Quaker in the Green

Rising from strong roots,
we dance the body
electric and free.

Oak, ash, alder and elder
gather a circle
of living stones

To make and unmake,
weave and mend:
from wood, through fire and light,
song and story –
to return again.

River of life and death
will cleanse and clear the way,
creating songlines that echo in the soul.

Under cloudy continents, a harmony
of male and female reveals
goddess and god in modern dress.

Written by participants on ‘The Goddess and the Green Man in the Quaker’ course, Woodbrooke 17-19 August 2012.

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Magic at Woodbrooke

Woodbrooke gardens

Yew –
swing in her springy branches.

Fire circle –
ashes after our evening prayer.

Magpie –
cackling crow and carillon.

Crosspaths –
hawthorn hides Hecate here.

Fruit –
apple elder blackberry haw.

Lake –
ripples run in endless rings.

Labyrinth –
wander in her wondrous ways.

Rhiannon Grant

The Spirit of the Horned God rising from the Woodbrooke Fire

Pete Duckworth's painting

The Horned God rising out of the Woodbrooke fire on the Quaker and Pagans weekend - painting by Pete Duckworth

A cake recipe for Mabon

 

Buttermilk Fruit Cake

195 grams of all purpose flour
90 grams of pitted dates
130 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
240 ml buttermilk
115 grams unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
65 grams currants
65 grams dark raisins
65 grams crystallised ginger (cut into small pieces)

Preheat your oven to 165 degrees C and place the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch bread tin.

Place about 1/3 of the flour on a cutting board. Coats the dates with the flour and coarsely chop them (the flour prevents the dates from becoming mushy).

Place all the flour and the date mixture along with the remaining flour in a large mixing bowl. To the flour add the sugar, salt, spices and baking soda. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir the buttermilk mixture, along with the rest of the dried fruit, into the dry ingredients, mixing well. Immediately pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 50 – 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and pulling a little way from the sides of the tin. When it is ready a toothpick inserted into the middle of cake will come out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. This cake is excellent warm straight from the oven or at room temperature. It can be covered and stored at room temperature, or in the refrigerator, for a few days. Enjoy!