“Blessed be the Earth for giving birth to this food
Blessed be the Sun for nourishing it
Blessed be the Wind for carrying its seed
Blessed be the Rain for quenching its thirst.
Blessed be the hands that helped to grow this food”
– Lughnasadh Harvest
AUGUST – WORT MOON
August is the eighth month of the year and named for Augustus Caesar. Its astrological sign is Leo the lion (July 22 – August 21), a fixed fire sign ruled by the Sun. In August we are surrounded by the power and glory of the Goddess. The fields of August bring forth bounty. In nature, yellow and gold dominate with corn, sunflowers, black-eyed Susans, and goldenrod brightening the landscape. The month begins with Lammas, or Lughnasadh, the first of the harvest sabbats. Brains are honored now, and breads are always found on the Lammas table. Nowadays, attending a county fair is a pleasant way to observe the harvest season Produce, canned foods, and baked goods are proudly displayed along with prize ribbons. In August you can occasionally feel the breath of autumn. There’s a coolness in the breeze, and a change in the angle of the sunlight, which reminds us summer is not endless. At twilight, the katydid begins scratching its late summer song. The ancient Romans held Diana’s feast day on August 13. It was a time of feasting and enjoying the farmer’s bounty. Many Native Americans celebrated the corn harvest in August. This festival eventually gave August’s Full Moon its name, the Corn Moon (which is referred to on this site as The Wort Moon). Magick for the Corn Moon may focus on health, fertility or abundance.
THE WORT MOON
The Eighth Esbat or Full Moon after Yule is the Wort Moon. A time of predicting seasonal cycles and transformation, it represents the unmanifested matter from which all creation is manifest. The wort is a type of healing plant or herb, such as pennywort and navelwort. In the brewing of beer, the wort is an infusion of malted barley combined with hops and special grains. The wort is combined with the yeast, springs to life, and eventually transforms into beer.
Wiccan Spell A Night: Spells, Charms, And Potions For The Whole Year
CORRESPONDENCES FOR AUGUST
NATURE SPIRITS: dryads
HERBS: chamomile, St Johns wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange
COLORS: Gold and Yellow
FLOWERS: Sunflower, marigold
SCENTS: Frankincense, heliotrope
STONES: Cat’s eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate
TREES: Hazel, alder, cedar
ANIMALS: lion, phoenix, sphinx and the dragon
BIRDS: crane, falcon, eagle
DEITIES: Ganesha, Thoth, Hathor, Diana, Hecate, Nemesis
POWER/ADVICE: Energies should be put into harvesting, gathering vitality and health, also friendships.
Symbols & Folklore for the Month of August
August’s Sign of the Zodiac
Leo: July 23rd thru August 21
Virgo (from August 23 onwards).
August’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Holly: July 8 – August 4
Hazel: August 5 – September 1
Peridot and Sardonyx
August’s Birth Flower
Gladiolus or Poppy
Meaning: Beauty, strength of character, love, marriage and family
“The hottest days of the year are often found in August.”
“Dry August and warm doth harvest no harm.”
“If the first August be warm, then winter will be white and long.”
Folklore from the book, Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year by Mandy Mitchell
August’s Month Long Observations
- American Adventures Month (celebrating vacationing in the Americas)
- Audio Appreciation Month
- Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
- National Children’s Vision and Learning Month (United States)
- Digestive Tract Paralysis (DTP) Month
- Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
- Happiness Happens Month
- Month of Philippine Languages (Philippines)
- National Back to School Month. (United States)
- National Black Business Month (United States)
- National Goat Cheese Month. (United States)
- National Immunization Awareness Month (United States)
- National Panini Month
- National Water Quality Month (United States)
- Neurosurgery Outreach Month
- Psoriasis Awareness Month
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
- What Will Be Your Legacy Month
- Win with Civility Month
August is a clear example of how we live by the new calendar instead of the old. We look upon August as a time of summer. But it is, in fact, more aligned with the autumn, because the first harvests start this month. The festival of Lammas (loaf mass) is the start of the harvest, when we begin to reap what we have sown. The vegetable plot is abundant with yummy fruits and vegetables, and out in the fields, the golden expanses of wheat and corn are ready to be cut and baled. I have always thought that this is the time when the countryside looks its most alive. It is certainly the time when the roads and lanes are dominated by two new kinds of wildlife— the tractor and the combine harvester! Many an hour has been lost stuck behind one of these trundling machines. I remember one particularly bad August when I lived down a narrow country road and spent most of my time running out of the house to move my car because the harvester couldn’t fit past it!
