Yesterday’s high was only 36F and right now it’s 34F. This should be the worst of the cold and it’s going to gradually warm to more normal temps. Despite brilliant sunshine pouring in through the study window it’s cold in my study. I’m all wrapped up in my warmsie with the hood up and the heater on my toes and I’m rubbing my arms to warm them. The walls of the house are radiating cold at this point. It’s dry enough, though, that there’s hardly any frost on the ground.
Yesterday was a nose-to-the-grindstone day. I sorted schedules and printed things and then got to work on setting the newsletters up completely through 1/13, so I can get ’em out even during our vacation. By 3:30 I had most of the daily information in, by 7:30 everything but the magick, but since that was all Imbolc I put it off a bit.
Tempus made a lovely pasta and tomato dish for lunch and then salads for supper. By then I was working on getting the Imbolc stuff into the right file. I got sidetracked during the evening, since there are other irons in the fire, but got close to done by midnight.
Tempus and I saw the New Year in together and had a little snack that we had been saving, some cheese and sausage and crackers and went to bed soon after. We were giggling at each other about being old fuddy-duddies, but I think I prefer fuddy-duddy at this point in my life.
I’m still sleepy, and just cold enough that I’m contemplating crawling back in with Tempus. We’re going to head for the shop by 3pm for Sewing and I’ll be doing pictures first of some of the projects. Yes, we’ll be open and into the evening. Not sure what time we’ll be heading home. It depends on Marius, I think.
Today’s Plant is the Blueberry, Vaccinium Cyanococcus (many species/varieties)! This is a fruiting bush that is related to cranberries, huckleberries and bilberries, has many species within the genus and many varieties within the species. Many fruits are called blueberries, when they’re not Vaccinium. Widely cultivated across the world, the fruit is high in iron and lot of micronutrients and even has resveratrol like red grapes. It may have effects on brain health, reducing stroke damage in experimental animals and memory retention in the aged. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry – Put blueberries under the doormat to keep people you don’t want out of the house or plant them along the property line or next to the front walk to keep them entirely off your property. Blossoms can be dried and carried in an amulet, or wear fresh ones in your hair for protection from negative psychic energy near you. Eat blueberries and/or make blueberry pie or tea or jam to get the protection from psychic attack inside you, especially if the effects are leading to headaches and fatigue.
Pocket full of money – In Scotland, Wales and the border counties of England, an old tradition is for children to go singing door to door on New Year’s morning, for which they will be rewarded with coins, sweets, fruit or mince pies. A typical song goes:
I wish you a merry Christmas
A Happy New Year.
A pocket full of money
And a cellar full of beer.
A good fat pig
To last you all the year.
Please to give a New Year’s gift
For this New Year.
Because of the holiday, the shop will open at 3pm today! Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Be aware that our Winter Vacation runs from 1/6-1/14! Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com 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
The waxing gibbous Moon shines in or near the Hyades this evening. Late tonight the Moon’s invisible dark limb will occult (cover) Delta1 and/or Delta2 Tauri (magnitudes 3.8 and 4.8, respectively) for much of the southern and western U.S. Here is a map with timetables for each star’s occultation.
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, in Pisces) and Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Aquarius) are in the south and lower in the southwest, respectively, just after dark. Use binoculars or a small telescope and our finder charts for Uranus and Neptune.
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
Th 1 Low 2:55 AM 2.8 7:53 AM Set 4:23 AM 81
~ 1 High 9:07 AM 8.6 4:47 PM Rise 2:28 PM
~ 1 Low 4:15 PM 0.0
~ 1 High 10:38 PM 6.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – My life reflects good, and only good is reflected back at me.
