|From the Editor:|
Is it just me or does this year seem to be going very fast. This edition of the Ravenhawks' news letter will address the First Harvest, In past news letters we have taken in depth looks at the customs, history, and the correspondences Lughnasadh. This newsletter will briefly touch these things. This newsletter will be brief as a bout with chaos has made it difficult to complete in a timely manner. First Harvest is a time to look at things begun in spring and complete them now. It is also a good time to work on attracting prosperity and abundance into your life. Other Rituals that may be done successfully on this holiday are:Astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success.
The Celtic harvest festival on August 1st takes its name from the Irish god Lugh, one of the chief gods of the Tuatha De Danann, giving us Lughnasadh in Ireland, Lunasd�l in Scotland, and Laa Luanys in the Isle of Man. (In Wales, this time is known simply as Gwl Awst, the August Feast.)
Lugh dedicated this festival to his foster-mother, Tailtiu, the last queen of the Fir Bolg, who died from exhaustion after clearing a great forest so that the land could be cultivated.
Artists and entertainers displayed their talents, traders came from far and wide to sell food, farm animals, fine crafts and clothing, and there was much storytelling, music, and high-spirited revelry.
This was also an occasion for handfasting, or trial marriages. Young men and women lined up on either side of a wooden gate in a high wall, in which a hole was carved, large enough for a hand. One by one, girl and boy would grasp a hand in the hole, without being able to see who was on the other side. They were now married, and could live together for year and day to see if it worked out. If not, the couple returned to next year�s gathering and officially separated by standing back to back and walking away from each other.
Notions, Potions and Spells w/ Lady Wyndesong|
1 part chamomile
1 part rosse hip
1 part rose
5 drops of sandlwood oil
5 drops rose oil
2 tablespoon of Carrier Oil
10 drops rose oil
10 drops sandalwood oil
3 drops frankincense
Good Fortune Potion
1 part allspice
1 part nutmeg
1 part orange peel
1 part dill
Grind all herbs together into a fine powder while focusing on bringing good fortune into your life. Sprinkle the powder where ever you want to be fortunate.
3 whole cloves
amber scented oil
Small jar or container
Create your protective circle. anoint your candle with the amber scented oil. place it in the holder.now hold your 8 dimes and three whole cloves in the hand that you put the anointing oil inand charge the coins to attract prosperity to you. Place the coins around the base of the candle place the clove pieces in the container. Leave the container on your altar near the candle and coins.
Now visualize what your self prosperous . See the prosperity at work in your life.
Light your candle and repeat these words three times.
Grant me prosperity and make it last
as the coins in this container grows
so to me prosperity and abundance flows.
So it is and so it must be.
When the candle burns down place the coins in the container with the cloves. place the jar where you can see it daily try to add a few dimes to it every week.
"Blessed be the Harvest,
Blessed be the Corn Mother,
Blessed be the Grain God,
For together they nourish both body and soul.
Many blessings I have been given,
I count them now by this bread.
Guardian of the East, I pray for your indulgence.
Hear me now as I request your aid in the cycle of life.
As your winds blow through fields of ripened grain,
Carry loosened seeds upon your back
That they may fall amidst the soil
That is our Mother Earth."
- Lammas Ritual
Food, Crafts & Decorations|
Lughnasadh/Lammas Foods: Loaves of homemade wheat, oat, & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, summer squash, nuts, acorns, wild berries (any type), apples, rice, pears, berry pies, elderberry wine, crab apples, mead, crab, blackberries, meadowsweet tea, grapes, cider, beer
Wheat and Oat Bread
1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (120 degrees F. to 130 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons honey or maple-flavored syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons cooking oil
Nonstick spray coating
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. In a medium mixing bowl combine 1-1/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, the 1/3 cup oats, the yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the water, honey or syrup, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in whole wheat flour and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.
2. On a lightly floured surface knead in enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Spray a bowl with nonstick coating. Place dough in bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (50 to 60 minutes). Punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
3. Spray an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan with nonstick coating. Shape dough into loaf; place in pan. Cover; let rise until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes). Brush with milk; sprinkle lightly with additional oats.
4. Bake in a 375 degree F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pan. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf (16 servings).
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare and bake bread; cool completely. Freeze in a freezer container or bag up to 1 month. To serve, thaw bread at room temperature.
Whole Wheat Apple-Nut Bread
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 6-ounce carton plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 cup chopped pecans, black walnuts, or hickory nuts
1/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 1-1/2-quart casserole; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, yogurt, brown sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy.) Fold in nuts and raisins. Spoon batter into the prepared casserole. Sprinkle with wheat germ.
3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning.
4. Cool in casserole on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from casserole. Cool completely on wire rack. If desired, wrap and store overnight before slicing (bread will be slightly moister the second day). Makes 12 servings.
Upside-Down Berry Cornmeal Cake
* 2 to 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries
* 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
* 1 Tbsp. finely snipped fresh basil
* 2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2/3 cup milk
* 1/3 cup canola oil
* Fresh Basil and/or mint (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 8-inch round cake pan, line bottom of pan with parchment paper; grease. Arrange 1 1/2 cups berries in bottom of pan; set side. In bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, basil, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In another bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined; pour over berries. Spread evenly.
3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of the pan to loosen sides . Invert. Remove parchment. Top with remaining berries, basil and mint. Makes 10 servings
Wild Berry Summer Soup
* 4 cups strawberries, hulled
* 1 cup blueberries
* 1 cup raspberries
* 1/2 cup port wine or orange juice
* 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
* 1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh mint
* 1 to 2 tablespoons raspberry-flavored vinegar or white wine vinegar
* Fresh mint sprigs, orange peel strips, and/or lemon peel strips (optional)
1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. In a blender container or food processor bowl, cover and blend or process the berries, one-third at a time, until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the seeds; set mixture aside. Wash out the blender container or food processor bowl; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a 1-quart saucepan bring the 1/2 cup wine or orange juice and ginger to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in half-and-half.
