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Book Review- Midlife Is Not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life by Virginia Bell

April, 2019

Book Review
Midlife Is Not a Crisis
Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life
by Virginia Bell
Published by Weiser Books
Pages: 242

What
others call a midlife crisis, Virginia Bell calls a Mid-course
correction, saying, “Whatever we’ve left out of the equation,
whatever we’ve ignored, begins to rise up and can no longer be
disregarded. This cycle involves four planets and is spread over a
decade.”

With
that, she welcomes readers to understand life’s most important
cycle.

As
she began to study astrology in her early-50s, Bell came to realize
it wasn’t about something happening in the sky, but something
happening within each of us, “and could be a valuable tool for
self-discovery.”

In
the introduction, she explains the Chiron Return takes place between
49-51, when the comet returns to its place in the birth chart.

“In
mythology, Chiron was a great healer and teacher, and this passage is
one of the best times to become fully conscious of whatever has not
been healed. For many of us, our lives take off in a different
direction from what we had anticipated, and often there is failure or
loss that serves as a catalyst for this,” she wrote.

She
had had my full attention. That’s when I got divorced, moved and
changed jobs.

On
the next page she notes that Uranus takes 84 years to come back to
its place in the natal chart, and that in our early 60s, it makes the
last aspect, giving us a second wind.

“There’s
a sense of freedom that comes from this edgy aspect, provided we are
willing to take some risks and extend ourselves beyond our comfort
zone. It’s worth doing, because the actions we take now will impact
who we become at eighty-four when Uranus comes full circle,” Bell
wrote.

That
aspect happened as I made a commitment to find a school bus, renovate
it to be an RV and make my future a life on the road, a witch on
wheels. That will finally come to fruition this year.

Now
I was hooked. I wished I’d had this book starting with my Saturn
Rerun around age 29, because “Midlife Is Not a Crisis” serves as
a guidebook to the landscape on the second half of our journey. She
explained, “[I]t helps to have some knowledge of the terrain, so
you can prepare and pack accordingly.”

At
the beginning of the book is a concise overview of astrology that
introduces beginners to astrological terms, and the concepts of
planets, signs and houses.

Bell
paraphrases Carl Jung, writing, “Anything born a moment in time has
the characteristics of that moment. The birth chart is a picture of
the sky at the moment of birth. It is a snapshot of the heavens and
all the planets. It is frozen in time. In the next moment, everything
moves, but that picture is yours forever; it is eternal, a piece of
cosmic DNA.”

Equating
power places on the planet to power years in our lives, Bell lays out
the lifecycle we all share at the same age.

29 First
Saturn Return (Growing up and getting real.)
37-45 Midlife
Journey (Breakdowns and breakthroughs.)
49-51
Chiron Return (The youth of old age.)
58 Second
Saturn Return (The new elder.)
62-63 Closing
Uranus Square (A second wind.)
70s The
Seventies (Real problems, real possibilities.)
84 Uranus
Return (The homecoming,)

She
presents information in a gentle and encouraging manner, always
pointing to the gifts, strengths, lessons, vulnerabilities and tools.
She’s like a tour guide, helping you navigate the map of your life.

“These
cycles or power years are the great turning points in life; at every
juncture there will be challenges, lessons, and losses – in this we
have no choice. Our freedom lies in how we respond: consciously or
unconsciously, awake or asleep, with fear or with love,” Bell
wrote.

She
sums up the astrology chapter by saying, “It’s all good. There is
no such thing as a bad chart or a bad aspect. Hopefully, we all have
some great aspects in our birth chart, as well as some challenging
ones. Why challenging ones? We’re here to learn. The hard aspects
are the ones that push us to grow, change, and achieve. Too many
‘easy’ aspects can make us lazy. Nothing is written in stone. We
all have free will. The chart represents potential. Ultimately, it is
up to us what we do with it.”

I
intend to keep this book until I’m 84.

Midlife Is Not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Lynn
Woike
 was
50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before
she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She
draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her
Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae,
Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling
from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses
Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making
her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the
work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with
her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can
follow her boards on Pinterest,
and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Book Review – The Mixology of Astrology: Cosmic Coctail Recipes for Every Sign by Aliza Kelly Faragher

March, 2019

Book Review
The Mixology of Astrology
Cosmic Cocktail Recipes for Every Sign

by Aliza Kelly Faragher
Publisher- Adams Media

The
first ten pages of the book are about astrology and mixologist terms,
in defining types of glassware used in serving refreshments.

From
there Ms. Faragher breaks each chapter down into the astrology signs.
Each sign has a page dedicated to explaining some of the
characteristics of each symbol. Then each sign is paired with 16
different drink recipes. Each recipe gives a bit of an explanation
why each goes with that sign, the recipe, serving size, and
directions on mixing ins for serving suggestions (kind of glass and
garnish) included.

There
are 192 (yes that number is correct) recipes, 16 different rings for
12 different zodiac signs. Not a single recipe is repeated.

So,
to see how good this book was I invited some friends over. I
assigned different things for them to bring based on their zodiac
sign. Being a Pisces, I gathered Raspberry vodka and some berries
for “Love Potion #Nine.” My husband, the Scorpio went for hard
cider and lager for a drink called “Snake Bite” (said to be so
potent it is outlawed in the United Kingdom.) A Libra we know brought
Gin and Champagne for “French 75”, her husband a Gemini brought
Absinthe, Gin, and Grenadine for a “Monkey Gland.”

