Partly cloudy and 49F, wind at 0-5mph and gusting, AQI7-15, UV5. 30% chance of rain today and 20% tonight. We’re under a GALE WATCH from late Tuesday into Wednesday evening. Through Saturday it’s more likely to be rainy or threatening it than not, and that bit on Tues/Wed looks like a regular winter storm. Highs around 60F. After that the sun is likely to come out for several days and the temps are going to be closer to 70F.
Yesterday morning I spent quite awhile setting up newsletter frames. After it was time to open I spent time working on embroidery patterns and tracking down pieces for the House Capuchin weekly newsletter.
Tempus made us a good anniversary breakfast of orange rolls, cheese, bacon, cantaloupe and coffee. After that he worked on cleanup in back while I was up front, dealing with customers. We stayed busy right past 5pm, by which time I was in back working on cookery. The experiment worked great and the kalamata chicken, which was the main dish for our anniversary meal, even better. We had mimosas and then I went to bed.
I think I’m going to head straight back to bed when this is out. I’m still really sleepy. Today I have plant tending to do and a lot of writing. After that I want to get back into working on patterns. Once Tempus is done getting the work table cleaned up, I think we need to get going on plant headers, which is going to take some organizing to even get there.
Today is the Inuit festival for Sedna, the sea-goddess. She has many names across the Arctic cultures and much mythology, but in general she has strict rules for the harvest of her creatures and when hunting groups break her rules it is the job of the shamans to journey to her place beneath the sea. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedna_%28deity%29
Today’s plant is New Zealand Flax, Phormium Tenax. This is a very different plant from common flax or linseed, Linum usitatissimum. It is used mostly as an ornamental in the northern hemisphere, but at one time sustained a lively trade as a fiber. While the two plants are very different, they have similar magickal properties. These days the fiber is mostly used by paper artisans. – Masculine, Mercury, Fire, Hulda – Money spells, add to coins and carry, flax in the shoe averts poverty. For protection while asleep, add to mustard seed, put both opposite cold water. Protection from evil entering, scatter with red pepper by door. Health and healing rituals, sprinkle altar with flaxseed. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phormium For the traditional uses of the plant fiber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_flax
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 10/1 at 2:05pm. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 9/21 at 4pm. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 9/23 at 6:55pm.
Mercury and fainter Spica appear only 2/3° apart this evening, and 3/4° apart tomorrow evening, for North America. They’re magnitudes 0 and +1, respectively, but they may be a challenge to spot even with binoculars since they’re already very low above the west-southwest horizon in bright twilight just 15 or 20 minutes after sunset. And across much of North America, your low view may be further hindered by forest-fire smoke high in the atmosphere. Mercury and Spica appear close enough together to fit easily into the view of a telescope at 50x or less. . . once you find them. They stand side by side in Virgo this evening. They’re only about 0.6° apart; magnitude 1 Spica is left of the magnitude –0.1 planet. You’ll need to be quick if you want to catch the pair, though — start searching for them in the west right after sunset, when they’re already quickly sinking toward the horizon. By 20 minutes after sunset, they’re only about 4.5° high. Mercury will pass 0.3° north of Spica at 5 A.M. EDT, but the pair won’t be visible then.
Moon occults double star this evening. The dark edge of the waxing crescent Moon eclipses the fine telescopic double star Beta Scorpii, magnitudes 2.6 and 4.5, for most of North America except the Northeast. Use a telescope to watch the pair disappear stepwise behind the Moon’s earthlit edge, one after the other some seconds apart. In the East the Moon will be very low. The mid-longitudes of the continent get the best view, in early-evening darkness with the Moon less low. Near the West Coast the star’s disappearance happens in daylight, and its reappearance out from behind the Moon’s bright limb occurs in twilight. Map and timetables for many cities. Once Virgo disappears from the evening sky, look east past Libra and into Scorpius to find the waxing crescent Moon. Nearby is bright red Antares, which depicts the star-studded Scorpion’s heart. After these sights have set, move your gaze further east still to find Jupiter and Saturn, shining near the Teapot of Sagittarius. The giant planets are now just under 8° apart; they will continue drawing closer over the next few months until they reach a spectacular close conjunction December 21.
Venus (magnitude –4.2, crossing from Cancer into Leo) rises in deep darkness two hours before dawn begins, in the east-northeast far below Pollux and Castor. By the time dawn gets under way, Venus shines prominently in the east, as shown below. Each morning it’s drawing closer to much fainter Regulus. Procyon shines about 30° (about three first at arm’s length) to Venus’s upper right. To the right or lower right of Procyon shines effulgent Sirius — the brightest star, but nowhere near a match for Venus. In a telescope, Venus continues to shrink slowly into the distance; it’s now 17 arcseconds in diameter. And it’s becoming more gibbous, 67% sunlit now, as it rounds toward passing behind the Sun next winter.
