First Harvest 2020 – Lammas

August 1st was Lammas, which is known as the First Harvest of the year. This day marks the transition into the harvest season of August, September, and October (of which there is a Second Harvest and Last Harvest that correspond to these months).

This holiday is often called Lammas, Lughnasadh, or Lugh, although I usually just refer to it as the First Harvest. On my path, it celebrates the beginning of Summer’s decline and ramping up of the busy season where we begin to reap in the abundance that the bounty of summer’s energies has encouraged to grow and flourish.

First Harvest Tarot Reading

Like with new moons and full moons, I usually do a spread to check in with myself and give myself some direction for the next couple of months for each solstice, equinox, and other Sabbats. This spread is an adaptation of my Self Care Saturday spread, so there are sure to be  some similarities in how it is read. The focus of this spread, though, is not about Self Care, but rather about progress and my path. The time period is also longer, reaching through the next handful of weeks until the celebration of the upcoming Second Harvest (aka. Mabon, Autumnal Equinox) in September.

Theme of the SeasonLammas, Weaver Moon, Wood Mouse – The first harvest of the year is a time of evaluation.  It’s a time when you want to ascertain what you want to accomplish before winter has arrived, and make sure that all those things you’ve done so far this year to get you there are still on track in the correct direction.

The Weaver’s Moon is about the many hats we wear in life, and how those hats don’t change the true person that we are underneath it all.  When we put on these hats, we see the world through different perspectives and interact with it in those perspectives as well.  This teaches  us many things, but it doesn’t change us into what we present. It is about open to the many perspectives and experiences that build our lives.

The story of the wood mouse card is one of thankless work behind the scenes and the unsung hero. This card is a representation of that energy and purpose that comes with doing the work that is mostly unseen so that the larger work that needs done can be done.  In relation to my life, this would refer to those small ripples of happiness and positivity that I create with each piece of jewelry I make for others.

When looking at these three cards together, the theme that I see here is one about making sure I am staying open and receptive even as I do these little things that ripple outward from me to others and from others to still more.  I wear many hats in my efforts to further my business’ growth, and yet, what is the purpose behind these things?  I am not spearheading some great purpose or showy result.  My purpose is quiet and subtle but pervasive. Concentrate on the hats I need to wear to do what needs done and wear them as needed to do the job… but don’t allow them become me (or me to become them) along the way.

EarthThree of Swords – You may start feeling some repercussions from the irresponsible spending that you did over the spring and early summer.  Don’t allow it to screw up your head or send you into a downward spiral though.  Even if something happens that causes a gushing wound pouring blood money from its heart… just scream out your frustrations and keep going. A wounded heart can heal, and even a scarred heart still beats.

AirFour of Cups – Stop looking the gift horse in the mouth. You’ve noticed that additional pessimism that’s been swimming up from the depths lately.  Pay attention to it.  Do not allow yourself to push it away and treat it as inconsequential.  If you don’t give it the attention it needs, it will grow and you’ll find yourself not just feeling a bit pessimistic and bored but falling off into something far uglier and harder to recover from.

WaterKnight of Cups –  You’ve been doing really good with sticking to your guns where your emotional growth is concerned.  Make sure you continue to put  your conscious attention on keeping on this path and nurturing it to flourish.  The soil is rich and you’ve planted the seeds of your emotional growth.  Results have grown from those seeds, but they continue to need TLC to make sure that they survive and thrive.

FireKing of Cups – Added time with Gideon over the past few weeks has helped create a sense of comfortable emotional support and strength within your creative writing.  This can easily be spilled over into other areas of creative expression, if you are willing to tap into it and allow it to spread outward like a singing bowl’s sound reverberates through both air and matter alike.

WaningWolf Spirit – You are on the cusp of misalignment and need to take care do what you can to soften the effects of this.  Note the negative aspects that have been flitting around the edges and try not to allow them to pull you too far off course.  You can turn this around, but you might go through a period of confusion and disorientation before you find your balance again.

WaxingParrot Spirit – During this time of misalignment, make sure you are watching what you are saying not just to others, but to yourself as well.  Sometimes when feeling out of sorts and disoriented, you can come off sharp or condescending to others, as well as downright vicious to yourself concerning your weaknesses and performance expectations.  These are not going to help you and are unhealthy… if you want to make it through this time of misalignment smoothly and quickly, stay mindful of your words.

Take Away – You are on track with your emotional growth, but maybe not so much when it comes to your finances and portfolio.  Don’t let that get you down too much, and don’t panic if a sudden expenditure comes up to expose to you just how “oh shit” that deficit might actually be.

