Calendar of the Moon for Friday, July 17th

Calendar of the Moon

Oak Tree Month

Color: Black
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a black cloth place the vase of oak branches, a hammer, a metal lightning bolt, a sun symbol with the rune Sigil upon it, and a Green Man with an oak-leaf face.
Offerings: Give thanks for personal victories.
Daily Meal: Serve salad with each meal, arranged in the circular pattern of the Green Man.

Duir Invocation

Call: Now is the time of the Sun’s height.
Response: Now is the time when the leaves reach to the heavens.
Call: Now is the time when the Oak King spread his arms.
Response: Now is the time when we reach with him for the Sun.
Call: Now is the time when we return to the ancient grove of the Druids.
Response: Now is the time when we witness the Sun’s sacrifice.
Call: Now is the time when we go forth in glory.
Response: Now is the time of the turning of the year.
Call: Hail to the wren, soul of the Oak King!
Response: Hail to the sky, crown of the Oak King!
Call: Hail to the Earth, bed of the Oak King!
Response: Hail to the Sun, lover of the Oak King!
Call: Hail to the guardians of the door!
Response: May they guard us well, O oaken beams!
Call: We have no need to guard ourselves….
Response: For the Gods will guard us.
Call: We have no need to hide behind bolted doors….
Response: For now is the time to be open to the Sun!
Call: Like the Green Man, we speak through the oak!
Response: Like the Green Man, our voice is the strength of the earth!
Call: Like the Oak King, we do not fear the lightning!
Response: Like the Oak King, we will accept all repercussions!
Call: We have no shame for our actions….
Response: For all that we do, we do from a place of worthiness.
Call: For all that we do, we do from a place of honor.
Response: For all that we do, we do from a place of love.

Chant:
By my body I be earth
By my spirit I be fire
Call the lightning to my heart
Bring my soul what I desire

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Litha


Litha Comments & Graphics
Litha

Litha is the first of the harvest festivals. Its focus is of the sun , which is at its highest at this time of the year . This is the longest day of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere it falls between June 19-June 22 and in the Hemisphere it falls between June 19-June 22 and in the December 22. This is also known as The Summer Solstice.

In Great Britain where the large standing stones of Stonehenge are , during this time of the year the sun is dead center of the circle. Many scholars feel that this is significant as this is a sacred time of year and relevant in the preview of what the harvest will bring for the rest of the season.

Another name for this celebration is Midsummer, and during this time it is said that one can find the doorway to the Otherworld and the realm of the of the faerie realm, gifts and trinkets, in order to honor them and show respect so that the fair folk don’t cause havoc to the homes. One reason for this belief has to do with the idea that fireflies with their flittering lights are faeries frolicking about.

A common custom at Litha is the Summer Tree, much like the Yule Tree, the Summer Tree is usually a young oak that is decorated with garlands of flowers and colored eggs to promote fertility of the crops and animals. On Midsummer’s Eve the tree is burned in a bonfire to promote fertility and prosperity.

The Litha celebration is usually a mild one as it is mainly focused on the first harvest, usually fruit and berries and melons are harvested at this time. Lighter meals and sweeter fruits and vegetables. It is the first day of Summer and normally pretty hot, so most people are needing the cooler refreshments during this time. Cold soups and chilled salads are usually served.

During this part of the year we also see the Holly King and the Oak King battle it out. The Holly King represents the darker side of the year, the cooler months, the end of days. The Oak King represents the sunny time and the hotter months. During this battle , which ends when the sun sets, the Oak King is defeated and the Holly King takes the throne. This represents the days are now from this point on getting shorter. The battle again at Yule and the Holly King then looses the battle as the days will start to become longer in the Oak King’s reign.

It goes without saying that during Midsummer, the Sun is the main focus. The Sun brings life and nutrients to the world and so it is celebrated. In most, but not all, Pagan cultures the Sun is seen as a male entity and the Moon as female. So during this Sabbat we are celebrating the male aspect more than the female. Though there are some Sun Goddesses, such as the Norse Goddess Sunna, we tend to see more Gods associated with the Sun such as the Egyptian God Ra, the Greek God Helios and the Roman God Apollo.

Crafts that are great at Litha would be suncatchers, which can be seen as a form of sympathetic magick where we are capturing the essence of the Sun. When we choose designs that are representative of qualities that we need in our life along with using colors that are corresponding with those needs we can use the suncatcher to bring that energy into our lives. Suncatchers are inexpensive and can be purchased at any stores that sells children’s crafts.

Another fun craft to make is the God’s Eye. Taking two sticks and wrapping colored yarn or string while meditating on the Sun Deity or the Sun. Many early religions viewed the Sun as the Eye of God. Looking directly into the eye of God will cause you to go blind , just as if we look directly into the sun it can cause damage to the eyes. Simply the act of creating these is meditative. They then can be hung to remind us that we are looked after or if you say a prayer and throw it into the fire to take the prayer to the Sun deity that you are honoring it can be seen again as a form of sympathetic magick.

This is the time of the year when we get a preview of what is to come . To thank the Sun for the nutrients it has provided, however, we are not out of the woods yet. The first of the Harvest Festivals is at hand, but there is still a lot of hard work still ahead of us. This is a little break to allow us to remember how marvelous the world and nature is. How when we planted at Beltane has started a chain of events that will help us prosper and grow to a wonderful full harvest. We still need to nurture our plants, just as we nurture our faith, and in time we will come to that place in our lives when we can rest and look back at what we have done. Right now we are looking forward at what is starting to show.

 

by Minnie Eerin
The Magical School Newsletter: Litha
Publisher: Colleen Criswell

 

Calendar of the Moon for Thursday, June 4th

Calendar of the Moon

Oak Tree Month

Color: Black
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a black cloth place the vase of oak branches, a hammer, a metal lightning bolt, a sun symbol with the rune Sigil upon it, and a Green Man with an oak-leaf face.
Offerings: Give thanks for personal victories.
Daily Meal: Serve salad with each meal, arranged in the circular pattern of the Green Man.

Duir Invocation

Call: Now is the time of the Sun’s height.
Response: Now is the time when the leaves reach to the heavens.
Call: Now is the time when the Oak King spread his arms.
Response: Now is the time when we reach with him for the Sun.
Call: Now is the time when we return to the ancient grove of the Druids.
Response: Now is the time when we witness the Sun’s sacrifice.
Call: Now is the time when we go forth in glory.
Response: Now is the time of the turning of the year.
Call: Hail to the wren, soul of the Oak King!
Response: Hail to the sky, crown of the Oak King!
Call: Hail to the Earth, bed of the Oak King!
Response: Hail to the Sun, lover of the Oak King!
Call: Hail to the guardians of the door!
Response: May they guard us well, O oaken beams!
Call: We have no need to guard ourselves….
Response: For the Gods will guard us.
Call: We have no need to hide behind bolted doors….
Response: For now is the time to be open to the Sun!
Call: Like the Green Man, we speak through the oak!
Response: Like the Green Man, our voice is the strength of the earth!
Call: Like the Oak King, we do not fear the lightning!
Response: Like the Oak King, we will accept all repercussions!
Call: We have no shame for our actions….
Response: For all that we do, we do from a place of worthiness.
Call: For all that we do, we do from a place of honor.
Response: For all that we do, we do from a place of love.

Chant:
By my body I be earth
By my spirit I be fire
Call the lightning to my heart
Bring my soul what I desire

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Spiritual Aspects of Yule

Spiritual Aspects of Yule

Author:   Crick   

As we approach the season of Yule (Winter Solstice, Alban Arthan) , I personally find myself entering a state of both celebration and reflection. When I reach out and touch the heartbeat of Mannuz, I can sense the intense joy of our Sacred Mother. For her son, our God, is about to be reborn, thus completing yet another segment in the Wheel of Life. When we entered the New Year, which commenced with Samhain and began our life travels anew, I found myself filled with an anticipation and excitement of that which is yet to unfold.

