Hot again…. at least in Salem. Forecast high is 97F. I’ll be glad to get home, where the forecast high is 67.
Marius was up early to do town cry. I got a couple more hours of sleep. 🙂 When he got back I was finishing rolling up the marzipan, so we got stuff together and headed for the site, having breakfast at Elmer’s since both our appetites vanish in the heat and we knew we’d need that food, later. It was supposed to get up to 100F and even though it didn’t quite get there (98F) and that we had a good breeze on the site, it was far too hot for this Coastie!
I did the courts and then worked in the Arts & Sciences area, but realized around 3pm that I was starting to get heat-sick. Forcing water was starting to nauseate and I was more than a little dizzy. When I poured tepid water on myself and started to shiver, I told Marius and he took me back to the room to get a cold shower and a nap and to write a little. He went back to the event to tend the displays.
I tried to nap, but couldn’t quite, so went back and forth from resting my achy head and the computer for several hours. I had some provolone and a couple of the rolls, since in the cool my appetite returned.
What is it that makes smokers totally unaware of what their smoke does and where it goes? I woke, choking at 3am, because someone decided to smoke where it came right through the air intake on the AC into the room! It’s 5:30 and I’m still up, coughing, with a tight chest, and I’m not going to get back to sleep since we have to be packed and on the road by 6:30.
This morning we have Moot and then we’ll be on our way home. The shop opens at 11am. House Capuchin’s Project Day starts at Noon and Tempus will be running that until Marius and I get back.
Take a look at this awesome set of pictures: http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2012/10/king-of-richmond-park-deer-emerges-from.html
Today’s Plant is Cascade Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium, or Dull Oregon Grape, Mahonia nervosa, occasionally called Holly Grape. It’s a lovely, spiky-leaved large shrub or small tree with amazing clusters of bright, yellow flowers in the early spring. Dull Oregon Grape is a shorter plant with duller leaves with a nerve-like pattern of veins, but they both have the same magickal properties. The locals used it to help with rheumatism and it has been tested to replace Goldenseal in the pharmacopeia with some good results. The fruits can be made into jam or wine, although they’re too sour to eat. – Feminine, Earth – carry to draw money and prosperity, or popularity. More on aquifolium here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_grape and on nervosa here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahonia_nervosa
There is an Irish saint, Gobnait, who is worshiped as the patroness of bees who, according to Nigel Pennick, is a version of the goddess Domna, who is the goddess of perambulation to sacred stones and cairns. Gobnait’s feast day is 2/11 and I’m not finding info on Domna at all! Gobnait still has a number of centers of worship in Ireland and even a couple of sacred wells. Melissa is the name that I’m used to seeing in conjunction with bees, as the priestesses of Demeter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobnait and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa#Ancient_Greek_Mythology
The shop opens at 11am! Summer hours are 11am-7pm 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,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open – Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends on 6/6 at 8am. 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 6/20 at 4:02am.
Sunday, June 5, 5:00 a.m. EDT. Mercury at greatest elongation West – At its greatest western distance from the Sun, Mercury will be close to the horizon at sunrise.
For much of the spring at mid-northern latitudes, the Milky Way lies right down out of sight all around the horizon. But watch the east now. The rich Cepheus-Cygnus-Aquila stretch of the Milky Way starts rising up across the eastern sky late these nights, earlier and higher each week.
Mars is still at its closest to Earth in a decade (it was exactly closest on May 30th). It’s the bright yellow-orange thing (magnitude –1.9) low in the southeast during evening, shining at the head of Scorpius. Mars was at opposition on May 22nd; it gets a little higher each evening. After dark, yellow Mars shines as brightly as white Jupiter in the southwest. At dusk, look lower left of Mars by about 14° for Antares, then upper left of Antares by 7° for brighter Saturn. The Mars-Antares-Saturn triangle stands highest in the south around midnight daylight-saving time, when the planets are likely to appear sharpest in a telescope. Mars shrinks just a trace this week, from 18.6 to 18.3 arcseconds in diameter. See our telescopic guide to Mars, with map, in the April Sky & Telescope, page 48, or the version online. And set our Mars Profiler for your time and date. If you’re ambitious and have a big scope, now’s the time to hunt Phobos and Deimos, the two tiny Martian moons, using the June Sky & Telescope, page 48.
