Monday, July 12, 2010

New Moon moves into Leo

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

2nd Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
5th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month - Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waxing New Moon
Moon rises:6:55AM EDST
Moon sets: 9:31PM EDST
Moon in Cancer v/c 7:48AM EDST
Moon enters the Fixed Fire
Sign of Leo at 8:53AM  EDST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The messages of your body
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:99AM EDST
Sunset: 8:51PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What do you
appreciate most about your life?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai)  Quarter of the Year
July 12th, 2010

Moon in Leo - Dramatic happenings, especially concerning emotions, being the center of attention, exuberance, vitality, and working with patriarchal issues are all hallmarks of a Leo Moon transit. It's the best time to set appointments within the patriarchal system as this is when we can successfully deal with these issues and people who are in positions of authority and power. This is a time of vital energy, affection, and romance. You will want to spend money during Leo's moon transit. It's hard to recognize limits and it is a time for power issues to erupt. Ambition and independent leadership are important issues. Moon in Leo is the best time to work magick involving authority, power over others, courage and fertility, or childbirth. Healing rituals for ailments of the upper back, spine, or heart are also done during this period of time.

There minor magickal energies today for rites and/or spells regarding domestic issues and the feminine. Moon Day is the Day of Remembering and Feeling.

Holly Month/Lunar Cycle

  We tend to associate the Holly with winter, when its red berries are brought in to decorate the house, but its place in the Celtic Tree Cycles is far earlier, soon after the Summer Solstice when the Holly Lord takes his crown.
   Magically, Holly and Oak are linked and their energies are seen as complimentary to one another. If you can find a site where they grow together, or even better intwined, this is ideal for magical workings, especially otherworld meditations. If you can find such a place, meditate there at dusk to see spirits and visions. Left to its own devices the Holly can grow as high as 60 feet, but most are trimmed to bushes or hedges these days. Well-seasoned Holly makes an excellent staff, although it is nowadays rare to find a tree high enough to provide the length required. It is said that a staff of Holly twisted around Oak will protect both the traveller and his home from danger. The Holly is a tree which links, so it can be used to strengthen relationships, and also as a magical pathway. Carve pieces into charms of protection and give them to friends to make your relationship endure.
   The berries, while poisonous, used to be given in cases of poisoning, being highly emetic and purgative. This not something that is recommended.  Dried and powdered they were used to stem hemorrhaging. A solution of the leaves was drunk to reduce fevers and has been used as a tea substitute. The bark and leaves were made into poultices to help the setting and healing of broken bones.
[From Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

(Ilex aquifolium or I. opaca)
V - may cause nausea or vomiting

Folk Names: Aquifolius, Bat's Wings, Christ's Thorn, Holy Tree, Holm Chaste, Hulm, Hulver Bush, Tinne
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mars
Element: Fire
Powers: Protection, Anti-Lightning, Luck, and Dream Magick
Magical Uses: A par excellence  protective herb, holly guards against lightning, poison and evil spirits. Planted around the home it protects it and its inhabitants from mischievous sorcerers. When thrown at wild animals, holly makes them lie down quietly and leave you alone, even if you don't hit them with the plant. Holly water (infused or distilled) is sprinkled on newborn babies to protect them.
   Holly is also carried to promote good luck, especially by men, since the holly is a 'male' plant. (Ivy is the corresponding plant for women.) It is also hung around the house for good luck at Yule.
   After midnight on a Friday, without making a sound, gather nine holly leaves, preferably from a non-spiny plant (one that has smooth leaves). Wrap these up in a white cloth using nine knots to tie the ends together. Place this beneath your pillow and your dreams will come true.
[From "Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs"]

The Legend of the Holly King and the Oak King

In many Celtic-based traditions of neopaganism, there is the enduring legend of the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the Wheel of the Year turns each season. At the Winter Solstice, or Yule, the Oak King kills the Holly King, and then reigns until Midsummer, or Litha. Once the Summer Solstice arrives, the Holly King returns to do battle with the old king, and defeats him. The Holly King them rules until Yule.

In some Wiccan traditions, the Oak King and the Holly King are seen as dual aspects of the Horned God. Each of these twin aspects rules for half the year, battles for the favor of the Goddess, and then retires to nurse his wounds for the next six months, until it is time for him to reign once more.

Often, these two entities are portrayed in familiar ways - the Holly King frequently appears as a woodsy version of Santa Claus. He dresses in red, wears a sprig of holly in his tangled hair, and is sometimes depicted driving a team of eight stags. The Oak King is portrayed as a fertility god, and occasionally appears as the Green Man or other lord of the forest.

Ultimately, while these two beings do battle all year long, they are two essential parts of a whole. Despite being enemies, without one, the other would no longer exist.
The Holly King and The Oak King
In Celtic mythology the Oak King and the Holly King are twins. Every year at the Winter and Summer Solstices, these two fight for dominance. In actuality, these brothers are two parts of the same thing, the waxing and waning of the yearly cycles of the Earth.

The Holly King rules the waning year, from Midsummer to Yule, and the Oak King rules the waxing year from Yule to Midsummer. The Holly King represents darkness, decay and destruction, and is often seen as Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld , who kidnapped beautiful Persephone and plunged the earth into winter. He also represents inner knowledge and mysteries. The Oak King, on the other hand, represents light, growth and expansion. These two mighty kings fight a symbolic battle to win the Crown of the year, at Yule when the Oak King wins, and at Midsummer when the Holly King wins.

To the early Celts, trees, especially the Oak tree were considered sacred. Oak trees are deciduous, meaning that they go into a dormant state during the winter months. English Christmas Holly trees are evergreen, and maintain their foliage year round. As the cold weather approached and the Oak trees lost their foliage, the Holly trees, which had been hidden amid the leafy Oaks now stood out in their full beauty in the barren landscape.

At Midwinter, it seemed that the Holly King had won and his brother, the mighty Oak King now stood naked in defeat. But, the Holly King did not really win the battle, because as the Sun begins to return once again, The Oak King rallies, and begins to re-establish his supremacy, even though it won’t be until Midsummer when the Oaks will once again be in full foliage.

The battle continues at Midsummer and the Oak King appears to win, overshadowing and pushing his opponent out of sight, but once again appearances are deceptive as the Sun begins to leave once more and the Holly King rallies and begins to make his full appearance once more. Interestingly enough it is at the time when each King is in his full strength and splendor that he is defeated by his opponent.

I have always loved the story of the Holly King and the Oak King. It represents the constant struggle we all endure in our lives. Darkness and death are as much a part of our lives as light and birth. And, the experiences that each present to us are opportunities for us to learn and to grow.
The Holly King and Oak King battling at a Yule Festival

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