Yesterday was pretty quiet except for the weather. We started following a satellite launch at about 12:30, but it wasn’t actually supposed to launch until just before 2pm, then there was a problem with some pins on the launch tower and it got put on hold. …and held… then they re-set for 4:05. By that time we had had lunch. …and then under 1 minute to launch they went on hold again. …and then scrubbed, not long before 5pm. Well, they’ll try again today, supposedly, although I haven’t found any sign that they have.
I spent the day by the computer doggedly tracking down my recipes and getting the ones for the feast all into one place. After I started making mistakes I went to go sew and then started making mistakes there, so I stopped a cut out a pattern that was trial and error anyway, so at least I couldn’t screw it up too badly.
I dunno what was wrong with me, but I just felt icky all day, and gradually my neck got to hurting worse and worse and I get crankier, and crankier. Amy came in for Sewing and by then I just wasn’t up to it. She sat and talked with Tempus for awhile and then we all went home.
Tempus took off again for Newport as soon as he got some stuff sorted out and a shopping list put together. I crawled into bed and slept for awhile, waking near midnight to see that he was just bagging papers. It turned out that the message didn’t manage to send it self until just then, but he was on the road by 12:30 and home just after 6:30, despite the rain and wind.
He left me home this morning, since I’m still not doing well, but I’m going to come in for class, at least. He’s had the shop open all day. I’ll call him in a bit to come pick me up and probably hide behind my computer, hoping not to pass on whatever’s wrong with me. I’m guessing it’s a virus, because of the symptoms, so I’m goign to stay out of anyone’s reach until it’s gone.
Today’s Plant is Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, known as common hawthorn , may, mayblossom, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn, motherdie, and haw. It has edible buds, flowers and fruits, which are full of antioxidants . Particularly sacred to the month of May and to Beltane, it is used extensively as a hedge plant. May interfere with digitalis medications. – Masculine, Mars, Fire. – Fairy energy, increases fertility and/or celibacy. Carry on a fishing trip to ensure good catch. Brings happiness to the troubled or depressed. Protects house against lightning and storms, evil ghosts may not enter. In cradles to guard from evil spells. Most Witch’s gardens contained a hawt hedge. Sacred to the fairies, and is part of the tree triad of Britain. More on this species:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_hawthorn More on the genus Crataegus here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crataegus
Today is the anniversary of the day that Charles Perrault was born in 1628. He was the author of many of our best-loved fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty and Puss in Boots, which he took from folklore and gave them characters and settings that reflected what he saw around him. He’s often credited with inventing the fairy tales as a literary genre. There is more information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Perrault and a marvelously annotated version of Sleeping Beauty and links to various books based on the story here: http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/sleepingbeauty/index.html and other tales similar to this one with more links here: http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/sleepingbeauty/other.html
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. 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 1/15 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.) In early dawn of Saturday the 13th, the waning crescent Moon hangs far to the lower left of Jupiter and Mars and upper left of Antares. Far lower left of the Moon, near the southeast horizon, use binoculars to help find Mercury and Saturn as dawn brightens. They’re still roughly 1° apart, but now Mercury is below Saturn.
Sirius, the Dog Star, rises in the east-southeast around the end of twilight now, if you’re near latitude 40° north (New York, Denver, Madrid, Athens). From such latitudes, Procyon — 2½ fists at arm’s length to Sirius’s left — precedes it up; “Procyon” is from the ancient Greek for “before the dog.” But if you’re as far south as San Diego, the Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, or Cairo, Egypt, they rise almost at the same time.
Mars and Jupiter(magnitudes +1.5, and –1.8, respectively) rise in the east-southeast around 3 a.m. and are high in the south-southeast by early dawn. Jupiter is the brightest point in the sky. Mars and Jupiter begin the week in a close conjunction, just 0.3° apart on the mornings of January 6th and 7th. Then Jupiter pulls away to the upper right, widening their separation to 3° by January 13th. Upper right of Jupiter is 3rd-magnitude Alpha (α) Librae, a very wide double star for binoculars.