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
M 21 High 4:05 AM 7.0 7:03 AM Rise 12:19 PM 15
~ 21 Low 9:53 AM 1.4 7:14 PM Set 10:03 PM
~ 21 High 3:59 PM 8.4
~ 21 Low 10:49 PM -0.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Think positive. If you fall in the creek, check your pockets for fish.
~ A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness, but after that he begins to bunch them. – H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) US writer
~ Meditation is not a question of conquering or seizing, it is a question of relaxing into yourself. It is not a fight or a war, it is pure resting, sinking into your rest deeply. And as you sink deeper and deeper you find you are melting. – Osho
~ Where the wind is on Martinmas Eve, there it will be the rest of winter. – English (Atherstone) traditional proverb
~ In the twilight, it was a vision of power. – Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) US writer
The sunflower children
Nod to the sun.
Summer is over,
Fall has begun! – Anon.
MYTH*ING LINKS – An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
AUTUMN greetings, CUSTOMS & LORE September = December 2004
May we spend this time wisely so that at least we won’t be seen as foolish or reckless. Those born later in this century may not agree with us, but may they think of us as genial, full of humor, humble, and wise. We’re in a “thin space,” as the Celts call it, a portal between the worlds. Those who stood at that portal in the winter of 1900 brewed, all unknowing, two world wars. May we brew, if not peace, at least a growing sense of humanity and compassion. May we have the skill to defuse explosions. May we be remembered as tolerant and awake.
As autumn returns to earth’s northern hemisphere,
and day and night are briefly,
balanced at the equinox,
may we remember anew how fragile life is —-
human life, surely,
but also the lives of all other creatures,
trees and plants,
waters and winds.
May we make wise choices in how and what we harvest,
may earth’s weather turn kinder,
may there be enough food for all creatures,
may the diminishing light in our daytime skies
be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance
in our hearts.
AUTUMN LINKS: oLD wORLD tRADITIONS
Demeter and Persephone
© Mary B. Kelly: “The painting shows the moment when mother and daughter are reconciled, and their first kiss.
Persephone still holds the pomegranate, symbol both of fertility and of her fate as Dark Queen”
[Used with the artist’s kind permission — see annotated link to her home page below]
[Added 8/26/02]: This is a plain-text page on ancient Greek festivals from c. 13 September through 13 October.
…Many of the Greek and Roman festivals of this season celebrate the end of the military campaigning season. At the end of September and beginning of October, however, the emphasis shifts to the Corn Mothers and other agricultural deities. In many Greek states the month beginning mid-September was called Demetrion after Demeter….
The page beings with the “Great (Eleusinian) Mysteries” of Demeter and Persephone (c. Sept. 29-Oct. 5), since these are, of course, the highlight of the season. Then it backtracks to 13 September (for the Roman feast of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and continues forward to 13 October, the Roman Fontinalia, a festival for Fons, the god of springs.
[Added 8/26-27/02]: This is a continuation of the above plain-text data: ancient Greek festivals from 22 October to 15 December.
…In the Greek and Roman worlds, there are comparatively few festivals in October and November, which is the seed-time (Gr. sporetos), a season of ploughing and sowing. Women figure prominently in these festivals since in neolithic times they were responsible for crops raising (by the Bronze Age it became a male occupation)….
The details are wonderful and more information is given on the above-mentioned feasts of Apollo, Dionysus, and Theseus. There is also fine data for the Thesmophoria (see below).
[8/20/04: when I try to get through, this link now crashes my program. I’m removing it but keeping the annotation.]
[Added 8/26-27/02]: From N.S. Gill, the ancient history guide at about.com, comes a fine page on the Greek harvest (or “Thanksgiving”) festival, Thesmophoria, which falls during October-November (also see above link):
“It is called Thesmophoria, because Demeter is called Thesmophoros in respect of her establishing laws or thesmoiin accordance with which men must provide nourishment and work the land….”
Since the fall harvest must usually take an agricultural society through winter, it is vitally important for survival. Whatever power provides that bounty deserves praise…. [This festival was]…in honor of the goddess who taught mankind to tend the soil, during a month known as Pyanopsion (Puanepsion), according to the lunisolar calendar of the Athenians. Since our calendar is solar, the month doesn’t exactly match, but Pyanopsion would be, more or less, October into November….
For more on this festival, as well as on Dionysiac celebrations, see an excellent essay at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/classes/LAp.html
[This is a very interesting page by John Opsopaus on three autumn festivals of ancient Greece — these fall after the equinox but contain themes relevant to the entire season:
…Because Ancient Greek festivals were held according to a lunar calendar, which was often out of step with the solar year, it is difficult to say what festivals would correspond to Samhain.
In Homer’s time the cosmical setting (first visible setting on western horizon at sunrise) of Orion, the Pleiades and the Hyades, which marked the beginning of the winter, herding season, occurred at the beginning of November (Nov. 5-10, by various computations). (Orion was the son of Poseidon and Euruale, daughter of Minos and sister of Ariadne, about whom more later.). Significantly, these constellations, which mark the seasons, are at the center of the Shield of Achilles (Iliad XVIII), that famous mandala of the Homeric Universe.
In classical Greek times there were several important festivals that nominally occur at the end of October and beginning of November. Two of these, which occur on the same day (7 Puanepsion), are especially interesting; they are followed on the next day by the Theseia (for Theseus), which is intimately connected with the first two….
Two of these festivals honor Apollo and Dionysus and are held on the same day.
…The Oskhophoria, in honor of Dionysos, occurs on the same day as the Puanepsia. It may seem odd to honor Apollo and Dionysos, so often taken as polar opposites, on the same day, but we must remember that They share Delphi, and this is the time of year when the changing of the guard occurs. An ancient pot shows Them shaking hands over the Omphalos (World Naval) at Delphi….
The third, Theseia, commemorates Theseus. The author retells the story: “Ariadne and Theseus’ Descent into the Labyrinth and Return.” The details are fascinating although it should be mentioned that the author has excluded other important ancient variants of the myth. Nevertheless, the story includes the mysterious desertion of Ariadne by Theseus, followed by her marriage to Dionysus himself — whose festival was celebrated only the day before.
[This is an engrossing, contemporary re-visioning of what might have been the ancient “Greek Ritual of the Labyrinth” (Ta Hiera Laburinthou) by John Opsopaus:
…This ritual is an initiation and celebration of new beginnings structured around the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur and associated Greek midautumn celebrations, which take place when Apollo yields Delphi to Dionysos for the winter months….
I have not had time to read the entire ritual (it’s lengthy) but what impresses me is its mythopoetic quality and the deep psychological nuances. Also, I appreciate the careful footnoting that links the Cretan labyrinth to displaced, but related themes, in Mesopotamian myths.
I first grokked Waverly Fitzgerald’s School of the Seasons for my 1999 debut of the Autumn Equinox page. Since then, her jewel of a site has become a favorite of mine and appears on all my seasonal pages. The overall design is unusually tasteful and elegant. Even more important, Fitzgerald has well-researched content on monthly celebrations, feasts, and cross-cultural holy days (with hypertext links to further information on many of these). Her opening page also includes fascinating “Special Features” for each season. Fitzgerald’s command of lore is exceptional.
For each current month, she begins with a large number of names from various cross-cultural traditions. Then a calendar follows. If you click on hyperlinks for a particular day, you’ll be linked to more detail on another page. The September feasts, for example, include the Nativity of the Virgin on the 8th; Rosh Hashana; England’s Day of the Holy Nut; the remembrance of the Virgin’s Seven Sorrows; the God Pan; Yom Kippur; Autumn Equinox; the 9-day Eleusinian Mysteries; the Harvest Moon; Sukkoth; the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival; and Michaelmas on the 29th.
NOTE: a new month’s calendar appears on the first of each month (sometimes a night or two beforehand).
[Added 15 September 2000]: This charming site looks at autumn and the autumnal equinox in Japan. There are many (usually clickable) photos connected with the months of September, October, and November. Text is fairly minimal but very useful to those unacquainted with Japan’s seasonal customs.
From “Slavic Pagan Holidays” comes fine data on harvest festivals from early August to early November. Autumn in Russia’s cold Ukraine begins early — it’s celebrated on August 2nd, the feast known as St. Ilia’s Day. The entire autumn season is a time of music, apples, honey, and grain sheaves:
…Sometimes the last sheaf ceremony was merged with the ritual surrounding a small patch of field that was left uncut. The spirit of the harvest was said to precede the reapers and hide in the uncut grain. This small patch was referred to as the “beard” of Volos, the God of animals and wealth. The uncut sheaves of wheat in “Volos’ beard” were decorated with ribbons and the heads were bent toward the ground in a ritual called “The curling of the beard”. This was believed to send the spirit of the harvest back to the Earth. Salt and bread, traditional symbols of hospitality were left as offerings to Volos’ beard….
[URLs updated 8/18/01]
[Annotation revised 18 August 2001]: This is the portfolio page of artist/professor Mary B. Kelly, whose vibrant painting (see above) of Hungary’s “Black Goddess,” the Harvest Goddess, Dordona, is not to be missed:
…Like her counterpart in Russia, her arms are raised. She is crowned by both the sun and the moon.
(Note: the larger version of Dordona, with text, is no longer available on this site, but you might e-mail Dr. Kelly if you wish to see it. If you click on the menu buttons on her Portfolio page, you’ll also find information on her groundbreaking books on goddess embroideries, etc. On her Home Page, there’s a large version of Dordona, by the way, but no text.)
Silliness – Blonde and Birdseed
A blonde walked into the pet store and, after looking up and down the aisles, asked the sales clerk for help.
“I’d like a box of birdseed,” said the lady. “For which kind of bird?” he asked helpfully.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she replied. “Whichever one will grow the fastest.”