Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

Dragons:magic forest

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

 

Today Is …

 

Feast of Salacia, Goddess of Salt Water. If you live near the ocean, go for a swim or put your feet in the water. If not, honor the cleansing and renewal your tears can bring

Rome: Opiconsivia, the feast day honoring Ops Consivia, the Earth Goddess, considered to be the wife of Saturn. Ops was Lady of the Cornucopia, Bounty of the Harvest, and Sustainer of Life. In her honor, the Vestal Virgins opened a special room filled with sacred objects to performed their rites to ensure the fertility of the earth.

Ops or Consivia (the old Italian Goddess of fertility, sowing and reaping) had a special festival, which only the Vestals and the state priest could attend.

Heathen: The end of Odin’s Ordeal (August 17-25). Odin, the Nordic and Germanic all-father, was one of the three original Aesir gods who created the world, and most important of all the Norse Gods. In his quest for knowledge, he hung himself upside down from Yggdrasil, the world tree, for nine days. In commoration of the final day is the Festival of the Discovery of the Runes, when Odin fell “screaming” from the tree on which he had been bound, having gained the knowledge he sought.

Uppsala, Sweden, once observed this festival by sacrificing men and animals and hanging them in trees; devotees were burnt on pyres. Odin’s ordeal of hanging on the tree until his enlightenment bears apparent relation to the stories of both the Buddha and Jesus.

Voudun: Table Communion pour Dan Wezo, Roi de France

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred! )0( Live each Season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

 

 

Today Is…..

 


Beltane Comments & Graphics

Today Is …

 

 

Beltane~Rowan Witch Day~Kalends of May~May Day~Cetsahmain

April Showers Bring May Flowers! Leave a bouquet of May flowers at a friend or loved ones door today!

May gets its name from the Roman Goddess Maia, who embodies the earth’s renewal during spring. Next to New Year’s Eve, May Day (Beltane) was among the most popular holidays in the old world, marking the time when the sun’s warmth and nature’s fertility began appearing in the land. Later, well over 100 nations chose to celebrate Labor Day on May 1, giving everyone a much-needed rest from winter’s tasks.

For the purpose of your magical escapades, the theme is definitely blossoming and liveliness. Use as many flower parts as possible in spells and rituals, and go outside frequently to get closer to nature. Energies emphasized by this month include creativity, inventiveness, fertility, health, and metaphysically “spring cleaning” any area of your life or sacred space.

Between the Beltanes – Children born between the Beltanes (May 1 and May 8) have “the skill of man and beast” and power over both. Kightly, Charles, The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, Thames & Hudson 1987

Bona Dea – This was the day of dedication for the Aventine festival of the mysterious and generically named Good Goddess. Her cult was older than that of Heracles, which was itself pre-Roman. She was known as the wife of Faunus, a rustic god of woods and flocks, and she governed fertility and healing. Her rites were for women only and her oracles were revealed only to women.

Also on May 1st, the priests of Vulcan sacrificed a pregnant pig to Maia. Since a pig is the appropriate sacrifice for an earth goddess, Maia was equated with the earth by some Roman writers, as was Bona Dea. Blackburn, Bonnie and Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Oxford Companion to the Year, Oxford University Press 1999

Lei Day – Apparently in Hawaii this is a day for wearing leis and honoring the spirit of the lei: friendliness and good will. It seems appropriate to me to do this on May Day and in the middle of the Floralia, the festival in honor of flowers and sexuality.

Snake Festival – On the first Thursday in May, the town of Cocullo, Italy is full of snakes, in honor of San Domenico. Snake handlers gather the snakes on March 19 (St Joseph’s Day or equinox) when they are first emerging into the warmth of the spring sun and store them in jars of bran. On the feast day they bring them out and people get their photograph taken with a snake draped around them. Previously they took the snakes to Mass and waved them over their heads when the Host was elevated. Now they carry them in procession, along with the image of San Domenico. The festival used to end with the snakes being killed or sold to pharmacists to be made into ointments and cures. Now they are let loose.

San Domenico, a Benedictine monk, who was born in Umbria in 951 protects people from the bites of venomous snakes and rabid dogs, perhaps because of the story of how he tamed a fierce wolf that was about to steal a child. The story says he came to Cocullo when it was plagued by an invasion of snakes and charmed them out of their nests, just like St Patrick. But before San Domenico arrived in these parts, the Etruscans, the indigenous people in this part of Italy, worshipped the Goddess Angizia, a snake enchantress who lived in a nearby sacred wood and protected people from serpents. She was said to be a sister of Circe. She may be connected with Isis who mated with a serpent. Until some time in the last century, the people of Abruzzo believed the serpent copulated with all women.

Just as in the story of St Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland, this legend may record the transition from the earlier times when snakes were associated with the goddess and the bad reputation they acquired under Christianity. At one time, snakes were symbols of wisdom, and brought the gifts of prophecy and healing, which is why they appear on the caduceus, the symbol of the medical profession. They were also associated with fertility, since they penetrate the earth, and with rebirth, because of the way they shed their skins.

