Featured photo by Don n Jo Leach. 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, plus our annual vacation from 7-17 January. House Capuchin Project Day 1-5pm.
There’s some very thin sunlight, upon occasion, barely enough to throw shadows. I’m watching the rose in the fairy garden waving its leaves. 49F, wind at 9, gusting into the mid-teens. One of the Bayshore weather stations is malfunctioning and it reads, “-40F”. I don’t think that’s right. 🙂 It’s supposed to dry off for a couple of days and then get dwon near freezing Tuesday night, then more usual weather is supposed to roll in over the coming weekend. We got 2/3 of an inch of rain, yesterday, but only 0.03 inches since midnight.
Yesterday we had a good day. It’s nice to take a break once in a while. We were up pretty early, got our food things put together and into the car and headed out. The wave action was wonderful to watch. I haven’t seen the spouting horn at Neptune Park go off for several years, but caught it in action, yesterday. It’s just a tad over 2 hours to where we were headed. We talked the entire way, nothing of any consequence, just commentary.
Once we were at the site I spent quite awhile getting our food contributions set up and then circulated for a bit, saying hi to folks that I haven’t seen for awhile. During the afternoon I spent quite awhile embroidering, watching what others were up to, nibbling on the lunch stuffs and occasionally lurking in the kitchen.
The feast in the evening was really delicious. I got more pepper than is good for me, but didn’t hurt myself on it. A bunch of us spent time bullying the guy running the event and the guy running the kitchen about putting out a cookbook. 🙂 The cheese and egg pie was especially good and there was a meatball dish that I want to try. We brought home some leftovers and I gave away some of our pickles that folks particularly liked.
I dozed most of the way home. I had gotten soaked getting to the car, since the mist that we had earlier in the day turned to real rain and an overflowing gutter dumped down my neck, and by the time we got the car started I was really cold, actually past the shivering stage, so it was a relief when the heat kicked in and the windows unfogged and I could turn the heat on my feet and gradually warm and dry. Once I was warm, though, I just couldn’t hold my eyes open.
When I was conscious we talked about the event, people that we had met, ideas that came up…and then I would doze off again, waking when we hit a bad patch of pavement, or at the occasional cussing from Tempus over drivers who pull up into your trunk with their high-beams on. I got to see Heceta Head again, but the B&B lights were off. It was just the beautiful light from the Fresnel lens sweeping across the ocean and the trees.
I’ve been playing catch-up since we opened. We’ve had a few people in shopping and some small sales, enough that I’m going to go to the Chocolate Frog later and pick up on some of their after x-mas sales. We have the House Capuchin stuff this afternoon and after Tempus gets some of the dishes from yesterday done I have to sit down to sewing again.
Today’s Plant is Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum. Best known as “pie plant” or in strawberry and rhubarb jam this is a wonderful and nutritious stalk vegetable, that has been legally counted as a fruit, because of its uses. The roots have been used as a laxative for thousands of years, and the stalks, while strong-tasting when uncooked and with no sugar, are delicious in sauces, pies, jellies, juice and so on, but the leaves are poisonous. It is very easy to grow since the roots will over-winter,even if the stalks die back and it’s one of the earliest vegetables to be harvestable. – Feminine, Venus Earth. – Wear a dried piece to help with stomach or gut pain and general protection. The pie served to a mate helps to maintain fidelity and is an aphrodisiac, especially when combined with strawberries.
Feast day of St Egwin of Worcester – Egwin was a bishop who died at Evesham, England, in about 717; the story of his life bears some resemblance to that of St Adhelm. He was possibly a member of Mercian royal house, and thus a relative of King Ethelred. Appointed Bishop of Worcester in about 692, he founded a monastery at Evesham. This came about when the Virgin Mary was seen first by a herdsman, Eof, or Eoves (who was shown where to site a monastery), and then by Egwin himself in a meadow by the Avon River. The place name Evesham derives from the herdsman’s name. (It has been suggested by Peter Eaves that it might be that the name Eoves actually was a signifier of the man’s occupation as a swineherd – in Old English, eofor meant ‘boar’.)
