Featured photo by Ken Gagne. Minus Tide at 9:37 PM of -0.9 feet. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. 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!
Yesterday started quietly with coffee. Eventually we got ourselves together and with Sash went over to the community dinner which was tasty. We came back to the shop and exchanged goodies and noshed a bit, then I curled up in back with my embroidery and Tempus and Sash headed back out with the laundry and intent of watching some bang-bang-shoot-em-up movies. 🙂
Tempus didn’t get back until way later than he planned because of a tire problem. He tried fixing it, twice and finally had to put the spare on. He’s putting it back on the car, now, after having taken it over to the gas station here.
Today we’re supposed to be heading into Eugene to see friends. I’m finding various goodies to take with us to nosh on the way!
Today’s Plant is Lovage, levisticum officinale. It’s a perennial, so it’ll be back in the spring. It seems to have originated somewhere near the eastern Mediterranean and has been cultivated for a long while, being a very useful plant. It has a strong, long-lasting scent, that reminds a person of celery and parsley, but with the volume turned up. It’s great in salads, but chop it small and mix with other greens or it overpowers! Both leaf and seed are great in soups, especially seafood chowders, and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable. I’ve drunk lovage cordial, which is tasty. It has a high flavonoid content, as well. Medicinally, a strong leaf tea, iced, is a good antiseptic, especially for extensive scrapes, where it takes down the sting and swelling very quickly and can be splashed on as often as needed. It can be used for mild cases of water retention, as well, and even with high blood pressure. – Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often used in love magicks, but works best as a self-confidence enhancer. Take a bath with a sachet of the leaves, or make a strong tea that you toss into the bathwater before going out to meet new people or to start a new job. It also helps to squeeze a small sachet of the leaves if you’re having trouble concentrating on a task. Wiki has more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage
Boxing Day is mostly a British tradition where gifts are given to tradesmen and people in the “service jobs”. It’s also a huge shopping day, like our Black Friday. When I was a kid, this was the day that we sent cards and tips to folks like the milkman and Grandma’s hairdresser. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Holiday Hours – 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
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 Pleiades cluster glitters high in the southeast these evenings, no bigger than your fingertip at arm’s length. How many Pleiads can you count with your unaided eyes? Take your time and keep looking. Most people can count 6. With sharp eyesight, a good dark sky, and a steady gaze, you may be able to make out 8 or 9.
Although Jupiter passed behind the Sun from our perspective just one month ago, it has already grown to prominence in the predawn sky. The giant planet rises nearly two hours before our star and climbs 10° high in the southeast 45 minutes before sunup. Gleaming at magnitude –1.8, it stands out nicely in the gathering dawn. A telescope shows Jupiter’s 32″-diameter disk, but you likely won’t see much detail because the light has to travel through thick layers of turbulent air near the horizon.
Uranus (magnitude 5.7, at the Aries-Pisces border) is highest in the south right after dark. It’s visible in binoculars is you have a good finder chart and if you know the constellations well enough to see where to start with the chart.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for December
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
W 26 High 3:26 AM 7.6 7:51 AM Set 11:06 AM 87
~ 26 Low 8:59 AM 2.8 4:43 PM Rise 9:46 PM
~ 26 High 2:41 PM 8.4
~ 26 Low 9:37 PM -0.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – A Clean House Is A Sign Of A Misspent Life
~ Cats are smarter than dogs. You will NEVER get eight cats to pull sled through snow. – Jeff Valdez
~ One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself. – Leonardo da Vinci
~ Meditate, do your rituals, beseech the gods for mercy… and then roll up your sleeves and get to work. – April Elliott Kent
~ Therapy can be done to the self. Understanding is therapy. Love is the ultimate therapy. Therapists, teachers, and gurus can help, but only for a limited time. The direction is inward, and sooner or later the inward path must be trod alone. Although in reality you are never alone. Measure time, if you must, in lessons learned, not in minutes or hours or years. You can cure yourself in five minutes if you come to the proper understanding. Or in fifty years. It is all the same thing. – by Brian Weiss MD.
GOOD KING WENCESLAS I – Words from the Wiccan Yule Songs of Balefire Coven
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Yule
When the snow lay round about
Deep in Winter’s rule
Brightly shone the Moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor roe came in sight
Seeking winter fuel
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
yonder stag, O whose is he?
Where and how his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By good Brighit’s fountain.”
“Bring me apples; bring me corn
Bring my warm clothes hither
He shall dine `fore Solstice morn
When we bring them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went
Forth they went together
through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather
“Page, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good King
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find fierce Winter’s sting
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In the Oak King’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the God had printed.
Therefore, Paganfolk, be sure
Any rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the Earth
Shall, yourselves, find blessing.
BIRD FOOD RECIPES FOR WINTER – MAKE YOUR OWN BIRD FOOD – Cornell Labs
Here are some great homemade bird food recipes that can be used at any time of the year, but especially in the cold winter months, when natural resources are scarce.
For many of us, it’s a great joy to watch and study our feathered friends. In the winter, experts maintain the best way to birdwatch is in a comfortable chair by the window. By keeping a feeder stocked with bird food, you can attract birds that will stay with you until spring.
IS IT GOOD TO FEED THE BIRDS IN WINTER?
Rest assured that it’s fine to feed birds during the cold winter months. Supplemental food actually helps birds during especially tough winters—and this will not affect bird migration. A number of factors trigger the urge for birds to migrate, but the most significant one is day length. When the days get shorter, certain birds move on, regardless of whether there are still filled feeders available for them.
BIRD FOOD RECIPES
If you really want to impress your avian friends, here are a few recipes you can concoct:
Jack Dudley’s Woodpecker Pudding
A suet–peanut butter concoction that will drive all the wild birds, well, wild!
Here is a recipe for the birds!
- 8 pounds suet
- 2 pounds peanut butter
- 8-ounce bottle corn syrup
- 2 pounds rolled oats
Melt the suet in a canning kettle or other large container, pouring the melted fat into another kettle as it cooks down. While the fat is still hot, add the peanut butter, corn syrup, and oats, stirring constantly until mixture is well blended. Put the pudding into old soup cans to cool and harden, and store in a cool place. To use, warm the can until the pudding is soft enough to handle. Drill a number of 1 ½ inch holes in a 4 inch diameter birch log (leave the bark intact to provide good toeholds for the birds), spread the pudding into the holes, and hang the log outdoors where it is accessible to the birds.
SOURCE: The 1984 Old Farmer’s Almanac
Packed with nuts and seeds, this mix is a feathered-friend favorite. BIRD FOOD RECIPE: FINE-FEATHERED ENTREE – Interested in birds? See “A Birdfeeder for Your Backyard.” Annette McCarthy
Try this bird food recipe to attract your feathered friends!
- 3 parts melted fat (suet preferred)
- 1 part cornmeal or finely cracked corn
- 1 part peanut butter or other nut butter
- 1 part sunflower kernels or chopped nuts
- 1 part brown sugar
- 1 part chopped dried fruit (currants, raisins, prunes, etc.)
Combine all of the ingredients with enough water to get the consistency of cooked oatmeal. Cook in double boiler until well blended. Put into small containers like tuna fish cans that can be securely attached to feeders or trees.
SOURCE: The 1984 Old Farmer’s Almanac
This simple baked cornbread is quite literally for the birds—and boy, do they enjoy it! BIRD FOOD RECIPE: JUNCO CORNBREAD – Claudia Dobson
Try this bird food recipe—just place in mesh bags and hang outdoors!
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup fat (meaning drippings or lard)
- 3 cups water
Mix all the ingredients together and bake in a deep pan at 375ºF for 30 to 35 minutes. Reduce heat if bread looks as if it is forming a hard crust. May be doubled or halved.
A simple suet recipe that is beloved by woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and many more backyard birds. BIRD FOOD RECIPE: SUET
HOW TO MAKE SUET FOR BIRDS – Cornell Labs
Suet is the perfect bird food for the winter months, when birds’ food sources start to dwindle. Here’s how to make suet for your backyard birds!
WHAT IS BIRD SUET?
Suet is essentially a solidified mix of fats, which birds eat to stay warm. Particularly in winter, suet is a valuable bird food.
- You can use almost any seed or grain, mixed with beef fat, lard, or natural peanut butter. A basic suet combines equal parts of beef fat and assorted birdseed.
- Put it in a tuna or cat food can to chill (or freeze) until it’s hard enough to hold its shape, then release it into a wire suet cage or sturdy mesh bag.
- For a fancier suet, add natural peanut butter to the mix. You can also bind cornmeal or oatmeal with natural peanut butter and spread it into holes drilled in a post or log.
- Birds also like dried fruits, so consider adding raisins, currants, apricots, or citron.
SUET CAKE RECIPE
- 2 parts melted fat (beef fat or lard)
- 2 parts yellow cornmeal
- 1 part natural peanut butter
Mix all ingredients together and cook for a few minutes. Pour into small containers (tuna fish cans are good), and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Mixture can also be stuffed into 1-inch holes drilled in small logs to hang from trees. The recipe can be made all year long as long as you accumulate fat. Fasten containers securely to trees or feeders.
Note: Suet should be used only in very cold weather so that it does not become rancid. If you live in a warm climate, we do not recommend using homemade suet because it will spoil too quickly. In this case, it is safer to purchase commercial suet cakes (which are already treated so they won’t spoil).
See more wintertime bird food recipes and enjoy watching your feathered friends warm up by your window!
What’s most important is that you keep birds safe by keeping your bird feeders clean. Scrub out feeders with a 10 percent non-chlorinated bleach solution at least a few times a year, and certainly between seasons. Remove suet in hot weather because it may spoil quickly.
Plus, here’s some advice for growing plants with seeds to feed the birds.
Do you feed the birds in your backyard? Who’s your favorite winged visitor? Tell us about them in the comments below!
SOURCE: The 1984 Old Farmer’s Almanac