Ciambellone, special breads shaped like a snake biting its tail, are made to decorate the poles which support the statues in the procession. Treats called ciambelle, made from little twisted wreaths of bread, flavored with anise seed, look like snakes wrapped around each other. These sweets that are shaped and coiled like snakes occur only in regions of Italy where the Etruscans lived. Field, Carol, Celebrating Italy, William Morrow 1990 From School of Seasons

Floralia and Beltane ~ Ancient Roman Floralia (Florales Ludi) was a festival from April 28 – May 2 which began in Rome in 238 B.C. Floralia was originally a Spring Festival which honors Roman Goddess of Flowers, Flora (Chloris) another manifestation of the earth-goddess which includes Fauna, Maia and Ops. The temple of this goddess was founded on this day on the Aventine. Offerings of milk and honey were made on this day and the surrounding five days, which comprise the Florifertum. The city would have been decorated in flowers, and the people would wear floral wreaths or flowers in their hair. Games would be celebrated on this day. The celebration of this day survives in many cultures where it is known as May Day. 28 – May 3:The three day Festival of Flora and Venus, or the Florialia in Rome; Goddess of Sexuality and Spring flowers.

30: Walpurgisnacht celebrated by German Witches

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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

The All…The Earth Goddess

The All…The Earth Goddess

Author:   Blanche Magee 

If all religions respected each other’s views this world could accomplish so much. Why does humankind use religion to manipulate each other is my question? After much researching, I believe that it is all about fear and power to control, fear of the unknown, and fear of being unable to understand and control our world.

I cannot speak for others, but my own personal experience of fear and God was a long one and I know I am not done with this journey yet…but I also know without a doubt there is something tangible to this unknown force and, without fear, I am driven to understand and learn more about it.

Is God a man? Is God a woman? My answer to this is both no and yes, God is both. God is everything. God is the universe. God is the earth. Both halves must become one in order to see the truth of who this All Powerful entity is. Is God pure? Maybe. Is God tarnished? Maybe. God is chaos in the midst of reality and structure. To put God and Goddess into a finite tiny structure is impossible… so why do religions try to do this? FEAR, plain and simple. Fear causes groups to think they are right and all else is wrong.

The only evil (or fear of evil) in this world is in the heart of the individual and evil grows with fear that turns into judgment and narrow mindedness and then results in the persecution of other groups. Growing up I was told there was one (1) God and you have to worship him this way or you will go to hell. Why? Why would an all-loving good God make these kinds of stipulations? Believe or you burn? There is no real choice here, only a need to flee from a long and painful suffering. This kind of thinking is NOT the work of an all-loving Creator. It is the thinking of a scared mind.

We must release this dogmatic view of eternal power to be able to see what God/Goddess really is. Step away from the box of what everyone tells us is right and wrong and find out for ourselves. Learn about other cultures; learn about other religions and we will see there is a ‘base/root’ of truth in all of them. There is a life force greater than our individuality. If that life force came together and did things for the good of our world, we would see God/Goddess. The All is us, all of the planet earth, all of the universe. We are one. The All is a vine of everything… it must be connected somewhere to produce any fruit and cause change in this world.

Paganism is the simplicity of all these religions…the base…the root, per se. It is the good teachings’ beginning. It is the good teachings’ end. In its purity, it is realistic and workable. It is for all people. It is the earth, it is us…from dust of earth we came and back to the dust we will go to be used again for another purpose.

We are located in a perfect place in our universe. The wonders of the universe are within us. The imagination of the mind is vast. We must start at home on our planet. We are killing Mother Earth. We must stop killing our home… our life force. Where will we go from here if it is gone? How will the dust of life continue to rebirth?

This is the ‘All’ purpose; this is what we are meant to do in this lifetime. We must get out of our ‘rebellious teen thinking’ and mature. We have the power…we have the knowledge. We must stop fighting over who ‘God’ is, work out differences and save our planet, save our Goddess Gaia.

I encourage everyone to make a list of at least 10 items they can do to help to save the planet this year. My plans to help our planet grow and heal this year are as follows:

1. I plan to recycle as many plastic, paper and wood items I come across…not just at home but I also plan to do this at work and to encourage the people I work with to do the same. I am going to create a paper box, a plastic box and woods and metal box in my office for people to bring items to take and recycle.

2. I have always wanted to create compost in my backyard. I have found an instructional guide to do this on this website – http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicgardening/compost_pf.php. I am sure that many other websites on the web have ideas as well.

3. Creating a rainwater system has always been a dream of mine. I plan to make it a reality this year. This will help reduce my water bills and storm sewer charges, it will lower demands on municipal systems and I can avoid strict watering schedules. Plus, rainwater is extremely rich in nutrients and will reduce the use of fertilizers as well. No chemicals have been added to rainwater and it will make for better vegetable production.

4. Planttwo trees this year. I have always wanted to plant a magnolia tree in my yard so this year is as good as any. Plus I would like to have some fruit trees, so I guess I better learn some hints on how to grow them.

5. Donate some money to The Nature Conservancy. I have done this in years past and feel it is a good cause. Plus as an added bonus, they send you a yearly booklet on all the land they have bought and a calendar of the cutest animals every year. The Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/thenatureconservancy

6. Plant a vegetable garden. I do this most years but I will continue the tradition because there is nothing that brings me closer to the goddess Gaia than to dig in her soil and plant some seeds.

7. Use my Amazon Kindle to buy all my books this year. I love reading but books are made of paper so I think this year in order to help to preserve more trees, I will do my reading from the computer screen.

8.Turn off all the lights in my house unless I am in that room doing something. I will try to (carefully) use more candles! The Goddess loves fire.

9. Use the front and back of my pages in my personal journals. I write a lot and I figure what better way to help is to use the paper until it is completely full.

10. Do a ritual once a month to send positive healing out to our world.

Unity… All are teachers; all are students.