It’s been a bit gray this morning, but the light is getting stronger. It’s still overcast, but thin enough for sunshine, 52F, which is the forecast high and it’s likely to get cloudier and drippier as the day goes on….the drippies being after dark…. I hope. <grin>
Yesterday every time I looked out the window and even when we were working in the garden, those same golden-crowned sparrows were out there. They seem to have invented a new game, that they and the other sparrows have been getting into. I have a grid box hung from the porch supports that holds nesting materials. It spins freely. The birds take turns “riding the merry-go-round”. I swear it looks like they’re playing! The grab onto one side and keep the momentum going by bobbing up and down and flapping their tails until it’s wound up too far and then fly off and let it spin. I saw one during the afternoon grab on just as the other took off and he hung on upside-down as it spun out, then flapped rather dizzily away….
We had so much to do yesterday that it seemed short. The washer was running all day long and it seemed I spent the whole day on fabrics, but that’s not really true. 5 minutes out of an hour is a lot, but not the whole day! I didn’t get everything sorted out, newsletter out and mail gone through and such until past 1pm and then I got lunch, took a nap and then a long bath. Tempus was outside finishing cutting the way-too-tall grass. He got a break and then we both hung up a couple of things that had needed to be hand-washed, one that stained fabric that I was soaking in the tub. It’s permanently stained along the creasemark that bolted fabric has <grr>.
After that he worked on the path in back, moving the roses and pulling up blackberries. We did around the pond, too. I got the violet bed planted with the yellow ones, came in and warmed up, and then went out to do some more and work on the porch. We discussed some of the yard work, while clipping blackberries and pulling grass, around the roses and other shrubs. I need to get out there with a string trimmer, but we ran out of light.
The potatoes that got put in the oven while Tempus was taking a break were done by then, so we ate and discussed. Not all of the rosebushes on the west side of the house were destroyed and are coming back up, but the the idiot from next door who went and cut our plantings back really damaged our rhodys. We’ve got yellowed leaves and one of them doesn’t even look like it’s going to make it, even though the early white is blooming and the small wild one in the center of the back property line is 3 feet tall. It was only about 6 inches last year and we kinda lost it in the grass, but yeah, doing fine, now that we found it again.
The bay laurel is doing a little better than it was. It’s still got yellow leaves, but everything has uncurled. I don’t know whether you remember what happened, but it tried to blow over in the last big wind and Tempus dug it back in and propped some large log chunks around it.
I spent a little while creating a wish list on American Science and Surplus. They’re got some *really* weird things in their catalog (Anyone needs a 6 x 6 foot surplus German military buoy?) but very useful things as well. I did a bit of cleaning in my study, since Amor’s going to be here, probably in the 2nd week of May, for a visit and to pick though the books. Whatever he doesn’t need is going onto the buck-a-book shelf, so look for that to be well stuffed!
..and in unstacking one last set of boxes that got damp we found two boxes of rather old homemade wine/mead … minimum about 15 years, and one bottle appears to say 94! The newspapers it was wrapped in says November 2000. We put a bottle in the fridge…. Tempus says one is a strawberry melomel and a couple of others are rose wine, but the rest are unmarked.
So Herbs Outdoors today is going to work on “A Voyage of Discovery”. <grin> We’re going to try to unbury and mulch the spanish lavendar, the yarrow, the lady’s mantle, garlics and cinquefoil and see if the slugs have left any of the orris this year. That’s all at the south end of the garden and we’ll be working our way north over the next few weeks. I’m hoping that Tempus will get the time to break open the compost pile, so that we can chuck some of that in, as well.
I need to keep going on laundry, since there’s now a large pile to be sorted out. I need to get the newsletter stuff put together for the week, and after Herbs Outdoors we’re heading down to the shop to work on sewing some more costumes. I’m going to be taking some shop stock to an event two Saturday from now and need something to wear.
Today’s Feast is that of Machendrana in Nepal, supposedly an ancient and powerful rain god. There’s a Chariot festival associated with this, but do you know, all of the online citations seem to come from one of two sources, since they all have the same wording and there’s nothing that I’ve found that says that this is anything but a modern pagan invention? One of the citations of this is Gerina Dunwich’s Wiccan Book of Days, the other seems to be an expanded wording of that. Hmmm….
