Thursday, December 31, 2009

Full Moon - Blue Moon



I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."


16th Day of the First Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia \
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: Full - 2:12PM EST
Moon sets: 7:38AM EST
Moon rises: 5:04PM EST
Moon in the Cardinal Water Sign of Cancer
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The cordial of praise
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:42AM EST
Sunset: 5:02PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What does the seasonal
cycle of renewal offer you?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 31st, 2009

     Well, here it is the last day of this year, of this decade...  the light is starting to fade outside but there is a lot of cloud cover. I don't think I will be seeing this Full Blue Moon but I am certainly going to be aligning with Her energies.

  If you want to practice magick
you must learn to be still.

If you live behind a wall of sound,
and cannot be alone with your own thoughts
you are not a candidate majician.











Wednesday, December 30, 2009

15th Day of the Birch Lunar Cycle - Woden's Day


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

15th Day of the First Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle - Beth/Birth
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 6:30AM EST
Moon rises: 3:51PM EST
Moon in Gemini v/c 3:28PM EST
Moon enters the Cardinal Water
Sign of Cancer at 9:44PM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The treasures of Winter
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:42AM EST
Sunset: 5:02PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What are the landmarks
of your spiritual home?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter
for the Year
December 30th, 2009

   This is Woden's Day -Wednesday - Mercury Day, the day of Communication and Connection.... being that we are in Mercury Retrograde I think this would be a day to approach with caution.  I think I would look at commication and connection in the terms of working through a Mercury Retrograde with re-words.  Such as maybe reviewing past communications and connections... and being that this about the last day of this year, it is a great time look back over the connections and communications that I've done and had in the past year.  The Major magickal energies suggested in Seasons of the Witch for Written Communication (to be done before the Moon goes void of course this evening) will be ones used for my review of past written communications - like for instance perhaps reading through my blog entries for the past year or so.

   When the Moon enters Cancer later this evening - it will be entering a Cardinal Water Sign which has the key phrase "I Feel".  This transit concerns desires about a home, emotional security, entertaining friends, cooking, security issues, nostalgia and the desire to nurture  A Full Moon in Cancer is a wonderful time for an elaborate full moon ritual due to Cancer's sensitivity and psychic attunement.


Here is a nice example of a Full Moon ritual - you can adapt it to suit your needs tomorrow night:

1.First, if your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so at this time. If you don't normally cast a circle, at least take the time to ritually purify the area by smudging or asperging. This will establish the space as sacred.


You'll need a bowl of water and a moon candle for the altar. This is traditionally a white unscented pillar-style candle. You can decorate the moon candle with sigils or inscriptions etched with a hot knife. Adorn your altar with lunar symbols -- mirrors, silver ribbons, white crystals.

Feel free to substitute the names and attributes of the deities of your path in this incantation.

2.Turn to the altar, and hold your arms open wide. Tilt your head so that your face is skyward -- after all, this is a celebration honoring the full moon. Say:
"Goddess of the moon, queen of the night,

keeper of women's mysteries, mistress of the tides,

you who are ever changing and yet always constant,

I ask that you guide me with your wisdom,

help me grow with your knowlege,

and hold me in your arms."


At this time, light the moon candle, and take a moment to reflect upon the gifts you have in your life.

3.Hold the bowl of water to the sky. Say:

"The moon is the symbol of the mother,

and she watches over us day and night.

She brings the changing tide, the shifting night,

the flow that changes women's bodies,

and the passion of lovers to their beloved.

Her wisdom is great and all-knowing,

and we honor her tonight.

Keep your watchful eyes upon us, great mother,

until the cycle returns once more,

and bring us to the next full moon,

in your love and light."

4.Take a few moments to think about the things in your life which have changed in the past moon cycle. Are there people who have come into your world that you're thankful for? Have you ended a toxic relationship? Have you experienced good fortune at work? Meditate on all the things you have to be thankful for, as well as the things you would like to see change for you by the next full moon.

When you are ready, close the circle and end the ritual. If you choose, you can move into healing rites or magical workings, or a Cakes & Ale ceremony.

Tips:

1.Use the moon water over the next month for watering plants, making offerings, or doing spellwork.

What You Need:

•A moon candle

•A bowl of water

•Moon symbols for your altar: mirrors, silver ribbons, crystals.
 
From: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccanandpaganrituals/ht/Esbat_Rite.htm
 
 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fourteenth Day of the Lunar Cycle - Tiu's Day


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

14th Day of the First Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 5:32AM EST
Moon rises: 2:46PM EST
Moon in the Mutable Air Sign
of Gemini
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The unconquerable
nature of the soul.
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:42AM EST
Sunset: 5:01PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which fear is keeping you in prison?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 29th, 2009

     There are Major magickal energies for spells/rites regarding Education today - the correspondencesw are: the Element of Air (the Moon is in the Mutable Air Sign of Gemini);
the color Yellow; Knight of Swords; and the rune Eohwaz.  The process of learning usually means replacing previously held beliefs or opinions with new ones. This starts a chain reaction which begins with mental chaos. That is followed by changes in one's vibration and that, in turn, is followed by being out of sync with surroundings. The stuff and, even the people, may no longer seem to fit. That is why 'comfort zone' is the typical choice even though it is not in our own future best interest.

   The tarot card - the Knight of Swords for education spells:  This suit is the suit of Air, or intellect, and governs traditional learning. This is the card of mind expansion and new perspectives. The Knight is brilliant and also fearless in pursuit of new knowledge. 

 Other colors to use in Education spells/rites can be Dark Blue for intellectual support; or Orange for resolve to undertake the unknown.
If the issue is one of funding for an education, then using a spell for money might be more appropriate.

  If the education being sought is in a magickally related area then you might be using magickal energy to help you find a teacher - if you have been unable to find one who is suitable, you might cast to have prospective mentor cross your path or you might request that the information you need become available to you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gibbous Moon -


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

13th Day of the 1st Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: Gibbous - 6:14AM EST
Moon sets: 4:22AM EST
Moon rises: 1:56PM EST
Moon in Taurus v/c 3:48PM EST
Moon enters the Mutable Air Sign of
Gemini at 8:11PM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Your kinship with the stars.
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:42AM EST
Sunset: 5:00PM EST
Solar Question for the Day:"What threshold of attainment waits for
you to cross over?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 28th, 2009

   The keywords for the Gibbous phase of the moon are: analyze, prepare, and trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments, it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. 
   We are approaching a Blue Moon and it is a Wishing Moon. According to Seasons of the Witch wishing moons occur four times a year on the full moon closest to the sabbats. They are occasions for planning the goals of the coming quarter and assessing the results of the quarter past. 

  Blue Moon: The original mean ing of the term 'blue moon', as mentioned by Shakespeare, had to do with the moon's actual appearance which some have suggested could have been related to various meteorological or volcanic activity.
  The phase 'once in a Blue Moon' was first noted in 1824 and refers to occurrences that are uncommon, perhaps even rare, but two full moons in the same month is not as uncommon as one might think. About once every three years of the Gregorian calendar, there are thirteen moons in a year.
   Although the expression is centuries old, it has only recently come to mean the second full moon in a month and, poetry and songs aside, has nothing to do with heartbreak or loneliness. The term Blue Moon is truly modern folklore.

  So today there are Major Magickal energies for rites/spells regarding Travel and Intuition to be done after the moon goes void of course midafternoon today. Also there are minor magickal energies for spells/rits regarding household harmony and patience.   This is Moon Day - the Day of Remembering and Feeling, Impression Day. 

Threes

Three has long been considered a significant number. It is considered both lucky and unlucky on diffreent occasions.  Certainly in past generations it was believed that bad things would always happen in threes, whether breakages or deaths. A further example is the belief that it is unlucky to light 3 cigarettes from a single match, althought it is thought by many that this is because in warfare the enemy would sight on the first light, take aim on the second, and then shoot on the third. Interestingly, it was also thought to be unlucky to have 3 lighted candles or lamps in the same room. Three, however, is considered positive in terms of trying to achieve things, as in third time lucky. A very old form of divination involved 3 dishes; one filled with clean water, one being dirty and the third left empty, placed in from of the fire. A blindfolded person dips their left hand into one at random. If they select the clean water than they will be nmarried, the dirty one they will be widowed and if it is empty then they will never marry. '
  Of coursem in the Craft, 3 is significant because many Goddesses have three aspects: Maiden, Mother and Crone. Thus many spells will require that something is done 3 times, or over 3 nights, and chants are usually repeated thrice. Furthermore, there are 3 degrees of Initiation. In some traditions of the Craft it is said that magick should always be worked in 3 parts: one for yourself, one for someone else and one for the and.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mercury Retrograde Begins - St. Stephen's Day - Wren Day


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

11 Day of the First Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: waxing Half
Moon sets: 2:04AM EST
Moon rises: 12:42PM EST
Moon in Aries v/c 6:42AM EST
Moon enters the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus at 3:24PM
Mercury Retrograde - 9:39AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The unfolding vision of your life.
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:41AM EST
Sunset: 4:59PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What would give your loved ones most pleasure?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 26th, 2009


   Mercury Retrograde - chances are you may have already heard of it. For increasingly, even the most skeptical are debating the effects of this mysterious sounding phenomenon that could be said to be the ghost in the machine of our efficient, smooth-running society. Mercury does not actually stop in the heavens and go backward, of course - it just appears that way to those on Earth who are observing its motions. This celestial optical illusion occurs whenever Mercury, the nearest planet  to the Sun, begins to round the bend in its orbit and swing closer to Earth. Thus, from Earth's position, Mercury appears to be moving backwards against the sky.

   But what exactly is Mercury Retrograde - those cycles that cause even nonastrologers to cancel plans, and stall important decisions, and put life on hold?  Three or four times a year the planet Mercury appears to slow down and reverse direction. Like a car that shifts into reverse and moves backward over a stretch of road it has just covered, the planet seems to retrace a section of its pathway around the Sun. It than shofts forward, moving 'direct' again until it returns to its original strting point. At this stage it begins to move more quickly along its orbit until several months later, when it repeats the entire process all over again. Each peiod of time Mercury is retrograde lasts approximately three weeks.

   This astrological event that is said to throw schedules off-kilter, derail the best-laid plans, cast doubt on cherished dreams, stir misunderstandings and doubt in personal relationships, make computers malfunction and cars break down is becoming more and more well-known. Many in business, technology and the media want to learn more about avoiding the pitfalls and obstacles that often come with this cycle. For while most people's knowledge of astrology doesn't extend beyond reading their Sun sign forecast in the daily newspapers, growing numbers now take serious notice of this triannual event.

   Because Mercury retrograde cycles are shorter and occur more frequently, astrologers say that it's effects is more pronounced than those of other planets when they go retrograde. And because astrological tradition guves the planet Mercury 'rulership' over the sphere of life that includes commerce, trade, transportation, and communication - activities that affect virtually everyone - its influence is even more noticable. Like the stick in the spoke of the wheel that throws a cart off course, Mercury's reversal can often mean setbacks, obstructions, misunderstandings, and sudden, unexplained 'out-of-blue' events.
  
  Yet for all the confusion that surrounds Mercury retrograde, it contains within it a vein of gold - if only we would mine it for its true worth. By working with the slower pace of Mercury retrograde, rather than against it, we can allow ourselves to step outside the narrow framework of ordinary reality and see our lives from a wider perspective. Most astrologers, for instance, agree that it is a cosmically timed period to understake any activity with the prefix re-  such as redo, reevaluate, revise, rethink, review, reconsider, reassess.  Whether restoring an antique, reordering a messy closet, rewriting a business proposal or article, reflecting upon a relationship, revisiting old friends, or taking time out to hike or laugh over a glass of wine. Mercury retrograde is all about loosening the grip of everyday demands and responsibilities in order to experience life more deeply. It is about finding pleasure in the old familiar, and timeless, rather than the new and untried.

    A message here can be to remember there are times in life when the wisest course of action is to simply let go and savor things just as they are. Thus, rather than push forward, it is a time to retreat, if possible, and step back from the usual hurriedm, harried way of doing things. It is a time reflect in solitude on what has gone on in the months preceding Mercury retrograde, and to reconnect  with one's soul. Following these steps makes it possible to emerge from the peiod of Mercury retrograde refreshed and renewed  in spirit.


   We'Moon has this advice about Mercury Retrograde -  "Mercury, planetary muse and mentor of our mental and communicative lives, appears to reverse its course three or four times a year. We may benefit from less stress when it retrogrades by making allowances for a symbolic 'sleep cycle'. These peiods give us permission to pause and go back over familiar territory, reflecting and giving second thoughts to dropped projects or miscommunications. Breakdowns can help us attend ato the safety of mechanical and mobility modes. It's time to 'recall the now' of the past and pay attention to underlying issues. Leave matters that lock in future commitments until Mercury goes direct. 

For this time of period of Mercury retrograde - from December 26th until January 15th, 2010, use fun flights of the mind while spinning your wheels waiting for serious business to begin."

The Wren


  One of the smallest birds, the Wren has long been associated with Witchcraftand Paganism, both to its determent and benefit.

   On St. Stephen's Day, 26th of December, a ritual known as 'Hunting the Wren' was enacted. The poor Wren was hunted, killed, decorated and paraded through the streets to bring good fortune to the people of the town. In some areas it was simply kept caged for the remaining 12 days of Christmas and in others it was decorated with ribbons and allowed to fly free.

   It is thought by some that this treatment of the Wren was to offset the Pagan associations of the bird. On the positive side, folklore has long held the Wren to be a lucky bird: a Wren's feather falling on you indicated a long and prosperous life, to have one in your garden indicates a happy home and just to hear its song was considered lucky.

  Perhaps surprisingly some families still re-enact Hunting the Wren as part of the season's festivities, only in this case the Wren in question is a paper one! A small bird shape is cut out of paper and painted. It is then secreted somewhere in the house. At dusk the children are sent to hunt the Wren. The first to find her is given the Wren to place in their room.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day - Freya's Day


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

10th Day of the First Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: waxing half
Moon sets: 12:59AM EST
Moon rises: 12:14PM EST
Moon in the Cardinal Fire Sign of Aries
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The blessing age
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:41AM EST
Sunset: 4:58PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: ""To whom do you need to show more senstivity?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 25th, 2009

   Now isn't this appropriate -- Christmas Day coming on Freya's Day - the Day of Sharing and Relationhip.  There are Major magickal energies for spells/rites to Develop Talents. 

  Christmas:  Christmas is not a Wiccan festival; however, it is such an intrinsic part of life today that almost all Witches will celebrate it.

   It's hard to avoid such a dominant celebration. Certainly, anyone with children would have to be either very lucky or extremely firm in order to persuade their young not to celebrate it. Many Witches celebrate Yule and then go on to celebrate Christmas too.

  There are a number of interesting customs and beliefs associated with Christmas. It is said that you should eat mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas, preferably given to you by someone else, to ensure 12 months of good luck. Moreover, it is bad luck to refuse a mince pie if it is offered to you. The pies should never be cut as this would bring conflict into the home. The Christmas pudding, when made at home, should be stirred 3 times Deosil, or clockwise, by everyone in the house to ensure their wishes come true. Should a fly be seen in the house between Christmas and the New Year it is said to forecast a good year. To see a person's shadow without a head on Christmas day was believed to indicate a death in the coming year. The turkey wishbone should be pulled by two people using only their little fingers. The one who wins the nub will then  have their wish come true. At midnight on this day you should open all the doors in the house to let evil spirits depart.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]


Christmas Pudding

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH CHRISTMAS RECIPES


CHRISTMAS PUDDING



In our family it has always been the tradition to put a 'sixpenny bit' into the pudding just before baking. (A sixpenny bit was the old silver coin worth ½ shilling or sixpence). The family would examine their portions of pudding, usually served with cream or brandy sauce, to see who was the lucky one to get the sixpence - not for the value of the coin - but for the luck it would bring in the forthcoming year. With the advent of decimal currency this tradition has died out a little, but we use a modern 5 pence piece. (If you use a dark coloured or copper based coin then wrap it in silver cooking foil). Wash the coin, but you will find the baking will sterilise it for you.

Do warn anyone eating the pudding that there is a small silver coin hidden somewhere.

We would bring the pudding to the table, having first having upturned it out onto a large plate. The top of the pudding would have a real holly sprig for decoration - or, on special occasions - we would pour a little brandy over the cake, set fire to it and bring it into the darkened room ablaze!

(The brandy burns with a cool blue flame and does not burn the cake - and adds a little 'extra' taste). You can serve this on its own, with custard, brandy sauce or cream.

This will make TWO dark, rich tasting puddings that will serve 8 people per pudding.



Ingredients:

100g or 4oz flour

50g or 2oz soft white bread crumbs

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

100g or 4oz shredded suet

100g or 4oz soft brown sugar

100g or 4oz grated apple

1 grated carrot

100g or 4oz mixed candied peel

100d 4oz chopped, blanched almonds

150ml ¼ pint of beer (preferably a dark beer)

100g or 4oz currants

100g or 4oz sultanas

225g or 4oz raisins

50g or 2oz chopped prunes

The juice plus the grated rind of half a lemon

The juice plus the grated rind of half an orange

1 tablespoon black treacle

1 tablespoon brandy

Method:

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together, stirring well. Don't forget the silver coin!

2. Cover with a clean cloth and leave overnight to infuse

3. Take two clean 2 pint (1.1 litre) basins and split the mixture between them.

4. Cover each basin with greaseproof paper and a cloth. Tied the paper around the top of the basin to keep in place.

5. Now steam or boil for 8 hours, making sure the water does not boil away. (A large saucepan, containing water, with the basins stood in the water is the best way to steam or boil these puddings).

6. Take them out of the pan making sure that they are still covered and store until they are needed.

7. When ready to use re-boil them for another two hours.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Cycle of Beth/Birch begins - First Quarter Moon


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

9th Day of the 1st Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Beith/Birch
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beith/Birch
Moon Phase: First Quarter - 12:35PM EST
Moon sets: 12:15AM EST
Moon rises: 11:50AM EST
Moon in Pisces v/c 3:08AM EST
Moon enters the Cardinal Fire Sign of Aries at 6:38AM EST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The work of your hands
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:40AM EST
SunsetL 4:58PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which of your family do you most appreciate?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year.
December 24th, 2009


  There are minor magickal energies for spells/rites for good fortune - correspondences are: element of Sun; color Green; tarot card - Three of Wands; and rune Fehu.  It is Thor's Day - Jupiter Day, the Day of Vision, Spiritual Insight and Expansion. 

   First Quarter Moon phase:  the keywords are: action; expression; growth; breaking away. It is a time in a lunar cycle to take the initial action necessary to achieve your goal by expresing your needs and desires. FEEL & MOVE.  Make phone calls. Write letters. Dance. Act now.  Moon in Aries is a time of new beginnings, intense activity, reaching out with emotional surges and impulsiveness.  This is moon sign that is a great tester of limits. When moon is in Aries you may want to depend on yourself, as there is also a certain amount of ego involvement. You may find yourself feeling impatient and wanting to initiate new things.


The Cycle of Beth/Birch:

Names: BETH, Birch, Beath, Bethi, Bedw, Beithe, Bedwen, Beithi, Betula pendula

Celtic Symbol : The White Stag
Zodiac Degrees : 2º00` - 29º59` Capricorn
Ruling Planet : The Sun - Sul
Ancient Gods Associated With The Sun :
Greek : Helios, Apollo ( Alson Known As Phoebus), Cynthius And Pytheus
Celtic : Hu, Beli, Taliesin, Arthur
Full Moon: Birch Moon; Moon of Inception, Moon of Beginning
Magickal Properties include Protection of children; purification; creativity
Tarot Key: The Magician

The birch is the tree of inception, representing birth, initiation, discipline and sacrifice. The time is ruled by the force of wild, un-tamed nature, and is reflected in the unconscious (inner) self and the rebirth of the Sun from winter's solstice. This is the first tree that takes away the decay of the mysterious elder. Both the Birch and the Elder stand on either sides of The One Nameless Day. They both represent a link between life and death, with the Birch being the beginning of all things. It is also associated with the training of Druids, the birth of new life and is both energetic and spontaneous.Children's cradles were made of Birch. Axe handles were also made from Birch. On the Isle of Man, off the west coast of Scotland, criminals were 'birched' to purify them and to drive out evil influences.

The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch.

Its symbols are the horned animals, especially goats and stags. Connected to pentagrams and mountains. The Magician tarot card. Symbolized by Cernunnos - the horned one, said to be the Soul of Lugh, and the Dagda - Celtic Earth god. Archetypically related to other horned gods such as Pan, the Hircocervus (sacred Goat-Stag), the Egyptian horned god Asar (Osiris), and Shiva who is lord of the animals.

