alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
YET ANOTHER NOTE ABOUT THE IMAGES
I'm working on it. A nice graphic from Autumnal Equinoxes past can be found here.
To the devoted reader still reading and keeping up here, I apologize yet again for the ugliness and thank you yet again for your patience.
---MNGMNT


For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com. The Autumnal Equinox is also known as Mabon.

Read more )

A happy and safe holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
AND YET ANOTHER NOTE ABOUT THE IMAGES
Such a busy summer! I'm hoping to get time to work on my blogs this fall, specifically to get my images back.
To the devoted reader still reading and keeping up here, I apologize yet again for the ugliness and thank you yet again for your patience.
---MNGMNT



Also Known As: Singing Moon, Wine Moon, Mulberry Moon, Nut Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Moon When the Calves Grow Hair, Raven Moon, Haligmonath (Holy Month), Witumanoth (Wood Month), Moon When Deer Paw the Earth

Element: Earth

Nature Spirits: trooping faeries

Herbs: copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap, witch hazel

Colors: brown, yellow-green, yellow

Flowers: narcissus, lily

Scents: storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamot

Stones: peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine, bloodstone

Trees: hazel, larch, bay, hawthorn

Animals: snake, jackal

Birds: ibis, sparrow

Deities: Demeter, Ceres, Isis, Nephthys, Freya, Ch'ang-O, Thoth, Bridget, Vesta

Power Flow: rest after labor; balance of Light and Dark. Organize. Clean and straighten up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter.

Mantra: I give thanks for the blessings in my life.


Info on This Moon From About Dot Com: September brings us the Harvest Moon, sometimes referred to as the Wine Moon or the Singing Moon. This is the time of year when the last of the crops are being gathered from the fields and stored for the winter. There's a chill in the air, and the earth is slowly beginning its move towards dormancy as the sun pulls away from us.

This is a month of hearth and home. Spend some time preparing your environment for the upcoming chilly months. If you don't already have one, set up a hearth or kitchen altar for those times when you're cooking, baking and canning. Use this time to clear out clutter -- both physical and emotional -- before you have to spend the long winter days inside.



BY THE BOOKS


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmerman and Katherine A. Gleason
Also known as the Barley or Hunter's Moon, the Harvest Moon is a time of protection, prosperity, and abundance. This is the time of year when the grains are being harvested, and it is a good time for magick involving your prosperity, abundance, and the nurturing of others. If you have had a long illness, this is the time to finally come back to work. The energy of the Harvest Moon will help along any magick that is geared to bring you or someone else abundance.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism by Carl McColman
SEPTEMBER (Harvest Moon)-- Thanksgiving, acknowledge abundance, share with those in need.


The Craft - A Witch's Book of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison
Name: Wine or Harvest Moon
Cakes & Ale: graham crackers with peanut butter and grape juice
Colors: purple and lavender
Altar Decor: flowering herbs and fruit, purple and lavender candles
Incense sage, allspice, mugwort
Esbat Purpose: Celebrate the rising to fullness during the harvest
Try Drawing the Circle With: a branch from a fruit-bearing tree or shrub


Witch's Brew: Good Spells for Peace of Mind by Witch Bree
September has the beloved Harvest Moon, a time to be grateful and to reap what we've sown.


Witches Datebook (2003) by Edain McCoy
Because the Vine Moon bridges the Autumn Equinox and takes us into the dark time of the year, the vine has many associations with looking inward, including looking deep inside ourselves to find where creativity lives.

For this creativity ritual, you will need a small length of vine and some grape juice or wine. Under the light of the Vine Moon, empower them as talismans of your highest creative self.

Allow the light of the Moon to reflect off the wine's surface as you say:

Blessed be the fruit of the vine,
Now makes a cup of inspiring wine;
Fill my soul with creative desire,
Flow through me with inspiration's fire.


Drink the wine and feel it flow through you with the warmth of creative inspiration. Keep the vine as a talisman of creative energy.


Witches Datebook (2004) by Edain McCoy
The Vine Moon heralds the harvest of fruits: apples, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pears, grapes, and peaches. Some of these are made into jams and jellies, others are dried to last out the winter, and some are sugared to be placed in pies and strudels.

For the Celts, this final harvest of the year foretold how the clan would fare during the lean winter months. The wines made from the fruits were central features of the harvest celebration.

Make a wine or fruit juice the central feature of your convivial harvest feast. Invite family and friends to share in the bounty while you take turns making toasts of thanks to the Gods who granted you a bountiful harvest.

Blessed be the Gods of the vine,
Blessed be the Gods divine;
Bless all those who come now to dine,
And drink deeply of the sacred wine.



Witches Datebook (2006) by Edain McCoy
The Moon that shines in the September night is called the Harvest or Wine Moon in North America, and is celebration closely resembles many aspects of the Vine Moon of Celtic lore. The Harvest Moon marks the longest reaping period of the year, one that features grapes and other base fruits used in wines. Many European fruits and wines are sacred to Deities. Blackberries are sacred to Ireland's Brigid, and in Rome, Bacchus embodies the spirit of Mediterranean wines. In the Middle East, past and present, dark red wines are mixed liberally with natural sugars and consecrated for use as sacraments in religious settings.
Set aside a libation for your patron Deity under the Harvest Moon.

Grape and berry, wine and beer,
All hail Bacchus, toast harvest cheer!
With barley blessed bear, and sacred wine rare,
All hail Bacchus and abandon all care!



Witches Datebook by Ellen Dugan
Traditionally the Harvest Moon occurs at the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox. The Harvest Moon usually looks larger than other Full Moons because cooler fall air curves the light near the horizon. The fabulous reddish-orange color associated with the Harvest Moon is the result of seeing the dust, dirt, and pollen in the lower atmosphere as you gaze across the horizon.

The night of the Harvest Moon is the perfect time to celebrate the season of the harvest and to take a moment to reflect on what you are thankful for, such as freedom, friends, home, and family. Set up a pretty altar full of seasonal accessories such as apples, grapes, acorns, miniatures pumpkins, and colorful fall leaves. Light an orange candle for the harvest season and repeat this Harvest Moon blessing.

Beneath the light of the Harvest Moon so bright,
I am thankful for many blessings tonight.
I celebrate the bounty of the good green earth,
Lord and Lady bless me, granting health, peace, and mirth.



Witches Datebook by Dallas Jennifer Cobb
Like the fruits of the vines, our lives too can change and ferment. As you gather the late fruit harvest of your labor, give thanks for the sweetness of life. From such sweetness comes pleasure and treats, but also fermentation and "spirits." Celebrate the ever-changing nature of life, dreams, and goals as you toast the sacred ingredients-- friends, family, and familiars-- the loving relationships that mellow and ferment you. Honor Dionysus, God of wine and ecstasy. Invoke the balance of light and dark, and evaluate the balance within your life. As you prepare for the growing darkness, readying yourself to move within, clean and declutter yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Balance will bring you steady footing throughout the emotionally challenging journey ahead.

Wine Moon, Singing Moon, Sturgeon Moon glow,
the sacred balance of light and dark show,
Nephthys, Freyja, Ceres, Isis,
balance the diversity that my life is.



Witches Datebook (2010) by Elizabeth Barrette
The Cherokee refer to September as the Nut Moon, for the many nut trees that drop their fruit at this time-- acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts, etc. These provide a rich food source for humans and wildlife. Hunters stake out a spot near a strand of nut trees hoping to find some game animals that came to feed. To the Choctaw, this is the Mulberry Moon. Mulberries fruit during much of the summer, but some trees but some trees put out one last peak of fruit now. The Dakota Sioux call this the Moon When the Calves Grow Hair. On the plains when the weather grows chilly, the young buffalo, elk, and other animals born early this year grow shaggy and plump for the winter.

September marks a time when animals and people concentrate on stocking up for the cold season. The selection of fresh foods narrows; the selection ripening now will store well for a long time. Some baby animals are ready to leave their mothers. Wildlife crowds into strands of berries and nut trees.

Magically, this is a good time for spells for abundance, especially for saving money. Rituals may honor trees or tree Deities. Spells for power and virility are also timely; use seasonal nuts to represent this energy.


Witches Datebook by Ember Grant
Decorate your altar with apples, sheaves of wheat, and white mums; for fragrance, use bergamot, copal, or gardenia. For the Harvest Moon, celebrate with a Moon Goddess Ritual to honor the Maiden, Mother, and Crone-- this represents change: the cycles of life and the seasons. With this ritual we honor the change of seasons and the Moon. You may dedicate this ritual to a specific Moon Goddess if you like.

Maiden, Mother, and Crone, all Goddesses of the Moon,
tonight I honor You. You mirror the cycles of life.
Your way is subtle, changing, and from this we gain Your wisdom.
You mirror the sun. When you shine, You help us see,
give us light in darkness, so we can look into the light
with unguarded eyes. And when you are hidden, you remind us
the darkness is also beautiful and filled with mystery.
Tonight I seek Your blessing, Moon Goddesses, three faces in one.



Witches Datebook by James Kambos
The queen of the September night, the Harvest Moon will shine tonight with an amber radiance. The harvest is at its peak. The ritual for this Full Moon will focus on giving thanks. We should thank ourselves for being persistent in working toward our goals. However, we should also thank the farmers. Even in our high-tech world, we'll always depend on the soil to sustain us. This Moon is also a good time for us to go over our checklist. Have we accomplished the goals we set back in February? If not, don't blame yourself-- just keep trying.
For your ritual, light an orange candle. Decorate the altar with squash, nuts, grapes, yellow mums, or purple asters. Toast yourself and all who made the harvest possible with red wine or grape juice Raise your glass and rejoice.

Bless the bounty, bless the farmer's wintery hoard,
At the Harvest Moon I thank you Lady and Lord.
With a glass of wine I toast the farmer's toil,
I thank the Earth and the gifts of the soil!



Witches Datebook (2016) by Elizabeth Barrette
September announces the Raven Moon. This is the time of harvest, when people gather to bring in the crops. There are feasts and festivals along with the hard work. So too, Raven is a chatterbird, always ready to socialize or play tricks; yet these birds also excel at working out solutions to get food from inaccessible places.

To tune into Raven energy this month, place an image of a raven on your altar. Meditate on the importance of communication and how it connects people to each other. Throughout the month, pay attention for ravens all around you-- black feathers, cawing voices, wings in the sky, the written word, images on a screen. Whenever you notice a raven, check all around you. Is there an announcement to hear? A news article to read? A person you could be talking to? Make the connection. Communicate. Learn on the things Raven calls to your attention.

Later on, talk about your observations with a friend or family member. Ask what they have noticed and listen to their thoughts. A flock of ravens has many eyes, and they share information with each other about food sources and other important news.



A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
YET ANOTHER NOTE ABOUT THE IMAGES
There is a lovely graphic to accompany this post, too.
I'm working on the hosting issues, I promise.
I really want to make my blog sites (here and Dreamwidth) pretty again, and I worked hard on these layouts. To anyone still reading and keeping up here, I apologize for the ugliness and thank you again for your patience.
---MNGMNT


Also Known As: Sturgeon Moon, Bear Moon, Barley Moon, Dispute Moon, Weodmonath (Vegetation Month), Harvest Moon, Moon When Cherries Turn Black, Full Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon

Element: Fire

Nature Spirits: dryads

Herbs: chamomile, St. John's wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange, rosemary, basil

Colors: yellow, red, orange, gold

Flowers: sunflower, marigold

Scents: frankincense, heliotrope

Stones: cat's eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate, garnet, red agate, tiger's eye

Trees: hazel, alder, cedar

Animals: lion, phoenix, sphinx, dragon

Birds: crane, falcon, eagle

Deities: Ganesha, Thoth, Hathor, Diana, Hecate, Nemesis, Vulcan, Mars

Power Flow: energy into harvesting; gathering, appreciating. Vitality, health. Friendships.

Mantra: I sacrifice that which is no longer necessary in my life.


Info on This Moon From About Dot Com: In August, we celebrate the Corn Moon. This moon phase is also known as the Barley Moon, and carries on the associations of grain and rebirth that we saw back at Lammastide.
August was originally known as Sextilis by the ancient Romans, but was later renamed for Augustus (Octavian) Caesar.
Harness some of the Corn Moon's fiery energy for your ritual and spell work. This is a good time to focus on your spiritual and physical health. It's the time to harvest what you can now to put aside for later use. What sacrifices can you make today that will benefit you further down the road?


BY THE BOOKS


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmerman and Katherine A. Gleason
The Wyrt Moon, also known as the Wort, Barley, Corn, or Red Moon, is a time of abundance, agriculture, and marriage. This is the time to collect your magical herbs and store them for the winter or share them with others. Remember to give an offering back to the Gods for Their generosity. At this time of the year, you might want to do magick to help someone else reap the benefits of the Earth's abundance. (With that person's permission, of course!) This is also a good time to make a move at work for that higher level position. If you have become pregnant, this is the time to concentrate your energies on having a healthy pregnancy.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism by Carl McColman
AUGUST (Corn Moon)-- Harvest begins. Bake bread, settle old disputes, prepare to harvest.


The Craft - A Witch's Book of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison
Name: Barley
Cakes & Ale: Oatmeal cookies or sweet bread, malt beverage
Colors: yellow-gold, tan, warm brown
Altar Decor: yellow-gold candles, paper chains, ancestor photos or belongings, sheaves of wheat
Incense: patchouli
Esbat Purpose: Celebrate the reaping of the fields' grains
Try Drawing the Circle With: a sheaf of grain


Witch's Brew: Good Spells for Peace of Mind by Witch Bree
August holds the sensual Red Moon, when all lovers should pursue their passion mightily.


Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2002)
The energy of the Hazel Moon is good for contacting spirits and for enhancing shapeshifting or astral projection rituals. It has a solid reputation of protective energy, especially useful for the protection of travelers. Hazel wood also makes an excellent shield for deflecting negative intent when made with this goal in mind.

To craft a simplified version of a hazel shield to protect yourself, your home or office, your car, or your barn, you will need at least nine hazel nuts some thin cord in gold or white, and a hammer and nail. Empower the nuts as emblems of protection. Hammer a hole through them large enough for the cord, then string them together, making a binding knot between each. Hang these in your home and say,

Hazel, raise the shield so high,
So tall and wide that none slips by;
Protect, deflect, and quell all bane,
Make all around me safe again.



Witches Datebook by Dallas Jennifer Cobb
The Full Moon of August shines bright as you harvest the fruits of your focused labor. The seeds you planted in March have come to fruition. As you harvest, be thankful for your good health, bounty, and fertility. Bake breads and sweet cakes to honor the Gods. Offer these to your family, friends, and neighbors. Feast, and, as you break bread, know the abundance of sustenance you enjoy. Give bread or grains to those in need, knowing that karma is a seed you plant-- what goes around comes around, threefold. Make an offering to Gaia, the Earth Mother, and return some grains to Her, sowing the metaphorical seeds of rebirth. Left upon the earth, some of these grains may sprout in the spring, naturally reseeding themselves.

Barley Moon, Harvest Moon, Moon When Cherries Turn Black,
I share my bounty with those who lack,
Thoth, Hecate, Nemesis, Hathor,
Grains of abundance, wealth, and health we store.



Witches Datebook by Elizabeth Barrette (2010)
To the Cherokee, August is the Fruit Moon. Some kane berries have a second ripening period at this time. Many tree fruits also ripen in August, including peaches, plums, and the earliest "dessert" apples. In Choctaw tradition, this is the Women's Moon, a time for feminine mysteries and ceremonies. The Dakota Sioux refer to this as The Moon When All Things Ripen. Most vegetables that haven't already matured begin to yield. Many wild plants already set their seeds and fruits. The early grain ripens, too.

August marks the seasonal shift. Growth slows and changes focus from expansion to condensation as plants and animals prepare for the end of the growing season. Root crops store energy. Animals gorge on abundant food to store fat for winter. People spend hours harvesting and preserving food.

Rituals in August may acknowledge it as the first of the harvest months, with September and October to follow. Some myths focus on sacrificed Gods and grain Gods who die so that others may live. Magically, work spells for good weather and good harvests. Work to strengthen community ties in your coven or other spiritual group.

Witches Datebook by James Kambos
When the Grain Moon glides to its place in the sky tonight it will burn like a copper disk. This Moon oversees the start of the harvest season, so a ritual for it could be like an early Thanksgiving. Besides giving thanks for the harvest, we must be grateful for our personal harvests. We have sown, patiently waited, worked, and now we reap. Give thanks for everything, including the wisdom gained along the way.

Take time to richly decorate your altar. Place a yellow candle in the center; surround it with brightly colored zinnias, goldenrod, small bunches of grain, and produce. Finally, set out a small dish of cornmeal to honor corn, the most sacred of grains. After speaking the words below, listen quietly. Can you hear it? The katydids are scratching at the night-- summer's end is near.

After the Sun dips beyond the western sky,
The mellow Grain Moon reigns and rides high.
The wheat is brown, the corn is gold
Thanks you for my wisdom and the wealth I hold.


Witches Datebook by Elizabeth Barrette (2016)
In August there comes the Bear Moon. This is the time when bears and other animals begin putting on weight for winter. The berries are getting ripe and bears push their way into thickets to eat as much as they can. Bears also have a taste for many other wild plants. They have a reputation as healers for knowing which roots to dig in order to stay healthy or recover from diseases.

For this spell, you will need a representation of a bear, such as a bead or a stone pawprint. Hold it in your hand and say:

Gentle flower, healing root, hear my magic song.
Ripened berry, growing shoot, make me whole and strong.


Visualize how the bear finds and keeps the healing energy of the plants. Imagine this power flowing into the charm that you hold. Think about what you can do to stay healthy. Wrap it around you like a bear's thick fur. When you are through, give thanks to the plants and the bears for their support.

Carry the charm with your through the winter to help ward of illness. Like the bear's protective layer of fat, it works best by prevention.


A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
A NOTE ABOUT THE IMAGES
There is a lovely Lammas graphic to accompany this post.
Unfortunately, the problem with Photobucket was not as I hoped, which was that it would be a temporary annoyance, and they'd return my photo-hosting.
'Fraid not. My back-up plan, Imageshack, disabled free three-party hosting two years ago.
So I'm trying hard to find a site that will let me host images FOR FUCKING FREE. I've heard good things about Imgur, and if you have any experience with that, please let me know.
It's a slow process. I've used Photobucket for over nine years and that's a lot of photos.
I really want to make my blog sites (here and Dreamwidth) pretty again, and I worked hard on these layouts. To anyone still reading and keeping up here, I apologize for the ugliness and thank you for your patience.
---MNGMNT


A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate!

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com.

All About Lammas

It's the dog days of summer, the gardens are full of goodies, the fields are full of grain, and the harvest is approaching. Take a moment to relax in the heat, and reflect on the upcoming abundance of the fall months. At Lammas, sometimes called Lughnasadh, it's time to begin reaping what we have sown throughout the past few months, and recognize that the bright summer days will soon come to an end. Lammas is the first of three Pagan harvest festivals, and takes place on August 1, right around the time of the early grain harvests.


History of Lammas

The Beginning of the Harvest
At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.
This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the God Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian God Tammuz was slain and His lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed Him to the Underworld to bring Him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.
In Greek legend, the grain God was Adonis. Two Goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for His love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread
In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas -- it meant that the previous year's harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheafs of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season.
The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God
In some modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman God. He is a God of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh's influence appears in the names of several European towns.

Lammas for Modern Pagans
In our modern world, it's often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it's no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one's crops meant the difference between life and death.
By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled God, Lammas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It's a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!
Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.


The Lammas Altar

It's Lammas, or Lughnasadh, the Sabbat where many Pagans choose to celebrate the beginnings of the harvest. This Sabbat is about the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth -- the grain God dies, but will be reborn again in the spring. Depending on your tradition, you may also observe this Sabbat as the day of the Celtic craftsman God, Lugh. Either way, you can try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most.

Colors of the Season
It's the end of summer, and soon the leaves will begin to change. However, the sun is still fiery and hot. Use a combination of summer and fall colors -- the yellows and oranges and reds of the sun can also represent the turning leaves to come. Add some browns and greens to celebrate the fertility of the earth and the crops being harvested. Cover your altar with cloths that symbolize the changing of the season from summer to harvest time, and use candles in deep, rich colors -- reds, burgundies, or other autumn shades are perfect this time of year.

Symbols of the Harvest
The harvest is here, and that means it's time to include symbols of the fields on your altar. Sickles and scythes are appropriate, as are baskets. Sheafs of grain, fresh picked fruits and vegetables, a jar of honey, or loaves of bread are perfect for the Lammastide altar.

Honoring the God Lugh
If your celebrations focus more on the God Lugh, observe the Sabbat from an artisan's point of view. Place symbols of your craft or skill on the altar -- a notebook, your special paints for artists, a pen for writers, other tools of your creativity.

Other Symbols of Lammas (Lughnasadh)

• Grapes and wine
• Corn dolls -- you can make these easily using dried husks
• Ears of corn
• Iron, such as tools or weaponry or armor
• Fall flowers, such as cornflowers or poppies
• Straw braids
• Onion garlands
• Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
• Dried grains -- sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
• Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
• Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches


Lammas Legends and Lore

In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Lammas (Lughnasadh). Here are a few of the stories about this magical harvest celebration from around the world

In Israel, the festival of Shavout commemorates the beginning of the harvest, as well as honoring the date that Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The final sheaf of wheat is brought to the rabbi for a blessing, synagogues and homes are decorated with flower, and a great feast is prepared for all to enjoy.

The festival of Onam is celebrated in India, and people dress up in their finest clothes and give food to the poor. Onam is celebrated in honor of King Mahabali, who was a ruler of Kerala. In one story, the God Vishnu approached Mahabali dressed as a beggar, and asked for land, which Mahabali gave him. Mahabli ended up buried under the earth by Vishnu, but was allowed to return once a year, symbolizing the planting of the seed and the subsequent harvest.

Thor's wife, Sif, had beautiful golden hair, until Loki the prankster cut it off. Thor was so upset He wanted to kill Loki, but some dwarves spun new hair for Sif, which grew magically as soon as it touched Her head. The hair of Sif is associated with the harvest, and the golden grain that grows every year.

In the Shetland Islands, farmers believed that grain harvesting should only take place during a waning moon. They also believed this about the fall potato crop, and the cutting of peat.

At Lughnasadh, calves are weaned, and the first fruits are ripe, such as apples and grapes. In some Irish counties, it was believed farmers had to wait until Lughnasadh to start picking these fruits, or bad luck would befall the community.

In some countries, Lammas is a time for warrior games and mock battles. This may hearken back to the days when a harvest festival was held, and people would come from miles around to get together. What better way for young men to show off their strength and impress the girls than by whacking away at all the competition? Games and contests are also held in honor of Lugh, the mighty Celtic craftsman God, in which artisans offer up their finest work.

It's become a custom to give people the gift of a pair of gloves at Lammastide. In part, it's because winter is just around the corner, but it's also related to an old tradition in which landowners gave their tenants a pair of gloves after the harvest. The glove is a symbol of authority and benevolence.


Deities of Lammas

When Lammastide rolls around, the fields are full and fertile. Crops are abundant, and the late summer harvest is ripe for the picking. This is the time when the first grains are threshed, apples are plump in the trees, and gardens are overflowing with summer bounty. In nearly every ancient culture, this was a time of celebration of the agricultural significance of the season. Because of this, it was also a time when many Gods and Goddesses were honored. These are some of the many Deities who are connected with this earliest harvest holiday.

Adonis (Assyrian): Adonis is a complicated God who touched many cultures. Although He's often portrayed as Greek, His origins are in early Assyrian religion. Adonis was a God of the dying summer vegetation. In many stories, He dies and is later reborn, much like Attis and Tammuz.

Attis (Phrygean): This lover of Cybele went mad and castrated Himself, but still managed to get turned into a pine tree at the moment of His death. In some stories, Attis was in love with a Naiad, and jealous Cybele killed a tree (and subsequently the Naiad who dwelled within it), causing Attis to castrate Himself in despair. Regardless, His stories often deal with the theme of rebirth and regeneration.

Ceres (Roman): Ever wonder why crunched-up grain is called cereal? It's named for Ceres, the Roman Goddess of the harvest and grain. Not only that, She was the one who taught lowly mankind how to preserve and prepare corn and grain once it was ready for threshing. In many areas, She was a mother-type Goddess who was responsible for agricultural fertility.

Dagon (Semitic): Worshiped by an early Semitic tribe called the Amorites, Dagon was a God of fertility and agriculture. He's also mentioned as a father-deity type in early Sumerian texts and sometimes appears as a fish God. Dagon is credited with giving the Amorites the knowledge to build the plough.

Demeter (Greek): The Greek equivalent of Ceres, Demeter is often linked to the changing of the seasons. She is often connected to the image of the Dark Mother in late fall and early winter. When Her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter's grief caused the earth to die for six months, until Persephone's return.

Lugh (Celtic): Lugh was known as a God of both skill and the distribution of talent. He is sometimes associated with midsummer because of His role as a harvest God, and during the summer solstice the crops are flourishing, waiting to be plucked from the ground at Lughnasadh.

Mercury (Roman): Fleet of foot, Mercury was a messenger of the Gods. In particular, He was a God of commerce and is associated with the grain trade. In late summer and early fall, He ran from place to place to let everyone know it was time to bring in the harvest. In Gaul, He was considered a God not only of agricultural abundance but also of commercial success.

Neper (Egyptian): This androgynous grain Deity became popular in Egypt during times of starvation. He later was seen as an aspect of Osiris, and part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

Parvati (Hindu): Parvati was a consort of the God Shiva, and although She does not appear in Vedic literature, She is celebrated today as a Goddess of the harvest and protector of women in the annual Gauri Festival.

Pomona (Roman): This apple Goddess is the keeper of orchards and fruit trees. Unlike many other agricultural Deities, Pomona is not associated with the harvest itself, but with the flourishing of fruit trees. She is usually portrayed bearing a cornucopia or a tray of blossoming fruit.

Tammuz (Sumerian): This Sumerian God of vegetation and crops is often associated with the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.


Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Lammas, but typically the focus is on either the early harvest aspect, or the celebration of the Celtic God Lugh. It's the season when the first grains are ready to be harvested and threshed, when the apples and grapes are ripe for the plucking, and we're grateful for the food we have on our tables.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying -- and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.
Lammas Harvest Ritual
Honor Lugh of the Many Skills
Lammas Bread Sacrifice Ritual
Prayers for Lammas

From Rituals For Sacred Living by Jane Alexander:

 photo I_Lammas_zpsxakszq77.jpg
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
Apologies that my Photobucket account is making things so damn ugly. Hopefully this BS will let up soon.

Going up a little early!

 photo New 2017 Blessing Moon With Text_zpsie1bl5tw.jpg


Also Known As: Wort Moon, Oak Moon, Moon of Claiming, Moon of Blood (because of mosquitoes), Hay Moon, Maedmonat (Meadow Month), Ripe Corn Moon, Fish Moon, Hewimanoth (Hay Month), Fallow Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Meadow Moon

Element: water

Nature Spirits: hobgoblins (small, grotesque but friendly brownie-type creatures), faeries of harvested crops

Herbs: honeysuckle, agrimony, lemon balm, hyssop, mugwort

Colors: silver, blue-gray, green

Flowers: lotus, water lily, jasmine

Scents: orris, frankincense

Stones: pearl, moonstone, white agate, opal

Trees: oak, acacia, ash

Animals: crab, turtle, dolphin, whale

Birds: starling, ibis, swallow

Deities: Khepera, Athene, Athena, Juno, Hel, Holda, Cerridwen, Nephthys, Venus, Lugh

Power Flow: relaxed energy; preparing; succeeding. Dream-work, divination, and meditation on goals and plans, especially spiritual ones.

Mantra: I sense my connection to the Universe.


Info on This Moon From About Dot Com: July's full moon is known as the Blessing Moon, although it's also called the Meadow Moon. July was originally called Quintilus, but was later renamed in honor of Julius Caesar. This is a great time to do divination and dreamwork. Find a way to incorporate the watery energy of the Blessing Moon into your spell crafting and ritual. Enjoy the relaxing feeling of July's full moon and use it in your personal meditation.

BY THE BOOKS


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmerman and Katherine A. Gleason
The Mead Moon, also known as the Blessing, Lightning, or Thunder Moon, is a time of enchantment, health, rebirth, success, and strength. This is the time of the first harvests, when you begin to enjoy the fruits of your labors. This is also a time of celebration and magic. Remember that mead is the nectar of the Gods. Now is the time to gather your magickal herbs and do some prosperity magick so you get that raise for which you've worked so hard.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism by Carl McColman
JULY (Mead Moon)-- Relax, have fun, tell stories and jokes.


The Craft - A Witch's Book of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison
Name: Wort
Cakes & Ale: herbal cookies and herbal tea
Colors: orange and green
Altar Decor: orange candles, bunches of vervain tied with ribbons
Incense: sage, lavender, and rosemary
Esbat Purpose: Celebrate perfect herbs, perfect harvest, and self-discovery
Try Drawing the Circle With: a bouquet of herbs and plants and your favorite herb tea


Witch's Brew: Good Spells for Peace of Mind by Witch Bree
July's Thunder Moon brings rain, the water of life, and cleansing storms.

Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2002)
The Oak Moon offers us security, vigor, courage, and healing energy. The old Irish word for oak has often been translated as "door," giving us a glimpse into its power as a portal between all worlds.

To attain strength or healing during the Oak Moon, you will need two oak twigs and two acorns. Hold a twig in each hand. Close your eyes and feel yourself being pulled to the center of all places as each twig leads you to a different world. When you feel you are at the oak's doorway, take an acorn in each hand; visualize one giving you strength, and the other taking away weakness or illness. Bury the acorn you feel is taking away your weakness-- preferably at the base of an oak tree-- and carry the other as a talisman of strength and well-being.


Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2003)
The Oak Moon marks the halfway point in the lunar year, and carries us across the threshold of the peak of the solar year. Just like a major midlife crisis or the sagging middle in a badly written movie, halfway points compel us to reflect on where we've been and where we're going.

Use the power of the Oak Moon to renew your commitment to your Deities and spiritual path. For this ritual, you will need three acorns and six candles. Under the moonlight, charge the acorns to represent your body, mind, and spirit. Light each candle to represent the six remaining Moons of the lunar year. Call out to your Deities and rededicate yourself to Them and Their service. Ask for the strength you need to continue on Their path throughout this year, or to change the direction of your path to correct an error in your ways. Bury the acorns to symbolize the planting of your rediscovered commitment.


Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2006)
The Moon illuminating the July night reassures us that the cycle of life is proceeding how it should. No matter how dark or uncertain the night, we can go to a window and see a pale yellow light falling across lush woodlands and growing fields. Mother Earth is still gestating with the coming harvest, and as with any mother-to-be, we can't count on a successful birth until it has been gathered in and we can hold it in our hands and hearts.

Under the Blessing Moon, pause to tally up your own blessings-- the ones you currently have, and those you hope to have in the near future. Write them down and allow the paper to remain out all night under the Full Moon. Be careful that not one ray of sunlight spills across your list. The Sun represents the self you show to the world, but the Moon represents your inner self. These are your private yearnings, and all good weavers of wishes know that keeping silent about your heart's desire is the quickest way to bring it to manifestation.


Witches Datebook by Ellen Dugan
The Full Moon in July heralds in the time of thunderstorms and the hottest days of the year, called the "dog days of summer." In ancient Egypt, the dog star, Sithor, rose with the sun the most extreme summer heat. This star was considered a second sun, which they believed added to the heat. Egyptians celebrated the "dog days" because, when the star rose with the sun, the Nile's annual flood would commence and bring life back to the land. In this time, it's easy to have short tempers and little patience. Under this Thunder Moon, you could work for patience, peace, and, of course, a cooling summer shower.

Under this steamy Thunder Moon so bright,
I call for patience, peace, and calm this night.
May a cooling summer rain come bless the land soon,
Bringing relief and joy to the earth like a boon.
For the good of all, with harm to none,
By the Thunder Moon, this spell is done!



Witches Datebook by Dallas Jennifer Cobb
Dive into the juicy energy of the July Full Moon and swim deep in Her blessed, abundant energy. Dream, meditate, and intuitively divine, there's great magical strength, power, and clarity in this time. Let visions flow, so you know how to best prepare for the hard work that harvest requires. Plan your steps to success, within the garden and within your life. Know what you will harvest, and how you will store it to sustain you throughout the winter-- that time of death and dark journeying. Gather herbs for drying and preservation, preparing for magic, medicine, and sustenance. And in a spirit of celebration, leave an offering in the moonlight, in the garden or out of doors, for the spirits of nature. Thank them for radiant abundance.

Wort Moon, Hay Moon, Thunder Moon protect
Under your light these herbs I collect,
Cerridwen, Athene, Holda, Venus,
In dreamwork and divination your spirits guide us.



Witches Datebook by Elizabeth Barrette (2010)
In Cherokee tradition, July is the Ripe Corn Moon. First sweet corn then dent corn ripen for harvest. As a staple food and sacred material, corn attracts much attention through its life cycle. To the Choctaw, this is the Crane Moon, recognizing those large water birds. The Dakota Sioux call this the Moon of Middle Summer. Indeed, for much of America so it is: the three hottest months are June, July, and August.

July brings a swell of new foods: corn and tomatoes are ripening along with many vine fruits such as squash and cucumbers. Visit your local farmer's market to enjoy fresh seasonal produce. Watch birds and other animals raising their young. But be careful. While the Sun has passed its peak at the Solstice, the heat is still increasing. Respect the Sun's power: avoid midday sunlight and excess exposure.

Rituals in July may celebrate staple crops such as corn or supporting crops such as squash-- whatever ripens in your area at this time. Rituals to honor the Sun, heat, light, and so forth are also appropriate. Magically, tap into the power of the Sun to fuel spells for success and prosperity.


Witches Datebook by James Kambos
The Thunder Moon, also known as the Blessing Moon, glows with a fiery splendor in the summer night. It takes on the colors of the seasons, frequently a lustrous blend of red, gold, and orange. During the Thunder Moon, the earth is almost ready to bless us with the harvest; gardens begin to produce heavily. And nature produces awesome spectacles of power- thunder, rain, and lightening.

Ask yourself what you want. Meditate deeply. Think of the richness in nature that surrounds us. Sit beneath the Thunder Moon until you feel its light penetrate and you have a tingling sensation. Raise your power hand and draw energy from the Moon. On your altar or other safe space burn a dark green candle. Cut a small amount of lemon balm and thyme if you can; think of your desire:

Garden grow and the orchard's fruit swell,
On this night of the Thunder Moon I perform this spell.
Beneath your light I've gathered lemon balm and thyme,
Hear my request-- what I want is mine.



Witches Datebook by Elizabeth Barrette (2016)
July marks the Fish Moon. This is when migratory fish such as salmon begin their runs, an event that spans several months as there are many different species and they cover a vast amount of territory. Some tribal people used to depend heavily on fish runs for their survival, and today this still plays a major role for some businesses and tourism. Fish brings an awareness of depth and clarity.

This ritual requires a natural body of water, such as a river or lake, with fish in it. Stand or sit on the shore and gaze into the water. Look for the bottom. Imagine yourself as a fish swimming through the water. Everyone has hidden depths and undiscovered talents.When you go down deep into yourself, what do you find? Are there currents you want to follow? Drop a pebble into the water and watch the ripples spread. Meditate on how the actions arising from within you will affect other people. What you can learn from fish as they seek things in the water? Feel your way through the depths.
When you are done, stamp your feet on the earth to ground yourself on solid land again.


A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
I'm celebrating a little later, once the Moon is New.


 photo Summer Solstice 2017 with TextB_zpsvifjxgy5.jpg


A happy and safe holiday to all who celebrate!

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com.

All About Litha, the Summer Solstice

The gardens are blooming, and summer is in full swing. Fire up the barbecue, turn on the sprinkler, and enjoy the celebrations of Midsummer! Also called Litha, this summer solstice Sabbat honors the longest day of the year. Take advantage of the extra hours of daylight and spend as much time as you can outdoors.


History of Litha

An Ancient Solar Celebration
Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date – usually around June 21 or 22 – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded. Stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.

Traveling the Heavens
Although few primary sources are available detailing the practices of the ancient Celts, some information can be found in the chronicles kept by early Christian monks. Some of these writings, combined with surviving folklore, indicate that Midsummer was celebrated with hilltop bonfires and that it was a time to honor the space between earth and the heavens.

Fire and Water
In addition to the polarity between land and sky, Litha is a time to find a balance between fire and water. According to Ceisiwr Serith, in his book The Pagan Family, European traditions celebrated this time of year by setting large wheels on fire and then rolling them down a hill into a body of water. He suggests that this may be because this is when the sun is at its strongest yet also the day at which it begins to weaken. Another possibility is that the water mitigates the heat of the sun, and subordinating the sun wheel to water may prevent drought.

Saxon Traditions
When they arrived in the British Isles, the Saxon invaders brought with them the tradition of calling the month of June Aerra Litha. They marked Midsummer with huge bonfires that celebrated the power of the sun over darkness. For people in Scandinavian countries and in the farther reaches of the Northern hemisphere, Midsummer was very important. The nearly endless hours of light in June are a happy contrast to the constant darkness found six months later in the middle of winter.

Roman Festivals
The Romans, who had a festival for anything and everything, celebrated this time as sacred to Juno, the wife of Jupiter and Goddess of women and childbirth. She is also called Juno Luna and blesses women with the privilege of menstruation. The month of June was named for Her, and because Juno was the patroness of marriage, Her month remains an ever-popular time for weddings. This time of year was also sacred to Vesta, Goddess of the hearth. The matrons of Rome entered Her temple on Midsummer and made offerings of salted meal for eight days, in hopes that She would confer Her blessings upon their homes.

Midsummer for Modern Pagans
Litha has often been a source of contention among modern Pagan groups, because there's always been a question about whether or not Midsummer was truly celebrated by the ancients. While there's scholarly evidence to indicate that it was indeed observed, there were suggestions made by Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Paganism, that the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many modern Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June.

In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of June, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King.

This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. Crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life.

For contemporary Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. Find yourself a quiet spot and meditate on the darkness and the light both in the world and in your personal life. Celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year with fire and water, night and day, and other symbols of the triumph of light over darkness.

Litha is a great time to celebrate outdoors if you have children. Take them swimming or just turn on the sprinkler to run through, and then have a bonfire or barbecue at the end of the day. Let them stay up late to say goodnight to the sun, and celebrate nightfall with sparklers, storytelling, and music. This is also an ideal Sabbat to do some love magic or celebrate a handfasting, since June is the month of marriages and family.


The Litha Altar

Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It's a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can't, that's okay -- but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.

Colors of the Season
This sabbat is all about the sun celebration, so think of solar colors. Yellows, oranges, fiery reds and golds are all appropriate this time of year. Use candles in bright sunny colors, or cover your altar with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season.

Solar Symbols
Litha is when the sun is at its highest point above us. In some traditions, the sun rolls across the sky like a great wheel - consider using pinwheels or some other disc to represent the sun. Circles and discs are the most basic sun symbol of all, and are seen as far back as the tombs of ancient Egypt. Use equal-armed crosses, such as the Brighid's Cross, or even the swastika - remember, it was originally a good luck symbol to both the Hindus and Scandinavians before it became associated with the Nazis.

A Time of Light and Dark
The solstice is also a time seen as a battle between light and dark. Although the sun is strong now, in just six months the days will be short again. Much like the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, light and dark must battle for supremacy. At this sabbat, light wins. Decorate your altar with symbols of the triumph of light over darkness - and that includes using other opposites, such as fire and water, night and day, etc.

Other Symbols of Litha
• Midsummer fruits and vegetables from your garden
• Gods Eyes in sunny colors
• Roses, sunflowers
• Oak trees and acorns
• Sandalwood, saffron, frankincense, laurel


Litha Legends and Lore

Litha, or Midsummer, is a celebration that has been observed for centuries, in one form or another. It is no surprise, then, that there are plenty of myths and legends associated with this time of year!

• In England, rural villagers built a big bonfire on Midsummer's Eve. This was called "setting the watch," and it was known that the fire would keep evil spirits out of the town. Some farmers would light a fire on their land, and people would wander about, holding torches and lanterns, from one bonfire to another. If you jumped over a bonfire -- presumably without lighting your pants on fire -- you were guaranteed to have good luck for the coming year.

After your Litha fire has burned out and the ashes gone cold, use them to make a protective amulet. You can do this by carrying them in a small pouch, or kneading them into some soft clay and forming a talisman. In some traditions of Paganism, it is believed that the Midsummer ashes will protect you from misfortune. You can also sow the ashes from your bonfire into your garden, and your crops will be bountiful for the rest of the summer growing season.

It is believed in parts of England that if you stay up all night on Midsummer's Eve, sitting in the middle of a stone circle, you will see the Fae. But be careful - carry a bit of rue in your pocket to keep them from harassing you, or turn your jacket inside out to confuse them. If you have to escape the Fae, follow a ley line, and it will lead you to safety.

Residents of some areas of Ireland say that if you have something you wish to happen, you "give it to the pebble." Carry a stone in your hand as you circle the Litha bonfire, and whisper your request to the stone -- "heal my mother" or "help me be more courageous", for example. After your third turn around the fire, toss the stone into the flames.

Astrologically, the sun is entering Cancer, which is a water sign. Midsummer is not only a time of fire magic, but of water as well. Now is a good time to work magic involving sacred streams and holy wells. If you visit one, be sure to go just before sunrise on Litha, and approach the water from the east, with the rising sun. Circle the well or spring three times, walking deosil, and then make an offering of silver coins or pins.

Sunwheels were used to celebrate Midsummer in some early Pagan cultures. A wheel -- or sometimes a really big ball of straw -- was lit on fire and rolled down a hill into a river. The burned remnants were taken to the local temple and put on display. In Wales, it was believed that if the fire went out before the wheel hit the water, a good crop was guaranteed for the season.

In Egypt, the Midsummer season was associated with the flooding of the Nile River delta. In South America, paper boats are filled with flowers, and then set on fire. They are then sailed down the river, carrying prayers to the Gods. In some traditions of modern Paganism, you can get rid of problems by writing them on a piece of paper and dropping them into a moving body of water on Litha.

William Shakespeare associated Midsummer with witchcraft in at least three of his plays. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, and The Tempest all contain references to magic on the night of the Summer Solstice.


Deities of Litha

The Summer Solstice has long been a time when cultures celebrated the lengthening year. It is on this day, sometimes called Litha, that there is more daylight than any other time; a direct counterpoint to the darkness of Yule. No matter where you live, or what you call it, chances are you can connect to a culture that honored a sun Deity around this time of year. Here are just a few of the Gods and Goddesses from around the world that are connected with the Summer Solstice.

Amaterasu (Shinto): This solar Goddess is the sister of the moon Deity and the storm God of Japan, and is known as the Goddess "from which all light comes". She is much loved by Her worshipers, and treats them with warmth and compassion. Every year in July, She is celebrated in the streets of Japan.

Aten (Egypt): This God was at one point an aspect of Ra, but rather than being depicted as an anthropomorphic being (like most of the other ancient Egyptian Gods), Aten was represented by the disc of the sun, with rays of light emanating outward.

Apollo (Greek): The son of Zeus by Leto, Apollo is a multifaceted God. In addition to being the God of the sun, He also presides over music, medicine and healing. He was at one point identified with Helios. As worship of Him spread throughout the Roman empire into the British Isles, He took on many of the aspects of the Celtic deities, and thusly is also seen as a God of the sun and of healing.

Hestia (Greek): This Goddess watched over domesticity and the family. She was given the first offering at any sacrifice made in the home. On a public level, the local town hall served as a shrine for Her -- any time a new settlement was formed, a flame from the public hearth was taken to the new village from the old one.

Horus (Egyptian): Horus was one of the solar Deities of the ancient Egyptians. He rose and set every day, and is often associated with Nut, the sky God. Horus later became connected with another sun God, Ra.

Huitzilopochtli (Aztec): This warrior God of the ancient Aztecs was a sun God and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. He battled with Nanahuatzin, an earlier solar God. Huitzilopochtli fought against darkness, and required His worshipers to make regular sacrifices to ensure the sun's survival over the next fifty-two years, which is a significant number in Mesoamerican myths.

Juno (Roman): She is also called Juno Luna and blesses women with the privilege of menstruation. The month of June was named for Her, and because Juno was the patroness of marriage, Her month remains an ever-popular time for weddings and handfasting.

Lugh (Celtic): Similar to the Roman God Mercury, Lugh was known as a God of both skill and the distribution of talent. He is sometimes associated with midsummer because of His role as a harvest God, and during the Summer Solstice the crops are flourishing, waiting to be plucked from the ground at Lughnasadh.

Sulis Minerva (Celtic, Roman): When the Romans occupied the British Isles, they took the aspects of the Celtic sun Goddess, Sulis, and blended Her with their own Goddess of wisdom, Minerva. The resulting combination was Sulis Minerva, who watched over the hot springs and sacred waters in the town of Bath.

Sunna or Sol (Germanic): Little is known about this Norse Goddess of the sun, but She appears in the poetic eddas as the sister of the moon God.


Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Litha, but the focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the sun. It's the time of year when the crops are growing heartily and the earth has warmed up. we can spend long sunny afternoons enjoying the outdoors, and getting back to nature under the long daylight hours.
Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying -- and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

Midsummer Night's Fire Ritual
Amergin Nature Meditation
Celebrating Fathers
Tool Recharging Ritual
Prayers for Litha

Ten Great Ways to Celebrate Litha

It's Litha, the longest day of the year! The sun will shine more today than any other day of the year, and it's a day to get outdoors and celebrate. Spend the day in the sun with your family. Play outdoors, go for a hike, and enjoy all the delights the earth has to offer.

Here are some ideas for ways to celebrate the summer solstice. Admittedly, not all of them are For Pagans Only, but they're a good way to mark the turn of the Wheel of the Year.


Photobucket
1. Get Back to Nature
Go for a hike in the woods with your family. Enjoy the sounds and sights of nature. Take lots of pictures, or plan a scavenger hunt -- have each of the kids bring a "nature bag" to fill up. Remember, don't pick any live plants, unless you're deliberately wildcrafting. Before you head out, grab a field guide to local plants, and turn it into a teaching exercise -- learn to identify what you see out there in the woods. If you take your hike in a public park, bring along a plastic sack to help pick up garbage on your way. If you get the chance to do this alone, try a Nature Meditation in a quiet spot somewhere on your journey.


Photobucket
2. Host a Bonfire
Litha is all about the fiery aspect of the sun, so why not celebrate the fertility of the Gods with a blazing, roaring fire in your backyard? It's the longest day of the year, so stay up late and host a bonfire for your friends and family. Get sparklers too, and light them after dark. Make an offering to the Gods of your tradition. Be sure to follow basic Bonfire Safety Rules, so no one gets hurt at your celebration. You can even incorporate your bonfire into a Litha rite, with the Midsummer Night Fire Ritual.


Photobucket
3. Get Your Body Moving
Litha is a magical, mystical time of year. Why not host a drum circle or Spiral Dance? You'll need a large group for this, but it's a lot of fun once you get everyone moving. In addition to being entertaining (and a great stress reliever), a drum circle or a ritualized dance serves another purpose - that of raising energy. The more you build, the more people will feed off of it. Invite a group of friends over, let them know there will be music and dance, and see what happens. Be sure to provide refreshments for afterwards -- drumming and dancing can be draining for some people.


Photobucket
4. Do Something For Others
Do something for charity. Organize a yard sale and donate the proceeds to a local homeless shelter. Collect gently used summer clothing and give to a local children's hospital. Host a dog-wash for your favorite shelter, and ask customers to either donate cash or pet food. Plan a neighborhood cleanup, and trim and weed common areas in your community. If you don't have time to coordinate a big project -- and not everyone does -- do things on a smaller scale. Visit an elderly neighbor and help with her housekeeping. Offer to do grocery shopping for an ill relative. If you know a mom with a brand-new baby, help out with childcare so she can get a few hours of rest. There are any number of things you can do to help others.


Photobucket
5. Read a Good Book
Summer can be a hectic and chaotic time of year. Maybe you're someone who needs to slow down and take a break. Litha is a good time to rejuvenate, so why not immerse yourself in a good book? Keep reading material handy all the time, so when you need a little down time, you can work through few pages. If your local library has a summer reading program, sign up. Many bookstores offer summer incentives for both children and adults to read during the off-school months. Not sure what to read? Why not check out some of the titles on our About Pagan/Wiccan Reading Lists? If you're more partial to fiction and "beach reading," be sure to see what our readers recommend with our Summer Witchy Fiction.


Photobucket
6. Celebrate Family
Turn off the phone, step away from the computer and television, and spend time just having fun with the people who love you most. Take the day off work if possible and spend it any way you like -- go to the zoo, a museum, a ball game, etc. Make this a day that you can do anything you want, and put the schedules away just for one day. If you're worried that money might hold you back, there's plenty of stuff you can do for free: check your local metro parks for activity schedules, go fishing at a nearby lake or river, and watch the local newspaper for free admission deals at nearby attractions. If getting away for a day isn't possible for you, spend the afternoon at home -- play board games, do jigsaw puzzles, and cook a meal together.


Photobucket
7. Clean Things Up
Clean your house. Take advantage of the warm weather to have a garage sale and get rid of all those things you don't want. You can also organize a swap with your friends, or donate all your stuff to charities like Goodwill or Salvation Army. You've got plenty of daylight at Litha, so you can accomplish a lot in just a short period of time. If your house is a bit daunting, select one room to work on at a time -- preferably the one that needs the most help! Wash windows, wipe down baseboards, get rid of stuff you know you'll never use. Organize as you clean, putting donatable items into one pile, and trash in another, so you don't have to sort it later. Turn the project into a ritual: House Cleaning Rite.


Photobucket
8. Host a Barbecue for Friends and Family
Have a barbeque, and invite all your family and friends over. Decorate with colors of the sun -- yellows, reds, and oranges. Feast on lots of summery food, like watermelons, strawberries, and fresh green salads. Add outdoor games like horseshoes, ladder golf, and backyard volleyball. While you're at it, set up some kind of water activities -- water balloons, super soakers, a pool to splash in. All of these are great outside activities in the heat of summer, and help celebrate the balance between fire and water.


Photobucket
9. Learn and Grow
Spend some time on spiritual growth. Use this time of year to learn something new about your tradition, develop a new skill, or take a class in Tarot, Reiki, yoga, or whatever appeals to you. Create a daily plan of study to help you focus on what it is you want to do next.


Photobucket
10. Honor the Season
Many ancient cultures marked the Summer Solstice with rites and rituals honoring the sun. Celebrate the significance of Midsummer with ritual and prayers that recognize the sun and its magnificent power. Set up your Litha altar with symbols of the season -- solar symbols, candles, midsummer fruits and vegetables, and more.

From Rituals For Sacred Living by Jane Alexander

 photo I_Litha_zpsg7o4mgt3.jpg
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
 photo Strawberry Moon with Text Small_zpsysxihs9t.jpg


Also Known As: Rose Moon, Honey Moon, Oak Moon, Moon of Horses, Lovers' Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Mead Moon, Sheep Moon, Brachmanoth (Break Month), Moon of Making Fat

Element: earth

Nature Spirits: sylphs, zephyrs

Herbs: skullcap, meadowsweet, vervain, tansy, dog grass, parsley, mosses, mugwort

Colors: orange, golden-green, gold, yellow, red

Flowers: lavender, orchid, yarrow, rose

Scents: lily of the valley, lavender, rose

Stones: topaz, agate, alexandrite, fluorite

Trees: oak, maple

Animals: monkey, butterfly, frog, toad

Birds: wren, peacock

Deities: Aine of Knockaine, Isis, Neith, Green Man, Juno, Cerridwen, Bendis, Ishtar, Persephone

Power Flow: Full but restful energy; protect, strengthen, and prevent. A time of Light; Earth tides are turning. Decision-making, taking responsibility for present happenings. Work on personal inconsistencies. Strengthen and reward yourself for your positive traits.

Mantra: My life reflects the joy in my heart.


Info on This Moon From About Dot Com: In June, the sun has taken over and the fields are growing. Flowers have bloomed, we're beginning to see some early summer fruits and vegetables (a great time for strawberry crops!), and the days are getting longer and longer. It's a far cry from the darkness of winter, and we typically try to spend as much time outside as possible. It's a time for bonding with friends and family, and forging what connections we can. Nurture your relationships, your garden, your career, and your soul this month.

This is the month where magical workings are well suited to maintaining and enhancing things you already have. Weed your garden, prune the bushes, give your lawn all the tender loving care it needs. Take time to let your personal life blossom as well -- focus on things that improve your job or education, as well as your relationships with family and friends.



BY THE BOOKS


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmerman and Katherine A. Gleason
Also known as the Strawberry or Rose Moon, the Lover's Moon brings with it energy for love, marriage, and success. Is it any wonder that in some traditions this Moon is called the Honey Moon? This is a time to nurture your garden and marvel at its beauty and abundance. If you have taken that new job, now is the time to make sure you have everything running smoothly. And you might want to keep your eyes open to see how you can move into a more desirable position.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism by Carl McColman
JUNE (Dyad Moon)-- Sacred to faeries and nature spirits. Honor the growth in fields, like a pregnant woman's belly.


The Craft - A Witch's Book of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison
Name: Mead or Honey
Cakes & Ale: lemon cookies and honey-sweetened tea
Colors: bright hues of yellow and amber
Altar Decor: yellow or orange candles,flowers, shed feathers, and butterfly cocoons
Incense frankincense and myrrh
Esbat Purpose: Celebrate life anew, metamorphosis
Try Drawing the Circle With: a fallen feather


Witch's Brew: Good Spells for Peace of Mind by Witch Bree
June heralds the Strawberry Moon with the Solstice and the sweetness of life.


<Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2002)
Hawthorn is sacred to the old Gods of Ireland known as the Tuatha de Danaan. Long ago driven below the ground by foreign invaders, today the Tuatha de Danaan are the fairy folk of Ireland. This is an excellent Moon for fairy contact as you explore the unity of polarized forces that is the Hawthorn Moon.


Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2004)
Over a century ago, the musical play H.M.S. Pinafore debuted on the London stage. One of the songs from the score insisted that, "Things are seldom what they seem." These words personify the hawthorn-- a tree that, in folklore, is much more than what it seems. Even in modern Ireland you'd be hard-pressed to find someone willing to move or harm one for fear of upsetting the capricious fairy spirits who call it home.

When you need to know what is what, call upon the spirit of the hawthorn to assist you:
Fairies of the hawthorn, of you I ask,
A favor and a simple task;
Show to me what is false and true,
And I shall give a gift to you.


When you've received a vision of your answer, tie a pretty ribbon on the bush or plant a coin near its base in thanks.

Witches Datebook by Ellen Dugan
June is the traditional month for weddings. One of the oldest names for this month's Full Moon is the "Mead Moon." The term "honeymoon" arose from an ancient northern European wedding custom. For the first month of marriage, newlyweds drank a daily cup of honeyed wine called mead to promote fertility. So during the Mead Moon, tap into its energies. Cast spells to promote fertility, desire, or loving relationships.

Call upon Freya, the Norse Goddess of love and sexuality. Her magical correspondences include amber, strawberries, and primrose. Light a golden candle for Freya, add coordinating magical items, and repeat this spell under the Full Moon to pull a little love your way:

Flowers and candles, symbols of desire and love,
Freya hear my call to you and answer from above.
Bless my relationship, keep our love lasting and true,
Guide my magic, and assist in all I do.
For the good of all, bringing harm to none,
Under the Moon of Mead, this spell is done!



Witches Datebook by Dallas Jennifer Cobb
With summer's warmth almost upon us, June's Full Moon is a time for peaceful relaxation. The seeds already sown, the flowers opened, the fruits not yet ready to harvest, this natural lull in farming meant time for other traditions. June was a time of weddings and honeymoons-- a time to enjoy the fruits of love, romance, and success. Knowing the crops were thriving, the new mother cradles her healthy child in her arms, at her breast. The babe is peaceful, the mother thankful, time now in a delicious rest. Summon restful energy to care for yourself, strengthen your health, and be your best. Gather flowers to make mead wine, to weave a celebratory wreath, or to store for future magical use. Rest and reward yourself with a sip of life's sweetness.

Lovers' Moon, Honey Moon, Rose Moon sweet,
Flowers, herbs and fruits our sacred treat,
Isis, Juno, Ishtar, Neith,
Weave love and strength in a protective wreath.



Witches Datebook by Elizabeth Barrette (2016)
June is called the Sheep Moon. This is a time of quiet growth after the hustle of spring but before the peak of the harvest. Sheep exemplify this energy because they produce wool without effort; as long as they can eat and relax, they grow a luxurious fleece. They are dreamy creatures who do best in a soothing environment where they can create wool without being pestered.

To cast this spell, you'll need some wool for any kind of fibercraft that you'd like-- yarn for braiding or knitting, loose wool for felting, etc. (If you're allergic to wool, consider substituting another animal fiber such as angora or alpaca, which are less allergenic.)
As you work on your project, ask the Gods of wildlife (like sheep) to bless your inspiration and teach you the ways of effortless creation. Let go of angst and competition. Just be, and let things flow out of you like wool growing on a sheep. This energy will go into whatever you are making. Afterward, thank the Gods for helping you.

When you finish your project, keep it nearby as a reminder of your woolly muse. Touch it whenever you find yourself getting too caught up in stress and judgement.


A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
 photo Bright Moon Blessings_zpsltrrmxji.jpg


More about this month's Moon )
A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
 photo BeltaneBlessings 2017 with Text jpg_zpsxtc71lus.jpg


A happy and safe holiday to all who celebrate!

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com.

All About Beltane, Celebrating the Fertility of Spring

April's showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st, festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It's a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history.


History of Beltane

Beltane kicks off the merry month of May, and has a long history. This fire festival is celebrated on May 1 with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots of good old fashioned sexual energy. The Celts honored the fertility of the Gods with gifts and offerings, sometimes including animal or human sacrifice. Cattle were driven through the smoke of the balefires, and blessed with health and fertility for the coming year. In Ireland, the fires of Tara were the first ones lit every year at Beltane, and all other fires were lit with a flame from Tara.

Roman Influences
The Romans, always known for celebrating holidays in a big way, spent the first day of May paying tribute to their Lares, the Gods of their household. They also celebrated the Floralia, or festival of flowers, which consisted of three days of unbridled sexual activity. Participants wore flowers in their hair (much like May Day celebrants later on), and there were plays, songs, and dances. At the end of the festivities, animals were set loose inside the Circus Maximus, and beans were scattered around to ensure fertility. The fire festival of Bona Dea was also celebrated on May 2nd.

A Pagan Martyr
May 6 is the day of Eyvind Kelve in Norse celebrations. Eyvind Kelve was a Pagan martyr who was tortured and drowned on the orders of King Olaf Tryggvason for refusing to give up his Pagan beliefs. A week later, Norwegians celebrate the Festival of the Midnight Sun, which pays tribute to the Norse sun Goddess. This festival marks the beginning of ten straight weeks without darkness.

The Greeks and Plynteria
Also in May, the Greeks celebrated the Plynteria in honor of Athena, the Goddess of wisdom and battle, and the patroness of the city of Athens (which was named after Her). The Plynteria includes the ritual cleansing of Athena’s statue, along with feasting and prayers in the Parthenon. On the 24th, homage is paid to the Greek moon-Goddess Artemis (Goddess of the hunt and of wild animals). Artemis is a lunar Goddess, equivalent to the Roman moon-Goddess Diana – She is also identified with Luna, and Hecate.

The Green Man Emerges
A number of pre-Christian figures are associated with the month of May, and subsequently Beltane. The entity known as the Green Man, strongly related to Cernunnos, is often found in the legends and lore of the British Isles, and is a masculine face covered in leaves and shrubbery. In some parts of England, a Green Man is carried through town in a wicker cage as the townsfolk welcome the beginning of summer. Impressions of the Green Man’s face can be found in the ornamentation of many of Europe’s older cathedrals, despite edicts from local bishops forbidding stonemasons from including such Pagan imagery.

Jack-in-the-Green
A related character is Jack-in-the-Green, a spirit of the greenwood. References to Jack appear in British literature back as far as the late sixteenth century. Sir James Frazer associates the figure with mummers and the celebration of the life force of trees. Jack-in-the-Green was seen even in the Victorian era, when he was associated with soot-faced chimney sweeps. At this time, Jack was framed in a structure of wicker and covered with leaves, and surrounded by Morris dancers. Some scholars suggest that Jack may have been a ancestor to the legend of Robin Hood.

The Beltane Altar

It's Beltane, the Sabbat where many Pagans choose to celebrate the fertility of the earth. This Sabbat is about new life, fire, passion and rebirth, so there are all kinds of creative ways you can set up for the season. Depending on how much space you have, you can try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, someone using a bookshelf as an altar will have less flexibility than someone using a table, but use what calls to you most.

Colors of the Season
This is a time when the earth is lush and green as new grass and trees return to life after a winter of dormancy. Use lots of greens, as well as bright spring colors -- the yellow of the daffodils, forsythia and dandelions; the purples of the lilac; the blue of a spring sky or a robin's egg. Decorate your altar with any or all of these colors in your altar cloths, candles, or colored ribbons.

Flowers and Faeries
Beltane is the time when the earth is greening once again -- as new life returns, flowers are abundant everywhere. Add a collection of early spring flowers to your altar -- daffodils, hyacinths, forsythia, daisies, tulips -- or consider making a floral crown to wear yourself. You may even want to pot some flowers or herbs as part of your Sabbat ritual.

In some cultures, Beltane is sacred to the Fae. If you follow a tradition that honors the Faerie realm, leave offerings on your altar for your household helpers.

Fire Festival
Because Beltane is one of the four fire festivals in modern Pagan traditions, find a way to incorporate fire into your altar setup. Although one popular custom is to hold a bonfire outside, that may not be practical for everyone, so instead it can be in the form of candles (the more the better), or a table-top brazier of some sort. A small cast-iron cauldron placed on a heat-resistant tile makes a great place to build an indoor fire.

Other Symbols of Beltane

• May baskets
• Chalices
• Honey, oats, milk
• Antlers or horns
• Fruit such as cherries, mangoes, pomegranates, peaches
• Swords, lances, arrows


Legends and Lore of Beltane

In many cultures, there are different legends and lore surrounding Beltane. Here are a few of the stories about this magical spring celebration.

Like Samhain, the holiday of Beltane is a time when the veil between the worlds is thin. Some traditions believe that this is a good time to contact the spirits, or to interact with the Fae. Be careful, though -- if you visit the Faerie Realm, don't eat the food, our you'll be trapped there, much like Thomas the Rhymer was!
Some Irish dairy farmers hang a garland of green boughs over their door at Beltane. This will bring them great milk production from their cows during the coming summer. Also, driving your cattle between two Beltane bonfires helps protect your livestock from disease.
The pious Puritans were outraged by the debauchery of Beltane celebrations. In fact, they made Maypoles illegal the mid 1600's, and tried to put a halt to the "greenwood marriages" that frequently took place on May Eve. One pastor wrote that if "tenne maiden went to set (celebrate) May, nine of them came home gotten with childe."
According to a legend in parts of Wales and England, women who are trying to conceive should go out on May Eve -- the last night of April -- and find a "birthing stone", which is a large rock formation with a hole in the center. Walk through the hole, and you will conceive a child that night. If there is nothing like this near you, find a small stone with a hole in the center, and drive a branch of oak or other wood through the hole -- place this charm under your bed to make you fertile.
If you go out at sunrise on Beltane, take a bowl or jar to gather morning dew. Use the dew to wash your face, and you're guaranteed a perfect complexion. You can also use the dew in ritual as consecrated water, particularly in rituals related to the moon or the Goddess Diana or Her counterpart, Artemis.
In the Irish Book of Invasions, it was on Beltane that Patholan, the first settler, arrived on Ireland's shores. May Day was also the date of the defeat of the Tuatha de Danaan by Amergin and the Milesians.
Babies conceived at Beltane are considered a gift from the Gods. They were sometimes referred to as "merry-begots", because the mothers were impregnated during Beltane's merrymaking.
In Cornwall, it's traditional to decorate your door on May Day with boughs of hawthorn and sycamore.
Eating a special oatcake called a bannock or a Beltane cake ensured Scottish farmers abundance of their crops for the year. The cakes were baked the night before, and roasted in embers on a stone.


Deities of Beltane

Beltane is a time of great fertility -- for the earth itself, for animals, and of course for people as well. This season has been celebrated by cultures going back thousands of years, in a variety of ways, but nearly all shared the fertility aspect. Typically, this is a Sabbat to celebrate Gods of the hunt or of the forest, and Goddesses of passion and motherhood, as well as agricultural Deities. Here are a list of Gods and Goddesses that can be honored as part of your tradition's Beltane rituals.

Artemis (Greek): The moon Goddess Artemis was associated with the hunt, and was seen as a Goddess of forests and hillsides. This pastoral connection made Her a part of spring celebrations in later periods.
Asasa Ya (Ashanti): This earth mother Goddess prepares to bring forth new life in the spring, and the Ashanti people honor Her at the festival of Durbar, alongside Nyame, the sky God who brings rain to the fields.
Bacchus (Roman): Considered the equivalent of Greek God Dionysus, Bacchus was the party God -- grapes, wine, and general debauchery were His domain. In March each year, Roman women could attend secret ceremonies called the Bacchanalia, and He is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility.
Bast (Egyptian): Bast was an Egyptian cat Goddess who protected mothers and their newborn children. A woman suffering from infertility might make an offering to Bast in hopes that this would help her conceive. In later years, Bast became strongly connected with Mut, a mother Goddess figure.
Bes (Egyptian): Worshiped in later dynasties, Bes was a household protection God, and watched over mothers and young children. He and His wife, Beset, were paired up in rituals to cure problems with infertility.
Bona Dea (Roman): This fertility Goddess was worshiped in a secret temple on the Aventine hill in Rome, and only women were permitted to attend Her rites. A woman hoping to conceive might make a sacrifice to Bona Dea in hopes that she would become pregnant.
Brighid (Celtic): This Celtic hearth Goddess was originally a patron of poets and bards, but was also known to watch over women in childbirth, and thus evolved into a Goddess of hearth and home. Today, She is honored at the February celebration of Imbolc.
Cybele (Roman): This mother Goddess of Rome was at the center of a rather bloody Phrygian cult, in which eunuch priests performed mysterious rites in Her honor. Her lover was Attis, and Her jealousy caused Him to castrate and kill Himself.
Demeter (Greek): Demeter is one of the best known Goddesses of the harvest. When Her daughter Persephone was kidnapped and seduced by Hades, Demeter went straight to the bowels of the Underworld to rescue Her lost child. Their legend has persisted for millennia as a way of explaining the changing of the seasons and the death of the earth each fall.
Freya (Norse): Freyja, or Freya, was a Norse Goddess of abundance, fertility and war. She is still honored today by some Pagans, and is often associated with sexual freedom. Freyja could be called upon for assistance in childbirth and conception, to aid with marital problems, or to bestow fruitfulness upon the land and sea.
Frigga (Norse): Frigga was the wife of the all-powerful Odin, and was considered a Goddess of fertility and marriage within the Norse pantheon. Like many mothers, She is a peacemaker and mediator in times of strife.
Flora (Roman): This Goddess of spring and flowers had Her own festival, Floralia, which was celebrated every year between April 28 to May 3. Romans dressed in bright robes and floral wreaths, and attended theater performances and outdoor shows. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the Goddess.
Gaia (Greek): Gaia was known as the life force from which all other beings sprang, including the earth, the sea and the mountains. A prominent figure in Greek mythology, Gaia is also honored by many Pagans today as the earth mother Herself.
Hera (Greek): This Goddess of marriage was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, and took it upon Herself to bestow good tidings to new brides. A maiden about to marry could make offerings to Hera, in the hopes that She would bless the marriage with fertility. In Her earliest forms, She appears to have been a nature Goddess, who presides over wildlife and nurses the young animals which She holds in Her arms.
Isis (Egyptian): In addition to being the fertile wife of Osiris, Isis is honored for Her role as the mother of Horus, one of Egypt's most powerful Gods. She was also the divine mother of every pharaoh of Egypt, and ultimately of Egypt itself. She assimilated with Hathor, another Goddess of fertility, and is often depicted nursing Her son Horus. There is a wide belief that this image served as inspiration for the classic Christian portrait of the Madonna and Child.
Juno (Roman): In ancient Rome, Juno was the Goddess who watched over women and marriage. As a Goddess of domesticity, She was honored in Her role as protector of the home and family.
Kokopelli (Hopi): This flute-playing, dancing spring God carries unborn children upon His own back, and then passes them out to fertile women. In the Hopi culture, He is part of rites that relate to marriage and childbearing, as well as the reproductive abilities of animals. Often portrayed with rams and stags, symbolic of His fertility, Kokopelli occasionally is seen with His consort, Kokopelmana.
Pan (Greek): This agricultural God watched over shepherds and their flocks. He was a rustic sort of God, spending lots of time roaming the woods and pastures, hunting and playing music on His flute. Pan is typically portrayed as having the hindquarters and horns of a goat, similar to a faun. Because of His connection to fields and the forest, He is often honored as a spring fertility God.
Priapus (Greek): This fairly minor rural God has one giant claim to fame -- His permanently erect and enormous phallus. The son of Aphrodite by Dionysus (or possibly Zeus, depending on the source), Priapus was mostly worshiped in homes rather than in an organized cult. Despite His constant lust, most stories portray Him as sexually frustrated, or even impotent. However, in agricultural areas He was still regarded as a God of fertility, and at one point He was considered a protective God, who threatened sexual violence against anyone -- male or female -- who transgressed the boundaries He guarded.
Shiela-na-Gig (Celtic): Although the Sheela-na-Gig is technically the name applied to the carvings of women with exaggerated vulvas that have been found in Ireland and England, there's a theory that the carvings are representative of a lost pre-Christian Goddess. Typically, the Sheela-na-Gig adorns buildings in areas of Ireland that were part of the Anglo-Norman conquests in the 12th century. She is shown as a homely woman with a giant yoni, which is spread wide to accept the seed of the male. Folkloric evidence indicates that the figures are theory that the figures were part of a fertility rite, similar to "birthing stones", which were used to bring on conception.
Xochiquetzal (Aztec): This fertility Goddess was associated with spring, and represented not only flowers but the fruits of life and abundance. She was also the patron Goddess of prostitutes and craftsmen.
Yemaya (West African/Yoruban): This Orisha is a Goddess of the ocean, and considered the Mother of All. She is the mother of many of the other Orishas, and is honored in connection with the Virgin Mary in some forms of Santeria and Vodoun.


Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It's the time when the Earth Mother opens up to the fertility God, and Their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Ancient Symbols, Modern Rites
Today's Pagans celebrate Beltane much like their ancestors did. A Beltane ritual usually involves lots of fertility symbols, including the obviously-phallic Maypole dance. The Maypole is a tall pole decorated with flowers and hanging ribbons, which are woven into intricate pattern by a group of dancers. Weaving in and out, the ribbons are eventually knotted together by the time the dancers reach the end.

May Queen and the Queen of Winter
In some traditions, Beltane is a day in which the May Queen and the Queen of Winter battle one another for supremacy. In this rite, borrowed from practices on the Isle of Man, each queen has a band of supporters. On the morning of May 1, the two companies battle it out, ultimately trying to win victory for their queen. If the May Queen is captured by her enemies, she must be ransomed before her followers can get her back.

The Fae at Beltane
There are some who believe Beltane is a time for the faeries -- the appearance of flowers around this time of year heralds the beginning of summer and shows us that the fae are hard at work. In early folklore, to enter the realm of faeries is a dangerous step -- and yet the more helpful deeds of the fae should always be acknowledged and appreciated. If you believe in faeries, Beltane is a good time to leave out food and other treats for them in your garden or yard.

Bud, Blossom, and Leaf
For many contemporary Pagans, Beltane is a time for planting and sowing of seeds -- again, the fertility theme appears. The buds and flowers of early May bring to mind the endless cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth that we see in the earth. Certain trees are associated with May Day, such as the Ash, Oak and Hawthorn. In Norse legend, the God Odin hung from an Ash tree for nine days, and it later became known as the World Tree, Yggdrasil.

Beltane Magic
If you've been wanting to bring abundance and fertility of any sort into your life -- whether you're looking to conceive a child, enjoy fruitfulness in your career or creative endeavors, or just see your garden bloom -- Beltane is the perfect time for magical workings related to any type of prosperity.

Ritual Sex and the Great Rite
Fertility Magic and Customs
Chocolate and Sex
Plant a Magical Moon Garden
Magical Spring Flowers
Magical Herbal Correspondences
Graveyard Dirt
Magical Prosperity Soap
Plant a Goddess Garden

Crafts and Creations
As Beltane approaches, you can decorate your home with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with fun floral crowns and a Maypole altar centerpiece.

Floral Crown
Maypole Altar Centerpiece
Faerie Chair
Make a May Day Cone Basket
Magical Weaving & Braiding
Beltane Fire Incense

Feasting and Food
No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Beltane, celebrate with foods that honor fertility of the earth. Enjoy light spring soups, Scottish bannocks, fertility bread loaves, and more.

Scottish Bannocks - the Beltane oatcake
Early Summer Salad
Southern Style Peppery Green Beans
Candied Flower Petals
Fertility Bread
Green Man cake


From Rituals For Sacred Living by Jane Alexander:

 photo I_Beltane_zps1kcjr8fl.jpg
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
 photo Blessings of the Green Grass Moon_zpsfojffvqn.jpg


Also Known As: Budding Trees Moon, Pink Moon, Wind Moon, Seed or Planting Moon, Planter's Moon, Hare Moon, Eastermonath (Eostre Month), Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation, Wildcat Moon, Ostarmanoth

Element: air

Nature Spirits: plant faeries

Herbs: basil, chives, dragon's blood, geranium, thistle, dandelion, milkweed, dogwood, fennel, dill

Colors: crimson red, gold, bright primary colors -- red, yellow, blue -- and their combinations

Flowers: daisy, sweetpea

Scents: pine, bay, bergamot, patchouli

Stones: ruby, garnet, sard, quartz, selenite, angelite

Trees: pine, bay, hazel, forsythia, lilac, willow

Animals: bear, wolf

Birds: hawk, magpie

Deities: Kali, Hathor, Anahita, Ceres, Ishtar, Venus, Bast, Ishtar, Tawaret, Herne, Cernunnos

Power Flow: energy into creating and producing; return balance to the nerves. Change, self-confidence, self-reliance, take advantage of opportunities. Work on temper and emotional flare-ups and selfishness.

Mantra: My path is clear, free from obstacles.


Info on This Moon From About Dot Com: In April, the thunderstorms of March are beginning to subside, and the wind picks up. Seeds are being blown about on the breezes, spreading life all around from one place to the next. In fact, this lunar cycle is often known as the Seed Moon. Trees have buds on them, spring daffodils and tulips abound, and the birds are nesting once more. Much like March, this is a time of conception and fertility and new growth.

This is a good time to work on magic related to new beginnings. Looking to bring new love into your life, or conceive or adopt a child? This is the time to do those workings. It's the time to stop planning, and start doing. Take all those ideas you've had brewing for the past couple of months, and make them come to fruition.

The Willow moon (moon occurring between April 15th to May 12th) was known to the Celts as Saille, pronounced Sahl-yeh. The Willow grows best when there's lots of rain, and in northern Europe there's no shortage of that this time of year. This is a tree associated with healing and growth, for obvious reasons. A Willow planted near your home will help ward away danger, particularly the type that stems from natural disaster such as flooding or storms. They offer protection, and are often found planted near cemeteries. This month, work on rituals involving healing, growth of knowledge, nurturing and women's mysteries.




BY THE BOOKS


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmerman and Katherine A. Gleason
The Seed Moon signals a time of fertility, growth, and wisdom. This Moon is also known as the Egg, Grass, or Wind Moon. This is the time to sow the seeds of magic. If you are planting a magical garden, you want to get our there now and put things into the Earth. This is the time to move from the planning phase into action. If you want to get pregnant, this is a great time to go for it. Fertility is in the air. This is also the time to bring that new puppy home, if that is what you have been planning. It's also a great time to empower some seeds to both help them grow and to do Earth magic.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism by Carl McColman
APRIL (Seed Moon)-- Plant, sow, set projects in motion. Dance for joy at the coming warmth and celebrate beginnings.


The Craft - A Witch's Book of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison
Name: Hare
Cakes & Ale: fruit juice or wine, sugared violet (flowers dipped in egg-white and sugar) cookies
Colors: soft greens, yellows and peaches to symbolize happiness and fertility
Altar Decor: pictures of rabbits, spring greenery and flowers, green and yellow candles
Incense: Fruit
Esbat Purpose: Celebrate growing fertility
Try Drawing the Circle With: wild flowers (a single or a bunch)


Witch's Brew: Good Spells for Peace of Mind by Witch Bree
April's Pink Spring Moon celebrates health and life force.


Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2002)
The Alder Moon brings out our inner psychic. European folklore tells us an alder's energy is eternal, and it should never be cut down. Alder has been used to assist in divination rituals, and wind instruments made of the wood have aided in summoning spirits and working with weather magic. In Celtic mythology the alder is sacred to the God Bran, whose severed head became an oracle.


Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2003)
Wood that has come from the psychically potent alder tree has been used since ancient times to summon spirits from the otherworld and to bring about desired weather patterns, particularly storms or rain.

European folklore tells us alder trees must never be cut or their power will return to the ground. You will need, instead, to find a small alder branch that has fallen to the earth. When you have one, empower it to use in weather rituals.

On a sunny afternoon during the Alder Moon, go outside to an isolated place and twirl the branch in the air until it whistles. Mimic the sound as you summon the wind or rain. Winds from the four elemental directions can be catalysts for specific magical needs, and rain can be used for water magic or to nourish the land.

Keep your alder wand wrapped in cloth and hidden from view when not in use. Recharge it each year on the full Alder Moon.


Witches Datebook by Edain McCoy (2004)
The adler tree is a highly water-resistant, and as such was sued by ancient Europeans to buld edifices near or under water. Its power in magic is its resiliency. It teaches us to bend but never break, to go with the flow and accept positive change.

If you find yourself in a rut, or it you are having trouble accepting that which you cannot change or control, alder can give you the courage to move forward.

Find, make, or buy yourself a simple alder limb and consecrate it as your wand of changes. When you find yourself resisting that which cannot be changed, take your wand and tap it on each of your chakra centers while saying:

Alder stronger than waters flow,
Help me lean that I must grow;
Not all things can be my way,
Let me learn this lesson today.



Witches Datebook by Dallas Jennifer Cobb
Fertile Full Moon of April, we welcome your magical might, and for you we fill home, garden, and heart with color and light. Plant seeds in the readied soil and soul, knowing they will sprout. Vow to nourish these seeds with tender care, for what you plant now will grow through the fertile cycle and bear the fruits of harvest. Nourish your dreams that they may grow strong and healthy, creating and producing the magical life you have envisioned. Decorate sacred spaces with symbols of fertility and joy-- eggs, rabbits, seeds, and sweets-- to draw spiritual success and succulence to tender seedlings. And dance with joy, anticipating the coming warmth. Darkness wanes as light waxes bright, celebrate in Full Moon light.

Hare Moon, Seed Moon, Moon of Budding Trees,
Let fertile magic sprout within me,
Kali, Hathor, Ishtar, Bast,
This abundant, creative cycle now be cast.



Witches Datebook by Elizabeth Barrette
To the Cherokee, April is the Flower Moon. In the warm southeast, forests and meadows bloom with life and color. The Choctaw call this the Wildcat Moon. Lynxes and bobcats become more active. To the Dakota Sioux, this is Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation. These dramatic birds migrating north mark the return of spring.

April bursts forth with new life. In warmer regions, it's time to plant crops and watch wild plants grow. Birds are nesting. Animals often have young beside them. In colder climes, the warmth of spring is just arriving. As natural-food sources emerge, you can taper off most supplemental feeding for wildlife. Observe what animals and birds become active. Bring freshly picked flowers indoors to chase away the dullness of a cold season.

In Ritual, this is a good time to honor plant and animal spirits. Work with flower totems and animals associated with spring such as ducks, rabbits, geese, cats, and sheep. Cast a circle with flowers or do spells using the energy of flower seeds or bulbs that will help manifest your desire as the plants grow. Wish on a flock of flying geese to speed your dreams toward reality.


A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
Sorry this is a bit late! I'm waiting to celebrate with the new moon.

 photo Eostre Blessings_zpsrna2yalc.jpg


A happy and safe holiday to all who celebrate!

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com.

Read more )
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
 photo New CM Blessings with Text_zpsvmjmsjyb.jpg


More about this month's Moon )

A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
 photo Imbolc Blessings_zpshjtnfmlq.jpg


A happy and safe holiday to all who celebrate!

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com.

Read more )
alivemagdolene: (Clara How You Doin)
 photo Disting Moon Blessings_zpstnldeqxy.jpg


More about this month's Moon )

A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate~!

VIA SELENA FOX:

 photo Star Protection_zpsbrgqpxcx.jpg

Blessings of Protection & Safety to All being impacted by Winter storms, blizzards, challenges
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
 photo Yuley Card Small_zpsu6hzjr5t.jpg

A safe and happy holiday to all who celebrate!

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com.

Read more )
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
 photo Resized Trees Cracking Moon_zpsr6ics0oj.jpg


More about this month's Moon )

A safe and peaceful holiday to all that celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Moon Esbat)
I have a post about the election I'm going to write. I have a post updating from this summer I'm going to write. Maybe? Eventually? But one thing at a time. For right now, at this SuperMoon, let's pray for our shattered and aching world.

 photo 41dc6c28-7325-46f3-9bdc-14bd4d30d853_zpsc6krbk65.jpg


More about this month's Moon )

A safe and peaceful holiday to all that celebrate~!
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
 photo Perfect Hallows Bright Blessings with Text_zps55nfmdt7.jpg


A happy and safe holiday to all who celebrate!

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com. This holiday isn't just Halloween, it's also Hallows, and Samhain (and knowing we Pagans, a good dozen other names).

Read more )
alivemagdolene: (Wheel of the Year)
 photo AEB_zpsric0twq1.jpg

For the unawares, here is some information courtesy of About Dot Com. The Autumnal Equinox is also known as Mabon.

Read more )

A happy and safe holiday to all who celebrate~!

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
345 6789
10111213141516
171819202122 23
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Tags I Use A Lot

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 11:39 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios