It’s 84F. 84? What? Yeah, we have a quickie heat wave! It’s just today. Tomorrow will be back down to the 60’s, but I’m glad we did the berries yesterday. I’d melt today. Wind is at 3mph with gusts into the teens and the humidity is down to 34%, which is all that makes this bearable.
Yesterday started slowly. Both Tempus and I had to catch up on mail and then once that was done, to do a few house chores and then go pick berries since it’s supposed to rain over the weekend and that will often spoil them. We didn’t get a lot of the blackberries. They’re almost done. I picked 1/2 a tin of huckleberries and Tempus found a couple of bushes up the street that he stripped and got another 1/2 tin. Jeanne and I talked for a bit
after I was done picking my berries over.
Once we were at the shop we had some supper (yeah, we were slow, like I said….) and I started some cookery. I roasted a couple of chickens, then set up a crockpot with the carcasses for broth. After Tempus headed for Newport and the start of the paper route, I spent a couple of hours, off and on, picking over Tempus’ berries and gradually getting them washed and into the freezer.
Eventually, around 1am, I got to the point of trying to make some pickled pearl onions. I heard of a trick on the Townsend and Sons videos where you parboil them, then cut off the ends and “pop” the rest of the onion, minus the paper, through the hole. I think they boiled a little longer than they should, but that happens.
I was finished everything and stuff put away by 3 and I was pretty tired. Tempus didn’t get rolling until 11:30, though, so we knew it was going to be a very late night.
So he picked me up at around 3:30 and we got going. Orion was already way high in the sky, and Sirius sparkling through the spectrum, but it didn’t start getting light until we were near the golf course. I couldn’t see Venus, as she’s getting lower and lower in the sky, until the last drops on 34, but I found Mars…. and maybe Mercury….maybe…. and watched in the growing light, as the stars and planets dimmed.
Today is too warm to do much. We’ll I’m going back to bed once this is out. The apartment is nice and cool, at least. We’re going to spend the evening with friends in Coos Bay. It’s going to be a gorgeous drive down and back!
Today is the anniversary of a 1631 Sunday performance of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream that so upset the Puritans that Bottom had to sit in the stocks! More on the play here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer_Night%27s_Dream
Today’s Plant is the Coast Willow, Salix hookeriana. I’ve been mistaking it for pussy willow ever since I moved out here! Pussy Willows are a subset of the willows which also include osiers (think “wicker” for their uses). They’re all Saliciae from which, salicylic acid, the medicine Aspirin, was derived. Willow magick is Feminine, Moon and Water. Willow wands can be used for healing, to sleep with for more vivid dreams, Drawing Down the Moon, or for protection in underworld journeying. The Willow will bring the blessings of the Moon upon those who plant it or have it on their property. Willows can be used to bind together witch’s brooms and a forked willow branch is widely used in water witching and dowsing. New Moon magick, creativity, fertility, female rights of passage, inspiration, emotion, binding. Love, Love divination, protection, healing. It is also known as the tree of immortality because of its ability to re grow from a fallen branch in moist ground. These properties apply to all forms of willow, but the Coast Willow has the properties of endurance, tolerance and stubbornness as well. There’s more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org
The shop is open 11-7pm 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
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 10/5 at 11:40am. 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 9/27 at 7:54pm. 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 10/3 at 11:40pm.
By week’s end, big macho Venus is closing right in on delicate little Mars, low in the eastern dawn.
First-quarter Moon; exact at 10:54 p.m. EDT. Since we’re still close to the equinox date, the almost exactly first-quarter Moon stands due south right at sunset. (Think about why!)
Then as night comes on, look to the Moon’s lower right for Saturn, and to the Moon’s lower left for the Sagittarius Teapot >>> . Depending on where you are, a line lower left from the Moon will go right through the Teapot’s centerline from the top of the lid through the center of the base.
