Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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Facing the Darkness

At this moment, many of us are being called upon to face our darkest fears. Pandemic nightmares and a lingering threat of impending doom surrounding our very democracy have become the new norm. The furious wildfires of climate change rip through our forests and leave lingering dark smudges carried on clouds which reach far across the nation. People are being attacked for wearing masks to protect others and/or exercise their right to peacefully protest. Instead of being able to come together and find common ground for a common good, we are being driven farther apart by the people elected to publicly serve and protect us.

The Fall Equinox has always been about finding a true balance. Never has this been a more pertinent allegory than right now. We need to work harder together to tame the pandemic. We need to take care of our planet and nurse our Mother Earth back to better health. We can no longer ignore that this is shared space– and if we want to coexist in any harmony, we cannot go through life with blinders on. These are not debates, matters of opinion, or imagined hoaxes. These are undeniable facts that we all need to face, whether some of want to or not. It has little or nothing to do with politics or sensationalized media. It has everything to do with the fate of our country, our world, and our civilization (emphasis on civility). The time for selfishness, greed, and giving in to our darkest impulses is over. The balance needs to be restored with compassion, generosity, and reaching toward a shared higher purpose. This also means taking a deep breath, no matter how weary we are of fighting the good fight. We must roll up our sleeves and meditate on making this balance a reality, in all the millions of seemingly small ways that we still can. We can channel our magical power and energy to bring about this good, but we cannot give up hope. Here is a place to start, this Mabon:



To cast the circle, gather with a small group of those closest to you, preferably 5-8 outside. If you have access to a fire pit, utilize it for this. If not, place an outdoor-friendly table in the center of your circle. Light a white votive candle for each guest. Pour small glasses of red wine for everyone and pull up your masks for the toast.

HOST: On this Autumnal Equinox, as we gather in friendship and love, may our positive energies blend together as this finely aged wine. In perfect harmony, in the name of the Goddess and the God, with pure hearts and pure intentions, we pledge to do all we can to bring about these good changes for the better, in ways both large and small, individually and within our groups. To righting the balance! (raises glass)

GROUP: To righting the balance! (all raise glasses)

HOST: To all of you and to you Bacchus! (clinks glasses)

GROUP: To all of you and to you Bacchus! (clinks glasses)

HOST: Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again. (pull down mask and step back to drink wine)

GROUP: Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again. (pull down mask and step back to drink wine)

Close the circle and give thanks. Here are more wine tasting and food ideas to adapt for your 2020 gathering. For some of us, it may be awhile before we can gather together with friends again. Cherish these times and remember them fondly in the dark of winter, before the Spring Equinox brings us into the light once more.

Blog image: Photo by Adonyi Gábor from Pexels

Embedded image: Photo by Adonyi Gábor from Pexels

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Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (, and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.


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