It’s brilliant sunshine again. 58F and a good breeze is blowing.
I actually did my Daily Dozen on hawkweed again. I had looked at the spot that I had gotten so many plants out of earlier and there were more yellow flowers! I ended up popping out 85 of the little buggers. …and there are a few more, still. How are they doing it?
The marine cloud layer hadn’t backed off yet as we were coming down the hill. The trees by the ocean were all tangled with cloud, but it was almost clear over down town.
We got to the shop, got open and I had a counseling session right off the bat, which meant that Tempus stayed and worked in the office area. He headed home at 1pm only to get called back twice. <sigh> Once was that he needed to get out the ladder to get a stuck flagstring unstuck. They usually come loose, no problem, but not this one! At least we’re closer than Seal Rock!
I worked on the blackwork display board, but after the 3rd time my back spasmed, I gave up. I’m about 2/3 of the way done.
I spent the rest of the day working with customers, reading Beautiful Swimmers, which is a book about the Chesapeake Bay, where I grew up, and doing some more embroidery. I’m not worth a whole lot when my back goes.
Tempus made us a delicious supper of pork chops, mashed potatoes and corn. Not a lot of green there, but it was yummy. We were so full, though, that we went to bed by 9pm. I got up and worked for awhile just after midnight, going out to the porch to see the waning moon in the very clear sky.
About the time Tempus got up to go do his paper route I was finishing sorting out which herbs I need to write up, yet, having sorted most of the pictures in the blog file. I got myself a snack, some of his good seed bread from the other day’s loaf, and then went back to bed.
He’s heading down to the shop in a couple of minutes and I’m going to be working on things at home today. I have to get the ads together for the handbook, mostly, but I want to work in the garden a little as well, and get some more of the specialty laundry done.
Today’s Feast is in honor of Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged steed that he rides between the worlds. I don’t know how the Asatru celebrate him, but there seems to be a connection to some kind of shamanic practice. The eight legs might stand for supernatural speed or for transportation beyond the natural. The picture is Odin, riding Sleipnir, accompanied by the ravens, Hunin and Mumir (Thought and Memory) and the two wolves, Geri and Freiki (Greed & Gluttony). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slepnir
Today’s plant is Oregon Iris, Iris tenax. I grew up calling Iris flowers “ladies’ ball gowns”. Local peoples used the tough leaves for making string and rope mostly for snares. – Feminine, Venus, Water – sacred to Iris and Juno, their magicks are used for purification and magicks including 3’s. The three petals stand for faith, wisdom and valor and can be used in magicks to promote these qualities. More on Oregon Iris here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_tenax More on Iris in general here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_%28plant%29
The shop opens at 11am! 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 Waning Gibbous. 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. Remember: what goes up must come down. 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. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends on 8/5 at 2:561pm. 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. , Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus, Phase ends at the Quarter on 7/29 at 10:43am.
The Delta Aquariid meteor shower should be in its broad maximum all this coming week. This and other weak, long-lasting July showers with radiants in the southern sky increase the chance that any meteor you see these nights will be flying out of the south.
Uranus (magnitude 5.8 in Pisces) and Neptune (magnitude 7.9 in Aquarius) are very well up in the southeast and south, respectively, before the beginning of dawn. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/Uranus-and-Neptune-in-2013-190064991.html
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree month of Tinne/Holly – Jul 8 – Aug 4 – Energy and guidance for problems to come.
Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
Runic half-month of Thorn, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor (right). The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe.
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Tinne Holly Jul 8 – Aug 4 – Tinne – (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holly
Tinne – Holly Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Dark Grey
Meaning: Energy and guidance for problems to come
to study this month – Ioho – Yew – Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Dark Green
Letter: I, J, Y
Meaning: Complete change in life-direction or attitude. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxus_brevifolia
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 26 High 3:27 AM 7.4 5:57 AM Set 10:53 AM 86
26 Low 9:55 AM -0.7 8:48 PM Rise 10:50 PM
~ 26 High 4:19 PM 7.7
~ 26 Low 10:31 PM 0.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Mental Floss prevents Moral Decay.
~ Why do grandparents and grandchildren get along so well together? Perhaps the best answer is the one I heard from a psychiatrist recently: “Because they have a common enemy–the parents”. – Sydney J. Harris
~ The Warrior must learn to wait patiently. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives. – Louise Hay
~ In avoiding the appearance of evil, I am not sure but I have sometimes unnecessarily deprived myself and others of innocent enjoyments. – Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) US President
I live …
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the wrong that needs resistance,
For the future in the distance
– And the good that I can do. – Poem quoted on the title page of the diary of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Magick – Lughnasadh – Our Lady of the Harvest – School for the Seasons 8/13/04
I believe the Full Moon Festival of August is one of the oldest Goddess holidays that has been continually celebrated. At this turning point in the year, between the yang energy of summer solstice and the turning inward of the autumn, the Goddess comes into her own as protector, provider and mediator between the worlds.
Known by many names, at this time of the year she is revered as Artemis, Hecate and the Blessed Virgin Mary. All three are associated with the moon. All three are invoked for protection of the grain and the fruit which is so vulnerable to storms in these weeks before harvest. And all three are mediators between the worlds: Artemis in her origin as Goddess of the shamanistic cultures of the North, Hecate as the one who stands at the crossroads between life and death, and Mary as the mediator between Earth and Heaven.
This feast of the goddess was first celebrated in Greece at the full moon of Metageitnion (August 29th this year). In Erkhia, Artemis (as Hecate) was invoked, along with Kourotrophos, and beseeched for protection summer storms, which could flatten and destroy the crops.
In Rome, the Greek lunar festival honoring Artemis-Hecate was placed on the fixed solar calendar on August 13th and called the Nemoralia, also known as Diana’s Feast of the Torches. Roman women made torchlight processions to the temples of Diana and Hecate or visited the groves of Diana with their hunting dogs leashed. Hair-washing was an important ritual activity.
The story of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption (as she was dying, her body was lifted up into Heaven) was first recorded at the start of the 3rd century (about 150 years after the incident it relates). At the time, Mary was living at Ephesus, where she was living under the care of the apostle, John. Ephesus was one of the most famous sanctuaries of Artemis, the home of the famous statue of Artemis with many breasts, symbolizing the productive and nurturing powers of the earth. Mary, is also well known for her nurturing and protecting qualities (she is so tender-hearted she cannot deny any sincere request for help).
After witnessing her miraculous assumption, the story goes that the apostles declared this event should be commemorated on the thirteenth of Ab (the full moon of the Jewish lunar month that usually falls in August) “on account of the vines bearing bunches of grapes and on account of the trees bearing fruit, that clouds of hail, bearing stones of wrath, might not come, and the trees be broken, and the vines with their clusters.” Clearly Mary was seen as a protector of the crops and a mediator between the worlds.
As early as the tenth century, the aroma of herbs and flowers was associated with Mary’s victory over death, and people brought medicinal herbs and plants to church (periwinkle, verbena, thyme) to be incensed and blessed, bound into a sheaf and kept all year to ward off illness, disaster and death. In central Europe, August 15 was called Our Lady’s Herb Day. Gertrud Mueller Nelson’s mother kept this holiday alive by taking her daughters on walks, gathering wild grasses, a custom I’ve adopted in Seattle. It’s amazing how many kinds of wild grass grow on my city block.
This is the start of Our Lady’s Thirty Days, a tide which lasts until Harvest or Michaelmas and coincides with the astrological sign of Virgo, when animals and plants lose their harmful qualities and all food is considered wholesome. This period of benevolence also coincides with the seven weeks following the full moon of the Jewish month of Av, which are sometimes called the Weeks of Comfort. The readings for these weeks are comforting, promising peace and prosperity.
- On the Nemoralia, August 13th, make washing your hair a ritual. This seems to be an act that was seen as a luxury after a period of fast and deprivation, perhaps even lack of water. So embellish your usual grooming rituals by adding perfume, candles, whatever seems indulgent to you.
- To celebrate the Assumption, go for a walk on Sunday, August 15th. Observe and gather the abundance of the earth mother: the wild herbs, grains and edible plants that you find growing.
- The full moon of Artemis-Hecate falls on August 20th this year. Celebrate by eating garlic or leaving an offering for Hecate at a crossroads.
Nelson, Gertrud Mueller, To Dance With God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration, Paulist Press 1986
Urlin, Ethel L, Festivals, Holy Days and Saints’ Days: A Study in Origins and Survivals in Church Ceremonies and Secular Customs, republished by Gale Research 1979
Warner, Marina, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, Vintage 1983
Waskow, Arthur, Seasons of Our Joy: A Modern Guide to the Jewish Holidays, Beacon 1982
In the Library: Books on Bread
Bread for All Seasons, Beth Hensperger, Chronicle 1995
Although I haven’t tried any of the recipes in this book, I love to feast on the gorgeous color pictures and I appreciate the way Hensperger incorporates other fruits of the season into the bread, along with history and folklore about the way bread is featured in seasonal celebrations.
The Italian Baker, Carol Field, Harper Collins 1985
Carol Field is one of my favorite cookbook writers, particularly because she’s as knowledgeable about folklore as she about cooking. I’ve found her recipes (except for the one above) intimidating and complex, but the folklore is outstanding. This book is dense with recipes and with information about the role bread has played in Italian culture over time.
On the Web: Great Links
One of my readers, Jennifer, sent me a link to a reproduction of a beautiful old Book of Days from the 1800’s which has been posted on the website of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s library.
I particularly appreciated this link because I spent many happy hours in the college library (at Reed College) poring over the pages of a similar edition of Chamber’s Book of Days, which definitely sparked my passion for these calendar customs.
Jennifer notes that the only way she’s found to print the pages is to import them one at a time into Microsoft Digital Imaging Software and size them to fit one page.
Another reader, Carmine, sent me a link to a great article called “For the Summer of It” by Ellen Goodman.
Flower of the Month: Dallying with Dahlias
The Flower of August is the dahlia. Click here to read more about the dahlia’s connection with the Aztec hummingbird-war god, Huitzilopochtli.
If you’d rather read my grumblings about the sorry state of flower folklore scholarship and ideas on creating your own floral calendar go to this page first.