Category Archives: God

Happy 2013!!……..

We will open the book. Its pages are blank.

We are going to put words on them ourselves.

The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year my friends…ready or not 2013 is here! ūüôā I have been so busy moving and setting up my new home, healing from a broken leg and of course doing all the things we ALL do for the holidays..I also didn’t get to send you all a Happy Christmas! I hope that you DID have a good holiday, that you were surrounded in Joy and Love, and that Santa was good to you!

A good Christmas was had here..though it was hectic and very different because of the move. My extended family, my siblings and parents, always come to my house for the holidays. This year, they took pity on me and my situation and decided for each family to celebrate on their own. Whew! It took a big load of work off my shoulders! Christmas this year was just my husband, my daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren and we had a lovely time. A simple meal, exchanging gifts, a fire in the fireplace and fun! It was perfect and so much less stressful. It was a good thing!

New Year’s Eve also was quiet. Just the three of us here at home relaxing. We puttered in the house..hanging new lighting and pictures. Hubby and I did a bit of shopping for breakfast bar stools and had lunch out. We watched the “Rockin Eve” shows on tv and just relaxed. At midnight it was hugs all around and off to bed!!

I for one am ready for a New Year..new beginnings…new possibilities! 2012 was a rough year at our house. Not that there weren’t many Blessings but there were challenges too..big ones. Like Health! I’m not one for setting resolutions….too easy to break them LOL. But I do set some goals for the next year. Things like taking care of myself better..being healthier. Keeping Life simpler, taking walks in our new neighborhood, eating right and doing the things I love to do more and things I don’t like to do…well, do them less! Things I love to do like time with family, reading, crocheting, journaling, finally completing that herbal course I signed up for, as always connecting with Goddess and Earth and my Path, planning my new gardens in my new yard, making time to be with my friends, etc etc….lovely things to do and focus on! That is my goal! Enjoy more and stress less! And oh yes, our family can’t wait for our new baby boy to come into the world any day now! THAT is a true Blessing indeed! A 3rd grandchild! ‚̧

Do you set goals or resolutions? My advice..make it simple and just one or two things. It’s easier to stick to it…and easier to accomplish. I talked about this before here on my blog. I read a book years ago…Change One Thing. It was life changing for me. What is that ONE Thing you would change? Maybe it’s to get up earlier and have quiet time to yourself, maybe it’s to go to bed earlier for more sleep? How about taking that class you’ve always wanted to take…or to start a new craft project? Organize your desk or closet? De-junk the house? Walk more, eat less? Read that classic you’ve always wanted to read or get a new job cause you despise your current job. The possibilities are endless and it’s just one thing ūüôā Try it!! I’d love to hear from you…what you might want to do different and how it works out for you!

I hope 2013 brings good things to all of us. I truly believe we are on the cusp of a world-wide awakening. A call for a change in humanity..in how we all look at our world and each other. Compassion, Kindness, Caring, Love, Positivity, Help, Acceptance…these are what Life is really about. A higher awareness of what the Universe, God, Goddess, Buddha, Spirit..however you view the Divine…wants for us. We can be a Light to others.. leaders in the movement to a world that was meant to be! I plan on working on that most of all. Being a Light..Being Love.

Many Blessings to you and yours for a most wonderful 2013…Make it a good year!!

 

A happy New Year!

Grant that I May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

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Love and Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Family, God, Goddess, Holiday, My Writing, New Year, Quote, Seasons, 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 ūüôā

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 Summer Solstice 2012……

 

Merry Meet my friends.¬† It’s here..the Summer Solstice.¬†¬† I got up early to greet the Sun God as He rose on this, the longest day of the year.¬† I welcomed him with great joy and a grateful heart and was reminded that no matter what we go thru….The Sun and the Moon always Rise…and Set..and keep the Wheel and Mother Earth turning on and on.¬†¬† I wish you all a very Happy Solstice..whichever one you celebrate today…Winter or Summer….May you and yours have a Blessed one!

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Love and Light, Autumn

PS…this picture was taken from my own front porch this morning ūüôā

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Filed under God, Holiday, Litha/Summer Solstice, Mother Earth, Nature, Photography, Quote, Summer, Sunrise/Sunset

Summer Solstice Recipes 2012…..

Hello everyone!¬† Hope this posting finds you all either enjoying heading towards Summer or heading towards Winter!¬† ūüôā¬† Here in Ohio we are obviously heading for Summer but it is always so much fun to see my “southern hemisphere” friends talking about cold, blustery winter days by the fire.¬† It is a reminder to me always about the turning of the Wheel and Mother Earth.

We have had both a very HOT June and a very cool June so far.¬† I have enjoyed the cooler days as those who know me or read my blog know I’m not big on hot weather.¬† But I do love Summer.¬†¬†Though I’m still recovering from my illness, I have done some planting of herbs and flowers, watering, a bit of weeding and taking as much time with my feet on Mother Earth as possible.¬† The nights have been amazing!¬† We had a long spell of no rain..so the skies have been full of stars and a beautiful waxing, Full and now waning Moon.¬† She has been low in the sky, orange, then bright and huge!¬† I have basked in her healing energy, sent out healing and protection to others, and tried to come to terms with things that have happened in my life in recent weeks.¬†¬†With the Goddess’s help..I have done just that.¬†¬†I am grateful for all the good things in my life, the people who I love and who love me back, and to follow a Path that helps me to ground and keep myself positive and joyful.

We had a good, long rain today..much needed!¬† Our grass, flowers, herbs and critters that share our spaces with us enjoyed it very much.¬† I watched robins bathing in our koi ponds, the frogs are croaking happily, birds singing, and chipmunks scurrying this evening.¬† As I type this, the Sun has set into twilight and I’m waiting for the lightning bugs to put on their magickal show.¬† It is a bit sticky and humid tonight but I’ll be on the porch anyway in a bit to watch them ūüôā

Sooo…for me and my family, Summer is about family get togethers, good food, being outside, and relaxing and playing! ¬† Cooking is all about cold sides with hot grilled goodies.¬† I’ve been perusing cookbooks, cooking magazines and my own recipe box, looking for a few more recipes to celebrate the Solstice. I even pulled out my grandma’s recipe box this week.¬† I love seeing her old, yellowed, handwritten recipe cards.¬† It makes me feel close to her again as I learned so much at her side about cooking and gardening.¬† So I’ve put together a few recipes that speak Summer to me that I thought you would enjoy too.¬† Remember to take advantage of farmer’s markets, produce stands,¬† your local grocer, and your own garden¬†for fresh veggies, fruits and herbs¬†to make everything just a little bit better ūüôā

 

 

Watermelon Fruit Salad

1/4 cup Agave nectar

1/4 cup water

4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup cubed pineapple

1 cup diced kiwi

1 cup mango

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 lime, juiced

Garnish:  fresh mint

In a large bowl, combine agave nectar and 1/4 cup water. Blend well.  Add all the rest of the ingredients.  Toss gently.  Refrigerate.

 

 

Pineapple-Honey Chicken Kabobs

*this is a favorite recipe of mine I made up years ago after having them at Fridays restaurant..who doesn’t serve them anymore..so light and good!¬† Now I have no measurements..sorry..I just throw these together.

Kabob sticks¬† …2-3 for each person if adults

chicken breast cut into 2 inch pieces

pineapple cut into 2 inch pieces

green and/or red peppers cut into pieces

skewer the chicken, pineapple and peppers onto the sticks.

Marinate in a mixture of pineapple juice, honey and soy sauce.¬† Sorry, no measurements and it doesn’t matter. It will turn out great!¬† You want enough juice to cover the kabobs…put in about 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup soy ..that might do it ūüôā¬† Place the kabobs in a dish big enough to hold the kabobs covered in the marinade.¬† Let marinade about 4 hours or¬†more.

Grill the kabobs on med. heat until chicken is well cooked.¬† Serve with honey as a dip or peanut sauce which is my favorite dip for these yummy kabobs!¬† Really good with a cole slaw and oven fried potatoes!¬†Or with this salad recipe below….

 

 

Bok Choy Salad 

1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped

1 large Bok Choy, ends cut off, chopped

2 pkgs crumbled ramen noodles

Mix together in a large salad bowl.

In a pan, brown…. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 TB butter

Add to salad greens and noodles.

Top with 2 cans of drained mandarin oranges

Dressing:

1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 TB soy sauce

Toss dressing in salad just before serving!

*This would also be good with fresh sliced strawberries!

 

 

 

Red Potato Salad

3 pounds red new potatoes

4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 Tb minced red onion

1/3 cup white vinegar

3 Tb sweet pickle relish

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 cup canola oil

In a large saucepan, place potatoes.¬† Cover with water 2 inches above potatoes.¬† Bring to a boil; cook until tender, 15-20 mins.¬† Drain and let potatoescool.¬† (peel if you’d like).¬† Coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, celery, parsley, and onion.  In a small bowl, combine vinegar, pickle relish, salt and pepper; slowly whisk in oil.  Drizzle over potato mixture; toss well.  Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

 

 

Chocolate Chess Pie

*I happen to think chocolate is good all year round :))

1/2 (14.1 oz) pkg refrigerated piecrust

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 (5oz) can evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

3 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whipped cream

Preheat oven to 375*.  Unroll piecrust, and fit into a shallow 9-inch pie plate; flute edges as desired.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and eggs; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.  Add milk, butter, cocoa, and vanilla, beating until smooth.  Pour into prepared pie pan.

Bake until a knife inserted near the edge comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Top with whipped cream.

 

 

Slush

*This recipe comes from my hubby’s Aunt Betty.¬† It is a delicious cold grown up slushy :)) I make this up in a big bowl and keep it in the freezer all summer long.¬† So good on the porch on hot nights!

2 6-oz cans frozen orange juice, thawed

2 6-oz cans frozen lemonade, thawed

9 cups water

3 cups rum, gin or vodka ..not all 3..just 3 cups of one of them LOL

1 Tb instant tea

1 3/4 cups sugar

Mix all ingredients and freeze.

To serve, fill glass half full with slush.  Add a clear soda like 7-up, Sprite or Sierra Mist.

 

Summer is a time for fresh corn on the cob with herbed butter, sliced tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and italian dressing, grilled peaches and pineapple on vanilla ice cream, juicy burgers and sticky baked beans.  Potato and pasta salads, strawberry shortcakes, homemade ice creams, fresh watermelon or canteloupes and lots of water, lemonade and iced tea!  Oh and did I mention my favorite?  BLT sandwiches with fresh, home grown lettuce and ripe, juicy tomatoes and crusty bread..yummy!!!

Make Summer fun..try new recipes…use your herbs to brighten up the taste of your old stand-by recipes.¬†Make fresh juice popsicles for the kids or make ice cream with the old fashioned crank ice cream makers.¬† I have so many wonderful memories of my family doing that. ¬†Have a picnic, a cook-out or a romantic, under-the-Moon dinner outdoors.¬† Put candles in mason jars,¬† cut flowers from your garden and place them in a vase on the table, play some Jimmy Buffet or ocean sounds music and just enjoy the view of a Summer night sky.¬†¬† Summer is just 3 short months..enjoy every moment of it!¬† My favorite thing to do to honor the Sun God, is to be up as the Sun rises and¬†have a glass of fresh juice or a cup of coffee and just be grateful for the¬†turning of the wheel, the God and Goddess, and all the blessings in my Life.¬†¬†¬†Blessed Summer Solstice to you all.

Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…. Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;

 and the landscape Lay as if new; created in all the freshness of childhood.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*To look for more recipes from the last 2 years of blog posts or any other info for the Solstice, just do a word search on the gadget to the right.¬† Type in Litha, or Summer Solstice or MidSummer and see what shows up ūüôā

*Sources..all pics are from the internet…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Family, Gardens, God, Goddess, Litha/Summer Solstice, Quote, Seasons, Summer, Sunrise/Sunset

Bloom where you grow……..

Merry Meet my friends.¬† Blessed Full Moon to you all!¬† It is completely overcast here tonight…expecting a bit of snow too!¬† Despite the overcast night I can feel the pull of the Moon and will spend some time..snow or no…with Her ūüôā¬† I’ve been under the weather ..again…but this time with a stomach virus I caught from my little granddaughter.¬† She started pre-school about a month ago and already has gotten sick and passed it on to her loved ones LOL.¬† It seems to be lasting 3-5 days , today is the end of my 2nd day, so I expect to feel much better tomorrow.¬† Luckily, last night, I spent time outside, clearing out the sickies and calling on some healing for my family..when I could see Her!

