Sanitize all equipment that will come in contact with the mead.
Then heat up 2 gallons of water (preferably non chlorinated) in your pot with the cinnamon sticks. Boil for more cinnamon flavor. If you do boil, let it cool down for a few minutes before the next step.
Dump the water into your fermenting bucket. Add all of the honey and stir it around with the big spoon to help it dissolve.
Fill the bucket the rest of the way up to the 5 gallon mark (most fermenting buckets will have marks for each gallon) with cold (non chlorinated) water.
Stir well, then add your raisins and optional fruit and orange slices.
Make sure that the temperature of the “must” is 90°F or lower (use a thermometer if you need to), then pitch the yeast. Use the whole packet of yeast and stir well.
Put the lid on the fermenting bucket, making sure it’s on there very tight as you don’t want any air getting in. Fill your airlock with water to the line and put it in the grommeted hole in the lid.
Place the bucket in a cool (not cold) place. You should start to see bubbles in the airlock within 24 hours.