Tag Archives: Garden

The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2016……

 

IMG_5855Merry Meet my friends.  I know…you are probably thinking..where have you been?  I know I know!  I’ve been very neglectful of my blog and I’m sorry.  I could tell you everything that has been going on in my life…..but frankly, there’s so much going on in the World these days..it would just sound like petty reasons. I have missed writing but at the same time I tossed around the idea of not writing here for a while.  I guess I accomplished that…a needed break.  But I’m back I think and look forward to writing here again.  I thank you for your patience..if you have indeed been wondering 🙂

I HAVE been busy …as many of you have been, I know.  My gardens are keeping me happily busy….planting, mulching, weeding, watering, thinning, deadheading etc etc. ….but I find that a lovely chore 🙂  My in-laws have moved from California to be near us, as my FIL is developing dementia and my MIL requires more help.  This has been a challenge I won’t go into, but we are managing to the best of our ability.  I’ve been still recovering from two surgeries in February that rocked my world too.  Suffice to say that I don’t think I’m going to get back all the way to where I was, but I’m doing as good as it gets lol.  Nothing serious, just irritation stuff.  I have a lot of irons in the fire, and that is why, mainly, that I haven’t written.  It was just an iron I let go for a while.

Let’s see, I haven’t written since Ostara.  Wow.  So I missed Beltane and Midsummer postings but to my delight, I see that many have still come to read my posts and snatch up some of my recipes etc.  I’m glad!  There is some great info there in the last 6-7 years.  I plan to continue sharing recipes as those seem to be my most popular posts.

Now, we are moving quickly toward Lughnasadh or Lammas on August 1st. I so love this Sabbat as it’s that first sign that my favorite season, Autumn, is coming fast!  The first Harvest festival! It’s been so hot here lately with way more high temps coming yet, that it especially makes me long for cool, crisp days and knowing they are coming soon makes me happy!  I have already been perusing recipes..mostly recipes for breads, fresh veggies, canning, and uses for my herbs in oils and vinegars.

Many of us are harvesting yummy produce from our own garden beds.  Red tomatoes, green peppers, peas, beans, zucchini, squash, melons etc etc.  Also, I don’t know about you, but I’ve harvested some of my herbs more than once already!  Big bundles of lemon balm, fever few, catnip, oregano, mint, parsley, sage etc are hanging and scenting my kitchen in a lovely way.  My coven sisters have benefitted a bundle or two as well 🙂  For those who don’t have big gardens of veggies, like me, a farmer’s market is the perfect place to stock up!  They are abundant around your town I’m sure and farm stands dot the corners as well.  Be sure to indulge yourself this time of year.

I have already made a couple of new recipes I’d like to share.  One is for a simple yummy bread that I’m now calling biscuit bread!  The other, a delicious cheese-filled mushroom appetizer, however, it would make a lovely light lunch too.  I think you’ll like them!

 

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Butter Crust Beer Bread

2 cups self-rising flour

3 Tbs sugar

12 oz regular beer (not light)

1/4 cup butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 350* In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and beer until well blended and a sticky dough forms, about one minute.  Spoon dough into a greased 8″x 5″ loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven; pour melted butter over the top. Return to oven and bake 30 minutes more, until lightly golden. Cool bread in pan before removing.

 

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Cheesy Mushroom Caps

8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (the good stuff, not shaker)

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 tsp garlic salt

24 large mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned (I used baby portabello)

1/2 cup butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 350*  In a bowl, combine cheeses, whipping cream and garlic salt; blend well.  Fill mushroom caps with mixture.  Dip bottom of mushrooms in melted butter and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.

*The cheese mixture would fill more than 24 of the baby portabellos.  If you use a larger mushroom, it may fill less than 24.

Enjoy!!

I have put together for the most part my Lughnasadh altar.  The harvest altars are always my favorite to do.  I love the warm colors of browns, golds, rusts, reds, and oranges.  This is my altar this year. 🙂

 

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Lughnasadh or Lammas is all about the last days of Summer, the coming of Autumn, the first harvests, the days shortening, and a reminder for us to appreciate the warmth of the Sun, while it may be too hot some days to be out under that same Sun.  Our ancestors had more to do and worry about…putting “up” food for the winter, praying that Mother Earth, the Goddesses and Gods smiled on their crops and brought abundant enough food for them to survive the long, cold Winter. A good crop and storing said crops was hard work and meant life or death!  For us, putting “up” food perhaps reminds us of our grandmothers or mothers who fantastically canned tomatoes, sauces, veggies, jams/jellies, pickles etc and filled their pantry with colorful jars all in a row.  I sure have memories of my grandmother, in her ever constant apron, doing just that…with grandchildren underfoot trying to help and learn.  To this day, I still like to do some canning…..even if it’s just apple butter or strawberry jam.  It’s lovely sitting on the shelf, to pull out in the middle of a cold Winter day , and slather onto a piece of homemade, hot bread.  Sigh..so good.

Don’t forget to use your fresh herbs to make lovely flavored oils and vinegars.  Baking bread is a big part of Lammas/Lughnasadh as well.  Watch the sunrise or set, sit under a tree and watch the Sun dapple through the trees.  Garden and feel the warmth on your back.  Have a picnic with your family.  Take a walk and enjoy the brilliant flowers in full glory. Heck…even play Pokemon Go if you want…just be sure that you’re walking to catch those little monsters and enjoying being outdoors.  There will come a time when you’ll be indoors watching it snow and you’ll be glad you enjoyed that warm Sun!

Blessed Lughnasadh my friends.  May the Sun warm you. Oh and Blessed Full Moon too!  May She shine on you also. Also, if I may say a word, in this very angry, sad world we seem to be living in right now…..open your heart to others, spread love, be kind…don’t judge.  Be part of the cure, not the problem.  We are all just here to live our lives, in our way, with respect and love for others.  Blessed Be.

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,

ripening fields lush-bright with promise;

Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing

Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn”

      -Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown-

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, Family, Flowers, Full Moons, Gardens, God, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Midsummer, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Ostara, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Sabbat, Seasons, Summer, Sun, Sunrise/Sunset, Uncategorized, Witch

I <3 Lavender………

Merry Meet my friends!  It’s a cold  day here in Ohio after a warmer day yesterday…and it just started snowing! I love watching the snow, love Winter, but I am the first to admit that by the end of February my thoughts are turning to Spring and to my herbs and flowers and garden beds!  I can picture them in my mind’s eye…all green, and colorful and lush and growing!  And the scents…so wonderful!  So I thought I would pick back up on my herb postings while I dream of getting my hands in the dirt again soon 🙂  I’m sure there are many of you that are dreaming out there too!

 

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Picture courtesy of Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm

*this place is near me and I intend to get there this year!

 

Lavender (Spikenard) is one of the most beloved herbs of all time. Well, to me it is…it’s a personal favorite! Its scent is unmistakable…. pleasant and mellow, sweet and earthy.  It’s immediately recognizable.  Lavender can put you into a complete state of relaxation and bliss with one whiff!

There are approximately 30 different varieties of lavender around the world. It has been prized as perfume by the ancient Greeks and harvested in France for its essential oils.  Lavender attracts butterflies, is drought and heat tolerant and grows well in gardens and containers. Both flowers and foliage are fragrant. The blue-purple flowers on silver foliage make this a must-have plant in any garden bed and especially in a Witch’s garden! I love planting it along a sidewalk and near the front door….it is such a lovely, scented introduction to your magickal home. I defy anyone to walk past it and not run their hands thru it then smell their hands….everybody does it!! J

Plant it in warm, sunny spots.  Lavender can grow 12 to 24 inches tall depending on the variety…..there are annual and perennial varieties as well.  I like to plant the perennial and watch it grow bigger and spread more each year. Sometimes a plant will get leggy and unattractive..that is when it’s time to pull it out and plant a new one.  To dry lavender, just cut the stalks, tie the stems and hang them to dry.

Lavender has been used therapeutically for thousands of years.  Its uses as medicine are many.  Lavender can be used externally or internally.  Internally, Lavender is believed to be of benefit for a multitude of problems, including stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, colds, digestion, flatulence, upset stomach, liver and gallbladder problems, nervousness, loss of appetite, and can aid in reducing a fever.   Inhaling the essential oil in some cases has been reported to work as well as narcotics for inducing relaxation and sleep, easing symptoms of depression, and reducing headache pain.  Lavender Tea is a great way to take lavender internally.  Just add 1 to 2 tsp. lavender flowers to a cup of steaming hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes, and sweeten as desired.  You can add the flowers to any of your favorite teas as well.  Also, lavender buds are quite edible in salads and many recipes..a couple I’ll be sharing in my next posting!  A delicious way to get lavender’s benefits internally!

The external use of lavender is the easiest and most popular way to use lavender.  It’s been used in cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, lotions, sachets, bath products, and healing salves and balms since well..forever!  As an herbal shoppe owner, I use LOTS of lavender in my products.  Lavender is used to treat burns, rheumatism, muscle pain, neuralgia, cold sores, insect bites, bee stings, cuts, and bruises.  Lavender has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and even local pain killing action.  It helps with psoriasis and eczema and acne.  Lavender oil..whether the essential oil…or making your own by infusing your favorite carrier oil with lavender flowers is wonderful for skin care.  The essential oil is safe to use straight from the bottle too.   You can make lavender oil into a balm by adding a wax, like beeswax, in a 2 part oil to 1 part wax ratio.  Every Witch should have a lavender oil or balm in their cupboard!

There is an abundance of ways to use lavender therapeutically.  Here are a few. As always, be sure that lavender doesn’t cause you a problem before taking it internally or using it externally!

 

-Rub a bit of lavender oil into your temples for a headache.

-Place lavender buds in a mojo bag under your pillow to aid sleep

-Also to aid sleep, make a linen spray using lavender essential oil and vodka.

-Drop a few drops of essential oil or a handful of lavender buds in your bath to ease achy muscles, calm your nerves and help with a good night’s rest

-Put some lavender essential oil in a pan on the stove with water and breathe in the steam to help a cold

-Make a diluted lavender massage oil to ease sore muscles

-Use lavender essential oil in a vaporizer to help with allergies, sleeplessness, headache, tension and irritability.

-Use lavender water as a face rinse or use a lavender oil infused cotton ball for acne, insect bites, canker sores etc.

-Make a cold or warm compress of lavender water for bruises, sores, arthritis.

-Lavender infused vinegar water is a natural antibacterial for your home

-Make a lavender healing balm for cuts, burns, bruises, scratches and bruises.

– Lavender can be used as a tincture to treat fungal infections such as vaginal yeast.

-Drink lavender tea or food with lavender buds to aid any of the above ailments

-Throw lavender buds on your salad or find recipes using them to eat!

 

In Aromatherapy, Lavender oil blends well with eucalyptus, cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, pine,  nutmeg, rosemary  and all the citrus oils.

 

The Magickal properties of Lavender are abundant as well.  Lavender is cleansing, protective, calming, purifying, soothing, and healing.  It increases mental acuity and focus.  It can be used to bring love, romance and fertility.  It lends itself to clairvoyance, consecration, happiness, Midsummer, money, passion, peace of mind, psychic protection, tranquility, blessings, divination, dreams, energy, gentleness, good luck, grieving, and harmony. Also meditation, ritual, and weddings..especially handfastings!  Whew!

Lavender is Masculine…its element is Air and it’s connected to Mercury.  Attributed by some to Hecate and Saturn.  The elves and fae love it too.   Some ways to use Lavender magickally……

 

-Make lavender infused vinegar water to cleanse your home..great on floors and windows

-Burn lavender incense or throw lavender buds on your fire to clear your home of negativity

-Put lavender in a dream pillow to aid you in remembering your dreams and helping you sleep deeper

-Put lavender essential oil in your bath to cleanse your energy and calm you before spells and rituals

-Use lavender oil to anoint your candles before candle spells.

-Carry some lavender buds in a mojo bag to bring love to you

-Put lavender oil on a cotton ball and sniff it from time to time during a test or anytime you need to be focused (like doing your taxes!)

-Make lavender wands for use at your altar

-Plant LOTs of lavender around your home..especially right by your front door for protection..and of course the added pleasure of it’s scent!

-Add lavender stalks to your sage sticks for added cleansing of negative energy and protection

-Keep cut lavender stalks on your altar when you are practicing divination

-Keep lavender buds in your pocket….for multiple reasons as listed above!

-Dried lavender stalks can be burned like incense….or make up a loose incense using dried herbs for divination, consecration, cleansing….

 

This is just a few things I could think of right now.  There are so many other ways I’m sure you can come up with yourself or are already using. As you can see, Lavender is more than just a pretty, sweet smelling herb.  I’m a firm believer that herbs are such a great way for us to stay healthy in a more natural way. It should be in every Witch’s garden!

I’ll be adding more herbs soon…very soon 🙂  So keep an eye out! In the meantime, stay safe and warm in this Winter we’re having……and dream of Spring!

 

*Some of you may have seen this posting I wrote in the Sunday Stew..the Pagan online blog.  Well good news..the Sunday Stew is coming back soon!  You’ll be able to get to it by clicking on the icon on the right hand side of this blog.  I’ll be the Kitchen Witch again this year..posting amazing recipes!

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Flowers, Garden, Gardens, Herbal How To, Herbs, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, Nature, Seasons, Spring, Sun

The Wheel Turns to Litha..the Summer Solstice 2014..

 

“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s Summertime!”
― Kenny Chesney

 

IMG_0918Merry Meet my friends. I hope this night finds you and yours well! The Full Strawberry/Honey/Mead Moon (whichever YOU call Her) was absolutely incredibly beautiful and powerful. After all, with it being Friday the 13th and Mercury being in retrograde…She had to be! I spent extra time under Her influence…still am!.. as She’s still beautiful tonight. The energy is palpable if you sit quiet and soak Her in. Crystals and tools have been re-charged, Moon water made and rituals done. House was smudged too. 🙂

The Summer Solstice, Litha, MidSummer….it’s just a week away on the 21st! The longest day of the year..but also the start of the days shortening. That’s so amazing to think about..especially since Summer is just starting! But at my age LOL..the Wheel turns fast, so I’ll be enjoying every minute of those daylight hours, Hot Sun, warm breezes, green grass, blooming flowers and herbs, lightning bugs, summer rain showers, etc etc. All the perks of Summer. Even though the HEAT is not my favorite thing..I will enjoy it 🙂

This year, Litha will be a quiet, solitary celebration on the day. My Circle won’t meet til the following weekend. However, my family leaves for the Smoky Mountains the day after..the 22nd. To know I’ll be in my favorite Mountains for the Solstice is just…well…Magickal to me. I can’t wait!! When I travel, I carry a portable altar kit..mostly candles, incense, small crystals to bury, my pendulum, lavender oil, etc. Whatever strikes me I might want or need. Taking a walk into the Mountain woods, results in a bit of Magick for me! My soul just sings when I’m in those Mountains and the woods there.

The Solstice is when I always put out new Witch’s protection bottles on my property, set up and re-fresh my wards and barriers, and make offerings to the Fae…though I do that ALL the time while gardening, I am always sure to do it again. Also, my herbs are usually ready for their first harvesting. That is one of my favorite things to do! Smelling, touching, talking to, harvesting, tying and hanging my herbs just makes me so happy. AND I know most of them…will bloom again one or two more times before the end of the season. They are growing leaps and bounds in our wonderful weather. It’s not been too hot and we’ve had good amounts of rain, which is sooo much better then watering with a hose 🙂 It will be a good harvest!

If you want information on how to do a Witch’s bottle..just type it into the search box on the right. It should come up with how I do it. Also, if you type in Litha and/or Summer Solstice..you will find previous years postings of recipes, correspondence and other info etc. I thought I’d share this recipe with you for now….it’s refreshing and uses healthy produce and herbs that are abundant this time of year!

 

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Strawberry Balsamic Salad

1 (7 ounce) package Baby Spinach or 1 (7 ounce) package baby romaine lettuce
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup goat cheese or 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Balsamic vinaigrette
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
crushed salt and black pepper

Whisk vinegar and olive oil in small bowl. Add basil and season with salt and pepper.

Combine spinach or romaine and strawberries in large bowl.

Add vinaigrette; gently toss to evenly coat.

Divide salad among 4 plates. Sprinkle each salad with cheese and pine nuts

*Personally, I’d double the the oil and vinegar for the dressing..leaving the basil in the same amount give….if you like  a bit more dressing.  But I like it with JUST balsamic too 🙂
This would be lovely with some crusty bread and a glass of wine..a perfect Solstice feast!
However YOU celebrate the Solstice, I hope you have a beautiful, longest day of the year and enjoy every moment of it. Be lazy, be active, walk barefoot, swim, catch lightning bugs, eat watermelon, take a long walk in the cool woods…Connect and enjoy the Sun! I’ll be back again soon!  Be sure to check out the Sunday Stew again (just click on the Sunday Stew Chef cauldron on the right column.)   My recipe for Carmelite Water..using lemon balm will be posted.  A great sipping drink to enjoy with medicinal value as well! Also lots of other great Solstice recipes and writings and info.  Have a great week and leave me a message about YOUR Solstice plans..I’d love to hear!!
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It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.
~Maud Hart Lovelace

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Faeries, Flowers, Full Moons, Garden, God, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Litha/Summer Solstice, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Protection, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Summer, Sun

I’m a Happy Garden Witch………..

Merry Meet friends!  Hope this writing finds all of you doing well.  If you live in the Northern Hemisphere..I’m guessing you’ve been enjoying Summer-like weather now! I know we have here in Ohio.  It’s been quite warm, we’ve had adequate rain, and the Garden Centers are booming with busy gardeners grabbing up flowers, shrubs, herbs and veggie plants.  I have made several trips there myself 🙂

This is only the 2nd Summer now in our new home and we are still planning garden beds and fine tuning what we did last year.  We lost some plants from the extreme Winter we had so we had to dig up some dead plants and decide what to do with the space.  I’m thrilled with what we’ve done.  I did most of the bed design and planting..while hubby helped me with the bigger pots and the I helped him with the mulching.

I have more I want to do yet…another bed would be great….but until I can talk hubby into it LOL….we will be planting some flowering trees like Pear and Lilac, installing a trellis or two against our fence and planting climbing flowers and putting in a big Maple tree in the backyard.  Here’s just a few pics of what we’ve done….they are newly planted but growing fast and I’m very happy with the results.  I kept in mind planting for drawing bees, birds and butterflies.  So far…it’s working 🙂

 

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As a Witch…..I have added Magick in many ways.  As I plant….I put my intentions and energy into each plant to grow strong and healthy..infuse it with Magick!  I draw runes and pentacles in the dirt, or even right on the wood of the raised bed of herbs.  I plant crystals in the soil, water with collected Moon Water and ask Goddess to bring Her energy and power to my home and gardens.  For me, working in soil…handling living plants, nurturing them, and watching them bloom and grow…brings me pure Joy, Grounds and Centers me, and allows me to feel one with Mother Earth.

I have many friends who don’t have yards or garden beds because they live in apartments etc.  I have friends who say they don’t have a green thumb..have no luck or desire to garden.   That’s ok too.  Not everybody is into gardening…I’m sure you have some other talent I wish I had 🙂   For those that want to but live in an apartment….it takes a very small space of balcony or patio or patch of dirt to plant a few things to bring you joy.  Pots are wonderful for growing flowers, herbs and even some vegetables.  The Joy is the same!

This time of year, I get such a thrill out of seeing my friend’s gardens posted on social media.  I get such great ideas and inspiration from others.  My friend Sunshine has a wonderful little balcony.  It’s one of the most magickal little places I’ve seen… with her pots of herbs and flowers and veggies, her Goddess statues and faeries….I get inspiration from her too! Though it’s a small space…it’s pure Magick!

It’s only 18 days until the Summer Solstice.  The Solstice is usually when I get to do my first harvest of herbs, and when I re-new my Witch’s Protection Bottles, wards etc around my home and yard.  I’ll be back to talk more about that soon.  In the meantime…get barefoot, go out under the waxing Moon (Friday the 13th She will be Full!) and just FEEL the warmth of the Earth, and the softness of the grass on your feet.  It will fix just about anything that’s ailing you!

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Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Faeries, Flowers, Full Moons, Garden, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, Litha/Summer Solstice, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, Nature, Our Yard, Photography, Protection, Quote, Seasons, Spring, Summer, Uncategorized

If It’s Not One Thing….It’s Your Mother……

Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours;

it wanders wherever your children do.

~Author Unknown

 

Merry Meet my friends.  It’s a very quiet Saturn day here at my house today.  It’s been gloomy and pouring rain ..with on and off again thunder too. I actually love it, though it IS keeping me from planting my herbs I finally picked up this week.  I got all but 4 of the plants I was looking for. I will have to go to my other favorite garden center on Monday.  I am even trying some herbs I’ve never grown before like fennel and lemon verbena 🙂 Can’t wait to dig in the dirt!

 

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Here in Ohio, Mother’s Day is usually the first weekend that we are most likely safe from late frosts and that has definitely been the case this year.  Our Winter was long but Spring has arrived.  This rain is helping everything to look so green and lush.  Late blooming trees and flowering bushes like Lilacs and Forsythia and Rose of Sharon are all starting to bloom.  It’s really lovely.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, it’s tomorrow in case you weren’t aware. 🙂  Last night I attended a Mom’s Day banquet at my Mother’s church with my daughters, my sisters and of course my Mom.  My little granddaughter was supposed to go as well but she is under the weather with a stomach bug …poor kid.  Now a Witch in church..well it’s not the first time that’s happened I’m quite sure LOL.  However, my Mother..well …let’s just say that she has never been an easy woman to have as a Mother.  And no matter how old I get, or she gets,  it hasn’t changed.   So it was a bit stressful at times, but in the long run.  I’m glad we all went to make her happy.

 

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I know that Mother’s Day can be a very loving, wonderful, happy day for many of us.  It has been for me as a Mom and Nana, in my adult years.  I am blessed with wonderful daughters who love me and show it,  and my grandchildren are nothing but pure joy to me.  But on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who aren’t moms, or have lost their moms, or don’t get along with their moms, that make the day either difficult at best, and terribly sad at worst.  My heart always goes out to my friends who have lost a loving Mother.  I think that for some, losing your mom is something you never get over.  I send you all big hugs if that is your situation..I truly am sorry for your loss.

On this Mom’s Day, I’d like EVERY woman..whether a mother or not….to do something for herself..to bring joy to YOU.  My friends who don’t have children…well, they are Mom’s too.  Women are natural nurturers.  Whether they care for aged parents, a loving partner, pets, their homes and gardens, charities, friends, nieces and nephews, etc etc….you should celebrate this day.  Frankly, Mom’s day should be everyday.  Women need to learn to nurture themselves MORE! The lessons we learn from taking some time to ourselves on Mom’s Day..should be done every day!  After all, as the adage goes, you can’t care for others until you care for yourself.  I think this is a very hard lesson to learn as a woman, we tend to put ourselves last.  As I get older though, I realize how important it is to put ourselves higher on our list of things to do.  We must nurture the Goddess within us.

I’d also like us to think on Mother’s Day..about the Mother of us all…Mother Earth.  I always give thanks on this day (and every day really) for Our Mother…who nourishes us 24/7 with Earth, Air, and Water.  With beauty in Her nature if we take the time to look and feel and listen and touch.  Make an offering for Her and show some gratitude for all She does to sustain us.

 

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Picture from Café Press

 

For those like me, who have a  relationship with our Moms that isn’t always as we would like it to be.  Well…just remember, if it’s not one thing….It’s your Mother 🙂  Do the best you can to honor her as your mom.  When she’s no longer with you…you’ll be glad you did.

I wish all the Women out there a very Happy Sun day and Mom’s day.  Hope you’re loved ones treat you like the Goddess you ARE!!

On a personal note, I wish my beautiful daughter Kate a very Happy Mother’s Day.  Watching you with your own children, makes my heart swell with pride and joy.  I love you.

 

There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child — and an instinct to make ANY child who needs her love, her own.

~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn Earthsong

 

 

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Filed under Daughters, Discussion, Family, Garden, Goddess, Grandchildren, Happy Mother's Day, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Quote, Seasons, Spring

We Must Love Our Mother Earth…….

There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet. 

~Brooke Medicine Eagle

thNP8L5I5IGreetings friends!  I’m hoping that you all had a wonderful weekend and Easter if you celebrated it.  We had beautiful weather here, so much time was spent outside.  My grandkids had a wonderful egg hunt and the adults had fun watching them and helping them etc.  It was a marvelous day and joy abounded!

I had a wonderful birthday as well and thank you so much for all the warm messages and well wishes!  I tend to accept growing older as I like the wisdom that comes with it 🙂  My family remembered my garden witchiness and got me some lovely things for my garden…a bird bath, owl stepping stone and statue, garden journals and seeds.  It was awesome!

For many years now, Earth day has come the day after my birthday.  I still remember it started in 1970 when I was in like 7th grade.  It was mentioned but didn’t seem to be that much of a thing really. Maybe I was too young to care too much.   But by the time I hit sophomore year in high school, it was becoming more acknowledged.  Kids were encouraged to walk or ride bikes to school instead of taking buses.  We were gathering in groups to clean parks, highways, collecting cans for recycling, to plant a tree or a veggie garden, etc.  I still remember a group of high school kids in my neighborhood decided to walk to school.  Now, this was about an 8 mile walk…not a small task that early in the morning.  But we put on our comfy shoes at 6am and off we went as a group.  We walked thru a beautiful winding road park to get there..made it to school on time and we were proud and excited about it.  It became a tradition for all 3 years of high school.  Fond memories.

The sad fact is..all these years later, that though they are many of us who care so much for our Mother, that we are slowly killing Her. Factories, over population, over expansion into green spaces, too much trash, too much chemicals, fracking, oil spills, pollution of waters etc etc…is destroying Her.

There are so many who live close to Earth, that see what’s happening, who do their share in their small way to try to heal Her, help her, work with Her and not against Her…but too many who don’t give a damn.  Trees are torn down to put up buildings..then new trees planted?  Does that make any sense?  Grass is covered in chemicals to keep it perfectly coifed and weed free.  Earth’s critters are constantly scrambling to find a place to live as we tear down their homes.  It goes on and on…and I have no answers for it.  It makes me cry really.

Earth day is not one day of the year my friends.  It’s EVERY day..at least it should be!!!  Now I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here as they say.  Any Witch/Pagan/environmentalist lives this every day…but as I Witch I know I can do better and work on it all the time.  But we need to set an example.  Earth day is a great day to do that.  Talk about it…get a group together to go clean a park or a highway of trash.  Plant a tree.  Help your neighbors plant a wildflower garden.  Get a rain barrel and a compost bin.  Stop using chemicals on your lawn and use natural, earth healthy products! Walk or ride a bike when you can.  Most importantly….teach your children and grandchildren to love and respect Mother Earth as well!!

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Caretakers by Robert Duncan

The Elements….Earth, Air, Fire and Water….we work with them every day as Witches.  Except for Fire…..those elements are ill.  And it will get worse and worse if we don’t do something MORE and FAST to save them. Let’s protect Her, Heal Her, Love Her!

Blessed be our Mother Earth……and blessings to all of you who are doing your part to care for Her!!

I’m not an environmentalist.  I’m an Earth warrior. 

~Darryl Cherney, quoted in Smithsonian, April 1990

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Thumbnail picture was on the internet from multiple sources.

 

 

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Filed under Discussion, Earth Day, Flowers, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Quote

I <3 Herbs……Rosemary

Merry Meet everyone!  Hope that you are having a beautiful Sun day in your neck of the woods.  Here in Ohio, we woke up to heavy Frost and freezing temps…but it has warmed up since to the 50’s, Sun is shining and it’s a gorgeous day!  We are yet warm enough to do any planting here….tradition states not to plant til Mother’s day to be safe from late Ohio frosts.  I however am biting at the bit so to speak to dig in the dirt!

 

As I told you before..I am most thrilled to be a writer..the Herbal Witch…for The Pagan blog The Sunday Stew.  Here’s the link again  The Sunday Stew.   If you haven’t read it…please do and support it as well.  For this week, I wrote about Rosemary….and thought I’d go ahead and share it here on my blog as well. But go and read everything else the Stew has to offer by some of my favorite people!

