Mabon: The God of Light Is Defeated By His Brother, The God of Darkness


Mabon Comments & Graphics

“Mythically, this is the day of the year when the god of light is defeated by his twin and alter-ego, the god of darkness. It is the time of the year when night conquers day. And as I have recently shown in my seasonal reconstruction of the Welsh myth of Blodeuwedd, the Autumnal Equinox is the only day of the whole year when Llew (light) is vulnerable and it is possible to defeat him. Llew now stands on the balance (Libra/autumnal equinox), with one foot on the cauldron (Cancer/summer solstice) and his other foot on the goat (Capricorn/winter solstice). Thus he is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio).  Two things are now likely to occur mythically, in rapid succession. Having defeated Llew, Goronwy (darkness) now takes over Llew’s functions, both as lover to Blodeuwedd, the Goddess, and as King of our own world. Although Goronwy, the Horned King, now sits on Llew’s throne and begins his rule immediately, his formal coronation will not be for another six weeks, occurring at Samhain (Halloween) or the beginning of Winter, when he becomes the Winter Lord, the Dark King, Lord of Misrule. Goronwy’s other function has more immediate results, however. He mates with the virgin goddess, and Blodeuwedd conceives, and will give birth — nine months later (at the Summer Solstice) — to Goronwy’s son, who is really another incarnation of himself, the Dark Child.  Llew’s sacrificial death at Harvest Home also identifies him with John Barleycorn, spirit of the fields. Thus, Llew represents not only the sun’s power, but also the sun’s life trapped and crystallized in the corn. Often this corn spirit was believed to reside most especially in the last sheaf or shock harvested, which was dressed in fine clothes, or woven into a wicker-like man-shaped form. This effigy was then cut and carried from the field, and usually burned, amidst much rejoicing. So one may see Blodeuwedd and Goronwy in a new guise, not as conspirators who murder their king, but as kindly farmers who harvest the crop which they had planted and so lovingly cared for. And yet, anyone who knows the old ballad of John Barleycorn knows that we have not heard the last of him.”

 

–  Mike Nichols, Harvest Home

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

4. Celtic

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

Legends and Lore for August

 

August, the eighth month of the current Gregorian calendar and the third month of Summer’s rule, derives its name from Augustus (Augustus Caesar).

The traditional birthstone amulets of August are the peridot and the sardonyx; and the gladiolus and the poppy are the month’s traditional flowers.

August is shared by the astrological signs of Leo the Lion and Virgo the Virgin, and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Ceres, the Corn Mother, Demeter, John Barleycorn, Lugh, and all goddesses who preside over agriculture.

During the month of August, the Great Solar Wheel of the Year is turned to Lammas, one of the four Grand Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans and modern Witches throughout the world.

August 1~ 2 On this day, the Lammas sabbat is celebrated by Wiccans and Witches throughout the world. Lammas (which is also known as Lughnasadh, August Eve, and the First Festival of Harvest) marks the start of the harvest season and is a time when the fertility aspect of the sacred union of the Goddess and Horned God is honored. The making of corn dollies (small figures fashioned from braided straw) is a centuries-old Pagan custom which is carried on by many modern Witches as part of the Lammas sabbath rite. The corn dollies are placed on the sabbath altar to represent the Mother Goddess who presides over the harvest. It is customary on each Lammas to make or buy a new corn dolly and then burn the old one from the past year for good luck.

On this day in the country of Macedonia, Neo-Pagans celebrate the Day of the Dryads, an annual nature festival dedicated to the maiden spirits who inhabit and rule over forests and trees.

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August 2

On this day, the Feast of Anahita is celebrated in honor of the ancient Persian goddess Anahita, a deity associated with love and lunar powers.

Lady Godiva Day is celebrated annually on this date in the village of Coventry, England, with a medieval-style parade led by a nude woman on horseback.

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Today Is …

August 3

The harvest season begins on this date in Japan with an annual festival called the Aomori Nebuta. Bamboo effigies with grotesquely painted faces are paraded through the streets in order to drive away the spirits of sleep.

Feast Of Caligo, Mother Of Chaos.

England: Bell-Belt Day In Congleton, Cheshire: drunken excesses were announced by midnight runners wearing belts of bells. In 1601, money destined for the church was hijacked to buy a replacement town bear:

“Congleton rare, Congleton rare, Sold the Bible to pay for a bear”.

