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

litha/summer solstice

Litha/Summer Solstice

Pronunciation: LEE-tha
June 20-22
Themes: abundance, growth, masculine energy, love, magic. celebrate your success, your family, and your good fortune.
Other Names: Midsummer, Midsummer’s Eve,
St. John’s Day, St. John’s Eve

Litha, or Summer Solstice is the last chance in the year to activate intentions before we move into Autumn and the season of reaping and rest. All four elements are joined together to celebrate the duality inherent in nature, the light and the dark. Daylight is at it’s longest on this day, a day to soak up the sun and nap in the warm abundant energy of the sun, as now our days will grow shorter and become cooler. A time to celebrate the light and the remaining days of summer and tap into our inner power to make dreams and plans come true. Fire plays a very prominent role in this celebration. The element of Fire is the most easily seen and immediately felt element of transformation. It can burn, consume, destroy, cook, and of course, be a source of light and warmth.

In ancient time, the Summer Solstice was a fire festival of great importance when the burning of bonfires, or then known as balefires ritually honored the sun and the Gods. Torchlight processions with flaming tar barrels or by wheels bound with straw, which were set alight and rolled down steep hillsides walked towards the place of the balefire and the celebrants. The Norse loved lengthy processions and would gather together the whole family along with their animals and lighted torches and parade through the countryside to the celebration site to drive out evil and bring fertility and prosperity to men, the last crops of the season and their herds.

This is a celebration of the sun and the warmth that still covers the land. Colors of reds, golds and yellows symbolize this. Colors of greens , browns, and blues represent the colors of the earth during summer. Decorations can include images or artwork representing the sun, colorful pinwheels, sunflowers or other orange and yellow flowers, green leaves off the tree, and oak trees and acorns are associated with solar power, strength and energy, and they also represent the very masculine energy of the Solstice.

In yogic traditions, on the day of the solstice, we practice 108 Sun Salutations. Ultimately, today is a day where to honor the sun.
It’s all about light.
It’s about awakening to the light and power within each and every one of us. It’s about the triumph of light over darkness. Which we need now more than ever.

A Solar Summer Solstice Project

The summer solstice, marks the zenith of the sun, the longest day of the year, when the sun’s power is at its peak. The moment of peak power is very, very brief. Our ancestors built huge bonfires on this day to celebrate their connection to the vital power of the immense burning star that keeps our planet bright, warm, and alive. Hundreds of years ago on the summer solstice, our ancestors sat in sun-drenched fields or on stones as warm as a living body, fashioning small round suns from straw or vines, decorating them with sun colored flowers, honoring the mysterious, fiery light that warmed and brightened their days and made the plants grow that fed them.

The summer solstice is a perfect time to help children make a tangible connection with the earth, to connect with the sun, to invite solar power into their lives. If you and they make a round, golden image while sitting in the strongest sunlight of the year, allowing it to shine on and infuse your creations, you bring that strong, life-promoting energy indoors with you when you are done.

Here are just a few ideas for possible materials to get going. Chances are that the kids will come up with their crafty ideas that will work just as well. The it just should be round and that its colors evoke the sun’s warmth and energy. Try your best to make your images outdoors in the sunshine.

  • Grapevine wreaths make excellent bases, which may then be decorated with fresh or dried flowers and yarn or ribbons.
  • You can home-dye your yarn and ribbon using onion skins to achieve a rich terracotta or golden yellow, depending on how long you boil them in the pot with the skins. Modeling clay comes in many types, some self-hardening or bakeable. Get out the toothpicks, chopsticks, and other carving implements, and make suns with jolly faces.
  • Children of all ages enjoy finding four slender sticks from the yard, crossing them to make an asterisk shape with eight spokes reminiscent of the eight celebrations (festivals) of the year and winding brightly colored yarns and ribbons around and around to make a round variation of the sun. If four sticks are too bulky for small fingers to manage, use only three the solar shape is more hexagonal but still appealing.
  • Poke in a flower or two for an especially pleasing result—marigolds and daisies are the classic sunny favorites.

