Esbat tonight at the shop.
The weather turned so pretty yesterday! The sunlight is so much stronger, (well, the days are getting longer by 3 minutes per, now!) that even what would be rather silvery days in December are all bright and shiny polished! It was 61F during the afternoon, so my window got opened and the air smelled so good!
I got the newsletter out while I was having breakfast and started setting up this week’s. I was still awfully tired, so I ended up taking a nap, but then got to work on mail and website updates, eventually getting to the new Cafe Press items for OCPPG, but I definitely took the long way around through talking with some suppliers…. and Tempus …and watching some e-cards…. and finding some more of the garlic cheese…that stuff is holding up really well!
There were birds on the feeder all afternoon. The jays were obvious, since they announced their presence, but the little birds just twittered and cheeped constantly. I think a bunch of them must be nesting in the clematis up near the porch roof, but I can’t tell for certain. It’s the noise level that’s making me think so. I finally asked Tempus to put another suet cup out. …and he didn’t, so I did.
I heard the lawn mower going in the late afternoon not long after I had closed the window because the clematis pollen level got high enough to make me start sneezing. …and then I fought the computer. For some darned reason nothing was letting me log in. Two of the mail accounts, cafe press and spoonflower all were saying I didn’t exist!
The light didn’t make it all the way up the trees. There must have been a cloudbank in the west. Despite that my little candle didn’t flicker on until 5:50. 20 minutes after that the alder was just a silvery ghost in the twilight.
I also found out, right about then, that Tempus *had* set up some bread, but forgot to tell me. It was about to overflow, so I got the pan buttered (with garlic butter <licking chops>) and set it to rising. My little ice cream cone timer is awol, so I had to watch the clock. I have an awful tendency to forget ….
I made a couple of cocktails for the two of us. I had a mostly-scraped out nutella jar, so I added cream and shook it and zapped it for 30 seconds and shook it, and 30 more and shook and by them most of what was left on the jar was all in the cream. That went into a pair of stanki with a couple of coffee ice cubes each and got topped up with rum, a little vanilla extract (made from the same rum) and left to sit…and then they got shoved into the freezer because we were running late.
Marius stopped at the house and since the bread was running late and Tempus wasn’t in costume, yet, just Marius and I went down to the restaurant. If I had a quarter for every bugged out pair of eyes that landed on us while we were there, it would have paid for all three dinners! Tempus got there a bit later and we all talked and ate and had a great time. We ended up coming up with a bunch of class and project ideas.
So, today, we’re getting up quite late. I made the mistake of turning over and snuggling up and it’s 3 hours later…. I have to get some newsletter stuff done and then we’re going to spend a couple of hours at the shop doing some cleaning up before esbat. Tempus needs to shift some things that I can’t and I have to tell him where they go.
Today’s plant is Anthurium. This is a genus of about 1000 species of flowering plants, the largest genus of the arum family, Araceae. The most common names for this plant that is beloved by florists include anthurium, tailflower, flamingo flower, and laceleaf. The genus is native to the Americas, where it is distributed from northern Mexico to northern Argentina and parts of the Caribbean. – Masculine, Fire, Vesta & Mars – Correspondences are for bringing love and beauty to the home, hearth fires and passion. Great handfasting plant! More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthurium
On this date in 747BCE Nabonassar began the habit of keeping chronologically precise historical records, at least according to Ptolemy. There were precedents, isolated sets of records, but he came up with a system of calendar dates that could be calculated accurately enough to keep astronomical events dated properly. This is what actually gave the Babylonians that reputation of being awesome astronomers and astrology, as practiced since the late Middle Ages, is based on the Babylonian record-keeping methods. More on Nabonassar here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabonassar and Babylonian astrology here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_astrology
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday, although closing time is drifting later with the longer days. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com 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.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is in Hecate’s Brooch. 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 3/1. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends on 2/27 at 1pm.
Wednesday, Feb. 26, sunrise – The Moon close to Venus – The slender crescent moon will be just to the left of Venus, which will appear as a miniature crescent in small telescopes. The moon will occult Venus in parts of Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.
About 30 minutes before sunrise Thursday morning, scan with binoculars very low in the east-southeast (far lower left of Venus) for the superthin crescent Moon with Mercury to its lower left.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.5, in Gemini) dominates the high south during evening. Read lots about observing Jupiter telescopically in the January Sky & Telescope, http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newtrack/st_201401/ or see our briefer online article Jupiter: Big, Bright, and Beautiful. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/238809441.html
Goddess Month of of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn)
Runic half-month of Sowulo/ Sigel, 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. Runic half-month of Teiwaz/Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress.
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), ash – the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).
Nuin – Ash Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Glass Green
Meaning: Locked into a chain of events; Feeling bound.
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.
~ To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease. – Lao Tzu
~ An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination. – Voltaire (1694-1778) French Philosopher and Author
~ The best way to hold a man is in your arms. – Mae West
~ A true friend stabs you in the front. – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish writer and wit
A Measure Of Happiness (anonymous)
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, ” The devil’s name is Depression.
