Saturday, August 30, 2014

Autumn is a-cumen in!

September is a little more than a day away here.  Are you as excited as I am?  Temperatures are still pretty warm, but thunderstorms are coming to cool us down a bit.  Mabon will soon be here, and then...Samhain!  The countdown to Samhain began ages ago for me, but I'm not about to forget the autumn equinox, oh, no!

Our second harvest festival in the northern hemisphere, the autumn equinox/Mabon is a time to start turning inward a bit more.  It's a time to start focusing on things we want to get rid of at the end of the year, a time to meditate on future goals, and a time to really start connecting more with our inner selves.  It's a time to get in touch with our spirituality and prepare for the long, dark winter.

At my parents' house, it's a time for canning and freezing everything from the garden.  Tomatoes, peppers, and green beans are being preserved in jars. Pickles have been made.  Corn is going into the freezer.  My parents are enjoying delicious turnips, raw with salt and pepper.  Here, since I have no garden, I am getting ready to de-clutter the house.  I have bundles of clothes to give away, books to organize, and other assorted bits of junk to get rid of.

Celebrating the second harvest and enjoying the beginning of autumn are joyful activities. The air will soon grow cool and crisp. The days are already noticeably shorter.  Pumpkins already decorate the front of the grocery store.  Today, I baked a pumpkin spice latte cheesecake. The time is nigh!

Below is a list of activities and foods for the autumn equinox. If you're having trouble thinking of ideas for decorations, activities, or dishes, perhaps it will help you.

Mabon  Ideas for Heart and Home

·         Simmer water with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves on the stove.

·         Smudge with rosemary, sage, and thyme.  Simmer some of the herbs in water and add it to your mop water.  Clean the floors, counters, and cabinet doors.  Add some sea salt for extra protection and cleansing.

·         Decorate with autumn leaf gardens that you can purchase from a craft store.

·         Place leaves on a canvas or piece of foam board. Dip an old toothbrush into some orange, red, brown, and yellow paint.  Splatter. Remove the leaves.

·         Can the rest of the fresh green beans and tomatoes.  Make pesto with the last of the summer basil and freeze it.  Freeze the corn.  Hang bundles of herbs to dry.

·         Fall cleaning.  Get rid of clutter and give away anything you don’t use or wear.

·         Make a besom. Scent with cinnamon oil.

·         Meditate on Persephone’s descent into the Underworld.  Eat pomegranate seeds while doing this.
·         Harvest seeds.  

·         Think of your goals for the coming year.

·         Think of what you want to get rid of at Samhain. What is cluttering your mind and your life?

·         Make corn dollies.

·         Make dried apples for snacks and decoration.

·         Decorate the altar with bundles of corn.  Hollow out apples to use as candle holders. 

·         Squash soup
·         Corn bread
·         Apple pie, crumble, or cake
·         Pinto beans cooked with smoked ham
·         Sauteed  greens
·         Stuffed onions
·         Sweet potatoes – mashed, baked, in pie form

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