lunar

Review: 2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

December, 2018

Review:

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

Rockpool Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-925682-13-7

List Price: $21.95 USD / £16.99 GBP

The 2019 Lunar and Seasonal Diary is a beautiful, spiral-bound calendar, richly illustrated with pleasing sepia color pages. As one would expect, it tracks the waxing and waning of the moon and the lunar eclipses of the coming year. It also provides the astrological house of each new and full moon and features the eight annual festivals of the wheel of the year.

I reviewed the Northern Hemisphere edition of the Seasonal Diary. Both Stacey DeMarco and Rockpool Publishing are based in Australia, which is why special care is made to tie the festivals to the seasons themselves instead of calendar dates. After all, our calendars follow the reality of the Earth and her seasons, not the other way around.

Especially well fitted to the new pagan, the diary has a well written introduction the hows and whys of spellcraft and the basics of working with crystals. The moon phases are introduced, as well as the elements, directions and the wheel of the year – not enough to complicate things, but enough guidance to use the daily and monthly prompts that follow. Each month features a specific deity, as well as an appropriate ritual or spell, drawing inspiration from traditions as varied as Slavic, Celtic, Hindu, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, and Shinto. I think the selection is broad enough to be interesting for almost any pagan.

I found the Lunar & Seasonal Diary a beautiful resource to keep me connected to the monthly rhythms of the earth. Each month begins with a page questioning “What am I devoted to?” – asking us to simultaneously reflect on what we have been wrapped up in the month just past as well as what we would aspire towards in the month ahead. Prompts are given for important dates and goals to focus on and manifest in the month ahead.

This monthly return to focus seems a positively recharging reset to our frame of reference, especially during those stressful times when we’re just happy to it through one calendar page to the next. It reminds us to recall what we are working for in the first place, reminding us that the daily grind is a process and not an end in itself. This monthly taking-stock can allow you to stay open to the living world around you, to stay fast with what is truly important to you, or to shift your focus and goals each month, working on different aspects of your life just as the energy of the earth changes through different phases around you.

With the space for taking notes, prompts for both reflective and aspirational record keeping, I think this is a great notebook for any pagan who sees the value of the occasional ritual to keep one in tune with the seasons, and it especially shines for those new to the pagan path.

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary: Northern Hemisphere on Amazon

Book Review: The Lunar Gospel – The Complete Guide to Your Astrological Moon by Cal Garrison

December, 2018

Book Review

The Lunar Gospel – The Complete Guide to Your Astrological Moon

by Cal Garrison

Another astrology cookbook, sigh, I thought as I opened this book. How wrong I can be! Cal Garrison is an astrologer of maturity and subtlety and brings her experience and discernment to this very useful, well written guide. As Garrison herself points out in the introduction,

To answer the question of whether we need another astrology book, I am here to say, ‘Yes, we do.’ We need a book that takes the basic information to a place that actually shows the aspiring astrologer how to translate the sings and symbols into a language that helps people identify their soul’s purpose clearly enough to open the pathway to the higher self…that lifts the Veil on…a subject that has been hidden in darkness for over 500 years and that was originally given to humanity as a gift from the gods to help us make sense of ourselves and of our connection to the greater whole.”

And Garrison does exactly that. As she tells it, she used to rely on Pluto to get to the heart of the soul-based and life-purpose horoscope, then the lunar nodes. Now she uses the Moon’s sign and house position as the direct route to the core of the chart because: “The Moon is the timekeeper here on Earth. Like the second-hand on a clock, her movements define our relationship to the past, the present and the future. The Moon’s sign…gives us insight into what an individual has learned during the ‘Time’ that they have already spent on this Earth. The Moon’s house…tells us where and in what ‘Space’ or department of Earthly experience a person will apply those gifts in life.” Garrison uses Saturn to point to big changes and the Moon to point to the smaller shifts. I really appreciated this insight!

Her discussion of the Moon and its role in the natal horoscope walks us through her process of chart reading. She has studied astrology since 1964, so this is deep trove of treasure she dispenses to us. In the first chapter we learn that the Moon is about growth, (waxing and waning!), our past lives, the areas we’ve mastered and how we tend to repeat these patterns in the first half of our lives. I have approached the Moon in the natal chart from a somewhat different perspective, but find Garrison’s direction to be useful and practical. For example, she makes an excellent observation when she tells us that the Moon, not Mercury, rules memory. She parses this beautifully – Mercury rules the mind and neural functioning, but the moon governs memory because it governs the past. And –“[s]he is responsible for the mechanism in us that knows how to remember, because she is the master of repetition.” Of course! Her discussion of all of the Moon’s rulerships and correspondence is so well-done: thoughtful, well-explained and very well written, in simple, easy to understand language that is not astro-speak. It works beautifully for the beginner and for a more seasoned astrologer as well, providing us with her insight gained from reading many charts.

For the true newbie, there is a quick and easy to understand explanation of how the astrological wheel is laid out. There are also chapters on the moon in the signs and the houses, replete with insight and practical ways to apply it to both natal and horary charts (these are charts cast to answer specific questions, like, “Where will I find my keys?”). Garrison provides chapters on North and South lunar node house and sign placements to demonstrate how the Moon’s orbit is anchored to the soul’s purpose in this lifetime. There is helpful diagram to illustrate how the nodes interact with the orbits of the Sun and the Earth. She ends with a chapter on synthesizing and blending these various layers. For the astrology initiate, she provides short, well-written descriptions of the flavor, tone and influence of each inner and outer planet in the chart and how each operates.

I truly appreciate Cal Garrison’s insights and advice on chart reading in this book, especially this: “The ability to read a chart is something that grows over time and develops, not through books alone, but rather through the direct experience of talking to one person after another about their lives.” Yes! If you are interested in dipping into the vast body of available astrological writing or like me, adding to your library of astrology books, get this one. You, too, will appreciate Garrison’s experience, her insight and her ability to convey her craft so well.

The Lunar Gospel: The Complete Guide to Your Astrological Moon on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

 

 

 

Eclipsed

August, 2018

Lunar Eclipse and Blood Moon 27 July 2018

My dear friend Susan Rossi who is a gifted astrologer (https://openchannelastrology.com/) has taught me to pay close attention to eclipses and the, so called, annual Eclipse Season. She tells me that eclipses act as gates or portals for human consciousness we can pass through. If we handle the challenges right we can even unhook from “karmic theatre” – meaning that we can put long-standing dysfunctional dynamics between us and others to rest. Easier said than done, but when we achieve it there is instant relief and head space.

In November last year I discovered some cysts in my breast which opened a period of medical investigations married to deep inner work on Mother Issues:

  • Myself as both mother and “shadow mother” of three teenage sons, parenting with great delight all my personal imperfections
  • My real life Mother and my Inner Mother (the magical place within where I can mother myself because I am a grown-up now!)
  • My Mother-In-Law and life-giver of my husband
  • People who have reached out to me in maternal ways during my lifetime. (Women who have nourished my soul and afforded me shelter under their wing when I needed it – I am eternally grateful to them all!)

As a family we plan our summer around our children’s school holiday. We did not consult an astrologer but nevertheless we were at my mother’s house in the Netherlands the day the July 12th eclipse occurred and my mother-in-law was here with us in Sweden for last night ‘s lunar eclipse and Blood Moon.

You cannot make that up!!

Anyway, I decided to walk through these Eclipse Gates intuitively. It is tempting to read other people’s interpretations and astrological interpretations as there is a myriad of on-line articles just one click of the mouse away.

Here in Sweden forest fires rage and everyone is praying for rain. Last night’s eclipse brought that rain!! Actually it started raining the exact moment I started writing this article! I performed an informal rain dance, naked in the forest, at 4 a.m. this morning and a passing wild boar family grunted at me. One bat nearly landed on my head. – I must have done something right…

We took my mother-in-law for an outing on the lake in the early evening (this involved requesting permission from the local castle and land owner to use their jetty – and permission was granted!)

The first sign of the eclipse was a most peculiar cloud appearing over the lake. Our whole family collectively shifted into an altered state of consciousness.

This was followed by some sightings of a beaver swimming alongside our boat.

A few hours later the Blood Moon rose: hard to spot, the palest orange outline against a metal blue Scandinavian sky. All photographs of it failed. They just show darkness – as (I guess) the Moon wants them too. (I do not want to be photographed either when I disrobe and step away from prying eyes).

The next stage of the eclipse process looked like a red horse shoe birthing a new galaxy – or possibly an embryo gestating in deep sacred darkness:

This article will now continue in the form of photographs and poems as I do not yet have access to mainstream linear words for the Lunar Eclipse that occurred within me.

