Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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It was a dusty hut, often overlooked by the inhabitants
of Kiana because rumors told of a demented, tortured soul
who lived within. Often, at night when the wind was still,
especially when the moon was full, one could hear the
mumbling of voices. It seemed like there were several, but the
villagers couldn’t imagine who would be daring enough to
cross the threshold and confront the one woman within.

Medaille Amaraud was one woman on the outside,
but several on the inside. Those in the village believed her
dangerous, capable of casting spells of evil on those who
came too close. In years past, she had been a priestess; but
now she was a shattered, lonely woman who spoke to no one
save the other tortured beings who lived within her mind.
Fortunately—or perhaps unfortunately—before the darkness
took her mind, she wrote many of her spells and musings on
parchment, keeping them stored within the stones of her home.
The Father Druid, Merdwynn, never one to be afraid of those
lost within themselves, frequently visited Medaille’s cottage to
see to her well‑being; one day he found her writings.

As a child, I remember patiently awaiting the Solstice during the
Moneth of the Traveler’s Moon. Living in the north of Kiana, this
date would always ring in the beginning of summer and the end of
a long, usually frigid winter. This day was often heralded with events
as simple as bonfires or late night children’s games of Blind Man’s
Bluff, Gameball, and Kubb, so we might take advantage of the extra
sunlight. But as I got older and became drawn to the celebrations
held by the Priestesses and Druids of Ishitar, I began to understand
the significance of midsummer’s night in particular and how it
related to the Sacred Stones just outside Kiana.

Many years ago, before I entered the school on Ishitar as a
novice priestess, I stood before the Sacred Stones and basked in
their energy. I had only begun to skim the surface of the mystery
surrounding their intended purpose. One of the oldest monuments
in the known world, the Sacred Stones is a site where many rituals
are held.

One of the rituals marks midsummer’s night. During one of his
lengthy lectures, Father Druid Merdwynn explained that the layout of
the stones tracks the sun to its place in the sky at the exact moment
of the midsummer solstice. The priestesses and druids still use
the site today to celebrate this event, beginning their ceremony the
evening before with meditation and offerings. Just before dawn, they
enter the site to perform their ritual, which ends just after the sun
reaches its highest point in the sky.

The summer season represents fertility, making it a popular
time for “handfasting,” when a couple makes a pledge to each other
for a year and a day: if, it at the end of this period, the union isn’t
working, they can go their separate ways; if, however, they still believe
in their pairing, they stand together as husband and wife.

Another celebration, and the one from which handfasting was
thought to have originated, is Lughnasadh, also known by the name
Lammas. This is the first of the three harvest Sabbaths (Mabon
and Samhain are the others), taking place during the Moneth of the
Drago Moon, carrying with it the theme of the sacrificed god whose
death is necessary for the rebirth of the land. Often called The Green
Man or The Corn Man, he merges with the harvested crops to ensure
new growth in the spring. In ancient times, and sometimes even
today, it was the King’s duty to sacrifice himself for his land, a theme
seen across many cultures in Arcane’s history. For those of us who
frequent harvest fairs all around Arcane, The Green Man is often
one of the first things we see upon passing through the gates of the

Lughnasadh also celebrates bread, which is one of our staples,
and the ripening of this grain is the cause for great celebration. The
Moneth of the Drago Moon generally finds us with fields to harvest,
whether they be our own small gardens or family farms. And even
though the fairest of weather is still with us, as the days shorten
following the Midsummer’s Eve, we are reminded that fall is just
around the corner.

Below I have included spells for protection used on Midsummer’s
Eve and Lammas, as well as ways to celebrate, and recipes and
concoctions made from seasonal herbs. Enjoy the gifts of the season;
until our paths cross again, Blessed Be.

For creating a protective shield during the Solstice
Visualize a bright shield surrounding the person or place you
wish to protect and burn a blue, green, and/or gold candle as well
as the scents of lavender and rose. When the candles are lit and the
dried flowers or incense are burning, say these words:

Goddess who works through me,
Create a protective shield for [names of people, places,
or things that you wish to protect].
And for the good and free will of all,
Let it be one nothing or no one
Can penetrate with evil intentions.
[Person, place, or thing] is now impervious to harm,
Protected by divine presence,
Perfectly safe in all time
And in all space.
So mote it be.

Let the candles and incense burn out.

Then, for Lammas, try these two spells, both of which are very tasty:

Wish Spell
Make a loaf of your favorite bread, preferably with grain
harvested from your fields. If you have grinding tools made from
the Iron Mines in Kiana, I would suggest using them for this spell as
they hold a particular magickal property that’s heightened in wish
work. After the bread has twice risen, shape and place the dough
on a well‑floured board made from the finest pine. Then, dip your
finger in milk and write on the crust what you most desire. Slide the
board into the fire and quickly pull it out, leaving the loaf to bake
in the woodstove. When it’s finished, golden‑crusted and steamy, eat
it warm with fresh butter or jam, and make sure to share it with a

Protection Spell
For this spell to have maximum affect, the wood for your oven
should come from the land surrounding your home. If you live near
the Enchanted Forest or Bigobo Grove, the magick will be particularly
pleasing. Bake your favorite loaf, and when it’s cool, break it—
don’t cut it (to use a knife on an item of offering is offensive to the
Goddess and Gods)—into four pieces. Take one piece to each corner
of your property to leave for the small creatures, or bury, if you
prefer. As you walk around the perimeter, say these words (note: I
have adapted this spell to my environs; if you live in another land of
Arcane, please feel free to replace the names to suit your purpose):

I call on the spirits from Aniada:
From the East where the dawn comes
As it rises over Skylding Hall,
From the West where the sun sets
Over Dragon’s Peak;
From the North, a place of silent strength
And the mist of Ishitar,
Of the South, a place of passionate fire
And sailors’ wishes.
Protect my humble home,
Its health, its life.
Keep it safe from harm and strife.
So mote it be.

To Celebrate the Solstice
Have a bonfire and invite all your friends. Remember to have lots
of good food and drink!

Make potpourri with traditional Solstice herbs, including
lavender, thyme, mugwort, St. John’s Wort, vervain, verbena,
ylang‑ylang, rose, lemon, and cinnamon.

Dye cloth with traditional colors: yellow, blue, and green.

Other spellwork that can be performed includes purification,
healing, and love magick.

Decorate your altar with summer herbs, stones (traditionally
emerald, tiger’s eye, and jade), flowers, seashells, and
love amulets.

Solstice Herbals
We all know how summer can bring around flies, especially
when doors and windows are open more often. Try this to keep the
pests at bay:
     1 spoon of wild thyme
     1 cup of boiling water
Steep the thyme in water to make a tea; when ready,
spread around windows to repel flies.

After a day of working in the garden to ensure a good
harvest, hands can become sore and red. This is a delightfully
scented soother:

Rub on pure lemon juice, rinse,
and let dry. Repeat several
times a day. Simple!

To Celebrate Lammas
Sacrifice bad habits and unwanted
things from your life by writing them
on a piece of parchment and then
burning them.

Take time to harvest your garden
with your family. If your garden is
small, assist a friend afterwards.

Include blueberries in your
celebration. They are a traditional
fruit whose abundance indicates a
good harvest.

Share your harvest with those
less fortunate.

Bake your favorite herb bread.

Lammas Herbals
Sunflower is traditionally associated with Lammas. The seeds, besides being
a treat either raw or toasted in the fireplace, are especially useful. After
a day of hard work harvesting in the garden, skin is often dry, hard, and
scaly. Try this to soften hands, knees, and feet:
     1 spoon of ground and shelled sunf lower seeds
     1 cup of boiling water

Pour the water over the seeds and let them soak to make
a tea. When the mixture has cooled, rub it into affected skin
until the condition clears.

Natural Dyes for Holiday Candles
Add the herbs or other ingredients and just a little vinegar to the wax
as it melts, but be sure to strain the larger items out before adding the wax
to molds. If you are hand‑dipping the candles, just take care that the smaller
items don’t stick. Remember: the longer you leave these items in, the brighter the
Orange ....Yellow onion skins
Yellow ......Tumeric or Cumin
Green ......Colt’s foot or Bracken

Esmarya’s Corn Chowder
This recipe came from a friend born in Skylding Hall who became a priestess
of Ishitar. Not at all like the typical Skyld, Esmarya was slender and tall with smoky
hair and skin. She possessed an ethereal quality not found in most priestesses.
Her grace captivated everyone; her cooking stole their souls. She infused
a magick in her food, made it almost a sexual experience as it slid past your lips
to tease your tongue to ecstasy. When she died at the gentle age of 112, our
kitchen, our Island, mourned her loss, but thankfully her spirit lives on through
her recipes.

Esmaraya said saffron was the spice of exotic dreams. This soup, using the
first sweet corn of early summer, saffron from spring crocus, and a few pantry
staples, will delight your senses with its magick and warm you on those cool
Kianan summer nights.

1 large spoonful of oil
1/2 cup of chopped onions
1 diced sweet red pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 large spoonfuls of f lour
2 cups of milk
11/2 cups of vegetable stock
11/2 cups corn cut from the cob
1 cup of white beans (let soak
1 large pinch of saffron
threads, crushed
1 large pinch of freshly ground
black pepper

Gently sauté the onions, red pepper, and mushrooms in oil
until tender. Stir in the flour and cook for a little bit. Whisk
in the milk and stock, stirring constantly until the soup begins
to thicken. Stir in the corn, beans, saffron, and pepper; let
it bubble gently for a little while until the corn and beans are
warm and soft. This will serve four hungry kitchen wenches.