Daily Stuff 8-11-19 Puck Fair 

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. First Minus Tide of the cycle at 4:49 AM of -0.3 feet.

Supposedly it’s sunny. The shadows keep blurring out. Maybe it’s beach fog doing it? 72F, wind at 2mph, AQI15, UV7. Still a tiny possibility of rain starting Thursday.

We were pretty crazy busy, yesterday, right up until about 5:30. When we stopped being so busy I sat down and fell asleep! I was the only one there for Sewing again, and didn’t get to the machine, but I did get another project worked on.

Tempus was just as nuts as I was. I worked on mail in between. He sanded. I did get a few minutes to finish my mushroom spice and make a new batch of cheese spice, since Tempus has been digging into it for the tater wedges.

,..and some more drawing and some more writing and embroidery and reading. …and then I couldn’t sleep, overslept this morning and Tempus had to come back for me!

House Capuchin’s Project Day is today. One of the members was already in and out, looking at some religious questions. I’m going to ask Tempus to spend some time this afternoon on a bone needle for the current project.

…and we’ve been busy, according to him.

…and I ended up doing a very long reading and here it’s 4pm and the newsletter not out, yet!

…lotta sirens going by, hoping everyone is ok….

blue_crabChesapeake Bay memories – Crabbing as a kid…. just a dip net, wearing a swimsuit, an oversized t-shirt and a hat, old, raggy, tenny-runners and towing either a bushel basket with a lid or our rowboat… wading through the Bay grass in shallow water and scooping up the crabs. I used to love the fried-in-butter softcrab sandwiches that were my reward from my grandmother for catching enough for supper. I’m drooling thinking about one….

“Who remembers the fun of crabbing with just a dipnet and a bushel basket, wading through Bay grass beds? Well, this summer, thanks to an explosion of Bay grasses, folks are getting to experience the fun of dipnet crabbing for the first time in ages! Today on Beautiful Swimmers, its all about masses of Bay grasses and the crabs that follow their comeback: http://bit.ly/1McTxLY ” – From Facebook on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum page this day in 2015.

There’s a beautiful article about trot-lining for blue crab on the Chesapeake Bay here:  http://beautifulswimmers.tumblr.com/post/93804764024/trotlining

King_puck

Today’s Feast is the Puck Fair in Killorglin, Ireland. A goat gets crowned King Puck and set in a cage up high for the duration of the fair. The story I like about the origin of the fair was that a goat, running away from Cromwell’s army alerted the village that something was wrong. The fair dates to the 1600’s at least, even if it’s claimed to be ancient. The Puck Fair is in Wikipedia here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puck_Fair

plant motif flower mydicentra bleeding heartToday’s Plant is Bleeding Heartlamprocapnos spectabilis (which Cunningham has as dicentra spectabilis, an older designation). Other names are: old-fashioned bleeding-heart, Venus’s car, Lady in a bath, Dutchman’s trousers, or Lyre-flower, which all have various folklore attached. They’re native to Asia, but are common garden ornamentals and so suited to our climate that I assumed that they were native here! When we’ve had a summer rain, they often re-bloom in late August or early September, sometimes lasting through into November. – Feminine, Venus, Water – Used in magick mostly as a divination. Crush the flower. If it “bleeds red” there is love. If it “bleeds white”, either love has died, or there is no hope of it. Be careful if you bring the live plant indoors because it can produce irritation and anger between people in the household. To forestall this push a silver bead or a dime (standing in for silver) into the soil, and say, “Lady of the Moon, give us peace, in your honor, and we honor you!”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamprocapnos_spectabilis

The shop opens at 11am. Summer  hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

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 8/15 at 5:29am. 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 8/13 at 5:29pm.Asteroid 15 Eunomia reaches opposition and peak visibility tomorrow, but the view tonight is essentially the same. The main-belt object traverses the sky from dusk to dawn and climbs halfway to the zenith in the southern sky around 1 a.m. local daylight time. Eunomia shines at magnitude 8.2 and should be easy to find through binoculars under a dark sky and in a 4-inch telescope from the suburbs. The asteroid is currently moving westward against the backdrop of Aquarius the Water-bearer. Tonight, it lies 3.2° west of magnitude 2.9 Beta (β) Aquarii and 1.5° south of two 6th-magnitude suns, 15 and 16 Aqr.

Saturn as imaged by Go on 7/18. Some very fine lines may be spurious. South is up.

The Moon’s eastward motion relative to the background sky carries it to Saturn’s vicinity this evening. As darkness falls, the Moon appears some 4° to the planet’s right, but the gap closes as the night wears on. By the time the pair sets around 3 a.m., Luna has pulled within 2° of its companion. Saturn remains a stunning object all week, shining at magnitude 0.2 and growing more prominent as the Moon moves away. When viewed through a telescope, the planet shows an 18″-diameter disk surrounded by a spectacular ring system that spans 41″ and tilts 25° to our line of sight. Physically Saturn is 35 times as large as the Moon (not counting the rings), and tonight it’s 3,500 times farther away.
Saturn’s own largest satellite, Titan, is 1.5 times as large as our Moon. A small or medium-size telescope shows it tonight as an 8.5-magnitude orange pinpoint, about four ring-lengths to Saturn’s west.

By week’s end Mercury is substantially brighter and a little higher — and in line with Castor and Pollux.

Mercury is becoming visible in early dawn, as it climbs up from the east-northeast horizon this week and brightens from magnitude +1.4 to –0.2. Use binoculars to look for it very low about 45 minutes before sunrise. It’s lower right of twinklier Pollux and Castor, as shown here.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for August – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-august-2019
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world. 

Sun in Leo
Moon in Capricorn
Jupiter Direct at 6:37am
Uranus Retrograde at 7:27pm
Saturn (9/18), Pluto (10/3) and Neptune (11/27), Chiron (12/12) Retrograde

Color: Yellow

©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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from Wikimedia commons

Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).

Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Month: July
Color: Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.

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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
Su  11      Low   4:49 AM    -0.3   6:15 AM     Set  2:34 AM      80
~    11     High  11:25 AM     5.7   8:28 PM    Rise  6:18 PM
~    11      Low   4:32 PM     2.9
~    11     High  10:27 PM     7.5

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I understand the meaning of clarity.  I know that clarity comes from the divine.

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Journal Prompt –

What does this quote say to you? – If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. — Unknown

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Quotes

~   And again: No more gods! no more gods! Man is King, Man is God! – But the great Faith is Love! – Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) French writer
~   There is no death…Only a change of worlds. – Chief Seattle (Seathl, Duwamish-Suquamish, 1785-1866)
~   A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. – Shelley
~   Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness. – John Sterling

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. – John Keats (1795–1821)

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Magick – The ABCDEF [Anja’s note – very useful tool… any score over 10….run….]

The Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame
Copyright c 1987 by P. E. I. Bonewits. Used by permission.

Rate each of the following from 1(low) to 10(high)…

  1. ___ Internal control, amount of internal political power exercised by leader(s) over members.
  2. ___ Wisdom claimed by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared about decisions.
  3. ___ Wisdom credited to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in decisions made by leader(s).
  4. ___ Dogma, rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility.
  5. ___ Recruiting, emphasis on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing.
  6. ___ Front groups, number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of the main group.
  7. ___ Wealth, amount of money and/or property desired or obtained; emphasis on members’ donations.
  8. ___ Political power, amount of external political influence desired or obtained.
  9. ___ Sexual manipulation of members by leader(s); amount of control over sex lives of members.
  10. ___ Censorship, amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on the group, its doctrines, and/or its leader(s).
  11. ___ Dropout control, intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
  12. ___ Endorsement of violence when used by or for the group or its leader(s).
  13. ___ Paranoia, amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; perceived power of opponents.
  14. ___ Grimness, amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines, or its leader(s).

Note: The current version of the ABCDEF may be found at Isaac Bonewits’ website: http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html.

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Silliness – The Stones

The Rolling Stones circled New York’s sprawling Van Cortlandt Park in a yellow blimp emblazoned with their red tongue trademark, announcing the onset of their upcoming tour, a 40th anniversary extravaganza:

According to lead singer Mick Jagger, “Either we stay at home and become pillars of the community, or we go out and tour. We couldn’t really find any communities that still needed pillars.” Keith Richards piped in…. well, sorry, but no one could understand what Keith piped in with, as Ron Wood wiped the drool from his chin.

Some Stones songs have had to be revised for a more age-appropriate theme:

  • “Under My Gums”
  • “Dye It Black”
  • “Let’s Take a Nap Together”
  • “You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Without A Prescription”
  • “I Can’t Get No . . . Health Insurance”
  • “Pain in My Heart – Where’s My Nitro?”
  • “Hey! You! Get Off Of My Lawn!”
  • “Sister Motrin”
  • “Sleep Fighting Man”
  • “Help Me Up”
  • “It’s All Over Now, Just Pull The Plug”
  • “Time Is On My Side (Well, Maybe Not)”
Posted in Daily Stuff, Newsletter, Pagan, Wiccan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Stuff 8-10-19 John Barleycorn

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Kit O’Carra. No Herbs Workshop this morning. Sewing workshop at 3pm.

It’s overcast, but there are shadows. Earlier the sun was so bright that I didn’t want to look, kinda afraid I was going to start to sparkle. 🙂 62F, wind at 2mph, AQI22, UV7. The pollen levels are finally dropping and so is the UV. There’s starting to be more of a chance of rain again, late in the week, but the highest amount is for 0.02 inches… not enough to count.

Yesterday started pretty busy, but as the clouds closed in, mid-afternoon, things went quiet. I got a bunch of computer housekeeping done and then since Tempus was “out” on the couch (he *said* he was sanding, but snoring doesn’t sound much like sanding… 🙂 ) I went and got several incense blends done (purification, curse-breaker), ground some more ingredients (sage and more bay), then put things away. He had gotten the dishes and such off the end of the table, earlier.

I had another class at 5pm, just as I had pewter casting the day before, and feast planning over our weekend. This one was bead-weaving and kinda frustrating. I really had not had time to collect the right materials, so it took some fudging.

Supper was a salad, mostly from the garden. That’s a good feeling and you don’t get lettuce that tender from the grocery store!

I spent most of the evening embroidering and reading, as usual. Tempus and I spent a little time on seeing what we could dig out of boxes that needed to be washed and put away. He got the “wash” part done this morning.

We have had one of those mornings where everything goes awry. First my glasses went missing, then I managed to dump a whole stack of clothing, and after that, tripped and kicked over a tub of grumple that had to be picked up. We’re only just getting the doors open at 11:15!

We need to water plants today, I could see that coming in. There was also a big stack of white buckets that Michael (cook from the China Restaurant) must have brought over this morning, which means I can put in another batch of lettuce and another of carrots, plus planting that strange, large succulent.

…and I *really* want to get some sewing done on the machine today!

“Glass Pyramid Thingies” from the Alsea Bay Bridge – Photo taken on 8/8/19 by Kit O’Carra. Used with permission

Barley plant grainToday’s Feast is in honor of John Barleycorn, the personification of the harvest, the God in the Grain. The song goes back at least to the 16th century, at least in theme, but there are a lot of different versions out there and a lot of recordings, since the theme is an interesting conceit. A lot of people don’t think to break down the last name. “Barley” is obvious, but “corn” is the old word for “grain”, from before maize picked up the name. In the song, the barley grain is taken through the stages of growth, harvest, threshing, malting and being turned into beer as though it’s a person being: “cut off at the knee”, “threshed me skin from bone”, “bunged me in a vat”, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Barleycorn A similar Scottish poem from the same time frame refers to “Allane”, (Ale – in) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quhy_Sowld_Nocht_Allane_Honorit_Be

plant herb sage blossom budToday’s plant – SageSalvia Officinalis, sometimes called true sage, or culinary sage, is a plant that has been used in cookery, magick and medicine for many thousands of years. It is one of the ingredients in Four Thieves Vinegar. The blossoms make a delicious tea. Masculine, Jupiter, Air – In purple cloth, brings wisdom. Worn in an amulet sewn into a horn shape protects against the evil eye. Used as a wash, or sniffed, enhances youthful mindset and appearance. Eat sage in May for long life. Carry to promote wisdom. Write a wish on a sage leaf and sleep on it. If you dream of it, it will happen, else bury the leaf in the ground. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_officinalis

The shop opens at 11am. Summer  hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

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 8/15 at 5:29am. 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 8/13 at 5:29pm.

The narrowing window for good Perseid viewing. The annual Perseid meteor shower should peak late on the night of August 12-13, but the waxing gibbous Moon won’t set until just before the beginning of dawn. You may do better a day before that, on the morning of the 12th, if you catch the hour or so of dark sky between moonset and the beginning of dawn (for North America). A day earlier on the morning of the 11th — late tonight, in other words — we get two dark hours before dawn, but the meteor rates will be lower.

A photo by Samuel John Klein from 11/05/16 of a Mt. Hood sunrise with the shadow of the mountain being cast across a cloud layer. We used to watch for that at this time of the year, when we were still living in Portland, not just on clouds, but often you could see the same thing in the morning mist.

Not sure when dawn begins? Figure on 1 hour 45 minutes before your local sunrise time (for the world’s midnorthern latitudes: near 40°N.)

Distant Neptune reaches opposition and peak visibility in just a month, but the view now is essentially the same. The ice giant planet rises around 9:30 p.m. local daylight time and climbs halfway to the zenith in the southern sky by 3 a.m. The magnitude 7.8 planet lies in Aquarius, 0.7° east-northeast of 4th-magnitude Phi (φ) Aquarii. You’ll need binoculars to spy Neptune and a telescope to see its blue-gray disk, which spans 2.4″.
Neptune (magnitude 7.8, in Aquarius) is well up in the southeast by midnight and highest in the south before the beginning of dawn. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for August – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-august-2019
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world. 

Sun in Leo
Moon in Sagittarius enters Capricorn at 9:50pm.
Jupiter (8/11), Saturn (9/18), Pluto (10/3) and Neptune (11/27), Chiron (12/12) Retrograde

Color: Brown

©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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from Wikimedia commons

Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).

Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Month: July
Color: Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.

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Tides for Alsea Bay

*
Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time    Feet     Sunset                                    Visible
Sa  10      Low   3:51 AM     0.0   6:13 AM     Set  1:50 AM      71
~    10     High  10:23 AM     5.4   8:29 PM    Rise  5:22 PM
~    10      Low   3:29 PM     2.9
~    10     High   9:32 PM     7.5

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Write Love letters.

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Journal Prompt – Expository – You are selected for a panel discussion on how we can keep kids from getting their hands on guns. Draw up a plan that includes at least three different possible actions. Explain what you think each action will accomplish.

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Quotes

~   If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question? . – Lily Tomlin
~   There is never as much to worry about as I worry that there will be. – SJ Tucker
~   I have found out that people would rather believe a lie than know the truth.It must be true Ignorance is Bliss! – Debi Tumlin
~   A company of tyrants is inaccessible to all seductions. – Voltaire (1694-1778) French Philosopher and Author

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon! – Emily Dickinson (1830–86)

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Magick – HISTORY OF WICCA IN ENGLAND: 1939 – present day (2005)
Newsgroups: alt.pagan
From: mimir@stein.u.washington.edu (Al Billings)
Subject: History of Wicca Lecture
Message-ID: 1nk85kINNb3t@shelley.u.washington.edu
Date: 10 Mar 1993 08:16:52 GMT
Organization: The Friends of Loki Society

HISTORY OF WICCA IN ENGLAND: 1939 – present day (1991) – This talk was given by Julia Phillips at the Wiccan Conference in Canberra, 1991. It is mainly about the early days of the Wicca in England; specifically what we now call Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions. The text remains “as given”, so please remember when you read it that it was never intended to be “read”, but “heard” and debated.

Text begins:

There are three main strands I intend to examine: one, Gardner’s claim of traditional initiation, and its subsequent development; two, magical traditions to which Gardner would have had access; and three, literary sources.

As we look at these three main threads, it is important to bear in mind that Gardner was 55 years old at the time of his claimed initiation; that he had spent many years in Malaya, and had an enormous interest in magic, Folklore and Mythology. By the time he published High Magic’s Aid, he was 65, and 75 when “The Meaning of Witchcraft” appeared. He died in 1964, at the age of 80.

Gardner was born in 1884, and spent most of his working adult life in Malaya. He retired, and returned to the UK in 1936. He joined the Folklore Society, and in June 1938, also joined the newly opened Rosicrucian Theatre at Christchurch where it is said he met Old Dorothy Clutterbuck.

I chose 1939 as my arbitrary starting point as that was the year that Gerald Gardner claims he was initiated by Old Dorothy into a practising coven of the Old Religion that met in the New Forest area of Britain. In his own words,

“I realised that I had stumbled upon something interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word, “Wica” which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed. And so I found myself in the Circle, and there took the usual oath of secrecy, which bound me not to reveal certain things.” This quote is taken from The Meaning of Witchcraft, which was published in 1959.

It is interesting that in this quote, Gardner spells Wicca with only one “c”; in the earlier “Witchcraft Today” (1954) and “High Magic’s Aid” (1949), the word Wicca is not even used. His own derivation for the word, given in “The Meaning of Witchcraft”, is as follows:

“As they (the Dane and Saxon invaders of England) had no witches of their own they had no special name for them; however, they made one up from “wig” an idol, and “laer”, learning, “wiglaer” which they shortened into “Wicca”.

“It is a curious fact that when the witches became English-speaking they adopted their Saxon name, “Wica”.”

In “An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present”, Doreen Valiente does not have an entry for Wicca, but when discussing Witchcraft, does mention the Saxon derivation from the word Wicca or Wicce. In the more recently published The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, however, she rejects this Saxon theory in favour of Prof. Russell’s derivation from the Indo-European root “Weik”, which relates to things connected with magic and religion.

Doreen Valiente strongly supports Gardner’s claim of traditional initiation, and published the results of her successful attempt to prove the existence of Dorothy Clutterbuck in an appendix to “The Witches’ Way” by Janet and Stewart Farrar. It is a marvelous piece of investigation, but proving that Old Dorothy existed does nothing to support Gardner’s claims that she initiated him.

In his book, “Ritual Magic in England”, occultist Francis King does offer some anecdotal evidence in support of Gardner’s claims. However, it is only fair to point out that in the same book, he virtually accuses Moina Mathers of murder, based upon a misunderstanding of a story told by Dion Fortune! With that caveat, I’ll recount the tale in full:

King relates that in 1953, he became acquainted with Louis Wilkinson, who wrote under the pen-name of Louis Marlow, and had contributed essays to Crowley’s Equinox. He later became one of Crowley’s literary executors. King says that in conversation, Wilkinson told him that Crowley had claimed to have been offered initiation into a witch coven, but that he refused, as he didn’t want to be bossed around by a bunch of women. (This story is well-known, and could have been picked up anywhere.)

Wilkinson then proceeded to tell King that he had himself become friendly with members of a coven operating in the New Forest area, and he thought that whilst it was possible that they derived their existence from Murray’s “Witch Cult in Western Europe”, he felt that they were rather older.

King draws the obvious conclusion; that these witches were the very same as those who initiated Gardner. King claims that the conversation with Wilkinson took place in 1953, although “Ritual Magic in England” was not published – or presumably written – until 1970. However, on September 27 1952, “Illustrated” magazine published a feature by Allen Andrews, which included details of a working by, “the Southern Coven of British Witches”, where 17 men and women met in the New Forest to repel an invasion by Hitler. Wilkinson had told King of this working during their conversation, which King believes to be proof that such a coven existed; there are some differences in the two stories, and so it is possible that two sources are reporting the same event, but as Wilkinson’s conversation with King came after the magazine article, we shall never know.

In the recently published “Crafting the Art of Magic”, Aidan Kelly uses this same source to “prove” (and I use the word advisedly – the book “proves” nothing”) that Gardner, Dorothy, et al created Wicca one night following a social get together! Of one thing we can be certain though: whatever its origin, modern Wicca derives from Gardner. There may of course be other traditional, hereditary witches, but even if they are genuine, then it is unlikely that they would have been able to “go public” had it not been for Gardner.

There have been many claims of “hereditary” origin (other than Gardner’s own!) One of the most famous post-Gardner claimants to “hereditary” status was actress Ruth Wynn-Owen, who fooled many people for a very long time before being exposed. Roy Bowers, who used the pseudonym Robert Cochrane, was another: Doreen Valiente describes her association with him in “The Rebirth of Witchcraft”, and The Roebuck, which is still active in the USA today, derives directly from Cochrane, via Joe Wilson. “Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed” by Evan John Jones with Doreen Valiente describes a tradition derived from Robert Cochrane. Alex Sanders, of course is another who claimed hereditary lineage, and like Cochrane, deserves his own place in this history, and we’ll get to both of them later.

Many people have been suspicious of Gardner’s claims, and have accused him of making the whole thing up. They suggest that the Wicca is no more than the fantasy of an old man colored by a romantic imagination. One particularly virulent attack upon Gardner came from Charles Cardell, writing under the pseudonym of Rex Nemorensis.

One of Gardner’s initiates who is still active in the Wicca today has an interesting tale to tell about Cardell, whom he knew:

“Cardell claimed to be a Witch, but from a different tradition to Gardner’s. Cardell was a psychopathic rat, with malevolent intent toward all and sundry. He managed to get a woman called Olive Green (Florannis) into Gardner’s coven, and told her to copy out the Book of Shadows so that Cardell could publish it, and destroy Gardner.  He also contacted a London paper, and told them when and where the coven meetings were held, and of course the paper got quite a scoop. Cardell led people in the coven to believe that it was Doreen Valiente who had informed on them.

Doreen had just left Gardner in a bit of a huff after a disagreement; another coven member, Ned Grove, left with her. Anyway, the day the paper printed the exposure, Cardell sent Gardner a telegram saying, “Remember Ameth tonight”. (Ameth was Doreen’s Craft name, and as it has now been published, I see no reason not to use it here).”

My informant also said that Olive Green was associated with Michael Houghton, owner of Atlantis book shop in Museum Street, who was the publisher of High Magic’s Aid. Through this association, she also encountered Kenneth Grant of the OTO, although their association was not friendly.

Cecil Williamson, the original owner of the witchcraft museum on the Isle of Man, and present owner of the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle, has also published a number of articles where he states quite categorically that Gardner was an utter fraud; but, he offers only anecdotes to support these allegations.

Although Gardner claimed his initiation occurred in 1939, we don’t really hear anything about him until 1949, when “High Magic’s Aid” was published by Michael Houghton.

This book has very strong Solomonic leanings, but like Gardner’s own religious beliefs, combined the more natural forms of magic with high ceremonial. In his introduction to the book, Gardner says that: “The Magical rituals are authentic, party from the Key of Solomon (MacGregor Mathers’ translation) and partly from magical MSS in my possession).” Gardner did indeed have a large collection of MSS, which passed with the rest of his goods to Ripley’s in Toronto after his death.

Scire (pseudonym) was the name Gardner took as a member of Crowley’s branch of the OTO; although it is generally agreed that his membership was purely nominal, he was certainly in contact with people like Kenneth Grant and Madeline Montalban (founder of the Order of the Morning Star).

Gardner was given his OTO degree and Charter by Aleister Crowley, to whom he was introduced in 1946 by Arnold Crowther. As Crowley died in 1947, their association was not long-lived, but Crowther confirms that the two men enjoyed each other’s company.

Golden Dawn

So, after that brief introduction we can have a look at the first of the strands I mentioned.

In 1888, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was born, beginning a renaissance of interest in the occult that has continued to the present day. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the GD to modern occultists; not only in its rituals, but also in its personalities; and of course, through making available a large body of occult lore that would otherwise have remained unknown, or hidden in obscurity.

I will be looking at this body of occult lore with other literary influences later, and will here concentrate on the rituals and personalities that have influenced Wicca.

We cannot look at the GD in isolation from its own origins. It is descended from a myriad of esoteric traditions including Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, and Freemasonry. The latter in its own right, as well as via the SRIA – a scholarly and ceremonial association open to Master Masons only.

Whether the German Lodge or Fraulein Sprengel actually existed is a matter still under debate; but either in fact or in spirit, this is the source for the “Cypher Manuscripts” which were used to found the Isis-Urania Lodge in 1888.

As I’m sure everyone knows, Isis-Urania was founded by Dr Wynn-Westcott, Dr Woodman, and MacGregor Mathers. Not only were all three Master Masons; Wynn-Westcott and Mathers were also members of the Theosophical Society. The most important thing though is the fact that three men were a ruling triumvirate that managed the affairs of the SRIA. This is important, for the SRIA included Hargrave Jennings in its membership, and Jennings is reputed to have been involved with a Pagan group at the end of the 19th century, which drew its inspiration from Apuleius – The Golden Ass.

But back to the GD – whether the Cypher Manuscripts actually existed, or Wynn-Westcott manufactured them is now irrelevant; Mathers was commissioned to write-up the rituals into a workable shape, and thus the Golden Dawn was born.

Members of the Isis-Urania Lodge at various times also included Allan Bennett, Moina Mathers, Aleister Crowley, Florence Farr, Maud Gonne, Annie Horniman, Arthur Machen, “Fiona Macleod”, Arthur Waite and WB Yeats. Also associated were Lady Gregory, and G W Russell, or AE, whose “The Candle of Vision” was included in the bibliography of “The Meaning of Witchcraft”. The literary and Celtic influences within the GD were immense.

From the Isis-Urania Lodge sprang all the others, including the so-called Dissident Orders derived through Crowley. It is this line that some commentators trace to modern Wicca, so it is the one upon which we will concentrate.

Aleister Crowley was initiated into the Isis-Urania Lodge on 18 November 1898. As you most probably know, Crowley later quarreled with MacGregor Mathers, and in 1903 began to create his own Order, the Argenteum Astrum, or Silver Star. In 1912, Crowley was initiated into the OTO, and in 1921, succeeded Theodor Reuss as its Chief.

According to Arnold Crowther’s account, it was in 1946, a year before Crowley’s death, that Crowley gave Gardner an OTO Charter. Ithell Colquhoun says only that it occurred in the 1940s, and further states that Gardner introduced material from the OTO, and less directly from the GD, into “…the lore of his covens”.

As Doreen Valiente also admits, “Indeed, the influence of Crowley was very apparent throughout the (Wiccan) rituals.” This, Gardner explained to her, was because the rituals he received from Old Dorothy’s coven were very fragmentary, and in order to make them workable, he had to supplement them with other material.

To give an example of some of the lines by Crowley which are rather familiar to modern Wiccans:

I give unimaginable joys on earth; certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.

I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.

And of course, the Gnostic Mass has been immensely influential.

Not only poetry, but also magical practices in Wicca are often derived from GD sources. For example:

the way of casting the circle: that is, the visualisation of the circle, and the pentagrams at the quarters, are both based upon the standard GD Pentagram Ritual;

both the concept and word “Watchtowers” are of course from the Enochian system of Magic, passed to Wicca via the GD (although I would like to make it very clear that their use within Wicca bears no relation to the use within Enochia – the only similarity is in the name);

the Elements and colours generally attributed to the Quarters are those of the GD;

the weapons and their attributions are a combination of GD, Crowley and Key of Solomon.

In “Witchcraft Today”, Gardner says, “The people who certainly would have had the knowledge and ability to invent (the Wiccan rites) were the people who formed the Order of the Golden Dawn about seventy years ago…”.

Freemasonry

The GD is not the only influence upon Gardner; Freemasonry has had a tremendous impact upon the Wicca. Not only were the three founders of Isis-Urania Temple Masons, so too were Crowley and Waite; Gardner and at least one member of the first coven (Daffo) were both Co-Masons. Gardner was also a friend of JSM Ward, who had published a number of books about Masonry.

Doreen describes Ward as a “leading Mason”, but Francis King says only that Ward was, “a bogus Bishop… who had written some quite good but far-fetched books on masonry, and who ran a peculiar religious-cum-occult community called The Abbey of Christ the King…”  Whether the books were far-fetched or not, we can assume that some of the many similarities between Wicca and Masonry are in some ways due to Ward’s influence.

Some of these include:

  • The Three Degrees
  • The Craft
  • So Mote It Be
  • The Challenge
  • Properly Prepared
  • The 1st Degree Oath (in part)
  • Presentation of the Working Tools at 1st degree
  • …and so on.

It seems to me quite clear that even if Gardner received a traditional set of rituals from his coven, they must have been exceptionally sparse, as the concepts that we know of as Wicca today certainly derive from ceremonial magic and Freemasonry to a very great extent. Indeed, Gardner always claimed that they were sparse.

