It’s 38 and drippy, but it’s silvery, rather than gloomy. Little water droplets are sparkling on the foliage. We’re supposed to get a little more rain and then it’s supposed to dry up for a day or so.
Yesterday started a little slowly since Tempus wanted to run down to the shop and re-set things by himself. I worked on getting various things that we have for sale posted and then found the filbert sack (Thanks, Jeanne!) and took them out in the living room where Robyne was and we talked while I sorted.
I was pretty busy with customers. I got Tempus a shopping list during the day and worked on some small projects, but as the weather closed back in, even the traffic on the highway really slowed down, and as everyone else closed at the normal hours, I headed home, too.
I got a nap, then since Tempus had long since headed to Newport to do some shopping before his paper run, Robyne and I had some supper and chatted awhile, then I started setting up a soup and wrote ‘tween times.
Tempus got in at 11 and said that he nearly didn’t make it to Freddie’s since they closed at 6pm! I got the parsnips and turnips into the soup and then we both headed to bed….well, he did. I decided to wait up to see Santa fly over on the Santa Tracker. 🙂
I’m not sure what time Tempus got back in, but he’s soundly asleep, now. I have a turkey breast to roast and need to get to that in the next few minutes. Sash might be able to get down here from Newport since he actually has a day off, but otherwise we’re going to have a quiet day.
Yes, those are cookies! Hope you have a good holiday!
Today’s plant is Mistletoe. There are a number of different genii (plural of genus….) that this name is given to. The most common holiday mistletoe in the US comes from the Phoradendron genus. It is a parasitic plant that can kill trees with a bad infestation. The local folks in the PNW used to call it “basket plant”, because of the resemblance to large baskets hanging in naked winter trees. It is the plant of the Celtic Tree Month of the Secret of the Unhewn Stone. The seeds glue themselves to branches where they take root. This tenacity and the green, even in the times when most plants with leaves have lost them, appealed to the ancients and leads to some of the magicks. It was sacred to the ancient druids who would cut it from an oak with a golden sickle. – Masculine, Sun, Jupiter, Horned God – Mistletoe is a plant of masculine potency and used in many love/lust spells. Wear it for protection or hang it in the house to direct lightning away. Wear it also to attract love, or to help conceive. It is also associated with spells of liberation, used in the cutting away of toxic attachments and to help one find peace.
Today is the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” and may be the actual “Reason for the Season”. This is the first day that the sun (if you’re watching *very* closely) has a shorter shadow at noon. Today is actually less than ½ a minute longer than on the solstice, but accurate sundials & noon marks predate accurate clocks by a long shot! More on the god of this day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus More on noon marks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noon_mark and sundials http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundial
The shop is closed today! Special Holiday Hours!. 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. 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,
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. 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 12/26 at 3:12pm. 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 1/8.
Friday, Dec. 25, 6:11 a.m. EST – Full Moon – The December Full Moon is known as the Oak Moon, Cold Moon or Long Nights Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.
Merry Sol Invictus! In late Roman times this date was celebrated as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun — when the Sun began to recover from its long decline with the hopeful promise, in the cold and the dark, of a new spring and summer to come.
This evening the Christmas Moon, just a day past full, hangs in the east in Gemini. Look for Castor and Pollux, the heads of the Twins, to its left. Very high above Castor and Pollux shines the constellation Auriga, with bright Capella.
By now Mercury is sparkling in good view low in the west-southwest in twilight. Higher Altair helps guide the way. They’re 32° apart: about three fists at arm’s length. (The visibility of the fainter stars in twilight is exaggerated.)
Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) remains at about magnitude 6.3 as it climbs higher in the east before dawn. It’s unlikely to brighten much further, but it will move much higher before dawn in the next few weeks. See the December Sky & Telescope, page 45, or our article Get a Predawn Peek of Comet Catalina. Both provide finder charts.
Uranus is well placed in Pisces in the evening sky all month.
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch
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 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
©2015 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 25 High 12:27 AM 7.3 7:51 AM Set 7:41 AM 99
~ 25 Low 5:49 AM 2.7 4:42 PM Rise 5:33 PM
~ 25 High 11:42 AM 9.3
~ 25 Low 6:42 PM -1.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I have a place in this world.
~ You are the Child of Light within the heart of the Cosmos. Hope and Harmony radiate from you into the darkness. Do not forget the Child when you wear the golden crown, for the Child and Sovereign are one and the same. The sacrifice on the altar of the Watcher is of ego, not innocence, and with sacrifice it is thus transformed to copper-gold. – Christopher Penzak
~ All literature is gossip. – Truman Capote (1924-1984) US writer
~ I see no reason why I should tickle stones or waste time on polishing bronze. – Louise Nevelson (1889-1988) Russian artist
~ Hand out hope. – Kerr Cuhulain
A small blue world
Sits in my palm,
I don’t know why,
But I am sad;
It marked me
That small world,
Seeded with hopes of
And new cycles
Of life – Written and Submitted by Nicole S Kapise, Copyright August, 2005 PaganDreamr)
In the British Isles, Celtic Yule traditions survive with amazing resilience. The fight of the Oak and Holly Kings, representatives of the waxing and waning year, is recalled in the still-current hunting of the wren — a custom also found in ancient Greece and Rome. In the myth behind the practice, the robin redbreast, identified with the Oak King, caught and killed the wren, representative of the waning year and the Holly King.
The robin traditionally trapped the wren in an ivy bush, in Ireland a holly bush, the Farrars write. The robin’s tree was the birch, the tree associated with the after-solstice period in the Celtic tree calendar. In the wren hunt, according to Pennick, a group of droluns (Wren Boys) captured the wren, which during the rest of the year was sacrosanct. The droluns ensconced the bird in a lantern and trooped it around the village on a holly branch on its way to death. Alternatively, men with birch rods chased the wren and killed it. Wren Boys still tour County Clare in west Ireland on December 26, now a group of adult musicians who go door to door with a wren effigy on a holly branch. In County Mayo, Wren Boys are holly-bearing children, including girls, who knock on doors repeating a traditional verse that asks for money to bury the wren.
In Scotland and the North of England, in a possibly related custom, masked and caroling children formerly celebrated Hogmany on New Year’s Eve, traveling the neighborhood soliciting oat cakes. The wren’s rival, the robin of the waxing year, was linked to Robin Hood, according to Robert Graves in The White Goddess. Robin was a god of the witches; Graves writes that a London tract of 1693 named Robin Goodfellow an ithyphallic witch-god. In Cornwall, he notes, “robin” means phallus. Robin “Hood,” or “Hod,” was thought to exist in the hod, the log at the back of the fire, in other words the Yule log. Woodlice who ran from the burning Yule log were called “Robin Hood’s steeds,” and Robin was said to escape up the chimney as a robin.
The Yule log is traditionally of oak, again connecting it with the Oak King; in some places it’s burnt bit by bit through the twelve days of Christmas, but elsewhere celebrants retain a chunk to light the next Yule log. Another British Christmas custom recalling the kings’ fight was traditional mummery, in which thebrilliantly armored St. George fought and defeated a dark Turkish knight. But, as Valiente notes, the victorious St. George immediately cried out he had killed his brother, showing that “darkness and light, winter and summer, are complementary.” A mysterious doctor revived the Turk, and all rejoiced. Too often, as the Farrars write, this understanding of light and dark’s balance turns to a contest of good vs. evil. In Dewsbury, Yorkshire, for nearly seven centuries, church bells knelled “the Old Lad’s Passing” or “the Devil’s Knell” at Christmas Eve’s eleventh hour, warning the Devil that Christ was coming.
Other connections link the Holly King and the Devil. The Farrars tie the Devil’s nickname, Old Nick, to Nik, a name for Woden, “very much a Holly King.” Santa Claus — St. Nicholas — is likewise a disguised Holly King.Not only do households put up holly garlands in his honor, in early tales he rode a horse, as Woden does, rather than driving reindeer.
Winter Solstice tidbit
From: http://www.irishclans.com/articles/celtchristmas.html – Reclaiming the Winter Solstice by Melanie Fire Salamander
Search for the roots of today’s Christmas traditions and you will find
your way back to the ancient Celtic festival of Alban Arthuan, held
during the Winter Solstice on December 21. One of the principle reasons
for the rapid propagation of Christianity throughout Europe during the
first millennium was the willingness of Christian leaders to incorporate
the rituals, beliefs and customs of other religions. Few of the ancient
displaced religions were more assimilated than the Druids, Wiccans and
Alban Arthuan is one of the ancient Druidic fire festivals. Taking place
on December 21st through 22nd (due to the method the Druids used to
measure one day), Alban Arthuan coincides with the Winter Solstice.
Translated, it means “The Light of Arthur,” in reference to the
Arthurian legend that states King Arthur was born on the Winter
Alban Arthuan is also known as Yule, derived from the Anglo-Saxon
“Yula,” or “Wheel of the Year” and marked the celebration of both the
shortest day of the year and the re-birth of the sun. Alban Arthuan was
also believed to be a time of increased fertility, as were many of the
other Fire Festivals, such as Sam Hain and Beltane. Early Celtic
calendars measured the months according to the moon’s revolution of the
earth. This differed from the somewhat arbitrary Julian Calendar which
relied more upon the whims of Popes than nature’s lunar and solar
The custom of burning the Yule Log, the Yule-associated tradition that
is most familiar to people today, was performed to honour the Great
Mother Goddess. The log would be lit on the eve of the solstice, using
the remains of the log from the previous year, and would be burned for
twelve hours for good luck.
Decorating the Yule tree was also originally a Pagan custom; brightly
coloured decorations would be hung on the tree, usually a pine, to
symbolize the various stellar objects which were of significance to the
Pagans – the sun, moon, and stars – and also to represent the souls of
those who had died in the previous year. The modern practice of gift
giving evolved from the Pagan tradition of hanging gifts on the Yule
tree as offerings to the various Pagan Gods and Goddesses.
Some of the current traditions surrounding “Father Christmas” or Santa
Claus can also be traced back to Celtic roots. His “elves” are the
modernisation of the “Nature folk” of the Pagan religions, and his
reindeer are associated with the “Horned God” (one of the Pagan
Although Christmas is a major holiday in Ireland, it is not widely
celebrated in Scotland. Some historians have suggested that the reason
Christmas is downplayed in Scotland is because of the influence of the
Presbyterian Church or Kirk, which viewed Christmas as a “Papist”, or
Catholic event. As a result, Christmas in Scotland tends to be a sombre
event, in direct contrast to the next Celtic festival, Hogmany, held on
January 1. Hogmany is generally considered to be the much more
significant celebration and it is a tradition that is beginning to
spread outside of Scotland’s borders.
SBB, December, 1999