Tag Archives: Mother Earth

The Wheel Turns to Mabon 2012………..

Merry Meet my friends! I am late posting a Mabon post this year but I have good reason!  My Life has been crazy busy.  We have been working hard on getting our house ready to sell.  Also, we went on vacation last week!  To Panama City Florida…my whole family…hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandbabies.  Took two friends with us as well to help care for my daughter Sara.  We had a fabulous time….My Sea Witch Self re-emerged.  Resting, relaxing, good eating, beautiful Sunrises and Sunsets, and a waning crescent Moon all made for great magick on the Beach!  A good time was had by all..much needed with all we had been through this year.

We were thrilled to see we were coming home to beautiful, Autumn weather.  Signs of Autumn are everywhere I look now.  Windows and screen doors are open during the day and nights are cool.  Leaves are starting to turn, gardens are losing their color, critters are busier, birds are flocking, stores are filled with Autumn and Halloween decorations.  Mums, pumpkins and Fall flowers are showing up at garden centers.  My mind is turning to my slow cooker, baking, cider and apples.  My clothes are changing over to long sleeves and light jackets or sweaters..and yes..even flannel jammies 🙂  Wood is piled in the fireplace and outdoor fire pit..ready to go.   Ahhhhh….I am maybe..just maybe..starting to forget (a little)  how miserable Summer was with it’s sweltering Heat LOL.  My soul soars at this wonderful time of year!

Mabon…the 2nd Harvest festival…is Saturday the 22nd.  I love all the Harvest Sabbats and this one is no exception.  I am planning a great meal, an outdoor by- the- fire ritual, and will be decorating my house for Autumn as well.  For me, Mabon is the time to reflect on the coming dark Season.  To finish up harvesting our gardens and herbs and putting our gardens to bed for the Winter.  Putting the last of the bounty up..by canning or freezing.   I start looking for projects to keep me busy as we come indoors more….like crochet, home projects, and of course Verbena Lane Botanicals is keeping me busy too 🙂  I also read more, journal more, work on my Book of Shadows etc…things that I can’t settle in to do during the Summer.  Cooking and baking!  This is my favorite time of year to cook….I’m perusing my recipe books like crazy already!

To get the Mabon Correpondences and recipes I’ve posted the last few years…just do a search in the archives.  I don’t think I can top the recipes I posted last year but  I’m searching out one or two more to post in the next day or so for you.

Mabon is a wonderful Sabbat….so much you can do to celebrate it.  Go for a walk and see what treasures from Mother Earth you can find….acorns, feathers, pine cones, stones, nuts, berries, colored leaves…bring them home and throw them in a beautiful wooden bowl with a brown, red, or rust pillar candle in the middle.  A beautiful centerpiece for your table or altar.  Have a soup party or Oktoberfest party.  Go pick your own apples and bake lots of yummy things with them.  Take the kids to the pumpkin patch. Rake up the leaves and jump in them!  I like to press beautiful leaves … then put them in a book, or frame or my Book of Shadows.  Mabon is a great time of year to banish the old and tired and bring in the new…new projects, new energies, new abundance, new thought patterns.  Learn something new….try something new!  You will have more time to do it…well…hopefully 🙂

“Leaves fall,the days grow cold.
The Goddess pulls her mantle of Earth around Her
as You, O Great Sun God, sail toward the West
to the land of eternal enchantment,
wrapped in the coolness of night.
Fruits ripen,seeds drip,
the hours of day and
night are balanced.”
–   Mabon Sabbat and Lore 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and would love to hear YOUR plans to celebrate this Sabbat.  I am off to get out my favorite cookbooks and see what I can find 😉  Happy Moon day and Mabon Blessings!

❤ Autumn

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Book of Shadows, Family, Gardens, Mabon, Nature, Quote, Seasons

Blessed Lughnasadh (and some recipes) 2012………

Merry Meet everyone!   Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas to you and Blessed Full Corn Moon!   What a night we will have huh! 🙂  I always love when there is a Full Moon on a Sabbat…the magick is palpable!  It makes everything we do to enjoy this wonderful Harvest festival..even better!

