Dang, it’s *cold* in the shop! It’s not so bad outside with bright sunshine and 41F, but my fingers are turning into icicles. The wind is at 4mph with gusts up to 11. It’s going to be cold tonight again, but then the rain is coming back through the weekend and it’ll be a lot warmer at that point.
Yesterday and the day before were just quiet, chore days. We weren’t pushing ourselves to get done quickly, and we’re mostly caught up. I got the report on the feast written and published yesterday afternoon. Other than chores and writing, I did a little sewing and a lot of reading and some talking with Tempus.
Today we have a lot of things to put away. I actually couldn’t get in the door until Tempus moved the sign prop! He has the paper route tonight and I’ll stay home for that, although his phone isn’t putting up the proper messages to Facebook.
Today’s plant is Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus, (not watercress, which is true nasturtium). It’s certainly not native to the PNW, but grows well here. I love the brilliant oranges and yellows of the flowers. They’re yummy, too, with a slightly peppery taste, both leaf and flower and the seeds serve as a substitute for capers in pickles. The flowers stand for Victory in Battle, Patriotism and Affectation and are little used in magicks other than as symbols and foods for Ostara and Beltane celebrations because of their association with the Sun. They also can be used as a symbol for “sacrifice to the larger good” of soldiers, firemen and police, but are usually only seen at funerals in this context. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropaeolum_majus
The Feast of the Perpendicular Sun happens twice a year in Egypt at the Tempus of Abu Simbel, built for Ramses II in the 13th century BCE. The aisle of the temple lights up with the sunrise until all the way at the back of the temple the Pharoah’s particular gods are illuminated. This happens on Ramses birthday and the anniversary date of his ascent to the throne, iow 2/22 and 10/22. Because of the Aswan Dam, the temple was disassembled and moved to higher ground in the 60′s, but the dates are still good, because they worked really hard to make that happen. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Simbel
The shop is open 11-5pm 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 3/1 at 4:51pm. 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 2/23 at 12:09am.
Under the feet of Orion, and to the right of Sirius now, hides Lepus the Hare. As with Canis Major, you can connect Lepus’s dots to make it look like what it’s supposed to be. He’s a crouching bunny, with his nose pointing lower right, his faint ears extending up toward Rigel, and his body bunched to the left. His brightest two stars, 3rd-magnitude Beta and Alpha Leporis, form the front and back of his neck.
Uranus (magnitude 5.9, in Pisces) is still fairly high in the west right after dark. Finder chart.
Goddess Month of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17
Runic half-month of Sowulo/ Sigel, 2/12-26 It represents the power of the force of good throughout the world and is the harbinger of victory and ascendancy over darkness.
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), ash – the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 22 High 4:35 AM 7.8 7:05 AM Set 12:18 AM 33
~ 22 Low 11:28 AM 1.2 5:55 PM Rise 10:52 AM
~ 22 High 5:33 PM 5.8
~ 22 Low 11:04 PM 2.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – We are all seekers here, following some distant star. Eventually we will come to recognize that this star resides in our very core.
~ Stubbornness brings either greater humiliation or greater honor. – The Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgothi, c.10
~ Success is 99 percent failure. – Soichiro Honda
~ Take ownership of your life and you’ll discover how powerful you are. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree? The presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. – Burton Hillis
You can use any measure
When you’re speaking of success.
You can measure it in fancy home,
Expensive car or dress.
But the measure of your real success
Is the one you cannot spend.
It’s the way your kids describe you
When they’re talking to a friend. – Martin Buxbaum
Ostara Magick – Craft – A Brief History, Symbols and Colors of Pysanky – http://graphicoriginals.com/history.html
The word pysanka is derived from the Ukrainian verb pysaty ‘to write’; we ‘write’ designs on the eggs. Nearly all Slavic peoples and those in the eastern Mediterranean area practiced this art in ancient times using beeswax and dyes to create tiny masterpieces of art but Ukrainian Easter Eggs from the more modern Christian era seem to be the ones best known. In Western Ukraine, the art form was retained even though it declined because of religious suppression in most areas. Symbolism is at the root of all pysanky and it is not uncommon for a simple design full of symbolic meaning to surpass a very intricate design that is beautiful in its own right but nearly devoid of symbolic meaning and artistic expression.
The symbols used in pysanka design are a blend of ancient pagan motifs with Christian elements. As an example, pagans celebrated the high points in life and the yearly cycle. The Christian church does the same throughout the religious year with both highlighting Spring and the resurrection of Christ. The symbols used remained the same–the interpretation of them was changed to be in keeping with the acceptance of Christianity. This blend between the ancient pagan beliefs and symbols and the Christian beliefs and symbols has resulted in a richness seen in modern pysanka.