Now,
I decided I needed to do this Mixology of Astrology in two different
ways. This first time was the small gathering at my place. So, next
I decided to go with my husband to an “Open MIC Night” at a local
bar where we knew some of our friends hung out, they are regulars
there.

I
asked some of them what their sign was and let them look at a list of
drink names for their astrological sign. This experiment ended up
becoming a lot of fun; people were enjoying changing their pace from
their usual drink.

For
the most part, the drinks that Ms. Faragher listed in each sign, was
pretty much spot on for the person with that astrological sign. Most
of the people that agreed to my experiment said they had never
thought about trying a mixed drink different than what they always
drink. Only three people that I asked to try this stated, they would
stick to their beers.

This
book would be great for small get-togethers, or at a
Bachelorette\Bachelor party. While the cover of this book is pink
and looks a bit feminine, it has some drinks that our fellas would
like.

The Mixology of Astrology: Cosmic Cocktail Recipes for Every Sign on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Dawn
Borries
 loves
reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org.
Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past
25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are
interested in a reading you can reach her at: Readings
by Dawn
on Facebook at

facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

Book Review – Moon Power: lunar rituals for connecting with your inner goddess by Simone Butler

March, 2019

Book Review
Moon Power
lunar rituals for connecting with your inner goddess
by Simone Butler
Published by Quarto Publishing Group
Pages: 208

Where
the Moon appears in your birth
chart
*
determines your emotional nature. Your moon sign indicates what makes
you feel secure and what wisdom you’ve accumulated during past
lives.

In “Moon Power: lunar rituals for connecting with your inner goddess,” Simone Butler provides information about the moon in each astrological sign.

“Identifying
and honoring your lunar nature helps you feel comfortable in your
skin,” she states in the book where she helps women connect with
their primal, feminine, moon power.

My
moon is in Scorpio and I devoured the 14 pages allotted to it. While
there were some characteristics I do not believe I have (possessive
and wealth-driven, but some who know me might disagree), the majority
of the information was exactly right. I am intense, being in control
makes me feel secure, I have undying passion and letting go is
difficult for me.

For
each moon sign are 14 pages providing such information as your lunar
superpower, lunar shadow, sexual and karmic path. There is a page
about Scorpio moon woman with a list of qualities, and roughly half a
page dedicated to a “Modern Scorpio Moon Goddess” – in my case,
Lady Gaga – and pages about an Ancient Scorpio Moon Goddess – for
me, Lilith. Included in the information about her are ways to connect
with her, her sacred animal and a suggestion for an altar to Lilith
and when to visit it.

Each
section also contains a new and a full moon ritual, things to do
while the moon is in that sign, and questions for reflection and
journaling.

Butler
is an astrologer who follows the Wiccan path of her Celtic ancestors,
but the activities, stories and rituals she presents are drawn from
many cultures and are guided by her inner knowing. Butler’s
intention is to help readers find more magic with the help of the
moon.

Chapter
1 talks about the power of the moon, whom she calls “our cosmic
mother,” and how to use it “to open our hearts and trust our
intuition” so that we shift our consciousness from our head to our
heart. It covers Luna as the soul mate for women, women’s link to
the moon through her menstruation cycle. The influences of eight
phases of the moon are explained: new moon, waxing crescent, first
quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter and
waning crescent.

“Your
feelings are the most reliable conduit to the intuitive right-brain
realm. To coax out your inner Goddess, start letting your true
feelings rise up and find expression,” Butler writes in Chapter 2,
then goes on to write about connecting to that inner Goddess.

Your
friends will want to borrow this book to learn more about themselves
by reading about their moon signs, but you might consider not letting
it go, because you may want to perform the rituals and try an
activity or two when the moon is in of the signs.

* At astroalchemy.com, readers can find their moon sign along with a multitude of other “ancient secrets for modern living” and astrological information by Simone Butler.

Moon Power: Lunar Rituals for Connecting with Your Inner Goddess on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Lynn
Woike
 was
50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before
she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She
draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her
Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae,
Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling
from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses
Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making
her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the
work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with
her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can
follow her boards on Pinterest,
and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Interview & Review – Laura Tempest Zakroff: Sigil Witchery

February, 2019

A Book Review

Sigil Witchery

(An
interview with Tempest follows this review.)

It
was very serendipitous that as this book was coming up for review, I
had just registered to take a workshop with Tempest based on this
very book.

The
word “sigil” means “seal” or an action/word of a
spiritual nature. I would hazard a guess that most of us have seen
sigils that mean specific things, written and drawn by others.

Tempest
brings sigils to us in a more personal way, with the sigils drawn by
us, to have meaning to us, specifically. She simplifies it for us,
while never detracting from their power.

Before
doing this, she gives us a brief history of what she calls “making
marks”, discussing the paintings, symbolism and markings of
previous civilizations, which are still so important to us today.
Tempest does on to explain the differences between sigils and signs,
seals, designs, etc.

There
are sections on the basic shapes used in sigils and their meanings,
adding directions, letters and numbers, how to use the elements in
our sigils and how they work.

