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Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

February, 2019

Imbolc
Planned and Explored

February is the month of Brigid, the hearth fires are tended, the seeds are readied for planting, and spell work done in February focuses on purification, growth, and healing. Loving the self is the theme throughout the month of February; after all, how you love your self will teach everyone in your sphere of influence how to love you. This is a time for kindness to be extended inward. In addition, the energies in February are peek for accepting responsibility for past mistakes and forgiving yourself while you make plans for the future.

This month, I focus on spell crafting and making sigils. A sigil is a combination of symbols that are placed together with intent and are fashioned to become the embodiment of your intention. For instance, I may use the Theban Alphabet (aka the Witch’s Runes) to fashion a Sigil for a spell. If you’re not acquainted with the Theban Alphabet, a quick Google® search will lead you to the alphabet easily enough. Here is an example of a Sigil, the word is “Love” and I used the Theban Alphabet and then placed the letters together to represent how the “love” could represent itself in my spell crafting. Sigils have many uses in magical workings and it is my belief that when I make a sigil, all of my intent and purpose in the spell is crafted into the sigil and it facilitates my workings by manifesting a physical thing that I can see and use as a reminder or a representation of the working. The entire process of me devising my own sigil puts my intention into the sigil and the meaning is carried through the work. Some people use Runes, Theban Alphabet, Zodiac Signs, Sacred Symbols, and a myriad of other representations of their intention. Even a “doodle” can be a sigil; I have used “doodles” in sigil work as well. The beauty of the craft is that it is your own and you must walk the path, therefore, I am neither right nor wrong, I simply am being the best person I know how to be, and I use the craft to facilitate that idea until it becomes my practice.

The
month of February is also the month when I plant my seed for the
coming harvests which are Lammas (aka Lughnasadh), Mabon, and
Samhain. I rarely plant more than one seed per harvest because I do
not like to set myself up for failure by taking on too much when I am
working on my own personal evolution. Every year, my seed work
manifests during the dark times, between Samhain and Yule and,
ordinarily, by Yule I would have begun the ascent from the dark days
of self-contemplation with a seed virtually budding and ready for
planting. This year was a bit different for me. I have reduced my
seed work to a short mantra that has volition and purpose and the
intention of the seed work is to write it down on a piece of paper,
plant it in a pot with a bulb of some sort – usually Amaryllis
because they remind me of my mother – and I nurture that seed
daily. Nurturing your seed includes lighting a candle every day,
watering, and speaking the mantra out loud every day in front of the
seed. This not only reinforces your working, but it sets the tone
for the rest of your year. Seed work is always internal work, always
something for my highest and best good, and sometimes it is painful.
The pain is sometimes like that of my youth, when my long bones
ached, and my mother would tell me that someday I would be big and
strong and able to do things that I cannot do as a child. I remind
myself of that in the midst of any pain that seed work can deliver.
I plant the seed on Imbolc (aka Candlemas), February 2, and I tend it
daily.

The Goddess Brigid is a focal Deity for me during the month of February, She tends the hearth fires, and Her aspects encompass healing, poetry, and smith crafting. I usually start to play with making chain mail pieces during the month of February, an homage to Brigid’s forge, this year is a pentacle keychain made from chain mail. Of course, February also celebrates the Chinese New Year, with 2019 being “The Year of the Pig” and there may be messages meant for us to receive from Pig this month. They are extremely intelligent animals and have quirky qualities about them, it’s worth a look into them if you’re one of the people who looks for messages from the animal world

February also celebrates Valentine’s Day, and Brigid shares aspects of healing, childbirth, and unity with this celebration. Perhaps you have experienced a broken heart, Brigid can help to soothe that pain and ease the immediate shock of loss, while other aspects of this Goddess also serve to help is with new relationships and the flames of love that most tend to fan during this celebration. For pregnant Pagans, Brigid is often sought to lend Her energies to mother’s during birth. There is no union more sacred than that of a mother and newborn child

As the light begins to return, the darkness begins to wane and we have planted our seeds and February marks the time of year when tending to seed work is important not only in terms of personal growth, but also in how deeply we plant our seed so that the roots take hold and we experience positive, permanent change for the greater good; not only for ourselves, but for the world in which we interact. On the 19th of February we experience a Full Moon in Virgo and with this super full moon comes energies that are prime for completing tasks, putting order into your world, settling chaos, and maybe even trying to grasp a deeper understanding that we live in an imperfect world and must strive for balance during this time.

As Brigid’s month comes to a close, we must be mindful of tending the seeds that we have planted so that our harvest is well tended, our fields well-watered, and that we take the time, on a daily basis, to check in with our spiritual wellness, physical presence, and emotional stability. February is not just a month of exchanging cards and chocolates with our lovers. February is a month of self-awareness and love of the self. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself well. Remember, how you love and treat yourself teaches those around you how to love and treat you. So be kind to yourself.

As
a Pagan and a Witch who works in a professional setting, I carry my
working Book of Shadows with me to work and everywhere else that I
go. I am often referring to it throughout the busy work day or it
may even be open on my desk for quick reference. Sometimes, people
carry with them a certain vibe or they become negative or speak in a
negative manner. When this happens in front of me, I like to dispel
the negative energy as quickly as I am able. Because I am out and
about and not in my home, I cannot smudge in my office, I cannot use
my bell to dispense the negativity, nor would it be professional to
cleanse the area with dance and fire. However, I have found an
answer to all of the negativity that could potentially linger and
that is by placing themed shaker cards in my working Book of Shadows.
They are beautiful, easy to keep accessible, and they work like a
dream! All I do is remove the shaker card from my working Book of
Shadows, take a long look at the beauty in my hands, center myself,
and give that shaker card a few shakes and before the last bit of
glitter settles…calm and peace is restored. My shaker cards are
commissioned by my friend, Suzy Meza, and she makes these fantastic
cards to order. As I will do with each and every month, the
resources, shop and group links can be found at the end of the
article.

RESOURCES:

MAMBI®
CHP Extension Packs:

https://www.meandmybigideas.com

CHP
Custom Cover & Foiled Pentacle Stickers by Claire McNamee:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BubsLovesBubba

Custom
Shaker Cards by Suzy Meza:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/gichiscraftcorner

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/217392179039705/

February
Cover Page – Shoot for the Stars – Recollections®
“Constellations” paper pad & 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.