Pagan mamas: how do you plan on celebrating the fall equinox? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 09-10-2010, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the title pretty much says it all. I've decided last winter that we were not going to celebrate Christmas anymore, but celebrate the solstices and equinoxes instead. My son was 4 then, and seeing Christmas as the holiday where he gets present and that's it. Too meaningless for me, but as we are no Christian or Jewish, we had nothing religious to celebrate. And we have no family anywhere close, so it's not like we have a family event to go to. So... the fall equinox is approaching, and I'm looking for ideas for what to do. I'll try to get the day or afternoon off, and maybe go for a walk and harvest whatever we can harvest here (we live in the high desert), make some food (I'd like to have local ingredients), but I'm feeling at loss. I wasn't raised religiously or spiritually. Any tips?

"That boy, Frank, he lives inside his own heart. That's a real big place to live." ~ Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) in Sling Blade
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#2 of 13 Old 09-10-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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just and that there must be involved...and maybe some
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#3 of 13 Old 09-10-2010, 11:52 PM
 
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At Lughnassadh I finally checked out a local Grove, but I am committed to another event on the day they are celebrating the equinox. DH planned the menus, and he's gone more Buddhist so I'm not sure he planned for a particular harvest meal. I'll have to check on that.

Since we're also UU, we usually go to services on Sunday, and if we're lucky it might mention something about the seasons. Sorry that doesn't help more.

Unitarian Universalist Pagan
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#4 of 13 Old 09-12-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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In our Pagan household, we are very inspired by Waldorf education and ideas. We follow the seasons, and watch the ever-constant changes all around us. Even living in Southern Florida, where our seasons' changes are so subtle, the changes are there. We've been talking about fall approaching, my oldest is 4.5, and he understands. He is REALLY into the weather, and its changing patterns, so he is very aware of the seasons beginning to change. Our big plumeria tree has begun to turn from deep green to paler yellow, and lose its leaves. The oaks have acorns aplenty, and he watches for these things.
For equinox, we will probably set up our nature table to have an autumn theme. We will probably create an "Autumn Tree" project out of sticks and small branches for his nature table, and perhaps create some kind of craft of colorful leaves to adorn it with. His cousin from NY sent him a ton of acorns, and he will incorporate those into his fall projects and the nature table. We will talk about the sun moving into a different place for this season of the year. We will probably be outside as much as we can. A meal of seasonal food; the avacados will be ready for picking soon, so that will probably be a big deal, as we have followed their progress since January. We will probably not cram a bunch of projects into a single day, but rather begin preparing at least a week in advance, so the excitement can set in. I find that the essence of a holiday, as a special day, is that much more special if we talk about it, and prepare ourselves for it in advance. It is also nice for the sense of focus on our crafts leading up to that special day. During all of these little rituals, we thank the earth for Summer's bounty and warmth. We welcome the earth's period of resting, as she prepares for Winter. I do my best to instill an attitude of gratitude for all of our blessings during our crafts and rituals.
I will probably also create some kind of gift for both of my boys, as I have done for other seasonal holidays. I like to give homemade presents for special holidays.
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#5 of 13 Old 09-12-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Could anyone out there suggest some good websites/blogs for ideas. I'd like to involve my children in making crafts, altar, food to celebrate.
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#6 of 13 Old 09-12-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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My favorite book for families who are looking for seasonal cycle/nature focused spirituality is Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson. Circle Round is another good book, but it's more focused on the traditions of Reclaiming Witchcraft and although I feel very connected to that tradition, the activities in the book don't mesh with a lot of our beliefs and I often have to adapt things. Still, I think both books are great, and Circle Round has more stuff for older (tween and up) children.

Pooka Pages is a wonderful resource for pagan children (and parents )


~~~~~~~~~~~~
We visit our CSA farm and gather food straight from the field. And at home we open the windows/doors and shoo the old energy out while welcoming the harvest in... our family table gets covered with signs of the harvest. Actual food, but also symbols of more abstract things we've "harvested" (like books for knowledge) and pictures of things we're thankful for.

We often celebrate by going on a nature walk, collecting stuff, then turning that stuff into a wreath to go on our door (the base is a grapevine wreath from the craft store, the kiddos can push their treasures into the spaces created by the vines). I usually try to add a few sunflowers to the wreath since sunflowers feel very Mabon to me.

We make magic wands ... during the walk we look for branches, then tie ribbons and bells and glitter and feathers to the branch and parade around our house shaking our wands and spreading happiness for the harvest. The parade usually involves leaving gifts here and there (a bell, a button, a feather, some of the glitter, etc) for the Fair Folk and the spirits of our land. The parade ends at the dinner table and after dinner we leave an offering of a little food/drink outside along with the wands... the wands stay outside (the opposite of a scarecrow that frightens negativity away, the wands get stuck in the ground to spread positive energy), this year I may roll them in peanut butter and seeds as bird/squirrel gifts in the vague hope of distracting those critters from our veggie patch.

And the dinner we share will focus on the harvest... a Three Sister Stew (corn, beans, and squash always but the other ingredients vary based on what we have), home made applesauce with local honey, fried polenta with local butter. Local wine or hard cider for dh and I, local grape juice or apple cider for the kids. Yum!

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#7 of 13 Old 09-12-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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websites:
artfulparent: http://artfulparent.typepad.com/
magic onions: http://themagiconions.blogspot.com/
moment to moment: http://momenttomomentdk.blogspot.com/

these are full of awesome crafts!!! not necessarily pagan, but def. nature inspired.

book: moon magic- this has crafts, recipes, spells and tons of cool, relevant info.
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#8 of 13 Old 09-14-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
Pooka Pages is a wonderful resource for pagan children (and parents )
thanks! this looks great!
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#9 of 13 Old 09-14-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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I have been invited to an Equinox celebration on Equinox in the evening. But this mama might be too tired to attend since it’s a week night and doesn’t start until 7:00. We are also invited to a gathering at a friends house on Saturday. Both events are of course potlucks :-)

At home I would create a Harvest altar with fall items, a cornucopia full of real garden items, and Goddess and God statues, perhaps a candle. I would have a nice feast like dinner for our small family with seasonal foods like squash, root veggies and pie. We could talk about things we are thankful for, especially our bountiful garden. This time of year is perfect for garden exchanges too.

One thing we did in the past was to “can” energy for the winter - did this in my women's circle. Taking a half pint jar we filled it with grains, beans, seeds, dried herbs/flowers (generally things already dried that would not spoil) and notes of affirmation and perhaps small tokens like beads, charms, coins (great time to add prosperity to spellwork). We filled the jars with the bountiful energy of the season and tightened the lids on. The jar can sit on your shelf or altar. It can be opened in the colder months to release the energy if needed.

Also, Circle Round is a great book for kids and adults. Highly recommended!

Blessings,

Rhianna
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#10 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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I tend to always celebrate Mabon with a bonfire and a small feast comprised of squashes, apples, sweet potatoes and other fall fruits and veggies. This year I plan to invite some friends from work over so I'll probably tone down the pagan aspect a bit but we'll see. I always end the night with some sort of ritual before I put the fire out or let it burn down for the night. I haven't planned exactly what I'll be doing or if I'll include my son or friends yet....I'm still working on it. I really want to utilize the energy of the equinox and the full moon to the best of my ability.

During the day I plan on making some fall crafts with DS and having him help me prepare the food for the night. I'll have to check out some of these links! Thanks :-)

And have a Happy Mabon/Equinox everyone!

S~ Peace loving, natural living, FuNkY vegan mama to Keiran bouncy.gif 23/Dec/06:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
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#11 of 13 Old 09-17-2010, 05:14 PM
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while not expressly pagan, we do follow the rather waldorf way of things, and follow the seasons as best we can. we stick with myths that resonate with us, and then create holidays around that and the solstices/equinoxes.

there's a waldorf book called "all year round" that has different craft and celebration ideas for each season that is good. and mothering's own AnnetteMarie has a seasonal book as well that offers crafts, songs, games, and so on to celebrate the seasons, too.

we are heading toward spring, here, and it looks like another waldorf-y mother and i are gathering our families together for a small spring celebration at the botanical gardens.
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#12 of 13 Old 09-22-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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Oh my, I was looking for more ideas to do with in children in celebrating fall solstice this year and what a wonderful website i came across. I know my girls and i are very much so looking forward to this wonderful day. Traditionally we eat and bake together and find fall leaves and light a fire before bed. A fun idea to try if you have not is to write your hopes and wishes on paper or even things you would like to dispose of on paper and throw them into the fire. Since fall is a time of death and rebirth we must think of how this is so in our lives. the death of a flower is only the rebirth through its seeds. Maybe if you have sunflowers in your local area you can make up a fun project with you children or family the incorporates them. Happy Mabon
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#13 of 13 Old 09-26-2010, 01:48 AM
 
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Just wanted to let y'all know that not only do I blog extensively on pagan parenting (including the sabbats), but I just started a new pagan parenting board, and would love to have you there.

blog: http://witchmom.com
forum: http://lilyshahar.com/forum
(the forum will appear on witchmom.com once we do some renovations, but I was eager to dive right in and start, so I hosted it elsewhere until we were ready!)

Mama to a 3 year old awesome kid, Rowan (aka Mister Boopy) and TTC another at 43!


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