Hearth and Home Vol. 21: Being Seen

Alchemy and Magic

H

appy New Moon in Leo!

I’ve been feeling that Leo vibe this year, more than usual. Necessity, the old proverb goes, is the mother of invention. Challenges to our social habits have forced so many of us to look to images in a fresh way as means of communication, in ways perhaps more pronounced than other years.

My grandfather was a Leo and when I think about the best qualities of the amazing, stellar, lion, I always think about him. Right now, I’m thinking about him a lot.

He showed up fully himself wherever he was. He loved a good party, loved the spotlight, loved drama and excitement. When there wasn’t any drama to be had, he was happy to create it himself!

For me, Leo is all about showing up and letting yourself be seen. If we can’t show up in person, we are forced to find and create other ways to show up. This year I have taken that literally, and I am sharing a lot more on Insta. If you don’t follow me there, you should!

The power of videos and visual storytelling was brought home to me earlier this month when Jasper, our 9 year old, tried out for the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. This year, auditions couldn’t be held in the usual way, and so every performer needed to make a video – with no pauses or cuts – introducing themselves and performing scales plus 3 different prepared pieces of music.

It was a lot for a 9 year old cello player. On the first day of taping, we had to get the giggles out, but on the second day, he rocked it, and soon after we learned he had been accepted!

What will the city-wide Youth Orchestra look like this year? Who knows! But kids who love music showed up and played their hearts out. In one form or another, the show will go on, and I am fully confident they are going to learn oh-so-much on their journey together. Also, major props to my beloved husband David for making the video happen and for handling ALL music practices at our house…it is a lot of work, and he brings so much excellence to it just holding that space for Jasper.

I have even more exciting visual news. My publishing team and I have decided on a cover for my upcoming book Star Child: Joyful Parenting Through Astrology and I CANNOT WAIT to share it with you all – soon, soon!

Our family has settled into a solid routine. Since school is beginning virtually, we will be able to maintain it, more or less. Jasper is excited to launch into 3rd grade and Heath is delighted to be home and speeding through the neighborhood on his Strider balance bike. He collects little treasures on his walks and delights in harvesting tomatoes and trying to sit on the (very patient) dog.

The boys go for long walks and bring home all kinds of magical goodies. They found the bird’s nest (pictured above for me) and arranged items in it for me too. I love that they put an eye milagro in the nest. It was as if they knew mommy has been contemplating vision and visibility.

I’ve been busy making fall plans for the gardens and for courses and classes I want to teach, including a free call on the upcoming Mercury Retrograde (I’ll probably talk about the Mars retrograde a little bit too) and a brand new offering steeped in magic and story that I am thrilled to share with all of you.

Many of you especially loved receiving a prompt in last month’s Hearth and Home, so here is one for this month:

What am I seeing right now and how am I letting myself be seen?

(The Leos in your life approve of this question, promise!)

As always, from our family to yours, we wish you a beautiful and magical month full of goodness!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Star Stories: August 2020

Ceremony and Ritual

A

strology for August 2020

Note for August: This month starts and ends with weeks that are packed with celestial weather and in between those two the seas a relatively calm with a few exceptions.

8/1: Blessed Lammas!!!

8/1: Mercury opposed to Pluto. Be extra careful of trying to get your way by any means necessary with this astrology and be extra careful of people trying to get their way with your through deception and/or manipulation.
Ask: Where do things feel less than forthright?

8/3: Full Moon at 11 degrees Aquarius, 10:59 AM. Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: https://brianasaussy.com/how-to-honor-the-full-moon/ and here: https://brianasaussy.com/six-months-of-magic-every-full-moon/
Ask: What community am I seeking out?

8/3: Sun square Uranus. This aspect can have a lot of restless energy bubbling up to the surface and the best thing to do is move your body with it. But, do exercise caution because Uranus can always bring the unexpected and sometimes a dangerous situation.
Ask: What needs to move?

8/3: Mercury opposed to Saturn. This opposition can make you feel like you are just spinning your wheels and getting no where fast. You can align with it by not trying to overly verbally communicate and instead by making plans and sussing out the best structure for your current project.
Ask: Where would I benefit from more thinking and less speaking?

8/4: Mercury moves into Leo. For the next three weeks communication is quick, fiery, funny, and a bit dramatic. You will definitely have opinions that you want to share during this transit.
Ask: What opinions am I ready to express?

8/4: Mars square Jupiter. This is actually a positive square that brings luck and opportunity to those willing to hustle for it!
Ask: What opportunity am I ready to seize?

8/7: Venus moves into Cancer. Venus in Cancer is all about home, family, children, food, and real estate. Privacy and security issues often loom large with this transit as we become especially loving and nurturing of our tribe.
Ask: How can I best protect and support my people?

8/11: Waning Quarter Moon at 19 degrees Taurus, 11:45 AM. Reminder that this is a great time to banish: https://brianasaussy.com/what-are-you-really-banishing/
Ask: Where do I need to banish laziness or sloth?

8/13: Mars square Pluto. This aspect has the potential to be violent and/or dangerous. Watch yourself and do not put yourself in harm’s way. Keep communications kind and do not engage in adversarial situations today.
Ask: Where do I need to simply wait it out?

8/15: Uranus Retrograde. Retrograde begins at 9:25 AM and stations direct on January 14th at 2:36 AM.
Ask: What needs to be shaken up in my life and what needs to be settled back down?

8/16: Sun trine Mars. This aspect gives us a ton of energy, makes us feel sexy, and has us all working to live our best lives.
Ask: What do I want to celebrate?

8/17: Mercury trines Mars. It is now time to make plans and optimize all the things. That is the gift of a trine between Mercury and Mars. Well, that and the fact that you have the energy and discipline to implement the changes you want to make!
Ask: What plans am I ready to make?

8/18: New Moon at 26 degrees Leo at 9:42 PM. Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them: https://brianasaussy.com/4-ways-honor-new-moon/
Ask: What new luxury am I ready to embrace?

8/19: Mercury moves into Virgo. Mercury loves to be in this sign! Now is the time to get your house in order as the summer begins to come to a close. Paying the bills, making the doctor appointments, and cleaning off your altars never felt so good! Great time for writing, publishing, and speak as well!
Ask: What am I devoted to right now?

8/22: Sun enters Virgo 10:45 AM
Ask: What is holy for me?

8/24: Mars square Saturn. Things are just not going to move the way we want them to today so it would be better to stop trying so hard and celebrate a tiny win, make a check list (to honor the Sun in Virgo) or plant something in your garden.
Ask: Where do I need to let go?

8/25: Waxing Quarter at 13 degrees Sagittarius, 10:10 PM. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: What travels am I ready to undertake?

8/25: Mercury trine Uranus. This aspect brings out great ideas, brilliant insights, and all kinds of magical communications. Great day for writing, publishing, book proposals, public speaking gigs, and communications in general.
Ask: What insights are making themselves known to me?

8/25: Venus opposed to Jupiter. This aspect makes us feel like anything is possible but can also leave us procrastinating and/or not willing to do the work to make the possible happen.
Ask: Where would my big dream benefit from the concrete effort?

8/27: Venus trine Neptune. Right now we are all about positive thinking that verges into not helpful fantasy land. If this day has you thinking that things are not really that bad or hard you may need to check yourself and take off those rose-colored glasses.
Ask: Where am I kidding myself?

8/29: Mercury trine Jupiter. This trine is about as positive as it gets. Apply it to the areas of life that seem particularly sticky and tricky and you will be amazed with what emerges for you!
Ask: What areas of my life could use some brilliant positive thinking?

8/30: Venus opposed to Pluto. This aspect can go one of two ways. You can see your wounds and hurts with love and compassion and bring some beautiful healing to them, or you can go off in the direction of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. I think you know what needs to happen, yeah?
Ask: Where would an old hurt benefit from some compassion and grace?     August August August

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Star Stories: July 2020

Ceremony and Ritual

A

strology for July 2020

Note for July: Mercury turns direct and a trio of Sun oppositions give us the flavor for July which is festive, forward-facing, and overall moving in a positive direction despite a few snags here and there. This month also holds a few moments where truly deep healing can occur.

7/1: Saturn retrogrades out of Aquarius and back into Capricorn. This is Saturn’s last hurrah in its home turf of Capricorn until it returns in about 30 years. Any final lessons that you have been working on under the guidance of Saturn for the past two years come home to you in the deepest way between now and December 17th.
Ask: What disciplines do I need to review?

7/4: Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn, 11:55 PM. Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: https://brianasaussy.com/how-to-honor-the-full-moon/ and here: https://brianasaussy.com/six-months-of-magic-every-full-moon/
Ask: What mastery should be celebrated?

7/4: Lunar Eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn at 11:44 PM
Ask: Where am I resistant to developing mastery?

7/8: Mercury square Mars. This aspect reminds all of us – if you cannot say something nice then don’t say anything at all!
Ask: Where do I need to remain quiet?

7/12: Waning Quarter Moon at 3 degrees Aries, 10:24 PM. A reminder that this is a great time to banish: https://brianasaussy.com/what-are-you-really-banishing/
Ask: What weapons am I ready to put down?

7/12: Mercury Direct!!!

7/12: Sun trine Neptune. This is a lovely and gentle aspect that makes us all feel kinder towards each other. You may find that this day feels like everything is aligning just as it should and it is an especially auspicious day to donate to a charitable cause.

7/14: Sun opposed to Jupiter. New opportunities beckon but staying realistic about chances and probabilities is key.
Ask: What previously unseen opportunity is asking for my attention?

7/15: Sun opposed to Pluto. This opposition highlights the places where you have knowingly or unknowingly restricted yourself when it comes to healing and personal power. At its best these places are illuminated and freed up so that you can work with them in a healthy manner.
Ask: What old wound is ready to be fully seen?

7/20: New Moon at 28 degrees Cancer, 12:33 PM. Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them: https://brianasaussy.com/4-ways-honor-new-moon/
Ask: What home am I ready to create?

7/20: Sun opposed to Saturn. This opposition can leave us feeling like no matter how hard we try, we are never going to really get what we want. Take a breath and acknowledge that this is a moment in the story, not the entire story.
Ask: What would happen if I let go?

7/22: Sun enters Leo 3:37 AM
Ask: What do I roar for?

7/27: Waxing Quarter at 14 degrees Scorpio, 12:31 PM. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: What mystery am I ready to explore? July 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Community Calls and Adios Social Media!

Lunar Letter

M

iracles,

Happy Full Moon in Leo and (yay!) Sun in Aquarius!

These are both signs that are interested in community and connection. One of Leo’s talents is cultivating intimate, meaningful gatherings, and Aquarius is very concerned with overall community health and happiness. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. What are the best ways for me to stay in touch with, inspire, and be inspired by, our beautiful Sacred Arts community? These ponderings have led to some exciting decisions that I now want to share with all of you.

Recently, I made the decision to step away from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) so that I can focus on what I love most: writing newsletters (like the one you’re reading right now), writing books (like this one), and working with the lovely people who hire me and enroll in my classes (like Spinning Gold).

My decision to leave social media was also motivated by a desire to live even more intentionally and purposefully. With a bustling business, a husband, and two small kids (including a 7 month old infant) at home, I want to be extra-intentional with how I’m spending my time. Would I prefer to spend thirty minutes posting things on Facebook—or spend those thirty minutes cuddling my baby and tickling his tiny toes and making him giggle? When I frame things in those terms, the decision feels simple! Baby wins over Facebook. Every time.

This doesn’t mean that I think social media is “bad” or “a waste of time.” Certainly not. Like any communication tool—a letter, an email, a blog post—social media can be used to connect, educate, inspire, and do wonderful things. That being said, if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with social media lately, if you’ve been feeling tired of it, wanting to re-evaluate how you use it, or perhaps even wanting to take a break from it, I wrote a few articles that might interest you…

Here is a ritual for making social media feel “magical” again. Remember the early days of the Internet, when we all felt such wonder and awe? But now, many of us feel overwhelmed and burned by all the nonstop chatter and noisy demands. In this article, I share a ritual for helping you take strides toward bringing some magic back into your digital life by fostering clarity and intentionality.

Or maybe you too want to “break up” with social media? If so, I have a ritual for doing exactly that.

Something I hear about from many of my clients and students is the possibility of obsessing over someone else’s social media account. This is a case of social media jealousy and yep, there’s a ritual for that!

I hope those articles give you some interesting things to contemplate—and perhaps some new things to try.

You can choose to stay active on social media, or cut back, or drop out, and all of those choices are equally beautiful in their own ways. Whatever is best for you, is just right.

xo,

P.S. Curious about my decision to drop off social media? Got some follow-up questions you’d love to ask? Feel free to attend the virtual coffee chat that I’m hosting on Wednesday, January 30th at 10:00 am cdt and ask anything! This get together is a chance for us to chat about… anything and everything. I welcome questions about social media or questions about business, writing, creativity, rituals, ceremonies, my new book, or anything else. Click this link when it’s time for the virtual coffee chat to begin!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Animalia Stellarum ~ Leo the Lion

Divination and Dreams

L

eo resonates with the element of Fire and is a fixed sign. The Sun is in Leo from July 22nd through August 22nd. Leo is the 5th sign in the zodiacal wheel, marking the point of the deep Summer moving into late summer in the Northern Hemisphere and deep Winter moving late Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Represented by the Lion, Leo speaks to creativity, boldness, influence, luxury, Kingship/Queenship, and self-expression.

The Lion as Leo

Like its preceding sign of Cancer, Leo is strongly associated with the legendary figure of Hercules and his first task, defeating the Nemean Lion. But the story of Leo starts long before that. As the sign of Taurus, the constellation of Leo has been recognized almost universally as that of a lion. It is one of the oldest constellations of record recognized in both Sumeria and Babylon and has always been associated first and foremost with royalty and kingship. One of the original 48 constellations described by 2nd century Ptolemy, Leo is now among the 88 recognized constellations today and a beloved site in the sky for stargazing due to its uniquely bright stars.

These two initial features of an association with royalty and bright star clusters already give us a sense of how Leo works. Often one of the more maligned signs of the Zodiac, best expressed in the unkind statement “All ego Leo,” Leo is actually the point within the Zodiac, and within our own natal charts, where we discover what hidden talents we have that support us in rulership and also in shining brightly.

Kingship has long been associated with this sign and it is worth noting that to be a King or to be a Queen did not always mean seizing power unlawfully and lording it over the peons. Many ancient traditions had various ways of electing or appointing their royal rulers and in many places, the mark of a good King or Queen was the health and well-being of their people and land. Along the same lines, just as Cancer is associated with the Mother and the Mothering qualities that we all possess, Leo is associated with the Father and the Fathering qualities that we all carry within us. While working with Cancer we were encouraged to get clear about our relationship to our Mother, our ability to Mother and the connection between Mothering and nourishment, Leo supports us as we meet our inner Father and work on our relationship to power.

The story of the Nemean lion is clearly a tailing of a much older story that involves the wild God Dionysus and his rock and roll ways. Dionysus is the God of the Grape, Wine, and the Wild. He is described as a “foreign” God meaning that he was not Greek originally and most likely much older. He is also a dying God, one who dies back and then resurrects again each year, just as the grapes and other greeneries do. In the legends that surround Dionysus, we see a powerful and charismatic deity who is charming and persuasive, especially to women.

Flirtation, charm, enthusiasm, and fun are all classic traits that Leo shares with the God of the Grape. But Dionysus was not interested in women in a sexual manner, for the most part, he was interested in having a party and the more influential the people who showed up were, the better. In this way too Leo is invoked, for as Leo situates us with respect to our personal power one of the natural questions that comes up is where do I, and where do I not, have influence?

Dionysus was strongly associated with the Lion and is often depicted wearing a Lion skin (and little else). Cut to the tale of the Nemean Lion – a Lion who held women captive in order to persuade their men to come and attempt to rescue them, and then, when the men did arrive, would devour them.

In actual history, the rites that honored Dionysus were in many cases open only to women and men were strictly prohibited from participating. One notable exception to this is the tragic and comedic dramas that were performed in Athens every year as part of the rites in honor of Dionysus. Leo, of course, is the sign most strongly associated with the theatrical arts.

The Nemean Lion was defeated by Hercules and the women were set free, but in a curious move, Zeus, the headsman of the Gods (and the father of Dionysus), elevated the Lion into the heavens and created a constellation of him. Some say this was to honor the heroic feat of Hercules but others find this move to be telling that the Nemean Lion was a stand in for Dionysus – a God who wielded a very different kind of power, just as Leo can.

The Lion as Animal: By Sara Magnuson

Lion – King of the Jungle. Except Lions don’t really live in the jungle, but we’ll get to that.

Lion generally brings to mind power and strength. In fact, it’s hard to see Lion’s weaknesses for all its grandeur and magnificence. The strengths of Lion are obvious and many; nonetheless, let’s paint a clear picture of this glorious creature.

Panthera leo is the second largest Cat, after Tiger, and lives primarily in savannas and open grassland. A lion is an apex predator and a keystone predator. This means that Lion is at the top of its food chain and it is prey to very few. As a keystone predator, Lion plays an important role in controlling the population of its prey. Weighing in at 400-500 lbs and 6-11 ft in length (including the tail), they are formidable, to say the least. They can run up to 50 mph, strike their claws with over 300 lbs of force, and bite with over 600 lbs of pressure. Like all Cats, their senses of hearing, vision, and smell are exceptional and are most acute at night. Lions rest (i.e. lay around) for 16-20 hrs a day – again, like all Cats – but that’s where their similarities end.

Unlike any other Cat in the Felidae family, which includes house cats, Lions are social. They live in groups we all know as a pride, which consists of 2-4 males (called a coalition), 5-7 females, and their offspring. Each adult Lion plays a very specific role and cooperation is key. Females are at the core of the pride social unit and do not tolerate outsiders. Prides are lineage-based and membership almost always only changes with the birth and death of the females within the pride. Few Lions live solitary lives and those that do spend most of the time looking for another pride to join. It is rare for females to accept a lone Lioness into the pride and males will only accept lone males after a fierce battle.

Lions are also unique among Cats in the way they express gender, physically and behaviorally. In most Cats, there’s no obvious difference between males and females; you have to look at their genitals to tell them apart. Lions, on the other hand, exhibit sexual dimorphism – an outward, physical distinction between the sexes beyond their reproductive organs.

The mane of the Lion is the most obvious difference from the Lioness and tells many things about him. How big or small his mane is, how thick or thin it is, and its color all tell about genetic preconditions, sexual maturity/testosterone production, and climate. It turns out that darker fuller manes are usually favored among females. The larger of the two sexes, his role in the pride is very distinct – eat, mate, defend territory, protect other members of the pride. He rarely hunts, leaving that to the Lionesses. When not patrolling the borders of his territory, he is often found looking after the cubs while the females are finding dinner. The lifespan of the Lion is about 10 years, much shorter than the Lioness’ 14-15 years, and the cause of death is typically injury from other Lions. He is best at defending and protecting and that’s what he does.

The Lioness is an elegant and complex creature. It is within and amongst the women that the cooperative nature of Lion shines. Due to her slightly smaller size and lack of mane, Lioness is the more effective hunter – she is swifter, more agile, and aerodynamic than her male counterpart. While they can run very fast, they can only do so in short bursts, so if they miss a catch it’s usually due to lack of endurance. Within their hunting groups, each Lioness plays a very specific role that is strictly observed and carried out. Some females fan out to the sides, while others flank the prey, and still, others do the actual pouncing. Their maneuvers are smooth and precise because they know and trust that each Lioness will fulfill her position on the team.

The cooperative nature of the Lioness goes even further with raising their young. The females of a pride will synchronize their menstrual cycles to facilitate cooperative cub rearing. It is much easier to have groups of cubs that are around the same age rather than cubs at all different stages all the time. Females share the duties of providing the general needs of the cubs and are diligent mothers. The Lioness moves all of her cubs to a new den about once a month so their scent doesn’t build up and attract predators of the babies. At 2-4 years of age, male Lions are pushed out by the females to join the other adult males, while the young females remain with the core group of Lionesses.

Lions collaborate, coordinate, and unite. All this cooperation provides many benefits – protection, maintenance of territory, less injury, and kin selection (i.e. increased survival of kin vs self). Lions are extraordinarily distinct from one another in their appearance and actions and those born under the sign of Leo contain all the qualities of both the Lion and the Lioness. One could not exist without the other. The true power of Lion is twofold – power comes from complete ownership of its strengths and weaknesses; and power comes from an unflinching trust in the pride. Each Lion knows what it’s best at and doesn’t try to be something it’s not. The lion walks proudly with its golden fur shimmering in the sunlight, daring anyone and everyone to question their identity.

During the Sun’s transit through Leo, we ask all of you to draw on the powerful energy of this heavenly body and, no matter what you look like on the outside, own yourself in all your magnificent glory. Draw on the nature of Lion and Lioness and know that you are a strong, powerful, majestic creature.

Call on The Lion When…

  • You want to cultivate a sense of power and authority.
  • You desire to shine bright and bold!
  • You are ready to take your creative life and vision seriously.
  • You wish to bring more luxury and quality into your life.
  • You need more fun!
  • You wish to express yourself more sincerely and authentically.
  • You are ready for the spotlight.
  • You are excited to bring more play into your life.
  • You need more enthusiasm in your life.
  • You would like to take more care of your physical appearance.
  • You want to associate with power brokers and influential people.
  • You want more passion!

Be Wary Of

  • Arrogance – There is a fine line between Pride and Arrogance and Leo often has trouble spotting exactly where that line is. This is a wonderful area of the chart to work with when you need to develop a sense of healthy pride and ownership but watch out for that pride turning into the kind of arrogance that can result in the loss of friends, allies, and so much more.
  • Selfishness – Wherever Leo occurs in your chart is a place where you are very much meant to be seen and heard. Well, and good but this can easily turn into a feeling that you and ONLY you are the figures that matter. Leo rules the heart of the body so it is a good idea to keep it firmly in mind that when we come from our heart we make room for everyone and nip any selfish “me and only me” attitudes in the bud.
  • Superficiality – Leo can encourage us to take more pride in our personal experience – to look and feel glamorous (whatever that means to you). When we are in the high Leo vibe we often love to get shiny jewelry, a new hairdo, and some nice makeup. There is nothing wrong with that but Leo does well to remember that outer appearance and inner essence really are two different things, they can speak to each other but don’t mistake one for the other.

Questions to Ponder for Leo:

Leo, the Lion, shows up in everyone’s chart – there is no such thing as “I don’t have Leo” because it is a cluster of stars in the sky and it is always there. Wherever Leo occurs in your chart these questions will help you get to know it better.

  • What is my relationship to power and authority?
  • What is the realm that I “rule” over?
  • Where do I have a special ability to carry more influence and clout?
  • What is the role of play in my life?
  • Where do I love to spoil myself?
  • What have I learned from my relationship with my father?
  • What luxury am I ready to indulge in?
  • What am I creating?

Meditation/Active Imagination Journey:

Cultivate Calmness.
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 in a great savanna under the blazing sun. The light around you is golden and the sun’s warmth feels good on your skin and a soft breeze blows through your hair.

See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel the golden light all around you and the beat of your own heart. As you are ready, see, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel the appearance of a great golden Lion that is running towards you in time with your own heart’s rhythm. Affirm and acknowledge that the proud beast means you no harm.

See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel its golden presence and it comes ever closer to you. When you are ready look into its tawny eyes and feel its hot breath on your skin. 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 celestial Lion, Leo.

Acknowledge that it does not matter where Leo 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 and so we can all learn from it.

As you are ready, close your eyes and take a deep breath inward. See, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel, the presence of the Lion before you. Affirm that its powerful form is part of its message. Note what the initial message is for you at this time.

When you are ready, breathe in a blessing on yourself and your Lion familiar, exhaling in gratitude.
Then, ask the Lion what you need to know about power and creativity right now.
Listen to the answers you receive and it begins to lick your palm with its sandpaper tongue.

Affirm and acknowledge the answers and, as you are ready, ask the Lion any other questions you have at this time.

Take time to listen with care.

Then, as you are ready, breath a blessing onto the Lion’s face and then see, sense, touch, know, hear, and feel as it retreats back into the tall grasses. Affirm and acknowledge the blessing you have received.
As you are ready, bring awareness back to your present place here and now, and then set about your work of claiming your deep power once more.

Altar/Ritual

For this ritual, we’ll be honoring the masculine/feminine sides of ourselves individually, as well as the place where they blend – all under the shining glory of the Sun.

What you will need:

4 candles – red/pink, blue, purple, and yellow (any shade of these colors is fine)
3-5 items that represent your masculine side and/or represent masculinity in general to you; these should be positive symbols for you; the goal is to *honor* the masculine side of yourself; suggestions – an arrow, a horn or antler, a High John the Conqueror Root
3-5 items that represent your feminine side and/or represent femininity in general to you; again, these should be positive symbols for you; the goal is to *honor* the feminine side of yourself; suggestions – a pomegranate, anything in the shape of a circle, a Queen Elizabeth Root
1-5 items that represent the blend of masculine and feminine within you, the parts of you that are not gender specific
Optional – if you already identify with a particular spiritual path or cultural group, use items that symbolically represent male, female, and gender-blending and/or gender-neutral within that context to further your connections.

The Ritual:

Think of your altar as a triangle, with two base points closest to you and the peak opposite.
At the right base point, place the blue candle.
To the right of the candle, place the items you have chosen to represent masculinity.
At the left base point, place the red/pink candle.
To the left of the candle, place the items you have chosen to represent femininity.
At the peak, place the purple candle.
Above the peak, place the items that you have chosen to represent the blend of masculine and feminine.
In the center, place the yellow candle to represent the Sun fueling the triangle.
Light the yellow Sun candle first.
Next, light the candle that you identify with most (it’s ok to light the purple candle first) and move toward the candle that you identify with the least.
As you go, draw power from the Sun and the candle you lit first.
Moving on, use that power to honor the other parts of yourself and the knowledge within them.
Sit with candles for at least 10 minutes, meditating on the flames, the symbols, how they work together, and the everlasting Sun catalyzing the effort.

Let the candles burn as long as you can without being interrupted. If you must put them out, be sure to re-light and sit with them again until they’ve burned completely down. Once complete, collect any leftover candle wax and bury it outside altogether.
Collect the symbols you used during this candle rite and arrange them however you see fit – keep them on your altar or create separate spaces for each part of the triangle. You can also bury them outside with the candle wax, again all together.

Remember: always observe a common sense of fire safety when burning candles!

About my Co-Author:

Sara Magnuson was the co-founder of Candlesmoke Chapel, a purveyor of spiritual supplies and provider of various spiritual services that were 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.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

A Preponderance of the Little Ones

Lunar Letter

D

ear Miracles, In older times, the faeries were called by our ancestors “the little ones”, among other things, just as in the ancient times the triple sisters of vengeance known as the Furies were called “the kindly ones.”  Our long ago people thought: perhaps if we call the Furies kindly, they will be so to us. And perhaps if we call the older than old faerie folk the “little ones”,  they will not exert their big powers in rotting crops, calling forth drought, and sending bad dreams to stalk us through the night. This use of Euphemism in language has been traditionally exercised out of politeness, but also out of a desire to protect and keep safe.

It is hard for many of us, even soulful seekers, to take the idea of a faerie seriously. Yet we will easily agree many of the forces forming the warp and weft of our physical world and experience truly are smaller than small, highly unpredictable, and not ever completely understood.

Storytellers of old sing of a strange and destructive beast called Rumor – with its thousand wings and countless yellow eyes and mouths – and with Greed or Fear, Rumor could run rampant through a crowd touching one person after another until all were in the thrall and utterly bewitched. No, this is not something that still happens today. Or is it?
Faerie lore and a “preponderance of the small things” – as one of the hexagrams in the I Ching advises – is common to many different storytelling traditions, even though the names we use and the explanations we give may vary from place to place and time to time.  I think the reason why must be because there is something true in these stories. The battle is not for the very big, but the very small and overlooked. We can best understand the very big, the very great, the very awesome and mighty by attending to the small, the humble, the everyday…by blessing the little ones, in all the ways they become manifest in our life.
The little actions we engage in every day, that together make up the sum of our days, our weeks, our years, our very lives – if our greatness is not rooted here, then where? The small acts, most often unseen, inexpensive for us in most ways, are apparently insignificant, but for some may mean the world because they lead to new possibilities, to fresh ways of seeing and thinking, and to the good medicines we carry in our hearts. This action, this way of living, is mostly quiet. It is not a crowd-pleaser, not an attention grabbing headline, does not stoke fires of division, but is rather much more interested in simply getting down to work and being of good help – not in intention only, but in a way that is truly productive.  There is nothing more deeply revolutionary than this.
Of late much has been said about being big, thinking big, acting big. Then there is the ubiquitous phrase: Go big or go home, a phrase much loved by some of my people, Texans, and it captures the experience of confronting the massive quite well – you can allow yourself to swept up and lost in its powerful currents or you can go home. The unsaid part of course is that “losers” go home and “winners” go big. But do they really?
I am struck by the fact that the most famous journeys in literature, whether we speak of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, or the great Indian epic the Mahabharata, are all about returning home and going through the extraordinary effort to end up not in a position of more power or prestige, but rather to return home, to return to the beloveds, to a life filled with the little things: small, every day, seemingly insignificant, and deeply precious. In other words, they don’t go big, they go home; they go small. The big waves come and go; but it is the little ones – lovers touching, babies crying, work-finding, joy-making, and life-living that are perennial and ever present. The plants and flowers may change season to season but the root stock is sure.
I remind myself of this timeless truth when the world feels too big and fast, and the chasms feel too deep and wide to ever be bridged. The hidden roots remain, for they are tended to by the Little Ones, the least of us, that is, and the smallest acts we do, and the ways we live – in others words, by the very qualities and actions that true depth, vastness, and wonder most require. May the little ones be blessed in our lives ever and always.
Divination:
Under the full moon and lunar eclipse in Leo on 2/10 there is a good opportunity to break any patterns that need breaking –  including getting caught up in the too big and the too loud and neglecting the little.  And so our divination questions focus us:

What is the small thing, the little one most asking for your attention and care right now?

What practical actions can you take to tend it?

In love and service,
 Bri

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

New Moon Blessing in honor of Leo

Lunar Letter

N

ew Moon Blessing for Leo

Come now and quicken to life bright spark, still now burning in the ashes and ruin and rubble of what was not to be.
Covered over, covered up, hidden from sight still you burn, giving off light, devouring excess and turning it, once more, into bright warmth, one of the oldest magics.

Call us to ourselves.
Call us together.
Call us to one another.

So that we might cook and feast and be nourished.
So that we might dance and laugh and make love, skin on skin under the moon on the coldest night.
So that we might tell stories to each other, looking through the flickering shadows you cast on the walls, and into each others’ eyes.
Witnessing how every soul is radiantly gorgeous in the light you shine forth, through the ruin and the rubble, seeing clearly.
We remember you bright spark, burning in all the shadowed places.
Warm us little sun star spark so that our blood dances, our hands speak, and our hearts beat out the sacred drum, giving beat and resonance as our voices lift up and are heard,
once more.

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.