Weather Prognostication – Greeks look at the weather on the third day of August to predict the weather for the next three months. If it’s nice, it will be nice for the next three months. Rufus, Anneli, The World Holiday Book, Harper San Francisco 1994

)0( 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)

  • • • •.

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

 

About Lammas

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

About Lammas

a guide to the Sabbat’s symbolism

by Arwynn MacFeylynnd

Date: August 1 or 2.

Alternative names: Lughnassadh, Lammastide, August Eve, Harvest Home, Ceresalia (Roman, in honor of the grain goddess Ceres), First Fruits, Festival of Green Corn (Native American), Feast of Cardenas, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide and Elembiuos. Lammas, an Anglo-Saxon word, means “loaf mass.” Lughnassadh is named for the Irish sun god Lugh (pronounced Loo), and variant spellings are Lughnasadh, Lughnasad, Lughnassad, Lughnasa and Lunasa.

Primary meanings: This festival has two aspects. First, it is one of the Celtic fire festivals, honoring the Celtic culture-bringer Lugh (Lleu to the Welsh, Lugus to the Gauls). In Ireland, races and games were held in his name and that of his mother, Tailtiu (these may have been funeral games). Second, the holiday is the Saxon Feast of Bread, at which the first of the grain harvest is consumed in ritual loaves. These aspects are not too dissimilar, as the shamanic death and transformation of Lleu can be compared to that of the Barley God, known from the folksong “John Barleycorn.”

Lammas celebrates the first of three harvest celebrations in the Craft. It marks the beginning of autumn, the start of the harvest cycle, and relies on the early crops of ripening grain and any fruits and vegetables ready to be harvested. It is associated with bread because grain is one of the first crops harvested. Those in the Craft often give thanks and honor now to gods and goddesses of the harvest, as well as those who represent death and resurrection.

Symbols: All grains, especially corn and wheat, corn dollies, sun wheels, bread, harvesting and threshing tools and the harvest full moon. Altar decorations might include corn dollies or kirn babies (corncob dolls) to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the Harvest. Other appropriate decorations include summer flowers and grains. You might also wish to have a loaf of whole cracked wheat or multigrain bread upon the altar, baked in the shape of the sun.

Colors: Red, orange, gold, yellow, citrine, green, grey and light brown.

Gemstones: Yellow diamonds, aventurine, sardonyx, peridot and citrine.

Herbs: Acacia flowers, aloes, chamomile, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, passionflower, rose, rose hips, rosemary, sandalwood, sunflowers and wheat.

Gods and goddesses: Lugh, Thor, John Barleycorn (the personification of malt liquor), Demeter, Danu, Ceres, sun gods, corn mothers, all grain and agriculture deities, mother goddesses and father gods.

Customs and myths: Spellwork for prosperity, abundance and good fortune are especially appropriate now, as well as spells for connectedness, career, health and financial gain. Sacrifice is often associated with this holiday. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. It is considered taboo not to share your food with others now.

Activities appropriate for this time of the year are baking bread, wheat weaving and making corn dollies or other god and goddess symbols. You may want to string Indian corn on black thread to make a necklace, or bake cornbread sticks shaped like little ears of corn for your Sabbat cakes. The corn dolly may be used both as a fertility amulet and as an altar centerpiece.

Some pagans bake Lammas bread in the form of a god-figure or sun wheel — if you do this, be sure to use this bread in your Lammas ritual’s cakes and ale ceremony, if you have one. During the Lammas ritual, some consume bread or something from the first harvest. Some gather first fruits; others symbolically throw pieces of bread into a fire

 

The Witches Correspondences for Lammas, August 1, 2015

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

The Witches Correspondences for Lammas, August 1, 2015

 

Time of Day: Mid-Afternoon, Noon to 5 pm

Time of Life: 40-60’s, Middle Age, Height of Powers, Fatherhood

Decorations: Bread, Corn, Wheat, Fruits, Corn Dolly, Green Man

Foods: Plums, Peaches, Grapes, Wheat, Lamb, Berries, Barley Cakes, Breads

Herbs: Heather, Acacia, Hollyhock, Aloes, Sunflowers, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Rose

