The last two papers finally got delivered! It’s only 35 here at the shop, but that, with rain, was enough to melt the last of the ice and Tempus got those papers delivered at around 10am. Yes, it’s raining, just a steady, light dripping. Part of the sky is a blank grey-white but over the Coast Range (and there’s still snow up higher!) there were clouds that made it look like the foothills were steaming and rolls and lumps of cotton wool. The wind is in the low teens and gusts going up to the mid-20’s, so this is more like typical Oregon Coast winter. There’s a small craft advisory for winds until this evening, too.
Yesterday we were so tired that not a lot registered. I spent my day mostly working on newsletter pieces since I’m not done setting up all the Imbolc stuff. Tempus ran some errands, going into Newport and getting some food shopping done among other things. We only had a couple of customers the whole day. By evening I had ran out of functional brain cells, so Tempus and I got supper, went home and fell into bed.
Today’s Plant is Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia. “Ash before oak we’re in for a soak. Oak before ash we’re in for a splash” refers to a weather divination in England about spring rain and the leafing times of trees! Ash is a hardwood and is hard, dense, tough and very strong but elastic, great for making bows, , spears and drums as well as all kinds of furniture, even guitars and many of the early airplanes. It makes excellent firewood and has been used a lot for smoking meats. The bark can make a quinine substitute for fevers. The folk name for Ash is “Hoop Ash” , or “Nion” – (a rune name from the Irish Gaelic word Nionon which means heaven.) Elsewhere the ash and elm tree were known as the Widow Maker because the large boughs would often drop without warning. Witches were believed to fly on ash-handled broomsticks, while Viking ships were made of ash. In ancient Greece the Meliae were the ash nymphs and the dryads were the oak nymphs. Yggdrasil, the World Tree that supports the order of the Universe was an ash and humans were born from her branches. Odin hung on the tree to gain the knowledge of the Runes and therefore the ash tree is associated with communication. Ash trees have a sugary sap which may have been the basis of the Norse mead of inspiration. Ash Tree attracts lightening, so don’t stand under one during an electric storm. The ash fairy understands that problems are rarely solved on the level at which they were created. – Feminine – Sun & Neptune, Water & Fire – The “helicopter” seeds are used for traditional wish magicks. The Yule Log is traditionally of ash to bring the light of the Sun to the depths of winter and prosperity to the family. Wands and Staves (and traditionally the handle of the besom) made of this wood are good for healing, general and solar magic. The leaves attract love and prosperity. Sleep with them under your pillow and you will have psychic/prophetic dreams. Sleep with them in a bowl of water next to your bed to prevent illness. Wearing garters of green ash bark protects against the powers of magicians. Ash can heal children just by passing the child through a split in the tree’s trunk. It promotes strength, harmony, and a sense of being in tune with your surroundings. Ash is the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraxinus_latifolia
Jinjitsu (Festival of Seven Herbs), Japan – Seven-herb rice soup (nanakusa-gayu) is prepared on the seventh day of January, a day known as jinjitsu, literally ‘Human Day’. It is also called Nanakusa no sekku. On the morning of January 7, or the night before, people place the nanakusa (seven edible wild herbs of spring), rice scoop, and/or wooden pestle on the cutting board and, facing the good-luck direction, chant “Before the birds of the continent (China) fly to Japan, let’s get nanakusa” while cutting the herbs into pieces. The pictures are the herbs in process and the soup/congee itself. More here: http://www.angelfire.com/de/poetry/Holy_Days/jan.html(search for “nana”) , here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinjitsu and here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanakusa-no-sekku
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
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 1/12, at 3:35 AM. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 1/5 at 2:47pm. 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 1/12.
Catch Saturn, Mercury, and Antares changing the shape of their lineup low in the dawn all week.
Aldebaran shines well to the left of the waxing gibbous Moon this evening. Upper right of Aldebaran, spot the Pleiades through the moonlight. The deep, flat-bottomed eclipsing binary star RW Tauri drops from 8th to 12th magnitude and back this evening (centered on 9:30 p.m. EST). See the observing project in the January Sky & Telescope, page 48.
In this very coldest time of the year, the dim Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) hangs straight down from Polaris >>> after dinnertime, as if, per Leslie Peltier, from a nail on the cold north wall of the sky. The Big Dipper, meanwhile, is creeping up low in the north-northeast. Its handle is very low and its bowl is to the upper right.
Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Aquarius) is near Mars after dusk this week. They appear closest on December 31st, 0.2° apart or less right after dark for North America, with Neptune more or less above Mars. Use high power to try to discern its 8th-magnitude disk, which with a diameter of 2.2 arcseconds appears only slightly nonstellar. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune among their background stars.
Calendar is supposed to arrive today!
©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
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 7 Low 12:49 AM 2.1 7:52 AM Set 2:16 AM 61
~ 7 High 7:22 AM 8.3 4:54 PM Rise 1:16 PM
~ 7 Low 2:23 PM 1.1
~ 7 High 8:27 PM 5.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – When I share a kindness, I double its value.
~ Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire. – Dan Zevin
~ A diamond cannot be polished without friction nor man perfected without trials. – Kathryn Kuhlman
~ All the experience of history confirms that sharing the same beliefs has been a preliminary to quarreling about their interpretation. – Theodore Zeldin
~ Whatever you expect, you will get. – Abraham Hicks
Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with. – Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Imbolc Magick – Meditations
Meditation on Cat. Breathe deep… Breathe from your belly, from your core, your center… Inhale and become… Exhale and release… Release all things that do not serve. Anger. Fear. Resentment. Shame. Sadness. Let them flow out of your breath, down to Mother Earth… Breathe in and know that we all breathe the same breath…. Breath out and know that you are safe, surrounded by friends and Gods who will let no harm come to you… Breathe and let the cradling darkness of the Mother envelop you… Rest in Her mysteries as you breathe in… And out…
Floating in the Mother’s womb, you know that you are meant to go forward, to receive a message, to seek the path that She has set you upon… The cat has long been a guide and friend to Witches, and tonight we call upon the power of Cat to guide us to the Lady of the Crossroads who sees all possible pathways…
You hear a sound, maybe a meow, or a roar… You can feel the silent steps of the Cat coming to guide you to the Lady. The darkness fades a little, and as you look around you can see the Cat who has been sent to you. This Cat is your guide… Some of you may be guided by your own house cat, or one who has passed away… Others will be guided by their Cat totems, ranging from Tigers, to Lions, to Panthers, to Leopards, to Lynx’s. Let Cat come to you in the way it is meant to… Spend some time with this Cat… Ask its name and why it has been sent to you…
It is time to go to the Lady… Cat turns, and begins walking away from you… Follow Cat… Follow and know that it is leading you to the Lady of the Crossroads… As you walk with Cat, feel around you for the Direction that you are walking in… If you do not feel which direction you are walking in, you may ask Cat which direction it is taking you in… By paying attention to North, East, South, and West you will get a better idea of what Path you are being set upon…
Looking down at your feet, you see that Cat has taken you upon a Pathway… Looking around you, pay attention to your surroundings… What do you see? Are there trees, animals, birds? Are you near the ocean, a river, or in a desert? What do you smell? Hear? Let these visions come to you…
Looking ahead of you, you see a lady, cloaked in fire… Her red hair shines like the sun, and her eyes are as green as the deep waters… As you get closer, you notice that she is standing at the center of a four-way Crossroad… This is the Lady Bridget. Goddess of Fire, Inspiration, Poetry, Blacksmiths, and the Crossroads. She holds the knowledge of Pathworking and possibilities… Cat brings you to Her, and lays at Her feet… You are struck by Her beauty and obvious strength..
Let Bridget offer to you her words of wisdom… Ask Her any questions you have about the Path are currently on… Let Bridget show you the possible outcomes of your actions, and the possible alternatives…
Ask Bridget any last quick questions that you have for Her, and give Her your thanks… Cat stands, and begins walking down one of the Pathways in the Crossroad… Follow… Is this the same Pathway that you followed to meet Bridget, or a different one? As Cat guides you back to your physical body, is the scenery the same, or somehow altered? Are there any new smells or sounds?
You arrive at a shimmering black-misty Veil… Ask the Cat if it has any last words for you, and thank Cat for it’s guidance… Step through the Veil, and be cradled once again in the Mother’s formlessness…
In this darkness, you are within your own being… Breathe deep and allow yourself to begin slipping back into your physical body… Breathe and become aware once again of your physical body and your physical surroundings… Breathe and let your mind and soul reenter your physical vessel…
Begin to wiggle your toes and fingers… Breathe deep, and begin to slowly move your arms and feet… Roll your head from side to side… Breathe deep, and when you are ready, open your eyes.
You have seen many things in this Quest that will be of great benefit to you. Anytime that you need guidance on your Path, you may call on Cat or Lady Bridget and seek their guidance… If you were lead by a Cat totem, it would be a good idea to continue working with it… If you felt a deep connection with Bridget, you might wish to build an altar for Her, and continue working with Her.
In order for you to keep a blessing and reminder from this Pathwork, you will now be instructed in how to create one of Bridget’s sacred charms, a Bridget’s Cross. This charm will act as a ward of protection, a symbol of the presence of Bridget, and as a amulet for aiding you to keep in contact with the knowledge that was gained at the Crossroads.