54F and the rain is really coming down. It’s pretty gusty, too, although nothing like what it was at 4am…..We’ve gotten an inch and a half of rain since midnight and yesterday got almost two inches. I noticed last night that the jonquils that were just tiny buds on Monday have one blossom that’s popped. I’m going to try to get a picture today.
>>>>>>>>>> Sabrina is working on getting her shop open! >>>>>>>>>>>>
Yesterday was a very long day for me. We got going at the regular time, but I didn’t get home until past 10pm.
<<<<< Hatch cutting Shrewsbury cakes <<
He came back up and got Travis, Hatch and me and all the stuff that we’d been packing for a couple of hours. We stopped back at the shop to drop him off and to get some things that needed to go to Rowan and Marius’. After that we drove into Newport, got some supplies at Freddie’s and then Cash ‘n Carry and then drove the rest of the way into Toledo.
>>>>>>>> Travis grinding poppyseed >>>>>>>>>
We spent the whole day cooking and baking and made two herb butters, Shrewsbury cakes, some cookies and a batch of povidlani kolacki (plum buns) and a couple of tvarogni (cheese filled). We also made mak (poppyseed filling) for another batch. A little sewing happened very late in the evening.
We wearily packed up and headed home, picking Tempus up at the shop. He had been installing light strings in various places all day.
<< Shrewsbury cakes going into the tin <<
Today Tempus is heading for the shop. I’m working at home. Hatch has a job interview in Portland, so he left early this morning. Wish him luck! In the evening Tempus is going to do some shopping in Newport, so he’s planning to close on time.
That snake is saying, “Never give up!” …and the heron looks distinctly annoyed. 🙂
Today is the Aphrodisia, the festival sacred to Aphrodite in ancient Greece. She wasn’t a nice goddess, being fickle and unfaithful and a trouble-maker. She seems to have mellowed a bit with age, though. <<<< This Botticelli painting is probably the most famous image of her and is often called “Venus on the Half-Shell”. 🙂 She’s often called “foam-born” since she arose from the ocean and “Cyprian Aphrodite” because she apparently came ashore on the island of <<<<<<<<< Cyprus on this rock. There are a lot of middle-eastern goddesses who are related in forms of worship, Ishtar being the most obvious. Her symbols are: the sea, dolphins, doves, swans, pomegranates, sceptres, apples, myrtle, rose trees, lime trees, clams, scallop shells, and pearls. I’ll be putting some more in, soon, before Valentine’s/Lupercalia and there’s more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphrodisia
Today’s plant, sacred to both St. Dorothea (patron saint of florists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_of_Caesare ,which is the attribution that you usually see) and to Aphrodite, is the Jacinth or blue Hyacinth, Hyacinthus orientalis. It is highly poisonous, but has a use or two in the herbalist’s pharmacopeia. It is a lovely plant with a sweet scent that is a garden favorite. It hybridizes easily and will propogate itself in the right environment. – Male, Venus, Water – Promotes happiness, peace of mind and peaceful sleep. Attracts love, luck, and good fortune. Named for Hiakinthos, Greek God of homosexual love, this is the patron herb for gay men. Guards against nightmares when used as an oil, burned as incense, or included in dream pillows. Carry in amulet or sachet to ease grief or the pain of childbirth. More on this plant here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthus_orientalis or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinth_%28plant%29
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm 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,
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 2/18 at 3:47pm. 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 2/11 at 7:50pm.
Friday, Feb. 6–Friday, Feb. 20, after evening twilight – Zodiacal light – Look to the south of west, just above Venus and Mars, for the faint zodiacal light, reflected from interplanetary matter along the ecliptic (marked by green line). Don’t confuse it with the brighter Milky Way to the northwest.
Friday, Feb. 6, 1 p.m. – Jupiter in opposition: opposite the Sun as seen from Earth. So it rises around sunset, shines highest in the south around midnight, and sets at sunrise. Opposition is also just about when an outer planet is nearest to Earth and appears biggest and brightest. So Jupiter is now 45 arcseconds across its equator, its biggest this year. It remains essentially that large in your telescope all February.
Neptune has slunk away into the afterglow of sunset.
Goddess Month of of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Runic half-month of Elhaz/Algiz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary. Runic half-month of Sowulo/ Sigel, 2/12-26 It represents the power of the force of good throughout the world and is the harbinger of victory and ascendancy over darkness.
©2015 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright.
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grey and Red
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.
Quert – Apple Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Meaning: A choice must be made
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 6 High 2:02 AM 7.3 7:29 AM Set 8:31 AM 96
~ 6 Low 7:54 AM 2.2 5:32 PM Rise 8:35 PM
~ 6 High 1:39 PM 7.5
~ 6 Low 8:12 PM 0.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I will worry about it tomorrow!
Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – Quotations- Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.” List the things you think are the most beautiful in your life. Do beautiful things help you to forget some of life’s misery”? Explain.
~ All paid jobs absorb & degrade the mind. – Aristotle
~ Men’s private self-worlds are rather like our geographical world’s seasons, storm, and sun, deserts, oases, mountains and abysses, the endless-seeming plateaus, darkness and light, and always the sowing and the reaping. – Faith Baldwin (1893-1978) US writer
~ In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. – Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
~ We know all their gods; they ignore ours. What they call our sins are our gods, and what they call their gods, we name otherwise. – Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972) US writer
For I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the scorned one. I am the whore and the holy one. I am the wife and the virgin. For I am knowledge and ignorance. I am shame and boldness. I am shameless; I am ashamed. I am strength and I am fear. I am war and I am peace. Give heed to me. I am the one who is …disgraced and the great one.” Nag Hamadi/”The Thunder and Perfect Mind”/Gnostic Gospels
I vividly remember St Blaise’s Day from a Catholic childhood for on this day we went into the dim church and knelt at the Communion rail while the priest came up to each of us and held a pair of crossed white candles against our throat, to ward off disease. (The crossed candles create the same shape as the Brigid’s cross, obviously an ancient protection symbol.)
An early Bishop of Armenia (where people worshipped Mihr, the god of fire, with bonfires and carried home embers to kindle their own hearth fires), Blaise became the patron of throat diseases because he saved a child from choking.
Like St Nicholas, St Blaise appears to be one of those saints who accumulated the legends and lores of earlier deities and folk customs around his name, perhaps because his name, sounds like wheat (ble) in French or crops (biade) in Italian.
In medieval times, he was the patron saint of plowmen. On his holiday, women brought a pail of seeds to the church to be blessed. Half of the seed was left as an offering to the church, the other half taken home and mixed with the regular seed before plowing.
St Blaise was also the patron saint of shepherds and the woolen industry because he was allegedly martyred on the stone table used for combing out wool and flayed with the prickly metal combs that remove tiny stones from the wool. As with other saints who suffered peculiar forms of martyrdom, the connection with sheep probably came first. Both St Bridget and St Agnes are also associated with sheep and this is the time of the year when lambs are being born.
Carol Field says that the feast day of San Biagio is especially celebrated in Italian towns where wool was worked. One of the most elaborate ceremonies takes place in Taranta Peligna, a small community in Abruzzo, where the townspeople work communally to make hundreds of special breads called panicelle in the shape of a four-fingered hand. The fingers are said to represent the collaboration of dyers, spinners, weavers and finishers The breads are baked on February 1st, but distributed on Feb 3rd, the official holiday, at the church at the same time the priest is blessing the throats of the faithful.
In Lombardy, people eat a slice of panettone on St Blaise’s day to protect against sore throats during the year. In Serra San Bruno in Calabria, the cookie for San Biagio is called an abbacolo and is baked in the form of a question mark or bishop’s scepter. The young men of the town offer them to their sweethearts. If the girl breaks the piece in two and gives part back to the boy, keeping the other for herself, it means she will marry him. Sicilians serve tiny white breads shaped like grasshoppers and called panuzzi or cavadduzzi or miliddi, thus honoring the saint who rid Sicily of an infestation of grasshoppers.
The LaPlante sisters in their light-hearted guide to Catholic saints, recommend the following ritual, adapted from the Catholic throat-blessing ceremony, to be used whenever you are in need of healing. Bake (or purchase) two long skinny loaves of bread (or use two candles). Light another candle, preferably beeswax. Cross the two loaves (or candles) at your throat and say this prayer:
Pray for me
[Command that this obstruction
Go up or go down]
Deliver me from illnesses of the throat
And every other evil.
Then eat the bread and drink a cup of tea (sweetened with honey) while the candle burns.
Blaise is invoked against wolves since he supposedly forced a wolf to return a pig he had snatched from a poor widow. But the Greek Orthodox honor St Blaise, under the name of St Vlasios, on February 11th. If you have to work on this day, you should first sew a cloth bag behind your back and get someone to ask you what you are sewing. The proper reply is: “I am sewing stone and whetstone. I am sewing up the wolf’s jaw.” I find intriguing the mention of the whetstone (which I associate with Brigid and her patronage of metalcraft) and the wolf, the animal of Lupercalia.
The Slavonic god of farm animals is called Vlas or Volos and is definitely lurking behind the guise of St Blaise. In Slavic areas, it is traditional to eat goat or mutton (from animals slaughtered in front of the church) and wheat cooked in butter and honey. In Aetolia, women are not supposed to carry firewood and it was said that Vlasios Cattlestrangler would drown any beasts of burden carrying loads on this day.
St Agatha is a third century Sicilian martyr. Like St Agnes, she was a lovely, noble and wealthy young girl, who was martyred for her refusal to marry. She had attracted the attention of a powerful man, Quintanus, the king (or consul) of Sicily, who subjected her to terrible tortures when she spurned him. Perhaps the worse, certainly the most gruesome: her breasts were torn off. She was also put into a brothel, raped, racked, beaten, torn with iron hooks, burnt with torches and imprisoned without food or water She finally expired after being rolled over live coals and broken potsherds.
This picture of St Agatha from Lives of the Saints shows her surrounded by symbolic objects–a bell, a brazier of smoking coals and a pair of iron tongs (perhaps those used to rip off her breasts)–with Mount Etna (looking very much like a breast) smoking in the background. Early Christian icons showed Agatha carrying her breasts on a plate. Later they were mistaken for bells and she became the patron saint of bell founders. She is also the patroness of nurses, the protector of valleys and is invoked for protection from breast diseases and fire. In Italy, special pastries or nougats, shaped like breasts and called St. Agatha’s breasts, are eaten on her feast day.
Her feast day is February 5th but the festivities in Catania, the center of her worship begin on February 1st. It is celebrated with poetry contests, fireworks, music, confetti and processions. Wooden structures called candelore which are shaped like bell-towers are carried through the streets. When they stop, muskets are fired and the men who carry the candelore perform the annacata, a dance in which each one waves his candle about trying to make it burn out first. St Agatha’s veil, which was taken from her tomb and is preserved at Catania, is said to help prevent eruptions of Mount Etna
Agatha’s name comes from a Greek word, agathos, meaning good, which was the epithet of many Greek divinities, including the agathos daimon (the good spirit of the household) and Agatha Tyche (good fortune).
Perhaps Agatha’s predecessor was a fertility goddess whose prominently-breasted figure was carried about the fields during sowing time. Berger in The Goddess Obscured describes the importance of such customs at this time of the year when the fields are plowed in preparation for sowing. Some scholars have noted parallels between the festival of the Ship of Isis celebrated in Egypt around March 5th and the worship of St Agatha in Catania. The Isis festival, described by Apuleius, included a torch-lit procession with worshippers carrying an image of the goddess. One of the priests carried a golden vessel shaped like a breast from which milk poured to the ground.
St Agnes was a 13-year-old Roman girl who was martyred during the reign of Diocletian in the fourth century BCE. Like many saints of this time period (Lucy is another good example), the story of her life is spurious, perhaps based on nothing more than her name. One legend says that she refused the suit of a Roman noble. Her father, a prefect, condemned her to be exposed in a public place but her long hair grew miraculously longer and covered her entirely. Another legend says she was the daughter of a virgin and a man who had renounced sexual love (this seems to imply she was a miraculous child like St David, Merlin or Christ). She was killed for refusing to marry a Roman officer, saying she already had a spouse who could not be seen with mortal eyes. She is thus the patroness of young girls and chastity. Accused of being a Christian by her rejected suitor, she was placed in a brothel where she inspired such awe in the male patrons that none dared approach her except for one foolish fellow who was struck blind for his impudence. Eventually she was condemned to death for refusing to renounce her faith. “She went to the place of execution more cheerfully than others go to a wedding,” wrote Ambrose, himself a saint.
Agnes is usually pictured with a lamb and lilies. Her name comes from the Greek word agnos (chaste) but it was early on confused with the Latin agnus (which means lamb). In Rome, two lambs are brought into the church of Sant Agnese on her feast day, where they are presented at the altar and blessed. The wool shorn from these sheep is used to weave the pope’s pallium for the year. Keats in his poem, “The Eve of St Agnes,” refers to the holy loom used by the secret sisterhood to weave St Agnes’ wool. Other saints with feast days around this time are also associated with sheep and lambs (St Brigid and St Blaise) and this is the start of the lambing season in England. Perhaps St Agnes carries the qualities of a goddess who protected lambs. Walker says she is a Roman-Jewish version of the Holy Ewe Lamb (Agna), virgin incarnation of the Ewe-Goddess Rachel, but I’m not sure I believe this any more than I believe the brothel story.
Even though the spurious St Agnes chose death rather than marry a pagan Roman officer, the eve of her holyday has been for centuries a time when young women seek visions of their future mates. Most of the methods suggested are quite challenging.
According to the Encyclopedia of Superstitions, you should take a row of pins and pull out everyone while saying a pater noster. Stick one in your sleeve and you will dream of your future mate. I’m not sure if this works if you don’t know the Our Father in Latin. Perhaps it doesn’t matter as the words simply represent your effort to make the process sacred, in which case you can write your own charm along the lines of the following:
Fair St Agnes, play thy part
And send to me my own sweetheart
Not in his best or worst array
But in the clothes he wears each day
That tomorrow I may him ken
From among all other men.
To dream of your future mate, you must fast during the day and keep silent. No one, not even a child, should kiss you. At bedtime you must don your best and cleanest night dress.
Another method requires the making, in silence, of a dumb cake of salt and water, supplied in equal proportions by friends who help you make it in silence. You then divide it equally and each takes her piece, walks backwards to bed, eats the cake and jumps in bed.
In Northumberland, the girl is told to boil an egg, extract the yolk, fill the hole with salt, eat the egg shell and all, then recite the above lines of entreaty to St. Agnes. This will insure a significant dream which cannot be revealed to anyone.
Aristotle’s Last Legacy (written in 1711) provides another, even more unpleasant, method for provoking an oracular dream of your lover. All you need to do is sprinkle a sprig of rosemary and a sprig of thyme with urine three times, then put each sprig into one of your shoes and put your shoes by your bed and say:
St Agnes, that’s to Lovers kind
Come ease the Troubles of my Mind.
If these seem too difficult or unpleasant, you can always try the simple charm of peeling an apple in one long strip and throwing it over your left shoulder to see what initial it will make or simply paying careful attention to your dreams.
For a special treat, find a copy of John Keats’ poem The Eve of St. Agnes and read it aloud.
From Arlys – Date: Fri, 6 Dec 96 23:25:58 –0600 Subject: The s*x life of s*cks.
I’ve been cleaning the lounge room of my house, which is where *everything* gets dumped by my SO, and 4 children (oh, and by me too, but I’m not admitting to that in public). There was a large washing basket full of unmatched socks in amongst the debris.
Now this, in itself, would not be so embarrassing, if it were not for the fact that there’s at least the same amount of socks in another basket hiding behind the washing machine.
So, while going through all these socks trying to pair them up, I formed a few theories.
Theory One: The Genetic Theory of Socks
* Socks which are rolled in pairs and kept in drawers do not produce offspring.
* Socks which are lying around loose will mate with the nearest sock, regardless of colour, length, fibre content, etc.
* The offspring of such matings is guaranteed to match no other sock in the basket. A blue sock that mates with a green sock will produce something that matches neither. white socks which mate with other white socks will produce matted/felted not-quite-white socks that are at least an inch different in length to the parent socks.
When these offspring mate (although some of them are apparently mules), they produce tiny single matted mittens and fingerless gloves that don’t fit anybody, and which lie in the bottom of the sock basket and look hopeless.
Theory Two: The Worm Hole Theory
The universe contains a finite number of socks, which constantly circulate through a series of sock-sized wormholes. Unfortunately the wormholes have a tendency to close after picking up one sock, without picking up its pair. The sock will then be deposited in a different sock basket somewhere else in the universe, while a stray sock from that location will be sucked up and deposited elsewhere. Pairs of socks that are found together against all odds should be rolled up, as this prevents all but the largest wormholes from picking them up.
This theory accounts for the fact that there are socks in the basket which you *know* you never bought.
Theory Three: The Conspiracy Theory of Socks
When socks are manufactured, by some clever means they are made in such a way as to appear matching until they are washed. On washing, one sock will stretch and the other sock will shrink. Coloured socks will lose their colour at different rates, and white socks will absorb some of the lost colours, but each sock of a pair will attract a different dye.
This accounts for the socks in the basket which are to all appearances identical except for either length or colour. There is no way to combat this phenomenon.
Theory Four: The X-files Theory of Sock Relocation
Somewhere out there in the universe there is an alien race which requires socks to live. These aliens are all around us, and when we are not keeping careful watch on our socks, they steal and eat them. Being small, they can only eat one sock at a time, and that is why only one sock of a pair will go missing. These creatures excrete the digested sock under furniture in the form of “dust bunnies.”
Theory Five: the Paranoia theory of socks
Tiny micro-recorders located in each sock record the wearer’s thoughts, words and deeds for a specific length of time, generally up to a month. The socks continue to record until they are full, and then tiny transporters inside the washing machine transport the sock to the <insert favourite control bureau here headquarters. Although both socks contain these micro-recorders, since they contain duplicate information, one sock is left behind as an archived backup.
Occasionally the micro-recorders in one sock will break down, and be deposited as lint on every other item in the machine at the same time.
Remember, the only way to combat this is to either wear shoes at all times, or to go barefoot. Wherever you go, your socks are watching you.
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