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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lughnasadh Ritual for Families

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Happy Lughnasadh to All of You!


Five Candles -- yellow, red, blue, green, brown
A bowl of water
A bowl of dirt
A feather
Musical Instruments if you so wish
Bell for each of the children participating


Arrange the colored candles and other items in a circle around you. In the East put the yellow candle and the feather. In the South put the red candle. In the West put the bowl of water and the blue candle. And finally in the North put the bowl of dirt and the green candle. Light these candles as you set them out. Walk with your children from candle to candle, ringing a bell as you leave from candle to another.
Start in the East and tell them that it represents Air. Wave the feather at them so that they can feel the wind.
In the South tell them that here is Fire represented. Carefully let them feel the heat from the candle.
In the West talk to them about Water. Have them wash their hands in the water.
In the North speak about the element of Earth. Let them touch the dirt.
When you return to the Center talk to them about the Goddess and the God and how they are always there. Let them know about Love and the Blessings that the Gods can give us.

Now sit with your children and tell them about Lughnasadh, while you light the brown candle. Tell them about the Sacrifice of the God, the harvesting of the grain and the passing of the year to the control of the Holly King. You could read them the Rede of the Harvest Lord.
Now have some fun and celebrate. Play some music and sing some chants. Raise some energy. One of the traditional songs for this time of the year goes:

Horned One, Lover, Son
Leaper in the Corn
Deep in the Mother
Die and be Reborn

After you are done with this take the time to break bread with your family and have each one tell what it is that they are thankful for. Be sure to leave a offering for the Gods when you are done.
Blessed Be!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Spirit of the Corn

Monday, July 27, 2009
Here is a story about the harvest time. It was adapted and translated by Harriet Maxwell Converse from an Iroquois legend. 

There was a time, says the Iroquois grandmother, when it was not needful to plant the corn- seed nor to hoe the fields, for the corn sprang up of itself, and filled the broad meadows. Its stalks grew strong and tall, and were covered with leaves like waving banners, and filled with ears of pearly grain wrapped in silken green husks.

In those days Onatah, the Spirit of the Corn, walked upon the earth. The sun lovingly touched her dusky face with the blush of the morning, and her eyes grew soft as the gleam of the stars on dark streams. Her night-black hair was spread before the breeze like a wind-driven cloud.

As she walked through the fields, the corn, the Indian maize, sprang up of itself from the earth and filled the air with its fringed tassels and whispering leaves. With Onatah walked her two sisters, the Spirits of the Squash and the Bean. As they passed by, squash-vines and bean-plants grew from the corn-hills.

One day Onatah wandered away alone in search of early dew. Then the Evil One of the earth, Hahgwehdaetgah, followed swiftly after. He grasped her by the hair and dragged her beneath the ground down to his gloomy cave. Then, sending out his fire-breathing monsters, he blighted Onatah's grain. And when her sisters, the Spirits of the Squash and the Bean, saw the flame- monsters raging through the fields, they flew far away in terror.

As for poor Onatah, she lay a trembling captive in the dark prison-cave of the Evil One. She mourned the blight of her cornfields, and sorrowed over her runaway sisters.

``O warm, bright sun!'' she cried, ``if I may walk once more upon the earth, never again will I leave my corn!''

And the little birds of the air heard her cry, and winging their way upward they carried her vow and gave it to the sun as he wandered through the blue heavens.

The sun, who loved Onatah, sent out many searching beams of light. They pierced through the damp earth, and entering the prison-cave, guided her back again to her fields.

And ever after that she watched her fields alone, for no more did her sisters, the Spirits of the Squash and Bean, watch with her. If her fields thirsted, no longer could she seek the early dew. If the flame-monsters burned her corn, she could not search the skies for cooling winds. And when the great rains fell and injured her harvest, her voice grew so faint that the friendly sun could not hear it.

But ever Onatah tenderly watched her fields and the little birds of the air flocked to her service. They followed her through the rows of corn, and made war on the tiny enemies that gnawed at the roots of the grain.

