Author of Circle of Five and its sequels; Spirit; The Ghost Who Came Home from the Auction; Superfoodsa cookbook series; and two collections of poems, Doors to the Universe and The Nature of Things
It happens at 10:19 PM (coordinated universal time)
in the Northern Hemisphere on September 22 this year.
Mabon is the Wiccan Thanksgiving, giving thanks to Gaia for Her blessings, the fall fruits—pears, apples, and (in my part of the country) cranberries—squash, pumpkins, root vegetables, runner beans, and the heart of the harvest, bountiful corn. Decorations of corn sheaves, corn dollies, horns of plenty, and straw men celebrate the Old Ways. Cornbread, pumpkin bread, and apple pies are Mabon treats. Hot apple cider with cinnamon and other spices is the traditional beverage.
Apple-land, Avalon, is the Holy Land of the Old Religion. It was there that King Arthur was ferried after his death, by the same priestesses who had once given him the magic sword Excalibur. (The apartment building in which I live now is also called Avalon Apartments.)
In late September, the sun enters the house of Libra, the scales, the sign that epitomizes balance and justice. The heroine of my Circle novels, Cass Shipton, is a Libran, who struggles with varying degrees of success to bring justice to her world—and encounters many a misadventure along the way!
This is our Second Harvest of the year, the third being Samhain, Halloween. It’s a time when day and night are nearly equal. So it’s also a time to balance eggs, balance the books, balance your spirit—each balancing act, a neat trick in itself.
The double spiral, the symbol of reincarnation, is the also the symbol of Mabon. The balance of the equinox mirrors the balance of breathing out and in, of sleep and waking, or death and rebirth.
Sift into mixer workbowl:
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend in food processor:
1 can (15-oz.) solid pack pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Plump in hot water and drain:
2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. Line the bottoms with waxed paper, and grease that, also.
On medium speed, beat the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in the cranberries.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake on the middle shelf for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the breads have risen, browned, and shrunk slightly from the sides of the pans. A cake tester inserted in the center should come out dry.
Cool the breads on wire racks for 10 minutes. Turn them out of the pans, and strip off the waxed paper. Finish cooling completely on the racks. One or both of the breads can be frozen, well-wrapped in foil.
Makes 2 breads, 8 slices each, 16 servings.
SPIRIT A romance of past and present lives.
Brigit, a young woman gifted with clairvoyant abilities, struggles to come to terms with her unusual powers in a story that spans the late 1930s through World War II. As a lonely child growing up on the Isle of Man, Brigit turns for companionship to her imaginary friend Michael.
Later, while Brigit is working with psychic researchers studying her skill as a medium, Michael reappears as her control. He identifies himself as the spirit of an ancient Druid priest. Michael guides Brigit through her personal crises and various adventures in which she employs her paranormal powers in the war effort.
In order for the time-crossed couple to consummate their deep love, Michael takes spiritual possession of intelligence officer James Grey. Brigit and Michael share an idyllic time together in war-ravaged England until, as Grey, Michael must return to the fighting The story of Brigit is bracketed by the present-day experiences of Brigit’s daughter Michelle, who is excavating the cairn on the Isle of Man. In the aura of past lives and passions, Michelle falls in love with the chief archeologist and finds the strength to fulfill her own life.
"Spirit is enthusiastically recommended reading as being a particularly unique and touching story embedded with both a necessary hope and ultimate renewal." MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"...enchanting novel..." MENSA BULLETIN
THE GHOST WHO CAME HOME FROM THE AUCTION
When Olivia Andreas goes to an auction with her friend Jamie Finch, she doesn’t expect to bring home a ghost!
A professional records organizer who starts every day with a “To Do” list and is always on time for appointments, Olivia is not a believer in the paranormal or even an afterlife. In fact, she never glances at her astrology in the newspaper (even though she’s a perfect Virgo). But on a whim, she buys a silver frame and decides to keep intact its photo of a smiling blonde woman whose curious collections were sold that night.
Soon afterwards, a series of strange events completely upsets Olivia’s orderly world. Various ghostly manifestations of former showgirl Lily Lamoureaux shake up Olivia’s personal beliefs. A number of break-ins at Olivia’s home, with nothing stolen, defy explanation. Scary as these events are, there’s an upside. The investigating detective is an attractive guy named Dave Lowenstein who may almost meet Olivia’s carefully listed criteria for a husband.
Olivia’s orderly life becomes increasingly complicated and perilous as evidence surfaces of Mafia involvement in Lily’s death. Seeking revenge, Lily’s ghost draws Olivia and Dave ever deeper into danger as their investigations escalate into a fast-moving, spine-chilling adventure that culminates on the 4th of July in an explosive conclusion.
LADIES DIGGING THE DIRT
THE BEWITCHING LADIES OF THE CIRCLE
ARE DIGGING UP TROUBLE AGAIN!
The serenity of summer in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is rudely disturbed when a rabid preacher and his ragtag following begins to picket military funerals, liberal churches, and Pagan businesses. This hateful campaign naturally rouses the ire of the Circle of Five: Deidre, Phillipa, Heather, Fiona, and Cass, ladies who follow the Wiccan way—especially since Deidre’s Faeryland is one of the targeted shops.
Before they have time to thwart the preacher for good and all, however, Heather, with characteristic enthusiasm, throws herself into an archeological “dig” at the Morse Homestead in Salem where American Indian artifacts have been unearthed in the strata below the historic “witch” house. Great fun, until a mysterious sniper starts wounding and killing members of the team. Rushing to Heather’s aid, the ladies find themselves lodged in a haunted inn, which, along with an unearthly cold spot at the foot of the stairway, also offers a congenial bar where the five often gather to plan their strategy and fortify their spirits.
Believing that they have confounded the Salem Sniper, the Circle heads home, only to encounter a new challenge. A little girl named Molly Larsson has disappeared! The Circle resolves to employ all their witchy arts and off-the-wall brainstorms to find her. Mayhem, mischief, and magic are non-stop in this exciting new adventure for Cass and her Circle.
The 8th Cass Shipton Adventure
The 7th Cass Shipton Adventure
The 6th Cass Shipton Adventure
The 5th Circle Adventure
The 4th Circle Adventure