The shop opens at 1pm. Winter hours are 1pm-5pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Featured photo by Jim Thode.
Everything is wet, but it’s not raining at the moment. The big green blodge on the weather map says it’ll start in about 10 minutes….. I was right….. 43F, wind at 3-7mph and gusting, AQI36, UV0. Chance of rain 24% today and 94% tonight. We’re under a GALE WARNING and SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until noon on Tuesday. After the rain stops today should be dry with some sun. The rain will be back around midnight and might bring some wind with it. Saturday, the same, but the rest of the week is just rain and showers.
Yesterday went by very quickly. Tempus had gotten in very late from complications with the paper route, so he was pretty tired. We had our Lucia buns in the morning with our coffee (and kept nibbling all day!) It had been sunny, then it poured, then sun again, then pouring rain…. couldn’t make up it’s mind.
We had some folks in shopping at various times… usually when it was pouring. What does that? 🙂
Tempus is finally getting ahead on some of the things that have been waiting to be washed so they can be put away. The table is starting to get useable. I need to finish some of the gifts for the kids, so that’s a very good thing.
I started to cut up some more squash, the last, for dehydrating and cut into one that was entirely moldy inside. I got a lungful and wheezed for hours, so I never got back to that. did photos, talked with friends online, sorted some plant starts and worked on embroidery. I wanted to try the cheese fritters, but those got put off until late.
We closed around 6pm. I had crashed at about 4:30. The asthma really knocks me flat. When I got up I read for a bit and then worked on the computer since Tempus had crashed for awhile. I’m doing some writing again.
I spent awhile thinking about the squash. It’s not worth running the dehydrator for, less than 1/3 full, so I’m going to make squash soup with it. It’s one lone butternut (that will keep for several days yet, with one tiny soup pot squash, that’s going to get stuffed with the last of the potato stuffing and baked. I’m planning an onion soup for the next couple of days, over our weekend where we can enjoy it and customers won’t have to. 🙂 I finally decided to do the cheese fritters before Tempus headed out, so he could try a couple, at least. They were delicious! I wished that I had done a double batch.
Today we should be open normal hours, but if Tempus is really tired I’m going to make him go home and we’ll close at 5pm. He did get about 5 hours of sleep tonight after 3 this morning and dozing on the sofa, so he should be in better shape today.
Today’s plant is Goldenrod, Solidago Canadensis. A good browse plant, although not shade-tolerant, it is one of the first plants to colonize burned-off areas. In Fukishima it has taken over the rice fields near the wrecked nuclear plant. – Feminine, Venus, Air – Wear a piece of goldenrod to see your future love. Hold a piece in the hand and it will direct you to things you’ve lost or buried treasure. If it blooms by your door without being planted, good fortune will follow. It’s also used in money spells and has the property of survival. Wiki article here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidago_canadensis
1503 – Birthday of Michel de Nostradamus (d. July 1, 1566), physician and prophet. Nostradamus was a physician of Provence (France) who published a series of little books, each containing a hundred predictions (‘centuries’), collected later into a single volume. He studied mathematics, philosophy, and physic (medicine), and was twice married and had several children. He lived at Salon, near Marseilles, where he studied astrology and, as many do, took up almanac making. Such were those erudite times that his almanacs became popular, inspiring imitators, but, as some of the imitations in his name were poorly produced, he gained a bad reputation from them. He was said to have cured and/or prevented the bubonic plague by his medical knowledge and wrote out quite a lot of his herbal lore. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus
The shop opens at 1pm. Winter hours are 1pm-5pm 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
Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 12/14 at 8:17am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances. God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps – Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at 8:17am on 12/14. 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 12/29 at 7:28pm. New Moon – The beginning of a new cycle. Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6-day cycle ahead. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. God/dess aspect: Infancy, the Cosmic Egg, Eyes-Wide-Open – Associated God/dess: Inanna who was Ereshkigal. Phase ends at 8:17 on 12:15.
This is the time of year when M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, passes your zenith in early evening (if you live in the mid-northern latitudes). The time depends on your longitude. Binoculars show M31 just off the knee of the Andromeda constellation’s stick figure; see the middle of the big evening constellation chart in the center of the December Sky & Telescope.
New Moon occurs today at 8:17 A.M. PST — and with it comes the last total solar eclipse of the year, visible from Chile and Argentina. The total path length of this eclipse is 9,239 miles (14,869 km), but only 5 percent of this path falls on land. Fortunately, that 5 percent is where the eclipse’s longest duration of 2 minutes 10 seconds occurs, near Sierra Colorada, Argentina, at 4:13 P.M. UT. Total solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, blocking our star from view and allowing us to see its tenuous outer atmosphere, the corona. But another condition must be met — the Moon must be the right distance away from Earth in its orbit to completely cover the Sun. Because the Moon’s orbit is slightly elliptical, if it is too far from Earth when it passes between us and our star, it doesn’t appear large enough to completely block the Sun. When this happens, we see an annular solar eclipse, during which an outer ring of the Sun’s surface remains visible.
Mars (about magnitude –0.7, in Pisces) shines bright yellow-orange very high in the southern sky during evening. Mars is fading and shrinking into the distance, but it’s still 13 or 12 arcseconds wide in a telescope, big enough to show surface detail during steady seeing. It’s gibbous: 90% sunlit from Earth’s point of view. Its recent dust storms seem to be over. To get a map of the side of Mars facing you at the date and time you observe, you can use our Mars Profiler. The map there is square; remember to mentally wrap it onto the side of a globe. (Features near the map’s edges become very foreshortened.)
Old Farmer’s Almanac NIGHT SKY MAP FOR DECEMBER 2020 – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-december-2020-rotation-stars
Runic half-month of Jera/ Jara 12/13-12/27 – Jara signifies the completion of natural cycles, such as fruition, and has a more transcendent meaning of mystic marriage of Earth and Cosmos. *Ø* Wilson’s Almanac free daily ezine | Book of Days | December 13
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH)
Chiron (12/12) Uranus (1/14/21) Retrograde
Color – White
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Ruis/Elder Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH), elder – Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) commences (Nov 25 – Dec 22) – Like other Iron Age Europeans, the Celts were a polytheistic people prior to their conversion to (Celtic) Christianity. The Celts divided the year into 13 lunar cycles (months or moons). These were linked to specific sacred trees which gave each moon its name. Today commences the Celtic tree month of Elder.
Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus) is a genus of fast-growing shrubs or small trees in the family Caprifoliaceae. They bear bunches of small white or cream coloured flowers in the Spring, that are followed by bunches of small red, bluish or black berries. The berries are a very valuable food resource for many birds. Common North American species include American Elder, Sambucus canadensis, in the east, and Blueberry Elder, Sambucus glauca, in the west; both have blue-black berries. The common European species is the Common or Black Elder, Sambucus nigra, with black berries.
The common elder (Sambucus nigra L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (33 feet) in damp clearings, along the edge of woods, and especially near habitations. Elders are grown for their blackish berries, which are used for preserves and wine. The leaf scars have the shape of a crescent moon. Elder branches have a broad spongy pith in their centers, much like the marrow of long bones, and an elder branch stripped of its bark is very bone-like. The red elder (S. racemosa L.) is a similar plant at higher elevations; it grows to 5 m (15 feet). Red elder extends its native range to northern North America, and it is cultivated along with other native species, but common elders are seldom seen in cultivation. Elders are in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).
Ruis – Elder Ogam letter correspondences
Month: Makeup days of the thirteenth Moon
Meaning: End of a cycle or problem.
to study this month Straif – Blackthorn Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: SS, Z, ST
Meaning: Resentment; Confusion; Refusing to see the truth
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
M 14 High 12:12 AM 7.2 7:45 AM Rise 7:52 AM 1
~ 14 Low 5:28 AM 2.8 4:37 PM Set 4:46 PM
~ 14 High 11:23 AM 9.7
~ 14 Low 6:30 PM -1.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I rescind obsolete vows of sacrifice.
Journal Prompt – How do you feel? – How do you feel when you’re leaving home on vacation?
~ I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains. – Anne Frank
~ Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. – Aldous Huxley
~ A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing. – Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer
~ On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone. – Janis Joplin
Fairbanks Under the Solstice
Slowly, without sun, the day sinks
toward the close of December.
It is minus sixty degrees.
Over the sleeping houses a dense
fog rises—smoke from banked fires,
and the snowy breath of an abyss
through which the cold town
is perceptibly falling.
As if Death were a voice made visible,
with the power of illumination…
Now, in the white shadow
of those streets, ghostly newsboys
make their rounds, delivering
to the homes of those
who have died of the frost
word of the resurrection of Silence.
John Haines, 1924 – 2011 – Excerpted from The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems, copyright © 1993 by John Haines
When I decided to walk a pagan path some years ago, I still enjoyed decorating for the season. Instead of celebrating Christmas, I began to celebrate Yule or the Winter Solstice.
The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. In years past, when people were more in tune with the turn of the seasons, particularly in the Nordic countries, the Winter Solstice was a time of celebration that the days would once again become longer and the return of the warm season would come again.
In modern times, Yule has been attached to Christmas, which is a celebration of the birth of Jesus (except in the Southern Hemisphere where Christmas is in July and the winter solstice is in the winter, which I find to be rather odd). Finding decorations that did not have a Christmas theme became quite a challenge. It became a quest for me to find ornaments that reflected the spirit of the Yule season, not the religious celebration of Jesus’ birth.
I’ve searched the web to find those elusive Yule decorations and will attempt to explain the reasons behind some of the customs of the season.
A Symbolic Mythology
Paganism, including Wicca, is based on a symbolic mythology. The stories of the gods and goddesses from legends of old are aspects of the One Spirit, stories which humans developed to explain forces that to them were often unexplainable. The goddess giving birth to the Sun at Yule symbolizes the cycle of life, both in nature and in the lives of humans. As the earth repeats the process of death to rebirth and renewal, so do people pass through the seasons of life.
Joseph Campbell said, “Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.” He also stated, “Every myth is psychologically symbolic. Its narratives and images are to be read, therefore, not literally, but as metaphors.”
The symbols associated with the Winter Solstice/Yule are therefore important to our inner consciousness, to keep us in touch with our spiritual selves. At some deep level, as we gaze and think upon these tangible representations of older traditions, we re-connect with a world filled with mystery, wonder, and infinite possibilities.
Tradition of the Yule Log
There are many stories of the history of the Yule Log, depending on what culture is being discussed. We do know that in the Nordic countries, the people would drag in a big log to celebrate the Winter Solstice. The fire symbolized the return of the light as the wheel turned from darkness of winter to the light of spring. A piece of the unburned part of the previous year’s Yule log was used to kindle the new flame. It would then be allowed to burn or smolder for 12 days and was believed to bring prosperity and protection to the household.
Many pagans today continue this tradition and if they don’t have a fireplace, they may use a smaller log with holes to hold three candles.
Mistletoe was considered sacred by the Druids, particularly when found on oak trees. It was considered to be the soul of the tree. It was cut using a golden sickle and caught in a white cloth, as it could not touch the ground. They used it as a remedy for many diseases.
The custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from Scandinavian myth. The god Baldur, son of Frigga who was the goddess of Love, was killed by a spear of mistletoe. Frigga wept for her son and her tears turned to white berries on the mistletoe plant. Baldur is restored to life and Frigga, in her joy, decreed that the plant was sacred and a symbol of peace and love. Anyone who passed under it would receive a kiss.
There are many folklore beliefs surrounding holly. It has long been associated with midwinter because of its evergreen leaves. It was consider to provide strong protection; wearing a sprig of holly could protect one from mischievous fairy folk.
Bringing holly leaves into the home brings luck by allowing the friendly fairies a place to play. One should never cut a holly branch without asking the tree for permission, and then an already broken branch should be gently removed.
Holly is a symbol to remind us that even though the ground is barren at midwinter, the seasons turn and soon the earth will be green and fertile once again.
You Can Never Have Too Many Fairies
As a former fairy collector, I always said “you can never have too many fairies.” Of course that changed when we transitioned to living in an RV full time. But I still find fairies beautiful.
Why Put Antlers On a Tree?
Antlers can symbolize several things. If your animal totem is a deer or an elk, you might want to connect with its energy with an antler ornament.
Antlers are also symbolic of the Horned God, the Forest Lord (no it is not the devil, don’t worry). The Horned God is an archetype of nature and of the hunt and is the male consort of the Goddess. He gives of his energy so all may have life. The Horned God is reborn into this life at the Winter Solstice. It is difficult to describe all of his aspects in such a small space, so I shall let pagan author, Starhawk, describe him for me.
“For men, the Horned God is the image of inner power and potency that is more than merely sexual. He is the undivided Self, in which mind is not split from body, nor spirit from flesh. United, both can function at the peak of emotional and creative power….
The God embodies the power of feeling. His animal horns represent the truth of undisguised emotion, which seeks to please no master. He is untamed. But untamed feelings are very different from enacted violence. The God is the life force, the life cycle. He remains within the orbit of the Goddess; his power is always directed towards the service of life. (Starhawk, THE SPIRAL DANCE)
You can add decorations to your Yule tree as visualizations for dreams or goals you wish to manifest in the next year.
Prosperity can mean many different things; wealth, happiness or good fortune. A tree is prosperous when it is full of leaves, bearing fruit or providing shelter. The tree of prosperity reminds us that not only wealth is the path to prosperity. By finding our true happiness or helping others, we may grow and prosper.
Bring Back the Light
The Winter Solstice is all about bringing back the light to a darkened world. The sun, which appeared to ancient people as being dead, is reborn to return again to warm the earth. Pagans love to celebrate with lights, both indoors and out. My husband is the king of lights in this house, so I asked him to pick out what he would choose for a Yule tree.
He chose white lights because white is the combination of all the colors of light and appears often in nature. In symbolic terms, white embodies peace, tranquility, purification; truth, spirituality, and sincerity.
Bring Back the Light by Gypsy
This is a classic pagan Winter Solstice song and one of my favorites. Sing along if you like….here are a few of the words.
Bring back the Light
Light never ending
Through dark of night
this call we are sending
With all our might
Bring back the Light
Bring back the Light
Our hearts are open
On Solstice night
We are invoking
The Lord of Light
Bring back the Light
Many pagans feel a connection with their animal totems. One of mine is the wolf. Place a symbol on your Yule tree to help draw the energy of your personal animal totem.
Joulupukki and JulTomte, Who are they?
Because of my Finnish ancestry, I have become interested the the Finnish version of Santa, Joulupukki. The Joulupukki translated means “Yule Goat” The traditions have evolved over the years, as the Yule Goat used to be a ugly creature that scared children and demanded gifts. Today he resembles the American Santa Claus although he lives in Lapland and his reindeer don’t fly.
A tomte (or tontuu in Finnish) is a Scandinavian mythical creature, much like a brownie. He is said to be a small elderly man with a full beard and dressed as a farmer. The tomte was originally believed to be the soul of the original owner of the farm. He would take care of the farm and its animals, but could also be easily angered. Thus the custom of putting out a bowl of porridge for the tomte is a form of ancestral worship.
More Ideas for Yule Decorations
More ideas about trimming a pagan tree on the blog One Witch’s Way
May all things Well and good Come to you and yours at this season of Yule.
This is the greeting that my husband and I have been using to both greet and say farewell to folks. The word “welcome” comes from Old English wilcuma, meaning literally “well + come” (“May you have fared well in coming here!”).
I hope you have enjoyed looking at some alternative decorations for your Yule tree and learned more about their symbolism. I would also enjoy hearing about any other customs or traditions, or special ornaments you use on your tree. Please feel free to comment.
List of Original Illustrations to the article
Pagan Friendly Decorations for Yule pictures
Image from a vintage postcard. To me it symbolizes innocence and simple beauty.
Vintage Yule Log Ornament by WelcomeYule
Druids Cutting Mistletoe – Buy This at Allposters.com
Mistletoe Child – Image from vintage holiday greeting card.
Photo of a holly tree we planted in front of our last residence.
Set of 4 Holly LED Candles Holiday LED candles have swivel bases with suction cups to stand on a table or adhere to a window. Accented with holly rings. Each candle uses 2 AA batteries (not included). 9 1/2″H Available from Country Store Catalog
Stag – Image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com
Winter Solstice Ornament by Mickie Mueller
A tomte surveying his farm. Illustration by Jenny Nystrom who added the tomte to many Christmas cards.
Silliness – Yule Riddles – Q: What do you call a chicken at the North Pole? A: Lost.