Tag Archives: harvest

Harvest Home Fruit Magic

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appleWith another harvest holiday coming up, I thought this would be an auspicious time to share with you one of my favorite tricks from ye olde kitchen witch cupboard: a simple all-purpose fruit spell.

For this easy method of magic, one chooses a fruit of the appropriate symbolism, clearly visualize your goal or desire (see associations below, or use your own intuition). Then speak the words of your spell and eat the fruit.

I find that the ever-popular apple makes a great all-purpose fruit for this spell, so I like to keep some around. If you have chosen a large enough fruit, you could also carve runes or symbols of your goal into it. You could juice it into a potion, or bake it into a pie with symbols formed in the crust. You could even slice up a piece of fruit and share it in a group spell. If using an apple, you could slice it horizontally to reveal the star in the middle, eat around the center and make a wish on the star then bury it.

Below you will find the words I have crafted for a general fruit spell, and some associations I have for some common fruits. Of course, this spell could be used for other foods as well.

“Fruit of Earth, the Mother’s gift,
with you I seek a fateful shift.
With my goal placed well in mind,
your taste brings forth my will in kind.”

Harvest Home Fruit MagicFruit Associations for Magic
Apple: health, vigor, youthfulness, wholesomeness, and love.
Blackberry: abundance, prosperity, and protection.
Cherry: love, desire, passion, and playfulness.
Blueberry: protection, happiness.
Fig: sexuality and fertility.
Grapes: fertility, prosperity.
Lemon: cleansing and purifying.
Orange: friendship, courage, luck.
Paw-paw: protection, love, or revenge.
Peach: love, beauty.
Pear: love and desire.
Persimmon: joy and wisdom.
Pomegranate: desire, commitment, mystery, lifeblood.
Raspberry: love and protection.
Strawberry: youthful attitude, love and happiness.
Watermelon: joy, freedom, prosperity.

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Foraging in Autumn

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According to Billy Joe Tatum, these are some of the wild edibles we may find in the autumn of the year: acorn, amaranth, Bee balm, Black cherry, Black haw, Black walnut, Butternut, Chickweed, Chickory, Chinquapin, Chives, Dandelion, Day Lily, Dittany, Dock, Elderberry, Garlic, Grape, Ground cherry, Hickory nut, Huckleberry, Jerusalem artichoke, lamb’s quarters (seed), Mint, a variety of mushrooms, Mustard (seeds), Pawpaw, Pecan, Persimmon (after the first frost), Prickly pear fruit, Purslane, Raspberry, Sassafras, Sumac, Sweet goldenrod, Violet, Watercress, Wild ginger, Wild plum, Wild rice, Wild rose hips, Winter cress, Wood sorrel, and Yucca.

I have foraged (or “wild crafted”) a few of these myself at one time or another.  September is “nutting time”, and there are several nut trees just a few steps from my door.  I think I got most of the pawpaws from the small pawpaw patch that I found.  As for dock, I didn’t know it was still good to pick after the seed heads turned brown, hmmm.  Perhaps if they were cut down by the ditch mowers and new leaves popped up?  Some of these other items I’m going to have to go hunting for.

Autumn Equinox Crafts for Kids

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bean necklaces
Soak beans of various colors in water overnight.  In the morning, they will be soft enough to be pierced through with a needle and string to make necklaces and bracelets.
 

