Last one from the messed-up set.
Today’s plant is Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea. It’s a rather wild shrub that can be trained into a small tree, with icky-smelling white flowers that then produce dark fruits that appear blue because of a whitish coating on them. In Oregon it grows mostly from the valley out to the coast with some isolated pockets in the Eastern part of the state. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the tree. “In some areas, the “elder tree” was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, while other beliefs say that witches often congregate under the plant, especially when it is full of fruit. In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in witchcraft customs the elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” – A rhyme from the Wiccan rede [poem]. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.” From Wikipedia – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers are used for Crossing the Bridge rituals. Carry for protection and to prevent rheumatism and toothache. Dried berries are helpful in sleep pillows. All parts are good for protection. Grow near the home for prosperity. Magic wands and flutes are often made from this wood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_ceruleaorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
Today’s Feast is the first mention of Moskva (Moscow, short for Grad Moskva, “big city on the Moscow River”) in history The first reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski to “come to me, brother, to Moscow”. It’s the largest city in Russia, about the 6th largest in the world. It’s been burned to the ground several times (once by its own populace in the Napoleonic Wars). The kreml (Kremlin) was built as a wooden stockade about 7 years after the first mention and has grown to a huge complex of palaces and government buildings. Almost 20% of the population of Moskva, calls itself, “Spiritual, but not religious” and about 1% are Rodnoveri, the pagan faith “ancestral faith”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow
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 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
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 4/7 at 4:24am. 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 at the Dark on 4/5 at 4:24pm.
Double shadow transit on Jupiter for telescope users in central and western North America. From 2:37 to 3:19 a.m. (tomorrow morning, that is) Pacific Daylight Time, both Io and Europa cast their shadows onto the planet.
Mars rises around midnight, moving from Scorpius to Ophiuchus on the 3rd. It reverses direction on the 16th and moves back into Scorpius on the 30th. Its disk grows from 12 to 16 arc seconds during the month, as it moves towards opposition on May 22. Observers with good telescopes should be able to see some of the dark markings on Mars’ surface this month.
Double shadow transit on Jupiter – Tuesday, April 5, 5:37–6:19 a.m. EDT – Shadows of Io and Europa cross Jupiter simultaneously.
The huge, bright Winter Hexagon is still in good view at nightfall, filling the sky to the southwest and west. Start with brilliant Sirius in the southwest, the Hexagon’s lower left corner. High above Sirius is Procyon. From there look even higher for Pollux and Castor, lower right from Castor to Menkalinen and bright Capella, lower left to Aldebaran, lower left to Rigel at the bottom of Orion, and back to Sirius.
Mars (about magnitude –0.5, at the head of Scorpius), rises around midnight daylight-saving time. Before dawn it blazes yellow-orange in the south, to the right of dimmer Saturn. In a telescope Mars is about 12 arcseconds in diameter — quite big enough now to show surface features in a good 3-inch scope at high power during good seeing. By the time of its opposition and closest approach in late May, Mars will quadruple in brightness and grow to 18.6 arcseconds wide. See our telescopic guide to Mars in the April Sky & Telescope, page 48.
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14
Runic half-month of Ehwaz, 3/30-4/13 – Ehwaz, the horse; time of partnership between humans and Nature, as between rider and horse. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 55
©2016 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).
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 4 Low 4:49 AM 1.8 6:51 AM Rise 5:20 AM 18
~ 4 High 10:41 AM 7.4 7:48 PM Set 4:43 PM
~ 4 Low 5:15 PM 0.1
~ 4 High 11:32 PM 7.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Love with your heart, mind, body and soul, but speak it with a kiss, kindness and laughter.
Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.” — Samuel Johnson
~ The test of any man lies in action. – Pindar
~ Modest and shy as a nun is she; One weak chirp is her only note; Braggarts and prince of braggarts is he, Pouring boasts from his little throat. – William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) US poet and newspaper editor
~ Love is missing someone whenever you’re apart, But somehow feeling warm inside because you’re close in heart. – Kay Knudsen
~ Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative. – H. G. Wells (1866-1946) English writer
GLITTER AND TEARS
I poured glitter on the paper towel,
Oiled my candle and rolled it in the glitter,
I tied beautiful rainbow color ribbons
On my kitchen appliances and flower pots
And lit sweet-smelling Cinnamon incense.
I prayed for a caring brand-new mate
To come into my life, bringing new hope
And the joy that a true love can bring.
But oh! Somewhere inside a part of me
Still feels your arms, sees your face
No matter where I go… A phantom lover.
I must put away these beautiful trappings,
Until I am willing to actually do what I pray for
And start over with someone new.
The Goddess will know if I am truly sincere,
And help me to let you go.
I feel her loving wings around me now,
And know she is healing my broken heart…
Her wings are the colors of rainbows;
I’ll put out again the ribbons that match them. – © June 8, 2008 Beth Clare Johnson (Mystic Raven)
Beltaine Bread – http://www.chroniclesofavalon.com/beltane2003print.html
Popular in Cornwall and Wales. A rich, sweet, light colored bread, with red flecks of saffron; the stamens of crocus flowers. Saffron is strongly associated with sex and fertility; red the color of passion and lust. Great for handfasting too.
2 cups warm milk
2 pkgs. yeast
2/3 cup honey
5-6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter
2 pkgs. (1/2 tsp.) saffron
- Proof yeast in warm milk.
- Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter with pastry knife.
- Mix in yeast starter and eggs, knead and let rise until doubled.
- Punch down and divide into two buttered pans.
- Let rise, preheat oven to 350o.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes.
ASPARAGUS WITH CHIVES AND BLOSSOMS – http://www.unc.edu/%7Ereddeer/recipe/rec_beltain.html
1 pound Asparagus, washed
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, snipped
16 Chive Blossoms
1/2 teaspoon Soy Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
Blanch the asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; do not overcook. Refresh under very cold water and drain well. Remove the chive stalks to separate the flowers. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the sesame seed. Stir for 1 minute, add the snipped chives, and stir for 1 minute more.
Add the asparagus and soy sauce to the skillet with a few pinches of salt and generous grindings of pepper; stir well, cover, and cook for a minute or so. Remove the lid, sprinkle the chive blooms over the asparagus, and cover for 1 to 2 minutes so that the chive blooms steam briefly.
Stir lightly and taste for seasoning. Serve hot.
Comments: Bright lavender chive blossoms begin to bloom in the garden about the time the asparagus bed is at its peak. Hence, this is a natural combination and a simply tasty dish. Since chive blossoms are so strong in flavor, add them at the last minute in this recipe. Source: FLOWERS IN THE KITCHEN by Susan Belsinger (c)
http://crystalforest3.homestead.com/beltane.html – author unknown
Oatcakes are part of the Beltaine ceremony. Their roundness is symbolic of the life-giving sun whose return is marked by this festive sabbat. During Beltaine a huge bonfire is kept going all night long. Pieces of the cake are thrown into the fire as an offering to the protective deities.
Participate in this ancient custom by casting the oatcakes into an outside bonfire or even your fireplace. Begin by blessing these cakes. Say a prayer of gratitude, giving thanks to the Goddess and God for their abundance. Pass around the cake in a clockwise direction. Invite each of your guests to take a piece of the cake.
We are each a part of the joyous circle of love.
As we cast the bread into the fire,
we fuse together into the One Being,
That always was and always will be.
Recommend to your guests that they remember the joy in their hearts as they experience the gaiety of the season.
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1/3 cup (80 Milliliters) boiling water
- 3 cups (680 grams) Medium rolled Oats
- 1 Teaspoon Minced fresh sage
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt.
- Preheat the oven to 350*F (175*C).
- In a small pan, heat the shortening and water, until the shortening has melted.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Mix the oats, sage, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
- Mix the cooled liquid and the oat mixture, adding water, if necessary, to maintain a dough-like consistency.
- Pat the dough into a circle, about 8 inches (20 Centimeters) in diameter.
- Place on an un-greased baking sheet.
- Bake for about 40 minutes.
- Cut into 8 wedges, then leave to cool on a wire rack.
Apricot Granola with Almonds – Serves 9 – ~Source Unknown
Most granola is loaded with oil. Instead, I use apricot nectar boiled down to a thick syrup to bind the oats together. Dried fruit is an essential addition to granola, but it can make the oats soggy over time. To remove some of the moisture from the dried apricots used in this recipe, I add them to the granola in the oven during the last few minutes of baking.
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray for pans
- 2 cups apricot nectar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/2 cups dried apricots, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly spray two large baking sheets with oil.
- Bring apricot nectar to boil in medium saucepan.
- Simmer until thick and syrupy and reduced to 2/3 cup, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in honey, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt.
- Mix oats and almonds together in large bowl.
- Drizzle hot apricot nectar mixture over oats and nuts and mix well until evenly coated.
- Spread mixture over prepared baking sheets.
- Bake, stirring once, until oats are starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle apricots over oats and continue baking for 5 minutes.
- Cool granola to room temperature. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
PER SERVING: 429 calories, 12g protein, 8g fat, 80g carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 126mg sodium, 42% vitamin A, 21.5% iron, 8% calcium