Featured photo by Rena Olson photography.
It’s partly cloudy right now, but they’re talking more cloud and showers rolling in this afternoon. 70% chance of rain. 52F, wind at 1mph and gusting up to 7, AQI39, UV1. There’s 100% chance of rain tonight and that will go on through Sunday. We’re looking at 1 1/2 in of rain, and some wind, too. Then next week is likely to be showery/rainy, as well, just not as high a chance…..
Yesterday whizzed past in a blur. I spent a long time concentrating on paperwork since it’s past the 1st, going through and entering stupid little numbers into stupid long columns is *not* my idea of fun. I finally took a long nap and Tempus was out on the paper route before I got up. He had been working in back, trying to finish the cleanup after the mad cooking frenzy. We ended up not pulling things out after all, spent time putting them away, instead.
He got a message not long after 6pm that they were already printing the front page. He actually got to start the bulk drops before 9:30 and the regular route before 11pm! Things had dried out and cleared up, and though the temperature was dropping, conditions were really good for a quick run.
Today we’re supposed to be open, although we’ve been starting the mess-up that precedes the clean-up on the far end of our “vacation”. I’m going to have to go in to the doctor, though. I don’t know what that’s going to do to our hours of being open. <sigh> The infection in my teeth is getting really out of hand.
Today’s plant is the Apricot, Prunus armeniaca. Apricots are a delicious fruit, resembling a small peach, but with a flavor all their own. They were known in the ancient world, possibly being cultivated as far back as 3000BCE.Thought of as an aphrodisiac in the Renaissance it can be fermented into a yummy wine or made into the brandy, Barack. It has properties of healing and health, lust magicks and learning, mostly in educational circles. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot
On the Campus Martius (Field of Mars, God of War), she had a minor sanctuary called the Ara Pacis, dedicated to her on January 30, 9 BCE. Her temple was on the Templum Pacis (Forum Pacis) built by Emperor Vespasian on the site of a meat market, and was dedicated in 75. She was depicted in art with olive branches, a cornucopia and a sceptre. Pax became celebrated (in both senses of the word) as Pax Romana and Pax Augusta from the 2nd Century BCE.
In Greek mythology, she was Eirene or Irene (‘peace’), daughter of Zeus and Themis, one of the first generation of Horae. The Horae (the Hours, or Seasons) were Pax and her sisters Lawfulness, Wisdom and Order (Eunomia) and Justice (Justitia/Dike) are sometimes considered to be the three aspects of Themis. As goddesses of the seasons, they brought order to Nature. Eirene was the personification of peace and wealth and was depicted in art as a beautiful young woman carrying a cornucopia, sceptre and a torch or rhyton. (Links are dead, but quoted from Wilson’s Almanac here: http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/jan3.html ) More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_%28mythology%29 and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eirene_%28Greek_goddess%29
Isn’t it a cool idea to have Peace as a goddess?
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 Day of Remembrance for Princess Olga – Procines (January) 3 – On this day we celebrate Olga who brought glory and honor to herself for all eternity through her acts of heroism. She avenged her husband’s murder by slaying the perpetrator, Drevlane. She later gave birth to the Great Prince Sviatoslav and thus united all the Russias; a feat of great honor in her remembrance. Today is the day of a toast to the Great Paganess, Olga. (Slavic Pagan Calendar)
The shop is closed today. Holiday hours – closed 1/2 and 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 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
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 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.
This year the brief Quadrantid meteor shower is — at last! — well timed for North America, especially the East. Tonight Earth is predicted to pass through the densest part of the Quadrantid meteoroid stream for roughly six hours centered around 3 a.m. Saturday morning January 4th Eastern Standard Time, right in the favorable early-morning meteor-watching hours for the East. Wherever you are, the first-quarter Moon sets around 1 or 2 a.m. local time. Under ideal dark conditions with the radiant overhead you might see up to 120 meteors per hour. Off peak, your count may be more like a dozen or two per hour at best. Bundle up warmly in many layers! This is the coldest time of night at the coldest time of year, and if the sky is clear which it will be if you’re meteor-watching, you’ve got radiational cooling to boot. And you’ll be sitting or lying still as you gaze into the stars overhead. But as every astronomer knows, there is no too cold, there is only underdressed. I sometimes bundle a 50-watt hotpad inside my clothes, connected to the house by a long extension cord. Put it against your belly, and blood circulation will carry some of the warmth to your toes and fingertips. The shower’s radiant is in northern Bootes. See Bob King’s article in the January Sky & Telescope, page 48.
A lone bright star now hangs low in the south-southwest during early evening. First-magnitude Fomalhaut — often called “the Solitary One” — belongs to the constellation Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish. From mid-northern latitudes, it appears below the Great Square of Pegasus and nearly 20° above the horizon. How solitary is Fomalhaut? The nearest 1st-magnitude star to it, Achernar at the southern end of Eridanus the River, lies some 40° away.
Two of the finest deep-sky objects shine prominently on evenings in early January. The
Pleiades and Hyades star clusters climb highest in the south during midevening but remain conspicuous nearly the whole night. The Pleiades, also known at the Seven Sisters and M45, appears like a small dipper to the naked eye. The larger Hyades forms the V-shaped head of Taurus the Bull. Although both look nice with the naked eye, binoculars show them best.
Saturn (magnitude +0.6) is sinking away deep into the sunset, ever farther to the lower right of Venus — which outshines it by 60 times. Friday the 27th may be your last day to see it, when it’s 19° lower right of Venus and 5° or 6° lower right of the Moon for North America, as shown at the top of this page. Binoculars help.
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
F 3 High 6:28 AM 7.0 7:53 AM Set 12:29 AM 46
~ 3 Low 1:08 PM 2.7 4:49 PM Rise 12:35 PM
~ 3 High 6:35 PM 5.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Take your shoes off and go barefoot.
~ Behind the western bars The shrouded day retreats, And unperceived the stars Steal to their sovran seats. And whiter grows the foam, The small moon lightens more; And as I turn me home, My shadow walks before. The Clouds have left the Sky. – Robert Bridges (1844-1930) English writer
~ Let’s you and him fight. – Wimpy
~ To persevere, trusting in what you hope for, is courage. – Euripides
~ Knowledge comes from exchange and inter-pentetration of peoples, cultures and ideas. – Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech
The holly! the holly! oh, twine it with bay—
Come give the holly a song;
For it helps to drive stern winter away,
With his garment so sombre and long. – –Eliza Cook (1818–89)
Imbolc tidbit – From: http://www.ladybridget.com/r/febi001.html
Imbolc Introduction – Copyright Lady Bridget 1997
Imbolc, Oimelc, Imbolg, or Candlemass (the Christianized version of the name) is the celebration that occurs when the Sun reaches 15 ° Aquarius, and is therefore considered a Major Sabbat. This date was traditionally celebrated on Feb 1st or 2nd, and is still noted today in our country as “Ground Hog’s Day”, which marks that there is only 6 more weeks of winter; we have reached the half-way point.
There are some traditions that may say this holiday marks the beginning of Spring, but this doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Imbolc marks the middle of the winter season, just as Yule marked the beginning, and Ostara will mark the beginning of Spring at the Equinox.
