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! Featured photo by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
I just saw the temp. Well, no wonder I’m chilly! It’s quiet tonight, quiet enough that I could hear the creaking of little frost crystals. Clear, 36F, wind at 1-3 mph, AQI 12-27, UV1. Chance of rain 4% today and 24% tonight. The next few days will be cloudy with a chance of rain on Thursday. Sunday is likely to be wet, and after that there’s a chance of showers, each day.
Yesterday was just going to be any other day in this shut-down. I had been writing for quite some time when there was a phone call from Isabeau, who was standing outside the door, laughing that she needed to make an appointment. She’s working as an end-of-life doula at this point and needed to check in with someone who’s done some of the same kind of work. We got caught up on personal news and chatted about projects and other things and how our various kids are doing, ate marzipan and then she headed out again.
After that Tempus and I got the rest of the pastie stuff out and made the 2nd batch, which was 1/2 savory and 1/2 sweet and then each had a pair for supper. Amor called to talk about a current project. He fell afoul of the “measure twice, cut once” rule on it. 🙂 So we commiserated and then I got a nap. When I woke, Tempus had headed out for the bulk route.
Today we need to try to get a couple more of the display cloths gathered up and run them in the laundry. We have some of the stuff that got wet in the car, ditto. My back is still complaining, so probably more writing.
Today’s Plant is Big-leaf Maple, Acer macrophyllum. This tree has the largest leaves of any maple. I remember being startled by that when I first moved to Oregon. Have you ever played with the seeds? A twin pair, before they separate, is a good charm for separated lovers. Maple syrup can be made from the sap, although it is subtly different from the taste of sugar maple and a bit thinner. Masculine, Jupiter, Air – Maple leaves are used in prosperity and love spells. When doing a baby blessing, walk the child down a row of people with maple wands to help the child to a long life. Maple has long been used for wands, being easy to work and directing energies very well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_macrophyllum
St. Agnes eve is a traditional fire divination day. There are a bunch of marriage divinations, too. “You must lie in another county, and knit the left garter about the right legged stocking (let the other garter and stocking alone) and as you rehearse these following verses, at every comma, knit a knot.”
“This knot I knit,
To know the thing, I know not yet,
That I may see,
The man (woman) that shall my husband (wife) be,
How he goes, and what he wears,
And what he does, all days, and years.
What that all comes from is a martyr from the 4th century, but more probably has to do with leftovers from the worship of Yngona/Annis. More here: http://ketutar.wordpress.com/2007/01/22/saint-agnes-annis-the-black-hag-2/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Annis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnes_of_Rome,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eve_of_Saint_Agnesand (text of poem) http://www.bartleby.com/126/39.html
The traditionally associated plant is Christmas Rose http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helleborus_niger
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!
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 1/28 at 11:16am. 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 1/20 at 1:02pm. 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 1/26 at 1:16pm.
First Quarter Moon occurs at 4:02 P.M. EST. Already well above the horizon at sunset, our satellite is primed for a great night of lunar observing. You’ll find it in Pisces, near the border the Fish share with Cetus and Aries. Nearby are Mars and Uranus; the Moon will pass close to this pair of planets early tomorrow morning, and we’ll return to take a look tomorrow evening. Easily visible on the First Quarter Moon are the Seas of Serenity, Tranquillity, and Fertility. Smaller seas include Cold, Nectar, and Crises. On the Moon’s northern hemisphere, craters such as Aristoteles, Atlas, and Hercules should be easy to pick out. Farther south, Hipparchus and Albategnius lie close to the terminator that separates lunar day from night. Be aware that your telescope might flip the image, making north appear south and vice versa.
Mars is in conjunction with Uranus this evening! Use binoculars to spot Uranus, magnitude 5.7, lower left of Mars by 1.5°. It’s the brightest little “star” at that spot. Left of Uranus by 0.5° is a fainter, magnitude 6.9 star. Those are really the only two things there.
So how wide are 1.5° and 0.5° in your binocs? To get the measure of your binocular’s field width, look at those two brightest stars of Aries to Mars’s upper right. They’re 3.9° apart. Or use the end stars of the Big Dipper’s bowl (the Pointers); they’re 5.4° apart. Or use Orion’s shoulders; they’re 7.5° apart. Once you determine the width of your binocular’s view, remember it always.
Algol should be at minimum brightness for a couple hours centered on 7:50 p.m. EST.
Saturn is lost from sight in the glare of the Sun; it’s lower right of Jupiter.
Old Farmer’s Almanac NIGHT SKY MAP FOR JANUARY 2021: THE BRIGHTEST SKY OF THE YEAR – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-january-brightest-sky
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Color – Topaz
©2021 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
W 20 High 5:38 AM 7.2 7:46 AM Set 12:16 AM 39
~ 20 Low 12:21 PM 2.4 5:10 PM Rise 11:42 AM
~ 20 High 5:57 PM 5.4
~ 20 Low 11:44 PM 2.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Plant impossible gardens.
Journal Prompt – Current Affairs – Explain why you think using a computer could help you become a better student.
~ I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. – Mother Teresa
~ I think I’m more difficult than critical. – Mother Teresa
~ I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. – Wimpy
~ If they come for the innocent without stepping over your body, cursed be your religion and your life. – Dorothy Day
Thou sing’st alone on the bare wintry bough,
As if Spring with its leaves were around thee now;
And its voice that was heard in the laughing rill,
And the breeze as it whispered o’er meadow and hill,
Still fell on thine ear, as it murmured along
To join the sweet tide of thine own gushing song. – –Jones Very (1813–80)
Cheese and Vegetable Soup
6 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
4 ½ cups water
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 pound Velveeta cheese
2 teaspoons chopped parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, chicken bouillon and 4 ½ cups
water, simmering until vegetables are done and liquid is reduced.
Shake together flour with a small portion of milk and add to vegetables with the rest of the milk. Cut the Velveeta into cubes and add to the soup along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer at low temperature until hot.
Hoppin John Soup Inspired by The Seasonal Detox Diet, by Carrie L’Esperance (Inner Traditions, 2002).
Many of us eat the traditional Southern black-eyed pea dish Hoppin’ John for good luck on New Year‘s Day, but those great little peas are so rich in nutrients (including minerals, Vitamins A and B, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and niacin) that it makes sense to include them in our diets all through the month of January.
This soup has a hint of spiciness from cayenne and dried mustard, while garlic, rosemary, and thyme add healing and flavor to this perfect showcase for those fabulous little pea-beans. A lovely, lighter way to enjoy the health benefits of black-eyed peas: this soup is sure to bring us good luck!
6 cups vegetable stock
8 cups water
one 5-inch piece of fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
5 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder
2 1/4 cups dried black-eyed peas
3/4 cup short-grain brown rice
2 cups diced celery
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1. In a large soup pot, add stock, water, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, cayenne, dry mustard, and black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours, then remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
2. In a separate saucepan, heat 2 cups water to a boil, then add brown rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, around 40 minutes. Add cooked rice, celery, thyme, and onion to the black-eyed pea mixture and cover tightly, simmering and allowing flavors to blend for 30 minutes.
Serves 8 to 10.
Golden Cream Soup – This is a deliciously creamy soup that uses traditional milk & honey, and the keeper winter squashes that are going to go bad if they don’t get used, soon. You can make it savory or slightly sweet as you prefer. …and it sounds like a difficult recipe, but it’s not. You just have to be careful with it. Holiday – Imbolc, Soup (and leftovers for side dish)
- 1 cup squash (acorn or other orange-fleshed squash…even pumpkin)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Water (amount varies and may not be needed)
OR (skip to 6)
- 1 cup of any leftover cooked squash, drained of liquid
OR (skip to 7)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 1/2 cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Washed rosemary sprigs (about 6) optional
- grated nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of raw sugar, honey or maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste, (plus 2 optional saffron threads)
cutting board and knife, stirring/mixing/measuring things, baking dish, potato masher or stout fork, small frypan, medium heavy-bottomed pot
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Peel and cut squash into 1-2 inch cubes.
- Put into covered baking dish
- Sprinkle with salt and place cut up butter
- Bake for about an hour, checking and stirring every 15 minutes. If it begins to scorch, add a bit of water, ¼ cup at a time.
- Mash well, adding water if needed. Measure 1 cup and set aside (anything more can be served immediately or saved for later as a good side dish).
- Put the 2nd amount of butter into a small frypan and melt over medium heat.
- Measure milk into something with a pour spout and set it nearby.
- Turn to low and sprinkle flour in carefully, mixing a bit at a time. Do not let this brown!
- Continue cooking, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. If it begins to brown, carefully add milk by tablespoons from the pouring container to lower the temperature, but you’re cooking the flour, so don’t get it too low.
- Pour the cooked flour mixture, the cup of squash and the rest of the milk into the large pot and mix well.
- Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Immediately lower the heat to medium low (2 on my stove) and simmer while stirring, until it begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat
- Add cream and stir well, then stir in savory or sweet spices as you prefer and serve.
- Maybe be reheated in the microwave by the serving.
- Serve in heavy mugs. Float a washed rosemary sprig on top of each serving for a great presentation!
Silliness – The Balloonist
A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”
The man below says: “Yes, you’re in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field.”
“You must work in Information Technology,” says the balloonist.
“I do,” replies the man. “How did you know?”
“Well,” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct, but it’s no use to anyone.”
The man below says “You must work in Management.”
“I do,” replies the balloonist, “But how did you know?”
“Well,” says the man, “you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault.”