3 Simovane / November 2nd: Feast of Darkfire

3 Simovane / November 2nd: Feast of Darkfire

This feast day is in honor of the Dark or Great Mother. We usually refer to Her as the Great Mother, Dea Matrona, because the title of Dark Mother tends to raise images of a Kali like figure whom we dare not approach or an image of a Chthonic goddess. In reality, the term ‘Dark’ simply means that She is that aspect of the Holy Mother Who is Source and Unknowable. This is why She is also known, in our Faith, as the Veiled Origin of Eternity and as the Dark beyond the light and the Light beyond the Darkness, She Who Is.

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dark-water

I have always loved the way the Holy Mother is defined by those who have had Near Death Experiences. They often describe their experience of the Holy Mother as a Shimmering, Luminous, Knowing, Dark Light full of warmth. It is pure black often with velvety tinges of dark purple. A source of strength. Sanctuary. The Womb of Creation. The Core of all Being. A shimmering darkness, peaceful, wonderful, bliss-filled Which imparts knowledge.

~

cauldron-fire

For Clan Jana households, this is an holy day. The Rite of Gifts or Great Liturgy of Dea is usually celebrated and may include meaningful rituals such as a bonnie-fire, camp fire, hearth fire or even a symbolic cauldron fire depending upon what is available to each household.

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Sophia Ruth has, again, contributed many wonderful rites for this holy day:

(In the British Isles) besom brooms were made and were used to ritually sweep over the door steps and sweep up the fallen leaves up for a bonnie fire.

besom-broom

The besom is used as this time both practically and symbolically. It sweeps away the last of the Autumn leaves, but is also used ritually to sweep out the old, to clean and clear away old energy, creating space for the new. Traditionally besoms are made from birch twigs – the birch is associated with purification and renewal.

You can make a besom at this time of year by gathering a large bundle of birch twigs tied together. Drive a broom handle into the middle of the bundle – ideally hazel or ash.”
http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/samhain

Each person wrote their faults on pieces of paper and threw them into the bonnie fire. These would rise up in the smoke to Dea to help us overcome.

“The tradition of a bonfire celebration (for Samhain) lasted longer in some rural areas than in others. At Fortingall in Perthshire, a fire was held on a Bronze Age burial mound until the early part of the 20th century. The local community danced around the fire while it was in full blaze, and then returned home for traditional Halloween games. This took place on the 11th of November, the time of Halloween (Samhain) in the old calendar.”
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/festivals/october/halloween-samhain.html

“In some areas it was customary to throw a stone with a personal mark on it into the ashes of the fire. These had to be retrieved to ensure luck for the coming year.”
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/festivals/october/halloween-samhain.html

“After the festival they re-lit the fires in their homes from the sacred bonfire to help protect them, as well as keep them warm during the winter months.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/holydays/samhain.shtml (Thank you, Sophia Ruth.)

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moon-and-bonfire

This is a day of purification and fire is known to be symbolically purifying. Fire, unlike the other elements, does not exist in a natural state. Its physical form can only take place by consuming some other element. Fire is the transformer, converting the energy of other objects into other forms: heat, light, ash, and smoke. (1) And so we understand it to be representative of our own inner transformation.

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purple-flames

Incense and the smoke from certain herbs are known to be purifying. Smudging oneself and household with sage is known to be both purifying and cleansing. Add purifying herbs or incense to the bonnie-fire such as benzoin, cedar, coal rosemary, sage, thistle, thyme, valerian and vervain are part of a rite of purification. We undertake this with great solemnity and contemplation, after which, we may celebrate with a bonnie fire dance in celebration of She Who both purges and renews.

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On this day, we consume foods which are indigo, purple, black and other dark foods.  In fact, nutritionists are realizing that black foods are higher in antioxidants than green! In fact, “black foods have more antioxidants than light-colored foods because of their high pigment content,” says Cy Lee, Ph.D., a professor of food chemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Can’t find one of these deep-hued superfoods at your local supermarket? Try natural-foods stores and ethnic groceries.

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purple-fruits

It’s a scientifically-proven fact that the darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants are to the body, the way rust-proof works on a car – they have the ability to mop up free radicals and keep you looking younger, longer. Thus, dark foods with a purple pigment, such as purple onions, concord grapes, purple cabbage, black mission figs, prunes and blackberries, are known for having amazing healing powers.

The purple pigment in all of these fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure. Resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decreases the pressure in the arteries and allows better circulation. Produce with purple hues contain a variety of polyphenols that can reduce the inflammatory response in the body. In my book Meals That Heal Inflammation, I outline how inflammation is at the root of all major diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and immune dysfunction. (4)

Here is a list of food items we might include:

Black Beans
Black Cherries
Black Currants
Black Olives
Black Raspberry
Black Soybeans
Blackberry
Boysenberries
Plums
Prunes
Raisins
Tamari (soy sauce) (3)

Molasses,

Black Beans
Black Flax Seed
Black Quinoa
Black Sesame Seeds
Seaweeds
Wild Rice

Beets.

Purple onions.

Purple cabbage.

Puddings.

Blue grapes
Blue potatoes
Blueberry
Borage Flowers
Catnip
Cauliflower
Chicory Flowers
Blue Corn
Hyssop
Juniper Berries
Kelp (seaweed)
Pansy Flowers
Purple Broccoli
Purple Carrot

Basil Flowers
Black Tomatoes
Dulse (seaweed)
Elderberries
Kohlrabi
Lavender
Marjoram
Mint Flowers
Mulberries
Passionflower
Passonifruit
Purple (Red) Onions
Purple Cabbage
Purple Eggplant
Purple Grapes
Purple Green Beans
Purple Peppers

Purple potatoes.

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May Our Lady bless you,

Blessed is She.

~

1. http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_elements/fire.asp
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/20/6-surprisingly-black-supe_n_837656.html
3. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1382920
4. http://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/five-health-benefits-of-purple-foods/

 

2 Simovane / November 1st: Feast of Harvest’s End

2 Simovane / November 1st: Feast of Harvest’s End.

It is known as Harvest Home in the Clan Jana calendar.

https://hodmedods.co.uk/collections/pulses

Again, many thanks to Sophia Ruth for these wonderful traditions and recipes of the British Isles! I am looking forward to trying Bubble and Squeak!

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Vegan Colcannon recipe
http://www.food.com/recipe/irish-vegetarian-colcannon-20754
My mother grew many varieties of Kale including a “black” or very dark purple variety which was wonderful for Simovane.

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There is an English dish called Bubble and Squeak – which has more vegetables.
http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/baked-vegan-bubble-and-squeak.html

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Green Bean Casserole
(Sophia Ruth’s family recipe is carrot based, without mushrooms and included canned white beans).
http://www.vegan.com/recipes/vegan-thanksgiving-recipes-robin-robertson/green-bean-casserole/

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A variety of vegeterian casseroles
http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/thanksgiving-vegetarian-casseroles

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Any casseroles and soups containing beans and root vegetables are appropriate for this day. Beans have a special place in this festival as they are symbolic of the Mysteries of Manifestation.

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Almonds and Hazelnuts including cobnuts and filberts. Sweet chestnuts and walnuts. The uncommon bladdernuts, heartnuts, hickories and acorns. All native to or can be grown in the British Isles.

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Nut Cracking: Apparently Halloween was once known as Nutcracker Night in England. Nuts would have been plentiful around October 31, and families could gather together around the hearth to roast them in celebration of the day.The theme of divination pops up here again, for at one time in Scotland a young lass would put two nuts into the fire and watch their behavior to see if her lover would be true or unfaithful, and if they would be married.”
http://www.picturebritain.com/2012/10/10britishhalloweentraditions.html
http://www.thedorsetfoodie.co.uk/blog-great-british-nuts.html

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There is even a Japanese Heartnut, a beautiful variety of walnut.
Photo of the shell https://www.agroforestry.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/heartnuts.jpg
Nut http://transitionculture.org/wp-content/uploads/walnuts.jpg

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And, of course, any foods which incorporate apples, pumpkins, candied, toffee, chocolate or caramel apples, corn breads and food items derived from corn or corn meals are perfect for this day.

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GAMES

Conkers game:
http://www.worldconkerchampionships.com/html/conkers_about.html

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Blind Date:
“Blindfolded local girls would go out into the fields and pull up the first cabbage they could find. If their cabbage had a substantial amount of earth attached to the roots then their future loved one would have money. Eating the cabbage would reveal the nature of their future husband – bitter or sweet!”
http://www.ireland-information.com/articles/irishhalloweentraditions.htm

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“The Ivy Leaf:
Each member of the family places a perfect ivy leaf into a cup of water and it is then left undisturbed overnight. If, in the morning, a leaf is still perfect and has not developed any spots then the person who placed the leaf in the cup can be sure of 12 months health until the following Halloween. If not….. ”
http://www.ireland-information.com/articles/irishhalloweentraditions.htm

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The English tradition:  “The Acorn is the seed of the great Oak, representing wisdom, longevity, rebirth – a promise of strength to come. An acorn in your pocket is an amulet of good fortune to come.”
http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/samhain

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“In parts of Scotland it was customary to throw a silver coin through the front door of the house on the morning of November the 1st. The coin had to remain hidden where it had fallen to bring luck in money matters concerning the house.”
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/festivals/october/halloween-samhain.html

Happy Celebration!

Feast of Simovane Foods

Feast of Simovane Foods

Traditional Recipes – Parkin and Soul Cakes
Arch Madria Georgia

1. PARKIN

Excerpt taken from: A TASTE OF YORKSHIRE:
Pudding, Parkin and Pomfret Cakes by Dawn Copeman

The Vikings are said to have invented our next Yorkshire food.

Parkin is a type of ginger tea-bread, known as a ‘cut and come again cake’, because it is an economical cake that lasts for a long time. Many versions of Parkin were made around the country, but the Yorkshire one, made with just a little fat is the one which is still made today.

Parkin was often traditionally eaten on Bonfire night, the 5th November, when we remember the attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up Parliament. In parts of West Yorkshire the 5th November is known as Parkin Day. One place where Parkin is reputedly not eaten on Bonfire Night is St Peter’s School in York, where a certain Guy Fawkes was educated.

Parkin
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup black treacle
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 seven inch square tin greased & lined with greaseproof paper.
1.Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2.In a pan, warm milk, treacle and butter, then remove from heat add all the dry ingredients and the egg and beat well.
3.Pour mixture into tin and bake for 50 – 55 minutes in the middle of the oven at 160°C, 325°F or Gas Mark 3.

From: Time Travel – Britain.com

http://74.6.117.48/search/srpcache?ei=UTF-8&p=parkin+yorkshire+pudding%2C+recipes&fr=yfp-t-701&u=http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=parkin+yorkshire+pudding%2c+recipes&d=4901674512154676&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=763d7fbc,8b1d017d&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=JaJ1KeiPMULsMRl6MA1t7Q–

2. SOUL CAKES

Soul Cakes: A British Halloween Treat

Soul cakes are large spiced cake-like cookies that were traditionally handed out in Britain instead of candy during the time of All Hallows Eve.

Each cookie represented a soul that had died in the past year and as the cookie was eaten, it was believed that if the soul had gone to Purgatory, it was then released. Originally, soul cakes were used as a sacrificial food in the Celtic festival of Samhain.

The cookies are typically spiced with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, or other pumpkin pie-like spices, and include raisins or currants. The top of each cookie is marked on the top with a cross.

Eventually, it became tradition to put these little cakes out with glasses of wine on All Hallows Eve for the souls of the dead. Then, on All Saints Day (November 1st), children would go “souling,” traveling from house to house calling out the following verse:

“Soul Cake, soul cake, please good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a plum, a peach, or a cherry,
Anything good thing to make us merry.
One for Peter, one for Paul, & three for Him who made us all.”

Soul Cakes Recipe
Ingredients
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup superfine sugar
4 cups flour, sifted
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons currants or raisins
a little milk
Directions

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale in colour and fluffy in texture. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.

2. Mix together the flour and spices. Fold into the creamed butter mix.

3. Gently stir in the currants/raisins. Add enough milk to make a soft dough.

4. Form into flat cakes and cut each top with a knife to make a cross.

5. Bake on a well-greased baking sheet at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden.

http://74.6.117.48/search/srpcache?ei=UTF-8&p=Soul+Cakes+recipe&fr=yfp-t-701&u=http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=Soul+Cakes+recipe&d=4950448160179962&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=464ca637,e221d6e9&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=PuFytNui_GmCuEJpgksMUg–

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Sophia Ruth:

Another great tradition is that of Soul Cake recipes and songs. Scroll down for the vegan and gluten free versions. Please read through the recipes because some of them explain the origins of some of our Halloween traditions, especially the third recipe of Biscuit/Cookie.

Soul Cake Recipes and Songs:

First Shropshire Recipe – Buns

“Soul cakes were of different kinds. Formerly, some cakes were flat and oval. Others were plump and bun-like. There was a spiced-sweetened variety, and the sort that resembled a small fruit cake. All were rich with milk and eggs.

The following recipe is an adaptation of an old Shropshire formula. The light fluffy buns, delicious for any occasion, are especially appropriate for Halloween. Serve them hot, with plenty of butter and strawberry or raspberry jam. Accompany them with mugs of cider; or with hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows, for the young; or with coffee or tea for those who are older.

DIRECTIONS

Cream shortening and sugar. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water to which a teaspoon of sugar has been added. Set aside. Scald milk and add to the creamed mixture. When cooled add yeast mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Sift together flour, salt, and spices, and add gradually to other ingredients, kneading into a soft dough. Set sponge to rise in warm place in greased covered bowl. When doubled in bulk, shape into small round or oval buns. Brush tops with slightly beaten egg white. Bake in moderately hot oven (400° F.) for 15 minutes. Drop temperature to 350 ° F. and bake until delicately browned and thoroughly done.”

Recipe Source: Feast-Day Cakes from Many Lands by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/recipes/view.cfm?id=1378#sthash.QAhQTY0g.dpuf
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Second Shropshire Recipe – Scone like

” Mrs Mary Ward is the author of several Shropshire recipe books. She is known to be the last person to keep up the tradition of giving out Soul Cakes at her home in Pulverbatch. She died in 1853 at the ripe old age of 101. Rather amazingly, to celebrate her 100th birthday she wore her wedding dress of yellow satin and received Holy Communion with her friends and neighbours.”

Here are some recipes and songs The recipes are in the Metric system. Conversion tables may be found on the internet. This first recipe is said to be highly symbolic, if a bit dull in taste.
750g plain flour
100g butter
1 teaspoon yeast
1 egg
350ml milk
100g caster sugar
1½ tsp allspice

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°c, gas mark 7. (425 degrees/US).

Place the flour and yeast into a large bowl. Melt the butter and warm the milk. Beat the egg in a mug or small bowl. Add the butter, milk and egg to the flour. Mix together well until smooth. Make into a ball. Cover with a large plastic bag or oiled clingfilm. Place in a warm spot and leave to rise for half an hour. Add the sugar and allspice to the dough and knead until well combined. Place onto a lightly floured board and roll rather flat! About 2 cm and these are a bit too biscuity. About 4 cm and these work well as a scone. I also tried the last one like a bread roll and that worked well too.

Place in the hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes until golden. They taste good warm with butter and strawberry jam.

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Both of these can be scored with a silver star, like this

http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/userfiles/image/samhain_8.jpg

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Third – Biscuit / Cookie

Ireland is known for its spiced biscuit soul cakes. The following is the Cheshire version:

“This Soul Cake recipe is from the Cheshire region, on the border with North Wales. A Soul Cake (or Souling Cake) is a small round cake, like a biscuit, which is traditionally made for All Souls’ Day (the 2nd November, the day after All Saint’s Day) to celebrate the dead. These plain cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to the soulers, children and the poor, (beggars) who would go from door to door during this period saying prayers and singing psalms and songs for the dead.

Traditionally each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from Purgatory. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes is often seen as the origin of modern day Trick or Treating, which now falls on Halloween (two days before All Souls’ Day). The tradition of ‘souling’ and giving out Soul Cakes on All Soul’s Day originated in Britain and Ireland hundreds of years ago, from giving out bread on All Souls’ Day during the devout Middle Ages (see John Mirk below).”

Soul Cake Recipe

Makes 14 large ‘cakes’
Recipe Ingredients:

340g plain flour (sifted)
170g sugar
170g butter (softened & diced)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg (beaten)
2 tsp of white wine vinegar

Recipe Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C (400 degrees US) and grease 2 flat baking trays.

Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl – sifted flour, spices, and sugar. Rub in the diced butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in the beaten egg and white wine vinegar and mix with a wooden spoon until a firm dough is made. Then cover it and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Flour a working surface and roll out the dough to medium thick and using a large round pastry cutter cut into rounds, (optional: use a straight edge to press into, and then draw a [solar] cross shape, in the top of the dough). Place these rounds on the greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 200C (400 degrees) until slightly coloured. Serve warm or cold.”

http://oakden.co.uk/soul-cake/

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Fourth – The Vegan Soul Cake (biscuit) version

400g Flour
55g Sugar
110g Butter
½ pint sack (use sherry well diluted in water)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of powdered cloves
Pinch of mace
25g Yeast
½ teaspoon saffron filaments

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F., 200°C., gas mark 5. Put the saffron to steep in a little of the warmed sack, while you prepare the dough.

Modern fresh or dried yeast prefers its liquid warmed, so melt the butter in the rest of the sack and, as soon as it has cooled to blood heat, dissolve the yeast in some of it.

Mix together the flour, sugar and spices, work in both the saffron and yeast mixtures, and add as much more sack as you need to make a light firm, elastic dough. Leave it to rise, shape it into buns, range them on baking sheets and leave them to prove again in a warm place.

Bake for 20 minutes.”

http://dianasdishes.com/index.php/vegan-vegetarian-recipes/puddings/item/soul-cakes

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Fourth – The Gluten free Vegan Soul Cake (biscuit) version

“The basic coconut flour shortbread is adapted from Eat the Cookie’s version.

Grain Free Gluten Free Soul Cakes
Makes 12-18 cakes, depending on thickness

Ingredients (shortbread):
1 3/4 cups sifted coconut flour (If you don’t have a sifter you can gently spoon/shake the flour into the measuring cup)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup room temperature butter (for dairy-free you could sub coconut oil here, making a total of 3/4 c. coconut oil)
1/4 cup soft coconut oil
1/2 cup palm sugar (or other natural sweetener of choice; add more if you’d like your cakes sweeter)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon cacao nibs

Note: You can adapt this with whatever trail mixy-items of dried fruit and nuts that you happen to have around.

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a spray olive oil (or softened butter or coconut oil), lightly grease silicone baking cups. (In the U.S. a cupcake or muffin pan with or without muffin/cupcake foils).

Combine the flour, the salt, and the baking soda thoroughly in one small bowl – if necessary, use your fingertips to crush any clumps of coconut flour. In a separate larger bowl, cream the butter, coconut oil, and palm sugar together – and then mix in the eggs one at a time, followed by the apple cider vinegar and the vanilla extract. Add the dry flour mix to the wet mix and combine thoroughly.