The first harvest marks the start of abundance and the celebration of the grain we have all come to depend on but tend take for granted as we pop down to the shop to buy a loaf of bread. But the first harvest is also a time of honoring our ancestors. Can you imagine how hard harvest time was for them, when the success of the crops meant the difference between life and death?
Grain is a symbol of death and rebirth, and the story of John Barleycorn is often told at this time. John Barleycorn is the living spirit within the corn. When the corn is cut down, he gives his life so that others may be fed and nourished by the grain. He is consumed in the form of bread and is reborn in the seed that is replanted. The cycle of death and rebirth is present in him.
The first and last sheaves of the harvest carry traditional and magical importance. Traditionally, the first sheaf was cut at dawn, the grain ground to make harvest bread, and the stalks made into beer to share with the community. The last sheaf was made into a corn dolly to be taken to the harvest festival and then kept in the home to ensure good luck and a successful harvest the following year. Often, the corn husks were made into a maiden. But in bad harvest years, it was fashioned as a crone. This corn dolly was always returned to the earth as a symbol of rebirth, either ploughed back into the fields or burned and the ashes scattered, usually when the first ploughing of the fields took place to plant a new crop.
Another name for this Wheel of the Year festival is Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-nas-ad), named for the Celtic god of craftsmanship, Lugh. This is the time of year when craft fairs and festivals still take place, so it is a wonderful time to use your old skills and learn new ones. This amazing time of the first harvest is also a time when we should let go of any regrets or habits we want to leave behind and give thanks for what we have reaped and for what we have. This simple ritual is a good way to combine the symbolic Lugh and his craftsmanship with the ritual release of regrets and with thanksgiving. If you know how to create a corn dolly, use your skill here. If, like me, you can’t, these simple Lammas sticks will work beautifully well.
Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Let The Lammas Magick Begin
2 parts frankincense
2 parts sandalwood
1 part pine resin
1/2 part bay
1/2 part cinnamon
1/2 part coriander
1/2 part meadowsweet
1/2 part oregano
1/2 part rosemary
A few drops rose oil
Slightly less oak moss oil
Very little patchouli oil (start with one drop)
Mix well. Burn during Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals.
2 parts Frankincense
1 part Heather
1 part Apple blossoms
1 pinch Blackberry leaves
a few drops Ambergris oil
Burn Lughnasadh Incense during Wiccan rituals on August 1st or 2nd, or at that time to attune with the coming harvest.
2 parts lime oil
2 parts cinnamon oil
2 parts sandalwood oil
1 part clove oil
1 part frankincense oil
Mix well and bottle. Use in Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals.
2 drops peppermint oil
3 drops elder oil
1 drop fir oil
1 drop hazelnut oil
corn oil as base
Mix well and bottle. Use in Lughnasadh/Lammas rituals.
Lughnasadh Milk Bath
2 cups powdered milk
1/2 cup Epsom salt
1/2 cup baking soda
6 drops frankincense oil
5 drops apple oil
4 drops cypress oil
3 drops patchouli oil
Mix well, use 1 cup per bath. A wonderful thing to add to your bath when cleansing yourself before your Lughnasadh/Lammas ritual.
LAMMAS BREAD PROTECTION SPELL
A book of Anglo-Saxon charms advised the crumbling of the Lammas loaf into four pieces and the burying of them in the four corners of the barn to make it safe for all the grain that would be stored there. You can use this old spellcraft in a protection spell for your home.
Bake a Lammas loaf, and when it is cool break it into four pieces don’t cut it with a knife and take one to each corner of your property with the words:
I call on the spirits
Of north, and south, east and west
Protect this place
Now, at the time of the Blessing.
Leave the bread for the birds to eat or bury the pieces.
—Lammas: Celebrating The Fruits Of The First Harvest
by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason
A Harvest Spell
Set an orange candle on either side of the caldron. On a piece of paper (small)write the things you have harvested over the past year, light the paper from one of the candles and let it burn in the cauldron. After it is done put some corn (or squash) seeds in the cauldron. “Stir” the seeds with your wand visualizing white light coming from the tip of the wand, filling the cauldron and entering the seeds. When you feel the seeds have absorbed their fill stop, put the seeds into another container to be kept on the altar until next year’s planting.
It is appropriate to plant the seeds from the fruit consumed in ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Goddess and God.
Wheat weaving (the making of corn dollies, etc.) is an appropriate priate activity for Lughnasadh. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional.
The foods of Lughnasadh include bread, blackberries and all berries, acorns (leached of their poisons first), crab apples, all grains and locally ripe produce. A cake is sometimes baked, and cider is used in place of wine.
If you do make a figure of the God from bread, it can be used for the Simple Feast.
—Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
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