Lammas: Now the Dying Must Begin

August 1-2 marks the mid-point between summer and fall. Known as Lammas, or Lughnasadh (LOO-nesah), it’s one of the 8 ‘Cross Quarter Days of the year. I am quoted in this article. 

Lughnasadh wicca pagan Tara Greene

Lammas or Lughnasadh can be also celebrated on AUGUST 2nd. I am quoted in this article.
Technically the SUN is at the 15th degree of LEO on AUG 8th for those who like to be actually aligned with the passage of the SUN.

August 1 is known as LAMMAS in the wiccan/pagan calendar of the 8 rounds of the wheel of the year

Lammas is a Christianized version meaning “loaf Mass.”

Lughnasadh is its other name. We are half way to the AUTUMN Equinox now.

This feastival honors the Grain gods. It’s a very very ancient festival. From the races before the Celts.

At this time of year, The Bees are Buzzing, or should be. Where have all the bees gone? Monsanto?

It is traditionally celebrated as the wake of the Sun KING, who is dying now in the waning of his own Light. The Goddess cuts down the sun king. We are in the Feminine half of the year since Summer solstice.

British witches celebrate it on August 6 this is a cross quarter station in the round of the year.  It occurs in relationship to Leo the Lion, the Royal watcher related to Archangel Raphael and the heart chakra and the deep emerald-green colour.

It was a time for communal festivities, crafts, jams, plays, dances, what we think of as a Renaissance fair.

A highlight of these festivals was a wheel set afire and rolled down a hill called  “Catherine wheels. ” Based on a mythological figure, her worshippers were the CATHARS or Cathari= heretics who were routed out by the Catholic Church. The word catharsis comes from the same Latin root.

BONFIRES are always part of this festival perhaps to give the Sun more light.

Celebrations include making cookie people figures and star cookies are baked in celebration.  It is time of anxious waiting, we are not yet assured of a harvest which will keep the people alive. It is a time to free oneself from FEAR.  A snake dance is created going counter clock wise, bread figures are thrown into the bonfire to symbolize the burning up of one’s fears. Then one says what one hopes to harvest.

Symbols of STARS are held up. The High Priestess would say,

“MAY THE STAR OF HOPE BE WITHIN US ALWAYS.”

The conveners would eat the star cookies and celebrate.

Like the Tarot image of THE STAR-#17 THOTH deck

The STar Thoth Tara Greenealways a message of Hope- when you wish upon a star.

Think about how your seeded ideas and goals have manifested since Spring EQUINOX. Measure what has grown high, what has blossomed, what hasn’t. Take stock of your life on all levels, as a measure. You are now in the home stretch of greatest growth. Use the time wisely.

Enjoy your Lammas celebrations.  I will be having a small ceremony with my family. We send blessings to you and yours.

Source: Lammas: Now the Dying Must Begin

please share widely all writing is copyright of Tara Greene

get a reading with me http://www.taratarot.com

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Comet LOVEJOY, don’t you love it?

COMET ISON LovejoyCOMET LOVEJOY On November 7 2013 

While anxiously waiting for COMET ISON to brighten further as it falls toward the Sun, northern skygazers can also find three other bright comets in the east before dawn.  Comet Lovejoy C/2013 R1 is now the morning sky’s brightest. Only discovered in September and not a sungrazing comet, COMET LOVEJOY is nearing the edge of naked-eye visibility and might be spotted from very dark sky sites. Sporting a greenish colored coma and tail in this telescopic view taken on November 7, COMET LOVEJOY  is  about 0.5 AU from our fair planet and 1.2 AU from the Sun. The comet is having a photogenic Messier moment, sweeping past well-known STAR CLUSTER M44, the Beehive in Cancer. Yellowish bright star Delta Cancri is near the bottom of the frame.

COMETS have always been met by fear in the past as harbinger’s or signs of trouble. Giant bright balls of light with tails thousands of miles long appear mysteriously in the night sky for days or weeks then disappear. Our ancesters might have thought they were heavenly messengers sent to watch us down below..

FROM NASA’s page on comets in ancient times below

Comets have inspired dread, fear, and awe in many different cultures and societies around the world and throughout time. They have been branded with such titles as “the Harbinger of Doom” and “the Menace of the Universe.”

They have been regarded both as omens of disaster and messengers of the gods. Why is it that comets are some of the most feared and venerated objects in the night sky? Why did so many cultures cringe at the sight of a comet?

When people living in ancient cultures looked up, comets were the most remarkable objects in the night sky. Comets were unlike any other object in the night sky. Whereas most celestial bodies travel across the skies at regular, predictable intervals, so regular that constellations could be mapped and predicted, comets’ movements have always seemed very erratic and unpredictable. This led people in many cultures to believe that the gods dictated their motions and were sending them as a message.

What were the gods trying to say? Some cultures read the message by the images that they saw upon looking at the comet. For example, to some cultures the tail of the comet gave it the appearance of the head of a woman, with long flowing hair behind her. This sorrowful symbol of mourning was understood to mean the gods that had sent the comet to earth were displeased.

Woodcarving of ancient comet sighting Image Right: Woodcut showing destructive influence of a fourth century comet from Stanilaus Lubienietski’s Theatrum Cometicum (Amsterdam, 1668). Click on image for larger view. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Others thought that the elongated comet looked like a fiery sword blazing across the night sky, a traditional sign of war and death. Such a message from the gods could only mean that their wrath would soon be unleashed onto the people of the land. Such ideas struck fear into those who saw comets dart across the sky. The likeness of the comet, though, was not the only thing that inspired fear.

Ancient cultural legends also played a hand in inspiring a terrible dread of these celestial nomads. The Roman prophecies, the “Sibylline Oracles,” spoke of a “great conflagration from the sky, falling to earth,” while the most ancient known mythology, the Babylonian “Epic of Gilgamesh,” described fire, brimstone, and flood with the arrival of a comet.

German broadside of comets circa 1600s Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman, a Jew living in Spain, wrote of God taking two stars from Khima and throwing them at the earth in order to begin the great flood. Yakut legend in ancient Mongolia called comets “the daughter of the devil,” and warned of destruction, storm and frost, whenever she approaches the earth. Stories associating comets with such terrible imagery are at the base of so many cultures on Earth, and fuel a dread that followed comet sightings throughout history.

Image Left: The illustration shows a view of Augsburg, Germany with the comets of 1680, 1682, and 1683 in the sky. Click on image for larger view. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Comets’ influence on cultures is not limited simply to tales of myth and legend, though. Comets throughout history have been blamed for some of history’s darkest times. In Switzerland, Halley’s Comet was blamed for earthquakes, illnesses, red rain, and even the births of two-headed animals.

The Romans recorded that a fiery comet marked the assassination of Julius Caesar, and another was blamed for the extreme bloodshed during the battle between Pompey and Caesar. In England, Halley’s Comet was blamed for bringing the Black Death. The Incas, in South America, even record a comet having foreshadowed Francisco Pizarro’s arrival just days before he brutally conquered them.

Comets and disaster became so intertwined that Pope Calixtus III even excommunicated Halley’s Comet as an instrument of the devil, and a meteorite, from a comet, became enshrined as one of the most venerated objects in all of Islam. Were it not for a Chinese affinity for meticulous record keeping, a true understanding of comets may never have been reached.

Ancient comet illustrations on silk Unlike their Western counterparts, Chinese astronomers kept extensive records on the appearances, paths, and disappearances of hundreds of comets. Extensive comet atlases have been found dating back to the Han Dynasty, which describe comets as “long-tailed pheasant stars” or “broom stars” and associate the different cometary forms with different disasters.

Image Right: The Mawangdui silk, a ‘textbook’ of cometary forms and the various disasters associated with them, was compiled sometime around 300 B.C. Click on image for larger view. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Although the Chinese also regarded comets as “vile stars,” their extensive records allowed later astronomers to determine the true nature of comets.

Although most human beings no longer cringe at the sight of a comet, they still inspire fear everywhere around the globe, from Hollywood to doomsday cults. The United States even set up the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program specifically to guard us from these “divine” dangers.” However, although they were once regarded as omens of disaster, and messengers of the god(s), today a scientific approach has helped allay such concerns.

It is science and reason that has led the fight against this fear since the days of the ancients. It is science and reason that has emboldened the human spirit enough to venture out and journey to a comet. It is science and reason that will unlock the secrets that they hold.

For more information, visit:
JPL’s Deep Impact Site
To learn more about other missions to comets and asteroids, visit:
Small Bodies Missions

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131109.html