It feels warmer than it’s been, but it’s still only 65F. The Valley is supposed to get to 95 or 100 today. I’m glad I’m on the coast! There’s bright sunshine and the marine layer is way out to sea, but I’d bet it’s going to roll over us early tonight, maybe even by 3 or 4 o’clock.
Yesterday was nuts. Very little of what we intended got done. We got to the shop and things started the way we had planned, but after a couple of hours Rowan arrived with the stuff from the demo last weekend and we sat down and had a long talk. Just as she and Tempus were finishing unloading her car, Dennis, from Amber Connection, arrived and I spent the rest of the afternoon with him, figuring out what to buy of the pretties he was offering and drooling over most of the rest! We left the shop around 8:30, tired and a little discouraged, had supper and then I went upstairs to get a shower and we ended up talking metaphysics with Jeanne until 1:30am!
This morning I did some harvesting before we headed to the shop. We’ve been trying to get stuff put away and the displays sorted out and Tempus is making coffee. I need to make up a candle and incense basket for the Newport Swim Team fundraiser and have a lot of sewing to do today even before the official time (6-8pm). Tempus is going up to the house to do laundry, cut the grass and bring some more things down. He’s also going to the store because I don’t have the stuff for the corn sticks that I’m making for the paten for tomorrow night’s ritual.
I’ll be baking this evening while he’s on his paper route. I’m also supposed to make apple bread, but I need to figure out what my ingredient list is. I’m planning to use the recipe that I’ve had in this newsletter on the 24th. It’s a good one!
Today’s Feast is Ólavsøka, a big midsummer festival in the Faroe Islands. Parliament opens on this day. The name is St. Olaf’s Wake, after the death of St. Olaf in 1030CE, but the parliament predates that. There’s a concert and boat races, football and a bunch of other stuff going on…and it actually starts the night of the 28th… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%93lavs%C3%B8ka
Today’s plant is Candy Flower, Claytonia siberica, (also called Siberian Spring Beauty, Siberian Miner’s Lettuce or Pink Purslane) is a flowering plant in the family Montiaceae, native to Siberia and western North America. A synonym is Montia sibirica. The plant was introduced into the United Kingdom by the 18th century where it has become very widespread. It is similar to Miner’s Lettuce in properties, but not as edible. – Feminine, Moon, Water, – Sprinkling it inside the home brings happiness, so it’s good in floor washes or new home blessings. Carry it with you for luck and to protect from violence. Put it into sleep pillows or add to a dream catcher to keep away nightmares. I’ve actually slipped it between the mattress and sheets for this purpose. This one is also a spirit-lifter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claytonia_sibirica
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Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
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 8/2 at 6:12pm. Waning Crescent Moon –Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 7/29 at 1:45am.
The waning crescent Moon occults Aldebaran for observers in much of eastern North America early Friday morning. It will also occult the fainter, nearby star-pair Theta1 and Theta2Tauri for some of the region. See your August Sky & Telescope, page 50, or the maps and timetables online for all three occultations. As seen from the narrow graze linefrom El Paso, Texas, to Toledo, Ohio, Aldebaran’s non-zero angular diameter will be evident to the naked eye as the star gradually fades in and out multiple times among lunar mountains. See the Sky & Telescope article and the detailed material about the graze at occultations.org/aldebaran. Nearly a month later, on August 25th, the Moon will occult Aldebaran in daylight, as also briefly described in the August Sky & Telescope article.
Mercury and Venus are very low in bright twilight. About 15 minutes after sunset, use binoculars or a wide-field telescope to start scanning for Venus just above the west-northwest horizon. Venus is magnitude –3.9; Mercury is about magnitude –0.5 (1/25 as bright), and it’s fading. Look for it to Venus’s upper left; they’re 4° apart on July 22 and 7° by July 29. On the 29th Mercury is about 1° to the right of Regulus, even fainter at magnitude +1.4. Good luck.
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh)
Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992 Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe.
©2016 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 28 Low 2:28 AM 0.4 6:00 AM Rise 1:27 AM 40
~ 28 High 8:36 AM 5.2 8:45 PM Set 3:57 PM
~ 28 Low 2:03 PM 2.0
~ 28 High 8:26 PM 7.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Do not lose belief in your dreams.
~ I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes. – Kahlil Gibran
~ A good traveller is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveller does not know where he came from. – Lin Yutang (1895-1976) Chinese writer
~ Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once. – Stephen King
~ A river is a personality, with its rages and loves, its strength, its god of chance, its illnesses, its greed for adventure. – Jean Giono
If We Would Be Wise
When the path we travel
Grows smooth or familiar,
We grow unmindful;
Our attention wanders off
And gets snagged in the brambles,
And its feet get all muddy.
When we get hurt or feel discomfort,
Our attention is drawn back to the path,
To notice what we had ignored,
Or forgotten, or been too lazy heed,
As is well for us to do if we would be wise. – by Tasha Halpert www.heartwingsandfriends.com
If you have mashed potatoes left over, you can turn them into another traditional Irish dish.
Boxty (Potato Griddle Cakes) – makes12 x 3-inch pancakes (4 to 6 servings)
1 cup hot unseasoned mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated unpeeled raw potatoes
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
Butter or margarine, for frying
In large bowl mix together mashed potatoes and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in eggs and grated potatoes, then the flour, baking powder, salt, caraway seeds and pepper. Blend in milk. Heat 1 tablespoon butter to sizzling in large nonstick skillet. Drop potato mixture, about 2 1/2 tablespoons at a time, into skillet to form pa tties. Flatten slightly. Fry over medium-high heat until crisp and browned, turning once. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding butter to skillet as needed.Serve hot.
An old rhyme goes:
Boxty on the griddle,
boxty in the pan,
if you can’t make boxty,
you’ll never get a man.
From: Janet Warren, A feast of Scotland, Lomond Books,1990, ISBN 1-85051-112-8.
Colcannon (cally, poundy) http://www.chalicecentre.net/lughnasadh.htm
In some parts of Ireland, the Feast of Lughnasadh came to be called Colcannon Sunday, after a dish made from the first digging of potatoes. The cook put on a special white apron kept for the occasion, boiled a huge pot of potatoes over the fire, and mashed them with a wooden mallet. Often, they were seasoned with onions, garlic or cabbage. The cooked vegetables were then turned out onto a platter, and a well hollowed out in the middle for plenty of butter and hot milk. The family sat round and ate, while the cook ate hers from the pot itself—a special privilege. In more well-to-do households, the meal would be accompanied by meat: a flitch of bacon, newly-slaughtered sheep or roast chicken, and followed by seasonal fruits such as gooseberries and blackcurrants.
It was thought to be unlucky not to eat Colcannon on this day, so people often made sure to share theirs with less fortunate neighbors.
Here’s a more modern recipe for you to try.
1 medium cabbage, quartered and core removed
2 lb potatoes, scrubbed and sliced with skins left on
2 medium leeks, thoroughly washed and sliced
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoons each mace, salt, pepper
2 garlic cloves
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil the cabbage until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain off the water and chop the cabbage. Set aside.
Bring another pot of water to a boil and boil the potatoes until tender. Drain off the water and set aside.
Put the leeks in a saucepan, cover with the milk, bring close to boiling and then turn down to a simmer until tender. Set aside.
Add the mace, salt and pepper, and garlic to the pot with the potatoes and mash well with a hand masher. Now add the leeks and their milk and mix in with the potatoes, taking care not to break down the leeks too much. Add a little more milk if necessary to make it smooth. Now mash in the cabbage and lastly the butter. The texture that you want to achieve is smooth-buttery-potato with interesting pieces of leek and cabbage well distributed in it.
Transfer the whole mixture to an ovenproof dish, make a pattern on the surface and place under the broiler to brown.
After the first mouthful, Irish families might call out, “Destruction to the Red-haired Hag!” The red-haired hag is a personification of hunger.
From: Janet Warren, A feast of Scotland, Lomond Books,1990, ISBN 1-85051-112-8.
Lammas Curds – Crowdie http://www.chalicecentre.net/lughnasadh.htm
In the Scottish Highlands, when the cattle were brought down to the strath, (valley) from their summer pastures on the hills, mothers gave their children and all others returned from the sheilings a small cheese of curds made from that day’s milk, for luck and good-will. More curds and butter were specially prepared for the high feast later that day. The Lammas cheese was probably a kind of crowdie. Caraway seeds can be added to the recipe below to give it the authentic flavoring.
Put two pints (40 fl.oz.) of freshly sour or thick milk into a pan and place on a slow heat and watch until it curdles. Do not allow the milk to simmer or boil otherwise the curds will harden. When the curd sets let it cool before you attempt draining the whey.
Line a colander with a clean muslin cloth and transfer the curds into it and leave until most of the whey has drained before squeezing the last of the whey out by hand. Mix the crowdie with a little salt until it has a smooth texture. Now blend the crowdie with a little cream and place the mixture in a dish and allow to rest in a refrigerator.
From: Country Cookery – Recipes from Wales by Sian Llewellyn.
Silliness – Oxymorons – Definite maybe