4. Enjoy the simple things. When the children are young, that is all that you can afford. When they are in college, that is all that you can afford. When you are on retirement, that is all that you can afford.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by your distinctive laughter.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be alive while you are alive, don’t put out a mailbox on the highway of death and just wait in residence for your mail.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don’t take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a foreign country, but not to guilt country.
10. Tell the people you love, that you love them, at every opportunity. And always remember . . . Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Ostara, by Tryskelion – http://www.tryskelion.com/tryskelion/ostara.htm
Ostara (Eostre) circa March 21, also known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox, is one of two dates where day and night are equal; a point of balance, after which the forces of light gain power and preeminence over the powers of darkness until it reaches its ultimate at Midsummer.
Deities honored during this festival are those of the maiden goddess and the youthful, warrior god. The sabbat takes its name from Eostra (Ostara), the Goddess of the Dawn, the Saxon Goddess who heralds the triumphant rebirth of the Sun and the return of the greening season. Hellenic traditions celebrate the return of Persephone, Demeter’s daughter, from Hades. Some sects see this as the time of courtship between the God and the Goddess, whose relationship will then be consummated at the following sabbat of Beltaine.
When the Catholic Church preempted this rite, as with so many others, it kept the essence of the sabbat, but appropriated its essential properties for Christ. Ostara has always been a rite celebrating the resurrection and restoration of the Sun. The Holy Roman Church simply ascribed the resurrection to Christ, also known as the Son, who is also described in biblical terms as “the Light.” Even the way in which “Easter” is arrived at is Pagan in origin, calculated from the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox. That is, of course, unless a full moon falls on that date; at which time, the Easter sabbath falls on the following Sunday. While they were forced by an unchangeable astronomical event into keeping the essential date of the original Pagan Sabbat, it seems that having the Holy Easter Sabbath on a full moon was simply too much for the Church to abide!
Ostara is the beginning of the fertility festivals. Buds begin to push their way through the earth to reach the strengthening sun’s light; animals in the wild feel the ancient instinct to breed; the energies of Nature shift subtly from the torpor of Winter to the exuberant activity of Spring. It is a time of new beginnings, of action, of saying goodbye to the old and making room for the new. We can see this urge reflected in our lives even today. We talk of “Spring cleaning” and “In Spring, a young man’s fancy turns to…”; the desire to run the greening fields (or, in our world, walk the parks, fish, and other outdoor activities) vies urgently with the obligation of our workday routines, often resulting in “sick leave days” and spur-of-the-moment “personal days” where the real excuse is “Spring Fever.”
Symbols of this holiday include eggs, rabbits, and flowers of all kinds. Modern secular activities such as the dying of Easter Eggs are remnants of ancient Pagan traditions. The Anglo-Saxons painted eggs with their hopes and dreams and presented them as a gift to Eostre. These eggs were then buried in the Earth, so that the Earth-Mother would know dreams of her children, in hopes that She would see fit to help them realize their desires. This practice predates Christianity by approximately 1000 years.
Rabbits (hares) were the companions of Eostre, and she is still often pictured with a hare by Her side. Because of their well-acknowledged reproductive ability, they are the perfect compliments to the start of a fertility-based season.
In many cultures, the Goddess was known not only as the Goddess of Fertility, but also as the Goddess of Grain. Therefore, special cakes and breads were baked and given to Her in offering. This tradition remained, long after the original reasons were lost, and we still see people baking special Easter breads and cakes today.
Other foods traditional to this season include those made of seeds, as well as pine nuts. Also, green leafy vegetables and sprouts are equally appropiate. Some groups create special dishes made of flowers, such as stuffed nasturtiums or carnation cupcakes.
Activities appropriate to celebrate the day include those listed above, as well as randomly collecting wildflowers on a walk through the woods, or buying a mixed bouquet from a florist. The flowers you choose will often reveal your inner thoughts and emotions, and their meanings to you can be divined through books, pendulum, and your intuition.
Some groups set the seeds they’ll soon be planting within the sacred Circle of their Ostara rituals. In this way, either a special charging ritual can be done for the seeds, or the seeds can simply absorb the energy of the Circle. They can then be planted safely after the next full moon.
Ritual cleaning is often done, though usually in the secular vein today. It seems people are driven by the need to throw open the windows to our homes and force out all the stale, winter air. Many of us clean the house from top to bottom; sweeping every nook and cranny from ceiling to floor; cleaning out cabinets and drawers, and scrubbing them, too. Often, many choose this time of year to change the liners in drawers, or to put away the winter bedding in favor of the lighter-weight summer linen. Heavy winter clothes are washed, folded, and put away and the lighter weight spring and summer clothes find their way into our closets.
This same mundane ritual of household cleaning can be applied to our inner selves, as well. Use Ostara to clean out all the mental cobwebs and to throw away all the old, negative modes of thought. Throw open the doors to your mind, heart, and soul and let the gentle breezes of Ostara breathe new hope and the vigor of youth into your newly awakening life.