“The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest will soon be upon us.
We have food on our tables, and
the soil is fertile.
Nature’s bounty, the gift of the earth,
gives us reasons to be thankful.
Mother of the Harvest, with your sickle and basket,
bless me with abundance and plenty.
The power of the Harvest is within me.
As the seed falls to the earth and is reborn each year,
I too grow as the seasons change.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I too will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I too will bloom where I landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I too will set aside that which I can use later.
As the grain dies, it transforms to bread,
and brings us life through the winter.
We bless this bread, and it blesses us in return,
and we are thankful for the gift of the harvest.”
– Patti Wigington, Hold a Lammas Harvest Festival
August – The Corn Moon
The eighth calendar month is full of the last hurrahs or summer (or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). Originally the sixth month of the Roman calendar, August was known as Sextilis until the Senate changed it to Augustus sometime around 8 BC. This was in honor of Augustus Caesar. August was full of holidays. THe month started with a public festival honoring Spes, the Goddess of hope, and ended with the Charisteria, a feast at which to give thanks. Most of the deities honored in August were fertility and harvest gods. The Anglo-Saxons referred to August as Weod Monath (Weed Month) or Arn-monath (Barn Month). In the Northern Hemisphere, August marks the start of the harvest seasson festivals, with the celebration of Lughnassad, or Lammas, on the 1st.
August starts out in the constellation of Leo, a fixed fire sign and moves into VIrgo, a mutable earth sigh, around the 20th.Its astrological sign is Leo the lion(July 22 – August 23), 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 forthy bounty. In nature, yellow and gold dominate with corn, sunflowers, black-eyed Susans and goldenrod brightening the landscape. In August you can occasionally feel the breath of autumm. 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 magick for the Corn Moon may focus on health, fertility or abundance.
The Corn Moon
In late August, we celebrate the beginning of the Corn Moon. This moon phase is also known as the Barley Moon, and carries on the associations of grain and rebirth that we saw back at Lammastide. August was originally known as Sextilis by the ancient Romans, but was later renamed for Augustus (Octavian) Caesar.
Colors: Yellow, red, orange
Gemstones: Tigers eye, carnelian, garnet, red agate
Trees: Cedar and hazel
Gods: Vulcan, Mars, Nemesis, Hecate, Hathor, Thoth
Herbs: Rosemary, basil, rue, chamomile
Harness some of the Corn Moon’s fiery energy for your ritual and spell work. This is a good time to focus on your spiritual and physical health. It’s the time to harvest what you can now to put aside for later use. What sacrifices can you make today that will benefit you further down the road?
Also Known As: Barley Moon
Nature Spirits: Dryads
Herbs: Chamomile, St. Johns wort, bay angelica, fennel, rue, orange
Colors: Yellow, gold
Flowers: Sunflower, marigold
Scents: Frankincense, heliotrope
Stones: Cat’s eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate
Trees: Hazel, alder, cedar
Animals: Lion, phoenix, sphinx, dragon
Birds: Crane, falcon, eagle
Deities: Ganesha, Thoth, Hathor, Diana, Hecate, Nemesis
Power Flow: Energy into harvesting; gathering, appreciating. Vitality, health. Friendships.
Symbols for the Month of August
August’s Festival: Lammas(Lughnasadh). The first harvest.
Symbols includes scythese and sickles, all grains, sheaves of wheat, honey, grapes, and wine.
August’s Sign of the Zodiac
Leo (July 21 – August 20)
Virgo (August 21 – September 20)
August’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Tinne (July 8 – August 4)
Coll (August 5 – September 1)
August’s Runic Half Months
Thorn (July 29 – August 12)
As (August 13 – August 28)
Rad (August 29 – September 13)
Peridot and Sardonyx
August’s Birth Flowers
Sunflower, cornflower, and harebell
Other: A time for carnivals and festivals
“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 Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Calendar of Events for August
8 – Festival of Venus (sunset to sunset)
13 – Festival of Hecate
15 – Festival of Vesta
17 – Festival of Diana
19 – Vinalia Rustica
21 – Consualia
23 – Festival of Nemesea
– Festival of Vertumnalia
24 – Festival of Mania
25 – Opiconsivia (Festival of Ops (Rhea))
27 – Day sacred to Consus
30 – Festival of Charisteria
1 – Lammas (Wiccan)
– Brotmesse (Norse)
– First Festival of Harvest (Traditional)
3 – Aomori Nebuta (Japanese)
6 – Day of the Earth and Sun Goddesses (Cherokee)
– The Day of the Transfiguration (Gnostic)
7 – Breaking of the Nile (Ancient Egypt)
11 – Puck Fair (Irish Traditional)
13 – Day of Hecate (Ancient Greek)
– Runic Half-month of As begins (Norse)
15 – Moon festival (Chinese)
– Odins Ordeal (Norse)
18 – Festival of Hungry Ghosts (Chinese)
25 Festival of Discovery – discovery of the runes (Norse)
27 – Festival of Devaki (Indian)
28 – Harvest Festival (Norwegian)
29 – Gelede – dancing and mask ritual (African)
– Urda/Runic Half-month of Rad begins (Norse)
Find Where You Fit In
Everyone wants to fit in, that is no secret. You want to feel like you are a part of something special, and it is the same with Witchcraft. Just as there are several different sanctions of Catholicism and Christianity, there are many different branches of Wicca as well. In fact, it seems that the Wiccan religion is more flexible than even Christianity because Wiccans can make their own groups based on their belief system. Find your Wiccan community, and if you don’t feel like you fit in, just go on your own way, and be a lone wolf. There are a lot of lone wolf Wiccans.
This is one of the best known types of Wiccan groups. Think of it like the country club for Wiccans. This is a large group of Wiccans that schedule regular meetings, and they often have club dues. Along with having dues, they often have a lot of rules and regulations that you don’t see in a less strict group of Wiccans, but that is because they want their coven to stay on the straight and narrow, and when you have too many witches in one group, then you could have some serious issues if one of them go rogue. You as a part of the coven could get taken down with the rogue. So covens have to be kind of strict to keep things organized.
Covens are also great for beginners because there are rules. It may feel confining to not be able to find your style in the beginning, but you could grow to appreciate having so much help as you are learning. With covens, it is an all hands on deck deal. If one member is not up to par, all members of the coven pitch in to help the weak link. However, within a reasonable amount of time, there are possibilities you may get kicked out if you are in a pretentious coven. It is for the best if you are kicked out of a coven like that. A coven based on pretenses is one that has the most risk of turning to dark magic.
If you feel like a coven could be a good fit for you, you can go online to find one that is near you. There are a lot of online forums for Wiccan covens. This is often how they find new members in their area. If you are interested in it, try it for yourself.
A circle is a little different than a coven. The main difference is the size. A circle is always five people no matter what. One person for each element. The best part about this is, you can build your own circle pretty easily if you know four other Wiccans. Circles have rules and regulations like a coven, but they are often less strict due to the fact that they do not have the sheer volume that covens have.
Circles are a great way to establish rituals, and learning how to cast spells. If you do not feel like starting your own circle, you can look to see if there is a circle that is needing a new member online. Circles are great because you have people who can help you get to their level, and you don’t have to worry about pretentiousness. You also don’t have to worry about information overload, because there are a lot fewer people who are helping you.
When you are a part of a circle, it can be a great bonding experience as well. Since you don’t have to pay dues to be in a circle, you find yourself making true bonds with the people you are working with. In a coven you are making forced bonds because you paid your money to be there, and you have to drag your butt there at least once a month. More if there is a celebration that month.
With a circle, you don’t have to meet a certain amount of times if you choose not to. Most circles only meet when there is a need, or they feel they need to practice a spell. Needs could be a pollution problem in the area, and needing to cast a protection spell on the trees and the earth. Or it could be a drought, and you need to beg to Mother Goddess to please bring rain. These are some of the needs that circles meet for. If one of you finds a spell that you think is useful, you may meet several days in a row to practice it until you have it down.
Circles also meet for celebrations, but rather than a whole ordeal where an Elder gets up and speaks about how you should thank the great goddess and horned god that you are able to gather with your brothers and sisters in this time of power and all the other things that Elders drone on about, you can actually be out there using your power. This is one of the best perks of being a part of a circle.
If you feel like you might fit in with a circle, you can either start your own or look for one in your area looking for a new member. You never know, you might find the place that you belong.
This is a group of Wiccans who really don’t have a lot of rules, and are all at multiple different levels. It is great if you do not want to be pressured into having to become great in a short period of time, but the lack of rules and structure can cause a lot of rogues if you are not careful.
Eclectic groups are made up of a lot of different Wiccans, of all different ages. This makes it the most different from covens and circles because with circles, it is generally people around the same age, and with covens, there are groups of ages. And by a certain age, you are expected to be at a certain level. With an eclectic group, you may find a twenty-one-year-old at a level seven, and a forty-year-old at a level two. There is no limit for what level you have to be at what age. You just have to be willing to put in the time, and the effort to become the best you can be.
Eclectic groups are also a little out there when it comes to beliefs. They are like the hippies of the Wiccan world. They have some radical ideas that could change the world, but they are often looked down upon by “civilized” groups such as covens or circles. Because eclectic groups are so different, there is not a lot of information on what they do, but if you want to find out what they do, you could look online for an eclectic forum and learn more about if there is a group in your area taking members.
Some Wiccans choose to learn the ropes by themselves, rather than let someone else take the reins. This is because they do not want to be steered in the wrong direction due to choosing the wrong group, or because they are just more comfortable being alone.
If you choose to be alone, you have to be good at self-motivating. However, it is a lot easier to learn at your own pace and you don’t have to search for a group.
Wicca for Beginners: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Wiccan Beliefs, Rituals, and Magic (Wicca, Wicca Spells, Wicca Books, Wicca Symbols)
Valerie W. Holt
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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