Category Archives: autumn

Cerridwen the cauldron

New Cauldron- Cerridwen

 

Merry meet all,

I finally have my large cauldron home. I’m proud to own such a beauitful cauldron. I plan to do many magickal spellworkings with the cauldron. The cauldron is so big and heavy that I had to take a cab to get it home and even then, it was hard carrying it up the steps to the door and to my apartment. 

I have already cleansed and dedicated the cauldron. The cauldron is home in time for Samhain. What witch doesn’t want a big cast-iron cauldron to work spells with? I do, I do. The cauldron is shown in the photo above. The cauldron is also already pre-seasoned. 

The cauldron is a symbol of the Goddess, the womb of the goddess, and representative of mystery, magick, the water and fire elements. A Witch can scry using water or oils in a cauldron. A Witch can burn incenses and resins too. I am sure I will have many wonderful magickal workings with my cauldron. I named her Cerridwen, which I feel is appropriate. 

It’s 33 more days to Samhain! I will be prepared!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch

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Countdown to Mabon

Channeling

Merry meet all,

A busy week is ahead for us. The Wheel of the Year blew in rustic colourful leaves, pumpkins, and a crisp chill in the air. I love autumn equinox as much as any other Witch. So let’s get ready. 

Fall is the most magickal time of year. I squealed when I saw large pumpkins in the bins in the grocery store. I couldn’t help it. It was like a confirmation that fall had truly arrived. The Harvest Moon shines luminously on the 19th. Mabon occurs on September 22nd. We get a harvest moon and harvest celebration in one week. I plan to be prepared. I may still have to scoop out slugs from my pots but my small lawn is now spotted with fallen fiery leaves. The Sun enters Libra on the 22nd. The Libra sign represents balance, harmony and friendship. The autumn equinox is when day and night are divided equally. 

Now is a good time to give thanks for your herb garden and crops. You may also acknowledge that the earth is dying back and preparing itself for the cold harsh winter. The petals on the Black Eyed Susans and coneflower are dying back. The beautiful velvety seed heads mature on the stems. I plan to save some seeds from them to plant in the spring. 

Plan a nice meal with wine, cider, natural bread, squash or pumpkin soup, cheese, and grapes. Invite friends or your coven members over to share the meal. Remember to offer thanks to your deities of choice and to the fairy spirits in your garden who protected and helped your garden grow. Enjoy the magical bounty of Mabon. 

Up next; Ways to celebrate Mabon

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Wildcrafting Herbs

Merry Meet All,

Autumn is a magical time. Summer lingers on, but fall is around the corner. Gardens are ripe with many blossoming herbs. This post will tell you how to gather and dry herbs for your magical workings, crafts, and other related projects. The photo above was taken from my own garden. See the bee?

How to gather herbs

Wildcrafting is the gathering of herbs in their natural environment. When you are searching in the wild for chicory, nettle, or Echinacea, please respect the earth. Collect only as much of a plant or herb you need at the time. Never deplete an entire patch of wild raspberry or nettle. Let the patch or tree continue to grow in its wild state. Leave an offering for the plant and the Goddess. Nature maintains a natural balance.

A difference can be found in the taste of store bought herbs and your own garden grown herbs. Herbs should be gathered when they flower. When gathering herbs, cut above the node on the stem. Pick off the faded leaves and store in a dry place. When gathering flowers, cut the flowers just before they flower. Seeds should be gathered when they turn a brown color. Collect roots in the dormant season.

Ensure that you are selecting the correct herbs when you are wildcrafting. Bring a friend and a guidebook with you. You might mistake poison ivy for another plant.

People have been using herbs since millenia. Today they are still popular in oils, perfumes, and potpourris.

Fresh herbs should be picked before the heat of the midday sun or the volatile oils will evaporate. The drying of the leaves intensifies the flavor. Small leaves dry faster than large leaves. As a precaution, do not take more than two cups of any one of medicinal herbs in twenty-four hours. Some herbs are stronger than others. Moderation is advised.

Now is a good time to use your boline. Try corresponding the color of the plants and the earth element with your tool for cutting. The color of the scissors could be green.

Next, wash the herbs in a nearby lake- the water element, or your kitchen sink. Once clean, bind the herbs with embroidery floss or a rubber band. Tie a loop around the ends and hang the herbs from string in your kitchen to dry. Allow the herbs to dry for several days out of the way of direct sunlight. When the herbs are crisp to the touch, they are ready.

For instance, lemon balm has small leaves on its stems. When it is dry to the touch and easily crumbles, it can be ground in a mortar and pestle, and stored in a dry canning jar. While the leaves are drying, the tiny black seeds fall out. Store bundled herbs in a paper bag to collect the seeds.

If you are freezing the herbs, wash and dry the herbs in cold water first. Press the leaves in plastic bags. Put the leaves in single layers in the bags. Remove the hard stems and do not thaw the herbs before you use them.

If you want to store the herbs in jars, label the jar and write the date on the jar. Ensure the jar is not damp or wet. This causes the herbs to mold. Store somewhere dark and out of sight in a cupboard or pantry. The herbs will be properly prepared and easily accessible for your cooking or magical purposes. Be sure to be able to differentiate which herbs are safe to use for cooking and magic spells.

Blessings,
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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