And at harvest-time the grateful Onatah scattered the first gathered corn over her broad lands, and the little birds, fluttering and singing, joyfully partook of the feast spread for them on the meadow-ground.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Gran Bois

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The Big Wood is the Master of the Sacred Forest of the Island below the Waters. Which in Voodoo is the land to where the newly dead travel. He is the protector of all wild animals. He also knows the medinical and magickal secrets of the herbs.

Known for his great sense of humor and is full of advice. One can petition him for advice, healing and for prosperity.

Some of Gran Bois' favorote things include sweet potatoes, yams, green bananas, black pigs, goats, distilled rum, wild berries, acorns, any type of food from the woods.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mani - The Norse God of the Moon

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Mani the son of Mundilfari and Glau, he was tasked with driving the chariot of the moon across the sky every night chased by Hati the wolf. His sister Sol was tasked with driving the chariot of the sun.

There is a reference to a myth that I found that talks about Bil and her brother Hjuki who because of their mischievosness have been tasked with putting spots on the moon and rolling it around. But it seems to contradict the theory that Mani was the chariot driver of the moon.

According to waylandermyth.com;

In Norse myth, there was once a giant named Mundilfari who was married to Glaur. Their children were so beautiful that he named his son Mani (Moon) and his daughter Sol (Sun). The gods were angered at such daring. They took both children and placed them in the sky to guide the chariots of the sun and the moon - the celestial bodies created by the gods from the sparks from Muspell.

So Mani pulled the moon through the sky every night until Ragnarok, pursued by the wolf Hati, who at Ragnarok finally caught him and consumed him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lord of the Harvest

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
While not a specific deity, the Harvest Lord is one of the faces of the God. And since Lughnasadh falls at the end of this month, beginning of next, I figured that it would be appropriate to talk about Him.

He is the father who sacrifices all for his children. He works to bring home the "bread", literally. Because in this case he is actually the grain that is ground and baked into bread.

Since I am a Father who works so hard to provide for my family, this is an aspect that especially resonates with me. His willingness to work no matter what to provide is a lesson that I think many men in our culture need.

I have posted this poem before, but I wanted to share it again. I hope that you all enjoy.

Rede of the Lord of the Harvest

I am the aging man toiling day after day to provide for his children. I am the Father who regardless of his worries always has a smile for his fellow man. I am the Earth aging and giving up its last crop. Yet I am also the promise of life unending even into Death. I am true love made real by a willing sacrifice. I am the yellow corn that gives life to the masses.

But still I am feared because I bring death soon, robed in black I bring the scythe that cuts down the wheat. Yet do not worry for does not the wheat continue your life? See my willing death in the waning sun and the leaves turning crimson and orange.

Yet remember my death is willing for in my death I end the battle between Son and Father and I spare the Earth. Look for me on the other side of this world in Summerland for I will be there to guide the souls of the dead and give them a chance at rebirth

Blessed Be!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Aengus Mac Og

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
This week for the diety of the week I decided that I am going to cover some of the Gods that many have not heard of. This week we travel to Ireland to take a look at the God of love, youth and poetic inspiration. Often times portrayed with four bird circling his head, this may be where the idea of signing a letter to loved ones with four x's comes from.

One of the members of the Tuatha De Danann, which is the people of the Goddess Danu, he was born and conceived in one day. This was possible because the God Dagda was having an affair with Boann and so to hide the affair he caused the sun to stand still for nine months.

Once he had a dream of a young maiden, that he fell in love with in his dream. He awoke lovesick and him and the Dagda searched all of Ireland. He finally came to the lake of the Dragon's Mouth and found 150 maidens chained in gold. Among these he found her, Caer.

She was the daughter of Ethal and Anubal, a prince of the Dananns of Connact. On November 1st all the maidens turned into swans. Aengus was told that if he could identify her among all the swans then he could marry her.

So on the first of November he went out to the lake and called for his love. She came and he turned himself into a swan and they flew off making beautiful music together. So beautiful that all that heard it slept for three days.