Astrology and Tarot, Holidays

How to celebrate Lammas and the Sturgeon Moon

The themes of the Sabbat and the full moon are really speaking to me this year. This weekend marks the beginning of the harvest season, and my garden is just about ready to burst forth with all sorts of veggies. I haven’t picked anything but herbs and lettuce yet, and now it’s time! My first tomato is turning red. My peppers re just big enough to pick. My turnips grew so fast, dewy purple bulbs are pushing up from the soil. The first green beans are as pretty plump. I’m planning a Sabbat dinner with some of these home grown goodies. For some top notch vegan recipes, sign up for the Arrow tarot newsletter here! I include seasonal recipes that I’m really digging.

Lammas and Lughnassadh Sabbat- August 1st

Lughnassadh is an ancient Gaelic festival to celebrate the beginning of harvest season. It falls on August 1st, and its a time to feast to break bread,and to grateful for the abundance of the earth. Some Pagan and Wiccan traditions celebrate Lammas, a very similar adaptation of the festival that falls on the same day. Sabbats fall at the half way point between solstices. It’s the height of summer, the heart of the season. celebrations honor the Son God, during his most sacred month. August is considered an auspicious month for handfasting and weddings.

The harvest is depicted as the Grain Mother.Like the vegetables in the garden that are ripe with seeds and abundance, the fullness of the mother holds at her very heart, the seed of all future harvests. The mother is pregnant not only with her daughter within her, but also her daughter’s ovaries, which contain all of the seed for all future generations. As the harvest is gathered, there is food to keep the community alive through winter.

The Full Sturgeon Moon – August 3rd

The names of moons were created by different Native American tribes, and are deeply tied to nature and the cycles of the year. The full moon in August (this Monday, the 3rd) is called the Sturgeon Moon because it was the time of year that it was easiest to catch these big, fresh water dwelling fish. They were abundant, a key resource for survival in the summer. Now, Sturgeons are extremely rare to find due to over fishing and habitat pollution. Some tribes call the August moon the green corn moon, the fruit moon, or the barley moon.

Ways to Celebrate

This weekend and into Monday, you can celebrate the spirit of the season in many different ways. You can find or make yourself a corn dolly, or a grain mother doll. They are made out of stalks of wheat, oats, barley, corn husks, whatever is available. Here’s a video on how to mak corn dollies. The doll is usually kept until Imbolc festivities. Made during Lammas, the corn dolly are believed to hold the spirit of the corn, and were burned or buried at Imbolc, to symbolize the retern of the corn spirit to the earth, thus ensuring fertility for the year ahead.

You can decorate with colorful Indian corn, wheat, red and orange flowers, like sunflowers and marigolds. This is a good time to set protective spells around your home. Create and bury near the entry way to your home: a witch’s bottle full of broken, sharp, pointy things, and a bit of urine (I know crazy – but a powerful protection spell!).

Have yourself a nice dinner on the night of Lammas or the full moon. It is traditional to have cornbread and seasonal vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers. You can make a dessert out of blackberries which are growing ripe and wild this time of year. Or perhapes have some blackberry wine, mead or beer.

This is a traitionl song that would be chanted at Sabbat dinner:

The Earth Mother grants the grain;

The horned God goes to His domain.

By giving life into Her grain;

the God dies, then is born again.

For this month, I invite you to work with Red Jasper, which resonated with the root chakrah. Red Jasper has been used for protection for thousands of years. It is believed to create and help balance aggressive, dynamic energy. A good yoga pose to embody these elements of the season is warrior three (Virabhadrasana III). One leg is extended back, long while the other roots down straight in support. Here’s a video of how to strike this pose. It stretches, the chest, shoulder, neck, belly and groin, complementing your work with red jasper. It clears energy from the crown to the tail. While holding the pose, I invite you try on the affirmation, “My strength is my foundation; my mind is limitless.”

I hope that you are growing full with the season and enjoying the warmth and bounty of the year. I know it hasn’t been an easy one for many of us. If you want to explore your own abundance, and capture the power of your spiritual harvest, I am here to create space and provide insight with tarot and coaching.

Astrology and Tarot

Connection to the Midsummer Buck Moon

What a powerful time of year. You’ve fully defrosted from the Winter now, and perhaps your flaunting some sun kissed skin. Spring gave you abundance, fresh foods, and a time of new growth. You’ve grown in some ways, and you have a better sense of how this year is going to go.

It’s time to revisit your goals and update your intentions. Like a young buck stepping out into the field, your antlers have grown from stubs to almost full grown. But, they’re still fuzzy, soft and easily damaged. During this time of the year, bucks form bachelor groups for the summer, much like our quarantine social bubbles.

Bathe in the energy of the new moon on June 21st

The Buck Moon represents your abilities, and your comprehension of how those advantages can help you navigate the world. It’s a time of fine tuning sills and taking a chance with your talents. If you’ve never shared your art or your dream with anyone before, it’s time to put it out there! For this reason, I’m going to work with this affirmation for this moon cycle:

I face challenges with grace; my courage rises up with ease.

The crystal of the month, to put a little zing in my affirmation meditations, is… Amazonite! Amazonite is good during times of stress, it can help you chill out. It helps you hear the truth, even if it hurts. Its a powerful throat chakra stone, and can help you move beyond fear of confrontation or judgment so you can express yourself fully.

I’ve been trying to examine myself is some tough ways lately. I’m learning about anti-racism, which requires some serious introspection. I’m balancing that with a new gratitude practice to help me find more happiness on the daily.

My jam for this moon in my yoga practice is chair pose (Utkatasana)! This pose is so much harder than it looks, right? It lights a fire in the thighs and the shoulders, and it requires you to keep reaching up, no matter what. Striking this pose takes some courage, too because you need to stick your but out there and feel the shake.

I invite you to adopt these practices and make them your own. How will you rock this new moon?What is opening to you?

Astrology and Tarot

The Strawberry Moon

Nothing connects me to my childhood quite like strawberry season. I loved strawberry everything – strawberry ice cream, strawberry milk, strawberry shortcake. I remember those frozen strawberry shortcake ice cream bars they sold at the convenience store at the top of my block, which combined all of my favorite things on a stick. But fresh strawberries were the best, and when Grandma took me strawberry picking, I would get caught putting more in my mouth than in my basket.

Friday, May 22nd, we welcome a new moon in Gemini, called the Strawberry Moon. It will be full on June 5th. This month is also known as the Rose Moon, the Hot Moon and the Mead Moon. The new moon in Gemini is a good time to commit to personal goals that express positive energy. It’s a time to explore relationships by taking on new roles, communicating openly, and being brave enough to be vulnerable with your partner. This leads to a sweeter outlook on life, like looking through rose colored glasses.

The strawberry is a symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love because of it’s heart shape and red color. It’s a member of the rose family, and it is unique because the seeds grow on the outside rather than the inside. The ancient Romans used strawberries to alleviate melancholy, fainting, inflammation, fevers, sore throats, kidney stones, gout and diseases of the blood. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, high in vitamin C and potassium.

Strawberry Quartz

For the strawberry moon, it was clear the that crystal of the month should be strawberry quartz. This crystal strengthens and balances the connection between the physical body and the aura with a gentle vibration. It brings blockages and hidden intentions to the surface to help you overcome problematic situations. It’s a great crystal for your meditation practice because it can stabilize unbalanced energy and bring guidance to your heart. Strawberry quartz is used for uncovering past lives, and for astral travel because it it expands consciousness and grants wisdom.

I am fruitful

I invite you to adopt this new moon affirmation, “I am made for more. I am fruitful. I am special.” Breathe it into your day. You can write it on a few sticky notes and place them where they will remind you. The new moon is the ideal time to start fresh and set an intention for this new phase.

If you have a regular yoga practice, you might start your session with a few minutes in staff pose (dandasana). Here’s a good video about how to do staff pose from my girl, Yoga with Adriene on youtube. This one is super simple, you can also use it for meditation.

Just sit on the floor with you legs straight out in front of you and your hands on the floor by your hips. Lift your chin up just slightly, and sit up straight so that your chest opens. Close your eyes and repeat the affirmation, “I am made for more. I am fruitful. I am special.” It’s so important to say it out loud so the universe can hear you!

Holidays

A Beltane Spell

Happy Beltane to you, blessed be!

Beltane is a springtime festival, traditionally celebrated with fire. The word Beltane originates from the Celtic God “Bel” meaning “the bright one,” the Sun God Belenus. Beltane is the half way point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It honors life and birth.

Historically observed throughout Ireland and Scotland, it marks the time of year when cattle were driven out to pastures. Rituals were performed to protect the cattle and the crops for the summer. Special bonfires were lit, and it was believed that the smoke had healing powers. People would jump through the flames for protection, and they would even drive their cattle through the bonfires.

Hearths in each home would be put it out, and then re-lit, with the communal Beltane fire. People would decorate their floors and windows with May flowers. The would decorate branches with ribbons, feathers, and shells, and bring them inside for display. Dinner would be a feast, with lots of mead and cakes. Offerings are left out on the doorstep to appease the fairies. It also became customary to decorate a may bush in the community, burn it at the end of the festival, and dance around it.

The morning after the feast and the fires, it as believed that the first water drawn from the wells had special protective powers. Maidens would roll in the morning dew and rub the dew on their faces for beauty and youth. People would collect the ashes from the sacred fires, and bless themselves by dabbing their faces with the ashes. They would sprinkle the ashes on their cattle and livestock.

3 Ways to celebrate Beltane today

  1. Start your garden! The best way to honor Beltane is by making things grow, whether its a planter on your window, a vegetable garden, or some beautiful landscaping.

2. Make an altar. Pick a small space in your home, and set down a cloth. Decorate your altar with flowers (even dandelions), a candle, and symbols of fertility such as seeds, horns, or blossoms. You can add a mother goddess symbol, or draw a sigil on a piece of paper. Check out my Pinterest board on sigil magic here.

3. Have a fire. If you have a fire pit outside, have a fire under the night sky. You can even just bring a candle outside. Sit by the flame/s and mediate on mother earth and the coming of summer. Put your toes in the grass. What are you going to grow in this season? What are you going to prune out of your garden to make room for your expansion?

Let me know how you are celebrating Beltane. Until then, merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!

Astrology and Tarot

The Flower Moon

May the Full Flower Moon shine blessings upon you. This moon is also known as the Milk Moon because it arrives at a time where spring babies are nursing from their mothers. This is the time for fertility, rebirth, creation and abundance.

I chose to call upon The High Priestess archetype this month. The High Priestess is the spiritual feminine, she is the inner knowing. The crescent moon lays at her feet; she asks those who follow her to trust in the lunar cycles. The columns of Boaz and Jachin represent the gateway to inner wisdom of the Temple of Solomon, the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem. They also represent ying and yang: assertive and receptive energies.

The High Priestess is linked to the mysterious universal truths; she is the mistress of unconscious knowledge. Pay attention to the wisdom of your dreams. You know what you are, and you know what you want. Be open to manifesting some good opportunities to get there. What if everything that is happening to you is the universe trying to give you what you asked for?

Carry a piece of citrine with you this full moon to harness the power of your free will and manifest what you want. Citrine is a stone of abundance, attracting prosperity, success and money. You can hold citrine in your hand while you mediate on this moon’s affirmation, “I am constantly in bloom. I am refreshed, rejuvenated, and reborn.” You can also write this affirmation on a slip of paper, read it every day and burn it on the next new moon to release your spell. This is also the perfect time to start a moon journal. In a moon journal, you make an entry for each phase of the moon. I suggest starting with the new moon and the full moon, that’s just two entries per month. You can make up to eight entries per month for all of the moon phases. Follow Arrow Tarot on Pinterest for more moon musings!

If you’re looking for a yoga pose for your mediation and moon work, try flowering lotus pose. I have not mastered this pose quite yet, but I find it fun to try! If you’re a little too tight like me, work on some hip openers before adding this to your practice.

The full moon is a great time book a tarot reading that reflects on the past and gives perspective on the future. Readings can be done over the phone and online. Contact me to talk more about how remote tarot readings work: Jamie@arrowtarowreadings.com. Wishing you peace and love in this Beltane season.