Brightest blessings for a wonderful Samhain one and all. B and I are currently in New York so it's tricky to celebrate right now but we'll make sure we have a drink to toast our missed loved ones tonight and will do something special when we get home. Love and light. Xx
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Saturday, 13 October 2012
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Autumn is here...
The leaves are starting to turn - golden, bronze, red and copper - and drop to the ground. I am excited to get to the day when they are crunchy and I can kick my way through them.
I truly love this time of year, even though I am filled with apprehension about what it signifies: winter and the cold months. The darkness doesn't suit me - I mourn the loss of the light more with each passing year. It seems to affect me more than it ever used to and I long to hibernate.
But autumn I love.
I am looking forward to the smell of wood-smoke and mulled cider; the sight of an array of pumpkins and gourds decorating the green-grocer's windows; wrapping up warm in my scarf, gloves and boots on a crisp, bright day; and of course my favourite holiday sabbat - Hallowe'en (or Samhain, as I call it).
The countdown to Hallowe'en begins here. Last year I filled this space with autumnal recipes, ideas and rituals for celebrating this magickal time of year. My intention is to do the same this year but I would also love to hear yours - so please do leave comment with a link to your autumnal posts.
Sunday, 30 September 2012
In no particular order, here are some of the things I have been thankful for and enjoyed this September...
A chance to catch up with my favourite girls, at a friend's beautiful wedding.
Seeing 'The Lion King' musical.
A day in Oxford and the chance to snap some portraits for a friend.
Time off work each week - and being able to spend a morning leisurely enjoying a coffee and croissant without having to rush into school. Bliss.
A lovely weekend in glorious Pembrokeshire with my mum.
I feel like I've crammed a lot into this month, in spite of it also including my return to work. Normally that means I have no energy for anything else, but reducing my hours and rethinking my priorities has meant that this year I have thoroughly enjoyed my September. I'm determined that this good balance in my life will continue through the autumn.
What are you thankful for, as this month draws to a close?
Friday, 21 September 2012
Mabon is the celtic name for the Autumn Equinox, which falls this weekend. To be precise, it falls tomorrow - 22nd September 2012 - at 14:49 UTC/GMT. The equinox is the point of equal darkness and light within the day (literally 'equal night') and in the northern hemisphere it will mark the point when darkness begins to win. As of tomorrow, we will have more darkness in our day than light.
So why the apples? In the Celtic wheel of the year, the autumn equinox - or Mabon - marked the harvest of the fruits. Still today, there are celebratory gatherings around the country for the apple harvest: cider tastings, apple days and general merriment and thanksgiving that we have fruit to harvest.
Perhaps more significantly than that, it marks the point in the year when we instinctively know we will be getting little more from the earth - it will get cold and dark and we must gather what we can to keep us going through the winter months.
And this is why I love these apples. Just look at them. A perfect circle, inside which is a perfect star.
The fruits of our labours, inside which are the seeds for our next turn of the wheel. We can learn so much from nature - not least that it is never done. The work and the journey - the life - does not end just because the seasons turn.
As I bite my apple this Mabon, not only will I be giving thanks for the rewards I have earned this year; I will be contemplating the seeds I will sow next. I hope you will be doing the same - and I hope you have a warming glass of mulled cider to do it with.
Brightest Mabon blessings.
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
For the last couple of weeks, we have seen bales of hay being gathered and drying in the fields around us.
The harvests have been happening - wheat, hay, vegetable crops. And the bees have been busy harvesting the last of the pollen from the remaining flowers.
There is a recognisable chill in the air in the mornings and a faint reddish-orange tinge starting to appear on the leaves of some trees.
I'm trying to make the most of the end of summer and appreciating the still-light evenings and slight warmth the sun still possesses. There's no denying, though, that Autumn is around the corner. I am very much looking forward to the new season and cosying down with spiced cider and pumpkin pie. Not long now!