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
F 12 Low 2:45 AM 3.2 7:50 AM Rise 3:59 AM 23
~ 12 High 8:56 AM 8.0 4:59 PM Set 2:04 PM
~ 12 Low 4:08 PM 0.7
~ 12 High 10:33 PM 6.0
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
~ When we apply our will to our expectations and dreams, our mind shapes the way our life will be. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho
~ Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? – T.S. Eliot, Choruses from The Rock
~ You block and tackle better than the team you’re playing, you win. – Vince Lombardi
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)
Because I keep talking about the February Feast… here are a couple of recipes…
Beef in wine – Measurements for this are not exact because it depends on the size of your crockpot and roast. If possible, the crockpot should be of a size that the roast nearly fills it.
- Angus beef 1.5-2 Lbs.
- Burgundy (enough to cover, depending on proportions of roast to pot could be from 2-6 cups. )
- Mushrooms (raw or dried), about a double handful.
- Salt about 1 Tbsp
- Caraway about 1 Tbsp
- Put thawed beef roast into crockpot.
- Pour burgundy over to cover.
- Chop mushrooms and add.
- Add salt & caraway.
- Put on high to start, but turn to regular/low after an hour.
- Check a couple of times during the cooking process to make sure beef is still covered. Add water if necessary.
- Flip at around 4 hours.
- Cook 6-8 hours until center temp reaches at least 145F.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Strain broth and serve “bits” and mushrooms on the side, but with the meat.
- Reserve broth for gravy.
Note – Roast can be cooked on high for 4-5 hours, but this sometimes leaves a tough outer surface.
- ½ stick of butter (4 Tbsp)
- About one cup of rice or Wondra flour in a shaker
- Broth from the beef
- Heavy medium to large frying pan
- Melt butter in pan.
- Shake flour into pan a bit at a time and whisk briskly until you have a paste.
- Immediately begin adding broth, whisking quickly to prevent lumps.
- Add water as needed to regulate thickness of the gravy.
Holubky – inspired by https://www.thespruce.com/polish-stuffed-cabbage-recipe-golabki-1136771
- 18 leaves of one whole head cabbage (about 4 pounds)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- ½ stick butter 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cups barley
- 1 teaspoon garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
- 1 cup beef stock
- Garnish: sour cream (optional)
- Sauté the chopped onion in butter in a large skillet until tender, and let it cool.
- Mix cooled onions with beef, pork, barley, garlic, salt, and horseradish until well combined. Don’t overmix or the meat will become tough.
- Plunge leaves into boiling salted water. You will need 18 leaves. (save the rest of the head for other uses.)
- When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem making two small sections.
- Place a couple of Tbsp of filling on each cabbage leaf. Start on the widest side. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. Flip the bottom of the leaf and you will have something that looks like an envelope. Roll away from you to encase the meat and make a neat little roll.
- (Freeze at this point, if desired. )
- Heat oven to 350 F. Place the cabbage rolls in the casserole dish or Dutch oven, seasoning each layer with salt.
- Pour beef stock over rolls, cover, and place in heated oven. Bake for 1 hour or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked.
- (Freeze at this point, if desired. )
- Serve with pan juices and an optional drizzle of sour cream, or mix the pan juices with sour cream and ladle it over the cabbage rolls.
Cabbage rolls freeze well before or after cooking and can be made in a slow cooker (see your manufacturer’s instructions).
Bread Dumplings – Houskový knedlík – Makes: 3 dumplings (each approximately 3.5″ x 8″, 8 servings per) Prep: 20 min Kneed: 5 min Rise: 2 hrs Hands On: 3 min Second Rise: 10 min Cook: 1 hr 5 min Total: 3 hrs 43 min
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp yeast
- 3 2/3 cup of wondra flour (you need to buy at least two Wondra flour containers if you purchased the 13.5 oz size container) or similar coarse flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 cups cubed dried bread
- Warm milk, in nuker.
- Add sugar, yeast.
- Proof in bowl for 10 minutes.
- Add flour, salt, egg and start bread-maker on dough cycle.
- Must not be sticky (add flour to compensate)
- Add bread cubes after the first “rumpus” of the bread maker.
- Flour board.
- Dump dough.
- Cut into 3 pieces.
- Form into dumplings.
- Cover with towel and let rise 10 minutes
- Boil water w/pinch salt
- Add 1 dumpling, cover. Bring back to boil, then turn down to just boiling.
- 10 minutes, flip, 10 minutes on 2nd
- Lay on board, 2nd side up, poke to release steam.
- Either slice with serrated knife or with string.
…and freeze by this method – http://www.czechcookbook.com/how-to-preserve-and-steam-dumplings-jak-zamrazit-a-naparit-knedle/