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

 

Full Gemini Moon – MANY FACED

The December full moon falls in Gemini (December 12th, 5:12 GMT) but with Mars sitting in Scorpio on the ascendent this likely won’t feel like that chatty sociable energy we might expect.

Gemini is the sign of local communities, neighbours, siblings, the daily to-and-fro interactions of life. There is change coming in these areas. And this full moon is highlighting (or, down deepening?) these changes.

old photo of people wearing animal mask

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Gemini also has the (sometimes earned) reputation for deception/ two-facedness, or downright deception – think 7 of swords in tarot. But the ability to change faces, to change minds, thought patterns, ways of doing things is not necessarily evil, or even a character flaw. Perhaps it is a strength?

For UK peeps, this is also election day. An interesting choice of date.

“I may be wrong in regard to any or all of them; but holding it a sound maxim, that it is better to be only sometimes right, than at all times wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*Where am I rigid?
*Where do I bend?
*Show me my face(s) – choose as many cards as you feel called

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*mirror work
*community service
*review of the minutiae of day to day life

 

First Quarter Moon in Pisces – A CHINK IN THE ARMOUR

The first quarter moon in Pisces (December 4th, 6:58 GMT) finds itself conjunct dreamy Neptune and sextile the pile up of planets in Capricorn. Perhaps one last window of daydreaming is possible before the next round (year) of hard work begins.

metal framed window panel

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If it is possible for you to take some time out of the crazy season and turn your attention inward. To breathe. To doodle. To do what lifts your heart and reveals the great truth that we are all connected. Do that.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
― Criss Jami

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*What do I seek?
*What have I found?
*What is hiding in plain sight?

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*meditation/ chanting – whatever zones you out and floats your boat
*Ritual bathing
*Planning/ dreaming for 2020

 

Sagittarius New Moon – Stretch

The Sagittarius New Moon falls on November 26th (15:05 GMT). A new cycle is beginning, and it is a cycle that promotes growth and expansion. Mercury is direct, cohabiting with, a, comfortable in Scorpio, Mars. Jupiter is alongside the sun and moon, revelling in Sagittarius. Projects that are started now have a very good chance of success.

black and white branches tree high

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Things just feel easier now. You can work harder without getting as tired. Results come more quickly. People in authority, or who have influence, will notice your efforts. Time to put those grand plans into action. You do not need to be perfect to start.

I am in love and I am lost
But I’d rather be
Broken than empty
Oh, I’d rather be
Shattered than hollow

-First Aid Kit

Divination/ Journaling Prompts

*What have I learned?
*What have I lost/ shed?
*Where do I start?
*Where am I going?
*Who/ what is my companion?
*How far do I dare to go?

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*Pretty much anything you turn your hand to will do well now, so use this time wisely
*sigil making – be bold!
*Get going on your Great Work (or, if you don’t know what it is yet, use this time to try and work it out, but don’t stress, let what you love guide you).

 

Third Quarter Moon in Leo – Towards the Light

We are nearing the end of this powerful Scorpio New Moon cycle, and this third quarter point will likely feel like a welcome outbreath. There is light at the end of the tunnel (and that is not to say that the tunnel is bad, it is necessary). We are not totally off the hook yet, but the deep shifts that have been taking place internally are feeling more natural – easier – now.

worms eyeview of well

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This third quarter moon in Leo (19th November, 21:10 GMT) is trine both the benefics, which should give this time a feeling of being blessed and lucky (if we have been sticking with the gratitude I mentioned at the full moon).

“… Has it never occurred to you that maybe your brother brings out the worst in people?”
“Or the best,” he said, “depending on which way you look at it.”
“You’re as bad as he is.”
“Actually, I’m much worse.”
― J.A. Belfield, Darkness & Light

Divination/ Journal Prompts

*Who am I now?
*What is my Work?
*What is my purpose?
*Where should I place my attention now?

Ritual/ EveryDayMagic/ Spellwork Suggestions

*Fire scrying
*Sunbathing, if you have enough sun where you are (unlikely I will here in wales)
*Candle magic