“What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words.
What if the temple was the earth
If forests were our church
If holy water – the rivers, lakes, and oceans.
What if meditation was our relationships
If the Teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.”
– Ganga White, for the Rainforest Benefit, New York City, April 1998
JULY – THE BLESSING MOON
July is the seventh month of the year. Its astrological sign is Cancer, the crab (June 12 – July 13), 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 harvest, 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 afternoon, bringing a promise of rain. Dragonflies skim the surface of ponds, and vacationers head to the shores. Salt water and seashells are good ways to include the element of water in any rituals now. Independence Day, July 4th, is the major holiday of high summer. Not only can we celebrate our nation’s independence, we can also 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. Magic 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 Blessing Moon
July’s full moon is known as the Blessing Moon, although it’s also called the Meadow Moon. July was originally called Quintilus, but was later renamed in honor of Julius Caesar. Falling in the heat of the middle of summer, this moon phase takes place when we’re all feeling a bit lazy and sluggish – after all, going outside can seem like a chore as the heat index climbs. Physically, we’re often a bit slower than usual in July, which is why this is a good time of the year to focus on meditation and dream work.
This is indeed a season of blessings – if you’ve got a garden growing, July is when you’re starting to see fat tomatoes form on the vine, plump peppers, watermelons, and the beginnings of squash for later harvesting. Your flowers are blooming, and corn stalks are on their way to being tall and bountiful. If you have herbs growing, now is the perfect season to start thinking about harvesting and drying them for later magical use.
Colors: Green, silver, blue-gray
Gemstones: Moonstone, white agate, opals or pearls
Trees: Ash and oak
Gods: Juno, Venus, Cerridwen, Athena, Nephthys, Lugh
Herbs: Mugwort, hyssop, lemon balm
Blessing Moon Magic
This is a great time to do divination and dreamwork. For a bit of moon magic divination, consider doing some full moon water scrying.
If you’ve ever thought about creating a dream journal, this month is a good time to start one. Dreams can be prophetic, in that they may tell us of things yet to come, or they can be therapeutic, a way of our subconscious acknowledging problems that have to be resolved. Write down your dreams so you can try to interpret their messages later, and see how they’ll apply to your life in the coming months.
Find a way to incorporate the watery energy of the Blessing Moon into your spell crafting and ritual. Enjoy the relaxing feeling of July’s full moon and use it in your personal meditation. If you garden, get outside and do some weeding. Turn it into a meditative exercise, pulling weeds as a way of getting rid of the emotional and spiritual clutter that may be stifling your happiness.
—-Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com
The Pagan Book of Days for the Month of July
July is named after Julius Caesar, who organized the previously chaotic Roman calendar with the help of Alexandrian sage to form the Julian calendar. This new calendar was instituted in the year 46 B.C.E., known as the year of confusion after the chaos caused by changing from one calendar to another in the West for the next 1600 years. It was current in Britain until 1752, although it was replaced in Catholic countries by the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Some customary days are still kept in the “Old Style,” that is the Julian calendar; rather than the current “New Style” Gregorian one. When the newer calendar was set up. Julius’s name remained on the seventh month in commemoration of his work.
As with the modern English name, the Irish name of this month is based on Julius, Iuil. The Anglo-Saxon name for July is Aeftera Litha, “after Litha,” acknowledging its position after the Summer Solstice. An alternative Anglo-Saxon name for the month of July is Maedmonat, “meadow month,” because the meadows are at their greatest point of growth in this month. July’s Frankish name is related to hewimanoth, “hay month,” a name that is continue in modern Asatru as Haymoon. These moon names describe the traditional labor of the month, hay cutting. The Full Moon this month is the Buck Moon in the American backwoods tradition.
The Celtic tree-calendar month of the oak, Duir, ends on 7 July. The following day sees the beginning of the month of Tinne, the holly tree. This is a month of balance, whose sacred color is dark gray-green. A complementary meaning of Tinne is fire, appropriate for July, the fieriest monthof the year. In the Goddess calendar, the month of Rosea ends on 10 July. It is followed on 11 July by Kerea.
The birthstone of July is the ruby, whose adage goes:
The glowing Ruby shall adorn
Those who in warm July are born.
Then will be exempt and free
From love’s doubt and anxiety.
Weather lore for July says that rain in the third hour of a July afternoon is the heaviest in the year. July 15th is St. Swithin’s Day, a weather marker. A country weather rhyme for July is:
A shower of rain in July, when the corn begins to fill,
Is worth a plough of oxen, and all belongs theretill.
In this month is Swithin’s Day,
On which, if that rain, men say,
Full forty days after it will
For more or less some rain distil,
Till Swithin’s Day is past and gone
There may be hops, or they may be none.
––The Pagan Book of Days, A Guide to the Festivals, Traditions, and Sacred Days of the Year
Correspondences for the Month of July
NATURE SPIRITS: faeries of the crops, hobgoblins
DEITIES: Khepera, Athene, Juno, Hel, Holda, Cerridwen, Venus
BIRDS: starling, ibis, swallow
ANIMALS: Crab, turtle, dolphin and whale
TREES: Oak, acacia, ash
STONES: pearl, moonstone, white agate
SCENTS: orris and frankincense
COLORS: Blue, gray and silver
HERBS: honeysuckle, agrimony, lemon balm, hyssop
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
The Goddesses of July
Ishtar, Apt, Apet, Athena, Demeter, Persephone, Sothis, Rosea, Spider Woman
July’s Sign of the Zodiac
Cancer (the Crab): June 21 – July 20
Leo (the Lion): July 21 – August 20
July’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Duir – Oak (June 19 – July 7)
Tinne – Holly (July 8 – August 4)
July’s Runic Half Months
Feoh (June 29 – July 3)
Ur (July 14 – 28)
Thorn (July 29 – August 12)
Ruby and Carnelian
July’s Birth Flowers
Jasmine, honeysuckle, travelers’ joy, crane’s bill, meadowsweet
Influencial Powers of July
Energy of the Sun and Earth; grounding and abundance
Pagan Calendar for July 2016
7: Celtic Tree Month of Oak ends
8: Celtic Tree Month of Holly begins
13: Birthday of Dr. John Dee in 1527
19: Full moon — Blessing Moon at 6:59 pm
19: Rebecca Nurse is hanged in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692
31: Birthday of author JK Rowling
July 7th: The Oak moon falls during a time when the trees are beginning to reach their full blooming stages. The mighty Oak is strong, powerful, and typically towering over all of its neighbors. The Oak King rules over the summer months, and this tree was sacred to the Druids. The Celts called this month Duir, which some scholars believe to mean “door”, the root word of “Druid”. The Oak is connected with spells for protection and strength, fertility, money and success, and good fortune.
July 8th: Although the Oak ruled in the previous month, its counterpart, the Holly, takes over in July. This evergreen plant reminds us all year long about the immortality of nature. The Holly moon was called Tinne, pronounced chihnn-uh, by the Celts, who knew the potent Holly was a symbol of masculine energy and firmness. The ancients used the wood of the Holly in the construction of weapons, but also in protective magic.
July 19th: July’s full moon is known as the Blessing Moon, although it’s also called the Meadow Moon. July was originally called Quintilus, but was later renamed in honor of Julius Caesar. This is indeed a season of blessings – if you’ve got a garden growing, July is when you’re starting to see fat tomatoes form on the vine, plump peppers, watermelons, and the beginnings of squash for later harvesting. Your flowers are blooming, and corn stalks are on their way to being tall and bountiful. If you have herbs growing, now is the perfect season to start thinking about harvesting and drying them for later magical use.
July 19th: Rebecca Nurse was one of a number of people who were executed in Salem, Massachusetts, for the crime of witchcraft. The charges against Rebecca came as a surprise to her neighbors – in addition to being an elderly woman who was highly respected, she was also known for being a devout churchgoer.
Witchy Ways to Celebrate July
Decorate your home and altar with fragrant lavender and honeysuckle; light beeswax candles to honor the honey bees.
Eat seasonal food outside. Have a picnic, leaving some food behind as an offering to the earth.
Do something new with your magic. Work with different elements and spell ingredients, or cook a new recipe with love.
Spell for the prosperity of other countries. Send healing and blessings out to the world.
Spend time outside barefoot on the earth. Make a magic map of where you live and what’s around you. If you have children, include them.
“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
We walk the path of the Old Gods
From this moment forth
We will not walk alone
Together, we will worship
Together, we will practice our Craft
Together, we will learn and grow
We vow to work, from this day forward
In perfect love and perfect trust
According to the free will of all
And for the good of all
Creating only beauty
Singing in harmony
Our song upon the Earth
Love is the law and love is the bond
In the name of the Goddess and the God
So do we vow, and so mote it be.
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