Saturday, as I was driving home from my daughter’s house, I passed a church up the road.¬† The sign out front caught my eye.¬† It said ” You must know how to flower where God has sown you.”¬† For some reason…it stuck with me.¬† Of course being a Witch and loving the Goddess..I immediately turned God to Goddess in my mind, but the meaning stands no matter what Deity or path you follow.¬† Bloom where you grow…another way of putting it.¬† But the wording on this one meant more to me.¬† You must KNOW how to flower…..¬† hummmm??

Now I’m a Taurus…very earthy, well grounded, steady and common sense.¬†I’m not one who has my head in the clouds and¬†follows pipe dreams.¬†¬† I understand on a¬†simple level what the sign is saying of course.¬† Make the most of what you have, your circumstances, your day..your life.¬†Standing around complaining, bemoaning, hating your life is going to get you nowhere….except miserable.¬† I think all of us “know” that…but not all of us know how to do it.¬† I always wonder what gives some people a better coping mechanism, more “gumption”, more positive energy then others to deal with what Life sends their way.¬† You all know what I’m talking about.¬† You will see someone who has everything good in life….and yet they are the most unhappy, angry, mean¬†people in the world.¬† And you’ll see somebody who hasn’t got a “pot to piss in” so to speak …and they are the most joyful, exuberant, happy people in the world.¬† Why is that?

Now I don’t believe in the Christian concept that God sets your Life in stone… and all things happen for a reason..and God doesn’t give you more then you can handle etc.¬† I believe that we are given Freewill…that no matter what circumstances we are born to or fall into….we CAN change them if we need to.¬† But you have to WANT to.¬† It won’t just happen if you don’t make it so.¬† Now obviously, there are things that can’t be changed.¬† I’ll use myself as an example.¬† My Mother is one of the most controlling, belittling, critical, mean and unhappy people I know.¬†My childhood was a scary place.¬† I had no control as a child to change that…obviously.¬† All I could do was to try to be the best I could be ..despite her.¬† My best moments in my childhood were when I was away from her.¬† So thats what I did.¬† I stayed away as much as possible.¬† I got involved in everything!¬† From paper routes and baby sitting, to school groups and functions.¬† I spent weekends at girlfriends houses, went to my grandmothers as much as possible, holed up in my room with books when I could. I¬†was rarely home and was most active in School and extra-curricular activites.¬†¬† It worked.¬† Somehow I grew up¬†NOT ¬†believing that I was the¬†all the things¬†my Mother said I was.¬† My sense of Self remained basically intact.¬† I Chose not to believe what she was teaching me…Thank Goddess.¬†

 

Somehow, I inherently “KNEW” how to flower where I was sown.¬† Somehow, I knew what I needed to do to care for myself..to nurture myself…to Bloom despite¬†what I had to deal with. ¬†I believe that it was inside of me.¬† It’s there in all of us.¬†We just have to listen. ¬†¬†As a Pagan Witch, I truly believe this.¬† The Goddess/God is with us always.¬† They want only the best for us.¬† Everything we need to “deal” with what we are handed, ¬†is there..if we listen for it.¬† Now I can hear some of you saying…but I have this terrible illness, or I’m flat broke, or I’m alone….how can I “flower” with all that going on?¬† Well…that is hard and terrible and sad…but how you handle it is still up to you.¬†You can be miserable and just let it happen to you…or you can do something to change it.¬† Often, it’s just telling yourself that “I Can Do This”.¬†”¬†You ¬†Can” get thru Cancer with¬† a positive attitude¬†..that you¬†will live every day given you with Joy and bring¬†joy to all¬†those who love you.¬†¬†“You ¬†Can” ¬†learn to live with less..find ways to be happy that doesn’t cost a lot of money.¬† Live simply, cut the excesses, or get another job doing something you Love!.¬† If you feel lonely or alone…well that is the easiest one to fix if you ask me.¬† There are people at every turn…many of them looking for a friend.¬† Remember..what you put out comes back.¬† Open yourself up..feel yourself full of love for others..and it will be returned in Full…you’ll see.¬†

Now I am no Pollyanna…I know that life is tough…I’m living it too.¬† But “knowing” how to flower…in any situation…is inside of you.¬† You can do it if you want to.¬† But you have to want to.¬† Bloom where you grow…or change your circumstances…either way..You’ll have a better life..a happier life.¬† You know, Pagans believe in re-incarnation.¬† I believe that we come back to Earth to learn a lesson in each life we live.¬† Perhaps, deep inside….the Goddess/God is trying to remind you what you’re here to learn.¬† Your difficult circumstances may be a lesson…and you can learn the lesson well …by dealing with it well.¬† That’s my thoughts on it anyway ūüôā I hope you all have a Life that is a Garden..full of lovely blooms.¬† If not…how about growing some of your own.¬† ūüôā¬†

 

 

I wish you all a Beautiful Full moon night….May your Life be all you want it to be.¬† Make it so!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

 

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Filed under Discussion, Family, Full Moons, Garden, God, Goddess, My Writing

Blessed Imbolc 2012……….

Merry Meet again friends.¬† Hope all is well with all of you!¬† Whew….I don’t know about you but I’m tired and energized at the same time!¬† I have spent a couple weeks really deep cleaning my house..”Spring” cleaning as some say….to get my home ready for Imbolc.¬† I have cleaned high and low, ceilings to floor, linens and curtains washed, ceiling fans cleaned, cobwebs and dust bunnies swept away.¬† Closets, drawers, and cupboards are organized and de-cluttered.¬† Furniture swept and cushions flipped and fluffed. Bathrooms scrubbed, floors swept and mopped……¬† Everything has been cleaned!¬† My house looks great…the energy feels great and I’m ready for Imbolc.¬† That is why I’m both tired and energized.¬† I’m tired from the work….but so energized in what I’ve accomplished and how great my house feels!

Now…there is still a couple things that need done…and they will get done..just not by Thursday. LOL. ¬† Carpets are going to be cleaned but not til March or so..after our chance of snow is gone.¬† My windows need cleaned ..the high ones we don’t do ourselves..and again, that will be done in the Spring.¬† Now…tomorrow, I will be smudging the house in every corner.¬† Placing my protection sigils all around the house, fresh salt in all the corners etc.¬†The weather is going to be very Spring-like..near 60*!¬† I’m going to take advantage of that.¬† Opening windows to¬†let that fresh air come in and the stale¬†air out.¬† Really, we have¬†had an amazingly mild Winter this year.¬† So many warm days and very little snow.¬†¬† I¬†am still hoping for a good snow!¬† The kind you get snowed in, fire going,¬†jammies on and hot drink in hand,¬†can’t go anywhere snow.¬† Now¬†that all my housework is done, I could just relax and read and work on my BOS and things I have a hard time finding¬†time for ūüôā¬† But the mild Winter has been very nice as well.¬† As a matter of fact, I plan on going for a walk at our local nature preserve and enjoying that warm weather! There is a rescue raptor center there..and I love to go and visit the owls that reside there permanently.¬† I adore Owls and need a fix!

¬†I got my altar done today…thought you would like to see the pictures.

I went with pretty much a red and white theme, with a bit of gold and green thrown in.¬† The red and white is traditional colors for the Goddess Brighid.¬† This year, I’m using her colors to honor her.¬†The green, shown in the live greens from my yard, and the green celtic knots on the votive holders..represent both her mantle of green, the seasonal greens that will be burned in a fire on Imbolc, and of course the green celtic knots represent the fact that she is Celtic.¬†I chose¬†¬†a silver candle for the Goddess and a gold one for the God.

In the greens I put some red feathery stalks and will add red and white fresh flowers by thursday.¬† I have all my usual altar reps for the elements, my tools etc.¬† Ok…the Goddess statue is my new gorgeous Hecate statue.¬† I do not have a Brighid statue so Hecate is standing in for her.¬† Brighid is a triple Goddess as is Hecate the crone aspect of a triple Goddess.¬† They both mean so much to me that I don’t think Brighid will mind ūüôā¬† Isn’t she gorgeous? I can’t stop looking at her!¬† My goddess is standing on a favorite book of poetry..a very old, fragile book of Tennyson poems..as Brighid was the Goddess of poets.¬† There is a bit of silver in my pendants as well to represent her¬†smithcrafting. ¬† Blessing oil for my re-dedication, some ribbons I’ll use for cord magick, my 7 candles…red and white..in a circle for another ritual I’ll do. ¬† Crystals, more candles, and my cakes and ale will round it out.¬† I really like it! It feels good to me ūüôā¬†

No matter how much or how little you do to get ready for Imbolc, do something to recognize the day.¬† If all you do is¬†light a candle, take a walk, open a window, have a quiet meal with your family..whatever you please¬†is just fine.¬† But honor the day.¬† So many people are not overly fond of Winter.¬† Imbolc, lets us know that Spring is coming and it will be here before we know it!¬† It’s a promise from the Goddess, Mother Earth, the Sun¬†God.¬†¬†Enjoy the Sabbat…rest and relax for the rest of the Winter and I wish you all a Blessed Imbolc to you and your loved ones.¬† May¬†the Goddess¬†Brighid give you Peace, Love and Joy!¬†

Blessings and Light, Autumn 

 

 

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Filed under Altars, Cleaning & Organizing, God, Goddess, Imbolc, Photography, Spring, Winter

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays!……..

Merry Meet friends!¬† I am in the middle of enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve at home.¬†My¬†hubby Jim,¬†daughter Sara, and brother Chris enjoyed a less busy day today.¬† Football,¬†holiday movies, an all day fire in the fireplace.¬† My sister came by for a while.¬† Tonight we enjoyed¬†a variety of appetizers for a simple dinner.¬† It is cold¬†outside, an ink black starry sky as it is the New Moon, ¬†and it’s been just awonderful day¬†in every way.¬† Tomorrow, it will¬†still be¬†just us…. until the evening when all the rest of the family will be here for¬†Christmas dinner.¬† During the day there will be music playing, fire going, cooking, and fine tuning the house for company.¬†¬†Our gift giving day isn’t until monday morning for my family so we still¬†have to wait for that (to accomodate my daughter Kate’s family and all the functions they are expected¬†at…we pick a different day altogether!)¬† I love that things are under control and I can really enjoy these days and evenings.¬† My cup runneth over with peace and joy this night ūüôā¬†

As a simple way to¬†give all of YOU a¬†gift…I’m going to repost my favorite post I’ve done for Christmas in the past.¬† It still pertains to today very much!¬† Merry Christmas to you all dear friends!¬† and to your loved ones!!¬†

 

 

Today I watched ‚ÄúA Christmas Carol‚Ä̂Ķmy all time favorite book and movie‚Ķall versions..ever! Today happened to be the musical version..which I happen to think is excellent. Has Kelsey Grammar as Scrooge and many¬†wonderful British and American stars.¬† ¬†My favorite version..for the record..is probably George C. Scott‚Ķhe was a most excellent Scrooge! Or¬†maybe Patrick Stewart…or maybe even the Muppets and Michael Caine ūüôā¬† I love all the versions..even the bad ones…because I adore the story so much!!

¬†‚ÄúI will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!‚ÄĚ

……..Scrooge…Charles Dickens

¬†I am sure many of you will recognize this quote. I am a huge lover of Charles Dickens and I think he writes beautifully and from the heart and his words are still ringing true all these years later. He was indeed teaching a lesson in this Novella. What is the lesson? I would imagine most people would say the same thing‚Ķ‚ÄĚgoodwill towards men‚ÄĚ. I see it as more than that.

My understanding is that Dickens was appalled at the poverty he saw around him, and that the middle and upper class were doing nothing to help them at all. His Scrooge talks about the work houses and the programs set up by the government to aid the impoverished‚Ķbut it was nowhere near enough. He wrote this book to open the eyes of those who were not ‚Äúseeing‚ÄĚ what needed to be done. For people to open their hearts and their wallets to help the less fortunate and it would make them happier and more blessed in their own life.

As a pagan witch, I believe that God/Goddess, the Universe, the Creator, whatever you believe in‚Ķ put us here to learn lessons..with the ultimate goal being LOVE. Our goal in life should be to discover that..LOVE. And to love means to care for our ‚Äúfellow man‚ÄĚ. To me, ‚Äúgoodwill towards Men‚ÄĚ means just that. We should love our family and friends as I‚Äôm sure we do. But we should also love those we don‚Äôt know, help those who need it, love and care for Mother Earth and the creatures who inhabit Her‚Ķ No judgement, no greed, no setting standards for others in our own minds, equality for all, acceptance of all religions, courtesy, kindness‚Ķ.Love.

To me, Dickens hit the nail on the head so to speak‚Ķhe saw a vision of how the world should be. More of us could learn from Scrooge‚Äôs Christmas Eve night. Scrooge was not an evil man..he was afraid. His father did time in debtors prison..causing him to have to slave in a work house at 11 years old. He never wanted to do that again..but he lost track of his self, his soul..so focused was he on never being poor.¬† Hoarding his money, working long hours, never enjoying the money he had; even for himself. He didn‚Äôt have a relationship with anyone except his business partner, Marley. He lived a very ‚Äúpoor‚ÄĚ life in every way‚Ķbecause of his fear. Until he learned what dying a lonely old man would truly be like..did he become a truly rich man.

 There are many positive wonderful characters in this book..I love so many of them.  Old Fizziwig, who gave a huge party, sparing no expense, to show his gratitude to his employees. There is the clerk, Bob Cratchit, so lowly in Scrooge’s eyes, but greatly loved by his large poverty stricken family, especially Tiny Tim. Then there is Fred, Scrooge’s endearing nephew. He was the epitome of a good man who’s life was abundant in family, friends, love , joy, and blessings. He showed love at every turn. All he wanted from Uncle Scrooge was for him to come to Christmas Day dinner. He came every year and requested it every year. He never gave up on him. and when Scrooge had his life altered…he welcomed him with open arms..holding no grudge for all the years of rejection. Though he was not a rich man…he was rich in every other way. I don’t know about you..but I want to be like Fred….I want to be rich in friends. I want to be rich in experiences. I want to be rich in appreciation for the blessings that come to my life. At the end of my days, I want to know that there will be people who will mourn my passing for all the right reasons..that I LOVED! This is the lesson that Scrooge learned..luckily while he could have some time to truly appreciate it.

The version I talked about above..the musical…has a song in it that is the main theme song thruout the movie.¬† I have looked up the lyrics because I love the song so much..it brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it.

 

God Bless Us Everyone

 

Let the Stars in the sky

remind of us Man’s compassion.

Let us love til we die

and God Bless us everyone.

In your heart there’s a light

As bright as a Star in heaven

Let it shine thru the night and

God Bless Us Everyone.

Till each child is fed

Till all men are free

Till the world becomes a family…….

Star by Star in the sky

and kindness by human kindness.

Let me love til I die and…

God Bless us everyone! 

 

Look into your own Past, Present, and even into your Future. Have you done well by others? Can you do better? I think I can ALWAYS do better.  Something to strive for everyday.   A Christmas Carol will always mean a lot to me…and I will try to keep Christmas in my heart all year long. and as Tiny Tim says……God or Goddess!  Bless Us Every One!!

 

 Blessed Be and Merry Christmas!   Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Discussion, Family, God, Goddess, Holiday, Movies, Music, My Writing, New Moons, Poem, Seasons, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Season of Yule 2011 Begins…….

Merry Meet friends!¬† I would imagine many of you..like me..are very busy this weekend.¬† Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I’m in the midst of planning the meal, cleaning house,¬† grocery shopping, cooking and baking….all while having the first¬†flu bug I’ve had in 5 years!¬†But I love this time of year so I’m plugging along¬† ūüôā¬†Thanksgiving is just a simple traditional meal with my family and extended family.¬† Easy and laid back and I¬†give Thanks for the blessings in my life.¬† This year, it also happens to be my granddaugther, Lily’s¬†3rd birthday, so we’ll be celebrating that as well!¬† Happy Birthday Lily darlin!!

 

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,

for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:

¬†it is the time for home.”

 ~Edith Sitwell

¬†I love Winter and after¬†a beautiful Autumn, I’m ready¬†for it¬†to be¬†here. ¬†I love¬†everything about this time of year.¬† The hustle and bustle of busy stores and restaurants.¬†¬†The music piped in the stores and thru the radio and blaring in my home.¬† I love the first snowfall and anticipate it coming every year.¬†¬†Sweaters, coats, scarves and¬†mitten…so colorful and cheerful to see.¬†¬†The shops all decked¬†out¬†in lights and greens and trees! It’s cooking and baking goodies to give as gifts and to stock the cookie jar. ¬† Making plans with family and friends for Yule parties or¬† lunches out or seeing a movie together. ¬†¬†Shopping for gifts I know my loved ones want or need and doing my best to make it a beautiful time of year for those I love the most.¬†I feel alot of joy this time of year!

The Winter Solstice though, to me, ¬†is a whole different thing.¬†¬†Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year,¬† is about¬†quiet, peace, introspection.¬† It’s time with family.¬† It’s a nice dinner with¬†lots of¬†candlelight throughout the house.¬†¬†It’s about lighting the¬†Yule log and watching it burn.¬†¬†I spend time¬†contemplating the last year and what I’d like to change in my life in the next year.¬†It’s spiced wine under the Moon and if I’m lucky it’s softly snowing.¬†It’s spending time at my altar in solitude. ¬†My altar will be bright with candlelight and greens and I’ll welcome the coming of the Sun God because though there is still a long winter ahead of us, we know the warmth of the Sun will return.¬†¬†Yule, the Winter Solstice….is pure magick!

Picture this….The first snows have fallen and cover the earth. The nights are dark, the air is cold and sharp, trees are bare, smoke is pouring out of chimneys, the windows in our homes spill light from our warm, candlelit rooms¬†onto the cold, snowy ground outside.¬†¬†Our ¬†homes are decorated with twinkling lights and fragrant greens and candles everywhere. A tree covered in glass globes and beloved ornaments stands in the corner. Perhaps cider or wine is warming on the stove. You may be sitting in your easy chair, soft wooly socks on your feet, a blanket thrown over you, a fire burning in your fireplace, a good book on your lap. soft music playing or¬†a favorite christmas movie playing.¬†It’s the Winter Solstice Night.¬†*sigh*¬† ūüôā

Yule Correspondences

*Element– Earth

*Threshold– Dawn

*SymbolismРRebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, TheWinter Solstice, introspection,  death of the Holly King (Winter), reign of the Oak King (summer), night of the greatest lunar imbalance, death & rebirth of the Sun God, shortest day of the year.