It could be argued that all derive from a common source. That the appearance of a phrase, or technique in one tradition does not automatically suggest that its appearance elsewhere means that the one was taken from the other. However, Gardner admits his sources in many cases, and Doreen confirms them in others, so I think it is safe to presume that the rituals and philosophy used by Wicca descends from the traditions of Freemasonry and Ceremonial magic, rather than from a single common source. However, as Hudson Frew points out in his commentary upon Aidan Kelly’s book, the phenomena of the techniques and practices of ceremonial magic influencing folk magic and traditions is widely recognised by anthropologists, and certainly does not indicate plagiarism. And of course there are many traditional witchcraft aspects in the Wicca.

Hereditary Sources

We have looked at the development of the magical orders which resulted from the British occult revival of the 19th and 20th centuries, and now we can see where this ties in with Wicca, and Gardner’s claim of traditional initiation.

I have here a “family tree” of the main branches of British Wicca. It is by no means exhaustive, and is intended to provide an outline, not a definitive history! I have included my own coven lines and development as an indication of the kind of “cross-over” of tradition which often occurs, not to suggest that these are the only active groups! Also, it would not be ethical for me to include details of other covens.

We have two possible “hereditary” sources to the Gardnerian Craft: one, the Horsa Coven of Old Dorothy, and two, the Cumbrian Group which Rae Bone claims to have been initiated into before meeting Gardner. (NB: Doreen Valiente says that the Horsa Coven is not connected with Old Dorothy, but is another group entirely.) There is also sometimes mention of a St Alban’s group that pre-dates Gardner, but as far as I know, this is mistaken. The St Albans group was Gardner’s own group, which as far as research confirms, did not pre-date him.

To return to Rae Bone: she was one of Gardner’s HPSs, and her “line” has been immensely important to the modern Wicca; she was featured in the magazine series, “Man Myth and Magic” if anyone has a copy of that.

In her heyday she ran two covens: one in Cumbria, and one in South London. Rae is still alive, and lives in Cumbria, although her last coven moved to New Zealand many years ago, and she is no longer active. No-one has ever been able to trace the coven in New Zealand.

At this point, I will just mention George Pickingill, although he is not shown on the tree, as I think it extremely dubious that he had any connection with Gardner, or any other modern Wiccan.

Pickingill died in 1909, whilst Gardner was still in Malaya. Eric Maple is largely responsible for the beginnings of the Pickingill myth, which were expanded by Bill Liddell (Lugh) writing in “The Wiccan” and “The Cauldron” throughout the 1970s. Mike Howard still has some of Liddell’s material which he has never published, and I have yet to meet anyone within the British Craft who gives credence to Liddell’s claims.

In the book, “The Dark World of Witches”, published in 1962, Maple tells of a number of village wise women and cunning men, one of whom is George Pickingill. There is a photograph included of an old man with a stick, holding a hat, which Maple describes as Pickingill. This photograph has subsequently been re-used many times in books about witchcraft and Wicca.

Issue number 31 of “Insight” Magazine, dated July 1984, contains a very interesting letter from John Pope:

“The photograph purporting to be Old George Pickingill is in fact a photo of Alf Cavill, a station porter at Ellstree, taken in the early 1960s. Alf is now dead, but he was no witch, and laughed over the photograph when he saw it.”

A very respected Craft authority has told me that he believes the photo, which is in his possession, to be of Pickingill, but like so much to do with Craft history, there is no definitive answer to this one.

Many claims were made by Liddell; some obviously from cloud-cuckoo land, others which could, by a stretch of the imagination, be accepted. The very idea of Pickingill, an illiterate farm labourer, coordinating and supervising nine covens across the breadth of the UK is staggering. To accept – as Liddell avers – that he had the likes of Alan Bennett and Aleister Crowley as his pupils bends credulity even further.

The infamous photograph which Liddell claims shows Crowley, Bennett and Pickingill together has conveniently disappeared, and no-one admits to ever having seen it. Like most of Liddell’s claims, nothing has ever been substantiated, and when pushed, he retreats into the time honoured favourite of, “I can’t reveal that – you’re not an initiate”!

Doreen Valiente, Pat and Arnold Crowther, Lois Bourne (Hemmings), Jack Bracelin and Monique Wilson

But to return to the family tree: the names of Doreen Valiente, Pat and Arnold Crowther, Lois Bourne (Hemmings), Jack Bracelin and Monique Wilson will probably be the most familiar to you.

Jack Bracelin is the author of Gardner’s biography, “Gerald Gardner, Witch”, (published 1960) now out of print, although still available 2nd hand, and in libraries. (In Crafting the Art of Magic, Kelly claims that this book was actually written by Idries Shah, and simply published under Bracelin’s name. As with every other claim, Kelly offers no evidence of this)

I have seen a copy of Bracelin’s Book of Shadows, which it is claimed dates from 1949, although in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen says that Bracelin was a “relative newcomer” in the mid-1950s. I have also been told by two different sources that Bracelin helped Gardner write “The Laws”. In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen states that she did not see The Laws until the mid 1950s, when she and her partner Ned Grove accused Gardner of concocting them in order to re-assert control over the coven. As Bracelin was in the Gardner camp during the break-up of the group, it seems reasonable that he did in fact help with their composition. (NB: Alex Sanders increased the number of “The Laws” much later – these appeared in June Johns’ book, “The King of the Witches”)

Although Doreen claims that the reason for the coven break-up was the fact that Gardner and Bracelin were publicity crazy, there was another reason, which was the instatement of a new lady into the coven, effectively replacing Doreen as HPS. This is also the main reason for Gerald’s Law which states that the HPS will, “…gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman, should the coven so decide in council.” Needless to say, Doreen was not impressed, and she and Ned left the coven under very acrimonious circumstances. It was quite some time before Doreen had contact with Gardner again, and they never quite regained the degree of friendship that had previously existed.

Monique and Campbell Wilson are infamous, rather than famous, as Gardner’s heirs who sold off his magical equipment and possessions after his death, to Ripleys in the USA.

Monique was the last of his Priestesses, and many Wiccans today still spit when her name is mentioned. Pat Crowther was rather scathing about her recently in an interview, and in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, although Doreen tells of the sale of Gardner’s magical possessions to Ripleys, she doesn’t ever mention the Wilsons by name. In effect, the Craft closed ranks against them, and they became outcasts.

Eventually, in the face of such opposition they had to sell the Museum in Castletown, and they moved to Torremolinos, where they bought a cafe. Monique died nine years after selling the Museum. It is rumoured that Campbell Wilson moved to the USA, and met with a car accident there: this is only hearsay though – I really do not know for sure what happened to him.

However, Monique was influential in a way that even she could not have imagined, when in 1964 or 5 she initiated Ray Buckland, who with his wife Rosemary (later divorced), was very influential in the development of the Wicca in the USA.

Fortunately, Richard and Tamarra James managed to buy the bulk of Gardner’s collection back from Ripleys in 1987, for the princely sum of US$40,000, and it is now back within the Craft, and available for initiates to consult and view.

Cochrane

D and C S. are probably completely anonymous, and if it were not for the fact that C initiated Robert Cochrane (briefly mentioned earlier) they would probably stay that way!

Cochrane’s origins are obscure, but I have been told that he was initiated into the Gardnerian tradition by C S, and met Doreen Valiente through a mutual acquaintance in 1964. When he met Doreen, however, he claimed to be a hereditary witch, from a different tradition to Gardner’s, and as Doreen confirms, was contemptuous of what he called “Gardnerian” witches. Indeed, Doreen believes he coined the term, “Gardnerian”.

Doreen said she was completely taken in by Cochrane and for a while, worked with him and the “Clan of Tubal-Cain” as he described his tradition, which was also known as “The Royal Windsor Cuveen”, or 1734.

The figures “1734” have an interesting history. Doreen gives a rather strange account of them in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, which contradicts what Cochrane himself describes in a letter to Joe Wilson, dated “12th Night 1966”, where he says,

“…the order of 1734 is not a date of an event but a grouping of numerals that mean something to a witch.

“One that becomes seven states of wisdom – the Goddess of the Cauldron. Three that are the Queens of the Elements – fire belonging alone to Man, and the Blacksmith God. Four that are Queens of the Wind Gods.

“The Jewish orthodoxy believe that whomever knows the Holy and Unspeakable name of God has absolute power over the world of form. Very briefly, the name of God spoken as Tetragrammaton… breaks down in Hebrew to the letters YHVH, or the Adam Kadmon (The Heavenly Man). Adam Kadmon is a composite of all Archangels – in other words a poetic statement of the names of the Elements.

“So what the Jew and the Witch believe alike, is that the man who discovers the secret of the Elements controls the physical world. 1734 is the witch way of saying YHVH.” (Cochrane, 1966)

Although Doreen says that Cochrane’s group was small, it still proved to be remarkably influential. As well as Cochrane and his wife (whom Doreen refers to as “Jean”) and Doreen herself, there were others who are well-known today, and a man called Ronald White, who very much wanted to bring about a new age in England, with the return of King Arthur.

In The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, Doreen elaborates upon the circumstances surrounding the death of Cochrane: the bald facts are that he died at the Summer Solstice of 1966 of an overdose. Craft tradition believes that he became in fact, and of his own choice, the male ritual sacrifice which is sometimes symbolically enacted at the height of Summer.

The Royal Windsor Cuveen disbanded after Cochrane died, only to be re-born from the ashes at Samhain that year under a new name – The Regency. All of its early members were from the Royal Windsor Cuveen, and they were under the leadership of Ronald White. The Regency proved to be of great importance to the development of the Wicca, although its existence was kept a fairly close secret, and even today, there are relatively few people who have ever heard of it.

Meetings were held in North London, at a place called Queens Wood. As well as Ron White and Doreen Valiente, members included “John Math”, founder of the Witchcraft Research Association in 1964, and editor of Pentagram magazine, and the founder of the Pagan Movement, Tony Kelly. At its height, there were frequently more than 40 in attendance at rites, which tended to be of the dramatic, pagan kind rather than the ceremonial associated with high ritual magic. The Regency operated fairly consistently for over twelve years, finally disbanding in 1978. The Membership roll reads like a who’s who of the British Wicca! Some of the rites have been incorporated into modern Wiccan rituals – in fact, one was used at the Pan European Wiccan Conference 1991 with very great success.

Rae Bone

Moving back over to Rae Bone’s line, there are a number of influential people here, mainly through her initiates, Madge and Arthur, who probably take the award for the most prolific pair in Wiccandom! Rae, although initiated by Gardner, does of course also claim a hereditary status in her own right.

Madge and Arthur’s initiates include:

John and Jean Score

John Score was the partner of Michael Houghton (mentioned earlier), and the founder of the Pagan Federation, which is very active today.

Houghton died under very mysterious circumstances, which is briefly mentioned in “The Sword of Wisdom” by Ithell Colquhoun. My Craft source told me that this was actually a ritual that went badly wrong, and Houghton ended up on the wrong end of some fairly potent energies.

There is an interesting anecdote about Houghton in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft, which is taken from “Nightside of Eden” by Kenneth Grant, and agrees in some respect to a similar story that I was told some years ago. Doreen suggests in The Rebirth Of Witchcraft that the story may relate to a magical working involving Kenneth Grant and his wife, Gardner, Dolores North (Madeline Montalban), and an un-named witch, who was probably Olive Green.

They were all to perform a ritual together, supposedly to contact an extra-terrestrial being. The material basis for the rite, which took place in 1949, was a drawing by AO Spare.

Apparently soon after the rite commenced, a nearby bookseller (Michael Houghton) turned up and interrupted proceedings. On hearing that Kenneth Grant was within, he declined to enter, and wandered off. The rite was disrupted, and the story goes that everyone just went home.

Kenneth Grant claims that as a result of disturbing their working, Houghton’s marriage broke up, and that Houghton died in mysterious circumstances. In fact, the Houghton divorce was a cause célèbre, with her suing him for cruelty because he boasted of being a Sagittarian while sneering at her because she was only a dingy old Capricorn!

The interrupted ritual could well have taken place. Madeline had a flat near to Atlantis (Houghton’s shop), and would certainly have known both Grant and Houghton. I know for a fact that Madeline was acquainted with Gerald, although her opinion of both him and the Wicca was rather poor. One of Madeline’s older students told me that she thought Gardner rather a fraud, and ritually inept. She also had a very low opinion of Wiccans, and refused to allow her own students to participate in Wiccan rites. The reason for this lies in an anecdote which Doreen doesn’t relate: the story goes that Madeline agreed to participate in a rite with Gerald, which turned out to involve Madeline being tied up and tickled with a feather duster! The great lady was not amused.

Prudence Jones

Prudence was for many years the president of the Pagan Federation, and editor of its newsletter. She inherited her role from John Score, after he passed away. With Nigel Pennick, Prudence also runs the Pagan Anti-Defamation League (PADL), and is an active astrologer and therapist. She has edited a book on astrology, and with Caitlin Matthews, edited “Voices from the Circle”, published by Aquarian Press. Although Prudence took her degree in Philosophy, her main interests lie in the areas of the Grail and troubadour tales, and she has published privately an excellent essay on the Grail and Wicca. She is also a very highly respected astrologer, who lectures extensively in Britain.

Vivianne and Chris Crowley

Vivianne Crowley, is author of “Wicca – The Old Religion in the New Age”, and also secretary of the Pagan Federation. She has a PhD in Psychology, and is perhaps the only person to have been a member of both a Gardnerian Coven and an Alexandrian one simultaneously!

Vivianne is very active at the moment, and has initiated people in Germany (having memorised the ritual in German – a language she doesn’t speak!), Norway, and – on the astral – Brazil. As a result of her book, she receives many letters from people from all around the world, and organised the first ever pan-European Wiccan conference, held in Germany 1990. The second conference was held in Britain at the June solstice, and the third (1992) in Norway. In 1993, the Conference will be in Scotland.

John and Kathy (Caitlin) Matthews

John and Kathy (Caitlin) Matthews, are probably well-known to everyone, but possibly their Gardnerian initiations are not such common knowledge. The story that John Matthews relates in “Voices from the Circle” is essentially the one which he told the HPS who initiated him.

Pat and Arnold Crowther

I have left Pat and Arnold till last, as it is from their line that the infamous Alex Sanders derives! It is no secret anymore that Alex, far from being initiated by his grandmother when he was seven, was in fact turned down by Pat Crowther in 1961, but was later accepted by one of her ex-coven members, Pat Kopanski, and initiated to 1st Degree.

In “The Rebirth of Witchcraft” Doreen says that Alex later met Gardner, and was allowed to copy from the Book of Shadows; Craft tradition is somewhat different! It has always been said (even by Alex’s supporters!) that he pinched what he could from Pat Kopanski before being chucked out, and that the main differences between the Alexandrian and Gardnerian Books of Shadows occur where Alex mis-heard, or mis-copied something! There are certainly significant differences between the two Books; some parts of Gardnerian ritual are quite unknown within the Alexandrian tradition, and the ritual techniques are often different. It is usually very easy to spot whether someone is an Alexandrian, or Gardnerian initiate.

Alex needed a HPS, and as we know, chose Maxine Morris for the role. Maxine is a striking Priestess, and made a very good visual focus for the movement which grew in leaps and bounds.

In the late 1960s, Alex and Maxine were prolific initiators, and a number of their initiates have become well known. Some came to Australia, and there are still a number of covens in the UK today whose HP and/or HPS was initiated by Alex or Maxine.

Alex and Maxine’s most famous initiates are almost certainly Janet and Stewart Farrar, who left them in 1971 to form their own coven, first in England, then later, in Ireland. Through their books, they have probably had the most influence over the direction that the modern Craft has taken. Certainly in Australia, the publication of “What Witches Do” was an absolute watershed, and with Janet and Stewart’s consistent output, their form of Wicca is more likely to become the “standard” than any other type.

Since their early days of undiluted Alexandrianism, they have drifted somewhat towards a more Gardnerian approach, and today, tell everyone that there are no differences between the two traditions. In fact, despite the merging that has been occurring over the last few years, there are very distinct differences between the traditions; some merely external, others of a very significant difference of philosophy.

Seldiy Bate was originally magically trained by Madeline Montalban, and then took an Alexandrian initiation from Maxine and Alex. Her husband, Nigel, was also initiated by Maxine, and they have been “public” witches for a number of years now, often appearing on TV, radio and in the press. Their background in ritual magic is expressed in the type of coven that they run; a combination of Wicca and Ceremonial Magic.

In 1971, Alex and Maxine went their separate ways. David Goddard is a Liberal Catholic Priest, and for many years, he and Maxine worked in the Liberal Catholic faith, and did not run a coven of any kind. Then in 1984, Maxine gathered together a group again, and started practising a combination of Wicca, Qabalah and Liberal Catholicism. She and David separated in 1987, and since then her coven has been exclusively Wiccan. In 1989, she married one of her initiates, Vincent, and they are still running an active coven in London today.

Alex’s history after the split was a little more sordid, with one girl he married, Jill, filling the gutter press with stories about Alex being homosexual, and defrauding her of all her money to spend on his boyfriends. Sally Taylor was initiated by Maxine and David, but then transferred to Alex. She was trained by him, and then started her own group.

Literary traditions and sources

I’d now like to focus upon the last of the strands which I believe has been influential upon the birth and development of Wicca; that of the literary traditions and sources to which Gardner would have had access. To a certain extent these are contiguous with the magical traditions described earlier, as nowhere is it ever suggested that Gardner did in fact ever work in a magical Lodge, so we must assume that his knowledge came from the written form of the rites, not from the actual practise of them.

From reading Gardner’s books, it is quite apparent that Margaret Murray had a tremendous impact upon him. Her book, “The God of the Witches” was published in 1933, and twelve years previously, “The Witch Cult in Western Europe” had appeared. “The God of the Witches” has been tremendously influential on a number of people, and certainly inspired Gardner.

In fact, “Witchcraft Today”, published by Gardner in 1954 contained a foreword by Margaret Murray. At this time, remember, Murray’s work was still taken seriously, and she remained the contributor on the subject of witchcraft for the Encyclopedia Britannica for a number of years.

Now of course her work has been largely discredited, although she remains a source of inspiration, if not historical accuracy. In Gardner’s day, the idea of a continuing worship of the old pagan gods would have been a staggering theory, and in the second article in my series about Murray (published in The Cauldron), I made the point that Murray may have had to pretend scientific veracity in order to get her work published in such times. Don’t forget that Dion Fortune had to publish her work privately, as did Gardner with High Magic’s Aid. Carlo Ginzburg’s excellent book, “Ecstasies”, also supports Murray’s basic premise; although of course he regrets her historical deceptions.

There were of course other sources than Murray. In 1899, “Aradia: Gospel of the Witches” was published. Most of Crowley’s work was available during the pre- and post-war years, as were the texts written and translated by MacGregor Mathers and Waite. Also readily available were works such as The Magus, and of course the classics, from which Gardner drew much inspiration.

Of paramount importance would have been “The White Goddess”, by Robert Graves, which is still a standard reference book on any British Wiccan’s bookshelf. This was published in 1952; three years after High Magic’s Aid appeared, and two years before Gardner’s first non-fictional book about witchcraft. I would just like to say at this point that Graves has taken some very unfair criticism in respect of this book. The White Goddess was written as a work of poetry, not history, and to criticise it for being historically inaccurate is to miss the point. Unfortunately, I agree that some writers have referred to it as an “authority”, and thus led their readers up the garden path. This is not Graves’s fault, nor do I believe it was his intention.

Another book which has had a profound influence on many Wiccans, and would undoubtedly have been well known by Gardner is “The Golden Bough”; although the entire book was written based upon purely secondary research, it is an extensive examination of many pagan practices from the Ancient World, and the emphasis of the male sacrifice could certainly have been taken from here equally as well as from Murray. Certain of the Gardnerian ritual practices were almost certainly derived from The Golden Bough, or from Frazer’s own sources.

In “Witchcraft Today” Gardner mentions a number of authors when speculating where the Wiccan rites came from. He says that, “The only man I can think of who could have invented the rites was the late Aleister Crowley.”

He continues to say, “The only other man I can think of who could have done it is Kipling…”. He also mentions that, “Hargrave Jennings might have had a hand in them…” and then suggests that “Barrat (sic) of The Magus, circa 1800, would have had the ability to invent or resurrect the cult.”

It’s possible that these references are something of a damage control operation by Gardner, who, according to Doreen, was not too impressed when she kept telling him that she recognised certain passages in the Witch rites! “Witchcraft Today” was published the year after Doreen’s initiation, and perhaps by seeming genuinely interested in where the Rites came from, Gardner thought he might give the appearance of innocence of their construction!

As mentioned previously, Gardner also had a large collection of unpublished MSS, which he used extensively, and one has only to read his books to realise that he was a very well-read man, with wide-ranging interests. Exactly the sort of man who would be able to draw together a set of rituals if required.

The extensive bibliography to “The Meaning of Witchcraft” published in 1959, demonstrates this rather well. Gardner includes Magick in Theory and Practice and The Equinox of the Gods by Crowley; The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune; The Goetia; The White Goddess (Graves); Lady Charlotte Guest’s translation of The Mabinogion; English Folklore by Christina Hole; The Kabbalah Unveiled and the Abramelin by Mathers; both Margaret Murray’s books and Godfrey Leland’s Gypsy Sorcery, as well as a myriad of classic texts, from Plato to Bede!

Although this bibliography postdates the creation of Gardnerian Wicca, it certainly indicates from where Gardner draws his inspiration. There are also several books listed which are either directly, or indirectly, concerned with sex magic, Priapic Cults, or Tantra.

Hargrave Jenning, mentioned earlier, wrote a book called “The Rosicrucians, their Rites and Mysteries”, which Francis King describes as a book, “concerned almost exclusively with phallicism and phallic images – Jennings saw the penis everywhere.”

As I mentioned earlier, Hargrave Jennings, a member of the SRIA, also belonged to a group, described as a coven, which met in the Cambridge area in the 1870s, and performed rituals based upon the classical traditions – specifically, from The Golden Ass. There is no evidence to support this, except that there are often found references to a “Cambridge Coven” linked to Jennings’ name.

Many of the rituals we are familiar with today were of course later additions by Doreen Valiente, and these have been well documented by both her and the Farrars, in a number of books. Doreen admits that she deliberately cut much of the poetry by Aleister Crowley, and substituted either her own work, or poems from other sources, such as the Carmina Gadelica.

Truth?

Of course we can never really know the truth about the origins of the Wicca. Gardner may have been an utter fraud; he may have actually received a “Traditional” initiation; or, as a number of people have suggested, he may have created the Wicca as a result of a genuine religious experience, drawing upon his extensive literary and magical knowledge to create, or help create, the rites and philosophy.

What I think we can be fairly certain about is that he was sincere in his belief. If there had been no more to the whole thing than an old man’s fantasy, then the Wicca would not have grown to be the force that it is today, and we would not all be sitting here in Canberra on a Saturday morning!

TEXT ENDS

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Silliness – Lawyers and computers

Lawyers and computers have both been proliferating since 1970. Unfortunately, lawyers, unlike computers, have not gotten twice as smart and half as expensive every 18 months.

Posted in Daily Stuff, Newsletter, Pagan, Wiccan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Stuff 8-9-19 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Melissa Hansen. No Herbs Workshop this Saturday.

The sky is blue? The sky is blue! …well, at least in spots. 🙂 Thank goodness we’re not looking at the forecast for the lower part of the Valley. I have friends that live down there and they’re looking at dry thunderstorms and gusty winds with only a slight chance of rain, and that late in the night. Extreme fire danger and there are already a few going. Drop a few thoughts for the folks in the area in Perun’s ear today, that nothing goes too far awry. 63F, wind at 3mph and gusting, AQI12, UV7. Supposedly we got another 0.01 inches last night, but the next chance of rain is at the end of next week. …other than our usual aggressive mist that we get at night…. which is what we had last night.

Yesterday was really, really busy. Until about 6:30 we had constant people in the shop, maybe 15 minute breaks at most. Then it went very quiet.

In between customers I was working on drawings again and doing some writing. Tempus worked in back and sanded the antler rounds. He’s about 2/3 of the way through.

Tempus went up to storage to drop off some things and almost right after he got back the phone rang that the papers were out. We still had one customer in the shop, and closed up as soon as they left. He headed for Newport without the shopping list and I went in back to nap.

I ended up not going on the route with him last night. I was really tired and crashed out long enough that he was on the last leg of the route when I woke. I’m still really tired, but coffee should be enough to get me going.

Today I *really* need to get the papers off of my desk. I need to agitate at Tempus to get the fridge re-set, as well, since I can’t reach anything and it looks like we’ve got some foodly things in there that have been sitting far too long. …and here comes a shopper. So goes my day.

Dreamy Golden Hour by Melissa Hansen – http://www.Photosfromthe coast.com

Unpfii_logo170obxToday’s Feast is in honor of The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. This is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. It was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in 1982. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_of_the_World%27s_Indigenous_People

220px-Delphinium_pavonaceumToday’s Plant – The local larkspursdelphinium trollifolium, and delphinium pavonaceum (which the Wiki article says is confined to the Valley, but I’ve collected out here….) are pretty flowers in shade of white, blue and purple. They’re called delphiniums after the shape of the nectary. More here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_trolliifolium  and here:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_pavonaceum Other names are Larksheal and Staggerweed – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers frighten away venomous creatures and ghosts. Sprinkle between your eyes and a Litha fire to keep your sight clear. Use in rituals to call upon Dolphin energy.

The shop opens at 11am. Summer  hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

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 8/15 at 5:29am. 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 8/13 at 5:29pm.

The waxing gibbous Moon shines with Jupiter this evening, as shown here. Jupiter, 40 times larger than the Moon, is 1,830 times farther away.
Jupiter’s own four big moons, roughly similar in actual size to ours, show as pinpoints in a small telescope or good binoculars; they’re lined up east and west of the planet. This evening you’ll find Europa to Jupiter’s east and Io, Callisto, and Ganymede to its west, counting outward. See the guide to Jupiter’s moons all this month, good worldwide, in the August Sky & Telescope, page 51.
Mercury reaches greatest elongation today, when it lies 19° west of the Sun and rises 90 minutes before our star. The innermost planet climbs 7° high in the east-northeast 45 minutes before sunup. The magnitude 0.0 world shines noticeably brighter than the twin stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux, which lie higher in the sky and point in Mercury’s direction. If you have trouble spotting the planet with your naked eye, scan the area with binoculars. When viewed through a telescope, Mercury shows a disk that spans 7.7″ and appears about 40 percent lit.
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, in Aries) is high in the southeast before the beginning of dawn.

Friday August 9th – Old Farmer’s Almanac – This month’s highlight: Mercury, the Fleet-Footed Messenger

Pass the sun-block!
Can’t you see,
It’s really bright,
Cried Mercury . . –Mr. R.’s World of Science (online)

Mercury ís brave
close to the sun
lost in its glare
how quickly it runs –Kamtime (online)

Poems devoted to the planet Mercury are few and far between, but they share common themes. They typically refer either to Mercury’s extreme relationship with the Sun or its speedy movement through the sky—or both. Mercury is closer to the Sun than any other planet and thus endures a surface temperature of up to 800°F. Sunblock, indeed! And Mercury is fast! It whips around the Sun once every 88 days, compared to our Earth’s 365 days. The ancient Romans noted how swiftly Mercury moves across the sky and named it for the fleet-footed Messenger of the Gods.

It’s a testament to the exquisite observing skills of ancient astronomers that they ever noticed Mercury at all. From our Earthly perspective, the innermost planet never ventures very far from the Sun; you have to know exactly when and where to look. One such brief window of opportunity occurs just before sunrise on August 9. That’s when Mercury reaches its Greatest Western Elongation—as far from the Sun’s glare as it ever gets. A couple of mornings before or after August 9 will still allow a decent view.

Consult the Almanac’s Sunrise and Sunset Calculator to find the time of sunrise for your location. Go outside 30 minutes before sunrise and look to the east-southeast, low in the sky. With sunrise not far away, the sky will be brightening quickly, so don’t be late! As our Sky Map shows, there are several bright stars in the area, in addition to the planet Mercury. Betelgeuse, Rigel, Procyon, and Capella are all approximately the same brightness as Mercury. Castor and Pollux, in the constellation Gemini are the bright stars nearest to Mercury, but they are both slightly dimmer than the elusive planet.

Exploratory spacecraft have visited Mercury only twice. In 1974–75, NASA’s Mariner 10probe made three flybys of Mercury, sending back the first close-up photos and discovering that the tiny planet has its own magnetic field, a finding that surprised researchers. Then, in 2011, NASA’s MESSENGER  (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft reached Mercury and went into orbit around it. MESSENGER spent the next four years collecting science data and making thousands of high-resolution photographs of Mercury. The MESSENGER photo reproduced on this month’s sky map shows how closely Mercury resembles the Moon, at least on its surface.

A third spacecraft is currently on its way to Mercury. BepiColombo is a collaboration between the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency. The mission carries two separate probes, which will separate from one another once BepiColombo reaches Mercury in 2025.

Fortunately, you won’t have to wait that long to undertake your own exploration of Mercury. You merely have to wake up before dawn on August 9 (or thereabouts) to see the hot and speedy planet for  yourself.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for August – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-august-2019
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world. 

Sun in Leo
Moon in Sagittarius
Jupiter (8/11), Saturn (9/18), Pluto (10/3) and Neptune (11/27), Chiron (12/12) Retrograde

Color: Pink

©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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from Wikimedia commons

Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).

Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Month: July
Color: Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.

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Tides for Alsea Bay

*
Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time    Feet     Sunset                                    Visible
F    9      Low   2:45 AM     0.3   6:12 AM     Set  1:12 AM      61
~     9     High   9:03 AM     5.2   8:31 PM    Rise  4:21 PM
~     9      Low   2:19 PM     2.6
~     9     High   8:34 PM     7.5

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Sap from the maple tree flows faster before a rain shower.

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Journal Prompt – What do you think? – What do you think the world will be like in 10 years? Twenty? Fifty?

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Quotes

~   I know we can’t abolish prejudice through laws, but we can set up guidelines for our actions by legislation.  – Belva Lockwood (1830-1917) US attorney
~   It is possible to have aesthetic emotions and not have human emotions. – Alfred Orage; ‘On Love’
~   Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. – Rainer Maria Rilke
~   If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau, ‘Walden’

The sun drew off at last his piercing fires.
Over the stale warm air, dull as a pond
And moveless in the grey quieted street,
Blue magic of a summer evening glowed. – Lascelles Abercrombie (1881–1938)

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Magick – Sky-Clad – a relic of the past? – By Gavin Aendless in Pagans · Edit Doc

So it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and my U.S. and U.K. brother and sisters are entering the time of life and warmth and growth, while those of us in the Southern Hemisphere enter the long dark of winter.

It occurred to me to wonder – how many Pagans will celebrate Beltane sky-clad this year?

Before I venture into this topic further, a note for anyone reading this that is under the age of 18: no serious group, coven, priest or priestess, or teacher of a Pagan tradition will ever invite you as a legal minor to participate in a sky-clad (i.e. naked) ritual. Apart from one scenario that I can think of (which I’ll discuss below), that is a big red flare signal that this person is a PREDATOR. If you find yourself in that situation, I suggest a polite “sorry, no”, and getting the heck out of there. If they’re blocking the exit, kick them in the nuts as hard as you can. Then, go tell the Police. What you wear (or not) as solitaries, of course, is your business.

That out of the way, let’s talk about getting naked. Naturally, there are all kinds of Pagan traditions that don’t work sky-clad – this post is mainly about Wicca and witchcraft. These traditions (for the purposes of this post I will use the terms ‘Wicca’ and ‘witchcraft’ fairly interchangeably) have a well-established history of employing ritual nudity.

A bare-bones history of ritual nudity

Ritual nudity isn’t just a Pagan oddity: all kinds of religions, particularly of the esoteric variety, have used ritual nudity at some point in their history. In my book, I demonstrate that early Christians in the Roman Empire were baptized in the nude. The historical evidence for this is very strong, although they were simply doing the same as other Mystery religions of the Mediterranean during their initiatory rites. This isn’t even in the Top 10 of the conveniently-forgotten facts concerning the origins of Christianity, but for more details you’ll want to purchase my book.

Carvings and inscriptions on the Khajuraho temple in central India reveal nudity (and sexuality) as part of the religious life of pre-Aryan Dravidic culture earlier than 1000 BCE. In Ancient Greece, the witches of Thessaly were depicted as working naked, and groups of young women who went into the woods for celebrations and rites of passage may have danced naked under the moon. Maenads, women who were devotees of Dionysus, reputedly roamed with little regard for clothing, arousing the ire of more orthodox priesthoods. A sect of Christian heretics, Adamites, preached nudity, claiming that this was necessary to achieve Salvation and return to the innocent state before mankind’s ejection from the Garden of Eden.

The art of the Middle Ages often depicted witches in a state of undress – this is partly explainable because pre-Renaissance artists who wanted to depict the nude form frequently had to appease the sensibilities of the Catholic Church. Depicting nudity in the context of diabolic depravity was a politic way for artists to satisfy their creative imperative to study the nude form. Also, confessions of accused witches often mentioned nudity, although this may reflect the warped sex- and sin-fuelled imaginations of their interrogators. Accused witches were commonly stripped during interrogation and torture – again, as I point out in my book, this was one of the only instances where celibate priests could legitimately view a naked female body. And of course, folk-magic and cunning craft employed by ordinary people for attracting love and/or fertility naturally enough sometimes involved nudity. Or for more diabolical purposes: a centuries-old local legend of Wiltshire in England has it that one who wishes to summon up the Devil should go to a particular oak tree in the Savernake Forest on the midnight of a full moon, undress, and dance around the tree thrice.

All of this may help to explain the traditional association between nudity and witchcraft. It is not confined to Europe: a number of African cultures cite nudity out-of-doors at night as a sure sign that a woman is a witch, while in India, holy men who live as ascetics in the forest and master ‘siddhas’ or psychic powers through Yoga often live ‘digambara’, which translates as ‘sky-clad’. India is where Gerald Gardner, who lived for years in the East, presumably found and appropriated the term.

If ritual nudity is widespread in culture and over time, its use by all members of a group, for all of its rites, is an innovation that Gardner and his spiritual descendents can claim for their own. Sky-clad work and worship, whether in a solitary or a coven context, is part of contemporary Pagan culture, and apart from some fairly fringe ‘nudists for Christ’ is unique in the landscape of modern religion.

The case for working sky-clad

Gerald Gardner claimed that an energy field surrounded the human body, and that this was more easily felt, raised and directed when one was naked. Many now dismiss this argument, claiming that if energy is not impeded by walls or over long distances, it will hardly be inhibited by clothing. Therefore, working sky-clad isn’t necessary. For myself, having worked sky-clad for many years, Gardner’s argument feels true to me, even if logic favors the opposite argument.

Another argument is that it promotes group trust, equality, and removal of social distinctions created by dress. This may be the case, but it can certainly be achieved with uniform robes as a leveler.

Paul Huson, author of the seminal “Mastering Witchcraft” back in the 1970’s, advances a simpler argument – that working naked is desirable because it is pleasurable. Depends on your point of view, really. But this leads to a more specific argument, which applies to initiatory rites. In a culture that is deeply ambivalent when it comes to the body and sexuality, to be naked with a group of other people breaks a taboo. The breaking of taboos creates a crisis/catharsis matrix that can be intensely transformative for the participants. This is a fairly convincing argument for anyone with direct experience of such things, although others allege that this is something of a one-trick pony. And potentially dangerous, as people wanting the same feeling of liberation must eventually engage in breaking stronger and stronger taboos to achieve the same sensations. It must be said that this is hardly the only pitfall for anyone pursuing an esoteric spirituality.

Noted Sydney occultist Tim Hartridge argues that ritual nudity, and the sensuality (and, possibly, eroticism) that accompanies the experience, assists one in accessing the archetypal ‘wild witch’ within one’s own psyche – a liminal figure with many lessons and insights to reveal. Again, my own experiences tend to agree. However, this would seem to be merely a more sophisticated version of Gardner’s argument – and similarly, the counter is that working sky-clad isn’t necessary to achieve this goal.

Lastly, another argument (admittedly rather tongue-in-cheek) for working sky-clad has it that when working with fire (candles, bonfires etc.), nudity is a safer option than robes with trailing sleeves.

The case against working sky-clad

This is not the space to argue whether or not Gardner’s coven pioneered working sky-clad, or whether they inherited it from the mysterious New Forest coven which supposedly initiated Gardner. However, some suggest that while Gardner himself behaved as a gentleman (by all accounts), he was not averse to the sight of young female flesh, and that this is the real reason the practice was adopted. That is a highly plausible argument, at least to this male mind, although it is possible that both versions of history are true – that Gardner believed what he was saying, and enjoyed the fruits of it.

Another argument is that it stymies efforts to achieve credibility for the modern Pagan movement as a legitimate mainstream faith. This may be true. However, it assumes that paganism can, or should be, legitimate or mainstream. Many have fled mainstream faiths to Paganism precisely for the reasons that make it a pariah among more ‘respectable’ faiths, including reclaiming of both body and sexuality. In that case, abandoning sky-clad worship for the sake of legitimacy can be seen as tacitly accepting the premise of faiths such as Christianity – that there is something unclean or indecent about the naked body.

Another argument against sky-clad work is that it encourages sexual activity; that it is a slippery-slope to a gang-bang, and that people interested in that kind of thing should be honest about it and join a swingers club. Personally I think this assumes that there is an automatic link between nudity and sex – that nudity in ritual constitutes some form of invitation. This has never been true in any sky-clad or clothing-optional group or festival in which I have been involved. Quite the opposite. And, personally, I have never seen clothing deter consenting adults from pairing off and engaging in more intimate forms of worship in private. Similarly, I doubt it has ever deterred sexual predators from betraying the trust of others.

One more argument is that working sky-clad creates a situation where people may feel inadequate or inferior for being unable to bare all in ritual, when others can: it is potentially non-inclusive or even discriminatory. Again, this may indeed occur in specific contexts, but at the same time having no space in which to work-sky-clad means that those same people aren’t given the chance to confront personal inhibitions – inhibitions that might affect their ability to hold personal power.

Gardner was, like, so last century…

So, who works sky-clad any more? Is it an important part of contemporary Pagan practice, or a relic of the past?

Recently I took an impromptu Facebook poll in a 2000-member discussion forum. Out of 100 responses, 6 said that they had never worked sky-clad, nor would they ever consider it. 35 said that they had worked sky-clad as a solitary practitioner. 8 said they had done so with a magickal or sexual partner. 37 said they had, or wanted to, work sky-clad in a coven. 10 said they had done so at a clothing-optional Pagan festival or event. 4 said they had done so on camera for a documentary or in public.

There are some obvious problems in the above results, not least of which is that people with an interest in this area were more likely to respond. Still, it indicates that interest in this subject remains.

Nevertheless, the practice seems to be on the decline. The Corellian Tradition eschews sky-clad practice, positioning itself as a family-friendly tradition. Others such as the EarthSpirit community have moved away from sky-clad rites, citing difficulties in obtaining permission from venues for staging clothing-optional events. Some in regional areas cite unwanted attention from militant Christians and/or law enforcement.

The practicalities of taking off your pants

Despite the obstacles, many still feel inspired by the thought casting off the mundane world and its spiritual inhibitions – to embrace the wild spirit within, dance naked under the moon and howl.

The first rule of working sky-clad, whether in a group or solo, is privacy. There is nothing more inhibiting than being caught in the act. This means you need a dedicated temple space, a private home, private property screened from neighbors, or a remote natural area – recall that traditionally, witches met in areas such as forests, on mountaintops, or at deserted crossroads at night.

The second rule is heat. This is no issue indoors, but out of doors requires some thought and preparation. Freezing off your pink bits is not conducive to raising energy. A bonfire may do well enough (and is highly evocative) but may breach local laws, especially in areas where wildfire in summer is a real danger. Numerous safety precautions are indicated, including a dug fire-pit, water or extinguishers ready to hand, and a dedicated fire-safety officer who stands apart from the rite. For a small group, a heavy cast-iron cauldron or pot filled with methylated spirits can work well. As it produces no smoke, it is also safe indoors, provided that it has sufficient ceiling height above it (10 feet is a good starting point), some ventilation, and is seated on a stable and heat-proofed surface. A liter of methylated spirits will burn for some 15 or 20 minutes – long enough to raise the fabled Cone of Power through ecstatic dance and circling. Be warned, though: refilling and relighting a cauldron is not safe or easy, as the hot metal will cause the methylated spirits to evaporate into fumes. Relighting a hot cauldron is DANGEROUS. I have lost chest and arm hair learning that lesson, and lucky to have not lost more. Also, and self-evidently, spilling the flammable contents of a lit cauldron is extremely bad, especially in an indoor space.

The third rule applies to groups wanting to experiment with sky-clad work: clear communication and respect. So, workshop your ritual beforehand. Allow all participants to state their personal boundaries concerning physical contact – an appropriate starting-point might be that coven members hold hands during a ritual, but do not otherwise touch.

That said, personal boundaries are fluid, which is why the subject should be revisited before each sky-clad ritual. Some may want to avoid physical contact, others may be moved by the energy of the rite to hug or caress. Some rituals involve the use of full-body anointing oil to foster sensual and psychic arousal. There is a distinct difference between SENSUALITY and SEXUALITY that is crucial in a coven context of love and trust. Personally I have worked in groups where we have deliberately raised and used sexual energy – but being monogamous, drew the line at intercourse.

(By the way, I heard of one coven initiation where the postulant was blindfolded, naked and led through their initiation. Upon removal of the blindfold, the young man’s expectation of seeing the rest of the coven sky-clad along with him was subverted – he was the only one, with the rest of the coven robed and chuckling. Seriously, that was a dumb idea. Destroyed any sense of group trust and egregore.)

Debriefing, by which I mean talking about issues following rituals, can also be a useful exercise. This requires tact and diplomacy, or you may end up needing to debrief the debriefing!

young men, involves getting an erection during a sky-clad rite. The former can be dealt with via underwear or perhaps a scarf knotted around the hips, while the latter is surprisingly rare in non-sexual sky-clad rites. An effective group leader can pre-frame the issue for participants by suggesting that such a physiological response means “the god Pan has joined us” or similar.

Some points to remember are that working sky-clad is an optional experience – once coercion is involved, any benefits to the experience are lost. Also, being naked should never imply a sexual invitation in anyone’s mind, unless that is clearly established beforehand by all involved. The Pagan Awareness Network has free resources concerning sky-clad practice and general ‘Safety in the Circle’ tips, available here: http://www.paganawareness.net.au/PAN/publications-mainmenu-130/information-pamphlets-mainmenu-135

Lastly, most people I know would agree that sky-clad practice is an adult activity, not suitable for teen Wiccans. Do you agree? If so, what about family traditions, or rites-of-passage for girls at menarche? Would it be acceptable in the context of a women-only circle, with the girl’s mother present? Can we get too hung up the underage thing?

I hope I haven’t bored the pants off anyone.

