Saturday, September 20, 2008

Harvest festivals, hag's tapers, and garden bagels

Everything looks better on a full stomach, right? I'm a little buried right now, so a full round dinner is sort of out of the question. I grabbed a thing of bagels, some tomatoes from the garden (they took FOREVER to ripen this year!) extra sharp cheddar, cream cheese, and fresh basil (also from the garden). Delish! Protein, carbs, veggies, and comfort food, all in one.

I saw the first deer of the season, grazing outside a motel around sunset. Three does, utterly content with their grass, and end-of-season tourists so busy getting to the sites they are supposed to see, that they did not even notice these gorgeous creatures right in front of them. People continue to astonish me, usually on an hourly basis.

Mullein is growing everywhere this year; in between the cracks in the stone walls, between the steps of the Grand Ave short cut, inside, outside, and upside-down. I've got a few stalks drying by the door, and am planning to see if the plant's nickname "hags tapers" really holds up to practical use. It is historically used as a torch in ceremonies to drive out evil and malevolent forces; to clear out the old and make way for the new; to communicate with the dead. Mullein stalks were dipped in tallow, dried, and lit for these purposes, according to various texts, but so much in the metaphysical community is passed on by rote instead of practice! I would like to see how mullein candles hold up in ritual (maybe for Samhain?) , and if they can be made with anything other than pig or cow fat. Although, pigs themselves have always played a role in Celtic myth, particularly those involving the Underworld. Hmm...

We got an order in today for magical inks, specifically, Raven's Blood, and Dove's Blood. For those of you unfamiliar with magical inks, these are strictly picturesque names applied to classical formulas. I make the Raven's Blood Ink from iron oxide derived from Iron Springs at the foot of Pike's Peak, and the Dove's Blood from a resin called Dragon's Blood and various essential oils. These inks are used to inscribe talismans, charms, and other bits of spell craft.

Nearly time for Mabon, and my heart is already turning to Samhain, turning over the garden, and plans for the spring. I've got a load of peaches (courtesy of our local bear breaking the tree) to turn into mead, and a batch of white sage incense to hand roll before the night is done. I must be off! Thank you for stopping by, and have a great night!


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