The shop is closed for our Winter Vacation through 1/14!
Yesterday we spent far too long packing. It was 5pm by the time we got to Newport, having decided to go the long way round since we were so heavily loaded and it was so dark. The sun was setting, reddening the bleached dead branches of pines just before that.
We got to the site and got right to work. Marcus, Hatch and Travis had all been working their tukases off all day. Mostly we loaded up to the Merchant Row and then got chased out before we were done. By 10:30 the young folks were with their crash space host and we were in our room with Marius, finishing up stuff for tomorrow.
Today is a big push to finish setting up. Merchants’ Row starts at 8am and A&S displays at 9am and we’ll be open for business not long after. Omgs, the folks here have done such an *awesome* job of decorating! I stopped and stared when I got into the lobby.
Today’s Plant is Cascade Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium, or Dull Oregon Grape Mahonia nervosa, occasionally called Holly Grape. It’s a lovely, spiky-leaved large shrub or small tree with amazing clusters of bright, yellow flowers in the early spring. The tree next door is blooming now, or was before the cold snap. Dull Oregon Grape is a shorter plant with duller leaves with a nerve-like pattern of veins, but they both have the same magickal properties. The locals used it to help with rheumatism and it has been tested to replace Goldenseal in the pharmacopeia with some good results. The fruits can be made into jam or wine, although they’re too sour to eat. Feminine, Earth, carry to draw money and prosperity, or popularity. More on aquifolium here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_grape and on nervosa here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahonia_nervosa
Karel Capek, Czech novelist, short-story writer, playwright, essayist; born in Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now in the Czech Republic). He wrote R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), in which the word ‘robot’ first appeared and the play Ze života hmyzu (Life Among the Insects) which Grandma and I saw when in Prague. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_Capek
I have a personal “funny” associated with that play. It’s a satire, as is much of Capek’s work, comparing different types of societies to different insects. I was having no trouble with the vocabulary, but Grandma was missing some of the more adult colloquialisms that she never learned, having been working hard at learning English as her second language at the same age that I learned Czech as mine…and I learned it from lurking under the dining table while the teti were chatting. They usually forgot I was there….. So we got to the part of the play where a butterfly throws herself on her back with her legs in the air and yells, “Oh, somebody f*** me!” There was a titter from the audience and then Grandma said loudly, in English and the too-loud tones of the hearing-impaired, “WHAT did she say?” The audience roared….. It took me 3 tries to explain what had happened, later, but Grandma howled with laughter once she realized what she had said.
The shop is closed for our Winter Vacation that runs through 1/14! Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday after we re-open. 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,
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. 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 1/13 at 1:46am.
In this coldest time of the year, the dim Little Dipper hangs straight down from Polaris after dinnertime — as if (per Leslie Peltier) from a nail on the cold north wall of the sky.
Mercury is well placed in the evening sky close to Venus.
Look for Comet Lovejoy — if you look within an hour or two after dark (for most of the world’s mid-northern latitudes). The comet is in its brightest two weeks at 5th or 4th magnitude. But you’ll have to know exactly the correct point in the sky to examine! See our updated article with finder chart: How To See Comet Lovejoy Tonight.
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 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
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
F 9 High 3:14 AM 7.2 7:52 AM Set 10:00 AM 88
~ 9 Low 9:01 AM 2.9 4:56 PM Rise 9:46 PM
~ 9 High 2:35 PM 7.1
~ 9 Low 9:17 PM 0.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.
~ Knighthood is not an order of merit, it is a way of life, and its hallmark is sincerity. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Melodious is the closed mouth. – Irish Proverb
~ If you come up in this world be sure not to go down in the next. – Irish Proverb
~ If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. – Jim Rohn
The Goddess Garden
I am but the steward of those she will send
Immature seeds, for knowledge they yen
I will protect and I will teach
The Goddess path to those who seek
I am but the steward of those she sends
Those youthful sprouts that sway and bends
Their environment controls them, they can not see
The Goddess within them has yet to be
I am but the steward of those she sends
Blossoming flowers, some become friends
She does the weeding; the reap and the sow
They touch my heart, as they come and they go
My promise is to Her, I always will tend
From the beginning and until the end
Guiding towards her, Nurture with love
While she looks on and protects from above – Ruby RedPepper 5/21/2005
There are all sorts of irreverent pastries prepared in Italy, including nipples of the Virgin and St Lucy’s eyes, but one of the most outrageous is called St Agatha’s breasts. These sweets (sometimes nougat, sometimes pastry) show up in Sicilian pastry shops around February 4th in time for her feast day.
This is not a recipe for St. Agatha’s Breasts (it’s a recipe for Aphrodite’s Cakes from Petherwin of Ghost Cat Farm) but I think it will produce a similar effect.
- Small can of peach halves in heavy syrup
- Dark brown sugar
- Pastry dough for two crust pie (store bought or homemade)
- Heat oven to 350.
Roll the pastry dough on a floured surface to 1/4 thickness. Place a drained peach half face down on a circle of dough, about 1 inch bigger than the peach. Roll out the other half of the dough and cut circles to completely cover the peach halves. Add about a tablespoon of brown sugar under each top. Crimp the edges together to seal. Then poke a small hole in the top of the creation.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for at least 20 minutes, without opening the oven. As they cook the brown sugar and peach juice will bubble out and the finished cake will look like a breast and nipple. Continue to cook until the pastry looks done.
I think this recipe for Haman’s Ears would go nicely with Agatha’s breasts at a whimsical spring full moon feast.
Beat up 2 eggs and stir in 3 tablespoons oil. Then mix in sufficient flour to make a soft dough. Knead very thoroughly, break off small pieces and roll out on a floured board as thin as possible, to about the size of a meat to dry for an hour longer. Fry in hot oil until a very light brown. Drain and, if liked, sprinkle with castor sugar. Handle very carefully as they break easily.
The dandelion (taraxacum officinale) is probably the one weed almost everyone can identify. Unfortunately few of us appreciate its magnificence. In my neighborhood, the appearance of dandelion greens is one of the true harbingers of spring.
The fresh greens of spring arrive at just the right time of the year to refresh bodies that have been living on stored and starchy food all winter. They contain minerals which the body needs in the spring to get through this transition season and move from the energy of winter to the energy of summer. Although we may find them bitter, compared to bland grocery store lettuce, the bitterness of these herbs tells us they have a tonic effect.
Young dandelion leaves are “salty and sharp” (in the words of Dr Dent-de-Leon speaking through Susun Weed) and can be used for salads until the flowers appear (and again in fall after the seeds have dispersed). Susun Weed suggests a salad of mixed dandelion and lettuce leaves with 1 chopped hard-boiled egg and croutons. Sounds like the perfect spring meal to me.
When the flowers are blooming, you can pick them for making various concoctions. Use them fast—after a day in a warm house, they start to go to seed. Susun Weed makes a dandelion aperitif by pouring a quart of vodka into a jar over two to three cups of dandelion blossoms, 2/3 cup of sugar and the rind of half a lemon. This should be capped and shaken daily for two weeks, then strained and drunk with ice and lemon, or hot water and honey. For a simpler, nonalcoholic brew, steep a handful of blossoms in a cup of boiling water, then add honey and drink to relieve aches and pains.
Almost everyone can identify the dandelion but if you are collecting dandelions later in the summer, be careful. At least here in Seattle, the dandelions bloom first and about the time they finish a dandelion-look-alike, the hairy cat’s paw, starts blooming. They can be distinguished in two ways. The hairy cat’s paw has furry leaves (hence the name) and the stems produce more than one flowering head whereas the dandelion has only one blossom per head.
Part of the fun of making dandelion wine is gathering the ingredients. When picking dandelions for dandelion wine, choose dandelions from an open field, like this one, far from any insecticide.
|2 quarts dandelion blossoms
4 quarts water
8 whole cloves
1/2 t powdered ginger
1 cup orange juice
3 T lemon juice
|3 T coarsely chopped orange peel
1 T coarsely chopped lemon peel
3 T lime juice
6 cups sugar
1 pkg dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water
|Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside. Wash the dandelion blossoms well. Put them in the water with the orange, lemon and lime juices. Add the rinds, cloves, ginger and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for about an hour. Strain through filter paper (coffee filters work great). Cool. While still warm (but not hot), stir in the yeast.Let stand overnight and pour into bottles. Allow uncorked bottles to set in a dark place for three weeks. By then the yeast should have stopped working (releasing gas) and you can cork and store the bottles in a cool place. Makes about 4 quarts.|
Warm Camembert Croutes with Dandelion Greens – While searching for the dandelion wine recipe, I found this recipe from Gourmet, April 1997, which might make a lovely gourmet appetizer for your Candlemas feast:
|1 T unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 inch slices from a baguette
1 1/2 t minced shallot
1 T white wine vinegar
1 t Dijon mustard
|3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 of an 8 oz wheel Camembert cheese
5 cups dandelion greens or other baby greens such as mizuna or arugula
1/2 cup fresh red currants, if desired
|Preheat the oven to 450. Butter baguette slices on 1 side and toast on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven for about 5 minutes or until pale gold. (You can toast these a day ahead of time, cool completely and keep in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature.)Preheat the broiler. In a large bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar and mustard. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Cut the cheese into 4 wedges. Top each toast with a wedge of cheese and broil about 4 inches from the heat for 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt. Add the greens and currants to the vinaigrette, tossing to coat. Serve the salad tossed with the Camembert croutes.|
“Oh, no, I think I lost an electron.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m positive.”