 

Comments

Gavin Aendless – Feedback sought. It isn’t for an academic audience, but I would certainly appreciate being warned if I have made any howlers in the piece. And of course – general discussion of the topic very welcome

Yvonne Aburrow  – very good, and very balanced. I agree with the no teens rule – anyway teenagers are usually really embarrassed by their bodies and those of other people. I also agree that it was wrong for that coven to be robed when the initiate was skycla…See More

Debbie Willis – I notice that many of my cohorts and I are aging, which seems to influence whether we do skyclad ceremonies. Along with aging, which isn’t the actual factor, is the loss of physical integrity (such as stress incontinence). I know that physical integrity is a subject rarely discussed, so I only mention it.

Yvonne Aburrow – That could be solved in much the same way as having a period (scarf round the hips to cover knickers with pads)

Sabina Magliocco – I think it depends very much on the group and its tradition. In my Gardnerian coven, all closed rites are skyclad and done indoors. Because I tend to get cold very easily, it was tolerated when I wrapped a pashmina around my shoulders. I really don’t think scarves make any difference in terms of energy-raising. Sabbats, including Beltane, we would invite guests, and those ceremonies were done robed and often outdoors. My eclectic group always practices outdoors, where even in southern California, clothing is not optional.

******

Silliness – Good catch! <gleep!>

Posted in Daily Stuff, Newsletter, Pagan, Wiccan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Stuff 8-8-19 Tan Hill Inn

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Jamie Marie Girlinwater Photography. No Herbs this Saturday.

Still cloudy and humid, even if it’s cool. 63F, wind at 1mph and gusting, AQI6, UV8. The AQI is better, at least. The computer is saying we might get some sun in a bit, but it’s not actually as bright as it was yesterday. Long range forecast is same-old-same-old.

Yesterday was kinda lopped off at the early end. 🙂 Most of what was left was small chores and doing a bunch of computer drawing for some new Mab’s stuff. Tempus went out mid-evening to Ray’s and picked up some rolls to make brats for supper. We had chopped onion, the home-made sauerkraut and cheese on the buns and then horseradish mayo on the top. That and tater wedges done in the air-fryer was an awesome supper.

I put in a bunch of watermelon recipes below. Watermelon kinda says, “Summer!” as far as I’m concerned.

Today we got here a few minutes early and we’re open. We’ve already had some customers through and Tempus had at work getting things into the car for storage. I spent a few minutes trying to get more of the incense stuff put away.

I have more drawing to do this afternoon and I want to spend a little time on computer housekeeping. My main file for saved stuff has gotten really clogged and I need to sort it out. Later I’m going to try to get on top of some of the herb bagging and headers, so I can get grumple out of my desk area.

Paper run tonight.

Beautiful harvest!

Photo from 8/6/18 by Jamie Marie Girlinwater Photography

220px-Tan_Hill_Inn_and_surrounding_countryside_-_geograph.org.uk_-_154898Today’s Feast is in honor of the Tan Hill Inn, the Sheep Show that happens there around this time of year and other harvest festivals, including celebrations revolving around coal mining. The inn dates to the 17th century and has been refurbished recently. “Tan Hill” refers to “Tinne”, the Celtic tree month of Holly, which ends right around now, not oak trees or leather-making, or even220px-TanHillInn tin mining. It’s Britain’s highest inn at 1,732 feet (528 m) above sea level up in the top of the Yorkshire Dales. The hill seems to have been used back into pre-history as a sacred site of some sort. Here’s the Inn website.  http://www.tanhillinn.co.uk/  Here’s some history:  http://www.tanhillinn.com/history-of-tan-hill-innarkengarthdaleswaledaleyorkshire-dales-places-to-visitvisitor-attraction-yorkshire-dales/10/  (You can click on the pix to make ‘em bigger….)

magic 031313 blueberry ginger crumbleToday’s Plant is the BlueberryVaccinium Cyanococcus (many species/varieties)! This is a fruiting bush that is related to cranberries, huckleberries and bilberries, has many species within the genus and many varieties within the species. Many fruits are called blueberries, when they’re not Vaccinium. I’ve heard people call salal and evergreen huckleberry by the name. Widely cultivated across the world, the fruit is high in iron and lot of micronutrients and even has resveratrol like red grapes. It may have effects on brain health, reducing stroke damage in experimental animals and aiding memory retention in the aged. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry – Put blueberries under the doormat to keep people you don’t want out of the house or plant them along the property line or next to the front walk to keep them entirely off your property.

The shop opens at 11am. Summer  hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

Love & Light,
Anja

******

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 8/15 at 5:29am. 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 8/13 at 5:29pm.

The Moon accompanies Jupiter on the nights of August 8th and especially 9th, with Antares looking on from below.

The waxing Moon, just past first quarter, poses just over the vertical row of stars that mark the head of Scorpius, as shown here (for North America).

The middle star of the Big Dipper’s bent handle is Mizar, with tiny little Alcor right next to it. On which side of Mizar should you look for Alcor? As always, on the side toward Vega! Which is now the brightest star in the east. If your eyes aren’t quite sharp enough, binoculars show Alcor easily.

The Big Dipper’s familiar shape appears halfway up the northwestern sky as darkness falls. One of the summer sky’s finest binocular double stars marks the bend of the dipper’s handle. Mizar shines at 2nd magnitude, some six times brighter than its 4th-magnitude companion, Alcor. Even though these two are not physically related, they make a fine sight through binoculars. (People with good eyesight often can split the pair without optical aid.) A small telescope reveals Mizar itself as double — and these components do orbit each other.

The non-Red-Spot side of Jupiter, imaged on July 18th by Christopher Go. South here is up. Note the blue festoons in the Equatorial Zone, the bright marking at one of them, and the pronounced, even ripples in the south edge of the bright North Tropical Zone.

Although Jupiter reached opposition and peak visibility two months ago, it remains a stunning sight from shortly after sunset until well past midnight. But it appears especially nice this evening, when a waxing gibbous Moon passes just 2° north (upper left) of the planet. You can find the pair high in the south as darkness falls. Both objects reside among the background stars of Ophiuchus. While the Moon moves on to Sagittarius by tomorrow evening, Jupiter remains in the Serpent-bearer all week. Shining at magnitude –2.4, the giant world is the night sky’s brightest object except for the Moon. When viewed through a telescope, the planet’s disk spans 42″ and shows striking cloud-top detail.
Saturn (magnitude +0.2, in Sagittarius) is the steady, pale yellowish “star” in the south-southeast during and after dusk, 31° left of Jupiter. Look to Saturn’s lower right for the Sagittarius Teapot.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for August – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-august-2019
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world. 

Sun in Leo
Moon in Scorpio enters Sagittarius at 1:35pm.
Jupiter (8/11), Saturn (9/18), Pluto (10/3) and Neptune (11/27), Chiron (12/12) Retrograde

Color: Green

Planting 8/6-8

©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

******

from Wikimedia commons

Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).

Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Month: July
Color: Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.

******

Tides for Alsea Bay

*
Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time    Feet     Sunset                                    Visible
Th   8      Low   1:34 AM     0.6   6:11 AM     Set 12:38 AM      50
~     8     High   7:38 AM     5.3   8:32 PM    Rise  3:15 PM
~     8      Low   1:13 PM     2.0
~     8     High   7:36 PM     7.5

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a remembering day!

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Journal Prompt – What is? – What is it that you most dislike?

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Quotes

~   A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world. – Albert Camus (1913-1960) French writer, born in Algiers
~   Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue. – Confucius
~   You cannot choose your battlefield, God does that for you; But you can plant a standard Where a standard never flew. – Stephen Crane (1871-1900) US writer
~   I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world. – Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) US Socialist Leader
~   You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Buttercup nodded and said, “Good-bye,”
Clover and daisy went off together
But the fragrant water-lilies lie
Yet moored in the golden August weather. – –Celia Thaxter (1835–94)  

******

Magick – Watermelon Recipes

Watermelon Flavored Black Tea (for iced)

  • black tea
  • spearmint or candied ginger
  • orange peel
  • licorice
  • watermelon (dried watermelon)

Use in iced tea maker.

Watermelon Daiquiri Freezer Pops – Slices of watermelon are soaked in rum-laced daiquiri mix and then frozen on sticks for a boozy, frosty summertime treat! By Cheeky Kitchen – Updated June 30, 2014 – https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/watermelon-daiquiri-freezer-pops/a71769be-74e9-4fe4-89db-d77acc260561

  • Prep60 MIN
  • Total2 HR 0 MIN
  • Servings8

Ingredients

  • 8 watermelon wedges, about 1” thick
  • 1 shot rum
  • ½ cup daiquiri mixer
  • 8 freezer-pop sticks

Steps

  1. Combine rum and daiquiri mix in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add watermelon wedges. Close bag and gently move it back and forth to ensure all the watermelon is soaked in liquid. Place bag in fridge for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Remove watermelon from bag. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully slice a small slit in the rind of each watermelon – cut just barely through the green part to give the stick a starting point. Then slide a stick into the slit in the rind, and push it about an inch or so into the watermelon, just far enough so the stick is firm and securely holds the watermelon wedge upright.
  3. Place the watermelon wedges on a small, parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Serve and enjoy!

Expert Tips

  • Make this recipe kid-friendly by leaving out the rum.
  • Serve these yummy pops with a sprinkling of salt for extra flavor!
  • The sticks are sold as “craft sticks” at craft and big box stores.

Brooke blogs at Cheeky Kitchen where she shares crazy simple, healthy family recipes. She joined Tablespoon to share some of her best, so keep an eye on Brooke’s Tablespoon profile to see what she cooks up next!

© 2019 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved

Watermelon Vodka Slush – This grown-up punch is boozy, slushy and makes enough to fill your biggest punch bowl; in other words, it’s perfect for summer parties. We start with an easy, icy vodka-spiked watermelon granita, and flood it with tangy lemonade for the ultimate sipper of the season. By Cheeky Kitchen – Updated April 19, 2017 – https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/watermelon-vodka-slush/ee9cf82e-553b-4e87-a76e-1b63548af264

  • Prep 10 MIN
  • Total 12 HR 0 MIN
  • Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 12 cups diced watermelon
  • ¾ cup honey or simple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups vodka or watermelon vodka
  • 1 container (62 oz) lemonade, chilled
  • 12 watermelon slices (for garnish, if desired)

Steps

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree watermelon, honey and vodka together, working in small batches if needed.
  2. Pour watermelon mixture into a large, freezer-safe container and freeze overnight.
  3. To serve, grate watermelon mixture with a fork and add to a punch bowl.
  4. Pour lemonade over frozen mixture in punch bowl and stir to mix.
  5. Serve immediately. Garnish individual glasses with watermelon slices, if desired.

Expert Tips

  • For max lemonade flavor, look for all-natural, organic lemonade, or add the zest of 2 lemons to the watermelon mixture before freezing.
  • For sparkling watermelon vodka slush: mix with 62 oz sparkling lemonade or sparkling French lemonade.

Watermelon Picnic Punch – Toast to summer with refreshing watermelon-strawberry lemonade, served up in a watermelon! By Cheeky Kitchen Updated March 8, 2017 – https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/watermelon-picnic-punch/31bd9927-12a7-4200-a3a4-452add47b3ea

  • Prep 10 MIN
  • Total 10 MIN
  • Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 mini seedless watermelon
  • 8 oz lemon juice
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries SAVE $
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups ice

Steps

  1. Slice the mini watermelon in half, using a spoon to scrape all of the fruit from the center of the melon. Place in a large blender.
  2. Add the lemon juice, strawberries, sugar, and ice to the blender. Blend until pureed.
  3. Pour lemonade straight from your blender, or pour into a pitcher. For an extra fun way to serve this drink, pour it into the two empty halves of the watermelon, add a skewered strawberry and lemon for garnish, then slurp your lemonade from a straw!

Watermelon Keg

******

Silliness – Sniglet – Any word which should be in the dictionary but isn’t.

blotch (blahch) – v. To slap the bottom of a catsup bottle with increasing intensity, ultimately resulting in a BLOTCHSLIDE.

Posted in Daily Stuff, Newsletter, Pagan, Wiccan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Stuff 8-7-19 Perseid Meteor Shower

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

It’s overcast, but bright again. I think there was a little sun earlier, but it’s gone, now. Supposedly we got 0.02 inches of rain last night. All that did was give us a humidity of 84%, which is kinda nasty/sticky. 64F, wind at 2mph, AQI20, UV8. The chance of more rain has pretty much vanished from the long-term, but the upside of that is maybe some sun, again?

As usual for Tuesdays, we got going late, and after coffee and cheese roll-ups I got going on the Daily Stuff and Tempus sat down with his mail.

I found a boombox for sale, locally, and the lady offered to drop it off, so we now have a good replacement for the ones that went belly-up. Summer….cash flow is easing.

Tempus finally got done and headed out to do the laundry. The stains didn’t all come out of that spoiled piece of Aida, but it looks like things can be cut around for kits and such. Hoping…. So then everything needed to be sorted and put away.

I went out and harvested another batch of greens for supper’s salad. I was kinda unhappy with finding a snail in the lettuce pot. He hadn’t done too much damage and landed in the crocosmias.

I did get to the fiber arts meeting. Most everyone was knitting, but there was a spinner and someone that I have to think was a weaver, threading ends back into a piece of fabric.

Tempus had a salad waiting for me when I got back and then he took off for Newport. I worked on some research, set up newsletters for the week and started some embroidery but then crashed before he got back, so I didn’t go on the route last night.

We got up very late today and I’ve been on the phone with one of my kiddos letting him vent about work. We need to sort out the fridge today, along with finishing the table since I only got barely started yesterday. Part of that problem is that it’s really been too warm in the shop for a couple of days, now. It makes it hard for me to get up the oomph to do something that involves moving.

The Perseids! – https://www.space.com/41394-perseid-meteor-shower-2018-peaks-soon.html

North Forks of the Yachats River from 8/7/15 by Ken Gagne

magick motif slav Kolovrat RodnoverHarvest Holiday – Serpen (August) 7 – This is a holiday of bread, a holiday of the harvest. In the fields people cease their reaping in honor of Volos’s beard. Thanks are brought to Volos and to Mother Earth in gratitude for a large harvest.

Perseids 2012 gardnerville 800pxToday’s Feast is in honor of the Perseid Meteor Shower. They’re actually visible for most of the early part of this month, but peak right around the 13th this year. Some years you can 2 or 3 in a minute. They’re a good excuse to go down to the beach with a couple of blankets! They appear to come out of the constellation of Perseus, the “radiant” of the shower. This set of meteors is a cloud of dust from the 130-year-comet, Swift-Tuttle. Most of the dust is 1000 years or more old, but there’s one stream that peeled off of the comet only a century and a half ago! This shower is the “Games of Lugh” that give their name to the Celebration of Lughnasadh.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseids The Celts saw these as “spears of light” that reminded them of the contests held at funerals.

salalToday’s Plant is SalalGaultheria shallon. This is a shrub, an understory plant, that ranges all up and down the west coast, from Alaska to California. They’re an invasive in wild heathlands in Europe, having been introduced back in the 1800’s. There’s a big industry in Oregon, supplying the foliage to florists. The local peoples harvested the berries as a primary food source, drying them into cakes. They make a nice crunchy snack, dried this way or individually. The young leaves are edible, too. One nearly forgotten use, is medicinally as an astringent. Mashed with some water, they’re a great soother for sunburn or insect bites, even working on yellow-jacket stings. It also works internally on an inflamed digestive tract from ulcers to diarrhea and a tea (simple infusion) will help with a dry cough. Eat the young leaves as an appetite suppressant.  – Feminine, Saturn, Juno – Use in spells as the medicinal uses, thefully ripe appetite suppressant effect, particularly. This is an hardy herb, so it also can be added to spells for added duration. It also works in situations of emotional upset, particularly when there’s a sick stomach from stress. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salal

The shop opens at 11am. Summer  hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

Love & Light,
Anja

******

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 8/15 at 5:29am. 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 8/7 at 10:31am. 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 8/13 at 5:29pm.

The Moon accompanies Jupiter on the nights of August 8th and especially 9th, with Antares looking on from below.

First-quarter Moon (exact at 1:31 p.m. EDT). By the time the Sun sets this evening for North American observers, the Moon appears in the south-southwest and more than one-third of the way from the horizon to the zenith. As darkness descends, our satellite grows more prominent and the background stars of Libra the Scales come into view, west (right) of Jupiter and the head of Scorpius. As twilight fades away, look for Beta Librae about 5° above the Moon and Alpha Lib a similiar distance to the Moon’s lower right (for North America). Both are about magnitude 2.5.
Today we cross the midpoint of astronomical summer — halfway from the June solstice to the September equinox — at 7:52 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (11:52 UT).
Jupiter (magnitude –2.4, between the feet of Ophiuchus) is the white point glowing in the south as twilight fades. Jupiter starts getting lower in the south-southwest soon after dark now. Orange Antares, much fainter at magnitude +1.0, twinkles 7° to its lower right. Jupiter and Antares form a shallow, nearly isosceles triangle with Delta Scorpii (Dschubba) to their right. Delta, a long-term eruptive variable of the Gamma Cassiopeiae type, has been only a little fainter than Antares for most of the last 19 years — after it brightened by some 50% in July 2000. In a telescope Jupiter is 42 arcseconds wide. See Bob King’s observing guide to Jupiter.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for August – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-august-2019
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world. 

Sun in Leo
Waxing Quarter at 10:31am.
Moon in Scorpio
Jupiter (8/11), Saturn (9/18), Pluto (10/3) and Neptune (11/27), Chiron (12/12) Retrograde

Color: White

Planting 8/6-8

©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

******

from Wikimedia commons

Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).

Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Month: July
Color: Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.

******

Tides for Alsea Bay

*
Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time    Feet     Sunset                                    Visible
W    7      Low  12:24 AM     0.8   6:10 AM     Set 12:07 AM      39
~     7     High   6:18 AM     5.8   8:34 PM    Rise  2:06 PM
~     7      Low  12:14 PM     1.2
~     7     High   6:41 PM     7.6

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – High intention operates in the midst of abundance. Abundance operates in the midst of high intention.

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Journal Prompt – Memories – Recall a time when you were a very good friend or a helper to someone else.

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Quotes

~   A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. – Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (26)
~   Worrying about something is like paying interest on a debt you don’t even know if you owe. – Mark Twain
~   True words are not beautiful, beautiful words are not true. A good man does not argue. He who argues is not a good man. – Lao Tzu
~   The uglier the woman, the more you gotta kiss her. Makes her feel good. – Muhammad Ali

All Nature helps to swell the song
And chant the same refrain;
July and June have slipped away
And August’s here again. –Helen Maria Winslow (1851–1938)

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Magick – Open the Timecapsule – In my research, I often come across beautiful illustrations, quaint poems, old traditions, and forgotten folklore. This is a place for me to share these gems with you. This column is also published in Celtic Guide. CELTIC GUIDE – Fairy Lore from the Isle of Skye – 

5/15/2015

For many hundreds of years Skye remained an island isolated from the rest of Scotland. It did not exist in a complete vacuum, as it was settled by both Celts and Norse, and probably by the Picts before them. There were always comings and goings by way of ships and boats from the mainland and abroad. Due to this sea access, Skye became a Viking hot spot, like so many of the other Scottish Isles.

Its isolation became more pronounced toward the Industrial Revolution. As mechanized farming equipment, rail roads, and eventually motorways became the norm across mainland Britain, residents of Skye continued using traditional farming methods and modes of transport. It is no wonder, then, that fairy lore lingered on after it had begun to erode elsewhere.

Life moved at a slower pace in Skye, and stories of fairies continued to be passed on orally.  Storytelling is, after all, a form of entertainment hat comes with no technology necessary.

Author Mary Julia MacCulloch recorded some folklore during her time in Skye, which was published in the journal Folklore in 1922. She says that nearly all of her stories were collected from in and around the village of Portree.

Yet, when it comes to Skye, the location of her interviews made little difference. She explains that the island was a tight knit community, and the inhabitants were a hearty breed of folk. It was not uncommon to see an elderly woman walking twenty-six miles just to attend mass.

Many inhabitants belonged to parishes at distances quite far from where they lived. So, it seems that these people, who were so used to hard work, thought nothing of traversing their island on foot. As such, stories would have traveled throughout the island with ease.

It is quite humorous to note that Ms. MacCulloch laments the fact that the youths of the island read nothing but newspapers and novellas.  She blames their lack of knowledge of local lore and legend on their reading habits.  Today we might dance a jig if we caught our teenagers reading the newspaper!

MacCulloch gives further background on Skye island life when she explains that most inhabitants spoke only Gaelic, so she had difficulty communicating with them.  Regular Celtic Guide readers may remember that I wrote several articles on Orkney for our Summer, 2013 issues, as well as an article regarding Scotland’s forgotten Germanic heritage for our June, 2013 issue. In those articles I explored the use of Germanic languages such as Norn and Scots, derivatives of Old Norse and Old English respectively, on the eastern Scottish Isles.

Skye has an element of Norse heritage, just as Orkney and Shetland do.  But, as explained in the afore mentioned article, the Scottish Isles in the North Sea retained greater Norse influence, while the isles to the west retained a greater Celtic influence.

Art by John Anster Fitzgerald

Mary Julia MacCulloch mentions that themes in fairy lore tend to be universal regardless of location. This is true in many of the stories she shares. We see many of the usual stories such as a beautiful human child taken by the fairies and replaced by a sickly, ugly changeling.

Also mentioned are stories of people being taken into the mounds for what seems like a few hours, but days or years have passed when then re-emerge.

Another motif recognizable from such stories as Rumpelstiltskin is the fairies doing manual labor for their human counterparts.  This is also seen in another famous German fairy tale, The Shoemaker and the Elves. The lowland Scots equivalents to such helpful creatures are the brownies.

As we would have it, the fairies on the island of Skye have a penchant for helping make tweed.  Our editor, Jim, discussed Harris Tweed as a local company manufacturing traditional fabrics on Skye  in our November, 2013 issue.

Well, tweed making by hand on Skye pre-dates the industrial age and, according to lore, may have been aided by the fairies. MacCulloch’s interviews reveal that some Skye crofters desired to spin and weave the very tweed that their island became so famous for, but they became too tired.

Under the influence of exhaustion, the would-be tweeders made the mistake of wishing aloud, so that the fairies could hear them, that the tweed would just be finished.  Overhearing this wish, the fairies appeared and demanded the necessary tools to finish the deed.

Industrious were these fairies, indeed.  For, they would not leave when the task was completed. The crofters were forced to seek the help of a wise man.

He advised them to direct the fairies to build a roof, but that the roof must be made of a special kind of wood. There only existed one tree on the entire island that grew the kind of wood needed.

When the fairies began their building, they were unable to complete it. And so, they were had no choice but to leave the crofters to their own devices, as they were before.

Sometimes, a human could be called to do a favor for the fairies. One such person was a midwife of Skye.  This midwife was also tended her own small herd of cows.  One night she went out to call the cows home, when she was approached by a fairy man. He bid her to follow him.  She refused, saying she had to tend to her cows. The fairy man insisted that if she helped him, her cows would be well looked after.

When she arrived in his fairy home, she found that his wife was having difficulties in childbirth. The situation was so dire that the delivery and subsequent health concerns of mother and child took several days. By the time her services were no longer needed, eight full days had gone by!  When the midwife returned to her own home, however, she found that the fairy man had been true to his word. Her cattle never could have been better cared for.

Another fairy story from Skye comes to us from K.M. Briggs who published a few decades later, also in Folklore magazine.  She received the story from the wife of a minister from the Isle of Skye.

As the story goes, a little boy and his sister had been left to stay with their grandmother while their mother went to nurse an ailing friend some distance away. A neighbor boy joined the pair to play.

After a pleasant afternoon of playing in the sunshine, the children began to feel tired and a little ornery.  An elderly woman happened to call on the children’s grandmother.  Now, this woman was known to be a “wise woman,” and had an idea about how to cheer them up.

Now, this wise woman took a liking to the children and asked if they would like to see something special. They replied that yes, they would, so she beckoned them to follow her.  What happened next is reminiscent of Irish poet William Allingham’s most famous poem, The Fairies:

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;The

Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;

Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

The children followed the old woman down a winding path through a glen and over to a little burn.  Following her instructions, the children held hands, the first with the wise woman and so on so that all four were connected.  Then, they sat down beside the stream.

Suddenly, on the other side of the brook the children beheld an iridescent fire burning in twilight of the early evening. They couldn’t believe their eyes when fairies appeared around the fire! The fairies were bedecked all in green and danced merrily about the flames. When the children arrived by the very same burn the next day to show their friends, the fairies were nowhere to be seen.

K.M. Briggs reveals that the little boy was the husband of the woman who told her this story. According to his wife, the minister reckoned it was the presence of the wise woman that allowed the children to see the fairies. By holding the hand of the witch, and all children connecting together in a line, the minister thought each child was able to tap into the energy or extra sense that the wise woman carried. For it was said among the villagers that this woman possessed the famous Celtic “second sight.”

The fairies of Skye turn up in the island’s beautiful landscape as well as its lore. There are many landmarks that are associated with tales of stories. And some that seem to have earned their association for their otherworldly appearance rather than any legend.

The fairy pools of Skye are one such example. These are naturally occurring pools typically under waterfalls, usually with very clear water, unique rock formations, and surrounded in vivid color. Since these pools have been an internet sensation, I did make an earnest attempt to find lore associated with them. Sadly, I was unable to. This in no way insinuates that none exists, simply that I could not locate it.

However, these pools are often graced with an abundance of minerals and decorated with beautiful blue-green algae which give them a reputation as places of healing.

An artist’s rendition of the Fairy Pools of Skye, drawn by Vasilios Markousis.

This phenomenon is also seen with the holy wells all over Britain, Ireland, and Europe. These were typically fresh water springs with similar properties. In most cases, these wells and springs were sacred to pagans long before the Christianization of Europe. After conversion, however, the Church adopted them as holy wells.

A similar instance is seen in Bath. The famous hot springs of Bath are thought to have been a holy site to British pagans.  The Romans, always one with a keen eye for opportunity, harnessed the natural heated mineral water when they built a traditional Roman bath around it.

There are many more fairy stories from Skye, and I will be sure to share them with you in the future.

Works consulted:
Briggs, K. M. (1961). Some Late Accounts of the Fairies. Folklore, 72 (3), 509-519.
MacCulloch, Mary Julia (1922). Folk-Lore of the Isle of Skye. Folklore,33 (2), 201-214.
Swire, Otta F. (1961). Skye: The Island and its Legends. London: Blackie & Son Limited.

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Silliness – Twelve Mile March

I was a new Army basic trainee at Fort McClellan, and one requirement was a demanding 12-mile march.
We got started at 6 a.m. and were pumped up for the trek.
An hour later, feeling the heavy load of our packs, we wondered if the end would ever come. “Men,” our sergeant yelled, “you’re doing a fine job. We’ve already covered four miles!”
Revitalized, we picked up the pace. “And,” he continued, “we should reach the starting point any minute now.”

Posted in Daily Stuff, Newsletter, Pagan, Wiccan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Stuff 8-6-19 Hiroshima Day

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

Overcast but pretty bright, 64F, wind at 2mph, AQI32, UV8. That chance of rain has dropped to 40% early Saturday and just a trace. <sigh>

Yesterday went pretty quickly again. We got our package out (…and teased the kids with hints) and I did spend a little time in back putting things away, but mostly I wrote. I hit a point late in the afternoon where it seemed like I was messing up everything that I did for awhile, but that sorted out in the evening.

As usual embroidery and reading were the evening tasks. I’m still working on that bubble suit for Sioned, but I’ve gotten a number of small bits done, too. I did get some licks in on the compounding station, but I need to get back to that, today. …and the table. I got a lot of the writing done. I need to get on the rest of it today.

Tempus is heading out to do laundry. I discovered that I large wad of my embroidery fabric got dripped on when the roof was leaking last winter. <grr> It’s *yards* of the stuff! Luckily it was the short bolt, so it’s about 4 yards, rather than the full one which would have been 20! Hoping that it comes clean, at least mostly.

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I have more boxing up and shifting in the back by the nap bed today, and I need to get some more of the too-dry herbs down out of the rack and dealt with. Tonight’s the paper route.

I’m thinking about making cheese tonight, since I have most of a table. Maybe another try on mozzerella? Anyone want to join me? It’s fun to do cheese.

