Wicca 101 at 7pm.
52F, although elsewhere around the area it’s down in the upper 40’s. There’s almost no wind, anywhere and it’s solidly clouded over. There’s little chance of rain until the middle of the night, tonight, and then none until Thursday.
Everything got started so late for me yesterday, that there’s not that much…. I got nabbed for another counseling session after I got the newsletter out and we had a bunch of customers in while Tempus was up in Newport. Once he was back it was time to have supper and then head home. We do have our working microwave, now, thanks to Habitat Restore!
Tempus took off almost as soon as he dropped me at home. I slept for several hours and by the time I woke he was out of phone range, on the Beaver Creek/Bayshore loop of the paper route. …and he was *finished* with that before 1am, when I finally got hold of him. Wow!
We need to get the microwave into the back and all hooked up today, and I have to set up newsletters. There’s supposed to be class tonight, pretty much that’s it.
Today’s Plant is Lovage, levisticum officinale. It seems to have originated somewhere near the eastern Mediterranean and has been cultivated for a long while, being a very useful plant. It has a strong, long-lasting scent, that reminds a person of celery and parsley, but with the volume turned up. It’s great in salads, but chop it small and mix with other greens or it overpowers! Both leaf and seed are great in soups, especially seafood chowders and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable. I’ve drunk lovage cordial, which is tasty. It has a high flavonoid content, as well. Medicinally, a strong leaf tea, iced, is a good antiseptic, especially for extensive scrapes, where it takes down the sting and swelling very quickly and can be splashed on as often as needed. It can be used for mild cases of water retention, as well, and even with high blood pressure. –Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often used in love magicks, but works best as a self-confidence enhancer. Take a bath with a sachet of the leaves, or make a strong tea that you toss into the bathwater before going out to meet new people or to start a new job. It also helps to squeeze a small sachet of the leaves if you’re having trouble concentrating on a task. Wiki has more:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage
Vadersolstavlan, (sun-dog painting, or weather-sun painting) created in 1535, is the oldest painting of the city of Stockholm and is believed to have been painted of a real (i.e. not imagined) event, shortly after this weather phenomenon happened. It’s also the oldest depiction of “sun dogs”, which are what are pictured here. More on the painting here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A4dersolstavlan and on Sun Dogs here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_dog which page includes a lot of links to other atmospheric phenomena of this type. The pic of the painting is with the article. It just looks like a blur, this small, so I didn’t put it in the newsletter.
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
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 4/29 at 5:58pm. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 4/20 at 6:57am. 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 4/22 at 2:46pm.
A graphic from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory showing where in the sky the Lyrid meteor shower can be seen, until April 30. Credit: NASA/JPL
The Moon crosses Gemini as it approached first quarter. (The Moon is drawn three times its actual apparent size.) This evening the dark limb of the crescent Moon will occult 4th-magnitude multiple star Nu Geminorum for parts of the southern U.S. and points south. For rough time estimates at your location, interpolate between the time predictions in the April Sky & Telescope, page 48.
You can use the Big Dipper as a guide to two of the spring sky’s brightest stars. If you follow the curve of the Dipper’s handle toward the eastern horizon, you’ll easily spot <<< Arcturus. This magnitude 0.0 star, which belongs to Boötes the Herdsman, lies some 30° from the end of the Big Dipper’s handle. It is
the fourth-brightest star in the whole sky and the second-brightest visible from mid-northern latitudes. And if you continue the curve another 30° past Arcturus, you’ll arrive at magnitude 1.0 Spica >>>> , the luminary of Virgo the Maiden. An easy way to remember the two is with the phrase: “Follow the arc to Arcturus, then drive a spike to Spica.”
The Moon reaches perigee, the closest point in its orbit around Earth, at 10:41 a.m. EDT. It then lies 229,108 miles (368,714 kilometers) away from us.
Neptune is deep in the skyglow of dawn.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for April 2018 – https://www.almanac.com/sites/default/files/skymap_april2018.pdf
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Runic half-month of Mannaz/ Man, April 14-28 A time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12 – The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and ages appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were colleges of Druidesses – learned women and teachers – respected equally for their gifts of see-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions.
Magical Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 20 High 3:45 AM 8.1 6:24 AM Set 12:27 AM 17
~ 20 Low 10:48 AM -0.8 8:07 PM Rise 10:05 AM
~ 20 High 5:22 PM 6.4
~ 20 Low 10:44 PM 2.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Today, I embrace my emotions, and recognize that it is healthy.
~ I rejoice in laughter whenever I hear it” (I Can Do It Calendar by Louise Hay)
~ If the idea is not at first absurd, then there is no hope for it. – Albert Einstein
~ If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work. – Kahlil Gibran
~ If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one. – Mother Teresa
He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. – St. Francis of Assisi
Faery Honeycakes – http://www.chroniclesofavalon.com/beltane2003print.html
1/2 cup sweet white wine
2/3 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup of honey
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
Oil for frying
- Beat the wine and egg in a medium bowl.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a small bowl.
- Stir into the egg mixture.
- Let stand 30 minutes.
- Combine the honey and nutmeg in a small bowl.
- Heat 1/2 inch of the oil in a frying pan until hot but don’t let it get so hot it smokes!!
- Drop the batter into the oil 1 tablespoon at a time and fry until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Dip into honey.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen
Green Man Cake
The Green Man is an archetype often represented at Beltane. He is the spirit of the forest, the lusty fertility god of the woodlands. He is Puck, Jack in the Green, Robin of the Woods. For your Beltane celebrations, why not put together a cake honoring him? This spice cake is easy to bake, and uses a delicious cream cheese frosting and rolled fondant to create the image of the Green Man himself. This recipe makes either one 9 x 13″ sheet cake, or 2 8-inch rounds.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
- 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C cornstarch
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 C milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp rum-flavored extract
- 1 C butter, softened (don’t use margarine)
- 2 C firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 C butter, softened
- 2 C confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 package white fondant
- Green food coloring
- Leaf-shaped cutters
Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease and flour your cake pan. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and blend well. In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, vanilla and rum extracts together.
Add the softened butter to the flour mixture, and beat until it forms a clumpy sort of dough. Gradually add the liquid mixture in, blending it a little at a time until all the milk mixture has been combined with the flour mixture. Beat until completely smooth, and then add the brown sugar. Mix for another thirty seconds or so. Scoop batter into the pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Once you have it out of the pan, you can begin frosting the cake.
To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese and the butter in a bowl, mixing well. Add the vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the confectioner’s sugar and blend it in. Spread this evenly over the cake, and allow it to sit for an hour or so to firm up.
To make the Green Man himself, you’ll need green fondant. If you’ve never worked with fondant before, it can be a little tricky, but with some practice you’ll be able to use it easily. Roll out the fondant and knead it into a ball. Add the green food coloring in very small amounts and blend it in, until you’ve got the shade of green you want.
Roll the fondant out until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Use the leaf-shaped cookie cutters to cut out different sized leaves. Score lines on them, to look live leafy veins. Place them on top of the frosted cake and press in place, layering them to form a Green Man. Roll two small pieces into balls, flatten them down, and put them in to create eyeballs in amongst the leaves. Reminder – fondant tends to dry quickly once it’s rolled out, so only cut off small pieces. The cake in the photo was made using a block of fondant about the size of a package of cream cheese.
Tip: if you’re in a hurry, or you’re not much of a baker, you can use any boxed spice cake mix. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, you can use other spice cake recipes, such as this great Gluten-free version.
Make this cake to celebrate Beltane and the spirit of the forest. Image © Patti Wigington 2009