A hummingbird is drinking at that feeder, no, two of them are fighting over it. One made the other leave, but he drinks, then sits up, licking his beak as he looks at the rising sun, and his head flashes brilliant red in the new sunlight. Towhees and sparrows are on the seed feeder, now, but it was covered with sparrows when I first got out here.
Gradually plants are wilting down as the frosts begin. This is when I can really begin to see the woody herbs. They stand up out of the grassy annuals. There’s one of the deep pink roses, a single bloom, half-blown above a leafless stem, standing up above the tangle of roses in the retaining wall.
Interesting day, if a bit too long, was yesterday… The weather was just lovely and I spent a lot of time looking out of the window. I finally sat with my back to it so I’d stop being tempted….. We had 1/2 a dozen of the young folks yesterday. The other four that were supposed to show up later, didn’t. We hung out and talked during the morning and some of them watched Buckland’s “Rebirth of Witchcraft” DVD. I worked on the biscornu while we were talking.
The Sundance people picked ’em up at noon and I worked on the computer quite a bit during the early part of the afternoon and helped the few folks who came in. Later, Marius stopped by and while Robyne and he and I talked and waited for Tempus to be done with work, I stitched up a couple of stuffed ornaments, added some decorations around the shop and then sat down with the biscornu again. I *will* get that dratted thing done! I’ve had to re-stitch a couple of pieces that are going to pull when in use. I cut them too close, darnit…. My writer friend was in, also, and we all had quite a talk.
I’m sorry if anyone went to the Literacy Center Grand Opening. I *really* didn’t expect all the “glory of Christ” stuff, as it’s supposed to be an educational endeavor. I think they went more than a bit overboard. …but it’s apparently the path of the person who’s running it. I don’t like having it stuffed down my throat unexpectedly, is all.
Gods, it was cold as we were leaving the shop! 37F according to the computer, but 46F on the phone company time/temp sign. It’s perfectly clear and since there was frost the night before, even more so last night. I’m awfully glad that I got my gloves mended. My hands hurt enough as it was. They’re giving me a rough time this morning, still, so I can tell how cold they got.
I had a customer walk in on Saturday and hand me a Venus Fly Trap that she wasn’t sure how to care for. That’s possibly one of the most unusual things that the shop has ever been gifted with! One of my boys thinks it’s “kinda awesome!” It was still in the carton and in need of a bit of TLC. Here’s an article about them. http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Probing_the_mystery_of_the_Venus_fly_traps_botanical_bite_999.html I need to learn a bit more about caring for them, this one is almost too small to catch its own fruit flies!
So, today is all wind-up for the week. I’ve got paperwork to do and orders to go out, checks to cut for bills and I want to get somewhere on the biscornu again. Robyn’e’s bus leaves at 3pm, and I’ll probably pull out the sewing machine after that.
More ornaments… all of these are wooden tops with an antique feel and shape and a hanger. These ornaments work best on a large tree or garland. There are 3 styles, $4 each.
Late November, the Bogong Moth Dreaming, Australia – At one time this was a standard festival for several tribes, where disputes were settled, rites of passage performed and a food source was honored. Sadly the festival feast no longer can include the moth caterpillars since they are too toxic from pesticide use… http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/nov26.html (search Bogong) and more on the moth itself, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogong_Moth
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. 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. Full Moon Magick: From fourteen to seventeen-and-a-half days after the new moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. Phase ends on 11/29 at 6:46pm. Eclipses – Lunar eclipses always occur on the day of the Full Moon.Positive magicks should not be performed in these months until after the eclipse is over. Eclipse is exact at 6:33am at 6 degrees Gemini 40′ on 11/28.
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 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
Ruis Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH), elder – Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) commences (Nov 25 – Dec 22) – Like other Iron Age Europeans, the Celts were a polytheistic people prior to their conversion to (Celtic) Christianity. The Celts divided the year into 13 lunar cycles (months or moons). These were linked to specific sacred trees which gave each moon its name. Today commences the Celtic tree month of Elder.
Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus) is a genus of fast-growing shrubs or small trees in the family Caprifoliaceae. They bear bunches of small white or cream coloured flowers in the Spring, that are followed by bunches of small red, bluish or black berries. The berries are a very valuable food resource for many birds.
Common North American species include American Elder, Sambucus canadensis, in the east, and Blueberry Elder, Sambucus glauca, in the west; both have blue-black berries.
The common European species is the Common or Black Elder, Sambucus nigra, with black berries. This is a shrub growing to 10 m (33 feet) in damp clearings, along the edge of woods, and especially near habitations. Elders are grown for their blackish berries, which are used for preserves and wine. The leaf scars have the shape of a crescent moon. Elder branches have a broad spongy pith in their centers, much like the marrow of long bones, and an elder branch stripped of its bark is very bone-like. The red elder (S. racemosa L.) is a similar plant at higher elevations; it grows to 5 m (15 feet). Red elder extends its native range to northern North America, and it is cultivated along with other native species, but common elders are seldom seen in cultivation. Elders are in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).
Ruis – Elder Ogam letter correspondences
Month: Makeup days of the thirteenth Moon
Meaning: End of a cycle or problem.
to study this month Straif – Blackthorn Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: SS, Z, ST
Meaning: Resentment; Confusion; Refusing to see the truth
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 26 Low 4:30 AM 3.0 7:27 AM Set 5:40 AM 93
~ 26 High 10:27 AM 8.3 4:40 PM Rise 3:38 PM
~ 26 Low 5:28 PM -0.1
~ 26 High 11:54 PM 6.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a graceful day!
~ Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped. – Julius “Groucho” Marx (1890-1977) US comic, actor
~ Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future. – Warren Buffet
~ Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak.. surrender to them. Don’t ask first whether it’s permitted, or would please your teachers or father or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that. – Hermann Hesse
~ God cannot help those who do not seize opportunities. – Chinese Proverb
O silence! You are what is most precious in me!
You are the veil of all my real wealth!
Why parade knowledge?
Be silent, for in silence
There is neither fear nor hope nor gain nor loss.
Does a king tithe a destroyed and abandoned village?
I am abandoned and destroyed, more than any words can describe;
Don’t scavenge in my words for any value or wisdom. – Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
Magick – Yule – Winter Solstice tidbit 22 – From: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/SolsticeArticle.html
Celebrating Winter Solstice by Selena Fox
Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.
Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as “Christmas.” Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots. Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the “Invincible Sun” in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.
Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with “Christmas” actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent. Pagans today can readily re-Paganize Christmastime and the secular New Year by giving a Pagan spiritual focus to existing holiday customs and by creating new traditions that draw on ancient ways. Here are some ways to do this:
Celebrate Yule with a series of rituals, feasts, and other activities. In most ancient cultures, the celebration lasted more than a day. The ancient Roman Saturnalia festival sometimes went on for a week. Have Winter Solstice Eve and Day be the central focus for your household, and conceptualize other holiday festivities, including New Year’s office parties and Christmas visits with Christian relatives, as part of your Solstice celebration. By adopting this perspective, Pagan parents can help their children develop an understanding of the multicultural and interfaith aspects of this holiday time and view “Christmas” as just another form of Solstice. Have gift exchanges and feasts over the course of several days and nights as was done of old. Party hearty on New Year’s Eve not just to welcome in the new calendar year, but also to welcome the new solar year.
Adorn the home with sacred herbs and colors. Decorate your home in Druidic holiday colors red, green, and white. Place holly, ivy, evergreen boughs, and pine cones around your home, especially in areas where socializing takes place. Hang a sprig of mistletoe above a major threshold and leave it there until next Yule as a charm for good luck throughout the year. Have family/household members join together to make or purchase an evergreen wreath. Include holiday herbs in it and then place it on your front door to symbolize the continuity of life and the wheel of the year. If you choose to have a living or a harvested evergreen tree as part of your holiday decorations, call it a Solstice tree and decorate it with Pagan symbols.
Convey love to family, friends, and associates. At the heart of Saturnalia was the custom of family and friends feasting together and exchanging presents. Continue this custom by visiting, entertaining, giving gifts, and sending greetings by mail and/or phone. Consider those who are and/or have been important in your life and share appreciation. Reclaim Santa Claus as a Pagan Godform. Today’s Santa is a folk figure with multicultural roots. He embodies characteristics of Saturn (Roman agricultural god), Cronos (Greek god, also known as Father Time), the Holly King (Celtic god of the dying year), Father Ice/Grandfather Frost (Russian winter god), Thor (Norse sky god who rides the sky in a chariot drawn by goats), Odin/Wotan (Scandinavian/Teutonic All-Father who rides the sky on an eight-legged horse), Frey (Norse fertility god), and the Tomte (a Norse Land Spirit known for giving gifts to children at this time of year). Santa’s reindeer can be viewed as forms of Herne, the Celtic Horned God. Decorate your home with Santa images that reflect His Pagan heritage.
Honor the Goddess as Great Mother. Place Pagan Mother Goddess images around your home. You may also want to include one with a Sun child, such as Isis with Horus. Pagan Goddess forms traditionally linked with this time of year include Tonantzin (Native Mexican corn mother), Holda (Teutonic earth goddess of good fortune), Bona Dea (Roman women’s goddess of abundance and prophecy), Ops (Roman goddess of plenty), Au Set/Isis (Egyptian/multicultural All Goddess whose worship continued in Christian times under the name Mary), Lucina/St. Lucy (Roman/Swedish goddess/saint of light), and Befana (Italian Witch who gives gifts to children at this season).
Honor the new solar year with light. Do a Solstice Eve ritual in which you meditate in darkness and then welcome the birth of the sun by lighting candles and singing chants and Pagan carols. If you have a indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire circle, burn an oak log as a Yule log and save a bit to start next year’s fire. Decorate the inside and/or outside of your home with electric colored lights. Because of the popularity of five pointed stars as holiday symbols, this is a good time to display a pentagram of blue or white lights.
Contribute to the manifestation of more wellness on Planet Earth. Donate food and clothing to poor in your area. Volunteer time at a social service agency. Put up bird feeders and keep them filled throughout the winter to supplement the diets of wild birds. Donate funds and items to non-profit groups, such as Pagan/Wiccan churches and environmental organizations. Meditate for world peace. Work magic for a healthier planet. Make a pledge to do some form of good works in the new solar year.
For further reading:
Campanelli, Pauline & Dan, Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life. St. Paul: LLewellyn, 1989, pages 1-16.
Crim, Keith, editor, The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989, pages 154, 182.
Ek, Hildur, Jul Tomtar, Jul Bockar and Sheaves of Grain. Lindsborg, KS: Barbos Printing, 1983.
Farrar, Janet & Stewart, Eight Sabbats for Witches. London: Hale, 1981, chapter 11.
Funk & Wagnalls, Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1979, pages 229-230, 974-975,
Royale, Duncan, History of Santa: from 2000 BC to the 20th Century. Fullerton, CA: M. E. Duncan, 1987.
Scullard, H. H., Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981. pages 205-212.
This article was first published in Circle Network News.
Silliness – Your Duck is Dead…
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”
The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,” replied the vet…
“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”
The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.
The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.
The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”
The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman..
The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”
The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.”