Goddess Calendar for February 2020 by Kimberly F. Moore

“The Sun’s path has returned to where it was at Samhain. Take some time to notice the quality of the light, for it is the same now as that shimmering magical glow of late October. But instead of the season of dark and silence before us, in the Northern Hemisphere, the season of light and growth lies ahead. And so we prepare ourselves with rites of renewal, cleansing, and commitment. We celebrate the first stirrings of Spring.” – Beth Owl’s Daughter, “The Days of Imbolc”

Welcome February!

While Spring Equinox marks the official start of Spring, there is another festival that marks the unofficial “stirrings” of Spring called Imbolc (celebrated February 1-2). It is the quickening of the Goddess as she prepares to cast off Winter and turn her energy to the renewal of Earth. Think of a seed deep within Gaia, the promise of new growth. This is the time when those seeds are quickening, preparing to burst, and eventually bloom into the fertility of Spring. The light grows as well, pulling us steadily out of the darkness of winter. We know Spring is coming even as we remain deep in the womb of Goddess. The church appropriated this ancient Feast and calls it Candlemas and it also coincides with our Beloved Goddess Brigid’s Day.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are entering the in-between Winter time. Could be snow, could be a crocus. Could be 5 degrees, could be 50 degrees. HolyDays and celebrations mark another turn on the Goddess Wheel of the Year and usher in the early Spring festivals like Chinese New Year, Vasant Panchami (Saraswati’s birthday), and Ganesha’s Spring celebration that all occurred at the end of January.

To check out the rest of this month’s Goddesses please click here.

Some Thoughts About Celebrating Samhain

Samhain is a day of reflection of the past year while celebrating the new. It is a day that whatever has not been harvested from gardens, fields, bushes, and trees get left for the wildlife and Fea Folk. It is also a day to communicate with those who have crossed the veil into the Summerlands. Many pagans and witches say it is the day and/or night to honor only those that have crossed in the last year but I do not go along with this way of thinking. While those who have passed since November 1, 2019 up to today do need more comforting and remembering them then those that have crossed over in other years past. The farther back in time you go to those who have crossed before the last year the more chance there is that they will be forgotten totally.

Hypothetically, if crossed the veil say 30 years ago or longer and each generation after you talk about you less and less as each year passes soon you will be forgotten completely. That one reason I have my Book of Shadows and Family Grimoire as one book that I hope keeps growing after I am gone. I have also placed pictures of ancestors at different ages as well as pictures of myself alone and with family members both ancestors and descents. In the section for ancestors I have included a picture of their headstone and where it can be found if available.

So this Samhain when you are setting the extra place at the table, lighting a candle for each ancestors name, or however you choose to honor your ancestors (remember an ancestor does not have to be blood related they can be anyone in your life that help to mold you into the person you are today.) Set one more place, light one more candle, or whatever your tradition to remember your ancestors is for those who names have been forgotten since the first Homosapien of any branch of the human gene pool lived.

I implore you all to remember that we all can trace our lineage back to this mish mash of a gene pool and that the energy that runs through us connects us to every other living things and not just on Mother Earth. So the next time you have a negative thought about someone for any reason at all remember you are also having that negative thought about yourself.

I picked this song to be included in this post because for me it helps me to remember those, female or male or other, who otherwise might be forgotten

Grandmother

I wish all my family, which means everyone reading this post, a happy and blessed Samhain.

What Is Samhain? What to Know About the Ancient Pagan Festival That Came Before Halloween

Dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating are popular Halloween activities, but few probably associate these lighthearted fall traditions with their origins in Samhain, a three-day ancient Celtic pagan festival.

For the Celts, who lived during the Iron Age in what is now Ireland, Scotland, the U.K. and other parts of Northern Europe, Samhain (meaning literally, in modern Irish, “summer’s end”) marked the end of summer and kicked off the Celtic new year. Ushering in a new year signaled a time of both death and rebirth, something that was doubly symbolic because it coincided with the end of a bountiful harvest season and the beginning of a cold and dark winter season that would present plenty of challenges.

According to historian Nicholas Rogers, author of Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Samhain was a “time of stock-taking and perhaps sacrifice” — including probably animal sacrifice — during which “pastoral communities [prepared] to survive the winter.”

Rogers also notes that little is firmly known about the particulars of the holiday, since the limited sources available are either folkloric literature like the Celtic sagas and Roman authors who would have likely “trashed” the traditions of a culture with which they were often in conflict.

