Monday, August 20, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Autumn...

"It's beginning to look a lot like..." Autumn? Not really... it's only August. I know it's the first month of Autumn, but... it doesn't feel like Autumn. It's still warm. Too warm in some places. But... the mushroom are out, the leaves are turning yellow... the nights are getting slightly colder... I live in Sweden, so I'm quite high up North, nevertheless...
About a month to Mabon. Mabon, Autumn Equinox, is the Middle of Autumn. There's only about 6 weeks to Samhain from that, and Samhain IS Winter. To me.
So - even when it doesn't FEEL like Autumn, according to me it is. Early Autumn, Harvest time.
There are still blueberries in the forest, because around here no-one picks them but me, and I hurt my foot in June and am forbidden (by my caring and loving husband, who knows me and knows that if he doesn't forbid me, I'm stupid enough to risk the future health of my foot and go anyway...) to go to the forest. *sigh*
I go anyway... just for short trips. And bring him chaunterelles as peace offering. ;-)
So I know the lingonberries are getting red.
I should go and gather the raspberry leaves and ferment them for emergency tea. When one treats the raspberry leaves properly, they do produce a rather good tea. Not as good as good black tea, but better than bad black tea.

I have been reading my notes, about Sabbaths and Mabon. The first "advent Sunday" - if one wishes to burn candles four weeks before the Sabbath - is now, 26th of August. So - make your advent chandelier, get autumn colored candles and prepare.
Or if you plan on having an advent calendar, the 1st of September is less than two weeks away. You might need to decide what kind of calender to make and what you are going to put in as gifts.
One idea is to make largish autumn leaves of paper and sew two together with a surprise inside...

Also, it would be good if you prepared for the "December Daily" album - for Mabon. For example "September Daily" or "30 days of Mabon" - you can choose 30 days ending with Mabon (starting 24.8.) or if you want to end it with "12 days of Mabon", you need to start 4th of September. But - plan it, prepare it, get all the stuff you'd like to have in it.
Then I need to make the cards.

And you really need to plan feast. What will you eat, do you need to make something in advance, flowers, entertainment, what will happen day to day, is there a need to prepare for anything, like a trip to a farm to pick your own veggies or something? A visit to an orchard?

Are you going to dress up? If so, what do you plan to wear? Do you need to make it? Less than 5 weeks to Mabon. I want to be dressed as a maenad.

 Not with a tiger pelt, a panther pelt. Fake, of course.

I wonder what my husband would want... I wonder if he'd agree to wear skin colored tights and a panther pelt over it, like the Victorian Strong Men :-D I'd love to see him like that :-D

What about music? What is autumn music to you?

Do you plan on watching movies? I do - Harvest Home and Wicker Man :-D Every year ;-)

Sights, scents, sounds, sensations, tastes...

What do you plan to eat? It is tradition to eat vegetarian on Harvest Feasts, because the animals are not to be killed before Samhain. I am surprised by the many meaty recipes among Harvest recipes - I am a meateater and even though I can give up meat - every now and then - I can't imagine a life without it. Many other Pagans, especially Wiccans, who are the ones mainly celebrating these Sabbaths, are vegetarians, even vegans... yet there are so many meat recipes. Very confounding. Alas, in our family the harvest trio will be celebrated with meatless menus.

Do you need to brew something? Make wine? I don't know how long it takes... I need to find out.

And how do you plan setting the table? Do you need some napkins or other things for the setting?

Or the rest of the home, mantelpieces, windows, doors... what about kitchen cloths, like tea towels and potholders? Need something new? Plan it in, these weeks pass fast!

Do you plan on giving gifts? If so, what kind? To whom? How much do you plan on using, do you plan on making things yourself? Or what? In my mind one SHOULD give gifts on EVERY Sabbath. After all, that's one big reason to why people love Yule. And birthdays. And Samhain. And Ostara. ;-)
You could take these plastic eggs and decorate them to look like pinecones or acorns.
You could go gathering pinecones, dip them in wax and give thee firestarters as gifts.
A basket of nuts with a nice nutcracker? Any of these thousand and one apple gifts for teachers? A piece of jewelry made around a pendant depicting one of Mabon symbols? What are YOUR Mabon symbols?

nutcracker dog 
from the book "The Country Store" by Stephanie Donaldson, 
photo by Michelle Garret

My Pinterest collection of Mabon ideas
My Pinterest collection of countdown calendar ideas
My December Daily album inspiration at Pinterest
My Pinterest collection of Rosh Hashanah ideas (It's a couple of days before Mabon, and my husband is Jewish, so that's why I have it, but you can use the ideas for your Mabon.)
My Pinterest collection of Autumn pictures and ideas, to get you in the mood :-)

Five weeks to go, prepare yourself! :-D

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