It’s clear, but still much too warm. 70F, wind at 2-5mph and gusting, AQI16-40, UV4. 0% chance of rain today and tonight. Today is likely to get pretty hot again, but after today we’re looking at more cloud for the rest of the week into next.
Yesterday was quiet. We had some people in, shopping, but not a lot. By 4 it was actually getting too warm for me in the shop. Tempus had gone over to Chubby’s to get us a treat and we both had trouble finishing our shares. I had been working on plants, but when I started to overheat, that was it. I wrote for a bit and then that wore out, too.
It got *hot* in the shop. All the balls were down in the Galileo Thermometer, which means well over 85F. The thermometer on the phone co registered 92…. Wunderground said from 84-92. Bleah. I was drinking ice water and Tempus made me a mimosa with sherbert….
Today’s Feast is Michaelmas. During the Middle Ages Michaelmas was a Holy Day of Obligation, nearly equal to Easter. It was a day when yearly rents were due (the harvest is in by now….) when university terms began (still do, for many) and folks had a fun party. Some folklore has it that this is the day that Michael dumped the devil out of heaven. Goose is traditionally associated with the festival. (….so are dragons….) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michaelmas
Today’s Plant is Evening primrose, Oenothera species, sometimes called Sundrop or Suncup in Oregon. The young roots can be eaten like a peppery-flavored vegetable and the shoots can be used in salad. It can be used in poultices for wound-healing and to ease bruises. (Sun…it’s drying) Clinical trials don’t support the traditional uses for treatment of PMS (particularly bloating and water retention) or cervical ripening in pregnancy, but one of the varieties has promise as a treatment for breast cancer. – Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often called the King’s Cure-all, used by a ruler to cure scrofula. It has powers of healing, particularly for drying “wet” wounds or injuries. It can be used in sleep sachets, and for spells to cure (or cause) alcoholism.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evening_primrose
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. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 9/30 at 2:05am.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot should transit Jupiter’s central meridian around 10:11 p.m. EDT. An hour and ten minutes later, Io begins crossing Jupiter’s face.
The Moon passes 4° south of Neptune at 10 P.M. EDT tonight. You can find the pair in Aquarius the Water-bearer in the southeast at that time, although you’ll need large binoculars or a small scope to catch Neptune’s nearly magnitude 8 glow, especially in the glare of our satellite.
For a planet that’s much easier to spot, look east to find magnitude –2.5 Mars about 16° above the horizon. Currently appearing about 22″ across, Mars is headed for a brilliant opposition next month you won’t want to miss.
Between Mars and Neptune on the sky is main-belt asteroid 68 Leto, which reaches opposition at 11 P.M. EDT. It’s roughly magnitude 10 — best seen with a telescope. Discovered in 1861, Leto is 76 miles (123 kilometers) across. It’s currently traveling through the constellation Cetus the Whale.
You can find yet another planet, Uranus, by looking 15° east-northeast of Mars, closer to the horizon. The nearer of our solar system’s two ice giants is magnitude 5.7 and should show up in binoculars, though beware the Moon’s nearby glow.
Jupiter and Saturn (magnitudes –2.4 and +0.5, respectively) shine in the south during dusk and early evening, as shown at the top of this page, then move to the southwest as evening grows late. Jupiter is the brightest. Saturn is 7½° to its left. Watch the two planets gradually edge together for the rest of the fall. They will pass just 0.1° from each other at conjunction on December 21st, low in twilight, just as fall turns to winter. Very high above them shines Altair, magnitude +0.8. It’s white-hot, 11 times as luminous as the Sun, and just 17 light-years away. Much closer below Jupiter after dark is the handle of the Sagittarius Teapot. The brightest star of the handle (the upper-right one) is Sigma Sagittarii or Nunki, magnitude 2.0. It’s an even larger, hotter blue-white star: 4.5 times the diameter of the Sun, 3300 times as luminous, and 230 light-years away. Telescopically there’s a lot happening on Jupiter now; see Bob King’s Stormy Times on Jupiter. And you can follow the interplay of Jupiter with its moons and their shadows, and find the transit times of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, in the Celestial Calendar section of the current Sky & Telescope.
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
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree Month of Muin/Vine Sep 2 – 29
Celtic Tree Month of Gort/Ivy Sep 30 – Oct 27
Runic half-month of Gebo/ Gyfu – Sept 28-Oct 12 – Gyfu represents the unity that a gift brings between the donor & recipient. It is a time of unification, both between members of society and between the human and divine.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).
Gort/Ivy Sep 30 – Oct 27 – Gort – (GORT), ivy – Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is also a vine, growing to 30 m (100 feet) long in beech woods and around human habitations, where it is widely planted as a ground cover. Ivy produces greenish flowers before Samhain on short, vertical shrubby branches. The leaves of these flowering branches lack the characteristic lobes of the leaves of the rest of the plant. Like holly, ivy is evergreen, its dark green leaves striking in the bare forests of midwinter. Ivy is widely cultivated in North America. It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae).
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 29 Low 5:55 AM 0.2 7:13 AM Set 4:47 AM 91
~ 29 High 12:15 PM 7.0 7:00 PM Rise 6:40 PM
~ 29 Low 6:12 PM 1.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Work on Loving Yourself Every Day.Treat Your Self to Romance and Love. Demonstrate to Your Self how Special You are. Pamper Your Self. Buy Your Self Flowers. Surround Your Self with Colors, Textures, and Scents that Please You. Life always Mirrors back to us the Feelings We have Inside. As You develop an inner Sense of Love and Romance, the right Person will be attracted to You like a Magnet. A great affirmation for Today is: “I am discovering how WonderFul I am. I choose to Love and Enjoy MySelf.”
Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like hard work. — Thomas Edison
~ You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight-savings time. – Dave Barry
~ He is the greatest job and investment destroyer since the bubonic plague. – Paul Keating on John Howard
~ Friendship with oneself is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anybody else in the world. – Eleanor Roosevelt
~ Your job is to discover yourself and use yourself to change your world. – Kerr Cuhulain
Besides the Autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze. –Emily Dickinson (1830–86)
On the full moon of the eighth Chinese lunar month, women celebrate the Moon. This is the beginning of the yin part of the year, when the dark takes precedence over the light, and the Moon is the symbol of yin energy, which also includes water, women and night. In the old Chinese agrarian system, autumn and winter were the women’s seasons. There is a Peking proverb that says: “Men do not bow to the moon. Women do not sacrifice to the God of the Kitchen.”
The Moon Goddess, known as Hengo or Chang-o rules the Jade Palace of the Moon. She swallowed the pill of immortality given to her husband, the archer Hou Yi, and then fled to the moon to avoid his wrath. Her husband later became the God of the Sun and now the two meet only once a month during the New Moon. Other creatures that live in the Moon include a rabbit who is always pictured working with a pestle, pounding up the elixir of life, a three-legged toad (sometimes said to be Chang-O) and a cassia tree, which although attacked by a woodcutter, keeps renewing itself.
To honor the Moon, women build an altar in the courtyard and sometimes put a ceramic figure of the Moon Hare or the three-legged toad of the moon in the center. Also on the altar are moon cakes and plates of pomegranates, melons, grapes, apples and peaches, all fruits that are round like the moon, and rice, wine and tea. The pomegranates and melons represent children, the apples and grapes fertility and the peaches long life. According to Li-ch’en, the melons should be cut open and the edges cut in jagged shapes like the petals of the lotus.
According to Rufus, another popular fruit for the altars is the grapefruit-like pomelo, whose Chinese name, yow, is a homophone for “to have.” She also describes the filling of the moon cakes: sweet bean paste or lotus seed with a boiled egg at the heart to symbolize the moon. And Li-ch’en mentions yellow beans (offerings to the rabbit in the moon) and cockscomb flowers. Members of the imperial court in Peking in 1900 offered nine-joints lotus roots to the moon but since the lotus rarely produces roots that have more than two or three joints, several roots were patched together to get the lucky number of nine.
The full moon cakes, t’uan yuan ping, were sometimes as big as a foot in diameter and often had images on the top of the three-legged toad and the rabbit of the moon. Burkhardt says they were made out of a greyish (moon-colored) flour and arranged in a pyramid of thirteen (13 for the 13 full moons of the year). Some people eat them as soon as they are done sacrificing to the moon, while others keep them until New Year’s Eve.
Burkhardt mentions an offering commonly made in Hong Kong: a brown seed called Ling Ke, or water calthrops. It looks like a Chinese bat which makes it an emblem of luck. It is sometimes found carved in jade or shaped as the knob of a teapot. It is also made into a child’s toy, whirled on a string which is threaded through a hole cut in the middle.
A sand-filled receptacle in the center of the altar holds sticks of incense and candles. Spirit money is also placed on the altar, sometimes in the form of folded gold and silver paper, representing ingots, or as “thousand sheets” (a series of connected zigzag strips), or circular pieces like coins. Paper clothing is also set out for the sun and moon, for instance, a gilt and red crown, or a red apron with gold embroidery.
In the 1900s in Peking, people often displayed a banner called the “moon nimbus,” which depicted, the Goddess of the Moon, a Bodhisattva sitting illuminated by the full moon and the disk of the moon showing the rabbit, standing up, working at his pestle. These banners could be as tall as eight feet or as short as two feet and were decorated with pennants of red, blue and yellow on the top two corners. They were set up facing the direction in which the moon would rise and burnt at the end of the ceremonies, along with the “spirit money.” and paper clothes.
When the full moon rises after sunset, each woman approaches the altar, bows three times, and lights two candles and some incense. Afterwards they burn the moon nimbus and the cardboard bowl containing the paper clothes and “spirit money.” As it dies down, firecrackers are sometimes thrown into the embers to scatter the ashes to the four winds of heaven.
For the rest of the night, the women sit in the courtyard all night long, feasting and drinking tea and wine, some studying the moon for auguries, some composing poems about the beauty of the moon and the night, some playing the game of “Capturing the Moon,” by trying to catch her reflection in a bowl of water. Burkhardt mentions other typical foods enjoyed on this night: chicken and roast pig and Chinese bacon.
In Korea, to the north, this is a harvest festival, Hangawi or Chusok, which is sometimes postponed to the ninth day of the ninth moon if the grain is not ripe..Although people celebrated with songs and feasting, it was also a day for visiting the graves, cleaning them and leaving offerings.
In Vietnam, it is celebrated by children who march in the night, carrying lanterns shaped like animals, birds, and fish, moving with a swaying motion, and chanting nonsense rhymes. These fantastic lanterns are also mentioned by Yan Phou Lee, who says that mythology books were ransacked to procure strange creatures. They were carried in procession along with censers burning sandalwood and bands playing music.
In Japan, this holiday is called Tsukimi. People gather at lakes or in special moon-viewing pavilions and eat “moon-viewing noodles”: thick white udon in broth with an egg yolk floating on top.
In Hong Kong, in the 1980s, the elaborate form of the festival was less common but families often took their young children to the parks where they would have a picnic dinner, featuring moon cakes and fruit, on a blanket surrounded by candles and small lanterns.
Burkhardt, V.R. Chinese Creeds and Customs, Hong Kong: South China Morning Post, 1982, pp. 64-65.
Law, Joan and Barbara E Ward, Chinese Festivals in Hong Kong, Hong Kong: A South China Morning Post Production, 1982, p 68.
Lee, Yan Phou, When I Was a Boy in China¸ Boston: Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard, 1887, pp. 78-80.
Li-Ch’en, Tun, Annual Customs and Festivals in Peking, translated by Derk Bodde, Peking: Henri Vetch 1936
Rufus, Anneli, The World Holiday Book, Harper San Francisco 1994
Celebrating the Chinese Moon Festival
Celebrate the Moon with a festival in her Honor. Invite your women friends to gather outdoors before sunset to watch the moon as she rises. Ask them to symbols of the moon, readings or poems in honor of the moon and foods that remind them of the moon. You can buy moon cakes from a Chinese bakery or make them using the recipe below from Nina Simond’s book Chinese Seasons. I like to make lemon-balm tea (since lemon balm is an herb of the moon) and serve honeydew melon. Or bring the traditional plates of pomegranates, grapes, apples, melons and peaches.