I have been a busy Witch today.  My plans completely changed today when my day at home turned into a fun day with my daughters and grandkids.  We had a lovely lunch and talked and played with the kids.  After she left..my hubby, who is on his last day of a small vacation…had an early dinner and ran a couple of errands.   Once home, I harvested my herbs…which I’m very pleased with!  I have had to baby these herbs along this year because of our extreme heat and extreme dryness.  I watered and watered and almost gave up..but with the help of a bit of rain last week..and more watering..I have some herbs hanging happily in my kitchen and scenting the whole house with the most wonderful smells :))   Here’s a picture!

I spent some time this evening putting out my Witch’s protection bottles, some wards around my property, smudged the house and am now writing here to you all 🙂   In a while, I’ll be outside, celebrating the Sabbat and the Full Moon with a simple ritual and just bask in Her amazing energy and light!

I found a couple more recipes I thought you all might like…I am anxious to try them myself as they use fresh herbs and wonderful late Summer produce!

Lemon Balm Bread

3/4 cup milk

1 cup plus 2 tbs fresh lemon balm

1 tb fresh lemon thyme

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

zest of one lemon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 – 2 tbs lemon juice

Combine milk, one cup lemon balm and thyme in a saucepan; gently bruise herbs to release the oils.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat; cover and let cool.  Strain and reserve liquid, discard herbs.  Cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs one at a time.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture, a small amount at a time, alternating with reserved milk.  Chop remaining 2 tbs of lemon balm and add to batter; blend in lemon zest.

Pour batter in a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake at 325* for 45 mins or until wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then continue cooling on wire rack.

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, mix until smooth and pour over cooled bread.

Basil and Tomato Soup

1 large onion, chopped

2 tbs oil

2-3 tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 lbs squash, chopped

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

Garnish:  fresh basil

Saute onion in oil over medium heat until tender.  add tomatoes and continue to cook until they become soft, about 5 mins.  Stir in squash and chicken broth; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 mins or until squash is fork tender.  Spoon mixture into a blender or food processor and puree with buttermilk until mixture is smooth.  Sprinkle in basil and stir.  Serve and garnish.

Fajitas and Grilled Vegetables

1 lb boneless sirloin

3/4 cup salsa

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs lime juice

2 tbs tequila

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large red pepper, halved

1 large yellow pepper, halved

4 red onion slices

1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise

1 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise

8   7-in flour tortillas, heated

1 cup mexican-blend shredded cheese

Place meat in a large plastic bag.  Add salsa, oil, lime juice, tequila and garlic.  Close bag securely; turn to combine all ingredients and to coat the meat.  Add vegetables and coat.  Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.  Remove meat and vegetables from marinade. Reserve marinade.

Grill beef and vegetables 4-5 inches from heat for about 5 mins per side or until beef is medium rare.  Remove to carving board; slice beef and peppers into thin strips, squash into slices and separate onion into rings.

To serve, divide beef and vegetables among tortillas.  Heat remaining marinade to a boil and drizzle over beef and vegetables.  Sprinkle with cheese; roll and serve with marinade on the side.

*Add sour cream if you’d like!

and of course something light and sweet :))

Lemonade Pie

6 oz can frozen lemonade

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 drops yellow food coloring

8 oz whipped topping

9 inch graham cracker pie crust

Mix together lemonade and milk.  If desired, add food coloring for a lovely lemony color.  Fold in whipped topping, and pour into crust.

Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

“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


Well, I am off to enjoy my bread and my family and then some  time outside.  I wish all of you a very Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas and a very Blessed Full Moon.  May you have a life filled with Joy and Abundance…always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Family, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Summer

The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2012………..

Merry Meet friends.  Hot, Humid and Dry.  Pretty well sums up the end of June and all of July here in Ohio..as I know many of you are experiencing the same thing where you live.  Those who know me, know I’m not a fan of Summer…and this oppressive weather makes that even more true. lol.   I’ve heard so many talking about it being the hottest, driest Summer they can remember for a while..and I thought the same thing.  Until I went back and read my Lugnasadh post from last year at right about this same time.   What was I talking about?   How hot and dry it was!   Just goes to show how quickly we forget from year to year.  So I will wait this out, try to find something good about it..and keep sweating and lagging along til it cools off. 🙂  We are expecting some rain tomorrow..that will go a long way to making things better!

I have really struggled to keep my flowers and herbs alive this year.  Despite watering constantly, they are not all lush and green like usual.  Water from a hose just is not the same as a good fresh rain.  Our grass….pretty well looks dead…but with a good soaking I’m sure it will come back.   I feel so badly for the farmers and their crops and the poor animals who must be struggling to find water.  I have put out big bins of water..keeping them filled…and I’ve seen everything from birds to groundhogs and possums to deer drinking from it.  Seeing deer drinking from it…amazing!  Made me feel good to see it….like I am doing a good thing 🙂

I can’t believe it’s the middle of July already.  Lughnasadh is not far off..August 1….and tonight is the New Moon as well.  I will be doing a small ritual ..for new beginnings on my new project.  Well kind of new.   I have started an online business…something I’ve wanted to do for 2 years now…and something has kept me from doing it for that long…my own hesitations..and my recent illness..but I have finally got the show on the road.  Verbena Lane Botanicals is my herbal products business.  I make bath, beauty and healing products.  Right now we have a facebook page and we are selling from it  (we being my daughter Kate and I).  She is very busy being a mom of 2 little ones, studying medical billing and coding, and being pregnant with baby #3 :))) Yes, I’m going to have another grandchild in January..I’m thrilled!  Anyway I digress LOL.   So I have taken over the business pretty much for now.  I’m listing new products each week and orders are coming in nicely and keeping me busy.  An etsy shop will be our next step as well.   Check it out if you’d like 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/VerbenaLane

I’ve received some wonderful messages asking how I’m doing.  I’m happy to say that just in the last couple weeks, I am feeling much much better.  My energy level is returning, my headaches are better,  and I continue to improve some of the cognitive problems I was having.  I feel sharper mentally.  I still get tired and am still remembering what I told all of you…to put myself first more often..to take care of myself…to rest when I need to etc.  I thank you all again for your prayers and well wishes.

Back to Lugnasadh.  There is not much more I can say about this first Harvest Sabbat that I haven’t said in previous posts from the last 3 years.  It is one of my favorite Sabbats simply because it is the first Harvest one!  Harvest..what a wonderful word. It implys the end of the Summer. Coming soon, my favorite Season of Autumn.  Harvest..meaning farm stands will be full of produce, grown by Mother Earth with the help of hardworking farmers and gardeners.  Harvest….time to cut my herbs, dry them, and enjoy my own harvested work.  Harvest..reminds me of my grandmother, canning and preserving all the bounty from her own gardens, with me by her side, doing what I could and watching her, learning.  Harvest..animals gathering, nesting, hustling.

 

Lugnasadh for me is baking homemade, grain-filled breads.  It’s making herb infused oils and vinegars so I can enjoy my herbs all Winter long.  It’s enjoying the last hot, hazy days of Summer…family cook-outs, family vacation, tending gardens and herbs, making some jams to go with that great homemade bread, time outdoors, porch sitting,  and starting to think about cooler days. I love to pull out my Autumn cookbooks…start perusing recipes I want to try this year..putting me in the mood for Fall and good hot meals…and lets not forget mid August brings back football!!   (Go Bengals!)

I hope that all of you have some plans made for Lugnasadh.   I usually light candles all over the house in the evening, enjoy a glass of wine and dream of bright colored leaves falling from trees, pumpkins, mums, woodsmoke and fires, good foods made with apples,  sweaters and crisp air.  Lugnasadh reminds us that the season will be changing soon 🙂

I will come back soon and post a couple of recipes from those cookbooks I was talking about.  In the meantime, I hope you have a Blessed New Moon!

“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,

Love and Blessings, Autumn

*Pics of bread, oils and jams are my own. 🙂  *ok..for some reason the oils and jam picture won’t post…I’ll try again tomorrow 🙂

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Mother Earth, Nature, New Moons, Photography, Quote, Summer

The Wheel turns to Summer Solstice 2012….

Merry Meet friends.  I hope that your Spring has been as beautiful as mine and that all is well with all of you.  I haven’t written for a while…my health issues have caused a bit of a problem with coming up with what to write and even the desire to write..but I was in the mood so here I am 🙂   Spring came quite early here in Ohio, probably for you too.  It was such a mild Winter most everywhere and it warmed up fast.  It’s been just beautiful here…though we are now having quite hot temperatures, hitting 90’s the next several days already.  Because of the warm Winter and even warmer Spring, gardening and outdoor activities got under way much earlier then usual and it’s been wonderful! 

My herbs from last year happily sprang back up and are huge and ready to be harvested already!  Many of my flowers are already in  full bloom and everything is green and lush.  Lawns needed to be cut early, mulching done, garden centers hopping busy, and Mother Earth is in full bloom in May!  I have noticed that birds are singing louder and happier..(I know..it could be my imagination but I don’t think so!) , critters are scurrying and playing.   We have a koi pond and the frogs are so abundant and so noisy it’s amazing!  There are a lot of new baby fish this year too. 

Porch time started early…and the bugs…well…the bad thing about a mild Winter is the bugs are multiplied.  June bugs, lady bugs, crickets, spiders, wasps, bees, mosquitos…yep…they are everywhere!  I haven’t seen any lightning bugs yet but I’m sure they’ll be along any day 🙂  LOL maybe thats why the birds are so happy? 🙂   I can’t wait for the farmers markets and produce stands to open around us…it won’t be long now.  I have the biggest craving for grilled corn on the cob, big, ripe and red tomatoes and some ice cold watermelon!

The Summer Solstice…I can’t believe how fast it’s coming up.  Just those words bring back so many memories of carefree Summer days not only when I was a child but when my girls were little too.  Now I get to watch my grandchildren play in the dirt, collect bugs, swim, run in the sprinkler, get sticky with watermelon and need baths more then once a day LOL.   The cycle continues and the lazy, hazy days of Summer always bring back some nostalgia for me.  Though I’m not a fan of really hot days these days..crone that I am…I still love the whole idea that Summer is a time for families, outdoor activities, cookouts and 4th of July parades.   Riding bikes, picnics, swimming in lakes, oceans and pools, being tan and active and soooo tired at the end of the day.  It’s reading in hammocks and lawn chairs or blankets under a tree in the shade.  It’s fishing, and hiking and gardening.  Ice tea on the porch and lemonade stands….have you seen a lemonade stand lately?  I think they are making a come back!  I often think that Summer is for the young…but as I get older, I find my own appreciation of it as well, in a different way.  It’s time to feel young again..to join the kids running thru sprinklers, cranking the ice cream maker, playing frisbee or floating on a raft.  Ah..Summer..it’s such a great time of year. 

 

Some fond memories I have as a child was drive-in movies…remember those?   There are just a couple left near where I live and I think it’s sad that they’ve gone away.  When I was quite young…my dad worked a 2nd job at a drive-in movie theatre on the weekends…well..apparantly, that allowed our family of 4 kids and my mom to get to come see movies most weekends.  I can remember mom and dad loading us up..in our jammies of all things LOL  but we all were under the age of 8-10 with me being the oldest.  We would make up a big bag of popcorn..cheaper to bring our own…a jug of Kool-aid, toys and books etc.  We would get here early so my dad could report to work and we’d get a good spot to park.  Right by the play-yard and the concession stand.  We’d get out a play til the movie started.  The rules were…we were allowed to watch the first movie..had to lay down for the 2nd movie. LOL  Apparantly the first movie was kid friendly, the 2nd one was not.  That’s why I would take a book and a flashlight 🙂  We often thru blankets out in front of the car and laid on them to watch the movie.  I remember seeing Disney movies mostly.  My dad would come sit with us between movies a bit…bring us some candy sometimes.   It’s a good memory I have from a childhood that wasn’t always so great.  I took my girls to a few drive-in movies when they were little as they were still around then.   I wonder if my grandkids will even know what they are?  

As a Witch, the Summer Solstice..or Litha..is the time of year I put out new protection bottles, place new protection around my home, give offerings to the Fae and Goddess,  harvest my herbs as they grow, and keep myself grounded to Mother Earth..my feet in her dirt and grass and sand, my face to the Sun, my back leaning against a tree, my hands weeding or planting or watering, and my heart connects to the starry skies, the Moon, the warm Summer winds or the warm refreshing rain.  It’s a beautiful time of year. 

As I am still recovering..I think I appreciate even more the Seasons of the year then I always have.  I have always done my best to make the most of every day, to find magick everyday, to be sure my loved ones know they are loved by me everyday.  Now…I find it even more important to be sure I enjoy the moments..not let my mind be spinning constantly with what is coming next or what needs to be done tomorrow.  Summer is a slow-down and stop and smell the roses season…that is what I intend to do this Summer!  and oh yes..I intend to play….like a child….everyday!  I know many of you do that too! 

