March, the Third Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2017

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“March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.”

–  Susan Reiner, Spring Cleaning

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MARCH – STORM MOON

March is the third month of the Gregorian calendar, and it was the first month of the Roman calendar. The month is name for the Roman god of agriculture and war, Mars. Its astrological sign is Pisces, the fish (February 18 – March 20), a mutable water sign ruled by Neptune. March is a month of transition between winter and spring. Daffodils begin to brighten the early garden. The sap rises and robins return. In the hardware stores, shelves are stocked with garden tools and packages of flower and vegetable seeds. Still, late-season snowstorms are not unusual in March. Ostara, the main holiday of the month, celebrates the lengthening hours of daylight and the awakening of the Goddess. Eggs, whether dyed or intricately decorated are popular as seasonal symbols of life and fertility. *St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is rich with Pagan symbolism. For example, the shamrock was once used to depict the three aspect of the Goddess. Sunny, breezy days encourage kite-flying, another season activity. Kites are magical because they soar toward the realm of spirit. The ancients used the March wind to carry their wishes to the divine. The winds of March bring the promise of a new season and a fresh start. March’s Full Moon was called the Storm Moon, and it remains a potent time to work magic for change and renewal.

*Due to the historical treatment of St. Patrick toward our brothers, the Druids, we do not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, on March 17th, we celebrate Irish Heritage Day.

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March being named for Mars, the god of war, means protection of self and home also figures large at this time. Ancient calendars focus on March as the start of the new year. More recently, the 15th, or the “Ides of March,” brought ill fortune to Julius Caesar, and is considered by many to be unlucky. The last three day of March, long thought to be “borrowed days” of April, also called for caution. Consider doing just a little more to guard against negative energy of any sort, especially from the 10th to the 31st. A thorough house cleaning may be in order.

Excerpt from 2017 Llewellyn’s  Witches’ Spell-A Day, Emyme, Author

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March – Storm Moon

March rolls in like the proverbial lion, and if we’re really lucky, it might go out like a lamb. It’s the time of the Storm Moon, the month when Spring finally arrives, around the time of the Equinox, and we see new life begin to spring forth. As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, heavy rains and gray skies abound — the earth is being showered with the life-giving water it needs to have a fertile and healthy growing season. This is also a time of equal parts light and darkness, and so a time of balance.

Depending on where you live, this moon may be called the Seed Moon, Lenten Moon, or Chaste Moon. Polly Taskey at Pagan by Design says, “Anglo-Saxons called it Hraed-monat (rugged month), or Hlyd-monat (stormy month). A stormy March was an omen of poor crops, while a dry March indicated a rich harvest. Some books refer to February as the “Storm Month,” however, I find this inaccurate. Where I live, March often IS stormy, and as the old wives tale goes, “in like a lion, out like a lamb.”

As always, your March might not see the same weather as other people’s, because your environment depends on a number of factors. If you need to adapt March’s magical correspondences to those of a different month, then feel free to do so.

Correspondences

  • Colors: Green, yellow, light purple
  • Gemstones: Bloodstone, aquamarine
  • Trees: Dogwood, honeysuckle
  • Gods: Isis, the Morrighan, Artemis, Cybele
  • Herbs: High John, pennyroyal, wood betony, apple blossom
  • Element: Water

Storm Moon Magic

Use this month for magical workings related to rebirth and regrowth. New life is blooming during this phase of the moon, as is prosperity and fertility. Here are some things you can do this month – because really, it’s all about planning ahead:

  • Begin planning your magical herb garden for the year. What would you like to grow? Consider whether you want specifically medicinal and healing herbs, or if you’re going for a variety of magical purposes.
  • Are you thinking about making a change in your career? Now is the time to tidy up that dusty resume and get it up to date. Start researching the companies you’d really like to work for, and figure out what you need to do to make it happen. Make phones calls, network, send in applications, and take control of the reinvention of your career.
  • Got a storm rolling in? Place a jar or bucket outside so you can gather rain water for use in ritual. Bonus magical points to you if it’s collected during a lightning storm!
  • Spring seems to be a time of year when many of us start thinking about going back to school in the fall – that’s partly because for many colleges and universities, this is the season when they are finalizing acceptances. If you’re thinking about continuing your education, get those admissions forms competed!
  • If you’ve ever thought about changing your life, especially by making big changes, now is the time to plant the seeds for those efforts.
  • Place your magical tools outside for cleansing during the Storm Moon.

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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The Pagan Book of Days for the Month of March

The month of March is sacred to the Roman god Mars, whose equivalents are the Greek Ares and the old sky god of central and northern Europe, Tiu or Tiwaz. In northern and western Europe, this deity is known as the Celtic god Teutates and as the Norse god Tyr. His original name was Mavors. After Jupiter, Mars was the chief Roman god, often known as Marspater, Father Mars. He was worshiped at Rome as god of war, but he also the protect or of “the most honorable pursuit,” agriculture. Like many goddesses, Mars also appears under three aspects. As the martial god, he was Gradivus; as the rustic god, Silvanus, and as patron of the Roman state, Quirinus. He and his consort Neria, whose name means “strong,” are commemorated on March 25. The wolf and the woodpecker are sacred to Mars. In Ireland, the month of March is Mi an Mharta, also honoring the god Mars. The Anglo-Saxon name of this month was Hrethmonath, “Hertha’s month,” commemorating the Earth Mother goddess Hertha or Nerthus. Containing the vernal equinox, also called Alban Elir and Ostara, March is a month of reewal. This aspect of growth is present in the Frankish name for march, Lentzinmanoth, literally, “renewal month.” Modern Asatru calls March Lenting. The full moon of this month is called the Worm or Sap Moon in the American backwoods tradition.

The first part of March is occupied by the Celtic tree month of Nuin or Ash. On March 18, this gives way to Fearn, the Alder month. This is a tree of protection against conflict. Its sacred color is crimson. In the goddess calendar, the month of Moura ends on March 19th. The next month, Columbina, begins on the 20th. March’s birthstone is the bloodstone.

Who on this world of ours their eyes
In March first o’en shall be wise,
In days of peril, firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave.

The weather in March is said to begin and end in opposite ways. If the month comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb, and vice versa. Another adage is enshrined in the couplet:

So many mists in March you see
So many frosts in May will be.

Naturally, as the first notably springlike month, March is seen as a key month for later fertility, for, “A wet March makes a sad harvest,” and “A peck of March dust and a shower in May. Make the corn green and the meadows gay,” and  “A peck of March dust is worth a king’s ransom.” Also “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.” But “March flowers make no summer bowers.” The Jewish holiday of Purim is it movable feast that often occurs in March.

–The Pagan Book of Days, A Guide to the Festivals, Traditions, and Sacred Days of the Year
Nigel Pennick

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March’s Correspondences

NATURE SPIRITS: Mer-people, Air and Water beings who are connected with spring rains and storms.

HERBS: broom, High John Root, yellow dock, wood betony, Irish Moss.

FLOWERS: jonquil, daffodil, violet

TREES: alder, dogwood.

COLORS: pale green, red-violet

SCENTS: honeysuckle, apple blossom

STONES: aquamarine, bloodstone

ANIMALS: cougar, hedgehog, boar

BIRDS: sea crow, sea eagle

DEITIES: Black Isis, the Morrigan, Hecate, Cybele, Astarte, Athena, Minerva, Artemis, Luna.

POWER/ADVICE: Energy breaks into open, growing, prospering, exploring. New beginnings, balance of light and dark, breaking illusions. Seeing the truth in your life no matter how it may hurt.

 

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Symbols for the Month of March

March’s Sign of the Zodiac
Pisces (February 21 – March 20)
Aries (March 21 – April 20)

March’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Nuin – Ash (February 18 – March 17)
Fearn – Alder (March 18 – April 14)

March’s Runic Half Months
Tyr (February 27 – March 13)
Beorc (March 14 – March 29)
Ehwaz (March 30 – April 13)

March’s Birthstones
Aquamarine and bloodstone

March’s Birth Flower
Daffodil

Goddess
Ostara

 

March’s Folklore

“When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.”

“A dry March and a wet May bring barns and bays with corn and hay.”

“As it rains in March, so it rains in June.”

“March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”

 

Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

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Pagan Calendar of Events for March

  • 1: Matronalia, the Festival of Women
  • 6: Birthday of “official witch of Salem” Laurie Cabot in 1933
  • 17: St. Patrick’s Day
  • 17: Celtic Tree Month of Ash ends
  • 18: Celtic Tree Month of Alder begins
  • 20: Ostara
  • 20: Mabon (Southern Hemisphere)
  • 23: Full moon — Storm Moon at 8:01 am
  • 26: Birthday of author and folklorist Joseph Campbell
  • 28: Death of author Scott Cunningham in 1993

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Calendar published on & owned by About.com

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Ostara – The Spring Equinox

 

Many Holidays, Many Names

The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. Of course, it’s also the same time as the Christian Easter celebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover takes place as well. For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.

A New Day Begins

A dynasty of Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz — which means “new day.” It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries, and has its roots in Zoroastrianism. In Iran, a festival called Chahar-Shanbeh Suri takes place right before No Ruz begins, and people purify their homes and leap over fires to welcome the 13-day celebration of No Ruz.

Mad as a March Hare

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature’s fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol — this is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is superfecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn’t enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged.

The Legends of Mithras

The story of the Roman god, Mithras, is similar to the tale of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Born at the winter solstice and resurrected in the spring, Mithras helped his followers ascend to the realm of light after death. In one legend, Mithras, who was popular amongst members of the Roman military, was ordered by the Sun to sacrifice a white bull. He reluctantly obeyed, but at the moment when his knife entered the creature’s body, a miracle took place. The bull turned into the moon, and Mithras’ cloak became the night sky. Where the bull’s blood fell flowers grew, and stalks of grain sprouted from its tail.

Spring Celebrations Around the World

In ancient Rome, the followers of Cybele believed that their goddess had a consort who was born via a virgin birth. His name was Attis, and he died and was resurrected each year during the time of the vernal equinox on the Julian Calendar (between March 22 and March 25). Around the same time, the Germanic tribes honored a lunar goddess known as Ostara, who mated with a fertility god around this time of year, and then gave birth nine months later – at Yule.

The indigenous Mayan people in Central American have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo, Mexico, its “western face…is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid’s northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent.” This has been called “The Return of the Sun Serpent” since ancient times.

According to the Venerable Bede, Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox — almost the identical calculation as for the Christian Easter in the west. There is very little documented evidence to prove this, but one popular legend is that Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But “the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs…the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre.”

Modern Celebrations

This is a good time of year to start your seedlings. If you grow an herb garden, start getting the soil ready for late spring plantings. Celebrate the balance of light and dark as the sun begins to tip the scales, and the return of new growth is near.

Many modern Pagans celebrate Ostara as a time of renewal and rebirth. Take some time to celebrate the new life that surrounds you in nature — walk in park, lay in the grass, hike through a forest. As you do so, observe all the new things beginning around you — plants, flowers, insects, birds. Meditate upon the ever-moving Wheel of the Year, and celebrate the change of seasons.

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World

 

Spring Traditions Around the World

While Pagans are celebrating Ostara, and Christians are observing Easter, it’s important to remember that the dawning of spring has been observed for a long time in many other cultures as well. Traditions vary widely from one country to the next. Here are some ways that residents of different parts of the world observe the season.

Egypt

The Festival of Isis was held in ancient Egypt as a celebration of spring and rebirth. Isis features prominently in the story of the resurrection of her lover, Osiris. Although Isis’ major festival was held in the fall, folklorist Sir James Frazer says in The Golden Bough that “We are told that the Egyptians held a festival of Isis at the time when the Nile began to rise… the goddess was then mourning for the lost Osiris, and the tears which dropped from her eyes swelled the impetuous tide of the river.”

Iran

In Iran, the festival of No Ruz begins shortly before the vernal equinox.

The phrase “No Ruz” actually means “new day,” and this is a time of hope and rebirth. Typically, a lot of cleaning is done, old broken items are repaired, homes are repainted, and fresh flowers are gathered and displayed indoors. The Iranian new year begins on the day of the equinox, and typically people celebrate by getting outside for a picnic or other activity with their loved ones. No Ruz is deeply rooted in the beliefs of Zoroastrianism, which was the predominant religion in ancient Persia before Islam came along.

Ireland

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17. St. Patrick is known as a symbol of Ireland, particularly around every March. One of the reasons he’s so famous is because he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and was even credited with a miracle for this. What many people don’t realize is that the serpent was actually a metaphor for the early Pagan faiths of Ireland. St. Patrick brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle, and did such a good job of it that he practically eliminated Paganism from the country.

Italy

For the ancient Romans, the Feast of Cybele was a big deal every spring. Cybele was a mother goddess who was at the center of a Phrygian fertility cult, and eunuch priests performed mysterious rites in her honor. Her lover was Attis (who also happened to be her grandson), and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. In some areas, there is still an annual celebration of Attis’ rebirth and Cybele’s power, called the Hilaria, observed from March 15 to March 28.

Judaism

One of Judaism’s biggest festivals is Passover, which takes place in the middle of the Hebrew month of Nisan. It was a pilgrimage festival, and commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt after centuries of slavery. A special meal is held, called the Seder, and it is concluded with the story of the Jews leaving Egypt, and readings from a special book of prayers. Part of the eight-day Passover traditions include a thorough spring cleaning, going through the house from top to bottom.

Russia

In Russia, the celebration of Maslenitsa is observed as a time of the return of light and warmth. This folk festival is celebrated about seven weeks before Easter. During the Lent season, meat and fish and dairy products are prohibited. Maslentisa is the last chance anyone will get to enjoy those items for a while, so it’s typically a big festival held before the somber, introspective time of Lent. A straw effigy of the Lady of Maslenitsa, is burned in a bonfire. Leftover pancakes and blintzes are tossed in as well, and when the fire has burned away, the ashes are spread in the fields to fertilize the year’s crops.

Scotland (Lanark)

In the area of Lanark, Scotland, the spring season is welcomed with Whuppity Scoorie, held on March 1. Children assemble in front of a local church at sunrise, and when the sun comes up, they race around the church waving paper balls around their heads. At the end of the third and final lap, the children gather up coins thrown by local assemblymen. According to the Capital Scot, there’s a story that this event began ages ago when troublemakers were “scoored” in the Clyde River as punishment for bad behavior. It appears to be unique to Lanark, and does not seem to be observed anywhere else in Scotland.

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

 

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The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Chocolate Rabbit

Sure, Ostara is a time to celebrate spirituality and the turning of the earth, but there’s no reason we can’t have a good time with it as well. If you’ve got kids — or even if you don’t — this simple rite is a great way to welcome the season using some things that are readily available in the discount stores at this time of year!

Bear in mind, this is meant to be fun and a little bit silly. If you think the Universe has no sense of humor, click the Back button on your browser immediately to exit this page.

Arrange your ritual supplies on your altar so they look pretty. Kids can do this — typically the chocolate rabbits end up in the center, surrounded by an army of Peeps and several rings of jellybeans. A quick note — you might want to perform this ritual well in advance of mealtime, or all the kids will be too full of candy to eat a real dinner.

  • A bag of jellybeans
  • Marshmallow Peeps — chicks, bunnies, etc.
  • A chocolate rabbit for each participant
  • A glass of milk for each participant

First, give everyone present a handful of jellybeans. Point out the different colors in the jellybeans, and what they can represent. As you call out each one, eat the jellybeans in that color. Feel free to be a bit goofy. Say something like:

Behold, little jelly eggs, small symbols of the season,
How we adore you!
Green is for the grass that springs from the land! (eat all the green jellybeans)
Yellow is for the sun shining above our heads! (eat all your yellow jellybeans)
Red is for the tulips that grow in our garden! (eat your red jellybeans)
Pink is for Aunt Martha’s new Easter hat! (eat your pink jellybeans)
Purple is for the crocuses that sprout along our driveway! (eat the purple ones)

Continue this until all the colors are gone — if you really want to have some fun, make the kids take turns naming off the colors and what they mean to them. When they’re all gone, call out:

Hail! Hail! to the mighty jelly bean of Spring!

Next, hand out the marshmallow Peeps. As you do, say:

Behold the Peep! The Peep is life, brought back in the spring!
Little Peep chickens, we honor you! (bite the Peep chicks)
Little Peep bunnies, we honor you! (bite the Peep bunnies)…

Continue this until the Peeps are all gone — it’s probably a good idea to limit each kid to just two or three Peeps at the most. When the Peeps have all vanished, call out:

Hail! Hail! to the mighty Peeps of Spring!

Finally, distribute the chocolate rabbits. Say:

Behold the great chocolate rabbit!
As he hops through the land, he spreads joy and happiness!
O, how we adore the chocolate rabbit and his great big chocolate ears! (eat the rabbit’s ears)
Praise the chocolate rabbit, and his delicious chocolate tail! (eat the rabbit’s tail)
Honor this chocolate rabbit, and his chocolate hoppity legs! (eat the rabbit’s legs)
He is a wonderful rabbit, and he is special indeed! (eat the rest of the rabbit)

When the rabbits are all gone, say:

Hail! Hail! to the mighty chocolate rabbit of Spring!

Give everyone a glass of milk, and raise your drinks in a toast to these three symbols of the season.

To the jelly beans!
To the Peeps!
To the chocolate rabbit!
We drink in your honor!

Drink your milk, and sit back to enjoy the sensation of being stuffed with ritual candy.

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Ostara Spring Blessing

Lord and Lady of the Spring I welcome
you into my heart.
I thank you for bringing the light and
warmth back to our world.

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We are Witches
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.
–Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
Deborah Blake
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Lighten Up – Top Ten Cheesy Pick-Up Lines For Pagans

Top Ten Cheesy Pick-Up Lines For Pagans

10. Hey babe, what’s your sign? What’s it’s ascendant? What is your planet alignment in Venus during Cancer’s revolving around the Fourth House?

9. Read any good Llewellyn Books lately?

8. Would you like to come over to my place and widdershens?

7. Haven’t I seen you someplace before in another life?

6. Yes, I’m handfasted, but that’s not “technically” marriage.

5. So, do you draw down the moon here often?

4. What’s a nymph Goddess like you doing in a place like this?

3. You have the prettiest third eye I’ve ever seen.

2. You’re feet must be tired because you’ve been Spiral Dancing in my mind “all” night long.

And the Number One Cheesy Pick-Up Line for Pagans to Use at Gatherings is:

1. Is that a May Pole in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Your Daily Feng Shui Tip for June 27

Whether or not today is your birthday, I’m acting as if it is and celebrating you! So here’s a gift that keeps on giving with all my good wishes and love! Buy five helium-filled balloons, one of each of the following colors: red, yellow, white, pink and purple — never use blue, green or black balloons! Tie a tail on each balloon with nine or eighteen inches of red ribbon, string or thread. Use a new black felt-tip marker to write on each balloon one treasured wish that completely describes your heart’s desires. You can have five different wishes or write the same wish on all five balloons. Then take the balloons to an open space and release the ‘wish’ balloons one at a time. Visualize them turning into small golden orbs that are heading into the mouth and belly of the Sky Dragon. In gratitude for filling his tummy, he will then make your wishes come true sometime within the next year. Blow up your birthday and make a wish! This time you can count on it coming true!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com