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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 58 - 9/10/2001
What Are Your Plans For Fall?
Whether you celebrate Pagan holidays such as Mabon and Samhain (Ostara/Beltaine) or not, everyone recognizes the changing of the seasons in some way. From the mundane (Finally gonna clean out that closet?) to the magic(k)al (Oh, those special rituals!), tell us your plans. You can post decorating tips, seasonal poetry, holiday rituals (New Pagans are always interested in these!), recipes (Lots of requests for those, too!), ritual preparations and/or garb or anything else that you think might help other Pagans to get in the mood!
| Reponses: There are 21 responses posted to this question.
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| Greetings All! My Name Is Ladysmith, And And My Tradition Is Germanic... ||Sep 11th. at 12:25:46 pm EDT|
|Ladysmith (Stumptowne, Oregon US) ||Age: 36 |
My name is Ladysmith, and and my tradition is Germanic, Celtic and Slavic. So, here at our house we start with a grand local tradition of attending the Oktoberfest! It is held near the autumn equinox, and this is also the time when the towns farmers have just harvested the hops, the fabulous hops that are festooned on buildings, draped over doorways and soon to be made into next years ales. We go and toast the Gods we honor, Freya and Freyr, Thor and Wodan.
There in the beerhall, the German bands play polkas and such, singing and dancing, laughter and drinking. We sit with our friends and recall what it must have been like at the old harvest festivities. Long before Prince Ludwig married his bride(the German people held the first Oktoberfest as a party for their princes new bride). Back when the harvest was in, and the Old Gods were thanked with a joyous harvest celebration in longhouses and homes all over europe.
So we thank the Old Gods ourselves for a good harvest, and ask that the local farmers continue to have good seasons.We might be of a different faith than they but they raise the food many of us rely on.
Enjoy the coming of winter, revel in the changes how subtle they may be.
If it is only light shift, or the cooler evenings. Or maybe you live in the rockies and the frost comes early, but honor your Gods as you will and
may the see you always!
| When I Became A Pagan, I Was A Little Confused About What... ||Sep 11th. at 2:37:38 am EDT|
|Asta (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
When I became a Pagan, I was a little confused about what to do for the holidays; I live in Hawaii, where the only thing to remind you of the season changes was a calender and decorations at the grocery store. But I'm a little older and a little wiser (I think), and I've come up with an unusual way to mark and celebrate the seasons: Coffee!
I live in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, famous for Kona Coffee. We even have a festival for the stuff. And I live on a coffee farm. Coffee ripens around Samhain and Thanksgiving, so I have harvest rituals in the fields. The coffee blooms in late spring, around Beltaine, and the blossoms smell so sweet that I have a party just to celebrate.
This year I plan to be holding a Mabon Fruit harvest with some friends out in the coffee, and I have decorated my altar with coffee leaves (not the fruit, which is looks like bright red jellybeans, because we have ants). I'll be playing taiko (big Japanese drums) with my group from now until New Years. With the Coffee Festival and the Aloha festivals that are held this time of year, this is our busiest season, and we already have four performances and 2 parades. Fall is not my favorite season, but it is certainly never lacking in interesting stuff to do.
| Let's See, What Am I Doing This Fall? Plan A Wedding For... ||Sep 11th. at 12:25:08 am EDT|
|StarChild (Mansfield, Texas US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
Let's see, what am I doing this fall? Plan a wedding for January (we just moved the date up this afternoon, so I have to redo everything), lose weight to fit into wedding dress, get good grades in fall semester (I so love going to college), continue to eat healthy. Spend time with family. Teach two year old son about autumn and holidays. Explain leaves turning brown really isn't because we didn't water the tree. Find time Saturday to go to DFW's Pagan Pride event before the Clint Black concert starts. Go to CMA's Samhain festival (first festival in 5 years, and I'm not taking the kid! WOOHOO!). Get new car to go to festival in. Deal with fiance's (sp?) family for holiday season. Find a costume other than witch for secular Halloween (I just forget until a day before to get a costume, then have to use stuff already available). Read all of the theology related books that are starting to pile higher than my bedside table (I'm going to get a Masters in theology eventually). Learn more about what herbs grow well in Texas (and remember to water them this time). And then of course, my family stuff. Bake 4 pies for my family, 4 for extended family, 2 for fiance's family, 4 for autumn bake sale. Buy more pie plates. Speaking of pies, I'll give you my pie crust recipe. It is really easy, and everyone tells me that it is the best pie crust in the world. Always turns out flaky and moist.
