Waxing Gibbous Moon in Taurus - an Earth sign and Hecate's Day
"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."
15th Day of the 12th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Ngetal/Reed
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 5:34AM EST
Moon rises: 3:23PM EST
Moon in the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The treasures of Winter
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:22AM EST
Sunset: 4:54PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What are the landmarks of your spiritual home?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
November 30th, 2009
As we move into the Winter, we also move into the season of Earth, the realm of the physical. For the land this is a resting time and for us it is a time of reflection and remembering our achievements. The earth is also a medium for repair and rejuvenation.
If the weather is warm enough this is best done barefoot outside (Brrrr.). If it is too cold and wet then bring some earth indoors in bowls or on trays. Try to ensure that is is relatively dry. Sit in such a way that your comfortable, with the soles of your feet and your hands touching the earth. Close your eyes and breathe deeply to relax. Feel the earth with your hands and feet. Take some time to experience its texture against your skin. Take the forefinger of your strong hand and draw a circle over your third eye, then replace your hand on the soil. Continue breathing deeply and evenly until you can smell the earth. Now visualize the energy of Earth, the pulse of the land. Allow your breathing to slow to this rhythm. Visualize the energy of the land as a deep green pulsing light, rising up through your hands and feet, regenerating and revitalizing you. See it pushing out all weariness and stress. When you truly feel in tune with the land, allow your breathing to resume its normal pace, open your eyes and rub your arms and legs to ground yourself. Tidy up after yourself but keep a little of the soil in a small pot on your windowsill throughout the Winter months.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]
So you want to be a witch .... continuing
Before you begin to leany any more about Witchcraft, before you rush out to the occult shop, I encourage you to start compiling a Book of Shadows in a simple loose-leaf notebook. Witchcraft has no single holy book as many other religions do. Each coven or group of Witches who work together will have its own Book of Shadows, and each individual Witch within the coven and each solitary Witch will have her own book.
As you start reading about Witchcraft and studying, you should start recording in your own Book of Shadows your impressions, your dreams, what you like and don't like, and what you want and don't want to practice and achieve. You can change your mind later about any aspect of the Craft, and you will - probably more than once - but for now this is your starting point.
After you're done with this book, your Book of Shadows will be your most useful and personal magick and ritual tool during your first years as a Witch. In it, you will record your thoughts, your spells, your potion recipes, festival receipes, ritual texts, dreams, divination results, and just about anything else you can think of as your integrate Witchcraft into every aspect of your life. If you later join a coven or have one or more teachers, they may give you parts of their books to copy into yours. Or you may end up0 with two books, one for your personal use and another for use within your coven.
Your book doesn't have to be fancy, but if fancy appeals to you, there are beautiful journals and other attractive blank books available. Many of us start using something like that but later you'll probably find a loose-leaf notebook holds more information, and it allows you to reorganize the pages as needed.
No one knows for sure how old this practice of keeping a Book of Shadows is, but it could be that it was borrowed from ceremonial magick or other forms of wizardry that was practiced by the literate and educated upper classes during the Middle Ages. They called their spell books grimoires, a word of uncertain etymology, but which is possibly an Old French term to describe the changing of one substance to another. Another theory is that it comes from an Old Norman English word that may have been the origin of the modern English words 'grammer' and 'glamour.'
The name "Book of Shadows" comes from the concept that rituals and spells dwell in thoughtforms only, hiding in the shadows of our minds, rituals not fully formed until enacted by the Witch. Another theory states that, during the Witch hunting hysteria, Witches met in the dark, skulking through shadows of the moon to their meeting places. The thoughtforms origin makes more sense because, again, we're dealing with the lives and folk beliefs of poor and illiterate people.
And let us not forget .. this is the last day of the month, and so is sacred to the great Triple Goddess, Hecate. On this day, and especially in this deepest dark time of the year, we honor the Her as Queen of the Night and the Goddess of Witches. Hecate is a protector of women, mighty advocate for the disenfranchised, and She who guards the Crossroads. It is She who teaches us the ancient Mysteries. May Hecate bless and guide us as we now journey in Her holy darkness.