1st 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 welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Onwards and Upwards!


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

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/99591/moon-phases-and-dates/#ixzz2mASoc3wY

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/20193/moon-phases-2012/#ixzz2Dk62Pene



Saint's Day:

Military Abolition Day (Costa Rica)
National Transit Tribute to Rosa Parks Day (American Public Transportation Association)
World AIDS Day (International)

Flowering Now by Saul Hughes: Ragwort
Botanical Name. Senecio Jacobaea.
Family. Asteraceae.
Gaelic Name. Buachalan bui.
Also known as St James wort, staggerwort cankerwort and mares fart.

The Ragwort comes from the ragged appearance of the plants leaves and wort meaning a healing plant, in reference to this plant being used in herbal medicine. It’s Latin name Senecio means ‘old man’ in reference to the white wooly hairy seeds. The name Jacobaea is meant to come from the phrase of St James ‘Conditio Jacobaea’ (If the lord wills it) which was his instruction to examine all plans to see if they meet God’s will. The saying ‘if the lord wills it’ was often quoted sardonically at creatures and plants that were tolerated on the basis that it was part of God’s will. It was also known as St James weed, because of the fore mentioned saying and also the appearance of St James in art, as being represented as a older man with grey unkempt hair it must of reminded people of the seed heads of this plant. Its Gaelic name means the ‘Wee little fellow’.
Ragwort is a very common plant and a bane to those who keep livestock as it is very poisonous to cattle and horses and has to be eradicated on ground were they feed, despite this ragwort was once believed to cure any stagger that appeared in horses hence its country name staggerwort.
Ragwort is known to contain poisonous alkaloids but due to its unpalatable taste is not a danger to humans, indeed the herb was made into a supposed aphrodisiac in ancient Greece and Rome called Satyrion. It was much used in herbal medicine and was recommended by such illustrious herbalists as Dioscorides, Culpeper and Gerard.
In herbal medicine the whole plant was used, it being cooling and astringent (shrinks or constricts body tissue) the leaves were often made into a poultice and used for washing burns, sores and inflammations of the eye as well as being applied to swellings and inflammation of the joints, it was also gargled for ulcers in the mouth. The root was also made into a decoction and used in much the same way and for treating cancerous ulcers hence its other country name of cankerwort, and it was used as a wash for wounds and bruises, believing to prevent infection.
The leaves yield a non-permanent green dye and the flowers a yellow dye for wool that has been treated with alum. The leaves when handled have a rather unpleasant smell which is where the name mares’s fart arises.
This plant is a valuable food source for the Cochylis atricapitana, Phycitodes Maritima and Saxicolais moths, but is more famously associated with the cinnabar moth Tyria Jacobaeae with whom it shares it names Jacobaeae with, the moths digest the poisonous alkaloids which make them unpalatable to potential predators.*

Also on this day:

1864 – In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.

1919 – Lady Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom (she had been elected to that position on November 28).

1934 – In the Soviet Union, Politburo member Sergei Kirov is shot dead by Leonid Nikolayev at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad.

1939 - Brendan Behan (writer) arrested for preparing to blow up a battleship in Liverpool Docks.

1955 – American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.

1989 – East Germany's parliament abolishes the constitutional provision granting the communist party the leading role in the state.

* 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.