Overcast and 60F with no wind, even if it’s bright enough to throw shadows. That’s about the same all over, except that upriver in Tidewater the temp is 47! The wind will probably pick up later and it looks to be dry for 10 days out. Even that slight chance of rain next weekend has vanished.
Yesterday was one of those put-your-head-down-and-slog days. Darned if I know what I got accomplished other than class last night (finished with Lesson 4, finally). I tried again on the formatting problem with the newsletter and I think I may have to dump the whole template and re-load it. I really don’t know what happened and how long ago it’s been whacked…. I don’t see what comes up, just the editing screen, and obviously something changed. So, that’s going to be a sidelight for today, to get the template re-loaded.
Today is busy, though. Herbs at 11am is going to be doing some re-potting of starts. I got one of the vines, anyway, although the seeds that came up first all died. Sewing is probably going to be in the back, since the D&D’s are planning a game today and they’ll fit up front (which they wouldn’t in back, yet…) I’m also hoping to make dumplings today, a trial run on using regular flour, rather than Wondra… and there are still books to check in!
A picture Ken Gagne snapped on 5/17/16 of Photographers at Thor’s Well. This is why we warn people about the power of the ocean. These guys are in incredible danger, but….
Today’s plant is the snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowdrop It was called that in Gerard’s Great Herbal in 1633. The derivation of the name is uncertain, although it may have come from the German word Schneetropfen, which was a type of earring popular around that time. Other British traditional common names include “February fairmaids”, “dingle-dangle”, “Candlemas bells”, “Mary’s tapers” and, in parts of Yorkshire,” snow piercers” (like the French name perce-neige). It is used in spells for making you think and for sorting out problems, also to chase the negative effects of sorrow and grief. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowdrop
Today’s feast is the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day in Turkey. It’s the anniversary of the beginning of their war of independence. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commemoration_of_Atat%C3%BCrk,_Youth_and_Sports Day
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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 5/29 at 7:20am. 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 5/19 pm at 4:48pm.
Watch the waxing crescent Moon climb past Venus through Gemini as it orbits eastward around Earth away from our line of sight to the Sun. The Moon hangs in dim Cancer, left of Castor and Pollux almost in line with them as shown above.
After nightfall is complete, use binoculars to look for the Beehive Star Cluster, M44, about 6° above the Moon (as seen from North America). That’s roughly the width of the field of view in typical 8x binoculars.
Venus crossed the border from Taurus the Bull into Gemini the Twins yesterday, and tonight it slides less than 1° north of the 5th-magnitude open star cluster M35. Binoculars or a telescope at low power will provide the best view of this pretty conjunction, especially once the sky grows dark around 10 p.m. local daylight time. The brightness disparity between the two objects is quite impressive: Venus appears some 4,000 times brighter than the combined glow from all the cluster’s distant suns.
Mercury (about magnitude –0.6) is sinking lower toward the end of a very poor apparition deep in the glow of sunrise. Using binoculars, look for it about 15 or 20 minutes before sunrise barely above the east horizon
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for May 2018 https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-star-chart-may-2018
Goddess Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9
Runic half-month of Inguz/Ing, 5/14-5/28 – Male consort of Nerthus, the Earth Mother, Ing is god of the hearth. This time of year expresses potential for abundant growth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 70.
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9 – I am fair among flowers
Meaning: Being held back for a period of time
Hawthorn – Like willows, hawthorns have many species in Europe, and they are not always easy to tell apart. All are thorny shrubs in the Rose family (Rosaceae), and most have whitish or pinkish flowers. The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) and midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata (Poiret) DC.) are both widespread. They are common in abandoned fields and along the edges of forests. Both are cultivated in North America, as are several native and Asiatic hawthorns. Curtis Clark
to study this month – Ur – Heather and Mistletoe Ogam letter correspondences
Class: Heather is Peasant; Mistletoe is Chieftain
Meaning: Healing and development on the spiritual level.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 19 High 3:27 AM 8.2 5:45 AM Set 12:20 AM 14
~ 19 Low 10:34 AM -1.4 8:41 PM Rise 9:57 AM
~ 19 High 5:15 PM 6.7
~ 19 Low 10:40 PM 2.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this an uplifting day!
Journal Prompt – Expository – Write down an important goal you would like to achieve over the next ten years. Brainstorm a list of actions you need to take to make you goal. Decide when you should take each action and place it on a time line.
~ There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience. – French Proverb
~ There is no remedy for love but to love more. – Henry David Thoreau
~ There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness. – Josh Billings
~ This world we live in is but thickened light. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hebe’s here, May is here!
The air is fresh and sunny;
And the miser-bees are busy
Hoarding golden honey! –Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)
Magick – Studies – Pagan sacred texts – January 10, 2013 By yvonne http://www.patheos.com/blogs/sermonsfromthemound/2013/01/pagan-sacred-texts/
The status of sacred texts in Paganism is complicated and disputed. A friend on the UK Unitarians Facebook group asked me if there are any Wiccan texts that are universally accepted. My response was:
No, absolutely not. Some people have started referring to “the” Book of Shadows as if it was a single text, but there should be an unique Book of Shadows for every Wiccan, as it is meant to be a record of rituals performed (this is possibly the reason for the name ‘Book of Shadows’, as the text is but a shadow of the actual ritual). There are “standard” features of the initiation ritual, so that initiations can be seen as valid if you move to another coven, but apart from that, there is some variation between groups and lineages. Text is not primary.
There are many texts that people hold in high esteem, but they are not doctrinal statements or anything. One such text is The Charge of the Goddess written by Doreen Valiente. The phrase “all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals” (spoken by the Goddess) has been used to support the inclusion of LGBT, kinky and polyamorous people in Wicca, however. And quite right too!
The Book of Nature
In other Pagan traditions, sacred texts are part of the tradition, but not held to provide dogma or doctrine (there is no dogma or doctrine in Pagan traditions, though there is near-consensus on many issues, such as the immanence of the Divine and/or deities). There is no single text for each tradition that holds the same status as the holy books of the three Abrahamic religions, the “People of the Book”.
In Heathenry, the Eddas, the Hávamál and the sagas provide important sources for the (re-)construction of rituals, practices, and beliefs, but personal gnosis is also important. It was within the Heathen and polytheist community that the ideas of substantiated and unsubstantiated personal gnosis first arose. A personal spiritual gnosis or experience can be verified by referring it to the experience of others, or to an ancient textual source. For instance, if I have an insight that Óðinn is the deity of blogging, this would be a UPG until I had either cross-referenced it with an ancient textual source, or with someone else’s personal gnosis.
The concepts of SPG and UPG are useful because they mean that we can differentiate different types of knowledge. Just as C G Jung distinguished between different levels of symbol, from personal symbols, to cultural symbols, to universal symbols or archetypes, so we can have different levels of theological knowledge, from the personal to the universal. That is why theology can never be complete; it is open-ended and poetic, personal and contextual.
Other reconstructionist polytheisms also have texts that are important, but no single canonical sacred text. In Hellenic reconstructionism, the Odyssey, the Homeric hymns, the Orphic hymns, Hesiod’s Theogony, and so on, are all important, but not regarded as revealed truth. In Religio Romana, Roman writings from antiquity are important, along with the calendar of ancient Roman festivals.
In Druidry, there is likewise no single sacred text, though the Triads are held in high esteem, and so is the Mabinogion.
In Wicca, different initiatory lineages have slightly different versions of the core rituals. Gerald Gardner gave out three different Books of Shadows to three different priestesses, each of whom went on to found a lineage. In America, different lineages are not interchangeable, so if you are initiated into one lineage and then want to transfer to another, you have to be re-initiated into the new tradition, and you then receive its version of “the” Book of Shadows. In Britain, once you are initiated into one lineage, that initiation is valid for all other lineages, and different covens and lineages will add their own rituals to their Book of Shadows (which is increasingly likely to be in electronic form, rather than copied out by hand). The structure for setting up the ritual (calling the quarters etc) is very similar from one group to another and has certain words that get repeated, but these vary. I experience these as ways in to a ritual state of mind – familiar tracks that run into the unconscious.
All these texts are used in an interactive way, however. Readers are in dialogue with these texts, relating them to their own experiences of the numinous, and working out what to keep and what to discard as we navigate through the contemporary world. Experience is more important than text for most Pagans.
Once, John Male said to me that if all the Pagan books were destroyed, and all the Pagans too (Gods forbid), then Paganism would still survive, because it is written in the land. It is natural for human beings to relate to the land around us, and the plants, animals, and birds. As Elinor Prędota writes over at A Sense of Place, the land is made of stories. Many Pagans have enthusiastically picked up on the idea of the Book of Nature, “a religious and philosophical concept originating in the Latin Middle Ages which views Nature as a book to be read for knowledge and understanding”. Natural philosophers (early scientists) used this idea as a justification for scientific investigation, arguing that God wanted humans to understand Nature. Many Pagans view Nature as a “book” wherein we can read the sources of our ethics and our mythology.
Science fiction, fantasy, and other literature has also been inspirational for many Pagans, particularly Puck of Pook’s Hill by Rudyard Kipling, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett (who has been jokingly referred to as a Pagan theologian, although he is not a Pagan). Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is also very popular. However, none of these works would be seen as canonical texts; they are sources of inspiration, not dogma.
I think this fluid and interactive relationship with texts is an important feature of contemporary Pagan traditions. In the Jewish tradition, every verse of the Torah is said to have seventy different meanings; in Islam, every verse of the Qu’ran is said to have seven thousand layers of meaning. Both these sayings point to the importance of interpreting texts in the context of history, culture, and experience, and not taking them literally. Liberal Christians have long regarded the Bible as a record of humanity’s relationship with the Divine, not a text dictated by God and intended to be taken literally.
We have all seen the dangers of people taking texts literally – let’s hope Pagans don’t slide down the same slippery slope. We currently pride ourselves on not having a single holy book, but rather having many sources of inspiration, including the Book of Nature. We also interpret our texts and our traditions in the light of our own experience, deriving different theologies and symbolism from them. This diversity is a source of strength.
Silliness – Churchill’s Nap
A lady who was known as Churchill’s main rival in parliament was giving a speech. Churchill, with his usual enthusiasm for his rival, dozed off while the lady was speaking.
She stopped her speech and awoke Sir Winston by yelling, “Mr. Churchill, must you sleep while I talk?”
Churchill sleepily replied, “No, ma’am. I do so purely by choice.”