The shop opens at 1pm. Fall hours are 1pm-6pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Featured photo by Marin Fox.
Foggy and 45F. That’s a *little* warmer, anyway… wind at 0-2mph, AQI8-30, UV2. Chance of rain 10% today and 20% tonight. For should clear by 8am and then the day will be sunny. High around 60 and starting to cloud back up at dark. There’s a chance of morning showers tomorrow and then Saturday and Sunday should be sunny and dry. After that, though, the chance of rain goes up to at least 60% for several days and late next week could see some heavier showers and wind.
Yesterday started very slowly. I tried twice to get up and get to work, but failed and the 3rd time sat at the computer blinking and trying to do something other than sorting…. When Tempus got up he made coffee. That helped…some… I got some work done on plants. I hoped to get Tempus to wash off a couple of the pots for me, but it didn’t happen, nor did cleaning the table so I could work on the compounding station.
I started talking to the guy about the motorhome again. We had been hoping to go down there today and it wasn’t working out. …and then the guy said he was kinda drunk and then said I was too stupid to buy an RV legally. Well, he’s reported and blocked. His problem.
Tempus was trying to get the dog dander out of the car. It’s not extreme, but if I have to ride in the car with the heat on I’m going to start to wheeze. He was scrubbing the carpets and vacuuming.
I got a nap late in the afternoon, then read and embroidered for a bit before I got up and started to work again. Tempus and I worked on chores and then he lay down for a nap. I’ve saved out a bunch of pictures of Sioned over the last few days and I got them into an album, finally. Tempus headed out just after 2am.
Today we’ll be open on time. I *have* to get the Hween bags finished. I didn’t get a lick in yesterday… I have more to do on plants and cleaning and chores. <sigh> It just never ends!
Today’s plant is Kinnikinnick, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. It is used medicinally for urinary tract complaints, as a “poverty food”, and as a smoking herb, known for giving visions. Magickally it is used for ceremonies. Add to sachets designed to increase psychic power. Full article here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctostaphylos_uva-ursi More inhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearberry
For those of us who love our kitties, today’s feast is National Cat Day, a day to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and feral cats. It’s a day to celebrate the ones that have forever homes with us and to open our eyes to the ones that don’t and should. The website is here: https://www.nationalcatday.com/ and there’s a facebook page and a Wikipedia page, plus events at various shelters.
The shop opens at 1pm. Fall hours are 1pm-6pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). 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 10/31 at 7:49am. 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 10/29 at 7:49pm. Full Moon – The day of, the day before, and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 11/1 at 7:49pm. Blue Moon – A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, the third of four full moons in a season or some other subdivision like an astronomical sign. In 1946 someone misread and since then the 2nd full moon in a month is often called a blue moon. After 7/15, the next one will occur March 31, 2018. The phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon, although a literal “blue moon” (the moon appearing with a tinge of blue) may occur in certain atmospheric conditions; e.g., when there are volcanic eruptions or when exceptionally large fires leave particles in the atmosphere.
Mars and the bright gibbous Moon accompany each other across the sky tonight. Or so it appears. Mars is actually 170 times farther away and twice the Moon’s physical size (diameter). High above them in early evening, the Great Square of Pegasus balances on one corner. The Moon passes 3° south of Mars at noon EDT. By the time the pair has cleared the horizon around sunset, they’re just over 4° apart. You’ll find them in the east, rising as the sky grows darker, with Mars just to the upper right of the Moon. The Red Planet, still a bright beacon two weeks after opposition, glows at magnitude –2.2 and appears 20″ across.
This is the time of year when the Big Dipper lies level low in the north-northwest in early to mid-evening. How low? The farther south you are, the lower. Seen from 40° north (New York, Peoria, Denver) even its bottom stars twinkle nearly ten degrees high. But at Miami (26° N), the entire Dipper skims along out of sight just below the horizon.
By two hours after sunset, the face of Taurus the Bull is peeking above the horizon, with his bright red eye, Aldebaran, popping up shortly after. Look directly above the v of the Bull’s nose to find the Pleiades (M45) sparkling in the shape of a tiny dipper. Although this open cluster is often confused with the Little Dipper, its spoon shape is much smaller and more compact than the asterism, located in the north. The Pleiades is a young cluster containing several thousand stars and about 800 solar masses of material. With the naked eye, you may see as many as 12 of the cluster’s stars; binoculars and telescopes will bring out many more. If you’re an astroimager, turning your camera on the cluster is likely to reveal the nebulosity, or glowing gas, strung between the brightest stars.
Jupiter and Saturn (magnitudes –2.2 and +0.6, respectively) tilt down in the west-southwest these evenings. Get your telescope on them early, before the end of twilight, before they sink lower toward the southwest later in the evening. But don’t expect much; both are somewhat farther and smaller than they were during summer. Jupiter is the bright one; Saturn is about 5½° to its upper left. Watch them creep toward each other for the rest of the fall. They’ll pass just 0.1° apart at conjunction on December 21st, low in twilight, right when fall turns to winter. Follow the interplay of Jupiter with its moons and their shadows, and find all the transit times of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, using the Celestial Calendar section of the October Sky & Telescope.
Old Farmer’s Almanac October Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-october
Runic half-month of Wunjo/Wyn – October 13-28 – Wyn represents joy, the rune being the shape of a weather vane. The month represents the creation of harmony within the given conditions of the present. Runic half-month of Hagalaz/Hagal – October 29-Novmber 12 – The Runic half-month of Hagal commences today, represented by the hailstone of transformation. It is a harbinger of the need to undergo the necessary preparations before the harsh northern Winter.
Goddess Month of Hathor runs from 10/3 – 10/30
Goddess Month of Cailleach/Samhain runs from
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal/Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24 – nGéadal – (NYEH-dl)
Mercury (11/3), Mars (11/13), Neptune (11/28), Chiron (12/12) Uranus (1/14/21) Retrograde
Color – Crimson
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal/Reed Oct 28 – Nov 24 – nGéadal – (NYEH-dl), reed – The term “reed” is used with great imprecision in North America, but it is clear that the reed of the ogham is the common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel). This is a giant grass, with stems as high as 4 m (13 feet). It grows in marshy areas, where it often forms dense stands. Like most other grasses, the vertical stems live only a single year, dying in the autumn and being replaced with new green shoots in the spring. The dead stems rattle and whisper in late autumn winds. Common reed has spread as a weed throughout the world; in North America it is widespread in cooler climates. Common reed is in the Grass family (Poaceae, or Gramineae). “The Reed Month, is said by some to be most favorable for communication with ancestral spirits and the strengthening of all family ties, with magickal associations with fertility, love, protection, and family concerns. ‘Thin and slender is the Reed. He stands in clumps at the edge of the river and between his feet hides the swift pike awaiting an unsuspecting minnow to come his way. In his thinness the reed resembles arrows that fly, silver-tipped, up into the unknown air to land at the very source that one had searched for all these years. Firing arrows off into the unknown is an expression of the desire to search out basic truths. If you loose off without direction, the place of landing will be random. If the firing off is carried out with the correct conviction, determination and sense of purpose, then the act becomes secondary to the event that comes both before and after the moment.'” Source: Earth, Moon and Sky
Ngetal – Reed Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grass Green
Meaning: Upsets or surprises
to study this month Mor – the Sea Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: AE, X, XI, M
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 29 Low 5:52 AM 1.4 7:51 AM Set 5:46 AM 92
~ 29 High 12:00 PM 7.7 6:09 PM Rise 5:48 PM
~ 29 Low 6:30 PM 0.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Love has the quality of informing almost everything- even one’s work. ~ Sylvia Ashton-Warner
Journal Prompt – Favorites – What is your favorite holiday? What makes this holiday special?
~ We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. – Mother Teresa
~ You build the road to your success. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ A friend is one who sees through you and still enjoys the view. – Wilma Askinas (1926- ) American Author
Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still. – Edgar Allan Poe (1809–49)
Samhain Magick – Lore
A Feast for the Living and the Dead: Traditional Day of the Dead Food and Drink – Posted by Sarah Menkedick on October 26, 2010 at 9:41am
Beautiful squash When the squat, fat, brown /calabazas/ begin appearing in the market, you know it’s time for Day of the Dead. Here in Oaxaca, the calabazas – fatter, shorter, green-brown Mexican versions of pumpkins – started appearing about a week ago, alongside blinding orange marigolds (also known as /la flor de muertos/, the flower of the dead), heaping piles of chocolate, and the characteristic bread of the dead with its rich yellow hue and a little sugar skull on top.
With /el día de los muertos/ just around the corner, Mexicans are preparing altars, planning fiestas, and most importantly, cooking. The traditional food surrounding día de los muertos tends to be sweet, the kind of indulgent and luxurious treat that would entice a soul to return for a few days to its earthbound home.
Muertos is all about indulgence, wooing the dead back to their families by way of food. The idea is that families will build altars to their dead relatives, decorating these altars with the dishes and drinks that their relatives loved. The living can also indulge, celebrating the holiday by way of traditional food and drink. Not surprisingly, many Day of the Dead recipes revolve around pumpkin.
In what might be the most popular Day of the Dead drink, pumpkin flesh is boiled, blended, and then heated with milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and the slightest dash of pepper or anise to make /atole de calabaza/, or pumpkin atole. The result is a creamy, comforting fall drink that goes well with tamales and molé, year-round Mexican staples which most Mexicans indulge in around the Day of the Dead holiday.
Dulce de calabaza
Pumpkin is also used to make /dulce de calabaza/, (often translated as “pumpkin candy”): soft, crystallized pumpkin flesh cooked in brown sugar with slight hints of orange or lime . The process involved in making it can be simple or intensive, depending on how you’d like the end product to turn out.
For a hands-off approach, boil the flesh of a whole pumpkin in just enough water to cover it, with either a cup of orange juice or the skin of an orange or mandarin, several cinnamon sticks, a touch of vanilla and several cones of piloncillo, a condensed Mexican version of brown sugar. Let the mixture boil for several hours until the liquid develops a syrupy texture, and then let it cool. With a dash of brown sugar on the top, it’s ready to eat.
The intensive version involves soaking the pumpkin overnight in lime water, draining it, washing it, boiling it, coating it with sugar, and baking it.
Pan de Muertos
The most important Day of the Dead food is the /pan de muertos/ or, rather ominously, the bread of the dead. This is a bread that is at once dense and light ; it contains the weight of eggs, butter, and sometimes, shortening, but it maintains the flaky, fluffy quality of a good soft roll. The bread is called /pan de yema/ at other times of the year, meaning “yolk bread”; it is made with four or more eggs and has a deep yellow color. What distinguishes /pan de muertos/ from /pan de yema/ is décor ; pan de muertos is often shaped into the figure of a skull, and long pieces of the dough are pressed into the top of the bread to resemble bones.
Mexicans do not share the same qualms as Americans in playing with and embracing the idea of death, and nowhere is this more evident than during the Day of the Dead. The food, drink, and fiesta are meant not to fend off death but to welcome it; sugar skulls, easily sculpted from a mixture of powdered and granulated sugar, water, and meringue powder, adorn altars where glasses of pulque (a traditional liquor made of fermented corn), photographs, marigolds and the preferred treats of the dead are piled. The effect is one that makes you want to give in to the fiesta, eat a big plate of molé, have a glass, and another, and another, of mezcal, and spend the night in the graveyard dipping pan de muertos in a steaming cup of pumpkin atole.
Simple Dulce de Calabaza Recipe
- 1 medium pumpkin
- 1 dried mandarin/orange/lime peel
- 1-3 cinnamon sticks
- 4 piloncillo cones
- sugar to taste
- Cut the pumpkin into wedges. You can leave the skin and the seeds or remove them; it’s up to you. Traditionally, dulce de calabaza in Mexico is made with the seeds and skin intact. Leaving them, in my opinion, makes for a more aesthetically appealing wedge of pumpkin, but taking them out won’t drastically change the recipe.
- Cover the pumpkin with water and set it to boil.
- Once it begins boiling, add the dried peel of your choice, the piloncillo cones, and the cinnamon sticks.
- You can add as many sticks as you’d like to increase the cinnamon flavor.
- I love cinnamon, but if you’d prefer just a hint than maybe you’d choose to add a half-stick here.
- You can also add a touch of star anise and/or cloves as compliments.
- Bring the boil down to a simmer, and stir every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure the pumpkin is absorbing the ingredients.
- When the pumpkin has turned a rich brown and the water has taken on a syrupy consistency, the dulce de calabaza is almost finished.
- When you take it out of the pot, it should be soft and sticky, and the water should be a thick syrup.
- Leave it to cool for 5 or 10 minutes.
- You can eat it warm or at room temperature.
Pan de Muertos Recipe
- 5 cups of flour
- 1 cup of lukewarm water
- 8 spoonfuls of yeast
- 5 egg yolks
- 5 eggs
- 2 sticks of butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 spoonfuls of orange or lemon essence
- 2 eggs for glazing
- A pinch of salt
- Sugar for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Mix four spoonfuls of yeast with the cup of lukewarm water.
- Add a cup and a half of flour and knead until the mixture forms a small ball.
- Let sit for around 15 minutes or until the ball is double its original size.
- Sift flour, sugar and salt.
- Add eggs, yolks, butter, and orange essence, and knead well.
- Add the remaining yeast and the small ball of dough to the egg and butter mixture, and knead well.
- Set aside for one hour in a lukewarm area.
- Knead again and form the bread into loaves of your desired size.
- Set aside strips of dough to use for decoration.
- Beat the two remaining eggs and use them to glaze the loaves.
- Stick the strips of dough cross-wise atop the loaves, using the eggs as a glaze.
- Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 40 or 50 minutes.
Pumpkin Atole Recipe
- 1 medium-sized pumpkin
- 1-2 cups of brown sugar, or 1-2 piloncillo cones
- 1 quart of milk
- cinnamon sticks
- pinch of star anise
- Cut the pumpkin into wedges and remove the seeds.
- Boil with cinnamon sticks until soft.
- Remove the skin if desired.
- Blend the pumpkin until creamy.
- Boil it again, this time adding the quart of milk (you can add more or less to make a thinner or thicker atole), the brown sugar (again, you can vary according to your desired level of sweetness) and the pinch of star anise.
- Boil on low heat until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Serve with a cinnamon stick as a garnish.
To learn more about the Day of the Dead, see Wikipedia’s very informative article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead
Silliness – Too Scary