new moon in libra

New Moon (Supermoon) in Libra ♎️ October 16, 2020 3:30 pm ET!

The word “Supermoon” is not an official astronomical term. It was first created by an astrologer named, Richard Nolle, in 1979. He defined it as ‘a New or a Full Moon that occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in its orbit’. It is not clear why he chose the 90% cut off in his definition.

New moon represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of another new 28-day cycle. In astronomy, the new moon is when the sun and moon are aligned, with the sun and earth on opposite sides of the moon. It is the beginning of a new lunar cycle, and it’s a great time to begin a new personal cycle as well; a time to turn over a new leaf or start a new project.

During a new moon, the moon is not visible in the sky. This typically means the energy available is low. People often report feeling tired and drained during a new moon. This is a perfect opportunity to become self-reflective, to look inward. This is an ideal time to really think about want you want in life acknowledge your goals, set clear intentions towards those goals, and write to-do lists. A time for a fresh start, and to let go of those things in your life that no longer serve you.

This New Supermoon in Libra ♎️ reminds us to surround ourselves in peace, harmony and love. It’s time to hit your pause button, reflect and reclaim your sense of balance, harmony, and fulfillment of your needs without stomping on, but with attending to the needs of others as well. Therein lies the balance that is precious. Precious from not only our own perspective but for the world.

This New Moon is a grounding energy and reminds us to be grateful while going after goals of attainment (wealth in broad definition). The Libra Moon could make you a little impatient while waiting for the tides to turn in your favor but patience is important.
You first have to the work, inner and outer and to reflect so that your path does not set course on the more negative sides of power.

Clarify your needs, boundaries, and cultivate strength and self-reliance. Meditate on the heart chakra so that your will is right and just.

Deepak Chopras 7 Step Meditation To Open Your Heart

The October 16 new moon aligns with two fixed stars: Fixed star Spica and Fixed star Arcturus.

Fixed star Spica gives success, wealth (broad definition), love of art and science, lack of growth and injustice to innocence. It brings good fortune to scientists, artists, and musicians. Spica also gives spiritual and religious qualities, with above-average psychic awareness.

Fixed star Arcturus gives wealth (broad definition), high renown, self-determination, and prosperity. However, Arcturus has a reputation for achieving justice through power. Which can make people become belligerent and quarrelsome.

New moon, October 16, opposite Mars may cause anger, impulsiveness, and hostility. The new moon, Saturn can cause disappointment, delays, and frustration. The new moon square Pluto can cause extremism, intensity, and a callous quest for power. The combination of the planetary characteristics creates highly dynamic energy. With determination, hard work and persistence you will be able to achieve your specific goals and intentions. If your focus is solely on achieving power, then conflict will surely be your end result.

Element: Air 💨
Crystals: Aquamarine, Opalite, Opal, Rose Quartz

the light – meditation

Guided Meditation

The Light

Ram Dass guides you to a place of pure light in the middle of your chest and reminds you that you are this light – your body is just the container. But it is not enough to just see our own light, we need to see that everyone has this light within. “Anytime of the day, you always can come back to the breath. Bring the breath as if you are breathing out of the middle of the chest, and with each breath brighten the light that sits in the middle.”
– Ram Dass

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

some of my favorite essential oils

Selection of essential oils with various herbs and flowers in the background

You should always follow warnings on labels and given by manufacturers and artisans. Properly dilute your oils before using them on your skin. And understand that some oils if used on skin, inhaled (ie; diffusers, and ingested can be toxic to your pets and even your kids, use all oils responsibly and knowledgeably.

Cinnamon:  Can be used to stimulate visions by strengthening focus. Helps you connect with guides, ancestors and the angelic realm. Cinnamon bark oil is associated with the base chakra, making it very beneficial for stabilizing astral projection, bringing material success and luck, improving health, and attracting love and creating passion.

Lavender:  Aids in mediation, and stimulates dream recall and clairvoyance. It also opens third-eye while protecting, cleansing and purifying. Mindfully infusing your space with Lavender sets the intention for a peaceful, grounded energy before creating artistic pieces, practicing yoga, meditation, saying prayers or affirmations, using mantras, tarot or oracle readings, gathering in circle, and engaging in any type of sacred ceremony. It helps release any energetic blocks you may have and will assist you in cutting cords to unhealthy relationships, situations, and past events. Lavender guides us to be more flexible in thought and action towards ourselves and others. It is a great teacher of patience. Lavender is a mild sedative. It impacts the neurotransmitter GABA, which calms the nervous system and quiets the brain. Lavender balances the throat chakra.

Patchouli: Patchouli oil can be used to aid with grounding. It dispels negativity and stimulates spiritual growth. It is most commonly the preferred oil divination. Patchouli oil can be diffused to help you sleep or in ceremonies to aid with sleep, dream recall and insomnia. This is a fabulous oil for empowerment and easing stress and worry. Patchouli brings a sense of the sacredness of life. The scent of Patchouli stimulates the base chakra.

Peppermint: Used to increase spiritual energy and heighten psychic awareness. Spiritually, peppermint essential oil raises the spirit to fuller understanding and appreciation of the mysteries we study and learn. It stimulates and soothes, uplifts and calms. Peppermint has long been used in healing and purification work. Its presence raises the vibrations of an area. When smelled, it compels one toward sleep. Peppermint essential oil a “vibe freshener” that will “rip you out of a suffocating mood.” Science backs that up, albeit with a few more qualifiers: a 2019 study in Journal of Pain Research of 80 patients undergoing a stress-inducing medical procedure found enough evidence to recommend peppermint essence to help patients relax.

Rosemary:  Promotes visions, creativity, and recall of past lives. It dispels negativity and is also considered a psychic stimulant. It opens the third eye as well. Rosemary ‘s strong scent is perfect for aromatherapy. Just the smell can help dispel depression and clear negative feelings. Rosemary essential oil began production as early as the 13th century. It had properties of being a tonic for the body’s yang energy, which will improve the circulation of Qi-energy and blood circulation. Wear Rosemary oil on those occasions that you want to make a lasting impression.



Are You Yin or Yang? Yin Yang Theory Overview and TestAre You Yin or Yang? Yin Yang Theory Overview and Test
Yin Yang chart was provided by Psychologia.co

Jasmine:  Balancing, inspiring, sensual. Attracts love, and romance. Stimulates psychic dreams, astral projection, creativity and visions. Encourages compassion and transcendence. Work with jasmine essential oil to experience a strong boost in energy and creativity, and a feeling of joy and openness. Aids in meditation. Jasmine attracts spiritual love; love based on attraction to the soul, as opposed to physical love. Rubbing a little bit of jasmine oil on your Third Eye can help with psychic readings. Add a few drops to your hands before reading tarot or during other divination practices.

Sandalwood:  Purifying, protective, and healing. Good for meditation, astral projection, manifesting, blessings, house cleansings and releasing the past. Dispels negativity. For times of contemplation, when you need to go inside and realize the answers you seek. Creates a deep spiritual awareness. Stimulates clairvoyance, aids in seeing past lives, healing, clearing, protection, calms the mind. Gives us strength in conviction when facing adversaries. Use when doing spirit work and in ceremony. Sandalwood essential oil is beyond sacred. Adding just two drops of frankincense with 10 drops of sandalwood to your carrier oil or humidifying diffuser will relax your nervous system, bringing a deeply satisfying sense of safety.

Frankincense:  Uplifting, balancing, purifying, protective. Good for meditation and connecting with guides. Promotes enlightenment, multidimensional awareness. Calling on spirits and a a beautiful offering to your higher power. Simply inhale the oil’s aroma or diffuse before meditating to heighten spiritual awareness; the deepening of any religious experience may be achieved in this same way. Frankincense has strong space clearing and purifying tendencies, making it more potent than sage for clearing space which is one reason churches often burn frankincense before special Masses.

Cedarwood: Aids in protection, power, empowerment, wisdom, and strength. Cedarwood draws on Earth energy, so it’s very grounding. Used in solar ceremonies. Promotes clarity when doing psychic readings of any type. Cedarwood Essential Oil holds the spirits of the ancients, teaching us to hold fast to the Earth. It is one of the Angelic Fragrances bringing the angels of wisdom closer.

Chamomile: Promotes growth, happiness, healing, success, whimsy, and dreams. Chamomile works in the realm of light; Connecting with the inner child, Chamomile allows us to come close to the spiritual realms for comfort and uniting. Add a handful of chamomile to a pot of water and let it simmer. A great way to cleanse your home of negative vibrations. Induces relaxation, peace of mind and profound meditative states. Chamomile attracts riches and good fortune to the wearer.

Rose:  Used for love, psychic abilities, calling to maternal ancestors, protection, and cleansing. Rose Otto Essential Oil is the oil of the Goddess Venus and belongs to the element of water. Blended with other essential oils and the carrier oil of your choice, It can be placed in the bath, worn as a perfume, or used in a diffuser. Benefits of rose essential oil include boosting positive thoughts and promoting self-acceptance and self-love.  It is a confidence booster and uplifts your mood. Rose oil, the fragrance of Venus, has a reputation for relieving mood swings during pregnancy and supporting women during childbirth. 

confession…

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


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


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

Mindful Meditation

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


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


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

Have a happy
🌞
Monday everyone!

COPYRIGHT © 2020 RUNNING TO ZEN
*This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you purchase something by clicking my link. Thank you!

lammas

Photo By: Ad Victoriam

Lammas

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

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

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

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

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

Candle Magic

Materials Needed

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

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

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

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

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

Lammas Ritual For Courage

Materials Needed

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

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

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

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

*Note: keep away from pets

Salt Dough Ornaments

ingredients

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

instructions

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

Lammas Meditation

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

Sit in a comfortable and supported position.

Relax and begin… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lammas Intentions/Activities

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

Lammas Blessing

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

Corn Husk Dollies

Materials Needed

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

Putting It Together

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

Craft By: Martha Stewart *Added by me.

Foods Of Lammas

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

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

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

Yield: 1 large braid or 2 regular-sized loaves

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

Roasted Garlic Corn

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

Blend together the following herbs:

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

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

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

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

Fun Lammas Links

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

9/11 tribute – table of silence project

Buglisi Dance Theatre and Lincoln Center present the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Table of Silence Project performance ritual for peace, reimagined for our current moment. Streaming live from the Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center in New York City on Friday, September 11, 2020, beginning at 7:55am. Together let us send a universal healing vibration of unity and peace around the world. Learn more at tableofsilence.org | LincolnCenter.org/TableofSilenceProject. Livestream produced and filmed by Nel Shelby Productions.

“To breathe together creates the awakening of the Human Spirit.” – Jacqulyn Buglisi The three-part presentation includes the world premiere of the Table of Silence PROLOGUE, choreographed by Artistic Director Jacqulyn Buglisi, and created in collaboration with Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain on electric violin, Spoken Word Poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and BDT Principal Dancer Terese Capucilli with dancers representing the diversity of the NYC arts community. The program continues with the film Table of Silence ETUDES, created by dancers from around the globe, and concludes with the 9/11 Table of Silence Project. At 8:46AM, the dancers lift their arms to the sky for a moment of silence.

Buglisidance.org | tableofsilence.org | LincolnCenter.org/TableOfSilenceProject

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

beltane

Beltane

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

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

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

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

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

May Day

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

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

St. Walpurga

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

Beltane Candle Magic

What you need:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now light your candle!

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

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

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

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

Beltane Meditation

Guided Visualization for Spring

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

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

Meditation By: Tris Thorp


Beltane Intentions/Activities

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

Beltane Maypole

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

Crown Of Daisies

Materials:

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


Foods Of Beltane

Strawberry Mead

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

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

Equipment needed:

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

Now You Have to Wait:

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

Beltane Tea

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

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

BELTANE BANNOCKs

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

May Day Maple Hearth Bread

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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


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ostara/spring equinox

OSTARA – SPRING EQUINOX

Pronounced: OH-star-ah
March 19-23
Themes: balance, renewal, action, beginnings, hope, new possibilities
Also Known As: Eostra’s Day, Easter, Vernal Equinox, March Equinox, Bacchanalia
,

Ostara or the Spring Solstice is the second of the three spring time festivals on the Wheel of the Year. This is a time for celebrating the balance between winter and the coming summer. This is the official beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the moment of exact balance between the dark (winter) and the light (summer).

Typically celebrated on March 20, the exact moment of the Spring Equinox varies from year to year because of a slight misalignment between the Gregorian calendar and the actual rate of the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. Depending on where you live, it may fall the day before or the day after the date listed on any given calendar.

The Earth is becoming warmer and more fertile and the promise of greener, warmer, more fruitful times is awakening as buds and bloooms emerge from the trees, bees return and beging to pollinate the opening flower buds, and fields of grass are awakening from winter slumber. This is a time when we can open our windows a little, step outside in maybe just a sweater on some days, we feel a hint of the coming summer with the sun kissing our cheeks.

To celebrate this time of year, you can decorate with fresh flowers, and potted plants. Traditional colors for this holiday are pale greens, yellow and pale pink. Images of bunnies, decorated eggs in pastel colors are also traditional decorations. It is a time of child like wonder and an eagerness to be with nature as the earth comes alive with beauty.

Colors of the Spring Equinox include yellows, purples, blues, greens and pinks. Symbols of balance such as sun and moon symbols, Ying and Yang. Also add something that represents “new life”. This could be eggs (real or maybe paper mache (No Cook Paper Mache Paste). Things that represent to you, new life!

Spring Magic

Wish for Something New

March brings in renewed hope and promise. Winter will end soon and new life is blooming all around us and everything feels filled with promise. According to the ancient Roman calendar, this was New Year’s Day. This little intention setting ritual will bring something new into your life. You’ll need the following supplies:

  • A pen
  • A sheet of paper
  • An envelope
  • A photo representing your wish
  • A purple candle

First, write your wish on the paper. Then place the paper and photo in the envelope, but don’t seal it yet. Next, light the candle. Gaze at the flame and visualize your wish coming true. When you feel the time is right, close the envelope and seal it by dribbling some of the warm candle wax on it. Snuff out the candle. At Ostara, open the envelope to release the spell’s energy. Continue working toward your goal until you achieve your desire.

From: Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Surrendering

Use fire in a ceremony with a bonfire, fireplace or candle to surrender something that still needs to be unloaded to make room for all that is new. It can be symbolic as in burning a written narrative about what you are surrendering. Spring is renewal, taking the nourishment from the winter cycle and the freedom from surrender and weaving it into a new picture or new expression of your vision forward in the season.

Earthing

There is a lot of confusion as to exactly what it is, but simply put, earthing is connecting with Mother Nature through the earth, the ground we stand upon. Grounding is centering and balancing your energy as in bringing it back to Earth. Earthing will help ground you, but the purpose isn’t just to ground, but also open a line of communication between you and Mother Earth, whether it be to receive healing energy or ask questions. Grounding can occur anywhere, whether you are in contact with Earth (soil, grass, rock, etc) or not. Earthing, however, can only occur if the person is directly touching the Earth, as in the soil, sand or grass outside. Spring is a great time to get outside and reconnect with our Mother Earth after a long winter indoors. Find a safe place to walk barefoot and spend time feeling the energy flow into you.

Spring Activities

  • Include hot cross buns with your breakfast. To honor the union of the earth and the sun (son of God/Jesus) for Spring blessings. Don’t forget to bless or say a prayer before eating!
  • Wear pastels.
  • Bless the seeds planted in the garden. Plant some seeds in pots or in your garden (if you blessed some seeds for Imbolc and saved them, use those). Start seeds indoors to be planted out in your garden after the frost.
  • Place a lit green candle in a dish full of moist earth. Ask/Pray to your higher power or universal energy for blessings, abundance and/or fertility. Let it burn down and then bury the remainders (except the dish).
  • Dye or paint eggs with symbols of spring, or just in pastel colors. Make natural dyes from herbs.

