Lighted House Count – 501
Last Minus Tide of the cycle at 10:05 PM of -0.1 feet.
The sky is blue, but crossed with a lot of mare’s tails, which are thicker and gold by the low-hanging sun. Tomorrow is only 10 seconds shorter than today. Almost Yule! I thought the Moon was a pale cloud at first, hanging mid-way in the western sky. It’s 33F with almost no wind, even down by the water. That’s going to change tonight. We’ve a small craft advisory starting around 10pm and rain moving in with the wind after midnight.
Yesterday the shop got busy. We were way cold for the first couple of hours that we were in. The shop had gone down to 50F, but it went up to 65 at that point and we were fine. Folks are mostly gift shopping.
Herbs went well, sorting out bagged things. I spent the afternoon chasing down sources for some embroidery projects that I’ve been working on. Tempus was working in back, trying to get the worktable useable for today’s House Capuchin potluck. Yeah, that’s today. Strange clothing alert! 🙂
I forgot to say something about the sky Friday night. Venus was incredibly bright as we were leaving the shop and rather than have the car that was trying to drive in the gate of our car actually have a chance to do so, we pulled into the turn lane for Drift Creek Park and drove up and around to take a quick look at the ocean. Venus was actually leaving a light trail on the water!
We stayed rather late at the shop. One of the Chocolate Frog people stopped by to say hi and tell Tempus that he could help shift things up at the house today. Tempus made hamburger patties and mashed potatoes and veg for supper, then worked in back. I was still working on embroidery patterns.
Today, I don’t think I’m going to have a Job Corps student, but I’m here if he shows up (I think they’re on winter break….) so I’m going to make some piroski so they can cool in time and then get some of the herbs that got headered taken care of. The House Capuchin folks could be here starting as early as noon, but more likely around 3pm.
….well, I had students from Job Corps this morning, so instead of this coming out at 10am, it’s 12:15! 🙂
Today’s Plant is Vanilla Leaf or Sweet-After-Death, Achlys triphylla, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achlys_%28plant%29 . It grows all up and down the West Coast of North America and there’s another species in Japan.It was used as an insect repellent by the local peoples and has a strong vanilla scent if dried properly. It is used in Crossing the Bridge rituals along with rosemary and often placed in the hands of those who are Crossing or have just Crossed or in spells to ease their way.
The 2nd day of the Saturnalia was Epona’s feast. Epona is associated with horses, is Gallic in origin and is the only Celtic deity to be worshiped in Rome. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epona and a good article by Caitlin Matthews here: http://caitlin-matthews.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/eponas-day.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 email@example.com 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 12/28 at 10:53pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/20 at 5:56pm.
The Venus-Mars-Fomalhaut triangle continues to shrink in the twilight. . .
Right after dark you’ll find the Pleiades high in the east, with Aldebaran and the Hyades below them. Far below these, Orion is beginning to clear the horizon. By about 9 p.m. Orion is much higher and Sirius is sparkling below it, completing this famous tall stack of December stars.
Venus (magnitude –4.3, in Capricornus) is the bright white “Evening Star” blazing in the southwest during and after twilight. In a telescope, it’s a brilliant gibbous disc (about 61% sunlit) 19 arcseconds in diameter.
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22
Celtic Tree Month of the Secret of the Unhewn Stone, Dec 23
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
©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 18 High 3:55 AM 7.6 7:48 AM Set 11:17 AM 81
~ 18 Low 9:38 AM 2.8 4:39 PM Rise 10:21 PM
~ 18 High 3:16 PM 7.7
~ 18 Low 10:05 PM -0.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Don’t ever become so busy, that you fail to realize how happy you are.
~ When you’re a winner, you come back no matter what happened the day before. – Billy Martin
~ Your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them. – David Allen
~ The time has come to tell the truth. Again. There is no love without justice… If we remain unable to imagine a world where love can be recognized as a unifying principle that can lead us to seek and use power wisely, then we will remain wedded to a culture of domination that requires us to choose power over love. – Bell Hooks
~ You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are. – Eckhart Tolle
Oh, what a goodly and a glorious show!
The stately trees have decked themselves with white,
And stand transfigured in a robe of light;
Wearing for each lost leaf a flake of snow. – Richard Wilton (1827–1903)
Making Luminarias – School for the Seasons
Every year I host a Winter Solstice party and every year I like to send my guests home with some small hand-made gift. Last year, I found the perfect gift item in an issue of Martha Stewart’s Living: luminarias made from tin cans. Although Martha featured this craft project in summer, I thought it was the perfect gift for Winter Solstice, with its symbolism of the returning light. It also resonated with the personal image I had been working with all year: of letting my light shine, instead of hiding it.
The great secret to making these little lanterns is simple. Fill empty tin cans with water and put them in the freezer until the water is frozen. Then you can use a hammer and nail to make designs in the sides. After making enough lanterns for all 40 guests at my party, I learned some handy tips.
The best cans to use are condensed milk cans. [anja note, or canned mushroom cans] They are the only cans I found in a year of collecting that don’t have corrugated sides. Although the corrugated sides aren’t noticeable when the lantern is in use, they aren’t as attractive when the lights are on since the corrugations obscure the design.
To make the designs, brace the tin can against a towel, set the point of the nail where you want the hole to appear, and hammer away. The ice tends to chip away from the rim so begin at the top and work your way down. But don’t go too far. The biggest design flaw of my lanterns is that the wax leaks out of the bottom holes as the candle burns down. I invited friends over to help me make the lanterns and I enjoyed watching them come up with creative designs. I started out with fairly repetitive patterns, like crosses, stars, flowers (one dot in the center surrounded by 5 other dots) and borders of staggered dots. But you can also make sun symbols (a circle around a dot), wave patterns, diagonal lines, vertical lines of varying lengths, or simply scatter random dots across the surface, like stars in space. I suppose you could write your name or the name of a friend. You can use a screwdriver and other wood-working tools to make more complicated patterns than simple nail holes, especially if you are using large cans. But be careful. The heavier force of the screwdriver crumpled the sides of the flimsy tin cans I was using.
Also be careful when inserting candles into the lanterns. The inside edges are very sharp. For the same reason, I would be cautious about giving these to small children. I own a beautiful decorative tin lantern made in Mexico. It is made from a sheet of tin which was pierced, while lying flat, then bent into a circle and fitted onto a base. In this version, the sharp edges are all on the outside, making it easier to insert and light a candle.
My house was beautiful last Winter Solstice, glowing with these little tin lanterns. There were many left, after the guests departed with the lanterns they chose, and they’ve been put to good use all year long. I light one on my desk when I’m doing my writing, to indicate my recognition of the sacred nature of my work. A few found a place on the bathroom counter and are lit for candlelight baths. A few more garnish the piano, and ornament my altar. I know there are more packed away in the Christmas box. I look forward to setting them out and seeing how the house is transformed by the flickering light, like the sparkle of hundreds of stars, of my Winter Solstice luminarias.
[Another Anja note – You can use tea lights in these and avoid the wax leak problem and you can also use glass votive holders]