Autumn & Crafts & Spice, Oh My!Posted September 10 2013
I cannot contain myself! And I know I am not the only one. Fall is right around the corner, squeee! Soon (I hope?) I can open my windows and feel the cool breeze dance it's way through my house, carrying with it the smell of pumpkin and spice. In Florida that is a big deal since we really do not have changing seasons like some lucky folks in other parts of the country. Mabon is September 22 for all of us in the Northern Hemisphere but I more want to focus this article on what everyone is doing in their homes to bring in the spirit of Fall.
I don't always get to gather with my brothers and sisters to celebrate the holidays. I think that Mabon, this year, may be one of those times I cannot make it unfortunately. We also just moved a month ago and I have not gotten everything unpacked and set up since I have been so busy with the kids starting school and getting everything organized from one place to another. But I plan on setting my altar up for Mabon with beautiful Fall colors, candles, gourds, pumpkins, shelled nuts, etc. I am really excited that I have a fireplace and mantle now, so I will put leaves on the mantle with candles as well as pumpkins and gourds in my front porch. Something simple to everyone that sees it but every time I see these things in my house I will be reminded of the meaning and be ever so grateful. And, for me, when I do my solitary ritual I will have a pomegranate on my altar that night for hte beautiful Persephone and Demeter.
My daughter is only 5 but, just as with anyone with their child, I plan on doing crafts with her to celebrate Autumn. She also LOVES to help me in the kitchen, go figure, the apple doesn't fall far from the kitchen witch tree (teehee). Listed below are the ideas I have in store.
Making a centerpiece from Mother Nature.
-Collect pine cones, sticks, leaves, acorns and anything else you think will be good for a centerpiece. Be careful to get all the critters out, one year I didn't and scorpions crawled out of the pine cones onto my kitchen table.
-Arrange in a good size bowl, add cranberries and a pillar candle.
Pine cone Swag.
-Collect several pine cones (again, get all the critters out first) and paint with different acrylic colors.
-Use 18 gauge wire, twist a piece to create a loop and hot glue twisted/pointy part to stem of pine cone. I have jewelry tools but if you don't you can just use scissors to cut the wire and 18 gauge is easy enough to twist by hand.
-Tie different length ribbons through loops and tie all of them in knot at top.
Fairy House. Since we have moved, I think it's time to make a new fairy house for our Fae friends. May not seem too Autumn like but to me it make perfect sense since more things are falling from the trees this time of year.
-Gather twigs and sticks that have fallen from the tree, and rocks.
-I try to do mine as natural as possible but twine is fine to use if something needs to be tied.
-I also use rocks, small natural stones bits that I have for jewelry making, anything that fairies will like but is not damaging to Mother Earth if it gets lost in the dirt over time.
-Just start leaning and stacking the sticks and placing things where you think they should go, trust me, it'll turn out in the end just as it should be.
-I also think I will leave some cinnamon sticks this time around.
Kitchen Witchery...or just baking: ;)
There are so many things that can be made in the kitchen during the Fall season. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves and more. Oh my goodness, I can smell it now! I am going to keep it simple so my 5 year old can help me, so this is a time for baking. She loves to help me measure things out and mix things up. I still have to figure out which recipes I want to use but I see a lot of cookies and muffins in my future. Here are some of the more popular spices used for the season and the magical uses.
Allspice- Money, Luck, Healing
Cardamon- Courage, love and passion.
Cinnamon- Spirituality, Success, Healing, Power, Psychic Powers, Protection, Love
Clove- Protection, Love, Money
Ginger- Love, Money, Success, Power
Nutmeg- Prosperity, divination, love, luck, clarity of mind, protection, uplifting and healing.
Usually, if my daughter is helping me in the kitchen, I ask her what she would like to put in the food. For example, she helped me make her brothers birthday cake, I asked her what she would like to put in it. At first her obvious thought was chocolate but I told her that I meant emotion, like happiness. So we settled on happiness and love. Even though the spices listed have specific magical uses, you can put any intent with them.
On a side note, I plan on making pumpkin spice liqueur, I found a recipe at serious eats online that seems simple enough and sounds delicious. It makes about 1.5 cups, so I'll be doubling up. And it notes that instead of puree canned pumpkin, fresh pumpkin can be used but to roast the chunks first for best flavor.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 whole clove
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (see note above)
3/4 cup vodka
Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Strain through fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, pressing with the bottom of a ladle to extract as much liquid as possible.
Once syrup is cool, mix with vodka and let rest in a sealed glass container for a minimum of two days. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
I would love to hear about your plans and ideas, I'm always looking for good ideas! I hope everyone enjoys the much needed cool weather coming up (fingers crossed) and have a blessed Mabon.
Until next time. Blessed Be.