Mars and the Full Moon

Every year I see this, especially around the Pagan community. The first year I fell for it too, eight years ago. It isn’t like I’m not sympathetic, but people should know the truth, so I tell them, every… single… year. Here is all the information you need to know about this hoax.

In 2003 an email began to circulate with the following text courtesy of Universe Today:

The Red Planet is about to be spectacular! This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter’s gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification

Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m. That’s pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month. Share this with your children and grandchildren. NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN

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Fairy

Fairy, Faery, Faerie, Fae, Fay, Fey are usually used interchangeably nowadays, especially among the neo-pagan population, but this wasn’t always so. Here are the older definitions attributed to these words, I won’t get into their natures and appearance here.

From Fairy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The word fairy derives from Middle English faierie (also fayerye, feirie, fairie), a direct borrowing from Old French faerie (Modern French féerie) meaning the land, realm, or characteristic activity (i.e. enchantment) of the legendary people of folklore and romance called (in Old French) faie or fee (Modern French fée). This derived ultimately from Late Latin fata (one of the personified Fates, hence a guardian or tutelary spirit, hence a spirit in general); cf. Italian fata, Portuguese fada, Spanish hada of the same origin…

…To the word faie was added the suffix -erie (Modern English -(e)ry), used to express either a place where something is found (fishery, heronry, nunnery) or a trade or typical activity engaged in by a person (cookery, midwifery, thievery). In later usage it generally applied to any kind of quality or activity associated with a particular sort of person, as in English knavery, roguery, witchery, wizardry.

Faie became Modern English fay “a fairy”; the word is, however, rarely used, although it is well known as part of the name of the legendary sorceress Morgan le Fay of Arthurian legend. Faierie became fairy, but with that spelling now almost exclusively referring to one of the legendary people, with the same meaning as fay. In the sense “land where fairies dwell”, the distinctive and archaic spellings Faery and Faerie are often used. Faery is also used in the sense of “a fairy”, and the back-formation fae, as an equivalent or substitute for fay is now sometimes seen.

The word fey, originally meaning “fated to die” or “having forebodings of death” (hence “visionary”, “mad”, and various other derived meanings) is completely unrelated, being from Old English fæge, Proto-Germanic *faigja- and Proto-Indo-European *poikyo-, whereas Latin fata comes from the Indo-European root *bhã- “speak”. Due to the identical pronunciation of the two words, “fay” is sometimes misspelled “fey”.

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New Moon Crafting

Sometimes things happen all at once.

I use old vinegar jugs to store water for my plants on the patio since the faucet is on the other side of the house. This makes it infinitely easier for me to water them and allows the chlorine in the water to dissipate. I realized the last time I watered that this was an excellent opportunity to infuse a little magic into my gardening. Once I saw the new moon waxing in the evening sky I knew it was time to work. I enchanted a couple of moss agate’s and created a sigil and set them to the task of helping my plants grow strong and healthy.I also noticed that I was running low on lip balm, body powder, and air freshener. These are not things I buy from the store, these are my personal homemade products. I have a lot of sensitivities and many products I have to make myself although I enjoy the creation of them as well. My air freshener and body powder are simple little concoctions. Baking soda and cornstarch with a little essential oil for scent is all I use for my powder, while water and essential oil makes up the floral water that I use as an air freshener.

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Harvest Funeral

Winter’s shadow has come once again and with it comes the harvest season. I pause to give thanks, expressing gratitude for all that I have. In celebration I served homemade chili and cornbread with a chocolate cake for dessert. Upon the altar rests an offering to the spirits; handpicked apples from my next-door neighbors yard, a cornbread muffin drizzled with local honey, and a glass of blackberry brandy.

In addition to the harvest celebration, I completed the funeral for a little friend who blessed me on her path. I spoon-fed and sheltered her, but she was to become a victim of Colony Collapse. I honored her passing as it was the only thing I could do for her in the end. I offered to her a bowl of honey and fresh flowers, laid her body among rose petals and lavender buds, then scattered tobacco and mugwort over her. I will keep her with me, maybe in the future she will bless me once more as an ally.I give thanks for the gifts I have been given in my life, I also give thanks to the bees for their gifts to the world and feel sorrow as I also give thanks for their sacrifice. I send my prayers out to the bees this season, may they find strength and prosperity.