15th 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.

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!

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Silbury, 2005 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:
Drostan (Aberdeen Breviary)
Maria Crocifissa di Rosa
Mesmin
Nino
Valerian of Abbenza
Virginia Centurione Bracelli

Festival:
Consualia, in honor of Consus. (Roman Empire)
Homecoming Day, celebrates the return of evacuated citizens to Alderney after World War II. (Alderney)
Zamenhof Day (International Esperanto Community)

Flowering Now by Saul Hughes: Winter Heliotrope
Petasites Fragrans.
Family. Asteraceae.
Gaelic Name. Plur na Greine.

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Also known as Sweet scented coltsfoot, as it is closely related to both the coltsfoot and butterbur plants of which this is a similar species, it was introduced into these isles in 1806 as an ornamental plant, and it quickly became widespread throughout these isles.
It is known as winter Heliotrope as it flowers in the winter months, the name Heliotrope is from the Greek words, helio(sun) and trope(follower) as its flower heads follow the course of the sun throughout the day. The name of the genus Petasites is derived from the Greek word Petasos, which were felt hats worn by shepherds and famously sported by Mercury in representations of him, this name was applied to the plant because of the shape of the large leaves. The name Fragrans simply means fragrant as the flowers of this plant have the beautiful aroma of vanilla. The Gaelic name Plur na Greine, means flower of the sun from its flowers dutifully following the course of the sun. The name of the family asteraceae is derived from the greek Aster meaning star from the shape of the flowers that are classed in this family.

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This plant is closely related to the Butterbur (Petasites Hybridus) of which it is often confused for, the main difference is the Butterbur flowers in the spring and the winter heliotrope as its name suggests flowers in the winter; because of its similarity it was often used in the same way as butterbur, its roots containing antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and pain reliving properties, however recent research has shown that both plants contain liver damaging pyrrolizidine alkaloids and it is now seldom used in herbal medicine. However the plant is encouraged to grow by beehives as the flowers are a great source of nectar in the winter months when flowers are scarce and a warm day can make the bees leave there nest in search of food, the effects of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids are nonexistent in the honey.*

Also on this day:

533 – Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron.

1256 – Hulagu Khan captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut in present-day Iran as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.

1903 – The Wright brothers' first attempt to launch the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, NC

1939 – Gone with the Wind receives its première at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

1941 – German troops execute over 15,000 Jews at Drobitsky Yar, a ravine southeast of the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

1960 – Richard Paul Pavlick is arrested for attempting to blow up and assassinate the U.S. President-Elect, John F. Kennedy only four days earlier.

1961 – In Jerusalem, Adolph Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.

1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10, 1973.

2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean.

* 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.