July, 2014

Merry Meet!

July, 2014

Welcome to the July Issue of PaganPages

 

Lammas

This issue is packed full of all your Lammas Information

 

A Review of Annie Finch’s Book “Spells: New and Selected Poems

 

finchspells

 

 

Also, We have an Interview with Author Laura Perry

 

Thread

 

You can visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Etsy

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Astro Report for July 2014

July, 2014

Mercury still Retrograde in Gemini – 24 degrees

From the beginning of July, Mercury is retrograde, but has been stationing for several days to go direct later. At the onset of the month computer glitches are either trying to cause issues one last time or they are subsiding. How are your health issues? Waning? Mercury goes direct later on July 1 in Gemini – 24 degrees. See below for more information.

 

 

Saturn still Retrograde in Scorpio – 16 degrees

Saturn’s appointment for non-discernable  discipline continues to cause issues on a personal level, which stretches into our personal lives. Folks are recognizing the fact that you aren’t your “normal” self when it comes to self-discipline and routine. Later this month, Saturn goes direct on July 20 in Scorpio – 16 degrees. Stayed tuned for an update on this event.

 

 

Neptune still Retrograde in Pisces – 7 degrees

Ah, the simple pleasures seeing more clearly. July’s Retrograde of Neptune raises a few eyebrows. The realization of the clarity of futuristic vision and how we need to continue certain aspects will shine light on any subject as a higher echelon. Neptune usually likes to cloud issues, especially when love is in order, but that fades away during a Retrograde. Neptune goes direct on Nov 16 in Pisces – 4 degrees. This information will be updated throughout the summer until Neptune goes direct.

 

 

Pluto still Retrograde in Capricorn – 12 degrees

Issues surrounding transformations are still an issue. It’s difficult to make changes when the time isn’t right. The summer is going to be one of sticking to your guns and doing what you know and do best. When the season changes, so will you. Pluto goes direct on Sept 22 in Capricorn – 10 degrees. Monthly updates will continue until Pluto goes direct.

 

 

Mercury goes direct in Gemini – 24 degrees

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 – 1:06 pm EDT

The Planet of Communications enlightens us for great conversations when it sits in Gemini, its ruling Sign. You can carry on a conversation with perfect stranger. When you engage in talking though, be aware of how much information you divulge to the other party. Sometimes you can say too much about yourself or others, the other person may not invite to hear or understand.

 

 

Independence Day – Sun in Cancer at 12 degrees

Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 5:49 am EDT (sunrise) and 8:36 pm EDT (sunset)

Happy 4th!! Ruled by the Moon, the Sign of Cancer dwells on the emotional side. Be nostalgic and patriotic as you feel best suited for the occasion. For the holiday, the Moon closes in to its 1st Quarter phase and sits in Libra bringing balance in courage and motivation. If you plan to be on the road to watch fireworks, it would behoove you to know the road you’re taking and with whom you’re meeting. Plan ahead, if you need to. Bring a blanket to watch the fireworks on the grass or take a couple of chairs to sit on. Rushing will not be beneficial, so plan ahead. Leave earlier than you think you should.

 

 

Grand Trine (Sun, Saturn and Chiron) July 9, 2013

A Grand Trine is noticeable throughout the month but is quite significant around the 9th of July. As a third Harmonic Syndrome, the Grand Trine is Elemental in nature, where this particular one is Water. Trines are generally soft aspects and offer easy-going energies. Although, a Grand Trine can be construed as “silver-spoon” (meaning that it is expected to be given everything), folks will still have to put effort into what they are doing before anything is offered in abundance. Grand Trines hold a wealth of talent – it’s getting off your duff and using the energy of the Planets that can be challenging. Water Grand Trines are quite creative. It can be subtle, yet instinctively intuitive.

 

Here is where the planetary energies lie within this Water Grand Trine:

*Sun at 16 degrees Cancer trine Retrograde Saturn at 16 degrees Scorpio – Independence and Power emote kindness, which favors random conventional sensitivities. When a situation occurs where a compliment is needed by another, offer compliments with encouraging and profound words to raise self-esteem in others.

 

*Retrograde Saturn at 16 degrees Scorpio trine Retrograde Chiron at 17 degrees Pisces – When offering kind compliments, you can inspire others to offer profound words of encouragement as well.

 

*Retrograde Chiron at 17 degrees Pisces trine the Sun at 16 degrees Cancer – Profound compliments will offer positive approval for independent growth in others. Folks will appreciate a kind word of encouragement.

 

*A Kite aspect with Rx Pluto at 12 d Capricorn opposite the Sun at 16 degrees Cancer – Although Retrograde Pluto doesn’t promote personal transformations, it will inspire folks to make considerations later. Sometimes you have to mull things over, before you make any major changes.

 

 

Full Moon in Capricorn – 20 degrees

Saturday, July 12, 2014 – 7:24 am EDT

When the Full Moon is in Capricorn, we tend to experience stability within our emotions. It is easier to make peace and find serenity within. Meditations can be profound at this time. This Full Moon is determined to be cautious though. Although emotions are practical, they are also safely tucked away to avoid disorder and chaos. Try to find time to let loose a little and be yourself with an air of inhibition.

