Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Moon Of Calming [9 July 2017]

20170707 TADHGS EPHEMERA MOON OF CALMING 9 JULY

It’s that time again – a full moon is imminent.

I love this time of the month, as that heavenly face looks down upon us all. Whatever our differences, tribal allegiances, wherever we find ourselves, that silvery, wonderful face looks upon us all, without judgement.  It’s a time to draw near, to offer gratitude, to celebrate the new moon just as the ancients would have, and it’s a time to ponder in awe, and draw strength.

‘The moon looks upon many night flowers; the night flowers see but one moon.’ Jean Ingelow

The next full moon is on Sunday, 9 July 2017 at 5.07am UTC, in the constellation of Sagittarius, but at that time in the early morning it will be very low in the sky from the UK’s viewpoint, so it may be best to view it Saturday evening, toward midnight or after.

Data

This full moon, to some is known as the Rose moon, or Mead moon, or the Hay moon. To ancient and latter-day Celts and Druidic-Christians like myself (and others) it is known as the Moon of Calming.

‘And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years’. (Genesis 1:14, The Book)

Pluto is nearby this full moon, but the bright star very close to the moon – almost touching it – is 56 Sagittarii, an ‘orange giant’, which is some 204 light years away.

Light leaving 56 Sagittarii some 204 years ago and arriving today, entering your retina, as you look at it now, left that star in 1813 – and during the year of 1813:

  • Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was published anonymously in London;
  • there was a three week raid by the British on Fort Schlosser, Black Rock and Plattsburgh, New York (Sorry, America);
  • Robert Southey becomes Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom;
  • one of my favourite philosopher-theologians, Søren Kierkegaard, was born;
  • and Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, the Italian composer was also born that year.

An alternative view if that, is that all those above events, if it were possible to view them from the star 56 Sagittarii, would only just now be arriving, and that’s what any alien there would ‘see’ and understand of our planet – as it was 204 years ago. Such are the vast distances of space. However, light leaving the moon would take just 1.3 seconds to reach your eye!

‘The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase these things with money.’ Plautus

Liturgy

The following might be useful in your celebration of this full moon, in gratitude to The One Beyond The Moon. These are two liturgical poems or prayers that I’ve come across:

Oh Divine Presence,
bless to me/us the lustre of your signs and wonders,
traces of our final home in land and sea and sky.
As you have made the mark of a human face in the heavens
may I/we see the imprint of your family likeness in every living thing
that your blessing might radiate
each day and each night,
until heaven and earth are One.

(Tess Ward, adapted)

and

I call on strength
from silver moon.
I call on strength
from every sandy strand.
I call on strength
from mountain peak.
I call on strength
from moorland bleak.
I call upon the Spirit
providing strength from here.

(Adapted from David Adam’s book ‘Tides And Seasons’)

I wish you all – whether you have a full moon meal, a party, a full moon ritual, or just take the time to light a candle and/or gaze at the moon in awe and gratitude – I wish you all a wonderful Moon of Calming occasion, and many blessings.

‘We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.’ Anaïs Nin

(Thank you  to Pennie Ley for letting me use one of her wonderful photographs (copyrighted, 2017)  for the ‘header’ to this article.)

 

 

Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Full Moon & Month Of The Oak Tree [9 June 2017]

20170607 THE FULL MOON AND THE MONTH OF THE OAK TREE EPHEMERAThis Friday, 9 June 2017 it is time for a double celebration. There is a full moon and it’s also the last day of the Celtic month of the Hawthorn tree. On 10 June we move into the Celtic month of the Oak tree (and if you want to follow the lead of the ancients, the new month starts on the preceding evening from our point of view) so it, too, can be celebrated on 9 June, if you so wish.

The Full Moon

Thus upcoming full moon, rising low in the sky (from a UK aspect) takes place with the moon moving toward the constellation of Scorpius, and with the planet Saturn nearby.

To some this full moon is known as the Dyan or Dyad moon, to others it’s the Strawberry moon, or the Flower moon. To many Celtic Christians, Druidic-Christians like myself and other Druids it is the Moon of Horses (or the Mead moon). But, whatever you call it, it is a time to celebrate.

God made two lights – the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night….’ ( Genesis 1:16a, The Book)

For many the time of the full moon is an ideal time to let go of anything that is holding you back. To do this, particularly for those that know the power of ritual, enacted-prayer and symbolism, you might like to:

  • Create sacred time-space by lighting a candle.
  • If possible, put yourself in a position where you can gaze at the moon. You may be indoors and this may not be possible (or, indeed, the moon may not be visible from where you are…but don’t worry). It’s still a good exercise to go for a night walk, later on, maybe after this little ceremony.
  • Quieten your thoughts. Move into that silent-for-prayer realm, or a state of being grounded. You’re now in sacred-time space.
  • Place a large water-filled bowl in front of you.
  • Write the name of everything that is holding you back and that you reasonably surrender, on a small piece of paper. Read it out loud. Fold the paper. Place it in the bowl of water.
  • Close your eyes. Relax. Imagine the ink dissolving because of the water. Water cleanses, it purifies. It is used in various ancient tribes and religions to signify a new start, a washing away of the old. Whatever you wrote, picture the writing disappearing. Imagine in your mind’s eye that you’re releasing whatever was holding you back.
  • Relax (even more so) and enjoy the moment.
  • When ready, slowly open your eyes and extinguish the candle. You’re now out of sacred time-space (or are you? Perhaps it goes on and were unaware of it, and yet, still benefit?).
  • Celebrate this release by going for a walk that evening under the full moon, if it’s visible, but even if it’s not, then a nice, awesome, night walk is still beneficial.

Celebrate. Give thanks. Enjoy.

‘Tonight the moon kisses the stars.
O beloved, be like that to me!’ (Rumi)

The Celtic Month Of The Oak Tree

The upcoming month is the Celtic month of the Oak Tree. It starts on 10 June (but 9 June if you start the new day the evening before from our modern perspective) and it runs until 7 July.

‘Of all the trees that grow so fair,
Old England to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the Sun,
Than Oak and Ash and Thorn.’ (Rudyard Kipling)

The Oak month falls during a time when the oak trees are beginning to reach their full blooming stages. The Oak is a strong, powerful, and typically larger-than-its-neighbouring trees, towering tree.

It is a tree that is sacred to all Druids. Linked by name as the word ‘druid’ comes from a proto Indo-European root word meaning ‘to see’ or ‘oak-knower’.

‘This oak tree and me, we’re made of the same stuff.’ Carl Sagan

To some the Oak tree symbolises durability, purity, constancy, life, loyalty, wisdom, resilience, power or strength. The latter three themes, tying in with the full moon at this time, as power and strength will be needed to surrender what might be holding you back, and to forge ahead.

‘Storms make the oak tree grow deeper roots.’ George Herbert

So, happy new month of the Oak tree, and a happy full moon. Asking blessings from the Three-In-One to you and yours. Love, Tadhg.

 

Arianrhod In All Her Splendour: Full Moon Poem

20170510 POEM ARIANRHOD IN ALL HER SPLENDOUR FULL MOON POEMTonight, 10 May 2017, is the May full moon, in the constellation of Libra. To me and many it is known as the Bright Moon. To celebrate this full moon I wrote the following poem:

Arianrhod in all her splendour, moves by an invisible hand
and wanders companionless, like a silver wheel in the sky. She ascends.
This full moon’s lucid beam dominates the now darkened canopy, and
there, in her smiling face, we find sweet, unbridled understanding.
She befriends.

Her ‘lesser light’ moves across the sky above the city, grey.
Oh, robed in splendour, her surge of silver-light fills every window pane
and skips across rooftops, trees, streams, fairy fires, and silent railway,
and falls unbeknown on those who sleep now, and refreshment regain.
A blessing.

Arianrhod, spill your beauty on a thousand Earthly races,
on happy flowers that bloom in a myriad of hues,
on laughing, smiling, sad and all up-looked faces,
who, in wilding spaces, drink your wine of sweet, bless’d fallen dew.
A gracious infilling.

And paled now is her light,
as onward she moves lower in the sky. For the sun, opportune.
But, for now, dear Arianrhod reigns with love. She is mistress of the night.
A timely witness sent by the Truth who is beyond the Moon.
A glorious remembrance.

