Featured photo by Ken Gagne. Minus Tide at 7:31 AM of -0.4 feet.
There were at least nine boats in the Bay this morning, six of them in the Jaws. Fishermen are nuts. 🙂 When you can see the sky it’s a clear, pale blue, but there’s a layer of low cloud, fog leftovers from the look of it, heading due west, and a layer of cumulus above that heading from NW to SE, plus another layer of bits and wisps up very, very high. Everything was soaking when we left the apartment, shaking off of every fern and tree, dragging branches down. The computer weather says, “overcast”, but there’s enough sun to throw shadows and it’s lifting fog wisps off of the damp pavement. 58F, wind at 8mph with gusts to 11, AQI down to 6! We actually got rain last night. Two tenths of an inch, it looks like, and everything was dry enough to sop it up. There’s no mud. That ground was *dry*!
Yesterday was a long, busy day. We started with the Wicca 101 class, who are 1/2-way through Lesson 5. I lost my voice at that point, don’t have a clue why, but it’s going to make it dicey to get the course finished by their graduation date. I will be away on September 9, and this coming week, being Labor Day weekend, a couple of the youngsters may not be here, either…
Evan’s Mom, as a surprise, came to pick him up from class. The youngsters had already gone out to find some lunch, so we chatted for a bit and then she went in search of them and she and Evan went off to spend the day together while Tempus to the other boys back to the Center.
We had a bunch of customers in, during the early afternoon. That was hard on me and it took longer for my voice to come back than usual because I had to keep pushing it. The D&D group came in during the middle of the afternoon and were there until 8pm.
I wrote for part of the afternoon, bagged herbs for part and then worked on embroidery and some bookmarks. They still need tassels, but otherwise are done. Tempus took another load to storage. Eventually we headed home and did some packing and then crashed.
Tempus has errands to run today: bank, PO, pick salal, get boxes from the apartment, that kind of thing. I have herbs to actually get headers onto, since they’re finally bagged.
Today is the anniversary of the event in Washington DC where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. More info on Wikipedia
“I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream . . .”
“”I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”
This speech stands among the greatest in our nation’s history. It shaped the conscience of my generation. It still makes me weep with the beauty of it. You can listen here: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm
Today’s Plant is Lovage, levisticum officinale. It seems to have originated somewhere near the eastern Mediterranean and has been cultivated for a long while, being a very useful plant. It has a strong, long-lasting scent, that reminds a person of celery and parsley, but with the volume turned up. Harvested the day before, even after washing it’s still detectable on my hands! It’s great in salads, but chop it small and mix with other greens or it overpowers! Both leaf and seed are great in soups, especially seafood chowders and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable. I’ve drunk lovage cordial, which is tasty. It has a high flavonoid content, as well. Medicinally, a strong leaf tea, iced, is a good antiseptic, especially for extensive scrapes, where it takes down the sting and swelling very quickly and can be splashed on as often as needed. It can be used for mild cases of water retention, as well, and even with high blood pressure. – Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often used in love magicks, but works best as a self-confidence enhancer. Take a bath with a sachet of the leaves, or make a strong tea that you toss into the bathwater before going out to meet new people or to start a new job. It also helps to small a sachet of the leaves if you’re having trouble concentrating on a task. Wiki has more:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage
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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 8/26 at 4:56am. 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 8/27 at 7:56pm.
Mars reached its peak a month ago, but it remains a glorious sight this week. The Red Planet appears low in the southeast as darkness falls and grows more prominent as the evening wears on and it climbs higher. By 11 p.m. local daylight time, it stands about 25° high in the south. The world shines at magnitude –2.3, making it the second-brightest point of light in the night sky after Venus. When viewed through a telescope, the planet’s ocher-colored disk spans 22″. The global dust storm that marred views at opposition continues to wane, providing observers with some nice views of subtle surface features. Mars’ westward motion relative to the background stars carried it across the border from southwestern Capricornus into eastern Sagittarius on Friday. But its stay among the Archer’s stars won’t be lengthy. The planet reaches its stationary point on the 28th and will return to the Sea Goat on September 1.
Mars shines fire-color in the south-southeast after dark. High above it, by three or four fists at arm’s length, shines white ^^^^^ Altair ^^^^^. And a finger width above Altair is fainter ^^^^^ Tarazed^^^^^, an orange giant that’s actually more luminous than Altair but far in the background. The two are 17 and 390 light-years away.
Venus dominates the twilight sky after sunset. The dazzling object shines at magnitude –4.6 among the background stars of central Virgo. The planet appears 8° high 45 minutes after sundown and sets shortly after 9 p.m. local daylight time. If you view Venus through binoculars, you’ll see Virgo’s brightest star, 1st-magnitude Spica, 4° to its upper left. (The two objects approach within 1.3° of each other this coming weekend.) A telescope reveals the planet’s disk, which spans 28″ and appears slightly less than half-lit.
Saturn(magnitude +0.4, above the spout-tip of the Sagittarius Teapot) glows yellow in the south at nightfall. Saturn is about 23° left of Antares, and about 27° right or upper right of Mars.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for August 2018 – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-star-chart-august-2018
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll
Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that gives order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world. Runic half-month of Raidho/Rad 8/29-9/12 – Denotes the channeling of energies in the correct manner to produce the desired results. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 26 High 12:46 AM 7.4 6:32 AM Set 6:35 AM 99
~ 26 Low 7:31 AM -0.4 8:03 PM Rise 8:31 PM
~ 26 High 1:50 PM 6.6
~ 26 Low 7:34 PM 1.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Conscience is what hurts… …when everything else feels so good.!
~ Thus was my first year’s life in the woods completed; and the second year was similar to it. I finally left Walden September 6th, 1847. – Henry David Thoreau (1817 – ’62), US philosopher, author, naturalist; Walden, 1854
~ I will be as good unto ye as ever a Queen was unto her people. No will in me can lack, neither do I trust shall there lack any power. And persuade yourselves that for the safety and quietness of you all I will not spare if need be to spend my blood. – Queen Elizabeth I; to the Lord Mayor and people of London on the eve of her coronation
~ America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what it is taught; hence we must watch what we teach it, and how we live before it. – Jane Addams, Nobel Prize-winning American social worker and peace advocate, born on September 6, 1860
~ There is nothing more servile, despicable, cowardly and narrow-minded than a terrorist. – François-René de Chateaubriand
BESIDE the country road with truant grace
Wild carrot lifts its circles of white lace.
From vines whose interwoven branches drape
The old stone walls, come pungent scents of grape. – Katharine Lee Bates (1859–1929)
A harvest moon!
And on the mats —
Shadows of pine boughs.
At least once a year I like to focus on the moon, that other rhythmic presence in our lives, which, like the seasons ebbs and flows. I see looking back on last year that I also wrote about the moon at this time of the year, when the Moon is featured in so many seasonal festivals.
This particular full moon which peaks on Saturday evening, September 17, 2005, is the Harvest Moon, the name given to the moon nearest the Autumn Equinox, because the light of this moon is so bright that farmers could work in their fields, harvesting crops late into the night.
This full moon (of the eighth Chinese lunar month) is also the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, when Chinese women gathered in the courtyards to feast, drink and write poems in praise of the Moon. You can learn much more about this festival in my article at
And find ideas for celebrating it at:
And this is also the full moon of the Greek month of Boedromion which marks the start of the Eleusinian Mysteries. People came from all over the Classical world to Eleusis in Greece to participate in eight days of rituals which re-enacted Demeter’s search for her missing daughter, rituals that culminated in a performance or revelation in an underground cave that offered a vision of immortality.
Does it seem like the Harvest Moon is bigger and brighter than other full moons? It always does to me but I’ve yet to find an adequate explanation for this effect. Christopher Dewdney explains that in September the relationship between the ecliptic plane (on which the planets orbit) shifts in relationship to the earth and the moon rises more or less at the same time every night for the three nights of the Harvest full moon (normally it rises 50 minutes later every night). I don’t know why this would make it seem bright but it does make it more noticeable.
The full moon has long been connected with madness (the very word lunacy comes from Luna, the Roman moon goddess), aggression, accidents and births. Scientific studies have started confirming these folk beliefs.
Pat Thomas in Under the Weather lists some of the connections established by scientists. We eat more (8%) and drink less (26%) during the full moon. Our bodies also retain more water (interesting, since the moon has long been associated with water, partly because of its effect on the tides). Some surgeons refuse to operate during the full moon and studies suggest that patients are more likely to experience post-operative bleeding near the full moon.