Certain designs and symbols are reserved for different rituals such as matchmaking, healing the ill, encouraging fertility in animals and childless couples, increased harvest etc. Shells were considered sacred and powerful in themselves and were saved, crushed and fed to the hens to increase fertility and also spread on roof tops to ward off evil.
The art of making a pysanka was and is a holy, ritual task for the traditional Ukrainian artist. The pysanka is believed to have power similar to a cross. Each step in the process of making a pysanka was proscribed so that they might be made with the holiest of attitudes and the strongest forces imbued in them. Beeswax is used as it comes from bees who gather it from flowers who are nourished by the sun. The wax is melted off in the heat of the oven to remove the wax in a purifying process that unites it with the life-giving sun.
A special tool called a kistka is used to melt the beeswax and write on the eggs. The kistka is the pen and the beeswax is the ink. Each successive color is waxed and dyed until the entire design is created on the surface of the egg. The wax is then removed, a protective finish applied and the contents emptied. The eggs are shared with others as an expression of friendship, good will and love.
I did not know how to pronounce the word “pysanky” (plural) or “pysanka” (singular), and spoke it as I thought it was pronounced. I was wrong! But, since I never heard it pronounced except by others who were also making the same error, it is only recently that I have found an authority that “spelled it out” in a publication. I reproduce the paragraph from the Ukrainian Gift Shop’s Design Book #4:
“To pronouce the word pysanka, put the following together into one word pes un ka—- —pes as in pest, un as in under, and ka as in call. There is no emphasis on any one syllable.”
I still find myself saying “pie, sank, kee” because I have never met anyone personally that knows the correct pronunciation but everyone seems to understand the wrong one! Another misconception is that the country is called “The” Ukraine, as we say The United States. This is in error. It is Ukraine, just as it is France, not The France.
The symbols and colors have many meanings. Some are:
Symbols drawings of symbols (will open in a new window)
Sun, circles- life, warmth and the love of God
Swastika- a common motif for happiness, blessings, good fortune and good will.
Tripod- a solar symbol known from Trypillian times meaning a trinity: birth, life, death; man, woman, child; the magical number 3
Star or rose-usually 8 pointed but also 6 and 5 pointed in ancient times signifying purity, life, the giver of light, the center of all knowledge, beauty, elegance and perfection; the eye or divine will of God, symbol of God’s love for man. Today sun and cosmic symbols signify happiness, prosperity and good fortune
Triangles-a trinity; formerly air, fire, water or the heavens, earth and air. Now the Holy Trinity is meant.
Lines-unbroken to not break the thread of life
Sieve-dividing good from evil
Basket-contained knowledge, motherhood, the giver of life and gifts
Rakes-rays from the sun, reference to harvest
Spirals-divinity or immortality
Grape vine-continuity, good fellowship and strong, loyal love; as the wine of communion-the love of God and of Christ for mankind
Deer- leadership, masculinity and victory
Horse- an ancient sign for the sun, believed in ancient times to pull the sun across the sky; therefore, wealth, properity, speed and endurance
Ram- perseverence, dignity, leadership and strength
Rooster- coming good fortune, for men it predicts a rich married life with many children
Spider-patience, artistry and industry
Hen’s feet-protection of the earth toward her young; guidance of the young in their search for knowledge
Horns-nobility, wisdom and triumph over problems; an implication of manhood and leadership
Wolves’ teeth-loyalty, wisdom and a firm grip
Churches-appeared at the time of Christianity, used only in western Ukraine
Birds- precursors of spring
Fish- symbol for Christ and Christians
Netting- separating good from evil
Crosses-in many shapes, usually to represent Christ’s suffering
Meander lines- eternal life
Ladders- prayer and rising to Heaven
Wheat- generous harvest
Pine needles- eternal life
Dots- stars and constellations
Flowers- wisdom, elegance and beauty
Leaves and flowers- life and growth
White-purity, virginity, innocence and birth
Green-renewal, spring, hope, health and victory of life over death, freedom from bondage
Yellow-light and purity, harvest, warmth, wisdom, youth
Orange-endurance, strength, ambition, the everlasting sun, the red of passion tempered by the yellow of wisdom
Red-a positive color for passion, action, fire, spiritual awakening, divine love, used especially for children and youth
Black- constancy, eternity, used with white as respect for departed souls, also fear or ignorance
Purple- fasting, faith, patience and trust
Brown- mother earth, bringing forth bountiful gifts
Blue- blue skies, life-giving air, is a talisman of good health
Pink- success, contentment
4 or more colors- family happiness, peace and love
As you can see, most design elements can mean many things and are rooted in tradition. I enjoy making all of the traditional type designs as well as contemporary ones. I explain the basic process in the How tosection. Although I am not Ukrainian and not a traditional artist except in process, I do make use of some traditional motifs and greatly enjoy creating my own interpretations of traditional and geometric designs. I have many contemporary designs of my own and also would be glad to work with you on any design concepts you may have.
Want to know more?
Ukrainian Eggs by Ginny Decorated Eggs
Pysanky Showcase Decorated Eggs and Dyes, History and Explanations
The Ukrainian Gift Shop Supplies
ToDeirdre.com Free ebook on pysanky by my soul sister-excellent information also pysanky and paintings!
PYSANKA: Icon of the Universe by Mary Tkachuk, Marie Kishchuk, and Alice Nicholaichuk, 1977, Ukrainian Museum, 910 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon, Sask, Canada S7K 3G9
UKRAINIAN DESIGN BOOKS: 1,2,3 & 4 by Natalie Perchyshyn, Luba Perchyshyn, Johanna Luciow and Ann Kmit 1984, 1986, 1995.
Eggs Beautiful by Johanna Luciow, Ann Kmit and Loretta Luciow
Ukrainian Easter Eggs and how we make them by Ann Kmit, Loretta Luciow, Johanna Luciow and Luba Perchyshyn. Ukrainian Gift Shop, Inc., 2512 39th Avenue Northeast, St. Anthony Village, Minnesota 55421
Sixty Score of Easter Eggs by Zenon Elyjiw, Rochester, New York, 1994.
Symbols on Ukrainian Eggs
- star or rose
- meander lines
- spirals-bends (protection)
- grape vine
- oak leaf
- stag (deer)
- stag (deer)
- wolves teeth
Why did the Chicken Cross the Road? Part 3 – How Some Pagan Authors Might Respond: (Many, many contributors….this is a compilation as I find them….)
Margot Adler: The recent chicken resurgence, it can be argued, is directly based on a response to the suburban middle class experience. While I found that chickens-who-cross-roads who responded to my survey are of a wide range of ages and backgrounds, I discovered some trends in the “why” of crossing the road. For some it is was freedom. For some it is chickenism. Many chickens told me they crossed the road for intellectual satisfaction. One thing is clear: the growth of road crossing by chickens is expanding in the numbers of chickens and in the ways they cross the road, including at chicken festivals and for political blocking of roads.
Starhawk: The chicken crossed the road to reclaim the crossing experience, the experience of being fully alive, with streams and earth and rocks and road, in the fullness of her chickenhood after thousands of years of roosterarchy. The chicken crossing the road—not a chicken laying eggs, not a chicken being roasted and eaten—a chicken strong and free, crossing the road, this is something I can believe in. We chickens, as chickens, can empower ourselves to live in harmony with the Earth who gives life to all chickens and Who has been terribly scratched by roosters. Exercises: Dance the Spiral Chicken.
Issac Bonewits: Real crossing-the-road, we have seen, is a very interwoven and complicated subject. Our conclusion could be that real crossing-the-road is the build up of chicken emotion in conjunction with chicken concepts to vary the modulation of chicken energy so as to effect the modulation of the road’s energy. That’s all! Perhaps it is unfortunate, though, to use the word “chicken” in relation to it, since the “C” word is being used now in a way it was never used before in the English language and is an utterly meaningless term without a qualifying adjective. And this, of course, is the fault of the medieval Christian Church, through the Gothic Chickens it invented and used as the basis of persecuting men, women and chickens. The word “chicken” itself comes from an Indo-European root, “cheeka/e” meaning “one who lays eggs,” and it has no relation to the later Anglo-Saxon word for “wise spirit of flight,” as so often stated by certain contemporary “Chiccans.” An’Chk’Rrhod (“Our Own Chickens on Our Own Roads”), an authentic Neo-Chicken Rooster tradition, offers the best of paleo-, meso- and neo- Chickenism …
Llewellyn’s Practical Chicken Magick Series: To some people, the idea that “chickens crossing the road” is practical comes as a surprise. It shouldn’t. The whole idea of Crossing the Road is practical for chickens. While Crossing the Road is also, and properly so, concerned with spiritual growth and psychological transformation –the “why” of crossing the road– every chicken’s life must rest firmly on material roads. Crossing the Road is the flowering of chicken potential. And the profits from publishing all those books on how to do so? Well, that ain’t chicken feed…
Carlos Castenada: 4/10/1964 I spent 14 hours, without food or water, sitting on the dirt and under the sun in front of Don Juan’s house, grinding chicken feed. I asked Don Juan if I could have a drink of water, and he told me that it was always this way, that a man who wanted to cross the road with the chicken cannot have any food or water till the chicken feed is ground. I asked Don Juan if the chicken is an ally, like the little smoke. Don Juan seemed to get angry and stayed silent. After I completed grinding the corn, I hallucinated from heat exhaustion, and Don Juan said I was ready. As I collapsed to my side, I spilled the chicken feed around me. A chicken appeared to be eating the feed around me, and I became strangely absorbed in the vision. I heard Don Juan’s voice tell me, “You must let the chicken cross the road into you. It is very painful, but for a man of knowledge it is easy.”
