It’s wonderfully clear and the Moon is bright. It’s going to be a warm day, too! They’re talking 65F, but right now it’s 45F, wind at 2-6mph and gusting, AQI, UV. 0% chance of rain today and tonight. They’re talking about 70F tomorrow. It ought to stay dry through the weekend and then the chance of showers starts to climb.
Yesterday I got up around noon and started in on paperwork. At 3 I got into a class/demonstration by the guy who does the mouse and cat armor. That was fascinating. At 4 there was a cook’s get-together online. Tempus ran out for the mail and then we got the shop doors open to air. I set up newsletter frames for the next week
Tempus did a lot of small tasks during the evening. I got a nap, then started in on plants and the pottery and glass display. I did more on the plants than the stock, but I’m going to have to go in and rinse everything and wash down the shelves, it looks like. Oi! I ended up with 1/2 a tote of stuff for compost plus a little cup of “babies”. Those odd bulbs have had babies and I have about 15…. The tarragon is probably toast. Tempus didn’t water it, and it was out of my reach, but the chives are flourishing, if leggy. I’ve got some re-potting to do, but everyone’s out of potting soil again. My lotus seeds have long leggy shoots. I need to find an appropriate container.
Today is more of the same, I think. Lots more small chores, although I guess I’m going to have to put away my waxcloth. We can’t find the dratted wax! Or my good iron. Gah! The office space is blocked off again, which is nice, so now I just need to get the rest of the stuff up off the floor and I need to figure out where to put the bag of herb books. I have them all together finally.
Today’s Plant is Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, sometimes called “sloe”, wish-thorn or faery tree. The blossoms, the fruits and the crimson sap display the three colors of the Great Goddess: white, black, and red. The dangerous long spikes and the red “blood” that flows in the veins of this tree enhance the dramatic effect of Her symbolism. Blackthorns are sacred to the Luantishees, which are Blackthorn Fairies who guard the trees. It makes great walking sticks, such as shillelaghs. The fruit and leaves contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins, and sugars. Otzi, the “Iceman” had fruits in his stomach, even though they’re pretty bitter for food. Good wines and liqueurs are made from the fruits. Steep the flowers for a diuretic, tonic, and laxative. Dried fruits can treat bladder, kidney and stomach ailments. Boil the leaves for a mouthwash or to sooth the throat from tonsillitis or laryngitis. –Feminine, Saturn, Earth – Blackthorn symbolizes the inevitability of Death, Good in magicks of protection and revenge, strife and negativity, the balance between light and darkness. The staves cane help in exorcism, to make wishes, in divination and general protection magicks. Being a plant that’s bad to tangle with it also symbolizes not only death and the conquering of death, but the wisdom gained in life and beyond life and can be used in magicks for the gaining of such wisdom. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_spinosa
This is the anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, a Cunard Line passenger ship (although it was carrying ammo) sunk by a u-boat, which became a rallying cry against Germany leading into WWI. More on the sinking here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_of_the_RMS_Lusitania and on the ship herself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Lusitania Actually, the main reason that this ship has stuck in my mind is that my grandmother, Marie Stransky Picek, as she was emigrating from Bohemia in the Austro-Hungarian empire, was scheduled to come to the US on this ship, but she got to Bremerhaven (a journey of 400 miles, made mostly by pony-cart and rail) way early (3 months early!) and ended up making the trip on the Mauretania instead, as a 2nd class passenger, thereby missing the fatal voyage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Mauretania_%281906%29
The shop is closed for the duration. Need something? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org We should be able to accommodate requests and even allow a little shopping, one person at a time.
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 5/7 at 3:45am. 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 5/8 at 3:45pm. 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 5/22 at 10:39am.
A gigantic asterism you may not know about is the Diamond of Virgo, some 50° tall and extending over five constellations. It now stands upright in the south after the stars come out. Start with Spica, its bottom. Upper left from Spica is bright Arcturus. Almost as far upper right from Arcturus is fainter Cor Caroli, 3rd magnitude. The same distance lower right from there is Denebola, the 2nd-magnitude tailtip of Leo. And then back to Spica.
The Beehive Cluster (M44) is a large open cluster in the constellation Cancer the Crab. Also known as Praesepe, this cluster is one of the closest to Earth at around 600 light-years away. The entire cluster covers an area nearly three Full Moons in size and contains 1,000 or so stars. On a dark night, it’s visible to the naked eye; even on this bright, moonlit night, you’ll be able to catch several of the cluster’s young stars in binoculars or a telescope. More will pop out as you move to larger apertures. The bottom three of these stars, the brightest, form a nearly perfect equilateral triangle. Maybe we should call this the “Spring Triangle” to parallel those of summer and winter?
Mercury is still out of sight in conjunction with the Sun. But just wait. Later this month it will emerge into evening twilight view and pair up with Venus on May 21st.
Old Farmer’s Almanac May Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-may-asterisms
Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Goddess Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12
Celtic Tree Month of Saille, Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Celtic Tree Month of Huath, Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9
Runic half-month of Laguz/ Lagu, 4/29-5/13 Representing the flowing and mutable forces of water, Lagu symbolizes life, growth and waxing power of this time of year. Runic half-month of Inguz/Ing, 5/14-5/28 – Male consort of Nerthus, the Earth Mother, Ing is god of the hearth. This time of year expresses potential for abundant growth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 70.
©2020 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 7 High 12:36 AM 8.8 5:58 AM Set 6:24 AM 99
~ 7 Low 7:21 AM -1.5 8:28 PM Rise 9:08 PM
~ 7 High 1:38 PM 7.3
~ 7 Low 7:18 PM 1.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Always keep a window open in your mind for new ideas.
~ Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire. – Dan Zevin
~ Theatre director: a person engaged by the management to conceal the fact that the players cannot act. – James Agate (1877-1947) English writer
~ Friendship is delicate as a glass, once broken it can be fixed but there will always be cracks. – Waqar Ahmed
~ Bad behavior, poor practice and anti-social tendencies do not mean you’re chosen path is not Feri. It simply means you suck at practicing Feri. – Anaar
Nut for the slut; plum for the glum
Bramble if she ramble; gorse for the whores. – Traditional English saying; one should preferably leave hawthorn at a friend’s door for their luck, but other plants are an insult. I suggest you leave the gorse at home.
Magick – The Bee Goddess Calls by Judith Shaw – Meditation by Anja
Read and perform to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKEUJaQcPrg
Spring arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and all of Goddess’s children are waking up from our winter slumbers. Birds are singing, fruit trees are blossoming, bees are buzzing, and early spring bulb flowers are in full bloom. Signs of spring fever are evident as we find ourselves full of energy and vitality for new projects and relationships.
As new life emerges from the Earth we can more easily reflect on our place in the greater scheme of life. It’s a good time to question the values of our consumer society and ask if there is another way.
In contrast to these values of domination, separation, and consumption, ancient wisdom traditions teach that we are all connected – to each other, to all life, to the whole natural world and to the spiritual cosmos.
One canary in the coalmine that points out the lack of balance we have created with our industrial, military, consumer society is the disappearance and collapse of bee colonies all around the world. This is something that we ignore at our own peril. Without bees we could lose 30% of our food crops.
The relationship between humans and bees dates back to prehistoric days. Cave paintings found in Spain, from between 6000 and 8000 BCE, depict our Neolithic ancestors gathering honey from wild bee colonies.
The earliest record of humans keeping bees in human made hives dates back to Egypt of 2400 BCE.
The ancients believed that the bees’ ability to make honey was a gift from the divine. Bees who give us their sweet honey, used for food, drink and medicine have long been associated with Goddesses all around the world.
In ancient Egypt the main temple of the Goddess Neith was known as the “House of the Bee.” She was often depicted as a veiled Goddess which perhaps was an allusion to bees, often called hymenoptera meaning “veil winged”. In truth the bees’ wings are beautiful lace-like fluttering veils.