 

 

American Native Lore

In July, some tribes of the Native Americans referred to the Full Moon as the Full Buck Moon, because it was a time when the antlers began to emerge on the bucks with soft velvety coverings. Other Natives called it the Thunder Moon, because it is the time of the year when thunderstorms are most prominent. Farmers sometimes refer to it as the Full Hay Moon, because the hay fields were beginning to dry out enough to harvest the grains and bale the hay for future bedding and fodder for the animals.

 

 

Mercury enters Cancer

Sunday, July 13, 2014 – 12:33 am EDT

Mercury’ ability to converse abates a little bit, but becomes more emotional. Don’t cry over spilt milk. Keep your facts short and simple. Getting into minute details may only bore others into boredom. For now, health issues are really good. If you have an ache or a pain, soak in a hot tub or take an extra long hot shower. You’ll notice how water is the universal healer.

 

 

Jupiter enters Leo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 – 5:20 am EDT

The grandiose Planet of blowing things out of proportion can erupt ill feelings at home, if you’re not careful. Family matters most in your life, so take care to enjoy the time you have. Find time and energy to have fun.

 

 

Venus enters Cancer

Friday, July 18, 2014 – 9:54 am EDT

Love is blissful when Venus enters Cancer. There is deep concern and caring between partners. Love making is true to heart and offers emotional connections. Until Venus exits Cancer, be passionate and compassionate with your partner and the benefits will astound you.

 

 

Saturn goes direct in Scorpio – 16 degrees

Sunday, July 20, 2014 – 5:12 pm EDT

Saturn represents restrictions and limitations. It can also represent caution and concern. On a personal level, it represents self-discipline. When it moves forward in Scorpio, there is determination to follow thru on your convictions. If you have made any commitments, now is the time to complete them or make a big step to accomplishing your tasks.

 

 

Uranus goes Retrograde in Aries – 16 degrees

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 – 5:15 am EDT

goes direct Dec 21st

Uranus is that Planet that hates to be confined. It is known as the “break out” Planet for that reason. When retrograde, Uranus can be responsible, more traditional and relaxed. As Uranus goes retrograde in Aries, there is a feeling of enthusiasm and courage to take responsibility. It is not a time to worry about what others think about you. Do your own thing at your own pace and life will be grand.

 

 

Sun enters Leo – Happy Birthday, Leo!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 – 5:29 pm EDT

Leo people are very family oriented. They are loyal and trustworthy people. The Leo you remember as a child will still be the same at retirement. Because Leo is ruled by the Sun, they typically seem to think the world revolves around them and they are the center of attention. They appreciate having their friends and family around them, thus they make excellent hosts. Leos need regular exercise to attain their strength and agility. Leo people tend to be quite generous, so never refuse a gift or they will be quite insulted.

 

Leo people are prone to back and spine ailments due to emotional strain or physical exertion. When they feel the weight of the world upon their shoulders, they feel it physically in their back.

 

 

Sun conjuncts Jupiter in Leo – 1 degree

Thursday, July 24, 2014 – 4:23 pm EDT

The Sun is feeling good in its ruling Sign, Leo, so when it conjuncts Jupiter, it augments the energy of Jupiter in Leo. This is a great time to spend time with family and have fun! Make it personal…

 

 

New Moon in Leo – 3 degrees

Saturday, July 26, 2014 – 6:42 pm EDT

Emotions run high when the New Moon is in Leo. As a Sign, Leo tends to be rather loyal to family matters. So, when a New Moon happens in Leo, we see a variety of emotional aspects within the family. It’s a good time to spend time with the family and start something new that helps tie the bonds of family.

 

 

Mars enters Scorpio

Friday, July 25, 2014 – 10:13 pm EDT

Mars can be quite combative when it enters its ruling Sign, Scorpio. Actions can sting most hurtfully when it’s not appropriate. Be careful what you do on the physical level to ensure you aren’t hurting yourself or others.

 

 

Lughnasadh (Lammas/Loaf-mass)

Thursday, July 31, 2014 – sun sets at 8:19 pm EDT

Names: Lammas, Lughnasadh, Festival of Lugh, August Eve, Festival of Bread, 1st Harvest, Bread Harvest, Festival of First Fruits, Gwyl Galan Awst (Welsh)

Date: Aug 1st (sometimes celebrated on the eve – July 31st)

Astro Correspondence: 15 degrees Leo
Color: tans, oranges, yellows and reds

Food: grains, cakes, breads, fresh fruits, mushrooms, lamb, berry pies, wine, ale, beer

Common Info: Story of Lugh, Handfasting/Handparting, 1st Harvest Fest (grains mostly), Story of John Barleycorn as the Corn King (corn is synonymous with grain),

 

Lughnasadh is the Sabbat that celebrates Lugh, the God of the Sun. The date is typically the 1st day of August although some folks begin to celebrate at sunset the day before, July 31stor when the Sun enters 15 degrees Leo, which is ruled by the Sun. It is the first harvest festival. Foods sacred are typically grains of all sorts, vegetables off the bush or fruits off the vine. Breads and barley meads are custom as well. This Sabbat is also known as Lammas or the Mass of the Loaf (Loafmas). Sheaths of grain are usually hung on walls to represent prosperity. John Barleycorn is sacrificed and buried in the fields to promote a healthy growth for the following growing season.

The Tailtu Games are warrior games that honored Lugh’s mother. They are reminiscent of the Olympic Games, but from another time and culture.

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Tarot Talk

July, 2014

Let’s cement what we learned last month when we talked about the Queen of Pentacles, by examining another Tarot “royal,” the Queen of Swords. First, a review of information we talked about last month.

A Tarot deck has 78 cards. There are 22 Major Arcana cards, with numbers from 0 to 21; the Majors usually deal with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, archetypes that are easy for us to identify with and connect with at some point in our lives. There are 56 Minor Arcana cards that are customarily grouped into four categories or suits that represent the four elements (sometimes called “Pips” or “Pip Cards”), with numbers from Ace to 10; the Minors usually deal with day-to-day issues.

The Court Cards are actually a part of the Minor Arcana, acting as a representation of the family unit. Individually, the members of the Tarot Court represent particular personality traits, traits of people, places and events in our lives. These cards can also tell us about our own personality, and how it is perceived by others. Thinking of my Tarot cards as people, with each card having an individual personality, is one method I have used with success in order to connect with my cards. This is particularly appropriate for the Court Cards, as they are the most human of all the cards in a Tarot deck. Even the illustrations for the Court Cards show humans in the majority of Tarot decks. Generally speaking, there are three different ways that Court Cards can speak to us in a spread: they can indicate personality traits of our Seeker or someone affecting the Seeker; they can refer to actual individuals in the Seeker’s life, including the Seeker; and they can refer to the general aura or atmosphere of a place or situation.

Court cards offer us these descriptions of personality traits and of different ways of being or acting, so we can make use of these styles or avoid them, whichever is appropriate. Of course, the trick is to know which message is being given in a particular spread! One way to become more confident in determining this is to learn about the Court Cards themselves, and how the personality of each Court Card interacts with its particular suit. Many times if you break a particular Court Card down to its rank and correspondences, you will understand its message. Let’s get started.

Instead of numbers, Court Cards have rank. The lowest ranking Court Card is the Page, the messenger or intern or apprentice who is still learning of life and living, but who is also good at dealing with the unexpected. Next comes the Knight, the representation of strong, focused and even excessive manifestations of his suit.

Both the Queen and the King represent mature adults. The Queen manifests her suit in a feminine or yin or inner way, and the King manifests his suit in a masculine or yang or outer way. This manifestation does not necessarily correspond to gender; a man can be represented by a Tarot Queen if he has a strong inner focus, and a woman can be represented by a Tarot King if she projects a strong sense of authority. Since we are talking about the Queen of Swords today, we already know that our Queen will manifest her suit in an inner yet mature manner. Our Queen is not so much concerned with results as with the enjoyment of just being in the world and surrounded by her element. She is associated with feelings, relationships and self-expression, she is relaxed and natural. The Queen expresses her suit from the inside, setting the tone without imposing it; she embodies the qualities of her suit, rather than acting them out.

Our Queen’s suit this month is Swords. The suit of Swords, which corresponds with the element of Air, the Spades of playing cards, the direction of East and the color of yellow, seems to use “no pain, no gain” as its motto. Maybe the tendency for discomfort has to do with the fact that Swords usually tell of some focused intent to bring forth a manifestation of some kind, or they tell of a struggle and then an outcome. Swords cards are about purposeful actions and the thoughts, intentions or beliefs behind them. These actions are deliberate and are manifested with careful consideration, rather than as a response to random effects presented to us by the elements around us. Simply put, the effects or manifestations surrounding the Swords cards come from inside us. We are the main catalyst that creates the manifestation of a Swords card, and that means we might be causing the very challenges we are trying to prevent.

The element of Air corresponds with truth, clarity, and our capacity to analyze or apply logic. Air is considered as hot and wet, and it both separates or expands, and adapts to the energies around it. The Swords cards indicate our mental state, the beliefs we have, and actions we take in response to effects around us. A Sword has two edges, a perfect metaphor for this suit, which can represent attacking or defending, logic or aggression.

The suit of Swords is not all bad; after all the element of Air also represents the intelligence that clears away the fog of ignorance and allows us to understand what we are dealing with. Air is the medium of our voices, and it supports communications and sounds of all kinds; Air allows both expression (out from within us) and hearing (in from outside of us) to happen, and our Queen of Swords is particularly connected to expression and hearing. Of course, words and communications are double-edges swords, too, and they can heal or hurt.

Air is not the only element that corresponds to our Queen. In the Tarot Court, the suit of the card has an elemental correspondence, and the rank of the card has an elemental correspondence. Pages correspond with Earth, Knights correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck), Queens correspond with Water, and Kings correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck). Since we are talking about a Queen today, we are also talking about the element of Water.

In its natural state, Water is cool and wet. When amassed, it has weight, and it tends to gather or pool at the lowest place. Because of this tendency, Water creates its own roadways or channels, and it prefers to use those already-in-place channels if it can. Water is used for cleaning and purifying, and Water can be a carrier for other substances. For instance, we can dissolve salt or sugar into warm Water, and use that concoction for other things. A body of Water can be calm and deep, or it can be dangerously churning and filled with powerful currents.

All Queens represent the element of Water, as well as the element corresponding to their suit; this means that our Queen of Swords presents a Watery version of Air. Water and Air share the trait of wetness or adaptability, and they use this adaptability to affect heat/cold. When compared to each other, Water and Air are considered neutral to each other, and they can support each other in positive ways. Together, these two elements allow our Queen to affect her world by joining things together and by separating things from each other; this can be seen as the skill known as discrimination (the awareness of subtle differentiation and the ability to notice subtle differences), one specialty of our Queen of Swords. You could say that the emotions (Water) support the intellect and the ability to analyze (Air). That can be a potent combination!

Like the other cards of the Tarot, Court Cards have astrological correspondences. Our Queen of Swords corresponds with the cusp or joining point of the signs of Virgo and Libra. Virgo is efficient, analytical, organized, and modest, with an eye for details; Virgo can also be critical, overly anxious, and even a hypochondriac. Our Queen of Swords is intelligent and meticulous, but she might worry too much. Libra is diplomatic, objective, cooperative, and calm; Libra can also be vague, distant, indecisive, dependent on others, and can lack confidence. Our Queen is easygoing, even romantic, but she can also be gullible and overly flirtatious.

Because they are Minor Arcana cards, Court Cards also correspond with a sephira on the Tree of Life. The Queens correspond with the sephira of Binah, along with the Threes of the Minor Arcana and the element of Water. The Queens sit at the top of the Pillar of Form; Binah, representing the Sacred Feminine and the Womb of Life, offers shadow and contrast, which in turn gives us shape and form. Binah restricts in order to provide a springboard, and that restriction can also be its downfall if it becomes greed. The energies of this sephira are the purest of receptive energies.

Let’s recap and compare. Last month we discovered that the Queen of Pentacles represents Water of Earth, and in many ways, this Queen manifests the energy of The Empress of the Major Arcana, but in a more approachable and accessible way. This month we are looking at the Queen of Swords, who represents Water of Air. This Queen manifests the energy of Justice, the Major Arcana card we talked about in April that is about balance and adjustment. The Queen of Pentacles is very good at sustaining and nurturing all kinds of life, while the Queen of Swords is more concerned with the intent behind the concepts of fairness and equality, rather than the execution of the letter of the law in their regard.

The goals of the Queen of Pentacles are usually centered on the home, her family and loved ones, and on keeping them healthy and secure. Our Queen of Swords would rather help others to be independent, to learn the art of discrimination, and to hone and sharpen the intellect, all accomplished not through nurturing and ease but rather through successfully dealing with difficulties and challenges.

The Legacy of the Divine Queen of Swords reminds us that it is the spirit behind the law and not its form that keeps justice alive. The Llewellyn Queen is a pioneering revolutionary, filled with confidence, but subject to the lure of ambition and the lust for more power. The Magdalene Legacy Tarot Queen of Swords is sincere, perceptive, observant, and very efficient, but she can rush rashly to judgment and can be emotionally distant. The Thoth Queen is gracious of spirit, an intense individualist, and good at perceiving and understanding subtle messages.

The Queen of Swords may not openly display her emotions, but her judgment can be sometimes swayed by her feelings and her heart. The Watery rank of Queen enables our Queen of Swords to cut right to the heart of any matter, slicing away illusion and fantasy. She can easily see what is hidden, and woe to anyone who tries to pull the wool over her eyes!

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Tink About It

July, 2014

Shadows
Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again….

As I told you before I’ve always been a moonchild. I love the night. The dark gives me a safe, cosy and peaceful feeling. Life slows down, I slow down. I enjoy walking my dogs in the middle of the night. Deserted streets, the sound of silence, soft moonlight. A ship blows its horn in the distance. A lone cyclist races home through the dark. A pub owner turns off the light and closes the door. He smiles and nods. He knows me, a fellow night owl…
I really don’t understand why ‘dark’ or ‘black’ has a negative connotation. I’m not afraid of the dark, on the contrary. Dark isn’t negative, just the counterbalance of light and just as much part of life! You need to embrace your shadow to be able to enjoy the light…

Of course there is also an entirely different league of darkness, the evil that hides in the dark and gives the dark a bad name. That’s not what I am talking about here. I won’t encourage a murderer to embrace his shadow… What I mean are our less-desirable features like jealousy, impatience, bad behaviour, insecurity and the like.

