Monthly Archives: August 2021
The festival of Nemoralia (aka Festival of Torches) was celebrated by the ancient Romans either on 13–15 August or on the August Full Moon, in honor of the goddess Diana (Diana Nemorensis). This festival was later adopted by Catholics as The Feast of the Assumption.
Ovid describes the celebration thus:
“In the Arrician valley, there is a lake surrounded by shady forests, Held sacred by a religion from the olden times… On a long fence hang many pieces of woven thread, and many tablets are placed there as grateful gifts to the Goddess. Often does a woman whose prayers Diana answered, With a wreath of flowers crowning her head, Walk from Rome carrying a burning torch… There a stream flows down gurgling from its rocky bed…”
On this day, worshippers would form a shimmering procession of torches and candles around the dark waters of Lake Nemi, Diana’s Mirror. The lights of their candles join the light of the moon, dancing in reflection upon the surface of the water. Today’s festival is held in the Greek fashion.
Hundreds join together at the lake, wearing wreaths of flowers. According to Plutarch, part of the ritual (before the procession around the lake) is the washing of hair and dressing it with flowers. It is a day of rest for women and slaves. Hounds are also honored and dressed with blossoms. Travelers between the north and south banks of the lake are carried in small boats lit by lanterns. Similar lamps were used by Vestal virgins and have been found with images of the Goddess at Nemi.
One 1st century CE Roman poet, Propertius, did not attend the festival, but observed it from the periphery as indicated in these words to his beloved:
“Ah, if you would only walk here in your leisure hours. But we cannot meet today, When I see you hurrying in excitement with a burning torch To the grove of Nemi where you Bear light in honour of the Goddess Diana.”
To Do Today
Requests and offerings to Diana may include: small written messages on ribbons, tied to the altar or to trees; small baked clay or bread statuettes of body parts in need of healing; small clay images of mother and child; tiny sculptures of stags; dance and song; and fruit such as apples.
In addition, offerings of garlic are made to the Goddess of the Dark Moon, Hecate, during the festival. Hunting or killing of any beast is forbidden on Nemoralia.
The Hazel Month offers you an opportunity to connect with your inner reserves of wisdom. Now is the time to listen to your intuition. Study of all kinds is blessed during the Hazel Month, so energy that uses ancient knowledge is most effective now.
This is also an excellent time to learn to read Tarot Cards or Runes because lunar energy will enhance your memory and psychic powers. Maintain an optimistic approach and follow your enthusiasm.
- Dates: August 5 – September 1
- Celtic Name: Coll
- Language of Flowers: Reconciliation
Qualities: Wisdom, knowledge, protection, love, healing, understanding, inspiration, divination
- Themes: Life Force, Wisdom, Protection, Knowledge, The Creative Muse.
Hazel, known to the Celts as Coll, translates to “the life force inside you,” is the time of year when Hazelnuts are appearing on the trees, and are an early part of the harvest. This is the month of wisdom and protection and magick concerning these areas are best done at this time.
This is a good month to do workings related to wisdom and knowledge, dowsing and divination, and dream journeys. If you’re a creative type, such as an artist, writer, or musician, this is a good month to get your muse back, and find inspiration for your talents. Even if you normally don’t do so, write a poem or song this month.
Bring the creativity and inspiration of the Hazel into your life both at work and at home. Use this time to inspire your inner creativity and wisdom or to ground yourself in nature.
- Enroll in an evening class. Now is an auspicious time to learn a new skill – try a painting class, learn a language or dance.
- Keep a journal. Just writing down your wishes and experiences will help you tune into your inner wisdom.
- Go outside at night and look at the Moon. Staying connected to nature will bring powerful insights and help you remain grounded.
- Feed your mind. Buy a book of inspiring quotes and read one each day to stimulate and sharpen your thinking.
- Eat a feast of salmon and hazelnuts before an exam to heighten your powers of concentration and boost your memory.
Hazel the Knower
When a person is born under the energy of the Hazel, he or she becomes highly intelligent, organized and excels in the classroom. Just like the Holly, this Celtic tree sign is naturally gifted when it comes to knowledge. They possess the ability to recite and recall information, which makes them appear as know-it-all to others. However, you can’t blame the Hazel for being naturally smart.
They are quiet, discreet, they never draw attention on them, they do not raise their voice and very often you do not notice when they are around. Nevertheless, the saying “Still waters run deep” describes them well. Hazel people are usually very intelligent, they have great memory, good intuition and the ability to learn quickly. They come across as plain but potent people. Exactly this type of people used to be considered a saint or blamed for witchcraft a few centuries ago.
Hazel people usually achieve their goals easily because they are able to take advantage of all their abilities. In relation to others, they tend to be friendly, helpful and easy-going. They can be very patient, understanding and selfless, and they are very generous to their friends. They always start everything with love and goodness because they believe that is the easiest way to achieve things.
Thanks to their foresight and high intelligence they often come up with unusual ideas and solutions that they have thought through to the smallest details. This clever sign from the Celtic tree horoscope pairs well with the Hawthorn and Rowan signs.
Hazel Magick and Lore
The Hazel tree is known as the Tree of Immortal Wisdom or the Tree of Wisdom and Learning. Hazel branches have been used over history for divining due to their pliancy and affinity for water. The Hazel tree encourages us to seek out wisdom, information, and inspiration in all things both living and inorganic.
In the south-west of England, the Hazel was said to be surrounded by silver snakes around its roots, giving the tree its special life force – an ability to understand all, swiftly, and to understand all connections.
A forked Hazel branch was often used by dowsers – representing the forked tongue of the snake, or perhaps the dual aspect of life and death, which the Hazel also symbolizes.
Hazel branches should only be cut with the tree’s permission – and Hazel rods cut on Midsummer’s Eve are the most powerful. Draw a circle around your bed with a Hazel stick to keep nightmares away. Dreaming about a Hazel tree indicates wealth and unexpected good fortune in the future.
“Wishing wands” (seen in Teutonic myths) were cut from Hazel. It was said that to cut a Hazel wand, you should find a tree that’s not yet fruited, and using a ‘magical sickle’, cut a branch in a single stroke, at sunrise on a ‘day ruled by Mercury’ (a Wednesday).
The Hazel is the Celtic Tree of Knowledge, the Poet’s Tree, a magical tree, and tree of fairies. It’s a tree of wisdom, of understanding and connection, and a tree of clear communications. It’s a tree of life and death, bridging the worlds and enabling connection and communication between the worlds – a tree of health, healing, and protection – and a tree of love!
In Ancient Rome, Hazel torches were lit on the wedding night to ensure a happy marriage. And in Devon, brides would be met from church by an old lady carrying a basket of hazelnuts, for luck.
A sprig of Hazel by the door of a home, or on a windowsill or by a window-opening, was supposed to be able to protect against lightning – and Hazel twigs gathered on Palm Sunday were thought to guard against both lightning and fire.
Hazel Energy Meditation
Practicing this meditation will help you to move through creative blocks, open to inner guidance and develop your intuition.
- Approach a Hazel tree from the north.
- When you are within the circumference of its branches, introduce yourself and ask permission to come closer.
- If it feels right to proceed, circle the trunk clockwise.
- Try to sense the spirit of the tree and open your heart.
- Sit with your back against the trunk and breathe deeply.
- Empty your mind and attune to the tree’s energy.
Freyfaxi, Freysblöt, or Hlæfæst (which means Loaf Feast) which celebrates the beginning of the harvest. There is no specific “correct” date for this harvest festival; some groups celebrate it at the beginning of the month (to coincide with Lammas), some mid-month, and some on the full moon.
Freyr is the Norse god of fertility and harvest and a blöt is a sacrifice or offering to a god. So Freysblöt is offerings to Freyr, this is done in celebration of the beginning of harvest. The feast is also thought of as holy to Thor as a harvest God and his wife Sif, whose long golden hair can be seen in fields of ripe grain.
The first sheaf of harvested grain was bound and blessed for the gods and the vaettir (land or place spirits). Bread baked from the first harvest was also made into an offering and shared with the community.
In Viking times this is also when the warriors who had gone off to fight at the end of planting season came back, loaded with a summer’s worth of plunder and ready to reap the crops that had ripened while they were gone. It is almost like American thanksgiving, feasting and celebrating the first fruits and grains from harvest.
In modern times this is often just before back-to-school giving families and kindreds a good opportunity to celebrate together before the added stresses of homework and extracurricular activities. While the celebrations were modest compared to some of the other major holidays it was still an excellent reason to gather in celebration and to recognize the prosperity in our lives.
