“Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.”
– Henry David Thoreau
July, the Seventh Month of the year of our Goddess, 2014
July is the seventh month of the year. Its astrological sign is ruled by Cancer, the crab (June 21 – July 22), a cardinal water sign of 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 wildlife. Water is an important magickal element in July. Birds refresh themselves in birdbaths. Thunder rumbles on hot afternoons, bring a promise of rain. Dragonflies skim the surface of ponds, and vacationers head to the shore. Salt water and seashells are good way 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. Magick during this Moon may include all forms of prosperity charms. When you cast a spell now, you will feel the stability of the Earth.
Correspondences For July
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, Athena, 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.
Symbols for the Month of July
July’s Zodiac Symbols
Cancer (the Crab) June 22 thru July 22
Leo (the Lion) July 23 – August 22
The Ruby, which symbolizes contentment.
Northern Red Oak
Monthly Observations for July
•International Group B Strep Awareness Month
•UV Safety Month
•Smart Irrigation Month
•Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
•National Hotdog Month
•Women’s Motorcycle Month
•Cell phone Courtesy Month
•Bereaved Parents Month
•Tour de France Month
•Sandwich Generation Month
•International Zine Month
•National Make a Difference to Children Month
In July, We Celebrate The Fourth of July
The History and Origin of Independence Day
By the middle of the 1700s, the 13 colonies that made up part of England’s empire in the New World were finding it difficult to be ruled by a king 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. They were tired of the taxes imposed upon them. But independence was a gradual and painful process. The colonists could not forget that they were British citizens and that they owed allegiance to King George III.
A “tea party” and a “Massacre” were two events that hurried destiny. Along with general unrest these events united the colonists. In 1767 a tea company in India, owned by England, was losing money. To save the company, England levied a tax on tea sold in the colonies in 1773. Partly as a joke, Samuel Adams and other Bostonians dressed up as Indians and dumped a cargo of the India Company Tea into the Massachusetts Bay. King George III did not think it was funny, nor did he lift the tax on tea. In the Boston harbor, British soldiers were jeered and stoned by colonists who thought the soldiers had been sent to watch them. The soldiers fired into the crowd and killed a few citizens. The colonists exaggerated the number killed and called it a massacre.
Virginia took the first step toward independence by voting to set up a committee to represent the colonies. This First Continental Congress met in September of 1774. They drew up a list of grievances against the crown which became the first draft of a document that would formally separate the colonies from England. George Washington took command of the Continental Army and began fighting the British in Massachusetts. For the next eight years, colonists fought fervently in the Revolutionary War.
In the meantime, a war of words was being waged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress presented & debated a second draft of the list of grievances, and John Hancock, the president of the Second Continental Congress, was the first to sign. The document, called the Declaration of Independence, was treasonous against the crown and the fifty-six men who signed it were in danger of being executed.
Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 because that is the day when the Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. From July 8, 1776, until the next month, the document was read publicly and people celebrated whenever they heard it. The next year, in Philadelphia, bells rang and ships fired guns, candles and firecrackers were lighted. But the War of Independence dragged on until 1783, and in that year, Independence Day was made an official holiday. 1941 Congress declared 4th of July a federal holiday.
John Adams, a lawyer, the first Vice President and the Second President of the United States, was one of the members of the Second Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence. He wrote to his wife, “I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival… it ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…”
John Adams may have predicted the later Independence Day celebrations or perhaps he started traditions with his words. Every July fourth, Americans have a holiday from work. Communities have day-long picnics with favorite foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans and all the fixings. The afternoon activities would not be complete without lively music, a friendly baseball game, three-legged races and a pie-eating or watermelon-eating contests. Some cities have parades with people dressed as the original founding fathers who march in parades to the music of high school bands. At dusk, people in towns and cities gather to watch the fireworks display. Wherever Americans are around the globe, they will get together for a traditional 4th of July celebration!
Source:Author: Beverly Hernandez Website: About.com
Top 10 Founding Fathers
Significant Figures Who Helped Found America
The founding fathers were those political leaders who were part of the American Revolution and the founding of the new nation after independence was won. There were many more than ten founders that had a huge impact on the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. However, this list attempts to pick the top ten founding fathers who had the greatest impact. Honorable mentions not included were John Hancock, John Marshall, Peyton Randolph, and John Jay.
1. George Washington – Founding Father
George Washington was a member of the First Continental Congress. He was then chosen to lead the Continental Army. He was the president of the Constitutional Convention and of course became the first president of the United States. In all these leadership positions, he showed a steadfastness of purpose and helped create the precedents and foundations that would form America.
2. John Adams
John Adams was an important figure in both the First and Second Continental Congresses. He was on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence and was central to its adoption. Because of his foresight, George Washington was named Commander of the Continental Army at the Second Continental Congress. He was chosen to help negotiate the Treaty of Paris that officially ended the American Revolution. He later became the first vice president and then the second president of the United States.
3. Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson, as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, was chosen to be part of a Committee of Five that would draft the Declaration of Independence. He was unanimously picked to write the Declaration. He was then sent to France as a diplomat after the Revolution and then returned to become first the vice president under John Adams and then the third president.
4. James Madison
James Madison was known as the Father of the Constitution, for he was responsible for writing much of it. Further, with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, he was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers that helped persuade the states to accept the new Constitution. He was responsible for drafting the Bill of Rights that were added to the Constitution in 1791. He helped organize the new government and later became the fourth president of the United States.
5. Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was considered the elder statesman by the time of the Revolution and later Constitutional Convention. He was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. He was part of the Committee of Five that was to draft the Declaration of Independence and made corrections that Jefferson included in his final draft. Franklin was central to getting French aid during the American Revolution. He also helped with negotiating the Treaty of Paris that ended the war.
6. Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams was a true revolutionary. He was one of the founders of the Sons of Liberty. His leadership helped organize the Boston Tea Party. He was a delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses and fought for the Declaration of Independence. He also helped draft the Articles of Confederation. He helped write the Massachusetts Constitution and became its governor.
7. Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine was the author of a very important pamphlet called Common Sense that was published in 1776. He wrote a compelling argument for independence from Great Britain. His pamphlet convinced many colonists and founding fathers of the wisdom of open rebellion against the British if necessary. Further, he published another pamphlet called The Crisis during the Revolutionary War that helped spur on the soldiers to fight.
8. Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry was a radical revolutionary who was unafraid to speak up against Great Britain at an early date. He is most famous for his speech which includes the line, “Give me liberty or give me death.” He was a governor of Virginia during the Revolution. He also helped fight for the addition of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution, a document with which he disagreed because of its strong federal powers.
9. Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton fought in the Revolutionary War. However, his true importance came about after the war when he was a huge proponent for the US Constitution. He, along with John Jay and James Madison, wrote the Federalist Papers in an effort to secure support for the document. Once Washington was elected as the first president, Hamilton was made the first Secretary of the Treasury. His plan for getting the new country on its feet economically was instrumental in forming a sound financial basis for the new republic.
10. Governor Morris
Governor Morris was an accomplished statesman that ushered in the idea of a person being a citizen of the union, not the individual states. He was part of the Second Continental Congress and as such helped provide legislative leadership to back up George Washington in his fight against the British. He signed the Articles of Confederation. He is credited with writing parts of the Constitution including possibly its preamble.
Author: Martin Kelly Website: About.com
Top 5 Ways to Celebrate 4th of July
Ah, Independence Day… the crown jewel of summer extravaganzas. Because, really – on what other holiday are you encouraged to eat, drink, and bask in the sun whilst reflecting on all that’s great about the U.S. of A? There are no poignant memorial services, no “summer is over” dread (I’m looking at you, Labor Day). The Fourth of July is one giant, pride-filled, nationwide celebration, and the below are my top five suggestions for making the absolute most of it.
5. Throw a BBQ. Hosting a BBQ has the distinct advantage of forcing everyone to come to you, plus, guests are basically delighted to eat pretty much anything that’s been cooked over a grill, so your menu can be as simple as hot dogs and hamburgers or as fancy as steak and shrimp. Add some salads, a few bowls of chips and dip, some beer and soft drinks on ice, and some patriotic plates and napkins, and you’ve got yourself a celebration.
4. Host a Bonfire. While this may seem limited to an after-dark activity, it’s really a full day at the beach/river/lake/creek for you since you’ll need to arrive early to stake out a claim – and it’s so much fun! Instruct guests to bring their own chairs and blankets, and pack an array of coolers with drinks, snacks, and sandwiches, plus hotdogs and marshmallows for roasting over the fire. Firewood, matches, and roasting sticks are of course a must, as is an iPod (with speaker) loaded with a patriotic playlist. Distributing Fourth of July sparklers is encouraged but optional.
3. Organize a Block Party. Although it takes a lot of advance planning – plus the full cooperation of your neighbors – nothing says Americana and fosters a feeling of community like an old-fashioned block party. Just imagine red, white, and blue balloons (distributed in advance) on every mailbox; patriotic decorations on every porch (offering a prize for best decor will motivate people to participate); and tables laden with delicious dishes (strictly potluck). Be sure to check with your city about permit requirements, etc., well in advance, and plan to divide the bulk of the planning and work with a few key, enthusiastic participants.
2. Picnic in a Park. The art of picnicking has recently taken a glamorous spin, but in my opinion, retro is the way to go for Fourth of July. An ice-filled cooler of Cokes (bottles only, please), a hamper of cold fried chicken, a batch of potato salad, a tray of deviled eggs, a bag of chips, and a gorgeous apple pie are really all the sustenance you need for a sundrenched day of softball and badminton. And this menu is American – throw in some Hostess snack cakes and a dispenser filled with lemonade, and watch how the kids at surrounding picnics cast envious looks your way while regarding their quinoa salad with disdain. Dress things up with a star-spangled tablecloth and you’re golden.
1. Go to See Fireworks. This may seem like a given, but a shocking number of adults are put off by the inevitable traffic jams and parking snafus that go hand-in-hand with the No. 1 draw of Fourth of July. But consider this: Some of my favorite childhood memories are of sitting snug between my parents in a nearby high school parking lot, oohing and aahing over every burst of light in the sky while the sweet smell of ozone hung in the air. The rockets’ red glare and sounds bursting in air were absolute magic – and for a few moments in time, I and the surrounding oohers and aahers (including my dad, who would most certainly curse the traffic on the long ride there and back) shared the mutual awe of imagining the view that our forefathers had
So, whether you BBQ at home, host the entire block, or venture out to catch some fireworks, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate this Fourth of July – it’s what amazing summer memories are made of.
Source:Author: Marilyn Oliveira Website: Huffington Post Home