Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lughnasadh Eve - Hecate's Night

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

21st Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hestia
Lunar Tree Cycle of Tinne/Holly
24th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Disseminating
Moon sets: 11:38AM EDST
Moon rises: 10:52PM EDST
Moon in the Cardinal Fire
Sign of Aries
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The shores of
home.
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:16AM EDST
Sunset: 8:36PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which
of your neglected friends would most enjoy
hearing from you?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 31st, 2010

Today there minor magickal energies for rites of protection.  Light the Lammas fires at sundown.  Also this being the last day of this month - it is time for honoring Hecate.

Lughnasadh Rite

   Not only is this the festival of the first of the harvest but it is also the feast of the Sacrificial King.
There are many things which can be symbolically 'slain' at this time: a harvest loaf, which can be broken up, or a Corn King which can have stalks, or bunches of stalks, removed until he is no more. If you are working alone, a gold candle can take the place of a more complex sacrifice. As with all Sabbats it is important to reflect balance in your Rites, so you should also make an offering of wine in thanks to the Old Gods and the Land.
   If it is at all possible, perform your Rites outside. Start by thinking of all the things that have been given to you in the past season, and for each take a part of your sacrificial 'victim' and say, "I give thanks to the Old Gods for .... (name it). Blessed Be."  If there is a group of you, take it in turns. Where you are using a candle, it may be as well to place a pin into the candle for each, so that as it burns they fall away one by one. When the victim is dismembered, or all the pins have dropped, make your offering: Hold the wine up and say, "I give thanks to the Old Gods who bring life and light, death and rest, rebirth and renewal. May they accept this offering. Blessed Be." Take a sip of the wine and then pour the rest onto the ground, remain and meditate for a short while.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Friday, July 30, 2010

Disseminating Moon enters Aries

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

20th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Demeter
Lunar Tree Cycle of Tinne/Holly
23rd Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Disseminating - 12:24AM
Moon sets: 10:39AM EDST
Moon rises: 10:28PM EDST
Moon in Pisces v/c 10:17AM EDST
Moon enters the Cardinal Fire
Sign of Aries at 4:42PM EDST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The thing you
most dare to do now.
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:15AM EDST
Sunset: 8:37PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "How can you bring
simplicity and shape to your muddle?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 30th, 2010

Disseminating Moon - Keywords for the Disseminating Moon are: demonstration, distribution, sharing, and introspection. It is the time in a lunar cycle to further process your advancement toward your goal(s) by looking at the results of your adjusting action taken at the Full phase. During this phase you gain clarity by sharing what you've learned through awareness. Demonstrate your power of abundance by giving back to your community. Visit friends. Distribute your knowledge. SHARE. Reach out and touch someone.

Moon in Aries - Moon in Aries is a time of new beginnings, intense activity, pioneering in any field, reaching out with emotional surges, impulsiveness.  The energy flow during this moon transit is a great tester of limits. There is a lot ego involvement during Moon in Aries so may you want to depend on yourself. You might feel impatient now or want to initiate new things. An Aries Moon brings to do impulsive things and we act on feelings of moment rather than the result of reason. Sometimes snap decisions are made - later to be regretted. Aries is the best time to work magick involving leadership, authority, rebirth, spiritual conversion, or willpower. Healing rituals for ailments of the face, head, or brain are also done during this period of time.  The moon will be in Aries for the whole weekend -till late Sunday night and will enter Taurus on Monday. 

Today on Freya's Day - there are minor magickal energies for rites about amicable divorce or parting. This is the Day of Sharing and Relationships.


"Leave the bitter, keep the sweet,
our time together is complete.
Cherish lessons we have won.
Hail Dispassion! Now we're done."
[From Season of the Witch Datebook]




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.

Lugnasadh/Lughnasa/Lammas

    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.' 





 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waning Gibbous Moon enters Pisces

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


18th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Demeter
Lunar Tree Cycle of Tinne/Holly
21st Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waning Gibbous
Moon sets: 8:43AM EDST
Moon rises: 9:43PM EDST
Moon enters the Mutable Water
Sign of Pisces at 4:00AM EDST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The messages
of birdsong.
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:13AM EDST
Sunset: 8:39PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Where
do you need to exercise self-discipline
the most?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 28th, 2010

Moon in Pisces - During Moon in Pisces emotional life is more introverted, intuition is at its height and psychic energy is powerful. You are now able to get in touch with your deepest self, but it can also be a time of vagueness, unclarity, and uncertainty. Pisces is about endings as a result of internal processing. With this moon transit you may notice a moodiness in others.  Many women have a good cry with Moon
in Pisces, washing away troubles. Or perhaps you will be the compassionate friend for a sister who needs to share her troubles. We cry during Moon in Pisces because it's the most watery of all the signs. Pisces Moon brings a retreat into the self to do the internal processing and contemplation necessary at least once during the cycle. The outer world 'busyness' becomes fuzzy and vague. Issues are like slippery fish. Things are not what they seem, so don't be confused by this transit.

