Featured photo by Melissa Hansen
Last Minus Tide of the cycle at 12:35 PM of -0.4 feet.
It’s slightly drippy but bright outside. We’ve had only just over a trace of rain since midnight, just enough to bejewel spiderwebs and drop little diamonds onto cupped leaves. There’s some wind down by the water, but only light breezes in town. It’s making the new rose leaves tremble, but that’s about all.
Class went pretty well last night. This is such an awesome group! We kinda wandered away into the mystical aspects of what we’re doing for awhile, but got through another couple of sections of Lesson 5. We quit a little early, but everyone was a bit worn out still from the handfasting. Everyone had such a good time!
Tempus and I had supper afterwards, headed home and fell into bed. He was up for awhile on his computer and I was awake around 3-4am doing the same, but otherwise…. well, we were tired! Once we finally woke this morning, we got some chores done, talked over a couple that need to get done, figuring out when that’ll happen, and then headed for the shop. I’ll be here until he picks me up during the paper run, but he’s going to go into Newport a little early to get some shopping done.
Beautiful ocean by Melissa Hansen
Today’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
The Florifertum is a wheat offering for the end of the Floralia, the feast of the Goddess of plant life, Flora, held on this day. This Goddess in England (and in most of Europe by other names) is known as Helen or Elaine. Sarn Helen means a straight track, a ley-line road, which existed from Pre-Celtic times through to the take-over of Christianity and can still be seen connecting sacred places. Being that these are roads, that also makes them sacred to Hecate, who is honored both now, and at the opposite station on the Wheel of the Year, at Samhain. More here on the Floralia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floralia#Observances
The shop is open Thursday through Monday, (closed today) 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
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. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords 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 5/2 at 7:47pm. 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 5/9 at 5:42am.
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Runic half-month of Laguz/ Lagu, 4/29-5/13 Representing the flowing and mutable forces of water, Lagu symbolizes life, growth and waxing power of this time of year.
©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
Tu 2 High 5:32 AM 7.2 6:05 AM Set 2:02 AM 35
~ 2 Low 12:35 PM -0.4 8:22 PM Rise 12:09 PM
~ 2 High 7:21 PM 6.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I listen to my Inner Voice.
Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it. – George Washington Carver
~ We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. – Eleanor Roosevelt
~ When a thing is done, it’s done. Don’t look back. Look forward to your next objective. – George C. Marshall
~ When the axe came into the forest the trees all said, ‘Well, at least the handle is one of us. – Turkish Proverb
~ When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.- Chinese Proverb
When you need inspiration most, it feels as if a void has emptied you. You cannot idly wish the muse for motivation. To ignite your passion, do not await the Sun to rise. Let neither the damp wood of resistance nor lack of supportive kindling thwart you from striking your spark. Let your Purpose burn within… – Scott Sonnon
A couple of broom instructions with pix and a full article.
- Make a classic witch’s broom – http://www.instructables.com/id/Classic-Witchs-Broom/
- How to make a straw broom – http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Straw-Broom
Making Brooms the Old-Fashioned Way – http://www.offthegridnews.com/how-to-2/making-brooms-the-old-fashioned-way/ Written by: Esther How-To 10 Comments Print This Article
A cottage in the woods or a farmhouse kitchen wouldn’t really be complete without a broom in the closet to clear away dust, with another near the hearth for sweeping up ashes from the previous night’s blazing fire. And imagine how satisfying it would be using materials from your own garden to create those brooms? Certainly, these would be brooms that would be pretty enough to display on a wall or tucked into a corner so they will always be close at hand.
Making your own broom is a fairly easy craft, and one that will leave family and friends in awe at your survivalist skills.
And although the term “flying off the handle” was born from the use of handmade brooms, which had – and still do have – a tendency to lose their heads when they’re used too forcefully, it doesn’t mean you yourself will fly off the handle when you attempt to make your own broom.
You’ll just need a little bit of patience, along with the necessary materials, and you’ll soon have your own straw broom, birch-branch broom, or broom-corn broom, the last being the sturdiest of these rustic, hand-crafted tools.
Straw should be easy to find if you live on or near a farm, and you can easily gather twigs and branches from the woods to tackle a birch broom. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can grow your own broom corn, paying tribute as you do to early broom designer Levi Dickenson, a Massachusetts farmer who crafted a broom for his wife using tassels from a variety of sorghum. Dickenson’s resulting broom was so successful (his wife told all her friends, and word around town quickly spread) that the sorghum variety he used is now called broom corn. The stalks grow like sweet corn and look the same, although it has no cobs, just the tassels on top, and that is the material you’ll use to make your broom. (And remember, if you master the art of broom making and grow enough broom corn, you will have gifts friends and family will love or that you can sell at craft shows, farmer’s markets, or fairs, where people are sure to fall for a hand-crafted broom’s old-time appeal.)
You can also order broom corn online from broom-making suppliers, where other supplies for crafting your own brooms can also be found, along with plans for more challenging broom designs.
The following projects, though, will get you started and can take on even pioneer-level quantities of dirt and debris.
Making a Straw Broom
A straw broom is easy to make, and the project is one that would be fun to do with the kids or a as a great back-to-nature project that would be ideal for a group activity at a craft fair or other special event.
Things you will need:
- A stick to be used as a broom handle
- Twine or wire for binding
- A knife and scissors for finishing touches
Handles can be ordered from a supplies store for a more commercial look, but if you are going for rustic or are taking advantage of the items you have available to you, you can make your own using branches that you have collected. It is a good idea to strip the branches of their bark and allow them to dry for a few months before using them to ensure that no cracking or splitting will occur when you put them to use.
Clean your straw so it is free from dust and debris, shaking bits loose without using water, which can cause your broom to mold.
Divide straw into ten separate, equal bunches.
Gather one bundle of straw together, making sure that ends on one side are even. Hold the bundle together tightly and wrap it securely with twine. The tighter the bundle, the stronger your broom will be, so squeeze it tightly. Repeat the steps with the remaining nine bunches of straw.
Tie together the gathered bundles one at a time using wire or twine, ensuring that the bundles are secured as tightly as possible. If you want a flat broom for use on floors or hearths, place straw bundles side by side. If you want to use your broom as a whisk broom, connect the bundles in a circular design, still making sure bunches are as tightly linked as possible.
Sharpen the end of your handle so it can be pushed into the center of your bundle of straw, and secure it tightly to prevent your broom head from “flying off the handle.”
Cut the ends of straw so they’re even, and your broom is ready to use.
Making a Birch Broom
Birch brooms have a more botanical-inspired look than the farm-infused straw or broom-corn brooms.
Things you will need:
- Birch branches
- A stick
- Twine or willow branches
- Sharp knives
Soak birch branches and willow overnight so they’re more pliable and flexible, a must for the final steps of this project.
Place your stick or broom handle on your work surface and surround it with branches on both sides, making sure that the bottoms of the branches are pointed toward the top of your handle.
Tie the branches securely in place around your broom handle using twine or soaked willow branches.
After branches are secured, fold them down over the twine so tips are pointed downward. Secure them with additional lengths of twine, wrapping the branches either once or twice near the top of the handle.
Let your broom dry a few days before using it.
Making a Broom-Corn Broom
Things you will need:
- Broom corn tassels
- Twine or wire
- A wooden handle or stick
Shake any dust and debris from your broom corn, then divide it into ten separate, even bunches, layering stalks until they are about one inch thick in each bundle. Use longer stalks for a large, full-length broom; reserve smaller ones for use as a whisk broom or small hearth broom.
Secure bundles together tightly with twine, remembering that the tighter the bundle, the stronger and more secure your broom will be. Repeat the steps with the remaining nine bunches of broom corn.
Tie together two gathered bunches of broom corn using wire or twine, ensuring that the bundles are as tight as possible for a sturdy, durable broom. Add the next bundle of broom corn, placing it flat against the first two bundles for a broom you’ll use on floors or hearths or in a circular design for a smaller whisk broom. Continue the process, attaching new bundles one by one, until all of the broom corn is attached securely.
Sharpen the end of your handle so it can be pushed into the center of your bundle of broom corn, and secure it tightly at the base.
Cut the ends of your broom corn so the base is even and as smooth as possible to capture debris, and trim the top if desired.
For an added decorative element with any of the brooms you make, drill a hole at the top of the handle and knot a loop of twine through it. Your broom can then be hung on a hook near your fireplace hearth or on the wall in your kitchen. Cast iron hooks crafted by a blacksmith would also be a nice, rustic touch.
Good luck and enjoy!
©2012 Off the Grid News