It’s pretty much overcast at the moment. Late in the day some clouds rolled in a blotted out the sun. I wasn’t paying enough attention to figure out whether it was beach fog turned into cloud or actual overcast. 60F, wind at 1-3mph and gusting, AQI29, UV8. 10% chance of rain today and tonight. It’s the same forecast. Sun and cloud in mixed amounts. Temps in the 60’s. Maybe some rain at night…not likely….
Yesterday I had to get up too early because I was overheated, so I went short on sleep. By the time we were supposed to open the shop I was falling back asleep. I didn’t, but I kept finding myself just sitting and staring, micro-sleeping, over and over again.
Tempus and I worked on mail, early on, then sat and talked/commiserated politics for awhile. We had someone come in who asked where Eager Beaver was. I was still coughing up goo from the Valley trip. Tempus got us both some lunch, then ran around putting laundry together. He finally headed out to work on that around 5, after he’d sent me in back to nap, so we closed at 5.
He was back around 8, since the pillows took awhile to dry and headed out for the paper route not long after. I slept for a long time, got up and sorted some laundry, and some of the canned goods that he got the other night. Eventually I curled up in bed with newspapers, embroidery, sewing and book, getting up when I started getting sleepy again to work on this. …and I watched some cookery videos and found a bunch of beer cheese soup recipes….something I’ve wanted to try.
Today we should be open on time. We’ve got a lot to do, starting with watering plants and hooking up the dishwasher and going on to working on my beading table on some earrings and a bead-weaving piece if I can find another functional loom. Tempus has to work in back, clearing a spot for the dishwasher and then hooking it up and putting it to use.
Today’s Feast is Nicola Tesla Day. Despite all the good press given to Edison about electricity, Tesla was the one who came up with AC current, while Edison was insisting that DC was the only way to go. We’d have very different lives if Tesla had never lived. He was a strange man, with ideas that are different enough for some people to speculate that he wasn’t even human, but he was born in what is now Croatia and his family was from Serbia, his father an Orthodox priest and his mother the daughter of one. He had an eidetic memory and an aptitude for mechanical things from an early age. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla_Day#Nikola_Tesla_Day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla
Today’s Plant is Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia. “Ash before oak we’re in for a soak. Oak before ash we’re in for a splash” refers to a weather divination in England about spring rain and the leafing times of trees! Ash is a hardwood and is hard, dense, tough and very strong but elastic, great for making bows, , spears and drums as well as all kinds of furniture, even guitars and many of the early airplanes. It makes excellent firewood and has been used a lot for smoking meats. The bark can make a quinine substitute for fevers. The folk name for Ash is “Hoop Ash” , or “Nion” – (a rune name from the Irish Gaelic word Nionon which means heaven.) Elsewhere the ash and elm tree were known as the Widow Makers because the large boughs would often drop without warning. Witches were believed to fly on ash-handled broomsticks, while Viking ships were made of ash. In ancient Greece the Meliae were the ash nymphs and the dryads were the oak nymphs. Yggdrasil, the World Tree that supports the order of the Universe was an ash and humans were born from her branches. Odin hung on the tree to gain the knowledge of the Runes and therefore the ash tree is associated with communication. Ash trees have a sugary sap which may have been the basis of the Norse mead of inspiration. Ash Tree attracts lightening, so don’t stand under one during an electric storm. The ash fairy understands that problems are rarely solved on the level at which they were created. – Feminine – Sun & Neptune, Water & Fire – The “helicopter” seeds are used for traditional wish magicks. The Yule Log is traditionally of ash to bring the light of the Sun to the depths of winter and prosperity to the family. Wands and Staves (and traditionally the handle of the besom) made of this wood are good for healing, general and solar magic. The leaves attract love and prosperity. Sleep with them under your pillow and you will have psychic/prophetic dreams. Sleep with them in a bowl of water next to your bed to prevent illness. Wearing garters of green ash bark protects against the powers of magicians. Ash can heal children just by passing the child through a split in the tree’s trunk. It promotes strength, harmony, and a sense of being in tune with your surroundings. Ash is the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraxinus_latifolia
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 7/19 at 10:33pm. 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 7/12 at 4:29pm.
Jupiter and Saturn rise in twilight now. Mars is a fire-beacon high in the southeast in early dawn, and Venus passes just 1° from Aldebaran on Saturday and Sunday mornings July 11th and 12th.
The Moon passes 4° south of Neptune at 3 A.M. EDT. At that time, the planet is nearly 30° high in the southeast, hanging against the stars of Aquarius. The magnitude 7.9 ice giant is an ideal binocular object this month, although the bright nearby Moon may make it a bit of a challenge to pick out this morning in particular. Swing about 16.5° due east of Neptune to spot Mars, whose reddish –0.7 magnitude glow will be much easier to find.
Venus is at greatest brilliancy this morning at 4 A.M. EDT, right around the time when it should be clearing the horizon for U.S. observers at mid-northern latitudes. The planet shines at magnitude –4.7 and sits just 1.25° above Aldebaran, the familiar orange luminary in Taurus the Bull. Lift your gaze another 12° to see the Pleiades. Venus’ disk is 27 percent illuminated and 37″ across. Over the course of the month, its illumination will increase while its size decreases as its orbit takes it farther from Earth.
Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Aquarius) is high in the southeast before dawn, west of Mars.
Old Farmer’s Almanac July Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-july-summer-triangle
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh),
Runic New Year and half-month of Fehu/ Feoh, 6/29-7/13 Important in the runic year cycle, today marks beginning of the first rune, Feoh, sacred to Frey and Freya (Freyja), the lord and lady often worshipped in modern Wicca. It is the half-month of wealth and success. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992 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
©2020 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.
F 10 High 4:15 AM 6.4 5:42 AM Rise 12:06 AM 78
~ 10 Low 11:03 AM 0.0 9:01 PM Set 11:21 AM
~ 10 High 5:43 PM 6.4
~ 10 Low 11:39 PM 2.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Time can be my friend or my enemy.
Journal Prompt – Persuasive – Pretend you are a Little League coach who is concerned about the poor sportsmanship shown by some parents of players. Write a letter to your players’ parents, persuading them to tone their responses at the games.
~ This is an age in which one cannot find common sense without a search warrant. – George F. Will
~ Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don’t have film. – Steven Wright
~ Re-perceive. Clear our vision, clear our assessments, clear our judgments. Clear what we think we know and allow ourselves to be guided by higher knowing. – Lauren Zimmerman
~ The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. – Muhammad Ali
Very good in the grass to lie
And see the network ‘gainst the sky,
A living lace of blue and green,
And boughs that let the gold between. – Katharine Tynan Hinkson (1861–1931)
Sand candles to honor the Goddess and the God of the sea
If you don’t live near a beach, you can achieve the same effect by putting sand in a large box, adding water, and working from there. This is definitely a porch or kitchen job, and newspapers are recommended under your work area for easy clean-up.
Melt wax form old candles (save the stubs from altar candles) in a coffee can set in a pot of boiling water. Add any essential oil you want for scent (or scent blocks from a candle supply store). Scoop out a candle mold in wet sand (you can make a cauldron by scooping out the sand and using a finger to poke three “feet” in the sand). Hold the wick (you can get these ready-made in arts and crafts stores) in the center and gently pour in the melted wax. Wait until it hardens, then slip your fingers under the candle and carefully lift it out and brush off the excess sand.
Make Your Own Smudge Sticks
Smudging is a great way to cleanse a sacred space, and most people use smudge sticks made of sweetgrass or sage for this purpose. Although they are available commercially—and are fairly inexpensive—it’s easy to make your own if you’ve got herbs growing in your garden, or if there’s a place nearby where you can go wildcrafting.
- Scissors or garden clippers
- Cotton string
- Plants such as sage, mugwort, rosemary, lavender, or juniper
Cut off pieces of the plants in lengths about 6 – 10 inches long. For more leafy plants, you can make the pieces shorter, but you may want to use a longer piece for a plant that has fewer leaves.
Bundle Your Herbs
Cut a length of string about five feet long. Put several branches together so that the cut ends are all together, and the leafy ends are all together. Wind the string tightly around the stems of the bundle, leaving two inches of loose string where you began. You can use any kind of herbs you like.
Although the use of wrapped smudge sticks is generally attributed to Native American cultures and practices, the burning of fragrant herbs in a ritual context is found in numerous societies throughout history. Herbs were burned in ancient Egypt, and the practice is recorded and documented in a tablet inscription that has been dated back to 1500 b.c.e. Many eastern spiritual systems, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shinto, utilize burning herbs – either loose or as compacted incense – in ritual practice. For the ancient Greeks, smudging was included in rituals to contact the dead, and often was used in tandem with ritual fasting.
Wrap the remaining length of string around the base of the branches several times to secure it. Then, gradually, work your way along the length of branches until you reach the leafy end. Return the string back up to the stems, creating a bit of a criss-cross pattern. You’ll want to wind the string tightly enough that nothing gets loose, but not so tight that it cuts off pieces of the plants.
When you get back to the stems, tie the remainder of the string to the 2″ loose piece you left at the beginning. Trim off any excess pieces so that the ends of your smudge stick are even.
Dry Your Smudge Sticks
Place the bundle outside or hang it up for drying. Depending on what type of herb you used, and how humid your weather is, it may take a couple of days or as much as a week to dry out. Once your smudge sticks have dried completely, you can store them in a bag or box in a dark cabinet until it’s time to use them and then burn them in ritual for smudging simply by lighting one end.
Safety tip: Some plants may have toxic fumes. Do not burn a plant unless you know it is safe to do so.
Dawn Combs over at Hobby Farms has some great tips on nine different herbs you can burn as incense – and if they’re safe for burning as incense, they’re safe to burn in smudging ceremonies. Dawn recommends you burn your herbs – whether incense or sticks – using “a heat tolerant vessel. Traditionally this is an abalone shell with a bit of sand in the bottom. You might also use a charcoal disc beneath the herbs to keep them smoking, especially in the case of resins.”
Silliness – Got Bugs?
My husband works as a service technician for a large exterminating company.
One of the rules of the company is that he has to comfirm each appointment by phone the night before his service call to that household.
One evening he made such a call, and when a man answered the phone, he said, “Hi, this is Gary from A to Z Pest Control Company. Your wife phoned us.”
There was a long silence, and then my husband heard the man on the other end say, “Honey, it’s for you….someone wants to talk to you about your relatives.”