FireHawk's Thoughts

Ramblings of an Earth-minded nobody.

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Location: Pendleton, Indiana, United States

Former Airline pilot and Gulf War I Veteran. Originally from Maine/New England now living in rural Indiana.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yule 2012 - Winter Solstice 2012




The Winter Solstice / Yule moment occurs 6:12 in the early morning of Dec 21st, 2012  - The longest nights of the 2012 year are Dec 20th and 21st. http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2012.html

After this night we will start counting for "Twelfth Night", which will mark the end of the Yuletide (Yule season) aka 12 days of Yule.

Many people reference the Yuletide SEASON as being 6 days before the new year thru 6 days after the new year,the last six days of the old year (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 December ) and the first six days of the New Year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January).


The Winter Solstice aka Yuletide is the longest night of the year...the night with the greatest darkness. After that moment in time, the sunlight begins to lengthen again....again warming the Earth over time and eventually creating Spring and Summer...allowing things to grow again...this cycle truly is a beautiful thing. In ancient times, pagan peoples celebrated the return of the sun and gave thanks to this precious gift. 

Over time, modern societies have replaced the holiday with different symbolism. I hope everyone will pause as the ancients did at the Yuletide moment and reflect the true gifts of the season.

In ancient tradition,  especially in the cold dead winter of western medieval Europe, this was indeed a time for celebration. This was the time to celebrate the return of the SUN as the days cease to shorten and more sunlight could be observed, giving hope that spring and new life was to come. Indeed a time for mumming, singing and dancing. Many strongline conservative Christians disallowed such "partying" on the 25th as it was considered a holy day and not one for celebration.

The twelve days of Yule would have been a most welcome break for the workers on the land, which in medieval times would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop, restarting again on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night (the last day of the Yuletide season). More on Plough Monday and Twelfth night later (early January).

Old traditions burned the Yule log and it, lit on the longest night of the year(solstice), remained burning until Twelfth Night in order to bring good fortune to the house for the coming year. Its charred remains were kept, both to kindle the next year's Yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning.

Generically, January 6th is marked as the observed day by most of the modern world. Marked on some calendars as 3 Kings Day...others Boxing Day or Epiphany.

Regardless of what the fine detail of your belief is, now is the time to give thanks to the returning of the sun.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Litha / Summer Solstice / Mid-Summer's Eve 2012


Today the Solstice occurs at 7:09pm (Indiana/EST)

In the Wiccan world of Earth cycle appreciation, there are 8 major holy days/holidays that are used to celebrate the Earth. There are 2 Solstices, 2 Equinoxes and 4 cross quarter moments (times exactly midway between each of the 4 Solstices or Equinoxes.)

 

 

This major Wiccan holy day or Sabbat is the Summer Solstice, named Litha in the Wiccan world. In 2012, we celebrate Litha on June 20th. It is the longest day of the year. The sun is regarded as being at its highest power and influence today. Check out The Chart for a complete calendar list and times of occurances of Solstices, Equinoxes or Cross Quarter events for your part of the world.
 

For more information about Litha or some of its customs you may email me or look online for more information. Blessed Be, FireHawk Pendleton, Indiana

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Imbolc - Feb 4th, 2012

Spring is coming!!! Though your modern calendar may not indicate it, Imbolc marks the beginning of Spring to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and it occurs this year 2012 on Feb 4th at 5:13 am EST/Indiana Time

http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2012.html 

The Cross Quarter of Imbolc is a time to acknowledge the "First Spark" of embedded energies that have been sleeping over the winter. The seeds that are underground acknowledge the returning energy and will begin to convert it to life deep within the seeds, underground and unseen by man. Even though it is still the dead of winter and feels like winter in most places, the Sun's energy has been returning ever since the Winter Solstice (longest night of the year) on Dec 21st.   On this day we are 1/2 way between the Winter Solstice (longest night of the year) and the Spring Equinox (equal night and day).  


February is also the month in which snowdrops and crocuses begin to appear, things become very spring-like with daffodils and hyacinths coming early as well. Most of us are sick of Winter by this time of year and we all look forward to seeing early flowers, slightly longer evenings, and slightly brighter days around Imbolc. This is the time to reflect upon this cycle and appreciate the unseen gifts that exist in your everyday life.


The old pagan festival of Imbolc,  in ancient Celtic times,  celebrated the pagan goddess named Brigid and marked the end of winter and birth of spring.   On some modern calendars, February 1st is noted as St. Brigid’s Day/Candlemas ; and is celebrated symbolically with the weaving of reeds into crosses. 


Groundhog Day is also celebrated at the very beginning of February in the USA and Canada, when the groundhog emerges from his burrow and decides whether spring has begun or not.    Ground Hog Day on Feb 2nd is tradition created to replace the original holy day of Imbolc; and thus the true meaning of this time of the wheel of the year is missed by many. 






Help bring Imbolc back into the mainstream media by reposting! THANKS! :)


Firehawk



Sunday, January 08, 2012

Plough Monday

Plough Monday

When and What is Plough Monday?

The first Monday after Twelfth Night is Plough Monday. It's time to get back to work and bring the holidays to a close!  It evolved from an ancient tradition or set of ancient traditions from afar that became a very important ritual for agricultural workers in the east of England for several centuries.  In ancient times,Plough Monday was a day when English ploughmen traditionally blackened their faces and wore white shirts and villagers in many agricultural areas dragged a decorated plough thru town; and they would knock on doors and ask for money, food and drink. They were accompanied by someone acting the Fool... named the "Lord of Misrule". The fool would often be dressed in skins and a tail, and carry a pig's bladder on the end of a stick. Agricultural laborers were accustomed to draw about a plough and solicit money with guisings, and dancing with swords, preparatory to beginning to plough after the Yule holidays. In a very few places they still drag the plough, but without the sword dance, or any mumming.  Like many traditions, Plough Monday was assembled, probably in the 14th century, from fragments of ritual traditions from the Celts, Norse, Saxon and Picts with an intent of community gathering and appreciation for the land and the bounties it brings us.  


Like all similar traditions folks found ways to extort money from people to improve their own means. This became ugly and the tradition faded.


Today there is a revival in a new Plough Monday tradition that is starting to extend wider than Europe. It is another potential tradition that returns us to appreciate the land, the farmed land, and how we depend on it to be blessed, nourished and healthy through the year.


