Magic of the Harvest Moon

 Mabon

Merry meet all,

September heralds the change in the air. I feel the chill already. Pumpkins now sit in the baskets in the produce aisle. Crisp leaves trail to the ground. My garden is busy preparing itself for fall. Some seed heads are losing their flower petals, leaving the rich brown velvety seed heads behind. I love to feel the texture of them. There is no mistake about it. Fall is the most sensual season of the year.

Next week, the Wheel of the Year spins again. Mabon starts on September 22nd. Mabon precedes Samhain. The Harvest Moon shines on the 19th. I will be posting tips here on how you can make the most of this magickal harvest time. If you had a garden, September- October is the time to harvest what you have sown all summer. Your herbs and vegetables will be ripe to bursting. Throw a potluck and share what you have harvested. Sharing food is a custom that goes back to our ancestors. 

Try to include as much organic food as you can for your Mabon feast. Despite what you think, it is cheaper to eat organic. It is better on your body. Go to an organic Farmers Market for ciders, meat, and vegetables. I myself plan to get some rustic bread, goat cheese (mm), and fresh cider. That takes some beating. Our ancestors ate organic food. Think about it. Now there are chemicals in the food. When you eat the food, you eat the chemicals. You take that energy into you. Is that what you want? I doubt it. 

Peru has banned GMO food and Monsanto. Way to go, Peru. I hope they are an example to other countries to follow in their suit. 

For those of you who live inHalifax, another September highlight is Word on the Street. Word on the Street is an annual Book Fair and Festival. I never miss it and I always have a good time. I look forward to this year’s festival. 

May the Goddess bless you this Mabon

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

Dog days of summer

Merry meet all,

Are you having a magickal summer? I’ve worked hard on my garden, and harvested shallots, peas, and chives. Oh they taste so good. Bees visit the bee balm, astilbe, and dead nettle. I am enjoying the fruitful verdant bounty of my garden. I just came in from watering it. Ah the joy of gardening.

I hope you are all enjoying Lammas. I believe that Mabon is a little more magickal. The leaves turn those gorgeous colors, and pumpkins show up everywhere. Mabon is a good time for a harvest. Everything is still young and on the peak of harvest. My radishes are almost ready. The tomato vines are bigger and I have planted more pea seeds to extend the pea season. I can’t wait to bite into a garden grown radish. I wish the slugs would keep off!

Enjoy summer while you can. Summer is fleeting. Before you know it, September rolls around and you’ll be facing classes and midterms. Or maybe you work and dread the alarm clock for work. Three weeks before the beginning of September can fly past quick.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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

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

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

Mabon


Mabon will soon be upon us. Children return to school, the leaves turn to golds and crimsons and a chill creeps into the air. The magic of Mabon will soon unfold. Be prepared with the following information to celebrate with friends.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is celebrated on September 21, which is not far away. It is a time of equal balance between dark and light, and directly complements the Spring Equinox. It is the second harvest Sabbat, depending on your tradition. It is a time where there is an equal day and night. Use this time to harvest what you have reaped in your gardens and reflect on what you have accomplished since Spring Equinox.

Set symbols of fall on your altar-scythes, sickels, acorns, autmn leaves, things that represent abundance and harvest. White and black candles represent the two polar opposites of day and night in balance.

To honor the change of the season, and it is early September yet, the sky darkens earlier and earlier now. I am contributing a poem for the Mabon Sabbat. Please honor the copyright.

Under a Blood Moon

In the cool splendor of fall,
wind blown ochre leaves
scatter in the yard.

A northern wind blows hard
on this Mabon morning,
signal of change to come.

The crow sounds a rousing cry,
its’ black form hunched
on a thin branch.

A kettle sputters, she
sips her tea slowly,
burning her throat.

She gathers herbs
to store in
earthen bowls.

Her heart beats shrewdly from
earned wisdom,
she scorns the cold.

Wind whispers of spirits near,
the crow takes flight,
boughs quiver.

Under the Blood moon of October,
she casts her spell,
beholds the crow on her oak tree.

Find a way that has meaning for you to honor the Mabon Sabbat. Blessings to all

Lady Spiderwitch