Yes, we have workshops today. Herbs at 11. Crystals at Noon. Sewing at 3.
I was watching a hummingbird for a few minutes. It’s amazing how fast they found out that the feeder had been re-filled. Now Tempus is in here watching, too.
It’s sad to see the garden so done for the season. I need to de-grass parts of it, and tie up some plants. Tempus needs to re-set the compost ring because something climbed into it and pulled it down. <sigh> We’ve got a lot to do and it won’t happen this morning.
It was still dry when we got to the shop yesterday, but it turned drippy awfully fast. We got busy around lunchtime, but I got going on some pictures as quickly as I could. We had another spate of people in around 3-4pm and I did a couple of readings. The rest of the day Robyne and I talked or I embroidered or did paperwork. Tempus got in around 5pm when I was doing photos, so here are a couple of the pentacles.
When we got home Tempus got some dinner together from leftovers and a while later I made real whipped cream and we had it on a pumpkin pie that Robyne bought at Ray’s. I spent a while writing out a story that I tell on a regular basis and I’ve included it below….
Today we have the usual workshops, and the Readings sign should be out between the workshops. We’re staying open until 8pm, the only time we’ll be open this late before the holidays!
Today’s featured products are on the tree in the north window of the shop. These are floaters, not part of sets, yet. These are small “pillow” ornaments, hand-stitched of scraps, stuffed with fiberfill. This style of pillow ornament is $1.50 each or $5 for a set of 4 (when there are sets). Yes, there are *some* sets, but not of these fabrics.
Feast day of St John of the Cross – (Starry stapelia, Stapelia radiata, is today’s plant, dedicated to this saint.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapelia this is one weird plant. The flowers small like rotting meat! This is also the guy that wrote the book, “The Dark Night of the Soul”.
The shop opens at 10am because of Small Business Saturday and we’ll be open until 8pm! Fall hours are 11am-6pm Thursday 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,
So, today’s story, boys and girls……
The Mead that Wouldn’t Die, but Tried to Kill Anja
Many, many moons ago in the Fair Barony of Three Mountains, my lord set up an A&S night on the basics of making mead. As luck would have it, and in the panic of trying to show how to make it from the recipe and not realizing that English and American gallons are different, the mead was started with *way* too much honey to water. It fought its way through the initial ferment, and then settled down to a slow bubble….very slow bubble…and slower bubble… and sloooooower…. Months later the gentle in whose house the carboy resided needed the space it was taking up, and in a fit of holiday cleaning engendered by his lady wife, put the carboy into the basement…. The cold basement…on the floor….
About three years later, said couple asked my lord if he wanted his carboy back and they decanted about a gallon of the not-very-alcoholic and totally dead mead.
He, having learned the difference in the meantime between the two sorts of gallons, realized that the mead needed more water and a starter yeast and it would probably actually finish what it tried to start.
He added water in the right proportions, made a starter batch of yeast, and with great glee we anticipated having a lovely batch of mead for 12th night…no, Janelits’ Feast…no, maybe September Crown… well, maybe for Yule? Or next Janeltis’, or July Coronation? Or the next 12th Night? … I don’t remember how many years passed and how many samples had reduced the full carboy by a couple of gallons (I think it was a couple of years…) but the mead finally stopped holding pressure. In a warm July we bottled and capped and anticipated the well-aged mead for Yule.
We had a warm August… one afternoon I was in the front room when I heard a “pook” sound from the kitchen Going to check, I walked into a puddle of bubbling mead on the floor. Several bottles had blown their caps and decanted themselves….
So, the floor was mopped and the surviving bottles were put into the fridge to hopefully kill off the yeast so that we could put them back out when the weather cooled and *then* they would age.
…a month later I was making preserves and needed fridge space to put ingredients and several bottles got pulled out of the fridge and set on the cold stovetop of our gas stove. They got moved back and forth several times across the stovetop and then, on a warm day, pushed *all* the way to the back of the stovetop…over the place under the metal stovetop where the pilot light kept a spot nicely warm… and sat there for a couple of hours while other things were going on….
….You see where this is going, don’t you? Just wait….
I walked back into the kitchen from where I had been working and the bottles caught my eye. Something was different. They looked a little odd because we always seat corks all the way into the bottle and these were showing an ½ inch or more of cork!
I went over to investigate…bad move….I went to pick up a bottle and, in my usual state of klutz, managed to knock the first one into the rest….
I’ve never been in the middle of any explosion other than fireworks, but I thought for a split second that the stove had blown up! My neck, was screeching pain at me and when I put my hand to my neck it came away bloody! I ran to the mirror to check and there was an half inch wide strip of skin gone from my larynx to just under the angle of my jaw…..
In the process of cleaning up I found a bloody cork on the far side of the kitchen and figured out what must have happened, that the one bottle that I managed to grab fired its cork right at me! What did *I* do to the mead to make it want to cut my throat?
That was some awesome-tasting mead. I wish we’d gotten more of it….
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. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 11/28 at 6:46am. 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 11/26 at 6:46pm.
Goddess Month of Cailleach/Samhain runs from 10/31 – 11/27
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal – Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22
Runic half month of Nyd – November 13- 27 – Time to prepare for winter.
Runic half-month of Is November 28-12 Literally, ‘ice’: a static period. The time of waiting before birth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2012 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Ngetal Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24 – nGéadal – (NYEH-dl), reed – The term “reed” is used with great imprecision in North America, but it is clear that the reed of the ogham is the common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel). This is a giant grass, with stems as high as 4 m (13 feet). It grows in marshy areas, where it often forms dense stands. Like most other grasses, the vertical stems live only a single year, dying in the autumn and being replaced with new green shoots in the spring. The dead stems rattle and whisper in late autumn winds. Common reed has spread as a weed throughout the world; in North America it is widespread in cooler climates. Common reed is in the Grass family (Poaceae, or Gramineae). “The Reed Month, is said by some to be most favorable for communication with ancestral spirits and the strengthening of all family ties, with magickal associations with fertility, love, protection, and family concerns. ‘Thin and slender is the Reed. He stands in clumps at the edge of the river and between his feet hides the swift pike awaiting an unsuspecting minnow to come his way. In his thinness the reed resembles arrows that fly, silver-tipped, up into the unknown air to land at the very source that one had searched for all these years. Firing arrows off into the unknown is an expression of the desire to search out basic truths. If you loose off without direction, the place of landing will be random. If the firing off is carried out with the correct conviction, determination and sense of purpose, then the act becomes secondary to the event that comes both before and after the moment.'” Source: Earth, Moon and Sky
Ngetal – Reed Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grass Green
Meaning: Upsets or surprises
to study this month Mor – the Sea Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: AE, X, XI, M
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 24 Low 2:59 AM 2.4 7:25 AM Set 3:41 AM 80
~ 24 High 9:13 AM 8.0 4:41 PM Rise 2:35 PM
~ 24 Low 4:10 PM 0.7
~ 24 High 10:21 PM 6.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a joyful day!
~ A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. – John Barrymore
~ All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Larry Bellinger
~ Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end. – Kant
~ An orphan’s curse would drag to hell, a spirit from on high; but oh! more horrible than that, is a curse in a dead man’s eye! – Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) English writer
Flee greed and desire; both “life” and “death” are plagues.
Dead or alive, my only country is God’s Grace.
I have slipped the jeweled noose of these songs
Thrown them and their meanings into the Great Sea.
What are they but rind for a thick bark of scales?
Authentic thought leaps behind and sings in secret! – Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
Magick – Yule
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King (from Witchvox)
Author: Franco Posted: December 18th. 2011 Times Viewed: 1,448
As I write this, we are approaching the holidays surrounding the winter solstice where we sing about decking the halls with boughs of Holly. Where does this come from? When we celebrate the summer around the solstice day, the celebrations of old consist of bonfires. Where does this come from? Please keep in mind this written from a Northern Hemisphere perspective. You folks down under will celebrate the opposite holidays.
As a Pagan or a rather Polytheist, I hear several stories surrounding the Oak King and the Holly King — one is killed and reborn — and I hate to say that so many of them are incorrect. Then again, people are allowed to believe what they wish but I would like to set the record straight. I am also an astrologer and one of the first things I noticed is there two sets of celebrations surrounding modern Paganism: the first is the Lunar cycles — how we celebrate the moons of the year, thirteen full and thirteen new moons — and the second set are what are labeled as the Sabbats, the eight solar celebrations. The eight are Ostara (Vernal Equinox) , Beltaine, Litha (Summer Solstice) , Lammas, Mabon (Autumn Equinox) , Samhain (Hallowe’en) , and Yule (Winter Solstice) or in other words, the solstices and equinoxes and the cross-quarter holidays.
We will examine the Sabbats with their relation to the Holly King and the Oak King. In order to understand the eight Sabbats, one must understand who the Oak King and Holly King are. They are none other than Light and Darkness.
Vernal Equinox (March 21st) : This is the celebration of Light and Dark being in harmony. The Darkness does not conquer Light, nor does the Light conquer Darkness. They are at equilibrium. This is when the “battle” between the two is at its strength. It is a time of high energy and of the concept of killing off the old and bringing in the new. Many ancient Pagan celebrations consisted of burning straw men at this time, when they took dried corn/wheat from last year’s harvest to burn at this time. The Christian myth of Jesus dying on the cross (of the year) and rising again came from these ancient rituals.
Beltaine (May 1st) : This is the time when the Holly King dies. Darkness dies in order to give way to Light. The Oak king defeats Holly king! This is why this time of year is a celebration of procreation and why the gods were mating along with the humans during this time. This is a time of sex, and the life bringing energies associated with it. In ancient times, people were not allowed to marry until June. If anyone is questioning why the Holly king or the Dark Lord, passes during this time think to the opposite holiday when it is the other way around during Samhain or Hallowe’en.
Litha or the Summer Solstice (June 23rd) : Hooray! The Oak king reigns supreme and we celebrate the Oak King or the Bright Lord with bonfires. Long live the King! Today is the longest day of the year. People in the Northern regions celebrate the light and brightness of summer. As we celebrate the light and creation, many Pagans forget that on this day the Dark Lord or the Holly King is reborn. Many do not honour what he can bring us on this day. One must think forward to Yule and keep this in mind when we discuss the Summer Solstice as a day of growth and fertility. One must look to the subsequent holiday to see what it brings to us.
Lammas (Aug 1st) : This is the day, which is opposite to Imbolc where we celebrate the anticipation of the Light. Here we celebrate the first harvest. What is this, other than the Holly King’s first victory by the killing off of the crops for the first harvest? The Holly King strikes his first blow to the Oak King’s reign. We take the crops of the season in this, what can be termed as, a mini-death. We still bask in the warmth of the Oak King’s summer but things must die and we feast on what has died!
Autumn Equinox (September 23rd) : This is the celebration of Light and Dark being in harmony once again. The Darkness does not conquer Light but the Darkness is getting stronger. This is a time of thanksgiving as the Light does start giving way to the darkness and we start reaping the rewards of a dying Earth. The Oak King’s light is starting to give way. He has trouble hanging on. We give thanks to the Oak King for all he has given us. How many of us give the Holly King or the Dark Lord thanks for the abundance he brings us through the Oak King’s flesh?
Samhain (October 31st) : the Final Harvest or Hallowe’en. Many people realize that this is the Oak King’s death. However, many celebrate his death and rebirth. This is not his rebirth. He is dead until the Winter Solstice! This is a time for darkness to reign. The days get shorter and the nights grow longer. This is at time for us to withdraw and hide in solitude. This is why the “holiday season” can be very difficult for many to endure as we start celebrations before the Winter Solstice. At this point the Oak King, and all light, is dead and we must retreat to the Holly King’s realm, underworld, to be reborn. How can a corpse decompose when someone is pumping embalming fluid into you during this time?
Winter Solstice (December 21st) : the rebirth of the Sun or the Oak King. On this day the light is reborn and we celebrate the renewal of the light of the year. Oops! Are we not forgetting someone? Why do we deck the halls with boughs of Holly? This day is the Holly King’s day – the Dark Lord reigns. He is the god of transformation and one who brings us to birth new ways. Why do you think we make “New Year’s Resolutions”? We want to shed our old ways and give way to the new! The Christians celebrate the birth of the Son who in more ancient times was the Sun or Son (Mithras, the Sun God, son of the good god, Ahuru-Mazda) as it was the same concept. This is a discussion on its own but nevertheless it is the same concept. Astrologically, Saturn rules this time. Saturn rules Capricorn, which is the sign that starts at the Winter solstice and where celebrations with food, gift exchanges happened during the Roman celebration of Saturnalia. The masters would serve the servants in a celebration of role reversals. Nevertheless, this was a celebration of abundance and renewal.
Imbolc (Feb 2nd) : This day has been secularised into “Groundhog Day” when the groundhog tells us when winter ends. Originally, it was the day of the Goddess Brigit, later Christianised into St. Brigit. This a time when Darkness still rules but the light is coming into power and it is celebrated by the celebration of candles, which was Christianised into Candlemas. The darkness or the Holly King still rules but the Oak King or light is growing in power. In Pagan, celebrations the sacramental wine is replaced with honey and milk.
As one can simply see, the struggle of the Oak and Holly King is that light and dark and the life and death is more solar than some arbitrary day. Many Christian holidays have come to be associated with more ancient Pagan holidays such as St. Brigit’s Day and St. John the Baptist day (Summer Solstice) but in the end they are no more than solar celebrations.
Light-Dark not Good-Evil: One concept that must be kept in mind is that the struggle of light versus dark is not one of good versus evil. In the Pagan mindset, the struggle of light and dark is of one of birth and regeneration. Like the harvest, one thing that grows will die and what dies will grow again. It is about how we choose to grow and die and how we choose to be reborn. As the sun is reborn on the Winter Solstice day, we too are reborn. As the darkness reborn on the Summer Solstice day, we too start to die on that day. It is cycle that we live from year to year. Death is not bad – it is just an opportunity to be reborn. Do we die forever? No! We are reborn with the light, in one way or another.
Copyright: Franco Minatel 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Author’s Profile: To learn more about Franco – Click HERE http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_pa.html?a=caon&id=293187
Bio: Energy Worker, Astrologer, Tarot and Rune Reader, Numerologist, Bucket Reader. Professional Engineer. Runner. Musician…basically a Renaissance Man.
A guy raises his glass and toasts his girlfriend. “May you be in Heaven a half-hour before the devil knows you’re dead!”
“What’s that mean?”
“That is an authentic Irish toast.”
“Oh. In that case, here’s to bread, eggs and cinnamon.”
“Bread, eggs and cinnamon? What’s that?”
“That’s French toast.”