The Witches Digest for Thursday, October 12, Part 2
(The Witches Guide to Thursdays)
Today is Thursday, October 12
Thursday is the day of the planet Jupiter, dedicated to Thunor(Thor), God of thunder and agricultural work. His parallels in various European traditions are Zeus, Taranis, Perun, Perkunas and St. Olaf. The faith of the Northern Tradition holds Thursday sacred, just as Islam reveres Friday, Judaism the Sabbath(calculated from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday), and Christianity, Sunday. This is why almost all adages about Thursday are positve, such as “Thursday’s child has far to go,” “Sneeze on Thursday, something better,” or “Cut nails on Thursday for wealth.” Thursday rules controlled optimism, energetic growth, physical well-being and material success.
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn/Pisces/Sagittarius
Celtic Tree Month of Gort(Ivy) – September 30 – October 27
Runic Half-Month of Gyfu(gift) – September 28 – October 12
Goddess of the Month of Hathor – October 3 – October 30
The Pagan Book of Days
On Thursday, October 12th, We celebrate the God, Cernunnos
Wild God of the Forest
Cernunnos is a horned god found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair — he is, after all, the lord of the forest.
With his mighty antlers, Cernunnos is a protector of the forest and master of the hunt.
He is a god of vegetation and trees in his aspect as the Green Man, and a god of lust and fertility when connected with Pan, the Greek satyr. In some traditions, he is seen as a god of death and dying, and takes the time to comfort the dead by singing to them on their way to the spirit world.
History and Worship of Cernunnos
In Margaret Murray’s 1931 book, God of the Witches, she posits that Herne the Hunter is a manifestation of Cernunnos. Because he is found only in Berkshire, and not in the rest of the Windsor Forest area, Herne is considered a “localized” god — and could indeed be the Berkshire interpretation of Cernunnos. During the Elizabethan age, Cernunnos appears as Herne in Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor. He also embodies fealty to the realm, and guardianship of royalty.
In some traditions of Wicca, the cycle of seasons follows the relationship between the Horned God — Cernunnos — and the Goddess.
During the fall, the Horned God dies, as the vegetation and land go dormant, and in the spring, at Imbolc, he is resurrected to impregnate the fertile goddess of the land. However, this relationship is a relatively new Neopagan concept, and there is no scholarly evidence to indicate that ancient peoples might have celebrated this “marriage” of the Horned God and a mother goddess.
Because of his horns (and the occasional depiction of a large, erect phallus), Cernunnos has often been misinterpreted by fundamentalists as a symbol of Satan. Certainly, at times, the Christian church has pointed to the Pagan following of Cernunnos as “devil worship.” This is in part due to nineteenth-century paintings of Satan which included large, ram-like horns much like those of Cernunnos.
Today, many Pagan traditions honor Cernunnos as an aspect of the God, the embodiment of masculine energy and fertility and power.
A Prayer to Cernunnos
God of the green,
Lord of the forest,
I offer you my sacrifice.
I ask you for your blessing.
You are the man in the trees,
the green man of the woods,
who brings life to the dawning spring.
You are the deer in rut,
mighty Horned One,
who roams the autumn woods,
the hunter circling round the oak,
the antlers of the wild stag,
and the lifeblood that spills upon
the ground each season.
God of the green,
Lord of the forest,
I offer you my sacrifice.
I ask you for your blessing.
Honoring Cernunnos in Ritual
If your tradition calls for you to honor Cernunnos in ritual – especially around the season of the Beltane sabbat – be sure to read John Beckett’s article at Patheos, The Cernunnos Ritual.
Beckett says, “His presence, which had been mild but undeniable since we started setting up (what, you think a Forest God is going to sit quietly outside the door till he gets a proper invitation?) became overwhelming. Someone shouted. Someone got up and began to dance. Then another got up, and another, and another. Before long we had a whole line of people dancing, spinning, and chanting around the altar.
Cernunnos! Cernunnos! Cernunnos!”
