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Wreathing the Wheel

June 1st, 2019

Wreathing
the Wheel: June – Summer Solstice and Project Planning

The
month of June contains my favorite of all the quarter days: the
summer solstice. This day is high noon for the year, a time when
transformative, fiery powers are at their peak, warming the earth and
helping plants grow to their fullest. Litha is about action, so this
month I’ve decided to get serious about planning some of my
personal projects. While there are many different types of projects,
I’ll be using the example of this column as our template.

Here’s
a basic, five-step road-map that can be used for both cyclical and
linear projects, from the start of an idea to complete fruition. This
can also be the basis for your planning spread, although obviously
some projects may require you to add or eliminate steps. I’ve tried
to make it as general as possible, so that this road-map can be used
for event planning, project planning, spell work, and much more!

1.
Brainstorm Your Idea

I
often do this first step in a sketchbook, as especially with
complicated ideas, it can easily be too much for a bullet journal.
However, this column’s a slightly simpler example than a long-term,
complicated project would be, so I’ve made a layout to include this
part of the process as well. My method of brainstorming is a bit like
Scrying: I like to make a word cloud out of short phrases, symbols,
diagrams, and keywords that inspire me in my project, as well as
short lists as I start to discover the structure in this cloud. I
also like to highlight certain words with colored pen so that they
stand out from the cloud after I’ve finished this first
brainstorming step.

2.
Refine the Idea: Vision, Mission Statement, and Goals

My
vision board conveys the most important parts of the brainstorming
results, and my ideas about how the finished project should be
realized. My mission statement is a short sentence which concisely
expresses my primary goal. While these may seem silly in the context
of a simple article, they can be very important for long-term
projects, as a mission statement will help remind you of what you
should focus on if you get distracted. I also include a list of
practical goals here to help give my idea some more structure and
formulate the next phase of the plan.

3.
Define the Project Needs: Resources, Education, Materials

With
a complicated project, this part of the spread could easily be
expanded to include a list of articles and references, a
bibliography, and even a complex budget for my project. In the case
of this article, this section is fairly redundant, since I already
have all the materials and resources that I’ll need, but it would
be a great way to track research progress for a longer project. If
your project involves a budget or financial goals, this part will
become much more important, and doing the exercise of writing it all
out may even help you realize whether your goal is truly attainable —
and affordable.

4.
Project Road-map and Action Steps

For
this article, I broke my trackable progress up into two phases: a
structural phase which reflected my development of the article
itself, which I call the project road-map; and the actual steps
needed to bring this idea to fruition, from sketching the layout to
e-mailing the column to my editor. And when that last piece of this
road-map is done — so am I! But there’s still room in this layout
for one more section…

5. Reflection and Response

Ideally,
you’ve been using your road-map and your whole layout not only as
you plan, but also as you work on your project. You may find that you
need to expand or rework some of these items as you refine your idea.
You should also track your progress as you accomplish your goals to
help keep you moving forward. When your goal is accomplished, you can
even journal a short reflection, or note others’ responses to your
project, as a way of reviewing your own work. This is a great way to
bookend your project and make sure that you don’t miss recording
the results of all your hard work!

***

About
the Author:

Sarah
McMenomy
is
an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork,
trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at
https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

As an eclectic witch, one of the most transformative practices that I’ve adopted is the practice of setting intention. At its root, intention is a really basic method of manifestation: make a plan, then execute the plan. But as I’ve explored the idea of intention over time, I’ve come to see a beautiful effect that results from the ongoing process of self-examination. It’s not just the external result of manifesting my dreams, but a reminder to check in with myself and make sure I’m on the right path. After all, if I can’t answer the question, “What’s my intention in doing this?” for any given action I am taking… then why am I even doing it?

It is in the spirit of setting intentions, and thoroughly understanding those intentions, that I started bullet journaling. While I keep a separate grimoire (and have kept other books of shadows), my bullet journal is the place where my magical life intersects with my daily life, and I put some of the spiritual concepts that I’m working with into practice. In this monthly column, I’ll be exploring various methods for working craft into bullet journaling to help track astrological transits, green ally work, Tarot journaling, celebrating the Wheel of the Year, working with associations, artistic exploration, and more.

 

Monthly Spread for December

 

 

I like to illuminate my monthly spreads with images of plants that are associated with the nearest major sabbat, and the season in general. I gravitate towards plants and natural objects that are native to my own area, as a way to bring the outside in. So for December, the plants that I chose to draw in my journal were pine, ivy, and holly. I like to use the information in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences as a jumping-off point to get started with these associations, but it’s good to remember that associations aren’t set in stone, and can easily be changed to accommodate your own hemisphere and biome.

The next thing that I do when building my monthly spread is add the phases of the moon and the full moon’s name. I also record each month’s Tarot card, which I drew in my whole-year reading at the beginning of the year, so that I can reflect on the role that this card plays in my life and how it fits in with other themes and experiences that I’ve encountered during the year. In keeping with the occult tradition of associating moon values with the left side of the body and sun values with the right side, I track the astrological transits of the sun and moon through the month, with the moon transits in the lower-left corner of each day, and the sun in the lower-right corner. This December, the winter solstice falls on the day before the full moon; at the same time, the sun enters Capricorn, and the moon enters Cancer. The darkest night of 2018 will be filled up with the light of the full moon.

I’m calling this column “Wreathing the Wheel” in an effort to remind myself that this project is about more than just to-do lists and chores. Instead, it’s an opportunity for me to acquaint myself intimately with the cycles of nature, immerse myself in intentional thinking, record and study associations, and deepen my divination practices. This is a bit like the process of making a wreath: you find a solid base, and then weave together plant allies, ribbons, and baubles until you’ve got something that looks alright. While I realize that not everyone is as artistically inclined as I am, I would encourage any journaler to embrace the creative side of bullet journaling, not to impress anyone, but as a way to celebrate the passing of time, allow awareness to manifest as creation, and decorate the days that we’re given.

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

May – Blessed Beltane

Blessed
Beltane! May your fields be well watered, may you never thirst, and
may you never hunger. This time of year, makes me happy as I watch
everything coming from the earth in full bloom while love and
kindness are awakening from the long winter scowls and slowly turning
into deliberate smiles. We are all warming up! Finally. And, along
with the warmth returning, the Green Man emerges. The King Stag
comes in search of the Maiden. The need fires burn and the flames of
passion are fanned. It’s time to sow the seeds we have carefully
nurtured during the dark days from Samhain to Yule and planted at
Imbolc.

As
Beltane approaches, I find myself drawn by the Divine Masculine. I
have only one Matron who I venerate, yet the pull toward being
thankful for the Divine Masculine has its place in my walk. I chant
the masculine chants to pay homage to that Divine Force and I place
move my athame to a focal position on my Beltane ritual altar. I
seek and strive to find balance, reinforcing my connection to the
Divine Masculine and the beauty and the commitment of The Great Rite.

The
first week of May, I wanted to convey the spirit of the Divine
Masculine and utilize this space to journal every day about the
aspects of the Divine Masculine, the Horned God, the King Stag in my
everyday life and workings. It was a layout that I challenged myself
to complete without influence of others. I did not rely on graphics
that I found on the internet. Instead, I carefully birthed the
Greenman. He looks here in my first week layout as the Greenman who
resides in my heart, the one who beckons me to sow the seeds that I
have nurtured.

Of
course, May Day/Beltane, really the entire month of May, would not be
complete without a dance around the May Pole and the beauty of the
fae. Spring and the planting season, to me, are a combination of
fun, frivolity, and making merry. The happier I am when my hands are
in the soil, the happier the energy I am putting into my crops. Seed
work this year has been difficult and this layout is helping me to
see that even flowers grow through dirt and “difficulty” is not
“impossibility.”

As
mid-May approaches, I am drawn toward the growth of the seeds that I
have planted, which brings my thoughts to the Great Rite. Love
blossoming, seeds being planted, new life emerging. All of these
acts of love and commitment are in some form a symbolic “Great
Rite.” I utilized washi on the bottom that reads “HELLO” and
in my view, the inflection when reading that washi tape is
everything! It varies from “HELLOOO?” to “HELLO!” and I’m
practicing noticing the smaller details more and more…hoping this
makes me use the latter more than the former!

This
Spring is a busy one for me, spiritually, as I am doing things that I
had previously only dreamed about doing. I am facing the stark
reality, in my Crone years, that in this life we have one of two
things…we either have results or we have reasons. I am reflecting
on a lifetime of reasons and a lot of results. It is not time to put
those results into action and have them far outweigh the reasons.
This final layout in May is not devoid of graphics because I’m
being lazy, rather, it is devoid of graphics because I plan to do
that on the last week of every month to utilize this space to pull
the energies from the weeks prior into the final week and keep track
of my accomplishments. This is the beauty of using a planner as a
working BOS, I can change it up to suit my needs.

I
wish you all a bountiful harvest!

RESOURCES:

MAMBI® CHP Extension Packs

May Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan Plannertarium

May
Cover Page – Repurposed Birthday Card

Miscellaneous
Washi tapes: Available at Michael’s and other craft retailers

***

About
the Author:

Shirley
Lenhard
has
been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New
England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal
field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of
South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life
by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook
group “Pagan
Plannertarium
” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans
to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers
and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and
The Peace Paper.

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