Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Dragonfly Tale

You know, this summer dragonflies seem to be a recurring theme in my world.  Dragonfly imagery and meanings have popped up all over the place.  But as my summer began to gradually draw to a close, the dragonflies began tapering off.  Until yesterday.

This weekend, a girlfriend took me to tour one of those old, amazing mansions from the turn of the century--back when walls were two feet thick and made of granite and burled oak and maple were everywhere.  The house was unbelievable--we started in the basement, ended in the attic, and on the tour the tourguide had a fascinating anecdote to share.

As she showed us a teacup with a dragonfly motif on the handle, the tourguide told us of her first visit to the mansion a few years ago--only days before a huge storm came through and decimated the city.  At the end of the tour she and her docent stood on the front veranda and watched as a large swarm of dragonflies flew past.  Amused, she turned to the docent, who appeared shaken.  Our tourguide asked what was wrong.

news.nationalgeographic.com
"Here on the island, the oldtimers have a wives' tale," the docent said.  Apparently, according to local lore you only see dragonflies behave like that if a REALLY big storm is coming.  Hurricane Ike blew through a few days later.

Intrigued, you know I had to find out more.  Sadly, the magickal Internet fairy was not very forthcoming.  I found loads on dragonfly symbolism--mirage, illusion, metamorphosis, truth, yada yada yada.  I already knew that.  What I wanted was more on weather prediction, but all I could find was this tiny tidbit:
"...in a drought prone area of the coastal Ninh Thuan province, farmers believe that if the dragonfly flies high it will be sunny and if it flies low there will be rain.  In north-central Thua Thien Hue Province, fishermen are likely to bring their boats back to the shore if, in January or February, they look to the north and see a silver cloud that quickly disappears, as it is a sign of cold weather."  (http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/07/16/idUSBKK540163) 

That was it.  I Googled my little fingers to nubs looking for confirmation of this wives' tale and found jack.  Still, I'll be watching my dragonfly friends just a little more closely from now on, and if they start massing in numbers, I'm outa here!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blue Moon in August

Browsing the Internet, a notice for tomorrow night's Blue Moon caught my eye.  What?  No.  That's crazy talk.  Everyone knows that a Blue Moon is the second full moon in a month.  Right?  Well, apparently not. 

In traditional English folklore, there are three full moons in each quarter of the year.  Each full moon has a name--Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, Strawberry Moon, etc.--depending on the season, and that full moon would need to happen on or around the same time each year.  On years when a fourth full moon occurred in a quarter, the schedule was thrown off.  Hence the Blue Moon--blue in this case is derived from the Old English word "belewe" meaning "to betray."  The "Betrayer Moon" is the third full moon to fall within a quarter, freeing up the fourth full moon to fall around the correct time of year. 

Magickally, I like to treat this "Betrayer" Moon as both a bonus and an inspiration.  I use the added full moon energy to charge any objects that may need extra charging and prepare myself for the possibility of a challenging time ahead.  This full moon being in Aquarius leads me to want to focus on the intellectual aspects of my life and possibly focus on being more organized and centered.  I may or may not put out jars of purified H2O to make a new batch of Blue Moon Water, but since I still haven't used the last batch (though why on Earth I'm hoarding it is beyond me) I probably won't.



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Orion the Hunter



 This morning, after a horrible night's sleep, I decided that since I was up anyway I'd might as well enjoy the peace and solitude of my back porch.  Citronella candles and mosquito incense lit, I sipped my coffee and pondered my mood.  It was in that nebulous in-between state where you haven't quite decided how to feel.  Lack of sleep would normally make me grumpy, but the atmosphere on the porch--candles burning, frogs chirping--was enough to keep that at bay.  Then I looked up at the sky.

There he was--Orion.  My first and favorite constellation.  As a child, I would pick Orion out, though not knowing what it was called I named it the Bow Tie stars.  In Greek mythology, Orion was the son of the nymph Euryale and the god Poseidon.  A mighty hunter, Orion claimed that he would kill every animal on the planet, thus angering Gaia, goddess of the Earth.  She sent a scorpion to kill him, only to be thwarted by Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, who saved Orion with an antidote.  Consequently, the constellations Orion and Scorpius are never in the sky at the same time and the constellation Ophiuchus lies between the two.

Normally a daytime constellation during the summer (for the Northern Hemisphere crowd anyway), Orion becomes visible in the evenings in late autumn and winter around here.  Just seeing him this morning gave me a nice little charge and the sense that autumn is approaching.  While I hate to rush summer's end, this summer has seemed particularly long and loaded with change, and I am ready to move on.  Thanks Orion, for the boost.