Juniper, at Walking the Hedge, has an absolutely lovely and moving ritual worth reading about called A Devotional Ritual to Cernunnos. She says, “I call to Him with feeling, with love with desire. I call until I feel His presence, I do not assume a few words of poetry will be enough and carry on. I call until the hair on the back of my neck stands up and goosebumps run down my arms.
I call until I can smell His scent on the air… When Cernunnos has arrived I thank Him with gifts, by showing Him what offerings I have brought for Him and placing it at the foot of the god-stang.”
Thursday – is associated with Jupiter
Candle colors – Green, Purple, Orange, or Blue
Business, Gambling, Power, Material Wealth, Luck, Road Opening
—-Old Style Conjure Wisdoms, Workings and Remedies
The Magickal Day of Thursday
Thursday is a day of royal blues and greens, associated with the planet Jupiter and metals like tin. When it comes to deities, look at leader type gods like Thor, Zeus, and Jupiter. Gemstone correspondences for Thursday include turquoise, amethyst and lapis lazuli, and plant associations can be found in honeysuckle, cinquefoil, and even oak trees.
This is a day for honor, fealty and family loyalty, as well as harvesting, success, and prosperity.
Take advantage of Thursday’s different aspects and do spellwork that brings abundance to you, declares your allegiance, and embraces prosperity.
Article published on ThoughtCo
The Witches Guide to Thursday, October 12th
Jupiter’s (Thor’s) day
⦁ Middle English – thursday or thuresday
⦁ Old Norse– thorsdagr – Thor’s day
⦁ Old English– thunresdæg – Thunder’s day
⦁ Latin – dies Jovis – “Day of Jupiter”
⦁ Ancient Greek – hemera Dios – “day of Zeus”
The name is derived from Old English and Middle English Thuresday (with loss of -n-, first in northern dialects, from influence of Old Norse Þorsdagr) meaning “Thor’s Day”. Thunor, Donar (German, Donnerstag) and Thor are derived from the name of the Germanic god of thunder, Thunraz, equivalent to Jupiter in the interpretation romance.
In most Romance languages, the day is named after the Roman god Jupiter, who was the god of sky and thunder. In Latin, the day was known as Iovis Dies, “Jupiter’s Day”. In Latin, the genitive or possessive case of Jupiter was Iovis/Jovis and thus in most Romance languages it became the word for Thursday: Italian giovedì, Spanish jueves, French jeudi, Sardinian jòvia, Catalan dijous, and Romanian joi.
This is also reflected in the p-Celtic Welsh dydd Iau.
The astrological and astronomical sign of the planet Jupiter is sometimes used to represent Thursday.
Since the Roman god Jupiter was identified with Thunor (Norse Thor in northern Europe), most Germanic languages name the day after this god: Torsdag in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, Hósdagur/Tórsdagur in Faroese, Donnerstag in German or Donderdag in Dutch. Finnish and Northern Sami, both non-Germanic (Uralic) languages, uses the borrowing “Torstai” and “Duorastat”. In the extinct Polabian Slavic language, it was perundan, Perun being the Slavic equivalent of Thor.
There are a number of modern names imitating the naming of Thursday after an equivalent of “Jupiter” in local tradition. In most of the languages of India, the word for Thursday is Guruvar- var meaning day and guru being the style for Bṛhaspati, guru to the gods and regent of the planet Jupiter. In Thai, the word is Wan Pharuehatsabodi—referring to the Hindu deity Bṛhaspati, also associated with Jupiter. En was an old Illyrian deity and in his honor in the Albanian language Thursday is called “Enjte”. In the Nahuatl language, Thursday is Tezcatlipotōnal meaning “day of Tezcatlipoca”.
Witchery for Your Thursday
Today is the day for prosperity work of all kinds. It can also be used for healing work, whether that is a physical healing of an illness or an emotional healing. Also remember that you have to follow up your healing work and prosperity magick and physical action.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have met new witches who complain to me that their prosperity spell or “I need a better job” spell did not work as they expected. They’ll ramble on and on about how much time and money they spent working their magick….but, alas, they had no glorious manifestation of wealth or fabulous job that suddenly dropped out of the sky and landed in their laps.
