Friday, February 10, 2017

Where's My Time Machine?

Where’s My Time Machine?

As Astrologer Austin Coppock tells us, “On February 10th, we are treated a penumbral lunar eclipse at 22 Leo, the first of many on the axis which connects the Lion and the Water-Bearer. This eclipse occurs with the Sun and Moon occupying degrees configured tightly to this year’s Jupiter-Uranus opposition, and moving the game of 2017 along, turning over another set of cards.”
            Holy moly. I have little understanding of what all that means astrologically, but I do know that magically the confluence of the full moon, an eclipse, and, oh yes, a “strange green comet” as Elizabeth Howell tells us will be visible along with the “full snow moon eclipse.”
            Most magical practitioners will say not to do magick during an eclipse, and that too many weird things happening in the sky should just make us stay home and hide under the bed. Others will say that this is the perfect time to harness the power of the moon. And most of us will say that the power of the moon is symbolic in spellwork anyway, not literal, so do what thou wilt. I won’t be doing any magick; having been poleaxed by The Year of the Rooster I’m spoiling for a fight, and I’m not ready to calm down enough to do any magick tonight, weird astronomical configurations or no.
            Now, Austin also invokes one of my all-time favorite movies, 1960’s The Time Machine with Rod Taylor, a beautiful film adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel. I think a lot of us wish for a time machine right now; I don’t want to live in the world I’m living in at the moment, a time in which all of the societal progress that has been made in my lifetime is about to be swept away at the point of a pen by a barely literate con man. But hey, that’s just me.
            Tonight might be a good time to watch the film and to think of all the truly beautiful things out there. Many of them do come from a time before we were born, a time in which society was in great upheaval and in which factories had not yet mass-produced everything we use. I’m so glad that the handcrafting movement is back, and once again we can find handcrafted goods by talented people.
            Maybe someone will make that time machine after all. If not, then at least we can dream about one. Sweet dreams—I’m exhausted. Have a gander at the following for more information:

Coppock, Austin. “February 2017: Time Machine,”

Howell, Elizabeth. “Look Up Friday! Green Comet and Snow Moon Eclipse Team Up for Skywatchers”

The Time Machine, 1960.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Imbolc, Candlemas, and Oya: The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree

Imbolc, Candlemas, and Oya:
The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree

“And I heard as it were the voice of thunder:
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”
--Johnny Cash, “The Man Comes Around”

            It might not be a “man” who “comes around” and takes names and kicks ass. It might be Oya. She’s got a lot to do this year, oh man, oh man. Oya is the African face of Imbolc, the Candlemas orisha who whips the winds of February, the winds that cut me like a knife. But I’m an Aquarius, an air sign, so I’m supposed to like wind or something. I don’t. Never have, never will. But I do like a good fire. And Oya is all about the flame.
            Do some reading up on her. I have some stuff below that I’m suggesting you look at, and I’m also suggesting you listen to that Johnny Cash song on YouTube. It’s an apocalyptic song, a song about Death and what comes after. Oya is death. The story of her getting tricked into owning the cemetery? Nonsense. She owns it because as a warrior she IS death. What do you think warriors do? Stop a minute and think about it.
            Now, I did say I was going to speak about Imbolc. If you want to know about Brigid and her connection with Imbolc and Candlemas, read the previous blog. So, on Candlemas, we have Groundhog Day in the U.S., the last vestige of European pagan Imbolc in mainstream America. Like Punxatawny Phil and many other municipal groundhogs around the country, he is called upon to predict the weather by annoying the crap out of him, taking him from his comfy, warm burrow, and making him squint into the light of a February morning so some city fathers can see whether spring will come early or not. It’s a publicity stunt, but it hearkens back to ye olde Europa where I believe it was a hedgehog that predicted when winter would end. So, if the groundhog or hedgehog sees his shadow, it’s six more weeks of winter. If not, then spring will come early. This is a big deal to people in cold climates, and most of Europe has a cold climate compared to sunny SoCal where I live, so it makes sense.
            We have a little publicity stunt of our own: Palos Verdes Pancho, a plush groundhog toy that was offered one year at Build-A-Bear. I had him built myself and asked for a Spanish-speaking voicebox. This morning he did not see his shadow. I guess that means spring will come early in SoCal. We’ll see. So that’s it for Imbolc but for the ewe’s milk cheese.
            And I’m ignoring all the white-light stuff online. Nuh-huh. Not this time. I’m not begging Oya to help me cope with change, but you can if you want to, because that’s one of the things Oya is good for. Now, asking her to change things—go ahead. Just be prepared for what happens next.
            Don’t burn incense for her. She doesn’t like smoke, but she does like flame. I illuminate candles for her—meaning that I decorate them with sparkly things. I also anoint her candles, and offer her things that she likes. I have an amethyst—Aquarius’ birthstone—and a labradorite stone on her altar. I have rosemary, mint, and lavender in a vase—she like strong, sweet-smelling things. The rosemary this year is blooming like I’ve never seen it bloom before.
            I’ve been too busy trying to save what little amount of employment I have left to fully prepare for this holiday, so I didn’t have a chance to get to the store to buy nine of those little Asian eggplants, but if you do, put them in a basket along with nine pennies and put it on her altar. If you can’t get them, one big eggplant will do. That’s what I’ve got. Some people make a little skirt for it from construction paper in burgundy or purple. Burn a lot of candles. You can always order an Oya candle from Rev. Dee’s Apothecary. Burn purple, wine, dark blue, dark green, brown, or white candles or a mix of all of those. Just light ‘em up. If you must burn incense, do so in another room, and burn a cinnamon or coconut incense for Elegua. You need to light his candle first, of course; you always light his candle first before working with any other orisha.
            Write your own words to say to her, or speak off the cuff. Don’t be afraid to speak or write strongly—she would! She’s also good for employment, for in the New World she’s seen as the patron orisha of career women. If you’ve read The Dark Archetype, and you should, you’d know that and you’d see a wonderful career-boosting ritual. So I’d suggest that, if nothing else, you implore her to get you a job if you want one or help you keep the one(s) you already have.
To get you started on your own ritual, here are a few words I borrowed from one of the websites below and tweaked a little; you can start with this if you wish:
Although it is now dark, I come seeking light.
In the dead of winter, I come seeking life.
I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth.
I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life.
I call upon fire to purify me with its flames.
            Before I finish my altar and light my candle, I’m going to make her a special drink: a Cosmopolitan! I knew that she preferred red wine rather than the standard rum that most orishas like, but I didn’t know she liked Cosmos. I’ll post a few standard recipes below along with my suggestions for further study.
            Change. Wind. Fire. Thorns. Rending. Blood.
            You’d think it was Lupercalia or something!
            Oh, wait…that’s the next blog.

Recipes for Cosmopolitans:
Cosmo #1: 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger vodka; ½ oz Cointreau; 1 tsp. lime juice; 2 oz cranberry juice..
Cosmo #2: 2 oz vodka; ½ oz triple sec; 1 ½ tbsp. cranberry juice; ¼ oz lime juice.
Cosmo #3: 1 1/2 oz lemon vodka;1 oz Cointreau; 1 oz cranberry juice; 2 tsp. lime juice.
All Cosmos should be shaken well with ice and strained into a martini class. Garnish with lime peel, orange peel, or an orange slice.

References and for further study:
Cash, Johnny. “The Man Comes Around.”
Dumars, Denise and Lori Nyx. The Dark Archetype.
Gleason, Judith. Oya: In Praise of an African Goddess.
Heathwitch. “Oya, Lady of Storms,”
“Origin of Groundhog Day.”
“Oya,” Santeria Church of the Orishas.