I did crawl back into bed yesterday morning and Tempus left for the shop without waking me. When I got up I started writing/editing.
All afternoon I watched birds, every time that I was thinking. Tempus had refilled the feeder and set out scraps. First there were siskins, just tons of them. They were hard to count because they were fluttering so, and switching places. but I think there were over 100. They kept doing the same thing that the sparrows and chickadees do, where the flock lands on/in the rugosa patch and then birds keep going back and forth.
Later the jays and then the crows found the bread. One enterprising jay lurked until a moment when all the crows took off flapping after the boldest one with the largest piece of bread. They were quarreling on the next door roof when the one jay grabbed the next to largest piece and headed north into the cedars with it. The tray was pretty quickly cleared out and I laughed out loud at the one crow who landed on the rock weight, and looked bewilderedly at the empty tray before flapping off.
After that were jays, one after the other they would grab a dozen mouthfuls of seed from the feeder, just stuffing it down, and then take off toward the alder, flying sapphires in the bright sunshine.
After that was a bird that I only got a glimpse of, shadowed against the bright light, but it had a crest and was smaller than a towhee. It wasn’t a small as a titmouse, so my guess is that it was a phainopela.
My little candle lamp flickered on at 4:38. I had made a grilled cheese sandwich earlier and then made a bowl of rice, right at about that point, I toasted a couple of poptarts (a holiday treat) and had the last of the coffee with those. That was yummy, even if not healthy….
Except that I didn’t stay that way and got up before he did. …and then had a bad rest of the night, so he let me sleep in and went down to the shop ahead of me.
I have a deal for those who are reading the newsletter. If you come in before the ornaments are counted and put away and mention the “newsletter special” I’ll give you an Anja-made ornament and 10% off of your purchase! This is *only* good until we’re finished putting away!
I saw this picture and went, “Oh, *yes*!” It’s a much better version of one of the common
things that we talk about, perspective, better than the tired old cliche of moss on a tree.
Today’s plant is Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea. It’s a rather wild shrub that can be trained into a small tree, with icky-smelling white flowers that then produce dark fruits that appear blue because of a whitish coating on them. In Oregon it grows mostly from the valley out to the coast with some isolated pockets in the Eastern part of the state. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the tree. “In some areas, the “elder tree” was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, while other beliefs say that witches often congregate under the plant, especially when it is full of fruit. In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in witchcraft customs the elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” – A rhyme from the Wiccan rede-poem. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.” From Wikipedia – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers are used for Crossing the Bridge rituals. Carry for protection and to prevent rheumatism and toothache. Dried berries are helpful in sleep pillows. All parts are good for protection. Grow near the home for prosperity. Magic wands and flutes are often made from this wood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_cerulea or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
Kwanzaa, African-American holiday (Dec 26 – Jan 1); Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) This is the 3rd day of this modern festival for those of African heritage. There’s a really good article explaining the traditions and where they come from here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa
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. 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. 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 12/30 at 3:14pm.
Got a new Christmas telescope? Wondering what to do with it?Read this! http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/What-to-See-with-Your-New-Telescope-136320003.html
Very late tonight and tomorrow night, little Mars is passing 3/4° south of Gamma Virginis (Porrima), magnitude 2.7, a famous close double star for telescopes at high power. They rise together after midnight but are best observed before dawn.
Over the next five mornings, just before dawn, the moon will pass by two planets and a bright star. It will be Just east of Spica on Dec. 27. Notice how the moon’s crescent shrinks over the five mornings, and how the stars and planets rise 4 minutes earlier each morning.
Mercury is hidden in conjunction with the Sun.
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 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 – No matter what happens in life, Remember that you don’t have the power to control everything,
~ He that respects himself is safe from others. He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
~ You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. – Naguib Mahfouz
~ He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. – Arthur Miller (1915-2005) US playwright
~ When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you. – Nietzsche
I have loved flowers that fade,
Within those magic tents
Rich hues have marriage made
With sweet unmemoried scents. – Robert Bridges (1844-1930) English writer
About Cailleach Bheur: In Scottish tradition, this is a blue-faced crone goddess who blusters with power throughout the winter months. She rings the snow and cold until the wheel of time turns toward spring on Beltane (May Day).
To Do Today: Just as darkness seems to be winning, the Crone goddess stirs in the earth’s womb and inspires hope. She knows that the time for her rebirth as a young woman will come in spring, when she will fertilize the earth. For now, however, the first step is renewing the sun, whose light will begin to get stronger. Since this goddess is one of cold honesty, wear something blue today to encourage personal reserve, control, and truth with yourself throughout the day.
In keeping with the themes of this celebration, try this mini-ritual: In the morning, cover your altar or a table with a yellow cloth (maybe a napkin or placemat) to represent the sun. Place a blue candle in a central location on the table, along with a bowl of snow or rain water to represent Cailleach Bheur and winter. As the candle burns with the light of the sun, the wax shrinks and this goddess’s snows melt, giving way once more to the power of warmth and light.
Keep the remnant wax and remelt it for any spells in which you need a cooler head. Pour the water from the snow outside to rejoin the goddess. – By Patricia Telesco From “365 Goddess” and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast
From Wikpedia – In Hawaiian mythology, the deity Lono is associated with fertility, agriculture, rainfall, and music. In one of the many Hawaiian legends of Lono, he is a fertility and music god who descended to Earth on a rainbow to marry Laka. In agricultural and planting traditions, Lono was identified with rain and food plants. He was one of the four gods (with Kū, Kāne, and Kāne’s twin brother Kanaloa) who existed before the world was created. Lono was also the god of peace. In his honor, the great annual festival of the Makahiki was held. During this period (from October through February), war and unnecessary work was kapu (forbidden). In Hawaiian weather terminology, the winter Kona storms that bring rain to leeward areas are associated with Lono. Lono brings on the rains and dispenses fertility, and as such was sometimes referred to as Lono-makua (Lono the Provider). Ceremonies went through a monthly and yearly cycle. For 8 months of the year, the luakini was dedicated to Ku-with strict kapus. Four periods (kapu pule) each month required strict ceremonies. Violators could have their property seized by priests or overlord chiefs, or be sentenced to death for serious breaches. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lono
The goddess directed that rituals
be made to purify the world,
to calm the angry gods.
She brought peace to this world.
The goddess also brought abundance,
filling the earth with small animals,
each suitable to its region:
gazelle, wild ass, and desert ox. ~Sumerian Liturgical Prayers
Today we will each move through an interconnected biosphere in which each part relates to the complex whole. Yet how little most of us are aware of that world.
We ignore the trees, standing stolidly in the winter air, still breathing forth the oxygen we need to survive. We don’t lift our eyes to the clouds that ferry water from one part
of our world to another. We don’t notice the phase of the moon, dragging the cleansing sea. We do not see the tiny microorganisms working in the soil, breaking down the waste of daily life.
We have so much to be grateful for. The awesome beauty of the earth is not restricted to great wilderness reaches and vast oceans. We can experience it in every moment of our days, if we just take time to look and listen. To look,listen, and to be grateful. By Patricia Monaghan – >From “The Goddess Companion” and GrannyMoon Morning Feast 1-800-THE-MOON
She weeps for a great river where willows will not grow.
She weeps for a field where grain and herbs will not grow.
She weeps for a pool where fishes cannot live.
She weeps for a waterside where reeds cannot live.
She weeps for a woodland where trees do not grow.
She weeps for a garden where honey and wine are not found.
She weeps for a place where life is not found. ~Babylonian Lament Of The Goddess
In ancient times, winter was imagined as a time when the Goddess wept for the death of her lover, the god of vegetation. Her tears watered the ground, preparing it for the god’s rebirth in springtime. The more intense her lamentation, the more the following season would be fruitful, the grains plentiful. Thus the rains and snows of winter were acknowledged to be, however inconvenient and even dangerous, necessary for the life of the planet to continue.
Today the winter of extinction has come to entire species, and even the laments of the Goddess cannot bring them back. Rivers have died, lakes are in danger. What has been our part in it? We do not ask. Instead we reap the benefits of the death of nature, consuming more and more, discarding more and more.
The Goddess weeps, but she cannot weep enough to bring back all that has been lost. It is up to each of us, to help revitalize our earth. – )0( By Patricia Monaghan – From ” The Goddess Companion” and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast 1-800-THE-MOON