The shop is closed today. Winter hours are 1pm-5pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Holiday hours – We’re going to open on 12/24 for regular hours and then close on Christmas Day. We’ll be open on 12/26, but after that only by appointment until the COVID #s come down, and we’ll probably stay closed until 2/1. Watch here for notifications about that!
Partly cloudy with showers at the moment. The clouds are thickening and the rain is getting harder. The rain ought to be heaviest in the early afternoon with the wind pickiing up for a couple of hours after that. We’re under a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 7pm. 41F, wind at mph and gusting, AQI 41-49, UV1. Chance of rain 98% today and 85% tonight. Today is going to be wet, although they’ve backed down the forecast amount to 1/2 an inch. Showers tomorrow. Sunday and Monday should be dry and then we’re back to showers and rain on Tuesday.
Yesterday I wasn’t in too good shape. I worked for a couple of hours after we got the shop open, but then Tempus chased me into the back to nap. When I got up I finished sorting out the stuff for boxes, then went on to some chores, but I didn’t realize until past 8pm that I had neither gotten the mail or my prescriptions. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get those on Saturday. I went back to nap after supper and only woke to get this done.
We had some customers, but one was someone hunting a christmas tree. Here? Later there were some serious shoppers.
Today Sash is coming for dinner and we’ll spend the day together. We have goodies for each other and for him for later, and I’ve set up some snacks and a ham dinner.
HOLLY, Ilex aquifolium in Europe or Ilex opaca in the Americas, also called Bat’s Wings in old herbals. It’s usually used as an ornamental, but sometimes as a good wood for carving. In heraldry, holly is used to symbolize truth. Harry Potter’s wand is of holly. Some cultures use a tea of the leaves as a medicinal. Holly is one of the evergreens brought into the home by Druids. It symbolizes a willingness to allow the nature spirits to share one’s abode during the harsh, cold season. The traditional crowns for the bride and groom are made of holly (a male plant) and ivy (a female plant), wreaths and altar decoration are made of these as well. CAUTION: the berries are poisonous! – Masculine, Mars, Fire – protections, dreams, luck, anti-lightning, holly water for wiccaning, Planted around the home for protection against evil. Cast it about to repel unwanted animals and spirits. The leaves and berries can be carried by a man to heighten his masculinity, virility and to attract a lover. Mixed with ivy for good luck to newlyweds. A Druid sacred tree. Sacred to the Winter Solstice, when it is used for decorating. Carry to promote good luck. Energy; Power; Strength; Protection, Enchantment, Dream Magic, Protection and Anti-Lightning.
Today is the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” and may be the actual “Reason for the Season”. This is the first day that the sun (if you’re watching *very* closely) has a shorter shadow at noon. Today is actually less than ½ a minute longer than on the solstice, but accurate sundials & noon marks predate accurate clocks by a long shot! More on the god of this day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus More on noon marks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noon_mark and sundials http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundial This is also the birthday of Mithras. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraism and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraism_in_comparison_with_other_belief_systems
The shop is closed today. Winter hours are 1pm-5pm Thursday through Monday (although we’re often here, later). Holiday hours – We’re going to open on 12/24 for regular hours and then close on Christmas Day. We’ll be open on 12/26, but after that only by appointment until the COVID #s come down, and we’ll probably stay closed until 2/1. 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 12/29 at 7:28pm. 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 12/28 at 7:28am.
As Jupiter and Saturn move apart, they’re sinking quite low in the southwest in twilight as shown above.
Algol shines at its minimum brightness, magnitude 3.4 instead of its usual 2.1, for a couple hours centered on 12:27 a.m. EST tonight; 9:27 p.m. PST. Algol takes several additional hours to fade and to rebrighten.
If you’re on the lookout for a flying sleigh tonight, there’s one reindeer sure to be in the sky: Rangifer. Never heard of him? That’s not so strange. Today, astronomers recognize 88 constellations outlined by the International Astronomical Union. Before this ruling, the way constellations were drawn and named wasn’t regulated, so many constellations have come and gone. Rangifer is one of these extinct constellations. This reindeer-shaped pattern of stars was created by 18th-century French astronomer Pierre Charles Le Monnier. The constellation has also been called by the name Tarandus; either way, both words mean “reindeer” in Latin. Although this constellation is gone from modern star charts, its stars, of course, remain in the sky. You can find them in the region between Polaris and Cassiopeia, where Camelopardalis and Cepheus reside. Many of them are faint, so you may need a dark location with no clouds. Can you draw a reindeer from the stars you see?
Uranus (magnitude 5.7, in Aries) is high in the south-southeast after dark, about 13° east (left) of Mars. Uranus is only 3.7 arcseconds wide, but that’s enough to appear as a tiny fuzzy ball, not a point, at high power in even a smallish telescope with sharp optics — during spells of good seeing. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune.
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 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,
Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
Uranus (1/14/21) Retrograde
Color – Pink
©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
Beth – Birch – Ogam letter correspondences –
Meaning: New Beginnings; Changes; Purification.
Phagos – Beech Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Letter: PH, IO
Meaning: New experiences and information coming
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 25 Low 2:37 AM 3.0 7:51 AM Set 3:31 AM 75
~ 25 High 8:53 AM 7.7 4:42 PM Rise 2:03 PM
~ 25 Low 4:00 PM 1.1
~ 25 High 10:13 PM 5.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Better things are coming.
Journal Prompt – What? – What are some examples of prejudice?
~ Successful, happy people live their lives in accordance with natural laws. – Brian Tracy
~ The twisted circumstances under which we live is grist for the writing mill, the loving, hating and discovering, finding new handles for old pitchers… – Alice Childress (1920-1994) US writer
~ You’ll find that if you get into the practice of seizing opportunities, then the opportunities in your life will multiply. – Kerr Cuhulain
~ For every person seeking greatness, there are hundreds more charged with safeguarding mediocrity. – Georg Grey
Hark, how all the welkin rings,
‘Glory to the King of kings’;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled. – Charles Wesley (1707–88)
The Calendar of the Twelve Days of Christmas
Christmas Eve – Several weeks before the start of the holiday was always a period of fasting and preparation behind the scenes. Many traditions keep their houses undecorated until Christmas Eve. Some only have a big supper after midnight on Christmas Eve when the house is revealed in all its magic and glory.
And start your Christmas later: don’t decorate until December 24. Then let the Twelve Days unfold as their own season; after its over, its really over for another year. Christmas should not begin at Labor Day.
Here is a good book for Christmas Eve; it is one of the most wonderful and profound books in the English language. The story has been adapted and abused for many years, but this is the original tale. Its not always pretty, its a roller coaster ride of emotions, from bright light to deep dark and its not like any movie version you’ve ever seen—its the story of amazing grace, the man who was lost and found his way again
Print it out to read when you have time: and read it aloud! The power of the words is like magic.
FIRST DAY–December 25–the Partridge in a Pear Tree– Christmas Day
For the duration of the Twelve Days it was always the custom to keep the house scrubbed and tidy: you never know what visitors might come knocking on your door. It might be an angel—it might be the holy family looking for shelter or three kings. Keep the cupboard filled with food and sweets, and cheerful drink on hand; its bad luck to turn anybody away.
The weather is often bad at this time of year: The Twelve Days became a time to look for dark forces loose in the outdoors—dangerous weather, ghostly hunters, mischievous fairies. People scurried through the dim and dark countryside looking for the next warm fire.
These Twelve Days are a journey through the darkest part of the year, moving from hope to hope, leaving despair behind with stops on Christmas and New Year, moving always toward the bright revelations of Twelfth Night.
SECOND DAY–December 26–Two Turtledoves—
…is St. Stephen’s Day: he was the first Christian martyr. In Ireland, children parade around with a toy bird on an evergreen branch singing the ‘Wren Song,’ and begging for pennies and food. The Wren traditions are so ancient and mysterious that they may have been performed since prehistoric times.
Second Day is also Boxing Day in the British Commonwealth: this is the day when boxes of food, gifts or money are given to people who work for you—gardeners, rubbish collectors, postal workers, and to those in need. Boxing Day is a good day to go see a panto, or a special movie.
THIRD DAY—December 27–Three French Hens—
… is St. John the Evangelist Day: the story is that St. John was once given a cup of poisoned wine, but he made the sign of the cross over it before he drank, and was saved: have a cup of warm spiced wine, tonight.
FOURTH DAY–December 28–Four Calling Birds—
…is Holy Innocent’s Day or Childermas: this is the day when mad King Herod heard that the coming King of the Jews had been born, so he sent his men out to slay all boys under two years of age.
In folk tradition, its the day when all the youngest boys in a household are treated with special honors and are allowed to playfully beat and tease the adults with decorated evergreens until they get candy and gifts.
At church, they would elect a boy to be a bishop for the day and he would have a good time commanding the deacons and vergers and canons, ordering feasts and revelry.
Supposedly a traditional food is Childermas Pudding: some kind of fresh white snow, shaved ice, vanilla pudding or ice cream (to represent the pure innocence of childhood) is served with a spoonful of red raspberry or strawberry syrup or cordial to represent the blood of the innocent martyrs. Well, probably tastes good anyway.
FIFTH DAY–December 29–Five Gold Rings—
…is St. Thomas a Becket, who was martyred at Canterbury Cathedral in England by four men sent by the King who was once Becket’s best friend.
SIXTH DAY–December 30–Six Geese a Laying
In the dark midwinter, when the sunlight fades early and fast and the wind brings cold and damp for so many hours of dark, its no wonder people found reasons to stay indoors, telling stories—these were called Winter’s tales, often full of fantastic characters and magic told around the crackling fire.
Outside—who knows what lurked in the shadows of midwinter? Some saw black dogs, or wolves: others were chased by fairies; Herne the Wild Hunter was seen thundering through the forest with his pack of dogs and hunters. What travelers would survive these nights to knock on your door? Surely anybody who came knocking must be a special visitor!
This is the Sixth Day of Christmas: its your day. Volunteer at a community event, if you can: in these dark and uncertain days of midwinter, you never know who needs you—or whom you might need.
Dispel the gloom! Go to a panto— Address:http://www.btinternet.com/~nigel.ellacott/illustrations.html
SEVENTH DAY– December 31–Seven Swans a Swimming—
…is New Year’s Eve: called St. Basil’s Eve, is good for telling fortunes for the coming year.
Young women put gingerbread men under their pillows so they they might dream about their future husbands
EIGHTH DAY–is New Year’s Day–Eight Maids a Milking—
St. Basil’s Day—also is the day when the Jewish baby Jesus would have been formally circumcised. In Scottish tradition this is Hogmanay, once a bigger celebration than Christmas which was a strictly religious holiday to the conservative Scots.
The first Monday after New Year is called ‘Handsel Monday’—its the day you give token gifts to friends and family to assure prosperity and good luck in the new year.
In the old Christian tradition, this was the Feast of Fools: somebody would be elected to play the Bishop for a day, and the church went riot with all kinds of crazy pranks and jokes on the churchmen—the church put a stop to that hundreds of years ago, but if you want, this was the day for it.
NINTH DAY–January 2–Nine Ladies Dancing—
…your day! Take a long walk with all of your family. Go ice skating.
The Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Days are a time of renewal; just as the earth is sleeping under its mantle of cold, ready to wake up in a few months when the sun comes around, we can do the same. The busy period of Christmas and New Year are past and you can now relax and plan the coming year. These three days are a separate season unto themselves in the Twelve Days: they are the darkest, quietest part of this twelve day journey, a time away from time.
January Second is also the Feast of St. Macarius, patron of confectioners and chefs! Pastries, candy and a feast of delicious food are required.
TENTH DAY–January 3–Ten Lords a Leaping—
The Feast of St. Genevieve, patroness of the City of Paris, of secretaries, actors and lawyers. Send a special greeting to any secretaries, actors or lawyers you know.
ELEVENTH DAY–January 4–Eleven Drummers Drumming—
your day! Just take a nap by the fire.
TWELFTH NIGHT–January 5–Twelve Pipers Piping—
…the Vigil for the Epiphany begins at sunset. Also Edward the Confessor’s Day. This is called Three Kings Day or Little Christmas Eve, or Wasail Eve and in the old days was the festive celebration of the holiday (Christmas Eve being mostly a solemn religious observance). The night shines with brilliant stars against a deep blue sky: diamonds, silver, sapphires, cobalt.
This is a night of magical revelations: a night of unexpected discoveries and surprises. Nothing is as it first appears. A beggar might be a great king! Masquerades are popular on this night, and good natured practical jokes. All secrets are hidden in fun, only to be revealed at the last moment.
Our holiday fruitcake used to have a holiday all its own: thats Twelfth Night. The cake is full of precious spices and expensive fruits which symbolise the gifts brought to the manger: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The candied fruits are like precious jewels in a richly decorated golden gift box made of fine cake.
On this night you have a special feast with a big fruit cake served at the end: the cake had a hard dried bean baked in it along with other small silver trinkets—but whoever got the bean was made the King of the party: this may be the origin of the term ‘bean feast’ which means any kind of elaborate dinner.
Twelfth Night is also for Apple Howling, the time when you go out to serenade your apple trees for a good harvest, and drum on pots and pans or fire unloaded guns to frighten the evil spirits; pour apple cider around their roots in a toast and put piece of your Twelfth Cake in the branches for good luck. “Stand fast root!” you bellow at the tree a midnight “Bear well, top! Pray God send a howling good crop!”
In many countries you exchange your gifts on this night.
[THIRTEENTH DAY] January 6th–The Feast of the Epiphany:
…this is when the Magi arrived at Bethlehem revealing that Messiah had been born. The sun rises, all his glory revealed.
You’ve survived the twelve day journey through the deepest darkest part of every year! This day is like the new dawn after a long dark night: it marks the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas. in the old days the first Monday following Twelfth Night was Plough Monday when farmers went back to the fields after a twelve day rest (an occasion for morris dancing and cadging pennies and drinks from the neighbors by itself)
You can have a good time burning your Christmas greens in a bonfire, and putting away the decorations. After Twelfth Night it should all be completely over and gone from the landscape in all but memory—that’s the beauty and the magic: its only here for a short while and you have to enjoy it before its gone. Who knows if it will be back?
BUT MAKE YOUR OWN FUN!
These are old ideas and ancient traditions, but find some significance in your own holidays you can apply to the Twelve Days: foods, feasts, games, songs, community service. When Chanukah falls within the Twelve Days, why not include it?
Make a Twelve Days Calendar with special windows that open: or a Twelve Days Box that has secret compartments of candies or gifts for each of the days. There is plenty of room for your own special touches, even if you just take the time to slow down and rest. Its your time.
Share your ideas, and I can add them to this calendar for everybody to see:
Silliness – Yule Riddles – Q: Why is Santa a good race car driver? A: Because he’s always in the pole position.