It’s marvelously sunny out there with clear, sharp shadows! 50F, the wind is still, AQI9, UV6. The pollen count is registering “high” today. The chance of rain tonight into tomorrow is dropped and there’s almost none registering for a week out from here.
I started yesterday with computer housekeeping after falling down a Pinterest rabbit-hole that delayed the newsletter. It took a couple of hours, by which time Tempus was up and had made us coffee and sandwiches. We rounded that off with the last of the mini-eclairs that he picked up at Walmart, which were surprisingly good.
The sun came out around 5pm and the shop heated up surprisingly fast. We didn’t want to open the front door with us being closed, but we opened the back. I took a nap late in the afternoon since I had gotten up a bit early for when I got to sleep, and then spent the evening working on newsletter frames.
…and then late in the evening suddenly went off into German Renaissance cookery with a friend who is talking about helping with next winter’s House Capuchin feast. I think we spent a couple of hours jumping up and down in excitement and drooling. 🙂
I really didn’t sleep well, and today is the green screen photography over at the library. I have to be over there are 9:30 and Tempus hasn’t even gotten the pieces down and out to the car! Yikes! He’ll have the shop open at 11, as usual. I don’t know how long I’ll be over at the library.
Today’s plant is the tropical tree, the Rose Apple, Syzygium jambos – In ancient Sanskrit, the land now called India was referred to by the ancient Indians themselves as Jambudvipa, which means Rose-apple-land (jambud = rose apple; vipa = land). With its thick, leathery leaves and great span of branches, the Jambu Tree offers great shade and coolness against the sun. Stories tell that Lord Buddha sat in the shade of a Jambu Tree (the story is often told as a “Bodhi tree”), watching men plowing the land with oxen and meditating on the burdens we all must carry in this life. He was determined that he would either reach enlightenment or die where he sat. He finally saw his previous births and realized that people are born and reborn into different states according to their deeds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_jambos Information on the Bodhi Tree, Ficus religiosa here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhi_tree
Today’s Feast is in honor of the date in 1938 when the super-hero, Superman, first appeared in Action Comics. He’s a cultural icon, probably one of the most recognizable. He’s gone through comic books, newspaper comics, radio shows, television (my childhood… flying on a table with a fan in front of him. <grin>) movies, etc. This is a good article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman The picture is George Reeves from the government film, “Stamp Day for Superman”. This is the Reeves who was the television actor, not Christopher Reeves who played Superman in the movies, and in a irony of fate, was paralyzed from the neck down in a riding accident and lived the rest of his life on life support.
The shop opens at 11am. Spring hours are 11am-6pm 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
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 4/19 at 4:12am. 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 4/20 at 4:12pm.
Full Moon arrives at 7:12 a.m. EDT tomorrow morning, but it looks completely illuminated throughout the night. It rises in the east shortly before the Sun sets this evening and reaches its peak in the south around 1 a.m. local daylight time. The Full Moon lies in Virgo, about one binocular field northeast of that constellation’s brightest star, 1st-magnitude Spica, shines between Spica to its lower right and brighter Arcturus about four times farther to the Moon’s upper left (for North America).
Look west after the last vestiges of twilight fade away and you’ll witness the beginning of the winter sky’s decline. By 9:30 p.m. local daylight time, the lower tier of bright winter stars and constellations barely clears the horizon. From mid-northern latitudes, Sirius in Canis Major, Aldebaran in Taurus, and the three belt stars of Orion the Hunter all stand about 10° high. (Ten degrees is the approximate width of your closed fist when held at arm’s length.) Still, a higher tier of winter stars remains prominent. Look for Capella in Auriga, Castor and Pollux in Gemini, and Procyon in Canis Minor to keep the cold season on our minds — and in the sky — for several weeks to come.
Uranus and Neptune are out of sight in the glare of the Sun.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for April https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-april-2019
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Runic half-month of Mannaz/ Man, April 14-28 A time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12 – The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and ages appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were colleges of Druidesses – learned women and teachers – respected equally for their gifts of see-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions.
Magical Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 18 High 12:16 AM 8.2 6:27 AM Set 6:29 AM 96
~ 18 Low 6:37 AM -0.1 8:04 PM Rise 7:24 PM
~ 18 High 12:39 PM 7.7
~ 18 Low 6:47 PM 0.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a powerful day!
~ I woke up one day a star. It was terrifying. Then I worked hard toward becoming a good actor. – Burt Lancaster
~ The thing women have got to learn is that nobody gives you power. You just take it. – Roseanne Barr
~ Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in these days? – John Adams, second President of the USA
~ I don’t belong to any organized party. I’m a Democrat. – Will Rogers
While the bright radient sun in centre glows,
The earth in annual motion round it goes;
At the same time on its own axis reels,
And gives us change of seasons as it wheels. – The 1793 Old Farmer’s Almanac (title page of Vol. 1, No. 1)
Beltane Magick – Constructing a Maypole (by Anja) – The Maypole of Beltane stands for the combination of the fertility of the Divine Masculine when joined with the Divine Feminine. No one knows the ancient roots of the ceremony, but the symbolism is obvious. Instructions here work for a Maypole for between 10 & 20 people. This is a lot of prep work, but massive amounts of fun!
There are several parts to a Maypole: the pole itself, the foundation, the ribbons, the wreath and the topper.
This can be of almost any material, but unless you live in a forest, where there are slender (2” -3”) straight trees with few branches, the most practical is a piece of closet pole from a lumberyard! Get it cut from 10-12 feet long.
At the same time buy a length of 1/8 inch dowel. Drill a hole in one end at least 1 ½ inches deep.
Drill 3 holes about 8” down from that end of the long pole, spaced equidistant around the pole. They should be to 1/8 inch diameter and about a 1/4 to ½ inch deep.
Cut 4 pieces of dowel 8 inches long. Make sure that they are loose in the holes, but don’t just fall out. You will balance the wreath on these dowels.
Save the 4th piece of dowel for the “topper”.
You will need to dig a hole in the ground at least a foot deep, (better yet, two!) and be prepared to tamp the dirt back in very, very hard. Some people have tried to use “portable holes” for this, but since they are no more than 8 inches long they usually fail and someone gets knocked on the head! We had good success one year using a round, folding picnic table with an umbrella hole in the center and tamping the pole in about 6” or so into beach sand. It leaned badly, although it didn’t fall. (The table became the ritual altar). You can also construct a stand for holding the pole upright, but try it several ways, yanking on it, because when the dancers get going the pole had better not fall over. The stand will usually have to support the pole up to 3 feet off the ground to give it any stability.
Brightly colored ribbon is the traditional material. I have heard of folks using macramé cord, rope and yarn for this, as well. We have used surveyors tape several times now, because it is strong, bright and inexpensive. Do *not* use florist’s ribbon with the cut edges! Those edges *cut* and you don’t want your dancers bleeding. This ritual doesn’t call for blood sacrifice. J Cut the ribbons ½ again the length of the pole, iow for an 8 foot pole, cut ribbons 12 feet long, one per person, but always an even number.
You need a 12” wreath. This is often constructed of hawthorn, but again, no need for blood sacrifice, so most folks use a grapevine wreath base that you can get at a craft store and stick fresh flowers in it.
If you weave your own, you need a wire ring, 12” diameter, thread and freshly-cut flowers & herbs. I often use rosemary, since it smells great and holds up.
Tie your thread to the wire ring and then begin wrapping around and around (about 1” distance per wrap), laying a new branch of rosemary in when about ½ of the previous one is tied down. Try not to catch the needles or smaller branches in the thread. Tie off when about 1/3 of the way around, again about another 1/3 and when you get all the way around.
As you go around a 2nd time, add at least 1 flower with each wrap, tying off with each 1/3 of the wreath. You can make a 3rd pass if you don’t add enough flowers on the 2nd pass.
Maypole Topper – cones of various trees follow the correspondences.
Gather 9 spruce cones (the long slender type), one larger cone (a large pine cone), and a double handful of alder/larch cones. You also need a small bunch of babies’ breath.
Drill a hole longways through the largest cone (two sets of hands are necessary!). Insert the last piece of dowel leaving about 4 inches sticking out the bottom of the cone.
Using a hot glue gun, glue 3 of the spruce cones spaced equidistant around the larger cone, all pointing the same way.
Glue 3 more with their bottoms touching the dowel and between the bases of the other spruce cones.
Repeat with the last three on the top of the construct, only glue the babies’ breath at the very top between the cones. Fill in spaces with the alder cones.
You can decorate with gold glitter and/or spangles
Assembling the pole
Get your hole dug first. Hang the wreath near the drilled end of the pole. Add your topper by inserting the dowel into the hole in the pole. Count noses for your group and tack as many ribbons on as there are noses as near the end of the pole as possible. Carefully insert the dowels into the other holes with the ribbons in 3 bunches between them, then set up the pole. If you are careful as you lift the pole the wreath will drop onto the small dowels without dislodging anything. Patience or a tall enough ladder is required!
To “Dance the Pole”
Space all your dancers around the pole as equidistant as possible. Each takes a ribbon and pulls it outwards until they are holding only about 2 feet of ribbon in their hands. Usually this will knock the dowels loose and the ribbon will be holding up the wreath. If they don’t, shake the ribbons closest to the dowels while folks are holding theirs tight
Have them count off “1, 2, 1, 2…” then tell the “ones” to face left and the “twos” to face right. Go around the first person on the right, those on the inside ducking under the ribbon, then pass the next on the left and so on. Talk them through a bit of it and then get someone to sing or drum or whatever you have. As the ribbons weave around the pole the wreath will gradually drop. When you’re done, or everyone’s ready to drop, gather the ribbons in two bunches and tie in a “true love knot”, i.e. a square knot.
It’ll be a bit of a mess, no matter what you do. Laugh, sing and play!
©2009 Anja Bartlett
Silliness – Signs and Notices – I went to a little hole in the wall restaurant: the sign read: Women are not served here. You have to bring your own.