A lot of work got done yesterday. It started with finding out that the Herb Bunch folks were having illness and weather problems and having to check our own shop ceiling for leaks again. Tempus and I spent awhile recuperating and then he started working on his own organizing and I got a little farther on getting the bottle display re-set and then some of the toys. At that point we got busy. We had a bunch of people in between noon and 3.
Tempus headed home at 2 to catch up on some chores and sleep. By three I was able to sit down with some hand-sewing and Willow and Caleb stopped by. We got him outfitted with a hand-me-down tunic and then sat and talked recipes for 2 full hours!
When Tempus got back after dark we closed up and came home, had supper and then started some cooking. I made “caboges” (a cabbage dish with onions, a bread gravy and marrow), a bean pottage with pork, potted cheese and set up some of the other foods for today’s potluck. I finished cooking around midnight, but I take it easy in the kitchen. I don’t work straight through. I’ll do one thing, then sit, then do another, then sit. It takes awhile, but it gets done!
Today expect people in strange clothing. 🙂 It’s House Capuchin’s potluck day, so we’ll be in the new outfits we made for 12th Night! We’ll be open normal hours, so come in and shop or gawk or chat as you please!
Seriously cool! Bubbles as they freeze! http://www.wunderground.com/news/what-happens-when-you-blow-a-frozen-bubble
Today’s plant is Kinnikinnick, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. It is used medicinally for urinary tract complaints, as a “poverty food”, and as a smoking herb, known for giving visions. Magickally it is used for ceremonies. Add to sachets designed to increase psychic power. Full article here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctostaphylos_uva-ursi More inhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearberry
Today is the date in 1929 when Popeye, the creation of cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar, first appeared in a comic strip in Thimble Theater! I’d bet if you’re over the age of 40 you can sing the tune of, “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man (toot, toot), I’m Popeye the Sailor Man (toot, toot), I fights to the finish, when I eats me spinach, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man (toot, toot)!” …probably if you’re under 40, too…. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popeye
The shop opens today at 11am! 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 1/23 at 5:46pm. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 1/22 at 5:46am.
If you don’t know Kemble’s Cascade, it’s a lovely binocular asterism in Camelopardalis north of Perseus now high overhead. It’s a straight stream of mostly faint stars 2° long, running northwest to southeast. You can use the finder chart in Gary Seronik’s Binocular Highlight on page 43 of the January Sky & Telescope. Most of its stars are too faint (7th or 8th magnitude) to show on that chart, but the black circle there is centered on its 5th-magnitude middle star.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan
Runic half-month of Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
©2016 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
Su 17 High 6:08 AM 8.2 7:48 AM Set 1:10 AM 48
~ 17 Low 12:58 PM 1.3 5:05 PM Rise 12:16 PM
~ 17 High 6:53 PM 5.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I manifest all things in association with clarity. I breathe clarity into my body.
~ A company of tyrants is inaccessible to all seductions. – Voltaire (1694-1778) French Philosopher and Author
~ Life has value only when it has something valuable as its object. – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
~ The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents. – Belva Lockwood (1830-1917) US attorney
~ Life has only the meaning and value that we give it. – Anonymous
Then came old January, wrapped well
In many weeds to keep the cold away;
Yet did he quake and quiver, like to quell,
And blow his nails to warm them if he may. – Edmund Spenser (c. 1552–99)
In Mexico, there are two “patron saints.” The first, and foremost, with a holiday on December 12, is Guadalupe, called variously St. Guadalupe and Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Church now says this is the Virgin Mary who made an appearance before a young man named Juan Diego in December 1531. She looked like an Indian maiden and she appeared on Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City.
Although she is assumed to be the Virgin Mary, she is nonetheless called the “patron saint” of Mexico. She is most likely nothing but the ancient Aztec goddess Coatlique, whose holy day also happened to have been December 12.
The other saint you hear about a lot in Mexico is the mysterious “San Juan de los Lagos,” Saint John of the Lakes. There never has been such a person, of course. It was obviously an ancient lake god, presumably the patron saint of Mexico City, which was built on top of Lake Texcoco. He could have been Tpoztecatl, ancient god of agriculture, or even Huitzilopchtli, sun god of the Aztecs.
