Daily Stuff 3-15-21 Ides of March

Hi, folks!

The shop opens at 1pm. Winter hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

It’s cleared up a little and gotten chilly. 37F, wind at 1-6 mph and gusting, AQI 18-42, UV2. Chance of rain 24% today and 11% tonight. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY through 6pm today. Today through Wednesday should be dry. On Thursday and Sunday we could have a fair amount of rain, but the other days should just be showery.

More Bamboo, that stuff is *tall*!

Yesterday did not go as planned. I hadn’t slept well, and woke with a jump at 12:45! I was greeted by the news on the computer that the class that had kept me wakeful was going to be postponed for a month. <groan> We hurried to get the shop open and then I chased Tempus into the back because he hadn’t slept at all. He’d been doing a bunch of grocery shopping.

By the bamboo. This is Nandina, also called Heavenly Bamboo, but it’s not a bamboo at all!

Well, I got the House Capuchin Project Day started and then worked on messages and mail and a bunch of things of that sort, working on embroidery at my desk in between, and helping customers. We were busy for a Sunday! By 4pm I was fading and tried to wake Tempus. He said, “Just a minute”, but I had to head back there around 5, to actually get him awake. 🙂

Buds on the bay tree

He tended the shop while I got a nap and then we made some supper and headed home. I got some more sleep, then got up to write. Tempus is still crashed out, although he’ll have to get up around 2pm for the paper run. …. He got up a bit early, changed the clocks and started the dishwasher!

Buds

Today I have quite a bit of writing to do and a whole set of pictures to re-take. I meant to get the pictures of balls and fillings done last week, and then set up a blog page for them. I was thinking that it had happened when I didn’t get that far! We’ll have the shop open at 1pm and we’re probably going to push the actual closing time out to closer to 7, now that it’s light that late.

A picture by Ken Gagne from 3/12/17 of the Siuslaw Bridge.

Bells of Ireland Moluccella_laevis_(Labiatae)_plant

Today’s plant is the Bells of IrelandMoluccella laevis (Molucca balmis, Shellflower, Shell flower) is a summer flowering annual, native to Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus. It is cultivated for its spikes of flowers which look like green bells. In the language of flowers, it represents luck. It’s a member of the mint family as you can tell by the leaves! More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bells_of_Ireland

Today is the Ides of March, mostly known today for the death of Julius Caesar, but they were a religious celebration during the Roman Empire. They were sacred to Jupiter and Anna Perenna. “The ides of March have come,” meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.” More here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Julius_Caesar  and here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ides_of_March#Religious_observances and on Anna Perenna here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Perenna

The shop opens at 1pm. Winter hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, anjasnihova@yahoo.com, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door!

Love & Light,
Anja

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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 3/28 at 11:48am. 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 3/17 at 2:21pm.  

The bright asteroid Vesta – This image shows Vesta as revealed by the Dawn spacecraft, which orbited the asteroid from July 2011 until September 2012. – NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Asteroid 4 Vesta sits right between a pair of 6th-magnitude stars (HIP 54319 and HIP 54470) in Leo the Lion tonight. The magnitude 6 main-belt asteroid should be easy to find with binoculars, just 3.4° southwest of Zosma. Seeing the asteroid move in a single observing session is challenging, but you can use the two field stars to chart Vesta’s motion over the next few days to really see it slide against the background.

Three’s a crowd? – The Leo Triplet comprises three spiral galaxies: M65, M66, and the edge-on NGC 3628. – Steve Byrne (Flickr)

If you’re still in a Messier mood, Leo contains five of Messier’s objects, all galaxies: M65, M66, M95, M96, and M105. M66 is the brightest at magnitude 8.9, located about 2.8° southeast of Chertan and part of the famous Leo Triplet of galaxies, which also contains NGC 3628 and M65. The brightest two of the three, M65 and M66, are visible in nearly any binocular, although you’ll want large binoculars (70mm) or a small scope to bring the edge-on spiral NGC 3628 into view.

Located about 600 light-years away, the Beehive star cluster (M44) is one of the closest open clusters to Earth. theilr on Flickr

On the traditional divide between the winter and spring sky is the dim constellation Cancer. It’s between Gemini to its west and Leo to its east. Cancer holds something unique: the Beehive Star Cluster, M44, in its middle. The Beehive shows dimly to the naked eye if you have little or no light pollution. With binoculars it’s easy, even under worse conditions. Look for it a little less than halfway from Pollux in Gemini to Regulus in Leo.

And while you’re working from Gemini to Cancer, consider Ken’s Cancer Cascade, a long asterism of a star line, Kemble’s Cascade style, 2° tall at the Cancer-Gemini border. You’ll want at least a 4-inch scope with its lowest-power eyepiece. See Ken Hewitt-White’s “All Around the Beehive” article, photos, and chart in the March Sky & Telescope, page 54.

Mars (magnitude +1.1, in Taurus) shines very high in the west after dark. Mars is a very close twin of Aldebaran to its left or lower left, in brightness and almost in color. Which to you looks just a trace redder? They’ll appear closest together (a wide 7°) for several nights centered on March 20th and 21st. In a telescope Mars is just under 6 arcseconds wide: a bright blob tiny and disappointing.

Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.

NIGHT SKY MAP FOR MARCH 2021: THE BIG DIPPER https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-march-big-dipper

Sun in Pisces

Moon in Aries

Goddess Month of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month
of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn Alder Mar 18Apr 14
Color – Silver
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), ash – the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).

Nuin – Ash Ogam letter correspondences
Month: March
Color: Glass Green
Class: Chieftain
Letter: N
Meaning: Locked into a chain of events; Feeling bound.

Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle Ogam letter correspondences
Month: None
Color: White
Class: Peasant
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.

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Tides for Alsea Bay
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Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~           /Low      Time    Feet     Sunset                                  Visible
M   15     High   2:34 AM     7.6   7:28 AM    Rise  8:48 AM      1
~    15      Low   8:48 AM     1.0   7:23 PM      Set  9:53 PM
~    15     High   2:44 PM     7.2
~    15      Low   8:55 PM     1.1

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Just when you get really good at something, you won’t need to do it anymore.

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Journal Prompt – Multicultural Connections – Explain what you think it would be like to move to a country where you couldn’t speak the language or understand a single word.

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Quotes

~  It’s these times that you remember for the rest of your life. – Unknown Author
~  You do not need an intermediary between you and the divine. Kerr Cuhulain
~  The Leader of the Opposition hurls all sorts of abuse at me, and all through question time those pansies over there want retractions of the things we’ve said about them. They are a bunch of nobodies going nowhere. – Paul Keating
~  All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place. – Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Truthfully, I am “homesick” for a land that is not mine. I am haunted by the steppes, the solitude, the everlasting snow and the great blue sky “up there”! The difficult hours, the hunger, the cold, the wind slashing my face, leaving me with enormous, bloody, swollen lips. The camp sites in the snow, sleeping in the frozen mud, none of that counted, those miseries were soon gone and we remained perpetually submerged in a silence, with only the song of the wind in the solitude, almost bare even of plant life, the fabulous chaos of rock, vertiginous peaks and horizons of blinding light. A land that seems to belong to another world, a land of Titans or gods ? I remained under its spell. – Alexandra David-Néel; letter to her husband, March 12, 1917

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Ostara Magick – Studies

Celebrating Easter ©2004 Waverly Fitzgerald – Easter Eggs

I think if required on pain of death to name instantly the most perfect thing in the universe, I should risk my fate on a bird’s egg. – T.W. Higginson, 19th century author, quoted by Schafer

Eggs are the most obvious symbol of birth at Easter time. Dyed, then hunted and displayed in baskets. Eaten as part of the Spring Equinox meal, where they were especially welcome as they were forbidden during Lent, or transformed into candy. And used to play a variety of games, like egg-rolling and egg-shackling.

Eggs were used as symbols of life and resurrection in ancient China, Greece, Egypt and Persia, at the great Spring festivals. The early Christians adopted them as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection and people brought eggs to church to be blessed and distributed to friends, family and relatives.

Pope Pius V approved this blessing to be used for the eggs: Bless, O Lord, we beseech Thee, this Thy creature of eggs, that it may become a

wholesome sustenance to Thy faithful servants, eaten in thankfulness to Thee, on account of the Resurrection of Our Lord.

Elizabeth Luard describes a custom she observed while celebrating Easter in the village of Ludomirova in Slovakia, with a family of Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Before the Easter feast began, the grandmother, the oldest woman at the table, used a small sharp knife to slice the top off a raw egg. She then lifted the little egg cup to her lips and took a sip of the golden liquid within. She then passed the egg to the youngest child, and after that it went around the table so all had a sip.

At the turn of the century, Polish girls would send decorated eggs, sometimes as many as a hundred, to a favored suitor, wrapped in a fine handkerchief on which his initials were embroidered. If the girl didn’t have the skill to decorate the eggs herself she hired a local expert. Celebrating Easter ©2004 Waverly Fitzgerald

Krashanka/Red Eggs for Astarte

The egg, like the seed, a potent symbol of new life is associated with burial customs, according to Pauline Campanelli in Ancient Ways, echoing the association between death and rebirth found in the spring stories about Persephone emerging from the Underworld or Christ’s resurrection.

Campanelli says that decorated ostrich eggs were found in neolithic graves in pre-dynastic Egypt. The Druids dyed eggs scarlet in honor of the sun using furse (gorse) blossoms or possibly madder root. But the oldest traditions of dying eggs come from Eastern Europe, from Rumania, Czechoslovakia and the Ukraine, where the Goddess was often worshipped as a bird goddess. In Hungary, designs were scratched on eggs that had been dyed red, designs with names like the White Horse, Goat’s Claw, the Snake and the Horsehoe. Also in Hungary, a 1300 year old burial of a woman was discovered in which the woman was holding an inscribed egg in each hand.

There are two kinds of magical eggs found in the Ukraine. Krashanka are hard-boiled and dyed red. They are ritually eaten at sunrise on Easter Sunday. The red shells are thrown into the rivers to carry them to the spirits. Shells are also thrown into the garden and in the nests of the chickens. In Eastern European countries, scarlet eggs were symbols of resurrection and were placed on or buried in the graves of the family dead.

A Romanian tale says that eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ. But the Chinese used to exchange scarlet eggs at their Spring Festival in 900 BCE, so it is more likely the red color is the symbol of life.

Celebrating Easter ©2004 Waverly Fitzgerald

Pysanky/Ukrainian Eggs

Pysanky feature elaborate designs made with beeswax resist and are always raw. These eggs are magic talismans. The designs on the sides are messages (pysanky comes from a root word meaning “to write”) invoking fertility, long life, luck, protection and hope. Eggs with wheat and fruit designs might be buried in the fields to encourage the crops. Eggs with blue and green meander designs were kept in homes and carried around a fire to contain it.

Anne Kmit, the Luciow sisters and Luba Perchyshyn who wrote Ukrainian Easter Eggs explain how the eggs were made and distributed in the Ukraine. They were always made by groups of women working together under ritual conditions. The women prepared themselves spiritually the day before. They worked at night, when the children were in bed, gathered around a table set with bowls of fertile eggs and pots of dye. No men or outsiders were allowed to enter. The women asked for specific blessings for each egg they made and sang traditional songs as they worked. This process took many nights and ended on Holy Thursday. One or two eggs were given to the priest. Eggs were placed on the graves of family members.

Eggs were given to all the children and godchildren. Unmarried girls exchanged eggs with the eligible young men in the community. A few eggs were placed in coffins to be ready in case someone died. Several were kept in the home to protect from fire and storms. Two or three were placed in the trough or the stables so the animals would have many young. One egg was placed under each beehive and one was saved for each grazing animal to be taken out to the fields with the shepherds in the spring. An egg with wheat symbols was placed at the start of the first furrow lowed and another at the end of the last. A bride would take an egg to her marriage ceremony in her skirt and on returning home, drop it saying. “Let me bear the child as easily as the egg falls.”

If that didn’t work, the husband might receive an egg with a rooster on it or an oak leaf.

Every aspect of making the egg was important from the colors chosen to the designs. The most ancient and widely used symbol was the sun. Certain eggs, covered with symbols of water, flowers, growing plants and little wings, were used to “call spring.” Other eggs, called “noise insect eggs” depicted birds singing, crickets and the chirping noise of the forest to invoke the sounds of spring. Here’s a list of some symbols. You will find many more in the books by Anne Kmit and her co-authors.

  • Star Success
  • Birds Spring, good harvest & pushing away evil
  • Hearts Love
  • Fruits, vegetables, wheat Good harvest
  • Flowers Beauty and children
  • Spiders Healing powers and good luck
  • Animals, especially deer Prosperity and wealth
  • Ladders (given to older people) Moving to a new level of existence
  • 40 triangles (a traditional pattern) Wishes for the many facets of family life
  • Circle Protection
  • A “call spring” egg
  • Sun egg

Celebrating Easter ©2004 Waverly Fitzgerald

Thirteen years ago I finally purchased the appropriate tool for making Ukrainian eggs, a kitska (I got mine in the art department of my local university bookstore). Ever since then, making Ukrainian eggs has become a favorite annual activity for me and my women friends. Each woman brings some eggs (either raw or hard-boiled). Meanwhile I set up several tables with kitskas, blocks of beeswax, a candle for each woman and some way of holding the egg steady (paper towels are the simplest—we also use the little plastic tables that come with your delivered pizza). The same stores that sell kitskas and special beeswax (dyed a darker color so it’s easier to see) also sell lathes on which you can turn your eggs so you can achieve perfectly even lines. We’ve never used one of these. The same stores also sell electric kitskas but I’ve scorned these as too modern. I like the simple ancient process.

However, I do buy the packets of Ukrainian dyes—most of which are highly toxic—because they produce brilliant colors—turquoise, black and maroon, among others–you can’t find in ordinary Easter egg dyes. These are made with boiling water so mix them ahead of time so they can cool. I also use the regular Easter egg dyes you buy in kits at the store, particularly because I like the little wire dippers that come in these kits, handy for putting eggs in and out of the jars (I use wide-mouthed canning jars). We also use spoons for this task. I leave my dyes out, often for two or three weeks, so I can continue working on eggs. I love the way they look: the gleaming jars and the brilliant colors.

To make the design, you put a little bit of beeswax in the funnel of the kitska, then melt it over a candle flame and draw on the eggshell with the molten beeswax. Begin with a white egg and put wax on all the areas you want to stay white, then dye the egg yellow, and cover all the areas with wax which you want to remain yellow, and so forth through orange, red and a dark color (brown, black or purple). When the egg is done, place it in a low-temperature oven for a few minutes to melt the wax, which is then rubbed off to reveal the intricate designs and glowing colors of your egg. I love the delicacy of

the designs, the smell of the wax and the flickering light of the candle, which combine to create a trance-like state.

If you don’t have a kitska, you can decorate eggs using a pin. Simply dip it into melted wax and drag it across the surface of the egg. It will leave a little comet-like trail. When done in concentric circles, you will have created sunbursts.

The eggs, even though they are not cooked, can be kept for many years if they are stored so the air can move around them freely. I store mine in egg cartons in the basement but I have had an occasional egg go bad. Last year, I put varnish on all the eggs, hoping this would help preserve them. It’s a messy process (since there’s no way to hold an egg without getting varnish all over your own fingers) but it seems to have helped and it certainly brought out their colors. You can also blow the inside out of the eggs after they’ve been painted.

Wheat egg

Spring sound egg

Celebrating Easter ©2004 Waverly Fitzgerald

Resources

Campanelli, Pauline, Ancient Ways, Llewellyn 1991

Kmit, Anne, Loretta L & Johanna Luciow & Luba Perchyshyn, Ukrainian Easter Eggs and How We Make Them, Ukrainian Gift Shop, 2422 Central Av NE, Minneapolis MN 55418,1979

Luard, Elizabeth, Sacred Food, Chicago Review Press

Schafer, Violet, Eggcraft:A Compendium of Folklore, Fancies and Food, San Francisco: Yerba

Buena Press 1973

Illustrations: The designs for Ukrainian eggs come from Ukrainian Easter Eggs

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Silliness – Clock-eating

The Corpus Clock & Chronophage in Cambridge (chronophage means “time-eater”) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcMQl6LfZ5Y

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