. One of these, for instance, was to sort a huge sack of millet seed by seed, and to remove all the black bits from it, all in one night. With the help of her magic doll, Vasilisa succeeded in this task.
In one version of the tale, Baba Yaga did not give Vasilisa the fire she promised but plotted to have her roasted. With the help of her doll once more, Vasilisa managed to escape from Baba Yaga. In the process, she also succeeded in getting the fire she was sent to obtain, which was contained in the skulls that decorated the fence surrounding Baba Yaga’s hut.
When Vasilisa brought the fire back to her house, it burned her step-mother and step-sisters to ashes. Having buried the skull outside her house, Vasilisa moved to the city, where she stayed in the home of an elderly woman. One day, Vasilisa weaved some cloth, gave it to the old woman, and told her to sell it.
Seeing how beautiful the cloth was, the woman decided not to sell it, but to bring it to the palace as a present for the Tsarevich. The tale ends on a happy note, as the Tsarevich married Vasilisa. The old woman and Vasilisa then move to the palace. When Vasilisa’s father returned from abroad, he too was invited to stay in the palace with his daughter. As for the magical doll, it was always kept in Vasilisa’s pocket.
Baba Yaga vs Hellboy
The story was planned as early as 1994, and is mentioned in "Hi, My Name's Hellboy" (Oct 1994), though The Baba Yaga did not appear as planned.
Four years later, The Baba Yaga was drawn specifically for Hellboy – Volume 3: The Chained Coffin and Others, published in August 1998
In 1895 prior to the downfall of the Romanov's rule in Russia, Baba Yaga contacted a young Grigori Rasputin. She told the monk that the fates had chosen him to be their agent of change, father of the new millennium. To ensure that Rasputin's spirit would always be safe, Baba Yaga placed half of it within the roots of Yggdrasil, the world tree. Baba Yaga and Rasputin gained a strong bond after this, with Rasputin going so far as to call Baba Yaga "grandmother" afterwards.
Koschei the Deathless
Ages ago, Baba Yaga took advantage of Koschei's fear of losing his soul. She told him that even though the path he took was dark and bloody, he could still be redeemed. The witch sent him on a quest to slay the last breeding pair of dragons and their hatchlings in Russia so that the mankind may be spared. However, in doing so he murdered the family of his adoptive father.
The Baba Yaga (story)
In March 1964, Hellboy first encountered Baba Yaga while investigating a string of children disappearing. The disappearances were Baba Yaga's doing as she kidnapped the children to satisfy her cannibalistic hunger. When Baba Yaga was counting the fingers of the dead in a cemetery, she attempted to use a skull (that once belonged to a former devotee named Katayev) to lead her to the Sabbath. Then she was ambushed by Hellboy who leaped onto her in a sudden attack. During the scuffle, Baba Yaga's left eye was shot out, and she retaliated by attacking Hellboy with the graveyard's tombstones. As a result of her defeat at Hellboy's hands, she placed a curse on the village of Bereznik: there would be no spring that year, and every baby born there would be blind in one eye. Baba Yaga's diminished power causes her to disappear from the world and reside in a pocket dimension created in the image of her Russia as it appeared long ago. On occasion, however, if needed, Baba Yaga can briefly return to the real world.
Wake the Devil
During the events of Wake the Devil, after having her servant Koku present an iron maiden to Rasputin in his failed attempt to ensure Ilsa Haupstein's survival in the coming apocalypse, Baba Yaga observed Hellboy being cast into the darkness by Hecate alongside Dagda and Edward Grey. During Hellboy's struggles, Baba Yaga believed that he would eventually succumb and destroy the world. She faced disbelief when he did not. Soon after, Baba Yaga meets with Rasputin at Yggdrasil where she tries to convince him to stay with her in her realm to no avail. Though Rasputin declined her offer, Baba Yaga collected what remained of his soul after he was dispatched by Hecate in the aftermath of the Conqueror Worm.
In the events of Darkness Calls, after refusing to be their queen after Hecate was disposed of, Baba Yaga asks the witches to give her Hellboy so she can exact her revenge within her world. After the intervention of the Leshii, who offered Hellboy a one night sanctum in his woods, Baba Yaga summoned her greatest servant Koschei the Deathless to hunt down Hellboy and bring her his head, or eye, with the promise to release Koschei from his cursed immortality. Baba Yaga kills Perun for his interference in impeding Koschei's progress. After Vasilisa the Beautiful showed Hellboy the way back to his world while providing him gifts to hinder Koschei, Baba Yaga resorts to infusing her champion with thousands of souls from her collection of skulls and then a fragment of her own soul to take control of Koschei's body.
Drained of almost all her power as Koschei is defeated, Baba Yaga attempted to use Rasputin's soul before a fearful Koku snatched the acorn that contained the evil monk away from her and cast it through the roots of the World Tree into Hell. In a last ditch effort, Baba Yaga ordered Koschei to throw his dagger into Hellboy's back as he ascended to the exit of her world. But the last attempt on Hellboy's life failed as a weakened Baba Yaga is calmly derided by the ghost in black as she is told that Hellboy must give her his eye willingly.
The Storm and The Fury
Baba Yaga later appears before Hellboy in The Storm and The Fury, offering to aid Hellboy in reaching Nimue's tower on the condition that he gives her his eye as payment for taking out her original eye, which Hellboy did. After Hellboy's death in the aftermath of his victory against the Queen of Blood, as revealed in the prologue of Hellboy in Hell, Baba Yaga was approached by Edward Grey to be sent into the Abyss to find Hellboy. Though she advised against it, Baba Yaga granted Grey's request.