Press the dough into the greased silicone cups at desired thickness. Press a few slivers of almond and cacao nibs into the dough. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Once you pull the cups out of the oven, warm:

1 tbsp. butter (you could sub coconut oil)
1 tbps. heavy cream (you could sub coconut cream concentrate)
1 standard size bag bittersweet chocolate chips (go for quality)

…for 2 minutes and half power in the microwave. (You can also melt everything in a double boiler, though that may take a while longer.) Mix the ingredients with a spoon until the chocolate melts into a smooth ganache, and spread the chocolate over the shortbread in the silicone cups. Press some dried cranberries into the ganache.

Allow the shortbread and chocolate to cool.”
http://primalkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/gluten-free-grain-free-soul-cakes.html
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Soul cake songs:

http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiSOULCAKE;ttSOULCAKE.html

http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiSOULCAK2;ttSOULCAKE.html

“15. Soul-Cake Song
The words and music for the Soul-Cake song (which begins “A soul, a soul, a soul-cake!”) are available as Soul-Cake Song on Digital Tradition. This is the short version which is just sung repetitively. Another version with additional verses sung to the same tune is the Souling Song also at Digital Tradition. There are very pretty performances such as The Souling Song recorded by John Langstaff, on the Jackfish CD; and by the children’s chorus on A Child’s Christmas Revels CD. These two can be listened to on MySpace. Another good version is the Souling Song by the Watersons on the Frost and Fire CD which has the subtitle “A Calendar of Ritual and Magical Songs.” This has the sharp change in tempo which isn’t marked on the notated music.

There is another version of this song with better, more traditional words, published by Jon Raven (p. 23):

Soul! Soul! for an apple or two;
If you’ve got no apple, pears will do,
Soul! Soul! for your soul’s sake,
Pray good mistress, a Soul Cake!

An apple, or pear, a plum or a cherry,
Or any good thing to make us all merry.
St. Peter was a good old man,
And so for his sake, give us one.

None of your worst, but one of your best,
So God may send your souls to rest.
Up with your kettles, and down with your pans,
Give us a Soul Cake and we’ll be gone!

16. Antrobus Soulcakers Song
There is a second Soul Cake Song which begins “We are one, two, three hearty good lads….” This song was sung by the Antrobus Soulcakers and they were recorded by Alan Lomax or Peter Kennedy on the English Customs and Traditions CD, Vol. 9, Songs of Christmas. The lyrics to this Soul Cake Song are at the Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music website put together by Reinhard Zierke. This website gives lyrics to many traditional folk songs, and it’s well written. The notated music is available as the first song for the Rudheath (Cheshire) Souling Play which follows next on this list. A version of the song has also been recorded recently by the Watersons on the Voices of Harmony: English Traditional Songs CD. The Antrobus Soulcaker’s Song is sung at the beginning of the Greenman Mummers Souling Play.

17. Souling Plays
There are entire plays for celebrating this festival written out. Back in the 1800’s the Soulers or Soul-Cakers were adults and they would go from house to house and perform Souling Plays, and these were written down by early collectors. People still perform them, some by tradition and some as a revival. Of course the grownups would ask for beer and money, not cookies; some don’t ask for anything. The practice of Souling is thought to bring good luck to all the houses that are visited. Souling Plays are usually distinguished from other folk plays by having a “Horse” which is actually a horse’s skull on a broom handle, manipulated by someone referred to as the “Driver” played by an actual human being. Usually the Driver speaks for the Horse, with a speech that introduces the Horse, here called “Dick”:

In comes Dick and all his men,
He’s come to see you once again.
Was once alive and now he’s dead,
And nothing but a poor old horse’s head!

Although this play is in English, the use of a horse in this context may show Celtic influence. Aside from the Horse and a Souling Song, Souling Plays include the same elements as most English folkplays: a fight between two famous warriors in which one is killed, and then revived by a Quack Doctor, with much silly slapstick humor and jokes. Souling Plays include the Guilden Sutton Play and the Rudheath (Cheshire) Souling Play, named for the geographic areas of England where they were first collected by folklorists in the 1800 and 1900’s. There are many folk plays which for some reason the English refer to as Mummer’s plays. Many English folk plays, some with music, are given on the website:www.folkplay.info. This website gives the entire script for the Rudheath (Cheshire) Souling Play, including the words and music for the introductory Souling Song.

There are at least five Souling Plays performed on YouTube. My favorite is the Comberbach Souling Play with a really creepy horse. This has good clear words and it’s only about 10 minutes long.

18. Hop Tu Naa
Note that Naa is pronounced “nay”, rhymes with “pay” in English. This song is known from the Isle of Man and is sung in Manx Gaelic and in many versions in English. It is their customary song at this time of the year, sung as part of house to house visits by children. A very brief version of the song was recorded by Winifred Woods in 1965, with the words:

Hop Tu Naa, Hop Tu Naa!
Ginny the Witch went over the house
To get the sticks to lather them out!
Hop Tu Naa, Hop Tu Naa!

She gives more information with links to several videos on her Hop-Tu-Naa page, and the videos can be used to learn the songs. Another website gives many variations of Hop Tu Naa with the words in both Manx and English. The music for one version of the song is published in Bronwen Forbes’ book Make Merry in Dance and Song.”
http://piereligion.org/hallsongs.html#samhain

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Buttermilk Bread

“Buttermilk Bread Charm for Samhain.

You will need:

3 mugs of strong white flour

500 ml of Buttermilk (available from the supermarket)

I teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda

Samhain ribbon in black or purple.

A handful of rye flour

A scattering of oats

twig of rosemary for remembrance

Place the flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough feels springy. If it feels too sloppy just add a little more flour. Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Our picture shows the bread scored five times to make a pentacle.

Place onto a greased baking tray and pop your buttermilk bread into a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep and eye on it. When the bread is ready it will change colour and it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, place the rosemary on top and tie it with Samhain ribbon.

Take time to concentrate on the bread you have created and turn the loaf three times saying

“From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Samhain Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”

Now take your bread and share it with your family and friends and pass on the generous blessings of this festival of completion and beginning. Eat it fresh, as soon as it is made if you can.

Recipe donated by the Counter Enchantress. Adapted by the Boss Lady with permission.

