June is the sixth month of the current Gregorian calendar and the first month of summer. It is the "door of the year," the gateway to the inner realms. The original name for this month was Junonius. It was named for the Roman goddess Juno, patron of the female sex, and so this month was considered an excellent month for marriages. As Juno Moneta, whose temple was located on the Capitoline hill in Rome, she was guardian of money and wealth. June is sacred to Juno and all gods and goddesses who preside over love, passion, and beauty.
The Irish call June Meitheamh or an t-Ogmios, the young month. The Anglo-Saxon name was Aerra Litha, "before Litha." The Franks called it Brachmanoth, "break month." June is called Fallow by the Asatru.
The first Full Moon of June is called the Hot or Strawberry Moon in parts of America. It is also referred to as the Strong Sun Moon, Lover's Moon, and Rose Moon, and it has been called the Moon of Making Fat and the Moon of Horses, and name similar to one of the names for May's Moon. It shares the names Mead Moon and Honey Moon with July.
Cancer becomes dominant on June 21st as the sun passes from the constellation of Gemini. Roses are for those born this month. June plays host to many stones claiming to be its birthstone. Of them all, emerald is listed most, followed by agate, chalcedony, turquoise, pearl, cat's eye, or alexandrite, in that order. Pearl and moss agate are also birthstones of Gemini, and moonstone or pearl is the birthstone of Cancer. Chrysoprase, sapphire, and topaz are also connected to Gemini, while albite, chrysoprase, emerald, green tourmaline, opal, pink tourmaline, and rhodochrosite are associated with Cancer.
Lunar Holy Days
The first Sunday of this month is date of the Bulgarian Rose Harvest Festival.
The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Double Fifth Festival, occurs on the fifth day of the fifth moon. It is one of the three most important of the annual Chinese festivals, the other two being the Autumn Moon Festival and Chinese New Year.
Chu Yuan, the divine poet, lived in the third century BCE, serving the King of Chu during the Warring States period. He enjoyed the full confidence and respect of his sovereign at first, but eventually he was falsely discredited by rivals and found himself in disfavor. During that time, he composed his immortal poem, "Encountering Sorrow", an allegorical description of his search for a prince who would listen to good counsel in government. Never able to regain his emperor's favor, on the fifth day of the fifth moon in the year 295 BCE at the age of 37, Chu Yuan held a stone to his chest and leapt into the Milo River in the Hunan Province. Respect for the minister caused the people living in the area to jump into their boats in a vain attempt to find him while other villagers threw rice dumplings in the river to distract dragons and evil spirits lurking in the water. This unsuccessful rescue attempt is a part of what the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates in its annual races. The annual Dragon Boat Festival was at one time a Pagan Summer Solstice ritual designed to appease the dragon gods of the rivers.
Whitsunday, an annual Christian festival marking the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples, is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. However, like most Christian holidays, Whitsunday was at one time a Pagan fertility festival. It was celebrated in Europe with a "heathen feast" that marked the death of the spirit of Winter and the birth of the spirit of Summer.
According to English folklore, if a baby comes into the world on Whitsunday, he or she is destined to either commit an act of murder or to be murdered unless a chicken was put into the infant's hand and it was made to squeeze the creature to death. A foal born would either win a race or kill a man. Whitsunday is also associated with drowning. Some would not go to sea unless a bride steered the ship, and those who had drowned were thought to return to take new victims. Children often had their heads massaged with salt to prevent their being taken by fairies.
The festival of Carna honors the Roman goddess of doors and locks equivalent to the Norse goddess Syn, the includer and excluder. Carna (Carne) acted as guardian of the larger organs of the body (heart, lungs, and liver), of domestic life, and the life of man. She warded off all the influences of evil spirits. She "opens what is closed, and closes what is open." Doors and windows should be repaired on this day especially considering Tempestas, goddess of storms, also lays claim to this day.
The temple of Juno Moneta was founded on the summit of the citadel. Money derived from the goddess was called Moneta as it was coined in the temple of Juno Moneta. Beginning on the previous night, offerings were made to Jupiter and Juno Regina. This is the beginning of the Secular (Centennial) Games dedicated to Proserpine, Juno Regina, Diana, the Moerae (Parcae), the Eilithyiae, and Terra Matter. Offerings were made beside the Tiber to the Moerae, the Eileithyiae, and to Terra Mater today and tomorrow. On the following day (after the first night), processions were held in honor of Apollo and Artemis. Hebe, Cup-Bearer of Olympus, was also honored.
This is also the festival of the Oak Nymph, honoring all hamadryads (female nature spirits who are believed to inhabit oak trees). Decorate a Pagan alter with acorns and wear some oak leaves in your hair. Kiss an oak tree or place a small offering of some kind before it, and the tree nymphs who dwell within it will surely bestow a blessing upon you.
Ma'at and Ra go forth in secret on the 18th day of Epipi.
The Witchcraft Act of 1563 took affect in England.
Gawai Dayak is a yearly festival held by the Iban people of Malaysia on the 1st of 2nd day of June to celebrate the gathering of the harvest. Families gather at midnight to offer thanks to the gods and invoke their blessing. A lavish feast is eaten and a man and a woman are selected as the embodiment of the year's harvest spirit.
This day is sacred to Mother Earth in her fecund aspect.
Shapatu of Ishtar is a Pagan festival dedicated to the goddess Ishtar, celebrated every year on this date. She is the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian deity who presides over love and fertility as well as war.
The birth of the god Apollo is also celebrated on this date. (See May 25th)
On the Second day and third night of the Secular (Centennial) Games, distinguished women assembled at the Capitol to give prayers to Juno and sing hymns.
In Cyprus, Cataclysmo, a pagan celebration in remembrance of the flood sent by Zeus to destroy wicked humanity, is observed. The locals pray for the dead and make a special trip to the sea, sprinkling each other with the sea water which is especially blessed this day. Traditional water games are played and a dance in which six glasses of water are balanced on the head is performed.
In Japan, a Buddhist ritual for young girls is performed annually on this date and is dedicated to the goddesses Befana, Bona Dea, Kuan Yin, Rumina, and Surabhi.
Marion Zimmer Bradley was born today.
On the third and last day of the Secular (Centennial) Games, Proserpine, Juno Regina, Diana, the Moerae (Parcae, the Fates), the Eilithyiae, Lucina, Ceres, Luna, Fides, Pax, Honour, Virtus, Copia, and Terra Matter are honored. Offerings were made to Apollo and Diana on the Palatine. After the offerings on the third day, twenty-seven boys and twenty-seven girls sang hymns and paeons in Greek and Latin.
Worship of Bellona was introduced by Appius on this day.
Socrates was born in 470 BC.
Traditional corn dances are performed by the Pueblo people during the Spring and Summer months to honor the Rain People and the Earth Mothers. The dance ensures a good harvest and blesses the earth. Rattles are shaken, and women dress in white and feathers.
Saint Gobnatt of Ireland, a version of Domna (Domnu or Damna), patroness of sacred stones and cairns is honored through ritual perambulations. She is also known as Damhnaid, Damnata, Davnat or Dimna. In Ballyvourney in Cork near the bank of the Sullane River, she was known as Gobnet. At a green mound called 'Gobnatt's Stone, the bushes on the mound were decorated with rags tied to the branches. Nearby was a Holy Well. Devotees would travel four times round the cairn and saying seven prayers at each round. Boccoghs (beggars, especially lame ones), gathered to exhibit the Sheela-na-Gig, and image of the goddess. They were sometimes referred to as Gobnatt's Clergy. Sheela was the patroness of women, and Gyg is the name in Norse for a female Jotun (Giantess). A wooden image of Gobnatt (or Abigail as she was called) was preserved in the drawer of the sacristy at Ballyvourney.
In the year 8498 BC, the legendary island/continent of Atlantis sank beneath the waves in a cataclysm believed to have been brought on by the anger of the great god Poseidon.
The Yoruba people of Nigeria honor their ancestors with a week long festival. Known as the Egungun, these entities control the fates of the living and so must be venerated. Some villagers offer food and gifts, while impersonators of the Egungun dance through the street. The living dancers may even be possessed by the Egungun.
The Bendidia was held each year in Thrace, an ancient country in the southwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula. This festival was dedicated to the lunar goddess Bendi.
The Romans honored Vesta, goddess of the hearth, with the Vestalia or the Vesta Aperit. Her shrine, usually forbidden to all but the Vestal virgins, was opened to married women for eight days. Walking the temple bare foot, they would offer food to the goddess who guarded their homes and hearths. Curtained off from the rest of the building was the Penus of the Temple of Vesta. For some days at the Vestalia, it was opened, and the building was cleaned. The penus contained various mysterious sacred objects. No one but the Vestals were allowed entry, so the nature of the items was never known.
The goddess Mens, consciousness, was honored with a festival designed to make us aware of what makes us human and to act consciously.
(10th?) Lindisfarne Day commemorates the first Viking Raid in England.
According to folk traditions, rain today meant a wet harvest.
In many Japanese villages, an ancient rice festival is held annually. Women wearing traditional kimonos recite prayers and light rice-straw fires to honor the god of the rice and to bless the crops. In China, the Grain in Ear festival is celebrated at this time. The grain Gods are honored with old rituals to ensure a harvest of plenty.
In a ceremony called the Famadihana, "turning over the dead," the Malagasy highlanders of Madagascar visit the tombs of their dead to exhume the bodies of those who have been buried three to five years. The dead are reverently wrapped in silk shrouds and paraded through the streets before being returned to their resting places. After this first visit, their dead with be visited at five, seven, or ten year intervals. Because they feel the dead continue to live, the Malagasy will call on them for help in times of need.
This was a feast day of Vesta, goddess of hearth and fire. Banquets were prepared before the houses, and meat was sent to the Vestals to be offered to the gods. Matrons of the town walked barefooted in procession to Vesta's temple to implore the blessing of the goddess for their households and to make food offerings in remembrance of the time when the hearth served generally for the baking of bread. The millers and bakers also kept holiday. Millstones were decked with garlands, and the beasts that turned them were led round the city covered with garlands and loaves suspended from their necks.
In 1892, Grace Cook (a popular spiritualist medium and founder of the White Eagle Lodge) was born in London, England. Her first psychic vision of Indian Chief White Eagle and other Native American spirits occurred early in her childhood. With the aid of her spirit guide, she authored many books on healing and spiritual growth. She believed that after her death (which occurred on September 3, 1979), her spirit would be reincarnated in Egypt.
In the year 1692, the persecution of "witches" began in Salem, Massachusetts with the hanging of Bridget Bishop. She was the first of nineteen men and women accused of witchcraft and murdered.
This is the Persian Day of Anahita. (See also April 11th)
This day honored Fortuna in her temple in Rome. Fortuna or Fors (Fors Fortuna) is an Italian goddess identified in classical times with Tyche. Her ancient temple was in the Forum Boarium at Rome. Concordia was honored by Livia.
The Matralia, festival of mothers, honors Matuta or more usually Mater Matuta, an old Italian goddess of dawn and of birth. Also a goddess of harbors and of the sea, she was identified with the Greek Leucothea. A matron who had not been married before was allowed to place a wreath on the statue of the goddess. The women would first pray for the well-being of their nephews and nieces, and then for their own children. This custom came from the myth of Ino-Leucothea, who acted as foster-mother to Dionysus, the son of her sister Semele. She was left offerings of flowers and yellow cakes (saffron?) referred to as Testuacium 'pot-cake' because they were baked in a heated earthen testu pot.
In 1912, spiritualist-medium Ruth Montgomery was born in Princeton, Indiana. Her interest in the world of the occult began in 1956, when she first began attending seances. She has written numerous best-selling occult books and is famous for her gift of communicating with spirit guides through automatic writing.
In 1604, James I Witchcraft Act repealed Elizabeth I's 1563 mandate to replace it with stricter laws.
Light gold-colored candles on your alter and wear oak leaves in your hair to honor the Greek God Zeus, who is traditionally honored on this day.
In Korea, rice farmers wash their hair in a stream as part of an ancient ritual to dispel bad luck and ensure an abundant crop.
The 29th Epipi is a Festival of Mut and also the Feeding of the Netjers.
Gwyl o Epona is the Feast of Epona beginning at sundown.
Gerald Gardner, founder of the Gardnerian branch of witchcraft was born on this day in 1884. Born in Lancashire, England, he was nicknamed King of the Witches and became a famous and well-respected Wiccan author. He died on February 12th, 1964.
Irish poet and ceremonial magician William Butler Yeats was also born on this date in the year 1865.
Athena represents the harmonious blending of power and wisdom. She is patroness of both practical and aesthetic arts honored today. This is the first day of the Lesser Quinquatrus in honor of Minerva/Athena. The festival lasted three days and was celebrated by the guild of flute-players, an instrument she invented. They honored in a masked processions through the city, meeting at her temple. A banquet was held in the temple of Jupiter of the Capitol.
The Nativity of the Muses, Natalis Musarum, is celebrated. According to Hesiod the Muses are the daughters of Mnemosyne (Memory) by Zeus. Their names and attributes are Calliope (epics), Clio (history), Euterpe (lyrical song), Thalia (comedy), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), Erato (erotic poetry), Polymnia or Polyhymnia (hymns), and Urania (astronomy).
This is All Souls' Day in Tibet.
The Festival of Jagannath is celebrated by Hindus who flock to the city of Puri on India's eastern coast. Jagannath is a benevolent incarnation of Vishnu, lord of creation. The day before the festival, three huge statues of the god, his brother, and his sister, are adorned with crowns of flowers and golden robes before being transported to three floats. The following morning the floats are pulled to a building called Jagannath's garden house. Helping to pull the god's float brings his blessings to the faithful. The statues remain in the garden house for seven days while pilgrims feast and dance. On the eighth day, the statues are returned to the floats and pulled back to the temple.
This day is sacred to Vidar, son of Odin and god of forests. Leather workers should put aside all their scraps for his boot which will enable him to successfully fight the wolf Fenris during Ragnarok.
Rain today meant rainy weather for the next thirty days.
In ancient Rome, the goddess Minerva (patroness of wisdom and the arts, and a deity of battle) was honored annually on this date at her sacred festival, the Lesser Quinquatrus of Minerva.
This is the 1st day of Mesore according to the Egyptian calendar. Ma'at unites as one with all the Netjeru of the heavens.
Vesta was honored with the first fruits, and the Penus of the Temple of Vesta was swept out and closed today for another year. This is the third and last day of the Lesser Quinquatrus in honor of Minerva.
In the year 1648, Margaret Jones of Charlestown, Massachusetts, was executed in Boston for practicing Witchcraft and magickal healing. This was the first pre-Salem Witch execution to be officially recorded in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
On Silver Chalice Day, Wiccan friends and coven members gather together in a circle to rejoice and share a traditional silver chalice of wing (or fruit juice) consecrated in the names of the Goddess and Her consort, the Horned God. Many Pagan handfastings and Wiccanings are performed by coven priestesses around this time of the month.
On the 3rd day of Mesore, a Feast of Raet, and Feast of Hathor as Sirius occurred.
In the Japanese city of Nara, thousands of lilies are collected from a nearby mountain and taken to a temple. Blessed by seven young women in white robes, a Shinto priest lays a large bouquet of the lilies at the altar. A dance using the lilies is performed by the women to drive away the evils of the rainy season.
Eurydice (a tree nymph who was transformed into an Underworld goddess after dying from a serpent bite) was honored annually in ancient Greece. The marriage of Orpheus and Eurydice is celebrated.
The Ludi Piscatari was celebrated by Roman fishermen.
In ancient Egypt, this night was known as Leyleten-Nuktah, "the night of the drop." A miraculous drop was believed to fall into the Nile causing it to rise.
Gwyl o Bardd is a Festival of the Bards beginning at sundown and continuing thru June 22nd.
In ancient Rome, the goddess Anna was honored with an annual religious festival.
Church of All Worlds chartered with the IRS in 1970.
Min appears on the 5th day of Mesore.
In ancient Rome, the Day of All Heras began tonight in honor of the Goddess within as well as all wise women.
On Midsummer's Eve there is feasting, fires, songs, and dances. Bonfires are kindled on high hills to commemorate the high point of the year. The barrier between the living and the dead is very thin at this time. Fire was used to ward off evil spirits and St.John's wort would also drive evil specters away. Fern seeds protected from evil witchcraft, but also allowed young women to divine their future mates. Scattering the seeds at midnight, a woman was instructed to peek over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of her future husband. The summer solstice festival is called Litha by the Anglo-Saxons and Alban Hefin by the Druids. This is the longest day of the year and a time of sanctity. Alban Hefin is sacred to the Mother Goddess, personified as Cerridwen. The Litha celebration includes fires lit to allow the smoke to waft over everything it is meant to bless. Burning sunwheels, blazing brands spun in circles from chains, and flaming tar barrels sent down the hill were once common before the introduction of fire works. Burning torches can be carried around buildings, gardens, and fields to endure their good fortune.
Among the Asatru, Balder the beautiful and Thor and his wife Sif are honored on the solstice.
The eve of the summer's solstice also marks the martyrdom of Iron Skegge. He was tortured on the orders of the Christian king Olaf Tryggvason but refused to give up his faith in the gods.
The solstice is known as Geshi in Japan. Prayers are offered as protection and purification from the heat and disease of Summer.
The day of All Heras honors women's mysteries. It honors those who have achieved full communion with the Mother of All Things. A hera was often the guardian of a Temple, community, or village.
Oraea is the Goddess of Summer honored in Greece at the Solstice.
Pope Paul III issued the Licet Ab Initio, making the Inquisition the central authority on heretics in Rome in 1542.
The final witchcraft law in England was repealed in 1951.
The 8th day of Mesore is the Summer Solstice and a Ceremony to Wadjet.
St. John's Eve was a traditional time for meditation while waiting for sunrise. Whatever their origin, the Midsummer fires were held from Ireland to Russia, and from Norway and Sweden to Spain and Greece. According to a mediaeval writer, the three great features of the Midsummer celebration were the bonfires, the procession with torches round the fields, and the custom of rolling a wheel (representing the sun). In Portugal, the spirits of the dead roam free on Saint John's Eve.
At one time, two hills near Lough Gur were the focus of sacred rites in honor of the Fairy Goddesses, Aine and Fennel (or Finnen). One, about three miles southwest of the lake, is called Knock Aine, Aine or Ane. Aine is an ancient Irish goddess and member of the Sidhe, whose name is derived from An, meaning bright. Every St. John's Night, the peasantry would gather to watch the moon. In this way, Aine seems to have been a moon goddess like Diana. With torches of straw or hay tied on poles, they would march from the hill and then run through cultivated fields and among the cattle. This was to expel all evil spirits from the land so that there would be good harvests.
Ishtar and Tammuz were honored today, as were Astarte, Aphrodite, Venus and Adonis.
St. John's Day, as an adaptation of the solstice festivals, was also celebrated with bonfires on hilltops to commemorate the high point of the year.
Fors Fortuna, Lady Luck, had this as one of her holy days. This day was dedicated to her by King Servius Tullius who set aside a temple to Fors Fortuna beside the Tiber.
The Peruvian Incas once held a festival known as Inti Raymi in honor of the sun god. The future was divined from the entrails of a freshly killed llama. The Aztecs also honored the sun with a feast day.
Janet Farrer was born today.
Egyptian Festival of the Burning of the Lamps was held at Sais. This is the third great festival in Sais to Athena (Isis-Neith). In an under-chapel beneath the temple, lamps were carried in procession around the coffin of Osiris. It was by the power of light, symbolizing the life-giving power of the Moon, that Isis rekindled life in her dead husband.
Ishtar and Tammuz were honored today, as were Astarte, Aphrodite, Venus and Adonis.
In Scandinavia, the ceremonies normally associated with Beltaine or Whitsuntide take place at Midsummer. A Midsummer Bride is chosen and she selects for herself a Bridegroom. A collection is made for the pair who are looked upon as man and wife for the day.
The Feast of Aine, once part of the Midsummer rites, honors an Irish fire and cattle goddess. Trips to holy wells was another feature of this holy day. In a procession, torches were waved over the fields for fertility.
A law was introduced in Germany in 1233 discouraging the burning of heretics in favor of conversion.
The real Pied Piper is said to have visited the German town of Hamelin in 1284. Leading the children to their deaths in a sealed cave with the beauty of his music, he had previously solved the towns unfortunate rodent problem with the same melodies.
This is the Green Corn festival of the Iroquois.
On the 13th day of Mesore, a Holiday was held by the Shemsu (followers) of Horus.
The Sun Dance is performed by many Plains Indian tribes to honor the summer sun. A special crow totem may be adorned with feathers. Held by the relative of a victim of murder, it will indicate the identity of the killer.
The Initium Aestatis was the Roman festival of the beginning of summer. It honored Aestas, the tutelary goddess of summer.
Julian the Blessed, champion of pagan religions, died in 363.
Rain today meant rainy weather for the next seven weeks.
On this date in the year 1956, prolific Wiccan author Scott Cunningham was born in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was initiated into Wicca in 1973 and the Ancient Pictish Gaelic Way in 1981.
Every year on this day, the birth of Hemera (the ancient Greek goddess of day) is celebrated. Festivals in her honor begin at sunrise and last until the setting of the sun.
On this date in the year 1916, Reformed Alexandrian Witch and author Stewart Farrar was born in Highams Park, Essex, England.
Ra Goes forth to propitiate Nun on the 15th day of Mesore.
The Bawming of the Thorn is celebrated in Appleton, England. An ancient hawthorn tree is bedecked with flowers, flags, and ribbons by all the adults of the town before the children are permitted to dance beneath its branches.
This day honored Petosiris of Hermopolis (300 BC), an Egyptian astrologer and high priest of Thoth. After his death and canonization, his tomb became the site of pilgrimages.
This is the best day to harvest herbs in the East Anglian tradition.
This is a sacred day to Papa Legba, a powerful loa in the Voodoo religion. Originally a Dahomean sun god, Papa Legba is worshiped as the spirit-master of pathways and cross roads, and is the most important deity of the Vodoun pantheon.
Aestas, the ancient Roman corn-goddess of Summer is honored each year on this sacred day. Corn bread is traditionally served at Wiccan gatherings.
This day is sacred to the Pagan and North American goddesses Ceres, Changing Woman, Chicomecoatl, the Corn Mothers, Demeter, Gaia, Ge, Hestia, Iatiku, Oraea, Pachamama, Spider Woman, and Tonantzin.