I really overslept! It’s almost 9:30 so I don’t know what the pre-sunrise temperature was. It’s foggy, but only a little in the distance and the sunshine is very bright. Everything is covered with water droplets that glitter in the sun and it’s 46F, with just a little breeze.
Yesterday was another long day. I spent almost the whole thing working on Cafe Press and still am no more than 3/4 done with the Women and Teas set. <sigh> You can find curtains and cutting boards, now, though!
Around noon Tempus went to get a tiller that’s locked up to see if he can fix it. When he got back we did a few chores and then he went to Newport to pick up T-Rex and the dead computer. T-Rex? It’s a terabyte (terror-bite) drive. <sigh> So I have my data and the newsletter should look a lot more normal again. During the middle of the afternoon I spent a little time on clipart, since I had the program that I use for the Cafe Press stuff open. I built a new Imbolc Pentacle and started on a divider for the Magick section…. haven’t quite gotten there, yet…..
By the time we left the shop, the rain that started mid-afternoon was pretty steady and the temperature had gone up to 51F! That’s the warmest its been in days. We settled in to evening stuff. I got to work on getting the data that I need put up for use.
Tempus made chicken with a home-made barbeque sauce (ginger and wasabi, ‘coz I can’t have the pepper) Yummy! We sat and talked about Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings books and movies, comparing them to Harry Potter and the Niebelungenlied. We’re definitely in the nerd/geek category…..
I’ll be at the shop today. I think Tempus is shoveling sand over in Bayshore again. We’ve got rock tumblers to set rolling and holiday boxes to put away, among other things. While he’s gone I will be working on Cafe Press again and after he gets back, the Readings sign will go out and we’ll be working on inventory.
The festival of Fufluns is a Roman event that happened somewhere near this day. There’s nothing much written about Fufluns, except that he’s a vegetation god, equivalent to Bacchus, that originally was Etruscan, but here are some references. http://www.pantheon.org/articles/f/fufluns.html and here: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/roman-mythology.php?deity=FUFLUNS …and on the Etruscans http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etruscan_mythology
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is at the Waning Quarter. Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 1/11 at 11:44am. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. Phase ends on 1/5 at 7:58pm. Waning Crescent Moon –Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term. Phase ends on 1/7 at 2:44am.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth Birch Dec 24 – Jan 20
Runic half-month of Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books
©2012 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Beth Birch Dec 24 – Jan 20 Beith – (BEH), birch – The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch. The common birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) is almost as widespread as the silver birch, but grows primarily on acid or peaty soils. It can reach 20 m (65 feet) in height. Birches are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae). Curtis Clark
Beth – Birch – Ogam letter correspondences –
Meaning: New Beginnings; Changes; Purification.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible F 4 High 5:03 AM 7.7 7:52 AM Set 11:20 AM 64 4 Low 11:35 AM 2.2 4:51 PM 4 High 5:13 PM 5.9 4 Low 11:11 PM 1.9 ******
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.
~ I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward. – Charlotte Bronte
~ If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. – H. P. Lovecraft
~ If you can’t sense the energy around you and in you, how effective can your magick be? – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Imagine all the people living life in peace. – John Lennon
Define and narrow me, you starve yourself of yourself.
Nail me down in a box of cold words,
that box is your coffin.
I do not know who I am.
I am in astounded lucid confusion.
I am not a Christian, I am not a Jew, I am not a Zoroastrian,
And I am not even a Muslim. – Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
One of the 4 major Sabbats, Imbolc, celebrates the banishing of Winter and welcomes the Spring. At the time of Imbolc, the newborn Sun God is seen as a small child nursing from his Mother. Imbolc is a time to swept away Winter and nuture new beginnings. This Sabbat also represents spiritual growth. Imbolc is a good time to get your life in order, whether mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally. The name Imbolc is derived from Gaelic, and means “ewe’s milk” after the lactating sheep that are feeding their first born lambs of the new season at this time of year.
As the days begin to get longer, it is tradition for every candle or lamp in the house to be lit for a little while. In the Christian Calendar, this holiday is called Candlemas and all church candles are blessed for the year. Other names this festival goes by are:
Imbolgc Brigantia (Caledonni), Imbolic (Celtic), Disting (although this is really Feb 14th), Lupercus (Strega), St. Bridget’s Day (Christian), Candlemas, Candlelaria (Mexican), the Snowdrop Festival. The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin. All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time.
This time is known by some as the “Feast of the Waxing Light” it is the time of year that we are beginning to notice the Sun Gods growth in that the days are becoming longer. This, like MayDay/Beltane, is another pagan holiday which has survived into the current time, now it is celebrated as Ground Hog Day.
Colors – White, pale yellow and silver
Offerings – Beer
Altar decorations – A crown of 13 red candles, spring of evergreen, besom (Witch’s broom), a small statue/figurine of the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, candle wheels, grain dollies, sun wheels.