A Ken Gagne pic from 7/31/15 of the Yaquina Bay Bridge

 

折鶴_WUXGAToday’s Feast is Hiroshima Day, the anniversary of the day the US dropped a nuclear bomb on this city. Sadako did not live to finish her 1000 cranes, but ever since, people fold them for her intent for life and peace. May we each fold 1000 cranes in our intentions, not for our own blessing, but that of our people and our world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_origami_cranes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima#World_War_II_and_atomic_bombing_.281939.E2.80.931945.29

220px-Peace_flame_in_Tokyo

The Peace Memorial with strings of cranes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_and_the_Thousand_Paper_Cranes
http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/53_years_of_nuclear_testing_in_14_seconds_a_time_lapse_film_by_japanese_artist_isao_hashimoto.html

motif plant flower red poppySo, the Flanders Poppy Papaver rhoeas is today’s plant. It is an agricultural weed, also called “corn flower”, associated with crops since the earliest beginnings of agriculture, since it flowers abundantly in disturbed ground, such as at plowing, and then will flower and seed before the crops are harvested. This is how the poppies sprang up so quickly in the cemeteries of Flanders, as the dead soldiers were interred. These are not the same as the opium poppy Papaver somniferum. The Flanders Poppy and the White Poppy are the two associated with war and worn as symbols, the red poppy meaning the honoring of the dead soldiers and the white, the hope for peace. It is also associated with headaches, both from inhaling the scent and from the headaches from too much crying, from which the folk name, “Head Waak” (pronounced “whack”) comes. –plant poppy wheatFeminine, Moon, Water, Hypnos & Demeter – Poppies have been associated with sleep far more than death up until this past century and also with wealth. They are often used in magics to aid sleep. as an ingredient of dream pillows. In wealth & fertility magicks, the abundant seeds are eaten and carried to attract luck and money. A gilded poppypod can be worn as a necklace for the same purpose. They can be added to love foods and added to love sachets. The seeds are not the source of the addictive medicines, so are safe to carry. In more recent times, the associations with blood and death have started cropping up in spellbooks. Those are “goth” rather than witchy, so be careful.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaveraceae

The shop opens at 11am. Summer  hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

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 8/15 at 5:29am. 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 8/7 at 10:31am. 

The Moon accompanies Jupiter on the nights of August 8th and especially 9th, with Antares looking on from below.

Now spot Spica about 13° to the Moon’s lower right at dusk, and brighter Arcturus much higher to the Moon’s upper right.

Saturn as imaged by Go on 7/18. Some very fine lines may be spurious. South is up.

Magnificent Saturn reached its peak four weeks ago, when it appeared opposite the Sun in the sky, and our view of the ringed planet remains spectacular. It is on display from shortly after sunset until nearly 4 a.m. local daylight time. It currently resides among the background stars of Sagittarius the Archer, hanging in the southeastern sky as darkness falls and climbing highest in the south around 11 p.m. Saturn continues to shine brightly, too, at magnitude 0.2. When viewed through a telescope, the dramatic ring system spans 41″ and tilts 25° to our line of sight, while the planet’s family of modestly bright moons appears next to the gorgeous world.
Venus and Mars are out of sight in the glare of the Sun.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for August – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-august-2019
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Goddess Month of Hesperus runs from 8/9 – 9/5
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe. Runic half-month of Ansuz/ As /Os/, 8-13-8/29 – This time is sacred to the god/desses of Asgard and contains the time of the Ordeal of Odin and the festival of the Runes. This time is also referring to Yggdrasil, the Tree that give order to the Worlds. This is a time of stability and divine order visible in the world. 

Sun in Leo
Moon in Libra enters Scorpio at 8:31am.
Jupiter (8/11), Saturn (9/18), Pluto (10/3) and Neptune (11/27), Chiron (12/12) Retrograde

Color: Red

Planting 8/6-8

©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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from Wikimedia commons

Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).

Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Month: July
Color: Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.

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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
Tu   6     High   5:08 AM     6.5   6:09 AM    Rise 12:55 PM      28
~     6      Low  11:22 AM     0.4   8:35 PM
~     6     High   5:49 PM     7.6

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I act with purposeful awareness of clarity.

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Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – He who will not economize will have to agonize. — Confucius

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Quotes

~   Why in a country of free speech, are there phone bills? – Steven Wright
~   I find I journalize too tediously. Let me try to abbreviate. – James Boswell (1740-1795) Scottish biographer
~   To seize your power you must assume responsibility for your life. – Kerr Cuhulain
~   Happiness is not of yesterday, happiness is not the product of time, happiness is always in the present, a timeless state. – J. Krishnamurti

If the first week in August is unusually warm,
The winter will be white and long. –Folklore  

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Magick – Tell Tale Signs of an Elder – From the Book Advanced Wicca  by Trish Telesco and used here with her permission

  • reclaims knowledge and tradition and keeps both vital for future generations
  • safeguards our history (honoring the past while building the future)
  • accepts the responsibility implied by spiritual progress
  • honors the earth as a sacred space
  • acknowledges life as an act of worship
  • respects diversity without being wishy washy about “right and wrong”
  • embraces creativity
  • encourages balance
  • teaches others freely
  • serves often without being asked or acknowledged
  • gives something back to his or her Arts
  • recognizes that mastery is a life-long process
  • doesn’t need to waive their titles around (their lives and actions  speak for them)

http://crystalforest1.homestead.com/eldersigns.html

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Silliness – Well Done

John was furious when his steak arrived too rare.
“Waiter,” he shouted, “Didn’t you hear me say ‘well done’?”
“I can’t thank you enough, sir,” replied the waiter. “I hardly ever get a compliment.”

Posted in Daily Stuff, Newsletter, Pagan, Wiccan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Daily Stuff 8-5-19 Waffle Day

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Ceera Brandt. Last Minus Tide of the cycle at 10:35 AM of -0.5 feet.

Overcast again and today not bright enough for shadows. 63F, wind at 5mph and gusting, AQI36, UV8. That chance of rain is now just Thursday into Friday and it’s less of a chance.

Yesterday was another busy day. We had enough breaks in the traffic to be able to eat, at least. Around 5pm things really slowed down, but we had customers in even past 8pm.

I spent some time in the afternoon using the new grinder. It’s really good. I got the bay and rosemary ground for incense. I got the last of the onion skins processed, too, although those only need to be chopped.

Nick stopped by and we talked about the new adventure that the Chocolate Frog is embarking on. They’ve got their 2nd location in Nelscott partway set up.

At dusk I went out and harvested some salad. By then Tempus was making us a good supper of chops, tater wedges, corn and salad.

We finally know how we’re going to treat the antler rounds. I talked to a number of artisans during the day and got their advice. It looks like dremel, acrylic paint and clear sealer is the way to go.

…and then I wrote and finally read for the rest of the evening.

We have a package to get out this morning and then I’m going to put the incense makings away for the week. After that I need to work on the compounding station, for awhile, and if my hands are up to it, make earrings….and write. I’ve got several blog posts to finish.

A different kind of visitor… Dragonfly by Ceera Brandt

Waffles_with_Strawberries

Today’s Feast is Waffle Day. An actual “feast” for once? :-) Did you know that they go back to the Middle Ages and derive from communion wafers? I had no idea! Waffles, as we know them, go back to the early 1500’s, and there is a bewildering variety. I also didn’t know that Belgian waffles are not from Belgium. They were invented at a World’s Fair in the US and were called “Bel-Gem” waffles! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffle

plant huckleberry Vaccinium_ovatum_3Today’s plant is Evergreen huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum, a small shrub that is native to the PNW. The berries were a staple food for the PNW indigines. The fruit is blue-black and tends to be small, but makes excellent jam and the leaves are smoked or made into tea for colds. Gender, Feminine – Planet, Venus – Element, Water – Carry for luck and health. This is a plant that will keep away evil and break hexes. Burn the leaves to bring visions and to make dreams come true.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen_Huckleberry

The shop opens at 11am. Summer  hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

Love & Light,
Anja

******

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 8/15 at 5:29am. 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 8/5 at 8:12am. 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 8/7 at 10:31am. 

All this August, Jupiter and Saturn remain by Scorpius and Sagittarius at nightfall.

The waxing crescent Moon hangs in the west-southwest as twilight fades. Look for Spica about 7° to its lower left (for North America). Much higher above the Moon is brighter Arcturus.
This week finds observers caught between the peaks of two nice meteor showers. The Southern Delta Aquariid shower reached maximum the night of July 29/30 and has started to diminish, while the Perseid shower is ramping up in preparation for its peak the morning of August 13. Last week’s New Moon means the morning hours currently remain Moon-free. You can tell meteors from the two showers apart by tracing their paths backward. Southern Delta Aquariid meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Aquarius the Water-bearer while Perseid meteors emanate from Perseus the Hero.
Mercury is becoming visible in early dawn, as it climbs up from the east-northeast horizon this week and brightens from magnitude +1.4 to –0.2. Use binoculars to look for it very low about 45 minutes before sunrise. It’s lower right of twinklier Pollux and Castor, as shown here.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for August – https://www.almanac.com/content/sky-map-august-2019
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe.

Sun in Leo
Moon in Libra
Jupiter (8/11), Saturn (9/18), Pluto (10/3) and Neptune (11/27), Chiron (12/12) Retrograde

Color: Lavendar

©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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from Wikimedia commons

Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1, Coll (CULL), hazel – The hazel (Corylus avellana L) is the source of hazelnuts. It forms a shrub up to 6 m (20 feet) tall, inhabiting open woodlands and scrubs, hedgerows, and the edges of forests. The filbert nut in North American groceries is Corylus maxima, a related species. The European hazelnut is cultivated in North America, primarily as an ornamental. Hazelnuts are in the Birch family (Betulaceae).

Coll – Hazel Ogam letter correspondences
Month: July
Color: Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: C, K
Meaning: Creative energies for work or projects.

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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    5     High   4:06 AM     7.3   6:08 AM    Rise 11:43 AM      18
~     5      Low  10:35 AM    -0.5   8:36 PM     Set 11:38 PM
~     5     High   5:01 PM     7.6
~     5      Low  11:18 PM     0.9

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Meditation – Listen to the morning sounds: bird’s songs; wind in the tree; the roar of traffic; children’s voices. What do these sounds convey to you?

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Journal Prompt – Personal Interests and Experiences – Is there anything you want so much that you would be willing to save all of your own money to get? Explain your answer.

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Quotes

~   Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness. – Rumi
~   I believe that you cannot go any further than you can think. I certainly believe if you don’t desire a thing, you will never get it. – Mother Charleszetta Waddles (1912-2001) US nun
~   I continue to create because writing is a labor of love and also an act of defiance, a way to light a candle in a gale wind: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was God. – Alice Childress (1920-1994) US writer
~   There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.” No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” The Dalai Lama

Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;
The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below. – –Henry David Thoreau (1817–62)

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Magick – Teenaged Witches And Pagans – http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=caab&c=teen&id=9746

Author: Lady Luna, Posted: August 7th. 2005 , Times Viewed: 1,408
I have been studying and practicing Paganism for many years and Witchcraft for many more. I have taught what I know and helped guide others for the past 2.5 years. Over this time I have discovered that teen Witches have an extremely hard time finding someone to guide them. Finding another Witch to talk to about experiences and new things learned is next to impossible. You go into a Witch or Pagan chat room and mention that you are a teenaged Witch and you will immediately be drilled with questions, and no matter what answer you give, you become labeled as “fluffy, ” “stupid” or “no nothing.” I know this because I have gone into chat rooms under different identities at different times, changing my answers to the questions they seem to ask every time to the answers they seem to want, yet it is not good enough for them.

School is not easy for a teenaged Witch, especially if you are out of the closet. Witches, like it or not, are not normal. We have gifts and never really “fit in” with the modern day teenager who is Christian or Catholic. I myself kept my distance from my classmates and other people I went to school with. It was easier than trying to explain to them that despite my differences, I was a kid just like them. Instead, I made friends with adults or teenagers when I was in elementary or junior high school. I related to them much better; I have what is known as an “old spirit” or “old soul.” I have talked to a lot of other teenaged Witches ranging in age from 14 to 19 and found they had stories quite similar to mine.

On top of that I have grown up with books such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings and with movies for both series of books along with Practical Magic, Charmed, Sabrina The Teenaged Witch and The Craft to name only a few. I have noticed that there are a lot of teenagers who see a movie and think that Magick and Witchcraft is just like in the movies or books, but it’s not. However, when someone asks another person for help, most people (not all, there are some people who are exceptions) don’t take the time to tell them that it is not realistic, so they continue to think that what they’ve seen is true. I have a hard time believing that unknowing teenagers are the ones to blame. Why won’t an adult who has been studying for a while explain to them why it is unreasonable to think that you can point a finger and make everything better? After all, they don’t know anything else. Why can’t an adult give these teenagers a chance? Help them by naming a good website which can give them good, accurate information? Most of the adults know how hard it is to find the truth about Witchcraft and Paganism when they don’t have someone who knows better to help them. We’re not looking for an easy ride, just a helping hand.

It does get better as you get older; it is almost as if when you have a birthday, you automatically know more and gain more respect. I think this needs to be addressed because I know many young Witches and Pagans who know more than a lot of adults I have met. There’s a saying: “You haven’t lived until you have lived.” You can sit on your butt for a year of your life and learn nothing, experience nothing, but if you get off your butt for a year of your life, you can learn and experience a lot.

Don’t get me wrong, I do realize and have seen that there are a lot of teenagers who, once they discover what Witchcraft and Paganism really are, back out, or they’re arrogant and refuse to listen to adults. This can be very trying to those adults who do in fact try to help teenagers. However, always remember, whether you help a teenager learn that Witchcraft and Paganism is not for them, or help them further what they already know, you are helping them. If they refuse to listen, then don’t help them, but give them a chance. Ask them questions, get to know them, and trust your gut.

I have now found a group of Pagans in my city who aren’t a coven, they are just a bunch of friends who get together and talk, about Magick or life in general. At first I was very hesitant to go back into the Pagan community. I had spent several years as part of a coven and found that it was very judgmental and hard to be a part of. I took a deep breath and met these people, they were very warm and inviting to me. They got to know me and I don’t think they made any preconceptions before getting to know me a little. They gave me a chance, and I am so grateful to them. I may be a high priestess, and I may know quite a bit, but I will be honest: I do not know everything, and almost every time I am with these people I learn something new, I feel I can be honest with them and I will not be judged, considered “fluffy” or a liar. I hope more people can follow their footsteps and open themselves up to teenaged Witches. After all, once all the adults pass over, who’s going to be the Witches on the earth? The teenagers and children of today.

Please note, I do realize that there are adults who do go out of their way to help teens, and I thank them so much for that! It is really appreciated, even if sometimes we don’t show our appreciation.

Footnotes:
This has been published on the teenaged group Dagger Rose Teen Tower, and Calgary Pagan Newsletter Moonlit Muse http://moonlitmuse.cjb.net

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Silliness – Upscale

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