Happy Halloween from Henri and Rita!
Rita Booke, town librarian and Henri’s sweetheart, cooks up some Halloween treats.
Henri ate too many as usual! 🙂
The modern celebration of Halloween is derived from the ancient
Celtic celebration of Samhain, which marked the end of Summer
and honored the Ancestors.
Celebrated on October 31st, spirits may visit as the veil between
This World and the Otherworld is the thinnest. This is also a time to
give thanks for a bountiful harvest.
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Cerridwen creates the potion of knowledge which brews for a year and a day in her magick cauldron. A few drops of the potion and one gains all wisdom including the ability to see into the past and the future. Legend says that Cerridwen asked her servant, Gwion, to watch over the cauldron. Some of the potion splashed on his fingers which he licked without thinking. He immediately possessed all knowledge and ran away. Cerridwen pursued him as he shapeshifted into many forms, lastly becoming a small grain. Cerridwen changed into a hen, consumed the grain and became pregnant, giving birth to the great bard, Taliesin.
The origin of the witch stirring her cauldron of brew is most likely the image of Cerridwen.
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With various potions to choose from a Witch
conjures a spell to coincide with the full moon.
A little of this and a pinch of that go
into the ancient black cauldron.
Her trusty animal companions,
cat, raven and snake, look on as
the magick begins to happen.
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Mabon, Autumnal Equinox
The Second Harvest
The days are noticeably shorter and there is a chill in the night air in the Northern hemisphere. Some of the trees are beginning to don their Autumn colours as we approach the dark season of the year.
Mabon is the second harvest festival of the year, occurring on the 21st or 22nd of September. The apple and grape harvests are celebrated. Vegetables, fruits and herbs are ready to be picked and preserved for the coming Winter.
A time for giving thanks! And also a time to evaluate the progress made on goals set earlier in the year. Did everything work out as planned?
Wishing everyone a fruitful harvest!
Autumn Oak 8in x 10in (20.32cm x 25.4cm)
Autumn Oak 11in x 14in(29.72cm x 41.91cm)
All prints available in two sizes https://magickmermaid.com
Eek! A mouse! The final chapter
I consulted with friends. The always-imaginative Sir Doubtpuppet came up with a rather creative solution. He suggested that I make a lady mouse decoy with blonde hair, lipstick, stilettos and mousecara-ed eyelashes to be placed next to a trap with a neon sign stating “Free Kisses for Handsome Mice Here”.
Another (more practical) friend said I must set conventional traps immediately or the mice would multiply in no time. Visions of The Great Plague had me racing to the supermarket for mousetraps. (I know the plague was caused by fleas on rats. But the mere thought of rodent infestation had my imagination going wild!)
Porthos remained at his post. Henri frequently surveyed the house and checked the truffle tin muttering, “Méfiez-vous des souris voleuse! ”
(Beware of thieving mice.)
I preferred to use a catch and release trap. But now that the mouse had become a gourmet-organic-tomato-eating connoisseur, it would be back. So I was forced into buying the capture trap or be overrun. I had experienced a serious six-week mouse invasion in the city due to the landlord’s mistake and it wasn’t pretty.
I baited the trap with Swiss cheese. And nothing happened the first night. What? Aldi’s Swiss cheese wasn’t gourmet enough?!
The next night as I’m watching TV, I see something moving on the rug. A mouse! Then another one! Cue the Benny Hill theme song!
The mice are running all over the parlour as I shout at them to leave and try to chase them into the kitchen to the trap. Then they begin chasing me around the house!
One hid momentarily in the shadow between the piano and the TV armoire; its eyes closed. (“Ha! She can’t see me!”, it thought.) (“So cute!”, I thought.) I put more peppermint cottons around hoping they would go back outside. This “Eek, a mouse!”/“Oh, they are so cute!” circus went on for 2 hours before I finally gave up and went to bed.
The next morning when I went into the kitchen nothing appeared disturbed but I noticed the trap indicated “mouse caught”. I felt terrible and shed tears for the poor little thing. Henri, Porthos and I said a few solemn words before relegating the trap to the bin. I truly hoped that the other mouse took the hint and left. I felt such remorse that one had gone to its demise. But obviously I can’t have mice running amok through the house!
Later that day I go into the kitchen and there sits the other mouse in the middle of the floor! Not the least bit afraid of me or Porthos. It runs all over the kitchen, under the oven, then into the front room. Hides by the radiator and then it starts coming towards me at full speed! Cue the Benny Hill theme song again! I’m stamping my feet trying to scare it into leaving as I open the front door. No, it does not go out. It disappears.
Only to reappear 10 minutes later when I’m sitting at the computer. It runs over my foot! And then under the computer armoire. What’s really perplexing is that the mouse has no fear of careening through the house during the day!
So I dash into the kitchen to get the other trap and place it behind the armoire where I see the mouse is hiding. Now one would think it would want the cheese. No, it climbs over the trap! And runs towards the kitchen with me in hot pursuit. It disappears and then 5 minutes later it runs over my foot again as I’m sitting at the computer. Then it disappears under the fridge. By this time I am completely distraught and leave the baited trap near the oven hoping that the mouse will vacate the premises of its own accord.
As it happens, the lure of cheese (albeit inexpensive cheese) was finally too great. A few days later the mouse had its last supper. Henri, Porthos and I bade it farewell.
See The Gnome and I for more stories about Henri. 🙂