The Counter Enchantress is discovering that you can add almost anything appropriate to this simple bread recipe and it STILL WORKS beautifully. You can decide for yourself what the appropriate additions are for a particular festival, in this case rye flour. oats and rosemary, and just do it. There is much kitchen magic in working with one recipe through the Wheel of the Year just changing it a little as the wheel turns…..”
http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/samhain

*******

A list of seasonal recipes http://yeoldewitchesbrewmagazine.presspublisher.us/issue/samhain-2009/article/soul-cakes-and-other-traditional-samhain-recipes

~

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds (approx.)
2 TSP melted butter or oil (approx.)
Salt to taste
Optional: garlic powder; cayenne pepper; seasoned salt; Worcestershire Sauce; Cajun seasoning; or Hot Spice Mix (1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. chili powder)

Preheat oven to 300° F. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and any optional ingredients of your choice. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Store airtight.

Option: If you roast them without any of the above optional flavorings, you can now flavor them Spicy-Sweet by doing this:

Heat a TBSP of peanut oil in a skillet, add 2 TBSP sugar, and the seeds. Cook the pumpkin seeds over medium high heat for about 1 minute or until the sugar melts and starts to caramelize. Place pumpkin seeds in a large bowl and sprinkle with this mixture: 3 TBSP sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper.

From the English Catholics we get begging from door to door, the earlier and more pure form of “trick-or-treating.” Children would go about begging their neighbors for a “Soul Cake,” for which they would say a prayer for those neighbors’ dead. Instead of knocking on a door and saying “Trick-or-treat” (or the ugly “Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat”), children would say either:

A Soul Cake, a Soul Cake,
have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake!

or

Soul, soul, an apple or two,
If you haven’t an apple, a pear will do,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for the Man Who made us all.

While Soul Cakes were originally a type of shortbread, it is said that a clever medieval cook wanted to make Soul Cakes designed to remind people of eternity, so she cut a hole in the middle of round cakes before frying them, thereby inventing donuts! Fresh plain cake donuts would be a nice food to eat on this day.

Cake Doughnuts (makes 20)

2 quarts canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 packet active dry yeast or 0.6 ounces cake yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk
1 extra-large whole egg
2 extra-large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups nonmelting or confectioners’ sugar

1. Heat oil in a low-sided six-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 375°. Lightly dust a baking pan with all-purpose flour, and line a second one with paper towels; set both aside.

2. Meanwhile, place sour cream in a heat-proof bowl or top of a double boiler; set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until warm to the touch. Remove from heat; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Make a large well; place yeast in center. Pour warm sour cream over yeast, and let sit 1 minute.

4. Place buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture over sour cream. Using a wooden spoon, gradually draw flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring until smooth before drawing in more flour. Continue until all flour mixture has been incorporated; dough will be very sticky.

5. Sift a heavy coat of flour onto a clean work surface. Turn out dough. Sift another heavy layer of flour over dough. Using your hands, pat dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnuts as close together as possible, dipping the cutter in flour before each cut. Transfer doughnuts to floured pan, and let rest 10 minutes, but not more.

6. Carefully transfer four doughnuts to hot oil. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over; continue cooking until evenly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to lined pan. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

7. Gather remaining dough scraps into a ball. Let rest 10 minutes; pat into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut, let rest 10 minutes, and cook.

8. When cool enough to handle, sift non-melting sugar over tops; serve immediately. (Recipe from Martha Stewart).

~~~~~~~

Colcannon Recipes:
http://britishfood.about.com/od/recipeindex/r/colcannon.htm

http://www.irishcentral.com/culture/food-drink/colcannon-traditional-irish-recipe-118184429-237376811.html

Harvest Hestia: The Nature of Gratitude

My life partner and I try to eat together when our work schedules allow. Because of the Feast Day this week, we treated ourselves to a meal in a restaurant. I was thinking how fortunate we both were to 1. have enough to eat and 2. to be able to afford to eat out occasionally. I mentioned this to him afterwards and he said that he too was feeling the same. So this post came as a welcome and important spiritual exercise.

Reblogged from https://deanic.com

Harvest Hestia: The Nature of Gratitude

Rosadi/Tuesday.

Today is named after the Rose, one of our Seven Sacred Symbols, which represents the Holy Mother as Our Lady, Rose of Joy. Madria Vicka rules this day. She is the Guardian of South and Fire and the Jana (Divine Gate) of Courage, Strength and Valor.

(We will continue these informative explanations through next Rosadi.)

~

 

Madria Vicka

O, Madria Vicka, Jana of Courage, Strength and Valor, be with us. May the Pure Stream of your Virtues flow within me, into this world and in all the worlds to come.

~

harvest-baskets

 

Tomorrow, 17 Abalon/Sept. 21, is the Feast of Harvest Hestia. In our religious Tradition, an hestia is a home which has been blessed and consecrated to Dea, Our Divine Mother God.

autumn-home

On the feast of Harvest Hestia, we offer our gratitude to Our Heavenly Mother, not only for the great blessings of the Harvest, but also for the safety of our homes, for the blessings of our Faith and for our families, for our friends, our jobs and our daily joys. No matter where we are in our lives, even if we are struggling or have been going through tough times, there is always something for which we may offer our gratitude to Dea.

Gratefulness is a form of joy-filled humility. When we are grateful, we are not puffed up; we are not full of ourselves, rather we acknowledge the Fount of all Joy, a Source higher than ourselves; She Who is Our Divine Mother. For what Mother would not wish to fill Her child’s life with Joy?

When we search our lives to discover those things for which we are truly grateful and then offer up that gratitude to our Heavenly Mother, this gratitude is not only an expression of our love and thankfulness towards Her,  it also helps to lift our minds into a more positive light. It becomes a source of comfort to our souls. The expression of gratitude is a Grace-filled way of erasing the negativity which weighs heavy on our minds and which tends to drag down our hearts into the muddy mire of our personal dramas.

download-5  Gratitude made visible.

Gratitude is an important concept in the Universe. The late Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of The Hidden Messages in Water series, taught that love and gratitude are the vibration of true healing. This is the vibration of life. In his teachings of Hado, he states: “Hado creates words. Words are the vibrations of nature. Therefore beautiful words create beautiful nature, ugly words create ugly nature. This is the root of the universe.” (1)

Words are the outward expression of an inner emotion.

As we read in the Teachings of the Daughter, Chapter 1 (SMR edition):

Thoughts of the mind pass not away, nor vanish into air. For every thought is a builder in the subtle world that lieth about thee.

20) Forget not the power of words, for a word hath all the power of a thought and a thought hath power to move the Earth and the Heavens.

Both as a word and as an emotion, gratitude is a much more powerful force or energy than is commonly realized. As Dr. Deepak Chopra states, “Gratitude is an immensely powerful force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving  relationships, and even improve our health.”

Psychologists recently began to study the effects of gratitude upon the psyche. Some of their findings are:

  • Improved physical, emotional, and social well-being
  • Greater optimism and happiness,
  • Improved feelings of connection in times of loss or crises
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Heightened energy levels
  • Strengthened heart, immune system, and decreased blood pressure
  • Improved emotional and academic intelligence
  • Expanded capacity for forgiveness
  • Decreased stress, anxiety, depression, and headaches
  • Improved self-care and greater likelihood to exercise
  • Heightened spirituality — ability to see something bigger than ourselves. (3)

On a spiritual level, gratitude, when it truly comes from the heart and the soul, i.e., from our True Self, is the highest form of prayer. It is a gentle expression of Joyful-Love. At its fullest, it is physically possible to feel this emotion within the heart. We experience it as inner pulses of joy within our heart chakra.

complaints-gratitude

 

Whether we are speaking about anger, love, moroseness or joy, emotions are a state of being. As a state of being, we may be or exist in a state of anger or we may be or exist in a state of gratitude. As an emotion, there are some who believe that gratitude is the most important emotion in the Cosmos and feel that it is the key to a more peaceful world. (4)

These findings contain an important insight: gratitude is, above all, a social emotion. It’s possible to be happy or miserable and for those feelings to have nothing to do with other human beings. But gratitude is always about your connection to the outside world, to someone who has extended a hand to help you. (When you feel grateful to something non-human, such as fate, or the weather, it’s likely you’re thinking of it as an agent with intention – personifying it. Even atheists say “thank God”.) (4.) (This is an inspiring article about survivors of the Holocaust and their stories of gratitude.)

river

 

Gratitude flows out from love. During these dark times, this era of seemingly utter despair and depravity during which we live, perhaps gratitude is a key towards a more Golden future for our world. On a microcosmic level, the emotion of gratitude is important as we express it in our daily lives. When it flows, like a wave, from our personal life towards our families, our friends and on into our towns and out into the world, it becomes significant on a macro-cosmic scale.

download-6

When we are consciously manifesting the emotion of gratitude outward into the world, it does not just dissipate into the air. It is not annihilated. As emotions are a form of energy, they can never be entirely annihilated. They are eternal and, as with the effect of the word gratitude on water crystals, they must go somewhere and affect someone or something. On a quantum level, emotions are a living reality and we create them on a subconscious or conscious level, whether we realize it or not.

4) Every crossroads is a choice, and every choice has a spiritual meaning. 5) In each turning, we choose either to come closer to Perfection or else to move away from Her. 6) In the first way, the soul perfects herself in beauty; in the second, she grows duller and more coarse. (The Crystal Tablet, verses 4-6. SMR edition.)

Just as a brook meanders away from a great river, gratitude flows out of the Living Stream of Madria Theia, She who represents the Celestial Mother. Gratitude flows from Illumination, Joy and Benevolence. Ultimately, it stems from Our Celestial Mother Who is Supernal Joy and She wishes to extend this Joy into our lives. We must learn to always recognize these daily joys and to consciously express humble gratitude each and every day.

Starting tomorrow, as we sit down to our Harvest feasts, let us begin this first day on the rest of our Soul Path by consciously practicing gratitude.

May the blessings of Harvest Hestia be with you and those you love.

Let us bless the Queen of Heaven.

Blessed is She.

Let us thank the Seven Janati of Power.

Thanks be to the Seven Janati.

~

 

(I recommend this lovely article: Creating an Autumnal Equinox Celebration: https://www.wildgratitude.com/how-to-autumnal-equinox-celebration/).

ArchMadria Pamela Lanides

  1. http://masaru-emoto.net/english/index.html
  2. http://www.chopra.com/articles/cultivate-the-healing-power-of-gratitude
  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-kamen-gredinger/the-transformative-power-_2_b_6982152.html
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/30/gratitude-most-important-emotion

2015 Feast of Divine Life

2015 Feast of Divine Life

The Feast of Divine Life
16 Abolan/Sept. 20

Thea’s Day/Sunday

~

O, Kyria Thea, Lamp of Illumination, Benevolence and Generosity, be with us.

~

Tomorrow, 17 Abolan/Sept. 21 is the High Feast of Divine Life in the Matronite Chapel. It is also the second harvest festival.

~

This feast day celebrates Our Holy Mother as the Creatrix and Ground of All Being, which is the First of our Five Great Mysteries. This Mystery corresponds to West and Earth and it’s Sacred Symbol is the Apple which represents both immortality and Avala, our resting place between incarnations.

~

mother-of-the-world-1937

In the Crystal Tablet of our scriptures, Life or Wholeness is referred to as the Light of the Absolute, the Great Mother, She Who Is. She is the veiled Origin of Eternity and the First Principle, beyond being and unbeing and so, this feast day is primarily a celebration of the Great (Dark) Mother. It also celebrates the Celestial Mother as Creatrix and Matrix of all being and the Earthly Mother as the Sustainer and Ruler of Creation and so this feast day is also Trinitarian in nature.

~

From the magazine, The Coming Age, no longer in print, we read,

Chapels and shrines are often decorated with the fruits of the season – loaves from the new wheat, vegetables, fruit, flowers, ears of corn, nuts, pinecones, etc and some of these may adorn the alter for the Sacrifice. Traditional foods of the Festival are seed cake, apple pie and ciders.

~

On the [archived] interfaith Deanic discussion group, hosted by Glenn King, https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/deanic_conversations/info, we have been talking about different ways to observe this feast day.

2istanbulpom

In Traditions, such as Jewish or Goddess Christian, the pomegranate is considered to be holy. In Judaism, the number of seeds add up to the number of mitzvah in Judaism…613. These are typically thought of as commandments or good deeds and they’re in Torah. (1)

~

 

In Goddess Christianity, the pomegranate represents the Mysteries of Mary Magdalene. Pomegranates were/are also important features of Classical Paganism, Islam, Orthodox Christianity and in other metaphysical Traditions. (2)

~

all-about-new-england-fun-facts-for-kids-image-of-the-new-england-apple-festival

Other ancient traditions, such as one in England, includes great apple festivals where people line up along the road and as apple carts are wheeled by, apples are tossed to the people along the very same route which was used at the inception of this fair. This fair, which began in 1267, is one of the worlds’ oldest. 3) New England inherited its tradition of Fall apple festivals from its namesake.

~

apple-and-pomegranate

There is an interesting connection between the sacred fruits, pomegranates and apples. The word pomegranate comes from the apple. It literally translates to apple seeded from medieval Latin.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate. And, so we see a beautiful link between the pomegranates of so many ancient Traditions with the revered apple of so many others. In Judaism, for the observance of Rosh Hashanah, the symbolism of both the apple and the pomegranate are combined. (1)

~

In both the Jewish and the Deanic Traditions, the number of seeds in these fruits are highly symbolic. I do not think that it is a coincidence that in so many areas and in so many ancient Traditions, the apple figures significantly during the Season of the Great Mystery of Our Lady as the Source and Ground of all Being. The five seeds of the apple represents so much, but in the First Mystery, it also represents the Primordial Essence of All Being flowing out from the Still Centre of Spirit along the Four Cardinal channels, each of which are Guarded by the Geniae.

~

the-three-sisters-of-squash-tepary-beans-and-corn

(The Three Sisters of Squash, tepary beans and corn from: http://www.energytimes.com/pages/features/0309/native.html).

In Arizona, squash, corn, and tepary beans are considered to be ‘the three sisters’ of the ancient Native American diet of the area. How easily that could translate, for a Deanist of the area, into a symbolism of three foods in honor of the Three Matres or Mothers.

~

marne-river

The Ancient Matrona River (Marne).

Quite often, for our Feast Days, we recommend family crafts, games, customs and recipes. Perhaps what might be appropriate for this Feast of Divine Life, would be to research the traditional foods of your area which you might incorporate into your harvest feast. Learn about local traditional hand crafts. Discover the ancient names of the goddess in your area and, especially if you are from the British Isles or Europe, research the famous wells, rivers and lakes nearby, which are named after pre-Christian goddesses. For instance, the river Marne, in France, was named after Dea Matrona. The ancient name for this river was actually Matrona!

Let us bless the Lady of Heaven,

blessed be Our Lady.

Let us thank the Seven Genaie of Power.

Thanks be to the Seven Genaie.

~

May Our Lady bless you, Blessed is She

ArchMadria Pamela

~

1. Thanks to Shoshanna Marie Woods.
2. http://www.crystalinks.com/pomegranate.html
3. Thanks to Madria Kathi.
4. Thanks to Ruth.
“Archeologists have determined that variations of squash and pumpkins were cultivated along river and creek banks along with sunflowers and beans. This took place long before the emergence of maize (corn). After maize was introduced, ancient farmers learned to grow squash with maize and beans using the “Three Sisters” tradition.

The Three Sisters are squash, corn and beans which grow and thrive together. Corn serves as the natural trellis for the beans to grow on. The beans roots set nitrogen in the soil to nourish the corn. The bean vines help to stabilize the corn stalks on windy days. The squash plants shelter the shallow roots of the corn and shade the ground to discourage weeds and preserve moisture. Truly a symbiotic relationship. I have read where it was a common practice to bury a small fish alongside the seeds at planting to nourish the “Three Sisters.”

The early Native American farmers were practicing an early form of sustainable agriculture. How cool is that?!? We can learn many lessons today from them.”

http://www.allaboutpumpkins.com/history.html

Reblogged from https://matronite.com/2015/09/20/the-feast-of-divine-life/

Foods For Feast of Rose of Heaven, Rosa Caeli,8th Rosa / 20th June

Foods For Feast of Rose of Heaven, Rosa Caeli,8th Rosa / 20th June

  1. Cup cakes or as we call them in England fairy cakes.

Wild Rose Cupcakes & Buttercream Frosting: A Divine Confection

Wild Rose Cupcakes & Buttercream Frosting: A Divine Confection

1-20150517_135416-001

“Mystery glows in the rose bed, the secret is hidden in the rose.” 12th Century Persian Poem

Don’t underestimate the power of this demure, pretty, little cupcake. Behind its girly facade lies a scent and flavor so compelling, so transporting, that it has been from time immemorial associated with magic, mysticism, esoteric secrets, sacred sexuality, the unfolding of higher consciousness, and most especially – divine feminine power.

The story of the wild rose (from which all our domesticated roses descend) could fill books – and has. Reputed to be millions of years old, the five petal rose (Rosa canina) blooms in late spring in woodlands and fields across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.

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Here in the Pacific Northwest, our native species are known as the Nootka and Wood’s Rose and were harvested by our First Nations for both food and medicine. Not much is known because, as I have discovered by asking many questions – that they too have their own “sub rosa” secret traditions.  Enough said!

The colours of our wild rose vary from pale pink to dark cerise, and are extremely nutritious, high in Vitamin C, antioxidants, polyphenols and bioflavonoids.

1-20130609_164108

Ruled by the feminine planet Venus, who traces her five petal shape (the magical pentacle) around the sun in the heavens every eight years, the rose was sacred to Goddesses everywhere. For Isis, known in Egypt as the Queen of Heaven, she symbolized the secrets of regeneration and immortality.  In India, Lakshmi goddess of beauty and prosperity, was said to have been created with rose petals.

09-20130526_115733

Pre-Christian France worshipped Rosemerth (Rose Mother) in fertility rituals on sacred mounds and hills, and in Greece, Hecate goddess of witchcraft, wore a crown of roses. Altars in the temples of Aphrodite and Venus were piled high with roses and floors strewn with petals. Priestesses adorned their bodies with rose oil and wore rose garlands around their necks and head.

rose1

I’m pretty sure that these ancient priestesses were using the scent of the rose to enter altered states. Today we know the rose contains chemical compounds that release “feel good” endorphins while reducing cortisol and blood pressure, causing the brain to enter the deep calm, dreamy states of Theta and Alpha.

-saint-rosalia

And according to Dr. David Stewart, The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple, rose oil has the highest electromagnetic frequency of all flowers, raising human vibrational frequency when inhaled.

The-Soul-Of-The-Rose-1908

Is this why the revery inducing rose was decreed by early Church Fathers as damnable? When Christianity became the new official religion of the Roman Empire, the goddess temples were closed and ancient rose festivals like the Rosalia (held May 23rd in honour of the Goddess Flora) were banned. But it wasn’t long after that the five petal rose (Rosa Mystica) emerged as the emblem at the heart of secret mystical societies said to continue the spiritual (and sexual) rituals of the goddess traditions.

rosetroubador

During the medieval era of courtly love, the wild rose became the chief symbol of the newly re-emerging feminine principle and was equated with the Holy Grail. The Knights Templar built the Gothic cathedrals with their famous rose windows and were said to secretly worship Mary Magdalene. There is a legend that the Magdalene created a Sisterhood of the Rose, composed of twelve groups of twelve women who work for the betterment of mankind, and are wisdom keepers of the sacred knowledge.

rosepicking

So cupcake feminism indeed. I invite you this Rosalia (May 23rd) to put on your frilly apron. Much more than an overindulgence in either sugar or theNew Domesticity, these divine confections are a direct connection to a feminine spiritual heritage thousands of years old. Bake these cupcakes in honor of the ancient priestesses whose mystical practices were outlawed by patriarchal religions. Allow their aroma and flavour to uplift your spirit and nourish your soul. Consider them a sacrament to the Magna Mater (Great Mother) Queen of Heaven and Earth, “the one who makes all things flourish”.

Wild Rose Cupcakes w/Butter Cream Frosting

Makes Approx. 24 mini-cupcakes

Ingredients (for cakes)

  • 3 cups of rose petals
  • 2 cups organic unbleached flour
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar (1/2 cup for cakes, 1& 1/2 cups for rose syrup)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup organic or grass-fed butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons finely minced lemon balm (optional but nice)

For Buttercream frosting

  • 1/2 cup rose syrup (you will make for cupcakes and reserve some for frosting)
  • 2 cups (or 3) cups of icing sugar (organic if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1/2 cup of butter

General Prep:

  • Harvest your petals in the morning before the heat of the sun, but after the dew burns off. Take only four of the petals, leaving one as a signal for pollinators.Take petals home and place in a sieve and gently shake to release little critters. (Washing will dilute the volatile oils).

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  • Make syrup. Boil 1 & 1/2 cups of sugar and the water together. Reduce until thickened into a syrupy consistency.  Remove from burner and add 2 cups of rose petals to syrup. Let cool completely, then strain the liquid from the petals. Now you’ve got rose syrup.

Directions for Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 375 and line cupcake tins with papers. Should be mini-cupcake size.
  • Finely mince1/4 cup of rose petals & lemon balm
  • Cream 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  • Add flour, baking powder and salt. Then slowly add 1 cup of the rose syrup (reserving the remaining for the frosting)  beat well; stir in vanilla. Lastly, stir in the finely minced rose petals and lemon balm until well blended.

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  • Divide batter evenly among pans and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool in pans.
  • Frost with Buttercream Icing and then roll each cupcake in Rose Sugar Sprinkle.  (recipes below.)

Voila. Cakes fit for the Queen of Heaven. P.S.  They won’t last long!

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Buttercream Frosting and Wild Rose Sugar Sprinkle

Wild Rose Sugar Sprinkle:

  • Take the remaining 3/4 cup or so of rose petals and place in food processor with 1/2 cup of remaining sugar.
  • Grind until petals are dissolved in a moist crumbly pink sugar.

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Butter Cream Frosting

  • Beat remaining 1/2 cup of butter until creamy.
  • Slowly add icing sugar, little at a time, continuing to beat.
  • Slowly add remaining 1/3 cup rose syrup, and keep beating until well mixed.

2. Plas Mawr Tudor Rose biscuits

Plas Mawr Tudor Rose biscuits

Use food colouring and cut to shapes.
5 petal rose shapes
http://www.craftcompany.co.uk/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/2221/?gclid=CO_UoI-qrc4CFROZGwodg1cPAA
Cutters for natural rose shapes
https://www.cakecraftshop.co.uk/shop/products/id/fmmcuterosev3.htm