The Celts marked this holiday as “Brigit’s Day” or “Brid’s Day” in Irish. Bridget is one of the few Pagan Dieties to have survived as Saints in the Christian religion. She was a very powerful and meaningful Goddess, and there was no way to force the populace to give her up, therefore they canonized her as “Saint Brigit” and up until 1220 BCE, her shrine at Kildare had a perpetual fire that was constantly tended by virgins, by the Priestesses of the Goddess, and after Christianity took over, it was continued by the virgin nuns. In the 1960’s after Vatican II, it was decided that Saint Brigit did not have enough evidence to canonize her and then she was decanonized. However, in Ireland, she is still very much reverenced, as she is by Wiccans, as the triple Goddess. One aspect ruled poetry, writing, inspiration, and music; one ruled healing and midwifery and herbology, and one ruled fire, and the arts of smithcraft. Incidentally, this holiday was also called by the Christians, the Feast of the Purification of Mary, for it was believed that women were “unclean” for six weeks after giving birth. So since she had given birth at the Winter Solstice, this is the date when she would be purified. We look upon this as the time when the Goddess who gave birth at the Winter Solstice, is now transformed in the Maiden once again.
The Imbolc, or Oimelc, was the ancient Celtic festival celebrating the birth and freshening of sheep and goats, the Feast of Milk. Brigit’s feast day was called “La Feill Bhride” and represents the seed that is waiting to stir again. It is a time of great anticipation and the celebration of possibilities. New life is about to awaken in the earth, the earth is furrowed and prepared to receive the seed.
The Valentine’s Day festivities were also connected to this time, being celebrated now on Feb 14th. There are different explanations for this day, the Christian church having one, and folklorists having another. The Christian version states that a Dr. Valentine in ancient Greece used to perform illegal Christian weddings and he was sacrificed to the lions on this date and became Saint Valentine. Therefore, hearts and flowers are exchanged to honor the love that he had and the love of the Christian couples he joined in matrimony. The folklorists attribute this holiday to the “gallant” or “galantine” young men who pursued their sweethearts at this time, since some Latin languages pronounced “g” as a “v” in earlier times. Thus, the “valentine” would be the attentions of a would-be suitor, and whatever methods he might employ to win the maiden’s heart!
At this time the Roman’s celebrated Lupercalia, which also was a fertility festival. The Priests of Pan ran through the streets insuring women’s fertility by spanking them with thongs made from goatskin and blessed by the local Strega. There are many cultures which had similar holiday practices at similar times. So much so that one has to wonder if this was due primarily to an agricultural society having a tendency to celebrate the same things at the same times of the year, or to an more universal religion or culture, having roots far in antiquity and being handed down over the centuries, changing only slightly over the generations?
Our tradition celebrates with a Brid’s Bed, in which our Brid’s Doll, made of corn, or straw, and dressed very prettily, is placed. She is the Maiden at this time, young, playful, and belonging only to herself, or virginal. Alongside her is placed an acorn wand, sized according to the Doll’s size, which represents the penis, the regenerative male force in nature. We tell Brid our secret dreams and wishes that we want to see manifest. This is a time when we look to the future and dream! This is the Sabbat where we can plan ahead for what “seeds” we will “sow” in the coming year, and how we plan to nurture our seeds for a successful harvest later.
Other customs include lit candles in every window of the house, and keeping a perpetual candle on the Altar to Brid. Seeds are brought into circle to be blessed by the Goddess and the Gods and to absorb the circle’s vibrant energy. Chant, dance, and sing, and send energy back into the earth to help her awaken, so that Spring may once more bloom. Straw can be woven into “Brid’s Cross”, “Bridget’s Knot”, or “Corn Maiden” and hung in the corners of rooms, over doorways, and over beds, for fertility, prosperity, and for the blessings of the Goddess. Remember – fertility doesn’t necessarily mean having babies! Fertility of the mind, imagination, and of projects you are working to bring to “birth” are also desired manifestations, and will be blessed by fertility rituals. If you are of child-bearing ability and do not wish to be pregnant, than stress that the fertility you desire is of the mind, or of a certain project, or your creativity, etc, and that is what you will manifest.
