Saturday, August 1, 2015

August


Weodmonath                                                                          auGu


August is the eighth month of the year. The name of the month was changed to August in honor of Augustus Caesar in 8 BCE. It is considered the busiest time for tourism because it falls in the main school summer holiday period. Its birth flower is the gladiolus or poppy which represents beauty, strength, love, marriage and family. The birthstone for August is the peridot or onyx. The zodiac signs for the month of August are Leo (until August 22) and Virgo (from August 23 onwards).

It is the month for weeding and harvesting. The month of Harvest and Freyfaxi (Loaf Fest). Freyfaxi marked the beginning of the harvest in Iceland. Dedicated to the God of the harvest, it was a time for celebration with horse races, martial sports, and a feast to Freyr. Thor, as hallower and defender of the fields, is also honored as is his fair wife Sif whose golden hair reminds us of the corn.

The Fehu rune f represents the f-sound. Its name means mobile wealth, similar to English fee with the original meaning of sheep or cattle.  Fehu is the promise of nourishment, prosperity, growth and stability.  Inguz used for ing (fertility) N.  This is a rune of peace and prosperity, also fertility especially male potency.  Naudiz is the name of the n-rune n, meaning need, distress, fears, guilt.  This rune represents ‘need’ in all its forms, from the need for food and shelter, to the need of personal fulfillment.  

The Eighth Hall is about the support you receive from other people. This time also rules wealth of your spouse or partner, spirituality, insurance, legacies, other people's money, stocks, bonds, taxes, inheritances, wills, surgeries and astral experiences. It is the time of regeneration, and covers death, sex, legal matters, and metaphysics. Other keywords include: transformation, resources of others, sexuality, transmutation, battles, the Path of Discipleship.


1 Lammas

A day for Ancestors.  Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, falls at the beginning of the harvest season. Apples are ready and grain is beginning to ripen.  The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-mas, which translates to loaf mass.  It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being the autumn equinox and Samhain.  In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.  The loaf was blessed and in England it might be employed afterwards to work magic.  A book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.

In our modern world, it's often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it's no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one's crops meant the difference between life and death.

Lammas in Norse is compared to Freyfaxi, or Freyr Fest, marking the beginning of the harvest. As a fertility deity Freyr would be intimately tied to the land and the food grown upon it.  It was a time for celebration with horse races and a feast for God Freyr. Thor was also honored as is his wife Sif, whose golden hair reminds us the wheat fields. Traditionally, three stalks of the first grains are bound together into a sheaf and kept as an amulet of fortune. Sometimes it was also left in the field for Odin’s horse Sleipnir.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive.  It is a time to perform rituals dealing with cleansing the home, food, relationships and the environment.  A time of making treaties, marriages and a time for trials.  And to give food to the poor.  

                              I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side,

                              now it is time to sit quiet.

                              Face to face with thee,

                              and to sing dedication of life,

                              in this silent and overflowing leisure.


6 Wane Moon

This is a time for spells that banish, release or reverse.  This is a time to break bad habits and to end bad relationships.

                              Hail Manni, God of the Moon!

                              Forever pursued but never caught,

                              You turn through the night,

                              and ward us as we sleep,

                              Hail Manni God of the Moon!


6 Sif's Day

Sif is a Goddess associated with Earth and grain.  She is the wife of the thunder God Thor and is known for her golden hair.  While Thor protects and supports society, Sif is responsible for the unity of the families and tribes within that society. Her long golden hair was something she prided herself in and it reminded people of the golden harvest. It was once all cut off by Loki as a cruel prank. She was miserable and crops would not grow until it was replaced. Thor demanded that Loki replace the hair or else he would break every bone in Loki's body.  The dark months while her hair was gone became what was known as winter.

Sif has inspired the name of a volcano on the planet Venus (Sif Mons).  The Marvel Comics character, Sif, is based on the Sif of Norse myth and is portrayed by Alexander in the Marvel Studios film Thor and its sequel.  

                              Sif of the golden hair, of the fields of good grain,

                              whose gentle touch it is that stills the rage of Thor,

                              that calms the fury and the madness of the storm,

                              merciful one who hears the prayers of women and men,

                              lay your hand upon my heart, quiet its thunderous beating,

                              grant me peace of mind and soul, O Sif, I call to you!


12 Perseid Meteor Shower

The 2015 Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12 -13. A new moon on August 14, 2015 will create perfect conditions for observing the meteor shower. Astronomers suggest watching for meteors after midnight on August 13, 2015.

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year. Made of tiny space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseids are named after the constellation, Perseus. This is because, the radiant or the direction from which the shower seems to come in the sky lies in the same direction as Perseus. The constellation can be found in the north-eastern part of the sky.


14 New Moon

A soothing time of rest and planning for new beginnings, new growth and giving thanks.  Start new projects, new love or new desires.

                              Our God and Goddess of our ancestors,

                              everything we accomplish is but a reflection of Your gifts to us,

                              much as the Moon only reflects the light of the sun.

                              At the new Moon, only the barest sliver of Moon is visible to us,

                              and there is much we cannot see.

                              Today, too, from our separate communities, we see but a sliver of

                              the whole.  There is much we cannot see.

                              As the Moon waxes, so too may our understanding of the wider

                              world of faith and thought, particularly, those with whom we

                              differ.  Renew our lives, we pray,

                              for a life of peaceful co-existence in our belief variety;

                              for a life of goodness.


15 Mimir's Day

Mimir is a primal oracular God who is renowned for his knowledge and wisdom.  The name Mimer means "the wise one or the rememberer".  He is the giant brother of Odin's Jotun mother Bestla and he is the guardian of the Well of Mimir, under of the roots of Yggdrasil.  He stands half-immersed in the water and on his powerful shoulders he is supporting the Kjolen Mountains.  It is said that he has been standing there since the beginning of time and that with the passing of millennia he became part of the mountain itself.

More than any other being in Norse mythology, Mimir seems to be regarded as the divine animating force behind the wisdom of past tradition and its indispensable value as a guide for present actions. Chapter 51 of the Prose Edda relates that, with the onset of Ragnarok, "Heimdall stands up and blows the Gjallarhorn with all his strength.  He wakens all the Gods who then hold an assembly.  Odin rides to Mimir's Well, seeking council for both himself and his followers.  The ash Yggdrasil shakes, and nothing, whether in heaven or on Earth, is without fear."

                              Hail, Grandfather of the Well of Wisdom!

                              Eyes that see through the darkness

                              Of the stone and water,

                              We honor your sacrifice,

                              We honor your pain,

                              We honor that which was hard-won

                              Only by losing.

                              Hail, Grandfather of the Sacred Spring,

                              You who have given much in service,

                              When the time comes,

                              May you bless us with your wisdom

                              And may we not be afraid to pay the price.


17 Eir's Day

Eir is one of Frigg's good friends and handmaidens, as well as a Goddess of the Aesir; she knew the medicinal properties of herbs and is so skilled in the healing arts that she is at times even capable of resurrection. Today do an inventory on the medical supplies. Help those who are poor and ill.

Although men did practice battle-field medical treatment, they may not have received much in the way of training for this task other than what they acquired by doing the job.  Women were the primary medical practitioners.  They knew child birth, surgery, wound care, herbal medicine and death.  The Herbarium of Apuleius lists the various ills and the corresponding plant remedies known to the Anglo-Saxons.  The Vikings also used charms, prayers and runes to help heal the ill. 

                              Physician of the Gods,

                              the Merciful One.

                              I ask you to speed medical healing,

                              to speed the recovery

                              of illness or injury.

                              I ask you to inspire the doctors

                              to do no harm,

                              and to do well in treating the one whom I pray for.

                              Inspire the doctors to have mercy,

                              as you have mercy.

                              Inspire the one whom I pray for

                              to be patient and hopeful.

                              Hail Eir,

                              Greatest Physician.


22 Wax Moon

This is a time for new beginnings, to conceptualize ideas and to invoke.  At this time the Moon represents the Warrior.

                              Great God of prosperity and stability

                              I surrender my financial worries to you, and align myself with

                              your abundance.  As you are the source of all things great and

                              small.  And I know that you will supply me with everything I need

                              in order to be wealthy in all areas of my life.

                              Replace my fear and worry with trust and faith

                              And allow my cup to overflow.

                              So that I may not only support myself monetarily

                              But share my good fortune with others in need.

                              Blessed be.


29 Full Sturgeon Moon

Sturgeon is the full moon of August.  The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of freshwater, were most readily caught during this month.  The sturgeon is a valuable gourmet food, as well as source of specialty products including caviar and isinglass.  A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. Plan a ritual of protection around your home and family.

                              Father God of Moon and Mother Goddess of Stars,

                              bring your presence from afar,

                              manifest on this your night

                              and bless me in this sacred rite.

                              Grant me the knowledge and clarity,

                              to understand your words to me.

                              Lend your powers and send your light

                              aid me in my work tonight.

                              With love and wisdom please embrace

                              all within this sacred space.

                              Divine Friends, I now call to you

                              bring your message clear and true.


31 Raymond Buckland Birthday 

Raymond Buckland (Author), whose craft name is Robat, is an English American writer on the subject of Wicca and the occult, and a significant figure in the history of Wicca, of which he is a High Priest in both the Gardnerian and Seax traditions.

According to his written works, primarily Witchcraft from the Inside, published in 1971, he was the first person in the United States to openly admit to being a practitioner of Wicca, and he introduced the lineage of Gardnerian Wicca to the United States in 1964, after having been initiated by Gerald Gardner's then-high priestess Monique Wilson in Britain the previous year. He later formed his own tradition dubbed Seax-Wica which focuses on the symbolism of Anglo-Saxon Paganism.


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