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natal chart

Wreathing the Wheel

July, 2019

Watching
the
Summer
Skies

Summer
is a great time to get outside, go camping, and watch the stars come
out. This is something I like to do at least once a summer, and more
than that if I can manage it. This year, my interest in stargazing
has a new dimension: I have been studying astrology, and am now
watching stellar bodies with renewed interest. In the interests of
getting serious about learning the ropes of astrology, I decided to
make some bullet journal spreads as a reference to help me study.

Natal
Chart and Astrological Reference

One of the things that most new astrology students do is to study their own natal chart, which captures the positions of the planets and stars at the moment of a person’s birth. I’m lazy and didn’t want to do all the complicated calculations to figure out the positions myself, so I used the natal chart calculator available at Cafe Astrology so that I could focus my efforts on making my pages look good. As I usually do, I used a ruler, protractor, and mechanical pencil to sketch out these layouts, and tried to fit in the information as densely as possible. When I felt certain that I liked how it looked, I used my set of Sakura Pigma Micron Pens to ink the spreads. I also used “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need” by Joannaa Martine Woolfolk as a reference, along with a handful of astrology websites. 

The
right side of this spread is completely dedicated to an exploded
reading of the planetary positions in my natal chart, complete with
the names of the positions and some basic keywords. The center figure
started as a basic circle drawn with a protractor, and I used a
circle template to add the concentric inner circles around the
central point. Most of this was drawn with the 180 degrees of the
circle divided into twelve equal 30-degree angles; the houses don’t
perfectly match the division of the signs, but were drawn in by hand
using the computer-generated chart as a reference. The positions of
the planets, houses, and signs are all included here, along with the
ascendant line and the midheaven point. In the lower left corner of
the spread, I added the aspects in my natal chart.

I wanted to add a lot of basic reference information as well, so that I could refer back to these spreads over and over again. I included several lists: the signs with their symbols, associated elements, ruling planets, dates, and keywords; and the houses, with keywords and their native signs, as well as a list of the symbols used. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a newbie to astrology, so hopefully experienced astrologers will excuse any mistakes made in these spreads. While I did spend a fair amount of time inking these spreads, I won’t lie — the majority of the time that I spent on these spreads was spent on research, which is pretty unusual for a bullet journal spread.

The
2019 year calendar was difficult to fit into a small space, but I
used the Llewellyn’s 2019 Witches’ Calendar as my reference for
most of the included planetary transits. My calendar simply includes
which sign each planet is in during each half of each month of the
year, along with the moon’s path and phases. Below this, I added
the year’s meteor showers and eclipses. After filling out the
symbols on the facing page, I found I still had a lot of space left —
so I decided to add the constellations of the zodiac and a big more
art here. These spreads are now basically full of information, though
there’s room to add a few additional notes. I may be a beginner, but
I feel like I’ve now got a great reference to help me move forward
with my studies, something I can come back to again whenever I have
astrology to do!

***

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

Book Review – The Moving Universe: A Spiritual and Mundane Perspective on the Transits by Joseph Polansky

April, 2019

Book Review
The Moving Universe
A Spiritual and Mundane Perspective on the Transits
by Joseph Polansky

Joseph
Polansky has written annual horoscope books for each zodiac sign for
a number of years. You know the ones I mean – they are the 365 day
version of your daily newspaper horoscope. These are “mundane”
forecasts that we scan each morning; they tell us of impending
success, romance, or to be careful out there!

A
Moving Universe: A Spiritual and Mundane Perspective on the Transits
is a different breed of astrology book from the year in prediction
books. Mr. Polansky addresses the impact of planetary energies as
they move through, or “transit,” an individual’s birth chart or
solar return chart – where the current planets are on your
birthday. The chart of the planets’ positions at the moment of
your birth is a permanent picture memorialized in your birth chart.
But, the planets keep moving! And depending on the timing of their
movement around the Sun, they will form angles to their position in
your birth chart as they move and to the position of the other
celestial bodies in the chart as well. You may be familiar with a
“Saturn return,” for example. When you are approximately 28 years
old, Saturn has moved through the entire wheel of the horoscope and
returns to its place at the moment you were born. That position
presages a coming of age and a maturation process, possibly a series
of challenges that initiate a person into adulthood. As Saturn moves
through the entire wheel of the natal horoscope chart over the course
of 28 years, it forms angles to every other planet’s natal
position, including its own! And every other planet does the same
thing, moving at its own speed, from fast Mercury to SLOOOOW Pluto,
who takes 245 years to orbit the sun. You will not have a Pluto
return!

