It was quite blue above us with puffy small bits of cloud when we got to the shop and very sunny, but the sunshine has been snuffed out by a lower layer of cloud, since. The chance of rain is building up again to nearly 100% by sunrise, but it was lovely, earlier. It’s 51F with little wind, only occasional gusts that nip, but don’t have teeth. We got over 3/5’s of an inch of rain yesterday, well, of precipitation…. because the thundering mess of hail that completely covered the sunroom roof with white late last evening wasn’t exactly rain…..
Yesterday Tempus spent the whole day scanning and e-mailing out the feedback to the entrants of the competition. I spent the day talking with people, setting up new stuff, writing and processing pictures from the weekend, and the went home, mid-evening to work there, while Tempus came back to the shop and finished up. We still have to sort out and put away the rest of the stuff from the weekend and do the dishes. Got the laundry, at least! We had called off class last night, since one of the students couldn’t make it. This Wicca 101 is taking awhile, but they’re so intensely interested….
Jay is here, working on the flowerbeds outside and then he’s going to be grinding eggshells and starting some seed pots. I’m still writing. Tempus has been cooking and Leslie stopped by to find out where to get good sand. I also need to finish setting up the newsletters for the week.
Today’s plant is the snowdrop, Galanthus. It was called that in Gerard’s Great Herbal in 1633. The derivation of the name is uncertain, although it may have come from the German word Schneetropfen, which was a type of earring popular around that time. Other British traditional common names include “February fairmaids”, “dingle-dangle”, “Candlemas bells”, “Mary’s tapers” and, in parts of Yorkshire,” snow piercers” (like the French name perce-neige). It is used in spells for making you think and for sorting out problems, also to chase the negative effects of sorrow and grief. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowdrop
On 2/28/53 the final link in how DNA works was found by Francis Crick and Jim Watson. The two men finally figured out how the base pairs linked up. A letter by Crick to his son Michael was found recently and was auctioned by Christie’s, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/science/a-dna-lesson-from-the-pen-of-francis-crick.html?ref=science&_r=1& More on DNA itself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA
The shop opens at 11am! Winter Hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. Closing is drifting later with the sunset time, but it won’t be official until Spring Break. 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 3/12 at 7:54am. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 3/2 at 6:58pm.
Now the thickening Moon in twilight forms a roughly fist-sized triangle with bright Venus and fainter Mars, as shown here.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.3, in Virgo) rises around 9 p.m. and is high by 11 or midnight. Spica dangles 4° lower right of it after they rise, more directly below it in the early-morning hours, and lower left of it in early dawn as shown above. Jupiter is creamy white; Spica is an icier shade of white with a trace of blue (once it’s fairly high). In a telescope Jupiter is 42 arcseconds across its equator, nearly the 44 arcseconds it will attain in the weeks around its April 7th opposition.
Goddess Month of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17
Runic half-month of Teiwaz/Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress.
Sun in Pisces
Moon in Aries
Vesta (3/7), Jupiter (6/9) Retrograde
©2016 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), ash – the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Tu 28 High 1:36 AM 7.9 6:54 AM Rise 8:12 AM 1
~ 28 Low 7:38 AM 1.1 6:03 PM Set 8:46 PM
~ 28 High 1:33 PM 8.1
~ 28 Low 7:57 PM 0.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Life is what one makes it, and the outside world only reflects what is in your heart
~ Not joy but joylessness is the mother of debauchery. – Nietzsche
~ Don’t lower your expectations of life. Raise your ability to receive what you want. – Bali Spirit Retreat
~ What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. ~ Helen Keller
~ This steady effort towards the simplifying of your tangled character, its gradual emancipation from the fetters of the unreal, is not to dispense you from that other special training of the attention which the diligent practice of meditation and recollection effects. – Evelyn Underhill
Just half your wood and half your hay,
Should be remaining on Candlemas Day. –proverb
Ostara Magick – A Brief History, Symbols and Colors of Pysanky – http://graphicoriginals.com/history.html
The word pysanka is derived from the Ukrainian verb pysaty ‘to write’; we ‘write’ designs on the eggs. Nearly all Slavic peoples and those in the eastern Mediterranean area practiced this art in ancient times using beeswax and dyes to create tiny masterpieces of art but Ukrainian Easter Eggs from the more modern Christian era seem to be the ones best known. In Western Ukraine, the art form was retained even though it declined because of religious suppression in most areas. Symbolism is at the root of all pysanky and it is not uncommon for a simple design full of symbolic meaning to surpass a very intricate design that is beautiful in its own right but nearly devoid of symbolic meaning and artistic expression.
The symbols used in pysanka design are a blend of ancient pagan motifs with Christian elements. As an example, pagans celebrated the high points in life and the yearly cycle. The Christian church does the same throughout the religious year with both highlighting Spring and the resurrection of Christ. The symbols used remained the same–the interpretation of them was changed to be in keeping with the acceptance of Christianity. This blend between the ancient pagan beliefs and symbols and the Christian beliefs and symbols has resulted in a richness seen in modern pysanka.
Certain designs and symbols are reserved for different rituals such as matchmaking, healing the ill, encouraging fertility in animals and childless couples, increased harvest etc. Shells were considered sacred and powerful in themselves and were saved, crushed and fed to the hens to increase fertility and also spread on roof tops to ward off evil.
The art of making a pysanka was and is a holy, ritual task for the traditional Ukrainian artist. The pysanka is believed to have power similar to a cross. Each step in the process of making a pysanka was proscribed so that they might be made with the holiest of attitudes and the strongest forces imbued in them. Beeswax is used as it comes from bees who gather it from flowers who are nourished by the sun. The wax is melted off in the heat of the oven to remove the wax in a purifying process that unites it with the life-giving sun.
A special tool called a kistka is used to melt the beeswax and write on the eggs. The kistka is the pen and the beeswax is the ink. Each successive color is waxed and dyed until the entire design is created on the surface of the egg. The wax is then removed, a protective finish applied and the contents emptied. The eggs are shared with others as an expression of friendship, good will and love.
I did not know how to pronounce the word “pysanky” (plural) or “pysanka” (singular), and spoke it as I thought it was pronounced. I was wrong! But, since I never heard it pronounced except by others who were also making the same error, it is only recently that I have found an authority that “spelled it out” in a publication. I reproduce the paragraph from the Ukrainian Gift Shop’s Design Book #4:
“To pronouce the word pysanka, put the following together into one word pes un ka—- —pes as in pest, un as in under, and ka as in call. There is no emphasis on any one syllable.”
I still find myself saying “pie, sank, kee” because I have never met anyone personally that knows the correct pronunciation but everyone seems to understand the wrong one! Another misconception is that the country is called “The” Ukraine, as we say The United States. This is in error. It is Ukraine, just as it is France, not The France.
Symbols drawings of symbols (will open in a new window)
Sun, circles- life, warmth and the love of God
Swastika- a common motif for happiness, blessings, good fortune and good will.
Tripod- a solar symbol known from Trypillian times meaning a trinity: birth, life, death; man, woman, child; the magical number 3
Star or rose-usually 8 pointed but also 6 and 5 pointed in ancient times signifying purity, life, the giver of light, the center of all knowledge, beauty, elegance and perfection; the eye or divine will of God, symbol of God’s love for man. Today sun and cosmic symbols signify happiness, prosperity and good fortune
Triangles-a trinity; formerly air, fire, water or the heavens, earth and air. Now the Holy Trinity is meant.
Lines-unbroken to not break the thread of life
Sieve-dividing good from evil
Basket-contained knowledge, motherhood, the giver of life and gifts
Rakes-rays from the sun, reference to harvest
Spirals-divinity or immortality
Grape vine-continuity, good fellowship and strong, loyal love; as the wine of communion-the love of God and of Christ for mankind
Deer- leadership, masculinity and victory
Horse- an ancient sign for the sun, believed in ancient times to pull the sun across the sky; therefore, wealth, properity, speed and endurance
Ram- perseverence, dignity, leadership and strength
Rooster- coming good fortune, for men it predicts a rich married life with many children
Spider-patience, artistry and industry
Hen’s feet-protection of the earth toward her young; guidance of the young in their search for knowledge
Horns-nobility, wisdom and triumph over problems; an implication of manhood and leadership
Wolves’ teeth-loyalty, wisdom and a firm grip
Churches-appeared at the time of Christianity, used only in western Ukraine
Birds- precursors of spring
Fish- symbol for Christ and Christians
Netting- separating good from evil
Crosses-in many shapes, usually to represent Christ’s suffering
Meander lines- eternal life
Ladders- prayer and rising to Heaven
Wheat- generous harvest
Pine needles- eternal life
Dots- stars and constellations
Flowers- wisdom, elegance and beauty
Leaves and flowers- life and growth
White-purity, virginity, innocence and birth
Green-renewal, spring, hope, health and victory of life over death, freedom from bondage
Yellow-light and purity, harvest, warmth, wisdom, youth
Orange-endurance, strength, ambition, the everlasting sun, the red of passion tempered by the yellow of wisdom
Red-a positive color for passion, action, fire, spiritual awakening, divine love, used especially for children and youth
Black- constancy, eternity, used with white as respect for departed souls, also fear or ignorance
Purple- fasting, faith, patience and trust
Brown- mother earth, bringing forth bountiful gifts
Blue- blue skies, life-giving air, is a talisman of good health
Pink- success, contentment
4 or more colors- family happiness, peace and love
As you can see, most design elements can mean many things and are rooted in tradition. I enjoy making all of the traditional type designs as well as contemporary ones. I explain the basic process in the How tosection. Although I am not Ukrainian and not a traditional artist except in process, I do make use of some traditional motifs and greatly enjoy creating my own interpretations of traditional and geometric designs. I have many contemporary designs of my own and also would be glad to work with you on any design concepts you may have.
Want to know more?
Ukrainian Eggs by Ginny Decorated Eggs
Pysanky Showcase Decorated Eggs and Dyes, History and Explanations
The Ukrainian Gift Shop Supplies
ToDeirdre.com Free ebook on pysanky by my soul sister-excellent information also pysanky and paintings!
PYSANKA: Icon of the Universe by Mary Tkachuk, Marie Kishchuk, and Alice Nicholaichuk, 1977, Ukrainian Museum, 910 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon, Sask, Canada S7K 3G9
A good chart of the symbols – pysanky-symbol-chart