August 5th is known in pagan circles as the start of “Hazel Celtic tree month” or “Hazel Moon,” August 5th to September 1st. This appears to be originated from British Isles Celtic. I’m not sure it pertains to continental Celtic as well.
The image above is Mount Shasta in far northern California. This 14,162 foot tall inactive volcano is the location of many mysteries, which ties into the "mystery of the mountain" concept covered here. Some of these old legends--such as connections to UFOs, Atlantis, Lemuria, "inner earth," etc.--are not covered on this blog. You can find much on YouTube about these legends of Mt. Shasta. I believe at the least that the mountain, which stands alone and is not connected to any other mountains, make a perfect antennae to the beyond. This energy may account for all the strange lights seen by people over the many decades.
One unusual little thing happened here recently. A calico-colored cat belonging to someone, has hung around here for the last few years. It always seems to be out and about, displaying it's casual nature.. "catitude" as some call it. While out in front, I saw a raven swoop down and attack it from the air as the cat was walking across the street. The cat looked surprised and trotted away. When a raven group sets up camp in an area, they drive all other birds and some animals away. They never show aggression against humans that I have ever known. Some years ago, I saw many white feathers swirling in the air out the window one day. Some ravens had attacked a sea gull, as the gulls frequently make their way from the coast to the bay over this area. I have seen them attack hawks on many occasions, with the hawks not seeming especially intimidated.
An American pioneer of modern Wicca, Margot Adler, passed away this past week. She had produced numerous books and other material on the subject. There's a well-known quote by her that is still relevant I think:
"We are not evil. We don't harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not what you think we are from looking at T.V. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don't have to be afraid of us. We don't want to convert you. And please don't try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you--to live in peace. We are much more similar to you then you think." --Margot Adler
I had been curious about the significance of what is called the "new moon," when the moon is in it's darkest phase of its cycle. In a post on the Traditional Stregheria Yahoo Group I wrote:
"....during the new moon rite of this past week.. I not only felt nothing, but I felt depressing feelings. I made no connections at all, as I always have. This is the first time I have experienced this. I always make connections, often euphoric ones. I always feel so energized by the Moon, but I must have always taken this energy for granted... as though I though it a focal point like an antenae, and not a true intrinsic energy source. Did I feel sorrow for the absence of the energy source?
I don't like to sound confused or needy... but I am confused. I suspect that I will have part of my answer on the evening of Aug 9th... if everything is as it always has been for me.."
I'm anxious for the "supermoon" on August 10th, to see if all the energy and connections will come back for me. An online search for "new moon depression" seems to show that this wasn't my personal quirk, but something that many experience. Although there is ritual associated with the new moon, I'm not in a big hurry to try to connect with a new moon any time soon.
"New moon/dark moon magick can be used in several different ways. It can be used to work with the ancestors, divination, destroying a disease, bindings and working with spirits of the underworld.
You can do "crossroad" magick, in otherwords, if you don't have a crossroads nearby, you can create one on your altar. However, it it only used if you have reached a crossroads in your life and you need to reach a decision, or for tough decision making purposes in which you may not know what road to take.
New moons are also used to send negativity back that you feel is being sent your way." --Toni, administer of Traditional Stregheria Yahoo Group.
"I find I am 'strongest' and have the easiest time making connections during the new moon." --Alwaysride from the group
To go off-topic a little, a couple of days ago, I saw where the 2008 movie 'The Wrestler' with Mickey Rourke was on the Independent Film Channel. The movie won a number of awards, including a Academy Awards nomination for best actor and supporting actress (Marisa Tomei). I saw it for the first time a couple of months ago. I was thinking how this movie, in many ways, shows how life really is for most people. You're popular in some circles, neutral in others such as a job, and often treated shabbily during the day with strangers... such as a store clerk immediately reaching out and grabbing your money off the counter before you're even able to count.it. These things happen frequently to most people, and are usually just ignored. The vast majority of people don't like to admit to family and friends that they were treated in this manner by some damn stranger. Anyway, it was a good movie, with highs and lows, and a great ending... in its own way.
Also, related to the movie, there's a simple quote that rings true I think for just about everyone: "No matter how much that you have changed, you still must answer for what you have done."
I have not yet seen the 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' movies. Apparently I'm the only one who thinks that this concept just seems a little strange. A spiritual tradition which was the native culture once, shown yet again in a negative light, and with this..justification that they must be hunted down and murdered? What other religion would that portrayal be acceptable? Wow.. is this overly sensitive or unreasonable!?
It's a well-established fact that early Christian movements, for centuries, combined local pagan holidays and traditions into Christianity in order to make a smooth transition during the mostly forced conversion periods. The amount of such melding over time is pretty substantial, especially in regards to Christimas. It is then quite frustrating when certain overzealous Christian figures somehow try to suggest that these connections are part of some "occult conspiracy." If there are "occult conspiracies," they really have nothing to do with native European pre-Christian spiritual traditions. There is a big difference between eastern occultism and the forced occultism that was a result of Christian inquisitions. One such figure of many, is Doc Marquis. It's not that he's incorrect as far as these pagan connections, but he purposely misleads gullible people as to how this came about.