‘Here’s flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram.’
William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale
The name of the month ‘June’ is said to derive from ‘Juno’, ‘Junios’ known as the sixth month and the ‘Great Mother’ to the Romans. As part of the seasonal calendar June is the time of the ‘Mead Moon’ according to Pagan beliefs and the period described as the ‘Moon of Making Fat, of Fatness’ by Black Elk (Black Elk Speaks, Neihardt). June has also been known as:
‘Zomermaand’ (Summer month)
‘Sere-monath’ (Dry month)
‘Lida oerra’ (Joy time)
‘Junius a juvenum nomine dictus’
According to the Celtic calendar this is the second month of ‘Beltaine’, (also Beltane) a time associated with healing, within nature, of the body and of the spirit. Herbs were an extremely vital part of the seasonal calendar used in a range of remedies and preventative medicines (See Mystical WWW Plants). The Rowan or Mountain Ash (See Mystical WWW Trees) were amongst the most central to pagan beliefs in the ability to ward off negative energies. Here, in June, plants feature strongly in the spiritual and emotional needs of man as well as solving more pressing physical ones. The healing powers indicate a direct link to the deities, and the benefits were thought, in pagan and Celtic beliefs to be a sign of a higher intervention. Water too (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : June ) has purified the spirit and body, and here Man’s association with nature again returns to the awareness of Creation and his stewardship of the earth.
The results of holistic medicine do exist in today’s society (See Mystical WWW Alternative Medicine) , although often scientifically disputed, and are held to have worked throughout many belief systems. The folklore of the animal, tree and plant kingdom (See Mystical WWW Main Index) are readily employed in what has recently been labelled as alternative medicine. Perhaps as publicity increases man will once more return in greater numbers to the daily and seasonal practices of our ancestors, and superstition will finally be accepted as fact and not guesswork.
‘I will cull my plantlet,
As a prayer to my King,
To quiet the wrath of men of blood,
To check the wiles of wanton women.’
Alexander Carmichael, The Sun Dances,
Prayers and Blessings from the Gaelic
(St John’s Wort : See Mystical WWW Plants)
As part of the astrological calendar, June has many associations. This is the month of the house of Gemini ( May 22 - June 21) and the house of Cancer (22 June - July 22).
Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac symbolised by the ‘Celestial Twins’. The word Gemini is Latin meaning ‘twin’. It has often been suggested that this symbolism indicates the need for the Gemini to find a partner, a kindred spirit, someone to be close to or an important part of something. In ancient Greek mythology the twins of ‘Castor’ (mortal) and ‘Pollux’ (immortal) were associated with the sign, being the sons of ‘Zeus’ and ‘Leda’. Zeus gave immortality to both upon the killing of Castor after Pollux was so stricken with grief. Gemini reflects the third phase of the journey of the sun, and that of the child developing from the teen years through adolescence to young adulthood. Here we see the curious mind developing further also to becoming aware of the close connections between thought and action. Gemini possesses the duality and contrast in nature, that of the light and dark or night and day, summer and winter, and the growth and decay in all things.
‘Mercury’ is the ruling planet of Gemini. In Roman mythology Mercury was the ‘Messenger of the Gods’,son of‘Jupiter’ and ‘Maia’ and the equivalent of the ‘God Hermes’ of ancient Greek mythology.Mercury is often used to symbolise the qualities of vitality, intelligence, quick thinking, restlessness, co-ordination and flexibility. The liveliness has been seen to have one draw back, this being that settling upon and fully completing a task is very difficult due to the need to explore and develop new projects before boredom sets in. Despite the possible unreliability alluded to Gemini, have a lot of energy and can bounce back, which means they can adapt well to changing situations and hence they love to be part of a group although their membership is not always maintained. It was once believed that as this sign represents duality those born in Gemini would also be ambidextrous. Gemini is a mutable, neutral air sign and the first air sign, associated with the statements ‘I encircle the earth’, ‘I communicate’, ‘On the wings of the wind’and‘With the swiftness of sound’.It rules thenervous system, the hands, shoulders, arms and lungs.Gemini is associated with Heather, Lavender, Lily of the Valley, Privet, Tansy, Violets, Yarrow and also Ferns (See Mystical WWW Plants, & Language of Flowers). Gemini is further associated with all nut trees, and also the Cedar, Chestnut, Hawthorn, Hazel, Linden and the Oak (See Mystical WWW Trees). Colours associated with Gemini are light green, slate grey, yellow and any colour combinations of spotted mixtures. The main stone associated with Gemini is the Agate, whilst the main stone associated with the month of May is the Emerald (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Rhymes & Time - Language of Gems).Lucky number is five, lucky day Wednesday (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Days of the Week). Metal associated is quicksilver or mercury.
