The Good, The Grim, and The Wild: Reaping & Making at the Autumn Equinox

The Good, The Grim, and The Wild: Reaping & Making at the Autumn Equinox

Welcome, sacred and soulful time. Embrace us, holy moment of temperance. Twist us, dark and light. Bury us wholly beneath shadow and soul. Tear us in two between what was and what will be. We are eager to atone. We are prepared to reconcile and release. It is the Autumn Equinox. The next turn leads to a new unknown and we are anxious to dive into the darkness…

Summer began with beautiful grace and ease. It lifted our skirts and playfully swept our hair in our eyes. We were dizzy spinning in it.

But that gentle, early summer whirlwind became an insane, terrifying tornado and we were not prepared.

Storms. Fires. Excruciating losses. Here at the end of the blazing, raging days of the season, many of us are sensitive about everything with energy left for almost nothing. Some are devastated (and oddly, firmly hopeful). Many of us are wrecked by ALL of our feelings (and no less determined to care). Most of us are in desperate need of a nap.

Rent asunder by the insanity of politics, disasters, personal losses, terrifying unknowns, old wounds, and more, many of us come to now on the cusp of disowning our most wild and wonderful parts… we are OVER the real trials and the conjured drama.

Behold, we are deeply invested (and suddenly have zero fucks to give).

And, lo, we are more wild and free than ever.

After going through hell, we are finding heaven on earth in the rubble, in each other’s words and arms, in the smoldering landscape that will doubtless be reborn. The world is a hot mess–and still achingly beautiful. We are moved to tears. We stand almost surprised to be alive, shocked and awed and downright giddy.

And, suddenly, we are intrigued, curious, mischievous, and very, very excited about what else our wild souls can do.

It’s the autumn equinox and we are HERE FOR IT, y’all.

Time to celebrate the blessed, abundant, generous harvest.

Time to sing and dance (and cry and scream and laugh hysterically) around what we have reaped, wild ones.

Time to grieve what did not survive the summer.

Time to mourn what lays wilted in the field. Time to sing gentle lullabies for every dream that did not make it. Time to sob as we read the names of those we’ve lost. Time to walk all of the scorched earth: the fields we burned and turned and the smoldering gorges reclaimed by Nature.

Time, too, to lay the plan that will deliver us to and through winter.

For we must ride this descent into darkness with a solid road map. Commit to deliberately contract so we can meaningfully expand. Surrender ourselves to the simple work that will deliver the outcomes we desire.

It’s time to pack the baskets we’ll be bringing on our journeys inward, deep, and down. It’s time for witches everywhere to get to work….

In our apothecaries,we craft tinctures. Spring tips of Douglas fir, stinging nettle, and Hawthorn berries steep to soothe and heal our hearts. Combined with honey, their steeped tincture will serve as a wonderful tonic through the cold months ahead.

In our kitchens, we make earthy, warming soups–mushroom and pearl barley–to celebrate the forest and the Fae. For where the mountains and forests blazed, there will be fungus and magic to rebirth/reclaim the land soon. We make a way for the magic in our hearts and bowls.

Mushroom Barley Soup

September 22, 2017
: 4-6
: 1 hr 30 min
: 30 min
: 2 hr
: Easy

A hearty, earthy vegetarian soup to nourish the body and celebrate forest magic. Gluten- and dairy-free.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 6 1/2 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • 1.5 lbs mixed fresh mushrooms (shiitake, crimini, morel, baby bellas, etc.), wiped and chopped
  • 3 T tamari
  • 3 T dry sherry
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • sliced avocado for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable stock to boiling. Add pearl barley and cook until tender.
  • Step 2 Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, heat olive oil. Sautee onion until translucent. Add garlic and celery and sautee until just softened.
  • Step 3 Add chopped mushrooms and stir to combine.
  • Step 4 Add cooked barley (including leftover stock in pan to stockpot).
  • Step 5 Add remaining vegetable stock, 1 tsp salt, and tamari. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Step 6 Just before serving, add dry sherry and stir to combine.
  • Step 7 Season to taste with salt and generous black pepper.
  • Step 8 Garnish with fresh avocado slices.
  • Step 9 Serve with whole grain rolls and crispy arugula and spinach salad.

From the garden, we harvest abundant, healing sage to put sacred salt in our cupboards for fall.

One cup sea salt, 3/4 ounce sage (Salvia officinalis), and 3T lemon zest dry together to make a bright, blessed spice for autumn feasts.

At our writing desks, we put dangerous words on paper, we craft ineffably beautiful tales. We make commitments and we reclaim our time.

We live that fundamental magic: YOU GET THE STORY YOU TELL.

We know better than to tell stories that make us the victim. Instead, we tell stories of power-with and power-from-within, stories of triumph and justice and joy.

At our stoves, we bake magical galettes–apples and peaches for love & health, cinnamon & clove for abundance– to honor summer’s sweetness and celebrate the second harvest’s bounty.

Autumn Tart with Apples & Peaches

September 22, 2017
: 8-12
: 1 hr
: 1 hr
: 2 hr
: Moderate

A simple yet elegant treat celebrating sweet summer/late summer fruits.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 vegetable shortening or chilled butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 4 T water
  • 2 large organic pink lady apples
  • 2 large or 3 medium organic ripe, sweet peaches
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 6 T butter or coconut oil
  • 5 T honey
  • Pinch each cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine first four ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  • Step 2 Using a pastry blender, cut in coconut oil and shortening/butter. Continue to work in oils until dough is crumbly.
  • Step 3 In a small bowl, whisk water and egg white together until well combined and just fluffy/bubbly.
  • Step 4 Slowly add egg white/water mixture to dry ingredients. Stir with a mixer blade to blend well until smooth.
  • Step 5 Shape the moist dough into a ball and wrap in saran wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. While dough chills, prepare the fruits and sauce.
  • Step 6 Core, peel, and slice the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices. Toss in a bowl with 2 T lemon juice.
  • Step 7 Peel and slice peaches into 1/4 inch slices. Add to apples in bowl.
  • Step 8 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Step 9 Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Roll refrigerated dough out onto parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Step 10 In small saucepan, heat oil/butter and honey until just warm and well combined. Add spices to taste.
  • Step 11 Beginning about 1 1/2 inches from the outside edge, arrange alternating apple and peach slices in a single layer on crust. Drizzle evenly with half of the honey/fat mixture.
  • Step 12 Add another layer of apple and peach slices. Drizzle evenly with remaining honey/oil mixture.
  • Step 13 Carefully turn crust edges up and over the edge of the fruits.
  • Step 14 Bake 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking another 30-35 minutes until edges are golden and fruits are bubbling. Serve warm.

At our hearth fires, we throw blessings and names and incense into the flames. Our fires deliver our whispers of gratitude and grief on plumes of dragon’s blood, olive leaf, lavender, and myrrh. The smoke gives voice to every apology, protestation, and prayer our mouths did not utter.

We give thanks to every friend and for every lesson. We pray for the protection of the planet, commit to justice for the under-served, and lend our voices to the chorus demanding justice for the oppressed.

We are headed into autumn, going deep into shadow. We are each other’s keepers. We stand in the great balance ready for the dizzying, dark turn, tumbling into the underworld together: possible, powerful, peaceful, and prepared.

Happy autumn equinox, wild ones.

Bless and blessed be.

 

 

 

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