Tag Archive: midsummer


Full Strawberry Moon – June

Sorry this is late guys – it’s been a jam packed busy week concluding with an amazing Summer Solstice celebration yesterday afternoon that lasted into the night….Hope you are all enjoying your Solstice celebrations and the Super Moon! Here are some additional links for this year’s Full Moon:

Summer Solstice and Full Super Moon 2013: Heart, Soul, and Summer Flowers” by Aepril Schaile.

Full Moon in Capricorn – June 23rd, 2013” by Dipali Desai.

Feeling the Fear, Reclaiming Authority – Tonight’s Super Full Moon in Capricorn” by Emily.

The Wheel Turns: Solstice” by Dana Gerhardt.

Capricorn Full Moon: The Business of Taking Care” by April Elliott Kent.

Full Strawberry Moon” by Robert McDowell.

3-Minute Moon Ritual” by Dana Gerhardt.

Journeying to the Goddess

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon.  This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Mead Moon.  During late June and most of July the meadows were mowed for hay.

“June’s moon is also known as Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon and Flower Moon. This moon is the moon of summer, and we can start looking forward to the warm nights to come. This is also the time for lovers. Before the height of summer use this time to strengthen your weaknesses. The zodiac association is Gemini

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Goddess Aine

queen-fairies-animation-girl

“Aine’s themes are protection, healing, The Spark of Life, divination, luck, fertility, earth and the moon. Her symbols are moon (lunar items), silver & white items and meadowsweet.  This Celtic Goddess of the moon shines on today’s celebration, Her name meaning ‘bright’. Aine has strong connections with the land. Her blessing ensures fertile fields. She also gives luck to mortals and keeps us healthy.

Dating back to the 1400s, Zibelemärit, an onion festival, takes place in Bern, Switzerland. It includes several parades with intricate mechanical figurines and a huge harvest festival with – you guessed it – tons of onions!   Magically speaking, onions are closely related to Aine because of their lunar appearance. According to metaphysical traditions, carrying or growing onions grants safety and banishes negativity.

A freshly cut onion rubbed on sores, bug bites, or scratches restores Aine’s healthy energy by gathering the problem and taking it away. Bury or burn this slice to dispel the problem altogether.

One great (and tasty) way to invoke Aine, improve well-being, and improve your lunar attributes is by making and eating onion soup (or any other onion dish) today. Use red, Spanish, white, and cooking onions along with chives. By heating and blending them, you mix the magic to perfection. Stir clockwise, whispering Aine’s name into to soup so she abides in each vitality-laden sip.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Art by Briar

Art by Briar

Aine (pronounced AW-neh) was one of the very ancient and powerful Goddesses of sovereignty in Ireland. She was a fertility Goddess in that She had control and command over crops and animals and encouraged human love.  ”One of the great Goddesses of ancient Ireland survives in modern times as the queen of the fairies of south Munster, the southwest corner of the island, who is said to haunt Knockainy Hill there.  Originally Aine was a sun Goddess who assumed the form of Lair Derg (‘red mare’), the horse that none could outrun.  Her special feast was Midsummer Night, when farmers carried torches of straw in procession around Knockainy and waved them over the cattle and the fields for protection and fruitfulness.

Two stories are told of Aine.  In one, She was the daughter of an early Irish god [Egobail, foster son of Manannan mac Lir; while some versions say She was daughter or wife of Manannan mac Lir] and was infatuated with the semidivine hero Fionn.  She had taken a geasa (magical vow) that She would never sleep with a man with gray hair, but Fionn was young with no silver streaking his bushy hair.  One of Aine’s sisters, Miluchrach, was also interested in Fionn: She enchanted a lake and tempted Fionn to take a dip.  When the hero emerged from the magic waters, his body was still youthful and strong, but his hair was stained gray.  True to Her geasa, Aine thereafter scorned the hero” (Monaghan, p. 37).

“In early tales She is associated with the semi-mythological King of MunsterAilill Aulom, who is said to have ‘ravished’ Her, an affair ending in Áine biting off his ear – hence ‘Aulom’, meaning ‘one-eared’. By maiming him this way, Áine rendered him unfit to be King, thereby taking away the power of sovereignty.” [1]  ”After the rape Áine swore vengeance on Ailill and eventually contrived his death. This story is about what happens when a ruler decides to rape the Land rather than enter into a marriage with Her. Áine knows the energies of a righteous vengeance quite intimately. She said:
I’ll have you been to me, to have done me violence and to have killed my father. To requite this I too will do you violence and by the time we are done I will leave you with no means of reprisal. *
The descendants of Aulom, the Eóganachta, claim Áine as an ancestor.” [2]

“Lady of the lake” by *oloferla

“Lady of the lake” by *oloferla

“In another story, Gerald, the human Earl of Desmond, captured Aine while She was combing Her hair on the banks of Her sacred lake (thought to be based on the story of Ailill Aulom).  Aine bore the first Earl Fitzgerald to the man, but made Gerald promise never to express surprise at the powers his son might develop.  All went well for many years until one day when Gerald saw his son jump into and out of a bottle.  He could not contain an exclamation of shock and the boy disappeared, flying away in the shape of a wild goose.  Disappointed in Her human mate, Aine disappeared into Knockainy, where She is said to still live in a splendid castle” (Monaghan, p. 37).  ”Thus the FitzGeralds also claim an association with Áine; despite the French-Norman origins of the clan, the FitzGeralds would become known for being ‘More Irish than the Irish themselves.’” [2]

“She is credited for giving meadowseet its delicate scent.   Some also claim that She was a minor moon Goddess, or that Her identity may have later become merged with the Goddess Anu.” [3]  She is also associated with the Morrigan (probably by means of Anu – as Anu is one of the Goddesses that makes up the trinity along with Badb and Macha to form the Morrigan; or perhaps the Lair Derg (‘red mare’) and Macha).  The feast of Midsummer Night was held in her honor. In County Limerick, She is remembered in more recent times as Queen of the fairies.

fairy-fairies-18369084-1024-768

ASSOCIATIONS:
Pantheon: Celtic
Element: Air
Direction: Northwest
Planets: Sun, moon
Festivals: Midsummer/Summer Solstice
Sacred Animals: Red mare, rabbit, swan   [4]
Colors: Red, gold, green, blue, and tan
Representations: Hay, straw, fire
Stones/Incense: Bloodstone, dragonsblood, fairy dust

HERBS, TREES & FUNGI:
Healing : AngelicaBalm,  BlackberryCowslipElderFennelFlaxGarlicGoat’s RueMugwort,NettleOak
Fertility : HawthornMistletoeOak
Prosperity : AlfalfaAshElder
Protection : AgrimonyAngelicaAshBirchBlackberryBladderwrackBroomElderFennel,FlaxHollyLavenderMallowMistletoeMugwortNettleOakParsley            [5]

 

 

 

 

* “To me this is a warning about what the Land will eventually do to us all if we continue on the path of resource rape, and environmental poisoning that our current society follows. Áine will protect Herself.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Cetictale.com, “Áine“.

Gods-heros-myth.com, “The Goddess Aine“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Aine”.

Yourinnergoddess.net, “Aine“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Aine“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Áine {Goddess of the Week}“.

Áine.com

Ancientworlds.net, “Cnoc Áine“.

Faeryhealing.com, “The Faery Healing Goddesses“.

Goddessgift.com, “The Goddess Aine and Her Midsummer Lavender Cookies“. – for the kitchen witches ;)

Jarvis, Lana. Goddessalive.co.uk, “AINE: Goddess of Midsummer, Goddess of the People“.

Journal of a Poet, “Aine, Irish Love Goddess and Faerie Queen“.

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Voices.yahoo.com, “Unveiling the Celtic Goddess, Aine“.

Kynes, Sandra. Kynes.net, “Pilgrimage to Ireland“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Matrifocus.com, “The Stone Heart of Summer“.

Talkwiththegoddess.wordpress.com, “Goddess Card Dec. 5“.

Indigoreadingsblog.blogspot.com, “Today’s Reading – Aine“.

At the height of the Midsummer, the Celtic Moon month of Oak is the perfect time to cast spells that encourage growth of all things.

The longest day of the year and the shortest nightfall is during the Oak Moon.  Known as the Summer Solstice, celebrations revolve around the power of the Sun at its zenith.  Folklore decrees, “He who sleeps on the shortest night shall sleep all year,” meaning that this is a time for action, not rest.

 

Magical Solar Energy

Magic at this time should concentrate on areas of life that fall under sunny auspices, such as health, success, prosperity and blessings.  Cast spells that inject solar energy into your projects by decorating your altar with gold and yellow.  Wear orange to boost your and stamina.

 

A TREE OF HEALING AND PEACE

Artwork by Eugene Damblans

The oak can be used as a haven for restoration.  When your spirit needs rest and comfort it can be soothed beneath the tree’s vast branches, and many sacred rituals were conducted in the shadow of an oak tree in Ancient Britain.  Meditating with your spine resting on the trunk of an oak tree soothes the nervous system and induces feelings of inner peace.

Brave Energy

Oak trees act as a conduit for the energy of endurance, fortitude and strength, offering a magical remedy for fear and despair.  They bring courage and protection from adversity.

Community Tree

The great size and age of the oak made it a symbol of the continuity of the community.  The water that collects in the dips of its branches were thought to be sacred and was used to cleanse and heal the body of negative energy.

 

OAK MOON MAGIC

Growth and fertility spells work best at this time of year.  Focus on building and consolidating your wisdom, endurance and security.

Feel energized by the power of the Sun and oak during this magical time of year.  Harness powerful solar energies for Oak Moon spells to bring cheer and success to your life. 

An Oak Vision Quest

Go on a vision quest during the Oak Moon and spend time in nature to receive messages from the oak tree.  For best results carry out this quest at the time of the Summer Solstice to enhance your insight with the energy of the Sun.  As you’ll need to spend a night outside for this quest, It’s best to do it with a friend.

“Oak Tree Meditation” by Laura Iverson

1. Go to a hilltop where both sunset and sunrise will be clearly visible.

2. Begin the quest at sunset, ending at sunrise.

3. As the Sun falls say a prayer to the great oak tree for guidance.

4. Look out for signs, such as animals that cross your path, or shooting stars.

5. Keep a record of your feelings and thoughts throughout the quest.

6. At sunrise give thanks for what you have received from the natural world.

Oak Moon Activities

As the Sun reaches the height of its power in the month of Oak, so then energy of the natural world – and your own spirits will soar.  Use this abundant feeling of vitality to attune yourself to the season and engage in some of these activities.

  • Dance outside in the Sun – it’s so energizing.
  • Go for a walk every day and enjoy the long, light summer evenings.
  • Keep an acorn form the fall and use it as a charm during the Oak Moon.
  • Have a gold-themed dinner to celebrate the Sun.
  • Bury a letter to the fairies under an oak tree, detailing your summer wishes.
  • Wear an oak leaf in your hair to bring you luck.
  • Kiss an oak tree to increase your attractiveness.

Solar Success Spell

Make a wish during the Oak Moon to imbue it with solar energy.  You’ll need to choose a wishing symbol, such as a coin for wealth.

You Will Need:

  • Gold candle
  • Symbol of your intention
  • Oak leaves

1. Hold the gold candle towards the sky and say, “Power of the Sun enter this candle.  May the flame of success burn brightly.”  Place the candle in a holder next to a spell symbol that represents your wish.

2. Surround the candle with oak leaves and say, “Mighty oak tree, lend me your strength.”

3. Light the candle and make your wish, then let the candle burn down – success will be yours.

A Purification Spell

Fallen Oak Leaf – air dried, pulverized and blessed ready to be used – for sale by Lady of the Moss on etsy.com.

You can burn oak leaves to purify the atmosphere and banish fear and doubt.

You Will Need:

  • Small bottle of wine
  • Basket
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Needle and thread
  • Fireproof bowl
  • Charcoal disk and matches

1. On the night after the full Moon go to an oak tree and pour a libation of wine onto the roots, asking the tree for its help.

2. Gather a basket of leaves and sew them together, then hang up the leaves to dry out for three days.

3. When the leaves have dried, carefully remove the thread and pound the leaves with a pestle and mortar into a kind of incense.  Light the charcoal in the fireproof dish.

4. When it glows red add the dried leaves to create a magical purification smoke.

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  11.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Oak“.

Full Strawberry Moon – June

“Rose Moon” by thamuria

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon.  This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Mead Moon.  During late June and most of July the meadows were mowed for hay.

“June’s moon is also known as Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon and Flower Moon. This moon is the moon of summer, and we can start looking forward to the warm nights to come. This is also the time for lovers. Before the height of summer use this time to strengthen your weaknesses. The zodiac association is Gemini.” [1]

JUNE: Mead Moon (June) Also known as: Moon of Horses, Lovers’s; Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Honey Moon, Aerra Litha (Before Lithia), Brachmanoth (Break Month), Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Moon of Making Fat
Nature Spirits: sylphs, zephyrs
Herbs: skullcap, meadowsweet, vervain, tansy, dog grass, parsley, mosses
Colors: orange, golden-green
Flowers: lavender, orchid, yarrow
Scents: lily of the valley, lavender
Stones: topaz, agate, alexandrite, fluorite
Trees: oak
Animals: monkey, butterfly, frog, toad
Birds: wren, peacock
Deities: Aine of Knockaine, Isis, Neith, Green Man, Cerridwen, Bendis, Ishtar
Power Flow: full but restful energy; protect, strengthen, and prevent. A time of Light; Earth tides are turning. Decision-making, taking responsibility for present happenings. Work on personal inconsistencies. Strengthen and reward yourself for your positive traits. [2]

 

 

 

 

 

* Check out Mooncircles.com every month, or better yet, subscribe to their monthly newsletter to get the scoop on each month’s Full and New Moons, find out more about Moon Astrology  and read blogs.  They even have a different 3-Minute Moon Ritual for each Full Moon!  

 

 

Sources:

The Celtic Lady. The Olde Way, “Individual Moons Explained“.

Farmers’ Almanac, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

Wise Witches Society, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons“.

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Full Strawberry Moon“.

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

Brighid Turns the Wheel

As it has always done, and will continue to do, the Wheel turns. Yule is over, the old year is dead and gone. Though you can’t see it, new life stirs. Of course, it may not feel like it in Upstate New York right now as I look out my window at all the snow coming down. But the days are growing noticeably longer and we know that change is taking place all around us, no matter how small. The Bright One is with us. You can’t help but feel Her presence and Her warmth – Her spark urging and drawing us to awaken from our midwinter slumber.

“Spring” by by Ruth Sanderson

Traditionally, Brighid presides over Imbolc and for good reason. She is the Maiden in which new life rejoices. We invite Brighid into our homes and lives to help us purify and clear out that which no serves us or is needed from the year prior with Her fire and watery aspects. We ask Her to assist us in divination at the crossroads so that we may know which direction or path to take in the hopes that our efforts will yield a successful and bountiful harvest in the year to come. We call upon Her as midwife to help us take the steps we need to take, no matter how small, to transform our hopes and that which we dreamed of during our long winter’s slumber into reality. As She did so delicately with me, She calls us to come forth and to seek healing if we need it; to guide us to those with warm hearts and strong hands to help us emerge from the winter within our souls and face the challenges and lessons that lie ahead.

“Luna Meets Brigid at Imbolc” by Wendy Andrew

Ostara is a very powerful time to take the steps, whether physically, mentally or magically, to attune to the earth’s balancing energies and rebalance what needs balancing in your life. It is time to clean out (if we haven’t already started doing so) to make room for new growth and facilitate creativity. Also take this time to make ready your “tools” (magical and mundane) you’ll need and prepare the “seeds” (spiritual and physical) you plan sew so that they may have enough time to grow and properly come into bloom. I believe it wouldn’t be at all inappropriate to call upon Brighid during this time to lend Her assistance in our efforts as creativity and blacksmithing are both included in Her many fortes.

“Brighid’s Walk” by Helen Nelson-Reed

Beltane is a time to revel in the creative heat of the Bel-fires that act as a catalyst for all kinds of sacred fertility and growth. The fires revitalize and renew us. The Goddess Brighid being a Goddess of forge-fires and the fire of inspiration was no stranger, I’m sure, to the fever-fire of passion. As such, Bel, Lugh or Oghma would make appropriate Consorts for Her if She so chooses. This sacred union between the God and Goddess is sacred to us because fertility is sacred. Without the sacred act of the union, there would be no fertility; there would be no life.

“The Beltane season is a time of fertility, not only for people but for the land as well. In the early spring, many of us who follow earth-based spiritual paths begin planning our gardens for the coming season. The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself. To cultivate something in the black soil, see it sprout and then bloom, is to watch a magical working unfold before our very eyes. The plant cycle is intrinsically tied to so many earth-based belief systems that it should come as no surprise that the magic of the garden is one well worth looking into.” (Wigington, Patti, Magical Gardening Around the World)

Next, the Wheel turns to Litha, or Midsummer. Like Ostara, it has been questioned as to whether or not Midsummer has always been celebrated by our ancient ancestors or whether the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many Neo-Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June. “This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life. Flowers surround us with bright colors and seductive fragrances drawing the bees in to ensure fertility and reproduction of the species; which in turn provides us with sweet honey. All the seeds have been planted and the crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive.” (Wigington, Patti, Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice)

I draw associations here between Brighid’s fiery and watery aspects and the need for balance between the hot, blazing and fiery sun and the need for cool, replenishing and healing water. We also observe the balance between light and the darkness, both in the physical world and within ourselves. Take the time to appreciate and love all the beauty and blessings that have blossomed in your life over the course of the year thus far. There is so much beauty not only in the world and in nature, but also within ourselves. Find it, find your confidence and love. Celebrate it, dance joyously in the sun’s warm and healing rays as this is one of the most cherished duties we have as children of the Goddess.

“Brigid” by Lisa Iris

What does that mean for us? No such great festivals bind us together today as they did thousands of years ago to promote survival. However, we can learn from them that connection is vital for a happy and complete life. Coming together for ritual confirms, builds and strengthens Community. This is also a good time to focus on preparing one’s family and home with some magic around the hearth and home.

“Decide which events, goals or relationships no longer serve your highest and best, make preparations to remove them from your life.” [1] Throw symbols of them into Brighid’s fire. Now is also the time to finish long-standing projects by the fall. It would also be a good time to bless the tools of your trade in order to bring a richer harvest next year. Again, Brighid being a Hearth Goddess and Goddess of blacksmithing would be more than willing to lend Her assistance if asked in both of these tasks.

“Brigid” by Nefaeria

The autumn is the season of death; it is a time of transformation. When things are stripped away from us or we feel the need to clean out that which is no longer needed, giving up old habits and attitudes that no longer fit us, we ask Brighid to help us understand the wisdom of transformation. She helps us when we seem to have nothing left or are in pain of loss. She helps us understand that when something is truly finished and no longer useful to our soul’s purpose, we can find ourselves happy at the change. We are renewed. This is the hope hidden within the apparent darkness of transformation.

“Brigid: Bardic Spirit” by Lindowyn

The veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest, as it was at Beltane. This is a time to remember and honor all who have crossed over and all that has died. We recall with a sharp pang of memory, the loves so full of promise, the ideas that seemed to gleam, the plans that called to us. We move on, eventually past broken hearts and shattered dreams, stronger for the losses we have endured. But to live most fully, we must make time to grieve the pain of these losses, to give time to the sorrows as well as the joys of life. This is a time that we turn to Brighid to light our way through the darkness to receive warmth and healing at Her hearth. We become still and quiet to acquire or gain any wisdom and knowledge that She has to bestow. We watch as she works and hammers away deep in Her forges, shaping and tempering strong tools from crude metal, transformed by fire and water.

“Brigid of the Forge” by Lindowyn

The Wheel turns to Yule. The cold and darkness of winter has been long and hard. The daylight does not seem to diminish or grow as though at a standstill. We seem to be holding our breath, waiting for change. The soul holds still like this, just before great change occurs. It is a silence so profound that it seems as though time has stopped. In this magical moment, we have the chance to set in motion great changes, great happenings. This is the moment when the seeds of new life, new growth, must be planted.

“Promise of Imbolc” by Adrian Welch

The Winter Solstice, or Yule, was an incredibly sacred time to our ancestors. They recognized and celebrated the “rebirth” of the sun, for they knew that they had made it and the sun was returning. They knew that the worst was over. “Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun. The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die” thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.” (Akasha, The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore)

How we yearn for the light in the dark times of winter. Even knowing how important rest is to ourselves and to our planet, how happily we greet the dawn and the spring! Brighid’s flame shines like the flame of a new light and it pierces the darkness and shines into our spirits. Even to this day, we celebrate, laugh and tell stories and seek out companionship during the darkness of winter. Mythically, our role in the cosmic drama is important, for without laughter the sun will not return. So in this dark time, let us all laugh as loudly and as long as possible. For as the ancients knew, the worst is over and we will survive…just to do it all again next year!

“Maiden Goddess” by Wendy Andrew

Brighid Bright 

by Autumn Sky

Brighid my Mother
nurture me
so that I may nurture and nourish
Brighid my Maiden
make me fertile, sensuous, feminine
so that I may know the power of my female form
Brighid my Crone
make me quiet
so that I may know the patience
to grow wise with time
Brighid my Blacksmith
forge me strong and true
so that I may stand tall and solid
Brighid my Poet
give me eloquence and a moon-graced tongue
so that my words may find their way
to open eyes, hearts, and minds
Brighid my Healer
wash me clean in health
so that I may touch and heal
myself, my land, my people
Brighid my Warrior
imbue me with courage and dignity
so that I may fight an honest fight
for respect, equality, and freedom
for all minds, hearts, souls, and bodies

Brighid my multifaceted star
no matter how cloudy the night sky
a spot of clarity
all sides combine
one bright one shines
to give me what I need
one woman, one heart, one soul, one mind
but with her on my side
I am so much more
every step a new door
to who I can be
because she makes it so
I can be free to be
who deep down I know
is the woman i have always been


Goddess Kupala

“Kupala’s themes are joy, health and cleansing. Her symbols are water, flowers, ferns and birch-wood.  The Slavic Goddess of springs and water, Kupala, whose name literally means ‘to bathe’, washes us with happiness and longevity. Oddly enough, She has a fire aspect too, which likely alludes to purification, protection and transformation. Wildflowers, birch trees and ferns were sacred to Her.

To bring a year filled with joy, contentment and health, leave a natural cloth outside today to gather dew. Use it tomorrow to bath in Kupala’s magic!

Take some flower petals to any moving water source (even a hose) and toss them on the stream. As you do, make a wish for something that will make you really happy. Let Kupala, in the form of the water, carry your wish toward manifestation.

To rid yourself of sickness, negativity or a bad habit before the year really gets rolling, find a safe fire source (such as a candle that’s self-contained in glass). Put this on the floor and jump over it. As you do, say something like:
‘Old burns away
only the good, the good shall stay
Old to new, old to new
Kupala, my heart renew.’

This symbolically leaves the old behind and invokes Kupala’s aid in your efforts for positive change.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

This Slavic Goddess of the summer solstice, also known as Sobótka, took her name from a word that means “to bathe”, for her worshippers bathed in rivers and in dew gathered on June mornings.  Water healed as well as purifying; to gain relief from illness, one tossed bread into a stream while praying for health.  The name is also given to the squatting Goddess found on Slavic embroideries.

In Russia and the Ukraine, Kupala was honored in a summer ritual in which young men and women leaped over a bonfire, dragging a straw maiden.  The next day, everyone bathed the figure, which was released to drift downstream, removing evil from the village.  Such images were also constructed in Serbia and other Slavic countries.  Dressed in a fine gown and decked with floral garlands, the Kupala image was hung from a tree in which all but the upper branches were trimmed, so that the tree formed a green-haired woman.  Only women performed these rituals.  Men could not touch the tree or the hanging figure.

Kupala ruled herbs.  Purple loosestrife was her favorite; its roots had the power to banish demons if gathered at dawn of summer solstice.  The flowering fern granted its possessor the power to understand the language of trees, which, on the night before solstice, wandered rootless through the world.

This divinity has been described as a god named Ivan Kupalo, a derivation that appears to come from association of the Goddess’s feast with that of St. John (Ivan) the Baptist on June 24.  (Patricia Monaghan, “Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines”)

For more information on Slavonic Neo-Paganism, Kapala, and some great photos of Kupala Day celebrations, click here.

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