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

Eight of Swords

Helplessness · Apathy · Inhibitions

In the Eight of Swords, a woman is tied up, blindfolded, and trapped in a prison of swords. She’s exposed the raw elements, and the comforts of home are far off in the distance. Water is puddling around her feet, representing the wallowing in her own emotions. The sky is cloudy and gray, like her present state of mind.

But if we take a closer look, it is clear that there is no sword behind her, and her ties are not bound tight. She could easily escape by changing her perspective and pulling the blindfold off of this gloomy situation.

This card represents self imposed boundaries that keep us down when we have the power to free ourselves all along. When this card comes up in a reading, the person is usually feeling like a victim, and often for very valid reasons. Bad things happen that are out of our control. It takes a deep emotional response, filled with nasty introspection and vulnerability, to pull yourself out of victim mentality and take back your power. But you can do it! You are selling yourself short.

You are able to create your own opportunities and attract good fortune with your energy. Don’t be like the Eight of Swords and trap yourself in with unhealthy boundaries and an unfailing sense of impostor syndrome. Tell that nagging voice inside your head, the one that tells you can’t do it, or you’re not good enough, or not smart enough – to shut the heck up! I find it helpful to name your inner shame voice and address it directly. I call mine Frannie because “f*** off Frannie rolls right off the tongue.

Be careful making big decisions if you draw the Eight of Swords. It can mean that your way of thinking is limited because there is a perspective that you have not yet uncovered.

The number eight is a powerful symbol of infinity. It’s related to the constant flow of energy and power. It’s shadow side is overindulging in vices. If you draw this card in reverse, give your self a drama queen check and also watch those bad habits. Are you being a little extra lately? You know your vices! Don’t let them get the best of you.

The Eight Fold Path

Eight is a significant number in the Buddhist religion. Devotees of Buddha follow him in his practice of the Eight Fold Path. These are the dimensions of life that Buddha mastered in order to reach enlightenment.

I associate all of the Eights in the tarot deck with these teachings. The best way to shake that victim hood mentality is to get right in your own inner self and find your flow.

Have you every felt like everything was just clicking right into place? Things were coming together in your life in ways that could not just be coincidence? That is because you were in a state of flow. There are all different ways to raise your vibration, improve your happiness and your energy. Buddha is the master and there is much to be learned from his teachings.

Guided Meditation

Use this ten minute guided meditation to journey into the scene of the Eight of Swords and untangle yourself from your own self limiting thoughts and patterns. Bring a blindfold with you for this practice!

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.

Astrology and Tarot

The Pink Moon

Infographic: A tarot card, affirmation, crystal and yoga pose in honor of the full pink moon

The Pink Moon is full this Tuesday at 10:35pm! Full moons are a time for reflection and gratitude for all that you have experienced this moon cycle. This full moon is also called the pink moon, after a wildflower that blooms during this time of year. No, the moon won’t actually turn pink, it will look like the usual moon that we know and love. Although, it will be a supermoon, and the first full moon of Spring.

Work with the energy of the full moon by finding the lessons and positive moments that you’ve had since March 24th when the moon was new. You’re about to enter a stage of rebirth and renewal, shedding your winter coat. What is no longer serving you that you have the power to let go? Find beauty in nature, and you will find beauty within yourself.

Rose quartz crystals are good aides for your pink moon energy work. Rose quartz emits soft feminine energy, love, peace, and tenderness. It can be worn as jewelry, carried in your pocket (or in your bra). I like to hold a sizable piece of polished rose quartz in my palm while mediating. I often hold rose quartz when giving readings to pass on an intention of love and care to my clients.

The yoga pose that I recommend trying out this month is Reclined Goddess, Supta Baddha Konasana; check out that link for a how to video! You lay on your back, and you can use blankets or bolsters to make this a heart opening exercise. The feet come together and the knees go out to the side like a butterfly, opening the hips. This pose uses gravity to achieve a deep stretch. Try it at the end of your next yoga session for a cool down and be open to receiving the energy of the full Pink Moon.

The Tarot card I chose for the full Pink Moon is the Magician! The Magician is an alchemist. He can bring dreams and ideas into reality. He has all of the tools of the tarot suits at his disposal. He can do anything he sets his mind to, but he is a tricky fellow. He is resourceful, creative and artistic. In the spirit of the full Pink Moon, call upon The Magician for mastery of a skill, for resourcefulness in a tight situation, and for the opportunity to connect with nature.

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 Ostara season.