It’s bright, beautiful sunshine this morning, with a lovely, thin, white veil of cloud that’s making the sun have a halo every so often. It’s supposed to get up to 52F today, but last night it was 33F here.
Yesterday was a bit of a scramble to get moving, but we were at the shop and open in plenty of time. Tempus was in and out running errands all the early part of the day, errands like the power bill, getting packages shipped, making sure our elderly friend was alright, getting some last minute things for a couple of gift baskets at the grocery…. only it took until nearly 4 before I could head home.
We weren’t busy. There were some sales, but not at all what I’d expect in a “strong sales” year. Funny thing….if sales have been so strong this year how come a lot of the big box places started their “after Christmas” sale prices yesterday?
Once I got home I sat in the living room with Robyne and embroidered while we talked. Eventually, he fell asleep, so I went into the bedroom and took a nap. Tempus didn’t get home until past nine. He was doing paperwork, and wrapping a few last orders.
I’m not doing any kind of massive dinner today. It’s just 4 of us and Robyne and I still aren’t eating all that much. Tempus was talking about making mashed potatoes and then he can fry up a couple of ham steaks for those who can really eat. We have cookies for dessert, a wine pulp bread and I’m setting up a box of cookies for Sash to take home with him. We’re planning just a quiet day.
Amor called to say, “Merry Christmas!” at about 9:30. Tempus is still asleep, but Robyne’s up and raring to go!
Someone got a picture last night! Don’t you love dash cams? 🙂
Today’s plant is Mistletoe. There are a number of different genii (plural of genus….) that this name is given to. The most common holiday mistletoe in the US comes from the Phoradendron genus. It is a parasitic plant that can kill trees with a bad infestation. The local folks in the PNW used to call it “basket plant”, because of the resemblance to large baskets hanging in naked winter trees. It is the plant of the Celtic Tree Month of the Secret of the Unhewn Stone. The seeds glue themselves to branches where they take root. This tenacity and the green, even in the times when most plants with leaves have lost them, appealed to the ancients and leads to some of the magicks. It was sacred to the ancient druids who would cut it from an oak with a golden sickle. – Masculine, Sun, Jupiter, Horned God – Mistletoe is a plant of masculine potency and used in many love/lust spells. Wear it for protection or hang it in the house to direct lightning away. Wear it also to attract love, or to help conceive. It is also associated with spells of liberation, used in the cutting away of toxic attachments and to help one find peace.
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 less than 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
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! 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 at the Waning Quarter. 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. Waning Crescent Moon – Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 12/27 at 3:14pm.
Wednesday, Dec. 25, 8:48 a.m. EST – Last Quarter Moon – The Last Quarter Moon rises around midnight and sets around noon. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.
Merry Sol Invictus! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_invictus In late Roman times when the solstice fell on December 25th, this date was celebrated as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun — when the Sun began to reverse its long decline with the hopeful promise, in the cold and the dark, of a new spring and summer to come.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.7, in Gemini) rises in the east-northeast around the end of twilight, with Pollux and Castor to its left. It blazes highest around 1 a.m. In a telescope Jupiter has grown to a big 46 or 47 arcseconds wide as it nears its January 5th opposition. Read all about observing Jupiter in the January 2014 Sky & Telescope. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newtrack/st_201401/
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 Runic half-month of Eihwaz/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
©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 happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
Journal Prompt –Auto-Biographical narrative – Aphorisms are statements that express a principle or truth: If you want to have a friend, you have to be a friend. There’s no free lunch. You reap what you sow. Choose an aphorism and tell the story of a time in your life when that aphorism proved true. The aphorism should be the title of your story
~ Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. – Albert Gyrogyi
~ There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people. – Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) US activist
~ An amazing invention – but who would ever want to use one? (made a call from Washington to Pennsylvania with Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, patented on 7 March 1876) – Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) US President (19)
~ The true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success. – Cullen Hightower
No trumpet-blast profound
The hour in which the Prince of Peace was born;
No bloody streamlet stained
Earth’s silver rivers on the sacred morn. – William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) US poet and newspaper editor
Seed Cake – A very medieval, very English treat. The recipe dates to the 1500’s. Bilbo ends up serving the dwarves the seed-cake that he “baked that afternoon for his after-dinner morsel” at the Unexpected Tea Party. 🙂
- 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
- 1 cup cracked wheat flour
- 1 pkg. yeast
- 1/8 cup warm (100 degrees) ale
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 4 oz. (1 stick) sweet butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbs. seed (crushed anise, caraway, coriander, cardamom, etc. – choose something flavorful & pleasant)
- ½ – 1 cup milk
Sift together the flours and salt; set aside in large bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm ale, along with 1/8 tsp. of the flour mixture. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and seeds. Make a well in the flour and add the dissolved yeast. Fold flour into yeast mixture, then fold in the butter. Slowly beat in enough milk to make a smooth, thick batter. Pour batter into an 8″ round greased cake pan. Bake in middle of oven at 350° F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before turning onto a cake rack.
Fruit Quick Bread – By newspapergal – Added October 24, 2005 | Recipe #142548
Total Time: – 55 mins
Prep Time: – 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Yield: 2 loaves
This is a lovely light fruit bread that is perfect with a cup of tea, and would be nice at a bridal or baby shower or brunch. Can use a …
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
1 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans)
1 – Preheat oven to 350*.
2 – Blend butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon juice. Beat in eggs one at a time.
3 – Dissolve baking soda in sour cream, and add to butter mixture.
4 – Fold in flour, preserves, nuts and food coloring.
5 – Pour batter into two greased and floured loaf pans.
6 – Bake 35-40 minutes.
Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/fruit-quick-bread-142548?oc=linkback</a
Chocolate Cherry Merlot Brownies
Level: Intermediate Rated: Intermediate
From Nestle Chocolatier
Preparation – 20 min | Cooking – 33 min | Yields – 16 brownies
1 1/4 cups (6-oz. pkg.) dried sweet cherries, chopped
1/2 cup Merlot wine
1 bar (8 oz.) NESTLÉ CHOCOLATIER™ 53% Cacao Dark Chocolate Baking Bar, broken into small sections
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 9-inch-square baking pan.
MICROWAVE dried cherries and wine in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute. Set aside for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain cherries; discard wine.
MICROWAVE chocolate in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Sections may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until smooth; cool to room temperature.
COMBINE flour and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in medium mixer bowl until well mixed. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Stir in drained cherries. Spread into prepared pan.
BAKE for 33 to 37 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.
NOTE: Sweetened dried cranberries can be substituted for the dried cherries.