Birch trees have been long associated with fertility and healing magic, and the twigs were used to bestow fertility on cattle and newlyweds. Birch is most useful for fertility and healing spells. The birch has a multitude of uses: it yields a sap similar to maple syrup; its bark can be used as flour and also make birch beer; and birch tea is said to ease rheumatism and gout. The inner bark provides a pain reliever while the leaves can be used to treat arthritis.
[From: http://www.crystal-forest.com/celtictreemonthBIRCH.html ]

Color Correspondence:  White

Gender: androgynous
Personality: spiritual, devote4d, psychic, protective, comfortable in open spaces, likes neatness and order.
Magickal Purpose: inner light, moon workings, seeking truth
Magickal Uses: divination, healing, inner spirituality, moon workings, truth, energy boost for psychic powers, protection, peace and purification.
God: Fati, Gou, Lah, Limagah, Mah, Mani
Goddess: Artemis (Diana), Ashma, Luna, Selene
Element: Air
Direction: East
Planet: Moon
Tools: crystal ball, cauldron, wand, scrying mirror
Tarot: The Fool (new beginnings)
Oil:Anise, Betony, Cedar, Frankincense, Honeysuckle, Heliotrope, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Parsley, Sandlewood, Thyme, Wormwood
Herb: Betony, Burdock, Dahila, Elder Flower, Fern, Gladiola, Heather, Lilac, Lily, Marigold, Mint, Moonflower, Mugwort, Mustard, Roemary, Rue, Sage, St. Johns, Tansy, and Woodruff.
Wood: Almond, Ash, Birch, Cedar, Coconut, Elm, Elder, Hawthorn, Hazel, Juniper, White Heather.
Animal: bear, cat, chameleon, dog, dove, hawk, lizard, magpie, praying mantis, snowy owl, swan, whale, and wolf
Stones: abalone, agate geode, amethyst, aquamarine, clear crystals, moonstone, mother-of-pearl, pearl, opals, and quartz.
[From: Seasons of the Witch datebook 2009)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nameless Day


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

Nameless Day
Ruled by Morrigan

Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 11:27AM EST
Moon sets: 10:58PM EST
Moon in the Mutable Water Sign of Pisces
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The potency of dreams enacted.
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:40AM EST
Sunset: 4:57PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What is the source of your deepest refreshment?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 23rd., 2009

The last day of the calendar, December 23rd, is known as The Nameless Day which is represented by the Mistletoe and symbolized by the black pearl. "Nameless Day". This day falls outside the lunar calendar and represents the unshaped potential of all things-similar to the Fool card of Tarot and the blank stone that has been added to modern rune systems.


Here are couple of views of The Nameless Day:

Winter Solstice/Yule occurs a few days before Christmas. It is the longest night of the year, and Pagans celebrate the return of the sun/longer days coming. The Holly King (representing winter/darkness) and the Oak King (representing summer/light) have a battle, and the Oak King wins, representing that the days are getting lighter. (In the southern hemisphere they are celebrating Summer Solstice/Midsummer, and the Holly King wins the semiannual battle).

Winter Solstice is also called the Nameless Day in the Druidic/Celtic calendar because it is considered the day between the old year and the new year. The day is represented by the Elder Tree and mistletoe. (If you have ever heard the term "a year and a day" - this is where it comes from, as the Nameless Day is the "and a day" part of the expression).
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The day after the winter solstice is the extra day of the year in the expression ‘a year and a day,’ added to the lunar year to make it come even with the solar.  It lies outside the tree-months, and is associated with the mistletoe or all-heal (Ychelwydd), but that is not its name.  It has no name because it is a time set apart, and because the newly reborn witch, like the Sun God, has no name as yet.  Her name, like that of the newly reborn Oak King, will be assigned on Modranacht, the Night of the Mothers (i.e., the fates), which the Christians appropriated as Christmas Eve.  For one’s name in a pagan sense is the expression or embodiment of one’s destiny, and on Modranacht the destiny of the reborn Oak King is foretold, and the witch scries her own destiny for the year to come through divination.This Nameless Day after Yule is the most sacred 36 day in the year for Celtic witches, and if possible, it should be spent quietly in solitary meditation, so the witch can experience in her own person the mystery of rebirth.  This is the secret referred to in the Song of Amergin tag for this day, which runs “Who but I knows the secret of the unhewn dolmen?”  For dolmens marked the womb-like graves of heroes, and as yet there is no name carved there.Now we have come full circle around the Wheel of the Year, and we see the journey differently than when we started.  As the Wheel turns, may our understanding continue to change and grow, and may it always be so!
 
From Jane Gifford's "The Wisdom of the Trees" comes this view:
 
Appeasing the Dark Queen.......
 

   One day remains completely unaccounted for in the Celtic Calendar, December 23rd, known as the Namless Day."  This is the extra day that features in so any folk tales where the story takes place over a year and a day. On this day, when the King of the Waning Year was dead and the new King of the Waxing Year was not yet born, it was the custom to fast to appease the goddess in her darkest aspect so that she would permit the sun to return to the world and the cycle of the year to recommence. The darkest of days has neither tree nor name and is sacred to Morrigan, goddess of death and destruction. Her name means Great Queen in Irish. She appears in Arthurian legend as Morgan le Faye, sister of King Arthur: 'le Faye' means 'the Fate'.  This dark queen took the form of a raven and was feared and respected by everyone. 
 
 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Solistice is Celebrated


I am one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

Winter Solstice

Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 11:05AM EST
Moon sets: 10:58PM EST
Moon in  the Mutable Water Sign of Pisces
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The courage to fail and tru again.
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:39AM EST
Sunset: 4:56PM
Solar Question for the Day: "What do you need to learn in order to be more confident?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 22nd., 2009


      The beautiful image at the top of my blog today comes from We'Moon '09 is by Catherine Malland.
The essay with the image is:

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice - the longest night of the year - profoundly challenges our psychological tolerance for darkness. It is a visionary time. Like the dark of the Moon each month, Winter Solstice represents not only the pitch black of night, but also a seed of something that will unfold in the coming year. We pray for a future we can only imagine.
In far-northern climates, where this winter darkness expands to fill almost all of the day's twenty-four hours, ancient ritual priestesses called "Volvas" developed oracular practices called "Seidr," a word meaning 'seat' or 'sitting.' Scandinavian Seers cast spells from special high seats, whence they prophesied the future or 'summoned something' according to scholar Mary B. Kelly. Why not create an oracular seat for yourself on this night of nights and pray for a vision? Make a strong wish for (cast a spell or 'summon') the outcome you want see manifested in 2010. Then light a single candle and celebrate that in this moment of ultimate darkness, the light - as always - is born again.
by Vicki Noble


Monday, December 21, 2009

Yule



"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

Yule

"When the wheel hath turned to Yule,
light the log, the Horned One rules."

Lunar and Celtic Tree for today is the Yew tree.

Moon Phase:  waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 10:42AM EST
Moon sets: 9:59PM EST
Moon in Aquarius v/c 7:53AM EST
Moon enters the Mutable Water Sign of
Pisces at 6:41PM EST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Music of your choice.
Sun enters the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn at 12:46PM
Sunrise: 7:39AM EST
Sunset: 4:56PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: " What do you most appreciate about being human?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 21st, 2009

Sun in Capricorn

  Capricorn is one of the Earth signs bringing physicality, resourcefulness, practicality nand a down-to-earth attitude. It is also a Cardinal sign indicating a desire to take action, impatience, eagerness and a need to be in control.
   Having said that, Capricorns are generally restrained, patient, cautious and methodical. They tend to be rational, prudent, and admire disciplined behavior. They will persevere with a problem or task, taking it one step at a time until they reach their desired result. They do not give up ideas or dreams easily. They can appear cool and calculating, but this is because they tend hold back their feelings, and can appear unaffected by even the strongest stimuli. On the negative side they can be harsh and exacting on those around them. They can be narrow-minded, critical, selfish, and pessimistic, particularly in respect of human nature. Their desire for control can also lead to them being quite manipulative, especially of emotions.
   This period is one where Capricorns should restrain their expression about others; it is very much a time when they should think carefully about the effects of what they say and do, before they say or do it. Those of other signs can use the energies of this time to great effect in honest examination of their relationships with those around them. They will also find that this is a good time for tackling outstanding tasks and chores, especially those which previously seemed over-complex.

The Yew Tree







Taxus baccata


Tree of Resurrection, Tree of Eternity

Winter Solstice, December 21st

Fifth vowel and last letter of the Ogham alphabet - Idho



The Yew is the grandfather and grandmother of the Celtic woodland. The longest living of the native British trees, it sees the wheel turn many, many times and so understands well the cycles of energy that unfold in mankind time and again. It can live thousands of years and when the central trunk begins to decay, a new tree sprouts from within to keep the cycle of life turning. It is thus the tree of death and rebirth and hence transformation. The most sacred and mysterious of magical sites were found in the groves of yews and indeed many ancient churches have yews growing in their grounds that predate the arrival of Christianity and indicate an ancient sacred site.  The slow-growing Yew is one of our oldest trees. It is an evergreen with a flaking reddish bark. The female tree, for there are male and female trees, bears a bright red fruit. It reaches a maximum height of around 50 feet after which it tends to increase in birth, often having more than one tree trunk growing from one set of roots.
 
The Yew is sacred to the Druids and ancient peoples, and was thought to be a guardian of the dead. It is often found growing in churchyards and there are many reasons for this. Churches were often the only places with solid walls around them preventing the transpass of livestock. The Yew, being a favored tree for making bows and arrows since the Stone Age, therefore had to be protected from cattle and the like. Conversely, as it is highly poisonous, valuable livestock had to be protected from eating the Yew. However, as some churchyard Yews are thought to be around 4,000 years old, it is more probable that the Churches were built near the Yew as a sacred place.
 
  All parts of the Yew are poisonous, especially the fruit and seeds, and protective gloves should be worn if it is necessary to handle it. There are no recorded historic medicinal uses for the tree, although it is being experimented on with reference to treatments for cancer today. Magically the Yew is linked to the salmon, the word Eo being an ancient word for both, and hence is a tree of knowledge. Because of its links with death it is particuarly useful as a focus for meditation on the afterlife.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eve of the Winter Solstice - Mother's Night


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

Eve of Winter Solstice
Ruled by the Mother/Crone
Lunar Tree Time ~ Ailm
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: Crescent - 9:49AM EST
Moon rises: 10:18AM EST
Moon sets: 9:00PM EST
Moon in the Fixed Air Sign
of Aquarius
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Thresholds of light in your life.
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:38AM EST
Sunset: 4:55PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: ""What is the source of your spiritual guidance?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 20th, 2009

This is the Eve of the Winter Solstice
This is the great celebration of Mother Night.

   These words come from http://www.owlsdaughter.com/owls-wings/  blog entry for today as does the beautiful image I have put at the beginning of this blog entry. Be sure to go there and read her words, they are beautiful.

"The shortest day and the longest night in the ever turning calendar of the seasons, Yule is classified as a "low holiday" or lesser celebration on the Wheel of the Year..."   And these words come from
http://kerrdelune.blogspot.com/   blog today - her honoring of this wonderful time on our ever turning Wheel of the Year.

  Tomorrow morning deep in a cave in Ireland (New Grange) the sun reaches her rays along a rock corridor and illuminates a spiral carving. In France, light travels along the multiple lines of boulders that stand like petrified soldiers at Carnac. In southwestern American, a shaft of light cuts across a rock carving like a cosmic arrow.
  Across the world our ancestors felt the need to mark this day as special. They built huge carins of stone, cut into hard granite, built intricate monuments. What was the deep wisdom they knew, which caused them to create such rich and eloquent shrines? And how can we get it back?

"The rising of the sun
and the running of the deer,
and the playing of sweet music
at the turning of the year."

___ Traditional Yule carol


And so we will be entering the Solstic week. 

T

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fourth Day of the 13th Lunar Cycle


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

4th Day of the 13th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: waxing New
Moon rises: 9:51AM EST
Moon sets: 6:00PM EST
Moon enters the Fixed Air
Sign of Aquarius at 5:38AM EST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The wonder
of life.
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:38AM EST
Sunset: 4:55PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: ""What prejudices are you holding on to?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 19th, 2009

    So here I am marking time in the 13th lunar cycle for this year - the cycle of Elder - and because of the I follow a lunar cycle based system of time keeping I will only be in this cycle till Monday when the Winter Solstice falls.  Then the day after the Solstice is the Nameless Day in the Celtic traditions, and the day after that will begin the Beith/Birch lunar cycle.  This is lunar cycle that will not begin with a New Moon necessarily, just like the Ruis/Elder lunar cycle will not end with a Dark Moon.  OK, so it is confusing but I have become used to it.  We witches can tend to have our idiosyncratic ways which can make us very individualistic at times.

   Elder Month:

  Its flowers can be eaten and made into wine. A tea or syrup made from the flowers is good for coughs and sore throats. The berries, which are high in vitamin C, can be eaten in a variety of ways and also make a fine wine. The berries and leaves, also high in Vitamin C, can be made into jam. The leaves can be boiled and cooled and used as a dressing to relieve earache. Elderflower water is excellent for the skin, cleansing, soothing and, for those with pale skins, whitening it. It also helps to reduce acne and prevent it from scarring. The bark was boiled to make a laxative tea. Its wood can easily be hollowed out to make whistles and, for children, pop-guns.

  The Elder is a tree of wisdom and knowledge associated with the Crone. It used to be thought of as a tree of death and sorrow. It is said that to cut the tree, or to burn its wood, is to invite ill luck. In Northern Europe it is said that the Elder-tree Mother inhabits the tree and if any wood is cut she follows the wood and haunts the owner. Even fallen wood should only be taken with permission. Elder leaves were thought to keep off Witches and were hung on doors to protect all within. The pith of the branches were supposed to make a wick which, when lit, would reveal all the Witches in the neighborhood. Meditate under a fruiting Elder if you seek answers from those who have gone before.
[From: "The Real Witches' Year" by Kate West]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Moon -


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

1st Day of the 13th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle - Ruis/Elder
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: New -7:02AM EST
Moon rises: 7:54AM EST
Moon sets: 5:00PM EST
Moon in Sagittarius v/c7:02AM EST
Moon enters the Cardinal Earth
Sign of Capricorn at 5:32PM EST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The gifts of
mortality.
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:36AM EST
Sunset: 4:54PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What is seeking
to reveal itself in your dreams?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 16th, 2009

   New Moon - The beginning of a new cycle.  Keywords are: beginning, birth, emergence, protection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.5-day cycle ahead.

    There are Major magickal energies today for rites/spells regarding Politics and the correspondences are: the element of Air; the color Dark Blue; the tarot card 7 of Swords; and the rune Ansuz.. There are also Major magickal energies for Negotiation - and the correspondences are: the Moon; the color Yellow; the tarot card Temperance, Ansuz.  With this major important environmental conference going on in Denmark and with the news that it seems to be coming apart at the seams before it barely gets started, I think there needs to be some sort of magickal influences there.  Think about it.

   Also today is Woden's Day - Wednesday - the Day of Communication and Connection. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dark Moon - Last day of this lunar cycle



"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."


30th Day of the 12th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Ngetal/Reed
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: Dark moon
Moon rises: 7:05AM EST
Moon sets: 4:03PM EST
Moon in the Mutable Fire
Sign of Sagittarius
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The blessings of age
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:38AM EST
Sunset: 4:51PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: ""Where
are you most vulnerable?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 15th, 2009

The Dark Moon


Take advantage of this powerful force.
 
