I was really, really tired yesterday, and no real clue as to why. It took 4 hours and a nap to actually get me doing anything other than putzing… Urk. I finally got up and started to work on the brined apples and that set off a spate of customers. We had a batch in from up north that I talked embroidery with, and another lady who had been in for some of Linda’s candles and came back for more! Leslie from the Frog stopped by, too.
I did get back to the apples and by 5pm the pickling broth was cooling. I really hesitate to call it “brine” because it only has 1/2 tbsp of salt in 8 cups of liquid! By 7pm, Tempus had put the broth pot into some cold water to try to get it to cool the rest of the way because it was taking just so long to get going and it finally went into the box around 8:30. I also set up a chicken broth for some of today’s cookery.
We did have a few more people in during the later part of the afternoon, but pretty much that was the rest of the day. During Sewing I got a few licks in out that new pouch kit that I’m working out, and I got the newsletter set up for this morning, and the writing of the brined apples, but… even though we left past 9:30, there wasn’t that much more going.
Today is the House potluck, so I’m going to be in back, cooking quite a bit. The shop already smells pretty good from the chicken broth! We’ll be open right through that, so don’t hesitate to come in. Might even get a taste!
A photo by Ken Gagne of the Alsea Backbay yesterday afternoon.
Today’s Plant is Skunk Cabbage, Lysichitum americanum. This is one of the signs of spring here on the coast, where every drainage ditch or marshy field has it’s glow of brilliant yellow and bright, deep green. It is a famine food with a spicy or peppery taste, but contains calcium oxalate, which can upset the insides and even cause death if you get too much. Bears eat it after hibernation to get their intestines working again. It is used to cure sores and swellings, particularly after winter, when starvation conditions make these things immensely worse. However the typical use of the local peoples of this herb was to line baskets with the huge leaves to keep things from bruising or dropping through and to wrap around foods when baked under a fire, where it imparts a distinctive taste to the crust. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia references Eastern Skunk Cabbage, which is a different plant with a red flower, but the magicks are the same, Symplocarpus foetidus –Feminine, Saturn, Water – Carry when you have legal troubles, or keep in the drawer with the filed papers. Wrap in a bay leaf on a Sunday to draw good fortune. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysichitum_americanum and on Eastern Skunk Cabbage here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symplocarpus_foetidus
“Io, Saturnalia” is a cry that would have been heard around the Roman Empire at this time. The days wrapped around the Winter Solstice were a time for feasting and fun, gambling and flipping societal roles on their heads, masters and servants changing places just to be silly. The custom of cookies, oranges, nuts, sweets and small toys hung on evergreen branches (called strenae) was part of this, too. More here: http://wildhunt.org/2012/12/io-saturnalia-2.html and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia Btw, “Io!” is pronounced like the modern “Yo!” “Gangsta” culture’s been around that long? <grin>
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. 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. 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 1/1/18 at 6:21pm. New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open – Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends on 12/19 at 10:30am.
By December 23rd, Mercury is emerging low into dawn view where the Moon was a week before.
At this time of year the Big Dipper lies down lowest just after dark, due north. It’s entirely below the north horizon if you’re as far south as Miami. By 11 or midnight the Dipper wheels around to stand straight up on its handle, in fine view in the northeast.
Ursid meteor shower – December sees activity from two meteor showers: Geminids and Ursids. Conditions are good for a meteor shower called the Ursids, which peaks just before Christmas. This is a shower for northern hemisphere observers only because the radiant, from which direction the meteors appear, lies in the northernmost constellation, Ursa Minor. Activity may be seen from December 17th to 25th, with a peak on the night of the 22nd/23rd. Rates are usually low, with a maximum rate of 10 per hour for a single observer under perfect conditions, but the Ursids have sprung a surprise with higher rates in come years. Again, moonlight will not be a problem this year. As ever, during a meteor watch, you may also see some other, random, meteors unrelated to the known showers. These are known as sporadics.
Venus and Saturn are out of sight, deeper in the glow of dawn.
Venus – After closing in on the Sun in recent weeks, Venus now lies too close to be seen easily. With a perfectly clear, unobstructed horizon, you might glimpse it in the first few days of December, shortly before sunrise, and shining at magnitude -3.9, but most of us will have to wait until spring 2018 to see it reappear in the evening sky.
Saturn – The ringed planet disappeared from evening skies in November and now lies on the far side of the Sun. It will therefore not be visible this month and you will have to wait until 2018 to see it again.
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
Su 17 High 12:14 AM 6.7 7:47 AM Rise 7:02 AM 1
~ 17 Low 5:32 AM 3.1 4:38 PM Set 4:42 PM
~ 17 High 11:22 AM 8.4
~ 17 Low 6:23 PM -0.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – People are more violently opposed to fur than to leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.
~ If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. – Abigail Van Buren
~ In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
~ It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Mark Twain
~ It is more interesting to live by Not Knowing than to live by knowing what might be wrong. Richard – Feynman
Heart-warm against the stormy white,
The Rose of Joy burns warmer yet. – Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–84)
Mr Pickwick’s Christmas Punch – Sophie Nussle
It’s the time of good cheer, parties and…hot spiced rum punch! Many years ago, when I read Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, I was captivated by the account of Mr Pickwick’s Christmas at Dingley Dell manor. Hot rum punch flowed and everyone was merry. There was no recipe, so I went looking for Victorian rum punch recipes. I found a few, and over the years, I have adapted my own, which is dead easy to make. It’s very alcoholic, very delicious, and will calm any tense family situation 😉 Here it is! Adapt quantities according to size.
For 6 people:
- 2/3 75 cl bottle Amber rum – preferably from small craft rumeries if you can find it.
- 2 75 cl German or Alsace white wine, very fruity – semi-sweet. (You need one part of rum for 3 parts of wine.)
- Raw sugar cane, or sugar cane syrup, to taste.
- 1 orange, 1 lemon.
- zest of 1 orange, zest of 1/2 lemon – make sure the zest is in fairly long curls
- 1 star anise (whole)
- cinnamon (2-3 sticks)
- vanilla pod, whole but sliced down the middle
- a few cloves
- a few cardamom
- 3-4 allspice berries – whole berries, slightly crushed
- mace (in blades, whole) – small amount
Add everything to a large pan and warm slowly until it is smoking and piping hot, but don’t allow to boil. Warm the glasses and be careful when filling them (I put a teaspoon in), and serve. Feel free to adapt according to taste, inspiration and preferred ingredients. Enjoy and toast Mr Pickwick and the Squire of Dingley Dell Manor!
Ancient Light Note – There’s an adaptation of this that I use for making mulled wine or cider, as well, and makes a great gift if it can be refrigerated fairly soon (i.e. it can stand for hours, but I wouldn’t leave it under the tree for a week….) Take your sugar, zests and other spices and cook them slowly on the stove with an equal amount of water, tightly covered, stirring frequently. Let it cool a bit and mix in the juices of the citrus and add about a tablespoon of rosewater (if you have it) Store in the fridge. You can strain it, if you want, but it’s prettier if you don’t. Add to the alcohols after they begin to warm.
HOMEMADE SHAVING CREAM RECIPE –
Whip some of this luxurious whipped shaving cream up for yourself or a friend. It’s silky on the skin and comes off nicely when saving, leaving the skin soft and smooth. It can double as moisturizer, too!
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 cup Shea Butter (find unrefined Shea Butter here)
- Optional: Essential Oil (almond)
Melt the coconut oil and Shea butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until fully melted. Remove from heat, stir in almond oil and allow to cool. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Mix ingredients together in a stand up mixer until well combined and resembling whipped cream.
HOMEMADE AFTERSHAVE RECIPE – From https://www.almanac.com/blog/natural-health-home-tips/diy-deodorant-and-aftershavetoner
Here’s a recipe for a scented aftershave/toner.
- Pour two cups of ordinary drugstore witch hazel into a glass jar. (You could substitute 100-proof vodka for an equally effective, though pricier, astringent effect.)
- Add a cinnamon stick, half a dozen whole cloves, and a few sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, lavender, mint, basil, or a mixture.
- Add a few drops of tincture of benzoin as a preservative.
- Set the jar in a cool, dry place for a couple of weeks, then decant into a nice bottle.
- You could strain the herbs and spices or not. (They look cool in a bottle.)
- For a citrusy scent, instead of the fresh herbs (and either with or without the spices) add strips of orange and/or lemon peel or a few drops of citrus essential oil and let the jar sit in a cool place until it smells the way you want it to.
Silliness – Co-Author
Teacher: Vincent, not to be presumptuous, but your short story is truly fantastic. Did you really write it?
Vincent: Yes, I wrote, while my mother dictated..