Powers and abilities
Baba Yaga is one of the most powerful magic users, let alone witches, in the Hellboy universe. She is well known across the Russian lands and is feared by many who dwell there, especially those who live in the wilderness where she often roams. Before the loss of her eye and depowering, she was often seen in the graves of the dead, counting the fingers of the corpses before sucking in their souls and breathing them into empty skulls to create ghostly lanterns. These lanterns are shown to hang from the branches of the world tree and completely fill the interior of her chicken legged house.
Baba Yaga's magical expertise appears to lie in spiritual magic, or magic that involves the control or manipulation of souls. Her lanterns are a chief example of this; it has been stated that she had thousands in her collection. A vast army of the undead is under her control, one that she uses to dominate her faux Russia with little resistance, save by the hands of the Leshii, who delights in getting in her way. She also controls Koschei the deathless and owns his soul, which she keeps in an egg inside a duck inside a rabbit inside a goat. Her ghostly lanterns appear to be the source of her power; she has demonstrated the ability to use them to amplify the powers of other beings. She can also remove portions of a soul and place those portions elsewhere to grant the soul's owner extended life, as demonstrated with Rasputin.
Baba Yaga also uses other forms of magic to aid her. She is often seen traveling great distances inside a giant wooden mortar, in a manner similar to a witch's broom. She also possesses a set of prosthetic wooden legs and a wooden lower torso, both of which are likely powered by magic. She has demonstrated on more than one occasion the ability to see great distances, such as outside of her faux Russia pocket dimension and into the normal world. She also has the ability to communicate with witches in the normal world should she deem it necessary.
Within her dimension, the Baba Yaga is easily the dominant power. Her army of undead reinforces her power there tremendously. Several other deities and Russian folklore figures exist in the faux Russia with her, but she is shown to be extremely oppressive to them and will kill any who oppose her. After the draining of her lamps and a portion of her own soul, however, the Baba Yaga's power appears to have been permanently crippled. Following Hellboy's escape, she is shown to be weak and trembling, losing even her ability to talk. "Her" Russia is shown to continue existing even after her power is gone, hinting that its existence may not depend on her and might simply be an alternate world that she managed to conquer. No longer possessing the ability to travel into the normal world to collect more souls, it seems unlikely that her power will ever recover.
After losing her eye, it is stated that the Baba Yaga lost her ability to exist in the normal world, yet she is shown doing just that in "Wake the Devil," standing alongside Dagda and Edward Grey, suggesting that she still has the ability to make quick trips outside of her world. It is unknown if she can still do this after the loss of her lanterns.
Natural Wax Fire Starters
Similar to a candle, these wax fire starters include natural elements that help to get the fire going, all the while filling the home with a warm and cozy scent.
4 cups (about 1 pound) natural soy wax flakes
12 bay leaves
6 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
Twelve 1 and ½ -inch pieces of cotton wick or string (I used these large natural candle wicks)
stainless steel straining saucepan, for melting wax
Line your muffin tin with paper liners. Fill each one with 1 bay leaf, a few pieces of broken cinnamon sticks, about ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, and some of your whole spices. Nestle one of the cotton wicks into the center of each cup.
In a stainless steel saucepan, melt the wax flakes, adding essential oils as desired. Pour an even amount of wax into each cup. If needed, gently press the elements down so that they are mostly submerged in the wax. Let cool completely.
Remove the fire starters from the muffin pan. Store in an airtight container, or package individually as gifts.
To use the fire starter, place in the bottom of a traditional fireplace (no gas or wood-burning stoves) in between the logs.
EP10/ SAMHAIN SPECIAL PART 1
THIS EPISODE IS FULL OF SO MUCH SPOOKY, CREEPY, OCCULT SAMHAIN/HALLOWEEN GOODNESS!!! WE DISCUSS JAPANESE YUREI (GHOSTS), YOKEI (DEMONS/MONSTERS), THE FOREST OF TREES (SUICIDE FOREST) IN JAPAN, SEANCES WITH OUR GRANDMOTHER, GHOST STORIES, AND TONS OF LAUGHS THOUGHOUT THE SHOW. EVEN IF YOU AREN'T A WITCH, YOU WILL FIND SO MUCH TO LOVE ABOUT THIS EPISODE. THIS IS THE ONE YOUV'E BEEN WAITING FOR!!! (AND WE HAVEN'T EVEN HIT PART 2 YET)
KOKURI SAN (JAPANESE SEANCE)
Kokkuri-san is popular in Japan,which was originally from table-turning , a type of séance in the West in 19th century.
Kokkuri-san is popular in Japan, which was originally from table-turning , a type of séance in the West in 19th century.
ALSO KNOWN AS "THE SEA OF TREES", OR MORE COMMONLY "THE SUICIDE FOREST"
Northwest of the majestic Mount Fuji is the sprawling 13.5 square miles of Aokigahara, a forest so thick with foliage that it's known as the Sea of Trees. But it's the Japanese landmark's horrific history that made the woods a fitting location for the spooky horror film The Forest. Untold visitors have chosen this place, notoriously called The Suicide Forest, as the setting for their final moments, walking in with no intention of ever walking back out.
WANNA FIND OUT MORE? LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE.
OLD CITY JAIL, CHARLESTON, SC EST: 1802
The Old Charleston Jail is a site of historical and architectural significance in Charleston, South Carolina. Operational between 1802 and 1939, it held many notable figures, among them Denmark Vesey, Union officers during the Civil War, high-seas pirates, and Lavinia Fisher.