Solstice is almost here. The days are getting longer by only 9 seconds! It’s marvelously sunny, with just some scattered clouds and already warmer than the forecast high. It’s 66F. There’s a pretty good breeze going. All the leaves are shaking and the one long branch on the alder is waving gently.
I caught up on mail and reading and got some music re-set in my computer and by the time he was up around 2pm had baked a couple of mini-loaves and done some chores. Tempus got a little done in the kitchen before heading out around 3pm. I started in on the newsletter set-up. By 5pm I realized that I had been ditzing around instead of working for an hour, so got up to did some small chores, first. By 6pm I was back at it and the astro info was in.
So then I went hunting for more jokes. I have a *lot* of files! …and then I ran out of energy…. just went splat…. So, I sat and played games for awhile and let my mind flap… and when Tempus got home I was already in bed, reading.
Today we have more chores, cooking and some garden work and then this evening we have esbat.
Today’s feast is the Dragon Boat festival, which is being celebrated again in China after having been banned for quite a while under the communists. It is celebrated with rice dumplings, realgar wine (which seems to be poisonous!) and dragon boat races.
“The sun is considered to be at its strongest around the time of summer solstice (“mid-summer” in traditional East Asia) when the daylight in the northern hemisphere is the longest. The sun, like the Chinese dragon, traditionally represents masculine energy, whereas the moon, like the phoenix, traditionally represents feminine energy. The summer solstice is considered the peak annual moment of male energy while the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, represents the peak annual moment of feminine energy. The masculine image of the dragon is thus naturally associated with Duanwu.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_boat_festival
Today’s Plant is the Western Azalea, Rhododendron Occidentale. I talked the other day about the azaleas being a subset of the rhodys. This is the main one that grows around here. It’s hard to tell from the shape and size of the plant that it’s an azalea, or even from the flowers, although the branches are thinner and the leaves shorter and rounder than those of rhododendrons. It least it’s hard for those of us who are familiar with the showy garden hybrids, which tend to be small and compact. The other West Coast azalea is Rhododendron Albiflorum, and there’s not a whacking lot of info floating around about that one. The wiki is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_occidentale The Chinese call azaleas “thinking of home bush”. Magickal uses for azalea are to encourage light spirits, happiness and gaiety.
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! Summer hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. 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 New on 6/27 at 1:08am. 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 on 6/19 at 11:39am.
With Scorpius coming up into good evening view now, keep an eye on the doings of Delta Scorpii. This is the middle star in the row of three marking Scorpius’s head. In July 2000 it unexpectedly doubled in brightness. It has remained brighter than normal ever since, with fluctuations, at about magnitude 2.0. Compare it to Beta Scorpii above it, magnitude 2.6, and Antares, 1.1. See the June Sky & Telescope, page 51.
Saturn (magnitude +0.3, in Libra) glows in the southeast to south during evening. The wide binocular double star Alpha Librae glimmers 3° to Saturn’s lower right; they easily fit within a typical binocular’s field of view. Well off to Saturn’s right shine Spica and then Mars. Look for Antares and the head of Scorpius down to Saturn’s lower left. In a telescope Saturn’s globe is 18 arcseconds wide, and its rings are tilted 22° from our line of sight. Use our SaturnMoons app to find and identify Saturn’s various satellites at any time and date. A 6-inch scope will show four or five of them: Titan, Rhea, Dione, Tethys, and sometimes Iapetus.
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7
Runic half-month of Dagaz/ Dag, 6/14-6/28. – Beneficial rune of light, health, prosperity and openings, signifying the high point of the day and the high point of the year when in light and warmth all things are possible.
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 – The oak of myth and legend is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). It is sometimes called the great oak, which is a translation of its Latin name (robur is the root of the English word “robust”). It grows with ash and beech in the lowland forests, and can reach a height of 150 feet and age of 800 years. Along with ashes, oaks were heavily logged throughout recent millennia, so that the remaining giant oaks in many parts of Europe are but a remnant of forests past. Like most other central and northern European trees, common oaks are deciduous, losing their leaves before Samhain and growing new leaves in the spring so that the trees are fully clothed by Bealltaine. Common oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America, as are the similar native white oak, valley oak, and Oregon oak. Oaks are members of the Beech family (Fagaceae). Curtis Clark
Duir – Oak Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Black and Dark Brown
Meaning: Security; Strength
to study this month – Eadha – White Poplar or Aspen Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Silver White
Meaning: Problems; Doubts; Fears.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 18 High 4:52 AM 6.9 5:31 AM Rise 12:23 AM 71
~ 18 Low 11:31 AM -0.6 9:04 PM Set 12:15 PM
~ 18 High 6:09 PM 7.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – What a nice night for an evening.
~ The great individual is the one who does a thing for the first time. – Alexander Smith
~ I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. – Shirley Temple
~ Your physical, mental and intellectual resources — continually growing and changing — are your personal capital. – Brian Tracy
~ Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. – Mark Twain
When my lamp is on at night
I cannot see outside.
I turn it off.
The blackness softens and receives my sight.
Far stars shine for me now in the dark
Dim sparks that cast no shadow.
Through my open window
Fragrances of night are softer, more subtle
Than the scents of day. Sounds of the night
Rise and fall, calling each to its own.
From within the darkened room I watch and listen.
Joining the darkness, I become part of it.
Night holds out its secrets with quiet hands. Written and Submitted by Tasha Halpert www.heartwingsandfriends.com
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
1. Insist that you are a vegetarian and protest anytime your roommate eats meat. Then leave “Slim Jim” wrappers on the floor and lie on the bed holding your stomach every time your roommate walks in. If he/she asks about the wrappers, say you know nothing about them.
2. Get some hair. Disperse it around your roommate’s head while he/she is asleep. Keep a pair of scissors by your bed. Snicker at your roommate every morning.
3. Every time your roommate walks in yell, “Hooray! You’re back!” as loud as you can and dance around the room for five minutes. Afterwards, keep looking at your watch and saying, “Shouldn’t you be going somewhere?”
4. Trash the room when your roommate’s not around. Then leave and wait for your roommate to come back. When he/she does, walk in and act surprised. Say, “Uh-oh, it looks like, THEY, were here again.”
5. Every time you see your roommate yell, “You son of a…” and kick him/her in the stomach. Then buy him/her some ice cream.
6. Set your roommate’s bed on fire. Apologize and explain that you’ve been watching too much “Beavis & Butthead.” Do it again. Tell him/her that you’re not sorry because this time, they deserved it.
7. Put your glasses on before you go to bed. Take them off as soon as you wake up. If your roommate asks, explain that they are Magic Dream Glasses. Complain that you’ve been having terrible nightmares.
8. Eat lots of “Lucky Charms.” Pick out all the yellow moons and stockpile them in the closet. If your roommate inquires, explain that visitors are coming, but you can’t say anything more, or you’ll have to face the consequences.
9. Set up meetings with your roommate’s faculty advisor. Inquire about his/her academic potential. Take lots of notes, and then give your roommate a full report. Insist that he/she do the same.
10. “Drink” a raw egg for breakfast every morning. Explain that you are in training. Eat a dozen donuts every night.