It’s 32F and seems to be clearing, although occasional ominous-looking clouds show up. Last night was supposed to be the worst of the cold snap. I hope so.
I spent a while in the brilliant (for winter) sunshine of yesterday’s early afternoon watching the antics of a bunch of Steller’s Jays in the yard. They were polishing off the last of the hips from the rugosa roses, diving and swooping in gorgeous trails of sapphire blue.
Yesterday’s barometric pressure was really high. Here’s an article about it. http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2014/12/highest-pressures-in-northwest-history.html
Mail took a lot of time. I’m teaching blackwork embroidery at 12th Night, plus setting up two displays and being a vendor. So, I had people with class questions and sign-ups going for quite some time. Then there was an order from a supplier that got screwed up and now I’ve gotta pay 30 bucks and some change for quick shipping. After that I got the House Capuchin blog out and then started on a Mab’s Creations one.
My bathroom is all white walls and floor and even quite a lot of the fixtures. For most of the year it’s blindingly bright, but yesterday you could tell we’re still in the low sun part of the year. Even at noon it was still dim. Oh, it wasn’t dark, you could read in there, but it’s surprising as a comparison. …and then at 4pm I looked out the window and realized that the light was going away. The sun was setting far enough south to throw long shadows from some tall cedars a block away right across the house and most of my view.
I ran out and asked Tempus if we could go down to the park and watch the sunset, so we loaded up our supper (waffles with black olives and cream of mushroom soup) and went down to watch. It was very, very bright. The sun was leaving spots in my eyes even when it was 7/8’s over the horizon. The colors were intense, brilliant reds, rich sky blue, eye-searing gold contrails and as things faded, peach, marine blue (never seen the ocean that exact color!) plum shading to grey and all the primrose tints of an incredible sunset. It wasn’t quite cloudless, although that’s what it looked like at first. There was some kind of a vapor that ended up turning some intense shades of lavendar, maroon and plum and then grey. There were some lumpy cumulus bits well past the horizon that turned pink below and behind the maroon. Eventually the sky took on a banded appearance that vanished when you looked straight at it. At that point the southern horizon turned peach and then faded while there was a pumpkin orange stripe more to the west, centered on where the sun had vanished. By then Venus was visible and Tempus and I tried to see where Mercury was. We were both pretty sure we got a glimpse. When we got up to the house, Sirius was just becoming visible and the Moon was throwing crisp shadows and I got back to work in my study.
I worked on filling in newsletter bits for this coming month and getting caught up, so I don’t have to fret over our winter vacation. Speaking of which…. we’re going to close from the 6th through the 14th of January. It’s not quite as long as it looks, since it includes 4 days that are our weekends. The worst part is that we’re going to be completely unavailable from the evening of the 8th through the morning of the 12th. We’re going to be both out of town and too busy even to think. The 6th is prep. The 7th is final packing, We’re traveling on the 8th. Set up on the 9th and the event runs from 9th-11th and back home on the night of the 11th. I’m figuring we’re going to sleep on the 12th, which is why I’m thinking to beg off on class that night and then recover and get caught up on the 13th & 14th and unpack.
Hmm… I think it says something about how long this post is getting in comparison to some of those during the week…. 🙂
The guys got some other stuff done during the day. A lot of blackberry digging happened yesterday and the Great Garb Hunt went off during the evening, with Tempus working in the costume closet, trying to find pieces of his clothing and then find enough to keep Travis and Hatch decent during 12th Night.
Today I have to set up newsletters and I’m hoping to put away the contents of a box or 3, finish some laundry and get a schedule made, plus check off a number of things on the to-do list. We’re not planning anything special for the evening other than to stay home and safe.
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! We’ll also not open on Thursday until 3pm. Winter vacation is 6th-14th. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. In case of rotten weather, check our Facebook Page as Ancient Light for announcements! 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,
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 1/4 at 8:53pm. 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 on 1/3 at 8:53am.
Comet Lovejoy is currently found near the star, Rigel, Orion’s left foot. You probably will need binoculars and the moon is making it even more difficult. http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/12/30/comet_lovejoy_the_first_naked_eye_comet_in_2015.html
After the midnight cheering at the turning of 2015, step outside into the silent dark. Look south. There shines Sirius, the highest you’ll see it. Upper right of it stands Orion. Upper left of it is Procyon. Off your right shoulder, the gibbous Moon hangs in the west.
