The shop is open only by appointment until we re-open on 2/11, assuming that the COVID #’s are still coming down. Watch here for notifications about that! For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, email@example.com, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door! Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
Wow, did it *rain*! It was bucketing down for awhile around suppertime, but it’s just dripping now, every so often. We’re due for more around 3am, but that might be it for a bit….. 44F, wind at 2-7mph and gusting, AQI 20-40, UV2. Chance of rain 17% today and 12% tonight. We’re under a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 4pm. It looks like today, Thursday and Saturday should be dry, with maybe a little sun and the rest could get damp, but the chance of showers, even is below 60% the whole time. Yeah, a little bit of a break after the last few days.
Yesterday was a much better day. Still nothing on a new place, but Tempus walked in with a sheepish grin, holding a box and saying, “Happy Birthday!”. He’s early by 2 weeks, but he figured that hiding a new food processor was going to be a problem. So, the old one can continue to do the heavy stuff like pea flour until it breaks and I have one that I won’t be cussing at every time I have to use it. He’s so sweet to me!
We both slept after that until nearly 4. I tried twice to get up before that and kept fading out. Well, I knew I had a meeting I needed to be at, at 7pm, so I was going to have to be up for that, at least.
I was still trying to get the House Capuchin newsletter out. I’ve got most of it back and only have a few bits and tweaking to have it done enough. I’m still missing a couple of sections that are just gone. I might be able to comb through the computer history files, but I think I’m not going to try.
So I worked on that until it was time for the meeting, then pulled out my embroidery and spent a couple of hours talking with a bunch of folks from Eugene about our various obsessions. It was mostly archery tonight, but we talked about things from that to food, to embroidery, to clothing, to pipe organs and other large musical instruments to carding wool for felt. At one point we were discussion some archery equipment that hasn’t been seen since last year and should be looked at and the comment was made, “To check whether mold, rats or trial attorneys have damaged it.” That made me laugh.
Tempus headed out on the bulk route before the meeting was over, with a short shopping list in his pocket, and as soon as the meeting was over at 9pm I crashed in the nap bed, only waking just before midnight. We talked for a bit and then I started on this. I’m going to get this published, hopefully a bit early, and then try to finish up the House Capuchin stuff and get that out of the way.
Today we’re still working on options, hoping to find some way to have our tiny home. Along with that I need to water plants. We have a couple of the displays to strip, wash the cloths and re-arrange, plus I’m hoping to get my pricing gun back to get the rest of this stock out for sale. I *really* want to do some chunks of inventory, too. Some of that has been neglected for far too long.
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. >>>> A basket made in our Herbs Workshop of the leaves >>>>> 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/PhormiumFor the traditional uses of the plant fiberhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_flax
A Day of Remembrance for Oleg the Prophet (Visionary) – Sjechen (February) 3
The Varangian’s (Viking’s) king was a good example of the Rus-Viking. His history is very instructive, yet at the same time mysterious. Volhv of Kiev (a pagan wizard) prophesied to Oleg that his horse would die in battle but afterward he would also be killed. He triumphed under the Byzantines, and after his final battle, his shield was hung on the Gate of Tsargrad in Constantinople. (Volhv: a priest of Slavic Paganism; analogous to the scandinavian “Godhi”) (Tsargrad: The Old Russian name for Constantinople) Wikipedia has an article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_of_Novgorod
The shop is open only by appointment until we re-open on 2/11, assuming that the COVID #’s are still coming down. Watch here for notifications about that! For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door!
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 2/10 at 11:06pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 2/4 at 9:37am.
A favorite field high overhead these nights is the rich Milky Way area at the dragging foot of the Castor stick figure, one of the Gemini twins. Here lie two 3rd-magnitude red giants and the big, filmy, distended speckle of the open star cluster M35, total magnitude about 5. But there’s more: the compact cluster NGC 2129 gathered closely around a pair of 7th- and 8th-magnitude stars; the very loose group Collinder 29 with a little Y asterism next to it; and the deep red stars TV and 6 (or V) Geminorum. See Matt Wedel’s Binocular Highlight column, “In the Twins’ Toes,” in the February Sky & Telescope, page 43, with chart. But a scope will do better than binocs.
The waning Moon, almost last quarter, rises around 11 p.m. depending on your location. Once it’s up, look for Spica about 6° to its right. Nearly 30° to the Moon’s left or upper left is brighter Arcturus.
The Moon reaches perigee — the closest point to Earth in its orbit — at 2:03 P.M. EST, when it will sit a mere 229,980 miles (370,117 kilometers) from our planet.
However, the Moon doesn’t rise until after just after midnight tomorrow morning, leaving the evening skies Moon-free for deep-sky observing. Tonight, start with No. 1 in Charles Messier’s catalog: the Crab Nebula (M1). Located just off the tip of one of Taurus’ horns, you’ll find it 1.1° northwest of magnitude 3 Alheka (Zeta [ζ] Tauri). This magnitude 8 nebula is a supernova remnant — a cloud of debris left behind after the explosive death of a massive star. The blast was seen on Earth in the year 1054 A.D. At its very center is the Crab pulsar, a rapidly rotating neutron star formed from the core of the progenitor star. The Crab Nebula stretches 6′ by 4′ and typically appears as a faint gray “smudge” in most telescopes. Its low surface brightness means you need dark skies and calm conditions to really view it well. If you’re an experienced astrophotographer, longer exposures will allow you to bring out some of the cloud’s tangled, twisted detail.
Jupiter and Saturn are out of sight behind the glare of the Sun.
Old Farmer’s Almanac NIGHT SKY MAP FOR FEBRUARY 2021: Orion – https://www.almanac.com/sky-map-february
Goddess Month of Bridhe runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Color – Topaz
Mercury (2/20) Retrograde
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grey and Red
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.
Quert – Apple Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Meaning: A choice must be made
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 3 High 4:27 AM 8.0 7:32 AM Set 10:50 AM 71
~ 3 Low 10:57 AM 1.5 5:29 PM
~ 3 High 4:45 PM 6.3
~ 3 Low 10:42 PM 1.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – It’s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
Journal Prompt – What is? – What’s your most treasured memory from high school?
~ Trouble is a part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough. – Dinah Shore
~ Justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in circumstances confronting him. – St. Thomas Aquinas
~ The creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic. – Gertrude Stein, U.S. writer
~ For fast acting relief, try slowing down.- Lily Tomlin
A hand as icy as the hand of death
Rests on the hills inviolably white;
And while a brazen bell invokes the night
With deep reverberant voice that clearly saith,
“I mark each hour that swiftly hasteneth,”
Behold within the north a crimson light
That reaches to the heavens’ farthest height.
As fiery as the fabled war-god’s breath.
‘Tis grim old Thor, who, in the halcyon days
Of seasons gone, his searing bolts let fly
Until no shaft was left wherewith to slay;
Now in his polar furnace’s fiercest blaze
He forges darts with which to terrify
When summer treads again her sunlit way! – –Clinton Scollard (1860–1932)
Magick – 7 cultural concepts we don’t have in the U.S. – Perhaps one of these ideas will inspire you to think differently in your day-to-day life. – Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 06:16 PM – http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/7-cultural-concepts-we-dont-have-in-the-us
Exploring other cultures helps us learn more about ourselves — and perhaps find a new celebration or concept that speaks to us. (Photo: Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock)
From the end of October through the New Year and onto Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to forget that the holidays we celebrate are simply cultural constructs that we can choose to engage in — or not. The concepts and ideas we celebrate — like our spiritual beliefs and daily habits — are a choice, though sometimes it feels like we “have” to celebrate them, even if we don’t feel like it.
Culture is ours to do with as we choose, and that means that we can add, subtract, or edit celebrations or holidays as we see fit — because you and me and everyone reading this makes up our culture, and it is defined by us, for us, after all.
If you want to add a new and different perspective to your life, there are plenty of other ways to recognize joy and beauty outside American traditions. From Scandinavia to Japan, India and Germany, the concepts below may strike a nerve with you and inspire your own personal or familial celebration or — as is the case with a couple of these for me — sound like an acknowledgement of something you have long felt, but didn’t have a word for.
Friluftsliv translates directly from Norwegian as “free air life,” which doesn’t quite do it justice. Coined relatively recently, in 1859, it is the concept that being outside is good for human beings’ mind and spirit. “It is a term in Norway that is used often to describe a way of life that is spent exploring and appreciating nature,” Anna Stoltenberg, culture coordinator for Sons of Norway, a U.S.-based Norwegian heritage group, told MNN. Other than that, it’s not a strict definition: it can include sleeping outside, hiking, taking photographs or meditating, playing or dancing outside, for adults or kids. It doesn’t require any special equipment, includes all four seasons, and needn’t cost much money. Practicing friluftsliv could be as simple as making a commitment to walking in a natural area five days a week, or doing a day-long hike once a month.
Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means “forest bathing” and unlike the Norwegian translation above, this one seems a perfect language fit (though a pretty similar idea). The idea being that spending time in the forest and natural areas is good preventative medicine, since it lowers stress, which causes or exacerbates some of our most intractable health issues. As MNN’s Catie Leary details, this isn’t just a nice idea — there’s science behind it: “The “magic” behind forest bathing boils down to the naturally produced allelochemic substances known as phytoncides, which are kind of like pheromones for plants. Their job is to help ward off pesky insects and slow the growth of fungi and bacteria. When humans are exposed to phytoncides, these chemicals are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, relieve stress and boost the growth of cancer-fighting white blood cells. Some common examples of plants that give off phytoncides include garlic, onion, pine, tea tree and oak, which makes sense considering their potent aromas.”
Hygge is the idea that helps Denmark regularly rate as one of the happiest countries in the world — Danes have regularly been some of the most joyful in the world for over 40 years that the U.S. has been studying them — despite long, dark winters. Loosely translated at “togetherness,” and “coziness,” though it’s not a physical state, it’s a mental one. According to VisitDenmark (the country’s official tourism site): “The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family — that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking — preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life.” Hygge’s high season is winter, and Christmas lights, candles galore, and other manifestations of warmth and light, including warm alcoholic beverages, are key to the concept.
