May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
Blessed be my little witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon
Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again
Light A Candle Today!
In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.
Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Flower of the Month for January: Carnation: Symbolizing love, fascination, distinction!
January is Hot Tea Month!
Celtic Tree Calendar
Luis (Rowan) January 21 to February 17
The Goddess Calendar
Month of Bridhe, begins 1/23 – 2/19
FEB. 1-2: Imbolc/Candlemas: Cleansing, Purification, Quickening. Imbolc/St.Brigid’s Day – Old Celtic/Irish feast of Goddess Brigid; merged with the Christian feast of St. Brigid. Fires were lit to welcome Her as She traveled about blessing fields, animals, and people.
FEB. 2: Lammas or Lughnasadh (Southern Hemisphere), marking the grain harvest at the end of summer
FEB. 7: Greek Day of Selene: Moon Goddess
GrannyMoon’s Sunday Classes at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA
Feb 7: Face to Face Class: WitchCrafting 1PM – 3PM
Feb 14: Face to Face Class: The Herbal Cauldron 1PM – 3PM
Feb 21: Face to Face Class: Noon – 3:00~The Magick of Crystals
Current Moon Phase: WANING MOON
Time: From Full Moon to Dark Moon (approx.14 days)
Goddess Aspect: Crone
Associated Goddesses: Cailleach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan
Magickal Attributes: Banishing Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.
High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.
Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as membersvcomplete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord
Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!
There is so much to learn about herbs! In Herbalism 101, we cover 21 herbs, and you will start your own personal Materia Medica, that we will build throughout the next levels. We will cover the basic aspects of herbs. From culinary to magickal, medicinal to ornamental. As well as the many modalities of herbs!
During this course, in addition to the on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.
I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do to or will learn to!
There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.
For more info or to join my class, click here!
The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3)for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!
The Goddess School Grimoire
eBook (PDF): $6.25
The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.
The Magic of Crystals with GrannyMoon
Quartz crystals are a gift from the earth. They have the ability to amplify or strengthen the things in you that are positive.
Quartz can strengthen your ability to be a loving person, and can enhance your abilities to enjoy life and accomplish the things you want in life.
Quartz can reduce stress, help with centering, strengthen, have wonderful healing properties and surround you with protection!
If you love crystals like I do, join me in this On-line 4 Week Mini-Course for a fun and interesting time! No books or supplies needed! $25.00
Impeach Your Poor Habits
Share, don’t run with scissors, play nice and do your work before you get recess are basic social norms we learned in Kindergarten and that, as an adult, we need to be part of a healthy community. Cooperation is one of the first things we learn in school, yet, this is also something we can quickly forget when our boundaries, beliefs, and values are challenged. Do we need to meet in the middle? Can we agree to disagree in a productive way? In today’s climate, we may all have forgotten how to be a part of a larger community. We are being conditioned every day to polarize our beliefs, making anyone who differs, the enemy. How do we find our way forward when fear clouds us all.
When I get in my quiet place and allow my divine guides space to communicate with me, I remember that the other side is human too. In any negotiation, I start with the idea that we can all win. I lean on my experience with Dorothy Morrison as we cooperated on her line, Wicked Witch Mojo. This creation was a challenging and empowering experience of co-creation by two powerful women. Together, we made this line amazing. Celebrate this spirit of cooperation with me and dive into the Wicked WItch Mojo line and buy up the Dorothy Morrison Limited Editions that are only available from Coventry in February, our “Month of Dorothy.”
When we lose the ability to coordinate, we have lost our connection with the eternal divine child, aka our innocent joy, and step fully into the role of judge, jury, and executioner of those who will disagree with us. When we work our magic from this place of hard reality, it can lose some, or most, of its power to enchant us with a new way of being. Magic is the art of cooperation with spirit. We have to come out of our comfort zone and embedded beliefs and meet our magic halfway and the evolution it brings to us. If we don’t reach for this uncomfortable new idea, we stay exactly where we are. Be a magical badass and find where you can cooperate with the energy around you just a bit more to manifest an empowered future.
Shake up your energetic blocks with some Wicked Witch Mojo.
Visit our website to browse our unique products, read our blogs, and more. Make sure to check out our Witches Union page. It celebrates the powerful witch in you. We’ve got products, contests, and a Spell Caster Club Facebook group. Be part of something special, our witchy community, because you are special. You can do magic!
Woe… Aquarius is Ready to Square Up!
February 2021, we take on the sign of Aquarius, which is often associated with groups and large collective bodies. Our Aquarius season desire for large gatherings and socializing is pretty much out of the picture, at least for 2021. We redirect this desire by using zoom and other digital platforms as the place to meet, which may temporarily appease Aquarius considering its association with technology.
This month we have a massive stellium in Aquarius (up to 6 planets). Aquarian themes of reform, innovation, and even revolution will spring out of the colloquial collective soup. However, there is one astrological aspect that will dominate February: Saturn square Uranus.
This month Saturn squares Uranus on February 17th highlighting the clash between generations. We can see this alive and well today with a generation that relied upon earthly resources to progress and acquire wealth and a new generation that is concerned with global warming and economic disparity. Be prepared to see the clash of these generations and ideals to reach a fevered pitch this month. Usually, this aspect brings about changes with the establishment and the status quo. Although the spirit of change is upon us, it will take several years for the choices and decisions made to be fully realized. Even in the cosmos, there is NO instant gratification.
On the personal level, Saturn square Uranus signifies the need to change structures that may be too rigid or that you are hanging onto because they are comfortable. Of course, any time we are faced with the need to make changes, frustrations, and anxieties often arise. The key to this aspect is to find ways to make changes without blowing up your life. Take a deep and honest look at the areas of your life that feel stagnant and begin to find ways to change them up. If you feel stuck in a dead-end job, now would be the time to look at new opportunities and discover a career path that brings you meaning and purpose. Likewise, if your relationship feels stagnant and you are losing that loving feeling, then you may need to add a bit of spice to your relationships and/or change your day-to-day relationship patterns. In some cases, you may need to make difficult decisions about your relationships and whether your needs are being met. It is necessary that you make the changes, otherwise, changes will occur on their own and usually not pleasantly.
Recommended Candles for February 2021: Uncrossing / Needed Change / Inner Balance
Card of the Week: Three of Pentacles
Who’s on your team?
We all have an important role to play, and when we are able to come together as a team, we can create something much more significant than if we were to go at it alone.
So, when the Three of Pentacles turns up, it’s a sign to collaborate with others, creating synergies to achieve big results.
This represents the value of different ideas and levels of experience in collaboration. Even though your backgrounds, experience levels and expertise are very different, you can come together and collaborate.
There is no ‘us and them’ or any sense of superiority. Everyone has something to offer and is willing to learn from the others involved in the project.
Everyone is getting the job done collectively and contributes to the group through active listening and sharing. As you work on projects with others, acknowledge the value that each person brings to the table.
You will also learn from each member of the team when you see his or her unique contribution.
Ask the Tarot: How can I collaborate with others to achieve my goals?
The Right and Wrong of Imbolc
BY JASON MANKEY
The start of February is filled with significance. For many Pagans it marks the holiday of Imbolc, seen by some as the start of Spring (and by many others as the height of Winter). Millions more celebrate it as Candlemass or the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. In the United States February 2 is most commonly thought of as Groundhog Day, which is a seasonal ritual to determine how much longer Winter will last.
February 2 is a busy time of year on the calendar because it’s a celestially auspicious occasion. I know it as a “cross quarter holiday” meaning it’s a date in-between a solstice and an equinox. Various cultures would have known this thousands of years ago as well, which is why so many holidays are celebrated on that day. Like most holidays the origins of Imbolc, Candlemas, and Groundhog Day are shrouded in mystery, but there are a few things we can say with some certainty.
What follows are several of the most common misconceptions I tend to hear around this time of year. If you want footnotes and more information about the topics here follow the links provided. I write a lot about holidays, and some of my articles are more scholarly than others.
