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

Celtic Queen

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

 

Today Is …

Nessie ~ On this date in the year 1930, the first sighting of the famous monster of Loch Ness was officially recorded in Scotland. Old Nessie (as the monster has been affectionately nicknamed) has since been witnessed by thousands of people and continues to attract countless numbers of tourists with cameras to Loch Ness each year.

Day Dedicated to Arinna – She is an Anatolia Sun Goddess. Spend as much of the day as you can in the sun or try starting a fire using a concave lens and the sun. Place a sunflower on your altar.

Horse God – On the 23rd day of the 6th lunar montyh, the Chinese honor the Horse-god (Mawang).

Blackburn, Bonnie & Leofranc Holford-Strevens, The Oxford Companion to the Year, Oxford University Press 1999

St Mary Magdalene – Today is the Feast day for St. Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene is the fallen woman who washed Christ’s feet with her tears and dried them with her hair; thus she is the patron saint of prostitutes. Because of her long hair she is the patron of hairdressers, and because her emblem is the ointment jar, she is the patron of apothecaries. She was also invoked for help with fasting. The red rose is her plant. For a new treatment of her story, see Clytie Kinstler’s The Moon Under Her Feet.

She may have been a devotee of Astarte. There is some connection between the seven demons which afflicted her, and the seven initiations Inanna undergoes in her descent to the Underworld and the seven veils which Salome wears in her famous dance. The village of Migdala (from whence her name) is the Village of Doves, which connects her with Anahit, the Persian goddess honored with a sacrifice of doves and roses at her midsummer festival (see Vartavar, July 28).

She has long been associated with dance and music. In Normandy, in the thirteenth century, nuns danced on her feast-day.

If it rains today, the English say that Mary Magdalen is washing her handkerchief to go to her cousin St James’s Fair in three days time. But heavy rain now can be disastrous for the harvest and the Cumbrians say:

A Magdalen flood

Never did good.

Tristram and Iseult ~ One of the greatest legends of Cornwall is the tragic tale of Tristram and Iseult – sometimes known as Tristan and Isolde. The story is that Tristram, the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, was mortally wounded in a fight where he killed the brother of the Queen of Ireland. As he was expected to die, he was sent out to sea in a boat without sails. By chance, the boat reached the shores of Ireland, where he was nursed back to health by the beautiful Iseult, daughter of the King of Ireland.

To cut a long story short, Tristram could not stay in Ireland as he was responsible for the death of the Queen’s brother, so he returned to Cornwall. A little later, King Mark sent him back to Ireland to bring back Iseult who was to be his queen. On the way back, the couple accidentally drank a love potion intended for Mark and Iseult on their wedding night.

The young couple fell deeply in love and carried on an illicit affair even after she married. King Mark became suspicious and although Iseult managed to allay these suspicions, Tristram left the country. He married a Breton girl, who was also called Iseult, but he never stopped loving the Queen of Cornwall. When he was wounded in battle, he sent for her to heal his wounds and asked that a white sail be flown from the ship if she was on board when it returned.

Tristram’s jealous wife told him that the returning ship flew only a black sail and he died of grief. When Iseult heard of his death, she died of a broken heart. A cross at Castle Dor is said to mark the grave of Tristram.

Remember The Ancient Ways and Keep Them Holy!

• • • •.

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

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The Goddess, The Maiden

The Goddess, The Maiden

 

The second aspect of the Goddess is that of Mother. As previously stated among her names by which she is called are the Great Mother and Mother Nature which signifies her worshippers believe her to be the Mother, creator and life-giver to all of nature and to every thing within.

This at first may seem confusing to many within the Christian Age where the Father God is claimed to be the creator. What many are not aware of, but more are becoming so, is that the world passed through a matriarchal age before the present patriarchal one. There is ample archaeological, historical and anthropological evidence of this. The previously mentioned findings of numerous female figurines and drawings in many locations supports the fact that during such ancient times the female was very honored. The depictions self-fertilization and women giving birth states the Goddess has been very honored for motherhood.

