samhain

Samhain

Pronunciation: SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SOW-een
October 31 – November 1
Themes: death, rebirth, divination, honoring ancestors, introspection, benign mischief, revelry
Other Names: Samhuin, Halloween, Third Harvest, Day of the Dead, Feast of the Dead (Félie Na Marbh), Ancestor Night, All Hallows Eve
(the 31st).

This celebration marks the end of the growing season and the beginning of Winter. Herbs, fruits and vegetables are prepared to be stored for use through the cold months. In autumn, the leaves and flowers die.  Many animals migrate or prepare for hibernation.  The world becomes more still.  These natural cycles remind us that everything dies, and yet will be reborn. It is believed the veil grows thin between this world and the world of the afterlife and so many take this time of Samhain much like Dia de los Muertos on November 2, to honor our ancestors who are just beyond the veil.

This is seriously, my favorite time of year. The days shorten and night falls earlier, the shadows grow, and the veil between this world and the realm of the spirits and ancestors is at its thinnest. The air is crisp with the scents of autumn, and the magical possibilities seem to be all around us. Nature is about to take back within herself what has stopped living to nurture the earth to be reborn in spring.

The turning of the Wheel toward Samhain is a turn toward the dark months ahead. The nights are growing longer, and time is catching up with us. Our trees are filled with dried figs, dried grapes, things once living now dying, to remind us of the stages of all of life. In almost every country outside of the United States, death is talked about as an accepted and reverent part of life, people dance and it’s even celebrated with parties and filled with colorful adornments. Here in the US we place our cemeteries to the outskirts of our cities and towns, and now in modern times, place headstones flat and parallel with the Earth so that when we drive by they just look like nice parks instead of where we lay our dead to rest, we hide them in plain sight. In most other countries, cemeteries and mausoleums are front and center in towns and cities with upright headstones that tell you yep, here are our beloved who have passed from this earth and here you too shall lay to rest. In the US we make death a scary, depressed occasion that we tend to shy away from talking about.

The Celts of our distant past didn’t shy from the subject, this portal to the other side, because they understood how to harvest wisdom in the process of facing their own mortality. They understood that when you bury something with intention, it can feed future crops and nourish them from within. And yet, the word itself – Samhain – means nothing more than summer’s end. The end of growth. This day reminds us that death is just a natural stage of life. We can’t have life without death any more than we can have light without dark, truth without lies, or good without evil. They are all two sides of the same coin, forever entangled and forever inseparable.

Decorate with pumpkins, gourds, black orange and yellow candles, photos of your ancestors, autumn leaves and representations of autumn. Crystals to use; smokey quartz, obsidian and onyx.

*”All hallow tide, the triduum of Halloween, recalls deceased spirits, saints (hallows) and martyrs alike, in one collective commemoration. The word Halloween is of Christian origin, and many Christians visit graveyards during this time to pray and place flowers and candles at the graves of their deceased loved ones. The two days following All Hallows Eve—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day—pay homage to the souls that Christians believe are now with God. In medieval England, Christians went “souling” on Halloween, begging for soul cakes in exchange for prayers in local churches. Halloween’s secular side has emerged during the past century, and today, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses, watching horror movies and dressing up like favored characters has become custom in Western culture. Recent estimates are that the very diverse American business of “haunted attractions” brings in hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and the commercial elements of Halloween have spread from North America to Europe, South America, Australia, Japan and parts of East Asia.”

Candle Magic

Candle Ceremony for The Ancestors

This is a simple ceremony which can be shared with both friends and family, or worked alone. You can include children in it – it begins in darkness and ends full of light. You will need:

  • a supply of small candles, either black or white (or you can use the little battery operated ones for the littles)
  • a heat proof container or tray of sand or earth to put the candles in if you use candles. Place one in the center of the container from which all the others will be lit.

Switch off all the lights and sit gently in the darkness. Allow yourself to feel the darkness but not in a spooky way. In a brave and comforted way. Ask for the presence of your ancestors to come to you. When you are ready, light the central candle saying:


“We welcome our departed loved ones into this home and honor your presence among us”.

