Tag Archives: Ritual

The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh/Lammas 2014……

Merry Meet my friends!  How are you all this fine day?  How has your Summer been so far? My Summer has been wonderful really.  We have had numerous days that stayed in the 70’s giving us a reprieve from the normal HOT and Humid days of July. We’ve had a good amount of rain, so lawns are still green and growing like crazy.  I’ve done two harvest on my herbs already and they are growing strong still…heading to a 3rd harvest.  Our garden beds and veggies have loved the rain and the cooler nights too so our flowers are still budding and blooming.  The SuperMoon was pretty amazing too…such energy!!

 

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Now…can you believe it…we are just 11 days from Lughnasadh/Lammas! The first Harvest festival!  Have you noticed that the wheel is turning to Fall?   The nights are getting longer again, the Sunlight has changed, the critters are gathering, even some of my bushes/plants leaves are changing colors already.  Corn is high is the fields, sunflowers are blooming, and yes, Halloween and Fall stuff are coming out in the craft shops :)  While we have a bit of Summer left…the subtle changes are there.

“The summer air is hot and still, the afternoon hazy; crickets call relentlessly from among the brown grasses, and ears of corn are the same heavy, burnished gold as the late-day sun. Hawks circle in the blue-white sky overhead, and seedpods ripen where flowers bloomed just a month before.

 But shadows begin to lengthen along the garden wall, and the nights come, just a bit cooler, perhaps; a settling begins in the Earth, a gathering, a slow, quiet turning toward the coming darkness.”

-Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan

 

For Lughnasadh, I love to do a few things.  Harvest my herbs (which I’ve just done), make herbed oils and vinegars, and bake bread!!  Making breads from good grains to celebrate the harvest is a favorite thing to do for me.  And the scents that come from that put me in mind of Autumn immediately!  It won’t be long before apples and pumpkins will be everywhere and that just makes me want to bake too!

Magickally, I do a simple outdoor ritual to honor the first harvest, keeping in mind that our ancestors were VERY busy at this time of year to ensure that they had ample food for the Fall and long Winter that was to come.  Planting, tending, harvesting, and storing food took a great effort in order for them to eat when they could not just go to a grocery store like we do.  I love to do some canning this time of year too….this year I’m thinking apple butter, strawberry jam and I might try my hand at pickles :)  Seeing pretty jars of colorful goodness in my pantry just makes me happy..and reminds me how Blessed we are in our time.  Kitchen Witchin too makes this Witch very happy!

 

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Having said that, I know that some people aren’t as well off as others. There are people who don’t have enough food.  Keeping this in mind, donating to food pantries or your own neighbors who may need a little help, is a kind thing to do.  Share your harvest if you can.  I often pass tomatoes and fresh homemade bread over the fence to my neighbor, Jane.  No, she’s not hungry…but she lives alone and she is always thrilled to get something I pass over to her.  It makes me happy to do it too.

I thought I’d share a recipe with you for a muffin that is wonderful this time of year. I made them the other day, when we were cool and I was thinking about Fall all day :)  Filled with apples and cinnamon and crunchy topping..they are a huge hit at my house!

 

Autumn’s Apple Crunch Muffins

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup soft butter

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 cup Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced (or your favorite apple )

 

Topping

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

*Blend these ingredients in a small bowl.

 

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Cut in butter until fine crumbs form.  Set aside.  Combine milk and egg and add to dry mixture.  Blend well.  Stir in apples; blend well.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about two-thirds full.  Sprinkle with brown sugar topping mix.

Bake at 375* for 25 mins or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

*makes 12

**ok…it says it makes 12…I only got 8 nice big muffins.  If you want more….I suggest you double the recipe.  Then take some to your neighbor :)

 

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These muffins will put you in a Lughnasadh state of mind…I promise :)  I want to wish you all a very Blessed Lughnasadh.  I hope your Harvest is abundant, your Joys plentiful, and that Goddess Blesses you this day and every day!

Oh…don’t forget that you can find the past 5 years of Lughnsasadh/Lammas postings, recipes, info etc by typing it in the search box on the right side here :)

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Pictures are my own.