Since it draws from First Harvest traditions, the dates would vary regionally, but falls sometime in the beginning of August, because that is when many of our gardens are coming into full production. Typically in the northern hemisphere it is around this time that we celebrate the bounty of the Earth, and the gifts that she brings us with the help of Frey.
In truth, “Freyfaxi” is basically made up and can be celebrated by any group that wants to when they want to. It isn’t wholly without reference, as it draws on a history of First Harvest traditions, but it isn’t historical by any means. Wikipedia pins it on August 1st, the Ásatrú Alliance’s holidays page dates it as August 19th, and many Pagan Calendars date it to August 23rd.
Loaf-Feast is the end of the summer’s vacation, the beginning of a time of hard work which lasts through the next two or three months, while we ready ourselves for the winter.
The holiday of FreyFaxi was much more important for the lives of our ancestors that it is today. Without a good harvest, many many people would perish in the winter. We honor Frey to thank him for the many harvests that we have had, if there was one terrible one, some of us may not be here today. Thanks to Frey we are. If a year was particularly horrible, drastic sacrifice would be used – animal, or even human in some cases.
Even though many of us are no longer farmers, we still depend on the land for all that we are given. Maybe we do not depend on it directly but most of us go to the grocery store and buy things that have come from the fields. This is a time to honor Frey, god of the harvest, rains, and fertility. A time to thank him for the bounty of the earth, and all the gifts that he bestows upon us.
Today we honor him with mead, or some type of drink, food from our table, typically foods we harvest ourselves, for example baked bread that we have made ourselves from the wheat he has bestowed upon us. It is traditional to mark the holiday by baking a figure of the God Freyr in bread, and then symbolically sacrificing and eating it. Any way that you honor Frey, is a good way. Traditionally however, it is with a blot and feast.
We honor him because without him, simply we would not have much of our food supply, and quite obviously without that, we do not have much at all! He bestows fertility to the fields and plants, gives them life, giving rain so that they may grow and flourish. These plants including trees, give us oxygen. So if you are not going to honor Frey, son of Njord, for the bounty of the land at least honor him for the life of the plants and world around us!
We honor Frey by giving him a blot, and a grand feast from our own gardens and the fields. (If you do not have these things at least go spend some money and get a few things from a farmers market or something similar). We thank Frey, and honor him for the harvest and the fertility of the land and ask him to give the land even greater fertility in the coming year and in the dark of winter.
There is a lot to celebrate in August. This is a list of pretty much everything that goes on during the eighth month of the year. Many of these dates change from year to year. The days that change are marked with this » symbol.
August Lore and General Info
- August 8 » New Moon
- July 3 thru August 11: Dog Days of Summer
- August 22 » Full Moon – Corn Moon, Blue Moon
- July 12 thru August 23: Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower
- July 17 thru August 24: Perseids Meteor Shower
Depending on which astrological system you adhere to, these are the signs that show up in August of 2021. Be aware that some of these dates will vary from year to year. Unlike the Sun signs which might just shift by 1 or 2 days, the dates of the various Moon signs will vary widely from year to year. The same holds true for the Chinese Zodiac. The Celtic Tree Signs are based on an arbitrary system and stay the same from year to year.
The August Sun begins in Leo and finishes up in Virgo:
The moon cycles through the signs as follows:
- Jul 30 – Aug 2 » Moon in Taurus
- Aug 2 – Aug 4 » Moon in Gemini
- Aug 4 – Aug 7 » Moon in Cancer
- Aug 7 – Aug 9 » Moon in Leo
- Aug 9 – Aug 11 » Moon in Virgo
- Aug 11 – Aug 14 » Moon in Libra
- Aug 14 – Aug 16 » Moon in Scorpio
- Aug 16 – Aug 18 » Moon in Sagittarius
- Aug 18 – Aug 20 » Moon in Capricorn
- Aug 20 – Aug 22 » Moon in Aquarius
- Aug 22 – Aug 24 » Moon in Pisces
- Aug 24 – Aug 27 » Moon in Aries
- Aug 27 – Aug 27 » Moon in Taurus
- Aug 29 – Sep 1 » Moon in Gemini
You will notice that the Moon might begin the day in one sign and by the end of the day may have moved into another sign, so timing matters if you are wanting to be precise.
The Celtic Tree Signs in August:
- Jul 8 – Aug 4: Month of the Holly Tree
- Aug 5 – Sep 1: Month of the Hazel Tree
The Alternative Celtic Zodiac is as follows:
- Cypress: Jul 25 – Aug 4
- Poplar: Aug 5 – Aug 14
- Larch: Aug 15 – Aug 24
- Pine: Aug 25 – Sep 3
The Chinese Calendar and Zodiac
We are currently in the year of the Ox (sometimes referred to as the Cow). Each Month is also assigned a specific animal. Here’s what shows up in August 2021.
- Sheep: Jul 7 – Aug 6 (Chinese Zodiac – Stem Branch Calendar)
- Sheep: Jul 10 – Aug 7 (Lunar Calendar – 6th Month)
- Monkey: Aug 7 – Sep 6 (Chinese Zodiac – Stem Branch Calendar)
- Monkey: Aug 8 – Sep 6 (Lunar Calendar – 7th Month)
Note: The traditional Chinese Astrology birth chart is built by the Chinese Stem Branch Calendar, not the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which I think is really confusing. Because of a difference in time zones, the lunar months will have different pattern between China and the USA.
Lucky and Unlucky Days
You might want to plan moving, traveling, major purchases, court dates, and weddings around these dates, avoiding the unlucky days and utilizing the lucky ones.
- These are the lucky days in August:
6, 7, 10, 11, 19 and 25.
- These are the unlucky days in August:
15, 20 and 21.
The first kills strong ones at a blow.
The second lays a cohort low.
Holidays and Holy Days
Many of the holidays begin on the eve of the night before and end on the eve of the day of. It’s also important to remember that the dates of archaic festivals and feast days may vary widely depending on the source.
- 1: Lammas or Lughnasadh
- 1: Festival of Lugh – the Celtic hero god.
- 1: Imbolc (Southern Hemisphere)
- 1 » Blessing of the Sea – first Sunday in August
- 1: Freyfaxi – dates vary widely from place to place
- 1: Wipe The Slate Clean Day
- 1: Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Jesus
- 1: Wipe The Slate Clean Day
- 3 » Dakini Day (Tibetan)
- 4 » Day of Ekadashi (Hindu)
- 6: Festival of Thoth
- 6: Feast of the Transfiguration
- 6 thru 15 : Festival of the Tooth
- 8 thru Sept 7 » Ghost Month
- 9: Festival of Sol Indigis – the Roman sun god
- 9 » The Noumenia
- 10 » Celebrating The Agathos Daimon
- 10: Opalia
- 10 » Al-Hijra – Muharram
- 13: Nemoralia
- 13: Pomona’s Day see also Nov 1
- 13: The Vertumnalia – the festival of Vertumnus
- 13 » Friday the 13th
- 13: Day of Hecate
- 13 thru 15: Obon Festival (see also Jul 13 thru 15)
- 14 » Chinese Valentine’s Day
- 15: Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary
- 15: Festival of Torches
- 15: Herbal Holy Day
- 15: Krishna Janmashtami
- 17: The Portunalia – the festival of Portunes, the Roman god of gates, doors and harbors.
- 17: Cat Nights begin
- 18 » Day of Ekadashi (Hindu)
- 19: The Vinalia Rustica
- 21: Festival of Consus – the Roman god of good council.
- 22 » Ghost Festival
- 23: The Nemesia
- 23: The Volcanalia – the festival of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire
- 24: Mundus
- 26: Women’s Equality Day
- 26: Feast day of Illmatar
- 27: Volturnalia
There is a surprising amount of magick associated with Saint days. This is a very short list of the Saint days in August, there are many many more. As time goes by I may end up listing them all, but for now, this is what I have.
- 10: St Lawrence Day
- 15: Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary
Recipes For August
Many more seasonal recipes, including recipes for new and full moon ceremonies, ancient Greek and Roman holidays, Asian festivals and etc. can be found here: Seasonal Recipes.
Any August lore, almanac, astrological, and celebration dates that have been shared after this post was published can be found by searching the August posts to see what’s new.
A lot of work went into this post. It was compiled from various sources by Shirley Twofeathers for The Pagan Calendar, you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.
If an image has posted without permission please leave a comment and I will happily remove it, replace it, give credit, link love ~ whatever you prefer.