55F and wind at 5mph gusting to the teens on the beaches. It was raining a bit, earlier, but it’s been dry for awhile. The sky is very grey; streaked, blotched and mottled, but all grey. The rain is due to roll back in around 4pm.
Yesterday was one of those bleary-eyed slogs that happen every once in a while. We got stuff done, more seed starts for one, and processed a lot of other herbs and pictures and did some writing, but it just felt like I never completely woke up. Tempus suggested I get a nap, early in the day, and I did, and having a cup of coffee after that did make a difference, but…..
We only had browsers in during the day. It’s been a very slow week. Tempus was hunting a project that we both know that he had just a few days ago. I never saw where he put it and he doesn’t remember. He went around and around pulling out boxes and checking various places and it never turned up.
Today Tempus has errands to run and I have phone calls to make. I’m still trying to locally source some ingredients. Malt, for one, which I’ve never used, but have a recipe that calls for it. …and I have to find out whether our Cash and Carry can get me the sour pie cherries. We have class tonight, too.
Pic by David Bruerd of Portland in the middle of January 2017
Today’s Plant is Cow parsnip, Heracleum lanatum, or Indian Celery. Growing in every damp place along the roads out here, this is easily confused with seacoast angelica, and other plants, and even dangerously with water hemlock, if you don’t look carefully, or dig it up to check the root. It’s a huge plant (over 6 feet tall) with leaves large enough to make a hat from! Local peoples used it as a poultice plant for bruises and sores. The young stems and leaf stalks can be peeled and eaten in spring. The root makes a nice yellow dye. –Feminine, Water, Moon, Hathor – The flowers glow in the moonlight and I have used this as a plant of sacrifice to Bona Dea or the Great Mother in one of her many aspects as it is a symbol of the plenty of spring. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracleum_lanatum
Today is the Roman Feast of Concordia, the day of “getting along”. Not so much peace as “Pax”, but being able to work together for the good of all, agreement, often translated as “Harmony” …. It’s amazing how many feasts dedicated to peace and peaceful pursuits the Romans had when we think of them as a warlike people. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concordia_%28mythology%29
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
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 1/31 at 5:27am. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 1/29 at 5:27pm. Full Moon – The day of the day before and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 2/1 at 5:27pm.
The Moon visits the Pleiades and the Hyades as it crosses Taurus after first quarter. Look left of the Moon this evening for Pollux with Castor over it. Farther to the Moon’s lower right is brighter Procyon. Far lower right of Procyon is Sirius, brightest of all.
Orion, high to the upper right of Sirius, is the brightest of the 88 constellations. But his main pattern is surprisingly small compared to some of his dimmer neighbors. The biggest of these is Eridanus the River to his west, enormous but hard to trace. Dimmer Fornax the Furnace, to Eridanus’s lower right, is almost as big as Orion! Even the main pattern of Lepus, the Hare cowering under Orion’s feet, isn’t much smaller than he is.
Venus remains hidden deep in the sunset.
Goddess Month of Bridhe, runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Runic half-month of Elhaz/Algiz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary.
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 29 Low 4:02 AM 3.0 7:38 AM Set 5:55 AM 89
~ 29 High 10:01 AM 9.2 5:22 PM Rise 3:34 PM
~ 29 Low 5:10 PM -1.2
~ 29 High 11:41 PM 7.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – When I accept the views and behaviors of others, without attempting to correct them, I allow myself to learn other points of view.
~ There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed. – Albert Schweitzer
~ This body is not a home but an inn, and that only briefly. – Seneca
~ Those who always choose the safest path will never get across the chasm. – Jan Carlzon
~ Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness. – Earl of Derby
If the grass grows in Janiveer,
It grows the worse for ‘t all the year. – –proverb
Imbolc tidbit – From: http://www.ladybridget.com/r/febi001.html
Imbolc Introduction – Copyright Lady Bridget 1997
Imbolc, Oimelc, Imbolg, or Candlemass (the Christianized version of the name) is the celebration that occurs when the Sun reaches 15 ° Aquarius, and is therefore considered a Major Sabbat. This date was traditionally celebrated on Feb 1st or 2nd, and is still noted today in our country as “Ground Hog’s Day”, which marks that there is only 6 more weeks of winter; we have reached the half-way point.
There are some traditions that may say this holiday marks the beginning of Spring, but this doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Imbolc marks the middle of the winter season, just as Yule marked the beginning, and Ostara will mark the beginning of Spring at the Equinox.
The Celts marked this holiday as “Brigit’s Day” or “Brid’s Day” in Irish. Bridget is one of the few Pagan Dieties to have survived as Saints in the Christian religion. She was a very powerful and meaningful Goddess, and there was no way to force the populace to give her up, therefore they canonized her as “Saint Brigit” and up until 1220 BCE, her shrine at Kildare had a perpetual fire that was constantly tended by virgins, by the Priestesses of the Goddess, and after Christianity took over, it was continued by the virgin nuns. In the 1960’s after Vatican II, it was decided that Saint Brigit did not have enough evidence to canonize her and then she was decanonized. However, in Ireland, she is still very much reverenced, as she is by Wiccans, as the triple Goddess. One aspect ruled poetry, writing, inspiration, and music; one ruled healing and midwifery and herbology, and one ruled fire, and the arts of smithcraft. Incidentally, this holiday was also called by the Christians, the Feast of the Purification of Mary, for it was believed that women were “unclean” for six weeks after giving birth. So since she had given birth at the Winter Solstice, this is the date when she would be purified. We look upon this as the time when the Goddess who gave birth at the Winter Solstice, is now transformed in the Maiden once again.
The Imbolc, or Oimelc, was the ancient Celtic festival celebrating the birth and freshening of sheep and goats, the Feast of Milk. Brigit’s feast day was called “La Feill Bhride” and represents the seed that is waiting to stir again. It is a time of great anticipation and the celebration of possibilities. New life is about to awaken in the earth, the earth is furrowed and prepared to receive the seed.
The Valentine’s Day festivities were also connected to this time, being celebrated now on Feb 14th. There are different explanations for this day, the Christian church having one, and folklorists having another. The Christian version states that a Dr. Valentine in ancient Greece used to perform illegal Christian weddings and he was sacrificed to the lions on this date and became Saint Valentine. Therefore, hearts and flowers are exchanged to honor the love that he had and the love of the Christian couples he joined in matrimony. The folklorists attribute this holiday to the “gallant” or “galantine” young men who pursued their sweethearts at this time, since some Latin languages pronounced “g” as a “v” in earlier times. Thus, the “valentine” would be the attentions of a would-be suitor, and whatever methods he might employ to win the maiden’s heart!
At this time the Roman’s celebrated Lupercalia, which also was a fertility festival. The Priests of Pan ran through the streets insuring women’s fertility by spanking them with thongs made from goatskin and blessed by the local Strega. There are many cultures which had similar holiday practices at similar times. So much so that one has to wonder if this was due primarily to an agricultural society having a tendency to celebrate the same things at the same times of the year, or to an more universal religion or culture, having roots far in antiquity and being handed down over the centuries, changing only slightly over the generations?
Our tradition celebrates with a Brid’s Bed, in which our Brid’s Doll, made of corn, or straw, and dressed very prettily, is placed. She is the Maiden at this time, young, playful, and belonging only to herself, or virginal. Alongside her is placed an acorn wand, sized according to the Doll’s size, which represents the penis, the regenerative male force in nature. We tell Brid our secret dreams and wishes that we want to see manifest. This is a time when we look to the future and dream! This is the Sabbat where we can plan ahead for what “seeds” we will “sow” in the coming year, and how we plan to nurture our seeds for a successful harvest later.
Other customs include lit candles in every window of the house, and keeping a perpetual candle on the Altar to Brid. Seeds are brought into circle to be blessed by the Goddess and the Gods and to absorb the circle’s vibrant energy. Chant, dance, and sing, and send energy back into the earth to help her awaken, so that Spring may once more bloom. Straw can be woven into “Brid’s Cross”, “Bridget’s Knot”, or “Corn Maiden” and hung in the corners of rooms, over doorways, and over beds, for fertility, prosperity, and for the blessings of the Goddess. Remember – fertility doesn’t necessarily mean having babies! Fertility of the mind, imagination, and of projects you are working to bring to “birth” are also desired manifestations, and will be blessed by fertility rituals. If you are of child-bearing ability and do not wish to be pregnant, than stress that the fertility you desire is of the mind, or of a certain project, or your creativity, etc, and that is what you will manifest.
It is also traditional in some covens for the Priestess to wear a crown of thirteen candles, a lunar number, representing herself as the Maiden of Light. Some covens have a crown made up, others use thirteen small electric bulbs instead of candles (which seems safer!). This is the Feast of Light, as the winter is dying away, and the sun grows stronger, and so bonfires are especially appropriate as well. In ages past, people jumped the bonefires to be cured of winter colds and flu. This is the holiday to bring your candles to circle, to have them be blessed by the Sabbat energies. We have small candles of each color in circle, and we mark them appropriately with symbols. Then during the year, when we dress any candle for any purpose, we add a few drops from our Imbolc candles, so that the Sabbat blessings and energy will also be added to the working.
The candles, the bonefires, and the lights are all symbolically adding energy to the waxing sun. In addition, they have another purpose. For remember at Samhain, Persephone went to the Underworld, to greet and care for the spirits of the dead? That was three months ago, and now, it is time for us to signal to her to return, and bring Spring back to the earth. We light the way for her to see her way back from Hades, and to remind her that we, with Demeter, are awaiting her here among the living.
In our tradition, this Sabbat is the only Sabbat where new coveners can be initiated into first degree. This makes this holiday a special one for us as it marks our “birthday” into the Craft! We always have a birthday cake for ourselves, and we celebrate together our inititation anniversary. We also use one candle for each covener, a large white candle, which is dressed, blessed, and lit only on Imbolc, and on each succeeding Imbolc thereafter until it is burned out. This candle is special to us, and among other things is a symbol of the Light which we are now celebrating, and which we embody.
The usual colors for Imbolc are white and yellow. White contains all the other colors in the spectrum, and therefore embodies all colors, and is a symbol of all possibilities; the beginning, the new. Yellow has always been the color associated with the Sun, along with gold, and is a call to the Sun to continue strengthening, and chase winter away. Traditional foods include potatoes, carrots, and any root vegetables, as people in ancient times were getting near the bottom of their root cellar by now. Also corn, as it is yellow for the Sun, and so many cultures relied on corn as a main staple of their diets. Lambs were being born around this time, and so lamb was also served at this holiday, along with rabbits, which were easy to trap, and other wild animals who stayed above ground during the cold months. We serve a hearty red wine during the God’s half of the year, but you can also serve milk, since this was a celebration of the “freshening” of the goats as well. Indeed, it was often a “Milk Festival” and Oimelc means “milk of ewes”.
Ideas for ritual can be the making of Brid’s Beds, Brigit’s Knots, Corn Dollies, as well as blessing seeds for your garden, blessing the water for the seeds, and blessing your candles for the coming year, to name just a few. In our tradition, we don’t do personal magick on the Sabbats. We save that for the remaining 357 days of the year! Sabbats are for returning energy to the Gods and Goddesses, for being thankful for our blessings, and for blessing our dreams, wishes, and hopes. We make plans for the development of our lives on a spiritual level; for example: a happy home, healthy environment, peaceful country, and the renewal of the earth would be appropriate blessings for the Sabbat, and wonderful ideals to give your energy towards.
For more ideas and instructions on making some projects for Imbolc, or any other holiday, I strongly recommend Dan and Pauline Campanelli’s books “Ancient Ways” and “Wheel of the Year”, and also Scott Cunningham’s “Spell Crafts”. These books give you how-to illustrated instructions on a variety of holiday themes, and the Campanelli books also give you the historical background and how these projects tie in with each season.
“Candlemas: the Light Returns” by Mike Nichols
“Brigit of the Celts” by Morning Glory Zell
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