Daily Feast, Elder Meditation, Think On These Things

  February 2 – Daily Feast

The drawback of having something go wrong is that we start believing we can’t do anything right. It is the beginning of a habit that makes us stumble where we have always stumbled. A subtle and secret conditioning sets in to make us believe we will fail – even before we start. It makes us wilt at the first sign of opposition, devastating us with criticism. It is then that we lose our grip and our good intentions – not just for the present time but for all time to come. The Cherokee learned long ago to say, “We no longer fall down when something challenges us. We no longer see ourselves as victims. But we are strong and able to overcome the most severe critic and break every habit that has kept us bound.”

~ Each day in the old times in summer and in winters, we came down to the river to bathe. This strengthened and toughened our firm skin. ~

CHIPAROPAI

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 2

“Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is everything where power moves.”

–Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa), OGLALA SIOUX

In these modern times it is difficult to understand why we should think circles and seasons. People and society are always moving, through distance, over yonder, going here and going there-hurry up, grow up, be successful, climb the ladder of success, etc. The Elders tell us to slow down, to be patient, pray and think circles. Circle thinking applies to relationships, business and every area of our lives. We need to teach our awareness to look for seasons and cycles.

My Creator, teach me the seasons of growth.

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‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We are all aware of the emotional effect color creates. And for this reason we choose colors that please the eye by first pleasing the inner emotions. Certain colors have the same effect on many, while other colors affect each of us individually and in particular ways.

Red has an exciting effect; green is cool serenity. Orange is the color of vivacity, and brown tones are restful earthy colors. People dress to enhance their appearances with certain colors. Homes are decorated and offices planned to create pleasant surroundings.

And we as individuals possess moods of many colors. Yet, we are far more careless about the color of that mood, letting the attitudes and colors of others dictate to us how we are to behave. If we could remember when we meet people whose moods are black, to remind ourselves that their moods are their own, there would be less involvement in the emotions of others.

We are so vividly aware of color, we must not be reckless in recognizing the color scheme within our own personality. Whether it is a vibrant color, sophisticated, or bright and witty, color always works its subtle magic.

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

The Goddess Companion

  
 
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By Patricia Monaghan

Every day, every night
that I praise the goddess,
I know I shall be safe:
I shall not be chased,
I shall not be caught,
I shall not be harmed.
Fire, sun, and moon
cannot burn me. Not
lake nor stream nor sea
can drown me. Fairy
arrow cannot pierce me.
I am safe, safe, safe,
singing her praise.
~The Shield of Brigid, Irish Prayer
 
This famous prayer was reputed to protect those who spoke it fervently from all evil. Originally an invocation to the goddess Brigid, it was later addresses to the saint who took her place and whose feast day, February 2, was the old Celtic feast of the goddess. Called Imbolc in earlier times, it became known as Candlemas, a feast of light celebrating the time when winter’s sway over this world was loosened, and spring at last beckoned.
 
The invocation was a shield against natural calamities as well as unnatural ones. For thousands of years the Irish prayed to the goddess, and then to the goddess-turned-saint, always asking for the same thing: to live out their lives in peace and plenty. Today we hope for more than just a good crop and no epidemics, good weather for harvest, and nothing to cripple our children. But is this not all we could hope for: enough to nourish us, both spiritually and physically, and people around us who love us?

Pagan Studies – Candlemas / Purification /Presentation / Our Lady of Candelaria

Pagan Studies  – Candlemas / Purification /Presentation / Our Lady of Candelaria

First celebrated on February 14th, in 350 at Jerusalem, when it would have coincided with the Roman festival of Lupercalia, it was later moved up to February 2nd. Pope Sergius declared it should be celebrated with processions and candles, to commemorate Simeon’s description of the child Jesus as a light to lighten the Gentiles. Candles blessed on this day were used as a protection from evil.

This is the ostensible reason given for the Catholic custom of bringing candles to church to be blessed by the priest on February 2nd, thus the name Candle-Mass. The candles are then taken home where they serve as talismans and protections from all sorts of disasters, much like Brigid’s crosses. In Hungary, according to Dorothy Spicer, February 2nd is called Blessing of the Candle of the Happy Woman. In Poland, it is called Mother of God who Saves Us From Thunder.

Actually this festival has long been associated with fire. Spicer writes that in ancient Armenia, this was the date of Cvarntarach, a pagan spring festival in honor of Mihr, the God of fire. Originally, fires were built in his honor in open places and a lantern was lit which burned in the temple throughout the year. When Armenia became Christian, the fires were built in church courtyards instead. People danced about the flames, jumped over them and carried home embers to kindle their own fires from the sacred flames.

The motif of fire also shows up in candle processions honoring St Agatha (Feb 5) and the legends of St Brigid (Feb 1). The fire represents the spark of new life, like the seeds blessed in northern Europe on St Blaise’s Day (Feb 3) and carried home to “kindle” the existing seed.

The English have many rhymes which prognosticate about future weather based on the weather on Candlemas Day:

If Candlemas Day bring snow and rain
Winter is gone and won’t come again
If Candlemas Day be clear and bright
Winter will have another flight.

These are all similar to the American custom of predicting the weather on Groundhog’s Day, in that you don’t want the groundhog to see his shadow. In Germany, they say that the shepherd would rather see the wolf enter his stable than the sun on Candlemas Day.

The ancient Armenians used the wind to predict the weather for the coming year by watching the smoke drifting up from the bonfires lit in honor of Mihr. The Scots also observed the wind on Candlemas as recorded in this rhyme:

If this night’s wind blow south
It betokeneth warmth and growth;
If west, much milk and fish in the sea;
If north, much cold and snow there will be;
If east, the trees will bear much fruit;
If north-east, flee it, man, woman and brute.

This was also a holiday for Millers when windmills stand idle. In Crete it is said that they won’t turn even if the miller tries to start them.

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If Candlemas……

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again. 
 
 
 

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There’ll be two winters in the year.

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.

If the sun shines on Groundhog Day;
Half the fuel and half the hay.

 
 
 
 

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archive 

Enjoy a Happy GroundHogs Day, USA

Enjoy a Happy GroundHogs Day, USA

  
Woodchuck/Marmot/Ground Hog’s Wisdom Includes:  

  
Sense of family and community
Connection to seasonal changes
Understands the power of cycles
Ability to hibernate (sleep) during hard times
Protection from floods
Ability to go underground when trouble arises 

  
 
 Resources : GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives 
 
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February 2

February 2
Bonza Bottler Day
Brew Hog Day
Candlemas
Dia de la Candelaria (Mexico)
Feast of Pan
Feast of Torches
Groundhog Day
Lupercalia
National Heavenly Hash Day
Presentation of Our Lord (fka the Purification of the Virgin Mary)
Purification Day
Shaving of the Candlemas Bear Masque (Pyrenees)
St. Joan de Lestonnac’s Day
Wand Dedication Day (Fairy)
Wives’ Feast Day
Yuma Crossing Day
 

© 1999 Mara Freeman 

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

CANDLEMAS

 

CANDLEMAS
 
A wondrous force and might
Doth in these candels lie…         
~ Barnaby Gouge: The Popish Kingdome
 
In keeping with the policy of the Catholic Church to subsume pagan festivals into Christian feast-days, the Day of Bride became equated with Candlemas on February 2nd, the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At this time, forty days after childbirth, Mary was supposed to have gone to the Temple at Jerusalem to make the traditional offering to purify herself. As she entered the temple, an old man named Simeon recognized the baby as the Messiah of Israel, and a “light to lighten the Gentiles.”
 
So, once again we encounter the archetype of the young Sun or Light come to redeem the darkness, but now in Christian clothing. Certainly, the service most used for this day in the medieval church made much of this symbolism, playing upon images of the appearance of divine light in the darkness of human sin, of renewal and rebirth of light in the dark time of the year, and of the new light of heaven come to transform an old world.
 
In Britain, Candlemas was celebrated with a festival of lights. In the dark and gloomy days of February, the shadowy recesses of medieval churches twinkled brightly as each member of the congregation carried a lighted candle in procession around the church, to be blessed by the priest. Afterwards, the candles were brought home to be used to keep away storms, demons and other evils. This custom lasted in England until it was banned in the Reformation for promoting the veneration of magical objects. Even so, the symbol of the lighted candles had too strong a hold on the popular imagination to be entirely cast aside. Traces of the festival lingered until quite recently in other areas of the British Isles like little lights that refused to be blown out. In Wales, Candlemas was known as Gwyl Fair y Canhwyllau, Mary’s Festival of the Candles, and was celebrated as late as the 19th century by setting a lighted candle in the windows or at the table on this night. Special Candlemas carols were sung by singers who processed from house to house. One of these contains the lines:
 
Hail reign a fair maid with gold upon your chin,
Open up the East Gate and let the New year in;
 
The carolers had to undergo a contest of riddles before being allowed to enter (an example of ritual at a liminal place.) When they were allowed in, they might see a young girl with a baby boy on her lap, surrounded by candles, to whom they sang once more and pledged in drink. She of course personified Virgin and Child, but in a country where Catholicism never had a strong hold, it is not difficult to discern a pre-Christian custom similar to the Scottish welcoming of Bride behind the Christian trappings.
 
In the county of Shropshire, the snowdrop, first flower of spring, took the place of candles, being named, “Candlemas bells,” “Purification flowers” or – with a faint remembrance of Brigid, perhaps – “Fair Maid of February.” And an interesting survival was noted in Cornwall, where until recently in the town of St. Ives, a silver ball was passed around from 10.30 till noon on this day throughout the streets and on the beach. It was started off by the mayor at the parish church, and whoever holds the ball at noon receives a small prize. The significance and history of this unusual and isolated custom is not known. Does the silver ball represent the pale orb of the returning sun?
 
Finally, traces of the festival of the growing light can even be traced to modern America in the Groundhog Day custom on
February 2.  If the groundhog sees his shadow on this morning, it means there will be six more weeks of winter. The custom
comes directly from Europe, and Scotland in particular, where an old couplet goes:
 
If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
there’ll be two winters in the year.

A Scottish rhyme about the Feast Day of Bride begins:

This is the day of Bride,
The queen will come from the mound…
 
In other versions it is a “serpent” that will emerge from a hole, an allusion which Professor Séamus Ó Cáthain has linked to Scandinavian customs regarding the reappearance of the hibernating bear.  For this is the time when the animal world begins to stir from its winter sleep in the depths of earth, and life and light is ushered in by Brigid, the Queen.
 
© 1999 Mara Freeman 

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

Today Is: Woden’s Day

Today Is:     Woden’s Day

 
Energy: Male Ruler: Mercury – Rules healings, the mind – Use for magick involving mental issues, learning, higher education, addictions, communications, travel, young people, messages, perception, self-expression, artists, poets, and writers 
Today’s Magickal Influences: Conjurations, Predictions, Knowledge, Writing, Eloquence
Today’s Goddesses: Aset [Isis], Demeter, Ceres, Spider Woman, Bona Dea, Oya, Devi-Kali, Hella, Rhiannon, Coatlique, Maman Brigette, Sekhmet, Het Heret [Hathor]
Incense:   Cinnamon, Cinquefoil
Perfumes: Sweetpea, Lavender, Mastic, Frankincense, Cloves
Color of The Day:  Yellow, Gray, Violet
Colors for Tomorrow: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Lucky Sign: Wednesday Is The Lucky Day For Gemini  And Virgo 
Candle: Purple Violet
 
In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention