Bible Verses for the Summer Solstice

Hello fellow Christian Witches, and happy Summer Solstice 🌞

For this day, I personally associate the celebration of earth and the light of the sun with this sabbat/holiday.

If you celebrate it in a similar fashion, I wanted to share some bible verses I associate with this solstice because they either reference the beauty of nature, mention the sun, or heavenly light.

Genesis 1:3 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

Psalms 74:17 “It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.”

Proverbs 30:25 “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;”

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Psalms 89:36 “that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun;”

Judges 5:31 “So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”

Psalms 113:3 “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”

Matthew 13:43 “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Isaiah 18:4 “This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”

Song of Songs 2:12 “Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”

Colossians 1:16-17 “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Psalm 139:7-10. “Where could I go to escape your spirit? Where could I flee from your presence? If I climb the heavens, you are there, there too, if I lie in Sheol. If I flew to the point of sunrise, or westward across the sea your hand would still be guiding me, your right hand holding me.”

Jer. 23:24 “Do I not fill heaven and earth? It is Yahweh who speaks.”

Psalm 104:24-25. “How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.”



Mabon, Fall Equinox Food Recipes


by Raven and Crone

Turkey Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce

1 lb ground turkey
½ cup chopped onions
¼ cup instant rice or instant brown rice
¼ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 (16ounce)can whole berry cranberry sauce
½ cup water
Mix all ingredients except cranberry sauce and water. Form into 45 meatballs. Spray large skillet with non-stick cooking spray.Cook meatballs, covered, for 8 - 10 minutes turning occasionally until meatballs are done and no longer pink in the middle. Add cranberry sauce and water to skillet.Cover and cook on medium-low for 3 to 4 minutes.

Roast Fillet Of Beef

1 Fillet of beef (5-6 lb) trimmed
5 Garlic cloves, slivered
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
Tabasco sauce
1 cup Soy sauce
½ cup Olive oil
1 cup Port wine
2 teaspoons Thyme
1 bunch Watercress
To prepare the fillet, make slits in it and put slivers of garlic in the slits. Rub well with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Combine the soy sauce, olive oil, port and herbs and place the fillet in this marinade in a baking dish for at least ½ hour unrefrigerated, or an hour or more in the refrigerator. Turn several times while it is marinating. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the fillet on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30-35 minutes, basting occasionally with the marinade. A meat thermometer should register 120~ for very rare, 125~ for rare, 130~ for medium-rare. After it is removed from the oven, the internal temperature will rise as much as another 10~. Allow the fillet to rest, covered with foil, up to 30 minutes. If it needs to sit longer, you might try a catering trick: Wrap the fillet, just out of the oven, in plastic wrap. Unwrap just before slicing. Cut into slices and place on a warm platter; garnish with sprigs of watercress.
Broccoli Casserole
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (10-¾ ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; fold in broccoli. Transfer to a greased 1-½ qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Cover and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

Harvest Ratatouille

8 - 10 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 large or 4 small zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch thick slices
1 large eggplant, sliced into chunks the same size as the zucchini slices
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Tomato paste, to taste (optional)
1. Heat 5 or 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the onions, and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant and softened. Add zucchini and eggplant and saute about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add more olive oil as needed if the pan looks dry. Add tomatoes, peppers, and garlic, stirring to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.
2. Take off the lid, add other add-ins, if you like, increase heat to high, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes to evaporate excess liquid, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add a little tomato paste if using, and stir well.
3. Serve hot, or allow to cool and add a little olive oil before serving. Serves 6.
Garlic Roasted Potatoes & Greens
2 pounds Red-Skinned Potatoes, sliced
6 large Cloves Garlic, sliced lengthwise
1/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Wine Vinegar
4 cups Watercress Sprigs, rinsed
2 Tablespoons Chives, chopped
Mix potatoes, garlic and oil in a 10 x 15" rimmed pan. Bake at 450 degrees until well browned, about 1 ¼ hours. Turn vegetables with a wide spatula every 10-15 minutes. Pour vinegar into pan, scraping with spatula to release browned bits and to mix with potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour potatoes into a wide, shallow bowl. Chop half the watercress and mix with potatoes. Tuck remaining watercress around potatoes and sprinkle with chives.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash, washed and cut in halves
½ stick of butter
½ cup of crushed Ritz crackers
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup brown sugar
Wash and cut acorn squash in half from stem to bottom Scoop out the seeds and rub the inside and cut parts with butter Put the acorn squash on a cookie sheet Melt the butter, and mix in the walnuts, brown sugar, and crackers Place in the holes of the squash and bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until done

Acorn Squash and Apple Soup - Makes 5 servings.

1 medium acorn squash
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek (white part only) rinsed well and chopped
1 tart apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and chopped
3 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. minced fresh mint leaves, as garnish
Milk or additional broth to thin soup (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half length-wise, remove seeds and pulp. Set on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the flesh is tender when pierced, roughly 45 to 90 minutes (depending on size). Remove squash from oven and allow to cool.
While the squash is cooling, in a large, heavy pan heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and leek and sauté for about 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the apple and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
Scrape out the squash pulp and combine with the apple mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the broth to the pan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set the soup aside to cool slightly.
In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Return soup to pan and heat just before serving. Add milk or additional broth to thin soup, as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with mint and serve.

Crockpot Cream of Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large chopped onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 minced carrots
2 pounds peeled and diced tomatoes (reserve and add all juices)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, savory, chervil, Italian parsley, mint, lavender) or 1-2 teaspoons dried herbs or spices (Italian spices, basil, oregano,
marjoram, thyme, cumin, curry powder, nutmeg)
1 cup heavy cream
Combine the oil, onion, garlic, and carrot in the crockpot. Cook on high, stirring frequently, until the onion softens. (This can also be done in a skillet.) Add the remaining ingredients except for the herbs and spices and cream. Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours. Add the herbs and adjust seasoning. Cool slightly and puree in small batches. Return to the crockpot and add the cream. Reheat until piping hot, or else cool and chill before serving.

Chicken & Leek Soup

3 ½ pounds Frying Chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 pound Beef Shanks, cut into 1" pieces
6 cups Chicken broth
3 slices Thick cut Bacon
1 Tablespoon Dried leaf Thyme
1 Bay leaf
¾ cup Pearl Barley
1 ½ cups Chopped Leek, white only
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Chopped parsley
Put the chicken, beef, stock, bacon, thyme, and bay leaf in a large, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile boil barley in 1 ½ cups water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Remove chicken for pot. When cool enough to handle, debone and set aside. Add leeks and barley to the pot, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove beef shanks and debone. Chop meat coarsely, and return to the pot, along with the chicken. Simmer covered, for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.

Autumn Equinox Stew

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant, cubed
1 small acorn squash, peeled, cubed
1 large zucchini, peeled and cubed
1 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 ½ cups of water
1 cup dried lentils

Give thanks for the earth’s bounty with this luscious stew made from fresh seasonal vegetables. This stew cooks quickly and can be easily prepared over a festive fire or on the stove.

Put olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until highly aromatic. Add
eggplant and squash and zucchini. Saute until edges show signs of cooking. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with fresh-baked bread.

Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup
3 pounds Soup Meat
2 Tablespoons Fat
2 quarts Water
1 ½ Tablespoons Salt
¼ Tablespoon Pepper
2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
½ cup Barley
1 cup Carrots, cubed
¼ cup Onion, chopped
½ cup Celery, chopped
2 cups Canned Tomatoes, drained
1 cup Peas
Brown meat with bones in hot fat. Place meat, soup bone, water, seasonings and parsley in a soup kettle. Cover tightly and simmer 1 hour. Add barley and simmer another hour. Cool and skim off excess fat. Remove soup bone. Add carrots, onion, celery and tomatoes. Simmer 45 minutes. Add fresh peas and continue cooking 15 minutes. If leftover soup becomes to thick, dilute with beef broth. Can be doubled or tripled and freezes well.
Rosemary Grilled Chicken
2 broiler chickens (3 lbs ea. split) – backbones removed
¼ cup vegetable oil
8 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup dry white wine or 1/3 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
½ clove garlic, optional
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper - to taste
Prepare the grill by placing an oiled rack 4-6 inches over medium-hot coals. Combine the oil, butter, wine or lemon juice, rosemary garlic (if desired) and salt. Brush the chicken halves inside and out with ¼ cup of the seasoned butter Place the chickens bone side down on the grill. Baste them frequently with the remaining seasoned butter and turn the pieces every 10 minutes for a total of 30 to 40 minutes in all. Sprinkle well with pepper.

Rosemary Potatoes

8 small red potatoes, scrubbed & quartered
8 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup minced fresh rosemary or 2 tbsp dried
½ cup chopped green onions
Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Place potatoes and garlic in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and toss potatoes to coat evenly. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary and toss again. Roast for 30 minutes or until potatoes are crisp on the outside and tender inside. Sprinkle with green onion and serve. Serves 8
Rosemary Herb Butter
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, removed from the stem
½ teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper
1 stick butter, softened
Combine all of the ingredients. Make a log by spreading the mixture across a length of waxed paper. Roll the log back and forth to make a smooth tube about 1 ½ inches thick. Twist the ends and store in the refrigerator or wrap airtight and store in the freezer.

Rosemary Herb Bread

2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
3 cups bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 ½ tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 ½ tablespoons margarine
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place ingredients in the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacture. Select Basic or White Bread setting. Start.

Wild Rice with Apples and Walnuts

1 cup wild rice
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Cook rice and oil in water for 50 minutes.
1 cup walnuts
1 rib of celery, chopped
4 chopped scallions
1 cup raisins
1 red apple, peeled and chopped, set aside in lemon water
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Combine nuts, celery, onions, raisins, drained apple and lemon rind and set aside.
3 T. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ t. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
pepper, to taste
Whisk together juice, salt and pepper, garlic and oil and add to cooked rice. Add fruit mixture to the rice (to which has been added oil, spices and juice) and mix well. May be served cold or heated.

Harvest Spread

This recipe calls for lots of chopping and grating.

1C. tart apples, diced fine
1 C. celery chopped fine
1 C. mild cheddar, grated fine
2 Pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon or apple pie seasoning
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Prepare all ingredients as listed. Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl. Mix to with a wooden spoon. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve with crackers.

Witches Apple Pudding

2 cups flour
4 Tsp. baking powder
¾ cup milk
½ Tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
Combine the above ingredients as you would for biscuits and set aside for later.

6 apples sliced
1 Tsp. cinnamon
3 Tsp. sugar or honey
1 Tsp. nutmeg
Combine in baking dish.
1 cup water
1 Tsp. butter
1 cup sugar or ½ cup sugar and ½ cup honey.
Bring syrup to a boil. Drop the biscuit mixture on top of the fruit. Pour hot syrup over all and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Serve warm. Vanilla ice cream makes a lovely addition.

Carrot Ginger Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sour cream
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots (about 2 large)
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tbl grated fresh ginger.
Bake 425 degrees.
Fresh ginger has a sharp refreshing taste while dried ground ginger is sweeter. This recipe call for both fresh and dried ginger.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger and salt. In a
small bowl combine eggs, sour cream, oil and mix until blended. Pour into dry ingredients and stir till just blended. Add the carrots, raisins, walnuts, and fresh ginger, and stir just until combined. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin tin cups and bake between 15 to 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins are golden brown and when a tooth pick is inserted in the center of muffins comes out clean and dry.

Harvest Morning Muffins

3 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated apples
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbs. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin or line it with paper liners. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the eggs, sugar and oil until well combined. Stir in the
grated apples and carrots. In a separate bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Blend the dry ingredients with the apple mixture until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Share the Wealth Applesauce

24 tart apples
Juice of a lemon
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raisins (optional)
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into chunks. Place the apples in a large nonreactive saucepan, and add the lemon juice and water. Stir in the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes or until the apples are soft. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the cinnamon and raisins, if desired. Stir light for a chunky sauce and rigorously for a smooth sauce. For a pink applesauce, use red apples and leave the skins on. Once the apples are soft, you can strain out the skins or lift them from the sauce with a fork. Makes 2 ½ cups. (Pour into resealable jars, decorate to give as Harvest gifts.)

Caramel-Pecan Pumpkin Pie

1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
¼ cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Prepare and roll out pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Trim; crimp edge as desired. In a large bowl stir together eggs, pumpkin, and half-and-half or milk. Stir in the granulated sugar, flour, lemon peel, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour pumpkin mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. Cover the edge of the pie with foil to prevent overbrowning. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together the brown sugar, pecans, and butter until combined. Remove foil. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over top of pie.
Bake for 20 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and topping is golden and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours. Makes 8 servings.

Fresh Apple Pound Cake

2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3 cups firm apples, diced
3 cups plain flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mix together sugar and oil. Add eggs and beat well. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to oil mixture. Stir in vanilla, apples, nuts, and mix well. Pour batter into a greased 9 inch tube pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until cake is done.
1 stick margarine
¼ cup evaporated milk
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat margarine and sugar together over low heat. Add milk and let come to a full boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Drizzle over the cake.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
5 dozen cookies
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 ¾ cups rolled oats
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup shortening
1 cup raisins or chopped nuts
½ cup teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking Soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add shortening and mix. Stir until Mixture is crumbly. Stir in egg, pumpkin, oats and raisins or nuts. Drop Teaspoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes or Until done.

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup vegetable oil
1 chopped peeled apple
In large bowl combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine eggs, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased muffin cups almost full. For a streusel topping combine ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoon flour and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Sprinkle 1 heaping teaspoon over each muffin. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Make 12 muffins.

Pumpkin Bread

½ stick unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup non-fat, plain yogurt
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a bread pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on high speed until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and combine. Add the pumpkin, yogurt, honey and vanilla and combine until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger and allspice. Fold this mixture into the pumpkin mixture and combine until smooth.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and place in the center of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Apple Ginger Quick Bread
Source: Old Farmer’s Almanac

Yield: 1 loaf or 6 mini bundt cakes

A pleasant change of pace, especially attractive if baked in mini
bundt pans. This bread freezes well, too.

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
3 medium-size tart apples, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup raisins and/or ½ cup unsalted mixed nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan or 6 mini bundt pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt; set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine just until blended thoroughly (do not beat). Spread into the prepared pan(s). Bake the loaf pan for 80 minutes, the mini bundt pans for 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the loaves comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.

Applesauce Cake

1 ½ C. Applesauce (chunky is especially good)
1 C. Sugar
½ C. Shortening
1 C. Raisins
2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 C. chopped Nuts.
Combine applesauce, sugar, raisins and shortening in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow to cool. Combine dry ingredients and nuts. Stir everything together until well blended. (Mixture will be very thick.) Pour into a greased and
floured 9" x 12" pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread for Mabon
9 cups whole-wheat flour
4 teaspoons salt
2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups water
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup honey
Sift together 3 cups flour, salt, and yeast. Combine milk, water, butter, and honey in a saucepan and heat over low heat until liquids are warm (butter need not melt completely). Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes. Add remaining flour a cup full at a time until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and allow to rest 10 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in large greased bowl and turn to grease all sides of dough. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about one hour. Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place into greased
loaf pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about one hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.
Honey Corn Muffins
½ Cup unsifted, unbleached all-purpose flour
½ Cup fine whole wheat pastry flour
1 Cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt or buttermilk
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup corn oil
makes 12
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin with vegetable spray. Combine flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended. In another bowl, mix egg, yogurt(or buttermilk), honey and corn oil until well blended. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until the
mixture is moist.(Don’t over beat or your muffins will be tough ) Pour in the muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes.(Just until they are firm). Serve with Honey Butter.


