Thursday 13 February 2014

"Beth-Luis-Fearn" The "Brythonic" Tree Calendar at Imbolc (see lower page for "Arafel" interpretations and explanations)

Quote: "What is the Celtic Tree Calendar?

by Linda Kerr

Copyright 1999 by Linda Kerr
The Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar/alphabet consists of 13 lunar trees and five solar trees. The calendar is based on a lunar year as opposed to a solar one, and begins after the Winter Solstice. There are roughly 13 lunar months, which begin and end with the new moon; each lunar month is represented by a tree. The five solar trees represent the 4 seasons of the year, plus the Winter Solstice. The five solar trees are like 'umbrella' trees; they cover a larger portion of the year than the lunar trees do; usually about 2-3 months each.
The system is also used as an alphabet; using the Gaelic names for the trees, the first letters of the lunar trees are the consonants, and the five solar trees are the vowels. This alphabet, when written, is put down in marks, usually on a twig or branch, called ogham. This is an ancient system of writing, and there are almost as many ogham alphabets as there are rune systems.
This entire system; the lunar months, the solar seasons, the trees in both their English and Gaelic names, and the ogham, is the Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar. There seem to be two major Celtic Tree systems; the one that we, the Faerie Faith, use, is called the Beth-Luis-Nion system. Its calendar begins on the Winter Solstice, the months run from new moon to new moon, and the trees are Birch, Rowan, Ash, etc., as listed in the table below. The other system is called the Beth-Luis-Fearn. Its calendar begins at Samhain, November 1, the months go from full moon to fill moon, and the order of its trees is slightly different: Birch, Rowan, Alder, Willow, Ash, Hawthorn, Oak, etc.
Lunar Trees (Consonants):
Tree #English NameGaelic NameLetterGlyph
1BirchBethBI am a stag of seven tines, or I am an ox of seven fights
2RowanLuisLI am a wide flood on a plain
3AshNionNI am a wind on the deep waters
4AlderFearnFI am a shining tear of the sun
5WillowSailleSI am a hawk on a cliff
6HawthornHuathHI am fair among flowers
7OakDuirDI am a god who sets the head afire with smoke
8HollyTinneTI am a battle-waging spear
9HazelCollCI am a salmon in the pool
10VineMuirMI am a hill of poetry
11IvyGortGI am a ruthless boar
12ReedNgetalNgI am a threatening noise of the sea
13ElderRuisRI am a wave of the sea
Winter SolsticeWho but I knows the secrets of the unhewn dolmen?
Solar Trees (Vowels):
Tree # English NameGaelic NameLetterGlyph
1Silver FirAilimA
Each of the 13 lunar months and 5 solar seasons also has its own particular 'glyph,' or line, from the Song of Amergin, an ancient poem said to have been chanted by the chief bard of the Milesian invaders of Ireland as he first set foot to the island in 1268 BC. This poem was reconstructed by Robert Graves in The White Goddess and related to the Beth-Luis-Nion alphabet, as shown in the table above.
Each of these lines speak of a particular essence of the lunar energies, and when studied in-depth, can help lead to a greater understanding of the tree month.

Using The Lunar Calendar With The Gregorian Calendar

Some may feel that the moon names, Birch, Rowan, Ash, Alder, etc., are just alternative names for the secular months of our modern-day Gregorian calendar. This is no more accurate than saying it doesn't make any difference whether someone was born under the sign of Scorpio or Libra, as they're both just names for that particular time of year, and don't have any bearing on the person involved.
The Lunar Tree Calendar, as practiced by the Faerie Faith, is more than simply a system of alternative names for the 12-13 cycles of the moon that occur in a solar year of 364 days. Each of the 13 moons in the calendar is named after a tree. The Birch moon is always the first, and they proceed in the order as shown in the table, with Elder always falling last. The calendar begins within a few days after the Winter Solstice, and always ends on the Winter Solstice, never going past that date. This is a fixed solar date: by fixed, I mean that this is the day when the night is longest and day is shortest. After this day, usually on December 21 or 22, the days will begin getting longer, and we enter a new solar cycle. This fact is recognized by our Gregorian calendar, which begins on January 1, 8-9 days after the Winter Solstice. Part of the reason for this brief delay in the Gregorian calendar lies in the 10 days lost when we converted over to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar, in 1582 in parts of Europe, in 1700 by the Protestant German states, and in 1750 in America and Great Britain.
The date of the Winter Solstice is just about the only fixed point in the Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar, but we can approximate several other dates along the calendar. Let's talk about the length of the lunations: folklore tell us that a lunar cycle is 28 days, the same as a woman's monthly cycle. If you multiply 28 days x 13 lunations, and add in one extra day, you would conveniently get a 365 day year, which is a standard year in the Gregorian calendar (the true length of the solar year is 365.2422 days). But nature doesn't work in accordance with a set 365- day year. In actuality, a lunar cycle can range anywhere from 28 days to 30 days. If you have 13 moons of 29 days each, not even including any of the renegade 30-day moons, you'll have a year of 377 days (actually there are 12.368 lunar months in a solar year. Obviously, if you're trying to fit this lunar calendar system into the confines of the solar year as marked by the Winter Solstice, it just is not going to work.
So what do we do? Instead of trying to begin with Birch after the Winter Solstice and continue faithfully through to the end of Elder before ending the year, and thus having an Elder moon that continues into the next January, and having all sorts of problems with the calendar the next year, we end the year at the Winter Solstice, regardless of where in the lunar cycle we happen to be. No, it doesn't make for a nice neat calendar with exactly 13 moons of 28 days each, but we are trying to work with the natural system of things, rather than a man-made contrivance. Even the Gregorian calendar allows for the fluctuation of days over a period of time with its Leap Day.
That's the easy part. Now the hard part -- when do we begin the next lunar year? Well, obviously it's going to be shortly after the Winter Solstice. I'll give you a hint that pretty much takes care of the guess work. February 2, or Imbolc, always falls with Rowan moon, the 2nd lunation. So find February 2, and follow the lunar cycle back to the new moon. That is the beginning of Rowan moon. It then follows that the day before that new moon was the last day of Birch. Now, follow that lunation backwards. If you get to the new moon before you get to December 21, then you have an entire lunation for Birch, and the days between Winter Solstice and that new moon are the Days Apart. If you get to December 21 before you get to the new moon (working backwards, remember), then you've just got a short lunation for Birch, which starts the day after the Winter Solstice. You'll probably have to find a calendar that lists the moon phases for this to really make sense, which is a great reason to buy the Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddess in Her Many Guises!
To fully understand the tree calendar, and make it relevant to your life, you should consider yourself a student of the calendar. Study it, research it, learn about it. Most of all, make it an active part of your life. You won't understand the trees by just reading this article, or by any one thing. Look into the mysteries and myths attached to each tree. Read Robert Graves' The White Goddess and Celtic myths and fairy tales. Read all the "Lunar Energies and Esoterica," "Bach Flowers," and "Folklore and Practical Uses" columns in The Hazel Nut. Look at the rituals in Pattalee Glass-Koentop's Year of Moons, Season of Trees, (see review in #14) and write and perform a lunar ritual for yourself based on her rituals and what you've learned from Robert Graves. Make contact with a tree; meet it, talk to it, and especially, listen to it.
Each lunation, each tree, when taken separately, can teach us about ourselves, and help us get more in tune with nature's cycles. Taken as a whole, a study of the tree system can help us integrate our personalities, broaden our intellectual horizons, and open ourselves spiritually to the cosmos, going beyond the physical world. That is, after all, the point of being on the path in the first place, isn't it?
Blessed be, and happy searching!" Go to :

Systems (or more accurately interpretations), differ, I still recommend James Vogh's (aka. John Sladek R.I.P), book "The Thirteenth Sign" (even though out of print), for a useful introduction not only to the tree calendar but also the resolution achieved between the lunar and solar years by The "Ancient" Bri(e)tons.
 "Imbolc" the first of this years lunar sabbats falls "late" this year at twelve midnight (23.54 hrs), on St.Valentines' day (the full moon -should a full moon occur before twelve noon it is celebrated on the preceding night as the "witches'" day is said to fall between twelve noon and twelve noon-). The "Beth-Luis-Nion" calendar referred to above does not celebrate the new year until after "the return of the light" even though the "old year" ends at Samhain, the intervening period being a time of reflection (and possibly also fasting), in The "Brythonic" Faith as they awaited the return of the life giving forces of The Sun. Other festivals such as "Beltayne" were celebrations of fertility for The Britons, one reason being that one would attempt to ensure that one did not conceive a child who would be "born into the dark", during the harvest or at any other time which would make their birthing, post-natal and infant care inconvenient, difficult or dangerous, for this reason many Britons were (and still are),, born during the middle of February (I am myself), possibly as an "Ash" (although as the lunar months fluctuate so do the periods over which the trees hold dominion).

Imbolc being the first of the four lunar sabbats is a celebration of Brygid (or "bride"), "The Maiden" who with "The Mother" and "The Crone" make up the three living aspects of "The Triple Goddess" "Arianrhod" ("Arian" = silver "Rhod" = wheel hence "Goddess of The Silver Wheel" -the cycle of the moon-, in both ancient and modern "Bri(e)ton"), whose consort is Kernunnos ("The Horned One" who is "lord of the trees").

Also see: , , and

Saturday 8 February 2014

"Here Comes the Flood"

"When the night shows
The signals grow on radios
All the strange things
They come and go, as early warnings
Stranded starfish have no place to hide
Still waiting for the swollen Easter tide
There's no point in direction we cannot
Even choose a side.

I took the old track
The hollow shoulder, across the waters
On the tall cliffs
They were getting older, sons and daughters
The jaded underworld was riding high
Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky
And as the nail sunk in the cloud, the rain
Was warm and soaked the crowd.

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
In any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.

When the flood calls
You have no home, you have no walls
In the thunder crash
You're a thousand minds, within a flash
Don't be afraid to cry at what you see
The actors gone, there's only you and me
And if we break before the dawn, they'll
Use up what we used to be.

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
In any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry." Peter Gabriel

Saturday 1 February 2014

Quote: "BPA-Free Products Still Contain Bisphenols of Equal Toxicity" (i.e glass -"Pyrex"- is best for your freezer)

Quote: "By Dr. Mercola
Just when you thought you'd learned everything there was to learn about how to avoid bisphenol-A (BPA), the endocrine-disrupting plastics chemical, new research shows that there's more hormone-disrupting bisphenols around you than you probably thought.
In answer to consumers' demands to drop BPA from products, many manufacturers have simply switched to using a different—but equally toxic and perhaps even more toxic—chemical called bisphenol-S (BPS).

It May be BPA-Free, But What About BPS?

BPA, an estrogenic plastic by-product used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics, can leach into food or drinks from the plastic containers holding them. BPA has been identified as an estrogen-mimicking compound since the 1930s, and is known to be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, infants and children. In fact, in the early 1930s BPA was used as an artificial estrogen to not only fatten poultry and cattle, but as a form of estrogen replacement therapy for women of the times. It was only in the 1940s that Bayer and General Electric used BPA to harden polycarbonate plastics and make epoxy resin.
It has since become one of the world's highest production volume chemicals and has been widely reported in the media as being a suspected disruptor of your body's hormones.
Canada, in September 2010, declared BPA as a toxic substance, but to date no other country has followed suit, although BPA has been banned in baby bottles in Europe and the US. As a result of the widespread consumer backlash, however, many companies have rolled out "BPA-free" plastic products, ranging from bottles and sippy cups to reusable water bottles, meant to appeal to those health-conscious consumers looking to avoid toxins.
Unfortunately, this may be just a ruse, as studies now show another bisphenol, bisphenol-S (BPS), is now showing up in human urine concentrations at levels similar to those of BPA.i This suggests that many manufacturers are simply swapping one bisphenol for another.

BPS May be Less Known, But That Doesn't Make it Less Toxic

Similar to the way food manufacturers label a bag of gummy bears as "fat-free," implying it's good for you while staying silent about the massive amounts of sugar they contain, plastics manufacturers can legally make it appear their products are safe by labeling them BPA-free, even though they may contain BPS, or another similar toxic chemical, that they don't mention. More corporate lies of omission that can and do hurt your health.
In the case of BPS, there's reason to believe it is just as dangerous to human health, and possibly more so, than BPA, although the research is not nearly as abundant just yet. Writing in the journal Toxicology In Vitro, researchers stated:ii
"In 2011, the European Commission has restricted the use of Bisphenol A in plastic infant feeding bottles. In a response to this restriction, Bisphenol S is now often used as a component of plastic substitutes for the production of babybottles. One of the major concerns leading to the restriction of Bisphenol A was its weak estrogenic activity. By using two highly standardised transactivation assays, we could demonstrate that the estrogenic activity of Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S is of a comparable potency."
Not only does BPS appear to have similar hormone-mimicking characteristics to BPA, but research suggests it is actually significantly less biodegradable, and more heat-stable and photo-resistant, than BPA. GreenMedInfo reports:
"... while regulators wait for manufacturers who promote their products with "BPA-Free!" stickers at the same moment that they infuse them with BPS to voluntarily reformulate,there isevidence now that BPS may actually have worse effects to environmental and human health, alike..
"... BPS' relative inability to biodegrade indicates: 1) once it is absorbed into the human body, it may accumulate there for longer periods of time. 2) it is more likely to persist in the environment, making external exposures to it, and its many metabolites, much more likely than the faster degrading BPA. In other words, its potential to do harm will worsen along the axis of time, not lessen, which is a common argument made for the purported "safety" of BPA."

Just How Many Chemicals are Lurking in Your BPA-Free Plastic?

You would think labeling a product "BPA-Free" would be some measure of protection against ingesting toxic plastic by-products, but it turns out that tests on plastics using this label have not been conducted under real-world conditions like running the plastics through a dishwasher or heating them in a microwave.
In a study meant to simulate "real-world" use, 95 percent of all plastic products tested positive for estrogenic activity, meaning they can still disrupt your hormones even if they carry a BPA-free label. Even more disconcerting is the finding that BPA-free plastics in some cases leached more BPA than the non-BPA free plastics.iii
In some cases, instead of actually removing BPA from their products, manufacturers are only taking out a percentage of it, which means we're still being exposed to it, only now in undisclosed amounts. The truth is there's an alphabet soup of toxic chemicals in almost everything you come in contact with, from plastics to PVC water lines to canned goods, which are lined with BPA-containing plastic. Thermal receipt paper, all world paper currency and those sealants your dentists want to put on your and your children's teeth also are primary sources of BPA exposure.
But again, BPA is not the only culprit; it's simply the most highly publicized one. There's also Bisphenol AB and AF, Bisphenol B and BP, Bisphenol C, Bisphenol E, F, G, M, S, P, PH, TMC and, yes, there's even a Bisphenol Z. Any one of these can be in your BPA-free baby bottle or sippy cup, unfortunately." ....and....

"Glass is One of the Best Alternatives
If you're interested in avoiding any number of chemical toxins leaching into your food and beverages, choose glass over plastic, especially when it comes to products that will come into contact with food or beverages, or those intended for pregnant women, infants and children. This applies to canned goods as well, which are a major source of BPA (and possibly other chemicals) exposure, so whenever you can, choose jarred goods over canned goods, or opt for fresh instead. Another good idea is to ditch plastic teething toys for your little ones and choose natural wood or fabric varieties instead.
To be fair, you probably can no longer completely eliminate your exposure to BPA, BPS and similar toxins (since they're likely in our air, water, and food, too) but you can certainly reduce your exposure dramatically by making informed choices like those described above.

"Glass" would mean "Pyrex" in this regard. GKH