Herbs at 11am, Sewing at 3pm.
By late in the afternoon I was watching the new green of the alder thrashing pretty wildly and the light was dimming. There are new buds on the roses under the alder, too, so spots of pink would flash into view occasionally.
Today we have Herbs at 11am and Sewing at 3pm. We’ll both be there, so I can do readings if you want one.
Courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Today’s plant is the Bells of Ireland, Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland, Molucca balmis, Shellflower, Shell flower) is a summer flowering annual, native to Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus. It is cultivated for its spikes of flowers. In the language of flowers, it represents luck. It’s a member of the mint family as you can tell by the leaves! More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bells_of_Ireland. Why Ireland? Only because it’s green. No relation!
Somewhere around this date a festival is held in Armenia for the goddess Anahit who rules fertility, healing, wisdom and water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anahit
The shop opens at 11am! Spring hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday, although they’re drifting longer into the evening as sunset does. 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. 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 4/11 at 8:44pm. 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 4/13 at 11:57pm.
Saturday, April 11, 11:44 p.m. EDT – Last Quarter Moon – The Last Quarter Moon rises around 2:30 a.m. and sets around 1 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky. It shines to the left of the Sagittarius Teapot through the rest of Sunday’s early-morning hours.
Venus and the Pleiades – Saturday, April 11, dusk – Venus passes within 3 degrees of the Pleiades star cluster. The Pleiades are at their closest to Venus this evening, about 2° to its right as twilight fades in the west.
Mercury is hidden deep in the glow of sunset.
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Runic half-month of Ehwaz, 3/30-4/13 – Ehwaz, the horse; time of partnership between humans and Nature, as between rider and horse. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 55 Runic half-month of Mannaz/ Man, April 14-28 A time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2015 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright.
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Fearn – Alder Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: F, V
Meaning: Help in making choices; spiritual guidance and protection.
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month – Ailim – Silver Fir
Color: Light Blue
Meaning: Learning from past mistakes; Take care in choices.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 11 High 5:25 AM 7.0 6:39 AM Rise 2:00 AM 64
~ 11 Low 12:37 PM 0.5 7:56 PM Set 11:57 AM
~ 11 High 7:20 PM 5.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Count Your Blessings. Once You realize how valuable You are and how much You have going for You, the Smiles will return, the Sun will break out, the Music will play, and You will finally be able to move forward with Grace, Strength, Courage, and Confidence. So, Count Your Blessings, dear Friend. Make a Gratitude list. You have thousands of Reasons to be Thankful…
Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” — Indira Gandhi
~ I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done. – Lucille Ball
~ Diversity builds strength. Take a look at a circle; it faces 360 degrees looking outward and inward in all directions. – David Bennett
~ Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. – Jack Benny
~ The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. – Henry Beston
THE TABLE AND THE CHAIR
Said the Table to the Chair,
“You can hardly be aware,
How I suffer from the heat,
And from chilblains on my feet!
If we took a little walk,
We might have a little talk!
Pray let us take the air!”
Said the Table to the Chair.
Said the Chair to the Table,
“Now you know we are not able!
How foolishly you talk,
When you know we cannot walk!”
Said the Table with a sigh,
“It can do no harm to try,
I’ve as many legs as you,
Why can’t we walk on two?”
So they both went slowly down,
And walked about the town
With a cheerful bumpy sound,
As they toddled round and round.
And everybody cried,
As they hastened to their side,
“See! the Table and the Chair
Have come out to take the air!”
But in going down an alley,
To a castle in a valley,
They completely lost their way,
And wandered all the day,
Till, to see them safely back,
They paid a Ducky-quack,
And a Beetle, and a Mouse,
Who took them to their house.
Then they whispered to each other,
“O delightful little brother!
What a lovely walk we’ve taken!
Let us dine on Beans and Bacon!”
So the Ducky and the leetle
Browny-Mousy and the Beetle
Dined and danced upon their heads
Till they toddled to their beds. – Edward Lear (1812-1888), English artist, poet, and writer of limericks and other nonsense
Beltane Magick – Constructing a Maypole (by Anja) – The Maypole of Beltane stands for the combination of the fertility of the Divine Masculine when joined with the Divine Feminine. No one knows the ancient roots of the ceremony, but the symbolism is obvious. Instructions here work for a Maypole for between 10 & 20 people. This is a lot of prep work, but massive amounts of fun!
There are several parts to a Maypole: the pole itself, the foundation, the ribbons, the wreath and the topper.
This can be of almost any material, but unless you live in a forest, where there are slender (2” -3”) straight trees with few branches, the most practical is a piece of closet pole from a lumberyard! Get it cut from 10-12 feet long.
At the same time buy a length of 1/8 inch dowel. Drill a hole in one end at least 1 ½ inches deep.
Drill 3 holes about 8” down from that end of the long pole, spaced equidistant around the pole. They should be to 1/8 inch diameter and about a 1/4 to ½ inch deep.
Cut 4 pieces of dowel 8 inches long. Make sure that they are loose in the holes, but don’t just fall out. You will balance the wreath on these dowels.
Save the 4th piece of dowel for the “topper”.
You will need to dig a hole in the ground at least a foot deep, (better yet, two!) and be prepared to tamp the dirt back in very, very hard. Some people have tried to use “portable holes” for this, but since they are no more than 8 inches long they usually fail and someone gets knocked on the head! We had good success one year using a round, folding picnic table with an umbrella hole in the center and tamping the pole in about 6” or so into beach sand. It leaned badly, although it didn’t fall. (The table became the ritual altar). You can also construct a stand for holding the pole upright, but try it several ways, yanking on it, because when the dancers get going the pole had better not fall over. The stand will usually have to support the pole up to 3 feet off the ground to give it any stability.
Brightly colored ribbon is the traditional material. I have heard of folks using macramé cord, rope and yarn for this, as well. We have used surveyors tape several times now, because it is strong, bright and inexpensive. Do *not* use florist’s ribbon with the cut edges! Those edges *cut* and you don’t want your dancers bleeding. This ritual doesn’t call for blood sacrifice. J Cut the ribbons ½ again the length of the pole, iow for an 8 foot pole, cut ribbons 12 feet long, one per person, but always an even number.
You need a 12” wreath. This is often constructed of hawthorn, but again, no need for blood sacrifice, so most folks use a grapevine wreath base that you can get at a craft store and stick fresh flowers in it.
If you weave your own, you need a wire ring, 12” diameter, thread and freshly-cut flowers & herbs. I often use rosemary, since it smells great and holds up.
Tie your thread to the wire ring and then begin wrapping around and around (about 1” distance per wrap), laying a new branch of rosemary in when about ½ of the previous one is tied down. Try not to catch the needles or smaller branches in the thread. Tie off when about 1/3 of the way around, again about another 1/3 and when you get all the way around.
As you go around a 2nd time, add at least 1 flower with each wrap, tying off with each 1/3 of the wreath. You can make a 3rd pass if you don’t add enough flowers on the 2nd pass.
Maypole Topper – cones of various trees follow the correspondences.
Gather 9 spruce cones (the long slender type), one larger cone (a large pine cone), and a double handful of alder/larch cones. You also need a small bunch of babies’ breath.
Drill a hole longways through the largest cone (two sets of hands are necessary!). Insert the last piece of dowel leaving about 4 inches sticking out the bottom of the cone.
Using a hot glue gun, glue 3 of the spruce cones spaced equidistant around the larger cone, all pointing the same way.
Glue 3 more with their bottoms touching the dowel and between the bases of the other spruce cones.
Repeat with the last three on the top of the construct, only glue the babies’ breath at the very top between the cones. Fill in spaces with the alder cones.
You can decorate with gold glitter and/or spangles
Assembling the pole
Get your hole dug first. Hang the wreath near the drilled end of the pole. Add your topper by inserting the dowel into the hole in the pole. Count noses for your group and tack as many ribbons on as there are noses as near the end of the pole as possible. Carefully insert the dowels into the other holes with the ribbons in 3 bunches between them, then set up the pole. If you are careful as you lift the pole the wreath will drop onto the small dowels without dislodging anything. Patience or a tall enough ladder is required!
To “Dance the Pole”
Space all your dancers around the pole as equidistant as possible. Each takes a ribbon and pulls it outwards until they are holding only about 2 feet of ribbon in their hands. Usually this will knock the dowels loose and the ribbon will be holding up the wreath. If they don’t, shake the ribbons closest to the dowels while folks are holding theirs tight.
Have them count off “1, 2, 1, 2…” then tell the “ones” to face left and the “twos” to face right. Go around the first person on the right, those on the inside ducking under the ribbon, then pass the next on the left and so on. Talk them through a bit of it and then get someone to sing or drum or whatever you have. As the ribbons weave around the pole the wreath will gradually drop. When you’re done, or everyone’s ready to drop, gather the ribbons in two bunches and tie in a “true love knot”, i.e. a square knot.
It’ll be a bit of a mess, no matter what you do. Laugh, sing and play!
©2009 Anja Bartlett