Yesterday did not start well. I was having an heck of a time getting all the way ready for the day and then, as soon as I had everything entirely pulled apart so that I could start doing the headers for tomorrow (they have to be jpegs on a memory stick and they’re normally in Corel….) customers came in, Tempus ran out to do errands and I ended up frantic.
The papers were *really* late last night. He wasn’t even started bagging until nearly 11:30! He picked me up at 5 and I got dropped back off just past 6. It was starting to get light when I got into the car and nearly full daylight at the end. I watched the 1/2 disk of the Moon flirting in and out of clouds and even managed to see Jupiter, although Saturn was hidden while it was dark enough and by the time the clouds started to clear it was already too light. He was done at 7:30.
Today we opened a few minutes late. I went in back and slept some more. Tempus has to run in to Newport today to run some errands and I have to get the rest of the plants into pots.
Today’s Plant is Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris. One of the Nine Herbs of the old Anglo-Saxon charm, this herb has many different uses from insect-repelling to flavoring beer. It’s a bad one for pregnant women to ingest since it can induce abortion, since it’s a mild poison, but it’s used as a medicinal for various complaints and as a food. Some of the traditional folk uses are: magical protection, to repel insects, especially moths, from gardens., as a remedy against fatigue, to protect travelers against evil spirits and wild animals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Herbs_Charmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mugwort–Feminine, Venus, Air/Earth – Magical uses: Clairvoyance, psychic dreams, astral projection, protection, strength. Place in the shoes for protection and to prevent fatigue on long journeys. The fresh leaves rubbed on a magick mirror or crystal ball will strengthen divinatory abilities. Mugwort is perhaps the most widely used Witches’ herb of all time.
Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Sybil Luddington? This is the 16-year-old girl who rode 40 miles, banging on doors and hollering in various villages and town to warn colonists of the approach of the British forces in Connecticut during the Revolutionary War. Wikipedia has a good article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybil_Ludington
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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 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. 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 4/30 at 2:45am.
Last-quarter Moon (exact at 6:18 p.m. EDT). The Moon rises tonight around 3 a.m. daylight-saving time, right in the center of the dim, boat-shape pattern of Capricornus the Sea Goat. Earth’s only natural satellite will appear slightly less than half-lit. High above it is Altair. The brightest “stars” far to the Moon’s right or upper right are Saturn, then Jupiter.
The Venus-Mercury challenge gets tougher. Venus (magnitude –3.9) and much fainter Mercury (about magnitude 0.0) are both very low in the brightening dawn. Pick up Venus above the due-east horizon about 20 minutes before sunrise. Then use binoculars or a wide-field telescope to look for little Mercury 5° or 6° to its lower left. Good luck.
Mars traverses the 6th-magnitude open star cluster NGC 1746 this evening. Because the cluster is big — its diameter is slightly larger than the Full Moon — you’ll want to use binoculars or a telescope at low power for the best views. Unfortunately, Mars appears only 4″ across and won’t show any detail.
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
F 26 Low 12:20 AM 3.6 6:14 AM Rise 2:38 AM 60
~ 26 High 5:53 AM 6.3 8:14 PM Set 12:02 PM
~ 26 Low 1:08 PM 0.7
~ 26 High 8:05 PM 5.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Close your eyes and take a few letting-go breaths, patiently entering the silent, mindful place within you.
~ If “heaven is the Lord’s,” the earth is the inheritance of man, and that consequently any honest traveller has the right to walk as he chooses, all over that globe which is his. – Alexandra David-Néel, first foreign woman explorer of Tibet, born on October 24, 1868; My Journey to Lhasa
~ It is curious that … the charge of the Light Brigade should loom so large in British legend. Only 673 men were involved, and they lost 157 men out of 20,000 war dead. Why have the British chosen to make a sentimental legend out of a pointless effort arising from muddled orders? The entirely successful and equally gallant charge of the Heavy Brigade earlier on the same day is generally forgotten … – Corelli Barnett, historian
~ The object of oratory alone is not truth but persuasion. – Lord Macaulay, English statesman, born on October 25, 1800, ‘ Essay on Athenian Orators’
~ I don’t search. I find. – Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist, born on October 25, 1881
Fair Flora! Now attend thy sportful feast,
Of which some days I with design have past;
A part in April and a part in May
Thou claim’st, and both command my tuneful lay;
And as the confines of two months are thine
To sing of both the double task be mine. – Latin poet Ovid, Fasti; for Flora (Floralia) April 28-May 3
Thyrsus ©2013 M. Bartlett
This is one of the variations on a wand that is specific to Beltane as Wicca practice it. Our version comes directly from Ancient Greece, where the thyrsus (also spelled thyrsos) was a sacred instrument at religious rituals and festivals, particularly in the rites of Dionysus. The original was a stick of giant fennel (Ferula communis) with ivy, always topped with a pine cone. Sometimes they were wound with ribbon, as well, I’d guess to keep the ivy from unwinding and for “pretty”.
They’re usually seen as a phallic symbol and often paired with a cup for the wine used in the rituals. The Maypole can be seen as a large version of this, the symbolism being obvious to practitioners of a fertility religion!
There’s a little more information here and a number of links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyrsos
They’re pretty easy to make, since you can take any stick and fasten a pine cone to the end….
To make a useable one for Wiccan use that will hold up to more than 5 minutes of a ritual, takes a little more preparation.
Materials & Tools for the wand:
A dowel ½” or 5/8”, any thicker gets too heavy.
A pine cone, preferably one with a thick core
Glue (a thick craft glue, like Tacky Glue ™ or carpenters’ wood glue)
Drill and either a tiny bit for pilot holes or an 1/8 inch bit
Scissors and/or wire cutters
A double ended screw, 1/8 inch or so, but 2” long, if you can find one
If not: then a drill with an 1/8 inch bit and a short length (about 2 inches) of 1/8 in dowel
Or: small gauge wire….
For the decorations:
lightweight string, hemp cord is ideal
lengths of real ivy for immediate use (about 2 foot lengths)
or if real stuff is not available or you’re going to use this repeatedly, about 8 feet of “silk flower” artificial ivy, do not use plastic….
about 6 feet of lightweight gold ribbon
Drill pilot holes for the double-ended screw into both pinecone and the end of the dowel, dribble glue on the screw, dowel and cone and then screw together.
Drill 1/8 in hole in both cone and dowel, add glue in both holes, insert the dowel and shove together.
Let dry overnight.
Decorate by attaching 2 foot lengths of ivy and ribbon tied with the light string at the cone end of the wand. Let hang free or wind around and tie in place at the bottom.
May Cup (For Beltane)
Long-stemmed goblet or glass
Potpourri/seasonal dried or fake flowers
Red, white, and/or gold ribbon
Small grapevine wreath
Charm for decoration
Fill the cup with floral decorations of the season (bluebells, roses, daisies, primroses, lilac) or potpourri in May colors (green, soft pink, blue, yellow, and/or white). Around the cup, use gold, red, or white ribbon to hang a charm of some sort; some of the best images to use would be a grapevine or twig star (available at most craft stores or easily constructed with twigs and wire), a bell, or a faery image, possibly even a small broom or just a string of beads. Now the stem of the cup can be decorated however you like: Wire-stemmed flowers can be wound around it, or fake ivy, or even red and white ribbons wound around like a maypole if that suits the decoration. Place the cup in the center of the grapevine wreath, and also decorate the wreath with seasonal florals, including red and white ribbons. Use it as a centerpiece for a seasonal altar or kitchen table.
The “May cup” was originally a chalice whose purpose was to hold wine or another beverage which was consumed by the May King and May Queen, elected by the people during the town May Day party. The cup can be used in solitary, couple, or group ritual to hold a blessed beverage for the ritual; the cup can be decorated but left empty of florals until after the beverage has been consumed. Then it can be rinsed with water and filled by the participants with the various florals.
Sabbat Crafts page – http://members.aol.com/ivycleartoes/crafts.html
Sabbats main page – http://members.aol.com/ivycleartoes/sabbats.html
Ivy’s Pentacles – http://members.aol.com/ivycleartoes/pentacle.html
May Pole Candles
You will need:
Lots of pretty ribbons
Tall white or green pillar candle
Gold or brass “Craft Bells”
Candle holder (stand)
Cut lengths of ribbon around 18 inches each, in pretty Springtime colors.(pastels)
Tie a craft bell to each end of ribbon (a tooth pick helps this process) Tie ribbons starting
at 3/4 way down the pillar candle, knot three times, don’t tie bows, you need lots of length on the ribbons. Tie as many as you like snaking your way up the candle, but leave at least 1/4 candle bare. Place in a candle stand that will raise the candle about 6 – 8 inches, so the ribbons can “drape” Swirl the bundle of ribbons so they face East, ready to greet the dawn on Beltane morn. Light candle and cheer the Spring time blessings to come. Keep a “safe” eye on candle & ribbons. By Barbara Morris
A new bride went crying to her mother. “Momma, I can’t get Neil to do anything. I want him to fix up the house, and he keeps putting it off.”
“Honey,” her mother replied, “after being married to your father for sixty years, I’ve found the only way to get him to do anything is to tell him he’s too old.”