GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 23 Jan 2022

Believe in love.
Believe in magic.
Believe in others.
Believe in yourself.
Believe in your dreams.
If you don’t, who will?
– Jon Bon Jovi

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: WANING MOON

Time: From Full Moon To Dark Moon (approx.14 days)

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Associated Goddesses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Kali, Morrigan

Magickal Attributes: Banishing, Releasing the old, removing unwanted negative energies, wisdom, psychic ability, scrying, reversing circumstances. Workings on this day are for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity, physical and psychic cleansings.


What’s Happening!?!

Herb of the Year for 2022: Viola (violet, heartsease) named by the International Herb Association

Flower of the Month for January: Carnation, symbolizing love, fascination, distinction

January is Hot Tea Month

Celtic Tree Calendar Dates – January 21st to February 17th – Rowan

Goddess Month of Bridhe – 1/23 to 2/19

What’s Happening This Month?!?

Jan. 20: Zodiac Period of Aquarius begins

Jan. 24: Sementivae – a grain-oriented Roman festival

Jan. 29: Venus becomes progressive (1:45 AM, MST)

Jan. 30 – Feb 2: Roman celebration of Februalia

Jan. 31: Up Helly Aa – Scottish celebration in the Shetland Islands

Jan. 31: Disting/Disablot – The Dísablót (English and Swedish: Disablot) is the blót which was held in honor of the female spirits or deities called dísir (and the valkyries) from pre-historic times until the Christianization of Scandinavia. Its purpose was to enhance the coming harvest.

Jan. 31: New Moon (10:49 PM, MST)

Feb 1st: New Moon (12:49 AM, EST)


Classes with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones, Fairfax, VA

Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ WitchCrafting – Feb 6
Face to Face Class: 1 PM – 3 PM ~ The Herb Cauldron – Feb 13
Face to Face Class: Noon – 2:00 PM ~ The Magick of Crystals – Feb 20


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 on-line lessons and hands-on projects that you do at home, I will be sending you articles, and information, as well as questions about your own personal use and research.

I look forward to walking this green journey with you! I love herbs and I hope that you do 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 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.


Stacy Adams

January 24, 2022 – January 30, 2022

The week starts with Mars moving out of fiery Sagittarius and into Capricorn. The good news is that Mars is exalted in the sign of the sea goat.

In Capricorn Mars is more tempered, strategic, and tenacious. He is willing to work for what he wants, and will play the long game until he succeeds. Mars in Capricorn

is an exceptional time to work on major projects and strive to achieve your goals. You will have the practical skills and determination to push through one step at a time.

On Tuesday, Mercury moves backwards out of Aquarius and into Capricorn. Issues that you dealt with in December may resurface and come to a final completion. You may experience difficulties with corporations or big businesses throughout the rest of the retrograde cycle. When making decisions, take your time and weigh your options before committing to anything, and avoid proceeding forward until February 3rd, when Mercury goes direct.

The middle of the week features the Moon moving through Scorpio and forming lovely sextiles to Mercury and Pluto. If you need to speak your mind, this is an excellent time to do it.

The significant newsmaker this weekend is Venus turning direct in Capricorn. Relationships that have been through the ringer will slowly get some relief. However, remember that Venus remains in Capricorn until March 6th.

Finally, Sunday brings the Sun, forming a tough square to Uranus. Expect some mild disruption and unexpected events.

Recommended Candles: Mars (Astro Magic), Energy and Will (Blessed Herbal), Protection (Blessed Herbal).

Here’s what you missed on this week…

Ready, Set, Manifest! Spell – January 2021 Witches Union Spell Card

Before you can manifest what you really want, you have to let go of the inner fears, stagnant energy, and outside barriers that would block it’s arrival. This Witches Union spell takes you through the ritual of letting go of your limits and opening the door to greater possibilities with ways to sustainably manifest it.

Join our Witch’s Union Facebook Group and be part of something special, because you are special. You can do magic!

Follow us on Instagram @coventrycandles and Pinterest, Coventry Creations.


Llewellyn’s Spell A Day

A Cup of Wellness

Winter is cold and flu season, a nd you can add magical and physiological support with this spellcrafted tea.

In your favorite cup or mug, grate some fresh ginger (or use ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger) and squeeze in one tablespoon lemon juice and a bit of freshly grated lemon peel. Ginger is known magically for warming and healing, while lemon has strong solar connections and is associated with health and longevity; both ginger and lemon are full of antioxidants, and lemon is also packed with vitamin C. Add some honey to sweeten the tea and to imbue it with healing vitality and an antiviral kick.

Fill the mug with near-boiling water and stir sunwise (clockwise) for extra energy. Sip slowly while it is hot, visualizing the tea fighting off viral invaders. Bonus: add a dram of whiskey (or your favorite spirit) for an even deeper soul-warming effect. Repeat as needed.
Talking with Your Pet

Did you know that January 22 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day? We didn’t either until working on our spells for this year’s almanac. While we doubt it’s possible to answer all of your cat’s questions, we thought it might be worth a try. (This is not limited to cats either. Dog owners are welcome.)

Start by invoking the goddess Bast into your space (or another deity of your choosing). After invoking Bast, sit next to your pet, or better yet, convince your pet to sit in your lap. Close your eyes and begin petting your animal, feeling their presence next to you. Now open to whatever feelings and energies are coming from your pet. Visualize these in your mind’s eye, and when you are done with the exercise (or your pet is), write them down. Use any insights you’ve gleaned to grow closer to your pet.
A Day for Quiet

One of the benefits of winter is that it is a calmer, quieter time. Spring is full of rebirth, noisy and energetic. Summer is busy, as we try to take advantage of the nicer weather and get outside to work or play or take vacations. Fall is harvest time or going back to school. But in the winter, things slow down a bit.

If you live in a northern clime, the snow might blanket the ground and bring its special hush. Even in warmer places, the beaches may empty of crowds. Take time today to embrace that quiet, slower pace. Whether you choose to meditate or take a walk or chop vegetables for a pot of soup, try to be fully present in whatever you do. Let the silence speak to you. And when it feels right, say this spell:

Winter quiet,
Work your magic.
Calm my spirit
And soothe my soul.
Clarity and Charity

A closet purge today will create greater clarity in your life and remove blocks to abundance and self-love. First, pull everything out of your clothes closet. (Really, everything.) Next, physically clean your closet: dust, vacuum, etc. Then clear the energy in your closet with sage smoke, incense smoke, or a mister of water containing a few drops of essential oils, or use a chime or bell to clear the space with sound. Now consider each item one at a time. Ask yourself, “Do I love this? Do I use this? Do I need this? Does it boost my energy and mood?” If the answer is no to all of these, put the item in one of three piles: give away, recycle, or trash. If the answer is yes to any of them, put it back in your closet. Remember, the Virgo moon today loves details, so if there are numerous knickknacks or keepsakes in your closet, repeat the process with every single one of them.
Mirror Magic for Self-Love

Today the moon is in fabulous, fiery Leo, which helps us extend more love to ourselves. Everyone has lovable features, and this spell brings them out. You’ll need a red or pink candle, a lighter, a piece of rose quartz, a small bowl of water, five rose petals, and a mirror set up on your altar.

Light the candle. Place the rose quartz in the bowl of water and sprinkle the rose petals over the water. Gaze into the mirror at the flame as you stir the water clockwise nine times with increasing intensity. Say:

Like the fire burning bright,
My features bring sublime delight.

Anoint yourself with your wet finger and say:

I love _ (feature).

Name at least nine of your features. Gaze into the mirror and see how truly beautiful they are, like the bright flame. Give thanks. Blow out the candle and pour the water in a potted plant or outdoors. Keep the rose quartz on your altar.
Magick of the 18th Path

In the Qabalistic Tree of Life, path 18 is associated with the Chariot card of the tarot. In many depictions, two strong beasts, often one black and one white, are leading the chariot. In our daily lives, we are constantly working to unite opposing desires and initiatives. We want to sleep in, but we also want to pay rent. We want to blow up at our partner in a moment of anger, but we also want to maintain our relationship.

