How to Handle A Holiday Retrograde

Ceremony and Ritual

M

iracles,

The last Mercury RX of 2017 occurs right smack dab in the middle of our most festive and merry-making Holiday season. Here is a quick run down of what to expect, what to watch out for, and how to rock this retrograde while keeping your holiday cool.

Mercury Retrograde occurs from December 3rd 2017 – December 22nd 2017 and occurs completely within the sign of Sagittarius.

Traditionally Mercury in Sagittarius takes on the freewheeling and mystical vibe inherent in that sign. Sagittarius is Jupiter-ruled and so when Mercury is present within it we can tend to exaggerated thoughts, ideas, and statements. Sag is also known for being relatively blunt and straightforward (like any good Fire sign!) and so under the influence of Mercury RX + Sag we tend to lay things out in an unvarnished but also less than kind or diplomatic way – especially when we feel pressed for time. Finally, Sagittarius takes in the big picture but can sometimes miss out on fine details. What with all of the end of year partying and planning those details might be especially useful, so remember to double and triple check the fine print.

One thing that we are all going to be aware of during this Mercury RX is how the potential snags and interruptions can affect our holiday season. This is traditionally a time of travel, communicating with friends and relatives that we may have difficult or strained relationships with, and buying, sending, shipping, and receiving goodies from all over the place; Those are all potential areas where Mercury RX can cause a special kind of chaos.

On the flip side, because this retrograde occurs in Sagittarius where old Man Saturn is also hanging out, aside from the above, there is a real opportunity during this retrograde to get disciplined in whatever area(s) of life really require that here and now.
A good way to approach this particular retrograde is to work with its influence to consider what your big vision for your life is. The timing is actually excellent as this RX period ushers right into New Year’s Resolution making and goal setting – it is the perfect time to do a year/multi-year review and to get very intentional and deliberate in shaping the next phase of your journey. Philosophical, spiritual, and healing Sagittarius gives you the needed resources to both go deeper and shine brighter.

So, with that said, here are your Do’s and Don’ts for the last Mercury RX of 2017.

Do: Plan to shop, buy, and ship presents early. This is especially true if you are sending goodies to the other side of the country or internationally.
Do: Use the month of November to make all of your lists and check them twice – holiday cards, invites, party menus – anything that requires planning will benefit from the early prep work now.
Do: Consider going virtual. If you are looking at your calendar and ripping out your hair with frustration already then consider giving virtual gifts and sending out virtual cards – I even have a perfect gift option for you!
Do: Get a head start on any homemade gift making projects.
Do: Buy extra tape, wrapping paper, pens, holiday cards, and scissors.
Do: Stock up on host/hostess gifts.
Do: Double check travel plans and arrangements NOW.
Do: Keep an eagle eye on your bank account (Jupiter rules Sag and our wealth so double check your numbers).
Do: Remove yourself from negative people or situations before you say something you might regret.
Do: Allow yourself to feel the magic of the season and actually enjoy it.
Do: Go outside.
Do: Assess your daily practice, your year or last several years, and your core attitudes and beliefs.
Do: Set up any automatic payment plans now or wait until after 12/22 when Mercury is direct once more.
Do: Commit or recommit to any project or endeavor that requires long term discipline and wisdom.

Don’t: Wait until the last minute to hit the stores.
Don’t: Invite people to your party that you really don’t want to see.
Don’t: Force yourself to socialize.
Don’t: Fret about finding the perfect gift.
Don’t: Skip out on or ignore the details.
Don’t: Just say something, think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Don’t: Make excuses.
Don’t: Binge on anything – it will be twice as tough during this period to recover.
Don’t: Go on an excessive shopping spree.
Don’t: be flake or unreliable – carry your planner with you and keep your appointments.
Don’t: Be surprised if you have to wait longer, if travels are delayed, and if airports are a special kind of chaos. Bring a book and pack a full set of clothes in your carry-on along with a toothbrush and deodorant.
Don’t: Close yourself off to the liminal magic that happens right now just because you are busy.
Don’t: Forget to say thanks.

May your season be bright and your retrograde be rocking!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

New Moon Notes – Sagittarius Edition

Lunar Letter

W

hoosh! That is the sound that I always hear when December begins. Though this year it was more crackle and pop because we have been enjoying weekly fires at our hearth.

Although December is one of my busiest months out of the year, I have gone into this month with a clear and solid intention to Slow Down and Enjoy. So far, so good! And lucky for us, the gorgeous New Moon in easy, breezy Sagittarius on December 11th supports exactly that vibe.

Sagittarius moons, whether New or Full, tend to bring out the inner free spirit in all of us. This is a wonderful time to plan a mid-winter adventure (and if you can do it outside all the better) or have a rousing philosophical/theological conversation with someone near and dear to you – after all, Sagittarius is the sign of philosophy and religion among other things or travel to a new and distant land or to a familiar face and friend.

There is a bit of Astro inspired tension brewing in the squaring off of dreamy, sensitive Neptune in Pisces and strict and stringent Saturn in Sagittarius. These two powerhouse planets have already had one exact square at the end of November and are headed into two more over the course of 2016.

Different astrologers talk about this tense face-off in different ways but the phrase I use is: Dreamtime (Neptune) meets real-time (Saturn). This is the best time to bring any dreams that are really speaking and calling you into clear and present physicality. Find what is of use in your meditations, visions, art-making, and dreaming and bring it into the waking world so that all may benefit. Saturn, if you work with its energy, will inspire you with the discipline and structures needed to accomplish this fear, and Neptune will call in the juicy inspiration that keeps you moving.

At the same time, IF you have been supporting any illusion or delusion that is keeping you back and not allowing for liberation, prepare for that to be blown to bits by this celestial event. You have time to align yourself with the changes ahead and the following questions to consider on this bright, dark, new moon might help:

Where do I hold myself back and why?

What story/event/encounter from my past am I stuck in and how might I release it?

What do I need to know about my deepest dream right now?

How can I bring my art more fully into my community, my local place, and my world?

What do I need to know about my relationship with time and time management?

As you consider these questions you may discover that as the year comes to a close you are ready to release one, or one hundred ideas, habits, notions, and beliefs that are not only no longer useful but maybe positively harmful. I find this is true for me and that I am always especially aware of it at the end of the year. That’s why several years ago I created a Banish and Burn community ceremony. This annual tradition is open for registration once again. Last year we have over 300 participants – won’t you join us in creating more space for deep grace? Register HERE.

Adventures in Soulful Seeking

I wrote a Litany for Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose Feast Day is on December 12th. I’m also hosting a free community altar open to all petitions, prayer requests, and blessings, go HERE to send in your words, thoughts, and heart deep desires. Here is a wee bit of the post:

“Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico City in 1531 to an indigenous man known to Spanish and English speakers as Juan Diego but known in his own tribal tongue as Cuauhtlatoatzin – which translates to something like “Talking Eagle”. Guadalupe is variously understood as the New World Blessed Virgin Mary, as a Catholic overlay of Tonantzin, the Nuahatl Goddess of life, fertility, and mothers, and as the patron Saint of Mexico. I understand her to be all of this and more. Having lived almost all of my life in “Guadalupe country” here is what I can tell you about Her.

Wherever there is a need for nurturing, mothering, calming, nourishment – there She is.
Wherever there is a need for healing, soothing, anointing and blessing – there She is.
Wherever new mothers, new fathers, and children of all ages need care and support – there She is.”

Read the full post HERE.

In other news, for those of you enrolled in an online class and wondering how to get the most out of said class without living your life online, I’ve got some tips for you.

In my family when we gather for Thanksgiving and Yule we always say a blessing before we break bread. Here is one that I wrote for Thanksgiving this year – feel free to use it yourself whenever you have need.

Speaking of prayer, November’s Full Moon letter asked a tough question: Where Do Our Prayers Go?

Out and About

‘Tis the season for awesome gift-giving, and I have some great recommendations for you:

First of all, the good things in life CAN be free. If you are receiving this letter you are already one of my beautiful subscribers, but did you know that you can encourage a friend to subscribe and they will receive a very special Wonderment reading from me? It is a little gift I give to all new subscribers and (so I’ve been told) delivers amazing clarity, insight, and inspiration exactly where they are most needed. Simply direct your people to my site and click on the “lunar letters” tab to subscribe. Share sacred arts and share the love.

Desiring something extra special? A year of candles lit each and every month on the Full Moon, followed by personal reports and plans of actions might be the perfect thing.
Snag that here (and save an extra $100 in the process – this is the only “sale” I ever do and it happens once a year, through the month of December).

Have an inquiring mind in your life who cannot get enough of all things sacred arts? Consider gifting then with one of my self-study courses on the sacred arts.

For the people in your life who love all creatures great and small, check out Sara Magnusson’s course Animalia. Spaces are very limited and Sara’s work is always superb. While hanging at her site, do yourself a favor and peruse the other delightful offerings at Candlesmoke Chapel, the shop she runs with her husband Joseph.

Then again, there may be a few on your list who are more interested in what’s happening in the heavens as opposed to down on earth. A gift certificate from the radiant Heidi Rose Robbins makes is an excellent choice.

Speaking of gift certificates, my wonderful friend and co-conspirator Theresa Reed has gift certificates for her tarot readings and she is giving away all kinds of swag this month on her Facebook page.

Everyone likes a little sparkle from time to time, and if you are going to give jewelry why not give something that has truly been customized by someone with both talent and mojo. Check out Aidan’s work (I’m partial to the Sacred Heart for obvious reasons).

Have a friend who is into the tarot? Camelia Elias is offering a class that sounds fun and fabulous for all of those who want to make the cards their own.

If you have loved ones who love to smell good (and really, who doesn’t) then get thee to Shelley Henry’s beautiful site and shop her catalog of scents.

Another gifted herbalist and potion make, Jen Rue of Three Cats and a Broom has something in the store that is sure to delight.

And, if you know people who need help with their boundaries, Randi Buckley’s course on Healthy Boundaries for Kind People might be just what you are looking for.

Although Advent has technically started, you can still snag a seat in Deb Smouse’s Advent Series (I did it last year and truly enjoyed myself).

Words and Wonderings

Some of my favorite quotes over the last few weeks:

And for adults, the world of fantasy books return to us the great words of power that, in order to be tamed, have been excised from our adult vocabularies. These words are the pornography of innocence, words that adults no longer dare to use with other adults, and so we laugh at them and consign them to the nursery, fear masking as cynicism. These are the words that were forged in the earth, air, fire, and water of human existence. And the words are:
Good.
Evil.
Courage.
Honor.
Truth.
Hate.
Love.

–From Touch Magic by Jane Yolen

All human beings by nature stretch out towards knowing.” Aristotle, from the Metaphysics

Folklore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels.” – G. K. Chesterton from The Dragon’s Grandmother (You can read the entire piece here).

We all have the same kind of dragons in our psyche, just as we all have the same kind of hearts and lungs in our body.” –Ursula Le Guin

Really interesting article on Believing What Isn’t True by Richard Feynman. This might tick some folks in our community off, because Feynman, who is a scientist, calls out subjects like astrology and magic as prime examples of gullibility. However, I encourage each and every one of you to THINK for yourselves and that includes questioning certain suppositions found in the sacred arts AND in modern science too. Enjoy!

Feast your eyes on this gorgeous book art by early 20th century Czech artists.

Lovely and thought-provoking essay on the Heroine’s Journey by Theodora Gross – this will be of especial interest to all Spinning Gold students!

Was one source of early feminism found in various Native American tribes and their societal structures? This article makes exactly that claim.

I’ll be back closer to the full moon (which falls ON Christmas) but for now, we are all wishing you beautiful new moon blessings!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Holiday Gift Giving — Give Love and Avoid Stress

Right Relationship

D

ear Miracles,

I’m kicking off the December blog with my no-stress guide to gift giving! If you follow these 10 steps you will rediscover the joy and deep, profound meaning in giving gifts — I guarantee it.

1.) Choose wisely. Gift giving is about honoring those who touch our lives through the year-so who has touched your life? Of course, we all have family members that we “have” to get something for-but gift giving is an exchange of energy…so put your energies into the people that feed+nourish you.

This year I am sending wee gifts to all the teachers and wild collaborators I have been blessed with this year — feels so good.

2.) Avoid malls. Need I say more? No, I didn’t think so.

3.) Support your local, independent, stores and vendors. Go to your farmers market and see what goodies are on display — who makes art that feeds you? Who makes music that inspires you? $20 for these indie artisans is the difference between a mediocre meal and a good one-pay up proudly+loudly.

4.) Learn a craft and give it away. This year part of my gift giving includes homemade preserves and felted soap with roving wool from a local wool producer. The best part about it? My kiddo can do the crafting with me.

5.) Support artists who nourish you. Two of my faves? Rima Staines has fantastic greetings cards and Terri Windling does magical prints.

6.) A well-written, sincere, card is worth a thousand gifts.

7.) Experiences are immeasurable. Want to splurge on a special someone? What about concert tickets, a gift certificate with their airline of choice or a yummy virtual program like Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map.

8.) Get magical. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has fantastic & sublime scents. My friends at Candlesmoke Chapel have beautiful magical goodies that I blogged about here. Lucky Mojo Curio Co has gorgeously packaged & presented items that are inexpensive and authentic.

9.) Play good music. Maybe it’s Christmassy, maybe it’s not, but surround yourself with good music during this time of year. I like Loreena McKennitt, The Medieval Baebes, and Annonymous Four-they all have great holiday albums.

10.) Give time. Sometimes the most important thing you can do for someone is giving them an afternoon of your time. Consider that.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.