Then, when I gently ask them, “Did you enchant your resume or application when you filled it out? Did you do a little confidence-boosting spellwork when you went to apply for the job or went to the interview?” typically they give me a blank, confused stare.
Nine times out of ten, their response is, “You mean I have to go out and actually look for the job too?” Um, yes, my dear, you certainly do. Magick follows the path of least resistance, which means it’s going to manifest along the simplest, quickest route. Get out there and hit the pavement. See what you can find. Times are tough and competition for good jobs is fierce, so you need whatever edge you can get. For folks like us, we’re going to get the edge by using our magick and our spellcraft.
Thursdays have such a rich source of magick for us to draw upon that, honestly, the sky is the limit. This is the day associated with the gods of the sky and heavens, after all. Get to know these deities and add their wisdom and magick into your days
Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
The Witches Honey-Do List for Thursdays
Try wearing some honeysuckle-scented perfume to encourage prosperity. Bewitch someone by wearing deep royal blue or brighten up a dreary day by wearing lucky, prosperity-drawing green. Brew up a pot of mint tea to help increase your cash flow. Try adding a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon to an unscented candle to encourage some fast cash. Bake up a loaf of wheat bread for the family, and celebrate abundance and be thankful for all that you have.
Conjure up a witchy craft and create a philter or two for your magickal needs. Work with the deities and the magickal plants corresponding with Thursday.
How did the energies of the plants of Jupiter enhance your magick? What did you learn by working with Juno, Jove, or Zeus? The truth is that by adding these new techniques and information into your spellcasting repertoire, you will indeed advance your skills, thereby moving up in the ranks to become a more adept magickal practitioner
Just by believing in yourself and working toward creating abundance, health, and prosperity, you have already begun to transform your outlook on life. Put your game face on; think positively. Work with Thor for perseverance and courage, and apply those qualities to your own prosperity spells and healing witchery. Break out the tarot cards; How could you incorporate that symbolism into other spells of your own design?
Use your imagination, check Thursday’s correspondence list, and see what other bewitching things you can conjure up for prosperity magick all by yourself. Call on the gods and goddess of Thursday and bring some positive change, abundance, health, and prosperity into your life!
Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
The Witches Almanac for Thursday, October 12th
National Festival of Spain
Fourth Quarter: 8:25
Moon Sign: Cancer
The Magick of the Fourth Quarter
(From the waning half moon until the dark of the moon.)
This is the dark time of the moon. You may find that your psychic talents take a little vacation during the dark phases of the moon, or, on the other hand, they may come roaring to life with an all-out bombardment on your senses. Personally, I have found that abilities such as empathy and psychometry are more pronounced at this time. Why, you may wonder? Well, I have found that this type of psychic ability forces you to look within and to be still as the information comes to you— what better time than in the waning moon, when your powers are focused internally? Magickally, now is the occasion to tackle serious issues, such as extreme protection magick, bindings, or banishings, and keeping away criminals, prowlers, or stalkers. Casting your spells in the final days of the moon’s cycle (when the moon is not visible at all) will increase the force behind your banishing and protective magick. This phase of the moon is often linked to the darker aspects of the Goddess, when she is a spiritual warrior; again, Hecate is a good one to work with in this phase, but you can also call on Sekhmet, the Morrigan, or even Kali, if you are really feeling brave.
–Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick
Fourth Quarter Moon Spell
Finally, here is a spell for the final phase of the moon. This is the Crone’s moon, and at this time your psychic gifts may be at their strongest. As the energy turns to a hushed, waiting mode, it doesn’t mean it’s gone, just that it is extremely focused and internal. So if you aren’t paying attention, you may not pick up on those psychic impressions. If this is a problem for you, ask the wise old Crone for her assistance. As far as magick is concerned, this is the time to deal with those more serious issues. Check out the final line of this spell and adjust as necessary for your purposes; for example, the word “protection” can be easily switched to “banishing.”
The Crone’s moon grows smaller at the passing of each eve.
For this magick to work, in myself I must believe.
Charms performed now require a wisdom most sublime
The protection spell is now cast, sealed up with a rhyme.
That orbed maiden with white fire laden whom mortals call the moon.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick
The Witches Correspondences for Thursday, October 12
Ruled by the planet Jupiter and dedicated to Thor, god of thunder and agricultural work. his parallels in various European Traditions include Zeus, Taranis, Perun, and Perkunas.
Element : Water / Fire
Zodiac Sign : Sagittarrius / Pisces
Angel : Sachiel
Metal : Tin
Incense / Perfumes : Cinnamon, Musk, Nutmeg and Sage
Oils : Clove, Lemon Balm, Oakmoss, Star Anise
Color : Blue, Purple, Green
Stones : Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite, Turquoise, Sapphire
Plants/Herbs : Agrimony, Anise, Beech, Buttercup, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cinquefoil, Coltsfoot, Dandelion, Honeysuckle, Hyssop, Linden, Mint, Nutmeg, Oak, Sage
Magick to Work: prosperity, business, buying, selling, abundance, business, fame, gambling, greed, growth, expansion, honor, leadership, money, parties, politics, power, responsibility, royalty, success, visions, wealth, political power, influencing people in high places, law, courts
Thursday is Ruled By Jupiter
Thursday is a Jupiter day. Here is the day of the week for prosperity, abundance, and good health. Thursday is “Thor’s day.” This Norse god gave the day his name and many of his attributes, including strength and abundance. Some suggestions for Thursday enchantments would include:
Wearing a regal and royal shade of blue to see how it affects your mood and your magic. Other colors for the day include purple and green
Carrying a turquoise tumbled stone in your pocket to draw a little protective and healing energy your way Incorporating honeysuckle blossoms and cinquefoil foliage into prosperity charms
Calling on Thor for abundance, or on the Roman god Jupiter for the ability to peacefully referee a fight
Adding a few oak leaves—which are sacred to these Thursday gods—to your charms to see how much better your spell works out
Casting a charm with wheat stalks for prosperity, and calling on Juno Moneta to bring wealth into your life
Baking up some whole wheat bread and blessing it for abundance. Be sure to thank the gods for your family and your good health.
Weekday ruled by Jupiter: Thursday
Herbs and Plants:
Magickal Intentions: Happiness, luck, health, legal matters, male fertility, treasure and wealth, honor, riches, leadership, public activity, power and success.
The More You Know – Samhain is Not a God
Every year, usually starting around September, I start getting emails about “Samhain, the Celtic god of death,” despite the fact that Samhain is not a death deity at all, but the name of a Pagan holiday that coincides with Halloween and is a great time of year to stock up on candy corn. So what we’re going to do today is talk a little bit about the rumor that Samhain is some sort of evil scary demonic death god, and clear up the rumors and misconceptions.
Let’s get started.
The Chick Tract Issue
Way back in the late 1980s, I managed a music store in a mall in the Bible belt. It was the sort of mall where very religious people would show up first thing in the morning and wander around handing out little pamphlets telling all of us we were going to hell for one reason or another. I wasn’t singled out for being Pagan, they were equal-opportunity proselytizers, but by the time I quit working there, I had an entire shoebox full of tracts that I had saved. Most of them were produced by Jack Chick, and Chick tracts were a special form of hilarious.
My favorite one was the one about Halloween, and why it was so evil to celebrate it. The tract, complete with illustrations, explained, “October 31st was celebrated by the Druids with many human sacrifices and a festival honoring their sun god and Samhain, the lord of the dead. They believed that the sinful souls of those who died during the year were in a place of torment, and would be released only if Samhain was pleased with their sacrifices.
Yep. Samhain, the Celtic god of the dead! He wants your souls!
Except here’s the problem – well, one of several problems – with the tract: Samhain isn’t a Celtic god of the dead.
Celtic Mythological Figures
Okay, let’s start by clearing up a couple of things. There may have been, at some point in Celtic mythology, a minor hero named Sawan or possibly Samain, who could have maybe played a role in the Irish myth cycles.
