Yesterday was a very long day. Things went sideways at the house, so we ended up opening an hour late and then discovered that several sets of paperwork had to be done right away, since it was the last day of the month. I guess that was better than discovering that it was the 1st and they needed to be done the day before? …but it took all day.
At 5:30, though, the students for the Wicca 101 started coming in. We have 6 people in the class, now and a range of ages. Class ended at around 9:30 and the last student didn’t leave until nearly 11. At that point some stuff needed to be printed and we only got out of the shop at around 11:30, came home and fell into bed.
Today we have chores to do. I have some computer updates that I’ve been forgetting about and we’re going to need to get outside and start in the garden. There’s laundry and I want to do some baking. I have a couple of recipes to try.
There’s a towhee on the feeder. He keeps pecking out some seeds, but then flipping around to watch behind him. Now, he’s flown off. 🙂 The sun is trying valiantly to break through, but still not quite making it.
Some real information on the anti-vaxxer stuff …. http://tallguywrites.livejournal.com/148012.html
Today’s Plant is the Strawberry. We have two wild varieties out here, Wood’s Strawberry, Fragaria vesca, the Coastal Strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis, and of course the Garden Strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, which is a hybrid. The leaves of vesca have been used to make a tea to help with diarrhea and the whole plant is used as an anti-depressant, from flowers to leaves to fruit. – Feminine, Venus, Water, Freya (and many other deities) – Carry the leaves for luck, use them in love spells and sachets, sleep on them to dream of your love. Pregnant women should carry a sachet of the leaves during the last few months of pregnancy to ease labor. The berries themselves are simply an aphrodisiac, often combined with chocolate for this purpose. Yum! Wood’s Strawberry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_vesca and Coastal Strawberry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_chiloensis Garden Strawberry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_strawberry
Today is April Fool’s Day. There are a lot of suggestions as to how this holiday came about, and I *still* don’t know what fish have to do with it, but it’s a fun one all the same, as long as the pranks stay harmless. I’m looking forward to what NPR puts in their “news” today! I still like the Scottish version, Hunt-the-Gowk.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day
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 in Diana’s Bow. 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 on 4/15 at 12:42am. at 11:48pm. New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends on Phase ends on 3/31 at 11:45 pm. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 4/3 at 11:48pm.
The biggest and brightest asteroids, 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta respectively, are only about 2° apart in eastern Virgo, some 12° northeast of Mars. They’ve brightened to magnitudes 7.1 and 5.9, respectively. They’ll be at opposition in mid-April. Use our finder chart for Ceres and Vesta. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/Ceres-and-Vesta-in-2014-243533241.html
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.
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 Ehwaz, 3/30-4/13 – Ehwaz, the horse; time of partnership between humans and Nature, as between rider and horse. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 55
©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.
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month– Ailim – Silver Fir
Color: Light Blue
Meaning: Learning from past mistakes; Take care in choices.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 1 High 1:59 AM 8.6 6:57 AM Rise 7:59 AM 1
~ 1 Low 8:33 AM -0.6 7:44 PM Set 10:18 PM
~ 1 High 2:44 PM 7.5
~ 1 Low 8:37 PM 1.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Dance a little today.
~ I saw that all beings are fated to happiness: action is not life, but a way of wasting some force, an enervation. Morality is the weakness of the brain. – Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) French writer
~ Empowerment is as much about following a particular path as it is blazing one. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Life is the farce which everyone has to perform. – Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) French writer
~ Never leave the scene of an intention without taking action. – Tony Robbins
It is the man who goes straight to his goal, obstacle or no obstacle, that commands our respect, gets our confidence, and gets to the front. He is the man who is sought in an emergency, not the man who is afraid of obstacles, who magnifies difficulties. – Orison Sweet Marden (1850-1924) American Editor and Speaker
She who from April dates her years
Diamonds should wear lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone
As emblem of innocence is known. – Traditional birthstone rhyme
April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 30 days. The month is traditionally personified in art as a girl clothed with green, with a garland of myrtle and hawthorn buds, holding in one hand primroses and violets, and in the other the sign of Taurus.
“The opening month (Lat. aperire, to open) when trees unfold and the womb of nature opens with young life. In the French Republican calendar of 1793 it was called Germinal, the time of budding (21 March to 19 April).”
Ivor H Evans, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Cassell, London, 1988
Robert Chambers* doesn’t agree that the word comes from Latin aperio, ‘I open’. He suggests it comes from Aphrodite, the Greek version of Venus, as the Romans considered it Venus’s month. The first day was Festum Veneris et Fortunae Virilis. Others have it that a Roman goddess of love, Aprilis, was honoured when naming the month.
Anglo Saxon Oster-monath, probably meant east winds prevailed. The term Easter may have come from the same origin (Chambers 1881).
“It is the fourth month, in which thou art honoured above all others, and thou knowest, O Venus, that both the poet and the month are thine’.”
* Robert Chambers, (Ed.), The Book of Days: A miscellany of popular antiquities in connection with the calendar, etc,W & R Chambers, London, 1881 (1879 Edition is online and 1869 edition here with CD-ROM available; See also The English Year: A Personal Selection from Chambers’ Book of Days)
April Fools’ Day (Noddy Day, Gowkie Day, Gowkin’ Day)
If this year’s first day of April is like any other, you’ll have to keep your guard against the practical jokes that others can play on you, much to your annoyance and their delight. But what are the origins of the strange cult of April Fools’ Day?
There are a couple of explanations put forward by scholars to account for the trickery that takes place throughout much of the Western world on April 1.
One theory suggests that, because of the tradition of sending someone on ‘a fool’s errand’, the practice might derive from the Biblical story in which Jesus Christ was sent uselessly back and forth between Annas, Caiphas, Pontius Pilate and King Herod, each of them not being able to resolve what to do with him.
Sending people on fools’ errands has a long history. These days a teacher might send an unruly pupil to another teacher with the message, “Please give this boy a long weight”. All that the lad gets, of course, is a long wait. Or else he might be sent to the Industrial Arts teacher for a “left-handed hammer”. Either way, the joke’s on the boy, who probably deserves it.
In merry olde England the errand was for a gullible person to be sent to the saddler’s for a ‘pen’orth (penny’s worth) of salad oil‘. In this ruse, the pun is between ‘salad oil’ and the French ‘avoir de la salade‘, to be flogged. So the poor dupe got a beating for his innocent pains.
Other nasty people would send youths to a bookshop for the ‘History of Eve’s Grandmother‘, or to a cobbler for a little strap oil (the butt of the joke would indeed get the strap).
The Scots have always loved April Fool’s jokes. They call an April Fool a gowk (or cuckoo; Anglo-Saxon geac, origin of the word geek), a name which even today sounds as descriptive of its meaning as it did in olden times. The trick was to send the dupe with an envelope containing a message to someone else’s house a long way off. The letter inside would only read
This is the first day of April:
Hunt the gowk another mile.
The wise fools of Gotham
Condensed from the article at the Wilson’s Almanac Scriptorium
In about the year 1540, during the reign of Henry VIII(1491 – 1547), an amusing collection of stories was published, by the name of The Merry Tales of the Mad Men of Gotham, by the mysterious ‘AB of Phisicke Doctor’ (actually, Pizisicke Doctour).
The tale has it that King John of England(1166 or 1167 – 1216) was marching towards Nottingham, intending to pass through Gotham meadow. Believing that any ground traversed by a king became forever after a public road, the citizens of Gotham decided to try to prevent John from passing.
Angered by them, the king sent messengers to find out the reason for their rudeness, and perhaps to impose a fine. Hearing of the messengers’ approach, they quickly decided to act as stupidly as they could, to avoid punishment. Some were trying to drown an eel in a pond; some dragging their carts and wagons to the top of a barn to shield a young tree from the sun’s rays; some tumbling cheeses downhill hoping they would find their way to Nottingham market; some trying to hedge in a cuckoo which had perched on a old bush …
It is said that the Gothamites say, “We ween there are more fools pass through Gotham than remain in it.” There is another Gotham, in Sussex, that lays claim to the tales, but it is generally accepted that Nottinghamshire’s village is the place that gained the reputation as the ‘town of fools’, an archetypal concept that is found in other cultures …
How New York City came to be called Gotham
In 1807, New York-born writer, Washington Irving(1783 – 1859), invented the name for New York in the humorous article, ‘Salmagundi‘. By Irving’s time, Gotham had long been associated with stupidity, even though we can see that the original story was actually about an ironic kind of cleverness. Washington Irving thought this just the name to give to a city that he believed to be inhabited by fools. He used the term of his fellow city people because it conveyed the sense of New Yorkers as know-it-alls and cunning fools – but they had method in their madness.
This was a women’s festival, seeking good relations with men, ruled over by the goddess Venus Verticordia. She was the Roman goddess of beauty and sensual love, identified with Aphrodite. Some accounts say she sprang from the foam of the sea, others say she was the daughter of Jupiter and a nymph named Dione. Her husband was Vulcan, but she had affairs with Mars and many other gods and demigods. She and Mercury had a child, Cupid. By Anchises she had child Aeneas, through whom the Romans regarded her as the founder of their race.
In Rome, women removed jewellery from the statue of the goddess, washed her, and adorned her with flowers, and similarly bathed themselves in the public baths wearing wreaths of myrtle on their heads. It was generally a day for women to seek divine help in their relations with men.
The worship of the goddess Fortuna Virilis was also part of this festival.
This Roman festival was consecrated to Venus Verticordia (the Heart-turner), ‘Goddess of Beauty, Mother of Love, Queen of Laugher, Mistress of the Grapes.’ At the temple of Venus, women washed Her statue, replaced her golden necklace and other jewelry, and offered Her roses and other flowers. Women bathed in myrtle and scented water and wore crowns of myrtle. Ovid says Venus requested them to bathe beneath the green myrtle. English folklore says myrtle won’t grow unless planted by a woman.”
“The Kalends of April are sacred to Venus, as is the entire month, and this day has been called the Veneralia. Public games, ludi, would be held in honor of the deity.
“This day was also known as All Fools Day to the Romans, and they would spend the entire day celebrating with comic hilarity, doing things backwards, wearing women’s clothes, dancing in the streets, and generally carrying on in the most in the most foolish and congenial manner. This is one of the few Roman holidays that has preserved some of its original character, under the modern name April Fools Day.
Kalends of April, ancient Rome
Feast day of St Caidoc
Feast day of St Catherine of Palma
Feast day of St Cellach
Feast day of St Celsus of Armagh
Feast day of St Fricor
Feast day of St Gerard
Feast day of St Gilbert de Moray, Bishop of Caithness, in Scotland
King Alexander II appointed him archdeacon of Moray. Enemies set his accounting ledgers ablaze, but miraculously, they survived. He killed a dragon with an arrow. Fierce proponent of Scottish independence, often opposing the archbishop of York. Died 1245.
Feast day of St Hugh of Bonnevaux
Feast day of St Irenaeus
Feast day of St Ludovico Pavoni
Feast day of St Mary of Egypt
Feast day of St Melito, Bishop of Sardis, in Libya