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A tea for the Last Harvest:  For tomorrow, I’m trying a new bit of tea…I refridgerated a bit of our jack’o’lantern’s scrapings and plan to simmer it up with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  I think something will bound to be missing…but I can’t think of what might be a good addition at the moment.  Maybe just some plain ole tea…like an Irish Breakfast or something.

Meet Opal: A couple years ago, when looking for an alternative to Santa Claus, who could still be tied into the Santa mythology, the Sabbat Faeries were born.  At Yule time, they help Santa out by delivering Solstice gifts to Pagan children, because Santa is pretty darn busy gearing up for Christmas Eve.  Now, there are a group of eight, and each one is in charge of a different holiday.

The Samhain, or Last Harvest Faerie, is named Opal, and I’ve been told by Chickadee that she lives in a tea pot hanging from the branches of a very old tree called Willow (who, of course, happens to be a willow).  In addition to her duties as a Sabbat Faerie, Opal helps the Willow Keepers (you might remember that the Willow Keepers are a group of Tree Herders, but if you don’t, that is okay because I just reminded you) tend the Willow Grove.

Opal and the Faeries have quite a few jobs to do for both Halloween AND Samhain–planting costume ideas into people’s heads when they need help, making sure that everyone has a fair amount of treats as they trick-or-treat, trying to keep the candle’s in the jack-o-lantern’s from going out, and putting the extra bang or super shrieky shriek into  All Hallow’s Eve fun.  But their most important task is organizing the spirit side of Rememberance Eve.  You see, it used to be that when the veil thinned and the spirits wandered that some of them got lost, and others caused a ruckus, and some of them even didn’t want to go  back afterwards!  Can you imagine the mess that made?!?

Let’s just say that Grandmother Moon and Mama O’shen and Mr. Mountain and…well, you know, all those head honchos, they were NOT happy.  Wayward spirits have a tendecy of scaring some people.  So, Opal and her friends were given the task of helping spirits find the right homes to visit–the homes with families who had prepared special meals to invite them in to share, and homes where families might not know about Samhain, but could use a little bit of comfort from their departed relatives.  For those spirits that no longer have families, I have heard that the Sabbat Faeries throw one heck of a party!

This year we thrifted our costumes…Chickadee (who had wanted to be a mermaid) changed her mind and decided to be Snow White.  She even wants to carry an apple and pretend to be going to take a bite unless she gets candy.  Dramatic much?  I guiess I should be glad she didn’t think of hair dye to really  be in charachter.  Sharkbait is going as a turtle…I actually had to hide his costume, because it was impossible to get him out of it!  I get to dress up, if I want to, for work tomorrow…I think I’m just going to do a devil tail and some devil horn hair clips that I have or something.  But tomorrow night…totally going as a mombie!  I’m going to put curlers in my hair, and the worst scrubby cleaning lounge clothes ever, and zombie make-up.  If anyone asks what I am, my kids drove me crazy and I became a mombie.

…because that’s sort of what I feel like right now.  Going on week three of The Hubby In San Diego.  I survived Weekend of Hell–two kids with strep and a snowicaine sort of sucks.  Although., I can’t complain too much–our power never went out, and other than a 25 degree temperature drop and some wicked tides (which could have been much worse, since we live three blocks from the beach), all we really had to deal with was three and a half days of practically non-stop rain (Sunday night’s wind was a little freaky too).  And while I can’t complain too much, because it COULD have been so much worse, I really want to.  ZOMG…sick kids cooped up in a house in crappy weather, whining and hacking, sneezing and snotting, making messes and falling asleep instead of cleaning them up…  What about mom feeling like crapola and not getting any sleep?  What about mom wanting to kick and scream and cry ?  I want to get sent to San Diego to work for a few weeks!

For Dinner Tomorrow:  I’ve decided against a family ritual tomorrow…with Sharkbait (or, probably with any 4 year-old child with ADHD), its just too much with only one grown up (Miss February has a job now, and works in the evenings).  Instead, we are going to do a Dumb Supper (it might be the only silence I get all evening) after trick-or-treating, and then light the altar and have prayer and a mini-meditation before bed time.  Then I might do something…or not–I think by then, I’ll be passing out for the night (I work outside, where it is quite cold, and I’m sick…).  But, I’m making colcannon (its already made actually, just have to reheat) with califlower to replace some of the potato, baked apple stew (I’ll link the recipes once I’m back to regualr internet on a real computer, instead of this IE app on XBOX), and pulled pork (which is also already made, I just have to thaw and reheat).

But I really want to try…the recipe for Mandragora Wine in Gerina Dunwich’s The Pagan Book of Halloween,which uses the fruit of one May Apple (which I can tell you is harder than heck to find–deer get to those darn things pretty fast!), 13 apples,. 3 oranges and 3 lemons, along with 7 lbs of sugar, three gallons of water and yeast.  The rest is basic wine making proceedure, and in about 5-6 months, wine!

Set the kidlets to making magic this Halloween: Catching a falling leaf as it drops from the tree, before it touches the ground, is said to make a wish come true!

Parting Thought:
I have set my face to the sun as we spin into the darkness. I will greet the beloved spirits of my family, and honor the spirits of my ancestors on this night where the bridge between the realms of like and death is at its strongest. For it is death that makes life possible–that nourishes the living. May our remerberance honor those who have made our lives and our livlihoods, from the threshing of grain to the passing of prior generations.
(inspired by some of the phrasing in Ceiswr Serith’s A Book of Pagan Prayer)