Still a little confused and wondering how you could cultivate hygge in your life? This Danish NPR commenter sums up some specifics: “Hygge is a deep sense of cozy that can originate from many different sources. Here is a good example from my life : a cloudy winter Sunday morning at the country house, fire in the stove and 20 candles lit to dispel the gloom. My husband, puppy and I curled up on our sheepskins wearing felt slippers, warm snuggly clothes and hands clasped around hot mugs of tea. A full day ahead with long walks on the cold beach, back for pancake lunch, reading, more snuggling, etc. This is a very hyggligt day.” Now that sounds do-able, doesn’t it?
Wabi-sabi is the Japanese idea of embracing the imperfect, of celebrating the worn, the cracked, the patinaed, both as a decorative concept and a spiritual one — it’s an acceptance of the toll that life takes on us all. As I wrote about it earlier this year, “If we can learn to love the things that already exist, for all their chips and cracks, their patinas, their crooked lines or tactile evidence of being made by someone’s hands instead of a machine, from being made from natural materials that vary rather than perfect plastic, we wouldn’t need to make new stuff, reducing our consumption (and its concurrent energy use and inevitable waste), cutting our budgets, and saving some great stories for future generations.” We might also be less stressed, and more attentive to the details, which are the keys to mindfulness.
Kaizen is another Japanese concept, one that means “continuous improvement,” and could be taken to mean the opposite of wabi-sabi (though as you’ll see, it depends on the interpretation). It’s a very new idea, only coined in 1986, and generally used in business circumstances. As this tutorial details, “Kaizen is a system that involves every employee, from upper management to the cleaning crew. Everyone is encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis. This is not a once a month or once a year activity. It is continuous. Japanese companies, such as Toyota and Canon, a total of 60 to 70 suggestions per employee per year are written down, shared and implemented.” These are regular, small improvements, not major changes. Applied to your own life, it could mean daily or weekly check-ins about goals, as opposed to making New Year’s resolutions, or a more organized path based on small changes toward weight loss, a personal project or a hobby.
Gemütlichkeit is a German word that means almost the same thing as hygge, and also has its peak usage during the winter. In fact, some linguists posit that the word (and concept) of hygge likely came from the German idea. Blogger Constanze’s entry on the German Language Blog for “Untranslatable German Words” describes how the word means more than just cozy: “A soft chair in a coffee shop might be considered ‘cozy’. But sit in that chair surrounded by close friends and a hot cup of tea, while soft music plays in the background, and that sort of scene is what you’d call gemütlich.”
Jugaad is a Hindi word that means “an innovative fix” or a “repair derived from ingenuity,” — think a jury-rigged sled for snowy fun, or a bicycle chain repaired with some duct tape. It’s a frequently used word in India where frugal fixes are revered. But the idea has further merit beyond figuring out solutions to get by with less. It also encapsulates the spirit of doing something innovative. As the authors of Jugaad Innovation write in Forbes, they see jugaad in many other places than the repair shop: “In Kenya, for instance, entrepreneurs have invented a device that enables bicycle riders to charge their cellphones while pedaling. In the Philippines, Illac Diaz has deployed A Litre of Light — a recycled plastic bottle containing bleach-processed water that refracts sunlight, producing the equivalent of a 55-watt light bulb — in thousands of makeshift houses in off-the-grid shantytowns. And in Lima, Peru (with high humidity and only 1 inch of rain per year), an engineering college has designed advertising billboards that can convert humid air into potable water.”
Jugaad’s idea of frugal innovation can definitely be applied in the individual life — what about setting aside a half a day twice a year where everyone in your family fixes something that needs repair? You’ll save money, spend time together, test problem-solving skills, and get a sense of accomplishment from repairing instead of buying new.
I’d like to integrate some of these ideas into my own life. Over the last few years I have dropped Christmas and Easter (I’ve been an atheist for over 25 years now) and replaced them with a Solstice celebrations; I have remade New Year’s into a quiet, reflective time (the antithesis of a party); and have incorporated an appreciation and gratefulness aspect into my almost-daily meditation routine. I’ve kept Thanksgiving, though mine is vegetarian, so the focus is on the harvest and thanks and not killing a turkey. And I celebrate Halloween some years, when I feel into it, and not if I don’t. And forget Valentine’s Day!
Because I don’t love some of our existing holidays, I’d like to add celebrations to my list — luckily I need not come up with them by myself, but can look to other cultures for inspiration. I actually started practicing hygge last winter and I felt it really helped me through the darkest days of the year. I may formalize it a bit by creating a “start” and “end” date to the practice. Wabi-sabi is also very appealing to me, as I tend towards perfectionism (which also tends to make me miserable), and it’s an idea that seems like it might become part of my seasonal cleaning and organizing time (along with Jugaad).
Have any of the above ideas inspired you to try something different or add a new celebration day to your life?