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The Wheel turns to Mabon 2019…..

Blessed MabonMerry Meet and good afternoon!  I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying a great weekend.  In my time zone, Mabon or the Autumn Equinox is during the night tonight at 3:50am.  It’s officially Autumn, and the time of equal balance of day and night.  My favorite time of year, as those of you who know me or have followed me any length of time, know! I’m normally squealing with glee, but here in Ohio we have had incredibly hot, dry days for way too long, with no real end in sight.  Upper 80’s and even 90’s are in the forecast clear up into October.  This is not normal and I for one feel really disgruntled by it.  I need Summer to be gone!

The dryness especially will effect our Autumn color.  The leaves are seriously just turning brown and crunchy and falling off the trees like crazy.  Garden beds look dismal or empty as people have given up on watering and just yanked everything out.  Including me.  My last herbal harvest will be pretty pitiful.  It’s just been too hard to keep them watered and growing.  People seem to be grumpy and dragging in energy etc….me too. It’s all very sad and disheartening.

However, despite all this, I’ve decided to pretend it’s Fall.  Candles are lit instead of fires.  I’ve Fall cleaned my house.  I’m decorating the house this week, and will go buy my mums, pumpkins and apples and just try to pretend it’s in the 60’s instead of the 80’s.  The flannel sheets will have to wait but otherwise this house is going to be all Autumnal, damn it!  LOL! I also am doing some baking, some crockpot cooking and of course, preparing to celebrate Mabon.  My sweaters are ready to be worn as well!

Some of my discouragement has been that I’ve injured my left knee pretty badly.  It’s been about 8 weeks now and despite resting, elevating, icing, x-rays and cortisone shots there’s no real improvement.  I can hobble around ok but too much of it puts me down for too long!  So now I’m off for an MRI this week…..some talk it may be a torn meniscus, or seriously torn tendons/ligiments that aren’t healing.  But, being laid up in this heat isn’t the worse thing.  I’ve read, crocheted, caught up on shows, organized, purged, worked on my BOS and also just seriously rested….all of that is a good thing.  See…..you can always find the positive in most situations ūüôā

So Mabon is here and it’s pretty shocking in my older age how fast that wheel turns.  Though we’re hot and dry, I can still see all the signs of Fall.  Mostly in the cooler nights, and mornings.  The critters are gathering like crazy.  Birds gather and feed at feeders.  Kids are settled back in school and all the after school and weekend sports are in full swing.  The Sun and Moon and have moved their positions in the sky.  The winds have changed. There’s some color on some trees.  This brings me hope that soon temps will drop and I’ll have those lovely crisp, Fall days and cool, inky dark nights. I can’t wait!

My Mabon Altar 2019

My coven isn’t gathering for this Sabbat but we will meet up soon just to visit with each other.  Too many of us couldn’t make it or had other plans.  So my celebration will be solitary.  I’ll greet the Sun which will start slowly spending less time with me each day.  I’ll greet the lovely Moon Goddess who will spend MORE time with me.  I’ll make an apple dessert and plan on a good healthy meal.  Altar work will recognize that it’s the Witch’s Thanksgiving.  I’ll thank Goddess for the blessings in my life, and despite my complaining about life right now, I am very blessed and know it.  As I come up on the 2nd anniversary of my daughter Sara’s passing, I also send my love to her in my altar work as well. Goddess carries those messages to her often. How do you celebrate this lovely Sabbat?

So I promised you all a recipe.  This is a new recipe to me I tried and it’s yum.  Mabon and September just scream apples and this fits the bill! It’s super moist and the streusel topping is to die for!

ApplePieBread

Apple Pie Streusel Bread

¬Ĺ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¬ľ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded, peeled apple (about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
¬Ĺ cup raisins
1 Recipe Streusel-Nut Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until combined. Add buttermilk and baking powder; beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour and salt; beat until combined. Stir in apple, nuts, and raisins.

Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

*Um…I did not let it cool completely and did not wrap and store overnight before slicing lol.  It just was a bit soft and didn’t do a firm slice….but who cares!

Makes 1 loaf

Streusel-Nut Topping
¬ľ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
‚Öď cup chopped walnuts or pecan
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts or pecans.

I wish for each of you a beautiful, magickal Mabon.  May Autumn be in your heart if it hasn’t yet arrived in temperatures.  Fall WILL come.. even if it’s only a few of those glorious, crisp, blue sky, colorful days.  Relish them when they arrive!  Blessings to you all!

Autumn Fires

by Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall! 

 

autumn fire

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn ‚̧

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2018….

 

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Merry Meet my friends!¬† I hope that this post finds you all well.¬† It’s been a HOT Summer here in Ohio…many days over 90*.¬† We had a good amount of rain for a while, but now we’ve been much more dry.¬† However, the forecast shows both some cooler temps and rain in the next week which is most welcome.¬† As much as I love gardening, the garden beds are looking poor from the heat and lack of rain and watering from a hose just doesn’t do the trick as much as natural water.¬† But tomatoes are ripened and sooo good, my herbs will give me a huge harvest and the bees, birds, and butterflies are happy.

I know I’ve been absent again‚Ķ..losing my daughter has just taken the wind out of my sails. But the writing bug has bitten me a bit so here I am. I’ve focused a lot on my home..doing necessary cleaning as we all do, but also purging every drawer, closet and cupboard, nook and cranny of unwanted, unneeded and unused items.¬† From books, to clothes, to even knick knacks etc.¬† It’s very freeing and I’m feeling my life falling into better organization and less stuff…which is a good thing.¬† I’m also finding comfort in my family and spending time with them as much as possible.¬† We all miss Sara so it helps us.¬† My grandkids are so busy and so fun and they bring me great joy as well. My daughter Kate and her husband include my husband and I on so many events in their life and we’re grateful for our time with them.¬† As they live so close, we see them often and it’s fabulous.

