Today I finally planned and performed my second major working/ritual and the first one that was thought out a bit: a memorial altar for my dog, who passed away about a month ago.

I gathered a few things of hers and quickly worked up a ceremony that worked for me, resulting in this altar. It was very nice. In addition to cleaning it up and leaving the dead flowers as a memento mori, we poured some water in her water bowl and dropped some kibble from that jar into her food bowl. It was very affecting and I really appreciate having done it.

@Lexilaughs @aura yeah i’m gonna go ahead and post about it. if you end up going anywhere else tho i’d love to know where you end up at least, since i’m about as interested in residing on an empty instance as anyone else

@Lexilaughs @aura sorry for my contribution to all that btw. i know i used to talk with you two a bit and just disappeared since jan, but i’ve been wrestling with mental health stuff this year and it left me too out of it.

that combined with me wrestling with how i feel vis-a-vis @.anna post-jan sorta kept me off the instance. i just wish there was more of a proper queer-friendly witch instance, you know?

it’s sad to finally feel ready to come back to the one place i would feel comfortable talking about the altar i built in memory of my recently deceased dog and see it in such poor shape that two old friends are talking about how quiet it is, you know?


@Lexilaughs Hope you got it sorted, but a pro-tip is to check at 12:01 AM for Amazon and Walmart deliveries. That's when their delivery windows get reset. It might be a few days before your window after that, but my partner and I have had good luck if we stay up for it.

Narylis channeled

We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

#1) Be gay
#2) Do crime
#3) Death to America

@jane No. I sorta expect the yearly maximums to be at the same time, just that the curve as a whole has shifted up over time.

As for the sabbats in the Southern Hemisphere, I *have* heard that they tend to just be reversed to at least align with the seasons properly in that part of the world, but that's the only concession I've ever really seen with respect to the Wheel of the Year.

@jane I've been trying to come up with a Wheel of the Year that is a better fit for my personal practice. I live in the Bay Area, and the timing and traditional meanings of the sabbats don't really mesh well with the climate and ecosystems around here, and I'd like to figure out a setup which does.

(Furthermore, I feel like my practice should reflect my ancestral roots, which means that the Celtic-derived names of most of the festivals don't feel right to me, either. But that's a whole other kettle of fish.)

Cross-quarter days are a bit harder at the moment.

There's an anecdotal pattern that I've noticed where San Jose usually has a multi-week break in rains in January/February, so depending on what I find in that upcoming analysis, Imbolc/Candlemas may stay in about the same place and symbolize that rather than the coldest point in the year.

Likewise, Lammas/Lughnasadh can still serve as the "hottest" festival at about the same time too.

Samhain might align to the start of the rainy season, but this leaves Beltane unaccounted for.

I might be able to use something like the "official" fire season declaration (which is about that time) for that, not sure.

Anyway, I figure that the Californian quarter days are a given (we're tracking the solar year after all), though their meanings might differ. For example, the Yule counterpart not only symbolizes the rebirth of the sun but also the beginning of rewarming just a week later. More strongly than Yule normally would I mean.

Ostara is roughly going to align with the end of the rainy season I expect, so that will likely be a relevant symbolism.

Mabon might be pretty close to the start of high fire season, so again, probably going to just lean on that a bit.

Litha is a bit of an open question with respect to symbolism, though.

End result is that it's *probably not* unreasonable to put a Californian Lammas/Lughnasadh on August 1, but Candlemas/Imbolc on February 2 is a fool's game.

Probably should have some other marker for the latter (end of the rainy season?)

Bit more data to process this time, since Oxford has records back to 1814 or thereabouts. But I wasn't able to round up any local climatological data so I just went with the same "number of degrees down from solar noon" as San Jose. Might be wrong.

Anyway, you can see that the curve is much more sinusoidal, and delayed. The coldest day is about 20 days after the winter solstice (as opposed to about 40 between Yule and Imbolc) and the hottest day is about 210 days after the winter solstice, which is about 28 days after the summer solstice. Not quite the 40 days from Litha to Lughnasadh, but not unreasonable.

Close enough fit to feel comfortable anyway.

Turns out London wasn't in the daily summary set, so I used Oxford instead.

End result is that the lowest daily high in San Jose is usually about 7 days after the winter solstice and the highest is about 206 days after the winter solstice (i.e. about 24 days or so after the summer solstice).

Not very useful for timing the cross-quarter days. Too close to the main solar days.

Still, I plan on comparing these to the figures for London soon, just to confirm that this image is right:

(I also generated 1-day, 5-day and 10-day means that are... less smooth)

This data takes the entire history of San Jose's climate and plots the maximum temperatures against the number of days elapsed since the winter solstice each year.

In order to generate a better average, each daily data point is skewed to the average time of the highest temperature (when the sun is about 17 degrees below its peak). Probably doesn't matter much (especially since it's not guaranteed to be the time of highest temperature) but I wanted to account for it.

I then generated a smoothed mean, median and "inner" mean over the 20 day period around each data point, which is what you see here.

Eh, there's some problem with calculating the number of days since the previous winter solstice. Probably a small offset getting introduced somewhere because the values seem too high across the board (e.g. number of days since previous winter being over 365.2421 days in some cases).

I think it might be because I'm judging based on the start of the day and not accounting for winter starting between midnight and the high temperature time, but I don't want to fix that now.

I also want to do some research to mark the start of high fire season and the start and end of the rainy season in the calendar, since these are critical to Californian climate and habitats.

The latter should be a quick analysis on top of the climate data I've already collected, but for the dating of high fire season, I'm going to have to hunt down and collate information from old Forest Fire Summaries put out by CAL FIRE (and that means a day trip to Sacramento on a day off from work to get it done)

The code project will hopefully give me cross-quarter days for Imbolc and Lughnasadh, I hope, since they are (as I understand it) timed to the hottest and coldest times of the year in England.

I'm going to repeat my current project to find the hottest and coldest days of the year on London climate data to confirm this, and then apply this fact to my calendar.

Don't know what's going to happen if (as I suspect), the hottest day in the year is on top of the equinox though. Might just drop Lughnasadh entirely then.

Don't know what to do about Samhain and Beltane though. Or what to do about naming since I don't like the whole Celtic thing for my practice.

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