The shop opens at 1pm. Fall hours are 1pm-6pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
Clear and downright cold. The wind is lazy tonight. It can’t be bothered to go around, it’s going right through! 43F, wind at 5-18 mph and gusting, AQI23, UV2. We’re under a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 11pm tonight. Chance of rain 0% today and tonight. It looks like clear and chilly through Thursday. There’s a small chance of rain on Friday and Monday with Samhain and Sunday being partly cloudy and not nearly so chill.
Yesterday I was pretty busy during the day. We had people in shopping. Not a lot, but more than we’d expect in October. I spent awhile on headers, and I spent awhile trying to get things done, writing mostly, but also working on the inventory file and finding more things that have sold and didn’t get marked so. I also got a couple of starts properly potted up and got pix, and I have a few odd ones that I need to figure out what they actually are so I can sell the starts.
I got a nap after supper and then spent awhile watching videos. There’s a nice one by Home Free, a cover of “On the Road Again”. I also spent a little bit of time with a new book, reading it on the computer, while Tempus napped. He had been working on the table in back, so I finally got my sewing pulled out and worked for several hours.
How did it get to be Sunday, already? Some of the sewing was for our “different day”. I have to do photos and then develop them. I have more watering to finish, because it was late when Tempus refilled things. I have a piece of embroidery, a table runner that I’ve been working on, which is within about 1/2 an hour of being done. Then I need to do photos of *that*. Tempus has some carving to work on.
We should be open on time, as long as I get enough sleep over the next few hours. The Sunday papers take longer and with any luck I can let Tempus sleep. It only worked for 15 minutes this morning, but that’s better than nothing.
I miss my kitties….
Today’s Plant is Coltsfoot, Petasites frigidus var. palmatus. One of the best cough remedies out there, this is often smoked to help cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma. It is also made into cough syrups often combined with horehound. This is another plant where the medicinal and magickal uses seem to go together. Feminine, Venus, water– Add to love sachets and use in spell of peace and tranquility. The leaves, when smoked, can cause visions, and aid with breathing problems. .More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petasites_frigidus
Today is the Feast of St. Crispin and St. Crispinian, patron saints of shoemakers. “Cursed be the cobbler that goes to bed sober!” – Old English cry for this day, because there were feasts and guild parties all over England on this day. Also, prosperous householders, particularly in London would often contribute barrel after barrel of beer to the guild, much of which went into storage for later, but much was consumed, with great thanks, on the spot. Why the association with beer? It’s that time of year! Saint Crispin is often associated with the Battle of Agincourt as the battle was fought on Saint Crispin’s Day, and especially because of Shakespere’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech from his play Henry V. (It’s in the quotes, below!) More on the saints here: More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Crispin More on the Knights of St. Crispin here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Knights_of_St._Crispin
“Now shoemakers will have a frisken
All in honour of St Crispin”. – Traditional rhyme, St Crispin’s day
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 7:49am. 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 10/31 at 7:49am
The Ghost of Summer Suns. Halloween is approaching, and this means that Arcturus, the star sparkling low in the west-northwest in twilight, is taking on its role as “the Ghost of Summer Suns.” What does this mean? For several days centered on October 25th every year, Arcturus occupies a special place above your local landscape. It closely marks the spot where the Sun stood at the same time, by the clock, during hot June and July — in broad daylight, of course! So, as Halloween approaches every year, you can see Arcturus as the chilly ghost of the departed summer Sun.
Instead of planets, seek out the stars tonight — in particular, a pair of stars in Cassiopeia the Queen with the single name Achird (Eta [η] Cassiopeiae, or Eta Cas). Not part of the constellation’s famous W shape, Achird sits about 3° west-southwest of magnitude 2 Navi. Achird is a delight through a telescope, visible as a clear binary with a larger, brighter yellow luminary accompanied by a smaller, noticeably redder star to its northwest. The pair is separated by 13″, making them visible with just 50x magnification. The brighter component — a Sun-like, G-type star — is magnitude 3.4, while the dimmer star, a K-type dwarf, shines at 7.5. A planet around the G star would easily see that K dwarf in its skies, shining with the light of about five Full Moons.
Mercury reaches inferior conjunction at 2 P.M. EDT, meaning at that time, it will sit directly between Earth and the Sun. Because of this configuration, the tiny planet isn’t currently visible; but don’t worry, it will appear in the morning sky next month.
Venus (magnitude –4.0) shines brightly in the east before and during dawn. It’s now in the dim head of Virgo, “the lair of the Lion” under Leo. Venus rises in deep darkness more than an hour before dawn begins. Once dawn is under way, it’s in fine view as the bright “Morning Star” in the east. Look to Venus’s upper left, by a fist at arm’s length or more, for 2nd-magnitude Denebola, Leo’s tail-tip as he strides diagonally upward. In a telescope Venus is a dazzling little gibbous ball, just 13 or 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
Color – Gold
©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
Su 25 Low 2:47 AM 0.7 7:45 AM Set 1:34 AM 62
~ 25 High 9:37 AM 6.6 6:15 PM Rise 4:21 PM
~ 25 Low 3:29 PM 3.1
~ 25 High 9:00 PM 6.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a progressive day!
Journal Prompt – Personal Experiences – What animal do you identify with most closely?
~ A daily devotion will help you focus your attention on the body that carries the divine spark that is you. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” — John Kenneth Galbraith
~ There is little room left for wisdom when one is full of judgement. – Malcolm Hein
~ Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky. – William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)
Samhain Magick – Lore – A Terrible Beauty – For Brad Will – By Starhawk – 2004
It’s the night before the Spiral Dance, our community’s annual huge celebration for Samhain, more generally known as Halloween, the ancient feast of the ancestors and honoring of the Beloved Dead, which long predates the Christian feast of All Souls. The Spiral Dance is the biggest, most elaborate ritual our community, Reclaiming, creates throughout the year, with intricate altars, a full chorus, dancers, singers, acrobats doing aerial invocations, and a spiral that might include a thousand people. Into all this, we weave some deep magic, both personal and broader than personal, involving the mystery at the heart of our spirituality—death and regeneration.
Each year I take on different roles. Some years I lead the trance, other years I might simply invoke the spirits of the land or play the drum and leave the ‘bigger’ roles to others. This year my role seems to involve carrying a lot of heavy objects and buckets of sand, building altars and decorating the front of the house. Or not so much actually building and decorating, as providing the materials and suggestions for others to do the creative part.
And this year I’m calling the Dead. So I’ve been thinking a lot about death, and singing the song we will use to sing the Dead over into a place of renewal. Just before bed, I check my email, and I learn that a young man has died, shot to death in Oaxaca where he has gone to cover the teachers’ strike and the people’s insurrection for Indymedia. His name is Brad Will. I stare at his picture, trying to remember if I know him from all the demonstrations and mobilizations and meetings we have undoubtedly been at together.
In Miami, my friend Andy reminds me, after a wild ritual collaboration between the Pagan cluster and the black bloc, a young man stepped forward with a guitar and began singing Desert Rat’s song about Seattle, “When the Tear Gas Fills the Sky.” That was Brad—alive, singing, defiant. “I will wash the pepper from your face, and go with you to jail, And if you don’t make it through this fight, I swear I’ll tell your tale…”
I didn’t know him well, but I know so many like him—mostly but not all young, sitting in long meetings in warehouses or donning respirators to gut flood-ruined houses in New Orleans, standing shoulder to shoulder as the riot cops advance, or as the bulldozer moves forward to destroy a home in Gaza. Filing stories at midnight on electronic networks set up by young geniuses with duct tape and component parts in dusty, third world towns, eating cold pasta out of old yogurt tops and sleeping on floors. Hitching rides into war zones and crossing borders. It’s as if a whole cohort of souls had arrived on this planet imbued with the unquestioned faith that they were put here to somehow make a difference, to interfere with injustice, to witness, to change the world. Ragged, intemperate, opinionated, passionate, and above all, alive.
And now another one of the tribe is dead, shot down in Oaxaca where a five-month teachers’ strike became a full-blown insurrection, the kind that radicals dream of, with streets full of barricades and ordinary people rising up against a rigged election and a corrupt, dictatorial governor. It hasn’t been much reported in the U.S. papers. But Brad Will was there, with camera and computer, to be a set of eyes.
Now his eyes are closed, forever. I put his name on our list of the Dead. At the Spiral Dance, I see someone has set up a shrine to him on our North altar, where the dead are honored. I meet another activist friend there, who tells me how he remembers Brad: running into a barrage of sound bombs in a demonstration in some foreign city. “I couldn’t explain to people that they were harmless,” he’d said. “We didn’t speak the same language. So I had to show them.”
