It’s still and dim at the moment. Even the birds seem sleepy. It’s 58F and the clouds are supposed to burn off and have a lovely day.
Tempus woke me with coffee just after he got home from his paper route. I groggily hauled myself out of bed, got things together and then he had me drive Geurin’s car (he borrowed it again) down to the automotive place while he drove his little beastie. I was sufficiently groggy that I drove to the *shop* instead! …so that I had to put myself back together and drive over to Shep’s, which is behind the grocery store. <sigh> He got Geurin her car back and went up to the house to sleep.
I sorted papers, which was my first “concentration” task. After that I did the mail and then went in back and took a nap myself, having gotten up quite a bit earlier than usual. When I got up, I had some lunch and then cleaned the table so that I had room to work, and started trying to make sense of the instructions that I’ve been given about making the caps.
I was finally printing a pattern and cutting out by 2:30. ….and then I got stopped because Paul called and we needed to talk about some print-on-demand stuff that both of us are working on. …and then I got frustrated because I was missing an essential piece of info for the simple cap and the more complex one just didn’t work. The muslin was too large, then too small. <grr> By 4:30 I had all but the hand-sewing done on two caps, so I took a break to have a snack. …and then all kinds of phone calls and Facebook messages happened.
I got back to work on the hats and by the time Tempus got there I was pretty well finished with the sewing, except for the one that he brought the fabric for, which I did right away. I did the finishing sewing during the Medicinal Wines class, since I had to bail out 1/2-way through, since I was reacting to the lavendar in one of the products. I was very disappointed because while one cap got completely finished, and a “Sun Thing” did, a 3rd cap got only part-way and the last one, while almost complete, wouldn’t fit a child. Something happened with that pattern…..
We all went across the street to the China Restaurant for supper. We had a lot of fun talking, and gradually everyone else showed up, a total of nine people. Class was great and we’ve asked Faunus to come back not just for the next one (8/6) but for OCPPG! We headed home around 10pm.
Today Tempus is going to be at the shop. I’m going to be home, trying to get some cooking done. His little car is being worked on. Hopefully, it’ll get done today.
Cute! I found the pic on Facebook.
Today is the anniversary of the date of the deaths of the Russian Royal family (the Romanovs) during the Bolshevik Revolution. Anastasia is the best known of the family at this point as the details have dropped from memory during the almost-century since the murders. Anastasia was the next-to-youngest in the family and was rumored to have survived the massacre. Alas, that has been proved to not be the case. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duchess_Anastasia_Nikolaevna_of_Russia There is a possibility that her older sister Maria survived (and had been rumored to be Anastasia), although it hasn’t been proved.
Today’s Plant is the Western Azalea, Rhododendron Occidentale. I talked a while back about the azaleas being a subset of the rhodys. This is the main one that grows around here. It’s hard to tell from the shape and size of the plant that it’s an azalea, or even from the flowers, although the branches are thinner and the leaves shorter and rounder than those of rhododendrons. It least it’s hard for those of us who are familiar with the showy garden hybrids, which tend to be small and compact. The other West Coast azalea is Rhododendron Albiflorum, and there’s not a whacking lot of info floating around about that one. The wiki is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_occidentale The Chinese call azaleas “thinking of home bush”. Magickal uses for azalea are to encourage light spirits, happiness and gaiety.
The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday! Summer hours are 11am-7pm 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
The Moon is Waning Gibbous. – 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 7/26 at 3:42pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. , Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 7/18 at 7:08pm.
The Big Dipper, high in the northwest after dark, is beginning to turning around to “scoop up water” through the nights of summer and early fall.
The waning Moon, nearly at last quarter, rises around 11 or midnight and climbs high in the early-morning hours. Far in its background is Uranus, magnitude 5.8. Locate it with binoculars or a wide-field telescope and our finder chart for Uranus among the stars.
Uranus, in Pisces, and Neptune, in Aquarius, are well up in the southeast and south before the first light of dawn. Use our finder charts for Uranus and Neptune.
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4
Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Tinne – Holly Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Dark Grey
Meaning: Energy and guidance for problems to come
to study this month – Ioho – Yew Ogam letter correspondences Month: None
Color: Dark Green
Letter: I, J, Y
Meaning: Complete change in life-direction or attitude.
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – The new promise of another day. It is a beginning, without a past or a future. What will you do with it?
~ Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. – John F. Kennedy
~ But suppose God is black? What if we go to Heaven and we, all our lives, have treated the Negro as an inferior, and God is there, and we look up and He is not white? What then is our response? – Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) US Politician
~ I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. – Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
~ The first place to look for anything is the last place you would expect to find it. – Law of the Search, Corollary: It will not be in the last place you expect to find it.
Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine
stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a
stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your
right shoulder which aches
all day. You are breathing
patiently; it is a
beautiful sound. It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know
where to drop the knife of
separation. And what does this have to do
with love, except
everything? Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame. Then it settles
to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air. – Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume Two)
Bake each of these loaves, or any combination you prefer. (These have been chosen for this harvest recipe because they use bananas, corn, apples, and cheese, which are to some extent traditional foods for the harvest holidays.) Cut into strips or blocks that are easy finger-food size, and arrange in a basket–and take to a gathering or picnic! Bring sweet butter and honey!
When bringing this bread to a location where it will be in open air for more than a couple hours, it’s better to use a container that can be sealed! This container has a fitted lid.
NOTE: If you’re not such a masochist as to bake four loaves of bread on the same day, try getting into the holiday spirit by making a partial-week project out of it. I suggest baking the breads in this order: First banana bread, then apple, then cheese, then cornbread. Banana bread keeps the longest and stays moist for quite a long time without having to even be refrigerated. Apple bread stays good a long time too, but slowly becomes more mushy and less fluffy–try not to make this more than two days in advance of the date you’ll need it. Cheese bread, because it does have cheese, will spoil earlier–you’ll want this in an airtight container. And cornbread should be made a day in advance at the most for best freshness. Also, the cheese bread is the only one that requires rising time. The others are either flat breads (cornbread) or they do their necessary rising with the help of baking soda.
Banana bread and apple bread are very moist while cornbread and cheddar bread are drier breads, so keep this in mind when storing them in a shared container! A moist bread will “sog out” a dry bread and make it inedible if you don’t wrap them.
Baking bread is a wonderful harvest activity to put you in the mood for the season, so don’t be freaked by this recipe’s scope–give it a try!
Yield: 8-10 servings
Source: A combination! Use for: Lughnasadh, Mabon
Cheddar Cheese Bread
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk (about 100ºF)
2 tablespoons butter
Just under 4 cups of flour–use until desired consistency
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 ounces mature cheddar cheese, grated
Combine the yeast and the milk and then stir, leaving for 15 minutes to dissolve. Meanwhile, melt the butter and let it cool. When it’s cool and the yeast is dissolved, add the butter to the yeast mix. Take out another bowl and combine the flour and the salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry mix and pour in the wet mix. (I suggest using three cups of flour and mix the salt into that, and then make the well, pour the wet in, and add more flour as needed. Add the flour until it’s a rough dough of a consistency that is easily kneaded.) Knead the bread dough on a floured surface until it’s smooth and elastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled, which will take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours.
Grease a 9 x 5 inch bread tin. Punch the dough down and knead in the last ingredient: The cheese. Knead it for a while to make sure that the cheese is distributed evenly throughout. Pick up the dough and twist it in the middle, curling the ends in also so that it will fit in the bread tin. Leave it in the warm spot again until the dough rises above the rim of the tin (45 minutes to an hour). Preheat the oven to 400º F, then bake the bread for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 375º F and bake 15 to 30 minutes longer, until the bread can be turned out of the tin onto a rack and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Wait until cool before cutting.
NOTE: The original recipe was in a British book, so the measurements have been translated to American measurements for my easier use.
Yield: 1 loaf
Source: Martha Day, Complete Baking Use for: Lughnasadh, Mabon
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (4-5 medium bananas)
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 loaf pans. In large bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Add in the eggs. Add bananas, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla, beat until smooth. In small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Keep adding flour mix to banana mix. Pour into pans. Bake for 1 hour. Cool for 5 minutes.
Yield: 2 loaves
Source: Wood & Seefeldt, The Wicca Cookbook Use for: Mabon
For the bread:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons sour milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts
For the topping:
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon burnt sugar flavoring
In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar, margarine, and butter flavor. In a small bowl, mix soda and milk, and stir. Add to the creamed mix. Beat in eggs and vanilla; add flour and salt. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour into a greased and floured 13 x 5 loaf pan. Drop teaspoons of topping over the batter. Bake at 350º F for 50 minutes; cool in pan for 10 minutes and cut into slices to serve.
Notes: First off this is an unusual sized pan; it’s a standard store loaf. Pans this size are hard to come by. You can possibly make a makeshift pan of this type–as I did–by creating a divider in a 13 x 9 baking pan (a lot more standard) and propping it up with small loaf pans to fit inside or some other way of dividing.
Also, I did not use butter flavoring; my milk was not sour; I did not use nuts; and for the topping I did not use “burnt sugar flavoring,” I just used a maple extract. It came out VERY yummy.
Variations: You can use pears instead of apples for a change, and try nutmeg or clove instead of cinnamon for whatever taste you prefer. Also, nuts are not necessary if you don’t like nuts–just put in a little less apple because you don’t have nuts to offset the moisture. You can also half this recipe and bake it in individual 6 x 3 mini loaf tins to get three baby loaves. If you do this, bake for only 30 minutes.
Yield: 1 long loaf
Source: The Eckert Family, Eckert Family Cook Book
3/4 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat a greased 9×9 pan in a 425ºF oven for 20-22 minutes. Pour bread mixture into hot pan and place back in oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot with butter or honey.
Yield: 1 large loaf
Source: McCoy, The Sabbats Use for: Lughnasadh, Mabon