The sky is streaked and spotted with white, but there’s blue up there! The daffodils and narcissus in the yard are in full bloom. We saw a border in front of a house the other night that I told Tempus, “I want to see that in daylight!” since it’s all hyacinths and jonquils all across the front of the yard! The sun is getting strained a bit by the thin stuff.
We’ve already been at the shop for an hour. I keep getting sidetracked on getting this out. I have to get more of these set up, sort more in the office space, get Tempus working on cleaning up the work table and so on. There’s Sewing this evening and then the paper route. It’s going to be a full day!
Today’s feast is in honor of Morena or Marzanna, a Slavic Goddess of winter, darkness and mystery. The Marzanna is an effigy that is burned and/or drowned as a symbol of the ending of her time of triumph. She is often associated with Hecate and witchlore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marzanna
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 other 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!
The shop opens at 11am. 11am-6pm 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 3/27 at 7:57pm. 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 3/23 at 8:57am. 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 3/26 at 7:57am.
Draw a line from Castor through Pollux high overhead, follow it farther out by a big 26° (about 2½ fist-widths at arm’s length), and you’re at the dim head of Hydra, the Sea Serpent. In a dark sky it’s a subtle but distinctive star grouping, about the size of your thumb at arm’s length. Binoculars show it easily through light pollution.
Venus (about magnitude –4.2) is dropping fast day by day low in the western evening twilight. It’s swinging closer to our line of sight to the Sun, making it an ever thinner crescent in a telescope or high-quality binoculars. It’s now a big 58 arcseconds from cusp to cusp, and from March 17th to 25th, its phase thins from just 3% to 1% sunlit! Get your scope on Venus before sunset — while keeping the Sun behind a western horizon obstruction so you don’t accidentally sweep across the Sun’s blinding face. Can you detect any sign of cusp extensions around Venus’s rim? See the March Sky & Telescope, page 52. Venus reaches inferior conjunction on March 25th, when it passes a full 8° north of the Sun (upper right of the Sun as seen around sunset from mid-northern latitudes). For Northern Hemisphere observers, this is the ideal apparition for following Venus way down in the west right after sunset — and picking it up very low in the east before sunrise. In fact, plan to look for it at both dusk and dawn on the same day, or across the same night! Your best bet for this rare dual sighting of Venus is on March 22nd if you’re near 40° north latitude — as told in the March Sky & Telescope, page 46. A tip for trying to detect the crescent of Venus naked-eye when it’s this large: sight through a tiny round hole in a piece of paper or cardboard held against your eye, to mask off aberrations in the outer part of your eye’s pupil. Experiment with different size holes.
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
/Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 23 Low 3:44 AM 3.3 7:13 AM Rise 4:47 AM 29
~ 23 High 9:29 AM 6.7 7:33 PM Set 2:54 PM
~ 23 Low 4:29 PM 0.8
~ 23 High 10:59 PM 6.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – You are the only person you need to please.
~ In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. – Francis Bacon
~ It is better to ride a whole wagon home. – Egil’s Saga, c.38
~ It is hard to fly in the face of wyrd. – Vatnsdæla Saga, c.14
~ It is not my responsibility to convince anyone of anything. – Abraham-Hicks
Life has a funny habit of changing,
and security’s hard to find;
Just when you think it is safe
to get in the swing of things,
somebody kicks you
in the ass…that’s all fate!
You never know when a grizzly
will sneak up on your porch
and steal your bike,
and the girl across the street
has a crush on your boyfriend
and tries to come get him tonight. © July 2005, Beth Johnson (Mystic Amazon)
Egg Dyeing Article Au naturel: Color your eggs the old-fashioned way
Tea and Your Health
By Lee Svitak Dean, Star Tribune Taste Editor, Pictures by Tom Wallace/Star Tribune
Piles of yellow onion skins, chunks of bright red beets, bunches of deep-green spinach leaves, even bags of fragrant Red Zinger tea, redolent with hibiscus flowers, filled the kitchen counter. Bottles of paprika, dill seed and turmeric stood at the ready, as did a pot of coffee. So did dozens of eggs and a jug of white vinegar.
We were dyeing eggs. And there wasn’t a PAAS coloring kit in sight.
Egg dyeing, by its very nature, makes a mess and, frankly, it’s even messier when the colors are made from from edible food. The homemade version also takes a bit longer to prepare than dye from a package.
But don’t let these cautions deter you. The homemade variety offers more of a challenge—and it’s fun, too. As many cooks know, that sense of curiosity and discovery is half the reason so many of us hang out in the kitchen. Making your own dye lets you experiment with the vagaries of color, from the leftovers in the refrigerator to the stock of spices in the pantry.
Many of the colors from homemade dye are a softer hue, and there’s more possibilities of shades in the color palette. But there is nothing precise about natural food dyes: You might get the colors you anticipate when using them; then again, you might not. The variations depend on what you’re using for dye—and how long you soak the egg. It also depends on the egg shells, which are as variable as snowflakes.
Though not readily apparent, shell texture differs from egg to egg—from smooth to rippled—as does the thickness of the shell. All of this affects how the egg picks up dye. So if you expect the unexpected when you’re using homemade dye, you won’t be disappointed.
There are two ways to color eggs with natural dyes: cold and hot dye.
Most directions recommend starting with hard-cooked eggs. The dye is then prepared separately, and in the last step the egg is soaked in the coloring (which usually is recommended to be hot). This method works fine with commercial food dyes, such as PAAS or Dudley, where eggs are dipped into color for only a few moments.
But with natural dyes—which take longer to imprint their shade—the eggs are soaked in the color for at least 15 minutes, which is the same amount of time it takes to hard-cook eggs. So eggs can be dyed at the same time they are being hard-cooked (they also will get a more uniform and saturated color as they roll around in the simmering dye).
The hot method of natural food dye means placing the eggs in a single layer in a non-aluminum pan. The eggs are covered with 1 inch of water and vinegar is added to the water to help the color adhere to the eggs. The dye materials—which include spices, fruits, vegetables and more (see chart at below)—are also added, and the whole mixture is brought to a boil, then reduced to a simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the desired color.
Whatever food is used to dye eggs, vinegar should be added to help the color adhere (but if you forget to add vinegar, don’t fret; the eggs will still be colored, but it likely will be lighter).
Which leads the cook to a familiar question: Can these dyed eggs be eaten? Well, it depends. Eggs should sit out no longer than two hours if they are to remain safe to eat. And hard-cooking them for more than 15 minutes will definitely toughen them up (though they will look beautiful). Also, some colors might seep into the egg white, which makes them less appetizing. So, you might want to use these colorful eggs for decoration only, or else refrigerate them until mealtime.
If you want to eat your colored eggs—or if you want to dye them a second time for added interest—try the cold method of coloring. In this case, to prepare the dye separately, add the edible materials to water, along with vinegar (see chart for quantities). Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the dye is the preferred color, 15 minutes or more. Remove from heat and cool; strain. Dip cooked eggs in the dye for at least 15 minutes. The longer the eggs sit in the dye, the richer the hue will be.
Adapt the dye
If the dye isn’t dark enough, add more ingredients to deepen the hue—or let the eggs soak in the color for hours or overnight (in the refrigerator, of course).
You don’t necessarily have to stop after dyeing the eggs once. Dip them in a darker color for a second coating. (In this case, do not boil the eggs a second time; simply dip the egg in the second dye for 5 to 10 minutes). Some color combinations recommended by the Alberta (Canada) Egg Producers Board: coffee dye, then blueberry; turmeric and onion skins, followed by cranberries.
Once the dyed eggs are dry, they can be rubbed with vegetable oil for a sheen (if being used for decoration).
Dress up the eggs
Martha Stewart wouldn’t stop at homemade dye—that would be just the beginning. Try one of these steps to make even more beautiful eggs:
- Onion wraps (for a tie-dye effect): Rub clean, uncooked eggs with vinegar, then wrap in onion skins and bind with kitchen string or rubber bands. Simmer eggs in plain water for 20 minutes. Then remove onion skins.
- Rubber bands: Use to create contrasts. On a white egg, the rubber band will prevent color where it is located. On a colored (dry) egg, a band will give a stripe of the original color if the egg is redipped in another.
- Patterns: Rub the cooked, dyed egg to remove some of the color after it is dry, or drip additional color onto the dry egg to make a pattern. Or wrap in onion skins or tiny leaves after the egg has been colored, but before it has dried (this will add a texture to the dye pattern). You also can use a clean sponge and dab at the wet colored egg to add a stippled effect. If making dye from powdered spices, some residue may linger on the egg.
- Marbleized: Stir a tablespoon of vegetable oil into some natural food dye (or other dye). Dip the egg into it for a marbleized look. Once dry, it can be dipped into another color for additional decoration.
- Mosiac: It’s not dyeing, of course, but since you’re in the kitchen anyway you can decorate hard-cooked eggs by glueing on spices from the kitchen: star anise, peppercorns, powdered spices or even tiny pasta or rice (the latter two could be dyed first).
Hints for the cook
- Wash uncooked eggs in mild soapy water before they are hard-cooked to remove any oily coating that might prevent the dye from adhering.
- To avoid staining your fingers, wear rubber gloves when working with reds, yellows and purples. And cover the table or counter with newspaper or a protective coating for the same reason.
NATURAL DYES FOR EGGS
- Pink/red: Fresh beets, pickled beet juice, pickled red cabbage juice, cranberries, frozen raspberries
- Orange: Yellow onion skins, paprika
- Deep yellow: Ground turmeric
- Pale yellow to light green: Spinach leaves, Golden Delicious apple peels
- Soft yellows: Orange or lemon peels, carrots tops or shredded carrots, celery seed, ground cumin
- Purple: Red Zinger® tea (by Celestial Seasonings)
- Blue: Canned blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage leaves, purple or red grape juice
- Beige to brown: Strongly brewed coffee, tea, walnuts, dill seeds
- Brown to orange: Chili powdered, ground cumin
Natural Food Dye – Makes 4 cups.
Add more of the coloring agent for a deeper hue.
- 1 Tbsp. spice or 4 c. chopped fruit or vegetable, or more
- 4 c. water, or more
- 2 Tbsp. white vinegar (per 4 c. water)
Combine spice or foodstuff with water and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Eggs can be colored (and cooked) in the dye while it is being prepared. Or they can be hard-cooked in advance, then dipped into the prepared dye (which can be either cold or hot).
— Lee Svitak Dean is at email@example.com.
Reprinted with permission from the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Minn. (Thursday, March 28, 2002, pp. T1, T8) Interactive Tea Guide >>
Additional Tea and Your Health Information
Natural Dyes for Easter Eggs http://www.icangarden.com/document.cfm%3Ftask%3Dviewdetail%26itemid%3D846%26categoryid%3D4 – Tips for special effects and natural dyestuffs from your garden.