Happy Equinox to all my readers.
17 March 2017
I’m pleased to report that Festae, a book of poetry with hymns to deities from the Greco-Roman pagan calendar, is now available on Amazon.com.
Festae includes four odes called the “Seasonal Greetings”, dedicated to Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. It also contains forty-three additional odes in a traditional three-stanza form, dedicated to:
- Poseidon, god of the wild sea
- Neptune and Salacia in their roles as providers of salt for food preservation
- Hecate as a goddess of magic and artistry
- Hephaestus and the Nymphs, the teachers of technology and craft
- Pallas Athena
- Artemis of the Moon, and of Music
- The Nine Muses
- Vesta three festivals of June
- All the Heras
- The year-end celebrations of the Roman sacred year in February
- and numerous others…
This collection joins four other of my poetry on Amazon, including The Sun’s Paces: hymns for the Decans of the Zodiac, and the Poems for the Behenian Stars, and Hymns for the Mansions of the Moon. You can also find The Tai Chi Poem. In all, these five collections now present one very long poem about tai chi, and nearly 130 other poems on subjects related to astronomy, ancient history, the better angels of our nature, and our relationship to the sky and each other.
It’s been my great pleasure to write and share these poems with you, and I hope you enjoy them. These materials are also listed on my publications page.
14 March 2017
Here’s a popular dessert in our house. It’s frozen cherries (but sometimes mango or peaches or berries) mixed with a little extract — usually vanilla but sometimes almond or hazelnut — and then blended with a mix of milk and half&half (or heavy cream) until smooth. Ish.
It’s not ice cream but it tastes like ice cream. It’s not sorbet but it tastes like sorbet. It’s sort of an ice milk, I guess? But it isn’t. What it is, is a dessert. We eat it straight out of the blender instead of letting it “set” in the freezer, because we find the setting process makes it disgusting. You eat this fresh or not at all. You also eat the variants from time to time, too: peach cream where the peaches have been in the freezer too long; or where there’s not enough milk or too much almond extract. The balance is never exact.
But it’s dependent on the tools. Without the blender or the food processor, without the refrigerator, without the whole apparatus to harvest cherries in season and flash freeze them, without milk or cream, this dessert is impossible. It’s not a dish of Ancient Rome; it’s a dish of modern Americans looking to avoid too much processed sugar in their diets.
A makerspace can have a range of tools of all kinds — but without accurate measuring tools, all projects will be sort of sloppy (With accurate measuring tools, projects may still be sloppy, but that’s the choice of the maker). No sandpaper and no files? Projects wind up looking a little rough. No paint or stain? Things look a little unfinished, more structural, with more emphasis on materials. No drills, no saws? — projects wind up being made of other things than wood.
Tools determine output. If your MakerSpace is producing projects with a lot of bent nails, you might want to take a look at how many hammers you have, and perhaps invest in some saws or drills. Or maybe a sewing machine…
Or maybe an ice cream maker.
6 March 2017
Art and Design, creativity, Magic & Spirituality, Makery, Personal astrological art, astrological magic, astrological poetry, astrology, decans, decans of the zodiac, The Sun's Paces, zodiac Leave a comment
I have another, another new book on Amazon today:
The Sun’s path across the sky is called the Ecliptic, and it passes through the twelve signs of the Zodiac. As it does so, it passes through the thirty-six subdivisions of the Zodiac, called the Decans. Famed in ancient Egyptian, Hellenistic, and Renaissance sources, they’ve become less important in recent centuries — and yet they’re far older.
In these thirty-six poems, Andrew Watt (that is, me, your blog author), explores these hidden meanings, and the hidden sacred stories in the Hellenistic-era deities that preside over the Decans. In these pages you’ll encounter Tethys the Titanic queen of Ocean and Hekate the magical lady of the Crossroads, Serapis the syncretic tyrant and Dolus the trickster. The traditional imagery of the Decans are briefly discussed, and suggestions are provided on how to incorporate the study of the Decans into your own life. Most of all, these poems celebrate the diversity and range of thirty-six other ways of looking at the complexities of modern life through the lenses of ancient wisdom.
