September 23rd is the Autumnal Equinox


The google doodle for Sep 23, 20015

Today is the day the Sun enters Libra and the beginning of Autumn. In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. In traditional Astrology, the Sun is “exalted” in Aries while halfway through its circuit along the ecliptic, it is in “fall” in Libra, Aries’ opposite sign.

The rising of the constellation Libra marked the beginning of the New Year in ancient Egypt. Equinoxes are the two points in the year (March 19-21 and September 21-23) when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At these times, day and night in Northern and Southern hemispheres are of equal length. The Spring (vernal) Equinox occurs midway between the Winter and Summer solstices; the Autumnal Equinox occurs midway between the Summer and Winter solstices. The Autumn equinoctial festival of Mabon mirrors the spring equinoctial festival of Oestara with the Light and Dark forces of the Universe switching ascendancy.

In myth, the goddess Persephone departs the earth to join her husband in the underworld. It is time to give thanks for the summer and to welcome the impending dark. Traditionally, this was when some of the heaviest work of the agricultural year began. The harvest was stored away, the farm animals were measured against their feed and decisions were made about how many to keep and how many to slaughter and eat. This is why so much Thanksgiving feasting went on now. Fresh meat and fruit only last so long.

Symbols of Autumn:

Blackberries, cranberries, wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, nuts, corn, apples, pomegranates, ivy

Foods of Autumn:

Breads, nuts, apples, squash, pomegranates, and pumpkin pie.

Colors of Autumn:

The colors of the sunset: violet, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.

Stones of Autumn:

Libra is pink tourmaline, opal and rhodochrosite. Scorpio is topaz, bloodstone, and yellow agate. Sagittarius is turquoise and jasper.

Activities of Autumn:

Making cider and wine, gathering seeds and seedpods, walking in the woods, Halloween, and Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas shopping.

Know your Latin: i.e. vs. e.g.

You know you were wondering about this… Well here it is, put as succinctly as I’ve ever seen by Ann Edwards,

i.e. is the abbreviation of the Latin phrase ‘id est,’ meaning ‘that is.’

e.g. is the abbreviation of the Latin phrase ‘exempli gratia,’ meaning ‘for example.’

Use i.e. when you want to give further explanation for something.

After work I’ll walk over to the Thunderdome, i.e., the new sports arena a few blocks away.

Use e.g. when you want to give a few examples but not a complete list.

I love drinking holiday-related beverages, e.g., hot chocolate, apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes.

Reposted from


Australia’s Oldest Man Knits Sweaters For Penguins Affected By Oil Spills

Here is a cute bit of news for you that combines two of the things that I love, rescuing animals and knitting:

Stuffed toy penguins displaying the sweaters at Phillip Island. Credit: Huffington Post

Stuffed toy penguins displaying the sweaters at Phillip Island. Credit: Huffington Post

Credit: Huffington Post

Credit: Huffington Post

Reblogged from a story by Amanda Froelich

109-year-old Alfred “Alfie” Date has witnessed some momentous events in history, including the sinking of the Titanic and the declaration of World War One. But when the caring elder is not visiting with one of his seven children, 20 grandchildren, or “about the same amount” of great-grandchildren, he dedicates his time to knitting tiny sweaters for penguins affected by man-made disasters.

The Phillip Island Penguin Foundation began requesting the tiny sweaters to aid the survival of little penguins after oil spills in 2013. Little penguins are a species of penguin only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, with a singular colony of 32,000 remaining on Phillip Island. In the event of an oil spill near the Phillip Island’s colony of penguins, wildlife clinic workers put oil-covered birds in sweaters to minimize the amount of oil they ingest while preening themselves. The substance also matts the penguins feathers,preventing its regulation of bodily temperature and reducing the animal’s buoyancy in water, according to the Philip Island Penguin Foundation. 

Republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and
Read the complete article:


When does the Sun actually change Signs?

Have you noticed that the Solstices occur on a different day each time and that the beginning and ending dates for zodiac signs are different depending on which book you read?  Did you wonder why one year Cancer begins on the 21st and the next on the 22nd? This is because both solstices and sun signs relate to the Sun’s path along the ecliptic and the Sun doesn’t change from one sign to another at exactly midnight. See Kelly’s article below for a table that shows this better. These variable dates can be a concern if you are born on one of those days when the Sun is changed signs, sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as a cusp and people will say you aren’t really one or the other but that isn’t true. The Sun moves through all 30 degrees of one sign before passing into the next so even if you are born close to a boundary you’ll be either 29 degrees Cancer or even 0 degrees Leo. 0 degrees Leo is still Leo and an astrologer can easily look up your date in an ephemeris and tell which on side of the cusp you fall. Or you can check your own using the ephemeris links below.

Here is an Ephemeris to check your own birth date: Link, Swiss Ephemeris Files 

Here is a good article in which Kelly Surtees shows why these cusp dates may look confusing. Link: Kelly’s Astrology – Sun Changing Sign, Dates for 2015


Happy Solstice!

English: Illumination of Earth by Sun on the d...

Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of winter solstice on northern hemisphere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And a Happy Solstice to All!

Summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 22, 2015. The word Solstice is Latin in origin and translates as, Sol =the Sun, + stitere =standing still.

On that day, the North Pole tilts most directly Sunward. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience this as the longest day and shortest night of the year. Around December 21, the Winter Solstice, the North Pole points away from the Sun giving us in the Northern Hemisphere, our shortest day, and longest night. This tilting of the Earth’s rotational axis gives us our seasons. During each Solstice, the Sun appears to both rise and set at the exactly opposite spot on the horizon. The Solar Calendars like Stonehenge and the Sun Dagger in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico operate by indicating this point.

Symbols of Summer:

The rose, the fast-growing vine and the bright sun. Modern symbols include flip-flops, Outdoor weddings, icy pitchers of lemonade, beach umbrellas and baseball games!

Foods of Summer:

Grilling, pickling, salads, cold soups, tomatoes, and iced tea.

Colors of Summer:

Brights: lime green, lemon yellow, sunny orange, sky blue.

The Zodiacal Signs of Summer:

Cancer from June 21 – July 22, Leo from July 23 – August 22, and Virgo from August 23 – September 8 this  year.

The Stones of Summer:

Cancer resonates with white stones like shell and pearl. Leo with gold stones like citrine and tiger-eye. Virgo with blue stones like sodalite and sapphire.

Activities of Summer:

Barbecues, picnics, lawn-mowing, parades and fireworks, weeding, swimming outside.


The Farmer’s Almanac’s Solstice Page

The Empire of the Sun a Museum exhibit from Denmark, roughly translated into English

The Chaco Canyon Sun Dagger petroglyphs

The Solstice Project: A Research Project about Fajada Butte

An interactive model of the Sun Dagger.


The Cat’s Meow

And other 20’s slang. I actually knew some of these because my Grandma was a Flapper. She told stories of how she and her friends would bind their breasts flat to fit in their beaded shimmy-dresses to go to the dance hall in Chicago after work. Even well into her eighties she could still Charleston and after a couple of glasses of giggle juice would have been happy to demonstrate, natch’. Do you recognize any of these? Do you think we should revive any?


Welcome Spring!

The Equinox Tradition:

Spring is the dawn of the new zodiacal year in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t you just love the word “equinox?” I have to decide each time whether to say it with a short or long “e”. The equinoxes are the two times during the year when the dark of night and the light of day are in balance or equal. Another name for the Vernal Equinox is Ostara, from the name of a German Goddess of fertility, Oestarae.

She is the deific equivalent of the Greco-Roman goddess, Aurora, the personification of the sunrise. Consider that the Sun rises in the East and her name is where East and Easter both come from. The Christian Easter date was decided by the Council of Nicaea to fall the first Sunday after the first full Moon occurring on or after the March Equinox. This effectively removed its observance from conflicts with either Ostara or Passover.  Read the rest of this entry »


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