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The Wheel Turns to Beltane 2015……….

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet

and the winds long to play with your hair.

-Khalil Gibran

download (3)Merry Meet and Happy Spring on this beautiful April day.  I love April, always have. Not only because it’s the month I was born, but because it brings in Spring!  The weather is a bit unpredictable…we can have snow one day, near 80* temps another with lots of wind, rain, storms and tornado warnings thrown in for good measure.  The last few days it’s rained and stormed here a lot! But it’s been a good thing for Mother Earth as she is greening more and more every day.  I love the color green and it’s everywhere!  Our grass is really green and lush, trees are budding, spring bulbs and flowering bushes and trees are bloomed, and my summer plants have green sprouting up.  In my herb bed, cilantro and garlic are up already and my lavender is greening too!  I so love it!  Today, I woke up to a chill in the Air but it’s warming up to 60* and the Sun is shining so it’s a beautiful day!

I have been Spring cleaning like crazy as well.  The winter linens are put away, winter clothes being put away to make room for our Spring/Summer clothes.  My clothesline is back up.  I have taken each day a trash bag and gone around the house just pitching stuff.  Drawers, cupboards and closets are all checked for items no longer needed. It is so freeing to de-junk!  You’d be amazed what’s in your home that no longer serves a purpose. Whether it be paperwork, knickknacks, clothes, shoes, dishes etc…there are things in your home that can go I’m sure!  My home feels lighter and simpler with everything that goes out the door.  Add fresh flowers to mason jars on your window sill, open windows to air out your house and wash windows and you’ll feel like Spring has arrived INSIDE your home too!

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My seedlings so far this year!

Beltane is approaching fast! One of my favorite Sabbats..probably because it’s one of the first ones that I can celebrate outside without being cold!  I’ve written in the past 5 years all the many ways to celebrate this Sabbat and for me, that hasn’t changed.  I still have an outdoor fire, weather permitting, and burn any of the last of my dried herbs that have grown old and dusty hanging in my kitchen.  The scent is incredible!  I plant my seedlings in their outdoor beds, make offerings to the Fae of honey and bread, set out new wards and protection for my home and yard, and spend as much time barefoot in the grass with my hands in the dirt as I can!  A wonderful feast of fresh veggies, fruits, and grains are had by whoever decides to come by for dinner. And I never forget to gather the morning dew to wash my face in…to bring youth and beauty to this aging face of mine 🙂

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My Coven will gather, if not on Beltane shortly after.  Last year we made up May baskets (in jars really) to distribute to our elderly neighbors and loved ones. It was a lot of fun and I imagine we’ll do it again this year 🙂  We then welcome the Sun God…rejoicing in the return of the longer days, warmer weather, and Mother Earth blooming forth in all Her glory.

Other things I enjoy doing in the Spring….walks are a must.  I now have a gathering bag, a wildflower reference book and a good knife for gathering wild herbs on my walks. It’ll also hold acorns, pinecones, feathers and stones and whatever else I might come across on my walk that calls to me.  A walk by a pond, in a woods, on a beach, in a meadow…..whatever place I can find that allows me to enjoy being under the Sun again, outdoors.  Attending a pagan festival or maypole gathering, drum circles which usually move outdoors now, picnics in the park, drives out into the country to find early farm stands, visiting a botanical garden or butterfly house, going fishing, planting a tree and whatever else you can think of to do outdoors will help you to celebrate the change in the season, the turning of the wheel….Beltane!

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Remember too that Beltane is about the God and Goddess coming together in love and lust for each other.  Whether you have a partner or not, find a way to spread some love.  For yourself and others. Do something for yourself..whatever it is you need.   Be kind, be joyful, be peaceful and spread Love.  You will gain back much in return.  There is so much un-kindness in our online experiences and in our real life.  We see bad news everyday, people being mean, judgemental, non-accepting….that we can get discouraged from it.  But spreading LOVE starts with each of us.  I know so many of you do just that…all my friends do…or they wouldn’t be my friend! lol.

So my friends….Spring and soon, Beltane, have arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere.  It’s a beautiful time of year and I for one will be taking complete advantage of every moment!  Enjoy the greening, blooming, warming of Mother Earth.  Enjoy lightening up on your clothes and foods. Enjoy the Sun on your head and the grass under your feet.  Make love, grow flowers, and dance under the light of the Moon!