~ Don’t like your life path? Grab the tiller and steer. You’re the captain of your ship. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it but they labor in it because they excel. – William Hazlitt, English writer
~ Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to cut all sources of retreat. – Napoleon Hill
~ The great decisions of human life have as a rule far more to do with the instincts and other mysterious unconscious factors than with conscious will and well-meaning reasonableness. The shoe that fits one person pinches another there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Each of us carries his own life-form—an indeterminable form which cannot be superseded by any other. – Carl Jung
The illusion has broken down, the system is in its death throes, if we remain calm, breathing deeply, breathe into our hearts, we can quickly turn chaos into an opening to follow our bliss, our life’s work the path of service we need to follow in order to fulfill our personal calling in the world and gift it to the humanity. We are in the new earth, time for us all to collectively be there. Lift the veil reveal the truth. – Raven Redbone
Imbolc Magick – Imbolc tidbit – From: http://www.ladybridget.com/r/febi001.html
Imbolc Introduction – Copyright Lady Bridget 1997
Imbolc, Oimelc, Imbolg, or Candlemass (the Christianized version of the name) is the celebration that occurs when the Sun reaches 15 ° Aquarius, and is therefore considered a Major Sabbat. This date was traditionally celebrated on Feb 1st or 2nd, and is still noted today in our country as “Ground Hog’s Day”, which marks that there is only 6 more weeks of winter; we have reached the half-way point.
There are some traditions that may say this holiday marks the beginning of Spring, but this doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Imbolc marks the middle of the winter season, just as Yule marked the beginning, and Ostara will mark the beginning of Spring at the Equinox.
The Celts marked this holiday as “Brigit’s Day” or “Brid’s Day” in Irish. Bridget is one of the few Pagan Dieties to have survived as Saints in the Christian religion. She was a very powerful and meaningful Goddess, and there was no way to force the populace to give her up, therefore they canonized her as “Saint Brigit” and up until 1220 BCE, her shrine at Kildare had a perpetual fire that was constantly tended by virgins, by the Priestesses of the Goddess, and after Christianity took over, it was continued by the virgin nuns. In the 1960’s after Vatican II, it was decided that Saint Brigit did not have enough evidence to canonize her and then she was decanonized. However, in Ireland, she is still very much reverenced, as she is by Wiccans, as the triple Goddess. One aspect ruled poetry, writing, inspiration, and music; one ruled healing and midwifery and herbology, and one ruled fire, and the arts of smithcraft. Incidentally, this holiday was also called by the Christians, the Feast of the Purification of Mary, for it was believed that women were “unclean” for six weeks after giving birth. So since she had given birth at the Winter Solstice, this is the date when she would be purified. We look upon this as the time when the Goddess who gave birth at the Winter Solstice, is now transformed in the Maiden once again.
The Imbolc, or Oimelc, was the ancient Celtic festival celebrating the birth and freshening of sheep and goats, the Feast of Milk. Brigit’s feast day was called “La Feill Bhride” and represents the seed that is waiting to stir again. It is a time of great anticipation and the celebration of possibilities. New life is about to awaken in the earth, the earth is furrowed and prepared to receive the seed.
The Valentine’s Day festivities were also connected to this time, being celebrated now on Feb 14th. There are different explanations for this day, the Christian church having one, and folklorists having another. The Christian version states that a Dr. Valentine in ancient Greece used to perform illegal Christian weddings and he was sacrificed to the lions on this date and became Saint Valentine. Therefore, hearts and flowers are exchanged to honor the love that he had and the love of the Christian couples he joined in matrimony. The folklorists attribute this holiday to the “gallant” or “galantine” young men who pursued their sweethearts at this time, since some Latin languages pronounced “g” as a “v” in earlier times. Thus, the “valentine” would be the attentions of a would-be suitor, and whatever methods he might employ to win the maiden’s heart!
At this time the Roman’s celebrated Lupercalia, which also was a fertility festival. The Priests of Pan ran through the streets insuring women’s fertility by spanking them with thongs made from goatskin and blessed by the local Strega. There are many cultures which had similar holiday practices at similar times. So much so that one has to wonder if this was due primarily to an agricultural society having a tendency to celebrate the same things at the same times of the year, or to an more universal religion or culture, having roots far in antiquity and being handed down over the centuries, changing only slightly over the generations?
Our tradition celebrates with a Brid’s Bed, in which our Brid’s Doll, made of corn, or straw, and dressed very prettily, is placed. She is the Maiden at this time, young, playful, and belonging only to herself, or virginal. Alongside her is placed an acorn wand, sized according to the Doll’s size, which represents the penis, the regenerative male force in nature. We tell Brid our secret dreams and wishes that we want to see manifest. This is a time when we look to the future and dream! This is the Sabbat where we can plan ahead for what “seeds” we will “sow” in the coming year, and how we plan to nurture our seeds for a successful harvest later.
Other customs include lit candles in every window of the house, and keeping a perpetual candle on the Altar to Brid. Seeds are brought into circle to be blessed by the Goddess and the Gods and to absorb the circle’s vibrant energy. Chant, dance, and sing, and send energy back into the earth to help her awaken, so that Spring may once more bloom. Straw can be woven into “Brid’s Cross”, “Bridget’s Knot”, or “Corn Maiden” and hung in the corners of rooms, over doorways, and over beds, for fertility, prosperity, and for the blessings of the Goddess. Remember – fertility doesn’t necessarily mean having babies! Fertility of the mind, imagination, and of projects you are working to bring to “birth” are also desired manifestations, and will be blessed by fertility rituals. If you are of child-bearing ability and do not wish to be pregnant, than stress that the fertility you desire is of the mind, or of a certain project, or your creativity, etc, and that is what you will manifest.
It is also traditional in some covens for the Priestess to wear a crown of thirteen candles, a lunar number, representing herself as the Maiden of Light. Some covens have a crown made up, others use thirteen small electric bulbs instead of candles (which seems safer!). This is the Feast of Light, as the winter is dying away, and the sun grows stronger, and so bonfires are especially appropriate as well. In ages past, people jumped the bonefires to be cured of winter colds and flu. This is the holiday to bring your candles to circle, to have them be blessed by the Sabbat energies. We have small candles of each color in circle, and we mark them appropriately with symbols. Then during the year, when we dress any candle for any purpose, we add a few drops from our Imbolc candles, so that the Sabbat blessings and energy will also be added to the working.
The candles, the bonefires, and the lights are all symbolically adding energy to the waxing sun. In addition, they have another purpose. For remember at Samhain, Persephone went to the Underworld, to greet and care for the spirits of the dead? That was three months ago, and now, it is time for us to signal to her to return, and bring Spring back to the earth. We light the way for her to see her way back from Hades, and to remind her that we, with Demeter, are awaiting her here among the living.
In our tradition, this Sabbat is the only Sabbat where new coveners can be initiated into first degree. This makes this holiday a special one for us as it marks our “birthday” into the Craft! We always have a birthday cake for ourselves, and we celebrate together our inititation anniversary. We also use one candle for each covener, a large white candle, which is dressed, blessed, and lit only on Imbolc, and on each succeeding Imbolc thereafter until it is burned out. This candle is special to us, and among other things is a symbol of the Light which we are now celebrating, and which we embody.
The usual colors for Imbolc are white and yellow. White contains all the other colors in the spectrum, and therefore embodies all colors, and is a symbol of all possibilities; the beginning, the new. Yellow has always been the color associated with the Sun, along with gold, and is a call to the Sun to continue strengthening, and chase winter away. Traditional foods include potatoes, carrots, and any root vegetables, as people in ancient times were getting near the bottom of their root cellar by now. Also corn, as it is yellow for the Sun, and so many cultures relied on corn as a main staple of their diets. Lambs were being born around this time, and so lamb was also served at this holiday, along with rabbits, which were easy to trap, and other wild animals who stayed above ground during the cold months. We serve a hearty red wine during the God’s half of the year, but you can also serve milk, since this was a celebration of the “freshening” of the goats as well. Indeed, it was often a “Milk Festival” and Oimelc means “milk of ewes”.
Ideas for ritual can be the making of Brid’s Beds, Brigit’s Knots, Corn Dollies, as well as blessing seeds for your garden, blessing the water for the seeds, and blessing your candles for the coming year, to name just a few. In our tradition, we don’t do personal magick on the Sabbats. We save that for the remaining 357 days of the year! Sabbats are for returning energy to the Gods and Goddesses, for being thankful for our blessings, and for blessing our dreams, wishes, and hopes. We make plans for the development of our lives on a spiritual level; for example: a happy home, healthy environment, peaceful country, and the renewal of the earth would be appropriate blessings for the Sabbat, and wonderful ideals to give your energy towards.
For more ideas and instructions on making some projects for Imbolc, or any other holiday, I strongly recommend Dan and Pauline Campanelli’s books “Ancient Ways” and “Wheel of the Year”, and also Scott Cunningham’s “Spell Crafts”. These books give you how-to illustrated instructions on a variety of holiday themes, and the Campanelli books also give you the historical background and how these projects tie in with each season.
“Candlemas: the Light Returns” by Mike Nichols
“Brigit of the Celts” by Morning Glory Zell
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