Seas, fountains, ponds and wells were always thought as feminine symbols in archaic religions. Such passages connecting to subterranean water-passages were often thought as leading to the underground womb. Currently science partly substantiates these archaic beliefs. It is known that hugh quantities of microscopic plants and animal live close to the ocean surface. Upon this sea life’s death its shell remains settle to the ocean floor, and when studied through accumulations of sediment core samples, which represent millions of years of sea life, they provide a continuous history of the earth’s environmental stages. To this extent the ocean, which seems to contain the beginning stages of life, may be thought as the Mother’s womb. “And water, like love, was (is) essential to the life-forces of fertility and creativity, without which the psychic world as well as the material world would become an arid desert, the waste land.”

This idea of the Goddess or maternal womb is embedded in history. It was and is symbolized by the ceremonial bowl. When used in the Egyptian temples as the temple basin it was called the shi. In Biblical times it became the brass sea in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 7:23-26). Such bowls or vassals were used for illustrations, baptisms and various purification ceremonies. Although the Christians often fail to disclose that the holy water fount still symbolizes the womb. This symbolically is true since the water is to bestow blessings or grace upon the one which it is sprinkled upon, or who sprinkles it upon himself, and this grace supposedly comes from Jesus Christ who came from the womb of Mary.

Although, in the ancient maternal temples this womb-vessel was very much respected for its inherent fertile power. Its holy waters were revered as they were considered spiritual representing the birth-giving energy of the Goddess.

Throughout the history of Goddess worship, witchcraft, and currently in Neo-pagan witchcraft the cauldon has been a feminine symbol associated with the womb of the Mother Goddess.

All Christian sects have not thought of God as just masculine. This is especially true of the Gnostics. It is in the Apocryphon of John one sees the apostle John grieving after the crucifixion. John was in a “great grief” during which he experienced a mystical vision of the Trinity:

the [heavens were opened and the whole] creation [which   is] under heaven shone and [the world] trembled. [And I   was afraid, and I] saw in the light…a likeness with multiple   forms…and the likeness had three forms.

To John’s question of the vision came this answer: “He said to me, ‘John, Jo[h]n, why do you doubt, and why are you afraid?…I am the one who [is with you] always. I [am the Father]; I am the Mother; I am the Son.'”

To many this description of the Trinity is shocking, but it need not be. What so many forget, or do not realized is that the New Testament was written in Greek; whereas, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word meaning spirit is ruah having a feminine gender, but the Greek word for spirit is pneuma having a neuter gender. Thus the Greek language, or to be more specific a change in language when writing the New Testament, virtually made the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, asexual. It also, when accepted by the orthodox Christian Church, eliminated any femininity concept of God. Also Mary is held to have remained a virgin by Catholics and some Christians because Matthew in his gospel used the Greek word parthenos, meaning “virgin,” instead of almah when referring to the virgin birth of Jesus. But, the Gnostics did not adhere to the orthodox teaching. Possibly one reason was that many of the Gnostic leaders, particularly Simon Magus, were of Greek or Samaritan heritage, and within these heritages polytheism and feminine deities were known and accepted, also they knew Hebrew. Therefore they kept the feminine meaning of the Holy Spirit which remained in their sacred writings and interpretations.

In The Sacred Book one reads:

…(She is)…the image of the invisible, virginal, perfect spirit…  She became   the Mother of everything, for she existed before them all, the mother-father  [matropater]…

In the Gospel to the Hebrews, Jesus speaks of “my Mother, the Spirit.” Again, in the Gospel of Thomas “Jesus contrasts his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, with his divine Father–the Father of Truth–and his divine Mother, the Holy Spirit.” And, in the Gospel of Philip, “whoever becomes a Christian gains ‘both father and mother’ for the Spirit (rurah) is ‘Mother of many.'”

