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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in apples

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Ecker's Apple Farm

Territories of Time


Witches, like other predators, are territorial animals.

Territories of place, though, are not the only kind of territory.


“So, how was your Fourth?”

I'm talking with Aura who, at 84, has as good a claim to being Grandmother to the local community as anyone. (Of Carl "Llewellyn" Weschke's very first crop of initiates, she alone remains: still fully engaged, still sharp as an athame's edge.)

My question was casually intended, mere open-ended conversation-fodder.

Little did I realize down what paths it would lead.


Unlike pagan immigrants like me—there are many here—Aura's an autochthon, born right here in Minneapolis, the Water City. (That's what the name means literally: a Dakota-Greek hybrid, aptly enough.) What had she done with her Independence Day? She had spent it driving around with one of her daughters-in-the-Craft, tracking down all the places where she's lived in this pagan city during her long and rich life.

Witches do this kind of thing. The Wise remember, and place is the medium of our memory. My own coven, too, has done the driving tour of all our various covensteads through our now-going-on-50-year-history.

Territories of place are not the only kind of territory.


It took them a while to track down the first house where Aura lived after she was born: she hadn't seen it in years. Finally, they managed to locate it. Her eyes sparkle as she tells me.

“Was I ever surprised when I looked across the street and saw your car in the driveway,” she says.

Turns out it's right across the street from my house.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Blossom Time #2 Apple Blossom – GOT website


I was wearing my teasing little red shorts,

you were following me through the woods.

I kind of thought you were after me.

So did she, apparently, but you ended up

with her that night instead. So we didn't.


Decades later, I message you at Samhain,

wishing happy new year. I don't text,

you text back, call. But I don't call,

knowing the overwhelming torrent of words

would drown me. So we don't.


Now, if anywhere, you walk the flowering plains

of the Land of Youth, piping among the apple trees.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Heart of Samhain


They enter from opposite ends of the circle: he in antlers and bare chest, she shrouded in shadow.

A flute sings. They join hands and dance.

Their dance ended, she reaches into his chest. He gives an involuntary, back-of-the-throat groan, and falls back.

Over him, she opens her hand: an apple, pulsing in the firelight. I wince at the juicy squelching noises as she cuts it up.

The pieces pass. We eat. On my palate, dull from fasting, the juice sings like autumn rain.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Pretty much everything that you really need to know about paganism, you can learn from the novels of Rosemary Sutcliff.

Thanks to her, I—a little tow-headed kid in suburban 1960s Steeltown, USA—grew up knowing about Samhain and Beltane, Horned Gods and Kings who Die for Corn. Each year at Samhain, I pour to her hallowed memory.

Recently, rereading her novel The Lantern Bearers, I came across a poem in which a Woman of the Other Side, one of the Undying, the Lordly Ones, calls from That Land, the Land of Youth, to a mortal listener here in our world. In the haunting images and bright enameled colors of the Celtic Otherworld, she calls, and the birds of Rhiannon sing.


Song of the Woman of the Sidhe

To Oisín*

The apple tree blooms white

in the Land of the Living;

the shadow of the blossom

falls across my door stone:

a bird flutters in the branches, singing.

Green is my bird

as the green earth of men,

his song is forgetfulness.

Listen, and forget the earth.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

236 Apple Cut Middle Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime

 Cross-cut, the apple

(sacred fruit of witches)

reveals its secret star.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Love Apple Brandy Spirits

Here is a delightfully easy recipe that will produce a flavorful homemade liqueur that smells as good as it tastes. If you are interested in making a hassle-free bottle of special spirits, apples are a wonderful way to start. Start with these ingredients:

  • 4 apples, sweet ones, not sour
  • 2 cups brandy
  • 2 cups vodka
  • Clean and sterilized one-quart Mason jar


Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



I saw a squirrel with a newspaper this morning.

No, seriously. I actually did see a squirrel with a newspaper.

Well, with a sheet of newspaper, anyway.

In the first hour after sunrise, before people are up and about, the city belongs to the squirrels. (I actually groaned when I saw where the Sun came up today: already so far South of his Northern-most Midsummer rising, rapidly approaching due East and the Equinox.)

At that hour, it was just me and the squirrels. I'd gone out to collect a case of apples: the next best thing to having an apple tree yourself is to have picking rights on someone else's.

That's when I saw the squirrel. Actually, in the still morning I heard it before I saw it. Compared to a squirrel, a full sheet of newspaper is huge, but the squirrel was doing his best to drag the awkward thing along. Unfortunately, he was trying to walk with one forefoot on the ground and the other on top of the sheet, and not having an easy time of it.

A squirrel with a newspaper? Yep, it's that time of year. Sun going South: Winter coming. Now, as the apples are picking, is time to start insulating that dray of yours with all those good air-trapping things like leaves and sheets of newspaper, that are going to keep you warm through the cold to come.

(Good old English. What other language has a specific name for a squirrel's nest?)

The squirrel lining its nest, me gathering the apples that I'm going to cook down into the applesauce that will sweeten the long nights ahead.

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