Today’s weather is, “Hold my beer!” 🙂 When I first woke, there was sunshine falling through the evergreens and then it went grey. The pavement was wet when I stepped out the door, but sitting in the car I saw a lovely patch of blue with one white puffy cloud lazing its way across. When we pulled out onto the street we were facing mustard-brown clouds and by the time we pulled out on the highway it was raining. Sitting here at my desk over the last hours we’ve been through three cycles of sunshine, that goes dark and the it starts to rain, but the puddles are all blue because the sky is already clearing! Go figure…. Springtime in Oregon? There’s almost no wind again and it’s 47F. 7/10’s total rain yesterday, but only a trace today, so far. …and it ought to be dry for the rest of the day!
Yesterday was kinda bizarre. I spent most of the day trying to keep things running at the shop and put final touches on the ritual, that I ended up doing as a sole celebrant. Tempus was dealing with the car. We’re still running on the doughnut, which just feels…. wrong….
The ritual went well, although there were only a few of us. I went home feeling a bit sickish from too much candy… Tempus and I fell into bed. He was asleep with just a couple of minutes, but I hadn’t really had supper, so made a serving of noodles and peas, then crawled in and went, “Thud!” myself.
We were both up early. I did a little work on my herbs as we were heading out, harvesting some more chickweed for this morning’s workshop. We mostly have to keep on doing the same things today as we’ve been. I don’t know what Tempus is going to do about tires, yet, so that might pull him away.
Big Sur bridge demolition – This reminds me of the winter of ’99 when we got cut off for a few days and then were working with diminished travel ability through the rest of the winter. https://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=349
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 misnamed “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 Gillyflowers.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_william
The Hilaria, the festival of Joy, is part of the celebrations in the Roman Republic and Empire surrounding Attis. What a wonderful name for a festival! Today, however, is the feast of the Mother of the Gods, Cybele and the resurrection of Attis that was held on the first day after the Vernal Equinox when it could be seen that day was longer than night. It was celebrated with games, and later in Roman history with processions and masquerades. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilaria and more on Cybele here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybele
The shop opens at 11am. 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. 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 3/27 at 7:57pm. 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 3/26 at 7:57am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances. God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at 7:57pm on 3/27.
Venus is gone from view even by 30 minutes after after sunset, but Mercury is working its way higher. (These scenes are drawn for skywatchers at 40° north latitude.)
Jupiter‘s moon Io disappears into eclipse by Jupiter’s shadow, barely off Jupiter’s western limb, around 12:18 a.m. EDT tonight (11:18 p.m. CDT). A small telescope is all you’ll need.
Raffaello Lena in Rome has been imaging Venus as it wanes in phase and enlarges in size, using a 7-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain scope. He plans to continue right up to Venus’s conjunction 8° north of the Sun on 3/25.
Venus reaches inferior conjunction, 8° north of the Sun. Venus (about magnitude –4.2) is dropping fast day by day low in the western evening twilight. It’s swinging closer to our line of sight to the Sun, making it an ever thinner crescent in a telescope or high-quality binoculars. It’s now a big 58 arcseconds from cusp to cusp, and from March 17th to 25th, its phase thins from just 3% to 1% sunlit! Get your scope on Venus before sunset — while keeping the Sun behind a western horizon obstruction so you don’t accidentally sweep across the Sun’s blinding face. Can you detect any sign of cusp extensions around Venus’s rim? See the March Sky & Telescope, page 52. Venus reaches inferior conjunction on March 25th, when it passes a full 8° north of the Sun (upper right of the Sun as seen around sunset from mid-northern latitudes). For Northern Hemisphere observers, this is the ideal apparition for following Venus way down in the west right after sunset — and picking it up very low in the east before sunrise. In fact, plan to look for it at both dusk and dawn on the same day, or across the same night! Your best bet for this rare dual sighting of Venus is on March 22nd if you’re near 40° north latitude — as told in the March Sky & Telescope, page 46. A tip for trying to detect the crescent of Venus naked-eye when it’s this large: sight through a tiny round hole in a piece of paper or cardboard held against your eye, to mask off aberrations in the outer part of your eye’s pupil. Experiment with different size holes.
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings. Runic half-month of Ehwaz, 3/30-4/13 – Ehwaz, the horse; time of partnership between humans and Nature, as between rider and horse. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 55
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
/Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 25 Low 5:27 AM 2.1 7:09 AM Rise 6:02 AM 13
~ 25 High 11:18 AM 7.4 7:35 PM Set 5:05 PM
~ 25 Low 5:56 PM 0.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.
~ Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: “I am with you kid. Let’s go. – Maya Angelou
~ Love affirms itself absolutely; where Love is, there Fear is not. – Eliphas Lévi
~ Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. – Mother Teresa
~ Luck is one thing, brave deeds another. – Grettir’s Saga, c.34
She rejoiced in her blood and flesh, in the rough pine bark she felt next to her skin, in the beat of her heart and the life of all her senses, and in the hunger she was feeling now… and in the earth below her and the lives of every creature, plant and animal both; and she delighted in being of the same substance as them, and in knowing that when she died her flesh would nourish other lives as they had nourished her. – Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials
Our neighbor is 96 years old and she still goes for a walk several times each week. Very slowly she makes her way along the pasture fence between our properties. Then she turns around and goes home, carefully avoiding the ruts in the dirt road. I have gone out to greet her only occasionally.
A simple hello always means a commitment to thirty minutes, or more, of conversation. I know that’s not much in the larger scheme of things. And, it means so much to older people when you give them the gift of time. But these days life seems to be all a rush and time is a precious commodity. Often my husband reminds me that I’m not keeping up with everything I have committed to do. I get stingy.
That’s why I’m pleased to share what I’ve learned about another gift we can give each other. It’s the gift of Story. Yes, it takes time. But it’s fun too and it fuels the imagination. Here’s how I learned about it.
Last week, I saw Florene on her walk and knew it was way past time to say hello. It had been weeks since I’d seen her. She deserved a few minutes of chitchat. So I headed out the door. And sure enough she was happy to see me and eager to talk. We visited by the roadside and then I invited her to come and see the new horses in our yard. She’s a country lady through and through and had hinted that she was wondering about the new equines in the neighborhood.
While I was pointing out the names of the horses, one of our chickens came up to Florene. The hen, who was named Fred by the children, made a throaty cackling sound that tells me she’s happy and curious. Fred circled around Florene’s legs.
It had been years since Florene had spent time with chickens, she said. She bent down to pat Fred on her back and Fred squatted obediently to receive the touch. When Florene looked to me for understanding, I said, “That’s the first time I’ve seen her do that. These are new chickens and they normally avoid most humans. She really seems to trust you.”
Florene chuckled. “Well she’s an awfully cute chicken. I have always liked animals.”
A few minutes later we were walking down the road, and Florene’s daughter was coming out to see why her mother had disappeared.
“Laura dear, you’ll never believe what just happened,” Florene began. “A chicken came right up to me! Judith says she never does that with other people. But that chicken hunkered down to let me pet her. She is so soft and beautiful. You should go see her. It was just wonderful.”
I realized in that moment that the best gifts are so very simple. Maybe the best gift of all is a story. Florene has a new gem of a story about her friend the chicken. It will make her smile for many days. And it was such an easy gift to offer. All it took was to interpret what she saw. “That chicken runs from people…everyone but you. It must be that the small creature sees beyond wrinkles. Animals know things about people.” All of that came across to Florene.
So many times I have missed the opportunities to give gifts like that. Maybe it’s because I’m not paying attention, I’m rushing around or I’m simply unwilling to give. But I see now that my children need story affirmations like that. My husband needs story affirmations.
For example, our Blue Heeler only “talks” to my husband. It’s amazing to see as the dog sits before him and modulates her voice in conversation. They have regular talks. But it happens often enough that I have taken it for granted. Now I see that telling my husband the story of what I see occurring between him and the dog would be an affirmation, a gift.
I’m going to record the story of my son’s football year–it’s a story about coming into manhood. I want to share the story of my daughter amazing cake award so that she’ll see that all things are possible when you put forth effort.
There are so many stories. And I see now that this is a gift that goes beyond meaningless chitchat chewing up time. It is minutes spent in observing and sharing. It is an image that can be preserved and savored.
About the Author: Judith Costello and her family live in rural New Mexico. They call their place “Sagging Acres.” Judith and her husband, Jurgen Haver, are the creators of the website www.thedailychristian.com.
Silliness – Too Hot, Too Cold
A customer was bothering the waiter in a restaurant. First, he asked that the air conditioning be turned up because he was too hot, then he asked it be turned down cause he was too cold, and so on for about half an hour.
Surprisingly, the waiter was very patient, he walked back and forth and never once got angry. So finally, a second customer asked him why he didn’t throw out the pest.
“Oh, I really don’t care or mind,” said the waiter with a smile. “We don’t even have an air conditioner.”