I dream of Autumn…as you all know, my favorite season.¬† But I will have to admit, losing Sara in October..my most favorite time of year…may temper my feelings on the month this year…..but not on the season.¬† I will always love Fall.¬† I’m not a fan of hot weather, and we’ve had a very hot season so far, so of course I’m perusing my Fall recipes, gathering fresh supplies for my pantry like flours and yeast for breads, fresh spices and seasonings, I’m freezing things like tomatoes and peaches, and chopped veggies like peppers. Casseroles will be made as well.¬† I often send food to my elder in-laws and my own parents and of course try to help any friends out from time to time.¬† I have a lovely neighbor who I often talk to over the fence, and we pass yummy things back and forth to each other as well. So having things in the pantry and readily available really makes that easier.¬† And of course, I’ve now discovered ordering groceries for delivery!¬† Or to pick up which makes me very happy!¬† And the farmer’s markets are in full swing which is wonderful.

Last week, my daughter and I were gifted with a big bushel of fresh Georgia peaches right off the truck.¬† We decided to make peach pie filling to freeze so we can make pie or cobbler or ice cream topping to enjoy in the Fall/Winter.¬† We came across a delicious recipe and got busy.¬† I decided to share it here as my most commented on posts are often the ones that contain recipes.¬† I hope you can get your hands on some peaches and give this a try.¬† You don’t have to “can” these….they can be frozen in freezer containers or even freezer bags.

Quick and Yummy Peach Pie Filling

*recipe is enough for one pie.

1 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp almond extract

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

4-5 large fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced thin

In a large deep skillet over medium heat, stir together the water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch.  Cook until thickened and bubbly about 5 minutes.  The Cook another 3 minutes as it simmers, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts and cinnamon.

Add the peaches and mix until peaches are well coated and combined.

Cool filling to room temperature then use right away, store in refrigerator a few days or freeze in containers or bags.

This recipe is seriously yummy.¬† You’ll love it! So much better than the canned stuff!

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I love having prepared foods in the freezer to make my life a little easier, and cooking these foods with someone you love, sharing them, sharing recipes to try etc makes it even more great!

Lughnasadh comes very soon…August 1.¬† I love this Sabbat because it’s heralding the coming of Autumn, the harvest season and cooler weather…eventually.¬† It’s also all about good food, the harvest, grains and breads, herbs and oils…..it’s a fun time when it’s too hot to be outside, you can be cooking yummy things in the kitchen to share or to save for yourself later.¬† In my past blogs I’ve posted many recipes for herbed oils, breads, fresh veggie dishes and fruit desserts.¬† Be sure to check them out.

How has your summer been?¬† I’d love to hear.¬† How do you celebrate Lughnasadh?¬† My coven will be gathering just a couple days ahead.¬† I always look forward to that.¬† We’ve had some amazing Moons this Summer huh?¬† Part of what I DO love about Summer, is basking under the Moon without being cold, or needing shoes and coats etc.¬† lol.¬† Barefoot in the grass in my jammies works great this time of year.¬† New protections and witch jars are always put into place this time of year..between Solstice and Lughnasadh for me and my coven.¬† Again..it’s so easy and nice to do it in the warmth.¬† Often I’m accompanied by the sounds of the crickets, lightning bugs, bees buzzing, and soft winds rustling through the trees.¬† Those are the great things about Summer.

I’ll be back soon, I’ve been giving thought to recipes I can share here along with other ideas of things to talk about.¬† I want to thank so many of you for your kind words about the loss of my daughter.¬† It’s appreciated more than you know and touched my heart.¬† I do know she’s with me, always in my heart, and she’d be proud of how I’m doing my best to take care of me and my loved ones, remembering her in great love and being comforted by our memories of her.¬† I know I’m not alone in loss and life must move on.¬† Thank you again for the love and support.

Make your remaining Summer days fantastic!¬† And for those like me who love Autumn, it won’t be long!!¬† The old Wheel turns very fast!

“When summer opens, I see how fast it matures,

and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August,

I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love and Blessings,

Autumn

 

 

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Blessed Samhain 2016….and recipes!

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

and brilliant shades of crimson glowing when a day is done

-Hazelmarie Mattie Elliott-

A-BLessed-Samhain-To-You

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

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

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

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

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

cider

Samhain Spiced Cider

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 large orange, quartered with peel

2 quarts apple cider

*use a gallon of cider and double the rest!

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

pumpkin soup

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Tb butter

1 Tb olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-5 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp dried sage

3/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

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

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

Process in a blender until smooth.  Serves 6

Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup cold butter, cubed

2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 Tb sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Streusel topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/3 cup cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2016…..

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

samhain12

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

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

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

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

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

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

October is crisp days and cool nights,

a time to curl up around the dancing flames

and sink into a good book.

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

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

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

-Selena Fox “Saturnalia”¬†

 

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

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

 

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My elderberry syrup brewing

 

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

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

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My Yule Altar 2015

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

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

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

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My hearth fires burning

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

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

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

Love and Blessings, Autumn

 

 

 

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Blessed Samhain 2015 and Recipes!…………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Spinach Pomegranate Salad

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

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

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

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Sour Cream-Apple Pie

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

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

1 cup sugar, divided

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

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tb ground cinnamon

2 Tb butter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2015……

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Cinnamon Applesauce

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

1 cup apple juice or apple cider

3 Tbs lemon juice

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

2 tsp ground cinnamon

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

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

Store in covered jar or plastic container.

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

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

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

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

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*All pictures are my own.

 

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