The shop opens at 1pm. We will be closed 12/25-12/28. Winter hours are 1-6pm Thurs.-Mon. Featured photo by Ken Gagne, , Wassail Traditions, Turkey Surprise.
(added on Thursday) Rain gauge (for two day) was 3.6 in.!!!!!
Monday night I was at the shop. I got a few days worth of “stuff” published, then curled up for a nap, then got up and wrote again. Around 9am Tuesday I talked to Tempus. Newport was a mess since a semi blew over on the bridge! He was trying to get to the tire place and finally managed it (still had papers to deliver, but deliveries way south of where he was). “101 is a parking lot!” was the comment. He got to the tire place and they weren’t open, but the family that runs it was there. They were out of power at home, so came to their shop (sounds familiar!) …but then the power went out there, too! They said they’d call him, when they got power back, so he went out to brave the traffic again.
He got to the shop a bit after 10 and curled up for a nap. Around noon we gave up and went home to sleep. Tempus got up in time to make us coffee and then headed out on the bulk route. I got most of the leftovers sorted out, some frozen, some to eat right away and some to cook a little more.
Today’s plant is Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea. It’s a rather wild shrub that can be trained into a small tree, with icky-smelling white flowers that then produce dark fruits that appear blue because of a whitish coating on them. In Oregon it grows mostly from the valley out to the coast with some isolated pockets in the Eastern part of the state. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the tree.” In some areas, the “elder tree” was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, while other beliefs say that witches often congregate under the plant, especially when it is full of fruit. In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in witchcraft customs the elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” – A rhyme from the Wiccan rede-poem. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.” From Wikipedia– Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers are used for Crossing the Bridge rituals. Carry for protection and to prevent rheumatism and toothache. Dried berries are helpful in sleep pillows. All parts are good for protection. Grow near the home for prosperity. Magic wands and flutes are often made from this wood.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_ceruleaorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
Kwanzaa, African-American holiday (Dec 26 – Jan 1); Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) This is the 3rd day of this modern festival for those of African heritage. There’s a really good article explaining the traditions and where they come from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa
Winter hours are 1-6pm Thurs.-Mon., although we’re often here later. Holiday Hours – Closed on New Year’s days (1/1&1/2). Closing early on 12/31. (4pm) Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook message or email at firstname.lastname@example.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,
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 on 1/6/23 at 3:08pm. 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 12/29 at 5:21pm.
Venus and Mercury are only about 2° apart this evening and tomorrow evening, very low in the southwest in bright twilight. Today Mercury is upper right of Venus. Tomorrow it’s directly right of Venus.
The Moon passes 3° south of Neptune at 3 P.M. EST. Visible in the south after dark through binoculars, you’ll find the solar system’s most distant planet in far northeastern Aquarius, near that constellation’s border with Pisces, where Jupiter resides. The Moon is now 3.2° southeast of the ice giant, whose small, 2″-wide disk shines at magnitude 7.9. You’ll find it between two 7th-magnitude field stars, on the eastern leg of a small triangle they form with a third 7th-magnitude star to the northwest. Bright Jupiter, an easy naked-eye object, is some 8° northeast of these stars.
Mercury stands stationary at 10 P.M. EST. Earlier in the evening, about 30 minutes after sunset, you can spot it in the southwest, now 1.5° to the upper right (north-northeast) of Venus. This is the closest the two planets will appear — after today, Mercury will track west of Venus and they’ll stand 4° apart by the end of the month. Mercury is also quickly fading. Tonight it is magnitude 0.05 and it will dim to magnitude 1.3 by New Year’s Eve.
Jupiter blazes whitely high in the south in twilight, then sinks toward the southwest. At magnitude –2.4 it vastly outshines the background stars of dim Pisces. Look for the Great Square of Pegasus above it as the stars come out, and upper right of it later through the evening. Jupiter sets around 11 or midnight. Telescopically, Jupiter is down to 40 arcseconds wide.
Runic half-month of Eihwaz/Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books,
Mars (1/12/23), Uranus (1/22/23) Retrograde
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth Birch Dec 24 – Jan 20
Color – Yellow
©2022 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
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
W 28 High 4:42 AM 7.5 7:52 AM Rise 11:51 AM 25
~ 28 Low 10:28 AM 2.9 4:44 PM Set 11:28 PM
~ 28 High 4:03 PM 7.3
~ 28 Low 10:49 PM 0.2
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Dance a little today.
Journal Prompt – What? – What kind of animal would you like to be and why?
~ I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too. – Queen Elizabeth I; Tilbury speech, August 8, 1588, to her troops on the approach of the Spanish Armada
~ I love opposition that has convictions. – Frederick the Great
~ I think I shall be among the English poets after my death. – John Keats; Letter to G and G Keats, October 14, 1818
~ I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God. – Mother Teresa
Christmas! ’Tis the season for kindling
the fire of hospitality in the hall,
the genial flame of charity in the heart. –Washington Irving, American writer (1783–1859)
1851 London Newspaper – Wassail: “a liquor made of apples, sugar, and ale; a drunken bout; a merry song”. – Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary 1756
The King doth wake tonight and takes his rouse, keeps wassail. – Shakespeare: Venus and Adonis, 697
…the wassailers of old England, the door-to-door drinkers whose name came from the cry Wass hael!, which approximates to Cheers!
Wassail! Wassail! over the town,
Our toast is white, our ale is brown:
Our bowl it is made of the maplin tree,
We be good fellows all: I drink to thee. – Traditional Gloucestershire wassailing song
Wassail. A salutation used on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day over the spiced-ale cup, hence called the ‘wassail bowl’. (Anglo-Saxon, Waes hael, be whole, be well). Evans, Ivor H, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Cassell, London, 19**
Love and joy come to you,
And to your wassel too,
And God send you a happy New Year,
A happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year!
Our wassel cup is made of rosemary-tree,
So is your beer of the best barley. – English traditional children’s wassailing song
Get up, goodwife, and shake your feathers,
And dinna think that we are beggars;
For we are bairns come out to play,
Get up and gie’s our hogmanay! 0 Traditional Scottish wassailing song
Give us of your white bread, and none of your grey. – Traditional Scottish children’s soliciting rhyme
A massy bowl, to deck the jovial day,
Flash’d from its ample round a sunlike ray.
Full many a cent’ry it shone forth to grace
The festive spirit of th’Andarton race,
As to the sons of sacred union dear,
It welcomed with lamb’s-wool the rising year. – Polwhele (‘lamb’s-wool’ was spiced ale, drunk at this season in Britain)
The head of the house used to assemble his family around a bowl of spiced ale, nicknamed ‘lamb’s-wool’. He drank their healths, then all did so from the bowl as it passed around. The wassail bowl’s ingredients are hot ale, spices, sugar, eggs and roasted apples. Try this old recipe:
2 of 7.5 cinnamon sticks
3 blades mace
1 ginger root
1 level teaspoon nutmeg
125 g sugar
300ml cups brown ale
Core apples and sprinkle with sugar and water. Bake at 190 C for 30 mins or until tender. Mix ale, cider and spices. Heat but do not boil. Leave for 30 mins. Strain and pour over roasted apples. Serve in a punch bowl.
Nicholas Culpeper; Herbal
Alternatively, here’s a recipe for Sylvester Punch, from Austria:
Red burgundy (count one bottle for 6 people)
Equal amount of hot tea
Rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp sugar to each bottle of wine
2 cinnamon sticks to each bottle of wine
Pour the liquid into an enamel pot, add the cloves, the thinly pared rind of 1 lemon, the sugar, and the cinnamon. Heat over a low flame but do not allow to boil. At the last moment add the tea. Serve hot.
Trapp, Maria Augusta, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, NY, Pantheon, 1955, p69
The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Old English waes hael, be whole, be well. It’s a salutation, especially over the cup (‘wassail bowl’) of mulled wine at New Year.
The wassail bowl was carried about by young women who went from door to door, singing songs composed for the purpose; they presented the liquor to the householders, who were expected to pay for the favour.
The custom was kept in the monasteries. The Poculum Caritatis, or large wassail bowl, was placed in front of the abbot at the upper end of the refectory table. The same ritual was observed.
In Scotland the wassail custom lasted longer than in England, well into the 19th Century. As midnight approached, a hot pint was prepared, ie spiced and sweetened hot ale, with an infusion of spirits. As the clock struck the bowl was passed around and all said “Happy New Year”. There was also a song:
Wel may we a’ be,
Ill may we never see,
Here’s to the king
And the gude companie! etc
The elders of the family would take the kettle as well as shortbread, buns, bread, cheese and so on, and visit neighbours. If they met others on the way, they would taste from each other’s kettles. Then first-footing would happen, to those who were first in a house.
Apple Wassail Tidbits
There are a set of custom grouped under the name wassailing. They include saluting the health of animals and crops. This has been shown to be a legacy handed down from ancient Celtic practices. The most renowned of these are the ones concerning fruit trees, most familiarly the apple tree. In 1585, a group of enterprising young men in Fordwich, Kent, went around to various orchard keepers and offered to perform the ceremony for a monetary reward, which is when the tradition is first mentioned, in print. It is mentioned once again in the 1630’s, by Robert Herrick, when he writes about the “wassailing” of fruit bearing trees, in order to assure good yields at harvest time.
Devonshire, England Tradition
The farmers get their weapons and go to their apple orchard. Selecting the oldest tree, they form a circle and chant: The men drink cider, make merry, and fire their weapons (charged only with powder) at the tree. They return to the home and are denied entrance no matter what the weather by the women indoors. When one of the men guesses the name of the roast that is being prepared for them, all are let in. The one who guessed the roast is named “King for the Evening” and presides over the party until the wee hours.
The Player’s Song
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale,
The toast, the nut-meg, and the ginger,
Will make a sighing man a singer,
Ale gives a buffet in the head,
“But ginger under proppes the brayne;
When ale would strike a strong man dead,
Then nut-megge temperes it againe,
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale – The Player’s Song,Histrio-mastix,in:Specimines of Songs by Dramatic Writers” Brit. Bibliog. vol.ii. p.167.as cited in: Crhistmas Carols, Anceint and Modern.William Sandys,London,1833. Submitted by Irish Faerie Witch 2004
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