Star Stories: December Edition

Divination and Dreams

M

iracles,

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!

The Sun
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?

The Moon
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?

Mercury
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?

Venus:
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?

Mars:
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:
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:
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?

Uranus:
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
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:
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,
Bri

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.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

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.

Animalia Stellarum ~ Sagittarius the Centaur

Divination and Dreams

W

e continue our jaunt through the Stars and their Earthly inspirations by considering the next sign, Sagittarius.

Sagittarius is the 9th sign in the zodiacal wheel, attuned to the element of Fire, and is a mutable sign. The Sun is in Sagittarius from November 21st through December 21st. Mutable signs always mark transition points in time and Sagittarius is no exception as it marks the turning from deep Autumn into early Winter. Represented by the Centaur – a mythic creature depicted as having the torso and upper body of a man and the hindquarters of a horse – Sagittarius is a sign of contradictions. Like its real life horse counterpart, no matter what else Sagittarius may be up to you will find that they are both social and highly sensitive, intelligent in mind and in body.

Sagittarius ConstellationCentaur as Sagittarius: By Briana Saussy

Sagittarius, like its opposing sign of Gemini, has two distinct natures and these are reflected in its stories. The constellation that is sometimes simply known as “the archer” is widely agreed upon to be a centaur, a so-called mythic being that is half man and half horse and a being that in actuality expresses the beauty and power of natural horsemen and horsewomen, human beings who are especially gifted at riding upon, hunting from, and working with horses.

If you have been privileged to know such a person and watch them ride, then it is very clear where the image of the centaur came from – for there are some people who seem so at home upon a horse that they themselves become part of the horse and the horse becomes part of them. You can see how, even before we get into the myths proper, there is a dual nature within this sign so let us explore that more in depth now.

The confusion begins with a name. Specifically the story of Sagittarius is connected to two names. The first is Chiron. Known to astrologers for the asteroid that bears his title, in the ancient world Chiron was the best-known and best beloved of the Centaurs. Because of his divine parentage (no less than Zeus was his father) and his initial teachers Apollo and Artemis, he was markedly different than the other centaurs whose natures closely resembled that of the Satyrs (we will return to this but for now just make a note).

Centaur for SagittariusWhereas most Centaurs were rowdy, lascivious, wild, and rambunctious; Chiron was serious, wise, a remarkably gifted healer and astrologer, and was best known as a teacher to some of the most famous names in the Greek pantheon including Jason (of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece fame), Peleus (the father of Achilles), Achilles (of the Trojan War), Perseus (the hero who defeated the gorgon Medusa), Asclepius (the most gifted of the ancient healers), Heracles (also known as Hercules the strongest man), Theseus (who defeated the Minotaur) and Ajax.

Chiron taught skills of horsemanship (obviously), taking aim and hunting successfully, sports and games, arbitration (one of his most famous rules was to never decide until both sides of an argument have been heard), astrology, and healing among many other subjects. Chiron is known as the “wounded healer” because he obtained a wound that he refused to heal.

He was shot with an arrow that had been tipped with a lethal poison. Some versions claim that one of Chiron’s students, usually Heracles, committed the act, and most tellings agree that the poison the arrow had been tipped in was one that could be used for healing and that Chiron had actually taught his students to make the concoction. He is the wounded healer because though he was immortal, Chiron’s decision to not heal his own wound allowed another famous figure, Prometheus, to gain freedom from his eternal punishment of being chained to a cliff and having a vulture peck out his liver, every single day, a sentence he was given for the crime of giving mortals the gift of fire. When Chiron willingly sacrificed himself and took Prometheus’ place the Gods were so impressed that they allowed him to ascend to the heavens and become the constellation Sagittarius, or did they?

Some of the tales claim that when Chiron ascended into the heavens he became the constellation Centaurus and then there are the stories that connect the star sign of Sagittarius to an entirely different name, that of the Satyr Crotus, the son of Pan.

A Satyr can sometimes be confused with a Centaur but where Centaurs have the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse, Satyrs are most commonly depicted in ancient art as having the body of a man with the hooves, tail, and beard, and sometimes ears or other features, of a goat. In some depictions they are a mix of both horse and goat which is interesting from an astro angle seeing as the zodiac sign next to Sagittarius is Capricorn, also known as the goat.

If Centaurs were known for being wild and lascivious, Satyrs were seen as positively raunchy. They were followers of both Pan and the God of Wine Dionysus and are ithyphallic (with penis always erect) in most artistic depictions. Satyrs call to mind the wild, unchecked, sexual urge. They also served a religious function during the ancient holy days very similar to what we might think of as Trickster. Their ribald jokes, sexual erections, and apparent inability to hold their liquor all made them seem absurd and ridiculous; but they were disciples of Dionysus and as such were honored during the major feast days through sacred drama. What we often think of as the Greek tragedies were plays compose for religious festivals honoring Dionysus. Before the three main tragic plays were performed the roads would be opened with a Satyr play – a shorter, humorous, performance that both poked fun of and celebrated the simple pleasures of life: good good, good drink, good sex, and joy.

Back to Sagittarius’ other source: Crotus was one of the better known Satyrs and was most beloved by the Muses. He is credited with inventing archery and the art of hunting animals. Crotus lived with the Muses (Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania) who oversaw various art forms and it is they who requested that he ascend to the stars as the sign of Sagittarius because he invented applause to thank them and celebrate their brilliance.

So let’s pull this all together. We have two radically different potential sources for the sign of Sagittarius. Strong voices in our culture would tell us that we have to pick one or the other story in order to really get Sagittarius but we know better, we will come to understand the sign best through both tales for Sagittarius is both the wise healer and the vibrant Trickster.

When we get to know Sagittarius in our own charts and among our friends and family members it all becomes clear. Both Crotus and Chiron are at play here. In Sagittarius’ love of being outdoors, typically casual attitudes towards relationships, love, and sex, and love of a good time and party (remember the sign is also Jupiter ruled) we see the Satyr Crotus and son of Pan showing up. Sagittarius is known as the free spirit of the zodiac and if that doesn’t sound Satyr-like I am not sure what does! And yet there is more to the story. For Sagittarius is also the sign and sector of the chart that rules religion, philosophy, and teaching, and truth-telling. In these areas we see the influence of the beloved teacher Chiron. We also see the aspect of the wounded healer and can read that as part of the stellar narrative – the wound is received/discovered in Scorpio and then with Sagittarius as our guide we learn the ways of wisdom and the wild that allow for the healing process to begin.

How do we start that healing process?

With Sagittarius, the Centaur, Satyr, and Horse as our guides the answer is simple: saddle up and take aim at what matters most.

 SagittariusCentaur As Animal: By Sara Magnuson

We have learned that the Centaur is a creature of two types, typically Man and Horse, but what does that mean? What is it like to be part Horse and how can that be unified with the nature of Humans? To contemplate what it means to be as-one with this magnificent creature we must try to understand their physicality and senses, their intelligence and intuitive abilities.

Belonging to the family Equidae, which dates to over 50 million years ago (mya), Horses as we know them look very different from their ancient relatives. Of the genus Equus, Horses, Zebras, and Donkeys are the only still-living relatives of the Equidae family. What we recognize fully as Horse today originated in North America about 4 mya and migrated across land-bridges to Eurasia, only to eventually circle back to North America. The last prehistoric North American Horses, the true “Wild Horses,” died out about 10,000 years ago, but by then they had spread across the globe. The Horses that roam our country today are actually feral Horses brought to North America in the early 1500s by the Spanish. They have been left to run wild and free for centuries, creating their own free-ranging herds.

Horse is an intuitive, sensitive creature, as it must be to meld with the human form, but before we get into that let’s get a picture of their physical nature. Horse can live up to 30 years and is of great stature – measuring 4-6 ft tall, not including the neck and head, and weighing between 800 to over 2000 lbs with more than 60% of their body mass being muscle. Horse’s body temperature runs hotter than ours and their hearts beat much slower. As big and strong as Horse seems to us humans, in the animal world they are considered prey and their senses reflect that.

Horse has the largest eyes of any currently living land mammal, one on each side of their head giving them almost 360° vision, yet overall their vision is only slightly better than humans. Their big eyes give them the advantage of detecting the smallest of movements; a much needed impression for a prey animal. Being red-green color blind, they are good at seeing greens and blues, which is an advantage to an herbivore like Horse. Horse’s sense of taste is highly attuned and their tongue can identify toxic plants, as well as distinguish between sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. Closely connected to taste, their ability to smell is average, but they possess the Jacobson’s Organ (humans do not) that allows them to detect pheromones. Horse has excellent hearing with each of their two ears being able to rotate independently up to 180°. These sensitive beings can hear ultrasonic frequencies (think Bats) as well as very low frequencies such as the low growls of a predator or the rumbling of another herd moving in Horse’s direction. The ability to detect poisonous plants and the pheromones of other creatures, the possession of radar-like hearing, and a highly acute visual sensitivity to movement are adaptations that have allowed a prey animal like Horse to survive for millennia.

The body of Horse is extremely delicate and responsive. Covered with hair, Horse is so sensitive that they can feel a fly on just one strand. Imagine the sensitivity of your fingertips, but all over your whole body. The manes and tails of Horse have been (and still are) used for a myriad of things – from pottery and jewelry to fabrics and brushes to weaponry and musical instruments. Horse also makes a variety of sounds, each labeled with unique terminology – whinnying, neighing, nickering, squealing, groaning, blowing, snorting, etc. Through body language and their senses of touch and sound, Horse communicates their moods and preferences to each other, as well as to other animals, including humans.

Left to their own natural ways, Horse is a highly social herd animal that doesn’t like to be isolated. There’s a pecking order within the ranks of a herd and smaller bands are formed comprised of one adult male stallion, several females (with a dominant mare), and their offspring. The dominant mare of the whole herd knows where all the good resources are, like food and water, and oversees the daily routine of the group while keeping the general peace. The stallion stays on the edges marking territory, offering protection, and “herding the herd” together. Domesticated Horses often live in herds that have been formed artificially by owners and breeders (or no herd at all) so these natural relationships and behaviors can exhibit a great deal of variation.

While domestication can be controversial, it is what brings Horse in to union with Man. An exact date is unknown for the taming and training of Horse, but evidence suggests this relationship began at least 5000 years ago. Horse’s first function with humans was to provide work-labor and transportation, which was crucial in the development of civilizations and agriculture. Once this dynamic was established Horse became an integral part of various aspects of human life. No longer used solely for pulling plows or chariots, Horse’s skills became an asset in wars, sports, products, entertainment, and even therapy.

As Briana mentioned at the beginning, those humans that have learned how to communicate and synchronize their bodies with Horse show us that we do not simply control Horse; there has been a process of adaptation and learning on the part of Man as well. You can’t just jump on any old Horse and start riding around like you own the place. Horse allows you to ride and it is at Horse’s discretion to deny you this privilege. In our modern world, we have made it so that we primarily see only the well-behaved side of Horse (the teacher/Chiron side, if you will), putting them to work doing what they are skilled at. But just like humans, Horses are emotional, social, curious, playful animals (the Satyr side) that form companionship attachments with other creatures. Serious horse riders know that tending to the emotional/social connection is the only way to have a healthy relationship based on mutual respect. Horse must have trust and faith in its rider and the rider must do the same. If one or the other exerts too much control or behaves negatively, both feel the consequences and the dynamic is damaged. Horses and Humans have many of the same needs and so it makes sense that these two animals can so easily merge into one magnificent, exalted creature like the Centaur.

Call on Sagittarius When:

  • You need to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
  • You are considering teaching as a profession or part of your work in the world.
  • You want to continue your education – especially higher education.
  • You need to adopt a more detached and objective attitude towards matters of the heart.
  • You are have an adventure, especially those that take place outside.
  • You need to learn something deeply and weave it into your philosophy of life.
  • You are ready to have a party!
  • You need to connect with the Wild.
  • You are ready to pursue wisdom.
  • You want more spiritual and/or religious devotion in your life.
  • You need more freedom.
  • You are ready to take aim.

Be Wary Of:

  • Flakiness – Sagittarius can sometimes be too easy-going and forget about previous commitments and schedules.
  • Rigidity – when coming from the place of truth-teller and religious disciple Sagittarius can be extremely fixed on their understanding of all that is right, wrong, and in-between.
  • Commitment phobia – Freedom is THE key theme for Sagittarius so anything or anyone too clingy will get the boot.
  • Over-indulgence – Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius has a hard time knowing when enough is enough sometimes can go overboard.
  • Emotional aloofness – Sagittarius loves relating to people but sometimes can hold issues that some find very triggering in a completely objective, overly mental, manner that does not sit well with others.

Questions to Ponder:

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

  • Where am I naturally gifted at healing myself and/or others?
  • What is my relationship to all that is wild and untamed – what has it taught/continues to teach me?
  • What does freedom mean to me? Where do I feel free? Where do I feel trapped?
  • What is my relationship to play and seriousness?
  • What would I most like to celebrate?
  • What am I ready to learn?
  • What am I ready to teach?
  • What is wisdom for me and where do I find it?

Active Imagination Journey:

The mythology of Centaur is based on the reality of expert horse riders; men and women who moved so harmoniously with Horse that they gave the impression of a single unified being. Those with the gift of horsemanship are seen as wise and powerful because they can work intuitively and cooperatively with the elements of freedom and wildness. This meditation will allow you to encounter Horse and ask for its guidance in exploring the untamed places where we are perceptive, powerful, truthful, wild, and liberated.

Sit comfortably and take a deep breath.

Close your eyes and listen to your breathing. Make each inhale and each exhale a little fuller and deeper than the last.

Feel your body slowly relaxing; feel each muscle letting go, your head; your chest; your arms and hands; your stomach; your hips, legs and feet; until all you are focused on is your breathing. Slowly in and slowly out.

See that you are walking on a smooth dirt path that is taking you through fields of green grass, as far as you can see. It is dusk and you are heading North. It is quiet and still and peaceful. Notice your steps, your heartbeat and your breath all in rhythm together.

The path curves and you see that the trees have grown together to form an archway above the path. As you approach, pause and take a deep breath. Feel any fear or worry leave your body and pass through the archway feeling strong and unafraid of what lies beyond.

You find yourself at the center of a four-way crossroads. Stand calmly in the center of the crossroads and feel the beauty of this sacred and powerful place. Feel that this is the center of all things. The place where all possibilities meet. Take a deep breath and feel at one with the Great Mystery.

Standing in the center of the crossroads, you are facing North, with the East to your right and the West to your left. Turn around to focus your attention behind you, to the South. You see that this path leads into a beautiful, warm, painted desert. You can feel the sun on your face and know that this is the womb of the element of Fire. Although it may feel wild and untamed, you are drawn to the heat and begin walking down this path into the unknown desert.

The sights, sounds, and smells are tangible to you now. Breath in the aromas, feel the air of the place on your skin. Listen to the sounds of life here. Look carefully around you and observe closely your immediate surroundings. Introduce yourself to this place. Convey that you are here as a caretaker and a protector. Spend some time here, walk around, explore what’s right around you, and get to know what’s here.

Find a spot that looks inviting to you and sit down. As you sit, notice how relaxed and at ease you feel in this setting; notice how comfortable it is to be in this spot, right now; notice how much you care about this space and all its inhabitants. Breathe deeply. Listen.

You hear something moving nearby and look slowly toward the sound. A noble, glorious Horse emerges before you. Greet the animal and sit very still. Focus on the calm rhythmic beating of your heart and take slow breaths. Allow Horse to circle you, smell you, sense you. After a time, and in a slow gentle motion, reach out to put your hand on Horse’s body and it moves closer to you in agreement. Notice how it feels, how it smells, what it sounds and looks like. Sit together for a moment in silence.

Convey to Horse that you are here as a friend and an ally. Ask respectfully for its guidance and promise to be trustworthy. Tell Horse that you are open to learning new ways and are ready to explore the uncharted territories within. Open your soul and listen to what Horse has to share with you.

When you are ready, thank Horse for its wisdom and generosity. Assure it that you will carry its traits and lessons proudly and with honor. Remember that you can always return to this place again. Wish Horse a safe and joyful life as it returns from where it came. Remain seated in this place for a moment and reflect on your encounter. Think about how you will carry this knowledge with you.

Slowly stand up and see the path that will lead you back to the center of the crossroads. As you reach the center, notice your breath and pause here to center yourself in your new-found wisdom. Face the threshold of the crossroads with a new understanding and sense of purpose. Take a long deep breath

When you are ready to return, the archway of trees and the path you originally walked opens before you. Follow it, going back the way you came, through fields of green grass as far as you can see. As you walk, you are aware of your steps, your heartbeat and your breath in rhythm together. Become aware of your presence in your physical body. Allow your mind to gently return to the present moment where you are sitting comfortably, listening to your breath. When you feel ready, open your eyes.

 

Altar and Ritual:

In honor of easy-breezy Sagittarius this is a pretty straightforward and simple ritual.

Begin by contemplating what you really need to aim for and at right now – what requires your undivided attention and focus, what have you been afraid of pursuing full out even though you know you need to

Got it?

Write it down. It can be a word, a phrase, or a 10 page letter – totally up to you.

As you write include what obstacle(s) have kept you from aiming true in this endeavor.

For now just note them, call up the Sagittarius objectivity and don’t get down on yourself or judge, just notice.

Now, with your petition in hand, go out into the natural world somewhere wild. Go somewhere where once upon a time great herds of horses ran over the ground with their manes flying behind them. This might be a park in the middle of a concrete city, it might be an arboretum or in the middle of a beloved wood.

Bring an offering.

You can bring whatever you like but knowing Centaurs and Satyrs as I do I would recommend some or all of the following: figs, honey, cream, goat cheese, good red wine, and sage.

Bring a spade and a container to hold a small amount of earth in.

Walk around until you find the just right place.

Say a blessing to and for all that is wild and free and offer up the goods you have brought.

Ask for permission to scoop up a bit of good earth so that you may apply the knowing of the wild to the wisdom you need in taking proper aim.

Once you have received permission scoop up a small amount of soil.

Conclude with any final offerings and thanksgivings.

Carry your earth back home and place it on a plate or bowl in your working space.

Set a candle in the center of this sacred earth, I recommend orange if you work with colors, otherwise white or natural beeswax work great.

Anoint the candle in any way that you like, affirming and acknowledging that this candle is opening the road so that the wisdom of the wild can be applied to the obstacle(s) that keep you from taking true aim at what matters most.

Choose a number of days to perform this ceremony – it can be 3, 7, or 14 depending on the obstacles you are dealing with – how big they are and how many there are.

Divide your candle into the appropriate sections – you can do this by sticking pins in the candle or simply eyeballing it. For instance, if you are working over 7 days then you will burn 7 segments of the candle and so on.

You can begin this work at any time in the lunar cycle and day, usually I do this at sunrise.

On the first day light your candle and then take a bit of the dirt you have collected and blend it into the dirt in your front or back yard. If you do not have a front or back yard, blend the dirt into the soil of a living plant in your home.

As you mix the earth in, ask that you be able to apply the wisdom of all that is wild and free to your particular situation so that your obstacles may be removed and your aim may be true.

Repeat this every day for the number of days you have chosen.

On the final day blend in the rest of the remaining dirt.

Take some time to reflect on all that you have done and for each obstacle you noted pick a practical action that will help you remove that obstacle and have true aim.

Once you have picked your actions, go do them.

 

About my Co-Author:

sara-magnusonSara Magnuson  is a crafter of spiritual supplies, a reader of cards, a diviner of animals, and the co-founder of Candlesmoke Chapel. Her personal practice is eclectic, animistic, and ancestral. The guidance she provides is based in the messages of Nature and its role in how we move through this world.

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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 luck 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, Sag 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 to 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 to 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 may be 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, 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 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 catalogue of scents.

Another gifted herbalist and potion make, Jen Rue of Three Cats and a Broom has something in 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

Folk lore 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.

The Biggest Question and the Best Answer

Lunar Letter

D

ear Miracles: As we spiral into the center of the solar year and prepare to celebrate the halfway mark of Summer Solstice, one question stands out more prominently than any other in my encounters with people. It is a question both timeless and timely, and, to my mind, the most ancient of questions, the very first question, the one from which all others spring, and the one to which all other questions point.

The question is: Why am I here?

There are many ways we ask the question. What is my life purpose? How do I find my life purpose? What am I really meant to do/be/create/contribute to the world? And most poignant of all: Who am I?

The question about the purpose or meaning of life is hard to ask for any sustained length of time, because it is rather vague, and easily lands us in a realm of endless speculation and pointless navel gazing. When so much of our time is spent immersed in particulars of the business of life, answering the question in some abstract and general way seems hardly satisfactory.

And yet, having the courage to ask this question, refusing to run away or hide from it, makes a tremendous difference in our lives. All genuine questions are a heart yearning, reaching out, for knowing, for deep connection. The question about purpose is a heart calling and a heart questing too; looking for an orientation with respect to the ultimate reality, to the things that really and truly matter. In much the same way that a sailor lost at sea, looks off into the sky seeking out the north star.

Every holy book of scripture, every miracle, every sacred chant and dance, every temple and holy sanctuary space is an implicit answer to the question Why am I here. Great religions and philosophical movements have been built around some of the answers. Other answers found themselves woven into the fabric of a single individual, or an entire community’s daily life. In the work that I have dedicated myself to – teaching the sacred arts and providing spiritual counseling – I have discovered the answer that I have found is best and most true. This answer lives behind an old, old, door, the kind we find nestled in the roots of an ancient tree or magically appearing in a brick wall, the kind that, once opened, leaves us profoundly changed, forever. And like all doors, this one requires a key, or three. So here we are, asking why we are here in the first place, and here is the door. Now we shall find the keys to unlock it.

Asking the question, truly living the question, being responsible to that questioning, is itself the first and most indispensable key. It takes great heart, great courage, great innocence and wisdom to ask why we are here, to ponder what it is really that we are meant to do and be in this life. To ask is the first key.

The second key to this oldest of old questions is found in considering what life purpose is not, and where we cannot and will not find it.

From an early age, children are routinely asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” (Or what college do you want to go to?) This is to confuse life purpose with career, with our function in society, with what we do professionally.  We ask children to tell us not who they are right here and now but rather what, not who but what, they will become. The expected answers are known by rote: astronaut, doctor, lawyer, investment banker, teacher but never a kind person, faithful lover, patient gardener, gifted creator.

The customary, habitual identification between life purpose and career is a huge mistake. It is understandable one, since as members of our modern political-economies we must make a living in a world in which social and economic roles are defined functionally. It is a habit to think this way, but not the only, and not the best way.

Habits are tricky.  They hide themselves in daylight as second nature.  But like most problematic habits, this one relies on our willingness, yours and mine, to ignore what we see and experience every single day.  What our actual experience tells us is the opposite of our conventional way of thinking. What we do in the world by means of our “job”, our “work” is only a part, a very small sliver, of the entire story of who we are, where we come from, and what we are capable of creating. The panic we feel when when we misplace our wallets or our phones may betray the degree to which we easily identify ourselves with these symbols. But we know the truth, when the wallet is lost, when the phone is damaged, life still goes on. We breathe in and out, babies are born, our lives continue on, we deal.

So why persist in deceiving ourselves, by thinking if only I have this job, or this degree, only then will I be happy when everything in our actual living experience tells us the opposite?

And so here is the second key: pay fresh attention to what you actually experience, as opposed to what habit says you experience.

When we begin to pay attention, and to honor what we find in that process, something amazing occurs. More opportunities and choices appear than we otherwise thought were possible. We learn to show up and offer our gifts and talents to others. We begin to grow and deepen not only in our jobs but in our lives. To see that our work does not and cannot define our greater purpose in life is to experience greater freedom in that very work than we might ever know otherwise. The Wheel of Fortune card in the Tarot shows us this explicitly: fortune and fame, reputation and honor – they come and they go, they wax and wane like the moon, and what remains constant? The deepest, most alive, most essential part of you.

And it is in this we find the third key, the one that ultimately unlocks the magic door and reveals the treasure inside: We are here for all that is good. Good to our selves. Good to one another.  The word good, coming to us from Old English, Proto-Germanic, and Old Norse, has a root sense that means complete. That principle of completion, of goodness? I call it soul. You are here and I am here to live our most soulful life.

And though we may be burned and bruised and battered in thousands of ways that deepest part of us remains always free, whole, healthy, holy, and alive, blessedly alive.

Listen to this Lunar Letter here.

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

The Best Way to handle Jupiter Retrograde

Divination and Dreams

D

ear Miracles, Although Mercury Retrograde tends to get all of the press, when the outer planets go retrograde the effects last longer and often go deeper.

Take Jupiter for instance: the Guru/God planet goes retrograde in its orbit on 2/6/17 and will not be direct until 6/9/17.

A quick re-cap for those who forgot or don’t know — Jupiter is attuned to abundance, kingdoms and kings, wealth, prosperity, festivals, and feasts. The planet rules the sign Sagittarius and is exalted in the 9th house of the zodiac.

So what happens when it retrogrades? Remember that a retrograde is the absolute best time to do any activities that begin with “re”. So…reassess, recommit, review, etc. I find that optimizing retrogrades always begins with a core question…if I can ask the right question then I can really use the time of the retrograde to increase my clarity and wisdom around it’s theme. The question for this retrograde:

What and how does abundance teach me?

Think about the role of abundance in your life, right now. What do you have enough of, not enough of, too much of? How do you feel about people/organizations/businesses that have more of what you think you want? How do those attitudes in turn reflect back into your own life?

From a ritual perspective there has never been a better time to work on diminishing debts of all kinds.

What patterns have you experienced during planetary retrogrades?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Find your Freedom

Lunar Letter

Solid Gold pendant with the Sagittarius Archer by Van Cleef and Arpels
Solid Gold pendant with the Sagittarius Archer by Van Cleef and Arpels

On Saturday we celebrate a wildly radiant New Moon. Just a reminder, the New Moon is the best possible time to plant new seeds, ideas, creative aspirations, and start various projects and missions.

Every month we are blessed with a New Moon in a different Zodiac sign and this month the moon shines her dark glory down on us from Sagittarius — the freedom-loving, travel-happy archer.

Sagittarius, associated with the 9th house of the zodiac wheel and the planet Jupiter, is the great teacher. The Sanskrit work for teacher is Guru and linguistically related to the word “gravity.” This is what real teaching possesses — gravity. Not in the sense of everything is oh so dire and dreadful, but in the sense that we are serious…about living our best possible life, walking our true paths, and cultivating love in all of our actions.

Hitting the bull’s eye has real gravitas, it carries weight, and who better to teach that skill than the Archer? What does he encourage us to aim for?

Freedom.

Because here is the truth: when we cultivate freedom, real freedom, we also cultivate our ability to commit to what matters most.

Take aim. Steady your arm. Let it go and let it flow.

What is your favorite quality about the sign Sagittarius and/or planet Jupiter?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.