All over the world, in Roman Catholic countries, you will find “patron saints” who never existed. They are the early pagan gods and goddesses converted to Christianity for public relations purposes.
The earliest recorded “conversion” of a pagan goddess was Saint Sophia in Asia Minor. Very early, Christians had a hard time converting the populace of Greece and the Hellenic cultures of the region because the people were quite happy with their goddess, Minerva, also known as Pallas Athena, the patron deity of the city of Athens.
The word “pallas” is the ancient Greek term for a maiden. Athena is thought (by Robert Graves and others) to be a version of Anatha, the Sumerian Queen of Heaven. With the title of Pallas, she would have been the ancient Goddess in her maiden aspect.
Minerva was universally called Sophia — wisdom. So a “Saint Sophia” was invented, and churches all over Asia Minor were built in her honor. She was even said to have had three daughters — St. Faith, St. Hope and St. Charity!
The entire region converted to Christianity as soon as the church declared the region’s favorite goddess to be a Christian saint.
So it really wasn’t the inherent stupidity of the Irish, as some scholars allege, that allowed them to be converted in a similar way. They reacted like people all over the world did. “Make my god a Christian saint and I’ll become a Christian.”
Interestingly, the Irish goddess converted to Christianity was the same as Pallas Athena, it was the maiden aspect of the Goddess. Where in continental Europe, the Mother aspect was chosen — witness all the cathedrals built to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God — in Ireland, as in Asia Minor, it was the maiden goddess honored.
The Irish goddess was called Brigid (pronounced “breed”) or Brigit. She was a triple goddess (some said all three were named Brigid!) and she was the goddess of wisdom (like her Asia Minor counterpart). Her sisters were the goddesses of healing and smithcraft respectively.
At Kildare there was a temple to Brigid, with a perpetual fire kept by 19 priestesses. The number 19 was used because there are 19 years in the Celtic “great year,” when the solar and lunar calendars coincide. Brigid was always called “The Three Blessed Ladies of Britain” or “The Three Mothers” and she was identified with the moon and the three phases of the moon. (As such, she is also identical to the ancient earth goddess, Hecate.) It was common for the ancients to accept their goddess as being three people. This is where the Christians got their concept of the trinity.
Actually, Brigid can be traced back to Illyricum, the ancient land now occupied by Croatia (and extending over Serbia, Bulgaria, and Austria). Her shrine was in the city of Brigeto and she was called Brigantes, accepted by the Romans as identical to Juno Regina, Queen of Heaven. Her followers were often called Brigands, or outlaws, and Robin Hood was most likely the title of a leader of “brigands” fighting against the Christian conquerors.
The Gaelic Celts brought Brigid with them when they left their original home in Galatia — in Asia Minor, no less, and moved across Europe to settle in what is now Ireland.
In Ireland, the Church could not talk the people into giving up the worship of Brigid, so they “converted” her to St. Bridget, claiming she was a nun who founded a convent in Kildare (where the goddess’ temple already was located.)
The stories about “St. Bridget” were the same stories told about the goddess: that everywhere she walked, flowers and shamrocks sprang up (the three-leafed shamrock, of course, was the symbol of the triple Brigid), that in her shrine it was always springtime and that in her convent the cows never went dry — all fertility stories.
The Irish priests said, however, that Brigid wasn’t really a saint at all: she was the Queen of Heaven, the mother of Jesus herself. The Church ruled that since Bridget couldn’t be the mother of Jesus (Mary already had that job all sewed up), she could be the step-mother of Jesus — which meant, of course, that Jesus had to have been raised in Ireland, a story frequently told in the old days.
The goddess Brigid had a consort named Dagda, meaning “father.” The Latin word for father was Patricius, so the Church made him a saint as well, “St. Patrick.” The myths say Patrick was the person who Christianized Ireland in the year 461, but we know Ireland actually was converted in the seventh century by Augustine of Canterbury, who was responsible for getting Patrick canonized.
Patrick, the sun-god, has his day on March 17, the beginning of spring in Ireland.
Interestingly, the churches in Ireland dedicated to “St. Bridget” were also dedicated to the O’Kelly clans. All the baptismal fees in those churches belonged to the O’Kellies. If you know any Irishman named Kelly you can tell him or her something about the history of their name. The word means they are descended from the kelles, or sacred harlots (to use the Church name) of the goddess Brigid.
The goddess’ priestesses were not allowed to marry, so they were free to choose any man they wished. Children born to such unions were called O’Kelly, because they were born of a kelle.
Every woman today who gets married is given the goddess name, of course, for the word “bride” is simply an alternate spelling of Brigid.
The feast day of Brigid is February 1, which was also considered the first day of spring to pagans. It is the day of quickening, when vegetation comes alive (quickens) in the bowels of the earth. For this reason, it is often called Imbolc, a Celtic word meaning “in the belly.” It’s also called Oimelc (“ewe’s milk”) for this was also the lambing season in ancient Ireland.
In ancient Rome, the first two weeks of February were called the Lupercalia, in honor of Lupercus (or Faunus), god of agriculture, and Venus, goddess of fertility. It was also a festival of quickening, and also honored the goddess as maiden. It involved parades and the lighting of fires.
Lupercalia ended, of course, on February 14, a day we now call St. Valentine’s Day, after yet another spurious “saint.” The name was most likely originally “Gallantine’s Day,” the day of the lover. On this day, a couple could agree to a trial marriage, living together until the next Lammas, August 1. “Will you be my Valentine?” was the way a woman would propose such an engagement to a man. (The Valentine “heart,” of course, was not the physical heart we are acquainted with, but another part of the anatomy entirely.)
Fires have always been important on Imbolc. The fires symbolized the new-born sun, born at Yule and the sparks of new life in springtime. One ancient custom was the lighting of candles in every window of the house, to let the world know of coming spring. The sight of every home blazing with candles must have been comforting to people still feeling the bitter cold of February up north!
The Church made this time the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin (“virgin” was just another word for “maid,” of course) and they called in Candlemas, the feast of candles. Since people were already lighting candles at home anyway, the Church declared this a time to go to church and get your candles blessed.
During the Burning Times, the great Inquisition of Europe, it was said that witches considered Candlemas their most sacred festival. This was probably the Church’s way of warning people not to take Brigid too seriously.
One of the most important customs at Candlemas in ancient times was the forecasting of weather. In the old English poem: “If Candlemas Day be bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.” It was once thought that the quarters (the equinoxes and solstices) foretold the weather directly (i.e. a warm Christmas meant a warm winter) while the cross-quarters (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain) foretold the weather negatively.
We keep this custom by calling February 2 “Groundhog’s Day” and predicting the rest of the winter by whether or not the groundhog sees its shadow or not. If it sees its shadow then Candlemas Day will be “bright and clear.”
There were a number of customs associated with this day. One was the baking of “Bridget’s bread” on this day. This goes back thousands of years to the baking of cakes for the Queen of Heaven spoken of in the Bible. The last of the precious grain stored over the winter would be prepared into cakes on this day, in the prospect of much more grain in the year ahead.
Another custom called for the making of “Bridget’s crosses” out of straw. The cross was the ancient symbol for the sun (the rays of the sun seem to come out in cruciform shape) and the straw crosses were in honor of the reborn sun. The crosses would be placed around the home for protection during the following year.
One young woman each year would also be chosen to represent the goddess, the “Bride.” She would wear a crown of candles on her head that day, again in honor of the sun.
The meaning of this holiday for us is simply this: this is the time of quickening, the time of new life. It’s a time to be thankful for all the new life that arises in spring, a time to plan ahead for the new year and a time to begin the long processes of making a living, bringing in a new crop or getting on with our lives.
New projects are well begun on Brigid’s Day. This is a time of hope, a time for looking positively at one’s world.
This week, go out and buy a candle for the Maiden Goddess — and for yourself. This week, light it and place it in a window of your home. Focus all your hopes and dreams for the coming year onto that candle. And dedicate it to hope.