Bright sunshine and some clouds this morning. Things are getting dusty. 🙂 It feels chilly… or is that me? 55F with only the occasional breeze. AQI 22 and UV2 today. Thinner clouds? The chance of rain on Wednesday has dropped away, but Friday and beyond looks very wet.
We were still digging out and putting away some of the feast serving things in the morning! ….but they were things that had gotten “parked” elsewhere over the summer. … I was supposed to have a home-schooler come for a “class” on making period balls, but things didn’t work out for this week… I got some embroidery pictures after that. Tempus had to go do laundry and wasn’t back until later.
I worked on balls while he was gone, getting one done, hair-stuffed. I started to try to learn how to use string to cover a bottle using this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHKbDGBQnKk I’ve done a lot of macrame in the past so figured it might be easier than it looks. …It is, but the devil is in the details, as usual. The start was awful and the knotting process was pretty bad. It got better as I went, but it was a first try.
I was wiped out by closing time, so went in back and napped, then got up and wrote for awhile, then went back to embroidery and reading. When my hands un-stiffen today I’m going to try to do more on that bottle.
Today is back to our usual stuff. Tempus has managed to get one of the glumps of paperwork all into one place and out of the aisle. Next up is to get the display for the geode set up in the corner. We still need to clear the table so that I can work on cookery tomorrow.
Lupines are represented on the coast by the Large-Leaved Lupine, Lupinus polyphyllus, (which is often the common garden variety and all over out here) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupinus_polyphyllus and Kincaid’s Lupine, Lupinus sulphureus subsp. Kincaidii (which used to be called Oregon Lupine). The latter is threatened as they’re disappearing and are needed for an also disappearing butterfly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupinus_sulphureus We also get the yellow varieties of this one on the coast. More on the main lupin species here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupin These are tall showy flower spikes with a distinctive leaf pattern that bloom all summer into the fall. Some varieties of lupins (the “sweet lupins”) are eaten, but many require soaking in salt water for long periods of time to get the alkaloids out that could be poisonous. These were eaten by the indigenes, but no one has said how they were prepared. There’s a little here about the beans, which are being used as a vegan food, but have a high potential for allergic effects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupin_bean –Masculine, Fire, Moon – As far as magick goes, it’s not listed very many places, but its old name is “Blood from a head”. The word “lupine” derives from the word for wolf, as well. They are useful in magicks for any canine. In fact, I always include them in amulets for dogs or wolves. They can also be used to help with spirit communication with the canine/lupine totems. They have also been used in curse magicks for getting rid of things like cancers, or resistant viruses and bacteria or even for brain tumors.
The Festival of the Lênaia to Dionysus was held in ancient Greece beginning on approximately this date. The Lênaia, which was held at the coldest time of year, was for Dionysus Lênaios, celebrating his birth from Zeus’s thigh and his emergence from the Underworld. It was a festival with a dramatic competition but one of the lesser festivals of Athens and Ionia in ancient Greece. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenaia (picture is the present-day remains of the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, Athens)
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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 2/4 at 1:04pm. Waning Crescent Moon –Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 1/31 at 1:04am.
After dark the Great Square of <<<Pegasus is sinking low in the west, tipped onto one corner. Look for it to the right of Mars. Meanwhile the Big Dipper >>>is creeping up in the north-northeast, tipped up on its handle.
Although Uranus reached opposition and peak visibility more than three months ago, it remains a tempting target. The outer planet appears nearly 60° high in the southwest after darkness falls and doesn’t set until midnight local time. The magnitude 5.8 world lies in southeastern Pisces, some 1.4° north-northeast of the 4th-magnitude star Omicron (ο) Piscium. Although Uranus shines brightly enough to glimpse with the naked eye under a dark sky, use binoculars to locate it initially. A telescope reveals Uranus’ disk, which spans 3.5″ and shows a distinct blue-green hue.
Near-Earth asteroid Eros – This asteroid glows at 9th magnitude this week as it continues a rare close approach to Earth. It won’t be as bright or as close to us again until 2056. – NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
Mars (magnitude +0.8, in Pisces left of the Great Square of Pegasus) still glows high in the southwest at nightfall and sets around 11 p.m. In a telescope it’s a tiny gibbous blob: 6 arcseconds from pole to pole.
Goddess Month of of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Runic half-month of Elhaz/Algiz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary.
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 28 High 6:14 AM 8.1 7:39 AM Rise 1:26 AM 51
~ 28 Low 1:11 PM 1.3 5:20 PM Set 12:08 PM
~ 28 High 7:12 PM 5.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Poise is the ability to continue speaking fluently while the other fellow is picking up the check.
