Weak, watery sunlight is falling on my altar, lighting up the glass and crystals. My tiny copper salt dish is glowing. It’s only 43F outside and tiny diamonds are dripping from the clematis. There’s not a breath of wind.
We’re right at the time of the least light of the year. The days are still getting shorter, but it’s by just over a minute a day. I can’t tell the difference at this point. The days are just short and yesterday it was dark by 3pm. It’s just over two weeks to Solstice.
Yesterday started off looking ok, weather-wise, and it just got prettier, but certainly colder! By 5pm it was 46F, colder than the day before by a chunk. I never managed to get outside, either, which is going to make me really annoyed later in the winter, since there were a lot of chores to do. I only got one round of picking up on the porch in… Early on in the day, other than books (which actually got finished in the evening) I worked on some sorting of papers, so that the recycling would be full. …and then I got so sleepy that I got cranky and just could not make myself keep working.
When I woke back up I read for a bit and then started back in on books and also sorting recipes. I guess you could say that I was working on the cookbooks, but not really. It was more research than work, if you get what I mean…. I got all the books sorted by 7:30 and then started in on trying to get them all put away. Wow….The photo albums still haven’t gotten moved but all but about 20 books are where they need to be. I’ve got some shelves to move, though before the job is done.
After supper I worked on the newsletter for a bit, then did some research, trying to figure out which TV station in Portland it was that runs the “Christmas Trains” commercial to Mannheim Steamroller, or did when we were still living there. …and then I sidetracked on Mannheim Steamroller synced holiday light displays…. Oh, well….
Today Tempus is going to be at the shop. We talked it over and he’s going to go into Newport to do the shopping tomorrow. I have some writing and baking that I want to do today, since I didn’t get back to the dough last night. We’re also trying to get the rest of the holiday stuff together that we’re mailing to our boys.
I have a couple of product pictures for you today. The first is a new one. It’s a “Sun & Moon Jar”, a solar-powered, light-activated jar. The “Sun” light is golden-orange and the “Moon” light is blue. It’s bright enough to use for a night-light or for navigating around the house in the dark. The nice part is that with the “eye” it can tell if the other lights are out and if you leave it where the sunlight can reach it, it will recharge and go on and off with no tending! The bells hanging there are from the bells strings that we carry and yes, those are cauldrons sitting around it! The jar is $25.
The second picture is a better one of the silhouette of the Spiral Goddess copper danglie. These hold up to weather, so can be used in outdoor temples, wiggle and clink interestingly in the wind, (I have one with some bells threaded onto the spiral), and fold flat enough and are tough enough to mail! If you’re thinking about a gift for a friend at a distance, these would be great. I think these are $12…
The last picture is of a lot of the small Yule goodies that we carry. Stocking stuffer bags can be added to candies to fill a stocking or just given to a child the way they are. They include about $4 worth of small toys for the 4-10-year-old set for $2. The goodie bags sitting in front of them are assorted seasonal fabrics, but make great pouches for toys after the goodies are gone. The tiny tree socks are a good “presentation” for small gifts at this time of year. They’re $1 each or 6 for $5. The coloring books are just some inexpensive ones that I found a few years back. $1 each and the yo-yo’s are a fun toy, painted with seasonal designs.
If you ever wondered why Old Nick and St. Nick…. The bishop of Myra destroyed the temple of Artemis whose feast day was Dec. 6. He supposedly punched Arius in the face during the Council of Nicea. Not the nicest guy… and quite a number of the Continental folklore of The Black Gentleman resembles the stories of this bishop. The Krampus, Cert or SwartPiet has taken on some of the punishment aspects of this guy. The orange in the toe of the stocking is the old Sun-symbol from the strenae, the green, gift-bearing branches of old Rome. Candy canes are the bishop’s crozier or shepherd’s crook.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is Waning Gibbous. Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Tide change is on 12/13 at 12:42am. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/6 at 7:31am. Waning Crescent Moon –Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term. Phase ends on 12/8 at 12:42pm.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot crosses Jupiter’s central meridian around 11:45 p.m. EST. (For all of Jupiter’s satellite events and Great Red Spot transit times this month, good worldwide, see the December Sky & Telescope, pages 51–52.) http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newtrack/st_201212/
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22
Runic half-month of Is November 28-12 Literally, ‘ice’: a static period. The time of waiting before birth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2012 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Ruis Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH), elder – Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) commences (Nov 25 – Dec 22) – Like other Iron Age Europeans, the Celts were a polytheistic people prior to their conversion to (Celtic) Christianity. The Celts divided the year into 13 lunar cycles (months or moons). These were linked to specific sacred trees which gave each moon its name. Today commences the Celtic tree month of Elder.
Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus) is a genus of fast-growing shrubs or small trees in the family Caprifoliaceae. They bear bunches of small white or cream coloured flowers in the Spring, that are followed by bunches of small red, bluish or black berries. The berries are a very valuable food resource for many birds.
Common North American species include American Elder, Sambucus canadensis, in the east, and Blueberry Elder, Sambucus glauca, in the west; both have blue-black berries.
The common European species is the Common or Black Elder, Sambucus nigra, with black berries. This is a shrub growing to 10 m (33 feet) in damp clearings, along the edge of woods, and especially near habitations. Elders are grown for their blackish berries, which are used for preserves and wine. The leaf scars have the shape of a crescent moon. Elder branches have a broad spongy pith in their centers, much like the marrow of long bones, and an elder branch stripped of its bark is very bone-like. The red elder (S. racemosa L.) is a similar plant at higher elevations; it grows to 5 m (15 feet). Red elder extends its native range to northern North America, and it is cultivated along with other native species, but common elders are seldom seen in cultivation. Elders are in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).
Ruis – Elder Ogam letter correspondences
Month: Makeup days of the thirteenth Moon
Meaning: End of a cycle or problem.
to study this month Straif – Blackthorn Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: SS, Z, ST
Meaning: Resentment; Confusion; Refusing to see the truth
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 6 High 5:52 AM 7.2 7:38 AM Set 12:20 PM 58
~ 6 Low 12:11 PM 2.8 4:37 PM
~ 6 High 5:37 PM 5.8
~ 6 Low 11:54 PM 1.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Law of Probable Dispersal – Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
~ Thou strange piece of wild nature! – Colley Cibber (1671-1757) English actor, playwright
~ We tell our triumphs to the crowds, but our own hearts are the sole confidants of our sorrows. – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
~ When I’m trusting and being myself, everything reflects this by falling into place easily, often miraculously. – S Gawain
~ White Americans today don’t know what in the world to do because when they put us behind them, that’s where they made their mistake. . . . they put us behind them, and we watched every move they made. – Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) US activist
Show Your Beauty, Moon of God,
So friends and enemies can witness it
With whitened faces and eyes dark with tears.
Grief and longing make all men groan:
“Save us from the agony this tyrant inflicts
Beautiful and terrible as a dragon!”
You have made grief’s lute sing out
With the sharp and heavy sounds of your “Go away!” – Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
Magick – Yule
Winter Solstice tidbit 24 – a link, fun for the kids, esp.
Winter Solstice tidbit 27 – The Winter Solstice in the Shetlands and Orkneys
The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. The Sun has reached its weakest point, but on this night it will be reborn and begin its growth to the long days of summer. All the holidays of December are connected to this event. The Celts call this day Alban Arthuan. The name Yule is Germanic. At this time of the year many people become depressed. Often this is blamed on the fact that the celebrations fail to meet their expectations. But people have always become depressed at this time of the year because of the lack of sunlight and the seeming death of all of nature. To ancient peoples this fear was personified as an attack of elves and ghostly spirits, similar to the beliefs surrounding Halloween. This is obvious when one studies the customs of the Shetland and Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland. This was one of the last places in Europe to become Christian, therefore their customs are closer to the ancient past. Here, this holiday was called Yule into the twentieth century. On the actual solstice, these islands see only six hours of daylight. Their Yule lasts from December 20 to January 13.
During this period, defense from the spirits of the dead becomes paramount. The house and barn are decorated with amulets in the form of straw crosses. Sheaves of corn are placed on the roof; round cakes are baked with the solar cross inscribed on them, and plenty of ale is brewed. Drinking ale is so important that there is a fine for anyone who abstains. During this period all work except the most necessary stops, and the nights are spent singing and dancing. In this way, the danger and the depression are staved off by joy. We often hear that we decorate our homes with evergreens because they are a symbol of life everlasting in this season of frost. This is true, but holly is also an amulet that captures evil on its barbs before it can enter the house. In the West, one must realize that it is natural to become depressed at this time of year. Just accept it, and make use of the ancient amulets and rituals designed to help bring back the Sun. ~ Robert Place
Lighted House Count – Total on 12/3 was 49, added 0 last night.
Ok, this is a “silly” that we started when my kids were small…. just count how many houses have lights or lighted displays as you go about! Businesses don’t count, but doorways that are decorated and have a porch light on, do! …and certainly lighted trees in a window. <grin>