There
is space for us to create our own symbols for specific words that Ms.
Zakroff has listed for us, thus building our own library to make our
own custom sigils. She gives guidance on designing our own, what
tools we can use, why we should craft our own sigils. She offers us
suggestion sigils and a gallery of her own custom sigils.

We
don’t have to be “high magicians” to utilize the power of
sigils and the how-to’s are all right here, in an informative,
friendly, easy-to-read-and-relate-to manner.

As
one who has never given much thought to sigils, on their own, this
book has tempted me to not only think about it, but do it.

Interview
With Laura Tempest Zakroff

Susan
Morgaine (SM):
Hi Tempest – it was so nice to see you while you were on tour.

So,
belly dancer/performer, event producer, artist, witch, author and
teacher. That is quite impressive. I knew you primarily as a dancer
and performer when we met many years ago, and it wasn’t until I saw
the logo for Waking Persephone that I realized you were an artist, as
well

SM:
How did you start and what did you start with, realizing it was most
probably a circuitous journey? Please only respond with what you
are comfortable with sharing.

Tempest:
I definitely started with art, going back as early as age 3. By
first grade I was taking formal art classes on a regular basis – all
the way through high school. Then for college, I graduated from the
Rhode Island School of Design. I discovered modern Witchcraft and
Paganism in my teens, and got into dance in my college years. When I
moved to California in 2001, dance and Pagan stuff pretty much took
over my life. I didn’t have much room or resources to make the kind
of art I had been doing in school, so art took a bit of a backseat.
It manifested through my costume designs and creations, graphic
design, and some small drawings and paintings. When I moved back to
the East Coast in 2007, I started working as a fashion jewelry
designer. I did that until mid-2012, when it was time for drastic
life shift. In that process I moved to Seattle and began working for
myself full-time in all the things I do (dance, design, art).
Sometimes I feel frustrated that I didn’t just keep going with the
fine art out of school, but I realize I wouldn’t be where I am now,
on this path – if I had.

SM:
What was the impetus behind the idea of Waking Persephone. I know
there were several years here on the East Coast; are you continuing
it on the West Coast?

Tempest:
I co-produced Gothla US from 2008-2010 – which took place in
California. It was supposed to switch coasts, but that didn’t
happen. Which was frustrating because most of my east coast,
home-base students couldn’t afford to attend it. So much work and
the people I worked the closest with couldn’t participate. I also
had a vision for something that encompassed more, without stylistic
labels – to bring in more ritual/sacred dance, more artistry, more
diversity. That became a reality first in Tapestry Dance Retreat
(2011) and then Waking Persephone the following Spring. We did 2
years in Providence, and 3 more years in Seattle. At this time, I’m
not producing any events, because I needed to focus on my art and
writing, but when the time comes, something will probably emerge
again. Producing events takes up so much time and energy. I
transformed that time and focus into something else. Since the last
WP in 2016, I’ve written 4 books, published an anthology, and pushed
my art deeper.

SM:
When did you realize your were a Witch? It’s so interesting to hear
about other’s spiritual journeys.

Tempest:
I was at odds with the Catholic Church since my youngest days. I
got sent to the principal’s office at age 6 because during a field
trip to the church, I insisted on sitting where the priests and altar
boys did (like my brothers!), and couldn’t understand while girls
weren’t allowed. So much doctrine that made no sense – I felt that
God was more present in nature and everywhere around us. I
discovered that there were other options to the Abrahamic religions
in my mid-teens – that Witchcraft and Paganism was a thing. The
realization that there were names for what I believed and felt, and
that other people saw the world similarly was a huge revelation.

SM:
What made you decide to start to write, and then to follow that with
teaching?

Tempest:
I’ve been writing for a long time – in high school I was the editor
of the literary magazine. At RISD in 1997, I got involved with
Crescent Magazine – where I became an associate editor and had
regular columns. I started up a website on Modern Traditional
Witchcraft around then as well. Around 2000, I started offering
Witchcraft classes – and kept that up until around 2005 or so. Then
I burned out on being a public Witch, and retreated to a solitary
path for almost a decade. After getting my life reset in 2012, I
ventured out of my cave a bit with renewed focus and purpose. I
started up a blog (which moved to Patheos in early 2016 I think),
began teaching again and toyed with the idea of finally writing a
book. In the Fall of 2015, I was offered the contract to write “The
Witch’s Cauldron” for Llewellyn. It was a wonderful way to just
dive right in, and was really well received. So from there, I wrote
“Sigil Witchery” – after folks taking my workshops asked
why I hadn’t written a book yet on it. And well, it’s just kept
going from then.

SM:
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to take your Sigil
Witchery workshop (which is reviewed somewhere else this month in
Pagan Pages). What did you learn from your travels and sitting
with/teaching so many Witches and Pagans around the country? I found
it fascinating to see, on Instagram, the sigils you created with
each workshop.

Tempest:
No matter where folks are located or what path/label they use –
Witches/Paganfolks have so much more in common than not. The
community (or whatever we wish to call it) is incredibly diverse, but
we share many beliefs and loves, as well as fears and concerns.
There is so much potential in recognizing our collective power and
connections.

SM:
So what is next on the agenda for you, Tempest? Any sneak peeks?

