Daily Stuff 4-5-17 Hanshi

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Ken Gagne!

Cool and damp and it’s been a bit drippy for awhile. There’s almost no wind at the moment, even by the water, and it’s 54F. It looks like we have a short break and then the rain will be back.

From the weather service “… Spring storm to bring gusty winds Friday…
… Snow in the Cascades over the weekend…
A developing storm over the eastern Pacific will swing toward the Pacific northwest late Thursday night and track from south to north off the Oregon and Washington coast Friday. As the storm nears it will likely bring gusty winds. The coast and coastal mountains areas may have gusts of 40 to 50 mph Friday morning through afternoon. Also depending on the eventual track of the storm, the Willamette Valley and interior lowlands in southwest Washington could see gusts of 30 to 40 mph Friday afternoon into early evening. Cooler and showery weather behind this storm will bring snow levels down to around 3000 to 3500 feet. Expect snow covered roads crossing the Cascade passes this weekend with around 5 to 10 inches of snow is possible at pass levels from Friday night through Sunday.”

Yesterday was *way* short since we got to the shop so late. Stella called just minutes after the newsletter went out and we needed to head out right away. We had a good drive to Florence and stopped at Laurel Bay Gardens for some gardening supplies. They had the tri-color carrot seeds that I’ve been looking for and some nice shallot starts. From there we rolled on to Eugene and had a lot of fun at the A&S night, talking to friends, working on projects, telling folks about cheese 🙂 and Stella playing and singing.

We didn’t get back until just before midnight and Tempus called just as I was sitting down at the computer. He was getting ready to get started on the paper route and needed to find out where an address was. He picked me up a bit after 3am and we had a good run. It was cool and dry, although clouded over, with only an occasional start to be seen, and it was light enough when we got home (6:15 or so) to not need flashlights to get down the path.

Today we’ve been doing some small chores and we’ll be at the shop for a few hours, then head home to get ready for the week. Tempus was funny this morning. He told me, “I was going to go up and get a shower and then I listened and decided not to get three, only one of them warm!” It was only drizzling by the time I got outside and I transferred my jonquils into a decent-sized pot and then headed for the car.

A Ken Gagne photo from 3/29/17 He says, “Jonathan wanted a new profile pic!”

220px-Polystichum_munitum_(Jami_Dwyer)_001Today’s Plant is Sword fern, Polystichum munitum. It grows all winter on the coast, getting greener and lovelier every year as the new fiddles come up out of the center of the plant and develop into fronds. I’ve been enjoying those, watching them for months, now. they can get to be 6 feet tall and some of the ones down in the park where the stream crosses through are that size! The indigenes used the rhizome as a poverty food (baked and peeled), and the fronds are one of the best remedies for relieving the pain from the sting of a Stinging Nettle. It is also commonly used by florists as an ornamental plant. – Masculine, Air, The God, the Puck. – This is an herb of masculine power, protection and luck. Use in spells to guide to treasure. Burn to drive away pests.…and as any fern, burn for rain…. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_fern

feast 0405 Hanshi Taiwanese_zongzi_Yokohama_ChinatownThe Hanshi or Cold Food Festival is a Chinese tradition for this time of year. Coming from the practice of changing the type of wood used for starting fires with the change of seasons, and originally including ancestor worship, the festival now mostly is games and housecleaning, despite a rather grisly myth attached to it.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_Food_Festival

photo from 5/4/15 of the area by the Yachats Ocean Road.

 

220px-Polystichum_munitum_(Jami_Dwyer)_001Today’s Plant is Sword fern, Polystichum munitum. It grows all winter on the coast, getting greener and lovelier every year as the new fiddles come up out of the center of the plant and develop into fronds. I’ve been enjoying those, watching them for months, now. they can get to be 6 feet tall and some of the ones down in the park where the stream crosses through are that size! The indigenes used the rhizome as a poverty food (baked and peeled), and the fronds are one of the best remedies for relieving the pain from the sting of a Stinging Nettle. It is also commonly used by florists as an ornamental plant. – Masculine, Air, The God, the Puck. – This is an herb of masculine power, protection and luck. Use in spells to guide to treasure. Burn to drive away pests.…and as any fern, burn for rain…. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_fern

feast 0405 Hanshi Taiwanese_zongzi_Yokohama_ChinatownThe Hanshi or Cold Food Festival is a Chinese tradition for this time of year. Coming from the practice of changing the type of wood used for starting fires with the change of seasons, and originally including ancestor worship, the festival now mostly is games and housecleaning, despite a rather grisly myth attached to it.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_Food_Festival

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,
Anja

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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.
Near the end of twilight at this time of year, Arcturus, the bright “Spring Star” climbing in the east (well to the left of brighter Jupiter), shines at the same height as Sirius, the brighter “Winter Star” descending in the southwest (for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes).
Mars (magnitude +1.5, in Aries) is the orange “star” moderately low due west in late twilight, about 15° upper left of Mercury. Don’t confuse it with Aldebaran far to Mars’s upper left.

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  Leo
Venus (4/15), Jupiter (6/9) Retrograde
Color: Brown

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©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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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.

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Waves tide

Tides for Alsea Bay
*

Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
/Low      Time    Feet    Sunset                    Visible
W    5      Low   2:31 AM     3.0   6:49 AM     Set  4:02 AM      61
~     5     High   8:20 AM     7.0   7:49 PM    Rise  2:17 PM
~     5      Low   3:20 PM     0.3
~     5     High   9:59 PM     6.6

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Build fairy furniture

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Newsletter Journal PromptJournal Prompt – Auto-Biographical narrative – What eccentric belief or hobby do you have? Write a humorous story about it. Explain how you became interested in it.

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Quotes  

~  If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. – Booker T. Washington
~  It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.  – Jonas Salk (1914-1995) US microbiologist
~  It is not what we read, but what we remember, that makes us learned. – Henry Ward Beecher
~  It’s easier to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent! – Unknown

Be sure thy neat have water and meat;
From bull, cow fast, till Crouchmas be past;
From heifer bull bid thee till Lammas bid thee,
Leave cropping from May to Michaelmas-day.
Thy brake go and sow where barley did grow;
The next crop wheat is husbandry neat.
Fine basil sow in a pot to grow;
Watch bees in May for swarming away. – Thomas Tusser (1524 – 1580), Five hundreth pointes of good husbandrie: as well for the champion or open countrie, as also for the woodland or severall ; mixed in everie month with huswiferie, over and besides the booke of huswiferie, London: ‘Printed in the now dwelling house of Henrie Denham in Aldersgate Street at the signe of the starre’, 1586

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Beltane Magick – Lore – Beltane  /  May Eve

Beltane (Bealtaine, May Eve) – April 30th/May 1st (May day).
Incense : Lilac, Frankincense
Decorations : Maypole, Flowers, Ribbons
Colours : Green
This is a holiday of Union–both between the Goddess and the God and between man and woman. Handfastings (Pagan marriages) are traditional at this time. It is a time of fertility and harvest, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown. Celebrations include braiding of one’s hair (to honor the union of man and woman and Goddess and God), circling the Maypole for fertility and jumping the Beltane fire for luck. Beltaine is one of the Major Sabbats of the Wiccan religion. We celebrate sexuality (something we see as holy and intrinsic to us as holy beings), we celebrate life and the unity which fosters it. The myths of Beltane state that the the young God has blossomed into manhood, and the Goddess takes him on as her lover. Together, they learn the secrets of the sexual and the sensual, and through their union, all life begins.

BELTANE: Its History and Modern Celebration in Wicca in America , by Rowan Moonstone

The celebration of May 1st, or Beltane as it is known in Wicca Circles, is one of the most important festivals of our religious year. I will attempt here to answer some of the most often asked questions about this holiday. An extensive bibliography follows the article so that the interested reader can do further research.

  1. Where does the festival of Beltane originate?

Beltane, as practiced by modern day Witches and Pagans, has its origins among the Celtic peoples of Western Europe and the British Isles, particularly Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

  1. What does the word Beltane mean?

Dr. Proinsias MacCana defines the word as follows: “… the Irish name for May Day is Beltane, of which the second element, `tene’, is the word for fire, and the first, `bel’, probably means `shining or brilliant’.”(1) The festival was known by other names in other Celtic countries. Beltaine in Ireland, Bealtunn in Scotland, Shenn do Boaldyn on the Isle of Mann, and Galan Mae in Wales.(2)

  1. What was the significance of this holiday to the ancients?

To the ancient Celts, it symbolized the coming of spring. It was the time of year when the crops began to sprout, the animals bore their young, and the people could begin to get out of the houses where they had been cooped up during the long dark cold winter months. Keep in mind that the people in those days had no electric lights or heat, and that the Celtic counties are at a much more northerly latitude than many of us are used to. At that latitude, spring comes much later, and winter lasts much longer than in most of the US. The coming of fair weather and longer daylight hours would be most welcome after a long cold and dark winter.

  1. How did the ancient Celts celebrate this festival?

The most ancient way of observing this day is with fire. Beltane, along with Samhain (Nov. 1), Imbolc (Feb. 1), and Lughnassadh (Aug. 1), was one of the four great “fire festivals” which marked the turning points of the Celtic year. The most ancient records tell us that the people would extinguish all the hearth fires in the country and then relight them from the “need fires” lit by the druids (who used friction as a means of ignition). In many areas, the cattle were driven between two great bonfires to protect them from disease during the coming year. It is my personal belief, although I have no documentation to back up the assumption, that certain herbs would have been burnt in the fires, thus producing smoke which would help destroy parasites which might make cattle and other livestock ill.

