Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
The bright sunshine is making me want to go hide under a rock, somewhere. I don’t like being this kind of tired! Last week’s broken sleep caught up to me, yesterday and it hanging on. 53F, wind at 3mph, AQI20, UV6. Afternoons through the weekend are likely to be windy. Good kite-flying weather! Practically no chance of rain for the next 10 days, although if we get fog in the late part of the night, it sometimes turns a little aggressive in these conditions.
Yesterday it seemed as though nothing happened. Both Tempus and I were very, very tired and spent most of the day behind our computers. None of the stuff we planned to work on got done and eventually we gave up and went to bed. I’m still not quite up to snuff this morning, hoping that coffee will actually get me going.
So, all the things from yesterday have to happen today, along with having the shop open. Yes, we got the doors open about 1/2 an hour ago. There’s still a batch of laundry to do, dishes, that stew, and picking up the recycling. Tempus needs to get the ceiling tiles done today. I need to get some headers together for Tempus to get run off tomorrow when he goes to Newport. Tonight’s the paper run, too. Well, gotta get to it!
Today’s plant, sacred to both St. Dorothea (patron saint of florists, which is the attribution that you usually see) and to Aphrodite, is the Jacinth or blue Hyacinth, Hyacinthus orientalis. It is highly poisonous, but has a use or two in the herbalist’s pharmacopeia. It is a lovely plant with a sweet scent that is a garden favorite. It hybridizes easily and will propagate itself in the right environment. – Male, Venus, Water – Promotes happiness, peace of mind and peaceful sleep. Attracts love, luck, and good fortune. Named for Hiakinthos, Greek God of homosexual love, this is the patron herb for gay men. Guards against nightmares when used as an oil, burned as incense, or included in dream pillows. Carry in amulet or sachet to ease grief or the pain of childbirth. More on this plant here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthus_orientalis or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinth_%28plant%29 and on St. Dorothea here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_of_Caesare
Today is the date in 1986 when the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Chernobyl, Ukrainian SSR, suffered a steam explosion, resulting in a fire, a nuclear meltdown, and the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people around Europe. It apparently started from an unauthorized experiment, a couple of large power surges and then graphite being exposed to air, which caused it to catch fire. The long-term effects are pretty horrendous and haven’t been caught up with, yet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Nuclear_Power_Plant More on the disaster itself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster
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
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 5/4 at 3:45pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 4/26 at 3:18pm.
Two days after its close encounter with Jupiter, the waning gibbous Moon slides past Saturn this morning. The two objects rise around 1:30 a.m. local daylight time and climb 25° high in the east-southeast by the time twilight begins. Of course, Saturn is a treat all week long. The ringed planet shines at magnitude 0.5 and appears significantly brighter than any of the background stars in its host constellation, Sagittarius the Archer. A telescope shows the gas giant’s 17″-diameter disk and a spectacular ring system that spans 39″ and tilts 23° to our line of sight.
Right after dark, find Procyon high over bright Sirius in the southwest. Look upper left of Procyon by 15° (about a fist and a half at arm’s length) for the dim head of Hydra, the enormous Sea Serpent. His head is a group of 3rd- and 4th- magnitude stars about the size of your thumb at arm’s length. About a fist and a half lower left of Hydra’s head shines Alphard, his 2nd-magnitude, orange heart. The rest of Hydra zigzags (faintly) from Alphard all the way over and down almost to the southeast horizon.
Neptune is out of sight in the glow of sunrise.
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 25 High 4:55 AM 6.9 6:16 AM Rise 1:54 AM 70
~ 25 Low 12:08 PM 0.3 8:13 PM Set 11:06 AM
~ 25 High 6:58 PM 5.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Middle age is that difficult period between adolescence and retirement when you have to take care of yourself.
~ All currency is neurotic currency. – Norman O Brown, American philosopher, born on October 25, 1913
~ The just man builds on a modest foundation and gradually proceeds to greater things. – King Alfred the Great (attrib.)
~ When women understand that governments and religions are human inventions; that bibles, prayer-books, catechisms, and encyclical letters are all emanations from the brains of man, they will no longer be oppressed by the injunctions that come to them with the divine authority of ‘Thus sayeth the Lord’. – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American feminist, who died on October 26, 1902
~ Oh, had I received the education I desired, had I been bred to the profession of the law, I might have been a useful member of society, and instead of myself and my property being taken care of, I might have been a protector of the helpless, a pleader for the poor and unfortunate. – Sarah Moore Grimké, American abolitionist, attorney, judge and feminist, born on November 26, 1792; As quoted in The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina (1969) by Gerda Lerna
Beltane Magick – Zen and the Art of Barbeque – http://www.chroniclesofavalon.com/beltane2003print.html By: Seraphina~m’Anatar
Warning, these articles may be a bit on the fanatical side, and may evoke strong primeval urges, for which I wish to apologise in advance if this troubles you, or if you become a fellow BBQ addict. Either way, may the gods and goddesses shine upon you and bless your kettle grill.
What is it about the combination of glowing coals and slow roasting meat that brings out the spiritual grill goddess in me? I have no clue, really, but many hints at an answer that are dancing in my mind. I first fell in love with the Weber Kettle grill when I was a youth, and have many, many fond memories of my father beginning the ritual in the morning and the end results lovingly placed upon the family altar, or dining table, in the evening as we all enjoyed the fruits of the season. Family holidays, birthdays, any event could be turned into a reason to pull out the grill and begin this ceremony. And ceremony it was, for my father was the High Priest of the Grill, small matter that during the rest of the week he was a good Irish Catholic man. I learned many of the ritual secrets at his side, and began walking this spiritual path of enlightenment.
Sadly, my father now lives far away from my family and me, and although we still see each other a few times during the year, the weekend rituals now fall upon my shoulders. For many years, I was merely an acolyte and had not fully embraced the Zen of BBQ. This year, marked by many other inner changes (such as the addition to my name), has brought me to embracing the role of Priestess of the Grill. Follow me on this journey.
Embarking Upon the Ritual Path:
The first step in the Ritual of the Grill is to select your tools. Like any other spiritual path, care must be taken in choosing these tools, for there are no short cuts to Enlightenment. The most basic requirement is a Kettle Grill that is fed by charcoal. Gas grills are heinous shortcuts that will leave you (and your food) dry and parched of spiritual knowledge. For a solo practitioner, the smallest grill is acceptable, however, if you, like us have a larger gathering, the biggest grill is needed. All are perfect vessels and will function the same way; the only difference is the amount of food that may be prepared upon them.
The second step is learning which charcoal is best to use. Unadulterated charcoal is highly advised, the coals soaked with chemicals to make them light easier are unreliable, as well as environmentally toxic, and with proper preparation, totally uncalled for. Soaked wood chips will add a variety to your rite, and may be chosen according to the magical properties of the wood, depending on the results you wish to cook into the food. Access to a woods is a bonus for this, as you can harvest windfalls and make your own chips. You can certainly make your own charcoal, but that is a story for another issue, for I am still learning this sacred art.
Thirdly, you must prepare your censer, or your coal chimney. A large coffee can will do for this, and can easily be converted for use by cutting the top and bottom off, punching holes in the bottom with a can opener (the old fashioned ones with the triangle tip) and peeling the paper label off. This will give you your tool for starting the base coals off nicely with no icky chemicals.
Other necessary tools are tongs, a fork, and a poker for moving the coals around. For this, I have a foot long oak wand about 2 inches in diameter that I found on the forest floor, and have nicely fire hardened by years of use. These are all the tools you need! Any salesman at the local home depot store who tells you otherwise is practicing a pitch to get you to buy useless fluff at best or sacrilege at worst! Desired miscellaneous tools are Olive Oil and a pastry brush, easily obtained from the grocer and avoiding the pesky hardware store salesman.
The Day of the Ritual
Once you have your basic tools assembled, the ritual may be enacted on any desired day, weather permitting, although I have been espied performing the sacred rite on both rainy and bitter cold days. The gods of BBQ laugh at inclement weather, although serious weather such as blizzards or hurricanes tends to put a damper on things.
In the morning, buy your selected cuts of meat and vegetables. Look for the freshest produce you can find. And if you are a vegetarian, which is no excuse for forgoing the Rite of BBQ, there are myriads of scrumptious vegetables that may be grilled to perfection and the delight of all participants in the rite! The gods of BBQ laugh at the thought that vegetarians cannot enjoy this sacred rite, especially now that there are Boca Burgers so readily available to all.
After returning from your successful foray into modern day hunting and gathering, find a pan that you can lay out your cuts of meat in (if they are ribs or chicken legs, etc.) and some plastic wrap. Here is where the art of the individual practitioner applies (and I will be supplying recipes that are our faves in upcoming newsletters) to the rite. I like to rub the cuts with olive oil and then add my blend of meat rub to the cuts and let them marinade for about 5 hours. Cover the tray with plastic wrap to seal in the juices and keep out the airborne critters. If it is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or less, you may safely let the meats marinate on the counter top. If it is above this (65 degrees F) let them marinate in the refrigerator! Let me stress this, as we wish to celebrate BBQ and its spiritual path, not wind up in hospital with botulism or some other variety of food poisoning, the gods of BBQ do not laugh at food poisoning!
As you walk by this fleshy offering to the gods and family, reflect on the cycle of life, and how we all must intake of energy to continue living. As does all Life. We are in a perpetual cycle of give and take, in the form of energy (and flesh and vegetable matter is naught but starlight and sunlight, soil, water, and air made manifest) and this cycle is sacred in the Cosmos. We dance in Shiva’s Dance of Cosmic Rhythm, live daily Gaia’s cycle of creation and destruction, ingest and metamorphosis star matter. It is inescapable, and it is our responsibility to participate in this cycle with eyes open and with responsible knowledge.
Silliness – How Fast?
Little Johnny was talking to a couple of boys in the school yard. Each was bragging about how great their fathers are.
The first one said: “Well, my father runs the fastest. He can fire an arrow, and start to run, I tell you, he gets there before the arrow!”
The second one said: “Ha! You think that’s fast! My father is a hunter. He can shoot his gun and be there before the bullet!”
Little Johnny listened to the other two boys and shook his head. He then said: “Sorry, dudes… but MY DAD is the fastest. He’s a civil servant. He stops working at 4:30,… and he’s home by 3:45!”