Category Archives: coven

I’m back…..And The Wheel turns to Mabon 2017…

Merry Meet my friends!¬† I’m back. ūüôā¬† I’ve been very neglectful of writing in my blog due to multwelcome septemberiple reasons.¬† None of which are important enough to talk about.¬† I think ultimately, I just lost interest.¬† I’ve been through a lot in the last year….health issues for my daughter and I, busy being a homekeeper, mom, grandmother.¬† You all know how you have to set priorities and my blog became much less of a priority.¬† But recently, the writing bug has bit me again so here I am.

As you all know, this time of year is my very favorite!¬† My energy, mentally and physically start increasing so much!¬† I thrive in the cooler weather, the change in the path of the Moon and Sun, in harvesting my herbs, in my kitchen, at my altar etc etc.¬† I’ve been doing my Fall cleaning…..purging, organizing, deep cleaning.¬† I’ve been perusing my Autumn recipes and cookbooks.¬† Pulling out warm throws and pillows, washing up sweaters, coats, flannel sheets…..getting ready for those cozy, cold, colorful days of Autumn.

First off, I must introduce you to a new family member….at least part time. lol.¬† My sister adopted a darling Maltese pup back in March.¬† However, she works out of town during the week.¬† So Yuki (Japanese for snow) has become my part time pup.¬† He’s a busy boy, adorable and we’ve become quite attached.¬† And, he keeps me busy too ūüôā

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One of the things that was going on with me is that I had another ankle surgery at the end of July. I was in a wheelchair for a few weeks, then crutches, and now a brace and I’m able to walk, though I’m uncomfortable still and it’ll take 3-6 months to be completely healed.¬† Because of this, my herb bed was very much neglected..the herbs left to their own natural growth as I couldn’t really get to them.¬† Yesterday, I finally went out there expecting to find lots of dead and overgrown herbs.¬† But to my great delight, I got a wonderful harvest this year.¬† They are now hanging, smelling delicious, in my kitchen. I’m so happy it worked out!

herb harvest 2017

I also had the great joy of going to my beautiful, magickal Smoky Mountains with my entire family last week.¬† A great way to end the Summer and welcome in Fall.¬† It was fabulous being with my hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids and two dear friends there together.¬† We feasted, visited an animal rescue petting farm, went up the mountains for some fabulous time there and picture taking, and relaxing at the cabin where I was able to read, crochet, and rest my ankle.¬† It was a great time.¬† Here are some of the pictures I captured of the beauty of the mountains.¬† Those who know me and have read my blog for a while, know how much these mountains hole my heart ‚̧

 

Now that I’m home again, we’re experiencing Fall weather.¬† Days in the 60’s and low 70’s, and nights in the 50’s.¬† The Full Moon was brilliant, casting such a glow and so much energy.¬† We’ve had fires already, enjoying our new gas logs.¬† Burning wood was just getting too expensive and hard work stacking wood etc.¬† And frankly, I like the idea of saving trees!¬† The process of cutting back our garden beds is started too..flowers spent and dead, or overgrown and no longer pretty and vibrant.¬† There are leaves turning, Fall clothes, mums, pumpkins, and decorations in all the garden centers, craft stores and shops.¬† My mind turns to baking and cooking good hot meals..done with grilling and cold salads etc. The scent of spices, apples, pumpkins, nuts, breads etc are kicking in at my house lol.

My coven has added a new member and still gathering for Sabbats.¬† I’m still a ghost hunter and looking forward to another hunt soon.¬† I shared some recipes for a surprise this October I’ll talk about soon.¬† And I’m preparing for Mabon as are all my witchy friends and sisters.¬† I’ll be back soon with some recipes for Mabon, and some ideas on how I celebrate it.

I’m in the process too of putting out new wards and protections, burying witch bottles, setting up my Mabon altar and working on my BOS.¬† I have to say too…I’m lighting candles day and night and sending out protection with all I’ve got for those of you in the line of harm from fires, floods and hurricanes.¬† Our poor Mother Earth is being ravaged right now and yes, climate change is real!!¬† Many of my witchy friends are talking about feeling edgy, jittery, nervous and unsettled.¬† Many feeling something is coming..maybe something dark and bad.¬† I’m feeling this too.¬† With the chaos in the world right now, both politically, in the division of the people, nature releasing chaos etc…..I hope that those who pray are doing that.¬† I send out my own prayers of safety and love to those in need.¬† It’s all we can do but ride the ride and do our best not to add to it in a negative way.¬† Keep being kind to others, caring for others and for our Mother Earth.¬† I’m speaking to the choir here because I now that you all feel as I do.¬† Whatever is coming….we have support for each other.

In the meantime, thank you for those who let me know you missed my writing.  And thank you to my loyal readers who have continued to visit here.  I appreciate it and will vow to get back to my writings.  May Goddess bless you and keep you safe and give you comfort in the tumultuous days.

 

 
“Spring scarce had greener fields to show than these
Of mid September; through the still warm noon
The rivulets ripple forth a gladder tune
Than ever in the summer; from the trees
Dusk-green, and murmuring inward melodies,
No leaf drops yet; only our evenings swoon
In pallid skies more suddenly, and the moon
Finds motionless white mists out on the leas.”
–¬† Edward Dowden, In September

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*Pictures are my own.

 

 

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Blessed Samhain 2016….and recipes!

“I see the turning of a leaf dancing in the autumn sun,

and brilliant shades of crimson glowing when a day is done

-Hazelmarie Mattie Elliott-

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Merry Morning and Blessed Samhain my friends! ¬†The glorious day is finally here! The Witch’s favorite Sabbat! ¬†Our New Year! ¬†Here in Ohio it’s a cool, blue sky, sunny day. ¬†We’ve had some overly warm days here lately…too warm in the upper 70’s for my taste, but today it feels like Fall again. ¬†The skies are inky black as we’re in our New Moon which adds magick to our new year and new beginnings! ¬†Winds are brisk and leaves are falling fast, chipmunks and squirrels gather food for the winter, birds are busy at the feeders, pumpkins are grinning from porches ¬†and children ready their costumes for trick or treat! ¬†The veil thins and there is a mystical feel to the Air! Autumn is in full glory!

My coven gathered Saturday night. ¬†We had soups, breads and desserts. As it was warm, we spent time outside. ¬†A few of our sisters didn’t make it this year and the rest of us were more quiet and subdued. Perhaps the thinning veil making us not feel up to par, tired and moody I think. ¬†Speaking for myself, that was the case. ¬†How does the thinning veil affect you? ¬†I’ve had times of high energy, and times of melancholy and low energy too. ¬†Today, I feel great!

I’m harvesting the last of my herbs today. Then tonight is our Beggar’s Night. ¬†This year we’ll be home passing out candy as we spent time with my grandkids yesterday. ¬†Keeping dinner simple with soup and sandwiches. ¬†I’m also burying new witch’s protection bottles, making an offering to Mother Earth and tonight a fire and spending time with my ancestors. I am a journaler and I’ve been journaling my thoughts and wishes for a wonderful new year to come. ¬†I look back on this last year with fondness and feelings of how blessed I am. and forward with the same. ¬†What will you be pleased about in your past year

and what changes will you make in this next year to improve on it?  These are the things I think about today.

I promised some recipes and better late than never.  So here a few new ones!

cider

Samhain Spiced Cider

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 large orange, quartered with peel

2 quarts apple cider

*use a gallon of cider and double the rest!

Place in a dutch oven on the stove on low heat or a slow cooker on low all day! So yummy!  I made this for my coven saturday night and they loved it!

pumpkin soup

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Tb butter

1 Tb olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-5 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp dried sage

3/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot; cook and stir until tender.  Add garlic and cook one minute longer.

Stir in squash, stock, sage, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer, covered 20 minutes or until squash is tender.  Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Process in a blender until smooth.  Serves 6

Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup cold butter, cubed

2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 Tb sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Streusel topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/3 cup cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350*. ¬†In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. ¬†Press into a well-greased 13×9 inch baking pan. ¬†Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread over baked crust.

In a small bowl, toss apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer.  In another bowl, mis streusel topping until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apple layer.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set.  Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Refrigerate for 2 hours at least.  Cut into bars and serve.

Yummy…I love Autumn baking especially. ¬†Don’t you?

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain.  May your ancestors smile upon you and impart words of wisdom, joy and a sense of peacefulness to you in the coming year.  Goddess Bless you all!

“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

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2016…..

A brooding calm in all the air,
A dreamy quiet everywhere…
A golden glow to light the day
That fades in purple mists away‚ÄĒ
This soothing calm, this presence bright,
October’s sweet and mellow light.
~Phebe A. Holder, “A Song of October,”

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Merry Meet my friends! ¬†How is your Autumn going so far? ¬†Autumn weather has finally arrived here in Ohio in the last week or so, and it’s been re-vitalizing, beautiful and wonderful! ¬†As you all know….my favorite time of year and I seem to just wake up!

I apologize again for a longer -than- usual absence. ¬†My life is really busy these days and I’ve had to prioritize what I can get done. ¬†As much as I love to write, and I do write in my journals etc, I just had to put my blog aside…again. ¬†Between my in-laws moving here, losing my only day nurse that helps me with my daughter, a trip to Sleepy Hollow (which was fabulous and I’ll write about that trip here in a day or two) plus preparing the house for Autumn/Winter, and the usual every day stuff like family, time with my grandkids etc etc. ¬†Please know, I know you ALL are just as busy….but I’m explaining why I’m not writing here as much.

Having said that all, Samhain is coming fast and I wanted to be here with you all to show my enjoyment of this most special Sabbat time of year! ¬†As our summer seemed to linger longer than usual this year, I’m busily jarring dried herbs from earlier in the year, and making room for the last harvest of herbs to hang and dry. ¬†My herbs are still thriving and huge so my last harvest will be abundant! ¬†Hubby and I have been busy cleaning up the garden beds, cutting back, protecting, and preparing the beds for next Spring. Also, things in the house, like washing rugs, curtains, windows, having furnace inspected, fireplace cleaned and a cord of wood ordered so we are ready for the dark months! ¬†Despite all the work, I so love this time of year and take the time for walks, Moon basking, apple and pumpkin baking, and a little shopping for new jackets, and sweaters etc. ¬†I’ve also been busy crocheting scarves and blankets which I find incredibly Zen. ¬†What are you doing to prepare for the dark time of the year?

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The veil is thinning and all Witches can feel it. ¬†My mind often goes to my loved ones who have passed onto the other side of the veil. ¬†I can’t bake without thinking of my grandmother, hear a song on the radio that reminds me of a good friend, or visit the cemetaries, adrift in falling leaves to feel close to those who are still with us in mind and spirit. Witches prepare their altars to honor their ancestors and loved ones during this most magickal season. ¬†But we also look back on the last year, as Samhain is our new year after all. ¬†What worked for us, what didn’t, what we keep and what we throw away/let go. ¬†We make plans for our New Year, knowing that we have the dark time of the year coming, when we may be a little less busy, have more time to reflect by fires, read, organize, dream, learn, and decide what we may do to improve constantly on our lives, our minds, our bodies and spirits.

My coven will gather on the 29th for soups, breads, desserts and a fire. ¬†A ritual to honor the New Year and our ancestors. ¬†It’s a wonderful time of wearing our witchiest garb, and while fun, we are also very dedicated to the night…the time…the veil…..the looking forward and backward…helping each other if needed. ¬†We all celebrate solitarily as well….but our combined energies make it an amazing night!

I’m a true believer in constantly learning and expanding my knowledge base. ¬†So I’ve begun to think about what books I’d like to read over the Winter. ¬†What are some of your favorite witchy books, or learning books you’ve read lately? ¬†I’d love some suggestions! ¬†I have some books on tarot, crystals, reiki, certain goddesses etc I’ll be reading…along with good fiction of course! ¬†Any suggestions most appreciated as I’m always looking for something I don’t know about ūüôā

October is crisp days and cool nights,

a time to curl up around the dancing flames

and sink into a good book.

~John Sinor (1930‚Äď1996), in San Diego Union-Tribune

I’m off to enjoy a bit of time outside today…perhaps starting to harvest those herbs, or just taking a walk. ¬†I’ll be back in the next day or two with a post about that trip to Sleepy Hollow and as always, some wonderful recipes for Samhain. ¬†Also, a bit of news I should be ready to talk about in the next week. ¬†In the meantime, It’s Autumn!! ¬† That wonderful blue sky, sunny days and crisp nights, woodsmoke and falling leaves, sweaters and scarves, pumpkins and apples, witches and black cats, all things spooky and wonderful, Time of year!! ¬†Autumn passes so fast…enjoy every beautiful moment!!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

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The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2016……..

IMG_0857Merry Meet my friends! ¬†I have been terribly re-miss on writing here in my blog and I’ll tell you why shortly. ¬†It’s a cloudy day, and warmish, hitting 60* right now. ¬†Earlier the Sun was out and there was a gorgeous crescent Moon last night to enjoy and draw energy from ūüôā ¬†Rain is coming in later..which we DON’T need! ¬†Our backyard is flooded! ¬†But there are signs of Spring everywhere in our yard. ¬†From the animal and bird activities, to the greening of the grass, and the shoots popping up out of the ground from lots of our flowers and herbs! I love it!

First of all, I want to say thank you so much for being a reader and a friend of this blog. ¬†I just celebrated my 6th year writing here. I started out thinking it would be a way for me to keep a journal of sorts. ¬†But it evolved into something more over time. ¬†I have had over 207,000 views and nearly 780 followers. ¬†It’s amazing to me that anything I have to say is of interest to people. ¬†And yet, it seems some are interested and I really appreciate it ūüôā ¬†I keep it mostly because I enjoy writing, and I enjoy sharing, and I enjoy learning too. ¬†So thank you very much! ¬†I hope my readers continue to enjoy what I write.

