We had a good day yesterday, even if some of us were eating very lightly. We didn’t really get moving until nearly noon. We had duck eggs, cheese toast and for those who could, bacon. We all exchanged gifts right after that. Sash got there 2-ish. In the afternoon Sash and I made red and green cookies and another batch of pfeffernusse, just because I like ’em hot and fresh and the ginger kept ’em from being hard on tender tummies. Mostly the 4 of us sat around and talked.
Sash and I talked music quite a bit, and he was marveling over the beat-boxer in Pentatonix. The guy goes nuts at about 1:08 in this one. It’s some *marvelous* musicianship! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCPQVtfpnLY
Sash went home with a box of cookies and candies around suppertime. Tempus took off to help a friend with some chores and cleanup and Robyne and I sat and talked books and medieval/renaissance recipes. Eventually, waiting for Tempus to get home, I got around to working on newsletters and listening to Pentatonix. Yeah, their music is more pop that I usually listen to, but I’m enjoying it.
I spent awhile making a chicken soup. We didn’t have much in the way of lighter stuff that my insides will tolerate, so I made the soup and put it into the crockpot to cook overnight. I also found a box of frozen raspberries that I turned into jam. It was a lovely day!
Today the shop is open and Robyne is heading home. I was supposed to be home today, but it looks like I’ll be at the shop, so depending on how busy I am, I’ll either be working up front on inventory or sewing.
Just for livening up purposes…. Tom Lehrer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtZR3lJobjw
Today’s Plant is Lovage, levisticum officinale. Those frosts earlier this month seem to have killed it right down to the ground. It’s a perennial, so it’ll be back in the spring. It seems to have originated somewhere near the eastern Mediterranean and has been cultivated for a long while, being a very useful plant. It has a strong, long-lasting scent, that reminds a person of celery and parsley, but with the volume turned up. :I harvested some yesterday afternoon around 4pm and here at nearly 9am, having washed my hands several times, I can still detect it!: It’s great in salads, but chop it small and mix with other greens or it overpowers! Both leaf and seed are great in soups, especially seafood chowders and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable. I’ve drunk lovage cordial, which is tasty. It has a high flavonoid content, as well. Medicinally, a strong leaf tea, iced, is a good antiseptic, especially for extensive scrapes, where it takes down the sting and swelling very quickly and can be splashed on as often as needed. It can be used for mild cases of water retention, as well, and even with high blood pressure. – Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often used in love magicks, but works best as a self-confidence enhancer. Take a bath with a sachet of the leaves, or make a strong tea that you toss into the bathwater before going out to meet new people or to start a new job. It also helps to squeeze a small sachet of the leaves if you’re having trouble concentrating on a task. Wiki has more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage
Boxing Day is mostly a British tradition where gifts are given to tradesmen and people in the “service jobs”. It’s also a huge shopping day, like our Black Friday. When I was a kid, this was the day that we sent cards and tips to folks like the milkman and Grandma’s hairdresser. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day
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 a Waning Crescent. 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 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.
The Moon is visiting. Over the next five mornings, just before dawn, the moon will pass by two planets and a bright star. It will be just west of Mars on Christmas morning. Notice how the moon’s crescent shrinks over the five mornings, and how the stars and planets rise 4 minutes earlier each morning.
Sirius and Procyon in the balance. Sirius sparkles low in the east-southeast after dinnertime. Procyon shines in the east about two fist-widths at arm’s length to Sirius’s left. If you live around north latitude 30° (Tijuana, New Orleans, Jacksonville), these Big and Little Dog Stars are at the same height above your horizon soon after they rise. If you’re north of that latitude, Procyon will be higher. If you’re south of there, Sirius leads.
Saturn (magnitude +0.6, in Libra) is well up in the southeast as dawn begins to brighten. Look for it far to the lower left of Mars and Spica, and far below brighter Arcturus.
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 day is bright and full of activity. Stop in the midst of it and take stock.
~ You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset. – Tom Hopkins
~ But all lost things are in the angels’ keeping, Love; No past is dead for us, but only sleeping, Love; The years of Heaven with all earth’s little pain Make Good Together there we can begin again, In babyhood. – Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) US writer
~ I hold every day lost, when I do not acquire some new knowledge of man and nature. – Sir William “Oriental” Jones
~ NOTHING IS PERMANENT EXCEPT CHANGE. – Jean Kashieca
Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your… children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. – Mother Theresa
Bring in the New Spell – December 31st, 2006 – Color of the Day: Orange – Incense of the Day: Poplar
Invite your family and close friends for a late night feast tonight. Have everybody bring a worn item of clothing. Make a scarecrow by stuffing the clothing with pieces of paper on which each person at the party has written old habits or sad memories they wish to rid themselves of. In some cultures, people add a few firecrackers to add more excitement to the spell. Carry the scarecrow out of doors and burn it. Visualize the old habits and memories going up in smoke. At the stroke of midnight, eat twelve grapes to symbolize the twelve months of the new year, then make twelve wishes. When this is done, the youngest person at the party should stand in the front door and ring in the new year, and the oldest person in the group should stand at the back door and ring out the old year. By: Lily Gardner-Butts
Twelfth Night ~ January
Apple Wassail Tidbits
There are a set of custom grouped under the name wassailing. They include saluting the health of animals and crops. This has been shown to be a legacy handed down from ancient Celtic practices. The most renowned of these are the ones concerning fruit trees, most familiarly the apple tree. In 1585, a group of enterprising young men in Fordwich, Kent, went around to various orchard keepers and offered to perform the ceremony for a monetary reward, which is when the tradition is first mentioned, in print. It is mentioned once again in the 1630’s, by Robert Herrick, when he writes about the “wassailing” of fruit bearing trees, in order to assure good yields at harvest time.
Devonshire, England Tradition
The farmers get their weapons and go to their apple orchard. Selecting the oldest tree, they form a circle and chant: The men drink cider, make merry, and fire their weapons (charged only with powder) at the tree. They return to the home and are denied entrance no matter what the weather by the women indoors. When one of the men guesses the name of the roast that is being prepared for them, all are let in. The one who guessed the roast is named “King for the Evening” and presides over the party until the wee hours.
1851 London Newspaper – Wassail: “a liquor made of apples, sugar, and ale; a drunken bout; a merry song”. – Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary 1756
The Player’s Song
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale,
The toast, the nut-meg, and the ginger,
Will make a sighing man a singer,
Ale gives a buffet in the head,
“But ginger under proppes the brayne;
When ale would strike a strong man dead,
Then nut-megge temperes it againe,
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale – The Player’s Song,Histrio-mastix,in:Specimines of Songs by Dramatic Writers”
Brit. Bibliog. vol.ii. p.167.as cited in: Crhistmas Carols, Anceint and Modern.William Sandys,London,1833.
Submitted by Irish Faerie Witch 2004
A traditional song for the end of the Yule season opens:
Down with the rosemary and bay,
Down with the mistletoe.
This day is traditionally known as Twelfth Night, the last of the twelve days of Christmas. It’s time now to take down your decorations; in fact, many people believe keeping them up after this day will bring bad luck. If you still want some decoration in your living space now, generic winter fare such as plain white lights or greenery will have to do. Extra plants can keep the winter blues away and the air fresh.
Holiday lore: Twelfth Night celebrations in cultures around the world call for cake-baking. In France, the cake is called Galette des Rois (the King’s Cake); in England, the cake has lucky charms baked inside it, and in Mexico, the cake is crown-shaped. – Magenta Griffith – GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives