GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 17 Oct 2021

Cat Tip of the Month: October is officially designated as Black Cat Awareness Month. The month is meant to promote adoption of black cats who, sadly, have lower adoption rates than differently colored cats. It’s also unofficially known as Keep Your Black Cat Inside Month. Better safe than sorry. ~Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer

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

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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.

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Current Moon Phase: Waxing Moon:

Time: From New Moon To Full (Approx. 14 Days)

Goddess Aspect: Maiden

Associated Goddesses: Artemis, Branwen, Eriu, Nymph, Epona

Magickal Attributes: Invoking Beginnings, New Projects, Ideas, Inspiration, Energy, Vitality, Freedom. Workings On This Day Are For “Constructive” Magick (Love, Wealth, Success, Courage, Friendship, Luck or Health.)

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October

Oct 18 English Great Horn Fair – Festival of Herne.

OCT. 18: Great Horn Festival—Horned God and Lady of the Wood invoked for the fertility of wild game and the Hunting Season.

OCTOBER 20, 2021: BLOOD MOON

Consider getting dressed up early this year to celebrate the Blood Moon on October 20 at 10:57 a.m. Eastern.

The Blood Moon is also called the Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon, Hunter’s Moon, Harvest Moon, and the Sanguine Moon.

SEPTEMBER 30 TO OCTOBER 27 – CELTIC MONTH OF IVY

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Sunday Classes with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

03: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ WitchCrafting

10: Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron

17: Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals

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High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon

http://GoddessSchool.com

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

You Might Also Be Interested In:

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/index.html

http://www.goddessschool.com/courses/natural/naturalwitch.html

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

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Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!

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!

http://goddessschool.com/Paganstudies/healingarts.html

The cost for each level 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!

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Earth Signs and Omens in Nature Course

Learn to read the mysteries of nature! The course covers signs and omens, communication, seasonal rites, trees and shrubs, flowers, plants and weeds, herbs, plant magick, the Guardians of Nature and much more.

http://goddessschool.com/courses/earthsigns/index.html

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The Goddess School Grimoire

http://www.lulu.com/shop/sotbb-Goddess-school/the-Goddess-school-grimoire/hardcover/product-762380.html

Hardcover: $39.45

Softback: $26.95

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 (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

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Stacy Adams <retail@coventrycreations.com>

October 18, 2021 – October 24, 2021

The third week of October starts with some good news as Mercury turns direct. Expect communication to return to normal and begin to repair any damage Mercury may have caused.

Midweek focus on ridding yourself of behaviors that are limiting your relationships, do something you enjoy, pamper yourself, and treat yourself to something decadent.

Weekend power struggles and disagreements are likely, avoid falling into a victim mindset. Scorpio season begins as the Sun moves into the sign of the Scorpion on Sunday.

Recommended: Healing – Heart Chakra (Chakra magic), Protection (Blessed Herbal), Inner Balance (Blessed Herbal)

Here’s what you missed on CoventryCreations.com this week…

Candle Ritual for opening your eyes to your own bad habits

The Full Moon in Aries occurs on October 20. The good news is that Mercury is now direct! The bad news is that Mars (the ruler of Aries) is in detriment to Libra. So, to work with this energy, we must tweak how we would work with the planetary ruler.

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The Halloween Oracle

The Veil

The future.

There is a misty curtain

that divides us all

The veil that this night thins

Transparent the weave becomes

And the future no longer dims.

The veil is thin, messages abound, listen closely and set your own intentions.

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FULL MOON OCTOBER 20, 2021 IN ARIES

October is a busy month to enjoy with our marvelous full Moon October 20, 2021 in Aries. If you are prone to tilt your head and howl at the moon, like the great hunters the coyotes, this will be the only night this month when the moon will be visible in the sky all night long. Just be mindful of the neighbors when you howl!

The energy has shifted in October and the portal between us and the spirit world is open.  Now is the time to do spiritual protection, prayers for the future, and think on only what is good.  Your thoughts will control what you receive from this energy shift.

The Hunter’s full Moon also called the harvest Moon is here to light up our inner-fires — and maybe start a little drama, too. This one falls in the headstrong and zealous sign of Aries. Everyone will feel the tension and passion of this luminary

In October, we enter the glorious late afternoon of the year. The woodland blazes with vibrant colors. As October passes the door to the otherworld opens wider. We become more receptive to spiritual energies and feel drawn to bond with our ancestors.

To the Native Americans full moons were a way to keep track of the seasons and make appropriate preparations for survival. Besides, with falling leaves and the fattening of wild game, also preparing for winter, who could argue that this month’s moon signaled a good time to go hunting…

https://cherokeebilliespiritualadvisor.com/blogs/all/full-moon-october-20-2021-in-aries

Cherokee Billie

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Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Cleansing a Pre-owned Object

OCTOBER 17, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE

I love thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets, etc. My partner and I have a collection of chalices, many books, and even a brass cauldron and statuettes of the Venus de Milo and Isis that have been gathered over the years from local shops. The only drawback is that you cannot be certain of the history of pre-owned items, so it’s a good idea to cleanse them in order to neutralize any energetic residue they may contain.

First, physically clean the object in whichever way is proper, then proceed with the cleansing. Two quick and effective options for this are to pass the object through the smoke of frankincense and myrrh incense, or touch the object with both hands and visualize all the energy in the object changing from cloudy to clear, and say:

A safe addition to my domain,

cleared and cleansed you will be.

No harmful power shall you contain,

filled only with correct, healthy energy.

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Apple Peel Divination

OCTOBER 16, 2021 BY THORN MOONEY

This time of year is wonderful for divining the future! Try this variation on an American colonial classic, derived from Dutch folklore.

In colonial New England, young girls would peel an apple in one continuous strand, then throw the peel over their shoulder to reveal the initial of their future husband. If you happen to be in the market for a husband, then by all means give it a try!

But this technique can be used to divine other information as well: to reveal other names, significant numbers, or meaningful shapes. Begin by asking the apple a question. Use a sharp knife to peel it in one long piece while concentrating on your request, then toss it over your shoulder to reveal an answer! A peel that lands in a heart or star shape might indicate coming love or excitement. A Y or N could be yes or no. A letter might give a clue to someone who will influence you. Keep an open mind and follow your intuition!

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Rise Above It Spell

OCTOBER 15, 2021 BY DEVIN HUNTER

Both the sun and Mars are in Libra today, bringing about a strong desire for people to find middle ground and transcend issues. It is a time when the cosmos is calling us to let go of our ego. Sometimes this is hard, but don’t worry—this spell is meant to help you take the high road when it would be easier to take a lower one or not budge at all.

In a medium-size bowl, put one cup of salt, three sprigs of fresh peppermint, the peel of one whole lemon, and three pinches of catnip. Using your index finger, stir the ingredients together and visualize the problem moving from your mind down into the bowl through your finger, and allow the mixture to absorb it. Lift the bowl over your head and walk counterclockwise in a small circle three times. As you do this, say:

I rise above this mess that’s made,

and now I see resistance fade.

Put the bowl in a western corner and leave it there until the matter is resolved.

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Drown Out the Buzz of Lack

OCTOBER 14, 2021 BY EMYME

We live in the happy knowledge that abundance is ours. There is enough and more of everything we truly need. Believing in it makes it so.

Unfortunately, there are people who are just as convinced of, and living in, lack. Believing in that also makes it so. It may be possible to nudge some of these folks from pessimism to optimism. But for those stuck in an eternal downward spiral, it might be best to leave them alone. Take yourself out of their sphere. Put in your earbuds and enjoy some soothing music. When those options are not viable, learn to drown out the buzz. Concentrate on all things good and happy. This isn’t always an easy skill to develop, but it will save you headaches, both literal and figurative. Call upon Tranquillitas, goddess of peace and tranquility. She will guide you to serenity in the face of discontent. Say:

Quiet the noise, block the whine,

create a wall of calm divine. Offer a

smile, perhaps a soft word. Abundance

is forever and lack deterred.

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A Wishing Well Spell

OCTOBER 13, 2021 BY JAMES KAMBOS

On this day in ancient Rome, springs and wells were honored by casting floral garlands or wreaths into them. This spell helps us remember this ritual.

You’ll need a bowl filled with spring water and two or three ivy leaves. Sit before the bowl of water. Drop the ivy leaves into the water. Dip a finger into the water and anoint your third eye. Now close your eyes and meditate about a wish you want to come true. Open your eyes and stir the water clockwise three times with your finger. Carry the bowl outside and place the ivy leaves on the ground as an offering. Then pour the water on a tree or shrub, or water a houseplant with it. Your wish will manifest itself soon.

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Elevate Your Vibration with Music and Dance

OCTOBER 12, 2021, BY SAPPHIRE MOONBEAM

Music and dancing are a great way to add joy and movement to enhance and raise power during magical workings. Since ancient times dance has been associated with spiritual events. The ancient Egyptians, as well as many other ancient societies, celebrated with music and dance in ceremonies to honor the gods and goddesses.

Add dance and rhythm to any of your spells with chants to help amplify the power. Say the words with the rhythm of the music of your choice or chant along with rattles or drumbeats that you create. Allow your body to move in sync and in harmony with the sounds. Dance uninhibitedly while you incorporate the rhythm and music into your movements. Don’t overthink your dancing; get into the flow, enjoy yourself, and let yourself go.

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Affirmation for Positive Change

OCTOBER 11, 2021 BY DEBORAH BLAKE

Today is the day most Americans know as Columbus Day. It is also now called Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in acknowledgment of the fact that there were indigenous people already living here when Columbus “discovered” the New World. It was, in fact, only new to him.

Our reality, or at least our awareness of it, is a constantly shifting and changing space. This can be tough to deal with, but it is important for us to constantly strive to change for the better. On this day in particular, and any other day that it feels right, try doing this simple affirmation or meditation. ( You can do it as either or both.) Say:

I am open to positive change.

I work for positive change in

myself and in the world.

If you want, you can just sit with these words for a moment, or you can close your eyes and meditate on what a better world or a better self would look like to you.

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Heartwings Love Notes 1004 What’s Bugging You?

Heartwings says, “Human beings must share with insect beings.”

 I opened a drawer and took out my old black wool sweater. To my dismay it had several large moth holes. With a sinking heart I checked the other two wool sweaters in there, only to discover they too had suffered from chewing. Fortunately, their damage was minor and mendable. The other one was beyond repair.

I felt sad. This was my first cashmere sweater, mended many times from moth predation. The large holes solved a mystery: the source of the moths decorating a moth trap I had set out. The information was alas, too late to save my sweater. However, moths are not my only insect problem.

Ants have been invading the kitchen all summer. I tried everything short of poison. Reluctantly, I had to to kill them myself, though I apologized as I did so. I dislike murdering insects. They crawled in great numbers through my trash can. I finally bagged and tied all food garbage in plastic bags, depositing them in the trash. I kept my counters exquisitely clean, spraying them with an occasional vinegar and water mixture as well.

I have quickly dispatched the few ants that came to investigate since. Perhaps this major influx was my fault. Last late fall and winter I hosted one lone ant. I nicknamed him Andrew and made up stories about him for fun-even considering writing him into a children’s book. But the influx of ants from spring onward took the shine off of that idea. Maybe he went back and told the other ants I was a kind hostess. I stopped acting like one and took up my murderous ways.

Spiders show up occasionally, however, I never kill them. That’s bad luck. I do put them outside with a device called a Bugzooka. It catches insects alive so you can let them go outside. You can find it on the internet. While you can use it to catch almost any insect, it’s especially good for anything that flies, like those moths that appear in my bathroom from where I do not know. I do know they’re not clothes moths because they are larger, and a soft brown color. They show up and hover around there until the Bugzooka captures them.

Then there are those strange brown beetles that start to show up in the fall. They are very slow and easy to catch. I’ve been told they make a mighty stink if you squash them. I never have. They seem quite harmless. They neither bite me nor eat my clothes and I see no reason to kill them. Later on, if they show up and it’s cold, I put them on a plant outside in the hall.

Coexisting with the insect world can be challenging. There are a lot more off them than there are of us. Ants are important, part of nature’s cleanup crew, however, my home gets cleaned by me, not them. I am grateful for my Bugzooka which allows me to catch and release both harmless and biting insects. And for the rest, I just have to figure out where those moths come from and save my sweaters next year.

May you find ways to make peace with the insects around you.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

Do you have a story about this or anything else you would like to share with me? I do love it when you do? Please write to me at tashahal@aol.com, and visit my web pages at http://www.heartwingsandfriends.com.

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Finding Freedom in No

Saying No to somebody when we’re used to saying Yes, can be challenging as we fear being rejected.

Many of us, from childhood on, are taught that saying yes is right and saying no is wrong. We learn that acceding to demands allows us to avoid conflict and criticism, please people, earn praise, and prove that we care for the important people in our lives. Yet the right to say no is indelibly intertwined with the ability to make choices. When we sense we are limited in our options, compelled to say yes even when doing so is not in our interests, we are effectively robbed of our ability to choose. Growing out of this tendency to say yes even when we desperately want to say no can be challenging because we suspect that others will reject us for our assertiveness. But the reward we receive upon facing this challenge is true freedom of choice.

When others ask you to take on work or do favors, consider their requests carefully. If you feel pressed to say yes, consider whether you are acquiescing out of a desire for approval or to stave off disapproval. Remind yourself often that the ability to say no is an important aspect of well-being, as it is an indication that you understand the true value of your energy, talents, and time. As you learn to articulate your personal power by saying no, you may feel compelled to explore the myriad consequences of the word by responding negatively to many or most of the requests put to you. The word “no” may even become your default response for some time. When you see that life moves forward without interruption, however, you will grow more comfortable saying no and will resume making decisions from a point of balance.

There is nothing inherently wrong with acceding to the requests others make of you, provided these requests do not infringe upon your health or your happiness. Keep in mind that it is only when you feel you have the legitimate right to say no that you can say yes with utmost certainty, sincerity, and enthusiasm. While saying yes almost always has a cost, you can feel good about offering your agreement when your reasons for doing so are rooted in your individual values and your appreciation for the appeal before you.

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Druid Tree Workings: Intuitive Tree Sigils and Tree Sigil Magic

by Dana

Nature provides incredible opportunities for us to work with her magic, through symbolism, sacred geometry, and meditation.  Today, I wanted to share a technique I’ve been developing for land healing purposes–tree sigil work.

Sigils have many different purposes.  In classic Western Occultism, some of the most well-known sigils are found in the Lesser Key of Solomon and are used to identify and evoke a particular spirit or entity. Another more recent use of sigils is through the practice of Chaos magic, where sigils are often used to set an intention and use the image to focus on that intention.  I covered bardic intuitive sigils some time ago on this blog; this use is in line more with the second intention. Sigils can be meditated upon, carved into wood or stone, energized and blessed, burned or buried, or placed in key areas for reminder and reflection.

Tree sigil work can be used for either purpose. That is, tree sigils can be used to bring the energy of the tree into your life.  And tree sigils can also be used for setting intentions and magical work. Sigils can then be meditated on, carried with you, buried, burned, set on an altar, and much more.

But what about natural sigils? How might we draw upon this practice in a nature-oriented way?  Enter intuitive tree sigils!

