mabon/autumn equinox

Mabon/Autumn Equinox

Pronunciation: MAY-bun, MAH-bun, MAY-vhon, or MAH-bawn
September 21-24
Themes: harvest, gratitude, abundance, balance, welcoming the dark
Other Names: Autumnal Equinox, Fall Equinox, September Equinox, Harvest Tide, Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon

Mabon at the Autumn Equinox and just like Ostara on the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year, at Mabon the days and nights are of equal length. And is typically celebrated on Sept 22, but since it changes depending what calendar you go buy, the 21st – 24th is acceptable as well. The Equinox occurs at different local times, so that depending on where you live, so it may fall the day before or after the date listed on any given calendar. The autumnl equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its apparent journey southward, and we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration.

Depending where you live, you are beginning to feel it in the air, the end of summer. Temperatures may still be warm during the day, but in the evening there is a coolness beginning to creep in. Leaves are beginning to fall and you may be starting to see some color on the trees. For me, I can even smell it in the air, that earthy smell of leaves beginning to decay and their sugars and organic compounds leave a scent in the air as the leaves break down, creating the classic musky-sweet smell. Mabon is a celebration of life and death, and giving of life again, the cycle of the seasons.  As with Ostara, the theme of balance is highlighted here, reminding us that everything is temporary, seasons will change, and that neither dark nor light ever overpowers the other for long.

This as always a time to express gratitude to our higher power for the blessings in our lives, but harvest festivals especially so because we are receiving the earths bounty with the harvest. This holiday now a days take a moment to rest from our labor and relax, Labor Day.

Mabon was a Welsh mythological figure whose origins are connected to a divine “mother and son” pair, echoing the dual nature of the relationship between the Goddess and the God, Jesus and Mary. Whichever name you choose, enjoy your celebration and give thanks for the bounty of the Earth. Mabon denotes all of nature is in balance. It is a time to reap what you have sown. And giving thanks for the harvest the earth provides.

The colors of the autumn equinox are the colors that represent the autumn season, reds, golds, cream, hunter green, browns, buttery yellows and rich shades of purple! Typical decorations are, acorns, gourds, pinecones, leaves and the cornucopia filled with autumn fruits, winter squashes, late summer/early autumn flowers and nuts.


Candle Magic

You’ll need…

  • An unscented candle in a harvest color— yellow, orange, brown, or in green to symbolize cash in hand
  • essential oil of cinnamon, orange, or ginger
  • Something to inscribe the candle with—a pencil, stylus, etc.

If you normally cast a circle or invoke a diety, directional elements, higher power, etc… before a working, do so now. Using a stylus or pencil, inscribe your Mabon intent on the candle. For example, if you need money to pay the bills, carve that on there in whatever way you feel called to; ie: symbols, words, etc.. it’s the intention that matters.

Once you’ve completed your inscription, anoint the candle with essential oil. Focus your intent into the candle, drawing the abundance of it to you. Clearly visualize your intent and what it will mean to you. How will it change your life? How will it affect those around you? What does it look like?

Light the candle, and meditate on the flame. Continue focusing on your intent, and imagine it building, first as a small spark, and then growing into a large ball of light. Maintain this image as long as you can, and then release it into the candle flame. Make sure the candle is in a safe place so as not to be a fire hazard (a bowl of sand is perfect for this) and allow the candle to burn out on its own.

Mantra

Autumn Leaves Don’t Fall,
They Fly They Take Their Time
And Wander On
This Their Only Chance
To Soar!
@transitionsyoga


Mabon Intention Setting Ceremony

A simple Mabon celebration you can do at bedtime is light a candle, close your eyes and breathe deeply for five minutes, giving thanks for all your blessings. 

Fall Equinox (Mabon) Ritual
For good harvests and rewards ahead:

For this Mabon, or second harvest, ritual, we are going to balance the scales and mirror nature’s own division of light and shadow, which strike perfect balance on the two equinoxes each year.

Gather:

  • One white or cream candle to represent your light harvest
  • A gemstone to represent your light (e.g., selenite, scolecite, clear calcite, quartz, or petalite)
  • Palo santo, copal, or white sage for smudging
  • One burgundy or black candle to represent your dark harvest
  • A gemstone to represent your shadow (e.g., black tourmaline, jet, golden sheen obsidian, or aegirine)
  • A perfume or essential oil blend to integrate your light and shadow aspects

As you gather your Mabon tools, divide them into two sides: light tools and shadow tools. For the first part of this ritual, you will want to keep them separate; later in the ritual, you will be guided to mingle them, acknowledging the intimate dance of light and shadow.

Smudge the items you have gathered, and on the left, or yin, side of your altar, place your burgundy or black candle, your perfume or essential oils, and your gems that represent shadow. On the right (masculine), or yang, side, place your white or cream candle, your gems that represent light, and your smudging herbs. Take a deep cleansing breath and acknowledge on an energetic level that all these tools represent parts of you that need to be integrated into one dynamic whole expression. When you are ready, call upon your spirit guides to help you discern which items on the light side of your altar are ready to be moved to the shadow side, and vice versa. Is your light candle ready to glow upon your shadow stones, or vice versa? As you step forward in wisdom to move items on your altar as called by Spirit, enjoy the liberation that comes from blurring boundaries. You are not just light or just shadow.

Those are easy answers. You are all of it, and more. You are the slippage between the categories we believe are fixed. You are the exception to all the rules. And that is why your magic is undeniable and indefinable.

Once you begin to mix the sides, keep going. In the amalgam, your peace and your deeper purpose reside. Move the stones, the candles, the offerings. When a new balance has been struck, step back and take a closer look at the alchemy of light and shadow, the balance between the hemispheres of awareness. What lessons have been unearthed here for yourself? Take a moment here to breathe, connect, center, and receive messages from your guides. Finally, bring your hands to prayer position over your heart and give thanks for what you have learned. This is the hour of balance, and here you are, in the center of All, right where you need to be. Welcome this moment. Cheers to your balance, your integration, and your health.

Amen, A’ho, So it is.

Excerpt from The Book of Blessings and Rituals by Athena Perrakis, PhD © 2019

“Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!
So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!”
–   Night An’Fey, Transformation of Energy



Meditation

This is a meditation based on the story of the Mabon in the Mabinogion tale of Culhwch and Olwen, but with an Australian twist. The meditation can be done as a part of this Autumn Equinox ritual or just by itself.

Equinox Meditation

  1. Get in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and open your heart. Place your hands directly on your heart and take a deep breath in through your nose. Allow the air to flow naturally through the mouth releasing all that no longer serves you. Continue focusing on your breath until your mind has settled. 
  2. Reflect on how you can bring in more balance and harmony into your life. Observe your thoughts and listen to the answers. Once the answer is received envision yourself throwing these thoughts into a river and watch them float away. 
  3. Bring awareness to your breath coming in and out. With every breath, you begin to feel more balanced. 
  4. Allow your mind to settle and say out loud, ”Balance and harmony is my birthright and I deserve it. I seek balance and harmony as it is found in the universe. I release what is old and no longer needed. I release what is blocking me from living a balanced life.” Repeat until you truly feel you’ve connected with these words. 
  5. Sit in stillness for as long as you can, allowing some time for these words to seep into your mind, body, and spirit. 
  6. Bring your awareness back to your body and your breath. Allowing yourself to be completely grounded and breathe in the balancing energy of the universe and the equinox. 
  7. End your meditation sending gratitude to the universe and radiate this harmonious balancing energy all over the world. 

Source: The Hoodwitch

 


Autumn Incense & Oils
Think scents of pine, sage, cinnamon, frankincense, sweetgrass, and myrrh!

Mabon Ceremony Oil

  • 1 oz. grapeseed oil for base
  • 5 drops cedar oil
  • 6 drops rosemary oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried marigold
  • 1 apple seed

Crimson Leaves Incense

  • 1 part Red Sandalwood
  • 1 part Dragon’s Blood
  • 1 part Storax Bark

Autumn Equinox Intentions/Activities

  • Do a gratitude practice.
  • Celebrate! This is a time of rest and merriment.
  • Autumn crafts.
  • This is the time to look back not just on the past year, but also your life, and to plan for the future.
  • Find balance, literally, do some yoga and honor balance and movement.
  • Tend your autumn garden bounty. No garden> Visit your local farmers market or roadside fruit and vegetable stand.
  • Meditate.
  • Bake with fruits from the harvest (aka early autumn fruits).
  • Take a hike.
  • Complete old projects.
  • Tell stories around a bonfire, drink hot apple cider.
  • Write down all your blessings from the past year in a journal.
  • Decorate your altar, table or fireplace hearth with acorns, pine cones, seasonal fruits and nuts, and/or a few of the first colored leaves that drop from the trees.
  • Light candles in autumn colors like deep red, orange, brown, and golds.
  • If you are one who struggles with seasonal depression during the fall and winter months, use this time to set an intention for inner peace and strength.
  • Plant the seeds for new undertakings or even a change in lifestyle.
  • Go apple picking. Or visit a pumpkin patch if they are open yet.
  • Clean your house and get rid of stagnant or negative energy.
  • Host a potluck Mabon dinner with your favorite people.
  • Create a gratitude garland
  • In a journal or notepad, answer these questions to the best of your ability: ”How am I calling in balance into my life? How can I be more balanced? What needs to be released in order to cultivate balance? What have I been growing in my garden of thoughts? How does this serve me?” 
  • Make apples into bowls! Carve out an apple so that the filling is gone and all that is left is a thick bowl-shaped apple shell. You can put small plants in these, offerings to spirits or deities, or you can place a candle inside. Put it on an altar or windowsill and it’s complete!
  • If you have food to spare, donate some to a local food pantry. Also, if you have pet food or toys to spare, donate to those to a local animal shelter! Mabon is a great holiday to give back and donating what you can is a wonderful way to celebrate the equinox!

Mabon/Autumn Equinox Crafts



Foods Of Mabon

Vegan Mabon Raspberry Nut Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting

Bake in a rectangle glass pan on 350 for 45-48 minutes

  • 4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C Turbinado sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 very heaping tbsp peanut butter powder
  • 4 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Caramel agave sauce
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 1/2 C almond milk
  • 3/4 C vegetable oil
  • 3/4 small pack raspberries, whole or sliced

Cool the cake thoroughly (about an hour) before putting in the refrigerator (or glass may crack) to chill for an additional hour or two, or overnight, before icing with chilled frosting.

Frosting: Mix with an electric mixer :

  • a stick and a half of vegan butter, then gradually mix in
  • Erythritol Monkfruit Powder until desired creamy texture and flavor are reached.
  • Mix in a little caramel agave syrup at a time, until desired flavor is reached.
  • Frost cake, then decorate with apples, strawberries and caramel agave sauce.

Vegetable Pot Pie

Makes two pies, 12 or more servings

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered and finely chopped
  • 3 cups diced vegetables of your choice
    (choose 3 or 4 from among cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, leeks, peas, corn kernels, zucchini, yellow summer squash, mushrooms, kale, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Two 9-inch prepared good-quality pie crust, preferably whole grain
  • 1 cup fine whole grain bread crumbs
  • Paprika for topping

Cook or microwave the potatoes in their skins until done. When cool enough to handle, peel them. Dice four of them and mash the other four coarsely. Set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until  golden. Add the vegetables of your choice, layering quicker-cooking vegetables like peas, corn, and zucchini over longer cooking ones like cauliflower, broccoli, and leeks (though none of these are terribly long-cooking). Add a bit of water; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but not overdone, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour into the skillet, then pour in the stock. Add the optional nutritional yeast. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. until the liquid thickens. Stir in both the diced and mashed potatoes. Heat through gently. Stir in the seasoning blend, thyme, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the  mixture into the pie crust and pat in.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over each pie, then top with a sprinkling of paprika. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Let the pies stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, then cut into wedges and serve.

Three Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups of squash (I used acorn, butternut & half a green pumpkin – I don’t recommend green pumpkin lol).
  • 1 cup of milk substitute (I used rice milk, you can use almond or soy)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 med-large parsnip
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Herb for garnish – I used parsley
  • Maple syrup or agave to taste for sweetness

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and compost them. Also, roughly chop up the carrot, parsnip, onion & celery (feel free to prepare the root veggies from our next recipe at this time to save on energy!).
Fill a 9X13 glass cake pan with approximately 1 inch water and place the squash face-down in the water. Take the chopped veggies, toss with the olive oil and place on a flat cookie sheet in a single layer. Put both squash and veggies in the oven to bake. This could take 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on your oven, the size of the veggies, yada yada.

Keep an eye on the veggies to make sure they don’t burn – but you want the squash skin to brown. Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and let cool just enough so that you can handle them and scoop the flesh out of the shells (but not cold!) & put them into a food processor. I prefer to process the squash first until very pureed, and then add veggies and do the same thing. Add the milk, salt, pepper, cayenne at this time. If you did like I did and let the squash & veggies get TOO cold you can reheat this on the stove or in the microwave. Serve warm with herb garnish.

The Best Pumpkin Muffins – Taken from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz(I highly recommend this book!!).

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar (raw sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix!)
  • ½ cup milk alternative (I used rice milk)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp molasses

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. In separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.

Fill the muffin cups two thirds of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Harvest Ratatouille

  • 8 – 10 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 large or 4 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into chunks the same size as the zucchini slices
  • 5 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tomato paste, to taste (optional)

1. Heat 5 or 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the onions, and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant and softened. Add zucchini and eggplant and saute about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add more olive oil as needed if the pan looks dry. Add tomatoes, peppers, and garlic, stirring to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.
2. Take off the lid, add other add-ins, if you like, increase heat to high, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes to evaporate excess liquid, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add a little tomato paste if using, and stir well.
3. Serve hot, or allow to cool and add a little olive oil before serving. Serves 6.

Apple Butter

  • 4 quarts Apple
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1 1/2 quarts Cider
  • 1 1/2 pounds Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves

Wash and slice the apples into small bits. Cover with the water and boil until soft. Press through a sieve to remove skins and seeds. Bring cider to a boil and then add apple pulp and sugar and cook until it thickens, constantly stirring to prevent scorching. Add spices and cook until it is thick enough for spreading. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Mulled Mabon Wine (alcoholic)

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Honey Wine (Mead)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 strips of orange zest (or lemon)
  • 3 oz of Brandy (optional)

Directions

On the stove or in a Crock Pot on low, combine ingredients. Warm to just below boiling (if you boil it, you’ll lose the alcohol) Serve warm in mugs, have alongside pumpkin pie or your favorite fresh-baked gingerbread cookies! For a holiday look, garnish with a cinnamon stick and curl of your choice of orange or lemon zest!

Mabon Mulled Wine (alcoholic)

This makes enough wine for a small gathering or small servings, for more just double the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 750 mL of your favorite red wine
  • 4 cups of apple cider
  • 3 anise stars
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 shot of Drambuie or Grand Marnier

Directions:

Comine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve warm or let cool.

Alternate Directions:

Combine all ingredients in crock pot.  Heat on high for ten minutes.  Heat on low for half hour.  Serve warm or cold.



Mabon/Autumn Equinox Links

The Origins Of Mabon

6 Mabon Music Playlists

Mabon Kids Crafts

What Is The September Equinox

for protesters and social justice warriors

A Spell to Recharge After Attending a Protest or Doing Social Justice Work

Materials:

  • A bowl of lukewarm water
  • Your favorite essential oil

To your bowl with lukewarm water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. (Lavender is great for tranquility, while rose is good for love.) Place one palm up, facing the sky, and place one palm over the water, facing down.

With the face-up palm, begin to envision the universe’s energy coming into you. Feel it charging through you as a pure, white light. Say: I ask for the energy to stay active, healthy, and efficient. I ask to be replenished. I am a tower of strength and power.

Imagine that energy moving through you toward your other palm. Pour that white light into the water. When you feel you’ve sufficiently charged the water, wash your hands in it, rubbing them carefully together, making it a point to care for your body. Enjoy this moment for yourself, and repeat whenever you need to recharge your energies lost to resistance work.

A Mood Board Ritual for Making Things Happen

Need to rejuvenate your life in some way? You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to make a resolution. Maybe you need to revamp your closet or work on developing a new, more confident you after scoring a big-deal job. Maybe you just need to stop using social media for a while.

In this moon-shattering ritual, you’ll make a magical mood board that will help you pull your ideas and inspirations together. It will help you meditate on your ideas and integrate them into your day-to-day life.

Materials:

  • Magazines, books, tarot cards, or any visual images of your archetype; pen and paper work too
  • Paper and glue, or a photo album
  • Yellow candle

Look through magazines, books, and other media. Find images that represent your goal or your ideal self. If you can’t find the right images, you can also draw them. If you’re looking to amp up your confidence, you might cut out pictures of people who deliver serious fierceness. You might print out an image of a tarot card that represents an archetype that inspires you.

Once you’ve collected these images, put them together as a mood board. You can paste them onto a piece of paper or arrange them in a photo album that can be your own magical flip book.

Add to your mood board as often as you want, and dazzle it up with glitter, flower petals, poems, or anything else that speaks to you.

Supercharge your manifesting by lighting a yellow candle beside your mood board during the new moon. Concentrate on the flame. Think about what inspires you and visualize the small changes that can make your mood board self come to life. Hold these thoughts in your mind each time you add to your board.

Put your mood board in the moon’s light to charge. Turn to it whenever you need a little dose of your own magic.

Meditation: Compassion For Suffering Of Injustice

Aware of breathing in, aware of breathing out (essentially using the gathas of Thich Nhat Hanh)

Aware of body, releasing tensions

Aware of heart, opening heart, tenderness to heart

Aware of emotions, holding in compassion, smiling, easing/releasing with breath

Notice own suffering of injustice – be aware, notice how it manifests in body, emotions,

Hold this suffering in compassion, ease suffering with breath –

Be aware of this suffering as a pattern in the world– visualize how it affects many people, take in this pattern of suffering, hold in compassion, send ease, wish for relief (akin to Tonglen practice)

Notice suffering of marginalized people…what are you aware of? See specifics, feel in your body, emotions, hold in compassion, send ease and relief in your mind…

Return to awareness of breath, ease, release of tension

Notice suffering of privileged people…see specifics…guilt, disconnection, feel this energy, hold in compassion, release, ease, send relief

Share what came up with a partner – listen deeply with complete acceptance.

Return to discussion with group: what did you notice, realize?

Brief meditation/reflection:

Return to awareness of breath, body, heart

Coming from the awareness of this evening, what are your deepest intentions for addressing the suffering of injustice? What step might you take? How does this feel in your body, emotions?

Closing: what are you carrying forth from this evening?

By Susal Stebbins Collins, M.A.

Loving Kindness Meditation

This exercise draws on a guided meditation created by researcher Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

Some Mental Health Ideas If You Are Stressed Out About Politics And World Events

While it often feels like there is no end to political madness, not all hope is lost: Your stress can be managed with a few mindful steps.

  1. Practice Self-Care
    Get 8 hours a night, eat nutritious food, and exercise. A regular sleep cycle can keep your mood regulated and decrease the risk of depression. Don’t underestimate the power of a good nap! Eating well-balanced, nutritious meals and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise or even a brisk walk every day can reduce stress hormones and increase endorphin production, boosting your overall mood and energy level.
  2. Leave The Table
    Political debates with family members, coworkers, and friends can often get heated and strain relationships. If it’s starting to get tense, leave the table/room for a bit and calm down, maybe even change the topic, or redirect the conversation when you come back. Conversations like that can hit a wall of no return if the conversation doesn’t stop before its boiling point. You can always come back to the conversation at a later date if you need or want to.
  3. Unplug, Disconnect then Reconnect
    I know, I know, it’s important to stay informed, it’s but it’s also important to know your limits. Scrolling through your news feed can leave you feeling exhausted, frustrated, anxious and overwhelmed, I know it can get to me. Take a break and unplug. Set aside a certain amount of time in the day specifically for news, politics and even those kinds of conversations with people, even casual ones. Give yourself a limit on how much time you spend protesting, campaigning, planning, etc….
  4. Take Action
    Don’t let yourself feel powerless, its unhealthy. It’s important during times of uncertainty to remember that you have a voice, use it. Join a local political organization, join a well organized non-violent protest, campaigning for a cause, get involved in the political process and/or volunteer. Direct action can empower you and cause you to feel hope for the future!
  5. Be Open To Hear All Sides
    Understanding the other side can help you see where and why they feel how they do. Shouting won’t do that. And we all need to understand why they feel how they do, it’s the only way to know how to navigate change. When talking to people who share opinions different from yours, try to listen objectively and show compassion for their points of view. Now not all points of view will necessarily lead you to feel compassion but this should always be the starting ground to change and resolution.

International Suicide Hotlines – Go To:
Open Counseling
For Helpline Numbers

confession…

I suck at mornings and I suck at consistency. So I am tackling both at the same time I Started drinking my shakes again today (pumpkin spice with cinnamon) and a new workout, Morning Meltdown with Jericho McMattews. It’s intermediate but it can be modified. I always before, procrastinated doing any workouts till night time. My reasoning? I don’t get motivated till night time to workout.


But I thought, maybe if I get up early and get my workout done first thing in the morning, maybe I’ll actually get motivated earlier. Maybe that workout will energize me way more than my two cups of coffee and a bagel in the morning, hmmm…Lately I’ve been working at flipping the narrative on a lot of things to work from a standpoint of positivity because: 🌞it’s a healthier mindset 🌞it leads to better productivity 🌞it switches your thoughts from being down the rabbit hole and into actual solution solving 🌞and, it feels better to be happier (way to state the obvious Susan 😂)


My sweet brilliant husband has always told me that negative thinking is a waster of time. And my spirituality says that negative thinking is just another form of serious negative attachment. As a healer and one who takes care of people and lifts them up, I’m terrible at doing it for myself and that has to change! And while positive thinking may not create the results I want allllll the time. It CAN and will change my perception of the outcome and the actions I take afterwards. Positive thinking will allow me to say, “ok that didn’t work, let’s try something else”, rather than, “I give up”. I am far from perfecting this way of flipping the narrative but I think it’s like a muscle it has to be worked on to change the muscle and to keep the muscle strong. Here is the meditation I’ve been using lately!

Mindful Meditation

A very simple, non intimidating way to start meditating for awareness and more positive thought is this: simply sit, close your eyes and breathe in and out consciously. As you breathe in, repeat in your mind “I know I’m breathing in”. As you breathe out, repeat in your mind “I know I’m breathing out”.
That’s all. It gives your mind something to do while you consciously breathe and slow down. Do this for 5-10 minutes. As soon as a negative thought arises (which it will), just bring the mind back to “I know I’m breathing in… I know I’m breathing out”.


It’s helped me during times when my mind is so wound up and spiraling down that rabbit hole to center myself and stop the negative thought cycle. It will help develop mindfulness to be carried through ther day, as well as develop the skill of connecting to your “conscious mind” or the “mind behind your mind” that perceives your thinking.


ps… I realized, wow I got my workout done and now if I feel like it I can toss in another or work on my run training again!!

Have a happy
🌞
Monday everyone!

lammas

Photo By: Ad Victoriam

Lammas

Pronounced: English – LAH-mahhs
Lughnasadh
Pronunciation – LOO-nah-sa
August 1-2
Themes: first fruits of harvest, gratitude, benevolent sacrifice, utilizing skills and talents
Other Names: Lughnasadh, Lughnasa, August Eve, Feast of Bread, Frey Fest, First Harvest

The feast of Lughnasadh commemorates the funeral games of Lugh, Celtic god of light, and son of the Sun.  In the mythological story of the Wheel of the Year, the Sun God transfers his power into the grain (harvest), and is sacrificed when the grain is harvested.  This grain is then used to bake the first bread from the year’s crop, which in earlier times would then be taken to a church and laid on the altar to be blessed. The name “Lammas” actually comes from this tradition, taken from an old Anglo-Saxon phrase meaning “loaf mass.”

Irish legend has it that the festival originated with Lugh himself, when he held a funeral feast and sporting competition to honor his foster mother, Tailtiu. She had died from exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland so the people could grow crops.

It is the cross-quarter day between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox, and it marks the beginning of the harvest season. The first hints of Autumn are appearing even through the heat of summer. Grains are ready to be harvested, fruit is starting to fall from the fruit trees and daylight is now becoming shorter. In some places you may start to feel cooler evenings and begin to see a leaf or two tumble to the ground as the trees prepare for their autumn colors to appear!

Lammas rituals usually revolve around; harvesting, gratitude, and recognizing the manifestations of our intentions that have unfolded so far during the course of the year. Many a loaf of bread are made traditionally as way to mark the holiday, as it represents bringing the seeds of intention into full fruition. Corn dollies are a traditional craft made from straw. Decorate with the colors of Summer and Autumn; yellows, oranges, reds, greens and browns. Use harvest imagery like weaved baskets and, Summer corn, late blooming flowers of Summer (daisies, goldenrod, helenium, chrysanthemum, aster, black eyed susan, gaillardia, sunflowers, and zenia), stalks of wheat and of course loaves of bread. Spellwork related to securing abundance and a happy home is particularly powerful at this time.

Candle Magic

Materials Needed

  • 3 Orange candles
  • Frankincense incense
  • 3 Pieces of orange construction paper
  • Make 1 bouquets of wheat stems. Tie with string or thin cord.

Take 3 orange candles & pass them through the smoke of frankincense. As you light each candle say; “May this candle bring warmth to my home, light to my heart & prosperity to my spirit”.

On the 3 pieces of orange paper, on one each, write down 3 blessings. Pass each paper through the smoke of Frankincense to bless it. As you pass each through the smoke, say; “Thank you for these blessings.

Fold each piece of paper individually. With a bundle of wheat stems as an offering, tuck each blessing inside the bouquet of wheat. Then pass the entire wheat bouquet bundle once more over the Frankincense smoke and say; “Harvest time comes yet again to bring us food in abundance before the cold of Winter. To keep us happy and healthy, for this I (we) give thanks. May prosperity and peace always find a way to our hearts.”

Let the candles burn down & blessings prosper. Amen, aho, and so it is. (Additionally you can burn the wheat bundle in a bonfire.)

Lammas Ritual For Courage

Materials Needed

  • 6 inch square of orange cloth
  • Red thread or ribbon
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • pinch of dried basil
  • a few black peppercorns
  • a few drops of orange essential oil

Lay out the cloth and sprinkle the herbs and oil onto it, saying; “The strength of the bull, the daring of the boar. Grant me courage , now and ever more. Grant me bravery in my life each day to follow my own path and have my own say”.

Tie the sachet with the red thread or ribbon and keep it near you, in your bag, in your pocket, or car. *Place it beneath your pillow when you sleep (be careful oil doesn’t seep to your sheets). Every full moon replace the herbs and oil.

When the sachet has served its purpose, untie the knot and bury it.

*Note: keep away from pets

Salt Dough Ornaments

ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt.
  2. Gradually add water while stirring and mixing to form a dough with a Play-Doh like consistency.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and knead for approximately 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky or a bit more water if it’s too dry.
  4. Place them on a baking sheet in a 150-degree oven. Gently turn them frequently so that they dry out evenly. Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your crafts, so just keep a close eye on them.

Lammas Meditation

The meditation can be done in a group setting, if you wish. You can record the instructions if you like, or memorize them or listen to my audio. This meditation is to help you find out how you can be more productive and creative, so be sure to affirm this to yourself before you start. Find a quiet, undisturbed place.

Sit in a comfortable and supported position.

Relax and begin… 

You’re walking down a country lane, towards the setting sun.  You feel its lingering warmth and see the remaining glow.

It is warm, the insects are buzzing and the air is thick with the scents of summer; the trees, the flowers and grass. Take the time to see what’s around you, hear the sounds of the birds, feel the grass between your toes, smell the flowers in full bloom and sense everything around you.  What animals cross your path? What else comes into your view?

As you move forward relish the solid contact your feet are making now with each step, as you move onto the dry earth of the path… 

You are approaching a field of golden corn. The sun is a huge golden ball, setting over the field. Ahead of you, to one side, there rises a hill, a green hump rising above and just beyond the gold of the corn. Standing near the edge of the mound is a glorious tall, lush oak tree, its branches spread in welcome… When you’re ready, enter the field.

The corn swishes and sways as you walk through it. Approach the tree. The corn doesn’t grow right up to the tree, so there is soft grass at the base of the trunk, you feel it beneath your feet and toes. Now sit with your back to the tree, facing the setting sun with the hill to one side and the whispering, golden corn stretching ahead of you …. 

Ask now for your creative gift. Wait patiently and notice everything you see, feel, hear and sense, however small. When you feel you have received a sign, or feel you need to move on, proceed in your own way with the journey, moving onward over the hill for perhaps more information. Whenever you feel ready turn back along the path through the corn as you walk back into conscious awareness.

Make a note of all you experienced. You can do this visualization as often as you want – your message may clarify over time. 

Lammas Intentions/Activities

  • Gather wheat, gem stones in harvest colors and create a segmented wheel on a round plate or on a table. As you place each item, give thanks for what lies ahead. Include one offering to represent what you need to leave behind.
  • Bake bread.
  • Lammas is a festival of light celebrating the last long days of the year. So, light some candles! Light one in yellow and one white. Let the candles burn until sun down.
  • Gather dandelion blooms and make dandelion wine or jelly.
  • Make preserved or jam from summer fruits.
  • Have a bonfire.
  • Bless and thank your garden. And spend some time caring for it and begin plans to protect it as the cold months are around the corner!
  • Brew beer or ginger beer.
  • Take full advantage of the bounty at the farmers markets.
  • Go apple or berry picking.
  • Pick wildflowers.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Spend time reflecting on this year so far.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Make a list of what you intend to harvest this year.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Make Corn dollies from grasses or grain stalks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Create a gratitude list.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Cleanse your space to welcome the new.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Nourish yourself, in whatever form you choose. Good food, good company, a massage, a bath, crafting; whatever nourishes you as a whole.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Lammas Blessing

At first harvest we gather to give thanks for the abundance we are about to enjoy. These crops, these gifts from Gaia our Mother come to us after seasons of sacred Intention. Our efforts now rewarded, honor earth. As the great wheel turns to brings summers end, I prepare my spirit for harvest and feast.
~ Sage Goddess

Corn Husk Dollies

Materials Needed

  • Square-cut dried corn husks ($7.43 for 6 oz., amazon.com)
  • Yarn or raffia
  • Paper towel
  • Buttons
  • Glue

Putting It Together

  1. Start by soaking the husks in water for 10 minutes, and then blot excess water with a paper towel.
  2. Lay four or six husks (always an even number) in a stack.
  3. Using thin twine, tie husks together, about 1 inch from the top.
  4. Separate husks into equal portions (2 and 2, or 3 and 3), and fold halves down, covering twine.
  5. Using thin twine, tie husks about 1 inch down, creating the head.
  6. Roll a single husk and tie at the ends to make arms.
  7. Position arms below the knot at neck, between equal portions of husks.
  8. Tie waist. For a female doll, trim husks to an even length. For a male doll, separate legs into equal portions. Tie at knees and ankles. Trim evenly.
  9. *For non-binary, let your imagination flow!
  10. To make the hair, glue the yarn or raffia to the heads. Fashion clothes from pieces of felt: Cut rectangles, and snip slits or X’s in the center; then slide over the doll’s head, and secure around the waist with a strip of felt or yarn. (Glue on buttons, and use scissors to make fringe as desired.) Create hats and bonnets by cutting felt to fit, and then gluing in place.

Craft By: Martha Stewart *Added by me.

Foods Of Lammas

A Lammas feast should definitely involve bread, as well as late-summer fruits and vegetables, corn, and other grain dishes. apple and pear trees

Lammas Bread
  • 1 c whole wheat flour or rye flour…or do all regular flour
  • 3 c bread flour plus more as needed
  • 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or caraway seeds
  • 2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c scalded milk (optional on the scald…it brings out the milk’s natural sugars, but the recipe works fine with warmed milk)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the honey to the hot milk and stir to combine. Cool milk mix until it reaches 115ºF. Stir milk mix into flour mix. Knead for 15 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, elastic dough. Oil the dough’s surface, then cover with plastic or a damp towel. Let it rise in a warm spot until double. Punch down, then shape into 2 rectangle loaves or one large wreath. Let rise again until doubled. Bake at 375ºF until golden; it should make a hollow sound when tapped. About 30 – 40 minutes, depending on shape you choose. If you’ve got a bread machine, add wet ingredients first, dry second, yeast last. Let it do the work on the European setting, and pull at 1 hour, 55 min, immediately after the last knead. Shape by hand, do the final rise, and bake. 200 degrees internal temperature is ‘done’ for bread. Let cool before slicing.

Yield: 1 large braid or 2 regular-sized loaves

To do a braid, divide dough into three sections and roll them into long ropes. Match at the top and braid downward, tucking ends under when placing it on parchment lined baking sheet. 

Roasted Garlic Corn

Ingredients

  • Unshucked corn cobs
  • A pot of water
  • Butter
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika

Directions

Soak the corn cobs in the pot of water—leave the husk on—and let them sit for an hour or two. This will make the corn cobs nice and moist.

Put the wet corn cobs, still in their husks, on a grill. If you’re lucky enough to be using a campfire, drop them into the white coals on the edge of the fire ring. Turn the corn cobs once in a while, and let them cook for about half an hour. You’ll know they’re done when the husk is dry and slightly burnt.

Remove the corn cobs from the grill and let them sit for a few minutes to cool a little. Don’t let them get cold. Peel the husk all the way back and use it for a handle, or use wooden skewer sticks. Brush the cob with butter, and sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper and paprika.

Barley Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 20 ounces button mushrooms stems trimmed and caps thinly sliced
  • 3 14.5-ounce cans low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sourdough or some other bread toasted (optional)
  1. Bring the barley and 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook for 7 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes more. Add the mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until they release their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve with the toasted bread, if desired.
  2. To freeze: Let the soup cool, then ladle it into resealable freezer bags. Store for up to 3 months.
  3. To reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Warm in a covered saucepan over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Serve with the toasted bread, if desired.
Lammas Brew

Blend together the following herbs:

  • 5 parts Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis)
  • 1/2 part Fennel Seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • 1/2 part Cinnamon Chips (Cinnamomum spp.)
  • 1/4 – 1/8 part Freshly ground Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Add 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of hot water. Then add 2 – 3 Blackberries to each cup of tea and allow to steep for 5 – 7 minutes. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding or reducing the amount of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) or omitting it all together. Want it more sweet? Add more Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). No fresh berries available? (That’s a shame.) The tea is still good without them (but really find some berries if you can).  

Lammas Corn Custard
  • 2 c fresh kernel corn
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp each sugar and salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Mix corn with dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, and butter. Place in a buttered baking dish, individual dishes, or casserole set in a shallow pan of hot water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Fun Lammas Links

Lammas Facts & Worksheets For Kids
Lammas Day
Lammas: First Fruits of the Earth
Festival of Lughnasadh

beltane

Beltane

Pronounced: English – BEL-tane
Other pronunciations – bee-YAWL-tinnuh,
BOWL-tan-a or BELL-tinnuh
April 30 or May 1
Themes: passion, mischief, love, beauty, romance, fertility,abundance
Other Names: May Day, Walpurgisnacht, Floralia, Calan Mai, Beltaine, Beltain

Celebrated on May 1st, Beltane marks the transition point from Spring to Summer on the Wheel of the Year. It officially begins at moonrise on May Day Eve, and marks the beginning of the third quarter or second half of the ancient Celtic year. It is celebrated as an early pastoral festival accompanying the first turning of the herds out to wild pasture. This is a time marking the return of vitality and fertility to both the Earth and the Sun. Blossoms on the trees are becoming fuller and bursting with green, and the young of the wild are beginning to grow up. Daylight longer and stronger as we move towards Summer. Love and commitment are themes this time of year, with many weddings being planned!! Abundance and creativity are blooming as well with spring crafts and making beautiful spaces in our yards to enjoy nature right outside our door.

Mythology holds that the “God and Goddess” come together in physical union at this time, having reached full maturity in their growth over the Spring. It also symbolizes the coming together of masculine and feminine energies at work in all creation. This is when the Goddess begins to step into her Mother aspect, and the God has almost reached the height of his power. Springtime, Rebirth, Maturity, The Return of the Sun (Son), Betrothals, Weddings, etc…. all blending of traditions from long ago from around the world are themes of Beltane.

The ancient Romans celebrated Floralia, and for many centuries the eve of May 1st has been known as Walpurgisnacht in several Eastern European cultures. In England, the holiday became known as May Day. One distinct custom in England and elsewhere that has never died out entirely is dancing around the Maypole—a tall, wooden pole said to represent male virility. Typically, people gather flowers and green branches to decorate the Maypole, or else use brightly colored ribbons. Many schools have Maypole dances still to this day.

Fire is also a big focus at Beltane so much so that many places host a Beltane or May Day fire festival. Because of the earth heating up with the approach of summer and the fact that this a traditionally a very passionate time of year. The word “beltane” actually comes from an ancient Celtic word meaning “bright fire,” so it’s highly appropriate to include fire of some kind in your festivities. If you don’t have the means to build a fire either indoors or outdoors, you can still decorate your with images of fire with reds and orange colored decorations. Other colors to use are greens and colors of nature symbolizing the vibrant fertility of springtime!

May Day

May Day has long been marked with feasts and rituals. Maypoles were the focal point of old English village rituals. Many people woke at dawn to gather flowers and green branches from the fields and gardens, using them to decorate the village Maypoles, floral crowns and other decorations for the yard, gardens and inside their homes.

The May Queen (and often King) is chosen from among the young people, they are crowned and then the merrymaking of a picnic, dancing the Maypole and just enjoying the season and the “blessing of May” begin. Some tradition also had kids delivering baskets of flowers by hanging small baskets on neighboring front door handles. All this is symbolic of bestowing and sharing a focus on new creativity, abundant growth, the bonds of the coming seasons marriages, joys of pregnancies and new birth and springtime that is stirring in the earth and in the world..

St. Walpurga

The early Christian church combined old world traditions and modern Christianity with their own Beltane observances, a service was held in the church, followed by a procession to the fields or hills, where the priest kindled the fire. This as a way of combining tradition with the new faith of Christianity.

Beltane Candle Magic

What you need:

  • a journal and pen
  • candle(s) – optional
  • flowers – optional
  • any kind of floral scent (ie rose, geranium, ylang, jasmine, neroli) – optional

Make your the space you’re in feel sacred andbeautiful in any way that feels right for you. Flowers, diffusing oils, incense, candles, photographs, art, some delicious food, wear clothes that make you feel beautiful.

Cleanse and purify the your space with sage, palo santo or even a mist spray of the equivalent if you don’t like smoke, and then sit and relax. If you have any floral scented essential oils, put some on your heart or heart chakra. Optionally ad you prepare for ceremony, use the oil to anoint specific places on your physical body; wrists, Third Eye, and ankles. You can think of it as “What you do, what you know, and where you go.” Let your breath become slower, let your body settle, let your mind get quiet. Let all the rhythms of your body slow down, and drop a little deeper into the ground.

Bring your awareness to your heart center (chakra) as you breathe; breathe into your heart space, inviting more love in, more beauty, more compassion; breathe out from the heart as you feel that energy expand around you. Continue on like this for a few more rounds of breathe. When we come into our heart space and truly start to connect with its energy we are able to release the ego. In this place fear and judgement cannot exist. Anger cannot exist. Hate cannot exist. We tap into our divine center where love lives strongest. We remember who we are and we release what no longer serves.

Now, grab your journal and you’re going to answer these 3 questions:

  1. How can I create more beauty in my life?
  2. How can I nurture and love myself better?
  3. How can I extend this beauty and love out into the world around me?

Don’t judge, don’t over think. Just answer.

Perhaps this exercise allowed you to shed some light on what your intention may be for this Beltane. Remember, the soil is fertile and the Earth is waiting to receive… what do you want to sow? What came up in your journaling? Be honest, dig deep! Write down your intention.

Now light your candle!

With your intention in mind, start to visualize your intention growing stronger and stronger. Visualize it coming to fruition. How does it make you feel when your intention has come to pass? Let those powerful, positive emotions flow over you and become part of you. You can place your written intention under your candle until it is burnt down.

If you are not using a candle, leave your written intention in your sacred space for the day or all night, or even under your pillow as you sleep. Tomorrow, bury your intention in nature, or in your garden.

To close, send a message of gratitude for all your blessings to your higher power or out into the universe. Give thanks to the Earth who supports and nurtures us. Give thanks to God/Source/Creator etc… for this life you have, even when and if things low or sad. Let your candle burn down. Eat some yummy food. Smell some flowers. And leave an offering to our planet.

  • Planting some seeds a bush, or even a tree that may stand long after you are gone.
  • Leave an offering somewhere in nature (nuts, seeds, apple pieces, orange peels, etc… or fill a bird or squirrel feeder for the birds and wildlife.
  • Get involved in a community garden and pull some weeds or plant some seeds!
  • meditate for 10-15 minutes as you visualize the Earth surrounded by white light. Yep, that simple.
  • Pick up garbage in your community, near the beach, in a park…

Beltane Meditation

Guided Visualization for Spring

Here is a meditation for spring that you use to feel inspired.

  1. Find a cozy spot to relax. Minimize your distractions by turning off your mobile devices and just begin to breathe, slowly and deeply.
  2. As you settle into your space, notice how your breath connects you to your physical body and any sensations you may be feeling, images in your mind, and thoughts you may have floating by.
  3. Take a few moments to think about the energy of creation and how it aligns with the newness of the spring season. What does this time of year represent to you?
  4. Begin to notice how the energy of spring is stirring within you. What needs freshening up in your life? Is there a new project you’re feeling inspired to start? Now that the sun is out, and the birds are chirping, what has you feeling passionate, excited, and motivated in your life? What are you going to create?
  5. Feel your own energy and become conscious of the sensations in your body as you breathe deeply. What are the words, phrases, or feelings that come up for you?
  6. As you think about the energy of spring and how you’re experiencing it internally, ask your Higher Self or Higher Power that this idea, this project, or this plan you’re beginning be for your highest good, and for the good of all who will be affected by it.
  7. Now, imagine yourself going out into this new season and beginning the thing(s) that bring you the most joy—bringing your thoughts and ideas into your external environment and making them come to life. See yourself cultivating and harnessing the energy of spring, both internally and externally.
  8. When you feel comfortable, slowly open your eyes, take out your journal, and make some notes about what you saw, heard, felt, or experienced during this guided visualization.

Meditation By: Tris Thorp


Beltane Intentions/Activities

  • In honor of the sacred nine, ignite a bonfire or fire in a fireplace. In lieu of igniting a big fire in case that’s not an option you can light 9 candles that symbolize the sacred 9 or make a list of 9 things that bring you immediate delight so you can embody joy. Turn to your list for inspiration!
  • Create – Beltane is a festival of the fertility of the Earth, for the fruits and flowers we enjoy at this time of year, and for the miraculous ability of humans and animals to create new life within. You can also harness this wonderful energy by creating something new as a family: planting a garden; writing a story; build something…whatever it is, breathe new life into it at this magical time.
  • Get Outside – this time of year is energizing and restorative, and one way to enjoy it is to stay close to the Earth. Whether lying on your back gazing at the stars or standing in your garden barefoot and earthing. Go camping and build a bonfire, tell stories, watch the sunrise, and give thanks for the gifts of life.
  • After the long winter this is a beautiful time to just let loose. Put on some music and dance, raise some energy and have fun!! Be fearless, spontaneous and silly.
  • Have a party (even if via Zoom, or Teams) gather to laugh and cultivate smiles and joy!
  • Growth! Grow something. Grow anything! Water a house plants with extra tlc. Give your pet some extra love and care. Create art. Ask yourself; where do I need to allow growth in my life or in myself? What drives me that I need more of in life??
  • Set aside a day just to play and have fun with childlike abandon. Nurture your inner child.
  • Breathwork and meditation; Find a guided meditation or download a meditation app such as Insight Timer or Calm.
  • Honor the fire within you – the one that keeps you going, despite anything and everything. You are the keeper of the flame. Light something special and honor your courage to persevere.
  • Revive your motivation. What gives you purpose?
  • For the Celts morning dew is considered sacred. You can honor and celebrate the morning dew by going for a walk at dawn in nature or a garden. Notice the dew on the plants and grass, perhaps wash your hands or face with it. This is the perfect time to embrace the morning dew as it’s not too early for morning walks at dawn.
  • Decorate a May Bush. This can be a living tree or just a branch or clump of a tree brought indoors. Decorate it streamers, ribbons, scraps of cloth, and flowers.

Beltane Maypole

Medieval Celts danced around a pole to have a fruitful planting season, according to the New York Times. Around the 19th century, however, the maypole became a celebration of virtue and maidenhood. In the dance, the wooden pole is decorated with brightly colored ribbons through a folk dance in which dancers weave in and out of each other. The result is a beautiful pattern on the pole, or a hot mess depending on how well the dance was done lol. I have been personal been a part of both the beautiful and the messy!

Crown Of Daisies

Materials:

  • Daisies (or any other flower)
  • Clippers
  • Measuring tape
  1. Measure head for how and where you want your crown to lay.
  2. Cut down the flowers to 5-7 inches long. Take off extra greenery.
  3. Cross one flower over the other.
  4. Take the top flower and wrap it under the bottom and then up to the top again. Bring it down to lay with the first stem. The tighter you do this, the more secure the crown.
  5.  Lay the next flower down close to the second and repeat the process.
  6. When you reach the right length for the shape of the head, weave in the ends of the stems into the first flowers.
  7. That’s it! To create a fuller crown, weave in more flowers. For variation, try varying the flowers for different patterns.


Foods Of Beltane

Strawberry Mead

In it’s simplest form, mead is a fermented alcohol drink made with honey and water. Learn how to make it at home with this mead recipe from Colleen at Grow Forage Cook Ferment.

Small batch mead recipe. The best way to start is on a small scale, and a gallon batch of mead is the perfect size for beginners. This mead recipe features fresh strawberries, but you can easily substitute your favorite fresh fruit. Say, blackberries. You can also use foraged items like linden flowers or blended wildflowers.

Equipment needed:

  • A one-gallon glass jug with a narrow neck for brewing.
  • An airlock with a rubber stopper. You can alternatively use a balloon with a pinhole that is attached to the top of the jug. The gasses will be able to escape through the pinhole without letting any oxygen in. (You can also get the glass jug with airlock together for a better price).
  • A stainless steel pot.
  • A big spoon.
  • A funnel, bigger is better.
  • A thermometer. Just a regular meat thermometer will do.
  • Sanitizer, It is very important that you sanitize everything that will be used prior to brewing.
  • As soon as you add any fruit to mead, it is then called a “melomel,” so that is technically what this recipe is. Feel free to use any fruit you might have on hand, or leave the fruit out completely and just do a straight mead if you’d like. The process is the same either way.When you’ve completed the fermentation process you can bottle it.

Recipe: Will make a gallon of meadPrep Time 10 minutes – Cook Time 10 minutes – Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds honey (3 pounds is about 1 quart, and will yield a sweeter mead)
  • Champagne yeast (or other wine making yeast)
  • 1 cup more or less organic strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 10 organic raisins
  • Filtered water

Instructions:

  1. First and foremost, sanitize everything that will come in contact with the mead.
  2. Put approximately 1/2 gallon of filtered water into a large stainless steel pot and heat until warm, but not boiling.
  3. Turn off the heat, add the honey, and stir to dissolve. You can put some hot water back into the empty honey container and shake a bit to get all of the honey out.
  4. Use a funnel to pour the honey water mixture into the glass jug (it will not fill it completely).
  5. Add the strawberries and raisins.
  6. Fill the jug with cold filtered water, leaving about 3 inches of space at the top.
  7. Cap the jug with its lid and invert once or twice to mix everything together.
  8. Check the temperature of the liquid; if it is 90°F or less it’s ok to add the yeast. If it’s higher, wait a bit until it cools.
  9. Add the yeast. One yeast package will ferment up to five gallons of liquid, so you don’t need to use it all. I usually use about half of one package when making a gallon.
  10. Cap the jug again, and shake it vigorously for a minute or two. This helps to combine and aerate the yeast.
  11. Attach the airlock to the rubber stopper, fill it with water to the line, and put it into the top of your jug.
  12. The mead should start bubbling within a few hours and the top will get really foamy. Sometimes it foams too much and comes up out of the airlock, but that’s ok. Just rinse the airlock and put it back on the jar. It will subside by the next morning. You will see millions of tiny bubbles coming up through the liquid – that’s the yeast just doing it’s thing.

Now You Have to Wait:

Put the jug in a cool and dark corner and wait. It will take about 6-8 weeks to fully ferment, depending on the outside temperature. It will ferment faster when it’s warmer, slower when it’s cooler. Check it every few days to make sure it is still bubbling. Once it completely stops bubbling, it is ready to be bottled. The mead is ready to drink right away, but will benefit from some amount of aging, as it can be a bit harsh at first.

Beltane Tea

Recipe:
8oz boiling water
8 tsp. green tea
6 tsp. rose petals
4 tsp. Jasmine flower
4 tsp. Chamomile

Steep for 20 min and consume with the intention of honoring your spiritual self. Optional: add honey to taste.

BELTANE BANNOCKs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Directions:

  1. Combine oatmeal, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter, and drizzle it over the oats.
  3. Add the water, and stir the mix until it forms a stiff dough. Turn the dough out on a sheet of wax paper and knead thoroughly.
  4. Separate the dough into two equal portions, and roll each one into a ball. Use a rolling pin to make a flat pancake that is about ¼” thick.
  5. Cook your oatcakes on a griddle over medium heat until they are golden brown.
  6. Cut each round into quarters to serve.

Oats: Money, prosperity, abundance. Salt: protection. Butter: Spirituality, Communication, Reconciliation, Enhancing Energies.

May Day Maple Hearth Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105ºF-115ºF)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water.
  2. Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cut in shortening.
  4. Add the syrup to the yeast mix and let the syrup dissolve too.
  5. Now add yeast mix to the flour mix; stir.
  6. Add flour until dough is easy to handle.
  7. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute.
  8. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
  9. Form into round, place on cookie sheet.
  10. Let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.
  14. Loaf can be brushed with syrup or butter during last 5 minutes of baking.

Note: This bread is quite dry without something to moisten it, so definitely serve it with some vegan butter. Also, your bread will have trouble rising if the syrup is too cold! Warm up the syrup if it has been in the refrigerator, it should be room temperature or warmer.


Fun Links

Fire Starter Sessions Digital and Audio

BELTANE RITUALS FOR EVERY ELEMENT

CRAFT WITH ME! : BELTANE SPECIAL – MAYPOLE MAKING

A Victoria Sandwich Makes for a Merry May

Beltane Cake

May Day Baskets

Bee Reckless Vegan Beltane Recipes

walking meditation

In the four foundations of mindfulness, the Buddha offers four postures for practicing meditation:

A monk knows, when he is walking,
“I am walking”;

he knows, when he is standing,
“I am standing”;

he knows, when he is sitting,
“I am sitting”;

he knows, when he is lying down,
“I am lying down”;

or just as his body is disposed
so he knows it.

Walking meditation is often described as a meditation in motion.

Adding verbal cues is a great way to establish synchronization and rhythm within the body. As the mind begins to wander, use a simple verbal cue like “lifting, moving, placing” as a reminder to bring the mind back to the body. Incorporating a gatha, a short verse to support practice, is a common technique used in Thich Nhat Hanh’s communities. Here’s one that might be used for walking meditation:

(Breathing in) “I have arrived”; (Breathing out) “I am home.”

(Breathing in) “In the here”;
(Breathing out) “In the now.”

(Breathing in) “I am solid”;
(Breathing out) “I am free.”

(Breathing in) “In the ultimate”; (Breathing out) “I dwell.”

shiva shakti

A Morning Practice to Start Your Day in Balance

This Guided Meditation Practice starts with a Breathing Technique known as Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing. We are then guided through visualization to bring balance to our minds and bodies followed by a period of silent mantra meditation using the mantra “Shiva-Shakti”, embracing and balancing the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine Energies that reside within us all. ~ Wendy Koreyeva

waning crescent

Waning Crescent Moon = Surrender/Release

This is the time to let go of outward action, and be more in tune with the energy of your inward reflection. Releasing negative energies and letting go of negative experiences is the predominant goal during the Waning Crescent Moon. Begin to look to the next cycle of the New Moon and where your intentions should be placed during the next cycle.


Waning Crescent Moon Crystal Of Choice

Bronzite is a deeply grounding stone that will help to create clearer focus and certainty of action and thinking. Bronzite helps to dispel negativity and reinforce clearer decision making. Alleviates feelings of self doubt and self criticism. Encourages peaceful contemplation.


Waning Crescent Moon Intentions

  • Overcoming obstacles.
  • Resolve conflicts.
  • Bring things to closure.
  • Finding balance.
  • Surrender to the universe.
  • Take time to relax and rejuvenate.
  • Lean back into faith and trust.
  • Honor the darkness within and without.
  • Shadow integration.
  • Time for introspection.
  • Surrender your arguments of what ifs.
  • A good time to journal about what you could be releasing. You could also journal and reflect on new opportunities or how you want life to look in the coming months ahead.


Waning Crescent Moon Mantra


Waning Crescent Moon Meditation

*White Candle Meditation

White candles have a special pure energy and they can be used in all sorts of ritual, ceremony and meditation. White candles act as neutral candles and can replace other candles when you don’t have them. The frequency of white is one that brings together the entire light spectrum – all colors.


Waning Moon Magic

Time for magical intention: From 3am until mid-afternoon Banishment, retreat. A healing of transition between the death of the old and the birth of the new moon.

Current Moon Phase

*Spells 8

third quarter

Third Quarter Moon = Awareness/Release

During this Third and Last Quarter, release negative energy or anything else that isn’t bringing you happiness. Continue the work from last phase. A time to release yourself of everything that is causing obstruction, and to get rid of anything or anyone you know longer need in your life. Still a time for self analysis and introspection, rest and recouping lost energies, meditation and preparing for the next New Moon. The last of the three moon phases before the next New Moon bring illumination to the influences of the entire lunar cycle.

Third Quarter Moon Crystal Of Choice

Lapis Lazuli is a stone of protection, releases stress, and bringing deep peace.  It brings harmony and deep inner self-knowledge.  Encourages self-awareness, allows self-expression and reveals inner truth, providing qualities of honesty, compassion and morality to the personality.  Stimulates objectivity, clarity and encourages creativity.  Lapis Lazuli assists to confront and speak one’s truth and inspires confidence.  It heals and bonds relationships.
Lapis Lazuli boosts the immune system, can lower blood pressure, and cools and sooths areas of inflammation.  It aids with sleep, vertigo and relieves depression.

Third Quarter Moon Intentions

  • Time to break bad habits.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Introspection.
  • Finish to-do lists.
  • Where have you been, what have you done?
  • Where are you going and what will you do when you get there?
  • Give back but not at the expense of yourself.
  • Make small adjustments where needed.
  • Transitions.
  • Connect with the natural world and let your awareness be drawn to the divine beauty of life cycles and timelines.
  • Honest communications.