Lughnasadh -Honoring the Grain God/Goddess

  Bake a loaf of bread on this Sabbat. If you've never made bread before, this is a good time to start. Honor the source of the flour as you work with it, remembering it was once a plant growing in a field. Maybe you would like to go out and collect samples of wild grain as a centerpiece for your table. Also you could buy wheat berries at the health food store and sprout them to incorporate into the bread. If you have a garden, add something you've harvested - herbs or onions or corn or seeds - to your bread. If you don't feel up to making wheat bread, make corn bread from a mix. Or gingerbread people. Or popcorn. What's most important is intention. All that is necessary to enter sacred time is awareness of the meaning of your actions.
   Shape the dough in the figure of a man or woman and give your grain person a name. If he's a man, you could call him Lugh, the Sun-King, or John Barleycorn, or the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Pauline Campanelli in "The Wheel of the Year" suggests names for female figures as: She of the Corn, She of the Threshing Floor, She of the Seed, She of the Green Loaf (these come from the Cyclades where they are the names of fertility figures), Freya (the Anglo-Saxon and Norse fertility Goddess who is also called the Lady and the Giver of the Loaf), The Bride (Celtic) and Ziva or Siva (the Grain Goddess of the Ukraine, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia).
    When you eat your dough figure, tear him or her apart with your fingers. You might want to start your feast using the words from the Lord's Prayer - 'give us this day our daily bread.'  If you have others sharing this feast with you feed each other hunks of bread (or gingerbread people or popcorn), putting the food in the other person's mouth with words like 'may you never go hungry,' may you always be nourished,' or 'eat of the bread of life.'
   Lammas is a festival of regrets and farewells, as well as a celebration of the harvest.  Think of the things you meant to do this summer or this year that are not coming to fruition. What is passing from your life? What is over? Say good-bye to it. You might use flowers as visual symbols of your regrets and bury them in the ground or throw them into lakes or streams.
    What have you harvested this year? What seeds have you planted that are sprouting? Find a visual way to represent these, perhaps creating a decoration, like a wheat weaving for your house or altar which represents the harvest to you.
    This is a good time for making preserves, either literally or symbolically. As you turn summer's first fruit into jams and jellies, think about the fruits that you have gathered this year and how you can hold on to them. How can you keep them sweet in the store of your memory?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Waning Gibbous Moon

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

17th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle of Tinne/Holly
20th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waning Gibbous
Moon sets: 7:44AM EDST
Moon rises: 9:20PM EDST
Moon in Aquarius v/c 11:46PM
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Partnerships
in your life.
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:12AM EDST
Sunset: 8:40PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Are you
respecting or abusing rest and
recreation time?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 27th, 2010

Tiu's Day - Mars Day - the Day of Activity and Physicality, Passion and Desire.


Lughnasdh

Around Lughnasadh, Witches cast spells for connectedness, career, health, and

financial gain. It is important, however, to realize how the Sun is changing
at this point, gradually growing weaker as August approaches September. This
is a time to do grounding and Sun meditations. Visualize the Sun's golden
light warming your body. You want to feel the glory of the Sun's energy, and
then use it for more mundane spellwork. For example, after meditating on the
importance of the Sun and thanking the Goddess and God for their gifts of
light and heat, you might cast a spell using the sun's energy to get a new
job or perhaps a material gift of some kind. Asking for money or material
gain is not forbidden or looked down upon in our spiritual tradition, as long
as doing so does not become an obsession or the primary goal of your life.
Extreme wealth or extreme poverty is neither healthy nor natural.
Witchcraft, as I see it, strives to strike a balance between poverty and
wealth.
(Source unknown to me)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Moon Day -

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

16th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
19th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Full waning
Moon sets: 6:44AM EDST
Moon rises: 8:55PM EDST
Moon in the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The blessing of
the earth.
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:11AM EDST
Sunset: 8:41PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Are you
properly prepared for emergency action?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 26th, 2010

Moon Day (Monday) - Day of Remembering and Feeling.

Lughnasadg - The First Harvest

   Next weekend is Lughnasadh - the beginning of the harvest of the grains and this signals the slow departure of the God. He gives his energy to the Earth Mother to invigorate the grain that feeds us. The modern day state and county fairs with their contests and celebrations are the modern day reminders of the Celtic Games of Tailtiu, the Earth Mother being honored by the Sun God Lugh at her funeral, for with the harvest in, the Earth is dying. The Sun too is waning in strength, and the blackberry and blueberry pies are baked to honor the God changing into his Dark Aspect.
   Now is the time to begin making your Corn Dolly. She was made from the last sheaf of wheat (called corn in Europe), harvested in a field, and was paraded for all to see. The sheaf, called the Old Woman, was placed in your home as a refuge for the spirit of the grain until she was dressed as the Bride of Imbolc and plowed back into the field at Ostara. This dolly represents the Goddess in her Crone aspect, and placing her in the home protects the family until winter is over. She was kept high in the rafters by the hearth to watch over the home. Making a corn dolly at Lughnasadh brings some of the old ways back into our modern life.

Here are some links to sites about Corn Dollies:


http://www.ehow.com/how_5009838_make-corn-dollies.html
 
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolccrafts/ss/Brighid_Dolly.htm
 
http://www.sacredspiral.com/crafts/husks/corndoll/index.html
Corn Husk Dolls
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaTDdGYP84w&feature=related
Corn Husk dolly video
 
Wicc'ed Ways~Children of the Corn Dollies
(type this into your search engine and it
should come up)
 
 
 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Full Moon in Aquarius

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


15th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
18th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Full - 9:36PM EDST
Moon sets: 5:42AM EDST
Moon rises: 8:27PM EDST
Moon in Capricorn v/c 10:19AM EDST
Moon enters the Fixed Air Sign
of Aquarius at 3:38PM EDST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Your heart's desire
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:10AM EDST
Sunset: 8:42PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Are you
misusing responsibility or power?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 25th, 2010

