Merry Meet All,

As I walk along my favorite nature trail everyday or nearly everyday, I hear the tree boughs creaking, leaves swish in the wind, and dry leaves skitter along the trail. Jays and crows greet each other. Dogs bark at passerby and squirrels chatter. It is an ideal trail for a city. I love walking the trail. I love the energy there.

The days are shorter and the wind grows colder. The trees are nearly bare. A few lingering leaves cling to the branches. The dark half of the year is upon us. It is the best time of year for writing. I am writing a ghost story, which I do, once I can tear myself from the lure of the internet. It is a good time to savor hot tea and curl up with a good book. I bought a book by a local author and friend today. It is called An Ogham Wood by Cliff Seruntine. I’ve begun reading it and am already fascinated by the awesome tale. I won a copy of the book by another local author and friend Steve Vernon-the Lunenburg Werewolf. I got that book signed by the author and bought his other book Maritime Monsters for my niece. My niece and sister love the books.

It is a good time to be reflecting on the past year. I am always eager for the new year but I can say that I have had some wonderful times this year. I have realized what wonderful friends I have- human and four-legged and furry, lol. I am realizing how fortunate I am. I hope it is or will be the same for you.

Lady Spiderwitch

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

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(

Blessed Lughasadh

The beginning of August signals the first harvest of the season. Lammas is sacred to the Celtic Sun God Lugh, the man of many skills or jack of all trades. It is a time to enjoy the first fruits of the labors begun at Imbolc.

The first harvest is a special time for celebrations, for traditional games and efforts, and friendly competition. Spend time with friends and family while reaping what you sowed under the warmth of the lingering Summer Sun.

Harvesting is a time of gathering and reflecting on one’s own skills and the culmination of efforts. Lammas is also a time of cutting back on, or sacrificing. What do you need to sacrifice in order to gain?

Prepare your favorite cornbread recipe. Shape the loaf like a man, in the image of the sun god Lugh. Bake it, slice off the head ( a symbol of sacrifice), share it and eat it to signify the duality of a bountiful harvest and the need for sacrifice.

Make corn dolls and get an empty horn of plenty and fill it up with dried seeds, dried orange rinds, or corn and wheat to symbolize the early harvest season bounty. Simmer cider and mead and enjoy with fresh baked bread. Bake apple pie or applesauce. Decorate your altar and kitchen space and say a meaningful prayer to the Goddess and God for them sharing their first fruits with you

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch