I was greeted this morning by a junco on the rake that’s standing up in the tool rack. As I was coming into the study he didn’t notice me initially, but as I got closer to the window there was a squeak (a don’t know what else to call that sound!) and away he flew in a flap!
It’s clear and cold, only 36F, and everything is frosted. The eastern sky is pale. There’s very little wind, barely enough to stir the clematis tendrils. The forecast says we’re supposed to get rain by noon, but frost means that it’s not likely. Hmmm….
As I’m looking out the window I’m realizing that the alder tree is blushing. That means that the branch tips are beginning their new growth cycle. As cold as it’s been? It’s coming up fast on Imbolc! The patches of lichen on the branches and the witch moss that is starting small clumps on the tree are startling because of the way they stand out. The one patch is nearly white and the others are silvery grey. The witch moss is a pale grey-green.
A flicker is on the feeder again. No, two! The funny part of this was that the flicker on the feeder was poking its head around to make sure I wasn’t creeping up on it. The 2nd flicker fluttered up, went to land and then changed its mind and flew off, leaving the feeder swaying. The first one looked around the feeder again, almost like, “What was (*that*?). It made me giggle.
Tempus re-filled the feeder yesterday and put a tray of leftovers out….stuff that had gotten shoved to the back of the fridge. It was almost full last night as it was getting dark. It’s totally empty this morning, but the feeder is still full.
The sun just poked his head up over the mountains. At first there was just a glowing patch in the cedars as the sunlight, rising behind a large patch of pines over on the ridge, peered through the trees. Next were some sparkles as the feeder swayed from the birds that were jumping on and off of it. One of the flickers is on the railing, pecking at the soggy bread that was smeared along there.
It began to rain just as I got the newsletter out yesterday. At about the point where I was putting up the pointers on Facebook there were glittering drops hanging from clematis leaves, but within a few minutes the rain began in earnest. I was in the bathroom for a while and the sound of the drops pattering on the skylight was so soothing that I went back to bed for a bit. By noon it was pouring, the rain drumming on the porch roof, and the rain gauge says that we got most of an inch!
I got distracted working on computer updates. I was going to start on newsletter stuff when Tempus reminded me of the time and I flew into my clothes and then flapped out the door. I didn’t get to the community center, but went straight to City Hall. We spent a while talking about the Seal Rock group who had a meeting the night before, the logo (…that I wish we could just get done and then get onto something more interesting!) and then the fascinating subject of trails. The suggesting that I had made about marking trees and plants along the strip park has borne fruit. The Forest Service is taking that on, cooperating with the high school biology class and shop class, both to do the identifying and to make some nice wooden signs for the trees. What’s interesting with that is that we’ve been talking about a “Tree Walk” for OCPPG, so now we’ve got a specific area!
When I got back (and the meeting ran way longer than it was supposed to…) I had a few minutes to load some things onto a disc drive that I’ve been trying to get done, and the darned thing wouldn’t cooperate. I fought it for most of an hour, but by then folks were showing up for class.
We ended up with an esbat after that, or rather, call it a business meeting. It was the Imbolc run-through. There’s a little re-writing still to go. We also talked about OCPPG and the Pagan Pride event that’s happening the weekend after Labor Day, September 7th, in Salem.
Both of us will be at the shop today. We’re *supposed* to be working on holiday boxes and then inventory. The Readings sign will be out.
Feast day of St Francis de Sales – Francis, Count of Sales, left a life of riches for poverty and became a preacher. Francis died in 1622, aged 55. Francis of Sales was beatified in 1661 by Pope Alexander VII, who then canonized him in 1665. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_de_Sales
With Jane Frances de Chantal, he founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, called the Salesian Sisters. More here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Visitation_of_Holy_Mary I went on a retreat at their convent in Georgetown.
Flowering fern [Royal fern], Osmunda regalis, is today’s plant, dedicated to this saint. Osmunda regalis belongs to the oxymoronically named flowering fern family, so called because the densely-clustered sporangia resemble flowers. It is said by some to be one of the most handsome European ferns, hence the name. It is widely distributed in Europe, Asia and North America. The ‘Royal Fern’ is also known as the ‘Queen Flower’. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmunda_regalis (pictures are the American variety of this fern)
According to Slavic mythology, the sporangia – called ‘Perun’s flowers’ – have assorted magical powers, such as giving their holders the ability to defeat demons, fulfil wishes, unlock secrets, and understand the language of trees. However, collecting the sporangia is a difficult and frightening process. In earlier traditions, they had to be be collected on Kupala night; later, after the arrival of Christianity, the date is changed to Easter eve. Either way, the person wanting to collect Perun’s flowers must stand within a circle drawn around the plant and withstand the taunting or threats of demons. More on the day here: http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/jan24.html
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday. If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light or call the shop at 541-563-7154.
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 1/26 at 8:38pm. 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 1/25 at 8:38am.
Goddess Month of of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis, Rowan, Jan 21 – Feb 17
Runic half-month of Peorth, 1/13-1/27. Feast of Brewing, Druidic Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
Runic half-month of Elhaz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary.
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Luis Rowan Jan 21 – Feb 17 – Luis – (LWEESH), rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to serviceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grey and Red
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible Th 24 Low 4:23 AM 3.5 7:42 AM Set 5:46 AM 89 24 High 10:14 AM 8.0 5:15 PM Rise 3:21 PM 24 Low 5:22 PM 0.1 24 High 11:50 PM 6.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Take a Moonbath! …and the Moon’s in the right phase for it!
~ The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. – Proverbs 15:2, New International Version
~ The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. – Omar Bradley, U.S. Army Gen.
~ The worst thing about being lied to is simply knowing you weren’t worth the truth. – Unknown
~ There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. – Buddha
Magick – Imbolc Spell
Dream Tending Spell – February 1 – Incense of the day: Sandalwood
This is a truly special day for Wiccans and some Witches. It is Imbolc, a high holiday that honors the triple goddess Brigit and one of the eight sabbats that mark the turning of the wheel of the year. Ground-hog day is also observed today.
This holiday incorporates the seasonal divination of the more ancient Imbolc, which uses the movement of a snake rather than the shadow of a ground-hog to divine how much longer winter will remain. It is the beginning of the Storm Moon and also the time of the Feast of Oya, the orisha of weather and changes. To the Iroquois people, it is Midwinter Ceremony, a time to bless the fields, tell your dreams, and pay tribute to your ancestors. Today is also the birthday of Marie Laveau II, New Orleans’ Voodoo Queen and diviner extraordinaire.
At bedtime now, light a braid of sweet grass. Extinguish the flame but allow the braid to smolder. Wave the braid lovingly and with great care around your bedroom, motioning with your hand to encourage the smoke to drift in a snake-like stream over your bed and pillow. Dip the braid in springwater, making absolutely sure no flame remains. Then put the braid away. Pour lavender water in a large bowl. Put your favorite seashell inside the bowl of water. As you sleep, the bowl will act as a conduit for messages from the ancestors, nature spirits, and the great beyond.
Place this under your bed or on your bed table. Replenish the water as needed over a period of two weeks. Write down your dreams in a journal. Read over them frequently. Messages revealed in the darkness of winter have special meaning. Work each day to lift the shroud of darkness so you can glimpse new growth and the coming light of spring. Understanding the mysteries of winter is at the heart of Imbolc and its celebrations.
By: Stephanie Rose Bird, Llewellyn and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast