The Spoon and Cauldron: July 30, 2017

We are almost at the end of July, which portends the coming harvest season, a favorite among most northern witches. Lughnasa/Lughnasadh is the first of the Celtic harvest festivals, celebrated by Witches, Druids, and Pagans throughout the modern world. It is said that the Irish/Welsh sun god, Lugh (pronounced "Loo"), created this day of outdoor games and celebration in honor of his foster mother, Tailtiu (pronounced Telsha), who is alleged to have plowed all of the fields of Ireland before she died. The Irish annals tell it like this:

While [Lugh] was king, his foster-mother Taillte, daughter of Magh Mor, the Great Plain died. And before her death she bade her husband Duach the Dark, he that built the Fort of the Hostages in Teamhair, to clear away the wood of Cuan, the way there could be a gathering of the people around her grave. So he called to the men of Ireland to cut down the wood with their wide-bladed knives and bill-hooks and hatchets, and within a month the whole wood was cut down. And Lugh buried her in the plain of Midhe, and raised a mound over her, that is to be seen to this day. And he ordered fires to be kindled, and keening to be made, and games and sports to be held in the summer of every year out of respect to her. And the place they were held got its name from her, that is Taillten (Telltown).
The games are thought to have been the Irish version of the Greek Olympics.  In more modern times, people who celebrate tend toward honoring the first harvest, rather than physical competition, at least in North America. There are some links in the news section of this post that may help you with some celebration ideas, should you be so inclined. Whatever your celebrations entail, may you enjoy them thoroughly and wildly :)

In the News

Business witches of Instagram: How sorcery found a commercial home on social media

How Witchcraft Became a Brand

Witchy fashion is 2017's most exciting, subversive trend

Witchcraft Killings Continue Unabated in Mayurbhanj

Tanzania: 5 Women Killed On Suspicion of Being Witches

Neighbours suspect ‘witchcraft’ practices

Did a Plant Disease Play a Role in the Salem Witch Trials?

The Witch by Ronald Hutton review – why fear of witchcraft hasn’t gone away

8 Facts To Know About Lughnasadh, Pagan Harvest Festival

Celebrating the Celtic festival of Lughnasa

Recipes for Lughnasa

Craft ideas for Lughnasa

Lughnasadh Activities & Ideas

This Week's Featured Totem: Lynx

Key words: Secrets, Hidden Knowledge, Intuition

Since this is the week of Lughnasa, it's appropriate to feature one of his totems, the lynx.
The name Lynx is derived from the Indo-European root "leuk-", meaning "light, brightness", in reference to the luminescence of the cat's reflective eyes. Those who have Lynx as a totem are gifted with the ability to see into other dimensions and into the souls of other people, without a word being spoken.

The lynx is known for the black tufts of fur on the tips of its ears, which function as hearing aids. Lynx people are known to be clairaudient. They can hear the thoughts of others, and many times, have difficulty in distinguishing between what has been spoken outloud and what is only thought, since they both are heard in the same manner.

Lynx have a short tail and characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears; large, padded paws for walking on snow; and long whiskers on the face. Under their neck, they have a ruff which has black bars, is not very visible, and resembles a bow tie. Those with Lynx as a totem are more comfortable in cooler temperatures and tend to be more comfortable operating in the dark... whether that is late night or pre-dawn time.

Lynx is also associated with the Norse Goddess, Freyja. Lynx cats lead her chariots and will fight battles in her honor, bringing her the gift of foresight and vision.

In the Native nations of America, there are many stories of the Lynx being the keeper of secrets and the gate-keeper to the otherworld.

Lynx people are the knowers of secrets, but they do not share those secrets with others, easily. They would rather be off doing their own thing than to be discussing what they know about you that you may not even have recognized about yourself.

Lynx medicine in the Native American traditions is one that requires give and take. Those who carry that medicine need a trade of some kind for their knowledge. Many times, a blanket, tobacco, or other form of gift was a requirement (it would be considered extremely rude to come empty-handed to a lynx medicine woman) before a reading or session.

If you carry Lynx medicine, be very cautious about what you say and to whom. If you know the secret, you are to keep it. It is not for sharing, except under the right conditions (as stated above) and only with the person whose secret you are keeping.

Lynx's message for this week is to follow your intuition- it is strong this week. You may have strange dreams about friends and acquaintances in which you will "know" things about them that they haven't told you. You may be awakening to new gifts and medicines such as clairsentience, clairaudience and inution, or your skills may be taken up a notch. Lynx can help you grow and have fun while you learn.

The Week in Astrology

On August 2, Uranus is going retrograde. Here is what one astrologer has to say about it:
"Uranus tends to be more potent and more Uranian when retrograde... Obviously, this is an excellent time for mental studies that explore human behavior and psychology. It favors activities that require bursts of inventive and intuitive energy. It favors psychological counseling connected with freedom urges and disconnected patterns of relating...When Uranus transits retrograde, it will reawaken freedom urges causing the individual to suddenly rebel against any ruts or confinement in the life. I feel that it is better to process what needs to change while Uranus is retrograde and actualize the change when it turns direct. The retrograde simply makes you aware but it is generally not wise to impulsively act upon an awareness." ~ Lynne Koiner
Pluto and Neptune are already in retrograde, and Mercury Rx is coming up in mid-August (12th).

For weekly horoscopes, I highly recommend the following site:

Lughnasa Charm

Gather up the following herbs on Lughnasa-Eve (July 31 before sundown):

  • Sage (scientific name: Salvia Officinalis)
  • Mugwort (scientific name: Artemisia Vulgaris)
  • Arnica (scientific name: Arnica Montana)
  • Calendula (scientific name: Calendula Officinalis)
  • Dill (scientific name: Anithum Graveolens)
  • Lovage (scientific name: Levisticum Officinale)
  • Tansy (scientific name: Tanacetum Vulgare)
  • Valerian (scientific name: Valeriana Officinalis)
  • Yarrow (scientific name: Achillea Millefolium)

Place them all together in a red cloth bag (preferably one you have made), and carry with you for protection and success for 1 year and 1 day (until next Lughnasa).  Happy crafting!

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