magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters
ARRIVING on full moons each month.
Happy New Moon in Aries and Happy Mercury Direct!
As you may know, one of the most effective things we can do when “Mercury Retrograde” or Mercury RX hits is to review, clean, organize, and make efforts at self-maintenance, inner and outer.
Here are just a few things that have been happening in my neck of the woods, under the auspices of the wandering planet:
1. Last week, we finalized the cover design for my book Making Magic, which you can see above. I was over-the-moon thrilled to find out that Sounds True had enlisted the brilliant art of Cassandra, who has done all of the art and site development for my website and is a beloved friend and my collaborator in the daily blessing collection. I received four images, but the above was the one that made the cut. We – including my husband and son and the creative design team at Sounds True and my fantastic editor – all agreed this one was just right. I’m so in love with it and I hope all of you are too!
2. One of the ways I’ve been working with that pesky Mercury RX energy has been to review and edit and re-structure the first manuscript of my book. I finished the chapters since the last time I wrote to you, so the timing has been just perfect. For a couple of weeks, I have been in the refining part of what is a very sculptural act. The form is present, the various parts are mostly in the correct places, and re-arranging does have to happen. There are places where the work sings and others where life must be breathed into it anew. Even though the weather has been gorgeous I have been tied to my computer, and at the end of the day, I feel covered in the glimmering dust of words and ideas and, of course, magic…
3. We have also been working with the frisky Mercury RX energy to get a ton of repairs done…our home is almost 100 years old and so there are little cracks here and crevices there that have to be taken care of. The magic of skilled handy people is a magic I have come to deeply appreciate – especially when I see them through the eyes of our seven-year-old – he knows that all handy people – the plumbers, painters, and masons are absolute wizards. He follows them around asking a million questions (I don’t know where he got the habit from…) and they are so patient and kind and they actually take the time to teach him little bits of their trades. We are also putting in some new landscaping (yes, more herbs and more roots for the making of more custom magical goodies)! This is part of my extensive Uranus into Taurus personal magic-making protocol.
4. My belly is so big now I cannot see my feet (sigh), and I am in the waddling phase. So many of you have written to me to ask me how I am feeling and how I am doing, and I am happy to report that I am feeling really well as I whoosh into the third trimester. The baby’s nursery is 90% there with the other 10% being the challenge of putting away all of the adorable clothes I have been gifted and lent by friends and family. Whatever else happens, this baby is going to be well-dressed, my friends! As I have told a few beloveds, we also have the car seat, so if the little man decides to come tomorrow we are ready to rock.
In other exciting news: just yesterday Jasper picked up his first real book to read just for pleasure. He has been learning to read over the last couple of years and has been working with the smaller books that are divided into various reading levels, but yesterday was the first time he pulled a book down from his bookshelf and started to read it just for fun, just for pleasure.
What was the book? My Spinning Gold students will not be surprised to hear that it is a collection of fairy tales; he decided to start with Sleeping Beauty…that thirteenth fairy is SO curious!
And so on that note, I am sending love on the gorgeous spring breezes and the goodness of all growing green things!
Blessings of the Season! December is a tricky month astrologically speaking as we have a deepening that occurs when three planets move into Sea-goat Capricorn (and Millenials begin to experience their Saturn Returns) and Mercury goes Retro. Read on for the full picture!
At the beginning of the month the sun is in positive, cheerful, and bright Sagittarius. This placement has given us a sense of possibility and optimism over the past several weeks. Mystical interests are at an all time high when the Sun is in Sagittarius as is our feeling of generosity and joy – perfect for the holiday season.
Ask: How can I make it brighter?
On December 12th the Sun conjuncts Mercury RX which means that you have a special opportunity to see into the choices of the past year and get information relating to them. You might also have people from your past approaching you on this day so look out for that.
Ask: What has 2017 taught me?
On December 21st we celebrate Winter Solstice and Yule as the Sun moves into Capricorn. There will be a Feast Day for the Radically Reverent celebrating this time but I don’t have it up quite yet – first we have to honor Guadalupe! This is the shortest day of the year and the official beginning of Winter. Solstice keeps us firmly grounded in the liminal and reminds us that on the darkest and coldest nights, we can be the lights that shine out and show others the way home.
Ask: What light am I ready to shine?
December’s Full Moon at 11 degrees Gemini occurs on December 3rd at 9:47 AM
Ask: What do my friendships show me?
On December 10th we celebrate a Waning Quarter Moon at 18 degrees Virgo at 1:51 AM
Ask: What does the need for perfection prevent in my life?
December 18th sees a lovely, bright, New Moon at 26 degrees Sagittarius at 12:30 AM
Ask: What am I ready to set free?
On December 26th we celebrate a First Quarter Moon at 4 degrees Aries at 3:30 AM
Ask: What does right relationship to new beginnings look and feel like?
December 31st comes to a close with a moon in Gemini celebrating all that is liminal, betwixt, and between before we kick off the New Year with a luminous Full Moon in Cancer.
Ask: What am I ready to leave behind? What am I ready to carry forward?
On December 3rd Mercury goes retrograde in Sagittarius and remains that way until December 22nd. Here are my tips on surviving a holiday retrograde period.
Ask: How do I engage with places, people, and ideas that are not immediately familiar to me? Do I wear exotic experiences or unlikely friendships like badges of honor? Do I hide from anything or anyone that is new and different or do I go seeking out after adventure?
Make a note that on Friday, December 22nd, Mercury RX is OVER!
Ask: What did the RX period teach me?
On Friday December 1st Venus makes a sign change from the deep waters of Scorpio into the bright and cheerful optimism that is Sagittarius.
Ask: Who in my life is in need of a cheerleader? (And then show up to cheer them on!)
Mercury and Venus hook up with a sweet trine on December 15th. Here we all have the ability to sweet talk anyone into anything. At the best this trine gives you eloquence and the ability to articulate and express your ideas in a compelling, even seductive, manner. At worst, this trine encourages gullibility – so easy to believe the words when they are all so nice, and superficiality as well. Go for the former, not the latter.
Ask: What love do I want to express?
On Christmas Eve Venus follow the trail blazed by Saturn and the Sun and also moves into Capricorn. This sign change for the planet of love and beauty can bring depth, seriousness, and ambition to artistic endeavors and romantic relationships alike. Marriage proposals that occur on or around this time will have a sincerity and seriousness to them that bodes well for long term togetherness!
Ask: What love am I ready to get serious about?
A potentially nasty Mars-Uranus opposition occurs on Friday December 1st after Venus moves into Sagittarius. This opposition has an explosive and often martial component. On a global level we should expect to hear about flare ups happening abroad and perhaps at home too. These signs together rule guns so gun violence might be something that we see as well. Those of you who hunt and everyone who is driving on this day should be extra careful.
Ask: What battles would I like to stop participating in?
On December 9th Mars heads into its native sign of Scorpio – a place it very much likes to be! Deep energy especially when it comes to engaging with the hidden, creating strong protection around yourself and your loved ones, and engaging passionately in all things are hallmarks of this combination. Mars in Scorpio can also bring out our more blunt, aggressive, unforgiving and stern aspects – so be aware of that given the holiday season and judge most mercifully as much as you can.
Ask: What mystery am I willing to fight for?
Jupiter and Neptune trine it up on December 2nd. This is the day before Mercury goes RX and so many of you might be out and about trying to finish up your shopping tasks. If that’s you my advice is: be extra careful with your wallet because Jupiter + Neptune love to splurge! That said, this is a brilliant time to make, find, sell or buy art and/or spiritual supplies. Looking for some spiritual supplies for holiday gift giving? Here are my favorites to buy from.
Ask: What dream is ready to be enlarged?
Saturn and Mercury have a conjunction on December 6th right after Mercury has gone retrograde. This meet up is all about discipline and applying Saturn inspired determination to ticking items off of your TO DO list.
