Almanac Events

The Dark of the Moon, those few days where the moon is not visible, just prior to the rebirth of the New Moon, are controversial. Some traditions will not cast spells during this period. Others. particularly those devoted to Dark Moon spirits like Hekate or Lilith, consider this a period of profound magickal power which may be exploited as needed.

In Arabic folk custom, it’s recommended that you keep an eye on moon phases. Whatever you find yourself doing at the moment when you first catch a glimpse of the brand new moon is the right thing for you to do.

More New Moon Lore:

  • Almost every culture believed that if the New Moon came on Monday (Moon-day) it was a sign of good weather and good luck.
  • Two new moons in one month were said to predict a month’s bad weather.
  • Any new moon on a Saturday or Sunday was said to predict rain and general bad luck.
  • Good luck will come your way if you first see the New Moon outside and over your right shoulder. You can also make a wish that will be granted. The best luck came from looking at the Moon straight on.
  • In some parts of Ireland, upon seeing the New Moon, people bowed or knelt, saying: O Moon, leave us as well as you found us.
  • Upon seeing the New Moon, bow to her and turn over the silver or coins in your pocket. This will bring you luck in all your affairs.
  • If the New Moon is seen for the first time straight ahead, it predicts good fortune until the next New Moon.
  • To encourage luxuriant growth, cut your hair on the New Moon.
  • Wood cut at the New Moon is hard to split.
  • The English had a saying that if a member of the family died at the time of the New Moon, three deaths would follow.
  • Although the Koran expressly forbids worshiping the Sun or Moon, many Muslims still clasp their hands at the sight of a New Moon and offer a prayer.

From: Moon Magick and other sources

Traditionally, the each of the first ten days after the New Moon has it’s own attributes and qualities. Here’s the folklore on each of those days:

 

First Day: A good day for new beginnings. To fall ill on this day means the illness might last a long while. A child born at this time will be happy, prosperous, and live long.

Second Day: A good day for buying and selling and for starting a sea voyage. Also a good time for hoeing and sowing.

Third Day: Crimes committed on this day are certain to be found out.

Fourth Day: A good day for building, construction, and home renovations. Also a good day to be born on if you want to enter politics.

Fifth Day: The weather on this day gives an indication of what to expect for the rest of the month. It’s a good day for a woman to conceive.

Sixth Day: The best day for hunting and/or fishing.

Seventh Day: A good day for meeting and falling in love.

Eighth Day: A sickness begun on this day was thought to be likely to cause death.

Ninth Day: If the Moon shines in your face on this day, you may have twisted features or go mad.

Tenth: People born on this day are likely to be travelers or have a restless spirit.

Other Days: A New Moon on a Saturday or Sunday indicates rain, as does seeing the outline of the whole Moon at the same time as a New Moon. Furthermore, should the horns of a New Moon point upwards then the weather will be fair for the next lunar cycle, but if they point down, you can expect rain.

~Real Witches’ Year

The Hunter’s Moon is so named because plenty of moonlight is ideal for hunters shooting migrating birds in Northern Europe. The name is also said to have been used by Native Americans as they tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead.

Traditional association with feasting:

In the northern hemisphere, the Hunter’s Moon appears in October or November, usually in October. Traditionally, it was a feast day in parts of western Europe and among some Native American tribes, called simply the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, though the celebration had largely died out by the 18th century. There is a large historical reenactment by that name in Lafayette, Indiana during the early part of October 2010

Variation in time of moonrise:

In general, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, as it moves in orbit around Earth. All full moons rise around the time of sunset. The Harvest Moon (full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox) and Hunter’s Moon are special because — as seen from the northern hemisphere — the time of moonrise on successive evenings is shorter than usual. The moon rises approximately 30 minutes later, from one night to the next, as seen from about 40 degrees N. latitude, for several evenings around the full Hunter’s or Harvest Moons.

