Spirit Message of the Moment – Happy New Year 2014

scroll2

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014 Spirit Friends

Thank you so much for all your support, light, and great comments on both my blog and Facebook page this past year! I’ve so enjoyed the last four and a half years writing this blog and sharing readings with you of some of my favorite or405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nacle systems with you; I am so pleased it resonates with where you find yourself – at that exact moment in time. Here’s to a beautiful new year for you – full of intuition, infinite possibilities, adventures, laughter, abundance, and joy. Unlimited happiness is waiting for us today, we just have to open the door to let it into our lives.

My advice for the new calendar year? Take time to dream – and Dream BIG. Then Dream even Bigger than that! Go ahead and surprise yourself and take the chance; you’re worth it. Life always gives us the opportunity to change, expand, and grow into who we want to be; whether reinventing ourselves and rebuilheartart2ding our lives, or simply being brave enough to let our light shine with others and proudly shine it into the world at large. Here’s to letting your light shine – and Bright! May you find inspiration everywhere you travel, with whomever you meet. May you use your intuition and spiritual instincts to discover new passions (and remember old ones), find ways to help heal hearts (even if it’s only your own), and invent countless ways to add something of good spiritual value to the world. May you live your life with a full heart and your time for learning, change, and growth never end. Wishing you much love and light for a great new year for 2014.
Bright Blessings to You,
Angela 

scroll2

MESSAGE FOR YOU – Endurance – Keep Going! 
THE MERMAIDS SING
“When a long journey begins, or when a quest is undertaken, be it a pilgrimage, or an ambition or a desire, or a dream that you wish to create in this earthworld you live within, human one, there is the excitement of the beginning…the unknown still lies before you. And it is a th5391_369223603191483_1899532215_nrill, every moment, to take another step forward. But at some stage, just as we tire, you too tire. The terrain can become unfamiliar. Issues arise, challenges greet you, and at this point, too many of you feel that this must Not be meant for you – for you have told yourself that if it is truly meant to be, it will be simple, it will flow, and it will be…well easy.

We are here to share that for all creatures, and in both the seen and unseen worlds, there are parts of the great journey that require our stamina, our courage and our endurance – our ability to commit, and to stay with the task and dream and promise until we have made it. Do not enter into agreements lightly – enter into them, if at all, wholeheartedly. And be prepar66200_294003430716354_40209912_ned to develop your strength and tenacity, your courage and your honor along the way.

Without what you describe as a challenge, there will be no growth. If you work through and into and with the challenges, you will emerge stronger, and more able to realize the next dream. Flee at the first sign of difficulty, and you will be what we call a shore-hugger – one who never goes deep, who only goes to the places they know. There may be nothing wrong with this. But if this card has come to you, you have sent out the request to the great ocean mother to go on this great journey, to take on a mission. And the time has come for you to build up your endurance. Commit. Practice. Train!

We do, although most often you will only hear tales of our beauty and vanity. How else do we live so well within the great power of the ocean? The answer for us, and for you, is that we develop our power – and we endure, when others would give in or turn away. We are stronger than that. 399864_422942047801829_2145979321_nAnd so are you!

You may believe you are weak, or physically unable to complete a task. You may have committed to believing that there is no way your strength can increase. It is not always about your physicality – so often, it is the amazing endurance of Spirit and your soul and your creative force that requires the ability to go that little bit further, to reach a little harder, to extend yourself, to go well beyond a comfort zone. You may also believe that to become more aligned, powerful and strong physically is to weaken the intuitive self. But this is not the case.

Like these mermaids, you are reaching an important stage of your journey, and it is essential that you continue. There will be times when you feel you have had enough and you wish to suddenly stop moving…to sink, rather than to swim. 1394051_1391520577756380_2015272875_nBut the mermaids are here to ask you to continue to swim, tired though you may be, full of doubt you may be. The second part of your strength is readying itself, and will come through, just at the point you are ready to give up. Keep going. And you will go so much further than you currently believe you can! This is not the time to run back, or to allow the waters to take you! This is the time to continue the journey you committed to – because you are being tested, and you can pass this test. But you must keep going. Eyes forward. Intention focused. Purpose clear! Re-commit! And keep going.”

Oracle of the Mermaids by Lucy Cavendish

 

 

 

Spirit Message of the Moment – Ideas To Celebrate Yule 2013

CELEBRATING THE PAGAN SABBAT: YULE
In many Pagan and Wiccan celebrations, often the cornerstone of a succe205537_450257608364328_1060900443_nssful Sabbat is the food. Yule is a time of rich, delicious cooking for many of us, so start planning your menu ahead of time. Open up your hearth and home for your guests, and once you’re seated at your meal, take a moment to be thankful for all the bounty and blessings you have before you this Yule season!

Food Blessings, Pagan and Wiccan Style
Many religions celebrate the consumption of food with some sort of prayer of thanksgiving. Many Pagans and Wiccans believe that not only should we thank the gods for our food, but also the earth and the food itself. After all, if you’re eating plants or meat, something had to die so that you could have a meal. It seems rude not to thank your food for its sacrifice. Any of the following may be said over a meal, a Cakes and Ale ceremony, or any other event where food is served. Feel free to include the names of the deities of your tradition, of you prefer.

• This Simple Meal Blessing offers thanks to the God and Goddess for a meal.

• A Prayer to the Earth shows gratitude for the planet’s bounty.

• If you’re eating a meal that once walked around, offer a prayer Celebrating Meat.

Invite the Gods to dine with you.

Make an Offering of a bit of your food.


Basic Wassail Recipe

Hot WassailWassail was originally a word that meant to greet or salute someone — groups would go out Wassailing on cold evenings, and when they approached a door would be offered a mug of warm cider or ale. Over the years, the tradition evolved to include mixing eggs with alcohol and asperging the crops to ensure fertility. While this recipe doesn’t include eggs, it sure is good, and it makes your house smell beautiful for Yule!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 Gallon apple cider
• 2 C. cranberry juice
• 1/2 C honey
• 1/2 C sugar
• 2 oranges
• Whole cloves
• 1 apple, peeled and diced
• Allspice
• Ginger
• Nutmeg
• 3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
• 1/2 C – 1 C brandy (optional)

Preparation: Set your crockpot to its lower setting, and pour apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in, mixing carefully. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot (they’ll float). Add the diced apple. Add allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste — usually a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Finally, snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add those as well.

Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 – 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it. Buttered RumButtered rum was a popular recipe in colonial America, and it’s easy to see why — it’s GOOD. You can brew this up in your crockpot, ladle out a nice big mug and sit by the fire on a chilly winter evening. It’s the perfect warm drink for Yule. If you leave out the rum, your kids can enjoy it too (here’s a tip — when your little one wants to have a Harry Potter party, make a rum-free pot of this recipe and call it butter beer).

Ingredients:
• 2 Quarts apple juice
• 2 C firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 stick butter (use the real stuff, not margarine)
• 3 Tbs. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. ground cloves
• 1 tsp. nutmeg
• 2 C. your favorite rum
• Refrigerated whipped dessert topping
• Cinnamon sticks and nutmeg for garnish

Preparation: Warm up the apple juice and brown sugar in a pot. Add the butter (dice up the stick before you put it in there, so it’ll melt faster). Stir until the butter is melted. Add the spices and the rum. Cover the pot, and allow to simmer on low for 2 – 4 hours. Ladle into mugs for serving. Top each with a dollop of whipped topping and a cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.

3799_10151600879139616_1867875314_nSunshine Skillet
When the sun comes up on Yule morning, there’s nothing quite like it. If your family celebrates with a solar ritual, after you’re done, head to the kitchen for a big breakfast. This sunny skillet dish is full of good stuff — if you’re vegetarian, simply substitute something else for the sausage, or leave the meat out altogether. This is fabulous with some nice warm biscuits and gravy.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
• 2 Tbs. butter (use the good stuff, not margarine)
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1/2 C shiitake mushrooms, chopped
• 2 C southern-style hashbrown potatoes, thawed
• 6 eggs, beaten
• 2 C sausage, browned
• 2 C cheddar cheese, grated
• Fresh rosemary and sage
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 C Asiago cheese, grated
• 1 green onion, chopped
• 1 small tomato, diced

Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions, sautéing until they are opaque. Add potatoes, and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. In a buttered or greased casserole dish, spread the potato mixture around to evenly cover the bottom. Mix the eggs, sausage, cheese, herbs, salt and pepper together in a small bowl, and then pour over potatoes. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. About ten minutes into the bake time, sprinkle the Asaigo cheese on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before serving. To serve, dish onto plates and garnish with tomatoes and onions.

Suggested Readings

All Above Excerpts authored by Patti Wigington

scroll2

405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nMESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
A warm welcome to December and wish to you for a bright and merry Winter Solstice this year. In my search to find spiritual significance for this Winter Solstice 2013, I kept thinking about the concepts of building and recreating life; which, always seems to give us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and constantly reshape and refine our lives to best align with our highest soul self. This involves a bit of re-imagining who we are at times and then manifesting who we are meant to be, as we embrace our whole selves. I found an online article called “Winter Solstice – Beauty in the Darkness” by Sara Dawn I wanted to share with you. Perhaps it might resonate with where you’ve either been, or currently find yourself in this day, or in this very moment. Thank you for all your messages this past year, good wishes, and support on both the blog and Facebook page. Bright Wishes To You All for a Meaningful Winter Solstice.
– Angela

scroll2

 

“Yes, there is beauty here in the shadows of ourselves. There is great beauty in the darkness. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. Since neolithic times it has been celebrated and honored as a sacred time of renewal and rebirth. As the earth continues on her magical orbit the days now grow longer and nights shorter. The sun is dawning after the increasing darkness of winter.  The Winter Solstice is nature’s physical equivalent of a spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

whitecandleMy wish for you this Winter Solstice is that you awaken to the sheer brilliance of your being, the very essence of Life that you are, your inner most nature. And that with this new-found strength you delve deep into the darkness, deep into your shadows and fears, and shine on them the light of awareness with love and compassion. Nothing is more powerful or bigger than this light and love. Like the sun, the light of awareness and love overcomes any darkness. When we dare to face our deepest, darkest fears and overcome them we can truly experience the ecstasy of life. We become confident and stronger. We discover ourselves and we know who we are. We begin to trust life and know that it is a force that is both for us and within us. The Winter Solstice marks this triumph of our quest for a greater good. It is a journey we all have the opportunity to take, many times in our lives.

If you are stuck in any area of your life or if you are in pain, the invitation and my wish for you here is to take that stuck energy, take that pain and compost it into something beautiful! Like the earth breaks down decaying, useless matter and turns it into fuel for life and growth, take your shadows and darkness and use them to create life and beauty. The Winter Solstice is a great time to realize this.”
– Sara Dawn

scroll2“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson

scroll2

Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Thanks & Giving 2013

THANKSGIVING 2013 – A Little History
What’s in a Holiday?: Thanksgiving’s Pagan Roots

12700_10151114149806050_610246345_nIn my previous posts on the origins of our contemporary holidays, we learn how many of them have roots in Paganism. The holiday of Thanksgiving is hardly different and it was certainly not the first feast celebrating the harvest.

In school, we are taught that in the year 1621 the Pilgrims established Thanksgiving to share their abundant harvest with the local Wampanoag tribe (“People of the Dawn”) who were a civilization of hunters, farmers and fisherman. Although the Pilgrims and Wampanoagans celebrated the first actual Thanksgiving itself, the tribe had its’ own feast day in which they gave thanks for their abundant crops as they honored Kiehtan, the Creator. Future Pagan immigrants brought their harvest festivals to America as well.

