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2020 will be a year that will go down in history as a time when humanity was challenged with a pandemic that tested our skills to bring out the best in ourselves and each other.

This year our Lughnassadh ritual brought out a mix of emotions as we struggled to honor the blessings of the past year. We have been connecting with each other in our coven via the internet for rituals since last spring when social distancing became the norm, and even though we are grateful for Zoom and Skype, it has been obvious that circling online just isn’t the same as it is in person.

Normally we hold hands and hug a lot in our coven. We also gather for ritual out in nature where we can hear the sounds of the leaves rustling and animal cries. Staring at each other on a computer screen reminds us of our separation. Chanting, singing and raising energy have been a real challenge through this format. If we try to join our voices all at once, all we hear is a cacophony of disjointed sounds. So we have learned to adapt. That is what we are being called to do.

For our Lughnassadh ritual we were asked to have present something to illustrate that which we considered to represent our harvest this year. And since we were also celebrating the full moon, our “Claim Time Moon”, we were to bring something to represent that which we wish to claim or manifest for the coming year.

For Lughnassadh we generally craft some corn dollies. To my delight I came across an unopened package of corn husks in my pantry! I still have my flying witch dolly from last year. Looking at her reminded me of the fun we had sitting around the table in the magickal kitchen crafting our dollies amid the laughter and conversation. Thinking about that time seems bitter sweet.

With my corn husks soaking in water, I decided to create dollies to represent both what I was harvesting and what I was claiming. My harvest I represented with a Mother Goddess figure.

I made her to look as if she is cradling her unborn child. At times this year I felt like that child. I got very sick and I recovered thanks to my wonderful family who “mothered” me.

I also took on the role as I “mothered” a large garden. I planted herbs, vegetables, flowers and fruit trees. The garden promises to produce much abundance in the coming years if I continue to play my part and care for it.

The Magickal Orchard
Eggplants are such beautiful veggies!
The bounty of cherry tomatoes!
Of course, lots of lavender

Above all, I have felt the presence of the mother goddess especially during these trying times we’ve been experiencing. When things looked bleak a new baby was born into the family and reminded us of the miracle of new life. When people were acting in fear, others were performing selfless acts of kindness. The mother has been with us.

What I decided to “claim” for the coming year during the Claim Time Moon was the simple ability to be able to join hands and circle in the Oak and Willow Grove as we have done in the past.

Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again….
Hoof and horn, hoof and horn, all that dies shall be reborn….

I have to admit, crafting these corn dollies this year felt like a magickal act in itself. The focus on my intent put me into a meditative state unlike those times in the past when I created dollies with a group. So there was yet another blessing: remembering the magick in crafting an object for magickal purposes!

What have you harvested this year? And what do you wish to claim for yourself in the coming year?

May the blessings of Lughnassadh shine on you at this harvest time and in the months to come!

💚 Sarina

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With the success of my Bealtaine Calendula Salve, I started brewing herbs for an even more healing salve in time for midsummer.

I harvested calendula blossoms, lavender, comfrey leaves, yarrow, rose petals and lemon balm. I dried them for a few days and immersed them in a jar with 20oz. of jojoba oil.

This morning, after about a month of infusing (the oil got pretty dark), I strained the herbs from the oil. Then I added 9Tb of beeswax pellets, and heated the mixture in a double boiler until the beeswax was melted. Next, I added 1tsp. arnica oil (helps prevent bruising) and ladled the mixture into tins.

Making this salve was a good way to capture the healing potential of my garden herbs. Summer Solstice finds herbs at their energetic peak! I think I’ll call this one “Midsummer Boo-Boo Salve”.

For more details on making salves see my post on my Bealtaine Salve

Bright Healing Blessings,

Sarina

🧚‍♀️🧚‍♂️

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I know it seems like I was living at my last magickal cottage, Crow Hollow, for only a short time (5 years seems short), but life takes some unexpected turns sometimes and we are called to make changes.

I won’t go into the crazy year I’ve lived through in 2018. Suffice it to say, there have been some sorrows and, as always, some great joys. Moving was stressful and exciting as well.

Sycamore Hill is an amazingly magickal place that seemed to call me to come live on this spot of land. Twin sycamore trees guard the house at the front and the back, and the view from the backyard is inspiring!

There is a steep slope at the back of the property and the idea of terracing and cultivating the land seems daunting. Homesteading here would be a dream fulfilled, so wish us luck!

I know I have been called to work with the earth and to help the pollinators flourish. I have already bought some native plants and seeds to start this fall.

The decorating to bring out the magick here is coming along. That takes time. We have a new puppy and the cats are on strike so I’ve had to work around that. One thing I have adopted for creating seasonal magickal vignettes is an old armoire.

Some tension rods, fabric and curtains and we have an interesting beginning. I’ve decided September is Apple Month. Mabon always makes me think of apples, so I plan to make candy apples a family tradition in a kitchen witchy way.

I was thinking how the Apple is so representative of the goddess and the witch: very apropos to this time of year. Our coven assigns the element of water (very feminine) to the harvest quarter of Lughnassadh, Mabon and Samhain.

As the autumn equinox approaches we anticipate the time of balance. There will be an equal number of daylight and darkness hours, and hopefully we will all find ways to bring more balance into our physical, emotional and spiritual lives. Our coven will celebrate Mabon with a burning man and offer up a part of our personal harvest in whatever form it has taken. There is always a harvest, and this Witches Thanksgiving is the time to remember that.

Brightest blessings to you all, and may you have a wondrous and magickal Mabon!

Sarina Ravensmoon

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