Allow each person in the circle to spontaneously remember someone who has passed and remember something about them and light a candle for each person from the central candle: ‘I remember Uncle Harold he was a kind and thoughtful man….’. Allow this to continue for as long as it takes to complete the re-membering. You will end with a tray full of radiant candles. When all is complete, give thanks, and allow the candles to burn to completion. Turn on the lights whenever you are ready.

Mantra

The Veil separating the world of the living to the dead has parted, and the last harvest has ended. I cast my circle and invite into it my ancestors, and my loved ones who have passed through the Veil. Come to me and together let us celebrate your time here on Earth!

Samhain Shadow Self Meditation

Meditation to Find Your Shadow

Find a quiet, comfortable place to perform the meditation, some place where you will not be disturbed. Be sure to answer the questions after the meditation below.

Close your eyes. Imagine that a soft white glow is forming at your feet. It begins to swirl upward and it forms a protective shell around you. It lifts you up and takes you on a journey to the core of your being.

The misty glow sets you down and dissipates to reveal a marble staircase that spirals downward. The light is very dim along the walls of the staircase and you can’t see all the way to the bottom, but you know this is a place into which you must venture.

You begin down the staircase and you notice it spirals in a counterclockwise direction. The light in the staircase comes from candles flickering in small carved niches along the walls. The staircase walls are made of smooth, cold marble that your occasionally touch as you continue to journey downward.

As you work your way down the stairs, notice on the walls that there are occasionally symbols formed out of metal and embedded into the walls. These are the symbols of your shadow masks. Take note of whichever one is most prominent. This is the symbol for your primary shadow mask.

Reach up and touch the symbol of your primary shadow mask and you’ll find that it comes loose from the wall. As you hold it in your hands, you can feel the cold weight of the metal symbol and you can see it from all sides. Hold on to this symbol as you continue down the stairs.

When you reach the bottom, you find before you a great golden door. You try the door, but it is locked. Look at the keyhole and you will find that it is oddly shaped. Slip the metal symbol you hold into the keyhole and you’ll find that it unlocks the door. Open the door and enter the chamber.

The room is cold and quite dark, except for a single point of illumination that emanates from the far side of the room. The light comes from a mask that hangs on the far wall. Go over to it and look at it. You notice that it is well within reach, so you take it down and examine it thoroughly. On the inside of the mask is its name. Take note of it.

After you’ve examined the mask, place it on your face and ask: “How do I resolve this shadow mask?” Listen carefully to the answer. Once you’ve heard the message, ask one more question: “What does this shadow mask keep me from doing?”

After you’ve queried the mask, take it off and place it back on the wall. Exit the chamber and lock the door with the metal symbol you retained. As you climb the stairs, you can place the symbol anywhere along the wall and it will set itself within the marble. Continue to head to the top of the stairs,this time moving much more quickly than before.

Once you have reached the top, the white glow enfolds you once again, lifts you up, and brings you back into your body.

When you have arrived back fully, take a moment to contemplate your experience and draw to the best of your ability the symbol of the primary shadow mask. Now draw your shadow mask. Then answer these questions…

  1. What is the name of the shadow mask?
  2. What part do you play in keeping this mask alive?
  3. What are the effects of this shadow mask on your life?
  4. What does this shadow mask keep you from accomplishing?
  5. What action must you take in order to resolve you primary shadow mask?
  6. What have you to learn from this shadow mask?

Intention Setting Ceremony

One of the biggest Samhain traditions is known as the Feast of the Dead or Dumb Supper. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving for the spirit world, the Feast of the Dead is a big celebratory meal for all of the people who came before you. Most who celebrate Samhain set an extra place for their ancestors, putting servings of food on the plate as an invitation to their departed to join their feast. Once the meal is over the food is often set out in a natural place as an offering to the deceased.

For some this is a quiet thoughtful occasion with contemplation as each remembers the departed and enjoys a completely silent meal, sometimes referred to as a Dumb Supper. For others this is an exciting experience where you serve the favorite foods of your loved ones who have passed on and share memories and good stories of those you love who are no longer with us. 

Many people around the world including Pacific Islanders, Peruvians, the Ancient Romans, and multiple European cultures all have some version of a Feast of the Dead as part of their cultural celebrations. Many Buddhists and Taoists also have a similar celebration called the Ghost Festival where they prepare elaborate meals and set places for the deceased, making this a much more common practice than you might think.

So create your party for loved ones who have passed and do it in a way that honors your families traditions and rich history. You can make it as elaborate as you’d like with a huge feast, story telling, a tended bonfire, rituals, ceremonies and all the trimming, or maybe just a silent Dumb Supper and even just setting out photo’s and looking over them along with mementos handed down the family line to be shared with the littles (kids) along with sharing tidbits about their family members who are no longer on this plane of existence. I wish I had had something like this in my childhood since my Mom and Dad had me in their 50’s, my grandparents were all either deceased or passed when I was pre-school age. I still know very little of my ancestors and our family who have passed.

Incense & Oil

Samhain Loose Incense

  • 2 teaspoon dried Apple
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped Pine needles
  • 1 teaspoons of Rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Acorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed Dragon’s Blood
  • A few pearls of Frankincense
  • 2 drops Patchouli Oil

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the Frankincense, then Dragon’s Blood, and then the Cinnamon and Acorns. Crush and add the remaining ingredients into a bowl one at a time, then add the Patchouli Oil and mix everything together. As you mix the dried fruits, herbs, and spices, focus on your intent with Samhain and your Ancestors in mind.This is the time of the year to Honor our Ancestors and to contemplate the cycle of life, death and rebirth.Burn this incense on top of a charcoal disc or use as a dry or simmering potpourri. Some other items you may consider to customize your incense to your liking are Cedar, Cedarwood, Clove, Hyssop, Juniper, Marigold, Mugwort, Patchouli, Pepper, Sage, Salt, Wormwood to name a few. Keep in mind what each item represents for the Samhain Season.

  1. Apple are associated with the dead & Samhain
  2. Bay for psychic powers
  3. Cinnamon for protection
  4. Marigold for protection and honoring ancestors
  5. Mugwort for physic awareness
  6. Patchouli for honoring the earth
  7. Pepper for ghostly protection
  8. Pine for honoring the earth and winter
  9. Rosemary for remembrance
  10. Sage for purification and wisdom
  11. Salt for purification
  12. Wormwood for protection against evil spirits

Intentions/Activities

  • Bonfires, or “Fire Watches” are basically a lit fire to help your ancestors find their way to you as the veil thins. Often full celebrations are held around the fire through the day as the fire is kept burning. Usually the fire starts at sundown and goes till sunrise but in modern times it’s usually sundown till midnight (or whenever your local fire department policies are). You can have designated fire watchers, or tenders from the family through the day and evening. Gather to sing, dance, tell stories and eat good food.
  • Collecting Autumn flowers such as chrysanthemums are popular.  Marigolds are associated with death, cemeteries, and Dia de los Muertos in Mexican tradition.  Some people dry bouquets of, wilted dying flowers.
  • Share stories and memories of your ancestors. Delve into your family tree and see how far back you can trace to the life and times of your ancestral tree.
  • Gather leaves for creative decoupage crafts.
  • Make incense blends of myrrh, mugwort, patchouli, sandalwood and pine.
  • Dumb Dinner or Silent (Mute) Supper. Throwback to the Ancient Celts and their 3 days of feasting? Ancestors were called to share food. Families would set the table with extra seats and plates filled with the same food they were eating. They would sit and eat, and update the spirits on what had happened throughout the year.
  • Make resolutions, write them on a small piece of parchment, and burn in a candle flame.
  • Carve a jack-o-lantern. Place a spirit candle in it.
  • Drink apple cider spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead. Bury an apple or pomegranate in the garden as food for spirits passing by on their way to being reborn.
  • Make a mask of your shadow self.
  • Create an ancestor altar. Add photos of loved ones who have passed away, keepsakes, anything that has special importance to you and your loved ones in spirit.
  • Create and fill an ancestor box. Decorate the outside with things that make you think of or feel your ancestors. This is often things from your families culture, heritage, ethnicity or legacies. Then fill the box with mementos, photos, and things passed down. Place it lovingly on your mantel or other special place of honor to be a place of remembrance through the year.
  • Collect and recreate old family recipes.

Crafts

Samhain Door Wreath

Materials: Items from Nature, fine wire, sheet of corrugated cardboard, collection sack, small nail.

First, take a Nature hike. Have the littles collect items from nature, such as pine cones, seeds, leaves, berry bunches (remind the child how important it is to thank the plant for its gift, and to take only what is needed.), acorns and caps, flowers, etc. When you get home, spread out collection on some newspaper. Cut out a circle about 15″ in diameter, from the cardboard. Cut a smaller circle out of the middle. Have the child choose which objects go where on the cardboard background, and hand the object to you. Wrap the wire around each object so it can be fastened to the cardboard. Poke two small holes in the cardboard ring for each item. Feed the wire through and twist in back. Keep fastening objects onto the ring until it is full and no cardboard shows. Hang the wreath on the front door with the nail. (Explain that “wreaths of bounty” used to symbolize giving thanks for a prosperous year, and an invitation for others less fortunate to share in the good fortune.)

Making a Besom

Materials: 4ft dowel- 1″ in diameter, ball of twine, scissors, straw or other pliable herb stock.

Take the straw or other herb stalk that you have chosen and soak overnight in luke warm salted water. The water swells the stalk slightly for bending without breakage, and the salt dispels former energies. When ready, remove stalks from the water and dry for just a bit. Not too much or the stalk will stiffen up, again. Place the dowel on a table where you have room to work. Start lining the stalks along the dowel , about 3 inches from the bottom, moving backwards. Begin binding the stalks to the dowel with the twine. Tie very securely. You may add as many layers as you like, depending on how full you want the Besom to be. When stalks are secure, gently bend the top stalks down over the binding. When all have been bent over, secure the stalks again with more twine a couple of inches under the first binding. Allow to air dry for a day or two. The dowel can then be stained, painted, or carved into to make personal. Remember to concentrate and charge at the next full moon. (Explain to the children that the Pagans used to “ride” their Besoms through the fields, jumping as high as they could. This was to show the God/dess(s-es) how high they wanted their crops to grow the next year. Also jumping over bonfires at the Sabbat festivals was for good health and prosperity.)

Foods

Recipe for Samhain Soul Cakes

Recipe by Karen from Lavender and Lovage.

Ingredients
  • 175g butter (6ozs)
  • 175g caster sugar (6ozs)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 450g plain flour (1lb)
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 100g currants (4 ozs)
  • a little milk to mix
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
  3. Stir in the currants and add enough milk to make a soft dough, similar to scones.
  4. Roll the dough out and cut out little cakes with a biscuit cutter.
  5. Mark each cake with a cross and then place them on a greased and/or lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cakes for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.

Colcannon

  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked cabbage
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped very fine and sauteed
  • 1 cup mashed turnips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or cream
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  1. Place all ingredients, except the cabbage, in a large pan and cook over low heat while mixing them together.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and add the cabbage.
  3. The mixture will take on a pale green cast.
  4. Keep stirring occasionally until well mixed and heated through.

Pumpkin Soup

For a delicious and simple soup, peel the outer skin from the pieces of pumpkin and boil until very tender (about 30 minutes). Mash with a potato masher or run through a food processor. Saute 1 chopped onion for every cup of pumpkin. Add the mashed pumpkin, 11/2 cups milk, 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper, and 1/4 tsp. curry powder. Serve hot with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd’s Pie
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 cups cooked yellow or green split peas
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • To serve: a drizzle of melted coconut oil with chopped serrano chiles, micro greens, scallions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the center.
  2. Place the potatoes/sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, salt as you would pasta water, and bring to a boil for about ten minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to saucepan over heat for a minute or so to dry out a bit. Add the coconut milk, and the salt, and mash together. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut oil with the onion and garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, until onions are translucent, and then turn the heat up and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the mushrooms release their water, and start to brown. Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir well, then add the cooked split peas and peas. Cook for another minute or two, taste, and adjust with more garam masala or salt if needed.
  4. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a 8-inch baking dish (or equivalent), spreading it across in a somewhat even layer. Dollop the potatoes across the top, and gently push them around until they cover the entire top of the casserole, run the tines of a fork across the top if you like a bit of texture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, and finish under a broiler to add a bit of extra color and texture to the top. Serve as-is, or sprinkled with any (or all) of the suggested toppings.

