Lighted House Count – 371+2=373
Grey and grey and grey…. grey bay, grey sky, grey ocean and just a enough drippy that I had to hang my hoodie up to dry. 44F with no wind, 0.01 inches of rain, 85% humidity. The clouds are sitting right down onto the Coast Range and small clouds puddling in the hills.
Yesterday went pretty well. After the newsletter went out, Tempus came and fetched me and then I sat down with various projects and whomped through some of the small ones, like sorting out and putting away the clean canning jars. I got some pictures done, set up a started for the brined apples, sorted a pile of herbs that need to be processed….
….well, then I went back to my desk and managed to trip and land on the floor, knocking over the walking stick display, the little desk and chair by the display cases and flinging 1/2 a dozen earrings into next week and breaking one in the process. Gack! Worse still, I did something to the camera. The display doesn’t light up anymore, although it takes pictures just fine. That’s not going to be easy to replace.
We ended up staying awhile at the shop since Tempus had only just started a bread loaf. I sorted pecans and got them divided into whole ones and broken pieces. Tempus grated the bread for the bread soup and we got it into the herb dryer.
A pic from last year’s ice storm in the Valley, courtesy of Barret Spangler and published under a Creative Commons “Attribution 4.0 International” license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Used with permission.
Today’s plant is the cobra lily, Darlingtonia
Californica, a carnivorous bog plant, native to California and Oregon. These plants are trippy…. they eat bugs, because they thrive in such awful soil that they need a different way to get the nutrients that most plants get out of the ground! No, they don’t have any magickal uses that I know of.
A good article about Darlingtonia: http://coastexplorermagazine.com/features/carnivorous-rare-and-wild-cobra-lilies The wiki article is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlingtonia_(plant) and one about the
wayside in Florence is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlingtonia_Botanical_Wayside The wayside is worth a drive. There are good walkways just above the ground level so that you don’t hurt the plants. We used to roll Grandma’s wheelchair through there every summer at least once, because she was fascinated, too.
Las Posadas, Mexico – This custom apparently derives from Spain, but is celebrated mostly in Central America and the Southwestern US. It includes Nativity parades, and plays resembling those of the mummers along with breaking of piñatas and lots of parties. There’s even a celebration in Portland that ends up with Santa collecting gifts for needy children. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Posadas
The shop is open 11-7pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. Holiday Hours. We will be closing early on 12/24 and 12/31 and closed 12/25 and 1/1. 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 12/17 at 10:30pm. 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 12/16 at 10:30am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances. God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at on 12/17 at 10:28pm.
Watch the waning Moon march down past Mars and Jupiter these mornings. Alpha (α) Librae is a nice, very wide double star for binoculars.
Have you ever watched a Sirius-rise? Find an open view right down to the east-southeast horizon, and watch for Sirius to come up about two fists at arm’s length below Orion’s vertical Belt. Sirius comes up sometime around 8 p.m. now, depending on your location. When a star is very low, it tends to twinkle quite slowly and often in vivid colors. Sirius is bright enough to show these effects well, especially with binoculars.
Mother of all Geminids makes a near-Earth pass. The asteroid 3200 Phaethon, source of the Geminid meteoroid stream, should reach about 11th magnitude from December 12th through 17th as it passes several million miles from Earth. That’s bright enough for medium-size telescopes. It’ll be perfectly placed high in the evening sky. See our article and finder charts.
Geminid meteor shower – December sees activity from two meteor showers. The Geminids, which is usually the strongest and most reliable shower of the year, with a quoted peak rate of 120 an hour on the night of maximum, the 13th/14th, for a single observer enjoying ideal conditions. Main activity can be seen from December 7th to the 16th. Conditions are good for this shower around maximum this year because the meteors will not be drowned out by moonlight.
Uranus (magnitude 5.7, in Pisces) and Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Aquarius) are well placed in the southeast and south, respectively, right after dark. Use our finder charts online or in the October Sky & Telescope, page 50.
Neptune – This outer planet, another ice giant like Uranus, lies in the constellation of Aquarius and can be seen as soon as it gets dark in December. Look as soon as you can after dark as it sets before 10pm by the end of the month. Neptune is fainter than its inner neighbour, at magnitude 7.8 it is not hard to find with binoculars if you know where to look.
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
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
©2017 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic tree month of 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).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 16 Low 4:52 AM 3.0 7:47 AM Rise 6:06 AM 5
~ 16 High 10:47 AM 8.4 4:38 PM Set 4:03 PM
~ 16 Low 5:48 PM -0.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.
~ I know we can’t abolish prejudice through laws, but we can set up guidelines for our actions by legislation. – Classic Quotes by Belva Lockwood (1830-1917) US attorney
~ If you believe everything you read, better not read. – Japanese Proverb
~ If you don’t understand yourself you don’t understand anybody else. – Nikki Giovanni
~ If you hear the fool’s word of a drunken man, strive not with him who is drunk with drink and witless, for often only ill and doom come out of such things. – Volsunga Saga, c.21
Hark, how all the welkin rings,
‘Glory to the King of kings’;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled. – Charles Wesley (1707–88)
- 2 1/2 c. pecan halves
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 2-3 tsp. brandy
- Preheat oven to 370 degrees.
- Spread pecans on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
- Dot pan with butter.
- Place in oven for 10 minutes.
- Stir nuts.
- Turn oven off, leaving nuts in warm oven.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside.
- In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine water and sugar.
- Place over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a boil.
- Cook syrup to soft-ball stage, about 238 degrees.
- Remove from heat.
- With a wooden spoon, beat 1 minute or until mixture is creamy.
- Add toasted nuts and brandy.
- Stir until well-coated.
- Spread on waxed paper to cool.
Winter Hazelnut Bread – Incense of the day: Coriander
Today is the Norse feast to celebrate the beginning of winter. One of the feasting foods is nuts. Hazelnuts are a prominent food during the month of October. They are used for charms and divination.
To make hazelnut bread:
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
- 3 teaspoons yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- Add the butter, sugar, and salt.
- Mix until smooth.
- Add hazelnuts and both flours.
- Knead the mixture for ten minutes, then let the dough rest for fifteen minutes.
- Form the dough into a round loaf, and place it on a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal.
- Let it rise until it is doubled in size.
- With a sharp knife cut a cross on top in honor of the four elements.
- Bake the bread in a 400-degree oven until it is nicely browned, about twenty to twenty-five minutes.
- String nine hazelnuts on a red cord, and hang it in your home for luck and money. – By: Emely Flak, Llewellyn and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup icing sugar
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup dark corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- First layer: Measure first 3 ingredients into a bowl.
- Crumble together well.
- Press in an ungreased 8 x 8 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool.
- Second Layer: Melt second amount of butter and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan.
- Measure sugar in a cup.
- Stir in gelatin to mix thoroughly.
- Add to saucepan, stirring to dissolve.
- Add condensed milk.
- Stir and bring to a boil
- Boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat.
- Beat with a spoon until it thickens and gets ‘blobby’.
- Pour over your first layer and chill overnight.
- Invert on plastic wrap (makes it much easier to cut). Cut into 25 squares.
Silliness – Late Night Funny
Infighting continues within the Republican Party. On Saturday, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake was caught on mic when he made a remark, saying, “If we become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.” If? If you become the party of Donald Trump? He’s the president of the United States! That’s like the Catholic Church going, “Why does everyone keep associating us with Pope Francis? James Corden