Tree Sigils and Nature’s Patterns

If there is one constant of nature, it is the pattern.  Patterns great and small can be found all over the natural world in various ways: spirals, branches, waves, and clouds being just a few.  Patterns are reflected all through sacred trees and plants–branching patterns, wave patterns, spirals, and much more. Tree sigils are sigils created from particular patterns present in nature, such as those found in trees.  That is, we can use nature as a guide to design symbols for a specific purpose. Thus, we can look to these sacred trees for inspiration when we need it.  For further info on nature’s patterns and archetypes, you might check out my post on the basics of sacred geometry and nature’s patterns; I also have a post on the use of sigils in snow.

Tree sigils are simply images that we create after connecting to and being inspired by a particular pattern.  This pattern could be unique to a specific tree or can be indicative of all spaces of tree.  Once we are inspired by the tree, we can capture some small form of it in a sigil, which we can then work with magically.  So let’s go through the steps to do this:

First, you want to set an intention for your sigil work. Consider the following: Do you want to more deeply connect to the energy of a particular tree?  Do you want the tree to aid you with a specific thing? Do you want to direct energy outward towards the tree or the land for healing/blessing? Spend time setting your intentions, as sigil magic is more effective when you have a clear sense of what you want.

Once you have your intention firmly in your mind, seek out a tree that may guide you.  If you want to work with particular energy, you can seek out a specific tree species that may hold that energy (e.g spruce for healing from illness, oak for strength, hawthorn for heart healing).  You can use your intuition to find t

Once you find your tree, make an offering and ask the tree if you can work with it for creating a sigil.  If the tree says no, thank the tree and move on.  If the tree says yes, spend time with the tree using basic plant spirit communication guidelines. Quiet your mind, meditate with the tree and listen to what the tree has to say to you. Use any divination approach you want to ask further questions (a pendulum being good for yes or no questions, while something like the Plant Spirit Oracle is useful for more complex questions).  Finally, ask the tree to provide you with a sigil for your work.

Once you’ve received your message, start observing the tree really carefully.  Move away from it and then walk up to it using different angles.  Get in close, looking at the details of branches, leaves, fruit, or nuts.  Walk around the tree and see what draws your eye.  Spend time doing this–it may take a while or something about the tree may immediately speak to you.   Now, look for patterns. Most commonly, you can find patterns in the following ways

In the bark of the tree, including in areas that are damaged or different

In the branches of the tree—look up and see how the branches may grow or cross each other

In the pattern of the leaf of the tree or the leaf veins of the tree

In the pattern of nuts, flowers, and other aspects of the tree

Each tree has many patterns that you can find—the key for you is to find the one that speaks to you most strongly.  Once you have found the pattern you like, draw it on your paper.  You can redraw it, change it, or even add a second or third pattern to the tree sigil from different parts of the tree.  There is no right or wrong way to do this—just use your intuition until you have a pattern, derived from that tree, that can guide you.

From there, you can decide how to best use the sigil based on your intention. If you are bringing something into your life, you might consider turning it into a pendant and blessing it (using a tree oil, tree incense, or sacred grove work). Wear your pendant and meditate on the sigil each day.  If you are using the sigil to remove something, you might create the pendant on a larger piece of paper and wood and then have a ritual fire to burn it or cast it into running water.  If you are doing blessing work on behalf of the land or others, you might create an altar and do regular prayers and blessings, placing the sigil in the center of the altar. You can combine the sigil with any number of other tree magic practices here in this chapter.

Example: Eastern White Cedar Good Health/Revitalization Sigil

I wanted to work with a tree to develop a sigil for good health and revitalization due to a recent illness.  First, I went out onto my land and spoke my intention aloud, allowing my intention to settle across the land.  Then, I just let my intuition guide me.  I closed my eyes and opened myself to the land, allowing me to be pulled in a direction.  I opened my eyes and started to walk.  Quickly, I could feel the large Eastern White Cedar near our garage pulling me to her.

I came to her and asked to sit before her.  I saw with her, paying attention to different aspects of her: the way her needles grow closely over each other, the pattern of bark on the branches, and the pattern of the trunk.  I was drawn to the pattern of the trunk, so I meditated on it for a bit.

Then, I sat with my notebook and began to create the sigil.  This one happened fast–I started with a more literal representation of the trunk and branch pattern and then simplified it.  Here’s what I came up with!

From there, the next step is to use the sigil however you want.  For me, I trace the sigil into the air around me each day before I go off to work (as right now, I’m back to in-person teaching and I want to have a bit of extra magical protection as I’m exposed to many people).  I also fashioned it into a small charm made of Cedar wood that I can carry with me.

Finally, this post is material from my forthcoming North American TreeLore Oracle project!   This project focuses on creating new knowledge and magical practices surrounding common trees in Eastern North America.  This is a great way for us to reconnect to the living earth, build new traditions surrounding nature, and more deeply understand the interconnection of ecology, lore, herbalism, and much more.  If you are interested in learning more about the project, we’ll be releasing a Kickstarter for it in the next 3-4 months.  You can follow my blog and/or sign up for my newsletter for more information!https://thedruidsgarden.com/newsletter/

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Ghost Hunting Theories

Nature Spirits

At some point, you are likely to have taken a photo and looked back at it and thought you saw a face.

Recently my best friend Julie and I were on a high altitude meadow at sunset where a herd of elk were grazing. I looked at the woodline and saw a gray face standing out in the darkness. I looked back at the elk, realizing it was looking at them. When I went to look back at the face and it wasn’t there. It had moved about 20 feet closer up the forest’s edge toward the elk.

Luckily, Julie was taking zoom photos of the forest and this face showed up in that area. Is it a face? Well, from the photo it is rather vague and in the shadows, but with the sun setting at the treeline, I was able to see it with my eyes first. So, whatever was in there, it wasn’t just a blown up 72-pixel shot from a cell phone creating something that wasn’t there.

It’s not unusual to see faces in forms, like trees, shadows, or in the case of this photo below, a newly cut piece of cavern where a dam was being built. When the workers descended into the area after cutting, a demon-like face with horns was seen. Some men fled and did not come back to the work site. They eventually filled it in with concrete, but it has one pondering –

Are we anthropomorphizing shapes in nature and projecting our own point of reference on what we see or are we seeing a subtle projection to remind us that spirit is everywhere?

It reminds me of ghost investigations. Members of the team who acknowledge they possess no “psychic” ability to see or hear ghosts, have an evening where they experience it and suddenly it opens a whole new world of focus they never had before. Now they know how to discern it.

Perhaps it is so with nature. Once we make a connection, we see life everywhere.

Most cultures acknowledge in some way the life force that is in everything and that forests have spirits, caves have spirits, and bodies of water have spirits.

Kirlian photography which captures coronal discharge has shown some interesting details about nature, such as a leaf that is cut showing its coronal discharge still where it was when it was whole.

Elementals is a common term to describe nature spirits. These legendary spirits represent the four elements – earth, air, fire, and water. Pagan religions have a strong focus on the four elements as the forces that create and destroy nature and deserve a certain degree of reverance.

Geomancy, or the belief that one can control the flow of energy in nature by placement, such as in the practice of Feng Shui is yet another example of nature spirits. In Feng Shui it is believed that the location and orientation of certain objects and pathways can guide good and bad energy toward and away from desired sectors, such as romance, business, fortune. If this is interesting to you, I suggest the book Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster by Anna Maria Prezio.

If the concept of spirits in nature intrigues you, I suggest a documentary that is both fascinating and spine-tingling, Invasion of the Dark Stars. It will show you the world in a whole new way that opens a path of curiosity.

If you want to explore a channel on YouTube about this subject, try Elemental Encounters.

Nearly every culture has their nature spirits included in their mythos. European pagan cultures did a fine job of designing costuming and celebrations based on these elemental beings.

In these times of COVID and cities emptying out, people capable of living anywhere to work remotely, and our very dependence on the “system” being highlighted and scaring folks into growing their own food, getting off grid, and learning to be truly independent, we see a redirect to nature again. Gone are the days of throw-away Ikea furniture and Chinese-made plastic products. Folks are trading in for glass jars, wooden toothbrushes, and recycling/upcycling used items.