Natural Egg Dyes:

Blueberries: blue
Blackberries: blue-violet
Beet juice: red
Red onion skins: red
Brown onion skins: yellow-orange
Turmeric: yellow
Walnut Shells: dark brown
Cranberries: red
Red Cabbage: purple
Carrot tops: green
Carrot Tops:Yellowish-Green

After the eggs are dyed, dip them into white vinegar to set color.

  • Take a long walk and take in the beauty of nature reawakening all around you.
  • Meditate.
  • Hold a spring party outside if the weather is nice enough. And an Easter egg hunt for the kids!
  • Make bird and/or squirrel feeders.
  • Read stories about Easter, Passover, or other Spring themes. 
  • Open windows and air out your home.
  • Dust out cobwebs.
  • Get rid of old furniture and things that are not useful, beautiful or joyful.

Seed Mosaic 

This is a great way to use old seeds not suitable for planting. If you don’t collect seeds, just post a request for them in your local chapter of free websites such as www.freecycle.org or www.craigslist.org, or ask some farmers at the local farmer’s market if they have any.

You Will Need: 

  • An assortment of seeds 
  • Paper (blank or with a picture) 
  • Extra paper to “catch” seeds 
  • White craft glue 
  • Paint brush 
  • Cups or bowls

Sort the seeds into separate cups or dishes for easy use. Seeds come in so many different sizes, shapes and colors Give the child a piece of plain craft paper, or give them a print out or coloring page so they can follow the image with their mosaic. Show the child how to paint some white craft glue onto a section of their picture, and then sprinkle seeds onto the section. After a minute, tilt the page to allow the excess seeds to fall off onto a separate piece of paper. Return them to their proper bowl. Seed mosaics can be as simple or elaborate as the child likes.

Spring Potpourri

A small pot filled with homemade potpourri can be used as a fragrant blessing for your home.

  • 45 drops rose oil
  • 1 cup oak moss
  • 2 cups dried dogwood blossoms
  • 2 cups dried honeysuckle blossoms
  • 1/2 cup dried violets
  • 1/2 cup dried daffodils
  • 1/2 cup dried rosebuds
  • 1/2 cup dried crocus or iris

How To Dry Flowers

Mix the rose oil with the oak moss, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and then store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.

The above recipe for “Spring Equinox Ritual Potpourri” is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich’s book “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes“, page 162, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995

Spring Intentions

  • Ostara is a symbol of the transition into the light.
  • Spring is a time for renewal, rebirth, and bright beginnings.
  • Honoring the brief balance of light and dark at the equinoxes is a powerful way to reconnect with your own wholeness.
  • Use this day to find balance of body, mind, and soul
  • Light a candle to symbolize the return of the Sun (Son), and set your intentions for new beginnings and renewed passion. 
  • *Charge crystals under the Sun, in the light of the equinox, to infuse them with the energy of renewal. Ask them to generously hold the power of the Sun’s radiance, making it readily available to you as the year continues to move forward on the wheel. This ritual is especially powerful at noon when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky, and at the first moment of spring, which varies by geographic location.
  • Make a birch besom as a symbol of renewal, fertility, and new beginnings.
  • Use this day to cleanse, heal, balance your spirit, and regenerate your vital energy.

*Ostara Blessing

Speak, Ostara, of hope and growth – your gifts to us.
Teach me the ways of light
and reveal the path of illumination
as I prepare to transcend.
Shedding my cold winter skin,
I activate my sanctity,
burning away what no longer serves me.
I emerge from my hibernation,
awaken my dormant energy,
and blossom with the spring.
Amen, A’ho, So it is.

From: Sage Goddess

Poems

Beginning 

by Warren Hanson

This is the Beginning…
This is where it will all start,
on the wings of some new Spirit with the Beat of some new Heart.
Every morning brings a Promise.
Everyday has Gifts to give.
But Today…Right Now…this Minute…
is when I begin to Live.
And the air that I am breathing
is the breeze of what could be,
as I stand here looking out
on all the things that could be Me.
And the road that goes before me,
leading somewhere out of sight,
is a brand new Opportunity for me to get it Right.
This is the Beginning.
This is Once upon a Time…
There are dragons to be vanquished!
There are castle walls to climb!
But this story isn’t written yet.
I’m only on page One.
The Adventure that’s awaiting me has only just Begun.
There are Mysteries and Treasures.
There are daring deeds to do!
And if I speak the secret word, then all my Wishes will come true.
That Magic Word has powers that can make the heavens spin.
But it really is no Secret that the password is…”Begin!”

