“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 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 amongst the bee balm, and mint varieties spread like wildfire. Water is an important magickal element in July. Birds refresh themselves in birdbaths. Thunder rumbles on hot afternoons, bringing a promise of rain. Dragonflies skim the surface of ponds.
The month of July is also wonderful time to care for your local faery folk. Create a small shrine for them in your yard or garden. Leave out a saucer with a bit of honey and butter—they will appreciate it, and may bless you with wisdom and joy. Keep some rue in your pocket to avoid being led astray by the faeries in one of their wilder moments!
You might also craft a protective summer herbal amulet. Gather either tree or nine of the following herbs before sunrise: chamomile, clover, comfrey, ivy. lavender, mugwort, nettle, plantain rose, rue. St. John’s wort, sweet woodruff, thyme, wort, vervain and yarrow. Dry the herbs in a cool dark place for a few days, then crumble and use to fill a small pouch. Carry, wear, or keep your summer amulet nearby for blessings and protection.
Exerpt from Llewellyn’s 2017 Witches Spell-A-Day Almanac
“The Month of July” article by Susan Pesznecker
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.
Nature Spirits: hobgoblins (small grotesque but friendly brownie-type creatures), faeries of harvested crops.
Herbs: honeysuckle, agrimony, lemon balm, hyssop
Colors: silver, blue-gray
Flowers: lotus, water lily, jasmine
Scents: orris, frankincense
Stones: pearl, moonstone, white agate
Trees: oak, acacia ash
Animals: crab, turtle, dolphin, whale
Birds: starling, ibis, swallow
Deities: Khepera, Athene, Juno, Hel, Holda, Cerridwen, Nephtys, Venus
Powers/Advice: Relaxed energy; preparing, succeeding. Dream work; divination and meditation on goals and plans, especially spiritual ones.
Symbols for the Month of July
July’s Festival: None this Month
July’s Sign of the Zodiac
Cancer(June 21 – July 20)
Leo (July 21 – August 20)
July’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Duir (June 10 – July 7)
Tinne (July 8 – August 4)
July’s Runic Half Months
Feoh (June 29 – July 13)
Ur (July 14 – July 28)
Thorn (July 29 – August 12)
Ruby and carnelian
July’s Birth Flower
Jasmine, honeysuckle, travelers’ joy, crane’s bill, meadowsweet
Other: Start of the crop circle season and the school holidays. St. Swithin’s Day.
“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.”
Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Pagan Calendar of Events for July
4: Independence Day
7: Celtic Tree Month of Oak ends
8: Celtic Tree Month of Holly begins
9: Full moon — Blessing Moon at 12:08 am. This is a time to work on divination, dreamwork and meditation. Count your blessings this month, and think about what you can do to bring more of them into your life.
13: Birthday of Dr. John Dee in 1527
19: Rebecca Nurse is hanged in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692
31: Birthday of author JK Rowling
Fire is the element that I believe connects us most strongly to our ancestors. We all use fire in our day-to-day lives to perform pure alchemy. Since the first discovery of the spark, we have built fires and looked into the flames, sent wishes to the heavens in their whirling smoke, and transformed our food magically with their heat. So when we look to the element of fire for our magic, we are tapping into something strong and primal— something ancient and powerful that links us closely to all of those who have gone before us. When we cook, we work magically with the fire element, but sometimes it is wonderful to work with this element in a different way. Sometimes it helps to get back to basics.
Although there are table-top fires available for indoor use— and, of course, there is candle magic— I like to work my fire magic outside. This allows my intent to be carried away. It is so much safer, and it saves all that flapping around under the fire alarm with a tea towel. Come on, you know you’ve done it too!
When you are ready for fire magic, you must first decide where to build your fire. Unless you have an actual fire pit in your garden, be aware of all the things around your yard that could go up in flames without a little care. Avoid building your fire next to a fence or shed. If you build your fire out in the countryside, always consider the worse-case scenario and make sure you prepare properly. And keep things small. Always have water on hand to extinguish your flames at the end of your ritual.
Next, gather twigs for your fire. Keep the pieces small; you don’t need a raging inferno to produce powerful fire magic. Different woods give off different kinds of smoke; but as long as they are dry, any twigs will burn well. Avoid using elder twigs, however, as they don’t burn well. And you should never burn elder anyway, as it is considered to be the “witches’ tree.” Extremely bad luck!
Once you have a safe location for your fire and something to burn, you can get started.
– Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Fire Ritual for Healing
You will need:
A small piece of paper
A pencil or pen
A pinch of dried thyme
Light your fire, keeping it small and contained. As the flames start to catch, focus on them dancing in front of you. Let the flames lull you into a strong focus on your intent. Think of the world being healed from all damage, being restored to health and vibrancy. Keep your intent pure and strong as you watch the flames gather intensity. Raise the power and energy within you in line with the flames.
When you feel full of power and focused on your goal, write your words on the piece of paper. Speak from the heart and keep your words simple and pure. If you are sending healing to someone else, focus on the image of that person being well as you write. If you are sending out healing to the world, focus on Mother Nature being strong and vibrant. Always keep your mind on the desired outcome of your ritual; see things in your mind’s eye as you wish them to be.
With focus, place the piece of paper carrying your words carefully into the flames. As the fire engulfs the paper, say a few simple words to add your energy to the outcome— something like:
I now send healing to . . .
Watch as the paper burns and is transformed into smoke that is carried up to the sky, carrying your healing with it. As the flames start to die down, take your pinch of dried thyme and sprinkle it on the glowing twigs. Watch as the thyme is transformed to smoke and is carried away to heal. Say something like:
Thyme heals all wounds; may this thyme heal . . .
Watch as the smoke from your fire now rises, taking your intent with it. Imagine it floating off to touch those to whom you have sent healing, bathing them in golden light. As you finish your fire ritual, remember to say thank you for the success of your spell. Simply close your eyes and see all the elements coming together to carry your energy where it is needed. See all the ancestors who have gone before lending their energy to the success of your goal. Say something simple, like:
I thank you for your help.
If you can, allow your fire to burn safely away while you focus on the healing being sent where it is needed. Otherwise, extinguish your fire completely and return the area to the way it was before you leave.
This fire ritual is a simple one, but it can be extremely powerful. You can use it for all sorts of workings, not just for healing. Thanks and blessings can be carried away on the smoke. And, because fire also purifies, it can be used to free you or someone else from stress and worries, transforming these negative forces into smoke to be carried away and recycled into positivity. This ritual is also a wonderful way to communicate with the ancestors, the world of spirit, and Mother Nature. Always remember to keep your words simple and your goal focused. It is your intent in the spell that gives it power.
– Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
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
Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
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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