Last call for folks starting with this group for the Wicca 101 class! After tonight’s class we’ll be too far along to catch up. It’s a 6pm at the shop. Show up with a flash drive and the class handout is $15. It’s $45 for a printed copy.
It’s still a touch breezy, but the winds have died down and the rain has stopped for the moment although everything is wet. It’s only 46, but the temperature is supposed to drop even more tonight.
Classes went well yesterday morning, but the weather was so bad that there wasn’t anyone for the later workshops! The winds stayed in the upper teens to 20’s gusting up to 30 pretty regularly and the rain stayed steady all day. By 3pm, it was already twilight.
I got a nap in the early afternoon, then Tempus and I worked on grinding incense ingredients. He was working on the Palo Santo and I, on the black copal. I processed some other herbs after that, mostly horsetail and some of the last bits of herbs harvested late.
Tempus drove to Newport to drop Robyne at the bus station. He’ll be back for Yule. Tempus also stopped to do some shopping, finally tracking down some more of the oil burners that we’re selling for incense.
I worked on the Yule Kit sample for awhile and got the red border on the one side finished (the center holly leaves are done), started the far side and got to about 3 inches from the end of the 2nd pass. After this it’ll be the beads and then on to finishing.
We left the shop around 6:30 or so. I worked on some clipart and Tempus took a nap and then we figured out where the strange smells in the house were coming from, not to mention a cold draft. Robyne had left the inside door to the garage open. <sigh> So I spent awhile wheezing until we got the windows open and cleared that out. We spent awhile talking during the evening, not getting much done.
Today Tempus is supposed to be home. Once he helps me get the shop open I’m going to get back to work on getting that sample done and then maybe I can do some sewing, since the back is cleaned up enough.
I’ve finished some of these, so I could set them out for sale. They’re real spools wound with embroidery floss (glued in place) with a center ornament that is sewing themed. The ones I worked on today had pincushions and quilts.
Today’s Plant is the Buttercup that flourishes in my area in two types, Ranunculus bulbosus (sometimes called. St Anthony’s Turnip) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_bulbosus and Ranunculus repens , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_repens (called creeping buttercup or crowfoot) which is the variety in my garden. These are non-native plants and invasive, but not usually worried about too much, since they usually grow in grasslands and very poor soil, not suited for agriculture. Although the fresh plant is poisonous, the sap being used as a blistering agent for gout and rheumatism, the dried plant is safe for consumption. Tinctures of this plant have been used on shingles and infusions for “soremouth”. – Masculine, Mercury(Uranus), Fire – These are used in spells for tenacity & stubbornness, both to create and cure, and as a plant of fertility, possibly being the plant that the Flora gave Juno to use to get pregnant with Mars. Carry in sachets (dried flowers only) for fertility or the dried leaves for tenacity. This is also used for harmony and for Sight (and called Frog’s Foot) Use buttercup flower petals in magickal potpourris for spells regarding: divination, energy, innocence, prosperity, youth. Use buttercup in solar spells involving energy and prosperity.
…and, of course today is Hari-Kuyo. I’ll be honoring my needles today. Hari Kugo, the feast of Broken Needles, is celebrated today in Japan. Also called Daitosai, or Good-Luck Market it is celebrated from Nov 30 – Dec 11 , honouring women’s crafts and tools. At Hikawa Shrine, Omiya, Saitama Prefecture, a large market is held selling good luck charms and many products. Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar I don’t remember where I read it, but there’s supposed to be a shrine where women take needles that have snapped and poke them into a ball of butter to “soothe their hurts”. I like that idea! I have this as the date, but going to look online, February 8 is usually listed. Hmmm…. anyway here’s a nice link: http://stitchtress.com/2010/02/08/hari-kuyo/ …and I love that picture!
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 email@example.com 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 Dark moving to New at 4:22pm. 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. 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. New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends on 12/4 at 4:22am. 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 Full on 12/17 at 1:28am.
Mars is passing 1.2° upper left of the 3.6-magnitude star Beta Virginis before dawn this morning and tomorrow morning — a sidelight from the Comet ISON hunt. Look for Mars shining very high in the southeast before dawn gets too bright.
Mars (magnitude 1.2, in the head of Virgo) rises around 1 a.m. By dawn it’s very high in the southeast. In a telescope Mars is still tiny, 5.6 arcseconds wide.
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 – People do a much better job of everything in the presence of love than they do around criticism and insult.
~ Any place that anyone can learn something useful from someone with experience is an educational institution. – Al Capp (1909-1979) US cartoonist
~ Like all New York hotel lady cashiers she had red hair and had been disappointed in her first husband. – Al Capp (1909-1979) US cartoonist
~ If you want to be a holy man, you’ve got to be committed. When you make a decision you cannot waver in any way. You’d never see Gandhi during a hunger strike sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night. ‘Gandhi…what are you doing down there?’ ‘Umm, I thought I heard a prowler…and I was going to hit him over the head with this big bowl of potato salad.’ – Jim Carrey
~ It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. – W. Churchill
A guy is walking along a beach when he comes across a lamp partially buried in the sand. He picks up the lamp and gives it a rub.
A genie appears and tells him he has been granted one wish.
The guy thinks for a moment and says, “I want to live forever.”
“Sorry,” said the genie, “I’m not allowed to grant eternal life.”
“OK, then, I want to die after the government balances the budget and eliminates the debt.”
“You crafty little bastard,” said the genie.
Yule Lore – Winter Solstice tidbit – From: http://www.geomancy.org/quarter&cross/winter_solstice.html
Winter Solstice by Sig Lonegren – A Celebration of the Season of Darkness – (So why does it have everything to do with the Light?)
If you think of the Sun rising on the eastern horizon, like a swinging pendulum, it stops in the northeast at the Summer Solstice (Sun standstill) and begins its downward swing, moving slowly at first through the time of Lughnasad, until, by the time of the Autumnal Equinox, it is moving at its peak speed along the horizon each morning. Then, as the pendulum begins its ascent to the other end of its swing, at first, the Sun still moves quickly along the horizon until Samhain, when its rising position begins to slow down visibly each day until, in the gathering gloom of November and into December, it inches its way along the south eastern horizon towards the darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. This is the time when the Darkness really descends upon us in the Northern half of the northern Hemisphere.
13 December – It’s about the Light going away. The 13th of December is Santa Lucia Day. Lucy/ Lucia = lux/lucas = light. When I was a kid, my younger sister, wearing a crown of candles, would bring cookies and cakes to our father while everyone sang “Santa Lucia.” She was the early Christian Saint who, when an admirer told her that she had beautiful eyes, she plucked them out and gave them to him! The lights are going out.
17 December – Saturnalia was the Roman event of choice just before the Winter Solstice. The Old Man Saturn was, among other things, keeper of boundaries. Winter Solstice marks one of these boundaries – the furthest south the Sun will rise on the eastern horizon each year. Saturnalia was a time when Rome went wild. It originally was held on the 17th and 18th; however, during the empire, it was extended to a week (December 17-23). It was a time of wine, women, song, and general debauchery. The annual Christmas Office Party is a pale remnant of this celebration. A time to stretch beyond the usual boundaries.
21 December+/- – Winter Solstice – Unlike the Cross Quarter Days, which are moveable feasts (depending upon how you choose to determine them), the Winter Solstice itself can be determined with extreme accuracy. This year it will occur at 1:14 GMT on Sunday morning, December 22, 2002.
The Solstices are the days when the Sun reaches its farthest northern and southern declinations.
As the Earth travels around the Sun in its orbit, the apparent north-south position of the Sun changes over the course of the year. This is because the equator is tilted at 23.45 degrees to the plane of the earth’s orbit, also known as the ecliptic. So, at summer solstice in the northern hemisphere the equator arcs below the plane of the ecliptic and the northern hemisphere is closest to the sun. At winter solstice it arcs above the ecliptic and the northern hemisphere is farthest from the sun, and vice versa for the southern hemisphere. When both hemispheres are equally presented to the sun, we have the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes.
In the Northern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is the day of the year when the Sun rises and sets farthest to the south; however, in the Southern hemisphere, Winter and Summer Solstices are reversed so that the Winter Solstice is the day on which the Sun rises farthest in the north east. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the first day of the season of winter. The declination of the Sun on the (northern) Winter Solstice is known as the Tropic of Capricorn (declination -23° 27′).
Neolithic people knew about the Winter Solstice – New Grange in Ireland (sun rise) and Maes Howe in the Orkneys (sun set) are both oriented towards the Winter Solstice Sun. While the Maes Howe window is rather wide, the New Grange “light box” works for only a few days.
In ancient Egypt, the god-man/saviour Osiris died and was entombed on December 21st. At his moment of death, the priests brought out a baby, indicating his immediate rebirth; the Christians celebrate a birth of a god just after this time as well.
In Greece, the Winter Solstice ritual was called Lenaea, the Festival of the Wild Women. In very ancient times, a man representing the harvest god Dionysus was torn to pieces and eaten by a gang of women on this day. Later in the ritual, Dionysus would be reborn as a baby – birth again being celebrated as well as ritually eating the deity.
For Sacred Plants of Winter Solstice, check out <http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/YulePlants.html>
The festival now known as Yule originated with the Teutons and Norse, who celebrated it the night before the Solstice. The traditional Yule season is thirteen nights long, the Weihnachten. These thirteen nights mark the space between one year and another, the border where the worlds overlap. This border seen Saturnalia is also celebrated on Artemis/Diana’s Birthday.
Despite popular belief, Druids and the Celtic people as a whole did not celebrate the Equinoxes and Solstices as holy days, only the Cross-Quarter Days. There is no evidence for Winter Solstice celebrations in Celtic lands until after the conversion to Christianity when Christmas was introduced. Therefore, the closest Celtic equivalent to Yule is Samhain.
23 December – Artemis/Diana’s Birthday – the ‘Day’ of the “Year and a Day.” The no day. This was the last day when the Sun stood still in the South. Truly the last day of the old cycle.
Ephesus was the greatest Temple City in Asia Minor. It was dedicated to the Great Goddess Artemis Diana. This Temple was the last of the Great Goddess Temples to remain open and was the site of Goddess worship well into the Christian era. One of her names was Mother of All. Like Mary, she was a virgin.
25 December – Emperor Aurelian (270 to 275 CE) blended a number of Pagan Solstice celebrations of the nativity of such god-men/saviours as Apollo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Mithra, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseus into a single festival called The Feast of Sol Invicta, “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” on December 25th.
At the time, Mithraism and Christianity were fierce competitors. Aurelian had declared Mithraism to be the official religion of the Roman Empire in 274 CE. The similarities between Mithras and Christ are legion. Christianity won out by becoming the new official religion in the 4th century CE under Constantine, but for a while, it had been a very close contest.
John the Baptist day, the 24th of June, is the first day after the Summer Solstice when you can see that the Sun is beginning to rise towards the south. His job was to say that the Light is coming. His birthday is the first day when you can see that the Light is going away. Likewise, Christmas, the 25th of December is the first day that you can see that the Light is coming back (the sun is rising further to the north).
1 January – Janus – God of Beginnings and Gates; Solar God of Daybreak; Creator God. The New Year begins. The Light IS returning!
I leave you with a “Christmas” Carol that might be better called a Fractured Christmas Carol. Enjoy!
God Rest Ye Merry Pagan Folk
God Rest Ye Merry Pagan Folk
Let nothing you dismay
Remember that the Sun returns
Upon this Solstice Day!
The growing dark is ended now
And Spring is on its way
O, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!
The Winter’s worst still lies ahead
Fierce tempest, snow and rain!
Beneath the blanket on the ground
The spark of life remains!
The Sun’s warm rays caress the seeds
To raise Life’s songs again!
O, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!
Within the blessed apple lies
The promise of the Queen
For from this pentacle shall rise
The orchards fresh and green
The Earth shall blossom once again
The air be sweet and clean!
O, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!
(Thanks to the Greenwood Singers)
Have a wonderful Winter Solstice!
May the returning Light
Bring you the vision that you seek
For the New Year.