I’ll be back soon with some recipes of course, along with pics of my gardens as they bloom and whatever else I find I’d like to tell you about.  I’ll have a new herb posting very soon too.  So for now, I wish you all a very Happy weekend! Make it magickal!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*All photos are either my own or creative common license.

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Beltaine Blessings 2014…….

thCA8K56D9Merry Beltaine Eve my friends.  It’s been a rainy few days here with afternoon hours of Sun and warmth and gentle breezes.  Really nice!  I am ready for my celebration of this fun Sabbat and almost ready for my Circle’s celebration on Saturday night.

I’ll start the morning off tomorrow greeting the Sun..I hope…then I’ll wash my face in the dew of the Beltaine morning to help me show a fresh face for the day and to bring light and beauty to my skin for the year 🙂  I’ll have coffee and a simple breakfast.  At some point of the day, I’ll take a walk and make offerings along the way to the Fae and the Goddess.   In the evening, a nice meal of fresh foods and a ritual to honor the Goddess and God as they meet and create and help the Wheel to continue to turn.  A simple way to celebrate the day in a solitary way.

On Saturday eve, my Circle gathers. We will feast, make May Day baskets, have a fire where we’ll burn wishes and herbs, and we will have a small, simple ritual.  The May Day baskets will go to elderly neighbors or family members to cheer them for the day. I can’t wait!

 

I thought I would share a wonderful salad recipe with you..perfect for Summer and warmer weather. Nice and light!

 

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

4 cups mixed greens/chopped lettuce

1 cup sliced strawberries

2 kiwi, sliced

 1 avocado, sliced

2 tablespoon sliced almonds

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

zest of ½ a lime

juice of 1  lime

pinch of salt

2 tablespoon honey

Arrange the lettuce, strawberries, kiwi, avocado and almonds in a salad bowl.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients to form the dressing and drizzle over salad.

*Serves 2

Whether you’re going to a Pagan Beltaine Maypole festival, gathering with friends and family, or spending it more quietly and solitary….Beltaine is a Sabbat to celebrate.  Officially….We are into Spring, and Summer is coming!  Think flowers, gardens, bare feet, less clothes, being outside MORE!!  For many, their favorite time of year!

‘But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother,
I’m to be Queen o’ the May.’
–  Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

I wish you all a very Blessed Beltaine!  May the Sun God shine upon you always and May the Goddess always dance with you!

Blessings and love, Autumn

*Don’t forget to type Beltane or Beltaine into the search box on the right to find the last 4 years of info there…recipes, correspondence, rituals etc.

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The Wheel Turns to Beltane 2014…….

“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”
– Kahlil Gibran

thCA8K56D9Merry Afternoon!  As I type the title to this post..I can’t believe how fast the year is going.  Beltane already???  But yes, Spring is springing out all over..finally!  Today we are sunny and warmish…but it’s incredibly windy and that keeps things feeling a bit cool still.  But trees are budding, spring flowers blooming, birds singing, garden centers are busy and there is no denying that the Wheel is turning..turning..turning….

Here in Ohio it’s too early to plant but I have a few herbs growing on my kitchen window sill that I successfully started from seed.  Hubby and I have checked for damage after the long, frigid Winter and it looks like our  new plantings from last year (bushes, perennials, herbs) all survived but  one boxwood and are a little worried about our hydrangea bushes..but everything else is just fine!  Even my lavender plants are already greening up! Yay!

Beltane is the earliest we do any planting here and many experts suggest waiting until Mother’s day to be extra sure of no late frosts.  I however, will at least be planting happily in my herb bed by May 1 or so.  Beltane for me is the perfect Sabbat for just that!  Mother Earth is fully awake, fertile, blooming and budding by then.  The Sun God is growing in strength and warmth as well!  And all around, the animals are happy and capering about.  Don’t forget, Beltane is a lusty time of year 🙂

Beltane is a Fire Sabbat! We have lots of fires..to burn old, dusty, dried up herbs and yard brush, wishes and hopes written on paper, and dancing and divining with it as well.  It’s the time of year I also put out more outside protection such as witches bottles, wards, salted boundaries etc etc.  The house is open and airing out stagnant energy. I have by now cleansed and smudged the house, done my Spring cleaning and put away all the heavy winter blankets, throws, curtains etc.

All the elements come into play for Beltane as well.  Earth, Air, Fire and Water all active and present for our benefit.  We dig in the dirt to plant and walk barefoot in the new, soft grass. We listen and feel the wind through the trees with their new canopy of leaves. We have bonfires and light candles, and for many, warm weather means a trip to the nearest body of water! Use the elements again after being cooped up all Winter!

My Circle of Witches will meet around Beltane for a feast, a fire and to make May baskets for some elderly people in our lives…to brighten their May as well.  We will wear flowers in our hair and go barefoot and welcome the warmth of the Sun, the longer days, and planting season.  The Goddess and God will romp and love and create..and if we are wise, we will too!!

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Beltane is a big time for community gatherings. You will find Pagan festivals, Maypole dancing and garden shows this time of year.  Go check them out and support them!

Be sure and type Beltane into the Search box for previous postings, correspondence, recipes etc for Beltane.  I’ll be back with a new recipe or two soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the beginning of Spring and plan a wonderful, fun, frolicking Beltane celebration for you and your loved ones!  Spring Blessings!!!

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.”
–  Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur 

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Beltane 2013……..

thCA8K56D9Merry Meet my friends! Spring has Finally spring here in Ohio!  Though there has been fluctuations…40* one day, 80* the next! …..Spring none-the-less has bloomed.  Spring flowers, flowering bushes and trees are all blooming.  Birdsong in the mornings and I love seeing them at the feeders again…cardinals, finches, sparrows, even woodpeckers!  Squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits are scampering around, kids are playing outside again and adults are working in their yards and gardens.

I had a birthday a few days ago…my 55th! (gasp!!)  🙂  For my birthday present, my hubby built me a raised bed for my veggies and herbs and he put up a clothesline! Something I have missed having in my yard for 16 years!  I finally live in a house with a yard that is sunny enough to have one! You have no idea how excited I am about this LOL…it’s a big deal!  To me, there is nothing like the fresh, clean scent of clothes that have hung outside in the Sun and breeze 🙂  A clothesline brings back wonderful memories for me.  In my mind’s eye, I see my grandmother in her housedress and apron, happily pinning up her linens and clothes while I tag along, with the pins, putting my nose in each and every piece to breathe in the great scent!

My granddaughter, who is 4, was here when I hung out my first load of linens and clothes.  I was overjoyed as she immediately wanted to know what I was doing and why.  As soon as I hung up the bright pink sheets, she did what all kids do..she ran thru the damp sheets, laughing and putting her nose right in them..just like her mommy, my daughter, did when she was a little girl 🙂  I believe more happy memories are being made with that clothesline 🙂

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Beltane is coming up fast! May 1!  Beltane….marking the coming of longer, warmer days, gardens in bloom, faeries scampering thru the flowers and Mother Earth becoming full and in bloom!  Maypoles are erected and danced around, May baskets are happily filled with bright flowers and left on doors, and love and lust is rising in the hearts and souls of young and old alike.  Beltane is a happy, energetic, fun Sabbat!

Here at my house, we will have an outdoor fire and a great meal full of fresh veggies and fruits…a nice light meal.  I’ll start planting my pots of herbs, planting crystals and blessings along with the them.  I’ll ask the Faeries to assist me in success in growing them big, full and magickally!  An offering will be made to Mother Earth and the Fae….honey, bread and wine…to show how grateful I am for their presence in my Life and in my gardens.  I’ll do a ritual under the waning Moon to celebrate the Sabbat as well.

If you’re interested in Beltane correspondences, recipes, ritual, altars etc…just type Beltane into the search engine over to the right here on this page.  There is 3-4 years of info here!  I’m sure you’ll find some things you’ll like 🙂

For Beltane I recommend you spend some time outside, whatever else you do!  Take a walk, plant a tree or flowers, sit by a tree and listen to the breeze thru the young, tender leaves. Make up a May basket and surprise a friend or neighbor with I.  Visit a garden center or a botanical garden or a park. Plan a romantic night with your special someone..and remember! You are a special someone too…so do something for yourself!  One of my favorite things to do for Beltane is to collect some dew overnight…just set out a shallow bowl..and wash my face in it in the morning!  It is said to bring youth and beauty and Goddess knows at 55yo I could use the help 🙂  Try it….it really works!

The  fair maid who, the first of May
  Goes to the fields at break of day
  And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
  Will ever after handsome be.”
  –  Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme 

May you have the most blessed Beltane! May you feel Love, Joy and youthful exuberance!  Dance..Sing….Be Merry!!

thCA0U7M6S

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

 

 

 

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The Wheel turns to Beltane 2012…….

It is Beltane! The Earth softens under the caress of the sun and all the world is new. We emerge from the darkness of a long, difficult winter; our eyes drink in rolling green hills budding branches and tender shoots. We breathe deeply the fresh fragrance of radiant blossoms. Merriment calls!”

Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary

 

Merry Meet my friends.  Hope that you are having Spring weather, that your world is blooming and greening and warming like mine is.  However the last 2 days it has felt more like Winter then Spring..sunny days but frosty cold mornings!  The frost did a bit of damage to some of my herbs and budding trees and bushes..but they will recover just fine I’m sure.  I love seeing the birds, chipmunks, squirrels enjoying the weather as well as the frogs and fish in our pond.  My sister got some great pics of the frogs sunning themselves on rocks next to our pond.  I love frogs!

 

 

 

As you who read my last post know, I had brain surgery and was quite ill and in the hospital for like 11 days.  I am taking baby steps towards healing.  My last catscan showed some improvement and no new bleeds.  However, I have pretty severe headaches still, shakiness and dizziness, and alot of fatigue to deal with.  I’m told to expect that for awhile.  Another side effect, a bit of trouble focusing…which is causing me trouble with my writing, reading, even watching tv and playing words with friends LOL.   Because of that..I have had a hard time writing here on my blog and posts may be a little more sporadic for a little while.  Please bear with me while I heal….and my muse comes back 🙂 

 

We are coming up fast on Beltane…one of my favorite Sabbats because of the sheer Joy of it.   It is a fire festival, a welcome to the return of the Sun…..we celebrate longer days, warmer days…the greening of Mother Earth.  Witches are out in their gardens…tenderly planting, watering, weeding, designing and enjoying the feel of the warm earth, the Sun on our backs, the scent of the flowers and herbs and our bare feet in the green grass and rich brown dirt.   Meals are taken outdoors on patios and balconies.   We want to eat lighter and healthier, take walks, be more active.  Personally, one of my favorite things about the warm weather..is having my morning coffee on my front porch while I watch the Sunrise…and in the evening, again on the porch with a glass of wine and watch the Moonrise.  Even if you live in the city, in an apartment or condo…you can have pots of herbs and flowers to tend, to touch, to care for.  We dress lighter and in brighter colors, don our garden hats or gypsy scarves (especially for me this year with my shorn head LOL).  We want to be around water too..a pond, a pool, a lake, an ocean…even a kiddie pool is fun if thats all thats available!  I know I will have a blast with my grandbabies with their kiddie pool this Summer 🙂  

 

 

 Beltane!……  It’s about joy, love and lust, yes that kind of lust but also Lust for Life!  After making it thru the long, cold, dark Winter…we are again free to be outdoors, to enjoy nature, warmth, Sun and longer days.  Dance around a fire, feast, frolic with the faeries as they are very much part of Beltane.  Erect a maypole and invite your family and friends over to wind the ribbons and dance around it.  Set up a fairy garden and don’t forget to leave them an offering of a shiny crystal or stone or some honey and bread….. ask them to aid you in your garden.Rejoice with the God and Goddess in their Great Rite….laugh, be happy!! 

 

 

Another thing I really want to do this year…is to make up some May Day baskets for my friends and family…I love this idea of using a canning jar or even just a tin can…fill it with beautiful flowers and leave it as a surprise on the door….what a lovely gift! 

For me…this year especially…Beltane will be a most  joyous occasion..simply for the fact that I am still here…with my family and loved ones. I am so grateful for that.    I must say..Summer is not my favorite time of year….I love it until it gets too hot.  I don’t like being hot LOL!  However,  early Summer is just a beautiful time of year with it’s warm days and cool, comfortable nights.  I intend to enjoy every minute of it…and Beltane is a great way to start off a beautiful Summer Season!  

 

Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”
– Kahlil Gibran

 

I’d like to thank you all again so much for all the love, concern, comments, cards and gifts,  healing, lit candles and friendship sent my way while I’ve been sick.  I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for it….from my heart to yours..thank you so so much!  

Blessings and Love, Autumn   

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Countdown to Beltane……..

Merry Meet again my friends!  As March is almost over and April looms…my thoughts turn to Beltane…another Spring festival….festival of fire and love and lust and fun!  Beltane..always on May 1st is  known also as Bealtaine, May Day, and Walpurgisnacht, which means “Night of the Witches.”  It is the festival of passion, one of the two greatest Sabbats in the Pagan year, second only to Samhain, which lies directly opposite it on the Wheel.  Beltane (named for Bel, the Celtic Sun God) was traditionally begun on the eve of April 30, when great bonfires were lit using bundles of nine different woods sacred to the Druids ( Birch, Oak, Hazel, Rowan, Hawthorne, Willow, Fir, Apple and Vine)  These fires had healing properties; herds of cattle were driven between them and people would jump through the flames to ensure purity and protection.

Beltane is  a celebration of sexuality and fertility.  Ancient Pagan traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess.  They fall in love, lie together on the greening earth, and unite.  The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God.  A Maypole was set up and was the focal point of the old English village rituals. The Maypole is an ancient symbol of the Great Rite, the sexual union of the God and the Goddess, celebrated by lovers everywhere on May eve.  

The villagers  would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes.  Women traditionally would braid flowers int0 their hair.  Men and women alike would decorate their bodies.  Young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying”, and then dance around the Maypole the next morning.  Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. All night trysts in the forests between young lovers, called “greenwood marriages,” were common magickal practice and children conceived of these arrangements were known as “merry-begets,” and were considered children of the gods. I told you it was a fun and lusty Sabbat! 🙂

There are so many ways to celebrate Beltane.  May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.  Collect overnight dew and wake before Sunrise to wash your face with it to ensure beauty in the coming year. Make May baskets…a small basket, jar or paper cone filled with Spring flowers…to put on your family, friends. or neighbors front doors.  Knock and run away so they don’t know who left it!  Celebrate this Sabbat with bright, fresh colors, especially red and white, considered traditional for the ribbons of the Maypole.  A tall straight, branchless tree or a flagpole, as many ribbons as there are dancers, bells at your wrists and heels, and merry music….. weave the May!  Make a mini Maypole for your altar.  Build your own Beltane fire of nine different woods, then leap over it to purify and cleanse yourself of unwanted things. (Be careful!)   Or create a smaller blaze and write what you wish to eliminate on colorful ribbons of paper, then burn them to ash in the flames.  Your cauldron or fireplace would be great for this! Take an early morning walk through a local park or woods.  Gather up some plants or flowers to display in your home.  Make flower crowns for the ladies and wear them thruout the day! Make a great feast…Make love…drink May wine….Eat, drink and be Merry!!

Beltane Correspondence

*Element/Gender-Air/male

*Threshold-Dawn

 *Symbolism-Sacred marriage of the Lord and Lady, arrival of the Tuatha de Dannan in Ireland, Fertility festival, 1st day of the light half of the year.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Maypole and ribbons, flower crowns, fires, bowers, fields, May baskets, white flowers and red ribbons, daisy chain, white wine in clear crystal glass, chalice, seasonal fruit

 *Herbs-Almond, angelica, hawthorn, hibiscus, ash tree, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisy, frankincense,  ivy, lilac, marigold, meadowsweet, primrose, roses, woodruff, yarrow.

 *Incense/Oils-Passion flower, frankincense, tuberose, vanilla, lilac, rose.

*Colors-Red & white (symbolizing the God and Goddess), dark green, dark yellow, blue, rainbow, pastels, all colors.

 *Crystals/Stones-Emerald, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartz, lazuli, bloodstone

 *Customs/Activities-Maypole, dancing, bonfires, mating, picking flowers, flower (May) baskets,  feasting, drinking and music, walks in nature, moving herds to pasture.

*Foods-Dairy, honey, oats, red fruits, herbal salads, red/pink wine, punch, large round oatmeal cakes, sweets.

 *Gods-May King, Jack in the Green, Herne, Green Man, Bel, Gods of the Hunt

 *Goddesses-May Queen, Flora, Aphrodite, Flower Goddesses, Lady of the Greenwood,  Goddesses of the Hunt

*Spellwork/Rituals-The Great Rite, love, romance, fertility, elf and faery power, offerings to Elementals, crop blessings, divination, re-lighting sacred fires.

This correspondence information will help you to decorate your altar and your home.  It will help you to know what foods to prepare for your feast, what goddess/god to invite to your circle, what spellwork/ritual you can do…but most of all….this Sabbat is about having fun, being outside, celebrating Love!   Remember the saying “In Spring all young men’s thoughts turn to love”?  Remember prom night?  Remember your wedding night?   Ahhhhh….now you are getting the picture!  Let loose..no matter whether young in age or young at heart!  Dance around your fire….let your heart soar….celebrate Spring and the coming longer and warmer days!  Be light of heart and joyful!  Beltane is a glorious Sabbat and I hope YOU enjoy it to the fullest!

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.”
–  Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur 

Blessings and light, Autumn

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