227 years ago…on July 4th, 1776
This great nation, the United States of America,
In a struggle for what was right and free,
Was proudly born…
May we celebrate that precious freedom
For which our forbears fought so bravely…
The freedom that is inherent
In the Stars and Stripes, our revered flag…
This Fourth of July!
July is the seventh month of the year. It’s astrological sign is Cancer, the crab (June 21 – July 22), a cardinal water sign ruled by the Moon. July is the month of the ripening. In orchards, fields, and gardens, nature moves toward the miracle of the harvest. In July heat, the Goddess fulfills her promise and oversees maturing crops. The Summer Solstice has passed, but nature pulses with life. Hummingbirds flash among the bee balm, and mint varieties spread like wildfire. Water is an important magical element in July. Birds refresh themselves in birdbaths. Thunder rumbles on hot afternoons, bringing a promise of rain. Dragonflies skim the surface of ponds, and vacationers head to the shore. Salt water and seashells are good ways to include the element of water in any rituals now. Independence Day, July 4, is the major holiday of high summer. Not only can we celebrate our nation’s independence, we can also give thanks for July’s abundance, which will sustain us during the coming months. We are blessed with richness in July, perhaps the reason the old ones referred to July’s Full Moon as the Blessing Moon (or as we refer to it on this site, the Mead Moon). Magick during this Moon may include all forms of prosperity charms. When you cast a spell now, you will feel the vitality of the earth.
The Seventh Esbat or full moon after Yule is the Mead Moon. A time of vivid dreams and lunar fertility, it represents a harmony and joy that permeates everything in the universe. Mead is the name of the heavenly drink of the old Teutonic Gods. Probably the first fermented beverage ever made by humankind, it is considered to have medicinal and healing qualities.
Wiccan Spell A Night: Spells, Charms, And Potions For The Whole Year
NATURE SPIRITS: faeries of the crops, hobgoblins
HERBS: honeysuckle, agrimony, lemon balm, hyssop
COLORS: Blue, gray and silver
SCENTS: orris and frankincense
STONES: pearl, moonstone, white agate
TREES: Oak, acacia, ash
ANIMALS: Crab, turtle, dolphin and whale
BIRDS: starling, ibis, swallow
DEITIES: Khepera, Athene, Juno, Hel, Holda, Cerridwen, Venus
POWER/ADVICE: July is strong in relaxed energy. A time to prepare do dream scaping, divination, meditation, and goals in the spiritual realm.
July’s Sign of the Zodiac
Cancer: June 21st thru July 22nd
Leo: July 23rd thru August 21
July’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Oak (The Stabilizer): June 10 thru July 7
Holly (The Ruler): July 8 thru August 4
Ruby represent vitality, confidence and strength
July’s Birth Flower
“Look to my petals for your nurturing.”
“St. Swithin’s day, if thou dost rain, for forty days it shall remain.”
“St. Swithin’s day, if thou be fair, for forty days, twill rain nae mair!”
“If the first of July it be rainy weather, twill rain more or less for four weeks together.”
Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
- The traditional period known as “fence month” (the closed season for deer in England) ended July 9 (date varied)
- End of the Trinity term(sitting of the High Court of Justice of England) July 31
- Elections of Japanese House of Councillors, replacing half of its seats, held every three years (the latest one in 2013″.
- Season of Emancipation (April 14 to August 23)
- Engineer’s Days (Singapore) 2015 date: July 22-24.
- Māori Language Week (New Zealand) 2015 date: 27 July—2 August
- National Ice Cream Month, United States
- Ramadan (Islamic calendar) 2015 date: 18 June – 16 July
- Asalha Puja (Buddhism) 2015 date: July 2
- Start of Vassa (Buddhism) 2015 date: July 2
- Sankashti Chaturthi (Hindu calendar) 2015 date: July 4
- Seventeenth of Tammuz (Judaism) 2015 date: July 5
- Vardavar (Armenia) 98 days (14 weeks) after Pascha. 2015 date: July 12. 2016 date: July 3
- Bon Festival (Eastern Japan) 2015 date: July 13
- Karka Sankranti (Hindu calendar) 2015: July 16 (end of Uttarayana period, start of Dakshinayana period)
- Eid al-Fitr (Islamic calendar) 2015 date: July 17
- Jagganath Ratha-Yatra (Hindu calendar) 2015: July 17
- Tisha B’Av (Judaism) 2015 date: July 26
- Shayani Ekadashi (Hindu calendar) 2015 date: July 27
- Chaturmas(Hindu calendar) 2015: July 27-November 22 (also observed in Jainism, Buddhism)
- Guru Purnima (Hindu calendar) 2015 date: July 31
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.
A Little Background
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.
Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.
Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on the holiday. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only U.S. President to have been born on Independence Day.
Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are often in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.
The night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings often incorporating bonfires as their centerpiece. In New England, towns competed to build towering pyramids, assembled from barrels and casks. They were lit at nightfall, to usher in the celebration. The highest were in Salem, Massachusetts (on Gallows Hill, the famous site of the execution of 13 women and 6 men for witchcraft in 1692 during the Salem witch trials, where the tradition of bonfires in celebration had persisted), composed of as many as forty tiers of barrels; these are the tallest bonfires ever recorded. The custom flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries, and is still practiced in some New England towns.
Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America”, “America the Beautiful”, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”, “This Land Is Your Land”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, and, regionally, “Yankee Doodle” in northeastern states and “Dixie” in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.
While the official observance always falls on July 4, participation levels may vary according to which day of the week the 4th falls on. If the holiday falls in the middle of the week, some fireworks displays and celebrations may take place during the weekend for convenience, again, varying by region.
The first week of July is typically one of the busiest American travel periods of the year, as many people utilize the holiday for extended vacation trips.
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