planner

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!

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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

Review of Coloring Book of Shadows: Planner for A Magical 2019 by Ami Cesari

January, 2019

Review

Coloring Book of Shadows: Planner for A Magical 2019

by Ami Cesari

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the beautiful “Coloring Book of Shadows-Planner for a Magical 2019” from the author Ami Cesari. I have had both her planner and her magical coloring books in the past and have always thoroughly enjoyed them. I am an avid colorist and a fan of planners, so this combination of the two was right up my alley!

There are two styles available of this book, both a regular bound book and a spiral bound option. I personally prefer spiral bound, as for me I like having the ability to fold the book in half for ease of use when coloring. Her books are available on amazon right now and this planner is available for the very affordable price of $11.69.

This planner/coloring book is just so much fun. It has all the things you want in a planner; full calendar pages, pages with extra room to write your plans for each day, a page for each month for your intentions, moon phase info, other dates such as holidays and sabbats, plus it also includes both a ton of magic themed adorable coloring pages and a lot of informational pages on the sabbats, ritual suggestions, craft ideas, recipes and other topics of interest. There are little pictures included on most of the calendar pages as well, which really adds an element of enjoyment to the task of organizing your schedule. I think it makes me personally much more likely to use the calendar book because I enjoy looking at the beautiful completed pictures throughout. You could color as you go, maybe at the beginning of the month start the images & pics for that month, or you can jump around and color in whatever order you choose.

I immediately as soon as i received this book jumped in (I was so excited to get started!) and I began with the title page of the book, then did the January page, then a couple pages that really called to me. I have included the finished pages here that I have completed thus far. Going forward I think I will color it month by month. And I will read the information in order as well and incorporate the suggestions into my routine when called.

If you are in need of a really fun, functional and aesthetically pleasing planner for this year, I highly suggest this book. I am absolutely in love with it! It has everything you need plus an added bonus of coloring pages, creative ideas and education as well.

I have really enjoyed coloring the pictures I’ve done so far, and I’m pumped to work my way through the rest of it throughout the year. After the year is over you could remove the pics you choose and frame them or incorporate them into your book of shadows or grimoire (I plan to do this for sure).

If you aren’t in the market for a planner, definitely check out her other coloring books! I plan to get them very soon. The illustrations are just so cute, witchy and magical and so much fun to color!! I can’t recommend this any higher!! Just a joy from front to back!

Thank you to Ami for sending me her fabulous planner to review!

You can follow her on Instagram @coloringbookofshadows,

On fb (coloring book of shadows)

Or go to her website and get free downloadable coloring pages each month at www.coloringbookofshadows.com/book/

I hope you will check them out! Happy 2019! CrystalBlessings,

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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 rethalent@hotmail.com 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

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

Seasons of the Witch 2010

January, 2010

2010Dailywebsml

Once again Victoria David Danann has proven she will not be out done. Never have I had the ethereal pleasure that the Seasons of the Witch 2010 Daily gives. Form the moment I opened the planner till the time I laid it down a feeling of electricity resonated from deep within the recesses of my very being. Beautiful artwork, Moon phases, and plenty of room to keep track of important events throughout the months. Now it may seem that I am repeating myself, but it bears repeating; not only is the artwork beautiful each Goddess practically emanates from the page. So if you do only one thing for yourself this year, please gift yourself or that special someone in your life with a copy. You won’t be sorry.

~ Michele Burke, PaganPages.org (2009)

Seasons of the Witch 2010 Daily $29.95 US