Tag Archives: 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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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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Blessed Ostara 2014………….

Merry Meet my friends! The first day of Spring has finally arrived! Here…it’s not that warm..in the 40’s… but the Sun is shining, a soft breeze is blowing, birds are singing and I am seeing some Spring bulbs poking out of the ground and trees budding if I look real, real close 🙂

I started out the day greeting the Sun as He rose while having a cup of coffee. I lit a candle in gratitude for the turning of the Wheel and the return of the Sun. I re-filled bird feeders and put out some dried corn for the squirrels once I got dressed. Once I did that, I headed out to the florist (NO tulips or daffodils yet anywhere!) and purchased a mixed flower bouquet. Then I went to the garden center and got 6 herb seed packets and a couple of starter trays.

 

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Now I have started my herbs from seeds for many years, at my old home where I had a perfect place to do it. Here at this house…while I have sunny East facing windows, I can’t put pots of dirt and seeds there with 2 kitties who will have fun with that! LOL. So I’m going to attempt to grow a few in my kitchen window on the sill. I planted 4 each of lavender, sage, basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. We shall see what happens but it made me happy on this Spring Equinox day to do it. I set crystals on my window sill too and did a seed blessing as I planted them. (for my seed blessing..be sure to type Ostara into the search box on the right).

My altar has been ready for a week or so now, so I added the pretty flowers and I’m ready to go. I have smudged the house and cracked a few windows as well. I’m doing small things to celebrate the day, all day long, and tonight I will do a Welcome Spring ritual at my altar.

 

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Now I am hearing that we will have lovely warm weather tomorrow but probably some rain… then temps will drop back into Winter weather and we have SNOW forecasted for Tuesday! 🙂 Now this is just typical for where I live here in Ohio…give it a day and it will change again. I’m not going to let it spoil my Spring though and don’t you let it either. As a Witch, we can feel the quickening of our Mother Earth. She is awakening most definitely and it won’t be long before we will be merrily working in our gardens and complaining about the heat LOL.

I hope you and your loved ones have a very Blessed Ostara. May Joy, Love, Peace, Abundance and Light be yours today and always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Imbolc, 2014……..

imagesCA48N7RIMerry Meet my friends! Wow..I can’t believe I just typed 2014!  Time flies so fast doesn’t it?  I hope this posting finds you all avoiding the flu, staying safe and warm in this incredibly frigid Winter we’re having, and that things have slowed down for you a bit! That you’ve had time to rest and relax. After all January is the best month to do that!  At least here in the Northern Hemisphere 🙂

I have been busy, both doing my yearly Imbolc deep cleaning and organizing, AND finding time to read, journal, take a nap, cook etc. Things I enjoy doing.  Imbolc is coming fast.  I love this Sabbat. As I’ve said before, it’s the first one I celebrated.  I mean truly celebrated it by stopping reading about it and getting up and doing something instead!  I decided not to try to do all the complicated things I was reading in my books..and just do what felt right….  and I haven’t looked back since!

This Imbolc I’m blessed with having my Circle of fellow Witches.  We will be meeting to celebrate Imbolc for a breakfast..to welcome the Sun..and we will do it in our jammies! LOL..something fun to look forward to.  It’s our first Imbolc gathering and won’t be our last I’m sure.

As I mentioned, I do my Spring cleaning early, for Imbolc, as I know a lot of you do.  I clean out closets and cupboards and drawers, getting rid of junk and organizing things better.  I dust high and low, move furniture and sweep and mop, baseboards, ceiling fans etc.  I clean my Witch cupboard out..dust it and cleanse and consecrate my tools again.  I smudge the house the day  before Imbolc, and put out new wards and protection.  It’s a busy Sabbat and a very satisfying one!

Magickally, I welcome the Sun on Imbolc morning, and that evening there is a fire of course. I burn any dusty old herbs that are still hanging and any greens, pinecones etc that are still around from Yule. Candles are lit all over the house.  We feast and drink and celebrate, knowing that while Winter still has it’s grip on us, Spring and Sun and longer days aren’t far behind! At Midnight, I throw open the doors and invite the Goddess Brighid in to my home..to protect and bless us for the coming year!

I’m already dreaming about my gardens..planning what I want to plant, what I want to add or take away etc.  This year, as we have just been in this house one year now, there is LOTS to do yet!  Another raised bed will be built for my herbs, there will be holly bushes, lilac bushes and an elderberry tree added in the landscape.  We need to add two new trees..maples…one to the front yard and one to the back.  I’ll fine tune what I did yesterday, throw out what didn’t work and baby along what did.  *sigh*…there is nothing better then the Sun on my back and my hands in the dirt.  I can’t wait!

daffodils in snow

As you all know, I love Winter, but even I am getting tired of this frigid cold we’ve had this year.  I don’t mind the snow at all, but the cold is something else! I see so many talking about being tired of it already, feeling depressed, or cabin fever etc.  I totally understand.  All I can recommend is that you take the time to do something that you really love doing and do it.  Take a class, paint a room, re-decorate, work on your Book of Shadows or grimoire. Surround yourself with things and people who comfort you, watch great movies, sleep more, take a walk..even when it’s cold..just to get fresh air, read, dance, sing, make love…you get the picture! LOL.  Don’t give in to it if you can.  I find stepping out and breathing in cold, clean AIR does a lot to energize me..especially if the Sun is shining or the Moon is glowing! And there is always a cleansing bath…that makes everything better indeed!

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For now, I wish you all a wonderful weekend! Leave me messages and tell me your plans, I’d love to hear them.  Be sure to use the search box on the right column for previous Imbolc postings and recipes etc.  I may be back with a recipe or two a bit later this week.  In the meantime, keep your Spirits up..use your Magick! Snow magick is strong!  There is a 2nd New Moon this month as well..the Black Moon on January 30..not a real common occurrence! Use it! Bright Blessings to you all! Stay warm and safe and remember..Spring will come!

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey,  and enjoy every idle hour.” 
–  John Boswell

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Blessed Summer Solstice 2012……

 

Merry Meet my friends.  It’s here..the Summer Solstice.   I got up early to greet the Sun God as He rose on this, the longest day of the year.  I welcomed him with great joy and a grateful heart and was reminded that no matter what we go thru….The Sun and the Moon always Rise…and Set..and keep the Wheel and Mother Earth turning on and on.   I wish you all a very Happy Solstice..whichever one you celebrate today…Winter or Summer….May you and yours have a Blessed one!

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Love and Light, Autumn

PS…this picture was taken from my own front porch this morning 🙂

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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 Lughnasadh……….

Merry Meet my friends!  Hope you all are well and enjoying your Summer (or Winter depending where you live 🙂 .  We have been having an amazing couple of weeks of cool, breezy, gorgeous weather.  I am not a fan of HOT weather so I am loving this so much.  We have had a nice amount of rain here too..enough to keep everything green and lush, growing and blooming.  I love sitting out on the porch in the evenings with a glass of wine and watching the fireflies flitting, hearing the frogs croaking and crickets chirping, the windchimes softly chiming.  The nights feel soft and gentle to me and all seems right with the world in that moment. 

 

“The summer air is hot and still, the afternoon hazy; crickets call relentlessly from among the brown grasses, and ears of corn are the same heavy, burnished gold as the late-day sun. Hawks circle in the blue-white sky overhead, and seedpods ripen where flowers bloomed just a month before. But shadows begin to lengthen along the garden wall, and the nights come, just a bit cooler, perhaps; a settling begins in the Earth, a gathering, a slow, quiet turning toward the coming darkness.”

From Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

Believe it or not, the days are getting shorter and Autumn is on it’s way.  Soon, on  August 1, we will be celebrating the first Harvest festival of the Wheel of the Year.   It is Lughnasadh (prounounced loo-na-sa), known also as Lammas, or Lammastide, the first of three Harvest Festivals.   This Sabbat marks the ending of summer and the first harvest of the grain. It was known as the time when the plants of Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.

