A. picked me up around 9:30am. We were to celebrate Mabon at her new house.
First we went to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for our feast, plus corn kernels and empty jars for our magic. Our first stop was alcohol. We bought Coronas for A., my nephew, and I, and we bought A.’s fiancee Coors Light. For our libation, which we didn’t end up doing simply because I forgot about it, we were first going to make an autumn sangria. We looked at our schedule and, considering all we had to do that day, we decided to change it to moscato because, while I am fond of wine, A. is not and that is the only one she can handle. While actually in the booze aisle however, we chose a fancy vodka instead thinking that everyone could enjoy this, including the gods. It was salted caramel vodka. We bought apple cider to mix it with.
For our ritual, we bought corn kernels and, instead of buying pricey mason jars, we bought two jars of cheap baby food, (apples for the season), and planned on eating the apples for a snack then using the baby jars for our magic. The gods appreciate clever frugality, we figured.
All in all, the ingredients for the ritual and a small feast that would feed six people twice, plus alcohol, was $97. Not too shabby.
When we got back to her house, we put the stew on immediately as it needed to cook for eight hours. The recipe called for it to be cooked in a crockpot, but since we were making a crap ton, we put it in a giant black stock pot under super low heat instead. It was very bubble, bubble toil and trouble. Perfect.
Next, we went to work on the finer points of getting her moved in and settled. She had about twelve plastic tubs full of miscellany to sort. We went through each one and got things organized, which was fun because they were like time capsules. There was a bunch of mouse pee in one where she had stored some old puppy food. I was the one who found it… the hard way. Par for the course, I suppose. Nothing like a little mouse piss to signify a real change.
As we worked, sorted, hefted, and lugged, I thought that this, perhaps more than any magic in a book, was apropos for the season. Summer turns to Fall and we work toward completing a major change in her life. There is live woo in that—real, live woo.
After a couple of hours, it was time to start the pecan-caramel pumpkin pie. I let her do that all by herself. While I reign supreme when it comes to stews, soups, and brews, she is an excellent baker. Pie in the oven and we went back to work.
We finished everything and were all cleaned up at about 4:30pm, plenty of time to take a little break before we had to start the woo. We sat down, ate our apple baby food, and watched “Ozzy Man Reviews” on YouTube until we nearly laughed ourselves sick. (Small correction: I only ate a couple of spoonfuls of the baby food. It tasted like apple slime and had an aftertaste of chemicals. I thought: “No way I am ever feeding that crap to my kids!” Luckily, Angela was happy to eat the rest of mine.)
5:30pm and it was woo time. The idea was for us to get cleaned up before we did it, but we were both too tired, so we went to our woo grungy save for freshly washed hands. The rituals from Wicca, A Year and a Day called for us to make a corn dolly and bless it in a circle of corn kernels with candles at the four elemental points, but corn husks were nowhere to be found at the grocery store, so we made a corn kernel stick figure in the circle instead. The way she came out, it looked like she was dancing. That was perfect.
I lit the candles because A. is somewhat afraid of lighters. We held our hands over the circle and recited the following from the WYD book:
“Mystic dame of Harvest Home
Lend the spirit of the gnome,
In this circle of the corn,
May your blessings thus be born!”
(Roderick, p. 149).
Something about speaking it with our inside voices made it seem flat, so I decided we should do it “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” style. We said it again louder, then again louder, then a third time to raise the rafters. That was powerful. It seemed to call all the energies of the Goddess and God and our chosen pantheon in. It was like the natural forces stood up and paid attention. It was as if all of these were enjoying the sensation of rare loudness from us.
Not a part of the official ritual, we went with our guts then and made wispy hand movements over the corn circle. “Break the bubble,” I said, “and spread that good juice all over the place in this house.” We pulled the goodness out, flung it all around, and ended up smiling brightly. We were finished, yet it seemed like some kind of closure was needed. Again, on impulse, I banged my hands on the table in a drumroll of ever increasing volume. She did the same. We ended and both said, “Yay woo!” I realize now that the drumroll was actually a form of grounding. Strange how, when you allow it, a great part of the magical process is instinctual.
The next thing the book asked us to do, (for another Mabon day, but we were consolidating), was gather the corn from the circle and put it into jars, (baby food jars to the rescue). We broke up the circle and the goddess figure and swept the kernels into our jars. We were then to fill the jar up with purified water, (we used bottled water), and add mandrake root and blessed thistle. I tried to obtain these before the ritual, but they were too expensive, so we put cinnamon in the water and asked for the same blessings of purification and protection. Cinnamon is an excellent spice for all manner of things—and handy. It also seemed appropriate considering the two main elements of our feast, the stew and pie, both had cinnamon in them.
We closed up the jars, (or tried to, as cheap baby food jars are a bitch to reseal), and sat there for a minute not knowing exactly what to do. I thought perhaps we ought to shake them in a clockwise swirling motion and ask for each of the gods’ blessings while we did. We asked blessings of the great Goddess and God, and also of each of the 13 Olympians. When we reached Dionysos, I couldn’t think of anything specific, so I simply said, “Don’t make us go insane.” We both laughed, and I feel Dionysos laughed with us.
As per the book, we then took the jars out and put them in a place were the moon would touch them. We are to leave them there for a full lunar cycle, then bring them in, strain them, and use the water for blessings. Neither one of us could do the on and off the windowsill at night thing the book called for because we are both incognito witches, but instead we set them outside, on the ground, behind one of the planter walls so they will be in shade during the day and the moonlight will bathe them at night.
Soon after we were finished, sunset came, and so did my nephew, (happily and unexpectedly visiting me from his marine base in Hawaii). Next to arrive was A.’s fiancee. His friends, known to us as “The White Boys” didn’t come over after all, so we had all the crap ton of stew and bread and pie to ourselves. We drank and feasted and all cleaned up together. We sat down after and watched Family Guy until, again, we were near sick from laughing. Around 11:00pm, A. drove my nephew and I home and our Mabon celebration was over. I can’t imagine a better time.
Many thanks to the gods and their parents for the myriad blessings of love and timing that went into our day. It was the best Sabbat I have ever experienced.
(The practices detailed here consist of days 154 and 158 in Wicca, A Year and a Day.)