GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast: 5 Dec 2021

New Moon Blessings!

Your visions will become clear only
when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside, awakes ~Carl Jung

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.


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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.)


What’s Happening This Month

Celtic Month of Elder – November 24th to December 23rd
Goddess Month of Astraea – November 28- December 25


Dec 4: New Moon, More powerful and longer-lasting than a regular New Moon because it is also a total Solar Eclipse. The strongest planetary influence on the Solar Eclipse is a challenging quincunx aspect to Uranus that brings unexpected changes.

Dec 5: Happy Krampusnacht! Have you been naughty or nice? Tonight’s the night when St Nicholas travels Europe to reward the good, while Krampus “the Christmas devil” punishes the bad. If you’ve been wicked you can try to appease him with schnapps!

Dec 18: Full Moon in Gemini!


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

Face to Face Class: 1–3:00 ~ The Herbal Cauldron – Dec 12
Face to Face Class: Noon–2:00 ~ The Magick of Crystals – Dec 19


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 members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of 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:


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 online 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 too 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 $150.00 for the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!

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.


The Goddess School Grimoire
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 ( has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.

Seasons of the Witch
Yule Oracle


Gather, gather, festive witches,
Speak of joy and drink of wishes.
Take one, give two, celebrating all blisses.


Stacy Adams

December 6, 2021 – December 12, 2021

It’s a massively busy week in the cosmos with six (gasp) planetary aspects – Mars sextile Pluto, Mercury square Neptune, Mars square Jupiter, Mercury sextile Jupiter, and the Sun square Neptune.


Choose your words wisely on Tuesday because people may confuse what you say, misinterpret your meaning and intentions, or may not pay close attention. Likewise, it’s equally easy for you to become confused in your conversations with others. This is not the best time to make any critical decisions because your faculties will not be razor-sharp.

On Wednesday, Mars squares Jupiter. Try to avoid acting impulsively while this aspect is active because often, we leap before thinking things out. Stick to the facts and be proactive. Despite your good intentions, avoid taking on more than you can handle because it may lead to burnout. Taking risks is not advised at this time.

This weekend, you may easily fall into your emotions as Venus conjoins Pluto. You may want more out of your relationships than your partner can provide, leaving you deeply insecure about the future. Avoid doing anything manipulative or controlling because it will backfire!

Recommended Candles: Mercury (AstroMagic), Truth and Justice (Blessed Herbal), Love (Affirmation)

Astrology Forecast brought to you by Storm Cestavani of

Still shopping for that perfect gift?
Check out our new Holiday Catalog!

That insightful, witchy, or spiritually mindful person in your life deserves more than just a crummy gift card. Give them a magical gift from Coventry Creations.

Looking for a change? Now is the perfect time to start.
November was a time to leave your past where it belongs: in the rearview. Now it’s time to look beyond the here and now to where you want to go and what you want to be when you get there. December is Sagittarius season and brings about a shift in energies from the discomfort we endured during Scorpio season to a more positive realm of potentials and possibilities. It’s a great opportunity to go back to school, look for a new job, find a new partner, and create the world you want to live in. Of course, we all can’t be astronauts and rock stars but there’s always a better path forward and December is the time to start trekking down that path!

Look beyond the here and now to where and who you want to be!

Astro Magic December 2021

The good news about December is that at least it’s not November, which was the most troubling month of the year. However, December does have its own set of challenges – a solar eclipse in Sagittarius, the final showdown between Saturn and Uranus, and Venus retrograde in Capricorn. But December also has one ray of light that should not be ignored as Jupiter (the Great Benefic) leaves the sign of Aquarius and moves into Pisces. So, help is on the way.

Recommended Candles: Mercury (AstroMagic), Truth and Justice (Blessed Herbal), Love (Affirmation)

Full Moon
Candle Ritual for managing the big picture
Full Moon in Gemini December 18, 2021

On December 18th, the Full Moon lands in mercurial Gemini, and with Jupiter adding her influence, your mind can be put in a tsunami of ideas and inspirations. You’ll experience a pull to wanting to understand the world around you in a much broader sense. Even your own sandbox will seem dull at this time. As you explore, seek wisdom, not judgment!

It’s your future. Time to own it!
Looking for a change? Now is the perfect time to start.

November was a time to leave your past where it belongs: in the rearview. Now it’s time to look beyond the here and now to where you want to go and what you want to be when you get there.


Winter’s Cloak
by Joyce Rupp

This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled me away
from the chamber
of gestation.

Let the dawns
come late,
let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.

Let me lie in the cave
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source
of revelation.

Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter’s passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.

Joyce Rupp is a writer as well as Co-Director of the Institute of Compassionate Presence.


Heartwings Love Notes 1011 The Comfort of Food

Heartwings says, “Comforting food can only be next best to loving arms.”

My mother kept a stack of old women’s magazines in her art studio on the second floor of our garage. She was a sculptor and worked there in clay. Eventually she took classes in painting and no longer worked with clay. Her first training as an artist was in sculpture as a teen. She did that for a number of years, and that was how she and my father got together. However, that is a story for another time.
At the age or around eight or ten I enjoyed reading them. Good Housekeeping–the inspiration for the title of my column, Redbook, House and Garden, and several others piqued my curiosity and provided me with household hints and ways to do things more efficiently. I remember one article-useless now, that taught me how to make a bed without circling it more than once.

In those days there were no fitted sheets, so you could accomplish this feat very nicely. These came in around 1954, and I remember I received my first pair from my cousin as a wedding present. The bottom fitted sheet was matched with a top sheet that was fitted at the bottom. I never saw another pair like it.

In those years, women’s magazines were much more domestically oriented. The whole society in which I grew up was clear about women’s roles as caretakers and men’s as earners. As a result, my expectations were to get married, raise children and keep house for a husband who would go out and work to support us. How times have changed. Gender roles have blurred. To the best of my knowledge, there are no jobs that are not open to all.

There is one thing that has not changed, however, and that is comfort food. To be sure, the recipes and the ingredients may vary by region or by culture, yet there are some dishes that are almost universally favored as such. One of them is Bread Pudding. As families gather, I thought it would be appropriate to share my recipe with my readers. I adapted it from one in the “Cat Who” series cookbook.

I begin by tearing enough slices of stale bread in small pieces to make 4 cups. The size of your slices determines how many. You can grease the casserole or not, I’ve never found it makes much difference. Fill a 1½ quart covered casserole with the bread and add ¼ to ½ cup Turbinado or regular sugar. Beat together and add 2 eggs and 2 cups any kind of milk, 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla, a speck of salt and an optional 1½ teaspoons of cinnamon. Place covered casserole in a larger pan with some water and bake 45 minutes at 350, take off the lid and bake another 20 minutes to brown the top. Serve hot or cold. It’s even better the day after you make it. It’s an enjoyable comfort food for all ages.

May you find good comfort foods for your loved ones and for yourself, too!

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

Thank you for reading my Love Notes. More can be found at my website, Comments, recipes, and questions are always so very welcome. Your emails are precious to me.


It’s Not Glamping, It’s Granny Camping!
By Ivy SylvanVeil

Adventures of a Granny traveling around the US or, my daughter thinks I’m crazy!

This adventure started when I happened to mention to my daughter that I wished I could find my National Parks Membership Card that had been missing for more than a year. She messaged me back with a photo of the card that she’d seen in a drawer. Voila! There it was!

My initial idea was to go to historic sites near me in Virginia, but as I continued to read some of the posts by the group I became excited by the idea of traveling around the country. I have family in New Jersey and several friends in Florida.

Wow! That sent my imagination into hyperspeed! Because of the pandemic, I was in “get me out of here” mode! I’m sure others felt the same. I started looking up camping groups on Facebook. There was one called Solo Women Campers, so I joined. I found that single women are camping by themselves all over the world.

My next thought was how was I to do this. Being on a fixed income, I couldn’t afford a lot of camping gear, which can be expensive. Then I saw on the Facebook site, that many women are camping in their cars. I know, there are a lot of people who live in their cars by necessity, but these are women who just love camping small.
Next, I wanted to see what size car they were using. Many of them are using vans and SUVs, but there was one who actually was using a Nissen Versa Note Hatchback just like mine. This, of course, is where my crazy comes in…


Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

Self- Esteem Spell

Jupiter has been slowly moving through Aquarius all year and will soon be making its exit. This is the time to plow through issues surrounding your self-esteem and any other personal traits that might make you feel ill-equipped to handle life. Cast this spell to break free from the self-esteem barrier.

You will need the Wheel of Fortune, the Star, and the Empress cards from a tarot deck, as well as a candle of any color. Lay the cards out in the order listed here, ground your energy, and then light the candle.

Touch the Wheel of Fortune card and say:

By Jupiter and fate,
I claim my right!

Then touch the Star card and say:

By Aquarius and hope,
I claim my faith!

Lastly, touch the Empress card and say:

By the Goddess, I claim this life!
By all three, so must it be!

Leave the cards out somewhere visible for thirteen days, and allow the candle to burn out safely on its own.
Rewrite Your Destiny

A new moon solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and the earth, casting a shadow onto the earth as it blocks the sunlight. If the moon symbolizes spirit, the sun soul, and the earth human life, then an eclipse can represent a new awakening, an opportunity to completely change who we want to be. We can rewrite our own destiny. This eclipse provides energy for transformational change.

Gather paper and pen. Sit quietly.

Ask yourself:
What does the world want
or need me to be?

Include the expectations of family, work, and society. Write them down on a piece of paper.