 

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 “I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly branchlets through one’s hand, and have the enjoyment of their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness to greet me as I pass ..”
–  Gertrude Jekyll

 

Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis is one of my very favorite herbs. I believe I find a use for it most days! It has a long history of uses…medicinal, culinary and magickal! Rosmarinus officinalis means “dew of the sea”. But you don’t need to be near the sea to grow it.

 

Rosemary is a beautiful ornamental plant that takes very little attention to thrive. It’s a hardy, bushy perennial plant that comes back bigger each year. It can grow quite large in the right conditions. It looks much like an evergreen with a sweet, pungent scent. The leaves are needle- like…..dark green on the top, and grayish green underneath. It gets pale blue flowers around the stem when in bloom. Rosemary likes Sun and some room to breathe, and water when too dry. Pruning is perfectly acceptable, not only so you can use it but to spur on more growth.

 

Ancient Uses:

Rosemary has long been the herb of Remembrance…to this day. It was the herb used at funerals and to honor the dead after they are gone from the home. The tradition of laying sprigs across the coffin or upon tombstones dates back to ancient Egypt. Personally, I honor this tradition to this day. When visiting a grave of a loved one, I take a small wand of rosemary or plant rosemary where allowed. I also put rosemary on my Dumb Supper table at Samhain. To remember.

 

Rosemary was also associated with memory.   Scholars of ancient Greece wore wreaths of rosemary on their head, to help recall while taking exams. It was used widely at weddings..in the bride’s bouquet, given to the wedding guests to wear and put in the wine the couple drank to help them remember their sacred vows. Rosemary was planted in every newlyweds garden, but the adage “where rosemary flourished, the woman ruled” caused this practice to fall out of style when husbands kept plucking them from the ground to prove that they were the “ruler” of the home.

 

During the Middle Ages, rosemary was thought to dispel negativity and promote prosperity. It was thought to encourage happiness of home and hearth. It was kept in the home in some way, under pillows, hung on the mantle or hearth or by the door. It was even burned in homes to prevent the black plague! To me, many of those traditions stand true today.

 

 

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used:   leaves

Preparation: infusions, teas, oils, salves & balms, vinegars, and culinary use.

Healing properties of Rosemary are:   pain relieving, restorative, stimulating, anti-bacterial, decongestant, diuretic and anti-fungal. Rosemary is used in the treatment of muscular pain, rheumatism, circulation problems, mental fatigue, nervous exhaustion, cellulite, arthritis, colds, bronchitis, fluid retention, sinusitis and is suitable for dry, mature skin and acne.

Excellent tonic for those who suffer from burnout or chronic fatigue syndrome

 

Encourages the production of bile thus aiding digestion

 

Helps to relieve the symptoms of Bronchitis, Asthma and Flu

 

Vision tonic

 

Nervous system tonic

 

Emmenagogue (induces menstruation)

 

Antidiarrheal

 

Relieves migraines and headaches caused by stress

 

Encourages hair growth and scalp health

 

Relieves vertigo caused by inner ear problems

 

Enchances memory

 

Mouthwash for bad breath

 

Stimulates the brain for memory and recall.

 

 

Make Rosemary tea for digestive problems, as an expectorant, to relieve cold symptoms, and as a relaxing beverage that may be helpful for headaches and low moods.

Externally, its oil made into an ointment has been said to treat rheumatism, sores, eczema, bruises, and wounds. Rosemary tea or vinegar used as a hair rinse promotes hair health, hair growth and healthy scalp.

 

Aromatherapy: Use rosemary essential oil in your salves, balms, and bath products. Rosemary oil blends well with LOTS of other essential oils… Lavender, Citronella, Oregano, Thyme, Pine, Basil, Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, Elemi, Cedarwood, Petitgrain Bigarade, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Ginger Root, Bergamot, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Melissa, Celery Seed, and Fennel Seed. I use it in many of my Verbena Lane Shoppe products. It’s extremely healing!

 

In Cosmetics, rosemary is used often in shampoos, conditioners, lotions etc.

 

Culinary Use.

Rosemary has a strong and pleasant aroma and piney, earthy flavor. In cooking, it works well with dishes of beef and lamb, fish and bread. It’s excellent in stews and casseroles, roasted and grilled foods, pizzas, soups, vinegars, and herbed butters. Don’t be afraid to try it!

 

Magickal Uses:

 

Planet: Sun

Gender: Masculine

Element: Fire

 

Rosemary works in magick to rid negativity, to protect, to heal, to banish and to bring luck and prosperity. It’s used for mental clarity and cleansing. It’s associated with Love, friendship and memory. There are many ways to use Rosemary for magick. Here are a few!

 

-Burn rosemary to rid your home of negative energy

-use it in incense to meditate and clear your mind

-use it in mojo bags for multiple reasons ie: before a test, for healing, for protection

-Hang bundles by your front door for protection

-Add it to a healing poppet

-use rosemary to substitute for other herbs

-put it in a dream pillow to ward off nightmares

-add it to bath water to cleanse and heal

-keep a plant in your garden, by your front door or in your kitchen..use it’s scent when you need to be uplifted, use it in your cooking, use it to make vinegars and herbal preparations

-Use in potpourris and sachets

–plant it at your loved ones graves, or take them a bouquet

-keep it on your Samhain table or altar

-Make rosemary infused Moon water to cleanse your hands before spellwork

-Add to your recipes to add protection and healing for your family

These are just a few ideas…I’m sure there are many more! I’ll be back to post a recipe or two using rosemary in the next couple weeks.   Be sure to add it to your “must have” garden plant, kitchen herb, and Witch’s cupboard.

 

This is the post in it’s entirety on the Stew.  I will be back here on my blog as well with recipes, more herbs and will post pictures along the way as I’m planting…soon!

Blessings and Light and Happy Sun day!

Autumn

 

 

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Filed under Family, Garden, Gardens, Herbs, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Our Yard, Quote, Spring, Summer

The Wheel turns to Ostara 2012……..

