Welcome to June 2021

The month of June approaches and we are already halfway through the year. Let us make it a wonderfully memorable month looking forward in hope, whether you live the northern hemisphere and are moving towards the height of Midsummer power or in the southern world heralding Midwinter with the promise of lighter and brighter days ahead.

June is named after Juno, Roman Goddess of marriage, women, pregnancy, childbirth and mothers. Juno is the Roman Queen of the gods, wife of Jupiter and Goddess of the fruitful harvest to come and said to have been wiser than her husband Jupiter, restraining him from  casting his thunderbolts indiscriminately every time he had a dose of moral indigestion.

Protectress of all women, like Hera, Juno’s Ancient Greek equivalent, her sacred creature is the peacock., whose tail feathers are said to protect all against the Evil Eye and figs her special fruit and traditionally an aphrodisiac and symbol of conception.  

But for men and women alike the month of June is good for all matters concerning marriage and love commitment,  as in many lands are opening to post-pandemic wedding gatherings, fidelity, partnerships of all kinds, fertility, peace and prosperity and the building up finances.

Her candle colour is green, her crystal emerald or jade and her fragrance lily.

Muriel the Healer is the Angel of June, the silvery and pearl robed angel with her magic carpet of dreams. She is a granter of all wishes and realistic dreams, the fairy godmother of the angelic world. Dare to wish and then make it come true, combining the caution we have all had to learn during the previous twelve months with optimism that the dreams on hold can now start to be manifest step by step and with an extra infusion of courage and determination.

Muriel’s colour is silver, her crystals moonstone or pearl and her incense and oils, lemon balm,  jasmine and lotus.

In June, Muriel offers guidance on sensitive family issues, contacting an estranged friend or relative, imaginative projects, for home making or DIY ventures, beautiful gardens, starting a counselling or spiritual career, welcoming new family members, conceiving a baby, fertility tests or treatment and for keeping secrets.

Make a wish on June1 and cast a pearl into flowing water.

But be careful with whom you share secrets.

The Tree of June is the Elder Tree, a Celtic Oracular Tree  and the ultimate fairy tree, offering where logic and even intuition have failed,  a magical solution that may come suddenly in a dream or waking moment of insight. It presages too an unexpected upturn of fortune. If you doubt or fear, let life come to you for once, carry on with your everyday world and believe.

The ultimate flower of June is St John’s Wort. Yellow flowering St John’s Wort was traditionally picked on the evening of Midsummer or the eve of the Summer Solstice in the Northern hemisphere by young girls in order to attract a husband, Women who wanted a baby would  pick it at midnight on Midsummer Eve (June 23).

Red Roses are also a June flower, symbol of love in almost every culture. The red rose says `I love you and will love you forever.’

Rosebuds are symbols of first or new love, the blossoming rose passion and commitment while the full- grown  blown rose a token of lasting love through hard times and tranquil. You can use rose oil, fragrance or incense to call the magick of June.

A month then of hope that we can emerge from these hard times to find the June energies rising once more within us wherever we live in the world-and every flower  a reminder of life renewing .

Those people who have been with us in the difficult months, perhaps not as many as we hoped,  can share our once more blossoming future. Those who proved fair-weather friends in the lonely days of pandemic can like the petals of the fading flower be allowed to blow away leaving memories of the happy times we shared, with blessings not recriminations, setting us free.

A very happy June to you all.  

Welcome to the Full Flower Moon

Welcome to the Full Flower Moon on May 26 at 11.13 UTC (see http://www.time and date.com for the moon rise in your location) The Ojibwe people of the Great Lakes call it the Flower Moon because it is the time when the flowers begin to blossom. The Algonquin name it the Corn Planting Moon and the Cree nation Leaf Budding Moon.

A very special Moon because it is the second Supermoon of the year. The previous one was April’s Pink Moon. Supermoons are when the moon appears larger and brighter than normal as it passes closest to the earth on its orbit and will be seen the night either side of the full moon night clearly as well.

