We were early enough yesterday morning that we could get started a little sooner than usual on the newsletter and such, but coffee got delayed, which made me snappish. We were open on time, but a package needed to go out and a few errands run. Eventually Tempus took off for Leslie’s, with water bottles in hand and mailed the package on the way, then filled the bottles at the spring.
We slept in this morning, kinda taking turns being asleep. I was up for a bit in the middle of the night. Tempus was up for a bit early in the morning, then I woke around noon and he woke around 1:30. 🙂 Tonight’s the paper route, so that was a *good* thing!
Stella is picking me up and we’re going to do some shopping at a garden center in Florence, then go to an Arts & Sciences meeting in Eugene. It’s going to be a fun evening for me. Tempus is going to do some shopping, then start the paper route and pick me up at the shop partway through, since I’ll be dropped off there.
An old version of a witch costume. I think this is the Queen of the Night from Mozart’s opera but I can’t find it on the web, anymore.
Today’s plant is Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea. It’s a rather wild shrub that can be trained into a small tree, with icky-smelling white flowers that then produce dark fruits that appear blue because of a whitish coating on them. In Oregon it grows mostly from the valley out to the coast with some isolated pockets in the Eastern part of the state. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the tree. “In some areas, the “elder tree” was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, while other beliefs say that witches often congregate under the plant, especially when it is full of fruit. In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in witchcraft customs the elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” – A rhyme from the Wiccan rede [poem]. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.” From Wikipedia – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers are used for Crossing the Bridge rituals. Carry for protection and to prevent rheumatism and toothache. Dried berries are helpful in sleep pillows. All parts are good for protection. Grow near the home for prosperity. Magic wands and flutes are often made from this wood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_ceruleaorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
Today’s Feast is the first mention of Moskva (Moscow, short for Grad Moskva, “big city on the Moscow River”) in history The first reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski to “come to me, brother, to Moscow”. It’s the largest city in Russia, about the 6th largest in the world. It’s been burned to the ground several times (once by its own populace in the Napoleonic Wars). The kreml (Kremlin) was built as a wooden stockade about 7 years after the first mention and has grown to a huge complex of palaces and government buildings. Almost 20% of the population of Moskva, calls itself, “Spiritual, but not religious” and about 1% are Rodnoveri, the pagan faith “ancestral faith”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow
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 email@example.com 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. 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 4/9 at 11:08pm.
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.
By the end of the week Mercury has greatly faded. . .. . .while the waxing Moon has moved on to shine on the other side of the sky.
Now the Moon forms a huge, nearly vertical line with Procyon >>>> and Sirius below it in early and mid-evening.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.5, in Virgo) comes to opposition on April 7th. It rises around sunset, shines low in the east-southeast after nightfall, high in the southeast by 11 p.m., and highest due south around 1 a.m. daylight saving time. Spica hangs 7° below it. In a telescope Jupiter is 44 arcseconds across its equator.
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
©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
Tu 4 Low 1:07 AM 3.1 6:51 AM Set 3:16 AM 50
~ 4 High 7:02 AM 7.2 7:48 PM Rise 1:13 PM
~ 4 Low 2:11 PM 0.3
~ 4 High 8:54 PM 6.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Handle yourself with kid gloves. You are your own best best ally.
~ Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success. – Dale Carnegie
~ Great truths can only be forgotten and can never be falsified. – G.K. Chesterton
~ I have as much authority as the pope, I just don’t have as many people that believe it- George Carlin
~ I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance. – Socrates
So I have several famous folks on my facebook list, presumably people who want to have subscribers: the 4 members of the Firesign Theatre & pagan/wiccan authors Edain McCoy, Kerr Cuhulain, Raven Digitalis etc. Facebook suggested Silver Ravenwolf as a friend. I thought, okay, I like her books & clicked friend request. fb sent the request but told me it would be considered spam & only to click if I actually know her. Is this a setting she has made or some weird facebook rule? – unknown
Barley Bread Cakes
- 6 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Cup Barley Flour
- Mix sesame oil, water and salt with barley flour until dough is pliable though still somewhat oily.
- Roll out dough and cut circular disc shapes with a glass and place on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F until browned lightly.
Beltane Oat Cakes http://www.chroniclesofavalon.com/beltane2003print.html
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (to make them sweeter use up to one full cup)
- 3/4 cup butter (unsalted)
- 1 egg
- cup mashed ripe fruit (banana, peaches, something soft)
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- Spices: nutmeg, cinnamon is a good combo or cardamom is nice by itself (approx. 1/4 tsp)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional).
- Mix flour, baking powder, and brown sugar together.
- Make sure to smash any lumps.
- Cut butter into mixture with a pastry blender (or make do with a fork).
- Add egg and fruit, and nuts.
- Drop rounded tablespoon of dough onto greased cookie sheet (about 2-3 in apart).
- Bake at 350 deg F [175 deg C] for 15 min or until cookies look “dry”.
OATCAKES SCOTS http://www.unc.edu/%7Ereddeer/recipe/rec_beltain.html
- 1/2 cup Shortening
- 1 cup Oats or quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup All-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons Cold Water
- Cut shortening into next four ingredients until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- Add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until it forms a stiff dough.
- Roll until 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface.
- Cut into 2 inch rounds or squares.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 until they just start to brown – 12 to 15 minutes.
- To griddle bake; bake on a hot griddle or frying-pan until the edges begin to curl.
- Turn over and cook the other side.
- Do not let the oatcakes brown; they should be a pale fawn colour.
- Put on a wire rack to cool.
Note – They are delicious served with cheese.
OATCAKES – IRISH http://www.unc.edu/%7Ereddeer/recipe/rec_beltain.html
- 6 ounces Oatmeal (preferably fine)
- 2 ounces Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 10 fluid ounces Warm water
- Mix flour and salt together.
- Slowly add warm water.
- Roll out on a floured board to 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut into triangles.
- Cook on a pan or griddle until golden on both sides.
- Dry out in a cool oven (300 degrees) until crisp.
Note – These cakes are eaten buttered, with a glass of milk, for supper, but are also terrific with wine and cheese.