Things to do Sun in Sagittarius

sagittarius sign

Things to do while the Sun is in Sagittarius

  1. Seeing and believing the best in people
  2. Widen your perception
  3. Travels of all kind
  4. Go to church, temple, or other religious ceremony
  5. Connect wit your personal truth
  6. Write a statement of your personal philosophy
  7. Go on a retreat
  8. Do energy work to clear and heal your throat chakra
  9. Perform energy work to remove all family karma
  10. Meditate on farther reaching answers
  11. As for new creative ways to do the mundane
  12. Add more playfulness and exploration
  13. Go back to school or start looking into them… go check out a University or college of interest
  14. Be more adventurous
  15. Talk to people you haven’t spoken to in a while
  16. Do things out of the norm or routine
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Scorpio New Moon

scorpio moon goddess

The New Moon is a time to go within and dance with our shadow issues in order to resolve longstanding issues.  Every new Moon will be different and each will trigger certain things in you.  Today on November 11, we greet the Scorpio new moon at 12:47 p.m.  Scorpio is a deep and intense sign. It represents all the stuck and heavy emotions and shadow issues we have.  It signifies transformation…death and rebirth, the phoenix.

It represents all things taboo…forbidden behavior…and the rejection because it seems socially unacceptable.  What is your taboo about fitting in?  Where are you trying to fit in where you have been called to stand out to find your genius?  Find your connection to your family taboo.  I grew up in a Roman Catholic church and for my mom if you do not go to church every week you are not considered spiritual and do not know God. She came from a family of well educated individuals and if you do not go to college you have wasted your life.

scorpio transformationThis sign has more then one facet and is represented by more then just the scorpion but by the eagle and the phoenix as well.  The Scorpion aspect is the transformation of secrets and desire.  All the shadow stuff.  The stinger.  When you are in this aspect you’re really “in it” and you can’t see in the dark still. The eagle aspect has the ability to fly above the Scorpion energy and sees the shadow issues.  It sees both worlds and becomes the Sacred Observer.  Because the eagle can see what’s going on from above it can pull shadow pieces out and ask “What is it about for you?”  There is a curiosity, a higher world view.  You’re not “in it” anymore.  The Phoenix aspect is the transformation by flames and rises out of the ashes.  It dies and comes back totally different.  You have been on a journey and when you come back you don’t fit in anymore and feel totally different.  This is a time of integration.  Honor the transition phase. Honor the transformation phases.  Do not judge or criticize the rebirth.

What aspect is calling you at this New Moon?  Is it the eagle, the scorpion, or the phoenix?  Which aspect can you learn from at the moment?  Which part do you want to connect to?  As you sit underneath the moonlight tonight mediate on this.

moon stagnant energyThis month you are being called to slow it down and look at what has been needing your attention.  Where have you become rigid, stubborn and unyielding? Contemplate on what needs tending to.  Ask yourself how you are being triggered.  What inner critic is still running the show? Concentrate on what needs to be transformed.  Are you a workaholic instead of an entrepreneur?  Are you in a hamster wheel never really allowing yourself to live your life?  What are your issues with reciprocity…giving and receiving?  Do you give but do not allow your self to receive or are you the one constantly taking from other people and never giving anything back?

You are being called to clean up all your junk this month… your longstanding issues, things that need attention, changes that need to be made.  Deep mucky stuff from your psyche will be coming up this month.  What are your secret emotions that you want to hide from?  How does transformation instill fear in you… because it’s a loss and scary?  And how does this fear inhibit your expression of power?  It’s time for you to surrender all your negative emotions…fear, guilt, anger, shame.  Scorpio can be a time of deep healing if you just surrender and let it go.  So what if things didn’t work out how you expected at least you did it.  Look at how it needs to be transformed for the next time.