“There shall be eternal Summer in the grateful heart.”

 ~Celia Thaxter

I am perusing recipes for Litha for my next post.  Be sure to check out the last two years of posts for the Summer Solstice too..recipes, altars, pics etc.  Just type it in the Search gadget.  I want to thank so many of you again for all the healing, prayers and well wishes sent my way.  I will always remember and be grateful for it.  Thank you.

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources…some pics are internet, some are mine….

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Filed under Faeries, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Herbs, Litha/Summer Solstice, Mother Earth, Movies, My Favorite Things, Nature, Photography, Quote, Seasons, Summer

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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Filed under Beltane, Faeries, Family, Flowers, Garden, Goddess, Grandchildren, Mother Earth, Nature, Photography, 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

Countdown to Imbolc 2012…….

 

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
– Barbara Winkler

Merry Meet on this beautiful Sun day.  Hope your New Year is going well so far.  I have been sick with a virus that has had me down for some time now but I’m pulling up my bootstraps and telling myself I’m OVER it now 🙂  I do feel a bit better today and hope it continues.  As I’m having a quiet day I decided to post on my blog…about Imbolc….as I was making notes and lists to get ready for this wonderful Sabbat.  Imbolc has always been special to me because it was the first Sabbat that I celebrated.  It always feels hopeful and full of magick to me. 

As I am writing this, I’m sitting in my chair with the window cracked open, allowing the cool air to come in and cleanse out my house a bit.  Though it’s in the low 40’s here, the Sun is beautiful and warm and it feels a bit like a Spring day.  That’s what Imbolc is all about..the return of the Spring, the warmth, the Sun….Mother Earth re-awakening!  We have had a rare Winter so far here in Ohio.  Only one snow that amounted to anything, lots of days above normal temps and it’s been delightful!  But though I’m thinking about Spring already, we have much more Winter to go I’m quite sure 🙂 

 Imbolc, known also as Imbolg, Candlemas, the Festival of Brighid, and the Feast of Lights. The word Imbolc means “in the belly,” or in the womb of Mother Earth, as well as “in milk,” which refers to ewes coming into milk for the first lambs of the season. This Sabbat marks the return of spring, even as winter continues its reign. Imbolc is February 2nd and is of course, in modern times, also known as Groundhog’s Day.

Imbolc, for me,  is a time of cleansing and purification. It’s all about Spring Cleaning!  It is time to throw out the old and bring in the new. This not only means the “stuff and clutter” in your home, but also your old thoughts, anger, hurt feelings etc. To Sweep out negatitive and stagnant Air and bring in fresh, clean positive Air.   To re-new my home and myself. After a thorough Spring Cleaning on my home, I Cleanse and Bless my home and those who dwell here, and cleanse my body and my soul as well.   Imbolc is when I re-dedicate myself to my path every year.  Though it’s not necessary to do, it re-energizes and re-connects me to my path, my Goddess, my way of life.  

The customs of Imbolc include ritual “spring cleaning” of the house, to banish the last of winter and hasten the coming of warm, sunny days.  Some things I do while cleaning…..I  use lavender and rosemary in a pot of boiling water to wash floors and walls, vinegar and mugwort for windows and mirrors. Burn sage to cleanse the psychic energies, and replace old protection and prosperity charms. I wash all my curtains and linens and give them a good spritz with lavender water before re-hanging them.  I clean out drawers, closets, cupboards. Sweep high and low.  Replace burnt out light bulbs, anything that’s broken, throw out that is which is no longer of use or pleasure.  The house will smell and feel amazing when you’re done!  Oh, I like to replace all my old candles that may not be finished yet…just to have a fresh start! 

I also spend some time on myself.  Taking a ritual bath scented with your favorite herbs/oils or sea salt is always cleansing and renewing.  As you soak, meditate to clear your mind and heart of any thoughts or emotions that no longer serve you. This is all to “start a-new” in mind, body, spirit and home. Anoint your chakra points with Blessing oil after and spend some time meditating and focusing inward on yourself.  Let go what needs to go and open yourself to new possibilities, Joy, Peace and Love only.  Let the negative go and the positive take over.  You will feel so great afterwards.

On Imbolc Night, in ancient times, The Goddess Brighid was honored in her Maiden form.  One way to honor her is this.  Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is placed by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun. Just before sunset, turn off all the lights in the house. Carrying  a single white burning candle,  to represent Brighid, knock three times on the front door and invite the Goddess to enter, asking that she bestow health, success, abundance, and love upon everyone in the house. Then slowly begin turning on the lights, moving room to room, until every light in the house is on.  This is really magickal to me..symbolizes the Darkness of Winter changing to the Light of Spring.  If you have made a Brighid cross, have it on your altar or hanging near your front door or fireplace to represent Her as well. 

Imbolc Correspondences

*Element/Gender-Earth/female

*Threshold- Midnight

*Symbolism-First stirring of Mother Earth, lambing, growth of the Sun God, the middle of winter, Purity, Re-newal, Fertility, dispensing of old and making way for the new

*Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Brighid’s Crosses, Brideo’gas, Besoms, white flowers, acorn wands, candles, Brides bed, milk, evergreens, daffodils, grain/seeds, snowflakes

*Herbs-Angelica, basil, bay laurel, blackberry, heather, iris, myrrh, violets, clover, willow, and all yellow flowers.

*Incense/Oils-Basil, bay, wisteria, cinnamon, violet, vanilla, myrrh, jasmine, rose, sage lavender,

*Colors-Gold, light green, green, blue, yellow, pink, white, red, brown and pastels

*Crystals/Stones-Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, turquoise, onyx, moonstone, red jasper

*Customs/Activities-Candle lighting, seeking omens of spring, cleaning house, bonfires, indoor planting, stone collecting, hearth re-lighting, storytelling

*Foods-Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, spicy foods, dairy, raisins, poppyseed bread/cakes, muffins, scones, breads, pancakes/waffles, spiced wines, herbal teas

*Gods- Pan, Cupid/Eros, young Sun Gods

*Goddesses- Brighid, Venus, Diana, Virgin Goddess, Maiden Child Goddess, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Vesta, Gaia, Selene, Februa

*Spellworking/Rituals-Cleansing, purification, renewal, creative inspiration, purification, initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings, welcoming Brigid, feast of milk and bread, Self-dedication

To aid you in your house cleansing, here is a ritual I love to do after all the Cleaning is done….

Imbolc House Cleansing Ritual

-Light a smudge stick and walk around the rooms of your house to replace old protection and prosperity. I smudge around all my windows and door and throw them open to allow in the fresh, cold Air!  You can also go around with a representative of each element…salt, incense or sage, a lit candle etc….or you can use a Blessing oil and anoint your doors and windowsills with a pentagram or sigil of protection.  While you are doing so, say something like:

“May the goddess bless this home

make it safe and secure

so that nothing but love and joy

shall enter here.

When you are finished with every room, close the windows, step back and take a deep breath.  Feels good doesn’t it? I usually do this House Blessing…then light all the candles and turn off lights and welcome in Brighid as written above.  Then I sit with a nice glass of Bailey’s or Wine and enjoy the feel of my Clean, Cleansed and Blessed home!  I’m ready to deal with the rest of Winter and my heart knows that Spring will be here soon!

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey,

 and enjoy every idle hour.”

 

– John Boswell

During this next couple months when we can only dream of Spring and our gardens, being outside.  Do that…Dream!  Pore over your garden catalogs and magazines and dream of planting your gardens, herbs, veggies.  It’ll do you heart some good.   Thats what I will be doing too.  I have big plans this year to expand my gardens 🙂

In winter’s cold and sparkling snow,
The garden in my mind does grow.
I look outside to blinding white,
And see my tulips blooming bright.
And over there a sweet carnation,
Softly scents my imagination.

On this cold and freezing day,
The Russian sage does gently sway,
And miniature roses perfume the air,
I can see them blooming there.
Though days are short, my vision’s clear.
And through the snow, the buds appear.