Serves 6.

Brie + Cheddar Apple Beer Soup with Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumble
Cheddar Apple Beer Soup with Brie
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 small Honeycrisp apples or 1 large, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 (12 ounce) beer I used pumpkin beer
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces brie rind removed + cubed
Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumble
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups whole raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
To make the Crumble
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Working on a greased cookie sheet or pyrex dish, add the oats, pecans, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the softened butter and use your fingers to crumble it into the oats mixture until everything is moist and the butter is evenly distributed. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking, until crisp is golden brown and smells amazing. I like to serve this warm, so I make it while the soup simmers.
To make the Soup
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and a pinch of brown sugar. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. At this point, slowly add in the apple cider, let it cook into the onions, add more and continue to cook. Do this until the onions are caramelized. Add the apples and thyme to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes. Add in any remaining apple cider, the beer, chicken broth and cayenne. Bring to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes or until the apples are tender. (This is when I bake the crumble)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Once the apples are soft, puree the soup until chunky smooth or completely smooth (whatever you like). Return the soup to the stove and bring to a low bowl. Whisk in the milk mixture and boil until the soup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cheddar cheddar cheese and brie until melted and smooth. Simmer the soup 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the cinnamon pecan crumble. Plus maybe some extra cheese too!!

Harvest Soup
  • butter
  • 4 turnips (I used butter or yellow turnips)
  • 1 bramley apple (or 1 cox)
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 liter of chicken or vegetable stock.

to decorate
toast ham or bacon for 1 minute in the microwave between a sheet of grease proof paper
toast stale bread and cut into chunks

  1. Dice all the vegetables and apple.
  2. Over a high fire heat two teaspoons of butter in a medium sized pan.
  3. Add all the vegetables and apple and stir so they don’t burn
  4. When slightly glazed add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Mix the soup until all the chunks are gone 
  6. Put back on the fire and bring to the boil for another minute
  7. Season to taste with pepper and salt
  8. Serve with the toasted bread and crispy ham or bacon

Enjoy and remember to set an extra plate for the spirits…

Quinoa Salad With Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries, and Pecans
  • 1 c. quinoa
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium Delicata squash, seeded and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, thinly sliced and stems removed
  • 1/3 c. pecans, toasted
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c. crumbled feta
  1. Preheat oven to 425° and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange squash on a baking sheet and roast until tender and golden, 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together quinoa, squash, kale, pecans, and cranberries. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Drizzle over salad and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper, crumble feta on top, and serve.

Pumpkin Bread with Salted Maple Butter
Bread
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp finely grated ginger (from about one 3″ piece fresh ginger)
  • 1½ cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
Maple Butter
  • 1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more for serving

Recipe Preparation

Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat a 9×5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a generous overhang on both long sides.
  2. Whisk flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, ginger, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl. Stream in oil, whisking constantly until mixture is homogeneous. Gently fold half of dry ingredients into egg mixture until no dry spots remain. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, stirring to combine but being careful not to overmix.
  4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula. Scatter pumpkin seeds over batter, pressing lightly to adhere. Sprinkle seeds with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Bake bread, rotating pan once halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 80–90 minutes.
  5. Let cool slightly, then run a knife or small offset spatula around pan to help loosen bread. Using overhang, transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool.
  6. Do Ahead: Bread can be baked 4 days ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

Maple Butter

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, 5–6 minutes. Add maple syrup and ¾ tsp. sea salt and beat, scraping down sides of bowl once more, just until incorporated.
  2. Transfer maple butter to a small bowl; season with more sea salt.
  3. Do Ahead: Maple butter can be made 5 days ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill. Let come to room temperature before using.

Links

Samhain & Autumn Crafts
All Hallows’ Eve
UUA Samhain
Easy Samhain – Halloween Crafts
Samhain Folklore – Halloween Superstitions and Legends

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

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.