14th January

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.

We hope you enjoy this website. We will be adding content as we go through the year and welcoming your feedback and suggestions.

Onwards and Upwards!


Cold Dawn Over Liverpool, 2007: Maria Hughes

Moon Phases, January 2015:
Full Moon – January 5, 04:54
Third Quarter – January 13, 09:48
New Moon – January 20, 13:14
First Quarter – January 27, 04:49




Teasels, Liverpool, December 2010: Jamie Reid

Saint's Day:
Felix of Nola
Macrina the Elder

Feast of Divina Pastora (Barquisimeto)
Feast of the Ass (Medieval Christianity)
National Forest Conservation Day (Thailand)
Sidereal winter solstice celebrations in South and Southeast Asian cultures; marking the transition of the Sun to Capricorn, and the first day of the six months Uttarayana period
Magh Bihu (Assam)
Maghi (Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh)
Makar Sankranti (India)
The first day of Pongal, a Tamil New Year. (Tamil)
Uttarayan (Uttaranchal, Gujarat and Rajasthan)

Flowering Now by Saul Hughes: Chickweed
Stellaria media.
Family. Caryophyllaceae.
Gaelic Name. Fliodh/Fliogh.


Also known as Chickenweed, Starwort, Winterweed and Passerina.
This very common and variable plant is found throughout the year, but is more famous for its winter appearance where it becomes a valuable food source for both birds and beast alike, as well affording an excellent pot and salad herb being full of medicinal qualities, its availability in winter gave rise to its folk name of Winter weed.
The Latin name of the plant is derived from ‘Stella’(star) because of the plants star like flowers, Media means ‘The Middle’ and refers to ways of identifying the plant, as this is midway between two others. The name of the Family order Caryophyllaceae is from the Greek ‘Caryphyllaceus’(With a clove-like fragrance) ‘resembling the pinks’. The name Chickenweed arises from the great fondness garden birds and poultry have of the leaves of this herb, the name Passerina also stems from this fondness, Passerina being a species of birds. The Gaelic name Fliodh means ‘An Excrescence’ probably named after the usefulness of this plant in treating excrescences of the body.
A very useful herb, this plant was found in pre-Neolithic sites in the British Isles, and is naturalised throughout most of the world, and it has been said that there is no part of the world that Chickweed cannot be found. It has always been highly valued as a food, the young leaves being almost undistinguishable from spinach when boiled and equally as wholesome and can be ate uncooked in salads and garnishes. The plant was also made into a tea and vinegar.
Medicinally the plant is a Demulcent (soothing mucous). Emollient (Soothes the skin), Alterative (Health restoring), Carminative (Combats flatulence), Nutritive (Provides nutrition), Diuretic (Increases urination), Tonic, Vulnerary (Wound healing) and Refrigerant (Cooling), It is also rich in Vitamins A, C and Vitamin B complex, it is an excellent source of minerals with high amounts of Iron, Aluminium, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Silicon and Zinc, as well as containing Calcium, Potassium, Chlorophyll and Chromium. It is also a main source of Gamma-Linolenic acids (GLA) a derivative fatty acid of omega 6 fatty acids and rarely found in food sources but found in vegetable oils and it gets sold as a dietary supplement for treating problems with inflammation and auto-immune diseases.


Chickweed’s saponin content contained in the cell membranes help increase the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, as they work as emulsifiers within the body gathering vitamins and minerals, whilst dissolving harmful fat build ups and toxins in the arteries, it helps the body dissolve and rid itself of fat cells thereby it cleanses, rejuvenates and nourishes the body.
The herb has been used externally for treating Inflammations, Indolent Ulcers, Rashes, Piles, Abscesses, Pimples, Eczema, Insect bites, Stiff Joints, and Rheumatism. Internally it was very effective for Asthma and Allergy symptoms and Bronchial Infections being soothing for coughs, the herb dissolves thickened membranes of the throat and lungs and disarms bacteria and toxins, helping to restore damaged tissue. Drinking the tea is very Nutritious, Tonic and a valuable way to maintain optimum of health. The whole fresh herb drank can assist in Urinary Infections, by purifying the blood and kidneys, its calming effects helping to soothe Digestive Conditions, eases Constipation, Haemorrhoids and Stomach Ulcers. Chickweed leaves ate fresh help to strengthen and heal the glandular system and relieves thyroid problems, it is also a positive herb for weight loss as it helps the body dissolve and rid itself of fat cells. Sailors would also drink this herb when citrus was unavailable to ward away the scurvy.


Chickweeds virtues were well known and extolled by the ancient herbalists; Culpepper describes it ‘A fine, soft, pleasing herb, under the dominion of the Moon’. Gerard states ‘In a word it comforteth, digesteth, defendeth and suppurateth very notably’.
Chickweed is a valuable food source for birds, being a vital winter food, and a nutritious early green herb in the spring. The herb has 20% of its weight in viable proteins and minerals which birds crave, all caged pet animals, such as lizards, hamsters, mice, ect, all enjoy eating this herb, the silica content helps their coats to shine and the fibre content cleanses toxins.
In folklore Chickweed was used to attract a lover, promote fidelity and maintain relationships, a sprig was carried either to procure love or to procure fidelity in love. In Astrology it is under the guidance of the Moon and its element is Water.*

Also on this day:

1129 – Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes.

1514 – Pope Leo X issues a papal bull against slavery.

1639 – The "Fundamental Orders", the first written constitution that created a government, is adopted in Connecticut.

1933 – The controversial Bodyline cricket tactics used by Douglas Jardine's England peaks when Australian captain Bill Woodfull was hit in the heart.

1967 – Counterculture of the 1960s: The Human Be-In, takes place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, launching the Summer of Love. Between 20,000 to 30,000 people attend.

1973 – Elvis Presley's concert Aloha from Hawaii is broadcast live via satellite, and sets a record as the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history.

2005 – Landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan.

* 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.