Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
41F, still a little drippy, and with a bit of wind for a change. Wind is at 6mph, but in some of the spots where it’s usually higher, it’s at 0mph, go figure. We got 1/3 of an inch of rain yesterday and are due the same amount today.
Yesterday we had a nice, quiet afternoon, getting chores done and resting a bit, as well. We headed for shop around 5pm, after I got some brambles cut away from the handrail to the apartment. I’ve gotten my fingers stuck one too many times!
I got to work on the shopping list and setting up today’s newsletter while Tempus started some supper. He made his delicious blue cheese burgers again. We talked about the shopping while we were chomping away. He ran over to Ray’s to get some stuff that was on special and after dropping that off, headed for Newport.
I was trying to track down a specific variety of fabric and spent a frustrating hour trying to find out the name of it. It might be hardanger fabric, but try finding a photo that’s large enough to see is impossible!
By 10pm the broth was put together and by 10:30, I was working on the cabbage pickle and he was bagging papers. By 11:30 most of the green cabbage was cut and the leaves to be blanched for the cabbage rolls were set aside. He managed to get on the road by 12:30.
By 1am the pickling broth was still heating, but the barley for the cabbage rolls was done. By 2:30 I had 3 big jars and one medium jar of pickled cabbage ready to go, but I realized that I wasn’t going to manage doing the red cabbage pickle. I was running out of time, so I took a break.
I finally started working on the cabbage rolls at a little before 3am and by 3:30 the filling was done and I was waiting for the water to boil for the cabbage leaves. By 4:15 those were done and in the fridge and a ziplock of more filling into the freezer. I was getting a little worried about Tempus because he was running kinda late for the Seal Rock segment.
He picked me up at about 4:45, way later than we’ve been getting going. It was raining hard at that point. The rain gradually slacked off as the light grew and the traffic picked up. We got back to the shop at 7, got the pickles boxed up to take home, got the potroast and broth into fridge containers, made a couple of sandwiches of the roast, ate ’em and headed home.
Today we need to finish up on chores. I’m going to sit and do a little more embroidery, hoping to finish the front of the pouch that I’ve been working on.
A photo by Ken Gagne from 1/10/17. Says Ken, “So I was just walking along the Yachats Bay minding my own business when all of a sudden I heard, Psssst! Hey KennyG, I’m just about on my last leg and crab season starts tomorrow and I’d sure appreciate if you could put me in the protected tide pool over there.”
Today’s plant is Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus, (not watercress, which is true nasturtium). It’s certainly not native to the PNW, but grows well here. I love the brilliant oranges and yellows of the flowers. They’re yummy, too, with a slightly peppery taste, both leaf and flower, and the seeds serve as a substitute for capers in pickles. The flowers stand for Victory in Battle;Patriotism and Affectation and are little used in magicks other than as symbols and foods for Ostara and Beltane celebrations because of their association with the Sun. They also can be used as a symbol for sacrifice to the larger good of soldiers, firemen and police, but are usually only seen at funerals in this context. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropaeolum_majus
49 BCE The date often given as the day that Julius Caesar famously crossed the Rubicon. – “As he crossed the river into Italy, he exclaimed “iacta alea est” (the die is cast) knowing full well that this action signified a declaration of war against Pompey. This gave rise to the common English-language expression ‘to cross the Rubicon’, meaning ‘to pass a point of no return, one where an action taken commits a person irrevocably’.” This is quoted from http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/jan10.html (link is broken)
More about the Rubicon here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubicon
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 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.
…and then the Moon approaches Mercury and Saturn in conjunction. Look for the two planets very low as dawn grows bright. (Their visibility in bright twilight is exaggerated here.) Before dawn on Thursday morning the 11th, spot the waning crescent Moon in the southeast with Jupiter and fainter Mars to its lower right.
Saturn (magnitude +0.5) begins the week very deep in the dawn, 8° lower left of brighter Mercury on the morning of the 6th. But they close in on each other by more than 1° per day, and are only about 3/4° apart (for North America) on their morning of conjunction, January 13th.
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.
©2018 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
W 10 Low 12:46 AM 2.2 7:51 AM Rise 1:59 AM 41
~ 10 High 7:19 AM 7.8 4:57 PM Set 1:00 PM
~ 10 Low 2:20 PM 1.5
~ 10 High 8:18 PM 5.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Some folks wear their halos much too tight…
~ Want to make your dreams come true? Wake up to the reality of yourself and use it. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes. – Sri Ramana Maharshi
~ We all have ability. The difference is how we use it. – Stevie Wonder
~ We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own. – Ben Sweetland
This morning, Grimalkin took me around and made me open every outside door throughout the house. To his dismay, it was raining on the other side of each one! I asked him: “Didn’t we have this discussion the last time it rained? And the time before that?” He agreed that we had and then added, “but one never knows until one checks, right?” I know better than to argue with a cat, so just nodded sympathetically. – Lora Gaddis (collected on Facebook 1/9/18, used with permission)
Brigit Fire – Whether we circle around a hearth, outdoor bonfire, or kindle a blaze in a cast-iron cauldron, in the season of Brigit we welcome the return of light. Here are some suggestions for a safe and cheerful blaze.
Cauldron Fire – Any cast-iron pot can be made into a cauldron with a fire of Epsom salts and rubbing alcohol. This is a very safe blaze. [Anja’s note: …as long as it’s *tiny*! We had one of these in a standard 8” cauldron that sent flames 5 feet into the air!]
You will need:
a cast-iron pot of any size [I’d say 3” or smaller, actually]
a lid that fits snugly, for putting out the fire (or something heavy and heatproof that lies across the top of the cauldron)
bricks, hotplate or other heat-resistant material to set the cauldron on.
To keep the blaze going for 45 minutes in a five quart cauldron, you need 1/2 gallon of Epsom salts and approximately 4 to 6 pints of rubbing alcohol [they’re NUTS!…..this is WAY too much!!!!!]
- Once the cauldron is secured on a heat-proof surface, pour the Epsom salts in until the bottom is covered, approximately 1 inch deep.
- Pour rubbing alcohol over the salts until the alcohol is about an inch higher than the salts.
- Hold a lighted match just above the alcohol.
- The liquid will light and produce a strong orange flame. The flame burns cool, unlike a wood fire, and it is difficult to burn things in.
- When the flame gets low, cover to snuff out completely.
- Add more rubbing alcohol to the cauldron and relight carefully. The warmer the rubbing alcohol, the more quickly it ignites.
- This fire recipe leaves a significant amount of sediment in the bottom of the cauldron. For this reason, it is best to dedicate a pot strictly for cauldron use.
Kindling a Fire
This holiday is a good time to teach your older children how to set a fire and kindle a blaze. Most children are eager to help lay a fire, but may be too scared to light one. Using long matches often eases their fear, and with supervision they can become quite proficient at lighting fires.
Children are great at gathering wood.
A note of caution about burning found wood, however: Make sure you inspect the wood. Scrap plywood gives off toxic fumes, as does wood that has been painted or coated with urethane. Make sure the wood you are burning has not been coated with creosote. Creosote is a dark, often tarry preservative and is commonly found on wood washed up on the beach. Its fumes are toxic, and when burned, the treated wood creates a smoky, stinky blaze. Creosote is easy to identify by its smell, which resembles that of turpentine or paint thinner.
- It is a good idea to have a pail of water or a fire extinguisher close at hand when having a fire.
- Never leave candles lit and a blazing fire unattended.
- If you often light fires at your home, try growing an aloe vera plant, or keep some of the pure gel on hand in the fridge, to use as first aid for burns.
- Fires at the beach are popular in all seasons, and eliminate some of the risks of fires in the woods or in the meadow. Few people are aware of how to extinguish a beach fire safely, however. Covering up a beach fire with sand actually insulates the coals, keeping them burning through the night. Those hidden coals will still be red-hot in the morning waiting for an unsuspecting person to step on them. Always douse a beach fire with water – seawater works as well as fresh water – until there are no more live coals. Wait for the steam to clear; then using a stick, turn over all the coals to make sure no smoldering coals remain.
Egg Carton Fire Starters – Reuse all those old candle ends in this practical, convenient fire project suitable for outdoor fires, only. (Don’t burn wax in an indoor fireplace, it can cause chimney fires!)
You will need:
paraffin wax or beeswax (old candle stubs work great for this)
the bottom halves of cardboard egg cartons
sawdust, pine needles, scraps of cotton material, dry pinecones, or
- Stuff each cardboard egg holder with sawdust or other flammable material.
- Melt the wax in double boiler, over low to medium heat.
- When the wax is melted, carefully pour the wax into each depression in the egg cartons. Make sure the wax does not overflow.
- Stir gently with a bamboo skewer or other small stick to make sure that the wax reaches through the other combustibles.
- Let cool.
- After the wax has cooled down, use scissors to cut the fire starters apart from each other, leaving the hardened wax inside its cardboard shell.
- To use, set one or two fire starters in your fireplace, surround with kindling and larger wood, and light. The fire starters will keep burning long enough to light even the most stubborn logs.
Tips – You can used powdered resins along with the other combustibles to give a lovely scent to the flames or line each cup with plucked off “petals” from cones. A wick can be inserted so that the fire can be started with a lighter. Make a bed of crumpled paper to set this on and continue as above.
Silliness – For The Kids…
Q -What’s the best way of talking to a warty witch? A – By telephone!
Q -Why was the werewolf arrested at the butchers shop? A – He was caught chop lifting!
Q -What happened to the skeleton who went to a party? A – All the others used him as a coat rack!
Q -Why did the skeleton go to hospital? A – To have his ghoul stones removed!
Q -What does a vampire stand on after taking a shower? A – A bat mat!
Q -Why did the vampire enjoy ballroom dancing? A – He could really get into the vaultz!
Q -What did the demon do when he bought a new house? A – He called it “Gnome Sweet Gnome”!