Before setting out for Rome to defend himself again false accusations of strictness, he locked his feet in chains and threw the key into the River Avon. In Rome he went straight to the market and bought a salmon caught in the River Tiber. Miraculously, the key was in the belly of the fish. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egwin_of_Evesham and here: http://saints.sqpn.com/sainte94.htm
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 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 1/5 at 5:28. Waning Crescent Moon –Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 1/1 at 5:28am.
For those who recently caught the observing bug, the so-called Summer Triangle must seem like a huge misnomer. That’s because this asterism remains on view after darkness falls in late December. Look for Vega, the fifth-brightest star in the sky and the brightest triangle member, in the northwest after nightfall. Deneb lies above Vega and about halfway to the zenith. Deneb marks the top of another asterism, the Northern Cross, which stands nearly straight up from the horizon on December evenings. Altair, the third triangle member, appears due west and at the same altitude as Vega. The trio remains on view until Altair sets just before 8 p.m. local time.
Orion shines in the east-southeast after dark, higher every week, but in early evening his three-star Belt is still nearly vertical. The Belt points up toward Aldebaran and, even higher, the Pleiades. In the other direction, the Belt points down to where bright Sirius will rise around 7 p.m. (depending on your location) to twinkle furiously.
Venus (magnitude –4.7, in Virgo) rises as an eerie “UFO” above the east-southeast horizon more than two hours before the first light of dawn. By the time dawn arrives, Venus is the brilliant “Morning Star” dominating the southeast. In a telescope, Venus is almost half sunlit.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for December
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for January
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
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
Su 30 Low 12:20 AM 1.3 7:52 AM Rise 1:20 AM 45
~ 30 High 6:58 AM 8.1 4:46 PM Set 1:06 PM
~ 30 Low 1:42 PM 1.7
~ 30 High 7:30 PM 5.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Your life can only be measured by the amount of imagination you have, when you imagine beauty, you manifest it, when you imagine love ,you give it, when you imagine all that is great , you become it, your life is only what you make of it, so make it happen….imagine first.
~ I don’t mind what the opposition say of me, so long as they don’t tell the truth. – Mark Twain in a speech in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, October 26, 1880
~ The English resisted the Danes heroically under Alfred, never fighting except against heavy odds, till at the memorable Peace of Wedmore Alfred compelled the Danes, who were now (of course) beaten, to stop being Danes and become English and become Church of England and get properly married. – Sellar and Yeatman; 1066 And All That
~ To dare, and again to dare, and without end to dare! – Georges Jacques Danton, French revolutionist, born on October 26, 1759
~ On the 26th day of October we arrived at the metropolis, called in their language Lorbrulgrud, or Pride of the Universe. My master took a lodging in the principal street of the city, not far from the royal palace, and put out bills in the usual form, containing an exact description of my person and parts. – Jonathan Swift; Gulliver’s Travels
DONA NOBIS PACEM (Grant Us Peace)
Dona nobis pacem, pacem
Dona nobis pacem
Dona nobis pacem
Dona nobis pacem
1851 London Newspaper – Wassail: “a liquor made of apples, sugar, and ale; a drunken bout; a merry song”. – Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary 1756
The King doth wake tonight and takes his rouse, keeps wassail. – Shakespeare: Venus and Adonis, 697
…the wassailers of old England, the door-to-door drinkers whose name came from the cry Wass hael!, which approximates to Cheers!
Wassail! Wassail! over the town,
Our toast is white, our ale is brown:
Our bowl it is made of the maplin tree,
We be good fellows all: I drink to thee. – Traditional Gloucestershire wassailing song
Wassail. A salutation used on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day over the spiced-ale cup, hence called the ‘wassail bowl’. (Anglo-Saxon, Waes hael, be whole, be well). Evans, Ivor H, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Cassell, London, 19**
Love and joy come to you,
And to your wassel too,
And God send you a happy New Year,
A happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year!
Our wassel cup is made of rosemary-tree,
So is your beer of the best barley. – English traditional children’s wassailing song
Get up, goodwife, and shake your feathers,
And dinna think that we are beggars;
For we are bairns come out to play,
Get up and gie’s our hogmanay! 0 Traditional Scottish wassailing song
Give us of your white bread, and none of your grey. – Traditional Scottish children’s soliciting rhyme
A massy bowl, to deck the jovial day,
Flash’d from its ample round a sunlike ray.
Full many a cent’ry it shone forth to grace
The festive spirit of th’Andarton race,
As to the sons of sacred union dear,
It welcomed with lamb’s-wool the rising year. – Polwhele (‘lamb’s-wool’ was spiced ale, drunk at this season in Britain)
The head of the house used to assemble his family around a bowl of spiced ale, nicknamed ‘lamb’s-wool’. He drank their healths, then all did so from the bowl as it passed around. The wassail bowl’s ingredients are hot ale, spices, sugar, eggs and roasted apples. Try this old recipe:
2 of 7.5 cinnamon sticks
3 blades mace
1 ginger root
1 level teaspoon nutmeg
125 g sugar
300ml cups brown ale
Core apples and sprinkle with sugar and water. Bake at 190 C for 30 mins or until tender. Mix ale, cider and spices. Heat but do not boil. Leave for 30 mins. Strain and pour over roasted apples. Serve in a punch bowl.
Nicholas Culpeper; Herbal
Alternatively, here’s a recipe for Sylvester Punch, from Austria:
Red burgundy (count one bottle for 6 people)
Equal amount of hot tea
Rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp sugar to each bottle of wine
2 cinnamon sticks to each bottle of wine
Pour the liquid into an enamel pot, add the cloves, the thinly pared rind of 1 lemon, the sugar, and the cinnamon. Heat over a low flame but do not allow to boil. At the last moment add the tea. Serve hot.
Trapp, Maria Augusta, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, NY, Pantheon, 1955, p69
The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Old English waes hael, be whole, be well. It’s a salutation, especially over the cup (‘wassail bowl’) of mulled wine at New Year.
The wassail bowl was carried about by young women who went from door to door, singing songs composed for the purpose; they presented the liquor to the householders, who were expected to pay for the favour.
The custom was kept in the monasteries. The Poculum Caritatis, or large wassail bowl, was placed in front of the abbot at the upper end of the refectory table. The same ritual was observed.
In Scotland the wassail custom lasted longer than in England, well into the 19th Century. As midnight approached, a hot pint was prepared, ie spiced and sweetened hot ale, with an infusion of spirits. As the clock struck the bowl was passed around and all said “Happy New Year”. There was also a song:
Wel may we a’ be,
Ill may we never see,
Here’s to the king
And the gude companie! etc
The elders of the family would take the kettle as well as shortbread, buns, bread, cheese and so on, and visit neighbours. If they met others on the way, they would taste from each other’s kettles. Then first-footing would happen, to those who were first in a house.
Apple Wassail Tidbits
There are a set of custom grouped under the name wassailing. They include saluting the health of animals and crops. This has been shown to be a legacy handed down from ancient Celtic practices. The most renowned of these are the ones concerning fruit trees, most familiarly the apple tree. In 1585, a group of enterprising young men in Fordwich, Kent, went around to various orchard keepers and offered to perform the ceremony for a monetary reward, which is when the tradition is first mentioned, in print. It is mentioned once again in the 1630’s, by Robert Herrick, when he writes about the “wassailing” of fruit bearing trees, in order to assure good yields at harvest time.
Devonshire, England Tradition
The farmers get their weapons and go to their apple orchard. Selecting the oldest tree, they form a circle and chant: The men drink cider, make merry, and fire their weapons (charged only with powder) at the tree. They return to the home and are denied entrance no matter what the weather by the women indoors. When one of the men guesses the name of the roast that is being prepared for them, all are let in. The one who guessed the roast is named “King for the Evening” and presides over the party until the wee hours.
The Player’s Song
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale,
The toast, the nut-meg, and the ginger,
Will make a sighing man a singer,
Ale gives a buffet in the head,
“But ginger under proppes the brayne;
When ale would strike a strong man dead,
Then nut-megge temperes it againe,
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale – The Player’s Song,Histrio-mastix,in:Specimines of Songs by Dramatic Writers” Brit. Bibliog. vol.ii. p.167.as cited in: Crhistmas Carols, Anceint and Modern.William Sandys,London,1833. Submitted by Irish Faerie Witch 2004