This Week’s Astrology
A Full Moon occurs on Tuesday, December 17th, 4:28 AM EST.
Early Tuesday, the Moon is full–the Gemini Moon exactly opposes the Sagittarius Sun. The Gemini-Sagittarius polarity is a mental axis, where Gemini represents the “lower mind” and Sagittarius represents the “higher mind”. A Gemini Moon encourages us to think logically, while Sagittarius persuades us to think in a far broader manner. Sagittarius symbolizes the quest for meaning and ideas that expand upon the here and now. Gemini is quite comfortable in his or her immediate environment or neighborhood, while Sagittarius stimulates us to venture beyond. Neglecting either end of the axis will surely backfire. Ideally, a balance should be found between the two energies, and this is what the Full Moon invites. This Full Moon is about communication, attitude, and our sense of adventure.
The Sun is in Sagittarius from November 21-December 21.
With the Sun in Sagittarius, our focus shifts from the need for an intimate connection with a person and with ourselves, to the desire to reach out to the world and connect with something larger than ourselves. While the Sun moves through this fiery, mutable sign, we can take steps to increase our understanding and awareness of the world around us. We are more able to muster up the courage to expand our horizons and branch out into new ways of thinking. We can gain more confidence and optimism by focusing on the “big picture” as we move away from our focus on the details of mundane existence. Although we may be prone to overdoing our expectations, we have the opportunity to nurture our faith, hope, and vision under this influence.
The Sun is in Capricorn from December 21-January 19.
We are motivated by feelings of responsibility, ambition, and respect for law and order. Capricorn derives much satisfaction in completion and accomplishment. Standards, structures, and an appreciation for order are Capricorn themes. Capricorn wants tangible results, knows what is feasible and what is not, and is most comfortable working within an established framework and known boundaries or limits. Working towards a long-term goal is most satisfying with this influence.
Mercury is in Sagittarius from December 4-24.
When Mercury is in Sagittarius, our thinking shifts from a need to plumb the depths of any given situation to the desire to learn about a wide range of topics. Ideals are sought, our thinking is more optimistic, and our faith increases. We are more equipped to believe and to persuade. What is fair and unfair concerns us most now. However, we are not always very precise under this influence.
Void of Course on Saturday, December 14th, from 9:55 PM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a trine to Venus), until the Moon enters Gemini the next day, Sunday, December 15th, at 1:41 AM EST.
VOC Moon on Tuesday, December 17th, from 4:28 AM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (an opposition to the Sun), until the Moon enters Cancer at 1:17 PM EST.
VOC Moon on Thursday, December 19th, from 11:37 PM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (an opposition to Venus), until the Moon enters Leo the next day, Friday, December 20th, at 1:48 AM EST.
Fatigue or even Over Stimulation after ritual or workings
I have to admit that for a long time I was either one side or the other. After a ritual or working I would either be totally wiped out – or I would just be bouncing off the walls. I’m sure I’m not the only soul on this planet who has had this experience. This blog post will give you my end of things and how I have dealt with this issue.
It took a long time – but I realized that the reason I would be fatigued after a ritual or working because I simply made it all about me. I put too much ‘me’ into it instead of relying on the assistance I called on. Like most witches I do call the elements to protect my circle. Instead of putting my trust in the energies of the elements – I took it upon myself to do it all. Although I invite divine female and male to join and enhance my circle – still – it was all just me.
Was that wrong? Well maybe not. Who am I to say it is wrong? I will say that it just didn’t work for me – and if you’re reading this and have experienced this then you’re probably feeling it is wrong for you too.
Most times (especially as a new practitioner) it is really hard to disconnect yourself – especially after planning rituals and putting so much energy into it – but you have to release it. When you don’t – this is when you may find you have way too much energy after a ritual or working. You have to release it!
I will wholeheartedly agree that most of the time it can feel really anti climatic when you’ve taken the time to raise that energy then just let it go – but it really has to be done. There will always be some residual energy – but inside your circle (or wherever it is that you do your rituals or workings) but when you notice it why not just offer it? Offer it to the universe. Offer it to whoever may need it. Each time you make that offering – the next time you do ritual and maybe you feel totally worn out – a portion of that energy will be there for you. Cakes and ale (or eating and drinking something in a ritual setting) why not push some of that excess energy into those items – so when you leave your libation you are making an offering of that extra energies.
Grounding, of course, is another alternative. For some folks (myself being one of them) this can be difficult to master. Why do I have a hard time? Well – I have obviously spent a lot of time raising the energy for a certain purpose and just to ‘throw it away’ just seems wasteful to me. Again – I have a huge issue with making things about ‘me’ and I shouldn’t – but I am being totally honest here.
An alternative is to store that excess energy into a vessel of some sort. A crystal, a jar with a lid – whatever you want. I have a couple crystals that I use as a storage unit. This means that when I am not feeling on the same vibration frequency as my circle – I will leech from one of those crystals until the energies of myself and the energies of my circle are even. Again – it is all still under my control and ‘me me me’ – but this is something I have to work on and have been working on. On that same vein of thought – I own my circle. The circle I cast is mine. Everything that happens is because I manifested it or made it happen.
Those excess energies, or lack of energies – are because of you. You have to deal with those energies to keep your physical self and your energy or spiritual self are balanced.
Here are some suggestions to equalize energies before you ‘pick up’ your circle:
Write (something short like: headache, tired etc) – deal with those before you leave.
dump energies into a vessel (breathe into a bottle and seal it, hold a crystal, charge items)
cakes and ale (the act of eating and drinking can bring you back into the reality of the physical and out of the spiritual)
wipe your hands, feet, shoulders and ‘flick’ the energies into the air
Take a moment to really release it – or ask for a little something!
Can Your Location Influence Your Spirituality?
I hadn’t really thought of this until recently. I had never really given any thought to whether my spiritual path had been shaped or influenced by where I lived or where I grew up. However, in recent weeks after moving from Germany to Texas I am starting to think that your immediate surroundings can and do influence your path.
I have always just considered myself a “Magpie Pagan”. Magpies are birds that are really intelligent – but take bits and pieces of anything to make their nest. This is how I saw myself. Though my early years were mostly revolved around a Hoodoo influence with a little Appalachia thrown in – I now see no clear lines. Can I easily classify how I practice? No.
While living in England my practice shifted to something that any Traditional Wiccan would be comfortable with and could participate in easily. This was not intentional – I just did what felt right at the time. While in Germany my practice changed a bit to be something that seemed a little more Druidic – but my perception of Druid. Not actual authentic Druid – but something similar.
A few weeks ago I moved to West/Central Texas. Spiritually speaking there is a very strong Native American influence here. While not completely unknown to me, and though I have always had an interest in different Native traditions, I have never taken that leap to fully immerse myself.
Could it be the environment? Could it be that the land around me resembles something of a desert that I associate certain tribes with? To be honest – I was born and raised in Southeast Missouri where there were many tribes of Natives – yet I never felt connected there. Here in Texas …. it’s different.
This is not to say that I will start calling myself a shaman and throw some random stuff in a little pouch and call it a medicine bag … because that won’t happen. But I will share a recent experience.
Four times a year a local metaphysical shop owner who follows a Native path holds drum circles, peace pipe ceremonies, and sweat lodges on her property. I had never participated in a sweat lodge or peace pipe ceremony. I decided to try it out. I attended a sweat lodge – and holy moly do you sweat. While the word ‘sweat’ is in the name — I thought it was figurative.
Something amazing happens though. I have a hard time holding concentration not just during channeling, but meditation, remote viewing — everything. I have this intent desire to analyse that I have yet to fully control. The sweat lodge is dug into the deep rust red ground of Texas with a little altar of sorts outside. Before we entered I asked if anyone would be offended if I got a deeper explanation. Everyone was happy to wait while I was enlightened.
The dugout lodge is the womb of the Mother (Earth). It is seen as a safe place to ‘retreat’ to gain the peace and environment needed to grow as a being spiritually.
At first the heat was unbearable. I thought I was going to have to leave. The smoke wasn’t comfortable. I was told by the leader that I had to separate my physical self from my spiritual self. I had to let the heat and smoke carry me to a higher plane.
I’m not going to lie. It was hard. It was hard to not cough, or wipe my face, or let out a disgruntled sigh of sweaty-ness. I bet it took 10 minutes for me to worry less about my environmental uncomforts and focus on … nothing. I literally focused on nothing. I was just going to ‘be’. Just have the experience and enjoy it for what it was. A group of people each taking a little personal journey.
Then it happened. At first I thought I was fainting. I thought the heat had gotten to me and I passed out. Then I saw colors and smelled smells. I heard speaking, but didn’t understand. It felt like I was seeing an area for what it used to be in a time gone by.
It smelled damp – which is strange for West Texas. Then I saw a river. I had no legs and wasn’t walking. I was just sort of moving as if I was standing on a skateboard and someone was pushing it. As I looked around I saw dark haired people throwing powder/sand/ash (something) into the water. A few seconds later the fish would come to the surface and the younger ones would rush in and pick up the fish.
I saw some women doing bead work and the colors of the beads was so vibrant it hurt to look at it. I saw some people skinning a beaver and heard another woman giving birth. It was a really small village not far from a river. It was beautiful. It was Missouri. It was actually really shocking.
That vision has stuck with me just as plain as when it first happened for more than 2 weeks now. I have had a vision or two involving a Native girl – but I believe that was due to a close connection of a friend of mine. This was entirely my own and I am still cherishing it.
Does all this mean that I am suddenly going to follow a Native path? No, probably not. I don’t feel it is for me. I still don’t feel a calling for that. I will, however, be incorporating some things into my practice that are Native. I will be making a smudge fan with collected feathers and doing a lot of beadwork with patterns I saw in my vision.
Basically this entire story is just a call to take a chance. Even if you have little interest! It may turn out to be awesome!
This week’s Astrology
- The Sun is in Cancer until July 22.
During this time many people may seem withdrawn or introverted. Many peoples’ attention will shift inward to their home, family and anything that gives emotional security and nurturing.
Most people are very sensitive to the moon phases while the Sun is in Cancer.
- Venus is in Leo until July 22.
Love is everywhere. While in our day to day lives we may be introverted with the Sun in Cancer – with Venus being in Leo we are very affectionate to our loved ones and can be super clingy. This is a time that you may notice yourself (or your partner) seemingly feeding off the attention you give them. Pride and Passion go hand in hand – just be careful not to let your ego take over.
- Venus sesquiquadrate Pluto July 17-18.
This can sometimes foreshadow self-sabotage. Just keep your ego and jealousy in check. You may be overreacting.
- Venus sesquiquadrate Uranus July 19-20.
Don’t toy with other peoples’ emotions and don’t be flaky! When Venus sesquiquadrates Uranus it can cause some who are sensitive to Venus’s alignment to be very drawn to be close to someone and not know why. If you do this – it will ultimately be unsatisfying and you may be hurting the feelings of the person on the other end of things.
- Venus semi-square Mercury July 20.
Any new relationships may experience a very shallow superficial form of communication around this time. Maybe you both suddenly become very awkward around each other. The combination of Venus sesquiquadrate Uranus and semi-square Mercury on the same day can really cause a new relationship to totally melt down.
- Venus opposite Neptune July 25-26.
Not a good time to start a new relationship, which could be characterized by disappointments, and the tendency to feel emotionally (and sometimes financially) drained by the partner. Uncertainties about existing love.
- Venus sextile Saturn July 26.
Relationships are stabilized and steady, although feelings are expressed reservedly, formally, or sparingly. A new sense of realism in existing partnerships. Relationships begun under this influence possess a distinctly practical theme, almost as if the partnership is a business endeavor.
Void Course of the Moon:
Thursday, July 18th, from 7:13 AM EDT, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a trine to the Sun), until the Moon enters Sagittarius at 1:55 PM EDT.
Saturday, July 20th, from 11:01 AM EDT, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a trine to Venus), until the Moon enters Capricorn at 2:40 PM EDT.
Holiday Celebration vs Commercialism vs Christian Popularity
Every week I tend to meet up with a small group of Pagans. These Pagans range in age, gender, career, experience, and paths within Paganism.
Tonight we we discussing the different Pagan holidays. I found it particularly interesting to ask each person:
What do you do to celebrate this holiday?
What do you associate with this holiday?
If you don’t celebrate this holiday why not?
As we (the whole group) went holiday by holiday I found it interesting that a large majority of people (myself included at times) celebrated a few “main” holidays.
Those holidays were:
I started to draw some interesting lines between things. All of these holidays fall in/around/near a Christian holiday OR a commercial holiday.
Beltane. Memorial Day. May Day (in some places)
Samhain. Halloween (widely accepted holiday even with Christians)
I asked the question:
Do you think perhaps we celebrate (we meaning the individuals in the group) simply because of familiarity with the Christian counter-part holiday?
Do you think we concentrate on these holidays because of the commercial appeal and overall ‘acceptance’ during this holiday?
Another point was raised that there are basically 4 celestial holidays. These holidays are based on a solstice or equinox. The other holidays are harvest holidays. These are based on harvest times of different crops.
One group member brought up the point that since we are no longer farmers/gatherers we don’t have the same connection with the land as we once did. Now that we’ve got supermarkets and can get any variety of fruit and vegetables all year round we have little working knowledge of harvest type holidays.
Is this a good or a bad thing? To bring proper balance should we observe each holiday’s counterpart?
These are all just thoughts/ideas I’m sharing. Feel free to chime in!
The answers were really interesting. I’ve been Pagan for the better part of 15 years. Perhaps even a few more, but I only consider myself a 15 year practitioner because I was still really super clueless during those first few years. During all my time as a Pagan I have also chosen some holidays which are ‘high’ holidays and some which aren’t.
After hearing everyone else’s feedback I then started to analyze my own observance of the holidays.
Did I not celebrate the others simply because of no personal connection – or – was I not celebrating simply because it was too much work?
I now bring the question here, to those who read this.
Are there holidays you don’t celebrate? Do you abstain simply because you don’t feel a connection to that holiday or is there another reason?
Non-Christian Spirituality and Loss
A few weeks ago my mother-in-law passed away.
In Western (American) society funerals are conducted a certain way (for the most part.) A portion of that funeral is to have someone who represents your faith speak at your funeral. If you’re Catholic – a priest says some words. If you’re Baptist a preacher says some things. This includes prayer and in some cases song.
I have never been a Christian church-goer. That is, to say, I have never been part of a church. My immediate family has also never been part of a church of any denomination However, when it came time to say the Lord’s Prayer or sing all the verses of Amazing Grace – I knew all the words.
The preacher and other family members would say things like “God bless you.” and I would return the sentiment. My husband was a bit astounded by me shaking the preacher’s hand and saying “God bless you” and giving him an ‘offering’ for speaking at the services.
But honey, you’re Pagan.
Just because I am Pagan doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God. I do believe in God .. and his counterpart Goddess. I can say God bless you to Christians with a clear conscience I am not misleading them. I am not being facetious. I sincerely mean that I hope God – in whatever shape or form they believe in – blesses them.
When I gave an offering to the preacher as a thanks for his time to come and speak at the funeral – I didn’t do it because it is just ‘how it is.’ I did it because he was taking time out of his schedule to come and speak in front of a very wounded and grieving family to bring them peace and comfort. That should not be free. That, my friends, is an energy exchange.
He is using his personal power and energy to bring some comfort to people who are in pain and he should be compensated. Did he do so successfully? He made us all laugh, cry, and reminisce – so yes. He did.
We, as humans, are the ones who put things in boxes. The divine does not. When a Christian speaks about God and a Pagan speaks about God – we are the only ones who think we’re talking about two different beings.
In regards to religion and situations like this – I feel it is important to look from outside the lines we’ve drawn. I can always say “Goddess bless you.” However, I don’t. When speaking with known Christians and when I tell them “I’ll pray for you.” I mean that. I will pray/meditate whatever … it is all the same.
