The sun is shining although it might not stay that way. It’s 55F. They’re talking about showers later, but I’m going to enjoy it now. My study window is open and I’m watching a goldfinch on the feeder.
When Tempus got back I starting working on some of the project stuff and then went up to Hauser Gallery to see the African Traders, the folks I get my baskets from. I bought a lot of beads from them for making jewelry.
When Tempus started working on bone needles again. He finished two that I sanded during the day. Various people were working on those later, but he’s obsessing. 🙂
There was some running around that happened mid-afternoon, lunch and forgotten equipment, mostly, but eventually that all was done and we started on some
A couple of us knew the basic process, so we got going on testing the materials that we had. I sat down with my carving tools and tried making a wood block. It didn’t work well, but the stamps that we had did.
We had a lot of customers in during the day. You can tell it was a holiday weekend. Not that people have lots to spend, even now, but things are getting better!
Today I’m going to try to be open on time, but it’s looking like maybe not, since i still need a quick bath and Tempus isn’t even awake. No one has signed up for either embroidery class (Basic at 11am and Blackwork at 3pm) so I’ll start by cleaning up and then heat set some of the block-printed stuff, and we’ll see if anyone comes in for the 2nd class. Wicca 101 is at 6pm and the African Traders are going to stop by to drop off baskets (I hope!)
Today’s feast is Memorial Day in the US. Most often thought of in the USA as the beginning of summer and associated with picnics and BBQ’s, this day is to honor those who gave their lives, standing between the civilian population of the world and the horrors of war. This picture is the Flanders Poppy made famous by the following poem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. – Lt. Colonel John McCrae, in 1919, looking at the battlefields of WWI
So, the Flanders Poppy, Papaver rhoeas is today’s plant. It is an agricultural weed, also called “corn flower”, associated with crops since the earliest beginnings of agriculture, since it flowers abundantly in disturbed ground, such as at plowing, and then will flower and seed before the crops are harvested. This is how the poppies sprang up so quickly in the cemeteries of Flanders, as the dead soldiers were interred. These are not the same as the opium poppy Papaver somniferum. The Flanders Poppy and the White Poppy are the two associated with war and worn as symbols, the red poppy meaning the honoring of the dead soldiers and the white, the hope for peace. It is also associated with headaches, both from inhaling the scent and from the headaches from too much crying, from which the folk name, “Head Waak” (pronounced “whack”) comes. – Feminine, Moon, Water, Hypnos & Demeter – Poppies have been associated with sleep far more than death up until this past century and also with wealth. They are often used in magics to aid sleep. as an ingredient of dream pillows. In wealth & fertility magicks, the abundant seeds are eaten and carried to attract luck and money. A gilded poppypod can be worn as a necklace for the same purpose and are often added to florist’s arrangements, (which would startle the folks who just think they’re pretty…). They can be added to love foods and added to love sachets. The seeds are not the source of the addictive medicines, so are safe to carry. In more recent times, the associations with blood and death have started cropping up in spellbooks, so be careful. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaveraceae
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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 New Moon on 5/28 at 11:40am. 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 5/27 at 2:40am.
Arcturus shines high in the southeast these nights. Vega shines much lower in the northeast. Look a third of the way from Arcturus to Vega for dim little Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, with its one modestly bright star, Alphecca or Gemma. Two thirds of the way from Arcturus to Vega glimmers the dim Keystone of Hercules. Continue on down past Vega, and you hit Cygnus.
Venus (magnitude –4.0) is the “Morning Star” low due east during dawn. How late into the brightening daylight can you follow it?
Goddess Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9
Runic half-month of Inguz/Ing, 5/14-5/28 – Male consort of Nerthus, the Earth Mother, Ing is god of the hearth. This time of year expresses potential for abundant growth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 70. Runic Half-month of Othala/ Odal/Odel 5/29-6/13- The rune Odel signifies ancestral property, the homestead, and all those things that are “one’s own”..
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9 – I am fair among flowers – Color: Purple – Class: Peasant – Letter: H – Meaning: Being held back for a period of time – Hawthorn – Like willows, hawthorns have many species in Europe, and they are not always easy to tell apart. All are thorny shrubs in the Rose family (Rosaceae), and most have whitish or pinkish flowers. The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) and midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata (Poiret) DC.) are both widespread. They are common in abandoned fields and along the edges of forests. Both are cultivated in North America, as are several native and Asiatic hawthorns. Curtis Clark
Huathe – Hawthorne Ogam letter correspondences
Meaning: Being held back for a period of time
to study this month – Ur – Heather and Mistletoe Ogam letter correspondences
Class: Heather is Peasant; Mistletoe is Chieftain
Meaning: Healing and development on the spiritual level.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 26 Low 5:51 AM -0.7 5:39 AM Rise 4:30 AM 9
~ 26 High 12:07 PM 6.2 8:48 PM Set 6:52 PM
~ 26 Low 5:37 PM 1.9
~ 26 High 11:39 PM 8.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Talk to people that you have never talked to before and actually listen!
~ “My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre,” Ford muttered to himself, “and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes. – Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
~ He had not an ounce of superfluous flesh on his bones, and leanness goes a great way towards gentility. – Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) English writer
~ A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective. – Andre Gide
~ The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become. – Goethe
Motown, Arsenal of Democracy by Marge Piercy, from The Crooked Inheritance. © Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission.
Motown, Arsenal of Democracy
Fog used to bloom off the distant river
turning our streets strange, elongating
sounds and muffling others. The crack
of a gunshot softened.
The sky at night was a dull red:
a bonfire built of old creosote soaked
logs by the railroad tracks. A red
almost pink painted by factories—
that never stopped their roar
like traffic in canyons of New York.
