It’s below 60F pretty much everywhere close by. It’s also completely overcast (at 500 feet) but in the last ten minutes it’s thinned enough that I turned off the light in the bedroom. People kept saying yesterday, “….weird weather for summer!”, but it’s not. There’s very little wind, too. Only the Newport airport is over 10mph even on the beaches.
We were pretty busy in the early part of the day yesterday, lots of customers coming through. Tempus took the baker’s rack outside and scrubbed it well, then did the shop windows, which were getting pretty grody. I was mostly doing paperwork in between talking with various people.
I managed to get newsletters pretty well set up for the week, not the stuff, just the frames and the astro parts during the late afternoon. After that I started looking up eclipse spell-work. I’ve got some things planned for myself, but figured I could spark some ideas for y’all. They’ll be in the Magick section over the next 10 days or so, alternating with other stuff.
We had a good esbat with some absolutely delicious lemon squares made by one of the members then headed home. It was spitting again, and cloudy, but the clouds overhead were reddish, bright from the moon, but reddish….
Tempus is still asleep. He did some chores upstairs and then he and Jeanne watched some of Game of Thrones. He says it’s Dallas, but in a fantasy setting. 🙂 Too much blood and gore for me. It’s weird. I can read the most awful things, but watching ’em on TV is too much! I played the piano for a bit and read. I was asleep when he crawled in, but woke and then we talked for a few and went back to sleep.
So this morning, he’s still out. I may crawl back in, but I’ll likely read for a bit. We have some outdoor chores today, mostly watering, a few inside (I need to put away my clean laundry) and then we’ll head for the shop for whatever is left for the day. Tonight’s the paper run.
Today’s Feast is in honor of the Tan Hill Inn, the Sheep Show that happens there around this time of year and other harvest festivals, including celebrations revolving around coal mining. The inn dates to the 17th century and has been refurbished recently. “Tan Hill” refers to “Tinne”, the Celtic tree month of Holly, which ends right around now, not oak trees or leather-making, or even tin mining. It’s Britain’s highest inn at 1,732 feet (528 m) above sea level up in the top of the Yorkshire Dales. The hill seems to have been used back into pre-history as a sacred site of some sort. Here’s the Inn website. http://www.tanhillinn.co.uk/ Here’s some history: http://www.tanhillinn.com/history-of-tan-hill-innarkengarthdaleswaledaleyorkshire-dales-places-to-visitvisitor-attraction-yorkshire-dales/10/ (You can click on the pix to make ‘em bigger….)
Today’s Plant is the Blueberry, Vaccinium Cyanococcus (many species/varieties)! This is a fruiting bush that is related to cranberries, huckleberries and bilberries, has many species within the genus and many varieties within the species. Many fruits are called blueberries, when they’re not Vaccinium. I’ve heard people call salal and evergreen huckleberry by the name. Widely cultivated across the world, the fruit is high in iron and lot of micronutrients and even has resveratrol like red grapes. It may have effects on brain health, reducing stroke damage in experimental animals and aiding memory retention in the aged. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry – Put blueberries under the doormat to keep people you don’t want out of the house or plant them along the property line or next to the front walk to keep them entirely off your property. Blossoms can be dried and carried in an amulet, or wear fresh ones in your hair for protection from negative psychic energy near you. Eat blueberries and/or make blueberry pie or tea or jam to get the protection from psychic attack inside you, especially if the effects are leading to headaches and fatigue.
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
Full Moon – The day of the day before and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 8/8/at 11:11pm. 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 8/21 at 11:30am. 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 8/14 at 6:15pm.
. . . but by week’s end Venus has entered the feet of Gemini, and the triangle it forms with Aldebaran and Betelgeuse has morphed quite a bit. Venus is holding almost steady with respect to your dawn landscape, while the background stars slide to the upper right from morning to morning.
The Big Dipper hangs diagonally in the northwest after dusk. From its midpoint, look to the right to find Polaris (not very bright) glimmering due north as always.
Polaris is the handle-end of the Little Dipper. The only other parts of the Little Dipper that are even modestly bright — especially through the moonlight! — are the two stars forming the outer end of its bowl. On August evenings you’ll find them to Polaris’s upper left, by about a fist and a half at arm’s length. They’re called the Guardians of the Pole, since they circle around Polaris throughout the night and throughout the year.
Jupiter (magnitude –1.8, in Virgo) shines low in the west-southwest during dusk. Fainter Spica (magnitude +1.0) twinkles 6° or 7° left of it. Jupiter, a little lower every week, is swinging toward the far side of the Sun from us.
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world.
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 8 High 1:06 AM 7.6 6:12 AM Set 7:07 AM 99
~ 8 Low 7:56 AM -0.9 8:31 PM Rise 9:12 PM
~ 8 High 2:20 PM 6.6
~ 8 Low 7:58 PM 1.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator
~ The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. – Arthur C Clarke
~ The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what others have done. – Piaget
~ The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think. – Edwin Schlossberg
~ The Wiccan Rede is not a rule. It is a statement counseling us to think. – Kerr Cuhulain
Buttercup nodded and said “Good-bye,”
Clover and daisy went off together,
But the fragrant water-lilies lie
Yet moored in the golden August weather. – Celia Thaxter (1835–94)
I’ve noticed a trend, particularly in paganism, toward “elite” becoming a derogatory term. “Elitist” has very unpleasant connotations. In the mad scramble toward equality and egalitarianism, perhaps the trend has gone too far.
I am all in favour of equality of opportunity. I believe in Martin Luther King’s dream, “I have a dream that someday my children will be judged, not upon the colour of their skin, but on the content of their character.”
Yet, I am deeply disturbed by structures and titles meant to reward excellence downgraded and dismissed as being elitist and hierarchical.
It the Wicca, this is most strongly epitomized by the continuing attempts to do away with degree systems on the basis of being elitists and hierarchical.
So I ask, what is wrong with elites? Elites exist as an informal (and often highly formal) network of persons who, by virtue of personal qualities, or power, or money, or birth status, are capable of shaping and changing the structure of society. Some elites are based on nothing more than bank balances or parentage. Others are firmly based on intelligence, wisdom, commitment and ethical stance of their members.
I have no problem with the concept of elites. Not everyone has the desire or capability to belong to every group. The problem lies with the qualification for membership, not with the concept.
Hierarchy has an even nastier reputation. Yet in all societies, regardless of size, structure of purpose, have a hierarchy. Leadership roles exist and will be filled by those who can fill them. Leaders are necessary to achieve the goals of the group, regardless of how that leadership manifests. It is only when a hierarchy becomes closed and fixed that the structure becomes abusive.
The concerns of those who dislike the concept of hierarchy due to experience of its abuses are valid. It is very easy to fall into a system where power rests, not on those who are qualified, but upon other, less desirable criteria, such as birth status, or wealth, or loudness of voice. However, doing away with the formal structure of hierarchy does not solve the problem. Non-hierarchical groups often fall into leadership by peer pressure. Those that are thick skinned anddominant will lead de facto, especially if there is no de jure leader.
Hierarchies exist. They exist because, like physics, nature abhors a vacuum. A power vacuum will be filled regardless of the good intentions on all sides. The solution is to have structures where all persons have the opportunity to become leaders, to participate in the decision making process, based only upon ability and desire to do so.
Equal opportunity,equal access.
The degree system within the Craft is not perfect. Like any other system,it has its abuses. However, if properly used, it has rewards far greater than having no such system.
First, there is the reward for excellence. Those who have personal qualities such as commitment, talent, study, intelligence and open mindedness, should be rewarded for their abilities. The reward is not just a fancy title, but a recognition of that excellence, and membership in an elite.
Second, there is a benchmark for others to judge by. If I know what degree a person holds, mundane or Craft, I have some idea of their abilities and can assume a certain level of understanding.
Third, there is the recognition of self. A standard of excellence is required and achieving a degree is a feedback upon the levels achieved.
There are other aspects dealing with the magic rite itself, but even if there were not, the hierarchy of degrees and the elite groups formed by having them are a mark of excellence for those who belong. Within my tradition and, according to my faith, within the Wicca itself, there are no barriers of opportunity to the system. Therefore, I see no reason to abandon it. I do not say that the system cannot be improved or that another system cannot provide the same benefits, but I haven’t seen one that provides a reward for excellence while avoiding the pitfalls.
Without active encouragement of excellence, whether in Craft or in the mundane world, entropy says that we will end up with mediocrity and least common denominator. And a world where mediocrity rules is not a world I wish to live in.
(This article previously appeared in “The Messenger”)