It’s lovely and sunny and 65, but the marine layer is *very* close to shore. It’s going to be hot in the Valley again and we clouded up early yesterday because of it.
Yesterday went sideways on me again. I spent the early part of the day trying to get stuff checked in, then I tried to start filling in newsletters, but by the time I was barely started folks were arriving for sewing. What happened to the day?
Sewing was really good last night. We all got a lot accomplished, but when Tempus got back he said that the papers were going sideways. They were going to come out at 3am, not at 9pm!We didn’t actually get home until 10 and I got my batters made while he curled up to sleep. I went upstairs and baked for a couple of hours, then came down and went to sleep as he took off for Newport, so I’m a little short on Z’s.
Tempus is not in good shape. He’s had considerably less than I: a couple of hours of sleep at home, then a couple of hours in the car. He was bagging papers at 6am and started delivering just before 7 and picked me up at 10:30. We’re getting the shop open and then I’m going to chase him off to sleep!
A Ken Gagne photo of an Alsea Bay Sandpiper from 7/27. Other photos today are from the Arnica trip.
Gerina Dunwhich’s Book, the Wicca Book of Days, cites Today’s Feast as being one of the M’kmaq people, a Canadian Maritime Provinces tribe, a feast of blessings and good will. I’m not finding much of anything online that’s from any source but her, so I’m taking it with a grain of salt, but here is a good Wikipedia article about them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mi%27kmaq_people#Celebrations
Today’s Plant is Sweet William, Dianthus barbatus. It is often called Carnation, just like others of the dianthus species and I’ve seen it mis-named “phlox” on plant tags at Fred Meyer’s. The difference is the scent. It still has a sweet scent, but not of clove, like gillyflower, or no scent, like phlox. The flowers are edible and attract butterflies and bees, and the seeds will draw birds, who sometimes will also go after the flowers. They’re good as cut flowers, lasting a decent while, being tall, and a cluster, rather than multiple stems. Cate Middleton had them in her bouquet as a nice touch when she married her “Sweet William”. They have the meaning of “Gallantry”. – Masculine, Sun, Air, Venus – All-purpose protection, in healing for strength and energy. Magickally it is very similar to Gillyflower.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_william
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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 8/2 at 6:12pm. 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 on 7/29 at 1:45am. 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 8/1 at 1:45am.
Bright Vega now passes almost straight overhead around 11 p.m. daylight-saving time, depending on your location. As with all star configurations, you’ll see it happening two hours earlier every month.
Saturn (magnitude +0.3, in southern Ophiuchus) shines in the south at dusk, 6° above fainter Antares and about 11° upper left of bright Mars. The brightest star in the upper edge of this triangle is the long-term eruptive variable Delta Scorpii (Dschubba). It’s also the middle star of the vertical row marking the Scorpion’s head.
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh)
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL)
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe.
©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
F 29 Low 3:36 AM -0.1 6:01 AM Rise 2:11 AM 29
~ 29 High 9:56 AM 5.4 8:44 PM Set 5:04 PM
~ 29 Low 3:14 PM 2.3
~ 29 High 9:26 PM 8.0
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – We can not help someone up the the ladder unless he, himself, has a true willingness to try.
~ You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again. – Dougles Chan
~ It’s not who you are…but what you do that defines you. – Batman Begins
~ Men may die, but the fabrics of free institutions remains unshaken. – Chester Allen Arthur (1830-1886) US President (21st), VP (20th)
~ What’s important is finding out what works for you. – Henry Moore
It is true that wealth has been greatly increased, and that the average of comfort, leisure and refinement has been raised; but these gains are not general. In them the lowest class do not share. This association of poverty with progress is the great enigma of our times. There is a vague but general feeling of disappointment; an increased bitterness among the working classes; a widespread feeling of unrest and brooding revolution. The civilized world is trembling on the verge of a great movement. Either it must be a leap upward, which will open the way to advances yet undreamed of, or it must be a plunge downward which will carry us back toward barbarism. – Henry George, Progress and Poverty, 1879
The Celts celebrate this festival from sunset August 1 until sunset August 2 and call it Lughnasad after the God Lugh. It is the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King, whose light begins to dwindle after the summer solstice. The Saxon holiday of Lammas celebrates the harvesting of the grain. The first sheaf of wheat is ceremonially reaped, threshed, milled and baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live. Eating this bread, the bread of the Gods, gives us life. If all this sounds vaguely Christian, it is. In the sacrament of Communion, bread is blessed, becomes the body of God and is eaten to nourish the faithful. This Christian Mystery echoes the pagan Mystery of the Grain God.
Grain has always been associated with Gods who are killed and dismembered and then resurrected from the Underworld by the Goddess-Gods like Tammuz, Osiris and Adonis. The story of Demeter and Persephone is a story about the cycle of death and rebirth associated with grain. Demeter, the fertility Goddess, will not allow anything to grow until she finds her daughter who has been carried off to the Underworld. The Eleusinian Mysteries, celebrated around the Autumn Equinox, culminated in the revelation of a single ear of corn, a symbol to the initiate of the cyclical nature of life, for the corn is both seed and fruit, promise and fulfillment.
You can adapt the themes of Lughnasad and Lammas to create your own ceremony for honoring the passing of the light and the reaping of the grain.
Honoring the Grain God or Goddess
Bake a loaf of bread on Lammas. If you’ve never made bread before, this is a good time to start. Honor the source of the flour as you work with it: remember it was once a plant growing on the mother Earth. If you have a garden, add something you’ve harvested–herbs or onion or corn–to your bread. If you don’t feel up to making wheat bread, make corn bread. Or gingerbread people. Or popcorn. What’s most important is intention. All that is necessary to enter sacred time is an awareness of the meaning of your actions.
Shape the dough in the figure of a man or a woman and give your grain-person a name. If he’s a man, you could call him Lugh, the Sun-King, or John Barleycorn, or the Pillsbury Dough Boy, or Adonis or Osiris or Tammuz. Pauline Campanelli in The Wheel of the Year suggests names for female figures: She of the Corn, She of the Threshing Floor, She of the Seed, She of the Great Loaf (these come from the Cyclades where they are the names of fertility figures), Freya (the Anglo-Saxon and Norse fertility Goddess who is, also called the Lady and the Giver of the Loaf), the Bride (Celtic) and Ziva or Siva (the Grain Goddess of, the Ukraine, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia).
Like all holidays, Lammas calls for a feast. When your dough figure is baked and ready to eat, tear him or her apart with your fingers. You might want to start the feast with the Lord’s Prayer, emphasizing the words “Give us this day our daily bread.” The next part of the ceremony is best done with others. Feed each other hunks of bread (or gingerbread people or popcorn), putting the food in the other person’s mouth with words like “May you never go hungry,” “May you always be nourished,” “Eat of the bread of life” or “May you live forever.” Offer each other drinks of water or wine with similar words. As if you were at a wake, make toasts to the passing summer, recalling the best moments of the year so far.
Another way to honor the Grain Goddess is to make a corn doll. This is a fun project to do with kids. Take dried-out corn husks and tie them together in the shape of a woman. She’s your visual representation of the harvest. As you work on her, think about what you harvested this year. Give your corn dolly a name, perhaps one of the names of the Grain Goddess or one that symbolizes your personal harvest. Dress her in a skirt, apron and bonnet and give her a special place in your house. She is all yours till the spring when you will plant her with the new corn, returning to the Earth that which She has given to you.
Food for Thought
Lammas is a festival of regrets and farewells, of harvest and preserves. Reflect on these topics alone in the privacy of your journal or share them with others around a fire. Lughnasad is one of the great Celtic fire-festivals, so if at all possible, have your feast around a bonfire. While you’re sitting around the fire, you might want to tell stories. Look up the myths of any of the grain Gods and Goddesses mentioned above and try re-telling them in your own words.
Regrets: Think of the things you meant to do this summer or this year that are not coming to fruition. You can project your regrets onto natural objects like pine cones and throw them into the fire, releasing them. Or you can write them on dried corn husks (as suggested by Nancy Brady Cunningham in Feeding the Spirit) or on a piece of paper and burn them.
Farewells: What is passing from your life? What is over? Say good-bye to it. As with regrets, you can find visual symbols and throw them into the fire, the lake or the ocean. You can also bury them in the ground, perhaps in the form of bulbs which will manifest in a new form in spring.
Harvest: What have you harvested this year? What seeds have your planted that are sprouting? Find a visual way to represent these, perhaps creating a decoration in your house or altar which represents the harvest to you. Or you could make a corn dolly or learn to weave wheat. Look for classes in your area which can teach you how to weave wheat into wall pieces, which were made by early grain farmers as a resting place for the harvest spirits.
Preserves: This is also a good time for making preserves, either literally or symbolically. As you turn the summer’s fruit into jams, jellies and chutneys for winter, think about the fruits that you have gathered this year and how you can hold onto them. How can you keep them sweet in the store of your memory?
- School of the Seasons – http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/lammas.html
- Feast of Old Greek Deities Aphrodite and Eros–Day to honor love and passion – 8/1 eve to 8/2 eve
- For More Lammas Info – Click Here – http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/lammas.html
- Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred
Silliness – Good Night, Good Bye
A father put his three year old daughter to bed, told her a story and listened to her prayers – which she ended by saying “God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandma, and good-bye Grandpa.”
The father said, “Why did you say good-bye to Grandpa?”
The little girl said, “I don’t know, Daddy, it just seemed like the thing to do.”
The next day Grandpa died. The father thought it was a strange coincidence. A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her prayers, which went like this — “God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, and good-bye Grandma.” The next day the grandmother died.
My goodness, thought the father, this kid is in contact with the other side.
Several weeks later when the girl was going to bed the Dad heard her say, “God bless Mommy and good-bye Daddy.”
He practically went into shock. He couldn’t sleep all night and got up at the crack of dawn to go to his office. He was nervous as a cat all day, had lunch sent in and watched the clock. He figured if he could get by until midnight he would be OK. He felt safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day he stayed there, drinking coffee, looking at his watch and jumping at every sound.
Finally midnight arrived, he breathed a sigh of relief and went home. When he got home his wife said, “I’ve never seen you work so late, what’s the matter?”
He said, “I don’t want to talk about it, I’ve just spent the worst day of my life.”
She said, “You think you had a bad day, you’ll never believe what happened to me. This morning the mailman dropped dead on our porch.”