July, the Seventh Month of the year of our Goddess, 2015

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…
Celebrate Freedom
This Fourth of July!

The Holiday Spot

buntingJULY – MEAD MOON

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.

buntingTHE MEAD MOON

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
Sirona Knight

buntingCORRESPONDENCES FOR THE MONTH OF 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, 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.

buntingSymbols & Folklore for the Month of July

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

July’s Birthstone
Ruby
Ruby represent vitality, confidence and strength

July’s Birth Flower
Acanthus
“Look to my petals for your nurturing.”

July’s Folklore

“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

Mandy Mitchell

buntingJuly’s Monthly Events &  Observations

(Monthly)

  • 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

(Monthly Observations)

  • 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

buntingThe Fourth of July

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.

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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.

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Common Customs

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.

july77

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Have a very blessed afternoon, my sweets! Till tomorrow….

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Incense of the Day for July 28th is Moonfire Incense

Incense of the Day

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MOONFIRE INCENSE

1 Part Rose
1 Part Orris
1 part Bay
1 Part Juniper
1 part Dragon’s blood
1/2 part Potassium nitrate

Burn for divination, love and harmony. The potassium nitrate is included to make it sparkle and glow. Don’t add too much though or it’ll explode!

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Crystal of the Day for July 28th is Rosasite

Crystal of the Day

 

Rosasite


                                                                        (Blue green, Light blue, Sky blue)

Rosasite is named after its discovery locality, the Rosas Mine, Sulcis, Sardinia, Italy. It was discovered in 1908 CE.

Hardness: 4 1/2                 
Specific Gravity:                      
Chemistry: (Cu,Zn)2(CO3)(OH)2  
Class: Carbonates              
Crystallography: Monoclinic                 
Cleavage: Good in two directions at right angles.
Fracture: Splintery – Thin             
Streak: Light blue                          
Luster: Vitreous, Silky           


Healing: Rosasite is used to treat disorders of the internal organs. It is used to heal measles and chicken pox and to regenerate tissue lost to a internal rupture.

Magical Workings: Rosasite is an excellent stone to use for meditation and to attain a state of calmness in one’s life. Rosasite is associated with the astrological sign of Virgo and it vibrates to the number 7.

Chakra Applications: Use in association with the Throat and Third Eye chakras.

Foot Notes: Rosasite forms in the oxidation zones of zinc-copper deposits. Minerals associated with Rosasite include limonite, smithsonite, hemimorphite, malachite, aurichalcite and calcite.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 28th is Allspice

Herb of the Day

Allspice

 


Allspice is used as a paste to soothe and relieve toothache, as well as a mouthwash to freshen the breath. The rind contains the most active medicinal components and is considered to be stimulant in action, particularly the aroma. The tea has antiseptic properties (due to the eugenol content in the berries) and is used primarily as a digestive aid for flatulence, intestinal gas and indigestion. The tea is also used as an appetite stimulant, and as a carminative. Both the tea and a poultice are used for rheumatism and neuralgia. Allspice lowers blood sugar (useful in diabetes) and improves protein absorption. The leaves are used in the bath for varicose veins, gout, and edema. The eugenol content is said to promote digestive enzymes in the body.

Magickal uses: Allspice encourages healing and is used in mixtures to ask for money and good fortune. Also used in determination and healing spells

Properties: Aromatic, carminative, stimulant

Growth: Allspice is harvested from a tree that is native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Allspice is the dried berry of the pimento, an evergreen tree growing to 40 feet in height. It bears opposite, leathery, oblong to oblong-lancelet leaves whose pinnately arranged veins show prominently on the underside. Small white flowers grow in many-flowered cymes in the upper leaf axils from June to August. The fruit is a fleshy, sweet berry which is purplish-black when ripe.

Poultice: Boil berries and make a thick paste. Spread on a soft clean cloth. The cloth can also be dipped in warm tea and used as hot pack                                                

Pimento water: Combine 5 parts crushed berries with 200 parts water and distill down to half the original volume. A dose is from 1-2 fluid ounces.                                                                                     

Oil: A dose is from 2-5 drops. For flatulence, take 2 or 3 drops on sugar                                                    

Powder: A dose is from 10-30 grains
Source:
Author: Crick
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Deity of the Day for July 28th is Nephthys

Deity of the Day

Nephthys

Nephthys /ˈnɛpθɨs/ (Greek: Νέφθυς) or Nebthet /ˈnɛbˌθɛt/ (Arabic: نيفتيس Nyftys) is a member of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis in Egyptian mythology, a daughter of Nut and Geb. Nephthys was typically paired with her sister Isis in funerary rites because of their role as protectors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as the sister-wife of Set.

Nephthys is the Greek form of an epithet (transliterated as Nebet-het, and Nebt-het, from Egyptian hieroglyphs).The origin of the goddess Nephthys is unclear but the literal translation of her name is usually given as “Lady of the House,” which has caused some to mistakenly identify her with the notion of a “housewife,” or as the primary lady who ruled a domestic household. This is a pervasive error repeated in many commentaries concerning this deity. Her name means quite specifically, “Lady of the [Temple] Enclosure” which associates her with the role of priestess.

This title, which may be more of an epithet describing her function than a given name, probably indicates the association of Nephthys with one particular temple or some specific aspect of the Egyptian temple ritual. Along with her sister Isis, Nephthys represented the temple pylon or trapezoidal tower gateway entrance to the temple which also displayed the flagstaff. This entrance way symbolised the horizon or akhet.

At the time of the Fifth Dynasty Pyramid Texts, Nephthys appears as a goddess of the Heliopolitan Ennead. She is the sister of Isis and companion of the war-like deity, Set. As sister of Isis and especially Osiris, Nephthys is a protective goddess who symbolizes the death experience, just as Isis represented the (re)birth experience.

Nephthys was known in some ancient Egyptian temple theologies and cosmologies as the “Useful Goddess” or the “Excellent Goddess”. These late Ancient Egyptian temple texts describe a goddess who represented divine assistance and protective guardianship.

Nephthys is regarded as the mother of the funerary-deity Anubis (Inpu) in some myths. Alternatively Anubis appears as the son of Bastet or Isis.

As the primary “nursing mother” of the incarnate Pharaonic-god, Horus, Nephthys also was considered to be the nurse of the reigning Pharaoh himself. Though other goddesses could assume this role, Nephthys was most usually portrayed in this function. In contrast Nephthys is sometimes featured as a rather ferocious and dangerous divinity, capable of incinerating the enemies of the Pharaoh with her fiery breath.

New Kingdom Ramesside Pharaohs, in particular, were enamored of Mother Nephthys, as is attested in various stelae and a wealth of inscriptions at Karnak and Luxor, where Nephthys was a member of that great city’s Ennead and her altars were present in the massive complex.
Triad of Isis, Nephthys, and Harpocrates. Early Greco-Roman. Walters Museum

Nephthys was typically paired with her sister Isis in funerary rites because of their role as protectors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as the sister-wife of Seth.

Less well understood than her sister Isis, Nephthys was no less important in Egyptian Religion as confirmed by the work of E. Hornung, along with the work of several noted scholars.

“Ascend and descend; descend with Nephthys, sink into darkness with the Night-bark. Ascend and descend; ascend with Isis, rise with the Day-bark.”

Pyramid Text Utterance 222 line 210.

In the funerary role, Nephthys often was depicted as a kite, or as a woman with falcon wings, usually outstretched as a symbol of protection. Nephthys’s association with the kite or the Egyptian hawk (and its piercing, mournful cries) evidently reminded the ancients of the lamentations usually offered for the dead by wailing women. In this capacity, it is easy to see how Nephthys could be associated with death and putrefaction in the Pyramid Texts. She was, almost without fail, depicted as crowned by the hieroglyphics signifying her name, which were a combination of signs for the sacred temple enclosure (hwt), along with the sign for neb, or mistress (Lady), on top of the enclosure sign.

Nephthys was clearly viewed as a morbid-but-crucial force of heavenly transition, i.e., the Pharaoh becomes strong for his journey to the afterlife through the intervention of Isis and Nephthys. The same divine power could be applied later to all of the dead, who were advised to consider Nephthys a necessary companion. According to the Pyramid Texts, Nephthys, along with Isis, was a force before whom demons trembled in fear, and whose magical spells were necessary for navigating the various levels of Duat, as the region of the afterlife was termed.

It should here be noted that Nephthys was not necessarily viewed as the polar opposite of Isis, but rather as a different reflection of the same reality: eternal life in transition. Thus, Nephthys was also seen in the Pyramid Texts as a supportive cosmic force occupying the night-bark on the journey of Ra, the majestic sun god, particularly when he entered Duat at the transitional time of dusk, or twilight. Isis was Ra’s companion at the coming of dawn.

Nephthys plays an important role in the Osirian myth-cycle.

It is Nephthys who assists Isis in gathering and mourning the dismembered portions of the body of Osiris, after his murder by the envious Set. Nephthys also serves as the nursemaid and watchful guardian of the infant Horus. The Pyramid Texts refer to Isis as the “birth-mother” and to Nephthys as the “nursing-mother” of Horus. Nephthys was attested as one of the four “Great Chiefs” ruling in the Osirian cult-center of Busiris, in the Delta and she appears to have occupied an honorary position at the holy city of Abydos. No cult is attested for her there, though she certainly figured as a goddess of great importance in the annual rites conducted, wherein two chosen females or priestesses played the roles of Isis and Nephthys and performed the elaborate ‘Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys’. There, at Abydos, Nephthys joined Isis as a mourner in the shrine known as the Osireion. These “Festival Songs of Isis and Nephthys” were ritual elements of many such Osirian rites in major ancient Egyptian cult-centers.

As a mortuary goddess (along with Isis, Neith, and Serqet), Nephthys was one of the protectresses of the Canopic jars of the Hapi. Hapi, one of the Sons of Horus, guarded the embalmed lungs. Thus we find Nephthys endowed with the epithet, “Nephthys of the Bed of Life,” in direct reference to her regenerative priorities on the embalming table. In the city of Memphis, Nephthys was duly honored with the title “Queen of the Embalmer’s Shop,” and there associated with the jackal-headed god Anubis as patron.

Nephthys was also considered a festive deity whose rites could mandate the liberal consumption of beer. In various reliefs at Edfu, Dendera, and Behbeit, Nephthys is depicted receiving lavish beer-offerings from the Pharaoh, which she would “return”, using her power as a beer-goddess “that [the pharaoh] may have joy with no hangover.” Elsewhere at Edfu, for example, Nephthys is a goddess who gives the Pharaoh power to see “that which is hidden by moonlight.” This fits well with more general textual themes that consider Nephthys to be a goddess whose unique domain was darkness, or the perilous edges of the desert.

Nephthys could also appear as one of the goddesses who assists at childbirth. One ancient Egyptian myth preserved in the Papyrus Westcar recounts the story of Isis, Nephthys, Meskhenet, and Heqet as traveling dancers in disguise, assisting the wife of a priest of Amun-Re as she prepares to bring forth sons who are destined for fame and fortune.

Nephthys’s healing skills and status as direct counterpart of Isis, steeped, as her sister in “words of power,” are evidenced by the abundance of faience amulets carved in her likeness, and by her presence in a variety of magical papyri that sought to summon her famously altruistic qualities to the aid of mortals.

The Ramesside Pharaohs were particularly devoted to Set’s prerogatives and, in the 19th Dynasty, a temple of Nephthys called the “House of Nephthys of Ramesses-Meriamun” was built or refurbished in the town of Sepermeru, midway between Oxyrhynchos and Herakleopolis, on the outskirts of the Fayyum and quite near to the modern site of Deshasheh. Here, as Papyrus Wilbour notes in its wealth of taxation records and land assessments, the temple of Nephthys was a specific foundation by Ramesses II, located in close proximity to (or within) the precinct of the enclosure of Set. To be certain, the House of Nephthys was one of fifty individual, land-owning temples delineated for this portion of the Middle Egyptian district in Papyrus Wilbour. The fields and other holdings belonging to Nephthys’s temple were under the authority of two Nephthys-prophets (named Penpmer and Merybarse) and one (mentioned) wa’ab priest of the goddess.

While certainly affiliated with the “House of Set,” the Nephthys temple at Sepermeru and its apportioned lands (several acres) clearly were under administration distinct from the Set institution. The Nephthys temple was a unique establishment in its own right, an independent entity. According to Papyrus Wilbour, another “House of Nephthys of Ramesses-Meriamun” seems to have existed to the north, in the town of Su, closer to the Fayyum region.

Another temple of Nephthys seems to have existed in the town of Punodjem. The Papyrus Bologna records a complaint lodged by a prophet of the temple of Set in that town regarding undue taxation in his regard. After making an introductory appeal to “Re-Horakhte, Set, and Nephthys” for the ultimate resolution of this issue by the royal Vizier, the prophet (named Pra’emhab) laments his workload. He notes his obvious administration of the “House of Set” and adds: “I am also responsible for the ship, and I am responsible likewise for the House of Nephthys, along with a heap of other temples.”

As “Nephthys of Ramesses-Meriamun,” the goddess and her shrines were under the particular endorsement of Ramesses II. The foundations of the Set and Nephthys temples at Sepermeru finally were discovered and identified in the 1980s, and the Nephthys temple was a self-sustaining temple complex within the Set enclosure.

There can be little doubt that a cult of Nephthys existed in the temple and great town of Herakleopolis, north of Sepermeru. A near life-sized statue of Nephthys (currently housed in the Louvre) boasts a curiously altered inscription. The basalt image originally was stationed at Medinet-Habu, as part of the cultic celebration of the Pharaonic “Sed-Festival,” but was transferred at some point to Herakleopolis and the temple of Herishef. The cult-image’s inscription originally pertained to “Nephthys, Foremost of the Sed [Festival] in the Booth of Annals” (at Medinet-Habu), but was re-inscribed or re-dedicated to “Nephthys, Foremost of the [Booths of] Herakleopolis.” A “prophet of Nephthys” is indeed attested for the town of Herakleopolis in the 30th Dynasty.

Nephthys was considered the unique protectress of the Sacred Phoenix, or the Bennu Bird. This role may have stemmed from an early association in her native Heliopolis, which was renowned for its “House of the Bennu” temple. In this role, Nephthys was given the name “Nephthys-Kheresket,” and a wealth of temple texts from Edfu, Dendera, Philae, Kom Ombo, El Qa’la, Esna, and others corroborate the late identification of Nephthys as the supreme goddess of Upper Egyptian Nome VII, where another shrine existed in honor of the Bennu. Nephthys also was the goddess of the “Mansion of the Sistrum” in Hwt-Sekhem (Gr. Diospolis Parva), the chief city of Nome VII. There, Nephthys was the primary protectress of the resident Osirian relic, of the Bennu Bird, and of the local Horus/Osiris manifestation, the god Neferhotep.

Nephthys was most widely and usually worshipped in ancient Egypt as part of a consortium of temple deities. Therefore, it should not surprise us that her cult images could likely be found as part of the divine entourage in temples at Kharga, Kellis, Deir el-Hagar, Koptos, Dendera, Philae, Sebennytos, Busiris, Shenhur, El Qa’la, Letopolis, Heliopolis, Abydos, Thebes, Dakleh Oasis, and indeed throughout Egypt. In most cases, Nephthys found her typical place as part of a triad alongside Osiris and Isis, or Isis and Horus, or Isis and Min, or as part of a quartet of deities. It is perhaps in this way that Nephthys best fulfilled her role as an important national deity whose ideal function was to provide powerful assistance to her associates in a great variety of temple cults—a truly “Useful” and “Excellent” goddess, as her primary epithets reflect.

Source:
Wikipedia

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A Thought Just for You….

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Astronomy Picture of the Day – Rainbows and Rays over Bryce Canyon

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2015 July 28

Rainbows and Rays over Bryce Canyon
Image Credit & Copyright: John Rummel

 

Explanation: What’s happening over Bryce Canyon? Two different optical effects that were captured in one image taken earlier this month. Both effects needed to have the Sun situated directly behind the photographer. The nearest apparition was the common rainbow, created by sunlight streaming from the setting sun over the head of the photographer, and scattering from raindrops in front of the canyon. If you look closely, even a second rainbow appears above the first. More rare, and perhaps more striking, are the rays of light that emanate out from the horizon above the canyon. These are known as anticrepuscular rays and result from sunlight streaming though breaks in the clouds, around the sky, and converging at the point 180 degrees around from the Sun. Geometrically, this antisolar point must coincide with the exact center of the rainbows. Located in Utah, USA, Bryce Canyon itself contains a picturesque array of ancient sedimentary rock spires known as hoodoos.

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Your Planet Tracker for July 28th: Venus in Virgo, July 18 to July 31

 

 

 

Planet Tracker

Venus in Virgo

Jul 18, 2015 to Jul 31, 2015

 

 

Venus is about love and relationships, while Virgo deals with life’s more practical matters. Superifically, this can be interpreted, then, as a period in which passion may give way to the mundane affairs of daily life. However, Virgo’s traditionally chaste image is not nearly so virginal as one might expect. It is, after all, an earth sign that appreciates the healthy functions of the human body, including sexuality.

A more balanced view is that Venus in Virgo is a time when pleasure is derived by understanding the fine details of life, be they related to love or work. An appreciation for refinement in the arts, food, nature and people is more likely during this period. This can help further the development of skills and techniques in all areas of creative expression.

In personal relationships Venus in Virgo can correspond with excess criticism. The idea is to take the sharpened perceptions of the moment and apply with a constructive, rather than destructive, attitude. In this way so-called “faults” are not reasons to tear down a person, but to clarify the issues that need attention and adjustment. This positive approach can make this a time in which relationships grow through greater awareness of what makes them tick and, thus, help to iron out the kinks. Passion flows more freely when obstacles are removed. Work makes way for love.

That handy expert in life’s little refinements, Martha Stewart, was born with Venus in Virgo, as was fellow foodie Julia Child. Tennis champions Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe, and the great conqueror of more than basketball, Wilt Chamberlain, also have this in their birth charts.

Hollywood couple Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas share Venus in Virgo, along with singers Chrissie Hynde, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt. Ms. Perfect Julie Andrews is a different kind of Venus in Virgo singer, as is Luciano Pavarotti. Penny Marshall, Carrie Fisher, Catherine Deneuve, Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford and Chevy Chase also belong to this group.

Conservatives Jesse Helms, Jerry Falwell and Casper Weinberger represent one end of the poltical spectrum, while George McGovern and William Kunstler come from the other. Ex-football coach Jimmy Johnson is a perfectly coiffed example of Venus in Virgo precision, but revolutionary rocker John Lennon reminds us that these symbols can stretch to include less conventional forms of personal expression.

 

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