Goddess Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7
Runic Half-month of Othala/ Odal/Odel 5/29-6/13- The rune Odel signifies ancestral property, the homestead, and all those things that are “one’s own”..
©2016 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9 – I am fair among flowers – Color: Purple – Class: Peasant – Letter: H – Meaning: Being held back for a period of time – Hawthorn – Like willows, hawthorns have many species in Europe, and they are not always easy to tell apart. All are thorny shrubs in the Rose family (Rosaceae), and most have whitish or pinkish flowers. The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) and midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata (Poiret) DC.) are both widespread. They are common in abandoned fields and along the edges of forests. Both are cultivated in North America, as are several native and Asiatic hawthorns. Curtis Clark
Huathe – Hawthorne Ogam letter correspondences
Meaning: Being held back for a period of time
to study this month – Ur – Heather and Mistletoe Ogam letter correspondences
Class: Heather is Peasant; Mistletoe is Chieftain
Meaning: Healing and development on the spiritual level.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 5 High 12:36 AM 9.0 5:33 AM Rise 6:28 AM 0
~ 5 Low 7:35 AM -2.1 8:57 PM Set 9:35 PM
~ 5 High 2:02 PM 7.0
~ 5 Low 7:30 PM 1.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.
~ A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. – Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (26)
~ We have to abandon the current idea that we are “rulers of the earth” and replace it with the idea that we are “stewards of the earth”. Kerr Cuhulain
~ I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon. – Ronald Reagan
~ The hardest battle you’re ever going to fight is the battle to be just you. – Leo Buscaglia
I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world. – Howard Zinn (died Jan 27, 2010).
Litha/Midsummer Lore – A Midsummer Night’s Lore – by Melanie Fire Salamander – http://ravenmoonlight.com/?p=292
Cinquefoil, campion, lupine and foxglove nod on your doorstep; Nutka rose, salal bells, starflower and bleeding-heart hide in the woods,fully green now. Litha has come, longest day of the year, height of the sun. Of old, in Europe, Litha was the height too of pagan celebrations, the most important and widely honored of annual festivals.
Fire, love and magick wreathe ’round this time. As on Beltaine in Ireland, across Europe people of old leaped fires for fertility and luck on Midsummer Day, or on the night before, Midsummer Eve, according to Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. Farmers drove their cattle through the flames or smoke or ran with burning coals across the cattle pens. In the Scottish Highlands, herders nabulated their sheep with torches lit at the Midsummer fire.
People took burning brands around their fields also to ensure fertility, and in Ireland threw them into gardens and potato fields. Ashes from the fire were mixed with seeds yet to plant. In parts of England country folk thought the apple crop would fail if they didn’t light the Midsummer fires. People relit their house fires from the Midsummer bonfire, in celebration hurled flaming disks heavenward and rolled flaming wheels downhill, burning circles that hailed the sun at zenith.
Midsummer, too, was a lovers’ festival. Lovers clasped hands over the bonfire, tossed flowers across to each other, leaped the flames together. Those who wanted lovers performed love divination. In Scandinavia, girls laid bunches of flowers under their pillows on Midsummer Eve to induce dreams of love and ensure them coming true. In England, it was said if an unmarried girl fasted on Midsummer Eve and at midnight set her table with a clean cloth, bread, cheese and ale, then left her yard door open and waited, the boy she would marry, or his spirit, would come in and feast with her.
Magick crowns Midsummer. Divining rods cut on this night are more infallible, dreams more likely to come true. Dew gathered Midsummer Eve restores sight. Fern, which confers invisibility, was said to bloom at midnight on Midsummer Eve and is best picked then. Indeed, any magickal plants plucked on Midsummer Eve at midnight are doubly efficacious and keep better. You’d pick certain magickal herbs, namely St. Johnswort, hawkweed, vervain, orpine, mullein, wormwood and mistletoe, at midnight on Midsummer Eve or noon Midsummer Day, to use as a charm to protect your house from fire and lightning, your family from disease, negative witchcraft and disaster. A pagan gardener might consider cultivating some or all of these; it’s not too late to buy at herb-oriented nurseries, the Herbfarm outside Fall City the chief of these and a wonderful place to visit, if a tad pricey. Whichever of these herbs you find, a gentle snip into a cloth, a spell whispered over, and you have a charm you can consecrate in the height of the sun.
