The sky is a blank light grey over most of the sky, but over the ocean and Coast Range and some to the south, it’s all lumps and stripes and bright spots. 48F, but it feels colder. There’s wind in the treetops, but not at ground level. Even by the ocean it’s light. There’s rain due late this afternoon.
Today we really need to get the cabbage pickle and a veg stew (from the leftovers) going and I’m hoping to actually work our way down to where we can get under the compounding bench, since that’s where the rest of my canning jars are! With the original pickle, one small head (and this recent batch are medium…) took 4 quart jars. I have three medium heads and 5 quart jars at the moment. This doesn’t bode well. 🙂
Photo by Kenny Henson of Florence, Oregon of Heceta Head Light in last year’s storm (1/4/17).
Maidenhair Fern is cultivated for use in gardens, but out here on the coast you can’t walk past a stand of trees without seeing it. Our variety is Adiantum Pedatum, (northern maidenhair, five-fingered fern) most often , but others of the aidantums get mixed in, too. – Feminine, Venus, Water – This represents the physical presence of the Divine Feminine, much as the Sword Fern represents the Divine Masculine. To get more in touch with this part of your Higher Self and to gain grace and physical beauty (always remembering that true beauty is from within) soak a sprig of this plant in water (…better by moonlight, and it’s a great ritual for a Full Moon) and hang it in your bedroom. This is also helpful for the transition times between life stages, and can even help with becoming pregnant if there are physical difficulties with a woman’s cycles. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adiantum_pedatum and on the family grouping here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maidenhair_fern
Lesser (Rural) Dionysia, festival of Dionysus, ancient Greece – This wasn’t a set date, either festivals were held in different areas on different dates. A festival with a lot of comedy and horseplay in honor of Dionysus, where a large wooden phallus was carried in a procession. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysia and a description of the procession and revels here: http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/JO-RD.html plus another link on the Dionysian Mysteries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysian_Mysteries
The shop is open 11-5pm 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 1/16 at 6:17pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 1/8 at 2:25pm. 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 1/12 at 9:17am.
Step out early Saturday morning January 6th to catch Jupiter with Mars. They’ll appear just as close Sunday the 7th, but with Mars now under Jupiter.
Last-quarter Moon (exact at 5:25 p.m.). The Moon rises around midnight or 1 a.m. tonight, in Virgo. >>>> Once it does, look for Spica about 6° or 7° to its left or lower left. Brighter Arcturus shines 25° to the Moon’s upper left. By the time dawn begins to brighten on Tuesday the 9th they’re all high in the south, and the line they form is more nearly vertical.
Venus remains hidden in conjunction with the Sun.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
Runic half-month of Eihwaz/Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books Runic half-month of Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
©2017 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
Beth – Birch – Ogam letter correspondences –
Meaning: New Beginnings; Changes; Purification.
Phagos – Beech Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Letter: PH, IO
Meaning: New experiences and information coming
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 8 High 5:37 AM 7.8 7:52 AM Set 12:03 PM 61
~ 8 Low 12:00 PM 2.2 4:55 PM
~ 8 High 5:37 PM 6.2
~ 8 Low 11:50 PM 1.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Education liberates the child from the fetters of ignorance, illiteracy and poverty.
~ Tell me who admires you and loves you, and I will tell you who you are. – Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve
~ The ocean is a living system. This is what makes the planet function. – Sylvia Earle
~ The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now. – Bill Cosby
~ The real friendship is like fluorescence, it shines better when everything has darken. – Rabindranath Tagore
Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–32)
Spiced Milk with Honey – Leda Merideth
- 1 quart milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole allspice or spice bush berries
- 1/4 teaspoon shavings of fresh nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- Tie up all the spices in a cheesecloth square, or strain out before
- Combine spices, milk and honey in a saucepan.
- Heat gently for 20 minutes (do not boil).
- Ritual Foods – Beverage
- Sabbat – Imbolc
- 8-10 “ritual sips” per recipe
- For each cup of “sap” you need:
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- ½ inch of vanilla bean
- A 1 ½ cup glass jar with a lid or (that holds ½ again as much as you will put in it.)
- Heat water to boiling.
- Run glass jar under hot tap water (to prevent shattering)
- Put vanilla bean in jar.
- Add hot water.
- Add honey.
- Screw lid down and shake until syrup/honey dissolves.
- Unscrew lid every five minutes or so to allow pressure to equalize as “sap” cools.
- Shake well before pouring into chalice.
- 1 gal. Blackberries
- 1 gal. Spring water, lukewarm
- 5 lbs. sugar
- 2 slices toast (of yeast-raised bread)
- 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.