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Festivals in July

 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Festivals in July Reply with quote

The first of July is dedicated in Druidic culture to Oengus Og, the son of the Dagda and Boann. He is the Irish God of Love, around whose head four birds forever fluttered, representing his kisses. He himself fell in love with Caer Ibormeith, who appeared to him in a dream, and his long pursuit of her became the epitomy of all lover's quests. He was the foster father of Diarmuid O'Duibhne, lover of Grainne and transported his body to Brug na Boyne, Newgrange, afterhis death where he was able to breathe his soul back into his body.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject: July 6 Pelagius Reply with quote

Pelagius lived from 350 - 418 and was a British theologian whose birth name was Morgan.

Pelagius or "Sea-born" is a latin equivalent of this name. He taught the doctrine that G~d had given human kind the innate ability of living sinlessly; a possibility that was achievable by following the example of Christ.

This doctrine ran directly counter to St. Augustine's doctrine that human kind was born subject to "original sin".

As St. Augustine's doctrine was the accepted orthodoxy of the roman Church, Pelagius and his followers were subject to persecution as heretics.

Nevertheless, a strong vein of Pelagianism is detectable within the Celtic Church and still surfaces from time to time where certain kinds of evangelistic Christianity have been adopted within Celtic countries.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: July 9 three strains of music Reply with quote

To dispense the healing power of music was one of the many skills of the poet.

Three harp strains are said to have been instituted at the three confinements of the Goddess Boann.

At her first labour, she was sorrowful because of the pain.

The second birth she was full of joy.

The third she was sleepy because of the length of her labour.

These three children were called Goltraiges, Gentraiges and Suantraiges, who give their names to the three strains which harpers were about to reproduce. The sorrow strain, which provokes the release of lamentation after grief, the joy strain which provokes mirth after sorrow, and the sleep strain, which provokes rest after trauma.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:11 pm    Post subject: July 14 Well Offerings Reply with quote

The Celts traditionally made offerings and prayers at wells, a custome which continues to this day, especially at those wells which have healing properties.

"Clooties" or strips of cloth are dipped in the well, prayed over, and hung in the thorn tree, which invariably grows over the well. There to hand and fade until the prayer, blessing, or healing is achieved.

All 'wishing wells' started life as primary accesses of healing power.

The Struthill Well in Scotland is remembered in this wishing spell, a remnant of earlier incantations:

Three white stones,
And three black pins
Three yellow gowans (daisies)
Off the green.
Into the well,
With a one, two, three,
And a fortune, a fortune
Come to me.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: July 16 Elembiuos Reply with quote

In the Gaulish calendrical tablet, the Coligny Calendar, the month of July-August was called Elembiuos or "Claim-time".

During the period leading up to Lugnasadh, any unfulfilled obligations were claimed or concluded among neighbours, with legal recourse to the brehon or judge if friendly requital were not forthcoming.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject: July 17 Cormac mac Airt Reply with quote

Cormac mac Airt was considered to be the Irish equivalent of Solomon.

It is reputed that he was asked on this day what the three sweetest things he had ever heard were.

Cormac mac Airt replied...

1) The shout of triumph after victory

2) Praised after wages.

3) A lady's invitation to her pillow.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: July 19 Crannchur Reply with quote

Crannchur or 'casting the woods' was a druidic method of divination for judgements which was adapted to Christian use: three lots were placed in a vesse - one for guilt, one for innocence, one for the Trinity.

The druid Morann mac Maine used three stones to determine guilt. A black stone for false hood, a white stone for truth and a speckled stone for half guilt.

In each case, the accused party had to draw out one lot or stone.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject: July 21 Ogma Reply with quote

Ogma is the Irish god of inscription and eloquence. The son of the Dagda, he invented the ogham script and is patron of its secrets.

Among the continental Celts, he was called Ogmios and associated with Heracles, being depicted as a bald, old man.

The greek writer, Lucian of Samosata, describes Ogmios as leading a happy band of men behindhim, attached to his tongue by golden chains fixed to their ears.

This image may be associated with the Plutarchian image of a semidivine race who inhabit the happy otherworldly island of Ogygia.

"In one of these islands, Cronus is confined by Zeus and the antique Briareus... Heracles has the highest honours."

Plutarch goes on to tell how every thirty years when Saturn, called the Night-watchman by the British, enters Taurus, a party of voyagers go forth to Ogygia to learn the sacred arts. The interrelationship of Ogmios with Heracles is because the Celts associated eloquence with strength.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: July 24 Old Mothering Reply with quote

Among the inner Hebrides, it was the custom for a newborn child to be taken by its mother outside and, at noon, and in the sun, to touch the baby's brow to the ground.

This was called 'the old Mothering'.

"How could one better be blessed, on coming into life, than to have the kiss of that ancient Mother of whom we are all children?"
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: July 25 quert Reply with quote

In the Irish tree alphabet, the letter CW or Q is represented by quert or apple.

In Celtic tradition, the apple is always regarded as a blessed fruit, in contradiction to the Classical myth of the apple of discord, or the late Christian association of the apple with the forbidden fruit of the Edenic Tree.

In the Voyage of Maelduin, the apple is the fruit which nurtures and sustains life; in the Lore of Avalon, it is the fruit which heals and restores.

The sound 'cw' is absent from Brythonic Celtic languaged and is replaced by 'p' as is readily seen by comparing the Gaelic and British words for 'Pict' - Cruitne and Priteni
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject: July Height Sunday Reply with quote

The Sunday before Lughnasadh is called Height Sunday in Ireland, when many people make pilgrimage to the mountains and high places.

This ancient custom may be motivated by the need to ascend to the highest place in order to see the dispositions of the land at this season and to intercede with the gods of the harvest.

Many such pilgrimages are still performed, the most notable being the ascent of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo.

The Life of St. Patrick says that G~d had commanded the saints of Ireland 'go up above the mountain which towers and is higher than all the mountains that are towards the setting of the sun, to bless the people of Ireland, that Patrick might see the fruit of his labour.'

Pilgrims still make the climb, usually on bare feet and fasting, stopping at designated stations on the way up to recite prayers and going on to celebrate mass at the summit.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: July 29 Cult of Aine Reply with quote

Aine, the Irish goddess of health was worshipped around County Limerick at Cnoc Aine.

She was responsible for the vital spark of life, which was believed to circulate around the entire body every twenty four hours.

No healers would practice bloodletting on this day as they believed that the vital spark would flow away.

The cult of Aine continued into the Middle Ages, when it was said that Maurice, first Earl of Desmond (died 1356) and Aine had a son, Gearoid Iarla, the historical third Earl of Desmond, (1359-9Cool who was also a poet of some reknown.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: July 30 Lugh and Balor Reply with quote

Balor was the Fomorian god of sorcery. He had only one eye, the other having been scorched by viewing the preparation of a druidic cauldron of knowledge.

Balor cast his daughter's son Lugh into the sea, but he was saved by the seals and fostered by the smith-god Goibhniu.

He grew up to become Lugh Lamhfada, the Long Armed.

At the second battle of Mag Tuiread, Lugh defeated Balor, as prophesied by casting a stone shot into his eye and thus diminishing the magical power of the Fomorian people.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: July 31 First fruits Reply with quote

July was often called the Hungry Month because before the harvest many people often faced famine, having run through their supplies since the previous harvest.

It was for this reason that they looked so keenly to Lughnasadh, for as the saying went, "tomorrow is Lughnasadh Day when all fruits will ripen."

The festival of Lughnasadh now begins, when all gather together in friendship and common interest to gather in the grain and celebrte the harvest of the year.
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