Third Quarter Moon in Scorpio – HOMEWORK

The day before Mars joins the pile up of planets in earthy Capricorn (and two days before Mercury turns retrograde) the moon reaches the third quarter point, in Scorpio, (Feb 15th, 22:17 GMT). There is a lot going on beneath the surface, and you may find that the focus of your activity becomes more private and home-based at this time.

two brooms with sunglasses

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Getting things straight and doing all those little annoying jobs that are easy to put off and ignore, but which, when done, help life run more smoothly is the order of the day. Make a list and pick things off in manageable chunks. I find when I do this that it is easier to allow myself to spend time doing things that are not “productive” in that sense that so many people think is the only important way to be in the world, but which bring me joy and raise me up. Procrastination, on the other hand, often causes me to feel guilty for neglecting the things I know need attention. I know which I prefer to feel.

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”

– Jean Shinoda Bolen

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*I am putting off …
*I desire more of …..
*I deserve….

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*spring clean your finances, particularly joint accounts and insurances (though you might want to wait until after mercury turns direct again in March if you’re planning to swap to new companies/ suppliers etc.)
*banishing (bad habits/ dirt/ people)

 

Full Leo Moon – DREAM & SHINE

The full moon this month is in Leo (opposite the sun in Aquarius) on the 9th at 7:33 GMT. In my last post I asked you to look at foundations and create new firmer footings. This full moon is a beautiful chance to glimpse, and dream into being, those kinds of supporting and supportive relationships that previously would have remained firmly in the imagination only.

landscape photography of pink petaled flowers

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These relationships may (probably) be out of the realm of what feels usual or comfortable. Growth often requires us to move outside of our comfort zones. If that sounds scary, it is possible that this growth can take place at a distance, through dream work, or even via internet connections. Communication is changing. We are changing.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

― Anais Nin

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*Which area of my life needs to change/be renewed?
*Where am I scared to go?
*What do I dare to dream?
*How can I shine?

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*dreaming will likely be more potent, keep a record if you can
*join in a group ritual/ healing/ communion that you might have said no to before. See how it feels.

 

First Quarter Taurus Moon & Candlemas/ Imbolc – TAKE CARE

For a short month (though not as short as often, as it is a leap year this year) there is a lot happening in February. Right at the start of the month, on the 2nd 1:42 GMT, the moon reaches the first quarter point, in Taurus. This moon is in opposition to the Scorpio ascendent, and, with Uranus sitting fairly close to it too, I feel like some disruption to our sense of security (collective and personal) is likely. This might be in the form of health scares or financial instability, or both.

pexels-photo-1591173Our relationships with other people become especially important now. It would be pertinent to pay attention to the foundations relationships are built on, and how that impacts the dynamics in that relationship. Underlying issues might rear their heads now. That is a good thing, though it might not feel like it at the time. More secure and loving footings are needed.

“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*The foundation my life is currently built on ….
*Some of my core beliefs about life that are changing now are …(3 cards)
*I can receive support from …
*I support…

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*clear out of physical space/ spring/ autumn cleaning
*protection magic, renew wards etc.

 

New Aquarius Moon – GROUPTHINK?

The new moon lands in Aquarius (Jan 24th, 21:42 GMT) joined by the Sun (obviously) and Mercury. The planets are shifting signs and the pressure is starting to ease. Change is still the main theme, as it has been all month, but it is starting to feel more doable, more acceptable.

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This would be a good time to find the others. But not at the expense of (your) truth. That is probably not an oxymoron.

“A group experience takes place on a lower level of consciousness than the experience of an individual. This is due to the fact that, when many people gather together to share one common emotion, the total psyche emerging from the group is below the level of the individual psyche. If it is a very large group, the collective psyche will be more like the psyche of an animal, which is the reason why the ethical attitude of large organizations is always doubtful. The psychology of a large crowd inevitably sinks to the level of mob psychology. If, therefore, I have a so-called collective experience as a member of a group, it takes place on a lower level of consciousness than if I had the experience by myself alone.”
― C.G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*I can control…
*I cannot control …
*I believe in …
* I need others for …
*I need myself for …

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*clearing/ cleansing
*protection magic (more the planning than the executing, for now)

 

Last Quarter Moon in Libra – EXPIRE

The last quarter point this month is in Libra (Jan 17th, 12:58 GMT). Libra is ruled by Venus, who is rising higher and brighter as the month goes on. Is it too cheesy (and/ or star-warsy) to suggest A New Hope!

underwater photography of woman

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Life is different than it has been. There are teething problems. But there is also so much possibility and potential.

Usually the waning moon calls for release, but with there being so much (forced) release energy unfolding through this whole month (and year, sorry) this shift may feel like a welcome out-breath, and a glimpse of the wonderful possibilities and potential ahead.

Breathe

Inhale

take in your surroundings.

Inside,

mix them with your hopes, your dreams

your practical wisdom.

Pause.

Enjoy.

But don’t forget to breathe out.

It is only with expiration (and oftentimes perspiration),

that dreams are made real.

Jessica M Starr

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*I breathe in …
*I breath out…

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*breathwork (of course). Tylluan Penry has a great book on this.
*Elemental magic with air
*singing/ chanting/ making music

 

Full Moon Eclipse in Cancer -THRESHOLD

This full moon eclipse in Cancer (Jan 9th, 19:10 GMT) is one of the last activations of the Cancer/ Capricorn axis eclipses we have seen over the eighteen months, and which will continue until July this year. (It is also part of a much bigger, 200 year, shift in the elemental energies from Earth to Air).

nature water eyes pond

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The full Cancer moon is blocked by the sun. Creating a threshold. And with so much of the sky portending big change, all of us, woke or sleepwalking, will be affected. Die or be killed. It is chrysalis time.

“The heart carries heavy loads when it is being trained to carry weighty blessings.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*Which area(s) of my life are changing now?
*How can I ease the pain of transition?
*What threshold am I stepping through?

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*perhaps not an ideal time for a celebratory ritual, but certainly a good time for a circle with kindred spirits. Maybe a gentle release meditation. Sharing of food. Sharing of fears. Sharing of hope.

 

First Quarter Moon in Aries – BURN

This first quarter moon in Aries (Jan 3rd, 4:45 GMT) is squaring off against the big pile up of planets in Capricorn AND the North Node in Cancer. Issues of roots and foundations rub up against concerns for home and security. Big change is coming. And it is coming fast. Going with, rather than against, the flow of inevitability feels easier, but do not compromise on your truth.

dark fire time paper

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Things will be burning now, physically and metaphorically. Only the truly important things can be saved. What is worth risking your life to save? What can you (at last) release to the flames? What is truly important?

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*What is home for you?
*What needs to burn?
*What can be saved? (three things?)

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*Choose the element you work with best. If fire feels good to you then you can magnify that power and USE it, with candle magic, any kind of burning rituals.
*BUT, if there is just too much fire energy for you now and you feel unbalanced, go deep into water instead. Take a ritual bath. Submerge yourself, physically and metaphorically.

 

New Moon Eclipse – BELLY OF THE BEAST

The sun and moon are gathered at this new moon as part of the stellium in Capricorn (December 26th 5:13 GMT) forming an annular solar eclipse. The eclipse is triggering the Capricorn/ Cancer axis: Public life/ career v. Private life/ home.

silhouette of person holding glass mason jar

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What is important? What can go? What needs to go? Have you been giving too much? How well do you receive? What does it mean to be open, to be vulnerable? Am I safe? Am I seen?

“…is it not to the mercies of the eyes of others that we commit ourselves on our journey through the world?”
― Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*What hurts am I carrying?
*Is it possible to let these go?
*If so, how do I do that?
*What/ who is my guiding light through the darkness?

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*If you don’t usually do new moon intentions, this lunation is a perfect time to start. If you usually do new moon intentions, don’t skip them this month.
*Candle magic
*Shadow work (perhaps use the questions above as a starting point)

 

The Art and Science of Timing for Goal Setting and Planning

I have been thinking a lot about planning and goal setting lately. You’re probably thinking, yeah, you and everyone else, as it is THAT time of the year. My inbox has exploded with year-end best-of lists and helpful workbooks for planning the year ahead (hell, I even have my own new year planning and goals post and template –  Setting Goals (Dreams with Deadlines) if you’re wanting that).

Because it is a truth universally acknowledged, that if you don’t set plans and goals then you are doomed to failure.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

― Benjamin Franklin

But, I am just emerging from a depth year, which has made me question, well, pretty much everything. And this annual ritual of goal setting and planning is no exception. I have realised that once I set goals, and dutifully write them in my planner, I no longer want to do them. They feel heavy and arduous, more to-dos for the list. And judging from the response to my Depth Year Reflections video, a lot of you feel the same.

Perhaps for creative people, or at least some creative people, this goal-setting/ planning received wisdom just does not work?

I loved what the Aussie author Jen Storer said about it in her recent blog post about being pulled both ways, being Navy and/ or Pirate, Plotter and/ or Pantser. It is EXACTLY like that! I want the structure, the framework, the safe container, of goals. But I do not want the binding, trudging, boredom of have-to-dos sucking the life out of my shimmering dreams.

After all, it is not the goal setting and planning that helps us achieve the things we want. It is, you know, actually doing the work. So, if the goal setting process is making that less likely, then that could be a pretty strong case against doing it. Or, at least, an invitation to be open to other options.

Reflecting on it more I realised there are parallels with (you guessed it) stereotypical “masculine” and “feminine” ways of approaching things. The prevailing goal-setting wisdom is a “masculine”/ blade approach, clearly appealing to our logic and practical selves. Our “feminine”/ chalice side does not get much of a look in, beyond maybe a tarot spread to help inform our plans. It reminds me of how I felt as a new mother, almost a decade ago now, feeling totally overwhelmed because I knew I needed to create to feel alive, but not being able to see a way to do that. I was stuck in the (“masculine”) thinking of needing an entire afternoon, and a tidy space, before I could start. Luckily I found Lucy H Pearce‘s book, The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood and her woman/mother-friendly approach showed me how I could take those itsy-bitsy pockets of time which I did have, that could so easily be frittered away, and make magic.

And that brings us onto timing…

As witches and magical thinkers we know that timing is important.

The sky above our head and the earth beneath our feet changes with the seasons, and those changes also happen within us. There are good times to do things, and there are not-so-good times (when it is better to do different things).

nature photography of river near trees

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All this end-of-year planning frenzy suggests that the Gregorian calendar year ending and new one beginning, must be THE BEST TIME to set new goals and plans for what we hope and dream into being next year. Between solstice and January 1st (or between Christmas and New Year for some) must be the right time to do it. But why?

In the Northern Hemisphere it makes sense on one level. It is winter, a time when the energy draws inward. A time to dry out our seeds before choosing which to sow in the coming spring. And many people feel like drawing inwards, raking over the coals of the year, and getting warm and cosy with ideas of the new.

Does the same hold true in the southern hemisphere? Where calendar year end means mid-summer planning? If you’re in the southern hemisphere please let me know your thoughts.

On a practical level year-end also works, as there are holidays in many countries at this time, which gives us a pause in our usual activity, creating a space for the kind of reflection that makes for good planning. An opportunity that is unavailable at other times.

But, what I have noticed from making my moon posts and a couple of years of Museletters, is that there are MANY points in the year that can hold this “new year” energy. And these offer other “ideal” times for goal setting and planning: 0 degrees Aries/ northern hemisphere vernal equinox is one, our solar return/ birthday is another, the cross quarters, damn, every new moon.

And this has led me to the realisation that there is not just one ideal time. Even the same date/ time each year will feel and be subtly different according to the differences in weather (internal and external) at that time. After all, the natural world does not adhere to our man-made calendars, and, with our climate changing, the “usual dates” when seasons change and birds migrate etc. fluctuate even more than in recent memory.

afterglow avian backlit birds

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I find that exciting! Rather than setting my goals once and then getting my head down and getting on with them, regardless of other factors coming into play, and ignoring my own resistance, it opens the possibility of a more flexible approach.

And what would this more natural-world-attuned, space-weather-specific, plotterpantser/ chaliceblade balanced approach look like?

Honestly, I don’t know. Sorry. But I do have some ideas that I am going to try…

I am going in with a “might-do” list, instead of a “to-do” list

This is an idea I have stolen from Alexis J Cunningfolk at Worts and Cunning Apothecary.  Instead of fixed goals I am going to spill out a bunch of exciting possibilities for things I might do, and then leave them there (in my journal) so I can pick and choose from them, or not, as the year progresses.

I have my Word of the Year

My word of the year practice has served me well over the past several years. It has never felt the same way to me as goals do. It is open, has parts I do not know yet, it leads me to places I would not have expected.  So I am sticking with it for 2020.

I am taking a space-weather-specific approach

Our current skies are dominated by a stellium in Capricorn. Saturn is (still) in his home sign and this has made me wonder if a more Saturn in Capricorn approach to goal-setting may be appropriate this year. And I think that would look like planning not for the shiny new you you want to be in 2020, but a way out of existing pain points (usually the opposite of how the goal-gurus tell us to plan).

For me this looks like:

I am ashamed that I…
  • Don’t speak the language of my ancestors
  • Don’t know the names of all the constellations above my head
  • Don’t know the names and characters of all the plants I see on my patch of land
  • Don’t know the composition of the rock beneath my feet
  • Don’t know the history of my place
  • Don’t know the stories and songs of my place
In a nutshell, I want to be fluent in the language of my land, not just the spoken language, but the kind you need to communicate with the trees, rocks and stars.
I will also be drawing from people I respect for input on the likely themes of 2020. I enjoy Austin Coppock’s Year Ahead Predictions, and I have purchased my lunar return chart from Elsa.

I will have regular check-ins

I kind of do this already, but this year I will more consciously be using my moonthly check-ins to take stock and see how things are going, course correct if necessary, and add in anything new to the mix that I fancy.
woman in white cap sleeved shirt blowing dust

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Obviously, I don’t know how this will pan out, that is part of the fun.
And if you would rather do things in a more structured/ predictable results way, then that is totally cool – you do you, as the kids say.

I just thought I would share in the hope it may be useful.

Happy (gregorian calendar) New Year!

Third Quarter Moon in Virgo – FIND FAULT

Three days before the Solstice on December 22nd (4:19 GMT) the moon moves past the third quarter point, in Virgo (19th, 4:56 GMT). If you are still thinking about what you want to work on next year, decide now. Rather than dreaming up new ideas though, this energy is about picking over your plans and fine tuning.

abstract break broken broken glass

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Decide what you actually want to commit to, and what you feel you should commit to. It can be hard to tell the difference. Let your (virgoan) gut lead you.

It is also a good time to check in with your body and wellness. Mars is giving us an energy boost. Use it well.

“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh 

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*What is my work in 2020?
*What is not my work in 2020?
*Which area of my life is most important now?

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*physical exercise/ assessment
*kitchen magic, maybe bake an intention bread/cake for 2020