There will be moments where the Universe will test you to see if you have the spiritual muscle to walk into the situation.  And in those moments you are being called to start as the Scorpion, Become the Eagle and Come back as the Phoenix.  Use all the powerful energy with this Scorpio new moon to shapeshift your current situation.  The choice is yours Stay as the Scorpion/the Stinger, Become the Eagle and Rise Above, or Transform and Transmute into the Phoenix?  Much love and support on your transformation.  It’s time to Phoenix Up!

phoenix

For more information on new moon please check out Michelle Grace Lessirard.  Her new Moon classes are phenomenal and you can transform longstanding issues by collaborating with the New Moon each month.  http://marketingforhealers.com/visionkeeper/

Things to do Samhain

pumpkin samhain blessing

There are several things to consider doing during this time of the year.

  1. Take a meditative walk in a natural area near your home.  Experience yourself as part of the Circle of Life and reflect on death and rebirth as being an important part of Nature.
  2. Contemplate on what things have to die in your life so that other areas can live…ex:  habits, relationships, past, guilt, anger, grief, fear….  Then call forth what you want to replace it with.. self-control, positive outcome and future, love, joy, peace, etc….Meditate on it.
  3. Look for signs of death on your nature walk…. fallen leaves, fallen branches, flowers dying,etc..
  4.  You can do a genealogy research.
  5. Ancestors Altar: Gather photographs, heirlooms, and other momentos of deceased family, friends, and companion creatures.   Arrange them on a table, dresser, or other surface.
  6. Prepare a Samhain dinner.  Include a place setting at your table or nearby the altar of any deceased loved one.  Add an offering of each beverage and food being served to the extra place setting.  Invite your ancestors and other deceased loved ones who come in love to come dine with you.  After the feast, place the contents of the plate and cup outside in a natural location as an offering for your deceased loved ones.  You don’t want them to get to comfortable inside and decide to stay.
  7. Ancestor stories:  Learn about family history.  Contact one or more older relatives and ask them to share memories  of deceased family members.  Record them in some way and later write accounts of what they share.  Share what you have learned and have written with other family members and friend.  Feel free to share any of your favorite stories of the deceased loved ones as well and invite your kids and friends and family to share.
  8. Recall any of the characteristics, strengths, or attributes of your deceased loved ones that you can learn from or admire.  Go around in a circle or perform as a private meditation.
  9. Cemetery Visit:  Visit and tend the gravesite of a loved one at a cemetery.  Call to mind memories and consider ways the loved one continues to live on with you.  Place an offering of fresh flowers, dried herbs, or water.
  10. Do meditations to release the fear of death and just be at peace with it.  Envision when the time comes that it is a graceful and painless experience and you will have left this place fulfilled and happy with the life you have lived.  Where you view it as a transition into a lovely beginning of something wonderful and not just the end.
  11. Do a meditation where you try to contact a deceased loved one for guidance or to be at peace with their passing on.
  12. Divinatory Guidance:  Using Oracle cards, runes, scrying, or some other form of divination, seek and reflect on guidance for the year to come.  Write a summary of your experience and any messages received.  Select something appropriate to act upon and do it!  Give Thanks for the messages received!
  13. Sit outside and just marinate in the Samhain energy.
  14. Meditate on your positive transformation and the positive changes you can do that will promote it.  Make a list.  Look for new habits and things to do or people to hang out with.

blessed samhain quote

Samhain

Have blessed samhain

Samhain is the third and final harvest festival of nuts and seeds.  It is pronounced “Sah-win” or “sow-in”.  Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is also known as “Day of the Dead” or “All Hallows Eve”.  It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice.  Some modern pagans consider it the “witches new year”, though other traditions simply recognize Samhain as the end of the year.  It’s energy is death and transformation.  Customs include jack o’lanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, divination, and costumes.  The colors associated with Samhain are orange, black, and indigo.  Tools used during this holy day are votive candles, magic mirror, cauldron, pumpkins, and divination tools.

Traditionally Samhain was a time to take stock of the herds and food supplies.  Cattle were brought down to the winter pastures after six months in the higher summer pastures.  It was also the time to choose which animals would need to be slaughtered for the winter.  This custom is still observed by many who farm and raise livestock because it is when meat will keep since the freeze has come and also since the summer grass is gone and searching for provisions/food is no longer possible.  In may places, Samhain coincides with the end of the growing season.  Vegetation dies back with killing frosts, and therefore literally, death is in the air.