~~~~~

https://everythinglooksrosie.com/2014/04/27/rosie-makes-rose-petal-biscuits/

3. Rosie Makes: Rose Petal Biscuits

Delicious, buttery biscuits with a botanical twist.

Rose petal biscuits

I love experimenting with more unusual flavours in my baking, and since spring has arrived I’ve enjoyed embracing all things floral, like the rose and raspberry macarons I blogged recently. If you’re not sure about flowery flavours in your baking, these biscuits from Mary Berry Cooks (the most recent addition to my cookbook collection and a firm new favourite) are a good place to start. The buttery biscuits have a subtle taste, more the sweet aroma of Turkish Delight than the heady, intoxicating scent of a rose garden. Lovely as a girly wee gift, and most delicious with a cup of tea. To make the rose petal biscuits, you will need:

Rose petal biscuits

275g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
200g softened butter
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 tsp rose extract (see note below)
2 tbsp sugared rose-petal pieces, chopped (see note below)
Icing sugar, to dust
6cm biscuit cutter

Rose petal biscuits

I thought rose extract might be hard to come by, but Lakeland has an excellent selection of Star Key White extracts (3 for 2 at the moment, I couldn’t resist) and natural flavourings, available in store and online (also via Amazon). I used plain rose petals rather than crystallised, as I already had these in the cupboard (purchased in Waitrose for a recipe). I think they worked rather well! You should be able to find crystallised rose at your local delicatessen or cake decorating shop, I’ve spotted them in The Finishing Touch and Anteaques in Edinburgh. Otherwise, you could use lemon or orange zest for a citrus kick.

Rose petal biscuits

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C Fan/ Gas 4.

2) Place the butter and flour in a bowl and rub together with your fingers, working lightly until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

Stir in the icing sugar until evenly distributed.

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

Next, add the egg yolks, rose extract and rose petal pieces.

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

Squeeze the mixture until it all binds together into a dough, and the petal pieces are evenly distributed. The yolks really help to bring it all together. If your mixture is a little soft, chill until it’s firm enough to roll. I found mine quite sticky to handle, so popped it into the fridge for about 30 mins.

Rose petal biscuits

3) Next, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

Using a cutter (I plumped for a heart-shaped one), cut out the biscuits.

Rose petal biscuits

Bundle your scraps together, re-roll and repeat until you’ve used up all of the dough. I found this dough went quite far, especially if you roll it nice and thin.

Rose petal biscuits

Place on an ungreased baking sheet/ tray and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

Rose petal biscuits

They should be done when they just start to turn golden brown at the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tray to cool completely.

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

You can dust the biscuits with icing sugar, but I didn’t want to hide the lovely petals poking through. Serve with your most suitably floral crockery.

Rose petal biscuits

Rose petal biscuits

The biscuits can keep in a cake tin for up to a week, if they last that long. What are you baking this weekend? Have you tried baking with flowers?

Rose petal biscuits