On another piece of paper, write:
Who do I need to be?

Shred “what the world wants,” saying:
I eclipse others’ expectations.

Reread “who you need to be,” affirming:

This is exactly, totally, and
completely who I get to be.

Each day over the next two weeks, as the moon waxes to full, affirm who you choose to be
A Holly Cleansing Spell

At this time of year, holly is the perfect herb to use to clear away any negative energy in your home. For this spell you’ll need a sheet of newspaper, three holly leaves, a piece of stationery, and a pen.

First, lay the sheet of newspaper flat on a table or the floor. Then place the holly leaves in the middle of the newspaper. Write your problem on the stationery. Visualize your problem vanishing. Now tear up the stationery and scatter the pieces over the holly leaves. Wrap the newspaper around the holly leaves and pieces of stationery. Wad it all up and toss it in the trash. Your home will have a more pleasant atmosphere.
Magical Fritters

Today is National Fritters Day in the United States. There is quite a culinary controversy as to what foods are considered fritters, and there are both savory and sweet renditions that are considered contenders for inclusion under the fritter umbrella, including apple fritters, crab cakes, corn fritters, and even Indian pakoras!

Today, take the opportunity to put a magical kitchen witchery spin on this fun day and find a fritter recipe you’d like to make. Tailor the herbs and spices for magical goals. Create fritters for prosperity, good health, happiness, and more! Perhaps organize with a few friends to make different types of fritters—appetizer fritters, entrée fritters, and dessert fritters—then have a magical fritter potluck meal to share the magical properties of all your creations.
Eastern Star Spell

Early in the morning, just before the sun rises, the Eastern Star will appear bright in the clear sky and the Queen of the Faeries will hush the world into its winter slumber. Faery dream magick is like pixie dust in a bottle: it’s only really useful when it’s scattered all about. Leave a trail of allnatural, nonplastic glitter or powdered gemstones across doorways and window ledges to give the Faery Queen a glittering path to enter your home. Leave her sugar cookies and small cups of honeyed milk as a treat, and make your home cozy with extra pillows and blankets so that she will bless the naps and dreams you enjoy this winter. Recite the following prayer.

Prayer to Titania
Swift and pure mist cascades as light.
A silver bell is ringing to
sweeten her delight.
The veil is stretched mithril thin,
glimmers twixt day and night.
This morning I summon
Titania into sight.
Secret-Keeping Mirror

Sometimes when we’re keeping a secret, it can feel like others will know just by looking at us. This spell is designed to help keep private information hidden.

Gather these items:

  • A small, inexpensive compact mirror that snaps closed (Even an old, empty makeup one is fine.)
  • Black paint
  • A paintbrush

Make sure you are all alone and no one is around. Look at your reflection in the little mirror. Hold it close to your mouth and whisper the secret aloud. Snap the compact shut.

Paint the entire outside of the compact black, imagining that the paint is muffling and sealing the contents like a cloak of invisibility. When it is dry, hide it somewhere in your room or house where no one will find it. Leave it there until you no longer need to conceal the secret.

Keep the compact for the next time you have secrets to keep. There’s no need to repaint it. Just whisper into the compact and snap it shut.
Logic Oil

Mercury recently entered Sagittarius, marking a period of critical thinking and giving us an amazing opportunity to harness the unique energies of the moment to make something that I like to call Logic Oil. Inspired by Star Trek’s Spock, this oil is used to inspire people to make the logical, rather than the emotional, choice. To a half-ounce bottle, add the following ingredients:

  • 1 pinch dried lavender flower
  • 13 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops clove essential oil
  • 5 drops tangerine or blood orange essential oil
  • 3 drops rue essential oil

Fill the bottle the rest of the way up with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut or grapeseed.

Use this oil to dress candles, spell papers, business cards, and other magical items in spellwork when you need people to think with their head and not their heart.
Witch’s Homestead Spell

This spell will help enchant your home, making it a sacred place of love, magic, healing, power, and protection.

Gather these materials:

  • Lavender flowers
  • Cinnamon
  • Rose petals
  • Sea salt
  • A large bowl
  • 3 pieces of ribbon or yarn: black, red, and green

Ground and center. Using your hands, mix the salt and herbs together in the bowl while saying:

Lavender, cinnamon, rose, and salt,
All baneful spirits you do halt.
Be now filled with health and love,
And draw forth power from above.

Imagine the light of the sun and moon shining down through you to empower this mixture, then sprinkle it around your property to form a barrier and container.

Now take your three pieces of ribbon or yarn and braid them together while chanting:

Ribbons black and red and green,
Bring power from the dark unseen.
Ribbons green and red and black,
Send all unwanted forces back.

Attach this talisman to your front door.


Ghost Hunting Theories
Adult Snow Day: Are You an Innie? Or an Outtie?

Snow season is coming for the Northern Hemisphere and with it comes a deep desire to hibernate, seek heat and warmth, and even play and romp in fresh snowfall. If you want to claim an adult snow day, here’s a great plan –

Once you have established you are not going into work, keep your warm jammies and socks on. Trek into the kitchen and heat up some cocoa with a bit of spice as you consider your options today –

I keep Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation on hand because it’s not that pale-tasting stuff you usually get, but truly really chocolate tasting. But, I also like punching it up with some spice. I add a sprinkle of ginger powder, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne for some heat – it does magical things.

When it’s snow season, consider having some homemade stirrers on hand. I make my own.

Take a plastic spoon and dip into peanut butter or melted white chocolate, milk or dark chocolate and then sprinkle with chips, mini marshmallows, or candied ginger. When they are set, I wrap up the ends in saran wrap with a ribbon tie and stand them up in a coffee mug at my coffee station. These make great gifts with a cocoa mix in a Mason jar and can work for cocoa or coffee!

“Snow Days” is an excellent movie choice. Consider putting that on and enjoying recapturing those snow day feelings of childhood where you own the day and nothing is expected of you but to tuck in warmly or go out and adventure.

Decide – are you an innie or an outtie? Do you want to stay warm and safe and tuck in or do you want to go out and explore and be a child again?


Do you want to hibernate in a hot bath? Epsom salt mixed with essential oil scents, and some coconut oil and you have a hydrating, relaxing bath beyond belief. Turn the lights out, light some candles along the counter, and enjoy the flickering light. Add some music. I’d consider this –

Mix coconut oil and granulated sugar into a very thick paste and use this to scrub your body. Inhale the bath’s steam, enjoy the flickering lights and music, feel your muscles just melt. When you get out of the tub, rub yourself down with a good lotion. Now, it’s time for fluffy jammies and warm socks and a trek into the TV room.

A teapot and some teas, honey and sugar spread out on a table with a cloth napkin might be just the thing for today. If you have some cookies, a plate of those would be a good accompaniment. If you know you like to be an Innie during the winter months, keep supplies on hand for a fine tea time. You can add some little triangle sandwiches using cream cheese and deviled ham with crusts cut off or the childhood standby of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dipping. Keep a loaf of sugar cookie mix in the fridge, they are great for dipping.

The movie lineup for the day could include snowy movies like “The Shining,” “Dead Snow,” “30 Days of Night,” or “Dr. Zhivago,” or escape the cold for a while with warm beach movies like “Couples Retreat,” “Dead Calm,” “Captain Ron,” or “The Other Woman.”

Keep pillows and a blanket on hand in case you grow drowsy. Adult naps are a precious and valued commodity. Take advantage of it, knowing that you are safe from the icy slippery world outside.

Consider re-exploring your love of music, especially instrumental music or even opera. Play it and feel it throughout your body. Pull out a sketchbook or a pile of unread books and dig right in. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, try a jigsaw puzzle or crossword puzzle.

If you have a fireplace, keep it going and enjoy the crackle and heat. If not, light some candles and get the ambiance in your room. This is all about the cozy cocoon retreat you are creating.

You may not go out in the snow this day, but consider sitting at the window and watching the world come and go in it, the birds that still stick around, the footprints in the fluff, the children riding sleds, the black and white colorless silent world of snow.

Appreciate the beauty of nature bound in ice. I subscribed to artist Jonna Jinton’s YouTube channel where I can get my Swedish Lapland blood fired up by the stark and haunting beauty of that region – and, as an innie, you might practice some lipsyncing –

Consider pine-scented incense or a candle that smells of sugar cookies for an added depth to the cozy feel. A vaporizer with Vick’s decongestant fragrance might create a warm and sentimental tucking-in feel to the room. You could even heat water and cinnamon sticks and cloves in a crockpot with no lid to fragrance the place.

Or, use the crockpot for some cooking stew, pot roast, soup, or chili is a dream way to intensify the olfactory senses and prepare for the cold dark night. Consider some hot cookies from the oven to nibble on as you watch “Christmas With the Kranks,” “Home Alone,” “Krampus,” or “Elf” in the quiet evening that comes early in the winter months.


You want to be the first to plunge into the snow and have fun and frolic like a kid. I highly suggest a good thermos of hot cocoa, as you are not completely impervious to snow.

Bundle up in layers so you can come back in and shed. Also be sure if you have a fireplace, to put the wood nearby. When you come back in to warm up, you might to run a hot bath and heat a towel in the dryer for after.

You are, by no means, required to make a traditional snowman. Think outside the box on this one if you are a horror lover –

Or, just have fun with your car snow –

Sledding, snow forts, snow angels, snow sculpture and the like are all great possibilities. Why not consider making a bar out of snow and making an ice luge to have a little impromptu party?

Ice shot glasses

If you’re not ready for snow sculpture or parties, consider good old-fashioned sledding, but be creative in what your ride down the hill on –

Don’t want to go back in to get warmed up? Make a neighbor gathering place – a bonfire –

This can be a fun idea at the top of a sledding hill. Everyone can warm up before they jump on the sled and head down.

Take your camera on a hike through the woods and capture the untouched beauty with the lens. Instagram them and share a walk in the woods with others….

Help build a snow fort for the kids.

Don’t forget to reinforce it. Some folks like to make blocks with Tupperware bins or shoe boxes –

This is fine if you want a fort to hide behind while doing a snowball fight, but if you want a little igloo, you might try the way we made them as kids. Start with a tight snowball about the size of a basketball and roll it downhill or around on the round, picking up more snow until it’s about the size of a car tire’s height. Make a circle with a space for an opening. Stack alternating balls atop them and use 2×6 boards across the top in a square shape, to support further balls and more boards to hold the very top balls.

As cool as this fort is (below), be sure to reinforce the interior against collapse.

No matter what you decide to do when it snows, if you get a day off or you give yourself a day off, hibernate or explore, but be sure that whatever you do, you thank the snow for an excuse to remember what it’s like to hear your school district is closed for the day!


Letting Go of Perfection

Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

It is good to remember that one of our goals in life is to not be perfect. We often lose track of this aspiration. When we make mistakes, we think that we are failing or not measuring up. But if life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, then to be imperfect is a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be our best. We simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection — especially in life. All living things are in a ceaseless state of movement. Even as you read this, your hair is growing, your cells are dying and being reborn, and your blood is moving through your veins. Your life changes more than it stays the same. Perfection may happen in a moment, but it will not last because it is an impermanent state. Trying to hold on to perfection or forcing it to happen causes frustration and unhappiness.

In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect. One way to nudge ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and notice that no one is judging us to see whether or not we are perfect. Sometimes, perfectionism is a holdover from our childhood — an ideal we inherited from a demanding parent. We are adults now, and we can choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience the universe as a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing your imperfections, you embrac
Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.



If we can remember that our response to others is important, we can realize that trust and forgiveness go hand in hand.

In life there will always be times when we are affected by the actions of another person. When this happens, we often receive an apology. More often than not we say, “It’s alright,” or ” It’s okay,” and by saying this we are allowing, accepting, and giving permission for the behavior to happen again. When we say “thank you,” or “I accept your apology,” we are forced to sit in our feelings rather than ignore them.

There are many of us who feel that it is easier to brush off how we really feel than to express our discomfort with something that has happened to us. While this may initially seem like the best thing to do, what it really does is put us into an unending pattern of behavior; since we are not honest with another person, we continue the cycle of letting them overstep our emotional limits time and time again. By doing this we place ourselves in the position of victim. We can put an end to this karmic chain by first acknowledging to the other person that we accept their request for forgiveness; often a simple “thank you” is enough. To truly create a greater sense of harmony in our relationship, however, we need to gently, and with compassion, express our innermost concerns about what has transpired. By taking a deep breath and calling upon the deepest parts of our spirit, we can usually find the right words to say and verbalize them in a way that lets the other person recognize the consequences of what they have done.

If we can remember that our response to others is important, we can begin to realize that trust and forgiveness go hand in hand. And when we react in a way that engenders a greater amount of honesty and candor, we will establish a more positive and empowering way of being and interacting others.


King Arthur’s Christmas Tea

Mistress Guernen Cimarguid this did for the Colorado Welsh Society the week after she finished the Long Poem…. [language note: Welsh “ch” is pronounced as in Scots “loch”; “te bach” = “tay
bahk”] (Dedicated to Autocrats Everywhere)

‘Twas long ago in Camelot, one snowy winter’s day, King Arthur had been
thinking, and to Merlin he did say, “What shall we do for Christmas, bach, to celebrate this year?
December’s hard upon us, and the day is drawing near.

“This year I don’t want any wars, or green men with an ax, I don’t want any dragons, or anything to
tax Myself or my Round Table.”, “Well,” said Merlin with a grin, “Let’s have a good old Welsh te
bach, and ask the neighbors in.”

“I like the idea,” Arthur said. “I’ll leave it up to you, You’re the Welshest man among us, and I
know you love a ‘do’.” “All right,” said Merlin, “if you wish, I think I can contrive. Just leave
the whole thing up to me until the guests arrive.”

Merlin sat and made a list of debts he had to pay. He looked in all his address books, the cards
went out that day, And in the country round about there soon began to be A great anticipation of
King Arthur’s Christmas Tea.

Then Merlin made arrangements, and recruited helpers, too, Queen Guenevere and half her maids signed
up for kitchen crew. And half of the Round Table soon were helping them as well, A Christmas
application of a very special spell!

Camelot got house-cleaned from the bottom to the top, Sir Lancelot turned out to be a dab hand with
a mop. Sir Lionel and Dinodan then polished up the floors, While Percival and Galahad hung holly on
the doors.

Sir Modred and Sir Tristram soon set up the Christmas tree Right in the center of the hall, a fine
fair sight to see. Then Lamarok and Sagamore hung paper-chains and balls And lastly Merlin lit the
lights that twinkled through the hall.

Meanwhile, in the kitchens they were baking up a storm, Teisennau bach and crempog, and Welsh cakes
fresh and warm, Pwdin Mynwy, Bara Brith, and tons of gingerbread, They made them all by bushels so
the guests could all be fed.

Then everyone dispersed to change into their Christmas best, And Merlin went to Arthur, telling him
he’d soon have guests. Then he himself went off as well to tidy up a bit, And draw a breath or two
in peace before the panic hit.

Of course some guests came early, there always are a few Who must anticipate the start of almost any
‘do’! So Merlin set them all to work to help and make the tea Which as usual wasn’t ready by the
time that it should be!

Merlin poured the sherry, he had made it all himself, And let it set to age at least three hours on
the shelf, Then added just a pinch of bat, he wanted it to be The very best of beverages for
Arthur’s Christmas tea.

King Melwas arrived early with the Lady of the Lake, And Niniane not far behind, they each had
brought a cake! King Mark and Queen Iseult came late, Cornwall was quite a drive, But they wouldn’t
want to miss it, not while Tristram was alive.

King Lot came down from Orkney on the wings of the North Wind With his Queen and sons and servants,
it was clear they meant to spend The holidays at Camelot, invited they were not, But that’s the way
with relatives, some put you on the spot!

Kings Urien and Charlemagne and Maelgwyn Gwynedd came And several hundred others who I won’t attempt
to name. There was tea and cakes a-plenty, there was sherry, port and rum, And whatever you can
think of, why, I’m sure the guests had some!

They ate and drank and laughed and talked, the children had a ball When they found the Christmas
crackers Merlin hid about the hall. There was music, too, the harpers played until their strings
wore out! And conversation filled the place until you had to shout.

The party lasted half that day and half the night as well, If the food and drink had not run out I
think they’d be there still. And when at last the guests had gone Arthur surveyed the hall And said
to Merlin, “Merlin, bach, you really gave your all.”

“It’s a special magic,” Merlin said, and sighed, for he was tired And Arthur nodded. “Yes, it is,
and one you’ve well acquired. I’ve never seen a party that was so full of Christmas cheer, Let’s
have another like it, please, but not before next year!”

  • Mistress Guernen Cimarguid The Recipes from stanza #8 King Arthur’s Tea Recipes Pancakes Snow
    Pancakes Welsh Cakes Crempog Bara Brith Bara Sinsir Pwdin Lump (Christmas Pudding) Pwdin Mynwy
    Teisen Lap, substituting for Teisennau Bach

Presented for educational purposes from: Welsh Fare, S. Minwell Tibbot, National Museum of Wales,
1979, p.28. ISBN: 0-85485-040-6

Ffroes (Pancakes, also called Crempog)
one pound plain flour one ounce butter one ounce lard four eggs a little milk a little water
(currants, if desired)

Sift the flour into a bowl. Melt the butter and lard and pour into a well in the center of the
flour. Beat the eggs, add a little milk and gradually pour into the flour, beating well to make a
thick, creamy batter. Then add a little water and beat again for a few seconds to make it light in
consistency. Melt an ounce of fat on a frying-pan or on a bakestone and pour on it half a cupful of
batter. (A few currants may be added at this stage, if desired.) Allow the pancake to bake until
small bubbles appear on its surface, then turn and bake on the other side. Place on a plate and
spread with butter and a little sugar. Continue to bake the remainder of the batter, and pile the
pancakes on the plate to keep warm.

Ffroes Eira (Snow Pancakes)
Take a cupful of clean snow instead of the water in the above recipe and fold it into the batter.
The snow helps to give a light consistency. From Dowlais, Glamorgan. It was a general tradition to
prepare pancakes for afternoon tea when celebrating the birthday of any member of the family in
Dowlais, as in many other districts on south Wales.

Welsh Cakes
one pound plain flour six ounces lard half a teaspoonful salt one cupful sugar one cupful currants
half a teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda half a pint sour buttermilk

Rub the lard into the flour and add all the other dry ingredients. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda
in the sour buttermilk and work into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. Turn out on to a
floured board, roll out until it is about a quarter of an inch thick and cut into small rounds. Bake
both sides on a very lightly greased bakestone over a moderate heat.

Crempog (Pancakes) ten ounces plain flour half a teaspoonful salt two
ounces butter three quarters of a pint of warm buttermilk two eggs, well beaten three ounces sugar
one teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda one tablespoonful vinegar

Melt the butter in the warm buttermilk, pour gradually into the flour and beat well. Allow this
mixture to stand for a few hours, if possible. When ready to bake the pancakes, stir the sugar, the
bicarbonate of soda and the vinegar into the beaten eggs. Pour this second mixture into the first
one and beat well to make a smooth batter. Drop the batter from a tablespoon on to a well greased
and hot bakestone or griddle. Bake over a moderate heat until the pancakes are golden brown on both
sides. Then spread butter on each pancake whilst hot and serve warm. (A cupful of sour cream stirred
into the batter acts as a further raising agent.) From Llanfachraeth, Anglesey Pancakes were an
essential part of the welcome given to visitors when invited for afternoon tea in the counties of
Caernarvon and Anglesey. They were also prepared there on Shrove Tuesday. On this occasion three
kinds of pancakes were prepared in the farmhouses. For the master and his family crempog wen and
crempog furum were served, while the servants were given crempog surgeirch (see the book). It was
also a general custom in the Lleyn peninsula on Shrove Tuesday for the children to go around from
house to house singing a suitable verse at the door while begging for pancakes: “Sgwelwch chi’n dda
ga i grempog? Mae ‘ngheg i’n grimpin grempog Mae Mam rhy dlawd i dlawd i brynu blawd Mae ‘Nhad rhy ddiog i weithio ‘Sgwelwch chi’n dda ga i grempog”

(Please may I have some pancakes? My mouth is parched for pancakes My mother is too poor to buy
flour My father is too lazy to work Please may I have some pancakes?)

Bara Birth (“speckled” bread: Currant Bread) two pounds plain
flour one ounce yeast twelve ounces butter six ounces soft brown sugar six ounces currants six
ounces sultanas (yellow raisins) three ounces raisins two ounces candied peel quarter teaspoonful
nutmeg or mixed spice half a teaspoonful salt two eggs one dessertspoonful black treacle a little
warm milk and warm water

Put the flour in a mixing bowl and allow to stand in a warm place for a short while. Rub the butter
into the flour, add all the other dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cream the yeast with a little
sugar in a smaller basin and blend it with half a cupful of warm milk. Make a well in the center of
the dry ingredients, pour the yeast mixture into it and sprinkle a little flour over it. Cover and
allow to stand in a warm place for a few minutes. Beat the eggs, pour them on the yeast mixture and
proceed to knead the ingredients to a soft dough. Melt the treacle in a warm water and gradually add
it to the dough, as required, when kneading. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for and hour
and a half in a warm place. Then turn out on to a well-floured board, divide it in equal parts and
put into warm greased tins. Bake the loaves in a moderately hot over for an hour to an hour and a
half. From Bala, Merioneth.

Bara Sinsir (Gingerbread) half apound plain flour two teaspoonfuls ground ginger one teaspoonful mixed spice two ounces butter eight tablespoonfuls black treacle or syrup one ounce soft brown sugar one egg quarter pint milk half a teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda

Melt the treacle, butter and sugar over a low heat. Sift the flour, ginger, spice, and soda into a
bowl and pour in the melted treacle mixture. Beat the egg and milk together, add them to the other
ingredients in the bowl and mix all together thoroughly. Grease a shallow cake tin and line with
greaseproof paper. Put the mixture into it, spread evenly and bake in a moderately hot oven for
approximately forty minutes. From Llanybyther, Carmarthenshire.

Pwdin Lwmp (Christmas Pudding)

one basinful plain flour one basinful suet one basinful currants one basinful sugar one basinful
candied peel a little salt one tablespoonful treacle one or two eggs, well beaten warm buttermilk
one teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda

Dice the suet finely and work it into the flour. Add all the other dry ingredients and mix
thoroughly. Pour the eggs into a hole in the center of this dry mixture. Dissolve the treacle and
soda in the warm buttermilk and add gradually to the other ingredients to give a moist consistency,
stirring well with a wooden spoon. Put the mixture into greased bowls, cover with greaseproof paper
and clean cloths, and tie securely. Boil in the usual way for four of five hours. From Mynytho,
Caernarvonshire. The old traditional method was to boil the mixture in one large lump in a linen bag
the custom that gave it the names pwdin lwmp (lump pudding), pwdin clwt (rag pudding) or pwdin cwd
(bag pudding). The mixture was placed on a large damp cloth, the edges of which were then bunched
together and tied securely with strong cord to form a bag. This bag was then suspended from a stick
placed across the top of the boiler or cauldron and immersed in boiling water. This pudding was
prepared for dinner on corn threshing day on the farms, as well as for Christmas day. As a second
course on threshing day, it was served with warm rice pudding, whereas it was served with menyn
melys (sweet butter) on Christmas day.

Pwdin Mynwy (Monmouth Pudding)
Presented for educational purposes from: Celtic Cookbook, Helen Smith Twiddy, Y Lolfa, 1979, ISBN:
0-904864-50-2 ½ lb. white breadcrumbs 4 small eggs 4 tablespoons sugar (flavored with 4 drops of
vanilla essence) 1/4 scant cup of hot milk ½ lb. strawberry jam 3 tablespoons melted butter ½ lb.
chopped dried fruit a little sherry

Pour the milk and (half the) sugar over the breadcrumbs. Leave to absorb the milk. Separate the
yolks and whites of eggs. Whisk whites with half the sugar. Pour half the breadcrumb mixture into
pudding dish – spread the base of the dish with the sherry-soaked dried fruit (soak overnight for
best results). Spread the jam over the breadcrumbs and finish off with the final amount of
breadcrumb mixture. Bake in a slow oven for 30 minutes or till set. Bring out and pour over whisked
whites of eggs. Bake in very hot oven for 5 minutes until meringue is browned.

Three recipes from Lady Elysant and her Mum as a substitution for Teisannau
Bach. Many thanks, dear ladies. Teisen Lap (version 1) 1 lb flour 4 oz lard 4 oz margarine 2 heaped
teaspoons baking powder 7 oz sugar 8 oz currants 3 eggs a little nutmeg

Rub the fat into the flour and add the dry ingredients. Add the well beaten eggs and enough milk to
have a soft mixture. Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees), using a shallow tin.

Teisen Lap (2) (this may be the oldest of the three) 1 lb flour 4 oz
fat 4 oz brown sugar 4 oz mixed fruit 1/2 teaspoonful of spice 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
(dissolved in milk) 1 egg 1/2 pint of buttermilk or sour milk

Rub fat into the flour, add sugar, fruit, spice; mix wekk together. Add the beaten egg and the milk
and beat to a soft dough. Divide the dough and roll out to an inch in thickness; bake on a bakestone
or hotplate; time about 15 minutes, when nicely brown on one side, turn them over.

Teisen Lap (3) This cake should be baked in a Dutch oven before an
open fire to make it the traditional Welsh way but the results are just as good if you bake it in a
well greased oblong tin (spread the mixture thinly) in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for about 35 –
40 minutes. 1 lb flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of salt A little grated nutmeg 4 oz butter 4
oz sugar 4 oz dried fruit (sultanas and currants) 3 eggs 1/2 pint milk (sour milk is delicious)
Sieve flour, baking-powder, salt and nutmeg. Rub in lightly butter, add sugar and fruit, whisk the
eggs, and add to mixture. Gradually add the milk, mixing all with a wooden spoon. The consistency
should be soft enough for the batter to drop from the spoon.


Druid Tree Workings: Witnessing the Death of an Old Tree
by Dana

Many of us on the path of nature spirituality grow close to trees–so very close. What happens when a tree that you love dearly, who is a good friend and mentor–tells you that it is time to go? In this post, I share the story and passing of one of my dear tree friends, a White Oak with a giant burl. After I share the story, I offer some general thoughts about how we, as humans, can support and honor the natural lifespan of our tree friends. This post is meant to be a compliment to my earlier post: Holding Space and Helping Tree Spirits Pass. My earlier post talked about trees who were cut before their time–while this post honors those who have the privilege of living a full life and dying naturally.

The Story of the Big-Burled White Oak
When I first came to the new Druid’s Garden Homestead here in Western Pennsylvania I was extremely drawn to a White Oak tree. She had an enormous burl on her and was easily 200 or more years old. She sat holding back the bank of the stream at the edge of our property. At her roots was even a seat from two stones–I would come down there and sit every day, observing the stream. I created my first sacred grove on the property just below where she grew and did many of my rituals and journeys there for my first two years on this land. As I observed and spent a great deal of time with this magnificent oak, I found a large stump–it was clearly a second oak tree that had been cut, probably 20 or 30 years ago. The previous owners had done selective logging throughout their time living here, at great cost to the forest. The more I observed my White Oak friend, the more I realized that she had lost a companion, someone important to her. I could tell from how she grew–her branches grew in a way that at one time, you could tell she was sharing space with another tree. I could sense this in her, a deep sorrow, from time to time. She would not speak much of this companion, but I sensed her sadness.

My oak friend and I would talk often about many things. She taught me much about the land, of the Genus Loci (spirit of place) here, and the history of the land. She shared how happy she was that we came and that we brought other druids to meet her. She told me she had waited her whole life to meet humans who cared and who remembered their own ancestral ways, who were reconnecting with the living earth. I told her that we were so young, we were learning, and we had so much further to go. She said we were doing our best and she said that was enough.

