Daily Stuff 4-1-17 April Fools Day

Hi, folks!

Herbs at 11. Sewing at 3pm. No, don’t panic. I don’t pull April Fool’s jokes….

Minus Tide at 10:51 AM of -0.5 feet.

It’s cloudy and cool, rather than cold, this morning, 53F, which feels good. The computer weather isn’t working right, but experience with the weather patterns here tells me we ought to get some sunshine this afternoon, which will be nice. It’s very still, no wind at all.

Yesterday started off with me being so sleepy! We rolled out of bed, barely in time to get the shop open, and it took two hours and two cups of coffee before I started to feel awake. We had a lot of people coming in, but mostly just looking. I did a reading before Tempus needed to head for Newport to pick up his check. We had our PO box bill to pay as well and he picked up mail, too.

We had customers in all day long. Most were the just-looking types, but some serious shoppers came in, as well. …and by 6pm, both of us were just sitting, looking at each other, not even doing much! We finally picked up some handwork and then Tempus got supper. He made baked potatoes with hardboiled eggs, fresh greens and his mom’s recipe cole slaw. …and then we sat some more, trying to get the oomph together to head home.

Other than customers, not a lot got done in the way of shop work. I got a few more bottles of crystals taken care of, reset the box (helpful customers who put all of the bottles top up!) and counted it all. I did a little sewing while customers were browsing and asking questions. Tempus got a little done on needles and fixed whatever was wrong with the car….we hope.

Today Herbs is at 11. We’ll be setting up some seed-starting pots for a couple of batches of plants and I harvested another batch of chickweed/bittercress that needs to be cleaned and dried. There will be a Sewing Workshop at 3pm, if only because I’ll need to sit still for awhile by then! One of my “chickadees” (students from years gone past) was in yesterday with wife and kiddos, and they’re planning on being back today, so I may still still for a bit and visit, as well.

Dalai Lama wise

strawberry frangaria vescaToday’s Plant is the Strawberry. We have two wild varieties out here, Wood’s Strawberry, Fragaria vesca, the Coastal Strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis, and of course the Garden Strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, which is a hybrid.The leaves of vesca have been used to make a tea to help with diarrhea and the whole plant is used as an anti-depressant, from flowers to leaves to fruit. – Feminine, Venus, Water, Freya (and many other deities) – Carry the leaves for luck, use them in love spells and sachets, sleep on them to dream of your love. Pregnant women should carry a sachet of the leaves during the last few months of pregnancy to ease labor. The berries themselves are simply an aphrodisiac, often combined with chocolate for this purpose. Yum! Wood’s Strawberry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_vesca and Coastal Strawberry here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_chiloensis  Garden Strawberry here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_strawberry

feast 0401 April Fool jesterToday is April Fool’s Day. There are a lot of suggestions as to how this holiday came about, and I *still* don’t know what fish have to do with it, but it’s a fun one all the same, as long as the pranks stay harmless. I’m looking forward to what NPR puts in their “news” today! I still like the Scottish version, Hunt-the-Gowk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day

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 ancientlight@peak.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 4/10 at 11:08pm. 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 at 7:57am on 4/1. Waxing Crescent phaseKeywords 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 4/3 at 11:39pm. 

Comet T-G-K (green blob) crossing the bowl of the Big Dipper on March 24th. Photography greatly overemphasized the comet’s low-surface-brightness coma compared to the overexposed 2nd- and 3rd-magnitude Dipper stars. Chris Schur used a 50-mm f/3.5 lens for 105 minutes of exposure.
TWO binocular comets are now in view!
The first is Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak, or “T-G-K”, behaving as expected. It’s visible in amateur telescopes and large binoculars high in the northern evening sky. It’s about magnitude 7, depending on your instrument (larger apertures result in fainter estimates), and it’s likely to be about 6th magnitude all April. It appears fairly large, since it’s passing relatively close to Earth; mostly diffuse and low-surface-brightness but with a sharp nucleus. Use low power and a wide field early in the week before the evening Moon gets very bright. See article(Use the finder chart in that article; the charts in the May Sky & Telescope are significantly off.)
Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy is the surprise. Discovered on March 10th at magnitude 12, it was only expected to reach 9th magnitude at its brightest in mid-April. But it has already leapt up to 7th, similar to T-G-K — and it’s more condensed so it’s easier to see. It’s in Pegasus, in the east just before the beginning of dawn; go out 2 hours before your local sunrise time (if you’re in the world’s mid-northern latitudes). The Moon won’t interfere until about the morning of the 7th. See article and finder charts: Comet Lovejoy Brightens Quickly, Heads North.

For skywatchers around 40° north latitude, Mercury this evening is at its highest sunset altitude of the year. Look for it low in the west about 45 to 60 minutes after sunset. Fainter Mars is 15° above it.
This evening Aldebaran is lower right of the Moon, and Betelgeuse is a bit farther to the Moon’s lower left (for North America). Have you ever closely compared the colors of Betelgeuse and Aldebaran? Can you detect any difference in their color whatsoever? I can’t, really. Yet Aldebaran, because it’s spectral type K5 III, is often called an “orange” giant, while Betelgeuse, spectral type M1-M2 Ia, is usually called a “red” supergiant. Their temperatures are indeed a bit different: 3,910 and 3,590 kelvins, respectively. A complication: Betelgeuse is brighter. And to the human eye, the colors of bright objects appear, falsely, to be desaturated: appearing paler (whiter) than they really are.

Venus as a razor thin crescent on March 21st, imaged by Shahrin Ahmad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There’s just a hint of cusp extensions on both ends of the crescent. The planet was 1.8% illuminated at the time.

Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14
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  

Sun in Aries
Moon in  Gemini
Venus (4/15), Jupiter (6/9) Retrograde
Color: Black


©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).

Fearn – Alder Ogam letter correspondences
Month: January
Color: Crimson
Class: Cheiftain
Letter: F, V
Meaning: Help in making choices; spiritual guidance and protection.

Ogam letter correspondences to study this month – Ailim – Silver Fir
Month: None
Color: Light Blue
Class: Shrub
Letter: A
Meaning: Learning from past mistakes; Take care in choices.


Waves tide

Tides for Alsea Bay

Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
/Low      Time    Feet    Sunset                    Visible
Sa   1     High   4:00 AM     8.4   6:56 AM     Set 12:16 AM      18
~     1      Low  10:51 AM    -0.5   7:44 PM    Rise 10:21 AM
~     1     High   5:14 PM     6.7
~     1      Low  10:49 PM     2.3


Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a memorable day!


Newsletter Journal PromptJournal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – In John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, he said, “And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” What do you think you can do for your country, now and in the future?



~  To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it. – Josh Jenkins
~  To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead. – Bertrand Russell
~  Warriors always spend a great deal of time caring for their weapons and armor, since it is their weapons and armor that they must rely on in battle. Think of your body as a weapon: Your body deserves every bit as much attention as a sword or armor. – Kerr Cuhulain
~  When we complain, we remain. When we whine, we stay behind. When we praise, we raise. – Jim Bakker

Every morning at school following the morning announcements, the secretary asks “Why are we here?” & the whole building enthusiastically responds “To Learn!” And everyone from the smallest kindergartener to the custodian to the principal can tell you at the end of the day what they learned, because that IS what we are here for – I love working in a place that honors & celebrates that, for all of us!!! – Vixen Feyfire


April Fools – April 1 is the 91st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (92nd in leap years), with 274 days remaining.
On the dating of items in the Almanac  Translate this page  Birthday star  Your birth day  Daily Everything  NNDB  Time/Date  Google
Calendar converter  Almanacs, calendars, time, dedicated weeks, etc  Almanac screensavers  On this day  Dictionary  I recommend
IMDB days  IMDB years  Wikipedia days  Wiki decades  Wiki centuries  Timelines  Conversions  Calendrica  Lunabar  Birthday calculator
When ‘Source’ links on this page move address or die, I might allow them to stay here, but the Wayback Machine might help you locate the original.

April birthstone: Diamond, signifying innocence and light; quartz.

She who from April dates her years
Diamonds should wear lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone
As emblem of innocence is known. – Traditional birthstone rhyme


April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 30 days. The month is traditionally personified in art as a girl clothed with green, with a garland of myrtle and hawthorn buds, holding in one hand primroses and violets, and in the other the sign of Taurus.

“The opening month (Lat. aperire, to open) when trees unfold and the womb of nature opens with young life. In the French Republican calendar of 1793 it was called Germinal, the time of budding (21 March to 19 April).”
Ivor H Evans, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Cassell, London, 1988

Robert Chambers* doesn’t agree that the word comes from Latin aperio, ‘I open’. He suggests it comes from Aphrodite, the Greek version of Venus, as the Romans considered it Venus’s month. The first day was Festum Veneris et Fortunae Virilis. Others have it that a Roman goddess of love, Aprilis, was honoured when naming the month.

