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The Wheel Turns to Beltane 2015……….

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet

and the winds long to play with your hair.

-Khalil Gibran

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

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

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My seedlings so far this year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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

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Filed under Beltane, Cleaning & Organizing, Faeries, Family, Flowers, Friends, Garden, Gardens, God, Goddess, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Protection, Quote, Seasons, Spring, Sun

Spring???………..

Merry evening friends!  Hope that you all had a very Blessed Ostara.  I know I did.  It was just a simple meal and a simple ritual but meaningful.  Did any of you try any of my recipes?  If you did, please let me know!  I’d love to hear about it.  I made my Dilly egg salad for lunch and it was yummy!

Now Spring?  Yea, in Ohio it’s not here yet! 🙂    We, as many of you, just had a huge Winter snowstorm on March 24-25.  We got about 7 inches here in my neck of the woods.  But I am NOT complaining at all.  I loved it!  It was beautiful and magickal.  Fell for about 36 hours straight.  Here’s a pic of the first morning……

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Beautiful isn’t it 🙂   I have seen a lot of complaining about Winter being so long, Spring to slow to come etc.  I hear ya! I too can’t wait to lighten up my clothes, work in my garden, get outside!!   But I believe that Mother Earth knows what she needs more then we do and we should let her just do what she needs to do!!  Complaining won’t change it anyway..right?  I say make the most of each day, no matter what the weather and do something fun to enjoy it.  I made sure to collect some snow water and some nice-sized snowballs.  I will love pulling those out in  the heat of the Summer.  They will be great to let the grandkids play with them, take a chunk and let it run down my hot neck, or use it to make a slushy margarita!!  (Thanks Mike for that idea 🙂   To me, everyday is magickal if you look for it….now stop complaining! LOL!!

Spring..it’ll get here.  We already see the snow melting and will be in the 50’s for a couple days this weekend.  In the meantime, I am planning my garden, getting my lighter clothes ready, and perusing my cookbooks for lighter, healthier meals. I can’t wait to put my hands in the dirt and my face to the Sun and my back to a tree 🙂  I know that is what you all are ready for too!  Take heart…it’s coming!!

Through all the frozen winter
My nose has grown most lonely
For lovely, lovely, colored smells
That come in springtime only.

The purple smell of lilacs,
The yellow smell that blows
Across the air of meadows
Where bright forsythia grows.

The tall pink smell of peach trees,
The low white smell of clover,
And everywhere the great green smell
Of grass the whole world over.”
–  Kathryn Worth, Smells

Oh, and Blessed Full Moon to you all!!  May the Goddess shine Her light and energy on you…always!

Blessings and Love

Autumn

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Filed under Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Mother Earth, Our Yard, Photography, Poem, Seasons, Spring, Winter

The Wheel Turns to Ostara 2013…….

daffodils in snowMerry Meet on this beautiful Spring-like day here in Ohio!  Spring has not arrived here yet…as a matter of fact we just had a huge snow storm dumping 4-9 inches, depending on where you live, of a very heavy wet snow!  (We got about 4-5 inches here).  But today it’s going to hit 50*..the snow is melting fast, the Sun is shining and it’s just beautiful outside.  Spring is not far at all from being here..both by date and by Nature 🙂

Ostara is on March 20th this year.  The first day of Spring..the Equinox.  Ostara for me always means new beginnings..a fresh start…and knowing that in no time I’ll be working away in my yard and gardens! This year I’m even more excited because I have a whole new yard to plan and design flower beds, garden beds, and landscaping for!  I’ve already been jotting down what bushes, trees, flowers I want to add to the yard.  I’ve been perusing garden catalogs and magazines looking for fresh ideas.

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We have a smaller yard here..much smaller then the 2.5 acres we had before.  But we have more sun and I can garden to my hearts content in a smaller, maxed out space that I can handle without killing myself LOL.  We will be extending our patio, putting up a privacy fence first.  Then beds will go in around the inside of the fence..possible a raised bed for veggies and herbs and of course pots everywhere.  We already have a cute garden shed and I’m putting in a clothesline that I’m sooo excited about having again.  There is nothing better then the scent and feel of bedsheets hung outside to dry!  Big plans…can’t wait to have the weather break to start executing the ideas!

I will get a chance to experience a bit of Spring early because I’m leaving for Tennessee Monday for 5 days where it is warmer and Spring is blooming there already!  It’ll be nice to shed the winter coats and soak up some warmth there.  I love the Smoky Mountains as anyone who knows me knows…and I am in spiritual need of seeing them and being in them!!  It’s been 2 years due to my health issues and my daughter’s and our move and long overdue.  *Sigh*  …it’s my 2nd home…feels so peaceful and calm when I’m there.  Pure Bliss!

Now back to Ostara…it’s a great time to think about planting seeds to grow indoors, depending on where you live.  Don’t forget to bless those seeds to grow strong and healthy and magickally before you plant them!  It’s a great time to do your Spring cleaning if you haven’t already. Clean your windows and window coverings, shake out rugs or have them cleaned, freshen up worn out throw pillows, fluff cushions, clean out your fridge, organize your pantry and on warm days..throw open your doors and windows and air out that stagnant, old air in your home that’s been brewing all Winter!  Put away your heavy quilts and throws and lighten up for Spring!  Put away your winter woolies and pull out your lighter clothes.   Dust out the cobwebs and dust bunnies. You’ll feel so much lighter when everything is clean and fresh!

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I came across a couple of recipes I thought would be lovely for Ostara and thought I’d share them with you ….I know you all LOVE recipes 🙂

 

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Lemon-Thyme Curd Cakes

1 cup plus 2 tbs unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 tbs minced fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

1/2 tsp coarse salt

*1 recipe of Lemon-Curd Whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350*

Spray 6 (2 x 2inch) round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray with flour.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3-4 mins.   Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, stirring to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, thyme, lemon zest and salt.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 batches, mixing until combined after each addition.  Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each prepared cake pan

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 16-22 mins. Cool in pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wrap cakes tightly with plastic wrap, Freeze until firm approximately 2 hours.  Cut each cake into 3rds horizontally.

Place the Lemon-Curd whipped topping in a pastry bad with a medium round tip.  Pipe the topping between the 3 layers of cake and stack them.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.

 

Lemon-Curd Whipped Topping

3 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

1 cup prepared lemon curd

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp coarse salt

In a medium bowl, gently fold together all ingredients. Transfer to an airtight container.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before using.

*This sounds like a bit of work but I think it’s so worth it!!  Sounds so refreshing and so pretty too!

*Recipe from Tea Time Magazine

 

Spring Mix Salad with White Balsamic-Apricot Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbs white balsamic vinegar

3 tbs apricot nectar

1/2 tsp minced shallot

1/4 tsp salt

1 (5 oz) bag of spring mix lettuces  (I say use the fresh stuff 🙂

3 tbs chopped dried apricots

3 tbs almond slices

1/4 cup sliced purple onion

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, apricot nectar, shallot and salt.  In a large salad bowl, place lettuces, top with apricots, almonds and onions.  Serve with vinaigrette.

*Serves 6

*Recipe from A Cottage Journal

 

Well I’m off to peruse my garden mags and books and catalogs some more 🙂  Hope you all  have a wonderful weekend and know that Spring..at least in the Northern Hemisphere..is on it’s way!!  Get ready!!!

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”

 

Love and Light, Autumn

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Flowers, Gardens, Holiday, Nature, Ostara, Our Yard, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Spring

Wordless Wednesday…………

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Filed under Photography, Spring, Woods, Wordless Wednesday