Featured photo by Jessica Smyth Carlock.
Cloudy, although it’s been raining. 50F, wind at 5mph and gusting to 20mph, AQI39, UV1. We’re in for more rain today, likeliest after 11am, but going on all day. We’re under a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 9pm tonight. It should slack off overnight and then slam back in Wednesday evening. Thursday should see a break, but by 9am Friday rain and a good capful of wind. That’ll slack off, gradually, but the whole forecast is either rain or showers….
Just as I was getting yesterday’s newsletter published I realized I had done something dumb. I took my meds on an empty stomach. I spent about an hour fighting nausea even after I got something to eat. Stupid! …but I do that…. Well, I got it sorted out, and the almond cheese was a success. It’s got a texture like a cream cheese spread and tastes rather like pumpkin pie without the pumpkin. That was the last roll, though, so I needed to pester Tempus to get the bread going.
Tempus had trouble getting going in the morning. We were all the way open at 11:20, although the door was unlocked before 11…. with the wind and the rain, though…. He wore the green waterproof and still was dripping when he came back in. He checked on the little bay tree and “it is wet”. 🙂 and it rained and rained….
I got my writing done before noon, so I wanted to go in back to make another trial run on an almond cheese and couldn’t get Tempus to get the parts that I needed to be washed done. He did finally get going on that and I worked on my cheese class so I didn’t waste any time, while he got a batch of bread done, that incorporated the leftover almond milk sludge.
…and then, right around 1:30, I started getting dizzy and sleepy. Well, I’ve been sick. Tempus tucked me into the nap bed and the next thing I knew it was 12:30….am…. Wait… I slept for most of 12 hours? According to him I did get up to go to the bathroom, and I do remember him feeding me soup… Wow…..
He said we did have some shoppers in during the afternoon, one lady in particular who was stocking up for birthday presents and the like. He apparently closed up around 8 or so and then worked in back.
Well, I had a tvarog that was ready to cook, so I got that started and then caught up on mail and messages, after about 1 1/2 hours it was up to temp on the outside, so I turned it off and bundled it up to finish evening out the temp. Tempus had disappeared into the back and I checked the nap bed, since I heard snores…. Somehow I don’t think we’re going home tonight…. or…it’s already today. <sigh> and I need a nap again….
Today we’re going to start pulling things out for the weekend. I’m most worried about the Mab’s Creations stock, because I’m going to have to do some inventorying and I know I’m short on some of the kits. Partly that is because of not having a color printer for so long, so I’m going to have to do some “front sheets” for some of the kits. We’ve also got to pull clothing out, so that I know whether I have sewing to do, as well, and I have to finish up my classes…. Oh jeez, I need more cheesecloths! I hope I have enough blanket binding….
Today’s Plant is Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia. “Ash before oak we’re in for a soak. Oak before ash we’re in for a splash” refers to a weather divination in England about spring rain and the leafing times of trees! Ash is a hardwood and is hard, dense, tough and very strong but elastic, great for making bows, , spears and drums as well as all kinds of furniture, even guitars and many of the early airplanes. It makes excellent firewood and has been used a lot for smoking meats. The bark can make a quinine substitute for fevers. The folk name for Ash is “Hoop Ash” , or “Nion” – (a rune name from the Irish Gaelic word Nionon which means heaven.) Elsewhere the ash and elm tree were known as the Widow Maker because the large boughs would often drop without warning. Witches were believed to fly on ash-handled broomsticks, while Viking ships were made of ash. In ancient Greece the Meliae were the ash nymphs and the dryads were the oak nymphs. Yggdrasil, the World Tree that supports the order of the Universe was an ash and humans were born from her branches. Odin hung on the tree to gain the knowledge of the Runes and therefore the ash tree is associated with communication. Ash trees have a sugary sap which may have been the basis of the Norse mead of inspiration. Ash Tree attracts lightening, so don’t stand under one during an electric storm. The ash fairy understands that problems are rarely solved on the level at which they were created. – Feminine – Sun & Neptune, Water & Fire – The “helicopter” seeds are used for traditional wish magicks. The Yule Log is traditionally of ash to bring the light of the Sun to the depths of winter and prosperity to the family. Wands and Staves (and traditionally the handle of the besom) made of this wood are good for healing, general and solar magic. The leaves attract love and prosperity. Sleep with them under your pillow and you will have psychic/prophetic dreams. Sleep with them in a bowl of water next to your bed to prevent illness. Wearing garters of green ash bark protects against the powers of magicians. Ash can heal children just by passing the child through a split in the tree’s trunk. It promotes strength, harmony, and a sense of being in tune with your surroundings. Ash is the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraxinus_latifolia
Jinjitsu (Festival of Seven Herbs), Japan – Seven-herb rice soup (nanakusa-gayu) is prepared on the seventh day of January, a day known as jinjitsu, literally ‘Human Day’. It is also called Nanakusa no sekku. On the morning of January 7, or the night before, people place the nanakusa (seven edible wild herbs of spring), rice scoop, and/or wooden pestle on the cutting board and, facing the good-luck direction, chant “Before the birds of the continent (China) fly to Japan, let’s get nanakusa” while cutting the herbs into pieces. The pictures are the herbs in process and the soup/congee itself. More here: http://www.angelfire.com/de/poetry/Holy_Days/jan.html(search for “nana”) , here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinjitsu and here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanakusa-no-sekku
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.
Dawn sky – The best time to see the alignment will be before dawn between January 20th and January 24th. Though you’ll be able to partially see it up to February 20th.
The waxing gibbous Moon shines in Taurus, just a few degrees left of orange Aldebaran in early evening. Spot the Pleiades farther to the Moon’s upper right, and the Bull’s horntips, Beta and fainter Zeta Tauri, to the Moon’s right and lower right, respectively. Farther below the Moon is Betelgeuse in Orion.
The brightest star in the sky (after the Sun, of course) puts on quite a show on January evenings. Gleaming at magnitude –1.5, Sirius shines nearly four times brighter than the next brightest star visible from mid-northern latitudes: Arcturus in the constellation Boötes. Sirius currently rises before 7 p.m. local time and ascends in the southeast throughout the evening hours.
Mars (magnitude +1.6, passing from Libra into Scorpius) glows in the southeast before and during early dawn, not very high. It too is still on the far side of the Sun from us and is a very tiny 4 arcseconds in diameter. Down below it, watch for Mars-colored Antares twinkling as it rises into view. Antares is 10° below Mars on the morning of January 4th, and 7° below it by the 11th.
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
Tu 7 Low 3:15 AM 3.5 7:52 AM Set 4:43 AM 82
~ 7 High 9:19 AM 8.2 4:53 PM Rise 2:26 PM
~ 7 Low 4:36 PM 0.2
~ 7 High 11:05 PM 6.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears.
~ Men trust their ears less than their eyes. – Herodotus
~ Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame; Each to his passion; what’s in a name? – Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) US writer
~ Try harder. – Janis Joplin
~ How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees. – William Shakespeare
All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling ’round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone. – John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92)
CANDLEMAS IMBOLC HERBS
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.
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. – GrannyMoon’s Herbal Course – http://goddessschool.com/courses/Herbs/herbology.html
Dream Tending Spell – Incense of the day: Sandalwood
This is a truly special day for Wiccans and some Witches. It is Imbolc, a high holiday that honors the triple goddess Brigit and one of the eight sabbats that mark the turning of the wheel of the year. Ground-hog day is also observed today.
This holiday incorporates the seasonal divination of the more ancient Imbolc, which uses the movement of a snake rather than the shadow of a ground-hog to divine how much longer winter will remain. It is the beginning of the Storm Moon and also the time of the Feast of Oya, the orisha of weather and changes. To the Iroquois people, it is Midwinter Ceremony, a time to bless the fields, tell your dreams, and pay tribute to your ancestors. Today is also the birthday of Marie Laveau II, New Orleans’ Voodoo Queen and diviner extraordinaire.
At bedtime now, light a braid of sweet grass. Extinguish the flame but allow the braid to smolder. Wave the braid lovingly and with great care around your bedroom, motioning with your hand to encourage the smoke to drift in a snake-like stream over your bed and pillow. Dip the braid in springwater, making absolutely sure no flame remains. Then put the braid away. Pour lavender water in a large bowl. Put your favorite seashell inside the bowl of water. As you sleep, the bowl will act as a conduit for messages from the ancestors, nature spirits, and the great beyond.
Place this under your bed or on your bed table. Replenish the water as needed over a period of two weeks. Write down your dreams in a journal. Read over them frequently. Messages revealed in the darkness of winter have special meaning. Work each day to lift the shroud of darkness so you can glimpse new growth and the coming light of spring. Understanding the mysteries of winter is at the heart of Imbolc and its celebrations.
By: Stephanie Rose Bird, Llewellyn and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast
Silliness – Purchasing Brain Power
A mid-level executive was so frustrated at being passed over for promotion year after year, that, in frustration, he went to a brain-transplant center in the hope of raising his I.Q. 20 points.
After a battery of physical and psychological tests, he was told by the center’s director that he was an acceptable candidate.
“That’s great!” the executive said. “But I understand that this procedure can be really expensive.”
“Yes, sir, it can,” the director replied. “An ounce of accountant’s brain for example, costs one thousand dollars; an ounce of an economist’s brain costs two thousand; an ounce of a corporate president’s is forty-five thousand. An ounce of a politician’s brain is seventy-five thousand dollars.”
“Seventy-five thousand dollars for an ounce of a politician’s brain? Why on earth is that?”
“Do you have any idea,” the director asked, “how many politicians we would have to kill?”