Finally the wedding page is done. You can find it here: http://wp.me/P2xgQ8-68H
Blue skies and sunnier even than yesterday!
I want to get this out and then I’ll do a better write-up later. We’re running a little late for the family breakfast this morning and then we’re going to do the long drive home with several stops on the way.
Suffice it to say that yesterday was awesome! Marvelous! Wonderful! …and beyond that I’m going to run out of superlatives. I wept happy tears all over myself at the look on Arthur’s face when he was saying his vows. I’ll try to post some pix. It looks like there are a lot up.
Today’s feast is the Opiconsivia, Roman Empire, a harvest festival of the goddess Ops Consiva, ‘Lady Bountiful the Planter’, whose shrine was in the Regia at Rome. This is one of the series of Roman harvest feasts in this month. Originally a Sabine goddess, Ops (‘plenty’, from which we get the word ‘opulent’) was a fertility deity and earth-goddess in Roman mythology, associated with Bona Dea (the ‘Good Goddess’). Her husband was Saturn, or Consus, perhaps in an aspect of Saturn. Ops was worshipped under the name of Consivia on this date by the Vestal Virgins, who opened a special room filled with sacred objects to perform their rites to ensure the fertility of the earth. Today only the Vestals and one of the pontifices could be present. Because her abode was in the earth, she was invoked by worshippers while they were seated and touching the ground. Both Ops and Consus were deemed chthonian (infernal) deities which made the vegetation grow. On August 10, a festival took place in her honour, and the Opalia was held on December 19. For more information go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opiconsivia
Today’s Plant is Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, sometimes called “sloe”, wish-thorn or faery tree. The blossoms, the fruits and the crimson sap display the three colors of the Great Goddess: white, black, and red. The dangerous long spikes and the red “blood” that flows in the veins of this tree enhance the dramatic effect of Her symbolism. Blackthorns are sacred to the Luantishees, which are Blackthorn Fairies who guard the trees. It makes great walking sticks, such as shillelaghs. The fruit and leaves contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins, and sugars. Otzi, the “Iceman” had fruits in his stomach, even though they’re pretty bitter for food. Good wines and liqueurs are made from the fruits. Steep the flowers for a diuretic, tonic, and laxative. Dried fruits can treat bladder, kidney and stomach ailments. Boil the leaves for a mouthwash or to sooth the throat from tonsillitis or laryngitis. – Feminine, Saturn, Earth – Blackthorn symbolizes the inevitability of Death, Good in magicks of protection and revenge, strife and negativity, the balance between light and darkness. The staves cane help in exorcism, to make wishes, in divination and general protection magicks. Being a plant that’s bad to tangle with it also symbolizes not only death and the conquering of death, but the wisdom gained in life and beyond life and can be used in magicks for the gaining of such wisdom. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_spinosa
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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 9/6 at 12:03am. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 8/25 at 11:30pm. 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 8/29 at 1:13am.
Look low in the west in twilight for the waxing crescent Moon. It forms a triangle with Jupiter and below it, as shown here. ….and then the Moon reappears in the evening sky as a waxing crescent, retreating farther from our sunward line of sight every day. (The Moon here is positioned for the middle of North America; your aspect may vary a bit.)
Saturn (magnitude +0.4, in the legs of Ophiuchus) glows steadily in the south-southwest at nightfall. Antares, less bright, twinkles 12° to Saturn’s lower right.
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
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
F 25 High 3:23 AM 7.1 6:31 AM Rise 10:46 AM 10
~ 25 Low 9:42 AM 0.3 8:04 PM Set 10:24 PM
~ 25 High 3:57 PM 7.4
~ 25 Low 10:15 PM 0.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – High intention operates in the midst of trust. Trust operates in the midst of high intention.
~ When we can recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain the strength to constructively solve the problems of the present. – Dalai Lama
~ When you feel better here than somewhere else, how beautiful is freedom! – Meditation = Solution
~ While meditating do no try to attain any particular state of being. Let things happen on their own, meditation is a happening. – Dharma
~ You can not begin to change unless you admit that there is something that needs to change. – Paul V Harris
The sun drew off at last his piercing fires.
