The computer says, “partly cloudy”, but that doesn’t matter to the brilliant sunshine!. It’s only 40F and only the leaves are moving. ….well, that applied for about five minutes, anyway. The sunshine went out. ….and now it’s pouring. 🙂 Wow….
After Tempus got out the door yesterday morning I settled in for a “slog” through setting up the pictures and info for my class on Saturday.
I looked up at about 2:30 and the porch roof was streaming water and the rain was nearly at right angles to it! The heaviest rain was north and east of us around Salem and Portland, but it really bucketed down for a few.
By suppertime I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on the pictures. There’s still lots more to do, but at least that part is getting there.
I got my supper by 9pm (gotta fast ‘coz of blood tests this morning) and kept working for awhile although after a bit I wasn’t doing anything useful, but I just couldn’t think any more and then I couldn’t sleep and once I did I had nightmares. <sigh> No real clue why, although the idea of blood tests always wigs me out.
At least that’s early and I’ll get it over with! I’m horribly sleepy and sitting here wondering if I actually saw that bright sunshine, earlier…. Well, it’s Tuesday, so chores have to happen later, and I need to get my class outline finalized.
Today’s Plant is Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, known as common hawthorn , may, mayblossom, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn, motherdie, and haw. It has edible buds, flowers and fruits, which are full of antioxidants . Particularly sacred to the month of May and to Beltane, it is used extensively as a hedge plant. Fairy energy, May interfere with digitalis medications. – Masculine, Mars, Fire. – Increases fertility and/or celibacy. Carry on a fishing trip to ensure good catch. Brings happiness to the troubled or depressed. Protects house against lightning and storms, evil ghosts may not enter. In cradles to guard from evil spells. Most Witch’s gardens contained a hawt hedge. Sacred to the fairies, and is part of the tree triad of Britain. More on this species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_hawthorn More on the genus Crataegus here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crataegus
Today’s feast is to the Hindu Goddess of Rain and Good Health, Mariamman (and tons of other spellings. Today is quoted as one of her feasts by the Wicca Book of Days, but I can’t find that anywhere else. Here’s a page on the deity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariamman and here’s a page on an interesting and possibly related deity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Good_Health
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 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,
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 4/18 at 11:57am. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone – Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends on 4/16 at 11:57pm.
After dark as spring advances, the Big Dipper high in the northeast is tipping over as if to dump water into the dim Little Dipper’s bowl, which is swinging up far below it.
Late tonight an 8.9-magnitude star near Spica >>>>>> will be occulted by the fainter asteroid 595 Polyxena for telescope users along a path from Maine through southern Ontario, Michigan, Nebraska, and northern California. The star should vanish for up to 8 seconds around 7:29 Universal Time for Maine, and 7:34 UT at the West Coast. Path map and finder charts for the star.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.3, in Cancer) shines high in the south at dusk. It’s the brightest point of light high on that side of the sky. Get your scope on it early before it moves lower into the southwest and west. Don’t expect to see nearly the detail with your eye that video-frame stacking with a large amateur telescope can bring out.
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 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.
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12 – The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and ages appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were colleges of Druidesses – learned women and teachers – respected equally for their gifts of see-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions.
Magical Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.
Saille – Willow Ogam letter correspondences
Color: listed only as bright
Meaning: Gaining balance in your life
to study this month – Ohn – Furze Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Yellow Gold
Meaning: Information that could change your life
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 14 Low 3:23 AM 2.3 6:34 AM Rise 4:09 AM 31
~ 14 High 9:11 AM 6.8 7:59 PM Set 3:22 PM
~ 14 Low 3:52 PM 0.4
~ 14 High 10:18 PM 7.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I forgive my mistakes and live on.
Journal Prompt – Auto-Biographical narrative – Given the chance to give your child only one quality as a person, which would you choose? How about if that choice were unavailable, what would be your second and maybe third choices? Why are these so important to you?
~ And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) English writer
~ Become the alchemist, the catalyst, transforming your raw character into steel that can be wielded to transform your future into gold. Kerr Cuhulain
~ Many people do not reach their eighties because they spend too much time in their forties. – Salvador Dali
~ “The moon likes secrets,” Meran said. “And secret things. She lets mysteries bleed into her shadows and leaves us to ask whether they originated from otherworlds, or from our own imaginations.” – Charles de Lint (Dreams Underfoot)
THE WINGS SHE NEEDED
His love gave her wings,
But it did not let her fly.
There was always something
Pulling her back from ecstasy;
Keeping her from quite feeling
The trust that is the lifeblood
Of a relationship.
She always felt that she had
To protect herself just a little;
There was a niggling doubt
In the back of her mind,
That would not be silenced.
Her friends tried to tell her
That it was just a backlash
From the failure of past relation-
Ships, but that wasn’t it.
His love gave her confidence,
And she loved him in return;
But, she did not love him
As wholeheartedly as she could
The one day she realized…
There was nothing wrong with
Either one of them. She just was
Not ready yet, for a “forever”
If she was going to fly,
She had to fly on her own. And
Until she was able to trust herself
Unreservedly, she could not
Completely trust anyone else,
Or allow them to be a true part
Of her world. For she had a world
And dreams of her own;
She didn’t need to be just trying
To fly to someone else’s.
To know this freed her heart,
And she stopped feeling guilty
And trying too force herself
To trust her lover too totally
Before she was ready.
It was herself that she needed
To love and trust; no one else
Could give her the wings that
She needed, to soar
As far as she was able to go. – (c) Copyright 1/11/06 Beth Johnson (Mystic Amazon)
Beltane Magick – A Meditation on Beltane – Highway to Hel – Beltane is about deciding what kind of person we would like to be when the harvest is done. By Galina Krasskova, April 26, 2011 – http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Meditation-on-Beltane-Galina-Krasskova-04-27-2011.html
It seems odd to me to be sitting at my computer on a dismal, rainy, dreary April day, with the chill in the air serving as a palpable reminder that spring isn’t quite here yet, and writing about Beltane. Beltane is supposed to be about celebration, passion, fertility, prosperity, magic, heat, and yes, sex. Yep. Beltane is about sex (at least in part) and on days like today, that type of joyous celebration seems very far away. Still, if you’ll pardon the inevitable pun, Beltane is coming and like any of our other holy tides, it deserves a bit of thought.
I’ve been dreading writing this particular column for the past week or so, ever since I realized that Beltane and Walpurgis were right around the corner. This is the tail end of the school year for me (I’m in graduate school again) and papers are due, exams must be prepared for, then of course there are all the professional writing deadlines that are piling up. Thinking about what I’ve always considered a rather ‘happy-go-lucky’ holiday was not on my personal agenda of things I wanted to be doing (or had the time to do).
Still, even for me, misanthropic and overworked though I sometimes may be, it’s difficult not to get pulled into the energetic momentum of this time. With Beltane after all, we lay to rest, once and for all, the inertia of the preceding winter. What began with the land’s seemingly lazy resistance to the inevitable pull of spring bursts full force into bloom with the turning of the seasonal wheel to May.
Highway to Hel
A Meditation on BeltaneQueen of the Sacred Way: An Interview with Melitta BenuVirtual Veneration: Online ShrinesHonoring the Dead: An Interview with Laura PatsourisPhotographing Fortuna: Interview with Mary Ann GlassAuthor Bio »
At its core, Beltane is about planting. At Ostara we honored the readiness of the land to receive the seed; at Beltane we actually plant those seeds, be they literal or metaphorical. At Ostara we celebrated the potential fertility of the land, at Beltane we revel in its actuality.
This is kind of where the sex part of things comes in. Beltane is about life, growth, and all the messiness of unrestrained passion. It’s about the joining of seed to soil, body to body, physicality to physicality, and the potential joining of sperm to egg. It’s about bringing forth new life, new possibilities, new reasons to celebrate one’s traditions.
This is a time when the land, at least for us Northern Tradition folks, was traditionally blessed by happy couples having sex in fields, on the soil where their fluids and carnal enjoyment of each other only served to feed the land itself and further ensure its blossom. The May pole, a symbol we all know and love, is (as any fan of the original Wicker Man knows) “a phallic symbol.” The magic of Beltane is held forth in the erect penis and spurting seed, and in our bodies’ ability to experience pleasure. This, more than any other holy tide reminds us that living is cause for celebration. There is pleasure in being alive, pleasure that, at the appropriate times, can and should be indulged.
Far more than being about the celebrating the penis (or the vulva, or any other body part—not that there’s anything wrong with that; celebrate away, folks), I would interpret the wisdom and ‘medicine’ of this holiday on a broader level. I believe Beltane reminds us that our bodies are sacred. In the Northern Tradition the physical container of the soul is so valued that it’s actually considered part of the soul matrix.
That’s right: each physical vessel of incarnation is intimately connected to one’s soul, an integral part of it. We’re incarnate for a reason. Our bodies are the tools and conduits by and through which we experience everything, including the Divine. Moreover, they may even be the way the Gods experience us, spirituality being, like so many things, a two-way street. Far from needing to escape from the flesh, Beltane reminds us that there’s an awful lot of wisdom inherent in being in the flesh too.
One of the Goddesses commonly honored within the Northern Tradition at this time is the Goddess Freya. She is a tremendously powerful Goddess, associated with sexuality, eroticism, passion, battle and war, fierce fighting, cunning strategy, prosperity and wealth, physical beauty, and witchcraft and sorcery. One of Her primary and most important lessons is about knowing one’s own worth (and being unwilling to compromise that in any way).
That can be a hard, hard lesson for many people today (especially, I hate to say it, for women). Freya’s lessons often involve self-satisfaction and confidence in one’s physical being (and I’m not talking just about sexuality here). This is a Goddess who knows how to celebrate the flesh, both its passion and its power. Here is a Goddess not afraid to take up space, claim Her territory, defend Her territory, and own Her strength. Here is a Goddess who can teach Her devotees to say “where I stand is holy ground” and mean it.
Beltane’s call is a call to that type of commitment and courage. It reminds us that our physicality is sacred, no matter what messages we may imbibe from our families, our culture, or the media. We’re called to stand up and live our truth. Learning to express ourselves well physically and kinetically, learning to have both trust and confidence in our bodies is part of honoring this tremendous gift that we’ve been given. It’s part of living our truth.
Tending to our bodies, just as we tend to the land is good and sacred work. Our bodies support and nourish us just as the land supports and nourishes us. One might see in the microcosm of one, the macrocosm of the other. Sometimes that is the way these things work. So learning to nourish, care for, protect, and defend one’s physical form and knowing to the marrow of one’s being that this might even be a sacred obligation, is all part of what Beltane can teach us. Imagine how our lives would be different if treating our bodies kindly, loving our flesh, and living healthily was something we could all do with joy. How many of us can look in the mirror and say “I love my physical form” and mean it? How many of us can stand naked in front of the mirror and say those words and really mean them? Freya can teach us how, if we honor Her rightly and well. Beltane’s wisdom can show us the way.
Our world is out of balance. I’ve talked about this before many times in many different articles and columns. I think that it is inevitable that our collective psyches bear the brunt of that sickness. We have come to embody it physically. Our bodies and the way we relate to them have suffered generations of fear, shame, and abuse because we have forgotten that simple truth that flesh is sacred.
We have forgotten so much in abandoning our ancestral ways and our Holy Powers but most of all, we’ve forgotten how to interact with ourselves in a healthy manner. We’ve forgotten how to love being. Beltane calls us to throw ourselves into the inevitable change this time brings, the momentum, the urgency, the growing sense of joy and movement that fills the land. It urges us to seek our passions, to find that which nourishes us and to live it fully each and every day of our lives. Beltane’s wisdom is, above all else, a call to embodied joy.
Moreover, Beltane reminds us not just to honor our physical bodies, but to rejoice in the physical experience of the natural world. That world is a gift in all its beautiful, breathtaking, sometimes confusing diversity. This holy tide calls us to move beyond our dearly held paradigms into the reality of being: beyond our dichotomies (sexual, gender, and otherwise) into the rich tapestry of possibility inherent in creation.
Diversity is nature’s greatest achievement. As we celebrate the beauty, bounty, and blessings of corporeality, physicality, and incarnation, we’re reminded to celebrate it all, not just those forms that are comfortable. Nature is an explosion of diversity and this is a lesson we can take to heart as we honor our bodies: we’re part of that diversity too. As a good friend of mine once pointed out: there is no “normal.” Let’s do away with the idea of “normal.” There is only what is normal for us, for each individual, one by one. Beltane gives us a chance to celebrate that and given how much hate is in our world for any type of diversity of being, that too, is no small thing.
This is a holy tide all about action and restoration. We have the chance as we move into May to recommit to picking up those threads of connection—to our Gods, our ancestors, the land itself, and to ourselves—sundered so long ago. Healing that damage doesn’t happen with grand gestures; it happens with small commitments, like planting a seed. That’s Beltane’s wisdom. It’s about making those promises—to ourselves, our families, our communities—that we will see fulfilled with the coming harvest. It’s about deciding what we wish to harvest in the coming season for ourselves, our lives, and our spirituality. It’s about deciding what kind of person we would like to be when the harvest is done.
May Freya smile upon each of us this Beltane.
Let me tell you a story
bout the garbage man
He does more for me
than anyone can
He never pulls out
what I bravely put in
He never cries out
that wasting’s a sin
He seems to know
the pain that I suffer
To wrap up my “treasures”
that have turned into clutter
He never opens the bags
tempting me to relent
He swiftly removes them
and away they are sent
I applaud the kindness of a stranger
who’s more like a friend
He never will know
what a help he has been
So, now to the garbage man
who faithfully helps me to fling
I bless you, and thank you
your praises I sing