It’s clear. 51F, wind at 1mph and gusting, AQI35, UV7. 10% chance of rain today and tonight. Wind this afternoon from about 3-6pm. The rest of the week, the temps will climb until Wednesday’s high should be around 65 and then drop. The whole time is more sun than cloud and that slight chance of rain around the end of the next week is going away.
Yesterday I got the tvarog into the fridge, the chicken finished and fridged along with an 1/2 gallon of broth, first thing, and then got involved in an online panel on Inclusion and Diversity. That was fascinating, although there really wasn’t much new. I did some plant watering for a bit. I wanted to start the lemon curd, but didn’t quite manage. What I should have done was to do the zesting while I was by the computer. I ran out of oomph.
Tempus ran the shop. I wasn’t really up to it. After about an hour of sitting I did some more plant tending, then started cutting up the watermelon. <sigh> I got Tempus to pull down the dehydrator and it had gotten put away messy, so that needed to be cleaned, first, and that took all afternoon. I finally got that going in the evening. Up to that point, I had been hand-sewing.
Today’s Feast is in honor of The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. This is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. It was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in 1982. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_of_the_World%27s_Indigenous_People
Today’s Plant – The local larkspurs, delphinium trollifolium, and delphinium pavonaceum (which the Wiki article says is confined to the Valley, but I’ve collected out here….) are pretty flowers in shade of white, blue and purple. They’re called delphiniums after the shape of the nectary. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_trolliifolium and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_pavonaceum Other names are Larksheal and Staggerweed – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers frighten away venomous creatures and ghosts. Sprinkle between your eyes and a Litha fire to keep your sight clear. Use in rituals to call upon Dolphin energy.
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 8/18 at 7:42pm. 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 8/11 at 9:45am.
The Moon passes 0.8° south of magnitude –1.2 Mars at 4 A.M. EDT. You can find the pair in Pisces the Fish, nearly 45° above the southeastern horizon this morning. At this time, the waning Moon is still 71 percent lit, while Mars is 87 percent lit and 16″ across.
Although Pisces is devoid of relatively bright stars, look east of the Moon-Mars pair to find Menkar, Cetus’ alpha star, shining at magnitude 2.5. The star’s Arabic name means “the nose” or “nostrils,” although it’s often drawn as the mouth of the great celestial whale. This cool, red giant is a variable star in the last phases of its life; its light varies by up to 6 percent at irregular intervals. Astronomers believe Menkar once had about three times the mass of our Sun, but that it will ultimately lose most of that mass as it puffs away its outer layers in death.
Different people have an easier or harder time seeing star colors, especially subtle ones. To me, the tints of bright stars stand out a little better in the deep blue of late twilight than in complete dark. For instance, the two brightest stars of
summer are <<< Vega, now almost overhead in late twilight, and Arcturus>>> , shining in the west. Vega is white with just a touch of blue. Arcturus is a yellow-orange giant. Do their colors stand out a little better for you before dark? Could this be a contrast effect of seeing yellow, orange, or orange-red stars on a blue background? In any case, binoculars or a telescope will make star colors much more obvious.
The Moon reaches apogee at 9:50 A.M. EDT. At that time, our satellite will be 251,444 miles (404,659 kilometers) from Earth. This is the farthest point from our planet in the Moon’s slightly elliptical orbit; it will reach perigee, the nearest point to Earth, on the morning of the 21st.
Mercury is hidden deep in the sunrise.
Old Farmer’s Almanac August Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-august-perseid-meteors-milky-way
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
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. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world.
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
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).
Su 9 High 4:37 AM 5.8 6:13 AM Set 12:12 PM 76
~ 9 Low 10:54 AM 1.2 8:30 PM Rise 11:34 PM
~ 9 High 5:20 PM 6.6
~ 9 Low 11:47 PM 1.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Fear is an ironic thing….Although we are its recipients; we are also its creators…”
~ I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains. – Anne Frank
~ Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. – Aldous Huxley
~ A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing. – Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer
~ On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone. – Janis Joplin
Summer declines and roses have grown rare,
But cottage crofts are gay with hollyhocks,
And in old garden walks you breathe an air
Fragrant of pinks and August-smelling stocks. – John Todhunter (1839–1916)
Magick – A Poor Magician Is A Poor Magician – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2014/05/a-poor-magician-is-a-poor-magician.html – May 11, 2014 By John Beckett
“A poor magician is a poor magician.”
I hear this phrase from time to time. Sometimes it’s proclaimed as a self-evident truth: if your ordinary life is a mess, you obviously aren’t much of a magic worker or you’d do something to get it in order. Other times I hear it slammed as victim-blaming of people who are dealing with economic or other problems not of their own making.
Right or wrong, the phrase remains in use and it’s worth exploring in a little more depth.
First of all, if the stories of our ancestors teach us anything, it’s that we are not defined by our circumstances but by our responses to them. A hero is someone who does great things in difficult situations. Simply looking at someone’s circumstances – or looking at your own – tells you nothing about his or her character and competency.
But circumstances are temporary and constantly changing, and the classic definition of magic is the art and science of creating change in accordance with Will. It is reasonable to expect that if magical people find ourselves in unfavorable circumstances, we will practice our art and science and create changes to make things better – at least within the limits of what magic can and can’t do.
None of us have perfect lives – by anyone’s standards – including those who are highly skilled magicians or devoted priests. To dismiss someone as a “poor magician” because their lives aren’t what we think they should be is arrogant at best.
But over time, circumstances become patterns and patterns become character.
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. ― Lao Tzu
A magician whose life is in constant chaos needs to look for the cause of the chaos. Does he need to put the grimoire down and pick up a book on home finance? Does he need to cut back on walking between the worlds and start walking in this world – both figuratively and literally? This isn’t just a Pagan thing – my Baptist father used to rant against people who were “so heavenly minded they’re no earthly good.”
I rant against “Pagan Standard Time” not because I’m a slave to the mainstream culture’s infatuation with efficiency but because habitual lateness is a sign of failure to properly plan. If a ritual starts late because the leaders underestimated how long it would take to get ready, what else did they underestimate? What’s the likelihood they made the ritual as good as it could be? What’s the likelihood they spent the necessary time in meditation and prayer with the deities and spirits they intend to invoke and honor?
I’ve yet to do a perfect ritual, and I cut beginners a lot more slack than I cut experienced magicians and ritual leaders. But a consistent pattern of lateness and disorganization tells me I’m dealing with a poor magician.
A magician who has sacrificed material comfort to concentrate on her practice and her craft is a different matter. There are only so many hours in day and so many days in a life, and while it is possible to bring magic and spirituality into a mundane workplace (someone has to make corporate environments less toxic!), if you want to be an artist or an activist you are likely to have to accept a lower material standard of living to find the time your art requires.
This isn’t a question of “working” vs. “not working.” All of us have an obligation to provide for ourselves and our families. It’s a question of deciding what we’re going to work on, what we’re going to work for, and how long we’re going to work on it. Monks agree to live in great simplicity and at times in depravation. It’s a hard life that’s not for everyone, but most of us can recognize the monks’ poor material condition is a sign of spiritual maturity, not weakness.
A magician who has little material wealth and constantly complains about it needs to re-examine his priorities. Does he really need more than he has to be content? Maybe he does – nobody can say how much is enough for someone else. But maybe he needs to accept that he already has enough and his true happiness won’t come from more stuff but from deeper spiritual practice and more devoted service.
It’s worth thinking about the converse, too: maybe a wealthy Druid is a good Druid and maybe he isn’t. We aren’t Puritans – material wealth isn’t a sign of the favor of the Gods, or a sign of skill with magic. Neither is it a sign of selling out. It’s worth remembering that Gerald Gardner was able to be a full-time writer and promoter of Wicca because he was drawing a civil service pension from his years working for the British government in Asia.
So, is a poor magician a poor magician? Maybe – it depends on whether she’s made different trade-offs from what society expects or whether she isn’t paying enough attention to the details of her own life.
Are you following a leader or a teacher who’s a poor magician? Is your role model demonstrating behaviors that are unhelpful and unwise? Or does he simply need less stuff than you do?
Are you a poor magician? If your life is in disorder, start getting it in order one thing at a time. If you need more, start taking steps – both magical and mundane – to obtain what you lack. But if you have what you truly need, perhaps all that is required is to recognize that blessed fact and dive head-first into the calling of your True Will.
About John Beckett – I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.
Silliness – To help you smile – I wrote a song about tortillas. Actually it was more of a wrap.