Daily Stuff 4-21-21 Ab Urbe Condita

Hi, folks!

The shop is closed today. Spring hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Featured photo by Anja.

It looks like they’ve gotten ahead of all but the Ponina Fire (NE of K Falls) and that one is contained. Good! It got good and windy yesterday afternoon, but it was fairly warm. The beach fog showed up at sunset and we could see it blowing beyond the trees. It’s cloudy and 48F, wind at 2-4mph and gusting, AQI 43-58, UV4. Chance of rain 12% today and 24% tonight. Pollen is moderate. It’s still windy on the water. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY through 5am on Thursday. Dry into Friday evening, but the chance of rain on Saturday is 90%. It eases off to showers after that for the rest of the forecast with something rolling in on Tuesday that will bring wind along with water.

Yesterday I was fighting the sleepies again, and dozed off waiting for coffee at my (messy, very mess) desk, and Tempus, the wretch, snuck up on me for proof! I didn’t find out he had until I found the photo on Facebook, fergossakes!

Well, after I caught up on mail and messages I asked Tempus to go pick up the snail-mail and he brought back several packages. The lapis spears that I’ve been promising are here. They’re tiny. Most of them are between 1 and 1 1/2 inches, so those will go in the usual crystal bags with headers. They’re really pretty. Some of them are a+quality! There was also a set of semi-precious stone marbles, two of which I tucked away for Sash, but we have 8 in: quartz, sodalite, red jasper, obsidian, aventurine, rose quartz, unakite, and leopard spot. Those will also go in 2 inch bags. 

One package was diaper flannel for needlebook kits, there was a 2nd that was some pretty tools that I got for myself for the new chatellaine that I’m making. Another was a set of cutters for 1 inch gingerbread houses that you can balance on a coffee cup rim. Those will be a surprise for Tempus come the Yule season. There were also some “book fabrics” for that series of picture books I’m making for Sioned. 

The last package was goodies for my high school 45th reunion. Wow…. that’s longer even than I thought! Everything’s going to be online, of course, except for one get-together that I’m *not* taking a train all the way to Baltimore for! Maybe for our 50th, since that ought to have the traditional fancy parties and barbeque and so on. There was a magnet, a bunch of stickers a nice mask (if you see a grey one, yeah….) some recipes for a fancy cocktail and other things of that sort. 

Tempus went out to the house and then up to storage with the old mattress. I was right. It was in pretty bad shape and kinda shredded being moved. That’s going to Dahl’s disposal soonest. He found the fishing stool and a small shelf to put by his recliner and some other things then came back to the shop, where I was putting together a care package for Sash of some of the foods I cooked on Sunday. We had supper and then he headed for the bulk route, to drop the care package with Sash on the way. 

I spent a good long while organizing some of my candy and cake decorating equipment, and then curled up for a long nap. I’m going to spend time on marzipan tonight after I’m done with this and before I head out to sleep. 

Today, once we wake, we’re going out to the house. I’m planning to sew, along with setting up some of the “pretties” that we bought for the house. Yes, I’ll get pictures. Tempus has a bunch of cuphooks to put up and picture hooks and he may have to go to the hardware store (or Walmart) for some tension rods for the valences, a couple of towel bars and other hardware of that sort…. grab bars…. He’ll probably run to storage for some things, maybe get rid of the mattress. Still no air purifier, so we may have to wait on sleeping there, still.

Photo by Anja from 5/4/16

plant pic Rhododendron_occidentale_Strybing

Today’s Plant is the Western AzaleaRhododendron Occidentale. I’ve talked before about the azaleas being a subset of the rhodys. This picture is the main kind that grows around here. It’s hard to tell from the shape and size of the plant that it’s an azalea, or even from the flowers, although the branches are thinner and the leaves shorter and rounder than those of rhododendrons. It least it’s hard for those of us who are familiar with the showy garden hybrids, which tend to be small and compact! The other West Coast azalea is Rhododendron Albiflorum, and there’s not a whacking lot of info floating around about that one. The wiki is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_occidentale The Chinese call azaleas “thinking of home bush”. Magickal uses for azalea are to encourage light spirits, happiness and gaiety.

feast 0421 She-wolf_suckles_Romulus_and_Remus

Today’s Feast is that of the Founding of Rome in 753 (752?) BCE on this date by Romulus who plowed a furrow around the Palatine Hill to describe the boundary of his city. This is the date used in the Roman calendar that dates Ab Urbe Condita, (from the Founding of the City) or Anno Urbis Conditae(Years since the founding of the City)usually abbreviated to A.U.C.There are a lot of different dates given, but the circumstances fall around this year pretty well, at least partially because of the dating of eclipses related to specific events. Romulus and Remus were abandoned as infants and nursed by a she-wolf (Lupa, honored in the Lupercalia) before being adopted by a shepherd. This date is also the celebration of the Palilia (Par Ilia) which is a feast of shepherds and their flocks. More here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_of_Rome and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ab_urbe_condita

The shop opens at 1pm. Springr 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,


Today’s Astro & Calendar

Moon in Leo

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 4/26 at 8:32pm. 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 4/25 at 8:32am.

The Moon passes between Regulus and Algieba (the orange star above Regulus) between the North American evenings of Wednesday and Thursday, April 21st and 22nd. (The Moon is drawn about three times its actual apparent size.)

The Moon this evening form an isosceles triangle with Regulus and Algieba (Gamma Leonis), the second-brightest star of Leo’s Sickle, as shown below. The exact height of the isosceles triangle will depend on your longitude, since the Moon moves eastward by an appreciable amount each hour. The scenes here are always plotted exact for an observer near the middle of North America, at latitude 40° N, longitude 90° W. If you’re near the East Coast the Moon will be just a little to the right of where it’s plotted below. On the West Coast the Moon will appear a little left of where plotted. By how much? Measure by the fact that the gap between the two Moons below is 24 hours of lunar motion.

IC 1396 + Mu Cephei – Mu Cephei, also called Hershel’s Garnet Star, appears in the upper right of this image, which is dominated by the bright emission nebula surrounding the open cluster IC 1396. – Giuseppe Donatiello (Flickr)

With a bright moon in Leo tonight, let’s concentrate our gaze on the other side of the sky, where it’s slightly darker. The constellation Cepheus the King is home to Herschel’s Garnet Star, so named for its deep ruby red color. Cataloged as Erakis or Mu (μ) Cephei, this 4th-magnitude star is one of the largest and brightest red supergiant stars in the Milky Way. It shines with some 300,000 to 400,000 times the brightness of our Sun and is so large that if you placed Mu Cephei in the middle of our own solar system, it would stretch all the way to a point between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. Mu also a variable star whose brightness changes by almost a full magnitude over the course of about 2–2.5 years. The easiest way to find Mu is by drawing a line between Alderamin and Zeta (ζ) Cephei, which form the base of the house-shaped constellation. Mu is about halfway along this line and roughly 1.5° below it. Just over 1° further below (south of) Mu is the open cluster IC 1396, a faint scattering of about 50 stars that pops out best in high-power binoculars or a telescope. The cluster is embedded within a large emission nebula that isn’t easily visible without the use of narrowband nebula filters, but which stands out beautifully in astrophotos.

Ferry County Lyrid – A Lyrid meteor streaks across the Washington state sky during the shower’s April 2016 show. – Rocky Raybell (Flickr)

In the early-morning hours of Thursday the Lyrid meteor shower, usually weak but sometimes unpredictable, should at its maximum activity. The light of the waxing gibbous Moon will interfere until the Moon sets about an hour before the first glimmer of dawn. That dark hour is the best window to plan for. See Robert Lunsford’s Viewing the Lyrids in 2021.

Mercury and Venus remain buried in the sunset, but not for long. Next week they’ll start emerging into low twilight view together.

Runic half-month of Mannaz/ Man, April 14-28 A time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992

NIGHT SKY FOR APRIL 2021 – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-april

Sun in Taurus

Goddess Month of Maia runs from 4/18 – 5/15
Celtic Tree Month
of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12
Color – Yellow
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright


Celtic Tree Month of Saille/Willow, Apr 15 – May 12 The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and ages appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were colleges of Druidesses – learned women and teachers – respected equally for their gifts of see-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions.
Magical Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women.

Saille – Willow Ogam letter correspondences
Month: February
Color: listed only as bright
Class: Peasant
Letter: S
Meaning: Gaining balance in your life

to study this month – Ohn – Furze Ogam letter correspondences
Month: None
Color: Yellow Gold
Class: Chieftain
Letter: O
Meaning: Information that could change your life


Tides for Alsea Bay

Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time     Feet   Sunset                                    Visible
W   21      Low   2:12 AM     3.6   6:21 AM     Set  4:00 AM      54
~    21     High   7:41 AM     6.2   8:09 PM    Rise  1:36 PM
~    21      Low   2:57 PM     0.6
~    21     High   9:47 PM     6.0


Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Drive away Fear.


Journal Prompt – Favorites – What type of pop music is your favorite? Write a paragraph telling what defines this music and explaining why it appeals to you.



~   Pleasure or pain are aspects of the mind only. Our essential nature is happiness. But we have forgotten the Self and imagine that the body or the mind is the Self. It is that wrong identity that gives rise to misery. – Sri Ramana Maharshi
~   Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our mind. – Bob Marley
~   The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. – Michelangelo
~   I greet you, oh Morning Sun, As I greet my soul. I greet you, oh Morning Sun, Dawn of a new day. I greet you, Oh Morning Sun, As I greet my soul. I will light my way. I will light my way. – Surya Namaskar

While the bright radient sun in centre glows,
The earth in annual motion round it goes;
At the same time on its own axis reels,
And gives us change of seasons as it wheels. – The 1793 Old Farmer’s Almanac (title page of Vol. 1, No. 1)


Beltane Magick – Lore

Beltaine Our May Morn – http://paganwiccan.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=paganwiccan&cdn=religion&tm=5&gps=45_5_784_599&f=11&tt=14&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.witchvox.com/holidays/xbeltaine.html

Author: M Macha Nightmare [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: May 5th. 2002
Times Viewed: 6,625
Beltaine – Our May Morn by M. Macha NightMare, ©2002

My partner Corby and I (long-time committed, but not exclusive, relationship with a person of the male persuasion – I was born female and always liked that fact) arise in the dark to drive over from our home in Marin County, California across the Bay to Berkeley to sing up the Sun with the Berkeley Morris Dancers at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park.

We gather at a vista parking lot that faces East towards the hills of Contra Costa County. I’ve been doing this for close to 20 years, and the Berkeley Morris Dancers have been doing it longer. The death a few years ago of the dance master Terry O’Neill engendered great sadness, but his legacy lives on with the dancers.

Although as I understand it, Morris dancers in England are male, this troupe has dancers of both genders who dance all the dances together. There are no men’s dances and women’s dances that I can see. They are dressed in white shirts and pants, with red vests, and wear multicolored streamers and bells around their legs just below the knee. A fiddler and other musicians accompany them. One of the dancers is a little blond boy of about five. There’s also a bear — a “Cal bear”? — and a clown/fool dressed in harlequinish black-and-white striped leggings and black-and-white geometrical-patterned clothing.

The sweetest thing this year is a baby — boy or girl I could not tell — sitting on a blanket with hir parents at the edge of the circle. She or he is a round-faced, rosy-cheeked tyke dressed in a white fuzzy overall garment, like a sleeper only with a hood with ears. S/he looks like a bunny rabbit. S/he keeps being drawn to the dancers, crawling off the blanket towards the music and the action. Eventually the dance master takes hir in his arms for a turn or two with the other dancers.

Morris dancers dance in sets, often making patterns and rhythms with sticks, and sometimes even with swords. They’re loud and festive, encouraged by the appreciative crowd of Pagans encircling them.

There is one dance that everyone is invited to participate in, a large circle dance, very sprightly and enthusiastic, if a bit confused. Corby and I laugh and dance in the triple circle we have to arrange ourselves in because there are so many of us.

During the dancing, a member of the troupe passes through the assembled crowd offering bites of a tasty poppyseed May cake. Another passes the hat for cash donations.

Parents bring their little babies all bundled up in the cold. (Relative, of course. This is, after all, California). Toddlers, children, tweens, teens, young adults, mature adults, oldsters in chairs or walking with staffs – about 200-300 Pagans in the predawn air. Some of the younger folks have been awakened in the dark and driven to this annual rite every year of their lives. These events will be in their memories of their childhoods. Now there are third generation babies coming with their parents and grandparents.

By 7:00 a.m. or so it’s all over. The Sun has risen, we’ve cheered its return. We’ve sung a few May carols together. Those of us who must work day jobs on this sabbat can leave in time to get to work. Some may join others at a restaurant for breakfast before going to work. Many years that’s what I did. This year, however, Corby and I have taken the day off.

Most years we’ve taken over one or more restaurants, where we continue to sing May carols now and then, and generally party up the place. Some restaurant staff stress over this, but most enjoy it, especially when we leave generous tips for all the bother we’ve put them to.

This year, however, Vicki, who regularly attends with her three daughters, decides to offer her own solution to the restaurant dilemmas – dealing with morning rush-hour traffic, looking for parking, pushing tables together, keeping the coffee brewing, overwhelming the kitchen and wait staff. She lives with her family in a huge house in the Oakland hills. So she invites us to a huge buffet breakfast of crepes, fresh red strawberries, sausage, coffee and other tasty comestibles she’d prepared ahead of time and which is all ready and waiting for us as we drift in from our outing in the hills.

All the downstairs rooms fill with Pagans. Teens seem to congregate in the breakfast room. Crones like me balance our food on our laps while we gab about all manner of topics in the sunken living room. It’s just great fun all round.

Last April 30 I had a hysterectomy (fibroids) so wasn’t up on the hill. That makes this year’s pilgrimage all the sweeter. Beltane is a year and a day since my surgery. Corby and I, having taken the day off work, spend much of the afternoon in traditional celebration, Not in the furrowed fields, not in the orchards, rather in our own cozy bed.

Although this year it’s too dry to find much May Morn dew to wash our faces, and I’m too sleepy to gather fresh mugwort to put in our pillows to facilitate dreams and visions like we usually do on Beltane, we share a most joyous turning of the Wheel. We hope you did, too.

M Macha Nightmare

Location: San Rafael, California
Website: http://www.machanightmare.com
Author’s Profile: To learn more about M Macha Nightmare – Click HERE
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Silliness – For The Kids…– Sea Creatures – Q – What fish only swims at night? A – A starfish!

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