April springs fresh in the Northern hemisphere, scattering the first blossoms, a stir-crazy month of shimmering sunbeams, sudden frost and the showers that tease the moment we take off our coats and reach out to the warmth. Birds are bustling with straws and grasses and pieces of rush matting stolen from suburban patios to make their nests and already the lambs are tottering across the meadows.
Once close to the beginning of the New Year, April scatters redundant emotions and shatters illusions, in the words of the poet T.S Eliot mixing memory and desire.
The month is named after Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, the sea and beauty and also Aprilis, a goddess of the Etruscans, the people who once inhabited central Italy.
Magically April is good for love and fertility, creativity, increase in any aspect of life, especially health and money, for beauty, healing and happiness.
Asmodel, angel of harmony whose special colour is pink or green, whose fragrance rose and whose crystal rose quartz, is the Angel of April.
Wherever you live in the world, if you lack confidence to reach out for love, friendship, success or to follow your dreams or others seem smarter, more charismatic and confident, use April to increase your self-esteem and belief you can achieve anything. Some older folk like myself especially if they are alone, can feel that the world is for the young and we hold back, concentrating on being useful to others as we doubt anyone would want us for ourselves. But people of any age can feel left out, second best and hold back from asking for the best in life. The April showers and sunshine energies will radiate across the world to fill you with confidence to reach out for happiness and recognition of your true worth if you try this ritual.
You will need
A mirror you can see your head and shoulders in.
Five pink candles along the base of the mirror so their light reflects in the mirror
Any time in April, for five days after dark.
On night 1 light the first left-hand candle.
Gaze into the mirror saying Asmodel Angel of Radiance, Let my confidence grow, As this candle glows, That others (or name special person) will be drawn to me, Asmodel make this be.
Blow out the candle.
On night 2, light the original candle and the next candle to its right repeating the spell.
On night 3 light three candles including the original ones repeating the spell.
On night 4 add the fourth candle to the three already lit, repeating the spell.
On night 5 when all five candles are alight say Asmodel, as candles glow let my radiance likewise show, That I will shine and confidence /love be mine.
Blow out the candles and clap your hands saying, Light enter me, that all will see me radiantly.
Next morning smile into the mirror and say, I am of worth, I am precious and so I take my place in the world, sunshine or showers. I welcome April within.
Welcome to the Full Moon in Libra on March 28 18.48 UTC (see www.timeanddate.com for the precise moon rise time and date in your location).
It is a welcome moon to illuminate our path, even though already the balancing energies of the Equinox just over a week ago, seem to be tipping away. The floods of New South Wales take their grip in a land formerly threatened by fire and we send them our prayers, Every step forward out of the pandemic is followed by a step backwards somewhere in the globe.
But the Libra moon is a promise of ever- increasing brightness in the months ahead; the following two months bring extra-bright full supermoons when the moon is closest to the earth. Some sources claim this Libran moon is in fact itself a Supermoon- and whatever source you define it by you can rejoice in its brilliance heralding those brighter times.
This coming moon casts off the final vestiges of winter in the Northern hemisphere and offers transition from summer to the Fall in those parts of the Southern hemisphere where the four seasons are present. The Pawnee nation call it the Sap moon or Sugar Moon as the time for first tapping the sap from maple trees. The Pueblo people refer to it as the Moon when leaves burst forth. Some nations in the North and Eastern USA have traditionally called it the Worm moon when casts appear after the thaw to show life stirring within the soil. For wherever you live in the world the message is hold on in there, life is stirring anew.
A traditional name for the full moon among a number of Native North American nations is Full Crow Moon when crows cawed to signal the end of winter.
Crow is an apt symbol for this Moon and our lives right now, not promising ease but striving against odds to change for the better not just our own lives but the world.
She has traditionally represented in many different lands questioning the status quo and that is not comfortable, but necessary to rebuild anew without repeating the old mistakes. Crows were once sacred to Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom although she would not allow crows to perch on the Acropolis, the main state building in Athens since this was regarded as a bad omen. Like many black birds, the crow was in many lands regarded as inauspicious, but in more modern terms she represents the need to embrace necessary change even if painful and as we do that, we can and will find a meaningful life again.
In American Indian lore the crow is a teacher of magick, messenger to the spirit world, a guardian of sacred laws and a sign of coming change. The cawing of crows is still a popular form of divination. And Crow Moon promises balance if we listen and learn, leading to that better tomorrow we will make.
A legend I was told about the crow and also the raven that seems very appropriate for Full Crow Moon, was that the world was once cold and dark because the sun was high in the sky. So, Crow who was then a beautiful bird with white feathers and a lovely singing voice offered to fetch the sun. She brought it down on a chain or fire and the world became warm and light. But she burned her beautiful white feathers and her singing voice was croaky because of the smoke.
The other creatures soon forgot her sacrifice and said how foolish she was. But Crow said better to suffer a little than live your life in darkness.
So, our Libran moon heralds the new world we can attain in spite of and through the suffering. A reminder that we can and will emerge stronger in the months and years ahead. And supermoon or no, this Libran moon will light our pathways in the days ahead Even if it is cloudy Mother Moon will be there-and by the next Libran moon those tentative steps will become a dance of optimism through the more balanced world we recreate.
You can now follow me on Instagram: cassandraeasonofficial and Twitter: @eason_cassandra
Happy Equinox, Spring or Autumn wherever you live in the world, on Saturday 20 March at 09.37 UTC ( see www. timeanddate.com for the time and date in your region).
A year has passed since we entered the pandemic and at last are stirrings of spring and new life again in some parts of the world; in others the tentative harvest we are just starting to reap, using the balance of this time , equal day and night, unsteadily to restore our own equilibrium and reach out to steady others.
For those of us who are lucky to have survived or who have not been severely affected by Covid 19, there remains at the dawning of the year and the hard harvest, the person we are and have always been in our hearts.
It was all too easy to lose that real essential self in the 24/7 scramble of the previous years to reach the winning post just over the hill.
But now the child we once were, hopeful, eager; can emerge again full of dreams once we have cleared the chaos and debris, to make that better world for others as well as ourselves. For Mother Nature turns the wheel of the year without our help or interference and despite our neglect of the climate. It is not too late to try to preserve the bird song even as the traffic roars at the starting block, to appreciate the local flowers and greenery before racing for the departure gate at the airport to whoever or wherever will welcome us first regardless of if we actually want to go.
Above all we have discovered in these long, lonely months since the last Equinox we cannot guarantee the chance to make up that old quarrel next month, next year, nor say the words of love or appreciation to an empty chair. When we can meet again, it may be hard to remember why we felt so aggrieved over petty point scoring in an obscure family feud or office rivalry.
In both hemispheres, we can recall the story of Ostara the Norse goddess who opened the gates of Spring. Who knows when this tale was created, who knows where, but its message has become a truth in that ever-flowing stream of folk wisdom, to unwrap and exclaim over like a forgotten gift when it seems the world will never return to normal?
Ostara found a small dove frozen in the snow and great goddess that she was, she knew that even if she revived it, the dove would not live. So, she transformed the dove into a snow hare and said, Run and whenever people see you running, they will remember my promise that new beginnings and better times are present even in the darkest moments and new life will return from that darkness.
Go with all your heart for change when all becomes possible again, but do not give up on people or situations where there is still hope and love or where we discovered we are mortal, not angels or demons Happy Equinox Happy Equinox and so there can be forgiveness and understanding.
Wherever you live in the world on this Equinox, you might like to try this renewal of the home ritual where many of us have spent so much time in the previous months, to welcome the new energies
You will need:
A bowl of lavender, lilac or rose water or a floral fragrance diluted in a little water.
Any morning around the Spring Equinox in the Northern hemisphere or the Autumn Equinox in the Southern hemisphere to bring new beginnings.
Anoint each doorknob or handle in your home with a few drops of fragrance, starting from outside the front door and sprinkling a few drops on each external window ledge too, saying for each, Blessings on all, May sickness, misfortune and sorrow call here no more, henceforth do I bar every door. Let there be laughter, health and good cheer, bad luck and sadness depart now from here.
Go indoors, again anointing door handles starting inside the front door and ledges in every room, repeating the words.
Pour any fragrance that is left down a bathroom wash basin plughole, saying, Now, only goodness and good fortune remains. Blessings be on all who enter herein.
Happy , happy Equinox and may those I have not seen for so many months soon be restored to my life. You are always in my heart,
Known as Snow Moon in a number of Native North American cultures, but also among the Hopi nation ,the Moon of Purification and Renewal. the Ancient Chinese called this the Budding Moon.
Lady Virgo Moon therefore acts as transition between the hard times and the new beginnings. Appropriate since in a number of lands where the pandemic has hit hard, are appearing those first signs of promised life returning in the coming months and at last for some of us seeing family members and friends absent in our lives except on social media for twelve months.
Lady Virgo is a moon of preserving health and so she warns we must still be careful, even as the world teases and tantalises come and play, for the road is still long ahead-and the pandemic still waits for the unwary, for infections and mortality are far too high in some regions.
For many people who have written to me over the past twelve months, the pandemic has been a watershed, a year of life coming to a standstill, issues of mortality once brushed aside, taking centre stage and priorities of what constitutes happiness changing.
Even as we are told we will be able to go back almost to normal life in a few months, this full moon asks is what we had before what we still want?
Jobs that have disappeared of course have a devastating financial effect, but for some question if we want a different kind of work, to live in a new place, downsize, learn new skills.
When families and friends scatter again in their myriad social directions, after initial joyous reunions, returning to communicating by text or making vague dates to meet, do we want to foster and maintain true closeness with loved ones- even be with the same people?
As planes roar back into the skies, will we want to be first in the boarding queue or have we discovered local places offer a magick of their own?
The old road map is tattered, should we take time to reconstruct it or create a new form of living?
The Virgoan full moon debates with opposing Pisces will we, should we be ready to dive back into frantic frenetic life as soon as the starting gate to life swings open -or are there changes that in this new world we need to make before or instead of returning to the 24/7 marathon we used to call fulfilment.
Perhaps pause on the doorstep as you look up at the Virgoan Full Moon to ask what path you truly want to follow by the next Virgoan moon. There aren’t any easy answers for this is a very demanding moon with no excuses accepted or short cuts offered.
But now is a once in a lifetime opportunity even in the smallest ways to listen to our heart and soul that in the past were not wanted on the voyage to the future.
2021 is symbolised by the Ox, the second of twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. There are also five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) which create a 60 year cycle. This is a Metal year.
The date for the Chinese New Year is not the same every year; it begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February. At this time, starting on New Years Eve (yesterday), the Spring Festival, as it is known as, is celebrated for 16 days. On the 15th day in the evening it is traditionally celebrated by families gathering together, eating a meal and lighting lanterns and watching fireworks displays.
Previous Ox Years : 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021.
Twelve Chinese Years
On his last New Year on earth, Buddha called all the animals to his side. Only twelve came and as a reward Buddha is said to have given each one a year that would reflect its personality. The ox was the second to arrive so was given the second year in the cycle.
Each person is born under one of the twelve years and the year itself bears the characteristics of the animal. Because the date of the Chinese New Year can vary from late January to mid-February, people born around this period can find that they may belong to the year before.
For example in 1994, the year of the Dog, the New Year occurred on February 10th so anyone born on February 9th is a Rooster. In 1995 the Year of the Pig began on January 31st so anyone born on January 30th is a Dog. To compensate for this difficulty, people born on or around the Chinese New Year are said to be very psychic and open to new ideas.
While Chinese astrology is extremely complex, in folk tradition Chinese people identify themselves with one of the twelve animals, much as in the Western tradition, people think of themselves as Librans or Aquarians without worrying too much about ascendants and trines.
The Years run in twelve year cycles, so if your birth year is not listed below, add 12 or subtract multiples of 12 to bring you to the nearest birth year listed. For example if you were born in 1912, add twelve and that brings you to 1924, the Year of the Rat. So you too are a Rat. The order of the animals never varies.
Secondary Animal Characteristics
We all have another side to our nature. This may be especially strong if you were born close to the Chinese New Year. The secondary animal can explain your conflicting feelings and alert you to hidden strengths. According to the time of the day or night you were born, your secondary animal can be found.
The animals of the birth times are very stable since they are not affected by the date of the Chinese New Year. However, if you are born at a cusp time, you may find that you share characteristics of the adjoining animal. If your birth year and birth time animals are the same you may have a very strong personality, but should beware inflexible attitudes.
The General Pattern
Each year is ruled by its animal and you may find that all over the world, similar economic and political trends are feeding from the same energies. If the New Year is a year that is the same as your birth animal, then it will be a significant year for you. If it is the year of your secondary animal, it may be a time for your hidden strengths to come to the fore.
The Twelve Animals
Rat years are good for new schemes, ambitious plans and because theirs are years of plenty, for money-making, storing money or investments for the future. Beware of taking unnecessary risks or over-extending yourself especially in financial matters.
Rat people are hard-working, ambitious, friendly, assertive, devoted to those they love but can be mean, quick-tempered and less than truthful to further their ambitions. They include William Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Marlon Brando.
Ox Years are marked by stability and steady growth, where hard work will be rewarded. It is a good year for domestic affairs. Beware of clashing with authority or not keeping your paperwork up to date.
Ox people are responsible, stable, hard-working, patient and reliable but they can be unimaginative and materialistic. They include Walt Disney, Vincent Van Gogh and Charlie Chaplin.
Tiger years are times of great change and strides forward especially in fields of exploration. Beware of restlessness, accidents through carelessness and violent outbursts.
Tiger people are dynamic, noble in aim, enthusiastic, born leaders and competitive but can be selfish, domineering and easily angered. They include Beethoven, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Marilyn Monroe.
Rabbit years are calm, happy, good for diplomacy, international relations and enjoyment but beware of over-indulgence and putting off until tomorrow what needs to be done today.
Rabbit people are sensitive, well-mannered, joyous and quietly observant but can be superficial and self-centred. They include Albert Einstein, Queen Victoria and Jomo Kenyatta.
Dragon years are good for creative and artistic ventures and ventures involving risk. But beware of health hazards and emotional stresses.
Dragon people are successful, independent, highly creative and inspire others, but can be arrogant and unable to keep to a routine. They include Joan of Arc, Salvador Dali and Che Guevara.
Snake years are good for secret negotiations and undercover investigations but beware of double-dealing and scandal.
Snake people are investigative, persuasive and good at keeping secrets but can be devious and very jealous. They include Pablo Picasso, Abraham Lincoln and John F.Kennedy.
Horse years are marked by positive action, rapid change in both business and the personal worlds and plenty of travel but beware of over-exhaustion and being carried along by change not of your making.
Horse people are active, sociable, hard-workers and outgoing but can be unreliable in one-to-one relationships. They include Rembrandt, Theodore Roosevelt and Nikita Krushchev.
Sheep years are for humanitarian issues, peace-making, introspection and for family matters. But beware of pessimism and over-sensitivity.
Sheep people are gentle, peace-loving, kind, tactful and reflective but can be vulnerable to criticism and easily depressed. They include Michelangelo, Andrew Carnegie and Rudolph Valentino.
Monkey years are good for enterprise, speculation, finding ways round obstacles and achieving the impossible. Beware of instability in business and personal matters and the breaking of promises.
Monkey people are quick-witted, inventive, versatile, humorous and with an excellent memory but can be unscrupulous and fickle with friends and colleagues alike. They include: Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens and Nelson Rockefeller.
Rooster years are good for politics and money, for overcoming inertia and injustice and for self-sufficiency, especially in smaller money matters. Beware of extremism and perfectionism.
Rooster people are honest, efficient, good organizers, especially of money and high profile, being successful in either the media or the Law. But can be abrasive and dogmatic. They include: Prince Philip and Pope Paul VI.
Dog years are good for matters of defense, whether at home, work or in international affairs and for integrity. Beware of Rigid attitudes and cynicism towards the intentions of others.
Dog people are crusading, protective, loyal and honest but can be obstinate and suspicious. They include Voltaire, Sir Winston Churchill and Elvis Presley.
Pig Years are good for bringing long-term projects to a successful conclusion and for the welfare of those less fortunate. Beware of Giving more than you can afford and falling prey to cheats, especially in money.
Pig people are generous, altruistic, home-loving, diligent and chivalrous but can be extravagant and over-indulgent. They include: Al Capone, Alfred Hitchcock and Humphrey Bogart.
Imbolc means ‘In the belly of the Mother ‘and refers to the potential for growth in whatever way is most relevant in your life. Welcome to February the month of Rowan, the tree of protection, magical power and creativity. Imbolc is the first festival of spring traditionally held at the beginning of February, when the Celtic Brighid as the maiden goddess melts with her wand of fire the winter snows (if global warming has left any!)
In the northern hemisphere Imbolc is January 31 to February 2; in the southern hemisphere it is July 31 to August 2.
The first festival of spring often when the land is still frozen is a reminder that new life stirs within the Earth and within people long before the effects are seen or felt externally.
This was the all important time when sheep and cattle give birth to their young and so fresh milk and dairy products were first available to the community after the long winter in early agricultural societies.
This was in a number of pre Christian traditions the festival of the young maiden goddess. But it is also linked with the story of the newly delivered mother of the sun king whose milk is mirrored by the milk of the ewes who gave this festival its name of Oimelc or Ewe’s milk.
The Dark twin is still powerful as reflected in the cold weather and dark days but the young God of light is growing in power as he is nursed by the Goddess.
The Christian Candlemas, the festival of candles, took place on February 2, the day of the Purification of the Virgin Mary on which she took baby Jesus to the temple for the first time.
Associations with Imbolc and the whole of February Animal: Serpent, black cat Tree: Willow Incenses, flowers and herbs: Angelica, basil, benzoin, celandine, crocus, heather, myrrh, snowdrops and violets. Candle colours: Pale pink, green, blue and white. Crystals: Dark gemstones such as garnet and bloodstone/heliotrope, also amethyst, rose quartz and moonstone.
In the Northern hemisphere, at dusk on January 31 in the pagan calendar according to Celtic tradition fiery torches and bonfires were lit to attract back the sun. A procession around the frozen fields with blazing torches was led it was said in pre-Christian times, by the maiden Goddess herself and in later periods by a huge Grain maiden pulled on a cart made from the last sheaf cut from the previous harvest.
This festival of early spring is celebrated when traditionally the land is still frozen, though now the spring flowers bloom earlier each year and on the Isle of Wight the first daffodils, primroses and crocus are already coming through in late January. Imbolc is a reminder that new life stirs within Mother Earth and within us. This was the all important time when sheep and cattle had their young and so fresh milk and dairy products were available to the community once more.
Though it is the time of the Maiden the other aspects of the Goddess also overshadow her, the newly delivered mother of the Sun King whose milk is mirrored by the milk of the ewes who gave this festival its alternative name of Oimelc or ewes’ milk. The Dark brother who rules the dark part of the year still holds sway but the young God of light is growing in power as he is nursed by the Goddess and according to myth will fight and defeat his brother at the Spring Equinox around March 21 in the ongoing between light and darkness
One of the Celtic names for the pagan festival was Brigantia, after Brighid, the Celtic Triple Goddess, here in her maiden aspect replacing the Old Hag of Winter’s rule. She was Christianised as St Bridget, Brigid or Brigit of Kildare or St Bride in Wales and Scotland and her feast day is February 1. Brigantia was also the name of a Gallic earth goddess.
Right through medieval times in folk custom a girl representing the young maiden of spring (the former goddess) arrived at the door of the main house or farmstead of a village on January 31 eve with cows and a cauldron, symbols of abundance. Here a straw bride bed would be created close to the fire, adorned with ribbons and blessed with honey and milk by the women of the household. The local men would enter the circle of firelight and ask for help with their craft or agriculture and make a wish on the Bride Bed and claim a kiss from the maiden.
Bridget crosses, none of whose three or four arms are parallel, were woven from straw or wheat to hang around the house for protection. They are still a feature in Irish homes today.
The Anglo-Saxon Offering of Cakes ceremony to the deities at this time asked for a thaw in the weather so that the first ploughing might take place early. In Scandinavia Disting, the festival of the family ancestors around this period was associated with future prosperity because it was a time the cattle and resources remaining after the winter’s forced inactivity were counted. In Iceland, Thorrablót was dedicated to Thor the thunder deity as god of winter. He was asked to drive back the Jotuns, the frost giants so that spring would come.
In the Christian tradition, on Candlemas Day, February 2 or the Sunday between January 28 and February 3, all the church candles that would be used for the coming liturgical year were blessed at High Mass. Blessed candles were also distributed to the congregation. Each person was given a blessed candle that acted as protector of the home against storms, fire and flood and protected cattle and crops against evil.
Traditionally a lighted candle was placed at each window of houses on January 31 (dating from Celtic times) or on Candlemas Eve, February 1 and left to burn through. On the following day, the feast of St Blaise, the newly sanctified church candles were used by priests to bless the throats of parishioners, so that they would be free from all respiratory illness in the coming months.
In the Christian calendar the anniversary of the Purification of the Virgin Mary occurred forty days after the birth of Jesus, the occasion also when he was taken to the Temple on February 2 and was hailed as the light of the world.
Candlemas was also the day for predicting the weather for the coming weeks and the arrival of spring weather. The US Groundhog Day, February 2 follows this tradition.
In Ancient Rome, at the rites of Juno Februa, animals were brought out of their winter hibernation, candles were lit in homes to drive away evil spirits and blazing torches cast into the River Tiber.
Ways of marking the festival in the modern world
Personal and home purification, by burning smudge sticks in sagebrush or cedar and spiralling the, smudge around your home, your possession and yourself before taking the smoke stick outdoors to burn away or go out.
Personal detoxing and the beginning of a fitness and healthy eating regime to maximise your energy and increases your resistance to winter ills and chills
Candle meditations or just quiet times sitting by candlelight talking to your family or friends. If you are alone hold a clear crystal between your hands and ask your guardian angel and spirit guides if they have any messages for you. These may be expressed through words that come into your mind or images and sudden good ideas.
Create a candle web with friends or relatives for healing or peace. Choose an evening when you are all at home and pre-agree a time when you can light a white or beeswax candle and all focus on the same person, animal or place and send healing through the candle. You can adapt the web for people who live in nearby time zones. Leave the candle to burn through.
Unless you live in a warm land, plant seeds indoors or under glass, naming for each handful of seeds what you wish to bring into your life in the months ahead. You can plant the germinated seeds outdoors on the Spring Equinox if it is warm enough
In age old tradition, pour a little fresh milk on to the earth as a tribute to the Earth Mother and as you do so, ask for fertility in any aspect of your life you need it. Drink the rest or use it in cooking
On the night of February 1 (or August 1 in the southern hemisphere), place nightlights safely at every window of your home to welcome the new energies into your home. Once candles were lit to welcome Brighid the maiden goddess on her day February 1 and later St Bridget on the Christian festival of Candlemas, February 2 , the blessing of the candles for the year ahead in a special church service
Take a ceramic heat proof bowl of milk and in it drop ice cubes to represent the cold of winter; gently melt the ice with a small candle or burner beneath the bowl, stirring it and naming the energies you wish to move in or through your life or any quarrels or coldness you wish to resolve or melt
A time for career renewal. In the old tradition a local girl dressed in white as the maiden goddess and later to saint would appear at the door of important houses and farms. Indoors would be a straw bed by the fire where she would be given milk, seed bread and honey and would bless the local workers.
