The sky is a pearly grey and the bay was all steel and silver. 1/2 a dozen small boats were out and a lone fisherman, though two with poles were coming up the steps as we came down off the bridge. The clouds were all tangled in the trees in the Backbay and Bayshore was mostly obscured in the mist. 59F and less than a tenth of an inch of rain, although everything’s soaked, anyway. We’re due quite a bit more and then a couple of days of partly cloudy.
The single student in the Herbs workshop was an 1/2 hour late. Everyone else had things happen. Same with the Handfasting folks. By 6pm we were closing up the shop and waiting for Stella.
We had a wonderful supper with Loryea! She does some really interesting things with non-wheat, non-dairy, non-meat foods! The conversation about where she got some of the recipes and how she makes stuff was fascinating, as well. The house was very warm from the woodstove and I started fading around 9pm, though, so we headed home and crawled into bed.
I’ve been out playing in the garden this morning. My feet are wet! 😦 I think I got some decent pictures, though. I have some dill to make dill soup with, which I’m going to go start as soon as this is done. I have the whey from the cheese to use up.
Today is the Feast of Felicitas. It’s a good day for making luck amulets and offerings for good fortune and prosperity. More information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felicitas
Today’s Plant is Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, sometimes called “sloe”, wish-thorn or faery tree. The blossoms, the fruits and the crimson sap display the three colors of the Great Goddess: white, black, and red. The dangerous long spikes and the red “blood” that flows in the veins of this tree enhance the dramatic effect of Her symbolism. Blackthorns are sacred to the Luantishees, which are Blackthorn Fairies who guard the trees. It makes great walking sticks, such as shillelaghs. The fruit and leaves contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins, and sugars. Otzi, the “Iceman” had fruits in his stomach, even though they’re pretty bitter for food. Good wines and liqueurs are made from the fruits. Steep the flowers for a diuretic, tonic, and laxative. Dried fruits can treat bladder, kidney and stomach ailments. Boil the leaves for a mouthwash or to sooth the throat from tonsillitis or laryngitis. – Feminine, Saturn, Earth – Blackthorn symbolizes the inevitability of Death, Good in magicks of protection and revenge, strife and negativity, the balance between light and darkness. The staves cane help in exorcism, to make wishes, in divination and general protection magicks. Being a plant that’s bad to tangle with it also symbolizes not only death and the conquering of death, but the wisdom gained in life and beyond life and can be used in magicks for the gaining of such wisdom. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_spinosa
The shop opens at 11am! Fall hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday, but closing time will continue to follow sunset over the next couple of months. 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
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 10/15 at 9:23pm. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 10/8 at 9:33pm. 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 10:14 at 9:23am.
Can you see Jupiter yet very low in the dawn under Mercury?
Soon after dark, you’ll find zero-magnitude Arcturus low in the west-northwest at the same height as zero-magnitude Capella in the northeast. When this happens, turn to the south-southeast, and there will be 1st-magnitude Fomalhaut at the same height too — if you’re at latitude 43° north. Seen from south of that latitude, Fomalhaut will appear higher; from north of there it will be lower.
Mercury (magnitude –1.0) is the “star” very low due east in early dawn. Look about 40 minutes before your local sunrise time. It’s sinking lower this week, but it remains bright.
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree Month Gort/Ivy Sep 30 – Oct 27 – (Hedera helix L.)
Runic half-month of Gebo/ Gyfu – Sept 28-Oct 12 – Gyfu represents the unity that a gift brings between the donor & recipient. It is a time of unification, both between members of society and between the human and divine. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102. Runic half-month of Wunjo/Wyn – October 13-28 – Wyn represents joy, the rune being the shape of a weather vane. The month represents the creation of harmony within the given conditions of the present.
©2016 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Gort – Ivy Sep 30 – Oct 27 – Gort – (GORT), ivy – Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is also a vine, growing to 30 m (100 feet) long in beech woods and around human habitations, where it is widely planted as a ground cover. Ivy produces greenish flowers before Samhain on short, vertical shrubby branches. The leaves of these flowering branches lack the characteristic lobes of the leaves of the rest of the plant. Like holly, ivy is evergreen, its dark green leaves striking in the bare forests of midwinter. Ivy is widely cultivated in North America. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 9 Low 12:59 AM 1.2 7:25 AM Set 12:02 AM 46
~ 9 High 7:47 AM 5.7 6:42 PM Rise 3:00 PM
~ 9 Low 1:11 PM 3.6
~ 9 High 6:54 PM 6.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I have many friends who love me.
~ Beauty is a short-lived tyranny. – Socrates
~ Every day, ask yourself this: What can I do today to change my world? – Kerr Cuhulain
~ All that is comes from the mind; it is based on the mind, it is fashioned by the mind. – The Pali Canon
~ If we keep an open mind, too much is likely to fall into it. – Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972) US writer
Man is ignorant and blind, and he wants to remain ignorant and blind, because to come inwards looks like entering a chaos. And it is so; inside you have created a chaos. You have to encounter it and go through it. Courage is needed – courage to be oneself, and courage to move inwards. I have not come across a greater courage than that – the courage to be meditative. – Osho
SAMHAIN – a season for reflection
One of the ways you progress on your spiritual path is to turn and face your shadow self. I am talking death; your death. It is a symbolic death; a letting go; a banishing.
Samhain, the dark half of the year, is a season for reflection and the perfect time for spiritual work. Samhain is the season of the dark goddess. Do not let those words deceive you. She is not dark as in evil. Rather, she is the lady of our dark side, there to help us progress on our spiritual path by showing us things we try to pretend do not exist. She reflects back to us our weaknesses and fears.
Samhain teaches us about our fears, negativity, unresolved issues, and blind spots that must be confronted, accepted, and resolved before we can even think about becoming whole or “enlightened”. If we cannot face our own negativity, we are not ready to progress on our spiritual path. This is required spiritual work for all those on the path. And, we are ALL on the path.
Your power lies in your willingness to embrace your dark side. It is not enough to “turn to the light” or “embrace the light” as many new age philosophies insist. The dark goddess brings us face-to-face with our hidden darkness. Carl Jung made a memorable comment about this, “One does not become enlightened by imaginary figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Samhain is about more than just Halloween and Trick or Treat. Samhain is more than a time to honor the ancestors. Ancient history has so much more to say about Samhain than what we typically hear about this time of year.
To the ancient Celts, Samhain was the time of the ritual wedding between the king and Sovereignty. Celtic kings were literally wedded to the land which was represented by various goddesses, all of whom were collectively known as Sovereignty. Before a new king could be inaugurated, he had to undergo this ritual marriage with the goddess of the land, as only the goddess could give him the authority to rule.
Many tales describe this goddess as having two aspects; one old and one young. She was the hag and the maiden. She appears in an Irish story called “Sons of Eochaid Mugmedon” whereby five brothers go hunting together in the woods in order to prove their manhood. On the hunt, the five brothers get lost and decide to camp for the night. One of the brothers is elected to go in search of drinking water. On his search he finds a well, but guarding the well is a hideous looking hag. She allows the potential king to have some of the water from the well, but only if he will kiss her. Disgusted and repulsed, he turns away as does three of his brothers. One brother, Niall, grabs the hag and wholeheartedly embracing her, plants a big kiss right on her ugly lips. When Niall comes up from the kiss he sees the hag has turned into one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen. “Who are you?” he asks. She replies, “King of Tara, I am Sovereignty.”
Look at the lessons here. By appearing as an ugly old hag, Sovereignty was able to test for a true king. A king who would not be fooled by appearances, recognizes that treasure is often concealed in the most unlikely places, who is willing to put aside self-gratification and submit himself to undesirable demands out of compassion and, above all, by kissing the “Dark One” he shows that he understands the mysteries of life and death as being the polarity of the same energy. The new king, wisely chosen by Sovereignty, will be able to draw on the wisdom of the Otherworld during his reign as king and find himself aligned with the gods.
