Low clouds are dropping light, but steady rain, tiny droplets and leaving tatters of themselves in the hills. They look like they’re standing on multiple, really crooked legs. 52F and a light wind in town. It’s just chilly/damp enough to make coming indoors feel good!
Yesterday started well. The car went to the shop right away and was back by 3pm! Sash called not long after that and he and Tempus chatted while I was working on newsletters. I was fighting “tired” again, so I got a nap, then had lunch and then got back to the newsletters.
One of the folks from the Waldport Arts council came in and got some crystals and we had a chat about how that is going and the Eclipse planning. Eventually it got late enough that we had some supper, got the shopping lists together and Tempus took off for Newport.
He did the shopping and then was bagging by 10pm, which looked very promising for a slightly early night, but it took him a while to get done, so he was on the road at 11:45. I spent the evening updating a list of potluck foods and then some computer housekeeping until he picked me up just after 3:30.
We had a good run last night, fairly smooth and chatting about projects while we went. It’s definitely lighter, earlier. It wasn’t “night” as we were starting the Crestline part of the route, and light enough on the last few drops that I was surprised by a house that I remembered as a rather dull pink that’s been repainted a sunflower yellow! We got in just past 6:30. It wasn’t “broad daylight” by that time, but it was light enough for me to go watch the koi for a few minutes while I was waiting for Tempus to come down from the car.
Today we slept in, of course, and talked for awhile about some of the research on foods that I was doing last night. I spent awhile working in the container garden, harvesting some fresh herbs and looking at how some of the others are doing. We stopped at the bank to try to get some things notarized, but she’s out at a meeting today, so Tempus dropped me off here, went to gas up the car and to go get some sour cream, which he forgot when doing the shopping. Most of what we have to do today is cleaning and then go home early and get our chores done, there. I have a whacking lot of laundry to put away.
A photo of the Yachats Valley across the Triple D Ranch, by Ken Gagne on 4/24/16.
Today’s plant, sacred to both St. Dorothea (patron saint of florists, which is the attribution that you usually see) and to Aphrodite, is the Jacinth or blue Hyacinth, Hyacinthus orientalis. It is highly poisonous, but has a use or two in the herbalist’s pharmacopeia. It is a lovely plant with a sweet scent that is a garden favorite. It hybridizes easily and will propagate itself in the right environment. – Male, Venus, Water – Promotes happiness, peace of mind and peaceful sleep. Attracts love, luck, and good fortune. Named for Hiakinthos, Greek God of homosexual love, this is the patron herb for gay men. Guards against nightmares when used as an oil, burned as incense, or included in dream pillows. Carry in amulet or sachet to ease grief or the pain of childbirth. More on this plant here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthus_orientalis or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinth_%28plant%29 and on St. Dorothea here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_of_Caesare
Today is the date in 1986 when the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Chernobyl, Ukrainian SSR, suffered a steam explosion, resulting in a fire, a nuclear meltdown, and the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people around Europe. It apparently started from an unauthorized experiment, a couple of large power surges and then graphite being exposed to air, which caused it to catch fire. The long-term effects are pretty horrendous and haven’t been caught up with, yet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Nuclear_Power_Plant More on the disaster itself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday. We’re open 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 4/26 5:16am. 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 on 4/26 at 5:16am. New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open – Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends on 4/27 at 5:16pm. 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 2:42pm.
. . . and then the waxing crescent returns to the western evening sky.
To the left of Jupiter by 30° (about three fists at arm’s length) shines the second-brightest point in the area: Arcturus, pale yellow-orange. Whether you see it higher or lower than Jupiter depends both on the time and on how far north or south you live. The farther north you are, the more the advantage goes to Arcturus.
New Moon (at 8:16 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time).
Jupiter (magnitude –2.4, in Virgo) shines like a beacon in the southeast at nightfall. It’s highest in the south by 11 or midnight daylight saving time. Spica, just a trace bluer, hangs 9° lower left of it. In a telescope Jupiter is still 44 arcseconds across its equator.
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Runic half-month of Mannaz/ Man, April 14-28 A time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12 – The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and ages appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were colleges of Druidesses – learned women and teachers – respected equally for their gifts of see-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions.
Magical Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 26 High 12:42 AM 8.5 6:14 AM Rise 6:46 AM 0 26
~ Low 7:19 AM -1.0 8:15 PM Set 8:43 PM
~ 26 High 1:31 PM 7.5
~ 26 Low 7:22 PM 1.0
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Liberty….is the sun of our life….
~ It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles. – Niccolo Machiavelli
~ It is the choices that we make that define us, but there will be no definition unless we choose. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions. – Charles F. Kettering
~ Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. – jackson brown
Fair Flora! Now attend thy sportful feast,
Of which some days I with design have past;
A part in April and a part in May
Thou claim’st, and both command my tuneful lay;
And as the confines of two months are thine
To sing of both the double task be mine. – Latin poet Ovid, Fasti; for Flora (Floralia) April 28-May 3
A Meditation on Beltane – Highway to Hel
Beltane is about deciding what kind of person we would like to be when the harvest is done.
By Galina Krasskova, April 26, 2011
It seems odd to me to be sitting at my computer on a dismal, rainy, dreary April day, with the chill in the air serving as a palpable reminder that spring isn’t quite here yet, and writing about Beltane. Beltane is supposed to be about celebration, passion, fertility, prosperity, magic, heat, and yes, sex. Yep. Beltane is about sex (at least in part) and on days like today, that type of joyous celebration seems very far away. Still, if you’ll pardon the inevitable pun, Beltane is coming and like any of our other holy tides, it deserves a bit of thought.
I’ve been dreading writing this particular column for the past week or so, ever since I realized that Beltane and Walpurgis were right around the corner. This is the tail end of the school year for me (I’m in graduate school again) and papers are due, exams must be prepared for, then of course there are all the professional writing deadlines that are piling up. Thinking about what I’ve always considered a rather ‘happy-go-lucky’ holiday was not on my personal agenda of things I wanted to be doing (or had the time to do).
Still, even for me, misanthropic and overworked though I sometimes may be, it’s difficult not to get pulled into the energetic momentum of this time. With Beltane after all, we lay to rest, once and for all, the inertia of the preceding winter. What began with the land’s seemingly lazy resistance to the inevitable pull of spring bursts full force into bloom with the turning of the seasonal wheel to May.
Highway to Hel
A Meditation on BeltaneQueen of the Sacred Way: An Interview with Melitta BenuVirtual Veneration: Online ShrinesHonoring the Dead: An Interview with Laura PatsourisPhotographing Fortuna: Interview with Mary Ann GlassAuthor Bio »
At its core, Beltane is about planting. At Ostara we honored the readiness of the land to receive the seed; at Beltane we actually plant those seeds, be they literal or metaphorical. At Ostara we celebrated the potential fertility of the land, at Beltane we revel in its actuality.
This is kind of where the sex part of things comes in. Beltane is about life, growth, and all the messiness of unrestrained passion. It’s about the joining of seed to soil, body to body, physicality to physicality, and the potential joining of sperm to egg. It’s about bringing forth new life, new possibilities, new reasons to celebrate one’s traditions.
This is a time when the land, at least for us Northern Tradition folks, was traditionally blessed by happy couples having sex in fields, on the soil where their fluids and carnal enjoyment of each other only served to feed the land itself and further ensure its blossom. The May pole, a symbol we all know and love, is (as any fan of the original Wicker Man knows) “a phallic symbol.” The magic of Beltane is held forth in the erect penis and spurting seed, and in our bodies’ ability to experience pleasure. This, more than any other holy tide reminds us that living is cause for celebration. There is pleasure in being alive, pleasure that, at the appropriate times, can and should be indulged.
Far more than being about the celebrating the penis (or the vulva, or any other body part—not that there’s anything wrong with that; celebrate away, folks), I would interpret the wisdom and ‘medicine’ of this holiday on a broader level. I believe Beltane reminds us that our bodies are sacred. In the Northern Tradition the physical container of the soul is so valued that it’s actually considered part of the soul matrix.
That’s right: each physical vessel of incarnation is intimately connected to one’s soul, an integral part of it. We’re incarnate for a reason. Our bodies are the tools and conduits by and through which we experience everything, including the Divine. Moreover, they may even be the way the Gods experience us, spirituality being, like so many things, a two-way street. Far from needing to escape from the flesh, Beltane reminds us that there’s an awful lot of wisdom inherent in being in the flesh too.
