August was named for the Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar (September 23, 63 BC - August 29, 14 BC). Demeter or Ceres is the tutelary goddess of August. The Anglo-Saxon name for this month was Weodmonath, "vegetation month." Aranmanoth, "corn ears month," was the Frankish name. The Asatru call it Harvest. The Irish name this month Lunasa or an Lunasdal, from the Irish Lughnasadh, the festival of Lugh.
The first Full Moon is called the Sturgeon, (Green) Corn, or Barley Moon, names it shares with September. August's moon is also referred to as the Dispute Moon and the Moon When Cherries Turn Black. A few tribes referred to this moon as the Red Moon because it appears reddish through the humid haze of summer. It shares the name Thunder Moon with July.
Leo gives way to Virgo around August 23rd as the sun passes from one constellation to the next. Gladiolas are the flowers for the August-born, and their stones are carnelian, sardonyx, moonstone, topaz, alexandrite, or peridot. The birthstones of Leo are onyx, ruby, and smoky quartz, while Virgo claims the sapphire. Other stones associated with Leo are amber, carnelian, chrysocolla, citrine, fire agate, garnet, pink tourmaline, ruby, and topaz. Virgo is connected to amazonite, amber, carnelian, chrysocolla, and citrine.
Lunar Holy Days
*The second Friday of August is the celebration of the Burryman in the town of Queensferry, Scotland. The Burryman is matted head to toe with burrs with a hat made from 70 roses and one dahlia. He walks around the edge of town slowly, speaking to no one. The respectful townspeople offer donations. Some theories consider him a forgotten fertility god of fishing. Other theories state he may represent a scapegoat figure, carrying off the town's guilt in his burrs.
Lughnasadh, Lughnas, or Lughnasa is held in honor of Lug of the Long Arms, god of light and the declining sun. It may mean "Lugh's Wedding," but is more often considered to have originated in the funeral games held in honor of Lug's foster-mother Tailltiu. Tailte or Tailltiu was a chieftainess of the Fir Bolg. The Tailtenean games were held every year at Talten or Teltown, a mountain in Meath, for fifteen days before, and fifteen days after, the first of August. In addition to the sports played at this event, there were marriage contracts made in the "Marriage Hollow."
This is the first festival marking the transformation of the goddess into her Earth Mother aspect. This is also a harvest celebration of wild foods and the first harvest of the year. During medieval times, a maiden dressed in white would sit atop a hill while villagers placed offerings of blackberries, acorns, and crab apples in her lap. A dance and procession home followed. Under Christian dominance, this holy day became "loaf-mass" or Lammas. Into the 1900s, Scottish farmers ceremonially cut handfuls of grain to twirl around their heads in honor of the harvest god. Sickles were thrown to divine who would marry, grow ill, or die before the next Lammas. The first grain was cut and baked into a loaf to be offered to the goddess in thanksgiving.
The people of Leinster at Carman or Wexford held the Fair of Carman, a provincial aenach, once every three years, beginning on Lughnasad and ending on the sixth. For holding the fair, they were promised various blessings, i.e. plenty and prosperity, corn, milk, and fruit in abundance, and freedom from subjection to any other province.
Carman exhibits to a marked degree the concept of the magical powers of the female as opposed to the physical force employed by the male. Carman and her three sons "came from Athens to Wexford." Women played a conspicuous part in this fair; the women had aireachts of their own to discuss those subjects specially pertaining to women. There was also racing, poetic competition, satires, and history.
The annual fair meeting at Emain - Emain Macha, near Ard Macha or Armagh- was established to honor Queen Macha of the Golden Hair, who had founded the palace there. The three Machas are, Macha wife of Nemed, Macha wife of Crunnchu, and Macha the Red. The third Macha, Mongruadh, "of the Red (or Golden) Hair", reigned as Queen of Ireland. In some places, it was the custom to light a great bonfire an certain hills. A wheel, which was normally a heavy oaken wagon-wheel, was heated until it glowed red, and then it was bowled down the hillside. From its course, auguries were made on the coming season. The wheel symbolized the descent of the sun from its midsummer height. The festival of Lughnasadh was also associated with the myth of the marriage of Lugh to Bloddeuedd on the continent.
This was a day sacred to Odin and Frigg.
The harvest season in Japan begins today with a ritual called Aomori Nebuta. Huge wire and bamboo effigies painted with intense facial expressions are paraded through the streets to drive away sleep. Farmers need to be wide-awake to labor hard at the harvest.
Until the mid 1800s, the healing Loch-mo-Naire was a site of pilgrimage for the lame, sick, impotent, and mentally ill. Gathering at the shore at midnight, the sick would drink some of the water, strip, and walk backwards into the loch. After immersing themselves three times, they would throw offerings of silver coins into the depths.
Lugh Dydd, the Day of Lugh, begins at sundown.
Two days after the end of Tinne, the Tan Hill Festival (related to Lammas) takes place, commemorating personified holy fire, the Celtic Tienne or Tan.
In Egypt, this was the Festival of Nut and Ra, and the chief festival of Thoth.
Women of ancient Athens and Alexandria mourned the death of Adonis, wounded by a boar. Climbing ladders to the roofs of their homes, they would chant : Woe, woe Adonis.
In Egypt, this day was called the Breaking of the Nile or the Opet festival. The original festival lasted 11 days but was later extended to 27 days. The statue of Amun, the state god of Egypt, was taken in a floating procession from Karnak to Luxor. (See July 19th)
The Dog Days of summer, deriving their name from the Dog Star Sirius, visible before sunrise between July 3rd and August 11th, will end soon. The appearance of Sirius coincided with the rise of the Nile, but for the Greeks and Romans, it merely meant a time of heat and disease associated with irritability, ill health, and death. Sounds like summer to me.
This is Tij Day in Nepal, also known as Woman's Holiday or Haritalika. It honors Parvati, the consort of Shiva, and Krishna. A married woman may visit her parents on this day. Women wear green saris.
On August 7th, 1908, the Venus of Willendorf was discoveried. A 25,000 year old statue that some believe represents proof of widespread prehistoric goddess worship, the figurine has since become a true modern icon. The Venus of Willendorf was the first and only statuette of her kind before the French Venus of Lespugue and the Russian Venus of Kostienki joined her two decades later. Whether she represented a goddess or women's elevated place in society remains a mystery. There are many other statuettes of that period representing animals, part-humans and part-animals or asexual human beings. Although excavated at opposite ends of the continent, the French and Russian Venuses are similar in form to their Austrian sister.
The Ghanta Karna in late July or early August is a Nepalese festival celebrating the defeat of a demon guilty of such endless acts of slaughter and depravity that its mouth was filled with blood. In answer to the prayers of the suffering people, one Hindu god turned itself into a taunting frog who teased the demon into chasing it down a well. Villages stoned the trapped monster to death and burned the remains. Children wait at crossroads to collect money from passerby in order to raise funds to create effigies of the demon to be paraded through the town before being burned. A man of the untouchable caste takes on the persona of the demon and demands alms. Refusal to pay brings disease and bad luck. After the celebration, people go home quickly to avoid meeting the vengeful spirit of the dead demon.
Puck's Fair in Killorglin County, Kerry, Ireland lasts two days.
Yashodhara, the wife of Buddha, is honored.
The Pairika correspond to the Indian Apsaras. Worshipped in the pre-Zoroastrian religion, the Pairikas are the prototypes of the Peris, the nymphs or female angels of later Persian tradition, and also of the Parigs or Witches of Manichaeism. The Pairikas, in the shape of worm-stars, are said to fly between the earth and the heavens at this time. This refers to shooting stars which fall every year at about the time when Tistrya (Sirius) is supposed to be most active.
Since 830 AD the Perseid meteor shower has been documented, appearing every year. It takes its name from the constellation Perseus where shooting stars appear and is associated with the Swift-Tuttle Comet.
Swift-Tuttle's orbit has been traced back nearly 2,000 years and is now thought to be the same comet that was observed in 188 AD and possibly even as early as 69 BC. Back in the early 1990s, astronomer Brian Marsden calculated that Swift-Tuttle might actually hit Earth in the year 2026. More observations quickly eliminated all possibility of collision, but he said that the comet and Earth might experience a cosmic near miss (about a million miles) in 3044.
The Lychnapsia or Lignapsia, "Festival of Lights" or "The Lights of Isis," is part of the Osirian mysteries, celebrating Isis' quest for her spouse in the darkness by torchlight. This became a Christian holy day dedicated to St. Clare, considered the first person to practice the total poverty of St. Francis of Assisi. This is also the Day of Sekhmet's repulsion of Set.
Felicitas, a goddess of good luck, was honored in Rome. She is associated with Venus Victrix, Honos and Virtus.
According to the Mayans, the universe began in the year 3114 BC. Our world is scheduled to end on December 23rd, 2012 at which time we will be freed from our earthly bonds to begin a galactic though somewhat cataclysmic voyage.
On the day of the foundation of Diana�s temple in Rome, the slaves had a holiday. This was also considered her birthday. Women whose prayers had been answered made a torchlight procession to the grove of Diana at Aricia. The Goddess's aid was invoked to turn storms which might injure the coming harvest. The largest temple to Diana was in the Aventine, founded by Servius Tullius. The Greeks honored Hecate on this day.
The Camenae are Roman Goddesses identified since Livius Andronicus with the Muses. They seem to be water deities however with a grove and spring outside the Porta Capena. From this spring, the Vestals drew water daily. There was also a little shrine of bronze and dedicated by Numa. Libation was made to them with milk and water.
Isis gained the Horns of Hathor today. This day is also the date of the battle between Horus and Set.
The Church of Wicca was founded in Australia by Lady Tamara Von Forslon in 1989.
A Day of Peace between Horus and Set follows the day of their battle.
The Dog Days of Summer finally end.
Diana�s chief festival was called the Festival of Candles or Torches. Her groves shone with a multitude of torches on this day. This day is still celebrated as a Festival of Candles, but the Church now claims it for the Virgin Mary.
Tailte's Day honors a Celtic goddess of competition. Games of skill and endurance similar to the Greek Olympics were once held annually in Ireland in early to mid-August.
The Roman feast of Diana in her aspect as a huntress was celebrated today. According to one tradition, she mated with Rex Nemorensis, king of the wood, to let the earth bring forth fruit.
This is the first day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil, leading to the discovery of the power of the runes. He hung on the tree for nine days and nights pierced by his own spear.
This is the Egyptian holy day of Amenartus. Rituals were held in the Temples of Amen-Ra, and also in the houses of Horus and Osiris.
In China, the spirits of the dead return to earth during the Hungry Ghost Festival. If they are left untended or unfed long, they will steal food and bring evil. Villagers offer food, clothing, incense, models of houses and cars, and special currency. All offerings are burned, and the smoke carries them to heaven.
This is the second day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil.
The Rustic Vinalia was a wine festival kept by the Romans on April 23 and today. Offerings were made for the ripening grapes to Venus, who as goddess of gardens was also guardian of vineyards and Olive groves. At this time, a temple was dedicated to Venus and gardens were set apart for her, and the kitchen gardeners went on holiday.
This is the third day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil.
This is the 2nd day of the month of Paopi according to the Egyptian calendar. There was a Procession of Horus to Neith.
In Babylon, this was the Day of Inanna.
This is the fourth day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil.
Thoth ordered the healing of the eye of Horus on the 3rd day of Paopi.
Birthday of HP Lovecraft, (my favorite) writer and creator of the Cthulu Mythos.
The Romans sacrificed to Hercules, patron of businessmen. Merchants set aside a tenth of their profits for his benefit. Incredible banquets were held in his honor. So much food was left that mountains of leftovers were thrown into the Tiber River.
This is the fifth day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil.
Aedesia, a fifth century female philosopher of the Neo-Platonic school, was famous also for her virtue and her beauty. She was honored today.
