The shop is open only by appointment until the COVID #s come down, and we’re planning to stay closed until 2/1 and maybe another week after that. 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 Ken Gagne.
It was 32F a couple of hours ago, but it’s clouding up again and the temp is rising. 36F, wind at 3-5 mph and gusting, AQI 19-34, UV1. Chance of rain 98% today and 80% tonight. The good part is that the ground is too warm for snow to stick, but we might see some. There’s been a SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT issued for snow down to 500 feet and we’re under a GALE WARNING from 1-7pm today. Today and Wednesday are going to be wet with some wind today. Thursday should be dry, but clear skies mean cold at night. Friday, late, showers should start up and then Saturday-Monday will be rain again, with showers after that. Keep safe and warm and watch for black ice!
Yesterday started with something more than a little strange. I was awake and thinking at around 5am and decided that I needed to look up something on my email. Unthinkingly, I started typing a reply on the non-functional keyboard and it started it typing like nothing had ever been wrong! Go figure….
Well, Tempus got in around the usual time and we got up fairly late. I spent quite awhile typing and processing pictures, since I hadn’t been able to on Sunday and got things mostly caught up, although I wasn’t publishing anything until past midnight.
We had some of the soup (kulajda) that I made. It’s really good, different from my grandmother’s, but not by much. I did oversalt it. I was using a smaller pot. This is 1/2 the size of my usual soups, but I used the same amount of salt. Tempus loved it. 🙂
Later we had some of the pork roast and vegetables. I should have gone ahead and put the carrots in, but it had plenty of cabbage and onion, and the roast is *really* tasty. We also pulled out the cacik (cucumber salad) that I made several days ago to have with it. Good combination!
During the day when I got stuck writing, I started cleaning off my desk, now that I have some of the other stuff sorted out. It’s nice have to less clutter, but I need to work on a whole tote of “stuff” now. A lot is paper that needs to be filed and only some is stock that needs to be finished up, although I have a bunch of small quartz crystals that just came in that I have to be bagged and hung.
Today I want to try making some of the honey sweets that I had planned to for the holidays. We have a set of cloths to go back onto the displays and another set that need to be pulled and washed, although I doubt we’ll get as far as laundry today. We have a photo of the kind of steps that we need, and need to do some calling around. I still haven’t seen a single bid from the folks that I contacted before.
Tempus is walking out the door right now, at 2:20. It’s cold. Temps have dropped to close to freezing, since the clouds cleared off, although they’re rising again as it’s clouding over…. so I’m probably going to be more wakeful than usual tonight and calling him every so often. I have a little embroidery to work on and a new book.
Today’s Plant is the Linden Tree, tilia species. It is also called lime tree (no relation to the fruit) and basswood. It is the national tree of many countries, particularly in Central Europe, (the Czech Republic!) where at one time it was sacred and councils met at the sacred linden, just as in the British Isles they met at an oak. The wood is widely used for carving and for guitars. The inner bark of the tree has been used in making fabric. The flowers, which smell delicious, are used in teas and perfumes and a valuable honey is derived from them. The flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are used for medicinal purposes.– Feminine, Jupiter, Water, Taurus – Bark used for protection, leaves and flowers for immortality. Good Fortune, Sleep and Love. Hang branches over the door for protection or grow in the garden. Use in love spells/mixtures and protection spells & incenses. Mix equal parts Linden and Lavender flowers and place in a sachet under your pillowcase to relieve insomnia. Keep Linden on a table to release the energies needed to keep the spirit alive and healthy.
Today’s feast is the anniversary of the day in 1993 that Vaclav Havel was elected President of the Czech Republic. How many playwrights, even dissident playwrights, become president? How many countries would *pick* a playwright as president? Maybe the country whose anthem is this:
Where is my home, where is my home?
Water roars across the meadows,
Pinewoods rustle among crags,
The garden is glorious with spring blossom,
Paradise on earth it is to see.
And this is that beautiful land,
The Czech land, my home,
The Czech land, my home!