Finding a way to steer the chariot of our lives, without being yanked this way or that, is one of the greatest challenges of adulting, and this magical boost will help heal discord between opposing elements within.

Sit between two lit candles, one black and one white, situated on heatproof surfaces, and chant the following spell:

This or that, either or.
Pass between—the inner door.
My mind is clear,
My heart does know,
And every choice divinely flows.

Snuff out the candles with thanks.
Prayer to Mildgyth

The youngest and least famous of a trio of saintly sisters, St. Mildgyth is linked with the theological virtue of hope—which is sometimes all we have when things go amiss. Look into tonight’s full moon (the same that Mildgyth looked on herself ) and invoke her:

In the cloister
Living by the sea,
Divine intervention
Give unto me.
Yearning for peace when I cannot cope,
There is your presence, there is

Chant this prayer to St. Mildgyth when hope is lost. Say her name— she will help you find it.


Heartwings Love Notes 2018 : How About a Friendly Wave!

Heartwings says, “We can all greet one another with friendship.”

“Remember your mask,” has become a watchword these days. Wherever we go we see masks covering up most faces. I think back to the day that a person wearing a mask was usually wearing it to be disguised, and perhaps for some nefarious purpose. Bank robbers must feel safer these days. Of course, I’m joking, however, it does seem strange after all this time, to be seeing the masked faces everywhere. I can’t seem to get used to it.

One benefit is that it keeps the wind chill from affecting my face, and my nose stays warmer. However, I do find it difficult to manage my hearing aids and the mask strings, not to mention my ear covering that ties under my chin. Much mindfulness is required-not a bad thing to be sure, just another opportunity to practice so I’m not complaining. Humor is one way to lessen the effects of difficulties.

Perhaps the thing about wearing a mask that I find most difficult is that my smile, as well as everyone else’s is invisible, or I should say, hidden. I’m used to smiling at people. I do it anyway however I am unsure if a person can tell if I am smiling. Maybe it ought not to matter. It might be another lesson in detachment to not be able to know. One friend of mine, when I was mentioning this, said you can tell from someone’s eyes if they are smiling. I suppose that’s true still it’s not what I’m used to.

Smiling is actually good for you. It exercises the muscles of the face. I’ve read it takes more muscles to smile than it does to frown-and I’ve trained myself not to frown. I did that long ago when I saw how frowning aged a face. Better yet, smiling generates endorphins-those feel-good emotional vibrations within the body that lift our spirits. The Zen teacher the late Thich Nhat Hahn suggests we smile, just a little, whenever we feel sad or upset. This is because it will help us to work much sooner out of our down mood and into a better one.

Some might say what is there to smile about, citing the various difficulties of the day: Covid, of course, run-away inflation, and bad news of all sorts depending on your location and preferences. My answer to these people is simply that if I can do nothing about anything uncomfortable or dire, it is pointless for me to get upset over it. Getting upset butters no parsnips, as a teacher of mine used to say.

I’ve come up with a solution to the unsmiling mask. In addition to smiling behind the mask, how about a friendly wave? To acknowledge the presence of another with a gesture might help alleviate the feelings of isolation from which so many suffer. As far as I know waving spreads no germs, and it just might cheer someone up who was feeling lonely.

May you discover ways to shine your friendship despite your mask.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this dilemma as well as your suggestions. It is a treat for me to hear from readers. Write to me at and do visit my web pages at
Also, my chapbook of poems, Poems and Prayers is now in print. Let me know if you would like a copy. I’m selling them for $10. postpaid


Finding Time for You

We can excel easier in our lives when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled.

Within each of us, there is a well of energy that must be regularly replenished. When we act as if this well is bottomless, scheduling a long list of activities that fit like puzzle pieces into every minute of every day, it becomes depleted and we feel exhausted, disconnected, and weak. Refilling this well is a matter of finding time to focus on, nurture, and care for ourselves, or “you time.” Most of us are, at different times throughout the day, a spouse, a friend, a relative, an employee, a parent, or a volunteer, which means that down time, however relaxing in nature, is not necessarily “you time.” Though some people will inevitably look upon “you time” as being selfish, it is actually the polar opposite of selfishness. We can only excel where our outer world affairs are concerned when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled.

Recognizing the importance of “you time” is far easier than finding a place for it in an active, multifaceted lifestyle, however. Even if you find a spot for it in your agenda, you may be dismayed to discover that your thoughts continuously stray into worldly territory. To make the most of “you time,” give yourself enough time on either side of the block of time you plan to spend on yourself to ensure that you do not feel rushed. Consider how you would like to pass the time, forgetting for the moment your obligations and embracing the notion of renewal. You may discover that you are energized by creative pursuits, guided meditation, relaxing activities during which your mind can wander, or modes of expression such as writing.

Even if you have achieved a functioning work-life balance, you may still be neglecting the most important part of that equation: you. “You time” prepares you for the next round of daily life, whether you are poised to immerse yourself in a professional project or chores around the home. It also affords you a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, and your tolerances in a concrete way. As unimportant as “you time” can sometimes seem, it truly is crucial to your well-being because it ensures that you are never left without the energy to give of yourself.


The Alchemy of Hauntings
From Ghost Hunting Theories

A person dies in a building and it’s haunted, right?

Considering how many buildings and how many deaths, especially the fact that 100-year-old buildings had their residents dying in them regularly instead of hospitals, we should have a lot more haunting situations than we do.

Why does one building hold a haunting while another with a similar history does not?

I call such haunting buildings “Spirit Vessels”

Let’s look at all the possible elements in creating a Spirit Vessel-

Mining towns like Tombstone are riddled with active hauntings, even though the buildings are wood structures – the copper running throughout the earth beneath the town seems to set an alchemy that counters poor building construction. Therefore, geology trumps building construction. Limestone is often found in haunting locations, as is granite, but it would appear that copper/quartz have an ability to be more potent to buildings that otherwise would be lesser vessels of spirits. Springs and waterways with moving water nearby are often reported near haunted sites and there are some theories about the inherent power of churning water. Leylines are the reported lines of energy running through the earth and where leylines converge, it is believed are power centers or vortexes. Many ancient sites are atop of such convergences, thought to be because of their amplified power.


Stone buildings seem to create their own sort of harnessing of energy and hold it within the walls. A building such as Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV, is a building that I consider to be the single best spirit vessel in America because it has all these traits – to an amazing degree. And, it even starts with being the largest stone building in America on top of great geology (limestone), running streams, cemetery, tragic history, plenty of deaths, feng shui – doors in hall do not line up….


In the case of Trans-Allegheny, the fact that the doors in the hall do not line up creates an interesting scenario in which the hallway would be particularly active, as energy can exit a doorway and be met with a wall and begin a bouncing journey through the hall. Had the doors lined up and energy could go in one doorway and through the other, you would have paths of energy you could walk through and feel, but nothing lingering. It’s the cul-du-sac effect that makes this intriguing.

As well, we consider things like windows where energy comes through, darkness which attracts negative energy, clutter which attracts negative energy, proximity to a cemetery which causes negative energy, history of death which causes negative energy. This location has it all in spades.


Records had revealed thousands of deaths there, but this was not like a sanitorium where people were sick, weakened, and unable to put off the kind of mental trauma that we see in good haunting vessels. These people’s mind energy and mental illness and inner torment was such that it basically stained the space.

When I speak about other dimensions in my theories about the other side, it’s not sci-fi nonsense. A 2-D impression of us, a photograph, takes our 3D space and represents this 3D world in a 2D form. We are sharing our space in different ways. When we have trauma and death, we are imprinting the space in which we are in, that includes the other dimensions in which this ghostly activity comes from. If I stop and take a look at the 2D photographic version of me in my 3D world, I appreciate what it represents and there is an interaction. When we pass into the next dimension (I think a better term than “world”), we have marked an area in the 3D world that still can detect that portal we utilized. It has changed our 3D environment in that spot, a moment in which we turned from 3D form in this physical world to the next realm.


Continuing on the theme in the last paragraph, imagine the imprint we leave in spaces by trauma, anguish, mental illness, fighting, and arguments? Why do you think battlefields, prisons and asylums feel so powerful? The spiritual aspect of us (that which moves to the next dimension upon death) senses these things of the next realm – spirit knows. That’s the same as psychic skills. Psychic skills are basically utilizing the spirit that can touch, feel and sense the next realm.


Why would solar flares have an effect? Well, the geomagnetic storms that result from them do seem to have an effect on human physiology and we still do not know what effect this might have on stone, buildings, and activity in general. Infrasound’s effects on something as simple as water molecules is an interesting realization – if it does this to water – what does it do to our bodies? People in the range of infrasound (sound waves below our ability to hear with our ears) often report feelings of paranoia, being watched, seeing shadow people….


The humans interacting in the building, living there, perceiving the hauntings have their own body physiology–electrical and chemical, their own physiologic reaction to drugs/geomagnetic storms/and stress, combined with belief systems and interpretation skills that either enhance the ghostly encounters or perhaps stimulate them. Sensitives/empaths/psychics and those who have encountered paranormal in other residences, might be better activators or attractors of activity. The emotional state of the people within the building – whether they congregate for prayer or they have repressed anger, all have vastly different effects on the environment. The accepted belief that humans create or instigate poltergeist activity in the form of psychokinesis is a valid one. I, myself, have seen objects move toward me that were metal – defying all physics as we know it. I became a momentary magnetic of sorts. Hmmm….


A study I performed in 2009 about 50 very active haunted locations around the country revealed some very intriguing findings.

“Haunted Formula” (50 sites) This was looking at 6 traits of a site to find out how many of these traits each site had to get a “number” on how haunted it was. 5-6 was exceptionally active, 3-4 was mild haunting and less was not very active or not active at all. (6 traits – geology, construction, waterway nearby, railroad tracks nearby, death, older than 50 years)

Geology (in order of most potent geology and then descending in importance)

  1. Limestone: 13 of 14 sites with limestone ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale
  2. Shale: 12 of 13 sites with shale ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale
  3. Sandstone: 20 of 22 sites with sandstone ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale
  4. Granite: 1 of 2 sites with granite ranked a 5 or 6 on the haunted scale.

Sedimentary is a rather vague title for a type of geology and just about all the 50 sites had this kind in one way or another, but then a great majority of the land in the US is sedimentary, so that’s not necessarily significant, except that volcanic areas seemed to be very devoid of activity, except mining towns.

WATERWAYS: (I considered if the site was within a mile of running water, stream, river, ocean)

41 of 50 sites had this feature–that is very significant. It’s also hard to discover whether or not the other 9 sites had underground springs, so it’s a very hard one to judge. Also, people tended to build homes near waterways long ago before we had wonderful plumbing and such. I did not, however, find one super haunted site that did not have water nearby.

TRAINS: This one intrigued me because of the strange correlation, but now I am leaning more toward it being an incidental finding and considering removing it from the formula all together which might alter a few things, but statistically it wasn’t horribly impressive and, as I said, people tended to build older homes near trains and trains tended to be built near towns.

32 sites had train tracks nearby, 18 did not.

42 of 50 sites.

All 50 sites

Masonry/block/brick were 43 of the 47 that could be judged (one place was a sign, one place was a ship, and one place was a cemetery, so construction could not be included)

In conclusion, we find that there are many factors to consider in whether a site could have a potential haunting and perhaps even the type of haunting — feng shui could tell you where activity might pool in a building, the trauma history of when people left this realm for the next might show you hot spots, the geology and construction might tell you if it is even a potential vessel, given its history, and the emotional/physiologic/mental condition of the people investigating on the team can have an effect, as well. If the environment affects us and we affect the environment, we could be creating an alchemy in a moment in time in a space in this dimension that leaves a beacon or a memory for all time. In the right conditions, it becomes activated.

It’s a good idea to consider all these aspects and even to have investigators write down their emotional or even hormonal states before a study and have them fold that up and put it away until afterwards so you can compare them with who was having issues or near the action or perceiving the action or feeling weird with what was going on in their emotions/hormones that day. We learn much this way, even to know what day you personally will have more encounters.

Geology/waterways/leylines (you can look up county/state geology maps online, waterways show up on Mapquest when you punch in the address of the site, as well as railroad tracks, and leylines can be determined by the use of divining rods)

Feng shui (nearby cemetery/clutter/darkness/odd dead end rooms/energy paths not getting a straight run, cul-du-sac places for energy)

Multiple deaths and trauma (use of building in the past, manner of death being not anticipated)

Generations of negative emotional content (troubled families and family members)

Infrasound/geomagnetic storms (Are these things at play?)

The humans within and their mental states/psychic abilities (what’s up with the research team and the people who dwell in the building?)

PSIence by Marie Jones
Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghostbuster by Anna Maria Prezio
Leylines and Earth Energies by David Cowan and Chris Arnold
For archived geomagnetic storms, try this site.


How To Use a Mortar and Pestle, the 35,000-Year-Old Tools Every Kitchen Needs
by Rebecca Norris

Collecting every new kitchen tool and appliance on the market may be fun and keep your kitchen looking in touch with every Instagram-worthy trend, but, put simply, the classics are classic for a reason. Enter: the mortar and pestle. The mortar and pestle are a spice grinding, herb muddling, nut crushing duo that has been used for the past 35,000 years, and still deserves a place on your kitchen counter. Whether you just need to break up a few ingredients, create a creamy paste, or mill things into a powder, many (read: most) chefs tout the two-piece tool as working faster and better than a knife or machine because they are self explanatory to use and give you control over the consistency you’re creating. Your meal tastes better after a little elbow grease, no? Scroll down to learn how to correctly use a mortar and pestle and to find the best ones to shop in every price range and style.

What is a mortar and pestle?
A mortar and pestle is a two-piece cooking tool designed to mash whatever’s put into it. “A mortar is a bowl usually made of stone, marble, or another hard material while a pestle is a blunt tool made of matching material,” explains chef Narita Santos, who is at the helm of The Exchange at Freehand Los Angeles.

Simple in nature, it’s no wonder that the mortar and pestle has been around since the stone age. The reason they remain so popular in modern times is because, according to dietitian Jennifer Maeng of Chelsea Nutrition in New York City, mortar and pestles are able to crush ingredients very finely (like, powder fine). “They have been used in the kitchen for centuries,” she exclaims. The first documented use of the mortar and pestle came from an ancient Egyptian papyrus dating back to 1550BC, and estimations say that the tools were used for 6,000 years prior to this inscription. Considering that the design of the grinding duo has remained pretty much the same throughout history, “it’s as simple as you can get when it comes to kitchen tools.”

The cultural context of the mortar and pestle
According to Dan Churchill, CEO and co-founder at impact-driven Australian restaurant Charley St, the mortar and pestle is actually one of the first known kitchen tools ever. “Not only were they used in the kitchen but at pharmacies and laboratories as well,” he explains, reiterating that they originated back in the Stone Age.

While mortar and pestles are believed to have originated in Egypt way back when, Churchill points out that they carry a rich history across many cultures. “Each culture will have their own shapes, sizes, and materials of mortars and pestles based on their use and what they have access to,” he explains.

From a use standpoint, Maeng says that mortars and pestles were first believed to be used for grinding spices. “Larger versions of mortar and pestles eventually lead to the invention of other items like butter churns,” she adds.

But can a modern tool replace it?
Given its age, you might be wondering if a mortar and pestle is really necessary, or if another more modern kitchen tool can do the same thing.

As Santos sees it, mortars and pestles are singular. “It is a must-have for every kitchen as a mortar and pestle helps extract flavors out of ingredients in a way that blenders or food processors can not,” she explains. “It also allows for creating small batches or preparing items in small amounts.”

Churchill agrees, calling out the control a mortar and pestle gives a chef. “You can control the consistency of your mix,” he says. “Rather than it being all or nothing when using a food processor, you can be specific to your liking with a mortar and pestle. Plus, they make the best curry pastes.”

How to use a mortar and pestle
So far, you know that mortars and pestles work wonders for spices and curry, but Santos says they can be used for so many other kitchen needs.

“You can use mortars and pestles to pound garlic or ginger into a paste, to crush and grind seeds, to pound chiles and tomatillos into salsa; you can also make a simple guacamole or pesto,” she says.

However you plan to use a mortar and pestle, Churchill says that the most important thing to remember is to not overcrowd it. “Use small pounds to effectively bruise your mix,” he says, noting to rotate your pestle around your mortar to grind down what’s in the bowl.

The best mortars and pestles
Like most things, the best mortars and pestles depend on who you ask. Where Santos prefers the ones she finds at her local Thai and Latin markets, Churchill always reaches for those made of granite, regardless of their cultural origin. And, according to Maeng, there’s likely a reason for that.

“The most popular mortar and pestles include marble and unpolished granite, ceramic, metal, and molcajetes (Mexican stone),” she says. “When it comes to choosing which mortar and pestle to use, it depends on what I’m making. If I’m making guacamole I like to use a molcajete; if I’m making pesto I like to use a granite mortar and pestle to be able to finely grind the basil.”


All-Natural Tea Treatments for Common Ailments
by Jill Nystul

Over the past few years, I have become very interested in using essential oils and other natural remedies for myself and my family. I love that I can treat many common ailments with simple, natural ingredients that don’t have the risks of traditional over-the-counter and prescription medicine.

I’ve never been much of a tea-drinker, but in search of effective, all-natural remedies, I decided to give it a try!

Types of Tea
There are many varieties of tea, but here’s some information on the most common types:

Green tea has been used medicinally for thousands of years! It’s packed with antioxidants, has a powerful influence on cancer cells, helps to regulate blood sugar, promotes faster metabolism, is good for teeth and gums, can ease the symptoms of allergies, and can soothe arthritis pain.

Black tea has quite of few of the same benefits (antioxidants, regulating blood sugar, healthy digestion…) and the taste is much richer and darker. It’s a great replacement for morning coffee!

Herbal teas vary quite a bit, because each type of herbal tea is a different blend of flowers, fruits and herbs! While green and black teas have a lot of general health benefits, you can really pinpoint specific ailments with herbal teas.

Over the past few years, I have become very interested in using essential oils and other natural remedies for myself and my family. I love that I can treat many common ailments with simple, natural ingredients that don’t have the risks of traditional over-the-counter and prescription medicine.

I’ve never been much of a tea-drinker, but in search of effective, all-natural remedies, I decided to give it a try!

Types of Tea
There are many varieties of tea, but here’s some information on the most common types:

Green tea has been used medicinally for thousands of years! It’s packed with antioxidants, has a powerful influence on cancer cells, helps to regulate blood sugar, promotes faster metabolism, is good for teeth and gums, can ease the symptoms of allergies, and can soothe arthritis pain.

Black tea has quite of few of the same benefits (antioxidants, regulating blood sugar, healthy digestion…) and the taste is much richer and darker. It’s a great replacement for morning coffee!

Herbal teas vary quite a bit, because each type of herbal tea is a different blend of flowers, fruits and herbs! While green and black teas have a lot of general health benefits, you can really pinpoint specific ailments with herbal teas.

Today I finally forced myself to get out and attack the weeds in my vegetable and flower gardens. I love to garden. I hate weeding. But after all was … Continue Reading

When you’re picking out a tea, you can choose “loose leaf” tea or sachets. I prefer buying sachets, because the tea is measured, ready to go, and the blend has been crafted for me. You want to be sure to choose a good tea, especially if you’re drinking tea for it’s health benefits. Check the ingredients to make sure that you are just getting tea leaves, flowers and herbs.

Brewing Tea
If you choose a loose leaf tea, measure out one teaspoon of dried tea per cup. You can use a tea pot, a special mug, an infuser, or you can make your own tea packets! Each type of tea requires a different brewing time, so check the label or do a little research.

If you prefer iced tea, brew your tea in about 1/3 cup of water, allow it to steep, and then pour the strong tea over a glass of ice. Add a lemon slice, some fresh mint, and enjoy!

Treating Specific Ailments
For an upset stomach or nausea, reach for ginger or peppermint.
For stronger bones, go with dandelion tea.
For menstrual pain, choose raspberry leaf tea.
For stress, insomnia or anxiety; relax with lavender or chamomile.
For a stronger immune system, look for a tea with rosehips.
If you prefer to use essential oils, check out this post for tips about how to use each one.
Stash some tea bags in your purse or backpack for a mini medicine cabinet that goes wherever you go. You only need to add boiling water to access their healing powers!


Name It and Claim It

Whatever the nature of your feelings, carefully define the reaction taking place within you.

Our feelings can sometimes present a very challenging aspect of our lives. We experience intense emotions without understanding precisely why and consequently find it difficult to identify the solutions that will soothe our distressed minds and hearts. Yet it is only when we are capable of naming our feelings that we can tame them by finding an appropriate resolution. We retake control of our personal power by becoming courageous enough to articulate, out loud and concisely, the essence of our emotions. Our assuming ownership of the challenges before us in this way empowers us to shift from one emotional state to another — we can let go of pain and upset because we have defined it, examined the effect it had on our lives, and then exerted our authority over it by making it our own. By naming our feelings, we claim the right to divest ourselves of them at will.

As you prepare to acknowledge your feelings aloud, gently remind yourself that being specific is an important part of exercising control. Whatever the nature of your feelings, carefully define the reaction taking place within you. If you are afraid of a situation or intimidated by an individual, try not to mince words while giving voice to your anxiety. The precision with which you express yourself is indicative of your overall willingness to stare your feelings in the face without flinching. Naming and claiming cannot always work in the vacuum of the soul. There may be times in which you will find the release you desire only by admitting your feelings before others. When this is the case, your ability to outline your feelings explicitly can help you ask for the support, aid, or guidance you need without becoming mired in the feelings that led you to make such an admission in the first place.

When you have moved past the apprehension associated with expressing your distressing feelings out loud, you may be surprised to discover that you feel liberated and lightened. This is because the act of making a clear connection between your circumstances and your feelings unravels the mystery that previously kept you from being in complete control of your emotional state. To give voice to your feelings, you must necessarily let them go. In the process, you naturally relax and rediscover your emotional equilibrium.


Gilberto Rides Again
by Stephen Halpert

Chapter 37
The morning sun invaded their bedroom, shining on Gilberto. Startled, he shielded his eyes. Maria was curled up beside him. The clock on the night table read just past six thirty. He slid closer beside her, kissed her.
“I’m being kissed,” came her sleepy response. “Maybe by Robin Hood or one of his merry men.”
“Robin Hood doesn’t share Maid Marian,” Gilberto whispered.
Still half asleep she giggled. “Are you sure? Didn’t Maid Marion do a thing once with the Sheriff of Nottingham?”
“Not likely,” Gilberto insisted. “He was fat and smelled of booze.”
She turned and folded her arms around him. They kissed, not letting go.”
He gulped, his body responding, “Wow, you’re amazing in the morning.”
Maria yawned. “Not just the morning. Whenever I can have you all to myself.”
Continuous loud barking, sounding more like a train than a dog, halted their intimacy.
She giggled. “Are you going to walk Boris?”
Gilberto frowned. “Not like this. Besides, that’s Mona’s job. She has to assume responsibility. He’s her dog after all.”
“Good luck with that,” She sounded more awake. “You can’t expect a ten-year-old to go outside alone and walk her dog.” She squirmed and looked at the clock. “Not even seven yet. Aren’t we the all-American family!”
More barking resonated throughout the condo; then came a desperate voice at their bedroom door. “Daddy,” Mona cried. “Boris won’t stop barking. What should I do?”
“Take him out for a walk. He needs to relieve himself.” His voice was reasoned, poised.
“”But it’s too cold,” Mona said. “I’d freeze to death.”
“You won’t,” Gilberto said. He tried reaching for Maria but their moment had passed.
Maria looked at him and frowned. “Get dressed, Mona,” she called. “We’ll both walk him.” She turned to Gilberto. “You can’t expect a ten year old to go outside alone.”
He sighed, but knew not to argue. Once Maria’s mind was made up nothing, he could say would make any difference.
Maria got up, slid into her jeans, and put on her heavy pink and blue cashmere pullover.
Gilberto frowned. “Will it be this way every morning now?”
“We’ll share. Fortunately, no snow yet.” She put on her warm socks, loafers, bent down, and kissed him. “When I’m back we can have a hearty breakfast.”
He heard Mona coaxing Boris into the elevator.
Minutes later his phone rang. “Are you awake,” Rain’s voice was crystal clear.
“I am now,” Gilberto said.
“Boris was Buzz’s pet. Those ranch houses in Newtonville are all owned by guess who, Sara Midgley.”
“Why am I not surprised?”
“Call Gomez. We’ve sufficient evidence of their involvement in a possible insurrection. It’s time to put an end to this.”
He dressed, called Ramon, feeling relieved Rain was in charge and taking action.
He heard the elevator door open. Boris lumbered into the hallway dragging Mona. Then he made a beeline for her room.
“We need to pick up a case of wet dog food. Maria said. “Either that or a side of beef.”
He nodded. “Rain’s on her way. I called Ramon.”
She frowned. “What about breakfast?”
“I’m too keyed up to eat. We’ll catch something later.”
She shook her head and kissed him. “You have to take better care of yourself.”
He nodded. “I want to see this story end so I can get on with my life. Something tells me Atlas is no more.”
She nodded. “”You’re right,”
“I’m glad I sold the stock. Even after capital gains we’re set for a while.”
She smiled. “Several million, for sure, and you’ll be the soccer coach at Houndstooth.”
He sniffed. “Not exactly the same pay scale.”
The buzzer rang. Ramon appeared. He nodded to them. “Took your advice. Divested my portfolio of my Atlas stock.”
“Good thing,” Gilberto said.
Outside Rain appeared in a dark panel truck with small narrow side windows.
They started for Newtonville. Early morning Pike traffic was light. At Newton Corner they drove toward the Charles River passing the three ranch houses. They were as before: no cars or signs of life.
Rain directed the agent toward West Newton. Ultimately, he took a right turn up Chestnut Hill. Toward the top was a gated residential enclave. They stopped. The agent opened his window, then pressed buttons on a hand-held device the size of a tv remote. The gate sprung open.
Gilberto rolled his eyes. “Wow.”
Ramon nodded appreciatively. “Smart.”
Rain smirked. “Your tax dollars at work. She handed Gilberto and Ramon body armor. “Put this on and stay out of sight.”
They drove to the end of the roadway. In a grove of trees stood an old stone fortress with small windows, slanted roof, and a large iron door, dating back to the American Revolution.
Parked were three late model vehicles with North Carolina plates and Confederate decals.
Gilberto breathed faster.
“It’s like we’re in a movie,” Ramon whispered.
Two burly, middle aged men in Confederate uniforms came out from the back of the fortress. AK47 rifles slung over their shoulders. They stopped when they saw Rain’s truck. One took out his phone.
“Insurrectionists from January Enemies of our Constitution,” Rain said flatly. She looked at Gilberto and Ramon “Since January 6th para military groups are planning more attacks to overthrow the government.” She smirked. “But not on my watch.”
She said to Gilberto and Ramon. “Whatever happens, you two stay inside until we give you an all clear.” Her orders were crisp and emphatic.
She slid open a side window and positioned a large rifle. She took a megaphone and spoke. ” This is the Government. You are all under arrest for planning an insurrection. Put down your weapons.
While one took cover, the other fired at the truck.
Rain breathed evenly. “One more time. Put down your weapons.”
The second fired at the truck.
Rain swore, spoke softly. “God Bless America.” She took careful aim and fired. A bullet slammed into one rebel’s right leg. He screamed, fell to his knees in shock amidst a pool of spurting blood.
The other dove for cover but was too late.
Rain fired again.
The rebel fell backwards, his arm dangling and bloody. Two more shots disabled two tires. Then she pulled the rifle inside, slid the window closed, and reloaded.
“This is like Mission Impossible,” Ramon whispered.
Gilberto nodded and wondered what sort of training Rain had received to be such a crack shot. He looked at her with new found admiration.

To be continued


Kitty Kat’s Korner

Creative Cat Enrichment Ideas

Just like humans, cats can get bored while cooped up at home. Boredom in cats can take the form of unwanted cat behaviors like scratching, chewing, aggression and can even cause health issues.

Fortunately, long before it comes to this, there are plenty of easy ways to keep your cat engaged and entertained.

By introducing cat enrichment toys, games involving cat treats and maybe doing a little cat enrichment DIY, you can ensure you and your cat are having fun while finding new things to bond over.

Designated Together Time
As working from home becomes more common, some people will find that adjusting to a new routine may be difficult at first. Cats may also need some time to get used to having their humans home all day, every day. One way to help them adjust is to create a new routine that includes designated time together.

“Try doing fifteen minutes at the same time every day for a week. Go to a cozy, relaxing and comfortable space, then spend fifteen minutes talking with your cat, petting them and giving them all of your attention,” suggests Purina pet enrichment specialist Alex Johnson, MS.

See how your cat reacts to this time together over a week or so. They might even seek you out at your designated time because they enjoy this special time with you. Johnson adds, “Continue this designated together time daily and consider mixing things up by introducing a new activity as well.”

“Cats find moving objects, lights and sound entertaining,” says Johnson. You can hang a bird feeder outside a window so they can watch. Light catchers, lasers, feather wands and cat dancer toys are also popular with cats. “You can even try creating your own DIY cat enrichment toys as a family activity. Light catchers or wind catchers are easy for beginners,” Johnson explains.

Couch Potato Play
Interacting with your cat doesn’t have to take a ton of effort. If you’re relaxing on the couch watching a movie or binge-watching your favorite TV show, you can give them something to do without leaving the couch.

Keep a basket or drawer within arm’s reach, filled with toys like feather wands or a cat-safe laser pointer. “Verbal encouragement is often enough for pets as they interact with a toy on their own. Provide words of praise, which can increase their excitement for the activity and extend playtime,” says Johnson.

Time to Explore
Feline enrichment can sometimes involve something as simple as reintroducing them to something they’re familiar with.

Creating places for cats to explore by setting up boxes or paper bags for them to climb into can be fun for a cat. Closing off a room in the house for a week, then opening it to give your cat a place to re-discover, is also effective.

Johnson says, “Before reopening the room, tuck a few favorite toys and treats in a hidden spot to give them the excitement of discovering something they enjoy.”

Pet Forts & Box Tunnels
Cats are natural explorers, so pillow and blanket forts that spring up in their homes are often an irresistible draw.

“Make sure to put some of your cat’s favorite toys and treats inside the fort for your cat to discover. Then, give them the time and space they need to discover all the nooks and crannies of the fort at their speed,” Johnson recommends.

If you’ve had an influx of packages delivered to your home, repurpose those boxes by building box tunnels, towers and cities for cats to explore. “If you have more than one cat, make sure to provide an entrance and exit, so nobody gets cornered,” she advises.

Sensory Spots
Cats like to sit on almost anything—even things that seem uncomfortable, like computer keyboards. Johnson explains that part of the reason for this is cats “love exploring different textures and smells.” Instead of shooing them from these spots, create a dedicated sensory spot for your cat to explore, sit and even nap.

Johnson recommends using a basket or box and putting it near a window or vent and putting new material in it each week. Anything from an old t-shirt to packaging paper can be intriguing for a cat—and it doesn’t have to be soft and comfortable. “If your cat doesn’t like it, she just won’t sleep on it,” she says.

Pet Picnic
A pet picnic can take place outdoors, or if your cat spends most of their time indoors, on a living room floor. Create a nice, cozy and comfortable place for your cat to wander around. Be sure to include some of their favorite toys. Then bring out some boxes and containers with cat food and treats hidden inside.

Treasure Hunt
Having your cat hunt for food taps into their natural predatory instincts. Try hiding small amounts of dry cat food in various spots around the house. Your cat can “hunt” for her food throughout the day, which will keep her active and provide some mental stimulation.


Georgia Nicols’ Weekly Horoscope:
Sunday, January 23, 2022

All Signs
This week we’ll put our noses to the proverbial grindstone
because suddenly, we want to be productive. We want to stop needless effort and activities that drain our energy. Enough! We will cut back, pare down and focus on what is necessary. It’s time to review goals and take steps to move forward to what we really want to achieve. (Hey, this isn’t a pep talk. These are the astrological influences coming down the pipe for everyone.) By the weekend, we will reward themselves. Yay! After all, you can’t afford to waste too much time making money. Don’t wait to be happy in the future. Be happy now.

Aries (March 21-April 19)
This is a goal-oriented week because there are four planets at the top of your chart pumping your ambition! Please know that some of your best opportunities will actually be connected with the past. If you’re looking for a job, or you want to explore your options, go back to places you have done business with before, or worked at before, or where you might have applied before. This is because two planets at the top of your chart are retrograde right now – Mercury and Venus. This also means good things are waiting for you that are connected with your past. Meanwhile, this is a popular week and people will be supportive. You can’t lose!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Right now, you look fabulous in the eyes of authority figures. You don’t even have to do anything special. (Chalk it up to good lighting.) It’s important to know this because it means you can ask for something and people will be receptive to you. They admire you and will be more likely to go along with your request. (This happens only once a year so use it while you have it!) Meanwhile, four planets make you want to travel, learn and do something to expand your world. You might face restrictions that we all have right now; but you can still do something to shake things up and create variety in your life.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You want to explore new ideas, learn new things and expand your world through travel. These are all things you love to do because you’re always curious and you hate to be bored. Naturally, with the restrictions that we have right now, you might not be able to do all of these things but you can always learn. You can always go someplace you’ve never been before. You can explore your world. Meanwhile, this week is passionate and intense! Physical intimacy will be memorable. In your mundane, practical world – you will easily finish up old business that has been lingering, especially related to shared property, taxes, debt and inheritances. Just do it.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is an interesting week because four planets are sitting opposite your sign – Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde, fiery Mars and Pluto. Obviously, your focus will be on partners, spouses and close friends. Furthermore, your focus might also be on ex-partners and old friends who are back in your world. This might be a good thing – or not. (When people from our past are “back in our world”, sometimes it’s not literally; sometimes they are in our thoughts or our dreams. But they’re back!) This can be an opportunity for you to work out old details, establish closure or learn something, especially about yourself.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This week the Sun continues to be as far away from you as it can get all year (in your chart), which means your energy level is low. You need more sleep. The irony is that four other planets are urging you to bust your buns and work hard! And you will do this. This will mean you need more sleep! Yes, it’s a vicious cycle. Two retrograde planets will help you finish old business and wrap up old stuff so that you feel caught up and ready for whatever’s coming next. Actually, this is a lovely opportunity for you. Later, you will be gratified and proud of everything you’re able to do. Relations with coworkers will be cozy and supportive. Everything will help you to be productive.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
This is an interesting week because like everyone else, you’re keen to work hard and be productive. However, in addition to this influence, you also have four planets urging you to play and have fun! This means you’re ready to work hard and party hard! Enjoy social outings wherever possible. Enjoy sports events and playful activities with kids. You will also enjoy any chance to express your creative talents because you want the joy of creating new things. Admittedly, old flames might be back in the picture. This can be exciting and thrilling or scary. It can also trigger problems with a current partner. Just go with the flow and be honest and forthright.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This is a strong time for you because the Sun is now in an Air Sign and you are an Air Sign, so there is a lovely support in terms of energy and opportunity for you. This is why you feel free to do your own thing and be exactly who you are. This makes you joyful! Because of this, you will enjoy social outings, sports and fun activities with kids, as well as chances to express your creative talents. Nevertheless, you are also dealing with a wild and crazy situation at home. Past issues are back on the table. Relatives you haven’t seen for a while might be sleeping on your sofa. Despite this increased activity and chaos, you want to make home improvements and redecorate. (Put those sofa surfers to work.)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
The bottom line for you lately is that you want to cocoon at home and relax among familiar surroundings. You feel you have to pull your act together, and you want to do this privately. (Some of you might be more involved than usual with a parent.) However, despite your desire to withdraw to your own sanctuary, four planets are urging you to get out there and hustle! This is why appointments, errands, short trips plus conversations with family members, siblings and neighbours will keep you busy! (Everyone loves you.) Make sure you make time for yourself because you count. If you don’t take care of your own needs – you’ll be no use to anyone. (But you know this.)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This is a fast-paced time! Short trips, errands, appointments, discussions with relatives and neighbours, plus increased reading, writing and studying make busy demands on your days. You’re keen to talk to others because you want to enlighten someone about your ideas. (You’ve got that philosopher streak.) Nevertheless, this week, four planets are sitting in your Money House. And two of these planets are retrograde, which means money will be delayed. Cheques in the mail will be late. On the upside, you will wrap up financial business that has been dragging on forever. You will work hard to boost your earnings but you’ll also spend money. (Especially on beautiful things for yourself and loved ones.) Ka-ching!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This week fiery Mars moves into your sign to stay for the next six weeks. Yay! This will boost your energy and give you lots of drive! It will help you get stuff done. But it can make you come on too strong with others. Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde has slipped back into your sign to join Pluto and Venus, which is also retrograde. This could trigger moments of Dijon vu, where the smell of mustard reminds you of cold rinks and hockey games. “He scores!” Don’t hesitate to buy nice clothes for yourself. A new look will boost your confidence and work well with the sassy energy that Mars is giving you. Go do that voodoo that you do so well!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This continues to be your special time because the Sun is still in your sign until Feb. 17. Yeehaw! You are blessed! The Sun boosts your confidence and gives you energy, focus and optimism. Ironically while this wonderful, positive influence exists, meanwhile, four planets are literally “hiding” in your chart. This is a real Jekyll and Hyde influence. The upside is it will help you do research. It will also promote secret love affairs. And you will find it easier to be self-scrutinizing and contemplative. The downside is that it’s possible that someone is working against your best interests. Trust your intuition on this. If you suspect that something fishy is going on – it is!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You’re very active with others right now because people from your past, friends from your past, as well as professional contacts you might have known through groups, clubs and organizations are suddenly back in your world. This is why you are involved with younger people and artistic people. You also might be in competition with someone. Some of you will be more involved with competitive physical sports – there are many ways this energy is expressing itself for your sign. The bottom line is that you can learn a lot through your contact with these people from your present and your past. Meanwhile, in the bigger picture, use some of this quiet time to think what you want for your new year ahead.


Weekly Horoscopes beginning Sunday, 23 January 2022

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:

For ages you’ve managed to sidestep certain matters that are crucial but dull. However, once your ruler Mars moves into the part of your chart that accents these and other pivotal practicalities, on Monday, there’ll be no escaping them. The secret? Tackle each, head on. Once you’re more involved in both discussions and certain well-informed individuals, you’ll realise how interesting, if not exciting, these could be.

You hate wasting time and you will point out that a workmate or housemate is putting a lot of energy into something unnecessarily. They will be annoyed with themselves when they realise this but this same person will be useful in steering you in the right direction when a domestic matter suddenly comes to a standstill. Don’t be too quick to dish out advice when you feel a relative might need it. Your words could be taken the wrong way.

A clash between groupthink and what you need to do for your own career is probable. It may be that you’re coming to the end of one road. Certainly, a working partnership looks to be under acute pressure. Of course, it could be that there are limitations quite beyond your control. Working around these will likely require ingenuity and yes, possibly the threat of legal action. Hold the thought that Venus appears to alter direction next Sunday. It’s entirely possible that significant repairs can be carried out. At the very least, a way forward could be found. What’s likely important is that you show that though you can’t be messed around with, and that you won’t be deflected from your long-term aims, that you are entirely capable of finding new ways of working and operating.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

If your world and life seem confused, it’s no surprise. While you may be familiar with the period when the ideas planet, Mercury, is retrograde, your own ruler Venus is also in reverse movement, until this Saturday, the 29th. Knowing that, focus on untangling, and learning from, any confusion. Future plans? They can and should wait until early February. By then, things will be much clearer.

A joint money matter will be the cause of some conflict and confusion. This will be more due to a lack of communication than any serious issue. Although in theory it shouldn’t take long to clear up, a resulting argument could drag it out considerably. Later in the week ignore any suspicions that there could be strings attached to an unexpected offer. Trust your intuition in friendship and finance. A family holiday will come under discussion and this could lead to you making a firm booking.

Just a week ago Uranus, still moving through your sign, appeared to move in direct motion. It’s possible that you’ve created a whirlwind. You may not even be aware of the effect some of your actions have had. It would be wise to take time to observe reactions and to discuss – perhaps several times over, – different options. Note that both Mercury and Venus are still retrograde. The latter alters direction next weekend and from then better working partnership can be built. That’s not to say that this week won’t have its productive moments: indeed, your expertise stands you out from the crowd. It’s how you choose to use that while still maintaining involvement with an organisation that seems stuck in the past that could be the week’s biggest challenge.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, with your ruler Mercury retrograde, or appearing to move backwards in the heavens, twists and turns are inevitable. While they’re reshaping past arrangements and forcing a rethink of existing plans, the resulting exchange of ideas will be amazingly informative. True. you’ll need to review facts in detail. However, the errors you spot and remedy and, equally, what you learn will be as revealing as it is fascinating.

A close friend who met someone new at the start of the year is acting unpredictably. You are happy they are now romantically involved as this will be a wish come true for them. Even so, you are also worried that their new partner is deceiving them. You won’t be too surprised when some regular arrangements are cancelled. You sense in some relationships; things will never be the same again. Catching up on neglected chores gives you a strong sense of achievement.

You won’t be the only sign to feel that you’ve come to a crossroads around this week’s Last Quarter Moon. The fact that both your ruling planet, Mercury, and Venus are both retrograde as Mars reaches the end of its stay in Sagittarius, adds to a feeling of running out of energy. It would be understandable to if you berated yourself for not having followed through with work that you promised way ahead of Christmas and which is still uncompleted. Rising to a new challenge likely requires a different approach and yes, probably reaching out for expertise and help. Take your time. A new bond could be formed before the next New Moon on February 1. Determining who really does qualify for a place on your team should be a task taken slowly and diligently. In particular, a Capricorn could have something valuable to say even though you don’t at this point, want to hear it. Talking their advice through with another colleague – perhaps a Sagittarius, should prove a useful exercise.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

While the Cancer Full Moon was on Tuesday the 17th, you’re still reviewing the resulting changes and vital insights. Tempting as it is to turn these into plans, take it slowly. For now, focus on letting go of arrangements and alliances that no longer add to your life. In some cases, this will be challenging, in others a relief. Once that’s done, you can focus on the future.

A domestic project will come to a grinding halt. Either resources will run dry, there are financial issues to sort out or someone you hired to do this job will let you down. Whatever the cause you won’t take this sitting down. Despite all your efforts to resolve a workplace issue this may in the end, be one of those things that just passes in its own time. Your time is better spent dealing with personal matters.

The combination of a Last Quarter Moon in the research and development area of your solar chart, coupled with both Mercury and Venus still in retrograde motion, suggests a winding down or the completion of a project that’s bugged you for some time. You may be looking forward to this conclusion and eager to open the next chapter – most likely after the New Moon on February 1st. Before then however, there is the issue of how best to guide others who are clearly at the end of their tether, possibly thinking that they’ve lost their career plot entirely. Your sign has justified reputation for assisting others and nurturing their talents. You might be wise to take a few days out and consider how you could better nurture your own. In particular, there may be areas where you could improve your expertise and even enjoy the process. A meeting towards the end of this week that supports that thinking should prove valuable.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

It’s not that you’ve been secretive. Actually, you’ve feared even mentioning certain tricky matters would lead to pointless, and unending, discussions. However, these can’t be ignored. The secret? Raise them yourself, but when you’ve control of both the mood and the amount of time that can be given to talking things over. Then explore worthwhile options; and firmly stick to the objective, getting those issues settled.

A youngster in the family is acting strangely and you’re concerned about their behaviour. A barrier has been slowly building between you and someone you care for. This would be a good time to make an effort to tear it down. You will have to make the first move and you will be glad you did. Listening as well as giving your point of view will be a major element in the success of a professional venture.

The combination of Last Quarter Moon in another of the Fixed signs together with retrograde Mercury and Venus, suggests that you like many others, will come to the end of a road. For Leo, this might not be the easiest of endings either. As though going through a series of speed bumps before finally coming to a stop light, it could feel uncomfortable. Yet perhaps you can see that there will be an open road ahead. There’s also time for you to consider the enormous investment made – most likely over the last 14 to 15 years. You might not regret any of that, but know that you now need fresh direction and a different type of excitement. It would be unsurprising if, in this state, you didn’t attract others in vaguely similar position. It may be that tentative connections can be made – to be followed through after the New Moon on February 1st.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Usually, you’re superb at untangling even complex situations; and you not only do it swiftly, you enjoy the process. However, with both your ruler Mercury and Venus, which accents all forms of relationships, both retrograde, confusion is inevitable. Out of character as it may be, relax and live with the inevitable twists and turns. Not only will you gain helpful insights, you’ll actually learn from all the confusion.

New people will be met, new opportunities encountered and social invitations will add an extra sparkle to your evenings. Your positive and optimistic frame of mind makes you fun company and you will find it easy to talk to almost anyone. You will have your work cut out if you’ve taken on a leadership role in a group venture. Others will be looking to you to make certain everything goes according to plan and you won’t let them down.

This might not be the easiest of weeks. Those of your sign generally don’t do mess. You need things to be ordered, clean and tidy. As a result, you probably have excellent organisational skills. True, there may be some who think that you actually attract messy situations and a degree of chaos. Expect any talent for clearing up to be put to the test over these next few days. Fact is that not only is there a Last Quarter Moon (which itself suggests some kind of ending), but both Mercury and Venus are retrograde. The combination suggests many people will come to a turning point. How they negotiate that, with or without your help, should be of some interest. Once the Sun changes signs on Thursday, your ability to cut through and see the essence of a difficulty is much enhanced. By then, and presumably championed by Sagittarius and Pisces colleagues, you could move quickly into a fast lane to see happy conclusion around the New Moon on February 1st.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

You don’t think of yourself as being impatient. However, you’re probably getting frustrated with the range of unresolved misunderstandings and, equally, unsettled plans you’re facing. Actually, this is no surprise. With your ruler Venus retrograde until 4 February, delays are inevitable. Living with the current confusion isn’t easy; but each day’s discussions are informative and, better yet, are bringing you closer to those who matter most.

Some ideas recently discussed in the workplace may seem out of the ordinary and yet they are being taken seriously. News received early in the week will make others who have been reluctant about these plans suddenly willing to listen. After a recent lull things are starting to move forward again much to your immense relief. Not even the prospect of all the extra work ahead of you will dampen your spirits.

It is well known that Libra requires balance. When things are out of true, you feel dis- eased; and that’s possible this week as not only is there a Last Quarter Moon, but Mercury, and your ruling planet Venus, are both retrograde. Hold the thought that Venus arrives at its direct station next weekend. This could be considered thinking time whilst you recalibrate. It may be that you’ve put too much investment of time and energy into a relationship than was feasible. You might need to give yourself a good talking to – most likely after the Sun changes signs on Thursday. Saying goodbye to one way of working and reinvesting time and energy in new methods could can be considered the wisest move you make in 2022. To do all this, you will likely require support from a Leo or Aquarius who may be more than happy to give it.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Others say you’ve been avoiding even mentioning certain matters. The real problem is you’re short of facts, so haven’t had much to offer. Out of character as it may be, say exactly that. Not only will it become clear you’re not alone, the resulting discussions will be of huge benefit to everybody; and decisions? Discuss these, too. It will be widely agreed they can wait.

You’re planning for the long-term future. Some good advice from an older friend or colleague will have caused this desire. It will feel good to set distant goals. Something shocking that happens to a workmate or neighbour will have you reassessing where your priorities should lie. Shop around if you are considering pension or insurance policies and the like. In practical matters avoid becoming so fixated on details that you lose sense of time.

This week’s Last Quarter Moon is in your sign and yes, it is possible you’re coming to the end of a road. That’s probable for most signs of the zodiac but, in your case, could be exaggerated. Fact is that both Mercury and Venus are also retrograde. Mercury is crossing the base of your solar chart so it could be that changes in the neighbourhood, parking restrictions, or travel disruptions of some kind mean that you have to think differently. Irritating as this may be, it does force you into considering what is now best for you – and that may be very different to what was the case just a few years ago. On a positive note, after Venus turns direct next weekend, there is the potential to develop a new travelling relationship. Yes, this could be to do with improving communications and yes, your mobile phone will likely be involved. Whatever, in facing a crisis this week, you also set the scene for solutions next.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

True, you’re sometimes impatient. However, you’ve already realised the situations you’re currently dealing with can’t be rushed. The problem? Others disagree and they aren’t just forcing issues, they insist you get involved. The secret it to discuss options and potential plans with them, but put off decisions for the time being. You’ll be amazed what fun it is venturing into new territory, especially without time pressure.

Get serious matters out of the way early on. This will clear the path for you to enjoy a less demanding time later. A hobby or interest you have recently taken on is at its most exciting stage and this will absorb much of your time. A phone call or text message could tear you away from family business and take you out to do some fairly extravagant socialising in the weekend. Doing a friend, a favour will have happy consequences.

It seems likely that after an over two-year quest for information, conclusions will be offered before the end of this month. That could happen as early as this week’s last Quarter Moon on 24th. Note however, that both Mercury and Venus are presently retrograde. Whilst a perspective might be offered, it might not yet be wholly accurate. Patience will be needed. That said, you, like all other signs of the zodiac are likely to feel that you are indeed coming to the end of a chapter and preparing to open the next. Whilst in one sense confused as to where you might be going, at another level, and thanks to the professionalism of certain individuals who, though they have been through this exact scenario before, are sufficiently experienced to know that watch and wait is sometimes the best option, you could ride out any storm and, in the process, show unusual patience and resilience.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Having struggled with making worthwhile, and lasting, plans early in the month, you’re in no mood to rethink them. However, once you begin asking questions, you’ll realise your options are wider, and more exciting, than you’d have imagined possible only recently; and there’s more to come. While these changes are unsettling, the more you explore, the more excited you’ll be about what’s next.

You’re about to make a costly purchase for your home. A lot of thought will have gone into this but this still won’t stop you from feeling nervous when you swipe your card. If you are sure this is necessary and worthwhile, your worries will soon vanish to be replaced by a more preferable sense of excitement. Whether it’s an art group, writers’ circle or online Forum, starting a club that brings like-minded people together will bring praise and gratitude your way.

Until next Sunday, Venus is retrograde in your sign. It’s joined there by retrograde Mercury also moving through your sign from Wednesday 26th. Retrograde is often bring rethinks. They offer useful energy. In this instance, the potential to attract back someone who was involved in the initial stages of a project could be discussed. The fact that this week includes a last Quarter Moon suggests that work done over the last two years, now needs to be brought to satisfactory conclusion. Perhaps the only way to do that, is to bring back someone who was involved in its inception. Difficult as that may be, even to contemplate let alone do, it might yet be the optimum course of action. The calm way in which you present this as a possibility, stand you out from the crowd.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Not only are you eager to get future plans organised, others are eager to know what you have in mind. Yet you feel unsettled, as if there’s more to come. You’re right. Those ideas, insights and breakthroughs will be triggered by the Aquarius New Moon on Tuesday, 1 February. While you may not be feeing patient, it’s worth waiting for what’s coming your way then.

Your powers of concentration are exceptional. Not only will this enable you to deal with jobs needing careful handling but you are gaining a deeper understanding of those around you. You may, for instance, realise that the stand-offish and know it all behaviour of an older colleague is not because they think they are better than you but because they are rather shy. If you feel there have been misunderstandings in the past, you might make an effort now to change this situation.

Mercury has been retrograde in your sign. Mid-week it returns to neighbouring Capricorn. That should give you breathing space. Given that this coincides with the last Quarter Moon accenting a career point, it could be that you reconsider an offer that was made several months ago. There might yet be room for negotiation. Note however, that Mercury doesn’t return to your sign until the middle of February. It could take at least that length of time to get matters resolved. A major issue may be that it appears that you are chopping and changing your mind. What others have to realise, is that this is not your natural trait. Having held the position for so long, altering it is not easy. It would be understandable if, over the space of a few weeks you felt the need to go back over and over the various stages taken to arrive at your new position. What seems clear, is that added responsibility is headed your way and is likely unavoidable.

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

Your horoscope for this week:

Your intuition is very clear, both about your own changing circumstances and those reshaping the life of others; but actually, turning those ideas into plans, and those into action, is another matter. Urgent as things seem, the foundation on which these are based is shifting and will continue to do so for some weeks. The secret? Make those plans, but ensure it’s understood they’re tentative.

Are you single? Love is in the air. The future looks brighter with romance being a distinct possibility. Someone will show they are interested in you but they are waiting for you to make the first move. You won’t regret taking the initiative. If you are already attached, a minor quarrel is all set to disrupt your otherwise blissful routine. This won’t last long when a surprise gift from your other half will restore your loving mood.

The combination of retrogrades Mercury and Venus plus a Last Quarter Moon, Mercury’s return to Capricorn and the Sun moving to Aquarius suggests a bumpy road ahead. Many will feel that they’re coming to the end of the chapter or that issues are chaotic and cannot be resolved. Note however, that Venus turns direct next weekend, and much can then be smoothed out. Your role would seem to be to help others negotiate clashing or crashing tidal waves. Many will feel they don’t know whether they’re coming or going. Your greatest role is likely to be to soothe and confirm that these times too will pass. Midst this chaos, you may have flashes of inspiration. Take notes and don’t rely on your memory. You could yet see the way out of a difficulty and with help, most likely from a Capricorn, help others through this maze too.


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GrannyMoon’s Weekly Feast

Teach a witch a spell and she can do that spell. Teach a witch the craft and she can do magick!

GrannyMoon, Teaching the Craft for over 20 years!

“We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain, going to the ocean”
“May the circle be open, but unbroken,
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart.

Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again

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Goddess Bless!

By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

One comment on “GrannyMoons Weekly Feast: 23 Jan 2022

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