Tomorrow marks the beginning of fall with the autumnal equinox. It brings a change in the seasons, a winding down of nature from summer into winter and the Harvest Moon that traditionally allowed farmers to work late in it’s light. It is a time to celebrate nature and the harvest bounty and autumn brings us.
If you are feeling in tune with nature, these traditional rituals and recipes are a great way to celebrate the autumnal equinox.
Your kitchen is not just where you prepare meals, concoct healing tonics, and craft enchantments; it is also a temple with an altar where you honor spirit. This change-of seasons sabbat of Mabon, on September 22, marks the turning of weather and the other face of nature. Mark the four directions on your altar with a loaf of bread in the east, a bowl of apples in the south, a bottle of wine in west, and an ear of Indian corn in the north.
LEAFY LEGEND— GRABBING LUCK BY THE HAND
Here is a sweet bit of alchemy available to all, handed down from medieval times.
Wise women of yore taught their children to look for falling leaves. To catch one in your hand is the best kind of luck, directly from Mother Nature herself. Carry it with you for a season and you will be safe from harm and find gifts in your path. If you are especially blessed to catch two leaves in one season, the second is for your companion of destiny. You will be bound by both feeling and fortune.
Corn Moon Clan Pot
Here we have the best of both worlds in one pot. Kids will love this “a-maize-ing” dish—they will ask for seconds! It can be a nice meal to serve during the Corn Moon and ritual feasts involving growth and transformation. Corn is associated with self-sustainability and fecundity, both of people and of the land. Sharing this dish on the September full Moon is a time to remember and be grateful for all we have sown and all we have reaped to acknowledge the continuing cycles of life.
2 cups (200g) dry penne pasta
8 ounces (225g) diced tomatoes
1 jar enchilada sauce,
8 ounces (225g)
11⁄2 cups (350ml) water
2 cups (250g) shredded, cooked chicken
1 can black beans
1 cup (175g) fresh (or frozen) corn
2 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1⁄2 cup (50g) Cheddar cheese, grated
Basil, cilantro (coriander), chives, avocado, and sour cream
In a large pan over high heat, combine the pasta, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and water. Heat to a boil, then reduce the temperature to medium heat; add the chicken, black beans, corn, and salsa. If your family likes it extra hot, throw in some green peppers to turn the heat up a notch. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and cooked through. Top with the cheese and the herbs; place the lid on the pan. Let the cheese melt in for 5 minutes and serve up this global crowd pleaser in heaping bowls.
For more rituals and recipes to celebrate the festivals of the season, check out The Book of Kitchen Witchery by Cerridwen Greenleaf.