This full moon in Sagittarius is also a full lunar eclipse and a Blood Moon when the eclipse makes the moon appear red. For visibility in your region of at least the partial eclipse see SVS: May 26, 2021 Total Lunar Eclipse: Visibility Map (nasa.gov)

This special powerful moon also is given more focus and fire energy because it rises within Sagittarius and so we are excited by the prospects of travel once more, of the world slowly opening. There  are still many restrictions and the Indian variant of Covid wreaks havoc even as we shut the door, we believed on Old Man Covid’s doom and gloom and breathed a sigh of relief life was back to normal.

But Adnachiel , voyager angel of this Sagittarian full moon, promises all manner of ingenious ways we can broaden our horizons as we sit with the scattered puzzle of many pieces that was our once seemingly predictable life.

For many there will inevitably be different ways of working, new skills that must be learned to replace jobs that are no more, friends and family we mourn no longer around the table.

In time we may see the Sagittarian Mother Moon was guiding us through uncertainty to expand our horizons, emotionally, mentally and one day again physically.

 For the world will open again- and  it will be an exciting new world if we follow the Sagittarian fire moon . By the time Mother Moon dashes into Sagittarius next year, we will know the old jigsaw not only can’t ,but shouldn’t be put back together, rather a new one created with a picture we will only complete by exploring new pathways. As  we move through the darkness of the eclipse we believe the moon will shine brilliant again if we keep faith in ourselves.

If you are scared as well as excited about life in the months ahead or like me have become a stick in the mud during fifteen months of lockdown, try this ritual You can if you wish, time it around the eclipse, even if you have to watch the eclipse on a web camera where it is fully visible.

You will need

Pictures of activities from the internet you would like to try but never dared, of places you would like to go, but filled your diary with predictability. Attach them to a pin board.

You will also need a happy picture of yourself loosely attached with adhesive tape in the centre of a separate piece of white paper.

A brown crayon or marker pen and a set of rainbow colours.

  • Draw mud all round your photo on the white paper with the brown crayon, taking care not to mark the picture and say, Stick-in-the-mud no more shall I be, Life starts anew. I pass through the eclipse, So much to do, so much to see, so much new life is waiting for me.
  • Carefully detach your photo from the mud picture saying Stagnation is over, I follow new ways, No more hesitation, the first steps today, stick in the mud existence I cast you away.
  • Stick the photo of yourself in the centre of the pin board, colour any spaces with rainbows and set the board where it will receive tomorrow’s first light.
  • In the morning or when the eclipse is passed dispose of the mud paper.

Go, go, Go! Follow the Sagittarian arrow wherever it leads and do not be afraid of change. Happy Sagittarian full moon.

Finally Debi, Caitlin and I send every blessing to the people in India who are suffering.

Happy Beltane (or Samhain in the southern hemisphere) and to the month of May

illustration: CW-artworks

Happy Beltane or Beltaine or the beginning of summer in the Northern hemisphere and Samhain or Summer’s End in the Southern world. In some magical and seasonal calendars, the twin festivals are celebrated from April 30 sunset till May 2 sunset, as mirror images and two halves of the same whole.

A special time this year as the world begins certainly in some places to emerge from the most grievous of days towards a degree of freedom albeit with caution; for there are still lands where the pandemic rages and we cannot yet be complacent.

We mourn the losses of the past months at Samhain, Summer’s End wherever we live in the world, even as we dance and cast ribbons and flowers towards the vibrant flower maiden of May and embrace the future.

For the old woman of winter casting down her holly staff at Beltane and slumbering until the next Samhain beneath her rock tomb and womb, is one and the same as the laughing dancing feted May Queen, carrying her pain and transforming it but never forgetting.

At Samhain in the Southern hemisphere, the beginning of the old winter, by soft candlelight into the flames we can drop grains of dried rosemary for new life mingled with remembrance. We can and must break with echoes from a now unchangeable past, once resolved allows us to go forward to a beautiful future.

Those in the Northern hemisphere are at the same moment drawing from Beltane, the start of the ancient Celtic summer, germinating future growth and dreams. For the world still turns and we can weave and re-form what we need, wherever we celebrate this time in our hearts.

With Beltane pulsating beneath our feet, we can reach out for happiness and fulfillment, light two red candles and make them sparkle with salt to welcome better days. We recall too in them future generations to whom we will pass on our own acquired wisdom; we can at the same time connect with the still burning Samhain fireside of the ancestors, a reminder of other hard times through the ages where people fought to survive and make a better world- and so shall we by the time six months hence Samhain and Beltane change places again on the ever-turning wheel.

Choice and change are not always easy to reconcile; as we stand with our feet between the rising summer and the falling winter, we can only base decisions on the resources and the knowledge we have now. causing as little hurt as possible as we embrace the new and of necessity abandon what no longer works.

For that old hag of winter, Cailleach just one of the names of the fierce but loving grandmother who broke the winter ice that the moorland animals might drink, hears the Maytime music from beneath her dark sheltering rock and knows we must rejoice; but at the same time she does not forget what the past months have taught us about compassion being as powerful as competition and sharing softening single-minded striving for success.

To integrate Beltane and Samhain, wherever you live, take two apples, eat one and say, I absorb Beltane fertility into my life to achieve what I most desire. Scatter pips and shred the core on soil to be absorbed in their own way. Take the second apple and bury it, saying: I bury unfulfilled Samhain efforts to decay and transform in time to new growth. Even if your seeds do not take root, you have set in motion long term rebirth in your life.

Happy season and may as we reach this point in the wheel six months from now as Beltane becomes Samhain and Samhain Beltane in our own part of the world, know health, happiness, laughter kindness and wisdom.

Welcome to May 2020

Happy month of May. And for those of you still suffering from the effects of the pandemic let this month mark the slow blossoming towards life and laughter one day not too distant. May is named after Maia, the Graeco- Roman maiden goddess of flowers, whose festival was in early May.

Flowers themselves take their name from Flora, Roman Goddess of Flowers whose festival, Floralia, lasted from 26 April and 3 May. She was called Khloris in the Ancient Greek tradition and was the wife of Zephyros, god of the West-Wind. Young people would collect baskets of flowers and children make tiny Flora images of flowers on May 1.

Wherever you live in the world use the growth energies of May for improving your general fitness and health, especially if like me you have spent long months indoors, Plan to make new friends, begin new ventures, connect with old friends with whom you can meet face to face and accept some friendships have run their course but were important and of worth.

Take time to visit a local town or beauty spot signposted off the road you speed along and say one day or explore your own location as a tourist.

Enrol for an activity you  never thought you would dare.

The angel of May is Ambriel, Angel of dawn, wearing the colours of sunrise who brings and restores enthusiasm for life and for learning new things, for new love especially if your trust has been shattered and for dusting off creativity for the sheer pleasure or maybe to start a new career.

An excellent time for fertility especially if you have had difficulties and for making that career or study change previously consigned to the tomorrow of the right time. For this Maytime is the time, when the possibilities of even unwelcome change, kickstart a whole new growth journey away from a world that not only was shattered for some, but maybe had outgrown its purpose for others.

Channel the natural restlessness of those blossoms dancing the wind into a short spontaneous long weekend or staycation.

Nurture relationships temporarily dulled by routine or worries, that nevertheless are embedded in love and loyalty – share or regenerate the excitement stirring on the breeze.

For it may be that reworked, brought out into the light of day and decked with flowers, our lives already hold the blossoming possibilities of what we want and need to be rewoven into bright May garlands

This above all is the month of hope and belief, above all in ourselves and all that whatever our age we can still attempt and achieve .

Make a garland  of different coloured flowers to decorate your home as a reminder of good times ahead and for each flower make a wish, some that will need all your power and optimism to fulfil. When they fade scatter the petals to the wind and watch the future dance. Some die but others go on to bear fruit and by June, month of wise Mother Juno, we will know they will with nurturing be fulfilled.

Full Moon in Scorpio

Illustration: CW-Artworks

Welcome to the Full Moon in Scorpio on April 27, at 0.331 UTC (check www.timeanddate.com for any differing full moon date and time in your region) 

The biggest brightest moon of this year is called Pink moon, named after the blooming of moss pink or moss phlox, phlox subulate in Eastern and Central North America, heralding spring. 

A Supermoon appears larger and brighter than normal as it passes closest to the earth on its orbit and will be seen the night either side of the full moon as well.

Aptly as we approach coming out of lockdown in different lands the moon is also called  Breaking Ice Moon  among the Algonquin people and the Moon when the streams are navigable again by the Dakota nation.

A moon of intensity, a moon of transformation, but a moon for some of pain, the loss of loved ones; when even the Queen of England sits at her husband’s funeral head, bowed, alone, all the riches and accolades in the world won’t bring back the one person she wants in the empty seat.

Many people young and old have seen during the pandemic other losses, their jobs disappear and the market swamped where the highest qualifications cannot guarantee even the minimum wage.

But to try to  recreate redundant roles, denies that transformation. shimmering in this moon, whose ruling angel is Bariel, angel of small miracles.

And so whether it is the young who may need to retrain, learn new skills, the mid-term folk who maybe have lost a management role or whose business disappeared when the grants and loans didn’t quite apply; they now of necessity and pride in hard work, dig deep into themselves to create a different business, find an untapped gap in the market, rework some of that old wisdom based on experience that is still of value.

We older folk too suddenly have on open canvas, a beautiful pristine unwritten page still to fill once we have resharpened our worn-down pencils.

I am lucky. I have a new major book commission ahead, probably the most ambitious I have ever undertaken that for me brings the wheel full circle from when I had nothing – and like the songwriters of old, I sold my zillion copy seller on a similar topic for the price of the groceries.
And after that if my health remains, there is the new world, new people, new places and a whole future to fashion. By my next Scorpio moon, Goddess willing, I will be transformed and fly.

If this bright moon hurts too much for whatever reason, try this

  • Light a purple candle, holding a dark coloured crystal or stone to its light saying Since life cannot be what it was before, I can no longer knock on locked and barred doors.
  • Light a grey candle, holding a grey crystal or stone to its light, saying Yet shall I fulfil a different destiny, Bariel, angel of small miracles, Lend determination to me.
  • Light a white candle, holding the white crystal or stone to it, saying A talisman of future days, A charm to guide me to new more fruitful ways.,
  • Extinguish the dark candle, burying the black stone.
  • Blow out the grey candle, tossing the grey stone in the air.
  • Leave the white candle burning and carry the white crystal as a talisman.

 Happy Scorpio transformation.

Happy April 20210

illustration CW-artworks

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

Timing

Any time in April, for five days after dark.

The Spell:

  • 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

Illustration: cw-artworks

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.

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You can now follow me on Instagram: cassandraeasonofficial and Twitter: @eason_cassandra

Happy Equinox

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.

Timing:

Any morning around the Spring Equinox in the Northern hemisphere or the Autumn Equinox in the Southern hemisphere to bring new beginnings.

The Ritual:

  • 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,

Happy Full moon in Virgo

Happy Full moon in Virgo on 27 February 08.17 UTC ( see http://www.moongiant.com for the moon rise in your own region.)

Illustration: cw-artworks

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.

Happy New Chinese Year of the Metal Ox

12 February 2021 to 31 January 2022

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.

CHINESE ASTROLOGY

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 or OIMELC The first festival of spring

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.