4 eggs
1 ½ cups honey
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup walnuts (optional)
powdered sugar
Beat eggs. Add honey and oil and mix well. Add dry ingredients. Stir in carrots and nuts if used. Grease and flour a 9 inch by 13 inch pan. Pour batter into pan and smooth it out. Bake at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes. (This recipe can be made into cupcakes using the paper cupcake liners.) Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Cool. Just before serving, sprinkle liberally with sifted powdered sugar. YIELD: 3 ½ dozen cupcakes

Cool Apple Nog
1 can (12 oz.) frozen apple juice concentrate (undiluted)
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
½ cup milk
10 ice cubes (crushed)
In a blender, whirl all ingredients until smooth. Garnish each serving with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 4 servings.
Mabon Wine Moon Cider
4 cups apple cider ½ tsp. whole cloves
4 cups grape juice additional cinnamon sticks
2 cinnamon sticks for cups, 6 inches long
1 tsp allspice
In a 4-quart saucepan, heat cider and grape juice. Add cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Bring just to boiling. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

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Mythologies + Summertime feelings

Zeus: The rumbling of thunder in the middle of the day. A hot sunny day suddenly devoured by rolling clouds and the feel of a cool breeze indicating the arrival of a storm. The first droplets of rain falling upon your face, bringing strong humidity afterwards, and with it the return of the sun once more.

Chalchihuitlicue: The glistening of a river, lake, of stream by the midday sun. The bounty of creatures attracted to a body of water by a drive to survive. The shrill yet consistent cawing of seagull colonies flying above a brilliant blue ocean and perching and nesting on rocky cliffs. The sounds of rolling waves smashing against rocks compared to the daily resurgence of the calm tide at the mercy of the of the force of the moon. Nightfall brings with it the croaking of frogs, barely visible in the reeds by the riverside, and footprints in the sand washed away by the tide, memories dragged into the sea.

Dionysus: Teens sneaking out of their parents house to attend late night summer parties at their friends houses. Innocence, curiosity, and excitement in the faces of those teens as the wine is brought out. Parents recording their children’s performance in a quaint summer camp play. A pastor preaches ecstatically about their religion as they sweat in their suits, and a group of fans squeals wildly at a concert performed at by one of their favorite stars. A mother who has finally put her baby down for a nap, raiding a hiding spot for her bottle of “special juice”, which turns out to be wine, or a group of friends kicking off their shoes after a long, hard day at work and pouring some wine for each other, getting drunk and forgetting their worries of the world for just one night.

Chang'e: Finding the perfect summer night to go stargazing. Celebrating that the hot summer day has now turned into a cool summer night. Gazing up at the clear summer night sky, feeling so empty yet so full at the same time. Staying up all night to celebrate the summer solstice aka the longest day of the year. Tracking the movement of the moon night after night and watching out for meteor showers. Taking moments to just enjoy the moon, and the calm night that comes with it.

Ra: The heat of the sun beating down on you on a sweltering and muggy summer day and beads of sweat rolling down your face. Flip-flops smacking against pavement on the days where the heat disposes of the need for shoes. The shadows cast around you, reflections of the movement of the sun through the sky. The feeling of the sun burning your arm, put up to protect your eyes from it’s harsh glare. Watching the beauty of a sunset from a high altitude, and smiling, knowing that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Aphrodite: Girls strolling upon a boardwalk, dressed in pretty and colorful sundresses made of floaty fabrics and bodies adorned with shiny jewelry. Brightly painted lips that part to reveal smiles as the girls giggle at a joke one of them told. Women of all ages, shapes, and sizes finding the courage to wear their bikinis to the beach or the pool on the first day of summer. Stolen kisses in the midst of night, and the chuckles of mischievous teens going skinny dipping in a nearby lake. Dates held at carnivals where hilarity is bound to ensue. The sharing of cotton candy and frightful screams of terrifying rides lost to the night, and one individual finally gathering up the courage to kiss the other at the top of the ferris wheel. Wild thoughts and rash decisions made in the name of love, that may or may not lead to regret in the fall. Trivial activities leading to the realization that summer will come to an end eventually, and then followed by the thought to enjoy it the best you can, for life is meant to be savoured, and so is love.

Anansi: Swatting off flies on a sticky summer day. Mosquito nets put up and screen doors being closed, protection from their constant biting. Itchy bumps and visible redness brought on by the relentless bites of various insects and arachnids. Spiderwebs flowing in the summer breeze, the unfortunate corpses of their prey left to rot in the hot summer air. Spiders of various shapes and sizes crawling up buildings and nesting in cracks and crevices, protection from the summer heat.

Demeter: Rolling fields of yellow grain, and tall green stalks of corn that seem to lose you in their cornfields. The sweat of farmers in faded denim overalls with rolled up sleeves toiling in the summer heat, harvesting their crops, and the shadows cast by their wide brimmed straw hats. Sinking your teeth into a soft roll of handmade bread prepared from the harvested grains while the elderly joyfully recount memories and life stories over freshly brewed beer, toasting to more memories to come.

Agni: The crackling sounds of dry wood burning in a campfire, sparks visible in the air, the small flame illuminating the night sky. The sounds of laughter as friends and family swarm around a neighborhood bonfire. The visible smoke from a forest fire ignited by the sparks of a small, unkempt flame. The savory scent brought on by the roasting of s'mores around a flame. The glowing embers of a dying fire and the ashes that are left afterwards, a symbol of what was once there.

Hermes: Familial dysfunction occurring during an hours long road trip. Poorly read maps and a malfunctioning GPS system. Little children crying over stolen toys. The hum of the wind and hair whipped around by it, caused by a car speeding down a highway. The sound of a lone car driving down an empty road. The crossing of state lines and the miles recounted. Postcards sent and received recounting tales of places visited and vacationed to. The sound of a car engine starting up once again, signalling a readiness for adventure.

Loki: Raucous laughter caused by a very audible joke. The sneaky giggles of friends planning a prank on another. Gasps of shock as someone is “accidentally” shoved into a pool. Playing with the gags at the jokes section of a toy store. Rolling your eyes at crude, unfunny, and/or distasteful joke. Mysteriously initiated water balloon fights that lead to everyone getting soaked. Clutching your sides and gasping for breath as your eyes tear up due to a joke that for some reason you found really funny. Getting cheered up by a friend who knows how to make you smile when you’re down. Remembering the importance of comedy through all the seriousness in the world, and knowing that sometimes, you just have to laugh.

Persephone: Walking through a field of flowers, all in full bloom, watching the butterflies, bees, and other pollinators flutter around, performing their built in duties. An odd couple sits under a tree to avoid the harshness of the summer sun, an imperfectly perfect match. Spending an hour plucking fresh flowers for your crush, inhaling their lovely scent beforehand and afterwards. Basking in the sun, flowers all around you, for summer is here, and it should be cherished for it will eventually come to an end.

Jasmine oil (ok it’s not technically an oil)

Jasmine oil is really delecate making it difficult to harvest (heat destroys it) hence the high price.

Properties : antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cicatrisant (skin healing), expectorant (clears mucus), galactagogue (increases lactation) , emmenagogue (stimulates menstruation), parturient (aids childbirth), sedative and uterine substance (keeps the uterus healthy)

Uses : Antidepressant, ease tired muscles and joints,hepatitis B, cleans wounds, strong aphrodisiac, scars and stretch marks, mental balance, bites & stings, sexual disorders, pushes back menopause, post-natal depression, sleep aid, aids a regular menstrual cycle, lessons PMS, increases milk production, coughs, cramps and keeps the uterus promoting conception while reducing the chances of tumors.

Magic : love spells, psychic dreams, sleep charms

Planet : Moon

Element : Air

Folklore : originally from the Asia region it was kept exclusively for the upper classes and used mainly as an aphrodisiac. When it reached Europe its creeping nature, beautiful aroma and ability to flower only under moonlight earned it respect as a fae plant.


Week 21 of my salad growing season.

Change! I have completely rebuilt the planting schedule, which will operate in full for next year, but I am attempting to convert over to it for the remainder of this year.

In short, I will be growing the spicy salad mix actually mixed together (rocket, mizuna, mustard), the same with the seasonal salad mix (lettuce and kale, with spring spinach, summer leafbeet and autumn bok choi) both for 6 weeks, cut, then a final harvest after 2 weeks. Radishes for 5 weeks then 2, to let the little ones have some breathing room. Dill for 8 weeks then 2, carrots for 12 weeks then 2, and beetroot for 13 weeks then 2.

This will be the standard for the whole year, as I have learnt my lesson to plan for rubbish weather rather than assume a heat wave. In the event of a heat wave, I can harvest the lot at the first opportunity and throw down some 2 week pea shoots to top up the seasonal mix instead. In the event of a failed germination or slug assault, I can reseed at 2 weeks in and just clear harvest at the latest opportunity.

I am also just not going to bother with calendula, parsley, coriander or turnips. It makes the growing schedule a ton easier and I can just grow little patches down at the allotment plot if I feel the need (which come to think of it I definately will since I’ve a ton of seed to use now!).

About 150g of combined salad mix which is much more like it, with a cut at about 5 weeks. I’ve also started my first baby bok choi seedings for the autumn mix, which will happen a few weeks earlier next year.

In other news, it’s my birthday in a few days! My assumption that I am an immortal like in Highlander is so far proving correct. In your face, death.

Elsa and Thermodynamics

I haven’t seen anyone touch on Elsa’s body temperature exactly. We know “the cold doesn’t bother [her]” but why is that? How cold is she? How does that affect her when interacting with people in her external world? Also, how does that affect others who touch her? 

Bear with me here, I’m going to science. I bolded the conclusion and the part headers about Elsa if you want to just skip to the bottom.

Keep reading

Bible verses for the Autumn season

Autumn is typically understood to be a harvest time, and of reaping the benefits of hard work put in throughout the year. During the autumn season, it is good to reflect on what God has provided, and how you’ve grown spiritually throughout the year. These verses speak to God’s provision, thankfulness, discipline, and trusting in darkness.

