Daily Stuff 12-18-20 Meng Jiangnu

Hi, folks!

The shop opens at 1pm. Winter hours are 1pm-5pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Last Minus Tide of the cycle at  of  feet. Featured photo by girlinwaterphotography.

It’s clear at the moment. I wouldn’t bet on it lasting. 42F, wind at 1-5 mph and gusting, AQI 8-44, UV1. Chance of rain 97% today and 88% tonight. We’re under a GALE WARNING until 7pm. Today and tomorrow are likely to get very messy. Clouds are coming back already and the forecast storm could start up as early as noon. It should slack off by midnight, but Sunday should repeat the storm and then it won’t quit until Monday. We have three days of dry and some sun and then showers again….

Yesterday went by pretty quickly. I got up and had my first coffee and then got to work on mail. By the time we headed for the shop I was done with that and could start right into inventory. We got some beautiful soapstone boxes, plus some pyramids that I have yet to get into the case, and a lot of pouches, for which I need to find a basket. There are other things from semiprecious donuts to shell buttons for my favorite dress but those are in ones or twoses.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

We got a couple of special things delivered during the day: cookies for our holiday from a local lady, and some ground lamb along with both beef and lamb bones for broth and carving.

That was my whole day. Tempus had a bunch of small chores that he whomped through, too, but we didn’t manage the watering. Outside may not matter, but I need to get back on the ones inside.

I got really tired well before closing, so Tempus chased me into the back to nap until he headed out for the paper run. He dropped me at home, and I spent the evening writing and embroidering.

We talked around midnight. He was sitting, having finished the bulk route and planning on a nap.

Today the weather is likely to get interesting, so I’m planning some things where I’ll be in back, mostly cooking, but there are some sorting jobs to do, as well.

Featured photo by Jamie Marie girlinwaterphotography.

The 2nd day of the Saturnalia was Epona’s feast. Epona is associated with horses, is Gallic in origin and is the only Celtic deity to be worshiped in Rome. More here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epona and a good article by Caitlin Matthews here: http://caitlin-matthews.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/eponas-day.html

Feast 0912Temple_de_Meng_Jiangnü

Today is also the feast of Meng Jiangnu (Pumpkin Girl), China. It is a tragic story of a loving couple whose lives were destroyed by war and the torture that war brings on the common people. There is more information here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meng_Jiangnu  More information can be found here about the Great Wall of China:  http://www.warriortours.com/cityguides/beijing/great_wall/  and here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China

plant Vanilla leaf Achlys_triphylla_1033

Today’s Plant is Vanilla Leaf or Sweet-After-Death, Achlys triphylla,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achlys_%28plant%29 . It grows all up and down the West Coast of North America and there’s another species in Japan. It was used as an insect repellent by the local peoples and has a strong vanilla scent if dried properly. It is used in Crossing the Bridge rituals along with rosemary and often placed in the hands of those who are Crossing or have just Crossed or in spells to ease their way.

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 ancientlight@peak.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 12/29 at 7:28pm. Diana’s BowOn the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends at 8:17am on 12/18. Waxing Crescent phase – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/21 at 3:41pm

Orion and Sirius – Jagged, tooth-shaped ice structures known as penitentes dominate the high-altitude hills of Chile’s Atacama Desert in the foreground of this image. In the sky above, the familiar constellation Orion the Hunter stands at center with the night sky’s brightest star, Sirius, to its lower right. The sky’s second-brightest star, Canopus, appears farther to the right. – ESO/Babak Tafreshi

Have you ever watched a Sirius-rise? Find an open view right down to the east-southeast horizon, and watch for Sirius to come up about two fists at arm’s length below Orion’s vertical three-star belt. Sirius rises sometime around 8 p.m. now depending on your location. About 15 minutes before Sirius-rise, a lesser star comes up barely to the right of there. This is Beta Canis Majoris or Mirzam, a name that means “The Announcer.” What Mirzam announces is Sirius. You’re not likely to mistake them; the second-magnitude Announcer is only a twentieth as bright as the king of stars soon to make its royal entry. When a star is very low it tends to twinkle slowly, and often in vivid colors. Sirius is bright enough to show these effects well, especially with binoculars.

Messier doublet

Zoom in on the Moon today for a look at an interesting crater doublet: Messier and Messier A. You’ll find our satellite low in the south at sunset, but there are a few hours of darkness to observe before it sinks below the horizon around 9 P.M. local time. Look with a telescope toward the Moon’s eastern limb, along its equator. There you’ll find the large crater Langrenus, with its distinctive central peaks. To the northwest of this crater is a small pair of impacts; the westernmost pockmark has a distinctive cometlike trail of debris spreading farther west. These are Messier and Messier A, named for the famous 18th-century comet hunter Charles Messier. The pair’s strange appearance is attributed to a single impact that struck the Moon at a low angle and essentially skipped once along the surface. Bump your magnification up to 100x and you’ll see the Messier doublet is distinctly out of round when compared with its fellow craters. Come back over the next few nights for even better views of its one-way rays, as the changing Sun angle brings them into even better contrast.

Jupiter and Saturn are inching closer together. Spot them near the crescent Moon Wednesday through Friday.

Jupiter and Saturn (magnitudes –2.0 and +0.6, respectively) shine strikingly close together in the southwest during and after twilight. Jupiter is the bright one; Saturn is only one eleventh as bright. Their separation shrinks from 1.1° to 0.3° this week (December 11th to 18th), meaning they’ll fit together in many telescopes’ low-power field of view. Don’t expect to see much of any telescopic detail on them, what with the poor atmospheric seeing at their low altitude. But how many of their moons can you count? Identify the ones you see, and find where to look for the faint ones — and not mistake stars for moons — using our Jupiter’s Moons and Saturn’s Moons tools for your time and date. Jupiter and Saturn will pass just 0.1° from each other at their conjunction on December 21st. That’s about the width of a toothpick at arm’s length. The two giants have conjunctions about every 20 years, but this will be their closest one that’s been clearly visible (not too close to the Sun) since the year 1226.

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 

Moon in Aquarius

Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic Tree Month of Ruis/Elder  Nov 25 – Dec 22 – Ruis – (RWEESH)
Uranus (1/14/21) Retrograde
Color – Turquoise
©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
Color: Red
Class: Shrub
Letter: R
Meaning: End of a cycle or problem.

to study this month Straif – Blackthorn Ogam letter correspondences
Month: None
Color: Purple
Class: Chieftain
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
F   18     High   3:31 AM     7.2   7:48 AM    Rise 11:23 AM      12
~    18      Low   8:53 AM     3.4   4:39 PM     Set  9:11 PM
~    18     High   2:30 PM     8.2
~    18      Low   9:35 PM    -0.5


Affirmation/Thought for the Day – I can totally do this.


Journal Prompt – Expository – Write about the most beautiful or unusual or animal you have ever seen. What made it so special or unique?



~   I was implying that the Honourable Member for Wentworth was like a lizard on a rock – alive, but looking dead. – Paul Keating on John Hewson
~   Ignore those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead. – Unknown
~   Sir, does it not seem to you that the silken thread encompassing France is broken?  –  Sir Geoffrey le Scrope, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1324-1338
~   It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.  – Mother Teresa

Old Christmastide – Sir Walter Scott

Heap on more wood! the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.
Each age has deem’d the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer:
Even, heathen yet, the savage Dane
At Iol more deep the mead did drain;
High on the beach his galleys drew,
And feasted all his pirate crew;
Then in his low and pine-built hall
Where shields and axes deck’d the wall
They gorged upon the half-dress’d steer;
Caroused in seas of sable beer;
While round, in brutal jest, were thrown
The half-gnaw’d rib, and marrow-bone:
Or listen?d all, in grim delight,
While Scalds yell’d out the joys of fight.
Then forth, in frenzy, would they hie,
While wildly loose their red locks fly,
And dancing round the blazing pile,
They make such barbarous mirth the while,
As best might to the mind recall
The boisterous joys of Odin’s hall.

And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had roll’d,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all his hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night;
On Christmas Eve the bells were rung;
On Christmas Eve the mass was sung:
That only night in all the year,
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn’d her kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress’d with holly green;
Forth to the wood did merry-men go,
To gather in the mistletoe.
Then open’d wide the Baron’s hall
To vassal, tenant, serf and all;
Power laid his rod of rule aside
And Ceremony doff’d his pride.
The heir, with roses in his shoes,
That night might village partner choose;
The Lord, underogating, share
The vulgar game of ‘post and pair’.
All hail’d, with uncontroll’d delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.

The fire, with well-dried logs supplied,
Went roaring up the chimney wide;
The huge hall-table’s oaken face,
Scrubb’d till it shone, the day to grace,
Bore then upon its massive board
No mark to part the squire and lord.
Then was brought in the lusty brawn,
By old blue-coated serving-man;
Then the grim boar’s head frown’d on high,
Crested with bays and rosemary.
Well can the green-garb’d ranger tell,
How, when, and where, the monster fell;
What dogs before his death to tore,
And all the baiting of the boar.
The wassel round, in good brown bowls,
Garnish’d with ribbons, blithely trowls.
There the huge sirloin reek’d; hard by
Plum-porridge stood, and Christmas pie;
Nor fail’d old Scotland to produce,
At such high tide, her savoury goose.
Then came the merry makers in,
And carols roar’d with blithesome din;
If unmelodious was the song,
It was a hearty note, and strong.
Who lists may in their mumming see
Traces of ancient mystery;
White shirts supplied the masquerade,
And smutted cheeks the visors made;
But, O! what maskers, richly dight,
Can boast of bosoms half so light!
England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year. – Sir Walter Scott, from Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field


Yule Magick – Crafts – Pagan Friendly Decorations for Yule for newsletter – grannysage by grannysage Last updated: 11/13/2011

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

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 Customs

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.

Holly Folklore

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)

Prosperity Ornament

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

Animal Totems

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.

Sources: Juoluupukki and Tomte

More Ideas for Yule Decorations

Day 10 of Yule – Trimming a Pagan Tree

More ideas about trimming a pagan tree on the blog One Witch’s Way

Welcome Yule

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

Yule Log – Welcome Yule by WelcomeYule

Old World Christmas Yule Log Ornament

Yule Log Candle with Grate

Druids Cutting Mistletoe – Buy This at Allposters.com

Mistletoe Child – Image from vintage holiday greeting card.

Fresh 7″ Real Mistletoe Christmas Holiday Kissing Decoration with California Redwood and Rosemary

Photo of a holly tree we planted in front of our last residence.

REAL LEAF Dbl Holly Leaf Silver Berries Ornament

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

Hallmark 2011 Holly Fairy Limited Quantity

Stag – Image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com

Woodland Splendor Deer Antler Christmas Ornament

Yule Goddess Oval Ornament

Yule Faery Wall Tile

Tree Of Prosperity Hand Blown Glass Ornament

Winter Solstice Ornament  by Mickie Mueller

Winter Solstice Oval Ornament

100 LED Fairy Light String Christmas Holiday Lights for Room Garden Home Decoration (White)

AIT 10M 100 LED Christmas Fairy Light String Party Xmas Lights (Warm White)

Inside Art Howling Wolf Ornament #96029

Black Bear Wood-carved Ornament

RESIN EAGLE ORNAMENT – Christmas Ornament

A tomte surveying his farm. Illustration by Jenny Nystrom who added the tomte to many Christmas cards.

I See You Wolf Ornament

I See You Wolf Ornament

Gnome For The Holly Days Ornaments

The Yul Tomte Ornament

Yule Joulupukki Ornament

Yule Joulupukki Ornament

Yule Yulupukki Ornament

Yule Joulupukki Ornament

Welcome Yule Ornament – Vintage Image by WelcomeYule


Silliness – Yule Riddles – Q: What kind of pine has the sharpest needles? A: A porcupine.


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