Blessed Samhain! Psychic Fair begins tonight with the Open Circle for Samhain and continues tomorrow with Frederick Jensen as our special guest and workshops and an evening meditation. Wicca 101 course begins 11/10.
Yesterday was one of those grey days that didn’t ever quite make up its mind whether to rain or to stay grey. It didn’t really matter, since it did both and there was so much water in the air that it greyed out the far side of Alsea Bay.
I did some harvesting before I headed for the shop: a bit of thyme, some catmint, a few fennel heads. >>>>> It’s good to have the plant tied up again. We have a piece of root with shoots that needs to go back in the ground. Kyaara cut it off the blown-down part and it’s in a bucket on the porch.
<<<< A couple of mushrooms in the lawn, that Kyaara pointed out. Don’t know the variety, but something’s been chewing on them. You can’t tell from the pix, but the larger one is 6 inches or more across.
Once I got the shop open I sorted feast gear. Everything from ours, to stuff for sale, to the loaner stuff had gotten thoroughly mixed up. Some still needed to be washed, even, because a box was still in the car from late September!
>> Not sure what this is. 4 or 5 volunteer plants in the yard. Anyone know? >>>
Next I worked on herbs, jarring the dried one, finding bottles and putting away.
<<< same plant <<<<
Rowan came in during the early afternoon to drop off a few things and to make sure what was where for the ritual tonight.
I walked over to Chubby’s during one of the dry spots….relatively dry… I came back with waterspots on my caftan and a damp tukas from sitting on a bench that hadn‘t gotten dried off. 🙂 They make an awfully good grilled ham and cheese, old-style.
> Full pic with blackberries and lavendar >>
Jan came in and I stocked up on pendants and rings. Yes, we have more of the wooden $2 rings.
When I got home I crashed for several hours. Tempus was home when I got up and he made me a salad before turning in. …and eggnog season has arrived, so I had a glass of that for dessert!
Today we’re going to be doing a lot of sorting and then setting up for the Sabbat and the Psychic Fair!
Read this…. a wonderful family and a very, very special horse. http://www.horsenation.com/2014/10/09/how-to-say-goodbye-to-a-unicorn/
This is one of the designs that’s up on Cafe Press that just seems to be appropriate for today! http://www.cafepress.com/ancientlight/6233789
“We are the flow and we are the ebb,
We are the Weavers, we are the Web!”
Today’s Plant is the Coast Willow, Salix hookeriana. I’ve been mistaking it for pussy willow ever since I moved out here! Pussy Willows are a subset of the willows which also include osiers (think “wicker” for their uses). They’re all Saliciae from which, salicylic acid, the medicine Aspirin, was derived. Willow magick is Feminine, Moon and Water. Willow wands can be used for healing, to sleep with for more vivid dreams, Drawing Down the Moon, or for protection in underworld journeying. The Willow will bring the blessings of the Moon upon those who plant it or have it on their property. Willows can be used to bind together witch’s brooms and a forked willow branch is widely used in water witching and dowsing. New Moon magick, creativity, fertility, female rights of passage, inspiration, emotion, binding. Love, Love divination, protection, healing. It is also known as the tree of immortality because of its ability to re grow from a fallen branch in moist ground. These properties apply to all forms of willow, but the Coast Willow has the properties of endurance, tolerance and stubbornness as well. There’s more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org
Tonight is the night when dead leaves fly
like witches on switches across the sky.
When elf and sprite flit through the night
on a moony sheen.
“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)
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 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 on 11/6 at 2:23pm. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 11/5 at 2:23am.
For Halloween after dark, the quarter Moon shines in the south. It’s between Altair >>> , very high to its upper right, and <<< Fomalhaut, down to its lower left.
Saturn is sinking away into the sunset. Scan for it with binoculars just above the west-southwest horizon, very far to the lower right of Mars, as twilight deepens. Saturn, in Libra, vanishes into evening twilight late in the month.
Goddess Month of Cailleach/Samhain runs from 10/31 – 11/27
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal/Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24 – nGéadal – (NYEH-dl)
Runic half-month of Hagalaz/Hagal – October 29-Novmber 12 – The Runic half-month of Hagal commences today, represented by the hailstone of transformation. It is a harbinger of the need to undergo the necessary preparations before the harsh northern Winter.
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal/Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24 – nGéadal – (NYEH-dl) – The term “reed” is used with great imprecision in North America, but it is clear that the reed of the ogham is the common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel). This is a giant grass, with stems as high as 4 m (13 feet). It grows in marshy areas, where it often forms dense stands. Like most other grasses, the vertical stems live only a single year, dying in the autumn and being replaced with new green shoots in the spring. The dead stems rattle and whisper in late autumn winds. Common reed has spread as a weed throughout the world; in North America it is widespread in cooler climates. Common reed is in the Grass family (Poaceae, or Gramineae).
“The Reed Month, is said by some to be most favorable for communication with ancestral spirits and the strengthening of all family ties, with magickal associations with fertility, love, protection, and family concerns. ‘Thin and slender is the Reed. He stands in clumps at the edge of the river and between his feet hides the swift pike awaiting an unsuspecting minnow to come his way. In his thinness the reed resembles arrows that fly, silver-tipped, up into the unknown air to land at the very source that one had searched for all these years. Firing arrows off into the unknown is an expression of the desire to search out basic truths. If you loose off without direction, the place of landing will be random. If the firing off is carried out with the correct conviction, determination and sense of purpose, then the act becomes secondary to the event that comes both before and after the moment.'” Source: Earth, Moon and Sky
Ngetal – Reed Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grass Green
Meaning: Upsets or surprises
to study this month Mor – the Sea Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: AE, X, XI, M
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 31 Low 12:46 AM 0.4 7:53 AM Set 12:32 AM 46
~ 31 High 7:33 AM 6.7 6:07 PM Rise 2:39 PM
~ 31 Low 1:23 PM 3.0
~ 31 High 7:03 PM 6.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Tell more stories.
~ I’ll not listen to reason… reason always means what someone else has got to say. – Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) English writer
~ My early and invincible love of reading I would not exchange for all the riches of India.- E.Gibbon
~ The part of the mind that is dark to us in this culture, that is sleeping in us, that we name ‘unconscious’, is the knowledge that we are inseparable from all other beings in the Universe. – Susan Griffin
~ Nothing endures but change. – Heraclitus
All our lives we work for that
which at the last gate
we simply give away. – Charles Van Gorkom, Canadian poet (to visit his blog, please click here)
Dia De Los Muertos: A Joyful Mexican Celebration by C Markello , Kathy Bean
What is the Dia de los Muertos?
Every October, those celebrating the Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in Mexico begin preparing for the colorful and festive tradition honoring family and friends who have passed away. This tradition, rich in folk art, is rooted in ancient practices of the indigenous people of Latin America blended with Spanish traditions brought to the New World in the early 1500s. Unlike the gruesome and haunting events often associated with Halloween, the centuries-old tradition of Day of the Dead brings families and communities together as they celebrate and honor the deceased. From region to region, the Mexican celebration varies in length from one or two days to as long as a couple of weeks. Typically, November 1 is reserved for the souls of the returning angelitos or children, and November 2 for the return of the adult souls.
What Traditions Can Be Found?
Ofrendas, or altars, created by families display favorite foods and trinkets thought to be appreciated by their deceased ancestors, as well as candles and photographs of the deceased to honor their passing and welcome their souls to the festivities. The construction of the ofrendas varies from region to region throughout Mexico. For example, the residents of Huaquechula, located in the state of Puebla, create polychrome pottery for their ofrendas. In this region, ofrendas are built from a series of graduated boxes covered in white cloth and stacked on the table. In Oaxaca, stalks of sugar cane are tied to the table legs forming an arch over the ofrenda. Miniature skeletons made of clay, wood, and papier-mache representing a profession or a life-like activity might be displayed as a remembrance of loved ones’ favorite activities. Calaveras or skeleton masks inspired by Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada may also be included.
Food and drink are placed on the ofrenda as gifts to the returning souls. These offerings of nourishment are thought to help sustain the visiting soul on its journey to and from the living world. Items such as pan de muerto or sweet bread loaves; atole made of corn cooked with milk or water; chicken in a sauce made with chocolate, chile, and sesame seeds called mole; as well as fruit, tamales, soft drinks and flesh water. Altars for angelitos consider a child’s tastes, often including a bowl of milk, chocolate, mamones or cakes, and toys.
Cempasuchil or yellow marigolds and other flowers such as the purple Mano de Leon or cockscomb are sold in the markets for decorating altars and gravesites. The petals of these flowers are sprinkled in the doorway of the home and on the way to the cemetery, and on the graves so their aromas will help guide the returning souls.
Family members make processions to the cemetery bringing offerings and decorations to the gravesites. In some regions, skeleton masks are worn to make fun of death. Once at the grave, families keep watch all night, lighting candles to guide the souls. Meanwhile, musicians play celebratory music, while priests offer blessings.
Across the Border
Day of the Dead celebrations can be found in a variety of forms within the United States. One such celebration takes place in Houston at the Lawndale Art Center. Every fall teachers, students, parents, and artists work toward a community celebration in honor of the Mexican tradition. Primarily art specialists, but also teachers of other disciplines and of all grade levels explore Day of the Dead concepts and encourage student production of artwork, such as life-size papier-mache skeletons, student created ofrendas, and two-dimensional drawings depicting Day of the Dead themes for exhibition at Lawndale Art Center.
The exhibition culminates with a celebration day for the community to view student creations and participate in activities such as decorating sugar skulls, making traditional papel picado or cut-paper decorations, and contributing to a community ofrenda. In the fall of 2004, in an effort to improve understanding of the traditions related to the Day of the Dead, Lawndale Art Center in conjunction with the Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Education at the University of Houston launched a Web site link as an informational resource for teachers and students. This Web site, lawndaleartcenter, org/dod, is available to anyone interested in learning more about the celebration.
Through discussion, encourage students to explore the topic of Day of the Dead in order to determine their existing understanding of the tradition. After selecting age-appropriate resources, introduce students to imagery and readings followed by discussion. Continue the discussion with the exploration of other traditions and art surrounding the dead, such as the practices used in ancient Egypt. As students gain more understanding of the traditions associatied with the Day of the Dead, examine the difference between the American tradition of Halloween and the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead.
Related Studio Activities
Processional Day of the Dead Masks: Demonstrate how to apply papier-mache or plaster of Paris strips to mask molds. When the masks are dry, use tempera or acrylic paint to paint a solid colored background. Once dry, paint colorful designs used for calaveras or skulls.
Have students select a deceased relative or person they wish to honor. After reviewing items traditionally used on ofrendas, choose an image of the person, as well as two- and three-dimensional objects or imagery to offer the person being honored. Use glue and wire to fasten the selections inside a small box or onto a two-dimensional support such as a piece of mat board or cardboard.
Ancona, G. Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead. NY: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1993.
Carmichael, E., & Sayer, C. The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1997.
Hoyt-Goldsmith, D. Day of the Dead: a Mexican-American Celebration. New York: Holiday House, 1994.
Markello, C., & Wood, J. Day of the Dead / Dfa de los Muertos, from http://www.lawndaleartcenter.org/dod, 2004.
Students differentiate among a variety of historical and cultural contexts in terms of characteristics and purposes of works of art.
http://www.lawndaleartcenter.org/dod http://www.azcentral.com/rep/dead http://www.storyboardtoys.com/gallery/ Jerome.htm
Carrie Markello, a Houston Endowment LITE Fellow, is working toward a doctorate in art education at the University of Houston. firstname.lastname@example.org. Kathy Bean is an art teacher at Edgewood Elementary School in Houston, Texas.