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The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2015……

“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”
― 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 🙂

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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Filed under Altars, Autumn, coven, Daughters, Family, Friends, Grandchildren, Holiday, New Year, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Sabbat, Winter, Witch

Blood Moon and the Drumming Circle

Merry Meet my friends!  I hope, like me you all are enjoying a fabulous Autumn Saturn day!  The weather here is amazing…breezy, sunny, clear blue skies, and low 60’s.  It smells fabulous too! People are burning leaves or have a fire going in their fireplaces.  We are at about peak color too but grass is still green and still growing from all the great rains we’ve had. The nights have been clear and starry and the Moon bright!   It is a truly magickal time right now.

Speaking of magickal, I had the most wonderful experience and I thought I’d write about it today.  This past tuesday night, the night of the Full Blood Moon, I was invited to a “Full Moon gathering” by a new facebook friend who lives in the little village I love to go to…10 mins away.  Now I had no idea what to expect at all but I knew that it was for women only and that she owned a yurt..and that is where the gathering would be.  She sent me directions and times and I told her I’d be there. 

Oh ..this is a yurt by the way…….

 

Well, I asked my daughter Kate to come with me but she couldn’t this time and I asked my sister, who Did come with me.  So on tuesday night we found our way down a long gravel road til we saw an amazingly large,  beautiful yurt standing in the yard of our friend’s house.  Needless to say we were a little early and a little nervous 🙂  As we got out and were meeting our friend and introductions being made, another car pulled up and 3 women got out of the car…then they pulled out the djembe drums!!  I looked at our new friend and said..Oh…is this a drumming circle???  LOL  She looked at me like I should have known that..but a thrill went right thru me.   I had always wanted to go to a drumming circle but did not know there was such a thing in our area! 

We settled into the yurt on big cushions that sat in a circle on layers of area rugs.  Goddess flags and twinkle lights were all around us, an altar was set up to one side and sage was burning.  We watched as 40 or more women of all ages piled in and took their seats..some hugging and greeting each other and some maybe were new to this experience like us.  The women were as young as 6 and as old as 70 or so.  Many of them pulled up drums, some tamborines or maracas, and some had no instrument.   My sister and I were handed a couple of extra drums.  We were cleansed with the sage and a couple of women started drumming a slow steady beat..then more chimed in…then chanting and singing began.

I kid you not..for the first 20 mins I had goosebumps all over!  It was so amazing to me that I was sitting there in that circle.  Well, if you’ve ever been in one, then you KNOW what it’s like and what happened.  The songs got louder and the beat got faster and more joyful.  Women got up and danced with great joy and abandon.  The pace would slow..then grow again..then slow again.  The songs were so uplifting and wonderful.  It was one of the most joyous spiritual experiences I ever had.  and YES!!  I want to do it again and again!!

As the night wound down, good byes and hugs were said and we piled out to see the Blood Moon sliding in and out of the clouds and I felt so joyful, emotional and Blessed by the Goddess.  I was told we were welcome to come as much as we wanted to….told about New Moon gatherings as well..more meditative and quiet..no drumming, and that every Full Moon gathering was like this one 🙂  You can bet I will be there..and my daughter and sister as well!!

Oh yes, I’ve bought a djembe drum and so did my daughter 🙂 …and I plan on using it often..even when I’m alone.  The energy that drumming helps to build up is like nothing I had experieced…you can feel it with your heartbeat..in your core.  I’d like to suggest that if you get a chance to go…Go!!  You won’t regret it!  I feel so blessed to have met my new friend and the wonderful women I connected with that night.  The Goddess was very much present for us on that Blood Moon night!

This is my new drum 🙂 

 

Blessings and love,

Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Drum Circle, Full Moons, Goddess, My Writing

Thankful Thursdays………

 Merry Meet friends. What a week I have had…and one that I am most thankful for. First I want to express my sorrow for all the victims of the tornados that have ripped through Joplin, MO, Oklahoma, and various other towns. So many lives lost and homes and businesses destroyed. Truly a very sad time. I pray for everyone affected by the devastation and loss of loved ones.  Blessed Be…….

One of the things I am thankful for this week is that my family and friends here in our area are all ok after we had some bad storms come through both on Monday evening and again on Wednesday evening. There were tornado touchdowns in more then one place, huge hail that caused a lot of damage, high winds and heavy rain. We escaped basically unscathed and for that I am most grateful. I have a healthy respect for what our Mother Earth can do..she is all powerful and her storms were mighty.  Again, I am just most grateful that at least in my area, everyone is all right.

The thing I am most grateful for this week..is during those tornados and storms on Monday evening..my grandson, Charlie Matthew was being born! He came in crying to the world at 9 lbs 1 oz..21 inches long…and gorgeous! A big beautiful boy! He has dark hair and dark eyes right now but not sure that it’ll remain that way. He looks sooo much like his big sister Lily that is it uncanny. My daughter was amazing all day as well. She was so calm and happy and handled it all like a mother goddess. I was so proud of her. Our whole family is thrilled with our new little guy and I am most grateful that both him and my daughter are healthy and that all went perfectly. I am one happy Nana! Oh, and he has barely cried since. He is so calm, quiet, peaceful and adorable! Such a good baby. 🙂  We have been most blessed by him and I am so lucky to be able to watch him grow, to help guide him as a grandparent, to love him….just as I did my own girls and my darling granddaughter who came just 2 years before him.  I really love being a Nana..it brings me great joy!

Charlie and me!

“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.”                 ~Rudolph Giuliani

 

 I am thankful for our friends including all of our facebook family who were so supportive and excited right along with us. You all made our journey even more fun and more meaningful….you all showed much love and it’s something my daughters and I especially are very grateful for. We felt your love, your prayers, your positive energy you sent to Kate and baby (and myself) along the way. It was wonderful! Thank you so much!

I am thankful for:

-Being with my daughter as she gave birth

-For the staff at the hospital who were so great.

-For family and friends who brought in good food for all of us at the hospital

-For my sister and hubby and our home care nurses who took care of Sara and our house while I was busy helping Kate and Matt.

-For diet root beer which I missed for 3 days LOL

-For coffee in the morning

-For the weather being cool enough to open windows today

-For a nice holiday weekend coming up..weather looks great

-For finding some new summer shirts that I like

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow!”    –Melanie Beattie

Finding things to be grateful for is again, part of my path as a pagan and a witch. I feel that finding things everyday to be thankful for makes my life more complete, happier and makes me feel content with what I have…and not worried about what I don’t have. Right now…I have a most wonderful life and no complaints. I hope that you all can say that you have that too. Don’t get me wrong..there are some problems too..even big ones. But I always feel the good outweighs the bad…the glass is half full so to speak. I am most blessed in many ways. What is blessing your life today?

Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Daughters, Family, Granddaughter, Grandson, Mother Earth, Photography, Quote, Thank You!, Thankful Thursdays

Beltane altar……

It’s Beltane time my witchy friends..saturday May 1!  This Sabbat is all about Spring, fire, passion, fertility, the Union between the God and Goddess, and faeries!  It is the celebration of Spring being here, flowers, trees and shrubs blooming, young animals being born,  Father Sun burning bright and bringing warmth and longer days, and the faeries coming out to help our gardens bloom! 

I set up my altar a couple of days ago.  I used a white base cloth for light, bright days of summer, with a grass green over cloth to represent Spring and everything greening up in nature.  I place a red taper candle to represent Goddess and a white taper candle to represent God.  I used my Gaia and Greenman statues to represent the Earth waking up and greening also.  I have a faery, rose quartz, and a small potted blooming flower.  I still need to make my mini Maypole yet.  I also have the usual elements of my Athame and wand, and the 4 items representing the Elements which is my incense burner, a small green candle, a bowl of water and a bowl of salt.  It looks lovely and a very good representation of Spring.

I’m hoping if the weather is good to have a bonfire in our outdoor fireplace, to plant my herbs into their outdoor pots and I’ll do my Beltane ritual in the morning..to represent the coming of the Sun King as the Sun is climbing in the sky.  I will leave a crystal point and a bit of bread with honey as a gift to the faeries and ask them to help me with my gardening and herb growing.  They also will help to attract the butterflies, birds, insects, ground critters etc to my yard and care for them.  

I hope to find time to make oatmeal cookies or granola as grains are a good thing to eat for Beltane..along with dairy foods.  Homemade granola on yummy yogurt would be perfect!  I’m not going to have time to do May baskets but that is a lovely way to welcome Spring and to show your neighbors or friends appreciation for being in your life.  How nice would it be to find a May basket hanging on your front door on May Day!  I think I will though get a bouquet of spring flowers..daisies are my favorite!…for my own home.  Open windows and let the fresh air in and the negative old air out!  Start fresh  on anything you want to change in your life..now is the time!

I hope to spend the day with both of my daughters and my grandaughter having lunch and spending some time together. I hope that you have someone to share this wonderful Sabbat with…

with much Love and Blessings…Autumn

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Happy Bunny day…..

Today is Easter….Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it.  In my family, we celebrate it mostly because my parents and sister are christian.  This year however, due to a family situation, we didn’t celebrate it with all the family.  My husband, daughter, family friend and I went out to breakfast and the weather is beautiful and we had a nice time.  My daughter Willow and her family spent this year with her husband’s family.  They are so busy on the holidays trying to see all the family on both sides that they have to alternate between families..this was not our year :(.   The had us over friday night though for a cookout which was fabulous.  We brought our little grandaughter Lily her Bunny basket, had grilled burgers and good company and this early in April the weather was 80!!  It was awesome. 

A few days ago was the full moon.  I made up Blessing Oil and my Blessed water under a starry clear sky.  However, even though it was like 10:30 at night, and the moon was full, it still wasn’t showing up in the sky.  Funny how it comes up so late in the night this time of year.  It was a warm, gentle night and while I was communing with my God and Goddess, I saw a shooting star!  It was amazing as I don’t see them very often.  I took it as a response to my prayer and felt at peace after.  I also like to recharge my jewelry, crystals, altar tools etc in the moonlight so I did that too.  I love that Spring and warm weather are here again and I can be outside to commune without having to bundle up! 

Here’s my recipe for Blessing Oil:      

1/4 cup almond oil

10 drops sandalwood oil

4 drops camphor oil

2 drops orange oil

2 drops patchouli oil

Put in a pretty bottle and use it to bless your altar, candles, yourself after a ritual bath, or your tools.  You can also anoint your doors to bless your home.  Many uses and it smells great!  This is a double batch, feel free to 1/2 it.

I decorated for Ostara, both Altars, and left them up for Easter as the symbols, eggs, lamb, bunny, spring flowers etc are the same.  I’ll be undoing them tomorrow and getting ready for Beltane.  I’ll talk more about Beltane in the next month as Beltane is also known as May Day and is on May 1.  My Book of Shadows is coming along slowly but surely.  I love working on it and seeing it come together!

Have a blessed day,

Autumn

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Filed under Easter, Oil Blend Recipe

Snow on the mountains….

So I’ve been at our cabin in Tennessee for a few days.  The weather the first couple of days was not so great..very dreary, cold, misty.  We thought we’d see some redbuds and forsythia blooming like usual this time of year but that was not the case.  Apparantly, Tennessee, like the rest of us, had a very cold, snowy, long winter.  We love seeing the mountains anyway, no matter what the weather.  The Smoky Mountains hold a special place in my heart.  We’ve been coming here for years, several times a year, and I never get tired of seeing them.  They are so mystical and ancient that it just makes my soul soar!

We decided yesterday to drive up the mountain to Newfound Gap.. the 2nd highest peak overlook in the mountains.  We put on our celtic music on the ipod, got something to drink and took off.  My daughter, my sister and I.  To our surprise, part way up we started seeing clumps of snow on the sides of the road, then we saw piles of snow, then we saw snow covered hills and trees, then we saw melting snow rolling off the stone mountains forming huge icicles!  Then it got foggy and the temperature had steadily dropped (about 20 degrees).  We got to the top and I kid you not, it was a winter wonderland in the middle of March in Tennessee!!!  It was so awesome.  It looked like it does in the middle of a blizzard in January.  People were smiling and taking pics, throwing snowballs, even some sledding on the small hills was going on.  It was so magickal that we just kept grinning to each other!  For us it was like we had gone into another dimension!  I’ll never forget it as long as I live.  The Apalachian Trail runs thru there too so we got on it and took pictures.  We had been to this lookout many times before and the view is always breathtaking, but this snow covered moutaintop, on this day (St. Patricks Day) was truly beautiful and unforgettable.  AHHHHHH! 🙂  Mother Earths amazing accomplishments!

Tomorrow we head home but I’m looking forward to seeing my other daughter, grandaughter, my hubby and my cats..I’ve missed them!  Saturday is Ostara…The Spring Equinox.  I’ll be getting together with my daughters and grandaughter to color eggs, have a luncheon and hopefully be outside enjoying the day.  The day and night will be equal and seeing the sun shining longer into the evening is a wonderful thing.  I feel lighter and more energetic already!  I’m busy making plans for my gardening this year…choosing what flowers and herbs I want to plant.  I need to go visit a garden center and get some pots and seeds to start the herbs.  I’d also like to get a composter this year..if I can convince the husband to find a spot in our yard for it!  🙂  We’re also hoping to build a shed this year.  That will help greatly with storage.  I have to be honest and say that I haven’t been into gardening that much in the past years,  mostly just help my husband plant flowers and pots and stop there.  His ideas and mine are two different things on what we want to plant and where! LOL..this year, I’m taking over and planting it the way I want!  Plus I’m adding the herbs…I’m going to get 2-3 very large patio pots and plant them by the back door so I can just pluck what I need when I’m cooking or gather what I need to do my spellwork.  It will be wonderful to have fresh herbs at the ready.  I plan on drying them and keeping them too.  Can’t wait!

Along with gardening this year, I’ve decided to get serious about losing a few pounds and taking up walking..serious walking!  I’ll have to build up my stamina, but I hope to get my butt in gear and move it!!  I even bought a walking/hiking stick at the hiking store down in TN…saw it and had to have it.  I’ve had some health issues in the last couple of years that are better now and the walking will help me to get my strength back in my core muscles.  I got some crystals with holes so I can attach them to my walking stick..for protection, energy, and balance.  That should make my stick even more helpful to me as I walk! 

So here’s hoping that you all see snow on the mountain at least once in your life!

Bright Blessings, Autumn

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The Olympics…..

 

Last night I watched the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics!  Wow!  What a great show the Canadians put on.  The whole Nature theme was right up my alley!  The aboriginals were beautiful in their ceremonial finery.  When they made the Circle and then it widened and turned to the ocean with swimming graceful whales and fish it was so amazing.  My very favorite part was Kd Lang singing “Hallelujiah”  ….it was so smooth and effortless and beautifully melodic it really brought tears to my eyes.  As did seeing our proud young athletes walk into the venue.  My heart went out to the Georgian team too..you could see the pain on their faces from losing their young teamate.  Such a loss but the show went on as it should.  I look forward to being glued to the tv for the next 2 weeks so as not to miss one moment of the games…my DVR will be heartily used!

My poor little Kitty, Harley, has an injury to her left front paw and leg.  I took her to the Vet yesterday..luckily it is just soft tissue injury, nothing broken.  She is on anti-inflammatory meds for 10 days to help her heal.  She is staying quiet and laying on my lap alot (which I love!) and will be ok soon.  I hate when an animal hurts..its not like you can explain to them why and they can’t tell you whats wrong.  Poor baby.  The vet said she may have been stepped on, or jumped off of something wrong, or playing with my other cat, Jasper could have caused it..who knows.  I just know I’m glad she’s ok.  As I am a Witch, I of course did a spell..a healing candle spell..to help her on her way.  I believe fully that a burning candle, anointed with magickal oil and with my hopeful intention placed into it will aid her in healing.  It’s Magick after all!

We ended up with 14 inches of snow over a week and now we are hearing that we may get another 2-4 by tuesday!  Mother Nature is putting on her own show this winter to rival the Olympics!  Go Apollo!!  Sorry, he’s racing now and i love him!!!  OMG!  He almost got 4th…but two Koreans fell and he got the silver..JC the other american got bronze …whoo hoo!  Stunning race!  Ok..back to the snow, while I love winter and love snow, I have to say enough already!  Bring on the spring!  However, I will say too that I love watching the cardinals at the birdfeeder and resting in the snowy trees.  The Goddess blesses me whenever I glimpse it.

I bought yarn today to start a baby blanket in a soft lilac purple and I’m going to put a yellow ruffled edge on it.  That will give me something to do while its snowing.  I’m going to crochet this one instead of knit..its faster and easier and I haven’t crocheted in a long time so it will be a nice change for me.  I love making soft lovely baby items and my grandaughter is definitely partial to knitted blankets over any other!

I am getting very excited about our Book of Shadows arriving any day now..I hope!  I’ve been working on pages for it and will spend some time tomorrow doing more I’m sure.  It will be a blessed day when my sister, daughters and I can all sit down with our glue sticks and spells and information pages and start putting our books together..I can’t wait!! 

Wishing everyone a very Happy Valentines Day and my wishes for you are that you are loved by many!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Crochet/Knit, My cats, Nature, Winter