Yesterday I had to shake Tempus awake, but we got to the shop almost on time. <sigh> The sky was full of white, puffy clouds in a lovely shade of pastel blue. It was cool, but the air smelled so good we opened the shop doors for awhile…. only to close them when we started to shiver! …and then huddled over coffee cups, blowing on our hands! We puttered up front and on the computers, trying to get ourselves thinking again.
I put together a couple of gift baskets. I need to get a few more done for the usual late spring silent auctions. We started on inventory, but the the Duckmeister came in and then my writer friend, so we all talked for a bit and the Tempus and I had lunch before we started back in.
We didn’t get home until almost 11 and then I got nabbed by a couple of friends as I got online to check messages. I ended up talking to one until past 5am. Not smart….
Today another old friend is coming to visit. This is someone that I used to work with extensively in the 90’s, but haven’t seen since the year 2000.
I’ve often heard people talk about “beach thistle”, but Sea Holly, Eryngium maritimum, isn’t one. It’s actually related to carrots. The young shoots can be blanched and eaten like asparagus and the roots (which can get up to 20 feet long!!!!) are peeled, boiled and cut, then braided and candied. Prepared thus they are a good cough and cold remedy. The roots can also be boiled or roasted as well and are very nutritious. It is native to Europe, but going extinct in certain areas. – Masculine, Fire, Venus – This plant is an aphrodisiac, pure and simple.
Today in Ancient Greece began the Urban Dionysia, the festival of the great tragedies in Athens, particularly during the 5th century BCE, although the festival continued will into the time of the Roman Empire. For 5 days, Satyr plays ended each day’s presentation of a 3-part tragedy (..think the Lord of the Rings movie, followed by a Bugs Bunny cartoon, all in one day…) and there was a competition for dithyrambs (ecstatic poetry that was sung and danced to) and short comedies, along with processions and sacrifices. There was another festival in summer, which featured comedies. Theater was sacred to Dionysus and theaters were considered to be temples. Inspiration came from the god. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysia#City_Dionysia
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! Spring hours are 11am-6pm 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 3/30 at 11:45am. 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 at 6:46pm.
Tuesday, March 18 – Tuesday, Apr. 1, after evening twilight – Zodiacal Light – The faint glow of the zodiacal light, reflected from millions of tiny interplanetary particles, will be visible from northern latitudes in the western sky right after evening twilight ends. Fainter than the Milky Way, this is only visible in really dark skies. The Milky Way arches from southwest to northwest, while the zodiacal light rises straight up from the western horizon underneath Jupiter.
Tuesday, March 18, 10 p.m. local time – Mars, Spica, and the Moon – Look towards the eastern horizon around 10 p.m. and you’ll see the moon, two days past full, rising with the planet Mars to its left and Spica to its right.
The Moon, Mars, and Spica form a striking triangle after they rise in the east late tonight and on into dawn on the morning of the 19th.
Goddess Month of of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Fearn – Alder Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: F, V
Meaning: Help in making choices; spiritual guidance and protection.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 18 High 2:10 AM 7.8 7:23 AM Set 8:10 AM 98
18 Low 8:32 AM 0.6 7:26 PM Rise 9:56 PM
18 High 2:35 PM 7.2
18 Low 8:36 PM 1.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Do not lose Joy in your Spirit.
~ Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. – Lin Yutang (1895-1976) Chinese writer
~ You don’t drown by falling in water. You only drown by staying there. – Zig Ziglar
~ When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other. – Alan Alda
~ Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. – Muhammad Ali
In Upper Egypt on the first day of the solar year by Coptic reckoning, that is, on the tenth of September, when the Nile has generally reached its highest point, the regular government is suspended for three days and every town chooses its own ruler. This temporary lord wears a sort of tall fool’s cap and a long flaxen beard, and is enveloped in a strange mantle. With a wand of office in his hand and attended by men disguised as scribes, executioners, and so forth, he proceeds to the Governor’s house. The latter allows himself to be deposed; and the mock king, mounting the throne, holds a tribunal, to the decisions of which even the governor and his officials must bow. After three days the mock king is condemned to death; the envelope or shell in which he was encased is committed to the flames, and from its ashes the Fellah creeps forth. The custom perhaps points to an old practice of burning a real king in grim earnest. – Sir James George Frazer, (1854 – 1941), The Golden Bough, 1922, Ch. 25
Ostara or Spring Equinox Our Lady of the Woods – http://www.ladywoods.org/ostara.htm
An earlier version of this article appeared in Lady Letter, volume 1. no. 5.
This page was downloaded from www.ladywoods.org, the website of the coven of Our Lady of the Woods. It may be used for personal and educational purposes with credit to the author.
You don’t have to be a Wiccan or even a Pagan to celebrate spring’s arrival. The Ostara sabbat, also called Eostar or Eostre, is a minor sabbat that affects us emotionally because it occurs at a time clearly separating winter and spring. Two weeks before the Spring Equinox, deep snowfalls can linger for days. After Ostara the fading winter yields to a six week rush of time through spring into May when long days and summer temperatures appear. Returning sunlight, increasing in both intensity and duration, irreversibly fuels spring’s warming. However, in many climates the cautious buds of fruit trees and flowering ornamentals won’t blossom and spread their sensuous perfumes until mid-April, because hard freezes still threaten them on clear nights.
Traditional Spring Rites
Ostara is a Saxon goddess, also named Eostar and Eostre, and is a Northern version of the ancient Middle Eastern goddess Astarte, who ruled over creation and destruction. Her Sabbat celebrates fertility in a general sense–the greening of vegetation and the swelling of buds and bellies of animals impregnated during fall or winter. Bunnies, coyotes, cats, dogs, and sheep have breeding seasons timed so that their gestations are completed and the young are born just before or during spring’s arrival.
Ostara and Mabon are the balancing points occurring at the equinoxes when light and dark periods are equal, and so are female and male energies. At Ostara, Kore (Persephone) returns from the underworld and reunites with her mother Demeter after a four-month absence.
To see how pre-Christian Ostara was celebrated, look at the modern Easter celebration. Easter bunnies, eggs, and dressing up in bright festive colors were originally Ostara traditions. The name Easter comes from the goddess name Eostre. The hare was an animal sacred to the Moon Goddess, another form of the Triple Goddess Eostre whose sacred fertile month began at the equinox. Eggs colored red symbolized fertility. Even the Easter theme of resurrection was borrowed from the pagan tradition of deities sacrificing themselves for the benefit of their people and later returning via resurrection. Odin’s hanging on the World Ash Tree for nine days and Kore’s annual underworld sojourn represented sacrifices followed by resurrections.
Ostara colors are green and silver. It is a time to bless your seeds before planting them, dye eggs bright colors in honor of spring’s fertility and give thanks for the fertility carried in your genitals. Initiate new projects that will not be completed until the fall harvest. Decorate your home with spring flowers, or the leguminous herbs of clover and trefoil, which are traditional Ostara symbols. Don’t forget to include the bunnies in your celebrations, as the goddess likes them and the chocolate ones taste good, too.
Our Lady of the Woods, and before it the Los Alamos CUUPS chapter, began a tradition of celebrating Ostara with an outdoors ritual held at dawn. A reasonable question to ask is whether there is any value in holding a dawn Ostara ritual year after year? For a few of us, 6 a.m. is a normal hour to be up, getting breakfast, or starting the day’s activities. For many others this time is a period for deep sleep.
Our ancestors who lived before the late 19th century inhabited a world largely dependent on the sun for providing most of its light. Thomas Edison’s electric light bulb changed that. Before its invention in 1876, candles, torches and oil lamps provided only dim and unsteady light that was adequate for avoiding obstacles, such as stools and children’s toys, and for reading at night.
Today our powerful electric lights rival the sun with their ability to flood large areas with near daylight intensities. Modern activities such as nighttime baseball games would be unthinkable without powerful electric lights. So, too, would be stores open 24 hours a day and the miles of well-lit corridors at indoor shopping malls.
Should we forget how dependent our ancestors were on the daily and seasonal solar cycles? I feel that you should increase your awareness of the subtle influences on your moods brought about by the ever changing solar and lunar cycles. Ostara is one day a year when performing an outdoor dawn ritual can connect you with the hundreds of preceding generations of Pagans who anxiously awaited spring’s liberation from winter’s dark and cold.
For ancient Celts and other northern peoples, Ostara was a time for the joyous resumption of warm season activities. In our modern world, spring is still a time of physical and psychological reawakening. How we celebrate it is a matter of personal taste, but few of us are left unaffected by nature’s increasing day length, dramatic warming, and the reawakening of dormant buds, animals, and human desires.
Besides the series of short articles included here, we recommend:
1. Campenelli, Pauline and Dan. Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life. Llewellyn, 1993.
2. Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun. Oxford University Press, 1996.
3. Nahmad, Claire. Earth Magic: A Wisewoman’s Guide to Herbal, Astrological, & Other Folk Wisdom. Destiny Books, 1994.
4. Pennick, Nigel. The Pagan Book of Days. Destiny Books, 1992.
Answer: A Tangent