Tools: Baskets, Lugh’s Spear (Areadbhar), Sickles, Scythes

Goddesses: Ceres, Demeter, Corn Mother, Pomona, Mother Earth

Gods: Lugh, Mercury, Hermes, Adonis, John Barleycorn, Green Man
Lughnasadh is more of a Men’s Holiday

Themes
Harvest, Transformation, Fruitfulness, Change Abundance, Completion, Prosperity, Robustness, Achievement, Letting Go, Reaping, Sacrifice, Purification, Contentment, Bread of Life, Table of Plenty, Ever Flowing Cup, Chalice of Plenty

Farming Activities
Harvesting and preserving wheat, corn, vegetables

Animals: Crow, Salmon

Tarot, Divination: Wheel of Fortune, Justice

Colors: Golden Yellow, Light Brown, Purple, Orange, Red-Brown, Brown-Grey

Activities, Celebrations
Dancing, Singing, Playing Music, Poetry Reading, Bardic Competitions, Games, Competitions, Men’s Sports, Drinking beer, whiskey, mead, iced tea

Sacred Circle (Valley Spirit): South-West, Violet

Celebrations:
Lughnasadh – Druid, Neo-Pagan, Lammas – Wiccan, Mea’n Fo’mhair (Greenman) – Druid, Welsh

 

Calendar of the Sun for August 8th

Calendar of the Sun

8 Weodmonath

Rye Day

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a brown cloth lay a scythe, a chalice of water, a basket of unthreshed rye stalks, and a loaf of rye bread.
Offering: Give food to the poor.
Daily Meal: Rye bread sandwiches.

Rye Invocation

I sing the song of the scythe,
Swinging through the air,
Sharpness and keenness its breath,
Rhythm its walk,
The tooth of the Moon,
The razor of the Sun.
For sharpness means that we shall eat this winter,
For keenness means that there shall be enough.
May those of us who find ourselves to be blades
Recall that our cutting edge
Is best used for the nourishment of all.

(The water is passed around, and then the remainder is poured out as a libation.)

I sing the praises of Rye,
Grain of the cold north,
Grain who needs little to prosper,
Grain who feeds those with the worst land,
Tallest of the waving heads,
Dark flour of nourishment,
I sing the praises of Rye.

(The rye bread is passed around, and then the remainder is scattered in the garden.)

Song: John Barleycorn

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for August 2

Calendar of the Sun

2 Weodmonath

Barley Day

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a brown cloth set a clay jug of beer, a bowl of barley porridge, a sickle, and a sheaf of barley.
Offerings: Give food to the poor.
Daily Meal: Cooked barley porridge.

Barley Invocation

I sing the praises of grain,
That which sustained our foremothers
That which strengthened our foremothers
That which fed all children’s hungry mouths
That which multiplies from the earth,
Giving back more than we give in turn.
I sing the praises of the sacrifice
That is cut down
That we may live.

(The jug of beer is passed around, and the last of it poured out as a libation.)

I sing the praises of Barley,
Growing in the footsteps of Frey
Cut down in the body of Ing
Brewed to make the drink
That makes hearts high and warms the family circle
Grain of companionship,
Grain of Rune of Sacrifice,
I sing the praises of Barley.

(The bowl of barley is passed around, and the last of it poured out as a libation.)

Song: John Barleycorn

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Wicca Book of Days for August 2 – Golden Gods

The Wicca Book of Days for August 2

Golden Gods

 

August 1 marked the sacrificial death of the Horned God in his incarnations as John Barleycorn, or the Corn King whose short-lived reign began on the Summer Solstice, and who willingly allowed his life to be reaped by the scythe-wielding Goddess at Lughnasadh. The King is dead, and the erstwhile Lord of Light is now preparing to begin his rule as the Lord of Darkness. Being a zodiacal day of Leo, August 2 is also a sun governed day, and myths the world over tell how Sun Gods such as the Egyptian Ra, must similarly survive a perilous period of darkness – night-before being “reborn” at dawn.

 

Soothe Sunburn

The sun’s rays are still powerful enough to burn, so remember to apply suntan lotion regularly when you are outside. If you do end up with sunburn, brewing, cooling, and gently dabbing tannin-rich black tea onto your sore skin may bring some relief.

The Legend of John Barleycorn

The Legend of John Barleycorn

By Patti Wigington

John Barleycorn is a character who symbolizes not only the harvest, but the products made from it as well.