Rituals include bonfires, dancing, divination, healing, honoring ancestors, thanksgiving, releasing old, foreseeing future, understanding death and rebirth.  Bonfires were lit on hilltops at Samhain and there were rituals involving them.  It is believed that the fires (as well as the smoke and their ashes) were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers.  In some places boys asked for bonfire fuel from each house in the village.  When the fire was lit, one after another of the youths laid himself down on the ground as near to the fire as possible so as not to be burned, and in such a  position as to let the smoke roll over him.  The others ran through the smoke and jumped over him.  When the bonfire samhain candlesburnt down, they scattered the ashes, competing eagerly with each other who should scatter the most.  Sometimes, two bonfires would be built side by side and the people, sometimes with their livestock, would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.  The bones of slaughtered cattle were said to have been cast upon bonfires.  People also took ashes from the bonfire back to their homes.  In northern Scotland, they carried burning fir around their fields to protect them.  In some places, people doused their hearth fires on Samhain nights.  Each family then solemnly re-lit its hearth from the communal bonfire, thus bonding the families of the village together.

Samhain is seen as a good time to perform any divination as well.  The bonfires were also used in divination rituals.  A ring of stone was laid around the fire to represent each person  and everyone who ran around it with a torch.  In the morning, the stones were examined and if any was mislaid it was said that the person for whom it was set would not live out the year.  At household festivities throughout the Gaelic region and Wales, there were many rituals intended to divine the future of those gathered, especially with regard to death and marriage.

Seasonal foods such as apples and nuts were often used in these rituals.  Apples were peeled, the peel, tossed over  the shoulder, and its shape examined to see if it formed the first letter of the future spouse’s name.  Nuts were roasted on the hearth and their behavior interpreted… if the nuts stayed together, so would the couple.  Egg whites were dropped in the water, and the shapes foretold the number of future children.  Children would also chase crows and divine some of these things from the number of birds or the direction they flew.

Herbs used at this time included: Rosemary, for remembrance of our ancestors, Mullein seeds, for abundance, Mugwort to aid in divination, rue, calendula, sunflower petals and seeds, pumpkin seeds, apples and apple seeds, turnip seeds, sage, wormwood, tarragon, bay leaf, almond, hazelnut, passion flower, pine needles, nettle, garlic, and mandrake root.  Stones associated with this time are:  black obsidian, smoky quartz, jet, amber, pyrite, garnet, granite, clear quartz, marble, gold, diamond, iron, steel, ruby, hematite, and brass.  Decorations include gourds, pumpkins, apples, Autumn leaves, and nuts.

pumpkin houseSamhain is one of the original festivals behind the holiday we know as Halloween.  Some of Halloween’s most common traditions are rooted in Samhain’s harvest festival roots, such as the carving of pumpkin and bobbing for apples.  The traditional illumination for guisers or pranksters on this night in some places was provided by turnips or beets, hollowed out to act as lanterns and often carved with grotesque faces to represent spirits or goblins.  They may have also been used to protect oneself from harmful spirits.  In some places, young people dressed as the opposite gender.  In Scotland, young men went house-to-house with masked, veiled, painted, or blackened faces, often threatening to do mischief it they were not welcomed.  This was common in the 16th century in the Scottish countryside and persisted into the 20th century.  It is suggested that the blackened faces comes from using the bonfire’s ashes for protection.

Irish and Scottish immigration, which popularized Halloween in North America, had a strong tradition of disguising and pranks.  As it was believed that faeries, witches, and demons roamed the Earth on Samhain, food and drink were customarily set out to make them less hostile or angry.  later on, people began dressing up as these creatures and claiming the goodies for themselves, sometimes performing antics or tricks in exchange for food and drink.  This practice called mumming evolved into trick-or-treating, or it may have come from the custom of going door-to-door collecting food for Samhain feast or fuel for Samhain’s bonfire and/or offerings.