By the time Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National holiday in 1861, other Europeans had also settled in America and brought with them their own traditions, The-first-Thanksgivingsome Pagan. Harvest festivals were celebrated by European Romans at Cerelia by giving thanks to Ceres, the Goddess of Harvest. Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Pagans celebrated Lughnasadh and Mabon, which as Wiccans we know, is also the First and Second Harvests of the year. The Greeks honored Demeter during the Thesmohoria and the New Englanders’ Pagan ancestors celebrated Harvest Home (the first reaping of crops in August). This was a time for gratitude and reflection followed by singing and dancing, after which everyone enjoyed a wonderful feast.

A special wish for everyone and their families and a very Happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Blessed Be!

Author – Lady Blogger: Morganna

A MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nHappy Thanks and Giving! There is always so much abundance that continues to surround us throughout the year. Take a moment to appreciate all that you are, all that you have, all whom you know, and everything that surrounds you. Give thanks in advance for your life that is and will be. Celebrate your life and make every moment count. Wishing you a Bright and Festive Thanksgiving this year – full of Connection, Joy, Love, Smiles, and Warmth. Remember, enjoy the moment by being spiritually present in each moment and give yourself permission and the freedom to create your experience and enjoy it. Many Blessings to You All. Thanks for all your kind words, support, and great comments!
Much Love & Light,
Angela (aka – The Spiritblogger)

Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Mabon 2013

THE PAGAN HOLIDAY MABON – THE AUTUMN EQUINOX – A Spiritual Celebration
“Mabon is the time of harvesting the full yield of nature. What was planted at the spring equinox is nMabon Mickie Muellerow ripe and mature. The card depicts the ritual setting for the Mabon festival, which is marked by the autumn equinox. Statues of the Goddess and God appear behind an altar, with the sun setting, casting shadows upon the ground. here they stand as the Lady of the Harvest and the Lord of the Sheaf.

The God is decorated with the intertwined red, black, and white woven cords of the mystery tradition, from which hang the sacred silver and golden boughs. Red represents the living blood of our ancestors, which flows in our veins. Black represents the deep shadows that contain the enlightenment awaiting the true seeker. White symbolizes what remains behind, a metaphor of the bone, representing the wisdom and knowledge left behind by our ancestors. 

On the God statue appear oak leaves and acorns, representing his divine woodland nature. The Goddess statue holds a lighted candle, which symbolizes her divine presence. At her feet is an empty cauldron with nine white shells set in front. The cauldron represents the gateway to the Underworld through which the Harvest lord must pass. For from the Goddess does all life issue forth, and to her must all life return. The nine white shells symbolize her triformis nature as the three Fates, plus her three aspects as maiden, mothers, and crone, plus her rulership over the three realms of the Overworld, Middleworld, and Underworld.

Between the statues, the altar is set with a reed basket filled with the sacred harvest cakes. The basket is now the tomb of the God (as it had once been his cradle at Yule) and bears the symbol of the sun. Apples, pumpkins, and acorns adorn the altar. The basket is flanksweeped by two white candles representing pillars between which the portal to the Underworld or Otherworld is entered. At the time of Mabon the God dies and journeys to the Underworld, where he waits in the realm of Shadow for his rebirth at Yule.

Behind the altar stands an upright sickle, which represents the harvester. A raven, the messenger of the Otherworld, swoops downward to land upon the sickle. This marks the death of the Harvest Lord, who must willingly fall so that his seed will ensure the renewal of life.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“When this card appears the work is done, and the manifestation and realization of your plans is at hand. It is time to celebrate. Three words summarize this season: harvest, completion, and fulfill. The Mabon/Autumn Equinox card reveals the harvest we have reaped from what was sown in an earlier season. In a spiritual sense this is the measure of the soul’s journey through life. It is here that we look at the state of our lives, our condition, our relationships. The harvest is the time to look at what has been sacrificed and what has been gained.”  

TREE IN FALL
“It is time to release what no longer works. The tree in fall symbolizes decline, shefallTreedding, and release, and tells us to shed that which no longer serves the greater good. A tree in fall does not lament waning and loss. It stands as a tree in fall, embracing what is natural to the condition surrounding it while it strips away what cannot be sustained in the coming winter season.  The tree in fall depicts the liberation of fall with a tree casting off its foliage.”

THE SHADOW’S EDGE
“The Tree in Fall takes up the idea of shedding that which no longer serves the successful continuation of our lives. The message of this card is that we must rid ourselves of things that drain our energy and resources or detract from our necessary goals. Holding on to things that no longer serve the common good is to risk future health, prosperity, and vitality.”

All above excerpts are from The Seeker’s Guide to The Hidden Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller which I highly recommend purchasing for your tarot/oracle card collection if you haven’t already. 

THE AUTUMN EQUINOX
It is the time of the autumn equinox, and the harvest is winding down. The fields are nearly empty, because the crops have been plucked anMabon Acornd stored for the coming winter. Mabon is the mid-harvest festival, and it is when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest. On or around September 21, for many Pagan and Wiccan traditions it is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings. With it being a few weeks away, now is a good time to start decorating your home for the autumn equinox, and planning your fall craft projects! ” 

“Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Mabon, but typically the focus is on either the second harvest aspect, or the balance between light and dark. This, after all, is the time when there is an equal amount of day and night. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying. We have food to eat, but the crops are brown and going dormant. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead.”

- Patti Wigington

scroll2

MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_n
Welcome to Fall! This is my absolute favorite time of year; there is change in the sweet smelling air, the nights get a little cooler, and the trees and plants begin to change their color from bright green to beautiful degrees of orange and red. It’s a great time of year to quietly turn inward and focus on your spiritual development and then turn outward, be social, and share feasting and celebration of the change of season with family and friends.

Take a moment for reflection to ponder the life you currently find yourself in. What’s new or different compared with where you were at the spring equinox? Take time to count your blessings, feel the abundance that surrounds your life, take stock, and celebrate all of your hard work and what’s been accomplished to date before moving forward to set goals for the pagan new year (which begins at Samhain on October 31st). Try making a warm apple or mulled cider, or making a special harvest bread to eat with homemade herb butter, or hosting an elegant autumn harvest dinner and serve foods you find most comforting to welcome in the new season.

Wishing You Brightest Autumn Wishes and Warm Blessings, 
Angela

scroll2

Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Lammas 2013 – Live With Gentle Grace and Gratitude

LAMMAS SABBAT BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOURS

“On August 1, it’s time to celebrate Lammas, or Lughnasadh, depending on which one you prefer, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. This summer sabbat marks the season of the grain harvest, and is a time when many people are gathering their crops so they can start preparing for later on. In some traditions, it’s a time to 303911_228507967198413_773530948_nhonor the Celtic craftsman god, Lugh, by celebrating your skills and talents.

If you’re one of our Southern Hemisphere readers, that means you’re gearing up for Imbolc, the season of Brighid, and a celebration of light and fire. Be sure to read the links in the sidebar on the right for Imbolc information and ideas. No matter which of these you may be observing, may you and your family have a beautiful and blessed Sabbat! 

PAGAN LAMMAS HOLIDAY HISTORY:
Welcoming The Harvest
The Beginning of the Harvest
At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more. This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mWheat bread offeringourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone. In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread
In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas — it meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheafs of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season. The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God
In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day 582226_424037830971840_139721484_nof honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh’s influence appears in the names of several European towns.

Celebrating Lammas Today
Honoring the Past
In our modern world, it’s often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it’s no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one’s crops meant the difference between life and death.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is Lughnasaa good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

Symbols of the Season
The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can’t find too many items marked as “Lammas decor” in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.

  • Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
  • Grapes and vines
  • Dried grains — sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
  • Corn dolls — you can make these easily using dried husks
  • Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
  • Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches

Crafts, Song and Celebration
Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lamm73500_479290198797840_338698118_nas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!

Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.”

Suggested Reading

Elsewhere on the Web

Related Articles

All Excerpts Above from Author Patti Wigington

scroll2

MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nHappy Lammas 2013 Friends! August is a great month (and precursor to the coming Fall Season; a time for deep spiritual work) to begin our process of self-reflection. Where do we find ourselves? What is our daily reality look like? What experiences have we created for ourselves? It’s an important time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished to date, our goals and aspirations to best determine next steps and needed actions in order to best nurture the life we’ve created for ourselves. It’s a spiritual time of year that gives us the opportunity to integrate our physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental self into one holistic state of being for authentic living.  

Is there one aspect out of synch? Is there opportunity for us to deeper align our inner self with the outer self and world? Take some time to relax, breathe deeply, and close your eyes this month. What is missing; what changes can we make; what is working perfectly in alignment with our highest self, vision, and life purpose? How can we bring more joy, happiness, love, and abundance into our lives? How can we best embody these qualities with our friends, family, career, and the world at large?

MESSAGE FOR YOU
You have a beautiful gift of light, high vibrational energy truth, and essence to share; it’s always available to you if you look within. Allow yourself to make good, positive, and healthy choice601525_10151036368761771_386707568_ns and move forward to create the life you’ve always dreamed of living. What will you next create for yourself? Each moment offers us countless choices and opportunities if we are aware and living consciously with deliberate joy.

Live with gentle grace and gratitude. Live and act with positive intention. Take responsibility for your happiness. Take charge of your life and move forward embracing seasonal changes. Live with Purpose. Choose Life. Choose this moment. Choose to live your life from Love. Bright Lammas Blessings to You & Best Wishes for living a life full of intention and unique purpose.
~Angela

scroll2

Article on Spiritual Significance of the Pagan Holiday Lammas
Lammas and the August Moons
“The month of August begins with the new moon July 31st and Lammas or Lughnasadh the first harvest festival, usually celebrated Aug 1st. The Celtic festival called Lughnasadh honoured Lugh, the Celtic god of light; Lammas celebrates the grain and marks the time when summer harvest season gets underway. It’s also a day to celebratelughceltic things that are coming into being in our physical, mental and spiritual lives – it’s a time to look at the progress that we have made since planting seeds of intent in spring.

August new moon is about adjusting to changes. Even positive changes provide stress in our lives. Are you stronger, healthier, more understanding, or compassionate than you were in spring? What has happened to the seeds you planted? Have some kernels of potential flourished while others perhaps didn’t even sprout? Are there some things growing that you’ve forgotten to nourish lately? Or perhaps you have an abundant garden full of thriving fruitful promise. This new moon the chant “She changes everything she touches, and everything she touches changes” is very appropriate.

The August full moon is also known as the Barley Moon as the first grain harvest begins. Each crop that has sprouted and grown now holds the food for harvest and the potential of the next generation within each seed. During the harvest, the seeds that fall into the soil and become buried begin their resting time, knowing that when the last harvest is done, the time for sleep arrives. The first Harvest Moon is time to think about connections in life, to remember all the cycles of life that have gone before and will continue after our personal joLughnasadh 06aurney on this planet. This is a moon to remember the endless connections between all lives here, in all forms.

The first humans birthed the first children, and it continues all the way down to us, to our children, their children, and eons into the future. Each person on earth is related to all the others. Yes, there are many wonderful variations of human beings – how lucky we are to be individuals AND connected! This moon is a time to think about extended family and relationships of all kinds. It’s also a good time to think about the legacy you are creating that will live on after this life cycle is over. It’s a good time to think about business, partnerships, legal matters, what mementos you have and what they represent. It’s about abundance, reward for efforts, celebrating the fullness of summer, personal and spiritual prosperity.

