We had such a great time, yesterday! I’m short of time today, so I’m going to get this out quickly and tell you about it tomorrow, but thanks to Amy giving us a ride there and back our kids are married and it went off, as Ricky said, “With the right kind of hitch!”
Today is a very busy day, too. We not only have to unpack things, but an old friend is coming to spend a couple of hours during a beach trip with her family and the House Capuchin’s Project Day is the afternoon, too. So, I’m going to go get to that!
Today is the anniversary of the date of the deaths of the Russian Royal family (the Romanovs) during the Bolshevik Revolution. Anastasia is the best known of the family at this point as the details have dropped from memory during the almost-century since the murders. Anastasia was the next-to-youngest in the family and was rumored to have survived the massacre. Alas, that has been proved to not be the case. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duchess_Anastasia_Nikolaevna_of_Russia There is a possibility that her older sister Maria survived (and had been rumored to be Anastasia), although it hasn’t been proved.
Today’s Plant is the Western Azalea, Rhododendron Occidentale. I talked a while back about the azaleas being a subset of the rhodys. This is the main one that grows around here. It’s hard to tell from the shape and size of the plant that it’s an azalea, or even from the flowers, although the branches are thinner and the leaves shorter and rounder than those of rhododendrons. It least it’s hard for those of us who are familiar with the showy garden hybrids, which tend to be small and compact. The other West Coast azalea is Rhododendron Albiflorum, and there’s not a whacking lot of info floating around about that one. The wiki is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_occidentale The Chinese call azaleas “thinking of home bush”. Magickal uses for azalea are to encourage light spirits, happiness and gaiety.
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Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
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 7/19 at 3:57pm. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 7/18 at 6:57am.
Right after dark, the bright waxing gibbous Moon stands over the top of the Sagittarius Teapot, which rests nearly level. Can you see it through the moonlight? Shield your eyes from the Moon itself. The Teapot is about the size of your fist at arm’s length, with its handle to the left and its spout to the right.
Mercury and Venus are very low in bright twilight. About 15 minutes after sunset, start looking from them just about the west-northwest horizon; binoculars help. Venus is magnitude –3.9, Mercury, at magnitude –1, is only a tenth or a fifteenth as bright. Mercury is begins the week (July 15) less than 1° to the right of Venus, passes closely over Venus in the 16th, and ends the week (July 22) 4° to Venus’s upper left. Good luck.
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh)
Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
©2016 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 17 Low 5:56 AM -0.4 5:48 AM Set 3:57 AM 89
~ 17 High 12:23 PM 5.7 8:56 PM Rise 7:03 PM
~ 17 Low 5:36 PM 2.7
~ 17 High 11:29 PM 7.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Take a Moonbath.
~ It’s a paradox. You grow up. You wonder why they treat you like that. And yet at the same time my mother and daddy told me ‘don’t hate like they hate. If you do, you will self-destruct. Hate only kills the hater, not the hated.’ – James Cone
~ A gift always looks to be repaid. – Gisli Sursson’s Saga, c.18
~ Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress. – Mohandas Gandhi
~ Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain – at least in a poor country like Russia – and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect. – Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) Russian revolutionary
I pray that in thirty-two years
passing that flowers and vegetables
will water the Twenty-First Century with their voices telling that
they were once a book turned by
loving hands into life. – Richard Brautigan; ‘Shasta Daisy’
Celebrating Lughnasadh, or Lammas – Crones Corner
Lughnassadh (pronounced “LOO-nahs-ah”) or Lammas, is one of the Greater Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on August 1st or 2nd, although occasionally on July 31st. The Celtic festival held in honor of the Sun God Lugh (pronounced “Loo”) is traditionally held on August 7th. Some Pagans celebrate this holiday on the first Full Moon in Leo. Other names for this Sabbat include the First Harvest Festival, the Sabbat of First Fruits, August Eve, Lammastide, Harvest Home, Ceresalia (Ancient Roman in honor of the Grain Goddess Ceres), Feast of Bread, Sabbat of First Fruits, Festival of Green Corn (Native American), Feast of Cardenas, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide and Elembiuos. Lughnassadh is named for the Irish Sun God Lugh (pronounced Loo), and variant spellings for the holiday are Lughnasadh, Lughnasad, Lughnassad, Lughnasa or Lunasa. The most commonly used name for this Sabbat is Lammas, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “loaf-mass”.