This is the sixth day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil.
The Feast of Montu occurs on the 5th day of Paopi.
Nemesea was a Greek festival honoring the goddess Nemesis, defender of the relics and memory of the dead from insults and injury. The Greeks called this the Day of Moira. It is dedicated to the Genia of personal fate. The threads of Moira draw all things in life together. Her particular symbols are the wheel and the scales. Vertumnalia was a celebration of the Roman god Vertumnus who changed the seasons and transformed flowers to fruits. Vulcan, god of fire and the forge, and Stata Mater, who causes fires to go out were honored with the Vulcanalia. The water nymphs, Ops Opifera, Quirinus, and the Goddess Juturna, a fountain Goddess, were honored in the hope that they would keep fire from damaging the land or homes.
This is the seventh day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil.
The rites of Mania were held in honor of Ceres, Mania, and the Manes. This was the first day for opening the Mundus Cereris, �ritual pit of Ceres.� This pit was vaulted and divided into two parts. The lowest part was consecrated to the Underworld deities and also to the Manes, and closed with a stone. This cover, the lapis manalis or �stone of the Manes�, was removed today, on October fifth, and the eighth of November so that offerings could be dropped down. When this barrier was removed, the Manes rose into our world for a time. Mania was Christianized into St. Bartholomew's Day festivities, which continued until 19th century in London.
This is the eighth day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil.
On the last day of Odin's Ordeal, he discovered the runes.
The Opeconsiva honors Ops goddess of abundance, and an old Italian goddess of fertility. The day is so called from Ops Consiva 'Lady Bountiful the Planter. As goddess of sowing and reaping she was worshiped under the name of Consivia today by the Vestals. Only one of the pontifices could be present in her temple at Regia at this time. As her abode was in the earth, her worshipers invoked her while seated and touching the ground.
Paryushana Parva is a Hindu holy day. It and Diwali are the two most important holy days for the Jains.
Illmatar or Luonnotar, the Water Mother was the Creatrix of the World according to Finnish legend. Upon her knees the duck laid the six golden eggs and the one iron egg from which the world was made.
The 9th day of Paopi is the Day of Jubilation in the heart of Ra.
Consus, the Roman god of grain stores, was honored as the grain stores were replenished. Sacrifices were made at his altar located beneath the floor of the Circus Maximus, and games were held in his honor in the stadium. Mules and horses were decked with garlands and given a day of rest. This was later tied into St. Anthony's Day.
On the 10th day of Paopi, the birthday of Nut and Procession of Bast is held.
Devaki is an East Indian Mother Goddess honored today.
The Olympics began as celebrations in honor of harvest rituals.
The Yoruba of Nigeria celebrate Gelede. This is a rite to control women past child bearing who are considered witches.
The 12th day of Paopi is the birthday of Hathor. Hathor is a sky goddess who displaced Nut. She was also a goddess of beer and violence. She became merged with the frog goddess Hekt, a birth and resurrection goddess married to Khnumu. Before dawn, the Priestesses would bring Hathor's image out on to the terrace to expose it to the rays of the rising sun. The day ended in song and intoxication, rejoicing and carnival.
According to the Alexandrian calendar, standardized in 30 BC, this was New Year's Eve.
Urda, eldest of the three Norns with charge of the past, was honored today.
Augustus Caesar died today.
This was the first day of the New Year and the first day of the month of Thoth according to the Alexandrian calendar. According to another Egyptian calendar, this is the 13th of Paopi, the Day of Satisfying the Hearts of the Ennead.
The old Roman holiday of Chariseria was a festival of thanksgiving.
In the Nigerian capitol of Lagos, masqueraders called Eyos wander the streets concealed in white robes, carrying long sticks. Each represents an individual family and symbolizes authority. A person crossing the path of an Eyo must remove his hat and shoes as a sign of respect. An offended Eyo will attack with its stick.
On the 14th day of Paopi, Horus receives the White Crown.
Birthday of Raymond Buckland who, with his first wife Rosemary, is credited with bringing Gardnerian Wicca is the USA.