Celebrating Autumnal Equinox/Mabon!
Welcome to our seasonal newsletter containing information about Autumnal Equinox/Mabon and scheduled classes for Fall 2012.
Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, is such a magickal time of abundance and balance. Throughout the ages and across almost all traditions, it is the time to celebrate the earth's bounty with sincerety and gratitude for the harvest that will sustain us through the coming winter season.
Agriculturally, Mabon is the second harvest festival of the year, the first being Lughnasadh/Lammas. This harvest is about reaping the late vegetables, fruit and grains. Traditionally, it was a time to work hard at harvesting and preparing this bounty that needed to last throughout the long winter until spring arrived. The canning and pickling of fruit and vegetables and the salting and smoking of various meats was performed with much gratitude for all your blessings. Today, we have modern supermarkets and can get fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year - something for which we should still be grateful and count our many blessings.
As Earth holidays go, Mabon tends to be a 'forgotten' holiday since it falls near the start of a new school year and most folks' are paying attention to noticeably less daylight. Mabon is exactly halfway between the Solstices; we will have 12 more weeks of diminishing daylight until the Winter Solstice, where we celebrate the return of the Sun and begin to gain a bit more daylight again.
As mentioned in the Lughnasadh/Lammas newsletter, I am now a holistic partner at The Room Above in Brookside, NJ. My hours are 12:30 - 5PM on Saturdays, which will be when I schedule my classes and see clients for herbal consultations. Please check out the calendar on their website for an updated schedule of classes and other events at www.theroomabove.com.
Donna at Willow Moon Herbals
(A little late for the Equinox yet distributed under the full moon energy!)
In this issue:
Celebrating Autumnal Equinox/Mabon!
Autumn officially starts in September at the Autumn Equinox, when the hours of dayling and darkness are equal. From this point forward, the daylight hours become noticeably shorter and the weather stars to cool with each passing day. Autumn is a season of waning light and shadows, yet it is also a season of harvest, abundance and thanksgiving.
Autumn has always been a colorful season of reward and people harvested the bounty from the summer growing season and stored it safely away for the long winter: the vegetables from the garden, the fruit from the orchards, and the grain from the fields. Everyone in the community spent long hours participating in the harvest, and at the end, they were exhausted yet grateful, and looked forward to a celebration.
Around the world, there are Autumn Harvest festivals celebrated near the Fall Equinox: from the English Festival of Harvest Home, to Michaelmas Day, to Bavarian Oktoberfest to American Thanksgiving. (which was originally in October, then moved to the first weekend in November by President Lincoln, and then moved yet again by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress to the 4th Thursday in November to help boost the post-depression economy and assist merchants with holiday sales by giving folks a full month to shop. ....No comment!)
Harvest Goddess Mythologies
In many mythologies throughout the world, a goddess of the grain, harvest and the good earth was celebrated at the Autumn Equinox, which is not surprising since the Earth herself is seen as a fertile mother or Gaia. From this venerated matriarch, all life was born. Throughout time and in various cultures, she is a great mother goddess known by many names: Astarte and Ishtar to the Sumerians; Isis to the Egyptians; Demeter in Greece and Ceres in Rome. To the indigenous populations of the Americans, she was known as 'Old Woman Who Never Dies' and Mother of Maize.
Equally important was the concept of the seeds from the harvest used for the next year, and considered Mother Earth's child. In Greek mythology, we see this as Demeter being the harvest mother, the goddess of grain and fertile earth. The seed that fell and was planted in the spring was the child, or her daughter , Persephone. The spirit of these future crops were often seen as the daughter, or a maiden, or a divine child. In Russia, the child was simply called the Corn Baby. The Aztecs called the harvest goddess Chicomecoatl, and a goddess named Xilonen was the Goddess of the New Corn. Her son ws symbolized by the seeds and called the Spirit of the Corn. In Egypt, the spirit of the grain was the goddess' son, Horus. The Cherokee people called the harvest child the Green Corn Child. In India, there is a harvest festival called Pongal. It is a rice festival that lasts for three days. The child rice that came from this harvest mother was called the Rice Baby.
Making Mabon-Centered Meals
Mabon is the earth-centered Thanksgiving: casseroles, stews and hearty soups made with lentils and beans are traditional elements for the Mabon meal. Families in the Americas often include corn as a further connection to indigenous caretakers of the land. Mabon meals nourish us in body, mind and spirit with its earth energy. Apples are another time-honored autumn delicacy because they are fresh, crisp, come in vibrant reds, yellow and greens and don't have to be transported long distances using precious fossil fuels.
Here is a recipe adapted from Cait Johnson and Maura Shaw's delightful book, Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children. Use organic ingredients whenever possible, especially the apples!
Spicy Mabon Apple Bread
2 1/3 cups grated apple, peeled and cored
2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 Tabs good quality oil (not canola!)
1 cup plus 2 Tabs honey
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp sea salt, to taste
3/4 tsp ground cloves
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
Place apples and raisins in a bowl and cover with the measured boiling water. Pour oil on top and allow to soak, for 10 minutes. Add honey, cinnamon, allspice, salt and cloves and allow to cool. In another bowl, sift or mix together the flour and baking soda. Combine with fruit mixture and add in walnuts. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake in preheated 350 debree oven for approximately one hour.
(Loosely adapted from "Celebrating the Great Mother" by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw; "Celtic Gods and Goddesses" by R.J. Stewart; "Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon" by Ellen Dugan)
Note: Any remedies or information listed on this newsletter are from historical references and used for teaching/educational purposes only. The contents are not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe, cure or substitute consultation with a licensed health-care professional. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Holistic Consciousness of One!
A new Holistic Practitioners support and Community networking group in Chester, NJ!
Finding a home within the historic business district of Chester enables the Holistic Consciousness of One to reach out to and provide a central meeting place for holistic practitioners and folks interested in learning more about holistic modalities within the surrounding communities. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00PM - 8:45 PM.
So spread the word! Come and join us as we support each other and work collectively to promote all holistic healing modalities and build our Holistic Community. Visit their website for updates, community events and speaker schedules: www.hcoo.org
RSVP to Sue at The Art of the Heart, 908/879-3937 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently Scheduled Classes
Unless noted otherwise, RSVP by email to: email@example.com or call 201/650-7500. Checks can be made out to Willow Moon Herbals and mailed to PO Box 147, Schooley’s Mtn, NJ 07870, or visit our website and use PayPal to register. Remember to bring the receipt with you.
Classes at The Art of the Heart in Chester! http://www.theartoftheheart-chester.com. Be sure to check out the other wonderful holistic classes on their website calendar. They also have a new Healer's Co-op!
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Time: 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Class: "Therapeutic Herbal Elixirs and Cordials"
Who said herbal medicine has to taste bad? Using everyday ingredients - and a few exotic ones - can help make your herbal remedies taste delicious and you can have fun with herbal elixirs and cordials. In this class you will learn about therapeutic tonics and herbal blends for vitality and energy, calm and relaxation, and even how to spice things up! Using some of nature's most luxurious and luscious ingredients, we'll make elixirs and cordials that you can adapt and make yourself at home or to give as gifts. Come prepared to sample a variety of medicinal elixirs and cordials. (Note: Contains alcohol! Students must be 21 years old to sample and participate.)
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Time: Lunch & Learn - 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Class: "Herbs for Optimal Winter Health"
A lunchtime talk about the herbs that assist you with maintaining optimum winter health! Will be very informative and helpful!
Contact Sue at The Art of the Heart to register for these classes: firstname.lastname@example.org or 908/879-3937
Classes at The Room Above! 2 East Main Street, Brookside, NJ. Be sure to check out the other wonderful holistic services and educational classes offered at The Room Above! Visit their website calendar: www.theroomabove.com or The Room Above on Facebook
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Time: 6:00 - 8PM
Event: "Full Moon Fire Ceremony with Despacho Prayer/Gratitude Bundle" with Gina Bruno and Donna Reynolds
(This ceremony is based on Shamanic traditions, with a touch of the Wise Woman Tradition.)
The Fire Ceremony holds the potential for personal transformation, reconnecting us with our intentions of what we wish to create in our life, and then letting go of what no longer serves us. Around the fire, we join together in offering our heartfelt prayers for the healing of the Earth and all our relations. We will be just past the Fall Equinox, which is part of cycle, begun at the Spring Equinox, where dreams and visions for the coming year are identified. At the Summer Solstice we begin to bring those spring seeds planted to life, and in the Fall, we now take a look at what has grown, needs ‘weeding’ or re-examination.
Despacho describes the Andean practice of making offerings to the Earth and other elements of the natural world in reciprocity, reverence and thanksgiving. A despacho is an act of love and gratitude, and a reminder that we are a part of the great whole- the sacred web of life. The ceremony offers us a chance to come into alignment with our personal intent; the community intent; and to express gratitude to the earth, which supports us in all our endeavors (definition, thanks in part to John Balla.)
Please bring a small burnable object (leaf, pencil size stick, pine cone etc.) to blow your prayers into. Dress for the weather as we will be outside for the fire ceremony, and in case of rain, we will do an indoor “fire” for which the burnable objects will not be needed. Please reserve your place by email to Gina Bruno no later than September 28th at email@example.com or to TheRoomAbove.firstname.lastname@example.org. Ayni donation of $10-thank you!
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Class: "Embracing Menopause"
The transition through peri-menopause to post-menopause is a natural process, NOT a deficiency disease or syndrome as is commonly viewed and treated in conventional allopathic medicine. This class does not treat Menopause as an isolated process, but encompasses the entire transition cycle and examines diet, exercise and the medicinal botanicals that support the body systems herbally for a healthier menopause transition. Attendees will sample a nourishing tea during class.
Saturday, November 10, 2012 **DATE CHANGE**
Class: "Herbs for Optimal Winter Health"
Class description to follow
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Class: "Therapeutic Herbal Elixirs and Cordials"
Who said herbal medicine has to taste bad? Using everyday ingredients - and a few exotic ones - can help make your herbal remedies taste delicious and you can have fun with herbal elixirs and cordials. In this class you will learn about therapeutic tonics and herbal blends for vitality and energy, calm and relaxation, and even how to spice things up! Using some of nature's most luxurious and luscious ingredients, we'll make elixirs and cordials that you can adapt and make yourself at home or to give as gifts. Come prepared to sample a variety of medicinal elixirs and cordials. (Note: Contains alcohol! Students must be 21 years old to sample and participate.)Fee: $35/person
Saturday, December 1, 2012 ** DATE CHANGE**
Class: "Your Apothecary Kitchen"
Sample a nourishing tea as we learn to make an infused oil, a soothing salve and a stimulating liniment for sore muscles. As a bonus, we'll sample a medicinal liqueur - herbal remedies need not be boring! Attendees take home a sample salve and liniment.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Location: Circle of Trees Women's Retreat
Class: "Intro to Ayurveda Herbs for Optimal Women's Health"
This class provides an introduction and a high-level review of the Five Elements and the Three Doshas of Ayurveda. We then discuss 16 Ayurveda herbs and formulas that can be used every day in cooking as spices and/or as food, and also taken as supplements. A nourishing tea is sampled during class, as well as other Ayurveda foods used as part of a daily protocol for health.
Note: This class is tailored to the requests of the director of the Circle of Trees Retreat. We can customize a class to fit your group, garden club, classroom, scout troop, church group, senior centor, arboretum or other organization. Contact us today!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Location: Hackettstown Midwive's Moms Group
Class: "Using Your Spice Rack as a Medicine Cabinet"
This class is an introduction to the medicinal properties of culinary herbs commonly used in food preparation. We discuss 'spice/culinary' herbs from a medicinal point of view and also sample a tea. We generally cover about ten common herbs and 5-10 not-so-common spices used throughout world cuisines.
Note: This class is tailored to the requests of the Hackettstown Midwive's Moms Group. We can customize a class to fit your group, garden club, classroom, scout troop, church group, senior centor, arboretum or other organization. Contact us today!
More classes are pending, so be sure to check our website for updates: