Yesterday just whipped on past. Tempus was running late, since the Sunday papers take longer than usual and he startled me awake in just enough time to throw on some clothes and run for the shop. Brea was already there. Tempus went in back and slept during class. Brea ran shorter than usual, but that meant the the Sunday class is now done with lesson 3!
After the young folks left, Tempus and I had some lunch, then got back to work on the inventory, finishing the kid section. Eventually I got a nap, then worked on crystals for a bit. I’ve got a lot of those to do, I didn’t quite realize how many!
When we got home we had a light supper and went to bed, but I got up about the same time Tempus did and worked on prepping and drying some herbs (tangerine peel, this time) and doing a trial run on some pickled dilly beans and setting up a chicken dish for tonight. …and then I went back to bed. I’m starting to do that 1st sleep/2nd sleep thing…. maybe that’ll sort out my need for more sack time….
We haven’t decided for certain what we’re doing today. There’s a lot of kitchen work that’s getting critical, but we still need to work on inventory. I also have the Wicca 101 class tonight. …and I printed a new embroidery pattern that I’m itching to try and…. and… 🙂
Seahawks fans caused an *earthquake*? http://www.wunderground.com/news/seahawks-fans-cause-another-earthquake-20140113
Today’s Plant is the Large-Leaved Avens, Geum macrophyllum. They’re a beautiful plant in the woods and garden and a food for many butterflies.- Masculine, Jupiter Fire – These plants are used in exorcism mixes, whether incense, amulet or “sprinkle” and for purification, as the live plants can chase nasty influences. If you hate having traveling salesmen or evangelists at your door, plant these along with mint by the pathways. North American species are used in love blends, too. More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geum_macrophyllum More on the family at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geum
Tiugunde Day, Old England – Twenty days after Yule there was an Old English day, sacred to Tyr, Tiw or Tiu (after whom Tuesday is named), the ancient Teutonic chief god, ruler of the year. It was also called Midvintersblót, or Midwinter’s Offering. Tyr is also the god who made it possible for Fenris the Wolf to be bound until Ragnarok, losing his hand in the process. Quite a bit on Tyr at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BDr
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
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Full on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 8:52 p.m. PST. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full pm 1/14 at 5:52am.
Betelgeuse is lower right of the Moon this evening. Jupiter is to the Moon’s lower left, with Pollux on beyond. Look far under the Moon for Procyon.
Mars (magnitude +0.7, in Virgo) rises around midnight. It’s highest in the south before the first light of dawn, with Spica shining to its lower left. In a telescope Mars is still small, about 7 arcseconds wide.
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
©2014 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 – She who smiles first smiles best!
~ In misfortune, which friend remains a friend? – Euripides
~ A gentleman can live through anything. – William Faulkner (1897-1962) US writer
~ The real quality of our life is not determined by what we have won from it, but by what we have discovered within it. – Guy Finley
~ Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow. – Doug Firebaugh
In the darkness I reach for light,
In the darkness I reach for light,
I pray that you will find me.
In the darkness my hand searches,
I pray that you will find it.
In the darkness my heart longs,
I pray that you will hear it.
In the darkness I am pulled free,
And I pray you don’t see my tears. – Doug Starr 9/29/05
1 gal. Blackberries
1 gal. Spring water, lukewarm
5 lbs. sugar
2 slices toast
1 pkg yeast
In a very large wide-mouthed container, crush the berries and add water. Mix in half of the sugar and stir until dissolved. Float toast on top and sprinkle with yeast. Cover container with cheesecloth and let stand for 5 days. Add remaining sugar and leave for another 2 days. Stir well. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 3 more weeks. Strain through cheesecloth to remove seeds from wine. Bottle and serve when desired.
Anja’s Note – While this is a common method for a “first try” at a wine, it doesn’t make a good one. The equipment to make the good stuff only costs a few bucks. This one is likely to have partly fermented blackberry all over your house. It would be smarter to use ½ the ingredients in each of two 1 gallon bottles and buy two “water traps” from a local homebrew place or here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=3%20Piece%20Econo-Lock%20with%20Carboy%20Bung …and yes, Tempus and I know about the “all over the house”….come in and ask us about it!
Ritual Foods – Beverage
Sabbat – Imbolc
8-10 “ritual sips” per recipe
For each cup of “sap” you need:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
½ inch of vanilla bean
A 1 ½ cup glass jar with a lid or (that holds ½ again as much as you will put in it.)
- Heat water to boiling.
- Run glass jar under hot tap water (to prevent shattering)
- Put vanilla bean in jar.
- Add hot water.
- Add honey.
- Screw lid down and shake until syrup/honey dissolves.
- Unscrew lid every five minutes or so to allow pressure to equalize as “sap” cools.
- Shake well before pouring into chalice.
Herbal Wines – by Nicholas Morcinek
One of the many pleasures of a life in the country is the abundance of free food and the makings of fine drink. Sitting here at my desk, glass of Dandelion wine in hand, the golden glow of the flickering firelight passing through the pale amber nectar drifts my mind back to the Spring and the picking and preparation that led to this magic moment.
Anyone who has ever made their own wine or beer will understand my feelings but nowadays of course, wine nearly always refers to a Chateau produced store bought liquid, made from grapes grown in some exotic far away land.
However until very recently, many other varieties of fruit and even flowers were used by enterprising brewers. Dandelion, Red Clover, Rosemary and Rose flowers were all used and all have their own distinctive nose, flavor and effect. Herbs were used for their traditional medicinal values, the winemaking process being merely the method of preservation.
Dandelion for the digestion and liver.
cowslip to help with sleep
Clover flowers as a tonic and mild euphoriant
These herb wines are very simply made, with minimal amounts of time and equipment and once tried and successfully imbibed, they can become an integral part of your routine and life style. After all, what better way is there to take your medicine than in a glass of fragrant ambrosia?
Hoping that I’ve caught your interest, (excuse me while I pour myself another glass!), perhaps you’d like to give flower wines a try. Here to help you on your way is my own tried, and very well tested, recipe.
Two quarts of Red Clover or Dandelion flower heads. (Or any other type of edible/medicinal flower. Good ones to try are Calendula, Rose, Violet, Elderflowers, etc; Use your own judgment, the recipe is good for almost any combination of flowers and herbs).
One Kilo of sugar
Four ounces un-coated raisins or sultanas
One packet Champagne type wine yeast
You will also need some equipment, most of which can be found in the kitchen: One, two or three gallon container, (stainless steel, earthenware, glass or un-chipped enamel).
A one-gallon glass flagon
siphon tube (These can be obtained quite inexpensively from any home-brewing store).
- Pick the flowers on a sunny morning after the dew has dried. They are best picked after several days of full sun but Mother Nature is not always so obliging. Choose only the best flowers and discard all green parts at the base of the flowers. (They will make the wine bitter). Collect two full quarts of flowers for each gallon you wish to make. (This is a good job to give to the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoon. You won’t see them for at least an hour.) It is very important that you collect only from areas that have not been sprayed with garden or agricultural pest sprays. Avoid all roadside flowers as they contain high levels of pollutants.
- It is important before starting in the kitchen to ensure that all the implements and containers used are scrupulously clean. Make up a sterilizing solution using the Camden tablets, (follow the instructions on the pack) and then thoroughly rinse and clean everything you intend to use.
- This is the most important operation: in home wine making, get it right and your wines turnout perfectly every time, screw-up and your friends will find all sorts of reasons for why they can’t pop over to watch the game, join the barbecue, etc; etc; Anyway, we are digressing. Back to the wine.
- Clean the flowers of insects and dirt and place them into the largest container. Add the juice from the three lemons and the washed raisins or sultanas, and immediately pour over them six pints of boiling water. Stir it all up with a sterilized spoon; cover the container with a sterilized lid and leave to stand for twenty-four hours.
- Next day, lift up the lid and take a peek at the dead flowers and other bits, floating in the water. Give it all a good stir and then strain out the liquid into a clean sterilized container. Rinse out your original container with some sulphite solution and then immediately pour the strained liquid back in. Add the sugar and two pints of boiling water, stirring well so as to dissolve the sugar, and then add the yeast, which has been prepared beforehand as instructed on the package. Stir it again, cover and put it away in a warm spot where the temperature stays around 70-80 degrees.
- Now forget all about it for one month. The month has passed and you rush like the wind to take a look at your wine. It smells weird and looks weirder, but don’t worry, every thing should work out fine. This is where the siphon, flagon and fermentation lock come into the picture. First sterilize all your equipment with a sulphite solution and rinse thoroughly. Then siphon the contents of your brewing bin into the flagon. This will give you your first taste, but don’t despair it gets much better! Set up the fermentation lock as per the manufacturer’s instructions, pop it on top of the flagon and now take it back to that warm out of the way place where you hid it before.
- Now comes the hardest part of the whole show. You have to forget all about this big bottle of fermenting nectar for at least six months. Don’t be tempted to peek inside, smell or God forbid! Taste your new concoction. Don’t even think about it! That day is still in the far future.
- Six months have passed. November arrives and the nights are getting longer. Remember the wine?? It’s now ready to be bottled. You’ll need about six or seven bottles for each gallon. Use only those bottles that are designed to hold pressure, i.e. Champagne or sparkling wine bottles, even those thick heavy old-fashioned cola bottles. Use a sulphite solution to sterilize the bottles, corks and caps, and using a sterilized siphon tube, carefully siphon the clear liquid from the flagon into the bottles without disturbing the sediment in the flagon. Tastes pretty good now eh! To make your wine just a little sparkling add no more than a half-teaspoon of sugar to each bottle. Seal the bottles well and let them stand in a warm place for three days. Then place them in the coolest part of the house and wait six more weeks. It will then be just about ready to drink. Of course like many wines it will taste better if left longer, about a year is best). But of course we’re all only human and so must inevitably try out the fruits of our labor.
- Invite around your true friends, break out the best glasses and then carefully open your first delicately cooled bottle, without disturbing the sediment on the bottom. Pour carefully into each glass, filling them all in one delicate movement, again so as not to disturb the sediment. Sit back, raise your glass in a toast and sip this delightful ambrosia. Revel in the complements and congratulations of your friends, for they are truly deserved. And think of the coming spring and the fifteen gallons that you plan to brew.