When the images are finished, you and the children may want to hold them up to the sky for a few moments so that the sun shines on them, before finding the perfect place in your house or outdoors to hang them.

Adapted from: Celebrating The Great Mother, A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw

Making A Sundial

You can also honor the sun by creating a permanent or temporary sundial.  Sundials are some of the oldest forms telling time as the sun moves across the sky, and they are a wonderful way to connect with the movement of the sun across time. 

To work with the sun, you need a timer or clock that can go off on the hour. You will want to place whatever you are using for your sundial and place it in the full sun. You can do this with something as simple as, a pencil and a paper plate.  Or, you can get more elaborate and plan on carving, drawing or painting a round made of paper, wood, etc.. as your canvas.  Put your dial into an area that gets full sun. On each hour, mark it. Do it in pencil, and then later, you can come back to it and mark it more permanently with whatever craft supply you decide on (paint, marker, etc…).  You have begun your sundial. But, the sun’s position in the sky changes, so to really do this perfectly, you would do this again at the winter solstice.  Draw a line between the marks for summer and winter, and those are your times for the dial.  While it takes you a full season to complete the sundial, it’s a fun and meaningful solstice craft.  If you want to get really fancy, do this at the equinox (either one) and then you can also have a mid point for the equinox.  It’s kind of beautiful to have done this by observing and marking the path of the sun at three integral and sacred points of the year, while honoring the energies of each of those points. This sundial becomes a very special piece on your journey through the solstices!

Candle Magic

Light some candles 🔥 Since the Solstice revolves around the sun, a candle should be lit for the entire day, especially if it is cloudy or raining. Good candles to burn on this day are; sage, mint,lavender and basil scented/oil infused ones. Candle colors of greens, oranges or purples set the theme nicely.

Personally, my favorite way to honor the solstice is a fire burning ritual.

1. On a piece of paper, write down what you’re ready to release. What can you make a conscious effort to shift in your life? How can you dissolve old beliefs or habits to help use your light to drown out the darkness that surrounds us all? How can your inner power be a catalyst for the liberation of all beings?

2. Let it burn. Use a candle or if you have a fire pit or bonfire burning, even better. Put your paper and your intention in the fire. Watch the smoke rise and let it be a symbol of release.

This has always been a simple but powerful ritual. However you celebrate today, there’s no right or wrong way. Show gratitude & appreciation for the life that surrounds us thanks to the sun, and then think about how you’re going to use your own light and power to make this world a better place.

The Summer Solstice Cave Meditation Ritual

You will need…

  • Candle
  • Yoga props, cushions or pillows, something for seated comfort
  • Tastes of the season (fruits, veggies, etc…), enough for you to eat in one setting
  • Florals of the season (fresh flowers)
  • Mirror
  • Journal or notepad and something to write with

This should be done in the morning on Solstice day. Find a protected room or even a closet, where you are completely undisturbed. Create an atmosphere in which you feel comfortably seated and secure. Place a candle (safely) and surround yourself with scents and maybe even a seasonal food that you like. Take a mirror and look at yourself for at least 15 minutes. Ask yourself the question “Who am I”? You can calmly address it to yourself repeatedly. Make sure you stay in eye contact with yourself through the mirror. Write down all of your answers. Then tell yourself that you trust yourself while not losing eye contact. What happens if you can trust yourself? Write down all feelings and emotions that arise. Conclude your ritual by eating the food that you have made available. Be aware of how the sun nurtured it just as you are nurturing yourself, as it was in the womb. And as you feed yourself, thank the sun and yourself for it. Finally, after eating and journaling, emerge reborn from your cave and go ioutside and soak up the Solstice sun!! You can also incorporate this ritual into your routine after the summer solstice in order to build more connection to your inner nourishing power.

Summer Solstice What Should The Future Bring?

What you’ll need….