Lughnasadh is named for Lugh, the Celtic deity who presides over the arts and sciences. According to Celtic legend, Lugh decreed that a commemorative feast be held each year at the beginning of the harvest season to honor his foster mother, Tailtiu. Tailtiu was the royal Lady of the Fir Bolg..an older race that was defeated by the Tuatha De Dannan.  After the defeat, she was forced by them to clear a vast forest for the purpose of planting grain. She died of exhaustion after it was completed.  She was buried beneath a great mound named for her,  the hill of Tailtiu.   The very first feast of Lughnasadh was held in there.  At this gathering there were  games and contests of skill as well as a great feast made up of the first fruits of the summer harvest.

When Christianity arrived in  the Celtic lands, the old pagan  festival of Lughnasadh took on Christian symbolism. Loaves of bread were baked from the first of the harvested grain and placed on the church altar on the first Sunday of August. The Christians called this feast Lammas or “loaf mass”.   

With the coming of Autumn, the Sun God is aging and he loses strength as the nights grow longer.  This  is a  time for giving thanks for summer’s bounty. Harvesting the fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs and feasting on them, thanking the Sun God for his transformation into the soul of the harvest.  This is the time of year that so many women are in the kitchen preserving and canning the produce from their gardens..putting it away for the long winter.  My daughter and I have just in the last couple of years tried our hand at canning and we are loving it 🙂 

Lughnasadh Correspondences

 *Element/Gender-Fire/female

 *Threshold-Noon

 *Symbolism- Celtic grain  Festival,  first harvest festival,  The aging of the Sun God,  Autumn’s arrival. 

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations- Corn, cornucopias, red & yellow flowers, sheaves of grain,  First fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, cauldron,  Sickle, scythe, harvested herbs, bonfires, sacred loaf of bread.

 *Herbs- All grains, heather, apples, pears,  cornstalks, frankincense, sunflower, wheat,  oak leaf, hollyhock, myrtle.

 *Incense/Oils- Wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn,  passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood.

 *Colors- Red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray.

 *Crystals/Stones- Aventurine, citrine, peridot, yellow diamonds and citrine, carnelian.

 *Customs/Activities- Breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for  charms/rituals, feasting, gathering flowers, handfastings, games,

 *Foods- Loaves of homemade wheat, oat & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, nuts, acorns,  summer squash, wild berries, apples, pears, elderberry wine, crab, grapes, cider, beer.

 *Gods-Lugh, John Barley Corn, Dionysus, Lieu, Dagon, Vegetation Gods

 *Goddesses-The Mother, Dana, Demeter, Ceres, The Barley Mother, Isis, Luna

 *Spellwork/Ritual- Astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, finishing projects

There is so many ways to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.  Have a feast with your family and friends..outside while the weather is still nice.  Fix lots of fresh veggies and fruits, they are great grilled on the grill 🙂  Have a bonfire, drink wine!  Go to a medieval fair or craft show..this time of year they are everywhere.  Go on a picnic and enjoy the warm weather.   Lay on a blanket under the stars and find the constellations, watch for shooting stars.  Catch fireflys and let them go. 

Don’t have a garden of your own, visit a farmer’s market or produce stand!  Make a big bouquet of flowers and bring it in or better yet, give it to an elderly neighbor to enjoy.   Harvest herbs from the garden, and make flavored oils and vinegars to keep a taste of summer in your pantry all winter long.  They would make great Yule gifts as well.  Have a bread baking day with your family.  Put  grains, fruits and nuts in the bread  and send a loaf home with everyone.  Make corn dollys.  Make fresh fruit jams, jellies or preserves, or can veggies.  Plan a “tournament” of corn hole for the kids, or croquet, or kickball…playing games is just what the Celts did! 

 

 

 

Lughnasadh is a good time to start your Fall House cleaning, to finish projects you wanted to do over the Summer. Get your carpets cleaned, windows cleaned, take down and wash your curtains and linens.  Get your fireplace checked so it’s ready for the wonderful fires you’ll have soon.  I actually LOVE Fall cleaning…I call it nesting 🙂  Getting ready to be in, be home, be cozy, be more lazy 🙂

I will be posting recipes, rituals etc over the next few weeks for this Blessed Sabbat!  For now, Summer is in full swing so enjoy every minute of it….I hope your gardens are blooming, that you are active, outside, feeling energized, enjoying the Sun every chance you get!  Remember that time flies, so savor every moment 🙂  Grab onto that Sun and don’t let go!!

Blessings and Light, Autumn

*Sources  Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan, my BOS, the internet.  Pics from the internet..Jam jar picture is my own.

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Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, Garden, God, Herbs, History, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Quote, Summer

Countdown to Litha……

Merry Meet my friends!  This last couple of days here in Ohio have been really wonderful!  Very warm, rains coming and going,  everything is so green,  flowers are blooming…. it’s starting to feel like Summer!  I actually had to turn on the A/C..yep…it was that warm 🙂  My ferns are now hanging on the porch and I’m pulling out the summer cushions and pillows tomorrow for the porch as well.  My hubby has our new shed mostly painted..it’s sooo cute….and we will finally be planting our flowers this next weekend.  This week I’ll  buy my new patio pots..big ones!….and will transplant my herbs that I grew from seed outside as well.  We are spending more time outside now that the two full weeks of rain is gone and I’m looking forward to getting Summer started!

The Summer Solstice..or Litha is June 21st this year. I love the Summer Solstice..the longest day of the year!

 “Nights are warm, and stars shimmer in the sky like a blacktop road in the noonday sun.  Roses spill over garden gates, heavy with bees and perfume; field and forest are lush and teeming with life.  Faerie-folk gather in the woodland glades, and frolic beside moss-banked streams; the fires of summer burn green and gold, and everywhere there is high magick afoot!”…………………..Michele Morgan  “Simple Wicca”

Isn’t that the most delicious description of Summer…I couldn’t improve on it so I quoted it.  

Summer Solstice, Litha or Midsummer’s Eve..whatever you call it…. means that the Sun God is at his strongest,  the height of his reign, but now He begins his decline, as the days give way in the coming months to darkness.  The Goddess is now pregnant with His child.  The Earth’s bounty is in full swing…gardens are growing, everything is green and lush, trees and shrubs are fully bloomed.  Animals are scurrying, enjoying the warmth and Sun but at the same time..collecting food for the winter. Litha is a fire festival!  It  is also when the realm of the Fae is most astir.  Faerie magick is about!  It’s a time to romp with the faeries!  Put out gifts of food and libations for the faeries.  Fresh milk or cream, butter, wine, cakes, and honey are all much desired sustenance in the realm of Faerie.  Gifts of coins, ribbon, or colorful stones are also fancied.  Leave your offerings in the garden, near a stream or pond, or beneath a tree in your woods or yard.

In ancient Norse countries, the people celebrated the battle between the Oak King (God of the waxing year) and the Holly King (God of the waning year).  Of course, the Holly King wins, for it is he who will reign until Yule, when he gives way to the rebirth of the Child of Light, the baby Oak King. 

    Handfastings, or Pagan marriage ceremonies, are commonly held at Midsummer.  Hum..I wonder if that’s where the June Brides come from?  Spells of transformation and purpose are often done on this Sabbat.   Other customs include lighting a ritual bonfire, sprinkling it with magickal herbs, and dancing round the flames, asking for the blessings of health and prosperity. Harvest your magickal herbs on Midsummer morning, and hang them to dry for use in spellwork in the coming months.  Catch a jar of fireflies, whose green glow represents faerie fire deep in the heart of the forest.  Make wishes upon the tiny creatures, and then release them to carry your wishes to the Goddess.

Litha Correspondences

*Element-Fire

*Threshold-Evening/Dawn

 *Symbolism-Crowning of the Sun God, death of the Oak King, assumption of the Holly King 

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations-The Sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies, fire, seashells, summer fruits and flowers, sun wheel, sun dials, circle of stones, bird feathers, Witches’ ladder, love amulets.

 *Herbs-Anise, mugwort, chamomile, rose, oak blossoms, lily, cinquefoil, lavender, fennel elder, Mistletoe, hemp, thyme, nettle, wisteria, vervain, St. Johnswort, rue, fern, wormwood,  Pine, heather, yarrow, oak & holly trees.

