Drippy, gloomy, although this morning there’s wind, too. Gusts are up into the mid-30’s and there’s a High Wind Warning for this evening. We got 4 tenths of an inch of rain yesterday and already 1.4 inches today! The clouds are sitting right on our heads here at 400 feet and as the light is growing I can see that the rain is bucketing down and blowing sheets. This feels so much more normal than last winter!
Yesterday I got my baking done. I made some apple tarts first, then put together the kransekake dough which was very, very hard to squeeze through the pastry tube. I finally ended up making drop cookies of it. I need to ask Brandon what I did wrong, because that was really much harder than what he described! I made some thumbprint cookies, as well and have enough treats for the holidays, now. Both before and after I was working on paperwork and catching up.
Today we’ll be at the shop. There are some ongoing things (candles) but we’re going to try to tackle the inventory. Sewing Time is this afternoon 3-6pm. We may quit early if no one comes in by 4 since the shop closes at 5.
KGW-TV 12/10/15 A blue heron decided to go fishing on Nyberg Lane in Tualatin!
Today’s Plant is Skunk Cabbage, Lysichitum americanum. This is one of the signs of spring here on the coast, where every drainage ditch or marshy field has it’s glow of brilliant yellow and bright, deep green. It is a famine food with a spicy or peppery taste, but contains calcium oxalate, which can upset the insides and even cause death if you get too much. Bears eat it after hibernation to get their intestines working again. It is used to cure sores and swellings, particularly after winter, when starvation conditions make these things immensely worse. However the typical use of the local peoples of this herb was to line baskets with the huge leaves to keep things from bruising or dropping through and to wrap around foods when baked under a fire, where it imparts a distinctive taste to the crust. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia references Eastern Skunk Cabbage, which is a different plant with a red flower, but the magicks are the same, Symplocarpus foetidus – Feminine, Saturn, Water – Carry when you have legal troubles, or keep in the drawer with the filed papers. Wrap in a bay leaf on a Sunday to draw good fortune. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysichitum_americanum and on Eastern Skunk Cabbage here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symplocarpus_foetidus
“Io, Saturnalia” is a cry that would have been heard around the Roman Empire at this time. The days wrapped around the Winter Solstice were a time for feasting and fun, gambling and flipping societal roles on their heads, masters and servants changing places just to be silly. The custom of cookies, oranges, nuts, sweets and small toys hung on evergreen branches (called strenae) was part of this, too. More here: http://wildhunt.org/2012/12/io-saturnalia-2.html and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia Btw, “Io!” is pronounced like the modern “Yo!” “Gangsta” culture’s been around that long? <grin>
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm, Thursday through Monday. Please note that the shop will be closed on 12/25 for Christmas and 1/1 for New Years. We will be open on Wednesday 12/23 and Thursday, 12/24 for last-minute shoppers. 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 Tide Change on 12/25 at 3:12am. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/18 at 7:14am.
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22
Runic half-month of Jera/ Jara 12/13-12/27 – Jara signifies the completion of natural cycles, such as fruition, and has a more transcendent meaning of mystic marriage of Earth and Cosmos. *Ø* Wilson’s Almanac free daily ezine | Book of Days | December 13
©2015 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright.
Ruis Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH), elder – Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) commences (Nov 25 – Dec 22) – Like other Iron Age Europeans, the Celts were a polytheistic people prior to their conversion to (Celtic) Christianity. The Celts divided the year into 13 lunar cycles (months or moons). These were linked to specific sacred trees which gave each moon its name. Today commences the Celtic tree month of Elder.
Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus) is a genus of fast-growing shrubs or small trees in the family Caprifoliaceae. They bear bunches of small white or cream coloured flowers in the Spring, that are followed by bunches of small red, bluish or black berries. The berries are a very valuable food resource for many birds.
Common North American species include American Elder, Sambucus canadensis, in the east, and Blueberry Elder, Sambucus glauca, in the west; both have blue-black berries.
The common European species is the Common or Black Elder, Sambucus nigra, with black berries.
The common elder (Sambucus nigra L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (33 feet) in damp clearings, along the edge of woods, and especially near habitations. Elders are grown for their blackish berries, which are used for preserves and wine. The leaf scars have the shape of a crescent moon. Elder branches have a broad spongy pith in their centers, much like the marrow of long bones, and an elder branch stripped of its bark is very bone-like. The red elder (S. racemosa L.) is a similar plant at higher elevations; it grows to 5 m (15 feet). Red elder extends its native range to northern North America, and it is cultivated along with other native species, but common elders are seldom seen in cultivation. Elders are in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).
Ruis – Elder Ogam letter correspondences
Month: Makeup days of the thirteenth Moon
Meaning: End of a cycle or problem.
to study this month Straif – Blackthorn Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: SS, Z, ST
Meaning: Resentment; Confusion; Refusing to see the truth
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 17 High 4:55 AM 7.5 7:47 AM Rise 11:56 AM 30
~ 17 Low 10:55 AM 2.8 4:38 PM Set 11:48 PM
~ 17 High 4:27 PM 6.8
~ 17 Low 11:03 PM 0.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – To be real, be yourself!
Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? – The last words in the story “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss are: “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” What do those words mean to you?
~ I wouldn’t want to be a part of any group that would let someone like me in it! – Groucho Marx
~ Your power is proportional to your ability to relax. – David Allen
~ Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln
~ All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Larry Bellinger
David Frost: Say is this still a Christian Country?
Billy Graham: No! We’re not a Christian Country. We’ve never been a Christian Country. We’re a secular Country, by our constitution. In which Christians live and which many Christians have a voice. But we’re not a Christian Country. – Dr Billy Graham is an American evangelist and associate of US presidents; Sir David Frost is a British interviewer
Berchta the Christmas Hag
Berchta comes to inspect your household at the Winter Solstice; she will poke into every corner of your farm and cott, thoroughly examine your barns for cleanliness and investigate if you have tended well to your livestock. She will carefully scrutinize the distaffs and spindles, the hanging herbs and the butter churns, the hooks and the kettles and check if your dining boards are scrubbed to whiteness.
Hearths must be swept clean for her inspection, doors and windows decorated with evergreens, holly and mistletoe, sweet food and fine drink made ready and hollowed cakes baked.
And she will leave gifts for children overnight… if they are good.
Berchta in Mythology
Her name is Berchta, and she was once the premier goddess of the German hearth, the Guardian of the household, and many more things besides.
Finding Berchta is like reading a crime mystery novel. We see her in the collections of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob Grimm records in Germanic Mythology accounts of the travelling goddess named Berchta or Holla. Now, Frau Holle is one of the names given in Germany to the wife of Wodan. As we move further north, Wodan becomes Odin and Holle is Frigg or Freya. Before that she was Erda, the earth, a word which is not of Indo European origin at all.
Berchta’s best known journey was during the twelve days following our Christmas when she traveled the countryside in her wagon bestowing gifts on those who had been hardworking and punishing those who had been lazy. Her entourage consisted of horned animals, elves, faeries and the ghosts of tiny children.
Christianity and Berchta
Christianity debased Berchta, and corrupted her into a scary old woman to frighten children and who was also associated with witches. Berchta was sometimes depicted with a long iron nose and one large goose foot. She is now the White Lady who steals softly into nurseries and rocks infants to sleep, but is the terror of all naughty children.
Christian missionaries declared that only those baptized could enter heaven, and in the world of humble folk the Goddess survived, Christianized in folklore as Bertha the Hag, the one who especially cherished the souls of unbaptized infants.
Throughout history we have celebrated the spirit and intention of the seasons in ritual and festival. We celebrated life’s renewal as the sun regenerated from winter’s cold darkness. We find a connection between the Winter Solstice and the goddess of the land in the Venerable Bede who calls Christmas Modranecht – Mother’s night. This and the appearance of the three Berchten during the twelve holy nights hints at that our ancestors did not only worship the reborn Solstice Sun at the time of the Winter Solstice, but also his mother, the Earth Mother, and that she appeared in three aspects.
In Bavaria, there still lingers the custom of three disguised women known as Berchten moving in procession through the village on the Feast of the Epiphany.
In Northern Europe the Yule log burned, keeping back the darkness and blessing the household with the promise that the sun would return again and with its light bring joy. This was the time when an altar of flat stone was made for Berchta on which burned a fire of evergreen boughs.
Berchta is the root word for the tree we call Birch and is related to words Birth, Begin and the Icelandic Birtu meaning Light. All of these words are related and all describe ‘the ‘bringing forth into the light’. And the light comes forth after the Winter Solstice.
Was Berchta the original Santa? Converting an ancient goddess into a sanitized nursery rhyme is nothing new, and today we know Berchta only as Mother Goose.