Bright sunshine and just a few clouds. 48F (although it went down below freezing last night.) Wind at 4mph, hardly gusting at all. AQI 35. There’s a pretty solid chance of both rain and wind Thursday evening, but we should have a couple of decent days here. We’re looking at close to freezing again tonight, but then the clouds are rolling back in and it ought to moderate.
Yesterday we got going on time, despite being a bit bleary-eyed. We weren’t all that busy. but had some shoppers in. I worked on writing during the day and Tempus mostly snoozed. He went out around 6pm to get some things for our little celebration and we closed once he got back.
I watched several of the New Year’s celebrations, mostly Sydney and Brno. 🙂 I got a nap in the evening and when I got up we put together our little feast. We had a bottle of champagne (Brut), a black forest liqueur cake, CHLEBÍČKY (which are a Czech open-faced mini sandwich) some pickles, my pickled herring (I’ve eaten some every New Year since I was two!) and of course “Peas and Hominy in the New Year”, which is a Tempus joke, but it’s a tasty dish.
Our little feast was a success. The black forest liqueur cake (from the Chocolate Frog) was really wonderful!
…and we cleaned up and put leftovers away, caught up on mail and then turned in. …mostly because we’re two geezers at this point…. and slept! Goodness. That was around two. I got up twice, once for a couple of hours and once for just about 15 minutes and here it’s 3:30! Maybe we’re catching up.
So today we have some chores to do, but no papers tonight, since those got done on Sunday. I’m going to sew a lot, I hope, and I hope Tempus gets the dishes done!
Peas and Hominy (Peace and Harmony) in the New Year – This one
is a tradition in our family for New Year’s Day. Yes, it’s a pun. It’s also quite tasty and a simple dish for the sleepy. If you’ve never tried hominy this is a good start. Essentially, it’s just another starch, but it’s gotten a bad rap because of “grits” which are a whole different thing!
1 30 oz can hominy
1 8oz pkg frozen green peas
1 stick of butter
Drain liquid from hominy. In a glass bowl or pyrex cup mix hominy and peas. Top with butter. Zap in microwave for 3 minutes and stir well. Zap again, one minute at a time until butter is completely melted and peas are warm. Serve hot. Makes 6 generous servings or 8 regular.
Arthur found this! Details in the caption below. By Brent McKean
Today’s Plant is the Blueberry, Vaccinium Cyanococcus (many species/varieties)! This is a fruiting bush that is related to cranberries, huckleberries and bilberries, has many species within the genus and many varieties within the species. Many fruits are called blueberries, when they’re not Vaccinium. Widely cultivated across the world, the fruit is high in iron and lot of micronutrients and even has resveratrol like red grapes. It may have effects on brain health, reducing stroke damage in experimental animals and memory retention in the aged. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry – Put blueberries under the doormat to keep people you don’t want out of the house or plant them along the property line or next to the front walk to keep them entirely off your property. Blossoms can be dried and carried in an amulet, or wear fresh ones in your hair for protection from negative psychic energy near you. Eat blueberries and/or make blueberry pie or tea or jam to get the protection from psychic attack inside you, especially if the effects are leading to headaches and fatigue.
Pocket full of money – In Scotland, Wales and the border counties of England, an old tradition is for children to go singing door to door on New Year’s morning, for which they will be rewarded with coins, sweets, fruit or mince pies. A typical song goes:
The Days of Volos – Procines (January) 1-6 – These moonlit and frosty nights have a name: The Holiday of the Wolves. These days are set aside for the worship of the God of pets and of cattle, whose name is Volos. We give our thanks for the animals on these days, which bring food and sustenance to our homes from ancient times. We also defend them from the ravenous wolves which attack. (Slavic Pagan Calendar)
The shop opens at 11am. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. We’ll be closed for our annual vacation from 7-17 January. 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 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. Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone – Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends at the Dark on 1/4 at 5:18am.
In the dawn of Wednesday the 2nd, spot the waning crescent Moon between Venus and Jupiter, as shown above.
New Year’s Day dawns in spectacular fashion, with a waning crescent Moon and three bright planets arrayed above the southeastern horizon. The Moon rises first, just after 3 a.m. local time, with Venus following a half-hour later. Five degrees separate the night sky’s two brightest objects. Jupiter comes up about 90 minutes after Venus and Mercury trails an hour later. A half-hour before sunup, the four solar system objects stretch out across 35° of sky. Venus appears nearly 30° high and shines at magnitude –4.6; Jupiter is 15° high and glows at magnitude –1.8; and magnitude –0.4 Mercury stands 5° high in the brightening twilight. You also might catch a glimpse of the 1st-magnitude star Antares 5° to Jupiter’s lower right.
After dinnertime now, the enormous Andromeda-Pegasus complex runs from near the zenith far down to the west. Near the zenith, spot Andromeda’s high foot: 2nd-magnitude Gamma Andromedae (Almach), slightly orange. Andromeda is standing on her head, on the Great Square of Pegasus. The Great Square is about halfway down from the zenith to the west horizon, balancing on one corner. Mars shines left of the bottom corner. Down from the Square’s bottom corner run the stars outlining Pegasus’s neck and head, ending at his nose: 2nd-magnitude Enif, due west and also slightly orange.
Jupiter (magnitude –1.8, in Ophiuchus) shines in the east during dawn, lower left of brighter Venus. Look for Mercury down to Jupiter’s lower left. Look closer to Jupiter’s lower right for orange Antares.
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
©2019 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
Tu 1 Low 2:20 AM 2.5 7:53 AM Rise 3:34 AM 25
~ 1 High 8:41 AM 8.4 4:47 PM Set 2:05 PM
~ 1 Low 3:46 PM 0.5
~ 1 High 10:02 PM 6.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Life is a gift. We unwrap it daily.
~ Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. – Edmund Burke
~ Follow your bliss and doors will open for you that you never knew existed. – Joseph Campbell
~ Adorned with cape, with tricorn, saintly soul singing in librarian tones an enameled song that coolly celebrates her chewing-gum enthusiasms. – Truman Capote (1924-1984) US writer
~ A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline. – Harvey Mackay
Prayer for the New Year
Grant me the strength from day to day
To bear what burdens come my way.
Grant me throughout this bright New Year
More to endure and less to fear.
Help me live that I may be
From spite and petty malice free.
Let me not bitterly complain
When cherished hopes of mine prove vain,
Or spoil with deeds of hate and rage
Some fair tomorrow’s spotless page.
Lady and Lord, as the days shall come and go
In courage let me stronger grow.
Lord and Lady, as the New Year dawns today
Help me to put my faults away.
Let me be big in little things;
Grant me the joy which friendship brings.
Keep me from selfishness and spite;
Let me be wise in what is right.
A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye.
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year. – Edgar A. Guest
One of the 4 major Sabbats, Imbolc, celebrates the banishing of Winter and welcomes the Spring. At the time of Imbolc, the newborn Sun God is seen as a small child nursing from his Mother. Imbolc is a time to swept away Winter and nuture new beginnings. This Sabbat also represents spiritual growth. Imbolc is a good time to get your life in order, whether mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally. The name Imbolc is derived from Gaelic, and means “ewe’s milk” after the lactating sheep that are feeding their first born lambs of the new season at this time of year.
As the days begin to get longer, it is tradition for every candle or lamp in the house to be lit for a little while. In the Christian Calendar, this holiday is called Candlemas and all church candles are blessed for the year. Other names this festival goes by are:
Imbolgc Brigantia (Caledonni), Imbolic (Celtic), Disting (although this is really Feb 14th), Lupercus (Strega), St. Bridget’s Day (Christian), Candlemas, Candlelaria (Mexican), the Snowdrop Festival. The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin. All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time.
This time is known by some as the “Feast of the Waxing Light” it is the time of year that we are beginning to notice the Sun Gods growth in that the days are becoming longer. This, like MayDay/Beltane, is another pagan holiday which has survived into the current time, now it is celebrated as Ground Hog Day.
Colors – White, pale yellow and silver
Offerings – Beer
Altar decorations – A crown of 13 red candles, spring of evergreen, besom (Witch’s broom), a small statue/figurine of the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, candle wheels, grain dollies, sun wheels.
Colors – White, Orange, Red, Yellow, Brown
Tools – Plough, garden implements
Stones/Gems – Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise
Symbols & Decorations – Candles, Lamps, Brooms, Yellow flowers, Brighid’s Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), dish of snow, evergreens
Foods – All dairy products, curries, onions, chives, seeds, herbal tea, mutton or lamb, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, onions, garlic, raisins, spiced wines
Deities – Dagda (Celt), Pan (Greek), Cernunnor (Celt),Osiris (Egyptian), Herne (Saxon), Jupiter (Roman), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman), Cerridwen (Celt), Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus, Frigg (Norse), Cybele Brighid (Celt), Bride, Brigette, all virgin Goddesses and Gods of love and fertility, Bast
Animals – Sheep, Wolves, Bears, Stags, Eagle, Raven, Groundhog, Owl, Snake
Herbs/Flowers – Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Snowdrop, Tansy, Violets, First Flower of the Year
ANGELICA–is best in the ritual cup. In this manner is considered to bring one in contact with the inhabitants of Atlantis and to bring Atlantean energies into their lives, visions and understanding.
BASIL–this is the traditional time of year for initiations and the initiate should have been taking daily tonics of basil for at least the last two weeks. It is given now to prepare the innerself for initiation to bring fortitude.
BAY–if the ritual is to be a solemn occasion then it is appropriate to chew one or two (no more than that!) Leaves and meditate upon the growing light and Sun God.
BENZOIN–is used in the incense.
CELANDINE–is used in the ritual cup and tossed into the fire.
HEATHER–is used to decorate the entire space.
MYRRH–is used in the ritual cup and/or incense.
Activities and Rituals – blessing of seeds for this year’s garden, fertility and purification, spring cleaning, “Bride’s Bed” rituals, Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new, consecration of agricultural tools, All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time, Candle Lighting, Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Making of Brideo’gas and Bride’s Beds, Making Priapic Wands, Decorating Ploughs, Feasting, Bon Fires, rituals of initiation, transformation, new beginnings
Other names for this holiday – Candlemas, Imbolg, Brigit’s Day, St. Lucy’s Day, Feast of Brighid, Oimealg, Imbolgc Brigantia, Imbolic, Disting (Teutonic, Feb 14th), Lupercus, Candlelaria, The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin..