 *Incense/Oils-Heliotrope, saffron, orange, frankincense, myrrh, wisteria, cinnamon, mint, rose,  lemon, lavender, sandalwood, pine.

 *Colors-Blue, green, gold, yellow, red.

 *Crystals/Stones-Lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green gemstones.

 *Customs/Activities- Bonfires, all night vigil, singing, feasting,  herb gathering, handfastings,  rededication to the  Lord and Lady, beginning of the harvest, honoring the Sun  God and the pregnant Goddess.

 *Foods-Honey, fresh vegetables, lemons, oranges, summer fruits, summer squash, ale, mead, Pumpernickel bread

 *Gods-Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, Arthur, God is at peak power and strength.

 *Goddesses-Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Astarte, Freya,  Hathor, Ishtar, All Goddesses of love, passion, beauty and the Sea, Green Forest Mother, Great One of the Stars

 *Spellwork/Rituals-Nature spirit, fey communion, divination, love and protection, rededication of faith, rites of inspiration, nurturing, relationships, fire.

Every year, at Midsummer, I do two things.  I re-dedicate myself to my faith. It is a ritual I look forward to and doing it outside, on the longest day of the year, when the night is warm, fireflies are about, faeries are flitting, the Moon is shining….it connects me to the Goddess in a most amazing way!  The other thing I do is to make up a new witches protection bottle and my outdoor protection talismans, salt circle etc.  I usually do this on the Full Moon in June. Again, it’s all about being outside and really connecting my magick to the Goddess.  Of course a bonfire will be going at the same time and I’ll have something cool and fruity to drink 🙂  Then I will just sit under a tree, feel the warmth of the Earth beneath me, and just appreciate the humming of life going on all around me.  It’s magick!

So it’s time to think about this wonderful Sabbat coming soon and really plan for a fun, outdoor celebration!  Future posts will include recipes, my altar, ritual etc…just like I always do 🙂  If all you do is have a bonfire and have your family or friends over for a cook-out..you are celebrating! On the Solstice night, watch the Sun go down!  Consider the re-dedication, I can’t tell you how great you’ll feel afterwards….it is so rewarding and emotional!  Summer is coming and the Summer Solstice is a fabulous way to get the Summer fun started! 

 

“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?”
–   Bev Adams, Mountain Gardening

 

Blessings and Light, Autumn

*Sources….internet pics, Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan, and my BOS!

 

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Filed under Correspondence, Faeries, God, Goddess, Litha/Summer Solstice, Quote, Summer

A Winter Sunrise Morn……..

Merry Meet friends!  I hope that you are all having a lovely Sun day.  Sun day is my favorite day of the week.  It is usually a stay at home day for me.  I spend it puttering in the house, cooking a yummy breakfast or dinner or both (like today!)  watching football or movies, reading, crocheting, hanging out by the fire.  Sometimes I will spend time working on my Book of Shadows or mixing oil blends or incense blends, or spending some time at my altar or studying something like runes or tarot.  Just laid back and wonderful!  Today I was actually busy..made breakfast, then took a drive to have some me time, then grocery, then made up two dishes of baked pasta!  By 4:30, I finally sat down to catch up on facebook and write in my blog and relax. 🙂 

My day though started off in a most beautiful way…which is what I’m really here to write about.  This morning there was a gorgeous Sunrise that I was most blessed to be up in time to see.  There was ice on all the tree branches and the beauty took my breath away!  I grabbed my camera and snapped these pictures…

I am really getting into photography and I got a little better camera from my hubby for Yule.  It is the first step towards getting the ultimate camera I want…but it’s a good one and I will enjoy it for awhile!  I was most pleased with these pics..almost as pleased as I was with the real thing! 🙂  I was so inspired too by my experience that I wrote a little poem….now I have very rarely written a poem.  I am pretty good at writing spells and charms etc but poetry has always escaped me.  So be kind and don’t think too harshly of my poetry writing…but it comes from the heart and expresses what I felt and saw this morning!

