Calendar of the Sun for November 16th

Calendar of the Sun

 

 

Media Autumnus

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Set out a brown cloth, an earthenware jug of water, dried stalks of yarrow in a vase, and incense of many woods. In front of the altar set a great empty barrel, an earthen pot of soil, another of the day’s vegetation garbage, a smaller one of wood ashes, and a basket of gathered dried leaves.
Offerings: Bits of hair or fingernail parings.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian.

Media Autumnus Invocation

Let us invest in the Earth
Beneath our feet
And see our returns in millenniums.
Let us say that our main crop
Is the ancient forest
Which we did not plant
And will not live to harvest.
Let us say that the leaves
Are harvested when
They have rotted into the mold.
Let us call that our profit,
And prophesy such returns.
Let us put our faith in the two inches
Of humus that will build
Under the trees every thousand years.
Let us listen to carrion.
Let us put our ears close and hear
The faint chatterings
Of the songs that are yet to come.

Chant:

Clay receives you
Earth has chosen you
Worms prepare you
Earth encloses you

(During the chant, several who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual come forward and add the garbage, the ashes, the soil, the dried leaves, the yarrow, and finally the water to the compost barrel. It is removed again to the corner until Spring.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for November 15

Calendar of the Moon

 

15 Ngetal/Maimakterion

Day of the Yew Tree

Color: Ivory or bone-white
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a bone-white cloth set a vase of yew branches, a single ivory candle, a pot of soil, seeds of a sometimes-poisonous medicinal plant, a bowl of water, and a bell.
Offerings: Plant seeds. Care for a cemetery.
Daily Meal: Vegan

Invocation to the Green Man of the Yew Tree

Hail, Green Man of the Autumn!
As the leaves fall and turn to brown,
As their breaking bodies crack beneath our feet,
As the earth itself browns and fades
And every stalk and tree gives way
To withering, the evergreens alone
Hold up their heads, and watch over
A kingdom which begins in death.
This is your kingdom, sacred yew,
Whose wood made bows to shoot
Flying death into the hearts of enemies.
Wreath of sacrificial bulls, beloved of ghosts,
Barrel-maker’s joy, coffin of the vine,
Churchyard tree whose roots spread
One to each corpse’s mouth,
Whose scarlet berries bring still more death,
Spell of knowledge, King’s Wheel,
Boundary of autumn and winter,
Saturn’s tree, slow to grow and slow to die,
Eagle who shrieks and dives to kill,
Whose all-seeing eyes follow shadows,
We hail you, sacred yew tree,
Green Man of the Autumn,
On this the day of your deathwatch.

Chant: (To be sung to the slow beat of a drum)
Like leaves we fall Like leaves we fly Upon the winds

(Each comes forward and plants a seed in the pot of soil, saying, “Hail Green Man of the Earth!” Water is poured onto the pot, and then the rest is poured out as a libation. Ring bell and dismiss.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for November 12

Calendar of the Sun

 

Media Autumnus

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Set out a brown cloth, an earthenware jug of water, dried stalks of yarrow in a vase, and incense of many woods. In front of the altar set a great empty barrel, an earthen pot of soil, another of the day’s vegetation garbage, a smaller one of wood ashes, and a basket of gathered dried leaves.
Offerings: Bits of hair or fingernail parings.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian.

Media Autumnus Invocation

Let us invest in the Earth
Beneath our feet
And see our returns in millenniums.
Let us say that our main crop
Is the ancient forest
Which we did not plant
And will not live to harvest.
Let us say that the leaves
Are harvested when
They have rotted into the mold.
Let us call that our profit,
And prophesy such returns.
Let us put our faith in the two inches
Of humus that will build
Under the trees every thousand years.
Let us listen to carrion.
Let us put our ears close and hear
The faint chatterings
Of the songs that are yet to come.

Chant:

Clay receives you
Earth has chosen you
Worms prepare you
Earth encloses you

(During the chant, several who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual come forward and add the garbage, the ashes, the soil, the dried leaves, the yarrow, and finally the water to the compost barrel. It is removed again to the corner until Spring.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for November 10th

Calendar of the Sun

 

Ancestor Day

Color:

Black and grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Spread a black cloth, and lay it with photographs, paintings, and other depictions of our ancestors. Add also symbols of their old tools, and statues of ancestral deities, a bowl of seeds for the future garden, pots of soil, a pitcher of water, and many candles of black and white and grey.
Offerings: Things they would have liked to eat, drink, smoke, or smell. Tend a cemetery and clean up the graves.
Daily Meal: Food from an earlier era, using authentic recipes.

Invocation to the Ancestors

Our ancestors got up at dawn,
Slaved in the dirt,
Sweated in the sun,
Chilled in the cold,
Numbed in the snow,
Scattering each seed with a prayer:
Pray that there be enough,
That no one starve this winter.
Pray that no bird nor beast
Steal the food I have struggled for.
And most of all,
Pray that each seed I save
Of this harvest
Shall next year
Bring forth a hundred more.
We live today
Because they worked
Because they sowed
Because they harvested
Because they prayed.

Chant:

Those who came before
We are your children
Those who came before
We honor your names

(Each person takes seeds from the bowl and plants them in the pots of soil, speaking the name of one of their ancestors as they do so, as in: “In honor of _______.” The pots are watered, and the candles put out one by one.)

 

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for November 9th

Calendar of the Sun

Media Autumnus

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Set out a brown cloth, an earthenware jug of water, dried stalks of yarrow in a vase, and incense of many woods. In front of the altar set a great empty barrel, an earthen pot of soil, another of the day’s vegetation garbage, a smaller one of wood ashes, and a basket of gathered dried leaves.
Offerings: Bits of hair or fingernail parings.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian.

Media Autumnus Invocation

Let us invest in the Earth
Beneath our feet
And see our returns in millenniums.
Let us say that our main crop
Is the ancient forest
Which we did not plant
And will not live to harvest.
Let us say that the leaves
Are harvested when
They have rotted into the mold.
Let us call that our profit,
And prophesy such returns.
Let us put our faith in the two inches
Of humus that will build
Under the trees every thousand years.
Let us listen to carrion.
Let us put our ears close and hear
The faint chatterings
Of the songs that are yet to come.

Chant:
Clay receives you
Earth has chosen you
Worms prepare you
Earth encloses you

(During the chant, several who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual come forward and add the garbage, the ashes, the soil, the dried leaves, the yarrow, and finally the water to the compost barrel. It is removed again to the corner until Spring.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for November 1

Calendar of the Moon

 
1 Ngetal/Maimakterion

Day of the Reed

Color: Blue-green
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a blue-green cloth set a vase of reeds, a single blue-green candle, a pot of soil, seeds of some rare but useful plant, a bowl of water, and a bell.
Offerings: Plant seeds.
Daily Meal: Vegan

Invocation to the Green Man of the Reed

Hail, Green Man of the Autumn!
In this time of whistling winds
And growing cold, when we see
The year wind down towards
Inevitable winter, the reeds
Sing their mournful song
Along river and marsh,
And the eternal ocean’s shore.
Reed who thatched our ancestors
Homes, who gave them roofs
Over their head and shelter
From the wild elements
That your month promises,
Remind us that the best way
To assuage sorrow and mourning
Is by finding some way to work
With hands and body
Toward the coming of a new day,
Even if that day be only for the eyes
Of others not yet born.
Let us put roofs over the heads
Of all who need them, borne
Out of our own mourning
For what should already have been.
We hail you, sacred reed,
Green Man of the Autumn,
On this your day of falling.

(Use any keening, wordless, mournful polyphonic chant. Each comes forward and plants a seed in the pot of soil, saying, “Hail Green Man of the Earth!” Water is poured onto the pot, and then the rest is poured out as a libation. Ring bell and dismiss.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for July 15

Calendar of the Moon

15 Duir/Skirophorion

Day of the Heather

Color: Dark gold
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a dark gold cloth set a vase of heather, a single golden candle, a pot of soil, seeds, a bowl of water, and a bell.
Offerings: Plant seeds. Tend bees.
Daily Meal: Vegan, with honey.

Invocation to the Green Man of the Heather

Hail, Green Man of the Summer!
Heather of the rolling fields,
Much beloved by the loyal
Disciples of that golden queen
Whose job makes sweetness,
Your flowers wave like the ocean
Making meadow into sea.
Cybele’s joy, she whose throne
Was surrounded by her not-males,
Who ruled the summer months
With lioness’s passion,
Red blossoms that cause heat
And white ones that brush it aside,
You teach us about attraction
And the joys of pursuit.
We hail you, sacred heather,
Green Man of the Summer,
On this the day of your true gold.

Chant:
Field into sea
Sea into honey
Honey into life
Life into earth
Earth into field….

(Each comes forward and plants a seed in the pot of soil, saying, “Hail Green Man of the Earth!” Water is poured onto the pot, and then the rest is poured out as a libation. Ring bell and dismiss.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for July 14

Calendar of the Moon

14 Tinne/Hekatombaion

Day of the Spindle Tree

Color: Pale yellow
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a pale yellow cloth set a vase of spindle-tree twigs, a single pale yellow candle, a pot of soil, seeds of some medicinal or useful herb, a bowl of water, and a bell.
Offerings: Plant seeds. Do some handcraft.
Daily Meal: Vegan

Invocation to the Green Man of the Spindle Tree

Hail, Green Man of the Summer!
Spindle tree of the craftsman’s pride,
You who have been carved and sectioned
Into spools, wands, and many other things,
You who pride yourself on being useful,
Guide our hands as we turn
Things of nature into things of use.
Show us the beauty in pure function
And in pure service,
In the comfort that comes
Of being a worthy tool
And a well-worked object.
Remind us of the satisfaction
In the creation of some new thing
That will please the hands
Of many generations to come.
We hail you, sacred spindle tree,
Green Man of the Summer,
On this your day of labor.

Song: Fashioned in the Clay by Elmer Beal

(Each comes forward and plants a seed in the pot of soil, saying, “Hail Green Man of the Earth!” Water is poured onto the pot, and then the rest is poured out as a libation. Ring bell and dismiss.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Organic Farming vs. Industrial Agriculture: Which Method Wins?

Organic Farming vs. Industrial Agriculture: Which Method  Wins?

Since 1981, the Rodale Institute has been doing side-by-side trials of  organically-grown and conventionally-grown corn and soybeans to see how organic  farming really stacks up against industrial agriculture and GMOs. What they are  finding might surprise you.

You can check out the entire report here (pdf), but these  are a few of the key points:

  • During times of drought, organic farming outperforms conventional methods by  31 percent.
  • Organic farming yields are about the same as conventional yields under  normal weather conditions.
  • Organic farming uses 45 percent less energy than conventional.

Researchers think that the higher yields during drought are due to improved  soil quality from organic farming, which makes the soil better at holding on to  water. The organic soil retained 15 to 20 percent more water than soil on the  conventional land.

The other area where organics outperformed conventional plants was in weed  tolerance. Because organic farming principles include biodiversity and crop  rotation, the organic crops were naturally more weed resistant. That’s in stark  contrast to industrial farming, where pesticide overuse is breeding superweeds.

Of course, there are big bucks in conventional agriculture, especially the  expensive proprietary seeds and the fertilizers that go with them. It’s no  surprise then that the pro-GMO lobby is hard at work trying to convince us that  GMOs are the key to feeding our world’s exploding population. One argument that  I see a lot from the pro-GMO crowd is that if you’re anti-GMO you’re anti  science. Thirty years of side-by-side trials strikes me as some pretty solid  science.

What do you guys think? Do you think that organic farming can feed  the world?