Moon in Aquarius - Full Moon in Aquarius - the Aquarius moon transit is a time of dealing with facts, organizing, political issues, desire to save the world through social action and connecting with others in social situations - yet you may also be feeling detachment, viewing the others around you with a detached view.  This is also a time for scientific pursuits, and the need to come and go without restrictions.  Aquarius brings us a dramatic mood change - previously Capricorn's transit gave us feelings of valuing tradition and caution.  Aquarius indicates anything new, innovative, different or unconventional. Extremes of behavior during this moon transit, especially extremes of optimism and pessimism.  So for your Full Moon in Aquarius - be prepared for an electric full moon on a warm clear summer night - this can be the brightest moon of the year. Anything can happen, expect the unpredictable.  This is the time to perhaps try out a new and/or different Full Moon rite.
   Moon in Aquarius is the best time to work magick involving science, freedom, creative expression, problem-solving, extrasensory abilities, friendship and the breaking of bad habits or unhealthy addictions. Healing rituals for ailments of the calves, ankles or blood are also done at this time.
   In my Seasons of the Witch Datebook this is listed as the Moon of the Next Chance:
"Winds of Change I conjure thee
Bring me opportunity
My fingers stretch,
my grasp take hold.
My life, my future, mine to mold."

  And this is Sun Day - the Day of Intent, Creation and Renewal - good day to make efforts to break bad habits and unhealthy addictions.  There are Major energies today for Adventure, New Projects, and Opportunity after the moon goes v/c.
   Have a beautiful Full Moon rite!!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gibbous Moon in Capricorn

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

14th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle - Tinne/Holly
17th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 4:41AM EDST
Moon rises: 7:54PM EDST
Moon in the Cardinal Earth
Sign of Capricorn
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The secret
country of dreams
Sun in Leo
Sunrise: 6:09AM EDST
Sunset: 8:43PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "In which areas
of your life are you self-important?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 24th, 2010

Yesterday the Moon entered the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn - after restless and enthusiastic expansiveness of a Sagittarius moon, we may now feel contraction and the need to pay attention to our needs for security, duties and obligations. Energy will be slowed a bit even tho we are at the day before a Full Moon...  Ah, yes, tomorrow is the Full Moon - have you given any thought to it?  Remember always doing a simple rite of lighting a candle and thinking briefly about what blessings this lunar cycle has brought you so far is a nice way to observe it.  This Full Moon comes right on top of the Harvest Festival of Lammas - maybe placing a stalk or two of ripe wheat, oats, or other grain plant on your
altar next to your Full Moon candle will add to your rite.  Say a quiet thank you to the Mother for what ever has manifested in your garden this summer, and/or your life.

Blessing Moon

   In Cherokee tradition, July is the Ripe Corn Moon. First sweet corn and then dent corn ripen for harvest. As a staple food and sacred material, corn attracts much attention throughout its life cycle. To the Choctaw, this is the Crane Moon, recognizing these large water birds. The Dakota Sioux call this the Moon of the 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 farmers' market to enjoy fresh seasonal produce. Watch birds and other animals raising their young. But be careful. While the Sun passed its peak at the solstice, the heat is still increasing. Respect the Sun's power, avoid direct 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, light, heat, fire, and so forth are also appropriate. Magically, tap into the rich power of the Sun to fuel spells for success and prosperity.
[From Llewellyn's Wittches' Datebook of 2010 - essay by Elizabeth Barrette]

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sun enters the sign of Leo

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


12th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
15th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 2:46AM EDST
Moon rises: 6:29PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Fire
Sign of Sagittarius
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Happiness
Sun enters Leo at 6:21PM EDST
Sunrise: 6:07AM EDST
Sunset: 8:44PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which of
your senses are most weak? Exercise
it today.
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 22nd., 2010

Thor's Day - This is Jupiter's Day - the Day of Vision, Spiritual Insight, and Expansion. There are Major magickal energies today for Travel and minor magickal energies for good luck in the AM hours.

Sun in Leo

  Leo is another Fire sign, bringing enthusiasm, spontaneity and energy. It is also a Fixed sign emphasizing the senses, desires, and intense reactions.  Leo's symbol is the lion, the King of Beasts, and this gives a good indication of those born at this time. The key phase for Leos is 'I will'.  Those born when the Sun is in Leo are generally extroverts. They will be self-assertive and self-controlling. While usually generous and warm-hearted they also know how to use power and to control others. They are high achievers and their commanding personalities make them good leaders unless they allow themselves to become overbearing and dominating. Leos are good organizers and, being outgoing, make good spokespeople, speakers and actors. They are usually highly principled and forthright but tend to acquire very fixed opinions, sometimes despite evidence to the contrary. In relationships, Leos are wholehearted, sincere, very sensual and pleasure loving. On the negative side they can be bossy and boastful.
   At this time those born with the Sun in Leo should be careful to exercise their self-restraint, as the Sun's energy will emphasize any failings. They should also be aware of their tendency to dominate any group of people, whether deliberately or not, and be prepared to step back and let others have their say. Non-Leos can utilize the energy at this time to become more self-assertive and to look towards claiming what is due them. Magically this is a good time for learning new skills or improving talents.
[From Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year" ]

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gibbous Moon phase

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

11th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
14th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Gibbous Moon - 10:24PM
Moon sets: 1:57AM EDST
Moon rises: 5:35PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Fire Sign
of Sagittarius
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The gift of eros.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:07AM EDST
Sunset: 8:45PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What is
the source of your courage?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 21st., 2010

Gibbous Moon - Well, here we are - almost half through this lunar cycle - the Full Moon will be this Sunday.  The Keywords for the Gibbous Moon phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a lunar cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. Have you started on any of your goals, are your seeds of goals started sprouting?  During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments, it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN.

