I don’t have time to write up yesterday for today’s newsletter. Sunday is the early class day and I have to be ready to roll out the door way too soon. I’ll try to post it later in the day.
Tempus is out on his paper route, back at work after our anniversary break.
Brea is teaching her Elements class this morning, because I’m pretty tired after yesterday.
OCPPG staff meeting looks like it will be 11/24.
Born today in 1853 Lillie Langtry (d. February 12, 1929), born on the island of Jersey, hence her nickname, ‘The Jersey Lily’. Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, was a British music hall singer and stage actress famous for her many stage productions including She Stoops to Conquer, The Lady of Lyons and As You Like It. She was also known for her relationships with nobility, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Prince Louis of Battenberg.Among her friends were the Irish writer Oscar Wilde and the American artist James McNeill Whistler. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillie_Langtry
Today’s plant is Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus, (not watercress, which is true nasturtium) since that’s what I was talking about. It’s certainly not native to the PNW, but grows well here. I love the brilliant oranges and yellows of the flowers. They’re yummy, too, with a slightly peppery taste, both leaf and flower and the seeds serve as a substitute for capers in pickles. The flowers stand for Victory in Battle; Patriotism and Affectation and are little used in magicks other than as symbols and foods for Ostara and Beltane celebrations because of their association with the Sun. They also can be used as a symbol for sacrifice to the larger good of soldiers, firemen and police, but are usually only seen at funerals in this context. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropaeolum_majus
The shop opens at 11am! Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday, although we’ll be closing at sunset as that creeps backwards to 5pm. 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 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 10/18 at 4:38pm.
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. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends on 10/17 at 4:38am.
The zenith star soon after dark (for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes) is no longer Vega but Deneb. It will remain there for weeks to come, since night is falling earlier and earlier all the time — counteracting the westward turning of the constellations if you observe at nightfall.
Venus (magnitude –4.4) shines brightly in the southwest during dusk, gradually moving higher week by week. In a telescope it is waning to be hardly more than half lit, and enlarging to be 21 arcseconds tall.
before morning twilight – Zodiacal Light – This faint light reflected from countless pieces of interplanetary material will be visible in dark skies for the next two weeks. It rises in a conical shape along the ecliptic before morning twilight.
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Gort/Ivy, Sep 30 – Oct 27 – Gort – (GORT), ivy – Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is also a vine, growing to 30 m (100 feet) long in beech woods and around human habitations, where it is widely planted as a ground cover. Ivy produces greenish flowers before Samhain on short, vertical shrubby branches. The leaves of these flowering branches lack the characteristic lobes of the leaves of the rest of the plant. Like holly, ivy is evergreen, its dark green leaves striking in the bare forests of midwinter. Ivy is widely cultivated in North America. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae).
Gort – Ivy Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Sky Blue
Meaning: Take time to soul search or you will make a wrong decision.
to study this month Uilleand – Honeysuckle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: P, PE, UI
Meaning: Proceed with caution.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 13 Low 2:07 AM 0.4 7:29 AM Set 1:33 AM 60
~ 13 High 8:48 AM 6.6 6:35 PM Rise 3:41 PM
~ 13 Low 2:42 PM 2.6
~ 13 High 8:28 PM 6.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – When you open your eyes to greet this day….remember to first love yourself, celebrate your strengths and know that you are loved, that you are needed, valued and appreciated and take the time to wish yourself a very special Happy Valentines Day, no matter what the day of the year…for if you feel the love you can share the love within…
~ From a wild weird clime, that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE — out of TIME. -Edgar Allan Poe (dream-land)
~ No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure. – James K. Polk (1795-1849) US President (11)
~ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. – Hanns-Oskar Porr
~ The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
~ A heartfelt smile gives warmth enough for three winters. – Mongolian Proverb
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 – Samhain Tidbit
Samhain by Half Wolf
Summer is at its end and the last harvest is taken in. The cold season returns, all of nature seems to die and the nights become long. It is the beginning of Samon, the dark half of the year. The veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead becomes thinnest, and their souls walk amongst us on this Spirit Night. Just as the Sun God dies at this time to be reborn at Yule, Samhain reaffirms the belief that everything that dies contains new life.
Samhain (pronounced Sow-en), means “summer’s end” and is the most important of the four Celtic Fire Festivals since it marks the new year. It also survives as as Nos Galen-gaeof (Welsh as the Night of the Winter Calends), Samhna (modern Irish), Laa Houney (Manx as Hollantide Day), Sauin, Souney, Samana, and Samhuinn. November 1st became Christianized when St. Odilo of Cluny adopted it in 998 as All Saints/Souls Day. October 31st then became All Hallows Eve (hallowed meaning holy), which has been contracted into our modern Halloween. The Celts began their day with sunset, and so it is celebrated on the eve.
Perhaps of all the Pagan Sabbats, Samhain has kept more of it’s original traditions intact. With Halloween being heavily commercialized today, the wearing of masks, symbols of the dead and “trick or treating” continues, although its original meaning has been forgotten or misconstrued. First and foremost, Samhain has been a feast for the dead, but is far from being an “evil” holiday. As keeping with custom, many Pagans still choose to remember and honor those that have passed on.
Trick or Treating and mischief has long been a part of Samhain, although now only children participate. Bands of (dis)guisers would wander mock from door to door, mock begging as they went, dressed as the spirits of the dead so they might walk amongst them unnoticed. If a home was thought stingy, it would bring them bad luck, and like the spirits they might play a trick if not appeased; chimneys would be stuffed, outhouses overturned and animals freed from their pens. Celtic laws of hospitality were not to be violated, especially in front of their ancestors on this night.
