20th 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:
Dominic of Silos
O Clavis
Ursicinus of Saint-Ursanne

Festival:
Abolition of Slavery Day, also known as Fête des Cafres (Réunion)
International Human Solidarity Day (International)
Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (Macau)

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:

1192 – Richard the Lion-Heart is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade.

1924 – Hitler: was released from Landsberg Prison

1955 – Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.

1973 – The Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, is assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid.

1987 – History's worst peacetime sea disaster, when the passenger ferry Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).

2005 – US District Court Judge John E. Jones III rules against mandating the teaching of "intelligent design" in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

2007 – The painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, is stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, along with O Lavrador de Café, by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari.


* 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.