It’s rather dim, but the light has an odd yellow quality. It’s 45F and the roof next door looks wet.
There’ve been a lot of birds today, but the flicker on the feeder is really spectacular. He’s gone into his spring colors and the red of his chin above the bib, his tail and his underwings are amazingly bright, especially against the new green of the coastal pine. There’s a hummingbird on the syrup feeder, a drab little lady. Quite a size difference!
The patch of purple crocus in front of the yarrow is pretty amazing. A week ago I was certain that all of the clumps had died. Not hardly! There must be 20 or more blooms. Gotta harvest those before heading for the shop….
Yesterday didn’t start well for me, but it improved. Tempus was at the shop yesterday and he’s figured out how to do some of the inventory on his own. It’s the same method that I originally used, but it proved to use too darned much paper so I stopped. Some of the categories are still better done with two people, because of the names and needing to look things up as you go, but he worked on crystals. He had a number of customers in and stayed open late.
I got some writing done, then worked on website updates and finally started a pot of borshch, (which is the name, although it’s usually spell “borscht” in English… listen to me say it some time….) I had made a chicken broth a couple of days ago, so I poured the broth off of the chicken and started peeling and chopping beets. Although I used the stem ends in the soup, I saved the greens, intending to put them into a beef stew next week. They’re chopped and freezered.
…and then I hunted for brownie mix. I thought I could track it down, but Tempus is far too good at hiding things… 🙂 I had to wait for him to get home and by that time I was too tired and one of our kids was online. It’s ok, we still had some peach pie…. 🙂 Like I’m gonna complain!
I chopped an onion, added barley and chopped red cabbage, then chopped up the chicken. The seasonings are horseradish, celery salt, caraway, salt, a little red wine vinegar and some saved white wine. We had a yummy soup! Of course, I forgot about the cabbage until way late, so Tempus had to run to the store on his way home…. …but he liked the soup and told me, “Yes, I like the soup. My tummy is definitely expressing feelings of beetitude….” …and then Amor (we were talking online) said he was singing, “Just beet it! Beet it, put it in your bowl and beet it!” <sigh> I think he was exposed to too much Weird Al Yankovic as a small child.
…and we have quite a bit of borshch for more suppers and that’s by far the best with rye bread! One of the lovely things about this soup is that it can be frozen and keeps well. Before heading for bed we got it divided into small servings. I make the Czech version of this soup. Babicka only called it “borshch” if she was speaking about it in Czech, but in English just called it “beet soup”. Tempus comment was, “I thought this was soup? You made stew!” I’ve seen similar recipes called “hearty borscht” and “peasant borscht”.
Tempus is starting to experiment with rye flour for bread. I love his breads, but I’m starting to miss rye, so I asked him to try. It rises very differently from wheat. I don’t mind eating experiments, though, and the slice that I had before bedtime was promising.
I never did get outside. I wasn’t feeling at all well most of the day, so the farthest I got was the porch. I weeded a little in the planter boxes and I really need to stir up the dirt in a couple and add some plant matter.
Today we have workshops. Herbs is at 11am and that’s going to be on Spring Harvest. Crystals is at Noon and we’ll be opening the small tumbler that’s full of fossilized wood. Sewing is at 3pm and it’s a BYOP, unless you’ve got a question. If no one shows, I’m probably going to be sticking Tempus full of pins, (which ought to be fun to watch). i.e. I’m hoping to try a costume on him that needs to be taken in, horribly, because it was cut for a much larger guy. He might even get a “turn about is fair play”, since I have a bodice that needs to be refitted. Other than that, I think we’re going to be working on inventory and/or packing herbs.
Today has been proposed as a Wear Purple to Support the Kyoto Protocol day. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around about this effort to reduce climate changing greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide. Here’s the Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” – Thomas Alva Edison; in conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone (1931)
The shop opens at 11am. Winter 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! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light or call the shop at 541-563-7154.
Love & Light,
…and I had to share. This is *far* too cute! A whole bucket of baby sloths: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/14/valentine-from-lucy-cooke-a-bucket-of-sloths/?source=hp_dl2_newswatch_bucket_sloths_20120215
…and a youtube link… Faun is one of my favorite bands, pagan folk, and this is a really good piece. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mty9TEmdfc
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is a Waxing Crescent. 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 2/25 at 12:26pm. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. Phase ends at the Quarter on 2/17 at 12:31pm.
Goddess Month of of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis, Rowan, Jan 21 – Feb 17
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion, Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17
Runic half-month of Sigel/Sowelo, 2/12-26 It represents the power of the force of good throughout the world and is the harbinger of victory and ascendancy over darkness.
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Luis Rowan Jan 21 – Feb 17 – Luis – (LWEESH), rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to serviceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grey and Red
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 16 High 4:18 AM 7.7 7:14 AM Set 12:09 AM 31
~ 16 Low 11:08 AM 1.4 5:47 PM Rise 10:13 AM
~ 16 High 5:09 PM 5.7
~ 16 Low 10:43 PM 2.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I welcome success and fortune into my life.
~ I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. – Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
~ If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. – Martin Luther King Jr.
