July, the Seventh Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2016

use this image July pics

“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

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JULY – THE BLESSING MOON

July is the seventh month of the year. Its astrological sign is Cancer, the crab (June 12 – July 13), 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 harvest, the Goddess fulfills her promise and oversees maturing crops. The Summer Solstice has passed, but nature pulses with life. Hummingbirds flash among the bee balm, and mint varieties spread like wildfire. Water is an important magical element in July. Birds refresh themselves in birdbaths. Thunder rumbles on hot afternoon, bringing a promise of rain. Dragonflies skim the surface of ponds, and vacationers head to the shores. Salt water and seashells are good ways to include the element of water in any rituals now. Independence Day, July 4th, is the major holiday of high summer. Not only can we celebrate our nation’s independence, we can also thanks for July’s abundance, which will sustain us during the coming months. We are blessed with richness in July, perhaps the reason the old ones referred to July’s Full Moon as the Blessing Moon. Magic during this Moon may include all forms of prosperity charms. When you cast a spell now, you will feel the vitality of the Earth.

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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.

Correspondences

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
Element: Water

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.

—-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 July

July is named after Julius Caesar, who organized the previously chaotic Roman calendar with the help of Alexandrian sage to form the Julian calendar. This new calendar was instituted in the year 46 B.C.E., known as the year of confusion after the chaos caused by changing from one calendar to another in the West for the next 1600 years. It was current in Britain until 1752, although it was replaced in Catholic countries by the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Some customary days are still kept in the “Old Style,” that is the Julian calendar; rather than the current “New Style” Gregorian one. When the newer calendar was set up. Julius’s name remained on the seventh month in commemoration of his work.

As with the modern English name, the Irish name of this month is based on Julius, Iuil. The Anglo-Saxon name for July is Aeftera Litha, “after Litha,” acknowledging its position after the Summer Solstice. An alternative Anglo-Saxon name for the month of July is Maedmonat, “meadow month,” because the meadows are at their greatest point of growth in this month. July’s Frankish name is related to hewimanoth, “hay month,” a name that is continue in modern Asatru as Haymoon. These moon names describe the traditional labor of the month, hay cutting. The Full Moon this month is the Buck Moon in the American backwoods tradition.

The Celtic tree-calendar month of the oak, Duir, ends on 7 July. The following day sees the beginning of the month of Tinne, the holly tree. This is a month of balance, whose sacred color is dark gray-green. A complementary meaning of Tinne is fire, appropriate for July, the fieriest monthof the year. In the Goddess calendar, the month of Rosea ends on 10 July. It is followed on 11 July by Kerea.
The birthstone of July is the ruby, whose adage goes:

The glowing Ruby shall adorn
Those who in warm July are born.
Then will be exempt and free
From love’s doubt and anxiety.

Weather lore for July says that rain in the third hour of a July afternoon is the heaviest in the year. July 15th is St. Swithin’s Day, a weather marker. A country weather rhyme for July is:

A shower of rain in July, when the corn begins to fill,
Is worth a plough of oxen, and all belongs theretill.
In this month is Swithin’s Day,
On which, if that rain, men say,
Full forty days after it will
For more or less some rain distil,
Till Swithin’s Day is past and gone
There may be hops, or they may be none.

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

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Correspondences for the Month of July

NATURE SPIRITS: faeries of the crops, hobgoblins

DEITIES: Khepera, Athene, Juno, Hel, Holda, Cerridwen, Venus

BIRDS: starling, ibis, swallow

ANIMALS: Crab, turtle, dolphin and whale

TREES: Oak, acacia, ash

STONES: pearl, moonstone, white agate

SCENTS: orris and frankincense

COLORS: Blue, gray and silver

HERBS: honeysuckle, agrimony, lemon balm, hyssop

POWER/ADVICE: July is strong in relaxed energy. A time to prepare do dream scaping, divination, meditation, and goals in the spiritual realm.

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Symbols for the Month of July

The Goddesses of July

Ishtar, Apt, Apet, Athena, Demeter, Persephone, Sothis, Rosea, Spider Woman

July’s Sign of the Zodiac

Cancer (the Crab): June 21 – July 20
Leo (the Lion): July 21 – August 20

July’s Celtic Tree Astrology

Duir – Oak (June 19 – July 7)
Tinne – Holly (July 8 – August 4)

July’s Runic Half Months

Feoh (June 29 – July 3)
Ur (July 14 – 28)
Thorn (July 29 – August 12)

July’s Birthstones

Ruby and Carnelian

July’s Birth Flowers

Jasmine, honeysuckle, travelers’ joy, crane’s bill, meadowsweet

Influencial Powers of July

Energy of the Sun and Earth; grounding and abundance

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 Pagan Calendar for July 2016