‘To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.’
William Shakespeare, King John.
Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiac symbolised by the ‘Crab’which has since ancient times been associated with conception, fertility and birth. The crab indicates the male and female together whilst the tough shell viewed as armour hides deep emotional feelings. In Roman mythology ‘Juno’ placed Cancer in the Heavens following its clash with ‘Hercules’ when it bit the foot of the hero. The qualities of this sign include protection, thriftiness, a strong awareness of the subconscious, sensitivity, nurturing, caring, and home loving with a need for emotional security. There is a strong sense of the importance of the past, of family, of childhood.
The ‘Moon’ is the ruling planet of Cancer, also known as the ‘Gate of Birth’, and as a ‘Goddess’ has been revered since pre-Christian times as such and also as the‘Enchantress’. The Moon symbolises ‘Motherhood’ and ‘Water’ (the Sun being Fatherhood & Fire). Cancer reflects the journey of the fourth life cycle, symbolised by the Cycle of the Moon itself, that is the:
(birth and growth depicted as the White Goddess);
(love and war depicted as the Red Goddess);
(maturity, divination and death depicted as the Black Goddess).
Dreams play an important role for Cancerians and therefore expression of these is also vital often requiring psychological support in the most positive sense. The fourth phase of the journey of the Sun is experienced here, and of the young adult evolving knowledge through emotional experiences. Cancer is a cardinal and negative water sign associated with the statements ‘I feel’, ‘I protect’,and‘I treasure loved ones and my home’.It rules the breast, stomach and solar plexus. Cancer is associated with Convolulus, Heather, Holly, Water Lily, Lily, Rose, all Rushes and white flowers (See Mystical WWW Plants, & Language of Flowers). Cancer is further associated with all trees rich in sap, and also the Cedar, Hazel, Linden and the Oak (See Mystical WWW Trees). Colours associated with Cancer are blue and silvery blues, cream, sea green, smoky grey, white, iridescence and most pale colours. The main stone associated with Cancer is the Moonstone, whilst the main stone associated with the month of June is the Pearl (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Rhymes & Time - Language of Gems).Lucky number is two, lucky day Monday (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Days of the Week). Metal associated is silver.
‘Here comes the Sun! The Holly-King replaces the Oak-King.’
St. Wenn and district, Cornwall, England : Traditional ‘Cornish Wrestling Championships’.
Sikh festival and holiday (April 13, 1997).
Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev
Sikh holiday and festival : (1997 June 9, 1998 May 29).
Saturdays in June (depending on tides)
Cockenzie, East Lothian, Scotland : Traditional ‘Children's Gala Day’.
Late May to early June
Southwold, Suffolk, England : Traditional ‘Trinity Fair’.
Rochester, Kent, England : ‘Medway Court of Admiralty’.
Second week in June
Dumfries, Dunfries, Scotland : ‘Festival of Good Neighbours’.
Saturday nearest June 12
Aberdeen, Scotland : ‘Highland Games’.
Usually around June 12
Aberdeen, Scotland : Traditional ‘Riding of the Marches’.
First Thursday in June
Neston, Cheshire, England : Traditional ‘Club Day Procession’.
First Friday and Saturday in June
Aberfeldy, Perth, Scotland : ‘Folk Festival’.
Usually third week in June
Peebles, Peebles, Scotland : ‘Beltane Festival’.
Third week in June
Melrose, Roxburgh, Scotland : ‘Melrose Festival’.
Friday and Saturday evenings, third week in June
Innerleithen, Peebles, Scotland : Traditional ‘Cleiking the Devil’ activities.
Saturday in late June
Dundee, Angus, Scotland : ‘Highland Games’.
Saturday nearest June 19
Abingdon, Berkshire, England : Morris Dancing (See Mystical WWW Arts : Dance, Morris), and ‘Election of Ock Street Mayor’.
Saturday after June 24
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England : Traditional ‘Court Leet Procession’.
Monday after June 29
Yarnton, Oxfordshire, England : Traditional festivities for the ‘Meadow Mowing Rights’ and ‘Mead Balls’.
Unlucky June Dates
4. 8. 10. 22.
According to the English historian Richard Grafton these certain dates of the month were unlucky as published in the ‘Manual’ in 1565. Days throughout the year were identified and of course could have related to any day of the week. The date was the most important point to consider. The work was reputed to have some credence with support given by astronomers of the day. Exactly why these dates are unlucky is unclear today but by looking at the calendar of days an idea of the major occurrences can be seen.