*Symbols/Tools/Decorations– Yule log, evergreen boughs and wreaths, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, bayberry candles, lights, gifts, candles, clove studded fruit, wassail, Christmas cactus.

*Herbs– Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense, holly, laurel ,mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, cedar, moss, bay, ginger, juniper, myrrh, pinecones, rosemary, chamomile, cinnamon.

*Incense/Oils– Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh, nutmeg, wintergreen, hollyberry

*Colors– Red, green, gold, white, silver,

*Stones/CrystalsРRubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds, cat’s eye

*Customs/Activities– Caroling, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging presents, kissing under the mistletoe, feasting, wassailing, burning candles, ringing bells, honoring Father Yule, family and friend bonding, generosity.

*Foods– Nuts, apples, caraway cakes soaked with cider, pears, ginger tea, roasted turkey, fruitcake, cookies, eggnog, mulled wine, pork dishes.

*Gods– Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, the Oak King, The Green Man, Jesus,

*Goddesses– Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaia, Diana, The Great Mother, Mary

*Spellworking/Rituals– Peace, harmony, love, happiness, personal renewal, meditation, honoring family and friends, Festival of light.

The above correspondences will be¬†a help to you for decorating your home,¬†setting up your altar, and for ideas on how to celebrate Yule.¬† I was raised¬†celebrating Christmas and raised my children the same way…though it was secular..not religious for us.¬† It was about Santa, presents, family fun….¬†christmas cards, movies, music.¬†It was secrets, and wrapping, and sneaking peeks, The Night Before Christmas, Rudolf and Frosty. It was shopping, and caroling (yes, caroling), cookie baking,¬†laying under the¬†lit tree in the dark, looking at the beauty of the lights and shiny ornaments.¬† It was time with grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles.¬† ¬†To this day we celebrate¬†Christmas¬†with our extended family.¬† But celebrating Yule, in this house,¬†has enriched our lives with so much more. It is truly a beautiful, magickal time and I really look forward to it.¬†¬†So as you are curled up in your jammies in your favorite chair, perhaps internet shopping or making lists or watching a holiday movie‚Ķ.start thinking about how you can honor this Sabbat..in a different way then the typical ‚ÄúChristmas‚ÄĚ day you may have celebrated as a child. If you have always celebrated Yule..I truly envy you for being raised in such a wonderful magickal way! I wish I had been.

My family likes to do a one! gift exchange that night…something witchy for our cupboard…to make the night even more fun!¬† Smudge sticks, incense, crystal or stones, essential oils, dried herbs and even a piece of jewelry are favorites to give and receive ūüôā¬† We also like to think of the birds and critters who are holing up for Winter…put out nuts, fruits, birdseed…keep a water supply for them.¬† We love to do up an outdoor tree with bird seed “ornaments” and cereal “garlands” and watch all the activity it brings ūüôā¬†We make a Yule log centerpiece for our altars.¬† A piece of white birch, 3 holes drilled to hold a red, green and gold candle, then decorated with holly, greens, star tinsil, berries, ribbon..whatever you like.¬† Mine is always on my altar throughout the Season.¬†Other¬†ways to celebrate…..¬†Burn bayberry candles for prosperity, or write wishes on bay leaves and throw them into the fire. Bake cookies or bread using cinnamon, a traditional spice representing the Sun. Make a wreath to symbolize the Wheel of the Year, and decorate it with pinecones to represent the God and fruit to represent the Goddess. Spray pinecones with “snow” or glitter, attach a red or green or gold ribbon and hang it on your tree.¬† Don’t forget the mistletoe, holly and ivy…traditional greens for the Solstice.¬† Lots and lots of candles are a must!¬† Burn your dried herbs from your garden in your fireplace to scent the room.¬† Anyway you can bring nature into¬†your home..do it ūüôā¬†

This is a Winter Sunrise from my porch last Winter!

There is one other thing I love to do for the solstice, on the morning after the longest night of the year, I like to either stay up or get up and watch the sunrise and toast the returning Sun King with spiced cider or a good hot cup of coffee! Welcome Him back and enjoy the feel of the cold morning Air! 

I’ll be back soon with recipes, altar pics and any thoughts I feel like writing about ūüôā¬† During this busy time, take the time to BREATHE!¬† Don’t get overwhelmed so much that you don’t enjoy this holiday season yourself.¬† Take care of yourself first so you can care for your loved ones.¬† Enlist help when needed and always remember to connect with Mother Earth..She will give you energy renewed everytime.¬†Oh and I’ll be back in a few days with a Thanksgiving greeting too!¬†

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources- My BOS, one pic is mine..the rest from the internet, my words ūüôā

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Filed under Correspondence, Family, God, Goddess, Granddaughter, Holiday, Mother Earth, Photography, Seasons, Sunrise/Sunset, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

My Samhain Altar and Ritual 2011…….

Merry Meet my friends!¬† Wow, just 3 nights until Samhain!¬† This month has gone¬†by way too fast for me.¬† I love October so much, my favorite month, and I have kept myself busy enjoying every minute of every day.¬† We have had a few rainy days so colorful leaves are rapidly falling off the trees.¬† We’ve had some frosty mornings so the last of the summer flowers and herbs have gone away til next Spring.¬† My mums are fully bloomed and gorgeous.¬† The bird feeders are more active, squirrels and chipmunks and other furry creatures are scurrying to gather quicker.¬† Some of my friends have already experienced snow where they live!¬†

I can’t wait to see my grandkids in their costumes on Samhain evening.¬† We’ll be having dinner at my daughter’s house¬†and hubby and I, will¬†pass out candy while they take my grandkids out to collect some candy ūüôā¬† Chili, cornbread and cherry crisp will be on the menu…quick and easy for such a busy day.¬† Then I’ll be home to do my ritual I have written here, and some time outside by the bonfire in my circle in the woods.¬† I’ve decided to do my Dumb Supper on Sunday evening as Samhain night will be so busy.¬† I hope to post some pics of the table set for it¬†on my wordless wednesday blog post¬†next week.¬† I think the table will look fantastic and I’m quite sure my grandmother will come to visit ūüôā

I have spent some time the last couple of nights writing this ritual.¬† Please remember, this is just what I’m going to ¬†do.¬† It may not be¬†at all¬†what¬†YOU are thinking of doing or saying or using.¬† That’s just fine…make it yours and by all means, do it your way.¬† Your magick is your own after all!

First, here are some pictures of my Samhain altar.¬† It is to honor my ancestors and I think it’s one of my favorite altars I’ve done.¬† I think the pics speak for themselves of what I used and why.

Samhain Ritual to Honor Your Ancestors

By Autumn Earthsong

 Have your altar decorated however you like.  You can get some ideas from the pictures on my altar above.  A couple things you must have….. a God and Goddess candle and pictures or keepsakes from your ancestors and loved ones. I also highly recommend you have LOTS of candles on your altar…I set several votives to lighten my altar up bright!

Cast your circle in whatever way you do.  Ground and Center when you are ready.  If you are using elemental representatives, light the fire candle and the incense.   Light the Goddess candle and say ….

¬†“Dark Mother, Goddess of Death and Rebirth, Ruler of the night, ¬†assist me in my magickal¬†rite. ¬†Lift the Veil between the worlds, as this time-out-of-time begins and as the barrier thins.¬† I ask for your blessing and guidance as I commune with my ancestors this Samhain night.”

Light the God candle and say…..

¬†“Dark Father, aged Consort of the Crone, Lord of the Underworld, ¬†I ask for your blessing and favor on this magickal¬†night, during this time-out-of-time, and during this rite. ¬†Keep safe my ancestors as they come to me, from the other side of the Veil, for me to hear and see.”¬†

 Call the elements by saying what you usually do or something like this:

Earth and Air; Fire and Water
Guard and guide your loving daughter
I call on you this Samhain night,
Assist me in my sacred rite.  Sit quiet for awhile and wait for your ancestors to come..don’t forget
 your pets who have passed too….
 Quiet your mind and body and you will know when they are with you.
 When you know they are, say something like this:

    

“On this Samhain night the Veil has thinned


and the Spirits of my loved ones are here once again.

For my ancestors and loved ones who have gone on before me

I remember you with great love, in my heart you’ll always be.

Guide me and protect me, until one day I’m with you

I honor you every day, in everything I do.”

Blessed be! Blessed be!

¬†Now would be the time to do some divination with your tarot cards or runes, or do some scrying and see if any Spirits have anything to show you.¬† Enjoy some apple cider or wine and a ‚Äúcake‚ÄĚ.¬† When you are ready start to take down your circle by thanking those who came to you:

¬†“Dearest Ancestors thank you for joining me this night. I will never forget what you mean to me as you retreat once more beyond the Veil. For now, Merry Part.”¬†

 Release the elements as you usually do.
 Say Thank you and good-bye to the Goddess and God however you like.
 Snuff out candles, take down your circle, and make an offering to Mother Earth, outside, 
by leaving a bit of cake and wine.  Spend some time by a fire and relax.  You may feel
 a bit tired after having the Spirits of your ancestors with you on the glorious Samhain night!
 Samhain night, the Witch's New Year! Celebrate it! I found this poem a year or so ago,
 and have since connected with the author on facebook. I'd like to post it here for
 you all to enjoy! It makes me thrill to my witchiness :) I wish all of you a very Blessed Samhain!  

 

The wheel has turned, the wheel of light

 stoke the fire and make it bright

Samhain call, Samhain come

 feel the rhythm , hear the drum

The veil it thins, the veil it shrouds

 the spirits rise upon darkened cloud

The time of orange , time of black

 time to move forward and not look back

Pumpkin lit , with candle burn

 away dark spirits this guardian turns

Night of the ancients, night of the olds

 remembered in stories now to be told

The Crone doth rise upon this night

 look into the shadows without a fright

Rituals and rites across the lands

 empowers the soul where they stand

 Trick or treat, heal or curse ,

 the hand should be crossed from a silver purse

The Wheel begins its time anew,

 the release of the old for the knowledgeable few

The time to scry to see the path we must take

 and of the choices we need to make

She comes to us in many guises

 the Crow and the owl her favourite disguises

The Earth gives us her last to give

 the bountiful harvest so we can live

We feast and drink in a sacred space

 behind samhain masks to hide our face

Through darkened day and moonlight night

 All hallows Eve is a beautiful sight!

(C) Copyright Phiona Hutton July 2010

 

 
Blessings and Love, Autumn 
PS..I have NO IDEA why this post came out all weird..it obviously had the margins
set wrong..and I have NO IDEA how to fix it LOL...sorry..it's still readable I think :)

  

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, God, Goddess, Photography, Poem, Ritual, Samhain

The Witches Sabbat……Samhain!

Merry Meet!¬† It is October!..the favorite month of the Year for most Witches, including this one!¬† The wheel of the year has turned, Mabon has passed and October has come, bringing cool crisp days, brilliant foilage of reds, golds, rusts and browns, jackets and sweaters are coming out of the back of the closets, garden centers are loaded with Mums, pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks, the smell of woodsmoke hangs in the air, and the Witch’s heart and soul quickens…for Samhain is coming, the New Year…the thinning of the veil….and there are things to be done for the favorite night of the year! I’m so excited!

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“A white lace of frost webs the sidewalk a kaleidoscope of leaves.¬† Hillsides are ablaze with flame-colored trees, fields lie fallow and dark, and cornstalks dry to the color of bone in the low golden sun.¬† The sky promises rain tonight and winds rise to torture the clouds.¬† Fog swirls down the darkened street, shrouding the candlelit grin of a glowing jack-o-lantern, and the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead grows as thin and insubstantial as the mist.”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†from Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

¬†I love this description…it is so perfect for this time of the year.¬† Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) ¬†known also as All Hallow‚Äôs Eve or Halloween¬† is the third harvest festival of the year.¬† The God has died, returning to the Underworld, to wait to be reborn at Yule.¬†¬†The Goddess is a Crone,¬†mourning for him, leaving the world in darkness for a time. It is¬†¬†a time to honor our departed loved ones and the night when¬†¬†it is believed the veil between the material world and the Spirit world is at its thinnest and that the dead return to commune with the living.

In ancient times, ¬†Balefires burned on every hillside and¬†great feasts were held.¬† A place was¬†set at the table for¬†family members who had passed on to the Spirit world. ¬† For the Celts, tis was New Year‚Äôs Eve.¬†¬†In some traditions, Samhain marked a ‚Äútime out of time,‚ÄĚ the ending of the old year, the new year not beginning until the Sun‚Äôs rebirth at Yule. Samhain is considered the oldest and most sacred of the Sabbats because it honors the cycle of Life and Death.¬†

Samhain Correspondences

*Element/Gender— Water/Male

*Threshold— Midnight

*Symbolism— Death and transformation, Witches New Year, wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, Honoring our ancestors, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects, Magick, knowledge.

¬†*Symbols/Tools/Decorations— ¬†Jack-O-Lanterns, Balefires, Masks, Besom, Cauldron, the¬†Waning Moon, black altar cloth, oak leaves, acorns, straw, black cat,¬†Crescent Moon, grain, bare branches, pictures of ancestors, candles.

¬†*Herbs— Allspice, broom, comfrey, dandelion, deadly nightshade, mugwort, catnip, ferns,¬†flax ,mandrake, dragon‚Äôs blood, sage, straw, thistles, oak, wormwood

¬†*Incense/Oils— Frankincense, basil, yarrow, lilac, camphor, clove, wood rose, wormwood,¬†myrrh, patchouli, apples, mint, nutmeg, sage, ylang ylang

¬†*Colors— Black, orange, indigo,

¬†*Stones/Crystals— ¬†Black stones, jet, obsidian, onyx, carnelian

¬†*Customs/Activities— ¬†Carving jack o‚Äôlanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, costumes, divination, the¬†Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, drying winter herbs, masks,¬†bonfires, apples, tricks, bats, cats, ghosts

¬†*Foods— ¬†Apple, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, cranberry muffins,¬†bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea.

¬†*Gods— ¬†Horned Hunter, Cernunnos, Osiris, Hades, Loki, Arawn, Anubis

¬†*Goddesses— ¬†The Crone, Hecate, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Caillech, Baba Yaga, Bast, Hel

¬†*Spellworking/Ritual— ¬†Honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, foreseeing the future, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall.

¬†How can you celebrate Samhain?..besides of course trick or treating, visiting corn mazes and haunted houses, hayrides and¬†Halloween parties?¬†¬†One custom ¬†of this Sabbat¬†that I love is¬†the ‚ÄúDumb Supper.”¬† This is setting a place for the¬†spirit of your departed loved ones at your table and lighting their way to your hearth with carved pumpkins and candlelight. I have done this for several years now and it’s really a special thing to do.¬† You can set a picture at the place setting or settings of the person you are inviting to join you.¬† Turn off all the lights and just have candles lit at the table.¬† Make it a silent meal..no talking….just focus on your loved one you are remembering, and maybe THEY will have something to say to you!¬†

Dress up for the occasion..whether you wear a costume or put on your best witchy clothes, hat, robe…¬† It’s your night…dress for it!¬† Have a bonfire under the Moon.¬† Throw your dried harvested herbs in to make the smoke even more magickal.¬† All forms of divination are paramount on Samhain Eve.¬† Dark mirrors for scrying, Tarot cards, runes, or pendulums are all perfect tools¬†to take advantage of ¬†the heightened spiritual energies at this Sabbat.¬†Set up a table by the fire and do some tarot or rune readings for your friends and family or just see what the Universe has to say to you on this night.¬†¬†If you are blessed to have some time alone, contemplate the coming winter, and use this time out of time to let die old ways of thinking, outworn beliefs, and negative patterns.

Leave some¬†bread and wine outside as an offering to the¬†wandering souls and the Faeries.¬† Make sure you have some jack o-lanterns or luminaries lighting the way for them to your home!¬† The grinning pumpkins provide protection as well ūüôā¬†

One of my favorite things to do just before Samhain, is to have a Harvest Soup Party.¬† I invite some friends and family over, telling them to be sure to dress warm.¬† I set up about 3-4 crockpots of different soups…like chili, veggie, potato, and corn chowder.¬† I have bowls of toppings such as crackers, shredded cheese, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, sour cream, croutons.¬† I have a pumpkin tureen filled with warm spiced cider..some vodka or rum can be added for the adults.¬† A couple of desserts such as pumpkin pie and apple crisp round off the menu.¬† A bonfire is going, bales of hay with fleece blankets are great for extra seating, and bandannas in orange, black, brown and red are great to use as napkins!¬† You can have a table set up for pumpkin carving for the kids..with the adults help of course. Tell¬†ghost stories and roast marshmallows to finish up the¬†evening. ¬† Everyone loves a great night outdoors with good food and good company….they will look forward to your party every year!

I’ve got my Autumn decorating mostly done today…decided I needed to shop for a few new things for the house and the weather will be perfect this week to go pumpkin and mums shopping and apple pickin is on the agenda too. I’ll be making my famous Amish Apple Pies this next week as well.¬† Yummy!!

October is a wonderful month and it seems to go so so fast..at least for me it does. LOL!¬† Be sure to enjoy every minute of it…take a walk or a drive and take in the brilliant color.¬†Visit an apple farm and¬†have a caramel apple or sip on some apple cider.¬†I love to bake and cook this time of year.¬† When you do cook or bake, make up some extra and take it to a neighbor or someone you know would love it.¬† Don’t forget the critters! Put out Indian corn, peanuts, and¬†bird seed for those who are gathering for the long winter ahead.¬† Bring in the last of your harvest before the first frost.¬† I have herbs to get in and I need to do it tomorrow as we have frost warnings already!¬†

I’ll post blog soon with some of my favorite Autumn recipes.¬† In the meantime, enjoy the cooling weather and the change of the Seasons….Happy October!

‚ÄúListen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!‚ÄĚ
Humbert Wolfe

 

 

Bright Blessings, Autumn

*Sources..my BOS & Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan.  Pictures from the internet. 

 

 

 

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