56F and I’m not sure what the computer weather is smoking…. There’s a layer of high streaky mares’ tails and then some low, probably-used-to-be-fog clouds racing over and another layer of various cloud that are more like standard cumulus in between. The sun is mostly blotted out, but all the computer says, “Scattered cloud”. Hmm… Not only that, it’s saying that the wind in town is 2mph…. not the way the ferns in my fairy garden are whipping around! We’re under a high wind warning for tomorrow, 2pm to midnight, and then there’s likely more wind Friday and Saturday, and that doesn’t count the rain. Interesting weather coming! ….the chance of rain suddenly shoots up to 100% by late this evening.
I got a batch of dehydrated apples done. There’s more of that to come. I had to take the dehydrator home with me when Tempus headed out on his paper route, because it didn’t finish until 11:30. I probably should have stayed at the shop and kept working, since his computer freaked out and it took me several hours of work to unstick it.
We slept late today, since Tempus got in at 5am. The route took him longer than it should last night again and he’s not sure why.
I have some eggs and we’ve dill soup for supper!
Today is the anniversary of Nikita Khrushchev’s notorious “shoe-banging”. He got mad at someone (a Philippine diplomat?), yanked off his shoe, brandished it at the man and walloped the table in anger, possibly getting even madder because his pounding stopped his watch! More information on the incident here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe-banging_incident and on Kruschev here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kruschev
Today’s Plant is Lovage, levisticum officinale. It seems to have originated somewhere near the eastern Mediterranean and has been cultivated for a long while, being a very useful plant. It has a strong, long-lasting scent, that reminds a person of celery and parsley, but with the volume turned up. I harvested some one afternoon around 4pm and at nearly 9am the next morning, having washed my hands several times, I could still detect it! It’s great in salads, but chop it small and mix with other greens or it overpowers! Both leaf and seed are great in soups, especially seafood chowders and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable. I’ve drunk lovage cordial, which is tasty. It has a high flavonoid content, as well. Medicinally, a strong leaf tea, iced, is a good antiseptic, especially for extensive scrapes, where it takes down the sting and swelling very quickly and can be splashed on as often as needed. It can be used for mild cases of water retention, as well, and even with high blood pressure. – Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often used in love magicks, but works best as a self-confidence enhancer. Take a bath with a sachet of the leaves, or make a strong tea that you toss into the bathwater before going out to meet new people or to start a new job. It also helps to squeeze a small sachet of the leaves if you’re having trouble concentrating on a task. Wiki has more:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage
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 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.
Saturn and Antares advance closer to bright Venus this week.
As evening grows late, look 20° below the Moon — about two fists at arm’s length — for Fomalhaut: the “Autumn Star” and the bright mouth of faint Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish (no relation to Pisces).
Jupiter (magnitude –1.7) is low in the dawn, in the company of Mercury. On the morning of October 7th Jupiter is 6° below Mercury and perhaps still invisible despite its greater brightness. But Jupiter is rising day by day, while Mercury is sinking. On the morning of the 11th they have a close conjunction, 0.8° apart, with brighter Jupiter on the right. By the 14th, Jupiter stands 5° to the upper right of Mercury.
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
W 12 Low 4:00 AM 0.7 7:29 AM Set 3:08 AM 76
~ 12 High 10:26 AM 6.9 6:36 PM Rise 4:57 PM
~ 12 Low 4:30 PM 2.0
~ 12 High 10:19 PM 7.0
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Love always standing by your side no matter what.
~ At twenty you have many desires which hide the truth, but beyond forty there are only real and fragile truths -your abilities and your failings. – Thomas Stearnes Eliot (1888-1965) US writer
~ Patience is a bitter plant that produces sweet fruit. – Charles Swindoll, Clergyman and writer
~ It is books that teach us to refine our pleasures when young, and to recall them with satisfaction when we are old. – Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) English writer
~ Bah! The thing is not a nose at all, but a bit of primordial chaos clapped on to my face. – H. G. Wells (1866-1946) English writer
MATILDA, WHO TOLD LIES, AND WAS BURNED TO DEATH
Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London’s Noble Fire-Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow.
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow,
They galloped, roaring through the Town,
“Matilda’s House is Burning Down!”
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed;
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away.
It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play
The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out —
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street —
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence) — but all in vain!
For every time she shouted “Fire!”
They only answered “Little Liar!”
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned. – Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), French-born poet, essayist and historian, who became a naturalized British citizen and even served as a Member of Parliament for five years
Traditions of the Dumb Supper by Janice Van Cleve
“I reckon we best be settin’ a few mo’ places at the supper table tonight, Martha.”
“Yes, Clem, there be a powerful lot o’ daid folk be needin’ rememberin’.”
One of the most common places to find the custom of Dumb Suppers in America is deep in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. In a tape-recorded interview conducted in 1954, an old settler told of a Dumb Supper that was a rite of divination concerned with the future fate of young women in marriage.
“In a dumb supper, you’re supposed to set it at the hour of midnight, and two girls has to go backwards and pick up everything they get and put it on the table, till they get nine different things on the table to eat, like pepper and salt and butter and taters, and just anything to make the nine things.
“Three girls was at our house one night, a-wanting to do that, so they tried it. And they say that just before they (the dead) come, why they’ll be dogs a-barking and cats a-squawling, and cows a-mooing, and everything like that. And so we heard the cats a-fighting, and here they come, towards the house, just as hard as they could tear, and us a-setting there holding to one another scared to death. And if we had sat right still, like we was supposed to do, not whispering nor saying a word, why then they’ll come in and whatever they leave in your plate, why that’s what they (the new husbands) will be.
“One come in and left a switch in the plate, and the other one left a little pen knife, and the other one left three doses of medicine. Well, the one that got the switch, her man (new husband) whipped her to death, nearly all the time, she never had no good time at all. And the one that got the knife, just went and hid it and never would look at it no more. And the (one that got the medicine) was kind of sick. (She kept them until a stranger came to the door) and he said, `I want to stay all night with you,’ and they said, `Well, if you can put up with our fare, we’re poor folks, and got a sick girl in here.’ `Well,’ he said, `Probably I might help the sick girl,’ he says. Well, they let him stay all night, and he left three doses of medicine. And then she took them three doses of medicine and she was well. And that was the man she married. Sure enough.”
In rural West Virginia, there is a slightly different version of the Dumb Supper that is passed from one generation to the next. If you wished to contact a recently deceased loved one, you would set a Dumb Supper with extra settings for those who you wished to contact. You would set the table in reverse order than you normally would; forks would be on the right side and so on. All placements would be handled by two people while the table was being set, even the silverware. You would then serve the food in reverse order as well, beginning with dessert and ending with either soup or appetizers.
At some point during the meal, the recently departed loved one would make contact. One reason to try to reach the loved one who recently died was if the family had had signs or “feelings” of restlessness, showing the dead might be confused and had not crossed over to the other side. The contact through the Dumb Supper was a way of helping them to cross over and finally find peace.
The Dumb Supper was not originally part of the old Celtic tradition of Samhain, which dates back to the fifth century B.C.E. Samhain was originally called Trenae Samma and was the Celtic celebration of the end of the harvest. For three days, the Celts would feast, dance and make merry. Gradually, remembrance of those who had passed on during the previous 12 months came to be included. It was believed that for one night that signified the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, the dead could return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, tribe or clan.
The time chosen for this year-end bash was not arbitrary nor strictly harvest-related. It fell on what is known as a “joint” of the seasons — a time of transition like our modern New Year’s Eve. On these “seams,” particularly this one, the division between this world and the next became blurred. The dead, it was believed, knew this and took advantage of it, returning to visit their earthly families. The living, both in fear and awe, made the spirits welcome, while at the same time endeavoring not to be taken by them back to the land of the dead. The tradition of costumes grew from disguises worn to confuse the spirits and avoid this fate. The disguises were not enough, however, to insure safety on this night. Candles were lit in every room to guide the dead
to their former abodes. They were also placated with food and drink. Sometimes, a Dumb Supper was held in their honor, with both living and dead sharing the same table. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for those who chose to return. The living guests remained silent in reverence for the dead. The food was left out overnight for the spirits to enjoy at their leisure.
In later Ireland, in the area by the fire where family and guests gathered, was also the place prepared for the ancestors to visit on Halloween. The family swept the hearth and set out chairs, stools or whatever other seats they had so that they focused on the hearth. The food intended for the dead was probably set out next to the fire in this later Dumb Supper. Tobacco would also be given to the dead. At Halloween, those members of the family who had herded animals in the summer pastures brought those animals home. This return meant that the festival was a coming together of all members of the family, living and dead.
The particulars for Dumb Suppers vary. One version is summarized by Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar for October 1998:
* The Dumb Supper must be held in sacred space.
* All table service, plates, napkins, glasses and tablecloth, should be black.
* No one may speak from the moment they enter the feast room until they leave (with a few exceptions).
* Only lamps or candles are used for lighting.
* Each living guest should bring a prayer written on a small piece of paper and a divination tool.
* Before the supper begins, shroud the head chair, which is the Spirit chair.
* Set place settings, and place a black votive candle on the plate before each empty chair, with a white one on the Spirit plate at the head of the table.
* Light each candle. Place your hands on the shrouded chair and ask for Spirit to be with you. Walk to each ancestor’s chair touch it, explaining that the ritual is being done in the ancestors’ honor.
* The host of the feast sits in the chair opposite the shrouded chair.
As each guest enters the room, he or she should go to the Spirit chair, touch it, then go to each of the ancestors’ chairs and place a prayer under each plate or say a simple prayer silently. The guests then take their seats, join hands and pray a wordless blessing of the meal and for all present.
The host serves the empty chairs, beginning at the head of the table. Then the host serves the living guests from oldest to youngest.
* After the feast is done and all have finished eating, all join hands, silently asking for the blessings of Spirit on the living and the dead.
* Now is the time to gather each prayer left under a plate and burn it in the flame of the candle by that plate, catching the ashes in a container.
* On the sign from the host, the guests leave the area, stopping by empty places or ancestral altar on their way out.
* After the host thanks Spirit, the guests return to share any impressions they received during the feast. The table is cleared, and divination can be done. Allow the candles to burn until all have gone home, and then snuff each candle. Throw the candle ends and prayer ashes into a moving body of water, or bury them off the property.
The EarthSpirit Newsletter from Autumn 1996 contains a fine article by Anne Lafferty called “Feeding the Dead.” She notes that in Mexico the days between October 31 and November 2 are important because the dead are supposed to visit their relatives at this time. An altar is set up for the dead, and here the offering of food is made. The specific foods offered depend partly on tradition, partly on the tastes of the specific relatives being honored and partly on other factors (such as how wealthy the family is and its specific ethnic background). Bread is invariably included, however. The food provided for child spirits is geared towards younger taste buds than the food given to adult spirits.
Samhain 2001 [had] a special meaning for pagans in the United States hosting Dumb Suppers. The sudden awful deaths of 7000 of our human family on September 11 is still grimly alive in our nightmares — so many dead, so violently and abruptly ripped from the land of the living. Most of the body parts [have] never [been] found. What of their souls? Are they still staggering, dazed and confused, in between the worlds? Have they found rest? Have they had any chance to say goodbye?
Our Dumb Suppers for  could [continue to] give them a proper farewell. It is a fitting time for the coming together of our magickal families and our communities. It is a fitting time to remember the real connections we have with our families of birth and with our national family. It is a fitting time to not only grieve our lost sisters and brothers in New York and in Washington and in a field near Pittsburgh but also honor them, and through them honor our roots as an American nation, a melting pot and cauldron for the world.
Copyright © 2003 Emerald City/Silver Moon Productions WIDDERSHINS ARCHIVES
From Galena at Crone’s Corner