Merry Meet dear friends.  I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend.  I know I did.  We have enjoyed a few days of seeing the Sun shining!  It’s been wonderful after several gloomy ones.   Though it’s cold out, the Sun makes me feel all warm inside.   I’m sitting by a warm fire, stocking feet up on an ottoman, laptop on lap and glass of Baileys by my side.  I’m listening to my Ipod, hubby is snoozing in his chair next to me, and my daughter went on to her room for the night.  It’s peaceful and quiet and my mind turned to the next Sabbat…Ostara…so I decided to write a post. 

First, feel free to do a search here on my blog for Ostara…that will bring up all the previous posts I’ve written over the last 2 years.  That way you can find the correspondences, recipes, pics of altars, rituals etc again.  I don’t want to keep repeating myself every time I write on the same subject 🙂  As we all know, Ostara is the first day of Spring!  The days are longer and starting to get warmer.  Depending on where you live, you may see grass starting to green, spring flowers starting to shoot up from the ground, critters and birds getting more active, and people getting out a bit more, shedding their heavy winter coats.  Garden Centers are filling up with seed packets, spring bulbs and flowers, patio pots, and all the goodies us garden Witches love. The stores are filling up with Easter candy, stuffed rabbits, and Spring clothing.  Everybody’s mood gets just a bit lighter and a bit more energetic..a Spring in their step so to speak LOL. 

 

 

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want –

 oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want,

but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! 

 ~Mark Twain

 

Now here in Ohio…March can often have us with snow on the ground still.  But sometimes, we see balmy weather and an early Spring too.  Either way, I can still feel Spring coming in my soul….and it feels great!  As much as I love Winter, Spring is a wonderful time of year too.  My mind turns to cooking lighter, planning out my gardens and herb pots, finishing up any Spring cleaning that didn’t get done (I always save carpet cleaning and window cleaning for this time of year) and planning some outdoor fun.  Taking nature walks this time of year is so wonderful!  While on a walk, pay attention to what you see around you.  The trees may be budding, spring ground cover blooming, mushrooms may be growing and you might see some baby critters too.  Take a big old sniff of the air and the dirt….you can smell Mother Earth waking up, stretching, blooming…..ahhhhhh!  If it’s really warm, take off your shoes and walk in the grass and dirt…or sit up against a tree, Sun shining on your face and feel the Earth’s vibrations..you can literally feel Her humming….vibrating….coming alive!  Let the energy surge thru you….feel the quickening in your heart and soul.  It’s magick!!

 

Right around Ostara is when I start picking up the things I need to start my herb seedlings.  I buy the organic pots, organic soil and good seeds.  I like to get them planted and growing right around the first day of Spring.  I bless them with a magickal spell (you’ll find it in last years post here) and keep a close eye on them for the next 6 weeks.  I love doing that..watching them sprout and grow.  Some seeds do better then others…but I try every year to see how they do.  Then right around Mother’s day…into the ground and/or pots they go!  I love the whole process..it makes me happy! 

My family celebrates Easter as well with members of our extended family who are Christian.  So we do the family ham dinner, dye eggs and hide them for the grandkids, dress up in pastels etc. There are bunnies and tulips and colored eggs on my pastel- colored altars too.  Yes, Easter is a nod to our Ostara, though Pagans don’t celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ….a Christian belief.   Ostara…… is more about recognizing the lengthening days, the awakening of our Mother Earth, the work to come in our gardens, and the long dark spell of Winter being over! It is the turning of the Wheel…then end of one season and the start of the next.  I still like to have beautiful meal of good food with my family for Ostara too.  Being outdoors is a must and I like to do a ritual to welcome Persephone back from the Underworld..bringing Spring with her!   As a Mother, I can imagine the joy Demeter must feel everytime her beloved daughter comes back.  Think of that joy and find it yourself in your celebration of this beautiful Sabbat. 

In the next week or two..I’ll be posting a few recipes, pics of my altar, and I’ll post pics of Mother Earth coming to life around me.  Don’t forget if you want to…to look for my posts from last year and the year before for MORE recipes and more information.  We have about a month until Ostara…I’m sure we will have more Winter weather in the meantime.  But now….you can start thinking about what you’ll be doing when this next month or so is over and Spring has arrived.  A wonderful way to while away the cold Winter days that are left 🙂  It won’t be long til you’ll see this……:) 

  

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Sources..my own writing, all pics from the internet.

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Filed under Easter, Family, Flowers, Garden, Gardens, Goddess, Holiday, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Quote, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Bloom where you grow……..

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

 

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

Lughnasadh Recipes………

 Merry Meet my friends! We are having a beautiful sunny and HOT day here in Ohio. This morning it was really quite lovely..not too hot yet..I went out and watered the gardens and just had a cup of coffee and listened to the birds for a bit. Here we are past 4th of July already and for me Summer seems to be going quite fast. I am..yes..already thinking about Autumn..as it’s my favorite time of year…as those who know me already know that 🙂 Lughnasadh or Lammas is approaching quickly also. I have my altars to do, some bread baking to do, I want to make some herbal oils and vinegars also. I plan on making rosemary infused olive oil to use on salads and to marinate meats etc. It’s delicious and I can use my own rosemary thats growing in my own pots.

Ok..on to the recipes…I always like to post my magickal recipes for Sabbat oil and loose incense first…so here is the recipes for those….

Lughnasadh Oil Blend

2 drops Peppermint

3 drops Pine

1 drop Fir

1 drop Hazelnut

Use 1/8 cup Corn Oil for Base

*If you can’t find these oils..just substitute for other scents you like…you can use my Correspondence to find other scents that are great for this Sabbat!

Lammas Incense

1 part basil

1/2 part cinnamon bark

1 part coriander

2 parts goldenrod

1 part heather

1/2 part rosemary

2 parts Sweet Annie (you can use dried apple blossoms if you don’t have Sweet Annie)

1 part yarrow

*Again, substitute if you don’t have all the ingredients or just use some of them 🙂

Ok, now on to the stuff that is Yummy for our Tummys! Remember that this is the first Harvest Festival..so you want to use lots of your fresh veggies from your gardens..start thinking about Autumn and apples and pears …warm breads from the ovens…late summer squash etc.

Spiced Apple Cider

2 qts. apple cider

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tb sugar

2 tsp whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup Captain Morgan’s Spice Rum (or more! )

Warm up all the ingredients except the rum…add the rum at the very end so that you don’t cook away the alcohol….(that would be very sad)…This makes enough for several mugs….enjoy!

Oat Nut Bread

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup honey

1 tb butter

1 tsp salt

2 cups boiling water

4 cups unbleached flour, divided 1 packet dry yeast

1/4 cup water, 90 degrees temp

1 cup pecans, broken

Place oats, honey, butter, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over them and stir well. Stir in 2 cups of flour. While this mixture cools, dissolve the dry yeast in 1/4 cup of 90-degree water. After about 10 minutes, stir the yeast mixture into the oat mixture, mixing thoroughly. Stir in 1 cup of pecans. Work in 2 cups of flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured board, and with floured hands, knead the dough for 8 – 10 minutes. Keep enough flour on the board and your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down, and turn it out onto a floured board, this time kneading it for about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into two equal-sized loaves, place them in two greased loaf pans. Let the loaves rise, covered with a damp cloth, in a warm place until they have doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Bake in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool. Let loaves cool completely before wrapping to store.

Sweet Corn Bread

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 tsps baking powder

1 egg 1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Raspberry and Pear Salad with Candied Walnuts

For Candied Walnuts:

2 tsp butter

1 tb sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tb water

2/3 cup walnuts, halved

For Salad Dressing:

3 tb raspberry vinegar

1 tb honey

1 tb cooking oil

2 tsp sesame oil

For Salad:

3 bunches of lettuce

2 asian pears, cubed

8 oz rasberries

1/4 of a red onion, chopped

8 oz blue cheese, crumbled

In a small skillet, melt butter. Add sugar, salt, pepper and water and stir til smooth. When it’s bubbling, add walnuts and stir until well coated. Cook for about 5 minutes until walnuts are carmelized.  Set aside and cool before putting on salad.

Whisk honey and vinegar until until smooth. Add oils and stir until creamy.

Mix Salad ingredients together into large salad bowl.  Add walnuts.  Then toss in dressing.

Hot Crab Dip

1 can crabmeat, drained

1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 tb horseradish

1 tb minced onion

1 tsp worchesteshire sauce

salt & pepper to taste

Mix above ingredients together and place in a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 325* for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

*Great with grainy crackers, veggies etc.

Corn on the Cob with Basil-Parmesan Butter

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic

4 ears corn, husked

In a small bowl, mash together butter, cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Brush about 1 tablespoon of seasoned butter over each ear of corn. Grill directly over medium heat until browned in spots and tender, 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serve warm with remaining butter.

*I think this would be really great with rosemary instead of basil or cilantro!  With cilantro, you can squeeze some lime juice on the corn as well…yummy! I’ll be trying that soon!

Oven Roasted Summer Vegetables

1 med zucchini, sliced

1 med summer squash, sliced

1 med red bell pepper, chopped

1 med yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 lb fresh asparagus,  cut in 1 inch pieces

1 med red onion, chopped

3 tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450*

Put all veggies into large roasting pan and cover with other ingredients

Spread evenly in pan

Roast for 30 min.s, stir occasionally until lightly brown

*Use more oil if you’d like 🙂

Potato/Zucchini Grill Pockets

Using heavy tin foil, tear off however many pieces you need, one for each person, and enough to make a rectangular tin foil packet.

Slice one potato, thin, for each packet

Slice about 1/2 zucchini, thin, for each packet

Slice yellow onion, in thin rings, and put desired amount in each packet

salt & pepper to taste

Top with pats of butter and/or olive oil

Seal packet by closing sides and rolling across the top

Place on a med temperature grill and cook for about 30 minutes..until everything is soft.  Really fresh and delicious.

Grape Salad

2 lbs white seedless grapes

2 lbs red seedless grapes

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz sour cream

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans, crushed

Wash grapes and remove any stems, and set aside.

Mix cream cheese and sour cream with sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix Well.  Stir in grapes. Top with brown sugar and pecans.  Refrigerate overnight.  Sounds yummy doesn’t it! 🙂

Caramel Apple Walnut Squares

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup cold butter

1 cup chopped walnuts

20 caramels

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 21 oz can apple pie filling   * I see no reason why you can’t just thinly slice fresh apples and sprinkle a little sugar on them for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 375*.  In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking soda and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Reserving 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture, press remainder on bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.  Bake 15 mins.  Add walnuts to reserved crumb mixture.

In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with condensed milk, stirring until smooth.  Spoon apple filling over prepared crust, top with caramel mixture, the top with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake 20 mins or until set.  Cool.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired. 🙂

All of these recipes either sound delicious..or I know for a fact they are ….as they are from my own kitchen!  Many of these will be just as wonderful in November as they are in August.  Let me know if you try any..I’d love to know if you did.  When I do research online, I often find the very same recipes posted on hundreds of websites or blogs…for my own feasts, I prefer to come up with my own recipes that make sense to me..that work for the season …that are fresh and delicious etc.  Use mine or use your own from your own recipe box..you can’t go wrong.  There is nothing less magickal about doing that then using the recipes everybody else is doing.  Make what YOU like!

I’ll post a ritual and my altar pics soon..until then, continue having a beautiful summer….make the most of it!

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
– Michelle L. Thieme

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Lammas/Lughnassadh, Loose incense recipe, Oil Blend Recipe, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Summer