To focus on the way you wish your career to develop, on the evening of January 31 (or July 31st in the southern hemisphere) make a tiny straw bed or one of dried rose petals and in it place a small doll dressed in white. Surround it with the first greenery or buds of spring. Place in the straw symbols of the blessings you would like in your life, whether tiny charms related to your craft or job applications of ideal careers .Drink a little milk sweetened with honey and put three drops on the head of the doll. Keep the doll and bed in position until dusk on February 2 and then scatter the straw or petals to the wind, give the doll to a child and carry any charms in a small drawstring bag to bring you luck. Send off an application, start learning some new skill that will further your career or apply for a course or extra training
Give packets of seeds to friends or friends’ children to plant indoors and take along a green plant or two to refresh the workplace and as a reminder of the coming spring.
Welcome from Debi, Caity and Cassandra to the Full Moon on January 28 at 19.16 UTC, called the Wolf Moon. The Seneca nation believed a wolf gave birth to the moon by singing her into the sky; in the northern hemisphere at the darkest coldest time (for the time of the full moon-rise in your own location see timeanddate.com) we seek her light now more eagerly than ever.
She is a reminder that each month that passes we move step by step closer to a world very changed, for many filled with loss, yet a wiser, better world when we will be more willing to listen than talk, to extend the hand of friendship than to push away others not our kin, in the dash for what really it’s hard to remember was so very important to attain.
Each full moon that passes in these sad times, the cosmos seems to offer a special extra treasure as consolation; for as the full moon rises in Leo we have the fusion of moon and sun, inner and outer, silver and gold, the ultimate alchemical mix of Queen Luna and King Sol to create the elusive Philosopher’s stone, elixir of life, the way out, through science, caution and more than a hint of faith, even for those of us who once thought we knew all the answers,; this solar moon fuses glorious as the unquenchable spirit of humanity,
At the same time is stirring in the northern hemisphere the tentative promise of the early Celtic Spring festival of Imbolc on January 31 to February 2 when the Maiden Goddess Brighid, it is told, melted the winter snows with her willow wand. She promised life would grow again from the frozen land and hearts. In the southern hemisphere it is Lughnassadh, the first harvest, the willing sacrifice of the Grain king that the people might be fed. And the pandemic has revealed many willing sacrifices among health and key workers who have taken huge risks on behalf of others, worked punishing hours, to mitigate these harsh times and save lives.
The flaming torches of Imbolc carried around the fields were reminder light was oh so slowly returning. Today at this time we can recall the old festival that became Candlemas, the festival of candles, to send light wherever we live in the world, as one with our ancestors spiritual and actual, by lighting our Brigid circle of eight white candles, with white or yellow flowers floating in a bowl of water in the centre
For each candle we can make a blessing, for ourselves certainly, for those we love that they may survive healthy until these times are past and those living without proper health care in parts of the world still gripped by the virus.
Of course, even in lockdown there is much we all can and should do to help those less fortunate, but we should not dismiss the collective power of sending energies through our candle lighting. For in the words often attributed to St Francis of Assisi among other sources, There is not enough darkness in the world that can put out the light of single candle.
The moon of light then shines in the nights around this full moon, Leo the sun welcoming Mother Moon. Sun and Moon powers combining to link us all around the world in the shared human bond that can persist in days of joy as well as sorrow. For those of us who are allowed to walk free won’t forget the bad, but hopefully will recall the good lessons and continue to extend that hand of friendship, to all, realising that those vain strivings really didn’t matter after all.
Happy New Year from Cassandra, Debi, Caity. May all your New Year wishes come true and may you remain safe …towards the end of this post are a few rituals/spells for the New Year.
Happy approaching Cold Moon or Full Long Nights moon in Cancer on December 30 at 03.28 UTC and so visible in some time zones on the night of 29th (for your own time zone see www.moongiant.com).
Heralding in the New Year, the Cancerian full moon that blesses home and family, has seen many of us spending far longer than usual in our homes because of pandemic restrictions. If we are lucky, we have shared these months of restrictions with family, secure in their love. If alone, our home has perhaps offered sanctuary against what has been a dangerous time.
But at this time too Mother Moon highlights the plight also of those for whom home has become a prison. For some during the lockdowns have been trapped in extreme isolation, dire poverty or shut indoors with an abuser. Once the pandemic is over, this suffering must not go back into the shadows, but must be resolved by us all once we are free again.
The dual energies pulsate as the New Year heralds in fresh power for new beginnings, new determination and new hope for 2021 even though the new strains of the virus, threaten to overwhelm.
The Full Moon in Cancer is ruled by Muriel angel of dreams. With New Year beginnings combining with those dreams still to be fulfilled, we can pursue them even in limited ways right now. We know now life is too short, too fragile for, maybe tomorrows, next year or if only I had.
As the Full Moon illuminates approaching New Year we can tap into that surge of power from the rising earth and the moonlit skies.
You can carry the following ritual on December 30, full moon, as New Year approaches or on New Year’s Eve when Cancerian moon power is still coursing through the sky Better still cast the ritual on both December 30 and New Year’s Eve to reinforce that determination to win through to the better future. You can carry this out with friends, family or alone
You will need
A drinking glass never before used for each person, half-filled with water from a bubbling tap.
A large red candle.
A cypress, cedar or pine incense stick.
Dried sage or rosemary.
Light the candle saying This is the time of the year for new fires to be kindled from the old, that life may blaze anew, reaching for future moments made of gold..
Either alone or with family members or close friends, sit or kneel close to the candle you/each of you sprinkling just a few grains of herbs into the flame saying, I/we let go of the old, let it fade from sight, for the new year light will blaze glorious and hope once more burn bright.
Name a sorrow or regret from 2020 you are consigning to the flame.
Extinguish the fire or candle and then relight it, saying From the old comes new, joy after sorrow, healing after pain, dreams to pursue.
Tip any remaining herbs outdoors saying, At the year’s turning, on this full moon, I name my dreams and vow I will attain them soon.
Name (each of you), your dreams for 2021.
Now face the moon(she will rise later on 31 but still be bright) or if cloudy face where the moon should be.
Each lift a glass of water to the moonlight repeating those dreams. Leave the water out all night (if raining in a sheltered place).
In the morning, splash the water on your brow, to your throat and your inner wrist points saying, Moon power, at this hour, rising of the new year’s light, be glorious in my sight, may those good times come again, joy from sorrow, hope from pain
Tip the rest of the water on plants
May the Cancerian full moon and the New Year blaze glorious in your life..
A New Year’s Eve calendar ritual to bring a good year ahead
You will need
A large dark-colored candle.
A white candle.
A pot of soil or sand.
A single sheet calendar of the current year with large squares marking the days.
A red pen.
A ball of red wool.
Fifteen minutes before midnight.
If alone write in any square a disaster you would sooner forget.
If family/friends are joining in, they can choose a square, sharing all the spell words and actions.
Light the dark candle and tie up the calendar using nine knots.
Tear a corner off the calendar, burning it in the dark candle flame.
Drop the burned paper into the pot, saying nine times Old year turn, Old year burn, Bad luck, do not return.
Rip up the calendar, throwing it unburned in the pot and put the pot outside the door before midnight.
At two minutes to midnight light the white candle from the dark one.
On the first stroke of midnight, blow out the black candle and shout, Come in New Year. You are welcome
A First Footing ritual to bring good new year luck and prosperity into your home
You will need
A copper, silver and gold-coloured coin.
Wrapped sweets, dried fruits and nuts.
Dried basil, juniper berries, sage or thyme.
Coal or wood.
A large bowl of water.
A drawstring bag.
Small crystals or glass nuggets.
Five minutes before midnight send the person chosen as First Footer outside the front door with the items except the crystals in the bag.
At midnight all shout, Come in, New Year. New Year, you are welcome, rattlingpans etc.
The First Footer enters, shuts the door and goes out of the back door (if there is one) or out of the front door again, saying: Out you go, Old Year. Your time is past.
The First Footer comes back in, slams the door, walks upstairs to the top of the house and down again, shouting Happy New Year.
She/he deposits the bag on the hearth or in front of a burning white candle.
All toast the new year and drop crystals into the bowl making new year wishes
Debi, Cassandra and the newest member of our team Caitlin wish you a joyous Yule and look forward to a happier 2021.
For many people around the world, this Christmas is bitter-sweet, especially in those lands where new pandemic restrictions mean even more people than usual will be alone on Christmas Day or can’t be with loved ones.
However, even in the pre-pandemic world many spend Christmas alone and seeing the world carolling can be painful when everyone withdraws behind their tinselled front doors of togetherness, doubly so now in this time of vulnerability.
If you are alone or feel alone this approaching Christmas if you are with people who are less than loving or can’t be with the person you want to share the Yule, when the house is quiet and dark, light a single white candle. Say, I light this flame that my own radiance will burn bright in the darkness with the love for myself as I am, who I am and without self- judgment, bitterness or blame as why I feel or am alone.
Light from your flame in a circle around your candle of self, smaller white candles to recall those who can’t be with you this Christmas because of pandemic restrictions, are far from you across the world or if the situation you find yourselves means you can’t be together.
Remember also in the candlelight deceased loved ones whose physical presence we miss at the celebrations and finally family and lovers estranged or those you must let go because they never were or can no longer be yours.
Light and name a candle for each of these absences and afterwards say What cannot be restored or resolved now be at peace. I send you love, blessings and joy wherever you are within these flames..
Sit in the light for a while recalling happy memories and future plans when the world is light and free again.
Only when you are ready, extinguish each of the circle of candles in reverse order, offering each person, a specific blessing as the candle flame ceases to glow.
If there are some you cannot and maybe should not forgive, send a blessing anyway, so moving from their shadow and freeing yourself from living or deceased who wronged us or we them, who still cast shadows on our brightness.
Leave the central candle of yourself still burning and from it light a single green candle of hope in the centre of the candle circle and relight from the green candle of future promise each white circle candle.
Leave the candles burning as symbol that you are never alone as long as you walk in the light of your own self. For ultimately however much we are or will be loved, we are and must be our own flame in the darkness, our own inspiration and hope and so we share the light with others whether near this Yule or far away
Happy Solstice on Monday December 21 at 10.02 UTC and the closest Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in 397 years, also on December 21 at 18.20 UTC . At this point the cosmic giants will be only 0. 1 degrees apart (see http://www.timeanddate.com for the times in your region of both the Solstice and the Jupiter/Saturn Great Conjunction)
It has been suggested that this greatest of Great Conjunction of the two planets which will appear like a single shimmering star, may have been the original Star of Bethlehem which it is said the Wise Men followed.
This then is a special Solstice, Mid- Winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the height of the Summer Sun in the Southern world, illuminated as evening falls by that starry promise in the sky – and we can tap into this incredibly dynamic cosmic and seasonal energy burst of light and life. It brings hope for those who can’t see the point of going on and an assurance that life is more than a random turn of fate’s dice.
If our personal stars have been dimmed in the previous months, yet they still wait to be followed as the Solstice light returns; our latter- day Star of Bethlehem as we look up in wonder, can guide us maybe on new pathways that because delayed will be more precious when the journey begins again.
Never more needed, the majestic giants of the cosmos, Saturn and Jupiter uniting, balancing wise caution with promises of future expansion at a time when much of the western world is still gripped by the spectres of the pandemic. Our inner gold, our as yet to be unfolded sun of frankincense and consoling myrrh of the waxing moon, are long awaited. For we have those gifts within to develop through our newly acquired wisdom, experience and compassion we have acquired in the preceding months.
Never more needed too the return of the Solstice light in the Northern world or the golden defiant glow of unquenchable Midsummer on the other side of the world, cascading to join power at the centre of the turning world to reassure and warm and promise better times ahead we can create and share
Following that Star of hope that by the next Solstice in June 2021 when the seasonal dancers change places in the eternal solar dance, we can believe we shall feel safe again and walk in the light of freedom.
The loss of life and livelihoods can’t be undone, the pain and sorrow still goes on. Yet our Yuletide tinsel stars shimmering on the tree on what will be for many a very different Christmas, are a reminder to keep following our own star, revealing even in dark times that path of destiny we still can make.
And we have discovered many previously undervalued human stars this year, dedicated health workers, service providers, those who have given food to the hungry and offered support for the lonely. We have seen the best of humanity as well as the worst- and so on 21st we look up at the Solstice star, knowing the light of humanity will never be dimmed.
The Baltic sun Goddess, Saule dressed and crowned with gold who drove her chariot across the skies, as she returned to restore light to the world, dances joyously with her daughters, the planets. Stepping in a second across the world the Sun Mother brushes the snow from her hair, adds a bit of lippy and scatters golden sunbeams as she passes. Fear not the sun will cease to shine even in what have been for some their darkest days. Just as people in times past lit fires and hung torches from evergreen trees to call back the sun so we who have been spared grievous loss or worries about future livelihoods, celebrate with gratitude and crossed fingers the blessings of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers whose goodness has shone through the darkest of days. For light is stronger than darkness. The Sun Mother in her many names and guises never fails to light the pathway of her children even through tears, doubt and uncertainty. She has warmed the hearts of her children at this time of year down the ages, others who sometimes also feared the bleakness of life; she rekindles our inner sun as kindness and goodness, unselfishness and sharing, as caring words, thoughtful deeds and smiles that grow in light as they pass from one to the other, even if sometimes through tears. And so the Solstice sun will shine once more and light return.