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August 2021 Newsletter

August 03, 2021

In Western pagan traditions, the four elements of nature, earth, air, water, and fire, form the basis of natural magic. Honoring these elements is a part of most contemporary pagan rituals. Ceremonies usually begin with the casting of a ritual circle, and at the quarter-points, the four directions and their corresponding elements are acknowledged and bid welcome.

The Witch’s Supply Box for August explores the element of Water.
"Attuning and working with these energies in magic not only lends you the power to affect dramatic changes in your life, but it also allows you to sense your own place in the larger scheme of Nature."
~Scott Cunningham, Earth Power

Element Water
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Moon, Neptune, Pluto
Time: Twilight
Season: Fall
Direction: West (in most traditions)
Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Energies: Emotion, intuition, psychic abilities, love, unconscious mind, reflection, lunar energy, deep feelings.
Symbols: Ocean, lake, river, creek, well, spring, pond, fog, mist rain, shell, cup, chalice, bowl, trident, seaweed, cauldron.
Deities: Brigid, Oshun, Yemaya, Cerridwen, Poseidon, Neptune, Anuket, Satet, Danu, Boann, Scylla.
Nature Spirits: Undine, nymph, mermaid, kelpie.
Colors: Blue, silver, white, gray, seafoam, aquamarine, black.
Herbs and Plants: Catnip, chamomile, cattail, comfrey, seaweed, kelp, aloe, fern, water lily, lotus, moss, licorice, willow, birch.
Crystals and Gemstones: Aquamarine, amethyst, blue tourmaline, coral, lapis lazuli, moonstone, opal, pearl, silver.
Animals: Fish, snake, frog, crab, lobster, eel, shark, seahorse, dolphin, sea otter, seal, whale, beaver, octopus, turtle, starfish, koi, jellyfish, nautilus, heron, duck, geese, crane, swan, water birds.

Traditional Tool: Cup

Altar Objects for Water: Chalice, cup, or goblet, Beverages (especially water or wine), Scrying bowl or crystal ball, Rainwater, Blessed or holy water, Seashell, Driftwood or seaweed, Gemstones, Mirror, Mermaids, Images of ocean, rivers, or lakes, Candle (Blue)Oil (Rose, Lotus, Jasmine), Animal art (Fish, Dolphin, Frog), Deity statue (Poseidon, Aphrodite, Yemaya), Tarot card Ace of Cups.

The contents of your supply box may be used to set up an altar to the element of water.

Other suggestions for connecting with the element of water:
*Go swimming. Observe how you feel before, during and after.
*Sit by a body of water (waterfall, lake, pond, creek, ocean).
*If swimming or visiting a body of water is not an option take a bath or shower.
*Walk in the rain.
*Play recordings of the sounds of the ocean, stream, or thunderstorm.
*Collect rainwater.
*Make moon water.
*Record your observations and feelings when exploring the element of water in your book of shadows.
Moon water is simply a water lunar potion that can be made in different ways for different purposes.

What you need:
* Water.
* Spring or filtered water if you are planning to ingest.
* Water gathered from a natural source (rain, snow, stream, pond, or lake) and/or under the light of a full moon.
* Let the use of the moon water determine the type of water.
* A glass container (a bowl, a glass cup, a glass jar) I like jars so you can seal the lid.

Moon phases
New Moon Water for new opportunities, cleansing, renewal.
Waxing Moon Water for growth, expansion, drawing things to you (love, successes.).
Full Moon Water for the most potent traditional form. Manifesting intentions, divination, cleansing and consecrating, amplifying the power of spells and rituals.
Waning Moon Water for banishing, releasing, bad habits, toxic relationships, reversals.

Herbs or stones that specifically reflect your intentions.
How to Make:
1. Fill the container with water.
2. Bring the container of water outside or place it near a window inside your home. You may choose to surround the container with crystals, charms, or herbs and/or draw sigils on the container that help focus your intention. Try to capture the reflection of the moon in the water.
3. Ground yourself and focus on your intention. Visualize the water opening to the energies of the moon and threads of energy flowing from the moon into your container of water changing its structure.
4. Leave your jar overnight and remove in the morning before the sun hits it.
5. Store and use.

Suggestion for Use:

* Make coffee, tea, or your favorite drink. Drink plain moon water when practicing divination or spell work.
* Add a cup of moon water to your bath for cleansing.
* Use to wash floors, windowsills, doorways and add a cup to your
* Water the plants in your home and garden.
* Use as an offering. Place moon water in a cup or glass on your altar as an offering to a deity and to amplify your spell work.
* Anoint ritual spaces, altars, magical tools, use to cast a ritual circle.
* Add to water-based paints and magical inks to use in spells, your book of shadows or for drawing sigils.

For additional information about moon water:

Llewellyn's Little Book of Moon Spells (Llewellyn's Little Books, 13) Hardcover –August 8, 2020
~by Melanie Marquis
Circle cast for Lughnasadh
North: Ragged breath of frost fills the lungs. Ground hard as stone, ice like iron. We stand among the great stones were once the wealth of grove and orchard stood, cleared by the Dead. We stand here at the harvest, in the birth-time of the new and startled world. Creatures of the Northern Queen, children of Great Tailtui, mother and foster mother, be welcome at our table.
East: On the dawning air, we watch it rise—fragrant rose of poetry, gold and red. Honeyed petals o song and thorns of grief, we listen from the ridgeline in the birth-time of the new and awaited world. Spirits of the Bride, Goddess and saint, wonder-working, steel forging Brigid, be welcome at our table.

South: The liquid flames rise high, devouring all they touch. See their brightness—cutting like a sword through the dry and spent. See Her there—in shadow of flame—at the birth-time of the new and bloodied world, the reddened Queen, the Raven Chieftain, Morrighan who haunts the field. Omen crows ride with Her. Great Queen, shrewd and cunning, be welcome at our table.
West: The heavy mist gives way to rain, the mirrored drops alight on the web of all life, renewing. Mother Danu gave Her Name to the ambling, wandering river; gives Herself to the deepness of the sea, to the taste of brine and longing. Mother of waters, mother of us all, blessed Danu, guide our ships as we navigate the unknowable waters of this fresh-birthed world. Wise and strong, Danu, you are welcome at our table.
(Here is an alternative way to open the circle)
Opening the First Harvest Circle

Begin in the West, if you please. We sing a song of the West, and the mighty waters, that quench our thirst and grow the trees. Rain and spring and restless Ocean. We sing our song of West and snap our fingers. (They do so.) Blessed be the gentle rains of August. (They repeat.)

Farewell, farewell, farewell!

Now to the South, please. We sing a song of the fire within us, that beat of heart and pound of blood that lets us know we live. Fire outside us in the hearthfire, in the campfire, in the Chalice. We sing our song of South and clap our hands. (They do so.) Blessed be the fires of life and warm fresh bread. (They repeat.)

Farewell, farewell, farewell!

Now turn to the East, please. We sing a song of the Sun, our brightness, and the gentle air that brings in blessings. Air for bubbles, for breathing, for champagne. We sing our song of East and wave our hands. (They do so.) Blessed be the Sun and harvest breezes. (They repeat.) Farewell, farewell, farewell!

And finally to the North. (gesture) We sing a song of the Earth, our Mother, who gives us riches beyond measure—family and friends and home and good things to eat. We sing our song of North and stamp our feet. (They do so.) Blessed be the Earth at harvest time. (They repeat.)

Farewell, farewell, farewell!

Scents-ibility for August: Aromatherapy by Star

In parts of the northern hemisphere in the U.S. and especially the south, August is generally a hot and steamy affair. The month seems more suited to lounging on the porch or under a fan during the worst heat of the day surrounded by the scents of the seasons. The smells of ripening fruit from the garden, apples and peaches, freshly mown hay, and the ever so faint smell of rot from the compost pile when the wind is right.

The period of July 3 to August 11 is often referred to as the “Dogs Days of Summer” and references the alignment of the sun and Sirius, a bright star commonly called the Dog Star, which is part of the constellation Canis Major or the Greater Dog. The ancient Romans believed Sirius combined with the sun’s light and power contributed to and enhanced the summer heat hence diēs caniculārēs or “dog days.”

Yet to my mind it also calls up visions of a large dog languishing on or under a porch to avoid the unrepenting heat of the sun and the sudden pop-up thunderstorms of the afternoon.

The August heat hails the beginning of the harvest season holidays in the Pagan calendar and begins the process of taking stock of what has born fruit, and what has not. August too is an odd month in that seems to inspire both a restlessness and a hazy stagnation--a lot of hurry-up-wait energy.

To combat the weariness of the heat, Roman Chamomile (Chamamelum nobilis) may be just the ticket. The properties of chamomile as a tea for calming and soothing, and even as helping to relax a person enough to induce restful sleep are fairly well-known. As an essential oil it can be used in a variety of beneficial ways.

In addition to its sedative properties, it can be used to help sooth teething pain and colic in babies and children, and have a marked impact on digestive issues. When it comes to the nervous system it can have an antidepressant effect helping to relieve stress, anxiety, and even reduce migraines,headaches, and insomnia. Chamomile can also be beneficial for regulating the cycles of the reproductive system, and has applications for skin care use in soothing dry or irritated skin.

Roman Chamomile’s scent conjures to mind apples heavy on the tree with sun beating down and the hay in the field bending under the weight of the season. It is both cheerful and languorous, seeming to reflect the season of late summer and offer some healing relief from it at the same time.

Magically speaking chamomile has a variety of applications. It can be used to promote peace and harmony; help provide a more positive, better vision of the world and circumstances; used to heal and protect those most vulnerable; break a love spell; and even help to conjure more luck and prosperity.

As note of caution for those with seasonal ragweed allergies may wish to avoid chamomile as they are in the same botanical family of Asteraceae. Roman Chamomile should also not be confused with German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) as while they share the same botanical family, they differ greatly in properties.

Blend to soothe and relax the mind, body and soul:
5 drops of Roman Chamomile essential oil
5 drops of Lavender essential oil
3 drops of Bergamot essential oil
To apply topically:
Blend with 1-2 oz of Sweet Almond
Shake well before each use

To use as a spray:
12 oz of distilled or filtered water
1⁄2 oz of witch hazel or alcohol
Add witch hazel to spray bottle, then drops of oil, and finally water. Shake well before each use. To use in an oil burning diffuser:
Fill the bowl of the burner 3⁄4 full with water and then add 4-5 drops of the blend.

A note on safety and how to conduct a skin patch test

As with all essential oil blends, a skin patch test should be done before topically applying. Simply apply a small amount of the blend to the inside of the upper arm. If no irritation develops after 24 hours, then it is safe to use. If at any point during a skin patch test if irritation develops, the application area should be immediately treated with either a dairy-based product like milk or yogurt to halt the irritation. Then the testing area should be and thoroughly washed with mild soap and water and cleaned of the substance applied.
**Please note** No matter how safe and natural you believe essential oils to be, they are not recommended to be applied straight or “neat” directly on the skin. There are a few exceptions for regular use, but even those should only be used that way under the advice of a certified or registered aromatherapist. Young children, the elderly, anyone with a comprised immune system, and those who are pregnant may require a formula that is much reduced in active ingredients. Essential oils of any variety should always be cautiously used around pets, and never used on cats or in any way that would allow them to ingest it—like breathing in vaporized spray or licking it off of their fur.
Invocation of Tailtiu- Byron Ballard
Daughter of Mag Mor--
Birthed upon silk--
Then Queen over Ulster.
She longed for oranges and sweet wine
and the love of strong men.
The war of invaders
Mirrored her own war—
To clear the land, to grow the world.
Neither fish nor fowl,
Tailtiu toiled.
She raised the young godling—
Sturdy golden Lugh.
Not merely her foster—
The son of her heart.
Tailtiu toiled, longing for comfort,
praising Eithne’s boy-child,
The son of her heart.
Welcome, dark Queen,
Mother, Daughter.
Welcome, honeyed Queen,
Hair like the crow.
Sing us the song now,
With bells at your fingertips,
Sing us the song now.
We welcome you home.
Divination for August – a one-card draw and interpretation
Deck: Wise Dog Tarot by MJ Cullinane, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Card: Four of Wands
While the heat of August may be pervasive and at times heavy, look for opportunities to celebrate by setting aside the work and letting go a little. There is the potential for being a conduit for elation and positive energy that can bring with it opportunities for new connections. Like most emotions, joy is a contagion of the best sort.

Conversely, all work and no play are less likely to lead to any type of jubilant release. Individual actions are rarely contained to one person and often have a ripple effect. Not participating in even brief revelry could lead to missed connections and deprive others of shared opportunities.
Asheville Pagan Supply
555 Merrimon Ave
Suite 100
Asheville NC 28804
United States