Daily Stuff 12-17-21 Saturnalia

Hi, folks!

First Minus Tide of the cycle at 5:54 PM of -0.2 feet. The shop opens at 1pm. Fall hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

[posting at 10pm] [rain gauge at noon on 12/16 – 0.7inches] Cloudy and damp, 45F, wind at 0-1mph, AQI 7-33, UV1. Chance of rain 12% today and 38% tonight. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY from 1-4am Sat. GALE WATCH late Fri.-Sat. afternoon. Today ought to be just cloudy and grey, but Saturday there’s forecast rain and afternoon wind. Sunday is likely to be wet, but that should taper off on Monday. By that time we’re looking at another 3 1/2 inches of rain. Highs around 50, lows in the low-40’s during all that. Tuesday and after is just showers, but the temps will drop to the mid-40’s and lows into the 30’s. Two firespots and two mostly-contained fires.

113011 shroom

Yesterday Tempus did get home with enough leeway that we could sleep the rest of the morning at home. It was pouring rain when I got up at noon. So much for “partly cloudy”? …but by the time we were heading for the shop it had stopped and the sun was trying to break through.

113011 shroom

We had a few people in shopping during the day. I was mostly busy with paperwork, but we did manage to get some chores completed. I got about 1/3 of the indoor plants watered. It was still too cold for me to finish that last garden bed. Tempus worked on getting his turn signal replaced and then installed the deer whistles. I hope those work.

113011 shroom

Tempus had yet to do the table in back at 6:20, which made things a bit squeaky getting ready. Herbs was fun. We started with some background and then made some ball sachets. We also decided that we’re going to do a soap ball unit sometime closer to spring. Tempus took off and then I closed things down and sat down to write on this.

Today we’ll be open at 1pm. I have to water more plants and then catch up on the charge card entries since the drawer in the register is starting to stick. Iow, it’s getting too full, so I need to get it cleared before it *does* stick shut!

A photo by Ken Gagne of the Alsea Backbay on 12/16/17.

skunk cabbage

Today’s Plant is Skunk CabbageLysichitum americanum. This is one of the signs of spring here on the coast, where every drainage ditch or marshy field has it’s glow of brilliant yellow and bright, deep green. It is a famine food with a spicy or peppery taste, but contains calcium oxalate, which can upset the insides and even cause death if you get too much. Bears eat it after hibernation to get their intestines working again. It is used to cure sores and swellings, particularly after winter, when starvation conditions make these things immensely worse. However the typical use of the local peoples of this herb was to line baskets with the huge leaves to keep things from bruising or dropping through and to wrap around foods when baked under a fire, where it imparts a distinctive taste to the crust. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia references Eastern Skunk Cabbage, which is a different plant with a red flower, but the magicks are the same, Symplocarpus foetidus –Feminine, Saturn, Water – Carry when you have legal troubles, or keep in the drawer with the filed papers. Wrap in a bay leaf on a Sunday to draw good fortune. More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysichitum_americanum and on Eastern Skunk Cabbage here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symplocarpus_foetidus

Saturnalia Temple of Saturn

 Saturn’s Temple was founded on this day in 457CE.

Saturnalia symbols

Io, Saturnalia” is a cry that would have been heard around the Roman Empire at this time. The days wrapped around the Winter Solstice were a time for feasting and fun, gambling and flipping societal roles on their heads, masters and servants changing places just to be silly. The custom of cookies, oranges, nuts, sweets and small toys hung on evergreen branches (called strenae)  was part of this, too.  More here:  http://wildhunt.org/2012/12/io-saturnalia-2.html and here:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia  Btw, “Io!” is pronounced like the modern “Yo!” “Gangsta” culture’s been around that long? <grin>

The shop opens at 1pm. Fall hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Holiday hours 12/24 until 8pm. Closing on 12/31 at 4pm. Closed 12/25 and 1/1. For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, anjasnihova@yahoo.com, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door!

Love & Light,


Today’s Astro & Calendar

Moon in Gemini

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 12/18 at 8:36pm. 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 12/17 at 8:36am. 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 12/20 at 8:36am.

Venus meets Leonard – On December 17, Comet Leonard skims 5° below Venus in the evening sky. – Alison Klesman (via TheSkyX)

Let’s check back in tonight with both Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) and the planet Venus, which tonight float just 5° apart in the evening sky. Leonard now appears directly below the planet, sandwiched between it and the horizon. Depending on how much the comet has brightened, there’s a chance it may be just visible to the naked eye in the darkening sky. Begin looking southwest just after sunset, when Venus — still blazing at an unmissable magnitude –4.9 — is nearly 20° high. As the sky grows darker, look below the planet for Leonard’s faint, fuzzy outline. If you can’t see it without optical aid, don’t worry. Binoculars will definitely net it, and then you can zoom in on the comet with a telescope once you’ve found it to see its coma and perhaps even a stubby tail. Because it is at the edge of naked-eye brightness, Leonard will show up best in photographs — and photographers will definitely want to record this stunning scene, with two bright solar system bodies in close proximity on the sky.

The Moon crosses Taurus as it waxes toward full, on the night of the 18th.

The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point from Earth in its orbit, at 9:15 P.M. EST. At that time, it will sit 252,475 miles (406,319 km) from our planet.

Have you ever watched a Sirius-rise? Find an open view right down to the east-southeast horizon. Watch there for Sirius to come up about two fists at arm’s length below Orion’s vertical 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: Beta Canis Majoris or Mirzam, a name that means “The Announcer.” What Mirzam announces is Sirius. You’re not likely to mistake the two; the second-magnitude Announcer is only a twentieth as bright as the King of Stars about to make his entry. When a star is very low it tends to twinkle slowly, often in vivid colors. Sirius is bright enough to show these effects well, especially with binoculars.

Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Aquarius below the Great Square of Pegasus and the Circlet of Pisces) is almost high in the south-southwest in early evening.

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

NIGHT SKY MAP FOR DECEMBER 2021https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-december-rotation-stars

Sun in Sagittarius

Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) (Nov 25 – Dec 22)
Chiron (12/19), Uranus (1/18/22) Retrograde
Color – Purple
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright


Celtic Tree Month of 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   17       Low   4:54 AM     3.4   7:47 AM     Set  6:33 AM      94
~    17     High  10:45 AM     8.3   4:38 PM    Rise  3:36 PM
~    17       Low   5:54 PM    -0.2


Affirmation/Thought for the Day – For this is wisdom, to love and live, to take what fate or what we may give!


Journal Prompt – Expository –  Write about what you have done on a recent Saturday that you really enjoyed.



~   A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love.  – Leonard Cohen
~   Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.  – Thomas Merton; No Man Is an Island
~   As November 21st, so the winter. – Traditional proverb (possibly English, or American origin)
~   Of course, in politics, just as anywhere else in life, it is impossible and it would not be sensible always to say everything bluntly. Yet that does not mean one has to lie. What is needed here are tact, instinct and good taste. – Václav Havel; from International Herald Tribune, October 29, 1991


Looking out the window, into the chilly night;
I see the moonlight shining on the snow.
I look for my lover and hope he will come;
The moon goddess guiding him with Her light.

It’s frosty outside and I hope he dresses warmly,
I have hot apple cider and have made little cakes;
If he would prefer, I will give him Irish coffee.
I long to wrap my arms around him and warm him,

Lying together on the hearth rug in front of the fire,
Naked under the blankets; my lab will curl next to us.
There he is, standing under my window, waving.
He has a big smile but I can see his breath, so

It is getting colder and colder outside. The wind
Has started to howl, I must hurry and unlock the door.
Come in love; get warm in front of the fire.
I have been doing some baking, muffins and cakes;

But first hot soup and hot cider or coffee,
Laced with brandy or whiskey, your choice, my dear!
Here, get off your wet clothes.  I have an old sweatsuit
Of yours that you can put on, freshly laundered.

Here are some towels to dry off, and your sweatsuit.
Change in front of the fire, while I ladle up your soup.
I made several kinds, it was too cold to go anywhere,
So I was feeling domestic, it kept me busy.

If we get snowed in…well! Another excuse to be here.
Here are the blankets, the fire is warm, music is on…
Let us toast the beginning of winter, and seal it
With a kiss, a cuddle, some tickling, and lots of laughter. – © Copyright 10/05/05, Beth Johnson (Mystic Amazon)


Yule Magick – Lore – THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM – http://www.almanac.com/blog/astronomy/astronomy/star-bethlehem

What is the Star of Bethlehem, and what is its significance?

Every holiday season, planetariums present their “Star of Wonder” show, which offers astronomical explanations for the most famous star of all—the Star of Bethlehem.

The show suggests that the star was either a comet, a conjunction of bright planets, or maybe a supernova.

Or perhaps it was Jupiter alone in the constellation Aries, according to a newer thesis that got New York Times headlines a few years ago.

What the public doesn’t know, is that none of these could be correct. Every backyard stargazer knows you can’t get anywhere by following something in the sky.

In the below painting, Adoration of the Magi, the Star of Bethlehem is shown as a comet. The painter, Giotto di Bondon, saw Halley’s Comet in 1301. Find out more about comets.


Whether planet, star, or supernova, everything arcs rightward during the night. The Magi would travel in a giant semicircle if they followed any kind of celestial object. What’s more, no astronomical body can come to a screeching halt and hover over Bethlehem or anywhere else.

Only things in the north don’t move much—like Polaris, the North Star, which appears glued in place. But that eliminates planets, which are never in the north. Plus, the Magi weren’t going north to get to Bethlehem, but southwest. Find out more about stars and their locations.

Bottom line? None of the planetarium explanations can possibly be valid—and planetarium directors know this very well.

Many scholars believe that when the account was first written a century after Christ’s death, the star was intended to be an ASTROLOGICAL omen. By this reasoning, it was never an actual  object in the real sky. This idea is supported by the fact that the Star appears in Matthew, but not at all in Luke.

In any case, astrology (which appears in the earliest of almanacs) eventually fell into total disfavor—first with the church and later with science—making this explanation popular with neither. And planetariums are reluctant to get into this because astrology is the last thing they want to discuss.

Now, hold off on any angry letters. The whole point is that when planetariums suggest some natural phenomenon such as a comet just happened to appear at the right place and then just happened to stop and hover over the manger—well, that itself would be indistinguishable from a miracle. Why offer a scientific explanation that has to unfold outside the laws of science?

And religion is similarly mistreated because the whole thing suggests that faith in the miraculous is unnecessary, because there’s some kind of rational science explanation for the Star. In short, neither science nor religion are well served.

No matter. Those planetarium programs will continue. They’ve been around for three quarters of a century, and are enjoyed by the public. They’ve become a holiday tradition of their own.

Find out the facts behind other Christmas traditions.

What do you think about the Star of Bethlehem? Let us know below!

~ By  Bob Berman

ABOUT THIS BLOG – Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s blog on stargazing and astronomy. Wondering which bright objects you’re seeing in the night sky? Want to learn about a breathtaking sight coming up? Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, we’ll cover everything under the Sun (and Moon)!


Silliness – Mistletoes

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