Merry Meet my friends! It’s Thursday morning and Samhain is Saturday. I can’t believe how fast October has flown by! Too fast! I’m sitting in my family room, listening to a Halloween Radio station on Pandora, watching leaves blowing around my yard, the Sun shining and birds at the feeders and chipmunks and squirrels gathering. It’s a gorgeous day after two days of much needed rain. Quite cool, quite autumnal, and I’m feeling happy and blessed.
My gardens are a wild mess. The last of the Autumn flowers are spent. The tall grasses are brown and dry. Some herbs have re-bloomed like parsley, thyme and lemon balm. (I’ll be grabbing those yet) My rosemary and lavender are still healthy and useful as I trim some rosemary for my ancestor altar and Ancestor Supper table. There are dried leaves gathered in the beds that will remain to keep warm the plants over the long Winter, and fresh, bright colored leaves are still falling, littering the ground and beds with reds, oranges, and golds. I took a walk in my favorite park that has a beautiful pond. Watching the geese fly over under blue, clear skies, the leaves floating in the pond, the bright trees and Sun casting mirror images on the water, I’m reminded of how Mother Earth is winding down to the dark, stark season in a blaze of color and beauty. I never have the feeling it’s a death and dying thing..but a show of how beautiful the seasons are. No matter the season, they each have their own beauty. While Autumn to me is the most beautiful, Winter too can be stunningly filled with beauty and I am not sad that Winter comes.
I have enjoyed the energy of the Full Moon these last few nights, even though I couldn’t see Her the night she was at her fullest. The foggy, rainy days reminded me of the thinning veil. The mystical, quietness of this time of year, if you’re still enough to notice it. I’ve been having strong, vivid dreams and vacillate between sleeping hard and feeling restless in the night. How are you feeling? Perhaps tired and restless? Or calm and filled with energy? I find I’m energized most of the time in Autumn, but an evening by the fire can make me feel drowsy and content. I find my loved ones who have passed on are very much on my mind and I’m trying to be aware of any messages they may be bringing for me, to be aware of their being close to me, and to leave myself open to any other guides/spirits who may be needing my attention as well. I keep a dream journal and I’m jotting down anything I remember when I awake. My scrying mirror, tarot cards and candle and fire flames are readily available to such purposes of receiving any messages. As I said in my last post, I find being still and meditative, even drowsy, can bring me closer, easier to my loved ones.
My coven gathers tomorrow night. Always such a high energy, loving, magickal night. We’ll be doing an ancestor ritual, welcoming in the New Year together, with feast and fire. While we enjoy every Sabbat gathering, and every other gathering, Samhain is always just the best one. The energy of Samhain is very much within us as a Tribe. I love my sisters!
I have been visiting some books lately for the Season. Classics like Edgar Allan Poe poems and “The Halloween Tree” and getting ready to read “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. I also have been enjoying movies like “Hocus Pocus”, “Sleepy Hollow”, and “The Good Witch” movies. My daughter, our friend and I saw “The Goosebumps” movie last night and enjoyed it very much! I love both books and movies during this entire holiday season, from Samhain to Yule. Music too. They just put me in the mood! What are your favorite spooky books or movies?
Cooking and Baking also is such a big part of the holidays for me. Autumn is especially lovely with warm soups and breads, apple and pumpkin desserts, and hot drinks with cinnamon and spice. If you do a search in the box on the right here —–> you can find previous Samhain recipes for the last 5 years. I’m going to add a couple more today. Also, if you saw my last post, you may have been checking out Samhain’s Sirens and The Sunday Stew for other recipes from myself and others for the Season. For many, All Hallow’s Eve will bring to mind a witch stirring her cauldron 🙂 Well, yes, that’s me! Conjuring in my kitchen! I may have a soup or hot cider in my cauldron, or I may have herbs and a smoking charcoal just as easily. If you don’t have a nice cauldron to actually use in your kitchen..I highly recommend a Potje pot. They come in all sizes and are wonderful!
As a reminder of the foods for Samhain, they are : Apples, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea. Here are a couple of new recipes to fit the bill. One is healthy and one is just sweet and yummy!
Spinach Pomegranate Salad
3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces spinach leaves (about 2 lightly packed qts.)
3/4 cup finely shredded radicchio (from 1 head)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 large firm-ripe Bartlett pear
In a small saucepan, boil pomegranate juice until reduced to 1/4 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Whisk in lemon juice, oil, salt, thyme, and pepper.
In a salad bowl, gently mix spinach, radicchio, pomegranate seeds, and hazelnuts with dressing. Divide among 6 plates.
Quarter pear and core. Thinly slice crosswise, then stack slices and cut in matchsticks. Arrange pear on salads.
*To make this salad a full meal, add grilled chicken strips onto the salad and a good crusty bread!
Sour Cream-Apple Pie
a 9″ pie crust…your own homemade or refrigerated store bought
2 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped (use your favorite baking apple)
1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tb ground cinnamon
2 Tb butter
Place pie crust in a 9″ pie plate; arrange apples in bottom of pie crust.
Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 2 Tbs flour and salt in a large bowl; stir to mix. Add sour cream, egg and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Pour mixture over apples.
Bake at 425* for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350* and bake 30 more minutes.
Combine in a small bowl the remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle over top of pie. Increase heat back to 400* and bake 10 more minutes. Remove and cool. Of course, eating it warm is perfect!
*If you’d rather use thinly sliced apples, that is okay too.
Well there you go for a couple of great new recipes. Again, you can find so many more of my recipes in previous postings. Whether you’re looking for a simple soup meal, a big feast or just something sweet, you’ll find it here 🙂 Enjoy!
I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain and Happy Witchy New Year. May your ancestors be blessed by how you live YOUR life, how you honor them and how you loved those you knew who have passed beyond the veil. And may YOU be blessed with a full new year of wonderful things ahead! Remember to let go that which no longer suits or has meaning or purpose, and find joy in what is to come. Make it GREAT!
“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail! We see them now come through the Open Door.
Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.
Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
– Lore of the Door
Blessings and Love, Autumn