As
they pass over or across from the other planets in the natal chart,
transiting planets impart a tone or influence to the affairs of life
and energies of the planets contacted. The specific degree of
separation of one planet from another, or angle of contact, carries a
particular energy. Trines (120°) and sextiles (60°) are considered
“easier” than squares (90°) for example. As we can have
multiple transits happening at the same time, it is like peeling an
onion to get through the layers to interpret what’s happening!

Mr.
Polansky has provided a great resource for the student of astrology
in this volume. He explores what he calls the major angular
aspects: conjunctions (planets at the same place); oppositions
(planets 180° apart, opposite each other); squares, trines and
sextiles. I would have liked to read his assessments of quincunxes
and septiles as well; in my astrological training, I learned that
these aspects can point us in the direction of the karmas and
patterns we most need to address. Nonetheless, Mr. Polansky has
explored each of the angles listed for every planetary combination –
over 300 pages of reference materials that is pure gold for both the
neophyte and the experienced astrologer.

What
makes this book so valuable as a resource are Mr. Polansky’s
discussions of both the mundane and the spiritual meanings of each
transit. He examines what is likely to be happening in the outer
life of the person undergoing the transit, and then he addresses what
that transit may be bringing on the level of interior lessons and
challenges. He is quick to remind us that we must factor in the many
elements present in a birth chart to truly understand the impact of a
transiting planet!

This
book is a great addition to your bookshelf if you are interested in
exploring the multi-dimensional meanings of transits in depth. I
have added it to my reference library and will be using it many
times!

The Moving Universe 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

Book Review & Interview – Practical Magic, a Beginner’s Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics & Spells by Nikki Van De Car

January, 2019

Book
Review & Interview

Practical
Magic

A Beginner’s Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics & Spells

I was lucky enough to receive
a copy of the beautiful book “Practical Magic”, written by
Nikki Van De Car and illustrated by Katie Vernon. This book was
published by Running Press Philadelphia, in 2017. It’s a beginner’s
guide to all things magical. It’s 152 pages long and is a hard back
book. There is an optional kit that accompanies this book, that comes
with a mini-book, 2 crystal tumbles, temporary tattoos, and a fold
out natal chart. Both the book and kit are available through many
retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. The book is also
available for kindle. I was able to dig into both the book and the
awesome kit, so read on to hear my opinions.

First off, both the book and
kit are so beautiful! I love hardback books, and even more so if they
have a gorgeous cover with an appealing title and artwork. The
artwork throughout this book is very lovely.

This book is an amazing book
for anyone new to magic or metaphysical topics, as it covers many,
many topics and gives a nice overview of the subjects to get you
started. In the introduction of the book, Nikki says it perfectly:

“Here’s the thing-you
don’t have to believe in magic to enjoy this book. You just have to
want to.”

I LOVE that!

This book has 3 parts, (1)
Healing for Hedge Witches, (2) Magic for the Weekend Wiccan, and (3)
Casual Clairvoyance.

There is information on so
many topics, here are some (there are many more), auras, palm
reading, tarot, crystals, sabbats, horoscopes/astrology, dream
interpretation, herbs, chakras, and some recipes and spells too. It’s
chock full of subjects I personally am very interested in, and I know
most of my friends would be as well.

The book is geared toward
beginners to magic, but as someone that’s been involved in magic for
a long time, I still found the book educational and fun to read. Some
topics I’m more familiar with than others, but each chapter I got
something out of. I think anyone would enjoy this book very much.

Their is a very nice kit that you can get to accompany the book. In the kit you get an adorable mini book, a gemmy rose quartz tumble, a gorgeous tigers eye tumble, metallic & horoscope temporary tattoos and a fold out natal chart you can fill in with your birth info. There are sections in the book that will teach you about both the crystals and how to fill out the natal chart.

I love this kit, it ties in
with the book perfectly and is such a fun addition! If you know me at
all, you know I LOVE crystals, so I was thrilled two beautiful ones
were included!

Including the natal chart was
a great idea and very helpful for those new to astrology. And I’m
also a big fan of metallic flash tattoos, so love that this fun
element was included. The kit is also a great price for all that’s
packed in.

I thoroughly enjoyed both this
book and the kit. This would make a perfect gift for someone
interested in all things magical. Its also available through many
sites and at a fair cost. I highly recommend this book and kit!

Nikki
was so kind…
as to answer some questions I had for her.
Here are my questions and her responses.

Retha:
What inspired you to write this book?

Nikki:
I just love magic. I always have- I was the kid that talked to trees,
hoping a dryad would answer. As I got older, I let all of that go,
but writing this book gave me the freedom to get close to that
feeling again. It gave me permission to be open to that kind of
wonder- and that’s what I wanted to share.

Retha:
What is one thing you hope readers learn from your book?

Nikki:
I want people to recognize the power of their own will. Over and over
again in the book I say ‘magic is about intention’. And so it doesn’t
matter how you want to channel your intention, your will, your magic-
whether its through chakras or dreams or herbal remedies. What
matters is how you live your life in that sense of personal power and
possibility.

Retha:
What made you decide to include a kit to go along with your book?

Nikki:
This was my publishers idea! Its a fantastic addition, and I just
love it.

Retha:
Who is your target demographic with this book?

Nikki:
It’s pretty feminine, so for sure women. I’m in my late 30s and I
would 10/10 buy this book, so for sure I’m part of that target
demographic! But I feel like there’s an insurgency of a younger
generation of Wicca-curious millenials, and I hope this book can
support them.

Retha:
How long have you been interested in magical practices?

Nikki:
After I grew up and got all adulty, I let go of magic for a long
time. It was only within the past 5 years or so that I began to
reconnect with my love of magic- when I sort of re-met that part of
myself, and I found I still really like her! Once I gave myself
permission to explore magic again, I started incorporating rituals,
spells, herbal healing, and the like into my daily life.

Retha:
What is your favorite section in the book?

Nikki:
Personally, I turn to the herbal healing section ALL THE TIME. It’s
the most practical. But I loved writing the section on pagan
holidays, and those have become a large part of life. I love ritual
and holidays, and having explored the meanings of these celebrations,
I have found I really wanted to make them a part of my family’s life.

Retha:
Are you planning on writing more books on magical/metaphysical
content?

Nikki:
Yes! In fact I have 2 more on the way! “Magical Places”
is coming out in 2019 and “Wellness Witch” will follow
shortly thereafter! “Magical Places” explores the haunted,
healing and fairy-occupied places of the world, and “Wellness
Witch” expands on some of the healing practices in “Practical
Magic” with specific recipes and rituals.

You
can reach
Nikki
Van De Car
through

Instagram:
@nikkivandecar

Website: nikkivandecar.com

I
hope you enjoyed both my review and my interview with the lovely
Nikki, and hope you will check out her website and book!! A huge
thank you to Nikki for answering my questions & sending me her
book to review and enjoy!

Click HERE for Amazon Information
Click HERE for Amazon Information

***

About
the Author:

Retha
N. Lent

has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have
four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has
her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences
from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s
Crystals
” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry &
specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her
customers and those interested in learning more about crystals &
all things magical called “Retha’s
Crystal Circle
“. She is also an advisor in the Sage
Goddess
Affiliate
Program.
She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing
certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan
Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for
crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual
practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs,
manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite
place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal
collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She
has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You
can reach her at [email protected]
or on her business
page on FB
:
https://www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or
in her
FB group
:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1960619300929876

Her
Sage
Goddess
affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or
follow her on Instagram at @spookygirl16