It keeps surprising (and at times annoying) me though, that quite some pagans seem to have a problem acknowledging and accepting their shadow or ‘dark side’. I hear a lot of love & light messages. Sometimes when people react with ‘lots of love & light’ I think: NO! I need to feel this now. I need the darkness, being alone with me, myself and I. Of course they mean it well and it’s great when people show their compassion, but still it might be a good idea to leave it up to the other. Nothing wrong with love and light of course, but it is if there is no room anymore for the other side. Even worse, a lot of people (try to) ignore their not-so-light side.
I’ve had numerous chats and online discussions with people about this. Some call themselves ‘light workers’. Again nothing wrong with that in itself, but personally I want to work with ‘all of me’. I strive to be a good person and I believe I am basically, but I also have another side and so does everyone else. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, no need to hide. The harder you try to cover it up, the harder it will come back to haunt you. To me it’s much better to give that side of me attention too. I try to find out why I feel depressed, jealous, unsatisfied, etc. or why I act in a certain way. I explore the possibilities to do something about it. If that’s not possible, at least I try to acknowledge it. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not. Hey, I’m only human… and so are you!

When I was studying with Phyllis Curott, one of the workshops she gave us was called ‘Dancing with your shadow, an intensive workshop devoted to self-discovery, healing & empowerment’. She taught us that your shadow is not the reflection of your limitations, but rather a teacher and guide to a life of wholeness and happiness. We worked together to uncover our shadow beliefs, insecurities, weaknesses , etc. The dark qualities you bury, deny or project onto others can be a source of self-knowledge, freedom and fulfilment. That’s what Phyllis promised us, and that’s what we got…
It was quite the revelation, that workshop. We went in deep, very deep. We laughed and cried together. We did several meditations, shamanic journeys and exercises to meet and interact with our shadows. Some I knew, some were ‘sort of new’ to me. As was to be expected a well-known and long-lasting issue in my life surfaced, and to my surprise I really made progress. Make no mistake, let me emphasize that witchcraft is by no means a substitute for therapy! Still, in a certain way this shadow work brought me more than 20 years of therapy… A completely different approach made the difference I needed, caused a breakthrough and set things in motion, finally. To me an important part of witchcraft is learning and developing myself. A recurring theme in my life is balance. It’s something I work on all the time, so it’s no surprise it comes up on my spiritual path too. That’s why I need to give attention to both sides, it’s the healthy way to do things if you ask me.

‘Shadow work’ is a Jungian term that refers to practices that creatively engage repressed or hidden aspects of the self. It can be done on your own, but if you work in a group that can certainly be a synergetic bonus. 1 + 1 = 3, if you understand what I mean. Be prepared for some difficult themes to surface, but if you work through it the reward can be huge.
If you can’t find a workshop or group to work with, or just like to work alone, there are also books that can help you. I just name a few, by no means the only ones, just some books that I like on the subject of shadow work.

  • Vivianne & Chris Crowley – Your Dark Side: How to turn your inner negativity into positive energy
  • Jane Meredith – Journey to the Dark Goddess: How to Return to Your Soul
  • Yasmine Galenorn – Embracing the Moon: A Witch’s Guide to Ritual Spellcraft and Shadow Work

So, how about you?
Do you know your shadow?
Do you ignore it, embrace it, work with it?

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Goddesses of Sorcery

July, 2014

Aine, Goddess of the Sun

 

