May, the Fifth Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2017

“The seasons are shifting, The winter shades lifting,
The springtime is filling
Earth’s children with mirth.
The daffodil yellow, The south wind so mellow,
The gentle rain falling,
Upon the green earth.
The song sparrow singing, New life quickly springing,
All nature is telling
A tale of rebirth:
The deep wells of being, Beyond each day’s seeing,
O’er flowing with new Life,
Restoring the earth.”

– David Bumbaugh

The Year Divided

In ancient days, in Western Europe, the year was divided in two: the dark half of the year, which begins at Samhain (October 31) and lasts until May Eve, and the light half which begins at Beltane (May 1st). The light half of the year is the more active time, when the energy of life is strong and waxing and we can look forward to the promise of summer. Since May begins one of the halves of the year, it is an initiator; similar to a cardinal zodiac sign, it shifts power to the new dynamic. The dynamic of May is one of fertility in plants and animals (including humans), birth, growth, and abundance. Of course, in the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite is true: May is the month that ushers in the dark half of the year, the time of rest, reflection and renewal. Either way, the month of May is an important doorway into the second half of the year and a major energy shift. It is the polar opposite of its November counterpart in a beutiful dance similar to the concept of yin and yang, which is a wonderful focus for meditation.

—Michael Furie
Llewellyn’s 2017 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac

Northern Hemisphere

MAY – FLOWER MOON

May is the fifth month of the year. Its astrological sign is Taurus, the bull (April 20 – May 21), a fixed earth sign ruled by Venus. The month is named for Maia, a Roman goddess and mother of the god Hermes. May is know as the queen of months. It is a month of lushness and beauty. The main holiday is May Day or Beltane. This sabbat celebrates the sacred union of the Goddess and god. It is a celebration of growth and fertility. A traditional part of this holiday is the maypole, usually a fir tree with the side the side branches removed–a symbol of fertility. Since growth is a them of May, another central figure of the month is the Green Man, a male form covered with leaves and branches. He is an ancient nature spirit, who brings life to the fields and forests after the long winter. Flowers are popular during Beltane rites, which gives May’s Full Moon its lovely name–the Flower Moon. Many flowers and trees that bloom this month are associated with magick. Lilacs were originally grown near the home to repel evil. Wild blue violets can be used in love magick. A steaming infusion made with dried dandelion root was used to contact spirits. The hawthorn tree is also associated with May folk magick. To make a wish come true, burn three hawthorn branches in a Beltane fire.

Southern Hemisphere

May is the fifth month of the year. Its astrological sign is Taurus, the bull (April 20 – May 21), a fixed earth sign ruled by Venus The month is named for Maia, a Roman goddess and mother of the god Hermes. We enter the glorious late afternoon of the year. Bittersweet berries turn brilliant orange, and the woodland, blazes with vibrant colors reminiscent of a Persian carpet. As the month passes, the dour to the otherworld opens wider. We become more receptive to spiritual energies and feel drawn to bond with our ancestors. The main holiday of this month and one of the most magickal nights of the year is Samhain or Halloween. This is a traditional time to honor our ancestors. Many seasonal decorations can help do this. The jack-o’-lantern illuminates a path so the spirits of our ancestors can find their way. Apples are used to feed the dead, so leave an apple near your door or on a plate at your table. The moon smolders like an ember in the autumn sky. She is a beacon for a spiritual energy. Thank her by leaving an apple beneath a tree or by burning some dried wormwood in a dish and meditating on your deceased loved ones.

MAY – FLOWER MOON

Once April’s rains and winds have subsided, the sun begins to warm up the earth and we’re able to get the gardens planted. Typically, May is the month in which we begin to sow our crops. Get out in the garden under a Flower Moon and put your hands into the soil. Spring is a time of fertility, and May is a fiery month indeed — full of lust and passion! It’s sometimes called the month of the Hare Moon — and we all know what hares are busy doing in the spring.

Celebrate once the sun goes down with a big bonfire ceremony.

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

 

CORRESPONDENCES

Just like with all of the other full moon phases, there are a number of magical correspondences associated with May’s Flower Moon. Try to incorporate some of these into your ritual and spellwork this month.

Colors: Red, orange, yellow
Gemstones: Ruby, garnet, amber, Apache tear
Trees: Hawthorn, rowan
Gods: Kali, Priapus, Cernunnos, Flora
Herbs: Cinnamon, members of the mint family
Element: Fire
Flower Moon Magic

This is a good time to work on magic related to careers and jobs. Thinking about switching to a new position, or perhaps trying a new field altogether? Want to take a class or get your degree?

Take the seeds you’ve planted last month, and allow them to bloom and grow in your favor. Do some fire divination this month to help guide you on your way. Here are some things you can do this month – because this is a time in which we need to plant the seeds for later success:

Begin tending your garden – or planting seeds in containers – and take some time to cultivate each of your herbs, flowers, and plants. Consider doing a simple planting ritual to kick things off for the spring.

Remember that May is also the season of Beltane – if you want to bring fertility into your life, this is a great time to do magical workings related to conception and fruitfulness. Think about planting tubers, such as yams, which are believed to increase lust and fertility. In some West African nations, the white yam has been linked to high birth rates, particularly that of twins and other multiples.

Plant beans, squash and corn in the arrangement that Native Americans call Three Sisters. In addition to being a self-sustaining ecosystem, in which each plant helps the others, the planting of this trio is associated with the concept of happy families, abundance, and community.

Hold a family abundance ritual. Remember that in addition to sexual fertility, the Beltane season is also about abundance, in a variety of forms. Don’t just focus on material gains — it’s about the growth of the earth and its bounty, and it’s about increasing your own spiritual and emotional wealth.

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Calendar published on & owned by ThoughtCo

May’s Correspondences

Nature Spirits: plant faeries

Colors: Red and gold

Herbs: basil, chives, dragons blood, geranium, thistle

Flowers: daisy and sweetpea

Tree’s: pine, bay and hazel

Scents: pine, bay, bergamot, patchouli

Stones: ruby, garnet, sard

Animals: Bear and Wolf

Birds: hawk and magpie

Powers: energy in creating and producing, balance is returned to the nerves change, self confidence, self-reliance, take advantage of opportunities, time to work on emotional turmoil and get your temper into prospective

Symbols for the Month of May

May’s Festival: Beltane, May Day
(Symbols include the May pole, boughs of flowers, and fires).

May’s Sign of the Zodiac
Taurus (April 21 – May 20)
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

May’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Saille (April 15 – May 12)
Huath (May 13 – June 9)

May’s Runic Half Months
Lagu (April 29 – May 13)
Ing (May 14 – May 28)
Odal (May 29 – June 13)

May’s Birthstones
Emerald and agate

May’s Birth Flower
All tree blossoms, foxglove, and lilac

May’s Goddess
Diana

Other: May Day, Labor Day, Oak Apple Day

May’s Folklore

“A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.”

“Mist in May, heat in June, makes harvest come right soon.”

“If you wash a blanket in May, you will wash one of the family away.”

“Those who bathe in May will soon be laid in clay!”

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

Pagan Calendar of Events for May

1: Beltane, a feast of fire and fertility
1: Samhain (Southern Hemisphere), the witches’ new year.
1: Roman festival of the fertility goddess Bona Dea
5: Cinco de Mayo
10: Full moon — Flower Moon at 5:43 pm. In May, focus on magic related to careers and jobs – if you’ve thought about changing jobs, or even entering a new career field, this is a good time to do it. Expand your horizons this month.
12: Celtic Tree Month of Willow ends
13: Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn begins
14: Mother’s Day

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Calendar published on & owned by ThoughtCo

Getting Acquainted with Herbs

Where to Start

We all have to start somewhere, so if you know nothing, or very little about herbs, then you have come to the right place. This section contains all the basics that you need to know about the main herbs that are used in Witchcraft.

Before we begin, you have to find out where you are going to get your herbs. Is there a herb store near you that sells strange herbs that you can use in your spells? Do you have to order them online? Are you going to grow them yourself? All of these questions must be answered so that you can figure out the best option for you. For now, you might want to stick with buying the herbs at a store or online, unless you are experienced in gardening, and experienced with growing exotic herbs. Some herbs are hardier than others, but some are very delicate, and if not grown right, they will not succeed in your spells.

Also, you must have a place to store your herbs. This could be a dark cabinet or a dresser. They just have to have a cool, dark place to be stored so that they do not get damp and moldy, and do not dry out too much. Dried is good, dry rot is not.

Find some information online about taking care of your herbs so that they will last you a long time, and you are not constantly having having to buy new ones, and wasting money and herbs. You should also learn about how to properly crush leaves with a mortar and pestle.

Another thing that you should learn is how to make a smudge stick. I will put basic instruction here, but you can find more information online about how to make them.

Choose the herbs for the smudging that you need to do. Pick some that are roughly the same length, and lay them all out in a bundle. Get some natural twine or natural cotton (so that there are no harmful fumes when burned) and bind the smudge stick starting at the bottom and working your way up.

If you can get away with only using three bindings, that is your best bet, because it exposes the most herbs while still being held well. After you bind up the smudge stick, you have to dry it if the herbs are not already dry. To dry it, wrap it in paper, and change the paper every day for ten days. In ten days’ time, you will have a dry smudge stick.

—Wicca Herbal Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Wiccan Herbal Magic with Herb Spells
Valerie W. Holt

Thirteen Magical Herbs

While there are many herbs out there, and each of them has some sort of magical properties, there are some that are more pertinent than others, and these are the ones that we are going to discuss. These herbs are the ones that are part of a shaman’s everyday work bag, and that every witch should keep a stock of in their store room. These herbs are an important part of your spells and just your everyday well-being. You should always have a stock of them on hand.

They are:

Basil
Bay Laurel
Chamomile
Cinnamon
Dandelion
Elecampane
Hibiscus
Lavender
Mugwort
Nutmeg
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme

—Wicca Herbal Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Wiccan Herbal Magic with Herb Spells
Valerie W. Holt

Practical and Magical Tips for Working with Herbs

There are many things that you should remember when you are going to be working with herbs, as well as when you’re purchasing them. Herbs only work when they are in the right conditions, and if they have been picked at the right time, or planted, at the right time.

Herbs are great in spells, but they are tricky, and they work best under the right conditions.

 

Purchasing Herbs

When you are purchasing herbs already planted and picked, make sure that you are buying whole herbs, and from a place that caters to witches and their religion (if possible) to ensure that they are planted and picked at the right time. You also don’t want to buy pre-crushed herbs, because some spells call for you to crush them a certain way, and some spells call for the herb to be intact, and if this is the case, that means that you would then have to buy an intact herb to add to your collection. It is a lot easier to buy them whole and crush them yourself.

Also, when purchasing herbs, make sure that you purchase most of them dry if you are just doing it for storage. If you have a ritual in a day or two that requires fresh herbs and you are already at the shop, then go ahead and buy fresh, but for most rituals, you only need dried herbs.

If you are purchasing online, only go through a trusted Wiccan provider. Otherwise, you may not get what you think you were supposed to be getting. You could get herbs that were picked at the wrong time or planted just a little too late. You want ones that are just right.

Creating Your Own Herb Garden

The best way to avoid being bamboozled with herbs that were not carefully cultivated is to create your own magical garden, and filling it with the herbs of your choice. Be careful, though, because herbs can be very finicky plants to grow, and you may have to try a few times before you get any success with even getting them to grow, let alone getting them to grow well enough to use in your spells. When you are planting your garden, you have to take into consideration all of the things that go into growing a garden, and then the magical aspects of growing your own magical herb garden. Things such as astrology, moon cycles, timing, and so much more.

Once you have got it all down, you’ll find that you are saving money by growing your own herbs, and it is nice to always have a supply on hand when you need them.

—Wicca Herbal Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Wiccan Herbal Magic with Herb Spells
Valerie W. Holt

Getting Started with Herbal Magic

Now that you know what you need to know about herbs, let us move on to a bit of herbal magic, shall we?

 

Herbal Teas

Magickal Evening Tea
Such as the magickal evening tea. This tea helps you relax and sleep. It has several herbs in it so you have to make your own tea bags.
What you need
☐ Nutmeg
☐ Valerian root
☐ Rosemary
☐ Chamomile
☐ Dandelion
☐ Tea Bag of Coffee Filter
☐ Hot Water
Put all of the ingredients in a tea bag or wrap them in a coffee filter and bind with twine. Fill your cup up with hot water and allow your tea to steep for five minutes before drinking.

 

Divination Tea
This tea will help unlock your third eye to help you with your divination skills.
What you need
☐ Chamomile
☐ Dandelion
☐ Hibiscus
☐ Tea Bag or Coffee Filter
☐ Hot water
As before, put all of the ingredients into a tea bag and steep for five minutes before drinking. Before taking the first sip say this chant:
Goddess give me the visions
Open my eye to see
Produce the answers of the world
and show them to me

Then you can go about drinking your tea.

 

Herbal Baths

Clear Psychic Channel Bath
This bath is to help you clear your mind, and open your third eye to the world around you. You want to take this bath when you are clear-minded, so leave all of your stresses and worries outside of the bathroom door when you go to do this.
What You Need
☐ Basil
☐ Bay
☐ Dandelion leaves
☐ Mugwort leaves
Fill the tub halfway, and then add the leaves in before filling the tub all the way. This allows the leaves to steep properly and distribute throughout the water evenly. Make sure that you are calm and open when you step in the bath. Imagine that your mind has a door and that this door is opening as you soak and relax in the bath. If you feel that you are getting too tense, then say the chant,

I am open to the world, send me your visions.

Once you have soaked, allowed the bath to work its magic, then you can get out of the bath, clean your tub, and take your regular bath or shower.
** Note** Make sure that you have a good hair trap, or screen in your tub to catch the herbs when you drain your tub. Dry herbs will expand and clump and may cause severe plumbing problems. To avoid this, simply get a hair trap, and you will be clear.

 

Good Vibrations Spell
This spell will help bring good vibes into your life and to help you have a good week and keep on track. This bath welcomes good luck and prosperity into your life as well.
What You Need
☐ Chamomile
☐ Rose Petals
☐ Cinnamon
☐ Blessed Thistle
Fill the bath up half way and add the chamomile, cinnamon, and blessed thistle. Let the bath fill up, and then add the rose petals to the water, and around the rim of the tub. It will look like the scene from a romance novel.

 

Herbal Oils

Prosperity Oil

This oil is used to bring you luck and good fortune. This oil is very fluid. You can rub it on yourself, a good luck charm, or anoint a candle with it.
What You Need
☐ Heather oil
☐ Frankincense oil
☐ Cinnamon oil
☐ Mineral Oil
☐ Blessed thistle
☐ Tincture
To make this oil, first mix the blessed thistle with the heather, frankincense, and cinnamon oils. Bottle and cap tightly, let set for four days. Strain and add the mineral oil and tincture before pouring into a dark colored bottle and storing.

To use this oil, anoint it wherever it is needed.  A good tip is to anoint your wallet or purse with this so that you will never be without money. You can also use it to anoint a candle before doing a money attraction spell, or a prosperity spell.

 

Love Attraction Oil
While you cannot force a person to fall in love with you, you can attract love to you. This oil helps you do that. You want one that is strong, but not too strong, otherwise you will also attract a bunch of people who are just wanting a fling. So you want more of a subtle attractant than an all out aphrodisiac.
What You Need
☐ Apricot Oil
☐ Chamomile
☐ Coconut Oil
To make this oil, crush the chamomile into the apricot oil, pour into a bottle, cap, and let sit for three days. Once you do this, check to see if the chamomile had seeped into the apricot oil enough. If not, let sit two more days before straining and bottling with the coconut oil and tincture.

To use this oil, anoint yourself with it on your neck and wrists almost as if you are using a perfume. You can also anoint a candle with it in a love spell.

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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