Category Archives: Flowers

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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We Must Love Our Mother Earth…….

There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet. 

~Brooke Medicine Eagle

thNP8L5I5IGreetings friends!  I’m hoping that you all had a wonderful weekend and Easter if you celebrated it.  We had beautiful weather here, so much time was spent outside.  My grandkids had a wonderful egg hunt and the adults had fun watching them and helping them etc.  It was a marvelous day and joy abounded!

I had a wonderful birthday as well and thank you so much for all the warm messages and well wishes!  I tend to accept growing older as I like the wisdom that comes with it 🙂  My family remembered my garden witchiness and got me some lovely things for my garden…a bird bath, owl stepping stone and statue, garden journals and seeds.  It was awesome!

For many years now, Earth day has come the day after my birthday.  I still remember it started in 1970 when I was in like 7th grade.  It was mentioned but didn’t seem to be that much of a thing really. Maybe I was too young to care too much.   But by the time I hit sophomore year in high school, it was becoming more acknowledged.  Kids were encouraged to walk or ride bikes to school instead of taking buses.  We were gathering in groups to clean parks, highways, collecting cans for recycling, to plant a tree or a veggie garden, etc.  I still remember a group of high school kids in my neighborhood decided to walk to school.  Now, this was about an 8 mile walk…not a small task that early in the morning.  But we put on our comfy shoes at 6am and off we went as a group.  We walked thru a beautiful winding road park to get there..made it to school on time and we were proud and excited about it.  It became a tradition for all 3 years of high school.  Fond memories.

The sad fact is..all these years later, that though they are many of us who care so much for our Mother, that we are slowly killing Her. Factories, over population, over expansion into green spaces, too much trash, too much chemicals, fracking, oil spills, pollution of waters etc etc…is destroying Her.

There are so many who live close to Earth, that see what’s happening, who do their share in their small way to try to heal Her, help her, work with Her and not against Her…but too many who don’t give a damn.  Trees are torn down to put up buildings..then new trees planted?  Does that make any sense?  Grass is covered in chemicals to keep it perfectly coifed and weed free.  Earth’s critters are constantly scrambling to find a place to live as we tear down their homes.  It goes on and on…and I have no answers for it.  It makes me cry really.

Earth day is not one day of the year my friends.  It’s EVERY day..at least it should be!!!  Now I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here as they say.  Any Witch/Pagan/environmentalist lives this every day…but as I Witch I know I can do better and work on it all the time.  But we need to set an example.  Earth day is a great day to do that.  Talk about it…get a group together to go clean a park or a highway of trash.  Plant a tree.  Help your neighbors plant a wildflower garden.  Get a rain barrel and a compost bin.  Stop using chemicals on your lawn and use natural, earth healthy products! Walk or ride a bike when you can.  Most importantly….teach your children and grandchildren to love and respect Mother Earth as well!!

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Caretakers by Robert Duncan

The Elements….Earth, Air, Fire and Water….we work with them every day as Witches.  Except for Fire…..those elements are ill.  And it will get worse and worse if we don’t do something MORE and FAST to save them. Let’s protect Her, Heal Her, Love Her!

Blessed be our Mother Earth……and blessings to all of you who are doing your part to care for Her!!

I’m not an environmentalist.  I’m an Earth warrior. 

~Darryl Cherney, quoted in Smithsonian, April 1990

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Thumbnail picture was on the internet from multiple sources.

 

 

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The Wheel Turns to Beltane 2014…….

“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”
– Kahlil Gibran

thCA8K56D9Merry Afternoon!  As I type the title to this post..I can’t believe how fast the year is going.  Beltane already???  But yes, Spring is springing out all over..finally!  Today we are sunny and warmish…but it’s incredibly windy and that keeps things feeling a bit cool still.  But trees are budding, spring flowers blooming, birds singing, garden centers are busy and there is no denying that the Wheel is turning..turning..turning….

Here in Ohio it’s too early to plant but I have a few herbs growing on my kitchen window sill that I successfully started from seed.  Hubby and I have checked for damage after the long, frigid Winter and it looks like our  new plantings from last year (bushes, perennials, herbs) all survived but  one boxwood and are a little worried about our hydrangea bushes..but everything else is just fine!  Even my lavender plants are already greening up! Yay!

Beltane is the earliest we do any planting here and many experts suggest waiting until Mother’s day to be extra sure of no late frosts.  I however, will at least be planting happily in my herb bed by May 1 or so.  Beltane for me is the perfect Sabbat for just that!  Mother Earth is fully awake, fertile, blooming and budding by then.  The Sun God is growing in strength and warmth as well!  And all around, the animals are happy and capering about.  Don’t forget, Beltane is a lusty time of year 🙂

Beltane is a Fire Sabbat! We have lots of fires..to burn old, dusty, dried up herbs and yard brush, wishes and hopes written on paper, and dancing and divining with it as well.  It’s the time of year I also put out more outside protection such as witches bottles, wards, salted boundaries etc etc.  The house is open and airing out stagnant energy. I have by now cleansed and smudged the house, done my Spring cleaning and put away all the heavy winter blankets, throws, curtains etc.

All the elements come into play for Beltane as well.  Earth, Air, Fire and Water all active and present for our benefit.  We dig in the dirt to plant and walk barefoot in the new, soft grass. We listen and feel the wind through the trees with their new canopy of leaves. We have bonfires and light candles, and for many, warm weather means a trip to the nearest body of water! Use the elements again after being cooped up all Winter!

My Circle of Witches will meet around Beltane for a feast, a fire and to make May baskets for some elderly people in our lives…to brighten their May as well.  We will wear flowers in our hair and go barefoot and welcome the warmth of the Sun, the longer days, and planting season.  The Goddess and God will romp and love and create..and if we are wise, we will too!!

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Beltane is a big time for community gatherings. You will find Pagan festivals, Maypole dancing and garden shows this time of year.  Go check them out and support them!

Be sure and type Beltane into the Search box for previous postings, correspondence, recipes etc for Beltane.  I’ll be back with a new recipe or two soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the beginning of Spring and plan a wonderful, fun, frolicking Beltane celebration for you and your loved ones!  Spring Blessings!!!

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.”
–  Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur 

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Blessed Ostara 2014………….

Merry Meet my friends! The first day of Spring has finally arrived! Here…it’s not that warm..in the 40’s… but the Sun is shining, a soft breeze is blowing, birds are singing and I am seeing some Spring bulbs poking out of the ground and trees budding if I look real, real close 🙂

I started out the day greeting the Sun as He rose while having a cup of coffee. I lit a candle in gratitude for the turning of the Wheel and the return of the Sun. I re-filled bird feeders and put out some dried corn for the squirrels once I got dressed. Once I did that, I headed out to the florist (NO tulips or daffodils yet anywhere!) and purchased a mixed flower bouquet. Then I went to the garden center and got 6 herb seed packets and a couple of starter trays.

 

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Now I have started my herbs from seeds for many years, at my old home where I had a perfect place to do it. Here at this house…while I have sunny East facing windows, I can’t put pots of dirt and seeds there with 2 kitties who will have fun with that! LOL. So I’m going to attempt to grow a few in my kitchen window on the sill. I planted 4 each of lavender, sage, basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. We shall see what happens but it made me happy on this Spring Equinox day to do it. I set crystals on my window sill too and did a seed blessing as I planted them. (for my seed blessing..be sure to type Ostara into the search box on the right).

My altar has been ready for a week or so now, so I added the pretty flowers and I’m ready to go. I have smudged the house and cracked a few windows as well. I’m doing small things to celebrate the day, all day long, and tonight I will do a Welcome Spring ritual at my altar.

 

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Now I am hearing that we will have lovely warm weather tomorrow but probably some rain… then temps will drop back into Winter weather and we have SNOW forecasted for Tuesday! 🙂 Now this is just typical for where I live here in Ohio…give it a day and it will change again. I’m not going to let it spoil my Spring though and don’t you let it either. As a Witch, we can feel the quickening of our Mother Earth. She is awakening most definitely and it won’t be long before we will be merrily working in our gardens and complaining about the heat LOL.