Aine
In Wicca today we often associate the sun with the God and the moon with the Goddess but in fact there are many sun Goddesses in many cultures. At the time of Midsummer when the sun is at its peak we connect with that energy in our rituals and our meditations (also in our bar-b-q on the deck!)
Three Celtic Goddesses are associated with the sun, Aine, Brighid and Olwen. Aine was one of the great Irish Goddess who represented the spark of life. Her festival was celebrated on Midsummer’s eve. Later she was remembered in Christian times as the fairy queen in south Munster and she is said to haunt Knockainy Hill there. She has been known by other names, such as the Lady of the Lake, the Goddess of the Earth and Nature, and the Goddess of Luck and Magick. (www.goddesses-guide.com)
Aine was the daughter of Eogabail who was a member of the Tuatha da Danaan and the foster son of the Sea God Manannan Mac Lir. Some other legends say that Aine was married to the Sea God. Aine’s original role was a Sun Goddess, and she is sometimes called “bright,” . It was when she was in that role that she was able to shape-shift into becoming “Lair Derg,” the “Red Mare,” or the horse that never could be outrun. This is analogous with the sun because you can never outrun the sun! (www.angelfire.com)
Traditionally, Sun Goddesses have been known as Goddesses of Love and Fertility, and Aine followed in that tradition with great enthusiasm. It was during a much later period in time that Aine developed the characteristics of a more maternal Moon Goddess, and was believed to guard her followers’ livestock and crops. There are farmers, even today, who perform the exact same rituals that their ancestors performed thousands of years ago. At midsummer, they walk through their fields and wave their torches, in the hope that Aine and her sacred fire might grant them an abundant harvest. Farmers also continue to burn flowers and straw, as another way of honoring Aine, in the hope that she might grant them freedom from illness and evil throughout another turn of the Wheel of the Year.
In her role as a Moon Goddess, Aine was known as a Goddess of Agriculture and a Patroness of Crops and Cattle. An ancient myth exists which describes how Aine sat in her birthing chair on August 1st, and gave birth to a sheave of grain. It is believed that by performing that act, Aine gave the gift of grain to the people of Ireland.
Aine has always been an extremely popular Goddess, and she had a reputation for being exceedingly friendly with human men. People would worship Aine in the hope that she might bestow sexuality, fertility, abundance and prosperity upon them. Those attributes have often been connected with Love Goddesses, and Aine took her primary responsibility, that of encouraging human sexuality, very seriously.
Aine was well known for teaching humans about love, human love and divine love. In the first way, Aine become lovers with human men, and in the second way, which was the one that she used more frequently, she taught humans how to walk in spirituality, unity and love with the Goddess Danu or Anu. This is a very important part of Aine’s cult because she can deepen the love and connection we have with the Ever-Living-One, the Great Mother Goddess Anu.
When Aine did offer her love to human men she conceived a great many children, and by doing so, it is believed that she gave birth to a magickal Faerie-Human race.
Many stories exist regarding Aine and her mortal lovers. One day, while Aine was swimming in a river, an Irish Earl who just happened to be passing by stole her cloak, and then refused to return it to her until she agreed to marry him. With a heavy heart Aine agreed to his terms, and she did, indeed, keep her word and marry him, and some time later she gave birth to a baby boy. In the hope of gaining her freedom from the Earl, Aine struck a deal with him, the terms of which stated that he could never show even the slightest bit of surprise at anything their son might do, because if he did Aine would gain her freedom.
Eventually, the day finally arrived when the Earl witnessed his son perform the most amazing trick, jumping in and out of a bottle! He found himself unable to hide his surprise from anyone so Aine gained her freedom, and she returned back to the sidhes to live happily, once again, with the Faeries. Her son flew away in the form of a wild goose. This story is only one example of how intelligence, ingenuity and determination, which are all qualities of the Divine Feminine, were able to aid Aine, thereby allowing her to free herself from the Earl’s patriarchal bondage.
Like many other Celtic Goddesses, Aine can be seen as a singular Triple Goddess, based upon the various powers she possesses. In her first aspect, Aine has the ability to reward her followers with the gift of poetry or, for those that she deems unworthy, with the curse of madness. Aine’s second aspect is attributed to her association with lakes and wells, and with her ability to heal. The waters, which come from “Tobar-Na-Aine,” or “Aine’s Well,” are known to have life-restoring qualities. Finally, in her third aspect, Aine takes on the guise of a Dark Goddess, with the ability to appear to mortal men as a beautiful woman, which leaves little room for doubt why she has frequently been called the Leannan Sidhe, which means the “Sweetheart of the Sidhe,” or the “Faerie Lover.” Aine is also a part of a Triple Goddess trinity, consisting of herself, and her two sisters, Fenne and Grian(meaning sun). When a full moon rises, lighting up the evening sky, the three of them ride their horses from out from their sidhes, to laugh and play in Lough Gur.
Petitioning Aine

 

  • Shape-shifting: petition Aine to help you with shape-shifting work.
  • Fertility and abundance: burn straws and flowers on an altar dedicated to Aine to ask for fertility and abundance
  • Love: petition Aine to bring the right lover (human) to you
  • Freedom from an abusive relationship: Aine can help you to find your freedom from an abusive relationship, but she won’t help you to fix that relationship. It is also possible that she will punish the abusive person, so make sure that you who are petitioning are free from guilt.
  • Spiritual Advancement: Petition Aine to deepen your connection and understanding with the Goddess Anu.
  • For Poetic Inspiration: If you have writers block Aine can help you with poetic inspiration
  • Healing: Take a cup or cauldron of water and bless it in Aine’s name. Use this water for healing. (You could travel to Ireland and visit Aine’s well to obtain water also.)

References
http://www.goddess-guide.com/sun-goddesses.html
http://www.angelfire.com/journal/ofapoet/aine.html
Monaghan, Patricia.1990. The Book of Goddesses and Heroines. Llewellyn publications.

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Nelland Living

July, 2014

Litha Fashion: Polka Dot Tunic

 

Nautical style is such a classic that it is always a fashionable summer look. Trends make the shapes and forms of the clothes change, but the style remains. You know, red-and-white and blue-and-white stripes, white pants, navy blue with white accents, etc.

In many cases I like to do things differently, but here I´m all in the same boat with everyone else. I simply love the nautical style, and it flows, along with the 1950´s theme, through pretty much my whole Litha Collection. Here is one way I like to wear it:

 

 

Nell1

 

 

A classic feminine look of white polka dots on navy blue jersey, adorned with bright white stripes.

 

Nell2

 

 

?Silly and fun loving as I am, I like to use Bratz coloring pictures when designing my outfits. They exaggerate and magnify beauty (although totally unnatural and unachievable in reality), and thus give a clear idea of what my goal is.

 

 

Nell3

 

 

It is important to me that my clothes look good from the side view too. Often store-bought clothes are pictured only from the front, which does not show the whole truth (or should I say hides it =). Fashion today offers wide tops, that make me look pregnant. That´s another reason why I love to make my own tunics.

 

 

Nell4

 

 

The back is the same as the front. ?This look needs no gimmicks.

 

 

Nell5

 

 

The white stripes running across the sleeves and hemline are in fact of narrow cotton lace. It does not show until up close, and then offers a nice little surprise to the viewer. Plus this mild lace gives a tiny bit of old-fashioned romantic style to the garment.

 

 

Nell6

 

 

?The only accessory I added to the look is earrings (of course a pair of my own aromatherapy ones =). They too are bright white, and with blue little anchors printed on them.

Makeup is classic 1950´s in the more natural way. Eyebrows are important here. They are arched and relatively strong to give form. On the eyes I applied matte off-white on the inner 2/3 of the lids, and medium brown on the outer 1/3 blending well from the crease out- and upward. Since this is a day look, I excluded the otherwise signature 50´s feature, strong black lines on the upper lashline. My skin is tanned by now, so I also exclude blush, to let the skin itself glow. On the lips I applied cool pink lipgloss, instead of the usual deep red, simply for variety´s sake (with most of my Litha outfits I wear that red. You can see the rest of my Litha Collection on my blog.).

Overall this look is really fresh and clean, and oozes the classic style of the good old 1950´s happiness.

 

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Thriftcrafting: Witching on a budget

July, 2014

Stones

 

Runes
A popular form of divination is runes. It is a set of ancient Germanic letters or inscriptions that legend says came to the Norse god Odin, a relentless seeker of knowledge and wisdom. It is said that he pierced himself with his spear and hung from a branch of Yggdrasil, the World Tree at the center of the Norse cosmos, for nine days and nights, sacrificing himself for the knowledge of the runes, which was revealed to him. He passed on the knowledge to Freya. Heimdall, the god who guards the Rainbow Bridge, taught the runes to man.

Runes are an oracle that can be consulted for advice. I have read that they work best if you detail your current circumstances and ask a specific question. I have drawn them with more general intentions and found them to be accurate and helpful. (To be fair, I’ve also found them to be vague and confusing, but then, that can happen with my favorite tarot deck, too, so I know that it is me and not the tools.)

While rune sets are available in witch shops, book stores and online, I chose to make my own set out of Fimo clay and some copper wire I had around the house.

I shaped clay into 24 round, flattened disks of roughly equal size. Using wire cutters, I snipped pieces and arranged them into the various shapes, pushing them into the clay before baking. (It was helpful that there are no runes with rounded shapes, or I probably would not have chosen wire.)

Instead of wire, you could carve the symbols, or draw them on with acrylic paint or a Sharpie pen.

You need not make your set out of clay – you can collect 24 shells, pieces of sea glass or rocks. Wash the objects and let them dry. You can pencil each of the runes onto your objects first if that helps. You might also consider chanting the rune name and studying its meaning as you draw it.

Another good base for runes are disks cut from a branch. You’ll want to sand the surface and wipe off any dust. Rather than paint or markers, you could carve or burn the symbols.

Sealing with a clear acrylic spray or brush-on sealer will help preserve the symbols. Wood that’s been carved or burned can be finished by rubbing with a mixture of olive oil (1/4 cup) and lemon oil (24 drops), with a few drops of any essential oil if you wish. Linseed oil or varnish also seals wood.

Using items of nature, know that they are imbued with the spirits, magic and power from which they come. If you make your set with intention or as part of a ritual, their energy will be even more powerful. Saving money aside, this is enough of a reason to make them rather than buying them.

No interest in runes? There are other tools you can make using these same objects.

 

Directions

 

You might make a set of five stones – one for each of the four elements plus center. Paint on the standard triangle symbols or any symbols that have meaning for you. This is a set I made that sits on my desk at the office, and has traveled with me when I went camping.

The stones, wooden disks, shells or other objects can also be decorated with sacred symbols that have meaning for you, with the chakras, or with answers to be arranged and used with a pendulum. You could make a divination set similar to Medicine Cards by putting the image of an animal on each and researching their powers, strengths and wisdom.

Unable to draw? There’s always stickers, or pictures that are cut out and affixed to a stone or other surface that’s had a base coat of paint or Modge Podge thinned with a bit of water. Affix with glue and use an acrylic finish to seal.

I hope you’ll post a photo of what you’ve done.

