August is the eighth month of the calendar year and the third month of summer. It is named after Octavian Augustus (“Augustus” in Latin means “divine”). The Irish name for the month is “An Lúnasa,” derived from the name of the god Lugh.
August is the last month of summer, and the feeling that autumn is approaching becomes evident with its arrival. The weather in August becomes unpredictable: sometimes the sun shines brightly, sometimes it rains incessantly, and the wind can be strong. However, the scorching heat of July begins to diminish, making it more comfortable.
In August, apples start to ripen, the first cabbage becomes ready for harvest, and the first tomatoes are gathered. The wheat harvest is in full swing during this month. People work hard in the fields and gardens from dawn till dusk, bending their backs without rest. August brings an abundance of berries, nuts, and mushrooms from the forests. Medicinal herbs found in fields and forests are most potent this month. Towards the end of August, birds start gathering in flocks, preparing for migration. The water begins to bloom in rivers and ponds, along with reeds, lilies, and water lilies. It is in August when the first leaves start falling.
Important Dates and Celebrations in August 2023
August 1-2 – Lughnasadh, Full Moon
August 3 – Day of the Dryads (Spirits of Trees)
August 9 – Wiccan Day of Fire Spirits
August 13 – Pagan celebration in honor of Hecate
August 16 – New Moon
August 17 – Day of festivities in honor of the goddess Diana
August 31 – Full Moon, Blue Moon
*August 1 – Lughnasadh celebration, also known as First Harvest, Lammas, or Lughnasa. It is one of the four Great Sabbats in the witchcraft calendar and marks the turning of the year towards autumn.
This is the time for all kinds of crafts and arts created by hand, from blacksmithing to aromatherapy. Ritual embroidery, magical cooking, potions and infusions, herbalism, and weaving a witch’s ladder – the list of activities that become especially potent during Lughnasadh is endless. If you have the opportunity, take a stroll along fields sown with wheat or other grains in the second half of the day. Feel the spirit of Lughnasadh and the breath of the witchy autumn.
This year, Lughnasadh coincides with the Full Moon in the sign of Aquarius, known as the Grain Moon or Barley Moon, and also as the Ripening Moon, Blackberry Moon, Sturgeon Moon, and Thunder Moon. It aligns with the energies of Lughnasadh – the time of harvest. Use this period to strengthen and forge personal and business connections. Decorate your home and altar with yellow and golden tones. Meditate on your connection with your ancestors, the infinity of the cycle of death and rebirth. Of course, it’s an excellent time to perform rituals related to material success and abundance.
Working with the Barley Moon:
The Moon of Lughnasadh (Barley Moon) is a time for harvesting and completing cycles, a time to reflect on eternity and your connections with family, ancestors, and blood relatives. It is a time to remember that life and death always go hand in hand, and every cycle ends to make way for something new.
~ In a way, August is the month of harvest, which has a dual meaning: we reap the fruits of our efforts, and these fruits can be diverse. It is important to avoid conflicts, risky situations, and disputes during this time.
~ The August full moon is conducive to working on matters that require completion or are coming to an end. You can lay out tarot cards to find out how to conclude a long-drawn-out matter or perform a simple ritual.
~ On the other hand, if your life is going smoothly and harmoniously, it is best to spend the August full moon as peacefully as possible, avoiding any actions that involve meddling in your or someone else’s inner world.
~ This full moon is excellent for dispelling negative phenomena and energies. Perform a cleansing of yourself and your living space, preferably with the element of Fire: for example, smudge your home with protective herbs such as St. John’s wort, sage, and wormwood, light red and yellow candles on your windowsills, and get rid of anything unnecessary.
~ If there is a thunderstorm on the night of the August full moon, collect storm water and use it to charge and cleanse protective amulets. Gather nettle and keep it as a personal talisman or home charm.
~ You can combine the two phenomena and perform a moon-gazing session with the storm water collected on the eve of the full moon. Stand in the moonlight with the bowl of storm water, reflecting the moon’s light. Gaze into the water’s surface, mentally asking a question about your issue.
~ The nights are now filled with fiery energy. It’s a time to harvest, lay the foundation for the future, and express gratitude for all you have. ~ It’s time to connect with your ancestors and express gratitude for the blood and strength flowing in your veins. ~ Since the Barley Moon emphasizes the connection with eternity, it’s a wonderful time to work on family issues (whether they involve close or distant relatives), personal transformation, and completing cycles. ~ It’s also an ideal time for resolving partnership issues.
* On August 3, perform the “Invitation of the Dryads” ritual to connect with the spirits of the garden.
Prepare a large bowl of water and gather empty half shells of walnuts or thin twigs, preferably from apple trees. Attach a small candle used for birthday cakes to the inner side of each shell or in the center of each twig. Place the bowl with water in a secluded and picturesque spot in your garden where no one will disturb you. “Set sail” your little candle-lit boats on the water, one by one, using matches. Ring a small bell to attract the attention of garden fairies. Show them respect and express your desire to learn their secrets. Now, sit in silence and listen to the rustling of leaves and mysterious sounds. If you feel a slight touch or your hair being gently moved, it may be a sign of the presence of the Dryads. You can ask them for assistance; their powers extend to all living things in the garden, such as poorly flowering plants, trees with insufficient yields, garden pests, and more.
*On August 9, burn yarrow in honor of the fire elementals. Practice divination using the flame of a candle or read the future in the movements of fire in a bonfire.
*On August 13, during the moonrise, modern pagans celebrate the festival of Hecate – the goddess of the “dark side” of the moon, guardian of crossroads, and protectress of all witches. Use this night for various forms of divination or “catching” prophetic dreams.
*Additionally, this month, we will experience another phenomenon known as the Blue Moon, reaching its full potential on August 31.