The Witches Magick for Samhain – Honoring the Harvest’s End

Samhain Comments & Graphics

How To Honor the Harvest’s End

A Samhain Ritual for Wiccans and Pagans

By Patti Wigington, About.com

Celebrate the final harvest with a ritual.

Samhain represents, among other things, the end of the harvest season. If you haven’t picked it by Samhain, you probably won’t be eating it! The gardens have died off by now, and where we once saw lush green plants, there is nothing left but dry and dead stalks. The perennials have shut down for the season too, going dormant so that they may return to us in the spring. Animals are brought in from the fields for the winter — and if you’ve ever had a spider come wandering into your living room one chilly October night, you know that even the insects are trying to find a place to stay warm.

Here’s How:

If we had lived a few hundreds of years ago, we would not only have brought our cows and sheep in from the pastures. Most likely we’d slaughter a few of them, as well as some pigs and goats, smoking the meat so it would last through the cold months. Our grain that we picked back at Lghnasadhu has been baked into bread, and all of our herbs have been gathered, and hang from the rafters in the kitchen. The harvest is over, and now it’s time to settle in for winter with the coziness of a warm fireplace, heavy blankets, and big pots of comfort food on the stovetop.

If you want to celebrate Samhain as the time of harvest’s end, you can do so as a single ritual, or as the first of three days of ceremony. If you don’t have a permanent altar in place, set up a table to leave in place for the three days prior to Samhain. This will act as a your family’s temporary altar for the Sabbat. Decorate the altar with symbols of late fall, such as:

Skulls, skeletons, grave rubbings, ghosts

Harvest food such as pumpkins, squash, root vegetables

Nuts and berries, dark breads

Dried leaves and acorns

A cornucopia filled with an abundance of fruit and veggies

Mulled cider, wine, or mead

To begin your ceremony, prepare a meal for the family — and this is something that everyone can get involved in. Put emphasis on fruits and vegetables, and wild game meat if available. Also make sure you have a loaf of a dark bread like rye or pumpernickel and a cup of apple cider or wine. Set the dinner table with candles and a fall centerpiece, and put all the food on the table at once. Consider the dinner table a sacred space.

Gather everyone around the table, and say:

Tonight is the first of three nights,
on which we celebrate Samhain.
It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer,
and the cold nights wait on the other side for us.
The bounty of our labor, the abundance of the harvest,
the success of the hunt, all lies before us.
We thank the earth for all it has given us this season,
and yet we look forward to winter,

a time of sacred darkness.

Take the cup of cider or wine, and lead everyone outside. Make this a ceremonial and formal occasion. If you have a vegetable garden, great! Go there now — otherwise, just find a nice grassy spot in your yard. Each person in the family takes the cup in turn and sprinkles a little bit of cider onto the earth, saying:

Summer is gone, winter is coming.
We have planted and
we have watched the garden grow,
we have weeded,
and we have gathered the harvest.

Now it is at its end.

If you have any late-fall plants still waiting to be picked, gather them up now. Collect a bundle of dead plants and use them to make a straw man or woman. If you follow a more masculine path, he may be your King of Winter, and rule your home until spring returns. If you follow the Goddess in her many forms, make a female figure to represent the Goddess as hag or crone in winter.

Once that is done, go back inside and bring your King of Winter into your home with much pomp and circumstance. Place him on your table and prop him up with a plate of his own, and when you sit down to eat, serve him first.

Begin your meal with the breaking of the dark bread, and make sure you toss a few crumbs outside for the birds afterwards. Keep the King of Winter in a place of honor all season long — you can put him back outside in your garden on a pole to watch over next spring’s seedlings, and eventually burn him at your Beltane celebration.

When you are finished with your meal, put the leftovers out in the garden. Wrap up the evening by playing games, such as bobbing for apples or telling spooky stories before a bonfire.

What You Need

A table to use as your Samhain altar

Decorations that represent the late autumn season

A meal with lots of veggies, fruit, and bread

A cup of wine or cider

Calendar of the Moon for August 16th

Calendar of the Moon

 

16 Coll/Metageitnion
Day of the Apple Tree

Color: Apple-green
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon an apple-green cloth set a vase of apple branches, a bowl of apples, a single green candle, a pot of soil, seeds, a bowl of water, a jug of cider, and a bell.
Offerings: Plant seeds. Feed people outside the home.
Daily Meal: Vegan, with apples, applesauce, and cider.

Invocation to the Green Man of the Apple Tree

Hail, Green Man of the Autumn!
Apple tree of immortality
Whose branches hide the white hind,
Whose fruit nourishes all,
Whose juice gives gladness
To those who work your Earth,
Whose seeds show the pentad
Of the eternal Goddess,
Tool of Eris which shows
How the mighty may fall
Beneath your spreading branches,
Equal to the lowest in their folly
And fate; this is your gift,
Love-fruit, merry one,
Brightest star in the harvest
With the universal star at your core.
Teach us that this joy
Belongs to everyone,
As does your gift of health,
So may we all be hale!
We hail you, sacred apple tree,
Green Man of the Autumn,
On this your day of greatest nourishment.

Song: Here’s To Thee, Old Apple Tree

(Each comes forward and plants a seed in the pot of soil, saying, “Hail Green Man of the Earth!” Water is poured onto the pot, and then the rest is poured out as a libation. Pass the cider and apples around for everyone to share, and pour out the last as another libation. Ring bell and dismiss.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Carry A Piece of Good Fortune With You Throughout the Year – Money Talisman

Book & Candle Comments

Money Talisman

Items you will need:

Five pumpkinseeds

Three cinnamon sticks

One dollar bill

Green cloth

Green candle

Cinnamon or basil oil

Green ribbon

On a Friday during the Waxing moon, assemble all your items at dusks. Take the candle and rub (prosperity, basil or cinnamon) oil into it while focusing on your bills and debts being paid, see them being paid, picture yourself writing checks and smiling all the way to the bank. Light the candle and take the green cloth, add the pumpkinseeds. Cinnamon sticks, and the dollar bill and fold three times, tie with ribbon. Chant while you work and focus on money coming toward you.

“Dollar bill, work your will.

Pumpkinseeds do you deeds.

Cinnamon sticks, do the trick

Bring needed money & bring it quick.”

Repeat three times burn candle for nine minutes.

Keep talisman in your wallet or purse, and bills to be paid. Expect money to come know it will and it shall.

Hot Spiced Wassail

Hot Spiced Wassail

(Non-Alcoholic Version)

4  Cups Cranberry Juice

6  Cinnamon Sticks

5  Cups Apple Cider

1  Orange, studded with whole Cloves

1  Cup water

1  Apple, cored and sliced

½  Cup Brown Sugar

Mix juice, cider, and water in large saucepan or crock pot. Add cinnamon sticks, clove studded orange, and apple slices. Simmer mixture for 4 hours. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

Four Thieves Vinegar

Four Thieves Vinegar

Four Thieves Vinegar is used as a hexing agent. The name of the person you wish to curse is written on a piece of paper. The paper is soaked in Four Thieves Vinegar. The paper is allowed to dry and then is burned. It is the ashes of this paper you use in your ritual. Four Thieves Vinegar can be sprinkled on an enemy’s door step to break up their home.

To a gallon of strong cider vinegar add a handful of the following: rosemary, wormwood, lavender, rue, sage and mint. Add 1 ounce of powdered camphor gum. Tightly close the container with the cider  vinegar and herbs in it. Place this container in a pan of water and heat until the water begins to boil. Always shake this mixture before heating. Heat daily for four days. Strain the herbs from the liquid, bottle and keep tightly closed.

Youth Preserved Spell

 

Youth Preserved Spell

 

Combine these items….

Freshly pressed apple juice

Cider aged more then seven days

Brown and slightly sour apple vinegar

Clear apple brandy

One ounce of honey

One drop of winter green

Stir, warm and mix.

Take it every day and to work it say:

If I must pay
The apple price
I shall be young
As well as wise
Filling my cup
With honeyed days
And hours of youth
As Eden’s passes.

Calendar of the Moon for September 16

Calendar of the Moon

16 Coll/Metageitnion

Day of the Apple Tree

Color: Apple-green
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon an apple-green cloth set a vase of apple branches, a bowl of apples, a single green candle, a pot of soil, seeds, a bowl of water, a jug of cider, and a bell.
Offerings: Plant seeds. Feed people outside the home.
Daily Meal: Vegan, with apples, applesauce, and cider.

Invocation to the Green Man of the Apple Tree

Hail, Green Man of the Autumn!
Apple tree of immortality
Whose branches hide the white hind,
Whose fruit nourishes all,
Whose juice gives gladness
To those who work your Earth,
Whose seeds show the pentad
Of the eternal Goddess,
Tool of Eris which shows
How the mighty may fall
Beneath your spreading branches,
Equal to the lowest in their folly
And fate; this is your gift,
Love-fruit, merry one,
Brightest star in the harvest
With the universal star at your core.
Teach us that this joy
Belongs to everyone,
As does your gift of health,
So may we all be hale!
We hail you, sacred apple tree,
Green Man of the Autumn,
On this your day of greatest nourishment.

Song: Here’s To Thee, Old Apple Tree

(Each comes forward and plants a seed in the pot of soil, saying, “Hail Green Man of the Earth!” Water is poured onto the pot, and then the rest is poured out as a libation. Pass the cider and apples around for everyone to share, and pour out the last as another libation. Ring bell and dismiss.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

 

How To Hold a Mabon Apple Harvest Rite

How To Hold a Mabon Apple Harvest Rite

Mabon the Autumn Equinox , is celebrated in many ways around the world. It is a day of balance, with equal amounts of darkness and light, but soon, winter will arrive. In some Wiccan traditions, it marks the time when the Sun King descends into the underworld, from which he will be reborn atYule

In many pantheons, the apple is a symbol of the Divine. Apple trees. are representative of wisdom and guidance. This apple ritual will allow you time to thank the gods for their bounty and blessings, and to enjoy the magic of the earth before the winds of winter blow through.

Difficulty:

Average

Time Required:

Varied

Here’s How:

Decorate your altar with symbols of the season — a basket of gourds or small pumpkins, colorful fall leaves, acorns ,vines,, grapes or blackberries. You’ll also need a pair of orange candles to symbolize the harvest, a cup of cider or wine, and an apple.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now. Light your harvest candles. Face the altar and hold the apple in both hands. If you can do this rite outside, raise the apple up to the sky, and feel the wisdom and energy of the gods coming to you. Say

The apple is sacred, a symbol of the gods,
and holds the knowledge of the ancients inside.
Tonight I ask the gods to bless me with their wisdom

1. Slice the apple in half across the middle. Where the seeds are, you will see a five-pointed star. Place the two halves in the center of your altar. Say:

Five points in a star, hidden inside.
One for earth, one for air, one for fire,
one for water, and the last for spirit.

Turn to the north, arms raised to the heavens, and say:

The world passes from light into darkness,
and the golden fields of the earth bring the promise
of food and nourishment through the winter.

Face east, and say:

I stand on the threshold of the darkness,
and know that the summer breezes give way to autumn chill,
which bring forth the blazes of color in the trees.

Next, turn to the south and say:

I call upon the wise ones, the ancient gods,
as the sun moves away and fire fades,
to be replaced with the chill of the night.

Finally, face west, and say

I will reflect on the guidance of the gods,
and let the cool autumn rains wash over me,
cleansing my heart and soul.

Raise the cup of wine or cider to the sky, and toast the gods. Say:

The wild god returns this night to the belly of the Mother.
The mother goddess tonight becomes the Crone.
As the Wheel of the Year turns, the earth dies a bit each day.
I willingly follow the old gods into the darkness,
where they will watch over me, protect me, and keep me safe.

Sip from the cup, and as you drink your wine or cider, think about the power and energy of the Divine, in whatever aspect you choose to honor.

Extinguish one of the candles, and say:

The wild god has gone to rest in the Underworld.
I look to the darkness for renewal and rebirth.

Extinguish the other candle, and say:

The mother goddess has entered her most powerful stage.
She is the Crone, the wise one, and I ask for her blessing.

Stand in the darkness for a moment. Reflect upon all the changes that are to come, and those things that will stay constant. Feel the energy of the gods as you connect to them, and understand that even though winter is coming, the light will return again.

When you are ready, end the ritual.

Tips:

Leave the apples on your altar overnight, and the next morning, put them in your garden as an offering to the earth.

Feel free to replace the wild god and mother goddess with the names of deities from your own tradition.

What You Need:

A pair of orange candles.

A cup of cider or wine.

An apple and something to cut it with.

Yellow Dock Ointment

Yellow Dock Ointment

 
This ointment is great for annoying skin problems your pet may pick up such as ringworm on cats or mange type diseases in dogs. It will work on you too, for any sort of itchy or rashy things. To make this recipe, you need flowers of sulfur, available at the pharmacy, a small jar of vaseline, a bottle of apple cider vinegar and the roots. You will need to gather about 6 or 8 yellow dock roots. They are long yellow tap roots, and difficult to dig up. Look for plants growing in moist ground, it’s a bit easier to dig them there. Dice up your roots and place them into a small saucepan. Pour in enough apple cider vinegar to just cover them and simmer over low to medium heat until the roots are soft. Put the roots through the blender or a sieve to mash them thoroughly. Scrape the vaseline out of the jar into a bowl and add the mashed roots. Add 1 teaspoon of the flowers of sulfur. Stir to mix completely. You can put the blend back into the vaseline jar. To use just apply to the affected area twice a day for about a week, or less if it goes away sooner.

Immortality Potion

Immortality Potion

 
 
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup cranberry juice
3 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
1 cinnamon stick
3 orange slices, peeled
3 whole cloves
 
Put the cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon stick in a crockpot or similar pot. Push the cloves into the orange slices, one clover per slice, and put the slices into the mixture. Warm the potions in the crockpot. Pour into a mug. As you are sipping the brew, imagine yourself living a long and healthy life. Move your mind into the future and see the images of you growing old. Then move that energy into the potion using your will, focused breathing and the heat of your hands as you hold the mug.

Makes two servings.