Secondly, I have had a rough few weeks. ¬†I had surgery on Feb 1 as I believe I talked about a bit in my previous posts. ¬†That surgery was a nightmare. ¬†It did not go well. ¬†Something I won’t go into was done in a way that a nerve was damaged. ¬†I was in extreme pain..I mean truly excruiciating with no relief except when I laid perfectly still. ¬†Long story short, a week later I was in the OR again having that fixed. ¬†The excruciating pain was relieved mostly, but the pain of two surgeries is just now starting to alleviate. ¬†I’m told to expect another month or so to feel normal again. ¬†I am glad that the original health issue is fixed…but it’s been a heck of a recovery. ¬†Funny..I told myself while I was laid up, I’d be reading, writing, and working on a couple projects. But I found it was hard to focus on all of those things. ¬†Thus, the lack of writing here in my blog. ¬†But I’m reading and journaling and yes, now writing here too now. ¬†Thank you for your patience!

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There is much going on! Ostara is next Sunday! ¬†I’m blessed that a dear Witch sister is coming to stay with me for a few days. ¬†Deb has been a friend for years now but she lives in SC and we have only met face to face once..and that was way to brief of a time and quite some time ago. ¬†We talk on the phone all the time and I look forward to having her within hugging range for a change. ūüôā ¬†My coven will gather for Ostara Sunday morning and she will be here for that as well. Everyone is looking forward to meeting their long- distance sister! We will do a ritual, have brunch and a fire. It will be magickal and filled with love! ¬†Breakfast casserole, muffins and pastries, fruit salad, coffee and juices are on the menu. ¬†Yum!

For Ostara, we often meet in the morning as I love greeting the Sun with a toast. ¬†After all, Ostara is the return of Spring, the return of longer days, of warmth, and green and flowers and leafed out trees. ¬†Mother Earth awakens! Now, I live in Ohio….and we’ve been pretty warm and Spring-like lately. But snow could come back anytime yet lol. ¬†Yesterday, I took a stroll around the yard and discovered lots of my plants and herbs blooming green shoots! ¬†It’s early for sure, but wonderful! ¬†One thing I did do while laid up, was flip thru garden catalogs and magazines, and I have lots of plans to add to our flower beds. We’ll be adding new plants, thinning some, moving some etc. ¬†We’ll be planting new trees, flowering bushes and new flowers to fill new beds. ¬†I so can’t wait! ¬†Right now, all I can do is look. ¬†I’m not healed up enough yet to clean up the beds etc….but I got my hands dirty a bit yesterday and it made me smile. ¬†There is nothing more grounding than digging in the dirt ūüôā

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My Spring cleaning was delayed due to the surgeries, but I had worked very hard on serious purging and organizing beforehand. ¬†I’ve started back up again the last day or two. ¬†I’m down to one cupboard, one closet and a couple kitchen cupboards to go thru yet. ¬†It feels so great to do this. ¬†Purging unwanted, unneeded, and unused items is very freeing ūüôā ¬†It won’t be long and my clothesline will be up again, and clothes, linens and so on will be flapping in the sun and wind! I love that!

I’m going to go ahead and post a couple of recipes for Ostara, since it’s here so fast! ¬†I’m going to be very busy this next week getting ready for our gathering and for my dear company coming, so I’m not sure I’ll be back to write until after. ¬†Foods for Ostara are:¬†Leafy green vegetables, ¬†sunflower and pine nuts, dairy, ¬†fish, hot crossed buns, sweet breads, hard boiled eggs or eggs fixed any way, ¬†honey¬†cakes, and seasonal fruits. ¬†Here’s a couple recipes that should fit right in there!

 

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Rich and Moist Honey Cake

 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoons baking powder
1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon salt
1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
3‚ĀĄ4 cup butter
3‚ĀĄ4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1‚ĀĄ4 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Honey Sauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup honey
3‚ĀĄ4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange zest. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Cut cake then Pour honey syrup over the cake.
For the Honey Syrup: In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

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Bacon Spinach Quiche

4 eggs
2 cups milk
1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Preheat oven to 400*

In a large bowl, beat eggs; whisk in milk, 1 cup cheese, onion, bacon, salt, mustard and paprika. Add spinach.

Pour into pie shell.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 400¬į for 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings.

 

There you go…something sweet and something savory ūüôā ¬†Enjoy!

 

I want to wish you all a very happy Ostara….happy Spring…..and have a great week! ¬†Oh, Happy Irish Day as well this week! ¬†It’s a fun week for seeing green…whether it be in your garden beds, or your Irish showing! ¬†Slainte!!

 

Oh, Spring is surely coming,
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.
~John Burroughs, “A March Glee”

 

Love and Blessings

Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

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The Wheel Turns to the Winter Solstice/Yule 2015…..

 

 

To celebrate the Sun, the Land, the Ancient Ones, the great Circle of Nature.
To welcome in the Winter and the New Year.
To bring forth renewal, peace, and joy.

-Selena Fox “Saturnalia”¬†

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Meet my friends! ¬†It’s a Monday evening, quiet in the house at the moment after a busy day. ¬†It rained today and we have been un-seasonably warm here in Ohio. ¬†Too warm for my tastes actually lol, but we will start cooling down in the next few days!

The Solstice is coming fast…just a week away! ¬†Yule, or the Winter Solstice is all about the return of the Sun. ¬†It will be the longest night, and then we celebrate the rotation and the days lengthening as we eventually get to Spring again. ¬†Having said that, here in Ohio and many other places on this wonderful, good Earth, we have a long Winter ahead of us yet! ¬†I have been preparing for it for some time now. ¬†From putting away the garden tools, and getting the garden beds cleaned up and mulched, to pulling out warm blanket throws, making elderberry syrup and of course, shopping for Yule and Christmas gifts and all the things associated with the holidays!

 

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My elderberry syrup brewing

 

I also have planned for projects to do over the dark time of Winter. And my list gets longer lol. ¬†Books I want to read, house projects to do, projects associated with my Craft such as getting my herbalist class going, working on my BOS, and some witchy crafts too. ¬†I often feel that Autumn is too, too short of a season, it goes by so fast I think because it’s my favorite. ¬†Winter, to me, often is a very long season…which I think is a good thing! ¬†I have already found myself staying indoors more, except on these really warm days we’re experiencing right now! ¬†As I said before, it’s nesting…..loving my home and being in it!

For my Solstice celebrations, I most definitely clean the house well, make sure I have lots of candles and firewood, stock up the pantry for cooking and baking, and do as much ahead of time as I can. ¬†For me, and for many I know, the Solstice is not so much about families and friends gathering, not about gift giving, not about a huge feast and loud, noisy parties. ¬†It’s more about a simple meal, quiet introspection, offerings to our Gods and Mother Earth, ¬†and dwelling in the darknesss, in a content and joyful way. ¬†It’s about quiet meditation, reflecting on the year ahead and what we wish to leave behind. ¬†I often will get up early to toast the Sun as he/she rises. ¬†I say he to cover those who think of the Sun as the Male God rising again, and I say she for those who think of her as Sister Sun. ¬†You can fill it in as you wish ūüôā Whether you toast with a mimosa, ¬†a cup of coffee or a glass of water, the ritual holds meaning. ¬†It’s representative of the days starting to lengthen and we know there is hope that after Winter we will have Spring. ¬†My coven has decided to meet on January 3. To allow everyone time with their families at this busy time of year. ¬†We all look forward to it very much. ¬†It’s a feast of desserts, coffee, hot chocolate and our fun gift exchange..all around a fire. ¬†Perfect!

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My Yule Altar 2015

My Solstice/Yule altar is always one of my favorites I do each year. ¬†I set it up early in December and have enjoyed using it each day. ¬†I have a new Goddess statue..Elen of the Ways which I’m in love with. ¬†I’ll be talking more about her in another blog soon. ¬†Not the statue, but Elen herself. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I love my real deer antler, my YULE log my hubby drilled holes in for me, and of course all the red and green crystals, candles, and my elemental representatives. I’ve had the beautiful deer for years now and it brings me joy every time I see it. ¬†The vase is filled with Rosemary…a gift from the garden of one of my coven sisters. ¬†Her Rosemary was still going strong with all the warm weather we’ve been having and she made sure I had some. ¬†It smells so good! ¬†I’ll be adding more greens on top of my Yule log and some cakes and ale the night of the Solstice.

For crafty things I like to do this time of year.  Feed the birds with peanut butter covered bagles dipped in bird seed.  String cereal like a garland.  Gather bits of yarn, fur, dryer fuzz and put everything out for the birds..they will love it!  Make orange pomanders. Make beautiful oil blends and use them to anoint candles, your altar, yourself.  Gather some dried herbs and make herbed salts, oils and vinegars for gifts.  Bake bread and take a loaf to a neighbor.  Gather the grandkids or kids and make lots of cookies.  Even better, make dog biscuits and share them with all the dogs in your life.

Don’t forget to donate! ¬†Clean out your closets and cupboards and take them to Goodwill or a homeless shelter or a battered woman’s shelter. ¬†Donate dog and cat food to your local shelter..better yet, take home a pet that needs a home! ¬†Give to Toys for Tots, Books for kids, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, adopt a family, send a military shoe box, and/or volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. ¬†You’ll be all the better for it! Give, give, give to be truly grateful with what you have!

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My hearth fires burning

I love to burn candles all over the house, and to keep off of all electronics! ¬†I’ll often journal, read, scry in the fire…Oh..there MUST be a fire in the hearth of course! That goes without saying ūüôā ¬†Soup and bread are often my preferred meal (my family loves that too) and we just have a quiet peaceful night. ¬†Stepping outside to make my offerings, absorb the energy from Earth and Grandmother Moon as well. ¬†And to listen…listen to the quiet of Winter…it’s so peaceful. Keep in mind that our Mother Earth is also resting, rejuvenating, and readying for when Spring blooms again. ¬†Then, a good night’s sleep and I’ll be ready to hop back into the much more chaotic holiday of Christmas that comes a few days later!

Ritual for any Sabbat doesn’t have to be organized or methodical. ¬†When I first started blogging, I often shared actual rituals that I had found online or in books. ¬†Now, I just tell you what I do. ¬†What I do at my altar..well, that’s between me and my Goddess as they say. ¬†The words I use, the tools I use, the feelings I emote and the goals I’m trying to manifest are my own. ¬†I have many friends who are new to the Craft, or maybe aren’t so new, but get bogged down in worrying about rhyming words, what color the stones should be, or where the candles should go on the altar. ¬†I say…..it’s YOUR Path….do what feels right to you. Period. ¬†Your intentions and your inner Magick and your relationship with your God/Goddess is all that matters. ¬†You’ll be heard!

I’ll be back in a day or two with a few recipes I thought I’d share. I’d like to remind you that you can search for Yule or Winter Solstice in the search box on the right ———> for more posts like the correspondences, recipes, poems and quotes etc. ¬†I see many of you are finding them already. ¬†ūüôā ¬†In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

Love and Blessings, Autumn

 

 

 

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Blessed Samhain 2015 and Recipes!…………

Merry Meet my friends! ¬†It’s Thursday morning and Samhain is Saturday. I can’t believe how fast October has flown by! Too fast! ¬†I’m sitting in my family room, listening to a Halloween Radio staA-BLessed-Samhain-To-Yoution on Pandora, watching leaves blowing around my yard, the Sun shining and birds at the feeders and chipmunks and squirrels gathering. ¬†It’s a gorgeous day after two days of much needed rain. ¬†Quite cool, quite autumnal, and I’m feeling happy and blessed.

My gardens are a wild mess. The last of the Autumn flowers are spent. ¬†The tall grasses are brown and dry. ¬†Some herbs have re-bloomed like parsley, thyme and lemon balm. ¬†(I’ll be grabbing those yet) ¬†My rosemary and lavender are still healthy and useful as I trim some rosemary for my ancestor altar and Ancestor Supper table. There are dried leaves gathered in the beds that will remain to keep warm the plants over the long Winter, and fresh, bright colored leaves are still falling, littering the ground and beds with reds, oranges, and golds. I took a walk in my favorite park that has a beautiful pond. ¬†Watching the geese fly over under blue, clear skies, ¬†the leaves floating in the pond, the bright trees and Sun casting mirror images on the water, I’m reminded of how Mother Earth is winding down to the dark, stark season in a blaze of color and beauty. I never have the feeling it’s a death and dying thing..but a show of how beautiful the seasons are. ¬†No matter the season, they each have their own beauty. ¬†While Autumn to me is the most beautiful, Winter too can be stunningly filled with beauty and I am not sad that Winter comes.

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I have enjoyed the energy of the Full Moon these last few nights, even though I couldn’t see Her the night she was at her fullest. ¬†The foggy, rainy days reminded me of the thinning veil. The mystical, quietness of this time of year, if you’re still enough to notice it. ¬†I’ve been having strong, vivid dreams and vacillate between sleeping hard and feeling restless in the night. How are you feeling? Perhaps tired and restless? ¬†Or calm and filled with energy? I find I’m energized most of the time in Autumn, but an evening by the fire can make me feel drowsy and content. ¬†I find my loved ones who have passed on are very much on my mind and I’m trying to be aware of any messages they may be bringing for me, to be aware of their being close to me, and to leave myself open to any other guides/spirits who may be needing my attention as well. ¬†I keep a dream journal and I’m jotting down anything I remember when I awake. My scrying mirror, tarot cards and candle and fire flames are readily available to such purposes of receiving any messages. As I said in my last post, I find being still and meditative, even drowsy, can bring me closer, easier to my loved ones.

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My coven gathers tomorrow night. Always such a high energy, loving, magickal night. We’ll be doing an ancestor ritual, welcoming in the New Year together, with feast and fire. While we enjoy every Sabbat gathering, and every other gathering, Samhain is always just the best one. ¬†The energy of Samhain is very much within us as a Tribe. ¬†I love my sisters!

I have been visiting some books lately for the Season. ¬†Classics like Edgar Allan Poe poems and “The Halloween Tree” and getting ready to read “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. ¬†I also have been enjoying movies like “Hocus Pocus”, “Sleepy Hollow”, and “The Good Witch” movies. ¬†My daughter, our friend and I saw “The Goosebumps” movie last night and enjoyed it very much! ¬†I love both books and movies during this entire holiday season, from Samhain to Yule. ¬†Music too. ¬†They just put me in the mood! ¬†What are your favorite spooky books or movies?

Cooking and Baking also is such a big part of the holidays for me. ¬†Autumn is especially lovely with warm soups and breads, apple and pumpkin desserts, and hot drinks with cinnamon and spice. ¬†If you do a search in the box on the right here —–> you can find previous Samhain recipes for the last 5 years. ¬†I’m going to add a couple more today. ¬†Also, if you saw my last post, you may have been checking out Samhain’s Sirens and The Sunday Stew for other recipes from myself and others for the Season. ¬†For many, All Hallow’s Eve will bring to mind a witch stirring her cauldron ūüôā Well, yes, that’s me! ¬†Conjuring in my kitchen! I may have a soup or hot cider in my cauldron, or I may have herbs and a smoking charcoal just as easily. If you don’t have a nice cauldron to actually use in your kitchen..I highly recommend a Potje pot. ¬†They come in all sizes and are wonderful!

As a reminder of the foods for Samhain, they are :  Apples, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea. Here are a couple of new recipes to fit the bill. One is healthy and one is just sweet and yummy!

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Spinach Pomegranate Salad

3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces spinach leaves (about 2 lightly packed qts.)
3/4 cup finely shredded radicchio (from 1 head)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 large firm-ripe Bartlett pear

In a small saucepan, boil pomegranate juice until reduced to 1/4 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Whisk in lemon juice, oil, salt, thyme, and pepper.
In a salad bowl, gently mix spinach, radicchio, pomegranate seeds, and hazelnuts with dressing. Divide among 6 plates.
Quarter pear and core. Thinly slice crosswise, then stack slices and cut in matchsticks. Arrange pear on salads.

*To make this salad a full meal, add grilled chicken strips onto the salad and a good crusty bread!

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Sour Cream-Apple Pie

a 9″ pie crust…your own homemade or refrigerated store bought

2 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped (use your favorite baking apple)

1 cup sugar, divided

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour, divided

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tb ground cinnamon

2 Tb butter

Place pie crust in a 9″ pie plate; arrange apples in bottom of pie crust.

Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 2 Tbs flour and salt in a large bowl; stir to mix.  Add sour cream, egg and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Pour mixture over apples.

Bake at 425* for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350* and bake 30 more minutes.

Combine in a small bowl the remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle over top of pie.  Increase heat back to 400* and bake 10 more minutes.  Remove and cool.  Of course, eating it warm is perfect!

*If you’d rather use thinly sliced apples, that is okay too.

Well there you go for a couple of great new recipes. ¬†Again, you can find so many more of my recipes in previous postings. ¬†Whether you’re looking for a simple soup meal, a big feast or just something sweet, you’ll find it here ūüôā Enjoy!

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain and Happy Witchy New Year.  May your ancestors be blessed by how you live YOUR life, how you honor them and how you loved those you knew who have passed beyond the veil.  And may YOU be blessed with a full new year of wonderful things ahead!  Remember to let go that which no longer suits or has meaning or purpose, and find joy in what is to come.  Make it GREAT!

“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

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2015……

“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Ray Bradbury ¬†“The Halloween Tree”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Meet my friends! ¬†It’s been a bit too long since I’ve posted anything here on my blog. ¬†As you all know, Autumn is my favorite time of year and I’ve been very much enjoying all the pleasures of this beautiful, magickal season! ¬†We’ve had temps anywhere between cold, frosty mornings to unseasonably warm afternoons..like today! We went from 32* a couple mornings ago, to 74* today! It’s typical here for Ohio though lol. ¬†I love it either way. ¬†We are at peak color or close to it and it’s a brilliant year for color. ¬†The skies have been clear, with star-filled, Moonlit nights that I love so much! ¬† Crisp, autumn days with leaves crunching underfoot and falling in colorful waves upon the ground, pumpkins grinning from porches, and you gotta love sweaters and scarfs coming out again! I’m in my element that is for sure!. ¬†I’m energized and content!

I hope that you all are enjoying the lovely season too! ¬†Whether you are coming into spring in the southern hemisphere or the fall here. ¬†I also hope that you have been reading and enjoying Samhain’s Sirens this month! ¬†You will find amazing bloggers, music, information, pictures, recipes, crafts, give-aways and so much more! ¬†My recipes are there on most days, so if you’re looking for wonderful Samhain recipes, you need only look there. ¬†The link is on the right side of my post over there —–> ¬†You’ll love it!

The veil is thinning as all witches and pagans know. ¬†Our ancestors and loved ones wait to connect with us, to share with us, to impart knowledge and love to us. ¬†We have only to listen. ¬†I have many friends who have lost loved ones recently, as I have, and I know they look forward to feeling them close again. ¬†Even our beloved pets. ¬†It’s what Samhain is all about for me. ¬†That connection to our family, friends, ancestors, and guides. ¬†There are many forms of divination of which to use to this gain….but I find a quiet flame and quieting my mind, opening myself to them, is all it takes. ¬†What is your best way? ¬†Scrying? Tarot? Meditation? ….There are many. ¬†I’ll be setting up my altar with many tools for that purpose, but being quiet and listening is the main thing for success, I have found. ¬†I hope that you are so blessed with a visit from those you seek the most….and maybe you’ll discover someone else who is trying to reach you too! ¬†Be open to all possibilities!

Samhain is also the Witch’s New Year! ¬†We wind down a year of Sabbat celebrations, of Moon phases from new to full to dark. We have gone from cold, long nights to hot, long days. ¬†We’ve had meteor showers, eclipses, Blood Moons, Supermoons and all the magick that we bring to our lives each and every day. ¬†The New Year is a time to celebrate our past year, let go of those things unwanted..both physically and mentally, and look forward to planning our next year. ¬†It’s a time for looking back and looking forward. ¬†I find myself getting ready to nest in. ¬†Even with the upcoming holidays, it’s knowing the dark season is upon us. Being by hearth and fire during long, dark, cold nights can be cozy, introspective, productive and filled with comfort and joy. ¬†Even if you don’t have a fireplace, fill your home with the warmth of candlelight, bake and cook things that scent your home with goodness, have warm blankets and cozy jammies you love, a stack of books by your chair, a project or two you’d like to get done, and maybe something new to learn too. ¬†Your winter will be wonderful. ¬†I always look at it as a time to work on myself, my home and a time to increase my knowledge on something I want to learn!

Yesterday, my daughters and grandkids and I did something together that was so simple and so fun. We made homemade applesauce. ¬†A really, yummy, cinnamon-y applesauce. ¬†The kids got involved by learning how to use an apple slicer, stirring in brown sugar, measuring out cinnamon etc. They loved it as did my daughters and I. ¬†It so brought to mind for me doing that very thing with my grandmother when I was a child. And while I don’t remember making applesauce with my girls when they were young, we certainly did a LOT of baking and cooking together. ¬†Seeing my daughter teaching her children what she learned from me…well…it’s a special thing. ¬†I can’t wait to tell my grandma, when I hear from her through the veil on Samhain night, all about it! ¬†‚̧

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I thought you might enjoy trying the recipe too since apples are abundant right now…. so here you go! ¬†This is not the canning type of recipe. ¬†This is for immediate use. Jarred up, it should last a while in your fridge.

 Cinnamon Applesauce

6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 slices (use your favorite kind..we used cortlands)

1 cup apple juice or apple cider

3 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup packed brown sugar. (we added 2 Tbs more)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Use a masher to mash down any chunks.  If you like it super thin, run it through a blender or food processor (we liked the texture without doing that)

Store in covered jar or plastic container.

So easy and you will love it!  Would be great in recipes calling for applesauce as well!

I am in the process of working on getting my altar set up. ¬†I got my Mabon altar taken down, cleansed and cleaned my table and it’s ready to set up. ¬†Samhain is my very favorite altar to do..well, I think it is. I love most of them. I’ll post a picture here as soon as it’s done. ¬†I’ll also be back in a few days with more recipes as my recipe posts are my most popular ūüôā

My coven of wonderful sisters will be gathering on the 30th. ¬†Samhain night is Beggar’s Night here…so we have chosen the night before so we could be with our families for Trick or Treat with our kids and grandkids. ¬†We will have a feast, a hearth fire, a ritual for our loved ones who have crossed the veil, and we will be in full Witch regalia which is so so fun! ¬†I so love celebrating Samhain with them. ¬†That includes those sisters I hold dear that live in other states….they know who they are ‚̧

Samhain is a magickal time. To me, the most wonderful time of the year. ¬†(now that song is going through your head right? LOL!) ¬†However you celebrate it, whether quietly or with full All Hallow’s Eve celebrations…enjoy it!! ¬†I’ll be back soon!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*All pictures are my own.

 

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