In northern Europe, the Wild Hunt was often seen on Midsummer Eve, hallooing in the sky, in some districts led by Cernunnos. Midsummer’s Night by European tradition is a fairies’ night, and a witches’ night too. Rhiannon Ryall writes in West Country Wicca that her coven, employing rites said to be handed down for centuries in England’s West Country, would on Midsummer Eve decorate their symbols of the God and Goddess with flowers, yellow for the God, white for the Goddess. The coven that night would draw down the moon into their high priestess, and at sunrise draw down the sun into their high priest. The priest and priestess then celebrated the Great Rite, known to the coven as the Rite of Joining or the Crossing Rite.
Some of Ryall’s elders called this ritual the Ridencrux Rite. They told how formerly in times of bad harvest or unseasonable weather, the High Priestess on the nights between the new and full moon would go to the nearest crossroads, wait for the first stranger traveling in the district. About this stranger the coven had done ritual beforehand, to ensure he embodied the God. The high priestess performed the Great Rite with him to make the next season’s sowing successful.
In the Middle Ages in Europe, traces of witchcraft and pagan remembrances were often linked with Midsummer. In Southern Estonia, Lutheran Church workers found a cottar’s wife accepting sacrifices on Midsummer Day, Juhan Kahk writes in Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries, edited by Bengt Ankarloo and Gustave Henningsen. Likewise, on Midsummer Night in 1667, in Estonia’s Maarja-Magdaleena parish, peasants met at the country manor of Colonel Griefenspeer to perform a ritual to cure illnesses.
In Denmark, writes Jens Christian V. Johansen in another Early Modern European Witchcraft chapter, medieval witches were said to gather on Midsummer Day, and in Ribe on Midsummer Night. Inquisitors in the Middle Ages often said witches met on Corpus Christi, which some years fell close to Midsummer Eve, according to Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, by Jeffrey Burton Russell. The inquisitors explained witches chose the date to mock a central Christian festival, but Corpus Christi is no more important than a number of other Christian holidays, and it falls near a day traditionally associated with pagan worship. Coincidence? Probably not.
Anciently, pagans and witches hallowed Midsummer. Some burned for their right to observe their rites; we need not. But we can remember the past. In solidarity with those burned, we can collect our herbs at midnight; we can burn our bonfires and hail the sun.
Gods and Goddesses
Gods and goddesses: All father gods and mother goddesses, pregnant goddesses and Sun deities. Particular emphasis might be placed on the goddesses Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar and Venus and other goddesses who preside over love, passion and beauty. Other Litha deities include the goddesses Athena, Artemis, Dana, Kali, Isis and Juno and the gods Apollo, Ares, Dagda, Gwydion, Helios, Llew, Oak/Holly King, Lugh, Ra, Sol, Zeus, Prometheus and Thor.
Sage, mint, basil, fennel, chive, chervil, tarragon, parsley, rosemary,thyme, hyssop, honeysuckle, red heather, white heather, rue, sunflower, lavender, fern, mistletoe, St. John’s Wort, mugwort, vervain, meadowsweet, heartsease, feverfew, iris, rowan, oak, fir, pine, aniseed, hazelnut.
Ruby, garnet, diamond, seashell, Herkimer diamond, clear quartz crystal, amber, citrine, cat’s-eye, yellow topaz, yellow tourmaline, gold, silver, peridot, carnelian, calcite
Midsummer Incense #1:
Recipe by Scott Cunningham
2 parts Sandalwood
1 part mugwort
1 part Chamomile
1 part Gardenia Petals
a few drops Rose Oil
a few drops Lavender Oil
a few drops Yarrow Oil
Burn at Wiccan rituals at the Summer Solstice (circa June 21st) or at that time to attune with the seasons and the Sun.
Midsummer Incense #2:
Recipe by Scott Cunningham
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Benzoin
1 part Dragon’s Blood
1 part Thyme
1 part rosemary
1 pinch Vervain
a few drops Red Wine
Recipe by Jan Brodie
1 lb. Mixed Red Soft Fruits
4 oz. Sugar
Enough White Bread to line a Pudding Basin
Whipped Cream for serving
Trim the crusts off the bread and line the pudding basin with it, cutting a circle for the base. Ensure that the basin is lined without any gaps. Cook the fruits and sugar, without adding extra water, for a few minutes until the juices run. Drain the fruits and retain the juices. Fill the lined bowl with fruit and place a circle of bread on top, enclosing the fruit. Then put a plate on top held down with a weight on top. Place in fridge overnight. When ready to serve, turn out onto a plate and pour the reserved juices over the top. Serve with whipped cream. (The above recipe for “Summer Pudding” is from Jan Brodie’s book “Earth Dance: A Year of Pagan Rituals”, page 98-99, Capall Bann Publishing, 1995)
Recipe by Gerina Dunwich
3/4 cup Softened Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Grated Lemon Rind
2 cups Flour
1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
Cream the butter in a large cast-iron cauldron (or mixing bowl). Gradually add the brown sugar, beating well. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and rind, and then beat by hand or with an electric mixer until the mixture is well blended. The next step is to stir in the flour and pecans. Cover the cauldron with a lid, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
When ready, shape the dough into one-inch balls and place them about three inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake in a 375-degree preheated oven for approximately eight minutes. Remove from the oven and place on wire racks until completely cool. This recipe yields about 36 cookies which can be served at any of the eight Sabbats, as well as at Esbats and all other Witchy get-togethers.
(The above recipe for “Cauldron Cookies” is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich’s book “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes”, page 167, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995)
Activities for Litha
* Tie a sprig of rowan, a sprig of rue, and three flowers of St. John’s Wort with red thread and hang over the door.
* Make amulets (simple charms) of protection out of herbs such as rue and rowan. If you make new amulets each year you can dispose of the old in the midsummer fire.
* Create a pouch for psychic dreams (mugwort and bay leaves in a cloth of lavender, blue, or yellow and sewn with red thread) and place under your pillow.
* Make a Solar Wheel as a terific family project – everyone can make one for their bedroom. Wind palm or grape vine into a circle, twisting as you go. Cut two short lengths of stem to be just a bit larger than the diaameter of the circle and place one across the back horizontally and the other vertically crossing in back on the horizontal one and coming forward to the front of the circle to secure both, then adorn with symbols of the elementals (stone, feathers, ashes in a pouch, or a small candle, and a shell) and festoon
with green and yellow ribbons. Hang in a tree outside or indoors at a reminder of the God’s protection.
* Make a Witch’s Ladder (another fun family project) using three colored yarns (red, black, and white for the Triple Goddess) braided together to be three feet long. Add nine feathers all the same color for a specific charm (such as green for money) or various colors for a more diverse charm, tie ends and hang up. Colors are red for vitality, blue for peace and protection, yellow for alertness and cheer, green for prosperity, brown for stability, black for wisdom, black and white for balance, patterned for clairvoyance, and iridescent for insight.
* Make a rue protection pouch out of white cotton. Add two or three sprigs of rue, bits of whole grain wheat bread, a pinch of salt, and two star anise seeds and hang indoors (can do one for each bedroom).
* Tie vervain, rosemary, and hyssop with white thread and dip the tips into a bowl of spring water (you can buy bottled spring water in grocery stores) and sprinkle the water about the house to chase out negativity, or sprinkle your tools to cleanse and purify.
* Soak thyme in olive oil, then lightly anoint your eyelids to see faery folk at night
* Tie a bunch of fennel with red ribbons and hang over the door for long life and protection of the home.
* Look for the faery folk under an elder tree, but don’t eat their food or you’ll have to remain with them for seven years! (Which could be a lot of fun, but will seriously wreck any plans you may have made!)
* Think of warm summer days and sunny cloudless sky.
* Candles: blue, yellow-gold candle to represent the sun. Orange, gold, green
* Oils: violet, rose, orange, lime, thyme, citronella
* Altar cloth: red or gold
Faery magick, protection, purification, love/sex spells. Fire magick. Animal blessings or magick. A good time for scrying and divination. Traditionally the Great Rite, symbolic or actual, is enacted.