It’s getting light, but slowly. There are a lot of clouds up there! It’s quite overcast, but I’ve been watching the growing light as we did the rt 34 drops. 49F, wind at 2mph, although it was hitting the 30’s earlier in the night, making for flying papers AQI is 9. We’ve gotten nearly 1/5 of an inch of rain, so far and there’s more due around lunchtime and another 2 1/2 due by Thursday.
Yesterday just flew past again. I was starting to set up newsletters, not only for this week, but part of next, since we’re going out of town for the 11th-14th. No clue whether I’ll have wi-fi enough to post over the weekend, but I’ll have the laptop with me a write, whichever.
We had quite a few people in for post-Christmas, although sometimes we hit the “left-over tourists”, which seemed to be about 1/2 of these. Those are people who can get Christmas week off, but they get New Year’s week instead.
I took a long nap after closing while Tempus made bread and worked in back. Once I got up he was off for Newport. Double-bag-and-rescue-the-papers weather…. Oi! …anyway I made a tuna and olive spread to go with the bread and then sat down with newsletters again, and planning for our “vacation”.
It’s definitely a working vacation, we’re going to be picking up stock, shopping for some, setting up, manning and tearing down a booth, plus I’m challenging for the Embellisher’s Guild and Costumer’s Guild, helping with vigil food, attending said vigil and elevation, three or four guild meetings, a birthday party, helping with a display… and…and….and… I might have a few minutes to breathe.
So I filled in files, then went in the back to sew for a bit. …actually iron, first . I needed to press the ruffles before starting to sew them on. …and back and forth and back and forth. I can’t bend over to cut out for very long without my back seizing up. I managed to get some of the seams done and then I curled up for a nap.
Today’s plant is the Weeping Cherry, Grandma’s favorite from her front yard, which was destroyed when the house was sold. It seems to be this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_subhirtella, the Higan Cherry. There are listings for cherries and weeping trees both, but the weeping cherries do not produce fruit, only lovely flowers. Cherries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry Cherry Blossom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_blossom Weeping Trees: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weeping_tree – Divination, Creativity; Healing. Objects made of Cherry wood are used to attract Love. Cherry juice is used as a substitute for blood in old recipes. Cherry gum is burned as a resin for sore throats.
The festival of Fufluns is a Roman event that happened somewhere near this day. There’s nothing much written about Fufluns, except that he’s a vegetation god, equivalent to Bacchus, that originally was Etruscan, but here are some references. http://www.pantheon.org/articles/f/fufluns.html and here: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/roman-mythology.php?deity=FUFLUNS …and on the Etruscans http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etruscan_mythology
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 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 5:28pm. 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. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances. God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at 5:28pm on 1/5.
Although people in the Northern Hemisphere experienced the shortest day of the year two weeks ago (at the winter solstice December 21), the Sun has continued to rise slightly later with each passing day. That trend stops this morning for those at 40° north latitude. Tomorrow’s sunrise will arrive at the same time as today’s, but the Sun will come up two seconds earlier Sunday morning. This turnover point depends on latitude. If you live farther north, the switch occurred a few days ago; closer to the equator, the change won’t happen until later in January.
Here is is January, and the Summer Triangle is still in view — if you look early after dark. Vega is the brightest star low in the northwest. The brightest one above it, and perhaps a bit left, is Deneb. Look for Altair farther to Vega’s left and perhaps even lower.
Neptune, in Aquarius, is lower in the southwest right after dark and more difficult at magnitude 7.9. Finder charts.
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
F 4 Low 4:58 AM 3.3 7:52 AM Rise 6:40 AM 4
~ 4 High 10:50 AM 8.6 4:50 PM Set 4:00 PM
~ 4 Low 5:58 PM -0.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – If you’re not Growing then you’re not Living! Make today better than the day before.
~ Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. – Henry Ford (1863-1947) American Industrialist
~ Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. – Proverbs 14:13, New International Version
~ Imagine all the people living life in peace. – John Lennon
~ Everything happens for a reason. Neither success nor failure is an accident. They have specific causes, and when you repeat the causes you get the same effects, no matter who you are. – Brian Tracy
Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.
Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.
Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,
The winter is the winter’s own release. – Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–85)
Antioxidant Loaded Winter Veggie Soup
From: herbalmuse – Inspired by Soup Makes the Meal, by Ken Haedrich (Harvard Common Press, 2001). The author of this wonderful cookbook says he’s been making this light restorative soup for his kids when they’re sick for years–but that it’s so delicious, you don’t have to be sick to enjoy it! Either way, its luscious fragrance helps to clear the sinuses, with potatoes that are soothing to the digestive tract and a delightful broth filled with spinach, parsley, leeks, and garlic for minerals, vitamins, and healing antioxidants plus some winter root vegetables for sweetness. A steaming bowlful on a cold winter day is so wonderfully soothing and comforting–and it is very quick to make.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large leek, well-washed, white parts only, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- Handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- Large handful fresh spinach leaves (around 4 ounces), rinsed and coarsely chopped
- Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the leeks, carrot, potato, parsnip, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add stock and salt to taste, then bring to a simmer.
- Simmer soup, partially covered, for about 5 minutes, then stir in parsley and spinach. Simmer, partially covered, about 5 more minutes. Add pepper to taste and serve piping hot.
Serves 4 to 5.
Golden Cream Soup – This is a deliciously creamy soup that uses traditional milk & honey, and the keeper winter squashes that are going to go bad if they don’t get used, soon. You can make it savory or slightly sweet as you prefer. …and it sounds like a difficult recipe, but it’s not. You just have to be careful with it.
Holiday – Imbolc
Soup (and leftovers for side dish) 4-6 servings
1 cup squash (acorn or other orange-fleshed squash…even pumpkin)
2 tablespoons butter
Water (amount varies and may not be needed)
OR (skip to 6)
1 cup of any leftover cooked squash, drained of liquid
OR (skip to 7)
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour3 1/2 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
Washed rosemary sprigs (about 6) optional
grated nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of raw sugar, honey or maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste, (plus 2 optional saffron threads)
cutting board and knife, stirring/mixing/measuring things, baking dish, potato masher or stout fork, small frypan, medium heavy-bottomed pot
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Peel and cut squash into 1-2 inch cubes.
- Put into covered baking dish
- Sprinkle with salt and place cut up butter
- Bake for about an hour, checking and stirring every 15 minutes. If it begins to scorch, add a bit of water, ¼ cup at a time.
- Mash well, adding water if needed. Measure 1 cup and set aside (anything more can be served immediately or saved for later as a good side dish).
- Put the 2nd amount of butter into a small frypan and melt over medium heat.
- Measure milk into something with a pour spout and set it nearby.
- Turn to low and sprinkle flour in carefully, mixing a bit at a time. Do not let this brown!
- Continue cooking, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. If it begins to brown, carefully add milk by tablespoons from the pouring container to lower the temperature, but you’re cooking the flour, so don’t get it too low.
- Pour the cooked flour mixture, the cup of squash and the rest of the milk into the large pot and mix well.
- Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Immediately lower the heat to medium low (2 on my stove) and simmer while stirring, until it begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat
- Add cream and stir well, then stir in savory or sweet spices as you prefer and serve.
- Maybe be reheated in the microwave by the serving.
- Serve in heavy mugs. Float a washed rosemary sprig on top of each serving for a great presentation!
Chilled Tomato-Basil Soup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium leek, cleaned, white part ONLY, chopped finely
1 medium carrot, chopped finely
1 medium celery stalk, chopped finely
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
4 ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
½ cup light cream
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil leaves for garnish – optional
¼ cup sour cream or yogurt – optional
Heat butter and oil in a 2 quart saucepan; add onion, leek, carrot, celery and basil. Sauté for about 5minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour mix well. Add chicken stock, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Pour into food processor or blender and puree. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth if desired.
Return to pan, add light cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill or at least 4 hours or up to 2 days in advance of serving.
Garnish bowls with basil leaves and dollops of sour cream/yogurt if desired.
Cheese and Vegetable Soup
6 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
4 ½ cups water
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 pound Velveeta cheese
2 teaspoons chopped parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, chicken bouillon and 4 ½ cups
water, simmering until vegetables are done and liquid is reduced.
Shake together flour with a small portion of milk and add to vegetables with the rest of the milk. Cut the Velveeta into cubes and add to the soup along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer at low temperature until hot.
Silliness – Two Sticks – We know a guy who was so bad his music teacher gave him two sticks and he became a drummer, but then he lost one and so became a conductor.