The dark of the Moon, or "Dark Moon," evokes images of secret rituals and mysterious psychic energies. Indeed, it can be a time of great power. The Dark Moon occurs during the last three days of the lunar cycle, just before the New Moon. The energy during this phase is slowing down and turning inward. It's a time of retreat, healing and renewal.



It's a time of getting in touch with your inner life and purging unneeded attitudes, feelings and material junk, in preparation for the New Moon, which heralds a new beginning. Most important, the Dark Moon helps eliminate anything (or anyone) in your life that holds you back from your true path. Being in tune with the Dark Moon phase will help you take the steps to manifest greater fulfillment in your life.
Here are some suggestions to help you take advantage of the Dark Moon.

A physical cleanse

Slow down and take a breath. Get in touch with what your body needs. Do you have negative habits you need to eliminate? Do you need to stop smoking or decrease your consumption of alcohol? Are you eating too much sugar - or eating too much, period? Are you exercising regularly? The Dark Moon is an excellent time to prepare for a healthier you by consulting a health professional, starting a health journal, fasting for a day or getting a colonic. Be sure to review what changes you need to make to improve your health. Then launch your new health program after the New Moon.


A material cleanse

And let's not forget the material stuff. The Dark Moon is an excellent time to clean out your closets and garage. Then hold a yard sale or give your possessions to a charity. Clearing out unneeded stuff is good feng shui that clears the way for new opportunities to enter your life (and house!).

Emotional healing

Ahh, therapy. Talking with someone you trust about your feelings during the Dark Moon can bring surprising insights. After all, the Dark Moon is all about healing and making friends with the inner you. And to be your own best friend, you need to resolve feelings of hurt, jealousy and anger - or anything else standing in the way of being emotionally healthy. Starting a journal during the Dark Moon will improve your clarity, too. Take some time to think about what you need emotionally - from yourself and others. Do you have a good balance between alone time and time spent with loved ones? Do you need to say goodbye to some negative people in your life? The Dark Moon will help you see what changes you need to make to be emotionally fulfilled.

Spiritual tune up

Finally (and perhaps most important), ask yourself if you're taking time for your spirituality. Like many of us, your life may be filled to the brink with accomplishing things that need to get done. If so, it's time to stop what you're doing for a time, and go inward. The Dark Moon is an excellent time to go on a spiritual retreat, join a spiritual group, start a dream journal or begin meditating regularly. Anything that gets you in touch with your soul. Next, begin incorporating at least some of these activities into your daily life. Then your inner voice won't have to shout to be heard.

If you're consciously working with the Dark Moon phase each month, you'll eventually find yourself free from emotional and physical clutter - and filled with love, creativity and purpose.

From: http://www.californiapsychics.com/articles/Features/2222/The_Dark_Moon.aspx
 
 
  If the Dark Moon phase is one you feel aligned with then this is a great book to be in your collection:

I have had a copy of this book for many years and find myself returning to time and again to help re-align myself with the moon. This special time in a lunar cycle, the night before the New Moon, is less familiar to most of us and yet is as equally powerful as the Full Moon. There are no secrets on the Dark Moon Path, but there is plenty of hidden wisdom. Deepen your understanding of the Moon as the Goddess as you experience the intuitive and deep healing powers of the dark. 
 
The rituals for each lunar month, done on the Dark Moon day/night, will explore the unknown within ourselves so that can rebalance and weave  together the sunlight and moonlit parts of ourselves.
 
This Dark Moon and the others in the Winter Season are Dark Crone moons. At this time of the year the Dark Moon Path descends to unbelievable depths as we approach the Goddess as Crone. We see the season of winter as the season of the Crone. The leaves fall from the trees and show us a stark vision of the world that is cold and seems deserted. We have to look to see the beauty and we have to search to find the joy.

   The word 'crone' evokes strong emotions in us. We see images of fearsome old women with no teeth and wrinkles that seem to end. Crone evokes images of a witch burning Hansel and Gretel in an oven. Crone evokes images of dark, stormny nights filled with terror and screams. Crone looks into the heart and tells us magic and mystery that is full of awe and wonder if we are brave and look back into the abyss. We must look beyond the fearsome displays of power and might. The modern feminint movement and the women's spirituality movement has worked to reclaim the word crone as one of power and magic.
   Crones are regarded as powerful because they did not bleed. They had strong magic to hold back the flow of monthly menses and keep the power of blood within. Wicca celebrates the Waning Moon as the moon of the Crone. She is so strong that she can hold back the light of the moon.
    We approach the Crone, seeking her wisdom and acknowledging her power. The Crone has earned her right to be powerful through living her life to the fullest. She knows of sorrow, pain, and joy. She knows of choices made. These choices may be good ones and bad ones. She knows that the important thing is to make the choice. The Crone never says, "I have no choice." She says, "I choose."

   =Crones are active and moving. Crones work alone and they work with others. After all, that is what cronies are. Crones do not sit on a cliff, granting audiences to supplicants. Crones demand. Crones act. Crones create, move, sing, talk, kvetch, dance, walk, run and more. It is action and purpose that characterizes the Crone. Action and purpose.
   It is easy to see the Dark in the Crone. She has seen life and she has seen death. She knows that life is cut short or life goes on too long. She knows that death comes quickly with incredible shock. She knows that death teases us with disease, illness and lingering pain. She knows that life comes with puppies and babies. She knows that life comes when an elderly woman takes a poetry class for the first time and spends her last years writing the poetry she kept inside during her youth. The Dark and the Crone naturally weave together because shye sees the irony and the blessing as joy interweaves with grief. The Crone knows that with the bitter comes the sweet. The Crone knows and understands.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The last days of this lunar cycle


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

29th Day of the 12th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Ngetal/Reed
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: Balsamic
Moon rises: 6:05AM EST
Moon sets: 3:15PM EST
Moon enters the Mutable Fire
Sign of Sagittarius at 7:25AM EST
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The legacy of wisdom
you would bequeath to your descendants.
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:38AM EST
Sunset: 4:51PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "How are you respecting or abusing friendship?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 14th, 2009

   The moon enters Sagittarius today in preparation for the coming New Moon on the 16th.  The Balsamic moon signals the end of one cycle and the coming beginning of another. Keywords for the Balsamic phase are: transition, release, transformation, renewal, purity. It is the phase in a cycle whe n you must let go of everything you have been working on that does not deal with current cycle issues. During this phase you reflect on the passing cycle and prepare for the new. Trust in renewal. It is important to separate from othes now so that you can clear the intellect of negativity. LET GO. Become still and meditate.    Meditate upon how unfinished projects and promises can be rewoven into the next new lunar cycle.  Take whatever you've learned in this cycle and apply it to what you hope to achieve in the next cycle.  Honor this passing lunar cycle and thank it for its lessons it has challenged you with.

   Visualization - Finding Your Spirit Animal


   This exercise is intended for those who wish to connect with their 'spirit' or totem animal. We have use animals as symbols of spiritual development and expressions of human identity for thousands of years; consequently, many pagans and witches draw upon animal symbolism in order to re-connect with our own animal nature. This visualization uses symbolism as a starting point, and it is up to you to honor your totem animal by committing yourself to take care of their relations on this planet.

Do your preparations for this visualization - if you want you can use the preparations posted in this blog on 12/09.... 

1. Close your eyes and allow your attention to sink into a dark place behind your eyelids. Imagine your body sinking into the ground, past the foundations of the building in which you are sitting, below the roots of trees and plants. Sink past the bones of ancestors, the shells and remains of sea-creatures that swan in the prehistoric oceans. Imagine sinking into the white-hot metallic core of the planet. Sit in the Earth's center, at the root and beginning of things.

2. When you are ready, imagine rising through all the layers to emerge between the roots of a great tree. Find yourself standing in lush green surroundings. Notice the types of trees near by, whether it is day or night, sunny or moonlit, stormy or calm. Follow any path that attracts you, explore anything that catches your attention. Work your way toward a clearing surrounded by ancient trees. Stand in the center, arms spread wide, and mentally invite your appointed spirit animal to approach.

3. An ancient spirit of the wildwood will appear in the clearning. Note his appearance; do you recognize him? He will respond to your summons by swinging a giant club against the trunk of the largest tree three times before departing. (If he does not do this, it is a sign that you are not yet ready for this exercise. Follow the guidelines for returning to your conscious mind and try again no sooner than one lunar cycle following your first attempt.)

4. Wait patiently for your spirit animal to appear. Whatever it is, you must accept it as your totem beast and merge with it immediately. Take on the shape of the animal and allow it to take you wherever it roams. Trust the animal to take you where it will. and take careful note of what you do when you are shape-changed, where you go and what is shown to you. The animal will let you know when it is time to depart. At this point, it will separate from you and you will regain human form. Now the animal, its appearance and characteristics. Remember to thank your spirit animal as it departs.


5. Close your inner eyes and sink once again into darkness. Do not retrace your journey; you have moved on and cannot return to where you were before you started. When you are ready, slowly return to a fully conscious state, to the room where you are sitting. Note down details of your journey and meeting with your totem animal and then follow guidelines for closing down. (again blog post for 12/9)

   In the days that follow this visualization you may be reminded of your animal spirit, mainly because your awareness is heightened by your encounter. Note any relevant concidences that occur up to a Full-Moon cycle after your pathworking, and do some research on your totem animal. What are the habits and characteristics in the wild? What does it symbolize that has relevance to your personality, your spiritual development or chosen path? As with the exercise for finding a patron deity, it is a good idea to acquire or make suitable symbol or representation of your totem animal to focus on when meditating to further your connection with it.
[From: "The Wiccan Bible" by Ann-Marie Gallagher]


 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Balsamic Moon leaves the sign of Scorpio


I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

28th Day of the 12th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Ngetla/Reed
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: Balsamic
Moon rises: 5:00AM EST
Moon sets: 2:34PM EST
Moon in Scorpio v/c 10:02PM EST
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Memory of dear ones dead or absent.
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:37AM EST
Sunset: 4:51PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What is the source of your
inspiration?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 13th, 2009

     There are Major magickal energies today to Banish Influences Negative to the Health of the Body and the correspondences are: the element of Fire, the color Orange, the tarot cards The Sun crossing the Devil, and the rune Kenaz.  These energies are powered up by coming on this day - Sun Day.

Seven Steps to a Healthier Witch

First - Learn to stand tall and straight and you will look and feel better. Once a day remove your shoes and stand with your back to a flat wall. Your heels, bottom, back, head, shoulders, and arms should all touch the wall. Now, without rising on your toes stretch up as tall as you can.
Second - Develop a natural rather than chemical scent. Switch from scented soaps, antiperspirants, and deordorants to unscented ones, or use a deodorant stone. Use only a small amount of very light scent, or an essential oil. Remember, if you can smell your scent, it's too strong.
Third - Tired and sore feet affect the way you look and react towards others, so pamper them: remove dead skin, apply a lotion, keep the nails neat and wear shoes which really fit and are comfortable.
Fourth - Practice smiling often, with your eyes as well as your mouth. It can help to image you have secret good news. Check this in the mirror, as you don't want to look like an idiot!
Fifth - Ensure your hair is clean, shiny and well cut. A good cut saves a lot of daily fiddling and shiny hair looks a lot better than tortured and starched hair!

Sixth - Drink lots of plain water, at least 8 glass a day. Water cleanses the whole system and gives clear eyes and skin.
Seventh - Go for a short, brisk walk every day, whatever the weather. It improves the cardio-vascular and respiratory system, tones and strengthens the legs and gives you time to clear your head and focus your mind. Use this time to notice the natural world around you.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Visualization Exercise - Meeting Your Patron Deity

  This exercise is suitable for those wishing to encounter a patron/matron deity. Try not to preempt a choice of a patron: let the right god or goddess choose you.  You will be able to repeat this inner journey to visit your patron as much as you need to, to ask questions, receive knowledge, or spend time in their company. Asoects if this visualization are left open deliberately to allow you individual experience to fill in the gaps. Remember the most significant details of your quest lie within you.

The Visualization:

Undertake the visualization preparations as discussed in blot entry for 12/09/2009....

1. Close your eyes and enter the dark place behind your eyelids. Let your attention sink deeper and deeper into yourself, and when everything is dark and still, open your inner eyes to find yourself standing outside a stone gateway, behind which are sunlight, trees, birdsong, and the scent of earth and flowers. Pass through to paths stretching into the distance both right and left. Choose one and set off down the path.

2. Notice the texture of the ground below your feet, the heat of the Sun and what you see all around you. You may see birds, animals, particular trees or plants. What sort of landscape do you find yourself in? Continue your journey, noting the detail of your surroundings.

3.  The pathway forks into two or more paths. Choose one to explore and carry on walking. It will lead you into a particular terrain. Does it take you deep into a forest,l a cave or uphill into open country? To water or into a building? You will reach your destination when you see an object lying on the path, on top of a hill, on an altar, or hanging from branches. Pick up the object - this is a gift from your patron and picking it up signals your acceptance of their patronage. What is it? Does it have any particular significance which you need to remember in order to meditate on it later?

4. Become aware of a figure approaching you. This is your patron god or goddess. Note their appearance. The colors and the expression they wear; are they young or old; are they with any creatures or are they alone? Do they carry something that symbolizes their identity? Note any details that strike you as important.

5. Ask your patron any questions that seem pertinent to your spiritual development - about your chosen path, what advice they wish to offer or even their identity. Your deity may set you the task of finding this out for yourself. When you have finished talking, thank your deity for choosing you before retracing your steps back to the stone gateway.

6. Pass through the gateway back into darkness, then close your inner eyes. Slowly emerge to the place behind your eyelids and, when ready, open your eyes and return to your surroundings.

7. Make notes of your journey before you forget the details.  Now you must close down... follow the colsing down instructions which are also in the blog entry for 12/09/2009

   Over the next month you may find features of your journey turning up in everyday life as conicidences or repetitions. You may find your attention drawn to particular symbols, images, or words. Try not attach too much meaning to such incidents, nor to dismiss your recognition of them as wishful thinking; instead, write them down so that you can form a judgement as patterns emerge.
   When you find out the identity of your patron, do some research to find out more about them. Consider why they have chosen you - what charactertisic of theirs relates to your personality or your life at the moment? What strength, skills, or knowledge do you think they offer? Find a symbol or depiction of your patron or create a symbol or representation of them to strengthen your connection and to meditate upon.
[From: "The Wiccan Bible" by Ann-Marie Gallagher]

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Freya's Day - the waning moon moves towards Scorpio


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."


