It happens the same time every year, about a week before Mabon, the Fall Equinox. We can vegetables, clean up the garden, decorate the yard with fall flowers, gourds, and pumpkins, and invite friends r for a huge autumn feast.
This year we are also making a scarecrow, instead of buying one of the ubiquitous flimsy models sold at crafts stores. The scarecrow is a familiar symbol of the fall harvest, but with a change of clothes, it can add whimsy to your landscape for all four seasons. If you’re so inclined, you can even enlist it to act as a guardian of your space.
If you want to use it for more than one season, building a strong scarecrow is a top priority. You’ll want one that looks nice and will last, and that you can take apart for easy storage.
Neither the job nor the cost need be daunting. You can build a strong standing or sitting scarecrow for less than fifty dollars, and in less than an hour, thanks to the following instructions from Dodie Ulery, Circle Magazine:
Materials Needed for Standing Scarecrow (pictured)
10 feet of schedule 40, 1” PVC pipe
1 cross PVC connector (neck and head)
1 four-foot piece of rebar (mounting rod)
Drill with drill bit
Plastic pumpkin for head
Clothing, preferably used: shirt, pants and belt or tie, or overalls, hat and gloves (if hands will show)
Bells or chimes for noise
(Optional) Straw or raffia stuffing for hair, ends of arms and legs
Cut the PVC pipe as follows:
1 fifteen inch for neck and head
2 twenty inch for the arms
1 five foot section for the body
Sand the ends of the PVC pipe which will be slipped inside the cross connector to make the neck, arms and body. The pieces should be sanded enough to e easily removed from the cross connector when you’re ready to dress your scarecrow.
With the twenty-inch arm sections in place, drill a small hole through the joint, in through the top and out through the bottom. This way, the arm section is held in place with the lynch pin, or you can remove it when you want, but it won’t slip out on its own.
Drill the other arm section and body section.
Draw a hole in the top and bottom of the plastic pumpkin through which the neck section will be slipped and hollow it out. Slip the section into the pumpkin leaving three or four inches protruding out of the bottom for the neck, and several inches out the top to secure the hat.
You’re now ready to put your scarecrow together and add the lynch pins. For stuffing you can use large black garbage bags and fill them with straw or disposable plastic bags.
Have a little fun picking the spot for your scarecrow to stand. Use a dowsing rod or your pendulum to locate the perfect spot for your new friend. When you have the spot, sink the rebar into the ground several inches deep. Mount the PVC pipe from the scarecrow onto the rebar.
You can plan a whole decorating theme around your scarecrow’s look—pirate, witch, zombie, crow, Dias de los Muertos—let your imagination fly! And don’t forget to build
the effect with pumpkins, a straw bale, corn stalks and fall flowers. You may even add a lighted lamp post, wheelbarrow, bicycle, or park bench.
How to Make Your Scarecrow a Guardian
Be sure the clothes you put on your scarecrow have been laundered. Anoint the
scarecrow with blessed water and an anointing oil (I recommend cinnamon, sandalwood and patchouli in the fall, to purify and dispel negativity, and to help you connect with your ancestral guides. Then try cedar, frankincense and myrrh this winter, to keep you grounded during the busy holiday season.)
Finally, meditate with your guardian and ask his/her name. Show your guardian appreciation for his protection by planting wildflowers at his feet, providing new clothes several times a year, and including him in your celebrations and circles.
Regardless of how we weave our personal tradition, the appearance of these autumnal symbols in our yards and gardens remind us that we have much to be thankful for.