It’s overcast and 57F, within a few degrees of the forecast high. There’s a band of clouds above us that’s part of a swirl centered about 400 miles offshore. There’s a light breeze and it’s rather dim, compared to what it’s been. We might even get a bit of rain today.
A pair of Stellar Jays are playing on the feeder. They’re such odd-looking birds with their punk rocker hairdo (feather do?) and the most raucous voices. I don’t know if I’ve gradually gotten used to them or I’m getting a lot more deaf, but I don’t hear them as often as I used to. More info can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_jay That article references sounds that I’ve never heard ’em make! Picture from Wikimedia Commons used under the Share-alike license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
Ooh, there’s a flicker on the pan that we put bread on for the crows! Dark stripy wings, a spotted underside with a distinctive black breastplate, when they fly they have a red spot right above their tails. This one looks a little raggy. He’s molting, I guess. More info on flickers here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flicker_%28bird%29 and lots of beautiful pictures!
Yesterday I harvested the last of the blueberries just before we left for the shop, and some of the blackberries that are starting to ripen. Tempus was waiting for me in the car, since I assumed he was heading back to lock the door as he usually does and kept on picking. He locked the door before he brought that last load of things and pretended to be annoyed that I kept him waiting! 🙂
We started in back with getting the boxes that have been living under the table moved to the right places. I think all the students will be able to put their feet under the table this morning…
Tempus got the headers done for the $1 tiger eye crystals. I bought my usual pound, but instead of the stones being all the same size, some of these weighed less that 1/10 of an ounce and some 1 1/2 oz.! So most of ’em are in the basket at 50 cents, although about 1/2 are in bags of 2 or 3 or more…. plus 9 of ’em that are going on the board at $1. I finished those up, so he could get to work.
Herbs Workshop was just me, so I got going on counting and packing resins and chips for the incense wall. I also bagged the rest of the kyphi that I had found while I was sorting herbs last week. No one else was there for Crystals either, so I just kept going. I was pretty busy. In order to get the stuff weighed and fed into the bags, I was actually bagging while customers were browsing. I would go out and greet someone, make sure they had a business card and ask if there was anything they were looking for in particular and if not, let ’em know where I was if they had questions. I can see the door from the end of the class table & compounding station where I was working. That way I got frankincense, copal and myrrh all bagged, and dragon’s blood crunched and weighed and bagged along with the kyphi. I also spent time sorting out headers that had been printed a while back, using what I can and printing some new ones.
Tempus got back just before 2pm, which is when I finally sat down. I had a reading a few minutes later, then Amor called from Alaska, the way he usually does on Saturdays when he’s doing pizza delivery (his weekend job) and my did he fool Tempus! He often calls and pretends he’s someone else asking for something outrageous. <grin> He usually calls earlier in the afternoon and/or Tempus gets home later, so it’s the first time that it happened to him. That’s our boy, alright!
Mary got there for Sewing Workshop just after that and I spent the time making some Yule ornaments, little hats, stockings and scarves all in red & white. I know there is another batch of these… somewhere…. We use a white tree and these are going to be cute with the little books and the silver ornaments that we hang up.
Mary was doing the sleeves of a sweater and when I was done with the ornaments I did a little on my blackwork piece that’s on the embroidery frame. The sun vanished into cloud as we worked.
Tempus got the rest of the headers cut and then Fawkes showed up! He brought us a gazebo that we’re going to use in the back yard and stayed for a visit. I sorted sweet grass and packed linden, kinnikinnick and sage and some other herbs while we chatted and Tempus made popcorn… I think we ate 3 batches.
Fawkes headed out at closing time and we came home to work on things here at the house, picking up and sorting and laundry, mostly, but then I headed for bed, pretty early.
Today is the day that the Angell Job Corps students are at the shop. We have Wicca 101 at 10am, then Brea is doing counseling, while Marius has an exercise in self-work for the students. At 2pm we’ll be doing Practical Craft, which is going to be on the crystals that didn’t happen yesterday, so we can get the tumblers rolling again. If everyone is feeling energetic we might get as far as getting some of the seed starting trays going.
Today is the anniversary of the eruption of Krakatau in 1883 (often spelled “Krakatoa”). Krakatau, before this point, was a volcanic island near Java & Sumatra in Indonesia. It exploded with such force that the resulting tsunami killed somewhere around 36K people and caused swells 1/2-way around the world in the Thames. The sound was heard 3000 miles away. The island was destroyed to below water level! The telegraph and newspapers made possible the world-wide news of this event. http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/aug26.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa Anak Krakatoa, (son of Krakatoa) a new island, has built itself on top of the old volcano over the last century.
The shop opens at 10am, but we’ll be there earlier than that. Summer hours, 10am-7pm, Wednesday through Monday. If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open!
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is waxing gibbous. Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Phase ends on Wednesday at 6:58pm.
The Moon shines above the Sagittarius Teapot in the south after dark. The “puff of steam” above the spout is the Large Sagittarius Star Cloud (more about that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_Star_Cloud )
Mercury (about magnitude –1.2) remains in view at dawn but lower each day. It’s above the east-northeast horizon, far lower left of brilliant Venus. Look about 45 minutes before sunrise, the earlier in the week the better.
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Runic half-month of As, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world.
Runic half-month of Rad 8/29-9/12 – Denotes the channeling of energies in the correct manner to produce the desired results.
Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102
©2012 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Hazel Aug 5 – Sep 1– Coll – (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 26 Low 2:47 AM -0.1 6:33 AM Set 1:12 AM 64
~ 26 High 9:23 AM 5.5 8:02 PM Rise 4:45 PM
~ 26 Low 2:32 PM 3.0
~ 26 High 8:37 PM 7.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a sharp day!
~ Diplomats are useful only in fair weather. As soon as it rains they drown in every drop. – Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) French general and statesman
~ For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use to be anything else. – Winston S. Churchill
~ Goals are dreams with deadlines. – Diana Scharf Hunt
~ Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind the stronger the trees. – Williard Marriott
The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
MYTH*ING LINKS – An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
AUTUMN greetings, CUSTOMS & LORE September = December 2004
May we spend this time wisely so that at least we won’t be seen as foolish or reckless. Those born later in this century may not agree with us, but may they think of us as genial, full of humor, humble, and wise. We’re in a “thin space,” as the Celts call it, a portal between the worlds. Those who stood at that portal in the winter of 1900 brewed, all unknowing, two world wars. May we brew, if not peace, at least a growing sense of humanity and compassion. May we have the skill to defuse explosions. May we be remembered as tolerant and awake.
As autumn returns to earth’s northern hemisphere,
and day and night are briefly,
balanced at the equinox,
may we remember anew how fragile life is —-
human life, surely,
but also the lives of all other creatures,
trees and plants,
waters and winds.
May we make wise choices in how and what we harvest,
may earth’s weather turn kinder,
may there be enough food for all creatures,
may the diminishing light in our daytime skies
be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance
in our hearts.
AUTUMN LINKS: oLD wORLD tRADITIONS
Demeter and Persephone
© Mary B. Kelly: “The painting shows the moment when mother and daughter are reconciled, and their first kiss.
Persephone still holds the pomegranate, symbol both of fertility and of her fate as Dark Queen”
[Used with the artist’s kind permission — see annotated link to her home page below]
[Added 8/26/02]: This is a plain-text page on ancient Greek festivals from c. 13 September through 13 October.
…Many of the Greek and Roman festivals of this season celebrate the end of the military campaigning season. At the end of September and beginning of October, however, the emphasis shifts to the Corn Mothers and other agricultural deities. In many Greek states the month beginning mid-September was called Demetrion after Demeter….
The page beings with the “Great (Eleusinian) Mysteries” of Demeter and Persephone (c. Sept. 29-Oct. 5), since these are, of course, the highlight of the season. Then it backtracks to 13 September (for the Roman feast of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and continues forward to 13 October, the Roman Fontinalia, a festival for Fons, the god of springs.
[Added 8/26-27/02]: This is a continuation of the above plain-text data: ancient Greek festivals from 22 October to 15 December.
…In the Greek and Roman worlds, there are comparatively few festivals in October and November, which is the seed-time (Gr. sporetos), a season of ploughing and sowing. Women figure prominently in these festivals since in neolithic times they were responsible for crops raising (by the Bronze Age it became a male occupation)….
The details are wonderful and more information is given on the above-mentioned feasts of Apollo, Dionysus, and Theseus. There is also fine data for the Thesmophoria (see below).
[8/20/04: when I try to get through, this link now crashes my program. I’m removing it but keeping the annotation.]
[Added 8/26-27/02]: From N.S. Gill, the ancient history guide at about.com, comes a fine page on the Greek harvest (or “Thanksgiving”) festival, Thesmophoria, which falls during October-November (also see above link):
“It is called Thesmophoria, because Demeter is called Thesmophoros in respect of her establishing laws or thesmoiin accordance with which men must provide nourishment and work the land….”
Since the fall harvest must usually take an agricultural society through winter, it is vitally important for survival. Whatever power provides that bounty deserves praise…. [This festival was]…in honor of the goddess who taught mankind to tend the soil, during a month known as Pyanopsion (Puanepsion), according to the lunisolar calendar of the Athenians. Since our calendar is solar, the month doesn’t exactly match, but Pyanopsion would be, more or less, October into November….
For more on this festival, as well as on Dionysiac celebrations, see an excellent essay at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/classes/LAp.html
[This is a very interesting page by John Opsopaus on three autumn festivals of ancient Greece — these fall after the equinox but contain themes relevant to the entire season:
…Because Ancient Greek festivals were held according to a lunar calendar, which was often out of step with the solar year, it is difficult to say what festivals would correspond to Samhain.
In Homer’s time the cosmical setting (first visible setting on western horizon at sunrise) of Orion, the Pleiades and the Hyades, which marked the beginning of the winter, herding season, occurred at the beginning of November (Nov. 5-10, by various computations). (Orion was the son of Poseidon and Euruale, daughter of Minos and sister of Ariadne, about whom more later.). Significantly, these constellations, which mark the seasons, are at the center of the Shield of Achilles (Iliad XVIII), that famous mandala of the Homeric Universe.
In classical Greek times there were several important festivals that nominally occur at the end of October and beginning of November. Two of these, which occur on the same day (7 Puanepsion), are especially interesting; they are followed on the next day by the Theseia (for Theseus), which is intimately connected with the first two….
Two of these festivals honor Apollo and Dionysus and are held on the same day.
…The Oskhophoria, in honor of Dionysos, occurs on the same day as the Puanepsia. It may seem odd to honor Apollo and Dionysos, so often taken as polar opposites, on the same day, but we must remember that They share Delphi, and this is the time of year when the changing of the guard occurs. An ancient pot shows Them shaking hands over the Omphalos (World Naval) at Delphi….
The third, Theseia, commemorates Theseus. The author retells the story: “Ariadne and Theseus’ Descent into the Labyrinth and Return.” The details are fascinating although it should be mentioned that the author has excluded other important ancient variants of the myth. Nevertheless, the story includes the mysterious desertion of Ariadne by Theseus, followed by her marriage to Dionysus himself — whose festival was celebrated only the day before.
[This is an engrossing, contemporary re-visioning of what might have been the ancient “Greek Ritual of the Labyrinth” (Ta Hiera Laburinthou) by John Opsopaus:
…This ritual is an initiation and celebration of new beginnings structured around the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur and associated Greek midautumn celebrations, which take place when Apollo yields Delphi to Dionysos for the winter months….
I have not had time to read the entire ritual (it’s lengthy) but what impresses me is its mythopoetic quality and the deep psychological nuances. Also, I appreciate the careful footnoting that links the Cretan labyrinth to displaced, but related themes, in Mesopotamian myths.
I first grokked Waverly Fitzgerald’s School of the Seasons for my 1999 debut of the Autumn Equinox page. Since then, her jewel of a site has become a favorite of mine and appears on all my seasonal pages. The overall design is unusually tasteful and elegant. Even more important, Fitzgerald has well-researched content on monthly celebrations, feasts, and cross-cultural holy days (with hypertext links to further information on many of these). Her opening page also includes fascinating “Special Features” for each season. Fitzgerald’s command of lore is exceptional.
For each current month, she begins with a large number of names from various cross-cultural traditions. Then a calendar follows. If you click on hyperlinks for a particular day, you’ll be linked to more detail on another page. The September feasts, for example, include the Nativity of the Virgin on the 8th; Rosh Hashana; England’s Day of the Holy Nut; the remembrance of the Virgin’s Seven Sorrows; the God Pan; Yom Kippur; Autumn Equinox; the 9-day Eleusinian Mysteries; the Harvest Moon; Sukkoth; the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival; and Michaelmas on the 29th.
NOTE: a new month’s calendar appears on the first of each month (sometimes a night or two beforehand).
[Added 15 September 2000]: This charming site looks at autumn and the autumnal equinox in Japan. There are many (usually clickable) photos connected with the months of September, October, and November. Text is fairly minimal but very useful to those unacquainted with Japan’s seasonal customs.
From “Slavic Pagan Holidays” comes fine data on harvest festivals from early August to early November. Autumn in Russia’s cold Ukraine begins early — it’s celebrated on August 2nd, the feast known as St. Ilia’s Day. The entire autumn season is a time of music, apples, honey, and grain sheaves:
…Sometimes the last sheaf ceremony was merged with the ritual surrounding a small patch of field that was left uncut. The spirit of the harvest was said to precede the reapers and hide in the uncut grain. This small patch was referred to as the “beard” of Volos, the God of animals and wealth. The uncut sheaves of wheat in “Volos’ beard” were decorated with ribbons and the heads were bent toward the ground in a ritual called “The curling of the beard”. This was believed to send the spirit of the harvest back to the Earth. Salt and bread, traditional symbols of hospitality were left as offerings to Volos’ beard….
[URLs updated 8/18/01]
[Annotation revised 18 August 2001]: This is the portfolio page of artist/professor Mary B. Kelly, whose vibrant painting (see above) of Hungary’s “Black Goddess,” the Harvest Goddess, Dordona, is not to be missed:
…Like her counterpart in Russia, her arms are raised. She is crowned by both the sun and the moon.
(Note: the larger version of Dordona, with text, is no longer available on this site, but you might e-mail Dr. Kelly if you wish to see it. If you click on the menu buttons on her Portfolio page, you’ll also find information on her groundbreaking books on goddess embroideries, etc. On her Home Page, there’s a large version of Dordona, by the way, but no text.)
A young woman, pursuing a graduate degree in art history, was going to Italy to study that country’s greatest works of art. Since there was no one to look after her grandmother while she was away, she took the old lady with her.
At the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, she pointed to the painting on the ceiling.
“Grandma, it took Michelangelo a full four years to get that ceiling painted.”
“Oh my, “the grandmother says. “He and I must have the same landlord.”