1/2 cup oil (any type of veggie oil will do, I use canola)
1/4 cup WHOLE milk (whole milk is best, 2% or skim don't turn out as well)
2 cups of flour
Combine oil and milk. Whisk with fork or whatever until the milk is in very small beads in the oil. Slowly add the flour, about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time. Whisk more (about 3 minutes). The mixture will start to look like dough, and create little balls of dough. If there is quite a bit of flour that hasn't combined with the oil mixture, add a tablespoon of milk or water at a time until there is almost no flour in the bottom of the bowl. With hands, form dough into two relatively equal sized balls. Try not to handle the dough too much, as this will make it tougher. Lay out a large sheet of wax paper (I find that wetting the surface prior to this helps the wax paper not slide around so much). Put a dough ball on in, and press into it with the heel of your hand, mushing it down and out. Put another sheet of wax paper on top. Roll the dough out to the size of your pie plate. It is sometimes helpful to flip the dough over (with the wax paper on it) because the bottom piece has a tendency to become wrinkled. Remove top piece of wax paper, and flip crust into pie plate. Gently wiggle your fingers between remaining wax paper and crust to remove paper. Do again with second dough ball. Makes two 9 inch crusts.
It looks really involved, but it isn't. I just tried to make sure I had every detail in there for people who haven't made pie crust from scratch before.
I just use the pumpkin pie recipe on the back of the Libby's Solid Pumpkin can. And the NoneSuch mincemeat (yummy). And for really easy cakes, I use a cake mix and add an extra egg to it (I used to bake the birthday cakes for my mom's work, and everyone there to this day swears they were from scratch).
| Ah, The Fall Is Finally Approaching. What Should I Do? I Have... ||Sep 10th. at 6:32:35 pm EDT|
|Crimson Tiger (Phoenix, Arizona US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
ah, the fall is finally approaching. What should I do? I have just recently moved to Phoenix, AZ. It's September and still scorching hot! I miss the east coast where I could see the leaves change and smell the crisp, cold night air. I think I may move back there just because I love the autumn so deeply.
However I will still celebrate the seasonal change with some new decorations for my altar. And I have already begun to paint again. (it's easier for me to paint in the fall because the energies are darker and more creative to me) Last night I started working on a way to honor my Grandmother who passed away this time last year. I know she is still with me!
Also I will be preparing for my baby. I am due December 3rd- so that's getting kind of close! It's wondrous feeling it kick. And while some things will pass on, I am creating life.
| I Have Only Begun To Explore The Pagan World. I Have Spent... ||Sep 10th. at 6:26:50 pm EDT|
|Loki (Lockport, New York US) ||Age: 37 - Email |
I have only begun to explore the Pagan world. I have spent the year reading and learning on my own hoping to find a comfort zone for my beliefs.
I think I will spend the fall in retrospect of the year, thinking about the many things I have learned and witnessed. I have had my eyes opened in many ways. I have spent the spring and summer watching nature do its thing and I have noted the small inconspicuous changes that took place as the seasons grew and changed. You might say I have spent the year getting in touch with the Lord and Lady and I would like to strengthen that bond that has begun to grow between us by continuing to learn and grow in the coming year.
I have plans to decorate for the coming holidays, I look for ward to that.
Blessed be to all,
| Just The Other Day, For The First Time, Friend Of The Family... ||Sep 10th. at 2:47:59 pm EDT|
|Ciarrai's Two Cent (Somewhere in Somerset County, New Jersey US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Just the other day, for the first time, friend of the family stopped to tell me, "I don't have anything confirmed for Samhaim YET, but if you are interested in..." and I was just so thrilled to hear that. I'm being accepted and possibly taken under the wing of a teacher that would be good to me (I gathered when she said, "gimme a ring when you're ready to talk about Paganism, " and I just smiled and said, "ok, Pumpkin!" She probably thinks I'm nuts or adorable or both. Her husband just looked on! Looks like this Solitary just may be attending her first group festivals this year. It is grand.
I will be in the process of moving, Lord & Lady willing, so yes, will be cleaning out all my stuff in the hopes of having a more organized life in my own place that is truly ALL MINE (and the cat too!) after the divorce. Yippee! Friend noted above and another TWV pal in town both shared with me some wonderful sounding rituals to cleanse the new place. Still pondering some ideas of my own. They're in my head somewhere!
And, yeah, I have to admit: beaucoup shopping...(some things WON'T change!)
| I Love Fall! Watching The Days Grow Shorter And The Leaves Turning... ||Sep 10th. at 12:15:02 pm EDT|
|Lady Flame (Jackson, Tennessee US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I love Fall! Watching the days grow shorter and the leaves turning colors. Just yesterday I picked up the newest addition to our household... a little tabby kitten I've named Autumn Willow.
My tip... Pumpkin carving! Instead of cutting out the top of the pumpkin where the stem is, leave it intact and cut a circular hole out of the bottom. It makes it easier to "gut" the pumpkin and then all you have to do is place the pumpkin over a candle instead of trying to get it placed just right in the uneven bottom. I draw the design on plain paper and tape it to the pumpkin. Much to my husband's horror, I use the smallest bit on his drill to punch small holes around the design and then cut out the pieces. Use a larger bit to make air vents around the top of the pumpkin.
Happy Fall everyone!
| Oh The Fall! How I Love It! (and That's Not Just Because... ||Sep 10th. at 11:20:05 am EDT|
|Merry Arianrhood (West Haven, Connecticut US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
Oh the fall! How I love it! (And that's not just because the kids are going back to school, although that IS an added bonus!) All summer it's been too hot to MOVE, let alone light up the oven and BAKE! So obviously, my plans include breads and cakes and pies and....you get the picture. I adore kitchen witchery - it's so simple and yet so very magickal. So as soon as October hits(my birthday month by the way, although that's not such an exciting thing anymore *heavy sigh*) I'll be out to the farms to collect apples and pumpkins and dried flowers and packets of fresh mulling spices and little Hallow 'een knick knacks to feed my inner child (and my family's bellies)...ad infinitum. You asked for recipes, so here's my (and my family's) favorite pumpkin pie recipe (and nothing says "fall" like pumpkin!):
Merry's Spiced Pumpkin Pie
You can buy a ready made crust if you wish, or use the following basic recipe, from Fanny Farmer:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening (I sometimes use butter instead of Crisco - yum!)
3-4 tablespoons of cold water
Mix the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. (Kitchen athame work well here.) Combine lightly only until mixture resembles coarse meal or tiny peas. (Texture does not have to be uniform, you'll have some bits and pieces of different sizes, which is a GOOD thing because it's the bits of shortening left in the dough that puff and expand, giving the pastry its 'flaky' quality - whatever you do, DON'T try to mix it in a food processor! Okay 'nuff baking mechanics lecture.) Sprinkle water over the flour mixture, a tablespoon at a time and mix lightly with a fork, using only enough water so that the pastry will hold together when pressed gently into a ball. I sometimes find that I need to use a little more water than the recipe calls for to make it workable. (Side note - don't handle this pastry dough anymore than necessary or it will be tough: treat it firmly, not timidly, but don't fuss with it.) On a floured surface, roll out the dough 2 inches larger than the pie pan (this recipe is enough for a single crust 9 inch pie), then fit it loosely but firmly into the pan. Crimp or flute the edges. Prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork and bake in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, just until set. (I learned this trick from a chef I met - it keeps the bottom crust from becoming soggy.) If you wish, take some left over dough, roll it out and cut it into autumn leaf and pumpkin shapes and bake with the crust to top the pumpkin pie after it has been removed from the oven. You can even take a new-fallen oak leaf from out doors (gently wiping it clean of course) and press some dough into the back of the leaf. The leaf will leave impressions of veins, etc. in the dough and you will have a realistic autumn decoration for your pie!
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups cooked fresh or canned (unseasoned)pumpkin, mashed or pureed
1 1/2 cups light cream
1/2 cup Captain Morgan spiced rum (the 'secret' ingredient ;))
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Pour into the already prepared pie crust. (You WILL have some filling left over - save it and make some pumpkin tarts during the week!) Place strips of aluminum foil over the crust (otherwise it will burn), taking care not to cover the pie itself! Place the pie on a foil-lined cookie sheet (believe me - you and your oven will thank me later!)and bake for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 300 degrees F and bake for about 45 minutes or until the filling is firm. Remove the foil strips for the last 20 minutes of baking time if the crust didn't brown during the first, partial baking. Top with baked dough decorations and serve with dollops of fresh whipped cream (or a creamy rum raisin sauce - yummy!) and stand ready to receive the applause of appreciative family, friends and ritual attendees!
This is my idea of autumnal reveling!
| Ah, Autumn! As Is The Case With Many Other Pagans I Know... ||Sep 10th. at 10:39:39 am EDT|
|Autumn (New York - Staten Island, New York US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Ah, autumn! As is the case with many other pagans I know, this has always been my favorite season.....hence the choice of my chosen magical name, Autumn. The air in the northeast becomes crisp and cool (not to mention my hairstyle fares much better in this weather......don't laugh! ).
This fall will be filled with alot of activity for me and my partner. First is the Pagan Pride event in NYC at which our Temple is running an informational booth. There is a wedding to attend.....(fall weddings to me are the most beautiful). In early October, my friends and I will be heading to western Mass for Twilight Covening (this is a great event run by the Earth Spirit community for those who don't know). The annual trip north of NYC for apple picking and choosing a large pumpkin to cut out and some small ones to hollow for holding flowers in for sabbat happens around this time.......this is one of my favorite fall activities, we wreak harmless mischeivous havoc wherever we go! Goes without saying that my main home altar will change in accord with the season. Then it's onto my annual throwing out of all the unnecessary items cluttering our home. After that comes Samhain, which is always one of the most beautiful sabbats run by my HPS and a covenmate. We usually donate canned goods to a local soup kitchen or shelter afterwards. In November this same person and I are beginning an Outer Court and that work has already begun and will continue to take alot of our time. The dilemna for Thanksgiving is the eternal......"who's family will we celebrate with?"
That's all that's planned currently, but I think it's enough for now! I'm sure more will pop up as time passes. Much celebration of the coming into the dark half of the year and preparing for the cold winter!
Hope everyone's autumn is filled with fun and magick!
| Sunday (the 8th) I Went Out Into Red Rock Canyon To See... ||Sep 10th. at 6:15:07 am EDT|
|Anastasia Fortea (Las Vegas, Nevada US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Sunday (the 8th) I went out into Red Rock Canyon to see the beauty of the sun beaming of the rocks, and met by the splash of a rainbow across them as the Goddess appeared.
I'm going to celebrate Mabon and Samhain, but in my own fashion. Living in Las Vegas there is few markers of the winter approach, where I live the only one is the biting wind at night. I still find it appropriate to celebrate, and Samhain has always been my favorite holiday. As a child, for candy, as a teenager for fellowship of friends, and as an adult the crisp feeling of magic stirring through the air. I honor my relatives that have past on in life and their memories always remind me of my "roots" Not magical ones, but ones of protecting the earth and others and myself. Yhis year, I will be celebrating a birth of a new niece, and nephew. (Ah the cycle never ceases!)
I always study more in the harvest time, as kind of a way to reap all the knowledge available. I will enjoy the biting wind and think of the god/dess in the endless cycles of the earth.
| Samhain Holiday Ritual For Me Always Means Skyclad. It Is The 1... ||Sep 10th. at 4:16:44 am EDT|
|Ethereal Moon (Springfield, Illinois US) ||Age: 33 |
Samhain holiday ritual for me always means skyclad. It is the 1 holiday throughout the year that I feel it is appropriate to "shed" the past year, and start the year new with new ideas, goals, etc. It's time now to start getting out the autumn wreaths and place them around my home, as well as spicing up the alter to change the mood. My alter is an apothecary (that holds CD's, for those nosey folks who come around and just have to see)on top of it is a plant, river rocks, 4 candles and a colored scarf, depending on the season. The flowered one will be put away and the earth orange color will replace it. There is one apothecary drawer that holds my other ritual tools, with a lock on it of course. I would hate for my 5 year old nephew to pull out my athame for an unplanned display! I also place something on the alter that I've found in nature around me. In the fall it might be a changing leaf, in the winter it's a pinecone I've found, etc. It's very important to see these things daily as a constant reminder of the cycles the earth is going through. I've found it to gently feed my spirit. Those days that you just want to kick the dog after work and only have 10 minutes before the next planned event like dinner or taking the kids to soccer practice, etc...to stand in front of my alter for a brief moment. There may not be time for a ritual....but for a breath of nature, the rocks, the plant, the piece of the outdoors.
| Hmmm...plans For Fall... Playing In Availble Piles Of Leaves Redecorating The... ||Sep 10th. at 1:14:17 am EDT|
|Sparrow (Cameron, Missouri US) ||Age: 18 |
Hmmm...plans for fall...
Playing in availble piles of leaves
Redecorating the ol' altar (I have my eye on some gorgeous harvet-print material!)
Enjoying the weather
Participating in the comminuty variety show (all $ goes to benefit the local hospital, and it's fun!)
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