The sky is a rather blank white shading into and out of grey. 56F with no wind and there must be several layers of clouds up there, the lowest below 1000 feet.
Yesterday was quiet. We woke late, finished chores, read, caught up…. pretty much that’s it….. a good weekend rest day…
Today Tempus is making bread and I’m planning to bake tonight. This is late because he let me sleep again. My asthma is kicking up, now that the broom is blooming. He needs to run some errands (books at the PO and prescriptions) and I need to work on checking things in. Paper run tonight….
The Metta of Self expanding into the Universe
Today’s plant is the Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus. My kids used to call this “popcorn plant”, which is a name I’ve heard from others, too. The white berries are used as a food, a soap and for hand lotion. It doesn’t have any magickal uses that I know of, although the folk magicks of a similar bush amongst the Slavs say that it is “proper” as an offering to statues of the gods and that you can often find places where altars used to be by looking for the bushes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphoricarpos_albus
Today’s Festival is that of Bona Dea. Wikipedia has her feast on May 1, but other calendars have it on the 3rd or 4th. Bona Dea means “the good goddess”. There isn’t a lot of evidence for where her worship came from or even who she was, but speculation in the pagan community ties her to the worship of the great mother goddess of the Mediterranean area whose worship was put down by the takeover of the warlike patriarchal cultures. Bona Dea’s rites included blood sacrifice, a night ritual and strong wine, which were otherwise forbidden to women and men were not allowed to attend or even watch. More from Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bona_Dea I miss Pip Wilson’s Almanac….
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 5/15 at 4:48am. 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 5/7 at 7:09pm.
In early dawn, the waning gibbous Moon cruises past Saturn and then brighter Mars.
These spring nights, the long, dim sea serpent Hydra snakes level far across the southern sky. Find his head, a rather dim asterism about the width of your thumb at arm’s length, in the southwest. (It’s lower right of Regulus by about two fists at arm’s length. Also, a line from Castor through Pollux points to it about 2½ fists away.) Lower left of this is Hydra’s heart, orange Alphard. Hydra’s tail stretches all the way to Libra in the southeast. Hydra’s actual star pattern, from forehead to tail-tip, is 95° long.
Now that the Moon is gone from the sky after dark, try for the Ghost of Jupiter planetary nebula, magnitude 7.7, in mid-Hydra (NGC 3242). At that brightness it’s a potential binocular target about as easy or difficult as Neptune; it’s so tiny that at low power it’s easily mistaken for a star. Use Matt Wedel’s Binocular Highlight article and chart in the May Sky & Telescope, page 43. In a telescope at medium or high power, it does looks sort of like Jupiter’s weak ghost dimly haunting the dark.
Back at the real Jupiter, Europa slips into eclipse by Jupiter’s shadow around 11:55 p.m. EDT. A telescope will show Europa gradually disappearing barely off Jupiter’s western edge — since the planet is barely 5 days before opposition.
Jupiter‘s Great Red Spot crosses the planet’s central meridian around 10:18 p.m. EDT. This timing is good for the Eastern and Atlantic time zones. Farther west, Jupiter is still low or hasn’t risen yet.
rilliant Venus appears low in the west-northwest after sunset all week. Look for the blazing point of light starting a half-hour after sundown, when it stands nearly 20° above the horizon. The planet shines at magnitude –3.9 and is by far the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon. As the sky darkens, you’ll find the 1st-magnitude star Aldebaran 7° due south (lower left) of Venus. If you point a telescope at the planet, you’ll see a disk that spans 12″ and appears nearly 90 percent lit.
Mars is brightening on its way to an unusually close opposition in late July. It’s already 11 arcseconds wide. What detail can you see already in your scope?
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for May 2018 https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-star-chart-may-2018
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
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
Th 3 High 2:47 AM 7.6 6:04 AM Set 8:45 AM 92
~ 3 Low 9:44 AM -0.5 8:23 PM
~ 3 High 4:14 PM 6.3
~ 3 Low 9:40 PM 2.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – When you approve of your self, then you have no problem with what others think of you.
~ The golden rule is that there are no golden rules. – George Bernard Shaw
~ The madman often tells the truth. – Norse Adage
~ The measure of success isn’t whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it’s the same problem you had last year.- J.F. Dulles
~ The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else. Martina Navratilova.
