full moon

By The Light Of A Scorpion Moon

Halloween falls between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. As an Autumn festival, many Australian Pagans and Witches celebrate Halloween on the 30th of April. I’m a bit of a traditionalist so I celebrate Halloween on the 30th of April AND the 31st of October. One Halloween a year is never enough!

April 30th is also Walpurgis Night – a night when spirits walk the Earth and witches are thought to fly through the night skies on their way to various celebrations. Bram Stoker hauntingly invokes the spirit of Walpurgis Night in Dracula’s Guest, his short but compelling prequel to the novel Dracula. This quote by Stoker always sends a delightful chill down my spine:  

“Walpurgis Night, when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad—when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel.”

Bram Stoker was born in the sign of Scorpio so it’s not surprising he wrote so beautifully of hidden secrets and creatures of the night.

To add more magic, mystery and a touch of Stoker to April 30 activities in Australia, a Full Moon in Scorpio will be shining upon our festivities.

After an evening of celebrating Halloween, Walpurgis Night and a Scorpion Full Moon, I can think of no better way to end my evening than with a bowl of soul warming soup. Pumpkins and apples are traditional Halloween fare and I never say no to a good drop of alcohol, either in a glass or in my soup!

Pumpkin & Apple Cider Soup

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Ingredients
1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
30g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes 
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup apple cider
cream for serving

Instructions
Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
Place the pumpkin into a baking pan.
Add the oil, rosemary and salt.
Toss until combined.
Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.
While the pumpkin is baking, prepare the soup.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan.
Add the celery and cook until soft but not browned.
Stir in the apples.
Pour in the stock and apple cider.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the apple is cooked.
Add the roasted pumpkin to the soup.
Blend the soup with a stick blender until smooth.
Pour into bowls and serve with a splash of cream.

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Full Moons & Full Drinks

Moon

Dracula Tarot Moon Card
Created by Vicky Vladic
Illustrated by Anna Gerraty

December’s full moon falls on xmas day, which is a very rare event. The last one was in 1977 and the next one will be in 2034. In honour of the full moon and the shining bright star that is a part of the xmas story, I created a very special drink – a glow in the dark gin and tonic. The inclusion of apple is tasty, but the star hidden inside makes it a perfect solstice and xmas addition 🙂

Quinine, found in tonic water, glows under UV light so, if you have a blacklight you can shine it on this drink for a glowing surprise.

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Gin & Tonic By Day

 

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Gin & Tonic By Blacklight

Glow In The Dark Gin And Tonic
For each glass you will need:
100ml frozen tonic water
100ml frozen apple juice
50ml gin
apple slice cut crosswise to show the star shape

Method
Freeze the tonic water in large cubes.
Freeze the apple juice in large cubes.
Place the ice cubes into a large glass.
Pour in the gin.
Add the apple slice and wait for the cubes to melt.

A Very Magical Weekend

I knew it was Imbolc weekend but I forgot it was also a Blue Moon.
To find out more about Imbolc and see my recipe for Grenadine Mulled Wine click here. To find out more about Blue Moons, read on 🙂

There are actually three different types of Blue Moons which I call Calendar Blue Moons,
Astrological Blue Moons and Seasonal Blue Moons.

A Calendar Blue Moon is when a second Full Moon occurs in the same calendar month. While this is now the commonly accepted interpretation, it is actually the newest way to calculate a Blue Moon and is the least celebrated in the esoteric realms.

An Astrological Blue Moon is when a second Full Moon happens in the same Astrological Sign. Much like a calendar month, Astrological months are approximately four weeks in length. Astrological months begin and end around the 20th of each month. If an Astrological sign begins and ends with a Full Moon, the second Full Moon is a Blue Moon. This was the type of Blue Moon I was taught about in both my vampiric and witchy education and is the one I celebrate.