So, this is the Beginning…
My Beginning.
My Rebirth.
I Awaken to the Wonder
of what I am Really worth.
It is a Springtime for the Spirit, and it’s Giving me a Choice.
So I choose to Use this season as a reason to Rejoice!

Ostara Meditation

Create a Flower Mandala and Meditate

This is another activity that can be done alone or with others. Collect flowers, flower petals, crystals and even candles to create a flower mandala. Play music and burn some incense as you make patterns and spirals or whatever imagery you are drawn to. Put positive energy throughout your creation process. When you finish sit in meditation with the mandala and the energy you created.

Freshly baked spicy Easter hot cross buns with glazed white pastry crosses on a white background

Spring Foods

During the Winter we tend to eat warmer and heavier foods. When Spring returns it is time to eat fresher foods that are full of color. Start eating lighter meals made of from fresh, Spring fruits and vegetables.

Honey Fry Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Mix the flours, salt, sugar and baking powder together. Add about 1/2 cup water and mix well, adding a bit more water if needed to make a stiff dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until dough becomes elastic and smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into squares, strips or circles. Deep fry in very hot oil until golden brown. Drain on brown paper bags or paper towels. Drizzle honey in a very thin stream over bread and serve immediately. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon if desired.

Hot Cross Buns with Lemon Frosting

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110°)
1 cup warm milk (about 110°)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 Tbsp. each salt and ground cinnamon
1/4 Tbsp. each ground cloves and nutmeg
2 eggs
3/4 cup currants
1/4 cup finely diced candied orange peel or citron
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, unsifted

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 400°. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Beat in eggs. Add currants, orange peel and enough of the flour (about 4 cups) to make a soft ball. Turn dough out onto floured board; knead until smooth and satiny (10-20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Turn dough over in greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down and divide into 36 equal pieces; shape each into a smooth ball. Place balls about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Brush each gently with egg yolk mixture. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 35 minutes).

Bake in a 400° for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack for about 5 minutes; then with a spoon or the tip of a knife, drizzle frosting over top of each bun to make a small “X”. Makes 3 dozen.

Lemon Frosting:
Combine:
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. water

Stir together until smooth.

Sunshine Punch

1 qt. cranberry juice
1 c. sugar
2 c. orange juice
1 c. pineapple juice
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 c. chilled ginger ale
1 pint pineapple sherbet

Blend the cranberry juice, sugar, fruit juices, and almond extract. Refrigerate, covered, until serving time. Just before serving, stir in the ginger ale and sherbet.

Early Spring Salad With Creamy Lemon Dressing

4 cups wild greens

Dressing:
1-1/2 cups olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp rosemary
1 cup water
1 tsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp miso
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/2 cup any cooked root vegetable (potatoes, yams, yuccas, evening primrose root, etc.)
1/2 small onion
Juice of 1 lemon
Small handful parsley or cilantro

Wash the greens and pat dry with towels.
Chop greens into bite-sized pieces.
Into a blender, add oil, water, and lemon. Blend. While the blender is running, put in the remaining ingredients except root vegetable. This will prevent anything from getting stuck under the blender blades.
Blend until smooth, then add the root vegetable to thicken the dressing. Vary the amount of the root vegetable according to how thick you like your dressing.
Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

SOURCE: http://indianspringherbs.com/salads.htm

Dandelion Salad

**DO NOT pick dandelions from a lawn that has been chemically treated**

1 Tb vegetable oil
1 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 c. young dandelion leaves
1/4 c. sliced green onion or leeks
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 c. grapefruit or tangerine sections or mandarin oranges
Dandelion blossoms, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar. Combine dandelion leaves and onions; add dressing and toss to coat. Arrange on two salad plates; top with eggs and fruit. Garnish with dandelion blossoms, if desired.

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