In Scotland, Samhain ushers in the reign of another hag/maiden goddess. She is the goddess of death (translate winter); Cailleach whose name literally means the “Veiled One”. Later she is referred to as Cailleach Bheur, Bheur meaning “sharp” or “shrill” because she was associated with the chilling winds and the harshness of winter. Today she is most notably known as the weather spirit responsible for our wintery months. We are already wearing our wraps and turning up the heat here in the high desert of New Mexico. Cailleach Bheur’s whispering cold winds are being felt in most parts of our state and throughout many other states here in the U.S.
Cailleach Bheur, legend says, was horrible to behold. She is old, wild, and also known as the “Earth Shaper” or “Mountain Mother”. She built the hills formed of rocks she carried in her apron. Once when rocks fell out of her apron the Hebridean Isles were formed. Many other mountainous and rocky places were created from the rocks that fell from her apron as evidenced by the many places today referred to as Hag Hills as well as Beinn na Chailleach in Scotland, named after her.
Cailleach Bheur is more widely known as the blue-faced goddess (blue from being so cold) who blows grass into blades of ice and turns the hillsides white in the winter months. Some say that she turns herself into the maiden Brigit in springtime and turns those same hillsides into fields of wildflowers.
Cailleach can teach us a lot as we approach the eve of the dark quarter of the year. If ever there was a goddess who knows about darkness, it is Cailleach herself. Samhain is the time of year when we learn our lessons through separation and allowing things that no longer serve us or are no longer useful to us to die. This is the time to get rid of the things that are no longer relevant in our lives. By doing so, we align ourselves with the cycles. At Samhain, we are entering a cycle of death and rebirth.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Here is something you can do as a ritual to let go of anything that is no longer serving you.
First, ask yourself some questions. For instance, are there any habits or patterns that no longer serve you and/or your relationships? What are some relationships that no longer serve you? Is there anything that you would like to change about your life right now?
Taking from the first lesson about the King, are you fooled by appearances? Are you able to recognize that treasure is often concealed in the most unlikely places? Are you willing to put aside self-gratification? Do you understand that life and death are the polarity of the same energy?
Working on one item you want to change at a time, take a piece of yarn or string and make three knots in it. While you are creating each knot, visualize each situation in vivid detail. Next, imagine every part of this detail being firmly bound into each knot. Bury the knotted string or yarn outside where the elements (except for the earth of course) cannot touch it. Once buried, allow it to dissolve away.
The trick is in KNOWING that each situation is dissolving away. Know it and do not try to hang onto it by thinking about it all the time. Allow the Mother to dissolve these things for you as you begin to rebuild yourself and your life the way you want it to be.
Some people believe that writing the things you want to banish on a piece of paper and then burning the paper is the best way to banish them. In Native American spirituality we would never do this. I realize I am jumping from Celtic to Native American, but this one truth is universal. When beseeching Great Spirit you would write things you are thankful for and your aspirations on a piece of paper (meaning things you WANT in your life) and then burn the paper. The sacred smoke then rises to Great Spirit who hears your prayers and thanksgiving. Sending what you DO NOT want up on the spirit smoke could get you more of what you are trying to banish.
Entering this season of the year is a little bit like taking good thoughts to bed with you at night when you go to sleep. Get rid of the thoughts and things that no longer serve you and replace them with your goals and dreams. Upon awakening restored and renewed in the spring, you will have already laid the plans for your spiritual garden and will be ready to plant the seeds. Make it so.
From We Are Woman We Are Goddess
Silliness – Late Night Funny – Russia is planning to build a base on the moon where astronauts will live permanently. When asked if they really wanted to spend the rest of their lives in a barren, lifeless landscape, the Russians said, “No, that’s why we want to go to the moon. – Jimmy Fallon