Sometimes when we lose someone we love we forget that life goes on. Sometimes when we lose someone we remember just how petty everything is. And sometimes – when we lose someone very special – we learn to come to terms with things we struggle with because let’s face it … it isn’t a big deal.
Saying you’ll pray for a Christian friend – or saying “God bless you” isn’t a big deal. Lighting a candle and saying a rosary for someone who has passed away – whether you subscribe to it or not – isn’t a big deal. You are just doing what they would have done for you and there is no harm in that.
Whether you believe your loved on will be in the Summerlands, Heaven, or just be a ghost is up to you. I feel anything you believe is true. Anything you subscribe to is YOUR truth. Things you honor are real. Memories are real.
My advice is:
Honor your loved one in whatever way feels right to you. If you are a Baptist and your loved on was Catholic – say a rosary every now and then. If you are Christian and your loved one was Pagan – burn some sage and meditate once in a while.
Nothing you are comfortable with is wrong.
This Week’s Astrology
- Venus square Jupiter March 4.
During this time we might want more. More pleasure, more money, more food – and it can get to an excess. Be careful to not over-do it or get your hopes up too high. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
- Venus conjunct Chiron March 5.
If you’re getting over a breakup — extra healing is on the way. Love can heal many wounds. This is a good time to decide to be single to get to know and love yourself. It is also a good time to repair and improve existing relationships.
- Venus trine Saturn March 6.
If you’re in a relationship a new sense of maturity is right around the corner. Relationships started during this time will be long-lasting but might not feel romantic.
- Venus sextile Pluto March 6.
Strong attraction and feelings of lust may bubble to the surface during this time. As always – be careful. The strong attractions could subside quickly.
- Venus parallel Mercury March 11-12.
You may find yourself socializing more than usual. That’s okay! Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself. If you are seeking a level-headed or diplomatic friend … now would be a good time to find them.
Void Course of the Moon:
Tuesday, March 5th, from 10:29 AM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a square to Mars), until the Moon enters Capricorn at 7:15 PM EST.
Thursday, March 7th, from 4:16 PM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a sextile to Mars), until the Moon enters Aquarius at 10:03 PM EST.
Friday, March 8th, from 5:09 PM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a square to Saturn), until the Moon enters Pisces on Sunday, March 10th, at 1:20 AM EST.
This Week’s Astrology
Every week I try to post the astrological events. Here is the astrology for February 25- March 2.
Venus in Pisces February 25-March 21. This combination typically leads those who are single on a search for their soul mate. This is a great time for a true romance but be careful you aren’t simply in love with the idea of being in love. When this arrangement happens we typically fall head over heels into infatuation rather than love but there may not be much you can do about that.
Venus parallel Saturn February 24-25. If you started a new relationship (romantic or otherwise) recently – right about now it may feel like work. That’s okay! Relationships started near this coupling usually ARE more work, but they last a long time.
Venus conjunct Neptune February 28. A fresh start in regards to romantic relationships pretty much sums up this transit. During this time we may be more sensitive or more aware of beauty as well as spirituality. Be careful! You may be easily influenced, easily seduced and may have an over-active imagination. This could lead to a lot of inner confusion on not just a romantic level, but a social and spiritual one as well.
Venus parallel Neptune March 1-2. The extra sensitivity to beauty and spirituality continues. Be careful not to be too easily influenced, but show compassion and patience with others who have been.
Void Course of the Moon
VOC Moon on Tuesday, February 26th, from 1:13 PM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (an opposition to Mars), until the Moon enters Libra the next day, Wednesday, February 27th, at 8:02 AM EST.
VOC Moon on Thursday, February 28th, from 3:37 AM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a square to Pluto), until the Moon enters Scorpio the next day, Friday, March 1st, at 12:34 PM EST.
This Week’s Astrology
- The Sun is in Aquarius until Feb 18.
During this cycle, we are motivated by knowledge, experience, and originality. We’re aware of what’s out-dated in our lives and looking for new perspectives. (Spring Cleaning, anyone?)
- Mercury is in Pisces from February 5-April 13.
When Mercury is in Pisces, we tend to be very emotional and visual. You may find you are more intuitive and imaginative during this time.
- Void Course of the Moon this week:
Monday, February 11th, from 12:04 PM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a trine to Saturn), until the Moon enters Aries the next day, Tuesday, February 12th, at 8:53 PM EST.
Thursday, February 14th, from 10:37 PM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a sextile to the Sun), until the Moon enters Taurus the next day, Friday, February 15th, at 5:09 AM EST.
The moon is waxing this week – so for many magick workers this is a time to ‘reel’ things in until the full moon.
Oath Bound Secrets
I can’t tell you. It’s oath bound.
I have always hated that! As a baby witch I had so many questions. How do you cast a circle? Should I ‘do’ an altar? How do I really know when my item has been blessed or cleansed? How do I bless or cleanse something, anyway?
I understand the need to keep some things private. I am totally open to sharing anything and everything but I never share absolutely everything. Why? Well … it’s simple really.
I will tell anyone absolutely anything about how I practice. I will help them find things they need to cast a spell or a circle but I never tell them the exact words I say. Why? Well … I tend to think that simply reciting words written by someone else and sending the energy out into the universe is kind of like going to see a cover band.
Let’s say you call up your witchy friend and say “I’m trying to whip up a spell to bring more positive energy into my life but I am getting stuck.” Your friend says ‘Hey no problem! I have a spell I do and it goes like this ….”
You write it all down, go home, and do everything your friend said. You are basically being a ‘cover band’ and just reciting whatever your friend wrote. While I don’t see a problem with this amongst friends or coven-mates who practice together – I personally – don’t see where any power lies in that.
When witches ask me questions like “How do you cast a circle?” I usually say:
Well I don’t get all Merlin the Wizard when I cast a circle. (which is true) I use very basic non-ceremonial words and actions when casting a circle. BUT – for ‘high’ holidays (Ostara, Litha, Beltane, Samhain, Yule) I am ceremonial. For ‘lesser’ holidays (Imbolc, Lughnasadh, Mabon) I am not ceremonial. My observation of the ‘lesser’ holidays are much simpler.
And just to clarify no one told me there are high/greater or lesser holidays. This is simply how I see things. The holidays I call ‘high’ holidays are the ones that resonate and speak to me. The lesser holidays I don’t feel a connection to. At least right now.
I don’t think basic information should be oath bound. Well unless it is some kind of cop-out and you really don’t have an answer. In that case I would just prefer to be told “I dunno!” instead of hearing “Oh it is oath bound. I can’t tell you.”
I never tell anyone chants said to my goddess. I never tell anyone the words I write for spells UNLESS
- I have written the spell for the purpose of being passed on.
- I work closely with that person.
- I trust the person asking.
These are just my guidelines. I feel that it gives my words more power and energy – and by someone repeating them word-for-word that their intent and words will have LESS power. I don’t do it for myself – I keep this secret for their benefit. This way their words have more power.
Not telling someone herb properties because it is oath bound is (in my opinion) stupid.
Not telling someone the basics or the ‘why’ of circle casting is (in my opinion) stupid.
Telling someone that absolutely everything surrounding your practice is oath bound is … again .. stupid.
There is so much to gain from passing on your knowledge! Not only for yourself, but for the baby witch asking! I think anyone with the interest enough to ask should be given the information with at least a ‘seeker beware’ warning. But – as humans – we have the ability to gauge what a person can, can’t or should NOT handle. You can ‘dumb things down’ to those who just wouldn’t be able to handle what you’re saying.
Even with people I practice with I find myself saying “This might make me sound insane but …” No. I don’t sound insane to THEM. To others – yes I probably would. BUT – if you ask – you’re going to get an answer.
I am very leery of people who say everything they do is oath bound. It makes me think they are just full of shit.
How much should remain secret? Aren’t we past that time in society where we have to keep ourselves secret? I understand in some cultures yes – secrecy is important. But in most Western societies?
Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Am I completely off-base?