A Seasonal Blue Moon is when there is a fourth Full Moon in a seasonal cycle. I had never heard of this interpretation before and only discovered it whilst doing research for this blog. It is a bit more complex to work out. Basically there are four seasonal cycles in a year measured from Solstice to Equinox. Each cycle lasts three months and has three Full Moons. Occasionally there is a fourth Full Moon, but, surprisingly, it is the third Full Moon and not the fourth that is a Blue Moon!

The reason for this appears to be that the twelve Full Moons of the seasonal cycles have names and seasonal attributes such as the first Full Moon after the Solstice, the first Full Moon of the season and the first Full Moon before the Equinox. When a fourth Full Moon occurs in this cycle it throws off the order. I’m still not sure why it is the third and not the fourth Full Moon that is Blue. I’ll have to research that further.

To celebrate the Blue Moon I thought I would create a fun version of the retro cheese ball –
after all, isn’t the Moon made of cheese 🙂 There are no quantities, only ratios, so feel free to change it up how you like. Just make sure you use blue cheese and blue corn chips!

Blue Moon Cheese Ball

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Ingredients
2 parts cream cheese
1 part blue cheese
crushed blue maize corn chips

Instructions
Bring the cheeses to room temperature.
Mash together then form into balls. You can do one big ball or multiple bite sized balls. There are no set rules.
Roll in crushed corn chips.
Cover and refrigerate until set.
Serve with shots of blue agave Tequila.

Friday On My Mind / Bad Moon On The Rise

This Friday is Friday the 13th. It’s a very special Friday the 13th because it falls on a Full Moon. On a mythic, spiritual and magical level, this Friday the 13th links us to three powerful archetypes:

  • The meaning of Friday
  • The number 13
  • The power of the Moon

The Romans called Friday dies veneris in honour of Venus, the Goddess of Love. The Norse then named Friday after their Goddess of Love, Frigg. So why would a day named after Goddesses of Love be considered unlucky? There is no real answer except that Friday has been considered an unlucky day by many cultures and for quite a long time. More recently, Friday has become associated with bad luck because it is the day Jesus was crucified.

The fear of the number 13 has been around since at least the time of the ancient Babylonians. Again, why is this so? 12 is seen as a number of completion whereas 13 has been seen as the number that comes along and disrupts or corrupts this. The Norse myth of Balder, a version of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale and the Last Supper are stories that feature a dinner with 13 guests – invited or uninvited, and the dire consequences of these events. 13 at a dinner is still considered unlucky. 13 was thought to be the traditional number of witches in a coven; a perversion of Jesus and his 12 disciples. There are also 13 full moons in a year which challenges the 12 months of the year system.

Of course you could look at 13 as the beginning of a new cycle like the Egyptians did. 13 was a lucky number in ancient Egypt as they believed there were 12 stages of life and the 13th stage was death and transformation in the afterlife. This wasn’t anything to be feared but was part of a natural cycle to be celebrated. Interestingly the tarot Death card is the number 13.

So what do you get when you put the fear of Friday together with the fear of the number 13? Friggatriskaidekaphobia, a word that combines the name of Friday’s Goddess Frigg with triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. Add a full moon and this fearful day grows to mythic proportions.

The light of the silvery moon has been celebrated as a romantic emblem; a time for love to blossom and lovers to meet. A full moon on a day named after a love Goddess and on a number that symbolises rebirth and new cycles should be a romantic time. But that bright, shining orb changes monthly and goes from bright and beautiful to dark and hidden. Consequently this mysterious entity is also associated with fear, madness and lunacy. A full moon is believed to bring out the worst in everyone. And, as horror movies have shown, brings out the worst monsters – particularly werewolves and vampires.

If we put this all together we can see that Friday was named after a Roman Goddess of Love and is now named after a Norse Goddess of Love and that the number 13 is associated with the moon, women and the cycle of life, death and rebirth. So perhaps the fear being exploited on Friday the 13th is a fear of ancient pagan religions which celebrate, love, life, death, the moon and women. Rather than fear this day, maybe we should reflect upon its deeper meanings.

So go out and celebrate this Full Moon Friday the 13th. There won’t be another until August, 2049.

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let the madness begin