26th Day of the 12th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Ngetal/Reed
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: waning Half
Moon rises: 2:44AM EST
Moon sets: 1:29PM EST
Moon in Libra v/c 4:21PM EST
Moon enters the Fixed Water Sign
of Scorpio at 11:31PM EST
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The magic of snow
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:35AM EST
Sunset: 4:51PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which old desires do you need to relinquish?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 11th, 2009


     As we know with the waning moon we initiate endings - and there are minor magickal energies to in initiate endings to relationships today.  The correspondences are: the Element of Fire; the color Deep Purple; the tarot card Death; and the rune Uruz.  When the word 'relationships' is used our minds usually immediately think of it meaning relationships with other people but think about this - it can mean relationships with things, objects or habits that we need to relinquish.  For a very long time I have been searching for ways in which to gain huge amounts of money and visualizating what I would do if this happen.  Yes, I have debts that I want to pay off so that I don't have to work... I'm sure a lot of people are in the same situation.  My material obsession is books.  So there I've confessed.  Lately I've begun reading Penczak's book "The Witch's Coin" and right from the start it has already changed my views on gaining abundance and prosperity.  I now realize that using magick to gain large amounds of money is not what using the Craft is about.  The Craft teaches us to see, appreciate and understand what we are already prosperous with and that abundance can be a stagnant situation.  So today's Solar Question seems to be aimed towards myself - I need to relinquish my old desires of becoming fility rich and to begin living a life of flow with what is around me.  I can initiate an ending to this relationship to an obsession of gaining what I mistakenly view as being prosperity. 

   Early this morning while out with my dog - I looked to sky, the cloudy sky, noticed a brightening behind the clouds and thought to myself - ah, that is where the waning moon is at.  And then suddenly the clouds parted and the moon's waning crescent appeared in a bright light.  I was very much thrilled that this happened.  I had expected to not be able to see this phase of the moon and then the clouds parted just at that precise moment and revealed Her.  One of those inspiring moments that I've come to deeply appreciate in my life in the Craft now.  Years before I would not have been so touched.  I would shugged it off. 

    The Lunar Meditation for this evening is "The Magic of Snow."  Well, I've got snow outside there; not as much as a lot of the rest of the country has this monring.  So I thought this would be a good day to post a spell using snow from Cunningham's book "Earth, Air, Fire and Water" and I chose the one titled: 'To Be Rid of a Negative Condition.'  This seems to be an appropriate one for this phase of the moon, and for my feeling a need to get rid of old desires (Solar Question).  So here it is:

   During the day, go outside with a small bowl. Fill it with clean snow. Pack it, level it with your gloved hand, and rush back inside.

   After removing your winter wraps, place the bowl of snow on a table. Hold your hands plams downward over the bowl and say:

Crystal snow,
Crystal white;
Help me now
Win this fight.

   Visualize the habit or condition as being in the snow. See the negative condition there. Push the power it has had over you into the snow. Know that the habit, its causes, and the power that you have given it are in the snow. Transfer the negative energy through your palmsinto the snow.
   Pour one-half handful of rock (de-icing) salt into your projective hand. Look at the salt and sense its purifying, cleansing qualities.
   Still visualizing your negative havit as being in the snow, sprinkle the salt over it until you've completely covered its surface. Say:

White on white,
Salt on snow;
Fight your fight;
Evil go.

   Next, take any small stone no more than one and a half inches in diameter. Hold this in your projective hand. Visualize freedom from your negative habit or condition. See yourself free from its grip. Sense the power that you possess to break the chain.

   After a few moments, gently place the stone on the surface of the salted snow. Say:

Rock on salt,
Salt on snow;
Evil halt,
Evil go!

   Sit before the bowl, staring down into it. Watch. Sense. Visualize the purifying potency of salt destroying your negative condition, its causes and the power that you've been giving it.
    As the snow melts, release all connections that you have with the habit or negative condition. Visualize and feel your unconscious desires melting, dissolving into a sea of apathy, an ocean of disinterest, a surging river of purification.
    When the salt has melted the snow, remove the stone, pour the water outside of your house (away from plants that may be alseep beneath their white blankets) and return inside.
   Wash the bowl and the stone you have used. Put them in a safe place until the next day.
    Repeat the entire ritual for nine days. Visualize. Use your support groups. And just do it!
[Pages 120-121 of Scott Cunningham's "Earth, Air, Fire & Water"]

   As much as I like the concept of this spell/ritual, I will probaby modify it the aspect of it being done for nine days.  For one thing I am focusing on this waning moon phase and that won't last for nine days - in  fact the New Moon happens in six days.  Hmmm, I could use the six days of waning and then continue it on through the first three of the New Moon.  Maybe I will do the nine day time span.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Waning Moon - Life made available by decay


"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

25th Day of the 12th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Medusa
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Ngetal/Reed
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ruis/Elder
Moon Phase: waning half moon
Moon rises: 1:35AM EST
Moon sets: 1:02PM EST
Moon in the Cardinal Air Sign of Libra
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The life made available
by decay.
Sun in Sagittarius
Sunrise: 7:35AM EST
Sunset: 4:51PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "In which areas do you most need to grow?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 10th, 2009

  Check out that Lunar Meditation for this evening ---  Decay = Life...  When you shuffle through those fallen leaves and then the leaf mold they become - basically break down so they can be absorbed by the earth... you are walking on next spring's fertilizer.  Those dormant seeds sleeping in the cold ground are going to be birthed by this decay along with warmth from the returning sun and water from the melting snow and ice.  So often we humans have shunned away from decay which we now know as black gold or compost.  Perhaps this could be a good visualization to practice.  Yesterday's entry was about preparing yourself for a visualization - so maybe this will be a good one to start with.  You could stare at the picture I placed here this morning - the stream is brewing a potent tea of the decaying leaves.

   Color Correspondences:  Red

The color correspondence of Red is about energies of power, can wild and unpredictable, and should be used with caution when casting. 


Gender: Masculine
Personality: bold, assertive, impulsive, extroverted, passionate, aggressive, never apathetic, very electric.
Magickal Purpose: anger, agression, fire, passion, life, birth, stimulation, intensity, changing, will, ego, potential, lust, war, courage, and strength.
Magickal Uses: energy, passion, courage, lust power, transformation, loyalty, force, sexuality, blood (may be used with black candles).
God: Achilles, Ares (Mars), Atlas, Herculus, Thor (Today is Thor's Day), Zeus
Goddess: Athena, Eris, Kali, Minerva
Element: Fire
Direction: south
Planet: Mars
Tools: cauldron, candles, sword, incense

Tarot: The Magician, all Fives
Oil: Basil, Cinnamon, Dragons Blood, Pine, Mullein, Musk
Herb: Chili Pepper, Chives, Cornflower, Cransbill, Crowsfoot, Dill, Garlic, Heather, Hibicus, Holy Thistle, Hops, Mustard, Nettles, Onion, Pepperwort, Rose, Rosemary, Spikenard, Sunflower, Tobacco, Wormwood, Woodruff, and Yew.
Wood: Cherry; Redwood.
[From: "Seasons of the Witch" 2009 datebook]