It’s 57F and bright sunshine, even if there’s a lot of thin, high cloud. They’re saying we’ve got most of a week of this, maybe 10 days or more before it starts to rain again. I’ts nicely breezy, too.
Yesterday we got started late, since I crawled back in next to Tempus after the newsletter was out. We needed the extra sleep, and it was 1:30 before we were both moving! We just had coffee and cereal, nothing fancy, and talked while we were eating, getting stuff lined up for the week. We’re going to be *busy*!
At that point he went out to replace the belts on his car and I started on newsletter stuff. At one point during the afternoon I got the box of new pickles out and made plates of pickles and cheese for lunch. That pickled asparagus is *good*!
I finally took a few minutes to go play in the garden…and that’s all it was. My tools seem to be pretty scattered…. The salad garden is growing well, at least on the one side. Beets and carrots take longer than lettuce. I poked in a few radish seeds, too.
By 7pm, I was *finally* done with set-up for the week. Mostly I will just need to write during the week, but I still had to fill in a file that’s gotten emptied…. and then another…. but I got it done.
I cleaned the small desk, because I was intending to re-pot my orchids, which have been climbing out of their containers and not doing very well. Tempus hadn’t brought me the stuff that I need for it, except to dig out the bag of orchid medium, so I started working on more of my Latin vocabulary cards.
Eventually Tempus came in, just as it was getting dark and we had supper and turned in. I got up again near midnight, talked to a friend and one of my kids. He got up and took off for his paper route at the normal time and that’s when I crawled back in.
…and a good article on the coming Mars opposition. http://www.wunderground.com/news/mars-earth-sun-alignment-20140407
Today’s plant is New Zealand Flax, Phormium Tenax. This is a very different plant from common flax or linseed, Linum usitatissimum. It is used mostly as an ornamental in the northern hemisphere, but at one time sustained a lively trade as a fiber. While the two plants are very different, they have similar magickal properties. These days the fiber is mostly used by paper artisans. – Masculine, Mercury, Fire, Hulda – Money spells, add to coins and carry, flax in the shoe averts poverty. For protection while asleep, add to mustard seed, put both opposite cold water. Protection from evil entering, scatter with red pepper by door. Health and healing rituals, sprinkle altar with flaxseed. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phormium For the traditional uses of the plant fiber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_flax
Matsu, Mazu, or A-Ma, is the patron of fishermen and sailors. One of those odd little stories that come out of the Orient, she is worshiped all over Asia, either as a deified human or as an incarnation of Kuan Yin. She was born Lin Moniang in about 960CE. There are a lot of legends about her standing on the shore in all weathers wearing red to help the fishermen make it back to shore and about going into a trance to save her father and brothers, but she because the protector of many of the Asian peoples. Today is her feast in the Portuguese section of Macao. A-Ma, means “grandmother”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-Ma#Person
The shop opens at 11am! 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 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 on 4/15 at 12:42am. 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 4/13 at 12:42pm.
This evening, look left of the Moon by about a fist-width at arm’s length for Regulus in Leo.
Mars, blazing at magnitude –1.5 in Virgo, comes to opposition this week. It rises around sunset and dominates the southeast after dark. Fainter Spica shines about 7° below it during evening. They’re highest in the south around 1 a.m. daylight-saving time. Now’s the time for Mars in a telescope! It’s practically at the 15.1-arcsecond diameter it will display when passing closest by Earth on April 14th. See the telescopic Mars map and observing guide in the MarchSky & Telescope, page 50. Use our Mars Profiler to find which side of the planet will be facing you when you observe it.
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 Runic half-month of Mannaz/ Man, April 14-28 – A time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
©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
W 9 Low 3:15 AM 3.0 6:43 AM Set 3:47 AM 64
~ 9 High 8:53 AM 6.0 7:54 PM Rise 2:36 PM
~ 9 Low 3:40 PM 1.3
~ 9 High 10:09 PM 6.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a progressive day!
~ Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
~ Everything is worship if your mind is focused on the present moment. – Paulo Coehlo
~ And here’s Moses Kiptanui, the 19 year old Kenyan, who turned 20 a few weeks ago. – David Coleman
~ He wishes that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage. – Stephen Crane (1871-1900) US writer
It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember. – Ronald Wilson Reagan – Remarks at Veteran’s Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985
Herbal Beauty – http://www.chroniclesofavalon.com/beltane2003print.html
Water of Aphrodite
(adapted from a medieval recipe for water of roses, a quick and less costly version of Attar of Roses)
The rose is a flower sacred to Aphrodite as Patroness of Love and Lust. Roses have long been used in perfumes and love potions, and a language of intent has been created around the rose and specific colours (red for passion, yellow for goodbye, and so on). Harness the powers of this sacred flower for your magickal rites.
Use one cup of water for 3 roses. Use distilled or spring water, tap water may have too many minerals in it and will darken the petals and resulting potion water. Pull off the rose petals, one at a time and place in an enameled pot with water. Do not use an aluminum or iron pot. If you do so, the petals will turn black and darken the water. Simmer slowly, until desired quantity is reached, then cool. Strain and pour into a bottle or closed container.
Use according to your desire.
Beltane Oil 2 – http://www.chroniclesofavalon.com/beltane2003print.html
When mixing oils, use either almond oil or any other colourless lightweight oil.
Wear to rituals or use to anoint candles.
5 drops Patchouli
5 drops Cypress
The Green Man is an archetype often represented at Beltane. He is the spirit of the forest, the lusty fertility god of the woodlands. He is Puck, Jack in the Green, Robin of the Woods. For your Beltane celebrations, why not put together a cake honoring him? This spice cake is easy to bake, and uses a delicious cream cheese frosting and rolled fondant to create the image of the Green Man himself. This recipe makes either one 9 x 13″ sheet cake, or 2 8-inch rounds.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
- 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C cornstarch
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 C milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp rum-flavored extract
- 1 C butter, softened (don’t use margarine)
- 2 C firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 C butter, softened
- 2 C confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 package white fondant
- Green food coloring
- Leaf-shaped cutters
Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease and flour your cake pan. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and blend well. In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, vanilla and rum extracts together.
Add the softened butter to the flour mixture, and beat until it forms a clumpy sort of dough. Gradually add the liquid mixture in, blending it a little at a time until all the milk mixture has been combined with the flour mixture. Beat until completely smooth, and then add the brown sugar. Mix for another thirty seconds or so. Scoop batter into the pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Once you have it out of the pan, you can begin frosting the cake.
To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese and the butter in a bowl, mixing well. Add the vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the confectioner’s sugar and blend it in. Spread this evenly over the cake, and allow it to sit for an hour or so to firm up.
To make the Green Man himself, you’ll need green fondant. If you’ve never worked with fondant before, it can be a little tricky, but with some practice you’ll be able to use it easily. Roll out the fondant and knead it into a ball. Add the green food coloring in very small amounts and blend it in, until you’ve got the shade of green you want.
Roll the fondant out until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Use the leaf-shaped cookie cutters to cut out different sized leaves. Score lines on them, to look live leafy veins. Place them on top of the frosted cake and press in place, layering them to form a Green Man. Roll two small pieces into balls, flatten them down, and put them in to create eyeballs in amongst the leaves. Reminder – fondant tends to dry quickly once it’s rolled out, so only cut off small pieces. The cake in the photo was made using a block of fondant about the size of a package of cream cheese.
Tip: if you’re in a hurry, or you’re not much of a baker, you can use any boxed spice cake mix. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, you can use other spice cake recipes, such as this great Gluten-free version.
Make this cake to celebrate Beltane and the spirit of the forest. – Image © Patti Wigington 2009