It rained gently earlier. Not even enough was coming down to dampen the pavement, but you could feel it on a cupped hand. 51F, wind at 0-3mph and gusting, AQI37, UV8. 60% chance of rain today and 10% tonight. We might even see some sun this afternoon, but don’t expect it to last. Sunday should still be dry, but Monday and Tuesday are starting to look wet and not just showers.
Yesterday we overslept. The alarm didn’t go off. We scrambled into our clothes and ran! We were open at 1:15. We didn’t have a lot of shoppers, but everyone was masked. I did get into it with a guy online, I mean…. I’m fried. This “I got ma roights!” is getting really old…. This is what I posted on my own wall.
“Right now I’m fried…. go ahead and unfriend me if you need to, but I’m going to say it. If you can wear a mask and don’t, do *not* whine to me about your “rights” and “freedom of choice”! …and don’t make excuses about “medical reasons” to not wear a mask. Your rights end at my nose! My rights end at yours. If you *don’t* wear a mask, you are violating my right to stay alive and uninjured and I’m going to consider you a selfish, whiny little brat, who would rather cause possible death or injury than your own inconvenience. If I can wear a damn mask, you can! …and be aware, if you post some self-serving shit on my wall, it’s going to be deleted.”
Later in the afternoon I spent awhile mating lids to boxes and then putting them back on the shelf. How do they get so… so…. so? Once that I was done I started some supper. We had the dumplings from last night, some cheese slices and I made a tomato/summer squash/leek/onion sauté, which is something I’ve been craving. It was really good, and Tempus opened his pear brandy (which is for Father’s Day, a little early.) and we each had a little glass of that. …which I’m still working on. 🙂
Leftovers got put away and I went splat. Eventually Tempus did, too. I got up around 1am and did the next geology lecture. He finally got up at 2 and got his phone call within minutes and headed out. My lecture finished just a few minutes after that so I got to work on today’s newsletter.
Today we’re hoping to open on time. The papers are a little late, but both of us got that long nap….. So, we’ll be open at 1pm and at least until 5pm, probably later. If you want to be sure we’re here at an off time, phone the shop! 541-563-7154. It’s not usually a problem. I have some classes that I want to do today, but I’ll probably have to pick them up on recordings. Tempus has been working on sorting/putting away things that I’ve been pulling out from strange places. I’m hoping that he can re-stock the crystals wall at some point. We’ll see!
Today’s feast is in honor of Gerald Gardner whose birthday is today. Wicca is his fault. He was a British eccentric from an entirely unremarkable family, who went into the foreign service and came back with an attitude that allowed him to take disparate bits and create a religious path that the time was ripe for. Many of the pagan paths these days owe a lot to him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Gardner_(Wiccan) I ran across a YouTube last year about Gerald Gardner, by Ronald Hutton. It’s pretty good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQbdXCoxC14
Today’s Plant is Bleeding Heart, lamprocapnos spectabilis (which Cunningham has as dicentra spectabilis, an older designation). Other names are: old-fashioned bleeding-heart, Venus’s car, Lady in a bath, Dutchman’s trousers, or Lyre-flower, which all have various folklore attached. They’re native to Asia, but are common garden ornamentals and so suited to
our climate that I assumed that they were native here! You see them all through the woods in the middle spring. –Feminine, Venus, Water – Used in magick mostly as a divination. Crush the flower. If it “bleeds red” there is love. If it “bleeds white”, either love has died, or there is no hope of it. Be careful if you bring the live plant indoors because it can produce irritation and anger between people in the household. To forestall this push a silver bead or a dime (standing in for silver) into the soil, and say, “Lady of the Moon, give us peace, in your honor, and we honor you!”
The shop is open, limited hours, 1-5pm, Thursday through Monday. Need something? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com We should be able to accommodate requests and even allow a little shopping, one person at a time.
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 6/20 at 11:02pm. 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 6/12 at 11:24pm. 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 6/16 at 2:43pm.
As we count down the last seven days to official summer (the solstice is on June 20th), the big Summer Triangle shines high and proud in the east after dusk. Its top star is bright Vega. Deneb is the brightest star to Vega’s lower left, by 2 or 3 fists at arm’s length. Look for Altair farther to Vega’s lower right. Of the three, Altair is midway in brightness between Vega and Deneb. If you have a dark enough sky, the Milky Way runs across the Triangle’s lower part.
Last Quarter Moon occurs at 2:24 A.M. EDT this morning.
The window for spotting Mercury in the evening this month is quickly shrinking. The planet, currently magnitude 1.4, shows a 19-percent-illuminated crescent just 10″ across. It’s located about 11° below the bright star Pollux in Gemini the Twins, which you can spot in the west-northwest at sunset. An hour later, Mercury has disappeared below the horizon. This trend will continue — the planet will dim to magnitude 2 and sit just 3° high 45 minutes after sunset by June 16.
Venus is very deep in the glow of sunrise. But wait a week or so. Venus is on its way up to becoming the bright Morning Star of summer and fall.
Old Farmer’s Almanac June Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-june-2020-see-stars-move
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 –
Runic Half-month of Othala/ Odal/Odel 5/29-6/13- The rune Odel signifies ancestral property, the homestead, and all those things that are “one’s own”…
Runic half-month of Dagaz/ Dag, 6/14-6/28. – Beneficial rune of light, health, prosperity and openings, signifying the high point of the day and the high point of the year when in light and warmth all things are possible.
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 – The oak of myth and legend is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). It is sometimes called the great oak, which is a translation of its Latin name (robur is the root of the English word “robust”). It grows with ash and beech in the lowland forests, and can reach a height of 150 feet and age of 800 years. Along with ashes, oaks were heavily logged throughout recent millennia, so that the remaining giant oaks in many parts of Europe are but a remnant of forests past. Like most other central and northern European trees, common oaks are deciduous, losing their leaves before Samhain and growing new leaves in the spring so that the trees are fully clothed by Bealltaine. Common oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America, as are the similar native white oak, valley oak, and Oregon oak. Oaks are members of the Beech family (Fagaceae). Curtis Clark
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 13 Low 1:31 AM 2.7 5:31 AM Rise 2:03 AM 54
~ 13 High 6:48 AM 5.3 9:02 PM Set 1:33 PM
~ 13 Low 1:24 PM 1.0
~ 13 High 8:10 PM 6.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – When you approve of your self, then you have no problem with what others think of you.
~ Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you. – Hafiz
~ Nothing endures but change. – Herodotus
~ No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is. – Irvin Himmel
~ Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit & strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili. – Harry James
A bird in the boughs sang “June,”
And “June” hummed a bee
In a bacchic glee
As he tumbled over and over
Drunk with the honey-dew. – –Clinton Scollard (1860–1932)
Here we are at Midsummer, we have arrived at the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Goddess is now full and pregnant with Child, and the Sun God is at the height of His virility. This is the peak of the Solar year and the Sun is at the height of its life-giving power. The Earth is awash with fertility and fulfillment and this is a time of joy and celebration, of expansiveness and the celebration of achievements.
Yet within this climax is the whisper and promise of a return to the Dark. As the Light reaches its peak so this is also the moment when the power of the Sun begins to wane. From now on the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer and we are drawn back into the Dark to complete the Wheel of the Year.
At this time the God, as Oak King, is rich in abundance, but he too surrenders his reign to his brother twin, the Holly King, and the descent begins. But before we welcome the return to the Dark side of the year, and acknowledge this great turning point of the Wheel, we celebrate!
Traditions and Symbols of Midsummer
Traditionally people stayed up all night on Midsummer’s Eve to welcome and watch the sunrise. Bonfires were lit on tops of hills, by holy wells, at places held sacred, to honour the fullness of the Sun. At Litha the bonfire really represents a reflection of the Sun at the peak of its strength. The chosen wood would often be Oak and aromatic herbs were scattered into the fire. People danced around the fires and leap through them. Blazing herbs from the sacred bonfire were used to bless the animals. Blazing torches were carried sunwise around homes and fields. Coals from the Midsummer fire were scattered on fields to ensure a good harvest.
Tree worship has always played a large role in Midsummer festivities and trees near wells and fountains were decorated with coloured cloths. The Oak King who has ruled the waxing of the year represents strength, courage and endurance, and the Oak has always been particularly significant at Litha. The Celtic name for Oak is ‘Duir’ which means ‘doorway’ – we are crossing the threshold, entering the doorway into the second, waning part of the year.
Mistletoe was and is, highly revered by the Druids. It is regarded as particularly potent when it grows on Oak, the noblest of trees, growing between the worlds of Heaven and Earth. Although it is more commonly associated with Yule and the Winter Solstice, it was often gathered ceremonially at Midsummer when it is regarded as being at the height of its power.
All herbs are reaching their peak at this time of year and thus the fullness of their healing and nurturing potency. Giving a bunch of herbs as a gift on Midsummer Day is wonderful.
All of the flower kingdom is reaching its peak, wide open, full of colour, surrendering their perfume.
Our lovely bees are now making honey. Midsummer full moon is known as the ‘Honey Moon’ for the mead made from honey now available. This is often part of handfastings performed at the Summer Solstice. Mead is regarded as the divine solar drink, with magical and life-restoring properties. Drink to celebrate and toast the life-giving abundance of the Sun.
Colours of Midsummer.
Well, take your pick! The natural world is full of colour at this time. Choose blue for the sky, green for the grass, yellow for the Sun. Or red, orange and purple to honour all the blooming flowers. Or choose the colours of the four elements – red, blue, green and yellow. We’ve been discussing this one amongst ourselves and generally agree that what matters is that you choose and work with the colours that speak to you at each Festival – what matters a little more is that you then work with those colours consistently every year.
Ideas for Your Altar
Oak leaves, oak leaves and more oak leaves. All the abundance of all the herbs, flowers and grasses that are so very available at this time. Candles in Sun colours. This is a shrine to honour the Sun – Sunflowers!
Things to Do
Buttermilk Bread Charm
This is a Midsummer Charm to help bring abundance to your kitchen. The sunflower seeds represent the light half of the year and the poppy seeds represent the dark half of the year.
You will need:
- 3 mugs of strong white flour
- 500 ml of Buttermilk (available from the supermarket)
- I teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda
- Sunflower and poppy seeds for sprinking
- Red ribbon
- A sprig of rosemary
Place the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough feels springy. If it feels too sloppy just add a little more flour. Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Sprinkle half of the loaf with poppy seeds and the other half with sunflower seeds.
Place onto a greased baking tray and pop your buttermilk bread into a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep and eye on it. When the bread is ready it will change colour and it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, place your sprig of rosemary on top and tie the red ribbon across the middle.
Take time to concentrate on the bread you have created and turn the loaf three times saying “From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Midsummer Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”
Now take your bread and share it with your family and friends and pass on the generous blessings of this bright and bountiful festival. Eat it fresh, as soon as it is made if you can. Nettle soup goes well with this bread.
Recipe donated by our Counter Enchantress.
A traditional favourite, Elderflowers peak at Midsummer. Pick them in the fullness of a sunny day, ideally on Midsummer’s Day. The Elder is sacred to the Mother Goddess and is often called the Witch’s Tree, the Elder Mother, or Queen of the Trees. It is protective with wonderful healing properties. It aids transformation, change and renewal, and we are at a major turning point in the Wheel of the Year, so the gift of Elderflowers is welcome.
- 8 litres water
- 25 kg sugar
- 8 large elderflower heads
- 4 lemons
- 4 tablespoons mild white wine vinegar
Do use screw top bottles – large plastic bottles used for squash etc are perfect. This stuff will fizz and if not bottled tightly it can explode! I keep mine in the garden so should the worst occur it isn’t going to make a mess all over the kitchen or larder… Before you begin make sure the elderflowers are clean – no little wandering insects or bugs.
Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it (Fairtrade is good)
When the water is cool, add the elderflowers, juice of two of the lemons and slices of the other two, plus the vinegar.
Cover with a clean cloth and leave for a day.
Strain through a fine sieve or piece of muslin, carefully squeezing the flowers to extract as much flavour as possible.
Store in clean screw top bottles.
Leave well alone for 10 days or so. Drink within a month. Enjoy and give thanks to the Spirit of Elder.
Bees are so special, and make that golden nectar we know as honey – a reflection of the life-giving Sun. Honey itself is full of life-giving properties, and a Honey Cake is a perfect way to celebrate Midsummer, or to give as a gift. Make it with locally produced honey if you can. But wherever the honey has come from, think of the land and blossoms and bees that made it.
225 gms Butter
250 gms Honey
100 gms Dark Muscovado Sugar
3 Eggs, beaten
300 gms Self-Raising Flour
Cut the butter into pieces and heat slowly, adding the honey and the sugar. When fully melted, turn up the heart and boil the mixture for one minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Add the beaten eggs to the cooled honey mixture. Sift the flour into a large bowl and beat the liquid honey mixture into it until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the mixture into a round lined sponge tin and bake in a preheated oven at 160C for about 50 mins – or until the cake is well-risen and springs back to the touch.
Cool on a rack and glaze with a few tablespoons of warm honey.
Moon Bowl Charm
A full moon charm to enhance your natural radiance to celebrate the beauty of Midsummer.
You will need: A glass or china bowl, a glass or china jug and a small white candle. Remember the candle needs to burn away completely so choose a small one.
Draw your water into the jug – rainwater is best, but fresh water from the tap is fine. Take the jug of water, the bowl and the small white candle outside and place them on the ground. Light the candle in a suitable holder and place it at the top of the bowl – at the midnight/noon point of a clock face. Pour the water into the centre of the bowl and say:
“Renewing water shining bright
Weave your charm in my bowl of Light”
Place your Moon Bowl in the moonlight so the light of the full moon is reflected in the water and leave the candle to burn down.
When this is complete take your bowl and dip your hands into the water and as you gently splash the moon water onto your face say
“By Full Moon charm,
By Full Moon light,
May inner beauty shine through tonight.
Brightest Blessings of the Goddess shine through me.”
When you have finished, return the water to the Earth. I always pour it on my favourite Holly Tree.
Charm donated by our lovely Counter Enchantress.
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Silliness – Pretty Lights
Judi was sitting at the defendant table while the state trooper was being cross-examined on the witness stand.
The lawyer asked, “When you stopped Judi, were your red and blue lights flashing?”
“Yes, sir, they were.”
“Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?”
“Yes, sir, she did.”
“And,” looking at Judi, “what was it she said?”
“She said, ‘What disco am I at?'”