  • Candle or bonfire (lit)
  • 8 rounded stones or rocks
  • Any other symbols of power or energy to you (see below)
  • Journal or notebook and something to write with

This ritual is performed with fire or with a candle, depending on what’s available. Place a circle of 8 rounded stones or rocks around the fire or the candle, they will represent the 8 sun festivals, the 4 cardinal points and the 4 elements. You can also place other items like flowers or power animal (oracle/totem) cards in or on the circle, whatever feels right for you. Have your paper and pen ready. Before you start the actual ritual, find a space of silence for a moment. Come into the here and now – and let yourself be guided by the power of the summer solstice and love. Then it’s time to reflect. What has happened in the past six months, what do you want to let go of and what are you thankful for? You can write these questions down on the paper provided and then burn them in the fire (or candle). Fire has a very transforming power. Give up everything and let it go – so that new things can emerge from the ashes.

Bath Ritual

It’s time to clear our energetic field, get some relaxation and re-energize! Things to have on hand:

  • Epsom salt (Dr Teals makes a salt that has different essential oils in it, it’s only about 4.99 a bag, you get a lot, you don’t need fancy salt.
  • Essential oils: For this ritual we will use Eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and orange. All of these are for fatigue.
  • In addition you can also eat an orange and breathe in the peelings. A scented candle works too. While in the tub!
  • Incense help put you create a sacred space.
  • Music, soft instrument that you like. (I like pan flutes, and medieval music!
  • Candles
  • Something to sip on, maybe some sun tea or herbal infused tea.
  • Extras: Any flower petals or herbs and a sachet bag or fabric bag if you don’t wanna clean up a mess. Use any crystals associated with the Summer Solstice like; .
  • Optional: tint your bath water with safe food coloring or a bath bomb, (stain free). If you don’t have these, just imagine the color.

The colors to work with are blues like the sky or oranges and yellows like the sun, your choice! When you close your eyes see the color in your mind, imagine your tub water is that color.

Place a picture in your mind or you can look at a physical picture of one of your happiest days. Breathe in deep and hold it and as you let the breath out imagine all your worries, stress and cares fall off of you into the salt water. Don’t worry your body inst soaking in it, the salt is soaking it up.

As you drain the tub anything negative will go down the drain. EXTRA: A bowl of ice water with some lavender in it, maybe a lemon or orange slice ( keep your eyes closed) put some soft rags in it beside your tub, ring the rag out and place it over you eyes or your whole face.

By: Sage Goddess

Meditation

Sunrise Meditation

One option is to set sacred space adorned with with candles, incense, etc.,  Or you could be present at sunrise at the Solstice hour to do the meditation. Read slowly and reflect. Or you could memorize and meditate from memory and visualization. Or follow my lead…

Take a moment and be aware of where you are. Look around and make note of the space you are in and what surrounds you. How much of what you see is here with you because of sunlight? If you’re in a wood built building, physically connect with the trees that became the the building, even the furniture you sit upon daily. All made possible because of the sunlight that shines down on the trees. If you’re surrounded by a wooded area, look up and see the trees reaching towards the sky, the sunlight! Most of what we need to survive is connected to the sun. The food we grow, the chemical in our body called, serotonin boosted by the sun gives us energy and helps keep us calm, positive, and focused. Reflect on all the sun does for you in your daily life, consider what it would be like if the sunlight were permanently turned off. How much do we take for granted that the sunlight makes possible? Perhaps make your own list of what important things you have been gifted by the sun..

The Meditation

Turn your imagination towards the sun. You can close your eyes or not, you may prefer to see the shadows cast as the Solstice sun rises. Remember a time and place when you enjoyed the warmth of the sun on your skin. When you noticed your skin grow warmer and felt the warm air on your skin. Maybe it was at the beach or swimming pool, maybe it was the surprising warmth in winter as the rays of sunshine enveloped your car. Or when you were out sledding and the sun kissed your cheeks. Remember a special time with you and the sun, even if it was just sitting on your porch on a fall day when the sun broke through the chills on a windy day.

Now, visualize yourself back in that feeling, at that time, of enjoying the sunshine in its glory. Imagine that the sun is alive. Stars have life cycles. They are born, they have long lives, and they die. Is it possible, then, that they just may have a consciousness, too? Perhaps not a consciousness like we know consciousness to be, but unique unto itself. The ancient people believed that the sun was alive. So today in this moment, set aside all the logic you learned in school and believe that the sun is intelligent and all-seeing. Imagine that the Earth, too, has a consciousness, and that she is a child born of the Sun. You, in turn, are a child of the Earth. Without the Earth, there could be no humans. The Sun then would be our benevolent grandparent.

Take a moment to be in these benevolent rays of the warmth of the sun. Feel nurtured. Connect with the power of the Sun while in the protective cocoon of the Earth. Imagine the Sun giving you a tiny, tiny pinch of its power and placing it in your belly (sacral chakra). Wiggle your toes on the ground beneath your feet knowing that you are rooted in the Earth in innumerable ways. Smile. Feel the Sun and the Earth smiling with you.

This new little pinch of power is the Sun’s solstice gift to you. You can use it as you like. You can let it grow and share it with others. You can let it expand around you nurturing your aura. Think of all the ways you could use this pinch of Sun to make your life better. Feed it and let it grow, then give some of it back to the Earth and the Sun. It will have your fingerprint on it. We all have parts of us that can benefit the world and the cosmos. The Sun can help us activate them.

It is time to leave this contemplation but you can take it with you as you go do the things you have to do that don’t feel very magical. Remember the Sun and give your heart to it.

Sunset Meditation

Try celebrating the summer solstice with a seated meditation at sunset. The benefits involved when you meditate, such as calming the nervous system and improving a general sense of well-being, help to prepare the body and mind for a good night’s sleep. Conclude the extended solstice day with a few minutes (or an hour if you have time!) of silence and contemplation for deep relaxation….

Summer Solstice Meditation at Sunset

Summer Solstice Intentions/Activities

  • Bring the power of flowers🌼 into your home. Putting fresh flowers in your living room or using a fragrant garland would also elevate your spirits and inflow a calming positive energy for all family members.
  • Create a Summer Solstice altar, meditation space, prayer space, or simply decorate your fireplace hearth or around your home. Use whatever connects you to the summer sun, your own passion and light. Orange and red candles, gemstones such as; carnelian, fire opal or sunstone. Extra special is to use gemstones designed like flames. Gather summer flowers such as; calendula, sunflowers and roses. They are all associated with the Summer Solstice!
  • Charge your gemstones by summer sunlight. Sunlight just like Moonlight, brings it’s own energy to gemstones. Just bring them in before sunset (a couple hours in the sun is all they need) because after sunset they will begin being charged by the Moon.
  • Watch the sunrise and then watch the sunset.
  • Milk is associated with Summer Solstice and those who are followers of the Fae path will leave milk out for the Fae.
  • Make a Litha decoration from dried oranges.
  • Make or buy sun catchers and hang them!
  • Have an outdoor picnic to celebrate the sun and to welcome the Solstice.
  • Make some sun tea.
  • Make solar water by leaving a glass bowl or pitcher of spring water under the sun at midday for a few hours. Wonderful for plants after its cooled!!
  • Go on a hike.
  • Cloud divination.
  • Make flower and herb infused oils (see more below in links)
  • Make solar fruit water by leaving water with fruits in a closed glass jar for an hour or two in the sunshine.
  • Bird watch.
  • Build a faerie house.
  • Light a bonfire in the morning and keep it attended to and burning all day till sunset.


Foods Of The Summer Solstice

Herbal Lemon Cookies
(Author Unknown)
  • 1 cup Butter or margarine
  • 2 cups Sugar, divided
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup Lemon Grass, Lemon Balm or Lemon Basil  chopped


Cream the butter and 1-3/4 cups sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and herbs. Add to the creamed mixture and mix. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 3 inches apart, on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork or cup bottom. Sprinkle lightly with the remaining sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until barely browned. Cool slightly, then remove to a rack.