Bonfires are an ancient part of Samhain. They were once literally bone-fires and the smoke was thought to have purifying qualities. As with Beltane, all fires were extinguished and then relit from the fire of the sacred flame. This was a practice that long survived in Ireland, the bonfire being the one kindled on the hill of Tlachtga.
Pumpkins were made popular as Jack O’Lanterns in the 1800’s by Irish immigrants who brought the festival with them to America. Originally turnips or cabbages were carved out and candles placed inside. They were left along roads to the cemeteries and carried by guisers. Lit candles were also placed in windows so that the spirits of the dead might find their way.
Divination, communication with the dead and superstition have long been a part of Samhain. At no other time of the year are visions and dreams likely to be so potent. Many of the types of divination revolve around other symbols such as apples and hazelnuts, and others generally have to do with death. It was, for example, a Scottish custom to place white stones in the ashes on the hearth on Samhain night; if anyone’s stone had been disturbed, they would not live to see another year.
Apples are the Celtic Silver Bough, a fruit of the Otherworld sacred to the Northern European Traditions. They symbolize fertility, love, wisdom and were often used in divination. To realize the that this is a sacred fruit, one has to do no more than to cut it crossways revealing the five pointed star; the pentacle. November 1st also coincides with the Roman festival of Pomona, a feast of ripening fruits when the summer stores are opened for eating in the Winter.
Many customs and superstitions surround the apple. If eaten on Samhain, apple an would bring a dream of a future lover, and gave rise to people competing to take bites when “Bobbing for Apples”. They might also see their future spouse’s initial in an apple peel, depending on its shape upon landing when thrown over the shoulder. In Wales, apples are buried in the ground for those who have passed on, so the departed might enjoy them on the other side.
Hazel nuts are also associated with Samhain. The hazel is a sacred tree of the groves and is said to grow on the Isle of Avalon as the “Tree of Life”. The nuts themselves represent love, peace and hidden knowledge. Two nuts burned together at Samhain may foretell whether a couple shall remain true to one another. This practice may stem from the legend of the Well of Connla which exists under the sea; it is said a hazel tree with nine nuts hangs over it that are able to awaken love when eaten.
Samhain is seen as being a time when the dead have power over the living and walk amongst them with as this is a “day between times”. With oncoming of the cold and potential food shortages, winter was something to be feared. Offerings of bread and milk were left out for the sidhe, the faeries, who the dead join in the otherworld. They were never entirely seen to be benign, but capable of harming the living if slighted and were therefore treated with respect. All food left in the fields after Samhain was considered to have been “spat upon” or contaminated by the Puka – a warning that anything left unclaimed was the property of the sidhe. “Dumb suppers” are also eaten in silence, out of respect for the dead, since they cannot speak. Ancestors and loved ones were invited, doors unlocked and a separate place would be set for them at the table; complete with food and drink.
This is the night of “The Wild Hunt” led by the Lord of the otherworld. He is known as Arawn or Gwynn ap Nudd. He would collect the souls of the dead who had passed away during the year and hunted with his white hounds the unlucky ones who had done evil during their lifetimes. This bridge between the two worlds also shows itself with the “hobby horse” that often accompanied the guisers; the “night mare” who bears away the souls of the dead across her back.
Storytelling was an important part of Samhain and many legends of kings and heroes are associated with it. It is at this time the Battle of Magh Tuireadh took place, the great battle when the Tuatha de Danaan defeated the Formorians. The story, “The Intoxication of the Ulsterman”, where Cuchulainn led a drunken company across Ireland, occurs on Samhain; it was also later to be the day of his death. Many other stories tell of links to the otherworld; such as the death of hero Muirchertach brought about by his sidhe wife.
On Samhain, the last sheaf of grain was cut and dressed up as an elderly woman, known as the “Carlin”. This is the Cailleach (meaning old woman), the underworld goddess Cerridwen, who guards her magick cauldron of rebirth. She has become distorted by modern Halloween which portrays her as a grotesque hag; the “witch” we were taught to fear as children. Like her Greek equivalent Hecate, she represents sacred knowledge, wisdom and the moon in its waning phase.
Her animal is the sow and is usually represented as white, but with the idea of Celtic duality, she may be represented at this time of year as black. When the Samhain bonfire died out, people would run down the hill shouting, “May the Black Sow seize the hindmost!”; possibly an allusion to the sacrifices that may have once been connected with this day.
In Rome, boys would play a game that also represented the Crone at this time of year. It’s symbolism was that of the Maiden and Crone; the Maiden let loose a lamb and the Crone a Dragon. The lamb defeated the dragon, but then the Crone would release a lion who overcame the lamb, and in doing so the Crone was left to reign over the season of darkness.
So this Samhain, light an candle in your window, place photos on your altar and leave out an extra setting for an unseen visitor. Use the time to remember those that have crossed over to Summerland. They’ll be watching.
Call of the Horned Piper,
Nigel Aldcroft Jackson
Celebrating the Southern Seasons, Juliet Batten
Alwyn and Brinley Rees
The Celtic Tradition,
The Dictionary of Festivals,
J. C. Cooper
Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Peter Ellis
Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom, Caitlin and John Matthews
Life and Death of a Druid Prince, Ann Ross and Don Robins
IThe Magic Arts in Celtic Britain, Lewis Spence
The Magickal Year,
The Real Origins of Halloween,
1996 Article, Isaac Bonewits
Article by Half Wolf © A. L. Folberth 1997 / HalfWolf HalfWolfie@AOL.com
Permission given to reprint, copy and circulate for personal use so long as nothing whatsoever is changed. Church address and URL must remain on the copy. If this article is included as part of a book, magazine or newsletter which is intended for resale, 5 cents per word is asked to be donated to the PaganCommunityChurch.
Thanks for Rev. Alicia Folberth/HalfWolf for submitting to RealMagick.