 

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Flowers, Garden, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Making Jam, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Seasons, Summer

Beltaine Blessings 2014…….

thCA8K56D9Merry Beltaine Eve my friends.  It’s been a rainy few days here with afternoon hours of Sun and warmth and gentle breezes.  Really nice!  I am ready for my celebration of this fun Sabbat and almost ready for my Circle’s celebration on Saturday night.

I’ll start the morning off tomorrow greeting the Sun..I hope…then I’ll wash my face in the dew of the Beltaine morning to help me show a fresh face for the day and to bring light and beauty to my skin for the year :)  I’ll have coffee and a simple breakfast.  At some point of the day, I’ll take a walk and make offerings along the way to the Fae and the Goddess.   In the evening, a nice meal of fresh foods and a ritual to honor the Goddess and God as they meet and create and help the Wheel to continue to turn.  A simple way to celebrate the day in a solitary way.

On Saturday eve, my Circle gathers. We will feast, make May Day baskets, have a fire where we’ll burn wishes and herbs, and we will have a small, simple ritual.  The May Day baskets will go to elderly neighbors or family members to cheer them for the day. I can’t wait!

 

I thought I would share a wonderful salad recipe with you..perfect for Summer and warmer weather. Nice and light!

 

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

4 cups mixed greens/chopped lettuce

1 cup sliced strawberries

2 kiwi, sliced

 1 avocado, sliced

2 tablespoon sliced almonds

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

zest of ½ a lime

juice of 1  lime

pinch of salt

2 tablespoon honey

Arrange the lettuce, strawberries, kiwi, avocado and almonds in a salad bowl.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients to form the dressing and drizzle over salad.

*Serves 2

Whether you’re going to a Pagan Beltaine Maypole festival, gathering with friends and family, or spending it more quietly and solitary….Beltaine is a Sabbat to celebrate.  Officially….We are into Spring, and Summer is coming!  Think flowers, gardens, bare feet, less clothes, being outside MORE!!  For many, their favorite time of year!

‘But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother,
I’m to be Queen o’ the May.’
–  Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

I wish you all a very Blessed Beltaine!  May the Sun God shine upon you always and May the Goddess always dance with you!

Blessings and love, Autumn

*Don’t forget to type Beltane or Beltaine into the search box on the right to find the last 4 years of info there…recipes, correspondence, rituals etc.

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Filed under Beltane, Family, Flowers, Gardens, God, Goddess, Holiday, Mother Earth, Nature, Poem, Ritual, Seasons, Spring, Summer

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2013……………….


 

“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail!  We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
-   Lore of the Door

     

Merry Evening dear readers!   Has Autumn arrived in your neck of the woods?  The Season of Autumn I mean *giggles*  (yes, I LOVE my name this time of year…it’s so much fun!!)   Well, Fall has arrived here big time.  We are near peak in color..though I will say it’s not the most brilliant color I’ve seen.  We have cool, breezy days, and cold nights. We’ve had some rain and some crisp, blue skies…and OH the Nights! Inky black with twinkling stars and  the Blood Moon has been brilliant…big and bright and beautiful!  It’s been cold enough for the heat to go on, the fireplace to have a roaring fire, and sweaters and jackets pulled out of closets.  My crockpot and oven are hot most of the time, and I constantly want to go for a walk, or cook something with apples, or pick up perfect leaves to press and save.  I’ve got a stack of books on one side of me, and a basket of crochet on the other.  I am one happy Witch!  After all, it IS my Season! :)

Samhain is coming upon us fast. The Witch’s New Year…the night we all anticipate all year long.  It is the Most magickal, the Most emotional, and the Most busy night of the year for many of us.  There are gatherings to plan, rituals to prepare, feasts to cook, fires to tend, ancestors to await a visit from, and quiet introspection and divination to be done.  For many, there is also trick or treat night, costume parties, houses to decorate to the delight of children and adults alike, and finding the perfect Witch hat or cape to please ourselves!  Whew….no wonder October…the best month of the year..flies by so fast!!   They say Time flies when you’re having fun…and October is proof of that!

Last year, my Samhain was a bit thrown together and scattered…..because I was in the process of selling our home.  This year, I’m working and planning ahead.  I have a Circle of Witches now who will gather here on Nov 3 for our fire gathering and feasting.   I have Beggar’s Night on the 30th which I’ll spend with hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids and whoever else happens along. There will be soups in the crockpot, bread in the oven and a yummy apple dessert to share.  Samhain night is our Ancestor Supper and a solitary ritual for myself. Oh and of course a fire!!  Speaking of desserts..I have to share a new recipe I came across!!  So simple and soooo yummy!!