Third Quarter Moon Mantra

Your personal mantra is as individual as you are. Whatever mantra YOU choose is for you at this moment. You can have multiple mantras written and ready, however when meditating with the mantra, it is important to repeat only one at a time in order to focus your energy towards one thing at a time instead of smaller efforts towards multiple goals.

Mantra Writting Directions

  • Sit somewhere comfortable.
  • Take a moment to ground in the physical body. Really allow your awareness to totally fill the entire physical body. Just breathe in the stillness for a moment or two.
  • Now, take a 1/2 hour spent alone journaling about what you want. It can be a simple word that has a positive meaning and feeling for you. Or a short sentence, don’t stress over it, it’s your mantra, and there is no judgement.
  • Refine what speaks to you at this moment, as the most important thing to focus on.
  • Write down what comes to mind as a statement.
  • Now find a quite, undisturbed place to sit and mediate and contemplate on your personal mantra. Be comfortable.
  • I want you to say it to yourself in your mind as you breathe in and repeat it each time you breathe out.
  • Just stay with it. If you get distracted that’s okay. Just come back to your mantra, repeat it as you breathe in. Repeat it as you breathe out. You don’t have to speak it out loud, you can just think it, softly as you breathe — as the breath breathes you.
  • For any given period of meditation or mantra meditation, it can take a little while to settle in. So as you notice any discomfort in the body and thoughts in the mind, just recognize that that’s content that the body and mind are in the process of letting go of. They’re not problems. You’re just releasing.
  • Stay with the breath. On the in-breath saying your mantra in your mind or out loud. And on the out-breath, repeating the same. Just allow your attention to be rapt in this moment. Allow yourself to become curious, and fascinated by this experience.
  • As thoughts come up in awareness, just let them come and go without judgement. Not making a problem of them, just staying with your focus. Letting the breath breathe you. Letting the breath and letting the mantra just flow through you.
  • Go ahead and let that go and just allow yourself to do nothing in this moment but be with your mantra. If awareness wants to expand you can let it expand. If awareness becomes focused on this or that, you can just allow it to focus. Awareness opening and focusing is as natural as the movement of the in-breath and the out-breath. You don’t have to exert any control or any effort. Just do nothing for another moment. Whatever happens happens. If you catch yourself trying to do something you can just let it go. 
  • Give yourself a moment to slowly open your eyes. You can give your fingers and toes a wiggle to start gently moving your body back to the here and now, opening up your awareness to the space around you and enjoying this moment of stillness — immerse yourself in this awareness, the light of mind that is always available.
  • Allow about 10-20 minutes daily quiet time sitting to repeat your Mantra.

Third Quarter Moon Meditation

Find a comfortable position and facing the West, the direction most associated with the Last Quarter Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your every breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualization.

It’s late autumn at sunset as you make you way through an orchard field with fruit trees and you move towards a tree, what will become your tree. You see that many of the now brightly colored leaves have already fallen and the remaining fruits are now rotting on the ground. You can smell the sweet scent of decay and as you push aside the thick leaf litter you see that the soil beneath is rich and dark brown.

As you move closer to your tree, you see it has an opening large enough to fit through with ease, Entering into the tree now you feel your energy moving steadily downward, towards the soil. Consciously imagine a ray of energy, a warm beam of light energy coming down through the top of your head, this is your crown chakra. Feel the sensation of the energy moving from the top of your head down through your body and into the Earth. Feel any disease or stress draining out of your body and into the Earth. Feel yourself being cleansed as all that no longer serves you is flushed away.

Return now to your body and reflect on what you have accomplished this month. Allow any regrets, judgement or blame of yourself or others to arise, and then let them flow away. Acknowledge that all you have achieved has been in collaboration with the energies of the universe. Let pride and ego slip away, remembering that in reality you are a conduit for a power greater than yourself.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

Third Quarter Moon Magic

Time for magical intention: From midnight until noon
A time of transitions and change, to avoid temptations. A remover of obstacles.

Smooth Transition Intention Spell

Stand in the kitchen in your bare feet.
Visualize the Earth’s energy flowing up and into you and affirm:
I am grounded and level.
I am strong and stable.

Breathe deeply, intoning:
I am inspired, thought-filled, and light.
Run water into a tea kettle or coffee pot.

Welcome the energy of Water by saying:
Like this water, I flow easily, fluid and clear.

As the water heats, harness the power of Fire by saying:
I am purified, cleansed, and filled with passion.

When your tea or coffee is ready, pour a cup and breathe in the aroma.
Welcome the energy of Air and the blend of elements while saying:
With these elements I face the day with ease and grace.

Step outside either with bare feet,
or sit down upon the ground, touch the grass or dirt,
and welcome the grounding energy of earth below you
as you have moved full circle bringing together all the elements.
And say:
So be it
(Amen, So mote it be, A’ho, etc…)
Now drink deeply.

*Inspired by: Llewellyn

Current Moon Phase

waning gibbous

Waning Gibbous = Gratitude/Sharing/Dispelling

The Waning Gibbous Moon is a time when the light begins to be more covered in darkness and During this time you should/might be reaping the benefits of your hard work over the past two weeks and even if you aren’t yet this is the time for gratitude. Allow yourself to feel light and happy. “know” that the desired outcome will present itself all in divine timing. Let go of stressful energy and focus on good things in your life. This is where all that “power of positive thinking” comes into play. We too often get discouraged and filled with negative emotions when we don’t get what we want when we want it. Not taking into consideration that some things take more time and some things may be/not be in your best interest and your guides and higher power know this.

Waning energies repel rather than attract. This is a good time fo clean and to upkeep your home, office, garden or any of your personal spaces, etc. This is also a good time to cleanse any personal objects you may have, such as your jewelry, crystals, magical tools, etc… If you have something you need closure with, or if you’re ready to end something in your life, this is a good time to bring closure to situations. It’s a time of deep healing. A reflective energy that’s very special.

Waning Gibbous Crystal Of Choice

Green Aventurine is a heart healing stone used to clear and activate the Heart Chakra for general well-being and emotional calmness. It is also a powerful protector of the Heart Chakra, providing a shield to block entry from those who would “tap-in” and use your energy. It repels the negative energies.

Waning Gibbous Intentions

  • Self empowerment.
  • Banish imposter syndrome.
  • Review plans and correct mistakes.
  • Settle disputes and make amends.
  • Remove obstacles.
  • Give thanks.
  • Subconscious enlightenment leading to the clarification of conscious values.
  • Conscious process of creative release.
  • Share positivity and good energy.
  • Let go of stressful energy and focus on good things in your life.
  • Pay attention to your deepest thoughts and feelings at this time.
  • Time to boost up and conserve the energy.
  • Forgive.
  • Dispel negative energies from your life.
  • Make space for the vision you are creating.
  • The only way to banish the darkness is with more light. 

Waning Gibbous Mantra

An Introspection Exercise

I want you to spend 15 minutes a day asking an open-ended question to yourself. Then you either write down what comes as an answer. Or you let that question just sit within you for a few hours or a few days then journal your responses.  Below are some examples.

  • What is important right now?
  • What makes me happy?
  • What is the most essential thing in my life?  
  • What does your soul look like? 
  • If you could do anything you wanted with your life, what would you do?
  • Where have your previous attitudes and actions brought you?
  • What things in your life have been affecting you most?

Waning Gibbous Meditation

Waning Gibbous Magic

Time for magical intention: From mid-evening until mid-morning
A great time to dispel negative thoughts, influences, habits, etc… Waning moon energy rids and repels. A time to decrease, to bring to an end. A time of facing your shadows.

Write a list of all your fears and insecurities. Now to banish those feelings. You simply take a moment and then safely burn the piece of paper and visualize all your fears and insecurities melting away and being replaced by the opposite feeling. Ugly to beauty, frightened to brave, powerless, to powerful. Really see yourself in the new role as all your fears and insecurities are burned away and you arise from the ashes like a phoenix!

Current Moon Phase