In my mind, clematis climbs,
And morning glories do entwine.
Woodland phlox and scarlet pinks,
Replace the frost, if I just blink.
My inner eye sees past the snow.
And in my mind, my garden grows.”
– Cheryl Magic-Lady, Winter Garden

I will post more about my altar and my Imbolc celebration in the coming days. If you haven’t already started thinking about this beautiful Sabbat, then do. There is alot of work involved with this one. The clearing out of the old is not for the faint of heart! LOL Be brutal in both your home and yourself! Really clear out the stuff that needs to go. You will feel so much better about your home and you will feel lighter and happier with yourself as well. Spring is coming and I know that makes many of your heart’s soar!! Start it out with a clean, uncluttered great smelling home and a clean slate full of positivity, lightness and joy for yourself! The Magick of Imbolc is upon us!

Oh, tonight is the Full Wolf or Cold Moon.  Her energy is amazing as I visited with Her last night and will again tonight.  Doing some healing work for myself and some friends of mine, making Moon water, cleansing and energizing some new crystals, tools etc.  Blessed Full Wolf Moon to you all!  Make the Most of your time with Her!

 

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Cleaning & Organizing, Correspondence, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, History, Holiday, Imbolc, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Poem, Protection, Quote, Ritual, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Blessed Winter Solstice……..

Brightly burns the Yule log tonight
Magic dances in firelight
Hold my hand and join the song
Raise the Sun King bright and strong
Dark is giving way to light
As brightly burns the Yule log tonight!

by my friend

Saffron Celtic Moon

 

Merry Meet my friends.  Whew…I have been so so busy..as I’m sure you all have been.  I’m taking a few minutes to write  a quick post and to post some pictures.  The Winter Solstice is upon us!  Here, it is warm and very rainy. Not Winter weather at all!  But be that as it may, I can FEEL that the Solstice is here…the darkness prevails, Mother Earth is dormant, the animals are still collecting, scurrying, hurrying to prepare for the long Winter.  Cut wood is being delivered, the stores are busy with people shopping for their festivities the next few days, the malls and restaurants are swamped, traffic is terrible LOL.   But…..tonight..the longest night of the year….leads to a Sunrise in the morning..the Sun God is reborn…and the days wills start getting longer again. 

As I said before, the Winter Solstice for me is the peace I find in myself.  Taking the time to reflect, to renew, to rest..to be quiet with myself.  With all the hustle and bustle going on around me….quiet is what will be happening here, both tomorrow morning watching the Sunrise with my coffee, and tomorrow night..in ritual.  That is what the Solstice is all about!  Welcoming the Sun God, knowing Spring will come again though Winter is upon us, and spending time on myself.

Tomorrow, I will have my family here.  We’re going to have a luncheon, exchange a small gift, and burn the Yule log.  We make wishes on the Yule log by writing them down on a piece of paper, and burning it with the Yule log and greens.  It will be laid back and fun.  Tomorrow night, I’ll be at my altar. 

So speaking of altar….here is some pics of mine this year.

The pics and what I put on my altar probably speaks for itself.  The beautiful stag in my God representative.  The oranges represent the Sun…of course cloves are perfect this time of year.  The greens are pine, spruce, holly, lavender and rosemary..all from my own yard.  The pinecones are from my yard too.  I used gold to represent the Sun in the stars and candles, of course red and green had to be there too.  My Yule log and rosemary tree have a cardinal on them..my favorite Winter bird!  I’m pretty happy with the results and can’t wait to work at it tomorrow night.  Oh of course, wine and some cake..oatmeal I think, will be enjoyed as well 🙂 

So, spend some time by a fire with family, spend some time reflecting on the last year and on yourself, and welcome the Sun God during the Sunrise in the morning. May your Solstice be most Blessed with Love, Joy, Peace and Prosperity.  I thank you all for reading my blog and for being my friend.  I am most Blessed this Solstice Night!

Yule Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Holiday, Mother Earth, Photography, Poem, Seasons, Uncategorized, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Blessed Thanksgiving!……

Merry Evening my friends.  After a busy day of errand running, house readying, cooking and baking, I’m stopping by to post my wishes to you all for a Happy Thanksgiving Day!  I know how busy those of you who are hosting the day are …. and how ready Everyone is to enjoy the day with their family and friends, good food and good cheer! and of course Football! 🙂  No matter how simple or fancy your meal, whether you are two or twenty-two at your table…don’t forget to give thanks to the Universe…whatever you call the Divine….for the blessings in your life.  It will make your day even better. For me, I thank the Goddess for the Blessings in my life and Mother Earth for her bounty that will be on my table this year. 

