It’s 50F and bright sunshine, not quite as warm as yesterday where it got up to 60F! We’re back to clear and dry weather for the foreseeable future. This just feels wrong…
Yesterday’s newsletter was out late because I lay awake listening to the radio until Tempus got home and then finally fell asleep, only waking at 1pm. …and at that I went back to bed a couple of hours later and napped for 1 1/2 hours! Gah, getting sick really threw my sleep schedule off! So I really didn’t start my day until late afternoon.
I started with newsletter stuff, first prepping files and then getting into setting up the week’s newsletters. Around 5 I got out into the kitchen, first sorting and putting away clean stuff and then setting up a ginger chicken, and starting the candied citrus peel and ginger. I ended up scrubbing down the stove end of the kitchen rather than doing the baking that I had planned. In between I kept working on newsletter and also got some licks in on the shop calendar.
It seemed as though I chopped and chopped and chopped vegetables all evening. I was finishing up the 2 1/2 gallons of beef soup, with celery, carrots, parsnips and barley. I was also still peeling lemons and oranges and cutting up the peel. We did finally get a set of garlic loaves baked, right at the end of the evening, although the oven was smoking something fierce. We must have spilled some of the chicken juice in it. Right down at the last I pulled out some of the pickles to try. They’re pretty tasty, but a little oversalted. I think I made a mistake in multiplication when I was making a multiple batch….
OMGS! http://inonibird.tumblr.com/post/73007660820/stick-gods-catfight Egyptian Deities? <giggling>
Today’s Plant is Salal, Gaultheria shallon. This is a shrub, an understory plant, that ranges all up and down the west coast, from Alaska to California. They’re an invasive in wild heathlands in Europe, having been introduced back in the 1800’s. There’s a big industry in Oregon, supplying the foliage to florists. The local peoples harvested the berries as a primary food source, drying them into cakes. They make a nice crunchy snack, dried this way or individually. The young leaves are edible, too. One, nearly forgotten use, is medicinally as an astringent. Mashed with some water, they’re a great soother for sunburn or insect bites, even working on yellow-jacket stings. It also works internally on an inflamed digestive tract from ulcers to diarrhea and a tea (simple infusion) will help with a dry cough. Eat the young leaves as an appetite suppressant. – Feminine, Saturn, Juno – Use in spells as the medicinal uses, the appetite suppressant effect, particularly. This is an hardy herb, so it also can be added to spells for added duration. It also works in situations of emotional upset, particularly when there’s a sick stomach from stress. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salal
I didn’t know that there was a feast day of an alphabet? !?!? That’s what this day is, the anniversary of the creation of the Hangeul, the Korean alphabet! It is a rest day and does have different names in North Korea and other places. One year it was celebrated by unveiling a statue. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul_Day
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.
Love & Light,
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. Full Moon – The day of the day before and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 1/17 at 5:52am. 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 New M0on on 1/30.
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 8:52 p.m. PST – Full Moon – The Full Moon of January is known as the Wolf Moon or the Old Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky. This will be the smallest full moon in 2014.
Full Moon (exact at 11:52 p.m. EST). This is the smallest full Moon of 2014. Jupiter shines above it in early evening. As the evening grows late, Jupiter swings to the Moon’s upper right.
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 even farther below brighter Arcturus.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Goddess Month of of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree month of Beth/Birch Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch
Celtic Tree month of Luis/Rowan – Jan 21-Feb 17 – Luis (LWEESH)/rowan
Runic half-month of Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/13-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
©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 – Today I envision a world of peace and plenty.
~ What good to us is a long life if it is difficult and barren of joys, and if it is so full of misery that we can only welcome death as a deliverer?- Sigmund Freud
~ Your real boss is the one who walks around under your hat. – Napoleon Hill
~ The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. – Hubert Humphrey
~ Wisdom is knowing what the right thing to do is, and then doing it. – Walter E. Jacobson, MD
In the County of Hereford was an old Custom at Funerals, to hire poor people, who were to take upon them all the Sins of the part deceased. One of them I remember (he was a long, lean, lamentable poor rascal). The manner was that when a Corpse was brought out of the house and laid on the Bier; a Loaf of bread was brought out and delivered to the Sin-eater over the corps, as also a Mazer-bowl full of beer, which he was to drink up, and sixpence in money, in consideration whereof he took upon him all the Sins of the Defunct, and freed him (or her) from Walking after they were dead. – John Aubrey (March 12, 1626 – June, 1697), English antiquary and writer; Remains of Gentilism, 1688
Imbolc Lore – Various Bits from Waverly Fitzgerald (website www.schooloftheseasons.com )
Pamela Berger has written a book, The Goddess Obscured, about the rituals celebrated at the time of the first sowing when the earth is awakened and the seed placed in the belly of the earth. This is a significant moment in a community which depends on the earth for sustenance. The fields were purified and offerings were made to the goddess.
This medieval Anglo-Saxon plowing charm, preserved in a manuscript in the British Museum and recorded by Berger, was said by the farmer while cutting the first furrow:
Whole be thou Earth
Mother of men.
In the lap of God,
Be thou as-growing.
Be filled with fodder
For fare-need of men.
The farmer then took a loaf of bread, kneaded it with milk and holy water, and laid it under the first furrow, saying:
Acre full fed,
Bring forth fodder for men!
And the God who wrought the ground,
Grant us the gifts of growing,
That the corn, all the corn,
May come unto our need.
Berger suggests that the Candlemas rituals for appeasing the earth at plowing may be derived from a Roman festival, Sementiva (from the word for seed which also gives us semen). Ovid is the first to mention it and includes it in his calendar of festivals under late January, but it was apparently not fixed to a particular date but took place whenever the fields were ready for sowing. To appease the earth goddess, who has been been “wounded” by the plow, the farmer made offerings to Tellus Mater and Ceres which included flat cakes, seed and a pregnant sow. Tellus Mater, the Roman earth mother, was often depicted in early art with a snake nursing at her breast.
Later Joannes Lydus says Sementiva was celebrated on two days, the day of sowing and seven days later when the seeds began to sprout. On the first day, sacrifices were made to Demeter (who corresponded with Tellus Mater), the earth that received the grain, and the seventh day, sacrifices were made to Kore (who corresponded to Ceres), the creative force of the seed.
A first century BC poet Tibullus describes the festival in more detail. Participants abstained from sex the night before, bathed and put on new clothing. Ceres and Bacchus were invoked and asked to provide abundance and protect the grain from danger. A lamb was sacrificed and the cattle and fields were purified. Perhaps the cattle were driven between smoky bonfires as the Celts did at Beltane or torches were carried around the fields.
Virgil describes a typical procession around the field in this passage:
…But chiefly pay
Fit worship to the gods. Make sacrifice
Each year to sovereign Ceres, when the grass
Is green and glad, the winter making end
And gentle Spring is in the air, when lambs
Are fattening, when the wine grows smooth and mild,
And sweet is slumber in cool hillside shade.
Let all the country youth of manly prime
On Ceres call, bearing her tribute due
Of honey mixed with milk and sweet, new wine.
Three times around the freshly bladed corn
The blessed victim guide, while all the choir
In gladsome company an anthem sing,
Bidding the goddess to their lowly doors.
And let no reaper touch the ripened corn
With sickle keen until his brows bind
With twine of oak-leaf, while he trips along
In artless dance with songs in Ceres’ praise.
The festival of Brigid is one of emergence. In America, instead of goddesses emerging from the underworld or serpents slithering out of holes, we watch for the ground hog to pop out of his burrow.
Many animals are emerging from hibernation as the hours of sunlight increase. The bear is a true hibernator; it sleeps through the winter with a slower heart rate and a lower body temperature, without eating or urinating or defecating. Many other mammals that seem to hibernate, like raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, chipmunks, hamsters and hedgehogs, actually go into dormancy, rather than true hibernation, and wake up occasionally to move around and eat.
In England, the animal that comes out of hibernation on this day is the badger. Since there are no badgers in America, this role was assigned to the groundhog (or woodchuck). If the groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow on February 2nd, he goes back in and winter continues. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then winter will soon be over.
Silliness – Broken Brakes
An insurance agent was teaching his wife to drive when the brakes suddenly failed on a steep, downhill grade.
“I can’t stop!” she shrilled. “What should I do?”
“Brace yourself,” advised her husband, “and try to hit something cheap!”