4: Independence Day
7: Celtic Tree Month of Oak ends
8: Celtic Tree Month of Holly begins
13: Birthday of Dr. John Dee in 1527
19: Full moon — Blessing Moon at 6:59 pm
19: Rebecca Nurse is hanged in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692
31: Birthday of author JK Rowling

July 7th:  The Oak moon falls during a time when the trees are beginning to reach their full blooming stages. The mighty Oak is strong, powerful, and typically towering over all of its neighbors. The Oak King rules over the summer months, and this tree was sacred to the Druids. The Celts called this month Duir, which some scholars believe to mean “door”, the root word of “Druid”. The Oak is connected with spells for protection and strength, fertility, money and success, and good fortune.

July 8th:  Although the Oak ruled in the previous month, its counterpart, the Holly, takes over in July. This evergreen plant reminds us all year long about the immortality of nature. The Holly moon was called Tinne, pronounced chihnn-uh, by the Celts, who knew the potent Holly was a symbol of masculine energy and firmness. The ancients used the wood of the Holly in the construction of weapons, but also in protective magic.

July 19th:  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. 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.

July 19th:  Rebecca Nurse was one of a number of people who were executed in Salem, Massachusetts, for the crime of witchcraft. The charges against Rebecca came as a surprise to her neighbors – in addition to being an elderly woman who was highly respected, she was also known for being a devout churchgoer.

Calendar published on & owned by About.com

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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.

July Folklore

“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.”

—-Hedgewitch Book of Days
Mandy Mitchell

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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.
Source:
Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
Deborah Blake

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Magickal Goody of the Day for July 26 – Make Your Own Wooden Tarot Box

Magickal Goody of the Day

Make Your Own Wooden Tarot Box

If you’ve got a set of Tarot cards that you’d like to keep safe, one of the best ways you can store them is in a special box. This easy craft project is one you can make either for yourself, or as a gift for a friend. You’ll need the following:

  • A plain wooden box, available at craft stores
  • A pencil
  • Paints or a woodburning tool
  • Scrap fabric

For the box’s cover, choose a design from your Tarot deck. For the one in the photos, I chose 0, the Fool(not the same box pictured), because it’s the first card, and signifies the beginning of a journey, which I thought was perfect for the lid’s design. Using your pencil, copy the design of the card onto the box’s lid.

Use either acrylic paints or a woodburning set to finish the image permanently. Although you may wish to add a coat of polyurethane to seal the design if you use paint, it’s not absolutely necessary.

Use a piece of scrap fabric to line the inside. You can either glue it in place, or leave it loose to wrap around the cards. Before you place your cards in the box for storage, consecrate the box as you would any other magical tool.

 

Originally published on & owned by About.com

Crystal of the Day for July 26th is Actinolite

Crystal of the Day

Actinolite


                                                                        
The name Actinolite comes from the Greek words, “aktinos” (ray) and “lithos” (stone).


Hardness: 5 -6                           
Specific Gravity:                           
Chemistry: Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2 Calcium Magnesium Iron Silicate Hydroxide       
Class: Silicates                     
Crystallography: Monoclinic                                 
Cleavage: perfect in two directions                     
Fracture: splintery to uneven                      
Streak: white                            
Luster: vitreous


Healing: Actinolite is used to boost the immune system.

Workings: Actinolite is an excellent stone to use in shielding. It protects one from psychic attack. Actinolite promotes a feeling of self-worth and strength and encourages inner balance and patience.
Actinolite is associated with the astrological sign of Scorpio and vibrates to the number 9.

Chakra Applications: Actinolite is used to energize the aura. It is associated with the Heart and Root chakras. Green actinolite works on the heart chakra and black works on the root chakra.

Foot Notes: Actinolite is an amphibole silicate mineral. It is a semi-precious stone, consisting of many needle-shaped crystals and their radial impregnations. Actinolite is commonly found in metamorphic rocks, such as contact aureoles surrounding cooled intrusive igneous rocks. It also occurs as a product of metamorphism of magnesium-rich limestones.
A variety of actinolite, Nephrite, is one of the two minerals called jade.
Reference:
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for July 26th is Cinnamon

Herb of the Day

Cinnamon

                                


Add cinnamon to remedies for acute symptoms, as this herb is a stimulant to other herbs and the body, enabling herbal remedies to work faster. It is also a blood purifier, an infection preventive, and a digestive aid. Cinnamon is used as a mouthwash, and is good for upset stomach.
For a cold medication simmer sticks with cloves for 3 min, add 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, 2 tbsp whiskey.

Cinnamon is also good for yeast infection and athlete’s foot. A 2% solution will kill both of these conditions. Boil 8-10 sticks in 4 cups water, simmer 5 min, steep 45 min, then douche or apply to athlete’s foot. Cinnamon reduces cancer causing tendencies of many food additives.


Do not ingest cinnamon oil.

Magickal uses: The ancient Hebrews used cinnamon oil as part of a holy anointing oil. The Egyptians also used the oil during the mummification process. The Romans wove the leaves into wreaths, which were used to decorate the temples. Burned in incense, cinnamon will promote high spirituality. It is also used to stimulate the passions of the male. It should also be burned in incenses used for healing. The essential oil is used for protection.

Properties: Warming stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-viral, alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, aromatic, astringent, demulcent, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, germicide, hemostatic, stimulant, stomachic

Growth: Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, growing in tropical forest and being extensively cultivated throughout the tropical regions of the world.
Reference
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Deity of the Day for July 26th is Bellona, the Roman Goddess of War

Deity of the Day

Bellona

the Roman Goddess of War

Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Bellona, the Roman goddess of war and the war-cry. She was believed to have inspired a warlike frenzy, in which Roman legionnaires would fight in a nearly uncontrollable, rage and fury. Dies Sanguinis (Day of Blood) was a festival held in Ancient Rome on the 24th March, called Bellona’s Day, when devout adherents and priests of the cult of Bellona cut themselves and drank the sacrificial blood to propitiate the goddess. Her name is derived from the Latin word ‘bellum’ meaning war. The Greek counterparts of Bellona were Enyo and Eris.
Bellona, the Roman goddess of war
Bellona, the Roman goddess of war was believed to have been introduced to Roman soldiers during campaigns in Asia Minor under General Pompey and Sulla during the last century of the Roman Republic. Her cult also introduced the ferocious, masochistic and orgiastic rites (similar to those of the goddess Cybele) performed by Asian priests. Bellona is often depicted wearing a plumed helmet and armed with a spear and a torch. In the picture by Rubens of Bellona she carries a shield, called the Aegis, displaying the head of Medusa, the gorgon an attribute that is usually associated with Minerva
Temple of Bellona
The first temple to Bellona was built in the year 296 by the consul Appius Claudius and it was erected by the Circus Flaminius, located in the southern end of the Campus Martius. Campus Martius was located outside the city walls of Rome and was dedicated to Mars, the Roman god of war, with an ancient altar and became closely linked to soldiers and the army. Events, rituals and festivals associated with underworld deities were held in the Campus Martius. The festival in honor of Bellona was celebrated on June 3. Bellona also had had several shrines in Rome and another temple was dedicated to her in Ostia Antica, the harbour city of ancient Rome. Priests of Bellona would perform furious dances using weapons and armor in honor of the goddess of war and were known to wound and gash themselves in a frightful manner.
Priests of Bellona – the Bellonarii and Belladonna
The priests of Bellona were called the Bellonarii who practised a variety of masochistic rituals. These rites took place on the 24 March and on the day that was called the dies sanguinis meaning the “day of blood”. On the dies sanguinis, the “day of blood” the Bellonarii mutilated their own arms and legs with sharp knives, collecting the blood to either drink or offer to Bellona to invoke the war fury. The bellonaria plant (solanum) was used by priests at this festival. Its seeds were eaten by priests to induce hallucinogenic, prophetic and oracular states. The name Belladonna, deadly nightshade, is a corruption of the word bellonaria. Another festival called Megalesia was celebrated between April 4 – 10 in honor of Cybele, the fertility goddess. Her eunuch priests, called the Galli, also practised mutilation leading to incorrect historical connections between the worship of two goddesses and their festivals.
The Worship of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war
The Romans were highly practical and believed that their gods and goddesses controlled everything in their lives and therefore every occupation and task had its presiding Roman goddess or god. Bellona the Roman goddess of war was worshipped in the same way as any other Roman divinity with prayers and making vows, dedicating altars, sacrificing blood, animals, birds and offerings of milk, honey, grain, fruit, cakes, flowers, perfumes and wine. Black victims to the deities of the Underworld. The sex of a sacrificial animal had to correspond to the sex of the goddess to whom it was offered. The blood sacrifices made to Bellona, the goddess of war, would therefore have been a black ewe, cow or heifer, sow, hen or other female birds and conducted outside a temple. An even darker side to Bellona is revealed in relation to blood offerings as the earliest sacrifices are said to have been human.

 

Reference:

Tales Beyond Belief