Minus Tide at 10:07 AM of -0.5 feet. Featured photo by Ken Gagne, Sewing from 6-8pm tonight.
Oh, it’s lovely! There are small white cotton ball clouds all clumped in spots above, but they don’t even strain the sunlight. It’s warm enough for me to be running my fan, but my hair is down and I’m not overheating. 66F with a light wind, 57% humidity and did you know each day is shorted by over 1 1/2 minutes, now? Already!
Yesterday I stayed home. We slept in and I had the newsletter put together, just needed to write. I worked in the apartment, finally moving the table to where it’s supposed to go and sorting out other things. I ended up with several toes with glass bits in them because we had shattered a pyrex cup in back and missed a spot of the debris. I had to hobble out into the sunshine with tweezers, but they’re doing fine today.
I sorted quite a few pieces of things into where they’re going to live from now on. I couldn’t reach those spots before the sewing machine and Milton got moved. (a huge wood burl….ok, Tempus named it….) I also pulled out some stuff that’s been missing, like my snowflake sweatshirt, and a box of Tupperware seals that’s needed at the shop. In between I sewed, so I have a bunch of pincushions to fill today and an embroidery that’s ready to pair with something, and read a bit, and went out and puttered with plants, so I had a good restful day.
Tempus went to the shop in the late afternoon and made some progress with getting things moved. He can reach the stuff in the north window, now, and boxes have shifted out of the aisles. We’re more to do, but at least that’s progress.
…and then I couldn’t sleep well last night, finally dropping off and staying that way around 6am…. so I overslept and Tempus left me sleeping. When I finally woke he came back for me, but that’s why this is so late!
He’s already been busy today, moving things into the back that were pulled out on our “closed” days and making a new open/closed sign for the door that’s more visible. …and we’ve been busy since I came in and it keeps getting later and later. It’s nearly time for Sewing! 🙂
A photo of an egret in Yachats, by Ken Gagne from 7/12/16
Today’s Feast is in honor of the birthday of John Dee, Renaissance mathematician and mage. He was Queen Elizabeth I’s personal astrologer, among many high-placed and well-remembered friends, but in magickal circles, he is most known for his studies with Edward Kelley and the Enochian language that came out of that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee
Today’s Plant is Stinging Nettle, Urtica Dioica, otherwise known as, “Ouch!!!!” Grab a handful of this plant and you will know it. There are lots of hollow “hairs” on this plant that act like tiny hypodermics, injecting histamine, among other stinging chemicals. There’s even a name for a type of allergic reaction called, “nettlerash”, that picked up the word for the characteristic pattern of itchy bumps. This plant has been used for food, medicine, fabric and magic for millenia. It is used as a pot herb and is one of the vegetables with the highest protein content. If you soak it in water or cook it the stings go away. In medicine it has traditionally been used to treat arthritis, dandruff and lack of milk in a nursing mother and there are a number of more modern medical uses. The fibers are suitable for making fabric and a related species has been used for over 6000 years to make a silky-looking textile called ramie, even though the processing takes a lot of effort. They are even used to make beer and cordials! – Masculine, Mars, Fire, Thor – Exorcism – for getting rid of nasty-minded Fae, plant nettles around your garden and barn. Protection – nettles in a pocket will keep a person safe from lightning and bestow courage. Nettles kept in a room will protect anyone inside. Lust – Nettles are reputed to enhance fertility in men and nettle tea is an aphrodisiac. Healing – fever can be dispelled by plucking a nettle up by its roots while reciting the names of the sick person and family. …and shirts made of fabric spun and woven from nettles feature as a girl’s quest tale in the Twelve Wild Swans.
The shop is 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 7/23 at 2:46am. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 7/16 at 12:26pm.
Venus starts the week above Aldebaran and ends the week closer to Aldebaran’s upper left.
Venus is passing 3° north (upper left) of Aldebaran in the dawn this morning and Friday morning. See the illustration above.
Saturn (magnitude +0.1, in southern Ophiuchus) glows steadily in the south during and after dusk. Fiery Antares, less bright, twinkles 14° to Saturn’s right or lower right. Delta Scorpii, the third brightest object in the area, catches the eye half as far to the upper right of Antares.
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4
Half-month of Fehu/ Feoh, 6/29-7/13 Important in the runic year cycle, today marks beginning of the first rune, Feoh, sacred to Frey and Freya (Freyja), the lord and lady often worshipped in modern Wicca. It is the half-month of wealth and success. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992 Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 13 High 3:18 AM 6.9 5:45 AM Set 10:18 AM 87
~ 13 Low 10:07 AM -0.5 8:59 PM Rise 11:40 PM
~ 13 High 4:44 PM 6.6
~ 13 Low 10:30 PM 2.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I make my own destiny to the best of my abilities.
~ Sammasati. Remember that you are a Buddha. – Buddha
Satori is a state of pure awareness, a true Warrior state of mind. If you work at this, your whole life becomes a ~ state of enhanced awareness. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. – Aaron Levenstein
~ Success depends on people’s enthusiasm, their dependability and their effectiveness. – Richard Branson
Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night. –Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)
I believe the Full Moon Festival of August is one of the oldest Goddess holidays that has been continually celebrated. At this turning point in the year, between the yang energy of summer solstice and the turning inward of the autumn, the Goddess comes into her own as protector, provider and mediator between the worlds.