Ask: What task needs to be wrapped up or re-done?
On Tuesday, December 19th Saturn makes a sign change moving from Sagittarius into Capricorn where it will remain for the next three years. This is significant in many ways. Saturn loves to be in its native sign of Capricorn. Its brings a level of seriousness and responsibility into the mix. Regions and terrain that have been unregulated should expect to begin to get tamed (this includes virtual regions like the web and digital currency markets). Millennials will begin to experience their first Saturn Returns during this time. Law enforcement, military order, and protection will all be emphasized during this time but so will mastery, dedication to one’s craft, and fiscal responsibility.
Ask: What do I need to master most now?
On Christmas day Saturn saddles up along side Venus in a nice conjunction. It can make Christmas seem more serious and you might have some Grinches that you have to be on the look out for. BUT it can also inspire love and compassion in the places and for the people that you usually have an especially hard time with during the holidays. This aspect can also encourage doing good for those who have less.
Ask: Who really needs care right now?
On Sunday, December 10th, Uranus and Mercury trine up to each other. Keep your eyes on the public square as people who come to notice on during this trine tend be talented visionaries. For everyone this gives you an opportune to time to review what you have learned over the past year about your legacy.
Ask: What do I find when I review my choices about legacy?
A Uranus-Sun trine on Sunday, December 16th encourages excitement, vision, legacy building, and is also perfect astro weather for banishing what is no longer needed.
Ask: What am I ready to release?
Neptune squares up with Venus on December 10th – this can create a hazy sense of where you are and what you are doing that you definitely want to be aware of. It’s a good day to relax and chill, not a good day to have a deep conversation about where you and your partner are romantically or a day for shopping. Make art as much as possible.
Ask: What creative vision or idea have I been ignoring?
Neptune and Mars get into a tangle of a trine on Thursday, December 28th. This is a great time to let your intuitive side flow (and perfect timing as it occurs during Omen Days). It will also energize your dream life and any healing work you have been dedicated to will feel as if it just received a power boost of energy and enthusiasm.
Ask: What am I ready (and willing) to see?
Pluto is nice and quiet in Capricorn, doing its deep seated work of utter and complete transformation.
From my familia to yours, may you have a bright, beautiful, blessed, safe, and fun holiday season!
Love and Stars,
PS: There are a few time-sensitive offerings available right now which you may want to know about:
Lunar Lights are open and registration closes on December 17th. This is my much beloved monthly candle service. Once a month on the Full Moon I dress, bless, and set a candle for you and your heartfelt prayer, wish, desire, and/or intention.
Your candles are allowed to burn without being disturbed and around the New Moon you receive a candle report detailing how the candle burned, what signs were seen, and what next steps you might want to consider.
Learn more + register here. After December 17th this service is gone for another year. The first lunar light setting of 2018 occurs ON January 1st for the Full Moon in Cancer!
The Banish and Burn end of year ceremony is out and available. Join us in releasing what needs to be released and walking forward fresh and clean into 2018! $13 gets you in with half of all proceeds going to the family of Aidan’s son. Learn more + register here.
The Book of Hours is the planner for Soulful Seekers who want a different relationship to time. Snag it, download it, keep it on your device or print it out – contains all the essential astro info for 2018 and so much more! At $24 this is also an EXCELLENT last minute gift! Get it here.
t is springtime here in the Northern Hemisphere and with both the Equinox and Easter right around the corner my social media feeds are filled with charming pastoral scenes of chicks and rabbits and lambs…but the mighty ram is there too just waiting for its moment.
Luckily the wait is over! Join us in getting to know the one and only Aries.
Aries is the 1st sign in the zodiacal wheel, marking the beginning of the Astrological New Year. This sign is attuned to the element of Fire and is a cardinal sign. The Sun is in Aries from March 20th (Vernal/Autumnal Equinox) through April 19th. Cardinal signs always represent leadership and the purest expression of certain virtues; for Aries and all of the Fire signs, this is symbolized by its arrival at the turning of the Equinox where Winter finally and officially gives way to Spring (in the Northern hemisphere) and Summer gives way to Autumn (in the Southern). Represented by the Ram and specifically the Ram bearing the golden fleece who was both hero and sacrificial victim, Aries combines bravery and adventure with a desire to protect, as well as a powerful will. Aries is fun loving, courageous, and at its best willing to not only protect but lay its life on the line in service to others.