One of the Goddesses commonly honored within the Northern Tradition at this time is the Goddess Freya. She is a tremendously powerful Goddess, associated with sexuality, eroticism, passion, battle and war, fierce fighting, cunning strategy, prosperity and wealth, physical beauty, and witchcraft and sorcery. One of Her primary and most important lessons is about knowing one’s own worth (and being unwilling to compromise that in any way).
That can be a hard, hard lesson for many people today (especially, I hate to say it, for women). Freya’s lessons often involve self-satisfaction and confidence in one’s physical being (and I’m not talking just about sexuality here). This is a Goddess who knows how to celebrate the flesh, both its passion and its power. Here is a Goddess not afraid to take up space, claim Her territory, defend Her territory, and own Her strength. Here is a Goddess who can teach Her devotees to say “where I stand is holy ground” and mean it.
Beltane’s call is a call to that type of commitment and courage. It reminds us that our physicality is sacred, no matter what messages we may imbibe from our families, our culture, or the media. We’re called to stand up and live our truth. Learning to express ourselves well physically and kinetically, learning to have both trust and confidence in our bodies is part of honoring this tremendous gift that we’ve been given. It’s part of living our truth.
Tending to our bodies, just as we tend to the land is good and sacred work. Our bodies support and nourish us just as the land supports and nourishes us. One might see in the microcosm of one, the macrocosm of the other. Sometimes that is the way these things work. So learning to nourish, care for, protect, and defend one’s physical form and knowing to the marrow of one’s being that this might even be a sacred obligation, is all part of what Beltane can teach us. Imagine how our lives would be different if treating our bodies kindly, loving our flesh, and living healthily was something we could all do with joy. How many of us can look in the mirror and say “I love my physical form” and mean it? How many of us can stand naked in front of the mirror and say those words and really mean them? Freya can teach us how, if we honor Her rightly and well. Beltane’s wisdom can show us the way.
Our world is out of balance. I’ve talked about this before many times in many different articles and columns. I think that it is inevitable that our collective psyches bear the brunt of that sickness. We have come to embody it physically. Our bodies and the way we relate to them have suffered generations of fear, shame, and abuse because we have forgotten that simple truth that flesh is sacred.
We have forgotten so much in abandoning our ancestral ways and our Holy Powers but most of all, we’ve forgotten how to interact with ourselves in a healthy manner. We’ve forgotten how to love being. Beltane calls us to throw ourselves into the inevitable change this time brings, the momentum, the urgency, the growing sense of joy and movement that fills the land. It urges us to seek our passions, to find that which nourishes us and to live it fully each and every day of our lives. Beltane’s wisdom is, above all else, a call to embodied joy.
Moreover, Beltane reminds us not just to honor our physical bodies, but to rejoice in the physical experience of the natural world. That world is a gift in all its beautiful, breathtaking, sometimes confusing diversity. This holy tide calls us to move beyond our dearly held paradigms into the reality of being: beyond our dichotomies (sexual, gender, and otherwise) into the rich tapestry of possibility inherent in creation.
Diversity is nature’s greatest achievement. As we celebrate the beauty, bounty, and blessings of corporeality, physicality, and incarnation, we’re reminded to celebrate it all, not just those forms that are comfortable. Nature is an explosion of diversity and this is a lesson we can take to heart as we honor our bodies: we’re part of that diversity too. As a good friend of mine once pointed out: there is no “normal.” Let’s do away with the idea of “normal.” There is only what is normal for us, for each individual, one by one. Beltane gives us a chance to celebrate that and given how much hate is in our world for any type of diversity of being, that too, is no small thing.
This is a holy tide all about action and restoration. We have the chance as we move into May to recommit to picking up those threads of connection—to our Gods, our ancestors, the land itself, and to ourselves—sundered so long ago. Healing that damage doesn’t happen with grand gestures; it happens with small commitments, like planting a seed. That’s Beltane’s wisdom. It’s about making those promises—to ourselves, our families, our communities—that we will see fulfilled with the coming harvest. It’s about deciding what we wish to harvest in the coming season for ourselves, our lives, and our spirituality. It’s about deciding what kind of person we would like to be when the harvest is done.
May Freya smile upon each of us this Beltane.