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Welcome the second Harvest

A celebration of abundance, Autumnal or Fall Equinox, Mabon, Alban Elfed , Gwyl Canol Hydref(begins at sundown 9/22), Feast of Avalon or Harvest Home. This is the second harvest (and last for some regions) of the year and most Pagan's *Thanksgiving*. The Autumn Equinox, circa September 21, when the Sun enters Libra (September 22, 2012 9:46 AM EDT), day and night are equal length. Reflective of the seasonal dance we see out our windows, in the Wiccan traditions this is when the Goddess begins to enter her Crone aspect. The God is dying and preparing for rebirth at Winter Solstice/Yule. This is a time of prosperity, wealth, and balance. One's spellwork for this time of year includes the above as well as protection spellwork and thanksgiving. Some Pagans (much like the Jewish folk at Yom Kippur) use this time of year to "atone" for past wrong doings. The day before they fast and purify, offering food to those in need in attempt to undo their transgressions. After the fasting comes the feasting! To celebrate the harvest and the hard work done by all, as well as to thank the Earth for it's bounty. The best way is to have a potluck with family and/or friends. Come together to celebrate and give thanks.

'We have ploughed, we have sowed,
We have reaped, we have mowed,
We have brought home every load,
Hip! Hip! Harvest Home!
Hip! Hip! Harvest Home!'

Colors: Orange, Brown, Gold, Dark Red & Yellow--Other dark autumn colors work..I love deep violet at this time of year.
Decorations:(for home and altar/shrine): Acorns, Pomegranates, Pine Cones, fallen leaves, seed pods (though save some for the wild ones who will be nourished by these), dried flower heads, Corn Stalks, Gourds, Cornucopia, early pumpkins, bunches of Indian corn and Autumn flowers.
Food & Bev: Harvest Menu Apples, Breads-whole grain, fruit or nut, Apple Cider, Ale, Wine, Corn, Cornbread, Beans, Smoked Meats, Grapes, Nuts, Root Vegetables & Squash-this is aka the Witch's Thanksgiving so anything served at Civic Thanksgiving works here too. Harvest Recipes for Kids
Activities: Nature walks-collect dried plants and seed pods (the milk weed pod is great for a faery dream pillow!!), Hayrides, some leave apples at the grave site of loved ones who have passed on-others save this for Samhuinn, dry out gourds to make rattles. Harvest Crafts
Plants,Herbs,Incense, etc.: Acorn, Apple (dried or seeds), Myrrh, Rose, Sage, Thistle, Milkweed, Pine, Marigold, Yarrow, Rue, Bittersweet, Rosehips, Sunflower, Rosemary, Oak Leaves.


more on Mabon:
http://citadelofthedragons.tripod.com/mabon.html

A Hymn for Harvest Home
http://www.ladyoftheearth.com/songs/hymn-harvest.txt

Chorus:

Come sing a song of Harvesthome
The god is dead -- hurray!
Come sing of old John Barleycorn
Who'll live again -- some day!

Oh we'll brew some ale and bake some bread,
Lay down some cider too.
Make certain every soul be fed
Before the day is through.

Chorus:

The sun was born last yuletide eve;
Full grown by Lady Day.
Became the goddess' faithful reeve
At Beltane's fire in May.

Chorus:

The god became the tiny seed
We buried in the ground,
And grew so tall a plant indeed
With barley thick around.

Chorus:

The scythe so sharp has cut him down --
Has brought him to his knee
But the gift he bought us with his death
Will feed this family.

Chorus:

So break some bread and lift your cup
To Old John Barleycorn.
At bounteous tables let us sup
And sing until the morn.

Chorus:

For we some day must face the blade,
Fall silent in the snow.
But like the god we'll never fade --
We rise again, we know!

Chorus:

The Lady guides us through the night,
Through Samhane's misty gleam,
And brings us back into the light
From out a pleasant dream.

Chorus:

So toast the Lady and the Lord
And hold your glasses high.
And sit before the groaning board,
And drink your flagons dry!

Chorus:

So sing a song of Harvesthome
The god is dead -- hurray!
So sing of old John Barleycorn
Who'll live again -- some day!