It’s quite overcast, although the Moon is bright enough to light things up. 62F, wind at 0-2mph and gusting, AQI32, UV8. 10% chance of rain today and 20% tonight. There’s likely to be fog around sunrise and then the afternoon should be mostly sunny. That chance of rain on Thursday morning is up to 60%. Maybe…. 🙂 Other than some fogginess tomorrow the rest of the forecast is the usual night-time cloud, sunny afternoon weather. High’s in the low 60’s.
Yesterday went sailing on past. I was up around 11 and spent from then until about 1:20 watching the SpaceX Dragon splashdown and catching up on mail. I still can’t hear very well, and when the coughing hits, I’m toast, so I went into the back after that.
Tempus had a bunch of people in, not too many sales, but he was very happy about selling one of the Pirate’s Treasure buckets. I *really* want to get our treasure chest sandbox fixed and set up so that kids can play there. We need casters on it, a lock, and a way to lock it open during the day. Tempus is planning a door in the back, so we can store hoses in there and the “box” part needs to be mended, since it warped.
I made a batch of beer-cheese soup. It was an experiment, but we both liked it. I already know I’m going to tweak the recipe for next time. After we ate I sat down with some sewing. I didn’t get very far, because I kept dozing off, finally going completely splat around 7pm.
Tempus headed out around 2 and I’m going to spend a little while writing after getting this out, then I’ll take my sewing and see if I can get a bit more done. I’m thinking that today I might make a potato mushroom cream soup to get a few more things out of the freezer.
Today’s Feast is the Aomori Nebuta, a summer festival in Japan. It stems from events in the 800’s CE, but no one is certain which event/s it celebrates, anymore, but what-the-hey, any excuse for a party, eh? It’s a huge tourist attraction with several processions/parades of lighted floats and costumed dancers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aomori_Nebuta
Today’s Plant is Vanilla Leaf or Sweet-After-Death, Achlys triphylla, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achlys_%28plant%29. It grows all up and down the West Coast of North America and there’s another species in Japan. It was used as an insect repellent by the local peoples and has a strong vanilla scent if dried properly. It is used in Crossing the Bridge rituals along with rosemary and often placed in the hands of those who are Crossing or have just Crossed or in spells to ease their way.
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 8/3 at 8:59am. 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 8/4 at 8:59pm. 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 8/18 at 7:42pm.
We’ve now entered the tail end of the Alpha Capricornid and Delta Aquiariid meteor showers, both of which peaked overnight July 28/29. However, you might still spot sporadic shower meteors over the next few days, particularly in the early morning hours between moonset and sunrise.
Another nighttime sight that’s winding down is Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). The comet is about 50° high at sunset, although you’ll likely need to wait for the sky to darken before you can find it. It’s currently in the west-southwest, sailing through the constellation Coma Berenices. Observers report the comet is now magnitude 4, meaning it’s barely visible to the naked eye under good conditions. NEOWISE’s fuzzy coma and tail require binoculars or a small scope to really pick out, while stacked or long-exposure images will offer the best views.
Full Moon (exact at 11:59 a.m. EDT). This evening the Moon rises about a half hour after sunset for most of North America. By nightfall it’s shining brightly low in the southeast, in dim Capricornus, to the lower left of Saturn and Jupiter. High above the Moon is Altair.
Mars is at perihelion, its closest to the Sun in its 1.88-year orbit. Its closer-than-average solar distance this summer contributes a little to Mars’s brightness. One Mars year is nearly twice as long as one Earth year, lasting 687 Earth days. At the moment of perihelion, Mars will be 128.4 million miles (206.6 million kilometers) from our star and nearly 58.6 million miles (94.2 million km) from Earth.The Red Planet is up all morning and at 5 A.M. EDT, it’s almost 50° high in the southeast, near the border of Pisces and Cetus. Mars appears 15″ across and glows at magnitude –1.1, making it a great target for the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope. Nearby are both Uranus (magnitude 5.8, 21.5° northeast of Mars) and Neptune (magnitude 7.8, 30° southwest of Mars), but both may be tricky to spot with the bright Moon not far away in Capricornus. The Red Planet has already been in the news recently as several missions, including NASA’s 2020 Mars rover, Perseverance, have blasted off in its direction.
Jupiter and Saturn (magnitudes –2.7 and +0.2, respectively) are a little past opposition. They loom in the southeast in twilight and pass highest in the south around midnight daylight-saving time. Jupiter is brightest; Saturn is 8° to its lower left or left. Farther to Jupiter’s right is the Sagittarius Teapot. High to the planets’ upper left, the brightest star is Altair. Keep up with the telescopic interplay of Jupiter with its moons and their shadows, and find all the transit times of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, in the Celestial Calendar section of the current month’s Sky & Telescope.
Old Farmer’s Almanac July Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-july-summer-triangle
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh)
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe.
Harvest 8/3 to 8/4
©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.
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).
M 3 High 12:21 AM 8.1 6:06 AM Set 5:51 AM 99
~ 3 Low 7:24 AM -1.3 8:38 PM Rise 9:12 PM
~ 3 High 1:56 PM 6.5
~ 3 Low 7:19 PM 2.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Freedom Demands the Right to be Wrong.
~ Goals are dreams with deadlines. – Diana Scharf Hunt
~ A book is a gift you can open again and again. – Garrison Keillor
~ Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once. – Stephen King
~ Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. – Jeremy Kitson
A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter—winged, horned, and spined—
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore; While ‘mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands. – –Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)
for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea. –e.e. cummings
The surf crashed against the shore, tumbling haphazardly over itself in its haste to steal a kiss from the sand. Overhead, the Full Moon’s radiance smudged the stars from the sky. The air had that salt-fish-sweatsocks smell that I remembered from childhood outings to this same beach, the Saturdays when my family would have an unofficial contest to see who could turn the most fetching shade of beet red.
A half-dozen women in various stages of undress formed a ragged circle in the water, drenched to the hips, hands joined. They swayed back and forth between the dual rhythms of drum and surf. Some were topless, the moonlight softening the outline of breast and hip. One woman wore a lovely crinkled cotton shift, having apparently forgotten that it would be see-through when wet, showing off her metallic magenta underwear.
“Ancient Mother, I hear you calling
Ancient Mother, I hear your song…”
Somehow a chorus of untrained, unremarkable voices blended into an ethereal harmony. Several yards inland the drummer, a woman decked in about four pounds of pendants and a beatific smile, was lost in the pattern her hands wove on the instrument.
The chant soared higher into the sky, gaining momentum, rising above waves and sand and Moon into the heart of Creation. At that precise moment, poised between worlds and in a time that was not time, I had the strangest urge to yell, “SHARK!”
Nothing like a little sarcasm to kill a mystical mood.
Thankfully I kept my mouth shut, but the damage was done. Suddenly the ritual-induced euphoria vanished, leaving me shivering and soaked to the skin, wondering what on Earth I was doing in a sarong on a beach in the middle of the night dancing with a bunch of half-naked crazy Witches. My Mom would have a stroke.
Fortunately the rest of the ritual went off without a hitch. The chant peaked, and the women sent the energy they’d raised into the ocean, giving it a little extra strength and protection from the vagaries of humankind. I dragged my focus back into the Circle. Lissa, acting priestess for the rite, bid farewell to the Great Mother and the Elements, and we sloshed back up the shore to dry out around the bonfire and tuck into a cooler full of sandwiches and Kool-Aid (Kaitlyn, who packed the post-ritual munchies, is the mother of six-year-old twins, so the crusts were cut off and there were lots of napkins).
