First Minus Tide of the cycle at 5:55 PM of -0.3 feet. The shop is open only by appointment until the COVID #s come down, and we’ll probably stay closed until 2/1.Watch here for notifications about that! For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, email@example.com, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door! Featured photo by Ken Gagne.
It’s clear and the Moon is amazing! 38F, wind at 1-2 mph and gusting, AQI 8-22, UV1. Chance of rain 3% today and 4% tonight. We’re under a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 4pm today and a GALE WATCH from Tuesday late to Wednesday evening. The clouds will start rolling in tonight and the messy weather is supposed to start late on Tuesday. Wednesday ought to be interesting, as well as Saturday and maybe next Tuesday, but after tomorrow it’s all going to be rain or showers for a bit.
Yesterday flew past again. We actually woke later than we meant to, because the alarm didn’t go off. We started with coffee and Tempus made bread and I talked with people online and embroidered and read.
I went to get a nap in the late afternoon and ended up sleeping for 4 hours! I guess I needed it. I’ve been writing all evening, while Tempus got a nap and did a bunch of stuff in back.
He’s headed out for the paper run with warnings about how cold it is. He doesn’t get up very high, but the frost sometimes gets surprising. I have this to get out and some more writing to finish.
Today we’ll be still doing chores at the shop. We’re trying to pick-up-put-away from the accumulation of months. After that I have to get photos and finish what I’m writing, then I’m hoping to do some cooking again…. actually, I need to set up the lentils to cook tonight, don’t I? Hmmm….
I saw this picture and went, “Oh, *yes*!” It’s a much better version of one of the common things that we talk about, perspective, better than the tired old cliche of moss on a tree.
Today’s plant is Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea. It’s a rather wild shrub that can be trained into a small tree, with icky-smelling white flowers that then produce dark fruits that appear blue because of a whitish coating on them. In Oregon it grows mostly from the valley out to the coast with some isolated pockets in the Eastern part of the state. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the tree.” In some areas, the “elder tree” was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, while other beliefs say that witches often congregate under the plant, especially when it is full of fruit. In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in witchcraft customs the elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” – A rhyme from the Wiccan rede-poem. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.” From Wikipedia– Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers are used for Crossing the Bridge rituals. Carry for protection and to prevent rheumatism and toothache. Dried berries are helpful in sleep pillows. All parts are good for protection. Grow near the home for prosperity. Magic wands and flutes are often made from this wood.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_ceruleaorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
Kwanzaa, African-American holiday (Dec 26 – Jan 1); Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) This is the 3rd day of this modern festival for those of African heritage. There’s a really good article explaining the traditions and where they come from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa
The shop is open only by appointment until the COVID #s come down, and we’ll probably stay closed until 2/1.Watch here for notifications about that! For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door!
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. 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 12/31 at 7:28am.
The Moon is at the horns of Taurus this evening, between Capella far to its upper left, Betelgeuse to its lower right, Aldebaran to its upper right, and Pollux and Castor farther to the Moon’s lower left.
Algol shines at its minimum brightness for roughly two hours centered on 6:16 p.m. PST.
A week after their Great Conjunction, Jupiter and Saturn are still sharing close quarters in the sky. They’re less than 1° apart, with magnitude –2 Jupiter just east of magnitude 0.6 Saturn. Just like last week, you’ll want to start looking for them low in the southwest as soon as twilight begins to darken the sky because they’re both sinking fast. And just like last week, Ganymede is closing in for another transit across Jupiter’s disk — this one doesn’t start until about 10:30 P.M. EST, however, long after the planet has set for those in the continental U.S.
As the gas giants sink below the horizon, look west to see bright Altair in Aquila, now only about 15° high. From Altair, look north-northwest to spot Vega in Lyra; from Vega, gaze east-northeast to find Deneb in Cygnus. These three stars create the familiar Summer Triangle, which gains its name from its position high overhead on summer nights. Now that it’s winter, the Triangle will set earlier and earlier, until its three stars are below the horizon during the cold nighttime hours.
Uranus (magnitude 5.7, in Aries) is high in the south in early evening, about 10° 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
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 – Ivory
©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
M 28 Low 4:54 AM 3.6 7:52 AM Set 6:39 AM 94
~ 28 High 10:44 AM 8.4 4:45 PM Rise 3:39 PM
~ 28 Low 5:55 PM -0.3
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Laugh, smile, hug, and always be kind!
Journal Prompt – Auto-Biographical narrative – Can you swim? Who taught you? How old were you when you learned? Tell the story of learning to swim, or if you cannot swim, what it is like not being able to.
~ The heart of it all is mystery, and science is at best only the peripheral trappings to that mystery–a ragged barbed-wire fence through which mystery travels, back and forth, unencumbered by anything so frail as man’s knowledge. – Rick Bass, The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness
~ Life has to be lived. That’s all there is to it. – Eleanor Roosevelt
~ Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat. – Mark Twain
~ Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit. – Napoleon Hill
The year draws in the day
And soon will evening shut:
The laurels all are cut,
We’ll to the woods no more. – A. E. Housman (1859–1936)
Magick – Wassail
1851 London Newspaper – Wassail: “a liquor made of apples, sugar, and ale; a drunken bout; a merry song”. – Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary 1756
The King doth wake tonight and takes his rouse, keeps wassail. – Shakespeare: Venus and Adonis, 697
…the wassailers of old England, the door-to-door drinkers whose name came from the cry Wass hael!, which approximates to Cheers!
Wassail! Wassail! over the town,
Our toast is white, our ale is brown:
Our bowl it is made of the maplin tree,
We be good fellows all: I drink to thee. – Traditional Gloucestershire wassailing song
Wassail. A salutation used on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day over the spiced-ale cup, hence called the ‘wassail bowl’. (Anglo-Saxon, Waes hael, be whole, be well). Evans, Ivor H, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Cassell, London, 19**
Love and joy come to you,
And to your wassel too,
And God send you a happy New Year,
A happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year!
Our wassel cup is made of rosemary-tree,
So is your beer of the best barley. – English traditional children’s wassailing song
Get up, goodwife, and shake your feathers,
And dinna think that we are beggars;
For we are bairns come out to play,
Get up and gie’s our hogmanay! 0 Traditional Scottish wassailing song
Give us of your white bread, and none of your grey. – Traditional Scottish children’s soliciting rhyme
A massy bowl, to deck the jovial day,
Flash’d from its ample round a sunlike ray.
Full many a cent’ry it shone forth to grace
The festive spirit of th’Andarton race,
As to the sons of sacred union dear,
It welcomed with lamb’s-wool the rising year. – Polwhele (‘lamb’s-wool’ was spiced ale, drunk at this season in Britain)
The head of the house used to assemble his family around a bowl of spiced ale, nicknamed ‘lamb’s-wool’. He drank their healths, then all did so from the bowl as it passed around. The wassail bowl’s ingredients are hot ale, spices, sugar, eggs and roasted apples. Try this old recipe:
2 of 7.5 cinnamon sticks
3 blades mace
1 ginger root
1 level teaspoon nutmeg
125 g sugar
300ml cups brown ale
Core apples and sprinkle with sugar and water. Bake at 190 C for 30 mins or until tender. Mix ale, cider and spices. Heat but do not boil. Leave for 30 mins. Strain and pour over roasted apples. Serve in a punch bowl.
Nicholas Culpeper; Herbal
Alternatively, here’s a recipe for Sylvester Punch, from Austria:
Red burgundy (count one bottle for 6 people)
Equal amount of hot tea
Rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp sugar to each bottle of wine
2 cinnamon sticks to each bottle of wine
Pour the liquid into an enamel pot, add the cloves, the thinly pared rind of 1 lemon, the sugar, and the cinnamon. Heat over a low flame but do not allow to boil. At the last moment add the tea. Serve hot.
Trapp, Maria Augusta, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, NY, Pantheon, 1955, p69
The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Old English waes hael, be whole, be well. It’s a salutation, especially over the cup (‘wassail bowl’) of mulled wine at New Year.
The wassail bowl was carried about by young women who went from door to door, singing songs composed for the purpose; they presented the liquor to the householders, who were expected to pay for the favour.
The custom was kept in the monasteries. The Poculum Caritatis, or large wassail bowl, was placed in front of the abbot at the upper end of the refectory table. The same ritual was observed.
In Scotland the wassail custom lasted longer than in England, well into the 19th Century. As midnight approached, a hot pint was prepared, ie spiced and sweetened hot ale, with an infusion of spirits. As the clock struck the bowl was passed around and all said “Happy New Year”. There was also a song:
Wel may we a’ be,
Ill may we never see,
Here’s to the king
And the gude companie! etc
The elders of the family would take the kettle as well as shortbread, buns, bread, cheese and so on, and visit neighbours. If they met others on the way, they would taste from each other’s kettles. Then first-footing would happen, to those who were first in a house.
Apple Wassail Tidbits
There are a set of custom grouped under the name wassailing. They include saluting the health of animals and crops. This has been shown to be a legacy handed down from ancient Celtic practices. The most renowned of these are the ones concerning fruit trees, most familiarly the apple tree. In 1585, a group of enterprising young men in Fordwich, Kent, went around to various orchard keepers and offered to perform the ceremony for a monetary reward, which is when the tradition is first mentioned, in print. It is mentioned once again in the 1630’s, by Robert Herrick, when he writes about the “wassailing” of fruit bearing trees, in order to assure good yields at harvest time.
Devonshire, England Tradition
The farmers get their weapons and go to their apple orchard. Selecting the oldest tree, they form a circle and chant: The men drink cider, make merry, and fire their weapons (charged only with powder) at the tree. They return to the home and are denied entrance no matter what the weather by the women indoors. When one of the men guesses the name of the roast that is being prepared for them, all are let in. The one who guessed the roast is named “King for the Evening” and presides over the party until the wee hours.
The Player’s Song
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale,
The toast, the nut-meg, and the ginger,
Will make a sighing man a singer,
Ale gives a buffet in the head,
“But ginger under proppes the brayne;
When ale would strike a strong man dead,
Then nut-megge temperes it againe,
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale – The Player’s Song,Histrio-mastix,in:Specimines of Songs by Dramatic Writers” Brit. Bibliog. vol.ii. p.167.as cited in: Crhistmas Carols, Anceint and Modern.William Sandys,London,1833. Submitted by Irish Faerie Witch 2004
Silliness – To Help You Smile – My dog chases people on a bike a lot. If this continues i’ll have to take his bike away.