Lammas in Southern Hemisphere – Imbolc in Northern Hemisphere

Lammas blessings to those of us in the Southern Hemisphere.  May we stay safe from the heat and the fires and look forward to the cooler days.  Blessed Be!

 

lammas12

Lammas (2nd February)

Lammas is the traditional time of Harvest, and preparation for the coming winter months, celebrated on the 2nd of February in the Southern hemisphere, and on the 2nd of August in the Northern hemisphere.

Lammas is awareness of the approach of winter, and thanksgiving for the year’s harvest. The name Lammas derives from the Old English Hlaf-Mass, which means “bread feast”.

Lammas is traditionally the festival where the first loaf of bread from the harvest is broken and shared in the name of the Goddess. All crops associated with bread are sacred to this time, in particular barley. The drinks of the season are beer, ale, cider, and all things brewed.

In Australia, Lammas is an ideal Sabbat to spend down the beach on hot summer evenings, sipping cool drinks and honouring Mother-Sea by appreciating and respecting her cooling waves. Lammas is a harvest not only of crops, but of all that we have sown through the year, and so it is a good time to wander the beaches with a garbage bag, cleaning up the mess that thoughtless people have left behind, and doing our best to restore Mother-Sea to her natural glory.

Unfortunately, part of the harvest at this time is also the sad and distressing harvest that animal charities face when inundated with unwanted animals that had been Christmas presents just a few weeks earlier. Lammas is a good time to emphasize the importance of all Her creatures by supporting animal charities with donations of time and/or money. In this way, we can help ease the lives of unwanted animals and, when necessary, help with their passing into the next world where they will hopefully find true love and companionship according to their kind.

Lammas is the celebration of harvest, and ties in with Lughnassadh, the Celtic festival in honor of the Sun God, which is held on the 7th of February in the Southern hemisphere, and the 7th of August in the North. Tradition tells that the Sun King gives his energy to the crops to ensure life while the Mother prepares to transform into her aspect as the Crone.

Lammas is the time to teach and to share the fruits of our achievements. The baking of bread, the gathering of seed for the next year’s sowing, and the making of corn dolls are all traditional at Lammas. The altar is decorated with loaves of freshly baked bread, corn dolls and wreaths, and the fruits and vegetables of the harvest. Lammas is a time to share, be thankful for our blessings, and be joyful for the blessings that are to come.

Lammas is also known as Cornucopia (Italy/Latin) and Thingtide (Teutonic).

(From akashawitchcraft.net ~ website no longer available)

 

Imbolc – Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Imbolc.  Keep warm and safe during your freezing winter months and look forward to the coming Spring.

Blessed Be!

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Imbolc Lore

Posted on February 2, 2015 by ladyoftheabyss

It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house-if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honor of the Sun’s rebirth. Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place this in a prominent part of the home or in a window.

If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warmth of summer. With your projective hand, trace an image of the Sun on the snow.

Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Sour cream dishes are fine. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally attuned. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins-all foods symbolic of the Sun-are also traditional.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham

Imbolc Ritual

By Scott Cunningham

A symbol of the season, such as a representation of a snowflake, a white flower, or perhaps some snow in a crystal container can be placed on the altar. An orange candle anointed with musk, cinnamon, frankincense or rosemary oil, unlit, should also be there. Snow can be melted and used for the water during the circle casting.

Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones.

Recite the Blessing Chant.

Invoke the Goddess and God.

Say such words as the following:

This is the time of the feast of torches,
when every lamp blazes and shines
to welcome the rebirth of the God.
I celebrate the Goddess,
I celebrate the God;
All the Earth celebrates
Beneath its mantle of sleep.

Light the orange taper from the red candle on the altar (or at the Southern point of the circle). Slowly walk the circle clockwise, bearing the candle before you. Say these or similar words:

All the land is wrapped in winter.
The air is chilled and
frost envelopes the Earth.
But Lord of the Sun,
Horned One of animals and wild places,
Unseen you have been reborn of the gracious
Mother Goddess, Lady of all fertility.
Hail Great God! Hail and welcome!

Stop before the altar, holding aloft the candle. Gaze at its flame. Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength.

If you need to look into the future or past, now is an ideal time.

Works of magic, if necessary, may follow.

Celebrate the Simple Feast.

The circle is released.

—Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham

 

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RIP – James A. Anderson

A very special man James Anderson passed away recently.  He was a ‘gentle man’ and helped many authors starting out and for me personally was there for me with encouraging emails when I was going through a stressful time.

I am re-posting the below from Massimo Marino.

In Memory of James A. Anderson (1948-2015)

Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry, 
I am not there; I did not die.

The original poem was written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) from Baltimore, MD. There are in existence many slightly different versions of the poem. This extremely famous poem has been read at countless funerals and public occasions. The author composed this poem in a moment of inspiration, and scribbled it on a paper bag. She wrote it to comfort a family friend who had just lost her mother and was unable to even visit her grave. This is the only surviving poem of Mary Elizabeth Frye and quite possibly her only poem.

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/do-not-stand-by-my-grave-and-weep#ixzz3l83C1Xj8
Family Friend Poems

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 09.22.00A few days ago, our friend, supporter, mentor, fellow author, and more, left us. He covered many roles for many independent writers at their debut, and he has left a void that will be filled only by the memory of his words, suggestions, and tips.

James A. Anderson was born in 1948 in Glasgow, Scotland. His early education was in Scotland and England before his family emigrated to Canada in 1957. He completed his high school and university education in Canada. He was a graduate of McMaster University with an Honours BA in History in 1972.
He became a journalist in Canada and has worked 35 years in daily and weekly newspapers before retiring in 2005. He published his first novel DEADLINE in September 2010.
James lived in London, Ontario, Canada. He leaves two grown children, a son and a daughter, and four grandchildren.

I’ve never met James in person, but he became a friend online. He has been the first to read the manuscript—in its unpolished draft version—of my first novel, the first helpful critic with suggestions and pointing at areas that needed more work. He arranged my first experience with an editor, and has been the very first reviewer of my novel, once published: 68 people found his words useful.

We will miss you, James. We can have our eyes full of tears for a friend we only met online, with whom we shared the same passion, the same aspirations, and burned with the same inner fever. It’s what makes us united, despite the distance, despite different background and experience. It’s what makes us human, it’s what makes us brothers and sisters.

Your friend.

PS
James’s work can be found on Amazon.

I invite all friends and fellow authors who have met/known James to share with us a few words in the comments, and I’ll add them to this same post.

Condolences

Linda FultonI am in shock to hear that James Anderson has passed on. He was encouraging and supportive of me as a new author. He edited my first book. I never met him in person, but I knew he was a kind person with a kind heart. He leaves a big hole with all the writers who knew him and I’m sure that empty space is felt by all his family and friends. We have lost a talented author and a great editor and an all around good person. I will miss his support and level headed kindness. I’ll be praying for his family and friends. Rest In Peace, James.

Shirley Hicks – He will be missed my many. He was one of the good guys. RIP, my friend.

Rebecca StroudTo me, Jim Anderson was much more than an author, editor, book reviewer…he was my friend. Although we’d never met personally, we’d been in constant touch over the years. I shared his angst over his divorce and his feelings about his new relationship; I traveled with him (virtually) on his solo trip across the northern US on his way to Vancouver and back home again to London, Ontario; and he listened to my incessant whining about whatever I happened to be griping about…or excited about. We discussed everything from politics to dogs to editing to the weather…I will miss him terribly. Such a good, good man…such a loss.

Lalo LaFleur – Very sorry to hear this. He was supportive and encouraging to other authors and a very fine person. Condolences to his family.

Fran Yoakum Veal – So sorry to hear about the passing of James. My prayers are with your family. He was such a kind person.

Heather Payne – So sorry to hear about Uncle Jim. He will be sadly missed. R.I.P. Uncle Jim.

Ch’kara SilverWolf – So sad to hear about James he was a gentle man. Blessed Be!

Thomas Watson – I had noticed his absence and wondered. Truly sorry to hear that he is gone.

Sheena Mackinnon – What a shock. I had noticed that Jim’s frequent comments were missing from facebook, and had intended to contact him. He very kindly showed me his city of London, and last June, I was able to give him a short tour of Nova Scotia, which he enjoyed. Yes, a gentleman, and pleasant company. I hope his son and daughter see this note, as they, and his grandchildren, were very important in his life. I will read again my copies of his novels, and remember him fondly.

Mel Comley – RIP James Anderson a true gentleman and fellow author who will be sorely missed.

Kathy Delaney – This is so awful! I am so sorry to hear this news. Jim was such a nice individual, interesting, and such a talented writer. He will be so missed! My prayers and thoughts are with his family.

Mira Brown – This is devastating news. Jim was one of the nicest and most interesting people that I had the privilege to meet on Amazon and here. 
A brilliant writer. My deepest condolences to the family. Their loss is immeasurable. My thoughts are with you all.

Tom Jackson KingI knew James as a fellow journalist and as the author of several thriller novels based on current events. He was kind, generous, sharing with me and others, a fine man who is missed by me and many others. Jim, may you live on in your novels and in the memories of the many you touched.

Lisa Williamson – I too was one of James’ online friends. He mentored me and was kind enough to review my first short story as an Indie author. I wrote this in his honor:

“Goodbye”

A friend
A mentor
A Master storyteller
So much to so many

Learned you passed
Suddenly you were gone
And you left a hole behind
In the hearts of all you touched

You taught us courage
Taught us how to use words
Kindly shepparded the new
ill we found our feet

Now we sit stunned
So close you were
Yet now so far
You will be missed

Jean Kilczer – Dear James Anderson, you were a good person, a friend to new writers, and a fine writer. Yours was a life well lived. “I warmed my hands by the fire of life, it dies, and I am ready to depart.” Rest in Peace, my friend. 

Rhonda Drake – You were a good friend and fellow Author James, and will be missed in the world you’ve left behind. Your writers’ community will miss you deeply, as well as all of your fans.

Holly Barbo – He was a very nice man and a supportive friend. I hoped to meet him..I guess I will put that on my list and hope when the time comes I will go to heaven and see him there. what a visit we will have! You left us too soon, James.

Bryden Lloyd – Mr. Anderson… James… Dear, dear man.
We didn’t converse regularly, often only a passing “how are you doing?”, or similar.
When we did discuss writing, it was always about how well everyone was doing.
You see, that was just it… you were always interested in others and how they were doing; What more we could all do to help.
It was inspiring, but it is so sad to admit that it was never often enough.
You will be greatly missed by a great many people. By so many a great deal more deeply than I. I am proud to have known you, even just for a little while.
Sleep well, my friend, until we meet again.

 

James A. Anderson novels and short stories