  1. In what other ways was this festival celebrated?

One of the most beautiful customs associated with this festival was “bringing in the May.” The young people of the villages and towns would go out into the fields and forests at Midnight on April 30th and gather flowers with which to bedeck themselves, their families, and their homes. They would process back into the villages, stopping at each home to leave flowers, and to receive the best of food and drink that the home had to offer. This custom is somewhat similar to “trick or treat” at Samhain and was very significant to the ancients. John Williamson, in his study, The Oak King, the Holly King, and the Unicorn, writes, “These revelers were messengers of the renewal of vegetation, and they assumed the right to punish the niggardly, because avarice (as opposed to generosity) was dangerous to the community’s hope for the abundance of nature. At an important time like the coming of summer, food, the substance of life must be ritually circulated generously within the community in order that the cosmic circuit of life’s substance may be kept in motion (trees, flocks, harvests, etc.).”(3) These revellers would bless the fields and flocks of those who were generous and wish ill harvests on those who withheld their bounty.

  1. What about maypoles?

The maypole was an adjunct to the festival of bringing in the May. It is a phallic symbol, and as such represented fertility to the participants in the festival. In olden days, the revellers who went into the woods would cut a tree and bring it into town, decking it with flowers and greenery and dance around it, clockwise (also called deosil, meaning “sun-wise”, the direction of the sun’s apparent travel across the face of the Earth) to bring fertility and good luck. The ribbons which we associate with the maypole today were a later addition.

  1. Why was fertility important?

The people who originated this custom lived in close connection with the land. If the flocks and fields were fertile, they were able to eat; if there was famine or drought, they went hungry. It is hard for us today to relate to this concept, but to the ancients, it was literally a life and death matter. The Celts were a very close tribal people, and fertility of their women literally meant continuity of the tribe.

  1. How is the maypole connected with fertility?

Many scholars see the maypole as a phallic symbol. In this aspect, it is a very powerful symbol of the fertility of nature and spring.

  1. How did these ancient customs come down to us ?

When Christianity came to the British Isles, many of the ancient holy sites were taken over by the new religion and converted to Christian sites.

Many of the old Gods and Goddesses became Christian saints, and many of the customs were appropriated. Charles Squire says,” An ingenious theory was invented after the introduction of Christianity, with the purpose of allowing such ancient rites to continue with a changed meaning. The passing of persons and cattle through flame or smoke was explained as a practice which interposed a magic protection between them and the powers of evil.” (4) This is precisely what the original festival was intended to do; only the definition of “evil” had changed. These old customs continued to be practiced in many areas for centuries. “In Scotland in 1282, John, the priest in Iverkething, led the young girls of his parish in a phallic dance of decidedly obscene character during Easter week. For this, penance was laid upon him, but his punishment was not severe, and he was allowed to retain his benefice.”(5)

  1. Were sacrifices practiced during this festival?

Scholars are divided in their opinions of this. There is no surviving account of sacrifices in the legends and mythology which have come down to us. As these were originally set down on paper by Christian monks, one would think that if such a thing had been regularly practiced, the good brothers would most certainly have recorded it, if for no other reason than to make the pagans look more depraved. There are, however, some surviving folk customs which point to a person representing the gloom and ill fortune of winter being ostracized and forced to jump through the fires. Some scholars see this as a survival of ancient human sacrificial practices. The notion that animals were sacrificed during this time doesn’t make sense from a practical standpoint. The animals which had been retained a breeding stock through the winter would either be lean and hungry from winter feed, or would be mothers nursing young, which could not be spared.

  1. How do modern day pagans observe this day?

Modern day pagan observances of Beltane include the maypole dances, bringing in the May, and jumping the cauldron for fertility. Many couples wishing to conceive children will jump the cauldron together at this time. Fertility of imagination and other varieties of fertility are invoked along with sexual fertility. In Wiccan and other Pagan circles, this is a joyous day, full of laughter and good times.

  1. What about Walpurgisnacht? Is this the same thing as Beltane?

Walpurgisnacht comes from an Eastern European background, and has little in common with the Celtic practices. I have not studied the folklore from that region and do not consider myself qualified to write about it. As the vast majority of Wiccan traditions today stem from Celtic roots, I have confined myself to research in those areas.

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motif Silliness SmilieSilliness – Signs and Notices – On a ski lift in Taos, NM: ‘No jumping from the lift. Survivors will be prosecuted.’

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