Farmers return to work on Plough Monday after the 12 days of Yuletide, which was brought to a close on the evening of merriment on "Twelfth Night". 

For 2012, 12th night occured on Jan 3rd.  Plough Monday is  then January 9th, using the Winter Solstice (Dec 22nd) as a reference point for counting the 12 days of Yuletide. 

The timing of Plough Monday also seems to give us a bridge of appreciation between
the gifts imagery of the kings of Epiphany and the new life birth rituals of Imbolc and
Brighid's day in February.


Peace and Happy New Year!,


Firehawk






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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Twelfth Night




"Twelfth Night"



A word on Twelfth Night

In Old England, Old Ireland and ancient times, Twelfth Night marked the end of Yuletide Festivities. In a nutshell, Twelfth night is the final night of the Yuletide season, it ends with a party filled with merriment and it also marks the time when Yuletide/Christmas decorations are taken down and people get back to work on Plough Monday (more on Plough Monday later). However, the moment and meaning of Twelfth night has always been open to much debate and altered thru the Christian Church's actions of racial and ethnic cleansing of the Old Pagan traditions; but it can be summarized with the following:

Pretty much, you can either count 12 days/nights after Christmas or 12 days/nights after Yuletide and that will give you the window for oberved 12th night. Old traditions say that it is very unlucky to take down Decorations later than the 12th night after Yuletide. All Holiday decorations, lights, etc should be taken down by this date.

Using actual traditional Yuletide (the actual Winter Solstice or longest night of the year) as a reference, then "Twelfth Night" will occur 12 nights after that moment in time. The Solstice occured on Dec 22nd just after midnight this year 2011. 12 nights after that moment is Twelfth Night (Jan 3rd) this year if you reference the 12 day count around the actual Yuletide moment; However, many people reference the Yuletide SEASON as being 6 days before the new year thru 6 days after the new year,the last six days of the old year (December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31) and the first six days of the New Year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January). There are many festivals around the world that note January 6th as a carnival/festival day named Three Kings Day.


Many purist, strongline conservative Christians disallowed such "partying" and mayhem thru the Christmas season as it was considered a holy day and not one for partying, which is exactly contrary to traditional beliefs. In ancient tradition, especially in the cold dead winter of western medieval europe, this was indeed a time for celebration. This was the time to celebrate the return of the SUN as the days cease to shorten and more sunlight could be observed, giving hope that spring and new life was to come. Indeed a time for mumming, singing and dancing. It was considered a celebration and the symbolism was that the Sun was being reborn out of the longest darkest night of the year.

The twelve days of Yule would have been a most welcome break for the workers of the land, which in medieval times would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop, restarting again on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night. More on Plough Monday in another post.

Old traditions burned the Yule log and it, lit on the longest night of the year(solstice), remained burning until the final Twelfth Night in order to bring good fortune to the house for the coming year. Its charred remains were kept, both to kindle the next year's Yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning. Other old way traditions appointed a "Lord of Misrule" for 12th Night. The Lord of Misrule was generally a peasant, and was known as the Prince des Sots in France, the Abbot of Unreason in Scotland. The roots of this Holy Day are being re-learned by the modern world. The celebrations held during the twelve days of Yuletide were often drunken, wild affairs, and it was the job of the Lord of Misrule to try and disrupt the usual running of things. The High ranked Lords and Ladies switched places and roles with the lowly workers,servants and peasants, and they in turn had their chance of living the high life for a few hours. A cake, known as the King cake(made famous by Mardi Gras), would have been specially baked for the Twelfth Night celebrations that contained a bean or a small bauble, and the reveller who got the special piece of cake containing the item would have to do certain things and received various privileges. The rule of the "Lord of Misrule" ended at midnight and normal service /roles resumed.

Generically, January 6th is marked as the observed day by most of the modern Christian Church influenced world in its attempt to destroy or change the original Pagan "Twelfth Night" holy day. Marked on some calendars as 3 Kings Day...others Boxing Day or Epiphany.


Regardless of what the fine detail of your belief is, now is the time to give thanks to the returning of the sun. The season's "True Gift". It is okay to put away those lights that symbolically represented the energy of the sun since the sun has returned with its true energy. You can do this any time between the solstice and 12th night so long as the decorations are down by 12th night you are "safe". Cleanse your space, put the decorations away, and enjoy the new energies of the new year.



FireHawk
http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2011.html
CHART OF SOLSTICES,EQUINOXES and CROSS QUARTER MOMENTS

Bookmark this for the new year 2012 ---> http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2012.html

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yuletide / Winter Solstice - DEC 21st, 2012




The Winter Solstice / Yule moment occurs 6:12 in the early morning of Dec 21st, 2012  - The longest nights of the 2012 year are Dec 20th and 21st. http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2012.html

After this night we will start counting for "Twelfth Night", which will mark the end of the Yuletide (Yule season) aka 12 days of Yule.

Many people reference the Yuletide SEASON as being 6 days before the new year thru 6 days after the new year,the last six days of the old year (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 December ) and the first six days of the New Year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January).


The Winter Solstice aka Yuletide is the longest night of the year...the night with the greatest darkness. After that moment in time, the sunlight begins to lengthen again....again warming the Earth over time and eventually creating Spring and Summer...allowing things to grow again...this cycle truly is a beautiful thing. In ancient times, pagan peoples celebrated the return of the sun and gave thanks to this precious gift. 

Over time, modern societies have replaced the holiday with different symbolism. I hope everyone will pause as the ancients did at the Yuletide moment and reflect the true gifts of the season.

In ancient tradition,  especially in the cold dead winter of western medieval Europe, this was indeed a time for celebration. This was the time to celebrate the return of the SUN as the days cease to shorten and more sunlight could be observed, giving hope that spring and new life was to come. Indeed a time for mumming, singing and dancing. Many strongline conservative Christians disallowed such "partying" on the 25th as it was considered a holy day and not one for celebration.

The twelve days of Yule would have been a most welcome break for the workers on the land, which in medieval times would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop, restarting again on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night (the last day of the Yuletide season). More on Plough Monday and Twelfth night later (early January).

Old traditions burned the Yule log and it, lit on the longest night of the year(solstice), remained burning until Twelfth Night in order to bring good fortune to the house for the coming year. Its charred remains were kept, both to kindle the next year's Yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning.

Generically, January 6th is marked as the observed day by most of the modern world. Marked on some calendars as 3 Kings Day...others Boxing Day or Epiphany.

Regardless of what the fine detail of your belief is, now is the time to give thanks to the returning of the sun.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ostara - the original Easter Holy Day



In ancient times, there was a holy day and celebration called OSTARA. You may not have heard of it. However, as time progresses, and as more people re-learn the old ways, a new wind of change is returning to the followers of the cycles of the Earth. Throughout the world, Neo-pagan peoples still observe this special day of the year. Thousands more and more each year remember how the holy day used to be observed and celebrated.



First, let's review:
If you recall in the dead of winter on the longest night of the year, we called it Yuletide or the Winter Solstice. This was the time when we celebrated the returning/birth of the "Sun" noting that Dec 21st is the longest night of the year. Every day after Yule(Christmas-time) the Earth gains more and more daylight...lighter and lighter...the Sunlight increases. The cycle of the Earth and Sun continues and we find ourselves arriving at the Vernal Equinox, the period of EQUAL NIGHT and DAY, on or about March 20th/21st each year.


This year 2015, the Spring Equinox/Ostara occurs on March 20th @6:45pm EST. (http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2015.html)



This time of year was the time when early Europeans would celebrate the "stirrings of spring". This was the time when the Earth would visibly wake up and become fertile once more. Seeds would open, the first flowers would appear and the true re-awakening of the Earth could be observed in everyday life. Thus, there were symbols of this fertility, Eggs and Rabbits and such, that would appear in those celebrations. Christians replaced the concept of the Earth re-awakening with a prophet/Jesus re-awakening from a tomb after being murdered.


The Christian Religion in its infancy had a difficult task of converting old time pagan practises into Christian faith and followers. The Pagan people loved their holy-days and could not function without their observance. Easter is a prime example and is a perfect time to observe how the Christian religion has massaged and manipulated old time traditions into something they now claim and call their own.


The very date of Easter was specifically re-set very carefully by the Christian Church.


The "New" Easter was established as the FIRST SUNDAY that occured AFTER the FIRST FULL MOON AFTER the original Vernal Equinox (Ostara) holy day.


This would ensure that Christian "Easter" would NEVER occur on the old holy day called Ostara and therefore would never be celebrated on the Spring Equinox ever again; Christian "Easter" would NEVER occur on a FULL MOON, and Christian "Easter" would ALWAYS occur on a SUNDAY.... All of these maneuvering are very carefully scripted while still offering the "Pagans" an opportunity to celebrate "similar" "Ostara-like" celebrations during this time of the year.


Eggs remained, and the hidden goddess symbol of the rabbitt remained. The "awakenening" of something sacred (Jesus/Earth) remained. But the root of the celebration was lost.


Due to the horrific Christian Crusades and massacres of the time cast by rulers to "reform" and "convert" non-believers or different-believers, It was just a matter of time before mass conversion to the new Christian beliefs was commonplace. Now we have arrived at a special time in History when the truth can be told without consequences from a Church or Government (unless you are in a state like Oklahoma or Indiana).

Labels:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Imbolc 2011 - Feb 3rd @11:20pm




Spring is coming!!! Though your modern calendar may not indicate it, Imbolc marks the beginning of Spring to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and it occurs this year 2011 on Feb 3rd at 11:20pm EST/Indiana Time

http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2010.html

The Cross Quarter of Imbolc is a time to acknowledge the "First Spark" and embedded energies that have been sleeping over the winter. The seeds that are underground acknowledge the returning energy and will begin to convert it to life deep within the seeds, underground and unseen by man. Even though it is still the dead of winter and feels like winter, the Sun's energy has been returning since the Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. On this day we are 1/2 way between the Winter Solstice (longest night of the year) and the Spring Equinox (equal night and day).


February 1st is St. Brigid’s Day noted on some calendars; and is celebrated symbolically with the weaving of reeds into crosses.



It is also the old pagan festival of Imbolc, which in Celtic times celebrated the pagan goddess named Brigid and marked the end of winter and birth of spring.

Groundhog Day** is also celebrated at the very beginning of February in the USA and Canada, when the groundhog emerges from his burrow and decides whether spring has begun or not.

February is also the month in which snowdrops and crocuses begin to appear, things become very spring-like with daffodils and hyacinths coming early as well. Most of us are sick of Winter by this time of year and we all look forward to seeing early flowers, slightly longer evenings, and slightly brighter days around Imbolc. This is the time to reflect upon this cycle and appreciate the unseen gifts that exist in your everyday life.


Firehawk


**Note Ground Hog Day on Feb 2nd is an old tradition created to replace the original holy day of Imbolc; and thus the true meaning of this time of the wheel of the year is missed by many. Help bring Imbolc back into the mainstream media by reposting! THANKS! :)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Plough Monday

Plough Monday


When and What is Plough Monday?


The first Monday after Twelfth Night is Plough Monday. It's time to get back to work and bring the holidays to a close! In ancient times,Plough Monday was a day when English ploughmen traditionally blackened their faces and wore white shirts and villagers in many agricultural areas dragged a decorated plough thru town; and they would knock on doors and ask for money, food and drink. They were accompanied by someone acting the Fool... named the "Lord of Misrule". The fool would often be dressed in skins and a tail, and carry a pig's bladder on the end of a stick. Agricultural laborers were accustomed to draw about a plough and solicit money with guisings, and dancing with swords, preparatory to beginning to plough after the Yule holidays. In a very few places they still drag the plough, but without the sword dance, or any mumming.


Farmers return to work on Plough Monday after the 12 days of Yuletide, which was brought to a close on the evening of merriment on "Twelfth Night".

For 2011, 12th night occured on January 2nd. Plough Monday is January 3rd, using the Winter Solstice (Dec 21st) as a reference point for counting the 12 days of Yuletide.

