Featured photo by Paul Didsayabutra. Minus Tide at 8:01 PM of -1.6 feet. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Holiday Hours – Open Late on 12/24 (Christmas Eve), Closed Christmas Day 12/25, Open regular hours on 12/27 & 28. Closed Saturday 12/29, Open regular hours on 12/30. Closing Early for New Year’s on 12/31 (probably by 4pm), And then we’ll be closed again on New Year’s Day!
We got at least 1/3 of an inch yesterday and it’s been raining off and on all night. It’s supposed to stay wet today and then on Wednesday and Thursday, but Christmas Day should be dry. 48F (which is almost the forecast high!) Wind at 4mph gusting into the lower teens. AQI 14 and there’s a moderate amount of ragweed pollen in the air? No, that’s some kind of glitch.
Yesterday we were pretty busy in the early part of the day. We had things to set up (like the pork roast) and had some customers stop by. Eventually I sat and worked on the database until the kids got here.
Arthur and Raven and baby bump were here for several hours during the afternoon. They brought me a wind chime (that we’re planning to hang today) and a bottle of some melomel that Arthur made. I got their little gnomes made while they were here. They couldn’t stay for supper. Rescue mission for the holidays…. a friend who needed to be nabbed to stay with them for a few days.
Tempus and I had pork roast, new potatoes and pickles for supper and it was really tasty. I was back to working on the Herbs database. He took off after supper to get the papers delivered and got home at 7am. He’s not feeling well. Something didn’t agree with him. He got in at 6:50.
Today we’ll be open on time and we’re staying open late if folks aren’t done with their shopping. I’m hoping to make a couple more pincushion gnomes during the day and I have a new embroidery project underway. …and there’s the database, still.
I already have my Santa Tracker going, do you? 🙂 https://santatracker.google.com/#tracker
Today’s plant is the Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus. My kids used to call this “popcorn plant”, which is a name I’ve heard from others, too. The white berries are used as a food, a soap, and for hand lotion. It doesn’t have any magickal uses that I know of, although the folk magicks for this bush amongst the Slavs say that it is “proper” as an offering to statues of the gods. Also it should have the properties of purification and healing, just going by the medicinal uses and the fact that it will re-grow from the root and is planted as riparian erosion control and around abandoned mines and other such places. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphoricarpos_albus
Today is a celebration of the Yule Log and the customs of this time of the year! Traditionally the Yule Log burns for the 12 days of Christmas, lighted tonight. Here’s more on the Yule Log. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_log …and here is a page about the Yule Log TV program http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_Log_%28TV_program%29 There are even links at the end to get you to the webcast!
Kolada – Studen (December) 24-31 – This is one of the most important pagan Slavic holidays. At the time of the Winter Solstice, we sing songs for Lada and of praise to Perun who are prisoner now under frost and snow. During these days we celebrate our Gods by drinking a toast to them and burning bonfires deep within the forest. We wend our way singing from house to house, bemasked and dancing as we go. Under the aegis of the New Year, we sacrifice a Goat:
Behind a large mountain
Beside a swift river
Within a dark forest,
Big bonfires are lit.
On benches around the fire,
These benches made of oak,
Men of reknown on these benches seated
Famous men, beautiful ladies
Sing Kolada’s songs.
The Old Man in the center, seated
Grinds his knife of iron;
Boiling hot, boiling
With the goat nearby…
The time of sacrifice for the goat. – (From an ancient song)
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 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
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 at 12/24 at 9:49am. 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 1/5 at 5:28. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/29 at 1:34am.
The solar system’s two outer planets both have close encounters with stars this evening. Look for Uranus some 60° above the southern horizon around 7:30 p.m. local time. The magnitude 5.7 world lies in southeastern Pisces, 1.3° north of 4th-magnitude Omicron (ο) Piscium. Although Uranus shines brightly enough to glimpse with the naked eye under a dark sky, use binoculars to locate it initially. A telescope reveals the planet’s 3.6″-diameter disk and striking blue-green color as well as a neighboring point of light that looks a bit like a moon. But this is actually a 9th-magnitude field star that slides 1′ south of Uranus this evening.
Once you’ve finished viewing Uranus, turn your scope toward Neptune. The magnitude 7.9 world lies 2.2° east of 4th-magnitude Lambda (λ) Aquarii, an area that appears 30° high in the southwest at 7 p.m. local time. This evening, Neptune lies 15′ (half the Full Moon’s diameter) due south of 6th-magnitude 81 Aqr. Higher magnifications reveal Neptune’s blue-gray disk, which spans 2.3″.
This is the time of year when Orion shines in the east-southeast after dinnertime. He’s pretty high now, but his three-star Belt is still nearly vertical. The Belt points up toward Aldebaran and, even higher, the Pleiades. In the other direction, it points down to where bright Sirius will rise around 7 or 8 p.m. to twinkle furiously.
The Moon reaches perigee, the closest point in its orbit around Earth, at 4:49 a.m. EST. It then lies 224,353 miles (361,062 kilometers) away from us.
Mars (magnitude +0.3 in Pisces, under the Great Square of Pegasus) shines highest in late twilight and sets by 11 or midnight. In a telescope it’s gibbous and quite small, 8 arcseconds from pole to pole.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for December
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
Runic half-month of Jera/ Jara 12/13-12/27 – Jara signifies the completion of natural cycles, such as fruition, and has a more transcendent meaning of mystic marriage of Earth and Cosmos. *Ø* Wilson’s Almanac free daily ezine | Book of Days | December 13 Runic half-month of Eihwaz/Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books,
©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
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 24 High 1:48 AM 7.5 7:51 AM Set 9:38 AM 98
~ 24 Low 7:09 AM 2.8 4:41 PM Rise 7:17 PM
~ 24 High 12:57 PM 9.4
~ 24 Low 8:01 PM -1.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – A Messy Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen… And This Kitchen Is Delirious [I made this into a poster to hang in ours!]
~ I greet you, oh Morning Sun, As I greet my soul. I greet you, oh Morning Sun, Dawn of a new day. I greet you, Oh Morning Sun, As I greet my soul. I will light my way. I will light my way. – Surya Namaskar
~ Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life. – Henry Doherty (1870 – 1939)
~ Don’t make me walk when I want to fly. – Galina Doyla
~ Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. – Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)
CHRISTMAS TIME IS PAGAN! = Tune: Gloria in Excelsius Deo
Christmas time is here again,
Christmas carols ringing out,
Gentle pagans, we don’t care.
Christmas time is pagan!
Christmas time is pagan!
Modern folks all celebrate
What they learned in Sunday School.
In December, they don’t know
They are celebrating Yule!
Let them have their Christmas trees,
Decked in red and green and blue.
We rejoice at every one!
Christmas trees are pagan, too.
Bowls of bubbly Christmas cheer,
Fill your cup and quench your thirst.
They think the tradition’s theirs.
Wassail bowls were pagan, first.
Every door and window bears
Wreaths of holly, wreaths of pine.
Circles represent the Sun.
Every wreath is yours and mine.
Christmas lights on Christmas trees,
Candle flames burn higher and higher,
Let us cheer along, my friends,
As they light their Yuletide fire.
There’s a possibility
That this song is yours and mine
‘Cause the tune was known to all
Back in A.D. one-two-nine.
Meat of the Gods (Seika Goullash). Hungarian Segedinsky Guld
New Year’s Pork & Sauerkraut brings good luck for the coming year when present in the house on New Year’s Day. This dish is also known or removing negative energy that has built up in a household over the last year.
1 Green Pepper (Cleaned & Quartered)
1 Large Onion (Chopped)
2 Pounds Pork (Cubed)
16 Ounces Sour Cream
3 Pounds Sauerkraut
2 Tablespoons Oil
1/4 Cup Paprika
- Sauté onions in oil until transparent in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add paprika (if needed add more paprika to desired flavoring).
- Add pork and sauté until meat is white.
- Add water to fill pan halfway and bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours.
- Add sauerkraut and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and add sour cream.
Note – Serve with bread and dill pickle slices.
Holiday Shrimp Scampi By Zola Gorgon
Holiday Shrimp Scampi
This dish can be served anytime, but the red and green elements really play up a Christmas theme. It’s simple and elegant and really FAST. You can make this in just a few minutes to really impress your guests.
12 jumbo shrimp (Peeled and deveined. Leave their tails on if you want to be fancy.)
