Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

The triple treat full moon

On September 27th at 10:50, the full Harvest Moon, which will be a truly remarkable moon, a triple treat.
 First it is  a Super moon, which means it appears larger, 14% larger and 33% brighter, because the moon is closest to the Earth or at perigee. All moon appear larger,when it is near the horizon, also known as the "moon Illusion"
.  Then there is the lunar eclipse, which should be visible in western Europe , across the mighty Atlantic, and well through western North America, unless of course the sky is filled with clouds and/or rain.   For the  4th time in 17 months, there has been a lunar eclipse.  Eclipses of the moon are not unusual, but the last time an eclipse like this ne occurred was 1982, and the next will be in 2033. 

And  for some frosting on this  Full Moon Cake, during this Mooth. the day preceding the full moon, the day of the full moon and  the day following the full moon, there are Equilux.  Equilux is the day when the hours of daylight and dark are the nearest to equal, the Equliux  occurs in the days after the Equinox and it doesn't fall on the same day in all areas of the big blue marble, due in part to variables caused by the curvature of the Earth. 

Harvest Moon is so named because it was the time when the staple foods of  the Native Americans, including corn, rice squash and beans were ready for harvest.  European farmers were also able to work much longer hours because of the light of the Harvest Moon.  The first moon after the Equinox is designated the Harvest Moon, and about twice per decade occurs in October, when this happens the September Full moon is called the Corn Moon.

When I first read that another name for tonight's full Moon was the Blood Moon, I began to wonder if I had really misunderstood what I was reading, but no.
 it is called the Blood Moon, for the color of the moon, caused by atmospheric condition common at this time of year, also because of the association with hunters who hunt by the light of the moon, and smoke from the fires of made by farmers to clear their fields.  The Blood Moon tonight derives its color , which some would call "root beer" from being in shadow during the eclipse.

Though the sunflowers have  faded, in fact most flowers have faded, the sunchokes along the garden  fence have sent their tiny sunflower like blooms soaring twenty feet above the ground.  Also known as Jerusalem Artichokes, sunchokes are a member of the sunflower family.  As I watched the sun sink below the  treetops, the tiny flowers on unbelievably long stalk swayed and swirled in the breeze.   You can see them in bloom along the roadside at this time of year, the roots are edible, even prized as a delicacy by some, but not me, I like the flowers.  The ones along the road don't usually get very tall, for these reasons I will call this the Sunchoke Moon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

haiku--getting colder

trees not green, not gold
sun setting earlier each walk
 buttoning my coat 

Monday, September 21, 2015

the first day of fall

 Blessings and bounty on this Equinox,  and above all balance, our ancestors must have noticed that also, they also must have found great reassurance in their observations that  the opposite always returned.     The Autumnal equinox, in the northern hemisphere, and the Vernal equinox in the  southern hemisphere will in six months time it will be the opposite    The Autumnal Equinox is the traditiona start of Autumn and  a few days later is the Equilux of equal daylight, this does vary from location to location,   and in my area it is the 26th of September.

The ancient Greeks celebrated Oschophoia, the grape harvest, the Romans also celebrated the  harvest  with, in part, a festival dedicated to Pomona, from who's name we derive the names of some fruits and vegetable, like potatoes and apples.  On the 29th Michealmass is still celebrated in several parts of the former British Empire, dinner is prepared using oversized loaves of bread, and  the "stubble goose" meaning a goose that has grazed on the stubble from the harvest fields, is the main course.  The Iroquois Nation celebrates this time with a large gathering called  the Corn Dance.   Oh, yes and in Bavaria, in the early 1700s Oktoberfest was begun, it was usually celebrated  the last week of September.  Before
Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation setting the date of Thanksgiving as the last Thursday of November,  it was celebrated on October 3rd.  

Usually  Mabon is celebrated on Sept 21st.  A new name for a very ancient holiday, first came into use about 1970, when Aiden Kelly author of the  book Crafting the Art of Magic {1991} gave Celtic names to the Quarter and Cross Quarter days.   There is no evidence to suggest that these names were ever used by the ancient Celts.  Mabon is a Celtic name, generally given to a male child, it's literal meaning is "son".   it is a celebration of home and family, much like Thanksgiving, both are celebrations of the second harvest, both of which find us on the edge of the ever darkening winter.
Hospitality and  sharing food were important  in a time when people had to survive winter on what they managed to store away.

The Druids called  this times of the year when the light and darkness shifted Alban Elfed which is translated to "the light of the water"  as the darkness begins to prevail over daylight.  The nights grow long, and people gather indoors, and at the same time gather their thoughts and ambitions inward,  in an effort to make it through the difficult  months ahead and  be ready when spring arrived.  

Equinoxes are balancing points, they mark a change, often a gradual change. between a time of mostly light and growth, abundance and turning outwards, and a time of darkness and dormancy, silence, turning inward to our own thoughts and recourses.  The name Mabon suggests a new life, 
 and the wheel of the year reminds me of a life,  it is the dormancy , the quiet of pregnancy, when new life is still hidden, new ideas, and new resolve and a new life are being created.   The upcoming weeks are a time for getting  things done before the world freezes over, a time when we can truly turn inward and prepare for the future, change any courses that need changing.  Soon there will be plenty of time to mend, repair and create new things for our lives.  That was the world of our ancestors knew, a life governed by the seasons.  Though for many of this it is no longer that way, even those of us who live as close as we can to the land can forget that.  Now we are given a new opportunity to be in balance with the earth we live on,  also to balance what is in our hearts and minds.

Mabon Balance Prayer
Equal hours of light and darkness
we celebrate the balance of Mabon,
and ask the gods to bless us.
For all that is bad, there is good.
For that which is despair, there is hope.
For the moments of pain, there are moments of love.
For all that falls, there is the chance to rise again.

May we find balance in our lives
as we find it in our hearts.

~~Patti Wigginton


World peace day, randoms

Today, September 21st is World Peace Day.  And I just switched off the news because the doesn't seem to be any Peace to be found on there. 

When I was a kid, not sure where I learned it, but I learned a song with the lyric "let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."   Does it follow that if a person is at peace with themselves, then they are at peace with other and  that it could extend ever outward.  I hope so.

 "Wage peace"
Wage it with your whole heart, mind and soul. And pass it on.

I am not sure that there ever was a true Peace, nor am I sure that there is more fighting and cruelty now than there has been in past ages.  I feel sure that that we are made aware of more  conflict because of the 24/7 news coverage.

I wonder if  freedom from want, or if you will "abundance" could cause Peace to breakout,  it might.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

haiku snapping beans

snapping the last beans
leave the rest for next years seed,
or cook with  the ham 

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Old Lamplighter a short ramble

I drove through my hometown the other day, and I noticed that they had erected what looked very much like olde tyme gas lampposts on the main street.   I have clear memories of seeing the lamplighter light the gas lamps that  lined those streets when I was a child, even though the street I lived on, on had electric street lights.  I think I asked my Father a million questions about those glowing gas lights, but he would still take me into town to watch the lamplighter light them.

At about that time this song came out.  and you guessed it, there were a million questions I had to ask about the song, for the longest time I thought that it had been written about our towns gas street lights.  I also thought that another song by the Browns, "The three Bells" had been written about a huge sandstone church that was near the center of town.

A few years later the town fathers decided to take down the lights and sell them, though thankfully not for scarp, the lights were sold to another town that has them on their main street to this day.  A fact I learned about on Facebook of all places.    Happy, happy, me!!!!

The Old Lamplighter

~~written by Charles Tobias and Nat Simon
By The Browns
He made the night a little brighter
Wherever he would go
The old lamplighter
Of long, long ago
His snowy hair was so much whiter
Beneath the candle glow
The old lamplighter
Of long, long ago
You'd hear the patter of his feet
As he came toddling down the street
His smile would cheer a lonely heart you see
If there were sweethearts in the park
He'd pass a lamp and leave it dark
Remembering the days that used to be
For he recalled when things were new
He loved someone who loved him too
Who walks with him alone in memories
He made the night a little brighter
Wherever he would go
The old lamplighter
Of long, long ago
His snowy hair was so much whiter
Beneath the candle glow
The old lamplighter
Of long, long ago
Now if you look up in the sky
You'll understand the reason why
The little stars at night are all aglow
He turns them on when night is near
He turns them off when dawn is here
The little man we left so long ago
He made the night a little brighter
Wherever he would go
The old lamplighter of long, long ago

Silent Sunday with animals