1st-Aprils Fools Day. Veneralia Festival dedicated to Roman Goodess, Venus, Fortuna and Concordia. Corn planting Festival, Iroquoise.
2nd-Battle of Flowers, French.
3rd-Celebration of the return of Persephone, the Greek Goddess of the Underworld and healing from the Underworld.
4th-Start of the Megalesia, sacred to the Roman Mother Cybele.
5-Sacred to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion in China. Tomb sweeping Day, Chinese Day of Ancestor Remembrance. Lady Luck Day.
6th-Ching-Ming, Chinese All Souls Day. Manannans Day, Celtic.
7th-Fetival of the Blagini in Romania. Church of All Worlds established 1962.
8th – William Alexander Aynton initiated into the Golden dawn, 1896.
9th-The Hocktide Festival in England, honouring the Saxon women who repelled Danish invaders in AD 1002. Mordrons Day, Celtic. Lumeria Day, Festival honouring the Spirits of dead family members who wander the earth. Vampires Day.
10th- Dedicated to Bau, the Babylonian Sumerian Mother Goddess. Megalesia ends.
11th-Festival of Anahit, the Armenian Moon Goddess. Feast of San Leo, Mexican. The burning of Major Weir, alleged Scottish sorcerer, 1670.
12th-Cerealia begins - Roman. Festival of Water – Buddhist.
13th – Start decorating for Samhain. (Southern Hemisphere) Familiars Day.
14th - Celtic Tree month of Alder ends. Sommarblot, Norse Summer Festival.
15th - Festival of Bast, Egyptian Cat Goddess. Celtic Tree month of Willow begins.
16th-The Hiketaria Festival honouring the Greek Sun God, Helios. Birthday of Margot Adler, born 1946, author of Drawing down the Moon.
17th-Chariot Festival, Nepalese.
18th-Thargelia, Greek festival of Purification for Apollo and Artemis.
19th-Cerealia ends - Roman. Balinese Woman’s Celebration.
20th – Yaqui Pageant - Native American. Egg Rolling Day – British.
21st - Palala Festival homouring Pales, the Roman Goddess of the Flocks. Parilia Festival honouring Roma, Goddess of Rome.
22nd-Earth Day. A day to work with Earth elementals and nature spirits.
23rd-The Vinalia Festival dedicated to Venus the Roman Goddess of the Vineyard, and Jupiter the Supreme God. Edward III founds the Order of the Garter in 1350 which is later linked to the Order of Witchcraft by Anthropologist Margaret Murray.
24th-Childrens Day, Icelandic.
25th-Anzac Day, Australia and New Zealand. Cuckoo Day – English.
26th-New Years Day, Sierra Leone.
28th-Floralia begins, Roman. Celtic celebration of God, Lludd.
29th-Pagan Tree Day. Birthday of Ed Fitch, born 1937, Wiccan author and High Preist of the Gardnerian Wiccan Tradition.
30th-Samhain Eve/Halloween, Southern Hemisphere. May Day Eve, Northern Hemisphere. Walpurgis Night, Germany. Taliesin Nights, Merlin’s Night, Celtic celebration of the High Priests of Magick.
THE BLOOD MOON
The Moon and moon cycles are known by various names depending on cultures, religions, village or Coven. These names also coincide with the eight Sabbats of the Witch. The lunar moon closest to Samhain was and still is known as the ‘Blood Moon.’ This moon symbolized the sacrifice and slaughter of the beasts that enabled our ancestors and still to this day to ensure food for the family throughout the long winter months. Many cattle were also slaughtered because it was too hard trying to keep them alive over winter as cattle would need shelter and extra feeding from the crops gathered. A poor crop would result in animals starving to death so to avoid that, they would be culled and thus the family would have food to help them through. This is going back to the times when there were no benefits and government assistance, shops were not frequented and supermarkets were not even a word in the near future. People lived in a village or on a farm and may never venture outside it. If their crops were poor, then they may not survive except with the help of family, the other villagers and farmers to help them through.
Some lands would be covered in snow and if not the grass may not be in large quantities let alone nourishing for the stock. The cattle that were housed were those that were more needed than others, the ones that worked for the family so to speak, the cows for milk, the ones who were reliable in fertility and the prized bull for his services. The other cattle would have been breed solely for food purposes and as housing was limited, then this was the time to begin the slaughters. It was also cooler which helped to keep the meat with many carcasses and joints being buried under the snow and in the case of deer, buried in the earth to keep it from spoiling. Samhain is also a time for remembering the animals that have given their lives by our hand so that we may eat. Anyone who eats a once living creature and even though they may not have killed the animal themselves are also responsible for its death. We bid the animals a blessings of thanks.
This was also the time that farmers of both yesterday and today gathered the remaining fruits, vegetables and herbs that were left in the fields and stored them away for the months ahead of them, along with the previous harvests from summer through to now. Anything left in the fields would soon return to the earth and be taken by the harvest spirits who watched over the crops. To honour this Moon and her energies you could fill a goblet with red juice such as cranberry or raspberry, give a toast to the moon and the animals, and bless the juice as you pour it onto the earth.
And yes, the Blood Moon does usually have a red tinge to it…
Sunday 4th - Last Quarter Moon. Time to clear out anything that hasn´t worked or isn´t needed. Rising at midnight and setting at noon, this Moon is 90-45 degrees behind the Sun. Time to clear out anything that hasn’t worked or isn’t needed.
Monday 12th - New Moon. Start new projects. A time to plan and prepare especially if it is so cold outdoors and one just wants to curl up in front of the fire or heater. Think about what has been and what you would like to change and do in your future. New job, moving house, new relationship or perhaps a new life is coming into the family be it kith, kin, fur or fin. I like to utilise this time to design and plan future workshops, courses and herbal formulae’s, I tend to be a bit like the bear and try to hibernate once winter comes, and do the work that has been waiting for my attention so as winter calls I take heed. An ideal time to write up notes, fill in your book of shadows, journals and herbal grimoires as we work under the phase of the Oak moon.
Tuesday 20th - First Quarter Moon. Rising at Noon and setting at Midnight, the Moon is 90-135 degrees ahead of the Sun. Light and dark are in equal balance. Consolidate and give form to projects. Be creative and deal with any challenges that may arise.
Tuesday 27th - Full Moon. The Earth is between the Sun and Moon. The Moon, rising at sunset and setting at dawn, is 180-135 degrees behind the Sun. The Full Moon is the time to celebrate the complete
APOGEE AND PERIGEE From timeanddate.com
The Moon's orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle, but elliptical, with one side closer to Earth than the other. As a result, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year. On average, the distance is about 382,900 kilometers (238,000 miles). The point on the Moon's orbit closest to Earth is called the Perigee and the point farthest away is the Apogee.
Apogee (Furthest away from the earth) Thursday 15th
Perigee (Closest to the earth) Wednesday 28th
THE APRIL STAR SIGNS
ARIES - March 21st – April 20th Symbol – The Ram, Element – Fire, Planet – Mars, Quality – Cardinal, Personal Creed- I am, Positive/Masculine Sign. Assertive, courageous and ruled by the God of War, Aries will take on who or whatever ever comes his way.
Some of the Aries people. Johann Sebastian Bach, Clyde Barrow, Marlon Brando, Otto von Bismarck, Butch Cassidy, Mariah Carey, Charlie Chaplin, Charlemagne, Bette Davis, Doris Day, Shannen Doherty, Robert Downey Jr, Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga, Vincent van Gogh, Billie Holiday, Thomas Jefferson, Elton John, Keira Knightly, Heath Ledger, Elizabeth Montgomery, Rosie O’Donnell, Gregory Peck, Septimius Severus, Kristen Stewart, Leonardo da Vinci, Emma Watson, Tennessee Williams, Reese Witherspoon.
TAURUS - April 21st - May 21st. Symbol – The Bull, Element – Earth, Planet – Venus, Quality – Fixed, Personal Creed- I have, Negative/Feminine sign. An ancient symbol of strength and fertility within nature, Taureans are known as being loving and gentle.
Some of the Taurean people. Hank Azaria, Glen Campbell, John Cena, Giancarlo Esposito, Ella Fitzgerald, Kevin James, Dwayne Johnson, Casey Kasem, Jet Li, Lee Majors, James McAvoy, Jack Nicholson, Queen Elizabeth II, Roy Orbinson, Iggy Pop, Shirley MacLaine, Willy Nelson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Shirley Temple, Uma Thurman, William Shakespeare, Barbra Streisand, Channing Tatum, Leonardo da Vinci, Renee Zellweger.
CELTIC LUNAR TREE
The Celtic Tree calendar is based on thirteen lunar divisions. Each division has a sacred tree assigned to it that were said to have been chosen by ancient Druids. The trees rich in history and folk lore have many magickal energies associated to them. Please note that the Celtic Tree calendar was written from the Northern Hemisphere.
ALDER - Fearn - March 18th - April 14th
Bold and courageous people, very strong willed. They also have a desire to seek new adventures and like to keep moving and stay busy. When the tree of the Alder is cut, the sap runs red and is seen as blood to the Celts and also a reminder of the sacrifice the tree has given so that it may be used for charcoal, house building and keeping one warm over the cold nights and days. The root system of the Alder is nurturing and provides essential nutrients for the soils, more so than other trees.
The Alder is a tree of divination and will make you face up to situations that you have been avoiding, it will of course help you do this and not just leave you alone as you work through these situations.
Willow – Saille - April 15th – May 12th
Willow people are ruled by the Moon and the water element and can be highly creative, intuitive, intelligent and are usually very psychic and literally bursting with potential. They have also be known to observe well and sit back to see what unravels before them, said to be more patient than many of the other tree signs. The Willow is the tree that sits by the water and helps ease us into the Summerland. Tree of enchantment, healing, immortality and its branches are used to bind the brushes of the Witches besom.