It’s 53F and damp, not really raining.
Yesterday started kinda weird. The weather was interesting enough, rain coming down like bullets upon occasion, and wind turning that into waterpik weather. Tempus was actually at the shop right at 11am, but he put a sign in the window and ran up to the house to grab me. We were fully open by 11:30 and hard at work after that. We’re changing things around in the back of the shop, so we can find stuff and finish sorting some more of the boxes. Also Tempus was toting some large pieces to the car that are going to Marius and Rowan’s new place, at least for the time being.
We did a lot of cleaning and then I entered some stuff into the inventory while Tempus got a nap. Neither of us slept well, the night before. I got some sewing done in the afternoon. I was the only one there for sewing, so I worked on a couple of jumpers that have been waiting. I was piecing bodices to go with the skirts.
We had a few customers in, but the weather was weird enough to keep folks home. We closed up around 6:30, Tempus set up his paper route stuff and then we headed home. There had been a few breaks in the downpours during the day, but at that point it was really coming down and blowing sheets of rain.
I was so chilled that it was a little worrisome. I had been cold all day. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I wore just a dress, no turtleneck. Of course, we had the door open all day, too, although not the back, just the front. When I came in and changed the bathroom window was open and I was shivering by the time I got to the study and got my warmsie on. I turned the heat on my toes and gradually stopped shaking and relaxed, and of course got sleepy in the process.
Tempus and I ate dinner and turned in fairly soon after getting some minor chores finished. I was up for a bit in the middle of the night, after Tempus took off for his paper route and the moon was out!
Today is going to be interesting. We have the usual Job Corps bunch in the morning and then I’m going to head back to the house to pack up some of what got shopped for and set up pickles and such. After we get back down to the shop, Tempus and Hatch are heading for Marius’ with the “stuff”. I’ll be sorting more pieces of projects. After closing we’ll be making pickles, a garlic oil and jams, I hope.
Today’s plant is Western Red Cedar, Thuja plicata, which is not a cedar at all, but an Arborvitae. Arborvitae comes from the Latin for “tree of life” and coincidentally, native Americans of the West coast also address the species as “long life maker”. “Western Redcedar has an extensive history of use by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, from Oregon to southeast Alaska. Some northwest coast tribes refer to themselves as “people of the redcedar” because of their extensive dependence on the tree for basic materials. The wood has been used for constructing housing, totem poles, and crafted into many objects, including masks, utensils, boxes, boards, instruments, canoes, vessels, and ceremonial objects. Roots and bark were used for baskets, ropes, clothing, blankets and rings.” Wiki article –Masculine, Sun, Fire, – to enhance banishing of ill health and bad dreams. Burn for this purpose and purification and psychic power. Make a sachet for love or courage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuja_plicata
Eliaphas Levi was born on this day in 1810. He used a type of magic that wasn’t fanatical and rather eclectic, which made his writings pretty popular. He was a Rosicrucian and was a huge influence on the Golden Dawn and OTO, therefore on Wicca. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliphas_Levi “Magic is the divinity of man achieved in union with faith…” I like that….
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm 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,
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 2/18 at 3:47pm. 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 Quarter on 2/11 at 7:50pm.
Orion stands high in the southeast after dusk, with his three-star belt pointing down toward brilliant Sirius, the Dog Star. The bright trio of Sirius, Betelgeuse (high above, in Orion’s shoulder), and Procyon (to their left) form the big, equilateral Winter Triangle. Compared to the Summer Triangle, it’s brighter, more nicely shaped, and more colorful.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.6, at the Leo-Cancer border) is at opposition on February 6th. It comes into view low in the east-northeast as twilight fades, and by 8 p.m. it’s high enough in the east for good telescopic viewing. Look to its left and lower left for the Sickle of Leo >>>>>>>. Jupiter shines highest in the south in the middle of the night. Bundle up!
Friday, Feb. 6–Friday, Feb. 20, after evening twilight. Look to the south of west, just above Venus and Mars, for the faint zodiacal light, reflected from interplanetary matter along the ecliptic (marked by green line). Don’t confuse it with the brighter Milky Way to the northwest.
