Happy Yule/Winter Solstice, everyone! As you may know, it’s the shortest, darkest day of the year. But what’s exciting about me when it comes to Solstice time is, we can only rise from here! After today, the we get a few more minutes of daylight each day, and that’s not a bad thing. The holiday season is in full swing and I hope for a blessed holidays for each and every one of you.
I got a couple of surprise early Yule treats this week, and I wanted to share them with you! All of the photos taken in this post were taken with my brand new iPad Pro! B got me an iPad Pro for Yule and it along with the Apple Pencil will take me to a new place in 2018, and help me launch the brand I’ve always been wanting to launch. More to come on that!
Another beautiful Yule surprise I received this week was the Yule Crone’s Crate from Nui Cobalt Designs! Forest is a dear friend of mine and she and her husband gifted me one of their Crone’s Crate subscription boxes for the holiday. Of course, I have to share this awesomeness with you! The theme of this year’s Crates, from Samhain 2017 until Mabon 2018, is the Tarot. This high day’s theme is The Magician: archetype of initiation, empowerment, and the pursuit of knowledge. It is the electric moment of connection between consciousness and the Cosmos.
I definitely want to highlight the level of care that goes into each Crone’s Crate. When I opened the box, I was greeted with this beautiful scroll! It gives more details on what’s inside the Crone’s Crate, and where you can purchase further products from each vendor. (Bonus Patsy the cat pic!)
I peeled back the black wrapping to find this beautiful paper on the inside:
Then I peeled back THAT paper and here’s what I saw….
Okay, hello gorgeous. Look at the detail with which everything was wrapped! It was clear that Forest and her husband spent quite a bit of time on this one. Let’s dig into it!
First up is The Magician, from Arcana Wildcraft. An enigmatic and powerful blend of dewy red rose, petitgrain, bergamot, necromancer’s incense, dragon’s blood, and a shelf stained with hermetic potions. Label art by Forest Nui Cobalt. I put this fragrance on today and I am loving it. When I asked Forest her impression of it, she said, “It’s the first time you walk into your local metaphysical shop.” And she’s right. How it smells, how it feels. The resins and herbs and the hint of something truly magickal. It smells like a place, a moment, a memory.
Next up is this beautiful Magician Holiday Ornament from The Magical Druid! An elegant poplar wood ornament featuring the classic image by Pamela Colman Smith for the Ride-Waite Tarot. Perfect for the Yule tree or a year-round complement to your own sacred space. The Magical Druid is one of my favorite places on Earth. I feel so lucky that I have such an awesome magickal space in my town full of rad people – and they have the bandwidth to make beautiful things like this ornament!
I next unwrapped the Cedar Forest Soap from Honeyrun Farm, a local farm offering some pretty awesome handmade bath and body products, as well as a full array of honey and bee products. Pure, woodsy, and warm. Red Cedarwood essential oil, coupled with a hint of real Lemongrass essential oil and pure raw honey to sweeten the scent of the bar. This soap is made using the old-fashioned cold process method with beeswax and honey from the family-owned beehives at Honeyrun Farm. I absolutely love handmade bar soaps, so this will get put to good use in my home.
Next up was another Honeyrun Farm item and I just had to show off how beautifully it was wrapped. This is their Buckwheat Honey. Earthy, strong, and robust with an aftertaste that is reminiscent of molasses. It is rich in antioxidants and contains a range of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Many like to use it as an alternative to cough syrup, since it has a thick, rich texture that coats the throat and can suppress coughs. Natural alternative to cough syrup? I’m all about it! I’ll have to try this if I feel myself getting that winter malaise that seems to be going around. In the meantime, I haven’t tried Buckwheat honey, but I love all of the other varietals of Honeyrun Farm’s honey that I’ve tried so far.
The final Honeyrun Farm item was this Floating Star candle. A charming pure beeswax candle ready to float in your favorite dish for entertaining! Pure beeswax is harvested from family-owned beehives and is cleaned, melted down, and poured into star shaped molds. Beeswax has an aroma that is wholly natural and burns brighter, cleaner, and longer than other types of wax. This little guy is covered in glitter from opening the honey, but I love it! It definitely fits with the overall theme of The Magician and the Winter Solstice. I absolutely LOVE the smell of beeswax, too. Be sure to check out Honeyrun Farm for all of your bee needs!
The final few items in the box were from Nui Cobalt Designs themselves. They’re well known for their apothecary and chandlery items as well as magickal talismans, and I’m always excited to try more of Forest’s products. Included in this box were the Golden Solstice Bath Spell and Soy Candle. A light in the darkness, this uplifting blend evokes renewal, empowerment, and the indomitable human spirit. Warm mahogany and spiced sugarplum are accompanied by traditional frankincense and myrrh with a spritz of juicy pomelo. The smell of these is truly amazing, and really is a light in the darkness of winter. It’s warm and cozy but still juicy and bright. I’m going to be lighting the candle tonight at 5:10 pm when the Solstice sun sets and we’re plunged into our Longest Night.
A final item in the bag, and last but not least, is a handcrafted Mojo bag. Enchanted to brighten, lighten, and illuminate the path ahead. It is an empowering companion for a healthy and prosperous new year. I definitely will be keeping this on my altar and on my person until Imbolc hits! Let’s usher in the light!
The Crone’s Crates are available individually or in a subscription here at Nui Cobalt Designs. I think these are perfect for not only the magickal in your life, but people who like supporting small businesses too, as all of the items were handcrafted and handmade. Thank you so much Forest and Josh for the lovely gift! And a happy Solstice to all of you, my dear readers. Let’s usher in the light!