The Honey or Mead Moon is now upon us. A Wiccan moon indeed. Crops are now close to their first harvest. Honey is abundant, and people make mead. A time of plenty and thanks. The power of the sun begins to decline. Candle colour for this moon is golden yellow, symbolic of the declining sun.
St John the Baptist, Scripture tells us, lived in the Wilderness where he subsisted on a diet of locust and honey. St John is, therefore, the patron of beekeepers. It’s around the time that we celebrate St John’s Birthday, June 24th, that the hives are full of honey.
And the full moon that occurs after Midsummer’s Eve & St John’s Nativity is called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead. It is also called the HONEY MOON. [In 2009, this full moon occurs the first full week of July.]
It’s a time for lovers. An old Celtic proverb says, “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” Midsummer dew was said to have special healing powers. Women washed their faces in it to make themselves beautiful and young.
Here’s a sixteenth century definition of HONEYMOON:
The first month after marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure … originally having no reference to the period of a month, but comparing the mutual affection of newly-married persons to the changing moon which is no sooner full than it begins to wane; now, usually, the holiday spent together by a newly-married couple, before settling down at home.
According to some sources, the HONEYMOON is a relic of marriage by capture, based on the practice of the husband going into hiding with his wife to avoid reprisals from her relatives, with the intention that the woman would be pregnant by the end of the month.
As a woman’s cycle runs much like that of the moon, the time to conceive a child was between the time of marriage (or capture) and the HONEY MOON.
It has also been said that the origins of this word date back to the times of Babylon. In order to increase the virility and fertility of the newly-weds, the father of the bride would provide his son-in-law with all the mead (the fermented honey-based drink) he could drink during the first month of the marriage (and, therefore, moon).
The custom of drinking mead after a wedding for a month was also a medieval custom.
Other possible explanations of the word HONEYMOON have to do with the date that weddings traditionally took place. Weddings commonly took place during this time of year for practical reason. That is, it was the time between the planting season and the harvesting season. As it was also this time of year that honey was harvested … again we have the HONEYMOON.
In many parts of Europe it was traditional to supply a newly married couple with enough honey drink — mead — to last a month, ensuring happiness and fertility. From this practice we get HONEYMOON.
A good moon, this one, enjoy it with me….
Love and Light