Minus Tide at 7:06 AM of -0.8 feet. The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday. Spring hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
I spent time by the window in the afternoon watching rain clouds move over and past and then blue sky and lovely puffy cumulus. I’ve missed seeing the sky and clouds, although I wasn’t really aware of it until I could cloud-watch again! It’s partly cloudy again. 47F, wind at 1-5mph and gusting, AQI 7-34, UV8. Chance of rain 15% today and 24% tonight. Pollen high. High temps are finally climbing back up to around 60F for the week. There’s a good chance of showers on Friday and Sunday and a small chance on several other days coming up. There’s a new fire by the Rogue River that’s already up to 3000 acres. There’s one new firespot, but the rest haven’t changed much.
Yesterday just dragged and dragged. Tempus brought a pile of packages from the PO when he went to get another box. There was some new stock (I’ll talk about it on Thursday) plus som stuff for the house and some Independence Day decorations. It was nearly noon before we got the packages into the mail and headed home. We went to pull in and the driveway was roped off, so we backed around and went down the other side. We never even bothered with a snack, just crawled into bed.
I was up around 3pm, but Tempus didn’t crawl out until nearly 5pm. He went to make coffee and we discovered that there was no water, so he went over to the office to ask and it turned out that the mess in the driveway, which was supposed to be a repair, cut the fiber-optic cable, the phone cable, the sewer line …..and the water. We got our coffee (we use spring water for drinking) then came back into the shop since dishes and plant watering weren’t going to happen.
I had spent some time with the plants, getting a potato and a couple of leeks into that bucket. Still needs more dirt…. I had also dug out the chives from next to the rose, so I got those potted up, plus some into one of the over-railing boxes. I also got a few pix while waiting for Tempus to grab our supper to take to the shop.
I had cut up the 2nd leek and added it to some regular mixed veg to make something to go with the roast that was a little different. In butter sauce that was pretty tasty! I usually use onion, but this was good.
I got a nap while Tempus got a load of dishes. He headed for Newport at 9:30. I’ve been falling down rabbit holes on Youtube and doing a little writing before starting on this. I have some putting away of clean stuff to do in back and getting some of it ready for Tempus to be able to distinguish hand-wash from machine wash on some of my marzipan tools. I’ll be able to get a bunch of that tucked away again, and start setting up for the Herbs Workshop to re-start.
We’re going to have to call before we head home to make sure that the water is back. We’re planning to work at home, but without water… well, a lot of the chores can’t happen, so we’ll work at the shop. Not that there isn’t plenty to do! I’ve got some dead plants in the window and some too-leggy ones that I’m going to have to re-pot. There are still dishes and boxes and hanging up crystals and herbs…. but if we can go home, I’ll be working on plants there, too!
6/7/16 by Ken Gagne – Talon and Jonathan
Today ‘s feast is that of Saint Columba (Irish: Colm Cille, ‘church dove’; 7 December 521 – 9 June 597) was an Irish abbot and missionary credited with spreading Christianity in present-day Scotland. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries. He was highly regarded by both the Gaels of Dál Riata and the Picts, and is remembered today as a Christian saint and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. Columba reportedly studied under some of Ireland’s most prominent church figures and founded several monasteries in the country. Around 563 he and his twelve companions sailed to Iona in Scotland, then part of the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata, where they founded a new abbey as a base for spreading Christianity among the pagan Picts. He remained active in Irish politics, though he spent most of the remainder of his life in Scotland. Three surviving early medieval Latin hymns may be attributed to him. Of course, from our angle he dealt the death-blow to Druidry…. to be fair, the native faiths had gotten pretty corrupt by that time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columba
Today’s Plant is Sword fern, Polystichum munitum. It grows all winter on the coast, getting greener and lovelier every year as the new fiddles come up out of the center of the plant and develop into fronds. I’ve been enjoying those, watching them for months, now. They can get to be 6 feet tall and some of the ones down in the park where the stream crosses through are that size! The indigenes used the rhizome as a poverty food (baked and peeled), and the fronds are one of the best remedies for relieving the pain from the sting of a Stinging Nettle. It is also commonly used by florists as an ornamental plant. – Masculine, Air, The God, the Puck. This is an herb of masculine power, protection and luck. Use in spells to guide to treasure. Burn to drive away pests.…and as any fern, burn for rain…. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_fern
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday. Spring hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. 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!
