~Recipes to celebrate Imbolc~

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Imbolc, celebrate with foods that honour the hearth and home — breads, grains, and vegetables stored from the Autumn harvest such as onions and potatoes — as well as dairy items.


~Come and join us to celebrate Mabon~

The Mabon season has a long and rich history of legends and folklore. This time of year is associated with the cycle of life, death and rebirth thanks to its harvest connections. It’s also a season of balance and power, because there are equal hours of darkness and light on the day of the autumn equinox. From the myths of Persephone and Demeter to the gods of the vineyards, Mabon is a time to celebrate the magic and power of the second harvest.

Come along and join in the fun and celebrations here at: All About Mabon

We look forward to seeing you there, Mabon Blessings to all!

Lammas – A Time to Improve in Health, Wealth and Happiness

Lammas – A Time to Improve in Health, Wealth and Happiness
by Alison Yates

Lammas is normally celebrated on August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and is one of the eight Sabbats celebrated by Wiccans, Pagans and Druids.

Also known as Lughnassadh, Lammas is commemorated and celebrated as a time of abundance, prosperity and success. It is believed that during the period of Lughnassadh it is possible to make manifest immense positive changes in health, wealth and happiness.

Casting Spells during Lammas for drawing healing, abundance, prosperity and material wealth are said to be most successful.

Lammas is also considered to be the perfect time for lovers to commit to one another. Handfasting Ceremonies are always popular at Lammas. Handfasting is where couples are gently bound by a cord around their wrists which is then knotted to symbolise their commitment to each other. The lovers commit themselves to each other for “a year and a day,” “a lifetime,” “for all of eternity” or “for as long as love shall last,” by ritually “tying the knot.”

With love in the air around Lammas day any Love Spells that are cast on and around this day are said to manifest swiftly and successfully.

~Legends and Lore of Lammas (Lughnasadh)~


In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Lammas (Lughnasadh). Here are a few of the stories about this magical harvest celebration from around the world.

In Israel, the festival of Shavout commemorates the beginning of the harvest, as well as honoring the date that Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The final sheaf of wheat is brought to the rabbi for a blessing, synagogues and homes are decorated with flower, and a great feast is prepared for all to enjoy.

The festival of Onam is celebrated in India, and people dress up in their finest clothes and give food to the poor. Onam is celebrated in honor of King Mahabali, who was a ruler of Kerala. In one story, the god Vishnu approached Mahabali dressed as a beggar, and asked for land, which Mahabali gave him. Mahabli ended up buried under the earth by Vishnu, but was allowed to return once a year, symbolizing the planting of the seed and the subsequent harvest.

Thor’s wife, Sif, had beautiful golden hair, until Loki the prankster cut it off. Thor was so upset he wanted to kill Loki, but some dwarves spun new hair for Sif, which grew magically as soon as it touched her head. The hair of Sif is associated with the harvest, and the golden grain that grows every year.

In the Shetland Islands, farmers believed that grain harvesting should only take place during a waning moon. They also believed this about the fall potato crop, and the cutting of peat.

At Lughnasadh, calves are weaned, and the first fruits are ripe, such as apples and grapes. In some Irish counties, it was believed farmers had to wait until Lughnasadh to start picking these fruits, or bad luck would befall the community.

In some countries, Lammas is a time for warrior games and mock battles. This may hearken back to the days when a harvest festival was held, and people would come from miles around to get together. What better way for young men to show off their strength and impress the girls than by whacking away at all the competition? Games and contests are also held in honor of Lugh, the mighty Celtic craftsman god, in which artisans offer up their finest work.

It’s become a custom to give people the gift of a pair of gloves at Lammastide. In part, it’s because winter is just around the corner, but it’s also related to an old tradition in which landowners gave their tenants a pair of gloves after the harvest. The glove is a symbol of authority and benevolence.

With thanks to http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/lammas/p/LammasFolklore.htm

~How To Hold a Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual~

The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun will move further away in the sky.

