Daily Stuff 12-21-21 Solstice

Hi, folks!

Minus Tide at 8:14 PM of -0.4 feet. The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday. Winter hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Holiday hours 12/24 until 8pm. Closing on 12/31 at 4pm. Closed 12/25 and 1/1. Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

 [posting at 7pm] [rain gauge at noon on 12/20 – 3.3. inches!!!!! ] Still pretty wet. Folks have been coming in dripping all day long! Showers, 50F, wind at 0-4mph and gusting, AQI 8-23, UV0. Chance of rain 74% today and 93% tonight. It should stay dry until mid-afternoon, but then showers will wind up to possible thunderstorms before sunrise on Wednesday. That won’t start to wind down until Saturday. It won’t be as much or as steady, but still… plus wind on Wednesday and Friday. Showers after that. High temps over the next 10 days will drop from 51 to 36 and lows from 46 to 28…. which means snow showers a week from Wednesday! No firespots. No fires. One more day and I’ll drop the fire report for the winter…..

Sunday evening we didn’t get home until midnight. I got up just after Tempus headed out for the paper route, got a snack, found my book, and crawled back into bed. It poured all night. The drip in the bathroom was steady and the bucket 1/2 full by morning. Tempus got in at a good time. I was up a bit early, but dozed off in my chair after I sorted out the chicken from the broth. I still have to pick it over.

I woke Tempus and we flew out the door, but were still late. We really need a break for a bit. I’m looking forward to our usual January vacation. We won’t be going anywhere, but we’ll catch up on our sleep, at least! There were a few shoppers. I was writing furiously, and Tempus got mad because I made us late for the shots.

We got ’em done, though, even if we had to wait too long. We had a customer at the door just as we got back. We got him taken care of, then Tempus worked in back and I wrote. I was trying to finish the House Capuchin report, but I ran out of oomph.

Today we’re definitely going to sleep in. I’m hoping to do some baking for the holiday and we have chores to do, but I’m going to have to be back at the shop for a meeting in the evening, so not much might happen.

Here’s a pic by Ken Gagne of the stormy ocean (12/21/15). Used with permission.

plant flower Trillium_ovatum_1290

Today’s plant is the trillium, specifically the varieties for our state, of the Giant Purple Wakerobin, the Idaho Trillium and Round Leaf Trillium. These are one of the characteristic flowers of the Oregon spring forests,  the flowers of spring called Wakerobin since in many places robins and trilliums appear at the same time. It is also called Birthroot and has been used medicinally to control bleeding. Tripartite petals and flower make this an unusual plant and since they grow widely separated in the undergrowth of forests, they’re striking when you come across them. – Feminine, Venus, Water – Carry the root to attract money and luck or – Masculine, Venus & Saturn, Earth – the magicks of trillium are concerned with boundaries and lust. ….and they’re beautiful!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillium Yes, it’s odd to have two sets of correspondences for one plant, but that’s the way this one works!


Yule/Winter Solstice is the Wicca celebration of the birth of the Sun, the return of the God to the physical world. Today the Holly King lays down his crown for the Oak King. We work with a lot of myths and folklore from around the world, too, but the return of hope, the spark of new life is what we’re working with here. Today is also the beginning of the new year and the end of the first year of the new Cycle in the Mayan Long Count among other things. There is always hope that things will get better, that the world will not end and that the Sun will always rise in the morning, bringing us Light and Joy and Love. Blessed Yule!

The shop is closed on Tuesday/Wednesday. Winter hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday, Holiday hours 12/24 until 8pm. Closing on 12/31 at 4pm. Closed 12/25 and 1/1. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org 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

Moon in Cancer enters Leo at 1:54pm.

Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 1/17/22? Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 12/26 at 6:24pm.

High Noon – This image captures the landscape at high noon on the winter solstice in 2019 from near Anchorage, Alaska. The length of that day was a mere 5 hours 6 minutes 19 seconds. – JLS Photography (Flickr)

The winter solstice occurs at 10:59 A.M. EST. At that exact moment, the Sun sits directly above the Tropic of Capricorn, located at latitude 23.5° south on the globe. (Note, however, that this does not correlate to the Sun being located in the constellation Capricornus in the sky. It’s currently located in Sagittarius.) The solstice marks the official start of winter – Last night and tonight are the longest nights of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun is at its southernmost declination for the year and begins its six-month return northward. Thanks to the celestial geometry at play today, it’s also the day the Sun rises and sets the farthest south. Our star’s southerly position also produces the longest shadows at local noon on the solstice. You can test this for yourself by marking the length of a given shadow, perhaps from building, lawn ornament, or other stationary landmark, for several days leading up to and after the 21st.

The Summer Triangle is sinking lower in the west as the season turns, and Altair is the first of its stars to go (as seen from mid-northern latitudes). Start by spotting bright Vega, magnitude zero, the brightest star in the northwest right after dark. The brightest one above it is Deneb. The Triangle’s third star, Altair, is farther to Vega’s left or lower left. How late into the night, and into the advancing season, can you keep Altair in view?

Mars, far and faint at magnitude +1.6, is very low in the dawn this week far below high Arcturus. Mars is crossing upper Scorpius. Use binoculars to see that Mars is nearly between Delta and Beta Scorpii on the mornings of December 17th and 18th, and on the 19th that it’s almost on top of the fainter Omega1 – Omega2 Scorpii pair. Marslike Antares, meanwhile, is below or lower right of the planet; their separation closes from 8° to 5° this week. Mars is on the far side of its orbit from us, so in a telescope it’s just a tiny fuzzblob 4 arcseconds wide.

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 in Sagittarius enters Capricorn at 7:59am.

Goddess Month of Astrea runs from 11/28 – 12/25
Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) (Nov 25 – Dec 22)
Uranus (1/18/22) Retrograde
Color – Maroon
Planting 12/19-21

©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
Tu  21     High   2:21 AM     6.7   7:50 AM     Set 10:06 AM      97
~    21      Low   7:25 AM     3.7   4:40 PM    Rise  6:53 PM
~    21     High   1:01 PM     8.1
~    21      Low   8:14 PM    -0.4


Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Nothing lasts forever.


Journal Prompt – Why… – Explain why we say, “dead as a door nail”.



~   If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it. – Marcus Aurelius
~   There’s only one endeavor in which you can start at the top and that’s digging a hole. – Bits & Pieces
~   Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion. – Jim Rohn Beauty is the highest of all these occult influences, the quality of appearances that thru’ the sense wakeneth spiritual emotion in the mind of man. – Robert Bridges (1844-1930) English writer
~   You need to replace guilt with responsibility. – Kerr Cuhulain

Fairbanks Under the Solstice

Slowly, without sun, the day sinks
toward the close of December.
It is minus sixty degrees.

Over the sleeping houses a dense
fog rises—smoke from banked fires,
and the snowy breath of an abyss
through which the cold town
is perceptibly falling.

As if Death were a voice made visible,
with the power of illumination…

Now, in the white shadow
of those streets, ghostly newsboys
make their rounds, delivering
to the homes of those
who have died of the frost
word of the resurrection of Silence.

John Haines, 1924 – 2011 – Excerpted from The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems, copyright © 1993 by John Haines


Yule Magick – Lore – Riding With Holda – Like someone else we know, this yuletide goddess also flew through the air, slipped down chimneys, and delivered gifts. By Selena Fox

You thought the person in the red outfit giving out treats to children on Christmas Eve was a jolly, overweight elf with a white beard and a team of reindeer leading the way. Nah. That’s just what Santa’s spin doctors want the world to believe.

Want to know who really decides who’s naughty or nice? Try Holda, the Teutonic goddess of winter. She’s the beautiful blonde wearing a shimmering gown and red or white goosedown cape who flies through the night sky on December 24 bringing gifts and spreading joy.

In Pagan religions, goddesses are an important part of our celebrations because they help tie us to ancient traditions and the seasons of the year. Holda is one of my favorites. Stories about her are found in old folktales of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Denmark, Norway, and other parts of Europe. Her name means ” kind” and “merciful.”

I first discovered Holda many years ago while researching the Pagan origins of Santa Claus. In addition to learning that the Teutonic Gods Odin and Thor were part of Santa’s mix, I found that in some parts of old Europe, it was Holda–not Santa–who brought gifts to children and determined who was “naughty or nice.” I also encountered lore depicting her as dressed in red and going down chimneys to bring gifts to children. An old Germanic tradition included leaving an offering of food and milk for Holda on December 24, known as Mother Night.

I decided to learn more about Holda, and connecting with her and her lore has been part of my Winter Solstice celebrations ever since. I invoke her in rituals, and keep a picture of her on my household altar. She is even among the Yuletide characters that appear in the public Winter Solstice pageant that I direct each year in Madison, Wisconsin.

As with many ancient goddesses, Holda is complex. Also called Hulde and Frau Holle, she goes by a variety of names and takes different forms, depending on locale and culture. In her form as a beneficent and noble White Lady, Holda is beautiful and stately, with long, flowing golden hair, which shines with sunlight as she combs it. She wears a white gown covered with a magical white goose down cape. At Yuletide, she travels the world in a carriage and bestows good health, good fortune, and other gifts to humans that honor her. She not only is connected with Winter Solstice itself, but also with the holiday season that continues many of its customs, the 12 days of Christmas–from December 25 through January 6

In some tales, Holda is a weather goddess. Snow flies as Holda shakes her cape or the comforter on her bed. It is said that fog comes from her fires and rain from her washing day. In other accounts, Holda is a goddess of prosperity and generosity. Gold coins fall from her cape as she furls it. In one tale, after a villager worked all night to fashion a new wooden shaft to replace the one that had broken on her carriage, he found she had thanked him by turning the wood shavings from his work into gold. It was only then that he discovered the woman he had helped was actually the Goddess Holda.

In other early lore, Holda was a sky goddess riding on the wind. She is thought to be an older form of Frigg, wife of the Father God Odin; in some tales, Holda and Odin ride the sky together. Holda also has been honored as a goddess of the moon, and sometimes her name has been used as a term for a lunar priestess. Another of her forms is that of a night-riding witch leading a spirit host in a fierce ride, known as the Wild Hunt, through the sky and across the land.

During persecution times in Europe, some of those suspected of witchcraft were said to “ride with Holda.” Her Pagan origins are evident in folk tales in which she is described as accompanied by a grand and furious procession of souls of the dead, mostly unchristened babies and children. It was said that as Holda and her entourage passed through the fields, they blessed the land with abundance and caused a double harvest in the growing season that followed.

In many places, Holda is closely associated with Perchta (Berchta), her tatters-clad shadow twin sister, also identified with the Wild Hunt and Yuletide. On Perchta’s Day, January 6, ancient Europeans left offerings of cakes and milk on house roofs to bring good luck for the coming year. Holda and Perchta probably emerged as local variants of the same goddess-turned-folk character, since both sometimes appear in tales as hunched-backed crones and bogey figures, punishing or blessing adults as well as children for bad or good behaviors, at Yuletide and at other times of the year. As crone goddesses, they also preside over destiny and the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Geese are sacred to Holda, and some say she is the source of the storybook character Mother Goose. As the Lady of Beasts, Holda has many creatures associated with her, including hounds, wolves, pigs, horses, goats, bears, and birds of prey. In some tales, she lives in the woods and is the ancient half-tree, half-woman who gave birth to humankind. Apples and flax are among the plants sacred to her.

Holda also is associated with lakes, streams, and wells. In the Grimm’s fairy tale, “Mother Holle,” she is visited by two half-sisters at her home at the bottom of a well, where she rewards the industrious one with gold but covers the lazy one with pitch. Holda as goddess of hearth and home presided over spinning and domestic arts. She also symbolized virtue, wisdom, and womanhood.

Today, across the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world, Holda is remembered, not only by folklorists, but by Pagans of many paths, who invoke her, give her offerings, and share her stories and traditions in Winter Solstice rituals and celebrations. As Holda takes her Yuletide ride this year, may she bring the world her blessings of peace, prosperity, and well-being.

For further reading:
Bates, James Allan, Doris Duncan, & Countess Von Staufer. History of Santa. Fullerton, California: Duncan Royale, 1987.
Farrar, Janet & Stewart. The Witches’ Goddess. Custer, Washington: Phoenix Publishing, 1987. p. 230, 260.
Fox, Selena. “Frau Holda: Yuletide Goddess” in CIRCLE Magazine, Winter 2000, issue 78, p. 19.
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. “Holda” in The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft, second edition. New York: Checkmark Books, Facts on File. p. 160-161.
Hilton, Edward. “Winter Goddess” http://des.users.netlink.co.uk/winter.htm, summary of “The Winter Goddess: Percht, Holda, and Related Figures” in Folklore Vol. 95: 11, 1984.
Karas, Sheryl Ann. The Solstice Evergreen. Fairfield, Connecticut, 1998. p. 51-53.
Leach, Maria & Jerome Fried, editors. Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1972. p. 500.
Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines. St. Paul, Minnesota:Llewellyn Publications, 1997. p. 127, 252.
Thorn, Thorskegga. “Holda” at http://www.thorshof.org/holda.htm.


Silliness – Hello Krampus

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