1 bunch of green onions, diced thinly, with some of the green parts
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbl lemon juice
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. At the same time, add the green onions, the red and green pepper and the parsley. Sauté on Medium heat until the onions are tender and the green and red peppers have loosened up a bit but still have bite to them.
Add the shrimp. Cook the large shrimp until they are no longer opaque in the middle. This should take about 3 minutes. They will curl in the process.
Take the shrimp out of the pan with a tongs and set them on the serving plates 3 to a plate. Balance the third one up against the other two to give your presentation depth. Add the white wine to the skillet and turn it on Medium High so it boils. Boil down the mixture for 1 full minute and add the lemon juice.
Now spoon this sauce over the shrimp and Voilà!
If you are serving the side salad, you can have the salad all plated and ready to serve before you begin to cook the shrimp scampi. This will allow you to get the dish to table while the shrimp are hot.
Side salad for Holiday Shrimp Scampi
One cup (maximum) assorted baby greens per person
1 chopped red pepper to add color
1/4 cup walnut pieces
2 Tbl mustard (Dijon, preferably)
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (Optional; just a dash will do it.)
In your blender, grind up the walnuts, 2 tablespoons of mustard and a drizzle of the olive oil (just enough to get the blender moving). Grind until well chopped. Then, in a small stream, add the rest of the olive oil. This will make a thick dressing and more than you need to dress the 4 small salads. Save the rest to use in another salad or as a sandwich spread. Lightly dress your greens and toss. Put them on the plate and top with the red pepper bits. Grind a bit of salt and pepper on top (optional).
Roasted Lamb Feast For A (Sun) King
1-3 pound shank leg of lamb
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1/8 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
8 cloves garlic
6 parsnips, cut into 1″ pieces
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon, sliced
With a sharp knife, trim all fat and cartilage from the lamb. Season with the salt and pepper. Make 1″ deep slits all over the leg of lamb. Use most of the garlic and all of the rosemary by pushing 1/2 garlic cloves and a few rosemary leaves into each slit. In a large roasting pan, combine oil with the sweet potatoes, the parsnips (turnips may be substituted), and the rest of the garlic. Move the vegetables to the side of the pan, and place the leg of lamb in the center. Move the vegetables around the lamb, surrounding it. Roast the lamb and vegetables for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the vegetables occasionally so that they cook evenly. Remove from the oven, and with a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a serving dish. Keep warm. Place the lamb on a carving platter and cover with foil. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Slice the roasted lamb and serve with warm vegetables. Makes 6 servings.
Deli Brisket Bake
2 ½ pound beef brisket
¼ cup whole mixed pickling spices
¼ pound grated Swiss cheese
½ cup prepared mustard
27 ounces sauerkraut
Place brisket on aluminum foil. Spread each side of the brisket with prepared mustard and whole mixed pickling spices. Wrap foil tightly around brisket and place in 8 x 10 baking dish. Bake in slow oven (225*) 3 ½ hours or until done. Remove brisket from foil. Scrape off and discard pickling spices from brisket and trim any excess fat. Cut brisket into 4 to 6 equal portions and place in 8 x 10 baking dish. Rinse and drain sauerkraut and place on top of brisket. Sprinkle with grated swiss cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese has browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with prepared mustard.
Santa Claus, like all pilots, gets regular visits from the Federal Aviation Administration, and the FAA examiner arrived last week for the pre-Christmas flight check. In preparation, Santa had the elves wash the sled and bathe all the reindeer. Santa got his logbook out and made sure all his paperwork was in order. He knew they would examine all his equipment and truly put Santa’s flying skills to the test.
The examiner walked slowly around the sled. He checked the reindeer harnesses, the landing gear, and even Rudolph’s nose. He painstakingly reviewed Santa’s weight and balance calculations for sled’s enormous payload. Finally, they were ready for the check ride. Santa got in and fastened his seat belt and shoulder harness and checked the compass.
Then the examiner hopped in carrying, to Santa’s surprise, a shotgun. “What’s that for!?” asked Santa incredulously.
The examiner winked and said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this ahead of time,” as he leaned over to whisper in Santa’s ear, “but you’re gonna lose an engine on takeoff.”