Tempest:
A. I’m finally working on an oracle deck! The tentative title is
“The Liminal Spirits Oracle” and it will be out via
Llewellyn I believe some point next year :)

You
can reach/follow Tempest at the following:

Owlkeyme arts – Design & Fine art by Laura Tempest Zakroff | Seattle, WA

www.owlkeyme.com

Mago
Djinn – Modern Folk Wear

www.magodjinn.com

Author Site – www.lauratempestzakroff.com

Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]

My Name is Isis (Volume 4) on Amazon

Book Review – A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs by Joseph Polansky

December, 2018

Book Review

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs

by Joseph Polansky

 

 

Having a large section on my bookshelf dedicated to Astrological studies and having decades of experience as an astrologer, I must admit that I had some preconceived notion of what I could expect in reading this book; also on a subject that I am very well versed.

By way of a little introduction for those whose primary experience with astrology has been in religiously purchasing those little scrolls of Sun Sign wisdom available at the retail counter here is a bit of information about the complexity and nature of this particular discipline. Astrology has both a mundane and esoteric approach. The former being what we traditionally come across by way of chart readings, daily predictions and guidelines and the basic and fundamental perspectives, and I would add psychological, attributes of the individual’s birth chart. The more mundane (not to be confused with astrological interpretation of geographic place) aspect of astrology is further sub-divided into a variety of interpretative styles, including Vedic/Sidereal astrology, Western/Tropical astrology, Babylonian Astrology and many more.

Esoteric Astrology perceives the zodiacal signs as attributes of archetypal spiritual energy; there is additionally the psycho-spiritual overlay applied. Each having a (sentient) nature that informs the spiritual bodies of the individual and by so doing, informs the spiritual progress of this and other lifetimes. Just as is the case with Western (traditional) astrology, each of the signs has a planet associated with its energy. However in esoteric astrology the assignations of those planets differs from the traditional, because what becomes the focus of this study is that of the spiritual (and sentient) nature of the planets as they act upon the more etheric nature of the signs. Either (Western or Esoteric) of these approaches requires quite a lot of study and understanding of the basic principles to make full use of their gifts.

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs starts off on the right foot, moving through each of the zodiacal signs and giving enough basic information on each that the dip into the more esoteric astrological approach is easily grasped. Additionally, throughout the book, Mr. Polansky has provided the reader with a copious and varietal amount of meditations and contemplative reflections that serve as another layer of experiencing the more spiritual, vs. astronomical nature of the signs.

The Table of Contents is thoughtfully organized to provide some basic information at the foreground and develop into a broader perspective inclusive of other ways of making use of astrological energies. Mr. Polansky folds in some additional uses of astrology, such as Medical astrology, aromatherapy using the construct of astrological energetics. Each of these sub-sections breaks out how that modality would present itself through each of the astrological signs, giving the reader an instant “grab on” and point of reference.

There is an interesting chapter, The Twelve Yogas, that weaves the philosophies of Yoga (not simply in its form of Hatha-or posture) into a meditative practice aligned with your astrological sign. In particular the overlay for this exploration is the alchemical element of the various signs and the particular form that will support that disposition. For example, those of Air signs are guided towards practices that incorporate mind (Jnana yoga) and breath (Pranayama yoga); Water signs align with the yogic focus of love and devotion (Bhakti); Fire with that of fire (Agni yoga) and action (Karmic yoga), and Earth signs benefit from postures and movement (Hatha yoga) and ritual work. I found this to be a nice touch in making connections and use of astrological principles beyond the traditional nature of prediction and identification.

This book is a smorgasbord of tastings and samplings for the student of astrology who wishes to stretch a little further. Theosophical, Eastern Philosophies, Western Hermetics, Ayurvedic practices, Metaphysics, Alchemy and Esotericism and more are all folded into the information of this book. Some reveal themselves only if you are aware of the disciplines from which they are derived, which is neither a comment of critique nor praise. This is often the case when pursuing any of the disciplines of esoteric knowledge.

All in all I believe A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs to be a lovely foray into expanding your understanding of astrology and being able to access relevant and enough recognizable traits to engage the reader and inspire them to seek out more.

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs: An Introduction To Spiritual Astrology on Amazon

 

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Seeing the Signs

August, 2018

A Morning Walk and the Cosmic Hello

I take several walks a day. Part of this is because I don’t own a car so my legs are my primary source of transportation. Sometimes I am merely walking a few blocks to the bus stop to catch a bus to some other destination. Sometimes I am walking up and down Bailey Avenue, the main drag near my home, going to the few shops that remain in this benighted neighborhood, buying the items that I need to complete a meal or to fix something in the home. Sometimes I just need to get out of the house.

Walking is a way to exercise. It’s a way to calm a manic mood or to bring me out a depressed disposition. Walking is a form of meditation. I focus on my breathing and stay centered within each step. Because of my arthritic knees, I cannot and do not distance run but I do sprint across the many cross streets. Movement feels so good.

This morning, I went to Family Dollar. Family Dollar is where I go when I need to go to the supermarket but I don’t feel like spending twenty minutes on the bus getting there and back, not counting the time I’m waiting for the bus. I can get bread and milk and other basics at Family Dollar but not fresh produce. They just remodeled the store near me and it would have been great if they had added a produce department. This neighborhood could really use something like that.

I came out of Family Dollar with my milk and bread and chocolate and toilet paper in my canvas bag and started walking home. It had been raining earlier but the sky was clearing and it was warm and windy. I was walking south and the wind was blowing into my face. From way down the street, I could see a white feather floating on the breeze. It fluttered this way and that. I watched it approach me. It looked like it was coming directly to me. It flew up the street – this lone white feather – and landed at my feet.

If it hadn’t been so windy, I would have taken a picture of the feather at my sandal-clad feet with their red-painted toes but I was afraid that the wind would blow the feather away so I quickly picked it up and put it in my bag and continued on my way home.

When I got home, I took a picture of the feather.

Notice that my feather is white with a black tip. A friend who saw it told me that it fell from my guardian angel’s wing – “Angels wear white!” They do? Really? I thought they dressed in the colors of the rainbow. My feather is white with a black tip because it isn’t from an angel’s wing, it’s from a seagull’s wing. When it gets stormy around here, seagulls come in from the lake shore and fly over the city and suburbs. I knew it was a seagull’s feather as soon as I saw it.

You would think that with all the books and notes I have on divination that I would have something about feathers. Only one book – Discovering Signs and Symbols by Kirsten Riddle – mentions anything at all about feathers and it’s about the “Feather of Maat” and advises the reader on how to cleanse their aura using a feather. She writes, “…take a feather and waft it around your silhouette, making short, sharp movements to brush away any stagnant energy.” (Riddle, 34). What great advice! And how easy is that? There’s also a “Feather of Maat Ritual”.

When I first read this, I thought that it was rather general and that it really didn’t have anything to do with my particular feather but it could be argued that it was the goddess Maat who directed that feather to me – does my aura need cleansing? I would have never thought about this on my own. I mean – this is how the Universe works.

I did look online for “what is means when you find a feather”. I found a lot of “fluffy bunny” stuff. Honestly, most of what I saw online I wouldn’t share with you readers or anyone else. But I did find this one site that I did find informative and thoughtful: http://www.nataliakuna.com – there’s a page dedicated to “Feather Signs & Colour Meanings”.

Natalia writes, “When a feather actually [l]ands at your feet, it is traditionally seen as a positive omen that your calls have been heard and answered.” I thought about the feather landing at my feet and I wondered – which one of my prayers have been heard and answered?

She also says that it’s a “Cosmic Hello”. I really like that.

And she mentions recognizing the bird that the feather is from. Just like I instantly recognized the feather! For instance, seagulls represent freedom. So now I am thinking about how this feather – that literally landed at my feet – is giving me a message of freedom? Right now it seems like I am less free than ever with all my family commitments and obligations. But who knows? Isn’t this the point of divination? To trust in the signs that we see?

After cleansing my aura, I put the feather on the dream-catcher that hangs over my bed. Here’s what that looks like:

The only other thing I need to do now is research the Goddess Maat. I have never had much to do with her but perhaps she is calling to me. At any rate, it can’t hurt to find out who she is and what she may want with me.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

Discovering Signs and Symbols: Unlock the Secrets and Meanings of these Ancient Figures

References

Riddle, Kirsten. Discovering Signs and Symbols. London: CICO Books, 2015.

Natalia Kuna. “Feather Signs & Colour Meanings”. http://www.nataliakuna.com/feather-signs–colour-meanings.html.

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

 

 

Astro Report for May 2015

May, 2015

Saturn still Retro in Sagittarius – 3 degrees
Friday, May 1, 2015 – 12:01 am EDT
Goes Direct on Sunday, August 2, 2015 – 4:55 am EDT
The Planet of caution takes a break from its conservative ways. When it goes retrograde, the Planet actually lightens up on the reins a bit. It allows people to explore further than they normally would. Sagittarius allows it to open its mouth and to say things out of control. It’s time to make sure the brain is engaged before the mouth blurts away. Saturn goes Direct again in August.

Pluto goes Retrograde in Capricorn – 15 degrees
Friday, May 1, 2015 – 12:01 am EDT
Goes Direct on Friday, September 25, 2015 – 3:00 am EDT
Pluto resonates with mystery and transformation. While it is Retrograde, the energies become more stagnating, unchanging and powerless. When Pluto is Retrograde, mysteries and secrets are difficult to keep and sometimes are leaked to the world.

Beltaine (traditional) – Sun in Taurus – 10 degrees
Friday, May 1, 2015 – sunrise, 6:12 am EDT

Beltaine (Rudemas)
Names: Beltane, Beltaine, Baltein, May Day, Rood Day, Walpurgisnacht, Rudemas, Gwyl Galan Mai (Welsh)

Date: May 1st (sometimes celebrated on the eve – Apr 30th)
Astro Correspondence: 15 degrees Taurus
Color: reds for (menstrual) blood of the Goddess, whites for semen of the God
Food: fresh fruit and veggies, veal, ham, chicken, (but rarely any meat), pasta, breads, cakes, jams/jellies, wine/mead
Common Info: Maypole dancing to entwine the ribbons of red and white representing Goddess and God (phallic symbol and World Tree lore), Handfasting, Spiral Dancing, Bel Fires, last Fertility Fest, Decorating the Bush/Tree, Fairies return, Chaplets,

Beltaine is the Festival of Flowers, which tends to mark the first day of the Celtic Summer or growing season. The date is usually May 1st or when the Sun is 15′ degrees Taurus. As it is also called May Day, many celebrations surround the early flowers of the season. Belinos, Flora and Blodeuwedd are the deities celebrated most. The May Pole is erected and flower sprays are placed atop. Music and dancing is typical. Taliesin is typically honored, although the marriage of the God and Goddess is best described. Hedonistic license is prominent among the folk. Wearing of the “green” symbolized the fresh green Earth in growth and bloom. Foods sacred to the Sabbat were always fresh fruits and vegetables of the season and rarely any meat. Fresh scents of lilac, apple blossoms and heather lingered in the air. Women make rings of flowers (Chaplets) and wear them on their heads.