Although the sign Aries is ruled by the planet Mars and often associated with the Greek God of War by the same name, Aries is not all war making, weapon swinging, and bluster.
In fact, the constellation Aries has less to do with war and a martial aspect and much more to do with daring rescue attempts, sacrifices, and the ancient and deeply honored work of the Shepherd. Before we get to that though, let’s take a moment to see how truly old this story is.
Like many of our other constellations, Aries and its association with the Ram is very old but before Aries was the Ram itself, it was a Shepherd.
This was true for the Babylonians who recognized the same cluster of stars forming our modern Aries constellation and referred to it as “The Agrarian Worker” or the “Hired Man” as well as for the Egyptians who associated the constellation with the great God Amon-Ra, a male figure depicted with a Ram’s head.
In our less agrarian place and time, it might be difficult to recognize how essential shepherds were to the community but they were, and they still are.
Shepherds and others who took on the role of cultivating, domesticating, and protecting livestock from natural predators exerted a strong civilizing influence on early societies. Paradoxically, Shepherds themselves are often depicted as only part tame and part wild – it does take a special kind of soul to be outside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all kinds of weather accompanied only by the animals he is charged with caring for. For these reasons, the figures in both Babylon and Egypt associated with Aries are also associated with fertility, protection, and the running current of the life force itself.
It is in the image of the Shepherd that we find our first real glimpse into some of the defining characteristics of the zodiac sign Aries, specifically we find that Aries is associated with a strong protective impulse. This can at first be surprising because typically Aries is seen as martial and more and more the martial and the protective have been separated in a common culture. But the truth is more complicated and often the individuals who are most likely to be heroes are motivated by a desire to assist and help those who cannot help themselves, as well as to protect the weak and innocent. Aries, like its opposing sign Libra, is more concerned with justice than many people think.
By the time the ancient Greeks were spinning their stories with the stars, the role of the Shepherd was taken over by that of the Ram, but it wasn’t any Ram; it was the Ram of the legendary golden fleece that Jason of the Argonauts would later pursue and steal with the aid of his witch wife Medea.
The story begins with a curse. There was an evil stepmother who was envious of her husband’s two firstborn children – a young girl and a young boy. She cursed the land where the family lived with a great famine so that everyone was hungry and then created a false oracle from the Oracle at Delphi, claiming that the only way to break the curse was for the King, her husband, to kill his son.
This part of the tale clues us into one of Aries’ weak points – an easily inflated ego that wishes to “kill” off any psychic offspring that might also have a share of power, and a tendency towards envy when all is not as it should be.
The King was indeed ready to sacrifice his son and in a story that sounds eerily familiar to those raised in any Biblical traditions, he was at the point of spilling his son’s blood when a magical Ram appeared.
This aspect of the story speaks to another potential weak point of Aries – leaping before looking or proceeding straight ahead without having all of the information.
The Ram of the Golden Fleece appeared in order to rescue the boy and his sister after being asked to do so by the swift-footed God of the crossroads, Hermes (Mercury in Roman times). The sacrifice of an innocent child was stopped and both the young girl and young boy got on the back of the ram who then flew through the sky.
Here we see one of the most positive aspects of Aries, for this is the sign for whom the concept of “impossible” is not real or relevant. Rams flying across the sky and over the ocean? Something that’s never been done or even attempted before? Aries is not only interested in what others consider mere fantasy, it is bound and determined to defy a narrow concept of reality and bring the impossible to life.
During the flight, the young girl tumbled to her death but the young boy made it safely into the mysterious and magical land of Colchis. Once he arrived he sacrificed the Ram of the Golden Fleece as thanks offering to Zeus (under instruction from Hermes to do so) and then offered the Golden Fleece to the local King who in turn gave him his daughter to wed.
Several more essential qualities of Aries come out at this point in the tale. The first is that Aries, though a cardinal sign, has more of a liminal quality to it than is often understood. The obviously liminal signs like Scorpio or say, Pisces, have their own otherworldly presence but Aries does too – especially in terms of physicality and the body. There is an intuitive understanding of the body and the ways that the physical body can be worked with to achieve great feats that are particular to Aries.
We also see clearly in this part of the tale Aries’ willingness to sacrifice itself for the greater good. Many modern astrologers talk about the “selfishness” of Aries and miss out on the obvious fact that the opposite is also quite true: this sign can engage in acts of utter selflessness when the situation requires it.
Finally, we see the dance between risk and reward that is also a deep part of Aries story; here is a young boy who is about to be sacrificed only to go on a great (and terrifying) adventure, wherein he loses his sister, loses the one animal companion he has, and gains a wife and a crown. Another intuitive aspect of Aries is their understanding that without risk there can be no real reward.
The golden fleece was placed in a holy shrine and, as mentioned above, its story continues long after this cast of characters were deep in the earth. This speaks to yet another quality of Aries. As the first sign of the zodiac, the Ram is concerned with impressions – making them and leaving them. Given the central role that the Golden Fleece plays in some of the most beloved epic stories from antiquity, I would say that our Ram accomplished exactly that.
The Ram is a mighty and peculiar creature.
For all the power and force associated with these animals, though, it’s easy to forget that Rams are Sheep.
This is important to note because the word Sheep has developed a negative connotation in colloquial speech, meaning someone who is a mindless follower; however, as we have seen from the mythology and astrology, Aries the Ram is anything but. How and why do we perceive the Ram as somehow different from the Sheep? First, let’s look at what all Sheep have in common.
The physical form of Sheep is nimble, agile, and sure-footed. They trust the ability of their unlikely bodies, with thick torsos and spindly legs, to jump and maintain balance when other creatures would doubt themselves. They see in color, have excellent peripheral vision, and Bighorn Sheep in particular (a different species than typical “farm Sheep”) have excellent depth perception, which allows them to literally see and take chances that others may not.
As a prey animal, all Sheep have incredibly good senses of hearing and smell. Taste is also an important sensory aspect and, as herbivores, grazers, and foragers, Sheep exhibit clear preferences toward different foods. As ruminant animals, their four-chambered stomachs are built to extract a high amount of nutrients from their plant-based diets.
Sheep are inquisitive animals and, like the sign of Aries, have the ability to discover and seize the opportunity in seemingly impossible situations. We can also all take a cue from Sheep’s highly efficient digestive system to be very deliberate when working with the things that fuel us, making sure we’re getting all we can out of them.
The skin and fleece of Sheep have been revered for ages – hides and wool to create objects from the practical and mundane to the magnificent and magical. When thinking of Sheep’s hide, remember that skin is considered an organ and is, in fact, the largest organ of the body. Protecting all the delicate things inside, the skin is essentially a huge sensor packed with nerves and keeps our brain in touch with the outside world. The majestic fleece of Sheep, like our own hair, is directly connected to their skin and provides an intense sensitivity, as well as protection from the elements, allowing them to thrive in diverse climates and environments. It is this protective and armor-like quality of Sheep’s fleece that contributes to its many magical qualities.
Socially, Sheep desire order and prefer a defined structure, establishing who is in charge and how each member of their social group falls in rank. They are gregarious and form strong, close, relationship sub-groups within their flock.
Sheep are more intelligent and sensitive than we often think, having a good memory and the ability to differentiate facial expressions and the emotional states of other animals, including humans.
Sheep are also very good at hiding any injury or sickness so as not to appear weak, which can be good for avoiding predators looking for an easy meal.
These social traits are exhibited in the influence of the sign of Aries in many ways. There is the desire for order and structure; the ability to see more than others think you do, and definitely more than you let on; and the tendency to hide weakness when you could be asking for help. As previously mentioned, Sheep are inquisitive animals and, no matter the current interpretation of the word can be brave and courageous. They are willing to break through barriers (literally and figuratively) and face uncharted territory to seek a better life.
Sheep have a long history with humans, being one of the earliest animals to be domesticated, and, as we have learned, there is an entire vocation dedicated to caring for Sheep. The word “Shepherd” derives plainly from Old English – shep/sheep and herd, literally someone who watches over the Sheep. These animals provide us with food in the form of meat and milk (and cheese, my favorite!), and hide, sinew, and fleece for clothing and comfort.
To talk specifically about the Ram, versus Sheep in general, we must discuss some topics of gender and gender roles because Rams are biologically the males of the species. This is also the area where we discover why we perceive the Ram as somehow different from Sheep.
First of all, it is the Rams who possess the magnificent horns. Ewes of different breeds can have horns, but they are much smaller. Without getting into a separate discussion on the various ways gender may be expressed in animals, let us talk about how it is most commonly expressed in Sheep. The males have bigger horns because they are the protectors of the flock and they use them to intimidate and to fight. Horns are impressive structures, no matter what animal they come from or if they are male or female. The horns of Rams in particular are in the shape of the Sacred Spiral, adding even more depth to their magical associations. They are borne directly from the head, just as our hair grows, and indicate potent creativity and mental acuity.
When we examine the Ram associated with Aries and the mythology surrounding it all, it is very male-centered. Aries is identified with typically male traits – the Sun, war, aggressiveness, etc. In the tale of the Golden Fleece, it is the brother who survives and his sister is the one who doesn’t make it to the end. In reality, it is the females of the species Ovis who have unfortunately inspired the suggestion that “sheep” means mindless followers and it is the males, the Ram, that evokes power, agility, and intellectual fortitude. I argue, however, the nature of Aries and the Ram affects all of us, male or female.
I am a straight, cis-gender woman and I am an Aries. I am not on the cusp of anything and am in the dead center of Aries. I can tell you from forty years of personal life experience that the typically-male-leaning undertones of Aries the Ram are something I am constantly working to balance within myself. Like it or not, we all exhibit both male and female tendencies, ways of thinking, emotions, actions, etc., and we are all working to balance and discern those with what our society tells us and demands of us. We all have a strong, powerful Ram within us and we also all have delicate parts and everything in between.
The Ram of Aries asks us to find that aspect of ourselves that is unafraid, that is bold and daring, that is sensitive and nimble, and to trust and encourage its instinct. When you feel nervous, afraid, fearful, worried, and/or in a state of over-analyzing, call on the energy of Ram to connect you with a very specific part of yourself, a part that we all have. Embrace the surety of purpose that Ram embodies and allow yourself to tap into his bravery.
Aries shows up in everyone’s chart – there is no such thing as “I don’t have Aries” because it is a cluster of stars in the sky and it is always there. Wherever Aries occurs in your chart these questions will help you get to know it better.
Ground, Center, and Anchor in the ways that feel good and right to you.
See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel that you are standing at the edge of a great cliff and beyond the cliff is the bright blue sea.
Affirm and acknowledge that you have come to this place at this time to learn a new teaching about your life, one that is gifted to you from the stars, you have come to encounter the Ram.
Acknowledge that it does not matter where Aries occurs in your chart or whether you were born under this Sun sign or not – we all have this constellation present in some portion of our natal chart.
As you are ready, look straight out at the horizon line where the sky meets earth.
See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel that an object floats just over the horizon line and s slowly becoming larger and larger as it approaches. It seems to glow like the sun and as you narrow your eyes to see it more clearly you find that what is moving towards you is the Golden Fleeced Ram of Aries itself.
Affirm and acknowledge your inner knowing that the Ram is coming for you today, that it is willing, if you are, to take you for a ride into the heavens where you may see your life from a bird’s eye perspective.
As the Ram lands softly beside you the invitation is clear: get on board.
See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel yourself climb onto the strong Ram. Curl your fingers into its soft, gold, fleece, and around its great curling horns.
See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel that the Ram becomes air born and you are now able to see below. The blue sea witnessed at the beginning of the active imagination has changed and transformed into the terrain of your life, from the moment that you were born and took your first breath to right here and right now.
As you hold onto the Ram’s golden fleece, see, sense, touch, know and feel the question that is being asked:
“Where are you willing to take a risk?”
Look down, look down, look down – knowing that you are safe and able to see clearly from this vantage point.
Look down, look down, look down – acknowledging the areas where you have perhaps played it too safe for too long.
Look down, look down, look down – visioning clearly the places where risk is required, an intelligent, brave, but also calculated risk.
Affirm and acknowledge that with the Ram sets you gently down in new terrain, your life after certain risks have been taken and rewards have been granted.
Affirm and acknowledge with the Ram as your guide you can discover not only the best risks to take but the best ways to take them and as you are ready ask Aries, the Ram what it would like you to do with this newfound insight.
Give yourself time to truly listen and enjoy.
When you are ready to depart allow yourself a few final moments to say goodbye and to agree to any promises, oaths, or exchanges that you can in good faith make.
Breathe in a blessing on your body and as you exhale bring your awareness back to the room that you are in. Feel the weight of the air upon your skin and allow yourself to stretch and move in any ways that feel good and nourishing to you.
As a final act, note what the teaching from Aries was to and for you.
Reflect on the message you were given and the task you were asked to do, and then in true Aries fashion, make it happen.
Make space at your altar, or create a new area as you see fit, to show your reverence for Ram. It is possible to procure ethically sourced Ram’s horns, but if you cannot or don’t want to do that, acquire a piece of wool (and raw, unprocessed wool is even better – ask at your local yarn supplier). Place the horns or wool at the center of your altar space. Surround the horns or wool with a small bowl of water, a plant (a small container of grass is perfect for Ram, but any green plant will work well), and a candle.
Light the candle and place your hands on the horns or wool. As you watch the flame, reflect on the fiery nature of Aries and your ride with Ram. Ask for Ram’s essence, courage, and wisdom to guide you and show you the ways to achieve your goals.
After you spend time with Ram at your altar, engage in some kind of physical activity. Do whatever you are physically able and comfortable doing – take a walk or a run, dance around your house, do some gentle stretching, etc. Part of honoring Ram is honoring and acknowledging your own body. Each time you work with Ram take a moment to move and recognize and be thankful for your physical form.
Return to this Ram altar and movement practice whenever you need to reconnect with Fire and with Ram’s knowledge and lessons. Make sure you refresh the water periodically and keep the plant healthy and strong. And remember, always observe a common sense of fire safety when burning candles.
Sara Magnuson was the co-founder of Candlesmoke Chapel, a purveyor of spiritual supplies and provider of various spiritual services that was in business from 2009-2019. Her personal practice is eclectic, animistic, ancestral, and based in the messages of Nature and its role in how we move through this world.
Say yes to illuminating the Underworld and finding blessings in the broken places with this month’s Here Be Dragons Ceremony honoring the upcoming Full Moon in Scorpio.
Say yes to clarity and ease during the end of the month and May time Mercury in Retrograde period and participate in the Mercury RX Survival Kit.
Say yes to learning about the tricky intersections between spirituality and money in our upcoming Talking Shop episode.
And finally, say yes to everything that honors and celebrates the wonder that is life right here and now, perfect in all of its many imperfections.
hen I was pregnant with Jasper, I would get up early in the morning with my one legal cup of coffee and swing under the stars. As I rocked back and forth, feeling the wind on my face, I would also pray. I prayed that my little one would be healthy and strong, that he would be protected from all harm and suffering, and that no evil would befall him. It was a good prayer because I meant well; but it was not a true prayer. There is a difference.
The longer I carried him and felt the flutter of his little hands and the sure kicks of his little feet, the more I felt the need to reckon with a single fact: there would be suffering, affliction, and fear in my little one’s life – it was an absolute truth, even if I may not like it. So I decided to change my prayer.
Lady of the Moon, who dances among the stars, help me accept the dangers that come with my child’s living and give him the strength to survive the harms that will fall upon him and the endurance not only to survive but to flourish in his darkest hours. May they be few and far between. May he weather them well.
I still pray a version of this prayer for him and for all of my loved ones. It is the truest protection magic I know.
I am often asked about protection. What is the best formula, ritual, or talisman to keep one safe and sound? The desire for protection is perfectly natural. But for any magic to really work, we cannot stop at a surface desire. We must, in all ways, go deeper.
Often the desire for protection is really a wish that no affliction, no trouble, no difficulty, and no hardship will befall us. Understandable? Yes. Useful or wise? No. In this version, protection is something we view as solely external to ourselves – a bulletproof vest, a helmet, force field, a shield. Protection like that can work for a time, but here is the truth: there will come a day when we must go into danger without our vest, when the helmet cracks, the force field falters, and the shield is dropped onto the dusty earth. Then what?
Then we come to know the nature of true protection. Then we understand that protection has less to do with this or that magical charm or talisman and much more to do with the condition of our mind, heart, and spirit – our inner state, our virtue, the stuff we are made of. So when you find yourself in that place, where you are contending with real risk and danger without a net, be like iron.
Iron is the metal belonging to Mars, the ruling planet of the sign Aries, the sign that our beautiful Full Moon will shine out from on Wednesday. In the old traditions, Iron was called on for its unique protective qualities. One could tap an iron nail into a dying fruit tree, or use iron to nail down and protect a piece of land, or even insert bits of iron into a baby crib to keep the little one safe as they slept. To many, such rituals smack of ignorant superstition, but you all know that I think differently. I believe our ancestors often had surprising insights into the gifts of nature that we, despite all of our sophistication, often miss. I find it fascinating that they already chose to work with a material for protection that is so tied physiologically to our own well being. If you have ever been low on iron in your blood, you know what I mean. Too little iron? Pale, listless, and lifeless. The right amount of iron? Rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, healthy, robust, and vital.
Iron makes sense as a protective talisman because iron is strong, reminding us that in times of danger, we too must be strong. We must elicit internal strength. Iron is life-giving and tied to vitality, reminding us that what we are looking for is never mere survival, but thriving, flourishing – rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, and good strong laughter from the belly. What we are looking for is a certain quality of soulful, spirited living. Besides being linked to strength and vitality, Iron endures. Over time it will change its shape, become more twisted, gain interesting colorations and qualities – just like us – but turn up the heat, and melt it down as you’d like, and you will never destroy it. It merely changes shape. Like iron, we must be ready to take on new ways of being in the world.
It is not that working with talismans or rituals for protection is a bad idea: it is not! It is only that when we work with magic externally, we must pay attention to our internal state. And above all, we must realize that no application of magic, ritual or ceremony can take the place of work, attention, and attendance to what matters most.
An introverted Aries.
A Taurus who is chatty.
A shy Gemini.
Cancers that never dream.
A Leo who prefers to be NOT in the spotlight.
The Libran who doesn’t get along…with anyone.
The Sagittarius who likes to stay home.
Capricorns who aren’t competitive.
Aquarians who are decidedly not social.
Sure, these are not the typical descriptions for each sun sign, but I have met folks who fit with each description. I’m often told by a client…this is my sun sign, but it doesn’t fit me, I’m nothing like that! Maybe so and maybe no. The whole point of astrology, really the whole point of any sacred art, is that we are not reducible. We cannot be reduced to our genes, our address, our education, our family, our talents or our weaknesses.
The whole is always greater than the parts.
That’s what astrology teaches. So does tarot. Both disciplines should encourage an aerial view…one that opens up and expands on possibilities, not a view that leaves you feeling trapped in a category that doesn’t work and doesn’t resonate.