Special Event! See the previous post for full details, but Free Emotion Code Sessions on Saturday!
The sky is a mottled grey, with white bits here and there, a couple of sucker holes and even a couple of spots where the sun was drawing water. Its’ 48F and we’re under a High Surf Advisory, Small Craft for Winds Advisory, Small Craft for Hazardous Seas Advisory. It’s not actually windy or even rainy, although things are wet. Even down by the water it’s less than 10mph. The rain showery weather is set to continue.
Yesterday felt long during the day. I just never really seemed to wake up, which was frustrating. We did have some people shopping during the day. Leslie stopped in during the afternoon and then later no one came in for sewing, so I worked on cutting out some thing that have been waiting. Tempus could reach my tools! We’re making progress!
Tempus took off a touch early to get some shopping done before the paper route and the went along at the regular rate. I polished off the last of the Christmas marzipan except for one serving that I fed Tempus on the paper route and spent the rest of the evening on embroidery patterns and talking to people about that historical recreation competition coming up in February.
This is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I spent a lot of time when I was growing up, going over and under this bridge. This is a pic from Moonrise on 10/30/14 put up by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. See the moondog and the partial halo?
Today’s Plant is Big-leaf Maple, Acer macrophyllum. This tree has the largest leaves of any maple. I remember being startled by that when I first moved to Oregon. Have you ever played with the seeds? A twin pair, before they separate, is a good charm for separated lovers. Maple syrup can be made from the sap, although it is subtly different from the taste of sugar maple and a bit thinner. Masculine, Jupiter, Air – Maple leaves are used in prosperity and love spells. When doing a baby blessing, walk the child down a row of people with maple wands to help the child to a long life. Maple has long been used for wands, being easy to work and directing energies very well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_macrophyllum
St. Agnes eve is a traditional fire divination day. There are a bunch of marriage divinations, too. “You must lie in another county, and knit the left garter about the right legged stocking (let the other garter and stocking alone) and as you rehearse these following verses, at every comma, knit a knot.”
“This knot I knit,
To know the thing, I know not yet,
That I may see,
The man (woman) that shall my husband (wife) be,
How he goes, and what he wears,
And what he does, all days, and years.
What that all comes from is a martyr from the 4th century, but more probably has to do with leftovers from the worship of Yngona/Annis. More here: http://ketutar.wordpress.com/2007/01/22/saint-agnes-annis-the-black-hag-2/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Annis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnes_of_Rome, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eve_of_Saint_Agnes and (text of poem) http://www.bartleby.com/126/39.html
…and Wikipedia says: “Ronald Hutton, in his book The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft, suggests that the Black Annis of Leicestershire legend was based on a real person, Agnes Scott, a late medieval anchoress (or by some accounts a Dominican nun who cared for a local leper colony), born in Little Antrum, who lived a life of prayer in the cave in the Dane Hills, and was buried in the church yard in Swithland. Hutton suggests that the memory of Scott was distorted into the image of Black Annis, either to frighten local children, or due to the anti-anchorite sentiment that arose from the Protestant Reformation. In Victorian times, the story of Agnes Scott, or Annis, became confused with the similarly named goddess Anu. Thomas Charles Lethbridge made this connection and went on to claim that Annis was the personification of the Great Goddess in crone form, leading to interest from Wiccan groups. Her legend resembles the Black Lady of Bradley Woods. Black Annis was also represented in cat form and the legend led to a local ritual in early spring, when a dead cat would be dragged before a pack of hounds in front of her bower, to celebrate the end of winter. According to Briggs, on Easter Monday it was the custom to hold a drag hunt from Annis’ Bower to the Mayor of Leicester’s house. The bait dragged was a dead cat drenched in aniseed. This custom died out at the end of the 18th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Annis
Today’s plant is Christmas Rose http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helleborus_niger – Feminine, Saturn, Water – …but it’s poisonous. Cunningham says not to use it because of that.
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 1/27 at 4:07pm. 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 1/23 at 4:07am.
Mars and Venus creep closer, but at an ever slower rate. They will never pass this season; they’ll be closest, 5½° apart, in early February, and then Venus will begin to drop away.
After dinnertime, the bright, equilateral Winter Triangle glitters in the southeast. Sirius is its brightest and lowest star. Betelgeuse stands above Sirius by about two fists at arm’s length. To the left of their midpoint is Procyon.
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, in Pisces) is high in the southwest right after dark.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Goddess Month of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)
Runic half-month of Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
©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
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 20 High 6:22 AM 7.4 7:46 AM Rise 1:12 AM 51
~ 20 Low 1:20 PM 2.1 5:10 PM Set 12:12 PM
~ 20 High 7:09 PM 5.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Those who are full of their own opinions will be deaf to words of wisdom from others.
~ One of the greatest joys known to man is to take a flight into ignorance in search of knowledge. – Robert Lynd
~ Men’s private self-worlds are rather like our geographical world’s seasons, storm, and sun, deserts, oases, mountains and abysses, the endless-seeming plateaus, darkness and light, and always the sowing and the reaping. – Faith Baldwin (1893-1978) US writer
~ If the white man gives you anything — just remember when he gets ready he will take it right back. We have to take for ourselves. – Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) US activist
~ A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction. – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish writer and wit
Our lives can be considered a sacred quest. It is a quest which may have begun in this lifetime or many lifetimes before. It is a quest to find ourselves: who and what we really are. To do this we must first cease to pretend to be what we are not. We must cast away our Persona or mask. We must be prepared to confront the Shadow, that which we are and rather were not. Only then can we unify our conscious and unconscious minds and so give birth to the hidden Sun – the Self. – Vivianne Crowley
- 1 gal. Blackberries
- 1 gal. Spring water, lukewarm
- 5 lbs. sugar
- 2 slices toast
- 1 pkg yeast
In a very large wide-mouthed container, crush the berries and add water. Mix in half of the sugar and stir until dissolved. Float toast on top and sprinkle with yeast. Cover container with cheesecloth and let stand for 5 days. Add remaining sugar and leave for another 2 days. Stir well. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 3 more weeks. Strain through cheesecloth to remove seeds from wine. Bottle and serve when desired.
Herbal Wines – by Nicholas Morcinek
One of the many pleasures of a life in the country is the abundance of free food and the makings of fine drink. Sitting here at my desk, glass of Dandelion wine in hand, the golden glow of the flickering firelight passing through the pale amber nectar drifts my mind back to the Spring and the picking and preparation that led to this magic moment.
Anyone who has ever made their own wine or beer will understand my feelings but nowadays of course, wine nearly always refers to a Chateau produced store bought liquid, made from grapes grown in some exotic far away land.
However until very recently, many other varieties of fruit and even flowers were used by enterprising brewers. Dandelion, Red Clover, Rosemary and Rose flowers were all used and all have their own distinctive nose, flavor and effect. Herbs were used for their traditional medicinal values, the winemaking process being merely the method of preservation.
- Dandelion for the digestion and liver.
- cowslip to help with sleep
- Clover flowers as a tonic and mild euphoriant
These herb wines are very simply made, with minimal amounts of time and equipment and once tried and successfully imbibed, they can become an integral part of your routine and life style. After all, what better way is there to take your medicine than in a glass of fragrant ambrosia?
Hoping that I’ve caught your interest, (excuse me while I pour myself another glass!), perhaps you’d like to give flower wines a try. Here to help you on your way is my own tried, and very well tested, recipe.
Two quarts of Red Clover or Dandelion flower heads. (Or any other type of edible/medicinal flower. Good ones to try are Calendula, Rose, Violet, Elderflowers, etc; Use your own judgment, the recipe is good for almost any combination of flowers and herbs).
- One Kilo of sugar
- 3 lemons
- Four ounces un-coated raisins or sultanas
- One packet Champagne type wine yeast
- You will also need some equipment, most of which can be found in the kitchen: One, two or three gallon container, (stainless steel, earthenware, glass or un-chipped enamel).
- A one-gallon glass flagon
- Fermentation lock
- campden tablet
- siphon tube
(These can be obtained quite inexpensively from any home-brewing store).
Pick the flowers on a sunny morning after the dew has dried. They are best picked after several days of full sun but Mother Nature is not always so obliging. Choose only the best flowers and discard all green parts at the base of the flowers. (They will make the wine bitter). Collect two full quarts of flowers for each gallon you wish to make. (This is a good job to give to the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoon. You won’t see them for at least an hour.) It is very important that you collect only from areas that have not been sprayed with garden or agricultural pest sprays. Avoid all roadside flowers as they contain high levels of pollutants.
It is important before starting in the kitchen to ensure that all the implements and containers used are scrupulously clean. Make up a sterilizing solution using the Camden tablets, (follow the instructions on the pack) and then thoroughly rinse and clean everything you intend to use.
This is the most important operation: in home wine making, get it right and your wines turnout perfectly every time, screw-up and your friends will find all sorts of reasons for why they can’t pop over to watch the game, join the barbecue, etc; etc; Anyway, we are digressing. Back to the wine.
Clean the flowers of insects and dirt and place them into the largest container. Add the juice from the three lemons and the washed raisins or sultanas, and immediately pour over them six pints of boiling water. Stir it all up with a sterilized spoon; cover the container with a sterilized lid and leave to stand for twenty-four hours.
Next day, lift up the lid and take a peek at the dead flowers and other bits, floating in the water. Give it all a good stir and then strain out the liquid into a clean sterilized container. Rinse out your original container with some sulphite solution and then immediately pour the strained liquid back in. Add the sugar and two pints of boiling water, stirring well so as to dissolve the sugar, and then add the yeast, which has been prepared beforehand as instructed on the package. Stir it again, cover and put it away in a warm spot where the temperature stays around 70-80 degrees.
Now forget all about it for one month. The month has passed and you rush like the wind to take a look at your wine. It smells weird and looks weirder, but don’t worry, every thing should work out fine. This is where the siphon, flagon and fermentation lock come into the picture. First sterilize all your equipment with a sulphite solution and rinse thoroughly. Then siphon the contents of your brewing bin into the flagon. This will give you your first taste, but don’t despair it gets much better! Set up the fermentation lock as per the manufacturer’s instructions, pop it on top of the flagon and now take it back to that warm out of the way place where you hid it before.
Now comes the hardest part of the whole show. You have to forget all about this big bottle of fermenting nectar for at least six months. Don’t be tempted to peek inside, smell or God forbid! Taste your new concoction. Don’t even think about it! That day is still in the far future.
Six months have passed. November arrives and the nights are getting longer. Remember the wine?? It’s now ready to be bottled. You’ll need about six or seven bottles for each gallon. Use only those bottles that are designed to hold pressure, i.e. Champagne or sparkling wine bottles, even those thick heavy old-fashioned cola bottles. Use a sulphite solution to sterilize the bottles, corks and caps, and using a sterilized siphon tube, carefully siphon the clear liquid from the flagon into the bottles without disturbing the sediment in the flagon. Tastes pretty good now eh! To make your wine just a little sparkling add no more than a half-teaspoon of sugar to each bottle. Seal the bottles well and let them stand in a warm place for three days. Then place them in the coolest part of the house and wait six more weeks. It will then be just about ready to drink. Of course like many wines it will taste better if left longer, about a year is best). But of course we’re all only human and so must inevitably try out the fruits of our labor.
Invite around your true friends, break out the best glasses and then carefully open your first delicately cooled bottle, without disturbing the sediment on the bottom. Pour carefully into each glass, filling them all in one delicate movement, again so as not to disturb the sediment. Sit back, raise your glass in a toast and sip this delightful ambrosia. Revel in the complements and congratulations of your friends, for they are truly deserved. And think of the coming spring and the fifteen gallons that you plan to brew.