Bale Fires are typically burned at this time to honor the God Ba’al, a Mesopotamian God of Fire.

Full Moon in Scorpio – xx degrees
Sunday, May 3, 2015 – 11:52 pm EDT
A Full Moon tends to shine light on any subject and bring fruition to anything we have begun at New Moon. Scorpio doesn’t allow the Moon to feel comfortable though. If you started a project at New Moon, the result at Full Moon is not exactly what you had planned. It kind of irks and rubs you the wrong way. No worries though – make do with what you have, because in the long run, those results are what you needed, although not what you desired. The universe moves in a mysterious way like that.

Native Lore
The month of May brings us many delightful flowers after all the April showers. When the Moon is Full, the gravitational pull of the Moon brings the sap up thru plants faster, thus the Full Moon in May is also known as the Flower Moon.

May also marks a time of births of many mammals. Nature is full of mother animals milking their babies. The Full Moon of May is also known as the Milk Moon. Typically, animals bear only one or two sets of babies per year and the spring is full of babies, who are breast feeding from their mothers.

Venus enters Cancer
Thursday, May 7, 2015 – 6:43 pm EDT
Love is blissful when Venus enters Cancer. There is deep concern and caring between partners. Love making is true to heart and offers emotional connections. Until Venus exits Cancer, be passionate and compassionate with your partner and the benefits will astound you.

Mother’s Day – Moon in Aquarius – 2 degrees
Sunday, May 10, 2015 – 12:01 am EDT
The mothering and nurturing aspect of the Moon seems to beckon to our emotions and how we feel about “mom”. Her mothering instinct seems to be spot on, offering advice with precision and care. She can take of herself – no problem – but offer her kind assistance in whatever she’s doing. Don’t ask, if she needs help; just jump right in.

Mars enters Gemini
Monday, May 11, 2015 – 10:26 pm EDT
The Planet of action moves into the Sign of versatility. Warriors can be impractical and superficial when Mars enters Gemini. They will weigh their words carefully and try to trap you in your words. When they do, they will make you eat your own words. Avoid giving them ammunition by side tracking the conversation. They will often trap themselves in their own words.

New Moon in Taurus – 26 degrees
Monday, May 18, 2015 – 12:13 am EDT
New Creativity abounds during a New Moon. Taurus makes sure your process is traditional, though. When you are in the creative mood, go with what you know best. Creativity lies within the right brain and your left hand. If you set your ideas and inspirations down on paper, you only need to tweak them afterwards.

Mercury goes Retrograde in Gemini – 4 degrees
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – 2:06 am EDT
Goes Direct on Thursday, June 11, 2015 – 10:51 pm EDT
The Planet of Communication enters the Sign of Communication… Hmmm… Interesting how conversations go from subject to subject. It’s a wonder how each segues into the next. And while you’re talking, be wary of what you say about others not part of the conversation. Gossip can bite you in the end. However, when Mercury goes Retrograde, conversations can definitely be uncontrolled. The proverbial foot fits in the proverbial mouth too often.

Sun enters Gemini – Happy Birthday, Gemini!!
Thursday, May 21, 2015 – 4:33 am EDT
The Sun’s energy will change from conservative Taurus to versatile Gemini on the 20th. This mingling of energy, communications, generosity and banishing emotions can get folks to blast their enemies and confrontations to the point of releasing them. That new Sun in Gemini allows personal conversations to thrust that energy into effect, especially where reputations are concerned.

Memorial Day – Sun in Gemini – 3 degrees
Monday, May 26, 2014 – 12:01 am EDT
The Sun in Gemini can be lead to confusions of the mind, if you aren’t paying attention. Gemini likes to see both sides of an issue. So, when you are engaged in lofty conversations, keep a vigil eye out for anything out of sync. Be cautious when debating with a Gemini, though; they will trap you and use your words against you, when you least expect it.

Retrograde Mercury conjuncts the Sun in Gemini – 8 degrees
Saturday, May 30, 2015 – 12:35 pm EDT
When you mix miscommunication with personality, you get a state of confusion. People will not understand you, who you are or what you stand for. When Mercury crosses the face of the Sun, the energy is exponentially stronger. If you have to express who you are and what you stand for, be sure to enunciate clearly and think thru your thoughts before you verbalize.

No Planets go Direct in May.

Astro Report for March 2013

March, 2013

Strong Stellium in Pisces

All Month long…

A Stellium in astrological terms is a group of Planets sharing the same Sign. From the beginning of the month, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and Pluto are spread out in the Sign of Pisces. That’s five Planets – half of the total Astro Planets – hugging each other. As the month progresses, the Moon enters as Planet number 6 into the whirlpool of energy and pushes Mars out after New Moon. Mars begins its new trek in Aries with Neptune and for a short while, the Moon joins the Arian Stellium. Every day this month, the Stellium throws its weight around pulling on the Earth with a heavy hand.

 

Mars, a Planet of action, the Sun with all its personal power and energy, Venus showing off her hedonistic desires, retrograde Mercury wobbling across the face of the Sun and transformative Pluto all are playing against the Earth. It’s a month of mayhem and chaos about to erupt, however with diligence and serenity, March will create a moment in time that will enhance our abilities of fortitude and demeanor.

 

 

Daylight Savings begins

Sunday, March 10, 20132 am EST: change clocks to 3 am

 

It’s that time of year when clocks move forward an hour to instill Daylight Savings Time that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 enacted. As an Astrology Student and Teacher, I feel it is necessary to remind folks as the time gets closer, so it doesn’t surprise you the following Monday morning when you arrive to work an hour too late. SMILE

You will LOSE an hour of sleep… Share this among your family and friends.

The current general rule of Daylight Savings Time is:

Start: Second Sunday in March to change clocks an hour ahead and lose an hour of sleep…

End: First Sunday in November to change clocks an hour back and gain an hour of sleep…

Time: 2 am local time

http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/rules/usa.htm

Though mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the modern idea of daylight savings was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson and it was first implemented during World War I. Many countries have used it at various times since then.

The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the Sun. Its effect on health and crime is less clear. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce the evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity. Today, modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.

 

New Moon in Pisces

Monday, March 11, 20132:50 pm EST

The emotional Moon travels thru Psychic Pisces with extra care and concern. Take criticisms with a grain of salt. Folks do not intend to hurt feelings whether spoken verbally or hinted at. Be mindful of your overindulgence to creativity; sometimes you can find yourself wrapped up in your own creativity and lose track of time.

 

 

Mars enters Aries

Tuesday, March 12, 20132:16 am EDT

The warrior Planet enters its Rulership Sign. It is a time to take action and be assertive being careful to avoid impulsive behaviors. As a Sign, Aries is very outgoing and affirmative. Spring is ready to burst forth as many of the flower beds are beginning to pop their heads out of the ground. Keep your wits about you as the rest of the world becomes anxious around you.

 

 

Venus enters Aries

Thursday, March 21, 201310:58 am EDT

Venus is detriment in Aries meaning that she is harmed or injured. The Planet of lust and love feels the hurt and anger of the Warrior. She will ride thru the Sign with care and concern, but she will be hurt on more than one occasion by no fault of her own. For the feminine and effeminate, be aware of the wrath of the Warriors in your life.

 

 

Pi Day – Midnight

Thursday, March 14, 2013 (3/14) – Midnight

Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent the constant ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter – 3.14. Although it’s an irrational and transcendental number, it can be calculated to its infinite sum. However, only a handful of numbers is needed for intricate calculations. Today marks a special holiday, when, world-wide, folks celebrate the mathematical constant. People even enjoy eating Pi Pie and celebrate Albert Einstein’s birthday.

 

 

Ides of March – sunrise

Friday, March 15, 20136:24 am EST

The Ides of March are always on the 15th – the same with June, September and December. In all other months, the Ides fall on the 13th. To the Romans, the Ides marked a division between the first half of the month to the second half of the month and it was considered an unlucky day. Originally, it marked the date of the Full Moon, but that fell out sync right away when it was initiated. The famous date of March 15th marks the assassination and death of the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar, in 44 BCE – talk about bad luck!

 

 

 

St Patrick’s Day – sunrise

Sunday, March 17, 20137:20 am EDT

Saint Patrick’s Day [Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig (The Festival of Patrick); Ulster-Scots: Saunt Petherick’s Day] is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a secular celebration of Irish culture in general.

The day is generally characterized by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season. St Patrick is said to have chased all the snakes from Ireland. This is a metaphor, where the snakes represented the heathen Healers of the land, namely witches. St Patrick was the representative of the Catholic Church and Christianity in general. As the Church began to take over the heathen traditions and lore, the snakes were chased from Ireland. However, history tells us they merely went underground.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is probably the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.

 

Mercury goes Direct – Pisces at 19 degrees

Sunday, March 17, 20138:17 pm EDT

Ah, finally… Communications can go back to being normal. (Normal? Normal is a setting on my dryer!) Those computer malfunctions or testy quirks will soon subside. Mercury will take a stand among the other Planets as the Healing begins. Family squabbles will make amends and friends will return to their favored positions. As Mercury transits thru Pisces, express your versatility within the mystic arts. Allow yourself to open up and walk the Astral Path. You can relax again!

 

 

Sun enters Aries

Wednesday, March 20, 20136:50 am EDT

The Sun is exalted in Aries. Time to take charge of your life again! The warrior aspect of the Sign allows you to take a firm control of your Path. Be assertive about your endeavors and avoid being aggressive. Competition can be fun in the spirit of the game, but avoid allowing it to take over your heart and mind. Avoid being obsessive!