Today’s Plant is the Western Azalea, Rhododendron Occidentale. I talked yesterday about the azaleas being a subset of the rhodys. This is the main one that grows around here. It’s hard to tell from the shape and size of the plant that it’s an azalea, or even from the flowers, although the branches are thinner and the leaves shorter and rounder than those of rhododendrons. It least it’s hard for those of us who are familiar with the showy garden hybrids, which tend to be small and compact. The other West Coast azalea is Rhododendron Albiflorum, and there’s not a whacking lot of info floating around about that one. The wiki is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_occidentale The Chinese call azaleas “thinking of home bush”. Magickal uses for azalea are to encourage light spirits, happiness and gaiety.
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday since we need a weekend, too. Spring hours are 11am-7pm 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,
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 4/25 at 12:57pm. 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. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 4/18 at 5:31am.
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow Apr 15 – May 12
Runic half-month of Mannaz/ Man, April 14-28 – A time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow Apr 15 – May 12 – The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and ages appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were colleges of Druidesses – learned women and teachers – respected equally for their gifts of see-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions.
Magical Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.
Saille – Willow Ogam letter correspondences
Color: listed only as bright
Meaning: Gaining balance in your life
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 17 High 5:16 AM 6.4 6:28 AM Set 1:50 AM 34
~ 17 Low 12:26 PM 1.0 8:04 PM Rise 11:43 AM
~ 17 High 7:11 PM 5.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Blessed is she who has learned to laugh at herself, for she shall never cease to be entertained.
~ At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun. – Anonymous
~ Avoid problems, and you’ll never be the one who overcame them. – Richard Bach
~ Be what nature intended you for and you will succeed. – Sydney Smith
~ Better the trouble that follows death than the trouble that follows shame. – Irish Proverb
And yet, though we strain
against the deadening grip
of daily necessity,
I sense there is this mystery:
All life is being lived.
Who is living it then?
Is it the things themselves,
or something waiting inside them,
like an unplayed melody in a flute?
Is it the winds blowing over the waters?
Is it the branches that signal to each other?
Is it flowers
interweaving their fragrances
or streets, as they wind through time? ~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~ (Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)
Magick – Beltane Recipes
WILD IRISH NETTLE SOUP http://www.unc.edu/%7Ereddeer/recipe/rec_beltain.html
12 oz nettle leaves and young, tender stems (use gloves to collect)
3-4 oz butter
6 oz (2 oz each) leek, onion and celery, roughly chopped
2.5 pints chicken stock
1.5 lbs potatoes, sliced
.75 pint cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Comment: from the Ashford Castle Hotel – County Mayo, Ireland
Wash the nettles. Melt 3 oz of the butter in a heavy based pan and sweat the leek, onion, celery and the nettles for 5 to 6 minutes without browning. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then add the potatoes. Cook over a low heat for about 40 to 50 minutes.
Put soup in blender and puree, then return it to the pan, and add the cream. Salt and pepper to taste, reheat gently and check the consistency. Some extra butter may be whisked in for a richer, smoother finish. Garnish each serving with a blanched nettle leaf. Serves 8
Dandelion Salad – http://crystalforest3.homestead.com/beltane.html
1 Dishpan full of young dandelion leaves
4 Strips of bacon
1/2 c Sugar
2 T Flour
1 ea Egg beaten
1 t Salt
1/2 c Vinegar
1 1/2 c Water
3 ea Eggs, hard boiled, diced
- Wash, drain, and cut up tender dandelion leaves.
- Brown bacon; remove drippings and crumble
- Combine sugar and flour.
- Add egg, salt, vinegar, and water and mix until smooth.
- Pour into bacon drippings and heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
- Pour warm dressing over dandelion.
- Add crumbled bacon and hard boiled eggs.
- Toss lightly and serve immediately
Spring Delight Salad – http://crystalforest3.homestead.com/beltane.html
3 cups boiling water
1 3oz package lemon gelatin
1 3oz package lime gelatin
24 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 3 oz packages cream cheese
1 No.2 can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup pecans, chopped
- Cut marshmallows into small pieces.
- Pour water over gelatin and marshmallows
- stir until dissolved.
- Chill. Blend cheese with vinegar until smooth.
- Add undrained pineapple and blend; add pecans.
- When gelatin is ready to thicken, combine the two mixtures and mold as desired.
Spring’s Favorite Fudge
12 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate Chips
4 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
2/3 Cup Evaporated Milk
1/2 Cup Nuts (Chopped)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
11/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter
- In a medium pan, mix milk, marshmallows, butter, sugar and salt over medium heat.
- Allow to boil, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add beat in chocolate only until fully melted.
- Add vanilla and nuts (optional) and pour into greased pan.
- Chill until firm, then cut and serve.