Lissa passed the thermos with a “May you never thirst,” and I settled into the hollow my rear had worn into the sand. There was the usual chatter of an extended family: dates and mortgages, spells cast and recipes found, an ongoing debate between Wiccan purists and fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer over whether or not Willow was a bad influence on teenage Witchlets.
Sitting on the edge of the circle, I felt a little let down-by myself, mostly, but just a little by the sea. Surely I could have kept my cynicism out of the way; after nearly a decade at this I ought to be better at caging my Monkey Mind. The night was perfect, the ritual perfect, and everyone around me was practically glowing. I felt like the only person in the room who doesn’t know the answer to Final Jeopardy!. To top it all off I had one of those “Didn’t anyone ever teach you how to ground?” headaches.
I was especially disappointed because I’ve always had such a strong connection to the sea. When I was a child, before I’d ever set foot on a beach, I had long restful dreams of waves breaking over rocks, of the call of seagulls. Some of my most profound spiritual experiences have come to me while I floated on my back watching the night sky. I collected water from every beach I ever went to, adding them to a special jar on my altar. There were seashells all over my apartment. People used to tell me my eyes were the color of the Gulf of Mexico–they stopped, of course, as the Gulf changed from grey-blue to dirty brown thanks to the wonders of American industry.
I spent the night after my high school graduation on a beach, a little ways away from my friends, sitting in a Circle drawn in the wet sand with a finger. The whole universe had poured down into my body, sending my chakras into orbit. That night had been much like this one, so what did I do wrong this time?
Conversation ebbed and flowed around the group, and I let my attention drift back toward the water. I let the endless stream of memories move past my mind’s eye, thinking of all the times I’d come home and washed sand out of my drawers, and of the time I got stung by a jellyfish, and the dozen times since high school I’d ditched work to drive down to the beach, jump out of my car, and run screaming toward the water like a blue-painted Braveheart extra. I also remembered watching a storm roll in, tongues of twisted lightning flicking against the horizon, black clouds like the hand of a god stretching out to pluck the Moon from the sky.
I leaned back a bit, the sand cupping me, reminding me of being young and holding a baby turtle in my hands. I relaxed conscious hold on the edges of my mind, eroding cell by cell into the ever-turning tide. Wave after wave washed me farther out to sea.
The ocean is never the same twice. Water that formed one wave will explode into a thousand others, taking different paths to distant shores. As I drifted, I felt myself dissolving, carried away, separated into a million parts that were all part of one.
Drops of me landed on the sands of Maui; I flew off the tail of a dolphin jumping for joy alongside the prow of an aircraft carrier. I soaked into the shorts of a toddler who ran away from her mother, laughing hysterically, feet splashing in my warmth before she fell down on her rump. I yielded up the trash that humans had tossed into me. I caught a message in a bottle. I evaporated into the heat of a summer afternoon only to come down again in a thundershower; I filled the lungs of a drowning man.
I roared with elemental rage, towering over a sailboat, spilling onto the deck; I held the continents within the circle of my arms; I glimmered in the sunlight, shone in the moonlight, danced with the wind, and churned under a sea turtle’s feet. I nibbled away at the wreck of the Titanic, then flowed halfway around the world to knock the surfboard out from under a boy who thought he could tame me. I was Arctic blue, tropical green, foaming white, stormy silver.
Finally, finally, I joined into a wave that bore down on a secluded little beach, reaching up beyond the boundaries of the tide to smack full force into a circle of unsuspecting women with purple Kool-Aid moustaches, one of whom knew I was coming and opened my eyes, laughing, sand between my toes.
The fire went out with a spectacular smoking hiss. Tamra yelped and leaped backward to protect her drum from the onslaught. Women squealed, giggled, cursed, and eventually schlepped their gear farther up the shore where maybe, just maybe, Mother wouldn’t join in so theatrically.
I stayed where I was, smiling out at the ocean. “Okay,” I said. “I’m listening.”
Silliness – Silly Q&A – Question: What’s a lumberjack’s favorite director? TimBuuurrrrrrrton