Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thor's Day

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

19th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Demeter
Lunar Tree Cycle of Tinne/Holly
22nd Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waning Gibbous
Moon sets: 9:41AM EDST
Moon rises: 10:06PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Water
Sign of Pisces
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The company
of solitude.
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:14AM EDST
Sunset: 8:38PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: ""Which
special gifts and abilities are you neglecting?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 29th, 2010

Thor's Day - Jupiter Day, the Day of Vision, Spiritual Insight, and Expansion. Thursday comes from the Latin Dies lovis, which means 'Jove's Day.'  Jove, or Jupiter as he is sometimes called , was the supreme god and patron of the ancient Romans. Jove/Jupiter was also a god of light, and his sacred color is white. In the Greek mythologies, this deity was known as Zeus.  Eventually this fifth day of our week turned into the Old English Thursdaeg or Thunresdaeg, which translates to 'thunder's day' or more simply, 'Thor's day.'  So Thursday has the planetary association of Jupiter and this day of the week is associated with prosperity, abundance, leadership, and good health. Prosperity and abundance are the typical magickal concerns on a Thursday. But the way people define prosperity can vary greatly between individuals.


    Sometimes this sabbat is referred to as the 'forgotten festival.'  But this harvest festival marks the end of the period of summer growth and the beginning of the autumn harvest.  It is referred to as the 'First Harvest.'  Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, introduced this pattern based on the quarter and cross-quarter days of English law.  One of the main reasons for the obscurity of Lammas. Lughnasa is the confusion caused by its variety of names and the differing dates on which it is celebrated. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII wiped out ten days from the old Julian calendar to make it astronomically correct. However, the Gregorian calendar was not adapted in Britain until 1752 and Ireland 1782, by which time eleven days had to be dropped. This led to the festival being celebrated on either August 1 or 12 called respectively New Style and Old Style Lughnasa. As a general rule, most celebrations gradually moved to the New Style calendar. The Calendar Act of 1751 excluded markets, fairs, and courts; these were held on the natural date, August 12. To add to the confusion, many Lammas/Lughnasa celebrations were traditionally held on either the previous or the following Sunday. Further complicating matters, many Lammas/Lughnasa festivities became appropriated to Christian saints' days or the nearest Sunday.
And to even further to this confusion in dates - Lunar Observance of Lughansa is that it happens on first full moon when the Sun is in Leo.  Well, guess what, that happened last Sunday, July 25th.  Usually this lunar occurrence happens in the month of August but this year it came much earlier and confirms my feelings that this year is further along than we realize. 
     Another popular misconception is that Lughnasa was a fire festival; it was not. It was associated with water and earth, but fire played no part. The practice of calling the four Celtic cross-quarter festivals 'the fire festivals' is a modern one. Fire is just closely associated with the solstices and equinoxes, for obvious reasons. And so as water is associated with Lughnasa, assemblies at wells would often be held on the feast day of the local saint, but many of these gatherings were moved from the saint's day to late July and early August; probably evidence of an earlier Pagan custom reasserting itself.
    The Celtic festivals were thought to be among the best times to visit wells, especially during Beltaine, Midsummer, and Lughnasa. Dawn or just before was considered to be the most appropriate time of day to go there. The traditional offering varies from place to place and from time to time. Throwing coins into the water was very common in Roman times, and we still practice this today. Other wells were known as 'rag' or, in Scotland, as cloutie' wells. It was at these wells that rites for the healing of someone were practiced. A piece of cloth would be tied to an overhanging tree or bush with the wish that the illness would gradually fade away as the cloth rotted into the well. This practice is still widespread today, although some of the offerings are a little bizarre. These include audiotapes, plastic materials, and synthetic cloth - all materials that do not easily degrade, showing a lack of proper understanding of this ancient practice.
   The ancient powers of the Goddess can also be seen in the sacred nature of wells at Lughnasas. These are still honored with pilgrimages and well dressing in parts of England and Ireland. Wells and other openings were seen as entrances into the womb of the Goddess, or perhaps birth canals. Many wells are said to have sprung from the hoof-strike of a white horse - the sovereign goddess herself - including St. Anne's Well at Carshalton in Surrey, and the one below the Uffington White Horse.
    These powers were activated at Lughnasa when people would seek the waters for healing or honor them by dressing the wells with flowers and decorative pictures made from blossoms. There is a meteor shower from the foot of the constellation of the white horse at Lughnasa, and this may be why wells are considered empowered and dressed at this time.  This constellation known as Pegasus, can be seen high in sky in the northern hemisphere starting near the end of summer continuing through autumn.
It is difficult to see this constellation image as a horse because it is upside down as we view it. Image it flipped over and you can see what could be the neck and head of a horse and two legs sticking out from the famous 'Square of Pegasus.' 


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