Top Ten Reasons Athames are Black
10. So they’ll go with any color robe.
9. So you can cover up nicks and scratches with shoe polish.
8. It’s slimming (can’t have fat Athames can we???)
7. It doesn’t show dirt.
6. Because finding a dropped Athame in an outdoor ritual in the dark is a test of loyalty to your faith.
5. It’s so much more dignified than chartreuse.
4. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
3. Someone spilled all the paints together and that’s what ended up as the result.
2. No! No! Black is for winter ritual – use white before Labor Day!!!
1. So that we’d have something to argue about other than how “athame” is pronounced!!!
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2016 February 11
LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves from Merging Black Holes
Illustration Credit: LIGO, NSF, Aurore Simonnet (Sonoma State U.)
Explanation: Gravitational radiation has been directly detected. The first-ever detection was made by both facilities of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Washington and Louisiana simultaneously last September. After numerous consistency checks, the resulting 5-sigma discovery was published today. The measured gravitational waves match those expected from two large black holes merging after a death spiral in a distant galaxy, with the resulting new black hole momentarily vibrating in a rapid ringdown. A phenomenon predicted by Einstein, the historic discovery confirms a cornerstone of humanity’s understanding of gravity and basic physics. It is also the most direct detection of black holes ever. The featured illustration depicts the two merging black holes with the signal strength of the two detectors over 0.3 seconds superimposed across the bottom. Expected future detections by Advanced LIGO and other gravitational wave detectors may not only confirm the spectacular nature of this measurement but hold tremendous promise of giving humanity a new way to see and explore our universe.
Mercury and Venus close before sunrise
Technically speaking, Mercury and Venus will not have a conjunction this month. However, these two worlds will be staging a quasi-conjunction from about February 11 to 15, 2016. A quasi-conjunction is said to take place whenever two planets come to within 5o of each other on the sky’s dome, yet do not align north and south of one another.
Before attempting to spot Mercury near Venus, get up about 80 minutes before the sun to view four of the five planets: Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. Venus, the sky’s brightest planet will be quite close to the horizon – or on the verge of rising. Mercury will follow Venus into the brightening morning twilight an hour or so before sunrise.
At their closest, Mercury and Venus are 4o apart on February 13, 2016. For reference, the width of one finger at an arm length approximates 2o of sky, so these two worlds will be about two finger-widths apart for the next several days.
Binoculars often have a field of view (FOV) of about 5o, so Mercury and Venus may well fit within a single binocular field for several days. Starting an hour or so before sunrise, aim your binoculars at dazzling Venus to spot nearby Mercury.
By the way, all five naked-eye planets should be yours to behold in the morning sky, as long as you can view Mercury.
Bottom line: Starting an hour or so before sunrise – from February 11 to 15, 2016 – aim your binoculars at dazzling Venus before dawn to spot Mercury nearby.
Youth if not in age then in spirit. Adept at diplomacy.
Ingwaz signifies completion, success and fertility. Your present ambitions are about to be met. You are fecund in both mind and body.
As an axe cutting toward the tree your actions have set into motion a course of events in this aspect of your life that you cannot escape. You will know soon if your aim was precise or reckless.
Your Daily Influences represent events and challenges the current day will present for you. They may represent opportunities you should be ready to seize. Or they may forewarn you of problems you may be able to avoid or lessen. Generally it is best to use them as tips to help you manage your day and nothing more.
Your Personal Red Dragon Reading for Today
represents success, achievement and fulfillment. The three tiles under the Red Dragon tile will influence the power your Red Dragon currently has in your life.
The tile of The Fisherman suggests success can be attained through the application of common sense and careful management of your time and relationships. The Fisherman is thorough and patient. He knows that while his efforts will be rewarded as long as he does not give up.
The Phoenix tile indicates great happiness and joy. The Phoenix is said to be reborn out its ashes. Accordingly the Phoenix tile also denotes sure recovery from any setbacks encountered.
The Plum tile reflects renewal and viewing your world with fresh viewpoints. It is an inherently “happy” tile. The Plum tile also suggests inexperience—a trait you must not allow to make you an easy target.
The Lute tile indicates a need for relaxation—a break from the stress of your everyday life. For people nearing the end of their career it may suggest that the time for them to retire has come.
Many cultures associate Owl with death, while others see Owl as the “night eagle”—the bird that embodies shamanism. Owl has exceptional hearing, and his medicine is one of clairaudience—the ability to hear spirit. If Owl has silently glided into your life today, he is asking you to face your own fears, and listen to the messages spirit is sending you.
The Golden Egg denotes the opportunity for substantial material gains. However, the Golden Egg is also a reminder that unmanaged greed ensures what gains are made will be lost.
As a daily card, The Golden Egg suggest that the prospects for you to increase your financial wealth are very strong today. Seize whatever opportunities come your way, but don’t ride them too long or you may find yourself no better off than you were before they came along.