Before the moon rises, set up an altar in the middle of your space with an image of the Moon Hare, surrounded by 13 moon cakes, the fruit, and any other symbols that represent the moon, like pearls, dimes, abalone shells, mirrors, water, tarot cards representing the Moon. You may want to decorate your space with lanterns.
When I celebrate with my women friends, we gather shortly before sunset, set up the altar and then worship the Moon silently as she comes up. We draw her down into our bodies, using the posture of drawing down the moon, arms open wide and held up above our heads. When we are bathed in her silvery rays, we usually sing “Neesa,” a Native American song in honor of the moon, found in Kate Marks’ book Circle of Song. This is followed by the reciting of the poems and readings we’ve brought to honor her.
I always bring a large blue bowl, which we fill with water and use to catch the reflection of the moon. Drinking the water brings the power of the moon into our bodies.
Then we sit down and feast on the moon foods and talk about our experiences with the moon over the years. I’ve found that most women have great stories about feeling a special connection with the Moon. As a child I always watched for her and felt that she was communicating privately with me. My most recent encounter with the Moon was during a sweat lodge under a full moon. When I lay in the meadow, naked, between the two sweats, the moon danced above me and then swooped down into my body. It was an ecstatic experience.
Our ritual usually closes with another singing of “Neesa,” which works beautifully in rounds (most appropriate for the moon).
More ideas for celebrating the Mid Autumn Moon Festival
This full moon would be the best time of the year for making Moon Water for your ritual purposes all year around. Just leave water out in a bowl under the Full Moon all night to absorb the vibrations of the moon.
Try some sort of moon-oriented divination, like scrying (looking for images in a bowl of water).
Look at the year ahead and identify your special Moons, the times when the Moon is new or full in your natal Sun sign or moon sign. Make a pledge to celebrate these days in special ways. Or figure out your natal Moon sign or natal Moon phase (you can find directions on how to determine moon phase in Astrology for Yourself) and reflect on how this influences your life.
Recipe: Sweet Moon Cakes From Chinese Seasons by Nina Simond
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped dried apricots (softened in hot water for 1 hr before chopping) 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt 3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 t vanilla extract
2 T water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T water
To make the filling – Combine the ingredients, mix well and divide into 24 equal portions.
To make the crust – Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a large whisk or an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar for about 10 minutes, until a ribbon is formed. Add the melted butter, the vanilla extract, the water and the dry ingredients and stir until a rough dough is formed. Use your hands to press the dough into a ball. Form the dough into a long snakelike roll about 1-1/4 inches thick. Cut into 24 pieces.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using your hands, press each dough section into a 3-inch circle, with the edges pinched thinner than the center. Place a portion of the filling in the center, gather up the edges of the dough to meet in the center and pinch to seal. Roll the cake into a ball and flatten it to a 3-inch round. Carve a decorative design on top or press the cake, joined edges up, in a lightly floured moon-cake mold. Invert the molded cake onto a cookie sheet. Continue until done. Arrange the cakes 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Prepare the glaze and brush the surface of each cake lightly with it. Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove, cool and serve.
Bloch, Douglas and Demetra George, Astrology for Yourself, Wingbow Press 1987
Marks, Kate, Circle of Song, Full Circle Press 1993
Simond, Nina, Chinese Seasons
Silliness – Dumb Sky Diver
A real dim wit was taking sky-diving lessons. The instructor explained that it was time for his first jump, and all he had to do was jump from the plane, count to six, and pull the rip cord. A truck would be waiting for him in the field where he would land.
The man jumped from the plane when he was told to, and counted to six. When he pulled the rip cord, the parachute wouldn’t open. He tried the reserve chute and that didn’t open.
Frustrated, he muttered to himself as he fell, “I’ll bet the truck won’t be waiting for me either.”