Thus there is no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise, around the time of these full moons. In times past, this feature of these autumn moons was said to help hunters tracking their prey (or, in the case of the Harvest Moon, farmers working in the fields). They could continue tracking their prey (or bringing in their crops) by moonlight even when the sun had gone down. Hence the name Hunter’s Moon.

The reason for the shorter-than-usual rising time between successive moon rises around the time of the Harvest and Hunter’s Moon is that the orbit of the Moon makes a narrow angle with respect to the horizon in the evening in autumn, leading the Moon to higher positions in the sky each successive day.

Brightness and distance:

The Hunter’s Moon is not brighter, smaller or yellower than during other times of the year, but all full moons have their own special characteristics, based primarily on the whereabouts of the ecliptic in the sky at the time of year that they are visible.

The full moons of September, October and November, as seen from the northern hemisphere — which correspond to the full moons of March, April and May as seen from the southern hemisphere — are well known in the folklore of the sky.

Since the Moon’s sidereal period differs from its synodic period, the perigee of the Moon (the point where it is closest to the Earth) does not stay in sync with the phases of the Moon. Thus the Hunter’s Moon does not correspond to any special timing of the Moon’s distance from the Earth. This is why the Hunter’s Moon is not, in general, brighter than any other regular full moon.

Source: Wikipedia

October’s full moon is often referred to as the Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. The Blood Moon takes its name not from blood sacrifices, but from the old custom of killing and salting down livestock before the Winter months made it impossible to feed them. Only the choicest stock was kept through the cold season.

The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains.

Coming right before Samhain, it’s a time when the nights are crisp and clear, and you can sense a change in the energy around you.

Correspondences:
  • Colors: Dark blue, black, purples, Deep Blue Green
  • Element: Air
  • Scents: strawberry, apple blossom, and cherry
  • Gemstones: Obsidian, amethyst, tourmaline, opal, beryl, turquoise
  • Herbs: Apple blossom, pennyroyal, mint family, catnip, Sweet Annie, thyme, catnip, uva ursi, angelica, burdock
  • Flowers: Calendula, marigold, cosmos
  • Trees: Apples, yew, cypress, acacia
  • Birds: Heron, crow, and robin
  • Animals: Stag, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion
  • Nature Spirits: Frost and plant faeries
  • Gods: Herne, Apollo, Cernunnos, Mercury, Ishtar, Astarte, Demeter, Kore, Lakshmi, The Horned God, Belili, Hathor
  • Powers/Advice: A time to work on inner cleansing, letting go karma, reincarnation, justice and balance.

This is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit world are at its thinnest. Use this time for spiritual growth — if there’s a deceased ancestor you wish to contact, this is a great month to do it. Hold a séance, work on your divination, and pay attention to messages you get in your dreams.

Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Blood Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

The Blood moon focuses around connecting with animals, and our animal totems and guides. Those who practice looking at the degrees of the lunar cycle may realize that this is the last time the moon will be at a later degree. This conjunction will allow many to look at life differently every time the new moon approaches and allowing us to look at past and the future at the same time.

This moon also forces us to look at love completely differently and ask the questions:

  • What is love?
  • Is the love you have unconditional?

That love does not have to be just in the areas of relationship but also our interaction with people, it can even be love of work and things you have acquired.

Additionally it means to be able to let it go of someone or something no matter how much you love it because it needs to be set free. The past years have reminded us that changes need to happen that this kind of life is no longer tolerant and peaceful. We will be reminded once again we can no longer walk in other people’s shadows.

Because this moon focuses around our animal nature, some of us may become very aggressive in what we say or do. It may cause many people to act out. This type of moon has been known for violence, suicides and domestic disputes over things that may or not exist – another reason it is known as the blood moon.

A Ritual For The Blood Moon

Here’s a nice little ritual to do for the Blood Moon.