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Country Apple Dumplings

2 baking apples of your choice, peeled, cored and wedged into 8 wedges per apple ( 16 total)

2 cans of crescent rolls

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

12 oz can of Mountain Dew or Sprite  (yep..you got it) LOL

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish

Cut each apple as above and set aside.  Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in the dough starting at the smallest end.  Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon.   Pour over the dumplings.  The pour the citrus soda over the dumplings.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

*I understand this recipe is All over Pinterest! LOL.

For me, what really represents what Samhain  is all about…. Is the thinning of the veil..the chance to communicate with those who have passed thru the veil….The Ancestor Supper, Soul Supper, Dumb Supper.  Whatever you call it, it represents a meal with your ancestors.  Lighting candles and setting a place at the table, and inviting those who have passed over to come and partake with you,  is a lovely and meaningful ritual.  If you are truly quiet in mouth and mind, you may hear what they have to say to you….they DO want to communicate.  They want to know how we are doing as much as we want to know how they are doing.  It’s our chance to express that they are missed, that they are still loved, that they will never be forgotten.  They may have words of wisdom for us as well.  One of the things I do, is place Rosemary in pots at their place setting.  Rosemary is for remembrance.  Another thing to do for yourself, write them a note or letter and place it at their seat.  Often, one seat at my table, represents All my ancestors..those recently passed and those long gone.  What is your practice? Do you have a Dumb Supper, divinate or scry at your altar, burn letters?  All are wonderful ways to honor our Ancestors on this night.

My Soul Supper Table 2011

My Soul Supper Table 2011

So you busy Witches, smile while you’re busy flying around on your brooms preparing for this most magickal of Nights!  Whether your Night is solitary and quiet, or a huge gathering, or something in between….there is no doubt that you will Feel your most Witchiest, your most magickal, and your most Joyful!  For the muggles, it’s just about costumes and candy…for Us!  It’s sooooo much MORE!!!  Many Blessings for a wonderful Samhain.  May your Path be filled with Mystery and Magick!

*oh…no drinking and flying  LOL!!

Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Full Moons, Holiday, New Year, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons

Blessed Imbolc 2013……

imagesCA3UM5E2Merry Meet friends.  Hope this post finds all of you happy and healthy and enjoying your Winter (or Summer) so far.  I have been happily settling in to my new home, enjoying watching it snow, relaxing by the fire etc.  Despite the fact there are still boxes to unpack, I’ve had time for some fun family days, some reading or crochet, and visiting with old friends on an evening or a day out.

Tomorrow is Imbolc….one of my favorite Sabbats.  Besides the fact that it was the first Sabbat I celebrated, it is also a favorite because I view it as a new beginning Sabbat.  It is the Winter will be over soon, Spring cleaning, thinking of being outdoors gardening, and longer days Sabbat! What’s not to love about that!  Though I love Winter…I appreciate that the Wheel continues to turn and brings with it the warmth of the Sun and all that the Sun will bring!  Also, I’m devoted to Brighid and as this is Her Sabbat I enjoy honoring Her, inviting Her in to my home and listening to what She may have to say to me.

 

Here in Ohio, we have a couple inches of snow on the ground right now and below 0* degrees with negative wind chills temps!  Tomorrow, a big snow storm comes in!!  We expect about 4 more inches!  My Imbolc will be spent sitting by the fire, smudging the house, burning candles and incense, baking and cooking and my Imbolc ritual tomorrow night. My ritual may have to be inside because of the snow and the freezing cold but I’ll step out for a few minutes for some Moon time for sure!  My house is clean and organized (thanks to the fact I just moved LOL) and I can really enjoy the day.  As the Sun goes down, I’ll light the candles.  I’ll throw open the door and invite Goddess Brighid into my home asking for Health, Joy, Peace and Abundance for this coming year for my family and loved ones.

My altar will be very simple this year as most of my Witchy stuff is still in storage.  But a few candles,  some crystals, my Brighid’s cross and some blessing oil is about all I need.  Speaking of Blessing oil…here is my recipe for my Imbolc Blessing oil:

4 drops Ginger

3 drops Clove

2 drop Rosemary

2 drop Cypress

Add to 1/8 cup almond or jojoba oil and blend well.

