We have a weather lore rhyme that goes:
St. Swithun’s day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain;
St. Swithun’s day, if thou be fair,
For forty days ’twill rain na mair.
The myth originates from the time of a Saxon bishop called Swithin. As he lay dying he requested to buried outdoors so that he could be trampled upon and rained upon. However, nine years later – on July 15th – his remains were moved to a shrine inside Winchester Cathedral and during this time there was a violent storm which lasted for forty days. This led to the old wives tale we have above.
Is there any truth in it?
Well, apparently the Met Office have put this to the test on at least 55 occasions when it has rained on St. Swithin’s day and they found that forty days of rain did not follow. The fact that the British summer can either be wonderful or miserable is down to weather patterns that set in by the middle of July. Either Atlantic weather systems will fall directly across the UK, bringing wet weather or they will pass to the North, bringing fair and settled weather.
So it would seem St. Swithin has little to do with cursing our summers here in the UK, it is down to mother nature and how a weather system forms during July. That said, we got rain on St. Swithin’s day and have experienced rain every day since. This has prompted me to conduct my own survey and I am recording my findings for future reference.
From July 8th until August 4th we have the Holly Month. This month is the 8th moon of the year and the first moon of the dark half of the year.
The magickal uses for the Holly month are :-
watchfulness, good luck, holiness, death, consecration, rebirth, material gain, physical revenge, beauty and travel, protection magick for animals.
On a personal level I find, again, that there are things I can address within the theme of the month. Life has been so very hard for me these past few months and I am not putting so much time and effort into online pursuits. I have found that a lot of online “friendships” have fallen by the wayside and that left me unnerved, momentarily. I find my priorities have really changed and I no longer give the time to things I did a few months back. I have found that what I thought was important to me then no longer is. At the time I would have felt my life was the poorer for not having such things and such people in it, but I have changed so much since the catalystic chain of events stormed through my life, I don’t feel like the same person anymore.
So with rebirth being a theme of the Holly month I am going to do a little cleansing ritual and meditation specifically for rebirth. I feel it is time to re-enter the world.
From June 10th to July 7th it is the Celtic month of the Oak. This tree is associated with the element of fire and ruled by the sun. Indeed, Litha falls within the Oak tree month, which sees the longest day of the year.
There are many Gods and Goddesses associated with this tree, particularly the Gods of thunder and lightning.
To me this tree represents strength and during this month we can cast spells for strength, protection, success and stability. good luck, health and healing, money, potency and good luck.
On a personal level I need to draw strength this month as there are one or two issues on the home front that need confronting. My challenge for the month ahead will be to tackle these issues by drawing upon the energies of the grand oak tree to lend me strength and protection during what will undoubtedly be a difficult process.
Coupled with putting my life back together after losing two loved ones in four months and it isn’t too difficult to understand why I need the strength that the oak offers. As I move back out into the world after taking a break I may need to draw upon the oak’s strength. Going through such a tough time has left me feeling washed out and my energy severely depleted – my chronic illness has been particularly bad in recent weeks. Of course the weather has played a part in me feeling so awful too. Normally the weather doesn’t bother me whatever it is doing – I am a real weather geek – with the only time I complain being when it is too hot, as I am asthmatic and I cannot breathe; also having arthritis means hot and humid weather plays havoc with my joints too. But generally I am pretty easy going when it comes to the weather, but recently it has been so cold and damp up in Cumbria that I have felt even worse, not just physically but emotionally too.
So it seems that my energies are so low and need a boost and that’s where the energies of the oak come in.
© 2011 Susan Park. All Rights Reserved.