Happy Fall, Y’all

We’re nearly three hours into the Autumnal Equinox from my Northern Hemisphere vantage point in Chicagoland. Fall Equinox, or Second Harvest, is one of my favorite Sabbats to celebrate. I honor my Holy Powers in this gilded season and watch the foliage of my local treescape transform from green to gold. The dying year is prepared for its final resting place in Winter’s embrace. With every falling leaf, I submit to Divine Mystery and ask for the guidance of my Goddesses and Gods to see me through the season of lengthening shadows, while I remember with thankfulness all the forms of abundance my Holy Powers have bestowed upon me.

Lengthening Shadows Point the Way to Harvest Home

The beloved, bifurcated tree I’ve dubbed the Hel Tree in Chicago’s Read-Dunning Memorial Park honoring Dunning’s nameless dead is the perfect organic and tangible metaphor for the abstract sense of Cosmic Balance we experience at the time of Fall Equinox. Part ghost-white and rotted out and part thriving, the Hel Tree emanates from A Place That Is Not A Place and distributes powerful messages for those canny enough to receive them. (I took all the photos below.)

Indeed, the magick of the Equinox is that the Cosmic Scales stand momentarily in balance. But, as the Goddess’ scythe falls on Gods and mortals, the Scales subsequently tip in favor of Darkness, and lengthening shadows point the way to Harvest Home. Ever does the Year-Wheel turn, revolving once more to its place at the advent of the season of the dead.

Hail the Traveler! Remembering My Beloved Friend A. Kruse

The month of August had barely gotten underway this year when I received the shocking news that my beloved friend A. Kruse, a woman I met in 1999 (as I did so many of my other treasured Chicago Pagan friends) via a public group called MoonBeats, lost her battle to colon cancer. A fiery and irrepressible Aries, she was a cultured goofball, vibrant and stylish, the two of us happily dancing the night away either at Neo or Club 950 during post-punk/Goth/Industrial nights. Exactly 10 years my senior, A.K. was the sister I always wish I had. A source of indefatigable support and encouragement, a wise counselor, and a bit of a trickster with an infectious giggle, A.K. influenced me greatly–from my love of the Cocteau Twins and Faith & The Muse to my penchant for wearing Indian-imported velvet clothing–and I am greatly pained I didn’t have one final chance to tell her how much she meant to me or express my love for her. We had a hoot together, always. And when we went out on the town, it was double trouble.

A.K. (right) and I gearing up for a night at Neo. Photo by R.A. Huber.

Prior to tonight’s Sabbat celebration, two of our mutual friends–now scattered on opposite coasts of the country–wanted to hold an online Memorial Service for A.K. for several of us who knew her and loved her, as none of us were able to attend the private out-of-state funeral organized by her blood relatives. It was a lovely tribute that tied into the Sabbat’s theme of being a Witches’ Thanksgiving. We each recounted the ways that our deep friendship with A.K. influenced us. It was a powerful testament to the ripple effect of love.

May A.K. journey well into the welcoming arms of her ancestors: So Mote It Be!

Reflecting on 10 Years of Legally Ordained Priestesshood

As I turn to the North and call to the stones,

I think of the gifts, the gifts that Earth brings.

Thanks for the harvest, the fruits of the earth;

Thanks for the deep sheltering seeds of rebirth.

Welcome, O Earth of the North!

Welcome the Gifts that You bring!

My Personal Book of Shadows, Fall Equinox Ritual

The day after my birthday two weeks ago marked my 10-year anniversary of being a legally ordained Priestess in the Fellowship of Isis via the Temple of Isis and Temple of Aset Serpentarius in Sonoma County, California. I was ordained under an 800-year-old fir tree that was rightfully designated as a Historic Landmark. Just being in the presence of that holy tree was enough cause to give me goosebumps and a feeling that my soul was being indelibly marked, never mind the sanctity of the life-altering ceremony I underwent that had me proclaiming to serve for the remainder of my life in this incarnation the Goddesses Hekate Khthonia, Bast, and Nephthys.

My Ordination was conducted by the Rt. Rev. Lady Loreon Vigné, a bad-ass lady who had a fondness for rescuing abandoned and abused exotic animals. Walking among ocelots, servals, peacocks, and cockatiels the size of my Corgi on the grounds of the Temple of Isis was a magickal experience unto itself, and I learned much of resiliency and of maintaining a sharp sense of humor no matter what from Rev. Vigné.

The day after my Ordination ceremony, she and my sister Priestesses at the Temple treated me to a belated birthday lunch at the Coppola Winery and Estate. Yes, as in Francis Ford Coppola! I was beyond amazed, as both The Black Stallion (1981) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) remain among my all-time favorite films. I was treated to the sight of the actual costumes worn by Gary Oldman and Sadie Frost in Dracula, which made me exceedingly giddy, as did the breathtaking surroundings of the vineyards themselves. As I smile and reflect on these photos, I cannot help but feel a tremendous outpouring of gratitude for my spiritual cornucopia of abundance.

Welcome, Autumn 2022! May Your Harvests Be Fruitful

Unsolicited dick-tater pic, you say? Nay! This was this week’s offering to my Guardian Orisha, known for His Potency! Ashé! ❤

Now that the Sun has entered the Cardinal Air Sign of Libra, we focus on balance, equilibrium, and partnerships. We can’t go it alone. We’re in this together. It’s time take stock of what we’ve accomplished so far as well as take stock of the resources we will need to sustain us as we venture forward boldly (shades of Aries, Libra’s opposite Sign in the Zodiac) into the encroaching Dark.

In honor of the Gods and Their blessings, how do you mark the fullness of your life and the harvest of this year’s lessons?

“How is the ground?”
“Well-cared for.”

“How are the crops?”
“Beautiful and plentiful.”

“What are our lives?”
“The harvest of the Gods!”

My Personal Book of Shadows: Fall Equinox Ritual

I’ll conclude this post with pics of my altar from earlier this evening and share the following prayer:

May the equal balance of Light and Dark

Bless us with insights

Into the Equilibrium that is Life Itself!

Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again!

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