More sun than cloud and the cloud is high and streaky. It’s pretty windy, even here in town. 52F, wind at 16mph, AQI 30, no rain in the past 24 hours. No rain in the forecast until Friday.
Yesterday flew past since there was so much to do. A lot of things were out of place or needed to be re-stocked. There was a lot of mail to catch up on. We had a lot of shoppers in, during the early afternoon. Then I went down with an asthma attack and that put paid to the rest of my day.
Tempus minded the front and didn’t close until 8pm. I curled up with books and embroidery in back and finally got my lungs working properly by late evening, but by then it was really too late to do much. The asthma was leftovers from the weekend. Smoke residue, pet dander, perfumes….and as I coughed I could tell which! At home the triggers are fewer and easier to avoid.
Today, once we’re actually up and moving, we’ll be cleaning at the shop. I have a 101 make-up class this afternoon and then this evening I’m hoping that my plant shelves may *finally* get put up. It’s been what, 3 months? If they do, then I have to do a whacking lot of plant starts this evening, but otherwise I’m going to be doing newsletter set-up and writing. Instead of just putting a whole write-up of last weekend out of place, I’m going to go back and edit the pieces into the appropriate newsletters. ..and tonight’s our paper run.
A few years ago, as a Yule Gift to all of you, I wrote up a description of how I make ornaments out of small books. These are a fun craft. If you start with a small book that suits the person you’re making it for (try bookstores, but the pharmacy across the street from us has ’em in the gift section!) or one with special nostalgic significance, you can have an inexpensive gift (or 6!) in an afternoon. Go to this page: http://wp.me/P2xgQ8-H8 Look for this picture and click on the link below the picture (clicking the title will do nothing, clicking the pic will take you only to the pic!) …and there are a lot more tutorials on the page! Or go straight to the PDF https://ancientlightshop.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/yule-gift-2012-book-ornaments2.pdf
The local larkspurs, delphinium trollifolium, and delphinium pavonaceum (which the Wiki article says is confined to the Valley, but I’ve collected out here….) are pretty flowers in shade of white, blue and purple. They’re called delphiniums after the shape of the nectary. More here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_trolliifolium and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_pavonaceum Other names are Larksheal and Staggerweed – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers frighten away venomous creatures and ghosts. Sprinkle between your eyes and a Litha fire to keep your sight clear. Use in rituals to call upon Dolphin energy.
Today is the feast of St. Barbara. This Virgin, & Martyr was Born in the mid third century somewhere in the Roman Empire and died in early fourth century to late third century, executed by her father for becoming a Christian. Her feast, on December 4 is no longer on Roman Catholic calendar, because they can’t prove she existed. Her symbols are a three-windowed tower, a palm branch, a chalice, or lightning. She is the Patron Saint of prisoners, architects, artillerymen and mathematicians. At various points in history her stories have probably been confused with pagan deities. In many of the Central European countries today, each family member will cut a twig from a tree that blooms and/or fruits. (My grandparents did this every year.) These are put in water in a warm place and the number of blossoms foretell the winter’s weather. The person whose twig blooms the most is said to be the favorite of the Goddess (usually listed as Mary….) More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Barbara
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Holiday Hours – Open Late on 12/24, Christmas Eve, Closed Christmas Day 12/25, Closed Saturday 12/29, Closing Early for New Year’s on 12/31 (probably by 4pm), And then we’ll be closed again on New Year’s Day! 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 12/6 at 11:20pm. 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 12/5 at 11:20am.
At this time of year the Big Dipper lies down lowest soon after dark, due north. It’s entirely below the north horizon if you’re as far south as Miami. But by midnight, the Dipper is standing straight up on its handle in fine view in the northeast. Meanwhile, high above, the bowl of the Little Dipper is descending in the evening, lower left of Polaris. By 10 or 11 p.m. it hangs straight down from Polaris.
The Geminid meteor shower gets underway tonight. Although the shower won’t peak until the night of December 13/14, you should start to see a few Geminids during the overnight hours. And with the Moon showing only a slim crescent phase this week, conditions could hardly be better for a sneak peek at what is arguably the best annual meteor shower. To tell a Geminid meteor from a random dust particle burning up in Earth’s atmosphere, trace the streak of light’s path backward. A shower meteor will appear to originate from the constellation Gemini the Twins.
Mars (magnitude 0.0, in Aquarius) still shines highest in the south at nightfall and sets by midnight. In a telescope it’s gibbous and quite small: 9 arcseconds from pole to pole. For a Mars map that displays which side is facing Earth at your time and date, use our Mars Profiler.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for December not yet available
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22 – (RWEESH)
Runic half-month of Isa/ Is November 28-12 Literally, ‘ice’: a static period. The time of waiting before birth. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic tree month of Ruis/Elder, Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH) – Like other Iron Age Europeans, the Celts were a polytheistic people prior to their conversion to (Celtic) Christianity. The Celts divided the year into 13 lunar cycles (months or moons). These were linked to specific sacred trees which gave each moon its name. Today commences the Celtic tree month of Elder.
Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus) is a genus of fast-growing shrubs or small trees in the family Caprifoliaceae. They bear bunches of small white or cream coloured flowers in the Spring, that are followed by bunches of small red, bluish or black berries. The berries are a very valuable food resource for many birds. Common North American species include American Elder, Sambucus canadensis, in the east, and Blueberry Elder, Sambucus glauca, in the west; both have blue-black berries. The common European species is the Common or Black Elder, Sambucus nigra, with black berries.
The common elder (Sambucus nigra L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (33 feet) in damp clearings, along the edge of woods, and especially near habitations. Elders are grown for their blackish berries, which are used for preserves and wine. The leaf scars have the shape of a crescent moon. Elder branches have a broad spongy pith in their centers, much like the marrow of long bones, and an elder branch stripped of its bark is very bone-like. The red elder (S. racemosa L.) is a similar plant at higher elevations; it grows to 5 m (15 feet).
Red elder extends its native range to northern North America, and it is cultivated along with other native species, but common elders are seldom seen in cultivation. Elders are in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).
Ruis – Elder Ogam letter correspondences
Month: Makeup days of the thirteenth Moon
Meaning: End of a cycle or problem.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 4 Low 3:46 AM 2.0 7:36 AM Rise 4:36 AM 12
~ 4 High 9:57 AM 8.7 4:37 PM Set 3:31 PM
~ 4 Low 4:50 PM 0.0
~ 4 High 11:03 PM 6.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – We can not help someone up the ladder unless he, himself, has a true willingness to try.
~ The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
~ I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. – Sigmund Freud
~ All great things are done for their own sake. – Robert Frost
~ I bind and revoke, any contract or agreement, entered into or retained, which was entered into or retained through fraud, deception or manipulation which interferes with my whole being integration or seeks to restrict my sovereignty. – Jim Fry
Heart-warm against the stormy white,
The Rose of Joy burns warmer yet. – Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–84)
Yule Magick – Mr Pickwick’s Christmas Punch – Sophie Nussle
It’s the time of good cheer, parties and…hot spiced rum punch! Many years ago, when I read Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, I was captivated by the account of Mr Pickwick’s Christmas at Dingley Dell manor. Hot rum punch flowed and everyone was merry. There was no recipe, so I went looking for Victorian rum punch recipes. I found a few, and over the years, I have adapted my own, which is dead easy to make. It’s very alcoholic, very delicious, and will calm any tense family situation 😉 Here it is! Adapt quantities according to size.
For 6 people:
- 2/3 75 cl bottle Amber rum – preferably from small craft rumeries if you can find it.
- 2 75 cl German or Alsace white wine, very fruity – semi-sweet. (You need one part of rum for 3 parts of wine.)
- Raw sugar cane, or sugar cane syrup, to taste.
- 1 orange, 1 lemon.
- zest of 1 orange, zest of 1/2 lemon – make sure the zest is in fairly long curls
- 1 star anise (whole)
- cinnamon (2-3 sticks)
- vanilla pod, whole but sliced down the middle
- a few cloves
- a few cardamom
- 3-4 allspice berries – whole berries, slightly crushed
- mace (in blades, whole) – small amount
Add everything to a large pan and warm slowly until it is smoking and piping hot, but don’t allow to boil. Warm the glasses and be careful when filling them (I put a teaspoon in), and serve. Feel free to adapt according to taste, inspiration and preferred ingredients. Enjoy and toast Mr Pickwick and the Squire of Dingley Dell Manor!
Ancient Light Note – There’s an adaptation of this that I use for making mulled wine or cider, as well, and makes a great gift if it can be refrigerated fairly soon (i.e. it can stand for hours, but I wouldn’t leave it under the tree for a week….) Take your sugar, zests and other spices and cook them slowly on the stove with an equal amount of water, tightly covered, stirring frequently. Let it cool a bit and mix in the juices of the citrus and add about a tablespoon of rosewater (if you have it) Store in the fridge. You can strain it, if you want, but it’s prettier if you don’t. Add to the alcohols after they begin to warm.
I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don’t need diamond earrings, handy slicer-dicers or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing, and I want it deeply.
I want to slap Martha Stewart. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don’t grant this wish just for me, do it for the thousands of women across the country. Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you’ll be giving a gift to us all.
Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren’t concerned with gracious living. We feel pretty good about ourselves if our paper plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner.
We’re tired of Martha’s showing us how to make centerpieces from holly hock dipped in 18 carat gold. We’re plumb out of liquid gold. Unless it’s of the furniture polish variety. We can’t whip up Martha’s creamy holiday sauce, spiced with turmeric. Most of us can’t even say turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.
Martha avoids take-out pizza (she’s only ordered it once), she refuses to eat it cold (No cold pizza? Is Martha Stewart living?) When it was pointed out that she could microwave it, she replied, “I don’t have a microwave.”
Martha has 40 sets of dishes adorning an entire wall in her home. Forty sets! Can you spell “overkill”? And neatly put away, no less. If my dishes make it to the dishwasher, that qualifies as “put away” in my house!
Martha tells us she’s already making homemade holiday gifts for friends. “Last year, I made amazing silk-lined scarves for everyone,” she boasts. Not just scarves, mind you, “Amazing scarves”. Martha’s obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back. She goes on to tell us that ….”homemaking is glamour for the 90s”, and says her most glamorous friends are “interested in stain removal, how to iron a monogram, and how to fold a towel.” I have one piece of advice, “Martha, get new friends.”
There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it’s Martha Stewart.
ho ho ho