By reconnecting with seasons and nature, we find a balance in our souls as the outdoors always have a way of making us feel integrated with the world. Instead of being connected by a virtual internet world – we feel the wind and the rain, the day and the night, the seasons of the trees….

In fact, grounding has become a popular re-find among humans. The practice of walking barefoot on the ground has a way of feeling integrated with the life around us, the planet, nature, and the earth as a whole.

Might humans go back to their pagan ways? I suspect that every religion is based on the first concepts of the spirit realm which were considered a pagan method. Symbols and idols such as palm fronds, ash, Easter eggs, Christmas trees, have their fluid connection with spirituality over the times and forms that has taken to enlightenment.

Any time we feel bad about cutting down a tree, feel eyes upon us in the forest, marvel at a seed turned to flower, we are reconnecting with the energy of life in all its forms and possibilities.

No matter what one’s religion is, a reverence for nature is always called for, as it was created alongside us and for us.

Interestingly, when I had this aura photo taken, the photographer and I waited for the Polaroid to develop. I let her know that I brought all the spirits I feel around me all the time into the photo. She smiled, thinking that was adorable. But, when the paper was peeled back, something unusual revealed itself.

The next time I went, I decided to look at the spot in space where I feel my psychic abilities come from – up high to the right slightly.

The next time, my brother had died a few weeks earlier and I felt him over my right shoulder all the time.

Such energies make themselves known all the time, whether it is expressed in the autumn colors, a sun dog in the sky, or the moan of wind through a canyon. Wherever there is energy, there is life and for life to remain present and with meaning, there must be spirit.

Next time you go to the forest, consider leaving a wee fairy house, hug a tree, run barefoot over the leaves….

Perhaps the true spirits in nature is the interconnected dependency of flora and fauna and humanity.

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Taking Time For Yourself

Making time for the activities that contribute to your spiritual growth has little to do with being selfish.

Modern life compels us to rush. Because we feel pressured to make the most of our time each day, the activities that sustain us, rejuvenate us, and help us evolve are often the first to be sacrificed when we are in a hurry or faced with a new obligation. It is important we remember that there is more to life than achieving success, making money, and even caring for others. Your spiritual needs should occupy an important spot on your list of priorities. Each task you undertake and each relationship you nurture draws from the wellspring of your spiritual vitality. Taking the time to engage in spiritually fulfilling activities replenishes that well and readies you to face another day. Making time for the activities that contribute to your spiritual growth has little to do with being selfish and everything to do with your well-being. Regularly taking the time to focus on your soul’s needs ensures that you are able to nurture yourself, spend time with your thoughts, experience tranquility, and expand your spiritual boundaries.

 It is easy to avoid using our free moments for spiritual enrichment. There is always something seemingly more pressing that needs to be done. Many people feel guilty when they use their free time to engage in pursuits where they are focusing on themselves because they feel as if they are neglecting their family or their work. To make time for yourself, it may be necessary to say no to people’s requests or refuse to take on extra responsibilities. Scheduling fifteen or thirty minutes of time each day for your spiritual needs can make you feel tranquil, give you more energy and allows you to feel more in touch with the universe. Writing in a journal, meditating, studying the words of wise women and men, and engaging in other spiritual practices can help you make the most of this time.

Making time to nurture your spirit may require that you sacrifice other, less vital activities. The more time you commit to soul-nurturing activities, the happier and more relaxed you will become. The time you devote to enriching your spirit will rejuvenate you and help you create a more restful life.

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Magic Mushrooms For Depression?

ANDREW WEIL, M.D.

Is it true that the hallucinogen in magic mushrooms can relieve depression? Is it safe? How does one get this treatment?

The psychoactive component in magic mushrooms is psilocybin. A few studies have looked at this compound for treatment of depression. The latest, from Johns Hopkins Medicine, found that two doses of psilocybin plus supportive psychotherapy resulted in “rapid and large reductions” in depressive symptoms with most participants showing improvement and half of them achieving remission during four-weeks of follow-up.

In 2016 Hopkins researchers first reported that treatment with psilocybin significantly relieved anxiety and depression in people with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

According to the Hopkins team, findings from the latest study suggest that psilocybin may be effective in the much wider population of patients who suffer from major depression than previously appreciated. Alan Davis, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, reported that “the magnitude of the effect we saw was about four times larger than what clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market.” He added that since most other treatments for depression take weeks or months to work and may have undesirable effects, “this could be a game changer if these findings hold up in future ‘gold-standard’ placebo-controlled clinical trials.” The new findings cover only a four-week follow-up in 24 participants, all of whom underwent two five-hour psilocybin sessions under the supervision and direction of the researchers.

Another Hopkins investigator, Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor in the Neuropsychopharmacology of Consciousness, noted that “because there are several types of major depressive disorders that may result in variation in how people respond to treatment, I was surprised that most of our study participants found the psilocybin treatment to be effective.” He added that the symptom of major depression treated in the new study may have been different than the “reactive” form of depression in patients studied in the 2016 cancer trial. Griffiths says his team was encouraged by public health officials to explore psilocybin’s effects in the broader population of those with major depressive disorder because of the much larger potential public health impact.

Participants in the latest study were 24 individuals with a long-term history of depression. Most experienced persistent symptoms for approximately two years before enrolling in the study. Their average age was 39; 16 were women, and 22 identified themselves as white, one as Asian and one as African-American. They all had to taper off any antidepressant medications they had been taking prior to the study. Of this group, 13 received psilocybin treatment immediately after they were recruited and after preparation sessions. Another 11 participants received the same preparation and treatment after an eight-week delay.

Treatment consisted of two psilocybin doses given two weeks apart between August 2017 and April 2019. Each treatment session lasted approximately five hours, with the participant lying on a couch wearing eye shades and headphones that played music, in the presence of monitors.

At enrollment, participants had an average depression scale rating of 23, indicating moderate depression.

Of the 24 participants, 67 percent showed a more than 50 percent reduction in depression symptoms at the one-week follow-up and 71 percent reduction at the four-week follow-up. Overall, four weeks after treatment, 54 percent of participants were considered in remission – meaning they no longer were depressed.

The researchers plan to follow the participants for a year to see how long the antidepressant effects of treatment last and intend to report their findings afterward.

The fact that psilocybin worked so quickly for so many participants is very encouraging since most antidepressant medications take weeks or even months to kick in – if they work at all. I’ll keep you posted on future research.

Source:

Alan K. Davis et al, “Effects of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” November 4, 2020, doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry,.2020.3285

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Gilberto Rides Again

by Stephen Halpert Chapter 23

It was Thursday afternoon. Gilberto was resting in the bedroom after a long board meeting at Atlas. Joey staggered into the condo, disheveled and breathless from soccer practice.

Maria smiled. “You look bushed? Drink some water.”

Joey dragged his hand across his forehead. “Long practice. Big statewide tournament coming up. Coach has us all on double time. I’m going to take a shower.” He went on down the hall and waved at Gilberto.

Gilberto looked up. “Bathroom’s occupied.”

Joey looked confused.

“Your future wife’s in there.”

“Oh,” Joey said I guess wives need to use bathrooms.”

Gilberto nodded. “Usually.”

“I’ll go say hi.” He turned and knocked on the bathroom door. No answer came. He opened the door. The bathroom was engulfed in steam.

“What are you doing?” he said.

“Washing my hair,” came Toni’s faraway voice amidst cascades of water.”

 Joey’s voice sounded impatient. “But you washed it yesterday.”

“Close the door it’s cold. I always wash my hair. That keeps it nice.”

“But we had a hard practice and I need to take a shower.”

Gilberto smiled to himself, remembering.

“You can come in. I’ll be out in a few minutes but close the door.” 

Gilberto heard Joey open the shower curtain. “The tub and shower reek of something awful.”

“The end of my shampoo so I used some of yours. I’ll be done soon.”

You can get in too. My mom and dad sometimes  shower together. But get in and close the shower curtain.”

Gilberto smiled again. The voices from the bathroom sounded so reminiscent of his growing years, only it was his father and mother speaking.

“Ok.”

“But don’t use much hot water. It will keep the room steamed up.”

“You mean I have to hurry?”

“Yes,” she said.

“But I need to soak in the hot water. We had a rough practice,” he repeated.

Gilberto heard the shower curtain sliding back and forth and small humphing sounds as she climbed out. Then a loud “Oh, no!” as Joey climbed in and the water hit him. “The hot water’s all gone!”

Gilberto laughed to himself.

“It’ll come back. Give it a couple of minutes.”

“You used it all up.”

“Not intentionally. It’ll come back.”

“What are you doing to your eyebrows?

“Maybe you could take it later. Then the room won’t stay steamed up.”

His response sounded grumpy, almost belligerent. “But I need to take my shower. I’m all hot and sweaty from practice. Besides, what’re all those jars of goo on the sink. How long are you gonna be here anyway? I really need the bathroom to myself.”

“For how long,” she asked sounding like her mother, Rosa.

 His voice sounded gruff. “Maybe a half an hour? I have to shave too.”

“What? Those few hairs? Come on! Let me just finish here. I’ll not be too much longer.”

“For what,” he yelled. “Just to pull hairs out of your eyebrows?”

“It takes longer than you might think.” she said sounding annoyingly reasonable.

Gilberto sighed. She was reminding him of Maria now. Women, he thought.

“Ah, hot water’s back,” Joey said happily.

“Turn it off,” she demanded. “You’ll ruin everything.”

“I can’t,” he insisted. “Where’s my shampoo?’

“You mean the bottle with the lion on it?

“Yes.”

“I used it and actually I think I finished the bottle.”

Now his voice was angry.” But I need my shampoo. You’re only supposed to use a couple of drops and it foams up big.” His voice pleaded much like Gilberto’s when he was agitated and frustrated over something.” Gilberto smiled.

“I just squeezed the bottle like I always do.”

“But that’s my shampoo,” he groused.   

Maria walked into the bedroom. Gilberto was looked at her and grinned. “I think the newlyweds are having a spat.”

She grinned and looked back at him. “Really, I wonder why?”

“All you need  is love,” he smiled. “And extra shampoo.”

“You were listening,” she said softly. “You look like a grinning satyr in a garden somewhere in ancient Greece.”

He grinned. “I’ll that that as a compliment.”

The bathroom door slammed and a toweled, wet Joey went into his now shared bedroom.

Gilberto motioned to Maria, “I think matrimony is settling in,” he laughed.

“Probably,” Maria smiled. “Always best to get out of the way and let true love take its course.”

Toni emerged from the bathroom. Her face looked red; her cheeks were damp from tears. She opened Joey’s bedroom door and stood there. “I think you’re very mean insisting on taking over the bathroom while I was still using it.”

Joey took a deep breath the way Gilberto did. “I was at practice and all messy and sweaty, and that’s when I need to shower.”

There was a knock at their front door.

Gilberto opened it. Sophia came in. “I want to see my sister.”

“I’ll get her,” Gilberto said. “Come in and sit down.”

He turned, went down the hall, and knocked on Joey’s bedroom door. “Sophia’s here,”  he announced.

Toni’s face reddened. “I can’t see anyone looking like this.”

“You look ok,” he said.

She sighed. Maybe to you. “She wound a towel around her head and went into the living room. She hugged Sophia.

“Are you two getting married?” Sophia asked her sister.

Dressed in jeans and a tee shirt Joey joined them. “Not this week,” Joey said. “All she wants to do is wash her hair.”

Sophia giggled. “Oh, Joey we all do. That’s part of being a woman.” 

Toni looked uncomfortable. She hugged her sister. “I think want to go home.” She smiled at Joey. “But I still love you.”

“Will you come back,” he asked?

“When soccer’s over,” she said.

“Then comes basketball. I’m on the varsity.”

“Oh well, we’ll get around to it. Her lips brushed against his. “I guess we need to take things a little more slowly.” She turned to Sophia. “Come help me pack.”

Sophia smiled and took her sisters hand. “Sure,” she said.

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Kitty Kat’s Korner

Why Do Cats Rub Against You?

By Kellie B. Gormly

Is your cat rubbing on your legs? Your face? Why do cats rub against you and do different rubs on different body parts mean different things?

One of the benefits of working at home as a freelance writer is spending more time with my cats — but countless times, they have messed up my typing and even accidentally shut off my computer by rubbing their faces and butting their heads on my hands. So, what gives? Why do cats rub against you?

This universal cat behavior is a compliment, experts say, because your kitty is communicating with you and marking you as his kin.

“Cats define their worlds through scent,” says Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat behavior consultant in California, who is also known as The Cat Coach. “It’s one way they identify their families, their friends and also their enemies. When a cat is rubbing up against you, what they’re doing is exchanging your scent. It’s reinforcing that you are part of [their] group. It’s very sweet.”

Why do cats rub against you? Long-lasting messages from scent mingling.

Cats have scent glands that secrete pheromones in several parts of their bodies, including their cheeks, tails, foreheads, paw pads and anal areas. When they rub something or someone, they deposit this scent and it sticks, says Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant in Texas.

“Scent communication not only signals something when the cat goes through the motions, but the smelly message lingers for long-term communication, too,” Amy says.

“For other types of communication, the cat and the other party must be present to see the friendly tail greeting, for example, or to hear the purr and hiss,” says Amy, the author of more than 30 pet-care books, including ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems in Your Multi-Cat Household. “Vocal communication can only last as long as one breath at a time,” she says. “But scent continues to communicate, even when kitty has left the building.”

Cat rubbing can also be a matter of claiming territory, but it goes beyond that, Shojai says. Territorial marking is more directed toward objects and spaces, and typically involves clawing and cheek rubbing.

Why do cats rub against you? To mark members of their tribe.

In colonies of feral cats, the felines mark each other as members of their tribe by rubbing and bunting their heads among themselves. This is a form of communication and acceptance, Krieger says. When cats transfer this behavior to humans, they are mingling their scents with ours, and also claiming acceptance. If a cat doesn’t like you, she probably will not rub against you, Krieger says.

When cats rub you, they are saying, “You’re part of the group, I’m part of you, we’re all part of the same group,” she says.

Do cats target different spots to rub on purpose?

Cats don’t really target certain human body parts with different messages; they usually just go for whichever area is accessible, Krieger says.

However, if a cat rubs your face, it feels more intimate and might be something a kitty only does if he particularly likes you. One of the most distinctive cat rubs is headbutting, which is when cats bump their heads on you with oomph. This, Shojai says, signals “I am your friend.”

“Not only does the head rubbing/bunting behavior leave pheromone signals that identify friendly encounters, it also places the cat’s face and eyes in vulnerable positions,” she says. “So, it’s not only expressing friendliness, but also trust. Typically, it’s the most confident cat that offers the head-bunting behavior, too.”

Cats also like to walk closely past us, rubbing their whole bodies against our legs. They often finish this by wrapping their tails around our legs. “This, again, is a friendly greeting between cats, and by extension, the humans they love and trust,” Shojai says.

Want your cat to rub against you? Reinforce the behavior!

As long as your cats aren’t knocking things out of your hands, you probably enjoy it when they rub up against you. Pet your cats when they rub against you to reinforce and reward the behavior, Krieger recommends.

“When cats come up to you… and they haven’t seen you all day and they rub you on the legs — if you automatically pet them, you reinforce that behavior and you put your scent back onto the cat,” she says. “They enjoy the affection and they like that.”

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Georgia’s Weekly Horoscope:

October 17, 2021

All Signs

This week Mercury retrograde is officially over, which is good news for everyone because now we can initiate new projects with confidence. Nevertheless, the shadow period (if buying a car, cell phone or a computer) is not over until Nov. 3rd. Meanwhile, midweek, there’s a Full Moon in Aries. (Oops!) That will rattle a few sabres! (Aries is the sign of war and the military. They can’t resist a challenge.) This means many people will be looking for a fight this week. (By Friday, things calm down.) The best way to handle aggressive energy is patience. That’s because patience is the antidote to anger. Sometimes a polite note will do the trick. For example, “Dear Autocorrect, I’m getting a bit tired of your shirt.”

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Let’s not sugarcoat things. This week is challenging! But it can be easier depending on how you handle the energy. In other words, it doesn’t have to be challenging –it can be a lovely week! Having said that, the only Full Moon in your sign all year will peak on Wed. Generally, our problems increase as the Full Moon approaches, and then afterwards, they diminish. That’s reassuring. However, immediately following the Full Moon in Aries, your ruler Mars is at odds with Pluto on Thurs./Fri. (Is there no justice?) This means people and situations will press your buttons. But remember: You have the choice of response. You are scripting your own movie.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Issues related to your job, your health or your pet might come to a head this week because of the Full Moon. You might find that at the beginning of the week, the problems you face seem to intensify. After Wed., these problems will diminish. However, you might have a power struggle with a coworker (or a boss) about ways to fix equipment or introduce reforms and improvements. It could be a real standoff with someone. We’re talking Gunfight at the OK Corral. This is the kind of confrontation that could get nasty and also be regrettable. Instead, see if you can channel this energy into old-fashioned, hard work. It’s worth a try.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Parents will have to tread carefully this week because this is the classic time for hissy fits and meltdowns with your kids – regardless of their age. That’s because this part of your chart is receiving a double whammy, first from the Full Moon, and then from a tough dance between Mars and Pluto. (You need this like a fish needs a bicycle.) This same influence will bring stress to romantic partnerships as well. Even a lovely social occasion might suddenly turn disastrous. Fortunately, you are a clever wordsmith, and always light on your feet. Use your playful energy and word dexterity to sidestep nasty confrontations. Because obviously, this too, shall pass.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Heads up, dear Cancer. Very likely, you will experience some stress and conflict with family members, especially a parent of this week. The Full Moon might force you to choose between home and family versus your career. Actually, with this particular Full Moon, it’s best to choose home and family. Having said that, increased chaos and activity on the home front might trigger conflict with someone later in the week. Think about your long-term objective. What do you ultimately want? You value a caring, harmonious family. That’s what makes you happy. Therefore, take the long view. This week is your opportunity to practice patience.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

This continues to be a fast-paced week with errands, increased reading and writing, small trips and appointments. These could be the reasons that you are frustrated with the Full Moon energy. It might put you at odds with others. (Some people don’t know you’re Royalty.) Later in the week, a power struggle with someone could get nasty. Give up the notion of being right or the need to win. Sometimes when you’re at odds with a loved one, your choice is: You can be right – or you can be in the relationship. Almost certainly, the relationship is more important unless this is a casual encounter with someone who has transgressed your boundaries. (“Where is my huff? I must leave immediately!”)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Financial issues, earnings, your job and your possessions are sensitive areas this week. Conflicts might arise in many variations related to your wealth and assets because the Full Moon this week is stirring up trouble in both your Money Houses. Following the Full Moon, power struggles related to these same areas will take place due to a Mars/Pluto clash. (You get the picture.) Therefore, stay on top of things! Do your due diligence. Know what’s happening with your money, your possessions and how you share your wealth with others. Defend your best interests but don’t lose a friend over this. Be skilful and look for a win-win solution.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Every Full Moon is an opposition between the Sun and the Moon. That is the essence of the tension. This week, the Full Moon in Aries is directly opposite your sign. (Gulp.) This happens only once a year. Therefore, you will have some tension with partners and close friends, especially at the beginning of the week during the build up to the Full Moon on Wed. However, afterwards, fiery Mars in your sign is at odds with big daddy Pluto towards the end of the week. This could trigger nasty power struggles with others. So, what are you going to do? Have a miserable week? No way! You are the smooth diplomat of the zodiac. Slide, side-step, listen, choose your words carefully to stay happy. You’re Teflon!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Before your ruler Pluto was discovered in 1930, for centuries, Mars was your ruler. (Aries and Scorpio are quite alike.) This week, we have the only Full Moon in Aries all year – followed by a tough encounter between Mars and Pluto. Yes, it’s time to sit up and pay attention. The tricky thing about this is that for your sign, much of this tension will take place behind the scenes, or subconsciously. You might feel angry or out of sorts and not realize until you suddenly overreact with someone. Be aware that you need to be mindful this week to avoid a nasty confrontation. You can do this because you have amazing focus and will power. Good luck!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

It’s a good thing that fair Venus is in your sign right now because Venus will make your words sweet. Venus always promotes diplomatic relations with others. This week, you’ll need this help when dealing with tensions between you and a friend or a member of a group. The Full Moon this week will trigger this. You might find yourself in a power struggle with a group or someone who might want to block your efforts. This could be about a difference in group goals or perceptions of what a group should endorse. You might have this same kind of stand-off with a friend? Decide what is worth fighting for and let anything else go. Steer clear of violent people and places. (Yikes!)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

There’s a lot of energy out there that you have to deal with this week. The Full Moon on Wed. will trap you in a tug o’ war between the demands of home and family versus the demands of your career and reputation. This will force you to make a choice. However, even later in the week, your ambition to do something will be thwarted by strong forces. (“March to Helms Deep! Leave none alive!”) Resist the temptation to be ruthless. Also, think twice before confronting someone because the cost might be too steep. Don’t get caught up in a battle of egos. Remember your long-term objective. This might the time to protect yourself and step back so that you can live to fight another day.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You are a modern person, born 50 years ahead of your time. You have strong ideals and want to save the planet, preferably before bedtime. You are a networker who rallies the support of others to spread your ideas. This week, your ideals will be challenged. Or perhaps personal travel plans or issues with publishing, higher education, the law or medical matters will be thwarted. You might have a serious conflict with someone about politics, race or religious issues. People will defend their POV this week and even attack opposing views. Stay away from dangerous neighbourhoods and crowds that could turn violent. You are a passionate protester but remember to take care of yourself or you will be of no use to anyone. Tread carefully!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

This week, both the Full Moon in Aries and a clash between Mars and Pluto will stir up conflict about money issues for your sign. These planetary aspects could also trigger tension about shared property, inheritances, taxes, debt and shared responsibilities. You will be forced to deal with your possessions more than usual. Definitely. This could lead to arguments about ownership or who will take care of what. Be careful because these arguments could back fire in a way that you’re left holding the bag. Be skilful. Be reasonable. Do not be ruthless or uncaring. Tread carefully so that you slowly can achieve your objectives. You can do this.

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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 17 October 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; consist of every possible detail of everyday and are 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.

Aries

Personal theme: I am!!

Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

The good news is, you’ll finally be able to tackle a range of tricky if not worrying situations. However, with the actual circumstances you’re dealing with changing virtually every day, it’s vital you regard arrangements as more of an experiment than anything lasting. True, this will slow your pace; but it will also enable you to rethink plans, possibly more than once, and often make thrilling improvements.

A young relative could reveal some fanciful ideas or proposals. You might be surprised by the power of their imagination. If you get the impression, these are goals, they will struggle to meet, you might suggest alternative ways to make their dreams come true. There will be enjoyment in working as a team as you can recognise everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and how as a team, you might bring these together. Blending as one will make you strong.

Wednesday’s Full Moon is in your sign. That it comes just a few days after Mercury (moving through your opposite sign) turns direct, and as Jupiter similarly turns direct, suggests that others will be keen to have you on their team and to hear your revised ideas. There may be a slight political edge to this. You perhaps need to think of yourself as a master chess player and have a strategy in mind before you get too involved as there is a high probability of you showing too much emotion and perhaps losing support as a result. What you presumably wish, is that by the time the Sun moves into another of the Mars-ruled signs next weekend, that others will view you as a valued member of the team who isn’t dismissive of practicalities and indeed, has a sound network of individuals whose expertise would ensure success.

Taurus

Personal theme: I have!!

Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

As a practical earth sign, you’d rather invest considerable time and effort in making plans but be sure they’ll last. While you’ve undoubtedly worked hard to get things organised, this week’s unsettled planetary activity indicates changes aren’t just unavoidable, they’ll lead to breakthroughs as unexpected as, ultimately, they’ll be thrilling. The secret to handling all this? Being flexible in a way that doesn’t come naturally.

The dreamy mood you are in as the week begins will be fleeting. You will be quickly forced to get your act together to deal with a mini crisis. Act quickly and you will be able to nip a problem in the bud. It shouldn’t take long before you regain your usual vitality and once you get your head down, you might actually enjoy the challenge of sorting out any problems that have arisen.

Wednesday’s Full Moon links back to a first Quarter Moon that was in your sign on Inauguration Day back in January (20th). What plans did you set out then? What can yet be amended and what requires more work? With both Mercury and Jupiter now in direct motion, plans should gather momentum. Significantly Jupiter, which is travelling with Saturn at the apex of your solar chart, should see your social and networking worlds expand exponentially. Anticipate your expertise to be called on. Further plans – most likely linked to the summer of 2022 – should gather shape. With the more scientific and enquiring part of your brain enthused by possibilities, it may be that you choose to develop a working partnership with someone born under Libra or Aquarius.

Gemini

Personal theme: I think!!

Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

It’s true, your ruler Mercury has been retrograde since late September, and this cycle ends Monday. However, you and the rest of the world will still be struggling with the powerful, and mostly welcome, changes triggered by unsettling planetary activity. The secret? Be bold yet ensure whatever you organise is flexible; and keep in touch with others. Those links will lead to exciting and often unexpected plans.

You wish some people would act more quickly. No one is in a hurry to get anything done and you want to see results. That’s why you feel so frustrated with the amount of time that’s being wasted waiting for other people to make up their minds. Still, intuitively you sense things will turn out just fine. So just go with the flow and like a jigsaw, all the pieces will come together in the end to make an impressive picture.

Your ruling planet, Mercury turns direct at the start of this working week. Jupiter will have done the same at the weekend. The fact that both are now in direct motion and in Air signs suggests an image of the ‘wind blowing in fresh direction’ and picking up pace. Yours is a sign known for having fabulous ideas and for distributing these with ease. By Wednesday’s Full Moon you could be involved in a sale or purchase that brings with it other possibilities so this should prove an exciting few days; but yes, by the weekend you may feel you’ve undergone a test or exam and that you could have done better. You may be being far too hard on yourself. There have been curious planetary conditions now for some weeks. Moving forward at a should be viewed as positive.

Cancer

Personal theme: I feel!!

Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Being a Cancerian, you usually sense the heightened feelings and, equally, the energy that comes with the Full Moon, which is on Wednesday. However, judging by the disarray triggered by the current powerful, and often exciting, planetary activity, each day will bring its own twists and turns. The secret? Be inspired by the planets, and live one day at a time. Planning can, and should, wait.

A team effort will hit the jackpot. Proceeds from a successful venture will be shared out and you stand a strong chance of reaping a good percentage of this reward. A bonus will allow you to buy something special for the home. Taking up a new hobby will be creatively rewarding especially if you join forces with a talented friend and together you will enjoy watching your skills grow.

This week’s Full Moon is in another of the Cardinal signs and accents the backbone and working area of your solar chart. It’s worth thinking back to decisions taken at work back in March. These may now be ripe for the next stage of their development. Note too that Mercury, which has been retrograde at the base of your solar chart, is now in direct motion. So too is Jupiter. All signs should feel the benefit of increased momentum. In your case, by the time that the Moon reaches Earth sign Taurus on Thursday, practical steps for moving forward should be in place. Key in all of this is the revival of an old partnership that puts you back in contact with someone who’s lost confidence and who would benefit from your support. This partnership has much potential to go places.

Leo

Personal theme: I will!!

Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily, when you’re confronted with an obstacle, you’ll retreat, devise a plan, then turn it into action. During this week of unexpected developments, you’re urged to plan less and, instead, live in the moment. That could mean rethinking recently made decisions and, on occasion, upsetting others. However, they, too will be living this chaos and will probably thank you for your support and inspiration.

Promote your creative skills in your work and social activities. Your talent for bright ideas will be welcomed in group concerns. You might enjoy work and other commitments that involve a number of people. Just be careful about time wasting social distractions. There’s some amusement when you notice friction between two people when one wants to go one way and the other has already taken off in the opposite direction. You might somehow persuade them to come back together and reach a compromise.

As of late last year, both Jupiter and Saturn have been moving through your opposite sign. Jupiter moves faster than Saturn, and it may be that you feel that much has been promised but not yet delivered. That’s possible again this week as Mercury turns direct in another of the Air signs. These factors, together with Wednesday’s Full Moon in another of the Fire signs suggest decided change in the cosmic weather – and which could be to your advantage. It’s probable that you’ve known for some time you need fresh perspective and not at all impossible that by the time the Sun reaches the base of your solar chart next weekend, that the opportunity to live and/or work in a different place will present itself. A Virgo could yet act as useful information bringer!

Virgo

Personal theme: I analyse!!

Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Being a practical earth sign, you’ll swiftly spot and deal with changes in existing arrangements and unsettling developments. Recently and over this week in particular, events will seem to take on a life of their own. While this makes planning seriously tricky, you’ll soon reconnect with your intuition. This won’t just be helpful; it will inspire ideas and solutions that work brilliantly for you and others.

Think about the word balance and how this fits in with your life. Do all you can to keep everything in your world in harmony. This will include your relationships, work and relaxation, eating and dieting. Remember that balance is key. Arguments will drain you and tension in relationships will not do anyone any good. Be the one to keep calm, encourage others to take a more balanced perspective and fill the situation with love.

There is most decided change in the cosmic weather as of Monday. Over the weekend Jupiter will have altered direction and as of Monday, Mercury does the same. True, these are in Air signs and you are an Earth sign. The fact that others now seem to have a clear plan of where they’re headed should be helpful however. Momentum is likely to increase all the way through to the Wednesday’s Full Moon. Whilst it would be understandable if at one level you enjoyed the flurry of excitement, we know that this can set your nerves on edge. You will need to ensure that you have adequate sleep, and that your diet provides essential vitamins and minerals. There is the possibility of feeling so overwhelmed by Thursday that you need time out to recuperate. Note however, that the Sun changes signs at the weekend. This is another significant gearchange and one that should suit you well. In short, although you may be super busy and find the many ideas thrown at you almost bewildering whilst at the same time exciting, know that this period of un-settlement will soon be replaced by a time of deliberation and steady pace.

Libra

Personal theme: I balance!!

Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

The planet Mercury is all about ideas, and it remains in Libra for an unusually long period, from 30 August to early November. What’s more it’s been retrograde. This ends on the 18th, giving you an amazing opportunity to explore your own perspective on life and, equally, that of others. For now, focus on what you’re learning. Take it slowly. Decisions can and should wait.

Do what you can to keep your home and family life on the quiet side. A housemate isn’t going to be happy if you arrange group activities to take place in your home. Even online meetings could get annoying for others who aren’t involved in them. Someone is hoping to get you to themselves as there is a private matter, they would like to discuss with you. A friend is about to make a blunder. They need pointing in the right direction.

As of Monday, Mercury turns direct in your sign. (Jupiter has already turned direct in another of the Air signs). These factors, together with Wednesday’s Full Moon in your opposite sign suggests considerable momentum but yes, the possibility of you being carried away by a proposal that really would stretch you – almost to the limit. You will likely need time out in the second half of the week to consider whether or not you truly have the energy to see things through. The financial incentives may be considerable. Yours is an interesting sign in that very often you refuel by having your scales so imbalanced that you are angered to the point of taking action: that being better than prolonged procrastination! It won’t be so surprising if, following a short rest, you begin to arm yourself for what you see as a fight but which is actually a climb to the next stage of the career ladder.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus

Personal theme: I desire!!

Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

For several weeks, you’ve faced a range of tricky situations. Some involved others but as many were solo. Each forced you to rethink certain elements of your life you’ve regarded as unchanging. Over the coming two weeks, the Sun and fiery Mars move into Scorpio and then, on 4 November, the New Moon in your sign takes place. Between them all, you’ll get the clarity you’re seeking.

You have made decisions a relative isn’t happy about. They will do their best to get you to change your mind but you will not be moved. Because of the negativity around you, the only way to feel as if you are making progress is to continue in some matters alone. A close friend will come to you for advice. They aren’t sure a path they are about to take is the right one. You might make some suggestions but it’s their life and the final choice has to be theirs.

It would be understandable if you felt overwhelmed. Perhaps you sense Wednesday’s approaching Full Moon in another of the Mars ruled signs, Aries. Perhaps you know you need to ‘do something’ but don’t know quite what. The good news is that as of Monday, Mercury, like Jupiter over the weekend, turns direct. Other people – especially Gemini, Libra and Aquarius friends – will no doubt have much advice to offer. True, even this could leave you ‘blown away with ideas’ and still unsure of which way to go. Yet you do have the happy knack of tuning in to your inner voice. In the last few years, as Neptune has moved through another of the Water signs, Pisces, accessing this as likely been easier – though necessary to have quiet time to focus. Your design, presentation and creative thoughts in the second half of the week should prove super useful. It’s probable too, that soon after the Sun reaches your sign next weekend, you will move forward with a plan that most definitely broadens your horizons.

Sagittarius

Personal theme: I see!!

Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Judging by the recent amazing planetary activity involving your ruler Jupiter, you’re juggling a range of thrilling ideas or offers and, equally, trying to rein in the well-meaning advice of certain cautious individuals. The secret? If you can, avoid discussing these with others; and if you must, ensure the individuals in question share your optimism. Yes, you’ll need help with practicalities, but not just yet.

Occasionally you have to make difficult choices to get ahead and this is one of those times. You’re torn between two very different courses of action. One holds far more risk than the other but it is the risky one you are most drawn to. You might talk it over with a Taurean before making a decision. There will be some slight tension later in the week when someone new joins your team. Once the ice has been broken and everyone relaxes, you will all get on swimmingly.

Three things to bear in mind: firstly, that mid-week there is a Full Moon in another of the Fire signs, but that that is preceded by your ruling planet Jupiter turning direct this weekend – and followed by Mercury also turning direct on Monday. In short, not only is there going to be a change of pace, but that it will quicken. This should suit you. As one of the Fire signs, you like being reactive. There should be plenty for you to react to over the next few days. In fact, it could be such that others want to pour cold water over you by Thursday. It may be that you burn too quickly. So yes, you will likely need to modify reactions. Yet your enthusiasm may be just what’s needed to kickstart a group or association into action. Anticipate being asked to play a key role. Someone close might wonder if you’re squandering precious energy. It may be though, that this commitment will be oboe of your key legacies.

Capricorn

Personal theme: I use!!

Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Once you understand there is no simple solution for the range of difficult situations you’re facing, you’ll decide which matters take priority, and who can help you, then focus on that. Inform those involved with the rest that you’re interested but have to wait. Bizarrely, what you learn from this week’s issues will prove incredibly helpful when it’s time to deal with everything else.

One way to accomplish tasks you can’t do on your own is to join forces with other people. You will all bring your individuality into a team, each of you contributing here and there and together you will make significant progress. A creative friend’s ideas will provide you with the inspiration to jump forward and start on a project you’ve been talking about for a while but until now have done nothing about. Once you do get going, ideas will come through thick and fast.

Not only does Mercury turned direct at the apex of your solar chart as of Monday, but there is a Full Moon accenting the backbone and ambitions area of that same chart. After weeks when it may have seemed that pushing forward was a seriously uphill struggle, you may now find that colleagues are both in the right place and in the right frame of mind to move forward. It helps hugely that Jupiter too is now in direct motion. This suggests a following wind. The fact that so many people are in agreement should ensure that by Thursday concrete and practical steps are taken. Yes, it might still be some months before design and presentation ideas are settled. Yet an outline plan could likely be agreed before the weekend. It might even be that you insist on this. As Mars moves into hard aspect with Pluto (still travelling through your sign), it might suit you to take the reins and make demands.

Aquarius

Personal theme: I know!!

Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

True, you’re amazing at spotting worthwhile ideas and, equally, will embrace new ways of living, working or looking after yourself long before others even think of it. Yet you also have a stubborn streak. That’s what you’re facing now, and in a range of situations, minor and more far-reaching. The secret? Forget your usual excuses for sidestepping these changes and, instead, plunge in. You won’t regret it.

You know what you are capable of, you know you can do it, so what’s stopping you from getting on and getting ahead? Fight past whatever it is that is causing you to dither, pull your socks up and take that brave step forward. Push aside any doubts about making mistakes. Just try it. See how it works out and you could surprise yourself. When all is said and done making mistakes is all part of the learning.

Jupiter turns direct in your sign this weekend. That’s followed immediately by Mercury turning direct in another of the Air signs on Monday and then a Full Moon mid-week. Progress is more than likely. You should feel super energised. Yours is a sign that thrives on information. Knowing now that you’ve been arguably misled or misinformed, as of Monday you could be super charged on an information highway. Yes, the learning curve could initially be steep and by Thursday you could feel swamped and exhausted by all there is to learn. Yet you might also feel super energised. Fact is that as you gather information and spread your network, the potential for you to advance career-wise increases. In all this, the support of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn friends will no doubt be vital. Their approach could be so very different to your own and yet they could anchor you. Let them ask questions and try not to let your answers be too short or abrupt. In answering these as fully as you can, you’re also illustrating your growing expertise.

Pisces

Personal theme: I believe!!

Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

You benefit amazingly from the current changeable but exciting planetary activity. Your only problem? Your tendency to be drawn into others’ dramas. While, obviously, you’re always there for those closest, certain manipulative individuals want your support. You owe them nothing, yet still struggle with saying a firm no. If you can’t, ask somebody else to. Do this now, and you’ll end a long and difficult cycle.

When you’re faced with something difficult and you’re giving it your best shot, you know too, that you can’t do anything more. If your efforts are successful this will boost your confidence. If they aren’t, it doesn’t matter. You can always try again another time or get some extra training to sharpen your skills. An out of the blue trip is likely and some welcome news concerning a family matter will be received around Thursday. This will give you all something important to discuss together.

Your ruling planet Jupiter, turns direct this weekend slightly ahead of Mercury doing the same on Monday. That’s then followed by a Full Moon in one of the Fire signs on Wednesday. Together, this suggests change in the cosmic weather and yes, high probability of increased momentum. True, you could experience financial pressure. That should ease following the Full Moon but, ahead of that, expect others to make demands. It could be argued that this is the optimum time for you to begin planning. As of next weekend, the Sun moves into another of the Water signs when you should feel more at ease with plans. For now, and with so much accent on Air signs expect to feel as though you’re caught in a whirlwind. Exciting as that may be, you might be super appreciative of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn friends who act as ‘lighthouses’ and guide you through to the waiting, calmer waters.

~CelestialPrognostication

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