Sunday, 24 October 2021

Samhain/Hallowe'en Round-up


It's nearly time for Samhain (one of the most popular sabbats and my favourite apart from Lammas!). This year's it on a Sunday (31st October). I also celebrate Hallowe'en (thought to have originated from Samhain).

 

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere Beltane is almost here! Check out my Beltane Celebration posts here:

Beltane Celebrations Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/beltane-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Beltane/May Day: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html

April Update + Beltane Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/april-update-beltane-inspiration.html

More Beltane Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/04/more-beltane-inspiration.html 

Winter-Spring Update + Beltane Round-up: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/04/winter-spring-update-beltane-round-up.html

 

The past few years I've done celebration idea and inspiration posts for Samhain. In 2021 I've written some round-up posts, featuring my past sabbat posts and articles from elsewhere. So here is the one for Samhain! :)

Samhain is the 3rd and final harvest festival of the Wheel of the Year. It comes after Lammas at the beginning of August and Madron/Mabon (aka the Autumn Equinox) in late September, and is a cross-quarter sabbat and a fire festival. It's considered by many to be the Witches' New Year and one of the two times of year when the veil between the worlds is thin (the other is Beltane in late April/early May). Halloween/Hallowe'en (since the name comes from All Hallow's Even, "Hallowe'en" is an alternative way of spelling it) is the modern-day counterpart. Check out the Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en post for more information.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Summer-Autumn Update

It's now October so time for my quarterly update! During 2021 I'm doing quarterly updates, from "season to season". You can see the previous updates here:

Winter-Spring (and a Beltane Round-up): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/04/winter-spring-update-beltane-round-up.html

Spring-Summer Update: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/07/spring-summer-update.html

 

In early July I went to the Black Rabbit pub in Arundel with my mum. It was ages since I'd been, so it was good to go back. Due to the pandemic you currently have to book a table. We sat outside by the river, and there's a nice view of the River Arun and Arundel Castle in the distance. It wasn't that warm and a bit cloudy but then the sky cleared. I had chips (fries) and garlic flatbread with a Coke, then some chocolate and cream (I think clotted cream type) ice cream.

Here's a photo of the view by the river:

 


 

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Madron 2021

The other week it was Madron, (more commonly known as Mabon and the Autumn Equinox). It was Wednesday 22nd September this year. I was going to do a post last weekend, but was a bit busy, so I'm doing it today instead. :)

As I mentioned in the Madron Round-up + Autumn Baking post, my usual celebration for this sabbat is baking. This year I made some gingerbread muffins. You can see the recipe here: https://simplybeautifuleating.com/2020/10/05/super-moist-gingerbread-muffins/

They are kind of like some I made in 2019. As with those, I substituted the banana for apple sauce, since I don't like bananas. I also used treacle because it's easier to get here in the UK than molasses and it's similar. I made a few other substitutions too- mixed spices rather than cloves and nutmeg, "ordinary" milk instead of cocount or nut and sea salt rather than kosher. If you don't have or don't want to use kosher salt, here is a guide about what type you can use instead: https://www.acouplecooks.com/kosher-salt-substitute/

I made cream cheese frosting, using the one from the James Martin White chocolate Easter cake I like. I've used that frosting in the past and it goes well with ginger things. Here's a direct link to the cake and frosting recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/frosted-white-chocolate-easter-cake

The muffins were quite nice and the substitutions worked ok. They were a bit heavy when first done but "settled" the next day. Here's a picture: 

 



Sunday, 19 September 2021

Madron Round-up + Autumn Baking

Madron (aka Mabon and the Autumn Equinox) is coming up. This year it is on Wednesday 22nd September. 

For the past few years, I've written celebration ideas and inspiration posts for Madron. For 2021 I'm doing a round-up post, like I have for the last few sabbats this year. I also thought it would be good to include an autumn baking section, so see below for that! :)


Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's nearly time for Oestara aka Ostara/the Spring Equinox. You may like these posts with ideas for celebrating:

Oestara/Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Oestara + Spring: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/celebrating-oestara-spring.html

Oestara Celebration Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/03/oestara-celebration-inspiration.html

Oestara + Spring Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/oestara-spring-inspiration.html

Happy Oestara!: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/03/happy-oestara.html

 

Madron (more commonly known as Mabon, but I first heard of it as Madron) is the 2nd harvest festival on the Wheel of the Year. It comes after Lammas (around 1st August and before Samhain (on 31st October). It's also the Autumn Equinox which marks the "official" start of autumn. On this date day and night are roughly equal. This year the scientific time of the Autumn Equinox will be 3.20pm EDT/7.20pm UTC/ 8.20pm BST/UK time. You can work out your local time compared to universal here: https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/universal-time/

Themes of this sabbat include balance, letting go, gratitude and of course, harvest.

 

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Lammas 2021

Last weekend it was Lammas (Sunday 1st August, although some people may celebrate on 31st July or 2nd Aug). As I mentioned in the Lammas Round-up post, I baked my usual gingerbread this year and also bread. 

I used the BBC Food recipe for the gingerbread, which I've used for the past couple of years (since they stopped putting a recipe on the back of the Tesco light brown soft sugar packet!). You can see it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gingerbread_men_99096

At the last minute I couldn't find the medium sized gingerbread cutter, so I ended up making mini gingerbread men/people and some round ones! I iced them as usual. Here's a pic:

 



 

Monday, 26 July 2021

Lammas Round-up

 

Lammas is coming up once again! It's my favourite sabbat apart from Samhain, so I'm looking forward to it. :) This year's it's on Sunday 1st August, or Saturday if you celebrate on 31st July. (Some people celebrate from sundown to sundown on both days, and others may have their celebration on 2nd August, which corresponds to Imbolg, its opposite on the Wheel.) The astrological time of Lammas is Saturday 7th August this year.

For the past few years, I've written posts with ideas for celebrating Lammas. This year I'm doing a round-up like I previously did for Beltane and Litha/the Summer Solstice. I'm sharing my past Lammas posts as well as links from other sites. :)



Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost Imbolg/Imbolc! Check out my Imbolg celebration ideas here:

 
 
 
Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh, is the first harvest festival on the Wheel of the Year (the others are Madron in September and Samhain in October) and the last one associated with summer. It marks the transition from summer to autumn, although the "official" start of autumn won't be until Madron (more commonly known as Mabon) aka the Autumn Equinox.
 
It is also called Lughnasadh since it is the festival of the Celtic God Lugh, (described as a Sun and Corn God, among other things)  whose power is waning at this time. In some beliefs the God is sacrified at Lammas  and re-born at Yule aka the Winter Solstice in December.  He is also known as the Green Man/John Barleycorn in some traditions. You can read more about Lugh here:
 

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Spring-Summer Update

It's already July, so it's time for my Spring-Summer update! I decided that this year I would do quarterly "season to season" update posts. You can see my Winter-Spring Update here (also a Beltane post): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/04/winter-spring-update-beltane-round-up.html

 

Easter was on 4th April this year. I didn't write a separate Easter post, but as I said in the Winter-Spring Update, I will cover it in this post. :)

This Easter I made an ice cream cake for a change. The recipe is from Apply To Face Blog and you can see it here: https://applytofaceblog.com/easy-ice-cream-birthday-cake/

This was a birthday cake for the blogger Jenny's son but it's good for any occasion. It's simple to make, although it does it have to be frozen overnight before decorating. It was quite nice. I wasn't sure about the cream on top because I'm not keen on it, but it does blend well with the ice cream! I put Cadbury Mini Eggs on top like I usually do with my Easter cakes. Here's a pic: