Last Minus Tide of the cycle at 11:03 AM of -0.2 feet. The shop opens at 1pm. Summer hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Featured photo by Anja. Herbs Workshop tonight from 7-9pm.
Overcast and 53F, wind at 1-10mph and gusting, AQI 11-27, UV8. Chance of rain 6% today and 15% tonight. Mostly sunny, low 60’s, wind picking up as the week goes on. It looks like the worst of the smoke plumes have chased off to the north and east. 10 new firespots, though, and three new fires.
- LYLE HILL – 135 Acres – 40%
- BRULER – 155 Acres
- DARLENE 0572 NE – 588 Acres – 1%
- JOSEPH CANYON – 7610 Acres – 95%
- S-503 FIRE – 6680 Acres – 97%
- RATTLESNAKE – 5479 Acres – 65%
- LEWIS ROCK – 368 Acres – 95%
- GRANDVIEW 0558 OD – 5971 Acres – 14%
- JACK FIRE – 13907 Acres – 20%
- BOOTLEG – 212377 Acres – 7%
I’m sorry about yesterday’s newsletter. When I realized that I was coming down with a migraine it was too late to do anything about it. We had gone home Tuesday morning after getting some chores done at the shop and turned in right away. We were up around 3pm and by 4 I was seeing auras. I hadn’t been able to figure out why I was feeling so off…. well, then the headache landed like a ton of bricks.
So most of Tuesday/Wednesday was a wash as far as getting things done. The most I could do Tuesday after the headache hit was read in low-light and I managed to mend a basket handle. Yesterday (Wednesday) I did a little sewing after the headache and light-sensitivity quit. I spent some time working out what canning jars for storage we could actually have in the cupboards. Tempus was nice enough to do point-and-click on a necessary bunch of things.
I actually managed some cooking time. We baked our last butternut squash. I made surprise sandwiches, a variant on tuna surprise, but with chicken and some different spicing. I really liked ’em. I even made a pan of brownies! …well, I did the put-together and Tempus did the baking, because by the time I was done, I just fell apart and had to go get a nap.
The pretty clock is finally hung up, which is a real bonus. Most of what’s left to do at home is building a few things, sewing a few things and finding a bunch of stuff that’s still in storage. I’m hoping we’re going to be able to have a garage sale at some point…. sidewalk sale, I guess, no garage. 🙂
…but that was my weekend….
Today’s Feast is that of the Dioscuri, the twins, Castor and Pollux, venerated in Greece, Rome, by the Celts and across the empire. One was human and one immortal and not wanting to be parted, even in death, the immortal one begged the gods to let him and his brother stay together. Thus they became the constellation of Gemini. There’s a good Wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_and_Pollux
Masculine, Sun, Fire. – Attract love or friendship, improve or deepen relationships. Promotes feeling of security and confidence. Worn by witches for protection during the “Burning Times”, adds energy and power when used during a ritual as an incense. Use in all-purpose protection spells. Gives strength and energy to the sick. Place fresh carnation on the altar during healing spells and add dried flowers to healing sachets and incenses. Burn to enhance creativity or to achieve balance. Use in bath spells.
- Carnation, Pink – Unforgettable. Mother Love
- Carnation, Purple – Whimsical and Changeable.
- Carnation, Red – Admiration. Accomplishment
- Carnation, White – Innocence and Pure Love.
- Carnation, Green – Homosexuality
- Carnation, Yellow – Good Cheer, Joy, “Just because….”
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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 7/23 at 7″37pm. 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 7/12 at 6:17pm. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 7/17 at 3:11am.
The ever-waxing Moon is now lower left of Denebola, Leo’s 2nd-magnitude tail tip. They’re less than a fist at arm’s length apart. The brighter star way off three fists left of the Moon is 1st-magnitude Spica.
With the advance of summer the Sagittarius Teapot, in the south-southeast lower left of Scorpius after dark, is starting to tilt and pour from its spout to the right. The Teapot will tilt farther and farther for the rest of the summer — or for much of the night if you stay out late.
Although it won’t peak until the end of the month, the Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower is now slowly ramping up. Despite the shower’s low rates, you may begin seeing more than the average background level of few sporadic meteors per hour. Keep your eyes peeled for brighter shower meteors that may leave long trails as these tiny specs of interplanetary dust burn up brilliantly in our atmosphere. The shower’s radiant is located 10° west of the 3rd-magnitude star Skat in Aquarius. It will be highest for Northern Hemisphere viewers early in the predawn sky to the south, floating above 1st-magnitude Fomalhaut in Piscis Austrinus. Also in Aquarius are bright Jupiter and distant Neptune, the latter of which requires binoculars or a telescope to spot its magnitude 7.7 glow. As the month progresses and the shower’s strength increases, so too will the Moon’s disruptive presence in the sky. That’s why it’s somewhat more likely that you may spot a shower meteor earlier in the month, when rates are lower but the Moon is much less intrusive.
Early rises with a clear view of the eastern horizon may catch a glimpse of planet Mercury. Now magnitude –0.6, the tiny planet is nearly 3° high an hour before sunrise, sitting just 7′ west of magnitude 2.9 Tejat Posterior in Gemini the Twins. Mercury shows a 67-percent-lit disk that spans 6″. The planet will continue to brighten but also sinks toward the Sun as time goes by and the planet approaches its superior conjunction next month.
While you’re enjoying the predawn sky, look to Gemini’s upper right to the rich region of Taurus the Bull, which hosts both the Hyades and Pleiades open star clusters. How long can you track these two groups of stars in the growing twilight? Also visible amid the Hyades is the Bull’s bright red eye, Aldebaran, whose glow may linger a bit longer in the brightening sky.
Venus (magnitude –3.9) continues to shines low in the west-northwest during twilight. Right near it is tiny Mars, 200 times fainter at magnitude +1.8. They appear closest, about ½° apart, at conjunction on July 12th and 13th. By the 16th Mars is 2° to Venus’s lower right. Both planets continue to set before twilight ends. Farther upper left of Venus you’ll find Regulus, moving closer to Venus every day. It’s a half magnitude brighter than Mars.
Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
NIGHT SKY MAP FOR JULY 2021: THE SUMMER TRIANGLE – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-july-summer-triangle
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4
Chiron Retrograde at 9:41am (12/19)
Pluto (10/6), Saturn (10/10), Jupiter (10/18), Neptune (12/1) Retrograde
Color – Green
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Tinne – Holly Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Dark Grey
Meaning: Energy and guidance for problems to come
to study this month – Ioho – Yew Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Dark Green
Letter: I, J, Y
Meaning: Complete change in life-direction or attitude.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 15 High 4:18 AM 6.5 5:46 AM Rise 11:45 AM 22
~ 15 Low 11:03 AM -0.2 8:58 PM
~ 15 High 5:42 PM 6.8
~ 15 Low 11:47 PM 1.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Choose love!
Journal Prompt – Auto-Biographical narrative – Can you pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time?
~ Curiosity did not kill this cat. – Studs Terkel, American activist and progressive journalist, who died on October 31, 2008; self-chosen epitaph
~ Democracy is the theory that holds that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. – HL Mencken, American political commentator, born on September 12, 1880
~ Drax: You have arrived at a propitious moment, coincident with your country’s one indisputable contribution to Western civilisation – afternoon tea. May I press you to a cucumber sandwich? – From the James Bond novel, Moonraker, 1979
~ I celebrate Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invite everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we have an enormous feast, and then I kill them and take their land. – Author unknown
I hear the red fox barking
On the moonlit hill,
And bullfrogs by the river
Where the reeds stand still.
All the night has voices.
But sometimes, suddenly,
It grows so quiet I know the world
Is listening with me. – Benjamin Rice (1903–78)
Lughnasadh Magick – Crafts
Make a Corn Dolly to save for next Imbolc. Activities taken from “Green Witchcraft” by Anne Moura (Aoumiel)
Double over a bundle of wheat and tie it near the top to form a head. Take a bit of the
fiber from either side of the main portion and twist into arms that you tie together in front of the dolly. Add a small bouquet of flowers to the “hands,” and then you can decorate the dolly with a dress and bonnet (the dress and bonnet may be made out of corn husks if you wish, or and cotton material is fine too).
Corn Dolly – (For Lughnasadh) – http://members.aol.com/ivycleartoes/corndoll.html
- Wheat straw, hollow straws, or raffia
- Yarn or string
- Small amount of cloth
- Optional: A receptacle to display finished product, such as a basket or a horn of plenty
- Optional: Decorations for the dolly or her display case
If you’re using real wheat straw, you should get it when it is almost ripe but not totally dry yet. It should still be green at the bottom. Dry for a day, hung up, and then cut off the leaves and the head of the wheat below its first joint. When you use it it should be soaked before you try to bend it, for about half an hour. If you don’t have access to the real thing, the best craft material to use is raffia, and it doesn’t need to be moistened. It is easily found at the craft stores and resembles flattened straw.
There are a lot of ways to make a dolly out of the material, but here is just one easy way. First, take a large clump–maybe fifteen to twenty-five strands–and cut it so that it is about a foot and a half long. This will be the main body of the dolly. Fold it over in half. If it seems too long right now to be the size of dolly you want, you should cut it, because it is not going to get any shorter during the process. Now, where the stalks are folded is going to be the top of the dolly’s head. Take the string or yarn and tie it around the entire bundle about an inch and a half down from the top; that tie will be the mark of her neck.
Before you tie off the section that makes her body, you’ll need to make arms. This is easy; take more of your stalks and make a longer but thinner bundle–four to six stalks ought to do it–and fold them over. Tie off at the ends and cut the looped end so it is frayed just like the other side. The little frays represent her hands. Stick the arm bundle into the main bundle right under the neck, and then tie off the main bundle under the arms. That way they cannot slip out the bottom but can still be moved side to side or diagonally shifted.