The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. -Ps. 67:6

Let us now fear the LORD our God, Who gives rain in its season, Both the autumn rain and the spring rain, Who keeps for us The appointed weeks of the harvest. - Jer. 5:24

You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. - Ex. 23:10-11

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. -Jer. 8:20

Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. -Ps. 126: 5-6

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. - Gal. 6:9

For thus the LORD has told me, “I will look from My dwelling place quietly Like dazzling heat in the sunshine, Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms And the flower becomes a ripening grape, Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives And remove and cut away the spreading branches. - Is. 18:4-5

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. -Heb. 12:11

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  - Phil.4:19

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.- Matt. 11:28-29

He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. -Ps.104:19-20

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. - Ps. 56:3

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. -Jer. 17:7-8

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Phil. 1:6

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! - 1 Chron. 16:34

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.   - 1 Thess. 5:18

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die.  A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
   A time to tear down and a time to build up.
 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
   A time to grieve and a time to dance.
 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
   A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
   A time to keep and a time to throw away.
 A time to tear and a time to mend.
   A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
 A time to love and a time to hate.
   A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work?  I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. - Ecc. 3:1-13


This year, I created two apple trees: one with two varieties (Pink Lady and Granny Smith) and the other with three (Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Braeburn).  The apple trees are now living in 5 gallon planters, growing steadily and looking healthy.  I did not purchase the trees this way; here is how they came to be.

It all started on January 24, 2015 when I attended the 2015 Scion Exchange.  I purchased the two would-be multi-variety apple trees as raw M-111 root stock for $2.50 each.  The root stocks were about 3 feet long and looked like short brooms with scraggly, wet sweepers.  I also collected several varieties of heat-loving late-harvest apple tree scions.  While some of my friends who had attended the scion exchange with me, grafted their trees that same day, I opted to wait.   I had heard that the best time to graft is when the “sap is flowing”, after the tree breaks dormancy in Spring.  This later proved to be good advice.  The scions I collected were placed in the fridge.  I chopped the rootstock to the size I wanted and potted them up immediately.  The trees grew out through the Spring and I pruned them on occasion so only selected one or two branches grew.  I hoped to thicken the new branches so I could graft on to them later in the Spring.

The scions remained in hibernation until I took them out of the fridge three months later on May 2nd to graft on to the trees.  I had not intended to wait so long to perform the grafting, I just never got to it until that day.  I cut the trees back so that one had no leaves and the other had only a pair.  I carefully grafted the trees.  After grafting, I wondered if I had waited too long (the wet paper towel the scions were wrapped in showed little black specs of mold and the granny smith scion, in particular, looked like it was succumbing to some other fungus.)

Despite my uncertainty in the success of these 3 month-old scions and my unpracticed grafting technique, the apple tree gods seem to have been on my side, as all 5 of the grafts took.  I could tell after just a few weeks that they were successful, as the scions’ buds popped and grew out new branches.

Today, I removed some of the grafting tape.  Here are the photos of the trees as they are now with their healing grafts as well as some from their beginnings as root stock and as just-grafted trees.

The Numerous Benefits of Earthships

At the New School Auditorium on November 1st, 2014, Michael Reynolds, the founder and creator of EarthShips, gave a full-day lecture on the foundational principles of EarthShip Biotecture, which is self-described as radically sustainable buildings.

He went through the infrastructure, systems and impact that make up an EarthShip including construction methods and materials, heating and cooling systems, water harvesting and reuse system, sewage system, food growing system, and energy system.

An EarthShip costs the same as a conventional well built home, which is about $225/SF. However, it only has a $150/yr utility bill. This low utility bill comes from the building’s ability to act as a mini-ecosystem harvesting all renewable, on-site, natural phenomenon for its energy, water, heating and cooling, hence the EarthShip’s being called “Biotecture.” Not only does the EarthShip provide an extremely low impact on resource use for utilities, it also uses primarily recycled materials and dirt for its construction. This causes the carbon-footprint of the building itself to be remarkably low as it requires very little newly made materials that require mining, processing and transport before it gets to the job-site.

EarthShips are located all over the world through a standard model of the building. This standard shape comes from the building being thought of as a machine—the shape of the building itself allows its ecological processes to function.

A more adventurous building is one that’s proposed within New York City’s Lower East Side. It consists of a tall platform with an EarthShip atop it, reachable via a street-side elevator.

Keep reading

Project Rikleimt Universe

“You should come with me to the capital.” Lexa forcibly swallowed to keep her composure and turned to the blonde. Maybe she could reveal to Clarke another side of her people.  “Polis will change the way you think about us.”

Polis, though, was only the beginning of the world Lexa would show Clarke. Roads bustling with people, only moving aside for horse-drawn carts to pass. Just outside the city walls, farmers were working in the waning heat of the autumn sun, harvesting the last of their produce. Behind the city, you could see the far end of the harbour with small wooden rowboats unloading crates from merchants of the Floudonkru.

There is so much world building potential for this story just with the interactions of the twelve clans alone. Think about it, clashing cultures and an exchange of traditions. A place where the people could flourish under a peaceful rule. The possibilities are endless, and with this project, we want to explore the territories of the twelve clans. We want to meet the different clans and discover how they survived, what their cities look like, and their food tastes like. We want to explore everything - the history, traditions and economics, the landscape of their territories, the weather during the seasons and how nature evolved from what we would consider normal butterflies to ones that glow in the dark.

Are you ready to explore this world with us?

Our vision

This world building team forms the backbone of the writers, in giving it a strong basis in which the Clexa Rikleimt adventures take place. The team will explore in detail the places that the story will take us and slowly build the world around it. There will also be a list of advisors that may be called upon by the writers to give their input on specific subjects. A military advisor may be able to give input on battles and strategies to add more realism to the writing. A medical advisor may be able to advise on procedures and wounds, what is fatal and how long some wounds take to heal.