In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley — beer and whiskey — and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death.

Although written versions of the song date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, there is evidence that it was sung for years before that. There are a number of different versions, but the most well-known one is the Robert Burns version, in which John Barleycorn is portrayed as an almost Christ-like figure, suffering greatly before finally dying so that others may live.

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields. This ties into the related story of the Wicker Man, who is burned in effigy. Ultimately, the character of John Barleycorn is a metaphor for the spirit of grain, grown healthy and hale during the summer, chopped down and slaughtered in his prime, and then processed into beer and whiskey so he can live once more.

The lyrics to the Robert Burns version of the song are as follows:

There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.

They took a plough and plough’d him down,
put clods upon his head,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on’
and show’rs began to fall.
John Barleycorn got up again,
and sore surprised them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
and he grew thick and strong;
his head well arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
that no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
when he grew wan and pale;
his bendin’ joints and drooping head
show’d he began to fail.

His colour sicken’d more and more,
and he faded into age;
and then his enemies began
to show their deadly rage.

They took a weapon, long and sharp,
and cut him by the knee;
they ty’d him fast upon a cart,
like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
and cudgell’d him full sore.
they hung him up before the storm,
and turn’d him o’er and o’er.

They filled up a darksome pit
with water to the brim,
they heav’d in John Barleycorn.
There, let him sink or swim!

They laid him upon the floor,
to work him farther woe;
and still, as signs of life appear’d,
they toss’d him to and fro.

They wasted o’er a scorching flame
the marrow of his bones;
but a miller us’d him worst of all,
for he crush’d him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very hero blood
and drank it round and round;
and still the more and more they drank,
their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
of noble enterprise;
for if you do but taste his blood,
’twill make your courage rise.

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
’twill heighten all his joy;
’twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
tho the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
each man a glass in hand;
and may his great posterity
ne’er fail in old Scotland!

About Lammas

About Lammas

a guide to the Sabbat’s symbolism

by Arwynn MacFeylynnd

Date: August 1 or 2.

Alternative names: Lughnassadh, Lammastide, August Eve, Harvest Home, Ceresalia (Roman, in honor of the grain goddess Ceres), First Fruits, Festival of Green Corn (Native American), Feast of Cardenas, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide and Elembiuos. Lammas, an Anglo-Saxon word, means “loaf mass.” Lughnassadh is named for the Irish sun god Lugh (pronounced Loo), and variant spellings are Lughnasadh, Lughnasad, Lughnassad, Lughnasa and Lunasa.

Primary meanings: This festival has two aspects. First, it is one of the Celtic fire festivals, honoring the Celtic culture-bringer Lugh (Lleu to the Welsh, Lugus to the Gauls). In Ireland, races and games were held in his name and that of his mother, Tailtiu (these may have been funeral games). Second, the holiday is the Saxon Feast of Bread, at which the first of the grain harvest is consumed in ritual loaves. These aspects are not too dissimilar, as the shamanic death and transformation of Lleu can be compared to that of the Barley God, known from the folksong “John Barleycorn.”

Lammas celebrates the first of three harvest celebrations in the Craft. It marks the beginning of autumn, the start of the harvest cycle, and relies on the early crops of ripening grain and any fruits and vegetables ready to be harvested. It is associated with bread because grain is one of the first crops harvested. Those in the Craft often give thanks and honor now to gods and goddesses of the harvest, as well as those who represent death and resurrection.

Symbols: All grains, especially corn and wheat, corn dollies, sun wheels, bread, harvesting and threshing tools and the harvest full moon. Altar decorations might include corn dollies or kirn babies (corncob dolls) to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the Harvest. Other appropriate decorations include summer flowers and grains. You might also wish to have a loaf of whole cracked wheat or multigrain bread upon the altar, baked in the shape of the sun.

Colors: Red, orange, gold, yellow, citrine, green, grey and light brown.

Gemstones: Yellow diamonds, aventurine, sardonyx, peridot and citrine.

Herbs: Acacia flowers, aloes, chamomile, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, passionflower, rose, rose hips, rosemary, sandalwood, sunflowers and wheat.

Gods and goddesses: Lugh, Thor, John Barleycorn (the personification of malt liquor), Demeter, Danu, Ceres, sun gods, corn mothers, all grain and agriculture deities, mother goddesses and father gods.

Customs and myths: Spellwork for prosperity, abundance and good fortune are especially appropriate now, as well as spells for connectedness, career, health and financial gain. Sacrifice is often associated with this holiday. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. It is considered taboo not to share your food with others now.

Activities appropriate for this time of the year are baking bread, wheat weaving and making corn dollies or other god and goddess symbols. You may want to string Indian corn on black thread to make a necklace, or bake cornbread sticks shaped like little ears of corn for your Sabbat cakes. The corn dolly may be used both as a fertility amulet and as an altar centerpiece.

Some pagans bake Lammas bread in the form of a god-figure or sun wheel — if you do this, be sure to use this bread in your Lammas ritual’s cakes and ale ceremony, if you have one. During the Lammas ritual, some consume bread or something from the first harvest. Some gather first fruits; others symbolically throw pieces of bread into a fire.

About Lammas

About Lammas

a guide to the Sabbat’s symbolism

by Arwynn MacFeylynnd

Date: August 1 or 2.

Alternative names: Lughnassadh, Lammastide, August Eve, Harvest Home, Ceresalia (Roman, in honor of the grain goddess Ceres), First Fruits, Festival of Green Corn (Native American), Feast of Cardenas, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide and Elembiuos. Lammas, an Anglo-Saxon word, means “loaf mass.” Lughnassadh is named for the Irish sun god Lugh (pronounced Loo), and variant spellings are Lughnasadh, Lughnasad, Lughnassad, Lughnasa and Lunasa.

Primary meanings: This festival has two aspects. First, it is one of the Celtic fire festivals, honoring the Celtic culture-bringer Lugh (Lleu to the Welsh, Lugus to the Gauls). In Ireland, races and games were held in his name and that of his mother, Tailtiu (these may have been funeral games). Second, the holiday is the Saxon Feast of Bread, at which the first of the grain harvest is consumed in ritual loaves. These aspects are not too dissimilar, as the shamanic death and transformation of Lleu can be compared to that of the Barley God, known from the folksong “John Barleycorn.”

Lammas celebrates the first of three harvest celebrations in the Craft. It marks the beginning of autumn, the start of the harvest cycle, and relies on the early crops of ripening grain and any fruits and vegetables ready to be harvested. It is associated with bread because grain is one of the first crops harvested. Those in the Craft often give thanks and honor now to gods and goddesses of the harvest, as well as those who represent death and resurrection.

Symbols: All grains, especially corn and wheat, corn dollies, sun wheels, bread, harvesting and threshing tools and the harvest full moon. Altar decorations might include corn dollies or kirn babies (corncob dolls) to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the Harvest. Other appropriate decorations include summer flowers and grains. You might also wish to have a loaf of whole cracked wheat or multigrain bread upon the altar, baked in the shape of the sun.

Colors: Red, orange, gold, yellow, citrine, green, grey and light brown.

Gemstones: Yellow diamonds, aventurine, sardonyx, peridot and citrine.

Herbs: Acacia flowers, aloes, chamomile, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak leaves, passionflower, rose, rose hips, rosemary, sandalwood, sunflowers and wheat.

Gods and goddesses: Lugh, Thor, John Barleycorn (the personification of malt liquor), Demeter, Danu, Ceres, sun gods, corn mothers, all grain and agriculture deities, mother goddesses and father gods.

Customs and myths: Spellwork for prosperity, abundance and good fortune are especially appropriate now, as well as spells for connectedness, career, health and financial gain. Sacrifice is often associated with this holiday. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. It is considered taboo not to share your food with others now.

Activities appropriate for this time of the year are baking bread, wheat weaving and making corn dollies or other god and goddess symbols. You may want to string Indian corn on black thread to make a necklace, or bake cornbread sticks shaped like little ears of corn for your Sabbat cakes. The corn dolly may be used both as a fertility amulet and as an altar centerpiece.

Some pagans bake Lammas bread in the form of a god-figure or sun wheel — if you do this, be sure to use this bread in your Lammas ritual’s cakes and ale ceremony, if you have one. During the Lammas ritual, some consume bread or something from the first harvest. Some gather first fruits; others symbolically throw pieces of bread into a fire.