We’re right in the fog layer and everything is dim and grey. Birds are all over the place and I don’t think that the feeder has stopped swinging and swaying from little beasties hopping on and off since I got out here this morning. It’s 50F and absolutely still.
Yesterday just sorta went. There wasn’t anything unusual. Customers shopping, friends stopping by to talk, the usual round of pick-up-put-away that we go through every day, just made it go by very fast.
We got a little time in on the obsidian. It needs to be scrubbed and then gone through to decide which goes out for sale and which gets tumbled.
I spent a lot of time in back yesterday working my way through getting herbs stored or prepped. I actually got some time in trying to find the best way to prep dried witch moss. Probably cutting it up small with scissors is going to be the best bet. Tearing it up, tears up my fingers, grinding and mortaring end up with too much dust in the air, so scissors are my friend! Baskets are getting emptied, the dehydrator has been put away, gradually the summer harvest is ending. O’course, that means we can start making fun stuff!
Tempus had some orders to finish and spent a lot of time swearing at his computer as it stubbornly refused to talk to the Post Office website, but it finally happened. He’s been down at the shop this morning, *still* trying to get it to finish an update!
We decided to stop at the store for some yummies on the way home and Jerry was standing out front! He’s a local crystals and minerals expert who’s been out of commission for a bit, having had some serious health issues in the last couple of months. It was good to see him in some kind of decent shape and we talked about that awesome geode that we’ve got at the shop and invited him to come look at it.
I spent the whole evening doing some food research. I’ve been tracking down some recipes for local foodstuffs, unusual things like salmon pie and crab imperial, even a baked shrimp dip, and I found some really unusual cookbooks on the Gutenberg project.
Tempus is back from the weekly shopping and putting things away, so I’d better go help!
Gorgeous moon on the ocean and beach pictures! This website has lots of Oregon Coast info about places and activities and things to do! http://www.beachconnection.net/news/moon102113_541.php
Today’s Plant is the Douglas Fir, pseudotsuga_menziesii, sometimes called Oregon Pine, since it’s actually a pine, not a fir at all. Common as Christmas trees, since they hold their needles better than many other trees, they are one of the better timber trees, growing quickly with a straight grain. Their main use, magickally, is in incense, since the resin has a good sweet scent. – Mars, Air/Fire – Attracting prosperity, purifying ritual areas and new homes, helping “stay the course” during difficult times. A wand or cone kept on the altar wards off evil influences. Carry cones to increase fertility and have a vigorous old age. Floor washes with the oil cleanse a space of negativity and ward off illness. Throw needles into winter fires for protection, or burn as incense for purification and divination. Place branches over the bed to keep sickness away, or to aid the ill. Hang a branch over the main door of your house to ensure continuous joy within. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudotsuga_menziesii
Festival of Perpendicular Sun – Illumination the Inner Sanctum of Ramses II, Abu Simbel Temple, Egypt (also February 22) – “The archaeological complex of Abu Simbel comprises two massive rock temples in southern Egypt on the western bank of the Nile. It is a part of the Nubian Monuments UNESCO World Heritage Site, which runs from Abu Simbel downriver as far as Philae.
“Crowds pack into the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creeping through the stone. Eventually, statues of Ramses, Ra and Amun are illuminated in the inner sanctum (the statute of Ptah – the god of darkness – remains in the shadows). When they have recovered their breath, spectators can join celebrations outside, including a fair and music demonstrations. However, nothing can really impress you immediately after witnessing such a sight.”
“The most remarkable feature of the site is that the temple is precisely oriented so that twice every year, on 22 February and 22 October, the first rays of the morning sun shine down the entire length of the temple-cave to illuminate the back wall of the innermost shrine and the statues of the four gods seated there. … Precisely this same effect was apparently also fundamental to the design of the artificial cave of Newgrange in Ireland.” Source here: http://witcombe.sbc.edu/sacredplaces/abusimbel.html More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Simbel_temples
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday. 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 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. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 11/1 at 4:50am PST. 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 Waning Quarter on 10/26 at 4:40pm.
It’s October — so have you tried to spot the companion of Sirius yet? Accompanying Sirius is the first-discovered white dwarf, 1/10,000 as bright and currently 10.0 arcseconds to its east. Early dawn in October is an excellent time to look for it, for reasons that Alan Whitman explains in the October Sky & Telescope, page 30. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newtrack/st_201310/
Last Tuesday morning, Whitman spotted Sirius B surprisingly easily in a big scope: it “was seen immediately in my 16-inch at 261x (7mm orthoscopic eyepiece) with a lunar filter (since I hadn’t thought to bring out my occulting-bar eyepiece).” It’s possible in much smaller scopes too — given first-rate dawn seeing.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.2, in Gemini) rises in the east-northeast around 11 p.m. and blazes high in the south by early dawn. About 8° left of it after it rises are Castor and Pollux.
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree month of Gort/Ivy, Sep 30 – Oct 27
Runic half-month of Wunjo/Wyn – October 13-28 – Wyn represents joy, the rune being the shape of a weather vane. The month represents the creation of harmony within the given conditions of the present.
©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
Tu 22 High 3:33 AM 6.8 7:41 AM Set 11:20 AM 91
~ 22 Low 9:03 AM 2.8 6:20 PM Rise 8:59 PM
~ 22 High 2:50 PM 7.8
~ 22 Low 9:47 PM -0.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – One does not learn by speaking.
~ The secret lies in how we handle today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Today…that special block of time holding the key that locks out yesterday’s nightmares and unlocks tomorrow’s dreams. – Charles Swindoll, Clergyman and writer
~ Politics, when I am in it, it makes me sick. – William Howard Taft (1857-1930) US President (27)
~ As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, THINK BIG. – Donald Trump
~ Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. – Mark Twain
Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race. – William Howard Taft (1857-1930) US President (27)
Magick – Samhain Lore
Halloween – The myth of Samhain: “Celtic god of the dead”
Identifying Samhain as a Celtic Death God is one of the most tenacious errors associated with Halloween.
Almost all stories about the origin of Halloween correctly state that Halloween had its origins among the ancient Celts and is based on their “Feast of Samhain.” However, a writer in the 18th century incorrectly stated that Samhain was named after the famous Celtic “God of the Dead.” Many religious conservatives who are opposed to Halloween, Druidism, and/or Wicca picked up this belief without checking its accuracy, and accepted it as valid.
No such God ever existed. By the late 1990’s many secular sources such as newspapers and television programs had picked up the error and propagated it widely. It is now a nearly universal belief, particularly among conservative Protestants.
Modern-day Samhain is the day when many Wiccans believe that their God dies, later to be reborn. [Wicca is a Neo-pagan, Earth-centered religion.] Thus, Samhain is not a God of death; it is actually began as a yearly observance of the death of a God.
Was/is Samhain a Celtic God?
The answer is a definite yes and no:
|YES. He did exist. Many Neopagan and secular sources are probably wrong. As As Isaac Bonewits writes: “Major dictionaries of Celtic Languages don’t mention any ‘Samhain’ deity…” 8 However, there is some evidence that there really was an obscure, little known character named Samain or Sawan who played the role of a very minor hero in Celtic mythology. His main claim to fame was that Balor of the Evil Eye stole his magical cow. His existence is little known, even among Celtic historians. He was a hero, not a god. It is likely that he was named after the end of summer celebration rather than vice-versa.|
|NO. Many conservative Christian and secular sources are definitely wrong; there is/was no Celtic God of the Dead. The Great God Samhain appears to have been invented in the 18th century, as a God of the Dead before the ancient Celtic people and their religion were studied by historians and archaeologists.|
McBain’s Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language says that ‘samhuinn’ (the Scots Gaelic spelling) means ‘summer’s end’…” The Celts observed only two seasons of the year: summer and winter. So, Samhain was celebrated at one of the transitions between these seasons.
Samhain is pronounced “sah-van” or “sow-in” (where “ow” rhymes with “cow”). Samhain is Irish Gaelic for the month of November. Samhuin is Scottish Gaelic for All Hallows, NOV-1.
A language expert has commented that the “mh” in Samhain and Samhuin “would originally have been pronounced like an “m” made without quite closing your mouth.” At the present time, the original pronunciation is still heard. Some tighten it to a “v” sound (typical in the south) or loosen it to a “w” sound (typical in the west and, especially, the north). In “Samhain” the “w” pronunciation would be most common.” 20
There are many sources supporting the conclusion that Samhain refers to the festival, not a God of the Dead. They come from Celtic, Druidic, Irish, and Wiccan individuals and groups:
|Wiccan web site “Brightest Blessings” mentions:”Samhain (October 31), most often recognized as our New Year, is also called Ancestor Night. It represented the final harvest, when the crops were safely stored for the coming Winter. As the veil between the worlds of life and death is thin on this night, we take this time to remember our beloved dead.“|
|W.J, Bethancourt III has an online essay which traces the God Samhain myth back to the year 1770 when Col. Charles Vallency wrote a 6 volume set of books which attempted to prove that the Irish people once came from Armenia. Samhain as a god was later picked up in a 1827 book by Godfrey Higgins. 9That book attempted to prove that the Druids originally came from India. The error might have originated in confusion over the name of Samana, an ancient Vedic/Hindu deity. Bethancourt comments:”With modern research, archaeology and the study of the Indo-European migrations, these conclusions can be seen as the complete errors they were…“Later, he writes: “ ‘Samhain’ is the name of the holiday. There is no evidence of any god or demon named ‘Samhain,’ ‘Samain,’ ‘Sam Hane,’ or however you want to vary the spelling.“|
|Rowan Moonstone, a Wiccan, comments:”I’ve spent several years trying to trace the “Great God Samhain” and I have YET to find seminal sources for the same. The first reference seems to be from Col. Vallency in the 1700s and then Lady Wilde in her book ‘Mystic Charms and Superstitions’ advances the ‘Samhain, lord of the dead’ theory. Vallency, of course was before the work done on Celtic religion in either literature or archaeology.” 12|
|The Irish English Dictionary, published by the Irish Texts Society, defines Samhain as follows:”Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered.” 13|
|The Scottish Gaelis Dictionary similarly defines Samhain as:”Hallowtide. The Feast of All Soula. Sam + Fuin = end of summer.” 14|
|J.C. Cooper, author of The Dictionary of Festivals identifies Samhain as:|
“Samhain or Samhuinn: (Celtic). 31 October, Eve of 1 November, was the beginning of the Celtic year, the beginning of the season of cold, dearth and darkness.” 19
|Wiccans have attempted to reconstruct the ancient Celtic religion. They include this festival as one of their 8 Sabbats (seasonal days of celebration). They do not acknowledge the existence of a God of the Dead named Samhain or a similar deity by any other name. Modern-day Druids and other Neopagans also celebrate Samhain as a special day.|
Meaning of Samhain according to most conservative Christians:
The belief that Samhain is a Celtic God of the Dead is near universal among conservative Christian ministries, authors and web sites. They rarely cite references. This is unfortunate, because it would greatly simplify the job of tracing the myth of Samhain as a God back to its origin:
|In 1989, Johanna Michaelsen wrote a book opposing the New Age, Humanism and Wicca. It is titled “Your Child and the Occult” 4 She writes:”The Feast of Samhain was a fearsome night, a dreaded night, a night in which great bonfires were lit to Samana the Lord of Death, the dark Aryan god who was known as the Grim Reaper, the leader of the ancestral Ghosts.“|
|The Watchman Fellowship Inc is a conservative Christian counter-cult group which attempts to raise public concern over religious groups whose theological teachings deviate from orthodox Christianity. Lately, they have also been expressing concern about the dangers of inter-religious dialog. They seem to imply that belief in Baal, a Middle Eastern deity, made it all the way into Celtic lands. They assert:”It [Halloween] was at this time of the year that Baal, the Celtic god of Spring and Summer, ended his reign. It was also when the Lord of the Dead, Samhain, began his reign.“|
|David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam serial killer, converted to conservative Christianity after his trial and incarceration. He has claimed that he was simply a lookout for an evil Satanic cult who actually performed the murders. He further states that “Sam” in “Son of Sam” comes from the name of the Celtic God of the Dead, Samhain, which he pronounced “Sam-hane.” His story is suspect because:
|David Porter, author of “Hallowe’en: Treat or Trick?,” comments:|
“The Celtic New Year festival was known as the celebration of Samhain, the Lord of the Dead.”
|The “Exposing Satanism” website states:|
“Halloween, All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day is [sic] a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called “lord of death”. It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.” 21
|John Ankerbert & John Weldon have written a series of pamphlets that are among the best works by conservative Christian authors for the general public. They make extensive use of footnotes and exhibit careful research of their topic. 17 Apparently they were faced with a conflict with respect to Samhain – whether:
They compromised by stating:
“…400 names of Celtic gods are known…’Samhain’ as the specific name of the Lord of Death is uncertain, but it is possible that the Lord of Death was the chief druidic deity. We’ll follow the lead of several other authors and call him Samhain.”
This is a strange comment, because they must have been aware that there is no mention in the historical record of a major Celtic God called Samhain. Thus is it most improbable that Samhain would be the chief Druidic deity, and have gone so long undetected.
|On the other hand there are conservative Christians who follow the lead of archaeological and religious research. Richard Bucher from a Massachusetts congregation of the Lutheran church – Missouri Synod writes: 16“Nothing in the extant literature or in the archaeological finds supports the notion that there ever existed a god of the dead known as Samam (sometimes spelled, ‘Samhain,’ pronounced ‘sow -en’), though hundreds of gods’ names are known. Rather, Saman or Samhain is the name of the festival itself. It means “summer’s end” and merely referred to the end of one year and the beginning of the new.|
This misinformation is caused by numerous conservative Protestant writers copying material from other conservative Protestant writers, without first checking its validity.
Meaning of Samhain according to secular sources:
Most newspapers and other secular sources appear to be following conservative Christian thought, rather than academic research. Two examples are:
Lee Carr wrote the text for a web site “Halloweenies…For kids not meanies.” 5 She writes:
“Druids would feast and build huge bonfires to celebrate the Sun God, and thank him for the food that the land produced. The next day, November 1st, was the Celtic New Year, and it was believed that on this day the souls of all dead people would gather together. Therefore, on Halloween, the Celts would also honor the God of the Dead, Samhain.”
Scottish Radiance writes about Samhain: 7
“The Celtics believed, that during the winter, the sun god was taken prisoner by Samhain, the Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness…On the eve before their new year (October 31), it was believed that Samhain called together all the dead people.”
Gods named Sam…:
There appear to be many, mostly male, deities which had names starting with “Sam.” None were Celtic. However, the similarity in their names to Samhain might have contributed to the confusion:
|Samael was a name in Hebrew for an accuser and a member of God’s inner council in charge of dirty deeds|
|Samana, “the leveler” is the name of an Aryan God of Death (a.k.a. Yama, Sradhadeva, Antaka, or Kritanta) according to the ancient Veda scriptures of Hinduism.|
|Samas was the Sun God of the northern Semites|
|Sams was the Sun Goddess of southern Semites|
|Shamash was the Sun God and God of righteousness, law and divination of the Assyrians and Babylonians|
Another Celtic “God”: Muck Olla
“Muck Olla” surfaces in some conservative Christian sources as an alleged “early Druid [sic] deity.” 10Another web site refers to Muck Olla as a Celtic sun god. 15 Muck (if we can be so familiar as to refer to a God by his first name) is in reality a type of mythical boogie-man from Yorkshire in England. His name is grounded in old folk stories; he never existed as a Druidic God.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Broceliande, “Wheel of the Year,” at: http://www.triplemoon.com/
- “Brightest Blessings,” at: http://www.no-exit-studios.demon.co.uk/
- Johanna Michaelsen, “Your Child and the Occult: Like Lambs to the Slaughter,” Harvest House, Eugene OR, (1989), Page 185.
- Lee Carr, “Halloweenies…For kids not meanies,” at: http://nashville.citysearch.com/
- J. & S. Farrar, “Eight Sabbats for Witches,” Phoenix Publishing, Custer, WA (1981), Page 121
- Scottish Radiance, “The Story of Halloween,” at: http://www.scottishradiance.com/
- Isaac Bonowits, “The Real Origins of Halloween 3.9.7” at: http://www.neopagan.net/
- W.J. Bethancourt III, “Halloween, Myths, Monsters and Devils,” at: http://www.illusions.com/ A superb site.
- Mrs. Gloria Phillips, “Halloween: What It Is From A Christian Perspective,” at: http://www.webzonecom.com/
- The Watchman Fellowship at: http://www.watchman.org/
- Rowan Moonstone, “The Origins of Halloween” at: http://www.geocities.com/
- Patrick Dineen, “An Irish English Dictionary” (Dublin, 1927), Page 937 Quoted in 12
- Malcolm MacLennan, “A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language” (Aberdeen, 1979), Page 279. Quoted in 12
- David L. Brown, “The Dark Side of Halloween“, LOGOS Communication Consortium, at: http://www.execpc.com/
- Richard Bucher, “Can Christians Celebrate Halloween” at: http://www.ultranet.com/
- J. Ankerberg & J. Weldon, “The Facts on Halloween: What Christians Need to Know,” Harvest House, Eugene OR (1996), Page 6.
- David Porter, “Hallowe’en: Treat or Trick?,” Monarch, Tunbridge Wells, UK (1993), Page 24.
- J.C. Cooper, “The Dictionary of Festivals,” (1995), Thorsons, London, UK, Page 189-190.
- Personal E-mail, 2006-FEB-23.
- “Halloween,” Exposing Satanism, at: http://www.exposingsatanism.org/