We’re back to kinda quiet weather, even the chance of rain over the next week is down to almost nothing. I think we’re going into a “halcyon days” phase. It looks like low clouds, minimal chance of rain, no wind temps in the low 50’s for over a week. I can live with that after the interesting weather we had earlier. The days are getting longer again, by over a minute per day.
Yesterday we worked hard all day long. I started with dyeing various pieces, Tempus, Hatch and Travis did a lot of varnishing. Tempus did a lot of papercutting. Marcus made pins. Tempus and I hunted for a lot of still-missing tools and display pieces. …and that went on all day long! We had a lovely plate of fudge from the Chocolate Frog to keep us going. Marcus left around 5:30, Travis and Hatch after 6 and Hatch came home and made a nice chicken and rice casserole. Tempus and I stayed at the shop until past 7pm. I was still sewing and he was still hunting things. We came home, ate and crashed. I did spend a little while developing pictures before crawling in and he got a bath.
Rain was blowing in sheets off an on all day. It got dark early, but the full moon behind the clouds meant that it stayed brighter than usual during the evening.
This morning I’ve got a headache. It feels like it’s in my sinuses, not like one of the migraines that I get, but it’s making it slow to get going. I need to finish the pictures before we head for the shop. The car is going in today and Marcus, Hatch and Travis are doing a run to Portland. Tempus and I will be at the shop, making, finishing and packing…. Wicca 101 class tonight will be a welcome break!
Today’s plant is Red Elderberry, Sambucus racemosa. It’s a large shrub that has white flower clusters in the spring and red berry clusters late in the summer. Planet: Venus Element: Water Deity: Hel, Holda, The White Lady Magickal properties: Exorcism, Prosperity, Banishment and Healing – The leaves and berries are used for protection and in breaking spells that were cast against you or to undo spells of evil intent. Growing an elder in your garden will protect your property from misfortune and harm. In Europe they planted elder in cemeteries to keep away the evil spirits. Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms, and music on panpipes or flutes of elder have the same power as the wand. Elder should not be cut without first making a prayer, and don’t burn Elder in fear of bringing about ill-luck. “Elder is the Lady’s Tree, burn it not or cursed ye be.” More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_racemosa and here:http://www.thegoddesstree.com/trees/Elder.htm
Today is the Epiphanios of the goddess Kore, the night when she gives birth to Aeon, the year-god. The last paragraph of this section talks a little about this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aion_(deity)#Identifications …and the page has more information in historical context. Here is some more information about Persephone/Kore.
The shop opens at 11am! 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 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,
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 1/6 at 8:32am. 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 1/20 at 5:14pm.
The bright Moon forms a curving line this evening with Castor and Pollux to its upper left, and Procyon to its lower right.
Sirius and Procyon >>>> in the balance: From Procyon, look far to the right for brighter Sirius, the Dog Star, sparkling low in the east-southeast after dinnertime. If you live around latitude 30° north (Tijuana, New Orleans, Jacksonville), the two canine stars will be at the same height above your horizon soon after they rise. If you’re north of that latitude, Procyon will be higher. If you’re south of there, Sirius will be the higher one.
Watch the Moon pass Jupiter and Regulus as it wanes away from full.
Mars (magnitude +1.1, in eastern Capricornus) glows in the southwest to the upper left of Venus and Mercury. It sets around 8 p.m.
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
M 5 High 12:53 AM 7.1 7:52 AM Set 7:50 AM 99
~ 5 Low 6:16 AM 3.0 4:51 PM Rise 5:55 PM
~ 5 High 12:03 PM 8.5
~ 5 Low 7:00 PM -0.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Take a Moonbath!
~ Health, Wealth, and Happiness attend! – Signora Francesca Testarossa de’ Martini
~ Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse. – Julius “Groucho” Marx (1890-1977) US comic, actor
~ I think hard drugs are disgusting. But I must say, I think marijuana is pretty lightweight. – Linda Eastman McCartney (1942-1998) US photographer
~ Fame is something which must be won; honor, only something which must not be lost. – Schopenhauer
When I lay my head in my mother’s lap
I think how day hides the stars,
the way I lay hidden once, waiting
inside my mother’s singing to herself. And I remember
how she carried me on her back
between home and the kindergarten,
once each morning and once each afternoon.
I don’t know what my mother’s thinking.
When my son lays his head in my lap, I wonder:
Do his father’s kisses keep his father’s worries
from becoming his? I think, and remember
there are stars we haven’t heard from yet:
They have so far to arrive. Amen,
I think, and I feel almost comforted.
I’ve no idea what my child is thinking.
Between two unknowns, I live my life.
Between my mother’s hopes, older than I am
by coming before me, and my child’s wishes, older than I am
by outliving me. And what’s it like?
Is it a door, and good-bye on either side?
A window, and eternity on either side?
Yes, and a little singing between two great rests. – Li-Young Lee (Book of My Nights)
Finnish Shrove Tuesday Buns
Flamboyantly filled with rich and expensive ingredients—whipped cream and almond paste—these Shrove Tuesday buns are an indulgent contrast to the upcoming fast of Lent. They are served for morning coffee or for breakfast on top of a bowl of hot milk, or for dessert in a bowl of hot chocolate milk.
Shrove Tuesday or Laskiainen in Finland is a time for outdoor parties. Everybody lends a hand to build a toboggan slide, and children as well as adults take part in the fun. Lanterns and candles are hung in surrounding trees and afterwards everybody comes back into the house for pea soup and almond-filled Lenten buns for dessert.
|1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup scalded milk (cooled)
1 cup sugar
|1 t salt
3/4 cup soft butter
5-1/2 to 6 cups flour
|Dissolve the yeast in a large bowl of warm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add the milk, sugar, salt and eggs. Add the butter and 2 cups of flour, beating until satiny smooth. Slowly stir in the rest of the flour until stiff. Let it rest for 15 minutes covered. Knead for ten minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let double (this should take about 1 hour). Turn out onto an oiled surface. Cut into 36 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Grease a baking sheet and set the balls on it, flattening them slightly. Let rise until puffy. Brush with egg yolk. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees until golden.|
|1/2 lb blanched whole almonds
1 cup powdered sugar
|1 cup whipped cream
powdered sugar for garnish
|Grind almonds until fine. Add the sugar and 1/2 cup of cream and blend into a paste. When the rolls are slightly cooled, cut a lid off the top, about 1/2 inch down. Hollow out slightly. Whip the remaining cream (add a little sweetening if you like). Put in a spoonful of filling, then whipped cream. Replace the lid. Sift the powdered sugar over the rolls and serve. Makes 3 dozen.|
Fasching krapfen or Jelly Doughnuts
Little pancakes (known as Krebbel, Krapfen and Ballen) are served all over Germany on New Year’s Eve and on Mardi Gras. In Berlin, the pancakes go by the special name of Pfannkuchen. They have a spherical shape like that of a cannonball and were supposedly invented by one of Frederick the Great’s veterans who found work as a baker after being wounded in action.
Pam Mandel in her online journal about a winter spent living in Austria, writes humorously about the ubiquities of faschingkrapfen. They started showing up during the Christmas holidays but by Carnival week they had taken over. Every time, she and her husband returned home they found a new batch hanging from their doorknob, wrapped in paper towels. After a week of eating fresh jelly donuts every day, Mandel was looking forward to the austerity of Lent. The Krapfen had done their job, making her appreciate six weeks of vegetables, fish and pretzels.
This recipe comes from The Cuisines of Germany
|3 cups flour
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 t yeast
4-1/2 T butter, softened
|pinch of salt
grated peel of 1 lemon1 cup marmalade or other filling
fat (or oil) for deep frying
| All the ingredients should be at room temperature, except the lukewarm milk.Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Into the well, pour one half of the milk. Add in the sugar and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Sprinkle some of the flour over the yeast. After the yeast begins to foam (15 to 20 minutes) add the butter, eggs, salt and lemon peel. Slowly work in the remaining milk to make an elastic dough.
Knead the dough thoroughly, then roll out in a sheet about 1/2″ thick. Cut out round pancakes about 3 inches in diameter and place a little dab of filling in the center of half of the pancakes. Brush the edges with water and set one of the other pancakes down on top of the filling. Press the edges together. Put a damp cloth over them and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes.
Heat the fat to about 350 and fry the Krebbel, turning just once, until golden brown on both sides. It’s best to cook only 2 or 3 at a time so the temperature of the cooking fat remains high. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners sugar. The tops of Berliner Pfannkuchen are sometimes glazed with sugar water. The original Krebbel were made without the marmalade filling so the dough was rolled out thicker.
In Russia, the week before Lent is the time of the Butter Festival. And blinis are the favorite food. They are drowned in butter and topped with caviar, smoked salmon and sturgeon, pickled smelt and sardines, and herring. They are eaten with sour cream for tea and dessert. They are filled with ham and preserves. Leftover blinis are stacked with fillings and made into blini pieces. In rural areas, contests are held to see who can eat the most blinis.
This recipe for blinis, meant to be served with sour cream and caviar, comes from the Russian Tea Room, via Gourmet magazine and http://www.epicurious.com:
|1/4 cup warm water
1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
1 1/2 t sugar
1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sifted buckwheat flour
|1/4 t salt
1 cup whole milk, heated to warm
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
|Preheat oven to 250. Stir together warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and let it stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt, then stir in the milk, 3 tablespoons of the butter and eggs. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a roasting pan filled with 1 inch of warm water. Let it sit for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm place until it’s doubled in volume, has bubbles breaking the surface and is stringy when scooped. (This batter can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. If necessary, add a few teaspoons of milk before using).Stir the batter. Heat 1 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat and brush with some of the remaining melted butter. When the skillet is so hot that the butter browns immediately, lower the heat. Working in batches of four, spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into the skillet and cook, turning over once, until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof platter. Keep the blinis warm in the oven until ready to serve.|
Nun’s Ribbons and Lies
In Italy, everyone eats strips of sweetened, deep-fried dough called nastri delle surore or nuns’ ribbons during Carnival. These treats have regional names including bugie (lies) in Piednmont, chiacchiere (gossips) in Lombardy, chiacchiere di suora (nun’s gossip) in Parma, lattughe (lettuces) in Emilia-Romagna and cenci (rags and tatters) in Tuscany. In the sixteenth century in Venice, an author referred to them as fritelle piene di vento (fried treats full of wind).
- This recipe comes from Carol Field’s marvelous book, Celebrating Italy:
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1-1/2 T unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1-1/2 T sugar
- scant 1 T liqueur (rum, cognac, grappe or Grand Marnier)
- 1 large egg
- Pinch salt
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 1-1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1 to 4 T milk
- 4 cups olive or sunflower oil
- confectioners sugar
By Hand: Set the flour in a mound in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a well in it. Set the butter, sugar, liqueur, egg, salt, orange zest and vanilla in the center and mix them together. Slowly incorporate them into the flour, a little at a time, adding whatever amount of milk is necessary to make a dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and leave 45 to 60 minutes.
By Mixer: In the mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, combine flour, butter, sugar, liqueur, egg, salt, orange zest and vanilla, adding enough milk to get a dough that is firm enough to roll out very fine. Cover with a tea towel for 45 to 60 minutes
With a rolling pin, roll the dough out very fine on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into ribbons about 4 to 5 inches long and 1 to 1-1/4 inches wide. In some places it is customary to tie a knot in the center or twist the ribbon twice and pinch it closed in the center. Elsewhere bakers cut the dough into rectangles and make two parallel short cuts in the center.
Heat oil in a heavy deep-sided frying pan to 350 and fry a few of the ribbons at a time—very, very quickly (20 seconds at the most). Drain on plates lined with paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.