SOME CIRCLE IDEAS

• Wear tan, gold or yellow shades of clothing to celebrate the harvest. You could use altar cloths in these colors too

• Include ears of corn, wheat sheaves, or other grain on the altar

• Burn gold or yellow candles

• Decorate the altar with fresh local flowers

• Use a wheat sheaf, or corn husks to asperge the circle

• Cast the circle with barley, leave it for the wildlife when you finish.

• Serve oatmeal, wheat or other grain crackers, cookies or bread for cakes

• Hold a story circle as an activity, one person begins, the next adds on, and so on around the circle.

• Bring a picture of an ancestor and each person shares what the connection to the person means.

• Make a paper chain, three links per person; write something you are thankful for on each link

• Make a wheat wheel. Make a circle of braided wheat, tie it together and put it in the middle of the circle or on the altar. Give every person a small bundle of wheat, and then ask each individual to put a blessing into their stalks, dance around in a circle each person chanting their blessing. After the energy is released, tie all the strands of wheat onto the circle. Someone can keep the wheat wheel until it gets offered to the fire at Samhain.

• Make bracelets from 2 strands of red, 2 strands of yellow and 1 strand of black and 1 strand of white braided together, it symbolizes the cycles of life.”

Article Author – Dawne Skeye

Email Spiritblogger at: angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

Follow Spiritblogger on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngelSoulStorms

Read Spiritblogger for Kids! Blog: http://spiritbloggerkids.wordpress.com/

Spirit Message of the Moment – Love Springs Eternal

LOVE SPRINGS ETERNAL
“The foundation of a solid relationship is one of the joys of a happy life. In the beginning of love, lovers see the best, unflawed version of each other. They are focused on the intense emotion and exhilaration of bein644540_481956661858873_1710478935_ng in love. As love matures, lovers see each other with their eyes wide open. They see the other’s strengths and weaknesses. They let each other’s strengths shine and grow; they provide help and guidance in areas of weakness. They stand in amazement to see how they really do fit together.”

“While in romantic love, we are sometimes worried about it ending, about falling out of love, about becoming bored. As true love grows, it becomes more confident. Through the ups and downs of daily life, love becomes familiar and dependable, giving us strength. And as time goes by, it never loses its luster. You get a twinkle in your eye as a smile is shared; your heart jumps when you catch an unexpected glimpse of your lover; a scent in the air brings back a memory, and your insides turn to jelly.”

“Two fairies stand confidently before each other, holding each other, as if promising eternal support. The sun shines on them, illuminatinfairy_journal_love_springs_eternal_eap3857g their world and each other. They can see each other clearly; nothing is hidden. Even knowing the other’s weaknesses or faults, they love each other more than ever. They stand on a bridge, showing how their relationship has joined two lives. The trees behind them form a heart, surrounding them in a deeply rooted love. The white flowers show the purity of their love that has stood the test of time. The glittering jewels on her dress represent the sparkle of passion that binds them still.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“This love can only be the result of time. This is a love with roots that go deeply into the earth and branches that reach toward the sun, always seeking truth and opportunities to grow. This is a love that focuses on being the best partner you can – that allows you to be the best you can be and provides a safe place for you to grow. Is that where you are at? Is it where you want to be? If you are in a relationship that isn’t quite there yet, this card indicates that it is possible, but it may need a little attention and nurturing.”

Today’s message is from Enchanted Oracle by Jessica Galbreth and Barbara Moore.

MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nA friend recently reminded me – Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you. To me, this means a good relationship is not only about being with the right person, but more importantly being the right person. A person can only love another if they first love themselves. They can only give to another if their cup is already full of life, joy, laughter, abundance, and light. A great and significant partner can only add to your current life and happiness, not create it for you.

A great quote on creating love I recently came across:
“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. this is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then, then moment will have been worthwhile.” – Deepak Chopra

Wishing you all the best.
With light and love,
Angela

Email me at angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

Check out my other blog: http://spiritbloggerkids.wordpress.com/

Spirit Message of the Moment – Your Life Purpose, Intention, and Intuition

FINDING YOUR DIVINE LIFE PURPOSE
– Infinite Abundance Surrounds You

“You’re full supported as you devote yourself to your Divine life purpose.”

“This card provides the reassurance that as you focus upon being of service and following your inner guidance, your needs are taken care of. The more you can let go of worry and trust in the univerCornucopia_of_fruit_and_vegetables_wedding_banquet_(cropped)se’s infinite abundance, the faster your flow of abundance comes to you. Always remember that prayer and positive feelings improve situations, while worry worsens everything. You can give any concerns over to the Universe, God, Goddess, and the Angels for healing and change.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“The Abundance comes to you in unexpected ways, so you needn’t waste time or energy trying to guess how your needs will be met. Instead, devote your th298080_281878188495957_4326101_noughts and actions to following the voice within you. This is your career partner and manager, as it’s the voice of your answered prayer. All prayers are heard and answered; listen especially to the response that comes to you in the form of intuition.”

“Hold positive visions and feelings of being financially secure. Affirm that this is your truth, right now. See and feel yourself completely supported…and it is so! You will be given specific directions as to how to enact the answers to your prayers. It’s essential that you create quiet time to listen to this inner guidance, and then act upon it without delay or hesitation.”

Today’s guidance is from Life Purpose Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue. 

Email Spiritblogger at angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

Visit my web site: http://angelsoulstorms.weebly.com/

Visit my other Blog: http://spiritbloggerkids.wordpress.com/

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngelSoulStorms?ref=hl

 

Spirit Message of the Moment – Time to Celebrate Litha 2013

Pagan Holiday Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice 2013

An Ancient Solar Celebration
“Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date – usually around June 21 or 22 (or December 21/22 in the southern hemisphstonehenge1ere) – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded. Stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.

