Bright sunshine and 60F. Is it actually January? Wind at 19mph and gusting well up into the 20’s. AQI 25 and the humidity is down to 38%! Showers are supposed to start on Wednesday and then rain after that.
Yesterday started for me around 9am, from then until 11 I was going through mail. I crawled back in next to Tempus, shivering, and he cuddled me until I got warm and we both fell back asleep. I’m not sure what time was actually got up, but I expect it was around 1 and we were both back at mail, which we continued to do, interspersed with unpacking, at the shop.
A lot of what we ate was leftovers from the weekend, but I took some of the Little Smokies (TM) and made a hot dish for supper in the crockpot from those, canned tomatoes, olives and onion, and spices. I also cooked up the rest of the green beans that didn’t go into another batch of dilly beans (which were *really* well-received!
Today we were supposed to be going to Sasha’s for awhile, taking a pizza and the laundry. I’ve been fighting the regular computer since I got up and it’s nearly 3, so Tempus is going to go do that while I try to figure out how to put out the House Capuchin newsletter with the minimal pictures….. We still need to finish unpacking.
I thought y’all might get a kick out of this Ronald Hutton documentary about Wicca. It’s a bit, “ooh-wow” in spots, but, oh well…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHAqBjOvYOQ
Today’s plant is Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. It is naturalized in the PNW, being native to Europe, not the Americas. Digitalis was one of the first heart medications and was extracted from the plant and then synthesized. The plant is poisonous, not just because of this (too much causes irregular heartbeat), but some other chemicals. Also known as Lady’s Glove, Witches’ Gloves, Fairy Fingers, or Dead Men’s Bells. – Feminine, Venus, Water – A Druid sacred herb associated with the “little people”. Lust, protection, decision, grow in a garden for protection of house and yard, reveals insincerity. Flower meaning – a wish, “I am not ambitious for myself but for you”.
Mallard Day, All Souls’ College, Oxford University – In 1437 the founder of this college was turning over options for various sites in his mind. On this day he woke from a dream of a huge mallard trapped in the place where he should build. Workmen went to dig and found an enormous bird making quite a racket. In honor of this event the Mallard Song is sung and a feast is held on this day. More about the college and the custom here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Souls_College,_Oxford#Customs
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
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 1/20 at 9:16pm. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 1/19 at 9:16am.
In this very coldest time of the year, the dim Little Dipper hangs straight down from Polaris in early evening — as if, per Leslie Peltier, from a nail on the cold north wall of the sky. The Big Dipper, meanwhile, is creeping up low in the north-northeast. Its handle is very low and its bowl is to the upper right. And Cassiopeia, a flattened letter M, is nearly overhead in the north-northwest, just beginning to tilt.
One of the sky’s most familiar constellations rules January’s sky from dusk until near dawn. Orion the Hunter appears conspicuous in the southeast after darkness falls and climbs highest in the south around 10 p.m. local time. It then stands about halfway to the zenith from mid-northern latitudes. The night sky’s brightest star, Sirius, trails about an hour behind Orion.
Mercury, like Saturn, is lost in the sunrise.
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 Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic,Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
©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
M 14 High 6:09 AM 7.3 7:50 AM Set 12:39 AM 45
~ 14 Low 12:55 PM 2.4 5:01 PM Rise 12:16 PM
~ 14 High 6:34 PM 5.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Understand it. Love it. Now, let it go…..
~ Put that bloody cigarette out. – Last words of Saki, British writer, just before he was killed by a sniper’s bullet in WWI
~ I know how it feels to be a woman because I am a woman. And I won’t be classified as just a man. – Pete Townshend, Newsweek, November 14, 1990
~ As far as I’m concerned, men are the product of a damaged gene. They pretend to be normal but what they’re doing sitting there with benign smiles on their faces is they’re manufacturing sperm. – Germaine Greer, Australian feminist and misandrist, (from a news report dated November 14, 1991)
~ The rigors undertaken by devout Muslims inspire respect for Islam among people of all faiths. And this can bring hope of greater understanding for good will. It can overflow old boundaries when wholehearted devotion to one’s own faith is matched with a devout respect for the faith of others. That is why we welcome Islam in America. It enriches our country with Islam’s teachings of self-discipline, compassion and commitment to family. It deepens America’s respect for Muslims here at home and around the world, from Indonesia to Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa. – US President William J Clinton, November 27, 2000
Then welcome cold, welcome, ye snowy nights!
Heaven midst your rage shall mingle pure delights.
And confidence of hope the soul sustain,
While devastation sweeps along the plain:
Nor shall the child of poverty despair,
But bless the Power that rules the changing year;
Assured, though horrors round his cottage reign,
That Spring will come, and Nature smile again. – Robert Bloomfield (1766–1823)
Imbolc Ideas Having To Do With Fire by Starhawk, Anne Hill, and Diane Baker
Whether we circle around a hearth, outdoor bonfire, or kindle a blaze in a cast-iron cauldron, in the season of Brigit we welcome the return of light. Here are some suggestions for a safe and cheerful blaze.
Cauldron Fire – Any cast-iron pot can be made into a cauldron with a fire of Epsom salts and rubbing alcohol. This is a very safe blaze. [Anja’s note: …as long as it’s *tiny*! We had one of these in a standard 8” cauldron that sent flames 5 feet into the air!]
You will need:
a cast-iron pot of any size [I’d say 3” or smaller, actually]
a lid that fits snugly, for putting out the fire (or something heavy and heatproof that lies across the top of the cauldron)
bricks, hotplate or other heat-resistant material to set the cauldron on.
To keep the blaze going for 45 minutes in a five quart cauldron, you need 1/2 gallon of Epsom salts and approximately 4 to 6 pints of rubbing alcohol [they’re NUTS!…..this is WAY too much!!!!!]
- Once the cauldron is secured on a heat-proof surface, pour the Epsom salts in until the bottom is covered, approximately 1 inch deep.
- Pour rubbing alcohol over the salts until the alcohol is about an inch higher than the salts.
- Hold a lighted match just above the alcohol.
- The liquid will light and produce a strong orange flame. The flame burns cool, unlike a wood fire, and it is difficult to burn things in.
- When the flame gets low, cover to snuff out completely.
- Add more rubbing alcohol to the cauldron and relight carefully. The warmer the rubbing alcohol, the more quickly it ignites.
- This fire recipe leaves a significant amount of sediment in the bottom of the cauldron. For this reason, it is best to dedicate a pot strictly for cauldron use.
Kindling a Fire
This holiday is a good time to teach your older children how to set a fire and kindle a blaze. Most children are eager to help lay a fire, but may be too scared to light one. Using long matches often eases their fear, and with supervision they can become quite proficient at lighting fires.
Children are great at gathering wood.
A note of caution about burning found wood, however: Make sure you inspect the wood. Scrap plywood gives off toxic fumes, as does wood that has been painted or coated with urethane. Make sure the wood you are burning has not been coated with creosote. Creosote is a dark, often tarry preservative and is commonly found on wood washed up on the beach. Its fumes are toxic, and when burned, the treated wood creates a smoky, stinky blaze. Creosote is easy to identify by its smell, which resembles that of turpentine or paint thinner.
- It is a good idea to have a pail of water or a fire extinguisher close at hand when having a fire.
- Never leave candles lit and a blazing fire unattended.
- If you often light fires at your home, try growing an aloe vera plant, or keep some of the pure gel on hand in the fridge, to use as first aid for burns.
- Fires at the beach are popular in all seasons, and eliminate some of the risks of fires in the woods or in the meadow. Few people are aware of how to extinguish a beach fire safely, however. Covering up a beach fire with sand actually insulates the coals, keeping them burning through the night. Those hidden coals will still be red-hot in the morning waiting for an unsuspecting person to step on them. Always douse a beach fire with water – seawater works as well as fresh water – until there are no more live coals. Wait for the steam to clear; then using a stick, turn over all the coals to make sure no smoldering coals remain.
Silliness – Slow Down
Farmer John lived on a quiet rural highway, but, as time went by, the traffic built-up at an alarming rate. The traffic was so heavy and so fast that his chickens were being run over at a rate of three to six a day.
So one day Farmer John called the sheriff’s office and said, “You’ve got to do something about all of these people driving so fast and killing all of my chickens.”
“What do you want me to do?” asked the sheriff.
“I don’t care,” said Farmer John. “Just do something about these crazy drivers!” So the next day, he had the county workers go out and erected a sign that said, SLOW: SCHOOL CROSSING.
Three days later Farmer John called the sheriff and said, “You’ve got to do something about these drivers. The school crossing sign seems to make them go even faster.” So, again, the sheriff sends out the county workers and they put up a new sign that said, SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY.
But that sped them up even more! So Farmer John kept calling, and the sheriff kept changing the signs.
Finally, Farmer John said to the sheriff, “Your signs are doing no good. Can I put up my own sign?” The sheriff was ready to let Farmer John do just about anything in order to get him to stop calling every day. He said, “Sure thing, put up your own sign.” And after that, the sheriff got no more calls from Farmer John.
Three weeks later, curiosity got the best of the sheriff and he decided to give Farmer John a call. “How’s the problem with those drivers? Did you put up your sign?”
“Oh, I sure did. And not one chicken has been killed since then. I’ve got to go. I’m very busy.” He hung up the phone.
The sheriff was really curious now and he thought to himself “Id better go out there and take a look at that sign… it might be something that WE could use to slow down drivers…” So the sheriff drove out to Farmer Johns house, and his jaw dropped the moment he saw the sign. It was spray-painted on a sheet of wood:
NUDIST COLONY-Go slow and watch out for the chicks