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Posts Tagged ‘Autumn 2011’

Gathered the last of the tomatoes, and one lone cucumber.  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

I love autumn. The weather is exactly how I like it, the changing leaves are so inspiring, and the mosquitos and poison ivy are less of a concern when I take nature walks. I also really enjoy winter. Sweaters, hot cocoa, cooking hot dinners that warm the whole house up … Yet as An Cailleach makes herself known a little more each morning and evening, I do feel a bit of sadness about my garden.

I think it was more of a success this year than last, in part because I wasn’t healing from a large slice in the abdomen. However, a newly mobile toddler didn’t exactly make gardening any easier… I did what I could, though, and got a lot of joy out of sharing it with my daughter.

The most successful parts of my garden this year were the tomatoes, although they came into their own later due to my late planting. I also had a great potato harvest and did more wild harvesting around my home. The scarlet runner beans did well, and were certainly pretty, but they’re very tough beans. Next year, I’ll probably go with something that I can enjoy eating raw rather than something as pretty. I would also like to plan better so that I can extend the life of my garden into the autumn. I may still try to plant garlic in preparation for the spring…

Although I’ll miss my garden, autumn in Northern NY reminds us that everyone needs a rest. The soil and the perennials will soon cover up with a snowy blanket.  When I transplanted my bulbs, I thought about how they symbolize the spring and all the new life that is possible because of that sleep.  While the beginning of winter is often a stressful flurry of activity, what follows the winter holidays is a long season in which many of us will become restless.  As I prepare my garden for its hibernation, I’ve been thinking about how I need to make my own time to relax this season.  Yes, some of that rest will include dreaming and planning for the green half of the year, but as long as I’m doing it leisurely with a cup of hot tea, I’ll be doing my mind, body, and spirit a favor.

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The wheel of the year has turned and, once again, we find ourselves entering the dark half of the year with Samhain.  Our ancestors walk the Earth once more now that the veil is thin.  The Cailleach is awake and covers the land with her frosty shroud.  The Morrigan flies overhead looking out for the sick and weak to pick off.  The Pooka claims the last of the year’s berries on the vine.  Winter is here.

How does this Druid mark the occasion?

On Saturday, Weretoad and I went to Muin Mound to celebrate.  It was a magical celebration held in the main nemeton.  We hardly see it outside of Samhain.  It’s usually too buggy or caked with snow to get to.  We lit torches and stood in a grove of trees filled with glowing jack-o-lanterns to honor our ancestors.

This year’s jack-o-lanterns carved from pumpkins and turnips.  Weretoad’s are on the left and mine on the right.  Many in my grove talked about waning to carve turnips as is traditional, but worried it would be too difficult.  Hubby and I have been doing it for four or five years now and it’s actually quite easy.  Perhaps a workshop is in order for next year?
Of course we have candy for any trick-or-treaters.  It’s so much fun to see the wee ones in their costumes.
I did a *ton* of baking.  Vegan veggie pot pie for pot luck at the grove.  It was delicious!  Of course, we gave a slice to the ancestors.
I also made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with the goop from our jack-o-lanterns.  Some of these were given to the ancestors as well.

I worked on an offering for The Morrigan.  This was placed on the fire.  It looked quite gruesome as it burned but seemed a very fitting as a gift to Lady Death.
Offerings for the ancestors at our family altar.  If you look close, you can see the swirl of incense smoke…

 

Delicious baked pumpkin seeds, freshly made green juice (I’m calling it Witch’s Brew), and my newly arrived “Oak Leaves” – complete with articles for Yule!  I’m already excited. :D
I hope your Samhain is enjoyable and that you have a blessed new year!  Before bed, I’m going to do some divination.  It is a good time for it!

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The Morrigan is to be honored at Samhain as she is the Goddess of death.  What’s more, when An Dagda slept with her on a Samhain night, she, a Goddess of sovereignty and battle, looked to the Tuatha de Dannan with favor and brought them victory in war.  Samhain is her time, thus the reason for my posting this song – “The Morrigan” by Omnia.

 

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I couldn’t resist posting “This is Halloween” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”  It’s a great reminder of the fun (and even the necessity) to feel a little scared from time to time.  Samhain is a good holiday to reflect on our fears, especially those associated with death and the denizens of the Otherworlds.  While there are some who should be avoided and respectfully distanced, most are just part of life.  Spirits of death and decay are really just psychopomps to another state of being.  Samhain, while a somber occasion to remember our departed loved ones, is an excellent time to celebrate life and take solace in the humbling fact that we’re all going to die – we might as well have some fun while we can!

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This one is a bit corny sounding (something about the rock sound…) but I like it around this time of year.

“Samhain” by Inkubus Sukkubus

“Death has come for the summertime and to take the leaves of spring!”

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Tonight I give you “All Souls Night” by the ever wonderful Loreena McKennitt.  This song really gets me in the mood for Samhain…

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“Witches Brew” by Omnia.  This makes me want to dance  under the moon…

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