Scenes from the garden of a green witch. Photos by M.H.
~From Danse des Morts, Todten-Tanz, 1744~
~Drawn by Walter Appleton Clark, from the Wellcome Collection~
~Full Moon Rite~
“Wondrous Lady of the Moon
You who greets the dark with silvered kisses
Mistress of the night and all magicks,
who rides the clouds in blackened skies and spills light upon cold Earth.
Oh Lunar Goddess, Crescent one,
Shadow maker and shadow breaker,
Revealer of mysteries past and present,
All-wise Lunar Mother
Puller of seas and ruler of women,
I greet your celestial jewel at the waxing of its powers with a rite in Your honor
I pray by the moon .“
~Han Dynasty, China~
In Chinese legend, the Sanzuwu, or three-legged crow, is not a trickster or bad omen. He and his brothers were responsible for drawing the sun across the sky each day.
Ex libris, or bookplates, are placards inscribed with the name of a tome’s owner and affixed to the inside of its cover. Ex libris establish some amount of provenance — a clue into the history of a book’s possession. The art decorating bookplates is often heraldic, fantastic, ornate, and gorgeous. This collection is comprised mostly of plates created in Europe during the 17th & 18th centuries.
Sitte ge, sīgewīf,
sīgað tō eorðan,
næfre ge wilde
tō wuda fleogan,
beō ge swā gemindige,
swā bið manna gehwilc,
metes and ēðeles.
Old English. Anglo Saxon metrical charm.
A rustic, preparing to devour an apple, was addressed by a brace of crafty and covetous birds:
“Nice apple that,” said one, critically examining it. “I don’t wish to disparage it — wouldn’t say a word against that vegetable for all the world. But I never can look upon an apple of that variety without thinking of my poisoned nestling! Ah! so plump, and rosy, and — rotten!”
“Just so,” said the other. “And you remember my good father, who perished in that orchard. Strange that so fair a skin should cover so vile a heart!”
Just then another fowl came flying up.
~Edward Lear, 1835~