Scott Cunningham: A chicken passes between the grasses, clucking. The wind blows, and the chicken knows, *knows*, that this is the time. She puts her energy into taking the steps, in harmony with the gravel and the stones of the road. She is across; it is over, and the chicken stands in the field on the other side of the road. … Natural chicken crossing is unique among most other branches of the art of chicken road crossing. It doesn’t require years of collecting or fashioning coops, feeders or hen houses. Indeed, the most important tools of natural chicken crossing are free: the road, the chicken and you, your personal chicken power. You’re already familiar with it. You’ve felt it. You *are* a chicken. Crossing the road is you, with your chicken need. And, you can do it on your own. After all, who initiated the first chicken?
Janet and Stewart Farrar: Since so many editions of Gardner’s Chicken Book of Crossings have appeared in print (some accurate, some not), we think it won’t “lay an egg” too much if we clearly present “The Chicken Crossing Rite,” especially if we do so after two and half pages of well researched introduction set in six-point type. In version A of the Chicken Crossing Rite, we find many pseudo-archaisms (e.g.,”Yea, Ye Anciente Rite of Ye Chiks and Ye Rodes is a moste powerful Crafting,taking thy athame…”); however, Doreen Valiente notes (in version C, which is what we present), and we agree, that underlying it all is a basic ritual for summoning the astral road through the spirit of the Chicken (drawn down in the person of the High Priestess, holding the black handled feed bin; of course, a second degree may assist or perform the rite when….
“Seth”/Jane Roberts: Session 666; Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1969; 9:00 p.m.: Now, you create your own chicken, each of you individually and en masse. Your physical senses fool you into believing you are seeing a chicken crossing the road, when instead, the chicken has already crossed the road, and hasn’t even begun to cross the road. There is a probable chicken that never crossed the road as well. Further, because you each perceive a chicken, there is not only one chicken but, in fact, many different chickens. As I have said before, time is simultaneous. All probable versions of the chicken–past, present and future–exist at once in the spacious present. It is only because you *believe* [emphatically]that time is linear, with each moment followed by another in one-line kind of fashion, that you perceive the chicken taking chicken steps to get to the other side of the road. It does no good to ask “Which came first, the chicken or the egg,” either, for they both exist at once in simultaneous time.
[9:10 p.m.] Now, there are families of chicken consciousness. All life seeks value fulfillment, for consciousness is consciousness. What you perceive as a chicken may be something far different in another reality. The chicken may, for example, be a fragment personality of your entity. The chicken is no less than you are, however, simply because it is a chicken. Now, the chicken has its reality, and you have your reality. But the chicken is more than a chicken [emphatically], and *you are more than you think that you are!* [Pause one minute]: The chicken crosses the road because it *believes* it can, and it does. It knows that it is sacred and that it will not die. You (underline ‘you’) also are sacred and you will not die. But as long as you believe that it is unsafe to cross the road, you must take chicken steps and obey the laws that you have agreed upon to get to the other side safely. [End at 9:30 p.m. Jane came out of trance easily. She didn’t remember a word she had spoken as Seth.]
Doreen Valiente: Old Chicken really did exist, and she really did cross the road. Gerald talked about her often, but she didn’t cross the road till before I began studying with Gerald. Still there are records of Old Chicken which confirm her reality. As for all the comments that Gerald had a “thing” for chickens, that is simply not true. The reason we worked with chickens is really quite simple: it worked!
Silver Raven Wolf: Although many times people have asked me why exactly the chicken crossed the road, I often wonder myself. My point is that every chicken comes to the road in a different way, and there is no one correct way for the chicken to get to the road to be crossed. The study of crossing the road is hard work if the chicken is going to develop any degree of proficiency. It is not something where you can just cluck yourself across the road. The first time my chicken crossed the road was for my chicken’s friend, whose rooster was being abusive. The chicken worked the steps for crossing the road after carefully considering all the reasons for crossing the road and all the steps she would have to take. Finally, my chicken just started clucking and flapping her wings and started across the road. When she reached the other side, her friend’s rooster was respectful! Afterwards, the chicken ate some corn to ground herself.