To understand what we do know about Samhain, it’s important to recognize how the structure of the year’s calendar affected the Celts’ religious practices. According to The Guardian,…

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Beltane

On the cusp between spring and summer, Beltane On the cusp between spring and summer, Beltane is a fire festival that celebrates the fertility of the coming year.is a fire festival that celebrates the fertility of the coming year.

Introduction

Beltane

Find this year’s date in the multifaith calendar

Ritual burning of a straw man

Beltane is a Celtic word which means ‘fires of Bel’ (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.

Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community. In spring time, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their families and fields.

Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.

Other festivities involved fire which was thought to cleanse, purify and increase fertility. Cattle were often passed between two fires and the properties of the flame and the smoke were seen to ensure the fertility of the herd.

Today Pagans believe that at Beltane the God (to whom the Goddess gave birth at the Winter Solstice) achieves the strength and maturity to court and become lover to the Goddess. So although what happens in the fields has lost its significance for most Pagans today, the creation of fertility is still an important issue.

Emma Restall Orr, a modern day Druid, speaks of the ‘fertility of our personal creativity’. (Spirits of the Sacred Grove, pub. Thorsons, 1998, pg.110). She is referring to the need for active and creative lives. We need fertile minds for our work, our families and our interests.

Fire is still the most important element of most Beltane celebrations and there are many traditions associated with it. It is seen to have purifying qualities which cleanse and revitalise. People leap over the Beltane fire to bring good fortune, fertility (of mind, body and spirit) and happiness through the coming year.

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For Your Viewing Pleasure

Different Ways to Celebrate Samhain || Wiccan vs Celtic

The Origins of Halloween by Silver Raven Wolf – Part 4

[This article will alternate days between CovenLife.co and WitchesOfTheCraft.com]

The Advent of Christianity

By the fourth and fifth centuries , Celtic Christianity had oozed into Ireland. St. Patrick has his hands full, and here is where the kettle starts to boil. At, first, the Pagans openly welcomed Christianity, but as Christianity filtered into the Celtic system, church officials had a few problems—mainly the Celtics didn’t want up their holidays or folk practices. The people were not willing to throw out traditions that were ingrained into their social structure. If you can’t get someone to completely change, what do you do? Compromise. And that’s exactly what happened. Samhain was changed to All Hollow’s Eve. To make the Pagan peoples adhere more closely to this new religion of Christianity, the clergy of the day taught the peasants that fairies were really demons and devils (remember, a concept totally unknown to Celtic belief or history) and their beloved dead were horrid ghosts and ghouls. The early Christian erroneously associated the Celtic land of the dead with the Christian concept of Hell.

To help the belief in Christianity along, Druids priestess were systematically murdered. Early Christians also taught the area peasants that their Lord of the Underworld was in fact Satan, which is ridiculous, as the two mythos don’t have anything in common. It appears that Christians misunderstood what the word Samhain meant: because the peasants use this celebration to honor the dead, Christians assumed that Samhain was the incorrect pronunciation of a Pagan deity in the Bible, recorded as Samuel, from the Semitic Sammael, meaning God of the under world.

Copyright Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 1999 Pages 24 to 29

October 1 Moon Goddess’ Current Phase

Today the Moon will be in a Full Moon phase. During a Full Moon the moon is 100% illuminated as seen from Earth and is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. The Moon will be visible throughout the night sky rising at sunset in the east and setting with the sunrise the next morning. The point at which a Full Moon occurs can be measured down to a fraction of a second. The time it takes between full moons is known as a Synodic month and is 29.530587981 days long. Keep track of all the Full Moons throughout the year on the Full Moon Calendar >

Visit the October 2020 Moon Phases Calendar to see all the daily moon phase for this month.

Today’s Full Moon Phase

The Full Moon on October 1 has an illumination of 100%. This is the percentage of the Moon illuminated by the Sun. The illumination is constantly changing and can vary up to 10% a day. On October 1 the Moon is 14.42 days old. This refers to how many days it has been since the last New Moon. It takes 29.53 days for the Moon to orbit the Earth and go through the lunar cycle of all 8 Moon phases.

From Moongiant.com 

You can use this link to go forward or backward in time for Moon phase information. If you are curious you can even find out what phase the Moon was in when you or anyone else, you know was on the date the person was born. 

Lammas/Lughnasadh Blessing

Lammas History: Welcoming the Harvest

By 

Updated April 29, 2019

At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.

This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures

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. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.

In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread…

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