And off your left shoulder, bright Jupiter dominates the east. Earlier this evening, Jupiter’s moon Ganymede disappears into eclipse by Jupiter’s shadow at 10:18 p.m. EST. Europa follows Ganymede into Jupiter’s shadow at 11:00 p.m. EST, fading away more rapidly.
Keep watch as Mercury edges up closer to Venus day by day this week and next.
Saturn (magnitude +0.5, between Libra and Scorpius) glows fairly low in the southeast before and during dawn. As dawn brightens, look below it (by 11°) for Antares >>>>> twinkling away.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
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
Celtic Tree Month of 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 three trees in my front yard form root sprouts that would take over the bed where they are planted if I didn’t cut them back. 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
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 31 Low 1:49 AM 2.6 7:52 AM Set 3:19 AM 72
~ 31 High 8:11 AM 8.5 4:47 PM Rise 1:47 PM
~ 31 Low 3:20 PM 0.4
~ 31 High 9:38 PM 6.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I rejoice in laughter whenever I hear it. (I Can Do It Calendar by Louise Hay)
~ In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
~ The time for action is now. Your life is your responsibility. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. – Samuel Goldwyn
~ It will be the duty of the Executive, with sufficient appropriations for the purpose, to prosecute unsparingly all who have been engaged in depriving citizens of the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution. – Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) US President (19)
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save. – Mary Oliver (Dream Work)
Correspondences for Imbolc
One of the 4 major Sabbats, Imbolc, celebrates the banishing of Winter and welcomes the Spring. At the time of Imbolc, the newborn Sun God is seen as a small child nursing from his Mother. Imbolc is a time to swept away Winter and nuture new beginnings. This Sabbat also represents spiritual growth. Imbolc is a good time to get your life in order, whether mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally. The name Imbolc is derived from Gaelic, and means “ewe’s milk” after the lactating sheep that are feeding their first born lambs of the new season at this time of year.
As the days begin to get longer, it is tradition for every candle or lamp in the house to be lit for a little while. In the Christian Calendar, this holiday is called Candlemas and all church candles are blessed for the year. Other names this festival goes by are:
Imbolgc Brigantia (Caledonni), Imbolic (Celtic), Disting (although this is really Feb 14th), Lupercus (Strega), St. Bridget’s Day (Christian), Candlemas, Candlelaria (Mexican), the Snowdrop Festival. The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin. All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time.
This time is known by some as the “Feast of the Waxing Light” it is the time of year that we are beginning to notice the Sun Gods growth in that the days are becoming longer. This, like MayDay/Beltane, is another pagan holiday which has survived into the current time, now it is celebrated as Ground Hog Day.
Colors – White, pale yellow and silver
Offerings – Beer
Altar decorations – A crown of 13 red candles, spring of evergreen, besom (Witch’s broom), a small statue/figurine of the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, candle wheels, grain dollies, sun wheels.
Colors – White, Orange, Red, Yellow, Brown
Tools – Plough, garden implements
Stones/Gems – Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise
Symbols & Decorations – Candles, Lamps, Brooms, Yellow flowers, Brighid’s Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), dish of snow, evergreens
Foods – All dairy products, curries, onions, chives, seeds, herbal tea, mutton or lamb, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, onions, garlic, raisins, spiced wines
Deities – Dagda (Celt), Pan (Greek), Cernunnor (Celt),Osiris (Egyptian), Herne (Saxon), Jupiter (Roman), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman), Cerridwen (Celt), Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus, Frigg (Norse), Cybele Brighid (Celt), Bride, Brigette, all virgin Goddesses and Gods of love and fertility, Bast
Animals – Sheep, Wolves, Bears, Stags, Eagle, Raven, Groundhog, Owl, Snake
Herbs/Flowers – Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Snowdrop, Tansy, Violets, First Flower of the Year
ANGELICA–is best in the ritual cup. In this manner is considered to bring one in contact with the inhabitants of Atlantis and to bring Atlantean energies into their lives, visions and understanding.
BASIL–this is the traditional time of year for initiations and the initiate should have been taking daily tonics of basil for at least the last two weeks. It is given now to prepare the innerself for initiation to bring fortitude.
BAY–if the ritual is to be a solemn occasion then it is appropriate to chew one or two (no more than that!) Leaves and meditate upon the growing light and Sun God.
BENZOIN–is used in the incense.
CELANDINE–is used in the ritual cup and tossed into the fire.
HEATHER–is used to decorate the entire space.
MYRRH–is used in the ritual cup and/or incense.
Activities and Rituals – blessing of seeds for this year’s garden, fertility and purification, spring cleaning, “Bride’s Bed” rituals, Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new, consecration of agricultural tools, All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time, Candle Lighting, Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Making of Brideo’gas and Bride’s Beds, Making Priapic Wands, Decorating Ploughs, Feasting, Bon Fires, rituals of initiation, transformation, new beginnings
Other names for this holiday – Candlemas, Imbolg, Brigit’s Day, St. Lucy’s Day, Feast of Brighid, Oimealg, Imbolgc Brigantia, Imbolic, Disting (Teutonic, Feb 14th), Lupercus, Candlelaria, The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin..
Ideas and Activities for Imbolc
* Make or decorate candles
* Brighid, the Celtic goddess of fire, healing, and poetry is considered the patron Goddess of Imbolc. Read up on her as a Celtic goddess and as her later incarnation, St. Brigit.
* Burn the evergreen boughs that decorated your home during the winter holidays in the Imbolc Fires and celebrate the return of the Sun’s strength and the Godess as the Maiden.
* Brighid is the goddess of poetry. Write a poem in her honor, and read it aloud during any Imbolc ritual you may have planned.
* Cleanse and re-consecrate your ritual tools and clean your altar.
* Go through all your herbs and discard those that are more than a year old
* Weave “Brigit’s crosses” from straw or wheat to hang around the house for protection
* Perform rites of spiritual cleansing and purification
* Make “Brigit’s beds” to ensure fertility of mind and spirit (and body, if desired)
* Ritually cleanse your home and start your “spring” cleaning
* Make a Crown of Light (i.e. of candles for the High Priestess to wear for the Imbolc Circle, similar to those worn on St. Lucy’s Day in Scandinavian countries **see the kids craft section for a cute kids’ version of this**
* Place a lighted candle in each and every window of the house, beginning at sundown on Candlemas Eve (February 1), allowing them to continue burning until sunrise. Make sure that such candles are well seated against tipping and gaurded from nearby curtains, etc. If you are not able to use real candles use those candle lamps sold at crafts and department stores for the Christian Christmas season.
* Buy a “salt lick” block and leave it out for the wild animals.
* Make a window garden with seeds, soil, old glass jars or rinse some tuna or cat food cans, and get ready for spring! Easy items are beans, mints, marigolds. Even carrot or pineapple tops and avocado pits are fun to do.
* Make a Bride doll
* Make a tiny “Candle Garden” by filling a small aluminum pan with fine salt or sand and “planting” birthday candles, Hanukkah candles or even tea lights in the “garden”
* Tie tiny strips of fabric in trees near a stream and ask Bride for her influence in your life. Use cotton strips and the birds will use them for nesting or they will bio-degrade over time
* Play a candle game where the men stand in forming a circle whole passing a candle quickly and the women stand on the outside of the circle trying to blow out the flame. The one who succeeds gets to claim a kiss.
* Meditate as a family. Have everyone explore what it would feel like to be a seed deep in the Earth, feeling the first stirrings of life. Lie on the floor and put out tendrils. Stretch and bloom.
* Have a bardic circle where everyone brings poetry, songs or a short story that they have written to honor Brigid (Brigit/Brigid/Bride was the daughter of Dagda. She was the protector of the poets, the forge and the healing persons.)
* Help your kids go through all their clothes, toys, and books to find the unwanted and outgrown items. Donate everything to a charity that will give the items to children who need them.
* Go for a walk. Search for signs of spring. Take off your shoes and socks and squish your toes in the mud!
* Lead the family on a parade around the outside of your home, banging on pots and pans or playing musical instruments to awaken the spirits of the land.
* Have your children hold some herb seeds in their hands. Talk to the seeds. Bless them with growth and happiness. Fill them with love. Plant an in-door herb garden.
* Make corn dollies and a cradle for them to sleep in.