Vegan Lasagna with Roasted Vegetables
  • 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 1 large or 2 small eggplants), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 3/4 pound zucchini or yellow squash (about 2 zucchini), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 10 ounces lasagna noodles (about 10 to 12 noodles)
  • 2 packages extra-firm tofu (about 28 ounces), drained of liquid
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 1/2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 12 to 15 torn basil leaves (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with coarse salt. Allow them to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Pat the eggplant slices dry to remove any moisture that has collected. Arrange the zucchini slices on another baking sheet. Brush all of the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and just browning. Remove them from the oven and reduce oven heat to 350° F.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles until they’re just al dente. Drain them and set aside. Next, use your hands to crumble the tofu finely in a large mixing bowl. Add in the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper to taste. Continue crumbling the mixture with your hands until it resembles ricotta. Check for seasoning and add lemon, dried herbs (if desired), and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of the dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce, and top the noodles with half of the roasted vegetables. Spread half of the tofu mixture over the vegetables.
  5. Arrange 4 noodles and 1 cup of marinara sauce over the tofu. Cover the marinara sauce with the remaining roasted vegetables and tofu. Cover this layer with the 4 remaining lasagna noodles and a final cup of marinara sauce.
  6. Bake the lasagna for 40 minutes, or until noodles are crisping at the edges and everything is bubbling gently. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the basil leaves, if you like, over the top of the lasagna. Cut and serve.
Raw Vegan Summer Recipe Fresh Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced

Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chiffonaded

Begin by adding your broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes to a mixing bowl. Now it’s time to make a dressing. In a separate bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, and zest. Throw in some Dijon mustard, vinegar, black pepper, and salt. Give it a whisk until it’s an almost milky consistency. Pour the dressing over your broccoli and tomatoes, toss with your hands, then let sit for about an hour in the fridge. Add some hazelnuts and fresh basil, and there you have it. A fresh, raw, gluten-free salad for your mouth and your tummy!

Summer Solstice Strawberry-Mint Sun Tea

Ingredients:⠀

  • 6-8 C Water⠀
  • 4 tsp Ceylon OP⠀
  • 2-4 Mint Springs⠀
  • 30 Strawberries, frozen⠀
  • Ice cubes⠀
  • Simple Syrup or Honey to taste⠀
  • Fresh Strawberries and Mint leaves for garnish

The Magick Kitchen⠀
Get the Recipe here:  http://www.themagickkitchen.com/summer-solstice-strawberry-mint-sun-tea/

Rose Petal Almond Ice Pops

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • Petals from 3 organic roses
  • 1 cup rose water
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 4 ice pop wooden sticks
  • 4 9oz disposable paper cups
  • 4 4-inch aluminum foil sheets

Instructions

  1. Rinse rose petals in a bowl full of water. Drain and chop in small pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over low to medium heat, place rose water, 1/2 cup water and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add rose petals.
  3. Heat for approximately 3 minutes, do not boil. Add milks and chopped almonds. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat.
  4. Pour half cup of rose/milk mixture in each disposable cup and cover with aluminum foil sheet.
  5. Carefully insert a wooden ice pop stick in the middle of each aluminum foil cover.
  6. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely frozen.
  7. To unmold the ice pops, run them under lukewarm water for 10 seconds then slide them from the molds.

SUMMER SOLSTICE SPARKLING CHAMOMILE SANGRIA


Summer Solstice Links

Summer Solstice in yogic tradition
Healing Herbs: Learn to Make Infused Oils and Balms
What is the summer solstice? Here’s what you need to know.
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge – English Heritage
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge Live

imbolc

Pronounced: Im-bulk, Im-molg, or imb-olc
February 2nd
Hope, Renewal, fertility, Purification, Hearth, Home, Return Of The Light
Candlemas Day, Brigid’s Day,

Imbolc celebrates the coming end of Winter and the beginning of the growing cycle in the Northern Hemisphere. The long, cold, dark months are nearly over, and stirrings of Spring can be seen with the slow emergence of animals from their hibernation, smelled in the blooming of daffodils and crocuses and felt with moments of winds seeming warmer with each passing day. Although snow may continue to cover the ground in many regions, the darkest and often harshest part of the cold season is now behind us. This cross-quarter day—midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox—is a welcome time for many who eagerly awaited the return of the warmer months. Imbolc, also known as Brighid’s Day, Candlemas, of course even Groundhog’s Day, is celebrated on February 2nd.

It’s time to give thanks for the growing daylight. A celebration of Gods return to power and the Goddess, recovering from giving birth to the God at Yule, is beginning once again to step into her Maiden role. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, Christians also observe it as the Feast Day of St. Brigid. The concept of purity and purification has long associations with the month of February. The warmth of the growing Sun (Son) begins to cause seeds deep in (and of) the Earth to germinate and sprout, and even though much of this activity is taking place deep within the soil, those who are attuned to Nature’s rhythms can feel the quickening pace of life emerging all around them. The festival was mostly observed in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man but today it’s popular throughout the world.

Imbolc is a good time to get your life in order – whether physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Make plans, organize, clean out drawers and closets to help create a refreshing sense of bringing in the new and clearing out the old. Preparing yourself and your home now will help to allow you to take full advantage of the wonder, fertility and freedom that Springtime will bring !

This holiday celebrates beginnings and renewal. It is also a time for spring cleaning after being shut indoors and inactive through the winter months. The ability of the Sun to cleanse and purify is is signified and recognized in various ways. Some people light several candles in each room of the house, or, in a more modern version of this tradition, turn on every lamp to energize and cleanse the old energy. Many do spring cleaning and then bless their rooms with sage, palo santo, holy water, tingshaws, etc… Candle colors for Imbolc are typically white or yellow decorations include fresh Spring flowers and besoms (small decorative ritual brooms).

May the stirring of life underground, stir new dreams into life within you.

May the flames of inspiration and new growth be ignited within your Being.”

— IMBOLC BLESSING

Ways To Celebrate Imbolc

  • Light a candle – a flame is the traditional symbol of Imbolc, which is a ‘fire’ festival.
  • Spring clean  your home
  • If you have the space outdoors, or making your own apartment garden inside, plant for the coming year and maybe sow a few early seeds. You can start off tomatoes or sweet peas indoors in February.
  • Visit a river or stream.
  • Take a cleansing bath.
  • At sunset, put the lights on in every room in the house to welcome back the sun.
  • Host a candlelight dinner.
  • Take time to meditate or journal in a candlelit room.
  • Take a walk outside and enjoy the lengthening days and appreciate this period of rest for the earth and Mother Nature.
  • Spend time with the earth, sky, and sea.
  • Recite and write poetry.
  • Create a Brigid’s Cross.
  • Many magical practitioners take Imbolc off from their day jobs to stay home and clean, organize bills, rearrange the home, and prioritize personal projects. 

Imbolc Cleaning With Intention

Imbolc is the time for Spring cleaning. It is time to clear out the dust and cobwebs and prepare our homes, and ourselves, for the activity and growth that come during the spring season.

  1. Cleanse your Home –  Clean windows and mirrors. Sweep down cobwebs and dust under books. Throw away or destroy any old charms, spellwork, etc.. Out with the old….. Dust, polish, under and over. All the small nooks that get neglected with every day cleaning. This is a great time to dig into minimalism and start to toss out and donate things you no longer need. Now, light a smudge stick (palo santo or sage and lavender) and let the smoke reach every corner of your house; behind doors, under furniture, under the bed, etc! Open the windows and wave the smoke outside, taking the negative energy with it. Next, sprinkle holy (blessed) water around.
  2. Cleanse yourself – Take a ritual bath. Fill the tub with lavender salts or oils. Soak for as long as you like, allowing all negative energy soak away. As the water drains from the tub, visualize it carrying away all the negativity from you, leaving you fresh and clean, psychically as well as physically.
  3. Give thanks – Spray some lavender oil mist or buy some fresh lavender to fill your home with clean springtime aroma. Burn some *frankincense incense. In your prayer, meditation space, or ritual altar (you can cast a circle if you wish to do so) and think about the areas of your life that you would want to be more calm, peaceful (aka cleaner). Ask your higher power for inspiration in doing so. Or if you prefer, meditate and see and feel what inspiration comes to you during meditation. Think about what you want to gain strength in, in your life. Ask for ideas to create that. Thank your higher power for spending time with you and inspiring you!
  4. Have a cup of ginger tea and a piece of cinnamon toast with your higher power, goddess, etc as an offering and celebration of spring renewal. If you opened a circle, it can now be closed.

Imbolc Incense Blend for Purification and Protection

Mix together in a bowl and burn on a charcoal disc in a heat safe incense bowl. Use a fan or feather to waft the smoke into all corners of a physically cleaned home. As you energetically clear the space with the smoke, repeat “This space is cleared, this space is blessed.”

Candle Magic for Imbolc 

Since Brigid is the Goddess of Fire, Imbolc is a great time for candle magic. With an intention in your mind, light your candle and imagine your intentions igniting in the flame of the candle. Burn the candle as long as you wish before blowing it out. As the smoke wafts, imagine your intentions being carried into the Universe. And because we want you to be safe, please remember never to leave burning candles unattended.

Make Your Own Fire Starters

Brighid is a goddess of fire, but sometimes getting a fire lit on a chilly, windy winter evening can be tricky. Put together a batch of simple fire starters to keep on hand, and you’ll be able to get a blaze going at any time!

Egg Carton Fire starters

  • Cardboard egg carton
  • Parrafin Wax or candle stubs
  • Sawdust, wood chips, cotton balls, dryer lint, belly button lint and/or paper towels
  1. Shove whatever you have on hand in the cups of a cardboard egg carton. Lint, sawdust, wood chips, cotton balls or paper towels.
  2. Chop your wax up so it will melt more quickly.  Melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave.
  3. Place your egg carton onto a baking sheet lined with tin foil or a surface you can easily scrape wax drips off of. 
  4. Pour wax into each egg carton cup, let them harden and then pull them apart into individual cups. 
  5.  Easily lights with one match.

Foods For Imbolc

Now this one is tricky for me. I gave up dairy years ago and Imbolc is all about the dairy. But symbolism is just as meaningful so non-dairy it is! Dairy (particularly cheese, butter, and milk), eggs, baked goods (particularly bread), spiced wines and herbal teas. Blackberry is sacred to Brigid and blackberry pies, jams, jellies and wines are eaten in honor of her.


Honey Cakes (Liebkuchen)

1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup honey
1 cup sour milk
2 Tablespoons vinegar
6 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Prepare sour milk and mix dry ingredients. Set both aside. Cream margarine and sugar, add egg, beat until light. Add honey, sour milk and vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Chill one hour. Roll out to 1/4″ thickness. Cut into 2″x3″ rectangles and place on buttered cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes. Frost with plain vanilla frosting.
* For sour milk, add 1 T. vinegar to 1 c. milk and let stand for 10 minutes.

Rosemary Oat Bannock
Mulled Wine
Vegan Scones
Mulligatawny Soup
Vegan Poppy Seed Cake Recipe
Twice Baked Honey Cake recipe | The Hobbit
Lavender Milk Tea
CRÊPES DE LA CHANDELEUR (CANDLEMAS PANCAKES) FOR CANDLEMAS DAY

Imbolc

Imbolc Herbal Ice Lantern DIY Craft
Friends Of The Brides Mound
Imbolc History
Love this mandala from https://www.facebook.com/Mandalanas

*Used in religious and spiritual rituals for thousands of years, frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. Because it is so fragrant when burnt, it was used by ancient people as a religious offering. In Christian symbolism, frankincense can represent Christ’s sacrifice.