The Greeks, who only knew how to collect wild honey, inherited bee keeping from the Minoans, who worked with and honored bees since the beginning of the Neolithic era. The Great Mother Goddess was often called “Melissa”, meaning “the Queen Bee.” In the myth and imagery of both cultures, associations of the Mother Goddess with the little honeybee are abundant.
India’s ancient sacred text, the Rig-Veda, contains numerous references to bees and honey. The Indian Bee Goddess, Bhramari Devi, whose name comes from the Hindi word bramari, meaning ‘bees’, is said to make Her home within the heart chakra. Here She emits the buzzing sound of Bees. All across ancient India the humming of bees represented the essential sound of the universe.
Bees are also sacred to the Celtic Goddess Brigid. The ancient Celts believed that Brigid’s bees brought their magical nectar to earth from her apple orchard in the Otherworld. Her power, manifesting through bees, endures through time. A Christianized version of Brigid, Gobnait, protected Her people with the help of bees. She thwarted a band of robbers attempting to steal the people’s cattle, by looseing a swarm of bees on the rustlers, sending them fleeing in terror.
Through working with bees I have learned personally what amazing community organizers they are. The ancients saw bees as beings that create order. Each bee diligently works their part of the community with cooperation and organization, ensuring the welfare of all. Perhaps the early Neolithic people, in whose hearts the Goddess reigned, were inspired by the honeybee to create their own communities of cooperation and harmony. While at the same time bees made the early agricultural societies possible through their work as pollinators of many of our favorite foods. Like the honeybee, the modern day Way of the Goddess is one that honors a balanced approach to living in nature; an approach that honors cooperation, harmony and work well done.
Now that spring has arrived, I rejoice in the return of the honeybees to my garden and in the magic of new life as it emerges from the dark, fertile Earth. The Bee Goddess calls us all to remember that through loving cooperation, focus and hard work, we can produce life’s sweet nectar.
Now it is time to sink into yourself. Take a deep breath and let it out, letting tension flow with it. Take another and close your eyes, listening to the sound of the bees. Let your attention sink down into your body. Take another breath and let your attention sink into your belly where you rest.
Listen to the sound of the bees. You rest in the warmth and the dark and the singing of your family around you. You grow and grow and at some point become aware of your body growing in a small chamber, growing in the warmth and darkness and humming until you are cramped by the walls.
Then you pop open the door of the chamber. You push and wriggle, encouraged by the singing of your sisters, until you stand free of the wax cell you lived in for so long, hearing their song so clearly, now.
You fan your wings and the little workers clean and dry you as you rest in the warmth and dark. They bring your honey and feed you, and royal jelly, too, and you rest and grow some more, feeling quiet and safe and protected.
Then an itching starts in your wings, a restlessness in your belly and you follow the dancing sisters through the hive until you see light penetrating the warmth and darkness from an opening.
You step through into the light, dazzled by it, but ravished by the warmth and nourishment of the sunlight.
The restlessness grows and you wave your wings, dancing and jumping until you are flying, leaving the song that you have lived in so long, flying upwards towards the beautiful light of the sun.
Workers and drones follow you in your flight, the workers falling back but the strongest of the drones catching up to mate with you and fall away, dying, having sacrificed themselves to the needs of your family.
As the sun sinks in the West, so you sink down into the cluster of the working sisters, and they feed you and clean you as others begin to build the new hive around you.
You are the Queen. You are fertile. You are cared for. You rest, warm, secure, clean and fed, listening to the song that swells around you again.
Now, begin to return to human form. You have toes and fingers. Wiggle them. Take a deep breath. You have arms and legs. Move them. Take another breath. You have a human body. Sit up and when you are ready open your eyes.
Melissa! Goddess! We honor you and the work of your sisters! We remember how necessary you are to life and send healing and energy to your hives, at this warmest, brightest time of the year.
Silliness – Silly Q&A – Question: How did the Romans cut their hair? Answer: With a pair of Caesars.