I hope you and your loved ones have a very Blessed Ostara. May Joy, Love, Peace, Abundance and Light be yours today and always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2014…………

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

~Proverb

Merry Afternoon my friends. Hope that you are all doing great this blustery March day?! Well, we had a taste of Spring for a couple of days here in Ohio. It was in the 60’s and the Sun was shining! It was the kind of day that I had my daughter and grandkids over to play outside, windows were open and letting the house air out of old stagnant Winter weather, and we even grilled out for dinner! Today? A whole different day LOL. Winter has come back with snow flurries, freezing cold weather and blustery winds. *sigh* Well, it was nice while it lasted….and it will be back and SOON!! 🙂

I have spent some time today getting ready for Ostara. My Circle has decided to meet for brunch on the Sunday after Ostara ( Ostara is the 20th by the way!) We will have pastries and fruit and lavender lemonade! I’m working on my altar as well. I love the Ostara altar..it’s one of my favorites. Pastel colors, eggs, rabbits, tulips or daffodils, and baskets just lift my spirits in it’s brightness and lightness! I’ll also set up a kitchen altar as well!

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                                                        *Part of my Ostara altar from 2011

Some of the things I love to do for Ostara is to, of course, color eggs and bake breads. Egg recipes are popular for light lunches and breakfasts as well. Egg salad, deviled eggs, quiches, and omelets especially! Another thing I’m doing is perusing my seed catalogs, garden books and magazines and planning for when I can get outside and start working in my gardens again! For the seeds, I love to do a seed blessing ritual..to bless them to grow strong and healthy and to carry powerful Magick within them as well! You can bless and consecrate your seedlings and young plants as well of course! My hands long to dig in the dirt and my barefeet long to be planted on Mother Earth! Can’t wait!

Ostara is also a great time to finish up any Spring cleaning you didn’t get done at Imbolc. Cleaning windows, curtains, throw rugs and blankets are high on my list of things to do as Spring arrives. Also, carpet cleaning, if you have carpets, is good to do too! I also check the condition of my outdoor bird feeders to see if they need to be replaced for Spring/Summer. Winter is hard on them and I often invest in new ones this time of year. I’m also shopping for a new bird bath this year! 🙂

I thought that you all would enjoy my recipe for Lavender Lemonade to enjoy for your own Ostara feast. It is also posted in the Sunday Stew I told you about last time I wrote. I hope that you have gone and checked it out! It is well worth your time.

lav lemon

                                                         *picture courtesy of Simply Recipes

 

 

Lavender Lemonade

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1-2TB dried lavender flowers (organic, chemical free)
*chopped fine

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add lavender flowers. Cover and let stand for one hour.

Strain lavender from sugar water and discard lavender as you wish. Stir in additional cold water and lemon juice. Pour into a pretty pitcher and add ice and sliced lemons.

Makes 6 servings

Don’t forget to type in Ostara or Spring Equinox in the search box on the right here to find all my past posts and recipes..there are a LOT!  I’ll be back soon too.

As much as Winter still has a grip on us, there has been some Spring in the Air for most of us I think.  Enough to remind us that it’s coming and soon!  In the meantime, do some spring cleaning,  set up your altar, buy some seeds to start in your Sunny window, and color some eggs.  Soon it will be Spring in your heart and you will feel lighter!  Honest! 🙂

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

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The Harvest Moon and Mabon 2013…..

The Harvest Moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky,
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn season is giving birth.
 ~Pearl N. Sorrels

Merry Meet!  I hope this post finds all of you well and looking forward to the start of my favorite season…Autumn!!  I am so happy that it’s upon us.  In the last week or so, except for today and yesterday, we have had a taste of Autumn weather. And after a couple of Summer-like days, it is going to rain and bring in the cool weather again this evening.  I love it!!  There is something about the end of a long, wonderful Summer..when the weather starts subtly changing, the nights get longer, the gardens are about finished up, and you can open the windows and air out the house again. 🙂 My energy level increases, my soul lifts and my mind turns to Fall activities!

Last week I was in Florida, a vacation for just my hubby and I, and my Sea Witch self had a wonderful time.  I had the pleasure of meeting up with a Witchy Sister and we hung out on the beach, feet in the sand and talked and talked. It was exactly as I knew it would be! True sisters in heart and Spirit (love you Dory!)  Hubby and I did the same thing, every day and night, watching as the Harvest Moon waxed to Full over the beach.  It was just perfect!  I was home for Full Moon and Her pull was the same.  No matter where I am, She is beautiful and magickal. 🙂

Now we move on to Mabon..on Sun day.  My Circle will be meeting here at my house for some feasting, fire, and making corn dollies.  I’m making veggie soup and chili, bread and we’ll have wine and grapes and apples  to celebrate the end of Summer’s bounty and the Harvest of it.  The magick and love will flow between my Sisters and the Goddess who is always with us!

My gardens are pretty much finished for the year. I have a few peppers still growing and my garlic is coming up but otherwise they are finished.  Rosemary and lavender is still doing well in the garden beds but all the rest of my herbs are harvested and hung to dry.  The flower beds are still in bloom and looking great, we have some time with them yet 🙂 I plan on planting Spring bulbs soon as there are none in our new yard and there are lots of places to put them! How are your gardens doing?

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So now my thoughts turn to Autumn….of sweaters and jackets, crisp, clear nights and breezy, blue sky days. Brilliant color on the trees and harvested, fallow fields.  Chipmunks and squirrels gathering, birds migrating.  Of woodsmoke and gold/red flames, cider and apples, pumpkins and mums, walks with leaves crunching underfoot, and the Sun rising late and setting early, casting longer shadows and of the Moon, oh our lovely Moon, shining bright on an ink black, starry sky. *sigh*…there is nothing like this Season in my mind.

“Autumn:  bright flame before winter’s deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves, as they spark into wild color just before they die, are the world’s oldest performance art. Everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white and silence of winter. Fall is begging for us to dance and sing and write with just the same drama and blaze.” ~Shauna Niequist

Pretty much sums it up for me 🙂  How about you?  For past postings on Mabon, including recipes etc…just type in Mabon on the search box on the right side of my blog. There are lots of great things in my past postings, including about what Mabon is all about etc.  I’ll be back soon to tell you about something fun I’ve the pleasure of being a part of.  In the meantime, make the most of the First day of Autumn.  It’s after all, about Balance…day equals night.  Stop and think about your life..is it in balance?  Does something need fixed?  Mabon is a great time to focus on that and make some changes if it isn’t!  Many Blessings to you all! Have a great Harvest festival!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Late Summer…….

Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
    Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
           –  Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown 

Merry Meet my friends!  I am long in writing a post here and have no excuse other then a busy Summer, home improvements, family in from California for 2 weeks, and my own lack of thinking what I could write about. 🙂  I appreciate so much the messages I’ve received wondering if I’m ok…it means a lot to know that you missed me here. All is well!!

It’s Saturn day, a quiet one here at my house. My daughter Sara isn’t feeling well so we are being lazy and resting today.  Here in Ohio, as I know many of you have experienced also, we have had a fairly mild Summer and in the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a taste of early Autumn, it’s been quite cool and gorgeous!   I have LOVED it!  As you know of course, Autumn is my favorite time of year, but I have no complaints about this wonderful Summer we’ve had.  My gardens have loved this weather, my grandkids thrive playing outside when it’s not so hot, and I too, have loved hanging clothes on the line, working in my garden or reading on the patio.  It’s been wonderful!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Lughnasadh.  I did, though my Circle wasn’t able to meet. My fault, I had the flu 😦  I did make bread and berry flavored water and we had a simple dinner that included tomatoes and cucumbers from my own garden. It was a beautiful night.  I have not yet harvested my herbs or the last of my garden as some of them are still growing strong. Some are finished for the season though and I’ll clean them up this weekend.

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While I’m talking about Lughnasadh, I’d like to let you all know about a great book.  Witchy Magick by Australian Witches Lucy Cavendish and Serene Conneeley.  I LOVE this book for more reasons then one (which I’ll get to in a minute). This is a very complete book that I think EVERY Witch should own and read.  It starts out with interviews with about 20 of our prolific Witches who are authors, heads of covens, healers, herbalists, young and old alike.  Interviews on what being a Witch means to them.  Then it goes into lots of Witchy info, from the history of witchcraft, myth busting, the how to’s, rites and rituals, and a great amount of info, recipes etc on the Sabbats.  It’s really a wonderful book!  I again highly recommend it!  Oh, and if you happen to get to the recipe section….on Lughnasadh…pages 364 and 365…you may recognize …me!!  Yes!  I am in this book…a bit about me and a couple of my favorite bread recipes for Lughnasadh! I’m not bragging please understand, but I was most honored to be asked if I could be included in the book.  Thank you Serene and Lucy!!  Let me know readers what you think of the book, because I KNOW you are going to want to get it and dive into it! 🙂

The end of Summer is almost always a joyful thing for me as I thrive in the cooler air of Autumn and I always look forward to Winter as well.  This year, I have a vacation to look forward to in mid September.  A much needed trip for my husband and I…yes, just the two of us! A rare thing!  I could use some time on the beach, for my inner Sea Witch to come out and relish in the beauty, sounds and scents of  Mother Ocean.  I’m excited about it and so is my husband.  We are celebrating 34 years married, tomorrow actually, so it will be a grand anniversary present to each other 🙂

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By the time we get home, Mabon and Autumn will be arriving.  It will be time to get the chimney cleaned, order our cord of wood, clean out the garden beds, pull out the Fall decorations and hit the garden centers and pumpkin farms for pumpkins and mums and such.  *sigh*..that will be grand!

In the meantime, I’ll try to get back into writing here more.  I plan on doing a LOT of baking and cooking in the next few weeks…I’m involved in a very cool project, where I am the kitchen Witch, sharing my recipes.  I’ll tell you about that in my next post, and share a recipe or two for the upcoming Autumn season!

Until next time, enjoy the last of Summer….don’t wish away these last days, these  lazy, hazy, crazy last days of Summer.  Go barefoot lots, enjoy fresh veggies from your gardens or the Farmer’s market,  put your feet in a body of water, lay under the Moon and Stars on a hammock or blanket, invite friends over for a end-of-Summer cook-out, read a book in the shade or just sit on your patio and listen to the birds, crickets and cicadas.  Make the MOST of it for it will be gone soon!

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Many Blessings and Love

Autumn

*Pictures from the internet.

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The Wheel Turns to Beltane 2013……..

thCA8K56D9Merry Meet my friends! Spring has Finally spring here in Ohio!  Though there has been fluctuations…40* one day, 80* the next! …..Spring none-the-less has bloomed.  Spring flowers, flowering bushes and trees are all blooming.  Birdsong in the mornings and I love seeing them at the feeders again…cardinals, finches, sparrows, even woodpeckers!  Squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits are scampering around, kids are playing outside again and adults are working in their yards and gardens.

I had a birthday a few days ago…my 55th! (gasp!!)  🙂  For my birthday present, my hubby built me a raised bed for my veggies and herbs and he put up a clothesline! Something I have missed having in my yard for 16 years!  I finally live in a house with a yard that is sunny enough to have one! You have no idea how excited I am about this LOL…it’s a big deal!  To me, there is nothing like the fresh, clean scent of clothes that have hung outside in the Sun and breeze 🙂  A clothesline brings back wonderful memories for me.  In my mind’s eye, I see my grandmother in her housedress and apron, happily pinning up her linens and clothes while I tag along, with the pins, putting my nose in each and every piece to breathe in the great scent!

My granddaughter, who is 4, was here when I hung out my first load of linens and clothes.  I was overjoyed as she immediately wanted to know what I was doing and why.  As soon as I hung up the bright pink sheets, she did what all kids do..she ran thru the damp sheets, laughing and putting her nose right in them..just like her mommy, my daughter, did when she was a little girl 🙂  I believe more happy memories are being made with that clothesline 🙂

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Beltane is coming up fast! May 1!  Beltane….marking the coming of longer, warmer days, gardens in bloom, faeries scampering thru the flowers and Mother Earth becoming full and in bloom!  Maypoles are erected and danced around, May baskets are happily filled with bright flowers and left on doors, and love and lust is rising in the hearts and souls of young and old alike.  Beltane is a happy, energetic, fun Sabbat!