Traveling the Heavens
Although few primary sources are available detailing the practices of the ancient Celts, some information can be found in the chronicles kept by early Christian monks. Some of these writings, combined with surviving folklore, indicate that Midsummer was celebrated with hilltop bonfires and that it was a time to honor the space between earth and the heavens.

Fire and Water
In addition to the polarity between land and sky, Litha is a time to find a balance between fire and water. According to Ceisiwr Serith, in his book The Pagan Family, European traditions celebrated this time of year by setting large wheels on fire and then rolling them down a hill into a body of water. He 935935_513514102030876_2146289176_nsuggests that this may be because this is when the sun is at its strongest yet also the day at which it begins to weaken. Another possibility is that the water mitigates the heat of the sun, and subordinating the sun wheel to water may prevent drought.

Saxon Traditions
When they arrived in the British Isles, the Saxon invaders brought with them the tradition of calling the month of June Aerra Litha. They marked Midsummer with huge bonfires that celebrated the power of the sun over darkness. For people in Scandinavian countries and in the farther reaches of the Northern hemisphere, Midsummer was very important. The nearly endless hours of light in June are a happy contrast to the constant darkness found six months later in the middle of winter.

Roman Festivals
The Romans, who had a festival for anything and everything, celebrated this time as sacred to Juno, the wife of Jupiter and goddess of women and childbirth. She is also called Juno Luna and blesses women with the privilege of menstruation. The month of June was named for her, and because Juno was the patroness of marriage, her month remains an ever-popular time for weddings. This time of year was also sacred to Vesta, goddess of the hearth. The matrons of Rome entered her temple on Midsummer and made offerings of salted meal for eight days, in hopes that she would confer her blessings upon their homes.

Midsummer for Modern Pagans
Litha has often been a source of contention among modern Pagan and Wiccan groups, because there’s always been a question about whether or not Midsummer was truly celebrated by the ancients. While there’s scholarly evidence to indicate that it was indeed observed, there were suggestions made by Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, that the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. 0029-Arch-Druid-in-his-full-Judicial-Costume-q75-356x500Regardless of the origins, many modern Wiccans and Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June.

In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of June, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King. This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. Crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life.

For contemporary Wiccans and Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. Find yourself a quiet spot and meditate on the darkness and the light both in the world and in your personal life. Celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year with fire and water, night and day, a155207_1553836443019_1476986_nnd other symbols of the triumph of light over darkness.

Litha is a great time to celebrate outdoors if you have children. Take them swimming or just turn on the sprinkler to run through, and then have a bonfire or barbeque at the end of the day. Let them stay up late to say goodnight to the sun, and celebrate nightfall with sparklers, storytelling, and music. This is also an ideal Sabbat to do some love magic or celebrate a handfasting, since June is the month of marriages and family.”

Excerpts from Patti Wigington

 Email Spiritblogger at angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

Click Here to read my other Blog

 

Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate Your Surrender to Change

THE PHOENIX
“This card represents resurrection and a surrender to change. The Phoenix appears as your Ally to celebrate your journey and to ensure your ultimate success. This is true even if it appears that you’ve just passed through a metaphorical experience of phoenixdeath or are currently enduring a perception of failure in your life.”

“Death and rebirth are related when you enter the realm of the Phoenix. Seen in this light, nothing truly dies, but rather changes from one ending directly into new beginnings. The Phoenix is constantly reinventing itself and rises up whole and new and even more powerful with every death it experiences. This could signal an end of a relationship, or of a dynamic within one, or an end of a job, a project, or even a life. Perhaps no failure is involved, but it’s time for a complete overhaul of your circumstances. You may be tired of what you’re doing, or you may know intuitively that it’s time to move on, make a change, or try something new. Whatever the case, a death of the old and a celebration of new life are called for! Whatever you do now will indeed be a successful endeavor, for a rebirth is imminent!”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“When the Phoenix challenges you, it’s really just a gentle reminder to let go and let what doesn’t work fall away. Maybe you’re holding too tightly onto the present and not allowing things to change because you’re more comfortable with the familiar, even if you know that it’s not the best you could create for yourself.”

“Fear of change is a crippling experience, as it works against Nature itself. The task at hand is to allow for an ending, as it’s timely and right that you do so for the highest good of all. In surrendering to the fundamental purposeful change, you will most definitely find yourself in better circumstances. The action needed is allowing. A rebirth is assured.”

MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nThe significance of the Phoenix card reminds me that the one thing we can always count on – is change itself. Things, people, places, and circumstances are always in a constant state of flux and experiencing cycles of various changes. I think it’s important that we find a way to gracefully accept, adopt, and move with these changes which bring our future closer to us, if we are truly learning, expanding, becoming more aware, and growing as an individual.  While it’s critical that we learn to fully enjoy the moment we find ourselves currently in, it’s also as important to develop a skill set that both allows us to happily resonate with our state of being, mind, body, and emotions – and look ahead with a clear vision to what lies just ahead on our life journey; so we can choose what’s next for us. After all, each change we’ve gone through and experienced, has helped to create who we are today.

A great book comes to mind called Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. The forward I’d like to share with you includes a beautiful parable about the importance of Letting Go and accepting change to go with the flow. To me, it serves as a great Zen reminder to be like water, be fluid to move through life and all of its changes, obstacles, and tough circumstances. Water is a powerful and strong source, but can also be soft and yielding in its strength.
– Angela
Email me at angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

raging river

Letting Go

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, good and evil — the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”

The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!”

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.”

But they cried the more, “Savior!” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a savior.

- Richard Bach, Illusions

 

Spirit Message of the Moment – Celebrate May Day 2013

THE PAGAN HOLIDAY BELTANE – May 1st 2013

Happy Beltane Spiritblogger Fans!
May Day is fast approaching and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all your love523371_493853787340916_1964626020_n, light, and support for the site! Thanks for all your emails and feedback – I really appreciate each and every message you’ve sent! I’ve really enjoyed running this blog for the last four years since my first post in May of 2009.

While my blog used to be a daily post, working full time, and having a new baby, it has now become posting an important message for the moment since everyone may come across each post and topic in their own time and in their own perfect moment. It is in that moment of discovery, that it will hopefully resonate with you, your being, life, and re-spark your imagination and memory to remind you of your soul, life path, and current journey.

Message To You From Spiritblogger
May is a good month to let the magic work in your life. Let go of trying to control situations, circumstance, people, and outcomes. Hold new hope without expectation and create new life, projects, perspectives, and adopt new ways of thinking, being, and doing. It is a good time to form unions and bonds with others and with self. Let this be a time to attract new elements into your life so that they can join together for a greater purpose and function and allow you visibility into the unknown; your future; your life which you are actively creating each day.

Whether mundane, routine, or spiritual, see the magic, depth, and emotion behind everything you think, say, and do. Bond with your shadow and light self; embrace the two opposite polarities and bring them into harmony so that your creative process and ability to manifest something new, better, or different becomes possible. Allow your spirit to expand, develop, and grow and have confidence to shine brightly. I wish for you the brightest of 405368_10150500037554734_1317162623_nblessings and success for all that you create and manifest.

Thank You & Enjoy Your Month of Maying!
with Light & Love, Angela

Traditional May Day Celebrations

May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations.

As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays as with ChristmasEasterPentecost and All Saint’s Day. In the twentieth and continuing into the twenty-first century, many neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again.
Origins

397px-John_Collier_Queen_Guinevre's_MayingThe earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May. Various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on May 1st. The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, thesummer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary’s head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps.[2]

Europe
Great Britain
Traditional British May Day rites and celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a Maypole. Much of this tradition derives from the pagan Anglo-Saxon customs held during “Þrimilci-mōnaþ[3] (the Old English name for the month of May meaning Month of Three Milkings) along with many Celtic traditions.

1-2-18DF-25-ExplorePAHistory-a0l9q9-a_349

May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, andpeople) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Since the reform of the Catholic Calendar, May 1st is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of workers. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons

May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, andpeople) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Since the reform of the Catholic Calendar, May 1st is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of workers. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.

The May Day bank holiday, on the first Monday in May, was traditionally the only one to affect the state school calendar, although new arrangements in some areas to even out the length of school terms mean that the Good Friday and Easter Monday bank holidays, which vary from year to year, may also fall during term ti7203_507469522646361_1035649369_nme. The May Day bank holiday was created in 1978. In February 2011, the UK Parliament was reported to be considering scrapping the bank holiday associated with May Day, replacing it with a bank holiday in October, possibly co-inciding with Trafalgar Day (celebrated on 21 October), to create a “United Kingdom Day”.[4]

May Day was abolished and its celebration banned by puritan parliaments during the Interregnum, but reinstated with the restoration of Charles II in 1660.[5] 1 May 1707 was the day theAct of Union came into effect, joining England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

In Oxford, it is traditional for May Morning revellers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6:00 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night’s celebrations. It is then thought to be traditional for some people to jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. However this has actually only been fashionable since the 1970s, possibly due to the presence of TV cameras. In recent years, the bridge has been closed on 1 May to prevent people from jumping, as the water under the bridge is only 2 feet (61 cm) deep and jumping from the bridge has resulted in serious injury in the past. There are still people who insist on climbing the barriers and leaping into the water, causing themselves injury.[7]

In Durham, students of the University of Durham gather on Prebend’s Bridge to see the sunrise and enjoy festivities, folk music, dancing, madrigal singing and a barbecue breakfast. This is an emerging Durham tradition, with patchy observance since 2001.

Whitstable, Kent, hosts a good example of more traditional May Day festivities, where the Jack in the Green festival was revived in 1976 and beltane may day polecontinues to lead an annual procession ofmorris dancers through the town on the May Bank Holiday. A separate revival occurred in Hastings in 1983 and has become a major event in the town calendar. A traditional Sweeps Festival is performed over the May bank holiday in Rochester, Kent, where the Jack in the Green is woken at dawn on 1 May by Morris dancers.

At 7:15 p.m. on 1 May each year, the Kettle Bridge Clogs[8] morris dancing side dance across Barming Bridge (otherwise known as the Kettle Bridge), which spans the River Medwaynear Maidstone, to mark the official start of their morris dancing season. Also known as Ashtoria Day in Northern parts of rural Cumbria. A celebration of unity and female bonding. Although not very well known, it is often cause for huge celebration.

The Maydayrun involves thousands of motorbikes taking a 55-mile (89 km) trip from London (Locksbottom) to the Hastings seafront, East Sussex. The event has been taking place for almost 30 years now and has grown in interest from around the country, both commercially and publicly. The event is not officially organised; the police only manage the traffic, and volunteers manage the parking.

Padstow in Cornwall holds its annual ‘Obby-Oss‘ (Hobby Horse) day of festivities. This is believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK; revellers dance with the Oss through the streets of the town and even through the private gardens of the citizens, accompanied by accordion players and followers dressed in white beewith red or blue sashes who sing the traditional ‘May Day’ song. The whole town is decorated with springtime greenery, and every year thousands of onlookers attend. Prior to the 19th century distinctive May day celebrations were widespread throughout West Cornwall, and are being revived in St. Ives and Penzance.

KingsandCawsand and Millbrook in Cornwall celebrate Flower Boat Ritual on the May Day bank holiday. A model of the ship The Black Prince is covered in flowers and is taken in procession from the Quay at Millbrook to the beach at Cawsand where it is cast adrift. The houses in the villages are decorated with flowers and people traditionally wear red and white clothes. There are further celebrations in Cawsand Square with Morris dancing and May pole dancing.

