It’s dim and grey and windy, temp is just under 50, but the winds are in the 20’s. I heard the bamboo chime clonking during the night. It looks like they’re a fine mist coming down, but there’s only a drip now and again from the porch roof. We’ve had one thunder rumble and they’re talking about more storm cells today.
Yesterday was a long day! We were at the shop and open well before 10am and Tempus headed out to shovel sand…. that was 2 hours the night before and 3 yesterday. He was *really* groaning this morning, but it’s work! We were pretty busy in the middle of the day and then it slacked off. I did a reading mid-afternoon and then got a nap during the late afternoon and we worked on inventory between.
We took a long drive down into Yachats to look at holiday lights, and we’re going to do that tonight again, only this time going out rt 34, which is always fun. When we finally got home we had hamburgers and fries for supper while we watched Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart and then talked a while, while the Ultimate Fireplace DVD played. 🙂
We had the radio on KLCC last night and the songs they were playing really fit the night. “Christmas Cookies” and “Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake” made us laugh, but the last one as we were pulling into the driveway made me weep. The song started with a story of a French family at Christmas in 1914 and the son goes off to fight and they can hear the artillery booming away. The chorus was, “and the mothers stand by the window, and they pray for peace, and they pray for strength, and they pray for Silent Nights….” ow… Silent nights….. Think good thoughts towards those that stand between harm and those who would be harmed….
We’ve gotten up way later than usual, our Christmas treat to ourselves. Tempus is making omelets and we’re going to be starting to cook our big dinner, soon, although we won’t eat it until this evening. It’s just the three of us so we’re going to have a lot of leftovers, but that’s never a problem. I’ll just put stuff aside. I get to *cook* today! In between I’ve pulled out my embroidery and I’ll be working on the biscornu again while we chat.
Today is the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” and may be the actual “Reason for the Season”. This is the first day that the sun (if you’re watching *very* closely) has a shorter shadow at noon. Today is actually only ½ a minute longer than on the solstice, but accurate sundials & noon marks predate accurate clocks by a long shot! More on the god of this day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus More on noon marks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noon_mark and sundials http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundial
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is Waxing Gibbous. Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 12/28 at 2:21am. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Phase ends at the Full on 12/26 at 2:21pm.
Christmas conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter, with Aldebaran right nearby! Jupiter and the Moon are only a degree or two apart, depending on your location (in the Americas) and the time of evening. Watch them change separation and orientation as the night progresses. Binoculars show stars of the big, loose Hyades cluster in their background.
Mars (magnitude +1.2) still remains low in the southwest in evening twilight. In a telescope it’s just a tiny blob 4.3 arcseconds in diameter — hardly larger than Uranus!
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth Birch Dec 24 – Jan 20
Runic half-month of Jara 12/13-12/27 – Jara signifies the completion of natural cycles, such as fruition, and has a more transcendent meaning of mystic marriage of Earth and Cosmos. *Ø* Wilson’s Almanac free daily ezine | Book of Days | December 13
Runic half-month of Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books,
©2012 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Beth Birch Dec 24 – Jan 20 Beith – (BEH), birch – The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch. The three trees in my front yard form root sprouts that would take over the bed where they are planted if I didn’t cut them back. The common birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) is almost as widespread as the silver birch, but grows primarily on acid or peaty soils. It can reach 20 m (65 feet) in height. Birches are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae). Curtis Clark
Beth – Birch – Ogam letter correspondences –
Meaning: New Beginnings; Changes; Purification.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 25 Low 4:01 AM 3.6 7:51 AM Set 5:27 AM 89
~ 25 High 9:56 AM 8.1 4:42 PM Rise 2:56 PM
~ 25 Low 5:09 PM 0.1
~ 25 High 11:42 PM 6.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Things that happen in life affect your energy. You can’t stop things from happening, but you can somewhat influence and determine your response to what happens. Your actions throughout life continuously affect your chi (life energy). These impressions become perpetual conditioning factors on your personal flow of chi.
Journal Prompt – Persuasive – Pretend you are a Little League coach who is concerned about the poor sportsmanship shown by some parents of players. Write a letter to your players’ parents, persuading them to tone their responses at the games.
~ Beauty is in the heart of the beholder. – H. G. Wells (1866-1946) English writer
~ Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions – it only guarantees equality of opportunity. – Irving Kristol
~ Don’t do it because “this is the way that it has always been done.” Don’t do it simply because it is “traditional.” Do it because it works. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up. – Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Come, like a real dervish, and dance among us,
Don’t joke, don’t boast I am already present.
In the center of your house I am like a pillar,
On your rooftop I bow my head like a gutter.
I turn like a cup in the heart of your assembly;
In the thick of your battles, I strike like an arrow.
When I give my life for yours, what Grace descends!
Each life I give gives you a thousand new worlds! – Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
Magick – Yule Recipes
Chicken Pot Pie
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized cubes
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 cup baby carrots, halved
1 small onion, peeled and chopped fine
2 ounces butter (1/2 stick)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup frozen baby peas (optional)
½ cup milk or cream
2 Tablespoons flour
Double recipe of pastry/pie crust or 2 packages of pre-made crust dough
9″x13″ casserole dish
Blanch potatoes and carrots 5-10 minutes and drain well.
In a heavy skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon butter and brown chicken pieces.
Remove chicken and set aside. In skillet sauté onion until translucent. Add drained potatoes, garlic, and carrots and cook until golden, adding more butter if needed. Add the chicken back into the skillet. Blend milk and flour well and stir into skillet with chicken/vegetable mixture. Remove from heat and cool.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line casserole dish with ½ the pastry dough to form bottom crust. Pour in cooled chicken/vegetable mixture and dot with remaining butter. Top with remaining pastry crust and seal and crimp edges.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Serves 6 – 8
Pasty Recipe Spell – December 6th, 2006
Color of the day: White – Incense of the day: Sandalwood
Ancient people gathered as much food as possible so it would last them throughout the long winter months. Hearty food was often served in Celtic countries in the winter. This included oatmeal with butter and milk, soft cheeses, root vegetables, nuts and berries, bread, and dried or salted fish and meat. In later times, pasties or pastry pies were served. These consisted of baked dough toasted around a meat, fish, or vegetable filling. These were so popular that it was said the devil would not come to Cornwall for fear of being put into a pie! Here is a recipe for traditional pies to share at your winter rites and ceremonies. Combine one pound of flour with a half pound of butter, three eggs, and hot water. Roll out the dough on a board three times. Then cut it into six-inch circles, place the filling in the center of the circles, and fold them over to make a half moon shapes. Cook at 350 degrees until they are golden. By: Sharynne NicMhacha
[Anja’s note – I’ve made these as a take-home lunch for those who have long drives. A cheese-ham filling or barley & sausage travel well and are yummy hot or cold. Cheese & broccoli with waterchestnuts works for those who don’t want meat. It sounds strange, but ham and left-over sweet potatoes is delicious, even if you baked ‘em with marshmallows! Cook any meats and drain well first, because any grease in the filling will make a strange texture.]
Hearty Chili with Red Beans
1 pound Ground Venison or Lean ground beef
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
16 ounces red kidney beans, drained (I use Bush’s brand)
1 16-ounce can of prepared chili (I use Texas Pete’s brand)
Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
Sliced scallion greens (optional)
In a cast iron skillet, brown meat, breaking into crumbles as it cooks. Add onions and cook until onions are clear. Add beans and chili. Simmer on low heat until bubbling hot.
Serve in bowls garnished with cheese and scallions if desired. Also good with corn bread or steamed rice.
Serves 4 – 6
California Roast Leg of Lamb
1 Leg of lamb
2 Garlic cloves, cut into quarters
1 teaspoon of seasoned salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
16 ounces of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
juice of one lemon
4 large, fresh artichokes, quarter
Fresh lemon slices – optional
Preheat oven to 400*. Cut slits in lamb and insert quartered pieces of garlic. Rub meat with salt, pepper and oregano. Put roast in oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and roast an additional hour. Skim off any fat in the pan and add tomato sauce, water and lemon juice over the lamb. Place artichokes around meat. Roast one hour or until desired doneness, basting frequently with pan juices. Try to use a meat thermometer when roasting lamb. They help to avoid overly done meat or underdone lamb. Garnish with lemon slices.
It was the beginning of December. The trip had gone reasonably well, and he was ready to go home. The airport on the other hand had turned a tacky red and green with loudspeakers blared annoying elevator renditions of cherished Christmas carols.
Being someone who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly tired, he was not in a particularly good mood.
Going to check in his luggage, he saw hanging mistletoe. Not real mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on some of the rounder parts and green paint on some of the flatter and “pointier” parts, that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very Picasso sort of way.
With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it, he said to the lady attendant, “Even if I were not married, I would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of mistletoe.”
“Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is.”
“Ok, I see that it’s above the luggage scale, which is the place
you’d have to step forward for a kiss.”
“That’s not why it’s there.”
“Ok, I give up. Why is it there?”
“It’s there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye.”
Lighted House Count – Total on 12/23 was 174, added 152 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>