I didn’t know him well, but I know how it is to walk into a situation that is dangerous, even life-threatening, how it feels to weigh the risks, to accept them, to tell yourself that you can be at peace with any consequence, and then to walk out into the street in the firm if unconscious belief that you will be lucky that day, once again. I can only imagine how it feels when the bullets rip through flesh, and your severed spirit stares back at a broken body, and in a blaze of light a different journey begins.
We Pagans have no dogma, no official Book of the Dead to outline the soul’s journey. If we share any belief in common, it is simply this: that death is part of a cycle that includes regeneration and renewal. That just as the falling leaves decay to fertilize the roots of trees, each death feeds some rebirth.
Death transforms us. The tribe of world-changers has its list of martyrs—the short list of those who are known in the first world—Carlo Giuliani, Huang Hai Lee, Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall—and the much longer list of names in some other language—Spanish, indigenous, Arabic, and so many others–who die every day. And the world’s religions each have their concept of that transformation, for those whose death is somehow special, powerful and meaningful: martyrs, saints, boddhisatvas. We Pagans don’t like to glorify martyrs, but we know that ‘sacrifice’ means ‘to make sacred.’ In an instant, that ordinary comrade you remember singing at the fire or arguing at the meeting, someone you might have been charmed or irritated by or attracted to, or not, someone who showed no mark of doom or prescience of what was to come, becomes uplifted into another realm, part symbol, part victim, locus of our deepest love and rage.
William Butler Yeats expressed it best, writing about the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916, the friends he admired and the ones he disliked, shot by the British.
“Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn,
All changed, changed utterly,
A terrible beauty is born…”
And death transforms the living. When someone close to us dies, we become someone else. When my father died when I was just five years old, my mother was transformed from a beloved wife to a grieving widow. I changed, overnight, from a blessed, fortunate child to someone set apart, marked by a tragedy, missing something deeply important that other children had.
And so one day you are someone with a job and a family and a neighborhood in which you and your kin have lived for generations—and a day later the waters rise and you are homeless, a refugee in a strange place dependent on the kindness of strangers. One day you are a mother filled with hopes and dreams and pride, and the next day you are bereft, with a gaping hole in your heart that can never be filled.
Yet we, the living, have some choice in how we respond to death, and what transformation we undergo. My mother, out of her grief, became a counselor, a therapist, an expert in loss and grieving. Cindy Sheehan, out of her grief for her son Casey, killed in Iraq, became a woman on fire, a modern prophet calling the powerful to justice, who galvanized the movement against the war. Mesha Monge-Irizarry, mother of Idriss Stelley who was shot dead in the Metreon by the San Francisco police, became an advocate for all the victims of police violence. Rachel Corrie’s parents took up the cause of justice for the people of Palestine. Grief can open the heart to courage and compassion; rage can move us to action. Out of loss comes regeneration: a terrible beauty is born.
A death like Brad’s calls us all to deeper levels of courage, to be eyes that refuse to shut in the face of oppression, voices that sing out for justice, hands that build a transformed world. – Starhawk
More info on Oaxaca and Brad: http://www.narconews.com/
SF Bay Area activities: http://indybay.org/
NEW YORK CITY INDEPENDENT MEDIA CENTER RESPONDS TO THE DEATH OF BRAD WILL http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/10/77958.html
Starhawk is an activist, organizer, and author of The Earth Path, as well as Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, The Fifth Sacred Thing; and eight other books on feminism, politics and earth-based spirituality. She teaches Earth Activist Trainings that combine permaculture design and activist skills, and works with the RANT trainer’s collective, http://www.rantcollective.org <http://www.rantcollective.org/> that offers training and support for mobilizations around global justice and peace issues. For her schedule and archive of writings, see her website http://www.starhawk.org <http://www.starhawk.org/> . To get her periodic posts of her writings, email Starhawkfirstname.lastname@example.org and put ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading. If you’re on that list and don’t want any more of these writings, email Starhawkemail@example.com and put ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject heading.
UnCopyright c Starhawk 2004—feel free to repost and distribute this article for nonprofit purposes—all other rights reserved.
Silliness – Too Scary