Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween! Blessed Samhain!

"A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.

This year may we renew the earth.

This year may we renew the earth.

Let it begin with each step we take.

And let it begin with each change we make.
And let it begin with each chain we break.
And let it begin every time we awake."

~ Starhwak, Reclaiming Samhain

Happy Halloween!! A day for dancing, a day for remembering, a day for saying good bye, a day for saying hello...


Sunday, 30 October 2011

Festival of Apples

It's Halloween, Samhain or the Apple Festival! And I have just checked my crisper in the Fridge and I have no apples!! So I'm off to the shops for apples as I discovered this wonderful 'end of summer' meditation but it involves an apple (more about this later). And then I thought, "Apple Crisp"!!! or Apple Crumble as it is known by some.

I found this fabulous recipe on the Joy of Baking web site here

Apple Crisp: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.  Butter or spray with a cooking spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish. (Can also make 8 individual ramekins.)

Topping:  Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugars, spices, butter, oats and nuts) in a food processor and process until the mixture is crumbly (looks like coarse meal) and there are no large pieces of butter visible.  (This can also be done with two knives or your fingertips.)  Set aside while you prepare the filling.

Filling: Place the apple chunks in a large bowl, along with the berries (if using) and lemon zest. Toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Transfer to your prepared baking dish  Spread the topping evenly over the apples.

Bake for approximately 30 - 40 minutes (20 - 25 minutes for individual ramekins) or until bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.

Makes 4 servings.


1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground nutmeg (optional)

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup (30 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup (40 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans


6 cups (1.2 L) Granny Smith Apples or other firm, tart-tasting apple (peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks)

1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries (optional)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons (40 grams) white granulated sugar

Read more:

Monday, 17 October 2011

Oklahoma Wetlands ~ Photo by me, Autumn 2009

"Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth."

~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces 

Flowers Reluctant To Say Goodbye To the Summer

Flowers in the GardenFlowers in the GardenFlowers in the GardenFlowers in the GardenFlowers in the GardenFlowers in the Garden
Flowers in the GardenFlowers in the Garden

On Saturday, I walked out into my back garden. I was on my way to the dryer, which lives in the garage at the end of the path. All around me were signs of Autumn, brown, dry leaves crunching under my feet.

Yet, when I looked closer, I saw these geraniums still blooming. I thought that just like me, they are reluctant to say good bye to the Summer.

Or at the very least they are displaying their loyalty to their mistress by continuing to cheer her with their beauty and colour...

Maybe they will cheer you, as well.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

2 October, birth of Arthur Edward Waite
(7.12: Sun Libra, Moon Pisces)
co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Courtesy of Astroshamanism

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Birth of Venus, 1875
Alexandre Cabanel (French, 1823–1889)

I have found the most fabulous short article about Venus. As Venus is now in her own sign and conjunct Saturn where they are both playing havoc in my fourth house of home and security, she has been on my mind of late. And then, lo and behold, I find this article in a tweet. 

I love the idea of equating Venus with a Star. I always think of her as bursting from the sea and forget that she also graces the heavens with here presence...

What do you think of when you see a five-pointed star? Hollywood stars? The flag of the United States? Wicca, paganism, or witchcraft? The Virgin Mary? Gawain and the Green Knight? The military? Journeys to the underworld? The end of the Mayan calendar in 2012?

At times, I think of all of these things, but mostly, I think of the planet Venus, beauty, and the golden ratio. 
Here’s why:
Over time, the planet Venus draws a five-pointed star in the the sky.

“It does WHAT?” 

That was exactly my reaction, the first time I heard this.

Read more here:
The Oxford Astrologer: The Goddess of Love and the Golden Ratio