Welcome to Lammas. For us in Scotland, the damp weather should just about be done and our sunnier weather can get under way, July being our wettest Month of the year…!! Think that is why we celebrate Lammas so heartily!
Lammas is the celebration of first harvest, as the picking of berries and harvesting of wheat should be under way. It is also the start of autumn and, in Aberdour, our old horse-chestnut is the first to signal the change and it has already begun to turn brown! In Scotland, there are Lammas fairs all over the country. The weather will usually be warm and mainly dry. The Lammas fairs were always a time of gatherings, when young people could make new friends or even meet a prospective partner. They would hold hands through a local holey stone and begin their courtship for a year and a day (till the next year’s fair) …how romantic! Nature begins to die back now, so time to weed the garden and then sit back with friends and family to have a BBQ and a glass of something to celebrate the harvests to come; of wheat (bread), Barley (beer) and grapes (wine) and fruit (pickle) or pop a strawberry in your champagne…sometimes living a magickal life is all about appreciating the simple pleasures in life!
A Lammas Tarot spell at dusk…
Lammas is a time to be grateful for the good things in life, but sometimes we are weighed down with problems and cannot see the wheat for the chaff. At sunset on Lammas Eve (31st), take a small yellow candle, yellow or gold fairy dust and the 10 cups tarot card outside (make use of that old set) and sit at the garden table or altar. As the sun begins to go down, turn the card face down and light the candle next to it. Think about the family issues that are weighing you down and troubling you, and visualise them building up in your heavy heart, then flowing down your arms into your hands! Once in the palm of your hands, sprinkle fairy dust on them, hold up to the sunset and blow your troubles on the dust to the sunset. Then whisper to the Sun…
Mighty fire of blazing Sun, take away my troubles as the day is done
As you watch the sunset, know your troubles are being burned by the Sun. Then flip over the 10 Cups. This is your wish card and symbolises a happy settled family life. Let the candle burn out and place the tarot card on your altar or mantle-piece until your troubles have worked themselves out. Happy days…
The importance of Friendship
Us humans need friends. Friends are the family your choose to have around you, people who are there to support you in times of trouble, to act as a sounding board when you need to offload, and to help you celebrate when times are good. They share our secrets, our fears and worries and support us in times of loss. You may be lucky enough to have a large circle of like-minded, trustworthy friends who you can call on at any time to help you out (and, no, I do not mean likes or friends on Facebook!). True friends are people to be treasured and enjoyed like a fine wine… good friendships grow better as the years go by. Even if you haven’t seen each other in a while, it will be like it was yesterday when you meet or call on them for help or guidance, and true friends also tell it like it is.
Sometimes, however, life gets in the way, and friendships change. Maybe you have had to move towns for work and leave your friends behind, had a family and your friends were work-based, or maybe you have divorced and your circle of friends get split or you realise that a friendship is actually one-sided and you can’t deal with the negativity that friendship brings any longer. Life changes and moves forward and sometimes you just feel a little lonely and need to enhance your social life and make a new friend. Lammas is about celebrating and being thankful for the good things in life, so is a good time to add a little magick to improve your social circle.
Lammas Friendship Talisman
Before Lammas eve (31st July), gather together 3 similar sized crystals of moonstone, jade and rose quartz, a small green pouch or scrap of material, a large ivy leaf (check out walls etc) some patchouli oil and a piece pink ribbon.
On Lammas eve or Lammas, light your bonfire or bbq (still fire/heat) as part of your Lammas celebrations, or simply a candle or tealight. Cleanse your crstals in water, ready to be used.
Sit with the firer and some incense, (any will be fine as you need frankincense in it) and think about what your life needs, whether to seek more friends, deepen friendships that already exist or strengthen the bond between you and those you have left behind in another location. As you think of your need, place the crystals in the bag or centre of the material, and draw together, then tie it with the pink ribbon, three times, making 3 knots. Sprinkle the bundle with 3 drops patchouli, then bury in a safe place, such as in a potted plant or outside planter and look forward to a livelier social life. This spell can also be performed in the spring or on any waxing moon, as no-one should feel alone or lonely in this world. To quote the Beatles: ‘We get by with a little help from our friends”
Malachite…the copper crystal
The copper of malachite makes the stone a highly energetic stone of transformation. Over the years, I’ve found the stone only sells when we are undergoing times of change beyond our control; the millennium of 1999, the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, and now since Indy ref and Brexit, when everything around us is being changed by others and there is nothing we can do except deal with the consequences and cope as best we can!
An opaque stone of deep, vibrant green, with lighter green circles within, the energy of malachite can help you break restrictive ties and outworn patterns, allowing you to move forward & grow. You are responsible for your own thoughts and actions, and malachite encourages you to have a go, make changes, and express your feelings, no longer taking emotional blackmail but assist you to choose healthy friendships and relationships, based on love and respect, and help you find peace and calm in a stormy world. Let malachite lend you the strength to be who you want to be in this world and forge your life forward, whatever happens over the next few years!!
Juniper Berry…much needed oil of purification
Again, much needed at the moment is Juniper Berry oil, which also gives gin its flavour! As well as purifying the home, I use it to purify the body. 8 drops to a bath after a bad day, soak for 20 minutes and let your troubles leave with the bathwater. Inhaling from a tissue regularly will guard you from negativity in the office too. As a wee treat, come & let us literally “sweep” your negativity away whilst you shop…you will leave feeling much lighter!
Water and its benefits
Scotland is a wet country but the benefit is it is very green with fabulous waterfalls. We can see the benefit of water compared to drier countries, much as we hate it, and we never have a shortage of water. But what about us? We also need water to survive. We can survive several weeks without food but can only live 3-4 days without water so us humans must drink water every day to survive, as we are made up of at least 75% water. Each day, we must replace over 2 litres fluid through what we take in (food has water too). The reason we need so much water is to keep our joints cushioned and lubricated, to nourish and protect the brain, to remove waste from the body and to keep our body temperature as the level for ultimate health. I never gave this a thought as to why we have to do it, but as someone who supports our blood-type genetic way of life, humans developed from single-cell organisms in the oceans that crawled onto the land and evolved into life we know it today, all those millions of years ago.
Dehydration is a big issue these days and the source of many a health problem. If I personally don’t drink the minimum I need, I get a headache, but there are many other effects on the body as it goes into panic to try and make you drink water, the true elixir of our life. You can obviously get water from herbal teas, which the body uses as medicine. However, the normal things like tea, coffee, fruit juices and beer also contain water and these too can help hydrate the body, but the body has to process it first, just as it does with food, whereas water and herbal teas can be used instantly by the body. If it is hot or you are exercising, you will need to drink even more than the 2 litres water as there will be more fluid loss through the skin than usual.
Now the reason I am mentioning this is because I presumed I drank plenty of water & herbal teas, as well as other fluids such as coffee (and wine), and as mentioned before, my body gives me clues when I haven’t drunk enough, especially through the night when I wake constantly for water. However, my latest holiday to the Algarve saw temperatures of over 35c and we were so hot and thirsty, we both drank well over 2 litres a day water, plus other drinks like fresh orange juice, white wine and sangria, out of sheer need. It was on day 5 that I suddenly realised that there had been a change! My aches and joint pain had gone. I had been having to ‘crank’ myself up in the morning, but I leapt out of bed without thinking. Maybe it was the sun also helping too, so on my return to our damp country, I kept the water intake up and it has proved otherwise, plus I am losing body fat to boot…bonus!!
Upping your water intake leads to feeling more energised, less aches and pains and better fitting clothes…now that’s what I call true natural magick, thanks to that free stuff that falls endlessly down from the sky!!
Cork from an oak…who knew??
As mentioned earlier, my trip to the Algarve was a trip of discovery. One of my discoveries, and they do say that every day is a school day, was a surprising fact about cork. I did not know that Portugal was the biggest supplier in the world of cork, where it grows on the local oak tree…who knew! They can harvest the cork every 9 years, where they remove the complete bark from the trunk and the cork is the bark. They mark the number of the year on the trunk, and then it cannot be harvested again for at least another 9 years or it will kill the tree. This harvest leaves behind the spookiest plantations you have ever seen, as the bark on the branches is untouched. Unfortunately, the new world wines are allowed plastic corks and metal caps and so, their importance in the world as leading cork producer has now diminished, and with it, the production, and their community’s livelihoods as a country. I found this all fascinating and discovered a new respect for cork and its place in the world of magick… watch this space!
Full Moon: Mon 7 Aug @ 19.21 hrs New Moon: Mon 21 Aug @ 19.26 hrs
Full Moon: Wed 6 Sep @ 08.03 hrs New Moon: Wed 20 Sep @ 06.30 hrs
WARNING: Mercury is retrograde from 12th August to 5th September… if any arrangements are being made, or contracts being signed, make sure all is sorted before 12th, or leave it till after 5 Sept… communication issues never run smoothly at this time, transportation, correspondence or otherwise…stay safe & work with the Universe
Bright blessings from Chris (alias The Green Witch)