Peace and Happy New Year!,

Firehawk


FireHawk

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Twelfth Night"



A word on Twelfth Night

In Old England, Old Ireland and ancient times, Twelfth Night marked the end of Yuletide Festivities. In a nutshell, Twelfth night is the final night of the Yuletide season, it ends with a party filled with merriment and it also marks the time when Yuletide/Christmas decorations are taken down and people get back to work on Plough Monday (more on Plough Monday later). However, the moment and meaning of Twelfth night has always been open to much debate and altered thru the Christian Church's actions of racial and ethnic cleansing of the Old Pagan traditions ; but it can be summarized with the following:

Pretty much, you can either count 12 days/nights after Christmas or 12 days/nights after Yuletide and that will give you the window for oberved 12th night. Old traditions say that it is very unlucky to take down Decorations later than the 12th night after Yuletide. All Holiday decorations, lights, etc should be taken down by this date.

Using actual traditional Yuletide (the actual Winter Solstice or longest night of the year) as a reference, then "Twelfth Night" will occur 12 nights after that moment in time. The Solstice occured on Dec 21st at 6:38pm EST this year 2010. 12 nights after that moment would be January 2nd. Twelfth Night is Jan 2nd again this year if you reference the 12 day count around the actual Yuletide moment; However, many people reference the Yuletide SEASON as being 6 days before the new year thru 6 days after the new year,the last six days of the old year (December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31) and the first six days of the New Year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January). There are many festivals around the world that note January 6th as a carnival/festival day named Three Kings Day.


Many purist, strongline conservative Christians disallowed such "partying" and mayhem thru the Christmas season as it was considered a holy day and not one for partying, which is exactly contrary to traditional beliefs. In ancient tradition, especially in the cold dead winter of western medieval europe, this was indeed a time for celebration. This was the time to celebrate the return of the SUN as the days cease to shorten and more sunlight could be observed, giving hope that spring and new life was to come. Indeed a time for mumming, singing and dancing. It was considered a celebration and the symbolism was that the Sun was being reborn out of the longest darkest night of the year.

The twelve days of Yule would have been a most welcome break for the workers of the land, which in medieval times would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop, restarting again on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night. More on Plough Monday in another post.

Old traditions burned the Yule log and it, lit on the longest night of the year(solstice), remained burning until the final Twelfth Night in order to bring good fortune to the house for the coming year. Its charred remains were kept, both to kindle the next year's Yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning. Other old way traditions appointed a "Lord of Misrule" for 12th Night. The Lord of Misrule was generally a peasant, and was known as the Prince des Sots in France, the Abbot of Unreason in Scotland. The roots of this Holy Day are being re-learned by the modern world. The celebrations held during the twelve days of Yuletide were often drunken, wild affairs, and it was the job of the Lord of Misrule to try and disrupt the usual running of things. The High ranked Lords and Ladies switched places and roles with the lowly workers,servants and peasants, and they in turn had their chance of living the high life for a few hours. A cake, known as the King cake(made famous by Mardi Gras), would have been specially baked for the Twelfth Night celebrations that contained a bean or a small bauble, and the reveller who got the special piece of cake containing the item would have to do certain things and received various privileges. The rule of the "Lord of Misrule" ended at midnight and normal service /roles resumed.

Generically, January 6th is marked as the observed day by most of the modern Christian Church influenced world in its attempt to destroy or change the original Pagan "Twelfth Night" holy day. Marked on some calendars as 3 Kings Day...others Boxing Day or Epiphany.



Regardless of what the fine detail of your belief is, now is the time to give thanks to the returning of the sun. The season's "True Gift". It is okay to put away those lights that symbolically represented the energy of the sun since the sun has returned with its true energy. You can do this any time between the solstice and 12th night so long as the decorations are down by 12th night you are "safe". Cleanse your space, put the decorations away, and enjoy the new energies of the new year.



FireHawk
http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2010.html
CHART OF SOLSTICES,EQUINOXES and CROSS QUARTER MOMENTS

Bookmark this for the new year 2011 ---> http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2011.html

Labels:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice / Yuletide


The Winter Solstice aka Yuletide is the longest night of the year...the night with the greatest darkness. After that moment in time, the sunlight begins to lengthen again....again warming the Earth over time and eventually creating Spring and Summer...allowing things to grow again...this cycle truly is a beautiful thing. In ancient times, pagan peoples celebrated the return of the sun and gave thanks to this precious gift. Over time, modern societies have replaced the holiday with different symbolism. I hope everyone will pause as the ancients did at the Yuletide moment and reflect the true gifts of the season.


The Winter Solstice/Yuletide occurs at 6:38pm EST on Dec 21st for this year 2010...


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September's Mabon



September's Mabon
MABON - Second Harvest Festival / Autumnal Equinox




When and why the fall equinox happens:

The seasons of the year are caused by the 23.5º tilt of the earth's axis in relation to it's path around the sun. Because the earth is rotating like a top or gyroscope, it points in a fixed direction continuously -- towards a point in space near the North Star. But the earth is also revolving around the sun. During half of the year, part of the Earth is more exposed to the sun than its opposite half. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, at noontime the sun appears high in the sky during summertime and low in the sky during winter. The Sun is at its highest at the summer solstice (about June-21) and at its lowest at the winter solstice (about December-21). The half-way points in the year are called the equinoxes. Mabon/Sept 21st/22nd Fall Equinox is exactly halfway between the Summer and Winter Solstices. It is the time of the year when the sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours, and sets exactly in the west. After the equinox, you will notice the sun will set more and more southerly or northerly as the days continue towards the solstice.

According to THIS CHART , this year Mabon/Autumnal Equinox occurs Sept 22nd, 2010 at 8:09 pm Eastern time in North America.

The exact date and time of the fall equinox, when the sun moves into the astrological sign of Aries, varies from year to year.

Over time, the Fall Equinox has been known by other names such as: Alban Elfed, Autumn Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Cornucopia, Feast of Avalon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Witch's Thanksgiving, Pagan Thanksgiving and/or known by common modern man as the "first day of autumn". Which is far from the truth of the Earth's cycle.


Religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, tend to view time as linear and ignore natural Earth/Sun/Moon tide, solar or lunar cycles. They say time started with creation; the world as we know it will end at some time in the future. Neopagan religions see time as circular and repetitive, with lunar (monthly) and solar (yearly) cycles. The Rituals and observances of the wheel of the year don't guarantee the continuity of nature's cycles, but do give thanks and reverence to them which traditional human societies depend on for survival.

Wiccans recognize eight seasonal days of celebration. Four are major sabbats (holy days) and occur at the two solstices and the two equinoxes. The other minor sabbats happen approximately halfway between equinoxes and solstices.

