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~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

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Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess
I have one son now coming into his native shaman training and 4 beautiful grandchildren.

Native American Winter Holidays

Navajo Night Chant

The Navajo are the American Indians native to Arizona and the rest of the south west. The most sacred of all Navajo ceremonies is the Night Chant which was first performed around 1000 b.c.e.   It is celebrated in late fall or early winter for 9 days.

The ceremony involves memorizing hundreds of songs, dozens of prayers and several very complicated and intricate sand paintings.

The Night Chant is lead by a trained Medicine Man (doctor-priest) who has had a long apprenticeship and learned the intricate and detailed practices that are essential to the chant.  The ceremony uses techniques that shock and arose in order to scare off sicknesses and ugliness.  Once disorder is gone, then order and balance are restored through song, prayer, sand painting and other aspects of the ceremony.

The Night Chant has a very large dance component.   There are teams who dance about 12 times each with half-hour intervals in between.  It totals more than 10 hours straight of dancing! The dance movements are a lot like the Virginia Reel, with two lines facing each other.  Each of the 6 male dancers takes his female partner, dances with her to the end of the line, drops her there and then moves back to his own side.

Sand paintings are also very important in the healing rituals in the Night Chant.  Each traditional sand painting design is associated with a particular story and is accompanied by specific songs, prayers and ceremonial procedures. The medicine man rarely is the one who makes the sand paintings. But, he is the one responsible for overseeing their preparation.  It's the assistants who do the actual painting by dribbling small amounts of colored sand through their fingers onto a smooth surface.  The whole purpose of these sand paintings is to allow the patient to absorb the powers depicted in them.  The patient does this by sitting or sleeping on it.
For the Navajo, every grain of sand in the painting must be placed perfectly.  Each design takes days to complete because of the intricate detail.
Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony

The Iroquois are one of the largest Native American tribes in history.   As you may already know the Iroquois Confederacy is made up of six Indian Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora.  

The Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony is in either January or February depending on the moon cycle.  When the new moon appears the spiritual year begins and five days after, the ceremony starts.  The celebration lasts 9 days with a lot of traditional events, as well as choosing new council members for the next year.

Each tribe celebrates a little differently.  The usual custom is to first begin with a   "Stirring of the Ashes" ceremony to symbolise thanks for all the blessings bestowed during the previous year.  There is also a public naming event where all the children who were born that year are given their Indian names.

The two traditional Indian for this season are The Bear Dance and the Feather Dance.   The Bear Dance is a dance to curing medical problems.  Both men and women participate in the dance which some what resembles the actions of an actual bear.  

 

This dance can be performed publicly or privately for a sick person to cure them of their problems and any misfortunes that have had over the past year.   The Feather Dance is a more cheerful dance to bring in the new year.

One of the highlights of the Midwinter Ceremony used to be what was called The White Dog Sacrifice. It is no longer done!  Instead today, instead of a dog, they use a white basket.

The Midwinter Ceremony ends with a speaker who gives a brief thanksgiving address.  It is also at this time that the new council members are introduced to the crowd at the longhouse.  The rest of the tribe's members are now purified and released from the burden of their dreams. And a new year is now welcomed.

The Peach Game is often played around this time to predict the success of next year's harvest of fruits and vegtables.    Supposedly based off of a game played by "The Creator" and his evil brother as they competed with each other during the creation of the earth, it symbolizes the good luck that he has given to mankind. 

Six peach stones (peach seeds smoothed to an oval shape) are either burnt or blackened on one side.  Then they are put into a bowl and shaken.  It is a game of chance a lot like dice, or flipping a coins heads or tails, and works similarly to a fortune teller.   It's played in two teams and beans are used as points.   The first team to loose all of their points looses the match.   Men usually play against women. One clan can play against another clan. The game can go on for as long as two days!  Bets are often placed also on who will win.

Hopi Soyaluna festival

The Hopi are one of the many Pueblo tribes.   Their Winter Solstice festival is called the Soyaluna and is observed on December 22.  Although a black Plumed Snake is the basic symbol of this ceremony it is not based on snake worship. It is one of the Hopi's most sacred ceremonies and is also called the "Prayer-Offering Ceremony" because it is a time for saying prayers for the New Year and for wishing each other prosperity and health.

The Hopi believed that on the summer solstice, when the days are the longest, that the Sun God is closest to Earth.   In turn, on the winter solstice, that takes place in December the Sun God has traveled as far from the earth he can.    So, in order to bring the Sun God back the warriors have a great festival.  

Therefore, the whole purpose of the Soyaluna ceremony that the Hopi do still to this day, is to prevent the disappearance of the sun at the time of the year when the days are the shortest.

The preparations for the Soyaluna ceremony start by cutting pieces of cotton string and tying feathers and pinyon needles to the end. These are exchanged among friends and relatives during the day.  Sometimes this is done by tying them in the recipient's hair. 

The main celebration includes telling the story of the holiday.   Memebers of the tribe dress as snakes, warriors, and most importantly the Sun God. They pretend that the God is leaving earth forever in darkness.   The black snake symbolizes the evil influences that are driving the sun away.  So the assembled chiefs make their offerings of prayer and meal to this black Plumed Snake to try to persuade him not to "swallow" the sun, like he does when there is an eclipse. The warriors must convince The Sun God to return by offering gifts, he comes and they celebrate. (A possible activity that kids can do would be to make snake puppets either out of old socks or brown paper bags.)

How do Native Americans celebrate Christmas?

The holiday we call Christmas has evolved into the biggest celebration in the world. Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. Many Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar, which places Christmas around January 6.

 

Christmas was first added to the Roman Catholic Church calendar as a religious feast day in the fourth century A.D. But Christmas is not the only celebration held around this time of year. December 25 was a significant date for various early cultures. The ancient Babylonians believed the son of the queen of heaven was born on December 25. The Egyptians celebrated the birth of the son of the fertility goddess Isis on the same date, while ancient Arabs contended that the moon was born on December 24. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a feast named for Saturn, god of agriculture, on December 21.

 

Before European contact, the Indian tribes of North America did not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, since they hadn't heard of him. However, many of the American Indian people of North America have been Christianised for several hundred years. Over this time, customs which were introduced to them by the missionaries, have become adapted to the native cultures, and are an integral part of their Christmas traditions today, just as they are in most American homes.

 

Many Native American people found that the story of Christmas and Christ's birth fulfilled tribal propheciesand found the message of Jesus to be consistent with the truth that was handed down by their ancestors.

 

Christmas wasn't always celebrated in the US the way it is today. In fact, the Puritans of Massachusetts banned any observance of Christmas, and anyone caught observing the holiday had to pay a fine. Connecticut had a law forbidding the celebration of Christmas and the baking of mincemeat pies. A few of the earliest settlers did celebrate Christmas, but it was far from a common holiday in the colonial era.

 

Before the Civil War, the North and South were divided on the issue of Christmas. Most Northerners thought it was a sinful display, while Southerners saw it as an important social occasion. The first three states to make Christmas a legal holiday were in the South: Alabama in 1836, Louisiana and Arkansas in 1838. It did not become a US National holiday until 1870.

 

Christmas celebrations and traditions, as most of us in the US celebrate them today, became more common in America during the mid-1800s. The introduction of Christmas services in Sunday schools reduced religious opposition to a secular festival, as opposed to a somber religious day, while the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol popularized the holiday as a family event, and women's magazines promoted the ideas of decorating for this holiday.

 

Some scholars suspect that Christians chose to celebrate Christ's birth on December 25 to make it easier to convert the pagan tribes. Referring to Jesus as the “light of the world” also fit with existing pagan beliefs about the birth of the sun. The ancient “return of the sun” philosophy had been replaced by the “coming of the son” message of Christianity.

 

Many Native Americans in North America, and Aboriginal groups elsewhere in the world, as well as other pagen religions such as wicca, did observe a celebration near Christmas time, called the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and falls on December 21-22 and was celebrated in the Americas long before European influence arrived. Different indian tribes associate different beliefs and rituals with it.

 

For example, the Hopi tribal celebrations are dedicated to giving aid and direction to the sun which is ready to return and give strength to new life. Their ceremony is called Soyal. It lasts for 20 days and includes prayerstick making, purification, rituals, and a concluding rabbit hunt, feast and blessings.

 

The First Native American Christmas Carol

 

The first written native american Christmas carol was written down by a Jesuit missionary priest, Friar Jean de Brebeuf, around 1640-41, for the Huron Indians. The Hurons built a small chapel of fir trees and bark in honor of the manger at Bethlehem. This became the 'stable' where Jesus was born. Some Hurons travelled as much as two days to be there for the Christmas celebration.

 

The animals at the manger were the Fox, the Buffalo and the Bear. The Hurons also made a traditional tent of skins and their nativity figures were all dressed as native Americans. This Huron Carol, originally written in the Huron language and later translated to French, has become a well known and much loved carol today.

 

Santa Claus, St. Nicolas, or Handsome Fellow, a Native American Santa

 

The American version of St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus originally came from the Dutch version called Sinter Klaas. This tradition was brought with the Dutch people who settled Amsterdam, New York.

 

Our modern day version of how Santa Claus should look comes from the Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore. Written for his children in 1823, the family poem was later published for the general public and included what became the now famous picture of Santa Claus by Thomas Nast.

 

Countless legends are told about the Patron Saint of Giving known as St. Nicholas. He has been the patron saint of Russia, Moscow, Greece, children, sailors, prisoners, bakers, pawnbrokers, shopkeepers and wolves.

 

His gift-giving role in Christmas rites probably comes from his fame as the friend of children. This Christma legend tells us that he also used to give anonymous donations of gold coins to persons in need. His cult spread in Europe and Christmas presents were distributed on December 6th when the celebration of St. Nicholas took place.

 

According to these legends, St. Nicholas was born in the city of Patara, and traveled to Palestine and Egypt when he was young. He was later imprisoned by the Emperor Diocletian, but was later released by the more humanitarian Emperor Constantine. He attended the first council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. St Nicholas reportedly died about 350 AD.

 

The relics of St.Nicholas are in the basilica of St. Nicola, in Bari, Italy (they were stolen from Myra in 1087 AD). For this reason he is sometimes known as St.Nicholas of Bari.

 

Native American Winter Holidays

 

Native Americans celebrated seasons and life through various ceremonies. Each Native American tribe believed in certain spirits and honored them with traditional festivals. Many Native American groups had similar winter ceremonies while others performed specific rites only known by their tribe. Some portions of these Native American winter holidays resemble certain aspects of events from other cultures.Soyaluna CeremonyThe Soyaluna ceremony, celebrated annually by the Hopi Indians, takes place on December 22. This event commemorates winter solstice, and constitutes one of the most important ceremonies for the Hopi Indians. The holiday stems from the Hopi belief that the Sun God travels far away during the winter; only through the singing of their strongest warriors can the Hopi coax the Sun God back to Earth. This ceremony involves two groups; one group dresses as warriors and the other as snakes. A large black plume snake created to represent the evil influences that drive the sun away stands at the center of the conflict. One member of the tribe portrays the Sun God. The groups perform a ritual illustrating the Sun God's struggle to return to Earth. The warriors plead with the black plume snake not to eat the sun by praying and giving the snake meals. The warriors offer gifts to the Sun God to return and he does.

 

Midwinter CeremonySeveral Native American tribes--including the Kwakiutl, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora--commemorate the observance of midwinter. The midwinter ceremony has a second name: the New Year's ceremony. Once the new moon appears, the spiritual year starts. Each tribe's festivals differ slightly but the main reason for the ceremony remains the same. The midwinter ceremony involves two dances, the Feather Dance and the Bear Dance. Other activities include feasting, tobacco smoking, games, dream sharing and depictions of tribal history. This holiday lasts for nine days during the month of January or February. The ceremony commences with the selection of the new tribal leaders for the coming year.

 

Stick DanceThe Athabasca Indians, located in Alaska, traditionally perform the stick dance to honor the memory of deceased male tribe members. This week-long ceremony takes place during the month of March; is not an annual celebration, but rather happens every three to four years. The family members of the deceased sponsor the event. Starting on Monday, everyone gathers to enjoy a feast with singing and dancing. The group shares memories of the deceased. Friday night, a large spruce pole is placed in the center of the village. Everyone with gifts for the deceased decorates the pole. Once completed, the group begins to dance around the pole at a slow pace, singing ritual songs. The next day they take the pole down and carry it through the community to the river. After chopping the pole up, they place the pole in the river to float to sea.

 

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/list_7184352_native-american-winter-holidays.html#ixzz2nxIourrF

Daily Forecast for December 18th, 2013

Current Moon Phase for Dec. 18th – Full Moon

Full Moon

(waning/92% illumination)

A veil of self-absorption is lifted and suddenly you gain access to an unbiased view of others. This is a rare moment when you can see yourself objectively and become aware of whether or not what you want in your heart is actually beginning to manifest in your life. Traditionally, the Full Moon phase stirs emotion, and this is because when you “see” what is happening, you may become upset if you’re experiencing the “same ole, same ole” — rather than the things you would like. If the Full Moon phase is a disappointment, on the next New Moon it’s time to take creative action in the direction of your dreams.

 

Wednesday 18th December 2013

Moon 5° Cancer squares Mars 5° Libra

Moon 8° Cancer squares Uranus 8° Aries

Moon 10° Cancer opposes Pluto 10° Capricorn

Wednesday 18th December 2013 - Moon in Cancer

It's impossible to prepare for unexpected mayhem .... except....

You might think SQUARES and OPPOSITIONS are awful and bad - the truth is astrological SQUARES and OPPOSITIONS are normal - in fact when all the planets are in their natural houses Moon in Cancer always squares Mars in Aries [Mars natural home is Aries] - so the fact that Moon in Cancer squares Mars in Libra today - means the square is natural - but it's now switched sides. And without "oppositions" the magnetic powerful energies created by "opposites" would never make anything happen in life. So "opposites" are normal too.

The problem comes when STUBBORN and SELFISH people only see life from their perspective - and when things don't go according to whatever "they" want to happen. Destiny is in the process of preparing the whole world for huge karmic events - and today's powerful emotions - are just the beginning to see what's about to unfold. Whatever "it" is will be defined as SURPRISES and SHOCKS - the actual events are still "hidden" - even though many of you will have a good idea of the goodness that's coming - as you sense the "karmic" energies in your aura.

 

The only way to prepare for karmic events is to ACCEPT everything in your life as a blessing - even the problems - and ACCEPT the karmic events - that's life. For the truth is you can't do anything else - because if you do - it will only create negativity. People who REFUSE to accept - always begin by getting ANGRY - then they turn VIOLENT - then they ATTACK and DESTROY. You might say it's a human flaw - but when the catastrophic Nuclear war eventually happens - you will realize that it all started because people couldn't ACCEPT or AGREE with each other - so they turned to become ANGRY which leads to WAR and DESTRUCTION. It's happening and being prepared by "karmic destiny" as I write this - and no-one seems to care - so I can't see why people will be shocked and surprised when it finally happens. [FYI it's not going to happen today - I'm just giving an example of what BAD negativity can do to some humans - who are just like animals but with worse weapons capable of destructive mayhem]. Sadly, "they" can't see that it's all "self-destructive" - as "they" are doing it to themselves - that too is karmic.

Hence on a personal level - if you can't AGREE with someone - and if you can't live in PEACE and HARMONY - there's no point creating any negativity nor arguments - nor turning destructive or violent - simply SAY NOTHING - disconnect and accept the situation. Define that it's karmic and destiny is giving you a SIGN to DETACH from them. Because "destiny" has a much better karmic alternative that it's planning for you very soon.

If you ACCEPT everything that you see and simply SAY NOTHING with complete faith and acceptance - then you'll actually serenely ENJOY Moon in Cancer - for Moon in Cancer is the BEST PLACE for the Moon to be - and you should sense that IF and ONLY IF you don't argue with anyone and don't get SAY ANYTHING to anyone who just wants to pick-a-fight with you.

 

Moon 5° Cancer squares Mars 5° Libra this is the aspect that will create ARGUMENTS - words that will lead to "trouble" - as soon as you see WHO is trying to pick-a-fight with you - note that you NEED to disconnect and SAY NOTHING. Moon square Mars is a sign "they" are BAD for you.

Moon 8° Cancer squares Uranus 8° Aries unexpectedly, suddenly, shocking and surprising - all in one - but it's necessary in order to readjust your life - to get you on the RIGHT DESTINED pathway - especially as Uranus has just gone direct in Aries - it's now time to DUMP the past and EMBRACE the future. It's far easier to KISS and LOVE the "future" - instead of having a futile argument with the ex of the "Past". Anyone who picks-a-fight with you today is about to be an "ex" - anyone who unexpectedly positively surprises you today is the LOVE of your "future".

Moon 10° Cancer opposes Pluto 10° Capricorn this is the aspect that makes predicting predictable - as it creates a CHANGE IN YOUR MIND - a deep rooted inexplicable feeling - makes you change your mind and as you do - it creates CLARITY - for it just feels really RIGHT.

After the Moon passes 10° Cancer technically it should then become good for most people - especially if you've listened to the advice. If you haven't and you've got involved in NEGATIVITY - which started with an argument - then you have yourself to blame for the mess you're in - you are predictably predictable - and you should know better - as I'm explaining this in advance to WARN YOU - DO NOT ARGUE with ANYONE. Keep shtum and say NOTHING - as nothing good will come from arguing with someone who isn't destined to be in your life anymore.

It is for this reason that Ester never replies to people picking-a-fight - she simply "deletes" them - for there's no point in replying to some very hateful people - I guess "they" fight with all the people in their lives - that's the energy of who they are - and what leads to "wars". Isn't it ironic that all the countries with Nuclear capabilities are the karmic countries with the worst violence, hatred, arrogance and bad manners in the world!

Daily Horoscopes

Our emotions may go unexpressed today, but a lack of communication doesn’t reflect a lack of intensity. The hypersensitive Cancer Moon motivates us to care for loved ones, even if it means shielding them from the truth. Meanwhile, cerebral Mercury forms a creative alignment with fuzzy Neptune, making it hard to know exactly what to say. Unfortunately, being overprotective isn’t the smartest strategy to aid in someone else’s personal growth.

Aries Horoscope
(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

You’re ready to make something happen, but acting in an aggressive manner isn’t such a wise idea today. Rather than rushing into a new project or activity, allow some time to assimilate what has already transpired over the past few days. Even if you want to demonstrate how responsible you are, charging ahead won’t deliver the message of maturity you wish to send. Paradoxically, you can make your point and accomplish more now by slowing down and doing less.

Taurus Horoscope
(Apr 20 – May 20)

You may be so sensitive now to what others say that a good friend could rub you the wrong way with a casual remark. Although the comments might actually be directed toward someone else, it still feels as if you’re the one that’s actually being criticized. Over-personalizing what you hear leads to a misinterpretation of the facts. Taking a more laid-back approach to personal interactions allows you to avoid unnecessary problems.

Gemini Horoscope

 

(May 21 – Jun 20)

You begin to feel relief as your extreme mood swings settle down. Although yesterday's Full Moon was in your sign, today's nurturing Cancer Moon could soothe your heightened emotions. Thankfully, you can choose to concentrate your energy instead of scattering it. If someone needs a bit of special tender loving care, step up to the plate and demonstrate your willingness to be there for those you love.

Cancer Horoscope

 

(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

Today's events may stir up memories from your childhood that evoke strong feelings, since the emotional Cancer Moon is at her height of power. You could be nostalgic at first, but your longing transforms into much-needed clarity about a pressing issue. Nevertheless, it's dangerous to assume that your processing is over, for your moods may continue shifting through tomorrow. Be gentle with yourself while traveling on your sentimental journey.

Leo Horoscope
(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Hiding your emotions gives you enough space and time to consider your reactions without also feeling like you must share them with everyone else. However, the self-contained Cancer Moon’s presence in your 12th House of Secrets indicates that your imagination is more active today than is apparent to others. It’s not necessary to express everything you’re thinking until you are ready to deal with the consequences of what you say. Exploring your dreams is a wonderful way to get in touch with your heart.

Virgo Horoscope
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You tend to over-analyze everything you want to say today because you’re concerned about what everyone might think. You believe it’s safer to be discreet than to agitate others with something they don’t really need to know. Nevertheless, a conversation could lead you to disclose more than you intend. If so, remember that it’s better to be honest than to cover your tracks with half-truths and innuendos. Speaking with integrity is your best course of action because your real friends expect you to be sincere no matter what.