papier-mâché cornucopias
To make this project, first you will need to make some paper ropes.  Here’s how:
1. Lay a full size sheet of newspaper flat and drizzle with thick flour and water paste or glue.  Use a scrap of cardboard to  spread the paste over the entire sheet.
2. Lay another full size sheet of newspaper on top of the paste, 1 inch lower than the sheet below it.
3. Starting from the bottom, roll the 2 sheets together into a tube.
4. Twist the paper tube into a rope.
Now, to make the cornucopia, place a small bowl upside down on your work surface. Wrap one of your paper ropes around the bowl rim with the bowl upside down on the work surface. Cut off any excess length and paste ends together.  Let dry.  (You may need to tape it in place until it dries.)
Next paste one end of another paper rope to ring around bowl, leaving other end free. Attach 7 more ropes around ring in the same way, spacing them evenly.
Bring free ends together over bowl. Pull then off center to form a curved horn shape and paste in place. It will look a little bit like a tomato cage in structure.  Let dry, then remove bowl.
Make more paper ropes to weave into the cornucopia.
Paste end of a new rope to one of the cross ribs near top of basket. Weave other end of this new rope in and out of ribs, repeating with new lengths of rope until all spaces are filled in, using paste or glue where needed.
Let dry, then paint/decorate how you wish.  Fill cornucopia with real or papier-mâché fruits and vegetables.

 

markerpointsamplermarker point samplers
This is a simple and fun art project I found in Family Fun Magazine last year.  All you need are markers in various colors, a pencil, and graph paper.  First, use a pencil to lightly mark out letters and designs on the grid paper.  This example says “give thanks” but if you want to be more elaborate you can spell out “happy harvest” or anything you like.  When you are happy with your design, use markers to X in your design then go back and erase pencil marks.

Autumn Equinox

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The Autumn Equinox is coming up in about 2 ½ weeks.  For those unacquainted with this holiday, there are two equinoxes a year, one marking the beginning of spring (sometime around March 21st-24th), and this one, marking the beginning of autumn (this year its September 22nd).  The equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator, making day and night approximately equal in length.  Celebrating the harvest and feasting are big themes for the Autumn Equinox, but many people do something to celebrate the theme of balance (because of the equal night, equal day thing) as well.

Most Pagans call this holiday Mabon.  I don’t and I’ll tell you why…
This holiday wasn’t always called Mabon.  The name Mabon became connected to the Autumnal Equinox because Grad student Aidan Kelly named it such around 1970, as part of a religious studies project.  (The use of the name “Litha” for the Summer Solstice is also attributed to Kelly.)  He later became a co-founder of the “New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn” and the name for the holiday caught on in the rest of the Neo-pagan community in the U.S.  It was in reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology.  It appears that Aidan wanted to follow the tradition of naming holy days after deities.  But it doesn’t really make sense for this holiday to be named for a Celtic deity.  The big feast days for the Celtic peoples were Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh.  There is really nothing that links the god Mabon to the Autumn Equinox.  And there is no historical evidence of Mabon being worshiped on the Autumn Equinox.

Other names for this holiday used by the modern Pagan community are “Second Harvest Festival”, “Wine Harvest”, “Feast of Avalon”,  “Alben Elfed”, and “Cornucopia”.  I like the name Cornucopia, or just plain Autumn Equinox.  I used to call this holiday “Harvest Home”, but Harvest Home is actually the name of a Christian harvest festival started in the mid-1800s in England that was celebrated at the end of harvest, not necessarily on the equinox.

Having said that, I do like this holiday, regardless of whether or not the ancient Celts celebrated it or what it’s named.  September is a wonderful time of year in Arkansas.  So many delicious foods are ready for harvest- apples, pears, cantaloupes, cucumbers, muscadines, peaches, pumpkins, summer squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and watermelon, just to name a few.  (It’s also paw-paw time, which I’ll post more about tomorrow.)  The heat is tapering off a bit, making this a great time for picnics.  Autumn Equinox has been called the “witches’ thanksgiving”.  I think it should be made our nation’s official thanksgiving.  I would sure vote for it.  According to Mike Nichols, most European peasants were not accomplished at calculating the exact date of the equinox, and so they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, September 25th.  That’s even better.  I vote that we should move our nation’s thanksgiving holiday to September 25th.  (Now who is going to put it on the ballot?)  Wouldn’t that be great though?   Everyone would have that day off of work.  The weather would still be mild enough (in much of the country) for an outdoor feast.  Also, there would be about six weeks dividing up the last three holidays of the calendar year.  It makes a lot more sense than what we have now for the official /national holidays.