In St Andrews, some of the students gather on the beach late on April 30 and run into the North Sea at sunrise on May Day, occasionally naked. This is accompanied by torchlit processions and much elated celebration.

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow organize Mayday festivals and rallies. In Edinburgh, the Beltane Fire Festival is held on the evening of May eve and into the early hours of May Day on the city’s Calton Hill. An older Edinburgh tradition has it that young women who climb Arthur’s Seat and wash their faces in the morning dew will have lifelong beauty.

Romania
On May Day the Romanians celebrate the “arminden” (or “armindeni”), the beginning of summer, symbolically tied with the protection of crops and farm animals. The name comes from Slavonic Jeremiinŭ dĭnĭ meaning prophet Jeremiah’s day but the celebration rites and habits of this day are apotropaic and pagan (possibly originating in the cult of the god Pan). The day is also called “ziua pelinului” (mugwort day) or “ziua bețivilor” (drunkards’ day) and it is celebrated, in order to insure good wine in autumn and, for people and farm animals alike, good health and protection from the elements of nature (storms, hail, illness, pests). People would have parties in the nature with “lăutari” (fiddlers), for those who can afford. There, it is customary to roast and eat lamb, also eat new mutton cheese and drink mugwort flavoured wine or just red wine to refresh the blood and get protection from diseases.

On the way back, the men wear lilac or mugwort flowers at their hats. Other apotropaic rites include, in some aremaydaydanceas of the country, people washing their faces with the morning dew (for good health) and adorning the gates for good luck and abundance with green branches or with birch saplings (for the houses with maiden girls). The entries to the animals shelters are also adorned with green branches. All branches are left in place until the wheat harvest when they are used in the fire which will bake the first bread from the new wheat. On May Day eve, country women won’t work in the field as well as in the house to avoid devastating storms and hail coming down on the village. Arminden is also “ziua boilor” (oxen day) and thus the animals won’t be used for work, or else they could die or their owners could get ill. It is said that the weather is always good on May Day to allow people to celebrate.

Ireland
May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the feast of Bealtaine and in latter times as Mary’s day. Traditionally, bonfires were lit to mark the coming of summer and to banish the long nights of winter. Officially Irish May Day holiday is the first Monday in May. Old traditions such as bonfires are no longer widely observed, though the practice still persists in some communities, such as Arklow, County Wicklow.[9]

France
On May 1, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1. The government permits individuals and workers’ organisations to sell them tax-free. Nowadays, people may present loved ones either with bunches of lily of the valley or dog rose flowers.[10]

Germany
In rural regions of Germany, especially the Harz Mountains, Walpurgisnacht celebrations of pagan origin are traditionally held on the night before May Day, including bonfires and the wrapping of a Maibaum (

beltane9a8475sk7maypole). Young people use this opportunity to party, while the day itself is used by many families to get some fresh air. Motto: “Tanz in den Mai!” (“Dance into May!”). In the Rhineland, May 1 is also celebrated by the delivery of a maypole, a tree covered in streamers to the house of a girl the night before. The tree is typically from a love interest, though a tree wrapped only in white streamers is a sign of dislike. Females usually place roses or rice in form of a heart at the house of their beloved one. It is common to stick the heart to a window or place it in front of the doormat. On leap years, it is the responsibility of the females to place the maypole. All the action is usually done secretly and it is an individual’s choice whether to give a hint of their identity or stay anonymous. May Day was not established as a public holiday until 1933. As Labour Day, many political parties and unions host activities related to work and employment.

Finland
Celebrations among the younger generations take place on May Day Eve, see Walpurgis Night in Finland, most prominent being the afternoon ‘crowning’ of statues in towns around the country with a student cap. May Day is known as Vappu, from the Swedish term. This is a public holiday that is the only carnival-style street festivity in the country. People young and old, particularly students, party outside, picnic and wear caps or other decorative clothing.

Some Finns make a special lemonade from lemons, brown sugar, and yeast called “sima“. It contains very little alcohol, so even children can drink it. You can also buy a similar product in all stores. Some Finns also make doughnuts and a crisp pastry fried in oil made from a similar, more liquid dough. Balloons and other decorations like serpentines are seen everywhere.

Sweden
The more traditional festivities have moved to the day before, Walpurgis night (“Valborgsmässoafton”), known in some locales as simply “Last of April”.The first of May is instead celebrated as International Workers’ Day.

North America
Canada
May Day is celebrated in some parts of the Province of British Columbia. Celebrations often take place not on May 1 but during the Victoria Day long weekend, later in the month and when the weather is likely to be better. The honour of having the longest continually-observed May Da227603_324713214310645_881940249_ny in the British Commonwealth—since 1870—is claimed by the BC city of New Westminster.

United States
May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone’s doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver. If they catch the person, a kiss is exchanged.

During the Cold War, May Day celebrations fell out of favor due to its association with the USSR. Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to region and many unite both the holidays “Green Root” (pagan) and “Red Root” (labor) traditions.[11] May 1 is also recognized in the U.S. as Law Day.[12]

Hawaii
In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day, and is normally set aside as a day to celebrate island culture in general and native Hawaiian culture in particular. Invented by a poet and a local newspaper columnist Eric Kosciuszko in the 1920s, it has since been adopted by state and local government as well as the residents, and has taken on the sense of a general spring celebration. The first Lei Day was proposed in 1927 in Honolulu by poet and artist Don Blanding. Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk composed “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i,” the traditional holiday song. Originally it was a contemporary fox trot, later rearranged as the Hawaiian hula song performed today.

Excerpts taken from Wikipedia.

Email me at: angelsoulstorms@gmail.com

Visit my other Blog for adults and kids of all ages:  www.Spiritbloggerkids.wordpress.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 344 other followers