Good Glorious Monday Morning, dear family & friends!


Facts You Might Not Know About This Monday, January 7th

January 7 : The Day of Unusual Interests Ancient Egyptian : dedicated to the ‘Goddess Sekhmet’, ‘guardian of the dead’, one of the ‘Seven Kine Deities’.

‘St. Distaff’s Day’ : rurally and traditionally known as a day dedicating to spinning wool after the holiday in England.

Celtic feast day of ‘Brannoc’ : Believed to be from Brittany, and according to legend came to Cornwall across the seas in a stone coffin (or a ship laden with such ballast). Alleged to have seen a vision, of white piglets feeding on a white sow, which later led him to work to build a church (where he is also believed to be buried) at Braunton, Devon, England.



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Today Is St. Agnes’ Eve

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St Agnes’ Eve

This is an evening for love divinations, even though the spurious St Agnes chose death rather than marry a pagan Roman officer. Most of the methods recommended for determining your future spouse are challenging.

According to the Encyclopedia of Superstitions, you should take a row of pins and pull out everyone while saying a pater noster. Stick one in your sleeve and you will dream of your future mate. I’m not sure if this works if you don’t know the Our Father in Latin. Perhaps it doesn’t matter as the words simply represent your effort to make the process sacred, in which case you can write your own charm along the lines of the following:

Fair St Agnes, play thy part
And send to me my own sweetheart
Not in his best or worst array
But in the clothes he wears each day
That tomorrow I may him ken
From among all other men.

To dream of your future mate, you must fast during the day and keep silent. No one, not even a child, should kiss you. At bedtime you must don your best and cleanest night dress.

One method requires the making, in silence, of a dumb cake of salt and water, supplied in equal proportions by friends who help you make it in silence. You then divide it equally and each takes her piece, walks backwards to bed, eats the cake and jumps in bed.

In Northumberland, the girl is told to boil an egg, extract the yolk, fill the hole with salt, eat the egg shell and all, then recite the above lines of entreaty to St. Agnes. This will insure a significant dream which cannot be revealed to anyone.

Aristotle’s Last Legacy (written in 1711) provides another, even more unpleasant, method for provoking an oracular dream of your lover. All you need to do is sprinkle a sprig of rosemary and a sprig of thyme with urine three times, then put each sprig into one of your shoes and put your shoes by your bed and say:

St Agnes, that’s to Lovers kind
Come ease the Troubles of my Mind.

If these seem too difficult or inedible, you can always try the simple charm of peeling an apple in one long strip and throwing it over your left shoulder to see what initial it will make or simply paying careful attention to your dreams.

For a special treat, find a copy of John Keats’ poem The Eve of St. Agnes and read it aloud.


~Magickal Graphics~

Balancing Light & Dark

Balancing Light & Dark

by Janice Van Cleve


At 11 minutes after the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of August, 1999, a total eclipse of the sun began to trace its shadow across Europe, Anatolia, and India. Thousands gathered in Cornwall, England, to witness the event while others spent thousands of dollars to fly in a Concorde jet in the path of the shadow. What did it all mean?

This was the last solar eclipse of the millennium. Some predicted that it heralded the fulfillment of biblical revelations, others said it marked the beginning of Armageddon — the last battle before the end of the world. Some looked for aliens from other planets to appear or for a shift in the earth’s magnetic fields that would cause catastrophic earthquakes or floods. For myself, it was an energetic day of creative writing which I attribute more to the extra coffee than to celestial events.

Yet an eclipse is an awesome occurrence. To think that an object far out in space could throw its shadow across our earth somehow shakes loose our narrow focus on the mundane and underscores our connection to a greater universe. The immensity of this phenomenon dwarfs our puny existence and forces a humbling awe. Those who fear what they cannot control are driven to spread their fear in dire prophecies and ludicrous interpretations. Still others, seeking escape from temporal reality, see in the eclipse a sign of alternative worlds where they might fare better.

There is another aspect of eclipses: they are beautiful to behold. In a world flush with beauty which unfolds daily in the sheer joy of its own existence, the solar eclipse is one more delightfully exquisite manifestation of pure joy. The eclipse does not have to be either mechanical science or holy creation or portent for the future. It just is, for its own sake, with no purpose other than to be. Like the yellow mountain lily or the fingerling salmon in the sea, like a graceful waltz or reading to a little child, the sun’s diamond ring around the moon is a delight to the open heart.

The eclipse can also provide a symbolic reference for a deeper truth. The moon, which brings light to the darkness, now brings darkness to the light. The moon reflects the sun’s light during the night and, during a solar eclipse, it is the moon that hides that light from us. It is a symbol for the principle of universal duality. Dark cannot exist without light and light cannot exist without dark. Light and dark are coequal twins, like life and death, love and fear, joy and sorrow.

Patriarchal religions attempt to break up universal duality. They fear darkness and shun it, seeking in its place eternal light. Pagans, however, can embrace both the light and the darkness. They can appreciate each one for its own sake and for the anticipation each creates for the other. Bliss is the happy balance of both, in perfect love and perfect trust.

The happy balance of light and dark is the theme of autumn equinox when day and night are of equal length. The expressive and expansive days of spring and summer give way necessarily to the introspective days of autumn and winter. It is no accident that this is the time of Libra, the scales of balance.

Now we gather that which is of lasting value and let go that which is no longer useful. Debts are settled, produce is harvested, and we look back at summer’s accomplishments with a sigh of both satisfaction and relief. Now we begin to draw inward and to take stock and give thanks for how far we have traveled since we made those promises at Imbolc and planted those seeds at spring equinox.

An eclipse gives us a quick vision of the interchangeability of light and dark. The equinox bears out the vision in the wheel of the year. We are the children of the light and we are equally the children of the dark.