The Lughnassadh Sabbat is a time to celebrate the first of three harvest celebrations in the Craft. It marks the middle of Summer represents the start of the harvest cycle and relies on the early crops of ripening grain, and also any fruits and vegetables that are ready to be harvested. It is therefore greatly associated with bread as grain is one of the first crops to be harvested. Wiccans give thanks and honor to all Gods and Goddesses of the Harvest, as well as those who represent Death and Resurrection.
This is a time when the God mysteriously begins to weaken as the Sun rises farther in the South, each day grows shorter and the nights grow longer. The Goddess watches in sorrow as She realizes that the God is dying, and yet lives on inside Her as Her child. It is in the Celtic tradition that the Goddess, in her guise as the Queen of Abundance, is honored as the new mother who has given birth to the bounty; and the God is honored as the God of Prosperity.
Symbols to represent the Lammas Sabbat include corn, all grains, corn dollies, sun wheels, special loaves of bread, wheat, harvesting (threshing) tools and the Full Moon. Altar decorations might include corn dollies and/or kirn babies (corn cob dolls) to symbolize the Mother Goddess of the Harvest. Other appropriate decorations include Summer flowers and grains. You might also wish to have a loaf of whole cracked wheat or multigrain bread upon the altar.
Deities associated with Lughnassadh are all Grain and Agriculture Deities, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses and Father Gods. Particular emphasis is placed on Lugh, Demeter, Ceres, the Corn Mother and John Barleycorn (the personification of malt liquor). Key actions associated with Lammas are receiving and harvesting, honoring the Parent Deities, honoring the Sun Gods and Goddesses, as well as celebration of the First Harvest.
It is considered a time of Thanksgiving and the first of three Pagan Harvest Festivals, when the plants of Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops. Also, first grains and fruits of the Earth are cut and stored for the dark Winter months.
Activities appropriate for this time of the year are the baking of bread and wheat weaving – such as the making of Corn Dollies, or other God & Goddess symbols. Sand candles can be made to honor the Goddess and God of the sea. You may want to string Indian corn on black thread to make a necklace, and bake corn bread sticks shaped like little ears of corn for your Sabbat cakes. The Corn Dolly may be used both as a fertility amulet and as an altar centerpiece. Some bake bread in the form of a God-figure or a Sun Wheel.
It is customary to consume bread or something from the First Harvest during the Lughnassadh Ritual. Other actions include the gathering of first fruits and the study of Astrology. Some Pagans symbolically throw pieces of bread into a fire during the Lammas ritual.
The celebration of Lammas is a pause to relax and open yourself to the change of the Season so that you may be one with its energies and accomplish what is intended. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. It is considered taboo not to share your food with others
Traditional Pagan Foods for the Lughnassadh Festival include homemade breads (wheat, oat and especially cornbread), corn, potatoes, berry pies, barley cakes, nuts, wild berries, apples, rice, roasted lamb, acorns, crab apples, summer squash, turnips, oats, all grains and all First Harvest foods. Traditional drinks are elderberry wine, ale and meadowsweet tea.
It is also appropriate to plant the seeds from the fruit consumed in ritual. If the seeds sprout, grow the plant with love and as a symbol of your connection to the Divine. A cake is sometimes baked, and cider is used in place of wine.
As Summer passes, Wiccans remember its warmth and bounty in the food we eat. Every meal is an act of attunement with Nature
Silliness – Answering Machine Message 203 – Despite the best efforts of the telephone company, you really DID reach 555-1234. But that didn’t help much, did it? You still have to talk to a machine.