Flower of Passion
3rd vowel of the Ogham alphabet - Ura
June 21, Summer Solstice
Symbolism: unbridled Passion (and its consequences,) Protection, luck
Color: Red, white
Bird: Red Grouse
Deity: Uroica, Venus, Erycina, Cybele, Isis
Sabbat: Summer Solstice
Folk Names: Common Heather, Heath, Lyng, Scottish Heather
A decoction made from the flowering tips can be added to a bath for toning muscles and soothing rheumatic pain. It also has antiseptic and diuretic qualities. Mainly, heather is used for treatment of nervous complaints, cardiac palpitations, migraine, and problems associated with menstruation. The flower essence can be helpful for those who have become so self-obsessed that they have no thoughts or time to give to others, promoting generosity of spirit and better awareness of other's needs.
Heather may open portals between this world and the faery world,
where the Fae of this flower are especially attracted to shy people.
White heather is the luckiest heather and protects against violent assault, especially rape.
Sleeping on a pillow stuffed with this magick herb can bring dreams foretelling good fortune.
Burned outside with fern, it brings rain, and in Ireland, it has been used to conjure the spirits of the dead.
Heather is both helpful to those who shape shift, as well as protective against harmful shifters.
The king in the red moorland
Rode on a summer's day;
And the bees hummed, and the curlews
Cried beside the way.
The king rode and was angry,
Black was his brow and pale,
To rule in a land of heather;
And lack the heather ale.
1 gallon heather tops
3.5 cups sugar
3.5 cups malt extract
28.5 pints water
4 envelopes dried yeast
1. Cut the heather tops with scissors when in full bloom, but not overblown, and boil them in 28.5 pints water for nearly an hour.
2. Strain through a jelly bag on to the malt extract and sugar and stir until dissolved. Add remaining water and, when lukewarm, add the dried yeast.
3. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for five or six days. Siphon into screw-top bottles, adding one teaspoon of sugar to each.
4. Leave until clear before drinking and always decant carefully into a jug to avoid sediment. Heather ale takes longer to clear than other ales, so be patient.
The flowering of heather heralded a time of rejoicing and self-indulgence for our ancient Celtic ancestors.
Purple heather is a symbol of unbridled passion and its consequences.
Bee keepers prize ling heather for the thick, dark honey it produces.
The Great Goddess
Listen to your heart and be open to the new. Allow only truth and trust within your heart.
Remember the blissful, playful innocence of your youth and allow that simplicity to rise back to the surface. Everything can be and is full of wonder and amazement, and magick. Your heart is full of love and light again, miracles happen again, happiness is within you and you are free to love.
LESSON OF THE HEATHER - from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford
Heather is a symbol of passionate love, of sacrifice, and self-control. In the first place, heather represents enthusiasm and sensual pleasure, and the benefits that can be enjoyed from spontaneous self-expression. But within this lust for life and exhilaration lies a deeper lesson of the consequences that may arise out of unbridled passion. The Celts believed that you are always totally responsible and accountable for the outcome of your actions, so you were wise to be sure of your own true nature before totally abandoning yourself to the potent delights of heather ale and the pleasures that it could bring. Unchecked, heather is short-lived and unproductive but if burned yearly to the ground, it re-grows with fresh vigor. The lesson of the heather is that a necessary balance must exist between self-expression and self-control for both to be enjoyable and effective.
Summer Solstice marks the peak of the solar cycle. In the midst of the longest day of the year, we simultaneously begin our return to the dark half of the year. Summer Solstice is active: it's about doing and expanding, living the dream envisioned in the dreamtime of Winter. The Earth is fertile, and the womb of the Earth Mother grows ripe with Life.
In the mythic cycle of the Goddess, the Maiden Goddess experiences the joy of union with Her creative, sexual, sensual Self and begins to manifest Her creations. Thus, this holiday begins the Maiden Goddess's transition to the cycle of the Mother Goddess as Maker/Creatrix.
Honor and celebrate the many ways you manifest the creativity in your life. Regardless of whether a woman physically gives burth, she becomes "Mother" when she nurtures, sustains and protects life, human or other species, through her life's work and activism. Where is your passionate energy focused in your life? How do you feed your creative fire? How are you a "Mother/Maker?Creatrix?" How do you nurture, sustain and protect your creations?
excerpt adapted from Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries by Ruth Barrett 2004 and We'Moon '07
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