Blessings of the Solstice! Light is Returning to the World!
Lighted House Count – 503+53 = 556
Ancient Light’s Holiday Hours!
Regular hours on 12/22 (plus Sewing from 6-8pm)
Open Circle for Yule Sabbat – 7pm Friday, 12/23 We’ll be open until 7pm.
Open Christmas Eve from 10am to 7pm, Saturday 12/24
Closed Christmas Day, Sunday 12/25
Open Monday 12/26, Wednesday 12/28 and Thursday 12/29 from 11-5pm (Regular Hours)
Closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12/30-1/1
Back to regular hours on 1/2/17!
It’s lovely out there and 52F. It was only 33 on the paper run, but we didn’t hit any ice. There’s almost no wind, just light breezes, not enough to make my wind chime sound. We got almost 9/10’s of an inch of rain yesterday before it quit, but gosh the night was pretty!
Yesterday started easily. We took our time getting going but eventually got to the shop, I got the newsletter out and then got to work. I kept griping all day, “Why is it that when I have a lot to do I have a vicious headache?” <sigh> But I did keep going. We finally got our holly delivery and a bunch of new necklaces, including some Glow-in-the-dark pendants came in, plus some new stuff for the embroidery section, so all of that needed to be labeled. We’ll have some new house blessings for Thursday through Saturday, too.
I finally got the calendar back up and running again. I’m not sure how that got so out of date! ….but you can lean on it again, up through January. I did a bunch of other updates, but I’ve *got* to get to the website! I managed to get some of the newly packed herbs hung, then set up a few pairs of earrings and then fixed a couple of pendulums that needed tags.
Tempus picked me up at about 3:20. It was quite cold because it had cleared off. We had to sort a bag of flour that had split before we headed back out. The stars were very bright and the Moon shed a surprising amount of light for being past the last quarter. A lot more people have put up lighted decorations for the season and we had fun talking and pointing those out on the way. It was a beautiful Longest Night! Tempus had to stop and write some thank yous to some of his customers, so that slowed us down a bit and we took the few minutes to head out to the spring for some more bottles of good water and then stopped at the park to look at the stars and ocean before heading to bed at a little after 6am.
I was awfully tired, I guess, which is why this is coming out so late. I slept until a few minutes before 3! Not a lot of the day left… We’re going to clean up for the week and get some more chores done and then head home to do chores before turning in.
Written a few years ago on Yule. “I took a few minutes with a lighted candle or so to watch the fading of the light at sunset, to remember how dreadful that must have been to our distant ancestors who had only experience to say that the Sun would return. I thought about my Babicka who watched the sun set every day that she could each year at this time and would shake her head and come in and bake up a storm to “tempt the Sun back”. I thought about my Dedi, who was my first teacher, who often would set up something special on Solstice Night for us… often stories and his special eggs and mushrooms midnight snack and then he would make pancakes at sunrise. Now, I understand it as a special offering, but as a kid it was just something that he did and my mother would fuss about his keeping us awake, but allowed it.”
Here’s a pic by Ken Gagne of the stormy ocean last year (12/21/15).
Today’s plant is the trillium, specifically the varieties for our state, of the Giant Purple Wakerobin, the Idaho Trillium and Round Leaf Trillium. These are one of the characteristic flowers of the Oregon spring forests, the flowers of spring called Wakerobin since in many places robins and trilliums appear at the same time. It is also called Birthroot and has been used medicinally to control bleeding. Tripartite petals and flower make this an unusual plant and since they grow widely separated in the undergrowth of forests, they’re striking when you come across them. – Feminine, Venus, Water – Carry the root to attract money and luck or – Masculine, Venus & Saturn, Earth – the magicks of trillium are concerned with boundaries and lust. ….and they’re beautiful! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillium Yes, it’s odd to have two sets of correspondences for one plant, but that’s the way this one works!
Yule/Winter Solstice is the Wicca celebration of the birth of the Sun, the return of the God to the physical world. Today the Holly King lays down his crown for the Oak King. We work with a lot of myths and folklore from around the world, too, but the return of hope, the spark of new life is what we’re working with here. Today is also the beginning of the new year and the end of the first year of the new Cycle in the Mayan Long Count among other things. There is always hope that things will get better, that the world will not end and that the Sun will always rise in the morning, bringing us Light and Joy and Love. Blessed Yule!
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 12/28 at 10:53pm. 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 12/25 at 10:53pm.
Shortest day of the year. We reach the solstice at 5:44 a.m. EST (10:44 UT). This is when the Sun is at its southernmost declination in Earth’s sky for the year and begins its six-month return northward. Winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere, summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Algol should be at its minimum brightness, magnitude 3.4 instead of its usual 2.1, for about two hours centered on 7:35 p.m. EST. Compare it to Gamma (γ) Andromedae, magnitude 2.1. Chart. Algol takes several more hours to fade and to rebrighten.
The waning Moon passes Jupiter and Spica high in the south these cold dawns. (The Moon is positioned for the time of dawn near the middle of North America.) Step out at the beginning of dawn Thursday morning the 22nd, and high in the south you’ll find Jupiter, fainter Spica, and the waning crescent Moon in a line, as shown here. Bundle up and bring the telescope!
Saturn is out of sight in the glare of sunrise.
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
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 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,
©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
W 21 High 6:28 AM 7.5 7:50 AM Rise 12:26 AM 52
~ 21 Low 1:01 PM 2.5 4:40 PM Set 12:46 PM
~ 21 High 6:34 PM 5.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Each new day offers us possibilities, don’t waste it.
~ The Government that robs Peter to pay Paul, can always depend upon the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw
~ Your power is just waiting to be set free by your will. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ The great individual is the one who does a thing for the first time. – Alexander Smith
~ Being fully present is the best guarantee for a bright future. – Guy Finley
Fetched a cake fer little Jake,
And fetched a pie fer Nanny,
And fetched a pear fer all the pack
That runs to kiss their Granny!
–James Whitcomb Riley
Bringing Back the Sun – Incense of the day: Sage
The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. The Sun has reached its weakest point, but on this night it will be reborn and begin its growth to the long days of summer. All the holidays of December are connected to this event. The Celts call this day Alban Arthuan. The name Yule is Germanic. At this time of the year many people become depressed. Often this is blamed on the fact that the celebrations fail to meet their expectations. But people have always become depressed at this time of the year because of the lack of sunlight and the seeming death of all of nature. To ancient peoples this fear was personified as an attack of elves and ghostly spirits, similar to the beliefs surrounding Halloween. This is obvious when one studies the customs of the Shetland and Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland. This was one of the last places in Europe to become Christian, therefore their customs are closer to the ancient past. Here, this holiday was called Yule into the twentieth century. On the actual solstice, these islands see only six hours of daylight. Their Yule lasts from December 20 to January 13.
During this period, defense from the spirits of the dead becomes paramount. The house and barn are decorated with amulets in the form of straw crosses. Sheaves of corn are placed on the roof; round cakes are baked with the solar cross inscribed on them, and plenty of ale is brewed. Drinking ale is so important that there is a fine for anyone who abstains. During this period all work except the most necessary stops, and the nights are spent singing and dancing. In this way, the danger and the depression are staved off by joy. We often hear that we decorate our homes with evergreens because they are a symbol of life everlasting in this season of frost. This is true, but holly is also an amulet that captures evil on its barbs before it can enter the house. In the West, one must realize that it is natural to become depressed at this time of year. Just accept it, and make use of the ancient amulets and rituals designed to help bring back the Sun.
By: Robert Place , Llewellyn and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast
The Yule Log, Symbolic of the New , Bright, Shinning, Son/ Sun – By Lady Feoneafey the KitchenWitch
Death is always fallowed by rebirth. endings are fallowed by beginnings, just as the Sun precedes the Moon.
In Roman tradition, December 25 was “Dies Natalis Solis Invictus” or the Day of the Birth of the Undefeated Sun.
In ancient times of lands such as Ireland, on or about the date of December 21or the Winter Solstice was the time the Son/Sun comes back to Earth. Many customs surround these 2 dates, one of which is the burning of the Yule fire.
Nordic Pagans regard Yule as the New Year, coinciding with the Solar year. (Samhain coincides with the Lunar year)
Yule marks the succession from the Holly King, who is the king of the Waning year, to the Oak King, who is the king of the Waxing year/ It symbolizes the rebirth of the God to the Virgin Goddess.
Yule is a Lesser Sabbat and is a Sun Sabbat.
In earliest times this tradition, the Yule fire was a bonfire burned outdoors. The sacred blaze was built to give power and life to the sun, among other things. Burning a Yule log not only gives out warmth against the winter cold, but it is said to posses the power to burn off the misfortune of the ending year and to bring good health and prosperity, protection, fertility, and good fortune in the year to come.
Traditionally a log of Oak, but may be made of any good, hard wood, available to you. It was carved with images of the blazing sun to encourage the return of the Son/Sun, or Divine Child of Light, The God. It was also carved with other symbols representing plenty, prosperity, fertility, wealth and love.
The Yule log was decorated with whipped bees wax that had been scented with bayberries (or bay berry wax if available) to bring good fortune throughout the year to come. Sprigs of evergreens, considered sacred and representing the Eternal aspect of the Goddess, were added as a traditional symbol of life everlasting.
Holly leaves, which are representative of The Holy King, symbolic of death and to guard the household against evil spirits and symbolic of the promise of ongoing life.
Oak Leaves and acorns to represent the Oak King, and symbolic of rebirth and of all things living within both the material and spirit world (the Oak tree is host to mistletoe plant); The white berries and leaves of the Mistletoe (also known as The Golden Bough) for fertility and symbolic of the sacred seed of the God who embodies the spirit of vegetation and divine life; fruits and grains or other seeds to celebrate the past harvest and the hope for a good harvest in the new year. Other items are often attached in representation and symbolisms of requested blessings for the up coming year as well.
Later in its history the Yule fire was brought indoors in the form of the Yule Log. Later a log that will burn continuously for 3 days would be used and its remnants used to light the next years fire.
Most fire places now days could never safely accommodate a 3 day monster. So to compensate, some individuals will split the log into 3 pieces , then all three pieces are decorated and one piece burnt each day; or decorate 3 smaller logs yet others are satisfied with one log burnt on the night of the Winter Solstice only…
And if you don’t have a fireplace, you can make a Yule log and bore holes to accommodate 2 hand dipped tapers, 1 for the Mother Goddess, and one for the Divine Child of the Light, the God, and burn the tapers down to just safely above the decorations surrounding it…this then can be placed in a secret part of the garden to return to the Earth and bless the land to which it is given.
No matter your adaptation of this tradition. you are sure to be blessed by the incorporation of it into your Yule celebration