Tuesday, July 12, 2011

June Mead Moon

June: Mead Moon

Also known as: Meadow Moon, Herb Moon, Moon of Horses, Lovers' Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Honey Moon, Strawberry Moon, Berry Moon, Lotus Moon, Rose Moon, Ripening Moon, Hot Moon, Moon of Making Fat
* Colors: Shades of Oranges, golds and ambers
* Scents: Frankincense, Myrrh, rose, cinnamon, citrus, lavender, rosemary, garden herb mixes
* Gemstones: Carnelian, Rose Quartz, Agate, Topaz, Alexdrite, Fluorite,
Trees: Oak. Maple
* Gods: Juno, Isis, Neith, Ishtar, Cerridwen, Paravti, Aphrodite, Green man, Cerunnos, Pan, Holy and Oak King, Ishtar, Hecate
Herbs: All herbal energies are especially potent at this time. St. John's Wort, Mints, Lemon Balm, Sage, Yarrow, Mugwort, Sunflowers, Dandelions, Parsley, Cilantro, Mosses, Meadowsweet, Lavender, Agrimony
* Foods: Lemon cookies, or cakes, mead, pineapple upside down cake, herbal sun tea sweetened with honey, lemonade, berries of all kinds, stone fruit, melons, fresh salads, kabobs, BBQ, grilled foods, smores
* Animals: Monkey, Butterfly, Dragonfly, Frog, Toad, Peacock, Wren
* Element: Fire

Now, we find ourselves in the Month of June, which was originally named Junonius, in the Roman calender. June is a month named after and sacred to the the Goddess Juno ; Wife of Jupiter and Queen of the Gods and the Queen, Mother, Protectress and sovereign Goddess of the Roman people. She was part of the Capitolina Triad, along with Jupiter and and Minerva, and was one of the most important Gods in Rome. She is the daughter of Saturn and Gais, wife and sister of Jupiter and Mother to Mars, Hebe and Vulcan. Juno's name is said to come from the Etruscan “Uni,” which means: “She who gives,” the root of the word Universe and connected to the Yoni, the sacred vulva. The very feminine lotus blossom was one of her sacred symbols and the flower in which impregnated her with the god Mars. Another important symbol of Juno one was the peacock. Juno’s sacred days are the Ca lends or first days of each month, which corresponded to the new moon and the Matronalia, which honors the Mothers and Matrons of a family, the founding of her temple and the birth of her son Mars.

The Goddess Juno has many aspects, names and titles. As Juno Regina she is the Queen of Heaven and protector of her people; as Juno Moneta she is the warner and a goddess that guards the fiancees of Rome and Moneta is the word in which we derive the word money from; as Juno Lucina she is the goddess of childbirth and light; as Juno Fortuna she is the Goddess of Fate; as Juno Sospita she is the preserver; as Juno Februa she is the goddess of erotic love; as Juno Populionia she is the Mother of her People, and that is only to name a few of her names and aspects. Juno is a goddess of cycles especially those of women, the moon, marriage, child birth and children, it is after her and her influence in her life that we get the tradition of the month of June being a most auspicious time for marriages. Juno is the embodiment of feminine energy and ruled over a woman’s reproductive cycle. Every women in Rome had a Juno or underlying feminine protective spirit as well as every man had a genius. Call upon Juno this month to help with issues of marriage, fidelity, child birth, femininity, protection, and sovereignty. Working on ones marriage, spells to aid in conception, prosperity, protection, and asserting oneself is appropriate at this time. A good activity for you to do at this month is call upon Juno to help you get in touch with your Juno or feminine energy, also giving to a charity that helps women and children would be especially powerful, especially those that help women and children recovering from abuse.

The month of June, is a month of complimentary opposites, bringing with it the powerful energy of the Summer Solstice Sun, and the Moon, the physical and spiritual worlds. The world around us is going through a metamorphosis and transformation as chicks hatch, butterflies emerge from their cocoons and the plant growth reaches its peak. It is a time were we all sense the pinnacle of energy, of growth and life before it declines. It is also the beginnings of seeing the potential of many crops, both physical, mentally and spiritually, work towards, your goals, greater success and let this energy strengthen your resolve and let the life giving Sun enfold you in it healing powerful rays,

The nights are short and fragrant, full of excitement, enthusiasm and energy, as everyone feels the desire to get out, get going, get together; camping, hiking, biking, picnics barbequing, and other outdoor activities fills our days. Our nights can be spent outside looking at the stars, and at t this most solar of months hosting a drum circle, around a roaring camp fire is an especially fun activity. June is a good time for fire magick and fire scrying. June is also a great month for all aspects of herb and tree magick, as most herbs are at their peak and power this month. You may harvest herbs this month and dry them for use this Winter, or make tinctures, teas, essences, infused oils, syrups, teas, flower essences, incense, dream pillows and arrangements. It is also a good time to go through your herb supplies and see what you need to replace. Feed any old, stale herbs to the camp fire, or the compost heap. Creating charms for protection is a very appropriate activity, you may wish to make solar crosses, God's eyes, Witches ladders, poppets, sachets or simply gather a few protective herbs and tie them in a bundle above the doorways in your home.

The strong Sun lends itself well to magick using stones and colors. You can cleanse and charge crystals under the light of the Sun and Moon. You can also obtain different colored glasses, fill them with Spring water and let the sit under the Sun and Moon and use these for color magick cleansing and healing. You can also ingest these water for healing purposes just make sure that the glasses suited for food use and that you cover them as dirt and insects may be attracted to the waters. You can combine stone and crystal magick with color magick by adding an appropriate crystal to the water just be careful and do not use any minerals with well known toxic minerals and those that are soft and are prone to melting when exposed to moisture.

The month of June is also a great month to do water magick, visit a lake, stream, or the ocean. Collect seashells, and drift wood, fish, swim, learn to swim, connect to your emotions, to your intuition and to the cyclic energy of water. Perform a full moon ritual in a body of water, make moon water by infusing Spring or distilled water with the Moon's energy. Draw a representation of a wish in the sand and let the rising waves receive that wish and bring that wish to you.

The month of June is also a great Moon to work with the energies of the fey, and other nature spirits. Connect to them by leaving offerings, alcohol, food, stones, jewelry and other objects are very appropriate. Ask for assistance from them in growing your garden, and connecting to the plants therein. Most importantly be respectful and be prepared for any chaos and mischief that they may bring.

The Month of June contains within it two important and secular celebrations, Father's Day and Graduation Day. Advertisements often advertise sales for Dad's and Grads. Father's Day is the complimentary holiday to Mother's day, it was instituted to honor the Father's of our live and is when children of all ages honor their father with appreciation and gifts, sometimes taking their Dad's fishing or out to dinner or making them breakfast. Honor the Father's in your life today, as well as the many father figures. You may also wish to honor, and give offering to the Great Father today as well. You can also use this time to heal any issues you may have with your Father. If your Father has passed away a fitting tribute would be to give money to a man's charity or shelter. The celebration of Father's Day, falls on the third Sunday of the month and it seems very fitting that this celebration falls during this most solar of months and masculine of Moons. Also falling in June is the graduation ceremonies of many schools, these are not only celebrations of a child’s accomplishments but rights of passage. No, matter what year your child goes through honor their achievements and this end of a cycle. Also make sure to honor what you have learned in the past year, and what accomplishments you've made.

The sixth Moon of the Year falls in June and goes by many names among them the Mead Moon, Honey Moon, Strawberry Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Rose Moon. June's Moon is called the Mead Moon because June is usually the time of the first honey harvest and so can be made into the intoxicating drink mead. Mead is most likely the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man, the linguist root for mead, "medium," is the same in all Indo-European languages. Many cultures have their own version of mead, including India, Ethiopia, the Maya, East Africa, Norse and all of Europe. Scientists estimate that humans and bees have been evolving alongside each other for millennial, The honey bee has been raised and transplanted to many countries and constituents in which it was not native, though 20,000 known species exist. Bees are considered sacred to many different cultures, they are often considered creatures connected to the Moon and to Goddess energies. They are connected to the Goddesses Demeter, Cable, Artemis and Rhea. Demeter is often considered the queen bee, her priestesses were called Melissa, or bees. Bees were also connected with Apollo, and were said to have erected some of the temples in Delphi, and both Zeus and Dionysus were said to be fed by bees when they were babies. The muses were said to take on the form of bees, and bees were known as the “Birds of the muses,” as such bees are a symbol of divine inspiration. In Greece they are a symbol of the Elusion Mysteries. The Hindu Gods Visnu, Krishna and Kim and Indra are called Madhava or “nectar born ones,” In Egypt they denoted royalty, while to the Celts they represented hidden wisdom. Bees are considered messengers, imparting wisdom, they are said to inhabit the realm of the living at the dead and were considered a bridge between these two realms and are symbols of sexuality and fertility. Because honey is a whole food, sweet and has antibacterial and mild laxative qualities it was often included in medicine, both external and internal. Applying a bit of honey to a wound, keeps bacteria at bay and helps heal wounds. Eating local honey or taking locally collected bee pollen is said to help the sufferer get over allergies. Eating honey is also said increase ones fertility, and one of the explanations for the name honeymoon. Newly married couples were supplied with enough mead to last them a whole month, this was said to ensure a happy and fertile marriage.

In modern terms bees are seen as symbols of prosperity, productivity , industry, community and a well functioning society. Bees communicate with one another and have a defined social structure with the queen at its center, who is the mother of all the bees in the colony, male bees called drones who are born without stingers and whose sole purpose is to mate with the queen; workers , underdeveloped females who are the smallest bees in the colony, who feed the queen and larvae, guard the hive and keep the hive cool by fanning their wings. They also collect nectar to make honey and build honeycombs. In a statement by St. John Chrysostom in his twelfth homily he states,”The bee is more honored than other animals , not because she labors, but because she labors for others.”

Honey, is quite possibly the only food manufactured by a non-human animal and is the only food that doesn't spoil. In Ayurveda raw honey is considers medicine, while cooked honey is considered poison. Raw honey is teaming with active enzymes which when heated above 117 degrees disappear. The bee pollen present in raw honey contains 22 amino acids, including 8 essential ones, 27 mineral and the full gamut of vitamins, hormones and fatty acids, 5,000 enzymes and co enzymes. The taste and quality depends on what plants the honeybees collected it from. Honey combines the energy of all the plants it has collected and is a powerful, magickal substance.

This month include bees, and honey in your workings. Use symbols of bees on your altar and on your altar. Use honeycomb patterns for your altar, use or create beeswax candles. Use honey for your sweetener in teas, lemonades, and yogurts, use it in baking, substitute ¾ cup honey for every cup of sugar a recipe calls for. You need less honey because it weighs more than sugar and is sweeter. Since honey is a liquid and adds extra moisture reduce other liquids in the recipe by ½ cup for every cup of honey. Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degree Fahrenheit, so that the dish doesn't brown too quickly.

Spend some time outside observing them as the fly from one flower to another. Be calm and quiet and do not be afraid of their stingers, bees rarely sting without being provoked, and an awareness and respect for their presence helps one get over any fear that a person may be feeling. Ask this important creature for a lesson, for inspiration, use the bee to communicate with departed loved ones, and to connect with the natural cycle. You may wish to honor and bless this important creature. News of the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder, were workers bees suddenly disappear, endangering the life of the whole colony and endangering the food supply of humans as they are the primary pollinators of 1/3 of the food supplying plants. Send protection, healing and love to their colonies and if you are so able, consider becoming an urban bee keeper, or at the very least invite them and attract them to your garden by planting herbs and flowers that they like, honor them and keep them in your thoughts.

This Moon is a great Moon for trying your hand at the art of mead making, an art that takes planning, time and patience and is a magick, a spell and a ritual in and of itself. The sense of accomplishment you feel when you first taste a batch of homemade mead is tremendous, it gives you a greater appreciation for the process and it is great to have your own supply of sacred alcohol to use in your rites. You can decide to make mead alone or make it as a group effort. You can turn it into a ritual by having each participant bring one item that goes into the mead, or supplies to make the mead, then you can add the different ingredients as part of a rite, blessing these ingredients as you go. When the mead has brewed you can use it for coven rituals, and/or give each participant a bottle of mead to use as s/he pleases.

You can find many recipes for mead in books and online but as a person just starting out you may be intimidating by the size and cost of some of these recipes, an easy, cheap way of creating mead can be found here:

This recipe makes a one gallon batch which is perfect for starting out. Whenever I am starting out I always bless my mead, with the energies of the Elements and with the goddess Brighid as she is not only a Goddess of the healing and of plants, but a goddess of crafting and of brewing. There are many God's of brewing that can be invoked to bless your brew, and who would love to be toasted and offered some of the finished project. I also show my appreciation to the tiny creatures of yeast that are indeed doing all the hard work by honoring and blessing them with a joyous, prosperous life.

If you want a mead like drink immediately for ritual, one that doesn't contain alcohol you can use the great Scott Cunningham standby for:

Soft Mead:

1 quart of water, preferably spring water
1 cup of honey
1 sliced lemon
1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg

Boil together all the ingredients (as they are) in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising "scum" with a wooden spoon. When no more rises add the following:

Pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 lemons

Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mean or wine during the Simple Fest.

If you have more time, but still want a quick mead try this recipe from Jessica Prentice, from her book Full Moon Feast, for a tasty, healthy, pro biotic mead:

Mellow Mead
Makes 2 quarts
• 2/3 cup raw, unfiltered honey
• 1 1/2 cups filtered water, very warm (about 110° F)
• 6 cups filtered water
• 1/2 cup kefir grains—rinsed grains from making milk kefir, or water kefir grains

Pour the honey into a clean, 2-quart mason jar.
Pour the hot water over the honey and stir to dissolve.
Pour the rest of the filtered water into the jar.
Add the kefir grains.
Cover the jar and put it in a warm place for 1 week.

Strain into two glass bottles with screw tops. I use the bottles from the mineral water gerolsteiner. Put an even amount into both bottles. If they are 1-quart bottles, they should be full; if they are 1-liter bottles, add enough water to fill to the top. Screw the lids on tightly, label and date the bottles, and return to the warm place for another week.

Transfer to the fridge. Once they are cold you can enjoy them anytime! When you are ready to drink the mead, open the bottles carefully because they may have built up a lot of carbonation. Open them outside or over a sink. Turn the lid very slowly to see if the drink begins to release foam. If so, then allow it to release some of the carbon dioxide by not opening the bottle all the way and letting out some of the pressure, then opening it more and more, bit by bit. This way you won’t lose your drink to its carbonation.

You can also make a:

Cheat Mead

1 bottle of white wine
½-1 cup honey
Any mulling spice or herbs you'd like to add (Sweet Woodruff, Elderflower, Lavender, Rose)

On low, warm up the wine, add the spices, and let it infuse one hour, Strain, add the honey, cool and enjoy. Or you can heat the mead but setting the wine and honey outside in the hot June Sun. In a large pitcher add the wine and herbs. Let them, steep for a few hours. Set out the honey as well. Strain the wine add the Sun warmed honey, cool and enjoy.

When consuming your mead or any alcohol be aware of the magickal process in which it took to make it. Be aware that alcohol alters one state of mind, and is a holy sacrament. Know that this is why it was used in days of old as an aid to open the mind to the Other world. Respect this substance know that it is medicine and poison and it will enhance, the mood you are already in.

The Moon this month is also called the Strawberry or Berry Moon because these plants were in their full bloom and were prolifically producing. Strawberries not cultivated by huge industrial farms have long life’s, up to ten years but usually very short growing seasons, depending on the varieties, the best strawberries are produced during late Spring and early Summer with a second crop in the Fall. Modern Strawberry plants are crosses between wild woodland strawberries of both England and American, sometimes with French and even Chilean varieties. They are first mentioned in 1265, and are called, “Straberries.” Strawberries are often said to be named after the practice of growing with a thick mulch of high around them, this practice protects their roots and cradles the delicate fruits. This however is untrue the name strawberry is older coming from the word “Strew,” and refers to how the plant grows, with tangling vines that cover the ground.

Strawberries are a very sweet and nutritious plant, which has been consumed and used in medicine for ages! It has more Vitamin c than any citrus fruit, 140% in fact of your daily need. They are also high in Vitamin K, Manganese, folic acid, riboflavin, B5, B6, Copper, Magnesium, omega 3's and are an antioxidant power house. They also contain ellaric acid which, “binds” cancer causing chemicals making them inactive, Strawberries are astringent and diuretic and are a mild laxative. Strawberries leaves are made into a tea for treating diarrhea, gastritis and other stomach ailments, liver problems, arthritis and for soothing a sore throat or mouth sores. They help reduce inflammation and help lower blood sugar levels and help alleviate heart health issues like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Eating the fruit is said to cool the body, reduce fevers and purify the blood and help those with gout and animate Strawberries are a very feminine plants and can help women during their life cycle Strawberry leaf tea is drunken over a long period of time it will help regulate and normalize periods, and relieve cramps, it is also taken as an estrogen enhancer to help during menopause. Women also drink a tea from its root to help heal after childbirth.

Eating strawberries can have aesthetic appeal to strawberry juice helps whiten teeth, removing strains and plaque, juice can be combined with baking soda brushed on the teeth and allowed to sit a few minutes then rinsed off. Strawberry root when chewed was even used as a toothbrush! A strong tea gargle will strengthen the gums, especially those with loose teeth. Rubbing the fruit or the fruit juice on ones face is said to lighten it and help heal burns and sunburns and products containing strawberry juice or leaf are used in beauty care products and help with those suffering form eczema. Eating Strawberries throughout their natural growing season will also help you acclimatize yourself to the hotter weather, making it easier for you to adapt to it.

Strawberries are herbs of love and luck and are associated with the Goddess Frigga and the Origin Mary, Use Strawberry leaves to create a poppet to attract a lover or for good luck, success and increased fertility. Pregnant women may also wish to carry sachets of this herb to help them during their pregnancies.. Strawberries are a food of romance and love, enjoy Strawberries and whip cream, or Strawberries and champagne with your lover. Eat raw Strawberries for their health befits, include them in salads and smoothies, dry strawberries for tea or preserve them in jams and jellies.. Enjoy the sweet and fullness of life, and of this season with the great healthy and helpful Strawberry!

Another name for this Moon is The Rose Moon and is when most varieties of roses are blooming prolifically. The ancient Greek festival of Rosalia was also held during this time at the end of May beginning of June. It was a rite to honor Aphrodite, her temples were vertically carpeted with hundreds of rose petals, and rose incense was burned in her temple. Women would also wash themselves in rose water for continued beauty. You can buy rose water from high end grocery stores, and ethnic markets, usually it is found in the baking aisle next to the spices and vanilla extract. You can also find it online or can make it yourself. When making rose water use only fragrant petals, that have been removed from the flower head, do not use commercially grown flowers, as they have been treated with chemicals and do not use any roses that have been sprayed with insecticide or chemical fertilizers.

Making Rose Water At Home

If there are lots of scented but pesticide-free rose petals available, the recipe for producing rose water at home is fairly simple. Here are some tips and instructions:
It is best to collect the rose petals early in the day as soon as the dew has dried. Also, the white section at the base of each petal, which is called the nail, needs to be pinched out.
Then mix:
2 cups of fresh petals
1 ½ cups of distilled water
½ cup of vodka in a glass container
Cover and store in a sunny spot (such as on a window sill) so that the mixture can steep for several weeks. Strain and return just the liquid to the jar, adding 2 more cups of fresh petals. Repeat the steeping process. After several weeks strain again and discard the petals and store the liquid in small tightly covered little bottles in a cool dark spot.

How to Make Your Own Rose Water Adapted from , by Rosemary Gladstar.

Be sure you have a brick and heat-safe quart bowl ready before you begin.