~ I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem with decency and self-respect and whatever courage is demanded, is to know where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you believe and are acting from. – William Faulkner (1897-1962) American Writer
~ They say that by the commands of the gods Ixion spins round and round on his feathered wheel, saying this to mortals: “Repay your benefactor frequently with gentle favours in return”. – Pindar, Pythian Odes, 2.20
~ It is said by time wise women and fairy doctors that the roots of the elder tree, and the roots of an apple tree that bears red apples, if boiled together and drunk fasting, will expel any evil living thing or evil spirit that may have taken up its abode in the body of a man. – Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde; ibid, ‘Cathal the King’
~ I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life. – Andrew Carnegie
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter. – –Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)
Imbolc Magick – Imbolc Lore – Various Bits from Waverly Fitzgerald (website www.schooloftheseasons.com )
Pamela Berger has written a book, The Goddess Obscured, about the rituals celebrated at the time of the first sowing when the earth is awakened and the seed placed in the belly of the earth. This is a significant moment in a community which depends on the earth for sustenance. The fields were purified and offerings were made to the goddess.
This medieval Anglo-Saxon plowing charm, preserved in a manuscript in the British Museum and recorded by Berger, was said by the farmer while cutting the first furrow:
Whole be thou Earth
Mother of men.
In the lap of God,
Be thou as-growing.
Be filled with fodder
For fare-need of men.
The farmer then took a loaf of bread, kneaded it with milk and holy water, and laid it under the first furrow, saying:
Acre full fed,
Bring forth fodder for men!
And the God who wrought the ground,
Grant us the gifts of growing,
That the corn, all the corn,
May come unto our need.
Berger suggests that the Candlemas rituals for appeasing the earth at plowing may be derived from a Roman festival, Sementiva (from the word for seed which also gives us semen). Ovid is the first to mention it and includes it in his calendar of festivals under late January, but it was apparently not fixed to a particular date but took place whenever the fields were ready for sowing. To appease the earth goddess, who has been been “wounded” by the plow, the farmer made offerings to Tellus Mater and Ceres which included flat cakes, seed and a pregnant sow. Tellus Mater, the Roman earth mother, was often depicted in early art with a snake nursing at her breast.
Later Joannes Lydus says Sementiva was celebrated on two days, the day of sowing and seven days later when the seeds began to sprout. On the first day, sacrifices were made to Demeter (who corresponded with Tellus Mater), the earth that received the grain, and the seventh day, sacrifices were made to Kore (who corresponded to Ceres), the creative force of the seed.
A first century BC poet Tibullus describes the festival in more detail. Participants abstained from sex the night before, bathed and put on new clothing. Ceres and Bacchus were invoked and asked to provide abundance and protect the grain from danger. A lamb was sacrificed and the cattle and fields were purified. Perhaps the cattle were driven between smoky bonfires as the Celts did at Beltane or torches were carried around the fields.
Virgil describes a typical procession around the field in this passage:
…But chiefly pay
Fit worship to the gods. Make sacrifice
Each year to sovereign Ceres, when the grass
Is green and glad, the winter making end
And gentle Spring is in the air, when lambs
Are fattening, when the wine grows smooth and mild,
And sweet is slumber in cool hillside shade.
Let all the country youth of manly prime
On Ceres call, bearing her tribute due
Of honey mixed with milk and sweet, new wine.
Three times around the freshly bladed corn
The blessed victim guide, while all the choir
In gladsome company an anthem sing,
Bidding the goddess to their lowly doors.
And let no reaper touch the ripened corn
With sickle keen until his brows bind
With twine of oak-leaf, while he trips along
In artless dance with songs in Ceres’ praise.
The festival of Brigid is one of emergence. In America, instead of goddesses emerging from the underworld or serpents slithering out of holes, we watch for the ground hog to pop out of his burrow.
Many animals are emerging from hibernation as the hours of sunlight increase. The bear is a true hibernator; it sleeps through the winter with a slower heart rate and a lower body temperature, without eating or urinating or defecating. Many other mammals that seem to hibernate, like raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, chipmunks, hamsters and hedgehogs, actually go into dormancy, rather than true hibernation, and wake up occasionally to move around and eat.
In England, the animal that comes out of hibernation on this day is the badger. Since there are no badgers in America, this role was assigned to the groundhog (or woodchuck). If the groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow on February 2nd, he goes back in and winter continues. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then winter will soon be over.
Silliness – For his part
What did the bald man say when he was given a comb for his birthday?”
“Oh, thank you! I’ll never part with it!”