 

The Queen of Blood

 

In one eclipse vision

I meet

The Queen of Blood and Lineage

Seated on her throne

Within me

She hands me her star-spangled cape

 

Says

Time to stop wearing

The Midnight Sun!

Stir the cauldron

That is the eclipsed Moon

Make the Night Sky your altar cloth

The Big Dipper your ladle

 

Remember the woman in the supermarket

Who had

The Milky Way

The Winter Street

Tattooed on her back?

You are She!!

 

You are the mother bear

Whose spine is the Milky Way

As she walks The Winter Street

And leads the way through Darknesses

So it is safe

For the Moon to return

Another day

 

When I die

Wrap me in tonight’s sky

Let the Morning Sun

Burn me in a watery blaze

 

The Eclipsed Moon

Is my Home

I am

And I am not

Simultaneously

Eternally

 

This phase was followed by the tiniest crescent of reflected sunlight returning.

As this crescent expanded and we saw all phases of the Moon in one evening: a true once-a-century spectacle!

Next planet Mars, at his closest point to Earth and fiery red, rose over the tree tops (I was observing all this from a forest by the Baltic Sea).

 

 

I meditated on all the occasions when I had felt eclipsed –

and/or played my part eclipsing others:

 

Eclipsed

 

During this

Total lunar eclipse

I no longer feel eclipsed

by people

I gave too much power

 

They stood with me

As a male wolf-serpent ate the Moon

And a female serpent-wolf called Blame

Unwound from my heart

 

She joined the Great Wolf in the Sky

Where she swallowed some stars

But soon vomited up even more stars

My pain, my fear,

My attachment to that old self

Now twinkle overhead

In the neighbourhood of the Pole Star

 

Next Mars rises

The colour of pulsing rage

As he did so

Three gunshots were heard

In the deep dark forest

They killed a phantom

The Old Me

 

As a crescent of light

Reappeared on the Moon

I stood naked

Resurrected

Safely wrapped

In a wolf fur sky

 

 

 

Dream: I am the Universe

A few nights ago

I dreamed that I was the Universe

Brimming with stars

Planets and black holes

Cosmic Breath

A turning inside-

And outside-in

Weaving in and out of existence

 

Rhythm

So this is

The sound of

One hand clapping…

 

 

 

Skulls don’t lie

 

I look at the sky

Where puffy clouds lie

Skulls with pincers

Crabs

Lobsters

Dis-ease

 

On a hot day

Hidden in plain view

Something in me dies

Whenever I tell

Polite lies

 

I look at the sky

Where my own skull

Grins right back at me

 

 

 

Wild Boar Medicine

(A small dose)

 

Right above

Solstice Rock

The Resurrected Moon

Rests in a tree

To meet all eyes

Gazing up at her

They become one giant

Golden eye

That will greet The Rising Sun too

With awe

Without question

 

Fifteen baby wild boar

Return her gaze only briefly

While grazing in the field

Believing that

The Resurrected Moon

Is the Morning Sun

In the Scandinavian

Sky

 

Having faced

My fears and phantoms

I stand reborn

A Wild Boar Person

With solar attitude

A great love for solitude

 

At this point I decided to go to bed but my bed turned into an art studio and “poet’s corner” as I cannot possibly sleep when the energy is so high!

 

 

 

Imelda Almqvist, Sweden, 28 July 2018

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of sacred art and Northern European shamanism. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit for Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in 2016.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit with The Shift Network in 2016 and 2017. In 2018 she is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. Her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published on 29 March 2019. She is currently working on her third book: Medicine of the Imagination.

Natural Born Shamans – A Spiritual Toolkit for Life: Using Shamanism Creatively with Young People of All Ages

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist  

(Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

 

 

 

Book Review – Moon Magic: Your Complete Guide to Harnessing the Mystical Energy of the Moon by Diane Ahlquist

July, 2018

Book Review

Moon Magic: Your Complete Guide to Harnessing the Mystical Energy of the Moon

by Diane Ahlquist

Moon Magic by Diane Ahlquist is a small book, but as promised by the subtitle it offers a complete perspective of Moon Lore, recipes, astrological considerations, and more. The author has managed to fill 253 pages with practical applications and information that is suited to both the longtime lunar practitioner and the newest of Moon devotees.

The book is separated into four sections, each building upon the next; the fourth giving suggestions for advanced Moon work. Additionally, each section holds a wealth of exercises to foster a deeper and deepening connection to the Moon from contemplative to journaling and creation of oils and food.