Credit: Starry Night software
Goddess Month of of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Runic half-month of Elhaz/Algiz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary. Runic half-month of Sowulo/ Sigel, 2/12-26 It represents the power of the force of good throughout the world and is the harbinger of victory and ascendancy over darkness.
©2015 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright.
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grey and Red
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.
Quert – Apple Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Meaning: A choice must be made
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 8 High 3:03 AM 7.4 7:26 AM Set 9:25 AM 87
~ 8 Low 9:12 AM 2.0 5:35 PM Rise 10:31 PM
~ 8 High 2:56 PM 6.7
~ 8 Low 9:13 PM 1.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Days are like the Sun and Moon they come and go. We are like the Wind. We can go at any time, never held back except by our inner thoughts.
~ A warrior’s thoughts go to his community. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Authority doesn’t work without prestige, or prestige without distance. – Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) French general and statesman
~ Never waste a moment by waiting for a better one to come along. – Louix Dor Dempriey
~ Everything is perfect in the universe, even your desire to improve it. – Wayne Dyer
The Ranee was remarkable for her bravery, cleverness and perseverance; her generosity to her subordinates was unbounded. These qualities, combined with her rank, rendered her the most dangerous of the rebel leaders. – General Sir High Rose, the officer commanding the force that took Jhansi and Gwalior, of Lakshmibai, who was born on November 10, 1835
Magick – Is Wicca Under a Spell? – As publishers produce more books about casting spells, is the spiritual message of witchcraft getting lost? By Carl McColman (I believe that this is copyright to Carl McColman, but can’t find my original source for the article! If someone does, please let me know. No copyright infringement is intended.)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Gerald Gardner’s Witchcraft Today. This folksy and rambling book might well have ended up consigned to the moldy used bookstores of the world, were it not for its audacious claim: that the author was an initiate in a genuine coven of Witches, active in Great Britain in the middle years of the 20th century.
It was hardly the first book on Witchcraft, and not even the first book to consider sympathetically the craft as a benign form of Pagan spirituality. But it was the first important book in which an author claiming to be a real live Witch told his own story, and in doing so made it possible for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people to make Witchcraft, in some form or fashion, their own spirituality of choice.
Gardner’s depiction of Witchcraft emphasized secrecy and spirituality: the “cult” was all about worshipping the Great Mother Goddess and her Horned Consort. Yet for all its secrecy, Witchcraft (or Wicca, as it has come to be known in its religious form) has spawned a virtual torrent of books and websites. They offer first-person accounts of how people become Witches; teachings of the practices, beliefs, and worldviews of Wiccans; and instructions on how to perform rituals, initiate dedicants, and cast spells.
Indeed, if one quality of recent Wiccan literature is worth noticing, it’s the instructions on casting spells. This seems reasonable enough: after all, aren’t Witches known for their magic-making abilities? Gardner and many other writers on Witchcraft tended to discuss spellcraft only as a single aspect of a greater spiritual whole, but the trend in publishing in the last 10 years has been to emphasize spells while marginalizing the spiritual and religious elements of Witchcraft.
As a religion inspired by witchcraft, Wicca has two fundamental ethical tenets: the Wiccan Rede (Harm none, and do what you will) and the Law of Three (Any energy you send out will come back threefold). The Wiccan Rede demands responsible behavior that refrains from causing harm (even to the self), while the Law of Three promises (or threatens!) that any action, whether good or bad, will eventually have karmic consequences.
Yet a half-century after Gardner, bookstores are filled with titles like The Good Witch’s Guide to Wicked Ways; How to Turn Your Ex-Boyfriend into a Toad and Other Spells for Love, Wealth, Beauty and Revenge; and The Book Of Spells: Secret Recipes to Get Your Own Way in Love, Work and Play. If buying a book isn’t enough, you can buy a kit with all the ingredients for casting a spell: The Teen Witch Kit, A Witch’s Box of Magickal Protection, and The Little Box of Spells.
Spell books can be found not only at New Age and metaphysical shops, but also at college bookstores, Barnes & Noble and Borders, and even local supermarkets and toy stores.
How many youth are interested in Wicca, Paganism, and magic? And how many are actually buying books on spells? Accurate numbers may be impossible to determine. But according to an essay by B.A. Robinson of the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance, “there are some indications that the total number of [teens interested in magic] is large and is growing quickly.” Robinson notes that major neo-pagan websites like The Witches’ Voice indicate a significant percentage of hits coming from teen readers, while Llewellyn Publishing, a company that specializes in Wiccan books, reports that its bestselling title is Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation.
Most alarmingly, the Wiccan ethical focus seems to have gone by the wayside: the new spell books are all about “getting your own way,” presenting magic not as an inner pursuit, but merely as a tool for wish fulfillment. As a result, veteran Witches are so outspoken in their criticism of spell books that such titles have been unofficially dubbed “witchcrap.”
“One of my fears with the spell books is that they send the wrong message to those looking for answers on how to be Pagan,” says writer Laura LaVoie. “A lot of teenagers are buying these books and if they don’t get the depth they really need, they will likely use magic simply as a fun diversion and then go about their lives.”
Others worry that books focused more on spells than spirituality could undersell the importance of ethics in the world of magic, or could mislead readers about what truly makes magic tick, emphasizing the paraphernalia of magic (candles, herbs, etc.) at the expense of the underlying spirituality.
Gardnerian priestess Judy Harrow, author of Spiritual Mentoring, notes, “I remember once a man solemnly informing me that if a spell calls for, say, blue candles, and the candles are white candles dipped in blue instead of being blue all the way through, the spell will fail or maybe even backfire… People who believe that (magic) power is in ‘the stuff’ will not be able to access the power if ‘the stuff’ is not handy.”
If spell books don’t always present the full story or even the true depths of Wicca and other forms of Witchcraft, why then are they so popular? One reader of spell books, Kate Hofer, says she was drawn to such books with an attitude of “let’s see what this stuff can do.” Later on she began to pass over spell books in favor of more religiously oriented Wiccan books, “because I’ve been terribly disappointed in most of them (the spell books).” Another reader named June (who asked to be identified by her first name only) notes that she was drawn to magical books because of an interest in herbalism (she has a garden), but also admits to picking up books simply because they “looked good” at her local bookshop.
But to publishers, there’s only one reason why these books matter: because they sell. “I’ve been to Pagan conventions and have sat down with people to find out what they want published,” says Laurie Kelly, publicist for New Page Books. “I always hear that the community needs more books on spirituality and less on spellcraft. But when a spellcraft workshop starts, I see the same people sitting there, waiting to learn techniques for spells.”
Australian sociologist Douglas Ezzy sees in the upswing of spell books an evolution in popular ideas about Witchcraft, away from the hidden “mystery religion” as promoted by Gardner and his contemporaries and more toward a “new age” model of spirituality-as-personal-fulfillment. In his paper “New Age Witchcraft? Popular spell books and the re-enchantment of everyday life,” Ezzy notes that spell books “encourage individuals to take control of their lives through self-exploration and self-affirmation.” Furthermore, “performing magical spells functions as a way of re-discovering the enchanted and mysterious aspects of life.”
In other words, spells are more than just magical recipes for getting your own way; they are miniature rituals designed to foster a sense of mystery and wonder (what Ezzy calls “enchantment”) in everyday life, and to evoke a positive sense of power and hope in the spell-caster’s life. Even if casting a spell doesn’t make you rich or win you love, it could give you hope that such blessings really are possible in your life.
Ezzy sees spell books as aimed at casual or “part-time” followers of Witchcraft. Pagan author Patricia Telesco (who has written a number of spell books, including Mastering Candle Magick and Goddess in My Pocket), notes that “a large group of novices come into the Craft every year, and it’s the novice consumer who is often looking for spell books.” For this reason, she takes the job of writing spell books seriously. “I try to encourage a different mode of thought-one that sees potentials and then figures out how to activate those potentials on a very real level… this encourages a mental connection between a person’s life and sacred energies.”
In other words, a spell book may not tell the whole story about Witchcraft and magic, but if it helps someone to find even a cursory sense of the sacred in their everyday life, and-more critically-invites the novice or “weekend Witch” to delve deeper into the world of the craft; well, then it has done its job. As Hofer notes, “The spell books convinced me that I didn’t know nearly enough to cast those types of spells and sent me back to learning about the religion and refining and redefining my beliefs.”