Hey, c’mon rain! I haven’t seen any, yet, but we’re not in danger from the fires. Folks who are have seen some. We want more, but no lighting, please, Perun! It’s very foggy and very still tonight. 58F, winds are calm, AQI35-100, UV4. 20% chance of rain today and 50% tonight. Tonight through Friday is a good chance of rain and then again Thursday and one. It looks like temps around 60 for the next while
Yesterday was on the strange side. I was working on orders and trying to figure out where some of them have ended up. I’ve got some new ones to place, too. Tempus got up around 1pm and made coffee and we started in on chores. Around 4pm we got the shop doors open and got going on *those* chores.
Tempus had gone after the mail, so I sat down with that, paid the car insurance… and they’ve changed their protocols and I could figure out how to print the darned cards! We finally had to call customer service and they sent me a link. …or tried to and it didn’t show up and it didn’t show up, so they asked me for my other e-mail and *that* didn’t show up, since the guy misspelled it. I *finally* got the link and then couldn’t figure out how to print it for the longest time. I finally got there, but it’s was 1/4 past 5, by then!
Vicki’s Big Wheel is closing as of 9/22. She finally has a buyer. Tempus went over to get me one last Vicki’s chicken and a chocolate shake. 😦 Dunno whether they’re going to re-open or do something else.
Tempus headed out with the laundry. I pulled the melon from the dehydrator and went to get a nap. When I woke he was back and unloading groceries too, from the night before. He headed out just after two, laughing. His boss forgot his key for the storage unit they work in!
So, I’m going to get this out and go work in the back on the dehydrated chicken. I have some plant starts that I want to get to, asap, and I need the cooking out of the way! I don’t know whether that’s going to happen by the weekend, though.
Today we’ll be open at the regular time. Tempus is going to head up to Newport to get our package. I may ask him to get some frozen stuff, too, then there’s the bulk route and the regular subscriber route. It’s going to be a long day.
Feast day of Hildegard von Bingen, virgin, abbess and Medieval Polymath. She was a mystic, who probably had migraines, at least the descriptions of her visions start with what sounds like migraines…. but where she took it and how she interpreted it is pretty darned amazing! She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, songs used in church ritual, and poems as well as a piece that is considered to be the oldest surviving morality play. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen
Today’s plant is Wild ginger, Asarum caudatum – This is a different plant from the one usually used in magick, but has only slightly different properties. This is related to black pepper, kava and birthwort. – Masculine, Mars, Fire – This is used for “heating up” spells. While standard ginger is used in money, love, success and power spells, Wild Ginger is mostly used to add power, rather than on its own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asarum_caudatum
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 9/17 at 4am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances. God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at 4am on 9/17. 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 10/1 at 2:05pm. New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open – Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends at 4pm on 9/18.
New Moon (exact at 4:00 a.m. PDT. New Moon occurs at 7 A.M. EDT. That means dark skies for observers and the perfect opportunity to try to catch the zodiacal light — sunlight scattered off dust in the solar system. You can look for this light throughout the rest of the month when moonless conditions occur. The zodiacal light typically appears as a conelike glow centered on the ecliptic, which is the plane of the planets in the solar system. It appears in late summer and early fall before sunrise, earning it the name “false dawn.” (In late winter, the zodiacal light appears after sunset and is sometimes called false dusk, instead.)
For a double feature you won’t want to miss, step outside early this morning around 5 A.M. to also look for Mars, which appears high in the southwest, nestled in Pisces the Fish. The Red Planet, magnitude –2.2, is a little over 5° north-northwest of Alrescha — although the star makes a poor signpost, since it’s a much fainter magnitude 3.8. Mars observing will only get better in the coming weeks, as its October opposition is now right around the corner.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot should transit the planet’s central meridian around 10:14 p.m. EDT.
Mercury is having a very low, poor apparition deep in the sunset. At least it’s fairly bright at magnitude –0.2 this week, so go ahead and try. Bring binoculars. About 20 minutes after sunset, while twilight is still bright, start scanning for it just above the horizon about 15° left of due west. Good luck!
Old Farmer’s Almanac September Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-september-pegasus-measuring-sky
Goddess Month of Mala runs from 9/6 – 10/2
Celtic Tree Month of Muin/Vine Sep 2 – 29
Runic half-month of Kenaz/Ken/Kebo – September 13-27 – Ken represents a flaming torch within the royal hall, so it’s the time of the creative fire – the forge where natural materials are transmuted by the force of the human will into a mystical third, an artifact that could not otherwise come into being. The positive aspects of sexuality that are immanent in Freya and Frey come into play at this time. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 102
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Muin/Vine Sep 2 – 29 – Muin – (MUHN, like “foot”), vine – The grape (Vitis vinifera L.) is a vine growing as long as 35 m (115 feet), in open woodlands and along the edges of forests, but most commonly seen today in cultivation, as the source of wine, grape juice, and the grape juice concentrate that is so widely used as a sweetener. European grapes are extensively cultivated in North America, especially in the southwest, and an industry and an agricultural discipline are devoted to their care and the production of wine. Grapes are in the Grape family (Vitaceae).
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 17 High 12:33 AM 8.2 6:58 AM Rise 7:03 AM 0 17
~ Low 7:08 AM -0.8 7:22 PM Set 8:02 PM
~ 17 High 1:22 PM 7.8
~ 17 Low 7:26 PM 0.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – If you never try you’ll never know.
~ America is a nation that conceives many odd inventions for getting somewhere but it can think of nothing to do once it gets there. – Will Rogers (1879-1935) US actor, humorist
~ Right action is about making a new start to bring about a new ending to make your ancestors proud. Kerr Cuhulain
~ All art is quite useless. – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish writer and wit
~ A toothache, or a violent passion, is not necessarily diminished by our knowledge of its causes, its character, its importance or insignificance.” – T. S. Eliot
September means its time again
for going off to school.
The days are getting shorter
and the nights are getting cool. – Anon.
We’re still not at phase two, so I have a suggestion for a ritual that’s pretty free-form. I don’t know whether you saw the first thing in yesterday’s magick section in the newsletter? (a couple of days ago….) I’ll post it below, the Harvest Salad Spell, but I’m going to suggest an expanded version of that.
Mabon is supposed to be the Witches’ Thanksgiving, so let’s do a thanks-giving as individual rituals. Set it up with what you have, cook what you’d like to eat (mindfully), and get a picture right before you start, one once you’ve stuffed yourself, and one of whatever you’re going to offer to the spirits of place. The ritual part is to, out loud, thank each dish for the nutrition, for its sacrifice and give it honor for its part in the Wheel. Give Thanks! If you have family that would be startled or annoyed, do it silently. One other thing is that it’s Tempus and my anniversary, so we’re going to be honoring each other, as well. We can post pictures here. No, this doesn’t have to be fancy. Fancy is only if you feel like it! If you’re eating Ramen and canned peas, give thanks as much as if you’ve got beef wellington and lobster salad! …and read the post with the cow on it (below) The family’s attitude toward Maple is an interesting take on what we’re looking for with this spot on the Turning of the Wheel.
Go through your garden, (or go to the farmer’s market!) and harvest various greens: lettuce, cabbage, beet leaves, basil, parsley, green beans, spinach, turnip, carrot and parsnip tops, any green herbs that are growing, then go check your yard for dandelion leaves, and plantain. When you have ½ a bowl full, nab things like one ripe tomato, an ear of corn, one pepper, one squash, a cucumber or any other fresh vegetables you might have. Thank the garden spirits for giving you these lovely things!
When you have a little bit of everything, take things in and wash them, roll up leaves and chop them fine. Scrub peel and dice the vegetables and toss it all together in a bowl. Take ½ a cup of yogurt and some shredded cheese and mix it up then toss that on top, followed by some chopped bacon or ham or chicken and mix well.
Eat with good bread and butter, a glass of good wine and a joyful heart.
Make sure you take a little bowlful and a piece of bread and a little glass of wine out for the spirits and thank them again for your harvest.
Collected on Facebook and shared. – I’ve never been able to put it into words very well, but when I talk about honoring the life you eat for its gift, this is part of it.
Gowan Batist – StSndaefpfStecgmspbehor m6n atn mSg9os:4ui4oufr henAdMs ·
I got a comment on a post about our new bull, Lascoux the Longhorn, named for his resemblance to the famous cave paintings in France “I hope you’re not planning to eat him!”
I said “it’s not the plan, but there are some situations in which we’d eat him. If he broke a leg or something and couldn’t be fixed we’d almost certainly eat him.”
And that was true, off the cuff, but I’ve been thinking about it since then and it wasn’t a complete answer.
Cows can live to be 18-20 years old. I deeply hope Lascoux does! I would love to have a relationship that long and deep with him. I’d be 50 when he’d be ending his life. I might have children nearing adulthood who would have known him their whole lives. I can imagine, as a rotational grazier, what knowing an animal that long could feel like when it comes to how we move together on the landscape.
The truth is, unless there’s a total curve ball in the future that radically changes the context, I will likely eat Lascoux someday.
Let me tell you about my first cow that I had as an adult. Her name was Maple. (That’s her picture) She was a big, swaggering Guernsey with three working teats due to having one stepped on as a calf. She had a rolling pirate gait from the same trampling event that took her teat. This made her undesirable for a dairy, and so she came to live with us. She was opiniated and stubborn and would drag people around. She was powerful! She once ran through three fences and broke a barn door because the neighbors tiny terrier got into their pasture and chased her. I saw her as a refugee from the forced conformity of the industrial system, and I intended for her to live out her life on the farm. Which, she did. At the age of about 13 she slipped, and fractured a disc in her back. That is a fatal injury when you weigh 1,750 lbs. A cow that is down dies. Always. Quickly. They are very heavy and will cut off their own bloodflow to their legs. It’s why getting a cow standing and into a sling is an emergency. (This is the source of many expose videos showing ranchers trying to scare and harass cows into standing. The only way to help them is to get them up.) She was put into a hanging sling and seen by a vet, who confirmed she needed to be put down.
Her body, all 1,750 opinionated, awkward, bossy pounds of it, was left behind.
I was vegan for years. Many people who know me now and the work I do probably would be surprised by this, but it’s true. I became vegan, like many do, as a teenager when the horrors of the industrial agriculture system and it’s treatment of animals became clear to me. I stayed vegan through most of college, living in a city. I would buy, as a vegetarian, the tiny amounts of eggs and dairy I could afford that were raised in a way I found acceptable. I felt that the legumes, grains and vegetables I was eating were best for the planet.
Then I studied agriculture, and saw farming with my own eyes.
The same love for wild animals and landscapes and the same respect for the sentience of animals that brought me into veganism brought me back out of it as I learned about the industrial farming system more deeply. I saw the complete ecological wasteland of crop farming, and I saw the animals it kills, and I saw the pest explosions it causes. I saw rabbits and raptors and snakes and raccoons and deer killed by farming equipment. Near me, a wheat baler ran an entire family of foxes through it, crushing them into flakes where they mummified and were revealed when the bales were opened.
I saw that the very confinement of animals I was so against was part of the commodity crop system I was supporting by buying vegan foods, as the waste products of both industries have cyclical relationships. The organic soy I ate was fertilized with the blood, bone and feather meals of the battery hens I eschewed. The conventional wasn’t any better- it was fertilized with petroleum.
My mind and body completely recoil at the idea of eating a sentient creature killed after a short miserable life spent sick and crowded in their own waste eating industrial byproducts. I came to understand, though, that I was eating the products made by industries who make that kind of confined animal feeding operation possible with their cheap abundant waste as feedstock.
Simultaneously, I was also falling deeply in love with the ecology of grasslands, and was heartbroken by their destruction for crop farming. Textiles are also included in this conversation, cotton, that emblematic crop of slavery, is one of the most toxic crops grown. I was told by a professor that cotton meal was often used by sneaky organic farmers as a fertilizer, knowing it still contained pesticide residues. I wonder if that loophole has been pulled shut yet.
I wanted there to be a better way. Small. Intensive, compost-based, not including broad acre tillage, making a space for animals, both wild and domestic, to express their true natures completely.
I ended up managing a farm to school program feeding low income children and teaching interns. I introduced a small barnyard program, where animals were loved by the kids, goats were taken for brush walks and kids made notebooks of what they most liked to eat, carbon cycle posters were drawn, and cows were loved, for their enzymes that aid grass seed germination, for their manure that draws insects which draw birds, for their role of Great Cycler and analog to the Pleistocene megafauna that have gone into extinction.
Maple was a goddess in the cosmology I created and knew it. Maple was also mortal, and she died.
She returned to me as many hundreds of pounds of ground beef. Knowing what I do now, I wish I had kept her beautiful speckled hide, but I didn’t have those resources then.
I donated a lot of the beef to a community dinner.
Then, with some trepidation, I ate some. It was good. It was cellular level good. Which surprised me, since an old dairy cow isn’t what our culture usually considers the best beef. Years later I read that the Lakota prefer middle-aged and older female elk and buffalo. Obviously that might not be true for all Lakota, and I don’t know if there’s a direct comparison to beef, but I get it. Her fat was orange. I felt all my synapses firing on high alert when I ate her. We referred to her by name over the almost two years it took to eat her beef.
“Get a pound of Maple out of the freezer for tonight please.” After an initial adjustment, there was nothing horrifying or emotionally challenging in it for me. It was just how we cycled all the nutrients she accumulated in her lifetime one more time.
Returning to Lascoux, our bull who I hope has two decades ahead of him, if he has a horrible accident, or if in his old age he becomes painfully impaired and isn’t enjoying life, I’ll take his death into my own hands the way I would any animal I care about. And, as he’s made of beef, I’ll eat him. I imagine eating a beloved bull after that long of a relationship would be a really unique and intense experience.
There’s already been a public debate about exactly this scenario. Bill and Lou, elderly oxen who had worked on a university farm, we’re scheduled to be euthanized and the school planned to have them butchered. The students who knew and worked with them would have the opportunity to eat them in the cafeteria at a meal commemorating them. Lou had a painful degenerative issue with his leg and with winter coming would be suffering. A vets recommendation was to euthanize both, due to their deep bond and advanced age. This angered animal rights activists, who wanted them moved to a sanctuary instead, despite the recommendation of the vet. Local slaughterhouses were threatened, online petitions were signed by people all over the world, an outcry prevented the students from having the same experience I had with Maple.
Bill was left alone per the demands of the activists, to suffer herd bereavement we can’t possibly understand, not being herd animals, for the short years remaining to him. This was seen as a partial victory, despite the euthanized Lou, who was rescued from pain but not allowed to teach and nourish students in the one final way he could have.
Specific animal death is primally confronting. Seeing death reminds us of our own. I’ve been told over and over again that we don’t have to kill to live, and that’s accurate. We don’t have to personally take any responsibility for death in our culture. That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, and that what happens behind the scenes isn’t more horrific for the lack of our witness.
I would rather be part of a living ecosystem with diverse animals and plants and intact soil than to eat from stripped bare fields. Animals die there too, and so do whole species and ecosystems, above and below ground and in neighboring waterways. There are no native bunchgrasses in a crop field. No oak trees. No ground nesting bees. No fox pups, I hope, because if there are after planting in spring they may be killed by harvest in summer.