Samhain (like Beltane) was the time when the doorways to the Otherworld opened, allowing the spirits and the dead to come into our world and this facilitates contact and communication with the Dead.  That is when it was believed that demons, faeries, and spirits of all kind would freely roam about.  Some would perform tricks, like the spirits of those who were murdered and who were looking for revenge.  The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes.  Places were set tat the dinner table or by the fire to welcome them.  Some celebrate Samhain with a ritual to guide the dead home by opening a western-facing door or window and placing a candle by the opening.  many pagans still follow this tradition to this day.

samhain AncestorsBut while Beltane is a festival for the living, Samhain is essentially, a festival for the dead.  In the simpler yet brutal times that so many early people lived in, death was commonplace, whether it was the death of livestock through disease, the extremely frequent deaths of women during childbirth, or the death of young infants from common childhood illness.  There was always a lot of deaths going on in a given year.  Samhain was a time to really sit down around the fireplace, connect with your surviving loved ones, and pay tribute to those beloved members of your “tribe” whom you lost over the past year.  For some, Samhain is when we honor ancestors who came before us.

It’s easier to talk to the dead, have lucid dreams in which you connect with the dead, and to spiritually commune with those who have passed during Samhain.  The connection or “veil” between the physical world and the spiritual dimensions is thinner, which makes this type pf psychic contact much easier.  The only other time when this is easy are the three days after someone dies, because for three days their spirit is still hanging out on the earth plane and they will often have a lot to say if you can sit down and get past your own grief and “listen” to them.  For those who have lost loved ones in the past year, Samhain rituals can be an opportunity to bring closure to grieving and to further adjust to their being in the Otherworld by spiritually communing with them.  This is the perfect time to celebrate their memory.  Hopefully, they will communicate back with you to offer any advice or guidance.

You could find yourself remembering people you have had major relationships with.  Relationships which have ended, even if that person didn’t actually die.  maybe the relationship “died” and you’re still processing the emotions related to the experience.  You could be going back and forth emotionally, feeling love for the person one minute and anger the next.  Try to center yourself, connect with “Great Spirit” or your “Infinite, Eternal Self”, or loving the energy of the Universe and reach a place of emotional equilibrium.  Let go of hatred, release fear, and try to expel the toxic energy of anger and grief from your system as best as you can.  Some words to meditate include: remember, appreciate, love, release, transform, and transmute.

samhain decoration

Sun Transit through Scorpio

scorpio sun

The Sun will make it’s transit through the Scorpio constellation from October 23rd till November 21st, according to the Tropical astrology.  The guiding principle of Scorpio is “I desire”.  Scorpio is the sign of depth, intimacy, and extremes of feelings.  Scorpio is penetrating, transformative and unstoppable.  Mediocrity does not satisfy neither.  Scorpio’s energy is provocative, usually in a quiet, as well as passionate, strong-willed and intense way.  It can be an immensely healing and transformative energy.

In Libra, we strive for equality and fairness.  In Scorpio, however, instinctively believes that life simply isn’t fair.  Jealousy, secrecy, beating a dead horse, and manipulation are some of the more negative expressions of Scorpio.  Scorpio can be rigid, stubborn, and have an unyielding point of view.

Scorpio represents the toxic waters.  All of that suppressed stuff and emotions we shove away deeply that we don’t want to deal with.  Scorpio’s energy is not only represented by the scorpion but also by the phoenix, death and rebirth through dismemberment and remembering.  It’s time to look deeper, shine a light into the shadows and transform one another with truth.

scorpio scorpionHalloween takes place under the influence of Scorpio and that’s no coincidence.  We all adopt the scorpion’s intensity during this time.  As the days grow shorter and Autumn fades into winter in the Northern hemisphere, the natural world begins to decay–a reminder of our own mortality that awakens our curiosity about the meaning of life and its many realms.

Scorpio energy brings intensity and mystery.  You may be drawn to searching the darkest regions of the Universe to bring all the hidden mystical and mysterious knowledge into the bright light of the day.  This energy has a magnetic pull at this time of the year– all you have to do is tune into it.

The sign Scorpio brings highly perceptual psychic abilities.  Scorpio’s energy is good for cutting through the “BS” and getting to look at things for what they really are. Superficially simply will not do with the Sun in Scorpio.  We have the desire to get to the bottom of matters.  All that is hidden, taboo, secret, or suppressed, interests us, because normally it is considered socially unacceptable or that you may be rejected by a type of behavior.

scorpio risenYou should be able to utilize some key motivators centered on ambition while Scorpio rules.  Position and power may be yours for the taking if you shoot for the stars.  If you really set your mind on what you want and passionately commit to your endeavors, you’ll be supported.  It’s about believing in yourself and knowing you are capable of greatness.

One of Scorpio’s symbol is the Eagle,  which represents intelligence and clear visions, so you may want to pay attention to your “visions” or dreams this month.  Keeping a dream journal may be enlightening, especially if you’re looking for some specific answers.    Visions don’t necessarily have to occur at night, you can also get sudden flashes of insight during your waking hours, if you’re looking for them.

Scorpio’s energy is passionate, dynamic, and observant.  You may find that this vibration seeps into your bones and makes you feel more powerful then any other time of the year.  There are lessons to be learned on how to live your life the rest of the year.  Use the time while the Sun is in Scorpio to access your sensual side.  This isn’t necessarily about sex, but rather experiencing the sensuous feelings that mean you’re truly alive.  Turn everything you do into an opportunity to be passionate and intense about life.

scorpio constellation

 

Sun in Libra

sun in libra

The sign of Libra is one of the cardinal signs of the Zodiac and ushers in the Autumn Equinox every year.  It is a sign represented by the scales, so this will be a time of seeking balance in life.  Libra’s balancing scales seek to restore peace and harmony.  Libra seeks fairness, justice, balance, harmony, equality, through relationships with others and through art.  Libra is the sign of the peacemaker.  Tactfulness, style, tolerance, and sociability are some of the keywords for Libra.

Libra rules relationships with others as mirrors of ourselves.  Meeting others halfway compromise, and negotiation, come under the rule of Libra. Peacemaker Libra also focuses on relationships of all kinds.  Whether business or personal this transit will put a spotlight on any issue that need addressing. This is a time to work with others, compromise and meet them halfway.  This could result in mergers, collaborations, and negotiations.

Regarding personal relationships, those seeking a partner can use this transit to their advantage.  Libra encourages partnerships, whether brand new or firmly established.  Also making it a good time to establish new relationships with people.  You may find that you are making it a good time to establish new relationships with people.  You may find that you are drawn to being around lots of friends and socializing this month.  Libra can be a very happy time with the anticipation of the holidays.

Established relationships will also be affected by this transit.  Romantic partners may find a good opportunity to work out issues regarding balance in your life.  Issues that need discussion will also come out now.  This could result in counseling and healing or even breaking up and moving on.  The Sun in Libra will strive to protect all parties involved and seek meditation, resolution and peace.

Libra signHowever, life is not always peaceful with Libra in its attempt to restore balance.  Decision making can be more challenging while the Sun is in Libra. Libra weighs both sides of any situation, and sometimes this process seems endless!  Don’t expect decisions to be finalized.  Libra Sun marks a time of deliberation, going over your options, and weighing out the pros and cons.  The Sun in Libra will bestow upon us a natural diplomacy and a sense of fairness and yet, we’re really never sure if we are making the right choice!  We’ll be sort of in a research stage, investigating the possibilities and potential.

In Libra, the Sun is concerned about not rocking the boat and not rubbing others the wrong way.  You should be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and to more easily see their point of view.  It’s like seeing Life through their eyes.  It is the month of diplomat.  Matters could become prominent during this period as it is a time for seeking justice.

Since Libra represents style, socializing, and the arts; some good opportunities for partnering up are: gallery and museum visits, charity fundraisers for any art group, music events and festivals.

Remember to tune into your own inner wisdom and not get too influenced by what other people are saying.  Be careful not to get pressured into settling for something you really want.

libra statue

 

Things to do during the Autumn Equinox

 

autumn equinoxThings to do during Autumn Equinox

  1. Start a Gratitude journal
  2. Commence a thankfulness routine.  For example; Either before dinner time or bed time, take turns wit your family mentioning all the things you are thankful and grateful for that day or for each other.  You can also call things forth.  Say things you would like to be grateful and thankful for in present tense as if they already were made manifest.
  3. Center yourself.  Find your center.  define your center.  Meditate on it.  Write or journal about it.  It’s a great time for introspection.  Be raw and honest with yourself.    Get to the core of who you are, what you believe,  how you want to live, and where your power comes from ( your self-generating power)
  4. Meditate on what your essence is.  What is the energy that you are putting out into the world and giving off to people in the world.  Do you give different energy to your co- workers then your kids, friends, or spouse?  What would you like at the very core of who you are the energies that you want to bring and leave in this world and with the people you encounter?
  5. Seek balance and harmony.  Make a pie chart of what your life looks like now and how much percentage you are giving to your kids, spouse, employment, play time, self- care time, health, finances, etc..  Then make another chart on how you would like your life to look like and distribute your time and energy.  How much time would you prefer to spend with your spouse, kids, at work, health to be, etc.  Then mediate on it or journal about it.
  6. Journal on what you have harvested in your life?  From the biggest to the smallest.  Even though it doesn’t look like what you expected, be honest about how it has shown up for you.  A new opportunity, new business venture, any wishes come true, material gains, physical looks, in regards to your health, etc.  Mediate and journal on it.  How were you expecting it to show up?  What has taken you by surprise?  Look back 6 months from now and recognize what seeds you had planted that have now manifested and are in their harvest season.
  7. Go on a nature walk and look for sign of harvest, Autumn, and /or bounty.  No matter where you live there will always be small signs in nature everywhere.
  8. Decorate with seasonal imagery.  Use squash of all sort… acorn squash, butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin, apples, corn sheaves, nuts, acorns, walnut, almond, pecan, marigolds, passion flower, sunflower, apples, sage, etc.  Incorporate colors such as purple, orange, red, gold, & brown.
  9. Seek divinatory guidance… runes, oracle card readings, tarot, scrying.
  10. Meditate on and do work that involves a finer sense of perception.
  11. Community connection.. organize a potluck for the Autumn Equinox or attend and be part of one already being held.
  12. Make a cornucopia with the intention of adding bounty and positive thanksgiving into your life.
  13. Charge stones associated with the Autumn Equinox under the Sun.
  14. Make offerings to the land being thankful for its bounty which sustains us.

inhale lovepeace , love, blessings, Autumn

Things to do during Lammas

lammas blessings

    Things to do during Lammas

  • Making corn dollies
  • Baking bread
  • Braid onion or garlic charms
  • Gathering late summer fruit or the first harvest
  • Getting crafty
  • Go to a craft festival or any festival
  • Meditate on the completion of a goal or project
  • Perform a ritual for prosperity, generosity, continued success, and abundance
  • Write your regrets on pine cones or corn husks and burn them
  • Find visualizations that represent your farewells and burn them in a bonfire as well
  • Make a list of all that you have harvested this year
  • Make preserves
  • Make memory preserves.. think of all the sweet memories you would like to savor
  • Make a bonfire as it is a Fire festival
  • Make a list of all the abundance in your life

Lammas

happy lammas

Lammas is the first of harvest festivals, which also includes the Autumn Equinox and Samhain.  Lammas is the celebration of this first, Grain Harvest, a time for gathering and giving thanks for abundance.  It is traditionally celebrated on August 01st.  We work with the cycle of Mabon or the Autumn Equinox, (the Second Harvest of Fruit such as apples), and Samhain, the (third and Final Harvest of Nuts and Berries).  The energy of Lammas is fruitfulness and reaping prosperity.

Lammas is all about the fulfillment and fullness of the present harvest holding at its heart the seed of all future harvest.  So as the grain harvest is gathered in, there is food to feed the community through the winter and through the harvest is the seed of next year’s rebirth, regeneration, and harvest.  Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth.  Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.

The first sheaf of  corn is extremely important.  It produces the first and the best seed and assurance of future harvest.  There are many customs throughout Europe around the cutting of the grain or corn during Lammas and they applied to all cereal crops including wheat, barley, rye and oats. Both the cutting of the first gain and the last grain are significant.The first sheaf would often be ceremonially cut at dawn, winnowed, ground and baked into the Harvest Bread which was then shared by the community in thanks. The first barley stalks would be made into the first beer of the season. The first sheaf guarantees the seed and thus continuity.

The last sheaf was also ceremonially cut, often made into a ‘corn dolly’, carried to the village with festivity and was central to the Harvest Supper. The corn dolly was made into a Corn Maiden (after a good harvest) or a cailleach, hag or crone (after a bad harvest). She could be dressed with ribbons, even clothed. This last sheaf would live in the home, often above the fireplace or hearth of the home, until the next harvest. Or it might be placed in the branches of a tree or mixed with the seed for the next year’s sowing. In some way it eventually needed to return to the earth from whence it came.

In some parts of Europe the tradition was to weave the last sheaf into a large Corn Mother with a smaller ‘baby’ inside it, representing the harvest to come the following year. Once the harvest was completed, safely gathered in, the festivities would begin. Bread was made from the new grain and thanks given to the Sun’s life-giving energy reborn as life-giving bread.

In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas.  It meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities.  The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Lammas is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!

lammas craftsNow is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, start getting crafty, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.

The natural world is thriving around us, and yet the knowledge that everything will soon die looms in the background. This is a good time to work some magic around the hearth and home.  Lammas is a festival celebrating the first fruits of harvest, the fruits of our labours, and seeing the desires that we had at the start of the year unfold so rituals will be centered around this. At this time it is appropriate to perform rituals for prosperity, generosity, continued success.  

Activities for this celebration include: making corn dollies, baking bread,  braid onion or garlic charms, gathering late summer fruit or the first harvest, getting crafty, go to a craft festival or any festival.

lammas breadCustoms around Lammas include Games, the traditional riding of poles/staves, country fairs, breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for charms/rituals, Lughnasadh fire with sacred wood & dried herbs, feasting, competitions, Lammas towers (fire-building team competitions), spear tossing, gathering flowers for crowns, fencing/swordplay, games of skill, martial sports, chariot races, hand-fastings, trial marriages, dancing round a corn mother (doll)

Like all holidays, Lammas calls for a feast. When your dough figure is baked and ready to eat, tear him or her apart with your fingers. You might want to commence the feast with a prayer or blessing emphasizing the gratitude of being “given this day our daily bread.” The next part of the ceremony is best done with others. Feed each other hunks of bread by putting the food in the other person’s mouth with words like “May you never go hungry,” “May you always be nourished,” “Eat of the bread of life” or “May you live forever.” Offer each other drinks of water or wine with similar words. As if you were at a wake, make toasts to the passing summer, recalling the best moments of the year so far.

corn dollyAnother way to honor the Grain Goddess is to make a corn doll. This is a fun project to do with kids. Take dried-out corn husks and tie them together in the shape of a woman. She’s your visual representation of the harvest. As you work on her, think about what you harvested this year. Give your corn dolly a name, perhaps one of the names of the Grain Goddess or one that symbolizes your personal harvest. Dress her in a skirt, apron and bonnet and give her a special place in your house. She is all yours till the spring when you will plant her with the new corn, returning to the Earth that which She has given to you.

Ideas for decorating your home for Lammas is rally quite simple.  You can use any of the following below, or even all, to dec out your place for the celebration of Lammas.

  • Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
  • Grapes and vines
  • Dried grains : sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
  • Corn dolls : you can make these easily using dried husks
  • Early fall vegetables such as squashes and pumpkins
  • Late summer fruits like apples, plums and peaches
  • Colors include yellow, orange, brown, green, amber
  • Herbs include goldenrod, peony, nasturtium, clover blossom, yarrow, heliotrope, boneset, vervain, Queen Anne’s lace, myrtle, rose, sunflower, poppy, milkweed, Irish moss, mushroom, wheat, corn, rye, oat, barley, rice, garlic, onion, basil, mint, aloe, acacia, meadowsweet, apple leaf, raspberry leaf, strawberry leaf, bilberry leaf, blueberry leaf, mugwort, hops, holly, comfrey, marigold, grape vine, ivy, hazelnut, blackthorn, elder, honey, bee pollen, wheat
  • Symbolism: Fruitfulness, reaping, prosperity, reverence, purification, transformation, change, The Bread of Life, The Chalice of Plenty, The Ever-flowing Cup , the Groaning Board (Table of Plenty)
  • Insence: Wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood
  • Gemstones: aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx, Cat’s-eye, golden topaz, obsidian, moss agate, rhodochrosite, clear quartz, marble, slate, granite, lodestone, carnelian

lammas_celebration1Lammas is one of the eight major power days; which are each an incredible doorway through which everyone can enter into cocreation with Spirit.  Identified long ago by indigenous …times when the “veil” between dimensions becomes the thinnest, and spiritual seekers can more readily access the energy of the Divine.  If you do artistic work, meditation, prayer, or any form of spiritual expression during this time, you’ll find it easier to tap into feelings of flow, harmony, and light.

Lammas is a festival of regrets and farewells, of harvest and preserves. Reflect on these topics alone in the privacy of your journal or share them with others around a fire. It is one of the great Celtic fire-festivals, so if at all possible, have your feast around a bonfire. While you’re sitting around the fire, you might want to tell stories. Look up the myths of any of the grain Gods and Goddesses mentioned above and try re-telling them in your own words.

It is a time when we not only think about the fruits of the Sun God and Mother Earth, but also about our own personal harvest. A time when we think about what has happened in our lives and letting go of anger, injustice, hates, and past regrets enabling us to move forwards and planting our own new seeds. Some goals may have been achieved, but some not as we had hoped.

food mandalaRegrets: Think of the things you meant to do this summer or this year that are not coming to fruition. You can project your regrets onto natural objects like pine cones and throw them into the fire, releasing them. Or you can write them on dried corn husks (as suggested by Nancy Brady Cunningham in Feeding the Spirit) or on a piece of paper and burn them.

Farewells: What is passing from your life? What is over? Say good-bye to it. As with regrets, you can find visual symbols and throw them into the fire, the lake or the ocean. You can also bury them in the ground, perhaps in the form of bulbs which will manifest in a new form in spring.

Harvest: What have you harvested this year? What seeds have your planted that are sprouting? Find a visual way to represent these, perhaps creating a decoration in your house or altar which represents the harvest to you. Or you could make a corn dolly or learn to weave wheat. Look for classes in your area which can teach you how to weave wheat into wall pieces, which were made by early grain farmers as a resting place for the harvest spirits.

Preserves: This is also a good time for making preserves, either literally or symbolically. As you turn the summer’s fruit into jams, jellies and chutneys for winter, think about the fruits that you have gathered this year and how you can hold onto them. How can you keep them sweet in the store of your memory?

LughnasadhBlessingstoYou

 

Things to do while Sun is in Gemini

gemini twins

The sign Gemini is a lighthearted sign that influences us to be more open and communicative and to try new things.  It encourages us to be more sociable, intellectual, and curious.  Each sun transit prevails a general mood and we are motivated differently with each zodiac sign.

Things to do while the Sun is in Gemini:

  • Write a letter
  • Speak in public
  • Share your truth or point of view
  • Initiate new friendships
  • Take a short trip
  • Do a nervous system cleanse or meditations to balance and repair the nervous system
  • Try new things…try a lot of different things
  • Reading
  • Learning, studying, gathering facts
  • Put your heads together to brainstorm new concepts
  • Devise new was to apply knowledge you already have
  • Invent new solutions to old problems
  • Sharing your ideas and what you have learned
  • Establish connections and interact with others
  • Reach out to your friends
  • Open your mind to another’s point of view
  • Accept as many invitations as you get and meet as many new people as you can
  • Satisfy your need to know with trips to the library
  • Take in a lecture or class at a local community college
  • Shop for anything that will engage the mind or allow you to communicate, such as books, computers, iPads, pretty stationary…
  • If you find yourself to be too much in your head try a relaxing activity that will get you out of your head, such as exercise, watching silly TV programs or just keeping your hands and body busy.

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