This team of world builders, mainly consisting of those interested in expanding the world and experts in chosen fields, will be assisted with a team of writers who will write about these features, sites and cultures. Ideally, together, this team would make several informative writings on the Rikleimt universe. One of those writings would contain all the info on the history and workings of the 12 clans. To complement these articles, the team of artists may be able to work on creating sketches, landscapes and/or scenes of the subjects.

Another writing may be more scientific in nature, written by specialists on the subjects of how the apocalypse changed the world. From the nuclear winter to the climate changing effects in the span of 97 years. How nature slowly adapted, sometimes with strange results like the glowing butterflies and the ongoing effects near hot zones, where radioactive material is still highly concentrated. Articles with subjects relatable to past events may teach us more on the effects of radiation, think of Hiroshima and how it might relate to the early years in the fictional world after the first bombs dropped, or how the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl could relate to radioactive hot zones still present in the Clexa Rikleimt story.

The writings, depending on demand, could possibly be made into physical copies, much like the Clexa artbook and the proceeds going to a queer oriented charity. Or we could make a digital copy of it in a pdf document which can be read on your laptop or phone. A third medium is to use the Clexa Rikleimt website where the story can be read and incorporate it there in some way. 

A different final product would be an interactive map of the whole region with all the locations the world building team created, including borders dividing the region into the clans. Perhaps it could even feature common routes and the possibility to calculate how long it would take to move from one city to another per horse, car (skaikru), or just walking.


While all the above is related to the territories of the twelve clans, that region is not the only one affected by the apocalypse with surviving people. Eventually, regions outside of the coalition’s reach may threaten a newfound stability. There may be nomads or banished people crossing the southern borders into the lands of the 12 clans, causing a severe uprising - prompting Clarke & Lexa to become involved in yet another threat to their peace.

The story may lead us eventually in this direction, but a second world building team could already start building this region with unique groups of survivors with different histories and resulting cultures, perhaps even related to old local traditions and belief systems. Also, imagine a post-apocalyptic world with queer/POC/etc. leaders at the top around the world.

(The gay agenda homophobic people fear so much; “the gays take over the world”)

Our vision

The world is large and has room for so many more interesting stories. And one by one we can add to that. We can write the sorely needed representation for each person in the community and see them rise to power, or try to hold on to their seat. This isn’t just about queer representation, but other types of minorities too. Mainstream media is still failing many groups, we’re here to do them justice, not just the LGBTQ+ community. We’re strong, we’re able and we definitely can lead.

Similar to how the first world building team is set up, a second team of experts, interested people, and writers will delve into these regions and create a playground where we can shape a new story, with a whole new cast, perhaps even experiment with a new medium in which the story is told.

Again, there might be an interactive map of the regions and a book on the history and workings of these other regions to accompany the main narrative of another LGBTQ+ leader.


Fill in a form to become world builder here.


You need to be interested and you need to be able to work in a team. That means a willingness to resolve any arising conflicts, be they project related or otherwise, in a reasonable manner.

You need to have enough time on your hands to participate and not be too busy already. We would like to deliver the fandom new content in a timely manner. We understand that situations may arise where you might be more busy for some period of time. We certainly are not asking you to sacrifice important professional or personal commitments. All we ask is that you be willing to commit to this as an ongoing project for the duration your part takes, the details and schedules of which would be discussed.

Obviously individual circumstances will be taken into account and we will try our best to accommodate everybody. This is meant to be a fun experience, not a dictatorship.

To Helios, with fumigations from frankincense and... frankincense?

Alright, forgive the sarcastic title, but I have a bone to pick with the generic Hellenic friendly online community (I’m not even bothering with specific titles at this point): lazy scholarship breeds misinformation.

There is one small point of contention for me when it comes to misinformation. I see it all over the place in various Hellenic sites, conversations on blogs, and even amongst the Hellenic polytheists I know personally. The title there is a bit of a spoof, it’s referencing the seventh (according to Taylor) Orphic hymn, To Helios. The next line states appropriate offerings: fumigations from frankincense and manna. And I see it, over and over again: “our best guess is that manna is powdered frankincense” or “manna, which is sweet frankincense”, and so on, in a thoroughly bothersome manner. Please ask yourself, why would the Orphic hymn to Helios require you burn frankincense and… frankincense? That little tidbit alone obviously does not discredit the theory, however it does help me highlight the flaw in said theory.

Manna as frankincense is not sound, or at least, not for early Greeks. I will concede that perhaps in the Hellenistic era, when frankincense was readily available in mass quantities due Eurasian trade routes was frankincense considered a replacement for manna (the ancient world has always made due with what was available) since frankincense was so highly regarded; its name does mean “truest incense”, but it was not always so. I find it to be lazy scholarship to call manna frankincense when we know what manna is and even still have manna in the modern day. At this point, I’ve probably lost you, but bear with me, I will explain.

May 8th of 2013, I wrote my post on honey in the ancient Hellenic world. In it, I described the origin of the word, some of the origins of apiculture, and some of its use in worship and relation to various Theoi. What I did not do, was explain the other words which share its origins in honey—the other substances which the Greeks considered honey, and how they all relate to manna. In Greek, the word Μέλι or “meli” is translated to honey, but the ancient Greeks knew three types of honey, or rather referred to three different substances all as honey. It is my belief that for much of Hellenic history, manna was the weepings of the ash tree. After all, the Μέλισσα were the bee nymphs, but also the nymphs of ash trees in the First Age. 