Here at my house, we will have an outdoor fire and a great meal full of fresh veggies and fruits…a nice light meal.  I’ll start planting my pots of herbs, planting crystals and blessings along with the them.  I’ll ask the Faeries to assist me in success in growing them big, full and magickally!  An offering will be made to Mother Earth and the Fae….honey, bread and wine…to show how grateful I am for their presence in my Life and in my gardens.  I’ll do a ritual under the waning Moon to celebrate the Sabbat as well.

If you’re interested in Beltane correspondences, recipes, ritual, altars etc…just type Beltane into the search engine over to the right here on this page.  There is 3-4 years of info here!  I’m sure you’ll find some things you’ll like 🙂

For Beltane I recommend you spend some time outside, whatever else you do!  Take a walk, plant a tree or flowers, sit by a tree and listen to the breeze thru the young, tender leaves. Make up a May basket and surprise a friend or neighbor with I.  Visit a garden center or a botanical garden or a park. Plan a romantic night with your special someone..and remember! You are a special someone too…so do something for yourself!  One of my favorite things to do for Beltane is to collect some dew overnight…just set out a shallow bowl..and wash my face in it in the morning!  It is said to bring youth and beauty and Goddess knows at 55yo I could use the help 🙂  Try it….it really works!

The  fair maid who, the first of May
  Goes to the fields at break of day
  And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
  Will ever after handsome be.”
  –  Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme 

May you have the most blessed Beltane! May you feel Love, Joy and youthful exuberance!  Dance..Sing….Be Merry!!

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Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

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Blessed Ostara 2013……

Merry Afternoon!  It’s a very cold, breezy but Sunny day here in Ohio.  Winter is slow to leave despite the fact that Spring Equinox is tomorrow!  I believe we have another couple of weeks before we will start really feeling that Spring is arriving here. But the Sun is shining, the skies are blue and if you aren’t outside..you can imagine an early Spring day 🙂

Daffodils blooming in Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains!

Daffodils blooming in Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains!

 

We made it to and back from the Smoky Mountains.  We had a wonderful trip despite the fact that it was unseasonably cold there as well LOL!  All the locals were commenting about how cold it was and how abnormal it was for this time of year.  We did see some daffodils bloomed all over Cades Cove and some forsythia here and there but otherwise it was still Winter there too.  The mountains did my heart good, soothed my soul and helped me to breathe deeper and with great joy and satisfaction.  Of course we had fun with a bit of shopping at the Rock Shop and the Celtic Store 🙂  I was so sad to see about the fires in Pigeon Forge right after we left.  We passed that area more then once while we were there and it makes me so sad to think of the loss of cabins, trees,, and wildlife there.  So glad that no person was injured though.  The mountain will heal itself in time though and it could have been so much worse!

So tomorrow is Ostara and I just wanted to wish you all a Blessed day.  I hope whether Spring has arrived where you live or not…you find a way to have a spring in your step, and Spring in your heart by getting outside and noticing the changes that are happening with Mother Earth.  I know so many of my friends are talking about their gardens and seeds and getting ready..happily…to dig in the dirt and re-acquaint themselves with Mother Earth’s delicious dirt after it has been frozen all Winter long! I know I sure am!!

Many Blessings of Ostara to you and yours!

Autumn

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Filed under Flowers, Gardens, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Photography, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Spring, Winter

The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2013…….

daffodils in snowMerry Meet on this beautiful Spring-like day here in Ohio!  Spring has not arrived here yet…as a matter of fact we just had a huge snow storm dumping 4-9 inches, depending on where you live, of a very heavy wet snow!  (We got about 4-5 inches here).  But today it’s going to hit 50*..the snow is melting fast, the Sun is shining and it’s just beautiful outside.  Spring is not far at all from being here..both by date and by Nature 🙂

Ostara is on March 20th this year.  The first day of Spring..the Equinox.  Ostara for me always means new beginnings..a fresh start…and knowing that in no time I’ll be working away in my yard and gardens! This year I’m even more excited because I have a whole new yard to plan and design flower beds, garden beds, and landscaping for!  I’ve already been jotting down what bushes, trees, flowers I want to add to the yard.  I’ve been perusing garden catalogs and magazines looking for fresh ideas.

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We have a smaller yard here..much smaller then the 2.5 acres we had before.  But we have more sun and I can garden to my hearts content in a smaller, maxed out space that I can handle without killing myself LOL.  We will be extending our patio, putting up a privacy fence first.  Then beds will go in around the inside of the fence..possible a raised bed for veggies and herbs and of course pots everywhere.  We already have a cute garden shed and I’m putting in a clothesline that I’m sooo excited about having again.  There is nothing better then the scent and feel of bedsheets hung outside to dry!  Big plans…can’t wait to have the weather break to start executing the ideas!

I will get a chance to experience a bit of Spring early because I’m leaving for Tennessee Monday for 5 days where it is warmer and Spring is blooming there already!  It’ll be nice to shed the winter coats and soak up some warmth there.  I love the Smoky Mountains as anyone who knows me knows…and I am in spiritual need of seeing them and being in them!!  It’s been 2 years due to my health issues and my daughter’s and our move and long overdue.  *Sigh*  …it’s my 2nd home…feels so peaceful and calm when I’m there.  Pure Bliss!

Now back to Ostara…it’s a great time to think about planting seeds to grow indoors, depending on where you live.  Don’t forget to bless those seeds to grow strong and healthy and magickally before you plant them!  It’s a great time to do your Spring cleaning if you haven’t already. Clean your windows and window coverings, shake out rugs or have them cleaned, freshen up worn out throw pillows, fluff cushions, clean out your fridge, organize your pantry and on warm days..throw open your doors and windows and air out that stagnant, old air in your home that’s been brewing all Winter!  Put away your heavy quilts and throws and lighten up for Spring!  Put away your winter woolies and pull out your lighter clothes.   Dust out the cobwebs and dust bunnies. You’ll feel so much lighter when everything is clean and fresh!

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I came across a couple of recipes I thought would be lovely for Ostara and thought I’d share them with you ….I know you all LOVE recipes 🙂

 

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Lemon-Thyme Curd Cakes

1 cup plus 2 tbs unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 tbs minced fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

1/2 tsp coarse salt

*1 recipe of Lemon-Curd Whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350*

Spray 6 (2 x 2inch) round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray with flour.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3-4 mins.   Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, stirring to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, thyme, lemon zest and salt.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 batches, mixing until combined after each addition.  Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each prepared cake pan

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 16-22 mins. Cool in pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wrap cakes tightly with plastic wrap, Freeze until firm approximately 2 hours.  Cut each cake into 3rds horizontally.

Place the Lemon-Curd whipped topping in a pastry bad with a medium round tip.  Pipe the topping between the 3 layers of cake and stack them.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.

 

Lemon-Curd Whipped Topping

3 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

1 cup prepared lemon curd

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp coarse salt

In a medium bowl, gently fold together all ingredients. Transfer to an airtight container.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before using.

*This sounds like a bit of work but I think it’s so worth it!!  Sounds so refreshing and so pretty too!

*Recipe from Tea Time Magazine

 

Spring Mix Salad with White Balsamic-Apricot Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbs white balsamic vinegar

3 tbs apricot nectar

1/2 tsp minced shallot

1/4 tsp salt

1 (5 oz) bag of spring mix lettuces  (I say use the fresh stuff 🙂

3 tbs chopped dried apricots

3 tbs almond slices

1/4 cup sliced purple onion

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, apricot nectar, shallot and salt.  In a large salad bowl, place lettuces, top with apricots, almonds and onions.  Serve with vinaigrette.

*Serves 6

*Recipe from A Cottage Journal

 

Well I’m off to peruse my garden mags and books and catalogs some more 🙂  Hope you all  have a wonderful weekend and know that Spring..at least in the Northern Hemisphere..is on it’s way!!  Get ready!!!

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt
everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the
dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

 

Love and Light, Autumn

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Flowers, Gardens, Holiday, Nature, Ostara, Our Yard, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Spring