13th December

Welcome to the Eightfold Year. Every day a different painting will appear, along with moon phases, saints days, seasonal plants and other festive celebrations.

You can find out more about the concept of the Eightfold Year here.

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Onwards and Upwards!

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Fortingall, Glen Lyon, Perthshire 2003: Jamie Reid

Moon Phases, December 2014
Full Moon – December 6, 12:27
Last Quarter – December 14, 12:51
New Moon – December 22, 1:36
First Quarter – December 28, 18:31

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CURRENT MOON

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Allotment under frost, Liverpool 2010: Jamie Reid

Saint's Day:
Lucy
Odile of Alsace

Festival:
Tellus was worshipped in the district Carinae at the Esquiline Hill, and a lectisternium or table was spread for Ceres. (Roman Empire)
Acadian Rememberance Day

Flowering Now by Saul Hughes: Herb Robert
Geranium Robertianum.
Family Geraniaceae.
Gaelic Name. Lus An Eallain and Lus An Rois Righeal Cuil.

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Also known as Bloodwort, Cranesbill, Red Robin, Cancer wort, Felon wort and fox geranium.
A highly regarded herb by the ancients, who highly esteemed the medicinal qualities of this beautiful plant. The name geranium and the family name Geraniaceae are derived from the Greek ‘Geranos’ meaning Crane, because the seed pods resemble in shape the bill of a crane, hence the countryname of Cranesbill, the names Bloodwort and Cancerwort attest to its medicinal qualities, bloodwort for its blood staunching qualities and cancerwort as the ancients recognised it as a vital plant in the fight against cancer. Its gaelic name of Lus An Eallain(Cancer Weed) also attests to its fight against cancer.

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The Gaelic name Lus An Rois, Righeal Cuil means Fly repeller. And it is also known as Fox Geranium as the leaves when crushed have a rather unpleasant smell which very much resembles the scent of a fox. The name Herb Robert is a bit more ambiguous and has a few possible sources, it is derived from the medieval Latin Herba Roberti, there are three possibilities of who this Robert could be, the first being Robert duke of Normandy(died 1134) the second being St Robert of molesme (Died 1110) famous for his piety and sanctity, and finally St Rupert of Salzburg(Died c.718) a decendant of the Merovingian family, and patron saint of the state of Salzburg, he was famous for his work with cases of erysipelas, a painful skin disease and many claim it was him who discovered the herbs power to stem bleeding.
In folklore the plant is said to belong to Robin Goodfellow, Robin being a shortend version of Robert. Robin Goodfellow is Synonymous with Puck a nature sprite or fairy of a mischievous but protective nature, the name puck being derived from the Old English Pucelas (wild men of the woods) and the plant was under his influence, familiar sayings in regards to this are ‘ When red stalked herb Robert is in bloom, you should be careful how you treat it’ as to needlessly destroy this flower would bring disaster, ‘treat Robin well and he will help you with your house work’ as Puck is also the protector of the household and finally ‘treat the flower well and it will help you to staunch wounds’. It is common to find that plants with Robin in their name have a strong association with the fairy traditions of these isles.
A remarkable healing herb it has Astringent (Shrinks or constricts body tissue) Antibiotic, Styptic(anti haemorrhagic), Antiviral, Tonic, Diuretic, digestive. Antioxidant, Sedative, and acts as an Adaptogen (increases the bodies resistance to Stress, Fatigue, Trauma Anxiety etc). It is regarded as the most therapeutic herb we can use on a regular basis, containing Vitamins A,B and c and the minerals Calcium, potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus and it is a excellent source of Germanium, which a valuable element to the body, in as much as it as the ability to make oxygen available to the cells, and more oxygen at cellular level gives the body a better opportunity to fight of disease by its own abilities, and allays cancer, as lack of oxygen to the cells causes free radicals and a toxic state within the cells.
Herb Robert has been used with great success against the fight of cancer, an ability within this plant that the ancients recognised, a most famous case was that of Anna Cruz Caridade who had an inoperable lung cancer, which had spread to her neck and arms, she heard about the healing virtues of Herb Robert, and after time she was completely healed. Dr Otto Warburg, twice Nobel winner said that the prime cause of cancer is lack of oxygen to the cells and that the use of this plant on a daily basis would provide us with the arsenal to revert major health imbalances within the body and help ward of cancer. It was also famous in treating felons (inflammations near the fingernails and toenails) which accounts for its folk name of felonwort , the whole plant was also used as poultice to treat wounds and repel insects.
It yields a brown dye and is the main food source for the barred carpet moth (perizoma taeniata) and the long tongued hoverfly.*

Also on this day:

1545 – Council of Trent begins.

1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage

1643 – English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire

1867 – Fenian bomb explodes in Clerkenwell, London, killing six.

1937 – Nanjing Massacre. Japanese troops begin carrying out several weeks of raping and killing of civilians and suspected Chinese resistance after the fall of Nanjing.

1960 – While Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia visits Brazil, his Imperial Bodyguard seizes the capital and proclaim him deposed and his son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, Emperor.

1988 – Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat gives a speech at the UN general assembly in the Swiss city of Geneva after the US authorities refused to give him a visa to enter New York.

2004 – Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet is put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest is lifted the same day on appeal.

2006 – The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, is announced as extinct.


* All information regarding the uses of the plants is exactly for that informational purposes only, and that the author and owners of the web do not encourage anyone to be eating, or disturbing wild plants, but merely to admire them in their natural environment and to ponder on their rise and fall within human culture.