It is also traditional in some covens for the Priestess to wear a crown of thirteen candles, a lunar number, representing herself as the Maiden of Light. Some covens have a crown made up, others use thirteen small electric bulbs instead of candles (which seems safer!). This is the Feast of Light, as the winter is dying away, and the sun grows stronger, and so bonfires are especially appropriate as well. In ages past, people jumped the bonefires to be cured of winter colds and flu. This is the holiday to bring your candles to circle, to have them be blessed by the Sabbat energies. We have small candles of each color in circle, and we mark them appropriately with symbols. Then during the year, when we dress any candle for any purpose, we add a few drops from our Imbolc candles, so that the Sabbat blessings and energy will also be added to the working.
The candles, the bonefires, and the lights are all symbolically adding energy to the waxing sun. In addition, they have another purpose. For remember at Samhain, Persephone went to the Underworld, to greet and care for the spirits of the dead? That was three months ago, and now, it is time for us to signal to her to return, and bring Spring back to the earth. We light the way for her to see her way back from Hades, and to remind her that we, with Demeter, are awaiting her here among the living.
In our tradition, this Sabbat is the only Sabbat where new coveners can be initiated into first degree. This makes this holiday a special one for us as it marks our “birthday” into the Craft! We always have a birthday cake for ourselves, and we celebrate together our inititation anniversary. We also use one candle for each covener, a large white candle, which is dressed, blessed, and lit only on Imbolc, and on each succeeding Imbolc thereafter until it is burned out. This candle is special to us, and among other things is a symbol of the Light which we are now celebrating, and which we embody.
The usual colors for Imbolc are white and yellow. White contains all the other colors in the spectrum, and therefore embodies all colors, and is a symbol of all possibilities; the beginning, the new. Yellow has always been the color associated with the Sun, along with gold, and is a call to the Sun to continue strengthening, and chase winter away. Traditional foods include potatoes, carrots, and any root vegetables, as people in ancient times were getting near the bottom of their root cellar by now. Also corn, as it is yellow for the Sun, and so many cultures relied on corn as a main staple of their diets. Lambs were being born around this time, and so lamb was also served at this holiday, along with rabbits, which were easy to trap, and other wild animals who stayed above ground during the cold months. We serve a hearty red wine during the God’s half of the year, but you can also serve milk, since this was a celebration of the “freshening” of the goats as well. Indeed, it was often a “Milk Festival” and Oimelc means “milk of ewes”.
Ideas for ritual can be the making of Brid’s Beds, Brigit’s Knots, Corn Dollies, as well as blessing seeds for your garden, blessing the water for the seeds, and blessing your candles for the coming year, to name just a few. In our tradition, we don’t do personal magick on the Sabbats. We save that for the remaining 357 days of the year! Sabbats are for returning energy to the Gods and Goddesses, for being thankful for our blessings, and for blessing our dreams, wishes, and hopes. We make plans for the development of our lives on a spiritual level; for example: a happy home, healthy environment, peaceful country, and the renewal of the earth would be appropriate blessings for the Sabbat, and wonderful ideals to give your energy towards.
For more ideas and instructions on making some projects for Imbolc, or any other holiday, I strongly recommend Dan and Pauline Campanelli’s books “Ancient Ways” and “Wheel of the Year”, and also Scott Cunningham’s “Spell Crafts”. These books give you how-to illustrated instructions on a variety of holiday themes, and the Campanelli books also give you the historical background and how these projects tie in with each season.
“Candlemas: the Light Returns” by Mike Nichols
“Brigit of the Celts” by Morning Glory Zell
Back to Lady Bridget’s Home Page http://www.ladybridget.com/index.html
- There are about 10 types of capacitors.
9. Theory tells you how a circuit works, not why it doesn’t work.
8. Not everything works according to the specs in the databook.
7. Aything practical you learn will be obsolete before you use it, except the complex math, which you will neveruse.
6. Always try to fix the hardware with the software.
5. Engineering is like having an 8 a.m. class and a late afternoon lab every day for the rest of your life.
4. Overtime pay? What overtime pay?
3. Engineers rule the world until the next revision.
2. If you like junk food, caffeine, and all-nighters, then you should go into architecture.
1. Dilbert is a documentary.