Minus Tides start tomorrow! For some reason folks are starting to call the High Tides of this part of the cycle, “King Tides”. For the next week tides will be both higher and lower than usual. Higher matters in the winter with storms and rain. Lower matters because people go out too far and with the faster, steeper change in water levels, they get caught out on sandbars and such. It’s frightening. Not long after I first moved to the coast I was out on the sandbar beyond the wave crash area during one of these. I had splashed through water that was barely enough to splash….maybe an inch…. to get there. I realized that the tide had turned when one of the higher waves got me about knee-high on what had been dry sand and when I turned to go back, even though I ran, it went from knee-deep to chest-high on me as I half-swam, struggling back onto the main part of the beach! I had been out on the sandbar for less than 5 minutes! Don’t turn your back on Mama Ocean!
The sun is shining through the study window, copper-gold. There was an eye-hurting streak of it over the mountains just as I got into the study and the light just missed the altar. It has crept across it, now, bathing the whole in light. 43F and a light breeze. There’s a chance of rain later in the afternoon into the evening, but not much.
We started yesterday with phone calls and then sat down with coffee and cereal and got worked out what we were going to do, because one of the phone calls was that the part for the car hadn’t come! So Tempus started on laundry and I started packing our clothing for the weekend. Of course, most of that has ended up at the shop. <sigh>
Today’s Plant is Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia. “Ash before oak we’re in for a soak. Oak before ash we’re in for a splash” refers to a weather divination in England about spring rain and the leafing times of trees! Ash is a hardwood and is hard, dense, tough and very strong but elastic, great for making bows, , spears and drums as well as all kinds of furniture, even guitars and many of the early airplanes. It makes excellent firewood and has been used a lot for smoking meats. The bark can make a quinine substitute for fevers. The folk name for Ash is “Hoop Ash” , or “Nion” – (a rune name from the Irish Gaelic word Nionon which means heaven.) Elsewhere the ash and elm tree were known as the Widow Maker because the large boughs would often drop without warning. Witches were believed to fly on ash-handled broomsticks, while Viking ships were made of ash. In ancient Greece the Meliae were the ash nymphs and the dryads were the oak nymphs. Yggdrasil, the World Tree that supports the order of the Universe was an ash and humans were born from her branches. Odin hung on the tree to gain the knowledge of the Runes and therefore the ash tree is associated with communication. Ash trees have a sugary sap which may have been the basis of the Norse mead of inspiration. Ash Tree attracts lightening, so don’t stand under one during an electric storm. The ash fairy understands that problems are rarely solved on the level at which they were created. – Feminine – Sun & Neptune, Water & Fire – The “helicopter” seeds are used for traditional wish magicks. The Yule Log is traditionally of ash to bring the light of the Sun to the depths of winter and prosperity to the family. Wands and Staves (and traditionally the handle of the besom) made of this wood are good for healing, general and solar magic. The leaves attract love and prosperity. Sleep with them under your pillow and you will have psychic/prophetic dreams. Sleep with them in a bowl of water next to your bed to prevent illness. Wearing garters of green ash bark protects against the powers of magicians. Ash can heal children just by passing the child through a split in the tree’s trunk. It promotes strength, harmony, and a sense of being in tune with your surroundings. Ash is the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraxinus_latifolia
Jinjitsu (Festival of Seven Herbs), Japan – Seven-herb rice soup (nanakusa-gayu) is prepared on the seventh day of January, a day known as jinjitsu, literally ‘Human Day’. It is also called Nanakusa no sekku. On the morning of January 7, or the night before, people place the nanakusa (seven edible wild herbs of spring), rice scoop, and/or wooden pestle on the cutting board and, facing the good-luck direction, chant “Before the birds of the continent (China) fly to Japan, let’s get nanakusa” whilecutting the herbs into pieces. The pictures are the herbs in process and the soup/congee itself. More here: http://www.angelfire.com/de/poetry/Holy_Days/jan.html(search for “nana”) , here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinjitsu and here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanakusa-no-sekku
The shop will be closed for our annual vacation from 1/5-1/13. 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 1/9 at 5:31pm. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone – Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends at the Dark on 1/8 at 5:31am.
On Thursday morning the 7th, the waning crescent Moon stands left of Venus, Saturn, and Antares low in the southeast, as shown here. The thinning crescent Moon in the dawn will pair with Venus on the 7th, before occulting Venus in broad daylight that day for much of North America.
Before moonlight returns to the evening sky next week, explore some new sights in upper Eridanus with your scope — using Sue French’s Deep-Sky Wonders column, chart, and photos in the January Sky & Telescope, page 55. Do you know about the row of three 12th-magnitude galaxies in the field of Nu Eridani? And take apart famous NGC 1356 in Eridanus, “the definitive barred spiral galaxy,” with Going Deep on page 58 of the January issue.
Mercury is well placed low in the western sky at the beginning of the month for observers in the northern hemisphere. It passes inferior conjunction on the 14th, and is then well placed in the eastern sky at the end of the month for observers in the southern hemisphere.
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 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, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
©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
Th 7 Low 4:04 AM 3.3 7:52 AM Rise 5:26 AM 11
~ 7 High 10:02 AM 8.3 4:53 PM Set 3:16 PM
~ 7 Low 5:10 PM 0.0
~ 7 High 11:37 PM 6.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Because I talk about spiritual truth, and spiritual truth should never be sold – those who sell it injure themselves spiritually….
~ Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy. – Sarah Ban Breathnach
~ For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value. – Claude Monet (1840-1926) French landscape painter
~ Everything within you can be used to assist you. Everything. -Kerr Cuhulain
~ Only from the heart can you touch the sky. – Jalal~Uddin Rumi
The room was completely quiet,
all the lights were turned down low.
I could not hear anything at all,
and it was too dark in the room to see.
I wondered where everyone had gone,
this was supposed to be a party,
and I had hoped to do some dancing
and smooching with my boyfriend Paul.
All of a sudden, I heard a rustling sound
and an evil laugh behind me,
and I froze in fear. I didn’t dare move.
Then nothing at all, silence again…
After a few seconds, I started walking,
going down the hall alone in the dark.
Again, I could find no one around.
I was starting to get more and more scared.
Every time I started to relax,
again there was the evil laugh and rustling,
but when I would turn around to look
there was nothing at all.
All of a sudden I heard the front door bang,
and the sounds of loud voices and laughter.
“Where were you?” they asked,
“We were outside waiting for you.”
I had them walk around with me in every room
to make sure that there was no one there.
They told me that it was my imagination,
since they left me behind by mistake.
We turned all the lights on and the music,
and my fears seemed silly after all.
After the party, I went home and relaxed.
Then as I undressed, I heard an evil laugh…..© August 2005 Beth Johnson (Mystic Amazon)
Summoner – In these lean months the food we harvested in the fall dwindles. Our God in his youth looks to the Great Mother for sustenance. She who is the Birch Tree has dropped her leaves and kept safe everything that he needs to grow strong, and she will help us through the last of the winter. Hear now the words of the Birch Tree!
Priestess – I have seen many long and cold winters. When my leaves drop in the autumn I take my sweet sap down into the ground and nourish the Roots of Life. In that time I hide the fallen seeds and nuts for the hungry times of the late winter. As the Wheel turns to Imbolc I see all Life struggling to survive and I bring my sap back up from the earth.
While the snow gently caresses your back, realize that I am watching over you. To me you look up to see the fine difference between life and death.
Understand that I will not always give you what you want. Instead I will give you what you NEED, for that is the lesson of this time in the Turning of the Wheel.
I see to your safety but you must sacrifice to me your weakness, and your infancy.
Shelter behind my trunk as the winds of winter blow! Bite my bark and drink my sap as it begins to flow again! Dig through my roots! Find the fallen seeds of the last harvest! Take them, and use them to survive.
I will always provide. Priestess lights Goddess candle.
Summoner – The Birch Tree holds our God safely till his power grows strong enough for spring. He is the Red Bird that searches her roots for food. He sleeps in Her branches for shelter. When He is strong enough his song will herald the coming spring. Hear now the words of the Red Bird.
Priest – In the cold and storms of winter I bring the lesson of trust in the Great Mother of us all. I listen, Birch Tree, and will survive remembering your words.
As the Wheel turns the cold winter will end, and I will sing the spring back to us. My song will ease the winter winds, strengthen the burning of the sun, calm the great waters, and release the life that the winter earth has safe guarded for us. Until then I ask the Birch Tree to help me find my strength. Priest lights the God candle.
Birch Tree Meditation for Imbolc 2009
The wheel turns, and with it ebb and flow many things. Life and death, God and Goddess, Light and Darkness… During this time of the Wheel’s turning, the Goddess is in Her full power, and the God’s light grows stronger every day. The plants which been waiting silently in the Underworld, and itching to be reborn into the Light in the coming months… And the trees are beginning to pull their sap back up from the ground, refilling themselves with their own nurturing juices.
Close your eyes… Breathe deep, and let your body relax… Relax your mind, and as you breathe let your breath calm your muscles… your fears… your worries… As you inhale, let your breath soothe your soul… As you exhale, let your tension and stress flow with your breath, out of you, and into the Earth.
As you begin to relax, let yourself drift in the dark place, the nurturing womb of the Goddess. Here you are safe and loved, beyond all bounds. Here, you are cradled in the amniotic fluid of the Mother of Life…
In the darkness, you realize that you are enclosed within a shell; An egg-shaped barrier surrounds you… You feel moist air around you… And the shell sucks up the water and cracks, exposing you to the fresh air in the soil that now envelops you…
You know which way is up… And you feel the magickal pull of some force… A force that wants you to rise up… You try, but you know you’re not strong enough. You continue to breathe in the air, and drink the water, and feel the force pulling you, making yourself stronger. You grow up into the darkness, waiting to break free from the shadowed womb that has nurtured you.
Continuing to gather strength from the elements around you, you fill yourself with energy, aching to answer the call to rise up, to discover what lives and thrives above you… And you thrust yourself up to greet the light of the Sun…
Feel the power of the Sun pouring down on you, and recognize that it was the Sun’s power that was pulling you up from the depths… As day turns to night, and the days go by, you continue to grow. You rise up. Your roots go deeper, and your trunk becomes wider, and your branches stretch out and bud with the promise of fertile seed…
But the Wheel turns, and you begin to loose your leaves… Your juices flow down and into the Earth and your roots, while the cold frost of Winter approaches… You stand, cold and alone, having lost your fertile seeds, feeling the cold breeze rush through your leafless branches, and waiting for the Sun to regain his Throne so that Life can renew itself…
One day you feel the shift in the air, and you know that the Light is coming back… It is the time of year that it is now… The time when the Goddess is in Her full power… So are you, who are the Mighty Birch Tree, a symbol of the Goddess. You who know the Goddess as Maiden, for you were a sapling… You who know the Goddess as Mother, for you bore fertile seeds… You who know the Goddess as Crone, for you shed the ability of producing life and survived the cold harsh winter… And just like the Goddess Herself, you were reborn to begin the cycle once more.
Take some time to listen for messages from the spirit of the Birch, and from the Goddess… Take some time to feel what it has been like to grow and wither as a Birch Tree… Thank the Birch Spirit and the Goddess, and let yourself drift back into the darkness, where you can once again rejoin this world… As you breathe, let the visualization drift away, and let your breath remind you of your physical body.