Known by many names, at this time of the year she is revered as Artemis, Hecate and the Blessed Virgin Mary. All three are associated with the moon. All three are invoked for protection of the grain and the fruit which is so vulnerable to storms in these weeks before harvest. And all three are mediators between the worlds: Artemis in her origin as Goddess of the shamanistic cultures of the North, Hecate as the one who stands at the crossroads between life and death, and Mary as the mediator between Earth and Heaven.
This feast of the goddess was first celebrated in Greece at the full moon of Metageitnion (August 29th this year). In Erkhia, Artemis (as Hecate) was invoked, along with Kourotrophos, and beseeched for protection summer storms, which could flatten and destroy the crops.
In Rome, the Greek lunar festival honoring Artemis-Hecate was placed on the fixed solar calendar on August 13th and called the Nemoralia, also known as Diana’s Feast of the Torches. Roman women made torchlight processions to the temples of Diana and Hecate or visited the groves of Diana with their hunting dogs leashed. Hair-washing was an important ritual activity.
The story of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption (as she was dying, her body was lifted up into Heaven) was first recorded at the start of the 3rd century (about 150 years after the incident it relates). At the time, Mary was living at Ephesus, where she was living under the care of the apostle, John. Ephesus was one of the most famous sanctuaries of Artemis, the home of the famous statue of Artemis with many breasts, symbolizing the productive and nurturing powers of the earth. Mary, is also well known for her nurturing and protecting qualities (she is so tender-hearted she cannot deny any sincere request for help).
After witnessing her miraculous assumption, the story goes that the apostles declared this event should be commemorated on the thirteenth of Ab (the full moon of the Jewish lunar month that usually falls in August) “on account of the vines bearing bunches of grapes and on account of the trees bearing fruit, that clouds of hail, bearing stones of wrath, might not come, and the trees be broken, and the vines with their clusters.” Clearly Mary was seen as a protector of the crops and a mediator between the worlds.
As early as the tenth century, the aroma of herbs and flowers was associated with Mary’s victory over death, and people brought medicinal herbs and plants to church (periwinkle, verbena, thyme) to be incensed and blessed, bound into a sheaf and kept all year to ward off illness, disaster and death. In central Europe, August 15 was called Our Lady’s Herb Day. Gertrud Mueller Nelson’s mother kept this holiday alive by taking her daughters on walks, gathering wild grasses, a custom I’ve adopted in Seattle. It’s amazing how many kinds of wild grass grow on my city block.
This is the start of Our Lady’s Thirty Days, a tide which lasts until Harvest or Michaelmas and coincides with the astrological sign of Virgo, when animals and plants lose their harmful qualities and all food is considered wholesome. This period of benevolence also coincides with the seven weeks following the full moon of the Jewish month of Av, which are sometimes called the Weeks of Comfort. The readings for these weeks are comforting, promising peace and prosperity.
- On the Nemoralia, August 13th, make washing your hair a ritual. This seems to be an act that was seen as a luxury after a period of fast and deprivation, perhaps even lack of water. So embellish your usual grooming rituals by adding perfume, candles, whatever seems indulgent to you.
- To celebrate the Assumption, go for a walk on Sunday, August 15th. Observe and gather the abundance of the earth mother: the wild herbs, grains and edible plants that you find growing.
- The full moon of Artemis-Hecate falls on August 7th this year. Celebrate by eating garlic or leaving an offering for Hecate at a crossroads.
Nelson, Gertrud Mueller, To Dance With God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration, Paulist Press 1986
Urlin, Ethel L, Festivals, Holy Days and Saints’ Days: A Study in Origins and Survivals in Church Ceremonies and Secular Customs, republished by Gale Research 1979
Warner, Marina, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, Vintage 1983
Waskow, Arthur, Seasons of Our Joy: A Modern Guide to the Jewish Holidays, Beacon 1982
In the Library: Books on Bread
Bread for All Seasons, Beth Hensperger, Chronicle 1995
Although I haven’t tried any of the recipes in this book, I love to feast on the gorgeous color pictures and I appreciate the way Hensperger incorporates other fruits of the season into the bread, along with history and folklore about the way bread is featured in seasonal celebrations.
The Italian Baker, Carol Field, Harper Collins 1985
Carol Field is one of my favorite cookbook writers, particularly because she’s as knowledgeable about folklore as she about cooking. I’ve found her recipes (except for the one above) intimidating and complex, but the folklore is outstanding. This book is dense with recipes and with information about the role bread has played in Italian culture over time.
On the Web: Great Links
One of my readers, Jennifer, sent me a link to a reproduction of a beautiful old Book of Days from the 1800’s which has been posted on the website of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s library.
I particularly appreciated this link because I spent many happy hours in the college library (at Reed College) poring over the pages of a similar edition of Chamber’s Book of Days, which definitely sparked my passion for these calendar customs.
Jennifer notes that the only way she’s found to print the pages is to import them one at a time into Microsoft Digital Imaging Software and size them to fit one page.
Another reader, Carmine, sent me a link to a great article called “For the Summer of It” by Ellen Goodman.
Flower of the Month: Dallying with Dahlias
The Flower of August is the dahlia. Click here to read more about the dahlia’s connection with the Aztec hummingbird-war god, Huitzilopochtli.
If you’d rather read my grumblings about the sorry state of flower folklore scholarship and ideas on creating your own floral calendar go to this page first.
Discombebopulated – Whenever you are driving along and you can’t find a house, and you have the address in your hand, and you can’t find the address, so you turn the radio down. Somehow, this will help you find the house easier. If you ever find yourself doing this, then you are discombebopulated.