Over the stale warm air, dull as a pond
And moveless in the grey quieted street,
Blue magic of a summer evening glowed. – Lascelles Abercrombie (1881–1938)
Lore of Mabon – Fall Equinox Spell – Crone’s Corner
Once again the Sun’s path crosses the celestial equator, and the day and the night are now again of equal length. On the Gregorian calendar this is the first day of autumn, but on the modern Celtic calendar it is midautumn. This holiday is more commonly known by its Welsh name Mabon. Mabon means “divine youth.” It is the name of a mythic hunter hero whose story is told at this time of year. At the beginning of time, Mabon was born to the Mother Goddess Modron. That we only know his mother and not his father attests to the matriarchal lineage of the early Celts. The equinox marks the time when Mabon was three nights old and stolen from his crib. For the next three months, the heroes Cai and Bedwyr will search for him and ask all manner of birds and beasts for help. But, according to legend, it is only the salmon who can give them direction. On Yule, the heroes retrieve the divine child by freeing him from a prison in Gloucester. Like Apollo, Mabon is a hunter with a bow and a musician with a harp. He is a Sun god. Mabon represents the Sun that is waning in strength during this quarter of the year and that will begin to return only after the solstice. The waning of the light is frightening and depressing, and it is necessary for our own sake to use magic at this time to help in the quest for Mabon. The strongest act of magic that one can do at this time is to participate in the celebrations of the yearly cycle. As one integrates the yearly cycle deep into one’s unconscious, serenity and confidence are gained. This is the peace that comes from knowing and accepting that the light will return when it is time.~ Robert Place
GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives
Crone’s Corner – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Crones_Corner/
MYTH*ING LINKS – An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
AUTUMN greetings, CUSTOMS & LORE September = December 2004
May we spend this time wisely so that at least we won’t be seen as foolish or reckless. Those born later in this century may not agree with us, but may they think of us as genial, full of humor, humble, and wise. We’re in a “thin space,” as the Celts call it, a portal between the worlds. Those who stood at that portal in the winter of 1900 brewed, all unknowing, two world wars. May we brew, if not peace, at least a growing sense of humanity and compassion. May we have the skill to defuse explosions. May we be remembered as tolerant and awake.
As autumn returns to earth’s northern hemisphere,
and day and night are briefly,
balanced at the equinox,
may we remember anew how fragile life is —-
human life, surely,
but also the lives of all other creatures,
trees and plants,
waters and winds.
May we make wise choices in how and what we harvest,
may earth’s weather turn kinder,
may there be enough food for all creatures,
may the diminishing light in our daytime skies
be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance
in our hearts.
AUTUMN LINKS: oLD wORLD tRADITIONS
Demeter and Persephone
© Mary B. Kelly: “The painting shows the moment when mother and daughter are reconciled, and their first kiss.
Persephone still holds the pomegranate, symbol both of fertility and of her fate as Dark Queen”
[Used with the artist’s kind permission — see annotated link to her home page below]
[Added 8/26/02]: This is a plain-text page on ancient Greek festivals from c. 13 September through 13 October.
…Many of the Greek and Roman festivals of this season celebrate the end of the military campaigning season. At the end of September and beginning of October, however, the emphasis shifts to the Corn Mothers and other agricultural deities. In many Greek states the month beginning mid-September was called Demetrion after Demeter….
The page beings with the “Great (Eleusinian) Mysteries” of Demeter and Persephone (c. Sept. 29-Oct. 5), since these are, of course, the highlight of the season. Then it backtracks to 13 September (for the Roman feast of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and continues forward to 13 October, the Roman Fontinalia, a festival for Fons, the god of springs.
[Added 8/26-27/02]: This is a continuation of the above plain-text data: ancient Greek festivals from 22 October to 15 December.
…In the Greek and Roman worlds, there are comparatively few festivals in October and November, which is the seed-time (Gr. sporetos), a season of ploughing and sowing. Women figure prominently in these festivals since in neolithic times they were responsible for crops raising (by the Bronze Age it became a male occupation)….
The details are wonderful and more information is given on the above-mentioned feasts of Apollo, Dionysus, and Theseus. There is also fine data for the Thesmophoria (see below).
[8/20/04: when I try to get through, this link now crashes my program. I’m removing it but keeping the annotation.]
[Added 8/26-27/02]: From N.S. Gill, the ancient history guide at about.com, comes a fine page on the Greek harvest (or “Thanksgiving”) festival, Thesmophoria, which falls during October-November (also see above link):
“It is called Thesmophoria, because Demeter is called Thesmophoros in respect of her establishing laws or thesmoiin accordance with which men must provide nourishment and work the land….”
Since the fall harvest must usually take an agricultural society through winter, it is vitally important for survival. Whatever power provides that bounty deserves praise…. [This festival was]…in honor of the goddess who taught mankind to tend the soil, during a month known as Pyanopsion (Puanepsion), according to the lunisolar calendar of the Athenians. Since our calendar is solar, the month doesn’t exactly match, but Pyanopsion would be, more or less, October into November….
For more on this festival, as well as on Dionysiac celebrations, see an excellent essay at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/classes/LAp.html
[This is a very interesting page by John Opsopaus on three autumn festivals of ancient Greece — these fall after the equinox but contain themes relevant to the entire season:
…Because Ancient Greek festivals were held according to a lunar calendar, which was often out of step with the solar year, it is difficult to say what festivals would correspond to Samhain.
In Homer’s time the cosmical setting (first visible setting on western horizon at sunrise) of Orion, the Pleiades and the Hyades, which marked the beginning of the winter, herding season, occurred at the beginning of November (Nov. 5-10, by various computations). (Orion was the son of Poseidon and Euruale, daughter of Minos and sister of Ariadne, about whom more later.). Significantly, these constellations, which mark the seasons, are at the center of the Shield of Achilles (Iliad XVIII), that famous mandala of the Homeric Universe.
