Monthly Archives: September 2011

Sweet Roots of Mabon (Llewellyn Recipe)

Merry Meet All,

Celebrate the festive magic of autumn with this delicious recipe. The recipe is from the Llewellyn datebook of 2011.

Sweet Roots of Mabon

1 large red potato
1 large yellow potato
1 sweet potato
4 carrots (depending on how many you’re cooking for)
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon grated ginger root

Scrub all the potatoes and carrots, leaving skins on. Cut off ends. Chop vegetables into 1-inch cubes and combine in large bowl.
In small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, honey, paprika, salt, and grated ginger root. Pour over veggies and toss gently to coat all the cubes.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch cooking pan. Spread the vegetables in an even layer in the pan. Cook at 325 degrees for 60 to 90 (30 should suffice) minutes. Every 30 minutes, use a turkey baster or wooden spoon to baste the vegetables with liquid from the pan (or extra honey and vinegar). All vegetables should be tender when done.
Elizabeth Barrette.

* I have added my own notes to this as I have found what works for me with the recipe. Sixty minutes seemed too long to cook the vegetables.
I like using a wooden spoon. Wooden spoons are natural, earth-friendly and reliable and least likely to contaminate food.

Enjoy
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Yarrow Wikihow Article

Merry Meet All,

An article from Wikhow about yarrow, the classic witch’s herb, and is growing in my garden.

How to Grow Yarrow

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a perennial that grows low and has small heads of flowers atop dense, dark green foliage. The leaves appear fern-like. Flower colours can vary from white to pink or yellow.

Steps

  1. Propagate the plant. There are several possibilities here:
    • Divide the roots from a mature yarrow plant in early spring or autumn; or
    • Plant yarrow seeds in trays or plant punnets in early spring. Use seed-raising mix and keep the containers warm, moist, and shaded while the seeds germinate. Transplant the seedlings when they grow large enough to handle, after gradually exposing them to more light and outdoor temperatures.
    • Purchase seedlings from the local nursery and simply transplant them as needed.
  2. Plant in the garden. Dig a hole large enough to take the roots of the plant. Gently firm the soil surface around the plant base and ensure all foliage is above the ground.
    • Yarrow prefers full sun for best growth.
    • Yarrow loves rocky spaces, so can be grown in awkward garden spots such as rock embankments.
    • The soil should be well drained and not overly rich.
  3. Water well upon planting. After planting, water deeply, occasionally. Yarrow’s deep roots will burrow down into the soil and find its own sources of water.
    • Yarrow plants will rot if they’re over-watered. Don’t plant in soil that stays waterlogged.
  4. Mulch if wished. There is no need to fertilise yarrow. It’s a fairly hardy plant that will thrive under many conditions.
  5. Prune. When pruning cut yarrow down to the ground in the period from mid-autumn to late autumn. It is best done after the frosts have begun.
    • New growth will appear every spring.
  6. Harvest. The best time to harvest yarrow is when the plant is dry and it’s in full bloom. Cut both stems and flowers in the morning.
    • Yarrow can be dried by tying the stems together and hanging them upside down in a dry, dark, and well-ventilated spot.
    • After drying, remove the flowers and store separately. Store foliage and flowers in airtight containers for later use.
  7. Use. Yarrow can be used in a number of ways, both fresh and dried. Here are some suggestions:
    • Add very young leaves to salads, chopped. Only choose small leaves and be aware it is a bitter taste, so some people may not enjoy it.
    • Dried yarrow can be used in herbal tisanes (teas).
    • Garden beauty and herb garden necessity. The flowers are pretty and the herb is a must-have in any herb garden.
    • use fresh leaves to stop bleeding. dry leaves make an instant scab.

Video

Tips

  • Yarrow grows best in a cool climate.

Things You’ll Need

  • Garden space, perhaps a herb garden
  • Yarrow seeds or seedlings
  • Gardening tools
  • Watering facility
  • Harvesting tool (for example, scissors)
  • Twine for hanging to dry

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Grow Yarrow. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Mabon Harvest

Merry Meet All,

As I write, I am sipping apple cider and gazing out my window to view the early stirrings of fall. The leaves on the trees are turning. The air is cooler. I have returned from my walk on the trail. As I walked on the trail, I saw bees and butterflies collecting the last of the pollen from the many wildflowers that grace the sides of the trail. The squirrels and chickadees were chirping. The temperature was hot with a tiny nip in the air. No doubt about it, Fall has arrived.

