Featured photo by Anja.
The wind is fairly still. Even the leaves of the roses aren’t stirring very often. It’s clouded over, but doesn’t look like that’s going to last too long. 46F, wind at 0and gusting up to 6mph, AQI40, UV1. Today should be dry, although there’s a 25% chance of rain this evening. Tomorrow, though… 100% chance of rain by 6pm. That and the associated wind ought to keep up through Sunday with about 1 12 inches of rain.
Yesterday was quiet and long and I got a lot of writing and sorting finished. Tempus ended up working on dishes and after I dumped the shelf with the broken hook again, he went and fixed it. He also went out to the store because I had eaten all the pickled herring that we got for the New Year, and we had our “luck meal” of cocky (lentils) Peas and Hominy, and pickled herring late in the evening, after making bread and cooking up some chicken.
I was in a lot of pain from my bad tooth, yesterday. I’m going to have to get something done in the not-too-distant, it looks like. I’ve been up for a couple of hours, watching the day start, listening to some youtubes on Ann Boleyn and some baroque music.
Utterly amazing. New Year’s fireworks in Prague last year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6cku-fLuoU&fbclid=IwAR1WATurTg0-5YRtpSVw_XLBw0a-sAIbAKt7Dl62vQt8A2BpOu2ba-km3TM It starts about 35 seconds into the video.
A pic from 11/1/15 (by me) of the sunset sky. That’s a *reflection* of the sun, which was down behind the trees!
Today’s Plant is Oregon White Oak, Quercus garryana, also called Garry oak, or just Oregon oak. It doesn’t grow well out here on the coast, although supposedly there are some specimens. I’ve never seen one out here, but they’re *all* over the Willamette Valley, many of them hosting our local mistletoe, Phoradendron flavescens. This is the same relation of tree and herb that gave rise to the legends of the Golden Bough in Europe, although these are *far* different species. – Masculine, Sun ,Fire, Dagda, (Jupiter, Thor, Pan) – Use in magicks for protection, money, potency, fertility – Burn the bark to draw off illness, carry and piece of the for luck and protection, acorns are used to tip male power wands and worn as necklaces by some priests and can be carried to increase fertility and male potency to preserve health and long life. Place in windows to ward off lightning. Plant an acorn at the new moon if you need money. Fires of oak wood draw off illness. – Wiccaning or Seining – Wiccaning or Seining is the ceremony where we welcome a new child to the world. Holly water is used for girls and Oak for boys. Make by a tablespoon of powdered leaf brew in 1 cup of very hot water for about 10 minutes, then adding that to 2 cups of cold water. Sprinkle or wash baby with it. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_white_oak Mistletoe lore here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe#Culture.2C_folklore.2C_and_mythology and more about our variety here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoradendron
Inanna, goddess of the Fertile Crescent, is known in modern paganism for the Wicca 3rd degree ritual being based on the story of the “descent of Inanna”. Her names and titles, “Nin-me-sar-ra, the Lady of Myriad Offices / or Queen of all the Me
Ninsianna as the personification of the planet Venus
Nin.an.na, which means ‘queen of the sky’.
Nu-ugiganna, the Hierodule of Heaven
Usunzianna, Exalted Cow of Heaven”. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inanna …and no, the bit online about her being Ostara in another guise isn’t real. If anything Ostara is a Hare, not a Cow.
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 is closed today. Holiday hours – closed 1/2 and then 1/7-15. 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
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 1/10 at 11:21am. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 1/2 at 8:45pm. 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 1/8 at 11:21pm.
First Quarter Moon arrives at 8:45 p.m. PST. Our satellite rises in the east around noon local time but doesn’t become prominent until the Sun sets a little before 5 p.m. By 6 p.m., it appears due south and about halfway to the zenith. The Moon’s half-lit orb then lies among the background stars of Cetus the Whale and is lower left of the Great Square of Pegasus at dusk, then directly left of it by 7 or 8 p.m. The Great Square is part of the enormous Andromeda-Pegasus complex, which now runs from near the zenith far down toward the western horizon.
Near the zenith, spot Andromeda‘s high foot: 2nd-magnitude Gamma Andromedae (Almach), slightly orange. Andromeda is standing on her head, the star that forms the Great Square’s top corner. The square is balancing on its opposite corner. Down from there run the stars outlining Pegasus’s neck and head, ending at his nose: 2nd-magnitude Enif, due west and also slightly orange.
Mars (magnitude +1.6, in Libra) is fairly low in the southeast before and during early dawn. It too is still on the far side of the Sun from us and so is a very tiny 4 arcseconds in diameter. Far and small as Mars may be, it’s on its way to a fine opposition next October, when it will attain an especially large apparent diameter of 22 arcseconds and shine at an impressive magnitude –2.6, 50 times brighter than now.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for January – https://www.almanac.com/sky-map-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 Runic half-month of Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
©2020 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 2 High 5:45 AM 6.9 7:53 AM Rise 12:13 PM 36
~ 2 Low 12:01 PM 3.2 4:48 PM
~ 2 High 5:19 PM 5.7
~ 2 Low 11:42 PM 1.9
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Mastery, you are my friend. You are with me always.
~ Wisdom outweighs any wealth. – Sophocles
~ All women’s dresses are merely variations on the eternal struggle between admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress. – Lin Yutang (1895-1976) Chinese writer
~ If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror ever become polished? – Rumi
~ The private control of credit is the modern form of slavery. – Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) US writer
A Very Happy New year with a chain link verse wherein the last word of each sentence becomes the first word of the following sentence just to symbolically indicate that new year is only a chronological check point in the continuing eternity of life.
DAWN OF THE NEW YEAR
With the dawn of the NEW YEAR,
New year’s resolutions abound around,
Around us blossom beliefs for the best,
Best ways of care and creation,
Creation of dazzling , delightful dreams,
Dreams of emancipation, endearment and evolution,
Evolution of friendly and fantastic feelings,
Feelings of generosity, greatness and goodness;
Goodness of human and humane hospitality,
Hospitality, without inhibition, of inner invitation,
Invitation to join in jubilation and joy,
Joy of kindled kindness,
Kindness born out of long, lurking love of life,
Life of making mutually munificent moral marvels,
Marvels of nice nature and natural nicety,
Nicety of overflowing openness offering opportunities,
Opportunities to purify, and preen up profound perception,
Perception of rights and life’s vital questions,
Questions of right requirements,
Requirements of social, spiritual and sober solutions,
Solutions leading to tolerance and tranquility,
Tranquility of ubiquitous, universal urge for unity,
Unity of various and varied values and visions,
Visions of worthy wisdom,
Wisdom that x-axially expands and extends,
E(x)tends here and yonder throughout the year,
Year full of zenithal zooming
Zooming into another ambitious year on top gear. – SREYA, VIDYA AND KARTHIK
One of the 4 major Sabbats, Imbolc, celebrates the banishing of Winter and welcomes the Spring. At the time of Imbolc, the newborn Sun God is seen as a small child nursing from his Mother. Imbolc is a time to swept away Winter and nuture new beginnings. This Sabbat also represents spiritual growth. Imbolc is a good time to get your life in order, whether mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally. The name Imbolc is derived from Gaelic, and means “ewe’s milk” after the lactating sheep that are feeding their first born lambs of the new season at this time of year.
As the days begin to get longer, it is tradition for every candle or lamp in the house to be lit for a little while. In the Christian Calendar, this holiday is called Candlemas and all church candles are blessed for the year. Other names this festival goes by are:
Imbolgc Brigantia (Caledonni), Imbolic (Celtic), Disting (although this is really Feb 14th), Lupercus (Strega), St. Bridget’s Day (Christian), Candlemas, Candlelaria (Mexican), the Snowdrop Festival. The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin. All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time.
This time is known by some as the “Feast of the Waxing Light” it is the time of year that we are beginning to notice the Sun Gods growth in that the days are becoming longer. This, like MayDay/Beltane, is another pagan holiday which has survived into the current time, now it is celebrated as Ground Hog Day.
Colors – White, pale yellow and silver
Offerings – Beer
Altar decorations – A crown of 13 red candles, spring of evergreen, besom (Witch’s broom), a small statue/figurine of the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, candle wheels, grain dollies, sun wheels.
Colors – White, Orange, Red, Yellow, Brown
Tools – Plough, garden implements
Stones/Gems – Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise
Symbols & Decorations – Candles, Lamps, Brooms, Yellow flowers, Brighid’s Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), dish of snow, evergreens
Foods – All dairy products, curries, onions, chives, seeds, herbal tea, mutton or lamb, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, onions, garlic, raisins, spiced wines
Deities – Dagda (Celt), Pan (Greek), Cernunnor (Celt),Osiris (Egyptian), Herne (Saxon), Jupiter (Roman), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman), Cerridwen (Celt), Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus, Frigg (Norse), Cybele Brighid (Celt), Bride, Brigette, all virgin Goddesses and Gods of love and fertility, Bast
Animals – Sheep, Wolves, Bears, Stags, Eagle, Raven, Groundhog, Owl, Snake
Herbs/Flowers – Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Snowdrop, Tansy, Violets, First Flower of the Year
ANGELICA–is best in the ritual cup. In this manner is considered to bring one in contact with the inhabitants of Atlantis and to bring Atlantean energies into their lives, visions and understanding.
BASIL–this is the traditional time of year for initiations and the initiate should have been taking daily tonics of basil for at least the last two weeks. It is given now to prepare the innerself for initiation to bring fortitude.
BAY–if the ritual is to be a solemn occasion then it is appropriate to chew one or two (no more than that!) Leaves and meditate upon the growing light and Sun God.
BENZOIN–is used in the incense.
CELANDINE–is used in the ritual cup and tossed into the fire.
HEATHER–is used to decorate the entire space.
MYRRH–is used in the ritual cup and/or incense.
Activities and Rituals – blessing of seeds for this year’s garden, fertility and purification, spring cleaning, “Bride’s Bed” rituals, Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new, consecration of agricultural tools, All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time, Candle Lighting, Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Making of Brideo’gas and Bride’s Beds, Making Priapic Wands, Decorating Ploughs, Feasting, Bon Fires, rituals of initiation, transformation, new beginnings
Other names for this holiday – Candlemas, Imbolg, Brigit’s Day, St. Lucy’s Day, Feast of Brighid, Oimealg, Imbolgc Brigantia, Imbolic, Disting (Teutonic, Feb 14th), Lupercus, Candlelaria, The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin..
Ideas and Activities for Imbolc
* Make or decorate candles
* Brighid, the Celtic goddess of fire, healing, and poetry is considered the patron Goddess of Imbolc. Read up on her as a Celtic goddess and as her later incarnation, St. Brigit.
* Burn the evergreen boughs that decorated your home during the winter holidays in the Imbolc Fires and celebrate the return of the Sun’s strength and the Godess as the Maiden.
* Brighid is the goddess of poetry. Write a poem in her honor, and read it aloud during any Imbolc ritual you may have planned.
* Cleanse and re-consecrate your ritual tools and clean your altar.
* Go through all your herbs and discard those that are more than a year old
* Weave “Brigit’s crosses” from straw or wheat to hang around the house for protection
* Perform rites of spiritual cleansing and purification
* Make “Brigit’s beds” to ensure fertility of mind and spirit (and body, if desired)
* Ritually cleanse your home and start your “spring” cleaning
* Make a Crown of Light (i.e. of candles for the High Priestess to wear for the Imbolc Circle, similar to those worn on St. Lucy’s Day in Scandinavian countries **see the kids craft section for a cute kids’ version of this**
* Place a lighted candle in each and every window of the house, beginning at sundown on Candlemas Eve (February 1), allowing them to continue burning until sunrise. Make sure that such candles are well seated against tipping and gaurded from nearby curtains, etc. If you are not able to use real candles use those candle lamps sold at crafts and department stores for the Christian Christmas season.
* Buy a “salt lick” block and leave it out for the wild animals.
* Make a window garden with seeds, soil, old glass jars or rinse some tuna or cat food cans, and get ready for spring! Easy items are beans, mints, marigolds. Even carrot or pineapple tops and avocado pits are fun to do.
* Make a Bride doll
* Make a tiny “Candle Garden” by filling a small aluminum pan with fine salt or sand and “planting” birthday candles, Hanukkah candles or even tea lights in the “garden”
* Tie tiny strips of fabric in trees near a stream and ask Bride for her influence in your life. Use cotton strips and the birds will use them for nesting or they will bio-degrade over time
* Play a candle game where the men stand in forming a circle whole passing a candle quickly and the women stand on the outside of the circle trying to blow out the flame. The one who succeeds gets to claim a kiss.
* Meditate as a family. Have everyone explore what it would feel like to be a seed deep in the Earth, feeling the first stirrings of life. Lie on the floor and put out tendrils. Stretch and bloom.
* Have a bardic circle where everyone brings poetry, songs or a short story that they have written to honor Brigid (Brigit/Brigid/Bride was the daughter of Dagda. She was the protector of the poets, the forge and the healing persons.)
* Help your kids go through all their clothes, toys, and books to find the unwanted and outgrown items. Donate everything to a charity that will give the items to children who need them.
* Go for a walk. Search for signs of spring. Take off your shoes and socks and squish your toes in the mud!
* Lead the family on a parade around the outside of your home, banging on pots and pans or playing musical instruments to awaken the spirits of the land.
* Have your children hold some herb seeds in their hands. Talk to the seeds. Bless them with growth and happiness. Fill them with love. Plant an in-door herb garden.
* Make corn dollies and a cradle for them to sleep in.
Silliness – How to Play It
The composer Robert Schumann wrote at the beginning of one of his compositions: “To be played as fast as possible.” A few measures later he wrote: “Faster.”