Tag Archives: feasts

The Wheel Turns to Yule 2014………..

We begin in the heart of the darkness.  Winter is full upon the Earth; snow veils the landscape, thin trees are brittle with ice, and stars shatter the black mirror of the sky. 

The air is cold, metallic, sharp to breathe; scarves of woodsmoke drift in the sky over rooftops outlined with twinkling lights, and porch lamps gleam from early in the afternoon until long into the night.

-Michele Morgan  “Simple Wicca” 

10849927_814820488561362_7301182543328316093_nMerry Meet my friends! I have been so busy (as I know all of you have been too) that I haven’t had the time or the energy (maybe more the energy lol) to write in my blog.  Yule is the day after tomorrow!!  I’m ready though. How about you? This year my immediate family…hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids are gathering on Yule Sunday for brunch and our opening of gifts. About 5 years ago we decided to meet as a family on a day other than Christmas Day.  This year we opted for Yule as the date. Christmas is then spent with more extended family…grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.  Other than a few packages yet to wrap and some baking to do tomorrow, I’m ready. How are you doing with your preparations?  Do you have a feast planned?  Family coming over? A more private, solitary day?  Whatever way you celebrate it, I hope that you’ve taken time in the all the busyness to BREATHE!

The Solstice for me…and many Pagans and Witches…is more about a time of quiet contemplation.  Though the Solstice is the first day of Winter, the longest night of the year, it’s also the start of the nights shortening and the days lengthening. Though we have a lot of Winter left, we know that the Wheel turns, the Sun will return and strengthen, and Mother Earth will green and awaken again soon. But in the meantime, the dark time of the year is such a great time for nesting.  To me, nesting is relaxing more, reading more, taking on projects around the house, perhaps writing, painting, working on your book of shadows, crafts, learning something new, and of course hanging by a fire and again….relaxing more. I just seem to have more time (well after the New Year especially) to work on myself a bit too.  To look within, to be silent, to meditate better.  Feeling like I’ve accomplished something over the Winter is always a good thing for me.

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My altar is done…I kept it really simple this year and I think quite elegant. I’ll add more greens tomorrow and of course wine and cakes.  After all my family goes home on Sunday, that evening I’ll have time to spend at my altar.  I’ll be expressing my gratitude for the past year, throwing out what no longer serves or makes me happy, adjusting in my mind attitudes, angers, hurts, and putting out to the Universe (and myself) what I’d like to have happen in my life in the coming New Year.  Now as a Witch, I did some of this at Samhain, the Witches’ New Year. But the New Year calendar- wise…well, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce it. Sometimes I take time to re-dedicate myself to my Path as well.  It’s a quiet, solitary ritual that I enjoy very much.  Especially in the middle of all the hoopla, chaos, drama, fatigue, over-eating, over-drinking, busyness that is the holidays!!!

On Yule night…light lots of candles and bring in the greens!  Sweep out the old, usher in the new, spend quiet time, contemplate, read, relax….and know that you’ll have time to do this more over the next few months. Maybe a good snow will come and force you to stay in and that’s even better!  In a few days, if you celebrate it, Christmas will be here and gone as well…then the New Year.  Then Winter will be here in all it’s cold, stark beauty, and you can take a deep breath and say…..AAAAHHHHH!!!  I know for many, seasonal depression can set in.  Try to find something that interests you, makes you happy. Be alone when you need it and with friends and family when you need that. Be kind to yourself. Find the good things in your Life and hold on to them.  Spring will come again..it always does.

Have a very Blessed Yule my friends.  May the Mighty Ones bestow you with Peace, Love and Joy this Yuletide Season.

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Christmas, Family, Quote, Winter, Yule, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

The Wheel Turns to Mabon 2014…………

applesMerry Meet my friends.  Can you believe it? September has arrived! I am so glad!!  We are going through a really hot and humid spell here as I know many of you are as well.  Summers last hurrah I think.  We are very quickly going into my favorite half of the year. I feel a quickness in my step, my energy level is shifting and my mind has turned to cleaning, cleansing and decorating the house, cleaning up the flower beds, harvesting the last of my herbs and veggies, and getting ready to celebrate Mabon.  The 2nd harvest festival!

 

“Mist blankets the morning garden and the empty fields; a last rose blooms slowly over the arbor by the backyard gate.  Paintbox leaves fall to the ground under galoshes and the wheels of slicker-yellow school buses.  Sweaters come out of cedar chests, soup pots simmer, and wild geese make their mercurial journey southward across the pale autumn sky.”

-from Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan

  Mabon which is on September 23rd this year, marks the Autumn Equinox, the balance of night and day and the first day of Autumn.  It is a time for thanksgiving, and rest.  Our ancestors at this point were busy filling the larders with preserved fruits and vegetables, smoked meats, aged cheeses, flour, wheat, cider and wine etc.  The thanksgiving was for the bounty the Summer crops had given them (hopefully) and the “rest” was much deserved.  Great feasts were held with an abundant table of food and drink, dancing and enjoying the last warm days of the year.

 For us, it’s also a time to be thankful for our own little garden’s bounty, for what the farmers have grown and harvested for our grocery shelves or farmer’s market, and to know that all the hard work in our gardens is about done for the year.  Putting the garden beds to “bed” for the Winter, depending on where you live, may still be yet to come.

Mabon also means the Goddess is passing from Mother to Crone and the God is preparing for death and re-birth. The trees are starting to change into their Fall tapestry of colors, the nights are colder and longer, the Sun casts long shadows, woodfires are lit, blankets are aired out and thrown on beds and sofas, the oven has something made with apples and cinnamon baking, and the stove top has spiced cider and hot soup simmering.  Sweaters, picking apples, carving pumpkins, hot drinks, warm bread with preserved jams, critters gathering and nesting, birds flocking and filling their bellies, hay rides, corn mazes, nature walks, the Harvest Moon…everything you can think of that is most wonderful about Autumn is upon us!

autumn sunset

My celebration of Mabon is always a thanksgiving ritual, a feast with family and friends, an outdoor fire if weather permits, an offering for Mother Earth and the Fae for all their hard work, and reflection on my year that is ending at Samhain. It’s also about letting go and renewing, re-assessing, and thinking about how I’d like to spend the more quiet months to come in Winter.  And baking..did I say baking?  What is it about this time of year that makes me want to bake?  Breads, pies, cakes, cookies…..things made with spices, apples, pumpkin…..it doesn’t matter, I just want to bake! 🙂  How about you?  My Circle will gather as well for our celebration too. I’m thinking a soup and bread feast sounds wonderful!

I will be back soon with some recipes to share with you! Remember too that you can go to the Search box to the right here and type in Mabon for the past 4 years of recipes, rituals, information etc!  In the meantime, I’d love to hear how YOU celebrate Mabon!  Have a wonderful week!

Blesssings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Friends, Gardens, God, Goddess, Holiday, Mabon, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Quote, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons, Spice, Summer, Winter

Blessed Samhain 2013!!……

AllHallowsEve

 

Merry Afternoon my friends!  I thought I’d fly by with a quick post on this busy Samhain day!  Our weather is gloomy, windy, and rainy.  Leaves are tossing and falling like crazy, it’s warmish but it feels cold because of the wind and rain.  A true Autumn rainy day 🙂

While our weather is not conducive to tonight’s trick or treat for the kids, it’s wonderful for a night by the fire, eating, drinking, communing with Ancestors and spending time thinking about the New Year…what I want to let go from my Life, what needs attention or changing, and sending out my prayers and wishes for my loved ones and friends.  It is a perfect night for Magick!!!!

A time for looking inward, reflection and change 
  Honoring those spirits, making sense of the strange 
  So open your mind, part the veil if you dare 
  Welcome the new, for there’s magic in the air!

                    -Louise Heydon

May your Samhain be all you wish it to be! May your Ancestors bring you good tidings! May friends and family gather in Love and Harmony and Happy New Year to the Witches!!!

In Blessing and Love,

Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Holiday, Poem, Samhain, Seasons

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2013……………….