Several studies show that emergency calls increase during a full moon (although calls to a suicide prevention line peak during the new moon, the dark phase of the lunar cycle). One study showed that schizophrenic patients exhibited more negative behavior at the full moon but a study of psychiatric emergency room visits found that they were highest at the first quarter moon and lowest at the full moon. Other studies have shown that violent crimes are more common during the full moon.
For every study that shows a correlation between the moon and human behavior, there is another study debunking it. Pat Thomas mentions a report done in the early 1970’s by government scientists that found that people were more likely to have accidents during the phase of the moon the same or opposite to that under which they were born. This finding was so ridiculed that funding for the project was withdrawn.
To determine your moon phase, you can use this virtual reality phase calendar:
Moon phase may also affect conception, according to Dr Eugene Jonas, a doctor from the former Czechoslovakia, whose research done in the 1970s showed that women are more likely to conceive when the moon is the same phase it was in when they were born. Again, this theory is ridiculed by the scientific community. But when Joanna Powell Colbert and I were teaching Moon Magic classes, we relayed this information to the women in our classes and got interesting feedback. One woman who had been trying to conceive for years used this principle and got pregnant within months. Another woman finally understood how she had become pregnant during her period—it coincided with the phase of the moon when she was born. (This means most children would have moon phases similar to those of their mothers, if the pregnancy followed a completely natural course.)
Birth rates increase (but only slightly, by 1%) during the full moon. Folk beliefs from many cultures say children born at the full moon are healthier and luckier than other children. In central Africa, the people of the Baganda tribe bathe their first born child under the light of the first full moon after its birth to bring it health and wealth. A lovely custom to adopt.
Donna Henes has written very poetically about the effects of the full moon in Moon Watcher’s Companion:
“When the moon is full, the seas rise up to reach it, sending wild waves of enthusiastic welcome Oysters spread their shells wide, stretching to swallow it whole in the same way that they one day may slide down someone’s slippery throat. Wolves howl at it, ears pricked, eyes glued adoringly on the object of their attention. Heads thrown back in ecstasy, they sit up very straight like any good dog and sing to it songs of atavistic refrain.”
In the lunar cycle, the full moon is the culmination. Henes points out that the Gaelic word for the full moon, Gealach, is the root for the word that means good fortune. It is considered especially lucky for romance and was the time chosen for marriages by the ancient Greeks, Celts and German Jews during the Middle Ages.
One of my Slow Time students, Sharon remembered her very Roman Catholic grandmother putting an empty change purse on the windowsill under the full moon, to guarantee that her pockets would never be empty. Sharon wrote: “It must have worked, for although she was never wealthy, she never wanted for money either. So for me, the idea of the fullness of the moon translating into culmination and fulfillment was something I grew up with.”
Claudia Thompson, whose website Moonsurfing, I recommend below, believes this particular full moon (in Pisces) is a special time for making wishes. She suggests going outside, raising up your arms and welcoming the moon’s light into your body (this is sometimes called “drawing down the moon”). Then ask for what you really want, feel what it would be like to receive that and expand that energy back out into the world, imagining that the world supports your vision. Claudia writer: “this Full Moon is so powerful that when you do this, it’s highly likely that you’ll get what you want.”
Z Budapest writes in her book, Grandmother Moon, that full moon energy is best used for three activities: ritual, making love and dancing. So consider this your homework assignment.
Let me close with this lovely quote from Donna Henes which captures the flavor of the lunar cycle using a metaphor so appropriate for the Harvest Moon:
“The new moon is the arbor, the full moon is the grape, and the waning moon is the wine (stored in the dark moon cellar).”
Budapest, Z, Grandmother Moon: Lunar Magic in Our Lives–Spells, Rituals, Goddesses, Legends & Emotions Under the Moon, Harper SanFrancisco 1991
Dewdney, Christopher, Acquainted with the Night: Excursions Through the World After Dark, Bloomsbury 2004
Henes, Donna, The Moon Watcher’s Companion, Donna Henes 2002
Thomas, Pat, Under the Weather: How the Weather and Climate Affect Our Health, Fusion Press 2004
Thompson, Claudia, http://www.moonsurfing.com