Grey and gloomy and 46F. It’s windy, too, although not raining at the moment. The clouds are tangling in the trees in the foothills and the Coast Range. Wind at 10mph, gusting up to 20 and well over on the beaches.
Yesterday started way early for us, and I worked pretty hard on getting my candies finished, early on. …and then the kids went straight down I-5. I must have gotten some wires crossed about when they were going to be here. Well, the candies are made, now. I just have to find the candy papers….
I gutted my sewing bag and got the projects that I’m not working on out of it, then sat down to sew as long as my hands held out…which wasn’t very…. Tempus and I went through the costume box from last weekend and pulled out the things that needed to be laundered or go to the sewing area.
I’m gradually getting pots and pans back into the spaces where they belong, but it’s a bit of a slog! We’re having to “stuff” some of the boxes back without sorting until Tempus gets me a bit more room.
I put together some leftovers: shallots, chicken, dill, mixed veg with an alfredo sauce for supper. We had a big group of people come in, having called from Newport, checking on Tarot decks. I need to get some more! …and they had a lot of fun wandering through the shop.
Both of us slept until the middle of the night. I got up and used some of the garlic butter on my noodles. 🙂 Later, Tempus got some kind of a snack, too, and then later still we each had a chocolate-coated marzipan ball and piece of chocolate-coated candied ginger. Yum….. Both of us read and did mail and I sewed a little before we went back to sleep at around 3:30, and then slept until past 9:30. I guess we’re catching up.
Today I’ve been out harvesting, snagged some jonquils for my vase and hellebores to dry. we’re still putting things away and Tempus is going to have to head up to storage with at least one load, but mostly Project Day will go on all afternoon.
Today’s plant is the tropical tree, the Rose Apple, Syzygium jambos – In ancient Sanskrit, the land now called India was referred to by the ancient Indians themselves as Jambudvipa, which means Rose-apple-land (jambud = rose apple; vipa = land). With its thick, leathery leaves and great span of branches, the Jambu Tree offers great shade and coolness against the sun. Stories tell that Lord Buddha sat in the shade of a Jambu Tree (the story is often told as a “Bodhi tree”), watching men plowing the land with oxen and meditating on the burdens we all must carry in this life. He was determined that he would either reach enlightenment or die where he sat. He finally saw his previous births and realized that people are born and reborn into different states according to their deeds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_jambosInformation on the Bodhi Tree, Ficus religiosa here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhi_tree
The stone circles of Junapani are near Nagpur in the Indian state of Maharashtra and are dated from 1000 BCE to 300 CE. Megalithic burial monuments exist near the circles and unlike most in Europe contain human remains, and in one case, a horse. Some of the stones have “cup marks” and clusters of lines which seem to have astronomical significance More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_circles_of_Junapani
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 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 3/1 at 4:51am.
During the night of the 28th, watch the just-short-of-full Moon creep up on Regulus. As always, the moon symbols here are drawn three times the Moon’s actual apparent size. Their centers are plotted exact for latitude 40° N, longitude 90° W, near the population center of North America.
Have you ever seen Canopus, the second-brightest star after Sirius? In one of the many interesting coincidences that devoted skywatchers know about, Canopus lies almost due south of Sirius: by 36°. That’s far enough south that it never appears above your horizon unless you’re below latitude 37° N (southern Virginia, southern Missouri, central California). And there, you’ll need a very flat southern horizon. Canopus crosses the south point on the horizon just 21 minutes before Sirius does. When to look? Canopus is due south when Beta Canis Majoris — Mirzam the Announcer, the star about three finger-widths to the right of Sirius — is at its highest point due south (roughly 8:00 p.m. now, depending on how far east or west you are in your time zone). Look straight down from Mirzam then.
Mercury (about magnitude –1.4) is emerging from deep in the sunset. Late in the week, use binoculars to find it close to Venus. On March 3rd and 4th the two planets will appear closest, with Mercury 1.1° to Venus’s right. Mark your calendar.
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. Runic half-month of Teiwaz/Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress.
©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
Su 25 Low 1:32 AM 3.4 7:00 AM Set 3:40 AM 66
~ 25 High 7:41 AM 8.0 5:59 PM Rise 1:18 PM
~ 25 Low 3:01 PM 0.1
~ 25 High 9:36 PM 6.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this an understanding day!
~ There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened. – Mark Twain
~ There is no safety in numbers, or anything else. – James Thurber
~ There’s more to all of us than we realize. Life is so much bigger, grander, higher, and wider than we allow ourselves to think. We’re capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to believe. – Queen Latifah
~ Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music. – George Carlin.
“See us cuddle and hug,” say the Pleiades,
“All six in a ring: it keeps us warm:
We huddle together like birds in a storm:
It’s bitter weather tonight.” – –Robert Graves (1895–1985)
Ostara Magick – Lore – Spring Equinox (Eostre/Ostara) on Witchology – http://www.witchology.com/contents/march/ostara.php – Find out about the Spring Equinox – the Wiccan Eostre or Ostara Sabbat – this month’s seasonal witchcraft Sabbat celebrated by modern Wiccans and pagans.
The end of March is the focus for a number of religious and traditional celebrations. As the sun appears to cross the earth’s equator on the 20th or 21st of March, entering the Zodiacal sign of Aries, day and night will be equal in length. This astronomical phenomenon is a day anciently revered amongst Pagan peoples. Their festivals included Alban Elfed, the Teutonic festival in honour of Eostre, Roman Hilaria Matris Deûm, Welsh Gwyl Canol Gwenwynol (‘Day of the Gorse’), the Wiccan Eostar (Ostara) Sabbat and the Christian Feast of the Annunciantion of the Virgin Mary (Lady Day) as well as Easter itself.
Origins and History of Ostara
Today, Ostara is one of the eight major holidays, sabbats or festivals of Wicca. It is celebrated on the Spring Equinox, which in the northern hemisphere is around the 20th or 21st of March and in the southern hemisphere around the 23rd of September. Its modern revival is linked to some of the oldest traditions of mankind.
The Month of the Goddess
The name is thought to be derived from a goddess of German legend, according to Jakob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie. A similar goddess named Eostre was described by the Venerable Bede. Bede indicated that this name was used in English when the Paschal holiday was introduced. Since then this name (not the holiday) has been converted to Easter, or in German Ostern. Some scholars question both Bede’s and Grimm’s conclusions due to a lack of supporting evidence for this goddess. Others argue that a lack of further documentation is not surprising given that Bede is credited with writing the first substantial history of England (in which he described Eostre as a goddess whose worship had already passed) and Grimm was specifically attempting to capture oral traditions before they might be lost.
Despite these reservations, the idea of Eostre has become firmly established in many minds. Without any consideration of these problems, the folklorist Dr Jonathan Young categorically states:
Easter has deep roots in the mythic past. Long before it was imported into the Christian tradition, the Spring festival honored the goddess Eostre or Eastre.
According to Bede and Einhard in his Life of Charlemagne, the month called Eostremonat/Ostaramanoth was equated with April. This would put the start of ‘Ostara’s Month’ after the Equinox in March. It must be taken into account that these ‘translations’ of calendar months were approximate as the old forms were predominantly lunar months while the new were based on a solar year. Thus start of ‘Eostremonat’ would actually have fallen in late March and could thus still be associated with the Spring Equinox.
The holiday is a celebration of spring and growth, the renewal of life that appears on the earth after the winter. In mythology it is often characterized by the rejoining of the goddess and her lover-brother-son, who spent the winter months in death. This is an interesting parallel to the biblical story in which Jesus is resurrected (the reason Christians celebrate Easter), pointing to another appropriation of pre-Christian religious figures, symbols and myths by early Christianity.
Etymologically, Eostre, or, as it is sometimes called, Ostara, may come from the word ‘east’, meaning dawn. Others have also tried to link Eostre with ‘estrogen’ and ‘estrus’. These words, however, are more widely considered to be derived from the Greek oistros, meaning ‘gadfly’ or ‘frenzy’. Interestingly, the word ‘spring’ (from to spring, to leap or jump up, burst out, 0ld English springan, a common Teutonic word, ccompare German springen), primarily the act of springing or leaping, is applied to the season of the year in which plant life begins to bud and shoot.
The Antiquity of Ostara
Ostara is a modern Wiccan festival and there is no evidence that Spring Equinox festivals were called by this name in the past. However, there is no direct ‘proof’ of many Christian or pagan traditions, so a lack of evidence should not necessarily be taken as disproof.
The Cycle of Birth, Death and Rebirth
Goddess of fertility and new beginnings, we take this opportunity to embrace Eostre’s passion for new life and let our own lives take the new direction we have wanted for so long.
Many Wiccans situate Eostre (Ostara) within a symbolic cycle of birth, death and rebirth. As the quotation from Goddess.com.au demonstrates, the particular role of Eostre is internalized and turned into a self-empowering meditation. Again Dr Young re-inforces this, by no means definitive, interpretation:
The annual event in honour of Eastre celebrated new life and renewal. However, other views also add a darker element, according to Mike Nichols: The god of light now wins a victory over his twin, the god of darkness.
Nichols has attempted a reconstruction of the symbolic events of this time of year using the Welth mych-cycle of the Mabinogion. By this interpretation the Spring Equinox is the day on which the reborn Llew exacts his revenge on Goronwy by piercing him with the spear of sunlight. Reborn or returned to health at the Winter Solstice, Llew is now able to challenge and defeat his rival twin and mate with his lover/mother. Meanwhile the ‘Great Mother Goddess’, miraculously returned to virginity at Candlemas, now receives the sun god’s advances and conceives a child. This child will be born at the next Winter Solstice, nine months from now, at once closing the cycle and re-opening it.
Christianity and Easter
Contrary to what the Church may try and tell you, Christianity came late to the Easter party. There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. A comment made by St Chrysostom on I Cor. V. 7 has been supposed to refer to an apostolic observance of Easter, but this is erroneous. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates (Hist. Eccl. V. 22) states that neither Jesus nor his followers enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival. He attributes the observance of Easter by the Church to the perpetuation of an old tradition, just as many other customs have been established.
Superstitions and Traditions
The Shock of the New
Elements of old beliefs linger in current ‘superstitions’. According to these, it is said that something new should be worn at Easter to bring good luck. Easter Parades reflect this idea about wearing new clothes.
Eggs and Rabbits
The Easter Bunny is German in origin. He first appears in literature in 16th century as a deliverer of eggs. All rabbits and hares were thought to lay eggs on Easter Day, but the Easter Bunny specifically sought out and rewarded well-behaved children with coloured eggs in a manner reminiscent of Yule customs. The movements of the hare, leaping and zig-zagging across the fields, were thought to hold clues to the coming year.
Eggs themselves are obvious symbols of resurrection and continuing life, as well as fertility. Early humans thought the return of the sun from winter darkness was an annual miracle, and saw the egg as a natural wonder and proof of the renewal of life. As Christianity spread the egg was adopted as a symbol of Jesus’s alleged resurrection from the tomb. According to Young, the Easter Bunny is:
a continuation of the reverence shown during the spring rites to the rabbit as a symbol of abundance. The honouring of such emblems of fertility extended to eggs. The egg serves as a representation of new life. It stands for the renewing power of nature and, by extension, agriculture. The egg can also symbolize regeneration in a spiritual or psychological sense. The ritual of colouring Easter eggs stems from the tradition of painting eggs in bright colours to represent the sunlight of spring.
The Inner Bunny
Young goes on to suggest that: This might also be a good time to find the inner Easter Bunny.
Whether you feel up to the challenge or not, the Spring Equinox is an ominous reminder of the ways in which Christianity has subverted and perverted the old traditions of Europe – a process that many are seeking to reverse and at what better time than now.
- Bede, De Temp. Rat. c. xv.
- St Chrysostom, Commentary on I Cor. V. 7.
- Einhard, Life of Charlemagne, trans Samuel Epes Turner. Harper and Brothers, 1880.
- Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911.
- Goddess.com.au, accessed 9th February, 2006.
- Grimm, Jakob, Deutsche Mythologie. 1835.
- Nichols, Mike, ‘Lady Day: The Vernal Equinox’, 1999.
- Socrates, Hist. Eccl. V. 22.
- Young, Jonathan, ‘Symbolism of Spring’, Vision Magazine, April 2003.
News About this Spring Equinox (Eostre/Ostara) Article
This article has been cited by Justine Hawkins, ‘The Eostre bunny’, The Guardian, 23 March 2008, url: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/23/bunnies .