 

“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

     

Merry Evening dear readers!   Has Autumn arrived in your neck of the woods?  The Season of Autumn I mean *giggles*  (yes, I LOVE my name this time of year…it’s so much fun!!)   Well, Fall has arrived here big time.  We are near peak in color..though I will say it’s not the most brilliant color I’ve seen.  We have cool, breezy days, and cold nights. We’ve had some rain and some crisp, blue skies…and OH the Nights! Inky black with twinkling stars and  the Blood Moon has been brilliant…big and bright and beautiful!  It’s been cold enough for the heat to go on, the fireplace to have a roaring fire, and sweaters and jackets pulled out of closets.  My crockpot and oven are hot most of the time, and I constantly want to go for a walk, or cook something with apples, or pick up perfect leaves to press and save.  I’ve got a stack of books on one side of me, and a basket of crochet on the other.  I am one happy Witch!  After all, it IS my Season! 🙂

Samhain is coming upon us fast. The Witch’s New Year…the night we all anticipate all year long.  It is the Most magickal, the Most emotional, and the Most busy night of the year for many of us.  There are gatherings to plan, rituals to prepare, feasts to cook, fires to tend, ancestors to await a visit from, and quiet introspection and divination to be done.  For many, there is also trick or treat night, costume parties, houses to decorate to the delight of children and adults alike, and finding the perfect Witch hat or cape to please ourselves!  Whew….no wonder October…the best month of the year..flies by so fast!!   They say Time flies when you’re having fun…and October is proof of that!

Last year, my Samhain was a bit thrown together and scattered…..because I was in the process of selling our home.  This year, I’m working and planning ahead.  I have a Circle of Witches now who will gather here on Nov 3 for our fire gathering and feasting.   I have Beggar’s Night on the 30th which I’ll spend with hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids and whoever else happens along. There will be soups in the crockpot, bread in the oven and a yummy apple dessert to share.  Samhain night is our Ancestor Supper and a solitary ritual for myself. Oh and of course a fire!!  Speaking of desserts..I have to share a new recipe I came across!!  So simple and soooo yummy!!

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Country Apple Dumplings

2 baking apples of your choice, peeled, cored and wedged into 8 wedges per apple ( 16 total)

2 cans of crescent rolls

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

12 oz can of Mountain Dew or Sprite  (yep..you got it) LOL

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish

Cut each apple as above and set aside.  Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in the dough starting at the smallest end.  Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon.   Pour over the dumplings.  The pour the citrus soda over the dumplings.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

*I understand this recipe is All over Pinterest! LOL.

For me, what really represents what Samhain  is all about…. Is the thinning of the veil..the chance to communicate with those who have passed thru the veil….The Ancestor Supper, Soul Supper, Dumb Supper.  Whatever you call it, it represents a meal with your ancestors.  Lighting candles and setting a place at the table, and inviting those who have passed over to come and partake with you,  is a lovely and meaningful ritual.  If you are truly quiet in mouth and mind, you may hear what they have to say to you….they DO want to communicate.  They want to know how we are doing as much as we want to know how they are doing.  It’s our chance to express that they are missed, that they are still loved, that they will never be forgotten.  They may have words of wisdom for us as well.  One of the things I do, is place Rosemary in pots at their place setting.  Rosemary is for remembrance.  Another thing to do for yourself, write them a note or letter and place it at their seat.  Often, one seat at my table, represents All my ancestors..those recently passed and those long gone.  What is your practice? Do you have a Dumb Supper, divinate or scry at your altar, burn letters?  All are wonderful ways to honor our Ancestors on this night.

My Soul Supper Table 2011

My Soul Supper Table 2011

So you busy Witches, smile while you’re busy flying around on your brooms preparing for this most magickal of Nights!  Whether your Night is solitary and quiet, or a huge gathering, or something in between….there is no doubt that you will Feel your most Witchiest, your most magickal, and your most Joyful!  For the muggles, it’s just about costumes and candy…for Us!  It’s sooooo much MORE!!!  Many Blessings for a wonderful Samhain.  May your Path be filled with Mystery and Magick!

*oh…no drinking and flying  LOL!!

Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Full Moons, Holiday, New Year, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons