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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A Little Humor for Your Day – “How To Give A Cat A Pill Plus Bonus Instructions!”

How To Give A Cat A Pill

(with bonus instructions on how to give a dog a pill)

How to Give a Cat a Pill

  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
  4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
  5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from yard.
  6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
  7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
  8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
  9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink one beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
  10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.
  11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of Scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
  12. Call fire department to retrieve the friggin’ cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.
  13. Tie the dang thing’s front paws to rear paws with twine and bind tightly to leg of dining room table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
  14. Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
  15. Arrange for Humane Society to collect mutant cat and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How to Give a Dog a Pill

  1. Wrap it in bacon.

 

For more great Pagan humor, visit Turok’s Cabana

Astronomy Picture of the Day – Blue Danube Analemma

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 July 29

Blue Danube Analemma
Image Credit & Copyright: György Soponyai

 

Explanation: The Sun’s annual waltz through planet Earth’s sky forms a graceful curve known as an analemma. The analemma’s figure 8 shape is tipped vertically at far right in this well-composed fisheye view from Budapest, Hungary. Captured at a chosen spot on the western bank of the Danube river, the Sun’s position was recorded at 11:44 Central European Time on individual exposures over days spanning 2015 July 23 to 2016 July 4. Of course, on the northern summer solstice the Sun is at the top of the curve, but at the midpoints for the autumn and spring equinoxes. With snow on the ground, the photographer’s shadow and equipment bag also appear in the base picture used for the composite panorama, taken on 2016 January 7. On that date, just after the winter solstice, the Sun was leaving the bottom of the beautiful curve over the blue Danube.

Earth Sky News for July 29th: Go someplace dark and watch meteors!

Go someplace dark and watch meteors!

 

Mercury in Virgo – July 30 till October 7

 

 

 

 

 

Mercury in Virgo

Minds and words are sharp as Mercury transits critical Virgo

Put on your thinking cap and make sure it’s adjusted perfectly — communication planet Mercury moves into critical Virgo on July 30, 2016 — and because he’ll turn retrograde in this discerning sign, Mercury won’t leave Virgo until October 7! Mercury Virgo signals a time when our minds are sharp, our speech becomes precise, and we’re able to communicate with others more efficiently.

Until Mercury turns retrograde on August 30, we’ll be thinking in much more practical terms. Whereas Mercury in Leo was more playful and chatty, Mercury in Virgo has no time for idle chit-chat. This transit is about analyzing ideas until they’re perfected and speaking seriously about most matters.

Virgo is Mercury’s home sign (along with Gemini), so the communication planet feels comfortable here and is ready and willing to think clearly, get organized and manage complex projects. It’s not necessarily the most imaginative or fun transit Mercury makes, but it’s definitely productive!

Top dos and don’ts for making the most of Mercury in Virgo:

Do solve problems — Break out the Sudoku! Analytical Virgo is great at taking an existing problem and working it over and over until … POOF! The problem is solved!

Don’t be narrow-minded — Mercury in Virgo enhances focus and critical thinking, but be careful you don’t become overly critical and way too picky about everything during this transit.

Do perform an act of service — Virgo is the sign of service, and with communication planet Mercury transiting this sign it’s the perfect time to speak out or write a letter on behalf of a person or organization you’re passionate about.

Don’t bite someone’s head off — Mercury is crisp and efficient in Virgo, with no time for unnecessary pleasantries. Remember to be polite, even if you are in a hurry to get to the point.

Do learn something new — Mercury in Virgo is a made for learning! Take a class, enhance your knowledge or practice skill-building now, while your mind can best absorb new knowledge.

Don’t neglect your imagination — Mercury is so practical in Virgo that it’s likely your creativity and imagination could become blocked. Do what you can now to give yourself an extra boost in creativity through books or movies or anything that gets you out of your head for a while.

 

Part of the Daily Insight Group

©Tarot.com 2016. All rights reserved.

Uranus Retrograde – July 29 to December 29

 

 

 

 

 

Uranus Retrograde

Revolution starts from within as radical Uranus turns back

“Freedom” is the word to the wise as rebel planet Uranus moves retrograde from July 29 to December 29, 2016. Now is the time to look at life from a fresh perspective, toss out the old ways of doing things and feel free to create a whole new world.

Well, don’t be intimidated — just remember to take baby steps over the next few months and years. We’re just at the beginning of a profound period of change, and it will only happen person-by-person, one small change at a time.

Basically, Uranus Retrograde just wants us to get real. It’s time to face our fears and change the things that aren’t working so we can become who we really want to be. This is true on both a personal and global scale.

So if you’re in a bad relationship, stuck in a job you don’t like, living in a place that doesn’t feel right or spending time with the wrong people, Uranus will alert you to this in coming months. The realization may dawn on you slowly, and it may involve an uncomfortable period of anxiety — but when you do have those epiphanies, pay attention. Make the needed changes!

Break up, make up, change jobs, move or do whatever you need to do to shake it up and move on to something better. In other words, get real about what you want, be brave and embrace your freedom to go after it.

 

Part of the Daily Insight Group

©Tarot.com 2016. All rights reserved.