46F and the wind and 5mph and *bright*! Tempus’ comment as we came out of the apartment this morning was, “Ow!” The sky overhead and to the north and northwest is clear and softly blue. To the south and east it’s huge, puffy, cumulus clouds all piled onto each other.
I did a bunch of cooking during the day, making pickled eggs and a bean pottage. set up a batch of tvarog and then later on chicken, veg and dumplings for supper. Otherwise I was writing all day. I finally finished everything just before 9pm, but Tempus wasn’t ready to go, yet. He was still doing paperwork and we still had foodly things to put away so we didn’t head home until 11:30.
We watched a couple of Townsend’s videos on rice puddings. I’m trying to remember Baba’s recipe and I think I have the ingredients list set in my head. The amounts are going to take some more work.
I want to try to get the stuff that’s piled on the chair in the office space moved out of there with some other miscellaneous bits, so I have a little more room and I can turn the chair so’s to not have all that trying to avalanche, regularly and I need to start trying to figure out how much to charge for that batch of seashells that I have. …and class tonight.
Seals at Heceta Head/Sea Lion Caves on 3/31/15 by Ken Gagne
Today’s plant, Western Bracken Fern, Pteridium aquilinum, is a hardy plant that moves into disturbed ground. It dies down in the winter and grows very green, standing waist-high in the warm parts of the summer. You read a lot in literature of people making love in the bracken, which is part of its association with fertility, since it will hide a couple having fun! It used to be used a lot as a “strewing herb” in places with stone floors, since it smells nice when walked on and has some anti-bug effects. – Masculine, Mercury, Air –Burn outside for rain, use in amulets for protection, healing and fertility. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pteridium_aquilinum
Today’s Feast is International Children’s Book Day in honor of the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, the author of such Fairy Tales as The Angel, the Little Mermaid, 12 Wild Swans, the Emperor’s New Clothes and the Ugly Duckling! More on the day here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Children%27s_Book_Day …and Anderson here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen
The shop is open 11-6pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. (Spring Hours) 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 4/15 at 6:57pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 4/8 at 12:18am.
Mars and Saturn glow like a pair of tilted, unequal eyes in early dawn on the morning of their conjunction. They rise together a little before 2:30 a.m. local daylight time and climb some 20° high in the southeast by 5 a.m. The two planets pass within 1.3° of each other this morning, their closest approach since July 2008. Mars appears a bit brighter than its neighbor, but stands out more for its distinctive orange-red color. The pair appears against the stunning backdrop of northern Sagittarius, with the 5th-magnitude globular star cluster M22 just 0.4° southwest of Mars. When viewed through a telescope, Saturn shows a 17″-diameter disk surrounded by a stunning ring system that spans 38″ and tilts 26° to our line of sight. Mars looks bland in comparison, with a few subtle details displayed on a disk 9″ across
Now that it’s spring, the signature fall-and-winter constellation Cassiopeia retreats downward after dark. But for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes Cassiopeia is circumpolar, never going away completely. Look for it fairly low in the north-northwest these evenings. Its W pattern stands roughly on end. By midnight or 1 a.m. it’s at its lowest due north, lying not quite horizontally.
Venus (magnitude –3.9) shines low in the west in twilight. It sets as night becomes complete.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for April 2018 – https://www.almanac.com/sites/default/files/skymap_april2018.pdf
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14
Runic half-month of Ehwaz, 3/30-4/13 – Ehwaz, the horse; time of partnership between humans and Nature, as between rider and horse. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 55
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 2 High 2:19 AM 8.2 6:55 AM Set 8:26 AM 98
~ 2 Low 8:48 AM -0.2 7:45 PM Rise 10:21 PM
~ 2 High 2:56 PM 7.3
~ 2 Low 8:53 PM 1.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Most friction in life is caused by the tone of the voice.
~ The first wealth is health. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
~ The future influences the present just as much as the past. – Friedrich Nietzsche
~ The more you have, the more you’re occupied; the less you have, the more free you are. – Mother Teresa
~ The poet is the priest of the invisible. – Wallace Stevens
Till April starts, and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground,
And lightly o’er the living scene
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green.
Thomas Gray (1716 – ’71), English poet; ‘Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vicissitude‘
Beltane Magick – Constructing a Maypole (by Anja) – The Maypole of Beltane stands for the combination of the fertility of the Divine Masculine when joined with the Divine Feminine. No one knows the ancient roots of the ceremony, but the symbolism is obvious. Instructions here work for a Maypole for between 10 & 20 people. This is a lot of prep work, but massive amounts of fun!
There are several parts to a Maypole: the pole itself, the foundation, the ribbons, the wreath and the topper.
This can be of almost any material, but unless you live in a forest, where there are slender (2” -3”) straight trees with few branches, the most practical is a piece of closet pole from a lumberyard! Get it cut from 10-12 feet long.
At the same time buy a length of 1/8 inch dowel. Drill a hole in one end at least 1 ½ inches deep.
Drill 3 holes about 8” down from that end of the long pole, spaced equidistant around the pole. They should be to 1/8 inch diameter and about a 1/4 to ½ inch deep.
Cut 4 pieces of dowel 8 inches long. Make sure that they are loose in the holes, but don’t just fall out. You will balance the wreath on these dowels.
Save the 4th piece of dowel for the “topper”.
You will need to dig a hole in the ground at least a foot deep, (better yet, two!) and be prepared to tamp the dirt back in very, very hard. Some people have tried to use “portable holes” for this, but since they are no more than 8 inches long they usually fail and someone gets knocked on the head! We had good success one year using a round, folding picnic table with an umbrella hole in the center and tamping the pole in about 6” or so into beach sand. It leaned badly, although it didn’t fall. (The table became the ritual altar). You can also construct a stand for holding the pole upright, but try it several ways, yanking on it, because when the dancers get going the pole had better not fall over. The stand will usually have to support the pole up to 3 feet off the ground to give it any stability.
Brightly colored ribbon is the traditional material. I have heard of folks using macramé cord, rope and yarn for this, as well. We have used surveyors tape several times now, because it is strong, bright and inexpensive. Do *not* use florist’s ribbon with the cut edges! Those edges *cut* and you don’t want your dancers bleeding. This ritual doesn’t call for blood sacrifice. J Cut the ribbons ½ again the length of the pole, iow for an 8 foot pole, cut ribbons 12 feet long, one per person, but always an even number.
You need a 12” wreath. This is often constructed of hawthorn, but again, no need for blood sacrifice, so most folks use a grapevine wreath base that you can get at a craft store and stick fresh flowers in it.
If you weave your own, you need a wire ring, 12” diameter, thread and freshly-cut flowers & herbs. I often use rosemary, since it smells great and holds up.
Tie your thread to the wire ring and then begin wrapping around and around (about 1” distance per wrap), laying a new branch of rosemary in when about ½ of the previous one is tied down. Try not to catch the needles or smaller branches in the thread. Tie off when about 1/3 of the way around, again about another 1/3 and when you get all the way around.
As you go around a 2nd time, add at least 1 flower with each wrap, tying off with each 1/3 of the wreath. You can make a 3rd pass if you don’t add enough flowers on the 2nd pass.
Maypole Topper – cones of various trees follow the correspondences.
Gather 9 spruce cones (the long slender type), one larger cone (a large pine cone), and a double handful of alder/larch cones. You also need a small bunch of babies’ breath.
Drill a hole longways through the largest cone (two sets of hands are necessary!). Insert the last piece of dowel leaving about 4 inches sticking out the bottom of the cone.
Using a hot glue gun, glue 3 of the spruce cones spaced equidistant around the larger cone, all pointing the same way.
Glue 3 more with their bottoms touching the dowel and between the bases of the other spruce cones.
Repeat with the last three on the top of the construct, only glue the babies’ breath at the very top between the cones. Fill in spaces with the alder cones.
You can decorate with gold glitter and/or spangles
Assembling the pole
Get your hole dug first. Hang the wreath near the drilled end of the pole. Add your topper by inserting the dowel into the hole in the pole. Count noses for your group and tack as many ribbons on as there are noses as near the end of the pole as possible. Carefully insert the dowels into the other holes with the ribbons in 3 bunches between them, then set up the pole. If you are careful as you lift the pole the wreath will drop onto the small dowels without dislodging anything. Patience or a tall enough ladder is required!
To “Dance the Pole”
Space all your dancers around the pole as equidistant as possible. Each takes a ribbon and pulls it outwards until they are holding only about 2 feet of ribbon in their hands. Usually this will knock the dowels loose and the ribbon will be holding up the wreath. If they don’t, shake the ribbons closest to the dowels while folks are holding theirs tight
Have them count off “1, 2, 1, 2…” then tell the “ones” to face left and the “twos” to face right. Go around the first person on the right, those on the inside ducking under the ribbon, then pass the next on the left and so on. Talk them through a bit of it and then get someone to sing or drum or whatever you have. As the ribbons weave around the pole the wreath will gradually drop. When you’re done, or everyone’s ready to drop, gather the ribbons in two bunches and tie in a “true love knot”, i.e. a square knot.
It’ll be a bit of a mess, no matter what you do. Laugh, sing and play!
©2009 Anja Bartlett
Silliness – Committee Defined – Committee: a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done. — Fred Allen