It’s 57F and bright sunshine. I can tell we’re well past Mabon now, since the light coming in from the east windows doesn’t swat me in the face in the morning. They’re still talking cold and possible snow in the Cascades, but it just feels like fall. We pulled up the quilt last night for the first time in a couple of months. ….well, it *was* bright sunshine! The light got blotted out by cloud in the last few minutes….
Yesterday I was still very tired. I did a little sewing, got a few pictures of the new rocks, worked with customers, and mostly tracked down and put back various pieces of stock that had wandered from where they were supposed to be. Dang, that’s a fiddly job! …but it needed to be done. Tempus took off in the late afternoon to get some errands run in Newport, and to get some groceries. I have a taste for beef in sour cream gravy with mushrooms, so that’s going to be on my list for cooking today.
Today I have to get the handbook finished and start setting up newsletters for the week. We also have house chores and Tempus is going out with our elderly friend to get some of his errands run. I’m really hoping to get some cooking done.
Meditrina was a Roman goddess who seems to have been a late Roman invention to account for the origin of Meditrinalia. The earliest account of associating the Meditrinalia with such a goddess was by 2nd century grammarian Sextus Pompeius Festus, on the basis of which she is asserted by modern sources to be the Roman goddess of health, longevity and wine, with an etymological meaning of “healer” suggested by some. This was pretty common in the late Roman Empire, where natural forces and celebrations were made into god/desses. Wikipedia says the Meditrinalia (in honor of the new wine and an obscure goddess of medicine) is on 10/11, but Nigel Pennick has it as today. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditrinalia
Today’s Plant is Coltsfoot, Petasites frigidus var. palmatus. One of the best cough remedies out there, this is often smoked to help cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma. It is also made into cough syrups often combined with horehound. This is another plant where the medicinal and magickal uses seem to go together. Feminine, Venus, water – Add to love sachets and use in spell of peace and tranquility. The leaves, when smoked, can cause visions, and aid with breathing problems. .More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petasites_frigidus
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! Fall hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday, although the time that we’re there is drifting earlier with the shorter days. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com 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
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 Tide Change on 10/8 at 3:51am. 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 10/1 at 12:33pm.
Arcturus is the bright star due west at nightfall. It’s an orange giant 37 light-years away. Off to its right in the northwest is the Big Dipper, most of whose stars are about 80 light-years away. They’re both sinking lower every week now.
Jupiter (magnitude –1.9, at the Cancer-Leo border) rises around 2 or 3 a.m. and shines brightly in the east before and during dawn. It forms a big triangle with Pollux above it (by about two fists at arm’s length) and Procyon to their right. Look below Jupiter and a bit left for Regulus.
Goddess Month of Mala runs from 9/6 – 10/2
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree Month of Gort/Ivy – (GORT), Hedera helix L., Sep 30 – Oct 27
Runic half-month of Gebo/ Gyfu – Sept 28-Oct 12 – Gyfu represents the unity that a gift brings between the donor & recipient. It is a time of unification, both between members of society and between the human and divine.
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Gort/Ivy Sep 30 – Oct 27 – Gort – (GORT), ivy – Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is also a vine, growing to 30 m (100 feet) long in beech woods and around human habitations, where it is widely planted as a ground cover. Ivy produces greenish flowers before Samhain on short, vertical shrubby branches. The leaves of these flowering branches lack the characteristic lobes of the leaves of the rest of the plant. Like holly, ivy is evergreen, its dark green leaves striking in the bare forests of midwinter. Ivy is widely cultivated in North America. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae).
Gort – Ivy Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Sky Blue
Meaning: Take time to soul search or you will maake a wrong decision.
to study this month Uilleand – Honeysuckle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: P, PE, UI
Meaning: Proceed with caution.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 30 High 5:36 AM 5.9 7:13 AM Rise 1:37 PM 29
~ 30 Low 10:56 AM 2.9 6:59 PM Set 11:24 PM
~ 30 High 4:56 PM 7.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Work on Loving Yourself Every Day.Treat Your Self to Romance and Love. Demonstrate to Your Self how Special You are. Pamper Your Self. Buy Your Self Flowers. Surround Your Self with Colors, Textures, and Scents that Please You. Life always Mirrors back to us the Feelings We have Inside. As You develop an inner Sense of Love and Romance, the right Person will be attracted to You like a Magnet. A great affirmation for Today is: “I am discovering how WonderFul I am. I choose to Love and Enjoy MySelf.”
~ Don’t be afraid to give up the good for the great. – Kenny Rogers
~ Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent. Rumi
~ Every man must plough his own furrow. – Vapnfirðinga Saga, c.5
~ Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. – Carl Sagan
The bay trees in our country are all wither’d,
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
The pale-fac’d moon looks bloody on the earth
And lean-look’d prophets whisper fearful change;
Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,
The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
The other to enjoy by rage and war.
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings. – William Shakespeare; Richard II, Act II, Scene iv (a Welsh captain warns the Earl of Salisbury) Shakespeare on Omens and Prophecies
“I reckon we best be settin’ a few mo’ places at the supper table tonight, Martha.”
“Yes, Clem, there be a powerful lot o’ daid folk be needin’ rememberin’.”
One of the most common places to find the custom of Dumb Suppers in America is deep in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. In a tape-recorded interview conducted in 1954, an old settler told of a Dumb Supper that was a rite of divination concerned with the future fate of young women in marriage.
“In a dumb supper, you’re supposed to set it at the hour of midnight, and two girls has to go backwards and pick up everything they get and put it on the table, till they get nine different things on the table to eat, like pepper and salt and butter and taters, and just anything to make the nine things.
“Three girls was at our house one night, a-wanting to do that, so they tried it. And they say that just before they (the dead) come, why they’ll be dogs a-barking and cats a-squawling, and cows a-mooing, and everything like that. And so we heard the cats a-fighting, and here they come, towards the house, just as hard as they could tear, and us a-setting there holding to one another scared to death. And if we had sat right still, like we was supposed to do, not whispering nor saying a word, why then they’ll come in and whatever they leave in your plate, why that’s what they (the new husbands) will be.
“One come in and left a switch in the plate, and the other one left a little pen knife, and the other one left three doses of medicine. Well, the one that got the switch, her man (new husband) whipped her to death, nearly all the time, she never had no good time at all. And the one that got the knife, just went and hid it and never would look at it no more. And the (one that got the medicine) was kind of sick. (She kept them until a stranger came to the door) and he said, `I want to stay all night with you,’ and they said, `Well, if you can put up with our fare, we’re poor folks, and got a sick girl in here.’ `Well,’ he said, `Probably I might help the sick girl,’ he says. Well, they let him stay all night, and he left three doses of medicine. And then she took them three doses of medicine and she was well. And that was the man she married. Sure enough.”
In rural West Virginia, there is a slightly different version of the Dumb Supper that is passed from one generation to the next. If you wished to contact a recently deceased loved one, you would set a Dumb Supper with extra settings for those who you wished to contact. You would set the table in reverse order than you normally would; forks would be on the right side and so on. All placements would be handled by two people while the table was being set, even the silverware. You would then serve the food in reverse order as well, beginning with dessert and ending with either soup or appetizers.
At some point during the meal, the recently departed loved one would make contact. One reason to try to reach the loved one who recently died was if the family had had signs or “feelings” of restlessness, showing the dead might be confused and had not crossed over to the other side. The contact through the Dumb Supper was a way of helping them to cross over and finally find peace.
The Dumb Supper was not originally part of the old Celtic tradition of Samhain, which dates back to the fifth century B.C.E. Samhain was originally called Trenae Samma and was the Celtic celebration of the end of the harvest. For three days, the Celts would feast, dance and make merry. Gradually, remembrance of those who had passed on during the previous 12 months came to be included. It was believed that for one night that signified the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, the dead could return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, tribe or clan.
The time chosen for this year-end bash was not arbitrary nor strictly harvest-related. It fell on what is known as a “joint” of the seasons — a time of transition like our modern New Year’s Eve. On these “seams,” particularly this one, the division between this world and the next became blurred. The dead, it was believed, knew this and took advantage of it, returning to visit their earthly families. The living, both in fear and awe, made the spirits welcome, while at the same time endeavoring not to be taken by them back to the land of the dead. The tradition of costumes grew from disguises worn to confuse the spirits and avoid this fate. The disguises were not enough, however, to insure safety on this night. Candles were lit in every room to guide the dead
to their former abodes. They were also placated with food and drink. Sometimes, a Dumb Supper was held in their honor, with both living and dead sharing the same table. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for those who chose to return. The living guests remained silent in reverence for the dead. The food was left out overnight for the spirits to enjoy at their leisure.
In later Ireland, in the area by the fire where family and guests gathered, was also the place prepared for the ancestors to visit on Halloween. The family swept the hearth and set out chairs, stools or whatever other seats they had so that they focused on the hearth. The food intended for the dead was probably set out next to the fire in this later Dumb Supper. Tobacco would also be given to the dead. At Halloween, those members of the family who had herded animals in the summer pastures brought those animals home. This return meant that the festival was a coming together of all members of the family, living and dead.
The particulars for Dumb Suppers vary. One version is summarized by Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar for October 1998:
* The Dumb Supper must be held in sacred space.
* All table service, plates, napkins, glasses and tablecloth, should be black.
* No one may speak from the moment they enter the feast room until they leave (with a few exceptions).
* Only lamps or candles are used for lighting.
* Each living guest should bring a prayer written on a small piece of paper and a divination tool.
* Before the supper begins, shroud the head chair, which is the Spirit chair.
* Set place settings, and place a black votive candle on the plate before each empty chair, with a white one on the Spirit plate at the head of the table.
* Light each candle. Place your hands on the shrouded chair and ask for Spirit to be with you. Walk to each ancestor’s chair touch it, explaining that the ritual is being done in the ancestors’ honor.
* The host of the feast sits in the chair opposite the shrouded chair.
As each guest enters the room, he or she should go to the Spirit chair, touch it, then go to each of the ancestors’ chairs and place a prayer under each plate or say a simple prayer silently. The guests then take their seats, join hands and pray a wordless blessing of the meal and for all present.
The host serves the empty chairs, beginning at the head of the table. Then the host serves the living guests from oldest to youngest.
* After the feast is done and all have finished eating, all join hands, silently asking for the blessings of Spirit on the living and the dead.
* Now is the time to gather each prayer left under a plate and burn it in the flame of the candle by that plate, catching the ashes in a container.
* On the sign from the host, the guests leave the area, stopping by empty places or ancestral altar on their way out.
* After the host thanks Spirit, the guests return to share any impressions they received during the feast. The table is cleared, and divination can be done. Allow the candles to burn until all have gone home, and then snuff each candle. Throw the candle ends and prayer ashes into a moving body of water, or bury them off the property.
The EarthSpirit Newsletter from Autumn 1996 contains a fine article by Anne Lafferty called “Feeding the Dead.” She notes that in Mexico the days between October 31 and November 2 are important because the dead are supposed to visit their relatives at this time. An altar is set up for the dead, and here the offering of food is made. The specific foods offered depend partly on tradition, partly on the tastes of the specific relatives being honored and partly on other factors (such as how wealthy the family is and its specific ethnic background). Bread is invariably included, however. The food provided for child spirits is geared towards younger taste buds than the food given to adult spirits.
Samhain 2001 [had] a special meaning for pagans in the United States hosting Dumb Suppers. The sudden awful deaths of 7000 of our human family on September 11 is still grimly alive in our nightmares — so many dead, so violently and abruptly ripped from the land of the living. Most of the body parts [have] never [been] found. What of their souls? Are they still staggering, dazed and confused, in between the worlds? Have they found rest? Have they had any chance to say goodbye?
Our Dumb Suppers for  could [continue to] give them a proper farewell. It is a fitting time for the coming together of our magickal families and our communities. It is a fitting time to remember the real connections we have with our families of birth and with our national family. It is a fitting time to not only grieve our lost sisters and brothers in New York and in Washington and in a field near Pittsburgh but also honor them, and through them honor our roots as an American nation, a melting pot and cauldron for the world.
Copyright © 2003 Emerald City/Silver Moon Productions WIDDERSHINS ARCHIVES From Galena at Crone’s Corner