Colors – White, Orange, Red, Yellow, Brown
Tools – Plough, garden implements
Stones/Gems – Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise
Symbols & Decorations – Candles, Lamps, Brooms, Yellow flowers, Brighid’s Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), dish of snow, evergreens
Foods – All dairy products, curries, onions, chives, seeds, herbal tea, mutton or lamb, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, onions, garlic, raisins, spiced wines
Deities – Dagda (Celt), Pan (Greek), Cernunnor (Celt),Osiris (Egyptian), Herne (Saxon), Jupiter (Roman), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman), Cerridwen (Celt), Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus, Frigg (Norse), Cybele Brighid (Celt), Bride, Brigette, all virgin Goddesses and Gods of love and fertility, Bast
Animals – Sheep, Wolves, Bears, Stags, Eagle, Raven, Groundhog, Owl, Snake
Herbs/Flowers – Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Snowdrop, Tansy, Violets, First Flower of the Year
ANGELICA–is best in the ritual cup. In this manner is considered to bring one in contact with the inhabitants of Atlantis and to bring Atlantean energies into their lives, visions and understanding.
BASIL–this is the traditional time of year for initiations and the initiate should have been taking daily tonics of basil for at least the last two weeks. It is given now to prepare the inner self for initiation to bring fortitude.
BAY–if the ritual is to be a solemn occasion then it is appropriate to chew one or two (no more than that!) Leaves and meditate upon the growing light and Sun God.
BENZOIN–is used in the incense.
CELANDINE–is used in the ritual cup and tossed into the fire.
HEATHER–is used to decorate the entire space.
MYRRH–is used in the ritual cup and/or incense.
Activities and Rituals – blessing of seeds for this year’s garden, fertility and purification, spring cleaning, “Bride’s Bed” rituals, Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new, consecration of agricultural tools, All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time, Candle Lighting, Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Making of Brideo’gas and Bride’s Beds, Making Priapic Wands, Decorating Ploughs, Feasting, Bon Fires, rituals of initiation, transformation, new beginnings
Other names for this holiday – Candlemas, Imbolg, Brigit’s Day, St. Lucy’s Day, Feast of Brighid, Oimealg, Imbolgc Brigantia, Imbolic, Disting (Teutonic, Feb 14th), Lupercus, Candlelaria, The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin..
Ideas and Activities for Imbolc
* Make or decorate candles
* Brighid, the Celtic goddess of fire, healing, and poetry is considered the patron Goddess of Imbolc. Read up on her as a Celtic goddess and as her later incarnation, St. Brigit.
* Burn the evergreen boughs that decorated your home during the winter holidays in the Imbolc Fires and celebrate the return of the Sun’s strength and the Godess as the Maiden.
* Brighid is the goddess of poetry. Write a poem in her honor, and read it aloud during any Imbolc ritual you may have planned.
* Cleanse and re-consecrate your ritual tools and clean your altar.
* Go through all your herbs and discard those that are more than a year old
* Weave “Brigit’s crosses” from straw or wheat to hang around the house for protection
* Perform rites of spiritual cleansing and purification
* Make “Brigit’s beds” to ensure fertility of mind and spirit (and body, if desired)
* Ritually cleanse your home and start your “spring” cleaning
* Make a Crown of Light (i.e. of candles for the High Priestess to wear for the Imbolc Circle, similar to those worn on St. Lucy’s Day in Scandinavian countries **see the kids craft section for a cute kids’ version of this**
* Place a lighted candle in each and every window of the house, beginning at sundown on Candlemas Eve (February 1), allowing them to continue burning until sunrise. Make sure that such candles are well seated against tipping and gaurded from nearby curtains, etc. If you are not able to use real candles use those candle lamps sold at crafts and department stores for the Christian Christmas season.
* Buy a “salt lick” block and leave it out for the wild animals.
* Make a window garden with seeds, soil, old glass jars or rinse some tuna or cat food cans, and get ready for spring! Easy items are beans, mints, marigolds. Even carrot or pineapple tops and avocado pits are fun to do.
* Make a Bride doll
* Make a tiny “Candle Garden” by filling a small aluminum pan with fine salt or sand and “planting” birthday candles, Hanukkah candles or even tea lights in the “garden”
* Tie tiny strips of fabric in trees near a stream and ask Bride for her influence in your life. Use cotton strips and the birds will use them for nesting or they will bio-degrade over time
* Play a candle game where the men stand in forming a circle whole passing a candle quickly and the women stand on the outside of the circle trying to blow out the flame. The one who succeeds gets to claim a kiss.
* Meditate as a family. Have everyone explore what it would feel like to be a seed deep in the Earth, feeling the first stirrings of life. Lie on the floor and put out tendrils. Stretch and bloom.
* Have a bardic circle where everyone brings poetry, songs or a short story that they have written to honor Brigid (Brigit/Brigid/Bride was the daughter of Dagda. She was the protector of the poets, the forge and the healing persons.)
* Help your kids go through all their clothes, toys, and books to find the unwanted and outgrown items. Donate everything to a charity that will give the items to children who need them.
* Go for a walk. Search for signs of spring. Take off your shoes and socks and squish your toes in the mud!
* Lead the family on a parade around the outside of your home, banging on pots and pans or playing musical instruments to awaken the spirits of the land.
* Have your children hold some herb seeds in their hands. Talk to the seeds. Bless them with growth and happiness. Fill them with love. Plant an in-door herb garden.
* Make corn dollies and a cradle for them to sleep in.
Silliness – GCF: Basic Training
I was a new Army basic trainee at Fort McClellan, and one requirement was a demanding 12-mile march.
We got started at 6 a.m. and were pumped up for the trek.
An hour later, feeling the heavy load of our packs, we wondered if the end would ever come. “Men,” our sergeant yelled, “you’re doing a fine job. We’ve already covered four miles!”
Revitalized, we picked up the pace. “And,” he continued, “we should reach the starting point any minute now.”