Sharing and Learning Mabon

This morning the children and I prepared for our Mabon ritual.
It was one of those really lovely, flowing mornings in which we shared our interest and one thing flowed to the next.

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I started writing down notes for our ritual; (inspired by a Mabon ritual from an issue of Pooka Pages, an online magazine for pagan families) Anusha helping me, and Elki asking about pagan gods, goddesses, and magick.
Anusha discovered she could download the magazine on her tablet and copied a picture of a Mabon pentacle and wrote her name in runes.

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Elki also downloaded an issue, writing his name in runes, and creating some runes with some of his beach rocks. He then downloaded an issue of Pagan Moonbeams; another online magazine with a section for teenagers.
We started talking about altars and making a portable one each for travelling,

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and then Elki began making a temporary altar using his drawing book. Anusha also made one, and then we continued with our preparations.
Elki and I talked more about magick, runes, and crystals. He asked if I knew of a crystal for protection and after I encouraged him to look it up, he found the quartz to be of help and made a simple pouch to hang a rose quartz around his neck.

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Anusha found a twig needed for a wand and headed into the tent to decorate it, and then after lunch we painted symbols for the directions and elements together.

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Anusha created our Mabon pentacle and symbol using coloured pencils, and we collected the last things needed for our altar.

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Our Mabon feast was to be pumpkin and almond tortellini, followed by apple pudding. Scott prepared the pumpkin filling, and then the children and I made the pasta dough,

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and folded the tortellini.

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In the early evening we set up our altar and practised the ritual whilst Scott prepared dessert.

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We then came together for our Mabon feast; some delicious apple pan fried cakes an extra delight made with left over pudding mixture!
To share my love of Earth and paganism with the children, and for them to respond with such interest, curiosity, and eagerness to be involved was such a natural and flowing way for us all to learn, and incorporated many different ways and opportunities for Elki and Anusha to follow what captured their imaginations the most.
Mabon blessings to all 🍄🍂🍎🍇

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Harvesting Nature

Here in Tasmania, Autumn has certainly arrived, the days are growing shorter and we are once again sitting by a crackling fire in the evenings. As the arrival of winter creeps closer we have been spending time outside, drawn by the cool Autumn days, and wanting to make the most of being in nature before we are more confined to the indoors.
Walks and bike rides have been a regularity,

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and plans of last camping trips and bush walks before winter is upon us are being made.

We have been thankfully making the most of the Autumn fare that is blessing us with it’s presence, and recently celebrated Mabon and the equinox.
Blackberries have been enticing us from roadsides with their plump sweetness, and we have been bringing Autumn vegetables to the table.

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A blackberry picking celebratory tart made by Scott.

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A busy kitchen table as we all helped to prepare our Mabon meal; Pumpkin gnocchi, Blackberry crumble, and Apple and Rhubarb crumble.

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I served the Pumpkin gnocchi with a vegan creamy white sauce sprinkled with vegan parmesan (toasted sesame seeds mixed with nutritional yeast flakes),

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and we enjoyed our Mabon meal sitting around a candlelit table.

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I also shared an Animal celebration ritual with the children for Mabon. Anusha arranged our outside feast table in the shape of a flower with Maple popcorn, Strawberries, Pistachios, and slices of the crumbles.

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For the ritual we collected Autumn leaves and local nature treasures and made an Earth Wreath by laying them in a circle on the ground. We cast our circle by walking around our wreath, chanting a verse from Circle Round. We then called in the four directions by naming an animal for each direction and making their calls or sounds. We decided on a Dolphin for West (water), a Mole for North (earth), a Wedge-tailed Eagle for East (air), and a Frill-necked Lizard, because of their fiery frill that expands out to ward off predators and their need of the Sun for warmth, for South (fire).

We continued with the ritual, asking Mother Earth and the God, Mabon to join our circle, and then called in animals from all over the world, starting with the animals closest to us. We moved around our wreath like animals whilst calling out as many animal sounds as we could think of, then offered our blessings to all of earth’s creatures and asked for blessings from Mother Earth and Mabon. During this I drew attention to the animlas of our world in plight, those struggling with loss of habitat, those endangered, or those threatened by the effects humans are having on the environment, such as, climate change.

And, of course, we could not have an animal celebration and not honour the animal closest to us, our friend Laska. We brought him to our circle thanking him for being a part of our family and loving us unconditionally and then offered him a treat. After this we finished the ritual by closing the circle, and then enjoyed our celebratory feast!

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Laska gladly joined in the merriment.

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With the abundance of berries on offer at this time we have also spent time in the kitchen making jam. Naturally we used collected blackberries, and also some locally bought strawberries.

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The children were very eager to help with every step of the process. Preparing the strawberries,

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Weighing and pouring the berries and sugar (we used organic Rapadura),

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stirring the beautifully fragrant cooking jam and pouring it into the sterilised jars,

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and sealing the finished product!
The first taste test on pikelets was a great success, but we’ll certainly need to be making a lot more to last us the whole year!

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Over the next week I have plans of more berry picking, we’re hoping to camp for a night at our local waterhole, and treck up the Snowy mountains near to our home to reach Lake Skinner, a walk we have been wanting to make for years. Beyond that? More bushwalks, firewood collecting missions, winter vegetable planting…..Do you have plans of Autumnal harvesting of nature before winter sets in?

 

Our Autumn Equinox

Yesterday we celebrated the Autumn Equinox or Mabon. I wanted us to spend time outside in nature and had originally planned for us to go on a walk. My parents are over at the moment and we were going to go for a beautiful walk to some local waterfalls, but poor Scott has had terrible tooth trouble and had one of his wisdom teeth out on Tuesday so he wasn’t really up for a bushwalk! Instead I thought we could go for a drive down along the Huon river, have a picnic and see if the organic berry farm was open.

I began the morning with the children by reading them two stories from Circle Round, The Story of Mabon, Son of Modron, and a story from the phillipines called Amiyao and the Magic Gongs. After this we talked about the equinox and how it is a time for being thankful and what we were thankful for, and then we did a craft activity, which I called ‘Thanking flags’.

To prepare for this I cut out 8x9cm (the extra 1cm on the top is for attaching to the string) pieces of watercolour paper. Then we just used pencils to create our flags. On each flag we drew a picture of something we are thankful for and shaded around it. I also said to Elki that he could write what he was thankful for and colour around that, which he did for one of his flags.

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Elki was thankful for fun, plants (he drew a seedling), waves, wind and sun, and deer.

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Anusha was thankful for bunnies, fruit, and pumpkins,

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I was thankful for our dog Laska, fruit, and trees.

I told the children they could do as many as they liked, and then we glued our flags onto some hemp string by folding the top of the flags over, and holding them in place with paper clips until they dried,

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and later in the afternoon I hung them under the verandah.

After our activity we headed off for our drive and picnic.

We stopped off at Petchey’s bay, enjoyed the beautiful sunshine, and surprisingly warm water, and collected some treasures.

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Then we continued on to find a picnic spot.

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After some exploring we journeyed on. Unfortunatley the berry farm was closed but we drove onto Cygnet, had a coffee and got some lovely veg for dinner.

For our Autumn equinox dinner I made an Autumn stew with pumkin, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, silverbeet, and other delights, and Scott made potato mash to go with it. Before eating I said a Harvest chant from Circle Round and lit a candle. Then for dessert we made baked apples, which the children helped to stuff with a mixture of currants, walnuts, cinnamon, and rapadura sugar, and we ate them with ice-cream, strawberries, and blueberries. The nourishing delights of Autumn!

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Colourful blessings to everyone this Autumn Equinox!

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Waldorf Wednesday