In the legend of Balor of the Evil Eye, Balor steals a magical cow, the Glas Gamhain. Depending on which retelling of the story you read, the cow could have belonged to Goibniu the blacksmith (a variation on Lugh), or possibly Cian, a son of Dian Cecht, the god of medicine, and part of the Tuatha de Danaan.
In Lady Gregory’s translation of The Mabinogion, the Welsh myth cycles, she describes Goibniu and Cian as brothers, and adds a third brother, Samain, into the story. According to the Gregory translation, Samain was in charge of watching the magical cow when Balor stole it. Although Samain (alternately, Sawen or Mac Samthainn) appears in a few versions of the story, depending on who translated it and when, he does not appear in all of them. Regardless, even in the ones that do include him, he is a very obscure and minor character, and certainly not a deity. In fact, most lists of Celtic language variants don’t mention him at all. He’s just not that important – he’s a guy who lost his brother’s magical cow.
The Celts and Death Gods
When we’re talking about gods and goddesses from different pantheons, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s no easy way to parallel them across cultures.
In other words, while both Thor and Mars may be deities of war, they’re not the same, and can’t really be compared to one another, because each is unique to the cultural and societal context of the people who followed them. Likewise, many cultures have had gods of death, or deities who were at least associated with the underworld, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
The Celts certainly didn’t shy away from the dark side of things. They had deities that were in charge of all kinds of murky things – the Morrighan, for example, was a goddess who decided whether you died in battle or survived the fight. Likewise, in Wales, Gwynn ap Nudd is a deity of the underworld, and Arawn is the king of the realm of the afterlife. Manannan mac Lir is associated with the spirit world, and the realm between it and the lands of man.
The Cailleach is connected to the darker half of the year, disasters and storms, and the dying of the crops in the fields.
However, one thing the Celts didn’t have was a god named Samhain assigned to death.
Where Did This Death God Thing Start, Anyway?
As near as anyone can determine, it looks like the whole Samhain-as-God-of-Death rumor started around the 1770s, when a British colonel and military surveyor named Charles Vallancey wrote a series of books in which he tried to prove that the people of Ireland actually originated in Armenia. Vallancey’s scholarship was sketchy at best, and part of his work referenced a deity named Samain or Sabhun.
Unfortunately, Vallancey’s writing was so fancifully bad that within just a few decades, everyone who read it admitted that it was full of completely groundless conclusions, and thus, pretty much every one of his claims and assertions were suspect. The Quarterly Review, a literary publication that ran for much of the 1800s, said that Vallancey “wrote more nonsense than any man of his time.” However, that didn’t stop numerous writers from quoting Vallancey’s work in the nineteenth century, including one Godfrey Higgins, who used Vallancey’s writings to claim the Irish had actually come from India, and so the myth was perpetuated.
The origins of this rumor having begun with Vallancey’s work was uncovered in 1994, by a folklorist named W.J. Bethancourt III, in his essay Halloween: Myths, Monsters and Devils. If there are any earlier references to Samhain as a death deity, no one has found them yet.
So What Is Samhain?
So all your evangelical and fundamentalist friends think Samhain is a Celtic god of death, because this bunk has been perpetuated for ages – and they’re probably pronouncing it wrong too, like “Sam Hain.” What in the world are you going to tell them?
Well, you can start by telling them that Samhain isn’t a god at all. You can tell them that the idea of Samhain being a god was based on false, inaccurate scholarship. You can explain that Samhain, for most modern Pagans, is a time to mark the end of the fertile season, and to embrace the darkness of the coming winter.
You can, if it fits in with your traditions, discuss how you honor your ancestors to celebrate Samhain, or how you work with the spirit world.
Samhain is many things to many people in the Pagan community… but one thing it’s not? A Celtic god of death.
Ritual Honoring the Harvest’s End
Samhain represents, among other things, the end of the harvest season. If you haven’t picked it by Samhain, you probably won’t be eating it! The gardens have died off by now, and where we once saw lush green plants, there is nothing left but dry and dead stalks. The perennials have shut down for the season too, going dormant so that they may return to us in the spring. Animals are brought in from the fields for the winter — and if you’ve ever had a spider come wandering into your living room one chilly October night, you know that even the insects are trying to find a place to stay warm.
If we had lived a few hundreds of years ago, we would not only have brought our cows and sheep in from the pastures. Most likely we’d slaughter a few of them, as well as some pigs and goats, smoking or salting the meat so it would last through the cold months. Our grain that we picked back at Lughnasadh has been baked into bread, and all of our herbs have been gathered, and hang from the rafters in the kitchen. The harvest is over, and now it’s time to settle in for winter with the coziness of a warm fireplace, heavy blankets, and big pots of comfort food on the stovetop.
If you want to celebrate Samhain as the time of harvest’s end, you can do so as a single ritual, or as the first of three days of ceremony. If you don’t have a permanent altar in place, set up a table to leave in place for the three days prior to Samhain. This will act as a your family’s temporary altar for the Sabbat.
Here’s What You’ll Need
Decorate the altar with symbols of late fall, such as:
Skulls, skeletons, grave rubbings, ghosts
Harvest food such as pumpkins, squash, root vegetables
Nuts and berries, dark breads
Dried leaves and acorns
A cornucopia filled with an abundance of fruit and veggies
Mulled cider, wine, or mead
Hold Your Ritual
To begin your ceremony, prepare a meal for the family — and this is something that everyone can get involved in.
Put emphasis on fruits and vegetables, and wild game meat if available. Also make sure you have a loaf of a dark bread like rye or pumpernickel and a cup of apple cider or wine. Set the dinner table with candles and a fall centerpiece, and put all the food on the table at once. Consider the dinner table a sacred space.
Gather everyone around the table, and say:
Tonight is the first of three nights,
on which we celebrate Samhain.
It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer,
and the cold nights wait on the other side for us.
The bounty of our labor, the abundance of the harvest,
the success of the hunt, all lies before us.
We thank the earth for all it has given us this season,
and yet we look forward to winter,
a time of sacred darkness.
Take the cup of cider or wine, and lead everyone outside. Make this a ceremonial and formal occasion. If you have a vegetable garden, great! Go there now — otherwise, just find a nice grassy spot in your yard. Each person in the family takes the cup in turn and sprinkles a little bit of cider onto the earth, saying:
Summer is gone, winter is coming.
We have planted and
we have watched the garden grow,
we have weeded,
and we have gathered the harvest.
Now it is at its end.
If you have any late-fall plants still waiting to be picked, gather them up now. Collect a bundle of dead plants and use them to make a straw man or woman. If you follow a more masculine path, he may be your King of Winter, and rule your home until spring returns. If you follow the Goddess in her many forms, make a female figure to represent the Goddess as hag or crone in winter.
Once that is done, go back inside and bring your King of Winter into your home with much pomp and circumstance. Place him on your table and prop him up with a plate of his own, and when you sit down to eat, serve him first. Begin your meal with the breaking of the dark bread, and make sure you toss a few crumbs outside for the birds afterwards. Keep the King of Winter in a place of honor all season long — you can put him back outside in your garden on a pole to watch over next spring’s seedlings, and eventually burn him at your Beltane celebration.
When you are finished with your meal, put the leftovers out in the garden. Wrap up the evening by playing games, such as bobbing for apples or telling spooky stories before a bonfire.
“Dread Lord of Shadows,
God of Life,
and Giver of Life –
Yet is the knowledge of thee,
the knowledge of Death.
Open wide, I pray thee,
the Gates through which all must pass.
Let our dear ones who have gone before
Return this night to make merry with us.
And when our tim comes, as it must,
O thou the Comforter,
the Giver of Peace and Rest,
We will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid;
For we know that when rested and refreshed among our dear ones
We will be reborn again by thy grace,
and the grace of the Great Mother.
Let it be in the same place and the same time as our beloved ones,
And may we meet, and know, and remember,
And love them again.
Descend, we pray thee, in thy servant and priest.”
– Samhain Invocation, Aleister Crowley