 

Note: Photo above is copyrighted, and used with kind permission. Gratitude to Pennie Ley [Link]

 

 

Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Bright Moon. Full Moon On 10 May 2017

20170508 BRIGHT MOON 10 MAY EPHEMERAIt’s that time…the time of Spring, pleasant weather, the time of the full moon, and when many consider this is a good time for releasing what is holding them back and working on new commitments, both in spirit and love, committing to an engagement, hand-fasting or marriage, or making some other commitment.

‘The world’s favourite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.’  Edwin Way Teale

Essentials
On the evening of Wednesday, 10 May 2017 there is a full moon in the constellation of Libra (on the ESE horizon at 8.05pm from a London, UK perspective and rising gently to it’s ‘highest’ point that night just after midnight when looking southward).

This full moon is known as the Bright Moon.

Still others, though, such as other Celts, Celtic Christians, Druids and Pagan friends may refer to it as the Grass Moon, the Milk Moon or the Flower Moon.

‘Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.’ Psalm 89:37, The Book

It’s well and truly spring (in the northern hemisphere) and a time for growing plants and flowers,  and so, aptly, May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. And, doubly so, at this full moon in May.

Myths About The Moon
There are a number of myths about the moon, as these are:

Ancestor offerings: In some Chinese religions, offerings are made to the ancestors on the night of a full moon.

A full moon makes you ‘crazy’: Ever since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd behaviour, sleepwalking, or violence . The words ‘lunacy’ and ‘lunatic’ come from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who was said to ride her silver chariot across the dark sky each night. In England, in the  18th-century those on trial for murder could seek a lighter sentence on grounds of lunacy, if the crime occurred at the time of full moon. Also, the book,  ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, was said to have been inspired by the strange , and yet very true, case of Charles Hyde, a London man who committed a numbers of crimes, all at the time of the full moon.

Even the BBC News reported, a few year ago, reported  that some British police departments have decided to add extra officers on nights with crime increases that occur at the time of a full moon (though there are many that think this may have to do with the response to opportunistic crime and more light at night be available for foul deeds because of the full moon).

Aliens on the Moon: In the 1820s,  Bavarian astronomer Franz von Paula Gruithuisen recorded that he had spied alien cities on the moon with his telescope. He called them Lunarians, and though many people derided his finding, he did at least have a modest-sized moon crater named after him.

Even today, there are those who believe their are aliens on the moon, maybe on the side of the Moon which doesn’t face Earth, and some believe images, from Chandrayaan-1 (an Indian Moon probe) appear to show a series of lava tubes snaking under the surface of the Moon, as it made by an intelligence, with thousands of scatted, perhaps, connecting caves.

It makes you think!

Full Moon ‘Releasing’ Ritual
This is a releasing ritual, releasing you from all that is holding you back. As with any ritual, it is an outward sign and activity of an inward occurrence. It can be done outdoors on the night of the full moon, but equally, it can be done indoors.

So, find a quiet place, and:

1. Light a candle (to denote entering into sacred space/sacred time). If you want, you can place crystals, power-rocks and other positive-tools around you.

2. De-clutter your mind of thoughts, clear your energy. This can be done by imagination, and so why not close your eyes and visualise that you are standing under a silver waterfall. As you so do, in your mind’s eye, imagine that all negativity being  washed away.

3. Take a few deep breaths to ‘center’ yourself, to move deeply within your being, and then ‘ask’ what it is that you wish to be released from. What is it that is holding you back? What is a limiting belief? What no longer serves a positive purpose in your life. In your mind’s eye, write it on a piece of paper. Wait for a short while.

4. As you breathe in, think of that piece of paper with that limiting belief written on it, and as you breathe out, imagine that that piece of paper moves into the candle and is burnt up. It no longer exists. Do this several times. [Remember, this is all taking place in your imagination, so please don’t actually set fire to anything you have with you!].

This type of breathing in/out with visualisation is like tonglen, in reverse.

5. After a short while open your eyes, fully enter this ‘realm’ by gazing gently at the candle for a few minutes. There is no rush. And then, to denote a closing of that sacred space/sacred time, blow the candle out. Wait for a few minutes. Doing things slowly, here, is good.

6. Ofcourse, this is a ritual, an outward sign or action of an inward occurrence, and you will still need to ‘do’ the necessary things in the physical realm to bring about a releasing of what is/was holding you back, and to work towards a positive outcome.

[Always concerned for you, I would ask that you do take appropriate professional advice if your ‘releasing negativity and embracing positivity’ in this ritual (and afterward) concerns money, land, health, relationships etc]

7. Keep a journal of your experiences in that ritual, what you did to ‘earth it’ and work towards releasing negativity and working towards positivity, detailing actions and how you felt at the time. It’s always good to look back, weeks, months or even years later.

Let me know what happens, if you wish.

‘May and June.  Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.  The discussion of philosophy is over; it’s time for work to begin.’ Peter Loewer

Gardening
Being a concerned about  nature, my suggestion is: that for those wishing to cultivate and benefit from nature, even a window box if you live in a city and haven’t got access to a garden, how about planting:

For shady, north-facing locations: English daisy, Fern (maidenhair, tassel, Boston, asparagus, Impatiens. Pansy, Parsley, Snapdragon.

Sun-liking, south-facing locations: Lavender, Marigold, Miniature rose, Rosemary (which is particularly good at attracting bees. We definitely need to look after bees).

‘May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.’ Fennel Hudson

And Finally…
…Wishing you a blessed May full moon, Tadhg

Luna, Faithful Companion: Full Moon Poem

20170411 LUNA FAITHFUL COMPANION POEMThere are different ways of perceiving the moon, or indeed any other object.

We can look at the ‘surface’ of things, and as regards the moon for instance, scientifically describe it as an happy accident or chance happening from which we can derive some benefit. Distant observation.

Or we can get ‘closer’ and describe how bizarre that ‘co-incidences’ should have happened in relation to us, the planet and the moon, and think deeply. Synchronicity.

Or we can get closer still, encompass the other two ways of perceiving the moon, but also ponder, silently, in awe what effect the moon has on us, means to us, and meditate upon the hand that flung it into space, and look ‘beyond’ the veil to discover a continual uncovering of truth and meaning. We can experience a connectedness like never before. Oneness.

Here’s a poem ‘Luna’, regarding the latter, in gratitude to the Source of All at this time of the full moon.

The moon’s face smiles as her love is poured out.
Earth’s faithful companion of old, Luna, without a doubt,
depicts landmarks of whitened seas and grey isles
as her love is poured out, the moon’s face smiles.

On this night she takes her rest
with a myriad stars around her pale-yellow, brilliant dress.
It is time for us to draw closer. A cosmic invite as
she takes her rest on this night

Shining on the world below.
Witnessed by lovers, wild beasts, owls and crow.
That moment of ‘nowness’, moonlit, presence-defining,
on the world below, shining.

Moonbeams dance across the firmament, that is a vast space,
From Mare Imbrium to your face.
A meaningful encounter, not produced by chance, as
across the firmament that is a vast space, moonbeams dance.

High in the sky she shines, above the mist,
you are embraced, known, much-loved, and moon-kissed.
So revel in nature’s love, accept it, never asking why, for
above the mist, she shines high in the sky.

Wishing you a blessed full moon celebration. Tadhg

This poem is a swap quatrain. That is, where the first line is repeated in the last line of each stanza, but rearranged so that the first part of that line becomes the second, and vice versa. I hope that made sense. Blessings.

Tadhg’s Ephemera & More: The Growing Moon: 11 April 2017

20170410 THE GROWING MOON 11 APRIL 2017 EPHEMERAFull Moon
Spring is truly here, and this month’s full moon takes place on Tuesday, 11 April 2017, in the constellation of Scorpio, the latter being seen, traditionally, as a water element.

This full moon rises around sunset, and sets around sunrise. This is the only time in the month when the moon is in the night sky all night long. The rest of the month the moon spends some time, at least, moving across the daytime sky.

‘The moon was reigning over their world, glowing its full splendour to all those willing to look up.’ Irina Serban

To the ancient and latter day Celts and Druids, such as myself, this full moon is known as the Growing Moon. Others regard/regarded it as the Seed Moon, the Pink Moon, the Awakening Moon, or the Egg Moon. Whatever we call it, this is a wonderful time of the month, and a time to sit, gaze up and ponder at our Earth’s wonderful companion smiling down at us.

On This Day: 11 April
1814 Napoleon surrenders unconditionally, and is exiled to the island of Elba.
1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act.
2015 President Obama meets Raul Castro, the first meeting between USA and Cuban heads of state since the Cuban Revolution.

Further Ahead
On the evenings surrounding April 20, Mars, that red planet, traverses across the sky and will pass close to the Pleiades star cluster, the Seven Sisters. After the sky darkens, they should be visible as a faint group of seven stars to the naked eye, as several dozen stars within a binoculars’ field of view, and with a telescope you might see several hundred stars.

The name Pleiades comes from Ancient Greek, and is probably derived from plein (‘to sail’) because of that star cluster’s importance to the sailing season in the Mediterranean Sea. The name was later mythologised as the name of seven divine sisters, whose name was thought to be connected to their mother Pleione.

Also, look out for the annual Lyrids meteor shower which runs from 16 to 25 April, and which peaks before dawn on Saturday, 22 April.

‘The moon will guide you through the night with her brightness, but she will always dwell in the darkness, in order to be seen.’ Shannon L Alder

Soon, Earth Day
This year, Earth Day, occurs on Saturday, 22 April. Details of how you can get involved in a practical way can be viewed at the Earth Day website here.

And/or you can read their webpage and send out some positivity, good-energy, prayers and maybe hold an appropriate ritual, or meditate silently upon the Earth, extending love and peace to it and all its wildlife, and give gratitude.

‘And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair’. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Also, in doing this by yourself or with others, you might like to consider turning off all lights and unnecessary household equipment to stop or reduce your electricity usage for an hour (refrigerators/freezers etc exempt), and, perhaps, spend that time in darkness, or use a candle for light for your meditation, ritual etc.

May you have a blessed full moon celebration. Tadhg.

Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Moon Of Winds: 12 March 2017

20170310 moon of winds1 EPHEMERAIt’s that time again. I love full moons, and this Sunday, 12 March 2017 sees the  third full moon of the secular year.

‘You have to be able to appreciate these things. How many people can say it was a full moon last night and appreciate it?’ Sandy Miller

Moon: This full moon will be in the constellation of Virgo, on the cusp of Leo, and in close proximity to the Virginids – a timely meteor shower that seems to originate (its radiant)  from the constellation of Virgo. The moon’s brightness, however, may ‘overpower’ the meteors (expect about 5-10 per hour) and dull the spectacle somewhat.

To those of (medieval) England this full moon was/is known as the Lenten moon, to others it was/is known as the Chaste moon, or the Fish moon. To ancient and latter-day Celts, Christian Celts, Druids like myself, many know it as the Moon of Winds.

The full moon will be very near the bright star, Alaraph, sometimes called Zawijah. The name ‘Zawijah’ comes from the Arabic phrase meaning ‘corner of the barking dog’. That star is slightly larger and more massive star than the Sun, and is comparatively metal-rich (that is, it has a higher composition of elements heavier than helium).

‘The moon looks upon many night flowers; the night flowers see but one moon.’ Jean Ingelow

Planets: And, a few days later, for those interested in the planets, there is a conjunction of the moon with the planet Jupiter in the very early hours of 15 March.

Story: There are a number of fables and myths about the moon. Here’s one story from the Buddhist tradition, and which is prevalent in China, Japan, South and North Korea.

This tale is about a monkey, an otter, a jackal, and a rabbit who decided to extend charity on the day of the next full moon, believing they would receive a great reward. At that time, an old man met them and begged for food.

When the old man asked the monkey for food, it gathered fruit from a tree and gave it to him. The otter collected fish and presented them to the old man. The jackal stole a lizard and a pot of milk, and gave them to the old man. When the old man encountered the rabbit, the rabbit was embarrassed and upset that he only knew who to gather grass and believed the old man wouldn’t welcome that as food. Immediately, the rabbit threw himself into a fire  – self-sacrifice, to provide the old man with some tasty food. However, the rabbit didn’t die, and wasn’t even burned!

The old man then revealed himself to be Sakra – the embodiment of the Universe or Heaven – and blessed the rabbit. In honour of the rabbit’s intention, Sakra drew the likeness of the rabbit on the Moon for all to see, for all eternity.

Though we look up at the full moon and see a benevolent face looking down at us, many Asian people see that rabbit. Interestingly, China’s first probe to land on the moon in December 2013 was called Yutu, translated as Jade Rabbit.

‘Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!’ Psalm 148:3, The Book

Celebration: You may want to celebrate this full moon. I do, and I’d heartily recommended it.  In many ways the best way to celebrate and/or give thanks is to go out and gaze in awe and appreciated the wonder of that full moon, and the One who made it, in the stillness of the night. But, in addition,  you might like to:

  • say a few words out loud or to yourself – perhaps one of the phrases/quotes in this article, in gratitude, or
  • remember a loved one who has passed-on, and bless them, and remember good things about them, or
  • send up good-thoughts or a prayer about an upcoming event or for someone known to you that might need energy, expecting the One Behind  It All to hear and respond.

Ofcourse, you might like to (re-)arrange a home altar, and indoors (or outside) have a more elaborate ceremony. There are some occasions when this is good, but don’t feel that you have to do something elaborate. In many cases I prefer simplicity – realising that elaborate and wordy ceremonies can sometimes detract from simple, dare I say ‘child-like’, wholesome and deep praise of the moment.

‘When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.’ Mohandas Gandhi

 

Haiku #6: Regarding The Moon Of Ice [Ephemera].

20170209-moon-of-ice-poetryI’m fascinated by the traditional haiku – short Japanese poems consisting of three lines; and the lines containing firstly five syllables, then seven, then five; and somewhere in the haiku there is usually a seasonal reference (called a ‘kigo’), however oblique.

With the full moon, this time it’s known as the Moon of Ice [see here for details], imminent, here’s a haiku regarding that wonderful, blessed event. An event to ponder, to take time and be still. To gaze upon. To give gratitude to the Source of All. The Haiku:

Windy weather wanes.
The Spring full moon is so bright.
Look! Her smiling face.

shoe-1433925_960_720A voice from above,
‘Remove your shoes, my dear friend.
The ground is holy’.

Be still and wonder.
The Source of all is sending
Grace to all. Blessings.

 

 

 

20170209-moon-of-ice-poetry

 

Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Moon Of Ice: 10 & 11 February 2017 Full Moon & More.

20170208-moon-of-ice-ephemeraBrace yourself! The next few days is a busy time, astronomically-speaking, and for those that cherish and mark the passing of the seasons, or enjoy looking ‘heavenward’ to the skies for significant events.

Lunar eclipse: 10 February, the shadow cast by the Earth starts to move across the surface of the Moon. Lunar eclipse.

‘The moon makes love
to the ocean,
and in this holy conception it gives birth
to a little tide.’

A P Sweet

moon-untitled111The Moon will only ‘graze’ the outer edge of the Earth’s long shadow and so it won’t be a total eclipse of the Moon. Rather, it’ll be a penumbral eclipse and so you’ll see the Moon’s light grow dim, but it won’t lose all its light, and it may become reddened. The penumbral eclipse will start very slowly at first, hardly noticeable, at 22.35 UTC, but will be at its maximum some 2 1/2 hours later, and then by 2.35 UTC (the next day) it’ll all be over. It should be viewable, clouds permitting, from north America, Europe, Africa and most of Asia, but not so from Australia – sorry, Australia.

Full Moon: 11 February: It’s a full moon and therefore of significance to the ancients, and latter day Christians, Pagans’ Celts, Druids and others. It  will be in the constellation of Leo; and this Full moon is known as the Moon of Ice (or, the  Ice Moon) to ancient and latter-day Celts, but is also known as the Snow Moon, Storm Moon or Wolf Moon to others.

‘Only the moon’s smile can cure the unseen scars of darkness’. Munia Khan

We can still rightly claim to be in the season of Imbolc – it was only a week ago – and Imbolc has an association with milk, so why not wrap up warm, grab a cup of hot milk and gaze at the Moon of Ice, in awe, in wonder, and with gratitude, and ‘unwind, take time to relax and marvel at the Moon, and/or celebrate the occasion, ritually, in a way appropriate to your tribal, core and/or heart-felt expression, as its face smiles back.

