A Night of Hekate

Tomorrow we honor the great Dark Goddess, Hekate. Sunset on November 16th marks the beginning of the Night of Hekate. Her origins are Greek but for some Wiccans Hekate has become identified with the Crone stage of the Triple Goddess – the third phase of the Moon Goddess – and is associated with the wintery death of the Earth and the darkside of the Moon.

And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate’s team…

– Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Hekate (also spelled Hecate) is the Goddess of witchcraft and magick, crossroads, doors/gates, and thresholds between the living and the dead. As such she is aligned with the Underworld and the spirit realm. Hekate is the Patroness of Witches. Her priestesses (the most famous was Medea) were trained herbalists and well-versed in the use of baneful herbs. Hekate is the witness to all crimes, especially those against women and children, and may be invoked when justice is not forthcoming from other channels. She has the power to grant (or deny) any mortal’s wish and may be petitioned for swift, painless death.

She honours your own choices, though, and will not protect you from yourself
— and yet She is always there for guidance if you choose to look for Her.

– wicca-spirituality.com

Although Hekate has been known to assume the shape of a black cat, she most often manifests as a mature woman or black dog (esp. female). The frog is sacred to her and she is closely aligned with bats, horses, ravens, and lions. Sacred plants: willow, yew, hellebore, garlic, mandrake, belladonna, and hemlock. Hekate’s emblems are the star and crescent moon and her sacred number is 3. Sapphire, moonstone. black tourmaline, onyx, hematite, smokey quartz are her gemstones.

So at sunset tomorrow, light black candles and burn Dragon’s Blood. Serve a feast of eggs, mushrooms, honey, crescent-shaped treats, raisin & currant cakes, red wine, and mead.

Hecate, goddess of the crossroads, hear my cry,
Protect and guard me under your midnight sky.
Hecate Phosphoros “she who brings the light,”
Hecate Trevia bless me with your wisdom tonight.

Ovid writes that Hekate could be conjured up from darkness “with long howls.”

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Celebrating Fall ~ Mabon Style

Tomorrow is 2021’s Autumn Equinox but you wouldn’t know it around here. We’re having our usual late-in-summer Summer by ushering in a heat wave. (Not that I’m complaining.)

Mabon’s predecessor, Michaelmas, came about as a recognized holy day during harvest season as a means of subverting the Pagan harvest traditions by entrenching them in church doctrine. In 1011 the Christian church established September 29th as the feast of Saint Michael, to honor the protecting archangel as the leader of God’s heavenly host of angels, and to honor his triumph over Lucifer. Michaelmas evolved from a feast day into a day of conducting serious end-season business. In the 20th century, as Protestantism became dominant, Michaelmas then became England’s Harvest Festival. On this day farmers bring in baskets of their bounty to local parishes, where vicars bless the crop, and the baskets are then delivered to local food shelves and families in need. Harvest Festival remained a Pagan tradition, and Michaelmas often served as a Christian mask for the preservation of ancient practices.

Like the Spring Equinox, Autumn Equinox (Mabon) is that time of year when the day and night are of equal lengths. It marks the beginning of the dark phase of the year: the first day of Fall. This holiday is when we honor the Goddess as she enters cronehood. A day to reflect, remember, and look within. Even in today’s hectic world it’s important to set everything on pause for just a moment. Go somewhere quiet and take a deep breath – outside in nature, if possible. Close your eyes and reflect on all you’ve accomplished this year and the blessings received. Your life IS bountiful so take this opportunity to give thanks, for Mabon is known as the “Witches’ Thanksgiving”.

Ceremonies involving the spirit world are also observed, for the veil between the living and dead is gossamer thin. In Ireland, people would make pilgrimages to burial grounds and pay respect to the deceased – which sounds similar to the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos celebrated on November 1st. You don’t have to travel to your loved one’s grave to honor them – and you certainly don’t have to be Irish! Set out photos of those who have passed – perhaps light a white candle – and raise a glass of wine (or spiced cider) to each, while remembering how much you loved them and how much love they gave you in return.

In Ireland they believe it’s bad luck to eat blackberries after Mabon, so wines made from any other berry are permissible to consume including heather wine which is made from a flowering plant.

Goddesses: Morrigan, Morgan, Persephone, Hecate, Lilith, and Pomona
Colors: Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, gold, and black
Incense: Cinnamon, sage, clove, pine, and myrrh
Stones: Yellow agate (joy and prosperity), amber (protection and positive energy), cat’s eye (luck), and sapphire (psychic protection and wisdom)
Decorate your altar (or table) with pumpkins, gourds, pine cones, acorns, corn husks, vines (such as ivy), dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
Traditional foods include breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates (symbolic of Persephone), and fall vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions. Don’t forget the wine!
I made Mabon Apple Cake (recipe below) for the first time last night and it is the bomb!! A snap to make, too.

⛤ Mabon Blessings to you and yours. ⛤

Mabon Apple Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups finely chopped apples* (about 6 big apples, Jonagold is recommended)

Preheat oven to 350&#deg;F.
Grease and flour a 13 × 9-inch pan.
In a large bowl mix together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla with a spoon until smooth.
Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, stirring just until blended.
Mix in the apples. (This batter will be stiff. I had to switch from spoon to my hands to incorporate the apples.)
Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake 40 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and the edges are beginning to pull away from the pan. (Start testing at 40 minutes but don’t overbake.)
Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack.

This is a moist, delicious cake that keeps well at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of llewellyn.com

I served it up warm with a drizzle of half-and-half but it’d be great topped with whipped cream OR Talenti Madagascan Vanilla Bean ice cream.

*Next time I’m substituting one of the apples for a mix of raisins and chopped pecans.

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Day Trip ~ Santa Cruz Mountains

Last Wednesday, I awoke to a mixture of marine layer and smoke from the Caldor and Dixie fires. The particulates in the air created an orangish tint to the sunlight that managed to peek through, and I could detect a faint smell of smoke. But that didn’t deter us from taking a day trip to Boulder Creek.

We stopped for lunch at a small taqueria in town. Vegetarian nachos and a Corona. Took a stroll to walk-off lunch and found ourselves in front of a cool little store calling itself “A Mystical Bazaar”: Air and Fire.

Now’s the time to start working on my personal grimoire:

The shop had a large selection of tarot decks and books. Saw this and had to get it:

Inside there are chapters on Cat Dieties and the Feminie Mystique; Elemental Feline Folklore and Divination; Cat Magick, Candle Spells, and Astrology; The Feline Familiar, Charms and Spells for Your Cat; Cat Magick Journal, and Feline Power Animals.

(May 21 to June 21)

The Gemini cat is curious, alert, very social, and really enjoys being spoken to; they demand attention! This cat is the perfect companion for the young at heart, and Gemini cats retain an air of kittenish behavior throughout their lives. (Uh-oh…) Gemini cats are full of activity and fun loving. They are constantly on the move and looking for the next adventure. Gemini cats are very vocal, with quite the repertoire of sounds. These cats love to scout out goodd hiding places and are active and smart. They do enjoy their quiet time and are likely to go and pick out a favored hidey-hole for a nice, long nap. That way, when they wake up, they are full of energy and can find lots to occupy themselves. (Or just plain annoy their Maman.) The Gemini cat is not overly demonstrative but shows its affection in subtler ways. A typical gesture of affection from a Gemini cat is having it rub against your legs, going back and forth, while you do your best not to trip. The Gemini cat loves to keep its human on their toes.

Ramses: May 22

I also grabbed a couple of crystals and a beautiful black leather pouch to stash ’em in. The citrine is a stone I wanted in my repertoire but the pink calcite was unknown to me. I was drawn to it. In their display of crystals it was the first one I reached for. I loved the feel of it and figured I would research its properties later. (Ha! My powers of intuition win again. The calcite was just what the Goddess ordered and I’m keeping it on my desk.)

Metaphysical Index

Chakra: solar plexus and crown
Strengthens self-esteem, increases psychic powers, deflects nightmares, promotes positive energy, enhances mental clarity and will power, good for protection.
Citrine is referred to as the “Merchant’s Stone” because it’s associated with success and prosperity.
Elixir for removing toxins from the body: Soak citrine in a glass of pure water. [source]
Citrine should never be soaked in salt water and it’s very sensitive to heat. Never place or store it where there’s excessive exposure to heat and light.

Crystals & Jewelry
Love and Light School

Chakra: sacral
Centering, grounding, purification/cleansing, peace, calms fears, removes negativity, linked to higher consciousness, enhances learning abilities.
Calcite clears negative energies from the environment, and protects against negative energies and physical/psychic attacks.
It’s called the stone of emotional intelligence because it creates a bridge between the emotions and the intellect.
Calcite is a spiritual stone, facilitating psychic abilities and deep spiritual awakening.
Amplifier: Calcite will intensify the vibration of any crystal nearby. It also enhances the frequencies of the human biofield – the field of energy and information that surrounds and interpenetrates the human body.
Calcite should never be cleansed with salt or anything harsh. To cleanse pass it through the smoke of burning sage or leave it to bathe overnight in the light of the Moon (perfect for charging your crystal with intentions).

Crystals & Jewelry
Charms of Light

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Not that it hasn’t been around me all this time, but today WHITE seemed to scream at me.

White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue).
A perfectly white surface diffusely reflects (scatters) all visible light that strikes it without absorbing any [light].
White on television and computer screens is created by a mixture of red, blue, and green light.
The color white has been associated with peace, purity, and innocence.

Spiritually White symbolizes
The Mother Goddess and female energy
Spiritual awakening
Pure energy
The Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess
The element of Air
The Moon
Crown Chakra
Divine connection

And I came across this while walking on a sidewalk:

Note: Birds are associated with the element of Air – as is the color White.

White feathers are a powerful message from the spiritual realm. White feathers that appear out of nowhere are meant to catch your attention – You are being encouraged, guided, and protected. Everything is going to be okay. It’s also a sign that your vibrational energy is shifting to a higher level.

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Celebrating Lughnasadh

August 1st marks the beginning of the harvest where we begin to harvest what we have sown. Lughnasadh (or Lammas) is the first of three Wiccan harvest festivals observed – the other two are Mabon and Samhain. (It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the Summer Solstice…)

Today at the Sunnyvale Farmers Market, we overheard C-Farms saying that it was the “end of tomato” season. They grow the most amazing varieties of tomatoes. Huge tables filled with regular and cherry-sized tomatoes dominate their stand every Summer. Today there was only two tables. Every year I look forward to the corn and melons at Pinnacle and the tomatoes at C-Farms. The end of Summer is upon us and I’M NOT READY!!!! Dammit.

Still, there was plenty of Summer’s Bounty and we took advantage of it.

The melons and squash will get eaten straight away, while the Heirloom tomatoes will become “The Mothership“. The organic (Did I mention everything here is organically grown? Well, now I have.) corn will be roasted and frozen for use during the “off-season”. Same goes for the tomatillos, although I may reserve some for salsa.

It is this time of year, late Summer, when the Earth is overflowing with abundance, warm sunshine, and Magick. Express your gratitude for those who labor to grow the food you eat; and if you have a backyard bounty of your own, share your food with others. This year, lughnasadh falls on a Sunday which is ruled by the Sun. Make a point to go outside and lift your face to its healing rays and smile. It’s a day for healing and miracles.

The planet does nothing but support us and we are constantly committing crimes against nature.
– Daphne Zuniga

As you thank Mother Earth say a healing prayer, as well, for her health affects all life here. You may want to invoke Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest who presided over the fertility of the earth.

Let us take nothing for granted.

Blessed Berry Lemonade

½ cup honey
1 cup lemon juice
3 lemon chamomile tea bags (I don’t care for chamomile so I will be substituting green tea)
2 cups blueberries
6 cups water

In a small saucepan, dissolve the honey in lemon juice over low heat. Place tea bags in a blender and pour lemon juice over them. Allow to steep for 9 minutes. Remove tea bags and puree with blueberries and water. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve over ice.

Serves 8

Recipe courtesy of llewellyn.com

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