 

 

Ostara (no –mas ending)

Wednesday, March 20, 20137:15 am EDT – sunrise

Names: Vernal/Spring Equinox, Ostara, Eostar, Lady Day, Earrach, Alban Eilir, Festival of Trees, G?yl Ganol y Gwanwyn (Welsh)

Date: Mar 21st

Astro Correspondence: Sun enters Aries (first day of Spring)
Color: pastels

Food: pig/pork, egg entrees, breads, fish, fresh salad, honey, fruit juices, wine

Common Info: story of Persephone, Demeter and Hades, Story of Eostre and her bunnies and eggs, 2nd Fertility Fest, Watering the Flowers,

 

Alban Eiler (Ostara) is the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere. The date is typically March 21st or when the Sun enters Aries. This is a time when the Goddess gives birth to the God. This was typically observed with bird watching, because most birds would begin to migrate back to their summer nests and began their mating seasons. There is a strong association to birds and eggs. This Gaelic Festival of the Mother Ishtar (properly pronounced like “Easter”) was symbolized with bunnies, chicks and decorated eggs. Sacred foods were generously sweetened with natural maple sugars or honey.

The Christian holiday, Easter, is always held the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox, so it will be celebrated on Sunday, March 31st this year. It is being coined the term “Resurrection Day”, for the term Easter is of Pagan decent and has nothing to with the resurrection of the Christian martyr, Jesus.

 

 

Full Moon in Libra at 6 degrees

Wednesday, March 27, 20135:26 am EDT

When the emotional Moon is in fruition in the air Sign of Libra, you can expect to be intellectually adaptive, impractical and superficial. It’s like you know how to cut corners and bend the rules when your heartstrings are being played. You have the advantage though. Avoid going to extremes and playing the Devil’s advocate. Find balance in any relationship.

 

 

Native Lore

The Full Moon names are aplenty this month. The Crow Moon, the Crust Moon, the Sap Moon and the Worm Moon are some of the given names. Crows start their mating season at this time of year, so their caws are heard quite pronounced. It bellows the end of winter. Crows and Owls are typically enemies. So while one species sleeps, the other is scavenging for food. It is rare to see Crows and Owls at the same time.

 

The Full Crust Moon is given due to the nature of snow melting and thawing – it forms a light crust and it crunches under foot when animals or hunters walk upon it. It is very difficult to sneak upon your prey.

 

Tapping the trees for Maple Syrup is at a peak during the month of March. The best saps run at this time of year. Due to the high sugary content, the sap is quite fluid. After it is boiled down to about 1/3 of its viscosity, Maple Syrup is canned and labeled for sale.

 

As temperatures begin to warm up, the ground begins to thaw and the worms come out of hibernation. They become fodder for the Robins, which is a tell-tale sign of Spring!!

 

 

Venus conjuncts the Sun in Aries at 8 degrees

Thursday, March 28, 201310:59 am EDT

The Planet of love and devotion joins forces with the Sun this month. When Venus moves forward, it travels behind the Sun. Since the Sun never goes retrograde, its movement in the sky continues forward. When Venus overtakes the Sun, it is with a gentle nudge. The energy involved can be exhilarating. The love of the Goddess and the astute solar God, become one. Prepare to turn on the charm and have fun!!

This Conjunction marks one of five over a four-year period. Typically, a Conjunction is when two Planets crossover each other from the Earth’s perspective, whether that Conjunction is direct or retrograde. If you were to superimpose those Venus Conjunctions in the sky and view those five points, it would be obvious that you were looking at a five-point star in the heavens. This Pentacle of the Sky has been known for eons by many cultures. See Venus Transits below.

 

Venus Transits

“Venus transits” literally means how Venus “travels”. As a Planet, Venus travels around the Sun in an inner circle never going more than 43 degrees away from the Sun from the Earth’s perspective. And during its transit, it becomes Conjunct with the Sun every 9 months or so – a human gestation period. These points in the heavens are about 72 degrees apart. Every 4 years, it returns to the same point in the sky (direct or retrograde) within 1-2 days and 1-2 degrees. Within that 4 year period it creates a 5-point star in the sky – A Pentacle in the Sky.

Gestation is a result of pro-creation… making love. Venus, as a Planet, rules Love. She is a Goddess of love and “merry-making”, even though she can be hedonistic about it. The cycle of Venus in the sky is quite predictable. I was thumbing thru the Ephemeris checking it out and sure enough every 9 months or so, Venus is conjunct the Sun – whether Direct or Retrograde. After 4 years, she returns to the same area of the Chart within 1-2 days and 1-2 degrees. Very predictable, she is… and those points in the sky are usually retrograde – going backwards in the Zodiac.

So what are the Venus transits of 2013?

There is only one that happens in 2013 – March 28th. It’s the only time Venus is conjunct the Sun in 2013. It happens in Aries at 8 degrees. The energy preceding this moment is significant, because it builds up (applies). In fact, Venus is direct at this time, meaning that the energy is applying; the Sun seems to be moving forward to a point in the sky and Venus is moving forward to that same point in the sky, but it seems like Venus is racing to catch up to the Sun… Remember that Venus, when direct, means she is on the opposite side of the Sun, so folks from Earth will not have the ability to watch the moment of Conjunction – whereas when retrograde, we can see her cross the face of the Sun. Venus tends to cross the Sun in about 6-8 hours or so.

An applying Planet has strong energy and means that the Planet is going in same direction as the other Planet it’s catching up to; it’s just that one overtakes the other. Usually, the faster moving Planet aspects (acts upon) the slower Planet. A faster Planet closing in on the other slower Planet applies or builds up energy and separates (grows weaker) when moving away. A Doppler effect takes place and the energy can be quite rebounding with similar aftershocks.