We don’t know that much about Imbolc. I remember reading lots of historical sounding stuff about Imbolc during my early Pagan years, but most of that was probably wishful thinking. The truth of the matter is that we don’t know very much about the actual ancient holiday celebrated on that date. The first written reference to Imbolc dates only to the 10th or 11th Centuries and was first written down by Irish (Christian) monks.
The word Imbolc only shows up in Ireland too. We have no way of knowing if the holiday was celebrated across the Celtic world. It was most certainly an ancient pagan holiday, but beyond that it’s hard to say anything with absolute certainty. The word Imbolc most likely has something to do with milking and perhaps purification, both things associated with the holiday today. I think it’s safe to say that Imbolc would have been seen as the start of Spring by the Celts of Ireland, and at least in some places it was sacred to the Pagan Goddess/Christian Saint Brighid/Brigid. While most Americans celebrate Imbolc on Feb. 2, the holiday its self was originally celebrated at sundown on the first, lasting of course until the next sunset. On the Catholic calendar St. Brigid’s Day is still celebrated on the first of February.
Brighid was an Irish-Celtic goddess and later a Christian Saint. There are Christians who will try to deny this but I don’t buy the argument. What we don’t know about the goddess Brighid is just how far her worship spread. Some think of her as a near-universal Celtic deity while others think that her worship might have been localized to what is now Kildare Ireland. There also might have been several dozen Brighids worshipped throughout the British Isles, perhaps with each one being a variation of the original. It’s impossible to say with certainty.
As for the Irish Saint there are no contemporary records attesting to her existence, and her myth is extremely garbled. She appears in stories at the birth of Jesus and was said to have died in 524 CE. Much like the goddess version there are also several different versions of “the saint.” One medieval listing includes 25 different Brigits/Bríds, and it’s likely that none of them were historical personages.
The Saint and the Goddess continue to intermingle into the present day. The first recorded instance of Brigit’s Cross dates from the 17th Century for example. Brigit’s Bed can be found a bit earlier in the historical record, but not by much. Both of these things are often practiced by Pagans today, though they may have Christian origins.
Candlemas is not a Christianized version of Imbolc. The earliest celebrations of Candlemas date back to fourth century Greece, it was later adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in the Seventh Century. Candlemas can’t be a corrupted form of Imbolc because Imbolc wasn’t celebrated in Greece or Rome. There are some overlaps between Candlemas and pagan antiquity, they just have nothing to do with Imbolc.
The Latin word februa signified purification and there was even a holiday of that name celebrated in the middle of the month of Februarius. Christian celebrations of Candlemas often included a ritual of purification, obviously borrowed from the pagans. Later Christians would add a candle blessing of their own invention to the holiday. Many Protestants believed such candle blessings to be pagan in origin, even though there’s no documentation saying so.
Punxsutawney Phil is not a hidden version of The Goddess. I’m not sure where this idea came from, but the Goddess was not magically transformed into a groundhog by a group of Christians. There’s nothing to suggest that Groundhog Day has anything to do with Goddess worship or Jesus for that matter. The American celebration of Groundhog Day was begun by the Pennsylvania Dutch (a group of German descent), which is one of the reasons (along with Bill Murray) why Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous groundhog/weather prognosticator in North America.
Early European versions of Groundhog Day featured badgers and bears instead of groundhogs, but where exactly the tradition came from remains a bit of a mystery. My best guess is that it has something to do with animals waking up from hibernation, but no one knows for sure. Is it an ancient pagan tradition? Possibly, and it certainly makes as much sense as anything else. There’s nothing explicitly linking it to ancient pagan celebrations, but it had to come from somewhere. Certainly a link with the Irish-Celtic Imbolc is unlikely because Imbolc wasn’t a German holiday.
Many Modern Imbolc rituals have been influenced by Christian observances. I know that’s true in my case. This Imbolc my coven will be blessing several new quarter candles. This seems like the right time of year to celebrate the return of the light, and I don’t care where the tradition comes from. If something is practical and has value then I’m going to use it.
Curiously the earliest Modern Witches referred to their February sabbat as Candlemas and not Imbolc. I don’t plan to follow in their footsteps next week, but if the name was worth borrowing why not some of the traditions? Whether or not Brighid’s Bed is an Irish-Pagan tradition or a Christian one matters very little to me. That’s also going to be a part of our rite.
February 2 is a busy day on the calendar not because everyone was stealing from Irish-Celts, but because it’s a day that speaks to many of us humans. After a month and a half of official Winter the days are finally getting noticeably longer. One doesn’t have to be a Pagan to celebrate such things, though certainly the parties and the celebrations are better.
Disablot And Charming The Plow
By Celebrate Pagan Holidays
Disablot is a Norse/Germanic pagan holiday that honors female deities. Female spirits of ancestors, Odin’s Valkyries, or other women in your life are honored. Frig, Freya, and Ostera are often celebrated.
Disir are female deities that honored women ancestors and were felt to guard the living. We honor women who give us life and their fertility.
Celebrated in Scandinavia before Christian conquerors to enhance the coming harvest season. The holiday is also referred to as the “charming of the plow” after the namesake spell.
Disablot is celebrated each year in Uppsala Sweden at the Disting festival around January 31. Traditionally this winter holiday was held during the vernal equinox.
The name Disablot means Thing (or assembly) of the Goddesses. Celebrated in Sweden as the first Moot Fair of the season.
The Thing was a famous gathering where law and justice were discussed. Contracts were made and grievances expressed. Bravery was honored and it was a time to consider how your acts affected others.
This holiday holds a great feast celebrating new beginnings. Offerings were made to female ancestors. Farmers asked for blessings for the future planting season.
In preparation for the feast, small cakes were baked. These cakes were then placed in the furrows the plow made as an offering to mother earth.
CHARMING THE PLOW
A time to give thanks for the coming spring and the fertility of the soil. During the ritual, the equipment, seeds, and fields would all be charmed for an abundant growing season.
The ancient legend states that the Swedish King told the goddess Gefjon she could take ownership of as much land as she could plow in one day.
Gefjon turned her four sons into oxen and they plowed the land from coast to coast.
Bake some small cakes to honor Mother Earth. Dig four holes in your garden in the cardinal directions and place a cake in each hole. Ask that the cakes bless the soil with fertility.
Lift your arms to the sky and ask that the Gods bless your garden with fertility and abundance.
Anoint your plow (or garden tools) with olive oil and herbs such as myrrh and cinnamon.
HONOR THE WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE TODAY
Celebrate this holiday by recognizing and honoring those women in your life that make a difference. What women this year have had an impact on you?
Heartwings Love Notes 968 What Makes You Happy?
Heartwings says, “Happiness originates within our hearts and cannot be acquired from outside it.”
While I wrote poetry sporadically on and off for many years, I did not take it seriously until the death of my son Robin. When he passed on, I decided that because he loved poetry, as a kind of personal monument to his life I would dedicate my poetry writing to him. I began by determining to write a poem a day. However, I soon realized that that was unrealistic. Instead, I decided to look at life through poetic eyes.
What that meant to me to begin with was that I looked for meaning and/or beauty in what I saw. I looked for the life and the expression of what came into view as I was driving, for instance, or in what occurred in my life or the lives of others. Some poets write commentary or express their feelings through their words and phrasing. Others write not about their own feelings but about those of other people or perhaps about life circumstances. My poetry is descriptive of my life as I experience it.
Writing poetry makes me happy. I hadn’t realized that until recently, and now I do. I feel glad to hone a poem, to come up with just the right word or phrase to say exactly what I hope to convey. My happiness is not about whether the poem is good or well said or even effective. It comes with a sense of joy that I feel when I am being creative. I have come to understand that while I can try my best to give happiness to others, all I can actually do is provide pleasure or comfort. Happiness may feel good, yet feeling good is not the same as feeling happy.
What makes a person happy is probably as various as the people themselves. Happiness is a feeling that originates within the heart. It is akin to joy, and like joy does not depend on circumstances or even the weather-though I confess that sunny days do make me feel happy, however, I am also fond of rainy and snowy days, so not exclusively. I cannot give myself or anyone else happiness, however I can focus on what makes my heart happy and ignore what does not.