No war, no battles, no glorious gore…. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaclav_Havel and on the republic here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic and the anthem here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_national_anthem A youtube of the anthem http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPTwOZWnm6E and another with some lovely sights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn87PI9K99M Or even better still for today…. The version from Havel’s state funeral. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL1fBSyXI5U Can you tell that I love my ancestral home?
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 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 11:16pm. 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 1/29 at 11:16pm.
The waxing gibbous Moon shines in the middle of Gemini, with Castor and Pollux to its left. Farther to the Moon’s lower right is Procyon. Even farther to the Moon’s right, Orion strides up the sky.
A few days ago, we visited Canis Minor. Tonight, let’s visit Canis Major, which has cleared the horizon by two hours after sunset. Wait a little longer, and it will rise even higher in the sky. Again, the bright Moon is nearby, but tonight we’re seeking out a bright open cluster, NGC 2362, also called the Tau Canis Majoris Cluster after its brightest star: Fourth-magnitude Tau (τ) Canis Majoris. This star dominates the cluster’s light; you’ll need to train binoculars or a small scope on the region to see any of its neighbors. Look about 2.8° east-northeast of Wezen (Delta [δ] Canis Majoris), which marks the top of the Big Dog’s hindquarters, to find the cluster. It covers roughly 8′ of sky, although some stars may be hard to spot with the Moon’s brighter background light. (So keep this target in mind and plan to return once the Moon’s phase has progressed.) Tau itself is sometimes called the Mexican Jumping Star, possibly because it always remains relatively low in the sky. That, coupled with its relative brightness, makes it particularly susceptible to scintillation, which occurs when starlight is viewed through Earth’s turbulent atmosphere. This can cause a star to change apparent brightness and even color quite rapidly, sometimes looking as if you’re viewing it through a kaleidoscope. Sirius, the Dog Star, is also subject to this effect when it’s low on the horizon. Compare the two now — Sirius is roughly 11° higher in the sky, climbing away from the turbulent horizon air more quickly, and so may be twinkling less.
Jupiter and Saturn are out of sight behind the glare of the Sun.
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
Runic half-month of Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar. Runic half-month of Elhaz/Algiz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary.
Goddess Month of Bridhe runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Color – Scarlet
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.
Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Grey and Red
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.
Quert – Apple Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Meaning: A choice must be made
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Tu 26 Low 4:29 AM 3.8 7:40 AM Set 6:25 AM 90
~ 26 High 10:17 AM 8.2 5:18 PM Rise 3:09 PM
~ 26 Low 5:34 PM -0.3
First Minus Tide of the cycle at 5:34 PM of -0.3 feet.
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Change your attitude and your whole life will change.
Journal Prompt – What? – What kind of fairytale creature would you be?
~ Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates
~ I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. – Albert Einstein
~ Coming in, I was denounced as a fraud by all the extreme men of the opposing party, and as an ingrate and a traitor by the same class of men in my own party. Going out, I have the good will, blessings, and approval of the best people of all parties . . . – Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) US President (19)
~ I was the seventh of nine children. When you come from that far down you have to struggle to survive. – Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) US Politician
London Snow BY ROBERT BRIDGES
When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled—marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
And the busy morning cries came thin and spare.
Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling,
They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze
Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing;
Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees;
Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder,
‘O look at the trees!’ they cried, ‘O look at the trees!’
With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder,
Following along the white deserted way,
A country company long dispersed asunder:
When now already the sun, in pale display
Standing by Paul’s high dome, spread forth below
His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day.
For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow;
And trains of sombre men, past tale of number,
Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go:
But even for them awhile no cares encumber
Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken,
The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber
At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the charm they have broken.
Imbolc Magick – Lore – Imbolc tidbit – From: http://www.ladybridget.com/r/febi001.html
Imbolc Introduction – Copyright Lady Bridget 1997
Imbolc, Oimelc, Imbolg, or Candlemass (the Christianized version of the name) is the celebration that occurs when the Sun reaches 15 ° Aquarius, and is therefore considered a Major Sabbat. This date was traditionally celebrated on Feb 1st or 2nd, and is still noted today in our country as “Ground Hog’s Day”, which marks that there is only 6 more weeks of winter; we have reached the half-way point.
There are some traditions that may say this holiday marks the beginning of Spring, but this doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Imbolc marks the middle of the winter season, just as Yule marked the beginning, and Ostara will mark the beginning of Spring at the Equinox.
The Celts marked this holiday as “Brigit’s Day” or “Brid’s Day” in Irish. Bridget is one of the few Pagan Dieties to have survived as Saints in the Christian religion. She was a very powerful and meaningful Goddess, and there was no way to force the populace to give her up, therefore they canonized her as “Saint Brigit” and up until 1220 BCE, her shrine at Kildare had a perpetual fire that was constantly tended by virgins, by the Priestesses of the Goddess, and after Christianity took over, it was continued by the virgin nuns. In the 1960’s after Vatican II, it was decided that Saint Brigit did not have enough evidence to canonize her and then she was decanonized. However, in Ireland, she is still very much reverenced, as she is by Wiccans, as the triple Goddess. One aspect ruled poetry, writing, inspiration, and music; one ruled healing and midwifery and herbology, and one ruled fire, and the arts of smithcraft. Incidentally, this holiday was also called by the Christians, the Feast of the Purification of Mary, for it was believed that women were “unclean” for six weeks after giving birth. So since she had given birth at the Winter Solstice, this is the date when she would be purified. We look upon this as the time when the Goddess who gave birth at the Winter Solstice, is now transformed in the Maiden once again.
The Imbolc, or Oimelc, was the ancient Celtic festival celebrating the birth and freshening of sheep and goats, the Feast of Milk. Brigit’s feast day was called “La Feill Bhride” and represents the seed that is waiting to stir again. It is a time of great anticipation and the celebration of possibilities. New life is about to awaken in the earth, the earth is furrowed and prepared to receive the seed.
The Valentine’s Day festivities were also connected to this time, being celebrated now on Feb 14th. There are different explanations for this day, the Christian church having one, and folklorists having another. The Christian version states that a Dr. Valentine in ancient Greece used to perform illegal Christian weddings and he was sacrificed to the lions on this date and became Saint Valentine. Therefore, hearts and flowers are exchanged to honor the love that he had and the love of the Christian couples he joined in matrimony. The folklorists attribute this holiday to the “gallant” or “galantine” young men who pursued their sweethearts at this time, since some Latin languages pronounced “g” as a “v” in earlier times. Thus, the “valentine” would be the attentions of a would-be suitor, and whatever methods he might employ to win the maiden’s heart!
At this time the Roman’s celebrated Lupercalia, which also was a fertility festival. The Priests of Pan ran through the streets insuring women’s fertility by spanking them with thongs made from goatskin and blessed by the local Strega. There are many cultures which had similar holiday practices at similar times. So much so that one has to wonder if this was due primarily to an agricultural society having a tendency to celebrate the same things at the same times of the year, or to an more universal religion or culture, having roots far in antiquity and being handed down over the centuries, changing only slightly over the generations?
Our tradition celebrates with a Brid’s Bed, in which our Brid’s Doll, made of corn, or straw, and dressed very prettily, is placed. She is the Maiden at this time, young, playful, and belonging only to herself, or virginal. Alongside her is placed an acorn wand, sized according to the Doll’s size, which represents the penis, the regenerative male force in nature. We tell Brid our secret dreams and wishes that we want to see manifest. This is a time when we look to the future and dream! This is the Sabbat where we can plan ahead for what “seeds” we will “sow” in the coming year, and how we plan to nurture our seeds for a successful harvest later.
Other customs include lit candles in every window of the house, and keeping a perpetual candle on the Altar to Brid. Seeds are brought into circle to be blessed by the Goddess and the Gods and to absorb the circle’s vibrant energy. Chant, dance, and sing, and send energy back into the earth to help her awaken, so that Spring may once more bloom. Straw can be woven into “Brid’s Cross”, “Bridget’s Knot”, or “Corn Maiden” and hung in the corners of rooms, over doorways, and over beds, for fertility, prosperity, and for the blessings of the Goddess. Remember – fertility doesn’t necessarily mean having babies! Fertility of the mind, imagination, and of projects you are working to bring to “birth” are also desired manifestations, and will be blessed by fertility rituals. If you are of child-bearing ability and do not wish to be pregnant, than stress that the fertility you desire is of the mind, or of a certain project, or your creativity, etc, and that is what you will manifest.
It is also traditional in some covens for the Priestess to wear a crown of thirteen candles, a lunar number, representing herself as the Maiden of Light. Some covens have a crown made up, others use thirteen small electric bulbs instead of candles (which seems safer!). This is the Feast of Light, as the winter is dying away, and the sun grows stronger, and so bonfires are especially appropriate as well. In ages past, people jumped the bonefires to be cured of winter colds and flu. This is the holiday to bring your candles to circle, to have them be blessed by the Sabbat energies. We have small candles of each color in circle, and we mark them appropriately with symbols. Then during the year, when we dress any candle for any purpose, we add a few drops from our Imbolc candles, so that the Sabbat blessings and energy will also be added to the working.
The candles, the bonefires, and the lights are all symbolically adding energy to the waxing sun. In addition, they have another purpose. For remember at Samhain, Persephone went to the Underworld, to greet and care for the spirits of the dead? That was three months ago, and now, it is time for us to signal to her to return, and bring Spring back to the earth. We light the way for her to see her way back from Hades, and to remind her that we, with Demeter, are awaiting her here among the living.
In our tradition, this Sabbat is the only Sabbat where new coveners can be initiated into first degree. This makes this holiday a special one for us as it marks our “birthday” into the Craft! We always have a birthday cake for ourselves, and we celebrate together our inititation anniversary. We also use one candle for each covener, a large white candle, which is dressed, blessed, and lit only on Imbolc, and on each succeeding Imbolc thereafter until it is burned out. This candle is special to us, and among other things is a symbol of the Light which we are now celebrating, and which we embody.
The usual colors for Imbolc are white and yellow. White contains all the other colors in the spectrum, and therefore embodies all colors, and is a symbol of all possibilities; the beginning, the new. Yellow has always been the color associated with the Sun, along with gold, and is a call to the Sun to continue strengthening, and chase winter away. Traditional foods include potatoes, carrots, and any root vegetables, as people in ancient times were getting near the bottom of their root cellar by now. Also corn, as it is yellow for the Sun, and so many cultures relied on corn as a main staple of their diets. Lambs were being born around this time, and so lamb was also served at this holiday, along with rabbits, which were easy to trap, and other wild animals who stayed above ground during the cold months. We serve a hearty red wine during the God’s half of the year, but you can also serve milk, since this was a celebration of the “freshening” of the goats as well. Indeed, it was often a “Milk Festival” and Oimelc means “milk of ewes”.
Ideas for ritual can be the making of Brid’s Beds, Brigit’s Knots, Corn Dollies, as well as blessing seeds for your garden, blessing the water for the seeds, and blessing your candles for the coming year, to name just a few. In our tradition, we don’t do personal magick on the Sabbats. We save that for the remaining 357 days of the year! Sabbats are for returning energy to the Gods and Goddesses, for being thankful for our blessings, and for blessing our dreams, wishes, and hopes. We make plans for the development of our lives on a spiritual level; for example: a happy home, healthy environment, peaceful country, and the renewal of the earth would be appropriate blessings for the Sabbat, and wonderful ideals to give your energy towards.
For more ideas and instructions on making some projects for Imbolc, or any other holiday, I strongly recommend Dan and Pauline Campanelli’s books “Ancient Ways” and “Wheel of the Year”, and also Scott Cunningham’s “Spell Crafts”. These books give you how-to illustrated instructions on a variety of holiday themes, and the Campanelli books also give you the historical background and how these projects tie in with each season.
“Candlemas: the Light Returns” by Mike Nichols
“Brigit of the Celts” by Morning Glory Zell
Back to Lady Bridget’s Home Page http://www.ladybridget.com/index.html