It’s still overcast, but bright enough that it looks like the sun will be peeking through any time, now. 48F, wind at 7mph, AQI48, UV1. Wednesday through Friday are likely to be quite wet, with maybe 5 inches of rain. Thursday ought to be a bit interesting from the amount of wind, too.
Most of yesterday was spent on getting ready for the holiday and finished up some projects. We had set up some liqueurs over a month ago, so they were in need of straining and bottling. I have one bottle of each set up for the competitions in the late spring. They just need to age. We had as much left over that *should* be aged, but is probably going to get consumed over the holiday, plus a pear concoction that is just delicious. The little filters of the leftover spices will go into holiday Wassail or egg nog.
There were some small things that just needed another step or so, but the big one of the day was dealing with a big, spiral cut ham that needed to be separated into the various dishes. I have a box of slices which will go into sandwiches and casseroles. Two small boxes are scraps that are going into potted ham once I have horseradish. A crockpot of the bone, rind and fatty bits is going at the moment and the shop smells delicious! That’s going to be degreased and picked over and the broth will go into a soup, eventually, but for now it’s going into the freezer. The bone is going to be re-boiled, scrubbed and dried and eventually become needles, bone rings and other carving.
Today’s task is potted cheese, but Tempus has already left for Newport to finish the grocery shopping. I’ll have to strain and pick the ham broth as soon as I can, too. We’re open on time. Busy! I still don’t have the energy that I’d like, but I can manage if I take breaks.
Today’s plant is the cobra lily, Darlingtonia
Californica, a carnivorous bog plant, native to California and Oregon. These plants are trippy…. they eat bugs, because they thrive in such awful soil that they need a different way to get the nutrients that most plants get out of the ground! No, they don’t have any magickal uses that I know of.
A good article about Darlingtonia: http://coastexplorermagazine.com/features/carnivorous-rare-and-wild-cobra-lilies The wiki article is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlingtonia_(plant) and one about the
wayside in Florence is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlingtonia_Botanical_Wayside The wayside is worth a drive. There are good walkways just above the ground level so that you don’t hurt the plants. We used to roll Grandma’s wheelchair through there every summer at least once, because she was fascinated, too.
Las Posadas, Mexico – This custom apparently derives from Spain, but is celebrated mostly in Central America and the Southwestern US. It includes Nativity parades, and plays resembling those of the mummers along with breaking of piñatas and lots of parties. There’s even a celebration in Portland that ends up with Santa collecting gifts for needy children. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Posadas
The shop opens at 11am today. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. 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 12/25 at 9:13pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/18 at 8:57pm.
With December now well underway, people’s thoughts naturally turn to the onset of winter. As if on cue, the coldest season’s most conspicuous constellation now appears prominent in the evening sky. Orion the Hunter lies low in the east at 7 p.m. local time and climbs to its peak due south around midnight. Look for three 2nd-magnitude stars in a short line that form the Hunter’s Belt. The constellation’s brightest stars are ruddy Betelgeuse and blue-white Rigel.
After the waning Moon rises late this evening (by about 11 p.m.), look for Regulus just a few degrees to its right. The slightly fainter star on the other side of the Moon is Algieba. (This sketch is going to be sortof upside-down!)
Mercury is still a bright magnitude –0.6, but it’s sinking low into the sunrise glow. Look for it early in the week just above the the east-southeast horizon about 30 minutes before sunup. Bring binoculars. Don’t be confused by fainter Antares twinkling in the vicinity. Mercury is well to the lower left of fainter Mars.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for December – https://www.almanac.com/sky-map-december-2019
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22
Runic half-month of Jera/ Jara 12/13-12/27 – Jara signifies the completion of natural cycles, such as fruition, and has a more transcendent meaning of mystic marriage of Earth and Cosmos.*Ø* Wilson’s Almanac free daily ezine | Book of Days | December 13
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH), elder – Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) commences (Nov 25 – Dec 22) – Like other Iron Age Europeans, the Celts were a polytheistic people prior to their conversion to (Celtic) Christianity. The Celts divided the year into 13 lunar cycles (months or moons). These were linked to specific sacred trees which gave each moon its name. Today commences the Celtic tree month of Elder.
Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus) is a genus of fast-growing shrubs or small trees in the family Caprifoliaceae. They bear bunches of small white or cream coloured flowers in the Spring, that are followed by bunches of small red, bluish or black berries. The berries are a very valuable food resource for many birds. Common North American species include American Elder, Sambucus canadensis, in the east, and Blueberry Elder, Sambucus glauca, in the west; both have blue-black berries. The common European species is the Common or Black Elder, Sambucus nigra, with black berries.
The common elder (Sambucus nigra L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (33 feet) in damp clearings, along the edge of woods, and especially near habitations. Elders are grown for their blackish berries, which are used for preserves and wine. The leaf scars have the shape of a crescent moon. Elder branches have a broad spongy pith in their centers, much like the marrow of long bones, and an elder branch stripped of its bark is very bone-like. The red elder (S. racemosa L.) is a similar plant at higher elevations; it grows to 5 m (15 feet). Red elder extends its native range to northern North America, and it is cultivated along with other native species, but common elders are seldom seen in cultivation. Elders are in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 16 High 3:48 AM 7.1 7:46 AM Set 11:32 AM 85
~ 16 Low 9:08 AM 3.4 4:38 PM Rise 9:41 PM
~ 16 High 2:45 PM 8.0
~ 16 Low 9:52 PM -0.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Before you decide about your aim in life, check your ammunition.
~ Genius is talent exercised with courage.- Ludwig Wittgenstein
~ The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. – FDR
~ His hands are clean who warns another. – Njal’s Saga, c.41
~ It’s my belief we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain. . – Lily Tomlin
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you! – –Beggar’s rhyme
This “sleeping potion” contains “white cardamom”. I’d never heard of or seen that, so I googled it. It looks like there’s a serious problem with white cardamom since it’s bleached by a process that might introduce odd chemicals into the spice. From the looks of it you’re safer with the standard spice that you find in the baking section.
I would also suggest that, along with the cardamom and nutmeg, you could use vanilla bean, especially if you’re male. Nutmeg works for the feminine part of each of us and vanilla for male.
This is a variation on the “warm milk before bed” prescription as a sleeping aid that has been used for millennia. Several decades ago, someone did a chemical study to find out what it was that made this work. Was it a placebo, or was there a chemical effect? It turns out that there are a number of chemicals in this combo that actually do have a soporific effect, including tryptophan. It’s real on the physical level and with adding the spices for the magickal purpose, we really cover the bases!
Check this link! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardamom
Jamaican Sleeping Potion – Llewellyn’s Spell-a-Day – November 18th, 2006 – Color of the day: Blue – Incense of the day: Patchouli
As the first day of week’s end, today is a day we do all those little things we are too busy to do during the week. Increasingly, many of use are overwhelmed with work and other duties. We get little sleep, especially high quality sleep. A tasty brew that hails from the highlands of Jamaica harnesses the calming quality of warmed milk and the exotic cardamom pod. Make the potion for as many people as need it. Take one white cardamom pod for each person and grind them using a mortar and pestle. Remove large parts of the husk of the pods, and discard. Add the powder to a clean cauldron or pot. Add one cup of milk (cow’s milk or goat’s milk, preferably) for each person. Warm this brew over medium heat, but do not bring to a boil. Strain it and pour into cups. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg, another spice with a marked tranquilizing effect. Before you know it, you’ll all be nodding off for a sound night of uninterrupted sleep. By: Stephanie Rose Bird
Hot Tea Punch
6 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
5 tea bags
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Bring first 4 ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags. Cover and let steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add orange and lemon juices to punch. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.) Using slotted spoon, remove whole spices. Serve hot.
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup hot water
- 1 gallon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- This recipe can be doubled and kept in crock-pot for easier serving to large groups.
- In large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and salt.
- Add hot water slowly, mixing well.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils
- Boil and stir 2 minutes.
- Add milk; heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. DO NOT boil.
- Remove from heat; add vanilla, and cinnamon; whip with a whisk.
- Serve hot, with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.
For the Wassail’s Baked Apples:
- 1 dozen cooking apples
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Core apples and place in an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon, fill apples with mixture, dot tops with butter. Add boiling water and sugar to pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes.
For the Wassail:
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg, grated (for luck)
- 1/2 teaspoon mace
- 2 teaspoons ginger (to prevent arguments)
- 6 whole cloves (to influence people in high places, and for luck)
- 1 stick cinnamon (same as cloves)
- 6 whole allspice
- 1 dozen eggs, separated
- 4 bottles sherry
- 2 cups brandy
Combine first eight ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Fold whites into yolks. Strain spice mixture into egg mixture and stir. Combine sherry and brandy and bring almost to a boil. Gradually add liquor to spice and egg mixture, stirring rapidly as you do so. Before serving, add baked apples to foaming liquid. Serve in a large cauldron.
(The above recipe for “Pagan Wassail” in directly quoted from Laurie Cabot’s book: “Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition”, pages 71-72, a Delta book, published by Dell Publishing, 1994.)