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 6/10 at 3:53am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Dark, psychopomps. – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at the New on 6/10 at 3:53am.
Gorgeous photos and good info on the eclipse – https://astronomy.com/magazine/news/2021/06/solar-eclipse-2021-great-ready-for-a-ring-of-fire-on-june-10
New Moon and an annular eclipse of the Sun tomorrow morning June 10th! The eclipse will be annular only along a path from northern Ontario across parts of the arctic. But during and after sunrise, a partial eclipse will occur if you’re northeast of a line from North Carolina through North Dakota. In the US Northeast and eastern Canada, the rising crescent Sun will be spectacular! For full details, maps, and local timetables, see Joe Rao’s article in the June Sky & Telescope, page 34, or the shorter version online. Europe and most of Russia will see the partially eclipsed Sun high in the middle of the day Thursday.
Runic Half-month of Othala/ Odal/Odel 5/29-6/13- The rune Odel signifies ancestral property, the homestead, and all those things that are “one’s own”.. Runic half-month of Dagaz/ Dag, 6/14-6/28. – Beneficial rune of light, health, prosperity and openings, signifying the high point of the day and the high point of the year when in light and warmth all things are possible.
NIGHT SKY MAP FOR JUNE 2021: SEE THE STARS MOVE – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-june-see-stars-move
Goddess Month of Hera runs from 5/16 – 6/12
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7
Mercury (6/22), Pluto (10/6), Saturn Retrograde (10/10)
Color – White
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Huath/Hawthorn, May 13 – Jun 9 – I am fair among flowers – Color: Purple – Class: Peasant – Letter: H – Meaning: Being held back for a period of time – Hawthorn – Like willows, hawthorns have many species in Europe, and they are not always easy to tell apart. All are thorny shrubs in the Rose family (Rosaceae), and most have whitish or pinkish flowers. The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) and midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata (Poiret) DC.) are both widespread. They are common in abandoned fields and along the edges of forests. Both are cultivated in North America, as are several native and Asiatic hawthorns. Curtis Clark
Huathe – Hawthorne Ogam letter correspondences
Meaning: Being held back for a period of time
to study this month – Ur – Heather and Mistletoe Ogam letter correspondences
Class: Heather is Peasant; Mistletoe is Chieftain
Meaning: Healing and development on the spiritual level.
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 – The oak of myth and legend is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). It is sometimes called the great oak, which is a translation of its Latin name (robur is the root of the English word “robust”). It grows with ash and beech in the lowland forests, and can reach a height of 150 feet and age of 800 years. Along with ashes, oaks were heavily logged throughout recent millennia, so that the remaining giant oaks in many parts of Europe are but a remnant of forests past. Like most other central and northern European trees, common oaks are deciduous, losing their leaves before Samhain and growing new leaves in the spring so that the trees are fully clothed by Bealltaine. Common oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America, as are the similar native white oak, valley oak, and Oregon oak. Oaks are members of the Beech family (Fagaceae). Curtis Clark
Duir – Oak Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Black and Dark Brown
Meaning: Security; Strength
to study this month – Eadha – White Poplar or Aspen Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Silver White
Meaning: Problems; Doubts; Fears.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 9 Low 7:06 AM -0.8 5:32 AM Rise 5:00 AM 2
~ 9 High 1:37 PM 5.9 9:00 PM Set 8:40 PM
~ 9 Low 6:45 PM 2.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Never stop dreaming.
Journal Prompt – Favorites – Write about the thoughts and feelings you have when you listen to your favorite song
~ Each one of them is Jesus in disguise. – Mother Teresa
~ His style has the desperate jauntiness of an orchestra fiddling away for dear life on a sinking ship. – Edmund Wilson, American writer and critic, on Evelyn Waugh
~ How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child’s personality. A child is resentful, negative-or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people. – Sir John Templeton
~ I don’t want any description of me to be accurate; I want it to be flattering. I don’t think people who have to sing for their supper ever like to be described truthfully – not in print anyway. We need to sell tickets, so we need good reviews. – Orson Welles; to Kenneth Tynan, 1967
Buttercups have honeyed hearts,
Bees they love the clover,
But I love the daisies’ dance
All the meadow over. – –Marjorie Pickthall (1883–1922)
Litha Magick – Lore
A Midsummer’s Celebration – A history of St. John’s Eve, the celebration of the sun. By Mike Nichols – Reprinted from The Witches’ Sabbats website. Used with permission.
The young maid stole through the cottage door, and blushed as she sought the Plant of pow’r;
“Thou silver glow-worm,
O lend me thy light,
I must gather the mystic
St. John’s wort tonight,
The wonderful herb,
whose leaf will decide,
if the coming year
shall make me a bride.”
In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four “quarter-days” of the year, and modern Witches call them the four “Lesser Sabbats,” or the four “Low Holidays.” The summer solstice is one of them.
Technically, a solstice is an astronomical point and, due to the procession of the equinox, the date may vary by a few days depending on the year. The summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, and we experience the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Astrologers know this as the date on which the sun enters the sign of Cancer.
However, since most European peasants were not accomplished at reading an ephemeris or did not live close enough to Salisbury Plain to trot over to Stonehenge and sight down its main avenue, they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, June 24th. The slight forward displacement of the traditional date is the result of multitudinous calendrical changes down through the ages. It is analogous to the winter solstice celebration, which is astronomically on or about December 21st, but is celebrated on the traditional date of December 25th, Yule, later adopted by the Christians.
Again, it must be remembered that the Celts reckoned their days from sundown to sundown, so the June 24th festivities actually begin on the previous sundown (our June 23rd). This was Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Eve. Which brings up another point: our modern calendars are quite misguided in suggesting that “summer begins” on the solstice. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on May Day and ends on Lammas (August 1st), with the summer solstice, midway between the two, marking midsummer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that summer begins on the day when the sun’s power begins to wane and the days grow shorter.
Although our Pagan ancestors probably preferred June 24th (and indeed most European folk festivals today use this date), the sensibility of modern Witches seems to prefer the actual solstice point, beginning the celebration on its eve, or the sunset immediately preceding the solstice point. Again, it gives modern Pagans a range of dates to choose from with, hopefully, a weekend embedded in it.
Just as the Pagan midwinter celebration of Yule was adopted by Christians as Christmas (December 25th), so too the Pagan midsummer celebration was adopted by them as the feast of John the Baptist (June 24th). Occurring 180 degrees apart on the wheel of the year, the midwinter celebration commemorates the birth of Jesus, while the midsummer celebration commemorates the birth of John, the prophet who was born six months before Jesus in order to announce his arrival.
Although modern Witches often refer to the holiday by the rather generic name of Midsummer’s Eve, it is more probable that our Pagan ancestors of a few hundred years ago actually used the Christian name for the holiday, St. John’s Eve. This is evident from the wealth of folklore that surrounds the summer solstice (i.e. that it is a night especially sacred to the faerie folk) but which is inevitably ascribed to “St. John’s Eve,” with no mention of the sun’s position. It could also be argued that a Coven’s claim to antiquity might be judged by what name it gives the holidays. (Incidentally, the name “Litha” for the holiday is a modern usage, possibly based on a Saxon word that means the opposite of Yule. Still, there is little historical justification for its use in this context.) But weren’t our Pagan ancestors offended by the use of the name of a Christian saint for a pre-Christian holiday?
Well, to begin with, their theological sensibilities may not have been as finely honed as our own. But secondly, and more importantly, St. John himself was often seen as a rather Pagan figure. He was, after all, called “the Oak King.” His connection to the wilderness (from whence “the voice cried out”) was often emphasized by the rustic nature of his shrines. Many statues show him as a horned figure (as is also the case with Moses). Christian iconographers mumble embarrassed explanations about “horns of light,” while modern Pagans giggle and happily refer to such statues as “Pan the Baptist.” And to clench matters, many depictions of John actually show him with the lower torso of a satyr, cloven hooves and all! Obviously, this kind of John the Baptist is more properly a Jack in the Green! Also obvious is that behind the medieval conception of St. John lies a distant, shadowy Pagan deity, perhaps the archetypal Wild Man of the Wood, whose face stares down at us through the foliate masks that adorn so much church architecture. Thus medieval Pagans may have had fewer problems adapting than we might suppose.
In England, it was the ancient custom on St. John’s Eve to light large bonfires after sundown, which served the double purpose of providing light to the revelers and warding off evil spirits. This was known as “setting the watch.” People often jumped through the fires for good luck. In addition to these fires, the streets were lined with lanterns, and people carried cressets (pivoted lanterns atop poles) as they wandered from one bonfire to another. These wandering, garland-bedecked bands were called a “marching watch.” Often they were attended by morris dancers, and traditional players dressed as a unicorn, a dragon, and six hobby-horse riders. Just as May Day was a time to renew the boundary on one’s own property, so Midsummer’s Eve was a time to ward the boundary of the city.
Customs surrounding St. John’s Eve are many and varied. At the very least, most young folk plan to stay up throughout the whole of this shortest night. Certain courageous souls might spend the night keeping watch in the center of a circle of standing stones. To do so would certainly result in either death, madness, or (hopefully) the power of inspiration to become a great poet or bard. (This is, by the way, identical to certain incidents in the first branch of the “Mabinogion.”) This was also the night when the serpents of the island would roll themselves into a hissing, writhing ball in order to engender the “glain,” also called the “serpent’s egg,” “snake stone,” or “Druid’s egg.” Anyone in possession of this hard glass bubble would wield incredible magical powers. Even Merlyn himself (accompanied by his black dog) went in search of it, according to one ancient Welsh story.
Snakes were not the only creatures active on Midsummer’s Eve. According to British faery lore, this night was second only to Halloween for its importance to the wee folk, who especially enjoyed a ridling on such a fine summer’s night. In order to see them, you had only to gather fern seed at the stroke of midnight and rub it onto your eyelids. But be sure to carry a little bit of rue in your pocket, or you might well be “pixie-led.” Or, failing the rue, you might simply turn your jacket inside-out, which should keep you from harm’s way. But if even this fails, you must seek out one of the “ley lines,” the old straight tracks, and stay upon it to your destination. This will keep you safe from any malevolent power, as will crossing a stream of “living” (running) water.
Other customs included decking the house (especially over the front door) with birch, fennel, St. John’s wort, orpin, and white lilies. Five plants were thought to have special magical properties on this night: rue, roses, St. John’s wort, vervain and trefoil. Indeed, Midsummer’s Eve in Spain is called the “Night of the Verbena (Vervain).” St. John’s wort was especially honored by young maidens who picked it in the hopes of divining a future lover.
And the glow-worm came
With its silvery flame,
And sparkled and shone
Through the night of St. John,
And soon has the young maid her love-knot tied.
There are also many mythical associations with the summer solstice, not the least of which concerns the seasonal life of the God of the sun. Inasmuch as I believe that I have recently discovered certain associations and correspondences not hitherto realized, I have elected to treat this subject in some depth in another essay. Suffice it to say here, I disagree with the generally accepted idea that the Sun-God meets his death at the summer solstice. I believe there is good reason to see the Sun-God at his zenith–his peak of power–on this day, and that his death at the hands of his rival would not occur for another quarter of a year. Material drawn from the Welsh mythos seems to support this thesis. In Irish mythology, Midsummer is the occasion of the first battle between the Fir Bolgs and the Tuatha De Danaan.
Altogether, Midsummer is a favorite holiday for many Witches in that it is so hospitable to outdoor celebrations. The warm summer night seems to invite it. And if the celebrants are not in fact sky clad, then you may be fairly certain that the long ritual robes of winter have yielded place to short, tunic-style apparel. As with the longer gowns, tradition dictates that one should wear nothing underneath–the next best thing to skyclad, to be sure. (Incidentally, now you know the real answer to the old Scottish joke, “What is worn beneath the kilt?”)
The two chief icons of the holiday are the spear (symbol of the Sun-God in his glory) and the summer cauldron (symbol of the Goddess in her bounty). The precise meaning of these two symbols, which I believe I have recently discovered, will be explored in the essay on the death of Llew. But it is interesting to note here that modern Witches often use these same symbols in the Midsummer rituals. And one occasionally hears the alternative consecration formula, “As the spear is to the male, so the cauldron is to the female…” With these mythic associations, it is no wonder that Midsummer is such a joyous and magical occasion!
Silliness – Silly Q&A – Q: Which superhero uses public transportation? Bus Lightyear!