In a writing attributed to Simon Magus it states:

Grant Paradise to be the womb; for Scripture teaches us that this is     a true assumption when it says, “I am He that formed thee in thy mother’s     womb” (Isaiah 44:2)…Moses…using the allegory had declared Paradise  to   be the womb…and Eden, the placenta…

“The river that flows forth from Eden symbolizes the navel, which nourishes the fetus. Simon claims that the Exodus consequently, signifies the passage out of the womb and the ‘the crossing of the Red Sea refers to the blood.'” Sethian gnostics explain that:

heaven and earth have a shape similar to the womb …and if…anyone  wants   to investigate this, let him carefully examine the pregnant womb of any  living   creature, and he will discover an image of the heavens and the earth.

In scriptural writings we find standing at the foot of the cross at the time of the crucifixion three Marys: the Virgin Mary, the dearly beloved Mary Magdalene, and a more shadowy or mysterious Mary. “The Coptic ‘Gospel of Mary’ said they were all one. Even as late as the Renaissance, a trinitarian Mary appeared in the Speculum beatae Mariae as Queen of Heaven (Virgin), Queen of Earth (mother), and Queen of Hell (Crone).”

Within modern culture these roles of Goddess and Mother are seen to be reemerging. While the psychanalyst Sigmund Freud down played the emergence devotion to the Goddess as infantile desires to be reunited with the mother, his theory was challenged by C.J. Jung who described this emergence devotion as “a potent force of the unconscious.”

Jung theorized that “the feminine principle as a universal archetype, a primordial, instinctual pattern of behavior deeply imprinted on the human psyche, brought the Goddess once more into popular imagination.”

The basis of Jung’s theory rested on religious symbolism extending from prehistoric to current times. His archetypical concept is that it is not “an inherited idea, but an inherited mode of psychic functioning, corresponding to that inborn ‘way’ according to which the chick emerges from the egg; the bird builds its nest;…and eels find their way to the Bermudas.”

The biological evidence of Jung’s archetypical concept indicates the psychological meaning. Although the psychological meaning cannot always be as objectively demonstrated as the biological one, it often is as important or even more important than the biological one. It lies deep within the levels of personalities, and can elicit responses not possible by mere abstract thinking. These responses energize and deeply effect persons. “Jung believed all religions rest on archetypical foundations.”

This does not necessarily mean that all or every religion originated from an archetype, but rather the archetype on which most, if not all, religions were and are based is the deep felt (italics are the author’s) need within the people for their particular religion. This need is what brought forth the religion. There are various views on the causes this need arouse, but “Jungians have espoused the Mother Goddess as an archetype, a loadstone in the collective consciousness of both men and women to be minded of psychological wholeness.”

Many men have expressed the need to return to the Goddess, indicating that this is not only a woman’s search or desire. “English therapist John Rowan believes that every man in Western culture also needs this vital connection to the vital female principle in nature and urges men to turn to the Goddess. In this way men will be able to relate to human women on more equal terms, not fearful of resentful of female power. Perhaps this is how it was in prehistoric times when men and women coexisted peacefully under the hegemony of the Goddess.”

To many men in Neo-paganism and witchcraft sexism seems absurd and trifling. If all men were honest they would admit that they would not be here if it were not for their biological mothers. Sexism immediately disappears when this fact is agreed to. All human beings are sexual, and sexuality propagated, although at times it would seem the Christian Church would have liked to dismiss this fact completely. But, the fact cannot be dismissed because, again, according to Jung this biological fact is also imprinted as the archetypes of anima and animus upon the human unconscious. They represent the feminine side of man and the masculine side of woman. As behavioral regulators they as most important; for with out them men and women could not coexist. When the two unconscious elements are balanced harmony exists, but when there is an unbalanced over masculinity or femininity is exerted.

Most people admit we currently live in troubled, if not, perilous times. Both our species and planet are endanger of extinction. Our customary religions and governments seem stifled if not helpless to solve all of the enormous problems which confront us. Perhaps many are feeling the urgent need to cry for help to the Good and Divine Mother asking her to please clean up her children’s mess, or wipe up their split milk before it’s too late.

The Witches Almanac for Monday, July 22

Witchy Comments

The Witches Almanac for Monday, July 22

Monday (Moon): Peace, sleep, healing, compassion, friends, psychic awareness, purification and fertility.

St. Mary Magdalene s Day

Waxing Moon

The Waxing Moon is the ideal time for magick to draw things toward you.

Moon Phase: Full Moon 2:18 pm

Moon Sign: Capricorn

Capricorn: Develops strong structure. Focus on traditions, responsibilities and obligations. A good time to set boundaries and rules.

Sun enters Leo 11:56 pm

Leo: Draws emphasis to the self, central ideas, or institutions, away from connections with others and other emotional needs. People tend to be melodramatic.

Incense:  Rosemary

Color: Lavender

Moon enter Aquarius 2:01 am

Aquarius: Rebellious energy. Time to break habits and make abrupt changes. Personal freedom and individuality is the focus.

Your Horoscope Helpers

By Annie B. Bond

Every sun sign has spirit-helpers that include ancient gods and goddesses,  mythic figures from many different cultures–including Celtic, Hindu, and Ancient  Greek–angels, saints, and much more.

Find out who your horoscope helpers are, so you can begin a more conscious  relationship with them. This is rich, fascinating, and very helpful information!

Aries, March 21-April 19:  Khamael, Samuel (angels); Huitzilopochtli  (Aztrec); Nergal (Babylonian); Belacadros, Brigantia, Cernunnus, Cocideus,  Morrigan, Teutates (Celtic); St. Barbara, St. Peter (Christian); Amun, Khnum,  Neith (Egyptian); Laran (Etruscan); Ares, Achilles, Amazons, Athena, Dione,  Jason, Hercules, Nike, Phrixus and Helle (greek); Indrea, Agni, Durga (Hindu);  Odin, Tyr, Wodan (Nordic); Mars, Pallas, Minerva, Bellona (Roman); Emperor,  Tower (Tarot).

Taurus, April 20-May 21:  Anaele (Angel); Coatlicue (Aztec); Aine (Celtic);  St. Simon (Christian); Bastet, Geb (Egyptian); Aphrodite, Ariadne, Astarte,  Daedalus, Dionysus, Europa, Hephaestus, Minotaur, Theseus (Greek); Brahma,  Ganesh, Kubera, Lakshmi, Uma (Hindu); Freya (Nordic); Venus, Mithra, Vulcan  (Roman); Ki (Sumerian); Hierophant, Empress (Tarot).

Gemini, May 22-June 20:  Raphael, Ongkanon (Angels); Nabu (Babylonian); St.  Christopher, St. Nicholas, St. Anthony of Pauda (Christian); Anubis, Thoth  (Egyptian); Turms (Etruscan); Hermes, Castor and Pollux, Meti (Greek);  Sarasvati, Hanuman (Hindu); Mercury, Apollo, Romulus and Remus (Roman);  Magician, Lovers (Tarot).

Cancer, June 21-July 22:  Gabriel (Angel); Sin (Babylonian); Arianrhod,  Ceridwen (Celtic); Mary, St. Andrew (Christian); Kwan Yin, Shing-Moo (China);  Isis, Khonsu, Thoth (Egyptian); Losna (Etruscan); Artemis, Atlante, Astarte,  Hecate, Selena (Greek); Parvati, Soma, Subhadra, Tara, Kali (Hindu); Susa-No-O  (Japan); Itzamna (Maya); Freyr, Hurukan, Mani, Nanna (Nordic); Lebhana-Leukothea  (Persian); Diana, Lucina, Ops (Roman); Nanna (Sumerian); High Priestess, Chariot  (Tarot).

Leo, July 23- Aug 22:  Michael (Angel); Quetzalcoatl, Tonatiuh,  Huitzilopochtli (Aztec); Shamash (Babylonian); Belanus, Lugh (Celtic); Jesus,  St. Jerome. St. Mark (Christian); Ammon, Aton, Helius, Mendes, Osiris, Ra,  Sekhmet (Egyptian); Cautha (Etruscan); Asclepios, Apollo, Dianus, Dionysus,  Helios, Heracles, Hyperion, Teia (Greek); Balarama, Indrea, Pushan, Savitri,  Surya, Vishnu, Varuna, Brahma (Hindu); Inti (Inca); Amaterasu (Japan); Itzamna  (Maya); Thor (Nordic); Mithras, Zoroaster (Persian); Apollo, Hercules, Jupiter,  Aesculapius, Sol (Roman); Strength, Sun (Tarot).

Virgo, Aug 23-Sept 22:  Raphael (Angel); Nidaba (Babylonian); St, Anthony of  Egypt, Virgin Mary (Christian); Asclepios, Hermes, Astraea, Demeter, Hestia,  Chiron (Greek); Ganga (Hindu); Mercury, Ceres, Vesta, Aesculapius (Roman);  Hermit (Tarot).

Libra, Sept 23-Oct 22:  Anaele, Lucipher (Angels); Quetzalcoatl (Aztec);  Ishtar (Babylonian); St. Mary Magdalen (Christian); Isis, Maat (Egyptian); Turan  (Etruscan); Aphrodite, Hera, Athena, Adonis, Themis (Greek); Krishna, Shakti,  Lakshmi (Hindu); Freya (Nordic); Venus, Juno, Pallas, Vulcan (Roman); Justice  (Tarot).

Scorpio, Oct 23-Nov 21:  Azrael (Angel); Mitlontecutli, Mictlancihuatl,  Tezcatlipoca, Tlazolteotl (Aztec); Ereshkigal (Babyonian); Don, Epona, Gwydion  (Celtic); St. Thomas, St. Martin (Christian); Anubis, Hosiris, Selket  (Egyptian); Alpanu, Matus (Etruscan); Hades, Hecate, Persephone, Orion, Orpheus  (Greek); Shiva, Kali, Kama, Bali, Yama (Hindu); Yima (Persian); Pluto, Mars,  Vulcan (Roman); Death, Judgement (Tarot).

Sagittarius, Nov 22-Dec 21:  Sachiel (Angel); Marduk (Babylonian);  Bussumarus, Dagda (Celtic); St. James, St. Sebastian (Christia); Tina  (Etruscan); Zeus, Chiron, Ixion, Themis, Artemis (Greek); Ganesha, Indra  (Hindu); Thor, Donar (Nordic); Jupiter, Fortuna, Diana (Roman); Wheel of  Fortune, Temperance (Tarot).

Capricorn, Dec 22-Jan 19:  Kassiel (Angel); Ninurta (Babylonian); St. Matthew  (Christian); Consentes, Min (Egyptian); Cronus, Medusa, Pan, Amalthea, Atlas,  Rhea (Greek); Kali, Shiva (Hindu); Saturn, Janus, Vesta (Roman); World (Tarot).

Aquarius, Jan 20-Feb 18:  Uriel (Angel); Taddheus, St. Francis of Assisi, St.  John the Baptist (Christian); Horus, Nut (Egyptian); Uranus, Deucalion, Hebe,  Ganymede, Hephaestus (Greek); Varuna (Hindu); Itzamma (Maya); Dionysus, Juno  (Roman); Fool, Star (Tarot).

Pisces, Feb 19-March 20:  Asariel (Angel); Bridget, Rhiannon (Celtic); Kwan  Yin, Nu Kwa (China); Matthias, Jonah, St. Brendan the Navigator, St. Joseph of  Cupertino (Christian); Isis, Bes (Egyptian); Nethuns (Etruscan); Poseidon,  Atagartis, Cassiopeia (Greek); Varuna (Hindu); Susanowo (Japanese); Aesgir,  Njord (Nordic); Neptune, Cosus, Dionysus (Roman); Ea (Sumerian); Hanged Man,  Moon (Tarot).