At this point the bottom of the main bundle is frayed and splayed out a bit like a skirt. This is the simplest form of corn dolly, and it can now be considered finished if all you need is a very basic doll for your purpose. However, you can of course take a few extra steps, especially if this is to be ornamental rather than just ritually used.
You may want to make your corn dolly a dress. It is easy to cut a small piece of material–use a color or pattern that matches the season or a country print–and cut it in sort of an hourglass shape. Make a hole for the head at the center of the hourglass, and pull it over her head, then tie at the waist. The sides will be open but it doesn’t much matter since it’s just for effect. If you like you can even make a smaller version to make her an apron.
Also, a nice touch is giving her wheat stalk or raffia hair. Of course, for hair you can use any material, but we’ll take it for granted that you are not making the dolly to be professional-looking, it is a natural craft, so it is more likely that using the same material as you used for the rest of her body will be most appropriate. For hair, take a few strands of straw and loop them again; when looped it should be as long as you want her hair to be on either side. You’ll put it through the slightly closed loop made by her head. If you want this to be really easy, you may want to thread the hair piece in before tying it up, like you did with the arms. Otherwise it’s still possible but you may have trouble forcing it in. In any case, thread it through the head-hole and open it up on either side, then bring it up on top of her head and tie it in a double knot. You can then leave it loose if it looks nice, or give her a braid on either side. Then it is up to you how you dress her up; some nice touches are giving her a necklace, like a twig star or a string bracelet, or you can give her a bouquet of seasonal dried flowers for her hand. Use your imagination. But it is not considered part of the traditional craft to give her a face.
The corn dolly makes a nice addition to a basket of fallen leaves or pinecones, or a wall-mounted horn of plenty with dried flowers or wheat stalks (with the heads on) protruding from behind her.
This could be the same dolly used in other crafts, such as the dolly for Brigit’s Bed. If that is the case, keep these other rituals and their purposes in mind as she has come to another spoke on the wheel. If this dolly was created just for this Sabbat, it can be placed on the altar during ritual and used to represent the harvest; if you have gone the simple route and not dressed it up, it is appropriate to use it as if it is the sacrifice for the harvest, and buried outside with any other libations from the ritual. It can instead be kept and hung up in the kitchen during the season and through the winter, where it can be buried or converted to a Spring symbol when the winter is past.
-Corn husks, fresh or dried, about 6-8 pieces.
-Cotton balls, about 4
-Scraps of cloth, yarn, beads
-pipe cleaners (optional)
Note: If you are using dried husks, soak them in water to soften them. Fresh husks need no special preparation
Step 1: Take a strip of husk and place a few cotton balls in the middle, twisting and tying it with string to make a head.
Step 2: Make some arms by folding another husk and tying it near each end to make hands. Slip the arms between the husks that extend under the head. Tie the waist with string.Arrange enough husks around the figure’s waist so that they overlap slightly. Tie them in place with string.
Step 3: Fold the husks down carefully. For a woman wearing a long skirt, cut the husks straight across at the hem. to make a man, divide the skirt in two and tie each half at the ankles. Let the figure dry completely
Step 4: You can leave you figure as is, or give it a face, hair, or even some fancier clothes. Use a fine-tipped marker to draw facial features. Glue some fuzzy yarn on for hair. Add some tiny beads for buttons, and bits of fabric for aprons or vests. A pipe cleaner staff or cane will help the man stand upright.
Make a Corn Wheel
Lammas is the time of the first harvest, and grains, especially corn, are abundant. The eight ears of corn on this wreath represent the eight sabbats. The shucks look like the rays of the sun, a very fitting symbol of the season.
You will need:
- a round wire or other hoop on which to build the wreath
- 8 ears of corn of equal length — dried or fresh
- a short piece of ribbon or twine (for hanger)
- florists wire (optional)
- Fashion a round hoop wide enough to accommodate the length of two ears of corn.
- Using ribbon or twine, form a loop to serve as a hanger. Tie or glue this securely to the hoop.
Position the eight ears of corn inside the circle, paying close attention to the illustration. Be sure to keep the hanger/ribbon positioned at the top of the wreath.
Tie or wrap the corn shucks around the hoop. (They can be held in place with florists wire, if need be.)
- Use stray ends of the shucks to cover the hoop completely. (If using dried corn, the shucks should have been soaked in water before starting.)
- Use florists wire to keep the shucks in place.
Cut a small, round piece of cardboard. Lay the wreath on the table and position the cardboard circle in the middle of the hoop.
- Using a glue gun or some other fast drying glue, adhere the tips of the ears to the cardboard circle on the BACK SIDE of the wreath, being careful that the cardboard is not obvious from the front.
- You may want to cut out the middle of the cardboard circle so it can not easily be seen from the front.
- Allow the glue to dry and hang.
[Anja’s note – If you go to store this for next year, wrap it well and put it into a critter-proof container!]
Silliness – Silly Q&A – – Q:What does Groot say when he is rich? I am Loot.