It’s 58F and sunny! Wait one… it’s supposed to be the depths of winter? The light falling through the evergreens outside the apartment is golden, like evening light and everything is still. Even on the beaches the wind isn’t going over 10mph….
Yesterday was fairly quiet at the shop, but Tempus had a few people in. I mostly slept, read, worked on the computer and screwed up sewing projects. The class decided to cancel for last night. Two of us out wasn’t going to be a good thing.
Today is likely to be more of the same. I’m home, feeling icky, but better enough to call it icky, if you get what I mean. Tempus got me coffee and breakfast before he headed to the shop and I think I’m going to go back to bed as soon as this goes out.
I don’t have the sections at the bottom of the newsletter filled in with the usual stuff… No files for it on this computer. I’m going to ask Tempus to download the info for me and fill ’em in, later. Dunno if it’ll be tonight or tomorrow or what…
This is an old Christmas card from what was then Czechoslovakia in 1925, showing a fairly typical winter scene. The writing in the bottom left corner, says, “Happy Christmas!” and then has the artist’s signature below that.
Today’s plant is Wild ginger, Asarum caudatum – This is a different plant from the one usually used in magick, but has only slightly different properties. This is related to black pepper, kava and birthwort. –Masculine, Mars, Fire – This is used for “heating up” spells. While standard ginger is used in money, love, success and power spells, Wild Ginger is mostly used to add power, rather than on its own.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asarum_caudatum
Lamentations of Isis, ancient Egypt(Nov 13 – 14) –Today: ‘Dismemberment of Osiris’. Isis and Osiris are archetypes bearing a similarity to other divine dualities such as Ishtar and Tammuz ( Damuzi), Venus and Adonis, Mary and Jesus Christ. The tears of Isis, as she lamented Osiris, were said to cause the periodic rising of the Nile; June 18 is another such event, The Egyptian story is believed to have influenced Christianity. See also the Festival of Isia, October 28. Related bits here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djed and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephthys
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. 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.)
Mercury (magnitude –0.3) is having a fine morning apparition. Look for it low in the southeast in early dawn, very far lower left of Jupiter and Mars. (Don’t confuse Mercury with twinklier Antares, which is about 15° or 20° to Mercury’s upper 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.
Vega still twinkles quite low in the northwest after dusk. It’s sometimes called the Summer Star, but it’s certainly out of season now. It’ll soon be gone, to return to the evening sky next spring.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month ofBeth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
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
Sa 13 Low 3:39 AM 3.4 7:50 AM Rise 4:56 AM 15
~ 13 High 9:39 AM 8.1 5:00 PM Set 2:41 PM
~ 13 Low 4:51 PM 0.3
~ 13 High 11:20 PM 6.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Mix salt and pepper together and scatter it around your house to dispel evil.
~ Be a fountain, not a drain. – Rex Hudler
~ Colors are the smiles of nature. – Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) English writer
~ Contemplate the blessing of this day: with a grateful, quiet heart we celebrate. – Martin Luther King Jr.
~ Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. – E. Nightingale
All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling ’round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone. – John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92)
Imbolc Magick – Imbolc Lore – Various Bits from Waverly Fitzgerald (website www.schooloftheseasons.com )
Pamela Berger has written a book, The Goddess Obscured, about the rituals celebrated at the time of the first sowing when the earth is awakened and the seed placed in the belly of the earth. This is a significant moment in a community which depends on the earth for sustenance. The fields were purified and offerings were made to the goddess.
This medieval Anglo-Saxon plowing charm, preserved in a manuscript in the British Museum and recorded by Berger, was said by the farmer while cutting the first furrow:
Whole be thou Earth
Mother of men.
In the lap of God,
Be thou as-growing.
Be filled with fodder
For fare-need of men.
The farmer then took a loaf of bread, kneaded it with milk and holy water, and laid it under the first furrow, saying:
Acre full fed,
Bring forth fodder for men!
And the God who wrought the ground,
Grant us the gifts of growing,
That the corn, all the corn,
May come unto our need.
Berger suggests that the Candlemas rituals for appeasing the earth at plowing may be derived from a Roman festival, Sementiva (from the word for seed which also gives us semen). Ovid is the first to mention it and includes it in his calendar of festivals under late January, but it was apparently not fixed to a particular date but took place whenever the fields were ready for sowing. To appease the earth goddess, who has been been “wounded” by the plow, the farmer made offerings to Tellus Mater and Ceres which included flat cakes, seed and a pregnant sow. Tellus Mater, the Roman earth mother, was often depicted in early art with a snake nursing at her breast.
Later Joannes Lydus says Sementiva was celebrated on two days, the day of sowing and seven days later when the seeds began to sprout. On the first day, sacrifices were made to Demeter (who corresponded with Tellus Mater), the earth that received the grain, and the seventh day, sacrifices were made to Kore (who corresponded to Ceres), the creative force of the seed.
A first century BC poet Tibullus describes the festival in more detail. Participants abstained from sex the night before, bathed and put on new clothing. Ceres and Bacchus were invoked and asked to provide abundance and protect the grain from danger. A lamb was sacrificed and the cattle and fields were purified. Perhaps the cattle were driven between smoky bonfires as the Celts did at Beltane or torches were carried around the fields.
Virgil describes a typical procession around the field in this passage:
…But chiefly pay
Fit worship to the gods. Make sacrifice
Each year to sovereign Ceres, when the grass
Is green and glad, the winter making end
And gentle Spring is in the air, when lambs
Are fattening, when the wine grows smooth and mild,
And sweet is slumber in cool hillside shade.
Let all the country youth of manly prime
On Ceres call, bearing her tribute due
Of honey mixed with milk and sweet, new wine.
Three times around the freshly bladed corn
The blessed victim guide, while all the choir
In gladsome company an anthem sing,
Bidding the goddess to their lowly doors.
And let no reaper touch the ripened corn
With sickle keen until his brows bind
With twine of oak-leaf, while he trips along
In artless dance with songs in Ceres’ praise.
The festival of Brigid is one of emergence. In America, instead of goddesses emerging from the underworld or serpents slithering out of holes, we watch for the ground hog to pop out of his burrow.
Many animals are emerging from hibernation as the hours of sunlight increase. The bear is a true hibernator; it sleeps through the winter with a slower heart rate and a lower body temperature, without eating or urinating or defecating. Many other mammals that seem to hibernate, like raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, chipmunks, hamsters and hedgehogs, actually go into dormancy, rather than true hibernation, and wake up occasionally to move around and eat.
In England, the animal that comes out of hibernation on this day is the badger. Since there are no badgers in America, this role was assigned to the groundhog (or woodchuck). If the groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow on February 2nd, he goes back in and winter continues. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then winter will soon be over.
Silliness – Justice Triumphs
A lawyer had a jury trial in a very difficult business case. The client, who had attended the trial, was out of town when the jury came back with its decision, which was for the lawyer and his client.
The lawyer immediately sent a telegram to his client, reading, “Justice has triumphed!”
The client wired back, “Appeal at once!”