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Musings of a Hereditary Witch

July, 2014

Grounding: A Pet Peeve
When I was first introduced to the Pagan community in the early 90’s, I noticed a trend with workshop leaders and with some of the ritual leaders when it came to grounding. They would start off in a dreamy voice…
Close your eyes…take a deep slow breath in…now breath out slowly… (repeat a few times)
Now, drop a cord or visualize roots extending from your feet/base of spine…allow all negative, pain, sorrow… (etc.) to flow from you and into Mother Earth, She can take all of this from you…now bring up Her healing energy…
Ok, stop right there. Our beautiful Mother cannot take all of your pain, sorrow, negativity or whatever. Not, that is, unless you extend that cord or your roots all the way down to Her Heart Center, that fiery core, and ask that it be transformed into something healing and loving for all of Her children.
Why?
Well the first thing that comes to mind is: what makes some people think that She wants any of our negative energy? Has She asked you for it? Did She say, ‘Yes, dump all of your negative energy into me along with your garbage, nuclear waste, and poisons. What’s one more negative thing being dumped into my body’.
The second thing is that if you are not responsible to what happens to that negative energy, if you are just dumping it, then that negativity is resting in the top soil. What if someone with empathic sensitivity comes along and picks it up unconsciously? Have you ever been out somewhere, feeling fine one minute and the next your mood changes and the slightest little thing sets you off and you don’t know why? Of course sometimes we just walked by someone and pick up their negative energy, but it’s the same principle. We always speak of self-responsibility within the Pagan community; shouldn’t this be one of the things we are responsible for?
Years ago I was explaining this to some students, about sending the energy all the way down to Mother Earth’s fiery center and asking for it to be transformed. One student said that, that wasn’t the way she’d been taught by another teacher. The teacher she named was well known in our area as a Shamanic teacher and healer, though I’d never met her. I told my student that this is the way I teach grounding.
Well, I got a call from the local Shamanic teacher, a very nice woman, whom I am friends with today. She told me that her former student had shared with her the grounding technique that I use and that she never considered running the energy to the core or transforming the energy into something positive, she just assumed that it would just take care of its self. She also mentioned that she had been teaching grounding for 20 years.
My grandma, who was a wise woman, taught me to always ask the earth to take away any negative energy I might be holding within and to transform it into something wonderful and healing. This is not the ‘only true and right way’ to ground. Much has changed within the Pagan community since the 90’s and with that many of the things being taught at that time has evolved. If you take anything from this post, I hope it is being mindful of how you dispose of your energy to Mother Earth.
Blessings on your Hearth & Home,
Elayne

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SpellCrafting

July, 2014

Happy trails

Merry Meet.
Summer brings vacations and vacations bring travel. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, boat or plane, bring along a protection charm or mojo bag. It can hang in your vehicle, be tucked into a pocket or kept in your luggage and then moved into your home away from home.
There are many spells and charms available in books and online you can copy, blend and modify, so I encourage you to make something that is meaningful to you.
  • In a small cloth bag, place a few herbs, items, icons and symbols. Choose items that speak to you. Items that bring a sense of safety, protection and good luck. (A few words of caution about adding anything that brings “luck” in general – luck can be good or bad. So be specific!)
  • Comfrey is said to be used for safety while traveling.  
  • Lungwort is said to assure blessings while traveling by air and bladderwrack for travel by water.
  • Among the many herbs used for general protection are acorn, alder, bay leaf, bergamot, black pepper, cedar, chamomile, cinnamon, eucalyptus, fennel seed, frankincense, heather, mint, nutmeg, rue, snapdragon and vervain.
  • Among the stones that offer protection are agate, amber, amethyst, black onyx, citrine, emerald, obsidian, ruby and tourmaline.  
  • Quartz is said to protect your car. 
  • I have included reduced copies of tarot cards, a tiny angel, a turtle vertebrae and a bear claw in various protection bags I have made
  • Do you have a piece of jewelry, a charm or a hag stone you consider to be protective? Add it!
  • For centuries, witches have used salt and iron nails for protection.
  • You can also charge a object with protection.
  • Perhaps gathering the objects together with intention is enough. Perhaps you will want to pass it through smoke and bless it with salt and water, or make its assembly part of a simple ritual. You can also  hold it in your hands, over your heart, and channel in the blessings of a God or Goddess, the Universe or your own higher self.
  • Remember that the more you put in energy wise, the stronger it will be.
Wishing you happy trails.
Merry part.
And merry meet again.
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Book Review: Spells: New and Selected Poems by Annie Finch

July, 2014

finchspells

 

Spells: New and Selected Poems

by Annie Finch

© 2013 Annie Finch

ISBN: 978-0-8195-7269-1

232 pages

Hardcover $30.00 (U.S.)

 

Although this is not Annie Finch first book of poetry it is my first experience with her work. From the first few poems in this book I was captivated. This book is a collection of poems both new and ones collected over forty years.

The poems have a cadence that reads as speech but with a musical cadence that are experienced with both body and mind. This is not a book to be read quickly. With each poem I read I found myself stopping to absorb the full effect before moving on to the next.

Spells has poems that are lyrics, some are chants, some of performance pieces. I was intrigued by those pieces written for more than one voice. Those were the ones I would love to hear read by a group.

There does not appear to be an overall theme. The poems cover topics such as homebirth, butterflies, goddesses, creation story and more.

Overall, this is a book that can be read and reread gaining something new and wonderful with each reading. It is not a book to be read through quickly but one to be read slowly to enjoy and savor.

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