  1. If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, consecrate a space, or call the quarters, now is the time to do so. This ritual is a great one to perform outside, so if you have the opportunity to do this without scaring the neighbors, take advantage of it.
  2. Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you’re limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.
  3. Say either to yourself or out loud:Today, to celebrate Midsummer, I honor the Earth itself. I am surrounded by tall trees. There is a clear sky above me and cool dirt beneath me, and I am connected to all three. I light this fire as the Ancients did so long ago. At this point, start your fire. Say: The Wheel of the Year has turned once more
    The light has grown for six long months
    Until today.
  4. Say:Today is Litha, called Alban Heruin by my ancestors.
    A time for celebration.
    Tomorrow the light will begin to fade
    As the Wheel of the Year
    Turns on and ever on.
  5. Turn to the East, and say:From the east comes the wind,
    Cool and clear.
    It brings new seeds to the garden
    Bees to the pollen
    And birds to the trees.
  6. Turn to Face South, and say:The sun rises high in the summer sky
    And lights our way even into the night
    Today the sun casts three rays
    The light of fire upon the land, the sea, and the heavens
  7. Turn to face West, saying:From the west, the mist rolls in
    Bringing rain and fog
    The life-giving water without which
    We would cease to be.
  8. Finally, turn to the North, and say:Beneath my feet is the Earth,
    Soil dark and fertile
    The womb in which life begins
    And will later die, then return anew.
    Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.
  9. If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it.Say:

    Alban Heruin is a time of rededication
    To the gods. The triple goddess watches over me.
    She is known by many names.
    She is the Morrighan, Brighid, and Cerridwen.
    She is the washer at the ford,
    She is the guardian of the hearth,
    She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration. I give honor to You, O mighty ones,
    By all your names, known and unknown.
    Bless me with Your wisdom
    And give life and abundance to me
    As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.

  10. Say:I make this offering to you
    To show my allegiance
    To show my honor
    To show my dedication
    To You.

    Cast your offering into fire.

  11. Conclude the ritual by saying:Today, at Litha, I celebrate the life
    And love of the gods
    And of the Earth and Sun.
    Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Allow your fire to go out on its own.

Come and join in the fun here: http://thesecretmoongarden.ning.com/group/all-about-litha

~Sweet Summer Incense~

From Scott Cunningham’s Incense Oils and Brews

2 Parts Sandalwood
1 part Mugwort
1 part Chamomile
1 part Gardenia petals
a few drops Rose Oil
a few drops Lavender Oil
a few drops Yarrow Oil
A Love Bath
3 parts Orange flowers
2 parts Lavender
1 part Gardenia petals
1 part Cardamon
1 part Ginger
1 part Rosemary
1 part Rose Petals

Litha Incense #1
2 parts Sandalwood
1 part Mugwort
1 part Chamomile
1 part Gardenia petals
a few drops Rose oil
a few drops Lavender oil
a few drops Yarrow oil
Litha Incense #2
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Benzoin
1 part Dragon’s Blood
1 part Thyme
1 part Rosemary
1 pinch Vervain
a few drops Red Wine


Wear one of the following oil blends to a Midsummer Sabbat to promote communion with the deities.
Midsummer Oil #1
3 parts Patchouli
2 parts Musk
2 parts Carnation
Midsummer Oil #2
2 parts Frankincense
2 part Myrrh
1 part Carnation
1 part Allspice
1 part Cinnamon


~Litha Cooking – Litha Sabbat Recipes~

Litha is the celebration of the summer solstice – and what’s a Sabbat without food? Take advantage of the summer crops of fruit and vegetables, and prepare a delicious feast for your Midsummer gatherings.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is in full bloom by Litha, so it’s a perfect opportunity to make a pitcher of cool lemon balm tea! Brew this up in your kitchen, and serve it over ice.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 Cups lemon balm leaves, fresh
  • Honey or other sweetener
  • Water


Bring 2 quarts water to a boil, and add the leaves. Reduce heat and allow to steep for about 15 minutes. Strain leaves out, and then add honey or other sweetener to taste. If the tea is too strong, add a bit of water to thin it out. Pour into an ice-filled pitcher and serve. You may want to add a sprig of mint for garnish.

Grilled Vegetables

Few things symbolize the midsummer season like early vegetables — peppers, onions, and even asparagus are delicious on the grill. During Litha, when we celebrate the power and energy of the sun, grilled vegetables are the perfect representation of that solar energy. After all, what’s better than cooking with fire, like our ancestors did? Toss some veggies on the grill and dig in for your Litha sabbat celebration!


  • 4 bell peppers (your choice of colors)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 zucchini
  • A bunch of green onions
  • 1/2 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Oregano


Preheat a grilling pan over medium heat.

Wash and trim all vegetables. Cut the larger ones, like zucchini and eggplant, into slices. Place the veggies in a bowl, and drizzle olive oil on them. Shake the bowl so that all the vegetables are lightly coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Add vegetables to the grilling pan, and and grill them until they are tender. They should be lightly charred, which will take anywhere from 8 – 12 minutes. It’s best to do this in small batches, unless you have a really big grilling pan.

While the vegetables are grilling, combine about 1/4 Cup olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary and oregano. Remove the veggies from the grill, place them in a bowl, and then add the herb and oil mix. Toss to coat them. Serve veggies warm with your Litha feast.

Note: Some vegetables tend to grill poorly, so be careful which ones you choose. Peppers, eggplant, asparagus, summer squash and onions all work well. Avoid veggies that are high in water content, like cucumbers, celery, or leafy greens.

Candied Ginger

Ginger is a root vegetable found in a lot of Asian cuisine, but it can be grown all over the world. To make this recipe, you’ll need about a pound of ginger root, which you can either grow yourself or pick up at your local grocery store. Candy it with sugar and corn syrup, then store it for a fiery and sweet snack combination!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes


  • 1 lb ginger root
  • 3 Cups white sugar, divided
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup white corn syrup


Peel the skin from the ginger root completely, and chop into small pieces.

Combine 2 cups of sugar, the water and the corn syrup in a crock pot and bring to high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has melted, add the ginger to the liquid. Cover, reduce heat, and allow to simmer overnight, or for about 12 hours.

Once the ginger has simmered overnight, drain off liquid. Place ginger in a bowl with the remaining 1 cup of sugar, and toss so that it’s completely coated. Pour our on a sheet of wax paper to cool (it helps to put them on a baking tray in the fridge). Store in an airtight container, and snack on whenever you need a fiery pick-me-up!

Fiery Grilled Salmon

In Celtic lore, the salmon is associated with knowledge. In fact, the first person to taste this delicious fish was granted all kinds of wisdom! At the summer solstice, certainly a time of fire, why not toss a salmon into the flame so you can partake of its vast knowledge? This simple dish can be prepared out on your grill to keep the kitchen cool, and tastes just as good cold the next day on top of a salad.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 2 lbs salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1/4 C. soy sauce
  • 1/4 C. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C. olive oil


Combine the olive oil, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic and cayenne pepper in a bowl and whisk together. Using a barbeque brush, brush half of the soy sauce mix onto the salmon fillets. Place them sauce-side down (skin-side up) on the grill for about six to seven minutes. Brush the remainder of the sauce onto the skin side, and use a large spatula to flip the fillets over. Grill for another five minutes or so and remove from heat. Allow the fillets to sit for about ten minutes before serving.

Note: A well cooked fish is one that isn’t too dry. When you remove the salmon from the grill, it may seem undercooked in the center. However, once it sits for ten minutes, the heat in the juices will make it finish cooking. Don’t cook salmon until it “looks cooked” in the middle, because by then it will dry out and lose its flavor.

Savory Snack Wraps

These snack wraps are easy to make, and can be prepped ahead of time and chilled in the fridge. They work nicely as an appetizer for any summer menu, or you can put together a variety of them as a main course for a light dinner.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbs. fresh dill
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 C. shredded lettuce
  • 1 C. shredded carrots
  • 1 C. diced tomato
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 2 C. your favorite cheese, shredded


Mix the dill and garlic into the cream cheese, and stir until blended. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly onto the tortillas. In layers, add the lettuce, carrots, tomato and chicken breast. Top with cheese.

To roll the tortillas up, fold the bottom of the tortilla up, and then fold in from one side. Use a toothpick to keep it from unrolling, and chill for an hour or so before serving.

Veggie-lover’s option: Instead of the chicken, used diced and cooked tofu, seasoned with a bit of teriyaki or soy sauce. You can also use chopped cucumbers or peppers. For a gluten-free alternative, use brown rice tortillas instead of flour.

Fresh Fruit Fennel Salad

Fennel has a rich, licorice-like flavor, and lends itself well to a cool summer salad. Add a bit of fruit to offset the savoriness of the fennel, top with a light mustard viniagrette, and you’ve got the perfect salad to serve as a side or main course.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 2 fresh oranges
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. honey mustard
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


Shave the fennel into thin pieces (use a mandoline if you have one), and toss it into a bowl. Peel and divide the oranges, and chunk up the Granny Smith apples, dice the green onions, and add all these to the fennel.

Combine the water, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey mustard, rosemary and garlic in a bowl and whisk until blended. Drizzle over the fennel and fruit salad.


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