Lighted House Count – 27
It’s only 42F! The clouds rolled away after the rain stopped. We got about 1/2 an inch in this last bout. There are some scattered clouds, but almost no wind. I’m up early and going to get Tempus moving on working on the car and take a nap.
We were pretty busy at the shop, although I was by myself most of the time. I had a mom bring her kid in to explain what Wicca is. That’s the 3rd time that’s happened in the last couple of weeks. Odd for it to happen right around a controversial election.
Tempus finally got all the papers delivered by mid-afternoon. The Duckmeister drove him around and apparently had fun doing so. 🙂 He ended talking to a lot of his customers, explaining why things were so very late. Everyone was nice about it.
I got some small chores done like making another recycled paper notepad and sorting out some odd papers, but otherwise I was just very tired. I ended up taking 4 naps during the day. Two were completely unexpected, but the bell on the door woke me!
We ended up staying at the shop overnight. Well, non-working car and by the time we realized how late it was, we weren’t going to pester someone for a ride. I don’t sleep well at the shop, though Tempus went to sleep and just stayed flat while I was up and down. I finally quit trying around 5:30 and did a little sewing and then just worked on computer files. It’s dried out enough that I’m going to wake him to work on the car and go back to sleep!
A beautiful pic of 11/27/15’s thick frost in Yachats by Ken Gagne!
Today’s plant is New Zealand Flax, Phormium Tenax. This is a very different plant from common flax or linseed, Linum usitatissimum. It is used mostly as an ornamental in the northern hemisphere, but at one time sustained a lively trade as a fiber. While the two plants are very different, they have similar magickal properties. These days the fiber is mostly used by paper artisans. – Masculine, Mercury, Fire, Hulda – Money spells, add to coins and carry, flax in the shoe averts poverty. For protection while asleep, add to mustard seed, put both opposite cold water. Protection from evil entering, scatter with red pepper by door. Health and healing rituals, sprinkle altar with flaxseed. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phormium For the traditional uses of the plant fiberhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_flax
In 1893 in New Zealand, 10 weeks after full Suffrage had been granted to women, the next election was held. Thanks to people like Kate Sheppard, leader of the New Zealand female suffrage movement, women voted for the first time in a national general election anywhere in the world. Australia was the second nation, fully nine years later (1902), although on December 18, 1894 women in the State of South Australia became the first in the world to be able to vote and stand for election. Among the earliest nations to grant women the vote include Finland (1906), United Kingdom (1918), and Afghanistan (1922). Switzerland was one of the last, in 1971. Women didn’t get to vote in the USA until 1920, the year that my mother was born! Photo is Kate Shephard, leader of the movement. There’s more info here: http://www.nzine.co.nz/features/suffrage2.html
The shop opens at 11am! Winter Hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. 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,
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 11/29 at 4:18am. 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 11/27 at 4:18pm. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances. God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at on 11/29 at 4:18am.
Now that the Pleiades and (below them) Aldebaran are shining due east after dark, can Orion be far behind? Orion’s entire iconic figure, formed by its brightest seven stars, takes about an hour and a quarter to clear the eastern horizon. By 10 p.m. it’s well up in fine pre-winter view.
Mercury (magnitude –0.5) and Saturn (magnitude +0.5) are hiding very deep in the glare of sunset, 25° or 30° lower right of Venus.
Goddess Month of Cailleach/Samhain runs from 10/31 – 11/27
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22
Runic half month of Naudhiz/ Nyd /Nauthiz – November 13- 27 – “Need-fire” – Time to prepare for winter. Consciousness is the Necessity. “That which does not destroy me makes me stronger.” – Nietzsche Runic half-month of Isa/ Is November 28-12 Literally, ‘ice’: a static period. The time of waiting before birth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2016 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).
Secret of the Unhewn Stone, Dec 23 – (This is the blank day in this calendar, the one day of the year that is not ruled by a tree and its corresponding Ogham alphabet character. Its name denotes the quality of potential in all things.)
Graves (1966) makes a case for an additional “blank” ogham, “the unhewn dolmen arch”, which he assigns to the mistletoe, a plant for which there is abundant evidence of its ritual importance to the Celts. There are two common mistletoes in Europe, both of which live as parasites on trees. The common mistletoe (Viscum album L.) parasitizes many tree species, including oaks in the western part of its range. It forms white berries between Samhain and Yule. The yellow-berried mistletoe (Loranthus europaeus L.) does not extend to western Europe. It is found primarily on oaks. It is most likely the “golden bough”, being more common in the eastern Mediterranean than the common mistletoe. The common mistletoe has been cultivated in North American for the Yule trade, and there are several native mistletoes in the genus Phoradendron. Mistletoes are in the Mistletoe family (Viscaceae).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Su 27 Low 4:44 AM 2.6 7:29 AM Rise 5:31 AM 6
~ 27 High 10:42 AM 8.2 4:40 PM Set 4:09 PM
~ 27 Low 5:36 PM 0.2
~ 27 High 11:53 PM 6.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Today Is Not a Dress Rehearsal
~ The key to success isn’t much good until one discovers the right lock to insert it in. – Tehyi Hsieh, Chinese educator, writer and diplomat
~ A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. – Mark Twain
~ A play should give you something to think about. When I see a play and understand it the first time, then I know it can’t be much good. – Thomas Stearnes Eliot (1888-1965) US writer
~ A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. – (Proverbs 17:22).
Dull November brings the blast;
Then the leaves are whirling fast. –Sara Coleridge (1802–52)
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GCF: The Folded Napkin – A Truck Stop Story
I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn’t sure I wanted one. I wasn’t sure how my customers would react to Stevie.
He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn’t worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don’t generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.
The ones who concerned me were the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded “truck stop germ”; the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks…
I shouldn’t have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.
After that, I really didn’t care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a breadcrumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table.
Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag.
If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.
Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That’s why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.
He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn’t unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.
A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.
Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war whoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.
Bell Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.
Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Bell Ringer a withering look.
He grinned. “OK, Frannie, what was that all about?” he asked.
“We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.”
“I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?”
Frannie quickly told Bell Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie’s surgery then sighed: “Yeah, I’m glad he is going to be OK,” she said. “But I don’t know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they’re barely getting by as it is.”
Bell Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn’t had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn’t want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.
After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.
What’s up?” I asked.
“I didn’t get that table where Bell Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off,” she said. “This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.”
She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed “Something For Stevie.”
“Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,” she said, “so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.”
She handed me another paper napkin that had “‘Something For Stevie”‘ scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: “Truckers!!”
That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.
His placement worker said he’s been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn’t matter at all that it was a holiday. He called ten times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.
I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.
Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn’t stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.
“Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,” I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. “Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!”
I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.
I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.
“First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,” I said. I tried to sound stern.
Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had “Something for Stevie” printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.
Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. “There’s more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. Happy Thanksgiving.”
Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.
But you know what’s funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table….
Best worker I ever hired.
Plant a seed and watch it grow.