Planning by Starlight: Lesson Three

Miracles! Get ready for lesson three!

But first, an announcement: if you have enjoyed these Planning By Starlight lessons and want more then you should go here right now and sign up for the Stars, Cards, and Numbers workshop that I’ll be teaching alongside visual and sacred artist, Jacquelyn Tierney!

Stars, Cards, and Numbers is our annual, beloved, two-ish hour workshop chock full of everything you need to know for 2023 – the big astro moments, planetary sign changes, Mercury Retrogrades, and more.

We will look at a Tarot card for each season and discuss themes to be aware of and learn about Numerology and how to bring that Sacred Art into our planning for the year.

This workshop is always fun, interactive, and full of useful information! Best part? Everyone who signs up for Stars, Cards, and Numbers by September 29th at midnight, central time also receives a complementary Collector’s Edition of Planning by Starlight 2023!!!

And of course, we are hosting the workshop BEFORE January 1st! So, you can go into the New Year present, rooted in your purpose, and ready to rock!

Workshops not your thing? No worries! You can still snag a digital copy of Planning by Starlight right here!

And now…lesson three!

Our final lesson is my personal favorite because it deals with what I think of as the number one missing piece when it comes to not just planning with astrology but working with astrology in general. And that, my friends, is magic.

Here you are.

If you followed along with the first two lessons, you have quite a bit of information. You might be planning according to your sun sign or working with the phases of the moon. You have probably started to map out the transits of the major planets and noted when in the coming year those pesky Mercury Retrogrades are going to occur.

For my more advanced students, you might be looking at how some of the major transits will affect your life by noting what area of your charts they show up in and what aspects they form with other important planets and celestial bodies.

Whether you have started out simple or are getting into the nitty-gritty of planning by starlight, your planners are looking spiffy, and you should have a much better sense of the general shape of the year to come. Now, if you have been paying attention, it is right at this point that a question naturally comes up. You have some solid-Astro information plotted into your planner, yes, but what does one DO with the information? As I said in lesson two – there are more ways to work with this data than just paying attention to it – although truly that is a great place to start.

The first step to working effectively with Astro inspired planning is to think about practical actions. I have given examples of these throughout the lessons so far – don’t launch something when Jupiter is retrograde, don’t have a big conversation with your significant other when Mercury is retrograde if you want to focus on healing in the year to come work with Neptune, etc, etc.

For each astrological observance you have mapped out in your planner you should ask yourself: what practical actions on my part can support this event so that it is a blessing in my life? This is one of the reasons that in the planner Jacquelyn and I created, I wrote prompts for every single major astrological event – including for the four major lunar phases each month – because they support you in thinking about what those events mean for YOU.

Do note that does not mean that every Astrological event is going to be an obvious blessing. If Saturn is going to be prominently placed in your chart over the next year, then you go into that year knowing that it is going to feel like a slog sometimes and expecting to get a little existential. At the same time, realize that practical actions focused on reducing debt, exercising, tying off loose ends and generally being super responsible will be deeply supported by Saturn while going on a Jupiter/Venus/Neptune inspired art binging and shopping spree (and sure, throw in a wild love affair while you are at it) is NOT going to work well for you, no matter how fun it sounds.

In this lesson we are going to cover the following topics:

I. Fate, Free Will, and Magic!

II. Working with the Elements

III. Sunrise, Sunset

IV. Moon Magic

There has been a debate in astrology forever about free will vs. fate with some ancient astrologers saying that the stars are the stars and whatever they indicate is simply fated to occur while others have always disagreed and claimed that it is our relationship with the stars that is the determining factor.

As a sacred artist, I fall firmly into the second camp, I believe our relationship to the stars is essential to both our understanding of them and our ability to work with them and not against them. After assessing what practical actions you can take, you may find that there are certain events that really seem to stand out for you.

Maybe there will be a moment in the coming year when Jupiter is conjunct your natal Sun, perhaps Pluto is transiting the area of your chart that deals with money and cash flow (the 2nd house) and it has you a bit on edge, or perhaps you see that Uranus is in Taurus can be pretty intense and so you are wondering…how exactly does one have a right relationship with that? This is where magic comes in.

Magic is the Ace in the hole for astrologers who do not buy into the fixed fate idea of the stars. More than that, as two Sacred Arts, magic and astrology have always been deeply related. Magicians, Priestesses, Sorcerers, and Witches all have worked with astrology to give their work the advantage of precisely right timing and to increase their chances of accomplishing whatever it is they have set out to accomplish.

Some magical materials and talismans are traditionally made taking detailed astrological information into account – and for that reason can only be made at certain times or during certain years. In today’s world, more people are familiar with astrology than they are with magic and so we see more and more people moving to magic as they deepen their understanding and relationship with the stars.

If there is an astrological event that is coming up over the horizon for you and you want to get the most out of it then I guarantee you the best way to do that is to marry smart practical actions with simple magic. And, very much like planning with astrology, you do not need to know much about magic to start working with this process. In fact, here are three ways you can start immediately:

Working with the Elements

One of the ways that we know that magic and astrology are related sacred arts is because they share a common language and that is the language of the 5 classical elements. (For our purposes I am focusing on “Western” astrology – although much of it originated and was developed in the Middle East, and “Western” magic – although much of it has originated and developed all over the globe. To that end, I am referring to the classical “Western” elemental system, popularized by the ancient Greeks, but worked extensively in ancient Egypt and ancient Persia).

These elements are Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit (also known in some traditions as Ether). Every planet, zodiac sign, and the house of the chart has an element associated with it. And in an individual’s chart, there are often one or two elements that make strong appearances as well as one or two that do not appear much or at all.

This elemental information is useful to notice when it comes to all kinds of things – from balancing your health to balancing your checkbook, but it is also very useful to know when it comes to making magic because many forms of magic also work extensively with the elements. Your initial approach to this can be so simple that it might not even feel like magic (and typically that is a sign that you are on the right track).

So, for instance, let’s say that my writing about Mercury has piqued your interest and you want to develop a deeper relationship with that particular planet. Mercury is associated with the element of Air so you might write a petition and then hang it from a tree so that the wind is able to blow through it, activating it. Or you might burn incense to Mercury on his special day of the week (Wednesday). If you want to take it deeper, you might find out, or work with a professional astrologer to determine, when Mercury transits over the hot spots of your chart and set aside those days to do a little deeper work with the speedy messenger planet.

Perhaps you are really focused on physical healing in the coming year and have decided to work with Neptune. Let’s take it a step further and say that you have learned that Neptune is going to be conjunct (sitting right next to) your natal moon in Pisces. The element that both Neptune and Pisces are attuned to is water. So, one beautiful way to work with this magically, would be to take some drinking water, place it in a clear crystal or glass container, set it out under the Full Moon in Pisces (which occurs once a year at the end of August or in September) and allow the water to soak up the moonbeams and the vibe from Neptune. The next morning bring the water inside, say a blessing over yourself for healing, and drink the water down.

The singular best way to begin exploring the connection between astrology and elemental magic is to look at your own chart and discover which element is most strongly represented there. Begin to develop a relationship with that element. Here are some questions to help you do that:

What have my experiences of this element been like in my life?

What colors, scents, sounds, places, and stories do I associate with this element?

How do I feel when I am around this element?

How do I feel when I am away from it for a long period of time?


Sunrise, Sunset

Another, very old, way of working with astrology and magic is by working with sunrise and sunset. This is probably one of the first ways our ancestors combined the sacred arts of magic and astrology because it is a daily occurrence and easily visible to the naked eye.

The principle is basic. If you wish to draw something into your life, like more money, a better relationship, new friends, or an exciting opportunity, then time your magical work so that it occurs while the Sun is rising all the way until the point when it reaches its zenith – its highest point in the sky – for the day. You might ask for general blessings, for increased knowledge of astrology, or for something more specific. Notice how your requests change throughout the year and notice if there are times when you feel especially resonant with the sun’s presence and other times when you do not.

In the same way, work with the setting sun to remove things from your life you no longer need. Again, the requests may be general or specific. And again, you will want to notice when you feel especially attuned to the sun as well as when you might not.

Again, this magical work looks simple. Standing in the direction of East (to work with the rising sun) or West (to work with the setting sun) and stating your need or desire out loud is one great way to get started. Take it farther by building an altar in the east or the west and doing you any attraction work or banishing work in those places respectively. Light a candle as the sun is rising in honor of its fiery strength or focus on a melting candle as the sun sets with the expectation that whatever you are releasing or repelling will also melt away.


Moon Magic

Working magically with the moon is one of the oldest kinds of magical work. When we stand in the moonlight and listen to the sounds of the night, we all feel our inner magic-maker beginning to stir! Like the Sun, the Moon has phases that are ideal for drawing and attracting whatever it is that you need and/or starting new endeavors, as well as phases for completing any outstanding work and tying off loose ends and phases for celebrating what has been accomplished thus far.

The first thing to do if you want to magically work with the moon is to get a sense of the different phases. At the very least pay attention to the days when the Moon is full and then again when the Moon is new. Here is an article on making magic with the full moon and here is one for the new moon. The phase of the moon just before the New Moon often called the Dark Moon is also a potent time, especially for self-care. Each half phase of the moon (known as quarters) is also special: the waning quarter moon is an ideal time for banishing magic and the waxing quarter moon is a great time for divination and/or sharpening your divination skills.

As you begin to explore the wild and wonderful world of lunar magic you will also realize that there are actually six months of magic in every full moon.

Finally, if you really love the idea of combining magic and astrology to supercharge your year then you may be interested in joining me in the Fixed Stars Society.

Miracles, it has been my absolutely pleasure to provide you with some basic teachings that allow you to move from just passively noting significant Astrological events to actively working with the stars, planets, and the magic that speaks to them, to an organized year ahead that flows and is full of a roads that are open and ways that are clear!

Don’t forget to join us for the Stars, Cards, and Numbers workshop or to snag your copy of Planning by Starlight, and may the stars shine good fortune down on you!

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