It’s *pouring*. I’ve been listening off and on to the rain on the solarium roof for hours. It’s 53F with the sky a blank grey/white and we’ve gotten almost 1/2 and inch since midnight. We got 6/10’s of an inch yesterday. It’s not windy, though it might get that way, later.
Yesterday flew past. I got a lot of writing and paperwork done during the day and Tempus got a lot of cleaning and putting away done. He sorted out the pile that’s been keeping me from getting into the microwave for a month and put a lot of stuff up on the shelves.
Last night’s Wicca 101 was a re-start. We have 4 students, now, all enthusiastic. One from the first batch who didn’t mind the re-start, a mother and daughter and
another woman. It’s a good group.
Today is the day the shop is closed, but I have several friends coming out from the Valley for a visit. Arlys can’t come because her RA is too bad, but one of my apprentice sister and a few others from the same area will be here for a couple of hours. Tempus is going to help me bake a muffin cake and then head to the house to work. We have a paper run tonight, too.
Today’s Plant is Coltsfoot, Petasites frigidus var. palmatus.One of the best cough remedies out there, this is often smoked to help cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma. It is also made into cough syrups often combined with horehound. This is another plant where the medicinal and magickal uses seem to go together. Feminine, Venus, water– Add to love sachets and use in spell of peace and tranquility. The leaves, when smoked, can cause visions, and aid with breathing problems. .More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petasites_frigidus
Today is the Feast of St. Crispin and St. Crispinian, patron saints of shoemakers. “Cursed be the cobbler that goes to bed sober!” – Old English cry for this day, because there were feasts and guild parties all over England on this day. Also, prosperous householders, particularly in London would often contribute barrel after barrel of beer to the guild, much of which went into storage for later, but much was consumed, with great thanks, on the spot. Why the association with beer? It’s that time of year! Saint Crispin is often associated with the Battle of Agincourt as the battle was fought on Saint Crispin’s Day, and especially because of Shakespere’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech from his play Henry V. (It’s in the quotes in the links, below!) More on the saints here: More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Crispin More on the Knights of St. Crispin here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Knights_of_St._Crispin
“Now shoemakers will have a frisken
All in honour of St Crispin”. – Traditional rhyme, St Crispin’s day
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
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 10/30 at 10:38am. 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 10/25 at 10:38pm. 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 10/28 at 10:38pm.
Venus passes between Saturn and Antares low in twilight on Thursday the 27th. (The visibility of faint stars in bright twilight is exaggerated here.)
Draw a line from Altair, the brightest star high in the southwest after dark, to Vega, the brightest high in the west. Continue the line half as far onward and you hit the Lozenge: the pointy-nosed head of Draco, the Dragon.
The Great Square of Pegasus is now quite high in the east-southeast just after dark — still, for now, balancing on one corner (as seen from the world’s mid-northern latitudes).
Jupiter (magnitude –1.7) is low in the east in early dawn. Binoculars will help show Gamma Virginis about 2° left of it, if you look before the sky grows too bright.
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree Month Gort/Ivy Sep 30 – Oct 27 – (Hedera helix L.)
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal/Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24 –
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. Runic half-month of Hagalaz/Hagal – October 29-Novmber 12 – The Runic half-month of Hagal commences today, represented by the hailstone of transformation. It is a harbinger of the need to undergo the necessary preparations before the harsh northern Winter.
©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
Tu 25 Low 3:20 AM 0.9 7:45 AM Rise 2:42 AM 29
~ 25 High 9:54 AM 7.1 6:15 PM Set 4:14 PM
~ 25 Low 4:07 PM 2.1
~ 25 High 9:51 PM 6.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
~ Beauty is the highest of all these occult influences, the quality of appearances that thru’ the sense wakeneth spiritual emotion in the mind of man. – Robert Bridges (1844-1930) English writer
~ One of the best ways to measure people is how they behave when something free is offered.- Ann Landers, Syndicated columnist
~ You are what you think. – Gautama Buddha
~ All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem. – Martin Luther King Jr.
We were talking about magic
as we drove along a crowded
when the whirl of wings
made me turn
and a flock of geese
flew over our car
so low I could see
their feet tucked under them.
For a moment the rustle
of their presence over our heads
and as they disappeared
“I see what you mean.” – Jenifer Nostrand ~ (Bless the Day, edited by June Cotner)
Festival of Samhain, The Celtic New Year – by Míchealín Ní Dhochartaigh http://www.irelandsown.net/mythmagic.htm
“The circle is open but unbroken, Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.”
(Samhain, pronounced, Sow’ in, is also known as: All Saint’s Day, All Soul’s Day, All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, Hallowe’en, Olde Style, the Great Gathering)
Samhain is the most important holiday of the Celtic calendar. It is the Celtic New Year; it is also the Wiccan New Year. Samhain and the new Celtic year actually begin at dusk on October 31, the beginning of the Celtic day. Traditionally, however, Samhain was celebrated on the full moon of October, also known as Blood Moon.
This night is the Feast of the Dead, the night of the wheel-turning year that brings us to the This Veil. The gates between the worlds stand open this night. I honour my ancestors who come to me on the whispering wind. All those who wish me well are welcomed within this circle.
Samhain is celebrated at night because darkness comes before light, because life appears in the darkness of the womb, and because the Celts observed time as proceeding from darkness to light. The Celtic day began at dusk, the beginning of the dark and cold night, and ended the following dusk, the end of a day of light and warmth. The Celtic year began with An Geamhradh, the dark Celtic winter, and ended with Am Foghar, the Celtic harvest. Samhain marks the beginning of both An Geamhradh and the new Celtic year.
During the Dark Ages, Irish monks carried the tradition and celebration to Europe. In the year 998, 31 October was adopted as a Christian festival known as All Saint’s Day, or All Soul’s Day. It came to be commonly known as, All Hallow’s Eve.
Oidhche Shamhna, the Eve of Samhain, was the most important part of Samhain. It was a night of feasting and celebration.
Villagers gathered the best of the autumn harvest and the animals that could not be kept through the winter were slaughtered and their meat salted to sustain the tribe through the winter.
The focus of each village’s festivities was a great bonfire. Villagers cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames. (The present-day word, bonfire, comes from these “bone fires.”) With the great bonfire roaring, the villagers extinguished all other fires. Each family then solemnly lit their hearth from the one great common flame, bonding all families of the village together. In Ireland, all fires were extinguished and then re-lit from the one great fire kindled upon the hill of Tlachtga.
Fraser writes of the beauty of the bonfires in the Highlands of Scotland, which blazed on the heights:
“On the last day of autumn children gathered ferns, tar-barrels, the long thin stalks called gàinisg, and everything suitable for a bonfire. These were placed in a heap on some eminence near the house, and in the evening set fire to. The fires were called Samhnagan. There was one for each house, and it was an object of ambition who should have the biggest. Whole districts were brilliant with bonfires, and their glare across a Highland loch, and from many eminences, formed an exceedingly picturesque scene.”
In Wales, bonfires were lighted on the hills, and the people who assisted at the bonfires would wait till the last spark was out and then would suddenly take to their heels, shouting at the top of their voices, “The cropped black sow seize the hindmost!” The saying, according to Sir John Rhys, implies that originally one of the company became a victim in dead earnest. Even today, allusions to the cutty black sow are still occasionally made to frighten children.
In the Isle of Man also, another Celtic country, Hallowe’en was celebrated by the kindling of fires, accompanied with all the usual ceremonies designed to prevent the baneful influence of fairies and witches.
Feast of Death.
The rituals of Samhain involve bonding with the dead. On this night, the Celts believed the doors were opened between the worlds and the paths were travelled by the spirits going back and forth on this night. This world and the Otherworld become equivalent to each other, and no barriers existed between the dead and the living, that is, the “Veil” was at its thinnest.
It is The Veil between the two worlds that Wiccans invoke when they cast the circle to worship or perform rituals; thus, on Samhain night, when the Veil is thinnest, spells are most powerful because we are closest to the spirtis.
It is a time of celebration and remembering those who have parted from their earthly forms. Ghosts of old friends, grandparents, kindred from many ages enter the open doors. Now it is a time for oracles to see what will have in the year to come. Bobbing for apples, a traditional Samhain pastime, was a reference to the Celtic Emhain Abhlach, “Paradise of Apples,” where the dead, having eaten of the sacred fruit, enjoyed a blissful immortality.
Samhain is also known as the Great Gathering. Harvests of hazel nuts were gathered at this time, as were fungi for food and healing, and invoking dreams and visions. Celts used hazelnuts, symbols of wisdom, to foretell the future.
Here the Goddess is both pregnant and the Old One, the Wise Hag. She is the ruller of the Otherworld, wherein her God/Lover rests, between evolving incarnations. She is Persephone, Queen of the Dead and the Unvorn, Bringer through the Veuil of Life to those to be born, and carrier through the River of Night, those who have passed from the human world. In this dark time when the Veil is the thinnest, is when knowledge and spiritual powsers can pass back and forth. The Goddess will answer those who dare to ask questions.
Stones also featured prominently in Celtic divination.
In Ireland, when the fire had died down, the ashes were carefully collected in the form of a circle, and a stone was put in, near the circumference, for every person of the several families interested in the bonfire. Next morning, if any of these stones was found to be displaced or injured, the person represented by it would not live twelve months from that day.
In the northern part of Wales it used to be customary for every family to make a great bonfire called Coel Coeth on Hallowe’en. The fire was kindled on the most conspicuous spot near the house; and when it had nearly gone out every one threw into the ashes a white stone, which he had first marked. Then having said their prayers round the fire, they went to bed. Next morning, as soon as they were up, they came to search out the stones, and if any one of them was found to be missing, they had a notion that the person who threw it would die before he saw another Hallowe’en.
Reflection and Renewal
This is also the best time to make new year resolutions. In addition to celebrating the year’s end (Samhain literally translates to “Summer’s End”), it is also a celebration of the beginning of Winter. It is now that Celts and Wiccans begin to prepare for the Son of the Goddess (Later adopted by Christianity to be the birthday of the Christian son of God) — the child born on the darkest night of Yule (now called the Winter Solstice), the soul-son, the Sun of Life. Samhain is a time to review the past year: one’s failures and achievements, and gains and losses: and prepare to awake cleansed and refreshed at Yule.
“When you see my power fade, and the leaves fall from the trees; when snow obliterates like death all trace of me upon the Earth, then look for me in Moon and there in the Heavens you will see the soul of me, soaring still amongst the Stars.” —Vivianne Crowley, Prayer to the Autumn Goddess
- Acorn Squash with Honey – http://irelandsown.net/acornsquash.html
- Aveni, A. The Book of the Year — A Brief History of Our Seasonal Holidays. Cambridge University Press, January 2003.
- Conway, DJ. Celtic Magic. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN, 1994.
- Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millenium. HarpersCollins, Glasgow, 1996.
- Frazer, Sir James George. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, “The Fire-Festivals of Europe,” Chapter 62, MacMillan Co., New York, 1922.
- Green, M. A Witch Alone: A Practical Handbook. HarpersCollins, London, 1991.
Treanor, George. The Irish Heritage Group.
Pagan graphics by Robin Wood.
Copyright © Robin Wood 1997, Used with Permission.
Article by DM Gould. Copyright © 2003 Ireland’s OWN.
May be reprinted with permission.
Music by CelticGhost
Myths & Magic logo by DM Gould.
Copyright © 2003 Ireland’s OWN.
All Rights Reserved.
Page last updated: 4 Nov 2003
Draíocht na Muintir – a poem [some background information for the poem]
The Celts honored the intertwining forces of existence: darkness and light, night and day, cold and heat, death and life. Celtic knotwork represents this intertwining.
Other cultures celebrate the night of the dead
Alexandrian Egyptians laid out food for the dead and fastened oil lamps to the eves of their houses to commemorate them.
Ancient Romans threw black beans at “spirits” in hopes that they would accept the beans instead of carrying off living family members.
The Germans called it Hallowtide or “Hallowmas.”
Mexicans celebrate the Days of the Dead with both solemn and playful activities: feasts, picnics, as well as visits to graves.
It is customary to leave candles burning in the windows on Samhain, to guide the spirits and let them know they are welcome in your home.
The people of Ireland leave their doors open and food on the table for the ‘dead to return.’ They also carve faces into turnips and set them on their doorsteps to ward off the wondering spirits.
The Irish immigrants in America carried on the tradition by carving bright, orange pumpkin’s in place of the turnips.
See also: The Legend of the Jack O’Lantern.
Trick or Treat
It was also night of social bonding. The poor would take on the identity of the community’s dead, and go from door to door to receive offerings in the name of the ancestors. At each house they were given a portion of the food that had been set aside for the dead.
In the villages of Scotland boys went from house to house and begged a peat from each householder, usually with the words, “Ge’s a peat t’ burn the witches.” When they had collected enough peats, they piled them in a heap, together with straw, furze, and other combustible materials, and set the whole on fire. Then each of the youths, one after another, laid himself down on the ground as near to the fire as he could without being scorched, and thus lying allowed the smoke to roll over him. The others ran through the smoke and jumped over their prostrate comrade. When the heap was burned down, they scattered the ashes, vying with each other who should scatter them most.
The people in the community who were going from door to door were masked to allow them to represent the dead more convincingly.
Disguise was also worn to confuse the spirits from the Otherworld because some might be evil.
Celts thought the break in reality on November Eve not only provided a link between the worlds, but also dissolved the structure of society for the night. Boys and girls would put on each other’s clothes, and would generally flout convention by boisterous behavior and by playing tricks on their elders.
In the Isle of Man, the first of November, Old Style, has been regarded as New Year’s day down to recent times. Thus, Manx mummers used to go around on Hallowe’en (Olde Style), singing, in the Manx language, a sort of Hogmanay song, which began “To-night is New Year’s Night, Hogunnaa!.”
Fraser: “Not only among the Celts, but throughout Europe, Hallowe’en, the night which marks the transition from autumn to winter, seems to have been of old the time of year when the souls of the departed were supposed to revisit their old homes in order to warm themselves by the fire and to comfort themselves with the good cheer provided for them in the kitchen or the parlour by their affectionate kinsfolk. It was, perhaps, a natural thought that the approach of winter should drive the poor shivering hungry ghosts from the bare fields and the leafless woodlands to the shelter of the cottage with its familiar fireside. “
A few words of Irish for those who do not understand, dtús is the beginning, deireadh is the end and Draíocht na Muintir is the Magic of the People. Our world is one of Magic. We have made every attempt to classify and quantify that Magic, to prove that there is no such thing. This journey of the learned fools shall be our undoing. Yet if we completely destroy ourselves, the Magic that was once ours will still exist…
Draíocht na Muintir – by Daryl Chambers
At dtús the simply was – Muintir
For the aid na Muintir
The Draíocht became spoken
Spoken it was in rhyme
The Draíocht na Muintir simply was – rhyme
For the aid na Muintir
The rhyme became ritual
The rituals were bound in time
The Draíocht na Muintir simply was – rituals in time
For the aid na Muintir
The rituals became ceremonies
Ceremonies found a need for priests
The Draíocht na Muintir simply was – ceremonies by priests
For the aid na Muintir
The ceremonies became holy days
Holy days found a need for feasts
The Draíocht na Muintir simply was – days for feasts
For the aid na Muintir
The Draíocht became forgotten
Full stomachs found no need for the Draíocht
At deireadh the Draíocht na Muintir simply was – Draíocht
For the Muintir were no more_____
Copyright © 2000 Daryl Chambers
Silliness – Newsflash – Did you hear about the corduroy pillows? They’re making head lines across the nation!