Daily Stuff 10-17-18 Cyrus the Great

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum/tides/Open Circle for Samhain on Friday 11/2, 7pm, at Ancient Light.

It’s marvelously clear and has been all night. 52F and wind at 7mph although there were some pretty good gusts upriver.

Having gotten started so late, yesterday, I rather despaired of doing much. I was right. I did manage to get some plant tending in, but not much else during the day. I’ve got greens for next Sunday’s stew.

Apparently the mushroom in yesterdays pic [thumbnail] is a boletus smithii. I knew it was some kind of bolete, but beyond that…

Loryea came in during the afternoon and we talked cookery for most of an hour. She’ll be back with samples of her goodies in the next couple of weeks. I’ll post when she’s going to because if you want something of hers, or a specific size (thinking rings, here, specifically) you might want to let me know ahead of time or show up on that day/that time.

Tempus helped with watering the plants, but we’ve got a couple of dead ones, that got missed. <sigh> I still don’t have enough access to the spot where I’m going to put the shelves to do much with them.

After we had supper he took off for Newport. By 11pm he was starting the bulk drops and by 12:30 the regular route. He picked me up at 4am.

Golden tree from the lodge arcade.

By 10pm I had the newsletter frames done for the week and I took a break for awhile. I did some research on figs, and Roman cheese and some other things for awhile and then wrote for a bit.

We had a good run. We saw an owl down in Bayshore, and then a bear on Rainbow Road. A bunny hopped across in front of us on another side street and then there was a herd of deer on the path down to the park where we used to live, and a few small critters where we just saw eyes or a shadow.

By the end of the run it was just early twilight, no fog for once, and stars still bright.

pine bit and mushrooms

Next up is sleep,  and when we get up to get to the shop and start pulling out the Halloween stuff.

A pic from 10-13-15 Looking onshore at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s Maryland. That’s the Hooper Strait Lighthouse that was moved to the museum when I was a kid.

101315 Cheapeake Maritime Museum

eryngo1I’ve often heard people talk about “beach thistle”, but Sea HollyEryngium maritimum isn’t a thistle. It’s actually related to carrots. The young shoots can be blanched and eaten like asparagus and the roots (which can get up to 20 feet long!!!!) are peeled, boiled and cut, then braided and candied. Prepared thus they are a good cough and cold remedy. The roots can also be boiled or roasted as well and are very nutritious. It is native to Europe, but going extinct in certain areas. – Masculine, Fire, Venus – This plant is an aphrodisiac, pure and simple.

SculptureofCyrusTheGreatToday is the anniversary of the day in 539BCE when Cyrus the Great liberated Babylon and released the Hebrews from that captivity. He was quite a leader and apparently a good man beyond his war abilities. He may have written the first declaration of human rights and certainly practiced religious tolerance, even to the point of making certain that the Hebrews, who had been captive quite awhile had the money to rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed when the Captivity started.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great#Religion_and_philosophy

The shop opens at 11am. Our hours are changing! Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.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 10/24 at 9:45am. 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 10/22 at 9:45pm. 

. . . and then it passes Mars.

The waxing gibbous Moon crosses into Capricornus this evening, where it has a magnificent encounter with magnitude –0.9 Mars, 260 times farther away. Once twilight fades away, the pretty pair stands some 30° above the southern horizon with Mars 6° to the Moon’s left. The two edge closer as the evening progresses. Unfortunately, North American observers won’t see their actual conjunction, which occurs at 9 a.m. EDT tomorrow when our satellite passes 2° due north of the planet. By the time darkness falls tomorrow evening, a slightly fatter Moon appears 6° to Mars’ left. A telescope shows several subtle surface features on the Red Planet’s 13″-diameter disk. Far to their lower left you’ll find Fomalhaut (out of the frame here).
The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point in its orbit around Earth, at 3:16 p.m. EDT. It then lies 251,175 miles (404,227 kilometers) from Earth’s center.
Neptune, in Aquarius, is harder at magnitude 7.8. By mid-evening they’re well up in the east and southeast, respectively. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune, or see the September Sky & Telescope, page 48.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for October – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-star-chart-october-2018
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree Month of Gort/Ivy  Sep 30 – Oct 27 
Runic half-month of Wunjo/Wyn – October 13-28 – Wyn represents joy, the rune being the shape of a weather vane. The month represents the creation of harmony within the given conditions of the present.

Sun in Libra
Moon in Capricorn enters Aquarius at 12:36am
Venus (11/16), Neptune (11/24), Chiron (12/8), Juno (12/23), and Uranus (1/6/19) Retrograde
Color: Topaz

©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright


Gort/Ivy  Sep 30 – Oct 27 – Gort – (GORT), ivy – Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is also a vine, growing to 30 m (100 feet) long in beech woods and around human habitations, where it is widely planted as a ground cover. Ivy produces greenish flowers before Samhain on short, vertical shrubby branches. The leaves of these flowering branches lack the characteristic lobes of the leaves of the rest of the plant. Like holly, ivy is evergreen, its dark green leaves striking in the bare forests of midwinter. Ivy is widely cultivated in North America. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae).