But stop they did and fell down
ending dangerous jobs that paid.
We believed in our unions like some
trust in their priests. We believed
in Friday paychecks sure as
winter’s ice curb-to-curb
where older boys could play
pucks, sticks cracking wood
on wood. A man came home
with a new car and other men
would collect around it like ants
in sugar. Women clumped for showers—
wedding and baby—wakes, funerals
care for the man brought home
with a hole ripped in him, children
coughing. We all coughed in Detroit.
We woke at dawn to my father’s hack.
That world is gone as a tableau
of wagon trains. Expressways carved
neighborhoods to shreds. Rich men
moved jobs south, then overseas.
Only the old anger lives there
bubbling up like chemicals dumped
seething now into the water
building now into the bones.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S LORE – Pagan Studies
Cinquefoil, campion, lupine and foxglove nod on your doorstep; Nutka rose, salal bells, starflower and bleeding-heart hide in the woods, fully green now. Litha has come, longest day of the year, height of the sun. Of old, in Europe, Litha was the height too of pagan celebrations, the most important and widely honored of annual festivals.
Fire, love and magick wreathe ’round this time. As on Beltane in Ireland, across Europe people of old leaped fires for fertility and luck on Midsummer Day, or on the night before, Midsummer Eve, according to Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. Farmers drove their cattle through the flames or smoke or ran with burning coals across the cattle pens. In the Scottish Highlands, herders circumambulated their sheep with torches lit at the Midsummer fire.
People took burning brands around their fields also to ensure fertility, and in Ireland threw them into gardens and potato fields. Ashes from the fire were mixed with seeds yet to plant. In parts of England country folk thought the apple crop would fail if they didn’t light the Midsummer fires. People relit their house fires from the Midsummer bonfire, in celebration hurled flaming disks heavenward and rolled flaming wheels downhill, burning circles that hailed the sun at zenith.
Midsummer, too, was a lovers’ festival. Lovers clasped hands over the bonfire, tossed flowers across to each other, leaped the flames together. Those who wanted lovers performed love divination. In Scandinavia, girls laid bunches of flowers under their pillows on Midsummer Eve to induce dreams of love and ensure them coming true. In England, it was said if an unmarried girl fasted on Midsummer Eve and at midnight set her table with a clean cloth, bread, cheese and ale, then left her yard door open and waited, the boy she would marry, or his spirit, would come in and feast with her.
Magick crowns Midsummer. Divining rods cut on this night are more infallible, dreams more likely to come true. Dew gathered Midsummer Eve restores sight. Fern, which confers invisibility, was said to bloom at midnight on Midsummer Eve and is best picked then. Indeed, any magickal plants plucked on Midsummer Eve at midnight are doubly efficacious and keep better. You’d pick certain magickal herbs, namely St. Johnswort, hawkweed, vervain, orpine, mullein, wormwood and mistletoe, at midnight on Midsummer Eve or noon Midsummer Day, to use as a charm to protect your house from fire and lightning, your family from disease, negative witchcraft and disaster. A pagan gardener might consider cultivating some or all of these; it’s not too late to buy at herb-oriented nurseries. Whichever of these herbs you find, a gentle snip into a cloth, a spell whispered over, and you have a charm you can consecrate in the height of the sun.
In northern Europe, the Wild Hunt was often seen on Midsummer Eve, hallooing in the sky, in some districts led by Cernunnos. Midsummer’s Night by European tradition is a fairies’ night, and a witches’ night too. Rhiannon Ryall writes in West Country Wicca that her coven, employing rites said to be handed down for centuries in England’s West Country, would on Midsummer Eve decorate their symbols of the God and Goddess with flowers, yellow for the God, white for the Goddess. The coven that night would draw down the moon into their high priestess, and at sunrise draw down the sun into their high priest. The priest and priestess then celebrated the Great Rite, known to the coven as the Rite of Joining or the Crossing Rite.
Some of Ryall’s elders called this ritual the Ridencrux Rite. They told how formerly in times of bad harvest or unseasonable weather, the High Priestess on the nights between the new and full moon would go to the nearest crossroads, wait for the first stranger traveling in the district. About this stranger the coven had done ritual beforehand, to ensure he embodied the God. The high priestess performed the Great Rite with him to make the next season’s sowing successful.
In the Middle Ages in Europe, traces of witchcraft and pagan remembrances were often linked with Midsummer. In Southern Estonia, Lutheran Church workers found a cottar’s wife accepting sacrifices on Midsummer Day, Juhan Kahk writes in Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries, edited by Bengt Ankarloo and Gustave Henningsen. Likewise, on
Midsummer Night in 1667, in Estonia’s Maarja-Magdaleena parish, peasants met at the country manor of Colonel Griefenspeer to perform a ritual to cure illnesses.
In Denmark, writes Jens Christian V. Johansen in another Early Modern European Witchcraft chapter, medieval witches were said to gather on Midsummer Day, and in Ribe on Midsummer Night. Inquisitors in the Middle Ages often said witches met on Corpus Christi, which some years fell close to Midsummer Eve, according to Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, by Jeffrey Burton Russell. The inquisitors explained witches chose the date to mock a central Christian festival, but Corpus Christi is no more important than a number of other Christian holidays, and it falls near a day traditionally associated with pagan worship. Coincidence? Probably not.
Anciently, pagans and witches hallowed Midsummer. Some burned for their right to observe their rites; we need not. But we can remember the past. In solidarity with those burned, we can collect our herbs at midnight; we can burn our bonfires and hail the sun. – By Melanie Fire Salamander and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives