The eighth Celtic Moon month ushers in the shortening of the days. The power of the Sun is transferred to Earth, highlighting our practical needs and desires. The Celtic fire festival of Lammas begins the harvest on August 1, so the month of the Holly Moon is a time to give thanks for the good things in your life. Focus on your own "harvest' during the month of Holly---on what you wish to achieve and why.
Share your successes
Traditionally, the first grain harvested was baked into a loaf that represented the spirit of the crop, or "John Barleycorn" as it was called in England. This bread was shared in a ceremony to ensure the wealth of the community.
Use this month to celebrate your successes with family and friends and to consider sharing your good fortune with others.
Protection and Renewal
The holly is magically imbued with powers of protection. In England, it was believed to protect against witchcraft and to guard homes against being struck by lightning. Its evergreen leaves symbolize renewal and recovery during the dark half of the year and ward against envy and the misuse of power.
The planetary ruler of holly is Mars, which bestows upon the tree the ability to restore direction in your life, to rebalance and align energy, and to help you gain a sense of purpose.
In Pagan tradition, men carry sachets of holly leaves and berries, which will enhance their masculinity due to the tree's restorative and energizing powers.
Holly Moon Magic
Use the magical blessings of the Holly Moon to celebrate and share the good things in your life and to increase your future fortune and success.
Holly Harvest Loaf
During the Holly Moon month, invite the blessings of John Barleycorn into your home by baking your own magical harvest loaf. Simply follow the steps below:
1. Prepare some bread dough from flour, yeast, oil, honey, water and salt, and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour.
2. Sprinkle seeds and nuts on top of the dough to symbolize each blessing in your life, such as a comfortable home or supportive family. Focus on these positive things as you knead the dough.
3. Shape the dough into a roundish loaf and place on a baking sheet.
4. Before baking it, place your hands on top of the dough and try to visualize golden light channeling into it.
5. Then say, "John Barleycorn, I give you thanks for all I have received, Blessed be."
6. When baked, bury the first slice of the loaf in the ground and whisper your wishes for the future.
7. Share the rest of the loaf with your friends and family and celebrate your abundance.
Holly Money Spell
On the full Moon hold up some paper money to the moonlight and recite the spell below.
Lady Bright, Lady Bright
Harvest abundant dreams tonight
Three times Three times Three times Three,
Prosperity return to me.
Give the money to charity (may I suggest your local no-kill animal shelter or the American Red Cross) and in return, the positive energy of the holly will provide you with the funds you need over the coming months.
Time to Re-Energize
The spirit of renewal in the month of the Holly Moon makes it an excellent time to re-energize your life.
*Tune into the energies of your environment by eating energy-rich seasonal foods, preferably foods that are produced locally.
*Use holly's influence to rise to physical challenges and overhaul your personal fitness by joining a gym or taking up martial arts.
Harvest of Friends
Celebrate the harvest of the season and of the things that enrich your life during the Holly Moon by inviting friends to dinner.
Meals to Share
Ask everybody to bring a dish that they have prepared, and cover the table with a gold cloth to signify the wealth in your life. For the centerpiece, place an arrangement of holly and wheat around a candle to represent the harvest spirit.
Once your guests have arrived, give thanks to Mother Earth for the food that she has provided:
"Let us eat that none shall no hunger. Let us drink that none shall know thirst." During the meal, discuss what it is that you wish to harvest in your life.