You will need:

  • A special glass or chalice – something pretty
  • Rose water – or spring water
  • White cotton cloth
  • Red wine
  • Ripe pomegranate
  • Honey
  • Silver spoon

For this ritual it will be nice to dress up a little. Wear white or silver, and if you have it, silver jewelry with carnelian, or moonstone. Use a special glass or chalice.

Rinse the chalice with rose water and dry it with a clean white cotton cloth. Pour the cup of red wine into the chalice, slice the pomegranate in half and squeeze the juice into the wine. Add a teaspoon of honey, and stir with the silver spoon.

Go outside. If you are doing this with friends, form a circle. Lift the chalice in the direction of the moon and say a few words of praise, thanks, appreciation, whatever feels appropriate and right. Then take a sip of the wine and pass the chalice clockwise around the circle (if there is one). Each person “toasts” the Blood Moon and drinks.

When the circle is complete, pour the rest of the wine on the ground as a “libation” or offering to the earth.

Collected from various sources including: PaganWiccan.About.Com

The Full Moon in September is all about emotions, healing, and balancing. This is a time of organizing and preparing for the coming months.

“This powerful Gateway is an opportunity to greatly accelerate your spiritual growth and to promote Balance in your life. Divine Masculine supports the Divine Feminine. As they come together in Sacred Marriage, you realize that one without the other is not balanced. So, do not act unless it is aligned with your Integrity; your Heart. Be inspired and then take a step toward your dream.”
– Ascension: Soulstice Rising 

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that this full moon’s name is the Full Corn Moon, attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested, however some calendars attribute the Corn Moon to the month of August. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox.

In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe.

Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice, the chief garden and native staples, are now ready for gathering.

The September Moon is also known as Harvest Moon, Barley Moon. The harvesters would gain extra time in the fields by the light of the harvest moon.

Please take a seat and clear your mind of what fills it now and hear my words:

As you are sitting, close your eyes and feel the yellow of the sun..Reach up with your arms and let your fingertips touch that yellow..Now, lay back, with your arms extended and become a ray of the sun..As we all lay in a circle, we form the sun – we are all rays of this vivid starburst.

Look down to the Earth and see the fields ripe with the summer’s abundance..Find your self in the center of this abundance holding a large willow basket, eager to begin your autumn harvest.

Step first into an expanse of sweet corn..See the erect, regal, green stalks of corn..Observe a ripe ear on a particular stalk which extends to you..Under its scruffy whiskers kernels that sparkle like gold shine through. You are reminded of your own riches – both tangible and intangible..Reach out and pick this ear and put it into your basket.

Leave the corn field and enter an orchard; an apple orchard..See the beauty of these trees, these majestic symbols of the Goddess..Feel the fullness of her boughs – full of ruby red apples of knowledge..Reach up, way up, and pick two. Put one in your basket and eat the other. Taste and enjoy this fruit – for in this garden tasting an apple is not forbidden.

Now move toward an onion field which beckons you..Once green, now browning spikes point up to you, tempting you to dig below…Pull gently and the ground gives birth to aniridescent, opal bulb, full of body and character and strength..A vegetable with the power to make you feel the power of tears..Add this to your growing harvest.

Notice ahead thick bushes of ripened raspberries..Sharp brambles protecting their precious, succulent garnets..The sweet nectar of these berries remind you of your own sensuality – your own ability to feel, express, extend all that is soft and loving and warm to others..Take your time here and pick plenty of these supple jewels for your basket.

Step away now and look around you..Find a patch of fruit or vegetables that appeals to you..Enter it, admire its offerings, select a precious gem of your own to harvest..Choose a resource to sustain you in the rapidly upcoming time of cold and darkness…Capture some warmth and light and savor its presence.

With your arms now laden with this basket of bountiful treasures, it is time now to rest..Take your harvest to the grassy knoll in the sun just beyond and sit and bask in the glory of its healing heat..Rest in contentment knowing you have collected that which you need to give you strength and nourishment in the winter days to come.

Put yourself back in the sky now..Become the sun once again..Shine down upon yourself and your gatherings..Absorb the energy of the fruits of your labors, bless these seeds you planted in the Spring and nurtured to fruition through the summer..Be the sun..Shine down upon all that is good and good-giving..Give the light of hope to all you shine upon.

When everything you have touched with your rays is full of your brightness, open your eyes and rejoin our circle.

Sources:

The September full Moon is usually known as the Full Corn Moon because it traditionally corresponds with the time of harvesting corn. It is also called the Barley Moon because this is the time to harvest and thresh ripened barley.

Often, the September Moon is also called the Harvest Moon, but this year the Harvest Moon occurs in October. The Harvest Moon is the Moon that falls nearest the autumnal equinox; this full Moon provides the most light at the time when it’s needed most—to complete the harvest!

Source: Almanac.com

What is a meteor shower?

A meteor shower is a spike in the number of meteors or “shooting stars” that streak through the night sky.

Most meteor showers are spawned by comets. As a comet orbits the Sun it sheds an icy, dusty debris stream along its orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower. Although the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, if you trace their paths, the meteors in each shower appear to “rain” into the sky from the same region.

Meteor showers are named for the constellation that coincides with this region in the sky, a spot known as the radiant. For instance, the radiant for the Leonid meteor shower is in the constellation Leo. The Perseid meteor shower is so named because meteors appear to fall from a point in the constellation Perseus.

Visit our Almanac Page to find out which meteor showers may be visible each month and when they will be at their best, or follow this tag Meteor Shower, to see posts on all the meteor showers visible from earth.

What are shooting stars?

“Shooting stars” and “falling stars” are both names that describe meteors — streaks of light across the night sky caused by small bits of interplanetary rock and debris called meteoroids vaporizing high in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Traveling at tens of thousands of miles an hour, meteoroids quickly ignite from the searing friction with the atmosphere, 30 to 80 miles above the ground. Almost all are destroyed in this process; the rare few that survive and hit the ground are known as meteorites.

When a meteor appears, it seems to “shoot” quickly across the sky, and its small size and intense brightness might make you think it is a star. If you’re lucky enough to spot a meteorite (a meteor that makes it all the way to the ground), and see where it hits, it’s easy to think you just saw a star “fall.”

How can I best view a meteor shower?

Get away from the glow of city lights and toward the constellation from which the meteors will appear to radiate.

For example, drive north to view the Leonids. Driving south may lead you to darker skies, but the glow will dominate the northern horizon, where Leo rises. Perseid meteors will appear to “rain” into the atmosphere from the constellation Perseus, which rises in the northeast around 11 p.m. in mid-August.

After you’ve escaped the city glow, find a dark, secluded spot where oncoming car headlights will not periodically ruin your sensitive night vision. Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites.

Once you have settled at your observing spot, lie back or position yourself so the horizon appears at the edge of your peripheral vision, with the stars and sky filling your field of view. Meteors will instantly grab your attention as they streak by.

How do I know the sky is dark enough to see meteors?

If you can see each star of the Little Dipper, your eyes have “dark adapted,” and your chosen site is probably dark enough. Under these conditions, you will see plenty of meteors.

What should I pack for meteor watching?

Treat meteor watching like you would the 4th of July fireworks. Pack comfortable chairs, bug spray, food and drinks, blankets, plus a red-filtered flashlight for reading maps and charts without ruining your night vision. Binoculars are not necessary. Your eyes will do just fine.

Info from: Stardate and Universe Today

In August, we celebrate the beginning of the Corn Moon. This moon phase is also known as the Barley Moon, and carries on the associations of grain and rebirth that we saw back at Lammastide. August was originally known as Sextilis by the ancient Romans, but was later renamed for Augustus (Octavian) Caesar. Some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon, for them it was the Full Sturgeon Moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon.

Correspondences:

  • Element: Fire
  • Colors: Yellow, red, orange, gold
  • Gemstones: Tigers eye, carnelian, garnet, red agate, fire agate, jasper,
  • Trees: Cedarm alder, hazel
  • Gods: Vulcan, Mars, Nemesis, Hecate, Hathor, Thoth, Ganesha, Diana
  • Nature Spirits: dryads
  • Herbs: Rosemary, basil, rue, chamomile, St Johns wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange
  • Flowers: Sunflower, marigold
  • Scents: Frankincense, heliotrope
  • Animals: lion, phoenix, sphinx and the dragon
  • Birds: crane, falcon, eagle

As the summer begins winding down, we’ve made it through the first harvest of Lammas/Lughnasadh, and now it’s time to think about bringing in the next phase of crops. Grain is ready to be threshed and baked into bread. If you have a garden, pick your herbs and veggies, so you can preserve or dry them before the cooler days set in. Gather your herbs and hang them in a dark place to dry, so you can use them all winter, either for magical needs or culinary ones.

Energies should be put into harvesting, gathering vitality and health, also friendships. Harness some of the Corn Moon’s fiery energy for your ritual and spell work. This is a good time to focus on your spiritual and physical health. It’s the time to harvest what you can now to put aside for later use. What sacrifices can you make today that will benefit you further down the road?

Collected from various sources including: PaganWiccan

“Solstice” is derived from two Latin words: “sol” meaning sun, and “sistere,” to cause to stand still. This is because, as the summer solstice approaches, the noonday sun rises higher and higher in the sky on each successive day. On the day of the solstice, it rises an imperceptible amount, compared to the day before. In this sense, it “stands still.”

(In the southern hemisphere, the summer solstice is celebrated in December, also when the night time is at a minimum and the daytime is at a maximum.)

Why does the summer solstice happen?

On this day, typically June 21, the daytime hours are at a maximum in the Northern hemisphere, and night time is at a minimum. It is officially the first day of summer. It is also referred to as Midsummer because it is roughly the middle of the growing season throughout much of Europe.

The seasons of the year are caused by the 23.5° tilt of the earth’s axis. Because the earth is rotating like a top or gyroscope, the North Pole 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 during winter. The time of the year when the sun reaches its maximum elevation occurs on the summer solstice — the day with the greatest number of daylight hours. It typically occurs on, or within a day or two of, June 21, the first day of summer. The lowest elevation occurs about Dec 21 and is the winter solstice — the first day of winter, when the night time hours reach their maximum.

Activities for the Summer Solstice:

  • Rise early on the summer solstice and greet the sun as it begins to brighten the sky.
  • Create protective amulets out of rue, rowan and basil. Place these herbs in a clean white or gold cloth, and tie the cloth securely.
  • Make a protective charm for your home or business. Tie a few cinnamon sticks together and position them over the door of your home or office.
  • Consume foods that honor the power of the sun. Include foods that are yellow and orange. Lemons are particularly good for this purpose and can be consumed in desserts as well as in tea or lemonade.
  • Leave some food out for the fairy folk that are active at midsummer. Good choices include milk, wine, honey, water and fresh bread.

Information collected from various sources

Good weather in “Flaming June” is necessary if there is to be a good harvest. Country weather lore states:

  • If June with bright sun is blessed, for harvest, we will thank the Goddess.
  • If June be sunny, harvest comes early.
  • A cold and wet June ruins the rest of the year.
  • It is said that if it rains on 27 June, then it will rain for the next seven weeks.
  • A wet June makes a dry September.
  • A dripping June brings all things in tune.
  • If swallows fly near the ground in June, it is a sign of coming rain.
  • Bats flying on a June evening are a sign of hot, dry weather the next day.
  • A calm June puts the farmer in tune.
  • June damp and warm, does the farmer no harm.
  • Rain on St Vitus’ Day (June 15), brings rain for 30 days in a row.

According to country lore, it was also claimed that summer doesn’t actually begin until the elder is in flower.

Information collected from: various sources

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