It’s clearing up fast, although it was drizzling on us even in the late twilight. It didn’t clear soon enough to see Venus, though. 45F, wind at 5mph, much different from yesterday during the day. You ought to see the ocean, though. Wow-rough! AQI at 14 and the UV is at 0! Almost Yule!
Yesterday started late and yawningly. Before I had coffee I had some guy on the phone with a very thick accent who wanted to talk to the owner of “ant sin ligget” about our online “press-ants”. I told him he had a wrong number…
Tempus tried to set himself on fire, inadvertently. He’s only had very long hair for a few years and it’s mostly in a braid. He was combing it out and got too close to the incense burner. To quote Lorena, “Not my favorite incense….” He singed his knuckles, but no worse, thankfully, and after all my stories of getting my hair in the candles! We had to open the shop up, as cold as it was, to get the place aired out.
I spent most of the day working on herb headers and there are more to do, at least as many as have already gotten done. I’m also uncovering some stock that I put by to work on later, including some rose quartz hearts!
Tempus made burgers for supper, then I got a nap while he headed for Newport. He did some food shopping and then went to pick up the papers and discovered that they had already been out for an hour. <sigh> He had to take it easy early in the route since it was still raining and then it went foggy on him on the Bayshore loop. He said he was crawling.
Once we’re awake again, we have laundry to do and then to get those herbs hung up. Wednesdays are always short!
The Western Hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla (also called the western hemlock-spruce) is a species of hemlock native to the west coast of North America, along with the mountain hemlock Tsuga mertensiana. It can grow to nearly 300 feet tall and up to 9 feet in diameter. It is a native of the temperate rain forests, mostly less than 60 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It is used as a timber tree, for tanning leather, to reduce erosion along rivers, and the essential oil is used in perfume. Like many of the evergreens, new growth at the branch tips can be chewed or made into tea for the vitamin C, which is used medicinally in late winter for the nutrient value. If the bark is pulled off the cambium layer can be scraped loose and eaten and pressed into cakes and dried for later use. The Tlingit people used the boughs to collect herring eggs during the spring spawning. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuga_heterophylla – Feminine, Saturn, earth, Morena/Anja – This tree is not often recommended for use in magicks because of the baneful association of the name with water hemlock, which is a deadly poison. It is helpful for magicks of releasing, for divorce or death, not to create such, but to ease the passage to new life and for the cleansing rituals of late winter. For the western Slavs, another of this genus was burned in funeral pyres and in rituals to Morena and Anja.
…and we think we’ve got it tough with Santa Claus and having to wait and be good and all! How would you like to be from Iceland where the jólasveinarnir, the Yuletide lads, start showing up on the 12th of December and do things like skimming the cream off the milk, swiping meat out of a pan and they’re all the kids of a pair of trolls!!!! They used to (pretend to) beat kids and sometimes kidnap them, but now they’re a little nicer and look a lot more like Santa’s Elves than gruesome Fae. Here are some pictures: http://jol.ismennt.is/myndasafn3.htm and a little lore: http://jol.ismennt.is/english/christmas-lads-museum.htm (most of the links on that page are broken) Wikipedia has more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_Lads and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_worldwide#Iceland
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Open Circle for Yule 12/21, 7pm. Holiday Hours – Open Late on 12/22 & 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 email@example.com 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 12/22 at 9:49pm. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/15 at 3:49am.
The Geminid meteor shower should be at its peak late tomorrow night! In early evening the meteors will be few, but those that do appear will be Earth-grazers skimming far across the top of the atmosphere. As the hours pass and the shower’s radiant (near Castor in Gemini) rises higher in the east, the meteors will become shorter and more numerous — the most so from midnight to dawn. Layer up even more warmly than you imagine you’ll need; think radiational cooling! Find a dark open spot with no local lights to get in your eyes, lie back in a reclining lawn chair, and gaze up into the stars. Be patient. As your eyes adapt to the dark, you may see a Geminid every minute
The thick crescent Moon forms a roughly equilateral triangle, 20° or more on a side, with Mars to its upper left and Fomalhaut to its lower left.
Venus appears brilliant from the time it rises around 3:30 a.m. local time until close to sunrise more than three hours later. It stands about 25° above the southeastern horizon an hour before the Sun comes up. Gleaming at magnitude –4.8, the planet shines far brighter than any other object in the predawn sky. When viewed through a telescope, Venus spans 34″ and appears about one-third lit.
The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point in its orbit around Earth, at 7:25 a.m. EST. It then lies 251,765 miles (405,177 kilometers) from Earth’s center.
Jupiter (magnitude –1.7) is just beginning to emerge from solar conjunction very low in the glow of sunrise. By the morning of Saturday Dec. 15, can you pick it up 6° below Mercury as shown here? Binoculars may help.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for December
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 Runic half month of Naudhiz/ Nyd – November 13- 27 – Need-fire – Time to prepare for winter. Consciousness is the Necessity. “That which does not destroy me makes me stronger.” – Nietzsche
©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
W 12 High 4:08 AM 6.7 7:43 AM Rise 11:37 AM 17
~ 12 Low 9:33 AM 3.6 4:37 PM Set 9:46 PM
~ 12 High 2:58 PM 7.0
~ 12 Low 10:02 PM 0.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this an amiable day!
~ Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. – Dan Coyle
~ How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will. – Albert Einstein
~ He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. – Epictetus
~ Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. – John W. Gardner
Winter is good—his Hoar Delights
Italic flavor yield—
To Intellects inebriate
With Summer, or the World – –Emily Dickinson (1830–86)
Black Bean Lasagna
8 ounces lasagna noodles, about 9 noodles
30 ounces of black beans, divided
vegetable cooking spray
1 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 cups cottage cheese
8 ounces light cream cheese
2 egg whites
¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Cook noodles until done, drain and set aside. Prepare bean mixture: Rinse and drain black beans. Mash one-half of beans and set aside. Spray a medium saucepan with vegetable oil spray and sauté red pepper, onion and garlic until tender. Add mashed beans, whole beans and tomato sauce; simmer for 10–15 minutes.
Prepare cheese filling: With an electric mixer, combine the cottage cheese, cream cheese and egg whites, stir in the cilantro.
Assemble: Spray a 9×9-inch (23x23cm) square baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Arrange one-third of the noodles on the bottom of the pan, top with one-third cheese filling, spread on one-third bean mixture. Repeat twice, ending with bean mixture.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes, remove and top with cheese, return to oven for another 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
1 pound ground beef
½ cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 ounces kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups tomato sauce
¼ cup black olives, sliced
1 tablespoon chili powder or more to taste
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup cornmeal
2 ½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brown beef in a nonstick skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add beans, tomato sauce, black olives, chili powder, and Tabasco sauce, and stir to combine. Transfer bean mixture to a 10x 10-inch casserole dish that has been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray.
Combine cornmeal, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture is thick (about 10 minutes). Ladle cornmeal over meat and bean mixture and flatten with a spoon.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Return to oven and cook for another 10 minutes, until the cheese melts.
Carne Gisada con Papas
3 pound round steak, cut ½” thick
8 ounces of tomato sauce
½ teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 pounds of potatoes
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Cut round steak into cubes and brown in shortening or butter in a heavy
skillet or Dutch oven. Peel and cube potatoes into approximately ½” pieces.
Once meat is slightly brown, add the potatoes and continue to brown. Don’t
worry if the meat and potatoes stick to the bottom of the skillet. Add
tomato sauce, salt, pepper, cumin and garlic. Add approximately one cup of
water and simmer until meat and potatoes are tender. The potatoes will
Hearty Chili with Red Beans
- 1 pound Ground Venison or Lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 16 ounces red kidney beans, drained (I use Bush’s brand)
- 1 16-ounce can of prepared chili (I use Texas Pete’s brand)
- Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
- Sliced scallion greens (optional)
In a cast iron skillet, brown meat, breaking into crumbles as it cooks. Add onions and cook until onions are clear. Add beans and chili. Simmer on low heat until bubbling hot.
Serve in bowls garnished with cheese and scallions if desired. Also good with corn bread or steamed rice.
Serves 4 – 6
The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring decisions at the North Pole. Streamlining was necessary due to the North Pole’s loss of dominance of the season’s gift distribution business. Home shopping channels and mail order catalogs have diminished Santa’s market share. He could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.
The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of a late model Japanese sled for the CEO’s annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is anticipated. Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has received unfavorable press. I am pleased to inform you that Rudolph’s role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole. Management denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak that Rudolph’s nose got that way, not from the cold, but from substance abuse. Calling Rudolph “a lush who was into the sauce and never did pull his share of the load” was an unfortunate comment, made by one of Santa’s helpers and taken out of context at a time of year when he is known to be under executive stress.
As a further restructuring, today’s global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary:
The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;
The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated;
The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French;
The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;
The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-bills and high technology stocks appear to be in order;
The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one;
The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance their outplacement;
As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;
Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps; Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;
Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the bottom line;
We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals, and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved. Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney’s association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (“thirteen lawyers-a-suing) action is pending.
Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.
Pastor Tim’s CleanLaugh List