I’m really sorry this is so late coming out. It’s been an interesting and very busy day.
It’s 50F and got up to 54F today, which is about average for around the area. We’ve gotten 1/2 an inch of rain since midnight, off and on, which has kept things damp and little misty, not really foggy. There’s been little wind, only waving the Beltane flag around, not even the flowers.
We got the shop open yesterday and the LARP people stopped by. We talked for awhile and Tempus and I took turned helping customers while they were there. A couple of long-time customers stopped in after that and we chatted while they shopped. It was nice to see them again.
Tempus went out to do a mower repair in Tidewater. It took several hours and the shop was pretty busy while he was gone. He has to order some parts and get them shipped out here. He was back by 5:30, which meant I got a nap.
While I was snoozing he made some progress on that tiny inkle loom that he’s been puttering with for awhile, then later he worked in back. I finished processing the pictures from the other day and did some writing. After that I played with the new camera, getting the pix that are in today’s newsletter.
We didn’t leave the shop until nearly 11pm
and I slept badly, so Tempus left me home this morning. When I really woke, I got the camera and my harvesting basket and got the greens (and the pix) for the soup.
Once I was at the shop there was a bit of a scramble for me and within minutes the folks were there for Project Day. I worked on the soup off and on and did some embroidery, mostly finishing another pouch front.
We finished up at around 8pm, packed up, got the soup put into the fridge and we’ll be heading home in a bit.
Alsea Bay by Daniel Schoon – “A bridge, a bay, some fog, throw in a sunset and you get a great picture.”
Today’s plant is the Rhododendron genus, specifically the wild rhodys that we have out here, that are starting to bloom right now, the Pacific rhododendron, Rhododendron macrophyllum. Rhodys have native forms in much of the world (not South America or Africa) They are one of the showiest of the flowers with hybrids and cultivars all over the place, including the azaleas which fall into this genus, but there are some that you wouldn’t recognize having almost no flowers at all! The plant is toxic to many animals and honey made from some of plants will make you ill. , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron Our rhodys out here are lovely during their bloom time, when you see a hit of pink here and there along highways and trails and in the woods and then within days drifts and swathes and whole hillsides are pink! It’s a hardy plant, which grows well in disturbed places, particularly areas that were burned over. It will re-grow from the scorched roots! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_macrophyllum – There aren’t any magickal references to rhododendrons that I’ve found, which doesn’t make any sense, since at least the cultivated ones are all over! Azaleas stand for Temperance in the language of flowers. Yellow rhododendron, native to Sibera, is used for rheumatism, gout and syphilis. My personal uses for them are for glamourie, beauty and outward show, but also for the learning to make these unnecessary by creating inward beauty and serenity. When these flowers are in season I use the fresh ones as a “notice me!” spell.
Today is the anniversary of the day in 1429 when Jeanne d’Arc was part of the lifting of the Siege of Orleans during one of the more important parts of the 100 Years War. This was a peasant girl who had a series of visions that led her to take the part of the Dauphin of France and to lead his armies to victory after victory over the English and Burgundian troops that were trying to take France! She cut her hair and wore male clothing as a practice to preserve her modesty and chastity in the task that she was undertaking, which was something that the Church would commonly grant dispensations for. She was captured and sold to the English, who violated legal and church practice to find an excuse to burn her to death as a heretic in 1431. She was finally canonized in 1920. Lots more here including links to some of the historical events: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_Arc
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. 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 4/28 at 5:58am. Full Moon – The day of the day before and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 5/1 at 5:58am.
Arcturus is the narrow point of the Kite of Boötes, climbing the eastern sky after dark these evenings. Below the head of the kite is the semicircle of Corona Borealis.
The full Moon shines above Jupiter after dark. They may look like companions, but Jupiter is 1,700 times farther away. It’s currently 27 light-minutes distant, compared to the Moon’s 1.3 light-seconds. Full Moon occurs at 8:58 p.m. EDT, but our satellite will look completely illuminated all night. You can find it rising in the east as the Sun sets and peaking in the south around 1 a.m. local daylight time. The Moon lies among the background stars of Libra, less than 10° from brilliant Jupiter.
Mercury reaches greatest elongation today, when it lies 27° west of the Sun and appears some 4° above the eastern horizon 30 minutes before sunrise. Unfortunately, this is one of the planet’s worst apparitions of the year for Northern Hemisphere observers. Mercury shines at magnitude 0.4 and appears as an inconspicuous dot even through binoculars.
Mars and Saturn rise late at night, around 1:30 a.m. and midnight, respectively (daylight-saving time). They’re both in Sagittarius, shining at magnitudes –0.4 and +0.3, respectively, with Mars on the lower left. Saturn remains above the Teapot. By early dawn they’re higher in the south. Their separation widens from 13° on the morning of April 28th to 17° on May 5th (when the Moon shines between them).
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 Runic half-month of Laguz/ Lagu, 4/29-5/13 Representing the flowing and mutable forces of water, Lagu symbolizes life, growth and waxing power of this time of year.
©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
Su 29 High 12:34 AM 8.1 6:09 AM Set 6:26 AM 98
~ 29 Low 7:08 AM -0.4 8:18 PM Rise 8:06 PM
~ 29 High 1:18 PM 7.0
~ 29 Low 7:08 PM 1.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make Friends with Freedom!
~ Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral. – J Burroughs
~ Nearly all men can stand adversity; but, if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln
~ Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. – Harvey Fierstein
~ Nothing is too wonderful to be true. – Michael Faraday
This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly. –Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)
Beltane Magick – Zen and the Art of Barbeque – http://www.chroniclesofavalon.com/beltane2003print.html By: Seraphina~m’Anatar
Warning, these articles may be a bit on the fanatical side, and may evoke strong primeval urges, for which I wish to apologise in advance if this troubles you, or if you become a fellow BBQ addict. Either way, may the gods and goddesses shine upon you and bless your kettle grill.
What is it about the combination of glowing coals and slow roasting meat that brings out the spiritual grill goddess in me? I have no clue, really, but many hints at an answer that are dancing in my mind. I first fell in love with the Weber Kettle grill when I was a youth, and have many, many fond memories of my father beginning the ritual in the morning and the end results lovingly placed upon the family altar, or dining table, in the evening as we all enjoyed the fruits of the season. Family holidays, birthdays, any event could be turned into a reason to pull out the grill and begin this ceremony. And ceremony it was, for my father was the High Priest of the Grill, small matter that during the rest of the week he was a good Irish Catholic man. I learned many of the ritual secrets at his side, and began walking this spiritual path of enlightenment.
Sadly, my father now lives far away from my family and me, and although we still see each other a few times during the year, the weekend rituals now fall upon my shoulders. For many years, I was merely an acolyte and had not fully embraced the Zen of BBQ. This year, marked by many other inner changes (such as the addition to my name), has brought me to embracing the role of Priestess of the Grill. Follow me on this journey.
Embarking Upon the Ritual Path:
The first step in the Ritual of the Grill is to select your tools. Like any other spiritual path, care must be taken in choosing these tools, for there are no short cuts to Enlightenment. The most basic requirement is a Kettle Grill that is fed by charcoal. Gas grills are heinous shortcuts that will leave you (and your food) dry and parched of spiritual knowledge. For a solo practitioner, the smallest grill is acceptable, however, if you, like us have a larger gathering, the biggest grill is needed. All are perfect vessels and will function the same way; the only difference is the amount of food that may be prepared upon them.
The second step is learning which charcoal is best to use. Unadulterated charcoal is highly advised, the coals soaked with chemicals to make them light easier are unreliable, as well as environmentally toxic, and with proper preparation, totally uncalled for. Soaked wood chips will add a variety to your rite, and may be chosen according to the magical properties of the wood, depending on the results you wish to cook into the food. Access to a woods is a bonus for this, as you can harvest windfalls and make your own chips. You can certainly make your own charcoal, but that is a story for another issue, for I am still learning this sacred art.
Thirdly, you must prepare your censer, or your coal chimney. A large coffee can will do for this, and can easily be converted for use by cutting the top and bottom off, punching holes in the bottom with a can opener (the old fashioned ones with the triangle tip) and peeling the paper label off. This will give you your tool for starting the base coals off nicely with no icky chemicals.
Other necessary tools are tongs, a fork, and a poker for moving the coals around. For this, I have a foot long oak wand about 2 inches in diameter that I found on the forest floor, and have nicely fire hardened by years of use. These are all the tools you need! Any salesman at the local home depot store who tells you otherwise is practicing a pitch to get you to buy useless fluff at best or sacrilege at worst! Desired miscellaneous tools are Olive Oil and a pastry brush, easily obtained from the grocer and avoiding the pesky hardware store salesman.
The Day of the Ritual
Once you have your basic tools assembled, the ritual may be enacted on any desired day, weather permitting, although I have been espied performing the sacred rite on both rainy and bitter cold days. The gods of BBQ laugh at inclement weather, although serious weather such as blizzards or hurricanes tends to put a damper on things.
In the morning, buy your selected cuts of meat and vegetables. Look for the freshest produce you can find. And if you are a vegetarian, which is no excuse for forgoing the Rite of BBQ, there are myriads of scrumptious vegetables that may be grilled to perfection and the delight of all participants in the rite! The gods of BBQ laugh at the thought that vegetarians cannot enjoy this sacred rite, especially now that there are Boca Burgers so readily available to all.
After returning from your successful foray into modern day hunting and gathering, find a pan that you can lay out your cuts of meat in (if they are ribs or chicken legs, etc.) and some plastic wrap. Here is where the art of the individual practitioner applies (and I will be supplying recipes that are our faves in upcoming newsletters) to the rite. I like to rub the cuts with olive oil and then add my blend of meat rub to the cuts and let them marinade for about 5 hours. Cover the tray with plastic wrap to seal in the juices and keep out the airborne critters. If it is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or less, you may safely let the meats marinate on the counter top. If it is above this (65 degrees F) let them marinate in the refrigerator! Let me stress this, as we wish to celebrate BBQ and its spiritual path, not wind up in hospital with botulism or some other variety of food poisoning, the gods of BBQ do not laugh at food poisoning!
As you walk by this fleshy offering to the gods and family, reflect on the cycle of life, and how we all must intake of energy to continue living. As does all Life. We are in a perpetual cycle of give and take, in the form of energy (and flesh and vegetable matter is naught but starlight and sunlight, soil, water, and air made manifest) and this cycle is sacred in the Cosmos. We dance in Shiva’s Dance of Cosmic Rhythm, live daily Gaia’s cycle of creation and destruction, ingest and metamorphosis star matter. It is inescapable, and it is our responsibility to participate in this cycle with eyes open and with responsible knowledge.
To be continued at Midsummer – when I talk about the Path of the Flame, and the secrets it shows us about Life.
Silliness – Four Men in a Car
Four men rode in a car: a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer, and a computer engineer.
The car stalled out.
The mechanical engineer said, “It must be the pistons; let’s repair them and be on our way.”
The electrical engineer said, “It has to be the spark plugs; we’ll replace them and be ready to roll in no time at all.”
The chemical engineer said. “No, it’s got to be bad gas; we’ll flush the system and be on our way.”
They turned to the computer engineer. “What do you think we should do?” they asked.
The computer engineer shrugged and said, “Let’s get out of the car, close the doors, then get back in and try restarting it.”