3. In the clean blender or food processor bowl combine the 1/2 cup orange juice, the sugar, snipped mint, vinegar, fruit mixture, and wine mixture. Cover and blend or process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled. To serve, ladle into chilled soup bowls. Garnish with mint sprigs, orange peel, and/or lemon peel, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.
Skillet Scalloped Corn
* 2 teaspoons butter
* 1/2 cup crushed rich round, wheat, or rye crackers
* 1 11-ounce can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
* 1 7- to 8.75-ounce can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, whole kernel corn, or white (shoepeg) corn, drained
* 2 1-ounce slices process Swiss cheese, torn
* 1/3 cup milk
* 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
* Dash ground black pepper
1. For topping, in a 10-inch skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the crushed crackers to the skillet. Cook and stir until light brown. Remove topping; set aside.
2. In same skillet combine remaining crushed crackers, corn, cheese, milk, onion powder, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese melts. Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle with topping. Makes 4 servings.
Crafts and Decorations
Fall Pear Centerpiece
Fill a shallow platter with pistachios, pears, and apples. Add a few branches of bittersweet berries for texture.
Next, cut out a dozen or more leaf shapes from yellow, orange, and red paper. Scatter these through the arrangement. image1
What You Need:
* Serving bowl or dish, at least 2 inches deep
* 2 cups (or more, to fill dish) uncooked popcorn kernels, shelled peanuts, dried beans, small hard candies,colored dried corn kernels
* 3 or more votive candles, or dripless low tapers
* Clear glass candle holders to fit candles
1. Fill dish with dried material. If you're using food items, have an extra bowl of the goodies nearby for snacking, so little hands won't be tempted to disturb the lighted display.
2. Press candles (or candle holders) into the dish until stable. Remove excess dried material as needed so that candle wicks are well above the level of the items in the bowl. image 2
First, choose a container that's sturdy and is not glass -- like a tin box or antiqued urn. Fill the container about a third to half full of sand (available at local garden centers or hardware stores).
Determine the height of the display according to the container you're using. The wheat that shows above the rim should be about 1 1/2 times the height of the container. If you're using an 8-inch tall container, the top of the wheat should be about 12 inches above the rim. Add the height of the container from the rim down to the bottom of the sand before you cut. In our example, we had to add about 5 inches for the part of the wheat that won't show.
Cut all of the wheat to the same length by lining up the tops first, then measuring down from there. Cut a few test pieces to check the look and height. Once you find a good length, use a stalk as a measuring guide to cut the rest of the wheat and begin sticking bundles of stalks in the sand. Add bundles of wheat until the arrangement is the desired size.
To finish, cover the top of the sand with a few handfuls of Spanish moss from a floral or craft store, and then tie a beautiful ribbon around the center.image 3
"August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a matchflame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away."
- Elizabeth Maua Taylor
"Once upon a Lammas Night
When corn rigs are bonny,
Beneath the Moon's unclouded light,
I held awhile to Annie...
The time went by with careless heed
Between the late and early,
With small persuasion she agreed
To see me through the barley...
Corn rigs and barley rigs,
Corn rigs are bonny!
I'll not forget that happy night
Among the rigs with Annie!"
- Robert Burns
"Under the summer sun,
thirty birds feeding
Young tree branches
sagging so low -
Still in the shade,
on wet soil,
a black dragonfly.
An old mind
surprised by seeing
a purple fairy at sunset,
dancing to the crickets' tunes,
leaping as guinea hens screech,
wary of the bats,
hovering to say,
"Lugh's Day, Lugh's Day."
under the full moon.
Peace in the Valley."
- Michael Garofalo, Lugh's Day
Big Health News Flew Under the Radar|
By James B. LaValle
I read a study recently that could be some of the most important health news I've seen in a long time, especially for you "apple" shapes out there. Yet there have been no headlines - at least not yet.
The study - published in the Journal of Nutrition - found that taking in plenty of non-starchy vegetables and more magnesium helped increase the production of adiponectin, a hormone found in fat cells. The researchers were careful to look for any other factors that could have affected the results, but found none.
Adiponectin increases the effectiveness of insulin. In other words, it helps your cells absorb glucose. If you have plenty of adiponectin, your insulin production is lower, your blood sugar is better controlled... and that adds up to a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. But it may also mean you would have a much easier time controlling your weight.
Unfortunately, when we gain weight - especially in the waist or belly - adiponectin production goes down. (This is one reason belly fat is so harmful for your health.) And, indeed, the researchers found that the higher the subject's adiponectin level, the lower the subject's weight. The lower the adiponectin, the higher the weight.
So the big news is that simply by increasing your intake of non-starchy vegetables and supplementing with magnesium, you can increase a hormone that will help you lose that belly fat and decrease your insulin resistance.
Reduce your intake of starchy carbs - especially refined flours and sugars. And eat eight to 10 servings of non-starchy vegetables every day. Non-starchy vegetables are very low in carb grams and calories. They are nutrient-dense foods - loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and other beneficial phytochemicals in a very low-sugar, high-fiber package.
A little extra magnesium helps too. The best food sources are nuts, seeds, and beans. However, I recommend taking in at least an extra 300 mg per day, especially if you show any signs of being low in magnesium (e.g., tense and tight muscles, constipation, or restless leg syndrome). The best forms are magnesium malate or amino acid chelates like magnesium glycinate or magnesium taurate.
This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.
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