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Seasonal Inspirations from Hestia's Hearth
by Renee
Lammas 2002, Vol 1-4
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tomatoes, courtesy of FreeFoto.com

The Season of Harvests

As I write this, the days are already growing shorter. Your thoughts may already be wandering to the autumn-time, the time of preparation for the coming winter. Hestian Magic celebrates the senses, and this is the time of year when our senses become alive -- there is so much to see, smell, taste, touch, and hear.

Lammas (traditionally August 1) is a time of picnics, laughter, and games. This is the feast of First Fruits, a time of abundance -- basil and other herbs, berries, corn, tomatoes, and more. Is your zucchini growing faster than you can bring it in and use it up? Is your social calendar full to overflowing? Such is the joy and abundance of summertime. This is also a time when life and death go hand in hand, and we see sacrifice, death, and the promise of rebirth. Vegetables and flowers that have grown abundantly all summer are now going to seed, so that they can grow again another year.

LAMMAS ACTIVITIES:

  • Have a picnic in your yard or at a nearby park with family and friends. Play "Pass the Orange" by putting the fruit between your chin and chest, and pass it to the next person without dropping it. Share fresh vegetables from your garden or the local Farmer's Market. Laugh until you fall down!
  • Begin a gratitude journal and list your joys, your bounties, what you have to be thankful for this season, what sustains you.
  • Learn about a Goddess of Grain or Death/Rebirth, and make a seed image of Her.
LAMMAS RECIPE -- MOTHER'S SALAD

This salad is one my mother has made for years. It can be put together quickly from already-prepared items at your favorite grocery.

  • Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces -- broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, red pepper.
  • Add a can of sliced black olives.
  • Top with bottled Italian dressing, toss.
  • Add more dressing if needed.

As August gives way to September, we are beginning those new projects. The air seems to come alive! With less humidity, we may be able to see the leaves beginning to turn color, and somehow, the air can seem to smell like apples. This is the time of preparation, and the time of another harvest. The apples are ready, the pumpkins are ripening on the vine... the air is becoming crisp.

AUTUMN EQUINOX ACTIVITIES:

  • If you haven't begun already, bring in herbs for drying. Collect in small bunches and hang upside down wherever you can in your home as decoration or for use in recipes. You may also wish to hang them in paper bags to keep out the dust until you can crush them and store them in jars.
  • Study a Goddess of Harvest or myths about apples and their magical uses. Tell the story around a campfire in a narrative or song.
  • Pagan Pride Day is September 21. Find out more at www.paganpride.org or www.spiritpathways.com (look at the calendar).
  • Begin making your Winter Solstice shopping list -- gifts, recipes/ingredients needed, and start buying a few items each time you go to the store.
AUTUMN EQUINOX RECIPE -- AUTUMN AIR FRESHENER

Put a small pot of water to boil on the stove -- high heat at first, then simmer. Add any 2 of the following:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole Allspice
  • Whole Cloves
  • Slices of Orange
  • Slices of Ginger

Simmer for 20 minutes or until your home smells wonderful :) If you have a disposal in your sink, pour down the drain with two ice cubes to make it sweet-smelling.

The veil continues to thin as we head into October and nearer to Hallows -- a time to remember grandparents, lessons taught, and especially to remember the women in our families and those who have influenced us. Rae Gayle, who listened intently. . . . . Francis Ruth who modeled hospitality. . . . .Frances Anne, who worked hard to make her house a home for her large family. . . . Joan, who died when her youngest was just a babe.

October is a time of thoughtfulness, of introspection, of looking back and ahead . . . it is a good time to learn about Crone Goddesses, and those who stand at the Gate of Between. Between what and what is up to you to discover, to remember. . . there are many gates, and many ways to stand between. What do you stand between?

Listen to the wind.... who is calling you to remember her this Hallows season. . . . and how do you show that you hear?

Resources
+ Telesco, Patricia ~ A Victorian Grimoire
+ Walker, Barbara G. ~ Women's Spirituality and Ritual

Graphics Credits
+ tomatoes, Ian Britton, courtesy of FreeFoto.com

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