In these economic times, many of us are struggling more, may have lost jobs etc.  There may have been a loss in your family or you feel alone or ARE alone. I know sometimes it is very hard to find anything to be thankful for.  But even if things aren’t as you wish them to be…there are things you can find, I’m sure!   Most of the time being grateful is the last thing on our list of what’s on our mind…but try, for this day at least, to think about it.  Your soul will be soothed when you do.  If you are blessed like I am to have a wonderful family, loving friends, a roof over your head, food to eat, and maybe a furbaby or two who loves you uncondtionally..then you are wealthy in all the ways that are important! 

I am most grateful to my family, my friends and my facebook family…I love you all!  I’m going to leave you  with a few quotes that are amongst my favorites, for both Thanksgiving and thankfulness.  I use them as reminders to myself to be grateful…to find something everyday to be grateful for..no matter how bad the day may be going.  I hope, however, your Thanksgiving is a marvelously happy day, that it is fun and drama- free and that you have to unbutton  your pants because  you are so full of great food!  

 

“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as

frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

 ~Edward Sandford Martin

 

“Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful

 that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.”

 ~E.P. Powell

 

 

“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast”.

 ~William Shakespeare

 

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

~Melody Beattie

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation

 is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

 ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.”

~W.J. Cameron

 

Blessings of Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Goddess, Holiday, Mother Earth, Quote, Thanksgiving

Blessed Ostara and Blessed Supermoon……..

Merry Meet my friends.  Wow, did you see the SuperMoon last night?  She was amazing!  Came up red/orange..then orange..then yellow and then bright and light!  The energy coming from Her was amazing and I spent as much time as I could out with Her.  It was actually quite cold here and my hands were freezing but my soul and heart were soaring from the beauty and energy.  My windchimes were softly singing, coyotes howling, stars twinkling and it was a most magickal night.  I hope that you all experienced Her as well.  She is there for us….all you have to do is connect!

Today is the first day of Spring!  A time for growth and renewal.  The Earth is alive again!  Grass is greening, trees budding, flower shoots poking up, critters scurrying again and our hearts are singing and feel lighter as the Sun makes our days longer and warmer.  I hear mowers running again and motorcycles on the road and people are leaving their coats at home and opting for light jackets.  The garden centers are open, my herb seeds are planted, and thoughts turn to being outside.  There is even a smell in the air….green and earthy.  Ahhh Spring!

“In the Spring, at the end of the day, You should smell like dirt!”

                                             –  Margaret Atwood

LOL  I love this quote.  How wonderful to smell like dirt! 🙂  That means that you have put in a good days work…in your gardens or pots, growing your herbs, flowers, veggies or weeding.  The best way to truly connect with Mother Earth is too work in her rich soil, getting dirty, sweaty, your muscles aching…..then sitting back and looking at your handiwork and knowing that your hard work will reap beautiful rewards.  Have you planned your garden or pots?  I know my garden books and magazines are being perused greatly..and the internet is of course a wonderful way to research as well. 

Things to do for Spring?  Oh there is so much you can do!

-Have a picnic on a warmer day..take wine, cheese, fruit, bread…its all you need…oh and take someone you love too.

-Go visit a garden center.

-Take a drive out in the country with your windows open

-Visit a farm or go on a bird watch. 

-Go fishing or mushrooming or hiking or biking.

-Sit on your porch, drink a lemonade and peruse a garden book.

-Fix a delicious light meal using fresh fruits and veggies.

-Go get an ice cream cone!

-Start a new project around the house..outdoors preferably.

-Find a path and walk it!  Take your camera and start taking pics of what you see. Make a scrapbook of your photography!

Make the most of everyday my friends.  The seasons are here for us to enjoy.  To find Joy!  and Spring is here for our renewal after a long hard winter. 

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
~Julian Grenfell

How I wish you could come and sit with me for awhile.  I’m sure we’d have so much to talk about.  I’ll make some cookies and tea and we would just chat and enjoy the scenery.  The warm Sun, soft breezes, the feel of the earth and grass beneath our feet and the easy feel of friendship between us.  How magickal would that be?  Lovely indeed…:)

So let your hearts feel light and find a way to celebrate Spring!  Blessings of Spring to you all with Love….

Autumn

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Filed under Full Moons, Garden, Herbs, Mother Earth, Nature, Ostara, Photography, Quote, Spring