The pavement is damp in spots, but not wet. Hmm…. It’s been quite windy all night. 52F. Wind at 15 MPH gusting into the 20’s. We’re under a Gale Warning until 4am, but we should be past the worst. …Ahah, we have gotten a little rain… 0.02 inches and more predicted to roll in tonight at right about the time Tempus takes off for the paper route. Today is exactly 1 minute longer than yesterday. It’s almost the day when “the sun takes a chicken step back to the warm!”
I spent most of yesterday doing hand-sewing. Some of it was clothing mending, a big chunk of it was the hand-finishing on the neck and wrist ruffles of my outfit, but I also embroidered a lot and finished one tissue cover. I was dealing with a low-grade migraine all day and hid away from the fluorescent lights. I really don’t know what Tempus was up to, although he made us a nice supper and got rid of some grumple. I just stayed holed up.
Today we’re open, although we’ve been starting the mess-up that precedes the clean-up on our vacation.
Today’s plant is the Apricot, Prunus armeniaca. Apricots are a delicious fruit, resembling a small peach, but with a flavor all their own. They were known in the ancient world, possibly being cultivated as far back as 3000BCE.Thought of as an aphrodisiac in the Renaissance it can be fermented into a yummy wine or made into the brandy, Barack. It has properties of healing and health, lust magicks and learning, mostly in educational circles. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot
On the Campus Martius (Field of Mars, God of War), she had a minor sanctuary called the Ara Pacis, dedicated to her on January 30, 9 BCE. Her temple was on the Templum Pacis (Forum Pacis) built by Emperor Vespasian on the site of a meat market, and was dedicated in 75. She was depicted in art with olive branches, a cornucopia and a sceptre. Pax became celebrated (in both senses of the word) as Pax Romana and Pax Augusta from the 2nd Century BCE.
In Greek mythology, she was Eirene or Irene (‘peace’), daughter of Zeus and Themis, one of the first generation of Horae. The Horae (the Hours, or Seasons) were Pax and her sisters Lawfulness, Wisdom and Order (Eunomia) and Justice (Justitia/Dike) are sometimes considered to be the three aspects of Themis. As goddesses of the seasons, they brought order to Nature. Eirene was the personification of peace and wealth and was depicted in art as a beautiful young woman carrying a cornucopia, sceptre and a torch or rhyton. (Links are dead, but quoted from Wilson’s Almanac here: http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/jan3.html ) More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_%28mythology%29 and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eirene_%28Greek_goddess%29
Isn’t it a cool idea to have Peace as a goddess?
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 Day of Remembrance for Princess Olga – Procines (January) 3 – On this day we celebrate Olga who brought glory and honor to herself for all eternity through her acts of heroism. She avenged her husband’s murder by slaying the perpetrator, Drevlane. She later gave birth to the Great Prince Sviatoslav and thus united all the Russias; a feat of great honor in her remembrance. Today is the day of a toast to the Great Paganess, Olga. (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 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. 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.
As dawn brightens on Friday the 4th, look low in the southeast for the thin crescent Moon guiding you to Mercury below it, as shown above. The waning crescent Moon appears 4° to the left of Jupiter this morning. Both objects rise shortly after 5 a.m. local time and climb about 10° high an hour before sunup. 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.
Earth is at perihelion, its closest to the Sun for the year (only 3% closer than at aphelion in July).
The Quadrantid meteor shower reaches its peak tonight. And with New Moon arriving in just two days, observers with clear weather will have ideal conditions. Astronomers expect the shower to peak around 9 p.m. EST. Unfortunately, the radiant — the point in the northern part of the constellation Boötes from which the meteors appear to originate — doesn’t climb high until the early morning hours. And rates drop dramatically from the peak. The Quadrantids can produce up to 120 meteors per hour at maximum, but that number drops to 30 just eight hours on either side. North American observers should see a good display, but the best views likely will come from Europe.
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, at the Aries-Pisces border) is highest in the south shortly after dark. It’s visible in binoculars if 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 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
Th 3 Low 4:10 AM 3.2 7:53 AM Rise 5:42 AM 10
~ 3 High 10:10 AM 8.6 4:49 PM Set 3:17 PM
~ 3 Low 5:19 PM -0.3
~ 3 High 11:50 PM 6.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Conscience is what hurts… …when everything else feels so good.!
~ The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart. – Maya Angelou
~ If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?” -Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
~ Fame is only good for one thing – they will cash your check in a small town. – Truman Capote (1924-1984) US writer
~ The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. – Elizabeth Stanton (1815-1902) US reformer
The fresh New Year, the bright New Year
That telleth of hope and joy, my dear! – Bryan Waller Procter (1787–1874)
The wheel turns, and with it ebb and flow many things. Life and death, God and Goddess, Light and Darkness… During this time of the Wheel’s turning, the Goddess is in Her full power, and the God’s light grows stronger every day. The plants which been waiting silently in the Underworld, and itching to be reborn into the Light in the coming months… And the trees are beginning to pull their sap back up from the ground, refilling themselves with their own nurturing juices.
Close your eyes… Breathe deep, and let your body relax… Relax your mind, and as you breathe let your breath calm your muscles… your fears… your worries… As you inhale, let your breath soothe your soul… As you exhale, let your tension and stress flow with your breath, out of you, and into the Earth.
As you begin to relax, let yourself drift in the dark place, the nurturing womb of the Goddess. Here you are safe and loved, beyond all bounds. Here, you are cradled in the amniotic fluid of the Mother of Life…
In the darkness, you realize that you are enclosed within a shell; An egg-shaped barrier surrounds you… You feel moist air around you… And the shell sucks up the water and cracks, exposing you to the fresh air in the soil that now envelops you…
You know which way is up… And you feel the magickal pull of some force… A force that wants you to rise up… You try, but you know you’re not strong enough. You continue to breathe in the air, and drink the water, and feel the force pulling you, making yourself stronger. You grow up into the darkness, waiting to break free from the shadowed womb that has nurtured you.
Continuing to gather strength from the elements around you, you fill yourself with energy, aching to answer the call to rise up, to discover what lives and thrives above you… And you thrust yourself up to greet the light of the Sun…
Feel the power of the Sun pouring down on you, and recognize that it was the Sun’s power that was pulling you up from the depths… As day turns to night, and the days go by, you continue to grow. You rise up. Your roots go deeper, and your trunk becomes wider, and your branches stretch out and bud with the promise of fertile seed…
But the Wheel turns, and you begin to loose your leaves… Your juices flow down and into the Earth and your roots, while the cold frost of Winter approaches… You stand, cold and alone, having lost your fertile seeds, feeling the cold breeze rush through your leafless branches, and waiting for the Sun to regain his Throne so that Life can renew itself…
One day you feel the shift in the air, and you know that the Light is coming back… It is the time of year that it is now… The time when the Goddess is in Her full power… So are you, who is the Mighty Birch Tree. A symbol of the Goddess. You who know the Goddess as Maiden, for you were a sapling… You who know the Goddess as Mother, for you bore fertile seeds… You who know the Goddess as Crone, for you shed the ability of producing life and survived the cold harsh winter… And just like the Goddess Herself, you were reborn to begin the cycle once more.
Take some time to listen for messages from the spirit of the Birch, and from the Goddess… Take some time to feel what it has been like to grow and wither as a Birch Tree… Thank the Birch Spirit and the Goddess, and let yourself drift back into the darkness, where you can once again rejoin this world… As you breathe, let the visualization drift away, and let your breath remind you of your physical body.