~ If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. – Lin Yutang (1895-1976) Chinese writer
~ Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein
What plant we in this apple tree?
Sweets for a hundred flowery springs
To load the May-wind’s restless wings,
When, from the orchard-row,
he pours Its fragrance through our open doors;
A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl’s silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple tree. – William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) US poet and newspaper editor
Magick – Ostara or Spring Equinox Our Lady of the Woods – http://www.ladywoods.org/ostara.htm by Merlyn
An earlier version of this article appeared in Lady Letter, volume 1. no. 5.
This page was downloaded from www.ladywoods.org, the website of the coven of Our Lady of the Woods. It may be used for personal and educational purposes with credit to the author.
You don’t have to be a Wiccan or even a Pagan to celebrate spring’s arrival. The Ostara sabbat, also called Eostar or Eostre, is a minor sabbat that affects us emotionally because it occurs at a time clearly separating winter and spring. Two weeks before the Spring Equinox, deep snowfalls can linger for days. After Ostara the fading winter yields to a six week rush of time through spring into May when long days and summer temperatures appear. Returning sunlight, increasing in both intensity and duration, irreversibly fuels spring’s warming. However, in many climates the cautious buds of fruit trees and flowering ornamentals won’t blossom and spread their sensuous perfumes until mid-April, because hard freezes still threaten them on clear nights.
Traditional Spring Rites
Ostara is a Saxon goddess, also named Eostar and Eostre, and is a Northern version of the ancient Middle Eastern goddess Astarte, who ruled over creation and destruction. Her Sabbat celebrates fertility in a general sense–the greening of vegetation and the swelling of buds and bellies of animals impregnated during fall or winter. Bunnies, coyotes, cats, dogs, and sheep have breeding seasons timed so that their gestations are completed and the young are born just before or during spring’s arrival.
Ostara and Mabon are the balancing points occurring at the equinoxes when light and dark periods are equal, and so are female and male energies. At Ostara, Kore (Persephone) returns from the underworld and reunites with her mother Demeter after a four-month absence.
To see how pre-Christian Ostara was celebrated, look at the modern Easter celebration. Easter bunnies, eggs, and dressing up in bright festive colors were originally Ostara traditions. The name Easter comes from the goddess name Eostre. The hare was an animal sacred to the Moon Goddess, another form of the Triple Goddess Eostre whose sacred fertile month began at the equinox. Eggs colored red symbolized fertility. Even the Easter theme of resurrection was borrowed from the pagan tradition of deities sacrificing themselves for the benefit of their people and later returning via resurrection. Odin’s hanging on the World Ash Tree for nine days and Kore’s annual underworld sojourn represented sacrifices followed by resurrections.
Ostara colors are green and silver. It is a time to bless your seeds before planting them, dye eggs bright colors in honor of spring’s fertility and give thanks for the fertility carried in your genitals. Initiate new projects that will not be completed until the fall harvest. Decorate your home with spring flowers, or the leguminous herbs of clover and trefoil, which are traditional Ostara symbols. Don’t forget to include the bunnies in your celebrations, as the goddess likes them and the chocolate ones taste good, too.
Our Lady of the Woods, and before it the Los Alamos CUUPS chapter, began a tradition of celebrating Ostara with an outdoors ritual held at dawn. A reasonable question to ask is whether there is any value in holding a dawn Ostara ritual year after year? For a few of us, 6 a.m. is a normal hour to be up, getting breakfast, or starting the day’s activities. For many others this time is a period for deep sleep.
Our ancestors who lived before the late 19th century inhabited a world largely dependent on the sun for providing most of its light. Thomas Edison’s electric light bulb changed that. Before its invention in 1876, candles, torches and oil lamps provided only dim and unsteady light that was adequate for avoiding obstacles, such as stools and children’s toys, and for reading at night.
Today our powerful electric lights rival the sun with their ability to flood large areas with near daylight intensities. Modern activities such as nighttime baseball games would be unthinkable without powerful electric lights. So, too, would be stores open 24 hours a day and the miles of well lit corridors at indoor shopping malls.
Should we forget how dependent our ancestors were on the daily and seasonal solar cycles? I feel that you should increase your awareness of the subtle influences on your moods brought about by the ever changing solar and lunar cycles. Ostara is one day a year when performing an outdoor dawn ritual can connect you with the hundreds of preceding generations of Pagans who anxiously awaited spring’s liberation from winter’s dark and cold.
For ancient Celts and other northern peoples, Ostara was a time for the joyous resumption of warm season activities. In our modern world, spring is still a time of physical and psychological reawakening. How we celebrate it is a matter of personal taste, but few of us are left unaffected by nature’s increasing day length, dramatic warming, and the reawakening of dormant buds, animals, and human desires.
Besides the series of short articles included here, we recommend:
1. Campenelli, Pauline and Dan. Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life. Llewellyn, 1993.
2. Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun. Oxford University Press, 1996.
3. Nahmad, Claire. Earth Magic: A Wisewoman’s Guide to Herbal, Astrological, & Other Folk Wisdom. Destiny Books, 1994.
4. Pennick, Nigel. The Pagan Book of Days. Destiny Books, 1992.