Featured photo by Ken Gagne. 101 Catchup class today It’s brilliantly sunny outside, at least compared to inside. Of course, you can hardly feel the sun’s warmth. 56F, wind at 11, gusting into the upper teens, AQI 56. We’re under a HIGH WIND WATCH, GALE WARNING, HIGH SURF ADVISORY and SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY, all at once! Iow, winter has really hit. It looks like the next storm is due in tomorrow morning.
Yesterday didn’t really get started until past 4pm. I spend a large chunk of my day writing and writing and writing and looking things up and writing some more. I’m working on a paper about the fig rennet cheese experiments. https://housecapuchin3.wordpress.com/projects-over-period-of-time/fig-sap-rennet-cheese-experiment-anja/
Tempus went out to do the laundry and that’s gotten finished. He also watered plants and did computer housekeeping and worked a bit it back, that’s along with making a delicious pancake/bacon/eggs breakfast and then burgers for dinner.
- Avoid heavy mulching around the bases of trees and shrubs, as the mulch provides cover for small rodents.
- Don’t let snow pile up on shrubs and tree branches.
- If you have a woodstove or fireplace, you can use wood ashes to raise your soil’s pH. (Check the pH before applying and don’t use the ashes if the pH is greater than 7.0.)
- Keeping up with yard maintenance now will save you a lot of work in the spring. Remove leaves, withered stalks, and winter weeds from your lawn.
- Ensure that firewood isn’t stored near the house or inside
Today’s Plant is Yarrow, Achillea millefolium. This plant is often called woundwort or nosebleed because of its clotting properties and is used for fevers and infections because it has salicylates (aspirin) in it. The young leaves can be eaten and it becomes an aid to vision-work. It’s easy to grow and makes a great companion plant. We have mostly the pacifica and californica varieties out here. Leaf – Feminine, Venus, Water. Exorcism – Wear to protect – hold in hand to stop fear – hang over bed for lasting love – carry for love and bring friends and contact with relatives. Flower – Feminine, Venus, Water– flowers made into tea for psychic power, Exorcism, protection, stop fear, lasting love. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarrow
Today’s feast is Santa Lucia, Saint Lucy, whose name means “Light”. One of the nicer customs around the world is that in Scandinavia the daughters of the family serve everyone coffee and sweet rolls this morning as a “thank you” for the year. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucy%27s_Day
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 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 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 peaks tonight under nearly ideal conditions. The waxing crescent Moon sets around 10:30 p.m. local time, leaving the rest of the night Moon-free. Observers under a clear dark sky can expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour — an average of two per minute. The meteors appear to radiate from a spot just north of Castor, the bright star in the northern part of the constellation Gemini the Twins. This region passes nearly overhead from mid-northern latitudes around 2 a.m. local time, although conditions remain excellent from the time the Moon sets until morning twilight commences.
The Mars-Moon-Fomalhaut triangle has narrowed since yesterday as the Moon moves eastward along its orbit.
Saturn (magnitude +0.6, in Sagittarius) sinks from sight very low in the southwest in twilight.
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
Th 13 High 4:53 AM 6.7 7:44 AM Rise 12:06 PM 25
~ 13 Low 10:29 AM 3.7 4:37 PM Set 10:46 PM
~ 13 High 3:47 PM 6.5
~ 13 Low 10:46 PM 1.0
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Take a walk.
~ A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool. – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
~ Anything in life that we don’t accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace ~ with it. – Shakti Gawain
~ Do your work, the best way you know how. Is there any other option? – Seth Godin
~ Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. – V Lombardi
Lucy light, Lucy light, shortest day and longest night. – proverb
As I write this, we are approaching the holidays surrounding the winter solstice where we sing about decking the halls with boughs of Holly. Where does this come from? When we celebrate the summer around the solstice day, the celebrations of old consist of bonfires. Where does this come from? Please keep in mind this written from a Northern Hemisphere perspective. You folks down under will celebrate the opposite holidays.
As a Pagan or a rather Polytheist, I hear several stories surrounding the Oak King and the Holly King — one is killed and reborn — and I hate to say that so many of them are incorrect. Then again, people are allowed to believe what they wish but I would like to set the record straight. I am also an astrologer and one of the first things I noticed is there two sets of celebrations surrounding modern Paganism: the first is the Lunar cycles — how we celebrate the moons of the year, thirteen full and thirteen new moons — and the second set are what are labeled as the Sabbats, the eight solar celebrations. The eight are Ostara (Vernal Equinox) , Beltaine, Litha (Summer Solstice) , Lammas, Mabon (Autumn Equinox) , Samhain (Hallowe’en) , and Yule (Winter Solstice) or in other words, the solstices and equinoxes and the cross-quarter holidays.
We will examine the Sabbats with their relation to the Holly King and the Oak King. In order to understand the eight Sabbats, one must understand who the Oak King and Holly King are. They are none other than Light and Darkness.
Vernal Equinox (March 21st) : This is the celebration of Light and Dark being in harmony. The Darkness does not conquer Light, nor does the Light conquer Darkness. They are at equilibrium. This is when the “battle” between the two is at its strength. It is a time of high energy and of the concept of killing off the old and bringing in the new. Many ancient Pagan celebrations consisted of burning straw men at this time, when they took dried corn/wheat from last year’s harvest to burn at this time. The Christian myth of Jesus dying on the cross (of the year) and rising again came from these ancient rituals.
Beltaine (May 1st) : This is the time when the Holly King dies. Darkness dies in order to give way to Light. The Oak king defeats Holly king! This is why this time of year is a celebration of procreation and why the gods were mating along with the humans during this time. This is a time of sex, and the life bringing energies associated with it. In ancient times, people were not allowed to marry until June. If anyone is questioning why the Holly king or the Dark Lord, passes during this time think to the opposite holiday when it is the other way around during Samhain or Hallowe’en.
Litha or the Summer Solstice (June 23rd) : Hooray! The Oak king reigns supreme and we celebrate the Oak King or the Bright Lord with bonfires. Long live the King! Today is the longest day of the year. People in the Northern regions celebrate the light and brightness of summer. As we celebrate the light and creation, many Pagans forget that on this day the Dark Lord or the Holly King is reborn. Many do not honour what he can bring us on this day. One must think forward to Yule and keep this in mind when we discuss the Summer Solstice as a day of growth and fertility. One must look to the subsequent holiday to see what it brings to us.
Lammas (Aug 1st) : This is the day, which is opposite to Imbolc where we celebrate the anticipation of the Light. Here we celebrate the first harvest. What is this, other than the Holly King’s first victory by the killing off of the crops for the first harvest? The Holly King strikes his first blow to the Oak King’s reign. We take the crops of the season in this, what can be termed as, a mini-death. We still bask in the warmth of the Oak King’s summer but things must die and we feast on what has died!
Autumn Equinox (September 23rd) : This is the celebration of Light and Dark being in harmony once again. The Darkness does not conquer Light but the Darkness is getting stronger. This is a time of thanksgiving as the Light does start giving way to the darkness and we start reaping the rewards of a dying Earth. The Oak King’s light is starting to give way. He has trouble hanging on. We give thanks to the Oak King for all he has given us. How many of us give the Holly King or the Dark Lord thanks for the abundance he brings us through the Oak King’s flesh?
Samhain (October 31st) : the Final Harvest or Hallowe’en. Many people realize that this is the Oak King’s death. However, many celebrate his death and rebirth. This is not his rebirth. He is dead until the Winter Solstice! This is a time for darkness to reign. The days get shorter and the nights grow longer. This is at time for us to withdraw and hide in solitude. This is why the “holiday season” can be very difficult for many to endure as we start celebrations before the Winter Solstice. At this point the Oak King, and all light, is dead and we must retreat to the Holly King’s realm, underworld, to be reborn. How can a corpse decompose when someone is pumping embalming fluid into you during this time?
Winter Solstice (December 21st) : the rebirth of the Sun or the Oak King. On this day the light is reborn and we celebrate the renewal of the light of the year. Oops! Are we not forgetting someone? Why do we deck the halls with boughs of Holly? This day is the Holly King’s day – the Dark Lord reigns. He is the god of transformation and one who brings us to birth new ways. Why do you think we make “New Year’s Resolutions”? We want to shed our old ways and give way to the new! The Christians celebrate the birth of the Son who in more ancient times was the Sun or Son (Mithras, the Sun God, son of the good god, Ahuru-Mazda) as it was the same concept. This is a discussion on its own but nevertheless it is the same concept. Astrologically, Saturn rules this time. Saturn rules Capricorn, which is the sign that starts at the Winter solstice and where celebrations with food, gift exchanges happened during the Roman celebration of Saturnalia. The masters would serve the servants in a celebration of role reversals. Nevertheless, this was a celebration of abundance and renewal.
Imbolc (Feb 2nd) : This day has been secularised into “Groundhog Day” when the groundhog tells us when winter ends. Originally, it was the day of the Goddess Brigit, later Christianised into St. Brigit. This a time when Darkness still rules but the light is coming into power and it is celebrated by the celebration of candles, which was Christianised into Candlemas. The darkness or the Holly King still rules but the Oak King or light is growing in power. In Pagan, celebrations the sacramental wine is replaced with honey and milk.
As one can simply see, the struggle of the Oak and Holly King is that light and dark and the life and death is more solar than some arbitrary day. Many Christian holidays have come to be associated with more ancient Pagan holidays such as St. Brigit’s Day and St. John the Baptist day (Summer Solstice) but in the end they are no more than solar celebrations.
Light-Dark not Good-Evil: One concept that must be kept in mind is that the struggle of light versus dark is not one of good versus evil. In the Pagan mindset, the struggle of light and dark is of one of birth and regeneration. Like the harvest, one thing that grows will die and what dies will grow again. It is about how we choose to grow and die and how we choose to be reborn. As the sun is reborn on the Winter Solstice day, we too are reborn. As the darkness reborn on the Summer Solstice day, we too start to die on that day. It is cycle that we live from year to year. Death is not bad – it is just an opportunity to be reborn. Do we die forever? No! We are reborn with the light, in one way or another.
Copyright: Franco Minatel 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Author’s Profile: To learn more about Franco – Click HERE http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_pa.html?a=caon&id=293187
Bio: Energy Worker, Astrologer, Tarot and Rune Reader, Numerologist, Bucket Reader. Professional Engineer. Runner. Musician…basically a Renaissance Man.