Comet: 11 February and a few days after: Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková is expected to reach its maximum brightness now and over the next two weeks, and will be visible. It was discovered by astronomers Minoru Honda, Antonin Mrkos and L’udmila Pajdušáková in December 1948.

comet-602281_960_720Comet (definition): A celestial body moving about the sun, usually in a highly eccentric orbit. It has a central mass surrounded by an envelope of dust and gas that may form a tail that streams away from the sun. This flowing tail is why it’s called a comet, as the word comet comes from the old Greek word, komḗtēs, meaning ‘long hair’; and the comet’s tail does look, poetically, like hair flowing from it.

The comet will be passing through the constellation Hercules during its closest approach on February 11th, and then it will move through the constellations of Corona Borealis, Boötes, Canes Venatici, Ursa Major and into Leo at the end of February as it recedes in brightness. It then ‘flies’ away from us on its orbit, not to return until the Spring of 2022. It’s best viewed though a pair of binoculars.

And then, the planets: Mars appears near Venus in the western sky for some time, whilst Venus visible for a time and then vanishes into the sunset weeks later in later in March. Jupiter, meanwhile, rises in the east and is spectacular even with a pair binoculars. Saturn rises in the east just before morning sunrise.

‘Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that
Winter’s woe was past;
So fair the sky was and so soft the air.’

William Morris

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Tadhg’s Ephemera: 12 January 2017 Full Moon & More.

20170111-jan11-2017-ephemera

Full Moon: On 12 January 2017 at 11:34 UTC, with the moon in the constellation of Cancer the Crab, there’s a full moon. To the ancient and latter-day Celts this full moon is the Quiet Moon – so-called as all seems quiet. however, we know that the apparent dormancy of this season hides nature’s activity and is  but the prelude to spring, which is just around the corner.

To others this full moon is known as the Ice Moon or the Wolf Moon.

Something To Do: Perhaps, when gazing at the full moon, this time could be a time offile-11-01-2017-11-07-12 gratitude for the last year, and a time of prayer, meditation and a looking forward to all that could be in the forthcoming year. A time to plan good things, and to look forward, positively. It’s also an opportunity to do all this  in front of a lit candle – to remind us of the gift of light, to slow us down (we’re usually all far to busy), and to dwell on the simple and profound things in life. Rest. Meditate. Enjoy.

‘January is the quietest month in the garden. … But just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come.’  Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine.

Moon Creation Theories: Some Thoughts: The last theory about the creation of the moon talked of a collision of a small wandering planet, named Thea, some zillions of years ago. However, a new theory has emerged in the last few weeks about how the moon was created, rejecting a popular theory that it was born through a single giant collision.

In a new study, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science ran computer simulations and determined that the moon may have been formed by a number of collisions with smaller objects rather than one large collusion.

But, just for fun, I thought – being the amateur astronomer, that I am – I  would like to offer another theory: that the moon itself was moving freely through space at one time,  and encountered the Earth and its stronger gravitational field, and moved into a ‘parking orbit’ aeons ago. As the moon had moved through space the front of it would have encountered debris and that’s is why it is pitted – and that would be the back of the moon, now, which continually faces away from the Earth; the other side of the once wandering moon, shielded from such debris as it moved through space would be protected and less pitted, and that’s the ‘face’ that shines down upon us, now. If the theory catches on: it’s known as ‘Tadhg’s Wandering Moon Theory’. Just a thought.

‘As the Sun goes down
And the Moon rises
And the Golden Pond turns to silver
Blessed is the one who creates us
Blessed is the one who makes us
Blessed is the one who fashions us.’

(Derived from Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth)

13 January: As an aside, this day, 13 January is the day that many remember St Kentigern (also known as St Mungo) who died around this time in 612AD. Kentigern had a full and rich life, and is perhaps best known for founding Glasgow in Scotland all those years ago. I’m sure Glasgow, with a current population of just over 600,000 people, salutes you.

‘There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.’ Rumi.

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