Anglo Saxon Oster-monath, probably meant east winds prevailed. The term Easter may have come from the same origin (Chambers 1881).

Nigel Pennick (The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 56) says that name comes from Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love).

“It is the fourth month, in which thou art honoured above all others, and thou knowest, O Venus, that both the poet and the month are thine’.”

April is the month of the house of Aries (March 21April 20) and the house of Taurus (April 21May 22). In the American backwoods tradition, the full moon of April is called pink Moon.

* Robert Chambers, (Ed.), The Book of Days: A miscellany of popular antiquities in connection with the calendar, etc, W & R Chambers, London, 1881 (1879 Edition is online and 1869 edition here with CD-ROM available; See also The English Year: A Personal Selection from Chambers’ Book of Days)

April, month of the goddess Venus, ancient Rome

“April is named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite – Venus to the Romans. Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. She was known to the Phoenicians as Astarte and Ashtoreth to the Hebrews and King Solomon, who built a temple to her. On her birth the seas bubbled and turned rosy, and she arose, full grown and standing on a seashell, in all the surpassing glory of her loveliness and arrayed in the panoply of her irresistible charms. She floated to Cyprus, arriving in April, and as soon as her white feet touched the shore, grass and flowers sprang up at her feet and she was sweetly received by the Three Graces.”   Source

What is the Goddess Calendar?

The pentagram: origins in Venus
The pentagram is a fascinating arcane symbol and well known to Neopagans and occultists.

In my own view, the pentagram’s origins are in part associated with the passage of the planet Venus through the skies, a view propounded by Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, but don’t let that put you off. Others, such as this Freemasonry website, dispute it, and I would hazard a guess that’s because of the sacred feminine associations of Venus, as the Freemasons are a very masculine association.

I know there’s a lot of current interest in this question, and Dan Brown’s assertion that a four-year Venus cycle informs the Olympics periodicity seems wrong to me. As far as I know, the Venus path is on an eight-year cycle. After that period, Venus, the Sun, Earth and the stars are in the same relative positions (more).

However, I certainly ain’t no astronomer and can only go by what I read. If you have any information at all associated with this matter, or anything to do with the pentacle and its origins, I’d be grateful if you’d let me know.

Nick Anthony Fiorenza of Lunar Planner/The Venus Transit has very kindly permitted the use of his animation. I recommend his fascinating site.

Viewing Venus in broad daylight

April Fools’ Day (Noddy Day, Gowkie Day, Gowkin’ Day)

If this year’s first day of April is like any other, you’ll have to keep your guard against the practical jokes that others can play on you, much to your annoyance and their delight. But what are the origins of the strange cult of April Fools’ Day?

There are a couple of explanations put forward by scholars to account for the trickery that takes place throughout much of the Western world on April 1.

One theory suggests that, because of the tradition of sending someone on ‘a fool’s errand’, the practice might derive from the Biblical story in which Jesus Christ was sent uselessly back and forth between Annas, Caiphas, Pontius Pilate and King Herod, each of them not being able to resolve what to do with him.

Sending people on fools’ errands has a long history. These days a teacher might send an unruly pupil to another teacher with the message, “Please give this boy a long weight”. All that the lad gets, of course, is a long wait. Or else he might be sent to the Industrial Arts teacher for a “left-handed hammer”. Either way, the joke’s on the boy, who probably deserves it.

In merry olde England the errand was for a gullible person to be sent to the saddler’s for a ‘pen’orth (penny’s worth) of salad oil‘. In this ruse, the pun is between ‘salad oil’ and the French ‘avoir de la salade’, to be flogged. So the poor dupe got a beating for his innocent pains.

Other nasty people would send youths to a bookshop for the ‘History of Eve’s Grandmother’, or to a cobbler for a little strap oil (the butt of the joke would indeed get the strap).

The Scots have always loved April Fool’s jokes. They call an April Fool a gowk (or cuckoo; Anglo-Saxon geac, origin of the word geek), a name which even today sounds as descriptive of its meaning as it did in olden times. The trick was to send the dupe with an envelope containing a message to someone else’s house a long way off. The letter inside would only read

This is the first day of April:
Hunt the gowk another mile.

The wise fools of Gotham – Condensed from the article at the Wilson’s Almanac Scriptorium

Gotham (pron. ‘goat ham’) is a village in Nottinghamshire, England. On a hill was a bush known as the ‘Cuckoo Bush’, which was planted as a memorial to the fabled population of the town.

In about the year 1540, during the reign of Henry VIII (14911547), an amusing collection of stories was published, by the name of The Merry Tales of the Mad Men of Gotham, by the mysterious ‘AB of Phisicke Doctor’ (actually, Pizisicke Doctour).

The tale has it that King John of England (1166 or 11671216) was marching towards Nottingham, intending to pass through Gotham meadow. Believing that any ground traversed by a king became forever after a public road, the citizens of Gotham decided to try to prevent John from passing.

Angered by them, the king sent messengers to find out the reason for their rudeness, and perhaps to impose a fine. Hearing of the messengers’ approach, they quickly decided to act as stupidly as they could, to avoid punishment. Some were trying to drown an eel in a pond; some dragging their carts and wagons to the top of a barn to shield a young tree from the sun’s rays; some tumbling cheeses downhill hoping they would find their way to Nottingham market; some trying to hedge in a cuckoo which had perched on a old bush …

It is said that the Gothamites say, “We ween there are more fools pass through Gotham than remain in it.” There is another Gotham, in Sussex, that lays claim to the tales, but it is generally accepted that Nottinghamshire’s village is the place that gained the reputation as the ‘town of fools’, an archetypal concept that is found in other cultures

How New York City came to be called Gotham

In 1807, New York-born writer, Washington Irving (17831859), invented the name for New York in the humorous article, ‘Salmagundi‘. By Irving’s time, Gotham had long been associated with stupidity, even though we can see that the original story was actually about an ironic kind of cleverness. Washington Irving thought this just the name to give to a city that he believed to be inhabited by fools. He used the term of his fellow city people because it conveyed the sense of New Yorkers as know-it-alls and cunning fools – but they had method in their madness.  – From Harper’s Weekly, March 30, 1861 (click thumbnail)

“WE publish on the preceding page a picture of the morning of the 1st April, opposite the Astor House, on the Park, in New York City. Some of the personages in the picture are enjoying the usual frolics of the day.

“The origin of this fool-making custom, like that of may other of our oldest customs, is involved in considerable doubt and uncertainty. It prevails, besides in this country, in Scotland, Germany, Sweden, and France—in which latter place the victims of the jokes are styled poissons d’Avril, or April fishes. But in none of these countries is its origin reasonably explained. Some suppose it to be derived from the abduction of the Sabine women by the Romans under Romulus, at the feast in honor of Neptune, which occurred on the 1st of April; others trace it from the mockery of our Saviour by the Jews ; while still others ascribe it to the act of old father Noah, in sending out the dove from the ark before the waters of the deluge had subsided.

“The following extract from an old poem will certify to the antiquity of the custom:

“‘The first of April some do say
Is set apart for All-Fools’ Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment;
And though the day is known before,
Yet frequently there is great store
Of these forgetfuls to be found,
Who’re sent to dance Moll Dixon’s round;
And having tried each shop and stall,
And disappointed at them all,
At last some tell them of the cheat,
And then they hurry from the street,
And straightway home with shame they run,
And others laugh at what is done.
But ’tis a tiling to be disputed,
Which is the greater fool reputed,
The man that innocently went,
Or he that him design’dly sent.’

“A city reporter says

“‘The number of tricks and hard practical jokes played upon unsophisticated persons, such as sending Jimmy for a bottle of “stirrup oil,” dispatching Betty in search of a pint and a half of ‘ pigeons milk,’ or requesting your illiterate friend to buy you a copy of the Life and Adventures of Eve’s Mother,’ in the Bowery, would require several volumes for their description. The most common methods of fooling people practiced in this city consist in pinning endless rag-tails to ladies’ dresses, fastening paper appendages to the men’s coat skirts, perpetrating cruel stories about the arrival of rich cousins from California with bags of the auriferous metal, and sending people extraordinary letters, containing extraordinary intelligence, and asking the most extraordinary things. Sometimes these nonsensical jokes result in the most serious consequences, and we have known “pistols and coffee” for two to be the not unfrequent denouement. Latterly the sport of fool making is confined principally to little boys and girls, who indulge in a regular carnival of merriment. Those whose mammas and papas allow them “the freedom of the city” kick up a most beautiful excitement among their grown-up superiors, while “—in-door young ones club their wicked wits, And almost frighten servants into fits.'”   Source


motif Silliness SmilieSilliness – Answering Machine Message 203

Despite the best efforts of the telephone company, you really DID reach 555-1234. But that didn’t help much, did it? You still have to talk to a machine.

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