Shine down in the old sea. –Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
Beltane Magick – A Meditation on Beltane – Highway to Hel – Beltane is about deciding what kind of person we would like to be when the harvest is done. By Galina Krasskova, April 26, 2011 – http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Meditation-on-Beltane-Galina-Krasskova-04-27-2011.html
It seems odd to me to be sitting at my computer on a dismal, rainy, dreary April day, with the chill in the air serving as a palpable reminder that spring isn’t quite here yet, and writing about Beltane. Beltane is supposed to be about celebration, passion, fertility, prosperity, magic, heat, and yes, sex. Yep. Beltane is about sex (at least in part) and on days like today, that type of joyous celebration seems very far away. Still, if you’ll pardon the inevitable pun, Beltane is coming and like any of our other holy tides, it deserves a bit of thought.
I’ve been dreading writing this particular column for the past week or so, ever since I realized that Beltane and Walpurgis were right around the corner. This is the tail end of the school year for me (I’m in graduate school again) and papers are due, exams must be prepared for, then of course there are all the professional writing deadlines that are piling up. Thinking about what I’ve always considered a rather ‘happy-go-lucky’ holiday was not on my personal agenda of things I wanted to be doing (or had the time to do).
Still, even for me, misanthropic and overworked though I sometimes may be, it’s difficult not to get pulled into the energetic momentum of this time. With Beltane after all, we lay to rest, once and for all, the inertia of the preceding winter. What began with the land’s seemingly lazy resistance to the inevitable pull of spring bursts full force into bloom with the turning of the seasonal wheel to May.
Highway to Hel
A Meditation on BeltaneQueen of the Sacred Way: An Interview with Melitta BenuVirtual Veneration: Online ShrinesHonoring the Dead: An Interview with Laura PatsourisPhotographing Fortuna: Interview with Mary Ann GlassAuthor Bio »
At its core, Beltane is about planting. At Ostara we honored the readiness of the land to receive the seed; at Beltane we actually plant those seeds, be they literal or metaphorical. At Ostara we celebrated the potential fertility of the land, at Beltane we revel in its actuality.
This is kind of where the sex part of things comes in. Beltane is about life, growth, and all the messiness of unrestrained passion. It’s about the joining of seed to soil, body to body, physicality to physicality, and the potential joining of sperm to egg. It’s about bringing forth new life, new possibilities, new reasons to celebrate one’s traditions.
This is a time when the land, at least for us Northern Tradition folks, was traditionally blessed by happy couples having sex in fields, on the soil where their fluids and carnal enjoyment of each other only served to feed the land itself and further ensure its blossom. The May pole, a symbol we all know and love, is (as any fan of the original Wicker Man knows) “a phallic symbol.” The magic of Beltane is held forth in the erect penis and spurting seed, and in our bodies’ ability to experience pleasure. This, more than any other holy tide reminds us that living is cause for celebration. There is pleasure in being alive, pleasure that, at the appropriate times, can and should be indulged.
Far more than being about the celebrating the penis (or the vulva, or any other body part—not that there’s anything wrong with that; celebrate away, folks), I would interpret the wisdom and ‘medicine’ of this holiday on a broader level. I believe Beltane reminds us that our bodies are sacred. In the Northern Tradition the physical container of the soul is so valued that it’s actually considered part of the soul matrix.
That’s right: each physical vessel of incarnation is intimately connected to one’s soul, an integral part of it. We’re incarnate for a reason. Our bodies are the tools and conduits by and through which we experience everything, including the Divine. Moreover, they may even be the way the Gods experience us, spirituality being, like so many things, a two-way street. Far from needing to escape from the flesh, Beltane reminds us that there’s an awful lot of wisdom inherent in being in the flesh too.
One of the Goddesses commonly honored within the Northern Tradition at this time is the Goddess Freya. She is a tremendously powerful Goddess, associated with sexuality, eroticism, passion, battle and war, fierce fighting, cunning strategy, prosperity and wealth, physical beauty, and witchcraft and sorcery. One of Her primary and most important lessons is about knowing one’s own worth (and being unwilling to compromise that in any way).
That can be a hard, hard lesson for many people today (especially, I hate to say it, for women). Freya’s lessons often involve self-satisfaction and confidence in one’s physical being (and I’m not talking just about sexuality here). This is a Goddess who knows how to celebrate the flesh, both its passion and its power. Here is a Goddess not afraid to take up space, claim Her territory, defend Her territory, and own Her strength. Here is a Goddess who can teach Her devotees to say “where I stand is holy ground” and mean it.
Beltane’s call is a call to that type of commitment and courage. It reminds us that our physicality is sacred, no matter what messages we may imbibe from our families, our culture, or the media. We’re called to stand up and live our truth. Learning to express ourselves well physically and kinetically, learning to have both trust and confidence in our bodies is part of honoring this tremendous gift that we’ve been given. It’s part of living our truth.
Tending to our bodies, just as we tend to the land is good and sacred work. Our bodies support and nourish us just as the land supports and nourishes us. One might see in the microcosm of one, the macrocosm of the other. Sometimes that is the way these things work. So learning to nourish, care for, protect, and defend one’s physical form and knowing to the marrow of one’s being that this might even be a sacred obligation, is all part of what Beltane can teach us. Imagine how our lives would be different if treating our bodies kindly, loving our flesh, and living healthily was something we could all do with joy. How many of us can look in the mirror and say “I love my physical form” and mean it? How many of us can stand naked in front of the mirror and say those words and really mean them? Freya can teach us how, if we honor Her rightly and well. Beltane’s wisdom can show us the way.
Our world is out of balance. I’ve talked about this before many times in many different articles and columns. I think that it is inevitable that our collective psyches bear the brunt of that sickness. We have come to embody it physically. Our bodies and the way we relate to them have suffered generations of fear, shame, and abuse because we have forgotten that simple truth that flesh is sacred.
We have forgotten so much in abandoning our ancestral ways and our Holy Powers but most of all, we’ve forgotten how to interact with ourselves in a healthy manner. We’ve forgotten how to love being. Beltane calls us to throw ourselves into the inevitable change this time brings, the momentum, the urgency, the growing sense of joy and movement that fills the land. It urges us to seek our passions, to find that which nourishes us and to live it fully each and every day of our lives. Beltane’s wisdom is, above all else, a call to embodied joy.
Moreover, Beltane reminds us not just to honor our physical bodies, but to rejoice in the physical experience of the natural world. That world is a gift in all its beautiful, breathtaking, sometimes confusing diversity. This holy tide calls us to move beyond our dearly held paradigms into the reality of being: beyond our dichotomies (sexual, gender, and otherwise) into the rich tapestry of possibility inherent in creation.
Diversity is nature’s greatest achievement. As we celebrate the beauty, bounty, and blessings of corporeality, physicality, and incarnation, we’re reminded to celebrate it all, not just those forms that are comfortable. Nature is an explosion of diversity and this is a lesson we can take to heart as we honor our bodies: we’re part of that diversity too. As a good friend of mine once pointed out: there is no “normal.” Let’s do away with the idea of “normal.” There is only what is normal for us, for each individual, one by one. Beltane gives us a chance to celebrate that and given how much hate is in our world for any type of diversity of being, that too, is no small thing.
This is a holy tide all about action and restoration. We have the chance as we move into May to recommit to picking up those threads of connection—to our Gods, our ancestors, the land itself, and to ourselves—sundered so long ago. Healing that damage doesn’t happen with grand gestures; it happens with small commitments, like planting a seed. That’s Beltane’s wisdom. It’s about making those promises—to ourselves, our families, our communities—that we will see fulfilled with the coming harvest. It’s about deciding what we wish to harvest in the coming season for ourselves, our lives, and our spirituality. It’s about deciding what kind of person we would like to be when the harvest is done.
May Freya smile upon each of us this Beltane.
Silliness – Military Medical Clinic
During a visit to a military medical clinic, I was sent to the lab to have blood drawn. The technician there was friendly and mentioned that his mood improved every day because he was due to leave the service in two months. As he applied the tourniquet on my arm, he told me that taking the blood wouldn’t hurt much. Then, noticing my Air Force T-shirt, he asked me what my husband did.
When I replied that he was a recruiter, the technician smiled slyly and said, “This might hurt a little more than I thought.”