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Nurturing Moon - Demeter

For information, comments and wisdom - including folklore, myths and legends - regarding the Moon.

Nurturing Moon - Demeter

PostAuthor: Morwenn » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:46 pm

The 8th moon cycle of this year begins with the new moon on July 16th and ends on August 13th. The full moon occurs on July 31th and coincides with the festival of Lammas.

Lammastide

The sun is about to enter the House of Leo. Even the nights are warm around this time of year. Poppies and all kinds of wild flowers flourish in the summer fields, and on long hot summer nights you can hear the song of crickets. This is a time of abundance and fulfilment.

But the poppies, scarlet amidst the cereals as they turn from green to gold, are also like a scattering of blood, and they remind us that summer soon will come to an end. An old word for the season that follows summer is harvest and this is its beginning.

Demeter

8-demeter.jpeg
Demeter, the Grain Mother
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The goddess of this moon cycle is Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest, the Grain Mother, who presides over grains and the fertility of the earth. Demeter granted the gift of agriculture to humanity. The Romans called her Ceres, which is said to mean 'Creator'.

The union of sun and earth, of god and goddess, has produced the first harvest. Lammas marks the beginning of the grain harvest and the beginning of autumn. The Grain Mother sacrifies her son, the fruit of life, so that all of Life may be renewed. The Corn King is sacrified for the Land, in order to nurture his people.

The goddess retreats in sorrow to mourn her loss. After harvest time, plants and crops start to whither and begin to die. But the goddess will return at Imbolc, as a young maiden. We give thanks to the Great Mother, and to the Corn King, for the sacrifice of Life, so that all may live.

Anna

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Anna, holding the bread of life
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Another goddess that is traditionally associated with the harvest is Anna. In Christian culture she is still revered as Saint Anna. She is the mother of the virgin Mary and thus the grandmother of Jesus. Anna is a favourite of mine and I hold a personal dedication to her.

Anna is the patron saint of housewives, mothers and pregnant women. Her feast day on the catholic calendar is July 26th, which is (no coincidence) indeed very close to the date of Lammas, being August 1st!

She is depicted holding a loaf of bread which ties in lovely with the symbolism surrounding Lammas. The Anglo-Saxon version of Lammas was called 'hlaf-mas', meaning 'loaf-mass' or bread-mass.

Nurturing moon

In the Sacred Cycle of Blood Mysteries the goddess has given birth to her child, she nurtures and cares for it. She protects it during its childhood years and will, if necessary, sacrifice herself to protect her child.

Because the oestrogen level of breastfeeding women is fairly low, young mothers are often not in the mood for having sex. This can of course cause tension in the relationship with their partner. In this case the following herb comes in handy. Hops is used in many cultures for years to help with breastmilk production, it might even increase the libido. Hops can be ingested as tea, but it is also used in beer, which tastes better than the tea.

Herbs

Wild strawberries are a well known cure for inflammation of the stomach lining (the mucosa). It also strengthens the liver. You can eat raspberries in case of indigestion, and blueberries when you are feeling constipated.

Ritual - The bread of life

Lammas activities involve wheat weaving, canning, preserving, bread making, harvesting and drying plants and reflecting - time to begin turning inward.

The baking of bread and cookies in the form of genitals dates back thousands of years - from the time of the Eleusinian Mysteries of old Greece and before. A ritual to honour the Grain Mother could consist of baking a vulva or yoni shaped wholegrain bread. Knead it with honey and sesame and shape as a vulva. Use any wholegrain recipe for the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a number of different kinds of seeds before baking.

Take your loaf of bread on a sunny day on a picnic in the countryside. Spend some time reflecting and speak a few words of gratitude and thanksgiving to mother earth before eating the bread.
Le principal est d'arriver à faire une vie heureuse et riche de son incarnation présente.
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Morwenn
 
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Location: borderlands between Flanders and France

Re: Nurturing Moon - Demeter

PostAuthor: Tylluan » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:15 am

Fantastic post, Morwenn! Thank you :)
May your summers and winters be short, springs be mild and autumn reaping plentiful.

)O(
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Tylluan
 
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Location: Konigstein im Taunus, Germany


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