Lammas Newsletter 31 July 2019
Autumn already…my oh my, hope we have picked up slightly with the weather by Lammas or we will be looking for an Indian summer!! The thing with Scotland is we are ever optimistic as far as weather is concerned!!
We have reached Lammas after a period of Mercury retrograde. It was quite ‘interesting’ for some of us but we survived and the worst of it is now done with for a while. I love this time of year when the fields are golden, the cherries are ripe on the trees and the flowers are bursting, filling the evening air with glorious scents. My Evening Primrose flowers are bright and sunny alongside the joyous St John’s Wort, and as I return home after a walk or after work, as I enter my front garden, the scents of roses, rosemary, jasmine and lavender are overwhelming, and a deep breath of this makes you feel good to be alive. Sometimes you need a wee break in nature to view the wonderful side of life…no phones, computers, TV or social media needed, just get out and about and listen to the sound of the sea, have wind in your hair, sand between your toes, and enjoy the varied aromas in the air, and it’s instant lift!! Those nights are drawing in ever-so-slightly too, meaning time to make the most of sultry evenings! This is the time for family BBQ’s and a nice glass of something to celebrate how good life is. It isn’t all about ‘stuff’ but about living…teaching our children to make memories. I spend a lot of time in the garden and down the beach with my little grandson, just as I did with my kids, teaching them to find fun in rockpools, woods & gardens and learning how to look after nature. It’s the only way to help them appreciate what we have so they don’t lose it.
A magickal bonfire…
I love lighting an outdoor fire in my garden on a beautiful, calm evening, especially if there has been a lot of issues or I am just not feeling myself. Lighting a fire outdoors is very primal and reminds us not only of how far we have come as humans, but also that life is for living and to enjoy the simple pleasures. Sitting round a bonfire with a few friends and a bottle of wine, chatting and laughing away the hours watching the evening light turn into dusk, and watching for bats…it’s the simplest of pleasures that put life completely into perspective. Sometimes I just like to sit and watching the flames dance to clear my head, whilst clearing the garden of rubbish and old wood, knowing this is all I actually needed to sort stuff. Other times, I make it more formal and include herbs and notes to throw into the fire. This is a spell I have used in the past from Ellen Duggan…simple, strengthening and effective…
You will need a handful of lavender buds, a few rose petals and a couple heads yarrow, and can be fresh or dried. I have done it in the past but this time, I feel it will look more like a scene from ‘The Craft’, as the girls join me!! Repeat the charm and throw the flowers into the fire at the end of its mentioned line…
Lavender buds bring protection and love, Goddess hear me and answer from above
A cluster of Yarrow, the wise women’s herb, its all-purpose magick adds strength to my words
Petals of roses for passion and power, grant wisdom and love in this magickal hour
For the good of all with harm to none, by fire at Lammas, this spell is all done
A toast in the darkness with a magickal glass of wine and know the next season will be full of love and positivity.
Stones for motivation…
The trouble with working hard to retire at 60 is that, even though this is no longer possible, my head thinks it is time to stop working! In order to overcome this, I have been using my crystals for motivation and they have been of great assistance, wearing them on a daily basis and jingling as I walk with pockets and a bra full of pretty little crystals, so thought a wee mention here would be useful for others needing energy, motivation or a push to get on.
Citrine– the sunshine stone bursting with energy, optimism and creativity, this really helps activate you like a sunny day as opposed to a grim, grey one. It also happens to be a merchant’s stone, brimming with great enthusiasm and ideas…so win, win!!
Ruby– another favourite of mine in jewellery like Citrine, Ruby brings back not just motivation, but also that much needed passion for life and for living, but also in what you are doing too! A real get-up-and-go-get it kinda stone but another merchant’s stone too – who ever owns a piece of real Ruby will have a rich, full and rewarding life!
Carnelian– funnily enough, a stone I never wear in jewellery but often carry in my pocket when I am tired, as great for not only motivation, but vitality too
Red Tiger eye– seldom seen in jewellery but great for in the pocket, this grounding stone full of movement will get you moving too, so when you are in that ‘really can’t be bothered’ mode, put a pretty red Tiger Eye in your pocket and watch that lethargy go right out the door
Apatite– discovered by accident, I always felt more energized and enthusiastic when I wore my Apatite pendant, which I wear for my constant fight against post-menopausal weight (I will not become a barrel, I like my hourglass shape thank you!) Turns out, Apatite is also a great motivation stone…but then if it helps you eat better and feel more motivated to move more, it’s a no-brainer, as you, your life and your figure all win with this stone!!
Just give the crystals of choice a thorough cleanse in incense smoke or an overnight stay on a crystal cluster every day, and they are good to go to help you in the daily challenge to live life to the brim!!
The Scottish Selkies…mysteries of the deep
My visit to Ireland and the magick of the Leprechauns, fairies and warrior women intrigued my imagination and made me thing back to magickal beings of Scotland… say hello to the Selkies! Being never further that 60 miles from the coast wherever you are in Scotland, they have always had magickal, mystical beings of the sea and, like Nessie…we like to believe and hope that they are actually real… you can’t help but watch ripples in Loch Ness…just in case you are that one watcher that sees him!! Maybe living by the sea all my life intrigues me that these people of the sea have also always been ‘about’!! Selkies, Orcadian for ‘seal’, are definitely a Scottish mystery brought from Scandinavian mythology to Shetland and Orkney but spread through the coastline of Scotland…anywhere where seals are close to the beach.
Have you ever seen seals as they bob about in the water, with seemingly human eyes that inquisitively stare at you? Seal people want what they don’t have: when in the sea, they want to be on land, where they can shed their skin and walk humanlike, but they eventually yearn to go back to the sea. This they can do as long as they have their sealskin safe…they can just put it back on and slip into the sea to return to their seal family. There are many stories about Island and Highland men who find seal-women bathing without their seal skin, manage to find their skin and keep the women as their wife and bear children. The only sign the mixed-race children are ‘different’ is webbed fingers and toes, and if this is snipped, it just grows back but much rougher and scaly! The seal-women are true to them and give them children but eventually will locate their skin and return to the sea, never looking back. It seems to stem from travellers from Iceland and Finland that travelled in kayaks made of sealskins. These submerged to just under the water surface but must have seemed really strange in their seal skins, then walked on land. Life back then was very short and very unpredictable and the sea held a mystery that has fascinated Man forever. Selkie folk were calm and gentle like a still, calm sea. Men also cast off their skin and went in search of unsatisfied women. Women who wanted to call them had to head for the shore at high tide, and shed 7 tears into the sea. The Selkie man would then come ashore, cast off his sealskin, stashing it carefully and then would ‘satisfy’ wanton women, single or married. If a girl went missing after heading for the beach, everyone knew she had been taken by the Selkie to join him in his watery domain! Spooky…
Your very own herbal vinegar…
Cider vinegar is a health-boosting condiment used for centuries and held in high esteem like honey. Add some home-grown herbs and you have a healthy combo to add to food. A splash of herbal vinegar on your chips will add a mineral-laden boost. Vinegar helps free up minerals within your food so why not have a go and make your own. It really is quite simple. Harvest herbs such as rosemary, coarsely chop and fill a mason jar. Pour the vinegar at room temperature over the herbs until the jar is full. Seal the top with the lid (don’t use metal as vinegar will degrade it) or use waxed or greaseproof paper and an elastic band. Make up jars with different herbs so you can find which is your favourite. Label, date and put out of direct sunlight. Strain after 2 weeks et viola!
Add to your salad dressings, cooked greens, stir fries and anytime you would use ordinary vinegar. Also remember that rosemary or lavender vinegar make great hair conditioners so use after a hair wash for your final rinse…! Once you get into the mode, you will wonder how you managed without them…
Meg, Marshall, and the Witch
Sounds like it should be a book or a movie, though someone did suggest a few more and I could be known as Cruella, I figured there wasn’t enough to do in my day running the shop,the home and helping look after my grandson, so why don’t we get a puppy too!!! A dog (not puppy) was always on the cards when we retire, to go in our motor-home and travel around with us seeing those remote places we’ve never seen. I have already told you about Meg, our magickal motorhome but now meet Marshall, our Dalmatian puppy. His real kennel name was ‘Lucifer’…the Devil Dog but, with my little grandson being a fan of Paw Patrol, when he saw a photo of our new addition, he asked if it was Marshall. As they will be growing up together, seemed only fair that we just went along with it… makes life easier!! As I have never had a puppy before, expect tips along the way as I experience this new phenomenon!! At least I no longer have to worry about the post-menopausal weight gain! Since getting Marshall, Alan and I have seen our daily steps take a giant leap to at least 100,000 each per week. Nothing like a dog to get you out and about walking more and being generally more active. A leisurely coffee in the garden now turns into a game of football and a walk to the shop a 3-mile hike… and on the days Ragnarr comes to see Marshall, we just don’t stop for a second!! Such fun!
New Moon: Thur 1 Aug @ 04.12 hrs Full Moon: Thur 15 Aug @ 13.30 hrs
New Moon: Fri 30 Aug @ 11.38 hrs Full Moon: Sat 14 Sep @ 05.33 hrs
Enjoy the sun with blessings from Chris (alias the Green Witch)