Whee-hee-hee! that rain is really pounding down. It’s roaring on the roof and greying out the view of the cedars out to the east. The trees are thrashing and the curtains of clematis blossoms keep blowing ou and back. The bamboo chime is clonking away. Well, it’s quite a storm. March is coming in like a lion this year! 53F, gusts are getting into the 20’s and were higher earlier. We’ve gotten over 2/3 of an inch of rain since midnight!
Yesterday was a tiring day, but we got a lot done on the inventory. It was also a little frustrating because at one point when I was not at my desk (sorting necklaces on that wall) the phone rang *5* separate times with people who just *had* to talk to me….and only one of them was anything other than a cold call trying to sell me stuff! We were tired enough to close almost on time and head home and didn’t get much done in the evening, either, although we both tried.
Today is a chores day. Chores and packing. I have to start boxing trinkets today and tomorrow and sorting which of the boys is to get what so we can put those boxes by for them. Next will be music books that stay with the piano and the recorder books that are going to live at the shop where I practice. I need to start arranging for the garden plants to head over to where we’re going to live, too, and some are going to the Duckmeister’s. Lots to do!
At Yachats State Park from a year ago. Another wonderful Ken Gagne pic from 2/27/15
Today’s Plant is Sword fern, Polystichum munitum. It grows all winter on the coast, getting greener and lovelier every year as the new fiddles come up out of the center of the plant and develop into fronds. I’ve been enjoying those, watching them for months, now. they can get to be 6 feet tall and some of the ones down in the park where the stream crosses through are that size! The indigenes used the rhizome as a poverty food (baked and peeled), and the fronds are one of the best remedies for relieving the pain from the sting of a Stinging Nettle. It is also commonly used by florists as an ornamental plant. – Masculine, Air, The God, the Puck. – This is an herb of masculine power, protection and luck. Use in spells to guide to treasure. Burn to drive away pests.…and as any fern, burn for rain…. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_fern
The Matronalia, the feast of Juno Lucina, (another festival of the family of Mars) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucina_%28goddess%29 was the Roman version of Mothers’ Day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matronalia
Navii’s Day (Vjunitci) – Suhii (March) 1 – On this first of four days, slavic pagans remember their ancestors in prayer. Today, Navii’s Day is the “Day of the Dead”. People bring sacrifices and invite their ancestors to attend their feast with them.
It’s also St. David’s Day. Quoting Old Farmer’s Almanac – “St. David’s Day – This day commemorates the patron saint of Wales, St. David, who was born in the sixth century at Henfynw, Cardigan. St. David’s Day also celebrates the Welsh victory over the Saxons in 640. Legend has it that the clever Welsh farmers pinned leeks to their coats so they could recognize one another in the melee; the Saxons killed many of their own kind, not having such a sign to tell friend form foe. Today, St. David’s symbol is the leek. In honor of St. David, plant a bulb of aromatic leek as soon as the ground can be worked. See our page on planting onions and leeks. An old adage suggests eating leeks all month to keep the doctor away all year. So, try Cock-a-Leekie Soup.
The shop opens at 11am! Spring hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday, although the time that we’re there is drifting later with the longer 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
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 3/8 at 5:54pm. 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 3/1 at 3:11pm. 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 at Hecate’s Brooch on 3/4 at 5:54am.
Zodiacal Light, February 2016 – Wednesday, Feb. 24–Wednesday March 9, evening – The faint glow of the zodiacal light will be visible for the next two weeks in the western sky after the end of evening twilight. It is a faint cone of light following the ecliptic, the green line shown here, quite distinct from the faint glow of the Milky Way to the northwest.
Look east after dark this week for the constellation Leo already climbing well up the sky. His hind foot is on bright Jupiter. Leo’s brightest star is Regulus, and the Sickle of Leo extends upper left from there. As the saying goes, Leo announces spring.
Last-quarter Moon (exact at 6:11 p.m. EST). The Moon rises in tandem with Saturn around 1 or 2 a.m. tonight and shines left of Saturn during early dawn on Wednesday the 2nd.
Venus (magnitude –3.9) is just above the east-southeast horizon 20 or 30 minutes before sunrise.
Goddess Month of of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
©2016 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), ash – the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).
Nuin – Ash Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Glass Green
Meaning: Locked into a chain of events; Feeling bound.
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 1 High 4:58 AM 7.0 6:52 AM Rise 12:58 AM 61
~ 1 Low 12:05 PM 1.6 6:05 PM Set 11:01 AM
~ 1 High 6:21 PM 5.3
~ 1 Low 11:34 PM 3.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – In the Name of the Crone: I will gracefully accept the limitations of my physical self.
~ 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)
~ Forgetting a debt doesn’t mean it’s paid. – Irish Proverb
~ A well-spent day brings happy sleep. – Da Vinci
~ I am only an entertainer who has understood his time. – Pablo Picasso
For April sobs while these are so glad,
April weeps while these are so gay, –
Weeps like a tired child who had,
Playing with flowers, lost its way. – Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) US writer
Ostara Magick – Lore – Spring Equinox (Eostre/Ostara) on Witchology – http://www.witchology.com/contents/march/ostara.php – Find out about the Spring Equinox – the Wiccan Eostre or Ostara Sabbat – this month’s seasonal witchcraft Sabbat celebrated by modern Wiccans and pagans.
The end of March is the focus for a number of religious and traditional celebrations. As the sun appears to cross the earth’s equator on the 20th or 21st of March, entering the Zodiacal sign of Aries, day and night will be equal in length. This astronomical phenomenon is a day anciently revered amongst Pagan peoples. Their festivals included Alban Elfed, the Teutonic festival in honour of Eostre, Roman Hilaria Matris Deûm, Welsh Gwyl Canol Gwenwynol (‘Day of the Gorse’), the Wiccan Eostar (Ostara) Sabbat and the Christian Feast of the Annunciantion of the Virgin Mary (Lady Day) as well as Easter itself.
Origins and History of Ostara
Today, Ostara is one of the eight major holidays, sabbats or festivals of Wicca. It is celebrated on the Spring Equinox, which in the northern hemisphere is around the 20th or 21st of March and in the southern hemisphere around the 23rd of September. Its modern revival is linked to some of the oldest traditions of mankind.
The Month of the Goddess
The name is thought to be derived from a goddess of German legend, according to Jakob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie. A similar goddess named Eostre was described by the Venerable Bede. Bede indicated that this name was used in English when the Paschal holiday was introduced. Since then this name (not the holiday) has been converted to Easter, or in German Ostern. Some scholars question both Bede’s and Grimm’s conclusions due to a lack of supporting evidence for this goddess. Others argue that a lack of further documentation is not surprising given that Bede is credited with writing the first substantial history of England (in which he described Eostre as a goddess whose worship had already passed) and Grimm was specifically attempting to capture oral traditions before they might be lost.
Despite these reservations, the idea of Eostre has become firmly established in many minds. Without any consideration of these problems, the folklorist Dr Jonathan Young categorically states:
Easter has deep roots in the mythic past. Long before it was imported into the Christian tradition, the Spring festival honored the goddess Eostre or Eastre.
According to Bede and Einhard in his Life of Charlemagne, the month called Eostremonat/Ostaramanoth was equated with April. This would put the start of ‘Ostara’s Month’ after the Equinox in March. It must be taken into account that these ‘translations’ of calendar months were approximate as the old forms were predominantly lunar months while the new were based on a solar year. Thus start of ‘Eostremonat’ would actually have fallen in late March and could thus still be associated with the Spring Equinox.
The holiday is a celebration of spring and growth, the renewal of life that appears on the earth after the winter. In mythology it is often characterized by the rejoining of the goddess and her lover-brother-son, who spent the winter months in death. This is an interesting parallel to the biblical story in which Jesus is resurrected (the reason Christians celebrate Easter), pointing to another appropriation of pre-Christian religious figures, symbols and myths by early Christianity.
Etymologically, Eostre, or, as it is sometimes called, Ostara, may come from the word ‘east’, meaning dawn. Others have also tried to link Eostre with ‘estrogen’ and ‘estrus’. These words, however, are more widely considered to be derived from the Greek oistros, meaning ‘gadfly’ or ‘frenzy’. Interestingly, the word ‘spring’ (from to spring, to leap or jump up, burst out, 0ld English springan, a common Teutonic word, ccompare German springen), primarily the act of springing or leaping, is applied to the season of the year in which plant life begins to bud and shoot.
The Antiquity of Ostara
Ostara is a modern Wiccan festival and there is no evidence that Spring Equinox festivals were called by this name in the past. However, there is no direct ‘proof’ of many Christian or pagan traditions, so a lack of evidence should not necessarily be taken as disproof.
The Cycle of Birth, Death and Rebirth
Goddess of fertility and new beginnings, we take this opportunity to embrace Eostre’s passion for new life and let our own lives take the new direction we have wanted for so long.
Many Wiccans situate Eostre (Ostara) within a symbolic cycle of birth, death and rebirth. As the quotation from Goddess.com.au demonstrates, the particular role of Eostre is internalized and turned into a self-empowering meditation. Again Dr Young re-inforces this, by no means definitive, interpretation:
The annual event in honour of Eastre celebrated new life and renewal.
However, other views also add a darker element, according to Mike Nichols:
The god of light now wins a victory over his twin, the god of darkness.
Nichols has attempted a reconstruction of the symbolic events of this time of year using the Welth mych-cycle of the Mabinogion. By this interpretation the Spring Equinox is the day on which the reborn Llew exacts his revenge on Goronwy by piercing him with the spear of sunlight. Reborn or returned to health at the Winter Solstice, Llew is now able to challenge and defeat his rival twin and mate with his lover/mother. Meanwhile the ‘Great Mother Goddess’, miraculously returned to virginity at Candlemas, now receives the sun god’s advances and conceives a child. This child will be born at the next Winter Solstice, nine months from now, at once closing the cycle and re-opening it.
Christianity and Easter
Contrary to what the Church may try and tell you, Christianity came late to the Easter party. There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. A comment made by St Chrysostom on I Cor. V. 7 has been supposed to refer to an apostolic observance of Easter, but this is erroneous. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates (Hist. Eccl. V. 22) states that neither Jesus nor his followers enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival. He attributes the observance of Easter by the Church to the perpetuation of an old tradition, just as many other customs have been established.
Superstitions and Traditions
The Shock of the New
Elements of old beliefs linger in current ‘superstitions’. According to these, it is said that something new should be worn at Easter to bring good luck. Easter Parades reflect this idea about wearing new clothes.
Eggs and Rabbits
The Easter Bunny is German in origin. He first appears in literature in 16th century as a deliverer of eggs. All rabbits and hares were thought to lay eggs on Easter Day, but the Easter Bunny specifically sought out and rewarded well-behaved children with coloured eggs in a manner reminiscent of Yule customs. The movements of the hare, leaping and zig-zagging across the fields, were thought to hold clues to the coming year.
Eggs themselves are obvious symbols of resurrection and continuing life, as well as fertility. Early humans thought the return of the sun from winter darkness was an annual miracle, and saw the egg as a natural wonder and proof of the renewal of life. As Christianity spread the egg was adopted as a symbol of Jesus’s alleged resurrection from the tomb. According to Young, the Easter Bunny is:
a continuation of the reverence shown during the spring rites to the rabbit as a symbol of abundance. The honouring of such emblems of fertility extended to eggs. The egg serves as a representation of new life. It stands for the renewing power of nature and, by extension, agriculture. The egg can also symbolize regeneration in a spiritual or psychological sense. The ritual of colouring Easter eggs stems from the tradition of painting eggs in bright colours to represent the sunlight of spring.
The Inner Bunny
Young goes on to suggest that:
This might also be a good time to find the inner Easter Bunny.
Whether you feel up to the challenge or not, the Spring Equinox is an ominous reminder of the ways in which Christianity has subverted and perverted the old traditions of Europe – a process that many are seeking to reverse and at what better time than now.
- Bede, De Temp. Rat. c. xv.
- St Chrysostom, Commentary on I Cor. V. 7.
- Einhard, Life of Charlemagne, trans Samuel Epes Turner. Harper and Brothers, 1880.
- Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911.
- Goddess.com.au, accessed 9th February, 2006.
- Grimm, Jakob, Deutsche Mythologie. 1835.
- Nichols, Mike, ‘Lady Day: The Vernal Equinox’, 1999.
- Socrates, Hist. Eccl. V. 22.
- Young, Jonathan, ‘Symbolism of Spring’, Vision Magazine, April 2003.
News About this Spring Equinox (Eostre/Ostara) Article
This article has been cited by Justine Hawkins, ‘The Eostre bunny’, The Guardian, 23 March 2008, url: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/23/bunnies.