Winter Sunrise Morning

by

Autumn Earthsong 

 

I know before I’m completely awake that it is very cold

As I lay, I see a slight shimmer starting to show on the snow

I jump up with coffee in mind, when I see ice shining bright and bold

On the bare, dark trees, glittering from a beautiful sunrise glow

 

I grab slippers and camera, and head out  to catch this beautiful sight

 Out to the porch I go, when  cold air hits me, and my breath leaves me

I stop,  and my eyes  take in the Sun’s pink and orange light

Just coming up over the horizon,  in time for me to see

 

Through the camera lens a magickal world appears

Of white snow and dark trees and Sun and ice

My heart swells with the beauty that is so near

I snap a picture, once, twice, thrice…….

 

I shiver and watch the Sun rise higher a minute more

Then I give thanks  to the Goddess  with  a full heart

For the gift of this glorious winter sunrise morn

Then indoors I run, to coffee and warmth,  my day is off to an excellent start!

Now again, its ok if you don’t like my prose, but I’m pretty proud of myself for even attempting it…much less posting it here!  🙂  So my word of advice for today is…get out and see those sunrises and sunsets.  Taking the time to do that, yes even if you have to get up early, is sooo worth it.  It really does help me to connect with Mother Earth, Goddess, God every day.  Thats all it takes to connect with the Divine.  After all, the gift is there to take..so take it! Relish it!  Take pictures of it!  Dance and sing!  Whatever you feel inspired to do!   Just don’t let it pass you every single day..

Love and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Goddess, Mother Earth, Nature, Photography, Poem, Sunrise/Sunset, Winter

and then there was Sun!

After two back to back Winter storms…about 4:00 this afternoon the sun came out!  It was beautiful.  The skies cleared and turned blue and the snow was glinting in the brilliance!  I was soooo happy to see it!  I love Winter as I’ve said before, but the dreary gray heavy skies can really get a person down.  My spirit was lifted as soon as I saw the bright ball in the sky again.

Today I had lunch with my daughters and grandaughter at Fridays..I love  love love their sweet potato fries!…then we headed off to Barnes & Noble to have coffee and purchase various books.  With Valentines Day coming,  little board books were bought for little Lily, crochet books for Willow and I, and some gifts that I won’t mention here so as not to give anything away!  While we were there I took Lily back to the Children’s section to run off some steam and play.  They have a little table set up with a Thomas the Train set for the kids to play on.  A little boy about 5 years old was playing there.  My grandaughter became absolutely giddy about another child there playing and immediately started interacting with him.  She laughed til she was weak kneed literally everytime he said anything or made an “engine” noise..she kept grabbing his arm to touch him and stay connected to him.  Bless his heart he quickly realized he had her rapt attention and took advantage of it quickly..playing with her.  It was sooo adorable, I wanted to laugh with her in her joy, and cry at the love I felt for her.  I will never forget it…ever.  She is just 14 months old but seems so much older..an old soul, I believe.  She is very special, but of course I’m her Nana and would think so wouldn’t I??!!

Tonight we are in the “dark moon.”  The new moon will be on the 13th…I am trying to decide what I want to ask The Goddess to aid me in during that night.  The new moon is for new projects, personal growth, healing and drawing abundance, money and success.  I will ask for all those things in some way..I don’t have a new project planned as of right now so I will focus on the others.  I love when after 3 days of the dark moon that the silver sliver shows up again in the sky and all seems right with the world.  Tomorrow I’ll be going to the health food store to get the needed herbs and oils to do my spellwork.

I’m almost finished with “The Book of Witchery” by Ellen Dugan and again, I strongly suggest it to those interested in Magickal Daily Correspondences..the information is invaluable and really helps me to be grounded and feel prepared for each day of the week.  I’ve picked out the next book I’ll be starting on next.  More on that yet to come.

Have you seen the new show “Past Life”?  It’s a good one, I highly recommend it.  Whether you believe in reincarnation or not.

I’m off to watch the show and do more reading.  May you have a Blessed, restful night.

Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Daughters, Granddaughter, New Moons, Winter