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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in apples

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mother Tree

When you see the Tree, you understand right away that this is the Mother Tree of All Apples.

A farmhouse, now long gone, once stood here. Nothing remains but a pile of old foundation stones.

But the Three Springs still bubble from the creek-bed, and feral apple trees fill the Secret Valley.

The Mother Tree is oldest, and biggest, of them all.

Orchard trees are pruned, bred low for easy picking. This tree has known neither pruning saw, nor the shade of other trees. Three with outstretched arms could barely span its girth.

Approach, and understand. Three sister trees—sprung, maybe, from a single apple—have grown up together, merging, in mutual embrace: the Three that are One, the One that is Three. You'd go far to find a better image of the Triple Goddess.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Old Covenant

Life for life: the Old Covenant.

(The Old Oneness, we would say in the old Witch language.)

And the sign and seal of the Old Oneness—“There's a oneness between us”—is the apple.

The apple is deep, deep. At its heart, cut one way, the Gate of Life (i.e. yoni). Cut the other, the fivefold Star of Birth, Life, Love, Death, and Rebirth.

They say that Elfhame's Queen took a mortal man to be her bard and lemman: Thomas Rhymer he was called.

Seven years he served her: and all his payment was an apple.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Awww, thank you ! I am honored. You are most kind. Blessings Bright, Tasha

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Contract with Death

Life is a contract with death, annually renewed.

At Samhain, we renew the contract.

At Samhain we stand before the great black void of Non-Existence.

She offers us an apple.

Others die; we eat. Some day, we will die and others eat.

The ancient story: feed and feed.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Good eye, Tasha. It's based on the Samhain ritual that we've been doing for...well, decades now. Which in turn is based upon one o
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Interesting...Apples and symbols, bobbing for apples, Snow White and the apple...lots of interesting stuff there. Love myths and t
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Oh My! Is this based on an actual myth or is it simply a metaphor? Just curious. Very special! Thanks for sharing, Blessed Be, Tas

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Rites of Autumn

I asked a friend what family wisdom he felt he'd inherited from his ancestors.

“Work hard and live frugally,” he said. “And when times are good, set aside a little something for when they're not; for hard times will certainly come.”

Well, it's October in Minnesota, and that means that hard times are certainly on the way.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Back to School Partay

Fall Equinox is so tantalizingly close you can taste it. Whether you are a parent who routinely coaches homework, or a "non-traditional" returning bookworm yourself, fall is a glorious time of year. Truth be told, I geek out every year over needing to purchase new school supplies. Often noted as everyone's favorite season because of its best-of-both-worlds weather, rich warm hues in clothing and nature, and an excuse to overindulge in all things scented pumpkin – this is the perfect time for a get together to overindulge with pals in tow. Here's how:

Compile a playlist of several school-themed movie soundtracks: "Breakfast Club," "Dazed and Confused," and "Valley Girl," are just a few that immediately come to mind. "Rock 'n' Roll High School," and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," are other excellent selections.

If folks are game, have everyone dress as an archetype from high school: cheerleader, jock, nerd, drama club weirdo, hippie teacher, hard-ass principal. Dress to reconnect with your former teenage self, or to indulge a fantasy of what it may have been like to be someone else for a day. Let this be a warm-up for Halloween.

One word for food fare: apples. They are so succulent/tasty/lovely/tart/juicy at this time of year, no one can get enough of them. Cut up slices to accompany various cheese plates with grape garnishes, and make them the dipping favorites for a caramel apple sauce centerpiece. If you're feeling ambitious, bake a homemade pie. And by all means, break out the hard cider. Assemble "after-school snacks" of "Ants on a Log," (celery, peanut butter and raisins on top), or "Lincoln Logs Sandwiches." Do not be shy about breaking out a package of Totino's Pizza Rolls or a fresh bag of Cheddar Combos. Believe me, people will delight in the nostalgia.

For other gimmicky fun, create an initiation to gain entry to your event. If leaning more toward a college theme, pop in a DVD of "Animal House." Create a drinking game where everyone does a shot whenever John Belushi  as Bluto pulls a crazy stunt onscreen (food fight, breaking dude's guitar). I leave you with this from the FoodChannel Editor:

"WHAT IS A LINCOLN LOG SANDWICH?

"Question: I was watching the 'Sopranos' and saw Carmella making a dish which she called Lincoln logs. I am curious, what are they? They looked good, so how do you make them what are some of the ingredients?

"Answer: Lincoln Logs (as seen on the 'Sopranos') are apparently hot dog buns or white bread, in which you place hot dogs layered with cream cheese. They can be served warm or cold. They are also known as Seattle Cream Cheese Dogs, although the Lincoln Logs variety is said to be an East Coast version. The basic recipe appears to be:

Take a slice of white bread, spread cream cheese on it, split a cooked hot dog lengthwise and place each half, cut side down, on the bread. To get the Lincoln Log effect, you may need a second hot dog that is laid over the first in the other direction. Some versions appear to mix a little mayonnaise with the cream cheese for spreading ease. You can lightly toast the bread or add a piece of American cheese before adding the spread and hot dog.

"Or, you can try the standard Seattle recipe as found at All Recipes."

Resources:

Photo, "Early Morning," by Carlos Porto at freedigitalphotos.net

FoodChannel Editor. What is a Lincoln Log Sandwich. Foodchannel. The Food Channel®. April 30, 2008.  http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/what-is-a-lincoln-log-sandwich/

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Cicada Song

Well, it's almost here: the time of year that they named the Summerland for.

The apples ripe and fragrant on the branches, and overhead in the trees, that unmistakable, piercing, electric drone.

Welcome to the Season of the Cicada.

Around here they say that the cicadas call only when it's 80° or warmer: clothing-optional weather. To judge from my own experience, this may well be true.

The name comes from the Romans, by way of the French. Before that, say the etymologists, it was a “Mediterranean” word. Who knows? It may even be Minoan.

Because cicadas, like snakes, shed their skins as they grow, and because their nymphs incubate in the earth and pop forth whole and all, they're associated in the Received Tradition with rebirth and immortality. Fittingly do they sing to the dead in the orchards of that Other World.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Golden Apples of the Sun

Robert Graves' novel Hercules, My Shipmate, his iconoclastic retelling of the tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece, opens with an encounter with the Orange Nymph, priestess of the sacred Orange Grove, on Majorca, the Balearic island off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, which Graves portrays as a last bastion of matriarchal civilization and Goddess worship in a rapidly patriarchalizing world.

Rather archly he explains:

The orange is a round, scented fruit, unknown elsewhere in the civilized world, which grows green at first, then golden, with a hot rind and cold, sweet, sharp flesh. It is found on a smooth tree with glossy leaves and prickly branches, and ripens in mid-winter, unlike any other fruit. It is not eaten indiscriminately in Majorca, but once a year only, at the winter solstice, after ritual chewing of buckthorn and other herbs; thus eaten, it confers long life. At other times, the slightest taste of an orange will result in immediate death, so sacred a fruit is it; unless the Orange Nymph herself dispenses it (Graves 4).

This tongue-in-cheek passage is doubly a send-up. In it, the mythological Island of the Hesperides with its legendary Golden Apples of Life become a real-world place—in fact, the island on which Graves made his home for most of his adult life—and a real-world fruit. Likewise, Graves is satirizing a longstanding British custom: generations of English kids grew up with that exotic and expensive Southron fruit, the orange, tucked into the toe of their Christmas stocking.

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