2-3 quarts fresh roses or rose petals
Ice cubes or crushed ice
In the center of a large pot (the speckled blue canning pots are ideal) with an inverted lid (a rounded lid), place a fireplace brick. On top of the brick place the bowl. Put the roses in the pot; add enough flowers to reach the top of the brick. Pour in just enough water to cover the roses. The water should be just above the top of the brick. Place the lid upside down on the pot. Turn on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a slow steady simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, toss two or three trays of ice cubes (or a bag of ice) on top of the lid You’ve now created a home still! As the water boils the steam rises, hits the top of the cold lid, and condenses. As it condenses it flows to the center of the lid and drops into the bowl. Every 20 minutes, quickly lift the lid and take out a tablespoon or two of the rose water. It’s time to stop when you have between a pint and a quart of water that smells and tastes strongly like roses.
You can use rose water as a perfume, linen spray, toner and include it in facial cleaners. Or it can be useful in cooking adding a teaspoon or tablespoon to cookies and cakes, as well as yogurt and puddings. Rose petals in general are edible and high in vitamin C, You can add some fresh petals to a salad, candy them and place them in a cake chop them and add to cupcakes, or make thumb print cookies with rose petal jam. You can also dry you petals and use them for a sweet, delicious heart healing tea.

Rose Punch Patricia Telescope
Steep 4 cups of rose petals in 4 cups of warm water. Let them sit until they are heady with the scent. Strain into punch bowl. To this add 4 cups soda water and ice cubes with frozen flowers in them./ Float fresh roses and rose petals and oranges.

You can also use roses to make potpourris, herbal sachets, arrangements and even beads. Many rosaries were made into beads and a beautiful tradition to honor a loved one is to make a rosary out of rose petal beads made from their garden or their funeral flowers. There are many complicated, time consuming recipes out there on how to make rose petal beads but the easiest use dried rose that have been powdered. To powder rose petals you need a coffee grinder, because of rose petals flowery texture they do not grind well in a mortar and pistil. You can also find powdered rose petals online.

This recipe has been adapted from Tina Sams of the Essential Herbal Magazine and can be used to make any herbal beads.

Herb Beads

1 ½ T powdered herbal-compendium1 t gum tragedian
1 t orris root powder
1 t benzion powder.

Blend all ingredients well in a microwave safe bowl.

Add ½ t grated beeswax and about 2 T water. Mix thoroughly, and microwave for about 1 minute. Immediately work the melted wax into the other ingredients with the back of a spoon. When the dough is cool enough, use your fingers and knead together. More water can be added , as well as more herb a small amount at a time If necessary. The dough should be firm like modeling clay. When the dough hold together and can be formed into balls, you can add 3-5 drops essential oil. You can now begin forming these into a ball and stringing them gently on floral water with plenty of space between them to dry. Turn beads gently a few times a day to prevent them sticking to the wire. Dry the beads for several days. When done you can polish them with sandpaper and rub with more essential oil and make jewelry with them.

I suggest you wear a pair of vying or latex gloves as the herbs can stick to your hands and the herbs can irritate the skin.

To connect with the Rose Moon spend some time in the garden admiring their beauty and scent, bring some roses inside, send them to a lover, family member or a friend. Burn rose scent incense, use rose scented perfume, enjoy food made with rose and wear floral patterns and jewelry . Use Rose in love spells and to honor the Goddess. Use Rose oil to promote love, as an aphrodisiac, and as a mood uplifter and for a general sense of harmony, balance and well being, Rose oil banishes grief, sadness and anger and also helps self confidence.

Enjoy this Moon full of warmth, light, scent and all sorts of sensory and extra sensory experiences!

Grandmother Moon, ZSuzsanna E. Budapest
Wheel of the Year, Pauline Campanelli
Moon Magic, DJ Conway
Everyday Moon Magic, Dorothy Morrison
Full Moon Feast , Jessica Prentice
Hedge Witch, Silver Ravenwolf
Wiccan Spell a Night,, Strona Knight
A Year of Esbats, Shannon Reilly
A Year of Rituals: Sabbats and Esbats for Solitaries and Covens Sandra Kynes
The Wiccan Year, Judy Ann Nock
The New Book of Goddessses and Heroines, Patricia Monaghan
Seasons of the Sun, Patricia Telesco
Animal Speak ,Ted Andrews
Animal Magick, D.J. Conway
Storyteller's Goddess, Carolyn McVickar Edwards
Bubble, Bubble, toil and Trouble, Patricia Telesco
Natural Magick, Sally Dubats
Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham
Making Beads from Herbs Tina Sams


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