The shop opens at 1pm. Fall hours are 1pm-6pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Minus Tide at 9:35 PM of -1.3 feet. Featured photo by Rosetta Kilby.
Cloudy and damp, 56F, wind at 0-3mph, AQI 11-34, UV3. Chance of rain 10% today and tonight. There’s a skimpy chance of rain Tuesday evening, but the chance on Fri-Sat is climbing and then the following Tuesday it starts climbing again. Otherwise, partly cloudy, but we’re heading into the rain. The temps, both high and low will be in the 50’s, except that Saturday night into Sunday it could go below 40F!
Yesterday we overslept. Tempus’ alarm “It’s time to open!” was what woke us. That was a scramble, but we were open by 1/4 past. Amor called not long after we got things open and I spent awhile catching up on things. It looks like he’s going to be reassigned in the spring and will visit!
It was chilly enough that I needed a top layer, but muggy enough that I kept pulling it back off. 🙂 The heat’s on under my desk, now. It looked rainy, and we had some showers, but then it settled to a fine, misty rain that kept up all afternoon. I got out and planted some of my shallots and just got a little damp.
We had more people in than usual on a Sunday, and I spent a good while talking to various folks. Tempus was in back, minding some pieces of cookery prep and cleaning up. I was not only working with customers, but tracking down stuff for the newsletters and monitoring the online project day.
After about 4:30 I was doing more cookery than anything else, but we didn’t have anyone in after about 3:30, so it wasn’t a problem. Tempus made bread and I worked on the “spoon dish” and sauce. …and we ate and that was about it for me, especially since we split another of the anniversary meads.
Today is back to usual. I think I’m going to spend time cutting headers and then sorting the file of those before starting to pull things out to bag. Tempus is heading into Newport at some point to continue the dicker for the car.
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
Today feast is the Bettara-Ichi, or ‘Sticky-Sticky Fair’, Tokyo, Japan (Oct 19 –20) This pickled radish fair honours Ebisu, one of seven Shinto good luck gods, from noon to 9:30 pm on both days. Traditionally, children run through the streets swinging radishes at friends, shouting “bettara” in warning, for bettara is what the radishes are called in Japan. Today, people buy from street stalls (mainly in the Kodemmacho area, mostly in the Takarada Ebisu Jinja shrine) good luck charms and religious images as well as bettara on straw ropes. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bettarazuke
The shop opens at 1pm. Fall hours are 1pm-6pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.
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 10/31 at 7:49. 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 12:31am on 10/18. 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 10/21 at 12:31am.
Vega is the brightest star very high in the west these evenings. Less high in the southwest is Altair, not quite as bright. Just upper right of Altair, by a finger-width at arm’s length, spot little orange Tarazed. Down from Tarazed runs the stick-figure backbone of the constellation Aquila, the Eagle. His wingtips are upraised, in the style of the Eagle Scout emblem. Altair is his sharp eye.
Look to Altair’s upper left by a little more than a fist at arm’s length, and there’s the faint little constellation Delphinus, the Dolphin, leaping in the edge of the Milky Way. Delphinus sports some interesting, little-known telescopic objects — from the Toadstool asterism Thompson 1 near Iota Delphini, to the brightest non-Messier globular cluster in the northern celestial hemisphere (it’s 9th magnitude), to the elusive NGC 6928 galaxy cluster (for big scopes; they’re magnitude 12.2 and fainter). Explore here using the Deep-Sky Wonders column and charts in the October Sky & Telescope, page 56.
Starting today, a common and intriguing effect of the Moon’s orbit around Earth — libration — is on display. Tonight and over the next few evenings, pull out binoculars or a telescope at dusk to observe our only natural satellite. Pay special attention to the northeast (upper right) portion of the disk, where features not normally visible will pop out with ease: Mare Crisium near the lunar equator and, to its northeast, Mare Humboldtianum. Just north of Humboldtianum is the crater Nansen, named for a Norwegian polar explorer. Under high magnification, you should be able to see the dark shadow cast into the crater by its high rim. Over the next few nights, these features will shift back toward the limb. Although it may seem counterintuitive, it’s easiest to see this shift occur if you look at the Moon with the naked eye during daylight. Zoom back in on the region with binoculars or a telescope, and you’ll more easily see Mare Humboldtianum turn back into profile.
Venus (magnitude –4.0, between Leo and Virgo) rises in the east in deep darkness about 1½ hours before dawn begins. Once dawn is under way, Venus is in fine view as the bright “Morning Star” in the east. Look about a fist at arm’s length to its left or upper left for 2nd-magnitude Denebola, Leo’s tail-tip. In a telescope Venus is a dazzling little gibbous ball, just 14 arcseconds from pole to pole.
Old Farmer’s Almanac October Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-october
Runic half-month of Wunjo/Wyn – October 13-28 – Wyn represents joy, the rune being the shape of a weather vane. The month represents the creation of harmony within the given conditions of the present.
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Celtic Tree Month of Gort/Ivy Sep 30 – Oct 27
Mercury (11/3), Mars (11/13), Neptune (11/28), Chiron (12/12) Uranus (1/14/21) Retrograde
Moon in Scorpio enters Sagittarius at 9:43pm.
Color – Yellow
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
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).
Gort – Ivy Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Sky Blue
Meaning: Take time to soul search or you will make a wrong decision.
to study this month Uilleand – Honeysuckle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: P, PE, UI
Meaning: Proceed with caution.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 19 High 3:05 AM 7.5 7:38 AM Rise 11:15 AM 5
~ 19 Low 8:43 AM 1.8 6:24 PM Set 8:37 PM
~ 19 High 2:40 PM 9.1
~ 19 Low 9:35 PM -1.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – If you can keep money you make on Monday, it will increase during the week.
Journal Prompt – What if? – What if all the streets were rivers? What would be different?
~ I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum. – Claes Oldenburg
~ All that is comes from the mind; it is based on the mind, it is fashioned by the mind. – The Pali Canon
~ Burn with the black flames of the Goddess Saturnine. The Mighty Dead wept tears of blood into her cauldron cup so that we can wear the dark feathered cloak of truth. Now we fly through the Abyss to weep the holy tears ourselves and burn. Blessed be and be blessed in return. – Christopher Penczak
~ We will be known forever for the tracks we leave. – American Indian proverb, Dakota
The maples ripen. Apples
come home crisp in bags.
This pear tastes good.
It rains lightly on the
random leaf patterns. – James Marcus Schuyler (1923–92)
Samhain Magick – Celebrating Hallowmas
I love Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays. When my daughter was young enough to go trick-or-treating, I loved wandering down dark streets in the crisp air, with the leaves crunching under my feet, passing strange apparitions, always with a hint of fear, the sense that something is lurking in the darkness. I remember the edge of wildness I felt in the air when I went trick-or-treating as a child. I like putting on a costume, displaying some aspect of myself (usually glamorous) that I normally hide. But over the past few years, my attention has shifted away trick-or-treating and parties towards the main theme of this dark festival: death.
Halloween is one of the great quarter-days or pagan festivals which fall midway between the solstices and the equinoxes. That makes it an agricultural festival — it marks the time of the last harvest, the winter slaughter, the death of the crops and the rest cycle of the land.
The Saxons called it Winter’s Eve. The Celts called it Samhain, which means “summer’s end.” To the Celts, the day began with night fall. Thus it was natural for the year to begin at the start of the darkest time of the year. Celtic feasts were celebrated from sunset to sunset, so Samhain began at sunset on October 31st and continued until sunset November 1st.
As with other great pagan holidays, the Catholic Church found a way to claim it. The Feast of All Saints, which came into existence in the 7th century, was commemorated on November 1 under the name of All Hallows Day, from which we get the name Halloween (the eve of Hallows). The following day, November 2, is All Souls Day, a day when the priest wears black, the church is draped with mourning and the faithful pray for the souls of their departed, with the hope of shortening their time in Purgatory.
The Month of Blood
There are some obvious reasons why this place on the Wheel of the Year is associated with death. The sun is approaching its nadir, the leaves are falling from trees, the death and decay in the natural world remind us of our own mortality. Martinmas, November 11th, was the traditional time for slaughtering the cattle, sheep and pigs which could not be maintained during the winter. The Welsh called November the month of Slaughter while the Saxons called it the Month of Blood.
In the Odyssey, Odysseus summons the shades of the dead by sacrificing animals. Their blood drains into a pit and the restless shades come eagerly crowing up from the underworld. Odysseus holds them at bay with his sword until the particular spirit he wants comes forward, laps up the blood and then prophesies what will happen in the future. This scene combines the themes of fear, slaughter, death, the Underworld, ghosts and divination which are common to Halloween.
The Days of the Dead
In Mexico, All Souls Day is called Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and is a time of commemorating the dead by decorating their tombs (with marigolds, a flower sacred to the Aztecs) and inviting them to a feast in their honor. Families go to the cemetery for a picnic and eat skeleton cookies and sugar skull cakes.
Trick-or-treating derives from an ancient British custom of going from house to house begging for soul-cakes. Some say the soul-cakes were given to the priest to buy Masses for the souls of relatives in Purgatory. Others believe they were offerings to the dead. Candles flickering in the windows (or pumpkins) were meant to serve as beacons for the dead, just as on the similar holiday in Japan, lanterns are hung by the garden gates.
Decorating for this holy day is easy since there are so many items available for Halloween which will set the proper tone of mortality: autumn leaves, skeletons, miniature coffins, skulls, tombstones, pumpkins carved with terrifying faces, black candles. Every year I make a pilgrimage to the Folk Art Gallery-La Tienda at 4138 University Way NE in Seattle, which carries a selection of calaveras, macabre little skeleton figures doing wonderfully unlikely things like getting married and playing in a rock and roll band. We buy one each year to add to our Dia de Muertos altar.
Pumpkins, apples and nuts are harvested at this time of the year and are associated with various Halloween customs. After the apple harvest, it’s time to make wassail, a drink of hard apple cider (or soft apple juice), heated with spices and with whole apples floating on top. When the apples are heated enough they burst and make a froth on the top of the wassail.
While you enjoy the fruits of the harvest, you can honor their source by wassailing the trees. Go out to the trees which have shared their bounty with you and thank them, drink a toast and pour a libation on their roots.
For a dramatic but simple Halloween ritual I recommend this piece of the long and beautiful Samhain ritual described by Starhawk in The Spiral Dance. Light candles in a dark room. Take a pomegranate and hold it up saying, “Behold, the fruit of life —” Put it down on a plate and cut it open with a knife, saying “— which is death.” The ruby-red juice of the pomegranate will look like blood in the candlelight. Then hold up an especially shiny red apple — one that reminds you of the apple the stepmother gave Snow White — and say “Behold the fruit of death —” Put it down and slice it open horizontally rather than vertically. Hold it up so others can see the five-pointed star made by the seeds and say “— which is life.” Cut up the rest of the apple and feed it to each other or use it for one of the forms of divination described below.
Honoring the Dead
There are many ways you can honor the dead, starting with the simple act of setting out food for them. While you’re at home and can properly supervise, place lighted candles in the windows to serve as beacons for the spirits.
Host a Feast of the Dead. Set a place at the table for the dead and offer them servings of the food you eat. Invite departed friend and relatives, ancestors and heroines. Ask the living participants to share a memory about someone who has died who was important to them. Light a candle or ring a bell for each person after you speak about them. In Feeding the Spirit, Cunningham suggests a variation of a Shinto tradition: cut out or draw pictures of things the dead would like. Then burn them in the fire (or candle flame), saying something like, “George, I am sending you new clothes for your journey in the spirit world.’
You can also make an altar for your ancestors. Our family has a Dia de Muertos altar which my daughter began in elementary school. Each year we set it up, decorate it with marigolds and add new objects: a milkbone for a dead dog, sunflower seeds for a dead hamster, pizza for a dead grandfather. Z Budapest in Grandmother of Time suggests putting pictures of your departed relatives in the middle of the altar, burning white and yellow devotional candles and incense, and talking to them. If you feel uncomfortable talking out loud, write letters. You can burn these too and imagine the smoke carrying your message.
Divining the Future
After being fed and entertained, the ghosts might provide oracular advice as they did for Odysseus. Since the spirits are so close to us on this night, this is an excellent time for all forms of divination. You have more access to your personal underworld, your unconscious. Consult your favorite oracle — the tarot cards, the I Ching, a Ouija board, runes, tea leaves or a crystal ball. Request images of what you can become or what you will do in the new year.
There are many traditional forms of divination practiced on this night, most of them used to reveal the identity of your future spouse. If this is not something you need to know, ask for another vision.
Several forms of divination involve apples. For instance, you are advised to take a candle, go alone to a mirror in a darkened room and eat the apple while looking into it, combing your hair all the while. The face of your lover — or the Devil — will appear over your shoulder. A variation of this says you only have to peel the apple while looking into the mirror. Or you can cut an apple into nine equal parts (this seems the hardest part of this method to me), eat eight of them, toss the ninth over your left shoulder, turn quickly and glimpse your future mate. I prefer the simpler method of peeling an apple so that the skin comes off in one continuous strip, throwing this over your left shoulder and looking to see the initial it forms. Since Gypsy girls and Celtic queens chose their consorts by tossing them an apple, you could take the ball into your own hands, so to speak, by tossing your chosen one an apple.
Couples who want information about their relationship are advised to place a pair of nuts (or apple pips) in the fire and watch them. Unfortunately the advice on how to interpret them varies. Some say if the nuts pop at the same time, the couple will marry. Others say this means they will spring apart. As with all oracles, your interpretation is the most important part. If you are choosing from among several possibilities, name the nuts and then watch to see which one bursts first.
In Montgomeryshire in Wales, the mash of nine sort is served on Halloween. This mash contains potatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, parsnips, leeks, pepper, salt, enough milk to give it the right consistency and a wedding ring. Everyone eats a portion of the mash and the person who finds the wedding ring will be married first.
I especially like the story from Welsh Folk Customs by Trefor Owen about the girl who undertook a particularly difficult form of divination. She walked around the leek patch in the garden nine times, plucked a leek with her teeth and slept with it under her pillow. This was so effective that her lover appeared – in the flesh. There is something to be said for helping the spirits provide the answer which is in your best interest.
Barolini, Helen, Festa: Recipes and Recollections of Italian Holidays, Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich 1988
Budapest, Z, Grandmother of Time, Harper and Row 1989
Cunningham, Nancy Brady, Feeding the Spirit, Resource Publications 1988
Kightly, Charles, The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, Thames & Hudson 1987
Owen, Trefor, Welsh Folk Customs, Llandysul, Dyfed: Gomer Press
Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, Harper & Row 1979
Silliness – Gripe Sheet – After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a “gripe sheet” which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (“P”) and solutions recorded (“S”) by maintenance engineers:
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.
P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget