Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
Cloudy, but things are soggy from the rain, earlier. 46F, wind at 0mph, AQI36, UV3. 0% chance of rain today. 10% tonight. Thursday night through Saturday looks damp, otherwise things ought to be dry out to the end of the 10 days of the forecast.
Yesterday went fairly quickly compared to the last several. I was at the shop, working up front, mostly paperwork and checking in small items that have been appearing as we clean. Tempus worked in back, gradually getting the table clean, so that I could sew, finally. We still need to finish the feast stuff.
I managed most of 45 minutes at the machine, getting enough done to do handwork for awhile. I’m still pretty debilitated. I spent awhile at the computer, doing some writing and then an hour or so of handwork. I think that’s about 1/2 the project.
Today. hopefully. the feast gear will all be put away and then we can start on the back walkway and putting things back onto the shelves back there. I’m hoping to have the oomph to transfer the canned stuff. ….hoping…. that will be one more thing out of the aisles.
St. Casimir is a little odd for a saint, being royal but having no miraculous events connected with his life. He is the patron saint of Lithuania and Poland. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Casimir …and about the celebrations here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Casimir%27s_Day
Today’s plant is the Evergreen Violet, Viola sempervirens. This is a pretty plant that looks like nothing much through 9 months of the year here on the coast,but is spectacular in March, when it covers the ground with beautiful golden flowers on a deep blue/green background, and still lovely in April/May. It is indeed evergreen, not withering to the ground, although it sometimes is overshadowed by grass. It grows well in the park behind the house. As any viola it is Feminine, ruled by Venus, but unlike the blue violets (corresponding to water) the Evergreen Violet corresponds to the element of Air and the Sun – Protects against malevolent spirits, brings changes in luck & fortune, wear to help with headaches, dizziness and to bring calm and sleep, wear in a green sachet to heal wounds. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_sempervirens
The shop is closed 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 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 3/9 at 10:48am. 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 3/7 at 10:48pm.
At nightfall, the Moon forms a nearly equilateral triangle with Procyon to its lower left and Betelgeuse to its lower right. Those are the top two stars of the Winter Triangle; the third is brighter Sirius below them. The addition of the Moon turns it this evening into a temporary “Winter Diamond.”
The solar system’s brightest asteroid is 4 Vesta, and it is conveniently located halfway to the zenith in the west-southwest during the early evening hours this week. You can find it lurking among the background stars of western Taurus the Bull. Vesta glows at magnitude 8.3, which makes it a reasonably easy target through binoculars from the country and a snap to see with a small telescope from the suburbs. Tonight offers a prime viewing opportunity because the asteroid lies 2.8° due north of the 4th-magnitude star 5 Tauri.
Venus (magnitude –4.3, moving from Pisces into Aries) is the big, bright “Evening Star” shining in the west during and after twilight. It doesn’t set until more than two hours after the end of twilight. In a telescope, Venus is 19 arcseconds in diameter and gibbous (about 61% sunlit). It will continue to enlarge in size and wane in phase for the next three months — passing through dichotomy (half-lit phase) in late March and becoming a dramatic thin crescent in May.
Old Farmer’s Almanac March Sky Map!
Goddess Month of of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn)
Runic half-month of Teiwaz/Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress.
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), ash – the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 4 Low 12:49 AM 3.8 6:47 AM Set 3:22 AM 59
~ 4 High 6:59 AM 7.2 6:09 PM Rise 12:23 PM
~ 4 Low 2:34 PM 0.8
~ 4 High 9:21 PM 5.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Let your mind be as the horizon, forever expanding and rising.
~ It is just a slight of hand by a dingy party. – Paul Keating
~ If the truth isn’t enough, then you must become stronger at presenting it. – Jim Rohn
~ “You may not instantly see why I bring the subject up, but that is because my mind works so phenomenally fast, and I am at a rough estimate thirty billion times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number, any number.” “Er, five,” said the mattress. “Wrong,” said Marvin. “You see?”. – Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
~ Habits are no accident. Part of creating your own reality is taking responsibility for habits that have become problems in your life. – Kerr Cuhulain
For glad Spring has begun,
And to the ardent sun
The earth, long time so bleak,
Turns a frost-bitten cheek. – Celia Thaxter (1835–94)
Maple Glazed Salmon – http://autumnearthsong.com/2012/03/03/ostara-recipes-2012/
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (even better if you use the REAL maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound salmon
- In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
- Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
- Preheat oven to 400* Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.
Leek soup – Recipe for Good Health 3/1/5
After a long winter, March is a good time to work a spell that will renew your health. As folk wisdom says:
Eat leeks in March and garlic in May;
And all the year after physicians may play.
Peel three potatoes and place them on a green cloth on your kitchen table. Consider three things you can do to improve your health. Carve on each potato symbols or words regarding your intention. Make a potato leek soup with your magical potatoes. Decorate the table in colors of green and white and a bouquet of daffodils.
4 cups sliced leeks
3 cups sliced potatoes
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 T. sherry
Combine potatoes, leeks and broth and cook for 20 minutes. Liquefy in a blender. Add cream, sherry, and chives and cook an additional 5 minutes without boiling, stirring constantly. ~Lily Gardner-Butts
Herbal Roast Goose http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/ostara-recipes.html This was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 1/22/09, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
1 whole goose, about 8-9 lbs.
2 small sweet onions
1 bay leaf
For the marinade:
1 cube frozen grated ginger (thawed)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
For the herbal rub:
8 juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon Australian pink salt
For the marinade, combine in a small dish: 1 cube frozen grated ginger (thawed), 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon mace, 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Set aside briefly.
Unwrap the goose. Remove giblets, reserving for gravy or stock. Pull off any big hunks of fat and save those for cooking. The big flap of skin from the neck can also be cut off and put with the stock fixings. Use kitchen shears to cut off the first two wing joints and save those for stock.
Rinse the goose inside and out; pat dry. Prick the skin all over using a knife or fork, so that the fat can escape.
Use a pastry brush to spread the marinade all over the goose. Wrap the goose in plastic or put it in a big dish, and leave it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Peel and quarter two small sweet onions; set aside briefly.
Take out the goose and rinse it briefly to get the vinegar off; don’t obsess over getting every bit of spice off.
In a mortar and pestle, put 8 juniper berries and 1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns. Grind those. Then add 1 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon Australian pink salt. Grind again, then stir to blend thoroughly. Rub this mixture all over the outside of the goose, and save a little to put inside the body cavity as well.
Stuff the onion quarters and a bay leaf into the body cavity of the goose. Close the skin flaps over the opening and secure with a toothpick or skewer. If the skin has a loop for the leg bones, poke the ends through that loop to secure the legs. Otherwise, tie the leg ends together with cotton cooking string.
Carefully lower the prepared goose onto the roasting rack, in the pan or the roasting oven. Cook for 30 minutes at 425ºF.
Reduce heat to 350ºF. Very carefully lift lid of roaster oven, tilting it away from you; or open oven and pull the pan out. Spoon or suction away the liquid fat in the bottom of the pan, reserving it for another use. Cover the roaster oven or return the goose to the regular oven. Cook the goose for a total of 15 minutes per pound (so 2 1/2 hours for 8 lbs). Remove fat every 30-60 minutes.
When done, skin should be crisp golden brown and juices should run clear. (It’s okay if the meat is still pink in places.) Temperature in the thickest part of the meat should be 160ºF. Carefully transfer goose to a serving platter. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
To carve the goose, first slice off the wings. (Lay the wings on the platter and save them for stock; they’re really tough. The onions aren’t meant to be eaten, but if they’re cooked through and people want them, then you can dig those out.) Next, slice off the legs and serve those. Finally, slice the breast meat and serve it. There will be a few other slivers you can pick off the carcass, if desired. If you save the carcass and other bones with any loose skin, you can get a second batch of stock from one goose!
Goose is a wonderful luxury food. It’s all dark meat, and in America geese are not factory farmed but are kept as free-range livestock. The meat is chewier and richer than chicken, though similar to duck or turkey. There is a great deal of fat on a goose, which is highly valued for cooking potatoes or other foods, so save the fat. Skin, bones, and other scraps can be used for making stock. Giblets are good alone, or as gravy, or for stock.
All of the herbs for this recipe are “digestive” herbs. They aid digestion by helping the body break down fat and protein. If you have sprigs of fresh herbs, especially the rosemary or thyme, you can stuff a few into the body cavity too.
Frozen grated ginger is an oddity I often have on hand. Whenever we get fresh ginger root for a recipe, I grate all of it in a spice grinder and measure off the necessary amount. All the leftover ginger pulp gets packed into an ice cube tray and frozen, then the cubes go in a baggie until I need them. They’re less hot than fresh ginger root, so if you use fresh, you only need maybe a quarter or a half teaspoon.
Fancy salts can add a lot to a recipe. If you don’t have the Australian pink salt, which has a delicate mineral edge, you can use all sea salt. If you don’t have sea salt, plain table salt is okay.
Green peppercorns have a more leafy flavor than black peppercorns, so they blend nicely with herbs. If you don’t have green peppercorns, use black ones.
If you’re worried about over-browning the goose, you can cover it with a tent of aluminum foil at the beginning or end of cooking.
This recipe was originally created for an Ostara Feast, early in spring, because ducks, geese, and chickens are associated with that holiday. Goose is also served at New Year, Midwinter/Christmas, and Michaelmas (Sept. 29). The side dishes help dress it up for each occasion — salads and eggs in spring, squash and root vegetables in winter, or apples and stuffing in autumn.
This recipe was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 3/20/10, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
Tarragon Scented Asparagus Vichyssoise (2 views) – From: herbalmuse – Tarragon-Scented Asparagus Vichyssoise Delicious Living Magazine — The sweet aroma of tarragon complements the taste of fresh spring asparagus exceptionally well in this light, refreshing soup.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
1 large leek, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 pound red potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups light vegetable stock or water
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Rinse the asparagus. Gently bend each spear just above the woody bottom section to break off. Discard bottom. Chop the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Set aside 18 tips to use as a garnish.
- In a large saucepan, combine asparagus and remaining ingredients except 2 tablespoons of the tarragon. Cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook until the potatoes and asparagus are very tender, about 18 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and remove the lid so that the asparagus doesn’t discolor during cooling.
- When cool, strain the soup, reserving the liquid. Purée the vegetable mixture in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then whisk in the reserved cooking liquid. Stir the remaining tarragon into the soup. Chill thoroughly, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve chilled and garnished with the remaining asparagus spears.
Silliness – Punny Business Slogan – At a Proctologist’s door: “To expedite your visit, please back in.”