Yesterday as I hurried to the shop, it was raining, gently. The ocean was steely grey under a pearly grey sky. The bay was full of crab pots and there were a couple of clammers on the beach and a lone seagull, taking a bath, giving himself a good scrub. Yesterday there were a lot more clammers and ducks of various sorts and a huge Great Blue Heron.
I was busy almost from the moment I walked in the door of the shop. In that first hour we had 10 customers and they were steady up until about 1pm, when the rain and the wind started to pick up. One bibliophile sat by the used book shelves and perused for most of an hour.
Tempus ran in and got the things up outside and then took off for the post office, ran back in and dropped off the mail and then tore out of here heading over to our elderly friend’s who has a doctor appointment today and wants to run a couple of errands.
I started sorting rocks in the early afternoon. Some of them still need 1st grit, but I have another large batch that needs second and a small batch ready for 3rd. So, I contemplated for awhile, what to run next, and worked on some jewelry.
…and since it was quiet, I just dozed right off at the beading table. I didn’t wake until the door bell dinged and when I picked my head up I had 1/2 a dozen beads from the bracelet that I was making stuck to my cheek! I must have looked a real fright. Luckily, the customer who woke me just laughed.
I worked on the inventory stuff for awhile, dragging boxes out to see if missing pieces are there. I found 1/2 a dozen, at least. …and then some web updates… and then some forgotten bits of paper and then a couple of mending jobs that needed done and the day just flew by. It stayed quiet, right up until it was time to close. …and after that point I was still re-loading the rock tumblers. They’re both still on obsidian, and one is on coarse grit and the other on 2nd grit again…. some of the stones are different, though.
The sun set in a golden glory in the mist that had hung all over town all day. Tempus didn’t get back until it was fully dark and Robyne needed some things from the store and I was feeling pretty tired by then. We still had Wicca 101 in the evening. That went well. We’re finally finished with Lesson 2, so the hard stuff is done.
I didn’t stay up very late myself. I was very tired. Something woke me around 5am, dunno what, although I usually wake briefly when Tempus heads out.
Today’s plant is the Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus. My kids used to call this “popcorn plant”, which is a name I’ve heard from others, too. The white berries are used as a food, a soap and for hand lotion. It doesn’t have any magickal uses that I know of, although the folk magicks for this bush amongst the Slavs say that it is “proper” as an offering to statues of the gods. Also it should have the properties of purification and healing, just going by the medicinal uses and the fact that it will re-grow from the root and is planted as riparian erosion control and around abandoned mines and other such places. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphoricarpos_albus
Today is a celebration of the Yule Log and the customs of this time of the year! Traditionally the Yule Log burns for the 12 days of Christmas, lighted tonight. Here’s more on the Yule Log. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_log …and here is a page about the Yule Log TV program http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_Log_%28TV_program%29 There are even links at the end to get you to the webcast!
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.The shop is normally closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! Shop is open on Tuesday, 12/24.
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. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 1/1/ at 3:14am. 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. , Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Waning Quarter on 12/25 at 5:48am.
A Christmas deco star. At this time every year Sirius rises in the east-southeast down below Orion around 7 or 8 p.m. (depending on your location). When Sirius is still low, binoculars often show it twinkling in vivid colors. All stars do this when low, but Sirius is the brightest, making the effect more pronounced.
The last-quarter Moon shines near Mars after they rise late tonight and into the Christmas-morning dawn.
Mars (magnitude 1.0, in the head of Virgo) rises around midnight or 1 a.m. By dawn it’s at its highest in the south, but in a telescope Mars is still very small, only 6.4 arcseconds in diameter. Can you see its gibbous shape?
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, Beith – (BEH), birch
Runic half-month of Jera/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
©2013 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 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.
Phagos – Beech Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Letter: PH, IO
Meaning: New experiences and information coming
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – The real measure of your wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money.
Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – For all of us today, the battle is in our hands. The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. There are no broad highways to lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. We must keep going. — Martin Luther King Jr.
~ If I were to tell you that you have nine months to live, you would fit as much experience into those nine months as you possibly could. – Chef John Fraser
~ A house is no home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as for the body. – Margaret Fuller
~ I have entered the deep mountains to silence and beauty; in a profound valley beneath high cliffs, I sit under the old pine trees. Doing zazen in my rustic cottage is peaceful, lonely and truly comfortable. – Gengaku
~ Sleep is when all the unsorted stuff comes flying out as from a dustbin upset in a high wind. – William Golding (1911-1993) English writer
He didn’t come out of my belly, but my God, I’ve made his bones, because I’ve attended to every meal, and how he sleeps, and the fact that he swims like a fish because I took him to the ocean. I’m so proud of all those things. But he is my biggest pride. – John Lennon (1940-1980) English singer, songwriter
Bringing Back the Sun – Incense of the day: Sage
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. – By: Robert Place , Llewellyn and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast
Winter Solstice – 21 December 2005
Ancient Solstice Meaning
Christmas, ironically, antedates the Nativity of Christ, and December 25 is a fudge. In the third century AD the Church fathers chose that day as Christ’s birthday, with good reason. It happens to fall approximately on the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice, and December 25 (Midwinter’s Day) has been from time immemorial a day sacred to the rebirth of the light of the sun in the depths of winter.
This day was the Festival of Natalis Sol Invictus (the Birth of the Undefeated Sun) in ancient Rome. Ancient peoples also commemorated the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, Osiris in Egypt, Dionysus, Helios, Adonis, the Celtic Cernunnos, the Syrian Baal, Attis, Mithras, Balder and the Norse goddess Frey – all celebrated on the ancient Winter Solstice, and mostly solar saviours and dying gods. Most of these deities were given similar titles: the Light of the World, Sun of Righteousness, and Saviour.