Ideas and Activities for Imbolc
* Make or decorate candles
* Brighid, the Celtic goddess of fire, healing, and poetry is considered the patron Goddess of Imbolc. Read up on her as a Celtic goddess and as her later incarnation, St. Brigit.
* Burn the evergreen boughs that decorated your home during the winter holidays in the Imbolc Fires and celebrate the return of the Sun’s strength and the Godess as the Maiden.
* Brighid is the goddess of poetry. Write a poem in her honor, and read it aloud during any Imbolc ritual you may have planned.
* Cleanse and re-consecrate your ritual tools and clean your altar.
* Go through all your herbs and discard those that are more than a year old
* Weave “Brigit’s crosses” from straw or wheat to hang around the house for protection
* Perform rites of spiritual cleansing and purification
* Make “Brigit’s beds” to ensure fertility of mind and spirit (and body, if desired)
* Ritually cleanse your home and start your “spring” cleaning
* Make a Crown of Light (i.e. of candles for the High Priestess to wear for the Imbolc Circle, similar to those worn on St. Lucy’s Day in Scandinavian countries **see the kids craft section for a cute kids’ version of this**
* Place a lighted candle in each and every window of the house, beginning at sundown on Candlemas Eve (February 1), allowing them to continue burning until sunrise. Make sure that such candles are well seated against tipping and gaurded from nearby curtains, etc. If you are not able to use real candles use those candle lamps sold at crafts and department stores for the Christian Christmas season.
* Buy a “salt lick” block and leave it out for the wild animals.
* Make a window garden with seeds, soil, old glass jars or rinse some tuna or cat food cans, and get ready for spring! Easy items are beans, mints, marigolds. Even carrot or pineapple tops and avocado pits are fun to do.
* Make a Bride doll
* Make a tiny “Candle Garden” by filling a small aluminum pan with fine salt or sand and “planting” birthday candles, Hanukkah candles or even tea lights in the “garden”
* Tie tiny strips of fabric in trees near a stream and ask Bride for her influence in your life. Use cotton strips and the birds will use them for nesting or they will bio-degrade over time
* Play a candle game where the men stand in forming a circle whole passing a candle quickly and the women stand on the outside of the circle trying to blow out the flame. The one who succeeds gets to claim a kiss.
* Meditate as a family. Have everyone explore what it would feel like to be a seed deep in the Earth, feeling the first stirrings of life. Lie on the floor and put out tendrils. Stretch and bloom.
* Have a bardic circle where everyone brings poetry, songs or a short story that they have written to honor Brigid (Brigit/Brigid/Bride was the daughter of Dagda. She was the protector of the poets, the forge and the healing persons.)
* Help your kids go through all their clothes, toys, and books to find the unwanted and outgrown items. Donate everything to a charity that will give the items to children who need them.
* Go for a walk. Search for signs of spring. Take off your shoes and socks and squish your toes in the mud!
* Lead the family on a parade around the outside of your home, banging on pots and pans or playing musical instruments to awaken the spirits of the land.
* Have your children hold some herb seeds in their hands. Talk to the seeds. Bless them with growth and happiness. Fill them with love. Plant an in-door herb garden.
* Make corn dollies and a cradle for them to sleep in.
Silliness – How Cold Is It?
+60 – Californians put on sweaters.
+50 – Miami residents turn on the heat.
+45 – Vermont residents go to outdoor concert.
+40 – You can see your breath.
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
Minnesotans go swimming.
+35 Italian cars don’t start.
+32 Water freezes.
+30 You plan your vacation in Australia.
+25 Ohio water freezes.
Californians weep pitiably.
Minnesotans eat ice cream.
Canadians go swimming.
+20 Politicians begin to talk about the homeless.
New York City water freezes.
Miami residents plan vacation further south.
+15 French cars don’t start.
Cat insists on sleeping with you.
+10 You need jumper cables to get the car going.
+5 American cars don’t start.
0 Alaskans put on T-shirts.
-10 German cars don’t start.
Eyes freeze shut when you blink.
-15 You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo.
Arkansans stick tongues on metal objects.
Miami residents cease to exist.
-20 Cat insists on sleeping in pajamas with you.
Politicians actually do something about the homeless.
Minnesotans shovel snow off roof.
Japanese cars don’t start.
-25 Too cold to think.
You need jumper cables to get the driver going.
-30 You plan a two week hot bath.
Swedish cars don’t start.
-40 Californians disappear.
Minnesotans button top button.
Canadians put on sweater.
Your cat helps you plan your trip south.
-50 Congressional hot air freezes.
Alaskans close the bathroom window.
-80 Hell freezes over.
Polar bears move south.
Green Bay Packer fans order hot cocoa at the game.
-90 Lawyers put their hands in their own pockets.
-100 Canadian buildings turn off air conditioning.