In 1935, Congress decided that the first Sunday of August would be “National Friendship Day.” You know, I have missed this important National event for the past 50 years, but no longer!
So, in two weeks on August 1st, side by side with Lammas, I’ll be celebrating all my friendships, near and far.
Here are some things I learned last year about Friendship Day from The Domestic Witch:
In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie-the-Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship.
There are four Goddesses of Friendship:
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate or observe Friendship Day:
Friendship Cake by Dria El on MysticWicks (modified)
First make this starter recipe:
Friendship Cake Starter Kit
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
IMPORTANT: USE NO METAL BOWLS, SPOONS OR STORAGE CONTAINERS
Day 1 of a 10 Day Cycle: In a small bowl, soften yeast in water for 10 minutes. Stir well. In a one quart bowl, combine flour and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Slowly stir in warm milk and softened yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until bubbly. Refrigerate.
Days 2 through 4: Stir.
Day 5: Feed. Blend 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar in a small bowl; slowly mix in 1 cup milk. Stir mixture into starter. Return to refrigerator.
Day 6 through 9: Stir.
Day 10 (which becomes Day 1 for the next series): Feed as you did on Day 5.
Consider the 10-day cycle as a guide; it does not have to be followed exactly.
If you need more starter, feed it more often. The starter is a yeast culture and will grow when fed.
To speed growth, leave starter at room temp for several hours and return to refrigerator and continue to follow the 10-day cycle.
If you are growing too much starter, cut feeding in half and return to refrigerator and continue to follow the 10-day cycle.
Remove what you need for baking and leave it at room temperature until very bubbly. Return remainder to refrigerator and continue to follow the 10-day cycle.
Don’t let starter drop below one cup, because rejuvenating it to usable amounts takes ten days. Measure out starter in one cup lots to give to friends (Friendship Starter Kit) and put the one cup starter lots in the freezer. If you give it to friends, remember to tell them how to feed it so it will grow (included in recipe below).
Frozen starter takes at least 3 hrs at room temperature to thaw and come to life.
IMPORTANT: USE NO METAL BOWLS, SPOONS OR STORAGE CONTAINERS
You must have a Friendship Cake Starter Kit. Take the kit out of the freezer and let it thaw for one day. The next day, begin the following ten-day process:
Day 1: Place mixture into a 1/2 gallon or larger bowl (or else the starter will grow over the edges) and leave it on the countertop UNCOVERED (no lid on it) and do nothing. Don’t even stir it!
Days 2, 3 and 4: Just stir the mixture once. Watch it grow taller each day. See note below.
Day 5: Add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup warm milk, and stir well. Let sit on counter top uncovered.
Days 6 and 7: Just stir the mixture once. See note below.
Days 8 and 9: Do nothing to mixture. Don’t even stir it! See note below.
On the 10th Day:
Add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of warm milk, and mix well. Separate mixture into three one-cup containers. Keep one container for yourself, and give the other two Friendship Cake Starter Kits away to friends. Or just keep them in your freezer to use at a later date (they will last more than a year in the freezer).
To the remaining one cup of starter mixture in the bowl, add the following and mix well:
1 cup flour
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 small box of instant Vanilla or Banana pudding
1 cup of crushed nuts (optional)
Grease and flour two loaf or cake pans and divide the mixture evenly between the two. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
Note: Mixture doesn’t need to be refrigerated during the 10 days. During the 10 days, the mixture might form a hard crust; this is okay. Just follow the recipe and stir only when directed.
Following the popularity and success of Friendship Day in US, several other countries adopted the tradition of dedicating a day to friends. Today, Friendship Day is enthusiastically celebrated by several countries across the world. In India, it’s common for friendship bands to be exchanged.
There are several different methods for creating knotted bracelets, or bands, on the Internet:
Celtic Friendship Ritual
From eHow (modified).
Ancient Celts performed the anamchara, or friendship ritual, to formally acknowledge a bond of friendship. Anamchara means “soul friend” and the ritual recognizes the partnership of friends and the ways in which friends balance one another. The Celtic friendship ritual is not witchcraft or magic, but a ritual of the heart, and can be (but is not required to be) performed within a ritually cast circle.
Gather the necessary items. Select three candle colors that symbolize unity. One candle can be blue and one red, while the third candle can be violet, a unifying shade. Select three glasses; one should be larger than the other two. Select a beverage (water, wine, juice) that is acceptable to both parties. Select gifts for each other, but keep your gifts secret until the gifting moment. The items you use are meant to convey ceremony and bonding. Place all of the items on the cloth between you and your friend. You can use a table or the floor.
Pour the beverage into one of the smaller glasses. Each friend will sip from the glass. Pour what remains into the larger glass, which symbolizes unity. Together, state this friendship vow:
I am your friend,
I am your teacher,
I am your student,
I am your dependent,
I am your solace,
I am your shield,
I am your child, sister and mother.
Take turns drinking from the glass of unity.
Each friend lights the candle that symbolizes you. The third candle is left unlit and is placed between the two friends, symbolizing unity. If one candle is red and one is blue, then the violet candle is the unity candle. Each friend picks up a lit candle and together lights the third candle. Recite together a declaration of unity:
By this ritual I am bound to you as your soul-friend, your anamchara.
Our flames shine brightly and burn hotter together than alone.
I bring to you all my wisdom and secrets for all my life.
Perform the gifting ceremony. An appropriate friendship gift is Celtic jewelry or crystals. Once you have shared your gifts, extinguish the candles (and, if you have created one, close the circle). Finally, take the glass of liquid outside and pour the drink on the ground as a gift to the Earth. Do this together. Visualize your spirits joining the Great Mother who bore you.
Do a Tarot Friendship Reading
From Aeclectic Tarot (modified).
Friendship Health Spread
1. You: Your personal views of your friend.
2. Friend: Their personal views of you.
3. How You Feel About Them (+): Your positive feelings about your friend.
4. How You Feel About Them (-): Your negative feelings about your friend.
5. How They Feel About You (+): Your friend’s positive feelings about you.
6. How They Feel About You (-): Your friend’s negative feelings about you.
7. Environment: Where you get to see your friend physically.
8. Availability: How often you get to physically see your friend.
9. Past (-).
10. Present (-).
11. Future (-).
12. Past (+).
13. Present (+).
14. Future (+).
For the triplicity of the negative cards (9,10,11), take into consideration the bad parts of meeting this person, what presides in the present, and then how this would continue in the future. This is the opportunity to embrace whether you could detour any unpleasant future occurrences. This would be mirrored then in the positive aspect.
Making Friends Spread
1. What are my strengths for finding a friend?
2. What is holding me back internally from making friends?
3. What is holding me back externally from making friends?
4. What kind of friend do I need in my life right now?
5. Where is the best place for me to find a new friend?
6. What do I need to do to meet a potential friend?
7. What do I need to do to move an acquaintance into a friendship?
8. What other advice do I need to take into consideration on my quest?