Blank white sky, it looks like a snow sky but it’s 43F.
Yesterday slid past in a hurry, too. I got up late which didn’t help. I had trouble sleeping the night before and then just horribly overslept, didn’t even wake when Tempus came in and when he took off for the shop. I was up for just long enough between to get the newsletter out, but crawled back into bed. I *think* the UPS delivery is what actually woke me! I was supposed to be the one at the shop, but he started the day there. I had a reading early on and then did little stuff for a couple of hours, just plodding through one task after another. We had bills to pay and a deposit to make among other things.
Tempus got the rock tumblers rinsed, although I’m having to re-do them, since the grit glued itself together, leaving large chunks that have to be soaked off, even after the main rinsing is done. I put stuff away, sorted other bits and kinda waited to do much more. He never got out of the shop until past 4:30 what with one thing and another.
When I got home the Pleiades were well past being overhead and I couldn’t even find Cygnus since the Swan has flown that far into the west! It was cold enough that I hurried inside and ended up going to bed a little early. Not that I slept! I was wheezing. I got up around 2am to work for awhile and mostly did clipart and then still couldn’t sleep.
Oh, there’s a flicker on the tray!
Today’s Plant is Coltsfoot, Petasites frigidus var. palmatus. One of the best cough remedies out there, this is often smoked to help cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma. It is also made into cough syrups often combined with horehound. This is another plant where the medicinal and magickal uses seem to go together. Feminine, Venus, water – Add to love sachets and use in spell of peace and tranquility. The leaves, when smoked, can cause visions, and aid with breathing problems. .More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petasites_frigidus
What is Silvester? It’s the New Year’s celebration in Central Europe! Silvester celebrations http://www.thelocal.de/society/20111231-16425.html#.UN3uwazheSq More on Pope Sylvester:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sylvester_I A bit about it more on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvester
Part of the reason that I’ve heard of this is that Babicka and Dedi (my grandparents) used to talk about the “SIEVE-est-er” which was a costume party held by the Czech community in Baltimore in late January. At various times the “uncles” (Dedi’s brothers and cousins) came up with some impressive outfits, including a clock that worked, a “rooster” that ran around laying eggs, a house on chicken legs and a two-part horse. This one was the big hit because they made balls of newspaper painted brown and the horse, after running around the dance floor, swishing its tail, backed up to the most pompous woman in the room and dropped them out the hind end of the horse into her lap!
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 Dark. 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. 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 1/1 at 3:14am.
After the New Year’s cheering at midnight, step outside into the silent dark. Sirius shines almost due south. Jupiter, even brighter, beams much higher to the south. Orion strides to the upper right of Sirius. Procyon shines to Sirius’s upper left, and Leo is climbing the eastern sky.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.7, in central Gemini) is nearly at its January 5th opposition. So it glares low in the east as twilight fades, then rises higher in the east all evening (with Pollux and Castor to its left and fainter Gamma Geminorum a similar distance to its right). It blazes highest in the middle of the night. In a telescope Jupiter is 47 arcseconds wide, as big as you’re going to see it. Read up on observing Jupiter in the January Sky & Telescope. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newtrack/st_201401/
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 – I’ll watch my thinking and keep improving it.
~ Two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give. – E. A. Robinson
~ If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. – Rotarian
~ Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames. – Rumi
~ Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next. – Jonas Salk (1914-1995) US microbiologist
A metaphysician is one who, when you remark that twice two makes four, demands to know what you mean by twice, what by two, what by makes, and what by four. For asking such questions metaphysicians are supported in oriental luxury in the universities, and respected as educated and intelligent men. – H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) US writer
Cucumber Shrimp Spread
Party Recipe or Appetizer – Dip
Enough for 8-10 people
1/2 pound small shrimp, (buy pre-cooked, pre-peeled from the meat counter, can buy frozen)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 clove garlic
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Chopping knife and board, mixing bowl and spoon, measuring cups and spoons, vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife plastic spatula
- Let cream cheese sit out for an hour before starting this dip.
- Measure the shrimp out, too, if you bought frozen and not fresh, and let sit.
- Chop shrimp, garlic, green onions and toss into mixing bowl
- Peel the cuke, cut in ½, scrape out the seeds and chop the green part. Add to bowl. Discard peel and seeds
- Measure the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix well, scraping down sides with spatula to get it all.
Serve with crackers or party pumpernickel.
Make it Skinny – Use light cream cheese and light sour cream.
Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Party Recipe or Appetizer – Hot
Side dish – hot
16 – 20 large fresh mushrooms
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup green onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Measuring cups and spoons, baking dish, spray oil, cutting board and knife, mixing bowl, stand mixer or fork, teaspoon
- Let cheese sit out for an hour before you start.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Remove stems from mushrooms and wash caps. (save stems for gravy or soup)
- Spray a baking dish with spray oil.
- Put mushroom caps in the baking dish so they are just touching.
- Cut garlic up very small (mince)
- Chop green onion and parsley.
- Combine cream cheese, garlic, green onion, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and mix on medium low until combined. (or beat hard with a fork)
- Using a teaspoon, fill each mushroom cap.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Make it “Skinny” – use Neufchatel or low fat cream cheese.
Aunt Loise’s Deviled Ham Appetizer
Party Recipe or Appetizer – Cold
Old Maryland Recipe
1 small can (6-oz.) deviled ham (usually found near the sardines, Vienna sausages and tuna)
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2 Tbsp. minced onion, dried or fresh
Green olives stuffed with pimentos (buy small bottle, measure amount in ham can)
2 green onions
Measuring tablespoon, mixing bowl and mixer, cutting board and knife, serving bowl
1) Let the cream cheese and deviled ham sit out for an hour.
2) Put in a mixing bowl with onion.
3) Refill ham can with drained olives, dump onto cutting board, chop coarsely, then add to cheese and ham.
4) Run mixer on med-low until blended.
5) Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
6) Garnish with green onion flowers and rings.
Serve with unsalted crackers.
Make it Skinny – Use light cream cheese or Neufchatel.
Caution – this is not for people on salt restricted diets!
Weenie wraps for parties
makes 6-8 servings
We used to do this for a special lunch or supper when we had all had a big meal earlier and nobody was all that hungry. It’s just tasty enough to make people nibble at it until it’s all gone.
1 package of L’il Smokies (with the hotdogs in the grocery store)
1 8-roll package of Crescent roll dough
Catsup, sweet & sour sauce, or Marinara sauce for dipping.
1 can black olives
1 small jar green olives
1 small jar baby dill pickles
Cookie sheet, paper towels, large knife, serving plate, 2 small bowls
- Preheat oven to 400F or whatever the dough package says.
- Put aluminum foil over a cookie sheet or rectangular cake pan.
- Open L’il Smokies package and roll dry on paper towels.
- Open crescent roll package and lay the dough out flat.
- Cut into 3 strips longways, ignoring diagonal perforations.
- Cut across the width of the dough at the crosswise perforations and twice between (11 cuts) to make a total of 36 pieces of dough.
- Roll up a little smokie in each piece of dough. They usually hang over at the ends. Set them seam-side down.
- Place in rows at least 1 inch apart and bake as it says on the dough package or until golden. That’s usually about 15 minutes.
- While they’re baking get the serving plate ready. Put a bowl of dipping sauce in the middle of a large plate or tray. Put black and green olives around the edges of the plate and baby dill pickles in another bowl to the side.