Bright sunshine again and blue sky with the usual bits around the edges. It’s been clouding up later in the day when it’s this bright, early. Tomrrow’s likely to be wet, 4/10’s of an inch of rainis predicted and likely again on Monday with the winds picking up during stormy days. 54F, wind at 4mph, AQI20, UV4.
Yesterday went by really, really quickly. We got things done before the Sabbat, but only by keeping at it the whole time. We had to make bread and boil eggs and find the egg dye kits, set up the altar….that kind of thing …and this morning we have to sort it all out!
Today’s Plant is Cascade penstemon, or coast penstemon, Penstemon serrulatus. A member of the plantain family, this was used by the 1st nations peoples as a medicinal remedy for toothache. It’s common name, “Beardtongue” is because the flower appears to be sticking out it’s hairy tongue! It has a lovely flower, and is a semi-deciduous shrub, which usually is very short, unlike many shrubs. The tender shoots that the flowers grow on often get frost-nipped so only survive for a year or so, with the rest of the plant surviving below the level of surrounding plants, acting as a perennial ground-cover. –Feminine, Venus, Earth – Use for headaches, particularly headaches coming from tooth pain or infection by binding the herb with red wool and/or putting it into a red cloth pouch and bind to the head, or even put into your pillowcase at bedtime. You can put a leaf in your shoes to help with the effects of standing on them too long. Roots protect from snakebite and a bunch of the flowers will chase negativity away, particularly that coming from outside. Iow, it won’t do much for a bad mood…. More on Penstemon here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penstemon
Maslenitsa is a Slavic Feast. It literally means “Butter Woman”. Nowadays it is observed as part of the pre-Lent festivities, but it may originally have been just an end of winter feast like Caillach or some of the other more Western festivals, which is how it is celebrated with Rodnoveri. It’s a week of dairy products and pancakes! One of the odder ones to Western taste is a “red & black cake” which is several large pancakes stacked in layers with red and black caviar in individual layers, a cottage-type cheese in other layers, slathered with butter, and sliced like a layer cake. This is a totally different kind of pancake from our sweet ones! More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslenitsa and here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostroma_%28deity%29
Maslenitsa – Suhii (March) 21 – Maslenitsa is a very ancient festival, the holiday of the Spring Equinox and the end of the winter frosts. People enjoy themselves, engaging in much feasting, dancing, wearing of masks, playing on traditional musical instruments, and contests of strength, all to enact spring unbridled, in action and fighting. Traditional pastries are also baked, called blini (a type of potato pancake), to symbolize the sun.
The shop opens at 11am. Spring hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday. 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
Full Moon – The day of, the day before, and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 3/22 at 9:43am. 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 4/6 at 1:58am.
Now that it’s spring, the signature fall-and-winter constellation Cassiopeia is retreating downward after dark. But for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes Cassiopeia is circumpolar, never going away completely. Look for it fairly low in the north-northwest these evenings. It’s standing roughly on end. By midnight or 1 a.m. it’s at its lowest due north, lying not quite horizontally.
Algol, descending in the northwest, should be at minimum light for a couple hours centered on 10:04 p.m. EDT (7:04 p.m. PDT). Algol takes several additional hours to rebrighten.
Venus (magnitude –4.0, in Capricornus) rises above the east-southeast horizon around the first light of dawn. It’s nearly 60° lower left of Jupiter.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for March
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fearn (FAIR-n)
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month – Ailim – Silver Fir
Color: Light Blue
Meaning: Learning from past mistakes; Take care in choices.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 21 High 1:30 AM 8.3 7:18 AM Set 8:03 AM 99
~ 21 Low 7:37 AM 0.3 7:30 PM Rise 8:35 PM
~ 21 High 1:36 PM 8.5
~ 21 Low 7:57 PM -0.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I let Spirit (My Higher Self, God/dess, My Spirit Guides, The One, The Force, Infinite Source) purify any remaining thoughts and feelings of needing to be “right.”
~ If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace. – John Lennon (1940-1980)
~ The public is wiser than the wisest critic. – George Bancroft (1800-1891) US historian, statesman
~ A man may live after losing his life but not after losing his honour. – Irish Proverb
~ A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. – (Proverbs 17:22).
Don’t say that spring has come until you can put your foot on nine daisies. – unknown
Ostara Magick – Recipes
FlyOffthePlate Potatoes http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/ostara-recipes.html This was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 1/22/09, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
4 large roasting potatoes
1/2 cup goose fat
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Scrub the potatoes. Cut them into bite-sized chunks.
Put 1/2 cup goose fat into a small bowl. Crumble 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary into it. Stir to combine.
Put about half the potatoes into 8×11″ baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle about half the herbed goose fat over the potatoes. Stir to coat evenly. Add the rest of the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle on the rest of the herbed goose fat. Stir carefully, being careful not to knock pieces out of the dish.
Cook at 400ºF for one hour. Toward the end, test the potatoes with a fork. When done, they should be tender, and the top layer will be brown and crispy on the highest points.
Any type of roasting or multipurpose potato should work. I used red ones because the skins contrast nicely with the white centers.
The goose fat is what makes this recipe splendid rather than ordinary. Its reputation as a supreme cooking ingredient is well justified. If you don’t have any, you can try a variation of this recipe using duck fat, chicken fat, or even cooking oil. But goose fat is so awesome that it’s actually sold in jars as an ingredient in its own right, so you can find it at gourmet suppliers. I simply siphoned mine out of the “Herbal Roast Goose” that I made earlier.
Rosemary goes very well with potatoes. However, you can try other herbs such as thyme or oregano if you prefer.
This recipe was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 5/1/10, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Mix the flours, salt, sugar and baking powder together. Add about 1/2 cup water and mix well, adding a bit more water if needed to make a stiff dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until dough becomes elastic and smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into squares, strips or circles. Deep fry in very hot oil until golden brown. Drain on brown paper bags or paper towels. Drizzle honey in a very thin stream over bread and serve immediately. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon if desired.
OSTARA HOT CROSS BUNS – These cakes are traditional treats at the Vernal Equinox. The equilateral solar cross on top predates Christianity and represents the minor Sabbats; the solstices and the equinoxes.
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 tsp. allspice
2 cups warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup currants
1/2 cup candied peel
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbs. milk
- Proof yeast in sweetened milk.
- Preheat oven to 375o
- Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter, then eggs, then milk.
- Stir in currants and candied peel.
- Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Spray 24 medium/large muffin cups, fill 2/3 full.
- Spray tops with butter spray, cover and let rise until almost double, about 20-30 minutes.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until browned.
- Cool on rack until warm.
- Combine sugar and milk until smooth, spoon into piping bag.
- Pipe Celtic crosses on top.
Welsh Bake Stones
- 1 Pound Self-Rising Flour
- 2 Large Eggs (Beaten)
- 8 Ounces Sultanas
- 8 Ounces Butter
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- Combine the flour, butter or margarine, sultanas, eggs, and sugar.
- In a separate container mix water with milk and add just enough to the flour mixture to make a pliable dough.
- Roll onto floured surface to 1/2″ thickness.
- Cut out circles with a small glass (2″) a pastry cutter.
- Cook in an oiled pan until lightly browned on both sides.
Silliness – Signs and Notices – Road sign seen on the island of Cyprus. (translation of the Greek): ‘Caution: Road Slippery from Grapejuice’