Mabon Craft Ideas

Fall is just starting to show her pretty face here in Northern Italy… the leaves are starting to turn Autumn shades and there is an abundance of nature bits to be collected to craft with.

So, I thought was a good idea to prepare a post, before the arrival of Mabon, with some craft ideas to decorate your altar or your house

Mabon God’s Eye

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Acorn Bells

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Autumn Gnomes

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Beeswax Suncatcher

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Beeswax Leaf Ornaments

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Leaf Garland

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Corn Dolls

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Indian Corn Necklace

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Bird Seed Feeders

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Pokeweed Ink

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Pine Cone Garland

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Pine Cone Fairy

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Harvest Garland

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Apple Tealight Candles 

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I hope you enjoy these fantastic ideas for decorating and celebrating Mabon, the autumn equinox!!!

Happy Mabon to everyone ! :)

Homemade Lip Balm

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Lips are extremely susceptible to drying out-much more so than other parts of our body, as they are always exposed to the elements, and really have only a thin layer of skin to protect them. This is why we turn to lip balm.

By now you’ve probably heard that lip balm dries your lips out, which in turn makes you apply more, and then it turns into an addicting habit that isn’t doing you, or your lips, any favors. That is, to some extent, true. Certain lip balms do contain ingredients that feel good at first, but leave you with the need to put more on just an hour or 2 later as they dry up, and leave your skin even drier.

This homemade balm is designed to help seal in moisture and not just dry up and off, but actually sink into your lips. It also won’t leave a slick, exclusive barrier. Use with a homemade exfoliator to help slough off all the dead, dry, and peeling off skin that comes along with rough chapped lips and reveal the softness underneath

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • A dash of organic raw honey
  • 2 vitamin e capsules
  • several drops of essential oil (optional)

Process:

  • In a double boiler, melt down the beeswax, adding in the coconut oil and honey when about half of the beeswax is no longer solid. After it’s all melted and blended together, stir in the contents of 2 vitamin E capsules. Pour into container or a tube and let cool. Apply as needed-but not in excess. Resist! There can always be too much of a good thing.

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General Information

There are many species of chestnut. They grow all over the world including Europe, Asia and the Americas. Native lore about the chestnut generally refers to the chestnut that grows in the region the lore originated from, but they can and are often used interchangeably. See below for more detailed information on a selection of chestnut varieties.

Chestnut Varieties:

American ChestnutCastanea dentata
Allegheny chinkapin, dwarf Chestnut, Castanea pumila
Chinese ChestnutCastanea mollissima
European Chestnut, Sweet Chestnut, Spanish Chestnut Castanea sativa
Japanese ChestnutCastanea crenata

Similar, but unrelated plants include the Horse Chestnut and the Water Chestnut

History and Folklore

Chestnuts have been grown by humans since about 2000 BCE and were carried by the armies of Alexander the Great as well as the later Roman armies. These armies planted chestnuts in their wake helping the European variety spread from its native Asia Minor to all over Europe.

Propagation

Chestnut trees are excellent additions to wildlife and butterfly gardens. They provide nutritious food for a number of birds and small mammals as well as a number of different types of butterflies and moths.

Chestnut trees are very slow growing. They take 15 years to bear fruit and it can be 50 years before they bear significant fruit. They also do not bear fruit well alone and several must be grown in close proximity to one another for optimal fruit production. Chestnut trees enjoy well-drained soil and do well on hillsides and mountainsides.

Harvesting & Storage

The fruit of the chestnut tree forms inside a prickly burr that turns brown when it is ready for harvesting, usually in late September through October over the course of several weeks. The burrs generally fall to the ground on their own and split open, making it relatively easy to remove the nuts from within, but sometimes they need a bit more coaxing. You can knock them down with a stick and pry the burrs open with a knife. This isn’t pleasant, as they are prickly.

Chestnuts can be smoked in a smokehouse to dry them for grinding into flour.

Magical Attributes

Chestnuts carry masculine energy and resonate with the fire element and the planet Jupiter. The chestnut tree is associated with the God Zeus. Chestnuts can be eaten to encourage fertility and desire and may be carried as a charm by women who wish to conceive. Keeping chestnuts around the house (and eating them) encourages abundance.

Staves made from chestnut wood are said to encourage longevity, increase energy, enhance intuition and help with grounding and centering of energy. Chestnut wood can also be used to make talismans for justice, success, to gain the sympathy of your audience and to encourage your mind to take in information.

In Japan the chestnut fruit symbolizes both difficulties and overcoming them. They are eaten on New Year’s day for success and strength the coming year.

Early Christian folklore says that chestnuts symbolize chastity.

Healing Attributes

Native Americans may have used a tisane of chestnut leaves to treat severe coughs and heart disease, a poultice of the leaves for sores and a decoction of the bark to treat worms.

Culinary Use

Chestnuts were a staple food in Southern Europe, Turkey and parts of Asia where they thrived in areas where the rocky, thin soil made it impractical to grow grains. In these areas chestnuts remain a popular food and you can buy roasted chestnuts from street vendors. Chestnuts are a remarkably versatile food that can take the place of grains and potatoes in the diet.

Since chestnuts ripen late in the year and store well into the cold months, they are a traditional addition to Midwinter and late winter celebrations.

Chestnuts can be roasted inside their peel, but you must cut the peel first to prevent bursting. The taste is sweet and nutty with a baked potato-like texture. You can roast them in the oven or over hot coals.

Chestnuts can also be peeled and deep fried.

They are also dried and then ground into flour. This flour is then used to make breads and as a thickener for sauces. In Corsica it is used to make a fried doughnut like pastry called fritelli. Polenta was once made out of this ingredient before corn was brought back from the new world. Chestnut flour does not rise as wheat flour does but the bread stays fresh for up to two weeks.

Chestnuts have the least fat and highest carbohydrates of the nuts and are rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, and a wide variety of minerals.

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