The ash tree holds a strange prominence in Greek mythology that many do not talk about today. It’s easy to focus on the obvious, the oaks belong to Zeus, pines to Pan, olive to Athene, myrtle to Aphrodite, vine to Dionysos, but the ash, if we were to simplify such things, belongs to the nymphoi. Hesychius in his lexicon contains this entry: melías karpós: tò anthrópon génos. (“Seed of ash: the race of men”), and is referring to the castration of Ouranos, when his bled fell to the earth and created the ash nymphs.  Various authors translate  the nymphs as either bee nymphs or honey gatherers or eaters, or as ash tree nymphs, but rarely are they both. To the ancient Greeks, however, a distinction of that sort would never need to be made. The ash trees, of which ancient Greece was home to at least four varieties, hold a particular attribute about which many people don’t know. I would surmise many anthropologists, philoligists, and translators would not know what naturalists, culinarians, and the ancient Greeks do/did: they secrete a pale sugary substance from their bark and leaves, similar to the resins of other trees, and which is sold commercially even today. Up until the last century, it was sold as a pharmaceutical, although today it is little more than a novelty or candy. nd do you know what this substance is called? Manna.

I’m sure you’re thinking this couldn’t possibly be the same manna that the ancient Greeks used, but I do believe it is. The origin of the word manna has not been sufficiently explained yet. The word is a fine example of Indo-European language, easily translatable and understood in the varying languages across Europe and Western Asia. If the tales of manna from the sky come to mind, you would not be remiss. In early Hebrew, we have the word mân (what?). The Israelites in the Wilderness of Sin, seeing manna for the first time, are said to have exclaimed mân-hû, “what is this? This seeming foodstuff which fell from the sky and onto the rocks and trees. Mân passed into Egyptian (mennu), Arabic (mann), of course to Greek (μάννα) and Latin (manna).Modern authorities have pointed out that the Arabic mann also means “gift,” in the sense of “free gift,” “gift from God” or “gift from heaven” (mann as-samā). This is what I was taught in my many years in Catholic education, manna means gift, (as that is what we were taught was the best translation from Sinaitic dialects of Hebrew). It is my belief that throughout the ancient world, manna was understood to be sweet secretions from trees, most commonly  Fraxinus ornus, or Fraxinus excelsior. Also of not, is the Indo-European word for ash, os, which not only is the father of our word for the tree, but is also related to the word for beech, oxúe, as well as ox, which brings about a fascinating parallel with the ox-born bees of the Egyptian born rituals of bugonia.

Now you may be thinking that while this is al very interesting, the etymology of one word in various languages doesn’t prove that the ancient Greeks thought manna was some weird sap. You are correct, fortunately, there are plenty of other sources which do prove exactly what I’m claiming. The Lidell-Scott-Jones Greek English Lexicon does a very good job of defining melí as”honey”as well as a “sweet gum collected from certain trees, manna” The definition is followed by the definition for melía as “manna ash, Fraxinus ornus”. It is taken for granted that “ía” is commonly used as a suffix denoting a plant which is named after some other root word. Even if we throw etymology out the window, the mythology and other literature cannot be denied. Classical writers used one word to describe three substances, to the Greeks, they were essentially all the same: honey made by bees, honeydew (which we now know is produced by aphids and certain other insects), and manna secreted by trees. Both the Greeks and the Romans felt that bees’ honey resulted from the bees’ collection of the other two substances. The belief that honey was one of the divine foodstuffs of the Theoi, and falls from the skies to be collected by bees, not only from flowers, but also from tree leaves, fields, etc. is attested by Aristotle, Pliny the Elder, and several other sources.

Aristotle wrote:

The honey is what falls from the air, especially at the risings of the stars and when the rainbow descends. On the whole there is no honey before the [morning] rising of the Pleiad… Honey [the bee] does not make, it fetches what falls.

In many counrties, until regulations were placed on the labeling and production of honey, honeydew was still regarded as true honey, even though it is a byproduct of an entirely different creature. The actual source of honeydew would probably be bewildering to ancient Greeks, nevertheless, they regarded all three substances as equal in sweetness, in making kindly, in sacredness. There is even texts that the Greeks wrote about foreigners eating their foreign manna”! Aelian mentions honey from box trees in Pontus and reports of honey from plants in Thrace. He claims that there are rains of honey in the spring in India. Diodorus Siculus says that the Nabateans ate “plenty of so-called honey from trees”, probably the Biblical tamarisk manna. Herodotus mentions the town of Callatebus in Lydia, “where craftsmen make honey from wheat and tamarisks”. Polyaenus describes the Persian king’s daily requisition of food, inscribed on a brass column. It includes 100 cakes of “raining honey”. This early manna, is still sold is some countries today, though mostly Iran. Some culinarians believe it is manna which inspired the invention of Turkish nougat. And a rare few believe it was fermented manna (as manna does deepen and mellow in color and flavor with age and eventually ferment) which was the first honey wines of the ancient Greeks.

Manna represents to the ancient Greeks, the edible secretions of trees, archetypally the ash, but also others, but it would not be merely frankincense. That isn’t to say manna and frankincense don’t have much in common,they do in ters of associations with gathring, harvesting, heat, and certain celestial associations. And given the ancient worlds absolute fascination with frankincense it is an easy conclusion to make, that manna would be another word for frankincense, but it is simply not so. I think the ash tree and its importance in Greek mythology deserves to have its moment in the spotlight again.