Saturday, September 24, 2011
Last night we gathered in our Sacred Temple, a place made Holy by the many rituals and workings done there. In that place, where the Goddesses have been invoked and honored, where the Ancestors and Spirits of nature around us and the Other realms, seen and unseen, have been honored, once again we made that space sacred to honor the turning of the season and welcome the Autumn of the Year, the waning time, the descent of Persephone into the Underworld, the mourning of Demeter, Her Mother, and the guidance and magick of Hekate, the Cosmic Soul.
We traveled into the dark realms, the inner and deep Earth, where healing, nourishment, fear, danger and knowledge of the Mysteries awaited us if we had the courage and abilities to find our way. We descended into that place belonging to our Matron, Mistress of the Three Realms, Queen of all Magicks, Cosmic Soul and, in fact, Dame Fate, Herself.
She took us for an intense ride, but Her blessings were upon us as we traveled the Ghost Roads in search of ourselves and the path She has laid before us. May we be strong and able to achieve the tasks She sets us. For we are Hekate's daughters, by blood and bone, by spirit and choice, our choice and Hers! So we proclaimed it and so it is, by the waning moon, by the waning year and sealed with our blood!
To all of you, a blessed and happy Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home and Second Harvest. May you know abundance in all that is most important in your lives. Many thanks for visiting me here and allowing me to share my thoughts with you, for sharing your thoughts with me. And may She who is our Mother, always make Herself known to you, may She keep you well as you trod this path we have been given.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Lady Autumn, Queen of the Harvest,
I have seen You in the setting Sun
with Your long auburn tresses
blowing in the cool air that surrounds You.
Your crown of golden leaves is jeweled with amber, amethyst, and rubies.
Your long, flowing purple robe stretches across the horizon.
In Your hands You hold the ripened fruits.
At Your feet the squirrels gather acorns.
Black crows perch on Your outstretched arms.
All around You the leaves are falling.
You sit upon Your throne and watch
the dying fires of the setting Sun
shine forth its final colors in the sky.
The purple and orange lingers and glows like burning embers.
Then all colors fade into the twilight.
Lady Autumn, You are here at last.
We thank You for Your rewards.
We have worked hard for these gifts.
Lady Autumn, now grant us peace and rest.
By Deirdre Akins
Monday, September 19, 2011
An Autumn Day
Tell me when the days turn cold
And the crisp, bitter nights set in
I'll bid adieu, adieu to the sun
And embrace the northern winds
Wake me from my restless sleep
For the trees will crackle soon
And Shed their cumbersome coats and dance
Bare with me and the moon
My mouth how it waters in pure delight
Dreaming of scented dregs
Cinnamon, pumpkin, apple spice
Swirling in my head!
And on Halloween, I'll await you where
The headless one rides by
Chasing after phantom fools
And so this night shall I,
September days may shorten in length
October evenings can fright
November rains may fall and freeze
Over the Saman night
But deep within the heart
Of the dormant Earth
The little buds await the Fall
To ensure them of rebirth
And so I sit much like them
Dependent in every way
Upon the plentiful harvest,
Of an autumn day.
B. R. Jording
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
As the Autumn Equinox approaches, I am planning my rite and celebration for this, the Witch's Thanksgiving and the second of the harvest festivals. Unlike many Pagans, I do not celebrate Mabon because it is a Celtic-inspired celebration. As I am dedicated to the Dianic Goddess path, I choose to honor those Goddesses whom I feel represent the mysteries of this time of year - Hekate, my matron Goddess, Demeter, who has given us the harvest and Persephone who begins Her descent into the Underworld.
In Ancient Greek religious rites a flame was always lit for Hestia first and extinguished last - for Hestia, thine is the first and last. Leaving the patriarchal overtones of Hellenic Greek religion, I keep this honoring of Hestia who blesses hearth and home. I am the keeper of the flame in my home, she who nourishes and sustains my little family guided and blessed in this role by Hestia. Both the hearth and stove are kept sacred to Her - a reclaiming of woman as Queen and Mistress of the Home. A woman may do anything she chooses today, any profession or none, being a mother and wife or remaining single, independent and free even when sharing her life with a partner. This includes honoring herself as the priestess of her home.
Before beginning any rite and also once weekly, I light a special flame for Hestia, to honor Her and show my devotion. For ritual workings, this becomes my witch fire; for the blessing of hearth and stove, a simple prayer and offering. I share here the invocation I use for the Equinox.
Invocation to Hestia For the Autumn Equinox
(recite and light candle or lamp before beginning the main rite)
You, Hestia, the Keeper of the Sacred Flame,
I light this flame in Your holy name.
(light the candle or lamp)
Come, be honored here in the home temple
of a Priestess of the Olde Ways.
Gathered together in this temple are those who
honor and revere You.
Receive our praises, Beloved Hestia.
As time stands still and the light fades,
Bring to this hearth and home Your warming fire.
Lady, light the flame in our hearts and hearths.
(an offering of incense such as cinnamon and clove or other such
kitchen herbs should now be made)
Hestia, Light of Heart and Hearth,
We offer sweet spices, we offer our praise.
(from the forthcoming, A Book of Artes & Charms, copyright 2011 E A Kaufman)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
copyright 2010 E A Kaufman
... all things change and pass in the end,
and when they are past we must rest and forget.
That too is the law of the gods.
When the summer is over, the land must sleep,
root and stone and water and earth:
the seed in the furrow, the beast in the hole,
the leaf on the tree giving itself to the air,
lightly - lightly - no weight staying it
- to fall to the ground and to rest.
To rest and to rest, safe on the ground,
deep under the snow,
with nothing to trouble it, only to rest.
... Rest, rest and forget.
The seed to the furrow, the beast to the hole,
the leaf to the ground,
and all to rest and forget.
- from The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope -
Happy September! Ah... how I love the change from August to September. The great wheel of the seasons slowly, slowly moving. I look forward to certain tasks - changing the quilt on our bed, mixing a new cinnamon and clove pot pourri. I also pull out my worn and spattered recipe for apple butter, waiting for new apples to arrive. And then... pomanders! Those clove studded oranges that leave my fingertips stained brown and scented with cloves and orange no matter how many times I wash them. Delish! They add that wonderful orange spice scent to my home along with the apple butter. Oh... and my favorite Fanny Farmer Apple Cake recipe - also spattered and worn - scrumptious, buttery and spicy. Casseroles, stews, soups - all the recipes come out and so what if it is still warm outside? Inside, Autumn is about to arrive! It all makes me feel so Septemberish. Ah, if only I could live in Autumn all year long!
And, of course, there are magicakal tasks too; brews, herbal blends to prepare; spells and rituals to review - all for the coming season - The Autumn Equinox and Hallows; dark moons and full moons.
So tomorrow, upon rising, the September tasks begin! A delightful day ahead.
My very soul is wedded to it.
If I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
- George Eliot -