Tag Archives: holiday

Thoughts to the harvests

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We’ve passed the Zenith of the year (Midsummer) and must look to the Harvest holidays that soon approach.

Pagans celebrate three harvests in our solar year;

Lammas (or Lughnasadh)- August 1- also known as ‘loaf mass’ celebrates the harvest of the grains. This also celebrates Lugh, the mythic  Sun king, with fairs and games.

Mabon (autumn equinox)- September 23 2014, celebrates the fruits, such as apples and grapes, and the abundance in our lives. This holiday is named after Mabon son of Modron, which is mentioned in the Arthurian legends.

Samhain (October 31) celebrates the end of all harvest, when crops and herds are harvested for the winter months. Preparations for winter should be completed by this time. Samhain is also recognized as the Celtic New Year, with this day belonging to neither the old year or the new, where the Veil between the worlds of mortals and the dead/Fey is thinnest.

034I walk my dog every day down by the Potomac River, and I get to see the gradual changes of the season. I see fruits forming on Blackberry bushes, tomatoes in my back yard, and young Canadian geese full feathered and growing fast for the Autumn trek to the North.

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Our Concord Grape arbor is lush with fruit, not quite purple. When its ready, we make jelly and juice, and once we gave the harvest to a meadary which made a special mead for that season.

Not all pagans have literal gardens/harvests. There is also the symbolic crops we plant in the form of goals and dreams. Like gardens, those goals and wishes need tending, sometimes weeding, and occasionally, you might find some things just don’t come to fruition.

Failed harvests, whether real or symbolic, offers a lesson to learn to do better. I re-evaluate the goal, ask myself if I really wanted it in the first place, and face the facts if I gave enough effort to help it come to harvest.

Sometimes its because I didn’t put enough effort into it, while other times, its just how Life works. Either case, don’t let it drag you down- learn from it, and do better next time.

Its this attitude that helps me accomplish goals, even if takes much longer than expected.

What ‘seeds’ have you planted this year? Are you seeing results yet? Post in comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Book of Shadows Assignment: Write down what you’ve done to help the wishes and goals come to harvest. What more do you need to do? When do you hope to see the end product of your goal?

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Some Easter/Ostara Basket Ideas

IMG_0424  Someone once asked me which holiday I celebrate; Easter or Ostara? My answer? Both. Why choose? Being pagan doesn’t mean we can’t recognize, celebrate, and even respect another spiritual path, and if there’s fun activities, I’m all for it!

Here are some of my tips for Easter basket traditions;

You don’t necessarily need a basket. I’ve used a sand bucket and even a big dump truck to put stuff in. My son loved it. Girls might appreciate something like a pretty box, purse, or even tote. Personally, I don’t discriminate gender and would’ve loved a dump truck filled with stuff.

I prefer the paper grass rather than the plastic. I had a cat that liked to eat the stuff, so I gave up buying the plastic. Now I make my own grass out of shredded paper.  You can also buy paper Easter grass , or find even Edible Easter Grass.

Add breakfast food. I added one of those small cereal boxes or fresh baked muffins for my son to eat for Easter breakfast. Sometimes fruit like oranges or grapes also balanced the junk food.

Add the special candy. The thing that’s best about any holiday, in my humble opinion, is the special flavors and candy that comes out then. I love Peeps, Reese peanut butter eggs, and the Cadbury Crème eggs. You might also want to find a candy bulk section in a store to find weird flavors or unique candy. Last Christmas, I found this nut and raisin candy coated stuff that had a weird Nutmeg and Cinnamon flavor. It was awesome.

Add toys!  My son generally got action figures, Hot Wheel cars and some sort of art or craft item. I would also add some books for him (since we read every single night). I would also get him a new stuffed toy. Remember, it doesn’t need to be rabbit-related.

Add blessings. This could be a fun idea for kids to do the night before; have them write out all the blessings they appreciate in life, to leave for the Easter bunny, and they get the stuff in their baskets in return.

What basket ideas do you traditionally do for the holiday? Post in comments.

Preparing for Ostara

EggI am so ready for spring, so sick of the damp chill and constant threat of cold rain and potential for snow. Bring on the sun and warm breezes.

I can smell spring in the air, and you can see the stirrings of flowers and animals. With the spring equinox on the 20th of this  month, its time for

Make Offering Stones

Make Egg Shakers

Mead Recipes

Ostara Recipes

Here is a video CharmingPixieFlora sharing some fun ideas to celebrate Ostara.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQT96iSToFE%5D