We’re taking our usual Winter Vacation and will be closed from 1/4 until 1/20 if the COVID numbers come down. If they stay high it might be longer than that. If you need something contact us here or on Facebook. We can make time to be at the shop. Featured photo by Josh Orkin.
[posting at 11pm] Rain gauge at noon on 1/12 – trace. Partly cloudy, although on the weather map we’re surrounded by green blodges, so showers are in the offing. 54F, wind at 3-9mph and gusting into the 30’s, AQI 14-33, UV1. Chance of rain 88% today and 34% tonight. GALE WARNING to 8am Thursday. Today, after the wind is done (by 5am…) should be showers and light rain, clearing up in the late evening. The next rain due should be on Tuesday and the rest of the forecast is dry. It’d be nice to see a little sun and get stuff cleaned up outside. I still need to get the last bed of crocosmia done and potatoes are coming up in the rose/fairy fishing poles bucket! One firespot about 1/2-way between K-Falls and Lakeview…. That’s right where one of the big fires was last summer.
Yesterday I did sleep after the newsletter went out, after adding some new pix to the grandbaby page https://wp.me/P2xgQ8-bHO. When Tempus got in, he didn’t wake me and waited for me to wake on my own, then once I was up we waited until 9am, so’s to be able to pick up mail. I got my walking onion starts, a couple of books and the new amulet bags. I need to package and header those.
Once we were home we really slept, once Tempus had gone out to re-fill the propane and hooked things back up. We had used the last the night before. I was up for a bit during the middle of the afternoon and watched the sky. Something about conditions up high made the mackerel sky look like one rib cage after another scooting along. Really strange effect! I got myself some cottage cheese and a bit of the fruit jam that I made last week and a bottle of water, ate, drank, and crawled back in. I woke around 6 and Tempus was gone again, picking up pills from the pharmacy.
When he was back we tried a new one, hard-boiling eggs in the air-fryer. Not so sure that the texture is good, but they’ll do, for certain. Once we ate those with some potato patties and cheese, we headed in the to the shop, so I could do this.
Waiting for Tempus I spent awhile leaning against the car, watching the colored corona around the Moon. Orion was striding up over the hill seeming to take aim against the Moon. The whimsy that “Cupid was trying to get Her, again!” flitted through my head. All the way into town I watched the clouds and the river in the Moon’s light, smiling. Once I’m done this, Tempus is going to take me home and I’m hoping to either work on bookmarks or frumenty (or both!) before I go to sleep.
Today we’re supposed to start working at the shop again. We won’t have the door locked, but expect things to be pulled out all over, so you might have to ask for help to get to things! We’ve got 4 major projects: the office space clean-up, sorting out the plants, moving the saw and sewing areas and getting the sofa area cleaned up.
Today’s plant is Wild ginger, Asarum caudatum – This is a different plant from the one usually used in magick, but has only slightly different properties. This is related to black pepper, kava and birthwort. –Masculine, Mars, Fire – This is used for “heating up” spells. While standard ginger is used in money, love, success and power spells, Wild Ginger is mostly used to add power, rather than on its own.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asarum_caudatum
Today’s Feast/History – Æthelwulf (/ˈɛθəlwʊlf/; Old English for “Noble Wolf”; died 13 January 858) was King of Wessex from 839 to 858.[a] In 825, his father, King Egbert, defeated King Beornwulf of Mercia, ending a long Mercian dominance over Anglo-Saxon England south of the Humber. Egbert sent Æthelwulf with an army to Kent, where he expelled the Mercian sub-king and was himself appointed sub-king. After 830, Egbert maintained good relations with Mercia, and this was continued by Æthelwulf when he became king in 839, the first son to succeed his father as West Saxon king since 641.
The Vikings were not a major threat to Wessex during Æthelwulf’s reign. In 843, he was defeated in a battle against the Vikings at Carhampton in Somerset, but he achieved a major victory at the Battle of Aclea in 851. In 853 he joined a successful Mercian expedition to Wales to restore the traditional Mercian hegemony, and in the same year his daughter Æthelswith married King Burgred of Mercia. In 855 Æthelwulf went on pilgrimage to Rome. In preparation he gave a “decimation”, donating a tenth of his personal property to his subjects; he appointed his eldest surviving son Æthelbald to act as King of Wessex in his absence, and his next son Æthelberht to rule Kent and the south-east. Æthelwulf spent a year in Rome, and on his way back he married Judith, the daughter of the West Frankish King Charles the Bald.
When Æthelwulf returned to England, Æthelbald refused to surrender the West Saxon throne, and Æthelwulf agreed to divide the kingdom, taking the east and leaving the west in Æthelbald’s hands. On Æthelwulf’s death in 858 he left Wessex to Æthelbald and Kent to Æthelberht, but Æthelbald’s death only two years later led to the reunification of the kingdom. In the 20th century Æthelwulf’s reputation among historians was poor: he was seen as excessively pious and impractical, and his pilgrimage was viewed as a desertion of his duties. Historians in the 21st century see him very differently, as a king who consolidated and extended the power of his dynasty, commanded respect on the continent, and dealt more effectively than most of his contemporaries with Viking attacks. He is regarded as one of the most successful West Saxon kings, who laid the foundations for the success of his son Alfred the Great.
The shop is closed until 1/20 for our winter vacation. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook message or email at email@example.com 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
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 3:48pm on 1/17. 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 1/16 at 3:48am.
In the evening sky is a not-to-be-missed close encounter between Mercury and Saturn. At sunset, the two are 3.4° apart in northern Capricornus. Mercury is now magnitude 0.1, a bit brighter than magnitude 0.7 Saturn. Once the Sun has safely set, zoom in on each planet with a telescope to enjoy Saturn’s stunning ring system, which stretches some 35″ on the sky. Lucky observers may also spot its largest moon, Titan, 2.5′ east of the planet’s center tonight. Meanwhile, Mercury spans 8″ through a telescope and appears just 29 percent lit. The solar system’s smallest planet comes to a halt, sitting stationary against the background stars at 8 P.M. EST. It will now begin reversing course and pull away from Saturn over the next several days.
Auriga the Charioteer rides high these evenings astride the Milky Way, awaiting your eyes and scope. Use Ken Hewitt-White’s “Suburban Stargazer” guide with its chart of telescopic targets in central Auriga (working out from the Leaping Minnow and False Minnow asterisms) in the January Sky & Telescope, page 54.
Asteroid 7 Iris reaches opposition at 4 P.M. EST, meaning it will be visible all night long. It’s glowing at magnitude 5.8 — well within reach of binoculars or a small scope — in eastern Gemini, rising as the Sun sets. To find Iris, first locate Lambda (λ) Geminorum, which shines at magnitude 3.6. Scan 4.5° east of this star to land on the reflected light from this large, 124-mile-wide (200 km) main-belt asteroid.
Mercury is low in the west-southwest in twilight, with Saturn near it. Watch their changing configuration, as shown above. Mercury is fading; this week it diminishes from magnitude –0.5 to +0.6.
Runic half-month of Perdhro/ Peorth, 1/12-1/27. – Feast of Brewing, Druidic, Source: The Phoenix and Arabeth 1992 Calendar.
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20,
Uranus (1/18/22) Retrograde
Color – Green
©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
Th 13 Low 2:44 AM 3.7 7:50 AM Set 4:24 AM 77
~ 13 High 8:50 AM 7.9 5:00 PM Rise 1:37 PM
~ 13 Low 4:15 PM 0.6
~ 13 High 10:54 PM 5.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – We rise by lifting others.
Journal Prompt – Favorites – What kind of art is your favorite? Why?
~ Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence. – Lin Yutang (1895-1976) Chinese writer
~ How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly! – Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) English writer
~ A traveler am I, and a navigator, and every day I discover a new region within my soul. – Kahlil Gibran
~ Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed – there’s so little competition. – Elbert Hubbard
All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling ‘round its southern zone,
The Sun through dazzling snow-mist shone. – John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92)
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
Silliness – Anthill Golfing
Once there was a golfer whose drive landed on an anthill. Rather than move the ball, he decided to hit it where it lay. He gave a mighty swing. Clouds of dirt and sand and ants exploded from the spot.
Everything but the golfball. It sat in the same spot.
So he lined up and tried another shot. Clouds of dirt and sand and ants went flying again. The golf ball didn’t even wiggle.
Two ants survived. One dazed ant said to the other, “Whoa! What are we going to do?”
Said the other ant: “I don’t know about you, but I’m going to get on the ball.”