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Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

May, 2019

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.

Wreathing the Wheel

March, 2019

March

I’ve
been working with astrology a lot in my craft lately, and it’s
starting to work its way into all my designs! Here, I’ve added the
planets associated with each day of the week in a flow of stardust —
this is pretty, but it’s also a way of labeling the days and
reminding me of the planetary associations.

This March, the full moon is on Ostara, the Vernal Equinox. It brings with it a great potential for manifestation of personal works. To harness this power and celebrate the season, I’m making a renewed effort to spend time on my garden. My husband and I moved a little over a year ago from a large house that had a lot of garden space to a townhouse with fairly little garden space, and I haven’t done much with it yet. I brought several potted houseplants and a few garden herbs, a few of which are in the ground already — carnation, spearmint, rosemary, and valerian — but there’s room for plenty more

At right, I’ve made a detailed listing of the plants I’m growing or planning to grow, with notes about what type of soil they need, how much sun they should get, how often they should be watered, how large they are likely to get, and any other care information that seems relevant. There are a few spots to add plants, but since I don’t have much space, I’ll probably do so slowly

At
left, I have a log to track my progress and schedule important dates,
and a small map of my garden in the middle of the spread. Because I
have such little space, I have to have the plants spread out into
several different locations, and it’s important that I don’t
confuse them. Some of the plants I’m growing need to be treated
carefully and grown inside a terrarium due to their toxicity; some
will do better outside than in. In this case, organization is
extremely important!

The
final step in this process is to carry the theme forward through the
rest of my journal so that I can return to this intention on an
appropriate schedule and don’t forget what I’m doing or get lost
in my plans. With most of these plants, weekly observation should be
sufficient for me to determine their needs, but there is still quite
a bit of work to be done to get everything set up, and I’ll need to
be very careful when I’m starting my seeds. I can’t wait to see
what grows!

***

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

Wreathing the Wheel

January, 2019

Tarot Journaling at the New Year

Many
witches use their journals to aid in the study of divination by
tracking readings from sources such as Tarot, bone throwing, scrying,
and others. There are many different kinds of divination, and many
ways to track these practices, but today I’m going to focus on one
of the most popular: Tarot. Tracking Tarot in a bullet journal can be
a very rewarding practice, as it reveals patterns which aren’t
always obvious, such as “stalker cards” which follow you through
several readings over a period of time, or the appearance of a card
connected to a season or a timely event.

One exciting way to start a devoted Tarot journaling practice at this time of year is a New Year’s Reading. There are lots of different kinds of New Year’s Readings, but I like to design my own. I’ve been working a lot with the image of the Wheel of the Year, so for this year’s reading, I chose to do a reading based on the Wheel and the Compass. The inner compass is a bit like the cross in the Celtic Cross spread, but with three cards in the middle instead of two, to invoke a few more numerological correspondences of duality and trinity for a balanced interpretation with lots of possibilities.

You may notice that I have
not included my own personal interpretations in this particular
spread. I do not plan to direct an interpretation until the Sabbat in
question comes to pass. This means that I’ll have to do a short
ritual for reflection upon the reading, as a Sabbat practice. The
year’s reading starts not at Yule, which is still covered by the
monthly reading I did for 2018, but at Imbolc, at the start of
February 2019. The Sabbats occur on (roughly) a seven-week cycle
throughout the year, so I’ve marked out six interstitial sections
via radiating lines between each pair of Sabbats. This way I can
track weekly readings, and see how it all comes together as I go.

I like to draw small
versions of the Major Arcana cards drawn so that they stand out (and
because the codified scheme that I use for the Minor Arcana cards
doesn’t work for the Major Arcana!). The way that I do it, it
takes very little time and effort because the drawings are so small,
but it is still a fun way to make the spread pop.

January Spread

For
January, I’ve chosen associations based both on the time of year,
and for my own personal healing intentions for the new year. This
month, I call upon carnations, elder, and willow as green allies, as
well as rose quartz and onyx for protection and healing. I also like
to add the names of holidays that have some meaning to me, whether I
plan to celebrate them spiritually or not. For January, these days
are: New Year’s Day, Compitalia, and the Wolf Moon.

I
like to write the names of the plants and stones in small script near
the drawing so that I don’t get confused or forget what they’re
supposed to be. If you’re still studying correspondences, this is a
good way to rehearse some of those associations, and decorate your
bullet journal at the same time.

***

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

Wreathing the Wheel

December, 2018

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