Magickal Connections

Tarot & Witchcraft ~ with author, Amythyst Raine


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Hello, June ~ Here Comes The Summer Solstice!

I’m excited and giddy, because this is one of my most favorite times of year (the other being October).  There is something “new” and “birth-like” about the summer solstice for me.  It’s a time of new beginnings, starting over, beginning a new page, making a new list.  June for me is rife with this kind of energy.  Maybe it’s because my first child was born in this month 43 years ago, and the birth of your first child is a pivotal life-changing point.

With all that said, enjoy the following essay on the Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer’s Eve, or Litha.  This is an excerpt from my book, “The Spiritual Feminist” (which I regret not titling “The Ultimate Goddess Connection”, but that’s another story).  And be sure to read it to the end, because there are RECIPES!  You’ve gotta’ try my “Fairy Punch”.

The Summer Solstice:  Litha
(June 21)
Mid-summer’s Eve, the longest day of the year.  This holiday, steeped in
fairy lore, is a magickal time filled with the Earth’s bounty.  Gardens, fields, and forests are blooming with productivity, overflowing with abundant fertility and the promise of rich harvests to come.  As the Earth is pregnant with summer’s lush growth, so too is the goddess, pregnant with new energy, infinite possibilities, and the promise of a rich spiritual harvest.

It’s all about the fairies, this celebration, this pagan holiday.  Fairy contact is generally easier to achieve on this day, for those of you who are brave enough to invoke the mischievous little folk, that is. But don’t be surprised if soon after you can’t find your favorite earrings, or the car keys, or any other shiny inviting objects you may have left laying around.  They are fickle, unpredictable, light-fingered creatures, a loaded gun.  If you do decide to invoke the wee folk, you should know that there is a physical reaction you could experience when they appear.  Your skin may feel “crawly”, as though there were ants or bugs walking on you.  This isn’t harmful, and you will be perfectly okay, in spite of the ‘ick’ factor.  It will just be a cue to you that your invocation was successful.

If you prefer to avoid fairies, you should know that they detest iron.  To keep them at bay, lay iron nails in the four corners of your house, or your property, keep iron kettles in your kitchen, witches– keep your cast iron cauldron’s out in the open.  Fairies will avoid you.

And this all being said, know that fairies heal…they heal.  Call upon them when you need them without fear.

This is a popular month for weddings, though few in the Christianized world
realize why.  The Druid’s celebrated the Summer Solstice as the “marriage
between heaven & earth”, and thus the popular belief that June is a “lucky” month for marriage ceremonies.  There will be Pagan spirit gatherings all around the world at this time, the most famous and the most notable at Stone Henge, where large groups of people will light bonfires and stay up all night in order to welcome the dawn.

My Celebration:
For several years, all during my son’s childhood, there has been one very special tradition at our house connected with the celebration of Litha:

When my son was a little boy, he used to like to stay up through the “Witching Hour” and watch for fairies. He’d get comfy in his pj’s and robe.   I’d gather up a lawn chair and place it beneath the large apple tree in our yard; and I’d prepare a special candle, placing it in a fire-proof reseptacle along with some herbs to offer the fairies. It was his time to sit quietly outside in the dark and watch for these magickal creatures, the only light being that of the candle and the moon, if it were out.

Most of the time, these evenings were uneventful, but one Mid-Summer’s Eve, my son’s patience was rewarded.

From across the lawn, he saw what he said looked like three very small blue lights dancing along the top of the fence. Eventually these three tiny lights dropped from the fence to the lawn beneath, where they bounced around in the grass for several seconds, and then they disappeared. My son came back to the house breathless and wide-eyed to tell me what he had seen.

The next morning, we went out to investigate the grass where the lights had been. Overnight, three mushrooms had popped up to create a perfectly formed triangle in this area, and the grass in the middle of this formation was whithered and yellowed.

I can’t tell you with 100% accuracy whether what my son saw were fairies or not, but that really doesn’t matter. All that really matters is that one little boy had a very magickal and memorable night.

Litha Correspondences
Herbs: fennel, lavender, chamomile, cinquefoil, mugwort, thyme
Altar Flowers/Herbs: larkspur, rose, wisteria, St. Johns Wort
Feast Foods: apples, citrus, fruits, ale, mead, honey cakes
Animals: butterflies, frogs, toads, wrens
Incense: ylang ylang, thyme, rose, sandalwood, chamomile
Rituals/Spells: all night fairy vigils, candle magick, dream work, familiar blessings, herb gathering, self-dedication, sun magick

Litha Recipes
Strawberry Shortcake
3 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 cups whipped heavy cream

1.  Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.
2.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
3.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.
4.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.
5. Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.
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Fairy Punch
1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle fruit punch, chilled
1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1/2 gallon orange sherbet

In a punch bowl, mix together fruit punch, pineapple juice and ginger ale. Add scoops of sherbet into the punch. Wait for the sherbet to begin melting, approximately 10 minutes, stir gently, and serve.

This blog post is courtesy of “The Spiritual Feminist”, your ultimate Goddess Connection, be sure to follow THIS LINK to order your copy.

June and the summer solstice (Midsummer’s Eve) are coming up.  I view this time as a “new beginning”, and I created a tarot spread just for June that mirrors and celebrates this idea:
Tarot Spread Featured for JUNE ~
Midsummer Delight
1.  This is what I desire.
2.  This is what makes me happy.
3.  This is what I really need.
4.  This is what’s blocking my success.
5.  This is the solution
To purchase June’s featured audio reading, follow this link:
http://tarotreadingswithamythystraine.blogspot.com/p/featured-readingt.html


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Resurrection ~ The Rebirth of Spring ~ Ostara’s Personal Connection for Me

The Spring Equinox:  Ostara
(March 21)
The Goddess manifests her treasures in the material world, and Mother Earth marks this event with the emergence of plants and young animals, setting the stage once again for future harvests, both those of the physical world and those of the spiritual realm.  The miracle of birth is highlighted, and the miracle that is womanhood confirmed.  Within the celebration of Ostara, fertility is emphasized and celebrated.  Nature’s womb, filled with the seeds of life, embellishes the earth in productivity and prosperity.

Ostara is a day when the period of light and dark are equal, heralding springtime planting and the promise of warmth returning for the summer months.  Sunlight is going to reign supreme starting the very next day, second by second, minute by minute. This is also a celebration of the Saxon goddess of fertility…Eostre. Eggs and rabbits are symbols belonging to this Goddess and are incorporated into the festivities and celebrations. Sound familiar yet?  It’s all about bunnies, fertile eggs, and growing things.  Now’s the time to start those seedlings in egg cartons, time to start planning your herb garden, digging out those pots and diving into a bag of potting soil.  Smell the earth women, get your fingernails dirty, follow that natural instinct that you know is there, the one you’ve probably been trying to ignore…Grow Things!

A noteworthy tidbit: Easter is always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.

(The Goddess is smiling now.)

My Celebration:
The biggest part of Ostara for my family has always been coloring Easter Eggs (we decorate about 4 or 5 dozen– often with witches, animals, and other very un-Eastery images).  The magickal nocturnal visit of the Easter Bunny is also a yearly tradition at our house, complete with pretty baskets of goodies.  With seven children, putting all those baskets together, dividing all that candy, has been quite a process.

But this celebration has a deeper meaning for me, one that was made indelible upon my soul.  The year was 1969, I was 12-years-old, and it was the traditional Christian Easter Sunday that my family was celebrating:

The night before, my Aunt was glowing– beautiful and striking looking at thirty-two.  She was helping my sister and me color Easter eggs, finishing up by combining all the colors to get an interesting brown egg.  I’ll never forget the sight of her holding the egg up in the air so we could all get a look at it, laughing out loud.  This was to be the last truly happy day this woman would know for a very long time to come.  The next day, her husband (my uncle) would suffer a massive heart attack and die in her arms in the foyer of their home.  It was just after a beautiful Easter Sunday meal, and we were all there.

Every year since, when we color eggs for this spring celebration, I remember  coloring eggs with my aunt the night before Easter Sunday 1969.  It’s a crystal clear memory 44 years later.  The symbolism of this holiday is brought home to me in the idea of rejuvination, resurrection, a return to life– life in the form of warmth, sunshine, growing plants, small animals, and souls.

“Everything is connected.” the goddess is telling me.

Ostara Correspondences
Herbs: cinquefoil, rose, violets, tansy, celandine
Altar Flowers/Herbs: honeysuckle, iris, lily, daffodil, crocus
Feast Foods: eggs, fish, honey, sweet food, leafy vegetables
Animals: chicks, hares, rabbits, swallows
Incense: honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender, lotus, magnolia, rose, violet
Rituals/Spells: planting/sowing, rejuvenation spells, consecration of tools, grounding work, Earth blessings, spring cleansing

Ostara Recipes
Magickal Egg Salad
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Lettuce leaves

Reserve 4 center egg slices for garnish, if desired. Chop remaining eggs.
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Add chopped eggs and celery; mix well. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.
Serve on lettuce leaves; garnish with reserved egg slices.
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Honey Baked Ham
18 to 20-pound smoked ham, water added, ham hock removed
One 16-ounce box light brown sugar
1 cup (8-ounce jar) clover honey

Adjust the oven racks to accommodate a large covered roasting pan. Fit the pan with a shallow rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Unwrap the ham and rinse it in cold water. Place it on the rack in the roasting pan. Cover the pan with the lid and bake for half the estimated cooking time (Total cooking time is about 20 minutes per pound.) Halfway through the estimated cooking time, add the sugar and honey to a saucepan, cooking over medium heat until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the ham and continue baking the ham, basting occasionally with the drippings in the roaster.

Check for doneness at the end of the estimated cooking time by inserting a meat thermometer at a meaty point (not into fat or touching the bone). It should register 160 degrees F.

Allow the ham to stand for 15 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to set.

The Source for this blog post is my book ~

The Spiritual Feminist

Follow this link to purchase your own copy:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004NMWMX4

The Spiritual Feminist, Publisher ~ Moon Books

The Witch’s Corner

Magickal Curios & Infinite Possibilities

http://amythystraine.blogspot.com

The Tarot Parlour

Book a reading with Amythyst Raine:

http://tarotreadingswithamythystraine.blogspot.com

The Tarot Parlour


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5 Things That Bring Samhain Home for Me

 

samhain7.jpg picture by witch_of_endore

I can’t believe it’s this time of year already!  Where did 2016 go??  This past year has been wracked with huge changes in my life.  All hell broke loose December 31, 2015, and it’s been a wild ride ever since– spiritually, emotionally, and financially.  However, the wild ride appears to be calming down now, life smoothing over with regular routine, new opportunities, and a new-found sense of stability.  The transitions involved have included acceptance, transformation, and new connections.  As I slide into the end of October, into the end of this year, I’m warmed and comforted by another celebration of Samhain at our house.

Five things that highlight this holiday for me include, but are not limited to:

  1. Hot Apple Cider ~ Every Samhain for the past 20+ years, I’ve drug out my huge (HUGE) silver canning kettle and set it on the back of the stove to slowly heat the Drink of the Evening.  My recipe —

5-7 large jugs of applejuice
8-10 bags of peach tea
a handful of cinnamon sticks
and a large metal tea ball filled
with whole cloves and allspice

You can leave a shaker of nutmeg sit on the counter & anyone who wants to add a dash of this spice to their mug of apple cider can do so.

If you don’t like this cider full force, you can dilute it some with water to suit your own taste.

My Hot Apple Cider

Let’s take a look at the ingredients we just used from a magickal perspective:

Peaches— love

Nutmeg— one of the most popular uses for nutmeg is to assure fidelity.  It’s also used for spells centered around luck, money, and health.

Cinnamon— spirituality, success, healing, power, psychic powers, lust, protection, love

Allspice— money, luck, healing

Cloves— protection, exorcism, love, money

Apple— love, healing, garden magic, immortality

2.  Autumn leaves & flowers ~ There is nothing more beautiful than a tree caught in its seasonal death throes.  It puts a new spin and realization on the idea of death and rebirth for me; the idea of shedding oneself of all the outward trappings of ego, vanity, and expectation; the idea of natural beauty that comes with age and experience, and a miraculous rebirth, whether physically or spiritually.

autumn-5

3.  The Ancestors ~ As I’ve gotten older and time has marched mercilessly on,  all through the past few decades, I’ve watched the Older Generation of my family die off.  First, the “Greats” (and these are people I actually knew, whom I remember)…great-grandparents and aunts:  Alpha, Tracy, Gma Smith, Gpa Smith, Lizzie.  And I still watch, even now, as the passing generations move up, ever closer to me and my generation…my grandmother, Darlene, Jim (my father).  And then there are those that died tragically, before they had time to get old…Joe, John Patrick, Norman.  It’s with a sense of awe and wonder, a sense of growing knowledge and acceptance, that I’m beginning to understand the real meaning behind the “Wheel of the Year” and its natural progression.

1

Last Year’s Ancestor Altar

4.  Spices ~ allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg…They say that your olfactory sense, your sense of smell, can snap a memory into your brain faster than almost anything else, so closely are certain scents associated for us.  And this is true of the traditional smells of autumn at our house.  I can visualize Grma’s teapot, particular cups, favorite old trees adorned in autumn leaves, pets (both present and past) who laid at our feet around the kitchen table, puddles of glowy golden light from lamps on a wet and cold drooling autumn day…I could go on and on.  These smells, as pleasant as they are in themselves, hold all kinds of memories for me.

coffee-time-59

5.  Chili ~ Every year, for 20+ years now, I drag out my Great-Big-Red-Cooking-Pot and make a walloping batch of homemade chili.  You can tell the prosperous years from the lean years by my chili…on prosperous years, it will contain more meat.  This is another one of those scents that also connect closely with Samhain at our house, it’s a family tradition.  I usually start the chili early in the morning and let it sit and simmer on low all day, giving the flavors time to blend deliciously together.

My Chili

So, what are the things that bring this holiday, and this time of year home to you?  What are your family traditions and memories?  How does Samhain touch you?

 


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Imbolc

The following blog post is a short excerpt from my book:
The Spiritual Feminist

witch 52


Imbolc

(February 2)

The Goddess celebrates renewed fertility, fertility of body, mind, and spirit.  Seeds are sown now for future harvests; the bricks and mortar of new paths and new adventures are laid.  The Goddess is reborn as her younger self, the Maiden, and it is her strength and power and sinewy young muscle that we imbue ourselves with, so as to have the strength and endurance to fulfill our life journey.

This is also a festival of the Celtic goddess, Bride, so beloved by the people of the old world that the Roman Church couldn’t eradicate her. Instead, they made her a saint, Saint Brigit. In Celtic lore, the Old Woman of Winter (the Cailleach) was reborn as Bride, the Young Maiden of Spring.  It’s this image that is most nostaligic in my mind, from the halls of Catholic Parochial School, the beautiful shining faces of the female saints, innocently biding their time among the patriarchal rhetoric, waiting for The Great Awakening…St. Brigit most prominent among them (the nuns adored her).

The celebration of Imbolc is also a celebration of light, a celebration of the sun, in the fact that a successful new growing season depends upon it.  The light and warmth of the sun is celebrated in the flames of candles and bonfires.

My Celebration:

This milestone passes all but unnoticed at our house, in all truth.  I touch on it with a public comment and picture at social sites, or among my pagan internet friends; but here, it’s like a soft shadow passing over the house, sometimes lit with the glow of a blue candle on the kitchen table that hardly anyone else notices, since I’m always burning candles it seems.  But I notice, and I remember, and I think…The time of The Great Awakening has come.

Imbolc Correspondences

Herbs: basil, bay, celandine, benzoic
Altar Flowers/Herbs: angelica, myrrh, flowers that are yellow/white/or blue
Feast Foods: bread, cakes, dairy products, seeds
Animals: burrowing animals, ewes, deer, goats, lambs
Incense: jasmine, myrrh, neroli
Rituals/Spells: candle magick, initiation, hearth/home blessings, fertility magick, healing magick, cleansing rituals

Imolc Recipes

Creamed Cabbage

1 lb. pre-cooked ham, 1″ cubed or shredded
1 heaping tsp. flour
1 firm white cabbage
1/2 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 cup cream
grated nutmeg (optional)

Cut cabbage in half, then cut the halves once again.   Drop them into a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, drain. Slice them up. Melt a little butter or margarine in a sauce pan and add the shredded cabbage. Stir it up good. Add salt, pepper, and a dash of grated nutmeg. Next add the cream and a heaping teaspoon of flour, still stirring, and let it come to a boil. Add the cubed or shredded ham, and lower the heat. Cover the sauce pan and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6-8 servings.

Interestingly enough, and just as a sidenote, Nutmeg is the most popular herb used to induce fidelity in a romantic partner. Think about this, when used with magickal intention, if you’re making this dish for your husband, boyfriend, fiance, etc.  (“This is a perfect example of a little innocent kitchen witchery in the making.”, she says with a wicked grin.)
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Brigit’s Biscuits

2 1/4 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Drop by Tablespoon onto baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Serve warm with butter.

 


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The Witch’s Desk: Celebrate October! ~ Full Moon & Samhain

Samhain

(October 31)

The goddess is old and wizened. She’s settling into this stage of her persona to reap the benefit of all that she has experienced, all that has transpired on her journey to this point. She’s preparing for the dark months, gathering her harvest about her, both for her physical survival and her emotional revival, using this time to rest, to gather energy for the future and the light that she knows will return. On this phase of her journey she can afford to sit back in quiet reflection, to shed those things in her life that have become a burden, and to look forward to the end of her journey, or rather, the beginning of the next.

Samhain (pronounced ‘Sou-wen’) is a celebration that has a more somber side than the revelry of modern Halloween. It is a day of remembrance of your ancestors and for those family members who have passed over. Pagan families may set an extra place at the supper table on this evening, to honor those loved ones who are no longer with them. The veil between the world of the living and the dead is thinnest on this eve, and this night is an excellent time to perform divination, or to try and connect with those spirits from the other side.

My Celebration:

Samhain is a big deal at our house. Some years ago we began the tradition of a bonfire in the front driveway, an open house for friends, childrens’ friends, and acquaintances. You’ll find a table set up by the fire pit for a weinie roast, with smore’s for dessert. In the kitchen, I’ve got a large kettle of chili on the stove, and a large kettle of hot apple cider. Costumes are optional, for those who are comfortable dressing up, I say go for it; for those who are not, don’t sweat it. And, of course, there will be a large bowl of candy for the children in our neighborhood who follow the age-old custom of trick or treating.

You always hear that the veil has thinned on this night and spirit contact is almost inevitable if one wishes to put forth some effort. Samhain is also reputed to be a superb night for divinantion of any kind, and with this in mind, I set up a table on the backporch full of divination tools: tarot cards, rune stones, pendulums, oriental divination sticks, and don’t forget the ouija board for those who wish to try their hand communing with the spirits. Guests seem to love this opportunity, and there will be people seated around this table off and on all evening. It gives many a chance to learn about, touch, and use divination tools that they may not be familiar with and might otherwise not have access to.

Samhain Correspondences

Herbs: patchouli, sage, heather

Altar Flowers/Herbs: acorns, apples, pumpkins/gourds, dittany, autumn leaves

Feast Foods: pumpkin, squash, nut breads, sweet potatoes, milled drinks (cider, wine), roast meat, root vegetables

Animals: bats, cats, crows, ravens, owls

Incense: cinnamon, cloves, myrrh, patchouli, pine, mugwort, nutmeg

Rituals/Spells: making besoms, divination, spirit contact, crone magick, working with dark energy, spells for new beginnings

Samhain Recipes

My Pumpkin Pie:

1 16 oz. can pumpkin (about 2 cups)

1 13 oz. can evaporated milk

(but sometimes I use sweetened condensed milk– it makes it more “chiffony”…is that a word?)

2 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 sugar

the spices:

Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and a dash of salt. Most recipes call for 1/2 teaspoon each, but I’m much more generous with my spices!

the crust:

I tried for years to learn to make a good pie crust, and I almost gave up out of frustration, then I found this recipe. It’s almost fool-proof, no kidding.

2 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

1 beaten egg

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/4 cup water

Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the shortening, as usual. Then combine the egg and vinegar, stirring it up a bit, and add this to your dry ingredients. Add the water a dash at a time as you work it in, you’ll be able to tell when you get a good texture.

Bake at 400 degrees the first fifteen minutes, and at 350 degrees for the next 30-40 minutes. When you can stick a butter knife in the center of the pie, and it comes out clean, your pie is done.

____________________

Hot Apple Cider

I have a *Huge*– did I say huge?– kettle that I use to mix up my cider. This sits and simmers all afternoon on the backburner of my stove, wafting a wonderful aroma throughout the house.

Ingredients:

5-7 large jugs of applejuice

8-10 bags of peach tea

a handful of cinnamon sticks

and a large metal tea ball filled

with whole cloves and allspice

You can leave a shaker of nutmeg sit on the counter & anyone who wants to add a dash of this spice to their mug of apple cider can do so.

If you don’t like this cider full force, you can dilute it some with water to suit your own taste.

October

Blood Moon

Herbs: ginger, myrrh, allspice, basil, clove

Stones: alexandrite, citrine, lilac kunzite

Scents: pine, patchouli

Colors: dark green, brown, gold

Trees: yew, cypress, maple, oak

Deities: Astarte, Horned God, Lakshmi, Ishtar

Astrological Signs: Libra, Scorpio

Elements: Air/Water

Crafting Your Magic:

Ancestral magic is cast with the Blood Moon. Do magic now to communicate with family members who have passed, to connect with your ancestors and your heritage. Magic surrounding divination is relevant, it’s the perfect time. Cast spells for justice and balance, and to overthrow anything oppressive which may be blocking your path to success. Ambition is highlighted, use magic to increase the potency of your own, or cast magic to contain ambition that may have run amok. This is also the perfect time to step into the dark shadows and take advantage of the vibrations found there. The gray witch revels in the magic of the Blood Moon and in this season.

Sources:

The information from this blog post was taken from my books ~

The Spiritual Feminist

The Gray Witch’s Grimoire

To order your copies, click  HERE


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The Witch’s Desk: Celebrate September! ~ Full Moon & Autumnal Equinox

Wine Moon

Herbs: lilac, mugwort, marjoram,
rose, thyme

Stones: sapphire, bloodstone,
rainbow obsidian

Scents: gardenia, rose, lilac

Colors: brown, yellow-green, amber

Trees: hazel, larch, bay

Deities: Demeter, Ceres, Isis,

Astrological Signs: Virgo, Libra

Elements: Earth/Air

Crafting Your Magic:

Feminine energy is highlighted, receptive energy. Cast magic to draw inward, magic to draw those things– both intangible and material– to you that you need to fill the void. The Goddess is in the spotlight. Work magic to benefit female issues, such as fertility, independence, and protection.

The Wine Moon works its magic in the area of love and relationships. Cast spells to discover your soul mate, find a lost love, or nurture a secret desire. The energy of Libra will bring balance to all magic cast at this time, and its energy promotes the very essence of love and sex. Cast spells now to promote healthy sexuality and to maintain or regain physical health of the reproductive system.

Concentrate on the third eye chakra, opening the doors to psychic experiences. Prepare to enter the autumnal dark months with the clairvoyant vision to see well beyond, into the light of the future.

The Autumnal Equinox: Mabon

The Goddess, in the death throes of the growing season, is at her most beautiful. As she moves towards the final harvest, in preparation for the dark days to come, she shines with the brilliance and color that is mirrored in the physical world as golden leaves, ripened fruit, withering vines, and frost-covered grass. The spiritual aspect of this stage is one that is just as beautiful, emphasizing once more the idea of completion and accomplishment, of finding that moment within development that culminates with depths of wisdom and the light of knowledge.

This day brings equal hours of light and dark, a second celebration of perfect equality. Beyond this day, light will gradually fade as the dark season descends upon the world. At this time of year, the ancient Druids would burn a large human-like wicker figure as part of their celebration. This figure represented the vegetation spirit, and indeed, the heralding of the dark season would bring an end to the growth and flowering of summer.

Modern Pagans may celebrate this holiday with many of the foods connected with this time of year in their area. Decorations may include leaves of autumn hues, sunflowers, pumpkins and gourds. The most amazing thing, I believe, is how this miraculous milestone of earth and time passes almost unnoticed by the mundane multitudes.

My Celebration:

I welcome the growing darkness that I know will follow Mabon. Moment by moment, day by day, it creeps up almost unnoticed. Until one day, you glance at the clock and realize that afternoon is barely over, evening has barely begun, and it is pitch dark outside.

My favorite way to celebrate Mabon is by lighting candles all over the house. In doing so I’m actually celebrating the darkness with light.

I light white candles for cleansing and purification, for Spirit, for the Goddess. I light white candles to wipe the slate clean, to start new lists, to begin new projects. I light yellow candles to celebrate the sun and its grace and dignity as it steps back to make way for the moon. I light yellow candles to celebrate communication and everything I’ve ever wanted to say to anyone, and those things I might regret not saying. I light yellow candles to fill my mind with words and thoughts that run into sentences and paragraphs and pages. I light lavender candles to celebrate the spirits I know are there but cannot see. I light lavender candles to acknowledge that little voice in my head, the one that’s saved my life over the years, not to mention my sanity. I light green candles to celebrate and embrace the earth. I light green candles to celebrate and embrace this wonderful physcial body that is mine. I light green candles to bathe in the glow of good health and prosperity. I light green candles to feel the soles of my bare feet connect with the dying grass, the withering garden, the falling leaves.

I light one tall black taper candle that is me, to celebrate the spark of life I carry, to celebrate future days to come, to celebrate my passage through another year…and to acknowledge and embrace my mortality.

Mabon Correspondences

Herbs: marigold, myrrh, thistles, sage

Altar Flowers/Herbs: asters, mums, pine, ferns, milkweed, honeysuckle

Feast Foods: autumn berries, nuts, roast game, root vegetables, cider, wine, bread

Animals: stags, goats, blackbirds, canines, owls, birds-of-prey

Incense: cedar, myrrh, patchouli, pine, sage, sweet grass, oak moss

Rituals/Spells: drying herbs, gathering late harvest, past life work, harvest moon rituals, making willow wands, harmony spells, protection spells for winter

Mabon Recipes

Carmel Apple Crumb Treat

2 Golden Delicious apples

4 small (or 2 large) Granny Smith apples

1/8 cup fruit juice

1/3 cup loosely packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

12 soft caramel candies

1/2 cup quick rolled oats

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup butter

Slice and core the apples, mixing the types together.

Pour the fruit juice into a large pot. Put about a third of the apple slices into the pot. Sprinkle with half the lightly packed brown sugar and dot with 1 tablespoon of butter. Add more apples and the remaining brown sugar and butter, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Turn the heat on Low and simmer for a while. Stir apples occasionally, until they start to soften. The Golden Delicious will pretty much turn to mush, binding together the slices of Granny Smith. This takes about an hour or two, depending on the heat and the apples.

Meanwhile, cut the soft caramels into quarters.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

To prepare the crumble topping, stir together 1/2 cup quick rolled oats, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Slice 1/3 cup butter and add to bowl, then cut it in with a butter cutter until the mixture is loose and crumbly.

Spray a ceramic or glass pie plate with cooking spray. Spoon in about a third of the apples and spread them on the bottom. Top with half the caramel pieces. Spoon in another third of the apples; top with the remaining caramel pieces. Spoon in the remaining apples and spread them smooth. Use another spoon to sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top of the apple filling.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until filling is bubbly and topping melds into a lightly golden crust. Serve hot.

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Broccoli Casserole

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; fold in broccoli. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2 qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Cover and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Serves 8.

Notes:
1.  The full moon for September 2015 falls on the 28th; the autumnal equinox falls on the 23rd.
2.  The art in this post is courtesy of Craig Koskov
3.  The sources for this blog post are my books: The Gray Witch’s Grimoire & The Spiritual Feminist…
Amythyst’s Amazon Author Page…click Here