The sunshine is blinding today. We’re in the nice, cool apartment, but the sunroom (watered just now) is a sauna! 67F with the wind at 11. Tree branches are moving outside, not just the honeysuckle vine in the gusts that are hitting the upper teens. It’s even more so on the beaches, not quite the “stinging sand” level, but awfully close. No rain in the forecast still, although we got a few splats yesterday, at one point. Checking on wind tonight. Hopefully, it won’t bother the newspaper tosses by that time.
Some days just fly past with steady work and a lot of “tired”. That was yesterday. We were up early because someone was stomping around upstairs and I got a little more hawkweed done…another 28 dug. Some of the darned things are coming back from roots. I think what I need to do is have a couple of jars of sand to pour in on those and tamp down. Between lingering salt and lack of light that might put paid to ’em.
Jeanne’s cats are being taken care of, now. Arnemetia is getting Fatty from the shelter (where he’d been taken last week, when we didn’t know what had happened….) and got Licky-lou from the house this afternoon.
I spent a lot of the early part of the day replenishing the chip bottles in the crystals section, after I sorted them back out. I did those less than a week ago, but I had to dump the whole box and re-do it. I also put the moonstone bottles in the little drawer and filled in the line with aventurine bottles that there hadn’t been enough of, before. I set up a set of tiger eye and then I was completely out of the little bottles, so that’s another thing on the order list.
I did get into the back to work on the flour/grain shelves. The chaos is starting to resolve. We’re going to have to put one box of things around behind, next to the ritual cabinet and several boxes of mostly grumple are going up to storage. We also have to put the grill back in the shed and some errands like that….
That stuff is right after getting the watering done here. While Tempus is setting all that up, I’m going to sit down and embroidery and do some putting away of things in the apartment. When we get to the shop a whole bunch of things are going to get pulled out front, so we can get the canning jars back into the shelves instead of being one more lump in the way by the work table. I’m hoping we’ll have that resolved by the time Tempus is heading for Newport. It one of those things, where you have to make an horrid mess, first, by getting things out of the way and then by putting them where they belong you fix the mess, and create some space.
So paper route night. I’ll be at the shop until he picks me up. I’m hoping to work on potting up plants and then maybe the watermelon pickle. If we’re going to the Tymberhavene potluck tomorrow I might have to make something for that. Oh, maybe the maple candy….
Photo by Julie Markham in Tidewater on July 4th, this year!
Today’s Feast is Nicola Tesla Day. Despite all the good press given to Edison about electricity, Tesla was the one who came up with AC current, while Edison was insisting that DC was the only way to go. We’d have very different lives if Tesla had never lived. He was a strange man, with ideas that are different enough for some people to speculate that he wasn’t even human, but he was born in what is now Croatia and his family was from Serbia, his father an Orthodox priest and his mother the daughter of one. He had an eidetic memory and an aptitude for mechanical things from an early age. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla_Day#Nikola_Tesla_Day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla
Today’s Plant is Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia. “Ash before oak we’re in for a soak. Oak before ash we’re in for a splash” refers to a weather divination in England about spring rain and the leafing times of trees! Ash is a hardwood and is hard, dense, tough and very strong but elastic, great for making bows, , spears and drums as well as all kinds of furniture, even guitars and many of the early airplanes. It makes excellent firewood and has been used a lot for smoking meats. The bark can make a quinine substitute for fevers. The folk name for Ash is “Hoop Ash” , or “Nion” – (a rune name from the Irish Gaelic word Nionon which means heaven.) Elsewhere the ash and elm tree were known as the Widow Makers because the large boughs would often drop without warning. Witches were believed to fly on ash-handled broomsticks, while Viking ships were made of ash. In ancient Greece the Meliae were the ash nymphs and the dryads were the oak nymphs. Yggdrasil, the World Tree that supports the order of the Universe was an ash and humans were born from her branches. Odin hung on the tree to gain the knowledge of the Runes and therefore the ash tree is associated with communication. Ash trees have a sugary sap which may have been the basis of the Norse mead of inspiration. Ash Tree attracts lightening, so don’t stand under one during an electric storm. The ash fairy understands that problems are rarely solved on the level at which they were created. – Feminine – Sun & Neptune, Water & Fire – The “helicopter” seeds are used for traditional wish magicks. The Yule Log is traditionally of ash to bring the light of the Sun to the depths of winter and prosperity to the family. Wands and Staves (and traditionally the handle of the besom) made of this wood are good for healing, general and solar magic. The leaves attract love and prosperity. Sleep with them under your pillow and you will have psychic/prophetic dreams. Sleep with them in a bowl of water next to your bed to prevent illness. Wearing garters of green ash bark protects against the powers of magicians. Ash can heal children just by passing the child through a split in the tree’s trunk. It promotes strength, harmony, and a sense of being in tune with your surroundings. Ash is the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraxinus_latifolia
The shop opens at 11am. Summer hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. 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 7/12 at 7:48pm. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone – Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends at the Dark on 7/11 at 7:48am.
Aldebaran is just emerging from the glow of sunrise when the waning crescent Moon occults it, or passes close by it (depending on where you are) on the morning of July 10th. Warning: The Moon in these scenes is, for clarity, always drawn three times its actual apparent size. The waning crescent Moon rises shortly before 3:30 a.m. local daylight time this morning. Earth’s satellite lies next to the V-shaped Hyades — the large star cluster that forms the head of Taurus the Bull. The Moon stands just 1° northeast of Taurus’ brightest sun, 1st-magnitude Aldebaran. From parts of Canada and the upper Midwest, Luna passes in front of this ruddy star.
If you have a dark enough sky, the Milky Way now forms a magnificent arch high across the eastern heavens after nightfall is complete. It runs all the way from below Cassiopeia in the north-northeast, up and across Cygnus and the Summer Triangle in the east, and down to the south behind Saturn and the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot.
By combining roughly 1,000 Viking Orbiter images, researchers created this stunning mosaic of Mars that shows surface features at a scale of just over half a mile (1 kilometer) per pixel. NASA/JPL/USGS Mars remains a stunning sight all week. It rises around 10 p.m. local daylight time and climbs nearly 30° high in the south by 2:30 a.m. Although the Red Planet won’t reach opposition until the end of July, it appears noticeably brighter than it did just a week ago. Shining at magnitude –2.5, it appears brighter than Jupiter and ranks as the second-brightest point of light in the night sky after Venus. If you point a telescope toward Mars, you’ll see its 23″-diameter disk and perhaps a few subtle surface features — though most of these are currently obscured by a major dust storm.
Venus (magnitude –4.1, in Leo) shines brightly in the west during twilight, a trace lower every day. In a telescope Venus is a gibbous disk 17 arcseconds tall and 67% sunlit. This week Venus passes Regulus, which glimmers less than 1% as bright. On July 7th Regulus is still 3½° to Venus’s left or upper left. They’re in conjunction on Monday the 9th, with Regulus 1° to Venus’s south (lower left). By July 16th it’s 4½° to Venus’s lower right.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for July 2018 https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-star-chart-july-2018
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4
Runic New Year and half-month of Fehu/ Feoh, 6/29-7/13 Important in the runic year cycle, today marks beginning of the first rune, Feoh, sacred to Frey and Freya (Freyja), the lord and lady often worshipped in modern Wicca. It is the half-month of wealth and success. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992 Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
Color – Red
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 10 Low 5:10 AM -0.8 5:42 AM Rise 3:29 AM 15
~ 10 High 11:33 AM 5.7 9:01 PM Set 6:37 PM
~ 10 Low 4:47 PM 2.3
~ 10 High 10:50 PM 8.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I honestly face both the light and the shadow within me to harmonize all aspects of my spirit.
~ If you see a world of opposites then life’s a battlefield, see a world of complimentaries and all life becomes a teacher. – Joe Mullally
~ Look at criticism as an indication that you’re succeeding in empowering yourself and move on. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Love and justice are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they depend upon one another, just as we do. Sending love your way today. – T. Thorn Coyle
~ My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. – Bjorn Borg
O Thou who passest thro’ our vallies in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched’st here thy golden tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy, thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair. – William Blake (1757–1827)
-Corn husks, fresh or dried, about 6-8 pieces.
-Cotton balls, about 4
-Scraps of cloth, yarn, beads
-pipe cleaners (optional)
Note: If you are using dried husks, soak them in water to soften them. Fresh husks need no special preparation
Step 2: Make some arms by folding another husk and tying it near each end to make hands. Slip the arms between the husks that extend under the head. Tie the waist with string.Arrange enough husks around the figure’s waist so that they overlap slightly. Tie them in place with string.
Step 3: Fold the husks down carefully. For a woman wearing a long skirt, cut the husks straight across at the hem. to make a man, divide the skirt in two and tie each half at the ankles. Let the figure dry completely
Step 4: You can leave you figure as is, or give it a face, hair, or even some fancier clothes. Use a fine-tipped marker to draw facial features. Glue some fuzzy yarn on for hair. Add some tiny beads for buttons, and bits of fabric for aprons or vests. A pipe cleaner staff or cane will help the man stand upright.
Corn Dolly – (For Lughnasadh) – http://members.aol.com/ivycleartoes/corndoll.html
- Wheat straw, hollow straws, or raffia
- Yarn or string
- Small amount of cloth
- Optional: A receptacle to display finished product, such as a basket or a horn of plenty
- Optional: Decorations for the dolly or her display case
If you’re using real wheat straw, you should get it when it is almost ripe but not totally dry yet. It should still be green at the bottom. Dry for a day, hung up, and then cut off the leaves and the head of the wheat below its first joint. When you use it it should be soaked before you try to bend it, for about half an hour. If you don’t have access to the real thing, the best craft material to use is raffia, and it doesn’t need to be moistened. It is easily found at the craft stores and resembles flattened straw.
There are a lot of ways to make a dolly out of the material, but here is just one easy way. First, take a large clump–maybe fifteen to twenty-five strands–and cut it so that it is about a foot and a half long. This will be the main body of the dolly. Fold it over in half. If it seems too long right now to be the size of dolly you want, you should cut it, because it is not going to get any shorter during the process. Now, where the stalks are folded is going to be the top of the dolly’s head. Take the string or yarn and tie it around the entire bundle about an inch and a half down from the top; that tie will be the mark of her neck.
Before you tie off the section that makes her body, you’ll need to make arms. This is easy; take more of your stalks and make a longer but thinner bundle–four to six stalks ought to do it–and fold them over. Tie off at the ends and cut the looped end so it is frayed just like the other side. The little frays represent her hands. Stick the arm bundle into the main bundle right under the neck, and then tie off the main bundle under the arms. That way they cannot slip out the bottom but can still be moved side to side or diagonally shifted.
At this point the bottom of the main bundle is frayed and splayed out a bit like a skirt. This is the simplest form of corn dolly, and it can now be considered finished if all you need is a very basic doll for your purpose. However, you can of course take a few extra steps, especially if this is to be ornamental rather than just ritually used.
You may want to make your corn dolly a dress. It is easy to cut a small piece of material–use a color or pattern that matches the season or a country print–and cut it in sort of an hourglass shape. Make a hole for the head at the center of the hourglass, and pull it over her head, then tie at the waist. The sides will be open but it doesn’t much matter since it’s just for effect. If you like you can even make a smaller version to make her an apron.
Also, a nice touch is giving her wheat stalk or raffia hair. Of course, for hair you can use any material, but we’ll take it for granted that you are not making the dolly to be professional-looking, it is a natural craft, so it is more likely that using the same material as you used for the rest of her body will be most appropriate. For hair, take a few strands of straw and loop them again; when looped it should be as long as you want her hair to be on either side. You’ll put it through the slightly closed loop made by her head. If you want this to be really easy, you may want to thread the hair piece in before tying it up, like you did with the arms. Otherwise it’s still possible but you may have trouble forcing it in. In any case, thread it through the head-hole and open it up on either side, then bring it up on top of her head and tie it in a double knot. You can then leave it loose if it looks nice, or give her a braid on either side. Then it is up to you how you dress her up; some nice touches are giving her a necklace, like a twig star or a string bracelet, or you can give her a bouquet of seasonal dried flowers for her hand. Use your imagination. But it is not considered part of the traditional craft to give her a face.
The corn dolly makes a nice addition to a basket of fallen leaves or pinecones, or a wall-mounted horn of plenty with dried flowers or wheat stalks (with the heads on) protruding from behind her.
Ritual use – This could be the same dolly used in other crafts, such as the dolly for Brigit’s Bed. If that is the case, keep these other rituals and their purposes in mind as she has come to another spoke on the wheel. If this dolly was created just for this Sabbat, it can be placed on the altar during ritual and used to represent the harvest; if you have gone the simple route and not dressed it up, it is appropriate to use it as if it is the sacrifice for the harvest, and buried outside with any other libations from the ritual. It can instead be kept and hung up in the kitchen during the season and through the winter, where it can be buried or converted to a Spring symbol when the winter is past.
Make a Corn Dolly to save for next Imbolc. Activities taken from “Green Witchcraft” by Anne Moura (Aoumiel)
Double over a bundle of wheat and tie it near the top to form a head. Take a bit of the fiber from either side of the main portion and twist into arms that you tie together in front of the dolly. Add a small bouquet of flowers to the “hands,” and then you can decorate the dolly with a dress and bonnet (the dress and bonnet may be made out of corn husks if you wish, or and cotton material is fine too).