It’s 55F with a light breeze and mostly overcast. Last night it was clear enough that the moon was throwing shadows, but this morning, no. We had a couple of good earthquakes on the Juan de Fuca plate, one this morning in the last few hours up at the top end was a 6.1, but far enough out to sea that no one is mentioning it. There was a small one directly west of us and a couple at the bottom end, too, in the last 24 hours.
Yesterday was a long day. I got all tangled up getting started, because I wanted to have some headers printed for the new pen stuff, but ran out of ink, couldn’t find the one I was sure I had, and got bummed because I was certain I had no black….then found the one…and black with it…just as we were running out the door! Argh….
I spent awhile in the morning harvesting: roses (pink, red and white) lots of violets, fleabane and thrift, and several sets of ferns.
Well, when we got to the shop Tempus cut headers while I found and priced some bits and pieces. I really need to do the smudges, so I’m hoping that’s today. Tempus took off after awhile to pick up our new (new to us) water heater and get it home. It got there thanks to the Duckmeister whou brought it in her big car after watching him try to stuff it into the Subary. He’s been working on getting it installed, since.
I spent quite awhile working in back, putting things away and sorting out some supplies to go back into drawers. I also spent awhile putting away and processing herbs and eventually getting around to setting the harvested ones to dry. I finally settled down with a lapful of fennel seeds that needed to be processed, ending up with two pints by late in the evening. Marius was there for sewing and got the shoulder seams finished on his tunic. We went over to the China Restaurant for a bite after we got done and talked some more, then he helped me close up and took me up to the house.
Today I’m not sure whether Tempus is going to come back home and work on the water heater or stay at the shop with me. Either way there’s plenty to do! …and we should have some of the inks and pens starting to be set out today.
A Ken Gagne photo of grosbeaks on his feeder on 4/21/15.
Today’s plant is Goldenrod, Solidago Canadensis. A good browse plant, although not shade-tolerant, it is one of the first plants to colonize burned-off areas. In Fukishima it has taken over the rice fields near the wrecked nuclear plant. – Feminine, Venus, Air – Wear a piece of goldenrod to see your future love. Hold a piece in the hand and it will direct you to things you’ve lost or buried treasure. If it blooms by your door without being planted, good fortune will follow. It’s also used in money spells and has the property of survival. Wiki article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidago_canadensis
St. Mark’s Eve is a traditional time for divination. More on the customs here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mark%27s_Eve and more on St. Mark here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mark_the_Evangelist His supposed martyrdom by the pagans of Alexandria has been used as an excuse for persecuting pagans… Ya know, when you read through a lot of the martyrdom stories, the stories that have been come up with since 9/11 about persecuting Moslems don’t sound nearly so outlandish…. Not advocating persecuting anyone, just making a point about how the “winners” can twist the truth.
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,
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 at the tide change on 5/3 at 8:42pm. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 4/25 at 4:55pm.
The Moon tonight >>>> sits on (or near) one side of a big, almost equilateral triangle: bright Jupiter to the Moon’s upper left, Pollux upper right of the Moon, and Procyon to the Moon’s lower left.
As the Moon waxes past first quarter, it glides under Jupiter and the Sickle of Leo.
Jupiter is just well placed in the evening sky. It is in Cancer all month.
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
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 Runic half-month of Laguz/ Lagu, 4/29-5/13 Representing the flowing and mutable forces of water, Lagu symbolizes life, growth and waxing power of this time of year.
©2015 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright.
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
F 24 High 4:55 AM 7.1 6:18 AM Set 1:22 AM 29
~ 24 Low 11:55 AM 0.2 8:12 PM Rise 11:23 AM
~ 24 High 6:36 PM 6.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Handle yourself with kid gloves. You are your own best best ally.
~ The greater part of progress is the desire to progress. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
~ Pleasure can be supported by an illusion; but happiness rests upon truth. – Charmine Shing
~ Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity. -Will Smith
~ Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. – Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) Dutch philosopher
We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature. – Henry David Thoreau
Beltane Magick – Beltane/May Eve – Beltane (Bealtaine, May Eve) – April 30th/May 1st (May day).
Incense : Lilac, Frankincense
Decorations : Maypole, Flowers, Ribbons
Colours : Green
This is a holiday of Union–both between the Goddess and the God and between man and woman. Handfastings (Pagan marriages) are traditional at this time. It is a time of fertility and harvest, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown. Celebrations include braiding of one’s hair (to honor the union of man and woman and Goddess and God), circling the Maypole for fertility and jumping the Beltane fire for luck. Beltaine is one of the Major Sabbats of the Wiccan religion. We celebrate sexuality (something we see as holy and intrinsic to us as holy beings), we celebrate life and the unity which fosters it. The myths of Beltane state that the the young God has blossomed into manhood, and the Goddess takes him on as her lover. Together, they learn the secrets of the sexual and the sensual, and through their union, all life begins.
BELTANE: Its History and Modern Celebration in Wicca in America , by Rowan Moonstone
The celebration of May 1st, or Beltane as it is known in Wicca Circles, is one of the most important festivals of our religious year. I will attempt here to answer some of the most often asked questions about this holiday. An extensive bibliography follows the article so that the interested reader can do further research.
- Where does the festival of Beltane originate?
Beltane, as practiced by modern day Witches and Pagans, has its origins among the Celtic peoples of Western Europe and the British Isles, particularly Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
- What does the word Beltane mean?
Dr. Proinsias MacCana defines the word as follows: “… the Irish name for May Day is Beltane, of which the second element, `tene’, is the word for fire, and the first, `bel’, probably means `shining or brilliant’.”(1) The festival was known by other names in other Celtic countries. Beltaine in Ireland, Bealtunn in Scotland, Shenn do Boaldyn on the Isle of Mann, and Galan Mae in Wales.(2)
- What was the significance of this holiday to the ancients?
To the ancient Celts, it symbolized the coming of spring. It was the time of year when the crops began to sprout, the animals bore their young, and the people could begin to get out of the houses where they had been cooped up during the long dark cold winter months. Keep in mind that the people in those days had no electric lights or heat, and that the Celtic counties are at a much more northerly latitude than many of us are used to. At that latitude, spring comes much later, and winter lasts much longer than in most of the US. The coming of fair weather and longer daylight hours would be most welcome after a long cold and dark winter.
- How did the ancient Celts celebrate this festival?
The most ancient way of observing this day is with fire. Beltane, along with Samhain (Nov. 1), Imbolc (Feb. 1), and Lughnassadh (Aug. 1), was one of the four great “fire festivals” which marked the turning points of the Celtic year. The most ancient records tell us that the people would extinguish all the hearth fires in the country and then relight them from the “need fires” lit by the druids (who used friction as a means of ignition). In many areas, the cattle were driven between two great bonfires to protect them from disease during the coming year. It is my personal belief, although I have no documentation to back up the assumption, that certain herbs would have been burnt in the fires, thus producing smoke which would help destroy parasites which might make cattle and other livestock ill.
- In what other ways was this festival celebrated?
One of the most beautiful customs associated with this festival was “bringing in the May.” The young people of the villages and towns would go out into the fields and forests at Midnight on April 30th and gather flowers with which to bedeck themselves, their families, and their homes. They would process back into the villages, stopping at each home to leave flowers, and to receive the best of food and drink that the home had to offer. This custom is somewhat similar to “trick or treat” at Samhain and was very significant to the ancients. John Williamson, in his study, The Oak King, the Holly King, and the Unicorn, writes, “These revelers were messengers of the renewal of vegetation, and they assumed the right to punish the niggardly, because avarice (as opposed to generosity) was dangerous to the community’s hope for the abundance of nature. At an important time like the coming of summer, food, the substance of life must be ritually circulated generously within the community in order that the cosmic circuit of life’s substance may be kept in motion (trees, flocks, harvests, etc.).”(3) These revellers would bless the fields and flocks of those who were generous and wish ill harvests on those who withheld their bounty.
- What about maypoles?
The maypole was an adjunct to the festival of bringing in the May. It is a phallic symbol, and as such represented fertility to the participants in the festival. In olden days, the revellers who went into the woods would cut a tree and bring it into town, decking it with flowers and greenery and dance around it, clockwise (also called deosil, meaning “sun-wise”, the direction of the sun’s apparent travel across the face of the Earth) to bring fertility and good luck. The ribbons which we associate with the maypole today were a later addition.
- Why was fertility important?
The people who originated this custom lived in close connection with the land. If the flocks and fields were fertile, they were ableto eat; if there was famine or drought, they went hungry. It is hard for us today to relate to this concept, but to the ancients, it was literally a life and death matter. The Celts were a very close tribal people, and fertility of their women literally meant continuity of the tribe.
- How is the maypole connected with fertility?
Many scholars see the maypole as a phallic symbol. In this aspect, it is a very powerful symbol of the fertility of nature and spring.
- How did these ancient customs come down to us ?
When Christianity came to the British Isles, many of the ancient holy sites were taken over by the new religion and converted to Christian sites.
Many of the old Gods and Goddesses became Christian saints, and many of the customs were appropriated. Charles Squire says,” An ingenious theory was invented after the introduction of Christianity, with the purpose of allowing such ancient rites to continue with a changed meaning. The passing of persons and cattle through flame or smoke was explained as a practice which interposed a magic protection between them and the powers of evil.” (4) This is precisely what the original festival was intended to do; only the definition of “evil” had changed. These old customs continued to be practiced in many areas for centuries. “In Scotland in 1282, John, the priest in Iverkething, led the young girls of his parish in a phallic dance of decidedly obscene character during Easter week. For this, penance was laid upon him, but his punishment was not severe, and he was allowed to retain his benefice.”(5)
- Were sacrifices practiced during this festival?
Scholars are divided in their opinions of this. There is no surviving account of sacrifices in the legends and mythology which have come down to us. As these were originally set down on paper by Christian monks, one would think that if such a thing had been regularly practiced, the good brothers would most certainly have recorded it, if for no other reason than to make the pagans look more depraved. There are, however, some surviving folk customs which point to a person representing the gloom and ill fortune of winter being ostracized and forced to jump through the fires. Some scholars see this as a survival of ancient human sacrificial practices. The notion that animals were sacrificed during this time doesn’t make sense from a practical standpoint. The animals which had been retained a breeding stock through the winter would either be lean and hungry from winter feed, or would be mothers nursing young, which could not be spared.
- How do modern day pagans observe this day?
Modern day pagan observances of Beltane include the maypole dances, bringing in the May, and jumping the cauldron for fertility. Many couples wishing to conceive children will jump the cauldron together at this time. Fertility of imagination and other varieties of fertility are invoked along with sexual fertility. In Wiccan and other Pagan circles, this is a joyous day, full of laughter and good times.
- What about Walpurgisnacht? Is this the same thing as Beltane?
Walpurgisnacht comes from an Eastern European background, and has little in common with the Celtic practices. I have not studied the folklore from that region and do not consider myself qualified to write about it. As the vast majority of Wiccan traditions today stem from Celtic roots, I have confined myself to research in those areas.