Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
We’ve been going back and forth from rain to sun today. Most of the time the sky is overcast, but then the sun comes through and it’s so bright compared to a couple of months ago! 57F, 5mph, AQI7, UV5. We’ve gotten over 1/2 an inch of rain today. The amount of grass pollen is climbing, but the computer reports really contradict each other. It’s likely to be wet off and on all week, though we should have a break tomorrow, at least for part of the day.
Yesterday evening after I got the newsletter out was fairly quiet. Tempus was still working on the copper amulet tubes and I worked in back. Some of it was sorting rocks. We’ve got a lot of jaspers and agates that are rough-tumbled. I’m tempted to make a basket of “orphan” stones… ones that aren’t worth spending the tumbler grit on, but are pretty enough, anyway. I need to get Tempus to haul the heavier boxes out, so I can see what we have before I commit myself, though.
We went to sleep late, and then I ended up having to sit up for several hours waiting for an asthma attack to pass. I got a little more embroidery done while that was going on. I’ve been doing computer housekeeping and Tempus is working on the car when it’s not raining. Paper route tonight and he has a shopping run to do ahead of that.
Today’s plant, Western Bracken Fern, Pteridium aquilinum, is a hardy plant that moves into disturbed ground. It dies down in the winter and grows very green, standing waist-high in the warm parts of the summer. You read a lot in literature of people making love in the bracken, which is part of its association with fertility, since it will hide a couple having fun! It used to be used a lot as a “strewing herb” in places with stone floors, since it smells nice when walked on and has some anti-bug effects. – Masculine, Mercury, Air –Burn outside for rain, use in amulets for protection, healing and fertility. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pteridium_aquilinum
Today’s Feast is International Children’s Book Day in honor of the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, the author of such Fairy Tales as The Angel, the Little Mermaid, 12 Wild Swans, the Emperor’s New Clothes and the Ugly Duckling! More on the day here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Children%27s_Book_Day …and Anderson here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Andersen
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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 4/6 at 1:58am. 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 4/3 at 1:50pm.
Jupiter continues to grow more prominent before dawn. The giant planet rises shortly after 1 a.m. local daylight time and climbs 30° high in the south an hour before sunup. It also shines at magnitude –2.3, making it the brightest point of light in the morning sky until Venus rises around 5:30 a.m. A telescope reveals at least two conspicuous cloud belts on Jupiter’s 40″-diameter disk. And this morning, the planet sports a “black eye” as the shadow of its moon Io crosses the disk. Any telescope will show the inky black spot of this volcanically active satellite as it moves from east to west across the bright cloud tops. The shadow transit begins at 3:25 a.m. EDT and runs until 5:36 a.m. Io itself crosses the jovian disk from 4:38 to 6:48 a.m. Any telescope will provide an excellent view of these transits.
Bright Capella shines high in the northwest after dusk. Its pale-yellow color matches that of the Sun, meaning they’re both about the same temperature. But otherwise Capella is very different. It consists of two yellow giant stars, larger and brighter than the Sun, orbiting each other every 104 days. Moreover, for telescope users, it’s accompanied by a distant, tight pair of red dwarfs: Capella H and L, magnitudes 10 and 13. Article and finder charts.
Mars (magnitude +1.5, in Taurus) glows in the west after dusk. It’s the orange-red spark near the Pleiades, lower left of brighter orange Aldebaran. Mars this season is about as far from us as it ever gets; in a telescope it’s a tiny blob 4.6 arcseconds across.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for April not yet available
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fearn (FAIR-n)
Runic half-month of Ehwaz, 3/30-4/13 – Ehwaz, the horse; time of partnership between humans and Nature, as between rider and horse. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 55
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month – Ailim – Silver Fir
Color: Light Blue
Meaning: Learning from past mistakes; Take care in choices.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 2 Low 5:54 AM 2.1 6:55 AM Rise 6:13 AM 11
~ 2 High 11:40 AM 6.9 7:45 PM Set 5:13 PM
~ 2 Low 6:13 PM 0.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – As the sun shines upon you and the day must come to an end reflect upon the people you met and how you made a new friend. Remember to be caring, kind and happy. because you never know why someone is snappy and your smile could change their day.
~ People didn’t expect me to have emotion like other women. – Ingrid Bergman
I don’t think anybody should write his autobiography until after he’s dead. – Samuel Goldwyn (attrib.)
It’s not the men in my life that counts but the life in my men. – Mae West, American actress, born on August 17, 1892
~ At least I hate myself as much as I hate anybody else. – Robert Crumb
The bay trees in our country are all wither’d,
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
The pale-fac’d moon looks bloody on the earth
And lean-look’d prophets whisper fearful change;
Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,
The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
The other to enjoy by rage and war.
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings. – William Shakespeare; Richard II, Act II, Scene iv (a Welsh captain warns the Earl of Salisbury) Shakespeare on Omens and Prophecies
Beltane Magick – Ideas and Activities for Beltane – http://crystalforest3.homestead.com/beltane.html *** are also great to do with children 😉
***Walk the perimeter of your property to check that everything is in good order. Bring trash bags and do a general clean-up of anything that is not where it should be.
Make a miniature maypole for your altar if you cannot make a full size version
Get a new mirror, or use one you have already, and decorate it with ribbons and flowers for your bedroom
Fill a cauldron or a large bowl with fresh flowers (wildflowers are best)
***Braid bracelets out of white ribbons and give them as gifts to friends or family
***Make a dish of fruits, berries, nuts and leave in the wood for the animals and fae folk to enjoy
Cut branches of fresh green from budding trees, or make garlands of flowers to decorate the home for this celebration. Hang them on the doors and windows early, so the may sunrise finds them there!
Create a special wreath for the top of the May Pole
***Make “May Day” baskets of flowers and leave on friends and family’s doorsteps as a surprise gift. Maybe they’ll think a faerie did it!
***Create hair pieces and garlands for decorating your head or around your neck from flowers that are in bloom
***Tie ribbons to trees to celebrate the coming of spring. Make a wish each time you tie a ribbon as it’s good luck to wish for things on this day!
Bathe your face in the morning dew to retain youth.
The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.
Other sources suggest using the dew found under oaks or on ivy leaves. Make a special wish as you wash your face in it or as you drink from a well before sunrise. [Just make sure it’s *ivy* not *poison ivy!]
***Dance the May Pole – During the Maypole dance, think about what you wish to weave into, or out of, your spirit. The Maypole is an ancient symbol of the male aspect of the Divine, while the ribbons are strands of life. Have small baskets of goodies around the room to symbolize the coming abundance and to enjoy after the Circle. Magic is hungry work. (from Trish Telesco’s Victorian Grimoire)
Do a Beltane Day Spell for Health and Happiness
Plant your frost sensitive bulbs now.