Gort – Ivy Ogam letter correspondences
Month: September
Color: Sky Blue
Class: Chieftain
Letter: G
Meaning: Take time to soul search or you will maake a wrong decision.

to study this month Uilleand – Honeysuckle Ogam letter correspondences
Month: None
Color: Yellow-white
Class: Peasant
Letter: P, PE, UI
Meaning: Proceed with caution.


Tides for Alsea Bay

Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time    Feet     Sunset                                    Visible
W   17      Low   1:33 AM     1.2   7:34 AM     Set 12:18 AM      50
~    17     High   8:29 AM     5.9   6:29 PM    Rise  3:29 PM
~    17      Low   2:05 PM     3.6
~    17     High   7:31 PM     6.1


Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Do it. Do it right. Do it right now. These are three simple steps to success.


Journal Prompt – What do you think? – Why do you watch movies or TV shows that you know will scare you?



~  There are times when I think the eradication of idiocy should be easy; at other times when I think that there is too much idiocy to eradicate; at other times I think that idiocy is omnipresent, but what little wisdom there is, is enough. Today, I wonder what the most efficient and sustainable ratio of idiocy to wisdom is. – Paradigm Shift
~  Trouble is a part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough. – Dinah Shore
~  Justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in circumstances confronting him. – St. Thomas Aquinas
~  The creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic. – Gertrude Stein, U.S. writer

In night when colors all to black are cast,
Distinction lost, or gone down with the light;
The eye a watch to inward senses placed,
Not seeing, yet still having powers of sight. – Lord Brooke Fulke Greville (1554–1628)


Samhain Magick – A Terrible Beauty – For Brad Will – By Starhawk – 2004

It’s the night before the Spiral Dance, our community’s annual huge celebration for Samhain, more generally known as Halloween, the ancient feast of the ancestors and honoring of the Beloved Dead, which long predates the Christian feast of All Souls.  The Spiral Dance is the biggest, most elaborate ritual our community, Reclaiming, creates throughout the year, with intricate altars, a full chorus, dancers, singers, acrobats doing aerial invocations, and a spiral that might include a thousand people. Into all this, we weave some deep magic, both personal and broader than personal, involving the mystery at the heart of our spirituality—death and regeneration.

Each year I take on different roles. Some years I lead the trance, other years I might simply invoke the spirits of the land or play the drum and leave the ‘bigger’ roles to others. This year my role seems to involve carrying a lot of heavy objects and buckets of sand, building altars and decorating the front of the house. Or not so much actually building and decorating, as providing the materials and suggestions for others to do the creative part.

And this year I’m calling the Dead. So I’ve been thinking a lot about death, and singing the song we will use to sing the Dead over into a place of renewal. Just before bed, I check my email, and I learn that a young man has died, shot to death in Oaxaca where he has gone to cover the teachers’ strike and the people’s insurrection for Indymedia. His name is Brad Will. I stare at his picture, trying to remember if I know him from all the demonstrations and mobilizations and meetings we have undoubtedly been at together.

In Miami, my friend Andy reminds me, after a wild ritual collaboration between the Pagan cluster and the black bloc, a young man stepped forward with a guitar and began singing Desert Rat’s song about Seattle, “When the Tear Gas Fills the Sky.” That was Brad—alive, singing, defiant. “I will wash the pepper from your face, and go with you to jail, And if you don’t make it through this fight, I swear I’ll tell your tale…”

didn’t know him well, but I know so many like him—mostly but not all young, sitting in long meetings in warehouses or donning respirators to gut flood-ruined houses in New Orleans, standing shoulder to shoulder as the riot cops advance, or as the bulldozer moves forward to destroy a home in Gaza. Filing stories at midnight on electronic networks set up by young geniuses with duct tape and component parts in dusty, third world towns, eating cold pasta out of old yogurt tops and sleeping on floors. Hitching rides into war zones and crossing borders. It’s as if a whole cohort of souls had arrived on this planet imbued with the unquestioned faith that they were put here to somehow make a difference, to interfere with injustice, to witness, to change the world. Ragged, intemperate, opinionated, passionate, and above all, alive.

And now another one of the tribe is dead, shot down in Oaxaca where a five-month teachers’ strike became a full-blown insurrection, the kind that radicals dream of, with streets full of barricades and ordinary people rising up against a rigged election and a corrupt, dictatorial governor. It hasn’t been much reported in the U.S. papers. But Brad Will was there, with camera and computer, to be a set of eyes.

Now his eyes are closed, forever. I put his name on our list of the Dead. At the Spiral Dance, I see someone has set up a shrine to him on our North altar, where the dead are honored. I meet another activist friend there, who tells me how he remembers Brad: running into a barrage of sound bombs in a demonstration in some foreign city. “I couldn’t explain to people that they were harmless,” he’d said. “We didn’t speak the same language. So I had to show them.”

I didn’t know him well, but I know how it is to walk into a situation that is dangerous, even life-threatening, how it feels to weigh the risks, to accept them, to tell yourself that you can be at peace with any consequence, and then to walk out into the street in the firm if unconscious belief that you will be lucky that day, once again. I can only imagine how it feels when the bullets rip through flesh, and your severed spirit stares back at a broken body, and in a blaze of light a different journey begins.

We Pagans have no dogma, no official Book of the Dead to outline the soul’s journey. If we share any belief in common, it is simply this: that death is part of a cycle that includes regeneration and renewal. That just as the falling leaves decay to fertilize the roots of trees, each death feeds some rebirth.

Death transforms us. The tribe of world-changers has its list of martyrs—the short list of those who are known in the first world—Carlo Giuliani, Huang Hai Lee, Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall—and the much longer list of names in some other language—Spanish, indigenous, Arabic, and so many others–who die every day. And the world’s religions each have their concept of that transformation, for those whose death is somehow special, powerful and meaningful: martyrs, saints, bodhisattvas. We Pagans don’t like to glorify martyrs, but we know that ‘sacrifice’ means ‘to make sacred.’ In an instant, that ordinary comrade you remember singing at the fire or arguing at the meeting, someone you might have been charmed or irritated by or attracted to, or not, someone who showed no mark of doom or prescience of what was to come, becomes uplifted into another realm, part symbol, part victim, locus of our deepest love and rage.

William Butler Yeats expressed it best, writing about the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916, the friends he admired and the ones he disliked, shot by the British.
“Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn,
All changed, changed utterly,
A terrible beauty is born…”

And death transforms the living. When someone close to us dies, we become someone else. When my father died when I was just five years old, my mother was transformed from a beloved wife to a grieving widow. I changed, overnight, from a blessed, fortunate child to someone set apart, marked by a tragedy, missing something deeply important that other children had.

And so one day you are someone with a job and a family and a neighborhood in which you and your kin have lived for generations—and a day later the waters rise and you are homeless, a refugee in a strange place dependent on the kindness of strangers. One day you are a mother filled with hopes and dreams and pride, and the next day you are bereft, with a gaping hole in your heart that can never be filled.

Yet we, the living, have some choice in how we respond to death, and what transformation we undergo. My mother, out of her grief, became a counselor, a therapist, an expert in loss and grieving. Cindy Sheehan, out of her grief for her son Casey, killed in Iraq, became a woman on fire, a modern prophet calling the powerful to justice, who galvanized the movement against the war. Mesha Monge-Irizarry, mother of Idriss Stelley who was shot dead in the Metreon by the San Francisco police, became an advocate for all the victims of police violence. Rachel Corrie’s parents took up the cause of justice for the people of Palestine. Grief can open the heart to courage and compassion; rage can move us to action. Out of loss comes regeneration: a terrible beauty is born.

A death like Brad’s calls us all to deeper levels of courage, to be eyes that refuse to shut in the face of oppression, voices that sing out for justice, hands that build a transformed world. – Starhawk

More info on Oaxaca and Brad: http://www.narconews.com/
SF Bay Area activities: http://indybay.org/

Starhawk is an activist, organizer, and author of The Earth Path, as well as Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, The Fifth Sacred Thing; and eight other books on feminism, politics and earth-based spirituality.  She teaches Earth Activist Trainings that combine permaculture design and activist skills, and works with the RANT trainer’s collective, http://www.rantcollective.org <http://www.rantcollective.org/&gt; that offers training and support for mobilizations around global justice and peace issues.  For her schedule and archive of writings, see her website http://www.starhawk.org http://www.starhawk.org .  To get her periodic posts of her writings, email Starhawk-subscribe@lists.riseup.net and put ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.  If you’re on that list and don’t want any more of these writings, email Starhawk-unsubscribe@lists.riseup.net and put ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject heading.
© Starhawk 2004—feel free to repost and distribute this article for nonprofit purposes—all other rights reserved.


Silliness – The Perfect Man

At a local coffee bar, a young woman was expounding on her idea of the perfect mate to some of her friends.
“The man I marry must be a shining light amongst company. He must be musical. Tell jokes. Sing. And stay home at night!”
An old granny overheard and spoke up, “Honey, if that’s all you want, get a TV!”

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