The days are getting shorter by nearly a minute, now. This is the last of the longest days. It’s already 68 and quite sunny, even if there are some thin clouds up there. That’s funny because for the last week the temperature forecasts have been consistently low. Today’s forecast high was 62….
>>>>>>>>>> I harvested two ripe plums this morning and 3 not-quite. One of the two was this one, all ripened! >>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yesterday was a crazy, busy day! We got to the shop and got set up and open and started setting up Catt’s stuff. We were pretty busy from the early afternoon down to around 5pm and we still had folks wandering in after that point. I was on my feet quite a lot and by then really needed to sit. Sales were pretty decent and the traffic on the highway was the highest this year.
Robyne was with us at the shop and he and Catt continued their heavy-duty discussions, pulling Tempus or me in as the tides of customers flowed and ebbed. Rowan showed up in the late afternoon and then she got sucked in, too. 🙂
A couple that Tempus and I know from SCA stuff from years gone past were in and we finally got to realizing who each of us is. 🙂 It’s been at least 16 years since I saw here and probably 18 since I saw him! We’re all older and not in costume… well, it made recognizing each other difficult, but we really got to talking hard once we did!
We didn’t get the cookout started until past 7pm. The coals were starting to be set going by 6:30, but it took ’em a while. We started eating around 7:30. There were pickled eggs and beets, pickled asparagus wrapped with chive cheese and ham, a salad with craisins, a potato salad, a hawaiian potato salad, cole slaw, the amagansett salad, a veggie tray, a fruit salad and of course, the burgers and brats. We even had some mini-cupcakes in 4th July colors! I think there were 15 people, total.
We were closed up and rolling out of the parking lot around 11:15, which is a little earlier than usual for the 3rd.
Friday 7-4 – Shop open 11am -7pm
~ All day – Catt Foy is doing readings, just stop by and ask (if she gets busy we’ll set up appointments, otherwise walk-ins)
~ All day – Marius is doing geomantic readings
~ 1pm – Catt Foy on PsyCards
~ 3pm – Meditation on Freedom
Today’s feast is Independence Day in the USA. The Declaration of Independence was passed on July 2 and officially signed on August 2 (although a number of signers may have put their “John Hancocks” on the paper on July 4), but this is the date that it was made public. This morning I’ve been listening on NPR to people reading the Declaration from the Washington Mall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States)
Today’s plant is Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea. It’s a rather wild shrub that can be trained into a small tree, with icky-smelling white flowers that then produce dark fruits that appear blue because of a whitish coating on them. In Oregon it grows mostly from the valley out to the coast with some isolated pockets in the Eastern part of the state. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the tree. “In some areas, the “elder tree” was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, while other beliefs say that witches often congregate under the plant, especially when it is full of fruit. In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in witchcraft customs the elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” – A rhyme from the Wiccan rede [poem]. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.” From Wikipedia – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers are used for Crossing the Bridge rituals. Carry for protection and to prevent rheumatism and toothache. Dried berries are helpful in sleep pillows. All parts are good for protection. Grow near the home for prosperity. Magic wands and flutes are often made from this wood.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_cerulea orhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
The shop opens at 11am! 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 a Waxing Crescent. 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 at the Full on 7/12 at 4:25pm. 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 7/1 at 1:08pm. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Waxing Quarter on 7/5 at 4:59am.
Friday, July 4, 4 a.m. EDT – Pluto at opposition – Dwarf planet Pluto reaches opposition with the sun in eastern Sagittarius. It is moving away from the richest part of the Milky Way, so is not quite as lost amongst rich star fields as it has been in recent years.
Out to watch fireworks? As you’re waiting for twilight to end, spot the Moon in the west-southwest with Mars and Spica off to its left. High above them all shines brighter Arcturus. Point these out to your family!
Ceres and Vesta appear just 1/6° apart this evening and tomorrow evening.
Uranus, in Pisces, and Neptune, in Aquarius, are well up in the southeast before the first light of dawn. Use our finder charts for Uranus and Neptune in 2014. Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces, rising just before the sun. Neptune, in Aquarius, is up in the southeast before the first light of dawn.
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4
Runic New Year and half-month of Fehu/ Feoh, 6/29-7/13 Important in the runic year cycle, today marks beginning of the first rune, Feoh, sacred to Frey and Freya (Freyja), the lord and lady often worshipped in modern Wicca. It is the half-month of wealth and success. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©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.
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Liberty….is the sun of our life….
~ Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. – Jim Rohn
~ Great deeds and ill deeds often fall within each other’s shadow. – Gisli Sursson’s Saga, c.17
~ The will to do, the soul to dare. – Sir Walter Scott
~ Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. – John Steinbeck
On All Saints’ Day the stags are lean,
Yellow are the tops of birch; deserted is the summer dwelling.
Woe to him who for a trifle deserves a curse. – From The Heroic Elegies of Llywarch Hên (6th-Century Welsh), translated by Dr W Owen Pughe, 1792 (William Hone, The Every-Day Book, or a Guide to the Year, William Tegg and Co., London, 1878, 711 – 712; 1825-26 edition online)
Once upon a Lammas Night
When corn rigs are bonny,
Beneath the Moon’s unclouded light,
I held awhile to Annie…
Although in the heat of a Mid-western summer it might be difficult to discern, the festival of Lammas (Aug 1st) marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The days now grow visibly shorter and by the time we’ve reached autumn’s end (Oct 31st), we will have run the gamut of temperature from the heat of August to the cold and (sometimes) snow of November. And in the midst of it, a perfect Mid-western autumn.
The history of Lammas is as convoluted as all the rest of the old Folk holidays. It is of course a cross-quarter day, one of the four High Holidays or Greater Sabbats of Witchcraft, occurring 1/4 of a year after Beltane. However, British Witches often refer to the astrological date of Aug 6th as Old Lammas, and folklorists call it Lammas O.S. (‘Old Style’). This date has long been considered a ‘power point’ of the Zodiac, and is symbolized by the Lion, one of the ‘tetramorph’ figures found on the Tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune (the other three figures being the Bull, the Eagle, and the Spirit). Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four ‘fixed’ signs of the Zodiac, and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft.
Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four gospel-writers. ‘Lammas’ was the medieval Christian name for the holiday and it means ‘loaf-mass’, for this was the day on which loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and laid on the church altars as offerings. It was a day representative of ‘first fruits’ and early harvest.
In Irish Gaelic, the feast was referred to as ‘Lugnasadh’, a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish sun-god Lugh.
However, there is some confusion on this point. Although at first glance, it may seem that we are celebrating the death of the Lugh, the god of light does not really die (mythically) until the autumnal equinox. And indeed, if we read the Irish myths closer, we discover that it is not Lugh’s death that is being celebrated, but the funeral games which Lugh hosted to commemorate the death of his foster- mother, Taillte. That is why the Lugnasadh celebrations in Ireland are often called the ‘Tailltean Games’.
The time went by with careless heed
Between the late and early,
With small persuasion she agreed
To see me through the barley…
One common feature of the Games were the ‘Tailltean marriages’, a rather informal marriage that lasted for only ‘a year and a day’ or until next Lammas. At that time, the couple could decide to continue the arrangement if it pleased them, or to stand back to back and walk away from one another, thus bringing the Tailltean marriage to a formal close. Such trial marriages (obviously related to the Wiccan ‘Handfasting’) were quite common even into the 1500’s, although it was something one ‘didn’t bother the parish priest about’. Indeed, such ceremonies were usually solemnized by a poet, bard, or shanachie (or, it may be guessed, by a priest or priestess of the Old Religion).
Lammastide was also the traditional time of year for craft festivals. The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colors and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange, ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced onlookers. The atmosphere must have been quite similar to our modern-day Renaissance Festivals, such as the one celebrated in near-by Bonner Springs, Kansas, each fall.
A ceremonial highlight of such festivals was the ‘Catherine wheel’. Although the Roman Church moved St. Catherine’s feast day all around the calendar with bewildering frequency, it’s most popular date was Lammas. (They also kept trying to expel this much-loved saint from the ranks of the blessed because she was mythical rather than historical, and because her worship gave rise to the heretical sect known as the Cathari.) At any rate, a large wagon wheel was taken to the top of a near-by hill, covered with tar, set aflame, and ceremoniously rolled down the hill. Some mythologists see in this ritual the remnants of a Pagan rite symbolizing the end of summer, the flaming disk representing the sun-god in his decline. And just as the sun king has now reached the autumn of his years, his rival or dark self has just reached puberty.
Many commentators have bewailed the fact that traditional Gardnerian and Alexandrian Books of Shadows say very little about the holiday of Lammas, stating only that poles should be ridden and a circle dance performed. This seems strange, for Lammas is a holiday of rich mythic and cultural associations, providing endless resources for liturgical celebration.
Corn rigs and barley rigs,
Corn rigs are bonny!
I’ll not forget that happy night
Among the rigs with Annie!
Lughnasadh Incense Recipes
2 tsp Heather
1 tsp Frankincense
1 tsp Apple Blossoms
1/4 tsp Blackberry leaves
1/4 tsp wood base
1/8 tsp salt petre
Self-burning, no charcoal need. Do place on sand to burn.
20 drops clove bud oil
23 drops sandalwood oil
1 cup oak moss
2 cups dried pink rosebuds
2 cups dried red peony petals
1 cupdried amaranth flowers
1 cup dried heather flowers
1/2 cup dried cornflowers.
Mix the clove bud and sandalwood oils with the oak moss and then
add the remaining ingredients,Stir the potpourri well and store in a
tightlycovered ceramic or glass container.
From GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives 2002