Garlic Art for the New Moon

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This weekend I made my first-ever garlic braid!  Fortunately for me, previous tenants at my little cottage left behind a big garlic patch that’s been growing since at least before last winter, possibly much longer.

As the tops began to yellow, my patience gradually waned; last night I uprooted fourteen bulbs (thirteen for the braid, and one for stir-fry), and made my first-ever garlic braid.

Ok, the FIRST one is what you see in the first image on the black door (remember that all images are clickable for better viewing).  After laughing ourselves silly at its unruly pleats, I decided to unravel it and try again, the result of which is what you see hanging on my wicker shelving in the kitchen.

If you’d like to try one for yourself, here’s a simple method which was given to me by a friend in January:

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Hecate's Braid

© 2001 Lorna Tedder

from GIFTS FOR THE GODDESS ON A COLD WINTER'S EVE coming 2001

The Goddess Hecate is associated with crossroads and protection. In times past, garlic was left at crossroads to honor the Goddess. The theme of protection has expanded to popular mythology, including keeping vampires at bay.

To honor Hecate, try making a garlic braid for your kitchen.

Choose 13 garlic bulbs, one for each new moon. Make sure you get the softneck kind. These have the more flexible stems and look a bit like green onions or scallions.

Trim the roots about half an inch and carefully remove the outer leaves from the flexible stems and the outer wrapping or layer from the bulbs.

Place three bulbs together on your workspace. Make sure the stems are facing you. Begin braiding the three stems together a couple of times until you have a one-inch braid. Then add a fourth bulb to the top of the pile, near the braid. Add the stem to one of the first three stems and continue the braid (just as you would braid hair by adding more hair).

Add a fifth bulb in the same manner and continue to braid until you've added all 13 bulbs. When the last bulb has been added, braid the remaining stems for about six or seven inches, then tie the braided end together with string or cording.

Now hang the garlic braid in your kitchen!

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Happy New Moon everyone!

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