In the month of September I attended two Pagan Pride Days (I taught a workshop at one, met Selena Fox at another), attended an Equinox ritual, officiated a same-sex Pagan wedding, finally started my new career as a child and family therapist, and co-facilitated a ritual for World Goddess Day (to list just a few things). In these past four, glorious weeks, it seems like my life has moved forward by leaps and bounds, but really, I feel like everything is spinning out of control. Rather than celebrating, I find myself freaking out, closing myself off, and retreating....
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Greetings, fellow Witches and Pagans, and welcome to our annual marking of the time when light turns to dark. Though Samhain gets more of the attention, Mabon’s an important festival as well, marking the final gasps of summer and the beginning of the long descent into winter. It also marks the midpoint of the traditional harvest season, which begins with Lughnasadh and ends with Samhain.
As we are wont to do, we’ve gathered all of our content about this special time of the year as well as content from elsewhere we thought you’d find interesting. We hope you enjoy and wish you a merry autumnal season!
Yes, I am a Wiccan and I am a staunch advocate for the Wheel of the Year. I have been known to sing the praise-songs for that elegant crucible by waving my hands in the air and intoning--two Solstices, two Equinoxes and in-between there is a time to plant, a time to tend, a time to harvest, a time to rest!
Some of you have seen this explanation--I hope this hasn't been too triggering....
Beer enthusiasts may beg to differ, but there is no other alcoholic beverage that compliments food more splendidly than wine. For this Autumnal Equinox, get in the kitchen and see what can be whipped up for a pairing feast. To get your party started right, try the following impressive appetizer and welcome your guests with a glass of dry sparkling wine to set a festive tone. I used it at a fall wine party a few years back, and it was very well-received.
DATES STUFFED WITH GOAT CHEESE (from WILLIAMS-SONOMA ENTERTAINING, by George Dolese)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs
24 large dates, preferably Medjool
3/4 lb. soft fresh goat cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the dates in a single layer. In a small frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs are evenly golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the bread crumbs to a plate, and let cool.
With a small knife, make a a small lengthwise incision in each date. Carefully remove the pits. Stuff 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese into the cavity left by each dates's pit. Arrange the dates, with goat cheese side facing upward, in the prepared dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. (The dates can be prepared up to this point up to 24 hours in advance. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.)
Bake the dates until warmed through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.
For the main dish, cook up your favorite couscous and toss with some stir-fried and roughly chopped fall produce of the harvest. Toss everything together lightly with some extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Serve it up with a fruity Syrah or Red Zinfandel.
Finish with a dessert plate of assorted apples, grapes, berries and locally-made chocolate. Match with a ruby port or a sassy Riesling. Assign each guest a bottle to bring for one of your courses, and be sure to have some mellow, romantic tunes playing throughout your party. If a round of Indian Leg Wrestling breaks out later, don't say I didn't warn you. ; )
Photo "Wines and Vines," by Xedos4 from freedigitalphotos.net
Sorry about the lack of posts this month! I've been working a lot of extra hours at my day job and then I was busy with Sabbat celebrations. In that spirit, I thought I would share a couple of Autumn Equinox related recipes from my personal formulary....
the Harvest Home altar at Mother Grove Goddess Temple's public ritual...
It's the end of Summer and there are few things on my mind. Yes the rush of back to school preparations usually takes my family by storm, but I am pretty dull lately due to my unwavering focus and inability to talk about anything else. I am obsessed with harvest season.
Ask how I'm doing, I'll tell you my zucchini is doing great, but my pumpkins are coming in very slow and I'm afraid they won't beat the frost....