But before I look too far ahead, I muse on that which went before. The highs and the lows of the preceding year, that are now all but fading memories. For each experience is a contribution to our spiritual growth, whether it had a positive or negative impact.

I personally feel that spiritual knowledge is a gift and that the more knowledge that one attains that the greater the gift becomes. And there is no greater gift then that of a life experience that has had some effect on our lives.

As the wheel of the year slowly turned, there were at times life experiences that seemed insurmountable, but we found a way over. There were life experiences that caused so much grief, that we cried a river of tears, but we found a way across. And of course there were life experiences that had us laughing so deeply that we could barely catch a breath, but we found a way to breathe.

And so though the past year has been bittersweet, there is still much to rejoice about within the coming Yuletide season.

It is no secret that some religious belief systems have superimposed the alleged birth date of their God over that of the God of the pagans. This was done, in spite of the fact that the placement of the constellations from that period speaks otherwise. But then Yule is not a time to foment ill will, even if an established cause could be presented.

Instead I feel empathy for those who worship a distant and revengeful God to the exclusion of the Sacred Mother, for they are missing out on some of the most ancient joys of life. For not only do we as pagans have such a deep and enduring love from our Mother, but we also draw strength and wisdom from our sacred father. And between the two, we as pagans have an opportunity to walk the spiritual path with a steady sense of balance. It is through our own perspectives and actions that we maintain this balance or fall out of stride.

As individuals, the choice is ours to make. We have the opportunity to draw upon the spiritual aspects offered by both our Sacred Mother and Sacred Father in order to advance within our spiritual growth.

Yule is a feisty, twelve-day period of celebration, a time during which, feasting is a common activity. But while we feast on food to sustain the physical self, it is also a time to feast on the experiences of the year past in order to sustain knowledge for the journey ahead.
Yule is a time of reflection, then acceptance and then of moving on.

Upon the longest night of the year, our God is re-born from the slumbers of death. He brings with him the sacred light by way of the Sun. And from this moment forth the fertility of the land is once again restored. And so too are the fertility of fresh thoughts and new goals introduced into our hearts and souls. Our spirits cherish this moment of his birth for it is a time to shed the chains of the experiences past and to surge forth with a renewed purpose in our lives. The birth of our Sun God is an affirmation that life goes on and that the door to spiritual growth stands wide open.

Yule is a time to celebrate both the joys and the sorrows we have experienced up to this point. For both aspects, that of light and that of dark have strived to offer us knowledge of life that we can use to build upon as we travel forth. The rebirth of the Sun God, who brings so much joy to the heart of our Goddess is a sign that even within the darkness one can always find a ray of light. For his birth marks the time when the Oak King vanquishes the Holly King. This analogy of victory represents the power of light overcoming the power of darkness. This represents a balance and a sense of hope in the challenges of life that await each of us.

The nights become shorter and the days become longer as life begins to stir within the grasp of the Winter Solstice in anticipation of the coming of Spring.

It is a time to realize that no matter how tough or insurmountable a barrier may seem, we have been given the gift of our life experiences as a tool to achieve our spiritual goals.

As a time of celebration, Yule is also a time to be with family and close friends with which to share the joy of our Blessed Mother as she smiles with anticipation at the thought of reuniting with her son, as the time of the sacred birth draws near. For from such relationships we receive the gifts of love. And like a seed that has laid dormant, awaiting the warm touch of the Sun to sprout forth and prosper, we should take heed and allow these moments of love to define our actions and our mind set as we venture forth into the approaching segments of the wheel of life. To let such an experience to wither away with the passing of Yule is to cast such a special gift asunder.

And so with that I wish each of you a very joyous celebration of our Sun God.

Calendar of the Moon for July 17th

Calendar of the Moon

Holly Tree Month

Colors: Iron-grey, red, and dark green.
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of dark grey set many sprigs of holly, real or created, four red candles, a spear and a sword.
Offerings: Honor your inner warrior, including examining the areas where s/he overreacts.
Daily Meal: Red food. Meat of any kind.

Tinne Invocation

Call: Hail the month of the Holly King!
Response: Hail the King of the waning year!
Call: Hail, sharp leaves and sharper eye!
Response: Hail, white flowers that give way to blood-red berries!
Call: Hail the month of the starling’s flock!
Response: For the starlings move together as one!
Call: Like them, we defend what is dear to us!
Response: Like them, we do not let each other stand alone against opposition!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the sword and the spear!
Call: For our sword is Reason….
Response: And our spear is the death of Illusion!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the armor and the shield!
Call: For our armor is Hope….
Response: And our shield is Love.
Call: The Oak King gives way to the Holly King…
Response: For all things have a time of increase, and a time of decrease.
Call: For all things wax and wane.
Response: For all things rise and fall.
Call: This is the moment just beyond the year’s apex!
Response: This is the time of the beginning of the end!
Call: May we take courage with every passing morning!
Response: May courage fill us with every breath!

Chant:
Spear of truth, find me,
I open myself to you.
Chains of honor, bind me,
Bound, I am free to hold true.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for August 17

Calendar of the Moon

Hazel Tree Month

Colors: Iron-grey, red, and dark green.
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of dark grey set many sprigs of holly, real or created, four red candles, a spear and a sword.
Offerings: Honor your inner warrior, including examining the areas where s/he overreacts.
Daily Meal: Red food. Meat of any kind.

Tinne Invocation

Call: Hail the month of the Holly King!
Response: Hail the King of the waning year!
Call: Hail, sharp leaves and sharper eye!
Response: Hail, white flowers that give way to blood-red berries!
Call: Hail the month of the starling’s flock!
Response: For the starlings move together as one!
Call: Like them, we defend what is dear to us!
Response: Like them, we do not let each other stand alone against opposition!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the sword and the spear!
Call: For our sword is Reason….
Response: And our spear is the death of Illusion!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the armor and the shield!
Call: For our armor is Hope….
Response: And our shield is Love.
Call: The Oak King gives way to the Holly King…
Response: For all things have a time of increase, and a time of decrease.
Call: For all things wax and wane.
Response: For all things rise and fall.
Call: This is the moment just beyond the year’s apex!
Response: This is the time of the beginning of the end!
Call: May we take courage with every passing morning!
Response: May courage fill us with every breath!

Chant:
Spear of truth, find me,
I open myself to you.
Chains of honor, bind me,
Bound, I am free to hold true.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for August 16

Calendar of the Moon

Hazel Tree Month

Colors: Iron-grey, red, and dark green.
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of dark grey set many sprigs of holly, real or created, four red candles, a spear and a sword.
Offerings: Honor your inner warrior, including examining the areas where s/he overreacts.
Daily Meal: Red food. Meat of any kind.

Tinne Invocation

Call: Hail the month of the Holly King!
Response: Hail the King of the waning year!
Call: Hail, sharp leaves and sharper eye!
Response: Hail, white flowers that give way to blood-red berries!
Call: Hail the month of the starling’s flock!
Response: For the starlings move together as one!
Call: Like them, we defend what is dear to us!
Response: Like them, we do not let each other stand alone against opposition!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the sword and the spear!
Call: For our sword is Reason….
Response: And our spear is the death of Illusion!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the armor and the shield!
Call: For our armor is Hope….
Response: And our shield is Love.
Call: The Oak King gives way to the Holly King…
Response: For all things have a time of increase, and a time of decrease.
Call: For all things wax and wane.
Response: For all things rise and fall.
Call: This is the moment just beyond the year’s apex!
Response: This is the time of the beginning of the end!
Call: May we take courage with every passing morning!
Response: May courage fill us with every breath!

Chant:
Spear of truth, find me,
I open myself to you.
Chains of honor, bind me,
Bound, I am free to hold true.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for August 7

Calendar of the Moon

Holly Tree Month

Colors: Iron-grey, red, and dark green.
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of dark grey set many sprigs of holly, real or created, four red candles, a spear and a sword.
Offerings: Honor your inner warrior, including examining the areas where s/he overreacts.
Daily Meal: Red food. Meat of any kind.

Tinne Invocation

Call: Hail the month of the Holly King!
Response: Hail the King of the waning year!
Call: Hail, sharp leaves and sharper eye!
Response: Hail, white flowers that give way to blood-red berries!
Call: Hail the month of the starling’s flock!
Response: For the starlings move together as one!
Call: Like them, we defend what is dear to us!
Response: Like them, we do not let each other stand alone against opposition!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the sword and the spear!
Call: For our sword is Reason….
Response: And our spear is the death of Illusion!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the armor and the shield!
Call: For our armor is Hope….
Response: And our shield is Love.
Call: The Oak King gives way to the Holly King…
Response: For all things have a time of increase, and a time of decrease.
Call: For all things wax and wane.
Response: For all things rise and fall.
Call: This is the moment just beyond the year’s apex!
Response: This is the time of the beginning of the end!
Call: May we take courage with every passing morning!
Response: May courage fill us with every breath!

Chant:
Spear of truth, find me,
I open myself to you.
Chains of honor, bind me,
Bound, I am free to hold true.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for August 6

Calendar of the Moon

Holly Tree Month

Colors: Iron-grey, red, and dark green.
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of dark grey set many sprigs of holly, real or created, four red candles, a spear and a sword.
Offerings: Honor your inner warrior, including examining the areas where s/he overreacts.
Daily Meal: Red food. Meat of any kind.

Tinne Invocation

Call: Hail the month of the Holly King!
Response: Hail the King of the waning year!
Call: Hail, sharp leaves and sharper eye!
Response: Hail, white flowers that give way to blood-red berries!
Call: Hail the month of the starling’s flock!
Response: For the starlings move together as one!
Call: Like them, we defend what is dear to us!
Response: Like them, we do not let each other stand alone against opposition!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the sword and the spear!
Call: For our sword is Reason….
Response: And our spear is the death of Illusion!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the armor and the shield!
Call: For our armor is Hope….
Response: And our shield is Love.
Call: The Oak King gives way to the Holly King…
Response: For all things have a time of increase, and a time of decrease.
Call: For all things wax and wane.
Response: For all things rise and fall.
Call: This is the moment just beyond the year’s apex!
Response: This is the time of the beginning of the end!
Call: May we take courage with every passing morning!
Response: May courage fill us with every breath!

Chant:
Spear of truth, find me,
I open myself to you.
Chains of honor, bind me,
Bound, I am free to hold true.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for August 5

Calendar of the Moon

Holly Tree Month

Colors: Iron-grey, red, and dark green.
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of dark grey set many sprigs of holly, real or created, four red candles, a spear and a sword.
Offerings: Honor your inner warrior, including examining the areas where s/he overreacts.
Daily Meal: Red food. Meat of any kind.

Tinne Invocation

Call: Hail the month of the Holly King!
Response: Hail the King of the waning year!
Call: Hail, sharp leaves and sharper eye!
Response: Hail, white flowers that give way to blood-red berries!
Call: Hail the month of the starling’s flock!
Response: For the starlings move together as one!
Call: Like them, we defend what is dear to us!
Response: Like them, we do not let each other stand alone against opposition!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the sword and the spear!
Call: For our sword is Reason….
Response: And our spear is the death of Illusion!
Call: Hail the color of cold iron!
Response: Hail the armor and the shield!
Call: For our armor is Hope….
Response: And our shield is Love.
Call: The Oak King gives way to the Holly King…
Response: For all things have a time of increase, and a time of decrease.
Call: For all things wax and wane.
Response: For all things rise and fall.
Call: This is the moment just beyond the year’s apex!
Response: This is the time of the beginning of the end!
Call: May we take courage with every passing morning!
Response: May courage fill us with every breath!

Chant:
Spear of truth, find me,
I open myself to you.
Chains of honor, bind me,
Bound, I am free to hold true.

[Pagan Book of Hours]