Mars, also low in the dawn, is magnitude +1.8, only 1/200th as bright as Venus. Use binoculars to look for it below or lower left of Venus. Their separation diminishes from 7° on the morning of the 23rd to 3° on the 30th (shown above). They’ll pass closely by each other 1/4° apart during dawn in the Americas) on October 5th.
Goddess Month of Mala runs from 9/6 – 10/2
Celtic Tree Month of Muin/Vine, Sep 2 – 29
Celtic Tree Month of Gort/Ivy, Sep 30 – Oct 27
Runic half-month of Kenaz/Ken/Kebo – September 13-27 – Ken represents a flaming torch within the royal hall, so it’s the time of the creative fire – the forge where natural materials are transmuted by the force of the human will into a mystical third, an artifact that could not otherwise come into being. The positive aspects of sexuality that are immanent in Freya and Frey come into play at this time. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102 Runic half-month of Gebo/ Gyfu – Sept 28-Oct 12 – Gyfu represents the unity that a gift brings between the donor & recipient. It is a time of unification, both between members of society and between the human and divine. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Muin/Vine Sep 2 – 29 – Muin – (MUHN, like “foot”), vine – The grape (Vitis vinifera L.) is a vine growing as long as 35 m (115 feet), in open woodlands and along the edges of forests, but most commonly seen today in cultivation, as the source of wine, grape juice, and the grape juice concentrate that is so widely used as a sweetener. European grapes are extensively cultivated in North America, especially in the southwest, and an industry and an agricultural discipline are devoted to their care and the production of wine. Grapes are in the Grape family (Vitaceae).
Celtic Tree Month of Gort/Ivy, Sep 30 – Oct 27 – Gort – (GORT), ivy – Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is also a vine, growing to 30 m (100 feet) long in beech woods and around human habitations, where it is widely planted as a ground cover. Ivy produces greenish flowers before Samhain on short, vertical shrubby branches. The leaves of these flowering branches lack the characteristic lobes of the leaves of the rest of the plant. Like holly, ivy is evergreen, its dark green leaves striking in the bare forests of midwinter. Ivy is widely cultivated in North America. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 27 Low 12:07 AM 1.1 7:10 AM Rise 2:21 PM 37
~ 27 High 6:40 AM 5.5 7:04 PM Set 11:56 PM
~ 27 Low 12:02 PM 3.4
~ 27 High 5:56 PM 6.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Serenity Prayer – God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Journal Prompt – Multicultural Connections – List the questions you would want to ask a girl from Japan who has just entered your class. For example, what would you like to know about her country, her background, and her traditions?
~ When someone speaks of ill, it is never far away. – Örvar Odd’s Saga, c.23
~ You can never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself. – Leonardo da Vinci
~ You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips. – Oliver Goldsmith
~ You can’t walk backwards into the future. – Kerr Cuhulain
This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Michaelmas is a festival that marks the turning of the seasons. Traditionally, it is celebrated on September 29th. In Medieval times, Michaelmas was celebrated as a time for gathering: landlords gathered rent, people gathered food, and the food was gathered into cupboards and storerooms. A celebration was held to rejoice in the harvest if it was bountiful, or send up prayers for better harvests in the future. Later, the festival was given more of a Christian meaning and included celebrating the role of the archangel Michael as dragon-slayer.
The turning of the seasons marks a turning in our spirits as well. With the shortening days, we feel winter’s approach, and know that more of our time will be spent indoors. With the carefree days of summer, our hearts were light and seemed to match the warmth of the sun. Now that the days shorten and grow colder, we must look inside to find our light, and often this involves facing our inner dragons. This requires a depth of courage and tapping into the strength and light that will carry us through dark winter days.
In Waldorf tradition, Michaelmas is brought as a celebration of this strength of resolve, goodness, courage, and inner light.
For parents, working with inner dragons can lead to a rich experience of one’s own humanity and strength. Even inner dragons have their purpose within the context of our lives, and can be “harnessed” to bring out their redeeming qualities: protection, a rightful sense of justice, and action.
Children are, of course, nourished by the mood and the imagery brought around any festival, rather than the literal meaning or history of it. The mood of Michaelmas is related to gathering, harvesting, working, strength, courage, and steadfastness. The imagery related to those moods can be found in nature and story lore: squirrels gathering nuts, St. George taming or slaying a dragon, shooting stars, workers bringing in the harvest, mice making their nests, leaves blanketing the ground, etc. The colors associated with this festival echo the fiery colors of the changing season: reds, oranges, browns, and yellows.
For younger children, celebrating this festival and time of year can include stories of the harvest, activities such as polishing apples, making harvest wreaths, drying flowers, putting garden beds to sleep, raking leaves, chopping vegetables for soup, gathering marigolds and dyeing with them, and kneading bread for a harvest loaf. Some older children may delight in hearing stories of the dragon being slain. If you choose to tell dragon stories and are concerned they might be too scary for young children, you can have the dragon transform into a helper instead of being slain.
My intention is to bring a brief overview of Michaelmas and celebrating harvest. I encourage you to make up your own stories, and searching the web will produce some nice Michaelmas stories for you to use. There are also a few books that have many more crafts, songs, and ideas for celebrating Michaelmas. The Children’s Year and All Year Round are good books to start with. Wynstone’s Autumn and Festivals, Family, and Food are also good resources.
And finally, for your nature table, I present to you a dragon to make.
1/8th yard red felt
1/8th yard of yellow felt
Body pattern (print patterns to 100% on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper) http://rhythmofthehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/dragonbody.jpg
Wing pattern http://rhythmofthehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/wing.jpg
Begin by cutting out all parts. Because this dragon is made of wool felt, I recommend hand sewing it using cotton quilting thread and backstitch. If you like, you could use embroidery floss and sew the seams using blanket stitch. This dragon is sewn with the seams on the outside, so there is no turning it inside out to stuff it.
Once the parts are cut out, sew the head gusset to the head in between the placement marks.
Sew the spikes along the back (the pinked seam you see in the picture will be on the inside of the body).
Sew the legs onto each other. Sew only the sides of the legs, and leave the bottoms open. To make sure you sew your legs on facing the inside of the dragon, place your body pieces so they mirror each other, like so:
Begin to sew the body gusset by pinning it on one side of the dragon and sewing to the leg.
Pin both sides of the dragon body together, lining up the gusset marks on the other side. It is easiest to start at the tip of the tail, sew along the back, and end up on the other side of where you stopped.
Sew the tail from the tip to the gusset mark.
Now, begin sewing the rest of the gusset. When you get to a leg, tuck your finger inside the leg and hold it to stabilize the leg. As you sew, push the inner leg up toward the body a little bit. This will help keep the dragon’s legs from splaying out and help your dragon to stand. You can always go back and take a few more stitches toward the middle if need be.
Sew one side of the belly and legs, stopping at the gusset mark. Continue on to the other side, and sew up the legs, but leave the space in between the legs for stuffing.
Begin stuffing the dragon using a knitting needle to help get small bits of wool into the tail and head. Once the body and legs are stuffed, close up the belly seam.
Sew the bottoms onto the legs. Put extra stuffing in the legs if need be to help the dragon to stand. Pin the wings and ears into place and sew. If you sew them on the front and the back, they will stand up.
Place your dragon on your nature table, or in your puppet basket.
As a teenager, Angela Mobley dreamed of having a home filled with children, music, and art projects. She imagined every room harboring colorful nooks of art supplies and crannies of creative expression. Today she is living that dream with her four children and husband. In addition to all that singing and knitting and sewing and exploring, she teaches handwork and music at the Waldorf School of Louisville. Find her somewhat irregularly at theartistthemom.
Copyright 2009-2011 Rhythm of the Home, LLC
Silliness – Quick Ones — A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: “A beer please, and one for the road.”