Part 1-Chapters 1 through 4 give a thorough, yet readily readable, overview of the astronomical science inherent in the phases, the history of Moon workings, familiar names given historically to the monthly moons and a brief section on energy management and subtle anatomy basics. 

Part 2-Chapters 5-10 dive right into moon magic and the types of workings that are suitable for specific phases, healings and the planetary correspondences of the days of the week to be used in consideration with timing your lunar work. Worksheets to outline your intention and the steps towards bringing into manifestation what you desire all lead to Chapter 10, which gives directions for creating a Vision Board (aka. Manifestation Chart/Treasure Map). This is a technique used in a variety of ways, both mundane and spiritual for visualizing what you want, employing the tactile component in selecting pictures, symbols, etc. and strategically placing the completed project in a location where it is in sight and therefore always in mind.

Part 3-Chapters 11-16 offer suggestions and info about auspicious lunations such as eclipses, blue moons and more with loads of accompanying activities for bringing Moon Magic into your daily living as you honor the cycles in a very organic and intuitive way. The previous parts all serve as the foundation for Part 4 and advanced lunar practices.

Part 4-Chapters 17-21 provide an opportunity to apply the basics learned and branch it more broadly and inclusively aligning astrology, both Eastern and Chinese (a nice little add in). Permanence is represented in a chapter dedicated to creating your own Moon altar and the traditional correspondences used by the farmers in planting by the moon are explored in suggestions for creating a moon garden. 

The finishing touch in this informative little treasure is the final chapter dedicated to food and drink with decidedly lunar themes and correspondences. This last impression takes the reader from embarking on a quest to connect with Mother Moon and her dynamics of change and brings them right to the table, or in this case altar to eat and drink in the lunar energies.

Given the abundance of books available on this subject, and having read a great many of them, I was nicely surprised to find this small tome of reference that speaks from the author’s heart and apparent knowledge of the webbing of many disciplines being part and parcel of lunar work. 

To read more about Diane Ahlquist, visit her site at:  www.DianeAhlquist.com 

 

Moon Spells: How to Use the Phases of the Moon to Get What You Want

 

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of:

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2)

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1)

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Goddesses of Sorcery

October, 2013

The Moon Goddess

“Once it be in a month, and better when the moon is full…”(1)

By Meri Fowler HPS

The other day I on Facebook I was sorry to see a definition of Paganism as “people who worship the moon”. The moon is, as far as I know, a piece of rock that orbits the earth, although some people think it might be made of cheese! We don’t worship it, we worship God.

I had an argument with a doctor of theology who said that Pagans worship the forces of nature personified by deities that were invented by ancient people. He said they made up these deities to explain natural phenomena and then worshiped them, for example because they were afraid of thunder and did not understand it they made up and worshipped Thor, the god of thunder. Pagans don’t worship natural phenomena or made-up deities, we worship God.

Monotheism is the worship of one god; the Abrahamic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism are considered to be monotheistic by their followers. They are all supposed to be worshipping the same Deity but they often fight over the details. Paganism is seen by many to be Duotheistic or Polytheistic, meaning that they worship the Divine as two (duo) God and Goddess or many (poly). In fact many Pagans are also monotheistic because they view the God and Goddess as two inseparable sides to the Divine like two sides of a single coin, the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine. Many Polytheistic Pagans are also really monotheists because they see the many forms of God as manifestations of the One.

So what about the moon? In Wicca the moon is a symbol of the Goddess and the sun is a symbol of the God, just like the little fishes Christians stick on their cars symbolise Christ. They don’t worship fish; it’s a symbol. Why do people need symbols? God is big! Bigger than we can imagine and feel and know and love. Bigger than us! God is a mystery. We can’t prove that God exists to an atheist, but we don’t need to because we feel in our bones that somehow, He/She is real!

There is a profound difference between Wicca and other religions. Wiccans see God as immanent and transcendent, masculine and feminine. We believe the God and Goddess are present in the world as well as existing even when the world ends. Our religion is focused on connecting with the immanent divine within nature. It is very difficult to connect with the great power that is God! It’s much easier to connect with a symbol or personification of God such as a deity, a saint or a prophet…or the beauty of the moon.

Lunar Goddesses

This brings us back to the moon and the Lunar Goddesses. When a Witch sets up her altar under the full moon and bows to it she is connecting to the Divine Feminine in nature through the symbol of the moon. She is not worshiping the moon just like the Christians are not worshiping the car-fish. There are many names for the Moon Goddess, such as emis, Astarte, Luna, Hecate, Selene, and Bastet. Each one has her history (herstory) and legend, symbols and rituals. Luna is an ancient Roman Goddess who was seen to ride a chariot through the sky drawn by two oxen and wear a horned crown. Sometimes she is seen to be part of the “diva triformis”(triple Goddess) along with  Prosperina and Hecate (2).

What will happen if you do a ritual to the Moon Goddess? You will be attuning yourself to the energy of the Goddess using the moon and the moonlight as the symbol of her beauty. You will experience a shift in your consciousness that is called in French “dans la lune” or in English “moonstruck”. In this deep meditative state call on her with sincerity and longing asking God in the form of the Divine Feminine and symbolized by the glorious moon to make Herself known to you. Meet Her and feel Her presence. This is the first step to knowing and loving the vast and wonderful unknown mystery which is God.

Lunar Altar: Silver altar cloth, a mirror, a white candle, moonstones, a crystal bowl of pure water reflecting the moonlight

Lunar symbols: the crescent or full moon, the owl,

Lunar prayer:

There’s a lady in my heart,

She rides on the wind,

Her light is the light of the moon.

Full moon on the rise,

Peace flows down like a cavalcade,

Her light is the light of the moon.

Come to me bright owl

Carry the light of my beloved

Touch me and awaken me

Let me know you!

Full Moon on the rise,

Peace flows down like a cavalcade,

Her light is the light of the moon,

Her light is the light of the moon,

Her light is the light of the moon.

I am the light of the moon.

 

Lunar ritual:

I set up my alter under the Willow tree with a silver cloth draped on the stones that form a table, a white candle lit beside a crystal bowl filled with water. The Full Moon is reflected in the water and it seems to shimmer and sparkle. I begin to chant the lunar prayer and invite the Goddess Luna to be present with me in the warm night. Slowly my soft chanting and the hypnotic movement of the breeze in the willow branches stills my mind and I feel completely relaxed and present in the moment. I am aware of the cool grass beneath my feet and the currents of air moving wisps of hair around my face. Taking my drum I begin to softly play a rhythm while gazing up at the glorious full moon. Gently a presence begins to form around me and I know that I am not alone. I feel invigorated by the energy of Luna, the Goddess of the moon and I ask her for the blessing of peace.

References:

  1. Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente
  2. C.M.C. Green, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

 

Wiccan Basics

October, 2011

The Sun and the Moon


SOLAR & LUNAR ECLIPSES:

These are dramatic moments for magicians.

Many natural magicians use the suggestive power of an eclipse to fuel spells involving banishments, unlike in the past, when magicians were urged not to perform magick during eclipses.

THE SUN

Some may wait months for the sun to enter the proper sign of the Zodiac.

This is fine for major workings but unrealistic for working everyday magick.

However, there are other solar cycles worth following…

SUNRISE: As light stretches out from the eastern horizon. When the Night runs from the Day. This is an excellent time to perform rituals involving purification, business success, study, employment, travel, releasing guilt & jealousy, healing diseases, & the conscious mind.

NOON: When the sun shines far above at full strength. This is a time for that which involves magickal energy, physical energy & strength, protection, money & courage.

SUNSET: The sun run from the dark, this signals the time for breaking addictions, weight-loss, banishing misery & pain, transforming anguish & negative habits.

NIGHT: This slow and sleepy time is for beauty, dreams, psychic awareness, spirituality, sleep, sex, love, friendships, peace, and releasing stress.

THE MOON

It waxes & wanes each month, rising an hour or so later during each twenty-four hour period. When it is full, it rises as the sun sets.

There are different types of spells performed at the different phases of the moon.

The Moon’s phases & the types of magick appropriate to them are:

WAXING MOON: (From New to Full) When the Moon is waxing it is a time for beginnings, health & healing, psychic awareness, beauty, fertility & all positive magickal workings.

FULL MOON: All positive magickal spells are performed beneath the potent glow of the Full Moon, including protection, love, healing, purification, psychic awareness, money & travel.

WANING MOON: (From Full to New) This is the time for banishments of habits, addictions, disease & negative thoughts. Jealousy, guilt, & hurts are released under the waning Moon. The old is swept away to make room for the new.

Blessing until next Month

S.Dunham