Woden's Day -  Mercury Day - the day of Communication and Connection....  There is Major magickal energies today for Flying - and this doesn't mean in a plane, but more like astral flying...  let your imagination soar.  There are minor magickal energies for doing spells/rites of divination, and elemental magick.

The Eco-Witch

   In the present era, many environments that are natural to use are in fact entirely unnatural; urbanization has left very few places untouched. Once, the quest was to achieve civilization in conjunction with, or despite, nature; nowadays, it is to reestablish contact with the Mother we are destroying. We are faced with a peculiar situation in which we may grow up surrounded by the natural or seminatural, yet be entirely closeted in our manmade environments.
  The witch endeavours to re-establish a sense of balance. She/he does not desire to mindlessly manipulate natural resources; she hopes to work with them without negative side effects. Capitalism, colonisation, and short-term thinking are leading us to environmental disaster.  Governments are always blithe about this because they think in terms of short spans of control (no longer than the time they will be in office). They certainly have no intention of preserving resources for generations not yet born. The witch is acutely aware of the natural balance of things (or should be), and of the karmic debts we have to less-fortunate cultures and other species.
    The witch is always environmentally aware. She/he recycles her bottles and as much as the rest of her garbage as possible, and does her bit for whatever issues she feels are of particular relevance at the time such as saving a local wood from being turned into a parking lot, for example, or petitioning against the unnecessary fuel emissions from industry and on the roads.

    Today I am suggesting that more of us consider using bicycles instead of our gas guzzling vehicles.
From an article I read this morning:  "The bicycle has many attractions as a form of personal transportation. It alleviates congestion, lowers air pollution, reduces obesity, increases physical fitness, does not emit climate-disrupting carbon dioxide, and is priced within the reach of the billions of people who cannot afford a car. bicycles increase mobility while reducing congestion and the area of land paved over. Six bicycles can typically fit into the road space used by one car.

  For parking, the advantage is even greater, with 20 bicycles occupying the space required to park a car. Few methods of reducing carbon emissions are as effective as substituting a bicycle for a car on short trips. A bicycle is a marvel of engineering efficiency, one where an investment in 22 pounds of metal and rubber boosts the efficiency of individual mobility by a factor of three.

    The bicycle is not only a flexible means of transportation; it is ideal in restoring a balance between caloric intake and expenditure. Regular exercise of the sort provided by cycling to work reduces cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis, and it strengthens the immune system."

   The article talks about how in the Netherlands (an industrial country) that 27% of all trips are made by bike.... here in the US we at only 1% of all trips.... and also Britain is only 1%.  Denmark and Germany are 18 and 18% respectively.  We have to remember that when we use our gas guzzling broomsticks, we are contributing to disaster like in the Gulf.  While at present time I don't have a bike - I gave mine away to a needy young person in a large city this spring - I am 67 years old and live in very hilly country and have allowed myself to get in very poor physical condition - I feel I can still speak up and suggest this option to traveling be considered whenever possible... In the meantime I do a lot of walking. 
   So here is the link to the article:
http://www.alternet.org/story/147543/the_bicycle%27s_big_comeback%3A_why_two-wheelers_are_key_for_reducing_oil_dependence

  Read it through and give thought to it.  We can at least petition our local government to promote more biking options. 

Now here is a parking garage!! 



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Waxing Half Moon enters Sagittarius

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

10th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
13th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waxing half
Moon sets: 1:13AM EDST
Moon rises: 4:34PM EDST
Moon in Scorpio v/c 7:42PM EDST
Moon enters the Mutable Fire
Sign of Sagittarius at 7:48PM EDST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Growth in
your emotional life.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:06AM EDST
Sunset: 8:46PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Are you
respecting or abusing trust?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 20th, 2010

Moon in Sagittarius - When the moon is in this sign it is a time for philosophy, metaphysics, travelling, studying, and freedom from responsibility. Sagittarius restless and independent nature wishes to explore, and warm and friendly vibes makes it a good time for seeing new places, encountering different people and relating to a changing environment. With this Moon transit comes the itch to travel, and this is the best sign for travel because conditions are most fortuitous.  Sagittarius is the best time to work magick for publications, legal matters, travel and truth. Healing rituals for ailments of the liver, thighs, or hips are also done at this time.

  So here we at Tiu's Day - the Day of Activity and Physicality, Passion and Desire - an Action Day. There are Major magickal energies flowing in the air for Independence and there are minor magickal energies for warrior energy and courage.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Waxing Half Moon - Moon Day

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


9th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
12th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month - Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waxing Half
Moon sets: 12:36AM EDST
Moon rises: 3:28PM EDST
Moon in the Fixed Water
Sign of Scorpio
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The wisdom
of nature.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:05AM EDST
Sunset: 8:47PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What sacrifices must
you make to fulfill your plans?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 19th, 2010

The Perseids

  An amazing celestial event coincides with the season of Lughnasad. Radiating from the constellation Perseus, a spectacular meteor shower known as Perseid meteor shower dominates the night sky beginning around July 17th and peaking on August 12th, continuing to put on an impressive show until August 24th. With its theme of hope, there is perhaps no season better suited to wishing upon a shooting star, and the night skies on Lughnasad will be full of them. You can expect sightings of between fifty and 100 meteors each hour.
   Several times throughout the course of the year, the Earth's orbit passes through the remaining particles of a defunct comet. It is these particles, called meteoroids, that you are observing. When they enter the Earth's atmosphere, they burn up as meteors. The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most reliable.
   The Perseid meteors are often referred to as 'the Children of Perseus.' Look for the constellation Perseus along the northern horizon. Although meteors can appear in any part of the sky, they will originate from the radiant constellation. The meteor shower is best viewed after midnight, for at this time, the rotation of the earth will allow you to be facing the meteors head on, as opposed to viewing them from behind. The darker the sky, the better. If you can find a remote area for stargazing, beyond the glare of city lights, which will greatly interfere with your ability to see the meteors. A bright full moon and even a quarter moon can also greatly interfere with the number of meteors that you will be able to see, if any. Choose a new moon night, or if there is not a coinciding new moon, wait until after the moon has set.
   http://www.meteorblog.com/2009/08/meteor-shower-the-perseids/
http://www.chiff.com/science/perseids.htm

Sunday, July 18, 2010

First Quarter Moon phase

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

8th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
11th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: First Quarter 6:10AM
Moon sets: 12:03AM EDST
Moon rises: 2:19PM EDST
Moon in Libra v/c 10:25AM EDST
Moon enters the Fixed Water Sign
of Scorpio at 1:42PM EDST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The skills you possess.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:04AM EDST
Sunset: 8:47PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What do
you need to learn or master at this time?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 18th, 2010

First Quarter Moon - The First Quarter is a time of balance, dynamic balance in fact, but it is fleeting. Once the dark half of the moon begins to fill out, the moment will have passed and energies will quicken again, picking up tension and as we approach the full moon. During the waxing of the crescent moon there is a feeling of purpose and motivation and it seems much easier to get things done. Then in the midst of upward surge, it is as though everything stops, but this is hard to pinpoint or even notice immediately because it happens very quietly. It is as though the world takes a deep indrawn breath and pauses. This pause is not necessarily tranquil, and it is certainly not stagnant - zest and excitement are waiting beneath its surface to unfold. Yet there is a feeling of balance held in tension as the moon stands poised to open into fullness.  In the late afternoon and early evening the first quarter moon can be seen as an exact, her face lit on the right side, and her left side in darkness. The midpoint between new and full has been reached.  Keywords for the First Quarter phase are: action, expression, growth, breaking away. It is the time in a cycle to take the initial action necessary to achieve your goal by expressing your needs and desires. FEEL & MOVE. Make phone calls. Write letters. Dance. Act now.

Moon in Scorpio - The moon's transit through Scorpio is a time of extremes, intensity and heightened sensitivity. It is a good time for focusing and doing psychic work because of the deep emotions and desires Scorpio brings.  Emotional resentments from the past can surface and block your heightened creative energy, so fight urges to be suspicious, secretive and moody. This is a time of regeneration, and cleaning out of emotional debris from the previous lunar cycle. There is great energy to complete things and focus on certain areas that you have found yourself too scattered to deal with in the previous cycle. Moon in Scorpio is the best time to work magick involving power, psychic growth, secrets and fundamental transformations.  Healing for ailments of the reproductive organs are also done during this transit.

Today - Sun Day - there are Major magickal energies for Vigor and there are minor magickal energies for motivation and personal finances... Grab the opportunities to boost your motivation to work on your goals for this lunar cycle. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Waxing Crescent Moon enters Libra

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

6th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis ]
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
9th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 11:57AM EDST
Moon sets: 11:34PM EDST
Moon in Virgo v/c 9:45PM EDST
Moon enters the Cardinal Air
Sign of Libra at 10:24AM EDST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Project you most
want to come to fruition.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:03AM EDST
Sunset: 8:52PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What makes you
most angry?  Why? "
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 16th, 2010

Moon in Libra - This moon transit concerns cooperation, harmony, focus on relationships, and fine artistic pursuits. All partnership activity will be heightened during this moon transit. For those of us who are not in a relationship we may crave a partnership, or feel alone and lonely. Be aware of superficial bonding just to ease the pain of aloneness. Yet Moon in Libra is a nice time to throw a party. Everyone will be extremely social and try to please and flatter others.  Moon in Libra is the best time to work magick involving artistic work, justice, court cases, partnerships and unions, mental stimulation and karmic, spiritual or emotional balance. Healing rituals for ailments of the lower back or kidneys are also done during this period of time.   Today there are Major magickal energies flowing for rites/spells regarding Partnerships and Assistance.... so take advantage of the Libra moon transit energy and the waxing moon energies.

Lughnasad
Between Hope and Fear

   This time of the summer season we gaze westward and bid hail and farewell to the sun, for the lengthening of nights is apparent now. Journeying south toward the celestial equator, the sun begins to spend less time above the horizon. We are now approaching halfway to autumn. The fruits of summer are abundant as they give way to the grains of harvest. The first sheaves maybe be already cut and lie waiting in the fields. Although the fruits of labor have reached their pinnacle, the results remain unknown. Until the harvest is brought into the home/barn, we do not really know what to what extant our hard work has paid off. Themes of hope, belief, and trust dominate the sabbat of Lughnasad, which is also a traditional time for handfastings between beloveds.
   Celebrated on August Eve, or August 1, Lughnasad represents the first day of Celtic autumn and the last of the four great fire festivals of the Celtic year. It is also the first of the three annual harvests along with Mabon, the second harvest and Samhain, the third and final harvest of the year. Typical Lughnasad observances included the gathering of wild berries and the climbing of hills, as well as the visitations of holy wells. The Lughnasad feast typically featured corn and bread baked from new wheat. Lughnasad was also characterized by the selling of livestock and the country fair, replete with festivals games, and dances. Often, the celebrations would last for weeks, sometimes an entire month beginning in mid-July and commencing through mid-August. 
   Lammastide - Lammas, meaning 'loaf mass', is another word for Lughnasad. It is derived from hlaf, the Saxon word for loaf.  The association of Lammastide with bread and grains from the gathering of the first harvest, which was often winter wheat and apples. In Scotland, Lammas was a day of accounting; tenant farmers would make a payment to their landlords, often with the first grains of the harvest.  There are many names for this sabbat - Lammas, Lammastide, Laa Lhuanys, Calan Awst, August Eve, and Garland Sunday are some of them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crescent Phase moon

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


5th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
8th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 10:44AM EDST
Moon sets: 11:05PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Earth Sign
of Virgo
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Abundance in '
your life.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:02AM EDST
Sunset: 8:49PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What is preying
on your mind?
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 15th, 2010

Crescent Moon phase - last night the moon entered its Crescent phase.  Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle and opportunity. It is the time in the lunar cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intentions to move forwrd. Light a cadle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal(s) for this lunar cycle.

  There are Major magickal energies today for spells regarding Financial Gain and minor magickal energies for spells about business success.  Today is Thor's Day - Jupiter Day, the Day of Vision, Spiritual Insight and Expansion...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waxing Crescent Moon enters Virgo

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

4th Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
7th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Crescent Moon - 9:22PM EDST
Moon rises: 9:29AM EDST
Moon sets: 10:37PM EDST
Moon in Leo v/c 6:22AM EDST
Moon enters the Mutable Earth
Sign of Virgo - 9:15AM EDST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Peace and concord
among the earth's nations.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:01AM EDST
Sunset: 8:50PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "How are you
limiting yourself at present?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 14th, 2010

Moon in Virgo - After the Leo Moon transit drama time, it's time to clean up our act and turn our attentions to the matters of our health and hygiene.  The important issues of this moon transit are practicality, organization, cleaning up your diet and/or house, healing your body or offering healing to others and attending to loose ends. The practical Virgo cleans the house, sets things in order, washes the dog, and harvests the vegetables. It's time for taking responsibility and cleaning up messes we've been leaving . A Virgo transit encourages us to pay painstaking attention to detail; housecleaning is a good way to work through a Virgo moon transit.  During a Virgo Moon time women are mentally active but there is a tendency to excessive criticism both of oneself and others. Emotionally, it's an inward time, when we can reflect on personal relationships. Moon in Virgo is the best time to work magick involving employment, intellectual matters, health, and dietary concerns. Healing rituals for ailments of the intestines, or nervous system are also done during this lunar transit.  Today is Woden's Day - Mercury Day, the day of Communication and Connection... so these energies will align nicely with Virgo's energies.  Use them to your best advantage.  Watch out for excessive criticism in your communications.

Summer Meditation:

   On a warm day go out into the countryside or a park or even your own back yard.  Take a blanket or something else to lie on. If things are noisy it may be a good idea to shield your ears with a set of headphones, so take a personal cassette player or Ipod so that you do not look odd.  Remove your footwear and lie down so that the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet are in contact with the earth.
    Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to help you relax. As you do so, be aware of the different scents around you. With your hands and feet feel your contact with the earth, and focus until you can feel the pulse of the land. Now reach out with your mind into the earth, allowing it to travel and be one with the land. Feel the roots of the plants and trees reaching down into the soil and follow them up into the leaves and branches so that you can feel the effects of Sun and Air. Now follow the roots into the soil again until you can detect the underground streams and rivers. Follow these with your mind, from their sources high in the mountains to the depths of the oceans. Feel and notice the different kinds of earth, soil, stones, rocks and even the particles of sand. As you let your mind travel, look at the varieties of life: the fish, animals, insects, birds and people. When you are ready, sit up and rub your arms and legs to ground yourself. On your return write down your experience to help you remember it.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Waxing New Moon in Leo

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

3rd Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
6th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: waxing New Moon
Moon rises: 8:12AM EDST
Moon sets: 10:06PM EDST
Moon in the Fixed Fire Sign
of Leo
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Lovers you have
lost and found.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 6:00AM EDST
Sunset: 8:50PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What ambitions
wait to be fulfilled in your life?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter
of the Year
July 13th, 2010

Tiu's Day - Mars Day, the day of Activity and Physicality, Passion and Desire. The Moon is in Leo - a time when exuberance and vitality are flowing and it is a waxing New Moon in the mix too. This is a time of vital energy.  There are minor magickal energies today for rites/spells for job hunting.... I am surprised that they are only minor energies. 

Hands

   The hands of a corpse, preferably a hanged criminal, was long thought to contain powerful magick.
A candle made from such a hand was thought to render the carrier invisible, or to cause everyone in the house to sleep until it was extinguished. It is thought that this was used by thieves to conceal their activities. This was called the Hand of Glory. Another version of this legend called for the hand to be used as a candlestick for the same purpose. The hands of the dead were also thought to be able to effect a cure when rested on a sick person. A dead man's hand removed by the woman of the house would also enable her to create better butter than her neighbors.
   While we do not, in the Craft, use real hands we do use wooden or ceramic ones. The former, carved so that it seems to beckon from the knuckle side and warn from the palm side, would be stood upright in the window to indicate whether it was safe for other Witches to call. These are very similar in appearance to the ones sold as 'ring stands' these days. Ceramic hands are often made and given as Handfasting gifts to ensure a long and happy relationship. Making a cast of a baby or young child's hand is thought by some to ensure that the child will grow up to be successful. If you feel tempted to do this please ensure that you create a mold from each side of the hand separately, rather than encasing the whole in plaster which may shrink and cause distress, and possibly damage.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

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"]

Holly
(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.
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/p/Holly_KIng_Yule.htm
 
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.
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art6133.asp
The Holly King and Oak King battling at a Yule Festival

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Moon - the Tinne/Holly Lunar Cycle

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

1st Day of the 8th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Tinne/Holly
4th Day of the Celtic Tree Month
of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: New Moon - 3:40PM EDST
Moon rises: 5:39AM EDST
Moon sets: 8:51PM EDST
Moon in Cardinal Water Sign
of Cancer
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The support of
friendship.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 5:59AM EDST
Sunset: 8:51PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Who do you
need to forgive most?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter of the Year
July 11th, 2010

   New Moon - This is the beginning of a new lunar cycle.  In this lunar cycle we pass from summer quarter of the year to the autumn quarter of the year at Lughnasadh on August 1st.  Yikes!  You mean autumn is staring us in the face!!  Yup - it is.  That this New Moon occurs in a very combination of signs, Cancer Sun and Cancer Moon - should alert that the season of the element of water is upon us.
The keywords for this New Moon phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, and clarity. It is now the time in a lunar cycle that you stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical action. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead.

Dark of the Moon
New beginnings
Dark of the Moon
Plant a seed tonight
Dark of the Moon
What we envision
Will come to be by the Full Moon's light.

Appropriate Magick for the New Moon

* Take a seed for each new goal, hold them one by one in cupped hands till you have thoroughly visualized each intention, then plant the seed(s) individually in a bowl of earth.

* Take a pure white candle, stroke it from base to center and tip to center with oil such as olive or almond. Be careful not avoid the wick or the candle will splatter when lit. As you dress it in the way, concentrate on a fresh new project that you wish to work on, then light the candle. Burn it every night at the same time till the moon is full.

* Think of a goal, then tie three knots in a silver cord or ribbon, voicing your magickal intention with each knot. Put it on your altar/shrine or tie in the branches of a tree in the garden/yard till just before the next new moon, then untie the knots and cleanse the cord through the elements so that it can be used again for future.

Basic New Moon Ritual Pattern

* Place white , cream or pastel colored budded flowers on your altar> White rosebuds would be very appropriate this time of the year.

* Burn white and/or pastel candles on your altar.

* Use damiana, lemongrass, lavender or any other light, airy incense.

* Magick for the New Moon should be concerned with fresh wishes and goals, or new stages in project already underway. Work toward putting energy into starting each project, but ask for some staying power to prevent things from petering out again.

There are minor magickal energies today for rites/spells for self-improvement. Take advantage of these flowing energies and weave them into your New Moon rite tonight.



Friday, July 9, 2010

Freya's Day - Balsamic Moon

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


28th Day of the 7th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Duir/Oak
2nd Day of the Celtic Tree Month
of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Balsamic
Moon rises: 3:26AM EDST
Moon sets: 7:09PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Air Sign
of Gemini
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The song of night.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 5:57AM EDST
Sunset: 8:52PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: ""What
old story are you telling against yourself? What new story waits
to be told?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter of the Year
July 9th, 2010


  There are minor magickal energies today for resolving quarrels with friends/lovers.  This is waning moon energies working for you.

Dark of the Moon Magick

   This phase of the moon is the three nights when no Moon is visible at all.  It's timing can be 3:00Am rising and setting in the late afternoon. Despite the oddity of this, it is around 10:00AM that the strongest pull of the Dark moon happens.  Workings for the Dark Moon phase can be about Addictions, Change, Divorce, Enemies, Justice, Obstacles, Removal, Separation and Stopping stalkers and theft.  Meditations involve reaching within yourself to pull out unwanted thoughts or desires. Examine them and dismiss them. Path work with the Dark Goddesses to receive their most exquisite gifts. And the continue the mind movie for positive workings in your life.  This is the time to move within self, to explore our darkest recesses and understand our angers and passions, steering the m to work for us in a positive way.  Dealing with attackers is best done during the Dark Moon phase.
   In your early days of studying and learning about the Craft you may well have been advised not to work any magick at this time.  This is because the energies of this period can be very uncertain and a lot time may have to be devoted to undoing rash or ill-advised spells which have gone wrong. As the energies can be so fickle, always divination to ascertain the potential results of any spells which you feel you must work at this time. 
   Dark Moon Goddesses - some suggestions - Kali, the Morrigan, the Calliech, Lilith, and Hecate. One I have just read about recently is Pasht: Egyptian Goddess - This dark form of cat-headed Bast is associated with destructive magick. No crone, Pasht can bring the power of feline nimbleness and persistence to a Dark Moon rite, making your desired effect manifest regardless of the types of obstacles it encounters.

Some links to Dark Moon rituals and spell working:

http://www.hecatescauldron.org/Women%20and%20Dark%20Moon%20Magick.htm

http://www.hecatescauldron.org/dark_moon_ritual.htm
 
http://www.moonsmuses.com/darkmoon.html
 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Balsamic Moon phase in Gemini

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

27th Day of the 7th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Duir/Oak
1st Day of the Celtic Tree Month
of Tinne/Holly
Moon Phase: Balsamic5:53AM EDST
Moon rises: 2:34AM EDST
Moon sets: 6:07PM EDST
Moon in Taurus v/c 2:09AM EDST
Moon enters the Mutable Air Sign
of Gemini at 3:51AM EDST
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Your special place of peace
and refreshment.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 5:57AM EDST
Sunset: 8:52PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What broken or
fragmentary parts of your life need mending?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter of the Year
July 8th, 2010

Balsamic Moon - This is final phase of the moon before it goes Dark - the end of one cycle and actually the beginning of another.  Keywords for the Balsamic phase are transition, release, transformation, renewal, purity. It is the phase in a cycle when you must let go of everything you have been working on that does not deal with the current cycle's issues. During this phase you reflect on the passing cycle and prepare for the new. Trust in renewal. It is important to separate from others now so that you clear the intellect of negativity. LET GO. Become still and meditate.  

Moon in Gemini - This is a time of communication and other means of expression, freedom, adaptability, short journeys, reading or writing, desire for variety and having more than one thing going at once. You feel talkative and might want to work with your hands during this moon's transit. All communication (talking, writing or reading) and intellectual matters are easier during a Gemini Moon. Women are more adaptable and changeable, so take all statements and promises with a grain of salt, especially if the person has proven fickle in the past. It's a hard time to make any decisions, but a good time to use your wit and cleverness in conversation. There is a strong desire for variety and freedom, in emotional matters and in your environment. Issues of the practical world are set aside. Moon in Gemini is the best time to work magick for good communication, change of residence, writing, public relations and travel. Healing rituals for ailments of the shoulders, arms, hands or lungs are also done during this period of time.

   There are minor magickal energies today for rites/spells to eliminate obstacles to wealth, power and fame.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wannig Moon

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


25th Day of the 7th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Medusa
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Duir/Oak
25th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Duir/Oak
Moon Phase: waning last quarter
Moon rises: 1:15AM EDST
Moon sets: 3:55PM EDST
Moon in the Fixed Earth Sign
of Taurus
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The strength and beauty
of the little things.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 5:56AM EDST
Sunset: 8:53PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What pattern is emerging
from your spiritual path to date?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter of the Year
July 6th, 2010

On Tiu's Day today - Mars Day - the Day of Activity and Physicality, Passion and Desire - there are Major magickal energies for Bindings.

  Binding magick is sometimes considered a difficult area for white witches because of the issues of the infringement of free will. It is an area where careful and honest heart searching is needed to be sure your magick is for the highest cause and with the purest intent.
   Some binding magick is straightforward. If you were going on a long journey, you could legitimately bind a small child to you temporarily so that he or she would not get lost or wander off, as the child is not old enough to take responsibility for him- or herself.
    But what if you know a drug dealer is peddling in a place your teenager insists on visiting in spite of your warnings. Can you morally bind the drug pusher from harming your child without over-riding their free will or that of your teenager? Some witches would argue the drug pusher is potentially threatening a lot of teenagers and not just your own and so could not be left to spread his poison.
   It is possible with care to carry out positive and protective spells to bind such adverse behavior, so that the drug peddler is not able to approach your child with the intent of doing harm.
   You could bind your teenager, who after all is still young and vulnerable, from buying substances that will cause harm. You could add an attracting spell for your teenager to find new friends who spend their time in less dangerous settings and also to strengthen your teenager's natural moral standards.
    Binding spells often involve the use of images or figures, such as dolls or ones made from beeswax or clay that you bind up with ribbons or cord (of course you do not harm the image). You would then gently wrap the figure in soft cloth and put it in a safe place until the specified time for the binding spell to be through.
   If there is not a set time, binding spells generally have to be recast monthly with new figures. The old doll should be returned to its element: to the earth if made of an earth substance; clay or wax should be rolled in a ball.
   Since the drug pusher and teenager need to be kept apart you could put the drug pusher figure with blessings into the freezer compartment and wrap your child's image in a drawer. You could also, if you felt it morally right, create another figure to represent other unspecified teenagers in danger and wrap that separately but safely with your child's figure well away from the drug pusher doll.
[From: Cassandra Eason's "Complete Book of Natural Magick"]

Monday, July 5, 2010

Waning Half Moon moves into Taurus

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

24th Day of the 7th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Medusa
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Duir/Oak
24th Day of the Celtic Tree Month
of Duir/Oak
Moon Phase: waning Half
Moon rises: 12:49
Moon sets: 2:50PM EDST
Moon in Aries v/c 5:23PM EDST
Moon enters the Fixed Earth
Sign of Taurus at 8:29PM EDST
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The beauty of the
enduring stars.
Sun in Cancer
Sunrise: 5:55AM EDST
Sunset: 8:53PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Where are
your energies overextended?"
Beltaine (Calan Mai) Quarter of the Year
July 5th, 2010

This is Moon Day - the Day of Remembering and Feeling - Impression Day. This evening the waning moon will move into the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus and the forceful movement of Aries will become solid, calm and patient.  We will settle down from the long holiday weekend and realize it is time to go back to work (if you have a job). Keep in mind that Moon in Taurus is the best time to work magick for love, real estate, material acquistions and money. Healing rituals during a Taurus Moon transit  are aliments of the throat, neck, and ears. 

We are now moving into the waning days of this lunar cycle.  Now is a time we need withdraw more into ourselves and begin sorting through the things we have achieved and not achieved this lunar cycle. This could be like sorting out the seeds from the harvest.  Some will be worth seeding during the New Moon phase and some may have to be discarded as not being able to be used.  If you haven't by now, begin winding down your planned activities for this lunar cycle, rest your creative energies, and begin thinking ahead to the next cycle.  This is a good time to pay attention more to the Dark Goddesses. Hecate will be waiting for you.