Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
I heard it raining at least once last night. 53F and cloud, with no wind. Only that one headland anemometer is reading in the teens, everything else is nothing to 6mph. We’ve more rain due this evening. Wasn’t yesterday glorious, though? It was the first day that it really looked and felt like spring! We had the doors open nearly all day and I kept going out to embroider because I can look out the window.
Yesterday went by way more quickly than usual. I got the dumplings done and we had them for supper with a chicken and mushroom sauce and a set is in the freezer for later. I forgot about them swelling up when they cook, so I made them too big, but that wasn’t a major problem.
A Ken Gagne pic of the Alsea Bay Bridge from 3/6/17.
Today’s Plant is Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris. One of the Nine Herbs of the old Anglo-Saxon charm, this herb has many different uses from insect-repelling to flavoring beer. It’s a bad one for pregnant women to ingest since it can induce abortion, since it’s a mild poison, but it’s used as a medicinal for various complaints and as a food. Some of the traditional folk uses are: magical protection, to repel insects, especially moths, from gardens., as a remedy against fatigue, to protect travelers against evil spirits and wild animals.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Herbs_Charmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mugwort– Feminine, Venus, Air/Earth – Clairvoyance, psychic dreams, astral projection, protection, strength. Place in the shoes for protection and to prevent fatigue on long journeys. The fresh leaves rubbed on a magick mirror or crystal ball will strengthen divinatory abilities. Mugwort is perhaps the most widely used Witches’ herb of all time.
Kasuga Matsuri is the monkey festival held at the Kasuga grand shrine. It is a festival of music and dance particularly the bukaku style which is the oldest continuous music (gagaku) and dance (bukaku) tradition in the world, dating back 12 centuries. Click for larger pictures (they’re both beautiful) More on the Grand Shrine here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasuga-taisha#Festivals and here: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/nara-kasuga-grand-shrine and on the sacred dance style here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugaku and music here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gagaku
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
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 3/17 at 6:12am. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone – Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends at the Dark on 3/15 at 6:12pm.
These evenings Leo strides up the eastern sky, with his brightest star Regulus in his forefoot and the Sickle of Leo extending upper left from there. About two fists lower left of Regulus are the two stars of Leo’s tail: Delta Leonis (magnitude 2.5) and, below it, slightly brighter Beta Leonis, or Denebola: the tail tip.
As evening grows late and this scene rises higher, look left of Denebola, by a fist or a little bit more, for the big, dim Coma Berenices star cluster. Its brightest members form an upside-down, tilted Y. It’s visible even through some light pollution. If you can’t see it naked-eye, binoculars reveal it well, looking rather ragged and more or less filling the field of view.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.3, in Libra) rises around 11 p.m. standard time, midnight daylight-saving time. It goes on to shine as the brightest point in the early-morning sky. Jupiter is now highest and best for telescopes in the south a good 2½ hours before your local sunrise time.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for March 2018 – https://www.almanac.com/sites/default/files/skymap_march2018.pdf
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 Teiwaz/Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress. Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.
©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
Tu 13 Low 4:46 AM 3.2 7:32 AM Rise 5:42 AM 20
~ 13 High 10:30 AM 7.0 7:20 PM Set 3:37 PM
~ 13 Low 5:28 PM 0.6
~ 13 High 11:55 PM 6.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – It isn’t difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill – just add a little dirt.
~ Hatreds not vowed and concealed are to be feared more than those openly declared. – Cicero
~ I am convinced that every boy, in his heart, would rather steal second base than an automobile. – Thomas Campbell Clark
~ I attribute my success to this-I never gave or took any excuse. – Florence Nightingale
~ I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be. – Abraham Lincoln
We like March, his shoes are purple
He is new and high;
Makes he mud for dog and peddler,
Makes he forest dry. – Emily Dickinson (1830–86)
Ostara Magick – Lore – Ostara, Tryskelion – http://www.tryskelion.com/tryskelion/ostara.htm
Ostara (Eostre) circa March 21, also known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox, is one of two dates where day and night are equal; a point of balance, after which the forces of light gain power and preeminence over the powers of darkness until it reaches its ultimate at Midsummer.
