About the Month of July

Moon & Witch Comments & Graphics

About the Month of July

Until 44 B.C. this month was called Quintilis; it was renamed in honor of the murdered Julius Caesar, who had been born on the 12th. In 46 B.C.E. the previous Roman calendar dar was reorganized with the help of Alexandrian sages to form the new Julian calendar. After a year of chaos and confusion created by the change, the Julian calendar remained the main calendar in the West for the next 1,600 years, when it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar.

This middle-of-the-Summer month is a time of sudden storms and hay-making and is associated with the hot and sultry try “dog-days,” when the Sirius-Canciula (the Dog-Star) rises with the sun, often associated with the Goddess Demeter.

July is a fun-filled month with church fetes, family gatherings, ings, smoky barbecues, and celebrations that include St. Mary Magdalen, patroness of prostitutes; Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary and the patroness of housewives; and St. Wilgefortis, who supposedly sprouted an immense beard overnight night to rid herself of suitors chosen by her father. Magickally, July is a time of personal growth, learning new ways to be creative, and cultivating friendships.

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A Bit of November Lore

 

A Bit of November Lore

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, declared the last Thursday of November to be a National Day of Thanksgiving.

 

 

Who first come to this world below,

With drear November’s fog, and snow,

Should prize the Topaz’s amber hue,

Emblem of friends and lovers true.

 

 

Modern Birthstone:  Topaz or Citrine

Zodiac (Scorpio): Beryl

 

 

“The name ‘November’ is believed to derive from ‘novem’ which is the Latin for the number ‘nine’.  In the ancient Roman calendar November was the ninth month after March.  As part of the seasonal calendar November is the time of the ‘Snow Moon’ according to Pagan beliefs and the period described as the ‘Moon of the Falling Leaves’ 


by Black Elk.”

–   Mystical WWW

 

 

T   hanks for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
H  
for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.
A  
for autumn’s frosty art, and abundance in the heart.
N  
for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.
K  
for kitchen, kettles’ croon, kith and kin expected soon.
S  
for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that about.
That spells THANKS for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.
 


–   Aileen Fisher, All in a Word

 

 

More Months Comments

March, the Third Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2019


“The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.
When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here.”

–  Author Unknown

MARCH – THE STORM MOON

March is the third month of the Gregorian calendar, and it was the first month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Pisces, the fish (February 18 – March 20), a mutable water sign ruled by Neptune. The month is named for the Roman God of agriculture and war, Mars. The month being named for Mars, the God of war, means protection of self and home also figures large at this time. Ancient calendars focus on March as the start of the new year. More recently, the 15th, or the “Ides of March,” brought ill fortune to Julius Caesar, and is considered by many to be unlucky. the last three days of March, long thought to be “borrowed days’ of April, also call for caution. Consider doing just a little more to guard against negative energy of any sort, especially from the 10th to the 31st. A thorough house-cleaning may be in order.

March is a month of transitions between Winter and Spring. March is a time of changes and time of changelings, a time of starts and stops and renewal. This month often begins in one season and ends in another. Other months bring transitions, but March may very well bring the most radical changes. Many a blizzard has halted the commerce of a region one week of March, while sunshine and green grass and flowers overrun the week before or after.

Ostara, the main holiday of the month, celebrates the lengthening hours of daylight and the awakening of the Goddess. Eggs, whether dyed or intricately decorated, are popular season symbols of life and fertility. St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is rich with Pagan symbolism. For example, the shamrock was once used to depict the three aspects of the Goddess. Sunny, breezy days encourage kite-flying, another seasoned activity. Kites are magickal because they soar toward the realm of spirit. The ancient used the March wind to carry their wishes to the Divine. The winds of March bring the promise of a new season and a fresh start. March’s Full Moon was called the Storm Moon, and it remains a potent time to work magick for change and renewal.

—Excerpt from Llewellyn’s 2019 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac
Excerpts from the Article Entitled “March” by Emyme

March’s Correspondences

Festival: Ostara (vernal equinox). Symbols include eggs, seeds, bulbs, spring flowers, and the hare.

Full moon name: Worm Moon. As the snow begins to melt and the ground softens, the earthworms come to the surface, leaving behind their casts. Other names include Crow Moon, Sap Moon, Fish Moon, Chaste Moon, Death Moon, and Moon of Winds.

Astrological signs: Pisces, February 19–March 20; Aries, March 21–April 20.

Birthstones: Aquamarine and bloodstone.

Nature spirits: Air and water beings connected with spring rains and storms.

Animals: Hedgehog, badger, hare, and chickens.

Birds: Song thrush and blackbird.

Trees: Alder and birch.

Flowers: Anemone, crocus, daffodil, violet, and primrose.

Herbs: Broom, yellow dock, wood betony, and Irish moss.

Scents: Honeysuckle, rose, jasmine, and citrus.

Colors: Pale green, yellow, white, and violet.

Goddess: Ostara.

Powers: Energy, growth, new beginnings, and balance.

Other: St. David’s Day (Wales), Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (Ireland), Easter (first Sunday after the full moon following March equinox).

—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

Symbols for the Month of March

 

March’s Festivals
Ostara/Spring Equinox

 

March’s Sign of the Zodiac
Pisces(February 20-March 20)
Aries(March 21–April 20)

 

March’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Nuin (Ash) (February 18 – March 17)
Fearn (Alder) (March 18 – April 14)

 

March’s Runic Half Months
Tyr (February 27 – March 13)
Beore (March 14 – March 29)
Ehwaz (March 30 – April 13)

 

March’s Birthstone
Aquamarine and Bloodstone

 

March’s Birth Flower
Anemone, Crocus, Daffodil, Violet, and Primrose

 

March’s Goddess
Moura (February 20 – March 19)
Columbina (March 20 – April 17)

 

March’s Folklore

“When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.”

“A dry March and a wet May bring barns and bays with corn and hay.”

“As it rains in March, so it rains in June.”

“March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”

Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

Pagan Calendar of Events for March

MAR. 4: Celtic Feast of Rhiannon: Moon Goddess, Underworld Goddess

MAR. 5: Navigium Isidis – Egyptian festival honoring Goddess Isis as Lady of the Moon and Ruler of the Sea; celebrated with the launching of a boat of offerings.

MAR. 9: Mother Goddess Day – honoring all Mother Goddesses – the loving, nurturing Goddess.

MAR. 11: Great Night of Shiva: vigil and feast for Transcendence

MAR. 14: Egyptian Festival of Au Set: Snake Goddess who wards off poverty

MAR. 17: Roman Liberalia: Maenad Festival of Bacchus (Dionysus)– honoring the God of the Vine and Rebirth.
Canaanite of Festival of Astarte: Goddess of Love

MAR. 20: – Ala Festival (Nigerian)
– Iduna’s Day (Norse)
– Alban Eilir (Celtic, Druid holiday)
– Spring Harvest Festival (Egyptian)

MAR. 20-21: Sumerian Festival – celebrating the return of Dumuzi (God of Life and Death) from the Underworld to be with Inanna (Goddess of Life) for the verdant part of the year.

MAR. 20 or 21: OSTARA SABBAT: Spring Equinox; The Goddess of Spring.Spring Equinox aka Vernal Equinox aka Ostara. Marks the beginning of Spring. Days and nights are exactly equal, the sun rises and sets in the exact east and west. This holiday represents the first creation, but also the annual creation (planting so crops grow each year) and most symbolic, the perpetual creation. Fertility symbols abound such as eggs and rabbits. Spring or Vernal Equinox begins a forty day period which culminates with May Day, another fertility Spring festival of ancient origin. The other three forty day periods are: Fall Equinox (Sept 22 or 23) to Halloween/AllSaints Day (Oct. 31, Nov.1), Dec. 25 to Imbolc/Candlemas (Feb 1 or 2) and of course, Lent. Lent is the forty day period beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday every year.

MAR. 24: Feast Day of Archangel Gabriel whose name means, “The High One’s Hero,” or “Hero of God,” or “Power of God,” or “Might of God.” Note this day comes one day before Annunciation Day when Gabriel performed his most famous task. Since 1970, the Catholic Church no longer recognizes this day for Gabriel, ending a thousand year plus tradition by opting to lump him in with Raphael and Michael for a Feast of the Holy Archangels Day on Sept 29. Originally the Church had an angel for each of the four “corners” of the year, the solstices and equinoxes. It was the Church’s only recognition of these “pagan” holy days.

MAR. 25: Lady Day – honoring the Crone as Grandmother; Mother of the Mother.

MAR. 30: Babylonian Day of Bau: Mother of Ea (The Earth)

Ostara

March 21st

When spring rolls around there’s an itch to get outdoors, celebrate Mother Earth and enjoy the season. Ostara, the Pagan festival that comes to us from traditions that pre-date Christianity, formalized it. It fetes the arrival of Ostara, the spring. Ostara is personified by the goddess who represents the dawn, the coming of new light and rebirth through many of the rituals, decorations and gifts that we’re familiar with to this day. They include colorful Easter eggs, rabbits, and baskets filled with sweets. Due to the popularity of these symbols in ancient times they were coopted by Christianity from “pagans” (which to them meant anyone who’d not adopted the religion) into what we know as Easter celebrations. Many of us continue to celebrate the season with a little bit of pagan influenced décor and delights.

