16th 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:
Adelaide of Italy

Festival:
Day of Reconciliation, formerly celebrated as Day of the Vow by the Afrikaners (South Africa)
The beginning of the nine-day celebration beginning December 16 and ending December 24, celebrating the trials which Mary and Joseph endured before finding a place to stay where Jesus could be born (Christians of Spanish-origin): the first day of Las Posadas (Mexico, other Latin Americans) and Misa de Gallo (Philippines).
Victory Day (Bangladesh)
Victory Day (India)

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:

1431 – Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.

1497 – Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.

1653 – English Interregnum: The Protectorate – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1707 – Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.

1773 – American Revolution: Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.

1930 – Bank robber Herman Lamm and members of his crew are killed by a posse of 200, following a botched bank robbery in Clinton, Indiana.

1937 – Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.

1960 – 1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York's Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.

1985 – Mafia: In New York City, Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of the Gambino family.

1997 – An episode of Pokémon, "Dennō Senshi Porygon", aired in Japan induces seizures in hundreds of Japanese children.


* 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.