Deities honored during this festival are those of the maiden goddess and the youthful, warrior god. The sabbat takes its name from Eostra (Ostara), the Goddess of the Dawn, the Saxon Goddess who heralds the triumphant rebirth of the Sun and the return of the greening season. Hellenic traditions celebrate the return of Persephone, Demeter’s daughter, from Hades. Some sects see this as the time of courtship between the God and the Goddess, whose relationship will then be consummated at the following sabbat of Beltaine.
When the Catholic Church preempted this rite, as with so many others, it kept the essence of the sabbat, but appropriated its essential properties for Christ. Ostara has always been a rite celebrating the resurrection and restoration of the Sun. The Holy Roman Church simply ascribed the resurrection to Christ, also known as the Son, who is also described in biblical terms as “the Light.” Even the way in which “Easter” is arrived at is Pagan in origin, calculated from the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox. That is, of course, unless a full moon falls on that date; at which time, the Easter sabbath falls on the following Sunday. While they were forced by an unchangeable astronomical event into keeping the essential date of the original Pagan Sabbat, it seems that having the Holy Easter Sabbath on a full moon was simply too much for the Church to abide!
Ostara is the beginning of the fertility festivals. Buds begin to push their way through the earth to reach the strengthening sun’s light; animals in the wild feel the ancient instinct to breed; the energies of Nature shift subtly from the torpor of Winter to the exuberant activity of Spring. It is a time of new beginnings, of action, of saying goodbye to the old and making room for the new. We can see this urge reflected in our lives even today. We talk of “Spring cleaning” and “In Spring, a young man’s fancy turns to…”; the desire to run the greening fields (or, in our world, walk the parks, fish, and other outdoor activities) vies urgently with the obligation of our workday routines, often resulting in “sick leave days” and spur-of-the-moment “personal days” where the real excuse is “Spring Fever.”
Symbols of this holiday include eggs, rabbits, and flowers of all kinds. Modern secular activities such as the dying of Easter Eggs are remnants of ancient Pagan traditions. The Anglo-Saxons painted eggs with their hopes and dreams and presented them as a gift to Eostre. These eggs were then buried in the Earth, so that the Earth-Mother would know dreams of her children, in hopes that She would see fit to help them realize their desires. This practice predates Christianity by approximately 1000 years.
Rabbits (hares) were the companions of Eostre, and she is still often pictured with a hare by Her side. Because of their well-acknowledged reproductive ability, they are the perfect compliments to the start of a fertility-based season.
In many cultures, the Goddess was known not only as the Goddess of Fertility, but also as the Goddess of Grain. Therefore, special cakes and breads were baked and given to Her in offering. This tradition remained, long after the original reasons were lost, and we still see people baking special Easter breads and cakes today.
Other foods traditional to this season include those made of seeds, as well as pine nuts. Also, green leafy vegetables and sprouts are equally appropiate. Some groups create special dishes made of flowers, such as stuffed nasturtiums or carnation cupcakes.
Activities appropriate to celebrate the day include those listed above, as well as randomly collecting wildflowers on a walk through the woods, or buying a mixed bouquet from a florist. The flowers you choose will often reveal your inner thoughts and emotions, and their meanings to you can be divined through books, pendulum, and your intuition.
Some groups set the seeds they’ll soon be planting within the sacred Circle of their Ostara rituals. In this way, either a special charging ritual can be done for the seeds, or the seeds can simply absorb the energy of the Circle. They can then be planted safely after the next full moon.
Ritual cleaning is often done, though usually in the secular vein today. It seems people are driven by the need to throw open the windows to our homes and force out all the stale, winter air. Many of us clean the house from top to bottom; sweeping every nook and cranny from ceiling to floor; cleaning out cabinets and drawers, and scrubbing them, too. Often, many choose this time of year to change the liners in drawers, or to put away the winter bedding in favor of the lighter-weight summer linen. Heavy winter clothes are washed, folded, and put away and the lighter weight spring and summer clothes find their way into our closets.
This same mundane ritual of household cleaning can be applied to our inner selves, as well. Use Ostara to clean out all the mental cobwebs and to throw away all the old, negative modes of thought. Throw open the doors to your mind, heart, and soul and let the gentle breezes of Ostara breathe new hope and the vigor of youth into your newly awakening life.