The festival of Ostara falls around the equinox and is related to spring festivities that celebrate renewal, planting new seeds and fertility. These rites of spring come to us from the Celts and Saxons before they were conquered by the Romans some 2,000 years ago. The spirit of Ostara festivities aimed to inspire gratitude to the earth and environment in a beautiful and meaningful way.

Ostara (or Eostra) is an Anglo-Saxon goddess who represented dawn, and her name derives from the Germanic word for “east.” She’s depicted as a young woman surrounded in light and budding trees and flowers. The Ostara festival falls on the day of the equinox, the day when light and dark are equal. It also marks the time when more light will begin to come in, days will be longer, nights shorter and food will be more abundant. At a time when people had to store food to last the long harsh winters, this festival was particularly anticipated as a time of renewed hope.

Inspired by the equinox where light and dark of the physical day are equal, Ostara is a time to celebrate life and balance. On this occasion it was believed that taking water at dawn from springs and drinking them would restore balance and be beneficial for a body. Villages celebrated with bonfires and often ate the remaining ham that had been stored up over the winter. With the promise of a new beginning in the fresh blossoms in trees and green sprouts of bulbs from the ground, new nourishment was available and a sense of possibility restored

The name of this Pagan goddess is connected to one of the most sacred Christian holidays. Ostara’s (Eostra’s) or the traditional Easter festival was transferred to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection to incorporate the Christian meaning of Easter after Anglo-Saxons and Germans converted to Christianity. This merging between “pagan” and Christian festivals occurred throughout Europe, and remnants of it, like the Easter eggs, remain visible to this day in both European and American cultures. The “pagan” cultures didn’t deny divinity; they simply celebrated it in a way that was more closely connected to the earth and Nature in forms like Ostara who became a deity they worshiped as they saw her powers manifest every spring.

The symbols that surround Ostara include eggs, rabbits and spring flowers which speak of the fertility and new life she brings. The egg, especially, has always been a sacred sign of fecundity. Eggs carried the power of becoming, of creation. Some ancient legends believed that the Earth was hatched from an egg, and of course eggs abound in birds’ nests at this time of year. They became natural associations with fertility, birthing and creation. The egg or lingam is still much revered and often placed on altars in Hindu culture. Rabbits, too, were associated with the spring festivals because of their great fertility. They produce a large number of offspring and breed many times during the season.

Modern Pagans celebrate Ostara with feasting and fun. It’s a joyous celebration that may be combined with rituals to promote balance, plant new seeds both literally and figuratively, and prepare for a wonderful new season of rebirth. Even if you’re not Pagan, everyone can enjoy the ancients rites and rituals of spring that connect us both to the earth and to our possibilities to grow spiritually. You may want to get some soil and plant seeds for lettuce; prepare a kitchen herb garden or bring some potted plants into the house. Bringing in spring colors will help you to connect with spring energy and move you into a place where you begin to tap into the energy of renewal. Colors like lilac, pastel pinks similar to the cherry blossoms and bright tulip colors will add touches of freshness to interior spaces. In ancient times, when planting took priority as a way to sustain a community, clearing away debris and weeds was an important step before spring planting. What needs to be cleared from your house and life to bring in that essential balance so that the seeds you long to plant can grow? This is an ideal time to take a moment to contemplate what needs to be brought into balance in your life.

Beliefnet

Ostara Correspondences

Colors: yellow, light green, light pink, blue, all pastel shades

Stones: amethyst, aquamarine, jasper, moonstone, rose quartz

Herbs: Irish moss, lemongrass, meadowsweet, catnip, spearmint, cleavers, dogwood and ash trees, woodruff

Flowers: daffodils, honeysuckle, iris, violets, Easter lilies, roses, dandelions, tulips, lilacs

Incense: jasmine, rose, violet, lotus, magnolia, ginger, sage, strawberry, lemon

Altar decorations/symbols: spring flowers, seeds, potted plants, colored eggs, rabbits/hares, birds, pinwheels, yellow discs, other solar symbols and imagery, ladybugs, bumblebees

Foods: eggs, honey, sprouts, dandelion greens, strawberries, all spring vegetables, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pine nuts

–Wicca Wheel of the Year Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to the Sabbats, with History,
Symbolism, Celebration Ideas, and Dedicated Sabbat Spells
Lisa Chamberlain

Ostara Ritual

Bark and Flower Balancing Spell

Both the Spring and the Fall Equinoxes provide excellent opportunities to work for balance in our lives. This can mean achieving better physical health, learning how to deal more skillfully with an emotional challenge, or balancing the monthly budget.

Anything you’re dealing with that’s hindering your ability to make progress in the outer world is a good area to focus on releasing, so that the energies of positive manifestation have more room to come into your life. For best results, identify a goal that aligns with the physical, mental or emotional realm in order to take full advantage of the magical correspondences of your chosen spring flower.

As for the bark, this should be gleaned (i.e. gathered from the ground) and not cut from a living tree. Many trees actively shed their bark at the onset of spring in order to make room for their own new growth.

Trees associated with establishing balance include ash, birch, cedarwood, poplar, willow and white oak. If none of these grow where you live, look up the magical correspondences of the trees that do grow in your area, or ask the God and Goddess to guide you in finding the right bark for this spell.

Flowers used in balancing magic include:

Mental: daffodil, iris, lilac, violet (yellow candle)

Emotional: crocus, daffodil, iris, violet, tulip (pink or light blue candle)

Physical: alpine aster, iris, honeysuckle, lilac (green/light green candle)

You will need:

Piece of gleaned tree bark
Handful of flower petals
Spell candle in a color corresponding to your goal
Pencil (or ink and quill)

Instructions:

Start by meditating on your goal.

What does balance in this situation or area of your life look and feel like to you? Identify a word or short phrase that encapsulates the achievement of your goal, such as “optimal health,” “harmony in the home” or “all bills paid.”

Write this on the bark. Don’t worry if the pencil lead doesn’t show up, as the letters are still being traced into the essence of the bark’s energy.

Light the candle and lay the bark on your altar or work space.

Sprinkle the daffodils around the bark in a circle three times, moving clockwise.

With each rotation, say the following (or similar) words:

“As the day is balanced with the night,
and the darkness balanced with the light,
I find balance in my life.”

Allow the candle to burn out on its own.

Within 24 hours, return the bark to the Earth, either where you found it or another place in Nature.

–Wicca Wheel of the Year Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to the Sabbats, with History,
Symbolism, Celebration Ideas, and Dedicated Sabbat Spells
Lisa Chamberlain

Witchy Ways to Celebrate March

Here are some things you can do to celebrate the rebirth we all experience in March:

Decorate your home and altar with displays of eggs—colored and natural—in baskets and bowls. Bring in yellow flowers—daffodils, celandines, and dandelions.

Set long-term spells for the future that will grow and gain power as the light increases and the Wheel turns.

Start the gardening year and celebrate the earth by planting seeds, even just some mustard and cress on your windowsill.

Spring clean yourself and your home by using cleansing herbs in your cleaning rituals.

Rosemary is wonderful for this. And clean in a clockwise direction to imbue your work with positivity.

Celebrate the March winds by working with the air element for spells. Burn incense or just get outside and throw your arms to the winds!

–Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

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.

 

–Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
Deborah Blake

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If you would like to exchange banners, you can either drop us off a link in the comment section or email us at:
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The Wicca Book of Days for March 15th – Of Ides and Attis

The Wicca Book of Days for March 15th

Of Ides and Attis

Julius Caesar by Paul Helm

The Romans knew March 15 as the “ides of March,” and this date, has since been regarded as unlucky or dangerous because it is the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 bc. Ides (derived from the Latin verb, iduare, which means “to divide”) occurred in the middle of every month and were once synchronized with the full moon. In Roman times, March 15 was also the start of a festival recalling the story of the doomed love affair between the Phrygian mother goddess Cybele and Attis, a young shepherd. During Canna Intrat (“Entry of the Reed”). The baby Attiss’s abandonment amid needs by the River Gallus was commemorated.

The Chaste Moon

Many Wiccans dedicate the March esbat to the Goddess in her springtime guise as a young maiden of budding beauty, whose imminent sexual awakening and flowering will mirror that of nature. Incorporate symbols of chastity in your rituals, such as tightly furled buds.

OK, Let’s take a break, It’s Leap Year, So What Does It Mean To You?

’Leap Day’ is February 29, which is an extra (intercalary) day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long – and not 365 days, like a common (normal) year. Nearly every 4 years is a Leap Year in our modern Gregorian Calendar.

Ever since Leap Years were first introduced over 2000 years ago with the transition from the Roman Calendar to the Julian Calendar in 45 BCE (Before Common Era), Leap Day has been associated with age-old Leap Day traditions and folklore.

Women propose to their men

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

In some places, Leap Day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition. 

World Record of Leap Day Babies

People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are world record holders both of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 and of the number of children born on February 29 in the same family.

Bad luck

In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on Leap Day, just like Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day by many. In Greece it’s said to be unlucky for couples to marry during a Leap Year, and especially on Leap Day.

St Oswald’s Day

Leap Day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after an archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. The memorial is celebrated on February 29 during Leap Years and on February 28 during common years.