Wiccans may celebrate Mabon on the evening before, or at sunrise on the morning of the equinox, or at the exact time of fall equinox when the Earth is passing exactly thru that position in space relative to the Sun. This is free will and personal choice. So long as thanks is given with proper intent, the details are unimportant.

Mabon is the second and main Wiccan harvest festival.


Ancient lore says the Wiccan God has sacrificed the last of Himself on this day to provide us with a final harvest of food before the winter begins (occuring at Samhain on or about Nov 6th). Celebrants gather to mark the turning of the wheel and to give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice of The God, recognizing that He will be reborn at Yule. (Dec 21st) This Mabon Holiday has been called 'The Witches' Thanksgiving' and is a time for feasting together with family and friends.


While in the past, most all people were farmers, this harvest festival traditionally applies to the harvest of foods (like traditional American Thanksgiving), yet in this day and age, the 'harvest' may also apply spiritually to the 'seeds of dreams and wishes' that were planted many months earlier. Now is the time to give THANKS to the many blessings we have reaped over the year. Whether some dreams/wishes have come true or not ... now is the time to celebrate and thank the higher powers that be.


The month of September also marks the 'Wine Moon,' the lunar cycle when grapes are harvested from the arbors, pressed and put away to become wine...The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as the 'Harvest Moon,' since farmers would also harvest their crops during the night with the light of the full moon to aid them. For September 2010 the "Harvest Moon" occurs on Thursday, 23 September 2010, 11:17:12 am very close to the actual moment of Mabon.

Symbols celebrating the season include various types of gourds, turnips and melons. (and in America Pumpkins have evolved into the symbology) In old traditions, Stalks can be tied together symbolizing the Harvest Lord (God) and then set in a circle of gourds. The Harvest Lord (God) is often symbolized by a straw man. The Harvest Queen (Goddess), or Kern/Corn Baby/Corn Dolly, is made from the last sheaf of the harvest and bundled by the reapers who proclaim, 'We have the Kern!' The sheaf is dressed in a white frock decorated with colorful ribbons depicting spring, and then hung upon a pole (a phallic fertility symbol). In old celtic europe, the last sheaf of harvest is called the Maiden, and must be cut by the youngest female in attendance.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Litha / Summer Solstice / Mid-Summer's Eve

Litha / Summer Solstice / Mid-Summer's Eve

In the Wiccan world of Earth cycle appreciation,
there are 8 major holy days/holidays
that are used to celebrate the Earth.

There are 2 Solstices, 2 Equinoxes and 4 cross quarter moments
(times exactly midway between each of the 4 Solstices or Equinoxes.)

The next major Wiccan holy day or Sabbat is the Summer Solstice, named Litha in the Wiccan world. This year we celebrate Litha on June 21st. It is the longest day of the year. The sun is regarded as being at its highest power and influence.

Check out The Chart for a complete calendar list and times of occurances of Solstices, Equinoxes or Cross Quarter events for your part of the world.

For more information about Litha or some of its customs you may email me
or look online for more information.

Blessed Be,

FireHawk
Pendleton, Indiana

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Origins of Easter / Ostara



Easter time each year is a perfect time to observe how the Christian religion has massaged old time traditions into something they now claim and call their own.


In ancient times, there was a holy day and celebration called OSTARA.


Neo-pagan peoples still observe this special day of the year.


If you recall in the dead of winter on the longest night of the year, we called it Yuletide. This was the time when we celebrated the returning/birth of the "Sun" since Dec 21st is the longest night of the year. Every day after Yule (aka Christmas) gets more and more daylight...lighter and lighter. The cycle of the Earth and Sun continues and we find ourselves at the Vernal Equinox, the period of EQUAL NIGHT and DAY, on or about March 21st each year. Christians replaced the concept of the Earth re-awakening with a prophet/Jesus re-awakening.


This year 2010, the Spring Equinox occurs at 1:32pm EST on March 20th.


This time of year was the time when early europeans would celebrate the "stirrings of spring". This was the time when the Earth would wake up and become fertile once more. Seeds would open, the first flowers would appear and the true re-awakening of the Earth could be observed in everyday life. Thus, there were symbols of this fertility, Eggs and Rabbits and such, that would appear in those celebrations.


The Christian Religion in its infancy had a difficult task of CONVERTING old time pagan practises into Christian faith and followers. Easter is a prime example.


The very date of Easter was specifically set very carefully by the Christian Church.


Easter was established as the FIRST SUNDAY that occured AFTER the FIRST FULL MOON AFTER the Vernal Equinox (Ostara).


This would ensure that Christian "Easter" would NEVER occur on the old holy day called Ostara; Christian "Easter" would NEVER occur on a FULL MOON, and Christian "Easter" would ALWAYS occur on a SUNDAY. All of this maneuvering while still offering the "Pagans" an opportunity to celebrate "similar" celebrations during that time of the year.


Eggs remained, and the hidden goddess symbol of the rabbitt remained.

The "awakenening" of something sacred (Jesus/Earth) remained. But the whole point of the celebration was lost.


Due to the horrific Christian Crusades and massacres of the time cast by rulers to "reform" and "convert" non-believers or different-believers, It was just a matter of time before mass conversion to the new Christian beliefs was commonplace.


Now we have arrived at a special time in History when the truth can be told without consequences from a Church or Government. The people of the United States and those portions of the "Free" world now have a chance to review this history... and now have an opportunity to celebrate the true gifts of this time of year.


FireHawk

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

IMBOLC - 2010 - Feb 3rd @ 5:30pm EST


Imbolc - the first spark of Spring is TOMORROW @5:30pm EST!! Can ya feel it??? Spring is coming!!! :) http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2010.html The Cross Quarter of Imbolc is a time to acknowledge the "First Spark" and embedded energies that have been sleeping over the winter. The seeds that are underground acknowledge the returning energy and will begin to convert it to life deep within the seeds, underground and unseen by man. Even though it is still the dead of winter and feels like winter, the Sun's energy has been returning since the Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. On this day we are 1/2 way between the Winter Solstice (longest night of the year) and the Spring Equinox (equal night and day). This is the time to reflect upon this cycle and appreciate the unseen gifts that exist in your everyday life


Firehawk

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blue Moon - What is it?

The catch phrase, 'Once in a Blue Moon' is used to express a rare and often special event. This is because a Blue Moon occurs just once every 2 1/2 years or so.

This special Moon occurs when a SECOND Full Moon falls in any ONE calendar month.

Usually months have only one Full Moon, but occasionally there can be a second one - named a Blue Moon.

Full Moons occur every 29 days, but most months are 30 or 31 days long; so it is possible to fit two full Moons in a single month. This happens rarely. The coming Blue Moon is December 31 2009, and you'll have to wait until August 31 2012 before the next one occurs.

The Moon phases are seen as important for many established and traditional religions, often marking special significant dates in the religious calendar.

Both the Islamic calendar and Jewish calendar are Lunar. Christianity sets its most important event of celebrating Easter on the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox. Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Jainism also follow the Moon cycles to mark significant festivals.

Pagans/Wiccans place significance on the Moon and its phases. Of particular importance are the Full Moons which are celebrated and honoured and known as 'Esbats'.


There are 13 Esbats per year (based upon the Full Moons) and 8 Sabbats (major festivals/holy days) per calendar year.

The full Moon, or Esbat, is seen as a potent and special time to celebrate, reflect, give thanks, and ask for change for any positive purpose - love, money, health and happiness for example. This rare Blue Moon event is considered an exceptionally potent time to focus these energies.

This year this special Blue Moon also coincides with the celebration of New Year's Eve, which is always seen as a time to bid the past farewell and look with hope, anticipation and optimism to a brighter and better New Year.

So do not miss out on this 'Once in a Blue Moon' opportunity to mark this special event and do something monumental.

Here are some fun "traditions" that some people do during this special time:

Magically Charge a Lucky Talisman

On the evening of the Blue Moon take any piece of silver jewelry or a silver coin, make a special wish and say it aloud 3 times. Place the jewelry or coin outside under the full Moon overnight. Silver is associated with the Moon and the Goddess and is the best material for use in a Blue Moon ritual.

Don't worry if you cannot physically see the Moon, as its special energy is still present. Once the jewelry or coin has been charged by the energy of the Blue Moon, some say it will act as a lucky talisman to allow your wishes to come true.

Wishing Well

Some say, on the evening of the Blue Moon, to take a silver coin, concentrate on the wish you want fulfilled, repeat aloud your wish and toss the coin into any body of water. This could be a wishing well, a river, the ocean or a lake.

The element of water is associated with the Moon and is utilized in directing positive energies.

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Plough Monday

Plough Monday


When and What is Plough Monday?

The first Monday after Twelfth Night is Plough Monday, a day when English ploughmen traditionally blackened their faces and wore white shirts.

Plough Monday was the day when villagers in many agricultural areas dragged a decorated plough thru town and they would knock on doors and ask for money, food and drink. They were accompanied by someone acting the Fool. The fool would often be dressed in skins and a tail, and carry a pig's bladder on the end of a stick.

Farmers return to work on Plough Monday after the 12 days of Yuletide.


FireHawk

A word on Twelfth Night

A word on Twelfth Night

In a nutshell, Twelfth night is the night when Yuletide/Christmas decorations are taken down. However, Twelfth night has always been open to much debate but it can be summarized with the following:

Pretty much, you can either count 12 days/nights after Christmas or 12 days/nights after Yuletide and that will give you the window for 12th night. Old traditions say that it is very unlucky to take down Decorations later than the 12th night after Yuletide.

Using traditional Yuletide (the actual Winter Solstice or longest night of the year) as a reference then 12th night would have occured on Dec 21st at 12:47pm EST this year 2009. 12 nights after that day would be January 2nd. However, many people reference the Yuletide SEASON as being 6 days before the new year thru 6 days after the new year,the last six days of the old year (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 December ) and the first six days of the New Year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January).

Many strongline conservative Christians disallowed such "partying" on the 25th as it was considered a holy day and not one for partying.

In ancient tradition, however, especially in the cold dead winter of western medieval europe, this was indeed a time for celebration. This was the time to celebrate the return of the SUN as the days cease to shorten and more sunlight could be observed, giving hope that spring and new life was to come. Indeed a time for mumming, singing and dancing.

The twelve days of Yule would have been a most welcome break for the workers on the land, which in medieval times would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop, restarting again on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night. More on Plough Monday later.

Old traditions burned the Yule log and it, lit on the longest night of the year(solstice), remained burning until Twelfth Night in order to bring good fortune to the house for the coming year. Its charred remains were kept, both to kindle the next year's Yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning.

Generically, January 6th is marked as the observed day by most of the modern world. Marked on some calendars as 3 Kings Day...others Boxing Day or Epiphany.

Regardless of what the fine detail of your belief is, now is the time to give thanks to the returning of the sun. It is okay to put away those lights that represented the energy of the sun since the sun has returned with its true energy. You can do this any time between the solstice and 12th night. Cleanse your space, put the decorations away, and enjoy the new energies of the new year.

FireHawk
http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2009.shtml
CHART OF SOLSTICES,EQUINOXES and CROSS QUARTER MOMENTS

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Imbolc 2007 Feb 2nd


The Cross Quarter* of Imbolc 2007 occurs at 9:05 pm on Feb 2nd this year. This is a time to acknowledge the "First Spark" and embedded energies that have been sleeping over the winter. The seeds that are underground acknowledge the returning energy and will begin to convert it to life deep within the seed, underground and unseen by man. Even though it is still the dead of winter and feels like winter, the Sun's energy has been returning since the Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. On this day we are 1/2 way between the Winter Solstice (longest night of the year) and the Spring Equinox (equal night and day). Take this time to reflect upon this cycle and appreciate the unseen gifts that exist in your everyday life.

FireHawk

Chart of 2007 Equinox, Solstice and Cross Quarter Moments based on your location

PS. *Cross Quarters are the moments in time that are exactly halfway between Solstices and Equinoxes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Summer Solstice 2006

The Summer Solstice occurs at 8:26 am EST on Wed, June 21st, 2006. Here is an excellent reference chart that outlines the Wheel of the Year. http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2006.shtml

If you are in Australia or in the Southern Hemisphere then you would be celebrating YULETIDE at this same moment.

http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2006.shtml

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Litha / Summer Solstice / Mid-Summer's Eve

In the Wiccan world of Earth cycle appreciation,
there are 8 major holy days/holidays
that are used to celebrate the Earth.

There are 2 Solstices, 2 Equinoxes and 4 cross quarter moments
(times exactly midway between each of the 4 Solstices or Equinoxes.)

The next major Wiccan holy day or Sabbat is the Summer Solstice, named Litha in the Wiccan world. This year we celebrate Litha on June 21st. It is the longest day of the year. The sun is regarded as being at its highest power and influence.

Check out The Chart for a complete calendar list and times of occurances of Solstices, Equinoxes or Cross Quarter events for your part of the world.

For more information about Litha or some of its customs you may email me
or look online for more information.

Blessed Be,

FireHawk
Pendleton, Indiana

Mid Summer's Eve \ Summer Solstice

Litha

On June 21st we observe the Summer Solstice. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year; it is the day on which the northern hemisphere of the Earth is tilted the most TOWARDS the Sun. This is the longest day and shortest night of the year. In ancient times this day was called Litha or Mid Summer's Eve. In neo times our calendars state that it is the FIRST day of Summer although I disagree with this on a fundamental level. To most, Summer has already been here for a while. And it actually marks the HALF WAY point thru summer as in another 1.5 months summer will be overwith. Pagans regard this day as a very powerful and important day. It is the day the Sun or "male/god" aspect is at its highest "power". This is a great day to give thanks to the Sun and the warmth/food it provides all of us. Without the Sun, we would not have all of the life cycles that we all require to exist. There are many websites out there that give more details about this Holy Day... try www.religioustolerance.org
BB,
FireHawk

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Origins of Easter

Easter time each year is a perfect time to observe how the Christian religion has massaged old time traditions into something they now claim and call their own. In ancient times, there was a holy day and celebration called OSTARA. Neo-pagan peoples still observe this special day of the year. If you recall in the dead of winter on the longest night of the year, we called it Yuletide. This was the time when we celebrated the returning/birth of the "Sun" since Dec 21st is the longest night of the year. Every day after Yule (aka Christmas) gets more and more daylight,lighter and lighter. The cycle of the Earth and Sun continues and we find ourselves at the Vernal Equinox, the period of EQUAL NIGHT and DAY, on or about March 21st each year. This time of year was the time when early europeans would celebrate the "stirrings of spring". This was the time when the Earth would wake up and become fertile once more. Seeds would open, the first flowers would appear and the true awakening of the Earth could be observed in everyday life. Thus, there were symbols of this fertility, Eggs and Rabbits and such, that would appear in those celebrations.

The Christian Religion in its infancy had a difficult task of CONVERTING old time pagan practises into Christian faith and followers. Easter is a prime example. The very date of Easter was specifically set very carefully by the Christian Church.

Easter was established as the FIRST SUNDAY that occured AFTER the FIRST FULL MOON AFTER the Vernal Equinox (Ostara).

This would ensure that Christian "Easter" would NEVER occur on the old holy day called Ostara; Christian "Easter" would NEVER occur on a FULL MOON, and Christian "Easter" would ALWAYS occur on a SUNDAY.

All of this while still offering the "Pagans" an opportunity to celebrate "similar" family values during that time of the year. Eggs remained, the hidden goddess symbol of the rabbitt remained. The "awakenening" of something sacred (Jesus/Earth) remained.

Due to the horrific Christian Crusades and massacres of the time cast by rulers to "reform" and "convert" non-believers or different-believers, It was just a matter of time before mass conversion to the new Christian beliefs was commonplace.

Now we have arrived at a time in History when the truth can be told without consequences from a Church or Government. The people of the United States and those portions of the "Free" world have a chance to review the history of religions and now decide for themselves what they wish to follow.

FireHawk

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Plough Monday

Plough Monday


When and What is Plough Monday?

The first Monday after Twelfth Night is Plough Monday, a day when English ploughmen traditionally blackened their faces and wore white shirts.

Plough Monday was the day when villagers in many agricultural areas dragged a decorated plough thru town and they would knock on doors and ask for money, food and drink. They were accompanied by someone acting the Fool. The fool would often be dressed in skins and a tail, and carry a pig's bladder on the end of a stick.

Farmers return to work on Plough Monday after the 12 days of Yuletide.


FireHawk

A word on Twelfth Night

In a nutshell, Twelfth night is the night when Yuletide/Christmas decorations are taken down. However, Twelfth night has always been open to much debate but it can be summarized with the following:

Pretty much, you can either count 12 days/nights after Christmas or 12 days/nights after Yuletide and that will give you the window for 12th night. Old traditions say that it is very unlucky to take down Decorations later than the 12th night after Yuletide.

Using traditional Yuletide (the actual Winter Solstice or longest night of the year) as a reference then 12th night would have occured on Dec 21st at 1:35 pm EST this year 2005. 12 nights after that day would be January 2nd. However, many people reference the Yuletide SEASON as being 6 days before the new year thru 6 days after the new year,the last six days of the old year (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 December ) and the first six days of the New Year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January).

Many strongline conservative Christians disallowed such "partying" on the 25th as it was considered a holy day and not one for partying.

In ancient tradition, especially in the cold dead winter of western medieval europe, this was indeed a time for celebration. This was the time to celebrate the return of the SUN as the days cease to shorten and more sunlight could be observed, giving hope that spring and new life was to come. Indeed a time for mumming the mummers dance.

The twelve days of Yule would have been a most welcome break for the workers on the land, which in Tudor times would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop, restarting again on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night.

The Yule log, lit on the longest night of the year(solstice), remained burning until Twelfth Night in order to bring good fortune to the house for the coming year. Its charred remains were kept, both to kindle the next year's Yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning.

Generically, January 6th is marked as the observed day by most of the world. Marked on some calendars as 3 Kings Day...others Boxing Day or Epiphany.

Regardless of what the fine detail of your belief is, now is the time to give thanks to the returning of the sun. It is okay to put away those lights that represented the energy of the sun since the sun has returned with its true energy. Cleanse your space, put the decorations away, and enjoy the new energies of the new year.

FireHawk
http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2005.shtml
CHART OF SOLSTICES,EQUINOXES and CROSS QUARTER MOMENTS

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

September's Mabon

MABON - Second Harvest Festival / Autumnal Equinox


When and why the fall equinox happens:

The seasons of the year are caused by the 23.5º tilt of the earth's axis. Because the earth is rotating like a top or gyroscope, it points in a fixed direction continuously -- towards a point in space near the North Star. But the earth is also revolving around the sun. During half of the year, the southern hemisphere is more exposed to the sun than is the northern hemisphere. During the rest of the year, the reverse is true. At noontime in the Northern Hemisphere the sun appears high in the sky during summertime and low in the sky during winter. It is highest at the summer solstice (about June-21) and lowest at the winter solstice (about December-21). The half-way points in the year are called the equinoxes. It is time of the year when the sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours, and sets exactly in the west. Everywhere on earth experiences close to 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of nighttime equally.

According to THE CHART , this year Mabon/Autumnal Equinox occurs Sept 22nd, 2005 at 5:23 pm Central or 6:23 Eastern time in North America.

The exact date and time of the fall equinox, when the sun moves into the astrological sign of Aries, varies from year to year. Each year, the date/time moves progressively later in September until the year before leap-year is reached. On leap-year, it returns to an earlier date/time. This four-year cycle is then repeated.

The Fall Equinox is also known as: Alban Elfed, Autumn Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Cornucopia, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Witch's Thanksgiving, and the first day of autumn.


Religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, tend to view time as linear. They say time started with creation; the world as we know it will end at some time in the future. Neopagan religions see time as circular and repetitive, with lunar (monthly) and solar (yearly) cycles. The Rituals guarantee the continuity of nature's cycles, which traditional human societies depend on for survival.

Wiccans recognize eight seasonal days of celebration. Four are minor sabbats and occur at the two solstices and the two equinoxes. The other are major sabbats which happen approximately halfway between an equinox and solstice. Wiccans may celebrate Mabon on the evening before, or at sunrise on the morning of the equinox, or at the exact time of fall equinox.

Mabon is the second and main Wiccan harvest festival.



The Wiccan God has sacrificed the last of Himself to provide us with a final harvest of food before the winter begins. Celebrants gather to mark the turning of the wheel and to give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice of The God, recognizing that He will be reborn at Yule. This holiday has been called 'The Witches' Thanksgiving' and is a time for feasting together with family and friends.


While in the past, most all were farmers, this harvest festival traditionally applies to the harvest of foods, yet in this day and age, the 'harvest' may also apply to the 'seeds of dreams and wishes' that were planted many months earlier. Now is the time to see if they have come true. Whether they have come true or not ... a ritual to thank the growing energies of the God and the fertility of the Goddess should be preformed at this time.


The month of September also marks the 'Wine Moon,' the lunar cycle when grapes are harvested from the arbors, pressed and put away to become wine...The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as the 'Harvest Moon,' since farmers would also harvest their crops during the night with the light of the full moon to aid them.

Symbols celebrating the season include various types of gourd and melons. Stalk can be tied together symbolizing the Harvest Lord and then set in a circle of gourds. The Harvest Lord is often symbolized by a straw man. The Harvest Queen, or Kern Baby, is made from the last sheaf of the harvest and bundled by the reapers who proclaim, 'We have the Kern!' The sheaf is dressed in a white frock decorated with colorful ribbons depicting spring, and then hung upon a pole (a phallic fertility symbol). In Scotland, the last sheaf of harvest is called the Maiden, and must be cut by the youngest female in attendance.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lammas is Coming

Lughnasadh (Loo-nah-sah), also known as Lammas, is often defined as a Cross Quarter day midway between the Summer Solstice(june 21st) and the Autumnal Equinox (Sept 21st). Lughnasadh is celebrated generically on August 1st, however this year the actual time of occurance is August 7th. The name Lammas is taken from an Anglo-Saxon and Christianized holiday occurring at the same time, that may or may not have a common origin. As the name (from loaf-mass, "loaves festival") implies, it is a feast of thanksgiving for bread, symbolizing the first fruits of the harvest.

It is the first of the three harvest festivals, the other two being Mabon and Samhain. It commemorates the sacrifice and death of the God; in its cycle of death, nurturing the people, and rebirth.


During medieval times, loaves were baked from the first grains of the harvest and blessed in a church ceremony known as the "loaf mass". Many believe that "lammas" is a shortened form of "loaf mass". Others attribute "lammas" to a combined form of "lamb" and "Mass" which reflects a time when lambs were offered as a tribute to feudal lords.

Lughnasadh (LOO-nah-sah) marks the beginning of the last quarter of the Celtic year. The festival is associated with the Irish god Lugh, or Samildanach, which means "he of many gifts". Lugh held funeral games in honor of his foster-mother Tailtiu, the goddess of agriculture who died while clearing the Irish forests in preparation for planting.

Both festivals celebrate the fruits of the harvest with games and contests and a magnificent feast. In this sense, the celebrations are similar to the American Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

July Earth Happenings

July is a very quiet month for us in the Wiccan world... we embrace the growing season in full and feel the energies of Earth and Sun co-mingle in perfect symbiosis. This is the time when the Earth reaps from the benefits of the Sun's heightened presence. Corn should be "knee high by the 4th of July" and it was waist high this year in Indiana.
Daylight leaves us this month. After the Summer Solstice occured on June 21st, the relative angle between the Sun and Earth has been decreasing at a rapid rate. By July 31st, the relative angle between the Earth and Sun decreases from 23 1/2 degrees to about 18 degrees. The difference in the amount of Daylight between July 1st and July 30th is a LOSS of 45 minutes!
And we prepare for the first of 3 harvests that come to us starting next month. Now is the time that things grow.
Ponder this at the Full Moon on July 21st:
All that will be harvested must first BECOME and this is that time of year.

FireHawk

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Moon Dates

New Moon Dates for the rest of 2005
June: Gemini New Moon on June 6, 2005
July: Cancer New Moon on July 6, 2005
August: Leo New Moon on August 5, 2005
September: Virgo New Moon on September 3, 2005
October: Libra New Moon on October 3, 2005
November: Scorpio New Moon on November 2, 2005
December: Sagittarius New Moon on December 1, 2005
Capricorn New Moon on December 30/31, 2005

Full Moon Dates for 2005

Here is a list of the Full Moon (aka Esbat) Dates for the rest of 2005

May 23rd, 3:18pm
June 21st, 11:14pm
July 21st, 6:00am
August 19th, 12:53pm
September 17th, 9:01pm
October 17th, 7:14am
November 15th, 7:58pm
December 15th, 11:15am