61F and overcast at 400 feet. I was pouring when I got up, but it slacked off. We got .4 inches yesterday and so far .12 and little birds have been all over the re-filled feeder.
Yesterday I spent the morning finishing the updates on the House Capuchin blog. This one stays pretty consistent, but that one I get to once a week at best and then OCPPG ate every bit of my time for several weeks, plus we had more pictures than usual….but it’s done, now. In the late morning I was getting into a research project that’s been waiting and then Tempus and I sat and talked for a couple of hours, partially about the project and partially about philosophy.
After that he went off to do some chores, since he’s feeling better. I just kept going on research project, finally getting somewhere in mid-evening. It’s not a short-term thing. I’m collecting bits and pieces for a paper on historical toys and trying to find primary sources, if possible. I *love* the internet! The last time I was working on this…about 15 years ago….I had to give up because I couldn’t get the books. Now the info is actually on the Net. I wasn’t feeling well enough to write, but I could at least collect information.
Tempus is going to be at the shop today. I was still a little feverish last night and shivering, although not during the day, but this morning I’m shivering again, so I’m still going to be home; maybe a little writing, probably more research. Maybe what I ought to do is to get the Mab’s Creations Yule Kit done….
Today’s Plant is Salal, Gaultheria shallon. This is a shrub, an understory plant, that ranges all up and down the west coast, from Alaska to California. They’re an invasive in wild heathlands in Europe, having been introduced back in the 1800’s. There’s a big industry in Oregon, supplying the foliage to florists. The local peoples harvested the berries as a primary food source, drying them into cakes. They make a nice crunchy snack, dried this way or individually. The young leaves are edible, too. One, nearly forgotten use, is medicinally as an astringent. Mashed with some water, they’re a great soother for sunburn or insect bites, even working on yellow-jacket stings. It also works internally on an inflamed digestive tract from ulcers to diarrhea and a tea (simple infusion) will help with a dry cough. Eat the young leaves as an appetite suppressant. –Feminine, Saturn, Juno – Use in spells as in the medicinal uses, the appetite suppressant effect, particularly. This is an hardy herb, so it also can be added to spells for added duration. It works well in situations of emotional upset, particularly when there’s a sick stomach from stress.
Today is Nicholas Culpeper’s Birthday. If you’ve ever heard of Culpeper’s Herbal, he’s the author of this 16th century classic! He was a pioneer in herbal references and associations and while a lot of his work has been disproved, most hasn’t. A lot of practical and empirically-gathered information got kept in his herbal which would have been otherwise lost. Along with the Herbal he published a manual on childbirth and many translations of texts used in medicine. “Culpeper was a radical in his time, angering his fellow physicians by condemning their greed, unwillingness to stray from Galen and their use of harmful practices such as toxic remedies and bloodletting. The Society of Apothecaries were similarly incensed by the fact that he suggested cheap herbal remedies as opposed to their expensive concoctions.” (from Wikipedia) More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Culpeper
The shop opens at 11am! 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 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
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 Tide Change on 10/23 at 2:57pm. Waning Crescent Moon –Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 10/19 at 2:57am.
This is the time of year when, after nightfall, W-shaped Cassiopeia stands on end halfway up the northeastern sky — and when, off to its left, the dim Little Dipper extends leftward from Polaris in the north.
On Sunday the 19th, the faint Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) makes its much-awaited close pass by Mars, as told in the September Sky & Telescope, page 53, with chart. This will be an extremely challenging observation, with Mars low in the southwest right at the end of twilight and the comet only 10th or 11th magnitude, fainter than originally predicted. But you can follow a webcast of the encounter courtesy of the Virtual Telescope project; watch in real time starting at 16:45 UT (12:45 p.m. EDT) October 19th, or the recording later. Also:NASA Prepares Its Science Fleet for Oct 19 Mars-Comet Encounter.
Venus is in superior conjunction with the sun on the 25th, so will be hard to see all month. Look for it during the partial solar eclipse on the 23rd.
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 Wunjo/Wyn – October 13-28 – Wyn represents joy, the rune being the shape of a weather vane. The month represents the creation of harmony within the given conditions of the present.
©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
Sa 18 Low 3:20 AM 1.4 7:36 AM Rise 2:28 AM 31
~ 18 High 9:51 AM 6.5 6:27 PM Set 4:00 PM
~ 18 Low 4:03 PM 2.5
~ 18 High 9:42 PM 6.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Aloneness is a flower, a lotus blooming in your heart. Aloneness is positive, aloneness is health. It is the joy of being yourself.
~ Character is a long-standing habit. – Plutarch
~ From a fallen tree, all make kindling. – Spanish Proverb
~ Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. – Lunar Rainbow
~ Deep well must be dug if you want clear water. Deep wells don’t run still. – Rammstein
THE CELT’S PRAYER – D’Arcy McGee
Oh, King of Heaven ! wlio dwelleth throned afar
Beyond the hills, the skylark, and the star,
Whose eai’ was never shut to our complaints.
Look down and hear the children of thy Saints !
We ask no strength of arm, or heart, Lord !
“We still can hoist the sail and ply the sword,
We ask no gifts of grain — our soil still bears
Abundant harvests to the fruitful years !
The gift, O Lord, we need, to David’s son
You gave, for asking, once in Gabaon;
The gift of Wisdom, which, of all your powers,
Most needful is, dread Lord ! to us and ours !
Our race was mighty once, when at their head
Wise men, like steadfast torches, burn’d and led;
When Ollamh’s lore and royal Cormac’s spell
Guided the Gael, all things with them went well.
All Hallow’s Eve – by Mike Nichols
Sly does it. Tiptoe catspaws. Slide and creep.
But why? What for? How? Who? When! Where did it all begin?
“You don’t know, do you?” asks Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud climbing out of the pile of leaves under the Halloween Tree. “You don’t really know!”
—Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree
Samhain. All Hallows. All Hallow’s Eve. Hallow E’en. Halloween. The most magical night of the year. Exactly opposite Beltane on the wheel of the year, Halloween is Beltane’s dark twin. A night of glowing jack-o’-lanterns, bobbing for apples, tricks or treats, and dressing in costume. A night of ghost stories and séances, tarot card readings and scrying with mirrors. A night of power, when the veil that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest. A “spirit night”, as they say in Wales.
All Hallow’s Eve is the eve of All Hallow’s Day (November 1). And for once, even popular tradition remembers that the eve is more important than the day itself, the traditional celebration focusing on October 31, beginning at sundown. And this seems only fitting for the great Celtic New Year’s festival. Not that the holiday was Celtic only. In fact, it is startling how many ancient and unconnected cultures (the Egyptians and pre-Spanish Mexicans, for example) celebrated this as a festival of the dead. But the majority of our modern traditions can be traced to the British Isles.
The Celts called it Samhain, which means “summer’s end”, according to their ancient twofold division of the year, when summer ran from Beltane to Samhain and winter ran from Samhain to Beltane. (Some modern covens echo this structure by letting the high priest “rule” the coven beginning on Samhain, with rulership returned to the high priestess at Beltane.) According to the later fourfold division of the year, Samhain is seen as “autumn’s end” and the beginning of winter. Samhain is pronounced (depending on where you’re from) as “sow-in” (in Ireland), or “sow-een” (in Wales), or “sav-en” (in Scotland), or (inevitably) “sam-hane” (in the U.S., where we don’t speak Gaelic).
Not only is Samhain the end of autumn; it is also, more importantly, the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Celtic New Year’s Eve, when the new year begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year, just as the new day begins at sundown. There are many representations of Celtic Gods with two faces, and it surely must have been one of them who held sway over Samhain. Like his Roman counterpart Janus, he would straddle the threshold, one face turned toward the past, in commemoration of those who died during the last year, and one face gazing hopefully toward the future, mystic eyes attempting to pierce the veil and divine what the coming year holds. These two themes, celebrating the dead and divining the future, are inexorably intertwined in Samhain, as they are likely to be in any New Year’s celebration.
As a feast of the dead, this was the one night when the dead could, if they wished, return to the land of the living, to celebrate with their family, tribe, or clan. And so the great burial mounds of Ireland (sidhe mounds) were opened up, with lighted torches lining the walls, so the dead could find their way. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for any who had died that year. And there are many stories that tell of Irish heroes making raids on the Underworld while the gates of faery stood open, though all must return to their appointed places by cockcrow.
As a feast of divination, this was the night par excellence for peering into the future. The reason for this has to do with the Celtic view of time. In a culture that uses a linear concept of time, like our modern one, New Year’s Eve is simply a milestone on a very long road that stretches in a straight line from birth to death. Thus, the New Year’s festival is a part of time. The ancient Celtic view of time, however, is cyclical. And in this framework, New Year’s Eve represents a point outside of time, when the natural order of the universe dissolves back into primordial chaos, preparatory to reestablishing itself in a new order. Thus, Samhain is a night that exists outside of time and, hence, it may be used to view any other point in time. At no other holiday is a tarot card reading, crystal reading, or tealeaf reading so likely to succeed.
The Christian religion, with its emphasis on the “historical” Christ and his act of Redemption 2000 years ago, is forced into a linear view of time, where seeing the future is an illogical proposition. In fact, from the Christian perspective, any attempt to do so is seen as inherently evil. This did not keep the medieval church from co-opting Samhain’s other motif, commemoration of the dead. To the church, however, it could never be a feast for all the dead, but only the blessed dead, all those hallowed (made holy) by obedience to God—thus, All Hallow’s, or Hallowmas, later All Saints and All Souls.
There are so many types of divination that are traditional to Hallowstide, it is possible to mention only a few. Girls were told to place hazelnuts along the front of the firegrate, each one to symbolize one of her suitors. She could then divine her future husband by chanting, “If you love me, pop and fly; if you hate me, burn and die.” Several methods used the apple, that most popular of Halloween fruits. You should slice an apple through the equator (to reveal the five-pointed star within) and then eat it by candlelight before a mirror. Your future spouse will then appear over your shoulder. Or, peel an apple, making sure the peeling comes off in one long strand, reciting, “I pare this apple round and round again; / My sweetheart’s name to flourish on the plain: / I fling the unbroken paring o’er my head, / My sweetheart’s letter on the ground to read.” Or, you might set a snail to crawl through the ashes of your hearth. The considerate little creature will then spell out the initial letter as it moves.
Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the jack-o’- lantern. Various authorities attribute it to either Scottish or Irish origin. However, it seems clear that it was used as a lantern by people who traveled the road this night, the scary face to frighten away spirits or faeries who might otherwise lead one astray. Set on porches and in windows, they cast the same spell of protection over the household. (The American pumpkin seems to have forever superseded the European gourd as the jack-o’- lantern of choice.) Bobbing for apples may well represent the remnants of a Pagan “baptism” rite called a seining, according to some writers. The water-filled tub is a latter-day Cauldron of Regeneration, into which the novice’s head is immersed. The fact that the participant in this folk game was usually blindfolded with hands tied behind the back also puts one in mind of a traditional Craft initiation ceremony.
The custom of dressing in costume and “trick-or-treating” is of Celtic origin, with survivals particularly strong in Scotland. However, there are some important differences from the modern version. In the first place, the custom was not relegated to children, but was actively indulged in by adults as well. Also, the “treat” that was required was often one of spirits (the liquid variety). This has recently been revived by college students who go ‘trick-or-drinking’. And in ancient times, the roving bands would sing seasonal carols from house-to-house, making the tradition very similar to Yuletide wassailing. In fact, the custom known as caroling, now connected exclusively with Midwinter, was once practiced at all the major holidays. Finally, in Scotland at least, the tradition of dressing in costume consisted almost exclusively of cross-dressing (i.e., men dressing as women, and women as men). It seems as though ancient societies provided an opportunity for people to “try on” the role of the opposite gender for one night of the year. (Although in Scotland, this is admittedly less dramatic—but more confusing—since men were in the habit of wearing skirtlike kilts anyway. Oh well…)
To Witches, Halloween is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats, or cross-quarter days. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called “The Great Sabbat”. It is an ironic fact that the newer, self-created covens tend to use the older name of the holiday, Samhain, which they have discovered through modern research. While the older hereditary and traditional covens often use the newer name, Halloween, which has been handed down through oral tradition within their coven. (This often holds true for the names of the other holidays, as well. One may often get an indication of a coven’s antiquity by noting what names it uses for the holidays.)
With such an important holiday, Witches often hold two distinct celebrations. First, a large Halloween party for non- Craft friends, often held on the previous weekend. And second, a coven ritual held on Halloween night itself, late enough so as not to be interrupted by trick-or-treaters. If the rituals are performed properly, there is often the feeling of invisible friends taking part in the rites. Another date that may be utilized in planning celebrations is the actual cross-quarter day, or Old Halloween, or Halloween O.S. (Old Style). This occurs when the sun has reached fifteen degrees Scorpio, an astrological “power point” symbolized by the Eagle. The celebration would begin at sunset. Interestingly, this date (Old Halloween) was also appropriated by the church as the holiday of Martinmas.
Of all the Witchcraft holidays, Halloween is the only one that still boasts anything near to popular celebration. Even though it is typically relegated to children (and the young-atheart) and observed as an evening affair only, many of its traditions are firmly rooted in Paganism. Incidentally, some schools have recently attempted to abolish Halloween parties on the grounds that it violates the separation of state and religion. Speaking as a Pagan, I would be saddened by the success of this move, but as a supporter of the concept of religion-free public education, I fear I must concede the point. Nonetheless, it seems only right that there should be one night of the year when our minds are turned toward thoughts of the supernatural. A night when both Pagans and non-Pagans may ponder the mysteries of the Otherworld and its inhabitants. And if you are one of them, may all your jack-o’-lanterns burn bright on this All Hallow’s Eve.
Document Copyright © 1986, 1995, 2005 by Mike Nichols.
HTML coding by: Mike Nichols © 1997, 2005
Permission is given to re-publish this document only as long as no information is lost or changed, credit is given to the author, and it is provided or used without cost to others.
This notice represents an exception to the copyright notice found in the Acorn Guild Press edition of The Witches’ Sabbats and applies only to the text as given above.
Remember when we didn’t have CNN? Remember when there was no Internet? I think I like machines – I like getting my news, sports and weather straight away.
Nate – What can I say, I was double-dogged dared!
Close your eyes and go back in time…. Way before the Internet or the MAC, way before semiautomatics and crack, before SEGA or Super Nintendo…
I’m talking way-way back…
* I’m talkin’ bout hide and go seek at dusk
* Sittin’ on the porch
* Hot, bread and butter
* The Good Humor man
* Red light, Green light
* Chocolate milk
* Lunch tickets
* Penny candy in a tiny brown paper bag
* Playin’ Pinball in the corner store
* Mother May I?
* Hula Hoops
* Sunflower Seeds
* Red Rover
* Roly Poly
* Jolly Ranchers
* Banana Splits
* Wax Lips and Mustaches
* Running through the sprinkler
* The smell of the sun and lickin’ salty lips….
Wait there’s more……
* Watchin’ Saturday Morning cartoons, Fat Albert, Road Runner, He-Man, The Three Stooges, and Bugs,
Or back even further…..
* Listening to Superman on the radio
* Catchin’ lightening bugs in a jar
* Playing sling shot
* When around the corner seemed far away, And when you were going downtown – you had to dress-up and it seemed like really going somewhere.
* Climbing trees
* An ice cream cone on a warm summer night, chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or maybe butter pecan.
* A cherry Coke from the REAL soda fountain at the corner drug store
* A million mosquito bites
* Sticky fingers
* Cops and robbers
* Cowboys and Indians
* Sittin’ on the curb
* Jumpin down the steps
* Jumpin on the bed
* Pillow fights
* Running till you were out of breath
* Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt
* Being tired from playin’….
Remember that?… Wait, I ain’t finished just yet…
* Eating Kool-aid powder with sugar or ‘lickem-ades’.
* Remember when…When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyers) and the only time you wore them at school, was for “gym”.
* When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up (if you even had one).
* When everyone’s Mom was at home when the kids got there.
* When nobody owned a purebred dog.
* When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a miracle.
* When milk went up one cent and everyone talked about it for weeks.
* When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.
* When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school… if then.
* When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
* When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done and wore dresses and hats and sometimes even gloves to school.
* When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time.
* And, you didn’t pay for air, and you got trading stamps to boot!
* When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.
* When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
* When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.
* When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed… and did!
* When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home…
* We were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc… our parents and grandparents were a much bigger fear.
Didn’t that feel good… just to go back and say – Yeah, I remember that!
There’s nothing like the good old days! They were good then and they’re good now when we think about them.
I want to go back to the time when…………
* Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.”
* Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!”
* “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest
* Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in “Monopoly”
* Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening
* It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best” friends
* “Being old” referred to anyone over 20
* The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play Volleyball and rules didn’t matter
* The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties
* It was magic when dad would “remove” his thumb
* It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn’t an Olympic event
* Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot
* Nobody was prettier than Mom
* Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better
* It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the “big people” rides at the amusement park
* Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true
* Abilities were discovered because of a “double-dog-dare”
* Saturday morning cartoons weren’t 30-minute ads for action figures
* No shopping trip was complete unless a new toy was brought home
* “Oly-oly-ocean-free” made perfect sense
* Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles
* The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team
* War was a card game
* Water balloons were the ultimate weapons
* Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle
* Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin
* Ice cream was considered a basic food group
* Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors
If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!! Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their “grown up” life…I DOUBLE DOG DARE YA!