It’s been pouring buckets, but recently slowed down. Showers…. I asked around and some local people have rain gauges and I have one on order. Amounts for yesterday varied from 1/4-1.1 inches. 47F, wind at 6mph and gusting into the teens, AQI39, UV1. We’re under a GALE WARNING until 10am. It should be showery this morning, then just cloudy in the afternoon. Rain tonight and tomorrow, but it ought to slow down after Tuesday.
Yesterday was difficult. It hurt so much to talk that I just gave up. We did have an Herbs workshop, working on the bay leaves, sorting, washing, stringing to dry. We got to look at the bay nut, a tea plant bud, and the tiny bay tree that’s going into a bucket, soonest.
“I think I haven’t had enough coffee. I was just trying to mouse my coaster once I picked up the cup….”
“Mouse your coaster?”
“Use the coaster like a mouse? It wasn’t working at all for some reason…”
Tempus went out to pick up a couple of baskets and a cabinet for Amor. One of the Herbs people stayed so I wouldn’t have to talk to customers, which helped a lot. Once he was back I worked on a class handout and eventually went in back for a nap.
Today’s plant is Red Elderberry, Sambucus racemosa. It’s a large shrub that has white flower clusters in the spring and red berry clusters late in the summer. – Planet: Venus Element: Water Deity: Hel, Holda, The White Lady Magickal properties: Exorcism, Prosperity, Banishment and Healing – The leaves and berries are used for protection and in breaking spells that were cast against you or to undo spells of evil intent. Growing an elder in your garden will protect your property from misfortune and harm. In Europe they planted elder in cemeteries to keep away the evil spirits. Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms, and music on panpipes or flutes of elder have the same power as the wand. Elder should not be cut without first making a prayer, and don’t burn Elder in fear of bringing about ill-luck. “Elder is the Lady’s Tree, burn it not or cursed ye be.” More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_racemosa and here:http://www.thegoddesstree.com/trees/Elder.htm
Today is the Epiphanios of the goddess Kore, the night when she gives birth to Aeon, the year-god. The last paragraph of this section talks a little about this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aion_(deity)#Identifications …and the page has more information in historical context. Here is some more information about Persephone/Kore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone
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 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.
In this very coldest time of the year, the dim Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) hangs straight down from Polaris after dinnertime, 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.
Earth reaches perihelion, the closest point to the Sun during its year-long orbit, at 3 a.m. EST. The two then lie 91.4 million miles (147.1 million kilometers) apart. It surprises many people to learn that Earth comes closest to the Sun in the dead of winter, but the cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere at this time of year arises because the Sun lies low in the sky. The Sun is in the news more than once today. Although people in the Northern Hemisphere experienced the shortest day of the year two weeks ago (at the winter solstice December 21), the Sun has continued to rise slightly later with each passing day. That trend stops this morning for those at 40° north latitude. Tomorrow’s sunrise will arrive a second earlier than today’s. This turnover point depends on latitude. If you live farther north, the switch occurred a few days ago; closer to the equator, the change won’t happen until later this month.
Mercury is out of sight in conjunction with the Sun.
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
Su 5 Low 1:24 AM 2.9 7:52 AM Set 2:32 AM 64
~ 5 High 7:54 AM 7.5 4:51 PM Rise 1:23 PM
~ 5 Low 3:05 PM 1.5
~ 5 High 9:10 PM 5.4
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Duct tape is like the force; it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
~ Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. – Henry Ward Beecher
~ But he that dare not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose. – Anne Bronte
~ Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping. – Julia Margaret Cameron
~ …beneath every accusation lies a confession both of desire and powerlessness, and beneath every confession lies an interest that can be framed as a simple request. – Kenneth Cloke
Suddenly, with lifted eyes you said,
There, on the black bough of a snow flecked maple,
Fearless and gay as our love,
A bluejay cocked his crest!
Oh who can tell the range of joy
Or set the bounds of beauty? – Sara Teasdale (1884–1933)
Little Christmas is a custom that is not usually observed in Western Europe or in the USA. Celebrated on January 6 (beginning the evening before) in Central and Eastern Europe, this is actually the bigger celebration in many places. Guessing from the proverbs and observances surrounding it, this particular place in the Wheel of the Year has a significance that goes back to pre-xtian times.
The saying that I remember from my childhood, (roughly translated), is “Today the Sun makes a chicken step back towards the warm.” If you’re watching the position of the setting or rising sun, this is the first day that you can actually see a distinct difference in the position without having careful marks or large dolmens, etc. to work with.
In many of these countries the Christmas celebrations have completely taken over the Solstice observations that were held at one time. Many of the customs are of solemn religious rites and emphasize not the coming of the Sun/Son but the coming sacrifice. The rejoicing “party-time” has been pushed over to New Year’s, Little Christmas or later
I grew up with this celebration, Sylvester, Tri Kralu and the Mikulas days, along with the usual Christmas.
Sylvester What is Silvester? It’s the New Year’s celebration in Central Europe! Silvester celebrations http://www.thelocal.de/society/20111231-16425.html#.UN3uwazheSq More on Pope Sylvester:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sylvester_I A bit about it more on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvester
Part of the reason that I’ve heard of this is that Babicka and Dedi (my grandparents) used to talk about the “SIEVE-est-er” which was a costume party held by the Czech community in Baltimore in late January. At various times the “uncles” (Dedi’s brothers and cousins) came up with some impressive outfits, including a clock that worked, a “rooster” that ran around laying eggs, a house on chicken legs and a two-person horse. This one was the big hit because they made balls of newspaper painted brown and the horse, after running around the dance floor, swishing its tail, backed up to the most pompous woman in the room and dropped them out the hind end of the horse into her lap!
Since January 6 is the feast day of the Three Kings in both Western and Eastern church observance it fits right in. Many places have gift-givings on this day rather than on 12/25 and explain it by the gifts of the Magi.
We always celebrated Christmas just as others do in the United States, but Tri Kralu/Little Christmas (Jan.6) is a holiday that most people haven’t heard of by that name. It is the end of the Christmas season as Mikulas begins it. Little Christmas, goes by the name of Epiphany, 12th Night, Befana, and the Feast of Three Kings in other countries. We used to celebrate with a special dinner, during which, for dessert, we ate up the last of the Christmas candy and cookies and took apart and ate the gingerbread house. Baba and Dedi would tell stories all evening until my brother and I dropped off to sleep and were carried off to bed. My children and I did this, but I’ve also added in that we play any of the new games from Christmas that haven’t been opened yet, or we open and put together a special jigsaw puzzle.