Featured photo by The Coast photography, Melissa Hansen.
The sky is blue, but rather pale and while it’s sunny the shadows look skimpy. Hmm… 68F, wind at 8mph and gusting into the teens, AQI11, UV8. Sun and cloud in the forecast with the usual night-time possible dampness. Ya know, are we living in Camelot? “The rain may never fall till after sundown. By 8 the morning fog must disappear!”
The early part of yesterday got spent on computer housekeeping. When we’re busy during the week that becomes a real mess!
about midafternoon I went out to work on herbs and the other plants. I harvested some for drying, some for salad and some for making a couple of thyme starts for Jay. Once I was back in I pestered Tempus to help with a couple of things that have been in need of potting for awhile and to get my dirt and it just never got done. Too many other little things….
Tempus made another batch of the egg bread and we had leftover pork roast and ham on those for supper with a good green salad. Not long after that Tempus headed for Newport and I curled up for a nap, then got out my embroidery and worked on that for a couple of hours.
By 11pm he was doing bulk drops and started the regular route right around midnight. I spent awhile on newsletter set-up for the week. I got picked up at about 3:30 and dropped off at 4:30. Even with the Moon being pretty bright and dawn starting and the very clear sky, the Pleiades were visible.
I didn’t get up until 1pm and I’ve been taking my time getting this out. The shift in sleep patterns leave me kinda groggy, so I haven’t been fighting it today. Once I’m moving I have to empty the dehydrator and police up the various herbs that have scattered across the shop and I’m hoping to talk Tempus into finishing the inventory of the Herb Wall, so we can start on other things and get the crates of backstock put away.
I had been hoping to do a cheese last night and then sew, but didn’t have the space. Maybe that’ll get fixed, too. …and I want to get the box out to the kids…and embroider…and get ready for my weekend trip… and…and… I ought to go back to bed!
Today’s Feast is that of St. Kinga, or Cunegunde, who was Grand Duchess of Poland in the 13th century. She was married, but she and her husband, the Grand Duke, Boleslav V, known as “the Chaste”, kept their chastity inside of marriage. When he died, she became a Poor Clare, eventually an abbess, having sold all her possessions and given the money to the poor. She’s a patron of Poland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinga_of_Poland
Today’s plant is St. John’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum, which traditionally blooms at mid-summer on the pagan festival that the feast of St. John the Baptist replaced. It is widely used in the treatment of depression and to ward off evil, both in a medical and magickal sense. Charms made of this herbs, harvested on the summer solstice (or on June 24 or July 7, depending on your culture) make some of the best protection charms (especially against lightning) and good prosperity charms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John%27s_wort
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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 7/31 at 8:12pm. 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 7/24 at 6:18pm. 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 7/27 at 8:12am.
Last-quarter Moon (exact at 6:18 p.m. PDT). The Moon rises late tonight, around midnight or 1 a.m., way down below Andromeda and Pegasus in the east. Earth’s satellite appears against the relatively inconspicuous background stars of northern Cetus the Whale >>>.
Mercury, Venus, and Mars are out of sight in the glare of the Sun. Mercury will be back in view in the dawn come August, but Venus and Mars are basically gone until October.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for July – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-july-2019
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4
Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 24 Low 12:27 AM 2.1 5:55 AM Rise 12:26 AM 62
~ 24 High 5:59 AM 5.0 8:51 PM Set 1:28 PM
~ 24 Low 12:06 PM 1.4
~ 24 High 6:45 PM 6.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.
~ I do not believe in sex distinction in literature, law, politics, or trade – or that modesty and virtue are more becoming to women than to men, but wish we had more of it everywhere. – Belva Lockwood (1830-1917) US attorney
~ The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. – John Muir
~ Stick-to-it-iveness is strength and entanglement is weakness. You must know the difference. – Miyamoto Musashi
~ A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. ~William Penn
Then came hot July, boiling like to fire,
That all his garments he had cast away.
Upon a lyon raging with ire
He boldly rode, and made him to obey:
(It was the beast that whilom did forray
The Nemaean forest, till the Amphitrionide
Him slew, and with his hide did him array:)
Behind his backe a sithe, and by his side
Under his belt he bore a sickle circling wide. – Edmund Spenser (c. 1552 – January 13, 1599), English poet; Faerie Queen, ‘The Cantos of Mutabilitie‘
Collect blackberries and make a fresh pie marked with the Solar Cross. Activities taken from “Green Witchcraft” by Anne Moura (Aoumiel)
Blackberries – School for the Seasons 8/13/05
Although I’m the Queen of Holidays, my good intentions always outrun my abilities. I’m sorry to report I did not go blackberry-picking on Lammas, as I intended, except in the most casual way during a walk along the lake, but that’s OK because my daughter took over the holiday tradition and showed up on Lughnasad Eve with three containers full of freshly-picked, still warm blackberries, which we’ve enjoyed in the past weeks in a variety of ways including in pancakes, topping yogurt, and (my favorite) with Hagen Daaz Light Vanilla Bean ice cream.
Last night my daughter took the last of the remaining blackberries (which were beginning to ferment even though kept in the refrigerator) and distilled them down into a delicious syrup, with a faint flavor of wine, spiced with black pepper and cloves.
May you allow yourself the spontaneity of lazy days of summer,
Brigid’s Blackberry Pie – Recipe by Edain McCoy – (Makes one nine-inch pie)
- 4 cups fresh blackberries (thawed frozen is okay)
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a deep pie dish with the pie crust, or purchase a commercially-made one. Set aside. Mix all other ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. If it appears too “wet”, mix in a little more flour (about 2 tablespoons). Turn the fruit into the pie shell and dot with butter or margarine. You can bake the pie as is, or cover it with another pie crust. If you do this, pinch down the ends to hold it to the other crust. Then score the top several times with a sharp knife. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top crust is a golden brown. (Note: A sugar-free version can be made by substituting appropriate amounts of artificial sweetener.)
(The above recipe for “Brigid’s Blackberry Pie” is quoted directly from Edain McCoy’s book “The Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways”, page 179, Llewellyn Publications, 1994)
Blaeberry Jam – Bilberries – http://www.chalicecentre.net/lughnasadh.htm
Bilberries, ( fraocháin, blaeberries, blueberries, whortleberries,) the first wild fruits, were a sign of the earth’s covenant with her children, so it was very important to gather and share them with the community. In early Ireland, bilberries were sent as tribute to the High King, according to the medieval Book of Rights:
On the calends of August to the king
Were brought from each respective district,
… the heath-fruit of Brigh-Leithe;
Quantities were eaten on the way up to the Lughnasadh hill of assembly, but the ones that managed to make it down might be made into jam or “fraughan cakes” or simply mashed with cream. A special treat was bilberry wine, which was most enjoyed by lovers, and had the reputation for hastening on the wedding! As was typical in a more neighborly society, some were set aside for those who could not make the climb. And some were also left behind on a special cairn or rock as an offering to an old, almost-forgotten god who first brought the harvest to Ireland.
Here’s a recipe for traditional blaeberry jam that comes from Scotland. Wild blaeberries (vaccinium myrtillus) are much smaller and tarter than the commercial blueberry, but the rhubarb in this recipe adds sharpness and texture.
- 2 lb blueberries
- 1/2lb rhubarb
- 2 lb preserving sugar
- (Makes 3lb.)
Wash, trim and roughly chop the rhubarb, put it into a pan and cook gently until it starts to soften. Stir in the sugar and when it has dissolved add the blaeberries and bring the jam to the boil. Boil it rapidly for up to 20 minutes to setting point. Cool slightly then pour into clean warm jars, cover, label and store.
(Test for setting point: test the jam by placing a spoonful on a plate, letting it cool and then pushing the surface with your finger: if it wrinkles the jam is ready)
From: Janet Warren, A feast of Scotland, Lomond Books,1990, ISBN 1-85051-112-8.
BERRIES WITH GERANIUM CREAM – Check your local farmers market or Chef’s Garden (800-289-4644) for the geranium leaves or experiment with other leaves such as fresh basil or mint.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pesticide-free rose-scented geranium (pelargonium) leaves
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups blackberries (13 oz)
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries (8 oz)
- Heat cream, geranium leaves, and sugar in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water
- Stir until sugar is dissolved and cream is hot but not boiling, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly, then chill until cold, about 45 minutes.
- Pour cream through a sieve set into a bowl and discard solids.
- Beat together cream cheese and cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until thickened (cream should not hold peaks), about 2 minutes.
- Divide blackberries and blueberries among 6 bowls or parfait glasses and top with cream.
Cooks’ note: Cream can be beaten up to 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Makes 6 dessert servings.
Bovilexia (bo vil EKS e uh) – n. The uncontrollable urge to lean out the car window and yell “Moo!!” every time you pass a cow. [Anja’s note – I howled when I saw this one because Tempus and I pass a house on the paper route that has painted plywood cows out front and that’s what we do!]