September 21, 2005
Volume 1, Issue 3
September 22nd marks Mabon - the Fall Equinox

Now is the time we celebrate the harvest and begin to prepare for the winter. September is one of those in-between times - the mornings and evenings are cool, but the midday sun usually brings lots of heat! Each day gets shorter and shorter and each evening comes quicker and quicker. The grasses are drying up, leaves are starting to change, and the birds and butterflies are starting to migrate south. The air feels, smells, and tastes different. During the Fall Equinox, traditionally called Mabon, the cooling winds encourage positive changes and promote fresh starts..



Most crops have already been brought in. But now the grapes are ready to be harvested and made into wine. Traditionally, celebrations honoring Dionysus and Bacchus took place, during festivals who's roots have blossomed into our modern day Thanksgiving (moved to November for political reasons). Join in the festivities by making your own wine (see recipe below). Invite family and friends over for a potluck! Set your party up outdoors, if you can, and enjoy the lovely weather. Ask everyone to bring their "special dish", and serve seasonal foods, like corn, gourds, apples, and squash. Drink! Dance! After the sun goes down, light a bonfire - a sterno in a fireproof container is just fine - and invite your guests to share what they are thankful for (this tradition is especially important in light of recent tragedies).


G-rated fun

Let your kids contribute to the potluck by helping them make Oatmeal Cookies and let them use chocolate chips instead of raisins. Yummy! While drinking and partying is always fun, those of us with children may not want their family party to spin off in that direction. Incorporate games, such as racquetball, tag, and treasure hunts, for those under 21. Award the winners with crowns made of grapes and apples (I like to use the Chiquita Banana Lady as a model!). Let your children make these trophies before the party - keeping them busy while you are cooking!


Get into the season!

A party is not the only way to enjoy Mabon. Slice some apples crossways, to expose the pentagram made of the seeds inside. Remove the seeds, and cover the white parts with cloves. Put the whole thing into a 200° oven until the edges curl. You now have traditional homemade potpourri. Take the leftover seeds to your bonfire. Ask the Universe questions while tossing each seed into the flames. If the seed "pops" you have your answer! Tend to your gardens and plants by cutting back bushes and pruning flowers. If you want spring bulbs next year, now is the time to plant them in order to get the best results. Call a friend you haven't seen in a while. Vow to leave your wristwatch home for one day (if that suggestion just made you gasp for air, I suggest doing this on a weekend.) Take some time away from the TV to just walk outside and observe nature.


Recipe for Spiced Wine

1 liter Red Grape Juice
1 1/2 liter Red Wine*
3 sticks Cinnamon
1/2 tbsp. Whole Cloves
1/2 tbsp. Allspice
3/4 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
In a large saucepan, combine the juice and wine*. Then add the spices and sugar. Bring the whole thing to a boil. Decrease the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Feel free to sweeten and spice the wine to taste. Be sure to offer a libation to God/dess, before anyone drinks the first glass, by pouring a bit of wine onto the ground.

*Yes, I'm cheating by using a red wine base. I honestly don't know anyone who has the capability or the time to make a fast and easy homemade wine. If anyone has such a recipe, please write in and share it!


And the Readings by Lisa contest winner is...Carole Tonks. She has won a $50 gift certificate toward any Readings by Lisa service or product. I'd like to thank everyone who participated and said had such nice things!


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