I purchased a wreath on discount from Michael’s Arts & Crafts. I decorated the wicker wreath with dried leaves, dried flowers and artificial leaves and berries. I found a lovely leaf on a tree and took it with me. It was displaying the traditional autumn colors of fierce reds, oranges and golds and when I got home, I tucked it into the wreath. Wreath decorating is not difficult to do and is a wonderful way to welcome the energies of fall into your home.

When decorating your own wreath, choose a wicker wreath that is in good condition and sturdy. Hang it on the wall where you can easily see it. Make sure to tuck in the ends and stems of your leaves or flowers and let the leaves, flowers and berries show the wreath off. You do not have to cover every inch of the wreath. Let some of the natural beauty of the wicker show. The fiery colors of the leaves, and flowers will enhance the wicker. The vines can give the wreath an airy look. With these steps, your own wreath will be beautiful and inspire you to celebrate autumn. Autumn is a magical time of year. Let the magic into your home.

The dried flowers were from the nature trail walk that I take every day. I collected red clover and goldenrod, dried them and then tucked them into the wreath. You can use pine cones, acorns, nuts, flowers, leaves and even grapevines if you are so inclined. Use your imagination.

Buy a wicker horn of plenty and stock it with seeds, Chinese Lanterns, almonds, acorns, pine cones, nuts, berries and dried leaves. Leave it near your altar to invoke a feeling of fall.

There is no end to the bounty of nature. I will have a lovely harvest of herbs this fall. Fennel, dill, calendula, lemon balm, sweet wormwood, tarragon, pineapple, spearmint, and chocolate mint, yarrow and mugwort. Lemon balm is growing everywhere in my garden. I picked up a garden sage plant from the Farmers Market on Saturday. I plan to winter it indoors then next spring, plant it outside. I am leaving my Echinacea flower because last year I had three flowers and I picked them. This year I have one flower so I am letting it go to seed and be food for the birds and bees. My Euonymus shrub will turn brown and pink this winter and be shelter for the birds. It is an evergreen and this is its first winter, so I am excited to get to witness its change in color this winter. This is the first year that my hosta has flowered.

I will be happy to get to store lemon balm, fennel, calendula and dill seeds. That will help when I want to plant more of them in the future. Clean your jars and get some brown paper bags. Ensure your jars are completely dry before you store your herbs and seeds in them. Use your mortar and pestle to grind the roots, bark, berries, resins and leaves. Label everything and store out of direct sunlight. Enjoy your harvest.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Mabon Magic

Merry Meet All,

Mabon is coming up. The sun is shining brightly this morning. I bought the first pumpkin of the season. I am feeling the early magical energy of the autumn season. It is my favorite time of year. Mabon is a time of thanks for the harvest. It is between September 20-22 in the Northern Hemisphere. It lands on September 23 in the Northern Hemisphere.

The focus of the celebration of Mabon is on the light and dark. An equinox is when we have an equal balance of night and day. There is food to eat but the crops are dying. Mabon is the second part of the harvest festivals. Decorate your altar with the following suggestions: browns, golds, reds and yellows. Find some colorful leaves outside and decorate your altar with them then press them in wax and add them to your Book of Shadows. Use candles in rich autumn colors and spicy scents.

The symbols of Mabon are bolines, scythes and baskets as well as corn, sheafs of wheat, squash and root vegetables. Other symbols of Mabon are wine, grapes, apples, cider, pomegranates, corn, pumpkins and squashes, corn dolls, seeds, and statues of deities symbolizing the changing season. Pumpkin soup and squash soup are extremely delicious and nutritious if they are organic in soups, breads and roasted seeds. Try a new recipe involving root vegetables. I have found three or four new recipes that I enjoy.

Crafts can be done at Mabon that reflect the Sabbat. Make incense from a bounty of herbs from your potted herbs or from your garden. Make a herbal wreath and add dried leaves, flowers, seeds and vines. Make a special scented beeswax candle to light at a special Mabon meal. It will lend more magic to your dinner. Invite your friends over to celebrate Mabon with you and hold a ritual. Or attend a local public ritual and bring your own dish to the potluck. Try the recipe below to welcome in Mabon:

Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Olives and Herbs

Scrub the veggies for a gnarled look.
11/2 pounds medium carrots
11/2 pounds parsnips
8 shallots, halved if large
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Olive Herb Relish, for serving (recipe follows)

1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss carrots, parsnips, and shallots with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Optional to cook onions separately as they may burn quickly. Divide mixture between two rimmed baking sheets, spread in a single layer.
2 Roast, turning sheets from front to back twice and rotating from top to bottom once, until vegetables are brown and tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl, toss with olive relish, and serve.

Olive-Herb Relish
20 green or black pitted olives
1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Mix olives, parsley, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Add mint just before serving. Enjoy.

This recipe can be found in Martha Stewart’s magazine.

Mabon can be a fun, festive celebration. May you enjoy all that Mabon has to offer.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under autumn, bounty, harvest, Mabon

A Poem

Merry Meet All,

Poetry can surprise us. When we listen to our subconscious, we truly express ourselves and are more creative. This poem I wrote captures a way I have been feeling lately and I am sharing it with you, dear readers. Blessed Be.

Prisoner

My craving crawls up the walls like a lizard,
races like mice at night. I
long to feel your arms around me.

You are as remote as the flaming sun.
I scale a wall of obsidian to reach the other side.
Hot asphalt scalds my palms.

Your name is Love. I heard it
whispered on the wind. I
clench teeth on the taste of grit in my cup.

On the walls of the cell, I scratch how many
days I’ve been here;
hieroglyphic etches in the sand.

Echoes lost in the dust. I count
the lizards’ footsteps
on the erratic sandy trail.

Lady Spiderwitch

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A stroll in Nature

Merry Meet All,

Lately I have been taking a daily stroll in the mornings on the Chain of Lakes trail. I love to go on that trail because it has changed how I start my day and I get exercise and fresh air. I feel revived by the end of the walk. I start behind Crown Drive, where I live, and walk as far as Joe Howe. I take my coffee in a thermos and just my keys. Sometimes, I go out in the evenings.

I hear the squirrels, crows, sparrows, chickadees and jays cackle up a storm. I see the insects buzzing or flying around the verdant greenery for all the pollen their wings can carry. I study the array of wild herbs, flowers and trees such as birch, maple, ash and many others.

I greet cyclists, parents and other passerby on the path. They enjoy the trail. I have seen people take roller blading lessons and even been offered free beer. Hey who can argue with that? I am so close to Superstore when I use the trail, I often walk there and back. I use that trail for many reasons. However, I have come to notice that the walk in the morning can be only that and nothing else. I mean, that some mornings I was too tired to continue the walk and wanted to take the walk home and it felt like I was cheating or not getting the full experience from it. I now know that the morning walk is meant to be a spiritual refreshing morning walk and I have to do the full walk or not bother. I can’t cheat on this and I only hurt myself. I now always finish the full walk.

One afternoon, I went on the trail up the other side and walked as far up as Chain Lake and Teletech. I walked all the way back to my place. I know how to get there now. I mainly use the trail for the morning walk and grocery shopping at Superstore.

I am glad that the City put in the trail. Maybe they do know what they’re doing. I see people from my back yard window who use the trail all day. They walk their dogs, go for their own walk, rollerblade, cycle and gossip. It is a great way to appreciate Nature, honor the God & Goddess and get exercise and fresh air. I encourage all of you to go out and enjoy Nature today.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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September Events

Merry Meet All, September has arrived and with it, the chill in the air. Fall is here and the leaves are slowly turning color. I have deadheaded my Lady’s Mantle and its’ flowers are a gorgeous shade of light gold. Some of my plants are fading and some are late bloomers, like my Hosta and Echinacea, which is regularly visited by bees. Students of all ages are off to school and parents are exhaling a collective sigh of relief after a long hot summer. September is promising to be an active and interesting month. There is a lot to look forward to such as the difference in pace from the dog days of summer. The Word on the Street festival takes place at the Halifax Waterfront and is an event not to be missed. I plan to be there. It is a great chance to mingle and jostle coffees with other fellow writers. The Writers Federation also hosts an annual gala the night before the Word on the Street festival and the gala takes place at Pier 21 at 7pm. My old neighborhood hosts the annual street party and I look forward to a day of free food, and a chance to catch up on the news with old friends. Halifax Seed will carry bulbs to plant this fall and I hope to get to check that out too. From a magickal perspective, if the above events aren’t exciting enough, September 12 is the Full Moon. This is the Harvest Moon. Look at what you have nurtured all year and take note of what you reaped. It is a good time to also harvest herbs, flowers, roots or seeds from your garden and get to work on your tinctures or other witchy decoctions. Oh my! Remember to leave some for the faeries, birds and insects! September 23rd is Mabon, the second harvest festival or Sabbat, the Fall Equinox. I love Mabon for its magickal energy. The leaves on trees start to turn color at this time of year. On September 30, the Celtic Tree Month of Ivy begins. Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )0(

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