I appreciate that vegetables can be grown, though most aren’t, with a minimum of soil disturbance in a very small space. That leaves the vast oxidizing west neglected though. Intensive vegetable farming does not replace the need for extensive land stewardship, it should be in partnership with it. The devastating fires tell us that starkly. The land needs grazing. It needs herds and their weight and manure and urine and the calcium in their bones. Oak mortality on grazed vs ungrazed land after the LNU fire will keep telling us this loud and clear.
It’s not necessary to sell meat in order to do that grazing work, though it is how most people fund their work. I don’t sell meat and never have and I run a grazing operation for fuel suppression and native plant diversity. I would support an animal sanctuary that used regenerative practices, and I would consult for free for them, but as far as I know there aren’t any. The closest I’ve heard of are regenerative ranchers who allow vegetarians and vegans to buy herd shares that support their work and withhold cows from slaughter. I would love to see more programs like that. There is absolutely no more time to waste, people are dying and fires are burning so hot even adapted species are killed.
At a conference once I heard a woman ask Alan Savory if cattle really had to be eaten in order to do Holistic Planned Grazing. The surprisingly slight man visibly tensed with frustration and said something like (this isn’t a quote, I heard it almost a decade ago) “I genuinely do not care if they are eaten or not, they can be left behind on the grass for scavengers when they die for all I care, but we have to do it. We have to do the grazing or we will lose wildlife and humans to desertification. We have no other feasible option.”
Create a way for herders to make a living without selling meat if you disapprove of the sale of meat. The land MUST have large herds of herbivores moving across it. There is room for everyone and every diet. Let’s work together on this.
For me personally, at the end of a long life lived in meadows and glades, when the time comes, I would rather cut Lascoux into his component parts and cycle his carbon one last time through my family. That sounds more respectful and appropriate to me than to hire a bulldozer to dig a hole that fits a one ton carcass. That’s just me. I feel the same about my body. If I have useable eyes or heart or skin when I die, take them for people who need them. We will all one day go back into the earth, we should exchange carbon as many times as we can along the way.
There is tension. Necessary tension. Issues of funding regenerative practices, food access and labor ethics, neglected public lands, disastrous USDA policy, Tribal gathering rights, cultural burning access and land return, and a culture of ranching that has historically been hostile to the point of genocide to both Native people and animals, especially carnivores. We have work to do. May every calorie we take into our bodies from the furnace of the sun fuel the journey.
…And because I’m a big ol nerd, here’s a book list if you’re interested in learning more about carbon, grass, herbivores, agriculture and ecology:
- In Defense of Beef by
- Nicolette Hahn Niman
- Grass, Soil, Hope by Courtney White
- Cows Save the Planet by Judith D Schwartz
- One Size Fits None by Stephanie Anderson
- Fibershed by
- Rebecca Burgess
- Wilding by Isabella Tree
- Growing a Revolution by David R Montgomery
- Tending the Wild by Kat Anderson
- Once and Future Giants by Sharon Levy
- Sacred Cow by Rob Wolff & Diana Rogers
- The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth
- Nourishing Diets by Sally Fallon Morell
- The Great Warming by Brian Fagan
- American Serengeti by Dan Flores
- Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown
- Restoration Agriculture by
- Mark Shepard
- Against the Grain by James C Scott
- Kiss the Ground by John Mackey
- The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
- The Shepard’s Life by James Rebanks
- Silvopasture by Steve Gabriel
- The Carbon Farming Solution by Eric Toensmeier
- Holistic Management by
- Allan Savory
Silliness – The New French Cook
The French will eat almost anything. A young cook decided that the French would enjoy feasting on rabbits and decided to raise rabbits in Paris and sell them to the finer restaurants in the city.
He searched all over Paris seeking a suitable place to raise his rabbits. None could be found. Finally, an old priest at the cathedral said he could have a small area behind the rectory for his rabbits.
He successfully raised a number of them, and when he went about Paris selling them, a restaurant owner asked him where he got such fresh rabbits.
The young man replied, “I raise them myself, near the cathedral. In fact, I have a hutch back of Notre Dame.