“As in the bread and wine, so it is with me.
Within all forms is locked a record of the past
And a promise of the future.
I ask that you lay your blessings upon me, Ancient Ones,
That this season of waning light
And increasing darkness may not be heavy.
So Mote It Be!”
– Faille, Lammas Ritual
AUGUST ~ THE CORN MOON
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. 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. August is also 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. Now we recognize the month of August beginning with the Pagan sabbat Lammas or Lughnasadh, the first of the harvest sabbats. Brains are honored at this time, and breads are always found on the Lammas table. Most of the deities honored in August are fertility and harvest gods.
In August you can occasionally feel the breath of autumn. 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 farmers bounty. Many Native Americans celebrated the corn harvest in August. This festival eventually gave August’s Full Moon its name, the Corn Moon. The Anglo-Saxons referred to August as the Weod Monath (Weed Month) or Arn-month (Barn Month). Today most Pagans recognize August’s Full Moon as the Corn Moon. Magic for the Corn Moon may focus a health, fertility or abundance. The birthstone of the month is peridot. Interesting fun fact: no other month starts on the same day of the week as August unless it’s a leap year, in which case August and February start on the same day.
—Excerpt from Llewellyn’s 2018 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac
Article Entitled “August” by Laurel Reufner
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
- Element: Fire
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?
Using Corn in 7 Magical Ways
To use corn in magical workings, think of the symbolism of this hearty grain. Here are some ways you can use corn in ritual:
- Use corn in rituals involving growth and transformation. After all, a single kernel brings you a tall stalk full of (you guessed it!) more kernels! You can also associate it with self-sustainability and fertility, both of people and of the land.
- Ceres was the Roman goddess of grain, specifically corn, and of the harvest season. According to Roman legend, she was the one who taught mankind how to farm. She is associated with agricultural fertility and a bountiful harvest. Make her an offering, and she may well protect your crops from natural disasters such as flooding or blight.
- Create herbal sachets out of the husks, to use around the house, bringing in magic associated with various herbs.
- Make offerings to gods or goddesses of fertility. Depending on your tradition, different deities like different things, but in general, you can’t go wrong with offerings that are food, drink, or handmade items.
- Sprinkle corn around your ritual area to delineate sacred space. This is a great way to create an eco-friendly circle that you don’t have to clean up later – don’t worry, the birds and other local wildlife will take care of it
- Make a corn doll to honor the deity of your tradition.
- Create a corn husk chain, with each link representing a magical goal. As you get closer to the goal, remove a link, and either burn it, bury it, or return it into your garden.
Festival: Lammas (Lughnasadh). The first harvest. Symbols include scythes and sickles, all grains, sheaves of wheat, honey, grapes, and wine.
Moon name: Sturgeon Moon, after the fish that is most easily caught during this month. Other names include Corn Moon, Green Corn Moon, Lightning Moon, and Dog Days Moon.
Astrological signs: Leo, July 21– August 20; Virgo, August 21– September 20.
Birthstones: Peridot and sardonyx.
Nature spirits: Crop and earth spirits.
Animals: Horse and otter.
Birds: Wood pigeon and swift.
Trees: Hazel and elder.
Flowers: Sunflower, cornflower, and harebell.
Herbs: Lady’s bedstraw, parsley, and basil.
Scents: Sandalwood and heather.
Colors: Gold and red.
Powers: Reaping what you have sown; transformation and prosperity; letting go of regrets.
Other: A time for carnivals and festivals.
—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Symbols for the Month of August
August’s Festivals: Lammas (Lughnasadh
August’s Sign of the Zodiac
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
August’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Tinne (Holly) (July 8 – August 4))
Coll (Hazel) (August 5 – September 1)
August’s Runic Half Months
Thorn (July 29 – August 12)
As (August 13 – August 28)
Rad (August 29 – September 12)
August’s Birth Flower
Sunflower, cornflower, and harebell
“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
1: Lammas or Lughnasadh, the celebration of the grain harvest
1: Imbolc (Southern Hemisphere), honoring the goddess Brighid
1: Birthday of medium Edward Kelley, 1555
4: Celtic Tree Month of Holly ends
5: Celtic Tree Month of Hazel begins
13: Roman Festival of Pomona, goddess of apples and orchards
15: Birthday of Charles Leland, folklorist and author, 1824
20: Birthday of author Ann Moura in 1947
23: Roman Festival of Vulcanalia
26: Full Moon–Corn Moon at 7:56 am. Now is a time to focus on harvesting that which you have already planted… but don’t forget, it’s important to set some of your harvest aside for the coming winter months.
31: Birthday of author Raymond Buckland
August is the culmination of solar power and vigorous plant growth, even as the year wanes. Because of this, the power we can harness for spellwork is really high. However, it’s also a time when passionate, sometimes harsh emotions (and therefore our personal power and Witchy energies), can become a little unfocused, a little. . . impatient. Keeping our cool during the dogs days of summer–the hottest days of the year–can be a real challenge, even for the calmest personalities. Opportunities abound for us to rise to these challenges as the people around us become difficult to please, cranky, and even hostile with the rising heat. Statistically, these long, hot weeks of midsummer reveal that ever-rising crime rates go hand in hand with the rising heat, year after year. Sometimes we even find ourselves acting in ways that are not in tune with our truest or best intentions, and that can cause us to become even more cranky, aiming that anger at ourselves and sending an alert to our hearts and spirits that it’s time to cool down!
Part of meeting this challenge is cultivating a healthy self-love. Knowing that we are not always going to be perfect accepting our flaws, and loving ourselves just the way we are in this moment are all key to surviving the hot days ahead with our inner peace intact. We can decorate our altars with positive affirmations written or painted in beautiful colors, reminding ourselves that we are calm, beautiful, and powerful people who both draw and exude peace, tranquility, and compassion. We can practice forgiveness when our or others’ actions have caused pain or anger by writing our experience or feelings on paper and then burning the paper, letting the flames of summer take our hurt away. Finally, we can bless ourselves and realign our positive intentions by taking advantage of the fact that the Full Moon this month. We can do spellwork, as the Moon wanes, to banish negativity and cool our spirits during the elemental energies of emotion through the medium of emotion, water, and its watery cousin, the cucumber.
Cool as a Cucumber Spell
For this working, on the Full Moon take a large glass pitcher or jar and slice a cucumber into it. Cover the cucumber slices with ice cubes, and the till the jar with water. As you do, chant this, repeating seven times:
Cool as a cucumber, fresh as a breeze,
The flames of life’s harshness are banished from me.
Icy bright freshness, waters of life,
Wash away anger, discord, and strife!
Let the jar sit on your altar (you’ll want to put it on a plate covered with a small towel or washcloth to catch the condensation so it doesn’t ruin the surface of your altar) for about an hour to infuse the water with the cucumber’s flavor and energies. Say the chant again as you pour yourself a cup to drink. If anger has been a strong issue for you in recent days, you may also wish to pour some of the water onto a washcloth, lie down with the folded cloth covering your eyes, and repeat the chant softly until your anger subsides. Repeat as necessary as the Moon wanes throughout the dog days of summer.
Thuri Calafia, Author
—Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar 2018
Witchy Ways to Celebrate August
Decorate your home and altar with symbols of the harvest— apples, berries, and corn. A simple bowl of oats works well as a focus. Use both summer and autumnal colors in your flowers and burn basil, lavender, and cinnamon incense.
Bake a loaf of bread using local flour if you can, and share it with your family, friends, and neighbors. Leave some out as an offering to the Fae and as thanks for the harvest.
Notice the seasonal changes that are coming by walking in the sunshine and watching out for the changes in the air that herald autumn.
Expand your magic by using color or food magic to create a thanksgiving feast with the local bounty of produce that is available.
Try making a simple corn dolly, or learn a skill or craft.
Write down your regrets and thanks in your Book of Shadows to record your Lammas journey.
Start to preserve the harvest by making jams, chutneys, or pickles so you can have a taste of summer later in the year,
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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