You’ll love the scent.  Use it to anoint your candles, your altar and yourself!!

I wish you all a very Blessed Imbolc.  (Blessed Lammas to my  Southern friends)    However you decide to celebrate it…DO celebrate it!  and remember that it means that Winter will soon be over and Spring will be here in all Her glory!  Welcome the Sun!!

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deep in the belly

life stirs

not yet formed

but quickening.

slight movement waking,

promising of life to come,

in the dark

as yet unborn.

manifesting, yet waiting,

the warming Earth

stirs.

 

Poem by Deanne Quarrie

Bright Blessings and Much Love, Autumn

 

 

 

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Filed under Family, Goddess, Holiday, Imbolc, Oil Blend Recipe, Poem, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Blessed Yule 2012…….

484259_565118623505289_1384182387_nMerry Meet friends!  I’m taking a quick stop from all the busyness of moving and preparations for Yule and Christmas to write a quick post.  It’s been a very strange Yuletide season for me this year.  With my broken leg hindering..well everything!..I am trying to do, our move, and the very warm, gloomy weather we’ve been having, it just hasn’t felt like Yule time to me.  However, we are semi settled in our new home (which we love!), the weather is getting colder and we may see our first snowflakes on Thursday, and well..I have to get busy shopping for food and gifts cause I’ve run out of time to put it off! LOL.

I have been enjoying holiday shows on tv and holiday music too.  I’ve done most of my gift shopping online this year but I’m heading out  tomorrow for some stocking stuffers, gift cards and a few more gifts. Then I’m going to get lots of gift bags cause I don’t have much time to wrap!  Again..a strange year this year :)

I am mostly looking forward to Yule night.  It’ll be a quiet night for me..I’m going to be sure to make it so.  A solitary ritual with simple candle and greenery…some meditation and focusing on the longest night, spending time with Goddess and meditating on what I would like for the next year to bring.  Though it’s been a rough year for me I am more Blessed then not and have much to be thankful for.  I just know 2013 is going to be a good year for my family…especially with my new grandson who will make an appearance in mid January!

I am going to post a favorite Yule poem.  I’ve posted it before but I love it so much I’m posting it again.  It says ..for me..what Yule is all about.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

“So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive, And when the new
year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!”
-   Susan Cooper, The Shortest Da

I wish all of you a very Joyous and Magickal Yule.  May the Goddess and God Bless you and yours and bring you great Love, Peace and Happiness.

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Many Blessings,  Autumn

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Filed under Family, God, Goddess, Holiday, Poem, Seasons, Uncategorized, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Blessed Samhain 2012…………..

 

 

Merry Samhain evening my friends!   It’s here….the night Witches wait for all year long…The most magickal, spell-binding, veil-walking night of the Year….Samhain!

The weather here fits the night!  Gloomy, drizzly, windy and cold!  A perfect night for a fire, lit candles, warm food on the stove or in the oven, and a nice glass of belly warming wine..or two.  I’ve had the feeling for a while….you know what feeling I’m talking about.  Some say  “like someone is walking on my grave.”   That tingly, sure feeling you get..that knowing that someone is with you…not of this world.  Tonight, the veil opens all the way. To allow our ancestors to be with us….to converse, teach, guide and to just share love with us.  All we have to do is quiet ourselves, breathe…..and listen!

A place will be set at my dinner table for any guest from the other side who cares to join us.  I have smudged the house, swept out the old and negative and left room for the positive for the New Year.  I feel content and Blessed and ready for all the exciting things coming my way for my family, friends and I.   I hope you all feel the same!

So raise a glass on this night of Samhain, the Witch’s New Year….this magickal night of Nights and send Thanks and Love to the Goddess for the blessings of the past and the blessings yet to come.  Have a very Blessed Night!

 

 

Samhain is here, cold is the earth,

as we celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth.

Tonight we speak to those through the veil,

the lines between worlds are thin and frail.

Ghosts and spirits in the night,

magical beings rising in flight,

owls hooting up in a moonlit tree,

I don’t fear you and you don’t fear me.

As the sun goes down, far to the west,

my ancestors watch over me as I rest.

They keep me safe and without fear,

on the night of Samhain, the Witch’s New Year.

-Author Unknown to me-

Love, Autumn

Sources….Poem was in my BOS and I’m afraid I don’t know who wrote it.  Altar pic is my own.

 

 

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Filed under Altars, Family, Goddess, Holiday, Poem, Samhain, Seasons

My Dumb Supper Table…..

Merry Meet my friends and Blessed Samhain!  I hope that all of you had a wonderful Sabbat, I know I did.  From the beautiful weather, to seeing my grandkids in their adorable costumes, to a beautiful ritual at my altar last night.  My daughter Kate and her hubby Matt,  had my hubby Jim,  brother Chris, daughter Sara and I over for a chili dinner.  Chili and cornbread muffins were enjoyed and I took a yummy Peanut Butter Cake.   The weather was really perfect…cool and but not too cold and clear skies with a gorgeous crescent Moon!  Just a magickal evening in every way.

When I got home, I spent time at my altar, doing the ritual I wrote in my last post.  I also scryed for a while with wonderful results and then drew a 3 card tarot layout.  I learned alot from the cards and they were very meaningful to what is going on in my life right now.  Then I went out and spent some time with the Moon and went to bed very happy and contented. 

Tonight, I had my Dumb Supper and though the only participants were my daughter and I (could not get the guys to join in LOL) …we enjoyed the quiet and the candlelight and felt that we had company indeed.  I kept my table a simple black and white theme and I was sooo pleased with how it came out.

 

Ok..I’ll talk a little about what I did…I set my whole table..though Sara and I were the only ones who sat at the table..that left 4 seats for anyone who wanted to come join us :)  (Ok I really thought my hubby and brother would join us…but they were wrapped up in a show LOL) !  I  brought in lots of candles and white pumpkins and  crystal glassware and a touch of silver.  The silver julep cups hold fresh cut rosemary from my own garden (still hanging in there despite several frosty mornings! )  It smelled wonderful!  Keep in mind that rosemary represents remembrance….perfect for my ancestors.  The rosemary will dry great in those cups too, then I’ll put the stalks in my BOS..as a remembrance for myself. 

My table dark and candlelit!

There was wine for everyone and I put out my peanut butter cake for dessert.  Now this peanut butter cake is a huge hit with my family and friends who have had it and it was requested for Samhain ..so of course, I made it.  Thought you all might like the recipe??  so here it is:

Autumn’s Peanut Butter Cake

*Be sure and read all the way thru it…the ingredients are spread thruout the recipe 

 Mix in a large bowl:

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Set aside.   In a med saucepan, bring to a boil:

1 cup water

1 cup peanut butter

1 stick butter

Stir often..when it comes to a boil remove from heat and add to the dry mixture and mix well with a spoon. 

Then stir in:

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

Blend well.  Pour into a greased jelly roll pan.  Bake at 375* for 20 mins or until golden brown.

While cake is baking:

Bring to a boil in the same saucepan:

1 stick butter

1/3 cup milk

Remove from heat and stir in:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 lb. confectioners sugar 

*Hint–add the peanut butter first, when melted well, stir in the sugar 1/2 at a time, to keep frosting from getting lumpy!

Pour over warm cake and spread evenly. 

This cake is sort of like the Texas Chocolate cake..dense and almost like a brownie ..and YUMMY!

If you’ve never done a Dumb Supper before..put it on your “Must Do” list for next year..it is really a very special thing and most magickal.  Remember as I posted before, you want a  dark room, lots of candles and NO talking! Now I’ve heard several say that with kids the silence would be impossible..of course!  But have it anyway..your ancestors will love spending time with the kids too!  Listen and Feel for them to come to you..give them the respect they deserve.  When we felt it was time, we said out-loud our messages for our loved ones who had passed on ..for those we knew and loved and miss to this day.   

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are

 and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. 

 No matter what our attainments in life, ther is still a vacuum,

                                an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.”                           

 By Alex Haley

I believe there is an inherent wisdom and knowledge within that is passed down to us in our DNA.  That we literally  carry a bit of what they did and what they knew deep in our psyche. We are connected by the threads of love, life, time and the Universe.  So, for me, this meaningful ritual is very important!

So I say again, Blessed Samhain to you all! 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources: me! :) 

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Filed under Family, My Writing, Quote, Ritual, Samhain