Depression is creeping at the edges of the shadows, staying back but toying with those small frays at the edges of the fabric of your well-being.  You’ve seen small signs of this and need to make sure you’re not ignoring them. Be genuine and be yourself, but make sure you are consciously choosing to treat yourself and others kindly, and turn your focus on finding ways to spread the pleasure and security you feel in your creativity with Gideon into other aspects of your creativity elsewhere.

DECKS USED:  LIGHT SEER’S TAROT, THE GREEN WHEEL ORACLE, THE SPIRIT ANIMAL ORACLE

Transitioning from July to August

This is a spread that I do at the end of each month to close out the month.

Month_End

Individuality Seven of Pentacles and Self Heal (Responsibility) – At this time I am in the middle of a long term growth and healing process. This extends beyond the emotional growth that I have been dealing with through the past few months.  As I come to a point where that growth spurt changes from active growth to a time of adjustment, the emotional growth I experienced has begun to spread out into other areas of my life, influencing everything around me in small ways that will over time develop into something more beneficial and obvious. Have patience with yourself.

Dependence Six of Rods and Nettle (Transformation) – Sometimes lately?  I feel like a know it all asshat.  Especially when dealing with that one specific brick wall we have on our server right now.  I want to release this feeling, but in order to do so, I need to dig into what’s creating that feeling.  Is it something in my personal communications that has shifted lately that’s causing it?  Or is it being stirred up by an external source?

Creativity Page of Cups and Bee Balm (Vibrance) – I want more lighthearted creativity in my life. With the emotional growth I’m feeling a bit softer and a bit warmer, but I also want to feel a bit “lighter” and instill a bit of carefree creativity  in my life that’s been missing for the past… year?  I mean, there’s been little hints of it, but I’d love to have more.

Limitation The Hermit and Borage (Optimism) – Retreating into yourself and closing yourself off to others is not assisting you in your goal to be more optimistic and positive in life.  By closing yourself off, you are allowing your inner dialog free reign to have its way with you.  It’s not healing, and it is important to both acknowledge this fact as well as watch out for these tendencies.

Change The Chariot and Daylily (Centering) – Focus on the fact that you can’t truly control the future or the past.  It’s only the present that’s truly in your control, and you have the ability to make every day what you want it to be if you’re willing to grab the reigns and actually do it now instead of just thinking about it or planning for it to happen sometime in the future.

Sympathy Wheel of Fortune and Rosemary (Clarity) – The past event these cards refers to has to do with my family’s expectations growing up as well as as an adult, and how there were times in which those expectations created self doubt. This painful lesson holds relevance at this time, and I need to remember that I have found my path and that I do not need to live my life for anyone but myself… nor conform to anyone’s expectations but my own.

Luck Two of Swords and Evening Primrose (Rebirth) – These cards are a reminder of the day that I first was introduced to the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis.  This is a poem that changed my life.  It gave me a perspective that I needed, at a time when I needed it a most, and provided me with the knowledge I needed both of myself and what I wanted from life, to allow me to choose my path wisely.

Power The Hanged Man Rx and Purple Poppy (Evolution) – Take care to stay aware and seeking those extra perspectives and different opinions.  It’s okay to have your own opinions and methods, but don’t forget that you need a much wider and more vast array of input to make good decisions on how you move forward and grow from one day to the next.  Don’t close yourself off or allow yourself to grow and evolve in a direction that would close you off from these things.

Responsibility Strength and Bleeding Heart (Independence) – The opportunity in the month echos back to the mention of being in a time of “adjustment” concerning my emotional growth.  I have the opportunity to create a steady foundation at this time that will develop into a new kind of internal strength that includes a depth of emotional capacity rather than excluding my emotions from the equation.

Message from Spirit World –  You have the control to steer how you develop spiritually over the month ahead.  Stay open to new perspectives and seize control of your own autonomy.  Your future and your development is in your hands.  Your personal hands.  Your growth stretches beyond just the emotional and into the spiritual.  Make sure that you staying mindful of your choices and the direction your progress is taking.

Message from Mind’s World – It’s okay for things to take time and you need to accept that.  Fill that time with the things you want to do and stop worrying so much about what other people think about you.  This should be a time to focus on what you want, not what others want or expect of you.

Message from Known World – Although the world is often uncertain, you can make choices to steer things in the direction you want them to go.  Stay focused on what you want as things change around you, and your path will continue to steer true as you evolve upon it into the person you want to become.  Each day is filled with a series of constant choices.   Stay true in these choices to who you are… and what you want.  The Hermit in these cards stands out as the outlier… now is not a time to retreat or close yourself off from the world and those around you.  It would not be healthy for you at this time.

Take Away – There is a theme here in the cards that has to do with growth and progress, in what I want to instill into my future, and how the future is built from the present.  What you do here in the now is what directs you upon the path of your future, so make sure that your present choices are ones that suit what you want of both who you are today, and of who you want to be in the future as well.

DECKS USED: HANSON ROBERTS TAROT AND THE SOULFLOWER ORACLE CARDS

Afternoon Bonus Read – The First Harvest

The prompt for this reading came from one of my Discord servers and is as follows:
It’s almost Lammas, the First Harvest! This week, take some time with your divination tools to learn what things in your life you are currently or will soon be harvesting.

Carta Bellica Renaissance Playing Cards

In what area of my life am I harvesting results?
King of Spades, Two of Diamonds

I am making progress in the area of balancing my obligations and responsibilities in a more controlled and conscientious manner.  This includes leading others into helping me to get what needs done finished, and finding time to sit down and rest when needed instead of constantly pushing for more.  The results of this effort are starting to actually show results in my life at this time.

In what area of my life will I soon be harvesting results?
Ace of Hearts

All that emotional growth that you’ve been starting down the path of over the past handful of months is moving into a point of rest now, and you will begin to see the results of the work you’ve put in and the effort made to protect that budding new growth from being snuffed out.

What is something that I currently need to be storing up or preparing for the future?
Seven of Hearts, Seven of Spades, Jack of Spades

There are a lot of things that I need to work at preparing right now in the business.  This takes a lot of planning, and a lot of juggling, including making some choices on how things are prioritized.  At this time you are still in the learning phase in some ways when it comes to plotting this new course, and it’s important to make sure that each step on this path at his time is measured and well thought out.

DECK USED: CARTA BELLICA RENAISSANCE PLAYING CARDS

#31DaysofWitchcraft Prompt 18 (non)VR to Heather Carter

Heather Carter on YouTube put together a series of prompts titled #31DaysofWitchcraft that she’s been working her way through since the beginning of May. I really like this idea, but I can’t handle the responsibility of any more daily posts, so I thought that for the next little while I would do one (or a few at a time) for the end of week “My Pagan Perspective” posts and work through them a bit at a time.

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18. Do you use herbs and/or crystals in your personal practice? Is so, which are your favourites? And why?

I already wrote about the most commonly used crystals in my practice, so I figured that I would use this prompt to now focus on the most commonly used herbs and plants in my practice.

I would like to focus first on the why part of this question, though.  I use herbs and plants in my practice in much the same way I use crystals. To enhance my intentions, enhance the energies I’m working with, or guide those energies to strengthen their purpose.

Spellwork is like any task.  Say you want to hammer in a nail.   You can use a rock…. or you can use a hammer.  Both will work, but the hammer will be much more efficient and much easier to use.  In this analogy, the nail is spellwork… and the hammer is the crystals and herbs used in that spellwork.

Here is my “short list” of the “herbs” I use on a regular basis in my path and practice. Not an exhaustive list, but my go-to herbs most of the time.  I have included what I most often use these herbs and plants for, but keep in mind this is my personal most common uses for each plant and in no way is anywhere near the full scope of that plant’s uses in in spellwork and ritual.

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The following herbs and plants are those most commonly used in my practice as a whole (and are non-edible either because of toxicity or personal allergies)

Alder – Strength, Protection, Self Confidence, Bravery
Aloe – Peaceful Energy, Soothing, Home Protection, Luck, Lunar Magic, Silencing Rumors
Birch – Energies of Potential and Renewal, Psychic Protection, Purification
Buttercups – Reminiscence, Self Worth, Innocence, Self Love, Inner Child Work
Cascara – Releasing Spiritual or Emotional Constipation, Money Spells, Legal Matters
Cedar – Perseverance, Fortitude, Protection, Cleansing Negative Energy, Warding
Columbine – Love Magic, Life Path Work, Inner Truth Work
Douglas fir – Healing Magic, Ancestral Work, Grounding, Grounded Progress
Fern & Fiddle-heads (various) – Protection, Invisibility, Good Fortune, Exorcising Evil Spirits
Fireweed – Easing Anger, Restoration, New Beginnings, Breaking Up Spiritual Blocks
Foxglove – Protection, Love and Sex, Fertility, Psychic Warfare
Hemlock (various) – Fostering Sexual Impotence, Purification Rituals, Protection During Astral Travel
Hoya – Wealth, Protection, Inward Exploration, Future Sight
Ivy (various) – Self-Love, Cleansing Negative Energies, Abundance
Juniper – Clear Sight, Warmth, Hope, Love and Sex
Maple – Spiritual Healing, Intellectual Pursuits, Bindings, Abundance, Communication
Marigold – Healing Depression, Cleansing, Good Health Spells
Nasturtium – Encouraging Tolerance, Creativity, Independence, Free Thought
Oak – Longevity and Immortality, Wisdom, Personal Power, Protection, Doorways
Peace Lily – Harmony, Comfort, Platonic Love
Pine – Wisdom, Longevity, Healing, Protection, Purification, Banishings
Poison Ivy – Protection, Defense, Repellent Magic
Rhododendron – Intellectual Pursuits, Sussing Out Enemies
Slippery Elm – Silencing Rumors and Lies
Spruce – Resilience, Rebound Defense Spells, Spirit Communication
Stinging Nettles – Uncrossing, Dispelling Negative Energy, Purification, Willpower
Sweetgrass – Attracting Positive Energy, Purification, Cleansing Out Negativity, Spiritual Healing
Tansy – Longevity, Intention Setting, Invisibility, Curse Protection, Safe Travels
Thistle – Protection, Ancestor Magic, Boldness, Self Growth, Uncrossing
Various mosses, lichens, and liverworts – Attentive Understanding, Clarity, Abundance, Harmony

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Also, as a lot of my practice is focused on and included in food, here is a go-to list of the herbs and plants that I commonly use in my general practice as well as my kitchen witchery.

Basil – Peace, Happiness, Protection, Prosperity
Bay – Uncrossing, Employment, Protection, Prosperity, Psychic Boost
Blackberry – Protection, Prosperity, Healing
Chamomile – Healing, Gentle Energy, Harmony, Breaking Curses, Unraveling Unfamiliar Spells
Chili Pepper – Uncrossing, Banishing, Love, Protection
Cinnamon – Energy Boosting, Intention Boosting, Abundance, Prosperity
Cloves – Silencing Rumors and Lies
Dandelion – Healing, Divination Boost, Protection, Encouraging Smooth Cycles
Garden Sage – Protection, Purification, Healing, Cleansing, Luck, Wisdom
Garlic – Healing, Luck, Dispel Negative Energy, Thief Warding, Repel Harmful Spirits
Ginger – Protection, Sex Magic, Prosperity
Lavender – Cleansing, Clarity, Relaxation, Healing Relationships, Releasing Negative Emotion
Lilac – Energy Boost, Balance, Romance, Metaphysical Doorways
Mint – Resolving Misunderstandings, Prosperity, Lessen Accident Proneness
Mugwort – Dreams, Psychic Boost, Protection, Purification
Orange Peel – Prosperity, Success, Positivity
Oregano – Comforting Warmth, Protection, Purification, Vitality, Peace
Pansy – Gentle Energy, Love, Kindness, Self Love, Bright Ideas, Happiness
Raspberry – Protection, Love, Kindness, Youthfulness, Creativity
Rose (incl hips) – Health, Love, Anticipation of Love, Abundance, Emotional Healing, Secrecy
Rosemary – Warding, Purification, Protection, Psychic Cleansing, Repels Negative Energy
Shepherd’s Purse – Healing, Protection, Healing, Renewal Magic
Thyme – Loyalty, Luck, and Dispelling of Grief, Nightmares, Depression, and Negativity

As mentioned previously, these are far from the only herbs and plants that I use in my practice, but they are the ones that I use most often. Nor have I listed all of the possible uses for each plant, just the what I most commonly use them for.

Herbs and plants have a wide variety of different uses to boost spellwork, divination, intention setting, and other purposes.  I use plants and herbs, as well as crystals, daily in a variety of different ways.

I think it’s important to stress, though, that I have training as a botanist that allows me to handle a lot of dangerous plants much more safely than the average person, and that there are a handful of dangerous and even deadly plants on the list shared above that I do not recommend being used by those without the training and knowledge to do so safely.  Without the proper training and care, one could very easily end up not just hurting themselves, but possibly killing themselves, a loved one, or a beloved pet by accident.  It’s always important to research plants used in any magical working thoroughly before jumping in with both feet.