In classical Greek times there were several important festivals that nominally occur at the end of October and beginning of November. Two of these, which occur on the same day (7 Puanepsion), are especially interesting; they are followed on the next day by the Theseia (for Theseus), which is intimately connected with the first two….
Two of these festivals honor Apollo and Dionysus and are held on the same day.
…The Oskhophoria, in honor of Dionysos, occurs on the same day as the Puanepsia. It may seem odd to honor Apollo and Dionysos, so often taken as polar opposites, on the same day, but we must remember that They share Delphi, and this is the time of year when the changing of the guard occurs. An ancient pot shows Them shaking hands over the Omphalos (World Naval) at Delphi….
The third, Theseia, commemorates Theseus. The author retells the story: “Ariadne and Theseus’ Descent into the Labyrinth and Return.” The details are fascinating although it should be mentioned that the author has excluded other important ancient variants of the myth. Nevertheless, the story includes the mysterious desertion of Ariadne by Theseus, followed by her marriage to Dionysus himself — whose festival was celebrated only the day before.
[This is an engrossing, contemporary re-visioning of what might have been the ancient “Greek Ritual of the Labyrinth” (Ta Hiera Laburinthou) by John Opsopaus:
…This ritual is an initiation and celebration of new beginnings structured around the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur and associated Greek midautumn celebrations, which take place when Apollo yields Delphi to Dionysos for the winter months….
I have not had time to read the entire ritual (it’s lengthy) but what impresses me is its mythopoetic quality and the deep psychological nuances. Also, I appreciate the careful footnoting that links the Cretan labyrinth to displaced, but related themes, in Mesopotamian myths.
I first grokked Waverly Fitzgerald’s School of the Seasons for my 1999 debut of the Autumn Equinox page. Since then, her jewel of a site has become a favorite of mine and appears on all my seasonal pages. The overall design is unusually tasteful and elegant. Even more important, Fitzgerald has well-researched content on monthly celebrations, feasts, and cross-cultural holy days (with hypertext links to further information on many of these). Her opening page also includes fascinating “Special Features” for each season. Fitzgerald’s command of lore is exceptional.
For each current month, she begins with a large number of names from various cross-cultural traditions. Then a calendar follows. If you click on hyperlinks for a particular day, you’ll be linked to more detail on another page. The September feasts, for example, include the Nativity of the Virgin on the 8th; Rosh Hashana; England’s Day of the Holy Nut; the remembrance of the Virgin’s Seven Sorrows; the God Pan; Yom Kippur; Autumn Equinox; the 9-day Eleusinian Mysteries; the Harvest Moon; Sukkoth; the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival; and Michaelmas on the 29th.
NOTE: a new month’s calendar appears on the first of each month (sometimes a night or two beforehand).
[Added 15 September 2000]: This charming site looks at autumn and the autumnal equinox in Japan. There are many (usually clickable) photos connected with the months of September, October, and November. Text is fairly minimal but very useful to those unacquainted with Japan’s seasonal customs.
From “Slavic Pagan Holidays” comes fine data on harvest festivals from early August to early November. Autumn in Russia’s cold Ukraine begins early — it’s celebrated on August 2nd, the feast known as St. Ilia’s Day. The entire autumn season is a time of music, apples, honey, and grain sheaves:
…Sometimes the last sheaf ceremony was merged with the ritual surrounding a small patch of field that was left uncut. The spirit of the harvest was said to precede the reapers and hide in the uncut grain. This small patch was referred to as the “beard” of Volos, the God of animals and wealth. The uncut sheaves of wheat in “Volos’ beard” were decorated with ribbons and the heads were bent toward the ground in a ritual called “The curling of the beard”. This was believed to send the spirit of the harvest back to the Earth. Salt and bread, traditional symbols of hospitality were left as offerings to Volos’ beard….
[URLs updated 8/18/01]
[Annotation revised 18 August 2001]: This is the portfolio page of artist/professor Mary B. Kelly, whose vibrant painting (see above) of Hungary’s “Black Goddess,” the Harvest Goddess, Dordona, is not to be missed:
…Like her counterpart in Russia, her arms are raised. She is crowned by both the sun and the moon.
(Note: the larger version of Dordona, with text, is no longer available on this site, but you might e-mail Dr. Kelly if you wish to see it. If you click on the menu buttons on her Portfolio page, you’ll also find information on her groundbreaking books on goddess embroideries, etc. On her Home Page, there’s a large version of Dordona, by the way, but no text.)
Silliness – Misc. Anecdotes – During a visit to America, Winston Churchill was invited to a buffet luncheon at which cold fried chicken was served. Returning for a second helping, he asked politely, “May I have some breast?”
“Mr. Churchill,” replied the hostess, “in this country we ask for white meat or dark meat.” Churchill apologized profusely.
The following morning, the lady received a magnificent orchid from her guest of honor. The accompanying card read: “I would be most obliged if you would pin this on your white meat.”