May you find happiness every day even in some small way, and when you can, spread it around.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert
What makes your heart happy? I’d love it if you’d care to share. Your emails make my heart happy because I so enjoy communicating. Also, if any poets out there would like to join either a friendly zoom group hat meets bi monthly to read and share poems, or the one that is email internet only, please let me know and I’ll send you the link. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Pointer Finger Magick
BY ESTHA MCNEVIN
What a witch can’t do with a flick of their fingers I’ve yet to discover. In fact, casting magick for opportunity and luck is one of the best ways to spread good karma while feeling awfully witchy with the ol’ crooked finger. Pointing out the good things in your day adds to their aura of power. I like to make it a fun game of “where’s the witch’s joyful pleasure?”
Throughout the day, use your pointer finger to charge, bless, and otherwise designate objects as auspicious. Feel the intended energy and forcefully project it forward. Cast luck on a fountain you admire, or cast love on an elevator button. Fill a parking meter for the day to share pointed blessings of wealth, or enchant any other object you’d like. As the energy of the sun wanes, make your final blessed castings and seek to dream of all the luck and opportunities yet to come to you. Try to point them out even in your dreams.
Do you know your lucky or special number? Numbers hold potent magic. There are numbers that are generally considered lucky or unlucky—thirteen, for example. However, we all have a number that has special meaning just for us. Look for a number that appears under unusual circumstances or a number that shows up repetitively in your life. The first time it occurs, or the first time you realize that THIS is YOUR number, there is often a strong physical reaction, like energy passing through you. It leaves no room for doubt that this number will follow you through life and aid you, much like a guardian angel or your spirit animal.
Forty or seven, thirteen or eleven— our lucky numbers make themselves known by appearing in our lives daily. With every sighting, offer a word or two of gratitude.
Freya’s Friday Feast
BY DALLAS JENNIFER COBB
Friday gets its name from Freya, the Norse goddess of love, sex, lust, beauty, sorcery, and fertility. Today is a great day for a love spell. It is said that food is the quickest way to someone’s heart, so plan a feast and invite the person of your fancy.
Foods associated with love and lust include strawberries, figs, and honey; oysters, garlic, and asparagus; and bananas, chocolate, and almonds. Each possesses different nutrients and minerals that stimulate fertility, arousal, or receptivity.
Set the table with rose-scented candles and a vase of lavender-colored roses, which are associated with enchantment, love at first sight, and wonder.
When your companion arrives, invoke Freya’s blessing that you may feast together, sharing the energy of love, lust, enchantment, and beauty. Say:
I made this feast especially for you.
It’s inspired by the Norse goddess
Freya, goddess of love and beauty.
With her spirit, I toast you.
Howl at the Moon
BY DEBORAH BLAKE
One of the traditional names for the full moon that falls in January is the Wolf Moon. It is said that name comes from the fact that wolves howl more in January. (It is also called the Cold Moon, for obvious reasons.) Wolves howl to communicate with each other and to express emotion. Ironically, many of us tend to withdraw during the colder winter months, when it may be harder to get out and be with others, so this might be a good time to put a little extra effort into reaching out. You can try actually howling at the moon, or if that doesn’t suit you, try singing or chanting. Whichever way you do it, try putting whatever you are feeling into your howl or song. Channel your inner wolf and send your howl out to the moon or to your pack, wherever they are.
Invoke the Sun
BY THORN MOONEY
Winter often seems to go on forever, and even if you live in a place that doesn’t get ice or snow, it can feel dreary and dark. But even though the days are short now and spring seems a long way off, the power of the sun is growing steadily. To bolster your spirits and brighten the day, make a point of greeting the sun and invoking its energy into your life at this time. This is most effective at sunrise, but you can do it whenever you can see the sun in the sky.
Stand outside, if possible, and raise your arms toward the sky, positioning the sun between your open hands. Say:
Sunna, Apollo, Ra,
By the right eye of Horus
And the chariot of Helios,
I invoke the power of the sun.
I am energized by your rays.
I take comfort in your warmth
And carry your light with
me in darkness.
So mote it be.
Reconnect with Your Power
BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM
The first month of the year is a good time to reconnect with your inner power. Collect the essence of a cedar or evergreen tree to connect with the strong purification and grounding energies. (You can substitute materials from any tree that you connect with on a deep level.) Add some pieces of cedar wood, sprigs from the tree branch, and/or a few pine cones to your altar space. If you gather these items from a tree in nature, ask for permission from the tree. Be sure to leave a small offering (such as a flower petal, seed, or natural stone—something that is derived from nature) at the base of the tree in gratitude. Place the items on your altar and chant these words:
I ask for the wisdom and strength
from this tree to be imparted onto me.
Purify my aura and spirit in this hour,
reconnect me with my inner power.
Repeat these words and use this spell as many times as necessary until you feel connected to the strength and magick of your inner power.
Protect Your Sacred Space
BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR
Today is A Room of One’s Own Day, in honor of Virginia Woolf’s birthday and her famous essay. It is observed by individuals taking time to honor their personal space in which they have the freedom to pray, study, and recharge. We often do our best studying in private spaces where we feel protected. Today, let’s work some simple magic that honors and protects our private sacred space. Take a clear quartz crystal (which also resonates with the energies of Monday), hold it up to your third eye, and recite:
My sacred space, I do declare,
A place for study,
rejuvenation, and prayer.
By power of quartz,
May my intentions be crystal clear.
Corporeal and ethereal, only
spirits of benefit may enter here.
Place the quartz near the entrance of your room.
Dr. Weil’s Guide To Essential Oils | Andrew Weil, M.D.
Essential oils are extracted from flowers, leaves, fruits, barks or roots of plants, and are widely used in lotions and perfumes as well as in aromatherapy. The chemical composition of each essential oil determines its aroma, how well it can be absorbed on, or in the body, and how it affects physiology. Many concentrated extracts can influence mood and have been used over the years to address a number of health problems, including:
Some essential oils have antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties and documented health benefits. Research on tea tree oil, for example, shows it to be as effective as an antibiotic-based topical treatment for clearing MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) bacteria from the skin. According to the National Cancer Institute, human clinical trials have investigated the use of essential oil aromatherapy to relieve stress and anxiety in critically ill patients.
Using Essential Oils
The quality of essential oils varies tremendously; the best and purest are very expensive. Be aware that undiluted essential oils should never be applied to the skin because they can irritate and burn. Be sure to dilute them first in a carrier oil, such as avocado or fractionated coconut oil. When buying an essential oil, be sure to ask specifically about dilution. In general, for use by an adult, you should use only two drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil, less for children, based on age, and for individuals with serious health issues.
Safety testing has revealed few other negative effects when essential oils are used as directed. Use of citrus or other oils prior to sun exposure can lead to sun sensitivity. Lavender and tea tree oils have estrogenic properties and can also block or decrease the effect of androgens (male sex hormones). They should be avoided by individuals with estrogen-dependent tumors. One study found that long-term topical application of lavender and tea tree oils led to breast enlargement in boys who had not yet reached puberty.
Co-Creating with Nature
To co-create, we must first begin with a foundation of mutual respect.
Gardens offer us a perfect opportunity to reconnect to our true selves and remember our place in the natural world. Rather than approach our gardens as mere investments of energy, we can look at the entire process of gardening, from planting seeds to harvesting food, as a way of deepening our conscious relationship with the creative force of the universe. If we are willing to shift our intention from dominating, or at least directing nature, to co-creating with nature instead, we may discover a deep peace and renewed sense of wonder.
To co-create we must first begin with a foundation of mutual respect. As you create your garden in partnership with nature, you can respect the earth, water, insects and animals by using organic seeds, soil and fertilizers. You can also communicate with the plants, insects and elements involved in your garden, and create a regular practice of stillness to listen for any messages they may have for you. When it comes time for harvesting fresh vegetables or picking beautiful blooms, you might even ask permission first. If you ask with an open heart, you will always receive an answer.
Imagine what it would be like to surrender certain aspects of your human world to the precision and surety of the natural environment. You might decide, for example, to forego your calendar and plant in rhythm with the cycles of the moon. Or, you might choose to ignore clock time and water your garden when the sun hits a certain position in the sky. By opening your garden experience to more of nature’s input, you can become available to witness a whole universe of miracles, while engendering a greater sense of honor between the two worlds.
When we recognize ourselves as allies, co-creators, with the earth and the natural world, our relationship to our environment begins to change. We no longer feel the need to control the circumstances around us and can relish in the perfection of all that is.
Trees & Mental Health
by Andrew Weil, M.D.
New research from Germany has found that despite a recent rise in depression in urban areas, being an inhabitant of a home surrounded by trees is linked to a reduced risk of being prescribed antidepressant drugs. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 10,000 residents of Leipzig, a mid-size city who were taking part in a University of Leipzig adult health study. Lead author, environmental psychologist Melissa Marselle wrote that the presence of tree lined streets can help close the gap in health inequalities between different socioeconomic groups. Another researcher noted that the investigation shows that everyday nature close to home – the biodiversity you see looking out of the window or when walking or driving to work, school or shopping – is important for mental health, and especially so now given the reduction in time spent outdoors during COVID-19 lock-downs.
Melissa R. Marselle et al, “Urban street tree biodiversity and antidepressant prescriptions,” Scientific Reports: doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79924-5, December 30, 2020.
Gilberto Goes Cloak and Dagger
by Stephen Halbert
Hesitation swept over Gilberto when he saw the two federal agents Smith and Jones at his door. Despite feeling reluctant he invited them in. Maria smiled. “I’ll put on coffee.
“Thanks,” they smiled.
Maria turned and went to the kitchen.
Gilberto ushered them into the living room. Smith sat in one of the comfy leather arm chairs facing the sofa. Jones followed after him and stood to the side of the window watching the slow Sunday morning traffic on Beacon Street. Gilberto took the couch.
On his way to the kitchen Joey appeared with Oscar’s bowl. He looked curiously at the two agents and nodded politely.
“Your son,” Smith asked?
“Yes,” Gilberto said. “Our son Joey. Maria’s actually but I’ve recently adopted him.”
Maria appeared with coffee.
Jones nodded. “Best to be especially watchful for the protection of the boy. Never let him out of your sight. “The people we’re concerned about will stop at nothing. We wouldn’t want to see the boy kidnapped. Human life means little to these people.”
Maria looked horrified.
“But why! What for?” Gilberto’s voice rose. “We’re certainly not wealthy.”
“Leverage,” Smith said. “Creating an advantage if you will, however distant and remote.”
“Suppose your son, or even your wife was kidnapped,” Jones added. “You’d be facing a difficult situation. We’ve seen it play out like this before.”
Gilberto peered intently. “You’re sure about this? You know for sure?”
“Yes,” Smith said. “Remember to have someone with your son at all times, and with you too mam when you’re outside of your condo.”
“I want an alarm system installed here,” Gilberto said. “Something I should have done when I bought it.”
“I’ll go out with him when he walks Oscar,” Maria said. Her voice was emphatic.
“No,” Gilberto insisted. “You’re soon due to deliver.”
“So what! I’m concerned for Joey’s safety. Besides I know how to handle a gun and will use it if I have to.”
“Gun!” Gilberto looked horrified. “You can? But how?”
“Yes,” she said. Remember Gilberto growing up in Miami I had to learn to protect myself.”
“You have one now?”
“Yes. It’s in my storage. I’ll go over and get it tomorrow.”
“What caliber,” Jones asked.
” My grandmother’s antique pearl handle derringer.”
Jones scoffed. “That wouldn’t even put a hole half way through the yellow pages.”
“It’s double barreled,” Maria said confidently. “That provides me a second shot if I need it.”
Gilberto put his arm around her. “Maybe I’d better get something a little more up to date.”
“What for? You’ve never used a gun in your life. I can protect us.”
Smith chose his words carefully. “A derringer might not be the answer.”
Gilberto’s voice grew louder. “I insist on caring for you and Joey.” The pounding in his head intensified. He could taste the coffee he had earlier.
Maria took his hand. “I can take care of us,” she said flatly.
Gilberto sensed her old rebellion against authority. But a gun. That was something new.
“We’re dealing with international terrorists,” Jones said.
Solemnly Smith said. “An upper echelon crime lord whose hands are in many pies is astutely aware of the entire political climate and how American immigration has been affected.”
“But he’s my friend,” Gilberto insisted.
“Possibly,” Smith said. “Indirectly but for now best to be watchful and not to take any chances.”
“We’re looking at a group known to have kidnapped children,” Jones said. He was a large craggy faced man with thick arms and despite his bulk Gilberto noticed how gracefully he moved. His tired eyes reflected age beyond his years.
“Joey likes walking his dog, playing outside, kicking his soccer ball on the Esplanade,” Maria said. “We can’t take that away from him.”
Smith nodded. “Join him, appear relaxed and natural. May as well add a deterrent to the equation.”
Smith nodded politely. Gilberto noticed his manicured nails and how dapper and polished he appeared compared to the tweedy rough and ready exterior exemplified by Jones.
“May I ask a question,” Maria said. “Is Lola Cortez involved with these terrorists?”
Jones snorted. “Wish we knew for sure. She’s not on our books; as far as we know she’s not CIA, or Homeland Security. But there’s many alphabet agencies out of Washington and Geneva these days. “
“Which means little,” Smith said. “Our guess is she’s possibly deep undercover. Then again, she could be exclusively linked to Karibe.”
“She keeps turning up in our lives,” Maria said. “Most times when she’s dealing with dental issues.
Jones clinched his jaw and Gilberto wondered if he had suffered at the dentist’s.
Smith asked. “Have you had any monetary dealings with this goalie of yours?”
“Not since last fall at the banquet in Boston. He gave us a check to cover travel expenses when we were to visit him in Caracas. We haven’t cashed it.”
“Nor will we,” Maria said.
“He spoke about me and Ramon taking on the coaching duties of his new pro soccer team once the league was up and running.”
How do you feel about that? Smith said.
Not if it meant relocating to Caracas; something neither of us wanted. We’re both glad to be part of Atlas.”
“That sent a message,” Jones said. “That let him know your sentiments.”
“It’s confusing. It all happened so quickly,” Gilberto reiterated. “One minute he and Lola are an item. The next, he’s suffered some sort of stroke in the hospital paralyzed. Then next we hear he’s vanished, no idea where. Maybe he’s back in Caraccas, hijacked by his own people. Lola seemed to have vanished then as well. But now apparently, she’s back. “
“Her older sister fears she’ll be arrested.,” Maria said.
“For what?” Smith asked. “She hasn’t broken any laws. If we tried holding her, her attorney would raise a ruckus and have her out inside of an hour; call any case we’d be postulating circumstantial. Our Director feels it’s best to keep her under surveillance.”
Jones moved away from the window. Do you know a late model blue Buick? Just parked. No one’s emerged.”
“Sounds Like Ramone,” Gilberto said. He drives a blue Buick.
Maria peered at Smith. “Please be honest with us and tell us if there’s danger at our door.”
He nodded. “Vigilance,” he said. Then he and Jones left.
Gilberto finished his coffee. “Refill?” He asked Maria.
Reluctantly she filled his cup. “Be healthier for you to drink water.”
“So until this mess is over, we’ll go out with Joey when he walks Oscar.”
“Safer that way,” she said. “Of course we could put papers on the patio. I’m sure Joey would be in favor of that especially if it’s cold and icy.”
“I didn’t know about the derringer.”
“Belonged to Ramona my grandmother. She’d take me to the range and taught me how to use pistols. She bequeathed me her derringer.” She kissed him. “Actually I’m a damn good shot.”
An Oat Bowl Spell for Nourishing
By Lighthaus potions-mixer Kalyn Anderson/@sweetbitterritual
At Lighthaus, we’re all about intention…so this year, we’re choosing an intention each month to share more about so that YOU can live more intentionally, too! Keep up with our newsletter and Instagram for even more tips, tricks, practical magic, and more surrounding our monthly intentions.
January’s intention is NOURISHMENT. After a LONG year and the hectic energy of the holidays, we were longing for a deep reset to refill our cups.
When we think nourishment, one of the first things that comes to mind is FOOD! After all, food literally fills us up and (hopefully) gives our body what it needs to keep on keepin’ on. What’s more nourishing than a good hot meal on a cold day? So we fired up our kitchen witch cauldrons and conjured up a recipe for an ultra-warm-and-cozy Raspberry Pomegranate Oat Bowl!
This recipe is more than a delicious belly-filler, witches! Each ingredient was also chosen with magical intention in mind…feel free to customize/substitute ingredients as you see fit! Remember: your intention makes the magic!
Makes 2 servings
1 cup Oats (or alternate porridge-type base)
2 cups Fresh Raspberries
1/2 cup Pomegranate Juice
1/4-1/2 cup Maple Syrup
Optional toppings: Walnuts, Pomegranate Seeds, Cinnamon, Allspice, Orange Zest
1. Add Raspberries and Pomegranate Juice to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat for about 6 minutes, stirring clockwise occasionally and saying or thinking “I am grateful to the sun, rain, soil, and farmers (if applicable) that nourished these fruits that now nourish me.”
Raspberries are magically associated with love, happiness, and protection. Pomegranate helps us to find comfort in the void and embrace our own dualities a la Persephone!
2. Once the berries have begun to “pop”, add 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. Maple Syrup to taste. As you do this, call in abundance and sweetness while stirring your mixture clockwise some more.
3. Allow this mixture to simmer for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally with intention.
4. While the sauce finishes cooking, cook your oats or porridge base as directed on the packaging (mine required 1 cup oats, 1 3/4 c. milk or water, and about 5 minutes to cook).
Oats are associated with prosperity and have PEAK “nourishing” energy in my opinion!
5. When the sauce mixture has thickened to your desired consistency, remove from the heat. Pour oats into bowl, top with sauce and any additional toppings, and ENJOY! You can even add in an essence like Pleasure Activist for some extra magical oomph!
6. As you eat, visualize a glowing sphere of warm, revitalizing red energy growing from your stomach outward, until the warm glow fills your entire being. You are deserving of nourishment. So it is.
Kitty Kat Korner!
Share your love for cats!
8 Cat Tail Signs — Decoded
~Jane A. Kelley
What does a tip twitch mean? How about a single flip? Learn about cat tail signs and cat tail talk right here.
What Flowers are Dangerous to Cats?
A cat tail is an amazing and beautiful thing. Not only is it an anatomical wonder, it’s an excellent tool for feline self-expression. Even the most obtuse of humans can learn the secrets of this behavior — “cat tail talk,” if you will — with a little observation, and your cat will love you even more if you can interpret her special sign language. Here are the facts behind some of my favorite cat tail signs and what they mean.
1. In the air
When Sinéad and Siouxsie were kittens, they’d come running up to me with their tails held high the minute I opened my apartment door. This would quickly be followed by purrs and head bonks all over my shoes. Nothing says, “OMG, I love you so much and I’m so happy to see you!” quite like high-tailed kittens. It’s a sign that needs little translation.
2. Question mark cat tail
A cat that approaches you with an erect tail with a tiny hook at the end is saying, “I’m friendly and I’m also just a tiny bit tentative and curious. May I come to you?” I saw this a lot in my shelter cats, and my own kitty roommates do that when guests come over to visit. As soon as you say something like, “Hello, darling,” and reach out a hand, the tail straightens out and you’re greeted with head bonks and love.
3. The tip twitch
If you’re petting your cat and you start seeing the tip of her tail twitch a little bit, that’s an early sign that your cat is getting overstimulated and wants you to back off. If you see the tip twitch, you should heed this polite request.
4. The single flip
When I scold Bella for getting on the counter while I prepare her food, she hops onto the floor and does a single whole-tail twitch. I interpret this as the cat tail language equivalent of a teenager’s smart-ass comment and reply with, “Don’t you twitch your tail at me, young lady!”
5. The cat tail hug
When Thomas climbs into my lap while I’m sitting at the computer, he either drapes himself over my arm or settles in for a snuggle and wraps his tail around my wrist. I call this a “tail hug” and I melt every time it happens.
6. Exclamation point cat tail
When Bella gets startled, she jumps backwards and her tail instantly goes full vertical and all the fur stands on end. This is her equivalent of “Eek!” For her, it doesn’t seem to mean “I’m terrified” as much as “You shocked the hell out of me … and I kinda liked it!” When I see her in exclamation-point-tail mode, I gently stroke said tail and tell her, “Oh, Bella, what are you all fat-tailed for?” Then it’s time for skritches around the neck and ears as she slowly de-floofs.
7. Cat tail tag
Thomas absolutely loves to play tail tag with Bella. He flicks his tail back and forth, all the while looking at Bella with wide eyes. Bella gets all excited and starts smacking at his tail.
8. Hunting tail
When my cats are stalking rodents or their favorite interactive toys, they hunker down with their tails stretched out behind them. The very end of their tails twitch just the tiniest bit, as if it’s the only way they have to discharge some of the adrenalin coursing through their bodies.
This piece was originally published in 2017.
Winter Cat Grooming Tips to Help Kitty Through the Cold, Dry Months
Your cat may need some extra grooming help to keep up with the extra fur during the winter season.
Even if you have an indoor cat it’s likely their coat will change seasonally.
“A cat’s undercoat will bulk up in winter months because fur growth is related more to the amount of sunlight available than ambient temperature,” says Dr. Nicole Starinsky, DVM, of the NorthStar VETS Emergency and Critical Care team.
Cats naturally groom themselves.
“Cats are typically fastidious groomers, spending many hours a day grooming themselves. This grooming keeps them clean, and keeps their skin and coat healthy by stimulating healthy coat oil development from the skin and then distributing these oils throughout the coat. It also helps reduce loose hair, similar to when we humans brush our hair” says Dr. Jamie Richardson Medical Chief of Staff at Small Door Veterinary.
You’ll likely notice your cat increasing their grooming during the winter months to keep up with the thicker coat. But, your cat may need some extra grooming help to keep up with the extra fur during the winter season.
Winter cat grooming tips
You likely notice your cat increasing their grooming during the winter months to keep up with the thicker coat but they may still need some grooming help. Photo: FaST_9/Getty Images
Your cat’s winter grooming needs
The amount of grooming your cat needs is going to depend on the kind of coat your cat has and your cat’s age. Short-haired cats may not need grooming at all or a quick brush each week.
“For cats with long coats, or cats who are a bit older, may be arthritic or have difficulty grooming due to obesity, you may need to brush more often” says Dr. Richardson.
Not only will cats have different grooming needs in different seasons, but their grooming needs in the winter may also vary at different times in their life. Dr. Starinsky advises to “always keep an eye on your cat’s coat, especially as they age, since they may require more brushing at that later stage of life.” For example, my long-haired 20-year-old cat has significantly cut back on how much she grooms herself, meaning we have to brush her more regularly, especially during the winter.
How to brush your cat in the winter
Regular brushing and monitoring of your cat’s coat will help prevent mats from developing and improve overall coat health. Brushing cats regularly not only helps keep their coat in good condition, it also provides an additional opportunity to bond with your cat.
Start slowly with grooming, and keep your sessions short. Dr. Richardson advises, paying particular attention to cues your cat might be giving that he’s ready for grooming to stop such as “flicking their tail, lowering the ears and growling.”
There are many cat grooming brushes on the market with different purposes. Some remove loose top hair, but don’t get into the undercoat. Talk with your cat groomer or vet about what brushes are right for your cat. Frisco’s Beginner Grooming Kit has three different brushes and a pair of clippers and is a good place to start.
For grooming the undercoat, Dr. Richardson advises using a flea comb or other comb with teeth close together, noting that these combs are “more effective at lifting away dead undercoat.” These flea combs from HARTZ are cost-effective and popular with cat parents.
Regular grooming is essential for coat care, but “If your cat’s coat gets matted, don’t attempt to trim it with scissors. This can lead to inadvertent injury. An appointment with a qualified groomer or your veterinarian is warranted if you cannot work the mats out with a brush or comb,” says Dr. Starinsky.
How to groom during shedding season
Although cats shed year-round they also go through larger shedding seasons twice a year generally in the spring and in the fall. That thick winter coat that your cat is growing now will go through a heavy shed during the spring, and then in the fall your cat’s coat is preparing to grow the thick winter coat. During shedding season you’ll want to increase the frequency that you groom your cat, especially cats with longer coats. Grooming during shedding season will help prevent mats and remove any loose fur.
How to determine if your cat’s coat is healthy
As part of your regular grooming routine, you’ll want to inspect your cat’s coat to ensure it is healthy.
“A healthy coat on a cat looks shiny and unmatted, and the skin underneath is clear and free of flakes and scabs. Some shedding is a sign of a healthy coat just as not shedding or excessive shedding can be a sign of illness,” says Dr. Starinsky. If while you are petting or grooming your cat take note of any changes in your cat’s fur.
In addition, Dr. Richardson advises “if you see any patches where the fur is falling out, or the skin is greasy, flaky or bumpy, you should consult a veterinarian.”
Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope
Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, January 31, 2021
It’s the end of January 2021. As we sail into this new year, with a sense of uncertainty, let’s recap where we’ve come from and where we’re headed. Broad strokes are helpful information. Once you get a sense of the big picture, you can start to narrow things down in order to make daily decisions. After all, if you’re headed into winter, you get warm clothes. If you’re going to the beach, your take a swimsuit. These are bare basics, but bare basics are essential to know. (Yes, I do see the connection between bare basics and swimsuit. And yes, a sheep in a swimsuit is a Lamb Bikini.)
Aries (March 21-April 19)
When you look over your shoulder, you see that after giving up a lot in the mid-90s, around 1996-97, you began to reinvent yourself. Around 2003, you started to put down roots; and by 2008, you were busting your buns for several years to show the world what you could do. Sure enough, by 2010-11, you got recognition! (Nevertheless, that was when relationships might have ended.) By 2018, your success was shining and cherished dreams came true! Now you need to balance working for others with working for yourself. In about two years, you will start downsizing to get rid of what you no longer need because by 2026, it will be a new world!
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
This month you’re coming on like gangbusters because fiery Mars is in your sign giving you energy to take charge and get things done. From 1999 to 2005, you redefined who you were in the world. And from 2003 to 2005, there was lots of change. By 2010, you worked hard and by 2012, you received recognition for your efforts. Relationships were strained from 2012 to 2015, which is why many of you had to get along with less during 2015 to 2018. But you survived. In fact, now is your time of harvest! Oh yes! The chickens have come home to roost. Expect promotions, accolades and admiration this year, followed by increased popularity in 2022.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Around the turn of the century, you gave up people, places and possessions. This set you off on a new journey around 2001. Between 2005-08, job changes and residential moves kept you hopping. Happily, by 2008-09, you had a home base you could rely on. You were busting your buns from 2012 to 2015 to prove your worth to others. This is why 2015-16 was an eventful time. It marked a major shift because after that, your focus became more ambitious. Now you need to get performance ready for 2023. This is when you will shine! Prepare for this time by taking courses. Perhaps you can travel? Learn new technology. Get savvy — to get ready!
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
If you look back, you can see that you virtually reinvented yourself from 2003 to 2010. Who you were in 2010-11 is very different from who you were in 2001-02. Am I right? Recently, since 2018, partnerships have been challenging. Many of you have ended relationships, which is why you are forced to get along with less this year. Fear not, as you learn to stand on your own two feet, you’re becoming more independent. This is important because in 2023, you will enter a two-year window where you will prepare yourself for your time of harvest, which will be in 2026. Oh yeah! You’re going places!
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
After giving up much between 2003 and 2005, you entered a new world where you slowly created a new identity by 2012. Since then, despite personal detours and decisions, you worked hard to reach this year, which is a pivotal time. This year you will get recognition for what you have been doing for the past eight years and longer. This will prompt your focus to pivot to your external world. Admittedly, personal relationships will be challenging in the next two years; and by 2023-24, you might regroup –with your partner, or not. One thing is certain: by 2026, you will begin to polish your skills and abilities to get ready to enter your time of harvest about seven years from now.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Ever since 2004-05, you have undergone change. Initially, you gave up much before entering a new world around 2008. Some of you even changed your daily wardrobe. By 2010-11, job changes and residential moves kept you on your toes. By 2015, you wanted security for your home base –something you could rely on. In the last few years, you keep asking yourself what you want to be when you grow up, no matter what your age is. Now you’re in a window of about two years of hard work. Suck it up and get on with it because your pay off will arrive in 2023, when everything you’ve done since 2008 finally evolves into a major shift of focus.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In 2004-06, you were admired. You had responsibilities but you saw what was working and what was not. Around 2008, you began to dismantle much of what you had created since 1996, which led to changing your public persona around 2010-11. Unpredictable situations affected your job and your residence between 2015 in 2018, after which you worked to solidify your home base. This year, you want to play and have fun! You want a fun vacation! (Not easy during a pandemic.) Nevertheless, you will enjoy yourself because in 2022, you have marvelous chances to improve your job or get a better job. You will work hard to gain the recognition that comes your way in 2026.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In 2005, you took your power. You saw what needed to be done and you had the courage to act. However, that was related to your external identity in the world. This year, you are grappling more with private, inner issues. You want to secure your home base, something you trust and can rely on. This is why many of you will do major repairs to where you live or perhaps contemplate a move. You can improve your living space this year or next, depending if you are born late in your sign. Next year promises vacation delights, which might be doable! By 2023, look forward to a better job and better health. Awriiight!
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Between 2012 and 2015, your life was a roller coaster. Changing jobs and changing residences created adventure, which is something you like. (Peace and quiet in short bursts is nice, too.) Now, you’re in a two-year window when changing jobs and changing residences are likely. Fortunately, you are optimistic this year, which means you will attract something positive to you because you’re looking at the world with “winning” eyes. Around 2023, your real estate scene and your home will improve and you will be happier! Your family life will be happier as well! Small wonder that vacations, romance and fun times beckon to you in 2026!
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In many ways, this is a positive year for you because most of you will increase your assets and get richer. (If you are born late in your sign, after Jan 13, this benefit will come to you in 2022.) Nevertheless, this year, you will give a lot of thought to how you want to earn your money and what your basic values are. This could lead to a change of residence or a change of jobs between 2023 and 2026. These changes might follow because of your increased wealth this year, or because of a preference to have a different job or a different residence. One thing is certain: in 2023-24, you have a marvelous chance to improve where you live or make money through real estate. Count on this.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
So much is happening for you for this year because both Saturn and Jupiter are in your sign! In fact, Mercury and Venus are also in your sign right now, which means Mercury is retrograde in your sign. (Expect silly, goofy errors, mixed-up communications, delays, technological glitches and transportation breakdowns. Plus, all kinds of people from your past popping up out of the woodwork.) The good news is that you have survived your life since 2018 when frankly, you have been going through the dark night of the soul. That is over. Now you are lucky to have the divine blessing of Jupiter in your sign this year. And next year, in 2022, you will make more money! How sweet it is!
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Since 2008, you have been more concerned with your external goals in life. In fact, around 2015-16, many things came to a culmination, which made you proud of your achievements. This year, you are entering a time when your spiritual development will become enriched. You might meet a teacher or become a teacher to others. You are also casting an eye about you to get rid of what is no longer relevant in your world. This is why you’ll go through closets, garages and storage lockers to downsize. Be smart and do this ruthlessly! Lighten your load so that next year, when lucky Jupiter enters your sign you can make the best of this blessing. And in 2023, you will get richer! Yay!
Weekly horoscopes beginning Monday, 01 February 2021
If you’re born within a cusp period (16 to 26 of any month); you’re advised to read horoscopes of both signs covered by that period. You’re on the border; you may have influences from houses within those signs.
Outlines are longer versions; consists of every possible detail of everyday and based on three parts of each sign: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Decan; that is, any of three divisions of 10° within a sign of the zodiac. Even if you know or don’t know your Decan; I recommend, please read all three Decan.
Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19
Your horoscope for this week:
As an Aries and a fire sign, you thrive on fast action. However, with the idea’s planet Mercury retrograde from Saturday the 30th, and triggering the usual minor but often crucial errors, time spent double-checking facts when plans or decisions are being made is time well invested. Ironically what you learn or who you encounter in the process could prove unexpectedly, yet stunningly, worthwhile.
You are in tune with what those around you are thinking. Don’t be surprised if some people ask whether you can read their mind. Being able to pick up on other people’s feelings should be an advantage in your closest relationships. Elsewhere you might sense someone’s moodiness or anger and this will exhaust you emotionally. People you are introduced to later in the week will have a big influence in your life in the future. Trust your intuition even if this inspires you to act on impulse.
Let’s hope that you have good energy reserves, have all the vitamins and minerals that you need, and that you haven’t lost your sense of humour. By Monday, the Sun, and your ruling planet, Mars, will be at right angle. This could put you in decidedly antsy mood. True, this same aspect is useful if you have to move large pieces of furniture. It is perhaps not quite as helpful if you’re trying to bring a team together or persuade a close colleague to see things your way. A more inventive approach will likely be needed. Don’t forget to listen. That’s especially important from Monday evening. In fact, what you learn midweek might even lead you to make apology or backtrack just a little. What seems likely is that you’re now rubbing brain cells with someone who has considerable flair but perhaps, as yet, insufficient experience and confidence. The wisdom you’ve acquired in the last couple of years will likely be recognised and needed.
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20
Your horoscope for this week:
Between the emotionally intense Full Moon on Saturday 30 January, and the coming week’s tricky planetary activity, unexpected twists and turns are inevitable. Irritating as sudden changes are, do the minimum. Instead, be patient. Many will turn into breakthroughs. The problem? That won’t be immediately clear. Knowing that, investigate whatever interests you but make it your policy to wait, watch and learn. Don’t rush final decisions.
You’re enjoying using your imagination and it will be exciting discussing different aspects of your job with knowledgeable people. You might come up with some strange ideas. Someone will find your suggestions unusual coming from you as you aren’t usually so inventive. If these are put to the test you could all be pleasantly surprised. Social invitations received should not be dismissed. You have a busy week ahead but you should still make time to have some fun.
As you know, yours is the sign of the bull and yes, there are times when your self-sabotage by behaving like the proverbial bull in the china shop. Take care that you don’t do that either on Sunday or Monday as the Sun arrives at right angle with Mars now moving through your sign. Losing your temper would likely be counter-productive. Instead, you could transmute this energy and use it to remove obstacles that have been holding you back for weeks. With assistance, you could yet expand on what is potentially a genius concept. In fact, the bee that may have landed in your bonnet at the start of the year could now be manically buzzing but require direction. It’s entirely possible that priority will need to be given to team management.
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20
Your horoscope for this week:
Your ruler Mercury’s retrograde cycle is known for the confusion it triggers. This begins on 30 January. Intriguingly, its position, in one of the most expansive portions of your chart, indicates any errors, minor or major, will lead to worthwhile discussions, discoveries or even amazing, if unexpected, offers. The secret? Be uncharacteristically patient and explore everything, especially what seems unappealing. You’re in for some thrilling surprises.
A possessive partner is trying to plan your days. You’ve made other arrangements which won’t please them. Their attitude isn’t pleasing you. You’re deliberately avoiding discussing the future because you aren’t sure you want them in it. You just aren’t ready to make the serious commitment they are expecting from you. Work progresses well. Social life is quiet. Your love life is nothing to write home about but you’re achieving big things and for now, that’s what really matters.
Yes, your ruling planet is retrograde, but that doesn’t mean that you are! In fact, you could absorb information like a sponge. True, you might be resentful about some of the information you’re expected to take on board quickly. This could be health related but is as likely to involve complex documentation; and yes, it’s possible you will need to confront someone to get them to explain things more clearly. There is an assumption that those born under the Air signs like your own have no difficulty in taking on new ideas. Keeping the neurons in your brain cells in good working order though is imperative. That’s something you might give thought to early this week. Your nervous system too might benefit from a boost. It does seem that you are on a new learning path and that within the next couple of years will gain considerable expertise. The road ahead might seem rough at first, but it should be clear that this is a journey well worth embarking on.
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22
Your horoscope for this week:
Obviously, you’re eager to learn about intriguing ideas, yet you’re urged to avoid getting too involved, too soon. Equally, while it’s vital you support those who’re struggling, be wary of side-lining your own interests and plans to lend them a hand. Make achieving and maintaining this balance your personal priority, and you’ll be there for others but, equally important, benefit from those dazzling opportunities.
You’re starting to feel used by someone who takes and takes yet gives nothing in return. A close friend or workmate has you twisted around their little finger. In your effort to please them, they have learned how to manipulate you. Now you realise this you will be making some big changes in this relationship. A video consultation will go better than you anticipated. Formulating long-term goals will give you a sense of purpose.
Whether it’s because you’re trying to bring a group back together or form a new one entirely, you could experience ‘team’ challenge. It might be as well to assume that this isn’t something that can be realised quickly. Recall constantly that we’ve now entered a new age. The vibrations are so very different from this time last year; but yes, you’re right: you will likely be super busy and could feel overwhelmed. That though is likely to be temporary. Once it dawns on a certain person that you require more assistance and support, you could yet be taken by surprise by their willingness to help. Even so, it should now be apparent that you need plenty of plan Bs and Cs for when things don’t run smoothly. Chiron (the planetoid orbiting between Saturn and Uranus) is touring the career area of your solar chart. This planetoid has a reputation for involvement with medical matters and presently, particularly mental health. It may be that more than one person needs your support and encouragement and that you are singled out as the optimum person to provide it.
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22
Your horoscope for this week:
True, you enjoy a drama; but the twists, turns and clashes triggered by the Leo Full Moon on Friday 30 January could seem overwhelming. However, when looking back on these events, you’ll not only be thankful they took place, you’ll recognise amazing links that were unclear at the time; and now? At minimum, explore everything. What seems least promising could be amazing in the long run.
Changes in the workplace will be a short-term strategy to help everyone get on top of a challenging situation. Different measures that are put in place will be working at the moment but you aren’t sure how this might develop in the weeks and months ahead. If you’ve been neglecting your closest relationships, find fun ways to reconnect with each other. Suggest ways to spice up your romance. It is perfectly reasonable to want to have fun together.
Traditionally the right angle between Sun and Mars is thought to bring dispute and tension. That this aspect highlights the backbone of your solar chart could indicate disagreement over a property or work matter (the two may be linked). Yet this same energy could be used productively to get over an obstacle. What must be remembered is the extra-ordinary alignment of planets in your opposite sign that no one on the planet has experienced before. These are still early days. Turmoil as we all negotiate new ways of thinking is probable. Understanding will be needed. True, you could exercise your lion’s roar and might feel better for doing so. Yet given the high probability of a new partnership settling in, it might be expedient to give way a little in the second half of the week with the confidence that compromise will eventually get you to where you want to be.
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22
Your horoscope for this week:
This is one of those weeks when, while it seems everything is going wrong, you later discover what seemed obstacles actually prevented you from getting involved in activities or arrangements you’d later have regretted. If you must make plans, ensure they’re flexible enough you can rethink them. Meanwhile, explore surprise developments or unexpected offers. What you regard as least welcome could turn out to be a breakthrough.
Dealing with mundane matters and everyday responsibilities is leaving you with little time for anything else. You can’t remember the last time you had some fun. You’ve lost touch with your inner child that inspires you creatively, emotionally and spiritually. Change your routines so you have more chance to be spontaneous. This isn’t a good week to apply for credit. If there’s something you badly want and you don’t have the money, it would be better to wait until you do.
Those of your sign have a reputation for being efficient (not always justified!). What does seem to be true is that once you’ve identified a task that needs to be done, you’ll go at it until it is. It’s that trait that should get you noticed this week. There is also high probability of you dealing with a negotiator who doesn’t have your multitasking talents or versatility. They may not see the loopholes that you see. How you work this to your advantage will, of course, depend on your personal chart. What seems likely is that you will be discussing new ways of working and networking. Indeed, the latter could be a major theme. Join forces and agreeing to be part of a team with similar aims seems likely. This might not come under the umbrella of ‘class action’ but may be similar.
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22
Your horoscope for this week:
Either you’ve avoided certain tricky matters because you were unsure what to do or you’ll be faced with unexpected, and very puzzling, dilemmas. Irritatingly, certain individuals want a solution, and soon. The trick? Focus on gathering facts. Even if you devised a solution, with things moving so swiftly, you’d have to rethink things within days. Focus on discussion. That will distract those who’re pressing for decisions.
You’re trying to get your head around different plans, decisions and routines that are being implemented in the workplace. Some make very little sense to you. Those in high places will insist they’re doing their best to adapt to changing demands and regulations. It feels like a one step forward and two steps back situation. Some good news around Thursday will make you happy. You will want to share your good fortune with the rest of the world. A positive attitude helps you push past obstacles.
It’s said that Libra has a lazy sub personality. It is perhaps also true that it’s only when your balance is disturbed, that you find the energy to tackle certain tasks. Finding that energy ought not to be difficult this week. Tension in the sky could bring just the impetus you need. A strong possibility is that one of your more creative ideas has gathered momentum. Recall that there is a great build-up of planetary attention in the research and development area of your solar chart. You should, at least in this area, be firing on all cylinders. The art next, is to align with those who could help you see these through to successful completion. Jupiter moves rather faster than Saturn and opportunities should come your way – to be followed by new (and acceptable) responsibility later. What’s interesting is talk about a commercial partnership that would allow you to realise a dream that may have been incubating for at least half a dozen years.
Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21
Your horoscope for this week:
Accepting that, in certain matters, you’ve little control isn’t easy. However, once that’s clear, instead of struggling with those, you’ll turn your attention to other pursuits. Some are practical but dull. Or they will be until you’re actually involved, and discover unexpected and exciting options. It’s the same with disentangling yourself from tedious arrangements. The process is challenging but the resulting freedom is very timely indeed.
Emotions are running high. This makes you feel vulnerable. Find a practical outlet for your feelings. Dance, music, poetry and photography are just some mediums for our creative energy. Take a course in a subject that interests you. If you are single, this could lead you to a new romantic partner. You take your work and family responsibilities seriously but you also need a little excitement and variety in your life. Devoting all your time to mundane chores would drive you crazy.
Perhaps you do have something to be very angry about or maybe someone is angry with you? Either way, you could tune into planetary tension as the Sun arrives at right angles to Mars. The art may be to not self-sabotage but to accept that this tension is around and could yet be turned into a productive fuel. Recall that there is now a large group of planets at the very base of your solar chart. This should act as consolidation. Yet it may be that you need a much bigger window on the world and yes, that could involve moving. It might also be driven by a desire to expand or extend career prospects. It’s further possible that someone born under one of the Air signs of Gemini, Libra or Aquarius absolutely needs you on their team and makes an offer you don’t feel you can refuse.
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21
Your horoscope for this week:
For ages you’ve deftly sidestepped tedious discussions or matters as dull as they are inescapable. While you can still avoid these, you’re urged to tackle them now. Why? Because next week’s thrilling but entirely unexpected events will demand thought and time-consuming debate. Ideally, by then, you’ll want to ensure those untidy issues or obligations are dealt with. Ignore them now, and they’ll hold you back then.
A close relationship is under threat. An old flame has turned up on the scene and they’re causing waves. Your partner will tell you there is nothing going on between themselves and someone they see every day. You aren’t sure you trust this other person. Keep a close eye on cash concerns. It may be necessary to gently but firmly refuse any request friends make to borrow cash or a valued possession. It’s important to protect your own interests.
As you probably know, Sagittarius is depicted as half man and half horse. It seems that those of your sign need to experience and enjoy challenge and adventure more than others. Of course, you don’t want things to be too easy, and having a few obstacles on the way is part of the fun. Let’s hope you still feel that way after facing an obstacle that really is super challenging. This will likely require as much mental as physical power to overcome; and yes, you might need rest and even sanctuary time midweek to recover. Long before the week is over and yes, possibly acquiring new technical skills along the way, you could align with someone whose detachment is commendable. What you might appreciate is that only with scientific advance can certain goals be reached. Here you could come into your own, – giving support to someone who doesn’t as yet have much confidence in their ability to crack a code.
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19
Your horoscope for this week:
In mid-December, both your ruler Saturn and fortunate Jupiter moved to accent what you earn, own and your assets, financial and otherwise. Since then, you’ve reviewed your finances, and also your approach to time and even ideas. Now events or offers are forcing you to consider future plans. The trick? Forget the past. Explore absolutely everything. Regard decisions as instructive experiments, and ensure others understand that.
You’ve grown tired of pouring your energy into jobs that give you little satisfaction. Mixing with creative people will have a big effect on your own imagination making this a great week for friendships and fun activities. Sharing your skills with others will bring about a creative breakthrough. Friends and workmates are seeing a new side of you as you find yourself in a position to show off your creative potential. Taking up a new sport or hobby will give you a new lease on life.
You won’t be the only sign of the Zodiac to feel as though you’ve hit a brick wall on Monday. Fact is that certain people could really dig their heels in and make life difficult for everyone around. Of course, they may not be aware of what they’re doing. There is high probability that they’re clinging onto the past and refusing to accept that the only way forward is to embrace new technologies and new ways of thinking. Given the experiences you’ve had in the last couple of years, you could yet harness and channel other people’s energy and yes, get them to work together as a team. This might not be a role you actively seek, – but it’s very likely that others think you are perfectly suited to the task. Accepting this role – albeit temporarily – could yet gain you respect and accolades.
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18
Your horoscope for this week:
Promising as the changes reshaping your life are, you’re puzzled how things will come together. Be patient. It will all be clear, but probably not until after the pivotal Aquarius New Moon, on 11 February. Around then, events and your perspective merge into an exciting, if occasionally unexpected, ideas and offers as unanticipated as they are thrilling; and until then? You’ve a little decluttering to do.
Getting away from it all could help resolve a family problem. You need some time away from someone whose moodiness is driving you crazy. Plan a trip to a place you have always found relaxing and peaceful. You are tempted to take up a financial or work-related challenge. Someone will tell you the return won’t be worth the risk. You aren’t so sure and this could be a chance you are willing to take.
Once you have something in your sights you can be hellbent on achieving the goal. That should be apparent to all as of Monday; and yes, this could be property-related. Whether your determination is to find the perfect colour for a room that requires renovation, or is a bigger project requiring review of where and how you live, having identified what it is that you want, you could make clear to all that you expect to achieve this – and within months; and yet: note that Mercury is still retrograde in your sign. Being flexible now would be wise. You might also need support and will likely require a degree of compromise – especially if a Gemini is involved. With a little give and take, you could yet realise success. Take time to assess developments in the workplace and the alacrity with which certain people are requiring new skills. You may need to do the same.
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20
Your horoscope for this week:
Your biggest challenge won’t involve your own life, which seems to be moving along well. The secret? It’s to avoid being drawn in when others complain about unexpected events or changes, they regard as unfair or challenging. While that might be true, it’s just as likely their moaning is about getting somebody else to deal with their problems. The trick is to ensure that person isn’t you.
Your employer will offer to pay for further training. If you’re being given classes for free, take up this useful offer. It’s important to show you are open to learning. If you are unemployed at the moment, go ahead and book a place on a workshop you recently saw advertised. In all areas, why accept second best when you can get the best? You are deserving of the good things that are happening to you now. Voluntary work can help improve your self-esteem.
It won’t be so surprisingly if you hit a reality brick wall. Practicalities simply have to be addressed. The fact that so much has altered in recent weeks at some levels is disconcerting. You won’t be the only sign facing tough dilemmas but might perhaps be one of the few that others look to for guidance. Yes, others might be looking to you for help just when you need that help yourself. So yes, this could be yet another topsy-turvy week with ideas being thrown this way and that. Those around you may be playing with new technologies with which both you and they are unfamiliar. Difficulties are inevitable. Maintaining calm and not getting too stressed will surely be the main challenge.
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