This brings to four the number of titles that you can find of my poetry on Amazon.com:
Thank you so much if you’ve already purchased one or more of these collections of poetry. Your support is very much appreciated.
27 February 2017
I have a new book on Amazon.com.
The Mansions of the Moon
The Mansions of the Moon, a collection of twenty-eight poems celebrating the angels of the Mansions of the Moon, and their images and lore, as described in Picatrix and other sources like Christopher Warnock’s book, The Mansions of the Moon, is available in Kindle format here.
Current price is $4.99 for twenty-eight poems, greeting the twenty-eight angels of the Moon’s orbit as found in traditional astrological sources like Picatrix.
From the book blurb on Amazon…
In many ancient sources, the Moon is called “The Treasure House of Images” and this book helps explore that name. From at least the classical era, ancient Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian civilizations divided the sky into twenty-eight Mansions, noting that the Moon spent a day in each of these places in the course of a month. As with the night sky divided into constellations, ancient astronomers named these Mansions and gave them images, and celestial rulers. Thus, the Mansions of the Moon are a ‘Zodiac’ of sorts for the Moon — a sequence of twenty-eight positions that the Moon occupies on successive days through her month-long procession across the sky.
In this sequence of twenty-eight poems, Andrew Watt explores what the Mansions have meant for hundreds if not thousands of years — the spiritual rulers said to reign in those palaces, the forces they put to work in human and earthly affairs, and the imagery that is said to adorn these Mansions. Each Mansion, and each poem, is thus a door or a window into a magical way of seeing the world. By following the Moon through each of the Mansions on succeeding days, the reader gains insight into the way the Moon truly is a Treasure House of Images.
18 February 2017
There’s something beautiful about a stack of books bound with Coptic stitch. Particularly when you know that the contents of each book are your own. These are copies of my Book of Splendor, a collection of poetry exploring the relationships between nature and the divine in a particular corner of New England.
These are part of a limited edition of 100 copies: numbered, and hand bound, and the hand signed by the author, that is me. I interested in buying one? Let me know.
31 January 2017
I’m pleased to report that the Tai Chi Poem I composed in 2015 is now available for Kindle from Amazon.com. All sixty-two sonnets in order, together with the diagrams I composed for the poem, are now in a single digital document and available for $4.49. You can go through the back entries of this website and find all the poems — they were composed in 2014 and published here — but now they’re available as a convenient download.
The Tai Chi Poem
In 2014, I composed sixty-two sonnets describing the process of moving through the tai chi form that I first learned in 1998 in northeastern Connecticut. That sonnet sequence is now available as a downloadable Kindle file from Amazon.com.
Like most of my sonnets, these are Shakespearean or Elizabethan sonnets, in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme running ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Some portions of the sequence may be useful to tai chi teachers for creating effective mnemonics for their own students, but I don’t recommend trying to learn tai chi from reading the poems aloud or reciting them. Some things are better left to professionals rather than me. I also think the poems are quite beautiful on their own. My goal, overall, was to create something akin or in the tradition of the traditional martial arts and tai chi manuals, a combination of simple diagrams and poetic descriptions of the movements. The work is dedicated to my teacher, Laddie Sacharko of Star Farm Tai Chi. The tai chi poem will always be available exclusively from Amazon in print form.
The Tai Chi Poem also joins my other book, Poems for the Behenian Stars for $9.99 on Amazon. This second book, a poetic exploration of the fifteen stars of H.C. Agrippa’s list of the major stars of the northern celestial hemisphere, is also available as a PDF download from Etsy for $10. I earn more royalties from an Etsy download, but I understand that Kindle grants me access to a wider audience. Feel free to tell your friends!