It’s partly cloudy, but the sun is bright and the sky between the very white clouds is a lovely pastel blue. 54F here and wind at 2mph. Tidewater is still at 46F, but everywhere else is above 50. The highest wind velocity anywhere close is 8mph and there isn’t even a chance of rain until Friday.
Tempus got the microwaves switched and then started digging for the bag of herb books…and didn’t find it. What the heck? We still had enough books for Rayna to work on and she stopped by early before class time so she could go through some of them.
We fell asleep right away, but got up after a few hours. I worked a little on my recorder book and then caught up on the computer. We’re at the shop, now, ready for the day. There’s no Herbs workshop this morning, since we’re going to go plant shopping tomorrow morning, but there will be Sewing at 3pm.
Today’s Plant is the Western Azalea, Rhododendron Occidentale. I’ve talked before about the azaleas being a subset of the rhodys. This picture is the main kind that grows around here. It’s hard to tell from the shape and size of the plant that it’s an azalea, or even from the flowers, although the branches are thinner and the leaves shorter and rounder than those of rhododendrons. It least it’s hard for those of us who are familiar with the showy garden hybrids, which tend to be small and compact! The other West Coast azalea is Rhododendron Albiflorum, and there’s not a whacking lot of info floating around about that one. The wiki is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_occidentale The Chinese call azaleas “thinking of home bush”. Magickal uses for azalea are to encourage light spirits, happiness and gaiety.
Today’s Feast is that of the Founding of Rome in 753 (752?) BCE on this date by Romulus who plowed a furrow around the Palatine Hill to describe the boundary of his city. This is the date used in the Roman calendar that dates Ab Urbe Condita, (from the Founding of the City) or Anno Urbis Conditae (Years since the founding of the City), usually abbreviated to A.U.C. There are a lot of different dates given, but the circumstances fall around this year pretty well, at least partially because of the dating of eclipses related to specific events. Romulus and Remus were abandoned as infants and nursed by a she-wolf (Lupa, honored in the Lupercalia) before being adopted by a shepherd. This date is also the celebration of the Palilia (Par Ilia) which is a feast of shepherds and their flocks. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_of_Rome and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ab_urbe_condita
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 email@example.com 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. 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.
The Moon crosses Gemini as it approached first quarter. (The Moon is drawn three times its actual apparent size.) Now the Moon, almost first quarter quarter, shines lower left of Pollux and Castor after dark.
The Lyrid meteor shower should be weakly active from about midnight tonight until the first light of dawn Sunday morning. The Moon, nearly first quarter, sets around 2 a.m. local daylight-saving time. The shower may produce about a dozen meteors visible per hour for a watcher under an excellent dark sky.
Mars rises a bit before 2 a.m. local daylight time and appears about 25° high in the south-southeast by 5 a.m. The magnitude –0.1 Red Planet lies against the backdrop of northern Sagittarius, some 10° east of Saturn. When viewed through a telescope this morning, Mars shows a 10″-diameter disk and a few subtle surface details.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.5, in Libra) rises shortly after dark and shines as the brightest point in the late-night sky. It’s now just three weeks from its May 8th opposition, so it appears about as bright and big (44 arcseconds wide) as it will get this year. It’s highest in the south, presenting the sharpest views in a telescope, around 2 a.m. daylight-saving time.
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
Sa 21 High 4:36 AM 7.7 6:22 AM Set 1:29 AM 26
~ 21 Low 11:46 AM -0.5 8:08 PM Rise 11:03 AM
~ 21 High 6:29 PM 6.2
~ 21 Low 11:50 PM 3.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I allow peace to flow through me and keep my attention.
~ The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it. – Francois Voltaire
~ The truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects. – Da Vinci
~ Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking. – Goethe
~ To know your enemy, you must become your enemy. – Sun Tzu
Whan that April with his showres soote (that is, sweet)
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veine in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flowr; – Chaucer; Canterbury Tales (ll. 1-4), modernized for The Norton Anthology of English Literature
By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
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The Maypole dance is an ancient custom that many people still use to celebrate Beltane.
The Maypole is one of the traditional symbols of Beltane, and let’s not kid ourselves about its purpose: it’s a giant phallus.
Because Beltane festivities usually kicked off the night before with a big bonfire, the Maypole celebration usually took place shortly after sunrise the next morning. This was when couples (and probably more than a few surprised triads) came staggering in from the fields, clothes in disarray and straw in their hair after a night of bonfire-inspired lustiness.
Time Required: Varied
- The pole was erected on the village green or common, or even a handy field — thrust into the ground either permanently or on a temporary basis — and brightly colored ribbons attached to it. Young people came and danced around the pole, each holding the end of a ribbon. As they wove in and out, men going one way and women the other, it created a sleeve of sorts — the enveloping womb of the earth — around the pole. By the time they were done, the Maypole was nearly invisible beneath a sheath of ribbons.
- To set up your own Maypole dance, here’s what you’ll need:
- A pole anywhere from 15 to 20 feet long, preferably made of wood
- Guests who like to have fun
Dig a hole in advance, a few feet deep. You don’t want your friends to wait while you hunt for a shovel. The hole should be at least three feet deep, to keep the pole from flopping over during the ceremony.
- Ask each participant to bring their own ribbon — it should be about 20 feet long, by two to three inches wide. Once everyone arrives, attach the ribbons to one end of the pole (if you put a metal eyelet screw in the pole beforehand, it makes it a lot easier — you can just tie each ribbon to the eyelet). Have extra ribbons on hand, because inevitably someone will have forgotten theirs.
- Once the ribbons are attached, raise the pole until it is vertical, and slide it into the hole. Be sure to make lots of bawdy jokes here. Pack dirt in around the base of the pole so it won’t shift or fall during the dance.
- If you don’t have an equal number of male and female guests, don’t worry. Just have everyone count off by twos. People who are “1” will go in a clockwise direction, people who are “2” go counterclockwise. Hold your ribbons in the hand that is closest to the pole, your inside hand. As you move in the circle, pass people by on first the left, and then the right, then the left again. If you’re passing them on the outside, hold your ribbon up so they pass under it. You might want to do a practice round beforehand. Keep going until everyone runs out of ribbon, and then knot all the ribbons at the bottom.
- One thing that’s always welcome at a Maypole Dance is music. There are a number of CDs available, but there are some bands whose music have a May theme to them. Look for the phrase “Morris music” or traditional pipe and drum tunes. Of course, the best thing of all is to have live music, so if you have friends who are willing to share their skill and sit out the dance, ask them to provide some musical entertainment for you.
- If you’re doing a kids’ Maypole, it’s probably easier just to have them all go in one direction with their ribbons. It doesn’t look quite as fancy when it’s done, but it’s still pretty.
- You may want to have a crown of flowers attached as well — put that at the top once all the ribbons are in place, but before you raise the pole.
What You Need:
- A pole
- Lots of ribbon
- Friends who like to have a good time
Silliness – Tommy Shaughnessy
Tommy Shaughnessy enters the confessional box and says, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose woman.”
The priest asks, “Is that you, little Tommy Shaughnessy?”
“Yes, Father, it is.”
“And who was the woman you were with?”
“Sure and I can’t be tellin’ you, Father. I don’t want to ruin her reputation.”
“Well, Tommy, I’m sure to find out sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Brenda O’Malley?”
“I cannot say.”
“Was it Patricia Kelly?”
“I’ll never tell.”
“Was it Liz Shannon?”
“I’m sorry, but I’ll not name her.”
“Was it Cathy Morgan?”
“My lips are sealed.”
“Was it Fiona McDonald, then?”
“Please, Father, I cannot tell you.”
The priest sighs in frustration.
“You’re a steadfast lad, Tommy Shaughnessy, and I admire that. But you’ve sinned, and you must atone. Be off with you now.”
Tommy walks back to his pew.
His friend Sean slides over and whispers, “What’d you get?”
“Five good leads,” says Tommy.