Libra Horoscope
(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You may have mixed feelings about helping someone less fortunate today. You might resist at first, relying on logic to give reasons why you cannot jump in as requested. Maintaining a sense of humor can be crucial to offering what is needed now, for a good laugh enables you to dissipate the tension while also doing the right thing. Thankfully, you’re able to follow through with useful assistance in the nick of time; be the friend you want to have.

Scorpio Horoscope
(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You’re experiencing uncertainty about an upcoming business trip or vacation as the tentative Cancer Moon visits your 9th House of Travel. You might try to gloss over important details today because you don’t want to cancel a fun adventure. It’s challenging now to keep everything clear so you don’t end up somewhere lost and far from home. Go ahead and continue making your plans, but scale back your expectations to be on the safe side. Trust your instincts to be your guide.

Sagittarius Horoscope
(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You might not have an outlet to express the emotional intensity you are feeling today. The needy Cancer Moon can be unsettling as she moves through your 8th House of Deep Sharing, stirring your passions. The problem is that patience doesn’t come naturally for you Archers, making it tough to slow down enough now to see where your feelings take you. However, if you ignore your emotions, they’ll just resurface stronger and be even more difficult to handle the next time around. Confiding in someone you trust may be all you need at this time.

Capricorn Horoscope
(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

You might not be able to avoid a friend or acquaintance who asks for help in solving an emotional problem today, even if you would prefer to sidestep this potentially complex situation. But your natural assumption that you need to fix anything is not true. Instead of taking over, encourage others to talk and then show your support just by listening. You don’t have to do anything except receive what’s being said with an open mind and a compassionate heart.

Aquarius Horoscope 

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Although you might wish you could take the day off and even lose yourself in a movie or a book, there's just too much to do now. Unfortunately, your responsibilities may restrict your freedom and stand in the way of your happiness. Don't fight the inevitable today; show up and do what's required. Thankfully, you should be able to find some time later in the day for a well-earned escape -- and it will be more enjoyable if your work is already done.

Pisces Horoscope
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

You may be willing to wait patiently today for something you want because you believe there’s a better chance of finding satisfaction once you can see the whole picture. But the current dynamics aren’t about denying your desire for pleasure; it’s more to do with realizing your dreams. Impulsively taking action could create more problems than good times. Being cautious is wise as long as you don’t let any significant opportunities slip through your fingers in the process.

Today’s Tarot Card: Justice

Traditionally, what has been known as the Justice card has to do with moral sensitivity and that which gives rise to empathy, compassion and a sense of fairness. Since the time of Solomon, this image has represented a standard for the humane and fair-minded treatment of other beings.

Often including the image of a fulcrum which helps to balance competing needs against the greater good, and a two-edged sword to symbolize the precision needed to make clear judgments, this card reminds us to be careful to attend to important details. It’s a mistake to overlook or minimize anything where this card is concerned. The law of Karma is represented here — what goes around comes around.

Your Rune For Today        

Eihwaz       

Eihwaz represents the Yew tree and its everlasting nature. The Yew may bend, but it does not break. You are on the right course and have the strength and ability to meet your goals. Congratulations!

Today’s I Ching Hexagram: 18: Repairing What is Spoiled

Something is starting to rot and it is time to repair the damage. In the world of human affairs, indulgence and corruption grow like weeds in an untended garden; they must be faced squarely, and rooted out through bold action. Eliminating corruption — and the sloppiness that leads to it — is one of the most ennobling of all human enterprises. Correction of flaws in the system clears the way for fresh, new beginnings.

The time has come to become lean and efficient. The weeds must be rooted out now, before the garden is overwhelmed. Fighting decay, sloppiness and corrupt agendas is not a simple matter; all steps must be evaluated carefully. Planning must precede action. Resist the temptation to strike out prematurely. Gather strength behind you, and summon your inner resources, because arresting decay is no simple task. When you do act, make your strike as precise and clean as the path of the surgeon’s knife.

The Fairy of Attraction

Do you know about the law of attraction?
Be positive and you will attract positive things and people towards you!

Your Fairy Affirmation for today:
"I believe that my positive attitude will bring good things and happier times my way." 

Today's Spirit animal Oracle:
 

That Which is Behind You
  Ant 
Ant is dutiful, patient, industrious and focused. If you ever put an obstacle in the middle of an ant trail, you’ll notice that ant will go over it, around it, or even under it—but ant will NOT let the obstacle drive him backwards. Above all, ant is a team player, and knows that if each member of the team does his assigned task, the team will succeed. Do you have goals that are best met by team effort? If so, get the other players off the bench and let them into your game. 

 

Your Current Place
  Bat 
Bat’s internal radar is exceptionally attuned—is yours? Because Bat medicine is the medicine of transformation, he is asking you to re-examine your life to determine (using all of your senses) what is worth keeping and what needs to be discarded. For every death there is a rebirth and Bat is here to help you decide what goes and what stays. 

 

That Which is before You
  Coyote 
Taking yourself too seriously? If you are, Coyote will throw a banana peel in your tracks just to see you take a silly spill. Coyote medicine is Trickster medicine—the practical joker, the chaos maker. If Coyote appeared in your reading today, be ready for a curveball thrown in your direction. Remember, though, Coyote uses the bizarre to help us learn lessons we just can't seem to get any other way. 

~Elder Airwolf~

 

Goddess Lilith & Chant

Lilith
Child of Light, Daughter of Darkness
 

According to ancient Sumerian history, Lilith is a wind spirit of the great Goddess Ninlil, Queen of Heaven, Lady of the Air, and Mother of the Moon. Ninlil bestowed the divine right of rulership in ancient Sumeria. 

Lilith's flower was the Lily and the magical Lotus. In the beginning she represented the virgin (belonging to no man) aspect of the Triple Goddess. She stood upon the protection of lions and was Lady of the Beasts. The wisdom of the night Screech Owl was her companion. She is the instinctive soul of the living world. 


 

Lilith
from Sacred Source

As patriarchy took over the vast power of the Goddess, Lilith became legend in a dark fashion, reviled as a destroyer and seducer of men. Even as Inanna gave up the power of the Bird and Snake Goddess, so too did the symbol of a woman's power become the bed and the throne. Throughout history Lilith was the one who would not submit. Passed down from Sumeria, the Hittite Empire, Babylon to the Semitic peoples, she became the archetype of the dangerous woman who refused submission. She was vilified as Harlot, Serpent, Blood Sucker, Impure Female, Hag, Witch and Enchantress. Yet, in the beginning her epitaph was that of 'Beautiful Maiden'.

 

The Talmud, Zohar, and other Hebrew texts have centered upon Lilith as the mother of demons, beginning with her rejection of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Genesis holds 2 tales of creation, the first in Genesis 1 tell that male and female were created simultaneously out from the older view of Mother Earth and Father Sky. This first woman in Hebrew tradition is held as Lilith. She demanded equality, and to co-rule. She refused submission sexually, went to the center of the Garden and spoke the 'Ineffable Name of God', protecting her and allowing her to depart Eden. Adam complained. 

God sent 3 angels; Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof with an ultimatum that she return or 100 of her children would die each day. She accepted this rather than be subjugated. Thus the first woman created equal as a free spirit was condemned to survive in legend as the harlot, mating with demons and devils, birthing monsters.Rage and grief were hers. (This brought home the threat to any woman who might think of defying male authority.) After a time of grief Lilith made love to the Water Elementals bringing forth the 'sea of the unconsciousness which arises from the depths of feminine wisdom in our psyche'. 

By the 19th Century Lilith became the archetype of the femme fatale, who men feared and loved. She who had the power to destroy her lovers or prompt him to a new awareness of Life.

Lilith:
A romance by George MacDonald, 1895 

Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where
Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent
And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?
Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went
Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent,
And round his heart one strangling golden hair.



 

The Lilith Shrine

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, "Collected Poems"; London, 1906
From nurse with wound's soliloquy for lilith:
i shall find a quiet pool in the forest and i shall be alone there often. i shall gaze into the deep, still water and that stillness will be in me. i shall sleep by my pool and dream, and i shall leave you messages in oracles and poems. or you may dream with me, (for you are as much myself as i am you and your dreams are also my dreams) you may join me and wait through the night till the animals come to drink. then i will show you the shape changing and we will become the animals. my magick can heal, for it comes from the place where there is no separation and we are all one, where the water of the pool merges again and is lost in the ocean.


 

Ardiadne's Dreams

Ritual for Lilith
 

By Saradwyn


Banishing Negative Self-delusion Needed: Salt, Sage Smudge Stick, Matches, Athane Some symbol of pain or loss 3 Candles: Goddess Candle, Black Candle, White Candle Clear bowl of water, Mirror, Flower: Lily, Poppy, or Lotus Blessing Oil Body:Cleansing Bath with salt, Meditate on Intent, Open Self, Light Goddess Candle, Invoke Elemental Quarters, Cast Circle with Athane, follow with a Casting of Salt, Place clear bowl of water on top of mirror, flower beside it. Place symbol of pain/loss beside or under the Black Candle, Light the Black Candle, Place 1 drop of Blessing Oil in bowl of water. Chant: Lilith, Handmaid of the Three, Come, please now, we Invoke Thee, See our pain, rejection and loss, Due to delusion, influence and gloss. As Light becomes Dark and Light again, Clear our Selves to the Goddess within. Dip fingers in water and touch chakra centers, Light White Candle,Repeat Repeat Above Chant. Snuff the Black Candle to banish the Negative Self Delusions/Images. Place Flower in bowl of Water Hold Mirror and Look within. Repeat Above Chant. Visualize White Light swirling all around and through body and mind. Accept this Light into Self. Meditate. Ground. Give Thanks. Open Circle.

References:
 

Demetra George, Mysteries of the Dark Moon; Harper San Francisco, 1992 Melin Stone, When God was a Woman; Harcourt Brace Jovaovich, 1976 The Lilith Shrine

The Significance of the Moon & Stars to Native Americans

Native Americans live in close symbiosis with nature. Their culture, customs and traditions are all an ode to nature. They understand the importance of respecting life and try their best to co-exist with all life forms on Earth. The moon and stars have a special significance to Native Americans.
Significance
Native Americans used the moon to tell time by counting from one new moon to the next, known as a lunar cycle. Native Americans assigned names to the moon for each month to keep track of the seasons. Each name is a symbol of what the moon meant to Native Americans by virtue of its use, guidance and influence in their daily lives.
Winter Moons
In December, the full moon is named "The Cold Moon" or the "Full Long Nights Moon." This is the time when the nights are dark longest and the days are coldest. January is named the "Wolf Moon" because during the cold nights wolves would howl hungrily outside the Native American villages. February's moon is the "Snow Moon" because at this time the native places were hit with heavy snow falls. At such time, both humans and beasts had to go hungry, for hunting was difficult.

Spring Moons

The March full moon is named "Crow Moon" because, as winter ends, the crow is known to caw as if wishing goodbye to the cold weather. This moon is also known as "Worm Moon" because it is at this time that the birds start catching worms. The full moon in April is named "Egg  Moon" because of the spouting and renewal of the nature. The May full moon is aptly called "Flower Moon." Native Americans believed that during this month, the flowers grew and danced at night in honor of the moon.

Summer Moons

The June full moon is known as "Strawberry Moon," for this is the season when strawberries ripen and are plucked. The natives believed that picking strawberries in the night would ensure a bountiful crop in subsequent years. "Thunder Moon" is the name given to the full moon of July. At this time, there were many thunderstorms. Also, at this time the buck deer would start forming its antlers; hence the name "Buck Moon." August's full moon is known as "Red Moon." The moon in this month is not only huge but also reddish as it reflects the rays of the sun, even at night.

Autumn Moons

The September full moon is known as "Harvest Moon," for it is during this month that most of the crops are harvested. "Hunters Moon" is the name given to the full moon of October, when foliage is full grown and the deer would be plenty and slow to move. November's full moon is called the "Beaver Moon" because the beaver population peaked during this month, and natives would set traps to catch them.

Stars

The meaning of the stars might not have been easily understood by non-tribal people. Natives used the stars to tell time, navigate  the rivers and seas and predict the future. However, from studies of the drawings and interpretations of historians, it may be inferred that the natives thought of stars as the spirits of their ancestors and they honored each with a name and symbol.

Some sources mention that Native Americans used stars' positions to indicate specific seasons or events of the year such as harvest time, planting time, buffalo hunt time and so on. Their interpretation and use of the star positions and constellation vary significantly from the astrology of the modern world.

By Rose Kerr

 

Darkness is Not Evil


Darkness is not Evil.
(Article by John Coughlin )
 
   
So often darkness is associated with evil.
Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion,
We Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.
Evil is a human term.
It begins and ends with us.
 A tornado is not evil, yet it is destructive.
Fire can be used to benefit life or destroy it.
 Nature is neither good nor evil. It simply is.
 It follows no moral code.
 Only humans, with our complicated set of emotions and intellect, can justify such categorizations.
Death, destruction, chaos these are essential driving forces within nature.
Life feeds on life; destruction precedes creation.
These are the only true laws,
and they are not open to interpretation.
 When Pagans anthropomorphisize nature into something good and loving, they deny its very all-encompassing nature.
When the dark deities are shunned in fear of the unknown, we deny ourselves full understanding of all
deities and what they have to offer.
 It is our nature to fear the unknown.
 We cling to archetypal forms representing the aspects of some great unknowable, encompassing force, which we cannot comprehend.
 We call them our deities.
This is not wrong; It is in fact, necessary since we cannot grasp the "divine" or cosmic source
otherwise.
Some religions choose to see this source as one omnipotent being.
However, accepting the existence of an all-good and just being dictates that there must then exist a counterpart that encompasses evil.
 Since nature-based religions view the concept of deity in a more polytheistic and pantheistic way, the separations of creative/destructive forces are not as well defined.
The deities take on aspects of nature
or human ideals.
 Instead of one omnipotent being, we have deities of love, war, beauty, the sun, the moon, the sea
Each deity inherently contains both the creative and destructive forces.
It is through the many aspects of the Goddess and God that we come to learn more about the universe and ourselves.
To shun those aspects we fear
inhibits our growth.
 It is the goal of Dark Pagans to encourage those who hide behind the positive aspects of our deities to embrace their fears and learn.
As a life-affirming spirituality, Paganism often focuses on the positive, creative and nurturing forces in nature.
 It is easy to loose touch with
the darker aspects.
Life begets death and death begets life.
Chaos is the fuel of creation.
Something must always be destroyed for something to be created.
Those who shun the darker aspects of nature and ourselves tend to fall into what I have heard called "Lightside Paganism"
 - Pagans who think life is all happiness and joy and that once attuned to the rhythms of nature, life
becomes such wonderful dreams.
 Many subscribers to the "New Age" movement have this shallow outlook.
 To them, nature is good and just and ordered.
This simply is not the case.
 Take these dull-eyed individuals and place them in the wilderness with nothing but their crystals and they will be some
animal's dinner before the end of the week.
Nature is harsh.
 It is unforgiving.
 The weak die or are killed by the strong.
Life feeds on life.
Even the strictest vegan is a plant killer.
 Humans, with their technological and medical breakthroughs have "improved the quality life" by
distancing themselves from the harshness of nature. However, despite this harsh side of nature, it is not evil.
It also has its share of beauty.
The point is, nature encompasses both the creative and destructive forces.
Ignoring the negative aspects results in an incomplete view of nature.
It is the goal of dark Paganism to remind us that there is a darker side to all things and that this darker side is not necessarily harmful and
negative.
There is beauty in darkness for those who dare enter the shadows to embrace it.
Many aspects of the darkness are not as harsh as death and chaos.
 There is reflection, reverence, change, divination, introspection, trance,
autumn, winter, maturity, wisdom, the distant cry of a crow in a forest,
 a single candle glowing in the night, the cool embrace of the autumn wind.
These are all aspects; these are its gifts.
Perhaps it is through the beauty of a
sunset and sunrise and the colors of fall and spring that we are reminded of the cycles of birth-death-rebirth and of the importance - the necessity - of each phase.
 It is important to remember that focusing only on the darker side is
just as dangerous as focusing on the lighter side.
Balance is important, and even though some may relate to one aspect more than the other, we must always remain open to the other aspects.

 ~~John j. Coughlin ~~

( I found this very interesting, 
 
We need both Dark & Light,
( Balance is the key.)

Darkness is Not Evil


Darkness is not Evil.
(Article by John Coughlin )
 
   
So often darkness is associated with evil.
Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion,
We Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.
Evil is a human term.
It begins and ends with us.
 A tornado is not evil, yet it is destructive.
Fire can be used to benefit life or destroy it.
 Nature is neither good nor evil. It simply is.
 It follows no moral code.
 Only humans, with our complicated set of emotions and intellect, can justify such categorizations.
Death, destruction, chaos these are essential driving forces within nature.
Life feeds on life; destruction precedes creation.
These are the only true laws,
and they are not open to interpretation.
 When Pagans anthropomorphisize nature into something good and loving, they deny its very all-encompassing nature.
When the dark deities are shunned in fear of the unknown, we deny ourselves full understanding of all
deities and what they have to offer.
 It is our nature to fear the unknown.
 We cling to archetypal forms representing the aspects of some great unknowable, encompassing force, which we cannot comprehend.
 We call them our deities.
This is not wrong; It is in fact, necessary since we cannot grasp the "divine" or cosmic source
otherwise.
Some religions choose to see this source as one omnipotent being.
However, accepting the existence of an all-good and just being dictates that there must then exist a counterpart that encompasses evil.
 Since nature-based religions view the concept of deity in a more polytheistic and pantheistic way, the separations of creative/destructive forces are not as well defined.
The deities take on aspects of nature
or human ideals.
 Instead of one omnipotent being, we have deities of love, war, beauty, the sun, the moon, the sea
Each deity inherently contains both the creative and destructive forces.
It is through the many aspects of the Goddess and God that we come to learn more about the universe and ourselves.
To shun those aspects we fear
inhibits our growth.
 It is the goal of Dark Pagans to encourage those who hide behind the positive aspects of our deities to embrace their fears and learn.
As a life-affirming spirituality, Paganism often focuses on the positive, creative and nurturing forces in nature.
 It is easy to loose touch with
the darker aspects.
Life begets death and death begets life.
Chaos is the fuel of creation.
Something must always be destroyed for something to be created.
Those who shun the darker aspects of nature and ourselves tend to fall into what I have heard called "Lightside Paganism"
 - Pagans who think life is all happiness and joy and that once attuned to the rhythms of nature, life
becomes such wonderful dreams.
 Many subscribers to the "New Age" movement have this shallow outlook.
 To them, nature is good and just and ordered.
This simply is not the case.
 Take these dull-eyed individuals and place them in the wilderness with nothing but their crystals and they will be some
animal's dinner before the end of the week.
Nature is harsh.
 It is unforgiving.
 The weak die or are killed by the strong.
Life feeds on life.
Even the strictest vegan is a plant killer.
 Humans, with their technological and medical breakthroughs have "improved the quality life" by
distancing themselves from the harshness of nature. However, despite this harsh side of nature, it is not evil.
It also has its share of beauty.
The point is, nature encompasses both the creative and destructive forces.
Ignoring the negative aspects results in an incomplete view of nature.
It is the goal of dark Paganism to remind us that there is a darker side to all things and that this darker side is not necessarily harmful and
negative.
There is beauty in darkness for those who dare enter the shadows to embrace it.
Many aspects of the darkness are not as harsh as death and chaos.
 There is reflection, reverence, change, divination, introspection, trance,
autumn, winter, maturity, wisdom, the distant cry of a crow in a forest,
 a single candle glowing in the night, the cool embrace of the autumn wind.
These are all aspects; these are its gifts.
Perhaps it is through the beauty of a
sunset and sunrise and the colors of fall and spring that we are reminded of the cycles of birth-death-rebirth and of the importance - the necessity - of each phase.
 It is important to remember that focusing only on the darker side is
just as dangerous as focusing on the lighter side.
Balance is important, and even though some may relate to one aspect more than the other, we must always remain open to the other aspects.

 ~~John j. Coughlin ~~

( I found this very interesting, 
 
We need both Dark & Light,
( Balance is the key.)

Blyssful Full Moon's Day Pagans!



As we embrace the love of the Goddess in her fullness we also embrace her darkness and learn to balance all that is in between. Here is passage I would like to share with you all:

Darkness is not Evil.
(Article by John Coughlin )

So often darkness is associated with evil.
Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion,
We Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.
Evil is a human term.
It begins and ends with us.
A tornado is not evil, yet it is destructive.
Fire can be used to benefit life or destroy it.
Nature is neither good nor evil. It simply is.
It follows no moral code.
Only humans, with our complicated set of emotions and intellect, can justify such categorizations.
Death, destruction, chaos these are essential driving forces within nature.
Life feeds on life; destruction precedes creation.
These are the only true laws,
and they are not open to interpretation.
When Pagans anthropomorphisize nature into something good and loving, they deny its very all-encompassing nature.
When the dark deities are shunned in fear of the unknown, we deny ourselves full understanding of all
deities and what they have to offer.
It is our nature to fear the unknown.
We cling to archetypal forms representing the aspects of some great unknowable, encompassing force, which we cannot comprehend.
We call them our deities.
This is not wrong; It is in fact, necessary since we cannot grasp the "divine" or cosmic source
otherwise.
Some religions choose to see this source as one omnipotent being.
However, accepting the existence of an all-good and just being dictates that there must then exist a counterpart that encompasses evil.
Since nature-based religions view the concept of deity in a more polytheistic and pantheistic way, the separations of creative/destructive forces are not as well defined.
The deities take on aspects of nature
or human ideals.
Instead of one omnipotent being, we have deities of love, war, beauty, the sun, the moon, the sea
Each deity inherently contains both the creative and destructive forces.
It is through the many aspects of the Goddess and God that we come to learn more about the universe and ourselves.
To shun those aspects we fear
inhibits our growth.
It is the goal of Dark Pagans to encourage those who hide behind the positive aspects of our deities to embrace their fears and learn.
As a life-affirming spirituality, Paganism often focuses on the positive, creative and nurturing forces in nature.
It is easy to loose touch with
the darker aspects.
Life begets death and death begets life.
Chaos is the fuel of creation.
Something must always be destroyed for something to be created.
Those who shun the darker aspects of nature and ourselves tend to fall into what I have heard called "Lightside Paganism"
- Pagans who think life is all happiness and joy and that once attuned to the rhythms of nature, life
becomes such wonderful dreams.
Many subscribers to the "New Age" movement have this shallow outlook.
To them, nature is good and just and ordered.
This simply is not the case.
Take these dull-eyed individuals and place them in the wilderness with nothing but their crystals and they will be some
animal's dinner before the end of the week.
Nature is harsh.
It is unforgiving.
The weak die or are killed by the strong.
Life feeds on life.
Even the strictest vegan is a plant killer.
Humans, with their technological and medical breakthroughs have "improved the quality life" by
distancing themselves from the harshness of nature. However, despite this harsh side of nature, it is not evil.
It also has its share of beauty.
The point is, nature encompasses both the creative and destructive forces.
Ignoring the negative aspects results in an incomplete view of nature.
It is the goal of dark Paganism to remind us that there is a darker side to all things and that this darker side is not necessarily harmful and
negative.
There is beauty in darkness for those who dare enter the shadows to embrace it.
Many aspects of the darkness are not as harsh as death and chaos.
There is reflection, reverence, change, divination, introspection, trance,
autumn, winter, maturity, wisdom, the distant cry of a crow in a forest,
a single candle glowing in the night, the cool embrace of the autumn wind.
These are all aspects; these are its gifts.
Perhaps it is through the beauty of a
sunset and sunrise and the colors of fall and spring that we are reminded of the cycles of birth-death-rebirth and of the importance - the necessity - of each phase.
It is important to remember that focusing only on the darker side is
just as dangerous as focusing on the lighter side.
Balance is important, and even though some may relate to one aspect more than the other, we must always remain open to the other aspects.
~~John j. Coughlin ~~

( I found this very interesting, 

We need both Dark & Light,
( Balance is the key.)

So Mote it Be~Elder Airwolf~

Why do Wolves Howl at the Moon?

While camping in Yellowstone National Park, you fall asleep to a symphony of crickets and rustling leaves beneath a brilliant full moon. A little while later, a high-pitched moan snaps you out of your slumber. You hear the noise again, and it immediately registers -- a wolf's howl. "No need to worry," you think as you close your eyes, "that old canine is just yapping at the moon."

So where did this connection between wolves and the moon come from? Blame it on your ancestors' ancestors. Many ancient civilizations stretching back to the Neolithic Age continually paired wolves with the moon in images and literature, which eventually evolved into today's popular belief. Hecate, Greek goddess of the moon, kept the company ofdogs. Same thing goes for Diana, Roman goddess of the moon and the hunt. Norse mythology tells of a pair of wolves that chase the moon and sun to summon night and day [source:Rosenberg]. The Native American Seneca tribes believe that a wolf sung the moon into existence [source: Henes].

Since wolves inhabit every continent except South America and Antarctica, their prevalence in human culture isn't surprising. As nocturnal animals, they have a natural association with darkness and the moon.

And just like humans whisper, shout, scream, murmur or chat to communicate, howling isn't the only way wolves vocally express themselves. Instead, they deliver short-range messages with three other types of vocalizations: barking, growling and whimpering.

The bark comes as no surprise since we're used to wolves' tamer descendents doing so. But as any dog owner can tell you, barks can have various meanings. For wolves, barks are either offensive or defensive. They may warn nearby pack members of an incoming predator. Or, they may call another wolf into a challenge. Lower-pitched growls signal dominance or an impending confrontation [source: Feldhamer et al]. For calmer occasions, a high-pitched whimper indicates submission. Wolves may whimper as a friendly greeting to each other, or parents and pups may speak gently to each other [source: Earth Expeditions].

But when they raise their muzzles toward the sky and release those wavering howls, is the message meant for the moon? 

Forget the malarkey aboutwolves howling at the moon. These animals care as much about the Earth's nightlight as metalheads think about "High School Musical."

Canine experts have found no connection between the phases of the moon and wolf howling [source: Busch]. Wolves pipe up more often during the night because they're nocturnal. But why do they point their faces toward the moon and stars when they howl? It's all about acoustics since projecting their calls upward allows the sound to carry farther.

 

Wolves often howl together as a chorus.Jim and Jamie Dutcher/Getty Images

Today, wolf howling is one of the most distinct and well-studied animal vocalizations. The ancestors of domesticateddogs, wolves howl as a form of long-distance communication, conveying a range of information. Because of the high pitch and the suspension of notes, the sounds of wolf howls can carry as far as 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) in the forest and even 10 miles (16 kilometers) across the treeless tundra [source:Musgrave].

Wolf howls serve as GPS systems, sing-alongs and fire alarms -- all rolled into one. In fact, the purpose of wolf howls isn't terribly different from the reasons humans raise their voices to the wind. In general, the primary reasons why wolves howl include:

A rally cry for the pack to meet up
A signal to let the pack know of a wolf's location
A warning for outside wolves to stay out of a pack's territory

The frequency of howling increases during the evening and early dawn when wolves hunt [source: Lopez and Bauguess]. Howls punctuate the air more often during the wintertime breeding season, when wolves seek out mates [source: Lopez and Bauguess]. Since howls bear coding for a wolf's body size and health (with the larger animals exhibiting deeper tones), males can exercise their pipes to attract females [source: Feldhamer et al].

Although we think of wolves howling alone, they frequently do so as a group. These chorus howls involve members of a pack singing in unison at multiple pitches. Together, the chorus may include up to 12 related harmonies [source: Lopez and Bauguess]. Group howling can protect packs since the combination of harmonies tricks listeners into thinking there are more wolves present [source: Harrington]. Or sometimes, they'll howl just for the fun of it.

Alpha wolves, leaders of the pack, usually display a lower-pitched howl and will sound off more frequently than those with a more subservient social standing [source: Feldhamer et al]. Pups also practice howling as they mature, mimicking those of adult wolves [source: Harrington]. Lone wolves, however, may not howl as much to keep their whereabouts hidden from potential predators, since they don't have the added protection of a pack [source: Feldhamer et al].

As you can see, these primitive animals have an extensive vocabulary to express themselves.

 

 

WATCH FOR THE SNOW MOON

Moon Full Moon Lunar Seasons Legends and Lore Algonquin Seasons Native American Legend By: Annette Bromley 

 

WATCH FOR THE SNOW MOON

 

I grew up learning to watch the skies, the fields, the leaves on the trees for weather signals. When I was in school many years ago, and I presume it is no different today, we anticipated and looked forward to “Snow Days,” days when it was too stormy to go to school. A few of us had pretty much learned to predict those days fairly accurately. We watched for “the snow moon,” when we could even see the moon through the clouds. The Snow Moon is the full moon in February and appears as a burnished, somewhat tarnished silver orb that is often seen through a hazy shroud; even on a clear night the snow moon appears to have a frosty hazy over and around it. It is a cold moon. That frosty haze usually meant a nor’easter was bearing down on us and a nor’easter meant a snow day, a day off from school. From mid-February to middle March you could pretty safely predict at least three or four major storms and there are usually seven as a minimum during the winter season.

 

The Wolf Moon of January warns that Snow Moon is coming. You can hear its howls in the night as the earth becomes encased in an icy shell and the snows fall from the sky. It is a time of the long night when the sun’s light is shortened and the moon breathes its cold breath in giant clouds that darken the sky even in the short hours of day and prevents the sun’s warmth from passing through to warm the creatures of the Earth. Hear the wolf moon howl and be warned, the snow moon is coming. 

 

The Snow Moon arrives in February, the month when winter brings on its most severe weather, when the ghost panther howls and the snow ghost dance. It is the moon that ushers in hunger when food is scarce and the hunting usually brings no meat. It is a season of icy winds and deep snow. Snow may pile up waist deep overnight. Tree branches and boughs become so heavily iced they bend low to the ground and may even break. It is a dangerously cold time of year, a time of three dog nights; nights when it takes a thick pile of warm blankets and three dogs snuggled in to keep the body warm. It is a time when even though the home fires crackle and breathe promise, it spreads little warmth into the breath of the snow moon. Its breath is icy cold. From the Snow Moon to the waking of the Crow Moon is a bitter season and a hungry season unless you have prepared well for it.

 

Since pre-historic times man has measured time and seasons by the rising and setting, the waxing and waning of the moons. Early cultures and civilizations named the moons giving the moon names that would help them keep track of the seasons in nature and later in agriculture. These names applied themselves to the entire season from moon to moon. Native cultures have since pre-historic time lived by a lunar measure to time and while most of our months have 30 or 31 days, a lunar month has 29 days and there are exactly 29 days from full moon to full moon. The Native Americans of the Algonquin peoples named them this way. The Algonquin tribes are from New England and their home lands range as far west as Lake Superior. Having lived in Northern New England all my life, I can attest to the truth in the names given these moons and Snow Moon certainly breathes with a very icy and chilling breath bringing much deep snow and ice upon the Earth and it inhabitants.

 

According to Algonquin legend, the seasons of the moon are these: January brings WOLF MOON, a season of cold and snow when the wolf packs howl outside the village …it is the old moon when the seasons of plenty die and the earth is laid to rest. February brings the SNOW MOON when ghost panther howls and the snows fall deep and there is no food to be found. It is a season of hunger and cold and great storms that go on day after day.

 

Then in March come the CROW MOON or the FULL SAP MOON, a welcome moon when the cawing of the crows announces the rising of the sap and the ending of winter. It is a time of warmer and thawing days but the nights are still freezing cold. It is the time for the tapping of the maple trees and is the last full moon of the wintering. April brings the SPROUTING MOON, a time when the leaves and grass are sprouting and the Earth is waking up from its long winter sleep and new life is being born again. Tribes living in coastal areas also called this the FISH MOON because it is the time of year when the shad swim upstream to spawn. It is a time when the rivers are freed of winter’s icy grip and are running high and free again. May is the month of the FLOWERING MOON also called the PLANTING CORN MOON. It is a time when spring has fully arrived and the trees and herbs are again blooming and announcing the good tidings of a coming harvest. It is the season to plant corn and other crops. 

 

The full moon of June is called the STRAWBERRY MOON the season to harvest the strawberry and then comes July with it THUNDER MOON, a time when thunder storms are abundant. It is also sometimes called the HAY MOON associating it with the season to gather straw and grass for bedding and thatching and feed. With August comes the GREEN CORN MOON or the GRAIN MOON, a time when the wild grains are being harvested from the fields and the corn is developing on the stalks. It is also the time for harvesting of fruit and wild herbs and grasses and a time to begin storing up. September brings the CORN HARVEST MOON or RIPE CORN MOON and the beginning of the major harvest season and preparing for the cold winter season ahead.

 

And come October the moon becomes the FULL HARVEST MOON, the time for harvesting the pumpkins and squash and beans and the wild rice and other crops. It is the season of great harvest and a time of plenty. November brings with it the FROST MOON or the BEAVER MOON, a time for trapping and gathering warm pelts of fur for warmth against the coming winter cold. Frost Moon brings a deep chill to the air and the rivers and marshes soon freeze. The ducks and the geese and other wild birds fly away south and winter is soon to come. It is a time to be sure all preparations are done and your home is made ready before Cold Moon arrives bringing with it the long night, a time when there is more darkness than light. It is December and the season of the COLD MOON when winter’s icy grasp holds the Earth in its clutches. The fields and forest are now fallow and it is the season of sticks, the gather of much fire wood to keep the lodges warm in the season of the Wolf moon and the most dreaded season of all, the hungry season, the season of the SNOW MOON. 

 

But soon Crow will once again announce the coming of spring. The sap will rise and the geese and ducks will return and the fields and trees will grow green again and there will be sowing and reaping and gathering and plenty and a time of feasting and preparing before another season of sticks and the coming of the Cold Moon and the howling of the Wolf Moon and the arrival of Snow Moon, the season of hunger…And maybe a few days off from school.