It’s 51F, raining hard and we’re getting wind gusts in the upper 20’s. I’m watching it blow past in sheets! It’s supposed to start getting really cold tonight, snow levels dropping to the valley floor and so on. Winter….
Yesterday we ran late all day. The workshops weren’t well attended, so it ended up not mattering too much. We did get a lot done, from cleaning up the classroom and prepping some new bath salt mixes (not finished) to offloading/loading rock tumblers. The two big barrels both have obsidian now, and the small one has a polish load. There’s a whole tray of lovely polished jaspers and agates! I made a few of the fused bead ornaments, just to play and then settled down to stitching, first on some sachets and then onto the Yule Kit, after that. Marius was in later in the day and we talked quite a bit. We finally ended up heading home around 6:30.
We weren’t nearly as busy on Small Business Saturday as we’ve been some years. I don’t really know why. We did have a number of customers through at various points, but this year is far slower than last and later starting, even than last year’s late start.
Workshop/Class Schedule for Sunday 12/1
9:30 – Wicca 101 for Young Folks
Noon – Make a Sunwheel Jingle or fabric ornament! ($1 for materials) (kid-friendly)
1pm – Make an herbal sachet. ($1 pays for materials)
2pm – Seminar – The season of rest and renewal: practices and rituals. Free!
These are some of the pressed ribbon ornaments that I made a number of years ago. They’re inexpensive and light-weight, great for a spot of color on a tree, garland or package. These are not set out this year. All you have to do is ask to see the whole line. We didn’t put up the big tree!
Sage, Salvia Officinalis, sometimes called true sage, or culinary sage, is a plant that has been used in cookery, magick and medicine for many thousands of years. It is one of the ingredients in Four Thieves Vinegar. The blossoms make a delicious tea. – Masculine, Jupiter, Air – In purple cloth, brings wisdom. Worn in an amulet sewn into a horn shape protects against the evil eye. Used as a wash, or sniffed, enhances youthful mindset and appearance. Eat sage in May for long life. Carry to promote wisdom. Write a wish on a sage leaf and sleep on it. If you dream of it, it will happen, else bury the leaf in the ground. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_officinalis
Today is the Feast of Poseidon, the god of the Ocean, Horses and Earthquakes. I often call the white spray that flies in sheets off the surf in the rain, “the Manes of Poseidon’s Horses”. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poseidon
The shop opens at 11am! Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is in Hecate’s Brooch moving to Dark at 4:22am. 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. Remember: what goes up must come down Phase ends at the Tide Change on 12/2 at 4:22pm. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends on 12/1 at 4:22am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Dark, psychopomps. Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris . Phase ends at the Tide Change on 12/2 at 4:22pm
Jupiter‘s Great Red Spot, usually pale orange-tan, has turned unusually dark and prominent this season. It crosses the planet’s central meridian tonight around 10:46 p.m. EST and will be almost as visible for an hour before and after that time.
All of the Red Spot’s transit times this month, and all of the antics performed by Jupiter‘s moons, are listed in the December Sky & Telescope, pages 51 and 52. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newtrack/st_201312/
Jupiter (magnitude –2.6, in Gemini) rises in the east-northeast around 7 or 8 p.m., with Pollux and Castor to its left. It blazes highest around 2 a.m. In a telescope Jupiter has grown to a big 45 arcseconds wide, as it nears its January 5th opposition.
Don’t bother looking for ISON, it’s no longer a naked eye object, just a debris cloud heading away from the sun.
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree month of Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22
Runic half-month of Isa/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
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Ruis/Elder, Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH) 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.
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.
The common elder (Sambucus nigra L.) 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
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this an empowering day!
~ A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent. – William Blake
~ Computer dating is fine, if you’re a computer. – Rita May Brown
~ Try and live your life the way you wish other people would live theirs. – Raymond Burr (1917 – 1993), Actor
~ Friendship is a pretty full-time occupation if you really are friendly with somebody. You can’t have too many friends because then you’re just not really friends. – Truman Capote (1924-1984) US writer
There are moments in our lives that stand still in time while all the frantic hours and years surrounding them have blurred into an obscurity of grayness. One such moment remains vivid in my mind after more than thirty years, a luminescent spot of time, as clear as if it had happened only yesterday. It was in one of those dark, cavern-like vaults of a lecture hall in college where Art History was offered as a slide show, and it was a perfectly ordinary lecture on American artists, clicking through shadowed images of Cubism and Futurism until a huge close-up of an iris glowed from the screen. “Black Iris.” Georgia O’Keeffe. A simple polarity of translucent light petals reaching upward and dark falls cascading downward made the flower look like a cathedral illumined from within. Breath stopped, mind stopped, and I felt myself dissolve into beauty, passing through painted veils of titanium white and dove gray mist, suspended over waves of amethyst, troughs of onyx. It was as if a thread of light flowing through the moment pierced me to the soul, connecting me to a higher realm.
There were no words in my nineteen-year-old mind to describe the epiphany I’d felt; there are no exact words this day. Words attempt to anchor experience, but that place was wordless and ineffable. In that light-filled moment I was changed forever, uplifted with new possibility. When I left class that afternoon, I had a mission in life: to attempt to stir in others that same sense of wonder: I began to study painting. –Rebecca Robison, an excerpt from “Through Beauty,” reaching for a harmonious whole, in PARABOLA, Volume 27, No. 3, Fall, 2002, “Grace.” http://bit.ly/17muXmx
Shortest Day Ham Loaf
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 pound ground ham
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup milk
Mix all ingredients above and shape into 2 individual loaves. In a saucepan combine:
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 cup water
Bring sauce to a boil, pour over the loaves, place loaves in a 350 degree oven and bake for 1 hour, basting regularly.
Makes 10-12 servings.
Holiday Shrimp Scampi By Zola Gorgon
I See Food. Do You Seafood?
Serving seafood at the holidays is a tradition in many families. Italian-Americans seem to focus on this the heaviest, with the tradition of serving a huge seafood buffet on Christmas Eve. I tried to research this subject because I’ve heard so many times that serving seafood–especially on New Year’s Eve–is good luck. Now I’m confused. The research I did kept saying you serve seafood up to and on Christmas Eve because of the Christian connection to fasting, but a good host would never serve seafood on Christmas Day! We’re supposed to be finished with our fasting and seafood and dive into huge quantities of meats and sweets, according to my Internet data.
In my childhood household, none of this would have mattered. My mother served Spanish hamburgers to all of us kids on Christmas Day. Yep, “Manwiches.” Why? Because she served her big dinner on the weekend after Christmas. There were so many kids in our family (and as they grew, there were so many boyfriends and girlfriends involved), my mother decided not to fight over which house they ate dinner at. This way she got to have her special meal on her special day and everyone was hungry. If you try to do meals at both places on Christmas Day, someone always loses out. My mother always won the hearts of those at her table this way. And since we “little kids” were only interested in playing with our toys (and probably had gorged on too many cookies and candies already), why serve up a big meal? Spanish hamburgers could be kept warm all day long, and people could eat when they wanted to. The Spanish hamburgers were a “treat” for us, so we thought we were very special.
I’m not going to bother to give you a recipe for Spanish hamburgers. The mix is ready available in a can nowadays. What I am going to give you is my latest seafood development.
I made a special dinner for our neighbors this week. Et and Max are moving back to England and we are going to miss them terribly, so I made a special meal to “celebrate” and to say farewell.
The first course was a shrimp scampi. As I sat eating mine and listening to electric conversation, I dreamed up a holiday version. One element that I added to the usual scampi was a small salad on the side. That’s the cool thing these days with appetizers–little tiny salads on the side to round out the appetizer and make a colorful presentation. This way when you serve a rather small dish, you can put it on a large plate and make it look grand. This one will look grand too. I hope you enjoy it.
However you celebrate the holiday and whatever you eat, you have my very best wishes for a gorgeous event filled with family, friends and fun.
Cheers! and Happy Holidays!
Holiday Shrimp Scampi
This dish can be served anytime, but the red and green elements really play up a Christmas theme. It’s simple and elegant and really FAST. You can make this in just a few minutes to really impress your guests.
12 jumbo shrimp (Peeled and deveined. Leave their tails on if you want to be fancy.)
1 bunch of green onions, diced thinly, with some of the green parts
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbl lemon juice
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. At the same time, add the green onions, the red and green pepper and the parsley. Sauté on Medium heat until the onions are tender and the green and red peppers have loosened up a bit but still have bite to them.
Add the shrimp. Cook the large shrimp until they are no longer opaque in the middle. This should take about 3 minutes. They will curl in the process.
Take the shrimp out of the pan with a tongs and set them on the serving plates 3 to a plate. Balance the third one up against the other two to give your presentation depth. Add the white wine to the skillet and turn it on Medium High so it boils. Boil down the mixture for 1 full minute and add the lemon juice.
Now spoon this sauce over the shrimp and Voilà!
If you are serving the side salad, you can have the salad all plated and ready to serve before you begin to cook the shrimp scampi. This will allow you to get the dish to table while the shrimp are hot.
Side salad for Holiday Shrimp Scampi
One cup (maximum) assorted baby greens per person
1 chopped red pepper to add color
1/4 cup walnut pieces
2 Tbl mustard (Dijon, preferably)
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (Optional; just a dash will do it.)
In your blender, grind up the walnuts, 2 tablespoons of mustard and a drizzle of the olive oil (just enough to get the blender moving). Grind until well chopped. Then, in a small stream, add the rest of the olive oil. This will make a thick dressing and more than you need to dress the 4 small salads. Save the rest to use in another salad or as a sandwich spread. Lightly dress your greens and toss. Put them on the plate and top with the red pepper bits. Grind a bit of salt and pepper on top (optional).
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.]