Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The smell of autumn moving in always seems to come wafting in through the open window on the early morning breeze just about a week or so before the Autumn equinox
. I begin to feel the excitement of knowing the fall harvest will be starting and the smells of the season will fill the air.
I grew up in Wisconsin and fall was when we really began finishing up our canning, drying and freezing for the winter. The garden was just about done producing for the season and it was now time to make sure we had the last of her bounty preserved for the winter. This was also the time of year the apples were full in the orchards. As a kid I remember climbing the trees in search of the perfect McIntosh apple, for an after school snack.
I can remember spending weekends squirrel hunting with my little brother. He was the avid hunter and I mostly went along so I could hang out with him and enjoy the changing colors of the tree canopy. The smells from the forest floor and the nearby freshly tilled under corn fields always fill my nostrils with a longing to be a part of the earth. The red, orange, and gold colors of the leaves always made me think of a shimmering dress. I so wanted to be a tree so I could shimmer in the sunlight too.
Now that I live in Arizona and often bemoan the heat throughout the summer, I find that autumn still comes in like a magick whisper on the crisp morning air. Somehow the fog resting on the ground near the river makes me feel as if the earth herself was hiding behind a gossamer veil so she could begin changing the leave of the trees along the river and in the mountains.
This year Jolene and I set our Mabon
or Autumn Equinox
altar in on the hope chest on the family room. It is adorned with leaves, sprigs and gourds of the season. These are silk renditions and look great without losing their luster as the season moves on.
We even used red apples as candle holders this year. After scooping out a piece at the top of the apple (just the right size for a tea candle) we gave those pieces of apple to the earth and animal spirits that reside in our yard.
Once our altar was set Jolene and I enjoyed several cups of hot spiced apple cider. The first serving always goes in a small tea cup and saucer set and is placed on the fireplace mantel for the Brownies. I set the cider to simmer on the stove top with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, ground allspice, nutmeg, and pinch ginger. I didn’t have fresh oranges so instead of using slices of orange or cups of orange juice I added dried orange peel. I never strain the cider after its simmered. I enjoy drinking around the added spices.
I hope your Mabon
was a blessed as ours!
Have a Wicked Good Day!