Two years ago, in Fall 2019, she asked me to find a new place on the property to do my ritual work and not to use the grove by the stream again for some time. She asked that I not raise or direct any energy near her or to her. She told me that she was passing, that she had lived a full life, and that it was time for her to go. I cried and was so sad, and I asked her if she might not stay a bit longer. In this age, we have so few good elders of any kind, I shared–human, tree, or otherwise–and I selfishly wished that she would stay. She said gently and kindly, no, my time has come. She said she was very pleased that she could live a full life and die a natural death–when so few trees, even here on the property and in the region due to such extensive logging–could do so. She felt it was an honor to live, an honor to die in this way, and she was ready to go

This is not the first ancient White Oak that I’ve observed die naturally. I had another White Oak friend when I still lived in Michigan. This oak was also old and wise and he, too, told me he was going to pass a few years before he did. Oaks die in stages–the first year, you’ll notice about half the crown is no longer producing leaves. In the second year, there may only be a small amount of the oak left producing leaves–a large branch or two. And usually, at the end of that second year, the tree lets out one final breath and passes over the winter. This is just how my Burl oak friend went.

Honoring her wishes, throughout 2020, I would come to visit, make regular offerings, but keep my distance. As she came back into leaf, her crown was much thinner, with only about half the leaves of the previous year. I cried and was sad, but continued to hold space for her. I honored her request to do my spiritual work elsewhere on the property. The winter passed, and I hoped secretly that she would come back with a full crown in the spring, having changed her mind. But this past summer, she had very few leaves left–just one large branch. As part of my Samhain and late fall ceremonies, I made her offerings and continued to visit with her. At Samhain this year, she told me goodbye and I could feel her energies shift.

I did not witness her fall–I was not meant to witness her fall. It would have been too hard on me, after too many hard years. My partner did, and that is his story to tell. But he told me while I was at work, and when I returned, I visited my friend again. Her spirit was transformed, different. It’s not that she’s gone, but the presence she was has altered from a living being to something interwoven with the soil web, the spirits of place.

The best way that I can explain my understanding is this: trees that die naturally undergo a spiritual transformation slowly, just as their physical bodies return to the land. All of the soil beneath your feet contains the nutrients from those fallen trees–after the mushrooms and bugs and woodpeckers begin their slow transformation, the spirit also transforms. They get woven back into the Genus Loci of the land, the spirit of place. It will be decades, perhaps, until this tree returns to nature–longer since she’s fallen over the stream. But that too will be a process that I will continue to observe and interact with, and do what I am asked.

Helping an Old Tree Pass
I am honored to be able to tell you this story of my dear friend passing in a natural way and also share some general thoughts for those of you who come into these kinds of circumstances. I think one of the most important things to realize is that a lot of trees don’t get to live their full lifespan. Humans come to cut them down, especially in areas where there is a lot of logging. Or fires, diseases, etc, can take them before their time. It is a true honor to work with a tree that gets to live a full life and pass naturally. Here are some of the things that I learned:

Accept that the tree will pass and honor that passing. Just like people, trees die. All things that are currently alive have a natural lifespan. The tragedy is not in their death, which is part of the cycle of nature. The tragedy is when they are not able to live a full life when they are logged and cut without any honor or ceremony or respect. Thus, to witness the passing of an elder tree, one who has been able to live a full life, is truly an honor. Recognize and respect this.

Listen carefully to the wishes of the tree. I got the sense with both of my ancient tree friends that passed that they did not want any energetic interference–no rituals to raise or direct healing energy, no energy work of any time. Offerings of friendship and acknowledgment were fine, as was light conversation. You can’t force someone to live whose time has come. Thus, ask your tree friend what it is you can do and to that fully–even if they tell you to stay away, as my tree did.

Tell stories and remember. Those that are remembered live on. I will always remember my tree friend, and her remains will be with me on our land for a very long time. Remember your tree. Remember and tell stories, like I’ve shared here. Tell others of the life and death of this tree and allow that memory to stay strong. Paint something beautiful. Create a song.

Consider other tokens of remembrance. With permission, you can perhaps use some of the wood or something else from the tree to create objects, tools, ritual items, etc. In our case, with permission, I will also cut some of her wood to use, and dig up some of the clay from her roots, and create things that honor her. For the maples that she took out when she went down, I have asked permission to harvest some of their wood for my ongoing natural building projects (I use wood from our land, but I am not willing to cut any trees down who are thriving, so I try to wait till they pass naturally or are taken down by a storm).

Observe and grow. Our white oak has produced numerous babies, some of whom are already quite large, and some who are still fairly young. I will do my best to honor my friend through tending her offspring–helping them grow tall and strong, developing relationships with them as they mature, and honoring the legacy of her passing.

While seeing a tree friend pass is certainly a very sad experience, I do think that holding space for our tree friends is no different than seeing a relative who has lived a long and healthy life finally move on. It gives us a chance to reflect upon the cycles of life, to honor friendships that we have created, and to deeply reconnect with the living earth. I am honored to have known this white oak in her life, I am honored to have witnessed her passing.


Gilberto Ride Again
by Stephen Halpert
Chapter 30

Gilberto’s eyes widened as he and Ramon walked with Sara Midgley into her condo on Beacon Street. It was in an old mansion that overlooked the Public Garden. Sara’s living room was spacious with high windows, thick drapes and exquisite, thick oriental carpets.
On the far wall of her living room hung an original painting by John Singer Sargent depicting two flirty women teasing a younger man.
Gilberto watched as Sara rushed into the kitchen. “I’ll make coffee,” she said. She came back out quickly, turned, and rushed down the hall, slamming her bedroom door.
Gilberto looked at Ramon as they heard the loud sobbing.
“Hear that? Gilberto said.
Ramon nodded and sighed. He looked around the living room and frowned. “A little too frou frou for me,” he said. “No place to just stretch out.”
“Maybe that’s what the bedroom’s for,” Gilberto said.
Ramon smiled. “Maybe on these rugs we should take off our shoes.
Gilberto shook his head no. “
Atop a mahogany bookcase were framed photographs, mostly of a younger collegiate Sara. Gilberto noticed several small photographs of men with scrawled inscriptions.
“That’s Buzz,” Gilberto said pointing to a crew cut youth in an argyle sweater. “I guess they must go back a long way.”
“Funny, he always looked like a nerd.” Ramon pointed to another photo. “That guy looks familiar,” he said.
Gilberto nodded, took out his phone and photographed each framed picture. “Doesn’t hurt to check things out.” He emailed the photos to Rain.
Sara swayed into the living room. She wore a loose green velour robe and elaborate embroidered slippers. Judging by how she swayed, Gilberto thought she had probably sedated herself, and it was already kicking in.
Her lids heavy, eyes glassy, she toyed with the zipper of her robe and looked seductively at Ramon.
She grinned. “We could order pizza. I’ve already put on coffee.”
She sat clumsily and patted the cushion beside her, smiling at Ramon. Her words slightly slurred, she said, “Please Ramon come sit beside me.”
“You feel all right now?” Ramon said.
Gilberto indicated the Sargent painting “That woman on the left is a good likeness of you,” he said.
Sara grinned. “That’s why I bought it. I love her eyes. They’re so mischievous.”
Ramon frowned, sighed and sat next to her reluctantly. Sara stretched her arms over her head and leaned back. ” Please Ramon be closer beside me. Gilberto won’t mind. We’re all friends.”
“That small inscribed photo to you is from Buzz,” Gilberto said “You must have known him for a long time.”
Hearing that made her grin. Whatever medication she had taken was kicking in stronger and she squirmed seductively unzipping and zipping the top of her robe. She took Ramon’s hand. “I’ll bet you could give a girl a real good time.”
“How long ago were you buddies with Buzz,” Gilberto asked, trying to distract her. “Must have been long before you came to Atlas.”
She ignored him and patted the cushioned seat. “Please Ramon, I need you closer beside me. I know Rosa won’t mind; she’ll understand. She’s my good friend.”
Gilberto chuckled. “What’s your idea of a good friend,” Sara.”
Hesitantly Ramon inched closer. Sara giggled and turned to face him her hands stroking his chest. “Oh don’t be such a stuffed shirt, Ramon. I know how that Latin blood inside you boils.”
She leaned against him, yawned, closed her eyes, drifted into sleep.
He looked at Gilberto and shook is head. Suddenly the fire alarm sounded in the kitchen.
Gilberto and Ramon left Sara on the couch and rushed in. The cord attached to the electric coffee maker had burst into flames.
Gilberto pulled the plug from its socket and put the whole thing into the sink. He opened his phone and called Rain. “Someone severed the electric cord sufficient so it wouldn’t fall apart but once it heated, would burn and cause a dangerous fire. I’ve got the plug disconnected, but this place could go up in flames. I don’t know what else an intruder might have done.”
“Sounds like she needs protection,” Rain said. “I’m on it. Be there in a few.”
“Well at least we know it’s not Buzz,” Gilberto said. “Someone else must have it in for her.”
“The ex-husband maybe?” Ramon said as they returned to the living room.
Gilberto shrugged. “Who knows?” They both looked at Sarah, who had stretched out on the couch and was clutching a pillow, snoring softly.
Rain arrived. With her were two agents who began examining the kitchen. “I think we should let whoever it is come at her and then grab him,” Rain said.
“Easier said than done,” Gilberto said.
“We’re running checks on those photos.”
Ramon picked up Sara and carried her into her bedroom, putting her down on her bed. He covered her with a thick patchwork quilt and left the room, closing the door.
“We have to protect her,” Gilberto said.
Ramon frowned. “Wish we knew from whom?”
“Maybe from herself,” Gilberto said softly. “Maybe all this is a game she’s spun like a spider web.
Rain perused the photos. She studied the large Sargent painting, carefully and lifted it off the wall. Built into the wall was a small safe.
“Now if we just had the key,” Rain said.
“”I’ll check the keys in her purse,” Ramon said.
Rain carefully ran her fingers against the back of the painting. “Ah ha,” she said and taking a small pen knife from her pocket she pried up the backing.
“Will you look at that,” Rain said, removing a thick wad of papers and currency.
“We’re not breaking any laws,” Gilberto asked. “You know search and seizure sort of thing?”
“I guess,” Rain said sounding deceptively vague. She took her phone and began photographing the papers. They ranged from documents to hand written correspondence dating back decades. Then she carefully rolled the paper back up and along with the cash returned it to where it had been. Then she and Gilberto hung the painting back on the wall.
The two tech experts came into the living room. “This place is wired for sound. Someone’s listening to everything said, for how long we have no idea.”
“I think we should awaken Sara Midgley,” Rain said. “See if she can tell us something.”
“Oh I’m sure she could tell us a lot.,” Ramon said.
Rain, Gilberto and Ramon walked down the hall to Sara’s bedroom. They opened the door. The room was empty. Sara Midgley was nowhere in sight.
The tall bedroom window was open. It gave out onto a fire escape.
Rain shook her head. “Someone either snatched her, she disappeared into thin air, or she’s a lot trickier than we’d have guessed,” she said.
Below the window a car sped away.
(To be continued)


Kitty Kat’s Korner

5 Weird Cat Behaviors
By Audrey Pavia

Cats can be weird. They do things like knead on blankets as if they are making bread dough, bump you repeatedly with their heads for attention and chatter like parakeets when playing with their toys. As if all that wasn’t goofy enough, they sometimes zoom around the house for no apparent reason and stick their butts in your face when you try to pet them. Although cats do a bunch of wacky things that don’t make sense to us, according to experts, these behaviors make plenty of sense to cats.

Bump that head
When cats bump their heads against you, it’s a sign of affection. But what is behind this way of saying “I love you”?

“Head bumping and rubbing cheeks stem from scent rubbing, where cats release the ‘facial pheromone’ from their cheeks,” says Liv Hagen, manager of Shelter Behavior Services for the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota. “They rub this pheromone on objects and people they are claiming as theirs.”

The head, cheeks and neck are also the most comfortable places for a cat to receive petting, so this can be an offer for interaction that is positive for the cat.

“The cat is showing you what feels good,” she says.

Facial rubbing can also be a way for a cat to soothe herself when she is feeling unsure. “You may have noticed your friend’s shy cat keep her distance from you but rubs like crazy on the chair she’s sitting by,” Liv says. “This is a behavior that can help cats feel certain of something. ‘I don’t know you, and I feel a little stressed, but I do know this chair is mine, and that makes me feel better!’”

Need to knead
One of the most common yet mysterious behaviors cat owners often witness is kneading. Your cat places his front paws on a soft blanket, a pillow or your stomach, and begins to push in and pull out, alternating the left paw with the right. This action is often accompanied by a dazed expression and sometimes a drooly mouth.

According to Liv, kneading behavior in cats is a sign of contentment.

“Kneading may come from kittenhood, when cats knead during nursing,” she says. “Experiences that satisfy a biological need are very positive for animals, and the behaviors displayed during these experiences are tied to and thus can carry over to other positive ‘feel-good’ situations.”

Liv says that kneading begins as a response to the gratification of satisfying a biological need (like being close to Mom and getting milk) and then later translates to the need for affection, social interaction, comfort and safety.

“When a cat kneads on their human or other object, like a pile of blankets, it may be their way of acknowledging contentment and satisfaction,” she says.

Chat it up
If you have a cat, you’re probably no stranger to the “chatter.” Your cat spies a bird out the window or is stalking a toy. He starts to chatter his teeth and make little chirping sounds as he stares intently at his “prey.”

According to Jill Goldman, PhD, a certified applied animal behaviorist in Los Angeles, California, this chatter is one of at least 12 vocal sounds cats makes. So why do they do it?

“The chatter is believed to be an involuntary action while cats observe prey,” Dr. Goldman says. “Its function is uncertain, but it’s possible the juddering jaw movement is a recreation of the actions used by the cat to kill its prey.”

Gotta zoom
Watching your cat run around like a lunatic for no apparent reason can be pretty funny. Although it seems random, your cat has real motives for this crazy behavior.

“Zoomies can happen as spontaneous fun or can actually be in response to a specific trigger,” Liv says. “Sometimes, lack of play or an uncomfortable situation can trigger zoomies. If your cat has regular vet visits, a clean bill of health, and space to run and play hunting games, they are probably having a silly moment. Enjoy!”

Liv adds a word of caution for cat parents who are present during a session of feline zoomies.

“Zooming can be very arousing for cats,” she says. “Some cats flop over when they’re done with their zoom, but running and letting loose can also lead to overstimulation. Be aware of twitching, swatting and tail lashing, which all might be signs your cat is about to turn his exuberance onto you.”

In this situation, Liv recommends being ready to engage your cat with a wand toy or by tossing treats the cat can chase and “kill.”

Presenting the butt
You know how your cat likes to stick his tush in your face all the time? Turns out this behavior is related to head bumping. Presenting the butt is basically the tail end of the odor-exchange-social-greeting sequence, according to Dr. Goldman.

“When friendly cats scent exchange, they rub their bodies against one another, usually moving in opposite directions, starting head-to-head, then body, and ending with their butts facing one another,” Dr. Goldman says. “Cats rub their heads, bodies and tails alongside one another to exchange odors from scent glands located on their head, mouth, chin, ears and tail. This is likely why your cat’s butt ends up at your face: You weren’t moving in sync.”


Georgia Nicols Weekly Horoscope: December 6, 2021 – December 12, 2021
The 2022 Annual Forecasts are available for pre-order. Annual Forecasts will be sent via e-mail on January 1st.

All Signs
This is a busy week. Unfortunately, everyone’s energy might be scattered in different directions. There’s a strong chance that by midweek, things will spin out of control but it’s nothing we can’t handle. (One hopes.) Be on the lookout for squabbles, which might erupt because of the confusion. Please remember: When the world gets wobbly, do not let anyone place blame, especially on you. Likewise, do not place blame on others. This is life, and caca happens. Look at your world like the kitchen sink. If there’s dirty dishes in the sink, roll up your sleeves and begin. You gotta start somewhere. (Of course, when the going gets tough – the tough hire help.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)
On Monday, you feel pumped with new ideas, future travel plans and meeting people who are different. Interesting! By Tuesday, the situation might start to look a bit shaky. “Is this even doable?” By Wednesday, someone might be angry, possibly about shared property, debt, or who is responsible for what. By Thursday, someone is sulking. (Doubtful that it’s you, you don’t waste time sulking. You speak up!) On Friday, tread carefully. Don’t believe everything you hear, especially if someone is throwing shade on someone else. Get the facts before you leap to conclusions. By Saturday, a sigh of relief! A rainbow! Things are lighthearted and social. Fun occasions beckon to you. “I’m on it!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
At the beginning of the week, you feel confident and encouraged, especially about financial matters. Furthermore, travel for pleasure looks promising! However, by Tuesday, there seems to be doubt about some of your plans. (Certainly, doubt about something going on around you.) Double check details about inheritances, shared property, taxes, debt and insurance matters because things are fuzzy. (“Whaaat?”) By Wednesday and Thursday, the gloves are off. Conflict with partners, spouses or close friends is something you might have to face. Caution against the blame game or gas lighting someone. In turn, don’t let anyone do this to you. Hang in there because by Saturday, things turn completely around. You’re happy, in fact, you’ve got big ideas!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
The Sun is still directly opposite your sign along with Mercury, which means you have a strong focus on partners, spouses and close friends at this time. (This happens for four weeks only once a year.) Although this week begins on a nice high note, things begin to get out of hand on Tuesday; and by Wednesday, conflict with coworkers or someone who might have something to do with your health could be an aggravation. This conflict might also focus on your pet. On Thursday, someone will play the guilt game. “Hey, I wasn’t even there.” Fortunately, by the weekend, all of this is history. That’s why it’s wise to keep your eye on the future – after all, you’re going to spend the rest of your life there.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
For starters, no matter what happens this week (and this week is a roller coaster ride), the strong theme throughout is that you’re ready to work and get stuff done. Oh yeah. You will be productive and you will get results. Factoid. Monday is a solid day. You’re happy. By Tuesday, some distinct confusion (can confusion be distinct?) enters the picture. You might be misled by someone either innocently or on purpose. Be careful. Keep your eyes open. By midweek, conflict with kids, romantic partners and people in the entertainment world and the hospitality industry will be an aggravation for you. Cope as best you can. Hang in there because by the weekend everything is much happier! (Whew! What a relief!)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This week is a party hard, work hard week. Or to put a finer point on it, it’s more like a love/hate week. (Or a happy/angry week?) Actually, the week starts off great! However, some kind of confusion with a romantic partner might disappoint you. (Remember: Unexpressed expectations almost always bring disappointment.) Or there might be some confusion, even deception, dealing with your kids? By midweek, family arguments or tension with a family member is likely. This might even relate to the fact that you’re very passionate about something with your work (perhaps a coworker?) Just cope as best you can with patience and grace — after all, you are royalty. By Saturday, everything is back to normal and feelings are good. They are also passionate! Possibly, you have ambitious ideas about work?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
This week your focus on home, family and home repairs continues. Fortunately, it begins in a beautiful way on Monday; but by Tuesday, something confusing might be going on at home. Perhaps a misunderstanding with a family member. “You called me just to tell me that?” By midweek, Wednesday/Thursday, because fiery Mars is in your House of Communications, you might be a tad aggressive when talking to others. Be careful about coming on too strong, which will defeat your purpose if you want to have a two-way conversation. Patience will help. Romance is very passionate this week. Likewise, you might feel equally as passionate about sports or something to do with the entertainment world. By Saturday, everything is copacetic. Thank goodness. A wild and crazy week.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Your fast pace and busy schedule continue with errands, short trips and appointments. Plus, you’re eager to talk to many people. (You always welcome opportunities for lively conversations.) More than any other sign, your surroundings are important to you because you are affected by your immediate environment – colour, smells, layout and design etc. This week you might have strong feelings about a redecorating project or about how your home looks or how you want to entertain. What might seem to be a casual thing to someone else, is important to you. Perhaps this is why you have some squabbles midweek, especially about finances or the cost of an entertaining event? Be clear in all your communications with others because confusion is rampant.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Okay –this is a tricky week. You continue to have a strong focus on money, cash flow and earnings. Mars in your sign, will make you aggressive and ready to go after whatever you want. Mars is your ancient ruler, which is why you are a forceful and direct sign. (Read: In your face.) To begin with, Monday is a smooth day but by midweek, confusion and deception might anger you or make you feel disappointed. The confusion might be about the ownership of something, or how to spend an allotted amount of money. Fortunately, Venus in your House of Communications, will soften your words and make you diplomatic. Venus will also help you to see the beauty of your daily surroundings. (Bonus.) By Saturday, life is easier!

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This week has challenges for everyone. Fortunately, you have the advantage of having both the Sun and Mercury in your sign, which means things will tend to go your way. Monday looks great! However, on Tuesday, confused communications with a parent or a family member might make things go sideways. This might even trigger conflict that arises midweek, especially about a hidden secret or something going on behind the scenes. You have strong feelings when it comes to money and your possessions this week. There is something you want to do. Hopefully, it will be resolved by Saturday because you’re definitely smiling by then. That’s good.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This week has mixed messages and different influences for you. In one way, you’ll be strong and aggressive, and willing to fight for your rights, especially with groups. But in another way, you will prefer to retire and play things low-key. This will be particularly evident on Wednesday/ Thursday, when tension with others will be apparent. Possibly, you’re upset because of a deception? Or a hidden secret? Whatever happens, with Venus in your sign now, you’ll be graceful and diplomatic, regardless of how you feel. This is still a good week to buy wardrobe items for yourself. Just do it!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Your popularity continues! In particular, you will enjoy the company of younger people. However, on Tuesday, some kind of confusion or deception might disappoint you. This could be related to a hidden love or a hidden love affair? Because Mars is at the top of your chart, your ambition is aroused. This also means if someone stands in your way, or you feel thwarted by the efforts of others, you will defend yourself! This could put you in conflict with someone around Wednesday/Thursday. Don’t get your belly in a rash because eventually, all of this subsides and by Saturday, you’re laughing!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The Sun is still at high noon in your chart casting you in a flattering spotlight. Monday is a lovely day. By Tuesday, you will encounter confusion. By Wednesday and Thursday, arguments about social issues, racism, politics and religion might grip you. These arguments might resolve nothing. Issues like these need a logical, calm mind to make any headway. Fortunately, a passionate friendship is important to you this week, and it will be a comfort to you. (For some, this passion will be so strong that possibly, a friend will become a lover.) In either case, your ideals are strong. (All of this brouhaha will be settled by Saturday.)


Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 05 December 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.

Personal theme: I am!!
Fire & cardinal sign: March 21 — April 19

Your horoscope for this week:

You sometimes complain that so many rely on you, and in so many ways; but deep down, you’re happy to help and, being an Aries, have more energy and confidence than most. The challenge? Now you need both support and, especially, insights about tricky matters. Ask for it. This may seem strange, but what you learn about yourself and others will be life-changing.

Someone’s suggestion to try a new hobby will get your immediate interest. If you do not know this person well, you will do so, soon. Activities shared will bring you closer together. This could mark the start of a romance for you if you are single. A housemate will suggest you don’t have time to take on anything new but you will feel differently. You aren’t going to change your mind once you’ve decided on something.

It’s true that Aries can act hastily but don’t underestimate your ability to probe beneath the surface, alter direction or inspire others. All these traits should surface following on from Saturday’s Solar Eclipse. True, this particular eclipse could get off to a slow start and yes, there is the possibility that by mid-week you will be infuriated that others aren’t seizing the moment and riding the crest of a wave with you. Yet it may be that you need to get fired up before you can fire-up others! All that is possible given it’s likely that you’ll have new aims to announce before the working week given that from Monday 13th, you will likely be pushing forward on new platform.

Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20

Your horoscope for this week:

Yet again, you’ve managed to sidestep certain arrangements that would lead to far-reaching changes. While these have been discussed for ages, you’ve managed to avoid them, mostly because things just didn’t feel right. Actually, that’s a sign changes are timely, if not breakthroughs. Learn to recognise, and embrace these, and you’ll streamline the process of growth that’s becoming an increasingly important element of your life.

You don’t expect everything to go as anticipated. That’s why you will leave yourself time for the unexpected. What you do intend to keep perfectly planned is finances. You will keep to your budget this Christmas and this will call for you to start preparing well in advance. You’ve always been savvy to consumerism and nothing will tempt you to make purchases you can’t afford. A workmate’s selfish behaviour will surprise you. You’re starting to realise just what kind of person they really are.

Saturday’s Solar Eclipse was a special kind of new Moon. Hopefully, it has ushered in fresh energy. It’s unlikely you’ll feel this much before Wednesday however. You may then be propelled into action by others who are determined to have you on their team or in their army. They’re likely not wrong in thinking that you have talents that are underused. Yet it’s possible that they’re underestimating your entrepreneurial spirit. It may be that though you see merit in their ideas, you also realise that you could initiate these yourself. In short, the struggle may be between whether or not you are employed or become the employer. Obviously much depends on your personal chart, but over the next couple of weeks especially this theme will likely be heard again and again and advice prove invaluable.

Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20

Your horoscope for this week:

The fact is, certain activities and alliances are just plain dull. The solution? It’s to let go of what isn’t working; and soon. That may seem risky; but as events unfold, now and over the coming weeks, you’ll realise you’re finally free to explore in ways that previously weren’t possible. By the pivotal Gemini Full Moon on the 19th, your path will be clear.

Promises you made someone can’t be fulfilled. Other obligations will get in the way and you might feel guilty now for having put yourself in this position. You aren’t deliberately trying to get out of an obligation although someone will accuse you of doing so. Midweek is not a good time to make a big decision about your health or career. There will be occasions when you might choose to take action, no matter what anyone else might say.

There is very real danger that you could overlook or forget something important in the first half of the week. Note that Saturday’s Solar Eclipse (a special kind of new Moon), brought fresh energy. Others are now ready to move in new direction. It may be that other that you’re hindering others by not having completed certain tasks and require a near military approach to get this done in the second half of the week. Don’t underestimate your ability to focus when you have to! True, you might need to gather strength from Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius friends. Their fixation in getting a task done – and to their satisfaction – could actually prove helpful. With Mars moving into your opposite sign early next week, it really would be advisable to conclude what you can before this Friday: especially if plans are in any way related to distribution, publishing or education.

Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22

Your horoscope for this week:

Events, most welcome and some thrilling, have kept you busy. So much, in fact, you’re just now recognising you’ve been neglecting looking after yourself and your interests – practical, financial and otherwise. Not only is there no rush, begin now and you can slowly reflect on whether some changes should be more far-reaching or there’s more exploring to do. If so, the time to begin is now.

It’s all due to your skills, knowledge and past experience that you are able to resolve a workplace problem. Those in high places will be suitably impressed and this puts you in line for a promotion. Discussions around Thursday will make it pretty clear someone has been keeping something secret from you. Once you’ve had a chance to think about it you will decide that what was once important to you doesn’t really matter anymore.

Recall that Saturday’s New Moon was also a Solar Eclipse. These events are important but generally don’t bring something incredible on the day itself. It takes time for the energy to build. It would under be understandable – especially given how sensitive you are to the lunation cycle, if you felt slightly lost and adrift as the week begins. That situation will change. By Wednesday, your creativity should once again be at height. True, you might also need to deal with major and complex financial issues. Yet by then, you’ll likely to be in the mood to address these and, before the First Quarter Moon on Friday, move tentatively into areas about which you have as yet little knowledge. It might also be useful to use the second half of this week to clear the decks as best you can, – given that once Mars arrives in the worker-bee area of your solar chart next Monday, your daily workload should increase dramatically.

Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22

Your horoscope for this week:

It’s been a busy, often exciting but, also, demanding period. Now, however, the focus shifts from the wider world to your own life, loves and activities. While you needn’t worry about problems, certain matters and, even more, certain individuals need your attention. Move swiftly, and it will be easy to make up for lost time. Wait, and things will become more complicated by the day.

You’re ready to move ahead with plans recently discussed. Results will be quickly seen and this will make it possible to get even further ahead with this later in the week. You are justified in feeling proud of your efforts when you hadn’t expected to make such good progress. Other people will benefit from the decisions you are now making and because of this you won’t be short of support to help you achieve your aims. In fact, help is always at hand when you need it.

There is still drama in the air. Until Saturn and Uranus complete their apparent right angle on December 24, the ‘war’ between needing to break away from existing roles and embrace new ways or working and living could leave you feeling torn in two. Following on from Saturday’s Solar Eclipse others could press you answers. Perhaps they need to know your plans before they can make their own decisions. Anticipate being pressed into discussing major issues mid-week. True, you might not have answers ready. What should be revealing is the number of people who offer support. Through networking, you could yet attract the very advice and practical assistance you need for making that now obvious step forward.

Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22

Your horoscope for this week:

There are times when you’re so preoccupied with tidying up the chaos created by others – from family or friends, to colleagues – you deal with one task after another. However, you’ll have noted how several events point out the need to rethink, if not substantially change, certain arrangements. The problem? Others will hate the idea. The solution? Do it discreetly. They’ll never know.

You have a hard-working nature and you are used to coping under pressure. Responsibilities are increasing and you handle this well. You are prepared as you expected this to be a busy time but others aren’t as organised. It will be up to you whether or not you help them. Services will be disrupted later. This won’t affect everyone when the problem seems to be geographically localised. This is why some people find it hard to believe what is going on.

Saturday’s solar eclipse brought attention to the backbone of your solar chart. This is the first eclipse of its kind since 2002. Eclipses may be viewed as knots on a thread that span several centuries although each is different as the backdrop is set against different planetary alignments. The cosmos never does exact repeats. Yet you may be aware that you’ve come to the end of a cycle – most likely connected to working and living relationships and now need to move into something that is steadier and perhaps yes, involves those born under Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Pisces. Developing ideas with these individuals should gather pace and mid-week.

Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22

Your horoscope for this week:

For ages you’ve been sidestepping several tricky situations. Usually, you’re the one who’s guiding others around potential difficulties. However, while you’ve long known about these matters, the problems you’re facing erupted suddenly. Tempting as it is, don’t try to deal with these yourself. Get others involved, both because you can use their support but, also, they’ve a lot to learn about such matters. That time has come.

When you think about all you have to do this month, you might realise you’ve taken on more than you can comfortably handle. It’s not going to be easy to escape some commitments now you have made them but you might consider reducing your responsibilities. Are you single? A colleague has a Christmas twinkle in their eye. They will make it obvious they have a romantic interest in you at one of the first Works festive get together you attend.

Saturday’s Solar Eclipse offered a fresh start for all signs. Yet this one could get off to a sluggish start. By Tuesday you might even be confused. That situation will pass. The likelihood is that you need more and better information: prompting thoughts about further training in 2022. Indeed, you could be encouraged to do this – most likely buy a Scorpio who can see that you’re now ready to do the necessary in-depth research and questioning. It’s probable too, that by the first Quarter Moon on Friday 10th, that you’ll be encouraged to improve fitness generally (physical and spiritual). While most would agree that the work-play balance is never precisely right, it could be that yours is particularly awry and that that situation needs to be addressed before end of year.

Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21

Your horoscope for this week:

When certain tricky issues arose, you felt it would be better if nothing was said. While, at the time that made sense, since then the resulting lack of information has caused serious confusion, for others and, as a result, there’ve been misunderstandings. Unappealing as the idea of reviewing this from the beginning seems, it’s the only solution. The sooner you do it, the better.

You would be bored without anything to do. That’s why if you have recently finished a project, you will need something new to get your teeth into. Besides, accepting new responsibilities is the best way, at present, to gain further challenges. The pleasure you get from taking these on will fill any gaps in your life. A work or social event will not go exactly as planned which will be disappointing but considering new approaches is all you need to do to turn this situation back in your favour.

Saturday’s Solar Eclipse in neighbouring Sagittarius offered a fresh start for all signs. Eclipses do mark beginnings. Yet they can take some time before they deliver on any promise. In this instance, the focus is very much on your working relationships and your value within them. It could be that pay matters are given much consideration. It might also be that you need to alter strategy as regards information sourcing. This would be an interesting development! It’s likely you’re now more interested in global events and specifically, what’s happening in neighbouring countries. Whilst this needn’t necessarily alter your career path, the fact that by the First Quarter Moon on Friday colleagues are aware of this developing interest might also lead to you being invited to a key meeting.

Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21

Your horoscope for this week:

Ordinarily you’ve a talent for turning even the most unsettling events to your advantage and, in the process, ensuring that others benefit too. However, with the Sagittarius eclipsed New Moon on 4 December triggering serious shakeups, even simple arrangements have been in chaos. Actually, that’s the good news. These will break up old patterns and, better yet, lead to discussions as timely as they are far-reaching.

You hadn’t expected so many people to object to your plans and ideas. This makes you wonder where you are going wrong and what made you expect a more enthusiastic response. Did you miss out on some conversations that would have given you a better impression of other people’s feelings? Whatever your plans, don’t give up. Eventually others will come round to your way of thinking and before the week is over, the Wheel of Fortune will spin in your favour.

Saturday’s eclipse was in your sign. This ‘sophisticated New Moon’ offers so much but yes, will take time (as much as three quarters of a year) to develop. Energy will be boosted when Mars arrives at this same degree in a couple of weeks’ time. This then, is a period of preparation. It seems likely that you’re full of plans and have much to discuss. You also know where the brick walls are i.e., what is and what is not possible. By mid-week, and reassured by a small team or army that all is yet achievable, you could cast doubts aside and make significant progress. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to be so much the financial investment involved that holds you back, but perhaps physical limitations. You perhaps need support from a Capricorn (or someone willing to take extra responsibility) to find a way around restrictions and to find the best pathways to follow when Mars reaches Sagittarius on 13th.

Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19

Your horoscope for this week:

Few things annoy you more than when somebody takes over decision-making, then ignores crucial practical requirements. Tempting as it is to rush to the rescue, the only way those in charge will learn is by facing, and dealing with, the matters in question. The irony is, you’re likely to learn just as much from their solutions, which are entirely different from anything you’d have imagined possible.

You could be neglecting other matters due to you devoting yourself towards one specific area. On realising this you will also see the sense of taking a more flexible approach to everything you do. A career matter you’ve been worried about isn’t showing any signs of being resolved. You’re tired of having this hanging over you and you are ready to take action to put this problem behind you once and for all. This may involve issuing an ultimatum.

This is one of those curious times when you really could be ahead of the game. Following on from Saturday’s solar eclipse, and whilst Venus is still travelling through your sign, you could make real headway. Whereas in the past design may not have grabbed your attention, by mid-week you may be acutely aware of the value of getting things just right in this department. Spending a little extra to ensure this is the case might not be a problem either. Before the First Quarter Moon on Friday, you, perhaps alone amongst all the other signs, seem to be particularly aware of getting details right. Whether you’re involved in an advertising platform or simply want to display products and talents, the effort you put in, should reap great reward when Mars reaches your sign in the early part of next year.

Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18

Your horoscope for this week:

Recently, you’ve had to acknowledge certain once-cherished arrangements – personal, creative or professional – can’t continue as they are. While this saddens you, it’s also destiny challenging you to take an entirely new approach. The objective? It’s not about saving them as they are, but considering what would work in the future. Be bold and imaginative. The more daring your efforts, the bigger the payoff will be.

You might regret having turned down a recent offer or opportunity. You feel you are missing out now. Go back and show your interest. It isn’t too late to try again and it could turn out the chance is still there to take someone up on their offer. A gift you had been hoping to buy someone could cost considerably more than expected. If you spend some time shopping around, you could find a suitable alternative at a more affordable price.

Obviously much depends on your exact birthday, but surely, 2021 has proved challenging for all Aquarians. The presence of both Jupiter and Saturn in your sign is both a curse and a blessing. The blessing comes from the opportunities that Jupiter brings. The apparent curse from Saturn is that it demands you take more responsibility (or closes a door just as you reach it!). Yet with Saturday’s Solar Eclipse came a fresh burst of energy. By mid-week when Mars moves to right angle with Jupiter in your sign, you should be ready to deploy fresh strategy even though your expectations will likely have been modified. You might also realise that it’s essential to join forces – most likely with those of other cultures or who speak several languages or have multiple skills. These individuals could in fact be your passport to better times.

Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20

Your horoscope for this week:

On occasion, you reorganise elements of your life, not because it’s needed. Rather, long ago you realised how informative a good shakeup can be. Recently, however, events prompted this, and necessitated getting others involved. That led to complications, mostly because not everybody understood how rethinking things could refresh both existing arrangements and provide a new vision for the future. If anybody can teach them, you can.

A group effort is taking up a lot of your time and energy. A lot is being expected from you. Taking some time off, occasionally, will do you good. You have a rough idea on what to expect from a test or interview that’s scheduled for later in the week. Even so, it won’t be until you get the results that you will breathe out a huge sigh of relief. Some team bonding and having a great time will keep you relaxed in the weekend.

The full impact of Saturday’s Solar Eclipse and the effect on your career, hopes and aspirations, might not be felt until after Mars changes sign next week. These next seven days all about preparation, investigation and applying due diligence. This should be regarded as imperative and urgent. You may need assistance too – specifically from a Scorpio or Aquarius. Though taking different approaches, they could alert you to potential pitfalls while simultaneously guiding you through an administrative maze. With this accomplished however, and by the First Quarter Moon in your sign on Friday, you could be armed and well prepared and yes, energised ready to seize the moment as soon as Mars arrives in Sagittarius next Monday.



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